PLOS Computational Biology

http://www.ploscompbiol.org/

List of Papers (Total 4,220)

Assessing Concordance of Drug-Induced Transcriptional Response in Rodent Liver and Cultured Hepatocytes

The effect of drugs, disease and other perturbations on mRNA levels are studied using gene expression microarrays or RNA-seq, with the goal of understanding molecular effects arising from the perturbation. Previous comparisons of reproducibility across laboratories have been limited in scale and focused on a single model. The use of model systems, such as cultured primary cells or ...

Structure-Based Sequence Alignment of the Transmembrane Domains of All Human GPCRs: Phylogenetic, Structural and Functional Implications

The understanding of G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) is undergoing a revolution due to increased information about their signaling and the experimental determination of structures for more than 25 receptors. The availability of at least one receptor structure for each of the GPCR classes, well separated in sequence space, enables an integrated superfamily-wide analysis to ...

Deep Learning for Population Genetic Inference

Given genomic variation data from multiple individuals, computing the likelihood of complex population genetic models is often infeasible. To circumvent this problem, we introduce a novel likelihood-free inference framework by applying deep learning, a powerful modern technique in machine learning. Deep learning makes use of multilayer neural networks to learn a feature-based ...

Similarity in Shape Dictates Signature Intrinsic Dynamics Despite No Functional Conservation in TIM Barrel Enzymes

The conservation of the intrinsic dynamics of proteins emerges as we attempt to understand the relationship between sequence, structure and functional conservation. We characterise the conservation of such dynamics in a case where the structure is conserved but function differs greatly. The triosephosphate isomerase barrel fold (TBF), renowned for its 8 β-strand-α-helix repeats ...

Dynamic Allostery Mediated by a Conserved Tryptophan in the Tec Family Kinases

Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (Btk) is a Tec family non-receptor tyrosine kinase that plays a critical role in immune signaling and is associated with the immunological disorder X-linked agammaglobulinemia (XLA). Our previous findings showed that the Tec kinases are allosterically activated by the adjacent N-terminal linker. A single tryptophan residue in the N-terminal 17-residue ...

Cellular Growth Arrest and Persistence from Enzyme Saturation

Metabolic efficiency depends on the balance between supply and demand of metabolites, which is sensitive to environmental and physiological fluctuations, or noise, causing shortages or surpluses in the metabolic pipeline. How cells can reliably optimize biomass production in the presence of metabolic fluctuations is a fundamental question that has not been fully answered. Here we ...

Impaired Air Conditioning within the Nasal Cavity in Flat-Faced Homo

We are flat-faced hominins with an external nose that protrudes from the face. This feature was derived in the genus Homo, along with facial flattening and reorientation to form a high nasal cavity. The nasal passage conditions the inhaled air in terms of temperature and humidity to match the conditions required in the lung, and its anatomical variation is believed to be ...

Revealing the True Incidence of Pandemic A(H1N1)pdm09 Influenza in Finland during the First Two Seasons — An Analysis Based on a Dynamic Transmission Model

The threat of the new pandemic influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 imposed a heavy burden on the public health system in Finland in 2009-2010. An extensive vaccination campaign was set up in the middle of the first pandemic season. However, the true number of infected individuals remains uncertain as the surveillance missed a large portion of mild infections. We constructed a transmission model ...

Evolutionary Conserved Positions Define Protein Conformational Diversity

Conformational diversity of the native state plays a central role in modulating protein function. The selection paradigm sustains that different ligands shift the conformational equilibrium through their binding to highest-affinity conformers. Intramolecular vibrational dynamics associated to each conformation should guarantee conformational transitions, which due to its ...

Noise Expands the Response Range of the Bacillus subtilis Competence Circuit

Gene regulatory circuits must contend with intrinsic noise that arises due to finite numbers of proteins. While some circuits act to reduce this noise, others appear to exploit it. A striking example is the competence circuit in Bacillus subtilis, which exhibits much larger noise in the duration of its competence events than a synthetically constructed analog that performs the same ...

Inhibition as a Binary Switch for Excitatory Plasticity in Pyramidal Neurons

Synaptic plasticity is thought to induce memory traces in the brain that are the foundation of learning. To ensure the stability of these traces in the presence of further learning, however, a regulation of plasticity appears beneficial. Here, we take up the recent suggestion that dendritic inhibition can switch plasticity of excitatory synapses on and off by gating backpropagating ...

Application of Rigidity Theory to the Thermostabilization of Lipase A from Bacillus subtilis

Protein thermostability is a crucial factor for biotechnological enzyme applications. Protein engineering studies aimed at improving thermostability have successfully applied both directed evolution and rational design. However, for rational approaches, the major challenge remains the prediction of mutation sites and optimal amino acid substitutions. Recently, we showed that such ...

