39 research outputs found

    Efficient and accurate modeling of electron photoemission in nanostructures with TDDFT

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    We derive and extend the time-dependent surface-flux method introduced in [L. Tao, A. Scrinzi, New J. Phys. 14, 013021 (2012)] within a time-dependent density-functional theory (TDDFT) formalism and use it to calculate photoelectron spectra and angular distributions of atoms and molecules when excited by laser pulses. We present other, existing computational TDDFT methods that are suitable for the calculation of electron emission in compact spatial regions, and compare their results. We illustrate the performance of the new method by simulating strong-field ionization of C60 fullerene and discuss final state effects in the orbital reconstruction of planar organic molecules

    Amphibians in the diet of European Barn Owls

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    We present a review of the propensity to eat amphibians in the Barn Owl Tyto alba in Europe. Based on the analysis of 596 published studies reporting 3.32 million prey items identified in pellets, 17 869 amphibians (0.54%) were found. An analysis of 9036 amphibians identified to the species level showed that Barn Owls avoid consuming toxic species, and they are able to capture tree frogs (Hylidae) only rarely. The true frogs (Ranidae) are by far the most frequently captured amphibians followed by spadefoot toads (Pelobatidae) and Parsley frogs (Pelodytidae)

    Geographic and temporal variation in the consumption of bats by European barn owls

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    Capsule We report a review of the occurrence of bats in the Barn Owl diet Tyto alba in Europe. Based on 802 studies reporting 4.02 million prey items identified in pellets, 4949 were bats (0.12%). We found that bat predation decreased during the last 150 years, is more frequent on islands than mainland, and is higher in eastern than western Europe and in southern than northern Europe. Although Barn Owls usually capture bats opportunistically, they can sometimes specialize on them

    Identification and functional characterisation of CRK12:CYC9, a novel cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK)-cyclin complex in Trypanosoma brucei

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    The protozoan parasite, Trypanosoma brucei, is spread by the tsetse fly and causes trypanosomiasis in humans and animals. Both the life cycle and cell cycle of the parasite are complex. Trypanosomes have eleven cdc2-related kinases (CRKs) and ten cyclins, an unusually large number for a single celled organism. To date, relatively little is known about the function of many of the CRKs and cyclins, and only CRK3 has previously been shown to be cyclin-dependent in vivo. Here we report the identification of a previously uncharacterised CRK:cyclin complex between CRK12 and the putative transcriptional cyclin, CYC9. CRK12:CYC9 interact to form an active protein kinase complex in procyclic and bloodstream T. brucei. Both CRK12 and CYC9 are essential for the proliferation of bloodstream trypanosomes in vitro, and we show that CRK12 is also essential for survival of T. brucei in a mouse model, providing genetic validation of CRK12:CYC9 as a novel drug target for trypanosomiasis. Further, functional characterisation of CRK12 and CYC9 using RNA interference reveals roles for these proteins in endocytosis and cytokinesis, respectively

    The Tumor Suppressive Role of eIF3f and Its Function in Translation Inhibition and rRNA Degradation

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    Deregulated translation plays an important role in human cancer. We previously reported decreased eukaryotic initiation factor 3 subunit f (eIF3f) expression in pancreatic cancer. Whether decreased eIF3f expression can transform normal epithelial cells is not known. In our current study, we found evidence that stable knockdown of eIF3f in normal human pancreatic ductal epithelial cells increased cell size, nuclear pleomorphism, cytokinesis defects, cell proliferation, clonogenicity, apoptotic resistance, migration, and formation of 3-dimensional irregular masses. Our findings support the tumor suppressive role of eIF3f in pancreatic cancer. Mechanistically, we found that eIF3f inhibited both cap-dependent and cap-independent translation. An increase in the ribosomal RNA (rRNA) level was suggested to promote the generation of cancer. The regulatory mechanism of rRNA degradation in mammals is not well understood. We demonstrated here that eIF3f promotes rRNA degradation through direct interaction with heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein (hnRNP) K. We showed that hnRNP K is required for maintaining rRNA stability: under stress conditions, eIF3f dissociates hnRNP K from rRNA, thereby preventing it from protecting rRNA from degradation. We also demonstrated that rRNA degradation occurred in non-P body, non-stress granule cytoplasmic foci that contain eIF3f. Our findings established a new mechanism of rRNA decay regulation mediated by hnRNP K/eIF3f and suggest that the tumor suppressive function of eIF3f may link to impaired rRNA degradation and translation

