TY - THES
AB - In the first part of the thesis we consider Hermitian random matrices. Firstly, we consider sample covariance matrices XX∗ with X having independent identically distributed (i.i.d.) centred entries. We prove a Central Limit Theorem for differences of linear statistics of XX∗ and its minor after removing the first column of X. Secondly, we consider Wigner-type matrices and prove that the eigenvalue statistics near cusp singularities of the limiting density of states are universal and that they form a Pearcey process. Since the limiting eigenvalue distribution admits only square root (edge) and cubic root (cusp) singularities, this concludes the third and last remaining case of the Wigner-Dyson-Mehta universality conjecture. The main technical ingredients are an optimal local law at the cusp, and the proof of the fast relaxation to equilibrium of the Dyson Brownian motion in the cusp regime.
In the second part we consider non-Hermitian matrices X with centred i.i.d. entries. We normalise the entries of X to have variance N −1. It is well known that the empirical eigenvalue density converges to the uniform distribution on the unit disk (circular law). In the first project, we prove universality of the local eigenvalue statistics close to the edge of the spectrum. This is the non-Hermitian analogue of the TracyWidom universality at the Hermitian edge. Technically we analyse the evolution of the spectral distribution of X along the Ornstein-Uhlenbeck flow for very long time
(up to t = +∞). In the second project, we consider linear statistics of eigenvalues for macroscopic test functions f in the Sobolev space H2+ϵ and prove their convergence to the projection of the Gaussian Free Field on the unit disk. We prove this result for non-Hermitian matrices with real or complex entries. The main technical ingredients are: (i) local law for products of two resolvents at different spectral parameters, (ii) analysis of correlated Dyson Brownian motions.
In the third and final part we discuss the mathematically rigorous application of supersymmetric techniques (SUSY ) to give a lower tail estimate of the lowest singular value of X − z, with z ∈ C. More precisely, we use superbosonisation formula to give an integral representation of the resolvent of (X − z)(X − z)∗ which reduces to two and three contour integrals in the complex and real case, respectively. The rigorous analysis of these integrals is quite challenging since simple saddle point analysis cannot be applied (the main contribution comes from a non-trivial manifold). Our result
improves classical smoothing inequalities in the regime |z| ≈ 1; this result is essential to prove edge universality for i.i.d. non-Hermitian matrices.
AU - Cipolloni, Giorgio
ID - 9022
TI - Fluctuations in the spectrum of random matrices
ER -
TY - THES
AB - In this thesis we study persistence of multi-covers of Euclidean balls and the geometric structures underlying their computation, in particular Delaunay mosaics and Voronoi tessellations.
The k-fold cover for some discrete input point set consists of the space where at least k balls of radius r around the input points overlap. Persistence is a notion that captures, in some sense, the topology of the shape underlying the input. While persistence is usually computed for the union of balls, the k-fold cover is of interest as it captures local density,
and thus might approximate the shape of the input better if the input data is noisy. To compute persistence of these k-fold covers, we need a discretization that is provided by higher-order Delaunay mosaics.
We present and implement a simple and efficient algorithm for the computation of higher-order Delaunay mosaics, and use it to give experimental results for their combinatorial properties. The algorithm makes use of a new geometric structure, the rhomboid tiling. It contains the higher-order Delaunay mosaics as slices, and by introducing a filtration
function on the tiling, we also obtain higher-order α-shapes as slices. These allow us to compute persistence of the multi-covers for varying radius r; the computation for varying k is less straight-foward and involves the rhomboid tiling directly. We apply our algorithms to experimental sphere packings to shed light on their structural properties. Finally, inspired by periodic structures in packings and materials, we propose and implement an algorithm for periodic Delaunay triangulations to be integrated into the Computational Geometry Algorithms Library (CGAL), and discuss
the implications on persistence for periodic data sets.
AU - Osang, Georg F
ID - 9056
SN - 2663-337X
TI - Multi-cover persistence and Delaunay mosaics
ER -
TY - THES
AB - Deep learning is best known for its empirical success across a wide range of applications
spanning computer vision, natural language processing and speech. Of equal significance,
though perhaps less known, are its ramifications for learning theory: deep networks have
been observed to perform surprisingly well in the high-capacity regime, aka the overfitting
or underspecified regime. Classically, this regime on the far right of the bias-variance curve
is associated with poor generalisation; however, recent experiments with deep networks
challenge this view.
This thesis is devoted to investigating various aspects of underspecification in deep learning.
First, we argue that deep learning models are underspecified on two levels: a) any given
training dataset can be fit by many different functions, and b) any given function can be
expressed by many different parameter configurations. We refer to the second kind of
underspecification as parameterisation redundancy and we precisely characterise its extent.
Second, we characterise the implicit criteria (the inductive bias) that guide learning in the
underspecified regime. Specifically, we consider a nonlinear but tractable classification
setting, and show that given the choice, neural networks learn classifiers with a large margin.
Third, we consider learning scenarios where the inductive bias is not by itself sufficient to
deal with underspecification. We then study different ways of ‘tightening the specification’: i)
In the setting of representation learning with variational autoencoders, we propose a hand-
crafted regulariser based on mutual information. ii) In the setting of binary classification, we
consider soft-label (real-valued) supervision. We derive a generalisation bound for linear
networks supervised in this way and verify that soft labels facilitate fast learning. Finally, we
explore an application of soft-label supervision to the training of multi-exit models.
AU - Bui Thi Mai, Phuong
ID - 9418
TI - Underspecification in Deep Learning
ER -
TY - THES
AB - Most real-world flows are multiphase, yet we know little about them compared to their single-phase counterparts. Multiphase flows are more difficult to investigate as their dynamics occur in large parameter space and involve complex phenomena such as preferential concentration, turbulence modulation, non-Newtonian rheology, etc. Over the last few decades, experiments in particle-laden flows have taken a back seat in favour of ever-improving computational resources. However, computers are still not powerful enough to simulate a real-world fluid with millions of finite-size particles. Experiments are essential not only because they offer a reliable way to investigate real-world multiphase flows but also because they serve to validate numerical studies and steer the research in a relevant direction. In this work, we have experimentally investigated particle-laden flows in pipes, and in particular, examined the effect of particles on the laminar-turbulent transition and the drag scaling in turbulent flows.
For particle-laden pipe flows, an earlier study [Matas et al., 2003] reported how the sub-critical (i.e., hysteretic) transition that occurs via localised turbulent structures called puffs is affected by the addition of particles. In this study, in addition to this known transition, we found a super-critical transition to a globally fluctuating state with increasing particle concentration. At the same time, the Newtonian-type transition via puffs is delayed to larger Reynolds numbers. At an even higher concentration, only the globally fluctuating state is found. The dynamics of particle-laden flows are hence determined by two competing instabilities that give rise to three flow regimes: Newtonian-type turbulence at low, a particle-induced globally fluctuating state at high, and a coexistence state at intermediate concentrations.
The effect of particles on turbulent drag is ambiguous, with studies reporting drag reduction, no net change, and even drag increase. The ambiguity arises because, in addition to particle concentration, particle shape, size, and density also affect the net drag. Even similar particles might affect the flow dissimilarly in different Reynolds number and concentration ranges. In the present study, we explored a wide range of both Reynolds number and concentration, using spherical as well as cylindrical particles. We found that the spherical particles do not reduce drag while the cylindrical particles are drag-reducing within a specific Reynolds number interval. The interval strongly depends on the particle concentration and the relative size of the pipe and particles. Within this interval, the magnitude of drag reduction reaches a maximum. These drag reduction maxima appear to fall onto a distinct power-law curve irrespective of the pipe diameter and particle concentration, and this curve can be considered as the maximum drag reduction asymptote for a given fibre shape. Such an asymptote is well known for polymeric flows but had not been identified for particle-laden flows prior to this work.
AU - Agrawal, Nishchal
ID - 9728
KW - Drag Reduction
KW - Transition to Turbulence
KW - Multiphase Flows
KW - particle Laden Flows
KW - Complex Flows
KW - Experiments
KW - Fluid Dynamics
SN - 2663-337X
TI - Transition to turbulence and drag reduction in particle-laden pipe flows
ER -
TY - THES
AB - Cytoplasmic reorganizations are essential for morphogenesis. In large cells like oocytes, these reorganizations become crucial in patterning the oocyte for later stages of embryonic development. Ascidians oocytes reorganize their cytoplasm (ooplasm) in a spectacular manner. Ooplasmic reorganization is initiated at fertilization with the contraction of the actomyosin cortex along the animal-vegetal axis of the oocyte, driving the accumulation of cortical endoplasmic reticulum (cER), maternal mRNAs associated to it and a mitochondria-rich subcortical layer – the myoplasm – in a region of the vegetal pole termed contraction pole (CP). Here we have used the species Phallusia mammillata to investigate the changes in cell shape that accompany these reorganizations and the mechanochemical mechanisms underlining CP formation.
We report that the length of the animal-vegetal (AV) axis oscillates upon fertilization: it first undergoes a cycle of fast elongation-lengthening followed by a slow expansion of mainly the vegetal pole (VP) of the cell. We show that the fast oscillation corresponds to a dynamic polarization of the actin cortex as a result of a fertilization-induced increase in cortical tension in the oocyte that triggers a rupture of the cortex at the animal pole and the establishment of vegetal-directed cortical flows. These flows are responsible for the vegetal accumulation of actin causing the VP to flatten.
We find that the slow expansion of the VP, leading to CP formation, correlates with a relaxation of the vegetal cortex and that the myoplasm plays a role in the expansion. We show that the myoplasm is a solid-like layer that buckles under compression forces arising from the contracting actin cortex at the VP. Straightening of the myoplasm when actin flows stops, facilitates the expansion of the VP and the CP. Altogether, our results present a previously unrecognized role for the myoplasm in ascidian ooplasmic segregation.
AU - Caballero Mancebo, Silvia
ID - 9623
SN - 2663-337X
TI - Fertilization-induced deformations are controlled by the actin cortex and a mitochondria-rich subcortical layer in ascidian oocytes
ER -
TY - THES
AB - Left-right asymmetries can be considered a fundamental organizational principle of the vertebrate central nervous system. The hippocampal CA3-CA1 pyramidal cell synaptic connection shows an input-side dependent asymmetry where the hemispheric location of the presynaptic CA3 neuron determines the synaptic properties. Left-input synapses terminating on apical dendrites in stratum radiatum have a higher density of NMDA receptor subunit GluN2B, a lower density of AMPA receptor subunit GluA1 and smaller areas with less often perforated PSDs. On the other hand, left-input synapses terminating on basal dendrites in stratum oriens have lower GluN2B densities than right-input ones. Apical and basal synapses further employ different signaling pathways involved in LTP. SDS-digested freeze-fracture replica labeling can visualize synaptic membrane proteins with high sensitivity and resolution, and has been used to reveal the asymmetry at the electron microscopic level. However, it requires time-consuming manual demarcation of the synaptic surface for quantitative measurements. To facilitate the analysis of replica labeling, I first developed a software named Darea, which utilizes deep-learning to automatize this demarcation. With Darea I characterized the synaptic distribution of NMDA and AMPA receptors as well as the voltage-gated Ca2+ channels in CA1 stratum radiatum and oriens. Second, I explored the role of GluN2B and its carboxy-terminus in the establishment of input-side dependent hippocampal asymmetry. In conditional knock-out mice lacking GluN2B expression in CA1 and GluN2B-2A swap mice, where GluN2B carboxy-terminus was exchanged to that of GluN2A, no significant asymmetries of GluN2B, GluA1 and PSD area were detected. We further discovered a previously unknown functional asymmetry of GluN2A, which was also lost in the swap mouse. These results demonstrate that GluN2B carboxy-terminus plays a critical role in normal formation of input-side dependent asymmetry.
