In situ imaging reveals disparity between prostaglandin localization and abundance of prostaglandin synthases

Communications Biology

Published On 2021/8/13

Prostaglandins are important lipids involved in mediating many physiological processes, such as allergic responses, inflammation, and pregnancy. However, technical limitations of in-situ prostaglandin detection in tissue have led researchers to infer prostaglandin tissue distributions from localization of regulatory synthases, such as COX1 and COX2. Herein, we apply a novel mass spectrometry imaging method for direct in situ tissue localization of prostaglandins, and combine it with techniques for protein expression and RNA localization. We report that prostaglandin D2, its precursors, and downstream synthases co-localize with the highest expression of COX1, and not COX2. Further, we study tissue with a conditional deletion of transformation-related protein 53 where pregnancy success is low and confirm that PG levels are altered, although localization is conserved. Our studies reveal that the abundance of …

Journal

Communications Biology

Published On

2021/8/13

Volume

4

Issue

1

Page

966

Authors

Erin Shammel Baker

Erin Shammel Baker

North Carolina State University

Position

H-Index(all)

53

H-Index(since 2020)

39

I-10 Index(all)

0

I-10 Index(since 2020)

0

Citation(all)

0

Citation(since 2020)

0

Cited By

0

Research Interests

Ion Mobility Spectrometry

Mass Spectrometry

Liquid Chromatography

University Profile Page

Kyle Duncan

Kyle Duncan

Vancouver Island University

Position

Department of Chemistry Nanaimo BC Canada

H-Index(all)

13

H-Index(since 2020)

12

I-10 Index(all)

0

I-10 Index(since 2020)

0

Citation(all)

0

Citation(since 2020)

0

Cited By

0

Research Interests

mass spectrometry

bioanalytical chemistry

electrospray ionization

mass spectrometry imaging

University Profile Page

Other Articles from authors

Erin Shammel Baker

Erin Shammel Baker

North Carolina State University

Journal of Proteome Research

Deciphering ApoE Genotype-Driven Proteomic and Lipidomic Alterations in Alzheimer’s Disease Across Distinct Brain Regions

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disease with a complex etiology influenced by confounding factors such as genetic polymorphisms, age, sex, and race. Traditionally, AD research has not prioritized these influences, resulting in dramatically skewed cohorts such as three times the number of Apolipoprotein E (APOE) ε4-allele carriers in AD relative to healthy cohorts. Thus, the resulting molecular changes in AD have previously been complicated by the influence of apolipoprotein E disparities. To explore how apolipoprotein E polymorphism influences AD progression, 62 post-mortem patients consisting of 33 AD and 29 controls (Ctrl) were studied to balance the number of ε4-allele carriers and facilitate a molecular comparison of the apolipoprotein E genotype. Lipid and protein perturbations were assessed across AD diagnosed brains compared to Ctrl brains, ε4 allele carriers (APOE4+ for those …

Erin Shammel Baker

Erin Shammel Baker

North Carolina State University

bioRxiv

Metagenomic, metabolomic, and lipidomic shifts associated with fecal microbiota transplantation for recurrent Clostridioides difficile infection

Recurrent C. difficile infection (rCDI) is an urgent public health threat for which the last resort and lifesaving treatment is a fecal microbiota transplant (FMT). However, the exact mechanisms which mediate a successful FMT are not well understood. Here we use longitudinal stool samples collected from patients undergoing FMT to evaluate changes in the microbiome, metabolome, and lipidome after successful FMTs. We show changes in the abundance of many lipids, specifically acylcarnitines and bile acids, in response to FMT. These changes correlate with Enterobacteriaceae, which encode carnitine metabolism genes, and Lachnospiraceae, which encode bile salt hydrolases and baiA genes. LC-IMS-MS revealed a shift from microbial conjugation of primary bile acids pre-FMT to secondary bile acids post-FMT. Here we define the structural and functional changes in successful FMTs. This information will help guide targeted Live Biotherapeutic Product development for the treatment of rCDI and other intestinal diseases.

Kyle Duncan

Kyle Duncan

Vancouver Island University

Mass spectrometry imaging methods for visualizing tumor heterogeneity

HighlightsCurrent strategies to map lipids, metabolites, and proteins in tumor tissues.Recent biological insights obtained from MSI of tumor samples.Challenges in applying MSI to study tumor biology.Profiling spatial distributions of lipids, metabolites, and proteins in tumors can reveal unique cellular microenvironments and provide molecular evidence for cancer cell dysfunction and proliferation. Mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) is a label-free technique that can be used to map biomolecules in tumors in situ. Here, we discuss current progress in applying MSI to uncover molecular heterogeneity in tumors. First, the analytical strategies to profile small molecules and proteins are outlined, and current methods for multimodal imaging to maximize biological information are highlighted. Second, we present and summarize biological insights obtained by MSI of tumor tissue. Finally, we discuss important considerations for …

Kyle Duncan

Kyle Duncan

Vancouver Island University

Advances in Prostaglandin

Advances in Prostaglandin

Prostaglandins (PG) are a group of physiologically active lipid compounds called eicosanoids having diverse hormone-like effects in animals. Prostaglandins have been found in almost every tissue in humans and other animals. They are derived enzymatically from the fatty acid arachidonic acid.Every prostaglandin contains 20 carbon atoms, including a 5-carbon ring. They are a subclass of eicosanoids and of the prostanoid class of fatty acid derivatives. In the present book, twelve typical literatures about prostaglandin published on international authoritative journals were selected to introduce the worldwide newest progress, which contains reviews or original researches on prostaglandin. We hope this book can demonstrate advances in prostaglandin as well as give references to the researchers, students and other related people.

