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    1. Reviewer #1 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      Major findings or outcomes include a genome for the wasp, characterization of the venom constituents and teratocyte and ovipositor expression profiles, as well as information about Trichopria ecology and parasitism strategies. It was found that Trichopria cannot discriminate among hosts by age, but can identify previously parasitized hosts. The authors also investigated whether superparasitism by Trichopria wasps improved parasitism outcomes (it did), presumably by increasing venom and teratocyte concentrations/densities. Elegant use of Drosophila ectopic expression tools allowed for functional characterization of venom components (Timps), and showed that these proteins are responsible for parasitoid-induced delays in host development. After finding that teratocytes produce a large number of proteases, experiments showed that these contribute to digestion of host tissues for parasite consumption.<br /> The discussion ties these elements together by suggesting that genes used for aiding in parasitism via different parts of the parasitism arsenal arise from gene duplication and shifts in tissue of expression (to venom glands or teratocytes).

      Strengths:

      The strength of this manuscript is that it describes the parasitism strategies used by Trichopria wasps at a molecular and behavioral level with broad strokes. It represents a large amount of work that in previous decades might have been published in several different papers. Including all of these data in a manuscript together makes for a comprehensive and interesting study.

      Weaknesses:

      The weakness is that the breadth of the study results in fairly shallow mechanistic or functional results for any given facet of Trichopria's biology. Although none of the findings are especially novel given results from other parasitoid species in previous publications, integrating results together provides significant information about Trichopria biology.

    2. Reviewer #2 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      Key findings of this research include the sequencing of the wasp's genome, identification of venom constituents and teratocytes, and examination of Trichopria drosophilae (Td)'s ecology and parasitic strategies. It was observed that Td doesn't distinguish between hosts based on age but can recognize previously parasitized hosts. The study also explored whether multiple parasitisms by Td improved outcomes, which indeed it did, possibly by increasing venom and teratocyte levels. Utilizing Drosophila ectopic expression tools, the authors functionally characterized venom components, specifically tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (Timps), which were found to cause delays in host development. Additionally, experiments revealed that teratocytes produce numerous proteases, aiding in the digestion of host tissues for parasite consumption. The discussion suggests that genes involved in different aspects of parasitism may arise from gene duplication and shifts in tissue expression to venom glands or teratocytes.

      Strengths:

      This manuscript provides an in-depth and detailed depiction of the parasitic strategies employed by Td wasps, spanning both molecular and behavioral aspects. It consolidates a significant amount of research that, in the past, might have been distributed across multiple papers. By presenting all this data in a single manuscript, it delivers a comprehensive and engaging study that could help future developments in the field of biological control against a major insect pest.

      Weaknesses:

      While none of the findings are particularly groundbreaking, as similar results have been reported for other parasitoid species in prior research, the integration of these results into one comprehensive overview offers valuable biological insights into an interesting new potential biocontrol species.

    1. Reviewer #1 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      In this manuscript, Huang et al have investigated the exercise mimetic role of Eugenol (a natural product) in skeletal muscle and whole-body fitness. The authors report that Eugenol facilitates skeletal muscle remodeling to a slower/oxidative phenotype typically associated with endurance. Eugenol also remodels the fat driving browning the WAT. In both skeletal muscle and fat Eugenol promotes oxidative capacity and mitochondrial biogenesis markers. Eugenol also improves exercise tolerance in a swimming test. Through a series of in vitro studies the authors demonstrate that eugenol may function through the trpv1 channel, Ca mobilization, and activation of CaN/NFAT signaling in the skeletal muscle to regulate slow-twitch phenotype. In addition, Eugenol also induces several myokines but mainly IL-15 through which it may exert its exercise mimetic effects. Overall, the manuscript is well-written, but there are several mechanistic gaps, physiological characterization is limited, and some data are mostly co-relative without vigorous testing (e.g. link between Eugenol, IL15 induction, and endurance). Specific major concerns are listed below.

      Strengths:

      A natural product activator of the TRPV1 channel that could elicit exercise-like effects through skeletal muscle remodeling. Potential for discovering other mechanisms of action of Eugenol.

      Weaknesses:

      (1) Figure 1: Histomorphological analysis using immunostaining for type I, IIA, IIX, and IIB should be performed and quantified across different muscle groups and also in the soleus. Fiber type switch measured based on qPCR and Westerns does not sufficiently indicate the extent of fiber type switch. Better images for Fig. 1c should be provided.

      (2) Figure 2: Histomorphological analysis for SDH and NADH-TR should be performed and quantified in different muscle groups. Seahorse or oroborous respirometry experiments should be performed to determine the actually increase in mitochondrial respiratory capacity either in isolated mitochondria or single fibers from vehicle and Eugenol-treated mice. Em for mitochondrial should be added to determine the extent of mitochondrial remodeling. The current data is insufficient to indicate the extent of mitochondrial or oxidative remodeling.

      (3) Figure 2: Gene expression analysis is limited to a few transcriptional factors. A thorough analysis of gene expression through RNA-seq should be performed to get an unbiased effect of Eugenol on muscle transcriptome. This is especially important because eugenol is proposed to work through CaN/NFAT signaling, major transcriptional regulators of muscle phenotype.

      (4) I suggest the inclusion of additional exercise or performance testing including treadmill running, wheel running, and tensiometry. Quantification with a swimming test and measurement of the exact intensity of exercise, etc. is limited.

      (5) In addition to muscle performance, whole-body metabolic/energy homeostatic effects should also be measured to determine a potential increase in aerobic metabolism over anaerobic metabolism.

      (6) For the swimming test and other measurements, only 4 weeks of vehicle vs. Eugenol treatment was used. For this type of pharmacological study, a time course should be performed to determine the saturation point of the effect. Does exercise tolerance progressively increase with time?

      (7) The authors should also consider measuring adaptation to exercise training with or without Eugenol.

      (8) Histomorphological analysis of Wat is also lacking. EchoMRI would give a better picture of lean and fat mass.

      (9) The experiments performed to demonstrate that Eugenol functions through trpv1 are mostly correlational. Some experiments are needed with trpv1 KO or KD instead of inhibitor. Similarly, KD for other trpv channels should be tested (at least 1-4 that seem to be expressed in the muscle). Triple KO or trpv null cells should be considered to demonstrate that eugenol does not have another biological target.

      (10) Eugenol + trpv1 inhibition studies are performed in c2c12 cells and only looks at myofiber genes expression. This is incomplete. Some studies in mitochondrial and oxsphos genes should be done.

      (11) The experiments linking Eugenol to ca handling, and calcineurin/nfat activation are all performed in c2c12 cells. There seems to be a link between Eugenol activation and CaN/NFAT activation and fiber type regulation in cells, however, this needs to be tested in mouse studies at the functional level using some of the parameters measured in aims 1 and 2.

      (12) The myokine studies are incomplete. The authors show a link between Eugenol treatment and myokines/IL-15 induction. However, this is purely co-relational, without any experiments performed to show whether IL-15 mediates any of the effects of eugenol in mice.

      (13) An additional major concern is that it cannot be ruled out that Engenol is uniquely mediating its effects through trpv1. Ideally, muscle-specific trpv1 mice should be used to perform some experiments with Eugenol to confirm that this ion channel is involved in the physiological effects of eugenol.

      Comments on revised version:

      Unfortunately, in the revision the authors have not addressed any of my comments with new experimental data. For example, some of the histological experiments I suggested are quite easy to do or standardize. Other in vitro experiments could also be conducted to show direct mechanistic link. The current revision does not further improve the manuscript from the 1st submission.

    2. Reviewer #2 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      The authors examined the hypothesis that eugenol promotes myokines release and f skeletal muscles remoulding by activating the TRPV1-Ca2+-calcineurin-NFATc1 signalling pathway. They first showed that eugenol promotes skeletal muscle transformation and metabolic functions in adipose tissues by analysing changes in the expression of mRNA and proteins of relevant representative protein markers. With similar methodologies, they further found that eugenol increases the expression of mRNA and/or proteins of TRPV1, CaN, NFATC1 and IL-15 in muscle tissues. These processes were, however, prevented by inhibiting TRPV1 and CaN. Similar expression changes were also triggered by increasing intracellular Ca2+ with A23187, suggesting a Ca2+-dependent process.

      Strengths:

      Different proteins markers were used as a readout of the functions of muscles and adipose tissues and mitochondria and analysed at both mRNA and protein levels. The results were mostly consistent. Although the signaling pathway of TRPV1-Ca2+-CaN-NFAT is not new and well documented, they identified IL-15 as a new downstream target of this pathway combined with use of TRPV1 and CaN inhibitors.

      Weaknesses:

      Most of the evidence is limited to the molecular level lacking direct functional assays and system analysis. It will be interesting to examine the effect of eugenol on metabolic rate in animals and the role of TRPV1 in this process, as eugenol enhanced food intake without effect on body weight. TRPV1 and CaN inhibition prevented IL-15 expression in C2C12 cells (Fig.9). It remain unknown whether the effect is reproducible in native muscle tissues.

      It is also unknown how eugenol enhances TRPV1/CaN expression and alters the expression of many other protein markers in muscle and adipose tissues. Are these effects mediated by activated NFAT or by released IL-15 forming a positive feedback loop? It should at least be discussed.

      Many protein blots were presented but no molecular weight markers were shown. It is thus difficult to convince others that the protein bands are the right anticipated positions.

    1. Reviewer #1 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      Shakhawat et al., investigated how enhancement of plasticity and impairment could result in the same behavioral phenotype. The authors tested the hypothesis that learning impairments result from saturation of plasticity mechanisms and had previously tested this hypothesis using mice lacking two class I major histocompatibility molecules. The current study extends this work by testing the saturation hypothesis in a Purkinje-cell (L7) specific Fmr1 knockout mouse mice, which have enhanced parallel fiber-Purkinje cell LTD. The authors found that L7-Fmr1 knockout mice are impaired on an oculomotor learning task and both pre-training, to reverse LTD, and diazepam, to suppress neural activity, eliminated the deficit when compared to controls.

      Strengths:

      This study tests the "saturation hypothesis" to understand plasticity in learning using a well-known behavior task, VOR, and an additional genetic mouse line with a cerebellar cell-specific target, L7-Fmr1 KO. This hypothesis is of interest to the community as it evokes novel inquisition into LTD that has not been examined previously.

      Utilizing a cell-specific mouse line that has been previously used as a genetic model to study Fragile X syndrome is a unique way to study the role of Purkinje cells and the Fmr1 gene. This increases the understanding in the field in regards to Fragile X syndrome and LTD.

      The VOR task is a classic behavior task that is well understood, therefore using this metric is very reliable for testing new animal models and treatment strategies. The effects of pretraining are clearly robust and this analysis technique could be applied across different behavior data sets.

      The rescue shown using diazepam is very interesting as this is a therapeutic that could be used in clinical populations as it is already approved.

      All previous comments have been addressed with additional studies, explanations, or analyses. These additions strengthen a very impactful study.

      The authors achieved their study objectives and the results strongly support their conclusion and proposed hypothesis. This work will be impactful on the field as it uses a new Purkinje-cell specific mouse model to study a classic cerebellar task. The use of diazepam could be further analyzed in other genetic models of neurodevelopmental disorders to understand if effects on LTD can rescue other pathways and behavior outcomes.

    2. Reviewer #2 (Public Review):

      This manuscript explores the seemingly paradoxical observation that enhanced synaptic plasticity impairs (rather than enhances) certain forms of learning and memory. The central hypothesis is that such impairments arise due to saturation of synaptic plasticity, such that the synaptic plasticity required for learning can no longer be induced. A prior study provided evidence for this hypothesis using transgenic mice that lack major histocompatibility class 1 molecules and show enhanced long-term depression (LTD) at synapses between granule cells and Purkinje cells of the cerebellum. The study found that a form of LTD-dependent motor learning-increasing the gain of the vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR)-is impaired in these mice and can be rescued by manipulations designed to "unsaturate" LTD. The present study extends this line of investigation to another transgenic mouse line with enhanced LTD, namely, mice with the Fragile X gene knocked out. The main findings are that VOR gain increase learning is selectively impaired in these mice but can be rescued by specific manipulations of visuomotor experience known to reverse cerebellar LTD. Additionally, the authors show that a transient global enhancement of neuronal inhibition also selectively rescues gain increase learning. This latter finding has potential clinical relevance since the drug used to boost inhibition, diazepam, is FDA-approved and commonly used in the clinic. The evidence provided for the saturation is somewhat indirect because directly measuring synaptic strength in vivo is technically difficult. Nevertheless, the experimental results are solid. In particular, the specificity of the effects to forms of plasticity previously shown to require LTD is remarkable.

    1. Reviewer #1 (Public Review):

      In this paper, the effects of two sensory stimuli (visual and somatosensory) on fMRI responsiveness during absence seizures were investigated in GEARS rats with concurrent EEG recordings. SPM analysis of fMRI showed a significant reduction in whole-brain responsiveness during the ictal period compared to the interictal period under both stimuli, and this phenomenon was replicated in a structurally constrained whole-brain computational model of rat brains.

      The conclusion of this paper is that whole-brain responsiveness to both sensory stimuli is inhibited and spatially impeded during seizures.

      The authors have revised this paper with a lot of detail.

    2. Reviewer #2 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      This study examined the possible effect of spike-wave discharges (SWDs) on the response to visual or somatosensory stimulation using fMRI and EEG. This is a significant topic because SWDs often are called seizures and because there is non-responsiveness at this time, it would be logical that responses to sensory stimulation are reduced. On the other hand, in rodents with SWDs, sensory stimulation (a noise, for example) often terminates the SWD/seizure.

      In humans, these periods of SWDs are due to thalamocortical oscillations. A certain percentage of the normal population can have SWDs in response to photic stimulation at specific frequencies. Other individuals develop SWDs without stimulation. They disrupt consciousness. Individuals have an absent look, or "absence", which is called absence epilepsy.

      The authors use a rat model to study the responses to stimulation of the visual or somatosensory systems during and in between SWDs. They report that the response to stimulation is reduced during the SWDs. While some data show this nicely, there is also difficulty knowing the effect of the stimulus, SWD and stimulus + SWD.

      The authors also study the hemodynamic response function (HRF) and it is not clear what conclusions can be made from the data. The authors acknowledge this, but it does lessen its significance.

      Finally, the authors use a model to analyze the data. This model is novel and while that is a strength, its validation is with a second model rather than empirical data.

      Strengths:

      Use of fMRI and EEG to study SWDs in rats.

      Weaknesses:

      The paper has been improved by revisions but there are still parts that are unclear, as described below.

    3. Reviewer #3 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      This is an interesting paper investigating fMRI changes during sensory (visual, tactile) stimulation and absence seizures in the GAERS model. The results are potentially important for the field and do suggest that sensory stimulation may not activate brain regions normally during absence seizures. However the findings are limited by substantial methodological issues that do not enable fMRI signals related to absence seizures to be fully disentangled from fMRI signals related to the sensory stimuli.

      Strengths:

      Investigating fMRI brain responses to sensory stimuli during absence seizures in an animal model is a novel approach with potential to yield important insights.

      Use of an awake, habituated model is a valid and potentially powerful approach.

      The major difficulty with interpreting the results of this study is that the duration of the visual and tactile stimuli were 6 seconds, which is very close to the mean seizure duration per Table 1. Therefore the HRF model looking at fMRI responses to visual or auditory stimuli occurring during seizures was simultaneously weighting both seizure activity and the sensory (visual or auditory) stimuli over the same time intervals on average. The resulting maps and time courses claiming to show fMRI changes from visual or auditory stimulation during seizures will therefore in reality contain some mix of both sensory stimulation-related signals and seizure-related signals. The main claim that the sensory stimuli do not elicit the same activations during seizures as they do in the interictal period may still be true. However the attempts to localize these differences in space or time will be contaminated by the seizure related signals.

      In their repeated responses to this comment the authors have stated that some seizures had longer than average duration, and that they have attempted to model the effects of both seizures and sensory stimulation. However these factors do not mitigate the concern because the mean duration of seizures and sensory stimulation remain nearly identical, and the models used therefore will not be able to effectively separate signals related to seizures and related to sensory stimulation. Hemodynamic models can never in reality represent underlying signals in an orthogonal manner, and are only indirectly related to neural activity.

      The only way to truly address the important weakness of this study would be to repeat the experiments using stimulus durations that do not match mean seizure duration, e.g. with much shorter duration stimuli.

      The authors have clarified and improved the figure images and their description in the text based on previous specific comments. However, the main weakness in the results remains as summarized above.

      Minor comments:

      Aside from the concerns listed as weaknesses above which were not addressed, most of the more minor comments were addressed by the authors in the resubmissions. However, the comment made twice previously regarding Figure 6-figure supplement 1 was not addressed. It remains impossible to see any firing rate changes elicited by sensory stimuli during the ictal period in parts E and F of the figure vs. parts B and C (interictal), due to the very different scales used. The seizure signals should be removed or accounted for by the model so that any possible sensory stimulus-related signals could be seen, and/or displayed on the same scale as firing rates without seizures. The authors have simply restated their opinion that it is better to include the SWD dynamics in these figures parts, however this makes the figure wholly unconvincing. It is also concerning that part D (ictal), which is in fact shown on the same scale as part A (interictal), actually shows larger firing rates for both excitatory and inhibitory neurons in visual cortex for sensory stimulation during seizures. This contradicts the claims in the rest of the paper that neural activity and fMRI signals are smaller or are even decreased in visual cortex with sensory stimulation during seizures compared to the interictal period.

    1. Reviewer #1 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      Human Abeta42 inhibits gamma-secretase activity in biochemical assays.

      Strengths:

      Determination of inhibitory concentration human Abeta42 on gamma-secretase activity in biochemical assays.

    1. Reviewer #1 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      The paper investigates the physiological and neural processes that relate to infants' attention allocation in a naturalistic setting. Contrary to experimental paradigms that are usually employed in developmental research, this study investigates attention processes while letting the infants free to play with three toys in the vicinity of their caregiver, which is closer to a common, everyday life context. The paper focuses on infants at 5 and 10 months of age and finds differences in what predicts attention allocation. At 5 months, attention episodes are shorter and their duration is predicted by autonomic arousal. At 10 months, attention episodes are longer, and their duration can be predicted by theta power. Moreover, theta power predicted the proportion of looking at the toys, as well as a decrease in arousal (heart rate). Overall, the authors conclude that attentional systems change across development, becoming more driven by cortical processes.

      Strengths:

      I enjoyed reading the paper, I am impressed with the level of detail of the analyses, and I am strongly in favour of the overall approach, which tries to move beyond in-lab settings. The collection of multiple sources of data (EEG, heart rate, looking behaviour) at two different ages (5 and 10 months) is a key strength of this paper. The original analyses, which build onto robust EEG preprocessing, are an additional feat that improves the overall value of the paper. The careful consideration of how theta power might change before, during, and in the prediction of attention episodes is especially remarkable.

      Weaknesses:

      The levels of EEG noise across age groups and periods of attention allocation are not controlled for. I appreciate the analysis of noise reported in supplementary materials. The analysis focuses on a broad level (average noise in 5-month-olds vs 10-month-olds) but variations might be more fine-grained (for example, noise in 5mos might be due to fussiness and crying, while at 10 months it might be due to increased movements). More importantly, noise might even be the same across age groups, but correlated to other aspects of their behaviour (head or eye movements) that are directly related to the measures of interest. Is it possible that noise might co-vary with some of the behaviours of interest, thus leading to either spurious effects or false negatives? One way to address this issue would be for example to check if noise in the signal can predict attention episodes. If this is the case, noise should be added as a covariate in many of the analyses of this paper.

      Concerning cross-correlation analyses, the authors state that "Interpreting the exact time intervals over which a cross-correlation is significant is challenging". Then, they say that asymmetry is enough to conclude that attention forward predicted theta power more than vice versa. I think it could be useful to add a bit more of explanation before reaching this conclusion, explaining why such statement is correct, and how it is supported by previous work in statistics.

      Finally, the cognitive process under investigation (e.g., attention) and its operationalization (e.g., duration of consecutive looking toward a toy) are not fully distinguished, but conflated instead (e.g., "attention durations"). This does not impact the quality of the work or analyses, but it slightly reduces clarity.

      General Remarks<br /> In general, the authors achieved their aim in that they successfully showed the relationship between looking behaviour (as a proxy of attention), autonomic arousal, and electrophysiology. Two aspects are especially interesting. First, the fact that at 5 months, autonomic arousal predicts the duration of subsequent attention episodes, but at 10 months this effect is not present. Conversely, at 10 months, theta power predicts the duration of looking episodes, but this effect is not present in 5-month-old infants. This pattern of results suggests that younger infants have less control over their attention, which mostly depends on their current state of arousal, but older infants have gained cortical control of their attention, which in turn impacts their looking behaviour and arousal.

    2. Reviewer #2 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      This manuscript explores infants' attention patterns in real-world settings and their relationship with autonomic arousal and EEG oscillations in the theta frequency band. The study included 5- and 10-month-old infants during free play. The results showed that the 5-month-old group exhibited a decline in HR forward-predicted attentional behaviors, while the 10-month-old group exhibited increased theta power following shifts in gaze, indicating the start of a new attention episode. Additionally, this increase in theta power predicted the duration of infants' looking behavior.

      Strengths:

      The study's strengths lie in its utilization of advanced protocols and cutting-edge techniques to assess infants' neural activity and autonomic arousal associated with their attention patterns, as well as the extensive data coding and processing. Overall, I think this article's findings have important theoretical implications for the development of infant attention.

      Weaknesses:

      The authors have effectively tackled the majority of my concerns within their revised manuscript, resulting in a substantial improvement. While the revised paper notably addresses many points, one question regarding the potential contamination of saccades on EEG power remains partially unresolved. However, I appreciate the authors' explanation that resolving this issue was challenging due to the absence of eye-tracking data in the current study. Additionally, I acknowledge their inclusion of this concern in the limitations section.

    1. Reviewer #1 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      Peterson et al., present a series of experiments in which the Pavlovian performance (i.e. time spent at a food cup/port) of male and female rats is assessed in various tasks in which context/cue/outcome relationships are altered. The authors find no sex differences in context-irrelevant tasks, and no such differences in tasks in which the context signals that different cues will earn different outcomes. They do find sex differences, however, when a single outcome is given and context cues must be used to ascertain which cue will be rewarded with that outcome (Ctx-dep O1 task). Specifically, they find that males acquired the task faster, but that once acquired, performance of the task was more resilient in female rats against exposures to a stressor. Finally, they show that these sex differences are reflected in differential rates of c-fos expression in all three subregions of rat OFC, medial, lateral and ventral, in the sense that it is higher in females than males, and only in the animals subject to the Ctx-dep O1 task in which sex differences were observed.

      Strengths:

      • Well written<br /> • Experiments elegantly designed<br /> • Robust statistics<br /> • Behaviour is the main feature of this manuscript, rather than any flashy techniques or fashionable lab methodologies, and luckily the behaviour is done really well.<br /> • For the most part I think the conclusions were well supported, although I do have some slightly different interpretations to the authors in places.

      Weaknesses:

      The authors have done an excellent job of addressing all previous weaknesses. I have no further comments.

    2. Reviewer #2 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      A bidirectional occasion-setting design is used to examine sex differences in the contextual modulation of reward-related behaviour. It is shown that females are slower to acquire contextual control over cue-evoked reward seeking. However, once established, the contextual control over behaviour was more robust in female rats (i.e., less within-session variability and greater resistance to stress) and this was also associated with increased OFC activation.

      Strengths:

      The authors use sophisticated behavioural paradigms to study the hierarchical contextual modulation of behaviour. The behavioural controls are particularly impressive and do, to some extent, support the specificity of the conclusions. The analyses of the behavioural data are also elegant, thoughtful, and rigorous.

      Comments on revised version:

      In this revised version the authors have addressed the major weaknesses that I identified in my previous review.

    3. Reviewer #3 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      This manuscript reports an experiment that compared groups of rats acquisition and performance of a Pavlovian bi-conditional discrimination, in which the presence of one cue, A, signals that the presentation of one CS, X, will be followed by a reinforcer and a second CS, Y, will be nonreinforced. Periods of cue A alternated with periods of cue B, which signaled the opposite relationship, cue X is nonreinforced and cue Y is reinforced. This is a conditional discrimination problem in which the rats learned to approach the food cup in the presence of each CS conditional on the presence of the third background cue. The comparison groups consisted of the same conditional discrimination with the exception that each CS was paired with a different reinforcer. This makes the problem easier to solve as the background is now priming a differential outcome. A third group received simple discrimination training of X reinforced and Y nonreinforced in cues A and B, and the final group were trained with X and Y reinforced on half the trials (no discrimination). The results were clear that the latter two discrimination learning procedures resulted in rapid learning in comparison to the first. Rats required about 3 times as many 4-session blocks to acquire the bi-conditional discrimination than the other two discrimination groups. Within the biconditional discrimination group, female and male rats spent the same amount of time in the food cup during the rewarded CS, but females spent more time in the food cup during CS- than males. The authors interpret this as a deficit in discrimination performance in females on this task and use a measure that exaggerates the difference in CS+ and CS_ responding (a discrimination ratio) to support their point. When tested after acute restraint stress, the male rats spent less time in the food cup during the reinforced CS in comparison to the female rats, but did not lose discrimination performance entirely. The was also some evidence of more fos positive cells in the orbitofrontal cortex in females. Overall, I think the authors were successful in documenting performance on the biconditional discrimination task, showing that it is more difficult to perform than other discriminations is valuable and consistent with the proposal that accurate performance requires encoding of conditional information (which the authors refer to as "context"). There is evidence that female rats spend more time in the food cup during CS-, but this I hesitate to agree that this is an important sex difference. There is no cost to spending more time in the food cup during CS- and they spend much less time there than during CS+. Males and females also did not differ in their CS+ responding, suggesting similar levels of learning, A number of factors could contribute to more food cup time in CS-, such as smaller body size and more locomotor activity. The number of food cup entries during CS+ and CS- was not reported here. Nevertheless, I think the manuscript will make a useful contribution to the field and hopefully lead readers to follow up on these types of tasks. One area for development would be to test the associative properties of the cues controlling the conditional discrimination, can they be shown to have the properties of Pavlovian occasion setting stimuli? Such work would strengthen the justification/rationale for using the term "context" and "occasion setter" to refer to these stimuli in this task in the way the authors do in this paper.

      Strengths:

      Nicely designed and conducted experiment.<br /> Documents performance difference by sex.

      Weaknesses:

      Overstatement of sex differences.<br /> Inconsistent, confusing, and possibly misleading use of terms to describe/imply the underlying processes contributing to performance.

    1. Reviewer #1 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      This study examines a hypothesized link between autism symptomatology and efference copy mechanisms. This is an important question for a number of reasons. Efference copy is both a critical brain mechanism that is key to rapid sensorimotor behaviors, and one that has important implications for autism given recent empirical and theoretical work implicating atypical prediction mechanisms and atypical reliance on priors in ASD.<br /> The authors test this relationship in two different experiments, both of which show larger errors/biases in spatial updating for those with heightened autistic traits (as measured by AQ in neurotypical (NT) individuals).

      Strengths:

      The empirical results are convincing - effects are strong, sample sizes are sufficient, and the authors also rule out alternative explanations (ruling out differences in motor behavior or perceptual processing per se).

      Weaknesses:

      My main residual concern is that the paper should be more transparent about both (1) that this study does not include individuals with autism, and (2) acknowledging the limitations of the AQ.<br /> On the first point, and I don't think this is intentional, there are several instances where the line between heightened autistic traits in the NT population and ASD is blurred or absent. For example, in the second sentence of the abstract, the authors state "Here, we examine the idea that sensory overload in ASD may be linked to issues with efference copy mechanisms". I would say this is not correct because the authors did not test individuals with ASD. I don't see a problem with using ASD to motivate and discuss this work, but it should be clear in key places that this was done using AQ in NT individuals.<br /> For the second issue, the AQ measure itself has some problems. For example, reference 38 in the paper (a key AQ paper) also shows that the AQ is skewed more male than modern estimates of ASD, suggesting that the AQ may not fully capture the full spectrum of ASD symptomatology.<br /> Of course, this does not mean that the AQ is not a useful measure (the present data clearly show that it captures something important about spatial updating during eye movements), but it should not be confused with ASD, and its limitations need to be acknowledged. My recommendation would be to do this in the title as well - e.g. note impaired visuomotor updating in individuals with "heightened autistic traits".

      Suggestions for improvement:<br /> - Figure 5 is really interesting. I think it should be highlighted a bit more, perhaps even with a model that uses the results of both tasks to predict AQ scores.<br /> - Some discussion of the memory demands of the tasks will be helpful. The authors argue that memory is not a factor, but some support for this is needed.<br /> - With 3 sessions for each experiment, the authors also have data to look at learning. Did people with high AQ get better over time, or did the observed errors/biases persist throughout the experiment?

    2. Reviewer #2 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      The idea that various clinical conditions may be associated, at least partially, with a disrupted corollary discharge mechanism has been present for long. In this paper, the authors draw a link between sensory overload, a characteristic of autism spectrum disorder, and a disturbance in the corollary discharge mechanism. The authors substantiate their hypothesis with strong evidence from both the motor and perceptual domains. As a result, they broaden the clinical relevance of the corollary discharge mechanism to encompass autism spectrum disorder.

      Public comments:

      The authors write:

      "Imagine a scenario in which you're watching a video of a fast-moving car on a bumpy road. As the car hits a pothole, your eyes naturally make quick, involuntary saccades to keep the car in your visual field. Without a functional efference copy system, your brain would have difficulty accurately determining the current position of your eye in space, which in turn affects its ability to anticipate where the car should appear after each eye movement."

      I appreciate the use of examples to clarify the concept of efference copy. However, I believe this example is more related to a gain-field mechanism, informing the system about the position of the eye with respect to the head, rather than an example of efference copy per-se.

      Without an efference copy mechanism, the brain would have trouble to accurately determine where the eyes will be in space after an eye movement, and it will have trouble predicting the sensory consequences of the eye movement. But it can be argued that the gain-field mechanism would be sufficient to inform the brain about the current position of the eyes with respect the head.

      The authors write:

      "In the double-step paradigm, two consecutive saccades are made to briefly displayed targets 21,22. The first saccade occurs without visual references, relying on internal updating to determine the eye's position."

      Maybe I am missed something, but in the double-step paradigm the first saccade can occur without the help of visual references if no visual feedback is present, that is, when saccades are performed in total darkness. Was this the case for this experiment? I could not find details about room conditions in the methods. Please provide further details.<br /> In case saccades were not performed in total darkness, then the first saccade can be based on the remembered location of the first target presented, which can be derived from the retinotopic trace of the first stimuli, as well as contribution from the surroundings, that is: the remembered relative location of the first target with respect to the screen border along the horizontal meridian (i.e. allocentric cues)<br /> A similar logic could be applied to the second saccade. If the second saccade were based only on the retinotopic trace, without updating, then it would go up and 45 deg to the right, based on the example shown in Figure 1. With appropriate updating, the second saccade would go straight up. However, if saccades were not performed in total darkness, then the location of the second target could also be derived from its relationship with the surroundings (for example, the remembered distance from screen borders, i.e. allocentric cues).<br /> If saccades were not performed in total darkness, the results shown in Figures 2 and 3 could then be related to: i) differences in motor updating between AQ score groups; ii) differences in the use of allocentric cues between AQ score groups; iii) a combination of i) and ii). I believe this is a point worth mentioning in the discussion."

      The authors write:

      "According to theories of saccadic suppression, an efference copy is necessary to predict the occurrence of a saccade."

      I would also refer to alternative accounts, where saccadic suppression appears to arise as early as the retina, due to the interaction between the visual shift introduced by the eye movement, and the retinal signal associated with the probe used to measure saccadic suppression. This could potentially account for the scaling of saccadic suppression magnitude with saccade amplitude.

      Idrees, S., Baumann, M.P., Franke, F., Münch, T.A. and Hafed, Z.M., 2020. Perceptual saccadic suppression starts in the retina. Nature communications, 11(1), p.1977.

    3. Reviewer #3 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      This work examined efference copy related to eye movements in healthy adults who have high autistic traits. Efference copies allow the brain to make predictions about sensory outcomes of self-generated actions, and thus serve important roles in motor planning and maintaining visual stability. Consequently, disrupted efference copies have been posited as a potential mechanism underlying motor and sensory symptoms in psychopathology such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), but so far very few studies have directly investigated this theory. Therefore, this study makes an important contribution as an attempt to fill in this knowledge gap. The authors conducted two eye-tracking experiments examining the accuracy of motor planning and visual perception following a saccade, and found that participants with high autistic traits exhibited worse task performance (i.e., less accurate second saccade and biased perception of object displacement), consistent with their hypothesis of less impact of efference copies on motor and visual updating. Moreover, the motor and visual biases are positively correlated, indicative of a common underlying mechanism. These findings are promising and can have important implications for clinical intervention, if they can be replicated in a clinical sample.

      Strengths:

      The authors utilized well-established and rigorously designed experiments and sound analytic methods. This enables easy translations between similar work in non-human primates and humans and readily points to potential candidates for underlying neural circuits that could be further examined in follow-up studies (e.g., superior colliculus, frontal eye fields, mediodorsal thalamus). The finding of no association between initial saccade accuracy and level of autistic trait in both experiments also serves as an important control analysis and increases one's confidence in the conclusion that the observed differences in task performance were indeed due to disrupted efference copies, not confounding factors such as basic visual/motor deficits or issues with working memory. The strong correlation between the observed motor and visual biases further strengthens the claim that the findings from both experiments may be explained by the same underlying mechanism - disrupted efference copies. Lastly, the authors also presented a thoughtful and detailed mechanistic theory of how efference copy impairment may lead to ASD symptomatology, which can serve as a nice framework for more research into the role of efference copies in ASD.

      Weaknesses:

      Although the paper has a lot of strengths, the main weakness of the paper is that a direct link with sensory/motor symptoms cannot be established. As the authors have discussed, the most likely symptoms resulting from disrupted efference copies would be sensory overload and motor inflexibility. The measure used to quantify the level of autistic traits, Autistic Quotient (AQ), does not capture any sensory or motor characteristics of the Autism spectrum. Therefore, it is unknown whether those scored high on AQ in this study experienced high, or even any, sensory or motor difficulties. In other words, more evidence is needed to demonstrate a direct link between disrupted efference copies and sensory/motor symptoms in ASD.

    1. Reviewer #2 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      The authors generated a DNA methylation score in cord blood for detecting exposure to cigarette smoke during pregnancy. They then asked if it could be used to predict height, weight, BMI, adiposity and WHR throughout early childhood.

      Strengths:

      The study included two cohorts of European ancestry and one of South Asian ancestry.

      Weaknesses:

      (1) Numbers of mothers who self-reported any smoking was very low likely resulting in underpowered analyses.

      (2) Although it was likely that some mothers were exposed to second-hand smoke and/or pollution, data on this was not available.

      (3) One of the European cohorts and half of the South Asian cohort had DNA methylation measured on only 2500 CpG sites including only 125 sites previously linked to prenatal smoking.

