1 Impact of cytosine methylation on DNA binding specificities of human transcription factors
Yimeng Yin, Ekaterina Morgunova, Arttu Jolma…Charles Vinson, Jussi Taipale
The majority of CpG dinucleotides in the human genome are methylated at cytosine bases. However, active gene regulatory elements are generally hypomethylated relative to their flanking regions, and the binding of some transcription factors (TFs) is diminished by methylation of their target sequences. By analysis of 542 human TFs with methylation-sensitive SELEX (systematic evolution of ligands by exponential enrichment), we found that there are also many TFs that prefer CpG-methylated sequences. Most of these are in the extended homeodomain family. Structural analysis showed that homeodomain specificity for methylcytosine depends on direct hydrophobic interactions with the methylcytosine 5-methyl group. This study provides a systematic examination of the effect of an epigenetic DNA modification on human TF binding specificity and reveals that many developmentally important proteins display preference for mCpG-containing sequences.
Francis Corson, Lydie Couturier, Hervé Rouault, Khalil Mazouni, François Schweisguth
The emergence of spatial patterns in developing multicellular organisms relies on positional cues and cell-cell communication. Drosophila sensory organs have informed a paradigm in which these operate in two distinct steps: Prepattern factors drive localized proneural activity, then Notch-mediated lateral inhibition singles out neural precursors. Here we show that self-organization through Notch signaling also establishes the proneural stripes that resolve into rows of sensory bristles on the fly thorax. Patterning, initiated by a gradient of Delta ligand expression, progresses through inhibitory signaling between and within stripes. Thus, Notch signaling can support self-organized tissue patterning as a prepattern is transduced by cell-cell interactions into a refined arrangement of cellular fates.
Yuta Takahashi, Jun Wu, Keiichiro Suzuki…Ignacio Sancho-Martinez1, Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte
（导读 陈月欣） CpG岛（CGI）是基因组中主要与启动子相关且多未被甲基化的区域，但CGI不被甲基化的原因尚不明确。本研究发现，将不含CpG的DNA整合入CGI中可诱导人类多能干细胞中CGI发生甲基化。这一甲基化作用稳定并可遗传至子细胞。这一发现为实现表观遗传编辑及其临床应用提供了新途径。
CpG islands (CGIs) are primarily promoter-associated genomic regions and are mostly unmethylated within highly methylated mammalian genomes. The mechanisms by which CGIs are protected from de novo methylation remain elusive. Here we show that insertion of CpG-free DNA into targeted CGIs induces de novo methylation of the entire CGI in human pluripotent stem cells (PSCs). The methylation status is stably maintained even after CpG-free DNA removal, extensive passaging, and differentiation. By targeting the DNA mismatch repair gene MLH1 CGI, we could generate a PSC model of a cancer-related epimutation. Furthermore, we successfully corrected aberrant imprinting in induced PSCs derived from an Angelman syndrome patient. Our results provide insights into how CpG-free DNA induces de novo CGI methylation and broaden the application of targeted epigenome editing for a better understanding of human development and disease.
Matej Moravčík, Martin Schmid, Neil Burch…Michael Johanson, Michael Bowling
Artificial intelligence has seen several breakthroughs in recent years, with games often serving as milestones. A common feature of these games is that players have perfect information. Poker, the quintessential game of imperfect information, is a long-standing challenge problem in artificial intelligence. We introduce DeepStack, an algorithm for imperfect-information settings. It combines recursive reasoning to handle information asymmetry, decomposition to focus computation on the relevant decision, and a form of intuition that is automatically learned from self-play using deep learning. In a study involving 44,000 hands of poker, DeepStack defeated, with statistical significance, professional poker players in heads-up no-limit Texas hold’em. The approach is theoretically sound and is shown to produce strategies that are more difficult to exploit than prior approaches.
W. K. Eddie Ip1, Namiko Hoshi, Dror S. Shouval, Scott Snapper, Ruslan Medzhitov
Interleukin 10 (IL-10) is an anti-inflammatory cytokine that plays a critical role in the control of immune responses. However, its mechanisms of action remain poorly understood. Here, we show that IL-10 opposes the switch to the metabolic program induced by inflammatory stimuli in macrophages. Specifically, we show that IL-10 inhibits lipopolysaccharide-induced glucose uptake and glycolysis and promotes oxidative phosphorylation. Furthermore, IL-10 suppresses mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) activity through the induction of an mTOR inhibitor, DDIT4. Consequently, IL-10 promotes mitophagy that eliminates dysfunctional mitochondria characterized by low membrane potential and a high level of reactive oxygen species. In the absence of IL-10 signaling, macrophages accumulate damaged mitochondria in a mouse model of colitis and inflammatory bowel disease patients, and this results in dysregulated activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome and production of IL-1β.
Kyungtae Kim, Morgan W. Schulze, Akash Arora…Kevin D. Dorfman, Frank S. Bates
(导读 卓思琪) 二段共聚物的小角X射线散射实验显示出的热经历的极度依赖：晶体或准晶态依赖于样品从离散状态冷却至有序-无序相变温度以下的方式。将合金中直接冷却时形成的是记忆形态；淬火回温后形成六方晶相C14和立方晶相C15的拉弗斯相。平均自洽场理论的计算暗示热经历驱使材料进入亚稳定状态中。
Small-angle x-ray scattering experiments conducted with compositionally asymmetric low molar mass poly(isoprene)-b-poly(lactide) diblock copolymers reveal an extraordinary thermal history dependence. The development of distinct periodic crystalline or aperiodic quasicrystalline states depends on how specimens are cooled from the disordered state to temperatures below the order-disorder transition temperature. Whereas direct cooling leads to the formation of documented morphologies, rapidly quenched samples that are then heated from low temperature form the hexagonal C14 and cubic C15 Laves phases commonly found in metal alloys. Self-consistent mean-field theory calculations show that these, and other associated Frank-Kasper phases, have nearly degenerate free energies, suggesting that processing history drives the material into long-lived metastable states defined by self-assembled particles with discrete populations of volumes and polyhedral shapes.
