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San Pedro de Atacama, Chile

The Metropolitan University of Educational science is a public university specialising in pedagogy and located in the commune of Ñuñoa, Santiago, Chile. Wikipedia.

Flores-Prado L.,Metropolitan University of Educational Sciences | Niemeyer H.M.,University of Chile
Neotropical Entomology | Year: 2012

Parasitoid fitness depends on the ability of females to locate a host. In some species of Ichneumonoidea, female parasitoids detect potential hosts through vibratory cues emanating from them or through vibrational sounding produced by antennal tapping on the substrate. In this study, we (1) describe host location behaviors in Grotea gayi Spinola (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae) and Labena sp. on nests of Manuelia postica Spinola (Hymenoptera: Apidae), (2) compare nest dimensions between parasitized and unparasitized nests, (3) correlate the length of M. postica nests with the number of immature individuals developing, and (4) establish the relative proportion of parasitized nests along the breeding period of M. postica. Based on our results, we propose that these parasitoids use vibrational sounding as a host location mechanism and that they are able to assess host nest dimensions and choose those which may provide them with a higher fitness. Finally, we discuss an ancestral host-parasitoid relationship between Manuelia and ichneumonid species. © 2012 Sociedade Entomológica do Brasil.

Osorio-Fuentealba C.,Metropolitan University of Educational Sciences | Klip A.,Program in Cell Biology
Biochemical Journal | Year: 2015

The serine/threonine kinase Akt/PKB (protein kinase B) is key for mammalian cell growth, survival, metabolism and oncogenic transformation. The diverse level and tissue expression of its three isoforms, Akt1/PKBα, Akt2/PKBβ and Akt3/PKBγ , make it daunting to identify isoform-specific actions in vivo and even in isolated tissues/cells. To date, isoform-specific knockout and knockdown have been the best strategies to dissect their individual overall functions. In a recent article in the Biochemical Journal, Kajno et al. reported a new strategy to study isoform selectivity in cell lines. Individual Akt/PKB isoforms in 3T3-L1 pre-adipocytes are first silenced via shRNA and stable cellular clones lacking one or the other isoform are selected. The stably silenced isoform is then replaced by a mutant engineered to be refractory to inhibition by MK-2206 (Akt1W80A or Akt2W80A). Akt1W80A or Akt2W80A are functional and effectively recruited to the plasma membrane in response to insulin. The system affords the opportunity to acutely control the activity of the endogenous non-silenced isoform through timely addition of MK-2206. Using this approach, it is confirmed that Akt1/PKBα is the preferred isoform sustaining adipocyte differentiation, but both Akt1/PKBα and Akt2/PKBβ can indistinctly support insulin-dependent FoxO1 (forkhead box O1) nuclear exclusion. Surprisingly, either isoform can also support insulin-dependent glucose transporter (GLUT) 4 translocation to the membrane, in contrast with the preferential role of Akt2/ PKBβ assessed by knockdown studies. The new strategy should allow analysis of the plurality of Akt/PKB functions in other cells and in response to other stimuli. It should also be amenable to high-throughput studies to speed up advances in signal transmission by this pivotal kinase. © 2015 Authors; published by Portland Press Limited.

The levels of sociality in Hymenoptera have been associated with key behavioural traits, such as nesting and agonistic behaviour, and intraspecifi c recognition capacity. Nestmate recognition is a widespread condition among eusocial species, and can be inferred from the outcome of the interaction between females from the same or different nests; females are more tolerant towards nestmate than towards non-nestmate females. By contrast, in most solitary species females are aggressive towards conspecifi c females. In eusocial species, food for immature brood is directly provided by the mother or by workers; thus, the frequent contact of the brood with nursing adults may help our understanding of social recognition behaviours. At the other extreme, females in solitary species construct nests that do not allow physical interaction between adult and immature individuals. Despite this, recent studies suggest that self-referencing may contribute to overcoming the lack of stimulation with conspecifi c cues, and perhaps corresponds to the starting point in the development and evolution of sociality. The Xylocopinae (Apidae) subfamily has emerged as a valuable model to study the transitions in social evolution because it contains species ranging from solitary to eusocial. The tribe Manueliini represents an interesting taxon in the study of the evolution of sociality in Xylocopinae because it has been hypothesized as the sister group of all other Xylocopinae. It is a relictual taxon retaining several ancestral morphological features and contains only largely solitary species (although nestmate and kin recognition has been recently demonstrated in one of these species), and some species exhibit behavioural traits that have been proposed as prerequisite for the evolution to social life. In this work, the degrees of sociality associated with behavioural traits are reviewed in Hymenoptera, the hypothetical evolutionary routes, origins and losses of highly social behaviour are discussed, and information about taxonomic groups that have emerged as valuable models to study the evolution of sociality is reported. Additionally, features proposed as precursors of sociality are compared within the subfamily Xylocopinae, evidence demonstrating nestmate recognition in a Manueliini species, a phenomenon fi rst demonstrated in a largely solitary species, is discussed, and the evolution of sociality associated with behavioural traits is analyzed, on the basis of a new phylogenetic hypothesis for the Xylocopinae. © Sociedad de Biología de Chile.

Cardenas-Jiron G.I.,University of Santiago de Chile | Gonzalez C.,Metropolitan University of Educational Sciences | Benavides J.,University of Santiago de Chile
Journal of Physical Chemistry C | Year: 2012

The oxidation of nitric oxide (NO) mediated by substituted nickel phthalocyanines (NiPc(X) n) has been investigated for 19 complexes at the B3LYP and M05-2X/LANL2DZ/6-31G(d) levels of theory. Unimolecular reactivity descriptors like chemical potential and electrophilicity were calculated for NiPc(X) n, giving an account of the substituent effect and indicating that electron-withdrawing groups favor the reduction of NiPc(X) n. Bimolecular reactivity descriptor as donor-acceptor hardness was used to get information about the affinity of NO by NiPc(X) n and suggests that Ni(III) has better affinity than Ni(II). A mechanism where Ni(III) catalyzes the oxidation of NO instead of Ni(II) was proposed. Optimized molecular structures calculated for the NO⋯NiPc(X) n adducts confirm that a larger charge transfer occurs from NO to Ni(III)Pc(X) n in comparison with Ni(II)Pc(X) n and that the reduction in the former complexes happens on the phthalocyanine ligand. © 2012 American Chemical Society.

Cassels B.K.,University of Chile | Asencio M.,University of Chile | Asencio M.,Metropolitan University of Educational Sciences
Phytochemistry Reviews | Year: 2011

The continued advance of HIV-AIDS makes the development of relatively inexpensive, freely accessible, and mechanistically more diverse antiviral therapies an urgent need. Natural products are, directly or indirectly, an important potential source of compounds meeting these conditions. A review of the recent literature indicates that some hemisynthetic triterpenoid derivatives, particularly belonging to the lupane, oleanane and ursane series, may be nearing a stage where they can be used to complement existing therapeutic approaches. On the other hand, although some natural derivatives of tetracyclic terpenoid families have revealed many novel structures and some promise as anti-HIV substances, their chemical modification to improve their potency and selectivity remains practically untouched. While ongoing work with the more 'classical' pentacyclic triterpenoids will continue to be a fertile field for HIV-AIDS drug discovery, the other structural groups offer unprecedented opportunities for the development of additional substances with useful properties and for the discovery of novel targets for antiviral therapy. © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010.

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