The publication data currently available has been vetted by Vanderbilt faculty, staff, administrators and trainees. The data itself is retrieved directly from NCBI's PubMed and is automatically updated on a weekly basis to ensure accuracy and completeness.
If you have any questions or comments, please contact us.
BACKGROUND - Associations between traits are prevalent in nature, occurring across a diverse range of taxa and traits. Individual traits may co-evolve with one other, and these correlations can be driven by factors intrinsic or extrinsic to an organism. However, few studies, especially in microbes, have simultaneously investigated both across a broad taxonomic range. Here we quantify pairwise associations among 48 traits across 784 diverse yeast species of the ancient budding yeast subphylum Saccharomycotina, assessing the effects of phylogenetic history, genetics, and ecology.
RESULTS - We find extensive negative (traits that tend to not occur together) and positive (traits that tend to co-occur) pairwise associations among traits, as well as between traits and environments. These associations can largely be explained by the biological properties of the traits, such as overlapping biochemical pathways. The isolation environments of the yeasts explain a minor but significant component of the variance, while phylogeny (the retention of ancestral traits in descendant species) plays an even more limited role. Positive correlations are pervasive among carbon utilization traits and track with chemical structures (e.g., glucosides and sugar alcohols) and metabolic pathways, suggesting a molecular basis for the presence of suites of traits. In several cases, characterized genes from model organisms suggest that enzyme promiscuity and overlapping biochemical pathways are likely mechanisms to explain these macroevolutionary trends. Interestingly, fermentation traits are negatively correlated with the utilization of pentose sugars, which are major components of the plant biomass degraded by fungi and present major bottlenecks to the production of cellulosic biofuels. Finally, we show that mammalian pathogenic and commensal yeasts have a suite of traits that includes growth at high temperature and, surprisingly, the utilization of a narrowed panel of carbon sources.
CONCLUSIONS - These results demonstrate how both intrinsic physiological factors and extrinsic ecological factors drive the distribution of traits present in diverse organisms across macroevolutionary timescales.
Failure to properly repair damaged due to myocardial infarction is a major cause of heart failure. In contrast with adult mammals, zebrafish hearts show remarkable regenerative capabilities after substantial damage. To characterize protein dynamics during heart regeneration, we employed an HPLC-ESI-MS/MS (mass spectrometry) approach. Myocardium tissues were taken from sham-operated fish and ventricle-resected sample at three different time points (2, 7, and 14 days); dynamics of protein expression were analyzed by an ion-current-based quantitative platform. More than 2000 protein groups were quantified in all 16 experiments. Two hundred and nine heart-regeneration-related protein groups were quantified and clustered into six time-course patterns. Functional analysis indicated that multiple molecular function and metabolic pathways were involved in heart regeneration. Interestingly, Ingenuity Pathway Analysis revealed that P53 signaling was inhibited during the heart regeneration, which was further verified by real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (Q-PCR). In summary, we applied systematic proteomics analysis on regenerating zebrafish heart, uncovered the dynamics of regenerative genes expression and regulatory pathways, and provided invaluable insight into design regenerative-based strategies in human hearts.
Filamentous fungi produce a diverse array of secondary metabolites (SMs) critical for defense, virulence, and communication. The metabolic pathways that produce SMs are found in contiguous gene clusters in fungal genomes, an atypical arrangement for metabolic pathways in other eukaryotes. Comparative studies of filamentous fungal species have shown that SM gene clusters are often either highly divergent or uniquely present in one or a handful of species, hampering efforts to determine the genetic basis and evolutionary drivers of SM gene cluster divergence. Here, we examined SM variation in 66 cosmopolitan strains of a single species, the opportunistic human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus. Investigation of genome-wide within-species variation revealed 5 general types of variation in SM gene clusters: nonfunctional gene polymorphisms; gene gain and loss polymorphisms; whole cluster gain and loss polymorphisms; allelic polymorphisms, in which different alleles corresponded to distinct, nonhomologous clusters; and location polymorphisms, in which a cluster was found to differ in its genomic location across strains. These polymorphisms affect the function of representative A. fumigatus SM gene clusters, such as those involved in the production of gliotoxin, fumigaclavine, and helvolic acid as well as the function of clusters with undefined products. In addition to enabling the identification of polymorphisms, the detection of which requires extensive genome-wide synteny conservation (e.g., mobile gene clusters and nonhomologous cluster alleles), our approach also implicated multiple underlying genetic drivers, including point mutations, recombination, and genomic deletion and insertion events as well as horizontal gene transfer from distant fungi. Finally, most of the variants that we uncover within A. fumigatus have been previously hypothesized to contribute to SM gene cluster diversity across entire fungal classes and phyla. We suggest that the drivers of genetic diversity operating within a fungal species shown here are sufficient to explain SM cluster macroevolutionary patterns.
