Alpha-synuclein (ASYN) is central in Parkinson's disease (PD) pathogenesis. Converging pieces of evidence suggest that the levels of ASYN expression play a critical role in both familial and sporadic Parkinson's disease. ASYN fibrils are the main component of inclusions called Lewy Bodies (LBs) which are found mainly in the surviving neurons of the substantia nigra. Despite the accumulated knowledge regarding the involvement of ASYN in molecular mechanisms underlying the development of PD, there is much information missing which prevents understanding the causes of the disease and how to stop its progression.
Neuronal migration, the process by which neurons migrate from their place of origin to their final position in the brain, is a central process for normal brain development and function. Advances in experimental techniques have revealed much about many of the molecular components involved in this process. Notwithstanding these advances, how the molecular machinery works together to govern the migration process has yet to be fully understood. Here we present a computational model of neuronal migration, in which four key molecular entities, Lis1, DCX, Reelin and GABA, form a molecular program that mediates the migration process.
Due to photo-toxicity, fluorescence microscopy imaging is a trade-off between signal to noise ratio, total observation time and spatio-temporal resolution. We propose a new and simple method to quantify the signal-dependent and the non-signal-dependent components of the noise from a single fluorescence microscopy image. No reference image is required and the computation time allows on line quantification of the noise. The estimation is realized in two steps. We first estimate the signal-dependent noise by fitting the intensity of an estimated noise free image, computed by median filtering, to the estimated global noise variance. The second step estimates the signal-independent noise as the background variance, by computing the variance of the most homogeneous sub blocks of the image. After having shown the validity of our approach, we then use this method to quantify the noise in one experiment and show its correlation with the qualitative expected image quality.
Probe photobleaching and a specimens sensitivity to phototoxicity severely limit the number of possible excitation cycles in time-lapse fluorescent microscopy experiments. Consequently, when a study of cellular processes requires measurements over hours or days, temporal resolution is limited, and spontaneous or rapid events may be missed, thus limiting conclusions about transduction events. We have developed ALISSA, a design framework and reference implementation for an automated live-cell imaging system for signal transduction analysis. It allows an adaptation of image modalities and laser resources tailored to the biological process, and thereby extends temporal resolution from minutes to seconds. The system employs online image analysis to detect cellular events that are then used to exercise microscope control. It consists of a reusable image analysis software for cell segmentation, tracking, and time series extraction, and a measurement-specific process control software that can be easily adapted to various biological settings. We have applied the ALISSA framework to the analysis of apoptosis as a demonstration case for slow onset and rapid execution signaling. The demonstration provides a clear proof-of-concept for ALISSA, and offers guidelines for its application in a broad spectrum of signal transduction studies.
The regulation of cellular metabolism facilitates robust cellular operation in the face of changing external conditions. The cellular response to this varying environment may include the activation or inactivation of appropriate metabolic pathways. Experimental and numerical observations of sequential timing in pathway activation have been reported in the literature. It has been argued that such patterns can be rationalized by means of an underlying optimal metabolic design. In this paper we pose a dynamic optimization problem that accounts for time-resource minimization in pathway activation under constrained total enzyme abundance. The optimized variables are time-dependent enzyme concentrations that drive the pathway to a steady state characterized by a prescribed metabolic flux. The problem formulation addresses unbranched pathways with irreversible kinetics. Neither specific reaction kinetics nor fixed pathway length are assumed.In the optimal solution, each enzyme follows a switching profile between zero and maximum concentration, following a temporal sequence that matches the pathway topology. This result provides an analytic justification of the sequential activation previously described in the literature. In contrast with the existent numerical approaches, the activation sequence is proven to be optimal for a generic class of monomolecular kinetics. This class includes, but is not limited to, Mass Action, Michaelis-Menten, Hill, and some Power-law models. This suggests that sequential enzyme expression may be a common feature of metabolic regulation, as it is a robust property of optimal pathway activation.
Related JoVE Video
Journal of Visualized Experiments
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.
How does it work?
We use abstracts found on PubMed and match them to JoVE videos to create a list of 10 to 30 related methods videos.
Video X seems to be unrelated to Abstract Y...
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.