AU - Kleindienst, David
ID - 9562
SN - 2663-337X
TI - 2B or not 2B: Hippocampal asymmetries mediated by NMDA receptor subunit GluN2B C-terminus and high-throughput image analysis by Deep-Learning
ER -
TY - THES
AB - Accumulation of interstitial fluid (IF) between embryonic cells is a common phenomenon in vertebrate embryogenesis. Unlike other model systems, where these accumulations coalesce into a large central cavity – the blastocoel, in zebrafish, IF is more uniformly distributed between the deep cells (DC) before the onset of gastrulation. This is likely due to the presence of a large extraembryonic structure – the yolk cell (YC) at the position where the blastocoel typically forms in other model organisms. IF has long been speculated to play a role in tissue morphogenesis during embryogenesis, but direct evidence supporting such function is still sparse. Here we show that the relocalization of IF to the interface between the YC and DC/epiblast is critical for axial mesendoderm (ME) cell protrusion formation and migration along this interface, a key process in embryonic axis formation. We further demonstrate that axial ME cell migration and IF relocalization engage in a positive feedback loop, where axial ME migration triggers IF accumulation ahead of the advancing axial ME tissue by mechanically compressing the overlying epiblast cell layer. Upon compression, locally induced flow relocalizes the IF through the porous epiblast tissue resulting in an IF accumulation ahead of the leading axial ME. This IF accumulation, in turn, promotes cell protrusion formation and migration of the leading axial ME cells, thereby facilitating axial ME extension. Our findings reveal a central role of dynamic IF relocalization in orchestrating germ layer morphogenesis during gastrulation.
AU - Huljev, Karla
ID - 9397
SN - 2663-337X
TI - Coordinated spatiotemporal reorganization of interstitial fluid is required for axial mesendoderm migration in zebrafish gastrulation
ER -
TY - THES
AB - In this thesis, we consider several of the most classical and fundamental problems in static analysis and formal verification, including invariant generation, reachability analysis, termination analysis of probabilistic programs, data-flow analysis, quantitative analysis of Markov chains and Markov decision processes, and the problem of data packing in cache management.
We use techniques from parameterized complexity theory, polyhedral geometry, and real algebraic geometry to significantly improve the state-of-the-art, in terms of both scalability and completeness guarantees, for the mentioned problems. In some cases, our results are the first theoretical improvements for the respective problems in two or three decades.
AU - Goharshady, Amir Kafshdar
ID - 8934
SN - 2663-337X
TI - Parameterized and algebro-geometric advances in static program analysis
ER -
TY - THES
AB - The brain is one of the largest and most complex organs and it is composed of billions of neurons that communicate together enabling e.g. consciousness. The cerebral cortex is the largest site of neural integration in the central nervous system. Concerted radial migration of newly born cortical projection neurons, from their birthplace to their final position, is a key step in the assembly of the cerebral cortex. The cellular and molecular mechanisms regulating radial neuronal migration in vivo are however still unclear. Recent evidence suggests that distinct signaling cues act cell-autonomously but differentially at certain steps during the overall migration process. Moreover, functional analysis of genetic mosaics (mutant neurons present in wild-type/heterozygote environment) using the MADM (Mosaic Analysis with Double Markers) analyses in comparison to global knockout also indicate a significant degree of non-cell-autonomous and/or community effects in the control of cortical neuron migration. The interactions of cell-intrinsic (cell-autonomous) and cell-extrinsic (non-cell-autonomous) components are largely unknown. In part of this thesis work we established a MADM-based experimental strategy for the quantitative analysis of cell-autonomous gene function versus non-cell-autonomous and/or community effects. The direct comparison of mutant neurons from the genetic mosaic (cell-autonomous) to mutant neurons in the conditional and/or global knockout (cell-autonomous + non-cell-autonomous) allows to quantitatively analyze non-cell-autonomous effects. Such analysis enable the high-resolution analysis of projection neuron migration dynamics in distinct environments with concomitant isolation of genomic and proteomic profiles. Using these experimental paradigms and in combination with computational modeling we show and characterize the nature of non-cell-autonomous effects to coordinate radial neuron migration. Furthermore, this thesis discusses recent developments in neurodevelopment with focus on neuronal polarization and non-cell-autonomous mechanisms in neuronal migration.
AU - Hansen, Andi H
ID - 9962
KW - Neuronal migration
KW - Non-cell-autonomous
KW - Cell-autonomous
KW - Neurodevelopmental disease
SN - 2663-337X
TI - Cell-autonomous gene function and non-cell-autonomous effects in radial projection neuron migration
ER -
TY - THES
AB - This work is concerned with two fascinating circuit quantum electrodynamics components, the Josephson junction and the geometric superinductor, and the interesting experiments that can be done by combining the two. The Josephson junction has revolutionized the field of superconducting circuits as a non-linear dissipation-less circuit element and is used in almost all superconducting qubit implementations since the 90s. On the other hand, the superinductor is a relatively new circuit element introduced as a key component of the fluxonium qubit in 2009. This is an inductor with characteristic impedance larger than the resistance quantum and self-resonance frequency in the GHz regime. The combination of these two elements can occur in two fundamental ways: in parallel and in series. When connected in parallel the two create the fluxonium qubit, a loop with large inductance and a rich energy spectrum reliant on quantum tunneling. On the other hand placing the two elements in series aids with the measurement of the IV curve of a single Josephson junction in a high impedance environment. In this limit theory predicts that the junction will behave as its dual element: the phase-slip junction. While the Josephson junction acts as a non-linear inductor the phase-slip junction has the behavior of a non-linear capacitance and can be used to measure new Josephson junction phenomena, namely Coulomb blockade of Cooper pairs and phase-locked Bloch oscillations. The latter experiment allows for a direct link between frequency and current which is an elusive connection in quantum metrology. This work introduces the geometric superinductor, a superconducting circuit element where the high inductance is due to the geometry rather than the material properties of the superconductor, realized from a highly miniaturized superconducting planar coil. These structures will be described and characterized as resonators and qubit inductors and progress towards the measurement of phase-locked Bloch oscillations will be presented.
AU - Peruzzo, Matilda
ID - 9920
KW - quantum computing
KW - superinductor
KW - quantum metrology
SN - 2663-337X
TI - Geometric superinductors and their applications in circuit quantum electrodynamics
ER -
TY - THES
AB - The present thesis is concerned with the derivation of weak-strong uniqueness principles for curvature driven interface evolution problems not satisfying a comparison principle. The specific examples being treated are two-phase Navier-Stokes flow with surface tension, modeling the evolution of two incompressible, viscous and immiscible fluids separated by a sharp interface, and multiphase mean curvature flow, which serves as an idealized model for the motion of grain boundaries in an annealing polycrystalline material. Our main results - obtained in joint works with Julian Fischer, Tim Laux and Theresa M. Simon - state that prior to the formation of geometric singularities due to topology changes, the weak solution concept of Abels (Interfaces Free Bound. 9, 2007) to two-phase Navier-Stokes flow with surface tension and the weak solution concept of Laux and Otto (Calc. Var. Partial Differential Equations 55, 2016) to multiphase mean curvature flow (for networks in R^2 or double bubbles in R^3) represents the unique solution to these interface evolution problems within the class of classical solutions, respectively. To the best of the author's knowledge, for interface evolution problems not admitting a geometric comparison principle the derivation of a weak-strong uniqueness principle represented an open problem, so that the works contained in the present thesis constitute the first positive results in this direction. The key ingredient of our approach consists of the introduction of a novel concept of relative entropies for a class of curvature driven interface evolution problems, for which the associated energy contains an interfacial contribution being proportional to the surface area of the evolving (network of) interface(s). The interfacial part of the relative entropy gives sufficient control on the interface error between a weak and a classical solution, and its time evolution can be computed, at least in principle, for any energy dissipating weak solution concept. A resulting stability estimate for the relative entropy essentially entails the above mentioned weak-strong uniqueness principles. The present thesis contains a detailed introduction to our relative entropy approach, which in particular highlights potential applications to other problems in curvature driven interface evolution not treated in this thesis.
AU - Hensel, Sebastian
ID - 10007
SN - 2663-337X
TI - Curvature driven interface evolution: Uniqueness properties of weak solution concepts
ER -
TY - THES
AB - This thesis is the result of the research carried out by the author during his PhD at IST Austria between 2017 and 2021. It mainly focuses on the Fröhlich polaron model, specifically to its regime of strong coupling. This model, which is rigorously introduced and discussed in the introduction, has been of great interest in condensed matter physics and field theory for more than eighty years. It is used to describe an electron interacting with the atoms of a solid material (the strength of this interaction is modeled by the presence of a coupling constant α in the Hamiltonian of the system). The particular regime examined here, which is mathematically described by considering the limit α →∞, displays many interesting features related to the emergence of classical behavior, which allows for a simplified effective description of the system under analysis. The properties, the range of validity and a quantitative analysis of the precision of such classical approximations are the main object of the present work. We specify our investigation to the study of the ground state energy of the system, its dynamics and its effective mass. For each of these problems, we provide in the introduction an overview of the previously known results and a detailed account of the original contributions by the author.
AU - Feliciangeli, Dario
ID - 9733
SN - 2663-337X
TI - The polaron at strong coupling
ER -
TY - THES
AB - This PhD thesis is primarily focused on the study of discrete transport problems, introduced for the first time in the seminal works of Maas [Maa11] and Mielke [Mie11] on finite state Markov chains and reaction-diffusion equations, respectively. More in detail, my research focuses on the study of transport costs on graphs, in particular the convergence and the stability of such problems in the discrete-to-continuum limit. This thesis also includes some results concerning
non-commutative optimal transport. The first chapter of this thesis consists of a general introduction to the optimal transport problems, both in the discrete, the continuous, and the non-commutative setting. Chapters 2 and 3 present the content of two works, obtained in collaboration with Peter Gladbach, Eva Kopfer, and Jan Maas, where we have been able to show the convergence of discrete transport costs on periodic graphs to suitable continuous ones, which can be described by means of a homogenisation result. We first focus on the particular case of quadratic costs on the real line and then extending the result to more general costs in arbitrary dimension. Our results are the first complete characterisation of limits of transport costs on periodic graphs in arbitrary dimension which do not rely on any additional symmetry. In Chapter 4 we turn our attention to one of the intriguing connection between evolution equations and optimal transport, represented by the theory of gradient flows. We show that discrete gradient flow structures associated to a finite volume approximation of a certain class of diffusive equations (Fokker–Planck) is stable in the limit of vanishing meshes, reproving the convergence of the scheme via the method of evolutionary Γ-convergence and exploiting a more variational point of view on the problem. This is based on a collaboration with Dominik Forkert and Jan Maas. Chapter 5 represents a change of perspective, moving away from the discrete world and reaching the non-commutative one. As in the discrete case, we discuss how classical tools coming from the commutative optimal transport can be translated into the setting of density matrices. In particular, in this final chapter we present a non-commutative version of the Schrödinger problem (or entropic regularised optimal transport problem) and discuss existence and characterisation of minimisers, a duality result, and present a non-commutative version of the well-known Sinkhorn algorithm to compute the above mentioned optimisers. This is based on a joint work with Dario Feliciangeli and Augusto Gerolin. Finally, Appendix A and B contain some additional material and discussions, with particular attention to Harnack inequalities and the regularity of flows on discrete spaces.
AU - Portinale, Lorenzo
ID - 10030
SN - 2663-337X
TI - Discrete-to-continuum limits of transport problems and gradient flows in the space of measures
ER -
TY - THES
AB - Blood – this is what animals use to heal wounds fast and efficient. Plants do not have blood circulation and their cells cannot move. However, plants have evolved remarkable capacities to regenerate tissues and organs preventing further damage. In my PhD research, I studied the wound healing in the Arabidopsis root. I used a UV laser to ablate single cells in the root tip and observed the consequent wound healing. Interestingly, the inner adjacent cells induced a
division plane switch and subsequently adopted the cell type of the killed cell to replace it. We termed this form of wound healing “restorative divisions”. This initial observation triggered the questions of my PhD studies: How and why do cells orient their division planes, how do they feel the wound and why does this happen only in inner adjacent cells.
