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Current Biology: CB

Anna C Erpf, Lisa Stenzel, Nadin Memar, Martina Antoniolli, Mariam Osepashvili, Ralf Schnabel, Barbara Conradt, Tamara Mikeladze-Dvali
Centrosomes, the major microtubule-organizing centers of animal cells, are essential for the assembly of a bipolar spindle during mitosis. Spindle defective-5 (SPD-5), the main scaffold protein of the centrosome matrix in Caenorhabditis elegans, forms a thin core around non-mitotic centrioles. Upon mitotic entry, the SPD-5-containing centrosome matrix expands in a Polo-like-kinase 1 (PLK-1)-dependent manner and this enables an enhanced microtubule nucleation activity during mitosis. How the non-mitotic centrosome core is formed and how this core facilitates robust SPD-5 expansion at mitotic entry remains unknown...
April 8, 2019: Current Biology: CB
Christian R Lee, Alex J Yonk, Joost Wiskerke, Kenneth G Paradiso, James M Tepper, David J Margolis
The striatum is the main input nucleus of the basal ganglia and is a key site of sensorimotor integration. While the striatum receives extensive excitatory afferents from the cerebral cortex, the influence of different cortical areas on striatal circuitry and behavior is unknown. Here, we find that corticostriatal inputs from whisker-related primary somatosensory (S1) and motor (M1) cortex differentially innervate projection neurons and interneurons in the dorsal striatum and exert opposing effects on sensory-guided behavior...
April 8, 2019: Current Biology: CB
Hanna Cholé, Julie Carcaud, Hélène Mazeau, Sylvain Famié, Gérard Arnold, Jean-Christophe Sandoz
Social learning is taxonomically widespread in the animal kingdom [1], and although it is long thought to be a hallmark of vertebrates, recent studies revealed that it also exists in insects [2-5]. The adaptive functions of social learning are well known, but its underlying mechanisms remain debated [2, 5, 6]. Social insects critically depend on the social transmission of information for successful food search and their colonies' fitness [7] and are tractable models for studying the social cues and cognitive mechanisms involved [2-5]...
April 8, 2019: Current Biology: CB
Kip D Lacy, DeWayne Shoemaker, Kenneth G Ross
Ants exhibit a striking diversity of reproductive systems, varying in traits such as the number of reproductives per colony [1], the mode of daughter production (sexual or asexual) [2], and the mode of caste determination (genetic or environmental) [3]. Species employing mixed reproductive systems present a unique opportunity to explore the causes and consequences of alternative breeding strategies. Mixed reproductive systems in ants include social polymorphism in colony queen number, whereby single-queen (monogyne) and multiple-queen (polygyne) colonies co-occur within species [4-7], and facultative asexuality, in which female offspring may be produced sexually or asexually within colonies [8-13]...
April 6, 2019: Current Biology: CB
Olivier Lambert, Giovanni Bianucci, Rodolfo Salas-Gismondi, Claudio Di Celma, Etienne Steurbaut, Mario Urbina, Christian de Muizon
Cetaceans originated in south Asia more than 50 million years ago (mya), from a small quadrupedal artiodactyl ancestor [1-3]. Amphibious whales gradually dispersed westward along North Africa and arrived in North America before 41.2 mya [4]. However, fossil evidence on when, through which pathway, and under which locomotion abilities these early whales reached the New World is fragmentary and contentious [5-7]. Peregocetus pacificus gen. et sp. nov. is a new protocetid cetacean discovered in middle Eocene (42...
April 2, 2019: Current Biology: CB
Xiao-Yue Wang, Ju Tang, Ting Wu, Di Wu, Shuang-Quan Huang
Many bees are effective pollen collectors; however, pollen grains collected by bees for larval food are lost for plant sexual reproduction. Recognition of these conflicting interests between bees and flowers is essential for understanding of reproduction for both bees and flowers [1-3]. Plant defense compounds in pollen may function to reduce pollen waste by deterring ineffective pollinators [4-6], but this hypothesis remains unexamined. Here, we provide evidence that secondary metabolites in pollen function as chemical defense by deterring some bees from gathering pollen...
March 30, 2019: Current Biology: CB
Shigehiro Yamada, Peter H Whitney, Shao-Kuei Huang, Elizabeth C Eck, Hernan G Garcia, Christine A Rushlow
Connecting the developmental patterning of tissues to the mechanistic control of RNA polymerase II remains a long-term goal of developmental biology. Many key elements have been identified in the establishment of spatial-temporal control of transcription in the early Drosophila embryo, a model system for transcriptional regulation. The dorsal-ventral axis of the Drosophila embryo is determined by the graded distribution of Dorsal (Dl), a homolog of the nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) family of transcriptional activators found in humans [1, 2]...
