2015 Vol. 36, No. 3

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Mass aggregations and migrations of millipedes despite numerous attempts to find causes for their occurrences are still an enigma. They have been reported from both southern and northern hemisphere countries, from highlands and lowlands of both tropical and temperate regions and they can involve species belonging to the orders Julida and Spirobolida, Polydesmida and Glomerida. According to the main suggestions put forward in the past, mass occurrences in Diplopoda occur: (1) because of a lack of food and a population increase beyond sustainable levels; (2) for the purpose of reproduction and in order to locate suitable oviposition sites; (3) to find overwintering or aestivation sites; (4) because of habitat disruption and changes in the local environment; (5) as a consequence of weather conditions the year (or winter and spring) before. A recent outbreak (November 2014) of a mass migration of the polydesmid Chamberlinius hualienensis Wang 1956 on the Japanese Izu Island of Hachijojima 300 km to the south of Tokyo gave this author an opportunity to review the existing literature on millipede mass migrations and to carry out additional observations on the phenomenon in the field as well as the laboratory. Hitherto unreported heavy infestations with phoretic deutonymphs of the mite Histiostoma sp. as well as dense populations of internal rhabditid nematodes (Oscheius cf. necromena and an unidentified species of the genus Fictor), suggest that infestations of this kind could be necromenic and either have been a contributing factor for the mass migration or been a consequence of so many individuals occurring together at close proximity. It is concluded that mass migrations and aggregations in millipedes do not have one common cause, but represent phenomena that often are seasonally recurring events and appear identical in their outcome, but which have evolved as responses to different causes in different millipede taxa and therefore need to be examined on a case-to-case basis.
Interleukin 1β (IL-1β), the first interleukin to be characterized, plays a key role in regulating the immune response. In this study, we determined the cDNA and genomic DNA sequences of the IL-1β gene from the large yellow croaker, Larimichthys crocea. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that the IL-1β (LcIL-1β) gene was most closely related to that of European seabass (Dicentrarchus labrax), sharing 67.8% amino acid identity. In healthy large yellow croaker, LcIL-1β transcription was detected in all tested tissues, with the highest level found in the head kidney. Upon Vibrio alginolyticus infection, LcIL-1β transcription in all tested tissues was significantly upregulated. Intraperitoneal injection of recombinant LcIL-1β (rLcIL-1β) improved the survival rate and reduced the tissue bacterial load after V. alginolyticus infection. In addition, rLcIL-1β induced monocytes/macrophages (MO/MΦ) chemotaxis and increased phagocytosis and bactericidal activity in vitro. These results suggest that LcIL-1β plays an important role in the large yellow croaker immune response against V. alginolyticus.
Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) enters productive infection after infecting epithelial cells, where it controls the host nucleus to make viral proteins, starts viral DNA synthesis and assembles infectious virions. In this process, replicating viral genomes are organized into replication centers to facilitate viral growth. HSV-1 is known to use host factors, including host chromatin and host transcription regulators, to transcribe its genes; however, the invading virus also encounters host defense and stress responses to inhibit viral growth. Recently, we found that HSV-1 replication centers recruit host factor CTCF but exclude γH2A.X. Thus, HSV-1 replication centers may selectively recruit cellular factors needed for viral growth, while excluding host factors that are deleterious for viral transcription or replication. Here we report that the viral replication centers selectively excluded modified histone H3, including heterochromatin mark H3K9me3, H3S10P and active chromatin mark H3K4me3, but not unmodified H3. We found a dynamic association between the viral replication centers and host RNA polymerase II. The centers also recruited components of the DNA damage response pathway, including 53BP1, BRCA1 and host antiviral protein SP100. Importantly, we found that ATM kinase was needed for the recruitment of CTCF to the viral centers. These results suggest that the HSV-1 replication centers took advantage of host signaling pathways to actively recruit or exclude host factors to benefit viral growth.
Non-human primates often live in socially stable groups characterized by bonded relationships among individuals. Social organization can be used to evaluate living conditions and expansion potential. Bisexual group size, ratio of males to females and group composition are essential elements determining the type of social organization. Although the first report on Shortridge's capped langurs (Trachypithecus shortridgei) was in the 1970s, until now, the species only inhabits forests of the Dulongjiang valley in northwest Yunnan, China, with c. 250-370 individuals in 19 populations. To understand its social organization, we collected data from five groups of Shortridge's langurs at Silaluo in the Dulongjiang valley during August 2012-October 2013. Family groups consist of one adult male, 2–3 adult females and up to five young. Group size averaged 8 (7-9) individuals. The ratio of adult males to females (M/F) was 1:2.9, infants to adult females was (I/F) 1:2.2; and ratio of adults to immatures was 1:1.2, indicating the potential of a population increasing. Birth season was during March-July and the inter-birth interval was two years.