    Strong field ionization to multiple electronic states in water

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    High harmonic spectra show that laser-induced strong field ionization of water has a significant contribution from an inner-valence orbital. Our experiment uses the ratio of H2O and D2O high harmonic yields to isolate the characteristic nuclear motion of the molecular ionic states. The nuclear motion initiated via ionization of the highest occupied molecular orbital (HOMO) is small and is expected to lead to similar harmonic yields for the two isotopes. In contrast, ionization of the second least bound orbital (HOMO-1) exhibits itself via a strong bending motion which creates a significant isotope effect. We elaborate on this interpretation by simulating strong field ionization and high harmonic generation from the water isotopes using the time-dependent Schr\"odinger equation. We expect that this isotope marking scheme for probing excited ionic states in strong field processes can be generalized to other molecules

    Density and habitat prefereces of male little bustard across contrasting agro-pastoral landscapes in Sardinia (Italy)

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    The little bustard Tetrax tetrax has undergone severe range contraction within Europe due to abandonment of traditional agro-pastoral activities. Previous studies of habitat selection have mainly focused on extensive cereal and cropland mosaics, while the species’ ecology in pastoral landscapes is understood less well, and data are completely lacking from the Sardinian population. We conducted distance sampling surveys of displaying males across three contrasting landscapes in Sardinia and modelled habitat preference at both the landscape and local (within pastures and recent fallows) scale. Abbasanta, with a balance of pasture and cropland, the greatest isolation from roads and shortest vegetation, supported the highest little bustard densities (95%CI 2.7–3.4 males/100 ha). Significantly lower densities were found in two landscapes with lower isolation from roads and taller vegetation within grasslands: Campeda (0.1–0.2 males/100 ha), comprising cropland and pasture in similar proportions to those found at Abbasanta, and Campidano (0.3–0.4 males/100 ha) that was dominated by cereal agriculture. At the landscape level, males preferred pastures and recent fallows over arable lands. At the local scale, within grasslands, probability of occurrence was greater with shorter vegetation, more legume and green herb cover and at points remote from roads. Shorter vegetation in grasslands resulted from high grazing pressure, and habitat suitability for breeding males depends strongly on extensively grazed grasslands. Conservation efforts for this species should focus on maintaining traditional agro-pastoral practices which maintain large areas of extensively grazed pastures and recent fallows located far from roads

    The cyclin-dependent kinase PITSLRE/CDK11 is required for successful autophagy

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    (Macro)autophagy is a membrane-trafficking process that serves to sequester cellular constituents in organelles termed autophagosomes, which target their degradation in the lysosome. Autophagy operates at basal levels in all cells where it serves as a homeostatic mechanism to maintain cellular integrity. The levels and cargoes of autophagy can, however, change in response to a variety of stimuli, and perturbations in autophagy are known to be involved in the aetiology of various human diseases. Autophagy must therefore be tightly controlled. We report here that the Drosophila cyclin-dependent kinase PITSLRE is a modulator of autophagy. Loss of the human PITSLRE orthologue, CDK11, initially appears to induce autophagy, but at later time points CDK11 is critically required for autophagic flux and cargo digestion. Since PITSLRE/CDK11 regulates autophagy in both Drosophila and human cells, this kinase represents a novel phylogenetically conserved component of the autophagy machinery

    α2,3-Sialyltransferase ST3Gal III Modulates Pancreatic Cancer Cell Motility and Adhesion In Vitro and Enhances Its Metastatic Potential In Vivo

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    Background: Cell surface sialylation is emerging as an important feature of cancer cell metastasis. Sialyltransferase expression has been reported to be altered in tumours and may account for the formation of sialylated tumour antigens. We have focused on the influence of alpha-2,3-sialyltransferase ST3Gal III in key steps of the pancreatic tumorigenic process. Methodology/Principal Findings: ST3Gal III overexpressing pancreatic adenocarcinoma cell lines Capan-1 and MDAPanc-28 were generated. They showed an increase of the tumour associated antigen sialyl-Lewis x. The transfectants ’ E-selectin binding capacity was proportional to cell surface sialyl-Lewis x levels. Cellular migration positively correlated with ST3Gal III and sialyl-Lewis x levels. Moreover, intrasplenic injection of the ST3Gal III transfected cells into athymic nude mice showed a decrease in survival and higher metastasis formation when compared to the mock cells. Conclusion: In summary, the overexpression of ST3Gal III in these pancreatic adenocarcinoma cell lines underlines the rol