We describe a new species of dasyurid marsupial within the genus Antechinus that was previously known as a northern outlier of Dusky Antechinus (A. swainsonii). The Black-tailed Antechinus, Antechinus arktos sp. nov., is known only from areas of high altitude and high rainfall on the Tweed Volcano caldera of far south-east Queensland and north-east New South Wales, Australia. Antechinus arktos formerly sheltered under the taxonomic umbrella of A. swainsonii mimetes, the widespread mainland form of Dusky Antechinus. With the benefit of genetic hindsight, some striking morphological differences are herein resolved: A. s. mimetes is more uniformly deep brown-black to grizzled grey-brown from head to rump, with brownish (clove brown-raw umber) hair on the upper surface of the hindfoot and tail, whereas A. arktos is more vibrantly coloured, with a marked change from greyish-brown head to orange-brown rump, fuscous black on the upper surface of the hindfoot and dense, short fur on the evenly black tail. Further, A. arktos has marked orange-brown fur on the upper and lower eyelid, cheek and in front of the ear and very long guard hairs all over the body; these characters are more subtle in A. s. mimetes. There are striking genetic differences between the two species: at mtDNA, A. s. mimetes from north-east New South Wales is 10% divergent to A. arktos from its type locality at Springbrook NP, Queensland. In contrast, the Ebor A. s. mimetes clades closely with conspecifics from ACT and Victoria. A. arktos skulls are strikingly different to all subspecies of A. swainsonii. A. arktos are markedly larger than A. s. mimetes and A. s. swainsonii (Tasmania) for a range of craniodental measures. Antechinus arktos were historically found at a few proximate mountainous sites in south-east Queensland, and have only recently been recorded from or near the type locality. Even there, the species is likely in low abundance. The Black-tailed Antechinus has plausibly been detrimentally affected by climate change in recent decades, and will be at further risk with increasing warming trends.
Anthropogenic climate change is a key threat to global biodiversity. To inform strategic actions aimed at conserving biodiversity as climate changes, conservation planners need early warning of the risks faced by different species. The IUCN Red List criteria for threatened species are widely acknowledged as useful risk assessment tools for informing conservation under constraints imposed by limited data. However, doubts have been expressed about the ability of the criteria to detect risks imposed by potentially slow-acting threats such as climate change, particularly because criteria addressing rates of population decline are assessed over time scales as short as 10 years. We used spatially explicit stochastic population models and dynamic species distribution models projected to future climates to determine how long before extinction a species would become eligible for listing as threatened based on the IUCN Red List criteria. We focused on a short-lived frog species (Assa darlingtoni) chosen specifically to represent potential weaknesses in the criteria to allow detailed consideration of the analytical issues and to develop an approach for wider application. The criteria were more sensitive to climate change than previously anticipated; lead times between initial listing in a threatened category and predicted extinction varied from 40 to 80 years, depending on data availability. We attributed this sensitivity primarily to the ensemble properties of the criteria that assess contrasting symptoms of extinction risk. Nevertheless, we recommend the robustness of the criteria warrants further investigation across species with contrasting life histories and patterns of decline. The adequacy of these lead times for early warning depends on practicalities of environmental policy and management, bureaucratic or political inertia, and the anticipated species response times to management actions.
Microarrays of peptide and recombinant protein libraries are routinely used for high-throughput studies of protein-protein interactions and enzymatic activities. Imaging mass spectrometry (IMS) is currently applied as a method to localize analytes on thin tissue sections and other surfaces. Here, we have applied IMS as a label-free means to analyze protein-peptide interactions in a microarray-based phosphatase assay. This IMS strategy visualizes the entire microarray in one composite image by collecting a predefined raster of matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry spectra over the surface of the chip. Examining the bacterial tyrosine phosphatase YopH, we used IMS as a label-free means to visualize enzyme binding and activity with a microarrayed phosphopeptide library printed on chips coated with either gold or indium-tin oxide. Furthermore, we demonstrate that microarray-based IMS can be coupled with surface plasmon resonance imaging to add kinetic analyses to measured binding interactions. The method described here is within the capabilities of many modern MALDI-TOF instruments and has general utility for the label-free analysis of microarray assays.
The role of redox molecules, such as NO and ROS, as key mediators of immunity has recently garnered renewed interest and appreciation. To regulate immune responses, these species trigger the eradication of pathogens on the one hand and modulate immunosuppression during tissue-restoration and wound-healing processes on the other. In the acidic environment of the phagosome, a variety of RNS and ROS is produced, thereby providing a cauldron of redox chemistry, which is the first line in fighting infection. Interestingly, fluctuations in the levels of these same reactive intermediates orchestrate other phases of the immune response. NO activates specific signal transduction pathways in tumor cells, endothelial cells, and monocytes in a concentration-dependent manner. As ROS can react directly with NO-forming RNS, NO bioavailability and therefore, NO response(s) are changed. The NO/ROS balance is also important during Th1 to Th2 transition. In this review, we discuss the chemistry of NO and ROS in the context of antipathogen activity and immune regulation and also discuss similarities and differences between murine and human production of these intermediates.