Chemokine receptors CXCR4 and CCR5 are indispensable co-receptors for HIV-1 entry into host cells. In our previous study, we identified that dopamine receptor-interacting protein 78 (DRiP78) and Na+-H+ exchanger regulatory factor 1 (NHERF1) are the CXCR4 and CCR5 homo- or hetero-dimer-interacting proteins. DRiP78 and NHERF1 are able to influence the co-receptor internalization and intracellular trafficking. Over-expression of NHERF1 affects the ligands or HIV-1 gp120-induced CCR5 internalization and HIV-1 production. It is reasonable to speculate that DRiP78 and NHERF1, as well as the signaling pathways involved in viral replication, would probably affect HIV-1 replication through regulating the co-receptors. In this present study, we designed two short hairpin RNAs (shRNAs) targeting the DRiP78 and NHERF1, respectively, and constructed the pLenti6/BLOCK-iT-DEST lentiviral plasmids expressing DRiP78 or NHERF1 shRNA. The packaged lentiviruses were used to transduce the widely-applied HIV-1 model cell line GHOST(3). Then, cells with stable knockdown were established through selecting transduced cells with Blasticidin. This study, for the first time, reported the establishment of the GHOST(3) with DRiP78 and NHERF1 knockdown, which is the first stable cell line with HIV-1 co-receptor-interacting molecular defects.
Autophagy is a major cellular pathway used to degrade long-lived proteins or organelles that may be damaged due to increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) generated by cellular stress. Autophagy typically enhances cell survival, but it may also act to promote cell death under certain conditions. The mechanism underlying this paradox, however, remains unclear. We showed that Tetrahymena cells exerted increased membrane-bound vacuoles characteristic of autophagy followed by autophagic cell death (referred to as cell death with autophagy) after exposure to hydrogen peroxide. Inhibition of autophagy by chloroquine or 3-methyladenine significantly augmented autophagic cell death induced by hydrogen peroxide. Blockage of the mitochondrial electron transport chain or starvation triggered activation of autophagy followed by cell death by inducing the production of ROS due to the loss of mitochondrial membrane potential. This indicated a regulatory role of mitochondrial ROS in programming autophagy and autophagic cell death in Tetrahymena. Importantly, suppression of autophagy enhanced autophagic cell death in Tetrahymena in response to elevated ROS production from starvation, and this was reversed by antioxidants. Therefore, our results suggest that autophagy was activated upon oxidative stress to prevent the initiation of autophagic cell death in Tetrahymena until the accumulation of ROS passed the point of no return, leading to delayed cell death in Tetrahymena.
As a group of intestinal hormones and neurotransmitters, cholecystokinins (CCKs) regulate and affect pancreatic enzyme secretion, gastrointestinal motility, pain hypersensitivity, digestion and satiety, and generally contain a DYMGWMDFG sequence at the C-terminus. Many CCKs have been reported in mammals. However, only a few have been reported in amphibians, such as Hyla nigrovittata, Xenopus laevis, and Rana catesbeiana, with none reported in urodele amphibians like newts and salamanders. Here, a CCK called CCK-TV was identified and characterized from the skin of the salamander Tylototriton verrucosus. This CCK contained an amino acid sequence of DYMGWMDF-NH2 as seen in other CCKs. A cDNA encoding the CCK precursor containing 129 amino acid residues was cloned from the cDNA library of T. verrucosus skin. The CCK-TV had the potential to induce the contraction of smooth muscle strips isolated from porcine gallbladder, eliciting contraction at a concentration of 5.0x10-11 mol/L and inducing maximal contraction at a concentration of 2.0x10-6 mol/L. The EC50 was 13.6 nmol/L. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report to identify the presence of a CCK in an urodele amphibian.
One juvenile and one adult female wolf snake (Colubridae: Lycodon) were sampled at Yixian and Fuxi, Huangshan, Anhui, China in the summer of 2011 and 2012, respectively. The two specimens were identified as Lycodon liuchengchaoi based on external morphology and molecular data. This is a new reptile record in Anhui Province. In our laboratory, four eggs were laid and three neonates were hatched successfully. This is the first record of the laying and incubation of L. liuchengchaoi eggs. The five specimens were deposited at the Museum of Huangshan University (HUM20140001) and Guangdong Entomological Institute (HB-lcfsp12613, HB-lcfsp-ch1~3).