School of BioSciences - Research Publications

Permanent URI for this collection

Search Results

Now showing 1 - 10 of 992
  • Item
    No Preview Available
    Generation and analysis of Siah2 mutant mice
    Frew, IJ ; Hammond, VE ; Dickins, RA ; Quinn, JMW ; Walkley, CR ; Sims, NA ; Schnall, R ; Della, NG ; Holloway, AJ ; Digby, MR ; Janes, PW ; Tarlinton, DM ; Purton, LE ; Gillespie, MT ; Bowtell, DDL (AMER SOC MICROBIOLOGY, 2003-12)
    Siah proteins function as E3 ubiquitin ligase enzymes to target the degradation of diverse protein substrates. To characterize the physiological roles of Siah2, we have generated and analyzed Siah2 mutant mice. In contrast to Siah1a knockout mice, which are growth retarded and exhibit defects in spermatogenesis, Siah2 mutant mice are fertile and largely phenotypically normal. While previous studies implicate Siah2 in the regulation of TRAF2, Vav1, OBF-1, and DCC, we find that a variety of responses mediated by these proteins are unaffected by loss of Siah2. However, we have identified an expansion of myeloid progenitor cells in the bone marrow of Siah2 mutant mice. Consistent with this, we show that Siah2 mutant bone marrow produces more osteoclasts in vitro than wild-type bone marrow. The observation that combined Siah2 and Siah1a mutation causes embryonic and neonatal lethality demonstrates that the highly homologous Siah proteins have partially overlapping functions in vivo.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Proteomics and Deep Sequencing Comparison of Seasonally Active Venom Glands in the Platypus Reveals Novel Venom Peptides and Distinct Expression Profiles
    Wong, ESW ; Morgenstern, D ; Mofiz, E ; Gombert, S ; Morris, KM ; Temple-Smith, P ; Renfree, MB ; Whittington, CM ; King, GF ; Warren, WC ; Papenfuss, AT ; Belov, K (AMER SOC BIOCHEMISTRY MOLECULAR BIOLOGY INC, 2012-11)
    The platypus is a venomous monotreme. Male platypuses possess a spur on their hind legs that is connected to glands in the pelvic region. They produce venom only during the breeding season, presumably to fight off conspecifics. We have taken advantage of this unique seasonal production of venom to compare the transcriptomes of in- and out-of-season venom glands, in conjunction with proteomic analysis, to identify previously undiscovered venom genes. Comparison of the venom glands revealed distinct gene expression profiles that are consistent with changes in venom gland morphology and venom volumes in and out of the breeding season. Venom proteins were identified through shot-gun sequenced venom proteomes of three animals using RNA-seq-derived transcripts for peptide-spectral matching. 5,157 genes were expressed in the venom glands, 1,821 genes were up-regulated in the in-season gland, and 10 proteins were identified in the venom. New classes of platypus-venom proteins identified included antimicrobials, amide oxidase, serpin protease inhibitor, proteins associated with the mammalian stress response pathway, cytokines, and other immune molecules. Five putative toxins have only been identified in platypus venom: growth differentiation factor 15, nucleobindin-2, CD55, a CXC-chemokine, and corticotropin-releasing factor-binding protein. These novel venom proteins have potential biomedical and therapeutic applications and provide insights into venom evolution.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    N-Glycosylation Determines Ionic Permeability and Desensitization of the TRPV1 Capsaicin Receptor
    Veldhuis, NA ; Lew, MJ ; Abogadie, FC ; Poole, DP ; Jennings, EA ; Ivanusic, JJ ; Eilers, H ; Bunnett, NW ; McIntyre, P (AMER SOC BIOCHEMISTRY MOLECULAR BIOLOGY INC, 2012-06-22)
    The balance of glycosylation and deglycosylation of ion channels can markedly influence their function and regulation. However, the functional importance of glycosylation of the TRPV1 receptor, a key sensor of pain-sensing nerves, is not well understood, and whether TRPV1 is glycosylated in neurons is unclear. We report that TRPV1 is N-glycosylated and that N-glycosylation is a major determinant of capsaicin-evoked desensitization and ionic permeability. Both N-glycosylated and unglycosylated TRPV1 was detected in extracts of peripheral sensory nerves by Western blotting. TRPV1 expressed in HEK-293 cells exhibited various degrees of glycosylation. A mutant of asparagine 604 (N604T) was not glycosylated but did not alter plasma membrane expression of TRPV1. Capsaicin-evoked increases in intracellular calcium ([Ca(2+)](i)) were sustained in