PLOS ONE

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

List of Papers (Total 193,845)

Intra-Organ Variation in Age-Related Mutation Accumulation in the Mouse

Using a transgenic mouse model harboring chromosomally integrated lacZ mutational target genes, we previously demonstrated that mutations accumulate with age much more rapidly in the small intestine than in the brain. Here it is shown that in the small intestine point mutations preferentially accumulate in epithelial cells of the mucosa scraped off the underlying serosa. The...

An All-Atom Model of the Chromatin Fiber Containing Linker Histones Reveals a Versatile Structure Tuned by the Nucleosomal Repeat Length

In the nucleus of eukaryotic cells, histone proteins organize the linear genome into a functional and hierarchical architecture. In this paper, we use the crystal structures of the nucleosome core particle, B-DNA and the globular domain of H5 linker histone to build the first all-atom model of compact chromatin fibers. In this 3D jigsaw puzzle, DNA bending is achieved by solving...

Comparative Expression Profiling of the Chlamydia trachomatis pmp Gene Family for Clinical and Reference Strains

BackgroundChlamydia trachomatis, an obligate intracellular pathogen, is a leading worldwide cause of ocular and urogenital diseases. Advances have been made in our understanding of the nine-member polymorphic membrane protein (Pmp) gene (pmp) family of C. trachomatis. However, there is only limited information on their biologic role, especially for biological variants (biovar...

Dating Phylogenies with Hybrid Local Molecular Clocks

BackgroundBecause rates of evolution and species divergence times cannot be estimated directly from molecular data, all current dating methods require that specific assumptions be made before inferring any divergence time. These assumptions typically bear either on rates of molecular evolution (molecular clock hypothesis, local clocks models) or on both rates and times (penalized...

Automated Builder and Database of Protein/Membrane Complexes for Molecular Dynamics Simulations

Molecular dynamics simulations of membrane proteins have provided deeper insights into their functions and interactions with surrounding environments at the atomic level. However, compared to solvation of globular proteins, building a realistic protein/membrane complex is still challenging and requires considerable experience with simulation software. Membrane Builder in the...

Metabolome Based Reaction Graphs of M. tuberculosis and M. leprae: A Comparative Network Analysis

BackgroundSeveral types of networks, such as transcriptional, metabolic or protein-protein interaction networks of various organisms have been constructed, that have provided a variety of insights into metabolism and regulation. Here, we seek to exploit the reaction-based networks of three organisms for comparative genomics. We use concepts from spectral graph theory to...

Role of ENPP1 on Adipocyte Maturation

BackgroundIt is recognized that the ability of adipose tissue to expand in response to energy excess, i.e. adipocyte maturation, is important in determining systemic abnormalities in glucose and lipid metabolism. Ectonucleotide pyrophosphatase phosphodiesterase 1 (ENPP1, also known as PC-1) has been recently reported to be involved in the pathogenesis of insulin resistance and...

Self-Referential Cognition and Empathy in Autism

BackgroundIndividuals with autism spectrum conditions (ASC) have profound impairments in the interpersonal social domain, but it is unclear if individuals with ASC also have impairments in the intrapersonal self-referential domain. We aimed to evaluate across several well validated measures in both domains, whether both self-referential cognition and empathy are impaired in ASC...

Degeneration of the Olfactory Guanylyl Cyclase D Gene during Primate Evolution

BackgroundThe mammalian olfactory system consists of several subsystems that detect specific sets of chemical cues and underlie a variety of behavioral responses. Within the main olfactory epithelium at least three distinct types of chemosensory neurons can be defined by their expression of unique sets of signal transduction components. In rodents, one set of neurons expresses...

Molecular and Structural Discrimination of Proline Racemase and Hydroxyproline-2-Epimerase from Nosocomial and Bacterial Pathogens

The first eukaryotic proline racemase (PRAC), isolated from the human Trypanosoma cruzi pathogen, is a validated therapeutic target against Chagas' disease. This essential enzyme is implicated in parasite life cycle and infectivity and its ability to trigger host B-cell nonspecific hypergammaglobulinemia contributes to parasite evasion and persistence. Using previously identified...

Chimpanzees Share Forbidden Fruit

The sharing of wild plant foods is infrequent in chimpanzees, but in chimpanzee communities that engage in hunting, meat is frequently used as a ‘social tool’ for nurturing alliances and social bonds. Here we report the only recorded example of regular sharing of plant foods by unrelated, non-provisioned wild chimpanzees, and the contexts in which these sharing behaviours occur...

Age- and Sex-Specific Mortality Patterns in an Emerging Wildlife Epidemic: The Phocine Distemper in European Harbour Seals

Analyses of the dynamics of diseases in wild populations typically assume all individuals to be identical. However, profound effects on the long-term impact on the host population can be expected if the disease has age and sex dependent dynamics. The Phocine Distemper Virus (PDV) caused two mass mortalities in European harbour seals in 1988 and in 2002. We show the mortality...

