- ItemThe Role of Potassium Channels in Arabidopsis thaliana Long Distance Electrical Signalling: AKT2 Modulates Tissue Excitability While GORK Shapes Action Potentials(MDPI, 2018-03-21) Cuin, Tracey Ann; Dreyer, Ingo; Michard, ErwanFast responses to an external threat depend on the rapid transmission of signals through a plant. Action potentials (APs) are proposed as such signals. Plant APs share similarities with their animal counterparts; they are proposed to depend on the activity of voltage-gated ion channels. Nonetheless, despite their demonstrated role in (a)biotic stress responses, the identities of the associated voltage-gated channels and transporters remain undefined in higher plants. By demonstrating the role of two potassium-selective channels in Arabidopsis thaliana in AP generation and shaping, we show that the plant AP does depend on similar Kv-like transport systems to those of the animal signal. We demonstrate that the outward-rectifying potassium-selective channel GORK limits the AP amplitude and duration, while the weakly-rectifying channel AKT2 affects membrane excitability. By computational modelling of plant APs, we reveal that the GORK activity not only determines the length of an AP but also the steepness of its rise and the maximal amplitude. Thus, outward-rectifying potassium channels contribute to both the repolarisation phase and the initial depolarisation phase of the signal. Additionally, from modelling considerations we provide indications that plant APs might be accompanied by potassium waves, which prime the excitability of the green cable.
- ItemNeisseria gonorrhoeae Aggregation Reduces Its Ceftriaxone Susceptibility(MDPI, 2018-06-15) Wang, Liang-Chun; Litwin, Madeline; Sahiholnasab, Zahraossadat; Song, Wenxia; Stein, Daniel C.Antibiotic resistance in Neisseria gonorrhoeae (GC) has become an emerging threat worldwide and heightens the need for monitoring treatment failures. N. gonorrhoeae, a gram-negative bacterium responsible for gonorrhea, infects humans exclusively and can form aggregates during infection. While minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) tests are often used for determining antibiotic resistance development and treatment, the knowledge of the true MIC in individual patients and how it relates to this laboratory measure is not known. We examined the effect of aggregation on GC antibiotic susceptibility and the relationship between bacterial aggregate size and their antibiotic susceptibility. Aggregated GC have a higher survival rate when treated with ceftriaxone than non-aggregated GC, with bacteria in the core of the aggregates surviving the treatment. GC lacking opacity-associated protein or pili, or expressing a truncated lipooligosaccharide, three surface molecules that mediate GC-GC interactions, reduce both aggregation and ceftriaxone survival. This study demonstrates that the aggregation of N. gonorrhoeae can reduce the susceptibility to antibiotics, and suggests that antibiotic utilization can select for GC surface molecules that promote aggregation which in turn drive pathogen evolution. Inhibiting aggregation may be a potential way of increasing the efficacy of ceftriaxone treatment, consequently reducing treatment failure.
- ItemThe Expanding Riboverse(MDPI, 2019-10-05) Sulima, Sergey O.; Dinman, Jonathan D.Subverting the conventional concept of “the” ribosome, a wealth of information gleaned from recent studies is revealing a much more diverse and dynamic ribosomal reality than has traditionally been thought possible. A diverse array of researchers is collectively illuminating a universe of heterogeneous and adaptable ribosomes harboring differences in composition and regulatory capacity: These differences enable specialization. The expanding universe of ribosomes not only comprises an incredible richness in ribosomal specialization between species, but also within the same tissues and even cells. In this review, we discuss ribosomal heterogeneity and speculate how the emerging understanding of the ribosomal repertoire is impacting the biological sciences today. Targeting pathogen-specific and pathological “diseased” ribosomes promises to provide new treatment options for patients, and potential applications for “designer ribosomes” are within reach. Our deepening understanding of and ability to manipulate the ribosome are establishing both the technological and theoretical foundations for major advances for the 21st century and beyond.
- Itemsimpleaf: a simple, flexible, and scalable framework for single-cell data processing using alevin-fry(OUP Bioinformatics, 2023-10-06) He, Dongze; Patro, Rob; Patro, RobThe alevin-fry ecosystem provides a robust and growing suite of programs for single-cell data processing. However, as new single-cell technologies are introduced, as the community continues to adjust best practices for data processing, and as the alevin-fry ecosystem itself expands and grows, it is becoming increasingly important to manage the complexity of alevin-fry’s single-cell preprocessing workflows while retaining the performance and flexibility that make these tools enticing. We introduce simpleaf, a program that simplifies the processing of single-cell data using tools from the alevin-fry ecosystem, and adds new functionality and capabilities, while retaining the flexibility and performance of the underlying tools. Simpleaf is written in Rust and released under a BSD 3-Clause license. It is freely available from its GitHub repository https://github.com/COMBINE-lab/simpleaf, and via bioconda. Documentation for simpleaf is available at https://simpleaf.readthedocs.io/en/latest/ and tutorials for simpleaf that have been developed can be accessed at https://combine-lab.github.io/alevin-fry-tutorials.
- ItemThe Sialoside-Binding Pocket of SARS-CoV-2 Spike Glycoprotein Structurally Resembles MERS-CoV(MDPI, 2020-08-19) Awasthi, Mayanka; Gulati, Sahil; Sarkar, Debi P.; Tiwari, Swasti; Kateriya, Suneel; Ranjan, Peeyush; Verma, Santosh KumarCOVID-19 novel coronavirus (CoV) disease caused by severe acquired respiratory syndrome (SARS)-CoV-2 manifests severe lethal respiratory illness in humans and has recently developed into a worldwide pandemic. The lack of effective treatment strategy and vaccines against the SARS-CoV-2 poses a threat to human health. An extremely high infection rate and multi-organ secondary infection within a short period of time makes this virus more deadly and challenging for therapeutic interventions. Despite high sequence similarity and utilization of common host-cell receptor, human angiotensin-converting enzyme-2 (ACE2) for virus entry, SARS-CoV-2 is much more infectious than SARS-CoV. Structure-based sequence comparison of the N-terminal domain (NTD) of the spike protein of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS)-CoV, SARS-CoV, and SARS-CoV-2 illustrate three divergent loop regions in SARS-CoV-2, which is reminiscent of MERS-CoV sialoside binding pockets. Comparative binding analysis with host sialosides revealed conformational flexibility of SARS-CoV-2 divergent loop regions to accommodate diverse glycan-rich sialosides. These key differences with SARS-CoV and similarity with MERS-CoV suggest an evolutionary adaptation of SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein reciprocal interaction with host surface sialosides to infect host cells with wide tissue tropism.