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Find video protocols related to scientific articles indexed in Pubmed.
Phylogenomics resolves the timing and pattern of insect evolution.
Bernhard Misof, Shanlin Liu, Karen Meusemann, Ralph S Peters, Alexander Donath, Christoph Mayer, Paul B Frandsen, Jessica Ware, Tomáš Flouri, Rolf G Beutel, Oliver Niehuis, Malte Petersen, Fernando Izquierdo-Carrasco, Torsten Wappler, Jes Rust, Andre J Aberer, Ulrike Aspöck, Horst Aspöck, Daniela Bartel, Alexander Blanke, Simon Berger, Alexander Böhm, Thomas R Buckley, Brett Calcott, Junqing Chen, Frank Friedrich, Makiko Fukui, Mari Fujita, Carola Greve, Peter Grobe, Shengchang Gu, Ying Huang, Lars S Jermiin, Akito Y Kawahara, Lars Krogmann, Martin Kubiak, Robert Lanfear, Harald Letsch, Yiyuan Li, Zhenyu Li, Jiguang Li, Haorong Lu, Ryuichiro Machida, Yuta Mashimo, Pashalia Kapli, Duane D McKenna, Guanliang Meng, Yasutaka Nakagaki, José Luis Navarrete-Heredia, Michael Ott, Yanxiang Ou, Günther Pass, Lars Podsiadlowski, Hans Pohl, Björn M von Reumont, Kai Schütte, Kaoru Sekiya, Shota Shimizu, Adam Slipinski, Alexandros Stamatakis, Wenhui Song, Xu Su, Nikolaus U Szucsich, Meihua Tan, Xuemei Tan, Min Tang, Jingbo Tang, Gerald Timelthaler, Shigekazu Tomizuka, Michelle Trautwein, Xiaoli Tong, Toshiki Uchifune, Manfred G Walzl, Brian M Wiegmann, Jeanne Wilbrandt, Benjamin Wipfler, Thomas K F Wong, Qiong Wu, Gengxiong Wu, Yinlong Xie, Shenzhou Yang, Qing Yang, David K Yeates, Kazunori Yoshizawa, Qing Zhang, Rui Zhang, Wenwei Zhang, Yunhui Zhang, Jing Zhao, Chengran Zhou, Lili Zhou, Tanja Ziesmann, Shijie Zou, Yingrui Li, Xun Xu, Yong Zhang, Huanming Yang, Jian Wang, Jun Wang, Karl M Kjer, Xin Zhou.
Science
PUBLISHED: 11-06-2014
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Insects are the most speciose group of animals, but the phylogenetic relationships of many major lineages remain unresolved. We inferred the phylogeny of insects from 1478 protein-coding genes. Phylogenomic analyses of nucleotide and amino acid sequences, with site-specific nucleotide or domain-specific amino acid substitution models, produced statistically robust and congruent results resolving previously controversial phylogenetic relations hips. We dated the origin of insects to the Early Ordovician [~479 million years ago (Ma)], of insect flight to the Early Devonian (~406 Ma), of major extant lineages to the Mississippian (~345 Ma), and the major diversification of holometabolous insects to the Early Cretaceous. Our phylogenomic study provides a comprehensive reliable scaffold for future comparative analyses of evolutionary innovations among insects.
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New insights into oculodermal nevogenesis and proposal for a new iris nevus classification.
Br J Ophthalmol
PUBLISHED: 11-01-2014
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To gain more knowledge about presence and dermatological associations of iris nevi as well as possible pathways involved in the formation of iris nevi.
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Genome wide characterization of short tandem repeat markers in sweet orange (Citrus sinensis).
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 08-22-2014
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Sweet orange (Citrus sinensis) is one of the major cultivated and most-consumed citrus species. With the goal of enhancing the genomic resources in citrus, we surveyed, developed and characterized microsatellite markers in the ?347 Mb sequence assembly of the sweet orange genome. A total of 50,846 SSRs were identified with a frequency of 146.4 SSRs/Mbp. Dinucleotide repeats are the most frequent repeat class and the highest density of SSRs was found in chromosome 4. SSRs are non-randomly distributed in the genome and most of the SSRs (62.02%) are located in the intergenic regions. We found that AT-rich SSRs are more frequent than GC-rich SSRs. A total number of 21,248 SSR primers were successfully developed, which represents 89 SSR markers per Mb of the genome. A subset of 950 developed SSR primer pairs were synthesized and tested by wet lab experiments on a set of 16 citrus accessions. In total we identified 534 (56.21%) polymorphic SSR markers that will be useful in citrus improvement. The number of amplified alleles ranges from 2 to 12 with an average of 4 alleles per marker and an average PIC value of 0.75. The newly developed sweet orange primer sequences, their in silico PCR products, exact position in the genome assembly and putative function are made publicly available. We present the largest number of SSR markers ever developed for a citrus species. Almost two thirds of the markers are transferable to 16 citrus relatives and may be used for constructing a high density linkage map. In addition, they are valuable for marker-assisted selection studies, population structure analyses and comparative genomic studies of C. sinensis with other citrus related species. Altogether, these markers provide a significant contribution to the citrus research community.
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Blocking peptidoglycan recycling in Pseudomonas aeruginosa attenuates intrinsic resistance to fosfomycin.
Microb. Drug Resist.
