Is there any intron sliding in mammals?
Eukaryotic protein-coding genes consist of exons and introns. Exon–intron borders are conserved between species and thus their changes might be observed only on quite long evolutionary distances. One of the rarest types of change, in which intron relocates over a short distance, is called "intron sliding", but the reality of this event has been debated for a long time. The main idea of a search for intron sliding is to use the most accurate genome annotation and genome sequence, as well as high-quality transcriptome data. We applied them in a search for sliding introns in mammals in order to widen knowledge about the presence or absence of such phenomena in this group.
We didn’t find any significant evidence of intron sliding in the primate group (human, chimpanzee, rhesus macaque, crab-eating macaque, green monkey, marmoset). Only one possible intron sliding event supported by a set of high quality transcriptomes was observed between EIF1AX human and sheep gene orthologs. Also, we checked a list of previously observed intron sliding events in mammals and showed that most likely they are artifacts of genome annotations and are not shown in subsequent annotation versions as well as are not supported by transcriptomic data.
We assume that intron sliding is indeed a very rare evolutionary event if it exists at all. Every case of intron sliding needs a lot of supportive data for detection and confirmation.
We studied structural peculiarities of 123 human genes which were previously identified as genes of early response to exercise stress. Compared to protein-coding genes in general, their structure revealed some peculiarities: they are shorter in both coding and non-coding regions and contain fewer introns. This result is in good agreement with the similar results reported for stress-responding genes in other species (yeasts, thale cress, and mice).
In total, 721 specimens from eight populations of the raccoon dog Nyctereutes procyonoides across native and colonized areas have been studied. The most polymorphic populations inhabit the European part of Russia and a part of the native area. The raccoon dog from Eastern Poland and the Primorie Far East is characterized by low intrapopulational variability. Quantitative genetic variations in the studied populations indicate a relatively higher level in the population from the Primorie Far East compared to the Southern Vologda and Eastern Poland. The pattern of morphological variability in the raccoon dog is shaped by such factors as the latest phylogenetic history of the species and the structure of the morphotype frequency in the time of the divergence of the populations on both micro-and macro-geographic levels. The influence of geographic and climatic factors forms a well-pronounced trend towards diversification in tooth morphology, which is most probably the consequence of adaptations to changes in the food niche.
A typical eukaryotic gene is comprised of alternating stretches of regions, exons and introns, retained in and spliced out a mature mRNA, respectively. Although the length of introns may vary substantially among organisms, a large fraction of genes contains short introns in many species. Notably, some Ciliates (Paramecium and Nyctotherus) possess only ultra-short introns, around 25 bp long. In Paramecium, ultra-short introns with length divisible by three (3n) are under strong evolutionary pressure and have a high frequency of in-frame stop codons, which, in the case of intron retention, cause premature termination of mRNA translation and consequent degradation of the mis-spliced mRNA by the nonsense-mediated decay mechanism. Here, we analyzed introns in five genera of Ciliates, Paramecium, Tetrahymena, Ichthyophthirius, Oxytricha, and Stylonychia. Introns can be classified into two length classes in Tetrahymena and Ichthyophthirius (with means 48 bp, 69 bp, and 55 bp, 64 bp, respectively), but, surprisingly, comprise three distinct length classes in Oxytricha and Stylonychia (with means 33-35 bp, 47-51 bp, and 78-80 bp). In most ranges of the intron lengths, 3n introns are underrepresented and have a high frequency of in-frame stop codons in all studied species. Introns of Paramecium, Tetrahymena, and Ichthyophthirius are preferentially located at the 5' and 3' ends of genes, whereas introns of Oxytricha and Stylonychia are strongly skewed towards the 5' end. Analysis of evolutionary conservation shows that, in each studied genome, a significant fraction of intron positions is conserved between the orthologs, but intron lengths are not correlated between the species. In summary, our study provides a detailed characterization of introns in several genera of Ciliates and highlights some of their distinctive properties, which, together, indicate that splicing spellchecking is a universal and evolutionarily conserved process in the biogenesis of short introns in various representatives of Ciliates.
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