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Plos Biology : the Active Site of a Carbohydrate Esterase Displays...

By: Daniel Herschlag

Description : Multifunctional proteins, which play a critical role in many biological processes, have typically evolved through the recruitment of different domains that have the required functional diversity. Thus the different activities displayed by these proteins are mediated by spatially distinct domains, consistent with the specific chemical requirements of each activity. Indeed, current evolutionary theory argues that the colocalization of diverse activities withi...

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Plos Biology : Malaria Infection Increases Attractiveness of Human...

By: Tom Smith

Description : Do malaria parasites enhance the attractiveness of humans to the parasite’s vector? As such manipulation would have important implications for the epidemiology of the disease, the question has been debated for many years. To investigate the issue in a semi-natural situation, we assayed the attractiveness of 12 groups of three western Kenyan children to the main African malaria vector, the mosquito Anopheles gambiae. In each group, one child was uninfected, ...

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Plos Biology : Variant Histone H2A.Z is Globally Localized to the ...

By: Mark Groudine

Description : H2A.Z is an evolutionary conserved histone variant involved in transcriptional regulation, antisilencing, silencing, and genome stability. The mechanism(s) by which H2A.Z regulates these various biological functions remains poorly defined, in part due to the lack of knowledge regarding its physical location along chromosomes and the bearing it has in regulating chromatin structure. Here we mapped H2A.Z across the yeast genome at an approximately 300-bp reso...

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Plos Biology : Yeast Survive by Hedging Their Bets, Volume 10

By: Public Library of Science (Plos)
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Plos Biology : Promote One, Inhibit the Other ; a Single Pathway C...

By: Richard Robinson

Description : To make a functioning neuron, you need both a dendrite to receive signals and an axon to send them. Therefore a shared pathway, which stimulates the growth of both, might come in handy. But growing one or the other alone could also be beneficial, and so it would make sense to have dedicated pathways that could stimulate either process independently. Indeed, such shared and dedicated neuronal growth pathways have both been identified. But then there are time...

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Plos Biology : Clade Age and Species Richness Are Decoupled Across...

By: Rob Knight

Description : Explaining the dramatic variation in species richness across the tree of life remains a key challenge in evolutionary biology. At the largest phylogenetic scales, the extreme heterogeneity in species richness observed among different groups of organisms is almost certainly a function of many complex and interdependent factors. However, the most fundamental expectation in macroevolutionary studies is simply that species richness in extant clades should be co...

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Plos Biology : Mutation of Rna Pol III Subunit Rpc2, Volume 5

By: Derek L. Stemple

Description : The role of RNA polymerase III (Pol III) in developing vertebrates has not been examined. Here, we identify a causative mutation of the second largest Pol III subunit, polr3b, that disrupts digestive organ development in zebrafish slim jim (slj) mutants. The slj mutation is a splice-site substitution that causes deletion of a conserved tract of 41 amino acids in the Polr3b protein. Structural considerations predict that the slj Pol3rb deletion might impair ...

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Plos Biology : N-terminal Phosphorylation of the Dopamine Transpor...

By: Eric Nestler

Description : Amphetamine (AMPH) elicits its behavioral effects by acting on the dopamine (DA) transporter (DAT) to induce DA efflux into the synaptic cleft. We previously demonstrated that a human DAT construct in which the first 22 amino acids were truncated was not phosphorylated by activation of protein kinase C, in contrast to wild-type (WT) DAT, which was phosphorylated. Nonetheless, in all functions tested to date, which include uptake, inhibitor binding, oligomer...

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Plos Biology : More Than Just Access ; Delivering on a Network-ena...

By: J. Marie Hardwick
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Plos Biology : a Force-activated Trip Switch Triggers Rapid Dissoc...

By: Wendy E. Thomas

Description : Colicins are protein antibiotics synthesised by Escherichia coli strains to target and kill related bacteria. To prevent host suicide, colicins are inactivated by binding to immunity proteins. Despite their high avidity (Kd

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Plos Biology : Rapid Interhemispheric Switching During Vocal Produ...

