Table Of Contents Page, PNAS Volume 112, Number 10

PNAS March 10, 2015

This Week in PNAS

Letters (Online Only)

Science and Culture

Inner Workings

Profile

Commentaries

PNAS Plus Significance Statements

Physical Sciences

Applied Mathematics

We consider the problem of exact and inexact matching of weighted undirected graphs, in which a bijective correspondence is sought to minimize a quadratic weight disagreement. This computationally challenging problem is often relaxed as a convex quadratic ...

Chemistry

Small molecule-based fluorescent probes have been used for real-time visualization of live cells and tracking of various cellular events with minimal perturbation on the cells being investigated. Given the wide utility of the (histidine)6-Ni2+-...

Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences

A speleothem δ18O record from Xiaobailong cave in southwest China characterizes changes in summer monsoon precipitation in Northeastern India, the Himalayan foothills, Bangladesh, and northern Indochina over the last 252 kyr. This record is dominated by ...

Environmental Sciences

No records exist to evaluate long-term pH dynamics in high-latitude oceans, which have the greatest probability of rapid acidification from anthropogenic CO2 emissions. We reconstructed both seasonal variability and anthropogenic change in seawater pH and ...

Physics

The study of glass formation is largely framed by semiempirical models that emphasize the importance of progressively growing cooperative motion accompanying the drop in fluid configurational entropy, emergent elasticity, or the vanishing of accessible ...

Social Sciences

Psychological and Cognitive Sciences

How is language processed in the brain by native speakers of different languages? Is there one brain system for all languages or are different languages subserved by different brain systems? The first view emphasizes commonality, whereas the second ...

Biological Sciences

Applied Biological Sciences

Drug resistance and toxicity constitute challenging hurdles for cancer therapy. The application of nanotechnology for anticancer drug delivery is expected to address these issues and bring new hope for cancer treatment. In this context, we established an ...

Biochemistry

Cas9, an RNA-guided DNA endonuclease found in clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) bacterial immune systems, is a versatile tool for genome editing, transcriptional regulation, and cellular imaging applications. Structures of ...
Bacterial microcompartments are widespread prokaryotic organelles that have important and diverse roles ranging from carbon fixation to enteric pathogenesis. Current models for microcompartment function propose that their outer protein shell is ...

Biophysics and Computational Biology

Numerous membrane transporters and enzymes couple their mechanisms to the permeation of Na+ or H+, thereby harnessing the energy stored in the form of transmembrane electrochemical potential gradients to sustain their activities. The molecular and ...
Using and engineering amyloid as nanomaterials are blossoming trends in bionanotechnology. Here, we show our discovery of an amyloid structure, termed “amyloid-like nanosheet,” formed by a key amyloid-forming segment of Alzheimer’s Aβ. Combining multiple ...

Cell Biology

Increase in the concentration of plasma l-cysteine is closely associated with defective insulin secretion from pancreatic β-cells, which results in type 2 diabetes (T2D). In this study, we investigated the effects of prolonged l-cysteine treatment on ...
Cell growth and division requires the precise duplication of cellular DNA content but also of membranes and organelles. Knowledge about the cell-cycle–dependent regulation of membrane and storage lipid homeostasis is only rudimentary. Previous work from ...
Small molecule-based fluorescent probes have been used for real-time visualization of live cells and tracking of various cellular events with minimal perturbation on the cells being investigated. Given the wide utility of the (histidine)6-Ni2+-...
The intranuclear location of genomic loci and the dynamics of these loci are important parameters for understanding the spatial and temporal regulation of gene expression. Recently it has proven possible to visualize endogenous genomic loci in live cells ...

Developmental Biology

During early development, animal embryos depend on maternally deposited RNA until zygotic genes become transcriptionally active. Before this maternal-to-zygotic transition, many species execute rapid and synchronous cell divisions without growth phases or ...

