Draft de novo transcriptome assembly and proteome characterization of the electric lobe of Tetronarce californica: a molecular tool for the study of cholinergic neurotransmission in the electric organ.
ABSTRACT: The electric organ of Tetronarce californica (an electric ray formerly known as Torpedo californica) is a classic preparation for biochemical studies of cholinergic neurotransmission. To broaden the usefulness of this preparation, we have performed a transcriptome assembly of the presynaptic component of the electric organ (the electric lobe). We combined our assembled transcriptome with a previous transcriptome of the postsynaptic electric organ, to define a MetaProteome containing pre- and post-synaptic components of the electric organ.Sequencing yielded 102 million paired-end 100 bp reads. De novo Trinity assembly was performed at Kmer 25 (default) and Kmers 27, 29, and 31. Trinity, generated around 103,000 transcripts, and 78,000 genes per assembly. Assemblies were evaluated based on the number of bases/transcripts assembled, RSEM-EVAL scores and informational content and completeness. We found that different assemblies scored differently according to the evaluation criteria used, and that while each individual assembly contained unique information, much of the assembly information was shared by all assemblies. To generate the presynaptic transcriptome (electric lobe), while capturing all information, assemblies were first clustered and then combined with postsynaptic transcripts (electric organ) downloaded from NCBI. The completness of the resulting clustered predicted MetaProteome was rigorously evaluated by comparing its information against the predicted proteomes from Homo sapiens, Callorhinchus milli, and the Transporter Classification Database (TCDB).In summary, we obtained a MetaProteome containing 92%, 88.5%, and 66% of the expected set of ultra-conserved sequences (i.e., BUSCOs), expected to be found for Eukaryotes, Metazoa, and Vertebrata, respectively. We cross-annotated the conserved set of proteins shared between the T. californica MetaProteome and the proteomes of H. sapiens and C. milli, using the H. sapiens genome as a reference. This information was used to predict the position in human pathways of the conserved members of the T. californica MetaProteome. We found proteins not detected before in T. californica, corresponding to processes involved in synaptic vesicle biology. Finally, we identified 42 transporter proteins in TCDB that were detected by the T. californica MetaProteome (electric fish) and not selected by a control proteome consisting of the combined proteomes of 12 widely diverse non-electric fishes by Reverse-Blast-Hit Blast. Combined, the information provided here is not only a unique tool for the study of cholinergic neurotransmission, but it is also a starting point for understanding the evolution of early vertebrates.
Project description:BACKGROUND: During development, the branchial mesoderm of Torpedo californica transdifferentiates into an electric organ capable of generating high voltage discharges to stun fish. The organ contains a high density of cholinergic synapses and has served as a biochemical model for the membrane specialization of myofibers, the neuromuscular junction (NMJ). We studied the genome and proteome of the electric organ to gain insight into its composition, to determine if there is concordance with skeletal muscle and the NMJ, and to identify novel synaptic proteins. RESULTS: Of 435 proteins identified, 300 mapped to Torpedo cDNA sequences with ?2 peptides. We identified 14 uncharacterized proteins in the electric organ that are known to play a role in acetylcholine receptor clustering or signal transduction. In addition, two human open reading frames, C1orf123 and C6orf130, showed high sequence similarity to electric organ proteins. Our profile lists several proteins that are highly expressed in skeletal muscle or are muscle specific. Synaptic proteins such as acetylcholinesterase, acetylcholine receptor subunits, and rapsyn were present in the electric organ proteome but absent in the skeletal muscle proteome. CONCLUSIONS: Our integrated genomic and proteomic analysis supports research describing a muscle-like profile of the organ. We show that it is a repository of NMJ proteins but we present limitations on its use as a comprehensive model of the NMJ. Finally, we identified several proteins that may become candidates for signaling proteins not previously characterized as components of the NMJ.
Project description:Little is known about the signaling pathways by which motoneurons induce synapses on muscle fibers, and no receptors for synapse-inducing signals have yet been identified. Because several other inductive events in development are mediated by receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs), and because phosphotyrosine staining within muscle fibers is concentrated at synaptic sites, one possibility is that synapse-inducing signals are transduced by a RTK within the muscle fiber. We have used PCR to search for tyrosine kinases within the electric organ of the electric ray Torpedo californica, since this tissue is homologous to muscle but is much more densely innervated and is therefore a rich source of synaptic molecules. We have isolated a RTK that is specifically expressed in electric organ and skeletal muscle. The kinase domain of this receptor is related to the trk family of neurotrophin receptors, but unlike any previously described receptor, the extracellular region of this Torpedo RTK contains a kringle domain close to the transmembrane domain.
