SciCombinator

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Expression of androgen receptor (AR) in prostate cancer (PCa) is heterogeneous but the functional significance of AR heterogeneity remains unclear. Screening ~200 castration-resistant PCa (CRPC) cores and whole-mount sections (from 89 patients) reveals 3 AR expression patterns: nuclear (nuc-AR), mixed nuclear/cytoplasmic (nuc/cyto-AR), and low/no expression (AR-/lo). Xenograft modeling demonstrates that AR+ CRPC is enzalutamide-sensitive but AR-/lo CRPC is resistant. Genome editing-derived AR+ and AR-knockout LNCaP cell clones exhibit distinct biological and tumorigenic properties and contrasting responses to enzalutamide. RNA-Seq and biochemical analyses, coupled with experimental combinatorial therapy, identify BCL-2 as a critical therapeutic target and provide proof-of-concept therapeutic regimens for both AR+/hi and AR-/lo CRPC. Our study links AR expression heterogeneity to distinct castration/enzalutamide responses and has important implications in understanding the cellular basis of prostate tumor responses to AR-targeting therapies and in facilitating development of novel therapeutics to target AR-/lo PCa cells/clones.

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From historical and archeological records, it is posited that the European medieval household was a combination of close relatives and recruits. However, this kinship structure has not yet been directly tested at a genomic level on medieval burials. The early 7th century CE burial at Niederstotzingen, discovered in 1962, is the most complete and richest example of Alemannic funerary practice in Germany. Excavations found 13 individuals who were buried with an array of inscribed bridle gear, jewelry, armor, and swords. These artifacts support the view that the individuals had contact with France, northern Italy, and Byzantium. This study analyzed genome-wide sequences recovered from the remains, in tandem with analysis of the archeological context, to reconstruct kinship and the extent of outside contact. Eleven individuals had sufficient DNA preservation to genetically sex them as male and identify nine unique mitochondrial haplotypes and two distinct Y chromosome lineages. Genome-wide analyses were performed on eight individuals to estimate genetic affiliation to modern west Eurasians and genetic kinship at the burial. Five individuals were direct relatives. Three other individuals were not detectably related; two of these showed genomic affinity to southern Europeans. The genetic makeup of the individuals shares no observable pattern with their orientation in the burial or the cultural association of their grave goods, with the five related individuals buried with grave goods associated with three diverse cultural origins. These findings support the idea that not only were kinship and fellowship held in equal regard: Diverse cultural appropriation was practiced among closely related individuals as well.

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Agricultural landscapes have become increasingly intensively managed resulting in population declines across a broad range of taxa, including insectivores such as the hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus). Hedgehog declines have also been attributed to an increase in the abundance of badgers (Meles meles), an intra-guild predator. The status of hedgehogs across the rural landscape at large spatial scales is, however, unknown. In this study, we used footprint tracking tunnels to conduct the first national survey of rural hedgehog populations in England and Wales. Single and two-species occupancy modelling was used to quantify hedgehog occupancy in relation to habitat and predator covariates. Hedgehog occupancy was low (22% nationally), and significantly negatively related to badger sett density and positively related to the built environment. Hedgehogs were also absent from 71% of sites that had no badger setts, indicating that large areas of the rural landscape are not occupied by hedgehogs. Our results provide the first field based national survey of hedgehogs, providing a robust baseline for future monitoring. Furthermore, the combined effects of increasing badger abundance and intensive agriculture may have provided a perfect storm for hedgehogs in rural Britain, leading to worryingly low levels of occupancy over large spatial scales.

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Dorsal and ventral hippocampus regions exert cognition and emotion-related functions, respectively. Since both regions display rhythmic activity, specific neural oscillatory pacemakers may underlie their functional dichotomy. Type 1 theta oscillations are independent of cholinergic transmission and are observed in the dorsal hippocampus during movement and exploration. In contrast, type 2 theta depends on acetylcholine and appears when animals are exposed to emotionally laden contexts such as a predator presence. Despite its involvement in emotions, type 2 theta has not been associated with the ventral hippocampus. Here, we show that optogenetic activation of oriens-lacunosum moleculare (OLM) interneurons in the ventral hippocampus drives type 2 theta. Moreover, we found that type 2 theta generation is associated with increased risk-taking behavior in response to predator odor. These results demonstrate that two theta oscillations subtypes originate in the two hippocampal regions that predominantly underlie either cognitive or emotion-related functions.

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Platelet αIIbβ3 integrin and its ligands are essential for thrombosis and hemostasis, and play key roles in myocardial infarction and stroke. Here we show that apolipoprotein A-IV (apoA-IV) can be isolated from human blood plasma using platelet β3 integrin-coated beads. Binding of apoA-IV to platelets requires activation of αIIbβ3 integrin, and the direct apoA-IV-αIIbβ3 interaction can be detected using a single-molecule Biomembrane Force Probe. We identify that aspartic acids 5 and 13 at the N-terminus of apoA-IV are required for binding to αIIbβ3 integrin, which is additionally modulated by apoA-IV C-terminus via intra-molecular interactions. ApoA-IV inhibits platelet aggregation and postprandial platelet hyperactivity. Human apoA-IV plasma levels show a circadian rhythm that negatively correlates with platelet aggregation and cardiovascular events. Thus, we identify apoA-IV as a novel ligand of αIIbβ3 integrin and an endogenous inhibitor of thrombosis, establishing a link between lipoprotein metabolism and cardiovascular diseases.

