Rxivist combines preprints from bioRxiv with data from Twitter to help you find the papers being discussed in your field. Currently indexing 84,795 bioRxiv papers from 364,817 authors.
Most downloaded bioRxiv papers, since beginning of last month
82,661 results found. For more information, click each entry to expand.
7 downloads biophysics
Gene transcription is a highly stochastic and dynamic process. As a result, the mRNA copy number of a given gene is heterogeneous both between cells and across time. We present a framework to model gene transcription in populations of cells with time-varying (stochastic or deterministic) transcription and degradation rates. Such rates can be understood as upstream cellular drives representing the effect of different aspects of the cellular environment. We show that the full solution of the master equation contains two components: a model-specific, upstream effective drive, which encapsulates the effect of the cellular drives (e.g., entrainment, periodicity or promoter randomness), and a downstream transcriptional Poissonian part, which is common to all models. Our analytical framework allows us to treat cell-to-cell and dynamic variability consistently, unifying several approaches in the literature. We apply the obtained solution to characterize several gene transcription models of experimental relevance, and to explain the influence on gene transcription of synchrony, stationarity, ergodicity, as well as the effect of time-scales and other dynamic characteristics of drives. We also show how the solution can be applied to the analysis of single-cell data, and to reduce the computational cost of sampling solutions via stochastic simulation.
7 downloads cancer biology
Lochlan J. Fennell, Alexandra Kane, Cheng Liu, Diane McKeone, Winnie Fernando, Chang Su, Catherine Bond, Saara Jamieson, Troy Dumenil, Ann-Marie Patch, Stephen H. Kazakoff, John V Pearson, Nicola Waddell, Barbara Leggett, Vicki Whitehall
Background & Aims WNT activation is a hallmark of colorectal cancer. BRAF mutation is present in 15% of colorectal cancers, and the role of mutations in WNT signaling regulators in this context is unclear. Here we evaluate the mutational landscape of WNT signaling regulators in BRAF mutant cancers. Methods We performed exome-sequencing on 24 BRAF mutant colorectal cancers and analysed these data in combination with 175 publicly available BRAF mutant colorectal cancer exomes. We assessed the somatic mutational landscape of WNT signaling regulators, and performed hotspot and driver mutation analyses to identify potential drivers of WNT signaling. The effects of Apc and Braf mutation were modelled, in vivo , using the Apc min/ + and Braf V637 /Villin-Cre ERT2/ + mouse , respectively. Results RNF43 was the most frequently mutated WNT signaling regulator (41%). Mutations in the beta-catenin destruction complex occurred in 48% of cancers. Hotspot analyses identified potential cancer driver genes in the WNT signaling cascade, including MEN1, GNG12 and WNT16 . Truncating APC mutation was identified in 20.8% of cancers. Truncating APC mutation was associated with early age at diagnosis (P< 2×10−5), advanced stage (P<0.01), and poor survival (P=0.026). Apc min/ + /Braf V637 animals had more numerous and larger SI and colonic lesions (P<0.0001 and P<0.05, respectively), and a markedly reduced survival (Median survival: 3.2 months, P=8.8×10−21) compared to animals with Apc or Braf mutation alone. Conclusions The WNT signaling axis is frequently mutated in BRAF mutant colorectal cancers. WNT16 and MEN1 may be novel drivers of aberrant WNT signaling in colorectal cancer. Co-mutation of BRAF and APC generates an extremely aggressive neoplastic phenotype that is associated with poor patient outcome. Synopsis We have comprehensively evaluated the somatic mutation landscape of WNT signaling regulators in serrated colorectal cancers. We identified a mosaic of mutations that may be responsible for elevating WNT signaling in this context. Approximately 20% of serrated colorectal cancers harbor truncating APC mutation, and these cancers confer extremely poor prognoses.