Project description:The structure of the glycan moiety of the glycosyl-phosphatidylinositol (GPI) membrane anchor from Torpedo californica (electric fish) electric-organ acetylcholinesterase was solved using n.m.r., methylation analysis and chemical and enzymic micro-sequencing. Two structures were found to be present: Glc alpha 1-2Man alpha 1-2Man alpha 1-6Man alpha 1-4GlcN alpha 1-6myo-inositol and Glc alpha 1-2Man alpha 1-2Man alpha 1-6(GalNAc beta 1-4)Man alpha 1-4GlcN alpha 1-6myo-inositol. The presence of glucose in this GPI anchor structure is a novel feature. The anchor was also shown to contain 2.3 residues of ethanolamine per molecule.
Project description:Peptide based nano-assemblies with their self-organizing ability has shown lot of promise due to their high degree of thermal and chemical stability, for biomaterial fabrication. Developing an effective way to control the organization of these structures is important for fabricating application-oriented materials at the molecular level. The present study reports the impact of electric and magnetic field-mediated perturbation of the self-assembly phenomenon, upon the chemical and structural properties of diphenylalanine assembly. Our studies show that, electric field effectively arrests aggregation and self-assembly formation, while the molecule is allowed to anneal in the presence of applied electric fields of varying magnitudes, both AC and DC. The electric field exposure also modulated the morphology of the self-assembled structures without affecting the overall chemical constitution of the material. Our results on the modulatory effect of the electric field are in good agreement with theoretical studies based on molecular dynamics reported earlier on amyloid forming molecular systems. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the self-assemblies formed post electric-field exposure, showed difference in their crystal habit. Modulation of nano-level architecture of peptide based model systems with external stimulus, points to a potentially rewarding strategy to re-work proven nano-materials to expand their application spectrum.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The advent of third-generation sequencing (TGS) technologies opens the door to improve genome assembly. Long reads are promising for enhancing the quality of fragmented draft assemblies constructed from next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies. To date, a few algorithms that are capable of improving draft assemblies have released. There are SSPACE-LongRead, OPERA-LG, SMIS, npScarf, DBG2OLC, Unicycler, and LINKS. Hybrid assembly on large genomes remains challenging, however. RESULTS:We develop a scalable and computationally efficient scaffolder, Long Reads Scaffolder (LRScaf, https://github.com/shingocat/lrscaf), that is capable of significantly boosting assembly contiguity using long reads. In this study, we summarise a comprehensive performance assessment for state-of-the-art scaffolders and LRScaf on seven organisms, i.e., E. coli, S. cerevisiae, A. thaliana, O. sativa, S. pennellii, Z. mays, and H. sapiens. LRScaf significantly improves the contiguity of draft assemblies, e.g., increasing the NGA50 value of CHM1 from 127.1 kbp to 9.4 Mbp using 20-fold coverage PacBio dataset and the NGA50 value of NA12878 from 115.3 kbp to 12.9 Mbp using 35-fold coverage Nanopore dataset. Besides, LRScaf generates the best contiguous NGA50 on A. thaliana, S. pennellii, Z. mays, and H. sapiens. Moreover, LRScaf has the shortest run time compared with other scaffolders, and the peak RAM of LRScaf remains practical for large genomes (e.g., 20.3 and 62.6?GB on CHM1 and NA12878, respectively). CONCLUSIONS:The new algorithm, LRScaf, yields the best or, at least, moderate scaffold contiguity and accuracy in the shortest run time compared with other scaffolding algorithms. Furthermore, LRScaf provides a cost-effective way to improve contiguity of draft assemblies on large genomes.