    2. Reviewer #3 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      Deng et al. assess neonatal cord blood methylation profiles and the association with (self-reported) maternal smoking in multiple populations, including two European (CHILD, FAMILY) and one South Asian (START), via two approaches: 1) they perform an independent epigenome-wide association study (EWAS) and meta-analysis across the CHILD and FAMILY cohort, during which they also benchmark previously reported maternal-smoking associated sites, and 2) they generate new composite methylation risk scores for maternal smoking, and assess their performance and association with phenotypic characteristics in the three populations, in addition to previously described maternal smoking methylation risk scores.

      Strengths and weaknesses:

      Their meta-analysis across multiple cohorts and comparison with previous findings represents a strength. In particular the inclusion of a South Asian birth cohort is commendable as it may help to bolster generalizability. However, their conclusions are limited by several important weaknesses:

      (1) the low number of (self-reported) maternal smokers in particular their South Asian population, resulting in an inability to conduct benchmarking of maternal smoking sites in this cohort. As such, the inclusion of the START cohort in certain figures is not warranted (e.g., Figure 3) and the overall statement that smoking-associated MRS are portable across populations are not fully supported;<br /> (2) different methylation profiling tools were used: START and CHILD methylation profiles were generated using the more comprehensive 450K array while the FAMILY cohort blood samples were profiled using a targeted array covering only 3,000, as opposed to 450,000 sites, resulting in different coverage of certain sites which affects downstream analyses and MRS, and importantly, omission of potentially relevant sites as the array was designed in 2016 and substantial additional work into epigenetic traits has been conducted since then;<br /> (3) the authors train methylation risk scores (MRS) in CHILD or FAMILY populations based on sites that are associated with maternal smoking in both cohorts and internally validate them in the other cohort, respectively. As START cohort due to insufficient numbers of self-reported maternal smokers, the authors cannot fully independently validated their MRS, thus limiting the strength of their results.

      Overall strength of evidence and conclusions:

      Despite these limitations, the study overall does explore the feasibility of using neonatal cord blood for the assessment of maternal smoking. However, their conclusion on generalizability of the maternal smoking risk score is currently not supported by their data as they were not able to validate their score in a sufficiently large number of maternal smokers and never smokers of South Asian populations.

      While their generalizability remains limited due to small sample numbers and previous studies with methylation risk scores exist, their findings may nonetheless provide the basis for future work into prenatal exposures which will be of interest to the research community. In particular their finding that the maternal smoking-associated MRS was associated with small birth sizes and weights across birth cohorts, including the South Asian birth cohort that had very few self-reported smokers, is interesting and the author suggest these findings could be associated with factors other than smoking alone (e.g., pollution), which warrant further investigation and would be highly novel.<br /> Future exploration should also include a strong focus on more diverse health outcomes, including respiratory conditions that may have long-lasting health consequences.

    1. Reviewer #1 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      The manuscript by Kim et al. describes a role for axonal transport of Wnd (a dual leucine zipper kinase) for its normal degradation by the Hiw ubiquitin ligase pathway. In Hiw mutants, the Wnd protein accumulates dramatically in nerve terminals compared to the cell body of neurons. In the absence of axonal transport, Wnd levels rise and lead to excessive JNK signaling that makes neurons unhappy.

      Strengths:

      Using GFP-tagged Wnd transgenes and structure-function approaches, the authors show that palmitoylation of the protein at C130 plays a role in this process by promoting golgi trafficking and axonal localization of the protein. In the absence of this transport, Wnd is not degraded by Hiw. The authors also identify a role for Rab11 in the transport of Wnd, and provide some evidence that Rab11 loss-of-function neuronal degenerative phenotypes are due to excessive Wnd signaling. Overall, the paper provides convincing evidence for a preferential site of action for Wnd degradation by the Hiw pathway within axonal and/or synaptic compartments of the neuron. In the absence of Wnd transport and degradation, the JNK pathway becomes hyperactivated. As such, the manuscript provides important new insights into compartmental roles for Hiw-mediated Wnd degradation and JNK signaling control.

      Weaknesses:

      It is unclear if the requirement for Wnd degradation at axonal terminals is due to restricted localization of HIW there, but it seems other data in the field argues against that model. The mechanistic link between Hiw degradation and compartmentalization is unknown.

    2. Reviewer #2 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      Utilizing transgene expression of Wnd in sensory neurons in Drosophila, the authors found that Wnd is enriched in axonal terminals. This enrichment could be blocked by preventing palmitoylation or inhibiting Rab1 or Rab11 activity. Indeed, subsequent experiments showed that inhibiting Wnd can prevent toxicity by Rab11 loss of function.

      Strengths:

      This paper evaluates in detail Wnd location in sensory neurons, and identifies a novel genetic interaction between Rab11 and Wnd that affects Wnd cellular distribution.

      Weaknesses:

      The authors report low endogenous expression of wnd, and expressing mutant hiw or overexpressing wnd is necessary to see axonal terminal enrichment. It is unclear if this overexpression model (which is known to promote synaptic overgrowth) would be relevant to normal physiology.

      Palmitoylation of the Wnd orthologue DLK in sensory neurons has previously been identified as important for DLK trafficking in a cell culture model.

      The authors find genetic interaction between Wnd and Rab11, but these studies are incomplete and they do not support the authors' mechanistic interpretation.

    1. Reviewer #1 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      In this paper, Manley and Vaziri investigate whole-brain neural activity underlying behavioural variability in zebrafish larvae. They combine whole brain (single cell level) calcium imaging during the presentation of visual stimuli, triggering either approach or avoidance, and carry out whole brain population analyses to identify whole brain population patterns responsible for behavioural variability. They show that similar visual inputs can trigger large variability in behavioural responses. Though visual neurons are also variable across trials, they demonstrate that this neural variability does not degrade population stimulus decodability. Instead, they find that the neural variability across trials is in orthogonal population dimensions to stimulus encoding and is correlated with motor output (e.g. tail vigor). They then show that behavioural variability across trials is largely captured by a brain-wide population state prior to the trial beginning, which biases choice - especially on ambiguous stimulus trials. This study suggests that parts of stimulus-driven behaviour can be captured by brain-wide population states that bias choice, independently of stimulus encoding.

      Strengths:

      -The strength of the paper principally resides in the whole brain cellular level imaging in a well-known but variable behaviour.

      - The analyses are reasonable and largely answer the questions the authors ask.

      - Overall the conclusions are well warranted.

      Weaknesses:

      A more in-depth exploration of some of the findings could be provided, such as:

      - Given that thousands of neurons are recorded across the brain a more detailed parcelation of where the neurons contribute to different population coding dimensions would be useful to better understand the circuits involved in different computations.

      - Given that the behaviour on average can be predicted by stimulus type, how does the stimulus override the brain-wide choice bias on some trials? In other words, a better link between the findings in Figures 2 and 3 would be useful for better understanding how the behaviour ultimately arises.

      - What other motor outputs do the noise dimensions correlate with?

      The dataset that the authors have collected is immensely valuable to the field, and the initial insights they have drawn are interesting and provide a good starting ground for a more expanded understanding of why a particular action is determined outside of the parameters experimenters set for their subjects.

    2. Reviewer #2 (Public Review):

      Overview

      In this work, Manley and Vaziri investigate the neural basis for variability in the way an animal responds to visual stimuli evoking prey-capture or predator-avoidance decisions. This is an interesting problem and the authors have generated a potentially rich and relevant data set. To do so, the authors deployed Fourier light field microscopy (Flfm) of larval zebrafish, improving upon prior designs and image processing schemes to enable volumetric imaging of calcium signals in the brain at up to 10 Hz. They then examined associations between neural activity and tail movement to identify populations primarily related to the visual stimulus, responsiveness, or turn direction - moreover, they found that the activity of the latter two populations appears to predict upcoming responsiveness or turn direction even before the stimulus is presented. While these findings may be valuable for future more mechanistic studies, issues with resolution, rigor of analysis, clarity of presentation, and depth of connection to the prior literature significantly dampen enthusiasm.

      Imaging

      - Resolution: It is difficult to tell from the displayed images how good the imaging resolution is in the brain. Given scattering and lensing, it is important for data interpretation to have an understanding of how much PSF degrades with depth.

      - Depth: In the methods it is indicated that the imaging depth was 280 microns, but from the images of Figure 1 it appears data was collected only up to 150 microns. This suggests regions like the hypothalamus, which may be important for controlling variation in internal states relevant to the behaviors being studied, were not included.

      - Flfm data processing: It is important for data interpretation that the authors are clearer about how the raw images were processed. The de-noising process specifically needs to be explained in greater detail. What are the characteristics of the noise being removed? How is time-varying signal being distinguished from noise? Please provide a supplemental with images and algorithm specifics for each key step.

      - Merging: It is noted that nearby pixels with a correlation greater than 0.7 were merged. Why was this done? Is this largely due to cross-contamination due to a drop in resolution? How common was this occurrence? What was the distribution of pixel volumes after aggregation? Should we interpret this to mean that a 'neuron' in this data set is really a small cluster of 10-20 neurons? This of course has great bearing on how we think about variability in the response shown later.

      - Bleaching: Please give the time constants used in the fit for assessing bleaching.

      Analysis

      - Slow calcium dynamics: It does not appear that the authors properly account for the slow dynamics of calcium-sensing in their analysis. Nuclear-localized GCaMP6s will likely have a kernel with a multiple-second decay time constant for many of the cells being studied. The value used needs to be given and the authors should account for variability in this kernel time across cell types. Moreover, by not deconvolving their signals, the authors allow for contamination of their signal at any given time with a signal from multiple seconds prior. For example, in Figure 4A (left turns), it appears that much of the activity in the first half of the time-warped stimulus window began before stimulus presentation - without properly accounting for the kernel, we don't know if the stimulus-associated activity reported is really stimulus-associated firing or a mix of stimulus and pre-stimulus firing. This also suggests that in some cases the signals from the prior trial may contaminate the current trial.

      - Partial Least Squares (PLS) regression: The steps taken to identify stimulus coding and noise dimensions are not sufficiently clear. Please provide a mathematical description.

      - No response: It is not clear from the methods description if cases where the animal has no tail response are being lumped with cases where the animal decides to swim forward and thus has a large absolute but small mean tail curvature. These should be treated separately.

      Results

      - Behavioral variability: Related to Figure 2, within- and across-subject variability are confounded. Please disambiguate. It may also be informative on a per-fish basis to examine associations between reaction time and body movement.

      - Data presentation clarity: All figure panels need scale bars - for example, in Figure 3A there is no indication of timescale (or time of stimulus presentation). Figure 3I should also show the time series of the w_opt projection.

      - Pixel locations: Given the poor quality of the brain images, it is difficult to tell the location of highlighted pixels relative to brain anatomy. In addition, given that the midbrain consists of much more than the tectum, it is not appropriate to put all highlighted pixels from the midbrain under the category of tectum. To aid in data interpretation and better connect this work with the literature, it is recommended that the authors register their data sets to standard brain atlases and determine if there is any clustering of relevant pixels in regions previously associated with prey-capture or predator-avoidance behavior.

      Interpretation

      - W_opt and e_1 orthogonality: The statement that these two vectors, determined from analysis of the fluorescence data, are orthogonal, actually brings into question the idea that true signal and leading noise vectors in firing-rate state-space are orthogonal. First, the current analysis is confounding signals across different time periods - one could assume linearity all the way through the transformations, but this would only work if earlier sources of activation were being accounted for. Second, the transformation between firing rate and fluorescence is most likely not linear for GCaMP6s in most of the cells recorded. Thus, one would expect a change in the relationship between these vectors as one maps from fluorescence to firing rate.

      - Sources of variability: The authors do not take into account a fairly obvious source of variability in trial-to-trial response - eye position. We know that prey capture responsiveness is dependent on eye position during stimulus (see Figure 4 of PMID: 22203793). We also expect that neurons fairly early in the visual pathway with relatively narrow receptive fields will show variable responses to visual stimuli as the degree of overlap with the receptive field varies with eye movement. There can also be small eye-tracking movements ahead of the decision to engage in prey capture (Figure 1D, PMID: 31591961) that can serve as a drive to initiate movements in a particular direction. Given these possibilities indicating that the behavioral measure of interest is gaze, and the fact that eye movements were apparently monitored, it is surprising that the authors did not include eye movements in the analysis and interpretation of their data.

    3. Reviewer #3 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      In this study, Manley and Vaziri designed and built a Fourier light-field microscope (fLFM) inspired by previous implementations but improved and exclusively from commercially available components so others can more easily reproduce the design. They combined this with the design of novel algorithms to efficiently extract whole-brain activity from larval zebrafish brains.

      This new microscope was applied to the question of the origin of behavioral variability. In an assay in which larval zebrafish are exposed to visual dots of various sizes, the fish respond by turning left or right or not responding at all. Neural activity was decomposed into an activity that encodes the stimulus reliably across trials, a 'noise' mode that varies across trials, and a mode that predicts tail movements. A series of analyses showed that trial-to-trial variability was largely orthogonal to activity patterns that encoded the stimulus and that these noise modes were related to the larvae's behavior.

      To identify the origins of behavioral variability, classifiers were fit to the neural data to predict whether the larvae turned left or right or did not respond. A set of neurons that were highly distributed across the brain could be used to classify and predict behavior. These neurons could also predict spontaneous behavior that was not induced by stimuli above chance levels. The work concludes with findings on the distributed nature of single-trial decision-making and behavioral variability.

      Strengths:

      The design of the new fLFM microscope is a significant advance in light-field and computational microscopy, and the open-source design and software are promising to bring this technology into the hands of many neuroscientists.

      The study addresses a series of important questions in systems neuroscience related to sensory coding, trial-to-trial variability in sensory responses, and trial-to-trial variability in behavior. The study combines microscopy, behavior, dynamics, and analysis and produces a well-integrated analysis of brain dynamics for visual processing and behavior. The analyses are generally thoughtful and of high quality. This study also produces many follow-up questions and opportunities, such as using the methods to look at individual brain regions more carefully, applying multiple stimuli, investigating finer tail movements and how these are encoded in the brain, and the connectivity that gives rise to the observed activity. Answering questions about variability in neural activity in the entire brain and its relationship to behavior is important to neuroscience and this study has done that to an interesting and rigorous degree.

      Points of improvement and weaknesses:

      The results on noise modes may be a bit less surprising than they are portrayed. The orthogonality between neural activity patterns encoding the sensory stimulus and the noise modes should be interpreted within the confounds of orthogonality in high-dimensional spaces. In higher dimensional spaces, it becomes more likely that two random vectors are almost orthogonal. Since the neural activity measurements performed in this study are quite high dimensional, a more explicit discussion is warranted about the small chance that the modes are not almost orthogonal.

      The conclusion that sparsely distributed sets of neurons produce behavioral variability needs more investigation because the way the results are shown could lead to some misinterpretations. The prediction of behavior from classifiers applied to neural activity is interesting, but the results are insufficiently presented for two reasons.

      (1) The neurons that contribute to the classifiers (Figures 4H and J) form a sufficient set of neurons that predict behavior, but this does not mean that neurons outside of that set cannot be used to predict behavior. Lasso regularization was used to create the classifiers and this induces sparsity. This means that if many neurons predict behavior but they do so similarly, the classifier may select only a few of them. This is not a problem in itself but it means that the distributions of neurons across the brain (Figures 4H and J) may appear sparser and more distributed than the full set of neurons that contribute to producing the behavior. This ought to be discussed better to avoid misinterpretation of the brain distribution results, and an alternative analysis that avoids the confound could help clarify.

      (2) The distribution of neurons is shown in an overly coarse manner in only a flattened brain seen from the top, and the brain is divided into four coarse regions (telencephalon, tectum, cerebellum, hindbrain). This makes it difficult to assess where the neurons are and whether those four coarse divisions are representative or whether the neurons are in other non-labeled deeper regions. For these two reasons, some of the statements about the distribution of neurons across the brain would benefit from a more thorough investigation.

    1. Reviewer #1 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      This research group has consistently performed cutting-edge research aiming to understand the role of hormones in the control of social behaviors, specifically by utilizing the genetically tractable teleost fish, medaka, and the current work is no exception. The overall claim they make, that estrogens modulate social behaviors in males and females is supported, with important caveats. For one, there is no evidence these estrogens are generated by "neurons" as would be assumed by their main claim that it is NEUROestrogens that drive this effect. While indeed the aromatase they have investigated is expressed solely in the brain, in most teleosts, brain aromatase is only present in glial cells (astrocytes, radial glia). The authors should change this description so as not to mislead the reader. Below I detail more specific strengths and weaknesses of this manuscript.

      Strengths:

      • Excellent use of the medaka model to disentangle the control of social behavior by sex steroid hormones.

      • The findings are strong for the most part because deficits in the mutants are restored by the molecule (estrogens) that was no longer present due to the mutation.

      • Presentation of the approach and findings are clear, allowing the reader to make their own inferences and compare them with the authors'.

      • Includes multiple follow-up experiments, which lead to tests of internal replication and an impactful mechanistic proposal.

      • Findings are provocative not just for teleost researchers, but for other species since, as the authors point out, the data suggest mechanisms of estrogenic control of social behaviors may be evolutionarily ancient.

      Weaknesses:

      • As stated in the summary, the authors attribute the estrogen source to neurons and there isn't evidence this is the case. The impact of the findings doesn't rest on this either.

      • The d4 versus d8 esr2a mutants showed different results for aggression. The meaning and implications of this finding are not discussed, leaving the reader wondering.

      • Lack of attribution of previously published work from other research groups that would provide the proper context of the present study.

      • There are a surprising number of citations not included; some of the ones not included argue against the authors' claims that their findings were "contrary to expectation".

      • The experimental design for studying aggression in males has flaws. A standard test like a resident-intruder test should be used.

      • While they investigate males and females, there are fewer experiments and explanations for the female results, making it feel like a small addition or an aside.

      • The statistics comparing "experimental to experimental" and "control to experimental" aren't appropriate.

    2. Reviewer #2 (Public Review):

      The novelty of this study stems from the observations that neuro-estrogens appear to interact with brain androgen receptors to support male-typical behaviors. The study provides a step forward in clarifying the somewhat contradictory findings that, in teleosts and unlike other vertebrates, androgens regulate male-typical behaviors without requiring aromatization, but at the same time estrogens appear to also be involved in regulating male-typical behaviors. They manipulate the expression of one aromatase isoform, cyp19a1b, that is purported to be brain-specific in teleosts. Their findings are important in that brain estrogen content is sensitive to the brain-specific cyp19a1b deficiency, leading to alterations in both sexual behavior and aggressive behavior. Interestingly, these males have relatively intact fertility rates, despite the effects on the brain.

      That said, the framing of the study, the relevant context, and several aspects of the methods and results raise concerns. Two interpretations need to be addressed/tempered:

      (1) that the rescue of cyp19a1b deficiency by tank-applied estradiol is not necessarily a brain/neuro-estrogen mode of action, and<br /> (2) the large increases in peripheral and brain androgen levels in the cyp19a1b deficient animals imply some indirect/compensatory effects of lifelong cyp19a1b deficiency.

    3. Reviewer #3 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      Taking advantage of the existence in fish of two genes coding for estrogen synthase, the enzyme aromatase, one mostly expressed in the brain (Cyp19a1b) and the other mostly found in the gonads (Cyp19a1a), this study investigates the role of neuro-estrogens in the control of sexual and aggressive behavior in teleost fish. The constitutive deletion of Cyp19a1b reduced brain estrogen content by 87% in males and about 50% in females. It led to reduced sexual and aggressive behavior in males and reduced sexual behavior in females. These effects are reversed by adult treatment with estradiol thus indicating that they are activational in nature. The deletion of Cyp19a1b is associated with a reduced expression of the genes coding for the two androgen receptors, ara, and arb, in brain regions involved in the regulation of social behavior. The analysis of the gene expression and behavior of mutants of estrogen receptors indicates that these effects are likely mediated by the activation of the esr1 and esr2a isoforms. These results provide valuable insight into the role of neuro-estrogens in social behavior in the most abundant vertebrate taxa. While estrogens are involved in the organization of the brain and behavior of some birds and rodents, neuro-estrogens appear to play an activational role in fish through a facilitatory action of androgen signaling.

      Strengths:

      - Evaluation of the role of brain "specific" Cyp19a1 in male teleost fish, which as a taxa are more abundant and yet proportionally less studied than the most common birds and rodents. Therefore, evaluating the generalizability of results from higher vertebrates is important. This approach also offers great potential to study the role of brain estrogen production in females, an understudied question in all taxa.

      - Results obtained from multiple mutant lines converge to show that estrogen signaling drives aspects of male sexual behavior.

      - The comparative discussion of the age-dependent abundance of brain aromatase in fish vs mammals and its role in organization vs activation is important beyond the study of the targeted species.

      Weaknesses:

      - The new transgenic lines are under-characterized. There is no evaluation of the mRNA and protein products of Cyp19a1b and ESR2a.

      - The stereotypic sequence of sexual behavior is poorly described, in particular, the part played by the two sexual partners, such that the conclusions are not easily understandable, notably with regards to the distinction between motivation and performance. The behavior of females is only assessed from the perspective of the male, which raises questions about the interpretation of the reduced behavior of the males.<br /> At no point do the authors seem to consider that a reduced behavior of one sex could result from a reduced sensory perception from this sex or a reduced attractivity or sensory communication from the other sex.

      - Aspects of the methods are not detailed enough to allow proper evaluation of their quality or replication of the data.

      - It seems very dangerous to use the response to a mutant abnormal behavior (ESR2-KO females) as a test, given that it is not clear what is the cause of the disrupted behavior.

      - Most experiments are weakly powered (low sample size) and analyzed by multiple T-tests while 2 way ANOVA could have been used in several instances. No mention of T or F values, or degrees of freedom.

      - The variability of the mRNA content for the same target gene between experiments (genotype comparison vs E2 treatment comparison) raises questions about the reproducibility of the data (apparent disappearance of genotype effect).

      - The discussion confuses the effects of estrogens on sexual differentiation (developmental programming = permanent) and activation (= reversible activation of brain circuits in adulthood) of the brain and behavior. Whether sex differences in the circuits underlying social behaviors exist is not clear.

      Conclusions :

      Overall, the claims regarding the activational role of neuro-estrogens on male sexual behavior are supported by converging evidence from multiple mutant lines. The role of neuroestrogens on gene expression in the brain is mostly solid too. The data for females are comparatively weaker. Conclusions regarding sexual differentiation should be considered carefully.

    1. Reviewer #1 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      Recent years have seen spectacular and controversial claims that loss of function of the RNA splicing factor Ptbp1 can efficiently reprogram astrocytes into functional neurons that can rescue motor defects seen in 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA)-induced mouse models of Parkinson's disease (PD). This latest study is one of a series that fails to reproduce these observations, but remarkably also reports that neuronal-specific loss of function of Ptbp1 both induces expression of dopaminergic neuronal markers in striatal neurons and rescues motor defects seen in 6-OHDA-treated mice. The claims, if replicated, are remarkable and identify a straightforward and potentially translationally relevant mechanism for treating motor defects seen in PD models. However, while the reported behavioral effects are strong and were collected without sample exclusion, other claims made here are less convincing. In particular, no evidence that Ptbp1 loss of function actually occurs in striatal neurons is provided, and the immunostaining data used to claim that dopaminergic markers are induced in striatal neurons is not convincing. Furthermore, no characterization of the molecular identity of Ptbp1-deficient striatal neurons is provided using single-cell RNA-Seq or spatial transcriptomics, making it difficult to conclude that these cells are indeed adopting a dopaminergic phenotype.

      Overall, while the claims of behavioral rescue of 6-OHDA-treated mice appear compelling, it is essential that these be independently replicated as soon as possible before further studies on this topic are carried out. Insights into the molecular mechanisms by which neuronal-specific loss of function of Ptbp1 induces behavioral rescue are lacking, however. Moreover, the claims of induction of neuronal identity in striatal neurons by Ptbp1 require considerable additional work to be convincing.

      Strengths of the study:

      (1) The effect size of the behavioral rescue in the stepping and cylinder tests is strong and significant, essentially restoring 6-OHDA-lesioned mice to control levels.

      (2) Since the neurotoxic effects of 6-OHDA treatment are highly variable, the fact that all behavioral data was collected blinded and that no samples were excluded from analysis increases confidence in the accuracy of the results reported here.

      Weaknesses of the study:

      (1) Neurons express relatively little Ptbp1. Indeed, cellular expression levels as measured by scRNA-Seq are substantially below those of astrocytes and other non-neuronal cell types, and Ptbp1 immunoreactivity has not been observed in either striatal or midbrain neurons (e.g. Hoang, et al. Nature 2023). This raises the question of whether any recovery of Th expression is indeed mediated by the loss of function of Ptbp1 rather than by off-target effects. AAV-mediated rescue of Ptbp1 expression could help clarify this.

      (2) It is not clear why dopaminergic neurons, which are not normally found in the striatum, are observed following Ptbp1 knockout. This is very similar to the now-debunked claims made in Zhou, et al. Cell 2020, but here performed using the hSyn rather than GFAP mini promoter to control AAV expression. While this is the most dramatic and potentially translationally relevant claim of the study, this claim is extremely surprising and lacks any clear mechanistic explanation for why it might happen in the first place. This observation is even more surprising in light of reports that antisense oligonucleotide-mediated knockdown of Ptbp1, which should have affected both neuronal and glial Ptbp1 expression, failed to induce expression of dopaminergic neuronal markers in the striatum (Chen, et al. eLife 2022). Selective loss of function of Ptbp1 in striatal and midbrain astrocytes likewise results in only modest changes in gene expression It is critically important that this claim be independently replicated, and that additional data be provided to conclusively show that striatal neurons are indeed expressing dopaminergic markers.

      (3) More generally, since multiple spectacular and irreproducible claims of single-step glial-to-neuron reprogramming have appeared in high-profile journals in recent years, a consensus has emerged that it is essential to comprehensively characterize the identity of "transformed" cells using either single-cell RNA-Seq or spatial transcriptomics (e.g. Qian, et al. FEBS J 2021; Wang and Zhang, Dev Neurobiol 2022). These concerns apply equally to claims of neuronal subtype conversion such as those advanced here, and it is essential to provide these same datasets.

      (4) Low-power images are generally lacking for immunohistochemical data shown in Figures 3 and 4, which makes interpretation difficult. DAPI images in Figure 3C do not appear nuclear. Immunostaining for Th, DAT, and Dcx in Figure 4 shows a high background and is difficult to interpret.

      (5) Insights into the mechanism by which neuronal-specific loss of Ptbp1 function induces either functional recovery, or dopaminergic markers in striatal neurons, is lacking.

    2. Reviewer #2 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      The manuscript by Bock and colleagues describes the generation of an AAV-delivered adenine base editing strategy to knockdown PTBP1 and the behavioral and neurorestorative effects of specifically knocking down striatal or nigral PTBP1 in astrocytes or neurons in a mouse model of Parkinson's disease. The authors found that knocking down PTBP1 in neurons, but not astrocytes, and in striatum, but not nigra, results in the phenotypic reorganization of neurons to TH+ cells sufficient to rescue motor phenotypes, though insufficient to normalize responses to dopaminomimetic drugs.

      Strengths:

      The manuscript is generally well-written and adds to the growing literature challenging previous findings by Qian et al., 2020 and Zhou et al., 2020 indicating that astrocytic downregulation of PTBP1 can induce conversion to dopaminergic neurons in the midbrain and improve parkinsonian symptoms. The base editing approach is interesting and potentially more therapeutically relevant than previous approaches.

      Weaknesses:

      The manuscript has several weaknesses in approach and interpretation. In terms of approach, the animal model utilized, the 6-OHDA model, though useful to examine dopaminergic cell loss, exhibits accelerated neurodegeneration and none of the typical pathological hallmarks (synucleinopathy, Lewy bodies, etc.) compared to the typical etiology of Parkinson's disease, limiting its translational interpretation. In addition, there is no confirmation of a neuronal or astrocytic knockdown of PTBP1 in vivo; all base editing validation experiments were completed in cell lines. Finally, it is unclear why the base editing approach was used to induce loss-of-function rather than a cell-type specific knockout, if the goal is to assess the effects of PTBP1 loss in specific neurons. In terms of interpretation, the conclusion by the authors that PTBP1 knockdown has little likelihood to be therapeutically relevant seems overstated, particularly since they did observe a beneficial effect on motor behavior. We know that in PD, patients often display negligible symptoms until 50-70% of dopaminergic input to the striatum is lost, due to compensatory activity of remaining dopaminergic cells. Presumably, a small recovery of dopaminergic neurons would have an outsized effect on motor ability and may improve the efficacy of dopaminergic drugs, particularly levodopa, at lower doses, averting many problematic side effects. Since striatal dopamine was assessed by whole-tissue analysis, which is not necessarily reflective of synaptic dopamine availability, it is difficult to assess whether the ~10% increase in TH+ cells in the striatum was sufficient to improve dopamine function. However, the improvement in motor activity suggests that it was.

    3. Reviewer #3 (Public Review):

      This study explores the use of an adenine base editing strategy to knock down PTBP1 in astrocytes and neurons of a Parkinson's disease mouse model, as a potential AAV-BE therapy. The results indicate that editing Ptbp1 in neurons, but not astrocytes, leads to the formation of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)+ cells, rescuing some motor symptoms.

      Several aspects of the manuscript stand out positively. Firstly, the clarity of the presentation. The authors communicate their ideas and findings in a clear and understandable manner, making it easier for readers to follow.

      The Materials and methods section is well-elaborated, providing sufficient detail for reproducibility.

      The logical flow of the manuscript makes sense, with each section building upon the previous one coherently.

      The ABE strategy employed by the authors appears sound, and the manuscript presents a coherent and well-supported argument.

      Positively, some of the data in this study effectively counteracts previous work in line with more recent publications, demonstrating the authors' ability to contribute to the ongoing conversation in the field.

      However, while the in vitro data yields promising results, it may have been overly optimistic to assume that the efficiencies observed in dividing cells will directly translate to in vivo conditions. This consideration is important given the added complexities of vector optimization, different cell types targeted in vitro versus in vivo, as well as unknown intrinsic limitations of the base editing technology.

      In addition, certain aspects of the manuscript would benefit from a more in-depth and comprehensive discussion rather than being only briefly touched upon. Such a discussion would enhance the relevance of the obtained results and provide the foundation for improvement when using similar approaches.

    1. Reviewer #1 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      In this study, Zhang et al., presented an electrophysiology method to identify the layers of macaque visual cortex with high density Neuropixels 1.0 electrode. They found several electrophysiology signal profiles for high-resolution laminar discrimination and described a set of signal metrics for fine cortical layer identification.

      Strengths:

      There are two major strengths. One is the use of high density electrodes. The Neuropixels 1.0 probe has 20 um spacing electrodes, which can provide high resolution for cortical laminar identification. The second strength is the analysis. They found multiple electrophysiology signal profiles which can be used for laminar discrimination. Using this new method, they could identify the most thin layer in macaque V1. The data support their conclusion.

      Weaknesses:

      While this electrophysiology strategy is much easier to perform even in awake animals compared to histological staining methods, it provides an indirect estimation of cortical layers. A parallel histological study can provide a direct matching between the electrode signal features and cortical laminar locations. However, there are technical challenges, for example the distortions in both electrode penetration and tissue preparation may prevent a precise matching between electrode locations and cortical layers. In this case, additional micro wires electrodes binding with Neuropixels probe can be used to inject current and mark the locations of different depths in cortical tissue after recording.

    2. Reviewer #2 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      This paper documents an attempt to accurately determine the locations and boundaries of the anatomically and functionally defined layers in macaque primary visual cortex using voltage signals recorded from a high-density electrode array that spans the full depth of cortex with contacts at 20 um spacing. First, the authors attempt to use current source density (CSD) analysis to determine layer locations, but they report a striking failure because the results vary greatly from one electrode penetration to the next and because the spatial resolution of the underlying local field potential (LFP) signal is coarse compared to the electrical contact spacing. The authors thus turn to examining higher frequency signals related to action potentials and provide evidence that these signals reflect changes in neuronal size and packing density, response latency and visual selectivity.

      Strengths:

      There is a lot of nice data to look at in this paper that shows interesting quantities as a function of depth in V1. Bringing all of these together offers the reader a rich data set: CSD, action potential shape, response power and coherence spectrum, and post-stimulus time response traces. Furthermore, data are displayed as a function of eye (dominant or non-dominant) and for achromatic and cone-isolating stimuli.

      This paper takes a strong stand in pointing out weaknesses in the ability of CSD analysis to make consistent determinations about cortical layering in V1. Many researchers have found CSD to be problematic, and the observations here may be important to motivate other researchers to carry out rigorous comparisons and publish their results, even if they reflect negatively on the value of CSD analysis.

      The paper provides a thoughtful, practical and comprehensive recipe for assigning traditional cortical layers based on easily-computed metrics from electophysiological recordings in V1, and this is likely to be useful for electrophysiologists who are now more frequently using high-density electrode arrays.

      Weaknesses:

      Much effort is spent pointing out features that are well known, for example, the latency difference associated with different retinogeniculate pathways, the activity level differences associated with input layers, and the action potential shape differences associated with white vs. gray matter. These have been used for decades as indicators of depth and location of recordings in visual cortex as electrodes were carefully advanced. High density electrodes allow this type of data to now be collected in parallel, but at discrete, regular sampling points. Rather than showing examples of what is already accepted, the emphasis should be placed on developing a rigorous analysis of how variable vs. reproducible are quantitative metrics of these features across penetrations, as a function of distance or functional domain, and from animal to animal. Ultimately, a more quantitative approach to the question of consistency is needed to assess the value of the methods proposed here.

      Another important piece of information for assessing the ability to determine layers from spiking activity is to carry out post-mortem histological processing so that the layer determination made in this paper could be compared to anatomical layering.

      On line 162, the text states that there is a clear lack of consistency across penetrations, but why should there be consistency: how far apart in the cortex were the penetrations? How long were the electrodes allowed to settle before recording, how much damage was done to tissue during insertion? Do you have data taken over time - how consistent is the pattern across several hours, and how long was the time between the collection of the penetrations shown here?

      The impact of the paper is lessened because it emphasizes consistency but not in a consistent manner. Some demonstrations of consistency are shown for CSDs, but not quantified. Figure 4A is used to make a point about consistency in cell density, but across animals, whereas the previous text was pointing out inconsistency across penetrations. What if you took a 40 or 60 um column of tissue and computed cell density, then you would be comparing consistency across potentially similar scales. Overall, it is not clear how all of these different metrics compare quantitatively to each other in terms of consistency.

      In many places, the text makes assertions that A is a consistent indicator of B, but then there appear to be clear counterexamples in the data shown in the figures. There is some sense that the reasoning is relying too much on examples, and not enough on statistical quantities.

      Overall

      Overall, this paper makes a solid argument in favor of using action potentials and stimulus driven responses, instead of CSD measurements, to assign cortical layers to electrode contacts in V1. It is nice to look at the data in this paper and to read the authors' highly educated interpretation and speculation about how useful such measurements will be in general to make layer assignments. It is easy to agree with much of what they say, and to hope that in the future there will be reliable, quantitative methods to make meaningful segmentations of neurons in terms of their differentiated roles in cortical computation. How much this will end up corresponding to the canonical layer numbering that has been used for many decades now remains unclear.