Erin Shammel Baker

Erin Shammel Baker

North Carolina State University

Chemosphere

Investigating mouse hepatic lipidome dysregulation following exposure to emerging per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are environmental pollutants that have been associated with adverse health effects including liver damage, decreased vaccine responses, cancer, developmental toxicity, thyroid dysfunction, and elevated cholesterol. The specific molecular mechanisms impacted by PFAS exposure to cause these health effects remain poorly understood, however there is some evidence of lipid dysregulation. Thus, lipidomic studies that go beyond clinical triglyceride and cholesterol tests are greatly needed to investigate these perturbations. Here, we have utilized a platform coupling liquid chromatography, ion mobility spectrometry, and mass spectrometry (LC-IMS-MS) separations to simultaneously evaluate PFAS bioaccumulation and lipid metabolism disruptions. For the study, liver samples collected from C57BL/6 mice exposed to either of the emerging PFAS hexafluoropropylene …

Erin Shammel Baker

Erin Shammel Baker

North Carolina State University

From big data to big insights: statistical and bioinformatic approaches for exploring the lipidome

The goal of lipidomic studies is to provide a broad characterization of cellular lipids present and changing in a sample of interest. Recent lipidomic research has significantly contributed to revealing the multifaceted roles that lipids play in fundamental cellular processes, including signaling, energy storage, and structural support. Furthermore, these findings have shed light on how lipids dynamically respond to various perturbations. Continued advancement in analytical techniques has also led to improved abilities to detect and identify novel lipid species, resulting in increasingly large datasets. Statistical analysis of these datasets can be challenging not only because of their vast size, but also because of the highly correlated data structure that exists due to many lipids belonging to the same metabolic or regulatory pathways. Interpretation of these lipidomic datasets is also hindered by a lack of current biological …

Erin Shammel Baker

Erin Shammel Baker

North Carolina State University

Nature

Reverse metabolomics for the discovery of chemical structures from humans

Determining the structure and phenotypic context of molecules detected in untargeted metabolomics experiments remains challenging. Here we present reverse metabolomics as a discovery strategy, whereby tandem mass spectrometry spectra acquired from newly synthesized compounds are searched for in public metabolomics datasets to uncover phenotypic associations. To demonstrate the concept, we broadly synthesized and explored multiple classes of metabolites in humans, including N-acyl amides, fatty acid esters of hydroxy fatty acids, bile acid esters and conjugated bile acids. Using repository-scale analysis,, we discovered that some conjugated bile acids are associated with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Validation using four distinct human IBD cohorts showed that cholic acids conjugated to Glu, Ile/Leu, Phe, Thr, Trp or Tyr are increased in Crohn’s disease. Several of these compounds and …

Erin Shammel Baker

Erin Shammel Baker

North Carolina State University

Analytical chemistry

Aggregated molecular phenotype scores: enhancing assessment and visualization of mass spectrometry imaging data for tissue-based diagnostics

Mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) has gained increasing popularity for tissue-based diagnostics due to its ability to identify and visualize molecular characteristics unique to different phenotypes within heterogeneous samples. Data from MSI experiments are often assessed and visualized using various supervised and unsupervised statistical approaches. However, these approaches tend to fall short in identifying and concisely visualizing subtle, phenotype-relevant molecular changes. To address these shortcomings, we developed aggregated molecular phenotype (AMP) scores. AMP scores are generated using an ensemble machine learning approach to first select features differentiating phenotypes, weight the features using logistic regression, and combine the weights and feature abundances. AMP scores are then scaled between 0 and 1, with lower values generally corresponding to class 1 phenotypes …

Erin Shammel Baker

Erin Shammel Baker

North Carolina State University

Science Advances

Uncovering per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) with nontargeted ion mobility spectrometry–mass spectrometry analyses

Because of environmental and health concerns, legacy per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) have been voluntarily phased out, and thousands of emerging PFAS introduced as replacements. Traditional analytical methods target a limited number of mainly legacy PFAS; therefore, many species are not routinely assessed in the environment. Nontargeted approaches using high-resolution mass spectrometry methods have therefore been used to detect and characterize unknown PFAS. However, their ability to elucidate chemical structures relies on generation of informative fragments, and many low concentration species are not fragmented in typical data-dependent acquisition approaches. Here, a data-independent method leveraging ion mobility spectrometry (IMS) and size-dependent fragmentation was developed and applied to characterize aquatic passive samplers deployed near a North Carolina …

