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Ion Channels at the Nucleus: Electrophysiology Meets the Genome

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      Abstract

      The nuclear envelope is increasingly viewed from an electrophysiological perspective by researchers interested in signal transduction pathways that influence gene transcription and other processes in the nucleus. Here, we describe evidence for ion channels and transporters in the nuclear membranes and for possible ion gating by the nuclear pores. We argue that a systems-level understanding of cellular regulation is likely to require the assimilation of nuclear electrophysiology into molecular and biochemical signaling pathways.

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      Most cited references 116

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      Expanded dynamic range of fluorescent indicators for Ca(2+) by circularly permuted yellow fluorescent proteins.

      Fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) technology has been used to develop genetically encoded fluorescent indicators for various cellular functions. Although most indicators have cyan- and yellow-emitting fluorescent proteins (CFP and YFP) as FRET donor and acceptor, their poor dynamic range often prevents detection of subtle but significant signals. Here, we optimized the relative orientation of the two chromophores in the Ca(2+) indicator, yellow cameleon (YC), by fusing YFP at different angles. We generated circularly permuted YFPs (cpYFPs) that showed efficient maturation and acid stability. One of the cpYFPs incorporated in YC absorbs a great amount of excited energy from CFP in its Ca(2+)-saturated form, thereby increasing the Ca(2+)-dependent change in the ratio of YFP/CFP by nearly 600%. Both in cultured cells and in the nervous system of transgenic mice, the new YC enables visualization of subcellular Ca(2+) dynamics with better spatial and temporal resolution than before. Our study provides an important guide for the development and improvement of indicators using GFP-based FRET.
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        Coordinating nodule morphogenesis with rhizobial infection in legumes.

        The formation of nitrogen-fixing nodules on legumes requires an integration of infection by rhizobia at the root epidermis and the initiation of cell division in the cortex, several cell layers away from the sites of infection. Several recent developments have added to our understanding of the signaling events in the epidermis associated with the perception of rhizobial nodulation factors and the role of plant hormones in the activation of cell division leading to nodule morphogenesis. This review focuses on the tissue-specific nature of the developmental processes associated with nodulation and the mechanisms by which these processes are coordinated during the formation of a nodule.
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          Phosphoinositide phosphatase activity coupled to an intrinsic voltage sensor.

          Changes in membrane potential affect ion channels and transporters, which then alter intracellular chemical conditions. Other signalling pathways coupled to membrane potential have been suggested but their underlying mechanisms are unknown. Here we describe a novel protein from the ascidian Ciona intestinalis that has a transmembrane voltage-sensing domain homologous to the S1-S4 segments of voltage-gated channels and a cytoplasmic domain similar to phosphatase and tensin homologue. This protein, named C. intestinalis voltage-sensor-containing phosphatase (Ci-VSP), displays channel-like 'gating' currents and directly translates changes in membrane potential into the turnover of phosphoinositides. The activity of the phosphoinositide phosphatase in Ci-VSP is tuned within a physiological range of membrane potential. Immunocytochemical studies show that Ci-VSP is expressed in Ciona sperm tail membranes, indicating a possible role in sperm function or morphology. Our data demonstrate that voltage sensing can function beyond channel proteins and thus more ubiquitously than previously realized.
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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            [a ]Gregor Mendel Institute of Molecular Plant Biology, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Dr. Bohr-Gasse 3, A-1030 Vienna, Austria
            [b ]Department of Cell Biology, University of Salzburg, A-5020 Salzburg, Austria
            Author notes
            [1 ]To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail antonius.matzke@ 123456gmi.oeaw.ac.at , fax +43-1-79044-9801, tel. +43-1-79044-9800.
            Journal
            Mol Plant
            mplant
            mplant
            Molecular Plant
            Oxford University Press
            1674-2052
            1752-9867
            July 2010
            21 April 2010
            21 April 2010
            : 3
            : 4
            : 642-652
            2910552
            20410254
            10.1093/mp/ssq013
            © The Author 2010. Published by the Molecular Plant Shanghai Editorial Office in association with Oxford University Press on behalf of CSPP and IPPE, SIBS, CAS.

            This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.5), which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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