Photorespiration is a central component of photosynthesis; however to better understand its role it should be viewed in the context of an integrated metabolic network rather than a series of individual reactions that operate independently. Isotopically nonstationary C metabolic flux analysis (INST-MFA), which is based on transient labeling studies at metabolic steady state, offers a comprehensive platform to quantify plant central metabolism. In this chapter, we describe the application of INST-MFA to investigate metabolism in leaves. Leaves are an autotrophic tissue, assimilating CO over a diurnal period implying that the metabolic steady state is limited to less than 12 h and thus requiring an INST-MFA approach. This strategy results in a comprehensive unified description of photorespiration, Calvin cycle, sucrose and starch synthesis, tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle, and amino acid biosynthetic fluxes. We present protocols of the experimental aspects for labeling studies: transient CO labeling of leaf tissue, sample quenching and extraction, mass spectrometry (MS) analysis of isotopic labeling data, measurement of sucrose and amino acids in vascular exudates, and provide details on the computational flux estimation using INST-MFA.
Oxysterols are oxygenated derivatives of cholesterol formed in the human body or ingested in the diet. By modulating the activity of many proteins [e.g., liver X receptors (LXRs), oxysterol-binding proteins (OSBPs), some ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters], oxysterols can affect many cellular functions and influence various physiological processes (e.g., cholesterol metabolism, membrane fluidity regulation, intracellular signaling pathways). Therefore, the role of oxysterols is also important in pathological conditions (e.g., atherosclerosis, diabetes mellitus type 2, neurodegenerative disorders). Finally, current evidence suggests that oxysterols play a role in malignancies such as breast, prostate, colon, and bile duct cancer. This review summarizes the physiological importance of oxysterols in the human body with a special emphasis on their roles in various tumors.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Plants produce diverse specialized metabolites (SMs), but the genes responsible for their production and regulation remain largely unknown, hindering efforts to tap plant pharmacopeia. Given that genes comprising SM pathways exhibit environmentally dependent coregulation, we hypothesized that genes within a SM pathway would form tight associations (modules) with each other in coexpression networks, facilitating their identification. To evaluate this hypothesis, we used 10 global coexpression data sets, each a meta-analysis of hundreds to thousands of experiments, across eight plant species to identify hundreds of coexpressed gene modules per data set. In support of our hypothesis, 15.3 to 52.6% of modules contained two or more known SM biosynthetic genes, and module genes were enriched in SM functions. Moreover, modules recovered many experimentally validated SM pathways, including all six known to form biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs). In contrast, bioinformatically predicted BGCs (i.e., those lacking an associated metabolite) were no more coexpressed than the null distribution for neighboring genes. These results suggest that most predicted plant BGCs are not genuine SM pathways and argue that BGCs are not a hallmark of plant specialized metabolism. We submit that global gene coexpression is a rich, largely untapped resource for discovering the genetic basis and architecture of plant natural products.
© 2017 American Society of Plant Biologists. All rights reserved.