2023/10/25

Article Details
Erin Shammel Baker

Erin Shammel Baker

North Carolina State University

Chemical Science

Combining native mass spectrometry and lipidomics to uncover specific membrane protein–lipid interactions from natural lipid sources

While it is known that lipids play an essential role in regulating membrane protein structure and function, it remains challenging to identify specific protein–lipid interactions. Here, we present an innovative approach that combines native mass spectrometry (MS) and lipidomics to identify lipids retained by membrane proteins from natural lipid extracts. Our results reveal that the bacterial ammonia channel (AmtB) enriches specific cardiolipin (CDL) and phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) from natural headgroup extracts. When the two extracts are mixed, AmtB retains more species, wherein selectivity is tuned to bias headgroup selection. Using a series of natural headgroup extracts, we show TRAAK, a two-pore domain K+ channel (K2P), retains specific acyl chains that is independent of the headgroup. A brain polar lipid extract was then combined with the K2Ps, TRAAK and TREK2, to understand lipid specificity. More …

Erin Shammel Baker

Erin Shammel Baker

North Carolina State University

Introducing the High-Throughput in Mass Spectrometry Special Focus Issue

The Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry publishes a series of Special Focus Issues throughout the year. These issues focus on topics of interest that our readers recommend, honor the work of a particular awardee, such as the ASMS Fenn and Biemann award winners, and annually introduce the emerging young investigators in our field. Except for the upcoming Emerging Investigators Special Focus Issue, which will be published as a standard Special Issue, manuscripts included in these Special Focus Issues are published when accepted and later compiled into a Virtual Special Focus Issue landing page. This means that authors do not have to wait until all manuscripts are accepted for their paper to appear in an issue, and once the Virtual Issue is released, readers can access the collection at their convenience. We hope you are enjoying the JASMS Virtual Special Focus Issues and encourage …

Erin Shammel Baker

Erin Shammel Baker

North Carolina State University

Analytical chemistry

Using Multidimensional Separations to Distinguish Isomeric Amino Acid–Bile Acid Conjugates and Assess Their Presence and Perturbations in Model Systems

Bile acids play key roles in nutrient uptake, inflammation, signaling, and microbiome composition. While previous bile acid analyses have primarily focused on profiling 5 canonical primary and secondary bile acids and their glycine and taurine amino acid–bile acid (AA–BA) conjugates, recent studies suggest that many other microbial conjugated bile acids (or MCBAs) exist. MCBAs are produced by the gut microbiota and serve as biomarkers, providing information about early disease onset and gut health. Here we analyzed 8 core bile acids synthetically conjugated with 22 proteinogenic and nonproteogenic amino acids totaling 176 MCBAs. Since many of the conjugates were isomeric and only 42 different m/z values resulted from the 176 MCBAs, a platform coupling liquid chromatography, ion mobility spectrometry, and mass spectrometry (LC–IMS–MS) was used for their separation. Their molecular characteristics …

Erin Shammel Baker

Erin Shammel Baker

North Carolina State University

Nature communications

PeakDecoder enables machine learning-based metabolite annotation and accurate profiling in multidimensional mass spectrometry measurements

Multidimensional measurements using state-of-the-art separations and mass spectrometry provide advantages in untargeted metabolomics analyses for studying biological and environmental bio-chemical processes. However, the lack of rapid analytical methods and robust algorithms for these heterogeneous data has limited its application. Here, we develop and evaluate a sensitive and high-throughput analytical and computational workflow to enable accurate metabolite profiling. Our workflow combines liquid chromatography, ion mobility spectrometry and data-independent acquisition mass spectrometry with PeakDecoder, a machine learning-based algorithm that learns to distinguish true co-elution and co-mobility from raw data and calculates metabolite identification error rates. We apply PeakDecoder for metabolite profiling of various engineered strains of Aspergillus pseudoterreus, Aspergillus niger …

Erin Shammel Baker

Erin Shammel Baker

North Carolina State University

Toxics

Integrative Chemical–Biological Grouping of Complex High Production Volume Substances from Lower Olefin Manufacturing Streams

Human cell-based test methods can be used to evaluate potential hazards of mixtures and products of petroleum refining (“unknown or variable composition, complex reaction products, or biological materials” substances, UVCBs). Analyses of bioactivity and detailed chemical characterization of petroleum UVCBs were used separately for grouping these substances; a combination of the approaches has not been undertaken. Therefore, we used a case example of representative high production volume categories of petroleum UVCBs, 25 lower olefin substances from low benzene naphtha and resin oils categories, to determine whether existing manufacturing-based category grouping can be supported. We collected two types of data: nontarget ion mobility spectrometry-mass spectrometry of both neat substances and their organic extracts and in vitro bioactivity of the organic extracts in five human cell types: umbilical vein endothelial cells and induced pluripotent stem cell-derived hepatocytes, endothelial cells, neurons, and cardiomyocytes. We found that while similarity in composition and bioactivity can be observed for some substances, existing categories are largely heterogeneous. Strong relationships between composition and bioactivity were observed, and individual constituents that determine these associations were identified. Overall, this study showed a promising approach that combines chemical composition and bioactivity data to better characterize the variability within manufacturing categories of petroleum UVCBs.

