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PubMed | University of Trento, University of TrentoTrento, Israel Oceanographic And Limnological Research, Copenhagen University and Research and Innovation Center Trento
Type: | Journal: Frontiers in plant science | Year: 2016

Here we report the lipid profiles of ten dinoflagellate species originating from different freshwater habitats and grown at 4, 13, or 20C akin to their natural occurrence. Lipids were determined by High Performance Liquid Chromatography-ElectroSpray Ionization-Mass Spectrometry in positive and negative ion modes. Besides the well-studied monogalactosyldiacylglycerol (MGDG) and digalactosyldiacylglycerol (DGDG) lipids, our study revealed the presence of intact molecular lipid species of trigalactosyldiacylglycerols, betaine diacylglyceryl-carboxyhydroxymethylcholine, sulfolipid sulfoquinovosyldiacylglycerols (SQDG) and phospholipids, in particular phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylethanolamine and phosphatidylglycerol. In multivariate ordination, the freshwater dinoflagellates studied could be distinguished into two groups based on their lipid profiles. Peridinium aciculiferum, Borghiella dodgei, B. tenuissima and Tovellia coronata belonged to group 1 while Ceratium cornutum, Gymnodinium palustre, Jadwigia applanata, P. cinctum, P. willei, and P. gatunense belonged to group 2. Indicator species analysis evidenced that group 1 was characterized by 36:9 MGDG and 36:9 DGDG and group 2 by 38:9 and 38:10 MGDG, 38:9 and 38:10 DGDG and 34:1 SQDG. We suggest that the grouping of dinoflagellates indicated their range of temperature tolerance. Furthermore, non-thylakoid lipids were linked to dinoflagellate phylogeny based on the large ribosomal sub-unit (28S LSU) rather than their temperature tolerance. Thus certain lipids better reflected habitat adaptation while other lipids better reflected genetic diversity.

PubMed | University of Trento, Bilkent University and University of TrentoTrento
Type: | Journal: Frontiers in psychology | Year: 2016

There is mounting evidence that observers rely on statistical summaries of visual information to maintain stable and coherent perception. Sensitivity to the mean (or other prototypical value) of a visual feature (e.g., mean size) appears to be a pervasive process in human visual perception. Previous studies in individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have uncovered characteristic patterns of visual processing that suggest they may rely more on enhanced local representations of individual objects instead of computing such perceptual averages. To further explore the fundamental nature of abstract statistical representation in visual perception, we investigated perceptual averaging of mean size in a group of 12 high-functioning individuals diagnosed with ASD using simplified versions of two identification and adaptation tasks that elicited characteristic perceptual averaging effects in a control group of neurotypical participants. In Experiment 1, participants performed with above chance accuracy in recalling the mean size of a set of circles (

PubMed | University of Trento, University of TrentoTrento and Ghent University
Type: | Journal: Frontiers in neuroscience | Year: 2016

Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder that mainly affects social interaction and communication. Evidence from behavioral and functional MRI studies supports the hypothesis that dysfunctional mechanisms involving social brain structures play a major role in autistic symptomatology. However, the investigation of anatomical abnormalities in the brain of people with autism has led to inconsistent results. We investigated whether specific brain regions, known to display functional abnormalities in autism, may exhibit mutual and peculiar patterns of covariance in their gray-matter concentrations. We analyzed structural MRI images of 32 young men affected by autistic disorder (AD) and 50 healthy controls. Controls were matched for sex, age, handedness. IQ scores were also monitored to avoid confounding. A multivariate Source-Based Morphometry (SBM) was applied for the first time on AD and controls to detect maximally independent networks of gray matter. Group comparison revealed a gray-matter source that showed differences in AD compared to controls. This network includes broad temporal regions involved in social cognition and high-level visual processing, but also motor and executive areas of the frontal lobe. Notably, we found that gray matter differences, as reflected by SBM, significantly correlated with social and behavioral deficits displayed by AD individuals and encoded via the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule scores. These findings provide support for current hypotheses about the neural basis of atypical social and mental states information processing in autism.

