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Active diffusion in oocytes nonspecifically centers large objects during prophase I and meiosis I.

Nucleus centering in mouse oocytes results from a gradient of actin-positive vesicle activity and is essential for developmental success. Here, we analyze 3D model simulations to demonstrate how a gradient in the persistence of actin-positive vesicles can center objects of different sizes. We test model predictions by tracking the transport of exogenous passive tracers. The gradient of activity induces a centering force, akin to an effective pressure gradient, leading to the centering of oil droplets with velocities comparable to nuclear ones. Simulations and experimental measurements show that passive particles subjected to the gradient exhibit biased diffusion toward the center. Strikingly, we observe that the centering mechanism is maintained in meiosis I despite chromosome movement in the opposite direction; thus, it can counteract a process that specifically off-centers the spindle. In conclusion, our findings reconcile how common molecular players can participate in the two opposing functions of chromosome centering versus off-centering.

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Downregulated AKT-mTOR signaling pathway proteins in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in Schizophrenia.

Abnormal neurotransmission is central to schizophrenia (SZ). Alterations across multiple neurotransmitter systems in SZ suggest that this illness may be associated with dysregulation of core intracellular processes such as signaling pathways that underlie the regulation and integration of these systems. The AKT-mTOR signaling cascade has been implicated in SZ by gene association, postmortem brain and animal studies. AKT and mTOR are serine/threonine kinases which play important roles in cell growth, proliferation, survival, and differentiation. Both AKT and mTOR require phosphorylation at specific sites for their complete activation. mTOR forms two functionally distinct multiprotein complexes, mTOR Complex 1 (mTORC1) and Complex 2 (mTORC2). mTORC1 mediates ribosome biogenesis, protein translation, and autophagy, whereas mTORC2 contributes to actin dynamics. Altered protein synthesis and actin dynamics can lead to an abnormal neuronal morphology resulting in deficits in learning and memory. Currently, there is a lack of direct evidence to support the hypothesis of disrupted mTOR signaling in SZ, and we have addressed this by characterizing this signaling pathway in SZ brain. We found a reduction in AKT and mTOR protein expression and/or phosphorylation state in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) from 22 pairs of SZ and matched comparison subjects. We also found reduced protein expression of GβL, a subunit protein common to both mTOR complexes. We further investigated mTOR complex-specific subunit composition and phosphorylation state, and found abnormal mTOR expression in both complexes in SZ DLPFC. These findings provide evidence that proteins associated with the AKT-mTOR signaling cascade are downregulated in SZ DLPFC.

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Downregulation of SEMA4C Inhibit Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition (EMT) and the Invasion and Metastasis of Cervical Cancer Cells via Inhibiting Transforming Growth Factor-beta 1 (TGF-β1)-Induced Hela cells p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase (MAPK) Activation.

BACKGROUND Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) plays a key role in promoting invasion and metastasis of tumor cells. SEMA4C can regulate the generation of transforming growth factor-beta 1 (TGF-ß1)-induced EMT in cervical cancer. This study investigated the relationship between the regulation of SEMA4C on TGF-ß1-induced p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) activation and invasion and metastasis of cervical cancer. MATERIAL AND METHODS Hela-shSEMA4C cell line was established and the success of transfection was confirmed with fluorescence intensity. Cell experiments were divided into 2 groups. Group 1 was Hela, Hela-shNC, and Hela-shSEMA4C; and Group 2 was Hela, Hela-shNC, Hela-shSEMA4C, Hela+TGF-ß1, Hela-shNC+TGF-ß1, and Hela-shSEMA4C+TGF-ß1. Group 1 was detected for SEMA4C mRNA expression by real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), cell viability by Cell Counting Kit-8 (CCK-8), F-actin fluorescence intensity by immunofluorescence, cell migration by scratch test, and cell invasion by invasion test. Group 2 was analyzed for E-cadherin fluorescence intensity by immunofluorescence, human fibronectin (FN) content by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and SEMA4C, E-cadherin and p-p38 expressions by Western blot. RESULTS For Group 1, compared with Hela and Hela-shNC subgroups, the SEMA4C mRNA expression, cell viability, F-actin fluorescence intensity, cell migration and invasion ability in the Hela-shSEMA4C subgroup were significantly decreased (P<0.05). For Group 2, compared with Hela and Hela-shNC subgroups, the E-cadherin expression and fluorescence intensity in the Hela-shSEMA4C subgroup were significantly increased (P<0.01), while the FN content, SEMA4C, and p-p38 MAPK expressions were significantly decreased (P<0.01). Compared with Hela-shNC+TGF-ß1 and Hela+TGF-ß1 subgroups, the E-cadherin expression and fluorescence intensity in the Hela-shSEMA4C+TGF-ß1 subgroup were significantly increased (P<0.01), while the FN content, SEMA4C and p-p38 expressions were significantly decreased (P<0.01). CONCLUSIONS Downregulation of SEMA4C can inhibit EMT and the invasion and metastasis of cervical cancer cells via inhibiting TGF-ß1-induced Hela cells p38 MAPK activation.