Erin Shammel Baker

Erin Shammel Baker

North Carolina State University

A High-Throughput Workflow to Analyze Sequence-Conformation Relationships and Explore Hydrophobic Patterning in Disordered Peptoids

Understanding how a macromolecule’s primary sequence governs its conformational landscape is crucial for elucidating its function, yet these design principles are still emerging for macromolecules with intrinsic disorder. While parameters describing subsets of disordered proteins and synthetic materials have been established, they are often tailored to specific chemical interactions and monomer classes, limiting their broader applicability. To address this gap, we present a high-throughput workflow that implements a versatile colorimetric conformational assay, introduces a semi-automated sequencing protocol using MALDI-MS/MS, and pioneers a data-driven sequence parameterization methodology that integrates into a predictive algorithm. Using a model system consisting of two-component peptidomimetics (20mer peptoids) containing polar glycine and hydrophobic N-butylglycine residues in a one-bead one-compound (OBOC) library, we visually identified nine classifications of conformational disorder. From this library, we identified 122 unique sequences across varied compositions and conformations, and we developed an image analysis tool that ultimately characterized an order of magnitude larger fraction of the complete library. Low-throughput techniques, atomistic simulations and ion mobility spectrometry coupled with liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry separations (LC-IMS-MS) of purified peptoids, yielded quantitative descriptors of the conformational ensembles formed by three compositionally identical sequences selected from the library. Finally, a data-driven technique was developed that exploits ‘motifs’ within the …

Erin Shammel Baker

Erin Shammel Baker

North Carolina State University

Nature microbiology

Bile salt hydrolases shape the bile acid landscape and restrict Clostridioides difficile growth in the murine gut

Bile acids (BAs) mediate the crosstalk between human and microbial cells and influence diseases including Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI). While bile salt hydrolases (BSHs) shape the BA pool by deconjugating conjugated BAs, the basis for their substrate selectivity and impact on C. difficile remain elusive. Here we survey the diversity of BSHs in the gut commensals Lactobacillaceae, which are commonly used as probiotics, and other members of the human gut microbiome. We structurally pinpoint a loop that predicts BSH preferences for either glycine or taurine substrates. BSHs with varying specificities were shown to restrict C. difficile spore germination and growth in vitro and colonization in pre-clinical in vivo models of CDI. Furthermore, BSHs reshape the pool of microbial conjugated bile acids (MCBAs) in the murine gut, and these MCBAs can further restrict C. difficile virulence in vitro. The recognition of …

Erin Shammel Baker

Erin Shammel Baker

North Carolina State University

Neuroendocrinology

Impacts of Gestational FireMaster 550 Exposure on the Neonatal Cortex Are Sex Specific and Largely Attributable to the Organophosphate Esters

Introduction: Flame retardants (FRs) are common bodily and environmental pollutants, creating concern about their potential toxicity. We and others have found that the commercial mixture FireMaster® 550 (FM 550) or its individual brominated (BFR) and organophosphate ester (OPFR) components are potential developmental neurotoxicants. Using Wistar rats, we previously reported that developmental exposure to FM 550 or its component classes produced sex- and compound-specific effects on adult socioemotional behaviors. The underlying mechanisms driving the behavioral phenotypes are unknown. Methods: To further mechanistic understanding, here we conducted transcriptomics in parallel with a novel lipidomics approach using cortical tissues from newborn siblings of the rats in the published behavioral study. Inclusion of lipid composition is significant because it is rarely …

Kyle Duncan

Kyle Duncan

Vancouver Island University

Strategies for uncovering stable isotope tracing patterns between cell populations

HighlightsChallenges of using isotope tracers within the human tumor microenvironment (TME).Current models and analytics used for isotope tracing in humans.Strategies for uncovering cell-specific isotope tracing within the human TME.Despite practical complexities, isotope tracing studies in humans are becoming increasingly feasible. However, several technological challenges need to be addressed in order to take full advantage of human tracing studies. First, absolute metabolic flux measurements in mice are not so easily applied to human models, given that tissue resection is restricted to a single surgical time point. Second, isotope tracing has yet to be employed to detect metabolic differences between cells types in vivo. Here, we discuss the current models and propose an alternative, liquid tumor environment, that could overcome these limitations. Furthermore, we highlight current strategies used to …

Kyle Duncan

Kyle Duncan

Vancouver Island University

Analytical Chemistry

Ion-to-image, i2i, a mass spectrometry imaging data analysis platform for continuous ionization techniques

Mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) techniques generate data that reveal spatial distributions of molecules on a surface with high sensitivity and selectivity. However, processing large volumes of mass spectrometry data into useful ion images is not trivial. Furthermore, data from MSI techniques using continuous ionization sources where data are acquired in line scans require different data handling strategies compared to data collected from pulsed ionization sources where data are acquired in grids. In addition, for continuous ionization sources, the pixel dimensions are influenced by the mass spectrometer duty cycle, which, in turn, can be controlled by the automatic gain control (AGC) for each spectrum (pixel). Currently, there is a lack of data-handling software for MSI data generated with continuous ionization sources and AGC. Here, we present ion-to-image (i2i), which is a MATLAB-based application for MSI data …

