Insects are the most speciose group of animals, but the phylogenetic relationships of many major lineages remain unresolved. We inferred the phylogeny of insects from 1478 protein-coding genes. Phylogenomic analyses of nucleotide and amino acid sequences, with site-specific nucleotide or domain-specific amino acid substitution models, produced statistically robust and congruent results resolving previously controversial phylogenetic relations hips. We dated the origin of insects to the Early Ordovician [~479 million years ago (Ma)], of insect flight to the Early Devonian (~406 Ma), of major extant lineages to the Mississippian (~345 Ma), and the major diversification of holometabolous insects to the Early Cretaceous. Our phylogenomic study provides a comprehensive reliable scaffold for future comparative analyses of evolutionary innovations among insects.
Semiconducting transition metal dichalcogenides consist of monolayers held together by weak forces where the layers are electronically and vibrationally coupled. Isolated monolayers show changes in electronic structure and lattice vibration energies, including a transition from indirect to direct bandgap. Here we present a new member of the family, rhenium disulphide (ReS 2 ), where such variation is absent and bulk behaves as electronically and vibrationally decoupled monolayers stacked together. From bulk to monolayers, ReS 2 remains direct bandgap and its Raman spectrum shows no dependence on the number of layers. Interlayer decoupling is further demonstrated by the insensitivity of the optical absorption and Raman spectrum to interlayer distance modulated by hydrostatic pressure. Theoretical calculations attribute the decoupling to Peierls distortion of the 1T structure of ReS 2 , which prevents ordered stacking and minimizes the interlayer overlap of wavefunctions. Such vanishing interlayer coupling enables probing of two-dimensional-like systems without the need for monolayers.
SUMMARY Trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO), a gut microbiota dependent metabolite, both enhances atherosclerosis in animal models and is associated with cardiovascular risks in clinical studies. Here we investigate the impact of targeted inhibition of the first step in TMAO generation, commensal microbial trimethylamine (TMA) production, on diet-induced atherosclerosis. A structural analogue of choline, 3,3-dimethyl-1-butanol (DMB), is shown to non-lethally inhibit TMA formation from cultured microbes, to inhibit distinct microbial TMA lyases, and to both inhibit TMA production from physiologic polymicrobial cultures (eg intestinal contents, human feces) and reduce TMAO levels in mice fed a high choline or carnitine diet. DMB inhibited choline diet-enhanced endogenous macrophage foam cell formation and atherosclerotic lesion development in apolipoprotein e−/− mice without alterations in circulating cholesterol levels. The present studies suggest gut microbial production of TMA specifically, and non-lethal microbial inhibitors in general, may serve as a potential therapeutic approach for the treatment of cardiometabolic diseases.
A facile surfactant-assisted bottom-up synthetic method to prepare a series of freestanding ultrathin 2D M-TCPP (M = Zn, Cu, Cd or Co, TCPP = tetrakis(4-carboxyphenyl)porphyrin) nanosheets with a thickness of sub-10 nm is developed. As a proof-of-concept application, some of them are successfully used as new platforms for DNA detection. The Cu-TCPP nanosheet-based sensor shows excellent fluorescent sensing performance and is used for the simultaneous detection of multiple DNA targets.
