Birds are the most species-rich class of tetrapod vertebrates and have wide relevance across many research fields. We explored bird macroevolution using full genomes from 48 avian species representing all major extant clades. The avian genome is principally characterized by its constrained size, which predominantly arose because of lineage-specific erosion of repetitive elements, large segmental deletions, and gene loss. Avian genomes furthermore show a remarkably high degree of evolutionary stasis at the levels of nucleotide sequence, gene synteny, and chromosomal structure. Despite this pattern of conservation, we detected many non-neutral evolutionary changes in protein-coding genes and noncoding regions. These analyses reveal that pan-avian genomic diversity covaries with adaptations to different lifestyles and convergent evolution of traits.
High-throughput single-cell transcriptomics offers an unbiased approach for understanding the extent, basis, and function of gene expression variation between seemingly identical cells. Here, we sequence single-cell RNA-Seq libraries prepared from over 1,700 primary mouse bone marrow derived dendritic cells (DCs) spanning several experimental conditions. We find substantial variation between identically stimulated DCs, in both the fraction of cells detectably expressing a given mRNA and the transcript’s level within expressing cells. Distinct gene modules are characterized by different temporal heterogeneity profiles. In particular, a “core” module of antiviral genes is expressed very early by a few “precocious” cells, but is later activated in all cells. By stimulating cells individually in sealed microfluidic chambers, analyzing DCs from knockout mice, and modulating secretion and extracellular signaling, we show that this response is coordinated via interferon-mediated paracrine signaling. Surprisingly, preventing cell-to-cell communication also substantially reduces variability in the expression of an early-induced “peaked” inflammatory module, suggesting that paracrine signaling additionally represses part of the inflammatory program. Our study highlights the importance of cell-to-cell communication in controlling cellular heterogeneity and reveals general strategies that multicellular populations use to establish complex dynamic responses.
We report on the spectroscopic, electrochemical, and electroluminescent properties of [Ir(ppy)(2)(dtb-bpy)](+)(PF(6))(-) (ppy: 2-phenylpyridine, dtb-bpy: 4,4'-di-tert-butyl-2,2'-dipyridyl). Single-layer devices were fabricated and found to emit yellow light with a brightness that exceeds 300 cd/m(2) and a luminous power efficiency that exceeds 10 Lm/W at just 3 V. The PF(6)(-) space charge was found to dominate the device characteristics.
Voltage-gated sodium (Nav) channels are essential for the rapid depolarization of nerve and muscle1, and are important drug targets2. A family of bacterial Nav channels, exemplified by NaChBac (Na+-selective Channel of Bacteria)3, provides a good model system for structure-function analysis. Here we report the crystal structure of NavAP, a NaChBac orthologue from marine bacteria alpha proteobacterium HIMB114, at 3.05 Å resolution. The channel comprises an asymmetric tetramer. The carbonyl oxygen atoms of Thr178 and Leu179 constitute an inner site within the selectivity filter (178TLSSWE183) where a Ca2+ can bind and resides in the crystal structure. The outer mouth of the Na+ selectivity filter, defined by Ser181 and Glu183, is closed, as is the activation gate at the intracellular side of the pore. The voltage sensors adopt a depolarized conformation with all the gating charges exposing to the extracellular side. We hypothesize that NavAP is captured in an inactivated conformation. Comparison of NavAP with NavAb4 reveals significant conformational rearrangements that may underlie the electromechanical coupling mechanism of voltage-gated channels.
Loss-of-function mutations in TET2 occur frequently in patients with clonal hematopoiesis, myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), and acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and are associated with a DNA hypermethylation phenotype. To determine the role of TET2 deficiency in leukemia stem cell maintenance, we generated a reversible transgenic RNAi mouse to model restoration of endogenous Tet2 expression. Tet2 restoration reverses aberrant hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell (HSPC) self-renewal in vitro and in vivo. Treatment with vitamin C, a cofactor of Fe2+ and α-KG-dependent dioxygenases, mimics TET2 restoration by enhancing 5-hydroxymethylcytosine formation in Tet2-deficient mouse HSPCs and suppresses human leukemic colony formation and leukemia progression of primary human leukemia PDXs. Vitamin C also drives DNA hypomethylation and expression of a TET2-dependent gene signature in human leukemia cell lines. Furthermore, TET-mediated DNA oxidation induced by vitamin C treatment in leukemia cells enhances their sensitivity to PARP inhibition and could provide a safe and effective combination strategy to selectively target TET deficiency in cancer.
Axon degeneration occurs frequently in neurodegenerative diseases and peripheral neuropathies. Important insight into the mechanisms of axon degeneration arose from findings that the degeneration of transected axons is delayed in Wallerian degeneration slow (Wlds) mice with the overexpression of a fusion protein with the nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) synthetic enzyme, nicotinamide mononucleotide adenylyltransferase (Nmnat1). Although both Wlds and Nmnat1 themselves are functional in preventing axon degeneration in neuronal cultures, the underlying mechanism for Nmnat1- and NAD-mediated axon protection remains largely unclear. We demonstrate that NAD levels decrease in degenerating axons and that preventing this axonal NAD decline efficiently protects axons from degeneration. In support of a local protective mechanism, we show that the degeneration of axonal segments that have been separated from their soma could be prevented by the exogenous application of NAD or its precursor nicotinamide. Furthermore, we provide evidence that such Nmnat1/NAD-mediated protection is primarily mediated by their effects on local bioenergetics. Together, our results suggest a novel molecular pathway for axon degeneration.
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