Westfalian Wilhelms University

Münster, Germany

Westfalian Wilhelms University

Münster, Germany
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Mertsch S.,Westfalian Wilhelms University | Oellers P.,Westfalian Wilhelms University | Wendling M.,Westfalian Wilhelms University | Stracke W.,Westfalian Wilhelms University | Thanos S.,Westfalian Wilhelms University
Molecular Neurobiology | Year: 2013

A hallmark of gliomas is the growth and migration of cells over long distances within the brain and proliferation within selected niches, indicating that the migrating cells navigate between complex substrates. We demonstrate in the present study a differential preference for migration that depends on Rho-associated coil kinase (ROCK) signaling, using the alternating Bonhoeffer stripe assay. Membrane fractions from nonmyelinated and myelinated brain areas from female rats, purified myelin also from female rats, and commercial extracellular matrix were used as substrates, with each substrate being tested against the others. The human tumor cell lines exhibited a clear preference for extracellular matrix over all other substrates and for myelinated over nonmyelinated tissue. ROCK signaling was different when cells were cultured on either substrate. The ROCK inhibitor Y27632 significantly attenuated and neutralized the preference for extracellular matrix and myelin, indicating that ROCK controls the substrate selectivity. The findings of this study pave the way for navigation-targeted therapeutics. © 2013 The Author(s).

Wilhelm M.,Klinikum Stuttgart Olgahospital | Dirksen U.,Westfalian Wilhelms University | Bielack S.S.,Klinikum Stuttgart Olgahospital | Whelan J.S.,University College London | And 6 more authors.
Annals of Oncology | Year: 2014

Teenagers and young adults (TYA) cancer contributes substantially to morbidity and mortality in a population with much to offer society. TYA place distinct challenges upon cancer care services, many reporting feeling marginalized and their needs not being met in adult or paediatric cancer services. Bone tumours such as osteosarcoma and Ewing sarcoma, because of their age at presentation and the complexity of their care, are where challenges in managing (TYA) with cancer have often been most readily apparent. Bone sarcomas may be managed by paediatric or medical oncologists, and require fastidious attention to protocol. A lack of recent improvement in survival in TYA with bone tumours may be linked to a lack of specialist care, poor concordance with therapy in some situations and TYA-specific pharmacology. Participation in clinical trials, particularly of young adults, is low, hindering progress. All these requirements may be best met by a concerted effort to create collaborative care between adult and paediatric experts in bone sarcoma, working together to meet TYA patients' needs. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society for Medical Oncology. All rights reserved.

Boh B.,Maastricht University | Herholz S.C.,Montreal Neurological Institute | Lappe C.,Institute for Biomagnetism and Biosignalanalysis | Pantev C.,Institute for Biomagnetism and Biosignalanalysis | Pantev C.,Westfalian Wilhelms University
PLoS ONE | Year: 2011

In the present study we investigated the capacity of the memory store underlying the mismatch negativity (MMN) response in musicians and nonmusicians for complex tone patterns. While previous studies have focused either on the kind of information that can be encoded or on the decay of the memory trace over time, we studied capacity in terms of the length of tone sequences, i.e., the number of individual tones that can be fully encoded and maintained. By means of magnetoencephalography (MEG) we recorded MMN responses to deviant tones that could occur at any position of standard tone patterns composed of four, six or eight tones during passive, distracted listening. Whereas there was a reliable MMN response to deviant tones in the four-tone pattern in both musicians and nonmusicians, only some individuals showed MMN responses to the longer patterns. This finding of a reliable capacity of the short-term auditory store underlying the MMN response is in line with estimates of a three to five item capacity of the short-term memory trace from behavioural studies, although pitch and contour complexity covaried with sequence length, which might have led to an understatement of the reported capacity. Whereas there was a tendency for an enhancement of the pattern MMN in musicians compared to nonmusicians, a strong advantage for musicians could be shown in an accompanying behavioural task of detecting the deviants while attending to the stimuli for all pattern lengths, indicating that long-term musical training differentially affects the memory capacity of auditory short-term memory for complex tone patterns with and without attention. Also, a left-hemispheric lateralization of MMN responses in the six-tone pattern suggests that additional networks that help structuring the patterns in the temporal domain might be recruited for demanding auditory processing in the pitch domain. © 2011 Boh et al.

