Extracellular miRNAs and cell-cell communication: problems and prospects
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short RNA molecules regulating multiple cellular processes through posttranscriptional gene silencing. Over the last decade, miRNA have been found in extracellular space and have been consistently shown to mediate functional communication between cells. While it remains widely accepted that miRNA transfer between cells occurs via extracellular vesicles (EVs), multiple other carriers of cell-free miRNA have been described. In addition, some studies have demonstrated that both miRNA and their binding partners, Argonaute proteins, remain hardly detectable in common isolates of EVs. In this work, we summarize the state-of-the-art mechanisms of miRNA sorting and secretion, discuss methodological challenges associated with extracellular miRNA research, and suggest experimental steps to resolve current inconsistencies in the field of miRNA-mediated cell-cell communication.
Exosomes and microvesicles are two major categories of extracellular vesicles (EVs) released by almost all cell types and are highly abundant in biological fluids. Both the molecular composition of EVs and their release are thought to be strictly regulated by external stimuli. Multiple studies have consistently demonstrated that EVs transfer proteins, lipids and RNA between various cell types, thus mediating intercellular communication, and signaling. Importantly, small non-coding RNAs within EVs are thought to be major contributors to the molecular events occurring in the recipient cell. Furthermore, RNA cargo in exosomes and microvesicles could hold tremendous potential as non-invasive biomarkers for multiple disorders, including pathologies of the immune system. This mini-review is aimed to provide the state-of-the-art in the EVs-associated RNA transcriptome field, as well as the comprehensive analysis of previous studies characterizing RNA content within EVs released by various cells using next-generation sequencing. Finally, we highlight the technical challenges associated with obtaining pure EVs and deep sequencing of the EV-associated RNAs.
One of the key advances in genome assembly that has led to a significant improvement in contig lengths has been improved algorithms for utilization of paired reads (mate-pairs). While in most assemblers, mate-pair information is used in a post-processing step, the recently proposed Paired de Bruijn Graph (PDBG) approach incorporates the mate-pair information directly in the assembly graph structure. However, the PDBG approach faces difficulties when the variation in the insert sizes is high. To address this problem, we first transform mate-pairs into edge-pair histograms that allow one to better estimate the distance between edges in the assembly graph that represent regions linked by multiple mate-pairs. Further, we combine the ideas of mate-pair transformation and PDBGs to construct new data structures for genome assembly: pathsets and pathset graphs.
Many environmental stimuli present a quasi-rhythmic structure at different timescales that the brain needs to decompose and integrate. Cortical oscillations have been proposed as instruments of sensory de-multiplexing, i.e., the parallel processing of different frequency streams in sensory signals. Yet their causal role in such a process has never been demonstrated. Here, we used a neural microcircuit model to address whether coupled theta–gamma oscillations, as observed in human auditory cortex, could underpin the multiscale sensory analysis of speech. We show that, in continuous speech, theta oscillations can flexibly track the syllabic rhythm and temporally organize the phoneme-level response of gamma neurons into a code that enables syllable identification. The tracking of slow speech fluctuations by theta oscillations, and its coupling to gamma-spiking activity both appeared as critical features for accurate speech encoding. These results demonstrate that cortical oscillations can be a key instrument of speech de-multiplexing, parsing, and encoding.
Papers about natural protection territories
Neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (NNRs) of the α7 subtype have been shown to contribute to the release of dopamine in the nucleus accumbens. The site of action and the underlying mechanism, however, are unclear. Here we applied a circuit modeling approach, supported by electrochemical in vivo recordings, to clarify this issue. Modeling revealed two potential mechanisms for the drop in accumbal dopamine efflux evoked by the selective α7 partial agonist TC-7020. TC-7020 could desensitize α7 NNRs located predominantly on dopamine neurons or glutamatergic afferents to them or, alternatively, activate α7 NNRs located on the glutamatergic afferents to GABAergic interneurons in the ventral tegmental area. Only the model based on desensitization, however, was able to explain the neutralizing effect of coapplied PNU-120596, a positive allosteric modulator. According to our results, the most likely sites of action are the preterminal α7 NNRs controlling glutamate release from cortical afferents to the nucleus accumbens. These findings offer a rationale for the further investigation of α7 NNR agonists as therapy for diseases associated with enhanced mesolimbic dopaminergic tone, such as schizophrenia and addiction