    3. Reviewer #3 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      Zhang et al. explored strategies for aligning electrophysiological recordings from high-density laminar electrode arrays (Neuropixels) with the pattern of lamination across cortical depth in macaque primary visual cortex (V1), with the goal of improving the spatial resolution of layer identification based on electrophysiological signals alone. The authors compare the current commonly used standard in the field - current source density (CSD) analysis - with a new set of measures largely derived from action potential (AP) frequency band signals. Individual AP band measures provide distinct cues about different landmarks or potential laminar boundaries, and together they are used to subdivide the spatial extent of array recordings into discrete layers, including the very thin layer 4A, a level of resolution unavailable when relying on CSD analysis alone for laminar identification. The authors compare the widths of the resulting subdivisions with previously reported anatomical measurements as evidence that layers have been accurately identified. This is a bit circular, given that they also use these anatomical measurements as guidelines limiting the boundary assignments; however, the strategy is overall sensible and the electrophysiological signatures used to identify layers are generally convincing. Furthermore, by varying the pattern of visual stimulation to target chromatically sensitive inputs known to be partially segregated by layer in V1, they show localized response patterns that lend confidence to their identification of particular sublayers.

      The authors compellingly demonstrate the insufficiency of CSD analysis for precisely identifying fine laminar structure, and in some cases its limited accuracy at identifying coarse structure. CSD analysis produced inconsistent results across array penetrations and across visual stimulus conditions and was not improved in spatial resolution by sampling at high density with Neuropixels probes. Instead, in order to generate a typical, informative pattern of current sources and sinks across layers, the LFP signals from the Neuropixels arrays required spatial smoothing or subsampling to approximately match the coarser (50-100 µm) spacing of other laminar arrays. Even with smoothing, the resulting CSDs in some cases predicted laminar boundaries that were inconsistent with boundaries estimated using other measures and/or unlikely given the typical sizes of individual layers in macaque V1. This point alone provides an important insight for others seeking to link their own laminar array recordings to cortical layers.

      They next offer a set of measures based on analysis of AP band signals. These measures include analyses of the density, average signal spread, and spike waveforms of single- and multi-units identified through spike sorting, as well as analyses of AP band power spectra and local coherence profiles across recording depth. The power spectrum measures in particular yield compact peaks at particular depths, albeit with some variation across penetrations, whereas the waveform measures most convincingly identified the layer 6-white matter transition. In general, some of the new measures yield inconsistent patterns across penetrations, and some of the authors' explanations of these analyses draw intriguing but rather speculative connections to properties of anatomy and/or responsivity. However, taken as a group, the set of AP band analyses appear sufficient to determine the layer 6-white matter transition with precision and to delineate intermediate transition points likely to correspond to actual layer boundaries.

      Strengths:

      The authors convincingly demonstrate the potential to resolve putative laminar boundaries using only electrophysiological recordings from Neuropixels arrays. This is particularly useful given that histological information is often unavailable for chronic recordings. They make a clear case that CSD analysis is insufficient to resolve the lamination pattern with the desired precision and offer a thoughtful set of alternative analyses, along with an order in which to consider multiple cues in order to facilitate others' adoption of the strategy. The widths of the resulting layers bear a sensible resemblance to the expected widths identified by prior anatomical measurements, and at least in some cases there are satisfying signatures of chromatic visual sensitivity and latency differences across layers that are predicted by the known connectivity of the corresponding layers. Thus, the proposed analytical toolkit appears to work well for macaque V1 and has strong potential to generalize to use in other cortical regions, though area-targeted selection of stimuli may be required.

      Weaknesses:

      The waveform measures, and in particular the unit density distribution, are likely to be sensitive to the criteria used for spike sorting, which differ widely among experimenters/groups, and this may limit the usefulness of this particular measure for others in the community. The analysis of detected unit density yields fluctuations across cortical depth which the authors attribute to variations in neural density across layers; however, these patterns seemed particularly variable across penetrations and did not consistently yield peaks at depths that should have high neuronal density, such as layer 2. Therefore, this measure has limited interpretability.

      More generally, although the sizes of identified layers comport with typical sizes identified anatomically, a more powerful confirmation would be a direct per-penetration comparison with histologically identified boundaries. Ultimately, the absence of this type of independent confirmation limits the strength of their claim that veridical laminar boundaries can be identified from electrophysiological signals alone.

    1. Reviewer #1 (Public Review):

      Using multi-region two-photon calcium imaging, the manuscript meticulously explores the structure of noise correlations (NCs) across the mouse visual cortex and uses this information to make inferences about the organization of communication channels between primary visual cortex (V1) and higher visual areas (HVAs). Using visual responses to grating stimuli, the manuscript identifies 6 tuning groups of visual cortex neurons and finds that NCs are highest among neurons belonging to the same tuning group whether or not they are found in the same cortical area. The NCs depend on the similarity of tuning of the neurons (their signal correlations) but are preserved across different stimulus sets - noise correlations recorded using drifting gratings are highly correlated with those measured using naturalistic videos. Based on these findings, the manuscript concludes that populations of neurons with high NCs constitute discrete communication channels that convey visual signals within and across cortical areas.

      Experiments and analyses are conducted to a high standard and the robustness of noise correlation measurements is carefully validated. However, the interpretation of noise correlation measurements as a proxy from network connectivity is fraught with challenges. While the data clearly indicates the existence of distributed functional ensembles, the notion of communication channels implies the existence of direct anatomical connections between them, which noise correlations cannot measure.

      The traditional view of noise correlations is that they reflect direct connectivity or shared inputs between neurons. While it is valid in a broad sense, noise correlations may reflect shared top-down input as well as local or feedforward connectivity. This is particularly important since mouse cortical neurons are strongly modulated by spontaneous behavior (e.g. Stringer et al, Science, 2019). Therefore, noise correlation between a pair of neurons may reflect whether they are similarly modulated by behavioral state and overt spontaneous behaviors. Consequently, noise correlation alone cannot determine whether neurons belong to discrete communication channels.

      Behavioral modulation can influence the gain of sensory-evoked responses (Niell and Stryker, Neuron, 2010). This can explain why signal correlation is one of the best predictors of noise correlations as reported in the manuscript. A pair of neurons that are similarly gain-modulated by spontaneous behavior (e.g. both active during whisking or locomotion) will have higher noise correlations if they respond to similar stimuli. Top-down modulation by the behavioral state is also consistent with the stability of noise correlations across stimuli. Therefore, it is important to determine to what extent noise correlations can be explained by shared behavioral modulation.

    2. Reviewer #2 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      This groundbreaking study characterizes the structure of activity correlations over a millimeter scale in the mouse cortex with the goal of identifying visual channels, specialized conduits of visual information that show preferential connectivity. Examining the statistical structure of the visual activity of L2/3 neurons, the study finds pairs of neurons located near each other or across distances of hundreds of micrometers with significantly correlated activity in response to visual stimulation. These highly correlated pairs have closely related visual tuning sharing orientation and/or spatial and/or temporal preference as would be expected from dedicated visual channels with specific connectivity.

      Strengths:

      The study presents best-in-class mesoscopic-scale 2-photon recordings from neuronal populations in pairs of visual areas (V1-LM, V1-PM, V1-AL, V1-LI). The study employs diverse visual stimuli that capture some of the specialization and heterogeneity of neuronal tuning in mouse visual areas. The rigorous data quantification takes into consideration functional cell groups as well as other variables that influence trial-to-trial correlations (similarity of tuning, neuronal distance, receptive field overlap). The paper convincingly demonstrates the robustness of the clustering analysis and of the activity correlation measurements. The calcium imaging results convincingly show that noise correlations are correlated across visual stimuli and are strongest within cell classes which could reflect distributed visual channels. A simple simulation is provided that suggests that recurrent connectivity is required for the stimulus invariance of the results. The paper is well-written and conceptually clear. The figures are beautiful and clear. The arguments are well laid out and the claims appear in large part supported by the data and analysis results (but see weaknesses).

      Weaknesses:

      An inherent limitation of the approach is that it cannot reveal which anatomical connectivity patterns are responsible for observed network structure. The modeling results presented, however, suggest interestingly that a simple feedforward architecture may not account for fundamental characteristics of the data. A limitation of the study is the lack of a behavioral task. The paper shows nicely that the correlation structure generalizes across visual stimuli. However, the correlation structure could differ widely when animals are actively responding to visual stimuli. I do think that, because of the complexity involved, a characterization of correlations during a visual task is beyond the scope of the current study.

      An important question that does not seem addressed (but it is addressed indirectly, I could be mistaken) is the extent to which it is possible to obtain reliable measurements of noise correlation from cell pairs that have widely distinct tuning. L2/3 activity in the visual cortex is quite sparse. The cell groups laid out in Figure S2 have very sharp tuning. Cells whose tuning does not overlap may not yield significant trial-to-trial correlations because they do not show significant responses to the same set of stimuli, if at all any time. Could this bias the noise correlation measurements or explain some of the dependence of the observed noise correlations on signal correlations/similarity of tuning? Could the variable overlap in the responses to visual responses explain the dependence of correlations on cell classes and groups?

      With electrophysiology, this issue is less of a problem because many if not most neurons will show some activity in response to suboptimal stimuli. For the present study which uses calcium imaging together with deconvolution, some of the activity may not be visible to the experimenters. The correlation measure is shown to be robust to changes in firing rates due to missing spikes. However, the degree of overlap of responses between cell pairs and their consequences for measures of noise correlations are not explored.

      Beyond that comment, the remaining issues are relatively minor issues related to manuscript text, figures, and statistical analyses. There are typos left in the manuscript. Some of the methodological details and results of statistical testing also seem to be missing. Some of the visuals and analyses chosen to examine the data (e.g., box plots) may not be the most effective in highlighting differences across groups. If addressed, this would make a very strong paper.

    3. Reviewer #3 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      Yu et al harness the capabilities of mesoscopic 2P imaging to record simultaneously from populations of neurons in several visual cortical areas and measure their correlated variability. They first divide neurons into 65 classes depending on their tuning to moving gratings. They found the pairs of neurons of the same tuning class show higher noise correlations (NCs) both within and across cortical areas. Based on these observations and a model they conclude that visual information is broadcast across areas through multiple, discrete channels with little mixing across them.

      NCs can reflect indirect or direct connectivity, or shared afferents between pairs of neurons, potentially providing insight on network organization. While NCs have been comprehensively studied in neuron pairs of the same area, the structure of these correlations across areas is much less known. Thus, the manuscripts present novel insights into the correlation structure of visual responses across multiple areas.

      Strengths:

      The study uses state-of-the art mesoscopic two-photon imaging.

      The measurements of shared variability across multiple areas are novel.

      The results are mostly well presented and many thorough controls for some metrics are included.

      Weaknesses:

      I have concerns that the observed large intra-class/group NCs might not reflect connectivity but shared behaviorally driven multiplicative gain modulations of sensory-evoked responses. In this case, the NC structure might not be due to the presence of discrete, multiple channels broadcasting visual information as concluded. I also find that the claim of multiple discrete broadcasting channels needs more support before discarding the alternative hypothesis that a continuum of tuning similarity explains the large NCs observed in groups of neurons.

      Specifically:

      Major concerns:

      (1) Multiplicative gain modulation underlying correlated noise between similarly tuned neurons

      (1a) The conclusion that visual information is broadcasted in discrete channels across visual areas relies on interpreting NC as reflecting, direct or indirect connectivity between pairs, or common inputs. However, a large fraction of the activity in the mouse visual system is known to reflect spontaneous and instructed movements, including locomotion and face movements, among others. Running activity and face movements are some of the largest contributors to visual cortex activity and exert a multiplicative gain on sensory-evoked responses (Niell et al, Stringer et al, among others). Thus, trial-by-fluctuations of behavioral state would result in gain modulations that, due to their multiplicative nature, would result in more shared variability in cotuned neurons, as multiplication affects neurons that are responding to the stimulus over those that are not responding ( see Lin et al, Neuron 2015 for a similar point).

      As behavioral modulations are not considered, this confound affects most of the conclusions of the manuscript, as it would result in larger NCs the more similar the tuning of the neurons is, independently of any connectivity feature. It seems that this alternative hypothesis can explain most of the results without the need for discrete broadcasting channels or any particular network architecture and should be addressed to support its main claims.

      (1b) In Figure 5 the observations are interpreted as evidence for NCs reflecting features of the network architecture, as NCs measured using gratings predicted NC to naturalistic videos. However, it seems from Figure 5 A that signal correlations (SCs) from gratings had non-zero correlations with SCs during naturalistic videos (is this the case?). Thus, neurons that are cotuned to gratings might also tend to be coactivated during the presentation of videos. In this case, they are also expected to be susceptible to shared behaviorally driven fluctuations, independently of any circuit architecture as explained before. This alternative interpretation should be addressed before concluding that these measurements reflect connectivity features.

      (2) Discrete vs continuous communication channels

      (2a) One of the author's main claims is that the mouse cortical network consists of discrete communication channels. This discreteness is based on an unbiased clustering approach to the tuning of neurons, followed by a manual grouping into six categories in relation to the stimulus space. I believe there are several problems with this claim. First, this clustering approach is inherently trying to group neurons and discretise neural populations. To make the claim that there are 'discrete communication channels' the null hypothesis should be a continuous model. An explicit test in favor of a discrete model is lacking, i.e. are the results better explained using discrete groups vs. when considering only tuning similarity? Second, the fact that 65 classes are recovered (out of 72 conditions) and that manual clustering is necessary to arrive at the six categories is far from convincing that we need to think about categorically different subsets of neurons. That we should think of discrete communication channels is especially surprising in this context as the relevant stimulus parameter axes seem inherently continuous: spatial and temporal frequency. It is hard to motivate the biological need for a discretely organized cortical network to process these continuous input spaces.

      (2b) Consequently, I feel the support for discrete vs continuous selective communication is rather inconclusive. It seems that following the author's claims, it would be important to establish if neurons belong to the same groups, rather than tuning similarity is a defining feature for showing large NCs.

      Finally, as stated in point 1, the larger NCs observed within groups than across groups might be due to the multiplicative gain of state modulations, due to the larger tuning similarity of the neurons within a class or group.

    1. Reviewer #1 (Public Review):

      In this study, Kim et al. investigated the mechanism by which uremic toxin indoxyl sulfate (IS) induces trained immunity, resulting in augmented pro-inflammatory cytokine production such as TNF and IL-6. The authors claim that IS treatment induced epigenetic and metabolic reprogramming, and the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR)-mediated arachidonic acid pathway is required for establishing trained immunity in human monocytes. They also demonstrated that uremic sera from end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients can generate trained immunity in healthy control-derived monocytes.

      These are interesting results that introduce the important new concept of trained immunity and its importance in showing endogenous inflammatory stimuli-induced innate immune memory. Additional evidence proposing that IS plays a critical role in the initiation of inflammatory immune responses in patients with CKD is also interesting and a potential advance of the field.

      Comments on the revised version:

      In the revised manuscripts, the authors have addressed essentially almost all of the points raised by the reviewers and have revised the manuscript accordingly. The additional comments improved the manuscript and strengthened the overall impact of the paper.

    1. Reviewer #1 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      Thayer et al build upon their prior findings that ASAR long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are chromatin-associated and are implicated in control of replication timing. To explore the mechanism of function of ASAR transcripts, they leveraged the ENCODE RNA binding protein eCLIP datasets to show that a 7kb region of ASAR6-141 is bound by multiple hnRNP proteins. Deletion of this 7kb region resulted in delayed chromosome 6 replication. Furthermore, ectopic integration of the ASAR6-141 7kb region into autosomes or the inactive X-chromosome also resulted in delayed chromosome replication. They then use RNA FISH experiments to show that knockdown of these hnRNP proteins disrupts ASAR6-141 localization to chromatin and in turn replication timing.

      Strengths:

      Given prior publications showing HNRNPU to be important for chromatin retention of XIST and Firre, this work expands upon our understanding on the role of hnRNP proteins in lncRNA function.

      Weaknesses:

      The work presented is mechanistically interesting, however, one must be careful with the over interpretation that hnRNP proteins can regular chromosome replication directly.

    2. Reviewer #2 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      This paper reports a role for a substantial number of RNA binding proteins (RBPs), in particular hnRNPs, in the function of ASAR "genes". ASARs are (very) long, non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) that control allelic expression imbalance (e.g.: mono-allelic expression) and replication timing of their resident chromosomes. These relatively novel "genes" have recently been identified on all human autosomes and are of broad significance given their critical importance for basic chromosomal functions and stability. However, the mechanism(s) of ASAR function remain unclear. ASARs exhibit some functional relatedness to Xist RNA, including persistent association of the expressed RNA with its resident chromosome, and similarities in the composition of RNA sequences associated with ASARs, in particular Line1 RNAs. Recent findings that certain hnRNPs control the chromosome territory retention of Cot1-bearing RNAs (which includes Line1) led the authors to test hypothesis that hnRNPs might regulate ASARs.

      Specific new findings in this paper:

      -Analysis of eCLIP (RNA-protein interaction) ENCODE data shows numerous interactions of the ASAR6-141 RNA with RBPs, including hnRNPs (e.g.: HNRNPU) that have been implicated in the retention of RNAs within local chromosome territories.<br /> -most of these interactions can be mapped to a 7kb region of the 185kb ASAR6-141 RNA<br /> -deletion of this 7kb region is sufficient to induce the DMC/DRT phenotype associated with deletion of the entire ASAR region<br /> -ectopic integration into mouse autosomes of the 7kb region is sufficient to cause DMC/DRT of the targeted autosome, and a similar effect upon ectopic integration into inactive X. This raises the question about integration into the active X, which was not mentioned. Is integration into the active X observed? Is it possible that integration might alter Xist expression confounding this interpretation?<br /> -Knockdown of RBPs that bind the 7kb region causes dissociation of ASAR6-141 RNA from its chromosome territory, and, remarkably, dissociation of Xist RNA from inactive X, and mis-colocalization of the ASAR6-141 and Xist RNAs. Depletion of these RBPs causes DMC/DRT on all autosomes.

      Strengths:

      These are compelling results suggesting shared mechanism(s) in the regulation of ASARs and Xist RNAs by RBPs that bind Cot1 sequences in these lncRNAs. The identification of these RBPs as shared effectors of ASARs and Xist that are required for RNA territory localization mechanistically links previously independent phenomena.

      The data are convincing and support the conclusions. The replication timing method is low resolution and is only a relative measure but seems adequate for the task at hand. The FISH experiments are convincing. The quality of the images is impressive.

      Links to other subfields like X-inactivation and RNA association with chromosome territories provide novel context and protein players, new phenotypes to examine

      Weaknesses:

      The exact effects of knockdown experiments are unclear and may be indirect, which is acknowledged.

      The mechanism is not much clearer than before.

    1. Joint Public Review:

      Xie et al. propose that the asymmetric segregation of the NuRD complex is regulated in a V-ATPase-dependent manner, and plays a crucial role in determining the differential expression of the apoptosis activator egl-1 and thus critical for the life/death fate decision.

      Remaining concerns are the following:

      The authors should provide the point-by-point response to the following issues. In particular, authors should provide clear reasoning as to why they did not address some of the following comments in the previous revisions. The next response should be directly answering to the following concerns.

      (1) Discussion should be added regarding the criticism that NuRD asymmetric segregation is simply a result of daughter cell size asymmetry. It is perfectly fine that the NuRD asymmetry is due to the daughter cell size difference (still the nucleus within the bigger daughter would have more NuRD, which can determine the fate of daughter cells). Once the authors add this clarification, some criticisms about 'control' may become irrelevant.

      (2) ZEN-4 is a kinesin that predominantly associates with the midzone microtubules and a midbody during mitosis. Given that midbodies can be asymmetrically inherited during cell division, ZEN-4 is not a good control for monitoring the inheritance of cytoplasmic proteins during asymmetric cell division. Other control proteins, such as a transcriptional factor that predominantly localizes in the cytoplasm during mitosis and enters into nucleus during interphase, are needed to clarify the concern.

      As for pHluorin experiments, symmetric inheritance of GFP and mCherry is not an appropriate evidence to estimate the level of pHluorin during asymmmetric Q cell division. This issue remains unsolved.

      (3) Q-Q plot (quantile-quantile plot) in Figure S10 can be used for visually checking normality of the data, but it does not guarantee that the distribution of each sample is normal and has the standard deviation compared with the other samples. I recommend the authors to show the actual statistical comparison P-values for each case. The authors also need to show the number of replicate experiments for each figure panel.

      The authors left inappropriate graphs in the revised manuscript. In Figure 3E, some error bars are disconnected and the other are stuck in the bars. In Figure S4C, LIN-53 in QR.a/p graph shows lines disconnected from error bars.

      I am bit confused with the error bars in Figure 2B. Each dot represents a fluorescent intensity ratio of either HDA-1 or LIN-53 between the two daughter cells in a single animal. Plots are shown with mean and SEM, but several samples (for example, the left end) exhibit the SEM error bar very close to a range of min and max. I might misunderstand this graph but am concerned that Figure 2B may contain some errors in representing these data sets. I would like to ask the authors to provide all values in a table format so that the reviewers could verify the statistical tests and graph representation.

      (4) The authors still do not provide evidence that the increase in sAnxV::GFP and Pegl-1gfp or the increase in H3K27ac at the egl-1 gene in hda-1(RNAi) and lin-53(RNAi) animals is not a consequence of global effects on development. Indeed, the images provided in Figure S7B demonstrate that there are global effects in these animals. no causal interactions have been demonstrated.

      (5) Figure 4: Due to the lack of appropriate controls for the co-IP experiment (Fig. 4), I remain unconvinced of the claim that the NuRD complex and V-ATPase specifically interact. Concerning the co-IP, the authors now mention that the co-IP was performed three times: "Assay was performed using three biological replicates. Three independent biological replicates of the experiment were conducted with similar results." However, the authors did not use ACT-4::GFP or GFP alone as controls for their co-IP as previously suggested. This is critical considering that the evidence for a specific HDA-1::GFP - V-ATPase interaction is rather weak (compare interactions between HDA-1::GFP and V-ATPase subunits in Fig 4B with those of HDA-1::GFP and subunits of NuRD in Fig S8B).

      (6) Based on Fig 5E, it appears that Bafilomycin treatment causes pleiotropic effects on animals (see differences in HDA-1::GFP signal in the three rows). The authors now state: "Although BafA1-mediated disruption of lysosomal pH homeostasis is recognized to elicit a wide array of intracellular abnormalities, we found no evidence of such pleiotropic effects at the organismal level with the dosage and duration of treatment employed in this study". However, the 'evidence' mentioned is not shown. It is critical that the authors provide this evidence.

    1. Reviewer #2 (Public Review):

      I have read the re-submission of the manuscript "The optimal clutch size revisited: separating individual quality from the parental survival costs of reproduction" by LA Winder and colleagues.

      I have to say that I am quite disappointed not to see any formalisation of the mechanism that the authors have in mind to explain the results they have and to draw general conclusions from it. In my original review, I strongly recommended "improving the theoretical component of the analysis by providing a solid theoretical framework before, from it, drawing conclusions. This, at a minimum, requires [...] most importantly a mechanistic model describing the assumed relationships."

      Without it, it is impossible to follow, agree or disagree with the authors and learn something from the meta-analysis other than: the clutch size-annual survival relationship has opposite slopes for manipulated and natural populations. Such a set of equations (would replace pages of verbose and) is not only necessary for the readers to be able to understand the authors' points and to clearly understand the simplifying assumptions, but also for the authors to ensure they conclusions are sound. For these reasons this is a central part of such studies, see, e.g. (Walker et al., 2008). This is supposedly replaced here by a figure (figure 5), which top-left part reads: "Parental survival costs of reproduction constrain intra-specific reproduction" - "no the effect size on fig 4 is too small". Figure 4 is the output of simulations where the authors have incorporated the mean effect on survival rate per egg from the manipulated populations into a model where they compute R0 for various increases in the annual fertility rate, and related decreases in annual survival rates, showing that along the slow-fast gradient, for balanced survival-reproduction (certainly not far from R0=1), R0 is not affected (or very little) by change in fertility-survival along the trade-off. Nowhere on this figure, do we have any information inferring that survival costs of reproduction do not constrain intra-specific reproduction. It is actually possible to build a simple mechanistic model with a trade-off mechanism that strongly affects the LRS and its variance between individuals and to would produce the exact same figure.

      This is compounded in this manuscript by the constant verbose, imprecisions, outright mistakes, with a general confusion between magnitudes and variation of magnitudes, which makes it very hard to read. Let us just look at two examples illustrating my points. In the abstract, I read: " ... revealed that reproduction presented negligible costs, except when reproductive effort was forced beyond the level observed within species, to that seen between species" means nothing: what is the level of reproductive effort seen between species? I suppose the authors mean "forced beyond the maximum level observed within species, to that seen between species" or something like that. Caption figure 4:" Selection differentials (i.e., the difference in lifetime reproductive output between hypothetical control and brood-manipulated populations)" It cannot be how this was calculated however: the difference between equal things is 0, not 1. These errors and all the other imprecisions, lengthy definitions that are for some almost impossible to fathom are the direct result of trying at all costs not to use a single equation, the most important tool in the study of ecology and trade-offs in particular, in a paper on costs of reproduction.

    1. Reviewer #1 (Public Review):

      The manuscript of Davidsen and Sullivan describes an improved tRNA-seq protocol to determine aminoacyl-tRNA levels. The improvements include: (i) optimizing the Whitfeld or oxidation reaction to select aminoacyl-tRNAs from oxidation-sensitive non-acylated tRNAs; (ii) using a splint-assisted ligation to modify the tRNAs' ends for the following RT-PCR reaction; (iii) using an error-tolerating mapping algorithm to map the tRNA sequencing reads that contain mismatches at modified nucleotides.

      The revised manuscript of Davidsen and Sullivan has addressed my concerns in the previous review. The authors performed a end-to-end comparison, which I requested - Fig. 2 and Fig S2. This is exactly what I meant, albeit the differences in each method to perform the comparison of the detectability. The manuscript is a strong methodological improvement of the tRNA quantification protocols!

    2. Reviewer #2 (Public Review):

      Davidsen and Sullivan present an improved method for quantifying tRNA aminoacylation levels by deep sequencing. By combining recent advances in tRNA sequencing with lysine-based chemistry that is more gentle on RNA, splint oligo-based adapter ligation, and full alignment of tRNA reads, they generate an interesting new protocol. The lab protocol is complemented by a software tool that is openly available on Github. Many of the points highlighted in this protocol are not new, but have been used in recent protocols such as Behrens et al. (2021) or McGlincy and Ingolia (2017). Nevertheless, a strength of this study is that the authors carefully test different conditions to optimize their protocol using a set of well-designed controls.

      The conclusions of the manuscript appear to be well supported by the data presented. However, the lack of benchmarking relative to other methods remains as a key criticism also after this revision.

      (1) The manuscript reports a different method to measure aminoacylation of tRNA. The main point that remains unsatisfactory is a better benchmarking of such aminoacylation measurements against the state of the art. In the current form of the revised manuscript it is not possible to estimate how much the results of this new protocol differ from alternative methods and in particular from Behrens et al. (2021). Here it will be helpful to perform experiments with samples similar to those (like HEK cells or yeast cells) used in the mim-tRNAseq study and not with H1299 cells.

      The claim that a comparison to every published protocol is not feasible is not a good argument for not performing any benchmarking experiments. Such benchmarking experiments are not meant to define the ground truth but are needed to estimate the difference in the outcome of different protocols. I agree with the authors that precision/reproducibility is essential when developing a new protocol. But the analysis and comparison should not stop there.

      (2) The reported protocol can not only be used for quantification of tRNA aminoacylation but it can also be used for tRNA quantification and analysis of tRNA modifications. It will increase the impact of this study if the authors benchmark the outcomes of their protocol with other tRNA sequencing protocols with samples similar to these papers, which will be important for certain research teams that are unlikely to implement two different tRNA sequencing methods.

      The authors decided not to perform further experiments in cell lines or mutants that allow a comparison to other published methods. In my opinion this limits the impact of the work. But as a reviewer I can only make recommendations. It is the authors decision to take those or not.

    1. Joint Public Review:

      In this study, Kashio et al examined the role of TRPV4 in regulating perspiration in mice. They find coexpression of TRPV4 with the chloride channel ANO1 and aquaporin 5, which implies possible coupling of heat sensing through TRPV4 to ion and water excretion through the latter channels. Calcium imaging of eccrine gland cells revealed that the TRPV4 agonist GSK101 activates these cells in WT mice, but not in TRPV4 KO. This effect is reduced with cold-stimulating menthol treatment. Temperature-dependent perspiration in mouse skin, either with passive heating or with ACh stimulation, was reduced in TRPV4 KO mice. Functional studies in mice - correlating the ability to climb a slippery slope to properly regulate skin moisture levels - reveal potential dysregulation of foot pad perspiration in TRPV4 KO mice, which had fewer successful climbing attempts. Lastly, a correlation of TRPV4 to hypohydrosis in humans was shown, as anhidrotic skin showed reduced levels of TRPV4 expression compared to normohidrotic or control skin.

      Overall this is an interesting study on how TRPV4 regulates perspiration.

      (1) The functional relationship between TRPV3 and ANO1 remains correlative.

      (2) Littermate controls were not used, but TRPV4ko were backcrossed onto the WT strain.

      (3) In general, the results support the authors' claims that TRPV4 activity is a necessary component of sweat gland secretion, which may have important implications for controlling perspiration; secretion from other glands where TRPV4 may be expressed remains a possibility given the lack of us of exocrine-specific knockouts.

    1. Reviewer #1 (Public Review):

      In this study, Gu at al., investigated the role of the central noradrenaline system from LC to VLPO in the recovery of consciousness induced by midazolam. Combining pharmacology, optogenetics/chemogenetics, they found that the LC to VLPO NE circuits are essential for consciousness rebooting after midazolam, activation of this circuit strongly speeded up the recovery process, dependent on alpha1 adrenergic receptors in the VLPO neurons. The topic is important and their findings are of some interest.<br /> However, substantial improvements are needed in the language, for grammar, clarity, and layout. There are significant experimental errors (see below 1-2). Further experiments are required to support their main conclusions.

      (1) One major issue arises in Figure 4, the recording of VLPO Ca2+ activity. In Lines 211-215, they stated that they injected AAV2/9-DBH-GCaMP6m into the VLPO, while activating LC NE neurons. As they claimed in line 157, DBH is a specific promoter for NE neurons. This implies an attempt to label NE neurons in the VLPO, which is problematic because NE neurons are not present in the VLPO. This raises concerns about their viral infection strategy since Ca activity was observed in their photometry recording. This means that DBH promoter could randomly label some non-NE neurons. Is DBH promoter widely used? The authors should list references. Additionally, they should quantify the labeling efficiency of both DBH and TH-cre throughout the paper.<br /> (2) A similar issue arises with chemogenetic activation in Fig. 5 L-R, the authors used TH-cre and DIO-Gq virus to label VLPO neurons. Were they labelling VLPO NE or DA neurons for recording? The authors have to clarify this.<br /> (3) Another related question pertains to the specificity of LC NE downstream neurons in the VLPO. For example, do they preferentially modulate GABAergic or glutamatergic neurons?<br /> (4) In Figure 1A-D, in the measurement of the dosage-dependent effect of Mida in LORR, were they only performed one batch of testing? If more than one batch of mice were used, error bar should be presented in 1B. Also, the rationale of testing TH expression levels after Mid is not clear. Is TH expression level change related to NE activation specifically? If so, they should cite references.<br /> (5) Regarding the photometry recording of LC NE neurons during the entire process of midazolam injection in Fig. 2 and Fig. 4, it is unclear what time=0 stands for. If I understand correctly, the authors were comparing spontaneous activity during the four phases. Additionally, they only show traces lasting for 20s in Fig. 2F and Fig. 4L. How did the authors select data for analysis, and what criteria were used? The authors should also quantify the average Ca2+ activity and Ca2+ transient frequency during each stage instead of only quantifying Ca2+ peaks. In line 919, the legend for Figure 2D, they stated that it is the signal at the BLA; were they also recorded from the BLA?

    2. Reviewer #2 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      This article mainly explores the neural circuit mechanism of recovery of consciousness after midazolam administration and proves that the LC-VLPO NEergic neural circuit helps to promote the recovery of midazolam, and this effect is mainly caused by α1 adrenergic receptors. (α1-R) mediated.

      Strengths:

      This article uses innovative methods such as optogenetics and fiber optic photometry in the experimental methods section to make the stimulation of neuronal cells more precise and the stimulation intensity more accurate in experimental research. In addition, fiber optic photometry adds confidence to the results of calcium detection in mouse neuronal cells.

      This article explains the results from the entire system down to cells, and then cells gradually unfold to explain the entire mechanism. The entire explanation process is logical and orderly. At the same time, this article conducted a large number of rescue experiments, which greatly increased the credibility of the experimental conclusions.

      Throughout the full text and all conclusions, this article has elucidated the neural circuit mechanism of recovery of consciousness after midazolam administration and successfully verified that the LC-VLPO NEergic neural circuit helps promote the recovery of midazolam.

      The conclusions of this article are crucial to ameliorate the complications of its abuse. It will pinpoint relevant regions involved in midazolam response and provide a perspective to help elucidate the dynamic changes in neural circuits in the brain during altered consciousness and suggest a promising approach towards the goal of timely recovery from midazolam. New research avenues.

      At the same time, this article also has important clinical translation significance. The application of clinical drug midazolam and animal experiments have certain guiding significance for subsequent related clinical research.

    1. Reviewer #1 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      In this MS, Muenker and colleagues, explore the intracellular mechanics of a range of animal adherent cells. The study is based on the use of an optical tweezer set up, which allows to apply oscillatory forces on endocytosed/phagocytosed glass beads with a large frequency range (from ~1 to 1000 Hz) , allowing to probe cytoplasm material properties at multiple time scales. By switching off the laser trap, the authors also record the positional fluctuations of beads, to extract passive rheological signatures. The combination of both methods allow to fit 6 parameters (from power law fits) that allow to characterize the viscous and elastic nature of the cytoplasm material as well as an effective active energy driven by cellular metabolism. Using these methodologies, the authors first establish/confirm, using HeLa cells, that the cytoplasm is more solid like at short frequencies, and more fluid like at higher frequencies, and that these material states depend on both microtubules and actin cytoskeleton. The manuscript then go on to explore how these parameters evolve in other 6 cell types including muscles, highly migratory and epithelial cells. These results show for instance that muscle cells are much stiffer, while migratory cells are more fluid like with an increased active energy. Finally using statistical methods and principal component analysis, the authors establish some mechanical fingerprints (activity, fluidity and resistance) that allow to distinguish cell's mechanical state and relate it to their particular functions.

      Strengths:

      Overall this is a very well-executed work, which provides a large body of rigorous numbers and data to understand the regulation of cytoplasm mechanics and its relation to cell state/function.

      Weaknesses:

      A limit of the paper is that the biological mechanisms by which intracellular mechanics is modulated (e.g. among cell types) remains unexplored and only briefly discussed. Yet this limit is greatly offset by the rigor of the approach.

    2. Reviewer #2 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      By analyzing cells' frequency-dependent viscoelastic properties and intracellular activity through microrheology, Münker et al simplify the complex active mechanical state into six key parameters that constitute the mechanical fingerprint. They apply this concept to cells treated with cytoskeleton-inhibiting drugs. Additionally, a comprehensive statistical analysis across various cell types shows how cells coordinate their mechanical properties within a defined phase-space marked by activity, mechanical resistance, and fluidity.