7 downloads bioinformatics
Despite significant progress in apicomplexans genome sequencing and genomics, the current list of experimentally validated TFs in these genomes is incomplete and mainly consists of AP2 family of proteins, with only a limited number of non-AP2 family TFs and TAFs. We have performed systematic bioinformatics aided prediction of TFs and TAFs in apicomplexan genomes, and developed ApicoTFdb database which consists of experimentally validated as well as computationally predicted TFs and TAFs in 14 apicomplexan species. The predicted TFs are manually curated to complement the existing annotations. The current version of the database includes 1310 TFs, out of which 833 are novel and computationally predicted TFs, representing 22 distinct families across 14 apicomplexan species. The predictions include TFs of TUB, NAC, BSD, CCAAT, HTH, Cupin/Jumonji, winged-helix, and FHA family proteins, not reported earlier in the genomes.
7 downloads ecology
Carnivorous plants and spiders are known to compete for resources. In North America, spiders of the genus Agelenopsis are known to build funnel-webs, using Sarracenia purpurea pitchers as a base, retreat and storage room. They also very likely profit from the insect attraction of S. purpurea. In a fen in Europe, S. purpurea was introduced ~65 years ago and co-occurs with native insect predators. Despite the absence of common evolutionary history, we observed native funnels-spiders (genus Agelena) building funnel webs on top of S. purpurea in similar ways as Agelenopsis. Furthermore, we observed specimen of the raft-spider (Dolmedes fimbriatus) and the pygmy-shrew (Sorex minutus) stealing prey-items out of the pitchers. We conducted an observational study, comparing plots with and without S. purpurea, to test if Agelena were attracted by S. purpurea, and found that their presence indeed increases Agelena abundance. Additionally, we tested if this facilitation was due to the structure provided for building webs or enhanced prey availability. Since the number of webs matched the temporal pattern of insect attraction by the plant, we conclude that the gain in food is likely the key factor for web installation. Our results provide an interesting case of facilitation by an introduced plant for a local predator, which has developed in a very short time scale.
7 downloads microbiology
For decades, ecological theory has predicted that the complexity of communities should be related to their stability. However, this prediction has rarely been tested empirically, because of both the difficulty of finding suitable systems where the question is tractable and the trouble of defining "stability" in real systems. Microbial communities provide the opportunity to investigate a related question: how does community connectivity relate to the rate of compositional turnover? We used a newly developed metric called community "cohesion" to test how microbial community connectivity relates to Bray-Curtis dissimilarity through time. In three long-term datasets, we found that stronger connectivity corresponded to lower rates of compositional turnover. Using two case studies of disturbed and reference communities, we found that the predictive power of community connectivity was diminished by external disturbance. Finally, we tested whether the highly connected taxa were disproportionately important in explaining compositional turnover. We found that subsets of highly connected "keystone" taxa, generally comprising 1-5% of community richness, explained community turnover better than using all taxa. Our results suggest that stronger biotic interactions within microbial community dynamics are stabilizing to community composition, and that highly connected taxa are good indicators of pending community shifts.
7 downloads plant biology
Plant cell infection is tightly controlled by cell surface receptor-like kinases (RLKs) Alike other RLKs the Medicago truncatula entry receptor LYK3 laterally segregates into membrane nanodomains in a stimulus-dependent manner. Although nanodomain localization arises as a generic feature of plant membrane proteins, molecular mechanisms underlying such dynamic transitions and their functional relevance remained poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate that actin and the flotillin protein FLOT4 form the primary and indispensable core of a specific nanodomain. Infection-dependent induction of the remorin protein and secondary molecular scaffold SYMREM1 results in subsequent recruitment of ligand-activated LYK3 and its stabilization within these membrane subcompartments. Reciprocally, the majority of this LYK3 receptor pool is destabilized at the plasma membrane and undergoes rapid endocytosis in symrem1 mutants upon rhizobial inoculation resulting in premature abortion of host cell infections. These data reveal that receptor recruitment into nanodomains is indispensable for their function during host cell infection.