For answering these questions, I used a quite simple experimental setup: 5 day - old seedlings were stained with propidium iodide to visualize cell walls and dead cells; ablation was carried out using a special laser cutter and a confocal microscope. Adaptation of the novel vertical microscope system made it possible to observe wounds in real time. This revealed that restorative divisions occur at increased frequency compared to normal divisions. Additionally,
the major plant hormone auxin accumulates in wound adjacent cells and drives the expression of the wound-stress responsive transcription factor ERF115. Using this as a marker gene for wound responses, we found that an important part of wound signalling is the sensing of the collapse of the ablated cell. The collapse causes a radical pressure drop, which results in strong tissue deformations. These deformations manifest in an invasion of the now free spot specifically by the inner adjacent cells within seconds, probably because of higher pressure of the inner tissues. Long-term imaging revealed that those deformed cells continuously expand towards the wound hole and that this is crucial for the restorative division. These wound-expanding cells exhibit an abnormal, biphasic polarity of microtubule arrays
before the division. Experiments inhibiting cell expansion suggest that it is the biphasic stretching that induces those MT arrays. Adapting the micromanipulator aspiration system from animal scientists at our institute confirmed the hypothesis that stretching influences microtubule stability. In conclusion, this shows that microtubules react to tissue deformation
and this facilitates the observed division plane switch. This puts mechanical cues and tensions at the most prominent position for explaining the growth and wound healing properties of plants. Hence, it shines light onto the importance of understanding mechanical signal transduction.
AU - Hörmayer, Lukas
ID - 9992
SN - 2663-337X
TI - Wound healing in the Arabidopsis root meristem
ER -
TY - THES
AB - Quantum computation enables the execution of algorithms that have exponential complexity. This might open the path towards the synthesis of new materials or medical drugs, optimization of transport or financial strategies etc., intractable on even the fastest classical computers. A quantum computer consists of interconnected two level quantum systems, called qubits, that satisfy DiVincezo’s criteria. Worldwide, there are ongoing efforts to find the qubit architecture which will unite quantum error correction compatible single and two qubit fidelities, long distance qubit to qubit coupling and
calability. Superconducting qubits have gone the furthest in this race, demonstrating an algorithm running on 53 coupled qubits, but still the fidelities are not even close to those required for realizing a single logical qubit. emiconductor qubits offer extremely good characteristics, but they are currently investigated across different platforms. Uniting those good characteristics into a single platform might be a big step towards the quantum computer realization.
Here we describe the implementation of a hole spin qubit hosted in a Ge hut wire double quantum dot. The high and tunable spin-orbit coupling together with a heavy hole state character is expected to allow fast spin manipulation and long coherence times. Furthermore large lever arms, for hut wire devices, should allow good coupling to superconducting resonators enabling efficient long distance spin to spin coupling and a sensitive gate reflectometry spin readout. The developed cryogenic setup (printed circuit board sample holders, filtering, high-frequency wiring) enabled us to perform low temperature spin dynamics experiments. Indeed, we measured the fastest single spin qubit Rabi frequencies reported so far, reaching 140 MHz, while the dephasing times of 130 ns oppose the long decoherence predictions. In order to further investigate this, a double quantum dot gate was connected directly to a lumped element
resonator which enabled gate reflectometry readout. The vanishing inter-dot transition signal, for increasing external magnetic field, revealed the spin nature of the measured quantity.
AU - Kukucka, Josip
ID - 7996
TI - Implementation of a hole spin qubit in Ge hut wires and dispersive spin sensing
ER -
TY - THES
AB - Algorithms in computational 3-manifold topology typically take a triangulation as an input and return topological information about the underlying 3-manifold. However, extracting the desired information from a triangulation (e.g., evaluating an invariant) is often computationally very expensive. In recent years this complexity barrier has been successfully tackled in some cases by importing ideas from the theory of parameterized algorithms into the realm of 3-manifolds. Various computationally hard problems were shown to be efficiently solvable for input triangulations that are sufficiently “tree-like.”
In this thesis we focus on the key combinatorial parameter in the above context: we consider the treewidth of a compact, orientable 3-manifold, i.e., the smallest treewidth of the dual graph of any triangulation thereof. By building on the work of Scharlemann–Thompson and Scharlemann–Schultens–Saito on generalized Heegaard splittings, and on the work of Jaco–Rubinstein on layered triangulations, we establish quantitative relations between the treewidth and classical topological invariants of a 3-manifold. In particular, among other results, we show that the treewidth of a closed, orientable, irreducible, non-Haken 3-manifold is always within a constant factor of its Heegaard genus.
AU - Huszár, Kristóf
ID - 8032
SN - 2663-337X
TI - Combinatorial width parameters for 3-dimensional manifolds
ER -
TY - THES
AB - In the thesis we focus on the interplay of the biophysics and evolution of gene regulation. We start by addressing how the type of prokaryotic gene regulation – activation and repression – affects spurious binding to DNA, also known as
transcriptional crosstalk. We propose that regulatory interference caused by excess regulatory proteins in the dense cellular medium – global crosstalk – could be a factor in determining which type of gene regulatory network is evolutionarily preferred. Next,we use a normative approach in eukaryotic gene regulation to describe minimal
non-equilibrium enhancer models that optimize so-called regulatory phenotypes. We find a class of models that differ from standard thermodynamic equilibrium models by a single parameter that notably increases the regulatory performance. Next chapter addresses the question of genotype-phenotype-fitness maps of higher dimensional phenotypes. We show that our biophysically realistic approach allows us to understand how the mechanisms of promoter function constrain genotypephenotype maps, and how they affect the evolutionary trajectories of promoters.
In the last chapter we ask whether the intrinsic instability of gene duplication and amplification provides a generic alternative to canonical gene regulation. Using mathematical modeling, we show that amplifications can tune gene expression in many environments, including those where transcription factor-based schemes are
hard to evolve or maintain.
AU - Grah, Rok
ID - 8155
SN - 2663-337X
TI - Gene regulation across scales – how biophysical constraints shape evolution
ER -
TY - THES
AB - We present solutions to several problems originating from geometry and discrete mathematics: existence of equipartitions, maps without Tverberg multiple points, and inscribing quadrilaterals. Equivariant obstruction theory is the natural topological approach to these type of questions. However, for the specific problems we consider it had yielded only partial or no results. We get our results by complementing equivariant obstruction theory with other techniques from topology and geometry.
AU - Avvakumov, Sergey
ID - 8156
TI - Topological methods in geometry and discrete mathematics
ER -
TY - THES
AB - Designing and verifying concurrent programs is a notoriously challenging, time consuming, and error prone task, even for experts. This is due to the sheer number of possible interleavings of a concurrent program, all of which have to be tracked and accounted for in a formal proof. Inventing an inductive invariant that captures all interleavings of a low-level implementation is theoretically possible, but practically intractable. We develop a refinement-based verification framework that provides mechanisms to simplify proof construction by decomposing the verification task into smaller subtasks.
In a first line of work, we present a foundation for refinement reasoning over structured concurrent programs. We introduce layered concurrent programs as a compact notation to represent multi-layer refinement proofs. A layered concurrent program specifies a sequence of connected concurrent programs, from most concrete to most abstract, such that common parts of different programs are written exactly once. Each program in this sequence is expressed as structured concurrent program, i.e., a program over (potentially recursive) procedures, imperative control flow, gated atomic actions, structured parallelism, and asynchronous concurrency. This is in contrast to existing refinement-based verifiers, which represent concurrent systems as flat transition relations. We present a powerful refinement proof rule that decomposes refinement checking over structured programs into modular verification conditions. Refinement checking is supported by a new form of modular, parameterized invariants, called yield invariants, and a linear permission system to enhance local reasoning.
In a second line of work, we present two new reduction-based program transformations that target asynchronous programs. These transformations reduce the number of interleavings that need to be considered, thus reducing the complexity of invariants. Synchronization simplifies the verification of asynchronous programs by introducing the fiction, for proof purposes, that asynchronous operations complete synchronously. Synchronization summarizes an asynchronous computation as immediate atomic effect. Inductive sequentialization establishes sequential reductions that captures every behavior of the original program up to reordering of coarse-grained commutative actions. A sequential reduction of a concurrent program is easy to reason about since it corresponds to a simple execution of the program in an idealized synchronous environment, where processes act in a fixed order and at the same speed.
Our approach is implemented the CIVL verifier, which has been successfully used for the verification of several complex concurrent programs. In our methodology, the overall correctness of a program is established piecemeal by focusing on the invariant required for each refinement step separately. While the programmer does the creative work of specifying the chain of programs and the inductive invariant justifying each link in the chain, the tool automatically constructs the verification conditions underlying each refinement step.
AU - Kragl, Bernhard
ID - 8332
SN - 2663-337X
TI - Verifying concurrent programs: Refinement, synchronization, sequentialization
ER -
TY - THES
AB - Fabrication of curved shells plays an important role in modern design, industry, and science. Among their remarkable properties are, for example, aesthetics of organic shapes, ability to evenly distribute loads, or efficient flow separation. They find applications across vast length scales ranging from sky-scraper architecture to microscopic devices. But, at
the same time, the design of curved shells and their manufacturing process pose a variety of challenges. In this thesis, they are addressed from several perspectives. In particular, this thesis presents approaches based on the transformation of initially flat sheets into the target curved surfaces. This involves problems of interactive design of shells with nontrivial mechanical constraints, inverse design of complex structural materials, and data-driven modeling of delicate and time-dependent physical properties. At the same time, two newly-developed self-morphing mechanisms targeting flat-to-curved transformation are presented.
In architecture, doubly curved surfaces can be realized as cold bent glass panelizations. Originally flat glass panels are bent into frames and remain stressed. This is a cost-efficient fabrication approach compared to hot bending, when glass panels are shaped plastically. However such constructions are prone to breaking during bending, and it is highly
nontrivial to navigate the design space, keeping the panels fabricable and aesthetically pleasing at the same time. We introduce an interactive design system for cold bent glass façades, while previously even offline optimization for such scenarios has not been sufficiently developed. Our method is based on a deep learning approach providing quick
and high precision estimation of glass panel shape and stress while handling the shape
multimodality.
Fabrication of smaller objects of scales below 1 m, can also greatly benefit from shaping originally flat sheets. In this respect, we designed new self-morphing shell mechanisms transforming from an initial flat state to a doubly curved state with high precision and detail. Our so-called CurveUps demonstrate the encodement of the geometric information
into the shell. Furthermore, we explored the frontiers of programmable materials and showed how temporal information can additionally be encoded into a flat shell. This allows prescribing deformation sequences for doubly curved surfaces and, thus, facilitates self-collision avoidance enabling complex shapes and functionalities otherwise impossible.
Both of these methods include inverse design tools keeping the user in the design loop.
AU - Guseinov, Ruslan
ID - 8366
KW - computer-aided design
KW - shape modeling
KW - self-morphing
KW - mechanical engineering
SN - 2663-337X
TI - Computational design of curved thin shells: From glass façades to programmable matter
ER -
TY - THES
AB - Form versus function is a long-standing debate in various design-related fields, such as architecture as well as graphic and industrial design. A good design that balances form and function often requires considerable human effort and collaboration among experts from different professional fields. Computational design tools provide a new paradigm for designing functional objects. In computational design, form and function are represented as mathematical
quantities, with the help of numerical and combinatorial algorithms, they can assist even novice users in designing versatile models that exhibit their desired functionality. This thesis presents three disparate research studies on the computational design of functional objects: The appearance of 3d print—we optimize the volumetric material distribution for faithfully replicating colored surface texture in 3d printing; the dynamic motion of mechanical structures—
our design system helps the novice user to retarget various mechanical templates with different functionality to complex 3d shapes; and a more abstract functionality, multistability—our algorithm automatically generates models that exhibit multiple stable target poses. For each of these cases, our computational design tools not only ensure the functionality of the results but also permit the user aesthetic freedom over the form. Moreover, fabrication constraints
were taken into account, which allow for the immediate creation of physical realization via 3D printing or laser cutting.
