PLOS ONE

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

List of Papers (Total 194,217)

HLA Alleles Associated with Slow Progression to AIDS Truly Prefer to Present HIV-1 p24

BackgroundThe mechanism behind the association between human leukocyte antigen (HLA) molecules and the rate of HIV-1 disease progression is still poorly understood. Recent data suggest that “protective” HLA molecules, i.e. those associated with a low HIV-1 viral load and relatively slow disease progression, tend to present epitopes from the Gag capsid protein. Although this...

The p53 Tumor Suppressor-Like Protein nvp63 Mediates Selective Germ Cell Death in the Sea Anemone Nematostella vectensis

Here we report the identification and molecular function of the p53 tumor suppressor-like protein nvp63 in a non-bilaterian animal, the starlet sea anemone Nematostella vectensis. So far, p53-like proteins had been found in bilaterians only. The evolutionary origin of p53-like proteins is highly disputed and primordial p53-like proteins are variably thought to protect somatic...

The Chop Gene Contains an Element for the Positive Regulation of the Mitochondrial Unfolded Protein Response

We have previously reported on the discovery of a mitochondrial specific unfolded protein response (mtUPR) in mammalian cells, in which the accumulation of unfolded protein within the mitochondrial matrix results in the transcriptional activation of nuclear genes encoding mitochondrial stress proteins such as chaperonin 60, chaperonin 10, mtDnaJ, and ClpP, but not those encoding...

Liposome-Mediated Cellular Delivery of Active gp91phox

BackgroundGp91phox is a transmembrane protein and the catalytic core of the NADPH oxidase complex of neutrophils. Lack of this protein causes chronic granulomatous disease (CGD), a rare genetic disorder characterized by severe and recurrent infections due to the incapacity of phagocytes to kill microorganisms.MethodologyHere we optimize a prokaryotic cell-free expression system...

Linkage Group Selection: Towards Identifying Genes Controlling Strain Specific Protective Immunity in Malaria

Protective immunity against blood infections of malaria is partly specific to the genotype, or strain, of the parasites. The target antigens of Strain Specific Protective Immunity are expected, therefore, to be antigenically and genetically distinct in different lines of parasite. Here we describe the use of a genetic approach, Linkage Group Selection, to locate the target(s) of...

Structural and Functional Analyses of Five Conserved Positively Charged Residues in the L1 and N-Terminal DNA Binding Motifs of Archaeal RadA Protein

RecA family proteins engage in an ATP-dependent DNA strand exchange reaction that includes a ssDNA nucleoprotein helical filament and a homologous dsDNA sequence. In spite of more than 20 years of efforts, the molecular mechanism of homology pairing and strand exchange is still not fully understood. Here we report a crystal structure of Sulfolobus solfataricus RadA overwound...

Intraepithelial and Interstitial Deposition of Pathological Prion Protein in Kidneys of Scrapie-Affected Sheep

Prions have been documented in extra-neuronal and extra-lymphatic tissues of humans and various ruminants affected by Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy (TSE). The presence of prion infectivity detected in cervid and ovine blood tempted us to reason that kidney, the organ filtrating blood derived proteins, may accumulate disease associated PrPSc. We collected and screened...

Early Loss of Xist RNA Expression and Inactive X Chromosome Associated Chromatin Modification in Developing Primordial Germ Cells

BackgroundThe inactive X chromosome characteristic of female somatic lineages is reactivated during development of the female germ cell lineage. In mouse, analysis of protein products of X-linked genes and/or transgenes located on the X chromosome has indicated that reactivation occurs after primordial germ cells reach the genital ridges.Principal Findings/MethodologyWe present...

Declining Rates in Male Circumcision amidst Increasing Evidence of its Public Health Benefit

BackgroundRecent experimental evidence has demonstrated the benefits of male circumcision for the prevention of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Studies have also shown that male circumcision is cost-effective and reduces the risk for certain ulcerative sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). The epidemiology of male circumcision in the United States is poorly studied...

A Fully Automated Robotic System for Microinjection of Zebrafish Embryos

As an important embodiment of biomanipulation, injection of foreign materials (e.g., DNA, RNAi, sperm, protein, and drug compounds) into individual cells has significant implications in genetics, transgenics, assisted reproduction, and drug discovery. This paper presents a microrobotic system for fully automated zebrafish embryo injection, which overcomes the problems inherent in...

Toll-Like Receptor Expression and Responsiveness of Distinct Murine Splenic and Mucosal B-Cell Subsets

BackgroundToll-like receptors (TLRs) are pattern recognition receptors that recognize pathogen associated molecular patterns and trigger innate immunity leading to initiation of adaptive immunity. TLR-mediated activation of dendritic cells (DCs) is known to be a critical event in the initiation of cellular and humoral immune responses. Recent work however suggests that B cells...