A New Fiji-Based Algorithm That Systematically Quantifies Nine Synaptic Parameters Provides Insights into Drosophila NMJ Morphometry

The morphology of synapses is of central interest in neuroscience because of the intimate relation with synaptic efficacy. Two decades of gene manipulation studies in different animal models have revealed a repertoire of molecules that contribute to synapse development. However, since such studies often assessed only one, or at best a few, morphological features at a given synapse, ...

Quantitative Analysis of Axonal Branch Dynamics in the Developing Nervous System

Branching is an important mechanism by which axons navigate to their targets during neural development. For instance, in the developing zebrafish retinotectal system, selective branching plays a critical role during both initial pathfinding and subsequent arborisation once the target zone has been reached. Here we show how quantitative methods can help extract new information from ...

Early Transcriptome Signatures from Immunized Mouse Dendritic Cells Predict Late Vaccine-Induced T-Cell Responses

Systems biology offers promising approaches for identifying response-specific signatures to vaccination and assessing their predictive value. Here, we designed a modelling strategy aiming to predict the quality of late T-cell responses after vaccination from early transcriptome analysis of dendritic cells. Using standardized staining with tetramer, we first quantified ...

Persistence and Adaptation in Immunity: T Cells Balance the Extent and Thoroughness of Search

Effective search strategies have evolved in many biological systems, including the immune system. T cells are key effectors of the immune response, required for clearance of pathogenic infection. T cell activation requires that T cells encounter antigen-bearing dendritic cells within lymph nodes, thus, T cell search patterns within lymph nodes may be a crucial determinant of how ...

Feedback, Lineages and Self-Organizing Morphogenesis

Feedback regulation of cell lineage progression plays an important role in tissue size homeostasis, but whether such feedback also plays an important role in tissue morphogenesis has yet to be explored. Here we use mathematical modeling to show that a particular feedback architecture in which both positive and negative diffusible signals act on stem and/or progenitor cells leads to ...

Systems Pharmacology and Rational Polypharmacy: Nitric Oxide−Cyclic GMP Signaling Pathway as an Illustrative Example and Derivation of the General Case

Impaired nitric oxide (NO˙)-cyclic guanosine 3', 5'-monophosphate (cGMP) signaling has been observed in many cardiovascular disorders, including heart failure and pulmonary arterial hypertension. There are several enzymatic determinants of cGMP levels in this pathway, including soluble guanylyl cyclase (sGC) itself, the NO˙-activated form of sGC, and phosphodiesterase(s) (PDE). ...

A Sensorimotor Model for Computing Intended Reach Trajectories

The presumed role of the primate sensorimotor system is to transform reach targets from retinotopic to joint coordinates for producing motor output. However, the interpretation of neurophysiological data within this framework is ambiguous, and has led to the view that the underlying neural computation may lack a well-defined structure. Here, I consider a model of sensorimotor ...

Estimation of Directed Effective Connectivity from fMRI Functional Connectivity Hints at Asymmetries of Cortical Connectome

The brain exhibits complex spatio-temporal patterns of activity. This phenomenon is governed by an interplay between the internal neural dynamics of cortical areas and their connectivity. Uncovering this complex relationship has raised much interest, both for theory and the interpretation of experimental data (e.g., fMRI recordings) using dynamical models. Here we focus on the ...

Incomplete Lineage Sorting and Hybridization Statistics for Large-Scale Retroposon Insertion Data

Ancient retroposon insertions can be used as virtually homoplasy-free markers to reconstruct the phylogenetic history of species. Inherited, orthologous insertions in related species offer reliable signals of a common origin of the given species. One prerequisite for such a phylogenetically informative insertion is that the inserted element was fixed in the ancestral population ...

Dynamic Modelling Reveals ‘Hotspots’ on the Pathway to Enzyme-Substrate Complex Formation

Dihydrodipicolinate synthase (DHDPS) catalyzes the first committed step in the diaminopimelate pathway of bacteria, yielding amino acids required for cell wall and protein biosyntheses. The essentiality of the enzyme to bacteria, coupled with its absence in humans, validates DHDPS as an antibacterial drug target. Conventional drug design efforts have thus far been unsuccessful in ...

H3 Histone Tail Conformation within the Nucleosome and the Impact of K14 Acetylation Studied Using Enhanced Sampling Simulation

Acetylation of lysine residues in histone tails is associated with gene transcription. Because histone tails are structurally flexible and intrinsically disordered, it is difficult to experimentally determine the tail conformations and the impact of acetylation. In this work, we performed simulations to sample H3 tail conformations with and without acetylation. The results show ...

Motor Demands Constrain Cognitive Rule Structures

Study of human executive function focuses on our ability to represent cognitive rules independently of stimulus or response modality. However, recent findings suggest that executive functions cannot be modularized separately from perceptual and motor systems, and that they instead scaffold on top of motor action selection. Here we investigate whether patterns of motor demands ...