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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 31, 2023
  2. Abstract The longitudinal coherence of X-ray free-electron lasers (XFELs) in the self-amplified spontaneous emission regime could be substantially improved if the high brightness electron beam could be pre-bunched on the radiated wavelength-scale. Here, we show that it is indeed possible to realize such current modulated electron beam at angstrom scale by exciting a nonlinear wake across a periodically modulated plasma-density downramp/plasma cathode. The density modulation turns on and off the injection of electrons in the wake while downramp provides a unique longitudinal mapping between the electrons’ initial injection positions and their final trapped positions inside the wake. The combined use of a downramp and periodic modulation of micrometers is shown to be able to produces a train of high peak current (17 kA) electron bunches with a modulation wavelength of 10’s of angstroms - orders of magnitude shorter than the plasma density modulation. The peak brightness of the nano-bunched beam can be O (10 21 A/m 2 /rad 2 ) orders of magnitude higher than current XFEL beams. Such prebunched, high brightness electron beams hold the promise for compact and lower cost XEFLs that can produce nanometer radiation with hundreds of GW power in a 10 s of centimeter longmore »undulator.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2023
  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 17, 2023
  4. Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2023
  5. Kinetochores, a protein complex assembled on centromeres, mediate chromosome segregation. In most eukaryotes, centromeres are epigenetically specified by the histone H3 variant CENP-A. CENP-T, an inner kinetochore protein, serves as a platform for the assembly of the outer kinetochore Ndc80 complex during mitosis. How CENP-T is regulated through the cell cycle remains unclear. Ccp1 (counteracter of CENP-A loading protein 1) associates with centromeres during interphase but delocalizes from centromeres during mitosis. Here, we demonstrated that Ccp1 directly interacts with CENP-T. CENP-T is important for the association of Ccp1 with centromeres, whereas CENP-T centromeric localization depends on Mis16, a homolog of human RbAp48/46. We identified a Ccp1-interaction motif (CIM) at the N terminus of CENP-T, which is adjacent to the Ndc80 receptor motif. The CIM domain is required for Ccp1 centromeric localization, and the CIM domain–deleted mutant phenocopies ccp1 Δ. The CIM domain can be phosphorylated by CDK1 (cyclin-dependent kinase 1). Phosphorylation of CIM weakens its interaction with Ccp1. Consistent with this, Ccp1 dissociates from centromeres through all stages of the cell cycle in the phosphomimetic mutant of the CIM domain, whereas in the phospho-null mutant of the domain, Ccp1 associates with centromeres during mitosis. We further show that the phospho-nullmore »mutant disrupts the positioning of the Ndc80 complex during mitosis, resulting in chromosome missegregation. This work suggests that competitive exclusion between Ccp1 and Ndc80 at the N terminus of CENP-T via phosphorylation ensures precise kinetochore assembly during mitosis and uncovers a previously unrecognized mechanism underlying kinetochore assembly through the cell cycle.« less
  6. Abstract Splicing factors have recently been shown to be involved in heterochromatin formation, but their role in controlling heterochromatin structure and function remains poorly understood. In this study, we identified a fission yeast homologue of human splicing factor RBM10, which has been linked to TARP syndrome. Overexpression of Rbm10 in fission yeast leads to strong global intron retention. Rbm10 also interacts with splicing factors in a pattern resembling that of human RBM10, suggesting that the function of Rbm10 as a splicing regulator is conserved. Surprisingly, our deep-sequencing data showed that deletion of Rbm10 caused only minor effect on genome-wide gene expression and splicing. However, the mutant displays severe heterochromatin defects. Further analyses indicated that the heterochromatin defects in the mutant did not result from mis-splicing of heterochromatin factors. Our proteomic data revealed that Rbm10 associates with the histone deacetylase Clr6 complex and chromatin remodelers known to be important for heterochromatin silencing. Deletion of Rbm10 results in significant reduction of Clr6 in heterochromatin. Our work together with previous findings further suggests that different splicing subunits may play distinct roles in heterochromatin regulation.
  7. The centromere is a specialized chromosomal structure essential for chromosome segregation. Centromere dysfunction leads to chromosome segregation errors and genome instability. In most eukaryotes, centromere identity is specified epigenetically by CENP-A, a centromere-specific histone H3 variant. CENP-A replaces histone H3 in centromeres, and nucleates the assembly of the kinetochore complex. Mislocalization of CENP-A to non-centromeric regions causes ectopic assembly of CENP-A chromatin, which has a devastating impact on chromosome segregation and has been linked to a variety of human cancers. How non-centromeric regions are protected from CENP-A misincorporation in normal cells is largely unexplored. Here, we review the most recent advances on the mechanisms underlying the prevention of ectopic centromere formation, and discuss the implications in human disease.
  8. High-temperature poling eliminates light-scattering domain walls in a relaxor ferroelectric.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 22, 2023