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See detailDevelopment and validation of a new mouse model to investigate the role of sv2a in epilepsy
MENTEN, Catherine ULg; Serrano Navacerrada, Maria Elisa ULg; Bartholomé, Odile ULg et al

in PLoS ONE (2016)

SV2A is a glycoprotein present in the membranes of most synaptic vesicles. Although it has been highly conserved throughout evolution, its physiological role remains largely unknown. Nevertheless ... [more ▼]

SV2A is a glycoprotein present in the membranes of most synaptic vesicles. Although it has been highly conserved throughout evolution, its physiological role remains largely unknown. Nevertheless, Levetiracetam, a very effective anti-epileptic drug, has been recently demonstrated to bind to SV2A. At present, our understanding of the normal function of SV2A and its possible involvement in diseases like epilepsy is limited. With this study, we sought to develop a relevant model enabling analysis of SV2A's role in the occurrence or progression of epilepsy. For this purpose, we generated a floxed SV2A mouse model with conditional alleles carrying LoxP sites around exon 3 by means of a gene-targeting strategy. The SV2A lox/lox mouse line is indistinguishable from wild-type mice. When the recombination was observed in all cells, a model of mice with both SV2A alleles floxed around exon 3 recapitulated the phenotype of SV2A KO mice, including seizures. However, the specific invalidation of SV2A in the CA3 hippocampal region was not followed by epileptic seizures or decrease in the epileptic threshold on pentylenetetrazol (PTZ) test. These results demonstrate that the floxed SV2A mouse line has been successfully established. This transgenic mouse model will be useful for investigating SV2A functions related to cell types and developmental stages. [less ▲]

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See detailGestalt Reasoning with Conjunctions and Disjunctions.
Dumitru, Magdalena ULg; Joergensen, Gitte H.

in PLoS ONE (2016), 11(3),

Reasoning, solving mathematical equations, or planning written and spoken sentences all must factor in stimuli perceptual properties. Indeed, thinking processes are inspired by and subsequently fitted to ... [more ▼]

Reasoning, solving mathematical equations, or planning written and spoken sentences all must factor in stimuli perceptual properties. Indeed, thinking processes are inspired by and subsequently fitted to concrete objects and situations. It is therefore reasonable to expect that the mental representations evoked when people solve these seemingly abstract tasks should interact with the properties of the manipulated stimuli. Here, we investigated the mental representations evoked by conjunction and disjunction expressions in language-picture matching tasks. We hypothesised that, if these representations have been derived using key Gestalt principles, reasoners should use perceptual compatibility to gauge the goodness of fit between conjunction/disjunction descriptions (e.g., the purpleand/ orthe green) and corresponding binary visual displays. Indeed, the results of three experimental studies demonstrate that reasoners associate conjunction descriptions with perceptually-dependent stimuli and disjunction descriptions with perceptually-independent stimuli, where visual dependency status follows the key Gestalt principles of common fate, proximity, and similarity. [less ▲]

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See detailEvolution of the Northern Rockweed, Fucus distichus, in a Regime of Glacial Cycling: Implications for Benthic Algal Phylogenetics
Laughinghouse, Haywood, Dail; Müller, Kirsten; Adey, Walter et al

in PLoS ONE (2015), 10(12), 0143795

Northern hemisphere rockweeds (Fucus) are thought to have evolved in the North Pacific and then spread to the North Atlantic following the opening of the Bering Strait. They have dispersed and widely ... [more ▼]

