The monoamines octopamine and tyramine, which are the invertebrate counterparts of epinephrine and norepinephrine, transmit their action through sets of G protein-coupled receptors. Four different octopamine receptors (Oamb, Octß1R, Octß2R, Octß3R) and 3 different tyramine receptors (TyrR, TyrRII, TyrRIII) are present in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. Utilizing the presumptive promoter regions of all 7 octopamine and tyramine receptors, the Gal4/UAS system is utilized to elucidate their complete expression pattern in larvae as well as in adult flies. All these receptors show strong expression in the nervous system but their exact expression patterns vary substantially. Common to all octopamine and tyramine receptors is their expression in mushroom bodies, centers for learning and memory in insects. Outside the central nervous system, the differences in the expression patterns are more conspicuous. However, four of them are present in the tracheal system, where they show different regional preferences within this organ. On the other hand, TyrR appears to be the only receptor present in the heart muscles and TyrRII the only one expressed in oenocytes. Skeletal muscles express octß2R, Oamb and TyrRIII, with octß2R being present in almost all larval muscles. Taken together, this study provides comprehensive information about the sites of expression of all octopamine and tyramine receptors in the fruit fly, thus facilitating future research in the field.
Evidence for a shared genetic basis of association between coronary artery disease (CAD) and periodontitis (PD) exists. To explore the joint genetic basis, we performed a GWAS meta-analysis. In the discovery stage, we used a German aggressive periodontitis sample (AgP-Ger; 680 cases vs 3,973 controls) and the CARDIoGRAMplusC4D CAD meta-analysis dataset (60,801 cases vs 123,504 controls). Two SNPs at the known CAD risk loci ADAMTS7 (rs11634042) and VAMP8 (rs1561198) passed the pre-assigned selection criteria (PAgP-Ger < 0.05; PCAD < 5 × 10−8; concordant effect direction) and were replicated in an independent GWAS meta-analysis dataset of PD (4,415 cases vs 5,935 controls). SNP rs1561198 showed significant association (PD[Replication]: P = 0.008 OR = 1.09, 95% CI = [1.02–1.16]; PD [Discovery + Replication]: P = 0.0002, OR = 1.11, 95% CI = [1.05–1.17]). For the associated haplotype block, allele specific cis-effects on VAMP8 expression were reported. Our data adds to the shared genetic basis of CAD and PD and indicate that the observed association of the two disease conditions cannot be solely explained by shared environmental risk factors. We conclude that the molecular pathway shared by CAD and PD involves VAMP8 function, which has a role in membrane vesicular trafficking, and is manipulated by pathogens to corrupt host immune defense.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is among the most important causes of death. Signaling systems that are relevant for tissue repair and detoxification of reactive oxygen species or xenobiotics are thought to be impaired in lungs of patients suffering from this disease. Here, we developed a simple cigarette smoke induced Drosophila model of COPD based on chronic cigarette smoke exposure that recapitulates major pathological hallmarks of the disease and thus can be used to investigate new therapeutic strategies. Chronic cigarette smoke exposure led to premature death of the animals and induced a set of phenotypes reminiscent of those seen in COPD patients, including reduced physical activity, reduced body fat, increased metabolic rate and a substantial reduction of the respiratory surface. A detailed transcriptomic analysis revealed that especially the TGF-β, Nrf2 and the JAK/STAT signaling pathways are altered by chronic cigarette smoke exposure. Based on these results, we focused on Nrf2 signaling. A pharmacological intervention study performed with oltipraz, an activator of Nrf2 signaling, increased survival of cigarette smoke exposed animals significantly. Thus, the Drosophila COPD model recapitulates many major hallmarks of COPD and it is highly useful to evaluate the potential of alternative therapeutic strategies.
OVO-like proteins (OVOL) are members of the zinc finger protein family and serve as transcription factors to regulate gene expression in various differentiation processes. Recent studies have shown that OVOL genes are involved in epithelial development and differentiation in a wide variety of organisms; yet there is a lack of comprehensive studies that describe OVOL proteins from an evolutionary perspective. Using comparative genomic analysis, we traced three different OVOL genes (OVOL1-3) in vertebrates. One gene, OVOL3, was duplicated during a whole-genome-duplication event in fish, but only the copy (OVOL3b) was retained. From early-branching metazoa to humans, we found that a core domain, comprising a tetrad of C2H2 zinc fingers, is conserved. By domain comparison of the OVOL proteins, we found that they evolved in different metazoan lineages by attaching intrinsically-disordered (ID) segments of N/C-terminal extensions of 100 to 1000 amino acids to this conserved core. These ID regions originated independently across different animal lineages giving rise to different types of OVOL genes over the course of metazoan evolution. We illustrated the molecular evolution of metazoan OVOL genes over a period of 700 million years (MY). This study both extends our current understanding of the structure/function relationship of metazoan OVOL genes, and assembles a good platform for further characterization of OVOL genes from diverged organisms.
Background Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid sub type 1 (TRPV1), commonly known as capsaicin receptor can detect multiple stimuli ranging from noxious compounds, low pH, temperature as well as electromagnetic wave at different ranges. In addition, this receptor is involved in multiple physiological and sensory processes. Therefore, functions of TRPV1 have direct influences on adaptation and further evolution also. Availability of various eukaryotic genomic sequences in public domain facilitates us in studying the molecular evolution of TRPV1 protein and the respective conservation of certain domains, motifs and interacting regions that are functionally important. Methodology and Principal Findings Using statistical and bioinformatics tools, our analysis reveals that TRPV1 has evolved about ∼420 million years ago (MYA). Our analysis reveals that specific regions, domains and motifs of TRPV1 has gone through different selection pressure and thus have different levels of conservation. We found that among all, TRP box is the most conserved and thus have functional significance. Our results also indicate that the tubulin binding sequences (TBS) have evolutionary significance as these stretch sequences are more conserved than many other essential regions of TRPV1. The overall distribution of positively charged residues within the TBS motifs is conserved throughout evolution. In silico analysis reveals that the TBS-1 and TBS-2 of TRPV1 can form helical structures and may play important role in TRPV1 function. Conclusions and Significance Our analysis identifies the regions of TRPV1, which are important for structure – function relationship. This analysis indicates that tubulin binding sequence-1 (TBS-1) near the TRP-box forms a potential helix and the tubulin interactions with TRPV1 via TBS-1 have evolutionary significance. This interaction may be required for the proper channel function and regulation and may also have significance in the context of Taxol®-induced neuropathy.
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