By: Claude Z. H. Wang

Description : To generate complex bilateral motor patterns such as those underlying birdsong, neural activity must be highly coordinated across the two cerebral hemispheres. However, it remains largely elusive how this coordination is achieved given that interhemispheric communication between song-control areas in the avian cerebrum is restricted to projections received from bilaterally connecting areas in the mid- and hindbrain. By electrically stimulating cerebral prem...

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Plos Biology : a Genome-scale Dna Repair Rnai Screen Identifies Sp...

By: Nicholas Hastie

Description : DNA repair is essential to maintain genome integrity, and genes with roles in DNA repair are frequently mutated in a variety of human diseases. Repair via homologous recombination typically restores the original DNA sequence without introducing mutations, and a number of genes that are required for homologous recombination DNA double-strand break repair (HRDSBR) have been identified. However, a systematic analysis of this important DNA repair pathway in mam...

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Plos Biology : the Origin of Glucocorticoid Hormone Oscillations, ...

By: Gregory A. Petsko

Description : Oscillating levels of adrenal glucocorticoid hormones are essential for optimal gene expression, and for maintaining physiological and behavioural responsiveness to stress. The biological basis for these oscillations is not known, but a neuronal ‘‘pulse generator’’ within the hypothalamus has remained a popular hypothesis. We demonstrate that pulsatile hypothalamic activity is not required for generating ultradian glucocorticoid oscillations. We show that a...

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Plos Biology : Integrated Ecosystem Assessments ; Developing the S...

By: Phillip S. Levin
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Plos Biology : a Cell Cycle Timer for Asymmetric Spindle Positioni...

By: Julie Ahringer

Description : The displacement of the mitotic spindle to one side of a cell is important for many cells to divide unequally. While recent progress has begun to unveil some of the molecular mechanisms of mitotic spindle displacement, far less is known about how spindle displacement is precisely timed. A conserved mitotic progression mechanism is known to time events in dividing cells, although this has never been linked to spindle displacement. This mechanism involves the...

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Plos Biology : Components of Coated Vesicles and Nuclear Pore Comp...

By: Greg Petsko

Description : Numerous features distinguish prokaryotes from eukaryotes, chief among which are the distinctive internal membrane systems of eukaryotic cells. These membrane systems form elaborate compartments and vesicular trafficking pathways, and sequester the chromatin within the nuclear envelope. The nuclear pore complex is the portal that specifically mediates macromolecular trafficking across the nuclear envelope. Although it is generally understood that these inte...

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Plos Biology : Reduced Juvenile Long-term Depression in Tuberous S...

By: Cliff Abraham

Description : Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) is a multisystem genetic disease that manifests with mental retardation, tumor formation, autism, and epilepsy. Heightened signaling through the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway is involved in TSC pathology, however it remains unclear how other signaling pathways are perturbed and contribute to disease symptoms. Reduced long-term depression (LTD) was recently reported in TSC mutant mice. We find that although red...

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Plos Biology : Structure-guided Recombination Creates an Artificia...

By: Greg A. Petsko

Description : Creating artificial protein families affords new opportunities to explore the determinants of structure and biological function free from many of the constraints of natural selection. We have created an artificial family comprising :3,000 P450 heme proteins that correctly fold and incorporate a heme cofactor by recombining three cytochromes P450 at seven crossover locations chosen to minimize structural disruption. Members of this protein family differ from...

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Plos Biology : Function of a Fly Motion-sensitive Neuron Matches E...

By: Mandyam V. Srinivasan

Description : Sensing is often implicitly assumed to be the passive acquisition of information. However, part of the sensory information is generated actively when animals move. For instance, humans shift their gaze actively in a sequence of saccades towards interesting locations in a scene. Likewise, many insects shift their gaze by saccadic turns of body and head, keeping their gaze fixed between saccades. Here we employ a novel panoramic virtual reality stimulator and...

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Plos Biology : Premitotic Assembly of Human Cenps -t and -w Switch...

By: Don Cleveland

Description : Centromeres are differentiated chromatin domains, present once per chromosome, that direct segregation of the genome in mitosis and meiosis by specifying assembly of the kinetochore. They are distinct genetic loci in that their identity in most organisms is determined not by the DNA sequences they are associated with, but through specific chromatin composition and context. The core nucleosomal protein CENP-A/cenH3 plays a primary role in centromere determin...

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