      Strengths:

      (1) The distribution of the six parameters: they have been well characterized based on established theories, and they can be used to understand cell-type-specific biomechanical differences. The examples of muscle cells and immune cells were profound and informative.<br /> (2) Efforts to perform dimension reduction of parameter space into activity (E), fluidity (C1) and resistance (A) are insightful and will be helpful for future characterization of cell mechanics.

      Weaknesses:

      (1) The most difficult part of the method is the part with actin polymerization inhibition with cytochalasin B. The data shows that viscoelastic parameters as well as active energy parameters are unaffected by cytochalasin B. It is reasonable to expect that elasticity will reduce and fluidity will increase upon application of such a drug. The stiffness-reducing effect was observed only when CB was used with nocodazole most likely because of phagocytosis of the bead, which is governed by microtubule. The use of other actin-depolymerizing drugs such as latrunculin A would be needed to test actin's role in mechanical fingerprints. If actin's role is only explained by accompanying microtubule inhibition, it is not a convenient system to directly test the mechano-adaptation process.<br /> (2) Depolymerization of MT with nocodazole did not reduce the solid-like property A. Adding discussion and comparison with other papers in the literature using nocodazole will be helpful in understanding why.<br /> (3) Overall, the usefulness of the concept of mechanical fingerprints and comparisons with other cell mechanics studies (from other groups) will make this manuscript stronger.

    3. Reviewer #3 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      Cells and tissues are viscoelastic materials. However, metabolic processes that underly survival, growth and migration render the cell as an active matter at non-equilibrium. These two facts contribute to the difficulty of probing mechanical properties especially with sub-cellular resolution. However, the concept that the mechanical phenotype can be indicative of normal physiology necessitates approaches of defining the cellular phenotype. Here, Muenker et al evokes a powerful argument for mapping intracellular mechanics using optical tweezer- active microrheology. They present a suite of parameters towards a definition of a mechanical fingerprint. This is a compelling idea. There are some concerns as detailed below

      Strengths:

      These are technically challenging experiments and the authors provide systematic approaches to probe a system at non-equilibrium.

      Weaknesses:

      The importance of the mechanical fingerprint is diluted due to some missing controls needed for biological relevance.

    1. Reviewer #1 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      In this study, Kroll et al. conduct an in-depth behavioral analysis of F0 knockouts of 4 genes associated with late-onset Alzheimer's Disease (AD), together with 3 genes associated with early-onset AD. Kroll and colleagues developed a web application (ZOLTAR) to compare sleep-associated traits between genetic mutants with those obtained from a panel of small molecules to promote the identification of affected pathways and potential therapeutic interventions. The authors make a set of potentially important findings vis-à-vis the relationship between AD-associated genes and sleep. First, they find that loss-of-function in late-onset AD genes universally results in nighttime sleep loss, consistent with the well-supported hypothesis that sleep disruption contributes to Alzheimer's-related pathologies. psen-1, an early-onset associated AD gene, which the authors find is principally responsible for the generation of AB40 and AB42 in zebrafish, also shows a slight increase in activity at night and slight decreases in nighttime sleep. Conversely, psen-2 mutations increase daytime sleep, while appa/appb mutations have no impact on sleep. Finally, using ZOLTAR, the authors identify serotonin receptor activity as potentially disrupted in sorl1 mutants, while betamethasone is identified as a potential therapeutic to promote reversal of psen2 knockout-associated phenotypes.

      This is a highly innovative and thorough study, yet a handful of key questions remain. First, are nighttime sleep loss phenotypes observed in all knockouts for late-onset AD genes in the larval zebrafish a valid proxy for AD risk? For those mutants that cause nighttime sleep disturbances, do these phenotypes share a common underlying pathway? e.g. Do 5-HT reuptake inhibitors promote sleep across all 4 late-onset genes in addition to psen1? Can 5-HT reuptake inhibitors reverse other AD-related pathologies in zebrafish? Can compounds be identified that have a common behavioral fingerprint across all or multiple AD risk genes? Do these modify sleep phenotypes? Finally, the web-based platform presented could be expanded to facilitate comparison of other behavioral phenotypes, including stimulus-evoked behaviors. Finally, the authors propose but do not test the hypothesis that sorl1 might regulate localization/surface expression of 5-HT2 receptors. This could provide exciting / more convincing mechanistic support for the assertion that serotonin signaling is disrupted upon loss of AD-associated genes. Despite these important considerations, this study provides a valuable platform for high-throughput analysis of sleep phenotypes and correlation with small-molecule-induced sleep phenotypes.

      Strengths:

      - Provides a useful platform for comparison of sleep phenotypes across genotypes/drug manipulations.

      - Presents convincing evidence that nighttime sleep is disrupted in mutants for multiple late-onset AD-related genes.

      - Provides potential mechanistic insights for how AD-related genes might impact sleep and identifies a few drugs that modify their identified phenotypes

      Weaknesses:

      - Exploration of potential mechanisms for serotonin disruption in sorl1 mutants is limited.

      - The pipeline developed can only be used to examine sleep-related / spontaneous movement phenotypes and stimulus-evoked behaviors are not examined.

      - Comparisons between mutants/exploration of commonly affected pathways are limited.

    2. Reviewer #2 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      This work delineates the larval zebrafish behavioral phenotypes caused by the F0 knockout of several important genes that increase the risk for Alzheimer's disease. Using behavioral pharmacology, comparing the behavioral fingerprint of previously assayed molecules to the newly generated knockout data, compounds were discovered that impacted larval movement in ways that suggest interaction with or recovery of disrupted mechanisms.

      Strengths:

      This is a well-written manuscript that uses newly developed analysis methods to present the findings in a clear, high-quality way. The addition of an extensive behavioral analysis pipeline is of value to the field of zebrafish neuroscience and will be particularly helpful for researchers who prefer the R programming language. Even the behavioral profiling of these AD risk genes, regardless of the pharmacology aspect, is an important contribution. The recovery of most behavioral parameters in the psen2 knockout with betamethasone, predicted by comparing fingerprints, is an exciting demonstration of the approach. The hypotheses generated by this work are important stepping stones to future studies uncovering the molecular basis of the proposed gene-drug interactions and discovering novel therapeutics to treat AD or co-occurring conditions such as sleep disturbance.

      Weaknesses:

      - The overarching concept of the work is that comparing behavioral fingerprints can align genes and molecules with similarly disrupted molecular pathways. While the recovery of the psen2 phenotypes by one molecule with the opposite phenotype is interesting, as are previous studies that show similar behaviorally-based recoveries, the underlying assumption that normalizing the larval movement normalizes the mechanism still lacks substantial support. There are many ways that a reduction in movement bouts could be returned to baseline that are unrelated to the root cause of the genetically driven phenotype. An ideal experiment would be to thoroughly characterize a mutant, such as by identifying a missing population of neurons, and use this approach to find a small molecule that rescues both behavior and the cellular phenotype. If the connection to serotonin in the sorl1 was more complete, for example, the overarching idea would be more compelling.

      - The behavioral difference between the sorl1 KO and scrambled at the higher dose of the citalopram is based on a small number of animals. The KO Euclidean distance measure is also more spread out than for the other datasets, and it looks like only five or so fish are driving the group difference. It also appears as though the numbers were also from two injection series. While there is nothing obviously wrong with the data, I would feel more comfortable if such a strong statement of a result from a relatively subtle phenotype were backed up by a higher N or a stable line. It is not impossible that the observed difference is an experimental fluke. If something obvious had emerged through the HCR, that would have also supported the conclusions. As it stands, if no more experiments are done to bolster the claim, the confidence in the strength of the link to serotonin should be reduced (possibly putting the entire section in the supplement and modifying the discussion). The discussion section about serotonin and AD is interesting, but I think that it is excessive without additional evidence.

      - The authors suggest two hypotheses for the behavioral difference between the sorl1 KO and scrambled at the higher dose of the citalopram. While the first is tested, and found to not be supported, the second is not tested at all ("Ruling out the first hypothesis, sorl1 knockouts may react excessively to a given spike in serotonin." and "Second, sorl1 knockouts may be overly sensitive to serotonin itself because post-synaptic neurons have higher levels of serotonin receptors."). Assuming that the finding is robust, there are probably other reasons why the mutants could have a different sensitivity to this molecule. However, if this particular one is going to be mentioned, it is surprising that it was not tested alongside the first hypothesis. This work could proceed without a complete explanation, but additional discussion of the possibilities would be helpful or why the second hypothesis was not tested.

      - The authors claim that "all four genes produced a fairly consistent phenotype at night". While it is interesting that this result arose in the different lines, the second clutch for some genes did not replicate as well as others. I think the findings are compelling, regardless, but the sometimes missing replicability should be discussed. I wonder if the F0 strategy adds noise to the results and if clean null lines would yield stronger phenotypes. Please discuss this possibility, or others, in regard to the variability in some phenotypes.

      - In this work, the knockout of appa/appb is included. While APP is a well-known risk gene, there is no clear justification for making a knockout model. It is well known that the upregulation of app is the driver of Alzheimer's, not downregulation. The authors even indicate an expectation that it could be similar to the other knockouts ("Moreover, the behavioural phenotypes of appa/appb and psen1 knockout larvae had little overlap while they presumably both resulted in the loss of Aβ." and "Comparing with early-onset genes, psen1 knockouts had similar night-time phenotypes, but loss of psen2 or appa/appb had no effect on night-time sleep."). There is no reason to expect similarity between appa/appb and psen1/2. I understand that the app knockouts could unveil interesting early neurodevelopmental roles, but the manuscript needs to be clarified that any findings could be the opposite of expectation in AD.

    3. Reviewer #3 (Public Review):

      In this manuscript by Kroll and colleagues, the authors describe combining behavioral pharmacology with sleep profiling to predict disease and potential treatment pathways at play in AD. AD is used here as a case study, but the approaches detailed can be used for other genetic screens related to normal or pathological states for which sleep/arousal is relevant. The data are for the most part convincing, although generally the phenotypes are relatively small and there are no major new mechanistic insights. Nonetheless, the approaches are certainly of broad interest and the data are comprehensive and detailed.

      A notable weakness is the introduction, which overly generalizes numerous concepts and fails to provide the necessary background to set the stage for the data.

      Major points

      (1) The authors should spend more time explaining what they see as the meaning of the large number of behavioral parameters assayed and specifically what they tell readers about the biology of the animal. Many are hard to understand--e.g. a "slope" parameter.

      (2) Because in the end the authors did not screen that many lines, it would increase confidence in the phenotypes to provide more validation of KO specificity. Some suggestions include:<br /> a. The authors cite a psen1 and psen2 germline mutant lines. Can these be tested in the FramebyFrame R analysis? Do they phenocopy F0 KO larvae?<br /> b. psen2KO is one of the larger centerpieces of the paper. The authors should present more compelling evidence that animals are truly functionally null. Without this, how do we interpret their phenotypes?<br /> c. Related to the above, for cd2AP and sorl1 KO, some of the effect sizes seem to be driven by one clutch and not the other. In other words, great clutch-to-clutch variability. Should the authors increase the number of clutches assayed?

      (3) The authors make the point that most of the AD risk genes are expressed in fish during development. Is there public data to comment on whether the genes of interest are expressed in mature/old fish as well? Just because the genes are expressed early does not at all mean that early-life dysfunction is related to future AD (though this could be the case, of course). Genes with exclusive developmental expression would be strong candidates for such an early-life role, however. I presume the case is made because sleep studies are mainly done in juvenile fish, but I think it is really a pretty minor point and such a strong claim does not even need to be made.

      (4) A common quandary with defining sleep behaviorally is how to rectify sleep and activity changes that influence one another. With psen2 KOs, the authors describe reduced activity and increased sleep during the day. But how do we know if the reduced activity drives increased behavioral quiescence that is incorrectly defined as sleep? In instances where sleep is increased but activity during periods during wake are normal or elevated, this is not an issue. But here, the animals might very well be unhealthy, and less active, so naturally they stop moving more for prolonged periods, but the main conclusion is not sleep per se. This is an area where more experiments should be added if the authors do not wish to change/temper the conclusions they draw. Are psen2 KOs responsive to startling stimuli like controls when awake? Do they respond normally when quiescent? Great care must be taken in all models using inactivity as a proxy for sleep, and it can harm the field when there is no acknowledgment that overall health/activity changes could be a confound. Particularly worrisome is the betamethasone data in Figure 6, where activity and sleep are once again coordinately modified by the drug.

      (5) The conclusions for the serotonin section are overstated. Behavioural pharmacology purports to predict a signaling pathway disrupted with sorl1 KO. But is it not just possible that the drug acts in parallel to the true disrupted pathway in these fish? There is no direct evidence for serotonin dysfunction - that conclusion is based on response to the drug. Moreover, it is just 1 drug - is the same phenotype present with another SSRI? Likewise, language should be toned down in the discussion, as this hypothesis is not "confirmed" by the results (consider "supported"). The lack of measured serotonin differences further raises concern that this is not the true pathway. This is another major point that deserves further experimental evidence, because without it, the entire approach (behavioral pharm screen) seems more shaky as a way to identify mechanisms. There are any number of testable hypotheses to pursue such as a) Using transient transgenesis to visualize 5HT neuron morphology (is development perturbed: cell number, neurite morphology, synapse formation); b) Using transgenic Ca reporters to assay 5HT neuron activity.

    1. Reviewer #1 (Public Review):

      In this study, Hoops et al. showed that Netrin-1 and UNC5c can guide dopaminergic innervation from nucleus accumbens to cortex during adolescence in rodent models. They found that these dopamine axons project to the prefrontal cortex in a Netrin-1 dependent manner and knocking down Netrin-1 disrupted motor and learning behaviors in mice. Furthermore, the authors used hamsters, a seasonal model that is affected by the length of daylight, to demonstrate that the guidance of dopamine axons is mediated by the environmental factor such as daytime length and in sex dependent manner.

      Regarding the cell type specificity of Netrin-1 expression, the authors began by stating "this question is not the focus of the study and we consider it irrelevant to the main issue we are addressing, which is where in the forebrain regions we examined Netrin-1+ cells are present." This statement contradicts the exact issue regarding the specificity issue I raised. They then went on to show the RNAscope data for Netriin-1 in Figure 2, which showed Netrin-1 mRNA was actually expressed quite ubiquitously in anterior cingulate cortex, dorsopeduncular cortex, infralimbic cortex, prelimbic cortex, etc. In addition, contrary to the authors' statement that Netrin-1 is a "secreted protein", the confocal images in Figure 1 in the rebuttal letter actually show Netrin-1 present in "granule-like" organelles inside the cytoplasm of neurons. Finally, the authors presented Figure 7 to indicate the location where virus expressing Netrin-1 shRNA might be located. Again, the brain region targeted was quite focal and most likely did not cover all the Netrin-1+ brain regions in Figure 2. Collectively, these results raised more questions regarding the specificity of Netrin-1 expression in brain regions that are behaviorally relevant to this study.

      With respect to the effectiveness of Netrin-1 knockdown in the animals in this study, the authors cited data in HEK293 cells (Figure 5), which did not include any statistics, and previously published in vivo data in a separate, independent study (Figure 6). They do not provide any data regarding the effectiveness of Netrin-1 knockdown in THIS study.

      Similar concerns regarding UNC5C knockdown (points #6, #7, and #8) were not adequately addressed.

      In brief, while this study provides a potential role of Netrin-1-UNC5C in target innervation of dopaminergic neurons and its behavioral output in risk-taking, the data lack sufficient evidence to firmly establish the cause-effect relationship.

    2. Reviewer #2 (Public Review):

      In this manuscript, Hoops et al., using two different model systems, identified key developmental changes in Netrin-1 and UNC5C signaling that correspond to behavioral changes and are sensitive to environmental factors that affect the timing of development. They found that Netrin-1 expression is highest in regions of the striatum and cortex where TH+ axons are travelling, and that knocking down Netrin-1 reduces TH+ varicosities in mPFC and reduces impulsive behaviors in a Go-No-Go test. Further, they show that the onset of Unc5 expression is sexually dimorphic in mice, and that in Siberian hamsters, environmental effects on development are also sexually dimorophic. This study addresses an important question using approaches that link molecular, circuit and behavioral changes. Understanding developmental trajectories of adolescence, and how they can be impacted by environmental factors, is an understudied area of neuroscience that is highly relevant to understanding the onset of mental health disorders. I appreciated the inclusion of replication cohorts within the study.

    3. Reviewer #3 (Public Review):

      This study from the Flores group aims at understanding neuronal circuit changes during adolescence which is an ill-defined, transitional period involving dramatic changes in behavior and anatomy. They focus on DA innervation of the prefrontal cortex, and their interaction with the guidance cue Netrin-1. They propose DA axons in the PFC increase in the postnatal period, and their density is reduced in a Netrin 1 knockdown, suggesting that Netrin abets the development of this mesocortical pathway. In such mice impulsivity gauged by a go-no-go task is reduced. They then provide some evidence that Unc5c is developmentally regulated in DA axons. Finally they use an interesting hamster model, to study the effect of light hours on mesocortical innervation, and make some interesting observations about the timing of innervation and Unc5c expression, and the fact that females housed in winter day length conditions display an accelerated innervation of the prefrontal cortex.

      Comments on the revision. Several points were addressed; some remain to be addressed.

      4. It's not clear to me that TH doesn't stain noradrenergic axons in the PFC. See Islam and Blaess, 2021, and references therein.

      6. The Netrin knockdown data provided is from a previous study/samples.

      8. While the authors make the argument that the behavior is linked to DA, they still haven't formally tested it, in my opinion.

      13. Fig 3, UNc 5c levels are not yet quantified. Furthermore, I agree with the previous reviewer that Unc5C knockdown would corroborate key aspects of the model.

      New - Developmental trajectory of prefrontal TH-positive axons from early adolescence to adulthood is similar in male and female rats, (Willing Juraska et al., 2017). This needs discussion.

      Editors note:<br /> should you choose to revise your manuscript, please include degrees of freedom in your statistical reporting.

    1. Reviewer #1 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      This study trained a CNN for visual word classification and supported a model that can explain key functional effects of the evoked MEG response during visual word recognition, providing an explicit computational account from detection and segmentation of letter shapes to final word-form identification.

      Strengths:

      This paper not only bridges an important gap in modeling visual word recognition, by establishing a direct link between computational processes and key findings in experimental neuroimaging studies, but also provides some conditions to enhance biological realism.

      Weaknesses:

      The interpretation of CNN results, especially the number of layers in the final model and its relationship with the processing of visual words in the human brain, needs to be further strengthened.

    2. Reviewer #2 (Public Review):

      van Vliet and colleagues present the results of a study correlating internal states of a convolutional neural network trained on visual word stimuli with evoked MEG potentials during reading.

      In this study, a standard deep learning image recognition model (VGG-11) trained on a large natural image set (ImageNet) that begins illiterate but is then further trained on visual word stimuli, is used on a set of predefined stimulus images to extract strings of characters from "noisy" words, pseudowords and real words. This methodology is used in hopes of creating a model that learns to apply the same nonlinear transforms that could be happening in different regions of the brain - which would be validated by studying the correlations between the weights of this model and neural responses. Specifically, the aim is that the model learns some vector embedding space, as quantified by the spread of activations across a layer's units (L2 Norm after ReLu Activation Function), for the different kinds of stimuli, that creates a parameterized decision boundary that is similar to amplitude changes at different times for a MEG signal. More importantly, the way that the stimuli are ordered or ranked in that space should be separable to the degree we see separation in neural activity. This study shows that the activation corresponding to five different broad classes of stimuli statistically correlates with three specific components in the ERP. However, I believe there are fundamental theoretical issues that limit the implications of the results of this study.

      As has been shown over many decades, many potential computational algorithms, with varied model architectures, can perform the task of text recognition from an image. However, there is no evidence presented here that this particular algorithm has comparable performance to human behavior (i.e. similar accuracy with a comparable pattern of mistakes). This is a fundamental prerequisite before attempting to meaningfully correlate these layer activations to human neural activations. Therefore, it is unlikely that correlating these derived layer weights to neural activity provides meaningful novel insights into neural computation beyond what is seen using traditional experimental methods.

      One example of a substantial discrepancy between this model and neural activations is that, while incorporating frequency weighting into the training data is shown to slightly increase neural correlation with the model, Figure 7 shows that no layer of the model appears directly sensitive to word frequency. This is in stark contrast to the strong neural sensitivity to word frequency seen in EEG (e.g. Dambacher et al 2006 Brain Research), fMRI (e.g. Kronbichler et al 2004 NeuroImage), MEG (e.g. Huizeling et al 2021 Neurobio. Lang.), and intracranial (e.g. Woolnough et al 2022 J. Neurosci.) recordings. Figure 7 also demonstrates that the late stages of the model show a strong negative correlation with font size, whereas later stages of neural visual word processing are typically insensitive to differences in visual features, instead showing sensitivity to lexical factors.

      Another example of the mismatch between this model and the visual cortex is the lack of feedback connections in the model. Within the visual cortex, there are extensive feedback connections, with later processing stages providing recursive feedback to earlier stages. This is especially evident in reading, where feedback from lexical-level processes feeds back to letter-level processes (e.g. Heilbron et al 2020 Nature Comms.). This feedback is especially relevant for the reading of words in noisy conditions, as tested in the current manuscript, as lexical knowledge enhances letter representation in the visual cortex (the word superiority effect). This results in neural activity in multiple cortical areas varying over time, changing selectivity within a region at different measured time points (e.g. Woolnough et al 2021 Nature Human Behav.), which in the current study is simplified down to three discrete time windows, each attributed to different spatial locations.

      The presented model needs substantial further development to be able to replicate, both behaviorally and neurally, many of the well-characterized phenomena seen in human behavior and neural recordings that are fundamental hallmarks of human visual word processing. Until that point, it is unclear what novel contributions can be gleaned from correlating low-dimensional model weights from these computational models with human neural data.

    3. Reviewer #3 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      The authors investigate the extent to which the responses of different layers of a vision model (VGG-11) can be linked to the cascade of responses (namely, type-I, type-II, and N400) in the human brain when reading words. To achieve maximal consistency, they add noisy-activations to VGG and finetune it on a character recognition task. In this setup, they observe various similarities between the behavior of VGG and the brain when when presented with various transformations of the words (added noise, font modification, etc).

      Strengths:

      - The paper is well-written and well-presented.

      - The topic studied is interesting.

      - The fact that the response of the CNN on unseen experimental contrasts such as adding noise correlated with previous results on the brain is compelling.

      Weaknesses:

      - The paper is rather qualitative in nature. In particular, the authors show that some resemblance exists between the behavior of some layers and some parts of the brain, but it is hard to quantitively understand how strong the resemblances are in each layer, and the exact impact of experimental settings such as the frequency balancing (which seems to only have a very moderate effect according to Figure 5).

      - The experiments only consider a rather outdated vision model (VGG).

    1. Reviewer #1 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      The authors are looking to assess fragmentomics effects using the Delfi method in exonic regions (Exome sequencing). They argue that this is to make the test more cost effective by extracting this information from exome sequencing.

      Strengths:

      Well written and explained. Different ML approaches tried.

      Weaknesses:

      To assess fragmentomics in WES, it doesn't seem valid to downsample WGS. WES is generated by a different library preparations so to answer this question, it would be necessary to try this in WES samples. The coverage of WES is generally done much higher because this is necessary to assess mutation calls therefore the approach of combining seems flawed because these were not generated by the same experiment.

      The authors do not really show why they included longer fragment sizes in their model that had previously been excluded from the original Delfi publication

      As a proof of concept this is a good idea but really needs a bit of a rethink on the utility and impact.

    2. Reviewer #2 (Public Review):

      Apiwat Sangphukieo et al. have developed machine learning models, exomeDELFI and xDELFI trained on 4 public datasets comprising 721 cfDNA samples. They demonstrate the exomeDELFI model utilizing DNA from whole exome, exhibits higher AUC values compared to the original DELFI model at equal whole-genome sequencing depth for distinguishing patients with and without cancer. Additionally, the xDELFI model, integrating coverage of overall fragments, fragments within 3 fragment size thresholds (short, medium, long) and fragment size distribution (FSD), resulting in 2,952 features, shows improved enhanced prediction performance. Furthermore, the authors have devised a multiclass machine learning model capable of classifying the tissue of origin for eight cancer types, using distinct tissue-specific fragmentomic patterns in cfDNA from whole-exome regions.

      However, the conclusions drawn in this paper rely heavily on cross-validation of machine learning models constructed from hundreds of samples but employing thousands of features, posing a risk of overfitting. Thus, more rigorous validation is warranted.

      (1) The claim in line 18 is misleading. The authors assert that the high cost of whole-genome sequencing (WGS) limited the application of cfDNA in clinic, and therefore imply their model are more cost-efficient by using fewer DNA molecules only originated from exosmic regions. However, WGS is essential in their analysis. Instead of using whole-exome sequencing data, they extracted DNA molecules from WGS data which fall within gene exome regions for feature extraction and downstream analysis, resulting in the same cost for DNA sequencing. In this regard, xDELFI, which selectively uses DNA from exomic regions, demonstrates inferior performance compared to the DELFI model using all WGS data (AUC: 0.896 vs. 0.920) at the same cost using same WGS data.

      (2) The utilization of WGS data from 4 distinct datasets (Jiang et al., 2015, Snyder et al., 2016, Cristiano et al., 2019 and Sun et al., 2019) raises concerns about potential batch effects arising from different DNA library preparation kits (e.g., Kapa Library Preparation Kit (Kapa Biosystems); ThruPLEX DNA-seq kits (Rubicon Genomics); NEBNext DNA Library Prep Kit for Illumina (New England Biolabs); and KAPA HTP Library Preparation Kit (Kapa Biosystems), receptivity). Each kit may induce varying pre-analytical effects on cfDNA fragmentomic features, as evidenced by differing size distribution profiles (e.g., in Fig.4 in Jiang et al., 2015, the cfDNA size distribution profiles show the major peak at ~166 bp with frequency of ~3%. However, in Fig.1B in Snyder et al., 2016, the major peak at ~166 bp is ~2%). To enhance the robustness of their models, the authors should develop sophisticated normalization pipeline to mitigate batch effects and split training and testing sets without mixing any dataset. The author should demonstrate their model performs equally well between training and testing sets and across different datasets.

      (3) The uneven distribution of cancer patients across different datasets introduces another layer of complexity, potentially confounding the analysis of tissue of origin. In line 300, the authors find that liver, colorectal, and lung cancers had the highest prediction accuracy in their models. However, the cancer patient distribution is not even across different datasets (e.g., liver cancer patients are all from Jiang et al., 2015; colorectal cancer patients are mostly from Sun et al., 2019, and Cristiano et al., 2019; and lung cancer patients are mainly from Cristiano et al., 2019. The potential pre-analytical differences in each dataset, coupled with overwhelming cancer types in each database, underscores the importance of addressing these discrepancies to ensure the validity of tissue of origin predictions.

      (4) In Line 145, the authors mention selection of features used in the xDELFI model but did not specify the number of remaining features in each fragmentomic category post-selection. Providing this information would enhance the transparency and reproducibility of their methodology.

    1. Reviewer #1 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      The study used root tips from semi-hydroponic tea seedlings. The strategy followed sequential steps to draw partial conclusions.

      Initially, protoplasts obtained from root tips were processed for scRNA-seq using the 10x Genomics platform. The sequencing data underwent pre-filtering at both the cell and gene levels, leading to 10,435 cells. These cells were then classified into eight clusters using t-SNE algorithms. The present study scrutinised cell typification through protein sequence similarity analysis of homologs of cell type marker genes. The analysis was conducted to ensure accuracy using validated genes from previous scRNA-seq studies and the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. The cluster cell annotation was confirmed using in situ RT-PCR analyses. This methodology provided a comprehensive insight into the cellular differentiation of the sample under study. The identified clusters, spanning 1 to 8, have been accurately classified as xylem, epidermal, stem cell niche, cortex/endodermal, root cap, cambium, phloem, and pericycle cells.

      Then, the authors performed a pseudo-time analysis to validate the cell cluster annotation by examining the differentiation pathways of the root cells. Lastly, they created a differentiation heatmap from the xylem and epidermal cells and identified the biological functions associated with the highly expressed genes.

      Upon thoroughly analysing the scRNA-seq data, the researchers delved into the cell heterogeneity of nitrate and ammonium uptake, transport, and nitrogen assimilation into amino acids. The scRNA-seq data was validated by in situ RT-PCR. It allows the localisation of glutamine and alanine biosynthetic enzymes along the cell clusters and confirms that both constituent the primary amino acid metabolism in the root. Such investigation was deemed necessary due to the paramount importance of these processes in theanine biosynthesis since this molecule is synthesised from glutamine and alanine-derived ethylamine.

      Afterwards, the authors analysed the cell-specific expression patterns of the theanine biosynthesis genes, combining the same molecular tools. They concluded that theanine biosynthesis is more enriched in cluster 8 "pericycle cells" than glutamine biosynthesis (Lines 271-272). However, the statement made in Line 250 states that the highest expression levels of genes responsible for glutamine biosynthesis were observed in Clusters 1, 3, 4, 6, and 8, leading to an unclear conclusion.

      The regulation of theanine biosynthesis by the MYB transcription factor family is well-established. In particular, CsMYB6, a transcription factor expressed specifically in roots, has been found to promote theanine biosynthesis by binding to the promoter of the TSI gene responsible for theanine synthesis. However, their findings indicate that CsMYB6 expression is present in Cluster 3 (SCN), Cluster 6 (cambium cells), and Cluster 1 (xylem cells) but not in Cluster 8 (pericycle cells), which is known for its high expression of CsTSI. Similarly, their scRNA-seq data indicated that CsMYB40 and CsHHO3, which activate and repress CsAlaDC expression, respectively, did not show high expression in Cluster 1 (the cell cluster with high CsAlaDC expression). Based on these findings, the authors hypothesised that transcription factors and target genes are not necessarily always highly expressed in the same cells. Nonetheless, additional evidence is essential to substantiate this presumption.

      Lastly, the authors have discovered a novel transcription factor belonging to the Lateral Organ Boundaries Domain (LBD) family known as CsLBD37 that can co-regulate the synthesis of theanine and the development of lateral roots. The authors observed that CsLBD37 is located within the nucleus and can repress the CsAlaDC promoter's activity. To investigate this mechanism further, the authors conducted experiments to determine whether CsLBD37 can inhibit CsAlaDC expression in vivo. They achieved this by creating transiently CsLBD37-silenced or over-expression tea seedlings through antisense oligonucleotide interference and generation of transgenic hairy roots. Based on their findings, the authors hypothesise that CsLBD37 regulates CsAlaDC expression to modulate the synthesis of ethylamine and theanine.

      Additionally, the available literature suggests that the transcription factors belonging to the Lateral Organ Boundaries Domain (LBD) family play a crucial role in regulating the development of lateral roots and secondary root growth. Considering this, they confirmed that pericycle cells exhibit a higher expression of CsLBD37. A recent experiment revealed that overexpression of CsLBD37 in transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana plants led to fewer lateral roots than the wild type. From this observation, the researchers concluded that CsLBD37 regulates lateral root development in tea plants. I respectfully submit that the current conclusion may require additional research before it can be considered definitive.

      Further efforts should be made to investigate the signalling mechanisms that govern CsLBD37 expression to arrive at a more comprehensive understanding of this process. In the context of Arabidopsis lateral root founder cells, the establishment of asymmetry is regulated by LBD16/ASL18 and other related LBD/ASL proteins, as well as the AUXIN RESPONSE FACTORs (ARF7 and ARF19). This is achieved by activating plant-specific transcriptional regulators such as LBD16/ASL18 (Go et al., 2012, https://doi.org/10.1242/dev.071928). On the other hand, other downstream homologues of LBD genes regulated by cytokinin signalling play a role in secondary root growth (Ye et al., 2021, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2021.05.036). It is imperative to shed light on the hormonal regulation of CsLBD37 expression in order to gain a comprehensive understanding of its involvement in the morphogenic process.

      Strength:

      The manuscript showcases significant dedication and hard work, resulting in valuable insights that serve as a fundamental basis for generating knowledge. The authors skillfully integrated various tools available for this type of study and meticulously presented and illustrated every step involved in the survey. The overall quality of the work is exceptional, and it would be a valuable addition to any academic or professional setting.

      Weaknesses:

      In its current form, the article presents certain weaknesses that need to be addressed to improve its overall quality. Specifically, the authors' conclusions appear to have been drawn in haste without sufficient experimental data and a comprehensive discussion of the entire plant. It is strongly advised that the authors devote additional effort to resolving the abovementioned issues to bolster the article's credibility and dependability. This will ensure that the article is of the highest quality, providing readers with reliable and trustworthy information.

    2. Reviewer #2 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      In their manuscript, Lin et al. present a comprehensive single-cell analysis of tea plant roots. They measured the transcriptomes of 10,435 cells from tea plant root tips, leading to the identification and annotation of 8 distinct cell clusters using marker genes. Through this dataset, they delved into the cell-type-specific expression profiles of genes crucial for the biosynthesis, transport, and storage of theanine, revealing potential multicellular compartmentalization in theanine biosynthesis pathways. Furthermore, their findings highlight CsLBD37 as a novel transcription factor with dual regulatory roles in both theanine biosynthesis and lateral root development.

      Strengths:

      This manuscript provides the first single-cell dataset analysis of roots of the tea plants. It also enables detailed analysis of the specific expression patterns of the gene involved in theanine biosynthesis. Some of these gene expression patterns in roots were further validated through in-situ RT-PCR. Additionally, a novel TF gene CsLBD37's role in regulating theanine biosynthesis was identified through their analysis.

      Weaknesses:

      Several issues need to be addressed:

      (1) The annotation of single-cell clusters (1-8) in Figure 2 could benefit from further improvement. Currently, the authors utilize several key genes, such as CsAAP1, CsLHW, CsWAT1, CsIRX9, CsWOX5, CsGL3, and CsSCR, to annotate cell types. However, it is notable that some of these genes are expressed in only a limited number of cells within their respective clusters, such as CsAAP1, CsLHW, CsGL3, CsIRX9, and CsWOX5. It would be advisable to utilize other marker genes expressed in a higher percentage of cells or employ a combination of multiple marker genes for more accurate annotation.

      (2) Figure 3 could enhance clarity by displaying the trajectory of cell differentiation atop the UMAP, similar to the examples demonstrated by Monocle 3.

      (3) The identification of CsLBD37 primarily relies on bulk RNA-seq data. The manuscript could benefit from elaborating on the role of the single-cell dataset in this context.

      (4) The manuscript's conclusions predominantly rely on the expression patterns of key genes. This reliance might stem from the inherent challenges of tea research, which often faces limitations in exploring molecular mechanisms due to the lack of suitable genetic and molecular methods. The authors may consider discussing this point further in the discussion section.

    3. Reviewer #3 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      Lin et al., performed a scRNA-seq-based study of tea roots, as an example, to elucidate the biosynthesis and regulatory processes for theanine, a root-specific secondary metabolite, and established the first map of tea roots comprised of 8 cell clusters. Their findings contribute to deepening our understanding of the regulation of the synthesis of important flavor substances in tea plant roots. They have presented some innovative ideas.