Nutrients affect adult stem cells through complex mechanisms involving multiple organs. Adipocytes are highly sensitive to diet and have key metabolic roles, and obesity increases the risk for many cancers. How diet-regulated adipocyte metabolic pathways influence normal stem cell lineages, however, remains unclear. has highly conserved adipocyte metabolism and a well-characterized female germline stem cell (GSC) lineage response to diet. Here, we conducted an isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantification (iTRAQ) proteomic analysis to identify diet-regulated adipocyte metabolic pathways that control the female GSC lineage. On a rich (relative to poor) diet, adipocyte Hexokinase-C and metabolic enzymes involved in pyruvate/acetyl-CoA production are upregulated, promoting a shift of glucose metabolism toward macromolecule biosynthesis. Adipocyte-specific knockdown shows that these enzymes support early GSC progeny survival. Further, enzymes catalyzing fatty acid oxidation and phosphatidylethanolamine synthesis in adipocytes promote GSC maintenance, whereas lipid and iron transport from adipocytes controls vitellogenesis and GSC number, respectively. These results show a functional relationship between specific metabolic pathways in adipocytes and distinct processes in the GSC lineage, suggesting the adipocyte metabolism-stem cell link as an important area of investigation in other stem cell systems.
Copyright © 2017 by the Genetics Society of America.
An understanding of how cells respond to perturbation is essential for biological applications; however, most approaches for profiling cellular response are limited in scope to pre-established targets. Global analysis of molecular mechanism will advance our understanding of the complex networks constituting cellular perturbation and lead to advancements in areas, such as infectious disease pathogenesis, developmental biology, pathophysiology, pharmacology, and toxicology. We have developed a high-throughput multiomics platform for comprehensive, de novo characterization of cellular mechanisms of action. Platform validation using cisplatin as a test compound demonstrates quantification of over 10 000 unique, significant molecular changes in less than 30 days. These data provide excellent coverage of known cisplatin-induced molecular changes and previously unrecognized insights into cisplatin resistance. This proof-of-principle study demonstrates the value of this platform as a resource to understand complex cellular responses in a high-throughput manner.
BACKGROUND - Understanding blood-brain barrier responses to inflammatory stimulation (such as lipopolysaccharide mimicking a systemic infection or a cytokine cocktail that could be the result of local or systemic inflammation) is essential to understanding the effect of inflammatory stimulation on the brain. It is through the filter of the blood-brain barrier that the brain responds to outside influences, and the blood-brain barrier is a critical point of failure in neuroinflammation. It is important to note that this interaction is not a static response, but one that evolves over time. While current models have provided invaluable information regarding the interaction between cytokine stimulation, the blood-brain barrier, and the brain, these approaches-whether in vivo or in vitro-have often been only snapshots of this complex web of interactions.
METHODS - We utilize new advances in microfluidics, organs-on-chips, and metabolomics to examine the complex relationship of inflammation and its effects on blood-brain barrier function ex vivo and the metabolic consequences of these responses and repair mechanisms. In this study, we pair a novel dual-chamber, organ-on-chip microfluidic device, the NeuroVascular Unit, with small-volume cytokine detection and mass spectrometry analysis to investigate how the blood-brain barrier responds to two different but overlapping drivers of neuroinflammation, lipopolysaccharide and a cytokine cocktail of IL-1β, TNF-α, and MCP1,2.
RESULTS - In this study, we show that (1) during initial exposure to lipopolysaccharide, the blood-brain barrier is compromised as expected, with increased diffusion and reduced presence of tight junctions, but that over time, the barrier is capable of at least partial recovery; (2) a cytokine cocktail also contributes to a loss of barrier function; (3) from this time-dependent cytokine activation, metabolic signature profiles can be obtained for both the brain and vascular sides of the blood-brain barrier model; and (4) collectively, we can use metabolite analysis to identify critical pathways in inflammatory response.
CONCLUSIONS - Taken together, these findings present new data that allow us to study the initial effects of inflammatory stimulation on blood-brain barrier disruption, cytokine activation, and metabolic pathway changes that drive the response and recovery of the barrier during continued inflammatory exposure.