Northern hemisphere rockweeds (Fucus) are thought to have evolved in the North Pacific and then spread to the North Atlantic following the opening of the Bering Strait. They have dispersed and widely speciated in the North Atlantic and its tributary seas. Fucus distichus is likely near the ancestral member of this genus, and studies have shown that there are several species/subspecies in this complex (i.e. F. evanescens and F. gardneri). We used phylogenetic and haplotype analyses to test the phylogenetic relationships and biogeogra- phy of F. distichus. Our data and subsequent analyses demonstrate that, unlike previous studies that lacked samples from an extensive geographical area of the Arctic and Subarc- tic, there is a distinct Arctic haplotype that is the source of subspecies in both the North Pacific and North Atlantic. Fucus distichus occupies a low tide zone habitat, and in Arctic/ Subarctic regions it is adapted to the severe stress of sea ice coverage and disturbance dur- ing many months per year. We hypothesize that the very large geographic area of Arctic and Subarctic rocky shores available to this species during interglacials, supported by large Arctic/Subarctic fringe areas as well as unglaciated refugia during glacial cycles, provided a robust population and gene pool (described by the Thermogeographic Model). This gene pool dilutes that of the more fragmented and area-limited Temperate/Boreal area popula- tions when they are brought together during glacial cycles. We suggest that similar subspe- cies complexes for a variety of Arctic/Subarctic shore biota should be examined further in this context, rather than arbitrarily being split up into numerous species. [less ▲]

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See detailDiscrimination of deciduous tree species from time series of unmanned aerial system imagery
Lisein, Jonathan ULg; Michez, Adrien ULg; Claessens, Hugues ULg et al

in PLoS ONE (2015), 10(11),

Technology advances can revolutionize Precision Forestry by providing accurate and fine forest information at tree level. This paper addresses the question of how and particularly when Unmanned Aerial ... [more ▼]

Technology advances can revolutionize Precision Forestry by providing accurate and fine forest information at tree level. This paper addresses the question of how and particularly when Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) should be used in order to efficiently discriminate deciduous tree species. A time series of high resolution UAS imagery was collected to cover the growing season from leaf flush to leaf fall. Full benefit was taken of the temporal resolution of UAS acquisition, one of the most promising features of small drones. The disparity in forest tree phenology is at the maximum during early spring and late autumn. But the phenology state that optimized the classification result is the one that minimizes the spectral variation within tree species groups and, at the same time, maximizes the phenologic differences between species. Sunlit tree crowns (5 deciduous species groups) were classified using a Random Forest approach for monotemporal, two-date and three-date combinations. The end of leaf flushing was the most efficient single-date time window. Multitemporal datasets definitely improve the overall classification accuracy. But single-date high resolution orthophotomosaics, acquired on optimal time-windows, result in a very good classification accuracy (overall out of bag error of 16%). [less ▲]

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See detailWood Specific Gravity Variations and Biomass of Central African Tree Species: The Simple Choice of the Outer Wood
Bastin, Jean-François ULg; Fayolle, Adeline ULg; Tarelkin, Yegor et al

in PLoS ONE (2015)

Context: Wood specific gravity is a key element in tropical forest ecology. It integrates many aspects of tree mechanical properties and functioning and is an important predictor of tree biomass. Wood ... [more ▼]