      It is notable that the authors - based on single-cell analysis results - proposed that TFs and target genes are not necessarily always highly expressed in the same cells. Many of the important TFs they previously identified, along with their target genes (CsTSI or CsAlaDC), were not found in the same cell cluster. Therefore, they proposed a model in which the theanine biosynthesis pathway occurs via multicellular compartmentation and does not require high co-expression levels of transcription factors and their target genes within the same cell cluster. Since it is not known whether the theanine content is absolutely high in the cell cluster 1 containing a high CsAlaDC expression level (due to the lack of cell cluster theanine content determination, which may be a current technical challenge), it is difficult to determine whether this non-coexpressing cell cluster 1 is a precise regulatory mechanism for inhibiting theanine content in plants. In fact, there are actually a small number of cells where TFs and CsAlaDC are simultaneously highly expressed, but the quantity is insufficient to form a separate cluster. However, these few cells may be sufficient to meet the current demands for theanine synthesis. This possibility may better align with some previous experiments and validation results in this study. Moreover, I feel that under normal conditions, plants may not mobilize a large number of cells to synthesize a particular substance. Perhaps, cell cluster 1 is actually a type of cell that inhibits the synthesis of theanine, aiming to prevent excessive theanine production? I do not oppose the model proposed by the author, but I feel there is a possibility as I mentioned. If it seems reasonable, the author may consider adding it to an appropriate position in the discussion.

    1. Reviewer #1 (Public Review):

      In this study, Sarver and colleagues carried out an exhaustive analysis of the functioning of various components (Complex I/II/IV) of the mitochondrial electron transport chain (ETC) using a real-time cell metabolic analysis technique (commonly referred as Seahorse oxygen consumption rate (OCR) assay). The authors aimed to generate an atlas of ETC function in about 3 dozen tissue types isolated from all major mammalian organ systems. They used a recently published improvised method by which ETC function can be quantified in freshly frozen tissues. This method enabled them to collect data from almost all organ systems from the same mouse and use many biological replicates (10 mice/experiment) required for an unbiased and statistically robust analysis. Moreover, they studied the influence of sex (male and female) and aging (young adult and old age) on ETC function in these organ systems. The main findings of this study are (1) cells in the heart and kidneys have very active ETC complexes compared to other organ systems, (2) the sex of the mice has little influence on the ETC function, and (3) aging undermined the mitochondrial function in most tissue, but surprisingly in some tissue aging promoted the activity of ETC complexes (e.g., Quadriceps, plantaris muscle, and Diaphragm). Although this study provides a comprehensive outlook on the ETC function in various tissues, the main caveat is that it's too technical and descriptive. The authors didn't invest much effort in putting their findings in the context of the biological function of the tissue analyzed, i.e., some tissues might be more glycolytic than others and have low ETC activity. Also, it is unclear what slight changes in the activity of one or the other ETC complex mean in terms of mitochondrial ATP production. Likely, these small changes reported do not affect the mitochondrial respiration. With such a detailed dataset, the study falls short of deriving more functionally relevant conclusions about the heterogeneity of mitochondrial function in various tissues. In the current format, the readers get lost in the large amount of data presented in a technical manner. Also, it is highly recommended that all the raw data and the values be made available as an Excel sheet (or other user-friendly formats) as a resource to the community.

      Major concerns

      (1) In this study, the authors used the method developed by Acin-Perez and colleagues (EMBO J, 2020) to analyze ETC complex activities in mitochondria derived from the snap-frozen tissue samples. However, the preservation of cellular/mitochondrial integrity in different types of tissues after being snap-frozen was not validated. Additionally, the conservation of mitochondrial respiration in snap-frozen tissues might differ, especially in those derived from old mice. For example, quadriceps (young male/female), plantaris (young male/female), intestinal segments (duodenum), and pancreas preparations show almost no activity (nearly flat OCR in Seahorse assays). For such a comprehensive study, the author must at least validate those tissues where the OCR plots looked suboptimal with the mitochondrial preparations derived from the fresh tissue. Since aging has been identified as the most important effector in this study, it is essential to validate how aging affects respiration in various fresh frozen tissues. Such analysis will ensure that the results presented are not due to the differential preservation of the mitochondrial respiration in the frozen tissue. In addition, such validations will further strengthen the conclusions and promote the broad usability of this "new" method.

      (2) In this study, the authors sampled the maximal activity of ETC complex I, II, and IV, but throughout the manuscript, they discussed the data in the context of mitochondrial function. However, it is unclear how the changes in CI, CII, and CIV activity affect overall mitochondrial function (if at all) and how small changes seen in the maximal activity of one or more complexes affect the efficiency and efficacy of ATP production (OxPhos). The authors report huge variability between the activity of different complexes - in some tissues all three complexes (CI, CII, and CIV) and often in others, just one complex was affected. For example, as presented in Figure 4, there is no difference in CI activity in the hippocampus and cerebellum, but there is a slight change in CII and CIV activity. In contrast, in heart atria, there is a change in the activity of CI but not in CII and CIV. However, the authors still suggest that there is a significant difference in mitochondrial activity (e.g., "Old males showed a striking increase in mitochondrial activity via CI in the heart atria....reduced mitochondrial respiration in the brain cortex..." - Lines 5-7, Page 9). Until and unless a clear justification is provided, the authors should not make these broad claims on mitochondrial respiration based on small changes in the activity of one or more complexes (CI/CII/CIV). With such a data-heavy and descriptive study, it is confusing to track what is relevant and what is not for the functioning of mitochondria.

      (3) What do differences in the ETC complex CI, CII, and CIV activity in the same tissue mean? What role does the differential activity of these complexes (CI, CII, and CIV) play in mitochondrial function? What do changes in Oxphos mean for different tissues? Does that mean the tissue (cells involved) shift more towards glycolysis to derive their energy? In the best world, a few experiments related to the glycolytic state of the cells would have been ideal to solidify their finding further. The authors could have easily used ECAR measurements for some tissues to support their key conclusions.

      (4) The authors further analyzed parameters that significantly changed across their study (Figure 7, 98 data points analyzed). The main caveat of such analysis is that some tissue types would be represented three or even more times (due to changes in the activity of all three complexes - CI, CII, and CIV, and across different ages and sexes), and some just once. Such a method of analysis will skew the interpretation towards a few over-represented organ/tissue systems. Perhaps the authors should separately analyze tissue where all three complexes are affected from those with just one affected complex.

      (5) The current protocol does not provide cell-type-specific resolution and will be unable to identify the cellular source of mitochondrial respiration. This becomes important, especially for those organ systems with tremendous cellular heterogeneity, such as the brain. The authors should discuss whether the observed changes result from an altered mitochondria respiratory capacity or if changes in proportions of cell types in the different conditions studied (young vs. aged) might also contribute to differential mitochondrial respiration.

      (6) Another critical concern of this study is that the same datasets were repeatedly analyzed and reanalyzed throughout the study with almost the same conclusion - namely, aging affects mitochondrial function, and sex-specific differences are limited to very few organs. Although this study has considerable potential, the authors missed the chance to add new insights into the distinct characteristics of mitochondrial activity in various tissue and organ systems. The author should invest significant efforts in putting their data in the context of mitochondrial function.

    2. Reviewer #2 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      The authors utilize a new technique to measure mitochondrial respiration from frozen tissue extracts, which goes around the historical problem of purifying mitochondria prior to analysis, a process that requires a fair amount of time and cannot be easily scaled up.

      Strengths:

      A comprehensive analysis of mitochondrial respiration across tissues, sexes, and two different ages provides foundational knowledge needed in the field.

      Weaknesses:

      While many of the findings are mostly descriptive, this paper provides a large amount of data for the community and can be used as a reference for further studies. As the authors suggest, this is a new atlas of mitochondrial function in mouse. The inclusion of a middle aged time point and a slightly older young point (3-6 months) would be beneficial to the study.

    3. Reviewer #3 (Public Review):

      The aim of the study was to map, a) whether different tissues exhibit different metabolic profiles (this is known already), what differences are found between female and male mice and how the profiles changes with age. In particular, the study recorded the activity of respirasomes, i.e. the concerted activity of mitochondrial respiratory complex chains consisting of CI+CIII2+CIV, CII+CIII2+CIV or CIV alone.

      The strength is certainly the atlas of oxidative metabolism in the whole mouse body, the inclusion of the two different sexes and the comparison between young and old mice. The measurement was performed on frozen tissue, which is possible as already shown (Acin-Perez et al, EMBO J, 2020).

      Weakness:

      The assay reveals the maximum capacity of enzyme activity, which is an artificial situation and may differ from in vivo respiration, as the authors themselves discuss. The material used was a very crude preparation of cells containing mitochondria and other cytosolic compounds and organelles. Thus, the conditions are not well defined and the respiratory chain activity was certainly uncoupled from ATP synthesis. Preparation of more pure mitochondria and testing for coupling would allow evaluation of additional parameters: P/O ratios, feedback mechanism, basal respiration, and ATP-coupled respiration, which reflect in vivo conditions much better. The discussion is rather descriptive and cautious and could lead to some speculations about what could cause the differences in respiration and also what consequences these could have, or what certain changes imply.

      Nevertheless, this study is an important step towards this kind of analysis.

    1. Reviewer #1 (Public Review):

      Summary

      Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) progression is accelerated by oxidative stress and apoptosis. Eugenol (EUG) is a natural compound previously documented as anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative, and anti-apoptotic. In this manuscript by Jiang et al., the authors study the effects of EUG on T1DM in MIN6 insulinoma cells and a mouse model of chemically induced T1DM. The authors show that EUG increases nuclear factor E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) levels. This results in a reduction of pancreatic beta-cell damage, apoptosis, oxidative stress markers, and a recovery of insulin secretion. The authors highlight these effects as indicative of the therapeutic potential of EUG in managing T1DM.

      Strengths

      Relevant, timely, and addresses an interesting question in the field. The authors consistently observe enhanced beta cell functionality following EUG treatment, which makes the compound a promising candidate for T1DM therapy.

      Weaknesses

      The in vivo experiments have too few biological replicates. With an n=3 (as all figure legends indicate) in complex mouse studies such as these, drawing robust conclusions becomes challenging. It is important to reproduce these results in a larger cohort, to validate the conclusions of the authors. Another big concern is the lack of quantifications and statistical analysis throughout the manuscript. Although the authors claim statistical significance in various experiments, the limited information provided makes it difficult to verify. The authors use vague and minimal descriptions of their experiments, which further reduces the reader's comprehension and the reproducibility of the experiments. Finally, the use of Min6 cells as a model for pancreatic beta cells is a strong limitation of this study. Future studies should seek to reproduce these findings in a more translational model and use more relevant in vitro cell systems (eg. Islets).

    2. Reviewer #2 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      In this manuscript, the authors consider the effects of eugenol (EUG), a plant-produced substance known to reduce oxidative stress in various cellular contexts via Nrf2, in alleviating the effects of streptozotocin (STZ), a known rodent beta cell toxin. They claim that EUG treatment would be useful for T1D therapy.

      Strengths:

      The experiments shown are sufficiently clear and rather convincing in documenting that eugenol can revert the effects of streptozotocin on animal physiology as well as beta cell oxidative stress and cell death via activation of Nrf2.

      Weaknesses:

      In my view, there are major concerns with the basic premises of the manuscript.

      (1) While oxidative stress may be implicated in T1D they are neither the primary nor the main reason for autoimmune beta cell destruction. In T1DM, ER stress rather than oxidative stress is the main intracellular mediator of cell death. Thus, the abstract statement that 'oxidative stress plays a major role in T1D' is an exaggeration.

      (2) Streptozotocin induces beta cell death through mechanisms that only partially overlap with autoimmune beta cell destruction. The main players ie beta cell / immune system crosstalk and T-cell mediated cell death are not present in the STZ model.

      In short, because the interplay between the immune system and beta cell-intrinsic factors that trigger and accelerate the disease is completely missing, STZ treatment cannot be used as a T1DM model when beta cell demise mechanisms are concerned. The statement that STZ-treated mice are, in this context, a T1DM model, is misleading.

      There are inconsistencies in the manuscript. Mechanistically, the manuscript remains at a rather superficial level demonstrating that the eugenol effects are mediated by Nrf2 upregulation and a downregulation of its partner inhibitor protein Keap1. How is eugenol penetrating the cell, is there a receptor that could be potentially targeted? Are there intermediary proteins that convey the effect to the Nrf2/Keap1 complex or is eugenol directly disrupting their interaction? What are direct downstream Nrf2 effectors? Besides, streptozotocin is also a powerful DNA alkylating agent. Are these effects mitigated by EUG?

    3. Reviewer #3 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      This study by Jiang et al. aims to establish the streptozotocin (STZ)-induced type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) mouse model in vivo and the STZ-induced pancreatic β cell MIN6 cell model in vitro to explore the protective effects of Eugenol (EUG) on T1DM. The authors tried to elucidate the potential mechanism by which EUG inhibits the NRF2-mediated anti-oxidative stress pathway. Overall, this study is well executed with solid data, offering an intriguing report from animal studies for a potential new treatment strategy for T1DM.

      Strengths:

      The in vivo efficacy study is comprehensive and solid. Given that STZ-induced T1DM is a devastating and harsh model, the in vivo efficacy of this compound is really impressive.

      Weaknesses:

      The Mechanism is linked with the anti-oxidant property of the compound, which is common for many natural compounds, such as flavonoids and polyphenol. However, rarely, this kind of compound has been successfully developed into therapeutics in clinical usage. Indeed, if that is the case, Vitamin C or Vitamin E could be used here as the positive control.

    1. Reviewer #1 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      In this manuscript, the authors used a coarse-grained DNA model (cgNA+) to explore how DNA sequences and CpG methylation/hydroxymethylation influence nucleosome wrapping energy and the probability density of optimal nucleosomal configuration. Their findings indicate that both methylated and hydroxymethylated cytosines lead to increased nucleosome wrapping energy. Additionally, the study demonstrates that methylation of CpG islands increases the probability of nucleosome formation.

      Strengths:

      The major strength of this method is that the model explicitly includes elastic constraints on the positions of phosphate groups facing a histone octamer, as DNA-histone binding site constraints. The authors claim that their model enhances the accuracy and computational efficiency and allows comprehensive calculations of DNA mechanical properties and deformation energies.

      Weaknesses:

      A significant limitation of this study is that the parameter sets for the methylated and hydroxymethylated CpG steps in the cgNA+ model are derived from all-atom molecular dynamics (MD) simulations that suggest that both methylated and hydroxymethylated cytosines increase DNA stiffness and nucleosome wrapping energy (Pérez A, et al. Biophys J. 2012; Battistini, et al. PLOS Comput Biol. 2021). It could predispose the coarse-grained model to replicate these findings. Notably, conflicting results from other all-atom MD simulations, such as those by Ngo T in Nat. Commun. 2016, shows that hydroxymethylated cytosines increase DNA flexibility, contrary to methylated cytosines. If the cgNA+ model was trained on these later parameters or other all-atom force fields, different conclusions might be obtained regarding the effects of methylated and hydroxymethylation on nucleosome formation.

      Despite the training parameters of the cgNA+ model, the results presented in the manuscript indicate that methylated cytosines increase both DNA stiffness and nucleosome wrapping energy. However, when comparing nucleosome occupancy scores with predicted nucleosome wrapping energies and optimal configurations, the authors find that methylated CGIs exhibit higher nucleosome occupancies than unmethylated ones, which seems to contradict their findings from the same paper which showed that increased stiffness should reduce nucleosome formation affinity. In the manuscript, the authors also admit that these conclusions "apparently runs counter to the (perhaps naive) intuition that high nucleosome forming affinity should arise for fragments with low wrapping energy". Previous all-atom MD simulations (Pérez A, et al. Biophys J. 2012; Battistini, et al. PLOS Comput Biol. 202; Ngo T, et al. Nat. Commun. 20161) show that the stiffer DNA upon CpG methylation reduces the affinity of DNA to assemble into nucleosomes or destabilizes nucleosomes. Given these findings, the authors need to address and reconcile these seemingly contradictory results, as the influence of epigenetic modifications on DNA mechanical properties and nucleosome formation are critical aspects of their study.<br /> Understanding the influence of sequence-dependent and epigenetic modifications of DNA on mechanical properties and nucleosome formation is crucial for comprehending various cellular processes. The authors' study, focusing on these aspects, will definitely garner interest from the DNA methylation research community.

    2. Reviewer #2 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      This study uses a coarse-grained model for double-stranded DNA, cgNA+, to assess nucleosome sequence affinity. cgNA+ coarse-grains DNA on the level of bases and accounts also explicitly for the positions of the backbone phosphates. It has been proven to reproduce all-atom MD data very accurately. It is also ideally suited to be incorporated into a nucleosome model because it is known that DNA is bound to the protein core of the nucleosome via the phosphates.

      It is still unclear whether this harmonic model parametrized for unbound DNA is accurate in describing DNA inside the nucleosome. Previous models by other authors, using more coarse-grained models of DNA, have been rather successful in predicting base pair sequence-dependent nucleosome behavior. This is at least the case as far as DNA shape is concerned whereas assessing the role of DNA bendability (something this paper focuses on) has been consistently challenging in all nucleosome models, to my knowledge.

      It is thus of major interest whether this more sophisticated model is also more successful in handling this issue. As far as I can tell the work is technically sound and properly accounts for not only the energy required in wrapping DNA but also entropic effects, namely the change in entropy that DNA experiences when going from the free state to the bound state. The authors make an approximation here which seems to me to be a reasonable first step.

      Of interest is also that the authors have the parameters at hand to study the effect of methylation of CpG-steps. This is especially interesting as it allows us to study a scenario where changes in the physical properties of base pair steps via methylation might influence nucleosome positioning and stability in a cell-type-specific way.

      Overall, this is an important contribution to the question of how the sequence affects nucleosome positioning and affinity. The findings suggest that cgNA+ has something new to offer. But the problem is complex, also on the experimental side, so many questions remain open.

      Strengths:

      The authors use their state-of-the-art coarse-grained DNA model which seems ideally suited to be applied to nucleosomes as it accounts explicitly for the backbone phosphates.

      Weaknesses:

      (1) According to the abstract the authors consider two "scalar measures of the sequence-dependent propensity of DNA to wrap into nucleosomes". One is the bending energy and the other, is the free energy. Specifically in the latter, the authors take the difference between the free energies of the wrapped and the free DNA. Whereas the entropy of the latter can be calculated exactly, they assume that the bound DNA always has the same entropy (independent of sequence) in its more confined state. The problem is the way in which this is written (e.g. below Eq. 6) which is hard to understand. The authors should mention that the negative of Eq. 6 is what physicists call free energy, namely especially the free energy difference between bound and free DNA.

      (2) In Eq. 5 the authors introduce penalty coefficients c_i. They write that values are "set by numerical experiment to keep distances ... within the ranges observed in the PDB structure, while avoiding sterical clashes in DNA." This is rather vague, especially since it is unclear to me what type of sterical clashes might occur. Figure 1 shows then a comparison between crystal structures and simulated structures. They are reasonably similar but standard deviations in the fluctuations of the simulation are smaller than in the experiments. Why did the authors not choose smaller c_i-values to have a better fit? Do smaller values lead to unwanted large fluctuations that would lead to steric clashes between the two DNA turns? I also wonder what side views of the nucleosomes look like (experiments and simulations) and whether in this side view larger fluctuations of the phosphates can be observed in the simulation that would eventually lead to turn-turn clashes for smaller c_i-values.

    3. Reviewer #3 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      In this study, the authors utilize biophysical modeling to investigate differences in free energies and nucleosomal configuration probability density of CpG islands and nonmethylated regions in the genome. Toward this goal, they develop and apply the cgNA+ coarse-grained model, an extension of their prior molecular modeling framework.

      Strengths:

      The study utilizes biophysical modeling to gain mechanistic insight into nucleosomal occupancy differences in CpG and nonmethylated regions in the genome.

      Weaknesses:

      Although the overall study is interesting, the manuscripts need more clarity in places. Moreover, the rationale and conclusion for some of the analyses are not well described.

    1. Reviewer #1 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      HMGCS1, 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA synthase1 is predicted to be involved in Acetyl-CoA metabolic process and mevalonate-cholesterol pathway. To induce diet-induced diabetes, they fed wild-type littermates either a standard chow (Control) or a high fat-high sucrose (HFHG) diet, where the diet composition consisted of 60% fat, 20% protein, and 20% carbohydrate (H10060, Hfkbio, China). The dietary regimen was maintained for 14 weeks. Throughout this period, body weight and fasting blood glucose (FBG) levels were measured on a weekly basis. Although the authors induced diabetes with a diet also rich in fat, the cholesterol concentration or metabolism was not investigated. After the treatment, were the animals with endothelial dysfunction? How was the blood pressure of the animals?

      Strengths:

      To explore the potential role of circHMGCS1 in regulating endothelial cell function, the authors cloned exons 2-7 of HMGCS1 into lentiviral vectors for ectopic overexpression of circHMGCS1 (Figure S2). The authors could use this experiment as a concept proof and investigate the glucose concentration in the cell culture medium. Is the pLV-circ HMGCS1 transduction in HUVEC increasing the glucose release? (Line 163)

      Weaknesses:

      (1) Pg 20. The cells were transfected with miR-4521 mimics, miR-inhibitor, or miR-NC and incubated for 24 hours. Subsequently, the cells were treated with PAHG for another 24 hours.

      Were the cells transfected with lipofectanine? The protocol or the lipofectamine kit used should be described. The lipofectamine protocol suggests using an incubation time of 72 hours. Why did the authors incubate for only 24 hours?

      If the authors did the mimic and inhibitor curves, these should be added to the supplementary figures. Please, describe the miRNA mimic and antagomir concentration used in cell culture.

      (2) Pg 20, line 507. What was the miR-4521 agomiR used to treatment of the animals?

      (3) Figure 1B. The results are showing the RT-qPCR for only 5 circRNA, however, the results show 48 circRNAs were upregulated, and 18 were downregulated (Figure S1D). Why were the other cicRNAs not confirmed? The circRNAs upregulated with high expression are not necessarily with the best differential expression comparing control vs. PAHG groups. Furthermore, Figure 1A and S1D show circRNAs downregulated also with high expression. Why were these circRNAs not confirmed?

      (4) Figure 1B shows the relative circRNAs expression. Were host genes expressed in the same direction?

      (5) Line 128. The circRNA RT-qPCR methodology was not described. The methodology should be described in detail in the Methods Session.

      (6) Line 699. The relative gene expression was calculated using the 2-ΔΔCt method. This is not correct, the expression for miRNA and gene expression are represented in percentage of control.

      (7) Line 630. Detection of ROS for tissue and cells. The methodology for tissue was described, but not for cells.

      (8) Line 796. RNA Fluorescent In Situ Hybridization (RNA-FISH). Figure 1F shows that the RNA-Fluorescence in situ hybridization (RNA-FISH) confirmed the robust expression of cytoplasmic circHMGCS1 in HUVECs (Figure 1F). However, in the methods, lines 804 and 805 described the probes targeting circMAP3K5 and miR-4521 were applied to the sections. Hybridization was performed in a humid chamber at 37{degree sign}C overnight. Is it correct?

      (9) Line 14. Fig 1-H. The authors discuss qRT-PCR demonstrated that circHMGCS1 displayed a stable half-life exceeding 24 h, whereas the linear transcript HMGCS1 mRNA had a half-life less than 8 h (Figure 1H).<br /> Several of the antibodies may contain trace amounts of RNases that could degrade target RNA and could result in loss of RNA hybridization signal or gene expression. Thus, all of the solutions should contain RNase inhibitors. The HMGCS1 mRNA expression could be degraded over the incubation time (0-24hs) leading to incorrect results. Moreover, in the methods is not mentioned if the RNAse inhibitor was used. Please, could the authors discuss and provide information?

      (10) Further experiments demonstrated that the overexpression of circHMGCS1 stimulated the expression of adhesion molecules (VCAM1, ICAM1, and ET-1) (Figures 2B and 2C), suggesting that circHMGCS1 is involved in VED. How were these genes expressed in the RNA-seq?

      (11) Line 256. By contrast, the combined treatment of circHMGCS1 and miR-4521 agomir did not significantly affect the body weight and blood glucose levels. OGTT and ITT experiments demonstrated that miR-4521 agomir considerably enhanced glucose tolerance and insulin resistance in diabetic mice (Figures 5C, 5D, and Figures S5B and S5C). Why didi the miR-4521 agomir treatment considerably enhance glucose tolerance and insulin resistance in diabetic mice, but not the blood glucose levels?

      (12) In the experiments related to pull-down, the authors performed Biotin-coupled miR-4521 or its mutant probe, which was employed for circHMGCS1 pull-down. This result only confirms the Luciferase experiments shown in Figure 4A. The experiment that the authors need to perform is pull-down using a biotin-labeled antisense oligo (ASO) targeting the circHMGCS1 backsplice junction sequence followed by pulldown with streptavidin-conjugated magnetic beads to capture the associated miRNAs and RNA binding proteins (RBPs). Also, the ASO pulldown assay can be coupled to miRNA RT-qPCR and western blotting analysis to confirm the association of miRNAs and RBPs predicted to interact with the target circRNA.

      (13) In Figure 5, the authors showed that the results suggest that miR-4521 can inhibit the occurrence of diabetes, whereas circHMGCS1 specifically dampens the function of miR-4521, weakening its protective effect against diabetes. In this context, what are the endogenous target genes for the miR-4521 that could be regulating diabetes?

      (14) In the western blot of Figure 5, the β-actin band appears to be different from the genes analyzed. Was the same membrane used for the four proteins? The Ponceau S membrane should be provided.

      (15) Why did the authors use AAV9, since the AAV9 has a tropism for the liver, heart, skeletal muscle, and not to endothelial vessels?

    2. Reviewer #2 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      The authors observed an aggravated vascular endothelial dysfunction upon overexpressing circHMGCS1 and inhibiting miR-4521. This study discovered that circHMGCS1 promotes arginase 1 expression by sponging miR-4521, which accelerated the impairment of vascular endothelial function.

      Strengths:

      The study is systematic and establishes the regulatory role of the circHMGCS1-miR-4521 axis in diabetes-induced cardiovascular diseases.

      Weaknesses:

      (1) The authors selected the miR-4521 as the target based on their reduced expression upon circHMGCS1 overexpression. Since the miRNA level is downregulated, the downstream target gene is expected to be upregulated even in the absence of circRNA. The changes in miRNA expression opposite to the levels of target circRNA could be through Target RNA-Directed MicroRNA Degradation. In addition, miRNA can also be stabilized by circRNAs. Hence, selecting miRNA targets based on opposite expression patterns and concluding miRNA sponging by circRNA needs further evidence of direct interactions.

      (2) The majority of the experiments were performed with an overexpression vector which can generate a lot of linear RNAs along with circRNAs. The linear RNAs produced by the overexpression vectors can have a similar effect to the circRNA due to sequence identity.

      (3) There is a lack of data of circHMGCS1 silencing and its effect on target miRNA & mRNAs.

    1. Reviewer #1 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      This is a well-written and detailed manuscript showing important results on the molecular profile of 4 different cohorts of female patients with lung cancer.

      The authors conducted comprehensive multi-omic profiling of air-pollution-associated LUAD to study the roles of the air pollutant BaP. Utilizing multi-omic clustering and mutation-informed interface analysis, potential novel therapeutic strategies were identified.

      Strengths:

      The authors used several different methods to identify potential novel targets for therapeutic interventions.

      Weaknesses:

      Statistical test results need to be provided in comparisons between cohorts.

    2. Reviewer #2 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      Zhang et al. performed a proteogenomic analysis of lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD) in 169 female never-smokers from the Xuanwei area (XWLC) in China. These analyses reveal that XWLC is a distinct subtype of LUAD and that BaP is a major risk factor associated with EGFR G719X mutations found in the XWLC cohort. Four subtypes of XWLC were classified with unique features based on multi-omics data clustering.

      Strengths:

      The authors made great efforts in performing several large-scale proteogenomic analyses and characterizing molecular features of XWLCs. Datasets from this study will be a valuable resource to further explore the etiology and therapeutic strategies of air-pollution-associated lung cancers, particularly for XWLC.

      Weaknesses:

      (1) While analyzing and interpreting the datasets, however, this reviewer thinks that authors should provide more detailed procedures of (i) data processing, (ii) justification for choosing methods of various analyses, and (iii) justification of focusing on a few target gene/proteins in the datasets for further validation in the main text.

      (2) Importantly, while providing the large datasets, validating key findings is minimally performed, and surprisingly there is no interrogation of XWLC drug response/efficacy based on their findings, which makes this manuscript descriptive and incomplete rather than conclusive. For example, testing the efficacy of XWLC response to afatinib combined with other drugs targeting activated kinases in EGFR G719X mutated XWLC tumors would be one way to validate their datasets and new therapeutic options.

      (3) The authors found MAD1 and TPRN are novel therapeutic targets in XWLC. Are these two genes more frequently mutated in one subtype than the other 3 XWLC subtypes? How these mutations could be targeted in patients?

      (4) In Figures 2a and b: while Figure 2a shows distinct genomic mutations among each LC cohort, Figure 2b shows similarity in affected oncogenic pathways (cell cycle, Hippo, NOTCH, PI3K, RTK-RAS, and WNT) between XWLC and TNLC/CNLC. Considering that different genomic mutations could converge into common pathways and biological processes, wouldn't these results indicate commonalities among XWLC, TNLC, and CNLC? How about other oncogenic pathways not shown in Figure 2b?

      (5) In Figure 2c, how and why were the four genes (EGFR, TP53, RBM10, KRAS) selected? What about other genes? In this regard, given tumor genome sequencing was done, it would be more informative to provide the oncoprints of XWLC, TSLC, TNLC, and CNLC for complete genomic alteration comparison.

      (6) Supplementary Table 11 shows a number of mutations at the interface and length of interface between a given protein-protein interaction pair. Such that, it does not provide what mutation(s) in a given PPI interface is found in each LC cohort. For example, it fails to provide whether MAD1 R558H and TPRN H550Q mutations are found significantly in each LC cohort.

      (7) Figure 7c and d are simulation data not from an actual binding assay. The authors should perform a biochemical binding assay with proteins or show that the mutation significantly alters the interaction to support the conclusion.

    3. Reviewer #3 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      The manuscript from Zhang et al. utilizes a multi-omics approach to analyze lung adenocarcinoma cases in female never smokers from the Xuanwei area (XWLC cohort) compared with cases associated with smoking or other endogenous factors to identify mutational signatures and proteome changes in lung cancers associated with air pollution. Mutational signature analysis revealed a mutation hotspot, EGFR-G719X, potentially associated with BaP exposure, in 20% of the XWLC cohort. This correlated with predicted MAPK pathway activations and worse outcomes relative to other EGFR mutations. Multi-omics clustering, including RNA-seq, proteomics, and phosphoproteomics identified 4 clusters with the XWLC cohort, with additional feature analysis pathway activation, genetic differences, and radiomic features to investigate clinical diagnostic and therapeutic strategy potential for each subgroup. The study, which nicely combines multi-modal omics, presents potentially important findings, that could inform clinicians with enhanced diagnosis and therapeutic strategies for more personalized or targeted treatments in lung adenocarcinoma associated with air pollution. The authors successfully identify four distinct clusters with the XWLC cohort, with distinct diagnostic characteristics and potential targets. However, many validating experiments must be performed, and data supporting BaP exposure linkage to XWLC subtypes is suggestive but incomplete to conclusively support this claim. Thus, while the manuscript presents important findings with the potential for significant clinical impact, the data presented are incomplete in supporting some of the claims and would benefit from validation experiments.

      Strengths:

      Integration of omics data from multimodalities is a tremendous strength of the manuscript, allowing for cross-modal comparison/validation of results, functional pathway analysis, and a wealth of data to identify clinically relevant case clusters at the transcriptomic, translational, and post-translational levels. The inclusion of phosphoproteomics is an additional strength, as many pathways are functional and therefore biologically relevant actions center around activation of proteins and effectors via kinase and phosphatase activity without necessarily altering the expression of the genes or proteins.

      Clustering analysis provides clinically relevant information with strong therapeutic potential both from a diagnostic and treatment perspective. This is bolstered by the individual microbiota, radiographic, wound healing, outcomes, and other functional analyses to further characterize these distinct subtypes.

      Visually the figures are well-designed and presented and for the most part easy to follow. Summary figures/histograms of proteogenomic data, and specifically highlighted genes/proteins are well presented.

      Molecular dynamics simulations and 3D binding analysis are nice additions.

      While I don't necessarily agree with the authors' interpretation of the microbiota data, the experiment and results are very interesting, and clustering information can be gleaned from this data.

      Weaknesses:

      Statistical methods for assessing significance may not always be appropriate.

      Necessary validating experiments are lacking for some of the major conclusions of the paper.

      Many of the conclusions are based on correlative or suggestive results, and the data is not always substantive to support them.

      Experimental design is not always appropriate, sometimes lacking necessary controls or large disparity in sample sizes.

      Conclusions are sometimes overstated without validating measures, such as in BaP exposure association with the identified hotspot, kinase activation analysis, or the EMT function.

    1. Reviewer #1 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      This manuscript reports the substrate-bound structure of SiaQM from F. nucleatum, which is the membrane component of a Neu5Ac-specific Tripartite ATP-dependent Periplasmic (TRAP) transporter. Until recently, there was no experimentally derived structural information regarding the membrane components of the TRAP transporter, limiting our understanding of the transport mechanism. Since 2022, there have been 3 different studies reporting the structures of the membrane components of Neu5Ac-specific TRAP transporters. While it was possible to narrow down the binding site location by comparing the structures to proteins of the same fold, a structure with substrate bound has been missing. In this work, the authors report the Na+-bound state and the Na+ plus Neu5Ac state of FnSiaQM, revealing information regarding substrate coordination. In previous studies, 2 Na+ ion sites were identified. Here, the authors also tentatively assign a 3rd Na+ site. The authors reconstitute the transporter to assess the effects of mutating the binding site residues they identified in their structures. Of the 2 positions tested, only one of them appears to be critical to substrate binding.

      Strengths:

      The main strength of this work is the capture of the substrate-bound state of SiaQM, which provides insight into an important part of the transport cycle.

      Weaknesses:

      The main weakness is the lack of experimental validation of the structural findings. The authors identified the Neu5Ac binding site, but only tested 2 residues for their involvement in substrate interactions, which was very limited. The authors tentatively identified a 3rd Na+ binding site, which if true would be an impactful finding, but this site was not tested for its contribution to Na+ dependent transport, and the authors themselves report that the structural evidence is not wholly convincing. This lack of experimental validation undermines the confidence of the findings. However, the reporting of these new data is important as it will facilitate follow-up studies by the authors or other researchers.