PUBLISHED: 05-12-2014
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Gram-negative bacteria recycle as much as half of their cell wall per generation. Here we show that interference with cell wall recycling in Pseudomonas aeruginosa strains results in four- to eight-fold increased susceptibility to the antibiotic fosfomycin, pushing the minimal inhibitory concentration for strains PA14 and PA01 to therapeutically appropriate values of 2-4 and 8-16?mg/L, respectively. A newly discovered metabolic pathway that connects cell wall recycling with peptidoglycan de novo biosynthesis is responsible for the high intrinsic resistance of P. aeruginosa to fosfomycin. The pathway comprises an anomeric cell wall amino sugar kinase (AmgK) and an uridylyl transferase (MurU), which together convert N-acetylmuramic acid (MurNAc) through MurNAc ?-1-phosphate to uridine diphosphate (UDP)-MurNAc, thereby bypassing the fosfomycin-sensitive de novo synthesis of UDP-MurNAc. Thus, inhibition of peptidoglycan recycling can be applied as a new strategy for the combinatory therapy against multidrug-resistant P. aeruginosa strains.
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Selecting optimal partitioning schemes for phylogenomic datasets.
BMC Evol. Biol.
PUBLISHED: 04-03-2014
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Partitioning involves estimating independent models of molecular evolution for different subsets of sites in a sequence alignment, and has been shown to improve phylogenetic inference. Current methods for estimating best-fit partitioning schemes, however, are only computationally feasible with datasets of fewer than 100 loci. This is a problem because datasets with thousands of loci are increasingly common in phylogenetics.
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The evolutionary history of holometabolous insects inferred from transcriptome-based phylogeny and comprehensive morphological data.
BMC Evol. Biol.
PUBLISHED: 03-04-2014
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Despite considerable progress in systematics, a comprehensive scenario of the evolution of phenotypic characters in the mega-diverse Holometabola based on a solid phylogenetic hypothesis was still missing. We addressed this issue by de novo sequencing transcriptome libraries of representatives of all orders of holometabolan insects (13 species in total) and by using a previously published extensive morphological dataset. We tested competing phylogenetic hypotheses by analyzing various specifically designed sets of amino acid sequence data, using maximum likelihood (ML) based tree inference and Four-cluster Likelihood Mapping (FcLM). By maximum parsimony-based mapping of the morphological data on the phylogenetic relationships we traced evolutionary transformations at the phenotypic level and reconstructed the groundplan of Holometabola and of selected subgroups.
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Sulphoglycolysis in Escherichia coli K-12 closes a gap in the biogeochemical sulphur cycle.
Nature
PUBLISHED: 01-26-2014
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Sulphoquinovose (SQ, 6-deoxy-6-sulphoglucose) has been known for 50 years as the polar headgroup of the plant sulpholipid in the photosynthetic membranes of all higher plants, mosses, ferns, algae and most photosynthetic bacteria. It is also found in some non-photosynthetic bacteria, and SQ is part of the surface layer of some Archaea. The estimated annual production of SQ is 10,000,000,000 tonnes (10 petagrams), thus it comprises a major portion of the organo-sulphur in nature, where SQ is degraded by bacteria. However, despite evidence for at least three different degradative pathways in bacteria, no enzymic reaction or gene in any pathway has been defined, although a sulphoglycolytic pathway has been proposed. Here we show that Escherichia coli K-12, the most widely studied prokaryotic model organism, performs sulphoglycolysis, in addition to standard glycolysis. SQ is catabolised through four newly discovered reactions that we established using purified, heterologously expressed enzymes: SQ isomerase, 6-deoxy-6-sulphofructose (SF) kinase, 6-deoxy-6-sulphofructose-1-phosphate (SFP) aldolase, and 3-sulpholactaldehyde (SLA) reductase. The enzymes are encoded in a ten-gene cluster, which probably also encodes regulation, transport and degradation of the whole sulpholipid; the gene cluster is present in almost all (>91%) available E. coli genomes, and is widespread in Enterobacteriaceae. The pathway yields dihydroxyacetone phosphate (DHAP), which powers energy conservation and growth of E. coli, and the sulphonate product 2,3-dihydroxypropane-1-sulphonate (DHPS), which is excreted. DHPS is mineralized by other bacteria, thus closing the sulphur cycle within a bacterial community.
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Local tumour control and eye preservation after gamma-knife radiosurgery of choroidal melanomas.
Br J Ophthalmol
PUBLISHED: 10-29-2013
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To report on local tumour control and eye preservation after gamma knife radiosurgery (GK-RS) to treat choroidal melanomas.
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Pan genome of the phytoplankton Emiliania underpins its global distribution.
Nature
PUBLISHED: 04-25-2013
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Coccolithophores have influenced the global climate for over 200 million years. These marine phytoplankton can account for 20?per cent of total carbon fixation in some systems. They form blooms that can occupy hundreds of thousands of square kilometres and are distinguished by their elegantly sculpted calcium carbonate exoskeletons (coccoliths), rendering them visible from space. Although coccolithophores export carbon in the form of organic matter and calcite to the sea floor, they also release CO2 in the calcification process. Hence, they have a complex influence on the carbon cycle, driving either CO2 production or uptake, sequestration and export to the deep ocean. Here we report the first haptophyte reference genome, from the coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi strain CCMP1516, and sequences from 13 additional isolates. Our analyses reveal a pan genome (core genes plus genes distributed variably between strains) probably supported by an atypical complement of repetitive sequence in the genome. Comparisons across strains demonstrate that E. huxleyi, which has long been considered a single species, harbours extensive genome variability reflected in different metabolic repertoires. Genome variability within this species complex seems to underpin its capacity both to thrive in habitats ranging from the equator to the subarctic and to form large-scale episodic blooms under a wide variety of environmental conditions.