Context: Wood specific gravity is a key element in tropical forest ecology. It integrates many aspects of tree mechanical properties and functioning and is an important predictor of tree biomass. Wood specific gravity varies widely among and within species and also within individual trees. Notably, contrasted patterns of radial variation of wood specific gravity have been demonstrated and related to regeneration guilds (light demanding vs. shade-bearing). However, although being repeatedly invoked as a potential source of error when estimating the biomass of trees, both intraspecific and radial variations remain little studied. In this study we characterized detailed pith-to-bark wood specific gravity profiles among contrasted species prominently contributing to the biomass of the forest, i.e., the dominant species, and we quantified the consequences of such variations on the biomass. Methods: Radial profiles of wood density at 8% moisture content were compiled for 14 dominant species in the Democratic Republic of Congo, adapting a unique 3D X-ray scanning technique at very high spatial resolution on core samples. Mean wood density estimates were validated by water displacement measurements. Wood density profiles were converted to wood specific gravity and linear mixed models were used to decompose the radial variance. Potential errors in biomass estimation were assessed by comparing the biomass estimated from the wood specific gravity measured from pith-to-bark profiles, from global repositories, and from partial information (outer wood or inner wood). Results: Wood specific gravity profiles from pith-to-bark presented positive, neutral and negative trends. Positive trends mainly characterized light-demanding species, increasing up to 1.8 g.cm-3 per meter for Piptadeniastrum africanum, and negative trends characterized shade-bearing species, decreasing up to 1 g.cm-3 per meter for Strombosia pustulata. The linear mixed model showed the greater part of wood specific gravity variance was explained by species only (45%) followed by a redundant part between species and regeneration guilds (36%). Despite substantial variation in wood specific gravity profiles among species and regeneration guilds, we found that values from the outer wood were strongly correlated to values from the whole profile, without any significant bias. In addition, we found that wood specific gravity from the DRYAD global repository may strongly differ depending on the species (up to 40% for Dialium pachyphyllum). Main conclusion: Therefore, when estimating forest biomass in specific sites, we recommend the systematic collection of outer wood samples on dominant species. This should prevent the main errors in biomass estimations resulting from wood specific gravity and allow for the collection of new information to explore the intraspecific variation of mechanical properties of trees. [less ▲]

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See detailEctopic Expression of Retrotransposon-Derived PEG11/RTL1 Contributes to the Callipyge Muscular Hypertrophy.
Xu, Xuewen; Ectors, Fabien ULg; Davis, Erica E. et al

in PloS one (2015), 10(10), 0140594

The callipyge phenotype is an ovine muscular hypertrophy characterized by polar overdominance: only heterozygous +Mat/CLPGPat animals receiving the CLPG mutation from their father express the phenotype ... [more ▼]

The callipyge phenotype is an ovine muscular hypertrophy characterized by polar overdominance: only heterozygous +Mat/CLPGPat animals receiving the CLPG mutation from their father express the phenotype. +Mat/CLPGPat animals are characterized by postnatal, ectopic expression of Delta-like 1 homologue (DLK1) and Paternally expressed gene 11/Retrotransposon-like 1 (PEG11/RTL1) proteins in skeletal muscle. We showed previously in transgenic mice that ectopic expression of DLK1 alone induces a muscular hypertrophy, hence demonstrating a role for DLK1 in determining the callipyge hypertrophy. We herein describe newly generated transgenic mice that ectopically express PEG11 in skeletal muscle, and show that they also exhibit a muscular hypertrophy phenotype. Our data suggest that both DLK1 and PEG11 act together in causing the muscular hypertrophy of callipyge sheep. [less ▲]

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See detailA lysine cluster in domain II of Bacillus subtilis PBP4a plays a role in the membrane attachment of this C1-PBP
Vanden Broeck, Arnaud; Van Der Heiden, Edwige ULg; Sauvage, Eric ULg et al

in PLoS ONE (2015)

In PBP4a, a Bacillus subtilis class-C1 penicillin-binding protein (PBP), four clustered lysine (K) residues, K86, K114, K119, and K265, protrude from domain II. Replacement of these amino acids with ... [more ▼]

In PBP4a, a Bacillus subtilis class-C1 penicillin-binding protein (PBP), four clustered lysine (K) residues, K86, K114, K119, and K265, protrude from domain II. Replacement of these amino acids with glutamine (Q) residues by site-directed mutagenesis yielded Mut4KQ PBP4a. When produced in Escherichia coli without its predicted Sec-signal peptide, wildtype (WT) PBP4a was found mainly associated with the host cytoplasmic membrane, whereas Mut4KQ PBP4a remained largely unbound. After purification, the capacities of the two proteins to bind to B. subtilis membranes were compared. The results were similar to those obtained in E. coli: in vitro, a much higher percentage of WT PBP4a than of Mut4KQ PBP4a was found to interact with B. subtilis membranes. Immunodetection of PBP4a in B. subtilis membrane extracts revealed that a processed form of this PBP (as indicated by its size) associates with the B. subtilis cytoplasmic membrane. In the absence of any amphiphilic peptide in PBP4a, the crown of positive charges on the surface of domain II is likely responsible for the cellular localization of this PBP and its attachment to the cytoplasmic membrane. [less ▲]

