PLOS ONE

http://journals.plos.org/plosone/

List of Papers (Total 182,703)

Common HLA Alleles Associated with Health, but Not with Facial Attractiveness

Three adaptive hypotheses have been proposed to explain the link between the human leucocyte antigen (HLA) genes, health measures and facial attractiveness: inbreeding avoidance, heterozygote advantage and frequency-dependent selection. This paper reports findings that support a new hypothesis relating HLA to health. We suggest a new method to quantify the level of heterozygosity. ...

Expression and Function of Cannabinoid Receptors CB1 and CB2 and Their Cognate Cannabinoid Ligands in Murine Embryonic Stem Cells

BackgroundCharacterization of intrinsic and extrinsic factors regulating the self-renewal/division and differentiation of stem cells is crucial in determining embryonic stem (ES) cell fate. ES cells differentiate into multiple hematopoietic lineages during embryoid body (EB) formation in vitro, which provides an experimental platform to define the molecular mechanisms controlling ...

Control of Flowering Time and Cold Response by a NAC-Domain Protein in Arabidopsis

BackgroundPlants must integrate complex signals from environmental and endogenous cues to fine-tune the timing of flowering. Low temperature is one of the most common environmental stresses that affect flowering time; however, molecular mechanisms underlying the cold temperature regulation of flowering time are not fully understood.Methodology/Principal FindingsWe report the ...

The Cis-regulatory Logic of the Mammalian Photoreceptor Transcriptional Network

The photoreceptor cells of the retina are subject to a greater number of genetic diseases than any other cell type in the human body. The majority of more than 120 cloned human blindness genes are highly expressed in photoreceptors. In order to establish an integrative framework in which to understand these diseases, we have undertaken an experimental and computational analysis of ...

How Plastic Can Phenotypic Plasticity Be? The Branching Coral Stylophora pistillata as a Model System

Phenotypic plasticity enables multicellular organisms to adjust morphologies and various life history traits to variable environmental challenges. Here, we elucidate fixed and plastic architectural rules for colony astogeny in multiple types of colonial ramets, propagated by cutting from genets of the branching coral Stylophora pistillata from Eilat, the Red Sea. We examined 16 ...

Rapid Identification of Malaria Vaccine Candidates Based on α-Helical Coiled Coil Protein Motif

To identify malaria antigens for vaccine development, we selected α-helical coiled coil domains of proteins predicted to be present in the parasite erythrocytic stage. The corresponding synthetic peptides are expected to mimic structurally “native” epitopes. Indeed the 95 chemically synthesized peptides were all specifically recognized by human immune sera, though at various ...

Neural Decision Boundaries for Maximal Information Transmission

We consider here how to separate multidimensional signals into two categories, such that the binary decision transmits the maximum possible information about those signals. Our motivation comes from the nervous system, where neurons process multidimensional signals into a binary sequence of responses (spikes). In a small noise limit, we derive a general equation for the decision ...

Early Energy Deficit in Huntington Disease: Identification of a Plasma Biomarker Traceable during Disease Progression

Huntington disease (HD) is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder, with no effective treatment. The pathogenic mechanisms underlying HD have not been elucidated, but weight loss, associated with chorea and cognitive decline, is a characteristic feature of the disease that is accessible to investigation. We, therefore, performed a multiparametric study exploring body weight and the ...

Phenotypic Diversity and Altered Environmental Plasticity in Arabidopsis thaliana with Reduced Hsp90 Levels

The molecular chaperone HSP90 aids the maturation of a diverse but select set of metastable protein clients, many of which are key to a variety of signal transduction pathways. HSP90 function has been best investigated in animal and fungal systems, where inhibition of the chaperone has exceptionally diverse effects, ranging from reversing oncogenic transformation to preventing the ...

Tracking Virus-Specific CD4+ T Cells during and after Acute Hepatitis C Virus Infection

BackgroundCD4+ T cell help is critical in maintaining antiviral immune responses and such help has been shown to be sustained in acute resolving hepatitis C. In contrast, in evolving chronic hepatitis C CD4+ T cell helper responses appear to be absent or short-lived, using functional assays.Methodology/Principal FindingsHere we used a novel HLA-DR1 tetramer containing a highly ...

Complete Mitochondrial Genome Sequence of Three Tetrahymena Species Reveals Mutation Hot Spots and Accelerated Nonsynonymous Substitutions in Ymf Genes

The ciliate Tetrahymena, a model organism, contains divergent mitochondrial (Mt) genome with unusual properties, where half of its 44 genes still remain without a definitive function. These genes could be categorized into two major groups of KPC (known protein coding) and Ymf (genes without an identified function). To gain insights into the mechanisms underlying gene divergence and ...

Large-Scale In Silico Mapping of Complex Quantitative Traits in Inbred Mice

Understanding the genetic basis of common disease and disease-related quantitative traits will aid in the development of diagnostics and therapeutics. The processs of gene discovery can be sped up by rapid and effective integration of well-defined mouse genome and phenome data resources. We describe here an in silico gene-discovery strategy through genome-wide association (GWA) ...

Heterologous Amyloid Seeding: Revisiting the Role of Acetylcholinesterase in Alzheimer's Disease

Neurodegenerative diseases associated with abnormal protein folding and ordered aggregation require an initial trigger which may be infectious, inherited, post-inflammatory or idiopathic. Proteolytic cleavage to generate vulnerable precursors, such as amyloid-β peptide (Aβ) production via β and γ secretases in Alzheimer's Disease (AD), is one such trigger, but the proteolytic ...