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In non-small cell lung cancer mitogenic signaling leaves Sprouty1 protein levels unaffected.
Cell Biochem. Funct.
PUBLISHED: 03-04-2013
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Sprouty1 protein belongs to a family of receptor tyrosine kinase-mediated signaling inhibitors, whose members are usually regulated by growth factors to form a negative feedback loop. Correspondingly fluctuations of Sprouty1 mRNA in response to single growth factors have been observed. In this report, we investigate Sprouty1 protein levels and show that in non-small cell lung carcinoma-derived cells, the expression levels are unaffected by the serum content in the cellular environment. Although cells harboring K-Ras mutations express insignificant higher Sprouty1 levels, ectopic expression of constitutive active Ras in normal human lung fibroblasts fails to augment Sprouty1 protein content. Furthermore, serum starvation for three?days has no influence on Sprouty1 expression and addition of serum or of singular growth factors leaves Sprouty protein levels unchanged. Cell cycle analysis reveals that Sprouty1 levels remain constant throughout the whole cell cycle. These data demonstrate that Sprouty1 expression is not connected with mitogenic signaling and cell proliferation. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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Isolation and characterization of nine polymorphic microsatellite markers for the deep-sea shrimp Nematocarcinus lanceopes (Crustacea: Decapoda: Caridea).
BMC Res Notes
PUBLISHED: 02-27-2013
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The shrimp Nematocarcinus lanceopes Bate, 1888 is found in the deep sea around Antarctica and sub-Antarctic islands. Previous studies on mitochondrial data and species distribution models provided evidence for a homogenous circum-Antarctic population of N. lanceopes. However, to analyze the fine-scale population genetic structure and to examine influences of abiotic environmental conditions on population composition and genetic diversity, a set of fast evolving nuclear microsatellite markers is required.
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Within-lesion differences in quantitative MRI parameters predict contrast enhancement in multiple sclerosis.
J Magn Reson Imaging
PUBLISHED: 02-11-2013
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To investigate the relationship between quantitative magnetic resonance imaging (qMRI) and contrast enhancement in multiple sclerosis (MS) lesions. We compared maps of T1 relaxation time, proton density (PD), and magnetization transfer ratio (MTR) between lesions with and without contrast enhancement as quantified by the amount of T1 shortening postcontrast agent (CA).
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A cell wall recycling shortcut that bypasses peptidoglycan de novo biosynthesis.
Nat. Chem. Biol.
PUBLISHED: 01-29-2013
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We report a salvage pathway in Gram-negative bacteria that bypasses de novo biosynthesis of UDP N-acetylmuramic acid (UDP-MurNAc), the first committed peptidoglycan precursor, and thus provides a rationale for intrinsic fosfomycin resistance. The anomeric sugar kinase AmgK and the MurNAc ?-1-phosphate uridylyl transferase MurU, defining this new cell wall sugar-recycling route in Pseudomonas putida, were characterized and engineered into Escherichia coli, channeling external MurNAc directly to peptidoglycan biosynthesis.
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Increased cell wall teichoic acid production and D-alanylation are common phenotypes among daptomycin-resistant methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) clinical isolates.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2013
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Multiple mechanisms have been correlated with daptomycin-resistance (DAP-R) in Staphylococcus aureus. However, one common phenotype observed in many DAP-R S. Aureus strains is a thickened cell wall (CW). The first evidence for an impact of CW-linked glycopolymers on this phenotype was recently demonstrated in a single, well-characterized DAP-R methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) strain. In this isolate the thickened CW phenotype was linked to an increased production and D-alanylation of wall teichoic acids (WTA). In the current report, we extended these observations to methicillin-resistant daptomycin-sensitive/daptomyin-resistant (DAP-S/DAP-R) strain-pairs. These pairs included methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) isolates with and without single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in mprF (a genetic locus linked to DAP-R phenotype). We found increased CW dry mass in all DAP-R vs DAP-S isolates. This correlated with an increased expression of the WTA biosynthesis gene tagA, as well as an increased amount of WTA in the DAP-R vs DAP-S isolates. In addition, all DAP-R isolates showed a higher proportion of WTA D-alanylation vs their corresponding DAP-S isolate. We also detected an increased positive surface charge amongst the DAP-R strains (presumably related to the enhanced D-alanylation). In comparing the detailed CW composition of all isolate pairs, substantive differences were only detected in one DAP-S/DAP-R pair. The thickened CW phenotype, together with an increased surface charge most likely contributes to either: i) a charge-dependent repulsion of calcium complexed-DAP; and/or ii) steric-limited access of DAP to the bacterial cell envelope target. Taken together well-defined perturbations of CW structural and functional metrics contribute to the DAP-R phenotype and are common phenotypes in DAP-R S. Aureus isolates, both MSSA and MRSA. Note: Although "daptomycin-nonsusceptibility" is the generally accepted terminology, we have utilized the term "daptomycin resistance" for ease of presentation in this manuscript.
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Blood levels of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) in patients with neurological diseases.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2013
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The brain-specific astroglial protein GFAP is a blood biomarker candidate indicative of intracerebral hemorrhage in patients with symptoms suspicious of acute stroke. Comparably little, however, is known about GFAP release in other neurological disorders. In order to identify potential "specificity gaps" of a future GFAP test used to diagnose intracerebral hemorrhage, we measured GFAP in the blood of a large and rather unselected collective of patients with neurological diseases.