March 30, 2019: Current Biology: CB
Maria Carrillo, Yinging Han, Filippo Migliorati, Ming Liu, Valeria Gazzola, Christian Keysers
How do the emotions of others affect us? The human anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) responds while experiencing pain in the self and witnessing pain in others, but the underlying cellular mechanisms remain poorly understood. Here we show the rat ACC (area 24) contains neurons responding when a rat experiences pain as triggered by a laser and while witnessing another rat receive footshocks. Most of these neurons do not respond to a fear-conditioned sound (CS). Deactivating this region reduces freezing while witnessing footshocks to others but not while hearing the CS...
March 28, 2019: Current Biology: CB
Owen Randlett, Martin Haesemeyer, Greg Forkin, Hannah Shoenhard, Alexander F Schier, Florian Engert, Michael Granato
Habituation is a simple form of learning where animals learn to reduce their responses to repeated innocuous stimuli [1]. Habituation is thought to occur via at least two temporally and molecularly distinct mechanisms, which lead to short-term memories that last for seconds to minutes and long-term memories that last for hours or longer [1, 2]. Here, we focus on long-term habituation, which, due to the extended time course, necessitates stable alterations to circuit properties [2-4]. In its simplest form, long-term habituation could result from a plasticity event at a single point in a circuit, and many studies have focused on identifying the site and underlying mechanism of plasticity [5-10]...
March 26, 2019: Current Biology: CB
Ashish Kumar Maurya, Travis Rogers, Piali Sengupta
The diverse morphologies of primary cilia are tightly regulated as a function of cell type and cellular state. CCRK- and MAK-related kinases have been implicated in ciliary length control in multiple species, although the underlying mechanisms are not fully understood. Here, we show that in C. elegans, DYF-18/CCRK and DYF-5/MAK act in a cascade to generate the highly arborized cilia morphologies of the AWA olfactory neurons. Loss of kinase function results in dramatically elongated AWA cilia that lack branches...
March 26, 2019: Current Biology: CB
Oliver Lindecke, Alise Elksne, Richard A Holland, Gunārs Pētersons, Christian C Voigt
From bats to whales, millions of mammals migrate every year. However, their navigation capacity for accomplishing long-distance movements remains remarkably understudied and lags behind by five decades compared to other animals [1, 2]-partly because, unlike for other taxa, such as birds and sea turtles, no small-scale orientation assay has so far been developed. Yet recently, bats became a model to investigate which cues mammals use for long-range navigation, and, surprisingly for nocturnal animals, sunset cues, and particularly polarized-light cues, appear to be crucial for calibration of the magnetic-compass system in non-migratory bats [3-5]...
March 26, 2019: Current Biology: CB
Tetsuya Miyamoto, Hubert Amrein
Gluconeogenesis is a well-established metabolic process whereby glucose is generated from small carbon molecules in the liver and kidney to maintain blood glucose levels. Expression of gluconeogenic genes has been reported in other organs of mammals and insects, where their function is not yet known. In the fruit fly, one of the gluconeogenic genes, glucose-6-phosphatase (G6P) is exclusively expressed in the CNS. Using a fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET)-based glucose sensor, we show that a small subset of neurons in the fly brain is capable of carrying out gluconeogenesis...
March 26, 2019: Current Biology: CB
James O Patterson, Paul Rees, Paul Nurse
How cells correct deviations from a mean cell size at mitosis remains uncertain. Classical cell-size homeostasis models are the sizer, timer, and adder [1]. Sizers postulate that cells divide at some threshold size; timers, that cells grow for a set time; and adders, that cells add a constant volume before division. Here, we show that a size-based probabilistic model of cell-size control at the G2/M transition (P(Div)) can generate realistic cell-size homeostasis in silico. In fission yeast cells, Cyclin BCdc13 scales with size, and we propose that this increases the likelihood of mitotic entry, while molecular noise in its expression adds a probabilistic component to the model...
March 19, 2019: Current Biology: CB
Qingleng Tan, Zhiyan Wang, Yuka Sasaki, Takeo Watanabe
Visual perceptual learning (VPL) refers to a long-term enhancement of visual task performance as a result of visual experience [1-6]. VPL is generally specific for the trained visual feature, meaning that training on a feature leads to performance enhancement only on the feature and those in its close vicinity. In the meantime, visual perception is often categorical [7-10]. This may partially be because the ecological importance of a stimulus is usually determined by the category to which the stimulus belongs (e...