Project description:Recycling of endosomes is important for trafficking and maintenance of proteins at the neuromuscular junction (NMJ). We have previously shown high expression of the endocytic recycling regulator Eps15 homology domain-containing (EHD)1 proteinin the Torpedo californica electric organ, a model tissue for investigating a cholinergic synapse. In this study, we investigated the localization of EHD1 and its paralogs EHD2, EHD3, and EHD4 in mouse skeletal muscle, and assessed the morphological changes in EHD1-/- NMJs.Localization of the candidate NMJ protein EHD1 was assessed by confocal microscopy analysis of whole-mount mouse skeletal muscle fibers after direct gene transfer and immunolabeling. The potential function of EHD1 was assessed by specific force measurement and α-bungarotoxin-based endplate morphology mapping in EHD1-/- mouse skeletal muscle.Endogenous EHD1 localized to primary synaptic clefts of murine NMJ, and this localization was confirmed by expression of recombinant green fluorescent protein labeled-EHD1 in murine skeletal muscle in vivo. EHD1-/- mouse skeletal muscle had normal histology and NMJ morphology, and normal specific force generation during muscle contraction. The EHD 1-4 proteins showed differential localization in skeletal muscle: EHD2 to muscle vasculature, EHD3 to perisynaptic regions, and EHD4 to perinuclear regions and to primary synaptic clefts, but at lower levels than EHD1. Additionally, specific antibodies raised against mammalian EHD1-4 recognized proteins of the expected mass in the T. californica electric organ. Finally, we found that EHD4 expression was more abundant in EHD1-/- mouse skeletal muscle than in wild-type skeletal muscle.EHD1 and EHD4 localize to the primary synaptic clefts of the NMJ. Lack of obvious defects in NMJ structure and muscle function in EHD1-/- muscle may be due to functional compensation by other EHD paralogs.
Project description:Recent metagenomic studies have demonstrated that the overall functional potential of the intestinal microbiome is rather conserved between healthy individuals. Here we assessed the biological processes undertaken in-vivo by microbes and the host in the intestinal tract by conducting a metaproteome analysis from a total of 48 faecal samples of 16 healthy adults participating in a placebo-controlled probiotic intervention trial. Half of the subjects received placebo and the other half consumed Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG for three weeks (1010 cfu per day). Faecal samples were collected just before and at the end of the consumption phase as well as after a three-week follow-up period, and were processed for microbial composition and metaproteome analysis. A common core of shared microbial protein functions could be identified in all subjects. Furthermore, we observed marked differences in expressed proteins between subjects that resulted in the definition of a stable and personalized microbiome both at the mass-spectrometry-based proteome level and the functional level based on the KEGG pathway analysis. No significant changes in the metaproteome were attributable to the probiotic intervention. A detailed taxonomic assignment of peptides and comparison to phylogenetic microarray data made it possible to evaluate the activity of the main phyla as well as key species, including Faecalibacterium prausnitzii. Several correlations were identified between human and bacterial proteins. Proteins of the human host accounted for approximately 14% of the identified metaproteome and displayed variations both between and within individuals. The individually different human intestinal proteomes point to personalized host-microbiota interactions. Our findings indicate that analysis of the intestinal metaproteome can complement gene-based analysis and contributes to a thorough understanding of the activities of the microbiome and the relevant pathways in health and disease.
Project description:Adsorption and assembly of colloidal particles at the surface of liquid droplets are at the base of particle-stabilized emulsions and templating. Here we report that electrohydrodynamic and electro-rheological effects in leaky-dielectric liquid drops can be used to structure and dynamically control colloidal particle assemblies at drop surfaces, including electric-field-assisted convective assembly of jammed colloidal 'ribbons', electro-rheological colloidal chains confined to a two-dimensional surface and spinning colloidal domains on that surface. In addition, we demonstrate the size control of 'pupil'-like openings in colloidal shells. We anticipate that electric field manipulation of colloids in leaky dielectrics can lead to new routes of colloidosome assembly and design for 'smart armoured' droplets.
Project description:Myasthenia gravis (MG) with antibodies against the acetylcholine receptor (AChR) is characterized by a chronic, fatigable weakness of voluntary muscles. The production of autoantibodies involves the dysregulation of T cells which provide the environment for the development of autoreactive B cells. The symptoms are caused by destruction of the postsynaptic membrane and degradation of the AChR by IgG autoantibodies, predominantly of the G1 and G3 subclasses. Active immunization of animals with AChR from mammalian muscles, AChR from Torpedo or Electrophorus electric organs, and recombinant or synthetic AChR fragments generates a chronic model of MG, termed experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis (EAMG). This model covers cellular mechanisms involved in the immune response against the AChR, e.g. antigen presentation, T cell-help and regulation, B cell selection and differentiation into plasma cells. Our aim is to define standard operation procedures and recommendations for the rat EAMG model using purified AChR from the Torpedo californica electric organ, in order to facilitate more rapid translation of preclinical proof of concept or efficacy studies into clinical trials and, ultimately, clinical practice.