Watermelon, Citrullus lanatus, is an important cucurbit crop grown throughout the world. Here we report a high-quality draft genome sequence of the east Asia watermelon cultivar 97103 (2n = 2x = 22) containing 23,440 predicted protein-coding genes. Comparative genomics analysis provided an evolutionary scenario for the origin of the 11 watermelon chromosomes derived from a 7-chromosome paleohexaploid eudicot ancestor. Resequencing of 20 watermelon accessions representing three different C. lanatus subspecies produced numerous haplotypes and identified the extent of genetic diversity and population structure of watermelon germplasm. Genomic regions that were preferentially selected during domestication were identified. Many disease-resistance genes were also found to be lost during domestication. In addition, integrative genomic and transcriptomic analyses yielded important insights into aspects of phloem-based vascular signaling in common between watermelon and cucumber and identified genes crucial to valuable fruit-quality traits, including sugar accumulation and citrulline metabolism
The antiporter system x c -imports the amino acid cystine, the oxidized form of cysteine, into cells with a 1:1 counter-transport of glutamate. It is composed of a light chain, xCT, and a heavy chain, 4F2 heavy chain (4F2hc), and, thus, belongs to the family of heterodimeric amino acid transporters. Cysteine is the rate-limiting substrate for the important antioxidant glutathione (GSH) and, along with cystine, it also forms a key redox couple on its own. Glutamate is a major neurotransmitter in the central nervous system (CNS). By phylogenetic analysis, we show that system x c -is a rather evolutionarily new amino acid transport system. In addition, we summarize the current knowledge regarding the molecular mechanisms that regulate system x c -, including the transcriptional regulation of the xCT light chain, posttranscriptional mechanisms, and pharmacological inhibitors of system x c -. Moreover, the roles of system x c -in regulating GSH levels, the redox state of the extracellular cystine/cysteine redox couple, and extracellular glutamate levels are discussed. In vitro, glutamate-mediated system x c -inhibition leads to neuronal cell death, a paradigm called oxidative glutamate toxicity, which has successfully been used to identify neuroprotective compounds. In vivo, xCT has a rather restricted expression pattern with the highest levels in the CNS and parts of the immune system. System x c -is also present in the eye. Moreover, an elevated expression of xCT has been reported in cancer. We highlight the diverse roles of system x c -in the regulation of the immune response, in various aspects of cancer and in the eye and the CNS. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 18, 522-555.
Two-dimensional (2D) metal-organic framework (MOF) nanosheets are attracting increasing research attention due to their unique properties originating from their ultrathin thickness, large surface area and high surface-to-volume atom ratios. Many great advances have been made in the synthesis and application of 2D MOF nanosheets over the past few years. In this review, we summarize the recent advances in the synthesis of 2D MOF nanosheets by using top-down methods, e.g. sonication exfoliation, mechanical exfoliation, Li-intercalation exfoliation and chemical exfoliation, and bottom-up methods, i.e. interfacial synthesis, three-layer synthesis, surfactant-assisted synthesis, modulated synthesis, and sonication synthesis. In addition, the recent progress in 2D MOF nanosheet-based nanocomposites is also briefly introduced. The potential applications of 2D MOF nanosheets in gas separation, energy conversion and storage, catalysis, sensors and biomedicine are discussed. Finally, we give our personal insights into the challenges and opportunities for the future research of 2D MOF nanosheets and their composites.
Enhanced drug efflux mediated by ABCB1 P-glycoprotein and related ATP-binding cassette transporters is one of several mechanisms of multidrug resistance thought to impair chemotherapeutic success in human cancers. In malignant melanoma, its potential contribution to chemoresistance is uncertain. Here, we show that ABCB5, which functions as a determinant of membrane potential and regulator of cell fusion in physiologic skin progenitor cells, is expressed in clinical malignant melanoma tumors and preferentially marks a subset of hyperpolarized, CD133+ stem cell phenotypeexpressing tumor cells in malignant melanoma cultures and clinical melanomas. We found that ABCB5 blockade significantly reversed resistance of G3361 melanoma cells to doxorubicin, an agent to which clinical melanomas have been found refractory, resulting in a 43% reduction in the LD 50 from 4 to 2.3 Mmol/L doxorubicin (P < 0.05). Our results identified ABCB5-mediated doxorubicin efflux transport as the underlying mechanism of resistance, because ABCB5 blockade significantly enhanced intracellular drug accumulation. Consistent with this novel ABCB5 function and mechanism in doxorubicin resistance, gene expression levels of the transporter across a panel of human cancer cell lines used by the National Cancer Institute for drug screening correlated significantly with tumor resistance to doxorubicin (r = 0.44; P = 0.016). Our results identify ABCB5 as a novel drug transporter and chemoresistance mediator in human malignant melanoma. Moreover, our findings show that ABCB5 is a novel molecular marker for a distinct subset of chemoresistant, stem cell phenotype-expressing tumor cells among melanoma bulk populations and indicate that these chemoresistant cells can be specifically targeted via ABCB5 to enhance cytotoxic efficacy. (Cancer Res 2005; 65(10): 4320-33)
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