Kobayashi Y.,Kyoto University | Telschow A.,Helmholtz center for infectious biology | Telschow A.,Westfalian Wilhelms University
Evolution | Year: 2011

The goal of this study is to develop a unifying theoretical framework to quantify the strength of reproductive isolation. We propose the use of the "effective recombination rate," which measures how fast associations of genes are broken by interlocus recombination. Applying the well-established theory of the effective migration rate, we derive two techniques to investigate the effective recombination rate in models of speciation: the weak migration approximation for parapatric scenarios and the weak recombination approximation for sympatric scenarios. We illustrate the use of these two methods by two examples each: (1) single-locus genetic incompatibility and (2) two-locus genetic incompatibility for the first method, and (3) assortative mating and (4) assortative mating combined with disruptive selection for the second method. An advantage of the effective recombination rate over previous approaches is that it integrates gene flow in both directions into a single index measuring the strength of isolation. This enables straightforward comparisons of speciation scenarios with the same or different geographic histories. The method also allows us to evaluate the relative contributions of F2 hybrid deficiency or linkage between multiple barriers in reproductive isolation. © 2010 The Author(s). Evolution © 2010 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

Terrapon N.,Westfalian Wilhelms University | Terrapon N.,Aix - Marseille University | Weiner J.,Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology | Grath S.,Westfalian Wilhelms University | And 3 more authors.
Bioinformatics | Year: 2014

Motivation: Homology search methods are dominated by the central paradigm that sequence similarity is a proxy for common ancestry and, by extension, functional similarity. For determining sequence similarity in proteins, most widely used methods use models of sequence evolution and compare amino-acid strings in search for conserved linear stretches. Probabilistic models or sequence profiles capture the position-specific variation in an alignment of homologous sequences and can identify conserved motifs or domains. While profile-based search methods are generally more accurate than simple sequence comparison methods, they tend to be computationally more demanding. In recent years, several methods have emerged that perform protein similarity searches based on domain composition. However, few methods have considered the linear arrangements of domains when conducting similarity searches, despite strong evidence that domain order can harbour considerable functional and evolutionary signal. Results: Here, we introduce an alignment scheme that uses a classical dynamic programming approach to the global alignment of domains.We illustrate that representing proteins as strings of domains (domain arrangements) and comparing these strings globally allows for a both fast and sensitive homology search. Further, we demonstrate that the presented methods complement existing methods by finding similar proteins missed by popular amino-acid-based comparison methods. Availability: An implementation of the presented algorithms, a web-based interface as well as a command-line program for batch searching against the UniProt database can be found at http://rads. uni-muenster.de. Furthermore, we provide a JAVA API for programmatic access to domain-string-based search methods. © 2013 The Author.

Uchii K.,Humanity | Uchii K.,University of Tokyo | Telschow A.,Humanity | Telschow A.,Westfalian Wilhelms University | And 6 more authors.
ISME Journal | Year: 2011

Emerging infectious diseases are major threats to wildlife populations. To enhance our understanding of the dynamics of these diseases, we investigated how host reproductive behavior and seasonal temperature variation drive transmission of infections among wild hosts, using the model system of cyprinid herpesvirus 3 (CyHV-3) disease in common carp. Our main findings were as follows: (1) a seroprevalence survey showed that CyHV-3 infection occurred mostly in adult hosts, (2) a quantitative assay for CyHV-3 in a host population demonstrated that CyHV-3 was most abundant in the spring when host reproduction occurred and water temperature increased simultaneously and (3) an analysis of the dynamics of CyHV-3 in water revealed that CyHV-3 concentration increased markedly in breeding habitats during host group mating. These results indicate that breeding habitats can become hot spots for transmission of infectious diseases if hosts aggregate for mating and the activation of pathogens occurs during the host breeding season. © 2011 International Society for Microbial Ecology All rights reserved.