7 downloads cell biology
Radiation induces rapid bone loss and enhances bone resorption and RANKL expression. RANKL provides the crucial signal to induce osteoclast differentiation and plays an important role in bone resorption. However, the mechanisms of radiation-induced osteoporosis are not fully understood. Here, we show that Crif1 expression increases in bone marrow cells after radiation. Conditional Crif1 deletion in bone marrow cells causes decreases in RANKL expression and the RANKL/OPG ratio, and relieves bone loss after radiation in mice. We further demonstrated in vitro that Crif1 promotes RANKL secretion via the cAMP/PKA pathway. Moreover, protein–protein docking screening identified five compounds as Crif1 inhibitors; these compounds dramatically suppressed RANKL secretion and CREB phosphorylation when cells were exposed to forskolin. This study enriches current knowledge of the pathogenesis of osteoporosis and provides insights into potential therapeutic strategies for osteoporosis treatment.
7 downloads animal behavior and cognition
In social insects, the postembryonic development of individuals exhibits strong phenotypic plasticity in response to environment, thus generating the caste system. Different from eusocial Hymenoptera, in which queens dominate reproduction and inhibit worker fertility, the primary reproductive caste in termites (kings and queens) can be replaced by neotenic reproductives derived from functionally sterile individuals. Feedback regulation of nestmate differentiation into reproductives has been suggested, but the sex-specificity remains inconclusive. In the eastern subterranean termite, Reticulitermes flavipes, we tested the hypothesis that neotenic reproductives regulate worker-reproductive transition in a sex-specific manner. With this R. flavipes system, we demonstrate a sex-specific regulatory mechanism with both inhibitory and stimulatory functions. Neotenics inhibit workers of the same sex from differentiating into additional reproductives, but stimulate workers of the opposite sex to undergo this transition. Furthermore, this process is not affected by the presence of soldiers. Our results highlight the extraordinary reproductive plasticity of termites in response to social cues, and provide insights into the regulation of reproductive division of labour in a hemimetabolous social insect.
7 downloads developmental biology
Efficient function of neural systems requires the production of specific cell types in the correct proportions. Here we report that reduction of the earliest born neurons of the cerebellum, excitatory cerebellar nuclei neurons (eCN), results in a subsequent reduction in growth of the cerebellar cortex due to an accompanying loss of their presynaptic target Purkinje cells. Conditional knockout of the homeobox genes En1 and En2 (En1/2) in the rhombic lip-derived eCN and granule cell precursors leads to embryonic loss of a subset of medial eCN and cell non-autonomous and location specific loss of Purkinje cells, with subsequent proportional scaling down of cortex growth. We propose that subsets of eCN dictate the survival of their specific Purkinje cell partners, and in turn sonic hedgehog secreted by Purkinje cells scales the expansion of granule cells and interneurons to produce functional local circuits and the proper folded morphology of the cerebellum.
7 downloads microbiology
The intracellular membrane domain (IMD) in mycobacteria is a spatially distinct region of the plasma membrane with diverse functions. Previous comparative proteomic analysis of the IMD suggested that menaquinone biosynthetic enzymes are associated with this domain. In the present study, we determined the subcellular site of these enzymes using sucrose density gradient fractionation. We found that the last two enzymes, the methyltransferase MenG, and the reductase MenJ, are associated with the IMD. MenA, the prenyltransferase that mediates the first membrane-associated step of the menaquinone biosynthesis, is associated with the conventional plasma membrane. For MenG, we additionally showed the polar enrichment of the fluorescent protein fusion colocalizing with an IMD marker protein in situ. To start dissecting the roles of IMD-associated enzymes, we further tested the physiological significance of MenG. The deletion of menG at the endogenous genomic loci was possible only when an extra copy of the gene was present, indicating that it is an essential gene in M. smegmatis. Using a tetracycline-inducible switch, we achieved gradual and partial depletion of MenG over three consecutive 24 hour subcultures. This partial MenG depletion resulted in progressive slowing of growth, which corroborated the observation that menG is an essential gene. Upon MenG depletion, there was a significant accumulation of MenG substrate, demethylmenaquinone, even though the cellular level of menaquinone, the reaction product, was unaffected. Furthermore, the growth retardation was coincided with a lower oxygen consumption rate and ATP accumulation. These results imply a previously unappreciated role of MenG in regulating menaquinone homeostasis within the complex spatial organization of mycobacterial plasma membrane.