AU - Zhang, Ran
ID - 8386
SN - 2663-337X
TI - Structure-aware computational design and its application to 3D printable volume scattering, mechanism, and multistability
ER -
TY - THES
AB - Deep neural networks have established a new standard for data-dependent feature extraction pipelines in the Computer Vision literature. Despite their remarkable performance in the standard supervised learning scenario, i.e. when models are trained with labeled data and tested on samples that follow a similar distribution, neural networks have been shown to struggle with more advanced generalization abilities, such as transferring knowledge across visually different domains, or generalizing to new unseen combinations of known concepts. In this thesis we argue that, in contrast to the usual black-box behavior of neural networks, leveraging more structured internal representations is a promising direction
for tackling such problems. In particular, we focus on two forms of structure. First, we tackle modularity: We show that (i) compositional architectures are a natural tool for modeling reasoning tasks, in that they efficiently capture their combinatorial nature, which is key for generalizing beyond the compositions seen during training. We investigate how to to learn such models, both formally and experimentally, for the task of abstract visual reasoning. Then, we show that (ii) in some settings, modularity allows us to efficiently break down complex tasks into smaller, easier, modules, thereby improving computational efficiency; We study this behavior in the context of generative models for colorization, as well as for small objects detection. Secondly, we investigate the inherently layered structure of representations learned by neural networks, and analyze its role in the context of transfer learning and domain adaptation across visually
dissimilar domains.
AU - Royer, Amélie
ID - 8390
SN - 978-3-99078-007-7
TI - Leveraging structure in Computer Vision tasks for flexible Deep Learning models
ER -
TY - THES
AB - This thesis concerns itself with the interactions of evolutionary and ecological forces and the consequences on genetic diversity and the ultimate survival of populations. It is important to understand what signals processes
leave on the genome and what we can infer from such data, which is usually abundant but noisy. Furthermore, understanding how and when populations adapt or go extinct is important for practical purposes, such as the genetic management of populations, as well as for theoretical questions, since local adaptation can be the first step toward speciation.
In Chapter 2, we introduce the method of maximum entropy to approximate the demographic changes of a population in a simple setting, namely the logistic growth model with immigration. We show that this method is not only a powerful
tool in physics but can be gainfully applied in an ecological framework. We investigate how well it approximates the real
behavior of the system, and find that is does so, even in unexpected situations. Finally, we illustrate how it can model changing environments.
In Chapter 3, we analyze the co-evolution of allele frequencies and population sizes in an infinite island model.
We give conditions under which polygenic adaptation to a rare habitat is possible. The model we use is based on the diffusion approximation, considers eco-evolutionary feedback mechanisms (hard selection), and treats both
drift and environmental fluctuations explicitly. We also look at limiting scenarios, for which we derive analytical expressions.
In Chapter 4, we present a coalescent based simulation tool to obtain patterns of diversity in a spatially explicit subdivided population, in which the demographic history of each subpopulation can be specified. We compare
the results to existing predictions, and explore the relative importance of time and space under a variety of spatial arrangements and demographic histories, such as expansion and extinction.
In the last chapter, we give a brief outlook to further research.
AU - Szep, Eniko
ID - 8574
TI - Local adaptation in metapopulations
ER -
TY - THES
AB - The plant hormone auxin plays indispensable roles in plant growth and development. An essential level of regulation in auxin action is the directional auxin transport within cells. The establishment of auxin gradient in plant tissue has been attributed to local auxin biosynthesis and directional intercellular auxin transport, which both are controlled by various environmental and developmental signals. It is well established that asymmetric auxin distribution in cells is achieved by polarly localized PIN-FORMED (PIN) auxin efflux transporters. Despite the initial insights into cellular mechanisms of PIN polarization obtained from the last decades, the molecular mechanism and specific regulators mediating PIN polarization remains elusive. In this thesis, we aim to find novel players in PIN subcellular polarity regulation during Arabidopsis development. We first characterize the physiological effect of piperonylic acid (PA) on Arabidopsis hypocotyl gravitropic bending and PIN polarization. Secondly, we reveal the importance of SCFTIR1/AFB auxin signaling pathway in shoot gravitropism bending termination. In addition, we also explore the role of myosin XI complex, and actin cytoskeleton in auxin feedback regulation on PIN polarity.
In Chapter 1, we give an overview of the current knowledge about PIN-mediated auxin fluxes in various plant tropic responses. In Chapter 2, we study the physiological effect of PA on shoot gravitropic bending. Our results show that PA treatment inhibits auxin-mediated PIN3 repolarization by interfering with PINOID and PIN3 phosphorylation status, ultimately leading to hyperbending hypocotyls. In Chapter 3, we provide evidence to show that the SCFTIR1/AFB nuclear auxin signaling pathway is crucial and required for auxin-mediated PIN3 repolarization and shoot gravitropic bending termination. In Chapter 4, we perform a phosphoproteomics approach and identify the motor protein Myosin XI and its binding protein, the MadB2 family, as an essential regulator of PIN polarity for auxin-canalization related developmetal processes. In Chapter 5, we demonstrate the vital role of actin cytoskeleton in auxin feedback on PIN polarity by regulating PIN subcellular trafficking.
Overall, the data presented in this PhD thesis brings novel insights into the PIN polar localization regulation that resulted in the (re)establishment of the polar auxin flow and gradient in response to environmental stimuli during plant development.
AU - Han, Huibin
ID - 8589
TI - Novel insights into PIN polarity regulation during Arabidopsis development
ER -
TY - THES
AB - The development of the human brain occurs through a tightly regulated series of dynamic and adaptive processes during prenatal and postnatal life. A disruption of this strictly orchestrated series of events can lead to a number of neurodevelopmental conditions, including Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs). ASDs are a very common, etiologically and phenotypically heterogeneous group of disorders sharing the core symptoms of social interaction and communication deficits and restrictive and repetitive interests and behaviors. They are estimated to affect one in 59 individuals in the U.S. and, over the last three decades, mutations in more than a hundred genetic loci have been convincingly linked to ASD pathogenesis. Yet, for the vast majority of these ASD-risk genes their role during brain development and precise molecular function still remain elusive.
De novo loss of function mutations in the ubiquitin ligase-encoding gene Cullin 3 (CUL3) lead to ASD. In the study described here, we used Cul3 mouse models to evaluate the consequences of Cul3 mutations in vivo. Our results show that Cul3 heterozygous knockout mice exhibit deficits in motor coordination as well as ASD-relevant social and cognitive impairments. Cul3+/-, Cul3+/fl Emx1-Cre and Cul3fl/fl Emx1-Cre mutant brains display cortical lamination abnormalities due to defective migration of post-mitotic excitatory neurons, as well as reduced numbers of excitatory and inhibitory neurons. In line with the observed abnormal cortical organization, Cul3 heterozygous deletion is associated with decreased spontaneous excitatory and inhibitory activity in the cortex. At the molecular level we show that Cul3 regulates cytoskeletal and adhesion protein abundance in the mouse embryonic cortex. Abnormal regulation of cytoskeletal proteins in Cul3 mutant neural cells results in atypical organization of the actin mesh at the cell leading edge. Of note, heterozygous deletion of Cul3 in adult mice does not induce the majority of the behavioral defects observed in constitutive Cul3 haploinsufficient animals, pointing to a critical time-window for Cul3 deficiency.
In conclusion, our data indicate that Cul3 plays a critical role in the regulation of cytoskeletal proteins and neuronal migration. ASD-associated defects and behavioral abnormalities are primarily due to dosage sensitive Cul3 functions at early brain developmental stages.
AU - Morandell, Jasmin
ID - 8620
TI - Illuminating the role of Cul3 in autism spectrum disorder pathogenesis
ER -
TY - THES
AB - Synthesis of proteins – translation – is a fundamental process of life. Quantitative studies anchor translation into the context of bacterial physiology and reveal several mathematical relationships, called “growth laws,” which capture physiological feedbacks between protein synthesis and cell growth. Growth laws describe the dependency of the ribosome abundance as a function of growth rate, which can change depending on the growth conditions. Perturbations of translation reveal that bacteria employ a compensatory strategy in which the reduced translation capability results in increased expression of the translation machinery.
Perturbations of translation are achieved in various ways; clinically interesting is the application of translation-targeting antibiotics – translation inhibitors. The antibiotic effects on bacterial physiology are often poorly understood. Bacterial responses to two or more simultaneously applied antibiotics are even more puzzling. The combined antibiotic effect determines the type of drug interaction, which ranges from synergy (the effect is stronger than expected) to antagonism (the effect is weaker) and suppression (one of the drugs loses its potency).
In the first part of this work, we systematically measure the pairwise interaction network for translation inhibitors that interfere with different steps in translation. We find that the interactions are surprisingly diverse and tend to be more antagonistic. To explore the underlying mechanisms, we begin with a minimal biophysical model of combined antibiotic action. We base this model on the kinetics of antibiotic uptake and binding together with the physiological response described by the growth laws. The biophysical model explains some drug interactions, but not all; it specifically fails to predict suppression.
In the second part of this work, we hypothesize that elusive suppressive drug interactions result from the interplay between ribosomes halted in different stages of translation. To elucidate this putative mechanism of drug interactions between translation inhibitors, we generate translation bottlenecks genetically using in- ducible control of translation factors that regulate well-defined translation cycle steps. These perturbations accurately mimic antibiotic action and drug interactions, supporting that the interplay of different translation bottlenecks partially causes these interactions.
We extend this approach by varying two translation bottlenecks simultaneously. This approach reveals the suppression of translocation inhibition by inhibited translation. We rationalize this effect by modeling dense traffic of ribosomes that move on transcripts in a translation factor-mediated manner. This model predicts a dissolution of traffic jams caused by inhibited translocation when the density of ribosome traffic is reduced by lowered initiation. We base this model on the growth laws and quantitative relationships between different translation and growth parameters.
In the final part of this work, we describe a set of tools aimed at quantification of physiological and translation parameters. We further develop a simple model that directly connects the abundance of a translation factor with the growth rate, which allows us to extract physiological parameters describing initiation. We demonstrate the development of tools for measuring translation rate.
This thesis showcases how a combination of high-throughput growth rate mea- surements, genetics, and modeling can reveal mechanisms of drug interactions. Furthermore, by a gradual transition from combinations of antibiotics to precise genetic interventions, we demonstrated the equivalency between genetic and chemi- cal perturbations of translation. These findings tile the path for quantitative studies of antibiotic combinations and illustrate future approaches towards the quantitative description of translation.
AU - Kavcic, Bor
ID - 8657
SN - 978-3-99078-011-4
TI - Perturbations of protein synthesis: from antibiotics to genetics and physiology
ER -
TY - THES
AB - In this thesis we study certain mathematical aspects of evolution. The two primary forces that drive an evolutionary process are mutation and selection. Mutation generates new variants in a population. Selection chooses among the variants depending on the reproductive rates of individuals. Evolutionary processes are intrinsically random – a new mutation that is initially present in the population at low frequency can go extinct, even if it confers a reproductive advantage. The overall rate of evolution is largely determined by two quantities: the probability that an invading advantageous mutation spreads through the population (called fixation probability) and the time until it does so (called fixation time). Both those quantities crucially depend not only on the strength of the invading mutation but also on the population structure. In this thesis, we aim to understand how the underlying population structure affects the overall rate of evolution. Specifically, we study population structures that increase the fixation probability of advantageous mutants (called amplifiers of selection). Broadly speaking, our results are of three different types: We present various strong amplifiers, we identify regimes under which only limited amplification is feasible, and we propose population structures that provide different tradeoffs between high fixation probability and short fixation time.