Erin Shammel Baker

Erin Shammel Baker

North Carolina State University

bioRxiv

Utilizing Aggregated Molecular Phenotype (AMP) Scores to Visualize Simultaneous Molecular Changes in Mass Spectrometry Imaging Data

Mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) has gained increasing popularity for tissue-based diagnostics due to its ability to identify and visualize molecular characteristics unique to different phenotypes within heterogeneous samples. Data from MSI experiments are often visualized using single ion images and further analyzed using machine learning and multivariate statistics to identify m/z features of interest and create predictive models for phenotypic classification. However, often only a single molecule or m/z feature is visualized per ion image, and mainly categorical classifications are provided from the predictive models. As an alternative approach, we developed an aggregated molecular phenotype (AMP) scoring system. AMP scores are generated using an ensemble machine learning approach to first select features differentiating phenotypes, weight the features using logistic regression, and combine the weights and …

Other articles from Communications Biology journal

Liming Liang

Liming Liang

Harvard University

Communications Biology

Type 2 diabetes and its genetic susceptibility are associated with increased severity and mortality of COVID-19 in UK Biobank

Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is known as one of the important risk factors for the severity and mortality of COVID-19. Here, we evaluate the impact of T2D and its genetic susceptibility on the severity and mortality of COVID-19, using 459,119 individuals in UK Biobank. Utilizing the polygenic risk scores (PRS) for T2D, we identified a significant association between T2D or T2D PRS, and COVID-19 severity. We further discovered the efficacy of vaccination and the pivotal role of T2D-related genetics in the pathogenesis of severe COVID-19. Moreover, we found that individuals with T2D or those in the high T2D PRS group had a significantly increased mortality rate. We also observed that the mortality rate for SARS-CoV-2-infected patients was approximately 2 to 7 times higher than for those not infected, depending on the time of infection. These findings emphasize the potential of T2D PRS in estimating the severity and …

Alessandro Giammona

Alessandro Giammona

Università degli Studi di Palermo

Communications Biology

Real-time simultaneous refractive index and thickness mapping of sub-cellular biology at the diffraction limit

Mapping the cellular refractive index (RI) is a central task for research involving the composition of microorganisms and the development of models providing automated medical screenings with accuracy beyond 95%. These models require significantly enhancing the state-of-the-art RI mapping capabilities to provide large amounts of accurate RI data at high throughput. Here, we present a machine-learning-based technique that obtains a biological specimen’s real-time RI and thickness maps from a single image acquired with a conventional color camera. This technology leverages a suitably engineered nanostructured membrane that stretches a biological analyte over its surface and absorbs transmitted light, generating complex reflection spectra from each sample point. The technique does not need pre-existing sample knowledge. It achieves 10−4 RI sensitivity and sub-nanometer thickness resolution on …

Sarah W Harcum

Sarah W Harcum

Clemson University

Communications Biology

Stochastic biological system-of-systems modelling for iPSC culture

Large-scale manufacturing of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) is essential for cell therapies and regenerative medicines. Yet, iPSCs form large cell aggregates in suspension bioreactors, resulting in insufficient nutrient supply and extra metabolic waste build-up for the cells located at the core. Since subtle changes in micro-environment can lead to a heterogeneous cell population, a novel Biological System-of-Systems (Bio-SoS) framework is proposed to model cell-to-cell interactions, spatial and metabolic heterogeneity, and cell response to micro-environmental variation. Building on stochastic metabolic reaction network, aggregation kinetics, and reaction-diffusion mechanisms, the Bio-SoS model characterizes causal interdependencies at individual cell, aggregate, and cell population levels. It has a modular design that enables data integration and improves predictions for different monolayer and …

Atsuko Saito

Atsuko Saito

Sophia University

Communications Biology

Anxious about rejection, avoidant of neglect: Infant marmosets tune their attachment based on individual caregiver’s parenting style

Children’s secure attachment with their primary caregivers is crucial for physical, cognitive, and emotional maturation. Yet, the causal links between specific parenting behaviors and infant attachment patterns are not fully understood. Here we report infant attachment in New World monkeys common marmosets, characterized by shared infant care among parents and older siblings and complex vocal communications. By integrating natural variations in parenting styles and subsecond-scale microanalyses of dyadic vocal and physical interactions, we demonstrate that marmoset infants signal their needs through context-dependent call use and selective approaches toward familiar caregivers. The infant attachment behaviors are tuned to each caregiver’s parenting style; infants use negative calls when carried by rejecting caregivers and selectively avoid neglectful and rejecting caregivers. Family-deprived infants fail …

Marco Linari

Marco Linari

Università degli Studi di Firenze

Communications Biology

Force and kinetics of fast and slow muscle myosin determined with a synthetic sarcomere–like nanomachine

