Latest Publications

Reclaiming Warburg: using developmental biology to gain insight into human metabolic diseases.

Tue, 02/09/2021 - 03:46
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Reclaiming Warburg: using developmental biology to gain insight into human metabolic diseases.

Development. 2020 06 14;147(11):

Authors: Drummond-Barbosa D, Tennessen JM

Abstract
Developmental biologists have frequently pushed the frontiers of modern biomedical research. From the discovery and characterization of novel signal transduction pathways to exploring the molecular underpinnings of genetic inheritance, transcription, the cell cycle, cell death and stem cell biology, studies of metazoan development have historically opened new fields of study and consistently revealed previously unforeseen avenues of clinical therapies. From this perspective, it is not surprising that our community is now an integral part of the current renaissance in metabolic research. Amidst the global rise in metabolic syndrome, the discovery of novel signaling roles for metabolites, and the increasing links between altered metabolism and many human diseases, we as developmental biologists can contribute skills and expertise that are uniquely suited for investigating the mechanisms underpinning human metabolic health and disease. Here, we summarize the opportunities and challenges that our community faces, and discuss how developmental biologists can make unique and valuable contributions to the field of metabolism and physiology.

PMID: 32540896 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Categories: pubmed

The first complete mitochondrial genome of the sand dollar Sinaechinocyamus mai (Echinoidea: Clypeasteroida).

Wed, 01/13/2021 - 18:40
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The first complete mitochondrial genome of the sand dollar Sinaechinocyamus mai (Echinoidea: Clypeasteroida).

Genomics. 2020 03;112(2):1686-1693

Authors: Lin JP, Tsai MH, Kroh A, Trautman A, Machado DJ, Chang LY, Reid R, Lin KT, Bronstein O, Lee SJ, Janies D

Abstract
Morphologic and molecular data often lead to different hypotheses of phylogenetic relationships. Such incongruence has been found in the echinoderm class Echinoidea. In particular, the phylogenetic status of the order Clypeasteroida is not well resolved. Complete mitochondrial genomes are currently available for 29 echinoid species, but no clypeasteroid had been sequenced to date. DNA extracted from a single live individual of Sinaechinocyamus mai was sequenced with 10× Genomics technology. This first complete mitochondrial genome (mitogenome) for the order Clypeasteroida is 15,756 base pairs in length. Phylogenomic analysis based on 34 ingroup taxa belonging to nine orders of the class Echinoidea show congruence between our new genetic inference and published trees based on morphologic characters, but also includes some intriguing differences that imply the need for additional investigation.

PMID: 31629878 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Categories: pubmed

Ion channels and signaling pathways used in the fast polyspermy block.

Tue, 01/12/2021 - 18:20
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Ion channels and signaling pathways used in the fast polyspermy block.

Mol Reprod Dev. 2020 03;87(3):350-357

Authors: Wozniak KL, Carlson AE

Abstract
Fertilization of an egg by multiple sperms, polyspermy, is lethal to most sexually reproducing species. To combat the entry of additional sperm into already fertilized eggs, organisms have developed various polyspermy blocks. One such barrier, the fast polyspermy block, uses a fertilization-activated depolarization of the egg membrane to electrically inhibit supernumerary sperm from entering the egg. The fast block is commonly used by eggs of oviparous animals with external fertilization. In this review, we discuss the history of the fast block discovery, as well as general features shared by all organisms that use this polyspermy block. Given the diversity of habitats of external fertilizers, the fine details of the fast block-signaling pathways differ drastically between species, including the identity of the depolarizing ions. We highlight the known molecular mediators of these signaling pathways in amphibians and echinoderms, with a fine focus on ion channels that signal these fertilization-evoked depolarizations. We also discuss the investigation for a fast polyspermy block in mammals and teleost fish, and we outline potential fast block triggers. Since the first electrical recordings made on eggs in the 1950s, the fields of developmental biology and electrophysiology have substantially matured, and yet we are only now beginning to discern the intricate molecular mechanisms regulating the fast block to polyspermy.

PMID: 31087507 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Categories: pubmed

Developmental toxicity of plastic leachates on the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus.

Thu, 01/07/2021 - 16:31
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Developmental toxicity of plastic leachates on the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus.

Environ Pollut. 2021 Jan 15;269:115744

Authors: Rendell-Bhatti F, Paganos P, Pouch A, Mitchell C, D'Aniello S, Godley BJ, Pazdro K, Arnone MI, Jimenez-Guri E

Abstract
Microplastic pollution has become ubiquitous, affecting a wide variety of biota. Although microplastics are known to alter the development of a range of marine invertebrates, no studies provide a detailed morphological characterisation of the developmental defects. Likewise, the developmental toxicity of chemicals leached from plastic particles is understudied. The consequences of these developmental effects are likely underestimated, and the effects on ecosystems are unknown. Using the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus as a model, we studied the effects of leachates of three forms of plastic pellet: new industrial pre-production plastic nurdles, beached pre-production nurdles, and floating filters, known as biobeads, also retrieved from the environment. Our chemical analyses show that leachates from beached pellets (biobead and nurdle pellets) and highly plasticised industrial pellets (PVC) contain polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and polychlorinated biphenyls, which are known to be detrimental to development and other life stages of animals. We also demonstrate that these microplastic leachates elicit severe, consistent and treatment-specific developmental abnormalities in P. lividus at embryonic and larval stages. Those embryos exposed to virgin polyethylene leachates with no additives nor environmental contaminants developed normally, suggesting that the abnormalities observed are the result of exposure to either environmentally adsorbed contaminants or pre-existing industrial additives within the polymer matrix. In the light of the chemical contents of the leachates and other characteristics of the plastic particles used, we discuss the phenotypes observed during our study, which include abnormal gastrulation, impaired skeletogenesis, abnormal neurogenesis, redistribution of pigmented cells and embryo radialisation.

PMID: 33257153 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Categories: pubmed