wild-type TRPV1 HEK-293 cells but were rapidly desensitized in N604T TRPV1 cells. There was marked cell-to-cell variability in capsaicin responses and desensitization between individual cells expressing wild-type TRPV1 but highly uniform responses in cells expressing N604T TRPV1, consistent with variable levels of glycosylation of the wild-type channel. These differences were also apparent when wild-type or N604T TRPV1-GFP fusion proteins were expressed in neurons from trpv1(-/-) mice. Capsaicin evoked a marked, concentration-dependent increase in uptake of the large cationic dye YO-PRO-1 in cells expressing wild-type TRPV1, indicative of loss of ion selectivity, that was completely absent in cells expressing N604T TRPV1. Thus, TRPV1 is variably N-glycosylated and glycosylation is a key determinant of capsaicin regulation of TRPV1 desensitization and permeability. Our findings suggest that physiological or pathological alterations in TRPV1 glycosylation would affect TRPV1 function and pain transmission.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Wider sampling reveals a non-sister relationship for geographically contiguous lineages of a marine mussel
    Cunha, RL ; Nicastro, KR ; Costa, J ; McQuaid, CD ; Serrao, EA ; Zardi, GI (WILEY, 2014-06)
    The accuracy of phylogenetic inference can be significantly improved by the addition of more taxa and by increasing the spatial coverage of sampling. In previous studies, the brown mussel Perna perna showed a sister-lineage relationship between eastern and western individuals contiguously distributed along the South African coastline. We used mitochondrial (COI) and nuclear (ITS) sequence data to further analyze phylogeographic patterns within P. perna. Significant expansion of the geographical coverage revealed an unexpected pattern. The western South African lineage shared the most recent common ancestor (MRCA) with specimens from Angola, Venezuela, and Namibia, whereas eastern South African specimens and Mozambique grouped together, indicating a non-sister relationship for the two South African lineages. Two plausible biogeographic scenarios to explain their origin were both supported by the hypotheses-testing analysis. One includes an Indo-Pacific origin for P. perna, dispersal into the Mediterranean and Atlantic through the Tethys seaway, followed by recent secondary contact after southward expansion of the western and eastern South African lineages. The other scenario (Out of South Africa) suggests an ancient vicariant divergence of the two lineages followed by their northward expansion. Nevertheless, the "Out of South Africa" hypothesis would require a more ancient divergence between the two lineages. Instead, our estimates indicated that they diverged very recently (310 kyr), providing a better support for an Indo-Pacific origin of the two South African lineages. The arrival of the MRCA of P. perna in Brazil was estimated at 10 [0-40] kyr. Thus, the hypothesis of a recent introduction in Brazil through hull fouling in wooden vessels involved in the transatlantic itineraries of the slave trade did not receive strong support, but given the range for this estimate, it could not be discarded. Wider geographic sampling of marine organisms shows that lineages with contiguous distributions need not share a common ancestry.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Intraspecific genetic lineages of a marine mussel show behavioural divergence and spatial segregation over a tropical/subtropical biogeographic transition
    Zardi, GI ; Nicastro, KR ; McQuaid, CD ; Castilho, R ; Costa, J ; Serrao, EA ; Pearson, GA (BMC, 2015-05-31)
    BACKGROUND: Intraspecific variability is seen as a central component of biodiversity. We investigated genetic differentiation, contemporary patterns of demographic connectivity and intraspecific variation of adaptive behavioural traits in two lineages of an intertidal mussel (Perna perna) across a tropical/subtropical biogeographic transition. RESULTS: Microsatellite analyses revealed clear genetic differentiation between western (temperate) and eastern (subtropical/tropical) populations, confirming divergence previously detected with mitochondrial (COI) and nuclear (ITS) markers. Gene flow between regions was predominantly east-to-west and was only moderate, with higher heterozygote deficiency where the two lineages co-occur. This can be explained by differential selection and/or oceanographic dynamics acting as a barrier to larval dispersal. Common garden experiments showed that gaping (periodic closure and opening of the shell) and attachment to the substratum differed significantly between the two lineages. Western individuals gaped more and attached less strongly to the substratum than eastern ones. CONCLUSIONS: These behavioural differences are consistent with the geographic and intertidal distributions of each lineage along sharp environmental clines, indicating their strong adaptive significance. We highlight the functional role of diversity below the species level in evolutionary trends and the need to understand this when predicting biodiversity responses to environmental change.