Spread of the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), which causes chytridiomycosis, has resulted in the extinction of frogs, but the distribution of Bd is incompletely known. We trialled the survey protocol for Bd by attempting to systematically map its distribution in Queensland, Australia. Bd was easily detected in known infected areas, such as the Wet Tropics and South East Queensland. It was not detected in bioregions adjacent to, but inland from or to the north of, infected regions: Einasleigh Uplands and Cape York adjacent to the infected Wet Tropics; and Brigalow Belt South adjacent to the infected South East Queensland bioregion. These regions where Bd was not detected have bordered infected regions for between 15 yr (in northern Queensland) and 30 yr (in southern Queensland), and so they define the geographical limits of Bd with regard to the long-term environmental conditions in Queensland. The Gulf Plains, a bioregion distant from infected bioregions, was also negative. Bd was confined to rainforest and bordering habitats, such as wet eucalypt forests. Infections were largely confined to permanent water-associated species, consistent with this being an important cause of this group having the greatest declines. Our data supports biogeographic climatic models that show much of inland and northern Australia to be too hot and dry to support Bd. As there is limited opportunity for Bd to spread further in Queensland, the priority for management is reducing the impact of Bd in affected populations and assisting frogs to disperse into their former distributions. Given that the survey protocol has been applied successfully in Australia it may be useful for mapping the distribution of Bd in other parts of the world.
Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague, encodes several essential virulence factors on a 70 kb plasmid, including the Yersinia outer proteins (Yops) and a multifunctional virulence antigen (V). V is uniquely able to inhibit the host immune response; aid in the expression, secretion, and injection of the cytotoxic Yops via a type III secretion system (T3SS)-dependent mechanism; be secreted extracellularly; and enter the host cell by a T3SS-independent mechanism, where its activity is unknown. To elucidate the intracellular trafficking and target(s) of V, time-course experiments were performed with macrophages (MPhis) infected with Y. pestis or Y. pseudotuberculosis at intervals from 5 min to 6 h. The trafficking pattern was discerned from results of parallel microscopy, immunoblotting, and flow cytometry experiments. The MPhis were incubated with fluorescent or gold conjugated primary or secondary anti-V (antibodies [Abs]) in conjunction with organelle-associated Abs or dyes. The samples were observed for co-localization by immuno-fluorescence and electron microscopy. For fractionation studies, uninfected and infected MPhis were lysed and subjected to density gradient centrifugation coupled with immunoblotting with Abs to V or to organelles. Samples were also analyzed by flow cytometry after lysis and dual-staining with anti-V and anti-organelle Abs. Our findings indicate a co-localization of V with (1) endosomal proteins between 10-45 min of infection, (2) lysosomal protein(s) between 1-2 h of infection, (3) mitochondrial proteins between 2.5-3 h infection, and (4) Golgi protein(s) between 4-6 h of infection. Further studies are being performed to determine the specific intracellular interactions and role in pathogenesis of intracellularly localized V.
Fibrillar amyloid plaques are largely composed of amyloid-beta (A?) peptides that are metabolized into products, including A?1-16, by proteases including matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9). The balance between production and degradation of A? proteins is critical to amyloid accumulation and resulting disease. Regulation of MMP-9 and its endogenous inhibitor tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase (TIMP)-1 by nitric oxide (NO) has been shown. We hypothesize that nitric oxide synthase (NOS2) protects against Alzheimers disease pathology by increasing amyloid clearance through NO regulation of MMP-9/TIMP-1 balance. We show NO-mediated increased MMP-9/TIMP-1 ratios enhanced the degradation of fibrillar A? in vitro, which was abolished when silenced for MMP-9 protein translation. The in vivo relationship between MMP-9, NO and A? degradation was examined by comparing an Alzheimers disease mouse model that expresses NOS2 with a model lacking NOS2. To quantitate MMP-9 mediated changes, we generated an antibody recognizing the A?1-16 fragment, and used mass spectrometry multi-reaction monitoring assay for detection of immunoprecipitated A?1-16 peptides. A?1-16 levels decreased in brain lysates lacking NOS2 when compared with strains that express human amyloid precursor protein on the NOS2 background. TIMP-1 increased in the APPSwDI/NOS2(-/-) mice with decreased MMP activity and increased amyloid burden, thereby supporting roles for NO in the regulation of MMP/TIMP balance and plaque clearance.
