The structure and function of spines and excitatory synapses are under the dynamic control of multiple signalling networks. Although tyrosine phosphorylation is involved, its regulation and importance are not well understood. Here we study the role of Pyk2, a non-receptor calcium-dependent protein-tyrosine kinase highly expressed in the hippocampus. Hippocampal-related learning and CA1 long-term potentiation are severely impaired in Pyk2-deficient mice and are associated with alterations in NMDA receptors, PSD-95 and dendritic spines. In cultured hippocampal neurons, Pyk2 has autophosphorylation-dependent and -independent roles in determining PSD-95 enrichment and spines density. Pyk2 levels are decreased in the hippocampus of individuals with Huntington and in the R6/1 mouse model of the disease. Normalizing Pyk2 levels in the hippocampus of R6/1 mice rescues memory deficits, spines pathology and PSD-95 localization. Our results reveal a role for Pyk2 in spine structure and synaptic function, and suggest that its deficit contributes to Huntington’s disease cognitive impairments.
Smartphone fluorescence microscopy has various applications in point-of-care (POC) testing and diagnostics, ranging from e.g., quantification of immunoassays, detection of microorganisms, to sensing of viruses. An important need in smartphone-based microscopy and sensing techniques is to improve the detection sensitivity to enable quantification of extremely low concentrations of target molecules. Here, we demonstrate a general strategy to enhance the detection sensitivity of a smartphone-based fluorescence microscope by using surface-enhanced fluorescence (SEF) created by a thin metal-film. In this plasmonic design, the samples are placed on a silver-coated glass slide with a thin spacer, and excited by a laser-diode from the backside through a glass hemisphere, generating surface plasmon polaritons. We optimized this mobile SEF system by tuning the metal-film thickness, spacer distance, excitation angle and polarization, and achieved ~10-fold enhancement in fluorescence intensity compared to a bare glass substrate, which enabled us to image single fluorescent particles as small as 50 nm in diameter and single quantum-dots. Furthermore, we quantified the detection limit of this platform by using DNA origami-based brightness standards, demonstrating that ~80 fluorophores per diffraction-limited spot can be readily detected by our mobile microscope, which opens up new opportunities for POC diagnostics and sensing applications in resource-limited-settings.
Burger, Martin; Papafitsoros, Konstantinos; Papoutsellis, Evangelos; Schönlieb, Carola-Bibiane(Journal of Mathematical Imaging and Vision, Springer Nature, 2016-02-03)[Article]
We study a general class of infimal convolution type regularisation functionals suitable for applications in image processing. These functionals incorporate a combination of the total variation seminorm and Lp norms. A unified well-posedness analysis is presented and a detailed study of the one-dimensional model is performed, by computing exact solutions for the corresponding denoising problem and the case p=2. Furthermore, the dependency of the regularisation properties of this infimal convolution approach to the choice of p is studied. It turns out that in the case p=2 this regulariser is equivalent to the Huber-type variant of total variation regularisation. We provide numerical examples for image decomposition as well as for image denoising. We show that our model is capable of eliminating the staircasing effect, a well-known disadvantage of total variation regularisation. Moreover as p increases we obtain almost piecewise affine reconstructions, leading also to a better preservation of hat-like structures.
The ability to simultaneously image multiple biomolecules in biologically relevant three-dimensional (3D) cell culture environments would contribute greatly to the understanding of complex cellular mechanisms and cell–material interactions. Here, we present a computational framework for label-free quantitative volumetric Raman imaging (qVRI). We apply qVRI to a selection of biological systems: human pluripotent stem cells with their cardiac derivatives, monocytes and monocyte-derived macrophages in conventional cell culture systems and mesenchymal stem cells inside biomimetic hydrogels that supplied a 3D cell culture environment. We demonstrate visualization and quantification of fine details in cell shape, cytoplasm, nucleus, lipid bodies and cytoskeletal structures in 3D with unprecedented biomolecular specificity for vibrational microspectroscopy.