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See detailTemporal and spatial comparisons of underwater sound signatures of different reef habitats in Moorea Island, French Polynesia
Bertucci, Frédéric; Parmentier, Eric ULg; Berten, Laetitia et al

in PLoS ONE (2015)

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See detailA semiquantitative framework for gene regulatory networks: increasing the time and quantitative resolution of Boolean networks
Kerkhofs, Johan ULg; Geris, Liesbet ULg

in PLoS ONE (2015), 10(6), 0130033

Boolean models have been instrumental in predicting general features of gene networks and more recently also as explorative tools in specific biological applications. In this study we introduce a basic ... [more ▼]

Boolean models have been instrumental in predicting general features of gene networks and more recently also as explorative tools in specific biological applications. In this study we introduce a basic quantitative and a limited time resolution to a discrete (Boolean) framework. Quantitative resolution is improved through the employ of normalized variables in unison with an additive approach. Increased time resolution stems from the introduction of two distinct priority classes. Through the implementation of a previously published chondrocyte network and T helper cell network, we show that this addition of quantitative and time resolution broadens the scope of biological behaviour that can be captured by the models. Specifically, the quantitative resolution readily allows models to discern qualitative differences in dosage response to growth factors. The limited time resolution, in turn, can influence the reachability of attractors, delineating the likely long term system behaviour. Importantly, the information required for implementation of these features, such as the nature of an interaction, is typically obtainable from the literature. Nonetheless, a trade-off is always present between additional computational cost of this approach and the likelihood of extending the model’s scope. Indeed, in some cases the inclusion of these features does not yield additional insight. This framework, incorporating increased and readily available time and semi-quantitative resolution, can help in substantiating the litmus test of dynamics for gene networks, firstly by excluding unlikely dynamics and secondly by refining falsifiable predictions on qualitative behaviour. [less ▲]

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See detailChitosan enriched three-dimensional matrix reduces inflammatory and catabolic mediators production by human chondrocytes
Oprenyeszk, Frédéric ULg; Sanchez, Christelle ULg; Dubuc, Jean-Emile et al

in PLoS ONE (2015), 10(5),

This in vitro study investigated the metabolism of human osteoarthritic (OA) chondrocytes encapsulated in a spherical matrix enriched of chitosan. Human OA chondrocytes were encapsulated and cultured for ... [more ▼]

This in vitro study investigated the metabolism of human osteoarthritic (OA) chondrocytes encapsulated in a spherical matrix enriched of chitosan. Human OA chondrocytes were encapsulated and cultured for 28 days either in chitosan-alginate beads or in alginate beads. The beads were formed by slowly passed dropwise either the chitosan 0.6%- alginate 1.2% or the alginate 1.2% solution through a syringe into a 102 mM CaCl2 solution. Beads were analyzed histologically after 28 days. Interleukin (IL)-6 and -8, prostaglandin (PG) E2, matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), hyaluronan and aggrecan were quantified directly in the culture supernatant by specific ELISA and nitric oxide (NO) by using a colorimetric method based on the Griess reaction. Hematoxylin and eosin staining showed that chitosan was homogeneously distributed through the matrix and was in direct contact with chondrocytes. The production of IL-6, IL-8 and MMP-3 by chondrocytes significantly decreased in chitosan-alginate beads compared to alginate beads. PGE2 and NO decreased also significantly but only during the first three days of culture. Hyaluronan and aggrecan production tended to increase in chitosan-alginate beads after 28 days of culture. Chitosan-alginate beads reduced the production of inflammatory and catabolic mediators by OA chondrocytes and tended to stimulate the synthesis of cartilage matrix components. These particular effects indicate that chitosan-alginate beads are an interesting scaffold for chondrocytes encapsulation before transplantation to repair cartilage defects. [less ▲]