    2. Reviewer #2 (Public Review):

      In this exciting new paper from the Ramaswamy group at Purdue, the authors provide a new structure of the membrane domains of a tripartite ATP-independent periplasmic (TRAP) transporter for the important sugar acid, N-acetylneuraminic acid or sialic acid (Neu5Ac). While there have been a number of other structures in the last couple of years (the first for any TRAP-T) this is the first to trap the structure with Neu5Ac bound to the membrane domains. This is an important breakthrough as in this system the ligand is delivered by a substrate-binding protein (SBP), in this case, called SiaP, where Neu5Ac binding is well studied but the 'hand over' to the membrane component is not clear. The structure of the membrane domains, SiaQM, revealed strong similarities to other SBP-independent Na+-dependent carriers that use an elevator mechanism and have defined Na+ and ligand binding sites. Here they solve the cryo-EM structure of the protein from the bacterial oral pathogen Fusobacterium nucleatum and identify a potential third (and theoretically predicted) Na+ binding site but also locate for the first time the Neu5Ac binding site. While this sits in a region of the protein that one might expect it to sit, based on comparison to other transporters like VcINDY, it provides the first molecular details of the binding site architecture and identifies a key role for Ser300 in the transport process, which their structure suggests coordinates the carboxylate group of Neu5Ac. The work also uses biochemical methods to confirm the transporter from F. nucleatum is active and similar to those used by selected other human and animal pathogens and now provides a framework for the design of inhibitors of these systems.

      The strengths of the paper lie in the locating of Neu5Ac bound to SiaQM, providing important new information on how TRAP transporters function. The complementary biochemical analysis also confirms that this is not an atypical system and that the results are likely true for all sialic acid-specific TRAP systems.

      The main weakness is the lack of follow-up on the identified binding site in terms of structure-function analysis. While Ser300 is shown to be important, only one other residue is mutated and a much more extensive analysis of the newly identified binding site would have been useful.

    3. Reviewer #3 (Public Review):

      The manuscript by Goyal et al reports substrate-bound and substrate-free structures of a tripartite ATP-independent periplasmic (TRAP) transporter from a previously uncharacterized homolog, F. nucleatum. This is one of the most mechanistically fascinating transporter families, by means of its QM domain (the domain reported in his manuscript) operating as a monomeric 'elevator', and its P domain functioning as a substrate-binding 'operator' that is required to deliver the substrate to the QM domain; together, this is termed an 'elevator with an operator' mechanism. Remarkably, previous structures had not demonstrated the substrate Neu5Ac bound. In addition, they confirm the previously reported Na+ binding sites and report a new metal binding site in the transporter, which seems to be mechanistically relevant. Finally, they mutate the substrate binding site and use proteoliposomal uptake assays to show the mechanistic relevance of the proposed substrate binding residues.

      The structures are of good quality, the functional data is robust, the text is well-written, and the authors are appropriately careful with their interpretations. Determination of a substrate-bound structure is an important achievement and fills an important gap in the 'elevator with an operator' mechanism. Nevertheless, I have concerns with the data presentation, which in its current state does not intuitively demonstrate the discussed findings. Furthermore, the structural analysis appears limited, and even slight improvements in data processing and resulting resolution would greatly improve the authors' claims. I have several suggestions to hopefully improve the clarity and quality of the manuscript.

    1. Reviewer #1 (Public Review):

      In this manuscript by Wu et al., the authors present the high resolution cryoEM structures of the WT Kv1.2 voltage-gated potassium channel. Along with this structure the authors have solved several structures of mutants or experimental conditions relevant to the slow inactivation process that these channels undergo and which is not yet completely understood.

      One of the main findings is the determination of the structure of a mutant (W366F) that is thought to correspond to the slow inactivated state. These experiments confirm results in similar mutants in different channels from Kv1.2 that indicate that inactivation is associated with an enlarged selectivity filter.

      Another interesting structure is the complex of Kv1.2 with the pore blocking toxin Dendrotoxin 1. The results shown in the revised version indicate that the mechanism of block is similar to that of related blocking-toxins, in which a lysine residue penetrates in the pore. Surprisingly, in these new structures, the bound toxin results in a pore with empty external potassium binding sites.

      The quality of the structural data presented in this revised manuscript is very high and allows for unambiguous assignment of side chains. The conclusions are supported by the data. This is an important contribution that should further our understanding of voltage-dependent potassium channel gating. In the revised version, the authors have addressed my previous specific comments, which are appended below.

      (1) In the main text's reference to Figure 2d residues W18' and S22' are mentioned but are not labeled in the insets.

      (2) On page 8 there is a discussion of how the two remaining K+ ions in binding sites S3 and S4 prevent permeation K+ in molecular dynamics. However, in Shaker, inactivated W434F channels can sporadically allow K+ permeation with normal single-channel conductance but very reduced open times and open probability at not very high voltages.

      (3) The structures of WT in the absence of K+ shows a narrower selectivity filter, however Figure 4 does not convey this finding. In fact, the structure in Figure 4B is constructed in such an angle that it looks as if the carbonyl distances are increased, perhaps this should be fixed. Also, it is not clear how the distances between carbonyls given in the text on page 12 are measured. Is it between adjacent or kitty-corner subunits?

      (4) It would be really interesting to know the authors opinion on the driving forces behind slow inactivation. For example, potassium flux seems to be necessary for channels to inactivate, which might indicate a local conformational change is the trigger for the main twisting events proposed here.

    2. Reviewer #2 (Public Review):

      Cryo_EM structures of the Kv1.2 channel in the open, inactivated, toxin complex and in Na+ are reported. The structures of the open and inactivated channels are merely confirmatory of previous reports. The structures of the dendrotoxin bound Kv1.2 and the channel in Na+ are new findings that will of interest to the general channel community.

      Review of the resubmission:

      I thank the authors for making the changes in their manuscript as suggested in the previous review. The changes in the figures and the additions to the text do improve the manuscript. The new findings from a further analysis of the toxin channel complex are welcome information on the mode of the binding of dendrotoxin.

      A few minor concerns:<br /> (1) Line 93-96, 352: I am not sure as to what is it the authors are referring to when they say NaK2P. It is either NaK or NaK2K. I don't think that it has been shown in the reference suggested that either of these channels change conformation based on the K+ concentration. Please check if there is a mistake and that the Nichols et. al. reference is what is being referred to.

      (2) Line 365: In the study by Cabral et. al., Rb+ ions were observed by crystallography in the S1, S3 and S4 site, not the S2 site. Please correct.

    3. Reviewer #3 (Public Review):

      Wu et al. present cryo-EM structures of the potassium channel Kv1.2 in open, C-type inactivated, toxin-blocked and presumably sodium-bound states at 3.2 Å, 2.5 Å, 2.8 Å, and 2.9 Å. The work builds on a large body of structural work on Kv1.2 and related voltage-gated potassium channels. The manuscript presents a plethora of structural work, and the authors are commended on the breadth of the studies. The structural studies are well-executed. Although the findings are mostly confirmatory, they do add to the body of work on this and related channels. Notably, the authors present structures of DTx-bound Kv1.2 and of Kv1.2 in a low concentration of potassium (which may contain sodium ions bound within the selectivity filter). These two structures add considerable new information. The DTx structure has been markedly improved in the revised version and the authors arrive at well-founded conclusions regarding its mechanism of block. Regarding the Na+ structure, the authors claim that the structure with sodium has "zero" potassium - I caution them to make this claim. It is likely that some K+ persists in their sample and that some of the density in the "zero potassium" structure may be due to K+ rather than Na+. This can be clarified by revisions to the text and discussion. I do not think that any additional experiments are needed. Overall, the manuscript is well-written, a nice addition to the field, and a crowning achievement for the Sigworth lab.

      Most of this reviewer's initial comments have been addressed in the revised manuscript. Some comments remain that could be addressed by revisions of the text.

      Specific comments on the revised version:<br /> Quotations indicate text in the manuscript.<br /> (1) "While the VSD helices in Kv1.2s and the inactivated Kv1.2s-W17'F superimpose very well at the top (including the S4-S5 interface described above), there is a general twist of the helix bundle that yields an overall rotation of about 3o at the bottom of the VSD."

      Comment: This seemed a bit confusing. I assume the authors aligned the complete structures - the differences they indicate seem to be slight VSD repositioning relative to the pore rather than differences between the VSD conformations themselves. The authors may wish to clarify. As they point out in the subsequent paragraph, the VSDs are known to be loosely associated with the pore.

      (2) Comment: The modeling of DTx into the density is a major improvement in the revision. Figure 3 displays some interactions between the toxin and Kv1.2 - additional side views of the toxin and the channel might allow the reader to appreciate the interactions more fully. The overall fit of the toxin structure into the density is somewhat difficult to assess from the figure. (The authors might consider using ChimeraX to display density and model in this figure.)

      (3) "We obtained the structure of Kv1.2s in a zero K+ solution, with all potassium replaced with sodium, and were surprised to find that it is little changed from the K+ bound structure, with an essentially identical selectivity filter conformation (Figure 4B and Figure 4-figure supplement 1)."

      Comment: It should be noted in the manuscript that K+ and Na+ ions cannot be distinguished by the cryo-EM studies - the densities are indistinguishable. The authors are inferring that the observed density corresponds to Na+ because the protein was exchanged from K+ into Na+ on a gel filtration (SEC) column. It is likely that a small amount of K+ remains in the protein sample following SEC. I caution the authors to claim that there is zero K+ in solution without measuring the K+ content of the protein sample. Additionally, it should be considered that K+ may be present in the blotting paper used for cryo-EM grid preparation (our laboratory has noted, for example, a substantial amount of Ca2+ in blotting paper). The affinity of Kv1.2 for K+ has not been determined, to my knowledge - the authors note in the Discussion that the Shaker channel has "tight" binding for K+. It seems possible that some portion of the density in the selectivity filter could be due to residual K+. This caveat should be clearly stated in the main text and discussion. More extensive exchange into Na+, such as performing the entire protein purification in NaCl, or by dialysis (as performed for obtaining the structure of KcsA in low K+ by Y. Zhou et al. & Mackinnon 2001), would provide more convincing removal of K+, but I suspect that the Kv1.2 protein would not have sufficient biochemical stability without K+ to endure this treatment. One might argue that reduced biochemical stability in NaCl could be an indication that there was a meaningful amount of K+ in the final sample used for cryo-EM (or in the particles that were selected to yield the final high-resolution structure).

      (4) Referring to the structure obtained in NaCl: "The ion occupancy is also similar, and we presume that Kv1.2 is a conducting channel in sodium solution."

      Comment: Stating that "Kv1.2 is a conducting channel in sodium solution" and implying that conduction of Na+ is achieved by an analogous distribution of ion binding sites as observed for K+ are strong statements to make - and not justified by the experiments provided. Electrophysiology would be required to demonstrate that the channel conducts sodium in the absence of K+. More complete ionic exchange, better control of the ionic conditions (Na+ vs K+), and affinity measurements for K+ would be needed to determine the distribution of Na+ in the filter (as mentioned above). At minimum, the authors should revise and clarify what the intended meaning of the statement "we presume that Kv1.2 is a conducting channel in sodium solution". As mentioned above, it seems possible/likely that a portion of the density in the filter may be due to K+.

    1. Reviewer #1 (Public Review):

      General comments:

      This paper investigates the pH-specific enzymatic activity of mouse acidic mammalian chitinase (AMCase) and aims to elucidate its function's underlying mechanisms. The authors employ a comprehensive approach, including hydrolysis assays, X-ray crystallography, theoretical calculations of pKa values, and molecular dynamics simulations to observe the behavior of mouse AMCase and explore the structural features influencing its pH-dependent activity.

      The study's key findings include determining kinetic parameters (Kcat and Km) under a broad range of pH conditions, spanning from strong acid to neutral. The results reveal pH-dependent changes in enzymatic activity, suggesting that mouse AMCase employs different mechanisms for protonation of the catalytic glutamic acid residue and the neighboring two aspartic acids at the catalytic motif under distinct pH conditions.<br /> The novelty of this research lies in the observation of structural rearrangements and the identification of pH-dependent mechanisms in mouse AMCase, offering a unique perspective on its enzymatic activity compared to other enzymes. By investigating the distinct protonation mechanisms and their relationship to pH, the authors reveal the adaptive nature of mouse AMCase, highlighting its ability to adjust its catalytic behavior in response to varying pH conditions. These insights contribute to our understanding of the pH-specific enzymatic activity of mouse AMCase and provide valuable information about its adaptation to different physiological conditions.<br /> Overall, the study enhances our understanding of the pH-dependent activity and catalytic properties of mouse AMCase and sheds light on its adaptation to different physiological pH environments.

      Comments on revised version:

      In their revised manuscript, the authors have made significant efforts to address the reviewers' comments.

    1. Reviewer #3 (Public Review):

      In this manuscript, the authors explored the interaction between the pattern recognition receptor MDA5 and 5'ppp-RNA in the Miiuy croaker. They found that MDA5 can serve as a substitute for RIG-I in detecting 5'ppp-RNA of Siniperca cheilinus rhabdovirus (SCRV) when RIG-I is absent in Miiuy croaker. Furthermore, they observed MDA5's recognition of 5'ppp-RNA in chickens (Gallus gallus), a species lacking RIG-I. Additionally, the authors documented that MDA5's functionality can be compromised by m6A-mediated methylation and degradation of MDA5 mRNA, orchestrated by the METTL3/14-YTHDF2/3 regulatory network in Miiuy croaker during SCRV infection. This impairment compromises the innate antiviral immunity of fish, facilitating SCRV's immune evasion. These findings offer valuable insights into the adaptation and functional diversity of innate antiviral mechanisms in vertebrates.

    2. Reviewer #1 (Public Review):

      This study offers valuable insights into host-virus interactions, emphasizing the adaptability of the immune system. Readers should recognize the significance of MDA5 in potentially replacing RIG-I and the adversarial strategy employed by 5'ppp-RNA SCRV in degrading MDA5 mediated by m6A modification in different species, further indicating that m6A is a conservational process in the antiviral immune response.

      However, caution is warranted in extrapolating these findings universally, given the dynamic nature of host-virus dynamics. The study provides a snapshot into the complexity of these interactions, but further research is needed to validate and extend these insights, considering potential variations across viral species and environmental contexts. Additionally, it is noted that the main claims put forth in the manuscript are only partially supported by the data presented.

    3. Reviewer #2 (Public Review):

      This manuscript by Geng et al. aims to demonstrate that MDA5 compensates for the loss of RIG-I in certain species, such as teleofish miiuy croacker. The authors use siniperca cheats rhabdovirus (SCRV) and poly(I:C) to demonstrate that these RNA ligands induce an IFN response in an MDA5-dependent manner in m.miiuy derived cells. Furthermore, they show that MDA5 requires its RD domain to directly bind to SCRV RNA and to induce an IFN response. They use in vitro synthesized RNA with a 5'triphosphate (or lacking a 5'triphosphate as a control) to demonstrate that MDA5 can directly bind to 5'-triphosphorylated RNA. The second part of the paper is devoted to m6A modification of MDA5 transcripts by SCRV as an immune evasion strategy. The authors demonstrate that the modification of MDA5 with m6A is increased upon infection and that this causes increased decay of MDA5 and consequently a decreased IFN response.

      - One critical caveat in this study is that it does not address whether ppp-SCRV RNA induces IRF3-dimerization and type I IFN induction in an MDA5 dependent manner. The data demonstrate that mmiMDA5 can bind to triphosphorylated RNA (Fig. 4D). In addition, triphosphorylated RNA can dimerize IRF3 (4C). However, a key experiment that ties these two observations together is missing.<br /> - Specifically, although Fig. 4C demonstrates that 5'ppp-SCRV RNA induces dimerization (unlike its dephosphorylated or capped derivatives), this does not proof that this happens in an MDA5-dependent manner. This experiment should have been done in WT and siMDA5 MKC cells side-by-side to demonstrate that the IRF3 dimerization that is observed here is mediated by MDA5 and not by another (unknown) protein. The same holds true for Fig. 4J.<br /> - Fig 1C-D: these experiments are not sufficiently convincing, i.e. the difference in IRF3 dimerization between VSV-RNA and VSV-RNA+CIAP transfection is minimal.<br /> - Fig. 2N and 2O: why did the authors decide to use overexpression of MDA5 to assess the impact of STING on MDA5-mediated IFN induction? This should have been done in cells transfected with SCRV or polyIC (as in 2D-G) or in infected cells (as in 2H-K). In addition, it is a pity that the authors did not include an siMAVS condition alongside siSTING, to investigate the relative contribution of MAVS versus STING to the MDA5-mediated IFN response. Panel O suggests that the IFN response is completely dependent on STING, which is hard to envision.<br /> - Fig. 3F and 3G: where are the mock-transfected/infected conditions? Given that ectopic expression of hMDA5 is known to cause autoactivation of the IFN pathway, the baseline ISG levels should be shown (ie. In absence of a stimulus or infection). Normalization of the data does not reveal whether this is the case and is therefore misleading.<br /> - Fig. 4F and 4G: can the authors please indicate in the figure which area of the gel is relevant here? The band that runs halfway the gel? If so, the effects described in the text are not supported by the data (i.e. the 5'OH-SCRV and 5'pppGG-SCRV appear to compete with Bio-5'ppp-SCRV as well as 5'ppp-SCRV).<br /> - My concerns about Fig. 5 remain unaltered. The fact that MDA5 is an ISG explains its increased expression and increased methylation pattern. The authors should at the very least mention in their text that MDA5 is an ISG and that their observations may be partially explained by this fact.

    1. Reviewer #1 (Public Review):

      This manuscript presents a pipeline incorporating a deep generative model and peptide property predictors for the de novo design of peptide sequences with dual antimicrobial/antiviral functions. The authors synthesized and experimentally validated three peptides designed by the pipeline, demonstrating antimicrobial and antiviral activities, with one leading peptide exhibiting antimicrobial efficacy in animal models. However, the manuscript as it stands, has several major limitations on the computational side.

      Major issues:

      (1) The choice of GAN as the generative model. There are multiple deep generative frameworks (e.g., language models, VAEs, and diffusion models), and GANs are known for their training difficulty and mode collapse. Could the authors elaborate on the specific rationale behind choosing GANs for this task?

      (2) The pipeline is supposed to generate peptides showing dual properties. Why were antiviral peptides not used to train the GAN? Would adding antiviral peptides into the training lead to a higher chance of getting antiviral generations?

      (3) For the antimicrobial peptide predictor, where were the contact maps of peptides sourced from?

      (4) Morgan fingerprint can be used to generate amino acid features. Would it be better to concatenate ESM features with amino acid-level fingerprints and use them as node features of GNN?

      (5) Although the number of labeled antiviral peptides may be limited, the input features (ESM embeddings) should be predictive enough when coupled with shallow neural networks. Have the authors tried simple GNNs on antiviral prediction and compared the prediction performance to those of existing tools?

      (6) Instead of using global alignment to get match scores, the authors should use local alignment.

      (7) How novel are the validated peptides? The authors should run a sequence alignment to get the most similar known AMP for each validated peptide, and analyze whether they are similar.

      (8) Only three peptides were synthesized and experimentally validated. This is too few and unacceptable in this field currently. The standard is to synthesize and characterize several dozens of peptides at the very least to have a robust study.

    2. Reviewer #2 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      This study marks a noteworthy advance in the targeted design of AMPs, leveraging a pioneering deep-learning framework to generate potent bifunctional peptides with specificity against both bacteria and viruses. The introduction of a GAN for generation and a GCN-based AMPredictor for MIC predictions is methodologically robust and a major stride in computational biology. Experimental validation in vitro and in animal models, notably with the highly potent P076 against a multidrug-resistant bacterium and P002's broad-spectrum viral inhibition, underpins the strength of their evidence. The findings are significant, showcasing not just promising therapeutic candidates, but also demonstrating a replicable means to rapidly develop new antimicrobials against the threat of drug-resistant pathogens.

      Strengths:

      The de novo AMP design framework combines a generative adversarial network (GAN) with an AMP predictor (AMPredictor), which is a novel approach in the field. The integration of deep generative models and graph-encoding activity regressors for discovering bifunctional AMPs is cutting-edge and addresses the need for new antimicrobial agents against drug-resistant pathogens. The in vitro and in vivo experimental validations of the AMPs provide strong evidence to support the computational predictions. The successful inhibition of a spectrum of pathogens in vitro and in animal models gives credibility to the claims. The discovery of effective peptides, such as P076, which demonstrates potent bactericidal activity against multidrug-resistant A. baumannii with low cytotoxicity, is noteworthy. This could have far-reaching implications for addressing antibiotic resistance. The demonstrated activity of the peptides against both bacterial and viral pathogens suggests that the discovered AMPs have a wide therapeutic potential and could be effective against a range of pathogens.

    3. Reviewer #3 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      Dong et al. described a deep learning-based framework of antimicrobial (AMP) generator and regressor to design and rank de novo antimicrobial peptides (AMPs). For generated AMPs, they predicted their minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) using a model that combines the Morgan fingerprint, contact map, and ESM language model. For their selected AMPs based on predicted MIC, they also use a combination of antiviral peptide (AVP) prediction models to select AMPs with potential antiviral activity. They experimentally validated 3 candidates for antimicrobial activity against S. aureus, A. baumannii, E. coli, and P. aeruginosa, and their toxicity on mouse blood and three human cell lines. The authors select their most promising AMP (P076) for in vivo experiments in A. baumannii-infected mice. They finally test the antiviral activity of their 3 AMPs against viruses.

      Strengths:

      -The development of de novo antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) with the novelty of being bifunctional (antimicrobial and antiviral activity).

      -Novel, combined approach to AMP activity prediction from their amino acid sequence.

      Weaknesses:

      -I missed justification on why training AMPs without information of their antiviral activity would generate AMPs that could also have antiviral activity with such high frequency (32 out of 104).

      -The justification for AMP predictor advantages over previous tools lacks rationale, comparison with previous tools (e.g., with the very successful AMP prediction approach described by Ma et al. 10.1038/s41587-022-01226-0), and proper referencing.

      -Experimental validation of three de novo AMPs is a very low number compared to recent similar studies.

      -I have concerns regarding the in vivo experiments including i) the short period of reported survival compared to recent studies (0.1038/s41587-022-01226-0, 10.1016/j.chom.2023.07.001, 0.1038/s41551-022-00991-2) and ii) although in Figure 2 f and g statistics have been provided, log scale y-axis would provide a better comparative representation of different conditions.

      -I had difficulty reading the story because of the use of acronyms without referring to their full name for the first time, and incomplete annotation in figures and captions.

    1. Reviewer #1 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      This work shows, based on basic laboratory investigations of in vitro grown bacteria as well as human bone samples, that conventional bacterial culture can substantially underrepresent the quantity of bacteria in infected tissues. This has often been mentioned in the literature, however, relatively limited data has been provided to date. This manuscript compares culture to a digital droplet PCR approach, which consistently showed greater levels of bacteria across the experiments (and for two different strains).

      Strengths:

      Consistency of findings across in vitro experiments and clinical biopsies. There are real-world clinical implications for the findings of this study.

      Weaknesses:<br /> No major weaknesses. Only 3 human samples were analyzed, although the results are compelling.

    2. Reviewer #2 (Public Review):

      In this study, the authors address discrepancies in determining the local bacterial burden in osteomyelitis between that determined by culture and enumeration by DNA-directed assay. Discrepancies between culture and other means of bacterial enumeration are long established and highlighted by Staley and Konopka's classic, "The great plate count anomaly" (1985). Here, the authors first present data demonstrating the emergence of discrepancies between CFU counts and genome copy numbers detected by PCR in S. aureus strains infecting osteocyte-like cells. They go on to demonstrate PCR evidence that S. aureus can be detected in bone samples from sites meeting a widely accepted clinico-pathological definition of osteomyelitis. They conclude their approach offers advantages in quantifying intracellular bacterial load in their in vitro "co-culture" system.

      WEAKNESSES

      (A) My main concern here is the significance of these results outside the model osteocyte system used by this group. Although they carefully avoid over-interpreting their results, there is a strong undercurrent suggesting their approach could enhance aetiologic diagnosis in osteomyelitis and that enumeration of the infecting pathogen might have clinical value. In the first place molecular diagnostics such as 16S rDNA-directed PCR are well established in identifying pathogens that don't grow. Secondly, it is hard to see how enumeration could have value beyond in vitro and animal model studies since serial samples will rarely be available from clinical cases.

      (B) I have further concerns regarding interpretation of the combined bacterial and host cell-directed PCRs against the CFU results. Significance is attached to the relatively sustained genome counts against CFU declines. On the one hand it must be clearly recognised that detection of bacterial genomes does not equate to viable bacterial cells with potential for further replication or production of pathogenic factors. Of equal importance is the potential contribution of extracellular DNA from lysed bacteria and host cells to these results. The authors must clarify what steps, if any, they have taken to eliminate such contributions for both bacteria and host cells. Even the treatment with lysotaphin may have coated their osteocyte cultures with bacterial DNA, contributing downstream to the ddPCR results presented.

      STRENGTHS

      (C) On the positive side, the authors provide clear evidence for the value of the direct buffer extraction system they used as well as confirming the utility of ddPCR for quantification. In addition, the successful application of MinION technology to sequence the EF-Tu amplicons from clinical samples is of interest.

      (D) Moreover, the phenomenology of the infection studies indicating greater DNA than CFU persistence and differences between the strains and the different MOI inoculations are interesting and well-described, although I have concerns regarding interpretation.

    1. Reviewer #1 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      This manuscript by Vuong and colleagues reports a study that pooled data from 3 separate longitudinal study that collectively spanned an observation period of over 15 years. The authors examined for correlation between viraemia measured at various days from illness onset with thrombocytopaenia and severe dengue, according to the WHO 2009 classification scheme. The motivation for this study is both to support the use of viraemia measurement as a prognostic indicator of dengue and also to, when an antiviral drug becomes licensed for use, guide the selection of patients for antiviral therapy. They found that the four DENVs show differences in peak and duration of viraemia and that viraemia levels before day 5 but not those after from illness onset correlated with platelet count and plasma leakage at day 7 onwards. They concluded that the viraemia kinetics call for early measurement of viraemia levels in the early febrile phase of illness.

      Strengths:

      This is a unique study due to the large sample size and longitudinal viraemia measurements in the study subjects. The data addresses a gap in information in the literature, where although it has been widely indicated that viraemia levels are useful when collected early in the course of illness, this is the first time anyone has systematically examined this notion. The inclusion of correlation between rate of viraemia decline and risk of severe dengue/plasma leakage further strengthens the relevance of this paper to those interested in anti-dengue therapeutic research and development.

      Weaknesses:

      The study only analysed data from dengue patients in Vietnam. Moreover, the majority of these patients had DENV-1 infection; few had DENV-4 infection. The data could thus be skewed by the imbalance in the prevalence of the different types of DENV during the period of observation. The use of patient-reported time of symptom onset as a reference point for viraemia measurement is pragmatic although there is subjectivity and thus noise in the data.

    2. Reviewer #2 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      The authors have carried out a comprehensive analysis regarding the kinetics of viraemia and clinical disease severity.

      Strengths:

      The manuscript provides important information, especially regarding the time of clearance of the virus and disease severity.

      Weaknesses:

      Due to the lower number of patients with primary dengue, cannot get an idea regarding viraemia kinetics and disease severity for different serotypes during primary infection.

    1. Reviewer #1 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      Authors previously demonstrated that species-specific variation in primate CD4 impacts its ability to serve as a functional receptor for diverse SIVs. Here, Warren and Barbachano-Guerrero et al. perform population genetics analyses and functional characterization of great ape CD4 with a particular focus on gorillas, which are natural hosts of SIVgor. They first used ancestral reconstruction to derive the ancestral hominin and hominid CD4. Using pseudotyped viruses representing a panel of envelopes from SIVcpz and HIV strains, they find that these ancestral reconstructions of CD4 are more similar to human CD4 in terms of being a broadly susceptible entry receptor (in the context of mediating entry into Cf2Th cells stably expressing human CCR5). In contrast, extant gorilla and chimpanzee CD4 are functional entry receptors for a narrower range of HIV and SIVcpz isolates. Based on these differences, authors next surveyed gorilla sequences and identified several CD4 haplotypes, specifically in the region encoding the CD4 D1 domain, which directly contacts the viral glycoprotein and thus may impact the interaction. Consistent with this possibility, authors demonstrated that gorilla CD4 haplotypes are, on average, less capable of supporting entry than human CD4, and that some are largely unable to function as SIV entry receptors. Interestingly, individual residues found at key positions in the gorilla CD4 D1 when tested in the context of human CD4 reduce entry of some virions pseudotyped with diverse SIVcpz envelopes, suggesting that individual amino acids can in part explain the observed differences across gorilla CD4 haplotypes. Finally, the authors perform statistical tests to infer that CD4 from great apes with endemic SIV (i.e., chimpanzees and gorillas) but not non-reservoirs (i.e., orangutans, bonobos) or recent spillover hosts (i.e., humans), have been subject to selection as a result of pressure from endemic SIV.

      The conclusions of this paper are mostly well supported by data.

      Strengths:

      (1) The functional assays are appropriate to test the stated hypothesis, and the authors use a broad diversity of envelopes from HIV and SIVcpz strains. Authors also partially characterize one potential mechanism of gorilla CD4 resistance - receptor glycosylation at the derived N15 found in 5/6 gorilla haplotypes.

      (2) Ancestral reconstruction provides a particularly interesting aspect of the study, allowing authors to infer the ancestral state of hominid CD4 relative to modern CD4 from gorillas and chimpanzees. This, coupled with evidence supporting SIV-driven selection of gorilla CD4 diversity and the characterization of functional diversity of extant haplotypes provides several interesting findings.

      Weaknesses:

      (3). The major inference of the work is that SIV infection of gorillas drove the observed diversity in gorilla CD4. This is supported by the majority of SNPs being localized to the CD4 D1, which directly interacts with envelope, and the demonstrated functional consequences of that diversity for viral entry. However, SIVgor (to the best of my knowledge) only infects Western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla), and one Gorilla gorilla diehli and three Gorilla beringei graueri individuals were included in the haplotype and allele frequency analyses. The presence of these haplotypes or the presence of similar allele frequencies in Eastern lowland and mountain gorillas would impact this conclusion. It would be helpful for the authors to clarify this point.

      (4) The authors appear to use a somewhat atypical approach to assess intra-population selection to compensate for relatively small numbers of NHP sequences (Fig. 6). However, they do not cite precedence for the robustness of the approach or the practice of grouping sequences from multiple species for the endemic vs other comparison. They also state in the methods that some genes encoded in the locus were removed from the analysis "because they have previously been shown to directly interact with a viral protein." This seems to undercut the analysis, and prevents alternative explanations for the observed diversity in CD4 (e.g., passenger mutations from selection at a neighboring locus).

      (5) Data in Figure 5 is graphed as % infected cells instead of virus titer (TDU/mL). It's unclear why this is the case, and prevents a comparison to data in Figure 2 and Figure 4.

      (6) The lack of pseudotyping with SIVgor envelope is a surprising omission from this study, that would help to contextualize the findings. Similarly, building gorilla CD4 haplotype SNPs onto the hominin ancestor (as opposed to extant human CD4) may provide additional insights that are meaningful towards understanding the evolutionary trajectory of gorilla CD4.

      Comments on revised version:

      In the revised manuscript, the authors more appropriately contextualize conclusions that can be made based on their data versus inferences, which are now much more clearly described in the discussion. The authors also included more references to substantiate claims, additional description of methodology, and provided well-reasoned responses to the weaknesses described in my primary review.

      Re: #3. As the authors point out, we do not know if eastern gorillas were at one time exposed to SIV. The authors use a variety of phylogenetic and functional approaches to infer that SIVcpz is the selective pressure-shaping gorilla CD4. While I agree this is a highly likely scenario, the allelic diversity of CD4 across gorilla subpopulations raises multiple evolutionary scenarios consistent with the data.

      Re: #4. The explanation provided by the authors is reasonable. However, a demonstration that this approach is robust to potential factors that might skew the data (e.g., recombination) is argued but not tested. Part of the concern here is that the study is limited by very small sample sizes, and to the best of my knowledge, grouping sequences from multiple species to make claims about selection is not an established practice. The authors note in their response that they confirmed the existence of CD4 alleles in this study with those identified in 100 gorilla individuals from Russell et al. 2021 (unavailable to the authors at the time of submission) - a re-analysis that includes that data from Russell et al. 2021 would have strengthened the analyses.

    2. Reviewer #2 (Public Review):

      Lentiviral infection of primate species has been linked to the rapid mutational evolution of numerous primate genes that interact with these viruses, including genes that inhibit lentiviruses as well as genes required for viral infection. In this manuscript, Warren et al. provide further support for the diversification of CD4, the lentiviral entry receptor, to resist lentiviral infection in great ape populations. This work builds on their prior publication (Warren et al. 2019, PMCID: PMC6561292 ) and that of other groups (e.g., Russell et al. 2021, PMCID: PMC8020793; Bibollet-Ruche et al. 2019, PMCID: PMC6386711) documenting both sequence and functional diversity in CD4, specifically within (1) the CD4 domain that binds to the lentiviral envelope and (2) great ape populations with endemic lentiviruses. Thus, the paper's finding that gorilla populations exhibit diverse CD4 alleles that differ in their susceptibility to lentiviral infection is well demonstrated both here and in a prior publication.

      Strengths:

      By reconstructing the CD4 sequence from the ancestor of gorillas and chimpanzees, the authors document that modern species have evolved more resistance to (admittedly modern) lentiviruses. They also deconstruct the molecular basis of this resistance by showing that one mutation, which adds a glycosylation site to CD4, is sufficient to confer lentiviral resistance to the susceptible human allele.

      Weaknesses:

      Warren et al. also pursue two novel lines of evidence to suggest that lentiviruses are the causative driver of great ape CD4 diversification, which seems likely from a logical perspective but is difficult to prove. First, they demonstrate that resistance to lentiviral infection is a derived trait in chimpanzees and gorillas, which have been co-evolving with endemic lentiviruses, but not in humans, which only recently acquired HIV. Nevertheless, these three examples are insufficient to prove that derived resistance is not stochastic or due to drift. The argument would be strengthened by demonstrating that bonobo and orangutan CD4, which also do not have endemic lentiviruses, resemble the ancestral and human susceptibility to great-ape-infecting lentiviruses.

      Second, Warren et al. provide a population genetic argument that only endemically infected primates exhibit diversifying selection, again arguing for endemic lentiviruses being the evolutionary driver. The authors compare SNP occurrence in CD4 to neighboring genes, demonstrating that non-synonymous SNP frequency is only elevated in endemically infected species. Moreover, these amino-acid-coding changes are significantly concentrated in the CD4 domain that binds the lentiviral envelope. This is a creative analysis to overcome the problem of very small sample sizes, with very few great ape individuals sequenced. However, the small number of species compared (2-4 in each group) also limits the power of the analysis. Expanding the analysis to Old World Monkey species that do or do not have endemic lentiviruses, as well as great apes, would strengthen this argument.

      Overall, this manuscript lends additional support to a well-documented example of a host-virus arms race: that of lentiviruses and the viral entry receptor.

    1. Joint Public Review:

      The premise of this work carries great potential. Namely, developing a humanized mouse system in which features of adaptive immunity that contribute to inflammatory demyelination can be interrogated will allow for traction into therapeutics currently unavailable to the field. Immediate questions stemming from the current study include the potential effect of ex vivo activation of PBMCs (or individual T and B cells) in vitro prior to transfer as well as the TCR and BCR repertoire of CNS vs peripheral lymphocytes before and after immunization. This group has been thoughtful and clever about their approach (e.g. use of subjects treated with natalizumab), which gives hope that fundamental aspects of pathogenesis will be uncovered by this form of modeling MS disease.