Magno M.,University of Bologna | Magno M.,ETH Zurich | Brunelli D.,University of TrentoTrento | Sigrist L.,ETH Zurich | And 5 more authors.
Sustainable Computing: Informatics and Systems | Year: 2016

Wearable technology is gaining popularity, with people wearing everything “smart” from clothing to glasses and watches. Present-day wearables are typically battery-powered, and their limited lifetime has become the critical issue. Most devices need recharging every few days or even hours, falling short of the expectations for a truly satisfactory user experience. This paper presents the design, implementation and in-field evaluation of InfiniTime, a novel sensor-rich smart bracelet powered by energy harvesting. It is designed to achieve self-sustainability using solar cells with only modest indoor light levels and thermoelectric generators (TEG's) with small temperature gradients from the body heat. The wearable device is equipped with an ultra-low power camera and a microphone, in addition to accelerometer and temperature sensors commonly used in commercial devices. Experimental characterization of the fully operational prototype demonstrates a wide range of energy optimization techniques used to achieve self-sustainability with harvested energy only. Our experiments in real-world scenarios show an average of up to 550 μW for photovoltaic in indoor and 98 μW for TEG with only 3 ° temperature gradient and up to 250 μW for 5° gradient. Simulations using energy intake measurements from solar and TEG modules confirm that InfiniTime achieves self-sustainability with indoor lighting levels and body heat for several realistic applications featuring data acquisition from the on-board camera and multiple sensors, as well as visualization and wireless connectivity. The highly optimized low-power architecture of the presented prototype features image acquisitions at 1.15 frames per second, powered only from the energy harvesters. © 2016 Elsevier Inc.

Zucal C.,University of TrentoTrento | D'Agostino V.,University of TrentoTrento | Loffredo R.,University of TrentoTrento | Mantelli B.,University of TrentoTrento | And 5 more authors.
Current Drug Targets | Year: 2015

The RNA-binding protein (RBP) HuR is one of the most widely studied regulators of the eukaryotic posttranscriptional gene expression and it plays a physiological role in mediating the cellular response to apoptotic, proliferating and survival stimuli. Following physiological or stress stimuli, HuR protein binds to Adenylate-Urydinilate rich elements (AREs) generally contained in the 3’UTR of transcripts, then it shuttles from the nucleus to the cytoplasm and regulates the half-life and/or translation of cargo mRNAs. Derangements in sub-cellular localization and expression of HuR have been associated with the pathophysiology of many diseases and this protein has been proposed as a potential drug target. Recent findings also re-evaluated HuR as a splicing and polyadenylation factor, expanding its spectrum of functional activity up to the maturation of pre-mRNAs. In this review, we generate a comprehensive picture of HuR functionality to discuss the implications of considering HuR as pharmacological target and the detrimental or positive impact that can be expected upon its modulation. Firstly, we focus on the recent findings about the mechanistic role of HuR in the nucleus and in the regulation of long non coding RNAs; then we describe the animal models and the clinical association and significance in cancer; finally, we have reviewed the pharmacological tools that influence HuR’s post-transcriptional control and the efforts made to identify specific HuR inhibitors. © 2015 Bentham Science Publishers

Montioli R.,University of VeronaVerona | Oppici E.,University of VeronaVerona | Dindo M.,University of VeronaVerona | Roncador A.,University of VeronaVerona | And 4 more authors.
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Proteins and Proteomics | Year: 2015

Abstract Liver peroxisomal alanine:glyoxylate aminotransferase (AGT), a pyridoxal 5′-phosphate (PLP) enzyme, exists as two polymorphic forms, the major (AGT-Ma) and the minor (AGT-Mi) haplotype. Deficit of AGT causes Primary Hyperoxaluria Type 1 (PH1), an autosomal recessive rare disease. Although ∼ one-third of the 79 disease-causing missense mutations segregates on AGT-Mi, only few of them are well characterized. Here for the first time the molecular and cellular defects of G47R-Mi are reported. When expressed in Escherichia coli, the recombinant purified G47R-Mi variant exhibits only a 2.5-fold reduction of its kcat, and its apo form displays a remarkably decreased PLP binding affinity, increased dimer-monomer equilibrium dissociation constant value, susceptibility to thermal denaturation and to N-terminal region proteolytic cleavage, and aggregation propensity. When stably expressed in a mammalian cell line, we found ∼ 95% of the intact form of the variant in the insoluble fraction, and proteolyzed (within the N-terminal region) and aggregated forms both in the soluble and insoluble fractions. Moreover, the intact and nicked forms have a peroxisomal and a mitochondrial localization, respectively. Unlike what already seen for G41R-Mi, exposure of G47R-Mi expressing cells to pyridoxine (PN) remarkably increases the expression level and the specific activity in a dose-dependent manner, reroutes all the protein to peroxisomes, and rescues its functionality. Although the mechanism of the different effect of PN on the variants G47R-Mi and G41R-Mi remains elusive, the chaperoning activity of PN may be of value in the therapy of patients bearing the G47R mutation. © 2015 The Authors.