Myosin II is the muscle molecular motor that works in two bipolar arrays in each thick filament of the striated (skeletal and cardiac) muscle, converting the chemical energy into steady force and shortening by cyclic ATP–driven interactions with the nearby actin filaments. Different isoforms of the myosin motor in the skeletal muscles account for the different functional requirements of the slow muscles (primarily responsible for the posture) and fast muscles (responsible for voluntary movements). To clarify the molecular basis of the differences, here the isoform–dependent mechanokinetic parameters underpinning the force of slow and fast muscles are defined with a unidimensional synthetic nanomachine powered by pure myosin isoforms from either slow or fast rabbit skeletal muscle. Data fitting with a stochastic model provides a self–consistent estimate of all the mechanokinetic properties of the motor ensemble …

Jonathan Minden

Jonathan Minden

Carnegie Mellon University

Communications Biology

One-pot method for preparing DNA, RNA, and protein for multiomics analysis

Typical multiomics studies employ separate methods for DNA, RNA, and protein sample preparation, which is labor intensive, costly, and prone to sampling bias. We describe a method for preparing high-quality, sequencing-ready DNA and RNA, and either intact proteins or mass-spectrometry-ready peptides for whole proteome analysis from a single sample. This method utilizes a reversible protein tagging scheme to covalently link all proteins in a lysate to a bead-based matrix and nucleic acid precipitation and selective solubilization to yield separate pools of protein and nucleic acids. We demonstrate the utility of this method to compare the genomes, transcriptomes, and proteomes of four triple-negative breast cancer cell lines with different degrees of malignancy. These data show the involvement of both RNA and associated proteins, and protein-only dependent pathways that distinguish these cell lines. We also …

Shovonlal Roy

Shovonlal Roy

University of Reading

Communications Biology

Ecological determinants of Cope’s rule and its inverse

Cope’s rule posits that evolution gradually increases the body size in lineages. Over the last decades, two schools of thought have fueled a debate on the applicability of Cope’s rule by reporting empirical evidence, respectively, for and against Cope’s rule. The apparent contradictions thus documented highlight the need for a comprehensive process-based synthesis through which both positions of this debate can be understood and reconciled. Here, we use a process-based community-evolution model to investigate the eco-evolutionary emergence of Cope’s rule. We report three characteristic macroevolutionary patterns, of which only two are consistent with Cope’s rule. First, we find that Cope’s rule applies when species interactions solely depend on relative differences in body size and the risk of lineage extinction is low. Second, in environments with higher risk of lineage extinction, the recurrent evolutionary …

Matthew IJ Raybould

Matthew IJ Raybould

University of Oxford

Communications Biology

Contextualising the developability risk of antibodies with lambda light chains using enhanced therapeutic antibody profiling

Antibodies with lambda light chains (λ-antibodies) are generally considered to be less developable than those with kappa light chains (κ-antibodies). Though this hypothesis has not been formally established, it has led to substantial systematic biases in drug discovery pipelines and thus contributed to kappa dominance amongst clinical-stage therapeutics. However, the identification of increasing numbers of epitopes preferentially engaged by λ-antibodies shows there is a functional cost to neglecting to consider them as potential lead candidates. Here, we update our Therapeutic Antibody Profiler (TAP) tool to use the latest data and machine learning-based structure prediction, and apply it to evaluate developability risk profiles for κ-antibodies and λ-antibodies based on their surface physicochemical properties. We find that while human λ-antibodies on average have a higher risk of developability issues than κ …

Giorgio BUDILLON

Giorgio BUDILLON

Università degli Studi di Napoli Parthenope

Communications Biology

Life strategy of Antarctic silverfish promote large carbon export in Terra Nova Bay, Ross Sea

Antarctic silverfish Pleuragramma antarcticum is the most abundant pelagic fish in the High Antarctic shelf waters of the Southern Ocean, where it plays a pivotal role in the trophic web as the major link between lower and higher trophic levels. Despite the ecological importance of this species, knowledge about its role in the biogeochemical cycle is poor. We determine the seasonal contribution of Antarctic silverfish to carbon flux in terms of faeces and eggs, from samples collected in the Ross Sea. We find that eggs and faeces production generate a flux accounting for 41% of annual POC flux and that the variability of this flux is modulated by spawning strategy. This study shows the important role of this organism as a vector for carbon flux. Since Antarctic silverfish are strongly dependent on sea-ice, they might be especially sensitive to climatic changes. Our results suggest that a potential decrease in the biomass of …

Edwin S. Monuki

Edwin S. Monuki

University of California, Irvine

Communications biology

Differential methylation analysis in neuropathologically confirmed dementia with Lewy bodies

Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) is a common form of dementia in the elderly population. We performed genome-wide DNA methylation mapping of cerebellar tissue from pathologically confirmed DLB cases and controls to study the epigenetic profile of this understudied disease. After quality control filtering, 728,197 CpG-sites in 278 cases and 172 controls were available for the analysis. We undertook an epigenome-wide association study, which found a differential methylation signature in DLB cases. Our analysis identified seven differentially methylated probes and three regions associated with DLB. The most significant CpGs were located in ARSB (cg16086807), LINC00173 (cg18800161), and MGRN1 (cg16250093). Functional enrichment evaluations found widespread epigenetic dysregulation in genes associated with neuron-to-neuron synapse, postsynaptic specialization, postsynaptic density, and CTCF …

Doron Levy

Doron Levy

University of Maryland

Communications Biology

Characterization of tumor evolution by functional clonality and phylogenetics in hepatocellular carcinoma

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a molecularly heterogeneous solid malignancy, and its fitness may be shaped by how its tumor cells evolve. However, ability to monitor tumor cell evolution is hampered by the presence of numerous passenger mutations that do not provide any biological consequences. Here we develop a strategy to determine the tumor clonality of three independent HCC cohorts of 524 patients with diverse etiologies and race/ethnicity by utilizing somatic mutations in cancer driver genes. We identify two main types of tumor evolution, i.e., linear, and non-linear models where non-linear type could be further divided into classes, which we call shallow branching and deep branching. We find that linear evolving HCC is less aggressive than other types. GTF2IRD2B mutations are enriched in HCC with linear evolution, while TP53 mutations are the most frequent genetic alterations in HCC with non …

Sheng Zhang

Sheng Zhang

Cornell University

Communications Biology

Post-ischemic ubiquitination at the postsynaptic density reversibly influences the activity of ischemia-relevant kinases

Ubiquitin modifications alter protein function and stability, thereby regulating cell homeostasis and viability, particularly under stress. Ischemic stroke induces protein ubiquitination at the ischemic periphery, wherein cells remain viable, however the identity of ubiquitinated proteins is unknown. Here, we employed a proteomics approach to identify these proteins in mice undergoing ischemic stroke. The data are available in a searchable web interface (https://hochrainerlab.shinyapps.io/StrokeUbiOmics/). We detected increased ubiquitination of 198 proteins, many of which localize to the postsynaptic density (PSD) of glutamatergic neurons. Among these were proteins essential for maintaining PSD architecture, such as PSD95, as well as NMDA and AMPA receptor subunits. The largest enzymatic group at the PSD with elevated post-ischemic ubiquitination were kinases, such as CaMKII, PKC, Cdk5, and Pyk2, whose …

Jeffrey Bryan

Jeffrey Bryan

University of Missouri

Communications Biology

Single-cell T-cell receptor repertoire profiling in dogs

Spontaneous cancers in companion dogs are robust models of human disease. Tracking tumor-specific immune responses in these models requires reagents to perform species-specific single cell T cell receptor sequencing (scTCRseq). scTCRseq and integration with scRNA data have not been demonstrated on companion dogs with cancer. Here, five healthy dogs, two dogs with T cell lymphoma and four dogs with melanoma are selected to demonstrate applicability of scTCRseq in a cancer immunotherapy setting. Single-cell suspensions of PBMCs or lymph node aspirates are profiled using scRNA and dog-specific scTCRseq primers. In total, 77,809 V(D)J-expressing cells are detected, with an average of 3498 (348 - 5,971) unique clonotypes identified per sample. In total, 29/34, 40/40, 22/22 and 9/9 known functional TRAV, TRAJ, TRBV and TRBJ gene segments are observed respectively. Pseudogene or …

Amber Howell

Amber Howell

Yale University

Communications Biology

On the stability of canonical correlation analysis and partial least squares with application to brain-behavior associations

Associations between datasets can be discovered through multivariate methods like Canonical Correlation Analysis (CCA) or Partial Least Squares (PLS). A requisite property for interpretability and generalizability of CCA/PLS associations is stability of their feature patterns. However, stability of CCA/PLS in high-dimensional datasets is questionable, as found in empirical characterizations. To study these issues systematically, we developed a generative modeling framework to simulate synthetic datasets. We found that when sample size is relatively small, but comparable to typical studies, CCA/PLS associations are highly unstable and inaccurate; both in their magnitude and importantly in the feature pattern underlying the association. We confirmed these trends across two neuroimaging modalities and in independent datasets with n ≈ 1000 and n = 20,000, and found that only the latter comprised sufficient …

Marcellus Ubbink

Marcellus Ubbink

Universiteit Leiden

Communications Biology

Positive epistasis drives clavulanic acid resistance in double mutant libraries of BlaC β-lactamase

Phenotypic effects of mutations are highly dependent on the genetic backgrounds in which they occur, due to epistatic effects. To test how easily the loss of enzyme activity can be compensated for, we screen mutant libraries of BlaC, a β-lactamase from Mycobacterium tuberculosis, for fitness in the presence of carbenicillin and the inhibitor clavulanic acid. Using a semi-rational approach and deep sequencing, we prepare four double-site saturation libraries and determine the relative fitness effect for 1534/1540 (99.6%) of the unique library members at two temperatures. Each library comprises variants of a residue known to be relevant for clavulanic acid resistance as well as residue 105, which regulates access to the active site. Variants with greatly improved fitness were identified within each library, demonstrating that compensatory mutations for loss of activity can be readily found. In most cases, the fittest variants …