AU - Tkadlec, Josef
ID - 7196
TI - A role of graphs in evolutionary processes
ER -
TY - THES
AB - Many methods for the reconstruction of shapes from sets of points produce ordered simplicial complexes, which are collections of vertices, edges, triangles, and their higher-dimensional analogues, called simplices, in which every simplex gets assigned a real value measuring its size. This thesis studies ordered simplicial complexes, with a focus on their topology, which reflects the connectedness of the represented shapes and the presence of holes. We are interested both in understanding better the structure of these complexes, as well as in developing algorithms for applications.
For the Delaunay triangulation, the most popular measure for a simplex is the radius of the smallest empty circumsphere. Based on it, we revisit Alpha and Wrap complexes and experimentally determine their probabilistic properties for random data. Also, we prove the existence of tri-partitions, propose algorithms to open and close holes, and extend the concepts from Euclidean to Bregman geometries.
AU - Ölsböck, Katharina
ID - 7460
KW - shape reconstruction
KW - hole manipulation
KW - ordered complexes
KW - Alpha complex
KW - Wrap complex
KW - computational topology
KW - Bregman geometry
SN - 2663-337X
TI - The hole system of triangulated shapes
ER -
TY - THES
AB - We study the interacting homogeneous Bose gas in two spatial dimensions in the thermodynamic limit at fixed density. We shall be concerned with some mathematical aspects of this complicated problem in many-body quantum mechanics. More specifically, we consider the dilute limit where the scattering length of the interaction potential, which is a measure for the effective range of the potential, is small compared to the average distance between the particles. We are interested in a setting with positive (i.e., non-zero) temperature. After giving a survey of the relevant literature in the field, we provide some facts and examples to set expectations for the two-dimensional system. The crucial difference to the three-dimensional system is that there is no Bose–Einstein condensate at positive temperature due to the Hohenberg–Mermin–Wagner theorem. However, it turns out that an asymptotic formula for the free energy holds similarly to the three-dimensional case.
We motivate this formula by considering a toy model with δ interaction potential. By restricting this model Hamiltonian to certain trial states with a quasi-condensate we obtain an upper bound for the free energy that still has the quasi-condensate fraction as a free parameter. When minimizing over the quasi-condensate fraction, we obtain the Berezinskii–Kosterlitz–Thouless critical temperature for superfluidity, which plays an important role in our rigorous contribution. The mathematically rigorous result that we prove concerns the specific free energy in the dilute limit. We give upper and lower bounds on the free energy in terms of the free energy of the non-interacting system and a correction term coming from the interaction. Both bounds match and thus we obtain the leading term of an asymptotic approximation in the dilute limit, provided the thermal wavelength of the particles is of the same order (or larger) than the average distance between the particles. The remarkable feature of this result is its generality: the correction term depends on the interaction potential only through its scattering length and it holds for all nonnegative interaction potentials with finite scattering length that are measurable. In particular, this allows to model an interaction of hard disks.
AU - Mayer, Simon
ID - 7514
SN - 2663-337X
TI - The free energy of a dilute two-dimensional Bose gas
ER -
TY - THES
AB - This thesis is based on three main topics: In the first part, we study convergence of discrete gradient flow structures associated with regular finite-volume discretisations of Fokker-Planck equations. We show evolutionary I convergence of the discrete gradient flows to the L2-Wasserstein gradient flow corresponding to the solution of a Fokker-Planck
equation in arbitrary dimension d >= 1. Along the argument, we prove Mosco- and I-convergence results for discrete energy functionals, which are of independent interest for convergence of equivalent gradient flow structures in Hilbert spaces.
The second part investigates L2-Wasserstein flows on metric graph. The starting point is a Benamou-Brenier formula for the L2-Wasserstein distance, which is proved via a regularisation scheme for solutions of the continuity equation, adapted to the peculiar geometric structure of metric graphs. Based on those results, we show that the L2-Wasserstein space over a metric graph admits a gradient flow which may be identified as a solution of a Fokker-Planck equation.
In the third part, we focus again on the discrete gradient flows, already encountered in the first part. We propose a variational structure which extends the gradient flow structure to Markov chains violating the detailed-balance conditions. Using this structure, we characterise contraction estimates for the discrete heat flow in terms of convexity of
corresponding path-dependent energy functionals. In addition, we use this approach to derive several functional inequalities for said functionals.
AU - Forkert, Dominik L
ID - 7629
SN - 2663-337X
TI - Gradient flows in spaces of probability measures for finite-volume schemes, metric graphs and non-reversible Markov chains
ER -
TY - THES
AB - Proteins and their complex dynamic interactions regulate cellular mechanisms from sensing and transducing extracellular signals, to mediating genetic responses, and sustaining or changing cell morphology. To manipulate these protein-protein interactions (PPIs) that govern the behavior and fate of cells, synthetically constructed, genetically encoded tools provide the means to precisely target proteins of interest (POIs), and control their subcellular localization and activity in vitro and in vivo. Ideal synthetic tools react to an orthogonal cue, i.e. a trigger that does not activate any other endogenous process, thereby allowing manipulation of the POI alone.
In optogenetics, naturally occurring photosensory domain from plants, algae and bacteria are re-purposed and genetically fused to POIs. Illumination with light of a specific wavelength triggers a conformational change that can mediate PPIs, such as dimerization or oligomerization. By using light as a trigger, these tools can be activated with high spatial and temporal precision, on subcellular and millisecond scales. Chemogenetic tools consist of protein domains that recognize and bind small molecules. By genetic fusion to POIs, these domains can mediate PPIs upon addition of their specific ligands, which are often synthetically designed to provide highly specific interactions and exhibit good bioavailability.
Most optogenetic tools to mediate PPIs are based on well-studied photoreceptors responding to red, blue or near-UV light, leaving a striking gap in the green band of the visible light spectrum. Among both optogenetic and chemogenetic tools, there is an abundance of methods to induce PPIs, but tools to disrupt them require UV illumination, rely on covalent linkage and subsequent enzymatic cleavage or initially result in protein clustering of unknown stoichiometry.
This work describes how the recently structurally and photochemically characterized green-light responsive cobalamin-binding domains (CBDs) from bacterial transcription factors were re-purposed to function as a green-light responsive optogenetic tool. In contrast to previously engineered optogenetic tools, CBDs do not induce PPI, but rather confer a PPI already upon expression, which can be rapidly disrupted by illumination. This was employed to mimic inhibition of constitutive activity of a growth factor receptor, and successfully implement for cell signalling in mammalian cells and in vivo to rescue development in zebrafish. This work further describes the development and application of a chemically induced de-dimerizer (CDD) based on a recently identified and structurally described bacterial oxyreductase. CDD forms a dimer upon expression in absence of its cofactor, the flavin derivative F420. Safety and of domain expression and ligand exposure are demonstrated in vitro and in vivo in zebrafish. The system is further applied to inhibit cell signalling output from a chimeric receptor upon F420 treatment.
CBDs and CDD expand the repertoire of synthetic tools by providing novel mechanisms of mediating PPIs, and by recognizing previously not utilized cues. In the future, they can readily be combined with existing synthetic tools to functionally manipulate PPIs in vitro and in vivo.
AU - Kainrath, Stephanie
ID - 7680
TI - Synthetic tools for optogenetic and chemogenetic inhibition of cellular signals
ER -
TY - THES
AB - A search problem lies in the complexity class FNP if a solution to the given instance of the problem can be verified efficiently. The complexity class TFNP consists of all search problems in FNP that are total in the sense that a solution is guaranteed to exist. TFNP contains a host of interesting problems from fields such as algorithmic game theory, computational topology, number theory and combinatorics. Since TFNP is a semantic class, it is unlikely to have a complete problem. Instead, one studies its syntactic subclasses which are defined based on the combinatorial principle used to argue totality. Of particular interest is the subclass PPAD, which contains important problems
like computing Nash equilibrium for bimatrix games and computational counterparts of several fixed-point theorems as complete. In the thesis, we undertake the study of averagecase hardness of TFNP, and in particular its subclass PPAD.
Almost nothing was known about average-case hardness of PPAD before a series of recent results showed how to achieve it using a cryptographic primitive called program obfuscation.
However, it is currently not known how to construct program obfuscation from standard cryptographic assumptions. Therefore, it is desirable to relax the assumption under which average-case hardness of PPAD can be shown. In the thesis we take a step in this direction. First, we show that assuming the (average-case) hardness of a numbertheoretic
problem related to factoring of integers, which we call Iterated-Squaring, PPAD is hard-on-average in the random-oracle model. Then we strengthen this result to show that the average-case hardness of PPAD reduces to the (adaptive) soundness of the Fiat-Shamir Transform, a well-known technique used to compile a public-coin interactive protocol into a non-interactive one. As a corollary, we obtain average-case hardness for PPAD in the random-oracle model assuming the worst-case hardness of #SAT. Moreover, the above results can all be strengthened to obtain average-case hardness for the class CLS ⊆ PPAD.
Our main technical contribution is constructing incrementally-verifiable procedures for computing Iterated-Squaring and #SAT. By incrementally-verifiable, we mean that every intermediate state of the computation includes a proof of its correctness, and the proof can be updated and verified in polynomial time. Previous constructions of such procedures relied on strong, non-standard assumptions. Instead, we introduce a technique called recursive proof-merging to obtain the same from weaker assumptions.
AU - Kamath Hosdurg, Chethan
ID - 7896
TI - On the average-case hardness of total search problems
ER -
TY - THES
AB - This thesis considers two examples of reconfiguration problems: flipping edges in edge-labelled triangulations of planar point sets and swapping labelled tokens placed on vertices of a graph. In both cases the studied structures – all the triangulations of a given point set or all token placements on a given graph – can be thought of as vertices of the so-called reconfiguration graph, in which two vertices are adjacent if the corresponding structures differ by a single elementary operation – by a flip of a diagonal in a triangulation or by a swap of tokens on adjacent vertices, respectively. We study the reconfiguration of one instance of a structure into another via (shortest) paths in the reconfiguration graph.
For triangulations of point sets in which each edge has a unique label and a flip transfers the label from the removed edge to the new edge, we prove a polynomial-time testable condition, called the Orbit Theorem, that characterizes when two triangulations of the same point set lie in the same connected component of the reconfiguration graph. The condition was first conjectured by Bose, Lubiw, Pathak and Verdonschot. We additionally provide a polynomial time algorithm that computes a reconfiguring flip sequence, if it exists. Our proof of the Orbit Theorem uses topological properties of a certain high-dimensional cell complex that has the usual reconfiguration graph as its 1-skeleton.
In the context of token swapping on a tree graph, we make partial progress on the problem of finding shortest reconfiguration sequences. We disprove the so-called Happy Leaf Conjecture and demonstrate the importance of swapping tokens that are already placed at the correct vertices. We also prove that a generalization of the problem to weighted coloured token swapping is NP-hard on trees but solvable in polynomial time on paths and stars.
AU - Masárová, Zuzana
ID - 7944
KW - reconfiguration
KW - reconfiguration graph
KW - triangulations
KW - flip
KW - constrained triangulations
KW - shellability
KW - piecewise-linear balls
KW - token swapping
KW - trees
KW - coloured weighted token swapping
SN - 978-3-99078-005-3
TI - Reconfiguration problems
ER -
TY - THES
AB - The oft-quoted dictum by Arthur Schawlow: ``A diatomic molecule has one atom too many'' has been disavowed. Inspired by the possibility to experimentally manipulate and enhance chemical reactivity in helium nanodroplets, we investigate the rotation of coupled cold molecules in the presence of a many-body environment.