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Principles of self-organization and load adaptation by the actin cytoskeleton during clathrin-mediated endocytosis.

Force generation by actin assembly shapes cellular membranes. An experimentally constrained multiscale model shows that a minimal branched actin network is sufficient to internalize endocytic pits against membrane. Around 200 activated Arp2/3 complexes are required for robust internalization. A newly developed molecule-counting method determined that ~200 Arp2/3 complexes assemble at sites of clathrin-mediated endocytosis in human cells. Simulations predict that actin self-organizes into a radial branched array with growing ends oriented toward the base of the pit. Long actin filaments bend between attachment sites in the coat and the base of the pit. Elastic energy stored in bent filaments, whose presence was confirmed by cryo-electron tomography, contributes to endocytic internalization. Elevated membrane tension directs more growing filaments toward the base of the pit, increasing actin nucleation and bending for increased force production. Thus, spatially constrained actin filament assembly utilizes an adaptive mechanism enabling endocytosis under varying physical constraints.

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Insights into the venom protein components of the egg parasitoid Anastatus japonicus (Hymenoptera: Eupelmidae).

Parasitoid venom is composed of a complex mixture of various active substances with different biological functions and is injected in the host during the parasitoid oviposition. Anastatus japonicus (Hymenoptera: Eupelmidae) is an egg parasite of Tessaratoma papillosa (Hemiptera: Tessaratomidae). Although the venom of this egg parasitoid plays an important role in the parasitic process, relatively little work has been done to address the mechanism.

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Mechanical force regulation of YAP by F-actin and GPCR revealed by super-resolution imaging.

The Hippo signaling pathway plays critical roles in many biological processes including mechanotransduction. The key activator YAP of this pathway is considered as a central component of mechanotransduction signaling sensing the extracellular mechanical microenvironment changes, such as different cell density, the architecture of tissues and matrix stiffness. Although it has been largely studied that YAP is involved in these processes, the underlying mechanism of mechanical force-induced YAP regulation remains unclear. Here we exerted pressure on cell surfaces and investigated how YAP senses the extracellular mechanical force change using one of the super-resolution imaging techniques, dSTORM. We demonstrated that pressure promoted F-actin depolymerization, RhoA down-regulation, and LPAR1 (Gα12/13-coupled receptor) inactivation, which led to YAP cytoplasmic translocation and decreased clustering. Our work uncovers the role of GPCRs and F-actin in pressure-controlled YAP inactivation, and provides new insights into the mechanisms of mechanical regulation of the Hippo signaling pathway.

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Exogenous miR-29a attenuates muscle atrophy and kidney fibrosis in UUO mice.

Renal fibrosis leads to end-stage renal disease, but anti-fibrotic drugs are difficult to develop. Chronic kidney disease often results in muscle wasting and thereby increases morbidity and mortality. In this work, adeno-associated virus (AAV)-mediated overexpressing miR-29a was hypothesized to counteract renal fibrosis and muscle wasting via muscle-kidney crosstalk in unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO) mice. miR-29a level was downregulated in the kidney and skeletal muscle of UUO mice. The secretion of exosome-encapsulated miR-29a increased in cultured skeletal muscle satellite cells and HEK293 renal cells after stimulation with serum from UUO mice. This result was confirmed by qPCR and microRNA deep sequencing in the serum exosomes of mice with obstructed ureters. A recombinant AAV-miR-29a was generated to overexpress miR-29a and injected into the tibialis anterior muscle of the mice 2 weeks before UUO surgery. AAV-miR-29a abrogated the UUO-induced upregulation of YY1 and myostatin in skeletal muscles. Renal fibrosis was also partially improved in the UUO mice with intramuscular AAV-miR-29a transduction. AAV-miR-29a overexpression reversed the increase in TGF-β, fibronectin, alpha-smooth muscle actin, and collagen 1A1 and 4A1 levels in the kidney of UUO mice. AAV-GFP was applied to trace the AAV route in vivo, and fluorescence was significantly visible in the injected/ un-injected muscles and in the kidneys. In conclusion, intramuscular AAV-miR-29a injection attenuates muscle wasting and ameliorates renal fibrosis by downregulating several fibrotic-related proteins in UUO mice.