PubMed | University of Otago, University of Trento and University of TrentoTrento
Type: | Journal: Frontiers in molecular neuroscience | Year: 2016

Voltage-gated Ca(2+) (CaV) channels enable Ca(2+) influx in response to membrane depolarization. CaV2.1 channels are localized to the presynaptic membrane of many types of neurons where they are involved in triggering neurotransmitter release. Several signaling proteins have been identified as important CaV2.1 regulators including protein kinases, G-proteins and Ca(2+) binding proteins. Recently, we discovered that leucine rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2), a protein associated with inherited Parkinsons disease, interacts with specific synaptic proteins and influences synaptic transmission. Since synaptic proteins functionally interact with CaV2.1 channels and synaptic transmission is triggered by Ca(2+) entry via CaV2.1, we investigated whether LRRK2 could impact CaV2.1 channel function. CaV2.1 channel properties were measured using whole cell patch clamp electrophysiology in HEK293 cells transfected with CaV2.1 subunits and various LRRK2 constructs. Our results demonstrate that both wild type (wt) LRRK2 and the G2019S LRRK2 mutant caused a significant increase in whole cell Ca(2+) current density compared to cells expressing only the CaV2.1 channel complex. In addition, LRRK2 expression caused a significant hyperpolarizing shift in voltage-dependent activation while having no significant effect on inactivation properties. These functional changes in CaV2.1 activity are likely due to a direct action of LRRK2 as we detected a physical interaction between LRRK2 and the 3 CaV channel subunit via coimmunoprecipitation. Furthermore, effects on CaV2.1 channel function are dependent on LRRK2 kinase activity as these could be reversed via treatment with a LRRK2 inhibitor. Interestingly, LRRK2 also augmented endogenous voltage-gated Ca(2+) channel function in PC12 cells suggesting other CaV channels could also be regulated by LRRK2. Overall, our findings support a novel physiological role for LRRK2 in regulating CaV2.1 function that could have implications for how mutations in LRRK2 contribute to Parkinsons disease pathophysiology.

PubMed | University of TrentoTrento
Type: | Journal: Frontiers in neuroscience | Year: 2016

The white matter pathways of the brain can be reconstructed as 3D polylines, called streamlines, through the analysis of diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (dMRI) data. The whole set of streamlines is called tractogram and represents the structural connectome of the brain. In multiple applications, like group-analysis, segmentation, or atlasing, tractograms of different subjects need to be aligned. Typically, this is done with registration methods, that transform the tractograms in order to increase their similarity. In contrast with transformation-based registration methods, in this work we propose the concept of tractogram correspondence, whose aim is to find which streamline of one tractogram corresponds to which streamline in another tractogram, i.e., a map from one tractogram to another. As a further contribution, we propose to use the relational information of each streamline, i.e., its distances from the other streamlines in its own tractogram, as the building block to define the optimal correspondence. We provide an operational procedure to find the optimal correspondence through a combinatorial optimization problem and we discuss its similarity to the graph matching problem. In this work, we propose to represent tractograms as graphs and we adopt a recent inexact sub-graph matching algorithm to approximate the solution of the tractogram correspondence problem. On tractograms generated from the Human Connectome Project dataset, we report experimental evidence that tractogram correspondence, implemented as graph matching, provides much better alignment than affine registration and comparable if not better results than non-linear registration of volumes.

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