Ecology

Humans are altering biodiversity globally and infectious diseases are on the rise; thus, there is interest in understanding how changes to biodiversity affect disease. Here, we explore how predator diversity shapes parasite transmission. In a mesocosm ...
It is extremely likely that the malaria vaccines currently in development will be used in conjunction with treated bednets and other forms of malaria control. The interaction of different intervention methods is at present poorly understood in a disease ...
The Black Death, originating in Asia, arrived in the Mediterranean harbors of Europe in 1347 CE, via the land and sea trade routes of the ancient Silk Road system. This epidemic marked the start of the second plague pandemic, which lasted in Europe until ...

Evolution

Herbivory is a key innovation in insects, yet has only evolved in one-third of living orders. The evolution of herbivory likely involves major behavioral changes mediated by remodeling of canonical chemosensory modules. Herbivorous flies in the genus ...

Genetics

We previously reported that lagging-strand genes accumulate mutations faster than those encoded on the leading strand in Bacillus subtilis. Although we proposed that orientation-specific encounters between replication and transcription underlie this ...
Follicular lymphoma (FL) is incurable with conventional therapies and has a clinical course typified by multiple relapses after therapy. These tumors are genetically characterized by B-cell leukemia/lymphoma 2 (BCL2) translocation and mutation of genes ...
Alcohol abuse is a widespread and serious problem. Understanding the factors that influence the likelihood of abuse is important for the development of effective therapies. There are both genetic and environmental influences on the development of abuse, ...
Premature termination codons (PTCs) in an mRNA ORF inactivate gene function by causing production of a truncated protein and destabilization of the mRNA. Readthrough of a PTC allows ribosomal A-site insertion of a near-cognate tRNA, leading to synthesis ...

Immunology and Inflammation

Antigen-specific CD4+ T cells are implicated in the autoimmune disease systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), but little is known about the peptide antigens that they recognize and their precise function in disease. We generated a series of MHC class II ...
CD8 T cells are a potent tool for eliminating intracellular pathogens and tumor cells. Thus, eliciting robust CD8 T-cell immunity is the basis for many vaccines under development. However, the relationship between antigen load and the magnitude of the CD8 ...
Several Plasmodium species exhibit a strong age-based preference for the red blood cells (RBC) they infect, which in turn is a major determinant of disease severity and pathogenesis. The molecular basis underlying this age constraint on the use of RBC and ...

Medical Sciences

Immunotoxins (antibody–toxin fusion proteins) target surface antigens on cancer cells and kill these cells via toxin-mediated inhibition of protein synthesis. To identify genes controlling this process, an RNAi whole-genome screen (∼22,000 genes at three ...
Capsular polysaccharides are the primary antigenic components involved in protective immunity against encapsulated bacterial pathogens. Although immunization of adolescents and adults with polysaccharide antigens has reduced pathogen disease burden, pure ...
Earlier detection of cancers can dramatically improve the efficacy of available treatment strategies. However, despite decades of effort on blood-based biomarker cancer detection, many promising endogenous biomarkers have failed clinically because of ...
Correcting a genetic mutation that leads to a loss of function has been a challenge. One such mutation is in aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2), denoted ALDH2*2. This mutation is present in ∼0.6 billion East Asians and results in accumulation of toxic ...
Notch signaling modulates skeletal formation and pathogenesis of osteoarthritis (OA) through induction of catabolic factors. Here we examined roles of Hes1, a transcription factor and important target of Notch signaling, in these processes. SRY-box ...

Microbiology

Millions of people are infected each year by arboviruses (arthropod-borne viruses) such as chikungunya, dengue, and West Nile viruses, yet for reasons that are largely unknown, only a relatively small number of mosquito species are able to transmit ...
Bacteria have evolved the ability to produce a wide range of structurally complex natural products historically called “secondary” metabolites. Although some of these compounds have been identified as bacterial communication cues, more frequently natural ...
The number and location of flagella, bacterial organelles of locomotion, are species specific and appear in regular patterns that represent one of the earliest taxonomic criteria in microbiology. However, the mechanisms that reproducibly establish these ...