7 downloads evolutionary biology
The characterization of the distribution of mutational effects is a key goal in evolutionary biology. Recently developed deep-sequencing approaches allow for accurate and simultaneous estimation of the fitness effects of hundreds of engineered mutations by monitoring their relative abundance across time points in a single bulk competition. Naturally, the achievable resolution of the estimated fitness effects depends on the specific experimental setup, the organism and type of mutations studied, the sequencing technology utilized, among other factors. By means of analytical approximations and simulations, we provide guidelines for optimizing time-sampled deep-sequencing bulk competition experiments, focusing on the number of mutants, the sequencing depth, and the number of sampled time points. Our analytical results show that sampling more time points together with extending the duration of the experiment improves the achievable precision disproportionately as compared with increasing the sequencing depth, or reducing the number of competing mutants. Even if the duration of the experiment is fixed, sampling more time points and clustering these at the beginning and the end of the experiment increases experimental power, and allows the efficient and precise assessment of the entire range of selection coefficients. Finally, we provide a formula for calculating the 95%-confidence interval for the measurement error estimate, which we implement as an interactive web tool. This allows for quantification of the maximum expected a prioriprecision of the experimental setup, as well as for a statistical threshold for determining deviations from neutrality for specific selection coefficient estimates.
7 downloads bioinformatics
The affordability of DNA sequencing has led to the generation of unprecedented volumes of raw sequencing data. These data must be stored, processed, and transmitted, which poses significant challenges. To facilitate this effort, we introduce FaStore, a specialized compressor for FASTQ files. The proposed algorithm does not use any reference sequences for compression, and permits the user to choose from several lossy modes to improve the overall compression ratio, depending on the specific needs. We demonstrate through extensive simulations that FaStore achieves a significant improvement in compression ratio with respect to previously proposed algorithms for this task. In addition, we perform an analysis on the effect that the different lossy modes have on variant calling, the most widely used application for clinical decision making, especially important in the era of precision medicine. We show that lossy compression can offer significant compression gains, while preserving the essential genomic information and without affecting the variant calling performance.
7 downloads neuroscience
Activity patterns of cerebral cortical regions represent the present environment in which animals receive multi-modal inputs. They are also shaped by the history of previous activity that reflects learned information on past multimodal exposures. We studied the long-term dynamics of cortical activity patterns during the formation of multimodal memories by analysing in vivo high-resolution 2-photon mouse brain imaging of Immediate Early Gene expression, resolved by cortical layers. Strikingly, in layers II/III, the patterns showed similar dynamics across functional distinct cortical areas and the consistency of dynamic patterns lasts for one to several days. In contrast, in layer Vb, the activity dynamics varied across functional distinct areas, and the present activities are sensitive to the previous activities at different time depending on the cortical locations, indicating that the information stored in the cortex at different time points is distributed across different cortical areas. These results suggest different roles of layer II/III and layer Vb neurons in the long-term multimodal perception of the environment.
7 downloads genetics
During meiosis, recombination ensures the allele exchange through crossovers (COs) between the homologous chromosomes and, additionally, their proper segregation. CO events are under a strict control but molecular mechanisms underlying CO regulation are still elusive. Some advances in this field were made by structural chromosomal rearrangements that are known at heterozygous state to impair COs in various organisms. In this paper, we have investigated the effect that a large pericentric inversion involving chromosome 3 of Arabidopsis thaliana has on male and female recombination. The inversion associated to a T-DNA dependent mutation likely resulted from a side effect of the T-DNA integration. Reciprocal backcross populations, each consisting of over 400 individuals, obtained from the T-DNA mutant and the wild type, both crossed with Landsberg, have been analyzed at genome-wide level by 143 SNPs. We found a strong suppression of COs in the rearranged region in both male and female meiosis. As expected, we did not detect single COs in the inverted region consistently with the post-meiotic selection operating against unbalanced gametes. Cytological analysis of chiasmata in F1 plants confirmed that COs are effectively dropping in chromosome 3 pair. Indeed, CO failure within the inversion is not altogether counterbalanced by CO increase in the regions outside the inversion on chromosome 3. Strikingly, this CO suppression induces a significant increase of COs in chromosome pairs 1, 2 and 5 in male meiosis. We conclude that these chromosomes acquire additional COs thereby compensating the recombination suppression occurring in chromosome 3, similarly to what has been described as interchromosomal (IC) effect in other organisms. In female meiosis, IC effect is not evident. This may be related to the fact that CO number in female is close to the minimum value imposed by the obligatory CO rule.