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See detailEmployees' Organizational Identification and Affective Organizational Commitment: An integrative approach
Stinglhamber, Florence; Marique, Géraldine; Caesens, Gaëtane et al

in PLoS ONE (2015), 10(4), 0123955

Although several studies have empirically supported the distinction between organizational identification (OI) and affective commitment (AC), there is still disagreement regarding how they are related ... [more ▼]

Although several studies have empirically supported the distinction between organizational identification (OI) and affective commitment (AC), there is still disagreement regarding how they are related. Precisely, little attention has been given to the direction of causality between these two constructs and as to why they have common antecedents and outcomes. This research was designed to fill these gaps. Using a cross-lagged panel design with two measurement times, Study 1 examined the directionality of the relationship between OI and AC, and showed that OI is positively related to temporal change in AC, confirming the antecedence of OI on AC. Using a cross-sectional design, Study 2 investigated the mediating role of OI in the relationship between three work experiences (i.e., perceived organizational support, leader-member exchange, and job autonomy) and AC, and found that OI partially mediates the influence of work experiences on AC. Finally, Study 3 examined longitudinally how OI and AC combine in the prediction of actual turnover, and showed that AC totally mediates the relationship between OI and turnover. Overall, these findings suggest that favorable work experiences operate via OI to increase employees' AC that, in turn, decreases employee turnover. [less ▲]

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See detailHigh Resolution postontrast time of flight MR angiography of intracranial perforators at 7.0 Tesla
Harteveld, A; de Cocker, L; Dieleman, N et al

in PLoS ONE (2015)

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See detailRetirement age and the age of onset of Alzheimer’s disease: Results from the ICTUS study
Grotz, Catherine ULg; Letenneur, Luc; Bonsang, Eric ULg et al

in PLoS ONE (2015), 10(2), 0115056

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See detailQuality of Antimicrobial Products Used in Striped Catfish (Pangasianodon hypophthalmus) Aquaculture in Vietnam.
Tran Minh Phu; Nguyen Than Phuong; Scippo, Marie-Louise ULg et al

in PLoS ONE (2015), 10

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See detailTime-varying respiratory system elastance: a physiological model for patients who are spontaneously breathing.
Chiew, Yeong Shiong; Pretty, Christopher; Docherty, Paul D. et al

in PloS one (2015), 10(1), 0114847

BACKGROUND: Respiratory mechanics models can aid in optimising patient-specific mechanical ventilation (MV), but the applications are limited to fully sedated MV patients who have little or no ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: Respiratory mechanics models can aid in optimising patient-specific mechanical ventilation (MV), but the applications are limited to fully sedated MV patients who have little or no spontaneously breathing efforts. This research presents a time-varying elastance (Edrs) model that can be used in spontaneously breathing patients to determine their respiratory mechanics. METHODS: A time-varying respiratory elastance model is developed with a negative elastic component (Edemand), to describe the driving pressure generated during a patient initiated breathing cycle. Data from 22 patients who are partially mechanically ventilated using Pressure Support (PS) and Neurally Adjusted Ventilatory Assist (NAVA) are used to investigate the physiology relevance of the time-varying elastance model and its clinical potential. Edrs of every breathing cycle for each patient at different ventilation modes are presented for comparison. RESULTS: At the start of every breathing cycle initiated by patient, Edrs is < 0. This negativity is attributed from the Edemand due to a positive lung volume intake at through negative pressure in the lung compartment. The mapping of Edrs trajectories was able to give unique information to patients' breathing variability under different ventilation modes. The area under the curve of Edrs (AUCEdrs) for most patients is > 25 cmH2Os/l and thus can be used as an acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) severity indicator. CONCLUSION: The Edrs model captures unique dynamic respiratory mechanics for spontaneously breathing patients with respiratory failure. The model is fully general and is applicable to both fully controlled and partially assisted MV modes. [less ▲]