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Characterization of a glucosamine/glucosaminide N-acetyltransferase of Clostridium acetobutylicum.
J. Bacteriol.
PUBLISHED: 07-22-2011
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Many bacteria, in particular Gram-positive bacteria, contain high proportions of non-N-acetylated amino sugars, i.e., glucosamine (GlcN) and/or muramic acid, in the peptidoglycan of their cell wall, thereby acquiring resistance to lysozyme. However, muramidases with specificity for non-N-acetylated peptidoglycan have been characterized as part of autolytic systems such as of Clostridium acetobutylicum. We aim to elucidate the recovery pathway for non-N-acetylated peptidoglycan fragments and present here the identification and characterization of an acetyltransferase of novel specificity from C. acetobutylicum, named GlmA (for glucosamine/glucosaminide N-acetyltransferase). The enzyme catalyzes the specific transfer of an acetyl group from acetyl coenzyme A to the primary amino group of GlcN, thereby generating N-acetylglucosamine. GlmA is also able to N-acetylate GlcN residues at the nonreducing end of glycosides such as (partially) non-N-acetylated peptidoglycan fragments and ?-1,4-glycosidically linked chitosan oligomers. Km values of 114, 64, and 39 ?M were determined for GlcN, (GlcN)2, and (GlcN)3, respectively, and a 3- to 4-fold higher catalytic efficiency was determined for the di- and trisaccharides. GlmA is the first cloned and biochemically characterized glucosamine/glucosaminide N-acetyltransferase and a member of the large GCN5-related N-acetyltransferases (GNAT) superfamily of acetyltransferases. We suggest that GlmA is required for the recovery of non-N-acetylated muropeptides during cell wall rescue in C. acetobutylicum.
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Characterization of an N-acetylmuramic acid/N-acetylglucosamine kinase of Clostridium acetobutylicum.
J. Bacteriol.
PUBLISHED: 07-22-2011
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We report here the cloning and characterization of a cytoplasmic kinase of Clostridium acetobutylicum, named MurK (for murein sugar kinase). The enzyme has a unique specificity for both amino sugars of the bacterial cell wall, N-acetylmuramic acid (MurNAc) and N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc), which are phosphorylated at the 6-hydroxyl group. Kinetic analyses revealed Km values of 190 and 127 ?M for MurNAc and GlcNAc, respectively, and a kcat value (65.0 s(-1)) that was 1.5-fold higher for the latter substrate. Neither the non-N-acetylated forms of the cell wall sugars, i.e., glucosamine and/or muramic acid, nor epimeric hexoses or 1,6-anhydro-MurNAc were substrates for the enzyme. MurK displays low overall amino acid sequence identity (24%) with human GlcNAc kinase and is the first characterized bacterial representative of the BcrAD/BadFG-like ATPase family. We propose a role of MurK in the recovery of muropeptides during cell wall rescue in C. acetobutylicum. The kinase was applied for high-sensitive detection of the amino sugars in cell wall preparations by radioactive phosphorylation.
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Exploiting BAC-end sequences for the mining, characterization and utility of new short sequences repeat (SSR) markers in Citrus.
Mol. Biol. Rep.
PUBLISHED: 06-29-2011
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The aim of this study was to develop a large set of microsatellite markers based on publicly available BAC-end sequences (BESs), and to evaluate their transferability, discriminating capacity of genotypes and mapping ability in Citrus. A set of 1,281 simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers were developed from the 46,339 Citrus clementina BAC-end sequences (BES), of them 20.67% contained SSR longer than 20 bp, corresponding to roughly one perfect SSR per 2.04 kb. The most abundant motifs were di-nucleotide (16.82%) repeats. Among all repeat motifs (TA/AT)n is the most abundant (8.38%), followed by (AG/CT)n (4.51%). Most of the BES-SSR are located in the non-coding region, but 1.3% of BES-SSRs were found to be associated with transposable element (TE). A total of 400 novel SSR primer pairs were synthesized and their transferability and polymorphism tested on a set of 16 Citrus and Citrus relatives species. Among these 333 (83.25%) were successfully amplified and 260 (65.00%) showed cross-species transferability with Poncirus trifoliata and Fortunella sp. These cross-species transferable markers could be useful for cultivar identification, for genomic study of Citrus, Poncirus and Fortunella sp. Utility of the developed SSR marker was demonstrated by identifying a set of 118 markers each for construction of linkage map of Citrus reticulata and Poncirus trifoliata. Genetic diversity and phylogenetic relationship among 40 Citrus and its related species were conducted with the aid of 25 randomly selected SSR primer pairs and results revealed that citrus genomic SSRs are superior to genic SSR for genetic diversity and germplasm characterization of Citrus spp.
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Peptidoglycan turnover and recycling in Gram-positive bacteria.
Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol.