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Probiotics are widely prescribed for prevention of antibiotics-associated dysbiosis and related adverse effects. However, probiotic impact on post-antibiotic reconstitution of the gut mucosal host-microbiome niche remains elusive. We invasively examined the effects of multi-strain probiotics or autologous fecal microbiome transplantation (aFMT) on post-antibiotic reconstitution of the murine and human mucosal microbiome niche. Contrary to homeostasis, antibiotic perturbation enhanced probiotics colonization in the human mucosa but only mildly improved colonization in mice. Compared to spontaneous post-antibiotic recovery, probiotics induced a markedly delayed and persistently incomplete indigenous stool/mucosal microbiome reconstitution and host transcriptome recovery toward homeostatic configuration, while aFMT induced a rapid and near-complete recovery within days of administration. In vitro, Lactobacillus-secreted soluble factors contributed to probiotics-induced microbiome inhibition. Collectively, potential post-antibiotic probiotic benefits may be offset by a compromised gut mucosal recovery, highlighting a need of developing aFMT or personalized probiotic approaches achieving mucosal protection without compromising microbiome recolonization in the antibiotics-perturbed host.

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Crop diversification required to meet demands for food security and industrial use is often challenged by breeding time and amenability of varieties to genome modification. Cassava is one such crop. Grown for its large starch-rich storage roots, it serves as a staple food and a commodity in the multibillion-dollar starch industry. Starch is composed of the glucose polymers amylopectin and amylose, with the latter strongly influencing the physicochemical properties of starch during cooking and processing. We demonstrate that CRISPR-Cas9 (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats/CRISPR-associated protein 9)-mediated targeted mutagenesis of two genes involved in amylose biosynthesis, PROTEIN TARGETING TO STARCH (PTST1) or GRANULE BOUND STARCH SYNTHASE (GBSS), can reduce or eliminate amylose content in root starch. Integration of the Arabidopsis FLOWERING LOCUS T gene in the genome-editing cassette allowed us to accelerate flowering-an event seldom seen under glasshouse conditions. Germinated seeds yielded S1, a transgene-free progeny that inherited edited genes. This attractive new plant breeding technique for modified cassava could be extended to other crops to provide a suite of novel varieties with useful traits for food and industrial applications.

47

Empiric probiotics are commonly consumed by healthy individuals as means of life quality improvement and disease prevention. However, evidence of probiotic gut mucosal colonization efficacy remains sparse and controversial. We metagenomically characterized the murine and human mucosal-associated gastrointestinal microbiome and found it to only partially correlate with stool microbiome. A sequential invasive multi-omics measurement at baseline and during consumption of an 11-strain probiotic combination or placebo demonstrated that probiotics remain viable upon gastrointestinal passage. In colonized, but not germ-free mice, probiotics encountered a marked mucosal colonization resistance. In contrast, humans featured person-, region- and strain-specific mucosal colonization patterns, hallmarked by predictive baseline host and microbiome features, but indistinguishable by probiotics presence in stool. Consequently, probiotics induced a transient, individualized impact on mucosal community structure and gut transcriptome. Collectively, empiric probiotics supplementation may be limited in universally and persistently impacting the gut mucosa, meriting development of new personalized probiotic approaches.

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Genome-wide investigations of host-pathogen interactions are often limited by analyses of mixed populations of infected and uninfected cells, which lower sensitivity and accuracy. To overcome these obstacles and identify key mechanisms by which Zika virus (ZIKV) manipulates host responses, we developed a system that enables simultaneous characterization of genome-wide transcriptional and epigenetic changes in ZIKV-infected and neighboring uninfected primary human macrophages. We demonstrate that transcriptional responses in ZIKV-infected macrophages differed radically from those in uninfected neighbors and that studying the cell population as a whole produces misleading results. Notably, the uninfected population of macrophages exhibits the most rapid and extensive changes in gene expression, related to type I IFN signaling. In contrast, infected macrophages exhibit a delayed and attenuated transcriptional response distinguished by preferential expression of IFNB1 at late time points. Biochemical and genomic studies of infected macrophages indicate that ZIKV infection causes both a targeted defect in the type I IFN response due to degradation of STAT2 and reduces RNA polymerase II protein levels and DNA occupancy, particularly at genes required for macrophage identity. Simultaneous evaluation of transcriptomic and epigenetic features of infected and uninfected macrophages thereby reveals the coincident evolution of dominant proviral or antiviral mechanisms, respectively, that determine the outcome of ZIKV exposure.

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A defining feature of human cognition is the ability to quickly and accurately alternate between complex behaviors. One striking example of such an ability is bilinguals' capacity to rapidly switch between languages. This switching process minimally comprises disengagement from the previous language and engagement in a new language. Previous studies have associated language switching with increased prefrontal activity. However, it is unknown how the subcomputations of language switching individually contribute to these activities, because few natural situations enable full separation of disengagement and engagement processes during switching. We recorded magnetoencephalography (MEG) from American Sign Language-English bilinguals who often sign and speak simultaneously, which allows to dissociate engagement and disengagement. MEG data showed that turning a language “off” (switching from simultaneous to single language production) led to increased activity in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC), while turning a language “on” (switching from one language to two simultaneously) did not. The distinct representational nature of these on and off processes was also supported by multivariate decoding analyses. Additionally, Granger causality analyses revealed that (i) compared with “turning on” a language, “turning off” required stronger connectivity between left and right dlPFC, and (ii) dlPFC activity predicted ACC activity, consistent with models in which the dlPFC is a top-down modulator of the ACC. These results suggest that the burden of language switching lies in disengagement from the previous language as opposed to engaging a new language and that, in the absence of motor constraints, producing two languages simultaneously is not necessarily more cognitively costly than producing one.