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See detailGenome-Wide Analysis of In Vivo Binding of the Master Regulator DasR in Streptomyces coelicolor Identifies Novel Non-Canonical Targets
Świątek-Połatyńska, MA; Bucca, G; Laing, E et al

in PLoS ONE (2015)

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See detailStreptococcus pneumoniae GAPDH Is Released by Cell Lysis and Interacts with Peptidoglycan.
Terrasse, Remi; Amoroso, Ana Maria ULg; Vernet, Thierry et al

in PloS one (2015), 10(4), 0125377

Release of conserved cytoplasmic proteins is widely spread among Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. Because these proteins display additional functions when located at the bacterial surface, they ... [more ▼]

Release of conserved cytoplasmic proteins is widely spread among Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. Because these proteins display additional functions when located at the bacterial surface, they have been qualified as moonlighting proteins. The GAPDH is a glycolytic enzyme which plays an important role in the virulence processes of pathogenic microorganisms like bacterial invasion and host immune system modulation. However, GAPDH, like other moonlighting proteins, cannot be secreted through active secretion systems since they do not contain an N-terminal predicted signal peptide. In this work, we investigated the mechanism of GAPDH export and surface retention in Streptococcus pneumoniae, a major human pathogen. We addressed the role of the major autolysin LytA in the delivery process of GAPDH to the cell surface. Pneumococcal lysis is abolished in the DeltalytA mutant strain or when 1% choline chloride is added in the culture media. We showed that these conditions induce a marked reduction in the amount of surface-associated GAPDH. These data suggest that the presence of GAPDH at the surface of pneumococcal cells depends on the LytA-mediated lysis of a fraction of the cell population. Moreover, we demonstrated that pneumococcal GAPDH binds to the bacterial cell wall independently of the presence of the teichoic acids component, supporting peptidoglycan as a ligand to surface GAPDH. Finally, we showed that peptidoglycan-associated GAPDH recruits C1q from human serum but does not activate the complement pathway. [less ▲]

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See detailThe alpha2,3-Sialyltransferase Encoded by Myxoma Virus Is a Virulence Factor that Contributes to Immunosuppression.
Boutard, Berengere; Vankerckhove, Sophie; Markine-Goriaynoff, Nicolas et al

in PloS one (2015), 10(2), 0118806

Myxoma virus (MYXV) induces a lethal disease called Myxomatosis in European rabbits. MYXV is one of the rare viruses that encodes an alpha2,3-sialyltransferase through its M138L gene. In this study, we ... [more ▼]

Myxoma virus (MYXV) induces a lethal disease called Myxomatosis in European rabbits. MYXV is one of the rare viruses that encodes an alpha2,3-sialyltransferase through its M138L gene. In this study, we showed that although the absence of the enzyme was not associated with any in vitro deficit, the M138L deficient strains are highly attenuated in vivo. Indeed, while all rabbits infected with the parental and the revertant strains died within 9 days post-infection from severe myxomatosis, all but one rabbit inoculated with the M138L deficient strains survived the infection. In primary lesions, this resistance to the infection was associated with an increased ability of innate immune cells, mostly neutrophils, to migrate to the site of virus replication at 4 days post-infection. This was followed by the development of a better specific immune response against MYXV. Indeed, at day 9 post-infection, we observed an important proliferation of lymphocytes and an intense congestion of blood vessels in lymph nodes after M138L knockouts infection. Accordingly, in these rabbits, we observed an intense mononuclear cell infiltration throughout the dermis in primary lesions and higher titers of neutralizing antibodies. Finally, this adaptive immune response provided protection to these surviving rabbits against a challenge with the MYXV WT strain. Altogether, these results show that expression of the M138L gene contributes directly or indirectly to immune evasion by MYXV. In the future, these results could help us to better understand the pathogenesis of myxomatosis but also the importance of glycans in regulation of immune responses. [less ▲]

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