      Multiple sclerosis is an inflammatory and demyelinating disease of the central nervous system where immune cells play an important role in disease pathobiology. Increased incidence of disease in individuals carrying certain HLA class-II genes plus studies in animal models suggests that HLA-DRB1*15 restricted CD4 T cells might be responsible for disease initiation, and other immune cells such as B cells, CD8 T cells, monocytes/macrophages, and dendritic cells (DC) also contribute to disease pathology. However, a direct role of human immune cells in disease is lacking to a lag between immune activation and the first sign of clinical disease. Therefore, there is an emphasis on understanding whether immune cells from HLA-DR15+ MS patients differ from HLA-DR15+ healthy controls in their phenotype and pro-inflammatory capacity. To overcome this, authors have used severely immunodeficient B2m-NOG mice that lack B, T cells and NK cells and have defective innate immune responses and engrafted PBMCs from 3 human donors (HLA-DR15+ MS and HI donors, HLA-DR13+ MS donor) in these B2m-NOG mice to determine whether they can induce CNS inflammation and demyelination like MS.

      The study's strength is the use of PBMCs from HLADRB1-typed MS subjects and healthy control, the use of NOG mice, the characterization of immune subsets (revealing some interesting observations), CNS pathology etc. Weaknesses are lack of phenotype in mice and no disease phenotype even in humanized mice immunized for disease using standard disease induction protocol employed in an animal model of MS, and lack of mechanistic data on why CD8 T cells are more enriched than CD4+ T cells. The last point is important as postmortem human MS patients' brain tissue had been shown to have more CD8+ T cells than CD4+ T cells.

      Thus, this work is an important step in the right direction as previous humanized studies have not used HLA-DRB1 typed PBMCs however the weaknesses as highlighted above are limitations in the model.

    1. Reviewer #1 (Public Review):

      I'll begin by summarizing what I understand from the results presented, and where relevant how my understanding seems to differ from the authors' claims. I'll then make specific comments with respect to points raised in my previous review (below), using the same numbering. Because this is a revision I'll try to restrict comments here to the changes made, which provide some clarification, but leave many issues incompletely addressed.

      As I understand it the main new result here is that certain recurrent network architectures promote emergence of coordinated grid firing patterns in a model previously introduced by Kropff and Treves (Hippocampus, 2008). The previous work very nicely showed that single neurons that receive stable spatial input could 'learn' to generate grid representations by combining a plasticity rule with firing rate adaptation. The previous study also showed that when multiple neurons were synaptically connected their grid representations could develop a shared orientation, although with the recurrent connectivity previously used this substantially reduced the grid scores of many of the neurons. The advance here is to show that if the initial recurrent connectivity is consistent with that of a line attractor then the network does a much better job of establishing grid firing patterns with shared orientation.

      Beyond this point, things become potentially confusing. As I understand it now, the important influence of the recurrent dynamics is in establishing the shared orientation and not in its online generation. This is clear from Figure S3, but not from an initial read of the abstract or main text. This result is consistent with Kropff and Treves' initial suggestion that 'a strong collateral connection... from neuron A to neuron B... favors the two neurons to have close-by fields... Summing all possible contributions would result in a field for neuron B that is a ring around the field of neuron A.' This should be the case for the recurrent connections now considered, but the evidence provided doesn't convincingly show that attractor dynamics of the circuit are a necessary condition for this to arise. My general suggestion for the authors is to remove these kind of claims and to keep their interpretations more closely aligned with what the results show.

      Major (numbered according to previous review)

      (1) Does the network maintain attractor dynamics after training? Results now show that 'in a trained network without feedforward Hebbian learning the removal of recurrent collaterals results in a slight increase in gridness and spacing'. This clearly implies that the recurrent collaterals are not required for online generation of the grid patterns. This point needs to be abundantly clear in the abstract and main text so the reader can appreciate that the recurrent dynamics are important specifically during learning.<br /> (2) Additional controls for Figure 2 to test that it is connectivity rather than attractor dynamics (e.g. drawing weights from Gaussian or exponential distributions). The authors provide one additional control based on shuffling weights. However, this is far from exhaustive and it seems difficult on this basis to conclude that it is specifically the attractor dynamics that drive the emergence of coordinated grid firing.<br /> (3) What happens if recurrent connections are turned off? The new data clearly show that the recurrent connections are not required for online grid firing, but this is not clear from the abstract and is hard to appreciate from the main text.<br /> (4) This is addressed, although the legend to Fig. S2D could provide an explanation / definition for the y-axis values.<br /> (5) Given the 2D structure of the network input it perhaps isn't surprising that the network generates 2D representations and this may have little to do with its 1D connectivity. The finding that the networks maintain coordinated grids when recurrent connections are switched off supports my initial concern and the authors explanation, to me at least, remain confusing. I think it would be helpful to consider that the connectivity is specifically important for establishing the coordinated grid firing, but that the online network does not require attractor dynamics to generate coordinated grid firing.<br /> (6) Clarity of the introduction. This is somewhat clearer, but I wonder if it would be hard for someone not familiar with the literature to accurately appreciate the key points.<br /> (7) Remapping. I'm not sure why this is ill posed. It seems the proposed model can not account for remapping results (e.g. Fyhn et al. 2007). Perhaps the authors could just clearly state this as a limitation of the model (or show that it can do this).

      Previous review:

      This study investigates the impact of recurrent connections on grid fields generated in networks trained by adjusting the strength of feedforward spatial inputs. The main result is that if the recurrent connections in the network are given a 1D continuous attractor architecture, then aligned grid firing patterns emerge in the network following training. Detailed analyses of the low dimensional dynamics of the resulting networks are then presented. The simulations and analyses appear carefully carried out.

      The feedforward model investigated by the authors (previously introduced by Kropff & Treves, 2008) is an interesting and important alternative to models that generate grid firing patterns through 2-dimensional continuous attractor network (CAN) dynamics. However, while both classes of model generate grid fields, in making comparisons the manuscript is insufficiently clear about their differences. In particular, in the CAN models grid firing is a direct result of their 2-D architecture, either a torus structure with a single activity bump (e.g. Guanella et al. 2007, Pastoll et al. 2013), or sheet with multiple local activity bumps (Fuhs & Touretzky, Burak & Fiete, 2009). In these models, spatial input can anchor the grid representations but is not necessary for grid firing. By contrast, in the feedforward models neurons transform existing spatial inputs into a grid representation. Thus, the two classes of model implement different computations; CANs path integrate, while the feedforward models transform spatial representations. A demonstration that a 1D CAN generates coordinated 2D grid fields would be surprising and important, but its less clear why coordination between grids generated by the feedforward mechanism would be surprising. As written, it's unclear which of these claims the study is trying to make. If the former, then the conclusion doesn't appear well supported by the data as presented, if the latter then the results are perhaps not so unexpected, and the imposed attractor dynamics may still not be relevant.

      Whichever claim is being made, it could be helpful to more carefully evaluate the model dynamics given predictions expected for the different classes of model. Key questions that are not answered by the manuscript include:

      - At what point is the 1D attractor architecture playing a role in the models presented here? Is it important specifically for training or is it also contributing to computation in the fully trained network?

      - Is an attractor architecture required at all for emergence of population alignment and gridness? Key controls missing from Figure 2 include training on networks with other architectures. For example, one might consider various architectures with randomly structured connectivity (e.g. drawing weights from exponential or Gaussian distributions).

      - In the trained models do the recurrent connections substantially influence activity in the test conditions? Or after training are the 1D dynamics drowned out by feedforward inputs?

      - What is the low dimensional structure of the input to the network? Can the apparent discrepancy between dimensionality of architecture and representation be resolved by considering structure of the inputs, e.g. if the input is a 2 dimensional representation of location then is it surprising that the output is too?

      - What happens to representations in the trained networks presented when place cells remap? Is the 1D manifold maintained as expected for CAN models, or does it reorganise?

    2. Reviewer #3 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      The paper proposes an alternative to the attractor hypothesis, as an explanation for the fact that grid cell population activity patterns (within a module) span a toroidal manifold. The proposal is based on a class of models that were extensively studied in the past, in which grid cells are driven by synaptic inputs from place cells in the hippocampus. The synapses are updated according to a Hebbian plasticity rule. Combined with an adaptation mechanism, this leads to patterning of the inputs from place cells to grid cells such that the spatial activity patterns are organized as an array of localized firing fields with hexagonal order. I refer to these models below as feedforward models.

      It has already been shown by Si, Kropff, and Treves in 2012 that recurrent connections between grid cells can lead to alignment of their spatial response patterns. This idea was revisited by Urdapilleta, Si, and Treves in 2017. Thus, it should already be clear that in such models, the population activity pattern spans a manifold with toroidal topology. The main new contributions in the present paper are (i) in considering a form of recurrent connectivity that was not directly addressed before. (ii) in applying topological analysis to simulations of the model. (iii) in interpreting the results as a potential explanation for the observations of Gardner et al.

      Strengths:

      The exploration of learning in a feedforward model, when recurrent connectivity in the grid cell layer is structured in a ring topology, is interesting. The insight that this not only align the grid cells in a common direction but also creates a correspondence between their intrinsic coordinate (in terms of the ring-like recurrent connectivity) and their tuning on the torus is interesting as well, and the paper as a whole may influence future theoretical thinking on the mechanisms giving rise to the properties of grid cells.

      Weaknesses:

      (1) In Si, Kropff and Treves (2012) recurrent connectivity was dependent on the head direction tuning, in addition to the location on a 2d plane, and therefore involved a ring structure. Urdapilleta, Si, and Treves considered connectivity that depends on the distance on a 2d plane. The novelty here is that the initial connectivity is structured uniquely according to latent coordinates residing on a ring.

      (2) The paper refers to the initial connectivity within the grid cell layer as one that produces an attractor. However, it is not shown that this connectivity, on its own, indeed sustains persistent attractor states. Furthermore, it is not clear whether this is even necessary to obtain the results of the model. It seems possible that (possibly weaker) connections with ring topology, that do not produce attractor dynamics but induce correlations between neurons with similar locations on the ring would be sufficient to align the spatial response patterns during the learning of feedforward weights.

      (3) Given that all the grid cells are driven by an input from place cells that span a 2d manifold, and that the activity in the grid cell network settles on a steady state which is uniquely determined by the inputs, it is expected that the manifold of activity states in the grid cell layer, corresponding to inputs that locally span a 2d surface, would also locally span a 2d plane. The result is not surprising. My understanding is that this result is derived as a prerequisite for the topological analysis, and it is therefore quite technical.

      (4) The modeling is all done in planar 2d environments, where the feedforward learning mechanism promotes the emergence of a hexagonal pattern in the single neuron tuning curve. Under the scenario in which grid cell responses are aligned (i.e. all neurons develop spatial patterns with the same spacing and orientation) it is already quite clear, even without any topological analysis that the emerging topology of the population activity is a torus.

      However, the toroidal topology of grid cells in reality has been observed by Gardner et al also in the wagon wheel environment, in sleep, and close to boundaries (whereas here the analysis is restricted to the a sub-region of the environment, far away from the walls). There is substantial evidence based on pairwise correlations that it persists also in various other situations, in which the spatial response pattern is not a hexagonal firing pattern. It is not clear that the mechanism proposed in the present paper would generate toroidal topology of the population activity in more complex environments. In fact, it seems likely that it will not do so, and this is not explored in the manuscript.

      (5) Moreover, the recent work of Gardner et al. demonstrated much more than the preservation of the topology in the different environments and in sleep: the toroidal tuning curves of individual neurons remained the same in different environments. Previous works, that analyzed pairwise correlations under hippocampal inactivation and various other manipulations, also pointed towards the same conclusion. Thus, the same population activity patterns are expressed in many different conditions. In the present model, this preservation across environments is not expected. Moreover, the results of Figure 6 suggest that even across distinct rectangular environments, toroidal tuning curves will not be preserved, because there are multiple possible arrangements of the phases on the torus which emerge in different simulations.

      (6) In real grid cells, there is a dense and fairly uniform representation of all phases (see the toroidal tuning of grid cells measured by Gardner et al). Thus, the highly clustered phases obtained in the model (Fig. S1) seem incompatible with the experimental reality. I suspect that this may be related to the difficulty in identifying the topology of a torus in persistent homology analysis based on the transpose of the matrix M.

      (7) The motivations stated in the introduction came across to me as weak. As now acknolwledged in the manuscript, attractor models can be fully compatible with distortions of the hexagonal spatial response patterns - they become incompatible with this spatial distortions only if one adopts a highly naive and implausible hypothesis that the attractor state is updated only by path integration. While attractor models are compatible with distortions of the spatial response pattern, it is very difficult to explain why the population activity patterns are tightly preserved across multiple conditions without a rigid two-dimentional attractor structure. This strong prediction of attractor models withstood many experimental tests - in fact, I am not aware of any data set where substantial distortions of the toroidal activity manifold were observed, despite many attempts to challenge the model. This is the main motivation for attractor models. The present model does not explain these features, yet it also does not directly offer an explanation for distortions in the spatial response pattern.

      (8). There is also some weakness in the mathematical description of the dynamics. Mathematical equations are formulated in discrete time steps, without a clear interpretation in terms of biophysically relevant time scales. It appears that there are no terms in the dynamics associated with an intrinsic time scale of the neurons or the synapses (a leak time constant and/or synaptic time constants). I generally favor simple models without lots of complexity, yet within this style of modelling, the formulation adopted in this manuscript is unconventional, introducing a difficulty in interpreting synaptic weights as being weak or strong, and a difficulty in interpreting the model in the context of other studies.

      In my view, the weaknesses discussed above limit the ability of the model, as it stands, to offer a compelling explanation for the toroidal topology of grid cell population activity patterns, and especially the rigidity of the manifold across environments and behavioral states. Still, the work offers an interesting way of thinking on how the toroidal topology might emerge.

    1. Reviewer #1 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      This study examined the role of statistical learning in pain perception, suggesting that individuals' expectations about a sequence of events influence their perception of pain intensity. They incorporated the components of volatility and stochasticity into their experimental design and asked participants (n = 27) to rate the pain intensity, their prediction, and their confidence level. They compared two different inference strategies: Bayesian inference vs. heuristic-employing Kalman filters and model-free reinforcement learning. They showed that the expectation-weighted Kalman filter best explained the temporal pattern of participants' ratings. These results provide evidence for a Bayesian inference perspective on pain, supported by a computational model that elucidates the underlying process.

      Strengths:

      - Their experimental design included a wide range of input intensities and the levels of volatility and stochasticity. With elaborated computational models, they provide solid evidence that statistical learning shapes pain.

      Weaknesses:

      - Relevance to clinical pain: While the authors underscore the relevance of their findings to chronic pain, they did not include data pertaining to clinical pain.

    2. Reviewer #3 (Public Review):

      The study investigated how statistical aspects of temperature sequences, such as manipulations of stochasticity (i.e., randomness of a sequence) and volatility (i.e., speed at which a sequence unfolded) influenced pain perception. Using an innovative stimulation paradigm and computational modelling of perceptual variables, this study demonstrated that perception is weighted by expectations. Overall, the findings support the conclusion that pain perception is mediated by expectations in a Bayesian manner. The provision of additional details during the review process strengthens the reliability of this conclusion. The methods presented offer tools and frameworks for further research in pain perception and can be extended to investigations into chronic pain processes.

    1. Reviewer #1 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      This paper investigates the neural population activity patterns of the medial frontal cortex in rats performing a nose poking timing task using in vivo calcium imaging. The results showed neurons that were active at the beginning and end of the nose poking and neurons that formed sequential patterns of activation that covaried with the timed interval during nose poking on a trial-by-trial basis. The former were not stable across sessions, while the latter tended to remain stable over weeks. The analysis on incorrect trials suggests the shorter non-rewarded intervals were due to errors in the scaling of the sequential pattern of activity.

      Strengths:

      This study measured stable signals using in vivo calcium imaging during experimental sessions that were separated by many days in animals performing a nose poking timing task. The correlation analysis on the activation profile to separate the cells in the three groups was effective and the functional dissociation between beginning and end, and duration cells was revealing. The analysis on the stability of decoding of both the nose poking state and poking time was very informative. Hence, this study dissected a neural population that formed sequential patterns of activation that encoded timed intervals.

      Weaknesses:

      It is not clear whether animals had enough simultaneously recorded cells to perform the analyzes of Figures 2-4. In fact, rat 3 had 18 responsive neurons which probably is not enough to get robust neural sequences for the trial-by-trial analysis and the correct and incorrect trial analysis. In addition, the analysis of behavioral errors could be improved. The analysis in Figure 4A could be replaced by a detailed analysis on the speed, and the geometry of neural population trajectories for correct and incorrect trials. In the case of Figure 4G is not clear why the density of errors formed two clusters instead of having a linear relation with the produce duration. I would be recommendable to compute the scaling factor on neuronal population trajectories and single cell activity or the computation of the center of mass to test the type III errors.

      Due to the slow time resolution of calcium imaging, it is difficult to perform robust analysis on ramping activity. Therefore, I recommend downplaying the conclusion that: "Together, our data suggest that sequential activity might be a more relevant coding regime than the ramping activity in representing time under physiological conditions."

    2. Reviewer #2 (Public Review):

      In this manuscript, Li and collaborators set out to investigate the neuronal mechanisms underlying "subjective time estimation" in rats. For this purpose, they conducted calcium imaging in the prefrontal cortex of water-restricted rats that were required to perform an action (nosepoking) for a short duration to obtain drops of water. The authors provided evidence that animals progressively improved in performing their task. They subsequently analyzed the calcium imaging activity of neurons and identify start, duration, and stop cells associated with the nose poke. Specifically, they focused on duration cells and demonstrated that these cells served as a good proxy for timing on a trial-by-trial basis, scaling their pattern of actvity in accordance with changes in behavioral performance. In summary, as stated in the title, the authors claim to provide mechanistic insights into subjective time estimation in rats, a function they deem important for various cognitive conditions.

      This study aligns with a wide range of studies in system neuroscience that presume that rodents solve timing tasks through an explicit internal estimation of duration, underpinned by neuronal representations of time. Within this framework, the authors performed complex and challenging experiments, along with advanced data analysis, which undoubtedly merits acknowledgement. However, the question of time perception is a challenging one, and caution should be exercised when applying abstract ideas derived from human cognition to animals. Studying so-called time perception in rats has significant shortcomings because, whether acknowledged or not, rats do not passively estimate time in their heads. They are constantly in motion. Moreover, rats do not perform the task for the sake of estimating time but to obtain their rewards are they water restricted. Their behavior will therefore reflects their motivation and urgency to obtain rewards. Unfortunately, it appears that the authors are not aware of these shortcomings. These alternative processes (motivation, sensorimotor dynamics) that occur during task performance are likely to influence neuronal activity. Consequently, my review will be rather critical. It is not however intended to be dismissive. I acknowledge that the authors may have been influenced by numerous published studies that already draw similar conclusions. Unfortunately, all the data presented in this study can be explained without invoking the concept of time estimation. Therefore, I hope the authors will find my comments constructive and understand that as scientists, we cannot ignore alternative interpretations, even if they conflict with our a priori philosophical stance (e.g., duration can be explicitly estimated by reading neuronal representation of time) and anthropomorphic assumptions (e.g., rats estimate time as humans do). While space is limited in a review, if the authors are interested, they can refer to a lengthy review I recently published on this topic, which demonstrates that my criticism is supported by a wide range of timing experiments across species (Robbe, 2023). In addition to this major conceptual issue that cast doubt on most of the conclusions of the study, there are also several major statistical issues.

      Main Concerns

      (#1) The authors used a task in which rats must poke for a minimal amount of time (300 ms and then 1500 ms) to be able to obtain a drop of water delivered a few centimeters right below the nosepoke. They claim that their task is a time estimation task. However, they forget that they work with thirsty rats that are eager to get water sooner than later (there is a reason why they start by a short duration!). This task is mainly probing the animals ability to wait (that is impulse control) rather than time estimation per se. Second, the task does not require to estimate precisely time because there appear to be no penalties when the nosepokes are too short or when they exceed. So it will be unclear if the variation in nosepoke reflects motivational changes rather than time estimation changes. The fact that this behavioral task is a poor assay for time estimation and rather reflects impulse control is shown by the tendency of animals to perform nose-pokes that are too short, the very slow improvement in their performance (Figure 1, with most of the mice making short responses), and the huge variability. Not only do the behavioral data not support the claim of the authors in terms of what the animals are actually doing (estimating time), but this also completely annhilates the interpretation of the Ca++ imaging data, which can be explained by motivational factors (changes in neuronal activity occurring while the animals nose poke may reflect a growing sens of urgency to check if water is available).

      (#2) A second issue is that the authors seem to assume that rats are perfectly immobile and perform like some kind of robots that would initiate nose pokes, maintain them, and remove them in a very discretized manner. However, in this kind of task, rats are constantly moving from the reward magazine to the nose poke. They also move while nose-poking (either their body or their mouth), and when they come out of the nose poke, they immediately move toward the reward spout. Thus, there is a continuous stream of movements, including fidgeting, that will covary with timing. Numerous studies have shown that sensorimotor dynamics influence neural activity, even in the prefrontal cortex. Therefore, the authors cannot rule out that what the records reflect are movements (and the scaling of movement) rather than underlying processes of time estimation (some kind of timer). Concretely, start cells could represent the ending of the movement going from the water spout to the nosepoke, and end cells could be neurons that initiate (if one can really isolate any initiation, which I doubt) the movement from the nosepoke to the water spout. Duration cells could reflect fidgeting or orofacial movements combined with an increasing urgency to leave the nose pokes.

      (#3) The statistics should be rethought for both the behavioral and neuronal data. They should be conducted separately for all the rats, as there is likely interindividual variability in the impulsivity of the animals.

      (#4) The fact that neuronal activity reflects an integration of movement and motivational factors rather than some abstract timing appears to be well compatible with the analysis conducted on the error trials (Figure 4), considering that the sensorimotor and motivational dynamics will rescale with the durations of the nose poke.

      (#5) The authors should mention upfront in the main text (result section) the temporal resolution allowed by their Ca+ probe and discuss whether it is fast enough in regard of behavioral dynamics occurring in the task.

    1. Reviewer #1 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      This work studies spatio-temporal patterns of structure-function coupling in developing brains, using a large set of imaging data acquired from children aged 5-22. Magnetic resonance imaging data of brain structure and function were obtained from a publicly available database, from which structural and functional features and measures were derived. The authors examined the spatial patterns of structure-function coupling and how they evolve with brain development. This work further sought correlations of brain structure-function coupling with behavior and explored evolutionary, microarchitectural and genetic bases that could potentially account for the observed patterns.

      Strength:

      The strength of this work is the use of currently available state-of-the-art analysis methods, along with a large set of high-quality imaging data, and comprehensive examinations of structure-function coupling in developing brains. The results are comprehensive and illuminating.

      Weakness:

      As with most other studies, transcriptomic and cellular architectures of structure-function coupling were characterized only on the basis of a common atlas in this work.

      The authors have achieved their aims in this study, and the findings provide mechanistic insights into brain development, which will inspire further basic and clinical studies along this line.

    1. Reviewer #1 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      In this study, the authors provide a new computational platform called Vermouth to automate topology generation, a crucial step that any biomolecular simulation starts with. Given a wide arrange of chemical structures that need to be simulated, varying qualities of structural models as inputs obtained from various sources, and diverse force fields and molecular dynamics engines employed for simulations, automation of this fundamental step is challenging, especially for complex systems and in case that there is a need to conduct high-throughput simulations in the application of computer-aided drug design (CADD). To overcome this challenge, the authors develop a programing library composed of components that carry out various types of fundamental functionalities that are commonly encountered in topological generation. These components are intended to be general for any type of molecules and not to depend on any specific force field and MD engines. To demonstrate the applicability of this library, the authors employ those components to re-assemble a pipeline called Martinize2 used in topology generation for simulations with a widely used coarse-grained model (CG) MARTINI. This pipeline can fully recapitulate the functionality of its original version Martinize but exhibit greatly enhanced generality, as confirmed by the ability of the pipeline to faithfully generate topologies for two high-complexity benchmarking sets of proteins.

      Strengths:

      The main strength of this work is the use of concepts and algorithms associated with induced subgraph in graph theory to automate several key but non-trivial steps of topology generation such as the identification of monomer residue units (MRU), the repair of input structures with missing atoms, the mapping of topologies between different resolutions, and the generation of parameters needed for describing interactions between MRUs. In addition, the documentation website provided by the authors is very informative, allowing users to get quickly started with Vermouth.

      Weaknesses:

      Although the Vermouth library is designed as a general tool for topology generation for molecular simulations, only its applications with MARTINI have been demonstrated in the current study. Thus, the claimed generality of Vermouth remains to be exmained. The authors may consider to point out this in their manuscript.

    2. Reviewer #2 (Public Review):

      This work introduces a Vermouth library framework to enhance software development within the Martini community. Specifically, it presents a Vermouth-powered program, Martinize2, for generating coarse-grained structures and topologies from atomistic structures. In addition to introducing the Vermouth library and the Martinize2 program, this paper illustrates how Martinize2 identifies atoms, maps them to the Martini model, generates topology files, and identifies protonation states or post-translational modifications. Compared with the prior version, the authors provide a new figure to show that Martinize2 can be applied to various molecules, such as proteins, cofactors, and lipids. To demonstrate the general application, Martinize2 was used for converting 73% of 87,084 protein structures from the template library, with failed cases primarily blamed on missing coordinates.

      I was hoping to see some fundamental changes in the resubmitted version. To my disappointment, the manuscript remains largely unchanged (even the typo I pointed out previously was not fixed). I do not doubt that Martinize2 and Vermouth are useful to the Martini community, and this paper will have some impact. The manuscript is very technical and limited to the Martini community. The scientific insight for the general coarse-grained modeling community is unclear. The goal of the work is ambitious (such as high-throughput simulations and whole-cell modeling), but the results show just a validation of Martinize2. This version does not reverse my previous impression that it is incremental. As I pointed out in my previous review (and no response from the authors), all the issues associated with the Martini model are still there, e.g. the need for ENM. In this shape, I feel this manuscript is suitable for a specialized journal in computational biophysics or stays as part of the GitHub repository.

    3. Reviewer #3 (Public Review):

      The manuscript Kroon et al. described two algorithms, which when combined achieve high throughput automation of "martinizing" protein structures with selected protonation states and post-translational modifications. After the revisions provided by the authors, I recommend minor revision.

      The authors have addressed most of my concerns provided previously. Specifically, showcasing the capability of coarse-graining other types of molecules (Figure 7) is a useful addition, especially for the booming field of therapeutic macrocycles.

      My only additional concern is that to justify Martinize2 and Vermouth as a "high-throughput" method, the speed of these tools needs to be addressed in some form in the manuscript as a guideline to users.

    1. Reviewer #1 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      The authors demonstrate with a simple stochastic model that the initial composition of the community is important in achieving a target frequency during the artificial selection of a community.

      Strengths:

      To my knowledge, the intra-collective selection during artificial selection has not been seriously theoretically considered. However, in many cases, the species dynamics during the incubation of each selection cycle are important and relevant to the outcome of the artificial selection experiment. Stochasticity from birth and death (demographic stochasticity) plays a big role in these species' abundance dynamics. This work uses a simple framework to tackle this idea meticulously.

      This work may or may not be related to hysteresis (path dependency). If this is true, maybe it would be nice to have a discussion paragraph talking about how this may be the case. Then, this work would even attract the interest of people studying dynamic systems.

      Weaknesses:

      (1) Connecting structure and function

      In typical artificial selection literature, most of them select the community based on collective function. Here in this paper, the authors are selecting a target composition. Although there is a schematic cartoon illustrating the relationship between collective function (y-axis) and the community composition in the main Figure 1, there is no explicit explanation or justification of what may be the origin of this relationship. I think giving the readers a naïve idea about how this structure-function relationship arises in the introduction section would help. This is because the conclusion of this paper is that the intra-collective selection makes it hard to artificially select a community that has an intermediate frequency of f (or s). If there is really evidence or theoretical derivation from this framework that indeed the highest function comes from the intermediate frequency of f, then the impact of this paper would increase because the conclusions of this stochastic model could allude to the reasons for the prevalent failures of artificial selection in literature.

      (2) Explain intra-collective and inter-collective selection better for readers.

      The abstract, the introduction, and the result section use these terms or intra-collective and inter-collective selection without much explanation. A clear definition in the beginning would help the audience grasp the importance of this paper, because these concepts are at the core of this work.

      (3) Achievable target frequency strongly depending on the degree of demographic stochasticity.

      I would expect that the experimentalists would find these results interesting and would want to consider these results during their artificial selection experiments. The main Figure 4 indicates that the Newborn size N0 is a very important factor to consider during the artificial selection experiment. This would be equivalent to how much bottleneck is imposed on the artificial selection process in every iteration step (i.e., the ratio of serial dilution experiment). However, with a low population size, all target frequencies can be achieved, and therefore in these regimes, the initial frequency now does not matter much. It would be great for the authors to provide what the N0 parameter actually means during the artificial selection experiments. Maybe relative to some other parameter in the model. I know this could be very hard. But without this, the main result of this paper (initial frequency matters) cannot be taken advantage of by the experimentalists.

      (4) Consideration of environmental stochasticity.

      The success (gold area of Figure 2d) in this framework mainly depends on the size of the demographic stochasticity (birth-only model) during the intra-collective selection. However, during experiments, a lot of environmental stochasticity appears to be occurring during artificial selection. This may be out of the scope of this study. But it would definitely be exciting to see how much environmental stochasticity relative to the demographic stochasticity (variation in the Gaussian distribution of F and S) matters in succeeding in achieving the target composition from artificial selection.

      (5) Assumption about mutation rates

      If setting the mutation rates to zero does not change the result of the simulations and the conclusion, what is the purpose of having the mutation rates \mu? Also, is the unidirectional (S -> F -> FF) mutation realistic? I didn't quite understand how the mutations could fit into the story of this paper.

      (6) Minor points

      In Figure 3b, it is not clear to me how the frequency difference for the Intra-collective and the Inter-collective selection is computed.

      In Figure 5b, the gold region (success) near the FF is not visible. Maybe increase the size of the figure or have an inset for zoom-in. Why is the region not as big as the bottom gold region?

    2. Reviewer #2 (Public Review):

      The authors provide an analytical framework to model the artificial selection of the composition of communities comprised of strains growing at different rates. Their approach takes into account the competition between the targeted selection at the level of the meta-community and the selection that automatically favors fast-growing cells within each replicate community. Their main finding is a tipping point or path-dependence effect, whereby compositions dominated by slow-growing types can only be reached by community-level selection if the community does not start and never crosses into a range of compositions dominated by fast growers during the dynamics.

      These results seem to us both technically correct and interesting. We commend the authors on their efforts to make their work reproducible even when it comes to calculations via extensive appendices, though perhaps a table of contents and a short description of these appendices at the start of SI would help navigate them.

      The main limitation in the current form of the article is that it could clarify how its assumptions and findings differ from and improve upon the rest of the literature:

      - Many studies discuss the interplay between community-level evolution and species- or strain-level evolution. But "evolution" can be a mix of various forces, including selection, drift/randomness, and mutation/innovation.

      - This work's specificity is that it focuses strictly on constant community-level selection versus constant strain-level selection, all other forces being negligible (neither stochasticity nor innovation/mutation matter at either level, as we try to clarify now).

      - Regarding constant community-level selection, it is only briefly noted that "once a target frequency is achieved, inter-collective selection is always required to maintain that frequency due to the fitness difference between the two types" [pg. 3 {section sign}2]. In other words, action from the selector is required indefinitely to maintain the community in the desired state. This assumption is found in a fraction of the literature, but is still worth clarifying from the start as it can inform the practical applicability of the results.

      - More importantly, strain-level evolution also boils down here to pure selection with a constant target, which is less usual in the relevant literature. Here, (1) drift from limited population sizes is very small, with no meaningful counterbalancing of selection, (2) pure exponential regime with constant fitness, no interactions, no density- or frequency-dependence, (3) there is no innovation in the sense that available types are unchanging through time (no evolution of traits such as growth rate or interactions) and (4) all the results presented seem unchanged when mutation rate mu = 0 (as noted in Appendix III), meaning that the conclusions are not "about" mutation in any meaningful way.

      - Furthermore, the choice of mutation mechanism is peculiar, as it happens only from slow to fast grower: more commonly, one assumes random non-directional mutations, rather than purely directional ones from less fit to fitter (which is more of a "Lamarckian" idea). Given that mutation does not seem to matter here, this choice might create unnecessary opposition from some readers or could be considered as just one possibility among others.

      It would be helpful to have all these points stated clearly so that it becomes easy to see where this article stands in an abundant literature and contributes to our understanding of multi-level evolution, and why it may have different conclusions or focus than others tackling very similar questions.

      Finally, a microbial context is given to the study, but the assumptions and results are in no way truly tied to that context, so it should be clear that this is just for flavor.

    3. Reviewer #3 (Public Review):

      The authors address the process of community evolution under collective-level selection for a prescribed community composition. They mostly consider communities composed of two types that reproduce at different rates, and that can mutate one into the other. Due to such differences in 'fitness' and to the absence of density dependence, within-collective selection is expected to always favour the fastest grower, but the collective-level selection can oppose this tendency, to a certain extent at least. By approximating the stochastic within-generation dynamics and solving it analytically, the authors show that not only high frequencies of fast growers can be reproducibly achieved, aligned with their fitness advantage. Small target frequencies can also be maintained, provided that the initial proportion of fast growers is sufficiently small. In this regime, similar to the 'stochastic corrector' model, variation upon which selection acts is maintained by a combination of demographic stochasticity and of sampling at reproduction. These two regions of achievable target compositions are separated by a gap, encompassing intermediate frequencies that are only achievable when the bottleneck size is small enough or the number of communities is (disproportionately) larger.

      A similar conclusion, that stochastic fluctuations can maintain the system over evolutionary time far from the prevalence of the faster-growing type, is then confirmed by analyzing a three-species community, suggesting that the qualitative conclusions of this study are generalizable to more complex communities.

      I expect that these results will be of broad interest to the community of researchers who strive to improve community-level selection, but are often limited to numerical explorations, with prohibitive costs for a full characterization of the parameter space of such embedded populations. The realization that not all target collective functions can be as easily achieved and that they should be adapted to the initial conditions and the selection protocol is also a sobering message for designing concrete applications.

      A major strength of this work is that the qualitative behaviour of the system is captured by an analytically solvable approximation so that the extent of the 'forbidden region' can be directly and generically related to the parameters of the selection protocol.

      I however found the description of the results too succinct and I think that more could be done to unpack the mathematical results in a way that is understandable to a broader audience. Moreover, the phenomenon the authors characterize is of purely ecological nature. Here, mutations of the growth rate are, in my understanding, neither necessary (non-trivial equilibria can be maintained also when \mu =0) nor sufficient (community-level selection is necessary to keep the system far from the absorbing state) for the phenomenon described. Calling this dynamics community evolution reflects a widespread ambiguity, and is not ascribable just to this work. I find that here the authors have the opportunity to make their message clearer by focusing on the case where the 'mutation' rate \mu vanishes (Equations 39 & 40 of the SI) - which is more easily interpretable, at least in some limits - while they may leave the more general equations 3 & 4 in the SI. Combined with an analysis of the deterministic equations, that capture the possibility of maintaining high frequencies of fast growers, the authors could elucidate the dynamics that are induced by the presence of a second level of selection, and speculate on what would be the result of real open-ended evolution (not encompassed by the simple 'switch mutations' generally considered in evolutionary game theory), for instance discussing the invasibility (or not) of mutant types with slightly different growth rates.