Prediction of therapeutic response and cancer patient survival can be improved by the identification of molecular markers including tumor Akt status. A direct correlation between NOS2 expression and elevated Akt phosphorylation status has been observed in breast tumors. Tissue inhibitor matrix metalloproteinase-1 (TIMP-1) has been proposed to exert oncogenic properties through CD63 cell surface receptor pathway initiation of pro-survival PI3k/Akt signaling. We employed immunohistochemistry to examine the influence of TIMP-1 on the functional relationship between NOS2 and phosphorylated Akt in breast tumors and found that NOS2-associated Akt phosphorylation was significantly increased in tumors expressing high TIMP-1, indicating that TIMP-1 may further enhance NO-induced Akt pathway activation. Moreover, TIMP-1 silencing by antisense technology blocked NO-induced PI3k/Akt/BAD phosphorylation in cultured MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cells. TIMP-1 protein nitration and TIMP-1/CD63 co-immunoprecipitation was observed at NO concentrations that induced PI3k/Akt/BAD pro-survival signaling. In the survival analysis, elevated tumor TIMP-1 predicted poor patient survival. This association appears to be mainly restricted to tumors with high NOS2 protein. In contrast, TIMP-1 did not predict poor survival in patient tumors with low NOS2 expression. In summary, our findings suggest that tumors with high TIMP-1 and NOS2 behave more aggressively by mechanisms that favor Akt pathway activation.
Botulinum neurotoxins are most potent of all toxins. Their N-terminal light chain domain (Lc) translocates into peripheral cholinergic neurons to exert its endoproteolytic action leading to muscle paralysis. Therapeutic development against these toxins is a major challenge due to their in vitro and in vivo structural differences. Although three-dimensional structures and reaction mechanisms are very similar, the seven serotypes designated A through G vastly vary in their intracellular catalytic stability. To investigate if protein phosphorylation could account for this difference, we employed Src-catalyzed tyrosine phosphorylation of the Lc of six serotypes namely LcA, LcB, LcC1, LcD, LcE, and LcG. Very little phosphorylation was observed with LcD and LcE but LcA, LcB, and LcG were maximally phosphorylated by Src. Phosphorylation of LcA, LcB, and LcG did not affect their secondary and tertiary structures and thermostability significantly. Phosphorylation of Y250 and Y251 made LcA resistant to autocatalysis and drastically reduced its k(cat)/K(m) for catalysis. A tyrosine residue present near the essential cysteine at the C-terminal tail of LcA, LcB, and LcG was readily phosphorylated in vitro. Inclusion of a competitive inhibitor protected Y426 of LcA from phosphorylation, shedding light on the role of the C-terminus in the enzymes substrate or product binding.
Proteomic analyses involve a series of intricate, interdependent steps involving approaches and technical issues that must be fully coordinated to obtain the optimal amount of required information about the test subject. Fortunately, many of these steps are common to most test subjects, requiring only modifications to or, in some cases, substitution of some of the steps to ensure they are relevant to the desired objective of a study. This fortunate occurrence creates an essential core of proteomic approaches and techniques that are consistently available for most studies, regardless of test subject. In this chapter, an overview of some of these core approaches, techniques, and mass spectrometric instrumentation is given, while indicating how such steps are useful for and applied to bacterial investigations. To exemplify how such proteomic concepts and techniques are applicable to bacterial investigations, a practical, quantitative method useful for bacterial proteomic analysis is presented with a discussion of possibilities, pitfalls, and some emerging technology to provide a compilation of information from the diverse literature that is intermingled with experimental experience.
The NF-?B transcription factor family influences breast cancer outcomes by regulating genes involved in tumor progression, angiogenesis, and metastasis. Dithiolethiones, a class of naturally occurring compounds with cancer chemoprevention effects that have become clinically available, have been found to inhibit NF-?B activity. However, the mechanism of this inhibition has not been identified, and the influence of dithiolethines on NF-?B pathway in breast cancer cells has not been examined. Here, we investigated the chemical and biochemical effects of dithiolethione on NF-?B and downstream effector molecules in estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer cells and murine tumor xenografts. The dithiolethiones ACS-1 and ACS-2 inhibited NF-?B transcriptional activity. Interestingly, this inhibition was not due to H(2)S release or protein phosphatase 2A activation, which are key properties of dithiolethiones, but occurred via a covalent reaction with the NF-?B p50 and p65 subunits to inhibit DNA binding. Dithiolethione-mediated inhibition of NF-?B-regulated genes resulted in the inhibition of interleukin (IL)-6, IL-8, urokinase-type plasminogen activator, and VEGF production. ACS-1 also inhibited matrix metalloproteinase-9 activity, cellular migration, and invasion, and ACS-2 reduced tumor burden and resulted in increased tumor host interactions. Together, our findings suggest that dithiolethiones show potential clinical use for estrogen negative breast cancer as a chemotherapeutic or adjuvant therapy.
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.