March 18, 2019: Current Biology: CB
Jitender S Bisht, Miroslav Tomschik, Jesse C Gatlin
Normal mitotic spindle assembly is a prerequisite for faithful chromosome segregation and unperturbed cell-cycle progression. Precise functioning of the spindle machinery relies on conserved architectural features, such as focused poles, chromosome alignment at the metaphase plate, and proper spindle length. These morphological requirements can be achieved only within a compositionally distinct cytoplasm that results from cell-cycle-dependent regulation of specific protein levels and specific post-translational modifications...
March 14, 2019: Current Biology: CB
Vanessa Villalba-Mouco, Marieke S van de Loosdrecht, Cosimo Posth, Rafael Mora, Jorge Martínez-Moreno, Manuel Rojo-Guerra, Domingo C Salazar-García, José I Royo-Guillén, Michael Kunst, Hélène Rougier, Isabelle Crevecoeur, Héctor Arcusa-Magallón, Cristina Tejedor-Rodríguez, Iñigo García-Martínez de Lagrán, Rafael Garrido-Pena, Kurt W Alt, Choongwon Jeong, Stephan Schiffels, Pilar Utrilla, Johannes Krause, Wolfgang Haak
The Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe represents an important test case for the study of human population movements during prehistoric periods. During the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), the peninsula formed a periglacial refugium [1] for hunter-gatherers (HGs) and thus served as a potential source for the re-peopling of northern latitudes [2]. The post-LGM genetic signature was previously described as a cline from Western HG (WHG) to Eastern HG (EHG), further shaped by later Holocene expansions from the Near East and the North Pontic steppes [3-9]...
March 14, 2019: Current Biology: CB
Stephanie Badde, Brigitte Röder, Tobias Heed
Where we perceive a touch putatively depends on topographic maps that code the touch's location on the skin [1] as well as its position in external space [2-5]. However, neither somatotopic nor external-spatial representations can account for atypical tactile percepts in some neurological patients and amputees; referral of touch to an absent or anaesthetized hand after stimulation of a foot [6, 7] or the contralateral hand [8-10] challenges the role of topographic representations when attributing touch to the limbs...
March 13, 2019: Current Biology: CB
Rahul Bhowmick, Roshan Singh Thakur, Andrés Bueno Venegas, Ying Liu, Jakob Nilsson, Marin Barisic, Ian D Hickson
Abscission is the final step of cell division when the cytokinetic furrow ingresses completely, leading to midbody formation and plasma membrane fission [1]. In human cells, the Aurora-B-driven abscission checkpoint delays cytokinesis until any residual chromatin spanning the midbody is removed [2-5]. If this does not occur efficiently, uneven segregation of daughter genomes can occur. The mechanism by which the abscission checkpoint becomes satisfied to permit cytokinesis is poorly defined. Here, we identify RIF1 and its binding partner, protein phosphatase 1 (PP1), as being critical for regulation of abscission timing in human cells...
March 13, 2019: Current Biology: CB
Martin F Engelke, Bridget Waas, Sarah E Kearns, Ayana Suber, Allison Boss, Benjamin L Allen, Kristen J Verhey
The trafficking of components within cilia, called intraflagellar transport (IFT), is powered by kinesin-2 and dynein-2 motors. Loss of function in any subunit of the heterotrimeric KIF3A/KIF3B/KAP kinesin-2 motor prevents ciliogenesis in mammalian cells and has hindered an understanding of how kinesin-2 motors function in cilium assembly and IFT. We used a chemical-genetic approach to generate an inhibitable KIF3A/KIF3B/KAP kinesin-2 motor (i3A/i3B) that is capable of rescuing wild-type (WT) motor function for cilium assembly and Hedgehog signaling in Kif3a/Kif3b double-knockout cells...
March 13, 2019: Current Biology: CB
Ethan A Solomon, Joel M Stein, Sandhitsu Das, Richard Gorniak, Michael R Sperling, Gregory Worrell, Cory S Inman, Ryan J Tan, Barbara C Jobst, Daniel S Rizzuto, Michael J Kahana
The medial temporal lobe (MTL) is a locus of episodic memory in the human brain. It is comprised of cytologically distinct subregions that, in concert, give rise to successful encoding and retrieval of context-dependent memories. However, the functional connections between these subregions are poorly understood. To determine functional connectivity among MTL subregions, we had 131 subjects fitted with indwelling electrodes perform a verbal memory task and asked how encoding or retrieval correlated with inter-regional synchronization...
March 12, 2019: Current Biology: CB
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