In this thesis, we introduce new variational approaches to quantum impurities and apply them to the Fröhlich polaron - a quasiparticle formed out of an electron (or other point-like impurity) in a polar medium, and to the angulon - a quasiparticle formed out of a rotating molecule in a bosonic bath.
With this theoretical toolbox, we reveal the self-localization transition for the angulon quasiparticle. We show that, unlike for polarons, self-localization of angulons occurs at finite impurity-bath coupling already at the mean-field level. The transition is accompanied by the spherical-symmetry breaking of the angulon ground state and a discontinuity in the first derivative of the ground-state energy. Moreover, the type of symmetry breaking is dictated by the symmetry of the microscopic impurity-bath interaction, which leads to a number of distinct self-localized states.
For the system containing multiple impurities, by analogy with the bipolaron, we introduce the biangulon quasiparticle describing two rotating molecules that align with respect to each other due to the effective attractive interaction mediated by the excitations of the bath. We study this system from the strong-coupling regime to the weak molecule-bath interaction regime. We show that the molecules tend to have a strong alignment in the ground state, the biangulon shows shifted angulon instabilities and an additional spectral instability, where resonant angular momentum transfer between the molecules and the bath takes place. Finally, we introduce a diagonalization scheme that allows us to describe the transition from two separated angulons to a biangulon as a function of the distance between the two molecules.
AU - Li, Xiang
ID - 8958
SN - 2663-337X
TI - Rotation of coupled cold molecules in the presence of a many-body environment
ER -
TY - THES
AB - Metabolic adaptation is a critical feature of migrating cells. It tunes the metabolic programs of migrating cells to allow them to efficiently exert their crucial roles in development, inflammatory responses and tumor metastasis. Cell migration through physically challenging contexts requires energy. However, how the metabolic reprogramming that underlies in vivo cell invasion is controlled is still unanswered. In my PhD project, I identify a novel conserved metabolic shift in Drosophila melanogaster immune cells that by modulating their bioenergetic potential controls developmentally programmed tissue invasion. We show that this regulation requires a novel conserved nuclear protein, named Atossa. Atossa enhances the transcription of a set of proteins, including an RNA helicase Porthos and two metabolic enzymes, each of which increases the tissue invasion of leading Drosophila macrophages and can rescue the atossa mutant phenotype. Porthos selectively regulates the translational efficiency of a subset of mRNAs containing a 5’-UTR cis-regulatory TOP-like sequence. These 5’TOPL mRNA targets encode mitochondrial-related proteins, including subunits of mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) components III and V and other metabolic-related proteins. Porthos powers up mitochondrial OXPHOS to engender a sufficient ATP supply, which is required for tissue invasion of leading macrophages. Atossa’s two vertebrate orthologs rescue the invasion defect. In my PhD project, I elucidate that Atossa displays a conserved developmental metabolic control to modulate metabolic capacities and the cellular energy state, through altered transcription and translation, to aid the tissue infiltration of leading cells into energy demanding barriers.
AU - Emtenani, Shamsi
ID - 8983
TI - Metabolic regulation of Drosophila macrophage tissue invasion
ER -
TY - THES
AB - Mutations are the raw material of evolution and come in many different flavors. Point mutations change a single letter in the DNA sequence, while copy number mutations like duplications or deletions add or remove many letters of the DNA sequence simultaneously. Each type of mutation exhibits specific properties like its rate of formation and reversal.
Gene expression is a fundamental phenotype that can be altered by both, point and copy number mutations. The following thesis is concerned with the dynamics of gene expression evolution and how it is affected by the properties exhibited by point and copy number mutations. Specifically, we are considering i) copy number mutations during adaptation to fluctuating environments and ii) the interaction of copy number and point mutations during adaptation to constant environments.
AU - Tomanek, Isabella
ID - 8653
KW - duplication
KW - amplification
KW - promoter
KW - CNV
KW - AMGET
KW - experimental evolution
KW - Escherichia coli
SN - 2663-337X
TI - The evolution of gene expression by copy number and point mutations
ER -
TY - THES
AB - During bacterial cell division, the tubulin-homolog FtsZ forms a ring-like structure at the center of the cell. This so-called Z-ring acts as a scaffold recruiting several division-related proteins to mid-cell and plays a key role in distributing proteins at the division site, a feature driven by the treadmilling motion of FtsZ filaments around the septum. What regulates the architecture, dynamics and stability of the Z-ring is still poorly understood, but FtsZ-associated proteins (Zaps) are known to play an important role.
Advances in fluorescence microscopy and in vitro reconstitution experiments have helped to shed light into some of the dynamic properties of these complex systems, but methods that allow to collect and analyze large quantitative data sets of the underlying polymer dynamics are still missing.
Here, using an in vitro reconstitution approach, we studied how different Zaps affect FtsZ filament dynamics and organization into large-scale patterns, giving special emphasis to the role of the well-conserved protein ZapA. For this purpose, we use high-resolution fluorescence microscopy combined with novel image analysis workfows to study pattern organization and polymerization dynamics of active filaments. We quantified the influence of Zaps on FtsZ on three diferent spatial scales: the large-scale organization of the membrane-bound filament network, the underlying
polymerization dynamics and the behavior of single molecules.
We found that ZapA cooperatively increases the spatial order of the filament network, binds only transiently to FtsZ filaments and has no effect on filament length and treadmilling velocity. Our data provides a model for how FtsZ-associated proteins can increase the precision and stability of the bacterial cell division machinery in a
switch-like manner, without compromising filament dynamics. Furthermore, we believe that our automated quantitative methods can be used to analyze a large variety of dynamic cytoskeletal systems, using standard time-lapse
movies of homogeneously labeled proteins obtained from experiments in vitro or even inside the living cell.
AU - Dos Santos Caldas, Paulo R
ID - 8358
SN - 978-3-99078-009-1
TI - Organization and dynamics of treadmilling filaments in cytoskeletal networks of FtsZ and its crosslinkers
ER -
TY - THES
AB - Self-organization is a hallmark of plant development manifested e.g. by intricate leaf vein patterns, flexible formation of vasculature during organogenesis or its regeneration following wounding. Spontaneously arising channels transporting the phytohormone auxin, created by coordinated polar localizations of PIN-FORMED 1 (PIN1) auxin exporter, provide positional cues for these as well as other plant patterning processes. To find regulators acting downstream of auxin and the TIR1/AFB auxin signaling pathway essential for PIN1 coordinated polarization during auxin canalization, we performed microarray experiments. Besides the known components of general PIN polarity maintenance, such as PID and PIP5K kinases, we identified and characterized a new regulator of auxin canalization, the transcription factor WRKY DNA-BINDING PROTEIN 23 (WRKY23).
Next, we designed a subsequent microarray experiment to further uncover other molecular players, downstream of auxin-TIR1/AFB-WRKY23 involved in the regulation of auxin-mediated PIN repolarization. We identified a novel and crucial part of the molecular machinery underlying auxin canalization. The auxin-regulated malectin-type receptor-like kinase CAMEL and the associated leucine-rich repeat receptor-like kinase CANAR target and directly phosphorylate PIN auxin transporters. camel and canar mutants are impaired in PIN1 subcellular trafficking and auxin-mediated repolarization leading to defects in auxin transport, ultimately to leaf venation and vasculature regeneration defects. Our results describe the CAMEL-CANAR receptor complex, which is required for auxin feed-back on its own transport and thus for coordinated tissue polarization during auxin canalization.
AU - Hajny, Jakub
ID - 8822
TI - Identification and characterization of the molecular machinery of auxin-dependent canalization during vasculature formation and regeneration
ER -
TY - THES
AB - Mrp (Multi resistance and pH adaptation) are broadly distributed secondary active antiporters that catalyze the transport of monovalent ions such as sodium and potassium outside of the cell coupled to the inward translocation of protons. Mrp antiporters are unique in a way that they are composed of seven subunits (MrpABCDEFG) encoded in a single operon, whereas other antiporters catalyzing the same reaction are mostly encoded by a single gene. Mrp exchangers are crucial for intracellular pH homeostasis and Na+ efflux, essential mechanisms for H+ uptake under alkaline environments and for reduction of the intracellular concentration of toxic cations. Mrp displays no homology to any other monovalent Na+(K+)/H+ antiporters but Mrp subunits have primary sequence similarity to essential redox-driven proton pumps, such as respiratory complex I and membrane-bound hydrogenases. This similarity reinforces the hypothesis that these present day redox-driven proton pumps are descended from the Mrp antiporter. The Mrp structure serves as a model to understand the yet obscure coupling mechanism between ion or electron transfer and proton translocation in this large group of proteins. In the thesis, I am presenting the purification, biochemical analysis, cryo-EM analysis and molecular structure of the Mrp complex from Anoxybacillus flavithermus solved by cryo-EM at 3.0 Å resolution. Numerous conditions were screened to purify Mrp to high homogeneity and to obtain an appropriate distribution of single particles on cryo-EM grids covered with a continuous layer of ultrathin carbon. A preferred particle orientation problem was solved by performing a tilted data collection. The activity assays showed the specific pH-dependent
profile of secondary active antiporters. The molecular structure shows that Mrp is a dimer of seven-subunit protomers with 50 trans-membrane helices each. The dimer interface is built by many short and tilted transmembrane helices, probably causing a thinning of the bacterial membrane. The surface charge distribution shows an extraordinary asymmetry within each monomer, revealing presumable proton and sodium translocation pathways. The two largest
and homologous Mrp subunits MrpA and MrpD probably translocate one proton each into the cell. The sodium ion is likely being translocated in the opposite direction within the small subunits along a ladder of charged and conserved residues. Based on the structure, we propose a mechanism were the antiport activity is accomplished via electrostatic interactions between the charged cations and key charged residues. The flexible key TM helices coordinate these
electrostatic interactions, while the membrane thinning between the monomers enables the translocation of sodium across the charged membrane. The entire family of redox-driven proton pumps is likely to perform their mechanism in a likewise manner.
AU - Steiner, Julia
ID - 8353
TI - Biochemical and structural investigation of the Mrp antiporter, an ancestor of complex I
ER -
TY - THES
AB - One of the most striking hallmarks of the eukaryotic cell is the presence of intracellular vesicles and organelles. Each of these membrane-enclosed compartments has a distinct composition of lipids and proteins, which is essential for accurate membrane traffic and homeostasis. Interestingly, their biochemical identities are achieved with the help
of small GTPases of the Rab family, which cycle between GDP- and GTP-bound forms on the selected membrane surface. While this activity switch is well understood for an individual protein, how Rab GTPases collectively transition between states to generate decisive signal propagation in space and time is unclear. In my PhD thesis, I present
in vitro reconstitution experiments with theoretical modeling to systematically study a minimal Rab5 activation network from bottom-up. We find that positive feedback based on known molecular interactions gives rise to bistable GTPase activity switching on system’s scale. Furthermore, we determine that collective transition near the critical
point is intrinsically stochastic and provide evidence that the inactive Rab5 abundance on the membrane can shape the network response. Finally, we demonstrate that collective switching can spread on the lipid bilayer as a traveling activation wave, representing a possible emergent activity pattern in endosomal maturation. Together, our
findings reveal new insights into the self-organization properties of signaling networks away from chemical equilibrium. Our work highlights the importance of systematic characterization of biochemical systems in well-defined physiological conditions. This way, we were able to answer long-standing open questions in the field and close the gap between regulatory processes on a molecular scale and emergent responses on system’s level.