Small Oscillatory Accelerations, Independent of Matrix Deformations, Increase Osteoblast Activity and Enhance Bone Morphology

A range of tissues have the capacity to adapt to mechanical challenges, an attribute presumed to be regulated through deformation of the cell and/or surrounding matrix. In contrast, it is shown here that extremely small oscillatory accelerations, applied as unconstrained motion and inducing negligible deformation, serve as an anabolic stimulus to osteoblasts in vivo. Habitual ...

Can Echocardiographic Findings Predict Falls in Older Persons?

BackgroundThe European and American guidelines state the need for echocardiography in patients with syncope. 50% of older adults with syncope present with a fall. Nonetheless, up to now no data have been published addressing echocardiographic abnormalities in older fallers.Method and FindingsIn order to determine the association between echocardiographic abnormalities and falls in ...

Shift Towards Pro-inflammatory Intestinal Bacteria Aggravates Acute Murine Colitis via Toll-like Receptors 2 and 4

BackgroundGut bacteria trigger colitis in animal models and are suspected to aggravate inflammatory bowel diseases. We have recently reported that Escherichia coli accumulates in murine ileitis and exacerbates small intestinal inflammation via Toll-like receptor (TLR) signaling.Methodology and Principal FindingsBecause knowledge on shifts in the intestinal microflora during colitis ...

Printing Multistrain Bacterial Patterns with a Piezoelectric Inkjet Printer

Many studies involving interacting microorganisms would benefit from simple devices able to deposit cells in precisely defined patterns. We describe an inexpensive bacterial piezoelectric inkjet printer (adapted from the design of the POSaM oligonucleotide microarrayer) that can be used to “print out” different strains of bacteria or chemicals in small droplets onto a flat surface ...

HLA-A Confers an HLA-DRB1 Independent Influence on the Risk of Multiple Sclerosis

A recent high-density linkage screen confirmed that the HLA complex contains the strongest genetic factor for the risk of multiple sclerosis (MS). In parallel, a linkage disequilibrium analysis using 650 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) markers of the HLA complex mapped the entire genetic effect to the HLA-DR-DQ subregion, reflected by the well-established risk haplotype ...

Novel Peptide Sequence (“IQ-tag”) with High Affinity for NIR Fluorochromes Allows Protein and Cell Specific Labeling for In Vivo Imaging

BackgroundProbes that allow site-specific protein labeling have become critical tools for visualizing biological processes.MethodsHere we used phage display to identify a novel peptide sequence with nanomolar affinity for near infrared (NIR) (benz)indolium fluorochromes. The developed peptide sequence (“IQ-tag”) allows detection of NIR dyes in a wide range of assays including ...

The Perils of Picky Eating: Dietary Breadth Is Related to Extinction Risk in Insectivorous Bats

Several recent papers evaluate the relationship between ecological characteristics and extinction risk in bats. These studies report that extinction risk is negatively related to geographic range size and positively related to habitat specialization. Here, we evaluate the hypothesis that extinction risk is also related to dietary specialization in insectivorous vespertilionid bats ...

A Modern Mode of Activation for Nucleic Acid Enzymes

Through evolution, enzymes have developed subtle modes of activation in order to ensure the sufficiently high substrate specificity required by modern cellular metabolism. One of these modes is the use of a target-dependent module (i.e. a docking domain) such as those found in signalling kinases. Upon the binding of the target to a docking domain, the substrate is positioned within ...

Commensal Bacteria and Expression of Two Major Intestinal Chemokines, TECK/CCL25 and MEC/CCL28, and Their Receptors

BackgroundCCL25/TECK and CCL28/MEC are CC chemokines primarily expressed in thymic dendritic cells and mucosal epithelial cells. Their receptors, CCR9 and CCR10, are mainly expressed on T and B lymphocytes. In human, mouse, pig and sheep CCL25 and CCL28 play an important role in the segregation and the compartmentalization of the mucosal immune system. As evidenced by early ...

Screen for ISG15-crossreactive Deubiquitinases

BackgroundThe family of ubiquitin-like molecules (UbLs) comprises several members, each of which has sequence, structural, or functional similarity to ubiquitin. ISG15 is a homolog of ubiquitin in vertebrates and is strongly upregulated following induction by type I interferon. ISG15 can be covalently attached to proteins, analogous to ubiquitination and with actual support of ...

Therapeutic Strategy for Acute Spinal Cord Contusion Injury: Cell Elimination Combined with Microsurgical Intervention

Background No cure is available for human spinal cord injury. Cell elimination by localized radiation therapy that is timed within 2–3 weeks postinjury can facilitate repair of structure and function in transected rat spinal cord. In pilot studies in contusion spinal cord injury, a model similar to crush/fracture injury in human, we did not observe the expected beneficial effects ...

Neuronal Conduction of Excitation without Action Potentials Based on Ceramide Production

BackgroundAction potentials are the classic mechanism by which neurons convey a state of excitation throughout their length, leading, after synaptic transmission, to the activation of other neurons and consequently to network functioning. Using an in vitro integrated model, we found previously that peripheral networks in the autonomic nervous system can organise an unconventional ...