PUBLISHED: 05-03-2011
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Bacterial cells are protected by an exoskeleton, the stabilizing and shape-maintaining cell wall, consisting of the complex macromolecule peptidoglycan. In view of its function, it could be assumed that the cell wall is a static structure. In truth, however, it is steadily broken down by peptidoglycan-cleaving enzymes during cell growth. In this process, named cell wall turnover, in one generation up to half of the preexisting peptidoglycan of a bacterial cell is released from the wall. This would result in a massive loss of cell material, if turnover products were not be taken up and recovered. Indeed, in the Gram-negative model organism Escherichia coli, peptidoglycan recovery has been recognized as a complex pathway, named cell wall recycling. It involves about a dozen dedicated recycling enzymes that convey cell wall turnover products to peptidoglycan synthesis or energy pathways. Whether Gram-positive bacteria also recover their cell wall is currently questioned. Given the much larger portion of peptidoglycan in the cell wall of Gram-positive bacteria, however, recovery of the wall material would provide an even greater benefit in these organisms compared to Gram-negatives. Consistently, in many Gram-positives, orthologs of recycling enzymes were identified, indicating that the cell wall may also be recycled in these organisms. This mini-review provides a compilation of information about cell wall turnover and recycling in Gram-positive bacteria during cell growth and division, including recent findings relating to muropeptide recovery in Bacillus subtilis and Clostridium acetobutylicum from our group. Furthermore, the impact of cell wall turnover and recycling on biotechnological processes is discussed.
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Cytotoxic ring A-modified steroid analogues derived from Grundmanns ketone.
Eur J Med Chem
PUBLISHED: 04-08-2011
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A series of steroid and azasteroid analogues containing a six-membered ring A with various functionalities were synthesized. Furthermore, the syntheses of tetracyclic analogues bearing a five-membered A-ring and the syntheses of a number of bicyclic secosteroid analogues were carried out. All compounds were tested for their antibacterial, antifungal and cytotoxic activities. Among all tested compounds 7 and 9 showed outstanding cytotoxic activities but were devoid of antimicrobial activities. The cytotoxic activities of compounds 7, 9 and 10 were initially verified by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in a one-dose 60 cell assay. In accordance with our results 7 and 9 satisfied pre-determined threshold inhibition criteria for progression to the 5-dose NCI screening, which revealed a selective activity profile for both candidates.
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Overexpression of Aurora-A in primary cells interferes with S-phase entry by diminishing Cyclin D1 dependent activities.
Mol. Cancer
PUBLISHED: 03-16-2011
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Aurora-A is a bona-fide oncogene whose expression is associated with genomic instability and malignant transformation. In several types of cancer, gene amplification and/or increased protein levels of Aurora-A are a common feature.
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Molecular evolution of a chordate specific family of G protein-coupled receptors.
BMC Evol. Biol.
PUBLISHED: 02-11-2011
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Chordate evolution is a history of innovations that is marked by physical and behavioral specializations, which led to the development of a variety of forms from a single ancestral group. Among other important characteristics, vertebrates obtained a well developed brain, anterior sensory structures, a closed circulatory system and gills or lungs as blood oxygenation systems. The duplication of pre-existing genes had profound evolutionary implications for the developmental complexity in vertebrates, since mutations modifying the function of a duplicated protein can lead to novel functions, improving the evolutionary success.
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The perfect crime? CCSVI not leaving a trace in MS.
J. Neurol. Neurosurg. Psychiatr.
PUBLISHED: 02-04-2011
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Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, inflammatory demyelinating disease of the central nervous system, believed to be triggered by an autoimmune reaction to myelin. Recently, a fundamentally different pathomechanism termed chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI) was proposed, provoking significant attention in the media and scientific community.
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The mitochondrial genome of Colossendeis megalonyx supports a basal position of Colossendeidae within the Pycnogonida.
Mol. Phylogenet. Evol.
PUBLISHED: 01-04-2011
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We present the almost complete (16,007 bp) mitochondrial genome of a Colossendeis megalonyx specimen from the Southern Ocean and discuss gene order and tRNA structure in a comparative phylogenetic context. Our data suggest a basal position of the colossendeid lineage corroborating earlier phylogenetic studies but disagreeing with results of a recently published study that supported a highly derived sister-group relationship of Colossendeidae and Nymphonidae. Our results, together with BLAST searches and phylogenetic comparisons, indicate that the specimen presented as Colossendeis sp. in a series of recent studies had been misidentified. It has now been identified as a nymphonid species.
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Structural and kinetic analysis of Bacillus subtilis N-acetylglucosaminidase reveals a unique Asp-His dyad mechanism.
J. Biol. Chem.
PUBLISHED: 09-07-2010
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Three-dimensional structures of NagZ of Bacillus subtilis, the first structures of a two-domain ?-N-acetylglucosaminidase of family 3 of glycosidases, were determined with and without the transition state mimicking inhibitor PUGNAc bound to the active site, at 1.84- and 1.40-? resolution, respectively. The structures together with kinetic analyses of mutants revealed an Asp-His dyad involved in catalysis: His(234) of BsNagZ acts as general acid/base catalyst and is hydrogen bonded by Asp(232) for proper function. Replacement of both His(234) and Asp(232) with glycine reduced the rate of hydrolysis of the fluorogenic substrate 4-methylumbelliferyl N-acetyl-?-D-glucosaminide 1900- and 4500-fold, respectively, and rendered activity pH-independent in the alkaline range consistent with a role of these residues in acid/base catalysis. N-Acetylglucosaminyl enzyme intermediate accumulated in the H234G mutant and ?-azide product was formed in the presence of sodium azide in both mutants. The Asp-His dyad is conserved within ?-N-acetylglucosaminidases but otherwise absent in ?-glycosidases of family 3, which instead carry a "classical" glutamate acid/base catalyst. The acid/base glutamate of Hordeum vulgare exoglucanase (Exo1) superimposes with His(234) of the dyad of BsNagZ and, in contrast to the latter, protrudes from a second domain of the enzyme into the active site. This is the first report of an Asp-His catalytic dyad involved in hydrolysis of glycosides resembling in function the Asp-His-Ser triad of serine proteases. Our findings will facilitate the development of mechanism-based inhibitors that selectively target family 3 ?-N-acetylglucosaminidases, which are involved in bacterial cell wall turnover, spore germination, and induction of ?-lactamase.