AU - Bezeljak, Urban
ID - 8341
TI - In vitro reconstitution of a Rab activation switch
ER -
TY - THES
AB - The medial habenula (MHb) is an evolutionary conserved epithalamic structure important for the modulation of emotional memory. It is involved in regulation of anxiety, compulsive behavior, addiction (nicotinic and opioid), sexual and feeding behavior. MHb receives inputs from septal regions and projects exclusively to the interpeduncular nucleus (IPN). Distinct sub-regions of the septum project to different subnuclei of MHb: the bed nucleus of anterior commissure projects to dorsal MHb and the triangular septum projects to ventral MHb. Furthermore, the dorsal and ventral MHb project to the lateral and rostral/central IPN, respectively. Importantly, these projections have unique features of prominent co-release of different neurotransmitters and requirement of a peculiar type of calcium channel for release. In general, synaptic neurotransmission requires an activity-dependent influx of Ca2+ into the presynaptic terminal through voltage-gated calcium channels. The calcium channel family most commonly involved in neurotransmitter release comprises three members, P/Q-, N- and R-type with Cav2.1, Cav2.2 and Cav2.3 subunits, respectively. In contrast to most CNS synapses that mainly express Cav2.1 and/or Cav2.2, MHb terminals in the IPN exclusively express Cav2.3. In other parts of the brain, such as the hippocampus, Cav2.3 is mostly located to postsynaptic elements. This unusual presynaptic location of Cav2.3 in the MHb-IPN pathway implies unique mechanisms of glutamate release in this pathway. One potential example of such uniqueness is the facilitation of release by GABAB receptor (GBR) activation. Presynaptic GBRs usually inhibit the release of neurotransmitters by inhibiting presynaptic calcium channels. MHb shows the highest expression levels of GBR in the brain. GBRs comprise two subunits, GABAB1 (GB1) and GABAB2 (GB2), and are associated with auxiliary subunits, called potassium channel tetramerization domain containing proteins (KCTD) 8, 12, 12b and 16. Among these four subunits, KCTD12b is exclusively expressed in ventral MHb, and KCTD8 shows the strongest expression in the whole MHb among other brain regions, indicating that KCTD8 and KCTD12b may be involved in the unique mechanisms of neurotransmitter release mediated by Cav2.3 and regulated by GBRs in this pathway.
In the present study, we first verified that neurotransmission in both dorsal and ventral MHb-IPN pathways is mainly mediated by Cav2.3 using a selective blocker of R-type channels, SNX-482. We next found that baclofen, a GBR agonist, has facilitatory effects on release from ventral MHb terminal in rostral IPN, whereas it has inhibitory effects on release from dorsal MHb terminals in lateral IPN, indicating that KCTD12b expressed exclusively in ventral MHb may have a role in the facilitatory effects of GBR activation. In a heterologous expression system using HEK cells, we found that KCTD8 and KCTD12b but not KCTD12 directly bind with Cav2.3. Pre-embedding immunogold electron microscopy data show that Cav2.3 and KCTD12b are distributed most densely in presynaptic active zone in IPN with KCTD12b being present only in rostral/central but not lateral IPN, whereas GABAB, KCTD8 and KCTD12 are distributed most densely in perisynaptic sites with KCTD12 present more frequently in postsynaptic elements and only in rostral/central IPN. In freeze-fracture replica labelling, Cav2.3, KCTD8 and KCTD12b are co-localized with each other in the same active zone indicating that they may form complexes regulating vesicle release in rostral IPN.
On electrophysiological studies of wild type (WT) mice, we found that paired-pulse ratio in rostral IPN of KCTD12b knock-out (KO) mice is lower than those of WT and KCTD8 KO mice. Consistent with this finding, in mean variance analysis, release probability in rostral IPN of KCTD12b KO mice is higher than that of WT and KCTD8 KO mice. Although paired-pulse ratios are not different between WT and KCTD8 KO mice, the mean variance analysis revealed significantly lower release probability in rostral IPN of KCTD8 KO than WT mice. These results demonstrate bidirectional regulation of Cav2.3-mediated release by KCTD8 and KCTD12b without GBR activation in rostral IPN. Finally, we examined the baclofen effects in rostral IPN of KCTD8 and KCTD12b KO mice, and found the facilitation of release remained in both KO mice, indicating that the peculiar effects of the GBR activation in this pathway do not depend on the selective expression of these KCTD subunits in ventral MHb. However, we found that presynaptic potentiation of evoked EPSC amplitude by baclofen falls to baseline after washout faster in KCTD12b KO mice than WT, KCTD8 KO and KCTD8/12b double KO mice. This result indicates that KCTD12b is involved in sustained potentiation of vesicle release by GBR activation, whereas KCTD8 is involved in its termination in the absence of KCTD12b. Consistent with these functional findings, replica labelling revealed an increase in density of KCTD8, but not Cav2.3 or GBR at active zone in rostral IPN of KCTD12b KO mice compared with that of WT mice, suggesting that increased association of KCTD8 with Cav2.3 facilitates the release probability and termination of the GBR effect in the absence of KCTD12b.
In summary, our study provided new insights into the physiological roles of presynaptic Cav2.3, GBRs and their auxiliary subunits KCTDs at an evolutionary conserved neuronal circuit. Future studies will be required to identify the exact molecular mechanism underlying the GBR-mediated presynaptic potentiation on ventral MHb terminals. It remains to be determined whether the prominent presence of presynaptic KCTDs at active zone could exert similar neuromodulatory functions in different pathways of the brain.
AU - Bhandari, Pradeep
ID - 7525
KW - Cav2.3
KW - medial habenula (MHb)
KW - interpeduncular nucleus (IPN)
SN - 2663-337X
TI - Localization and functional role of Cav2.3 in the medial habenula to interpeduncular nucleus pathway
ER -
TY - THES
AB - Mitochondria are sites of oxidative phosphorylation in eukaryotic cells. Oxidative phosphorylation operates by a chemiosmotic mechanism made possible by redox-driven proton pumping machines which establish a proton motive force across the inner mitochondrial membrane. This electrochemical proton gradient is used to drive ATP synthesis, which powers the majority of cellular processes such as protein synthesis, locomotion and signalling. In this thesis I investigate the structures and molecular mechanisms of two inner mitochondrial proton pumping enzymes, respiratory complex I and transhydrogenase. I present the first high-resolution structure of the full transhydrogenase from any species, and a significantly improved structure of complex I. Improving the resolution from 3.3 Å available previously to up to 2.3 Å in this thesis allowed us to model bound water molecules, crucial in the proton pumping mechanism. For both enzymes, up to five cryo-EM datasets with different substrates and inhibitors bound were solved to delineate the catalytic cycle and understand the proton pumping mechanism. In transhydrogenase, the proton channel is gated by reversible detachment of the NADP(H)-binding domain which opens the proton channel to the opposite sites of the membrane. In complex I, the proton channels are gated by reversible protonation of key glutamate and lysine residues and breaking of the water wire connecting the proton pumps with the quinone reduction site. The tight coupling between the redox and the proton pumping reactions in transhydrogenase is achieved by controlling the NADP(H) exchange which can only happen when the NADP(H)-binding domain interacts with the membrane domain. In complex I, coupling is achieved by cycling of the whole complex between the closed state, in which quinone can get reduced, and the open state, in which NADH can induce quinol ejection from the binding pocket. On the basis of these results I propose detailed mechanisms for catalytic cycles of transhydrogenase and complex I that are consistent with a large amount of previous work. In both enzymes, conformational and electrostatic mechanisms contribute to the overall catalytic process. Results presented here could be used for better understanding of the human pathologies arising from deficiencies of complex I or transhydrogenase and could be used to develop novel therapies.
AU - Kampjut, Domen
ID - 8340
SN - 978-3-99078-008-4
TI - Molecular mechanisms of mitochondrial redox-coupled proton pumping enzymes
ER -
TY - THES
AB - Cytoplasm is a gel-like crowded environment composed of tens of thousands of macromolecules, organelles, cytoskeletal networks and cytosol. The structure of the cytoplasm is thought to be highly organized and heterogeneous due to the crowding of its constituents and their effective compartmentalization. In such an environment, the diffusive dynamics of the molecules is very restricted, an effect that is further amplified by clustering and anchoring of molecules. Despite the jammed nature of the cytoplasm at the microscopic scale, large-scale reorganization of cytoplasm is essential for important cellular functions, such as nuclear positioning and cell division. How such mesoscale reorganization of the cytoplasm is achieved, especially for very large cells such as oocytes or syncytial tissues that can span hundreds of micrometers in size, has only begun to be understood.
In this thesis, I focus on the recent advances in elucidating the molecular, cellular and biophysical principles underlying cytoplasmic organization across different scales, structures and species. First, I outline which of these principles have been identified by reductionist approaches, such as in vitro reconstitution assays, where boundary conditions and components can be modulated at ease. I then describe how the theoretical and experimental framework established in these reduced systems have been applied to their more complex in vivo counterparts, in particular oocytes and embryonic syncytial structures, and discuss how such complex biological systems can initiate symmetry breaking and establish patterning.
Specifically, I examine an example of large-scale reorganizations taking place in zebrafish embryos, where extensive cytoplasmic streaming leads to the segregation of cytoplasm from yolk granules along the animal-vegetal axis of the embryo. Using biophysical experimentation and theory, I investigate the forces underlying this process, to show that this process does not rely on cortical actin reorganization, as previously thought, but instead on a cell-cycle-dependent bulk actin polymerization wave traveling from the animal to the vegetal pole of the embryo. This wave functions in segregation by both pulling cytoplasm animally and pushing yolk granules vegetally. Cytoplasm pulling is mediated by bulk actin network flows exerting friction forces on the cytoplasm, while yolk granule pushing is achieved by a mechanism closely resembling actin comet formation on yolk granules. This study defines a novel role of bulk actin polymerization waves in embryo polarization via cytoplasmic segregation. Lastly, I describe the cytoplasmic reorganizations taking place during zebrafish oocyte maturation, where the initial segregation of the cytoplasm and yolk granules occurs. Here, I demonstrate a previously uncharacterized wave of microtubule aster formation, traveling the oocyte along the animal-vegetal axis. Further research is required to determine the role of such microtubule structures in cytoplasmic reorganizations therein.
Collectively, these studies provide further evidence for the coupling between cell cytoskeleton and cell cycle machinery, which can underlie a core self-organizing mechanism for orchestrating large-scale reorganizations in a cell-cycle-tunable manner, where the modulations of the force-generating machinery and cytoplasmic mechanics can be harbored to fulfill cellular functions.
AU - Shamipour, Shayan
ID - 8350
TI - Bulk actin dynamics drive phase segregation in zebrafish oocytes
ER -
TY - THES
AB - Mosaic genetic analysis has been widely used in different model organisms such as the fruit fly to study gene-function in a cell-autonomous or tissue-specific fashion. More recently, and less easily conducted, mosaic genetic analysis in mice has also been enabled with the ambition to shed light on human gene function and disease. These genetic tools are of particular interest, but not restricted to, the study of the brain. Notably, the MADM technology offers a genetic approach in mice to visualize and concomitantly manipulate small subsets of genetically defined cells at a clonal level and single cell resolution. MADM-based analysis has already advanced the study of genetic mechanisms regulating brain development and is expected that further MADM-based analysis of genetic alterations will continue to reveal important insights on the fundamental principles of development and disease to potentially assist in the development of new therapies or treatments.
In summary, this work completed and characterized the necessary genome-wide genetic tools to perform MADM-based analysis at single cell level of the vast majority of mouse genes in virtually any cell type and provided a protocol to perform lineage tracing using the novel MADM resource. Importantly, this work also explored and revealed novel aspects of biologically relevant events in an in vivo context, such as the chromosome-specific bias of chromatid sister segregation pattern, the generation of cell-type diversity in the cerebral cortex and in the cerebellum and finally, the relevance of the interplay between the cell-autonomous gene function and cell-non-autonomous (community) effects in radial glial progenitor lineage progression.
This work provides a foundation and opens the door to further elucidating the molecular mechanisms underlying neuronal diversity and astrocyte generation.