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Adaptive Traits Are Maintained on Steep Selective Gradients despite Gene Flow and Hybridization in the Intertidal Zone
    Zardi, GI ; Nicastro, KR ; Canovas, F ; Costa, JF ; Serrao, EA ; Pearson, GA ; Ortiz-Barrientos, D (PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2011-06-14)
    Gene flow among hybridizing species with incomplete reproductive barriers blurs species boundaries, while selection under heterogeneous local ecological conditions or along strong gradients may counteract this tendency. Congeneric, externally-fertilizing fucoid brown algae occur as distinct morphotypes along intertidal exposure gradients despite gene flow. Combining analyses of genetic and phenotypic traits, we investigate the potential for physiological resilience to emersion stressors to act as an isolating mechanism in the face of gene flow. Along vertical exposure gradients in the intertidal zone of Northern Portugal and Northwest France, the mid-low shore species Fucus vesiculosus, the upper shore species Fucus spiralis, and an intermediate distinctive morphotype of F. spiralis var. platycarpus were morphologically characterized. Two diagnostic microsatellite loci recovered 3 genetic clusters consistent with prior morphological assignment. Phylogenetic analysis based on single nucleotide polymorphisms in 14 protein coding regions unambiguously resolved 3 clades; sympatric F. vesiculosus, F. spiralis, and the allopatric (in southern Iberia) population of F. spiralis var. platycarpus. In contrast, the sympatric F. spiralis var. platycarpus (from Northern Portugal) was distributed across the 3 clades, strongly suggesting hybridization/introgression with both other entities. Common garden experiments showed that physiological resilience following exposure to desiccation/heat stress differed significantly between the 3 sympatric genetic taxa; consistent with their respective vertical distribution on steep environmental clines in exposure time. Phylogenetic analyses indicate that F. spiralis var. platycarpus is a distinct entity in allopatry, but that extensive gene flow occurs with both higher and lower shore species in sympatry. Experimental results suggest that strong selection on physiological traits across steep intertidal exposure gradients acts to maintain the 3 distinct genetic and morphological taxa within their preferred vertical distribution ranges. On the strength of distributional, genetic, physiological and morphological differences, we propose elevation of F. spiralis var. platycarpus from variety to species level, as F. guiryi.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Characterization of microsatellite markers for the vulnerable grassland forb Senecio macrocarpus (Asteraceae).
    Ahrens, CW ; James, EA (Wiley, 2013-11)
    PREMISE OF THE STUDY: Development of microsatellite markers for the vulnerable forb Senecio macrocarpus was performed to begin an assessment of its population structure and breeding method to aid in the conservation of the species in Victoria, Australia. • METHODS AND RESULTS: Fifteen microsatellite markers were developed for S. macrocarpus from 454 pyrosequencing. The markers were tested on 104 individuals from four populations. The markers produced between two and seven alleles per locus while the expected heterozygosity ranged from 0.20 to 0.67 and the observed heterozygosity ranged from 0.00 to 1.00. The observed heterozygosity is suggestive that the populations may be apomictic. • CONCLUSIONS: The microsatellite markers developed for S. macrocarpus are intended to be used on future studies that aim to assess the population genetics and local breeding dynamics of the species with an emphasis on conservation.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    In silico analysis of high affinity potassium transporter (HKT) isoforms in different plants.