Mader, Sophie L.; Bräuer, Alois; Groll, Michael; Kaila, Ville R. I.(Nature Communications, Springer Nature, 2018-03-15)[Article]
The recently discovered FeII/α-ketoglutarate-dependent dioxygenase AsqJ from Aspergillus nidulans stereoselectively catalyzes a multistep synthesis of quinolone alkaloids, natural products with significant biomedical applications. To probe molecular mechanisms of this elusive catalytic process, we combine here multi-scale quantum and classical molecular simulations with X-ray crystallography, and in vitro biochemical activity studies. We discover that methylation of the substrate is essential for the activity of AsqJ, establishing molecular strain that fine-tunes π-stacking interactions within the active site. To rationally engineer AsqJ for modified substrates, we amplify dispersive interactions within the active site. We demonstrate that the engineered enzyme has a drastically enhanced catalytic activity for non-methylated surrogates, confirming our computational data and resolved high-resolution X-ray structures at 1.55 Å resolution. Our combined findings provide crucial mechanistic understanding of the function of AsqJ and showcase how combination of computational and experimental data enables to rationally engineer enzymes.
Zhao, Yicheng; Tan, Hairen; Yuan, Haifeng; Yang, Zhenyu; Fan, James Z.; Kim, Junghwan; Voznyy, Oleksandr; Gong, Xiwen; Quan, Li Na; Tan, Chih Shan; Hofkens, Johan; Yu, Dapeng; Zhao, Qing; Sargent, Edward H.(Nature Communications, Springer Nature, 2018-04-17)[Article]
Formamidinium-lead-iodide (FAPbI3)-based perovskites with bandgap below 1.55 eV are of interest for photovoltaics in view of their close-to-ideal bandgap. Record-performance FAPbI3-based solar cells have relied on fabrication via the sequential-deposition method; however, these devices exhibit unstable output under illumination due to the difficulty of incorporating cesium cations (stabilizer) in sequentially deposited films. Here we devise a perovskite seeding method that efficiently incorporates cesium and beneficially modulates perovskite crystallization. First, perovskite seed crystals are embedded in the PbI2 film. The perovskite seeds serve as cesium sources and act as nuclei to facilitate crystallization during the formation of perovskite. Perovskite films with perovskite seeding growth exhibit a lowered trap density, and the resulting planar solar cells achieve stabilized efficiency of 21.5% with a high open-circuit voltage of 1.13 V and a fill factor that exceeds 80%. The Cs-containing FAPbI3-based devices show a striking improvement in operational stability and retain 60% of their initial efficiency after 140 h operation under one sun illumination.
Hybrid organic–inorganic perovskites exhibit strong spin–orbit coupling1, spin-dependent optical selection rules2,3 and large Rashba splitting4,5,6,7,8. These characteristics make them promising candidates for spintronic devices9 with photonic interfaces. Here we report that spin polarization in perovskites can be controlled through chemical design as well as by a magnetic field. We obtain both spin-polarized photon absorption and spin-polarized photoluminescence in reduced-dimensional chiral perovskites through combined strategies of chirality transfer and energy funnelling. A 3% spin-polarized photoluminescence is observed even in the absence of an applied external magnetic field owing to the different emission rates of σ+ and σ− polarized photoluminescence. Three-dimensional perovskites achieve a comparable degree of photoluminescence polarization only under an external magnetic field of 5 T. Our findings pave the way for chiral perovskites as powerful spintronic materials.
Giant spin Hall effect (GSHE) has received significant attention for its potential in future spintronic applications. Spin current via GSHE-based thin films provides an effective and promising means to manipulate magnetization. However, an external in-plane magnetic field is required to consistently switch the perpendicular magnetic moment. We present an approach to realize field-free deterministic perpendicular magnetic switching with a new structure of FM/NM/FM. Our method takes advantage of the large spin Hall angle of transition metal β-W, so that the critical switching current density is only on the order of 106A/cm2 in the absence of magnetic field.
The export option will allow you to export the current search results of the entered query to a file. Different
formats are available for download. To export the items, click on the button corresponding with the preferred download format.
By default, clicking on the export buttons will result in a download of the allowed maximum amount of items.
For anonymous users the allowed maximum amount is 50 search results.
To select a subset of the search results, click "Selective Export" button and make a selection of the items you want to export.
The amount of items that can be exported at once is similarly restricted as the full export.
After making a selection, click one of the export format buttons. The amount of items that will be exported is indicated in the bubble next to export format.