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Dopamine receptor DOP-1 engages a sleep pathway to modulate swimming in C. elegans


2021 Yan Liu; Lin Zhang; Jihong Bai; Cera Hassinan; Ye Xu

Animals require robust yet flexible programs to support locomotion. Here we report a pathway that connects the D1-like dopamine receptor DOP-1 with a sleep mechanism to modulate swimming in C. elegans. We show that DOP-1 plays a negative role in sustaining swimming behavior. By contrast, a pathway through the D2-like dopamine receptor DOP-3 negatively regulates the initiation of swimming, but its impact fades quickly over a few minutes. We find that DOP-1 and the GPCR kinase (G-protein-coupled receptor kinase-2) function in the sleep interneuron RIS, where DOP-1 modulates the secretion of a sleep neuropeptide FLP-11. We further show that DOP-1 and FLP-11 act in the same pathway to modulate swimming. Together, these results delineate a functional connection between a dopamine receptor and a sleep program to regulate swimming in C. elegans. The temporal transition between DOP-3 and DOP-1 pathways highlights the dynamic nature of neuromodulation for rhythmic movements that persist over time.

A balancing act between primate lentiviruses and their receptor

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A

2021 Molly OhAinle; Harmit Malik


Minor intron retention drives clonal hematopoietic disorders and diverse cancer predisposition

Nat Genet

2021 Robert Bradley; Jose Pineda; Jacob Polaski

Most eukaryotes harbor two distinct pre-mRNA splicing machineries: the major spliceosome, which removes >99% of introns, and the minor spliceosome, which removes rare, evolutionarily conserved introns. Although hypothesized to serve important regulatory functions, physiologic roles of the minor spliceosome are not well understood. For example, the minor spliceosome component ZRSR2 is subject to recurrent, leukemia-associated mutations, yet functional connections among minor introns, hematopoiesis and cancers are unclear. Here, we identify that impaired minor intron excision via ZRSR2 loss enhances hematopoietic stem cell self-renewal. CRISPR screens mimicking nonsense-mediated decay of minor intron-containing mRNA species converged on LZTR1, a regulator of RAS-related GTPases. LZTR1 minor intron retention was also discovered in the RASopathy Noonan syndrome, due to intronic mutations disrupting splicing and diverse solid tumors. These data uncover minor intron recognition as a regulator of hematopoiesis, noncoding mutations within minor introns as potential cancer drivers and links among ZRSR2 mutations, LZTR1 regulation and leukemias.

Single-cell CUT&Tag analysis of chromatin modifications in differentiation and tumor progression

Nat Biotechnol

2021 Steven Henikoff; Ye Zheng; Steven Wu; Kamran Ahmad; Jay Sarthy; Scott Furlan; Kalee Carson; Patrick Cimino; Raphael Gottardo; Hatice Kaya-Okur; Anca Mihalas; Anoop Patel

Methods for quantifying gene expression1 and chromatin accessibility2 in single cells are well established, but single-cell analysis of chromatin regions with specific histone modifications has been technically challenging. In this study, we adapted the CUT&Tag method3 to scalable nanowell and droplet-based single-cell platforms to profile chromatin landscapes in single cells (scCUT&Tag) from complex tissues and during the differentiation of human embryonic stem cells. We focused on profiling polycomb group (PcG) silenced regions marked by histone H3 Lys27 trimethylation (H3K27me3) in single cells as an orthogonal approach to chromatin accessibility for identifying cell states. We show that scCUT&Tag profiling of H3K27me3 distinguishes cell types in human blood and allows the generation of cell-type-specific PcG landscapes from heterogeneous tissues. Furthermore, we used scCUT&Tag to profile H3K27me3 in a patient with a brain tumor before and after treatment, identifying cell types in the tumor microenvironment and heterogeneity in PcG activity in the primary sample and after treatment.

Genome instability from nuclear catastrophe and DNA damage

Semin Cell Dev Biol

2021 Anna Mammel; Emily Hatch

The nuclear envelope compartmentalizes the eukaryotic genome, provides mechanical resistance, and regulates access to the chromatin. However, recent studies have identified several conditions where the nuclear membrane ruptures during interphase, breaking down this compartmentalization leading to DNA damage, chromothripsis, and kataegis. This review discusses three major circumstances that promote nuclear membrane rupture, nuclear deformation, chromatin bridges, and micronucleation, and how each of these nuclear catastrophes results in DNA damage. In addition, we highlight recent studies that demonstrate a single chromosome missegregation can initiate a cascade of events that lead to accumulating damage and even multiple rounds of chromothripsis.