AU - Contreras, Ximena
ID - 7902
TI - Genetic dissection of neural development in health and disease at single cell resolution
ER -
TY - THES
AB - Many flows encountered in nature and applications are characterized by a chaotic motion known as turbulence. Turbulent flows generate intense friction with pipe walls and are responsible for considerable amounts of energy losses at world scale. The nature of turbulent friction and techniques aimed at reducing it have been subject of extensive research over the last century, but no definite answer has been found yet. In this thesis we show that in pipes at moderate turbulent Reynolds numbers friction is better described by the power law first introduced by Blasius and not by the Prandtl–von Kármán formula. At higher Reynolds numbers, large scale motions gradually become more important in the flow and can be related to the change in scaling of friction. Next, we present a series of new techniques that can relaminarize turbulence by suppressing a key mechanism that regenerates it at walls, the lift–up effect. In addition, we investigate the process of turbulence decay in several experiments and discuss the drag reduction potential. Finally, we examine the behavior of friction under pulsating conditions inspired by the human heart cycle and we show that under such circumstances turbulent friction can be reduced to produce energy savings.
AU - Scarselli, Davide
ID - 7258
SN - 2663-337X
TI - New approaches to reduce friction in turbulent pipe flow
ER -
TY - THES
AB - One of the core promises of blockchain technology is that of enabling trustworthy data dissemination in a trustless environment. What current blockchain systems deliver, however, is slow dissemination of public data, rendering blockchain technology unusable in settings where latency, transaction capacity, or data confidentiality are important. In this thesis we focus on providing solutions on two of the most pressing problems blockchain technology currently faces: scalability and data confidentiality. To address the scalability issue, we present OMNILEDGER, a novel scale-out distributed ledger that preserves long-term security under permissionless operation. It ensures security and correctness by using a bias-resistant public-randomness protocol for choosing large, statistically representative shards that process transactions, and by introducing an efficient cross-shard commit protocol that atomically handles transactions affecting multiple shards. To enable secure sharing of confidential data we present CALYPSO, the first fully decentralized, auditable access-control framework for secure blockchain-based data sharing which builds upon two abstractions. First, on-chain secrets enable collective management of (verifiably shared) secrets under a Byzantine adversary where an access-control blockchain enforces user-specific access rules and a secret-management cothority administers encrypted data. Second, skipchain-based identity and access management enables efficient administration of dynamic, sovereign identities and access policies and, in particular, permits clients to maintain long-term relationships with respect to evolving user identities thanks to the trust-delegating forward links of skipchains. In order to build OMNILEDGER and CALYPSO, we first build a set of tools for efficient decentralization, which are presented in Part II of this dissertation. These tools can be used in decentralized and distributed systems to achieve (1) scalable consensus (BYZCOIN), (2) bias- resistant distributed randomness creations (RANDHOUND), and (3) relationship-keeping between independently updating communication endpoints (SKIPCHAINIAC). Although we use this tools in the scope off this thesis, they can be (and already have been) used in a far wider scope.
AU - Kokoris Kogias, Eleftherios
ID - 8311
TI - Secure, confidential blockchains providing high throughput and low latency
ER -
TY - THES
AB - The development and growth of Arabidopsis thaliana is regulated by a combination of genetic programing and also by the environmental influences. An important role in these processes play the phytohormones and among them, auxin is crucial as it controls many important functions. It is transported through the whole plant body by creating local and temporal concentration maxima and minima, which have an impact on the cell status, tissue and organ identity. Auxin has the property to undergo a directional and finely regulated cell-to-cell transport, which is enabled by the transport proteins, localized on the plasma membrane. An important role in this process have the PIN auxin efflux proteins, which have an asymmetric/polar subcellular localization and determine the directionality of the auxin transport. During the last years, there were significant advances in understanding how the trafficking molecular machineries function, including studies on molecular interactions, function, subcellular localization and intracellular distribution. However, there is still a lack of detailed characterization on the steps of endocytosis, exocytosis, endocytic recycling and degradation. Due to this fact, I focused on the identification of novel trafficking factors and better characterization of the intracellular trafficking pathways. My PhD thesis consists of an introductory chapter, three experimental chapters, a chapter containing general discussion, conclusions and perspectives and also an appendix chapter with published collaborative papers.
The first chapter is separated in two different parts: I start by a general introduction to auxin biology and then I introduce the trafficking pathways in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Then, I explain also the phosphorylation-signals for polar targeting and also the roles of the phytohormone strigolactone.
The second chapter includes the characterization of bar1/sacsin mutant, which was identified in a forward genetic screen for novel trafficking components in Arabidopsis thaliana, where by the implementation of an EMS-treated pPIN1::PIN1-GFP marker line and by using the established inhibitor of ARF-GEFs, Brefeldin A (BFA) as a tool to study trafficking processes, we identified a novel factor, which is mediating the adaptation of the plant cell to ARF-GEF inhibition. The mutation is in a previously uncharacterized gene, encoding a very big protein that we, based on its homologies, called SACSIN with domains suggesting roles as a molecular chaperon or as a component of the ubiquitin-proteasome system. Our physiology and imaging studies revealed that SACSIN is a crucial plant cell component of the adaptation to the ARF-GEF inhibition.
The third chapter includes six subchapters, where I focus on the role of the phytohormone strigolactone, which interferes with auxin feedback on PIN internalization. Strigolactone moderates the polar auxin transport by increasing the internalization of the PIN auxin efflux carriers, which reduces the canalization related growth responses. In addition, I also studied the role of phosphorylation in the strigolactone regulation of auxin feedback on PIN internalization. In this chapter I also present my results on the MAX2-dependence of strigolactone-mediated root growth inhibition and I also share my results on the auxin metabolomics profiling after application of GR24.
In the fourth chapter I studied the effect of two small molecules ES-9 and ES9-17, which were identified from a collection of small molecules with the property to impair the clathrin-mediated endocytosis.
In the fifth chapter, I discuss all my observations and experimental findings and suggest alternative hypothesis to interpret my results.
In the appendix there are three collaborative published projects. In the first, I participated in the characterization of the role of ES9 as a small molecule, which is inhibitor of clathrin- mediated endocytosis in different model organisms. In the second paper, I contributed to the characterization of another small molecule ES9-17, which is a non-protonophoric analog of ES9 and also impairs the clathrin-mediated endocytosis not only in plant cells, but also in mammalian HeLa cells. Last but not least, I also attach another paper, where I tried to establish the grafting method as a technique in our lab to study canalization related processes.
AU - Vasileva, Mina K
ID - 7172
TI - Molecular mechanisms of endomembrane trafficking in Arabidopsis thaliana
ER -
TY - THES
AB - Tissue morphogenesis in developmental or physiological processes is regulated by molecular
and mechanical signals. While the molecular signaling cascades are increasingly well
described, the mechanical signals affecting tissue shape changes have only recently been
studied in greater detail. To gain more insight into the mechanochemical and biophysical
basis of an epithelial spreading process (epiboly) in early zebrafish development, we studied
cell-cell junction formation and actomyosin network dynamics at the boundary between
surface layer epithelial cells (EVL) and the yolk syncytial layer (YSL). During zebrafish epiboly,
the cell mass sitting on top of the yolk cell spreads to engulf the yolk cell by the end of
gastrulation. It has been previously shown that an actomyosin ring residing within the YSL
pulls on the EVL tissue through a cable-constriction and a flow-friction motor, thereby
dragging the tissue vegetal wards. Pulling forces are likely transmitted from the YSL
actomyosin ring to EVL cells; however, the nature and formation of the junctional structure
mediating this process has not been well described so far. Therefore, our main aim was to
determine the nature, dynamics and potential function of the EVL-YSL junction during this
epithelial tissue spreading. Specifically, we show that the EVL-YSL junction is a
mechanosensitive structure, predominantly made of tight junction (TJ) proteins. The process
of TJ mechanosensation depends on the retrograde flow of non-junctional, phase-separated
Zonula Occludens-1 (ZO-1) protein clusters towards the EVL-YSL boundary. Interestingly, we
could demonstrate that ZO-1 is present in a non-junctional pool on the surface of the yolk
cell, and ZO-1 undergoes a phase separation process that likely renders the protein
responsive to flows. These flows are directed towards the junction and mediate proper
tension-dependent recruitment of ZO-1. Upon reaching the EVL-YSL junction ZO-1 gets
incorporated into the junctional pool mediated through its direct actin-binding domain.
When the non-junctional pool and/or ZO-1 direct actin binding is absent, TJs fail in their
proper mechanosensitive responses resulting in slower tissue spreading. We could further
demonstrate that depletion of ZO proteins within the YSL results in diminished actomyosin
ring formation. This suggests that a mechanochemical feedback loop is at work during
zebrafish epiboly: ZO proteins help in proper actomyosin ring formation and actomyosin
contractility and flows positively influence ZO-1 junctional recruitment. Finally, such a
mesoscale polarization process mediated through the flow of phase-separated protein
clusters might have implications for other processes such as immunological synapse
formation, C. elegans zygote polarization and wound healing.
AU - Schwayer, Cornelia
ID - 7186
SN - 2663-337X
TI - Mechanosensation of tight junctions depends on ZO-1 phase separation and flow
ER -
TY - THES
AB - Transcription factors, by binding to specific sequences on the DNA, control the precise spatio-temporal expression of genes inside a cell. However, this specificity is limited, leading to frequent incorrect binding of transcription factors that might have deleterious consequences on the cell. By constructing a biophysical model of TF-DNA binding in the context of gene regulation, I will first explore how regulatory constraints can strongly shape the distribution of a population in sequence space. Then, by directly linking this to a picture of multiple types of transcription factors performing their functions simultaneously inside the cell, I will explore the extent of regulatory crosstalk -- incorrect binding interactions between transcription factors and binding sites that lead to erroneous regulatory states -- and understand the constraints this places on the design of regulatory systems. I will then develop a generic theoretical framework to investigate the coevolution of multiple transcription factors and multiple binding sites, in the context of a gene regulatory network that performs a certain function. As a particular tractable version of this problem, I will consider the evolution of two transcription factors when they transmit upstream signals to downstream target genes. Specifically, I will describe the evolutionary steady states and the evolutionary pathways involved, along with their timescales, of a system that initially undergoes a transcription factor duplication event. To connect this important theoretical model to the prominent biological event of transcription factor duplication giving rise to paralogous families, I will then describe a bioinformatics analysis of C2H2 Zn-finger transcription factors, a major family in humans, and focus on the patterns of evolution that paralogs have undergone in their various protein domains in the recent past.
AU - Prizak, Roshan
ID - 6071
TI - Coevolution of transcription factors and their binding sites in sequence space
ER -
TY - THES
AB - In the first part of this thesis we consider large random matrices with arbitrary expectation and a general slowly decaying correlation among its entries. We prove universality of the local eigenvalue statistics and optimal local laws for the resolvent in the bulk and edge regime. The main novel tool is a systematic diagrammatic control of a multivariate cumulant expansion.
In the second part we consider Wigner-type matrices and show that at any cusp singularity of the limiting eigenvalue distribution the local eigenvalue statistics are uni- versal and form a Pearcey process. Since the density of states typically exhibits only square root or cubic root cusp singularities, our work complements previous results on the bulk and edge universality and it thus completes the resolution of the Wigner- Dyson-Mehta universality conjecture for the last remaining universality type. Our analysis holds not only for exact cusps, but approximate cusps as well, where an ex- tended Pearcey process emerges. As a main technical ingredient we prove an optimal local law at the cusp, and extend the fast relaxation to equilibrium of the Dyson Brow- nian motion to the cusp regime.
In the third and final part we explore the entrywise linear statistics of Wigner ma- trices and identify the fluctuations for a large class of test functions with little regularity. This enables us to study the rectangular Young diagram obtained from the interlacing eigenvalues of the random matrix and its minor, and we find that, despite having the same limit, the fluctuations differ from those of the algebraic Young tableaux equipped with the Plancharel measure.
AU - Schröder, Dominik J
ID - 6179
TI - From Dyson to Pearcey: Universal statistics in random matrix theory
ER -