    Zamani Babgohari, M ; Ebrahimie, E ; Niazi, A (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2014)
    BACKGROUND: High affinity potassium transporters (HKTs) are located in the plasma membrane of the vessels and have significant influence on salt tolerance in some plants. They exclude Na(+) from the parenchyma cells to reduce Na(+) concentration. Despite many studies, the underlying regulatory mechanisms and the exact functions of HKTs within different genomic backgrounds are relatively unknown. In this study, various bioinformatics techniques, including promoter analysis, identification of HKT-surrounding genes, and construction of gene networks, were applied to investigate the HKT regulatory mechanism. RESULTS: Promoter analysis showed that rice HKTs carry ABA response elements. Additionally, jasmonic acid response elements were detected on promoter region of TmHKT1;5. In silico synteny highlighted several unknown and new loci near rice, Arabidopsis thaliana and Physcomitrella patent HKTs, which may play a significant role in salt stress tolerance in concert with HKTs. Gene network prediction unravelled that crosstalk between jasmonate and ethylene reduces AtHKT1;1 expression. Furthermore, antiporter and transferase proteins were found in AtHKT1;1 gene network. Interestingly, regulatory elements on the promoter region of HKT in wild genotype (TmHKT1;5) were more frequent and variable than the ones in cultivated wheat (TaHKT1;5) which provides the possibility of rapid response and better understanding of environmental conditions for wild genotype. CONCLUSION: Detecting ABA and jasmonic acid response elements on promoter regions of HKTs provide valuable clues on underlying regulatory mechanisms of HKTs. In silico synteny and pathway discovery indicated several candidates which act in concert with HKTs in stress condition. We highlighted different arrangement of regulatory elements on promoter region of wild wheat (TmHKT1;5) compared to bread wheat (TaHKT1;5) in this study.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Hybridization promotes color polymorphism in the aposematic harlequin poison frog, Oophaga histrionica
    Medina, I ; Wang, IJ ; Salazar, C ; Amezquita, A (WILEY, 2013-11)
    Whether hybridization can be a mechanism that drives phenotypic diversity is a widely debated topic in evolutionary biology. In poison frogs (Dendrobatidae), assortative mating has been invoked to explain how new color morphs persist despite the expected homogenizing effects of natural selection. Here, we tested the complementary hypothesis that new morphs arise through hybridization between different color morphs. Specifically, we (1) reconstructed the phylogenetic relationships among the studied populations of a dart-poison frog to provide an evolutionary framework, (2) tested whether microsatellite allele frequencies of one putative hybrid population of the polymorphic frog O. histrionica are intermediate between O. histrionica and O. lehmanni, and (3) conducted mate-choice experiments to test whether putatively intermediate females prefer homotypic males over males from the other two populations. Our findings are compatible with a hybrid origin for the new morph and emphasize the possibility of hybridization as a mechanism generating variation in polymorphic species. Moreover, because coloration in poison frogs is aposematic and should be heavily constrained, our findings suggest that hybridization can produce phenotypic novelty even in systems where phenotypes are subject to strong stabilizing selection.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Ia antigenic specificities are oligosaccharide in nature: hapten-inhibition studies.
    McKenzie, IF ; Clarke, A ; Parish, CR (Rockefeller University Press, 1977-04-01)
    We have previously reported that the Ia specificities, coded for by the I region within the H-2 complex, appear to consist predominantly of carbohydrate. This conclusion was reached by examining low molecular weight Ia-bearing oligosacharides isolated from mouse serum. We now report hapten-inhibition studies which indicate that the binding of both allogeneic and xenogeneic anti-Ia antibodies to the Ia glycoproteins found predominantly on B lymphocytes can be specifically inhibited by certain free sugars. Both inhibition assays revealed that the specificity for the following Ia antigens resides predominantly in the following sugars: (a) Ia.1: N-acetyl-D-mannosamine or related sugars; (b) Ia.3: alpha-D-galactose and related sugars; (c) Ia.7: L-fucose; and (d) Ia.15: N-acetyl-D-glucosamine. It seems likely that these sugars are found at the terminal nonreducing ends of the carbohydrate portion of the Ia-bearing glycoproteins present in the lymphocyte membrane. In contrast, several public and private H-2 antigenic specificities did not appear to be sugar defined. These studies imply that at least some of the Ia genes from both the I-A and I-C subregions of the I region code for glycosyl transferases which modify oligosaccharide structure and impart specificity to the Ia antigens by alteration of their terminal sugar residues.