Neuroscience

Paroxysmal nonkinesigenic dyskinesia (PNKD) is an autosomal dominant episodic movement disorder precipitated by coffee, alcohol, and stress. We previously identified the causative gene but the function of the encoded protein remains unknown. We also ...
How is language processed in the brain by native speakers of different languages? Is there one brain system for all languages or are different languages subserved by different brain systems? The first view emphasizes commonality, whereas the second ...
Humans routinely formulate plans in domains so complex that even the most powerful computers are taxed. To do so, they seem to avail themselves of many strategies and heuristics that efficiently simplify, approximate, and hierarchically decompose hard ...
Even moderate doses of alcohol cause considerable impairment of motor coordination, an effect that substantially involves potentiation of GABAergic activity at δ subunit-containing GABAA receptors (δ-GABAARs). Here, we demonstrate that oxytocin ...
Under natural viewing conditions the input to the retina is a complex spatiotemporal signal that depends on both the scene and the way the observer moves. It is commonly assumed that the retina processes this input signal efficiently by taking into ...
Both animal studies and studies using deep brain stimulation in humans have demonstrated the involvement of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) in motivational and emotional processes; however, participation of this nucleus in processing human emotion has not ...
Gene knockout (KO) does not always result in phenotypic changes, possibly due to mechanisms of functional compensation. We have studied mice lacking cGMP-dependent kinase II (cGKII), which phosphorylates GluA1, a subunit of AMPA receptors (AMPARs), and ...

Physiology

Sound is encoded within the auditory portion of the inner ear, the cochlea, after propagating down its length as a traveling wave. For over half a century, vibratory measurements to study cochlear traveling waves have been made using invasive approaches ...

Plant Biology

Although Mg2+ is essential for a myriad of cellular processes, high levels of Mg2+ in the environment, such as those found in serpentine soils, become toxic to plants. In this study, we identified two calcineurin B-like (CBL) proteins, CBL2 and CBL3, as ...
A complex consisting of evolutionarily conserved FD, FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) proteins is a regulator of floral transition. Intriguingly, FT orthologs are also implicated in developmental transitions distinct from flowering, such as photoperiodic control of ...
Maize anthers, the male reproductive floral organs, express two classes of phased small-interfering RNAs (phasiRNAs). PhasiRNA precursors are transcribed by RNA polymerase II and map to low-copy, intergenic regions similar to PIWI-interacting RNAs (piRNAs)...

Psychological and Cognitive Sciences

Brain development is largely shaped by early sensory experience. However, it is currently unknown whether, how early, and to what extent the newborn’s brain is shaped by exposure to maternal sounds when the brain is most sensitive to early life ...

Systems Biology

Competing endogenous RNAs (ceRNAs) cross-regulate each other at the posttranscriptional level by titrating shared microRNAs (miRNAs). Here, we established a computational model to quantitatively describe a minimum ceRNA network and experimentally ...

Corrections (Online only)

View the cover image for PNAS Vol.112; No.10
View the cover image for PNAS Vol.112; No.10

Cover image: Pictured is Scaptomyza flava, an herbivorous fly that evolved from microbe-feeding ancestors less than 20 million years ago. Benjamin Goldman-Huertas et al. compared the antennal responses of S. flava with Drosophila melanogaster, a closely related species that feeds on yeast, to volatile compounds emitted by yeast and the plant Arabidopsis thaliana. The herbivorous S. flava failed to respond to yeast volatiles, and genomic analyses indicated that genes encoding receptors for yeast volatiles had either been deleted or inactivated, suggesting that evolutionary changes in olfactory receptor proteins may have supported the emergence of herbivory in S. flava. See the article by Goldman-Huertas et al. on pages 3026–3031. Image courtesy of Noah K. Whiteman.

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