7 downloads systems biology
In order to advance precision medicine, detailed clinical features ought to be described in a way that leverages current knowledge. Although data collected from biomedical research is expanding at an almost exponential rate, our ability to transform that information into patient care has not kept at pace. A major barrier preventing this transformation is that multi-dimensional data collection and analysis is usually carried out without much understanding of the underlying knowledge structure. In an effort to bridge this gap, Electronic Health Records (EHRs) of individual patients were connected to a heterogeneous knowledge network called Scalable Precision Medicine Oriented Knowledge Engine (SPOKE). Then an unsupervised machine-learning algorithm was used to create Propagated SPOKE Entry Vectors (PSEVs) that encode the importance of each SPOKE node for any code in the EHRs. We argue that these results, alongside the natural integration of PSEVs into any EHR machine-learning platform, provide a key step toward precision medicine.
7 downloads bioinformatics
The availability of genomes across the tree of life is highly biased toward vertebrates, pathogens, human disease models, and organisms with relatively small and simple genomes. Recent progress in genomics has enabled the de novo decoding of the genome of virtually any organism, greatly expanding its potential for understanding the biology and evolution of the full spectrum of biodiversity. The increasing diversity of sequencing technologies, assays, and de novo assembly algorithms have augmented the complexity of de novo genome sequencing projects in non-model organisms. To reduce the costs and challenges in de novo genome sequencing projects and streamline their experimental design and analysis, we developed iWGS (in silico Whole Genome Sequencer and Analyzer), an automated pipeline for guiding the choice of appropriate sequencing strategy and assembly protocols. iWGS seamlessly integrates the four key steps of a de novo genome sequencing project: data generation (through simulation), data quality control, de novo assembly, and assembly evaluation and validation. The last three steps can also be applied to the analysis of real data. iWGS is designed to enable the user to have great flexibility in testing the range of experimental designs available for genome sequencing projects, and supports all major sequencing technologies and popular assembly tools. Three case studies illustrate how iWGS can guide the design of de novo genome sequencing projects and evaluate the performance of a wide variety of user-specified sequencing strategies and assembly protocols on genomes of differing architectures. iWGS, along with a detailed documentation, is freely available at https://github.com/zhouxiaofan1983/iWGS.
7 downloads genetics
It has recently become possible to directly estimate the germ-line de novo mutation (dnm) rate by sequencing the whole genome of father-mother-offspring trios, and this has been conducted in human, chimpanzee, mice, birds and fish. In these studies dnm's are typically defined as variants that are heterozygous in the offspring while being absent in both parents. They are assumed to have occurred in the germ-line of one of the parents and to have been transmitted to the offspring via the sperm cell or oocyte. This definition assumes that detectable mosaicism in the parent in which the mutation occurred is negligible. However, instances of detectable mosaicism or premeiotic clusters are well documented in humans and other organisms, including ruminants. We herein take advantage of cattle pedigrees to show that as much as 30% to 50% of dnm's present in a gamete may occur during the early cleavage cell divisions in males and females, respectively, resulting in frequent detectable mosaicism and a high rate of sharing of multiple dnm's between siblings. This should be taken into account to accurately estimate the mutation rate in cattle and other species.