Nicholas Samuel Rhoades

Nicholas Samuel Rhoades

University of California, Irvine

Communications Biology

Infant diarrheal disease in rhesus macaques impedes microbiome maturation and is linked to uncultured Campylobacter species

Diarrheal diseases remain one of the leading causes of death for children under 5 globally, disproportionately impacting those living in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). Campylobacter spp., a zoonotic pathogen, is one of the leading causes of food-borne infection in humans. Yet to be cultured Campylobacter spp. contribute to the total burden in diarrheal disease in children living in LMIC thus hampering interventions. We performed microbiome profiling and metagenomic genome assembly on samples collected from over 100 infant rhesus macaques longitudinally and during cases of clinical diarrhea within the first year of life. Acute diarrhea was associated with long-lasting taxonomic and functional shifts of the infant gut microbiome indicative of microbiome immaturity. We constructed 36 Campylobacter metagenomic assembled genomes (MAGs), many of which fell within 4 yet to be cultured species …

Akinobu Watanabe

Akinobu Watanabe

New York Institute of Technology

Communications Biology

Avialan-like brain morphology in Sinovenator (Troodontidae, Theropoda)

Many modifications to the skull and brain anatomy occurred along the lineage encompassing non-avialan theropod dinosaurs and modern birds. Anatomical changes to the endocranium include an enlarged endocranial cavity, relatively larger optic lobes that imply elevated visual acuity, and proportionately smaller olfactory bulbs that suggest reduced olfactory capacity. Here, we use micro-computed tomographic (μCT) imaging to reconstruct the endocranium and its neuroanatomical features from an exceptionally well-preserved skull of Sinovenator changii (Troodontidae, Theropoda). While its overall morphology resembles the typical endocranium of other troodontids, Sinovenator also exhibits unique endocranial features that are similar to other paravian taxa and non-maniraptoran theropods. Landmark-based geometric morphometric analysis on endocranial shape of non-avialan and avialan dinosaurs points to …

Elizabeth Illingworth

Elizabeth Illingworth

Università degli Studi di Salerno

Communications Biology

Endothelial gene regulatory elements associated with cardiopharyngeal lineage differentiation

Endothelial cells (EC) differentiate from multiple sources, including the cardiopharyngeal mesoderm, which gives rise also to cardiac and branchiomeric muscles. The enhancers activated during endothelial differentiation within the cardiopharyngeal mesoderm are not completely known. Here, we use a cardiogenic mesoderm differentiation model that activates an endothelial transcription program to identify endothelial regulatory elements activated in early cardiogenic mesoderm. Integrating chromatin remodeling and gene expression data with available single-cell RNA-seq data from mouse embryos, we identify 101 putative regulatory elements of EC genes. We then apply a machine-learning strategy, trained on validated enhancers, to predict enhancers. Using this computational assay, we determine that 50% of these sequences are likely enhancers, some of which are already reported. We also identify a smaller …

Shinji Takenaka / 竹中 慎治

Shinji Takenaka / 竹中 慎治

Kobe University

Communications Biology

High-resolution structure and biochemical properties of the LH1–RC photocomplex from the model purple sulfur bacterium, Allochromatium vinosum

The mesophilic purple sulfur phototrophic bacterium Allochromatium (Alc.) vinosum (bacterial family Chromatiaceae) has been a favored model for studies of bacterial photosynthesis and sulfur metabolism, and its core light-harvesting (LH1) complex has been a focus of numerous studies of photosynthetic light reactions. However, despite intense efforts, no high-resolution structure and thorough biochemical analysis of the Alc. vinosum LH1 complex have been reported. Here we present cryo-EM structures of the Alc. vinosum LH1 complex associated with reaction center (RC) at 2.24 Å resolution. The overall structure of the Alc. vinosum LH1 resembles that of its moderately thermophilic relative Alc. tepidum in that it contains multiple pigment-binding α- and β-polypeptides. Unexpectedly, however, six Ca ions were identified in the Alc. vinosum LH1 bound to certain α1/β1- or α1/β3-polypeptides through a different Ca …

Daniel Segrè

Daniel Segrè

Boston University

Communications Biology

Multi-Attribute Subset Selection enables prediction of representative phenotypes across microbial populations

The interpretation of complex biological datasets requires the identification of representative variables that describe the data without critical information loss. This is particularly important in the analysis of large phenotypic datasets (phenomics). Here we introduce Multi-Attribute Subset Selection (MASS), an algorithm which separates a matrix of phenotypes (e.g., yield across microbial species and environmental conditions) into predictor and response sets of conditions. Using mixed integer linear programming, MASS expresses the response conditions as a linear combination of the predictor conditions, while simultaneously searching for the optimally descriptive set of predictors. We apply the algorithm to three microbial datasets and identify environmental conditions that predict phenotypes under other conditions, providing biologically interpretable axes for strain discrimination. MASS could be used to reduce the …