PLOS ONE

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

List of Papers (Total 195,668)

Female Dominance over Males in Primates: Self-Organisation and Sexual Dimorphism

The processes that underlie the formation of the dominance hierarchy in a group are since long under debate. Models of self-organisation suggest that dominance hierarchies develop by the self-reinforcing effects of winning and losing fights (the so-called winner-loser effect), but according to ‘the prior attribute hypothesis’, dominance hierarchies develop from pre-existing...

Diversity and Evolution of Coral Fluorescent Proteins

GFP-like fluorescent proteins (FPs) are the key color determinants in reef-building corals (class Anthozoa, order Scleractinia) and are of considerable interest as potential genetically encoded fluorescent labels. Here we report 40 additional members of the GFP family from corals. There are three major paralogous lineages of coral FPs. One of them is retained in all sampled coral...

Activity-Dependent Shedding of the NMDA Receptor Glycine Binding Site by Matrix Metalloproteinase 3: A PUTATIVE Mechanism of Postsynaptic Plasticity

Functional and structural alterations of clustered postsynaptic ligand gated ion channels in neuronal cells are thought to contribute to synaptic plasticity and memory formation in the human brain. Here, we describe a novel molecular mechanism for structural alterations of NR1 subunits of the NMDA receptor. In cultured rat spinal cord neurons, chronic NMDA receptor stimulation...

A Novel Strategy Involved Anti-Oxidative Defense: The Conversion of NADH into NADPH by a Metabolic Network

The reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) is pivotal to the cellular anti-oxidative defence strategies in most organisms. Although its production mediated by different enzyme systems has been relatively well-studied, metabolic networks dedicated to the biogenesis of NADPH have not been fully characterized. In this report, a metabolic pathway that promotes...

Evolution of Streptococcus pneumoniae and Its Close Commensal Relatives

Streptococcus pneumoniae is a member of the Mitis group of streptococci which, according to 16S rRNA-sequence based phylogenetic reconstruction, includes 12 species. While other species of this group are considered prototypes of commensal bacteria, S. pneumoniae is among the most frequent microbial killers worldwide. Population genetic analysis of 118 strains, supported by...

Implication of New WHO Growth Standards on Identification of Risk Factors and Estimated Prevalence of Malnutrition in Rural Malawian Infants

BackgroundThe World Health Organization (WHO) released new Child Growth Standards in 2006 to replace the current National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) growth reference. We assessed how switching from the NCHS to the newly released WHO Growth Standards affects the estimated prevalence of wasting, underweight and stunting, and the pattern of risk factors identified...

Virus-Like Particles of SARS-Like Coronavirus Formed by Membrane Proteins from Different Origins Demonstrate Stimulating Activity in Human Dendritic Cells

The pathogenesis of SARS coronavirus (CoV) remains poorly understood. In the current study, two recombinant baculovirus were generated to express the spike (S) protein of SARS-like coronavirus (SL-CoV) isolated from bats (vAcBS) and the envelope (E) and membrane (M) proteins of SARS-CoV, respectively. Co-infection of insect cells with these two recombinant baculoviruses led to...

Nerve Growth Factor Stimulates Interaction of Cayman Ataxia Protein BNIP-H/Caytaxin with Peptidyl-Prolyl Isomerase Pin1 in Differentiating Neurons

Mutations in ATCAY that encodes the brain-specific protein BNIP-H (or Caytaxin) lead to Cayman cerebellar ataxia. BNIP-H binds to glutaminase, a neurotransmitter-producing enzyme, and affects its activity and intracellular localization. Here we describe the identification and characterization of the binding between BNIP-H and Pin1, a peptidyl-prolyl cis/trans isomerase. BNIP-H...

Does Sex-Selective Predation Stabilize or Destabilize Predator-Prey Dynamics?

BackgroundLittle is known about the impact of prey sexual dimorphism on predator-prey dynamics and the impact of sex-selective harvesting and trophy hunting on long-term stability of exploited populations.Methodology and Principal FindingsWe review the quantitative evidence for sex-selective predation and study its long-term consequences using several simple predator-prey models...

UV-Light Exposed Prion Protein Fails to Form Amyloid Fibrils

Amyloid fibril formation involves three steps; structural perturbation, nucleation and elongation. We have investigated amyloidogenesis using prion protein as a model system and UV-light as a structural perturbant. We find that UV-exposed prion protein fails to form amyloid fibrils. Interestingly, if provided with pre-formed fibrils as seeds, UV-exposed prion protein formed...

Specific and Sensitive Detection of H. pylori in Biological Specimens by Real-Time RT-PCR and In Situ Hybridization

PCR detection of H. pylori in biological specimens is rendered difficult by the extensive polymorphism of H. pylori genes and the suppressed expression of some genes in many strains. The goal of the present study was to (1) define a domain of the 16S rRNA sequence that is both highly conserved among H. pylori strains and also specific to the species, and (2) to develop and...

Influenza Virus in Human Exhaled Breath: An Observational Study

BackgroundRecent studies suggest that humans exhale fine particles during tidal breathing but little is known of their composition, particularly during infection.Methodology/Principal FindingsWe conducted a study of influenza infected patients to characterize influenza virus and particle concentrations in their exhaled breath. Patients presenting with influenza-like-illness...