7 downloads cancer biology
Kyle W Singleton, Alyx B. Porter, Leland S Hu, Sandra K. Johnston, Kamila M Bond, Cassandra R Rickertsen, Gustavo De Leon, Scott A Whitmire, Kamala R Clark-Swanson, Maciej M Mrugala, Kristin R. Swanson
Purpose: Accurate assessments of patient response to therapy are a critical component of personalized medicine. In glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the most aggressive form of brain cancer, tumor growth dynamics are heterogenous across patients, complicating assessment of treatment response. This study aimed to analyze Days Gained (DG), a burgeoning model-based dynamic metric, for response assessment in patients with recurrent GBM who received bevacizumab-based therapies. Experimental Design: Days Gained response scores were calculated using volumetric tumor segmentations for patients receiving bevacizumab with and without concurrent cytotoxic therapy (N=62). Kaplan-Meier and Cox proportional hazards analyses were implemented to examine DG prognostic relationship to overall (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) from the onset of treatment for recurrent GBM. Results: In patients receiving concurrent bevacizumab and cytotoxic therapy, Kaplan-Meier analysis showed significant differences in OS and PFS at previously identified DG cutoffs consistent with previous DG analyses using gadolinium-enhanced T1 weighted MR imaging. DG scores for bevacizumab monotherapy only approached significance for PFS. Cox regression showed that increases of 25 DG were significantly associated with a 12.5% reduction in OS hazard for concurrent therapy patients and a 4.4% reduction in PFS hazard for bevacizumab monotherapy. Conclusion: Days Gained has significant meaning in recurrent therapy as a metric of treatment response, even in the context of anti-angiogenic therapies. This provides further evidence supporting the use of DG as an adjunct response metric that quantitatively connects treatment response and clinical outcomes.
7 downloads evolutionary biology
Sexual cell fusion combines genetic material of two gametes, but why the two reproductive cells have to belong to distinct self-incompatible gamete classes is not known. In a vast majority of sexual eukaryotes, mitochondria are inherited uniparentally from only one of the two mating types, which is thought to facilitate purifying selection against deleterious mitochondrial mutations and limit the inter-genomic conflicts. Here I argue that two mating types in eukaryotes represent a mechanism of mitochondrial quality control through the highly asymmetric transmission of mitochondrial genes at cell fusion. I develop a mathematical model to explicitly study the evolution of two self-incompatible mating type alleles linked to the nuclear locus controlling the pattern of organelle inheritance. The invasion of mating-type alleles is opposed by the short-term fitness benefit of mitochondrial mixing under negative epistasis and the lower chance of encountering a compatible mating partner. Nevertheless, under high mitochondrial mutation rates purifying selection against defective mitochondria can drive two mating types with uniparental inheritance to fixation. The invasion is further facilitated by the paternal leakage of mitochondria under paternal control of cytoplasmic inheritance. In contrast to previous studies, the model does not rely on the presence of selfish cytoplasmic elements, providing a more universal solution to the long-standing evolutionary puzzle of two sexes.
7 downloads genetics
Background: Linking genotype to phenotype is a major aim of genetics research, yet many complex conditions continue to hide their underlying biochemical mechanisms. Recent research provides evidence that relevant gene-phenotype associations are discoverable in the study of intellectual disability (ID). Here we expand on that work, identifying distinctive gene interaction modules with unique enrichment patterns reflective of associated clinical features in ID. Methods: Two hundred twelve forms of monogenic ID were curated according to comorbidities with autism and epilepsy. These groups were further subdivided according to secondary clinical symptoms of complex versus simple facial dysmorphia and neurodegenerative-like features due to their clinical prominence, modest symptom overlap, and probable etiological divergence. An aggregate gene interaction ID network for these phenotype subgroups was discovered using via a public database of known gene interactions: protein-protein, genetic, and mRNA coexpression. Additional annotation resources (Gene Ontology, Human Phenotype Ontology, TRANSFAC/JASPAR, and KEGG/WikiPathways) were utilized to assess functional and phenotypic enrichment modules within the full ID network. Results: Phenotypic analysis revealed high rates of complex facial dysmorphia in ID with comorbid autism. In contrast, neurodegenerative-like features were overrepresented in ID with epilepsy. Network analysis subsequently showed that gene groups divided according to clinical features of interest resulted in distinctive interaction clusters, with unique functional enrichments according to module. Conclusions: These data suggest that specific comorbid and secondary clinical features in ID are predictive of underlying genotype. In summary, ID form unique clusters, which are comprised of individual conditions with remarkable genotypic and phenotypic overlap.
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