A novel dual Ca2+ sensor system regulates Ca2+-dependent neurotransmitter release

J Cell Biol

2021 Jihong Bai; Yu Wang

Ca2+-dependent neurotransmitter release requires synaptotagmins as Ca2+ sensors to trigger synaptic vesicle (SV) exocytosis via binding of their tandem C2 domains-C2A and C2B-to Ca2+. We have previously demonstrated that SNT-1, a mouse synaptotagmin-1 (Syt1) homologue, functions as the fast Ca2+ sensor in Caenorhabditis elegans. Here, we report a new Ca2+ sensor, SNT-3, which triggers delayed Ca2+-dependent neurotransmitter release. snt-1;snt-3 double mutants abolish evoked synaptic transmission, demonstrating that C. elegans NMJs use a dual Ca2+ sensor system. SNT-3 possesses canonical aspartate residues in both C2 domains, but lacks an N-terminal transmembrane (TM) domain. Biochemical evidence demonstrates that SNT-3 binds both Ca2+ and the plasma membrane. Functional analysis shows that SNT-3 is activated when SNT-1 function is impaired, triggering SV release that is loosely coupled to Ca2+ entry. Compared with SNT-1, which is tethered to SVs, SNT-3 is not associated with SV. Eliminating the SV tethering of SNT-1 by removing the TM domain or the whole N terminus rescues fast release kinetics, demonstrating that cytoplasmic SNT-1 is still functional and triggers fast neurotransmitter release, but also exhibits decreased evoked amplitude and release probability. These results suggest that the fast and slow properties of SV release are determined by the intrinsically different C2 domains in SNT-1 and SNT-3, rather than their N-termini-mediated membrane tethering. Our findings therefore reveal a novel dual Ca2+ sensor system in C. elegans and provide significant insights into Ca2+-regulated exocytosis.

Complete map of SARS-CoV-2 RBD mutations that escape the monoclonal antibody LY-CoV555 and its cocktail with LY-CoV016

Cell Rep Med

2021 Allison Greaney; Jesse Bloom; Adam Dingens; Tyler Starr

Monoclonal antibodies and antibody cocktails are a promising therapeutic and prophylaxis for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). However, ongoing evolution of severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) can render monoclonal antibodies ineffective. Here, we completely map all of the mutations to the SARS-CoV-2 spike receptor-binding domain (RBD) that escape binding by a leading monoclonal antibody, LY-CoV555, and its cocktail combination with LY-CoV016. Individual mutations that escape binding by each antibody are combined in the circulating B.1.351 and P.1 SARS-CoV-2 lineages (E484K escapes LY-CoV555, K417N/T escapes LY-CoV016). In addition, the L452R mutation in the B.1.429 lineage escapes LY-CoV555. Furthermore, we identify single amino acid changes that escape the combined LY-CoV555+LY-CoV016 cocktail. We suggest that future efforts diversify the epitopes targeted by antibodies and antibody cocktails to make them more resilient to the antigenic evolution of SARS-CoV-2.

Differential Substrate Use in EGF- and Oncogenic KRAS-Stimulated Human Mammary Epithelial Cells


2021 Lucas Sullivan

Many metabolic phenotypes in cancer cells are also characteristic of proliferating non-transformed mammalian cells, and attempts to distinguish between phenotypes resulting from oncogenic perturbation from those associated with increased proliferation are limited. Here, we examined the extent to which metabolic changes corresponding to oncogenic KRAS expression differed from those corresponding to epidermal growth factor (EGF)-driven proliferation in human mammary epithelial cells (HMECs). Removal of EGF from culture medium reduced growth rates and glucose/glutamine consumption in control HMECs despite limited changes in respiration and fatty acid synthesis, while the relative contribution of branched-chain amino acids to the TCA cycle and lipogenesis increased in the near-quiescent conditions. Most metabolic phenotypes measured in HMECs expressing mutant KRAS were similar to those observed in EGF-stimulated control HMECs that were growing at comparable rates. However, glucose and glutamine consumption as well as lactate and glutamate production were lower in KRAS-expressing cells cultured in media without added EGF, and these changes correlated with reduced sensitivity to GLUT1 inhibitor and phenformin treatment. Our results demonstrate the strong dependence of metabolic behavior on growth rate, and provide a model to distinguish the metabolic influences of oncogenic mutations and non-oncogenic growth.

Putting the brakes on centromere drive in Mimulus

PLoS Genet

2021 Ching-Ho Chang; Harmit Malik


Localizing Peptidoglycan Synthesis in Helicobacter pylori using Clickable Metabolic Probes

Curr Protoc

2021 Nina Salama; Jennifer Taylor

The bacterial cell wall, composed of peptidoglycan (PG), provides structural integrity for the cell and is responsible for cell shape in most bacteria. Here we present tools to study the cell wall using a clickable PG-specific sugar, 2-alkyne muramic acid (MurNAc-alk), as a metabolic probe. Here we present a new reaction pathway for generating MurNAc-alk. We also include protocols for labeling PG synthesis in Helicobacter pylori, determining the identity of the labeled muropeptides using LC-MS/MS, sample preparation of cells labeled for a short fraction of the doubling time, and visualization using 3D structured illumination microscopy. © 2021 Wiley Periodicals LLC. Basic Protocol 1: Alternative synthesis of MurNAc-alk (direct coupling) Support Protocol 1: Growing Helicobacter pylori in liquid culture Support Protocol 2: Fosfomycin rescue assay Basic Protocol 2: Mass spectrometry (MS) analysis to determine incorporation of MurNAc-alk within the peptidoglycan of H. pylori Support Protocol 3: Hayashi test to determine if SDS is present in the supernatant of peptidoglycan preparations Support Protocol 4: Creating custom cytocentrifuge units for use in a swinging-bucket tabletop centrifuge Basic Protocol 3: Labeling H. pylori with MurNAc-alk or D-Ala-alk Basic Protocol 4: Structured illumination microscopy (SIM) imaging on the DeltaVision OMX.