An Amphioxus Gli Gene Reveals Conservation of Midline Patterning and the Evolution of Hedgehog Signalling Diversity in Chordates

BackgroundHedgehog signalling, interpreted in receiving cells by Gli transcription factors, plays a central role in the development of vertebrate and Drosophila embryos. Many aspects of the signalling pathway are conserved between these lineages, however vertebrates have diverged in at least one key aspect: they have evolved multiple Gli genes encoding functionally-distinct...

Nonassociative Learning Promotes Respiratory Entrainment to Mechanical Ventilation

BackgroundPatient-ventilator synchrony is a major concern in critical care and is influenced by phasic lung-volume feedback control of the respiratory rhythm. Routine clinical application of positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP) introduces a tonic input which, if unopposed, might disrupt respiratory-ventilator entrainment through sustained activation of the vagally-mediated...

Ubx Regulates Differential Enlargement and Diversification of Insect Hind Legs

Differential enlargement of hind (T3) legs represents one of the hallmarks of insect evolution. However, the actual mechanism(s) responsible are yet to be determined. To address this issue, we have now studied the molecular basis of T3 leg enlargement in Oncopeltus fasciatus (milkweed bug) and Acheta domesticus (house cricket). In Oncopeltus, the T3 tibia displays a moderate...

Sleep in the Human Hippocampus: A Stereo-EEG Study

BackgroundThere is compelling evidence indicating that sleep plays a crucial role in the consolidation of new declarative, hippocampus-dependent memories. Given the increasing interest in the spatiotemporal relationships between cortical and hippocampal activity during sleep, this study aimed to shed more light on the basic features of human sleep in the hippocampus.Methodology...

Successful Biological Invasion despite a Severe Genetic Load

Understanding the factors that influence the success of ecologically and economically damaging biological invasions is of prime importance. Recent studies have shown that invasive populations typically exhibit minimal, if any, reductions in genetic diversity, suggesting that large founding populations and/or multiple introductions are required for the success of biological...

Control of Axonal Growth and Regeneration of Sensory Neurons by the p110δ PI 3-Kinase

The expression and function of the 8 distinct catalytic isoforms of PI 3-kinase (PI3K) in the nervous system are unknown. Whereas most PI3Ks have a broad tissue distribution, the tyrosine kinase-linked p110δ isoform has previously been shown to be enriched in leukocytes. Here we report that p110δ is also highly expressed in the nervous system. Inactivation of p110δ in mice did...

Crown Plasticity and Competition for Canopy Space: A New Spatially Implicit Model Parameterized for 250 North American Tree Species

BackgroundCanopy structure, which can be defined as the sum of the sizes, shapes and relative placements of the tree crowns in a forest stand, is central to all aspects of forest ecology. But there is no accepted method for deriving canopy structure from the sizes, species and biomechanical properties of the individual trees in a stand. Any such method must capture the fact that...

Retinal Encoding of Ultrabrief Shape Recognition Cues

Shape encoding mechanisms can be probed by the sequential brief display of dots that mark the boundary of the shape, and delays of less that a millisecond between successive dots can impair recognition. It is not entirely clear whether this is accomplished by preserving stimulus timing in the signal being sent to the brain, or calls for a retinal binding mechanism. Two...

Conceptual Modeling in Systems Biology Fosters Empirical Findings: The mRNA Lifecycle

One of the main obstacles to understanding complex biological systems is the extent and rapid evolution of information, way beyond the capacity individuals to manage and comprehend. Current modeling approaches and tools lack adequate capacity to model concurrently structure and behavior of biological systems. Here we propose Object-Process Methodology (OPM), a holistic conceptual...

Brain Expressed microRNAs Implicated in Schizophrenia Etiology

BackgroundProtein encoding genes have long been the major targets for research in schizophrenia genetics. However, with the identification of regulatory microRNAs (miRNAs) as important in brain development and function, miRNAs genes have emerged as candidates for schizophrenia-associated genetic factors. Indeed, the growing understanding of the regulatory properties and...

Discovery of Genes Activated by the Mitochondrial Unfolded Protein Response (mtUPR) and Cognate Promoter Elements

In an accompanying paper, we show that the mitochondrial Unfolded Protein Response or mtUPR is initiated by the activation of transcription of chop through an AP-1 element in the chop promoter. Further, we show that the c/ebpβ gene is similarly activated and CHOP and C/EBPβ subsequently hetero-dimerise to activate transcription of mtUPR responsive genes. Here, we report the...

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...