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Predator-induced defences in Daphnia pulex: selection and evaluation of internal reference genes for gene expression studies with real-time PCR.
BMC Mol. Biol.
PUBLISHED: 06-29-2010
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The planktonic microcrustacean Daphnia pulex is among the best-studied animals in ecological, toxicological and evolutionary research. One aspect that has sustained interest in the study system is the ability of D. pulex to develop inducible defence structures when exposed to predators, such as the phantom midge larvae Chaoborus. The available draft genome sequence for D. pulex is accelerating research to identify genes that confer plastic phenotypes that are regularly cued by environmental stimuli. Yet for quantifying gene expression levels, no experimentally validated set of internal control genes exists for the accurate normalization of qRT-PCR data.
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Sprouty4 levels are increased under hypoxic conditions by enhanced mRNA stability and transcription.
Biol. Chem.
PUBLISHED: 05-21-2010
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Sprouty (Spry) proteins are well-known negative regulators of receptor tyrosine kinase-mediated signalling. Their expression is controlled by mitogens, implying a negative feedback loop. Correspondingly, the different members of the family fulfil important roles during organogenesis by adjustment of growth factor-induced processes. In addition, Spry4, one member of this protein family, has been shown to regulate angiogenesis by inhibiting vascular endothelial cell growth factor-induced extracellular signalling-regulated kinase (ERK) activation. Because oxygen is an important regulator of angiogenesis, we investigated Spry4 expression patterns under hypoxic conditions. Our data demonstrate that both hypoxia and desferrioxamine (DFO) treatment increased Spry4 expression. Following iron depletion, elevated Spry4 levels were detected in several cell types independent of tissue origin, presence of mitogens, cell differentiation and malignancy. Evaluation of the underlying regulative mechanisms revealed that augmented transcription and increased mRNA stability enhance mRNA levels of Spry4 in response to DFO. This study unveils a growth factor-independent regulation mechanism of Spry4 expression. Because increased Spry4 levels are accompanied by disappearing ERK phosphorylation, Spry4 might be involved in the timely restriction of MAPK signals under hypoxic conditions, similar to its role in mitogen-regulated processes. However, the functional significance of the observed upregulation of Spry4 during iron depletion remains to be clarified.
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Genome-wide analysis of tandem repeats in Daphnia pulex--a comparative approach.
BMC Genomics
PUBLISHED: 04-30-2010
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DNA tandem repeats (TRs) are not just popular molecular markers, but are also important genomic elements from an evolutionary and functional perspective. For various genomes, the densities of short TR types were shown to differ strongly among different taxa and genomic regions. In this study we analysed the TR characteristics in the genomes of Daphnia pulex and 11 other eukaryotic species. Characteristics of TRs in different genomic regions and among different strands are compared in details for D. pulex and the two model insects Apis mellifera and Drosophila melanogaster.
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Bimodal expression of Sprouty2 during the cell cycle is mediated by phase-specific Ras/MAPK and c-Cbl activities.
Cell. Mol. Life Sci.
PUBLISHED: 04-20-2010
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Sprouty2 is an important inhibitor of cell proliferation and signal transduction. In this study, we found a bimodal expression of Sprouty2 protein during cell cycle progression after exit from quiescence, whereas elevated Sprouty4 expression in the G1 phase stayed high throughout the rest of the cell cycle. Induction of the mitogen-activated protein kinase via activated Ras was crucial for increased Sprouty2 expression at the G0/G1 transition. Following the first peak, accelerated proteasomal protein degradation caused a transient attenuation of Sprouty2 abundance during late G1. Since the decline in its expression was abolished by dominant negative c-Cbl and the timely restricted interaction between Sprouty2 and c-Cbl disappeared at the second peak of Sprouty2 expression, we conclude that the second phase in the cell cycle-specific expression profile of Sprouty2 is solely dependent on ubiquitination by c-Cbl. Our results suggest that Sprouty2 abundance is the result of strictly coordinated activities of Ras and c-Cbl.
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Muropeptide rescue in Bacillus subtilis involves sequential hydrolysis by beta-N-acetylglucosaminidase and N-acetylmuramyl-L-alanine amidase.
J. Bacteriol.
PUBLISHED: 04-16-2010
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We identified a pathway in Bacillus subtilis that is used for recovery of N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc)-N-acetylmuramic acid (MurNAc) peptides (muropeptides) derived from the peptidoglycan of the cell wall. This pathway is encoded by a cluster of six genes, the first three of which are orthologs of Escherichia coli genes involved in N-acetylmuramic acid dissimilation and encode a MurNAc-6-phosphate etherase (MurQ), a MurNAc-6-phosphate-specific transcriptional regulator (MurR), and a MurNAc-specific phosphotransferase system (MurP). Here we characterized two other genes of this cluster. The first gene was shown to encode a cell wall-associated beta-N-acetylglucosaminidase (NagZ, formerly YbbD) that cleaves the terminal nonreducing N-acetylglucosamine of muropeptides and also accepts chromogenic or fluorogenic beta-N-acetylglucosaminides. The second gene was shown to encode an amidase (AmiE, formerly YbbE) that hydrolyzes the N-acetylmuramyl-L-Ala bond of MurNAc peptides but not this bond of muropeptides. Hence, AmiE requires NagZ, and in conjunction these enzymes liberate MurNAc by sequential hydrolysis of muropeptides. NagZ expression was induced at late exponential phase, and it was 6-fold higher in stationary phase. NagZ is noncovalently associated with lysozyme-degradable particulate material and can be released from it with salt. A nagZ mutant accumulates muropeptides in the spent medium and displays a lytic phenotype in late stationary phase. The evidence for a muropeptide catabolic pathway presented here is the first evidence for cell wall recovery in a Gram-positive organism, and this pathway is distinct from the cell wall recycling pathway of E. coli and other Gram-negative bacteria.