Sobczak K.,Westfalian Wilhelms University | Bangel-Ruland N.,Westfalian Wilhelms University | Leier G.,Westfalian Wilhelms University | Weber W.-M.,Westfalian Wilhelms University
Methods | Year: 2010

Oocytes of the South African clawed frog Xenopus laevis are widely used as a heterologous expression system for the characterization of transport systems such as passive and active membrane transporters, receptors and a whole plethora of other membrane proteins originally derived from animal or plant tissues. The large size of the oocytes and the high degree of expression of exogenous mRNA or cDNA makes them an optimal tool, when compared with other expression systems such as yeast, Escherichia coli or eukaryotic cell lines, for the expression and functional characterization of membrane proteins. This easy to handle expression system is becoming increasingly attractive for pharmacological research. Commercially available automated systems that microinject mRNA into the oocytes and perform electrophysiological measurements fully automatically allow for a mass screening of new computer designed drugs to target membrane transport proteins. Yet, the oocytes possess a large variety of endogenous membrane transporters and it is absolutely mandatory to distinguish the endogenous transporters from the heterologous, expressed transport systems. Here, we review briefly the endogenous membrane transport systems of the oocytes. © 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Okamoto H.,Westfalian Wilhelms University | Stracke H.,Westfalian Wilhelms University | Stoll W.,Galen University | Pantev C.,Westfalian Wilhelms University
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America | Year: 2010

Maladaptive auditory cortex reorganization may contribute to the generation and maintenance of tinnitus. Because cortical organization can be modified by behavioral training, we attempted to reduce tinnitus loudness by exposing chronic tinnitus patients to self-chosen, enjoyable music, which was modified ("notched") to contain no energy in the frequency range surrounding the individual tinnitus frequency. After 12 months of regular listening, the target patient group (n = 8) showed significantly reduced subjective tinnitus loudness and concomitantly exhibited reduced evoked activity in auditory cortex areas corresponding to the tinnitus frequency compared to patients who had received an analogous placebo notched music treatment (n = 8). These findings indicate that tinnitus loudness can be significantly diminished by an enjoyable, low-cost, custom-tailored notched music treatment, potentially via reversing maladaptive auditory cortex reorganization.

Haubeck K.,Westfalian Wilhelms University | Prinz T.,Westfalian Wilhelms University
International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences - ISPRS Archives | Year: 2013

The use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) for surveying archaeological sites is becoming more and more common due to their advantages in rapidity of data acquisition, cost-efficiency and flexibility. One possible usage is the documentation and visualization of historic geo-structures and -objects using UAV-attached digital small frame cameras. These monoscopic cameras offer the possibility to obtain close-range aerial photographs, but - under the condition that an accurate nadir-waypoint flight is not possible due to choppy or windy weather conditions - at the same time implicate the problem that two single aerial images not always meet the required overlap to use them for 3D photogrammetric purposes. In this paper, we present an attempt to replace the monoscopic camera with a calibrated low-cost stereo camera that takes two pictures from a slightly different angle at the same time. Our results show that such a geometrically predefined stereo image pair can be used for photogrammetric purposes e.g. the creation of digital terrain models (DTMs) and orthophotos or the 3D extraction of single geo-objects. Because of the limited geometric photobase of the applied stereo camera and the resulting base-height ratio the accuracy of the DTM however directly depends on the UAV flight altitude.

Heinick A.,Westfalian Wilhelms University | Urban K.,Westfalian Wilhelms University | Roth S.,Westfalian Wilhelms University | Spies D.,Westfalian Wilhelms University | And 4 more authors.
FASEB Journal | Year: 2010

Physiological polyamines are required in various biological processes. In the current study, we used norspermidine, a structural analog of the natural polyamine spermidine, to investigate polyamine uptake in the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans. Norspermidine was found to have two remarkable effects: it is toxic for the nematode, without affecting its food, Escherichia coli; and it hampers RNA interference. By characterizing a norspermidine-resistant C. elegans mutant strain that has been isolated in a genetic screen, we demonstrate that both effects, as well as the uptake of a fluorescent polyamine-conjugate, depend on the transporter protein CATP-5, a novel P5B-type ATPase. To our knowledge, CATP-5 represents the first P5-type ATPase that is associated with the plasma membrane, being expressed in the apical membrane of intestinal cells and the excretory cell. Moreover, genetic interaction studies using C. elegans polyamine synthesis mutants indicate that CATP-5 has a function redundant to polyamine synthesis and link reduced polyamine levels to retarded postembryonic development, reduced brood size, shortened life span, and small body size. We suggest that CATP-5 represents a crucial component of the pharmacologically important polyamine transport system, the molecular nature of which has not been identified so far in metazoa. © FASEB.

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