      The single most important model hypothesis that I would have liked to be discussed further is that the two types do not interact. Species interactions are not only essential to achieve inheritance of composition in the course of evolution but are generally expected to play a key role even on ecological time scales. I hope the authors plan to look at this in future work.

    1. Reviewer #1 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      In this study, Kume et al examined the role of the protein Semaphorin 4a in steady-state skin homeostasis and how this relates to skin changes seen in human psoriasis and imiquimod-induced psoriasis-like disease in mice. The authors found that human psoriatic skin has reduced expression of Sema4a in the epidermis. While Sema4a has been shown to drive inflammatory activation in different immune populations, this finding suggested Sema4a might be important for negatively regulating Th17 inflammation in the skin. The authors go on to show that Sema4a knockout mice have skin changes in key keratinocyte genes, increased gdT cells, and increased IL-17 similar to differences seen in non-lesional psoriatic skin, and that bone marrow chimera mice with WT immune cells and Sema4a KO stromal cells develop worse IMQ-induced psoriasis-like disease, further linking expression of Sema4a in the skin to maintaining skin homeostasis. The authors next studied downstream pathways that might mediate the homeostatic effects of Sema4a, focusing on mTOR given its known role in keratinocyte function. As with the immune phenotypes, Sema4a KO mice had increased mTOR activation in the epidermis in a similar pattern to mTOR activation noted in non-lesional psoriatic skin. The authors next targeted the mTOR pathway and showed rapamycin could reverse some of the psoriasis-like skin changes in Sema4a KO mice, confirming the role of increased mTOR in contributing to the observed skin phenotype.

      Strengths:

      The most interesting finding is the tissue-specific role for Sema4a, where it has previously been considered to play a mostly pro-inflammatory role in immune cells, this study shows that when expressed by keratinocytes, Sema4a plays a homeostatic role that when missing leads to the development of psoriasis-like skin changes. This has important implications in terms of targeting Sema4a pharmacologically. It also may yield a novel mouse model to study mechanisms of psoriasis development in mice separate from the commonly used IMQ model. The included experiments are well-controlled and executed rigorously.

      Weaknesses:

      A weakness of the study is the lack of tissue-specific Sema4a knockout mice (e.g. in keratinocytes only). The authors did use bone marrow chimeras, but only in one experiment. This work implies that psoriasis may represent a Sema4a-deficient state in the epidermal cells, while the same might not be true for immune cells. Indeed, in their analysis of non-lesional psoriasis skin, Sema4a was not significantly decreased compared to control skin, possibly due to compensatory increased Sema4a from other cell types. Unbiased RNA-seq of Sema4a KO mouse skin for comparison to non-lesional skin might identify other similarities besides mTOR signaling. Indeed, targeting mTOR with rapamycin reveres some of the skin changes in Sema4a KO mice, but not skin thickness, so other pathways impacted by Sema4a may be better targets if they could be identified. Utilizing WTKO chimeras in addition to global KO mice in the experiments in Figures 6-8 would more strongly implicate the separate role of Sema4a in skin vs immune cell populations and might more closely mimic non-lesional psoriasis skin.

    2. Reviewer #2 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      Kume et al. found for the first time that Semaphorin 4A (Sema4A) was downregulated in both mRNA and protein levels in L and NL keratinocytes of psoriasis patients compared to control keratinocytes. In peripheral blood, they found that Sema4A is not only expressed in keratinocytes but is also upregulated in hematopoietic cells such as lymphocytes and monocytes in the blood of psoriasis patients. They investigated how the down-regulation of Sema4A expression in psoriatic epidermal cells affects the immunological inflammation of psoriasis by using a psoriasis mice model in which Sema4A KO mice were treated with IMQ. Kume et al. hypothesized that down-regulation of Sema4A expression in keratinocytes might be responsible for the augmentation of psoriasis inflammation. Using bone marrow chimeric mice, Kume et al. showed that KO of Sema4A in non-hematopoietic cells was responsible for the enhanced inflammation in psoriasis. The expression of CCL20, TNF, IL-17, and mTOR was upregulated in the Sema4AKO epidermis compared to the WT epidermis, and the infiltration of IL-17-producing T cells was also enhanced.

      Strengths:

      Decreased Sema4A expression may be involved in psoriasis exacerbation through epidermal proliferation and enhanced infiltration of Th17 cells, which helps understand psoriasis immunopathogenesis.

      Weaknesses:

      The mechanism by which decreased Sema4A expression may exacerbate psoriasis is unclear as yet.

    1. Reviewer #1 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      This study investigated the role of CD47 and TSP1 in extramedullary erythropoiesis by utilization of both global CD47-/- mice and TSP1-/- mice.

      Strengths:

      Flow cytometry combined with spleen bulk and single cell transcriptomics were employed. The authors found that stress-induced erythropoiesis markers were increased in CD47-/- spleen cells, particularly genes that are required for terminal erythroid differentiation. Moreover, CD47 dependent erythroid precursors population was identified by spleen scRNA sequencing. In contrast, the same cells were not detected in TSP1-/- spleen. These findings provide strong evidence to support the conclusion that differential role of CD47 and TSP1 in extramedullary erythropoiesis in mouse spleen. Furthermore, the relevance of the current finding to the prevalent side effect (anemia) of anti-CD47 mediated cancer therapy has been discussed in the Discussion section.

    2. Reviewer #3 (Public Review):

      The authors used existing mouse models to compare the effects of ablating the CD47 receptor and its signaling ligand Thrombospondin. They analyze the cell composition of the spleens from CD47-KO and Thsp-KO using Flow Cytometry and single cell sequencing and focus mostly on early hematopoietic and erythroid populations. The data broadly shows that splenomegaly in the CD47-KO is largely due to an increase in committed erythroid progenitors, whereas the Thsp-KO shows a slight depletion of committed erythroid progenitors but is otherwise similar to WT in splenic cell composition. Thus, both their datasets supports the main conclusions of the study. One caveat of the single-cell dataset is that, insofar as the authors have explored and presented it, a clear picture of the mechanism driving extra medullary erythropoiesis in CD47-KO is lacking. This would be extremely valuable since one of the stated translational implications of this study is to assess and remedy the anemia caused by anti-CD47 therapy used in subtypes of AML. Nevertheless, this study provides novel insights into a putative role of Thsp-CD47 signaling in triggering definitive erythropoiesis in the mouse spleen in response to anemic stress and constitutes a good resource for researchers seeking to understand extramedullary erythropoiesis. This study also has generated data that will enable exploration of the possible adverse effects of using anti-CD47 therapies to treat AML.

    1. Reviewer #1 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      This study by Wang et al. identifies a new type of deacetylase, CobQ, in Aeromonas hydrophila. Notably, the identification of this deacetylase reveals a lack of homology with eukaryotic counterparts, thus underscoring its unique evolutionary trajectory within the bacterial domain.

      Strengths:

      The manuscript convincingly illustrates CobQ's deacetylase activity through robust in vitro experiments, establishing its distinctiveness from known prokaryotic deacetylases. Additionally, the authors elucidate CobQ's potential cooperation with other deacetylases in vivo to regulate bacterial cellular processes. Furthermore, the study highlights CobQ's significance in the regulation of acetylation within prokaryotic cells.

      Weaknesses:

      While the manuscript is generally well-structured, some clarification and some minor corrections are needed.

    2. Reviewer #2 (Public Review):

      In recent years, lots of researchers have tried to explore the existence of new acetyltransferase and deacetylase by using specific antibody enrichment technologies and high-resolution mass spectrometry. This study adds to this effort. The authors studied a novel Zn2+- and NAD+-independent KDAC protein, AhCobQ, in Aeromonas hydrophila. They studied the biological function of AhCobQ by using a biochemistry method and used MS identification technology to confirm it. The results extend our understanding of the regulatory mechanism of bacterial lysine acetylation modifications. However, I find their conclusion to be a little speculative, and unfortunately, it also doesn't totally support the conclusion that the authors provided. In addition, regarding the figure arrangement, lots of the supplementary figures are not mentioned, and tables are not all placed in context.

      Major concerns:

      -In the opinion of this reviewer, is a little arbitrary to come to the title "Aeromonas hydrophila CobQ is a new type of NAD+- and Zn2+-independent protein lysine deacetylase in prokaryotes." This should be modified to delete the "in the prokaryotes", unless the authors get new or more evidence in the other prokaryotes for the existence of the AhCobQ.

      -I was confused about the arrangement of the supplementary results. There are no citations for Figures S9-S19.

      -No data are included for Tables S1-S6.

      -The load control is not all integrated. All of the load controls with whole PAGE gel or whole membrane western blot results should be provided. Without these whole results, it is not convincing to come to the conclusion that the authors have.

      -The materials & methods section should be thoroughly reviewed. It is unclear to me what exactly the authors are describing in the method. All the experimental designs and protocols should be described in detail, including growth conditions, assay conditions, purification conditions, etc.

      -Relevant information should be included about the experiments performed in the figure legends, such as experimental conditions, replicates, etc. Often it is not clear what was done based on the figure legend description.

    3. Reviewer #3 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      This study reports on a novel NAD+ and Zn2+-independent protein lysine deacetylase (KDAC) in Aeromonas hydrophila, termed AhCobQ (AHA_1389). This protein is annotated as a CobQ/CobB/MinD/ParA family protein and does not show similarity with known NAD+-dependent or Zn2+-dependent KDACs. The authors show that AhCobQ has NAD+ and Zn2+-independent deacetylase activity with acetylated BSA by western blot and MS analyses. They also provide evidence that the 195-245 aa region of AhCobQ is responsible for the deacetylase activity, which is conserved in some marine prokaryotes and has no similarity with eukaryotic proteins. They identified target proteins of AhCobQ deacetylase by proteomic analysis and verified the deacetylase activity using site-specific acetyllysine-incorporated target proteins. Finally, they show that AhCobQ activates isocitrate dehydrogenase by deacetylation at K388.

      Strengths:

      The finding of a new type of KDAC has a valuable impact on the field of protein acetylation. The characters (NAD+ and Zn2+-independent deacetylase activity in an unknown domain) shown in this study are very unexpected.

      Weaknesses:

      (1) As the characters of AhCobQ are very unexpected, to convince readers, MSMS data would be needed to exactly detect deacetylation at the target site in deacetylase activity assays. The authors show the MSMS data in assays with acetylated BSA, but other assays only rely on western blot.

      (2) They prepared site-specific Kac proteins and used them in deacetylase activity assays. The incorporation of acetyllysine at the target site needs to be confirmed by MSMS and shown as supplementary data.

      (3) The authors imply that the 195-245 aa region of AhCobQ may represent a new domain responsible for deacetylase activity. The feature of the region would be of interest but is not sufficiently described in Figure 5. The amino acid sequence alignments with representative proteins with conserved residues would be informative. It would be also informative if the modeled structure predicted by AlphaFold is shown and the structural similarity with known deacetylases is discussed.

    1. Reviewer #1 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      Plasmodium vivax can persist in the liver of infected individuals in the form of dormant hypnozoites, which cause malaria relapses and are resistant to most current antimalarial drugs. This highlights the need to develop new drugs active against hypnozoites that could be used for radical cure. Here, the authors capitalize on an in vitro culture system based on primary human hepatocytes infected with P. vivax sporozoites to screen libraries of repurposed molecules and compounds acting on epigenetic pathways. They identified a number of hits, including hydrazinophthalazine analogs. They propose that some of these compounds may act on epigenetic pathways potentially involved in parasite quiescence. To provide some support to this hypothesis, they document DNA methylation of parasite DNA based on 5-methylcytosine immunostaining, mass spectrometry, and bisulfite sequencing.

      Strengths:<br /> -The drug screen itself represents a huge amount of work and, given the complexity of the experimental model, is a tour de force.<br /> -The screening was performed in two different laboratories, with a third laboratory being involved in the confirmation of some of the hits, providing strong support that the results were reproducible.<br /> -The screening of repurposing libraries is highly relevant to accelerate the development of new radical cure strategies.

      Weaknesses:

      -The manuscript is composed of two main parts, the drug screening itself and the description of DNA methylation in Plasmodium pre-erythrocytic stages. Unfortunately, these two parts are loosely connected. First, there is no evidence that the identified hits kill hypnozoites via epigenetic mechanisms. The hit compounds almost all act on schizonts in addition to hypnozoites, therefore it is unlikely that they target quiescence-specific pathways. At least one compound, colforsin, seems to selectively act on hypnozoites, but this observation still requires confirmation. Second, while the description of DNA methylation is per se interesting, its role in quiescence is not directly addressed here. Again, this is clearly not a specific feature of hypnozoites as it is also observed in P. vivax and P. cynomolgi hepatic schizonts and in P. falciparum blood stages. Therefore, the link between DNA methylation and hypnozoite formation is unclear. In addition, DNA methylation in sporozoites may not reflect epigenetic regulation occurring in the subsequent liver stages.

      -The mode of action of the hit compounds remains unknown. In particular, it is not clear whether the drugs act on the parasite or on the host cell. Merely counting host cell nuclei to evaluate the toxicity of the compounds is probably acceptable for the screen but may not be sufficient to rule out an effect on the host cell. A more thorough characterization of the toxicity of the selected hit compounds is required.

      -There is no convincing explanation for the differences observed between P. vivax and P. cynomolgi. The authors question the relevance of the simian model but the discrepancy could also be due to the P. vivax in vitro platform they used.

      -Many experiments were performed only once, not only during the screen (where most compounds were apparently tested in a single well) but also in other experiments. The quality of the data would be increased with more replication.

      -While the extended assay (12 days versus 8 days) represents an improvement of the screen, the relevance of adding inhibitors of core cytochrome activity is less clear, as under these conditions the culture system deviates from physiological conditions.

    2. Reviewer #2 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      In this manuscript, inhibitors of the P. vivax liver stages are identified from the Repurposing, Focused Rescue, and Accelerated Medchem (ReFRAME) library as well as a 773-member collection of epigenetic inhibitors. This study led to the discovery that epigenetics pathway inhibitors are selectively active against P. vivax and P. cynomolgi hypnozoites. Several inhibitors of histone post-translational modifications were found among the hits and genomic DNA methylation mapping revealed the modification on most genes. Experiments were completed to show that the level of methylation upstream of the gene (promoter or first exon) may impact gene expression. With the limited number of small molecules that act against hypnozoites, this work is critically important for future drug leads. Additionally, the authors gleaned biological insights from their molecules to advance the current understanding of essential molecular processes during this elusive parasite stage.

      Strengths:<br /> -This is a tremendously impactful study that assesses molecules for the ability to inhibit Plasmodium hypnozoites. The comparison of various species is especially relevant for probing biological processes and advancing drug leads.

      -The SI is wonderfully organized and includes relevant data/details. These results will inspire numerous studies beyond the current work.

    3. Reviewer #3 (Public Review):

      Although this work represents a massive screening effort to find new drugs targeting P. vivax hypnozoites, the authors should balance their statement that they identified targetable epigenetic pathways in hypnozoites.

      • They should emphasize the potential role of the host cell in the presentation of the results and the discussion, as it is known that other pathogens modify the epigenome of the host cell (i.e. toxoplasma, HIV) to prevent cell division. Also, hydrazinophtalazines target multiple pathways (notably modulation of calcium flux) and have been shown to inhibit DNA-methyl transferase 1 which is lacking in Plasmodium.

      • In a drug repurposing approach, the parasite target might also be different than the human target.

      • The authors state that host-cell apoptotic pathways are downregulated in P. vivax infected cells (p. 5 line 162). Maybe the HDAC inhibitors and DNA-methyltransferase inhibitors are reactivating these pathways, leading to parasite death, rather than targeting parasites directly.

      It would make the interpretation of the results easier if the authors used EC50 in µM rather than pEC50 in tables and main text. It is easy to calculate when it is a single-digit number but more complicated with multiple digits.

      Authors mention hypnozoite-specific effects but in most cases, compounds are as potent on hypnozoite and schizonts. They should rather use "liver stage specific" to refer to increased activity against hypnozoites and schizonts compared to the host cell. The same comment applies to line 351 when referring to MMV019721. Following the same idea, it is a bit far-fetched to call MMV019721 "specific" when the highest concentration tested for cytotoxicity is less than twice the EC50 obtained against hypnozoites and schizonts.

      Page 5 lines 187-189, the authors state "...hydrazinophtalazines were inactive when tested against P. berghei liver schizonts and P. falciparum asexual blood stages, suggesting that hypnozoite quiescence may be biologically distinct from developing schizonts". The data provided in Figure 1B show that these hydrazinophtalazines are as potent in P. vivax schizonts than in P. vivax hypnozoites, so the distinct activity seems to be Plasmodium species specific and/or host-cell specific (primary human hepatocytes rather than cell lines for P. berghei) rather than hypnozoite vs schizont specific.

      Why choose to focus on cadralazine if abandoned due to side effects? Also, why test the pharmacokinetics in monkeys? As it was a marketed drug, were no data available in humans?

      In the counterscreen mentioned on page 6, the authors should mention that the activity of poziotinib in P. berghei and P. cynomolgi is equivalent to cell toxicity, so likely not due to parasite specificity.

      To improve the clarity and flow of the manuscript, could the authors make a recapitulative table/figure for all the data obtained for poziotinib and hydrazinophtalazines in the different assays (8-days vs 12-days) and laboratory settings rather than separate tables in main and supplementary figures. Maybe also reorder the results section notably moving the 12-day assay before the DNA methylation part.

      The isobologram plot shows an additive effect rather than a synergistic effect between cadralazine and 5-azacytidine, please modify the paragraph title accordingly. Please put the same axis scale for both fractional EC50 in the isobologram graph (Figure 2A).

      Concerning the immunofluorescence detection of 5mC and 5hmC, the authors should be careful with their conclusions. The Hoechst signal of the parasites is indistinguishable because of the high signal given by the hepatocyte nuclei. The signal obtained with the anti-5hmC in hepatocyte nuclei is higher than with the anti-5mC, thus if a low signal is obtained in hypnozoites and schizonts, it might be difficult to dissociate from the background. In blood stages (Figure S18), the best to obtain a good signal is to lyse the red blood cell using saponin, before fixation and HCl treatment.

      To conclude that 5mC marks are the predominate DNA methylation mark in both P. falciparum and P. vivax, authors should also mention that they compare different stages of the life cycle, that might have different methylation levels.

      Also, the authors conclude that "[...] 5mC is present at low level in P. vivax and P. cynomolgi sporozoites and could control liver stage development and hypnozoite quiescence". Based on the data shown here, nothing, except presence the of 5mC marks, supports that DNA methylation could be implicated in liver stage development or hypnozoite quiescence.

      How many DNA-methyltransferase inhibitors were present in the epigenetic library? Out of those, none were identified as hits, maybe the hydrazinophtalazines effect is not linked to DNMT inhibition but another target pathway of these molecules like calcium transport?

      The authors state (line 344): "These results corroborate our hypothesis that epigenetic pathways regulate hypnozoites". This conclusion should be changed to "[...] that epigenetic pathways are involved in P. vivax liver stage survival" because:<br /> • The epigenetic inhibitors described here are as active on hypnozoite than liver schizonts.<br /> • Again, we cannot rule out that the host cell plays a role in this effect and that the compound may not act directly on the parasite.

      The same comment applies to the quote in lines 394 to 396. There is no proof in the results presented here that DNA methylation plays any role in the effect of hydrazinophtalazines in the anti-plasmodial activity obtained in the assay.

    1. Reviewer #1 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      In this manuscript, the authors established an in vitro triple co-culture BBB model and demonstrated its advantages compared with the mono or double co-culture BBB model. Further, the authors used their established in vitro BBB model and combined it with other methodologies to investigate the specific mechanism that co-culture with astrocytes but also neurons enhanced the integrity of endothelial cells.

      Strengths:

      The results persuasively showed the established triple co-culture BBB model well mimicked several important characteristics of BBB compared with the mono-culture BBB model, including better barrier function and in vivo/in vitro correlation. The human-derived immortalized cells used made the model construction process faster and more efficient, and have a better in vivo correlation without species differences. This model is expected to be a useful high-throughput evaluation tool in the development of CNS drugs.

      Based on the previous experimental results, detailed studies investigated how co-culture with neurons and astrocytes promoted claudin-5 and VE-cadherin in endothelial cells, and the specific signaling mechanisms were also studied. Interestingly, the authors found that neurons also released GDNF to promote barrier properties of brain endothelial cells, as most current research has focused on the promoting effect of astrocytes-derived GDNF on BBB. Meanwhile, the author also validated the functions of GDNF for BBB integrity in vivo by silencing GDNF in mouse brains. Overall, the experiments and data presented support their claim that, in addition to astrocytes, neurons also have a promoting effect on the barrier function of endothelial cells through GDNF secretion.

      Weaknesses:

      Although the authors demonstrated a highly usable for predicting the BBB permeability, recorded TEER measurements are still far from the human BBB in vivo reported measurements of TEER, and expression of transporters was not promoted by co-culture, which may lead to the model being unsuitable for studying drug transport mediated by transporters on BBB.

    2. Reviewer #2 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      Yang and colleagues developed a new in vitro blood-brain barrier model that is relatively simple yet outperforms previous models. By incorporating a neuroblastoma cell line, they demonstrated increased electrical resistance and decreased permeability to small molecules.

      Strengths:

      The authors initially elucidated the soluble mediator responsible for enhancing endothelial functionality, namely GDNF. Subsequently, they elucidated the mechanisms by which GDNF upregulates the expression of VE-cadherin and Claudin-5. They further validated these findings in vivo, and demonstrated predictive value for molecular permeability as well. The study is meticulously conducted and easily comprehensible. The conclusions are firmly supported by the data, and the objectives are successfully achieved. This research is poised to advance future investigations in BBB permeability, leakage, dysfunction, disease modeling, and drug delivery, particularly in high-throughput experiments. I anticipate an enthusiastic reception from the community interested in this area. While other studies have produced similar results with tri-cultures (PMID: 25630899), this study notably enhances electrical resistance compared to previous attempts.

      Weaknesses:

      Considerable effort has been directed towards developing in vitro models that more closely resemble their in vivo counterparts, utilizing stem cell-derived NVU cells. Although these examples are currently rudimentary, they offer better BBB mimicry than Yang's study.

      Additionally, some instances might benefit from more robust statistical tests; nonetheless, I do not think this would significantly alter the experimental conclusions.

      Similar experiments with tri-cultures yielding analogous results have been reported by other authors (PMID: 25630899). TEER values are a bit higher than the aforementioned experiments; however, this study has values at least one order of magnitude lower than physiological levels.

    1. Reviewer #1 (Public Review):

      Cheng et al explore the utility of analyte ratios instead of relative abundance alone for biological interpretation of tissue in a MALDI MSI workflow. Utilizing the ratio of metabolites and lipids that have complimentary value in metabolic pathways, they show the ratio as a heat map which enhances the understanding of how multiple analytes relate to each other spatially. Normally, this is done by projecting each analyte as a unique color but using a ratio can help clarify visualization and add to biological interpretability. However, existing tools to perform this task are available in open-source repositories, and fundamental limitations inherent to MALDI MSI need to be made clear to the reader. The study lacks rigor and controls, i.e. without quantitative data from a variety of standards (internal isotopic or tissue mimetic models for example), the potential delta in ionization efficiencies of different species subtracts from the utility of pathway analysis using metabolite ratios.

    2. Reviewer #2 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      In the article, "Untargeted Pixel-by-Pixel Imaging of Metabolite Ratio Pairs as a Novel Tool for Biomedical Discovery in Mass Spectrometry Imaging" the authors describe their software package in R for visualizing metabolite ratio pairs. I think the novelty of this manuscript is overstated and there are several notable issues with the figures that prevent detailed assessment but the work would be of interest to the mass spectrometry community.

      Strengths:

      The authors describe a software that would be of use to those performing MALDI MSI. This software would certainly add to the understanding of metabolomics data and enhance the identification of critical metabolites.

      Weaknesses:

      The authors are missing several references and discussion points, particularly about SIMS MSI, where ratio imaging has been previously performed.

      There are several misleading sentences about the novelty of the approach and the limitations of metabolite imaging.

      Several sentences lack rigor and are not quantitative enough.

      The figures are difficult to interpret/ analyze in their current state and lack some critical components, including labels and scale bars.

    1. Reviewer #2 (Public Review):

      Liu et al., by focusing on the regulation of G protein-signaling 10 (RGS10), reported that RGS10 expression was significantly lower in patients with breast cancer, compared with normal adjacent tissue. Genetic inhibition of RGS10 caused epithelial-mesenchymal transition, and enhanced cell proliferation, migration, and invasion, respectively. These results suggest an inhibitory role of RGS10 in tumor metastasis. Furthermore, bioinformatic analyses determined signaling cascades for RGS10-mediated breast cancer distant metastasis. More importantly, both in vitro and in vivo studies evidenced that alteration of RGS10 expression by modulating its upstream regulator miR-539-5p affects breast cancer metastasis. Altogether, these findings provide insight into the pathogenesis of breast tumors and hence identify potential therapeutic targets in breast cancer.

      The conclusions of this study are mostly well supported by data.

    2. Reviewer #3 (Public Review):

      Distant metastasis is the major cause of death in patients with breast cancer. In this manuscript, Liu et al. show that RGS10 deficiency elicits distant metastasis via epithelial-mesenchymal transition in breast cancer. As a prognostic indicator of breast cancer, RGS10 regulates the progress of breast cancer and affects tumor phenotypes such as epithelial-mesenchymal transformation, invasion, and migration. The conclusions of this paper are mostly well supported by data.

    3. Reviewer #1 (Public Review):

      The paper has shown the expression of RGS10 is related to the molecular subtype, distant metastasis, and survival status of breast cancer. The study utilizes bioinformatic analyses, human tissue samples, and in vitro and in vivo experiments which strengthen the data. RGS10 was validated to inhibit EMT through a novel mechanism dependent on LCN2 and miR-539-5p, thereby reducing cancer cell proliferation, colony formation, invasion, and migration. The study elaborated on the function of RGS10 in influencing the prognosis and biological behavior which could be considered as a potential drug target in breast cancer.

    1. Reviewer #1 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      This paper is focused on the role of Cadherin Flamingo (Fmi) - also called Starry night (stan) - in cell competition in developing Drosophila tissues. A primary genetic tool is monitoring tissue overgrowths caused by making clones in the eye disc that express activated Ras (RasV12) and that are depleted for the polarity gene scribble (scrib). The main system that they use is ey-flp, which makes continuous clones in the developing eye-antennal disc beginning at the earliest stages of disc development. It should be noted that RasV12, scrib-i (or lgl-i) clones only lead to tumors/overgrowths when generated by continuous clones, which presumably creates a privileged environment that insulates them from competition. Discrete (hs-flp) RasV12, lgl-i clones are in fact out-competed (PMID: 20679206), which is something to bear in mind.

      The authors show that clonal loss of Fmi by an allele or by RNAi in the RasV12, scrib-i tumors suppresses their growth in both the eye disc (continuous clones) and wing disc (discrete clones). The authors attributed this result to less killing of WT neighbors when Myc over-expressing clones lacking Fmi, but another interpretation (that Fmi regulates clonal growth) is equally as plausible with the current results. Next, the authors show that scrib-RNAi clones that are normally out-competed by WT cells prior to adult stages are present in higher numbers when WT cells are depleted for Fmi. They then examine death in RasV12, scrib-i ey-FLP clones, or in discrete hs-FLP UAS-Myc clones. They state that they see death in WT cells neighboring RasV12, scrib-i clones in the eye disc (Figures 4A-C). Next, they write that RasV12, scrib-I cells become losers (i.e., have apoptosis markers) when Fmi is removed. Neither of these results are quantified and thus are not compelling. They state that a similar result is observed for Myc over-expression clones that lack Fmi, but the image was not compelling, the results are not quantified and the controls are missing (Myc over-expressing clones alone and Fmi clones alone). They then want to test whether Myc over-expressing clones have more proliferation. They show an image of a wing disc that has many small Myc overexpressing clones with and without Fmi. The pHH3 results support their conclusion that Myc overexpressing clones have more pHH3, but I have reservations about the many clones in these panels (Figures 5L-N). They show that the cell competition roles of Fmi are not shared by another PCP component and are not due to the Cadherin domain of Fmi. The authors appear to interpret their results as Fmi is required for winner status. Overall, some of these results are potentially interesting and at least partially supported by the data, but others are not supported by the data.

      Strengths:

      Fmi has been studied for its role in planar cell polarity, and its potential role in competition is interesting.

      Weaknesses:

      (1) In the Myc over-expression experiments, the increased size of the Myc clones could be because they divide faster (but don't outcompete WT neighbors). If the authors want to conclude that the bigger size of the Myc clones is due to out-competition of WT neighbors, they should measure cell death across many discs of with these clones. They should also assess if reducing apoptosis (like using one copy of the H99 deficiency that removes hid, rpr, and grim) suppresses winner clone size. If cell death is not addressed experimentally and quantified rigorously, then their results could be explained by faster division of Myc over-expressing clones (and not death of neighbors). This could also apply to the RasV12, scrib-i results.

      (2) This same comment about Fmi affecting clone growth should be considered in the scrib RNAi clones in Figure 3.

      (3) I don't understand why the quantifications of clone areas in Figures 2D, 2H, 6D are log values. The simple ratio of GFP/RFP should be shown. Additionally, in some of the samples (e.g., fmiE59 >> Myc, only 5 discs and fmiE59 vs >Myc only 4 discs are quantified but other samples have more than 10 discs). I suggest that the authors increase the number of discs that they count in each genotype to at least 20 and then standardize this number.

      (4) There is a typo when referring to Figures 3C-D. It should be Figure 2C-D.

      (5) Figure 4 - shows examples of cell death. Cas3 is written on the figure but Dcp-1 is written in the results. Which antibody was used? The authors need to quantify these results. They also need to show that the death of cells is part of the phenotype, like an H99 deficiency, etc (see above).

      (6) It is well established that clones overexpressing Myc have increased cell death. The authors should consider this when interpreting their results.

      (7) A better characterization of discrete Fmi clones would also be helpful. I suggest inducing hs-flp clones in the eye or wing disc and then determining clone size vs twin spot size and also examining cell death etc. If such experiments have already been done and published, the authors should include a description of such work in the preprint.

      (8) We need more information about the expression pattern of Fmi. Is it expressed in all cells in imaginal discs? Are there any patterns of expression during larval and pupal development?

      (9) Overall, the paper is written for specialists who work in cell competition and is fairly difficult to follow, and I suggest re-writing the results to make it accessible to a broader audience.

    2. Reviewer #2 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      In this manuscript, Bosch et al. reveal Flamingo (Fmi), a planar cell polarity (PCP) protein, is essential for maintaining 'winner' cells in cell competition, using Drosophila imaginal epithelia as a model. They argue that tumor growth induced by scrib-RNAi and RasV12 competition is slowed by Fmi depletion. This effect is unique to Fmi, not seen with other PCP proteins. Additional cell competition models are applied to further confirm Fmi's role in 'winner' cells. The authors also show that Fmi's role in cell competition is separate from its function in PCP formation.

      Strengths:

      (1) The identification of Fmi as a potential regulator of cell competition under various conditions is interesting.

      (2) The authors demonstrate that the involvement of Fmi in cell competition is distinct from its role in planar cell polarity (PCP) development.

      Weaknesses:

      (1) The authors provide a superficial description of the related phenotypes, lacking a comprehensive mechanistic understanding. Induction of apoptosis and JNK activation are general outcomes, but it is important to determine how they are specifically induced in Fmi-depleted clones. The authors should take advantage of the power of fly genetics and conduct a series of genetic epistasis analyses.

      (2) The depletion of Fmi may not have had a significant impact on cell competition; instead, it is more likely to have solely facilitated the induction of apoptosis.

      (3) To make a solid conclusion for Figure 1, the authors should investigate whether complete removal of Fmi by a mutant allele affects tumor growth induced by expressing RasV12 and scrib RNAi throughout the eye.

      (4) The authors should test whether the expression level of Fmi (both mRNA and protein) changes during tumorigenesis and cell competition.

    3. Reviewer #3 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      In this manuscript, Bosch and colleagues describe an unexpected function of Flamingo, a core component of the planar cell polarity pathway, in cell competition in the Drosophila wing and eye disc. While Flamingo depletion has no impact on tumour growth (upon induction of Ras and depletion of Scribble throughout the eye disc), and no impact when depleted in WT cells, it specifically tunes down winner clone expansion in various genetic contexts, including the overexpression of Myc, the combination of Scribble depletion with activation of Ras in clones or the early clonal depletion of Scribble in eye disc. Flamingo depletion reduces the proliferation rate and increases the rate of apoptosis in the winner clones, hence reducing their competitiveness up to forcing their full elimination (hence becoming now "loser"). This function of Flamingo in cell competition is specific to Flamingo as it cannot be recapitulated with other components of the PCP pathway, and does not rely on the interaction of Flamingo in trans, nor on the presence of its cadherin domain. Thus, this function is likely to rely on a non-canonical function of Flamingo which may rely on downstream GPCR signaling.

      This unexpected function of Flamingo is by itself very interesting. In the framework of cell competition, these results are also important as they describe, to my knowledge, one of the only genetic conditions that specifically affect the winner cells without any impact when depleted in the loser cells. Moreover, Flamingo does not just suppress the competitive advantage of winner clones, but even turns them into putative losers. This specificity, while not clearly understood at this stage, opens a lot of exciting mechanistic questions, but also a very interesting long-term avenue for therapeutic purposes as targeting Flamingo should then affect very specifically the putative winner/oncogenic clones without any impact in WT cells.

      The data and the demonstration are very clean and compelling, with all the appropriate controls, proper quantification, and backed-up by observations in various tissues and genetic backgrounds. I don't see any weakness in the demonstration and all the points raised and claimed by the authors are all very well substantiated by the data. As such, I don't have any suggestions to reinforce the demonstration.

      While not necessary for the demonstration, documenting the subcellular localisation and levels of Flamingo in these different competition scenarios may have been relevant and provided some hints on the putative mechanism (specifically by comparing its localisation in winner and loser cells).

      Also, on a more interpretative note, the absence of the impact of Flamingo depletion on JNK activation does not exclude some interesting genetic interactions. JNK output can be very contextual (for instance depending on Hippo pathway status), and it would be interesting in the future to check if Flamingo depletion could somehow alter the effect of JNK in the winner cells and promote downstream activation of apoptosis (which might normally be suppressed). It would be interesting to check if Flamingo depletion could have an impact in other contexts involving JNK activation or upon mild activation of JNK in clones.

      Strengths:

      - A clean and compelling demonstration of the function of Flamingo in winner cells during cell competition.

      - One of the rare genetic conditions that affects very specifically winner cells without any impact on losers, and then can completely switch the outcome of competition (which opens an interesting therapeutic perspective in the long term)

      Weaknesses:

      - The mechanistic understanding obviously remains quite limited at this stage especially since the signaling does not go through the PCP pathway.