Major Histocompatibility Complex Based Resistance to a Common Bacterial Pathogen of Amphibians

Given their well-developed systems of innate and adaptive immunity, global population declines of amphibians are particularly perplexing. To investigate the role of the major histocompatibilty complex (MHC) in conferring pathogen resistance, we challenged Xenopus laevis tadpoles bearing different combinations of four MHC haplotypes (f, g, j, and r) with the bacterial pathogen...

High Throughput Automated Allele Frequency Estimation by Pyrosequencing

Pyrosequencing is a DNA sequencing method based on the principle of sequencing-by-synthesis and pyrophosphate detection through a series of enzymatic reactions. This bioluminometric, real-time DNA sequencing technique offers unique applications that are cost-effective and user-friendly. In this study, we have combined a number of methods to develop an accurate, robust and cost...

Modulating Vesicle Priming Reveals that Vesicle Immobilization Is Necessary but not Sufficient for Fusion-Competence

In neurons and neuroendocrine cells, docked vesicles need to undergo priming to become fusion competent. Priming is a multi-step process that was shown to be associated with vesicle immobilization. However, it is not known whether vesicle immobilization is sufficient to acquire complete fusion competence. To extend our understanding of the physical manifestation of vesicle...

Identification of a Neuropeptide S Responsive Circuitry Shaping Amygdala Activity via the Endopiriform Nucleus

Neuropeptide S (NPS) and its receptor are thought to define a set of specific brain circuits involved in fear and anxiety. Here we provide evidence for a novel, NPS-responsive circuit that shapes neural activity in the mouse basolateral amygdala (BLA) via the endopiriform nucleus (EPN). Using slice preparations, we demonstrate that NPS directly activates an inward current in 20...

Molecular Subsets in the Gene Expression Signatures of Scleroderma Skin

BackgroundScleroderma is a clinically heterogeneous disease with a complex phenotype. The disease is characterized by vascular dysfunction, tissue fibrosis, internal organ dysfunction, and immune dysfunction resulting in autoantibody production.Methodology and FindingsWe analyzed the genome-wide patterns of gene expression with DNA microarrays in skin biopsies from distinct...

Structure-Activity Relationship and Substrate-Dependent Phenomena in Effects of Ginsenosides on Activities of Drug-Metabolizing P450 Enzymes

Ginseng, a traditional herbal medicine, may interact with several co-administered drugs in clinical settings, and ginsenosides, the major active components of ginseng, may be responsible for these ginseng-drug interactions (GDIs). Results from previous studies on ginsenosides' effects on human drug-metabolizing P450 enzymes are inconsistent and confusing. Herein, we first...

Age-Specific Epigenetic Drift in Late-Onset Alzheimer's Disease

Despite an enormous research effort, most cases of late-onset Alzheimer's disease (LOAD) still remain unexplained and the current biomedical science is still a long way from the ultimate goal of revealing clear risk factors that can help in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of the disease. Current theories about the development of LOAD hinge on the premise that Alzheimer's...

The Protein Phosphatase 7 Regulates Phytochrome Signaling in Arabidopsis

The psi2 mutant of Arabidopsis displays amplification of the responses controlled by the red/far red light photoreceptors phytochrome A (phyA) and phytochrome B (phyB) but no apparent defect in blue light perception. We found that loss-of-function alleles of the protein phosphatase 7 (AtPP7) are responsible for the light hypersensitivity in psi2 demonstrating that AtPP7 controls...

A 28,000 Years Old Cro-Magnon mtDNA Sequence Differs from All Potentially Contaminating Modern Sequences

BackgroundDNA sequences from ancient speciments may in fact result from undetected contamination of the ancient specimens by modern DNA, and the problem is particularly challenging in studies of human fossils. Doubts on the authenticity of the available sequences have so far hampered genetic comparisons between anatomically archaic (Neandertal) and early modern (Cro-Magnoid...

Defects in Actin Dynamics Lead to an Autoinflammatory Condition through the Upregulation of CXCL5

BackgroundDestrin (DSTN) is a member of the ADF/cofilin family of proteins and is an important regulator of actin dynamics. The primary function of destrin is to depolymerize filamentous actin into its monomeric form and promote filament severing. While progress has been made in understanding the biochemical functions of the ADF/cofilin proteins, the study of an animal model for...

Native Bacterial Endophytes Promote Host Growth in a Species-Specific Manner; Phytohormone Manipulations Do Not Result in Common Growth Responses

BackgroundAll plants in nature harbor a diverse community of endophytic bacteria which can positively affect host plant growth. Changes in plant growth frequently reflect alterations in phytohormone homoeostasis by plant-growth-promoting (PGP) rhizobacteria which can decrease ethylene (ET) levels enzymatically by 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate (ACC) deaminase or produce indole...

Modulation of NKT Cell Development by B7-CD28 Interaction: An Expanding Horizon for Costimulation

It has been demonstrated that the development of NKT cells requires CD1d. The contribution of costimulatory molecules in this process has not been studied. Here we show that in mice with targeted mutations of B7-1/2 and CD28, the TCRβ+α-Galcer/CD1d + (iVα14 NKT) subset is significantly reduced in the thymus, spleen and liver. This is mainly due to decreased cell proliferation...

The Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 Is a Potential Target of SUMO Modifications

BackgroundThe Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 (PRC2) functions as a transcriptional repressor through a mechanism that involves methylation of Histone H3 at lysine 27. The PRC2 complex activity is essential for cellular proliferation, development, and cell fate decisions. PRC2 target genes include important regulators of development and proliferation as well as tumor suppressor...