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Cacopsylla melanoneura has no relevance as vector of apple proliferation in Germany.
Phytopathology
PUBLISHED: 05-21-2009
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Long-term field surveys on the distribution and natural infection rates of Cacopsylla melanoneura were carried out in commercial and abandoned apple-proliferation-infected orchards throughout Germany, northern Switzerland, and eastern France. Although the infection rates of some orchards reached up to 80%, only 0.09% of all C. melanoneura collected on apple were infected by the pathogen Candidatus Phytoplasma mali. Despite higher population densities, no infected individual was found on wild hawthorn. Individuals of C. melanoneura were not able to transmit phytoplasmas to healthy plants, and even the acquisition of Ca. P. mali from infected plants was very inefficient. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction demonstrated that the very few infected individuals of C. melanoneura harbored phytoplasma concentrations 10,000 times lower than individuals of C. picta, the main vector species in Germany. Oviposition bioassays showed that hawthorn is the preferred reproduction host plant for C. melanoneura in Germany, not apple. Because hawthorn is not a suitable host plant for Ca. P. mali, it does not play a role in the spread of apple proliferation. In contrast to data reported from northwestern Italy, C. melanoneura developed on either apple or hawthorn has no relevance as a vector of apple proliferation in Germany. The existence of epidemiologically different populations is proposed.
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Multiple origins of deep-sea Asellota (Crustacea: Isopoda) from shallow waters revealed by molecular data.
Proc. Biol. Sci.
PUBLISHED: 04-08-2009
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The Asellota are a highly variable group of Isopoda with many species in freshwater and marine shallow-water environments. However, in the deep sea, they show their most impressive radiation with a broad range of astonishing morphological adaptations and bizarre body forms. Nevertheless, the evolution and phylogeny of the deep-sea Asellota are poorly known because of difficulties in scoring morphological characters. In this study, the molecular phylogeny of the Asellota is evaluated for 15 marine shallow-water species and 101 deep-sea species, using complete 18S and partial 28S rDNA gene sequences. Our molecular data support the monophyly of most deep-sea families and give evidence for a multiple colonization of the deep sea by at least four major lineages of asellote isopods. According to our molecular data, one of these lineages indicates an impressive radiation in the deep sea. Furthermore, the present study rejects the monophyly of the family Janiridae, a group of plesiomorphic shallow-water Asellota, and several shallow-water and deep-sea genera (Acanthaspidia, Ianthopsis, Haploniscus, Echinozone, Eurycope, Munnopsurus and Syneurycope).
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Phylogenetic support values are not necessarily informative: the case of the Serialia hypothesis (a mollusk phylogeny).
Front. Zool.
PUBLISHED: 04-02-2009
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Molecular phylogenies are being published increasingly and many biologists rely on the most recent topologies. However, different phylogenetic trees often contain conflicting results and contradict significant background data. Not knowing how reliable traditional knowledge is, a crucial question concerns the quality of newly produced molecular data. The information content of DNA alignments is rarely discussed, as quality statements are mostly restricted to the statistical support of clades. Here we present a case study of a recently published mollusk phylogeny that contains surprising groupings, based on five genes and 108 species, and we apply new or rarely used tools for the analysis of the information content of alignments and for the filtering of noise (masking of random-like alignment regions, split decomposition, phylogenetic networks, quartet mapping).
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STAMP: Extensions to the STADEN sequence analysis package for high throughput interactive microsatellite marker design.
BMC Bioinformatics
PUBLISHED: 01-30-2009
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Microsatellites (MSs) are DNA markers with high analytical power, which are widely used in population genetics, genetic mapping, and forensic studies. Currently available software solutions for high-throughput MS design (i) have shortcomings in detecting and distinguishing imperfect and perfect MSs, (ii) lack often necessary interactive design steps, and (iii) do not allow for the development of primers for multiplex amplifications. We present a set of new tools implemented as extensions to the STADEN package, which provides the backbone functionality for flexible sequence analysis workflows. The possibility to assemble overlapping reads into unique contigs (provided by the base functionality of the STADEN package) is important to avoid developing redundant markers, a feature missing from most other similar tools.
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Exploring Pandoras box: potential and pitfalls of low coverage genome surveys for evolutionary biology.