Vitaly L. Sushkevich, Dennis Palagin, Marco Ranocchiari, Jeroen A. van Bokhoven
Direct functionalization of methane in natural gas remains a key challenge. We present a direct stepwise method for converting methane into methanol with high selectivity (~97%) over a copper-containing zeolite, based on partial oxidation with water. The activation in helium at 673 kelvin (K), followed by consecutive catalyst exposures to 7 bars of methane and then water at 473 K, consistently produced 0.204 mole of CH3OH per mole of copper in zeolite. Isotopic labeling confirmed water as the source of oxygen to regenerate the zeolite active centers and renders methanol desorption energetically favorable. On the basis of in situ x-ray absorption spectroscopy, infrared spectroscopy, and density functional theory calculations, we propose a mechanism involving methane oxidation at CuII oxide active centers, followed by CuI reoxidation by water with concurrent formation of hydrogen.
Haizheng Hong, Rong Shen, Futing Zhang…François M. M. Morel, Dalin Shi
Acidification of seawater caused by anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) is anticipated to influence the growth of dinitrogen (N2)–fixing phytoplankton, which contribute a large fraction of primary production in the tropical and subtropical ocean. We found that growth and N2-fixation of the ubiquitous cyanobacterium Trichodesmium decreased under acidified conditions, notwithstanding a beneficial effect of high CO2. Acidification resulted in low cytosolic pH and reduced N2-fixation rates despite elevated nitrogenase concentrations. Low cytosolic pH required increased proton pumping across the thylakoid membrane and elevated adenosine triphosphate production. These requirements were not satisfied under field or experimental iron-limiting conditions, which greatly amplified the negative effect of acidification.
Rachel T. Buxton, Megan F. McKenna, Daniel Mennitt, Kurt Fristrup, Kevin Crooks, Lisa Angeloni, George Wittemyer
Anthropogenic noise threatens ecological systems, including the cultural and biodiversity resources in protected areas. Using continental-scale sound models, we found that anthropogenic noise doubled background sound levels in 63% of U.S. protected area units and caused a 10-fold or greater increase in 21%, surpassing levels known to interfere with human visitor experience and disrupt wildlife behavior, fitness, and community composition. Elevated noise was also found in critical habitats of endangered species, with 14% experiencing a 10-fold increase in sound levels. However, protected areas with more stringent regulations had less anthropogenic noise. Our analysis indicates that noise pollution in protected areas is closely linked with transportation, development, and extractive land use, providing insight into where mitigation efforts can be most effective.
Qili Liu, Masashi Tabuchi, Sha Liu…Daniel Baldoni, Mark N. Wu
（导读 陈月欣） 野生动物对于食物的偏好会随着对特定营养物质的需求而转换，但其中的机理还不得而知。本研究鉴明了一个在果蝇中特异性编码蛋白质饥饿的多巴胺环路。环路中的神经元在蛋白质缺乏时被分支特异的塑性变化所激活，在增强蛋白质摄入的同时限制了糖分的摄入。
Free-living animals must not only regulate the amount of food they consume but also choose which types of food to ingest. The shifting of food preference driven by nutrient-specific hunger can be essential for survival, yet little is known about the underlying mechanisms. We identified a dopamine circuit that encodes protein-specific hunger inDrosophila. The activity of these neurons increased after substantial protein deprivation. Activation of this circuit simultaneously promoted protein intake and restricted sugar consumption, via signaling to distinct downstream neurons. Protein starvation triggered branch-specific plastic changes in these dopaminergic neurons, thus enabling sustained protein consumption. These studies reveal a crucial circuit mechanism by which animals adjust their dietary strategy to maintain protein homeostasis.
Mashaal Sohail, Olga A. Vakhrusheva, Jae Hoon Sul…Alexey S. Kondrashov, Shamil R. Sunyaev
Negative selection against deleterious alleles produced by mutation influences within-population variation as the most pervasive form of natural selection. However, it is not known whether deleterious alleles affect fitness independently, so that cumulative fitness loss depends exponentially on the number of deleterious alleles, or synergistically, so that each additional deleterious allele results in a larger decrease in relative fitness. Negative selection with synergistic epistasis should produce negative linkage disequilibrium between deleterious alleles and, therefore, an underdispersed distribution of the number of deleterious alleles in the genome. Indeed, we detected underdispersion of the number of rare loss-of-function alleles in eight independent data sets from human and fly populations. Thus, selection against rare protein-disrupting alleles is characterized by synergistic epistasis, which may explain how human and fly populations persist despite high genomic mutation rates.
Etienne Patin, Marie Lopez, Rebecca Grollemund…Jean-Marie Hombert, Lluís Quintana-Murci
Bantu languages are spoken by about 310 million Africans, yet the genetic history of Bantu-speaking populations remains largely unexplored. We generated genomic data for 1318 individuals from 35 populations in western central Africa, where Bantu languages originated. We found that early Bantu speakers first moved southward, through the equatorial rainforest, before spreading toward eastern and southern Africa. We also found that genetic adaptation of Bantu speakers was facilitated by admixture with local populations, particularly for the HLA and LCT loci. Finally, we identified a major contribution of western central African Bantu speakers to the ancestry of African Americans, whose genomes present no strong signals of natural selection. Together, these results highlight the contribution of Bantu-speaking peoples to the complex genetic history of Africans and African Americans.
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