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High-resolution imaging of the actin cytoskeleton and epithelial sodium channel, CFTR, and aquaporin-9 localization in the vas deferens.

Vas deferens is a conduit for sperm and fluid from the epididymis to the urethra. The duct is surrounded by a thick smooth muscle layer. To map the actin cytoskeleton of the duct and its epithelium, we reacted sections of the proximal and distal regions with fluorescent phalloidin. Confocal microscopic imaging showed that the cylinder-shaped epithelium of the proximal region has a thick apical border of actin filaments that form microvilli. The epithelium of the distal region is covered with tall stereocilia (13-18 µm) that extend from the apical border into the lumen. In both regions, the lateral and basal cell borders showed a thin lining of actin cytoskeleton. The vas deferens epithelium contains various channels to regulate the fluid composition in the lumen. We mapped the localization of the epithelial sodium channel (ENaC), aquaporin-9 (AQP9), and cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) in the rat and mouse vas deferens. ENaC and AQP9 immunofluorescence were localized on the luminal surface and stereocilia and also in the basal and smooth muscle layers. CFTR immunofluorescence appeared only on the luminal surface and in smooth muscle layers. The localization of all three channels on the apical surface of the columnar epithelial cells provides clear evidence that these channels are involved concurrently in the regulation of fluid and electrolyte balance in the lumen of the vas deferens. ENaC allows the flow of Na ions from the lumen into the cytoplasm, and the osmotic gradient generated provides the driving force for the passive flow of water through AQP channels.

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Soft Tissue Special Issue: Biphenotypic Sinonasal Sarcoma: A Review with Emphasis on Differential Diagnosis.

Biphenotypic sinonasal sarcoma is an anatomically restricted low-grade malignant neoplasm with dual neural and myogenic differentiation composed of a monotonous population of spindled cells with herringbone/fascicular architecture. These tumors demonstrate a unique immunoprofile with relatively consistent S100-protein and actin expression in conjunction with more variable desmin, myogenin and myoD1 staining. SOX10 is uniformly negative. Genetically, the majority of tumors harbor PAX3-MAML3 fusions, with alternate PAX3 partners including FOXO1, NCOA1, NCOA2 and WWTR1. Although the differential diagnosis of BSNS is broad, careful morphologic inspection together with targeted ancillary studies is often sufficient to arrive at the correct diagnosis. As these tumors have significant local recurrence rates but lack metastatic potential, awareness and accurate diagnosis of this rare and newly described neoplasm is critical for appropriate management.

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Adipose Tissue-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells Protect Against Amiodarone-Induced Lung Injury in Rats.

Pulmonary fibrosis (PF) is a progressive and irreversible lung disease, characterized by poor prognosis with limited treatment options. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are multi-potent cells having the ability to self-renew and differentiate into multiple tissues, thus considered a novel treatment option. The present study aimed to investigate the possible antifibrotic effect of undifferentiated adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cell (AD-MSC) therapy on PF experimentally induced in rats using amiodarone (AMD). AMD (30 mg/kg) was given orally, once daily for 12 consecutive weeks to induce lung fibrosis. Following the confirmation of lung damage with histopathological examination, AD-MSCs (2 × 10 and 4 × 10 undifferentiated MSCs) were injected once intravenously, followed by 2 months for treatment. AMD induced focal fibroblastic cells proliferation in the peribronchiolar tissue, as well as in between the collapsed emphysematous alveoli. Also, AMD significantly increased serum and lung homogenate fibroblast growth factor-7 (FGF7), Clara cell protein-16 (CC16), and cytokeratin -19 (CK19) levels, as well as the expression of both iNOS and NFкB in the lung alveoli. Moreover, AMD caused excessive collagen deposition and increased alpha smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) expression. All findings significantly regressed on stem cell therapy in both doses, with superior effect of the high dose, providing evidence that adipose tissue-derived MSCs could be a promising approach for the treatment of PF. Graphical Abstract.

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