PLoS ONE
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High throughput sequencing technologies are revolutionizing genetic research. With this "rise of the machines", genomic sequences can be obtained even for unknown genomes within a short time and for reasonable costs. This has enabled evolutionary biologists studying genetically unexplored species to identify molecular markers or genomic regions of interest (e.g. micro- and minisatellites, mitochondrial and nuclear genes) by sequencing only a fraction of the genome. However, when using such datasets from non-model species, it is possible that DNA from non-target contaminant species such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, or other eukaryotic organisms may complicate the interpretation of the results. In this study we analysed 14 genomic pyrosequencing libraries of aquatic non-model taxa from four major evolutionary lineages. We quantified the amount of suitable micro- and minisatellites, mitochondrial genomes, known nuclear genes and transposable elements and searched for contamination from various sources using bioinformatic approaches. Our results show that in all sequence libraries with estimated coverage of about 0.02-25%, many appropriate micro- and minisatellites, mitochondrial gene sequences and nuclear genes from different KEGG (Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes) pathways could be identified and characterized. These can serve as markers for phylogenetic and population genetic analyses. A central finding of our study is that several genomic libraries suffered from different biases owing to non-target DNA or mobile elements. In particular, viruses, bacteria or eukaryote endosymbionts contributed significantly (up to 10%) to some of the libraries analysed. If not identified as such, genetic markers developed from high-throughput sequencing data for non-model organisms may bias evolutionary studies or fail completely in experimental tests. In conclusion, our study demonstrates the enormous potential of low-coverage genome survey sequences and suggests bioinformatic analysis workflows. The results also advise a more sophisticated filtering for problematic sequences and non-target genome sequences prior to developing markers.
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Efficient expression and purification of tag-free Epstein-Barr virus EBNA1 protein in Escherichia coli by auto-induction.
Protein Expr. Purif.
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Epstein-Barr nuclear antigen 1 (EBNA1) is the essential Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) protein at the interface between the EBV genome and the host chromatin. It is EBNA1s task to guarantee replication and segregation of the multicopy closed circular viral genome in infected cells. While EBNA1s functions are relatively well understood, little is known about the molecular mechanisms of EBNA1 mediating chromatin tethering and DNA replication. To characterize those, purified EBNA1 would be a very useful tool in many different biochemical assays. For long, it was not possible to overexpress sufficient quantities of EBNA1 in Escherichia coli (E. coli) due to its rare codon usage, especially in the N-terminal part of the protein. Recently, some groups succeeded in purifying EBNA1 from bacteria using advanced inducible E. coli cells [1-3]. However, all purification procedures ended in a His-tagged version of EBNA1, which might influence EBNA1s function in biological assays. Therefore, we inserted a tobacco etch virus (TEV)-cleavage site between the N-terminal His-tag and the following open reading frame of EBNA1. Using sequential Ni-NTA and gel filtration columns and TEV protease-mediated cleavage upon autoinduction, we were able to purify functional EBNA1 protein featuring just a single additional, artificial N-terminal glycine residue. Following our simple and fast purification scheme we were able to synthesize 2mg of highly pure EBNA1 protein per liter culture.
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Genomic and morphological evidence converge to resolve the enigma of Strepsiptera.
Curr. Biol.
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The phylogeny of insects, one of the most spectacular radiations of life on earth, has received considerable attention. However, the evolutionary roots of one intriguing group of insects, the twisted-wing parasites (Strepsiptera), remain unclear despite centuries of study and debate. Strepsiptera exhibit exceptional larval developmental features, consistent with a predicted step from direct (hemimetabolous) larval development to complete metamorphosis that could have set the stage for the spectacular radiation of metamorphic (holometabolous) insects. Here we report the sequencing of a Strepsiptera genome and show that the analysis of sequence-based genomic data (comprising more than 18 million nucleotides from nearly 4,500 genes obtained from a total of 13 insect genomes), along with genomic metacharacters, clarifies the phylogenetic origin of Strepsiptera and sheds light on the evolution of holometabolous insect development. Our results provide overwhelming support for Strepsiptera as the closest living relatives of beetles (Coleoptera). They demonstrate that the larval developmental features of Strepsiptera, reminiscent of those of hemimetabolous insects, are the result of convergence. Our analyses solve the long-standing enigma of the evolutionary roots of Strepsiptera and reveal that the holometabolous mode of insect development is more malleable than previously thought.
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Long branch effects distort maximum likelihood phylogenies in simulations despite selection of the correct model.
PLoS ONE
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The aim of our study was to test the robustness and efficiency of maximum likelihood with respect to different long branch effects on multiple-taxon trees. We simulated data of different alignment lengths under two different 11-taxon trees and a broad range of different branch length conditions. The data were analyzed with the true model parameters as well as with estimated and incorrect assumptions about among-site rate variation. If length differences between connected branches strongly increase, tree inference with the correct likelihood model assumptions can fail. We found that incorporating invariant sites together with ? distributed site rates in the tree reconstruction (?+I) increases the robustness of maximum likelihood in comparison with models using only ?. The results show that for some topologies and branch lengths the reconstruction success of maximum likelihood under the correct model is still low for alignments with a length of 100,000 base positions. Altogether, the high confidence that is put in maximum likelihood trees is not always justified under certain tree shapes even if alignment lengths reach 100,000 base positions.
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What is Visualize?

JoVE Visualize is a tool created to match the last 5 years of PubMed publications to methods in JoVE's video library.

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We use abstracts found on PubMed and match them to JoVE videos to create a list of 10 to 30 related methods videos.

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In developing our video relationships, we compare around 5 million PubMed articles to our library of over 4,500 methods videos. In some cases the language used in the PubMed abstracts makes matching that content to a JoVE video difficult. In other cases, there happens not to be any content in our video library that is relevant to the topic of a given abstract. In these cases, our algorithms are trying their best to display videos with relevant content, which can sometimes result in matched videos with only a slight relation.