Robust Off- and Online Separation of Intracellularly Recorded Up and Down Cortical States

BackgroundThe neuronal cortical network generates slow (<1 Hz) spontaneous rhythmic activity that emerges from the recurrent connectivity. This activity occurs during slow wave sleep or anesthesia and also in cortical slices, consisting of alternating up (active, depolarized) and down (silent, hyperpolarized) states. The search for the underlying mechanisms and the possibility of...

Impedance-Matching Hearing in Paleozoic Reptiles: Evidence of Advanced Sensory Perception at an Early Stage of Amniote Evolution

BackgroundInsights into the onset of evolutionary novelties are key to the understanding of amniote origins and diversification. The possession of an impedance-matching tympanic middle ear is characteristic of all terrestrial vertebrates with a sophisticated hearing sense and an adaptively important feature of many modern terrestrial vertebrates. Whereas tympanic ears seem to...

Cross-Modal Object Recognition Is Viewpoint-Independent

BackgroundPrevious research suggests that visual and haptic object recognition are viewpoint-dependent both within- and cross-modally. However, this conclusion may not be generally valid as it was reached using objects oriented along their extended y-axis, resulting in differential surface processing in vision and touch. In the present study, we removed this differential by...

No Language-Specific Activation during Linguistic Processing of Observed Actions

BackgroundIt has been suggested that cortical neural systems for language evolved from motor cortical systems, in particular from those fronto-parietal systems responding also to action observation. While previous studies have shown shared cortical systems for action – or action observation - and language, they did not address the question of whether linguistic processing of...

Evidence for Paternal Leakage in Hybrid Periodical Cicadas (Hemiptera: Magicicada spp.)

Mitochondrial inheritance is generally assumed to be maternal. However, there is increasing evidence of exceptions to this rule, especially in hybrid crosses. In these cases, mitochondria are also inherited paternally, so “paternal leakage” of mitochondria occurs. It is important to understand these exceptions better, since they potentially complicate or invalidate studies that...

The Restriction of Zoonotic PERV Transmission by Human APOBEC3G

The human APOBEC3G protein is an innate anti-viral factor that can dominantly inhibit the replication of some endogenous and exogenous retroviruses. The prospects of purposefully harnessing such an anti-viral defense are under investigation. Here, long-term co-culture experiments were used to show that porcine endogenous retrovirus (PERV) transmission from pig to human cells is...

Sp1 Expression Is Disrupted in Schizophrenia; A Possible Mechanism for the Abnormal Expression of Mitochondrial Complex I Genes, NDUFV1 and NDUFV2

BackgroundThe prevailing hypothesis regards schizophrenia as a polygenic disease, in which multiple genes combine with each other and with environmental stimuli to produce the variance of its clinical symptoms. We investigated whether the ubiquitous transcription factor Sp1 is abnormally expressed in schizophrenia, and consequently can affect the expression of genes implicated in...

CD100 on NK Cells Enhance IFNγ Secretion and Killing of Target Cells Expressing CD72

BackgroundNK cells are able to kill tumor and virus-infected cells without the need of prior antigen stimulation. The killing of these target cells is regulated by inhibitory, lysis and co-stimulatory receptors that are expressed on the surface of NK cells.Principal FindingsCD100 (Semaphorin 4D), a 150kD transmembrane protein, is expressed on the surface of activated NK cells as...

rs1004819 Is the Main Disease-Associated IL23R Variant in German Crohn's Disease Patients: Combined Analysis of IL23R, CARD15, and OCTN1/2 Variants

BackgroundThe IL23R gene has been identified as a susceptibility gene for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in the North American population. The aim of our study was to test this association in a large German IBD cohort and to elucidate potential interactions with other IBD genes as well as phenotypic consequences of IL23R variants.MethodsGenomic DNA from 2670 Caucasian...

Preference of Small Molecules for Local Minimum Conformations when Binding to Proteins

It is well known that small molecules (ligands) do not necessarily adopt their lowest potential energy conformations when binding to proteins. Analyses of protein-bound ligand crystal structures have reportedly shown that many of them do not even adopt the conformations at local minima of their potential energy surfaces (local minimum conformations). The results of these analyses...

Rapid Maturation of Effector T Cells in Tumors, but Not Lymphoid Organs, during Tumor Regression

Increasing the efficacy of adoptively transferred, tumor antigen specific T cells is a major goal of immunotherapy. Clearly, a more thorough understanding of the effector phase of T cell responses, within the tumor site itself, would be beneficial. To examine this issue, we adoptively transferred tumor antigen-specific effector T cells into tumor-bearing mice, then performed...

An Outbreak of Severe Infections with Community-Acquired MRSA Carrying the Panton-Valentine Leukocidin Following Vaccination

BackgroundInfections with community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) are emerging worldwide. We investigated an outbreak of severe CA-MRSA infections in children following out-patient vaccination.Methods and FindingsWe carried out a field investigation after adverse events following immunization (AEFI) were reported. We reviewed the clinical data...

Recognition of HIV-1 Peptides by Host CTL Is Related to HIV-1 Similarity to Human Proteins

BackgroundWhile human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes preferentially target specific regions of the viral proteome, HIV-1 features that contribute to immune recognition are not well understood. One hypothesis is that similarities between HIV and human proteins influence the host immune response, i.e., resemblance between viral and host...