497 research outputs found

    A genomic timescale for placental mammal evolution.

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    The precise pattern and timing of speciation events that gave rise to all living placental mammals remain controversial. We provide a comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of genetic variation across an alignment of 241 placental mammal genome assemblies, addressing prior concerns regarding limited genomic sampling across species. We compared neutral genome-wide phylogenomic signals using concatenation and coalescent-based approaches, interrogated phylogenetic variation across chromosomes, and analyzed extensive catalogs of structural variants. Interordinal relationships exhibit relatively low rates of phylogenomic conflict across diverse datasets and analytical methods. Conversely, X-chromosome versus autosome conflicts characterize multiple independent clades that radiated during the Cenozoic. Genomic time trees reveal an accumulation of cladogenic events before and immediately after the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) boundary, implying important roles for Cretaceous continental vicariance and the K-Pg extinction in the placental radiation

    Sphingolipid subtypes differentially control proinsulin processing and systemic glucose homeostasis.

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    Impaired proinsulin-to-insulin processing in pancreatic β-cells is a key defective step in both type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes (T2D) (refs. 1,2), but the mechanisms involved remain to be defined. Altered metabolism of sphingolipids (SLs) has been linked to development of obesity, type 1 diabetes and T2D (refs. 3–8); nonetheless, the role of specific SL species in β-cell function and demise is unclear. Here we define the lipid signature of T2D-associated β-cell failure, including an imbalance of specific very-long-chain SLs and long-chain SLs. β-cell-specific ablation of CerS2, the enzyme necessary for generation of very-long-chain SLs, selectively reduces insulin content, impairs insulin secretion and disturbs systemic glucose tolerance in multiple complementary models. In contrast, ablation of long-chain-SL-synthesizing enzymes has no effect on insulin content. By quantitatively defining the SL–protein interactome, we reveal that CerS2 ablation affects SL binding to several endoplasmic reticulum–Golgi transport proteins, including Tmed2, which we define as an endogenous regulator of the essential proinsulin processing enzyme Pcsk1. Our study uncovers roles for specific SL subtypes and SL-binding proteins in β-cell function and T2D-associated β-cell failure

    Genomic signatures of divergent ecological strategies in a recent radiation of neotropical wild cats

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    Ecological differentiation among diverging species is an important component of the evolutionary process and can be investigated in rapid and recent radiations. Here, we use whole genome sequences of five species from the genus Leopardus, a recently diversified Neotropical lineage with species bearing distinctive morphological, ecological, and behavioral features, to investigate genome-wide diversity, comparative demographic history and signatures of positive selection. Our results show that divergent ecological strategies are reflected in genomic features, for example a generalist species shows historically larger effective population size and higher heterozygosity than habitat specialists. The demographic history of these cats seems to have been jointly driven by climate fluctuations and habitat specialization, with different ecological adaptations leading to distinct trajectories. Finally, a gene involved in vertebrate retinal neurogenesis (POU4F2) was found to be under positive selection in the margay, a cat with notoriously large eyes that are likely associated with its nocturnal and arboreal specializations
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