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Sample records for altered membrane structure

  1. Coarctation induces alterations in basement membranes in the cardiovascular system

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lipke, D W; McCarthy, K J; Elton, T S;

    1993-01-01

    ventricular hypertrophy was maximal within 5 days. In immunohistochemical studies, fibronectin and laminin were increased and the basement membrane chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan decreased in both the subendothelial space and smooth muscle cell basement membranes of the aorta above the clip compared...... membrane components in the heart and vasculature peaked before maximal cardiac hypertrophy (5 days). These studies indicate that alterations in basement membrane component deposition in the hypertrophied vasculature occur at both transcriptional and translational levels and suggest that the cell attachment...

  2. Self-Deployable Membrane Structures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sokolowski, Witold M.; Willis, Paul B.; Tan, Seng C.

    2010-01-01

    Currently existing approaches for deployment of large, ultra-lightweight gossamer structures in space rely typically upon electromechanical mechanisms and mechanically expandable or inflatable booms for deployment and to maintain them in a fully deployed, operational configuration. These support structures, with the associated deployment mechanisms, launch restraints, inflation systems, and controls, can comprise more than 90 percent of the total mass budget. In addition, they significantly increase the stowage volume, cost, and complexity. A CHEM (cold hibernated elastic memory) membrane structure without any deployable mechanism and support booms/structure is deployed by using shape memory and elastic recovery. The use of CHEM micro-foams reinforced with carbon nanotubes is considered for thin-membrane structure applications. In this advanced structural concept, the CHEM membrane structure is warmed up to allow packaging and stowing prior to launch, and then cooled to induce hibernation of the internal restoring forces. In space, the membrane remembers its original shape and size when warmed up. After the internal restoring forces deploy the structure, it is then cooled to achieve rigidization. For this type of structure, the solar radiation could be utilized as the heat energy used for deployment and space ambient temperature for rigidization. The overall simplicity of the CHEM self-deployable membrane is one of its greatest assets. In present approaches to space-deployable structures, the stow age and deployment are difficult and challenging, and introduce a significant risk, heavy mass, and high cost. Simple procedures provided by CHEM membrane greatly simplify the overall end-to-end process for designing, fabricating, deploying, and rigidizing large structures. The CHEM membrane avoids the complexities associated with other methods for deploying and rigidizing structures by eliminating deployable booms, deployment mechanisms, and inflation and control systems

  3. The adrenal specific toxicant mitotane directly interacts with lipid membranes and alters membrane properties depending on lipid composition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheidt, Holger A; Haralampiev, Ivan; Theisgen, Stephan; Schirbel, Andreas; Sbiera, Silviu; Huster, Daniel; Kroiss, Matthias; Müller, Peter

    2016-06-15

    Mitotane (o,p'.-DDD) is an orphan drug approved for the treatment of adrenocortical carcinoma. The mechanisms, which are responsible for this activity of the drug, are not completely understood. It can be hypothesized that an impact of mitotane is mediated by the interaction with cellular membranes. However, an interaction of mitotane with (lipid) membranes has not yet been investigated in detail. Here, we characterized the interaction of mitotane and its main metabolite o,p'-dichlorodiphenyldichloroacetic acid (o,p'-DDA) with lipid membranes by applying a variety of biophysical approaches of nuclear magnetic resonance, electron spin resonance, and fluorescence spectroscopy. We found that mitotane and o,p'-DDA bind to lipid membranes by inserting into the lipid-water interface of the bilayer. Mitotane but not o,p'-DDA directly causes a disturbance of bilayer structure leading to an increased permeability of the membrane for polar molecules. Mitotane induced alterations of the membrane integrity required the presence of phosphatidylethanolamine and/or cholesterol. Collectively, our data for the first time characterize the impact of mitotane on the lipid membrane structure and dynamics, which may contribute to a better understanding of specific mitotane effects and side effects. PMID:27002491

  4. Corrugated Membrane Fuel Cell Structures

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Grot, Stephen [President, Ion Power Inc.

    2013-09-30

    One of the most challenging aspects of traditional PEM fuel cell stacks is the difficulty achieving the platinum catalyst utilization target of 0.2 gPt/kWe set forth by the DOE. Good catalyst utilization can be achieved with state-of-the-art catalyst coated membranes (CCM) when low catalyst loadings (<0.3 mg/cm2) are used at a low current. However, when low platinum loadings are used, the peak power density is lower than conventional loadings, requiring a larger total active area and a larger bipolar plate. This results in a lower overall stack power density not meeting the DOE target. By corrugating the fuel cell membrane electrode structure, Ion Power?s goal is to realize both the Pt utilization targets as well as the power density targets of the DOE. This will be achieved by demonstrating a fuel cell single cell (50 cm2) with a twofold increase in the membrane active area over the geometric area of the cell by corrugating the MEA structure. The corrugating structure must be able to demonstrate the target properties of < 10 mOhm-cm2 electrical resistance at > 20 psi compressive strength over the active area, in combination with offering at least 80% of power density that can be achieved by using the same MEA in a flat plate structure. Corrugated membrane fuel cell structures also have the potential to meet DOE power density targets by essentially packaging more membrane area into the same fuel cell volume as compared to conventional stack constructions.

  5. Properties of Plasma Membrane from Pea Root Seedlings under Altered Gravity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klymchuk, D.; Baranenko, V.; Vorobyova, T. V.; Kurylenko, I.; Chyzhykova, O.; Dubovoy, V.

    In this study, the properties of pea (Pisum sativum L.) plasma membrane were examined to determine how the membrane structure and functions are regulated in response to clinorotation (2 rev/min) conditions. Membrane preparations enriched by plasma membrane vesicles were obtained by aqueous two-phase partitioning from 6-day seedling roots. The specific characteristics of H^+-ATPase, lípid composition and peroxidation intensity as well as fluidity of lipid bilayer were analysed. ATP hydrolytic activity was inhibited by ortovanadate and was insensitive to aside and nitrate in sealed plasma membrane vesicles isolated from both clinorotated and control seedlings. Plasma membrane vesicles from clinorotated seedlings in comparison to controls were characterised by increase in the total lipid/protein ratio, ATP hydrolytic activity and intensifying of lipid peroxidation. Sitosterol and campesterol were the predominant free sterol species. Clinorotated seedlings contained a slightly higher level of unsaturated fatty acid than controls. Plasma membrane vesicles were labelled with pyrene and fluorescence originating from monomeric (I_M) molecules and excimeric (I_E) aggregates were measured. The calculated I_E/I_M values were higher in clinorotated seedlings compared with controls reflecting the reduction in membrane microviscosity. The involvement of the changes in plasma membrane lipid content and composition, fluidity and H^+-ATPase activity in response of pea seedlings to altered gravity is discussed.

  6. Cholesterol depletion disorganizes oocyte membrane rafts altering mouse fertilization.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorgelina Buschiazzo

    Full Text Available Drastic membrane reorganization occurs when mammalian sperm binds to and fuses with the oocyte membrane. Two oocyte protein families are essential for fertilization, tetraspanins and glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored proteins. The firsts are associated to tetraspanin-enriched microdomains and the seconds to lipid rafts. Here we report membrane raft involvement in mouse fertilization assessed by cholesterol modulation using methyl-β-cyclodextrin. Cholesterol removal induced: (1 a decrease of the fertilization rate and index; and (2 a delay in the extrusion of the second polar body. Cholesterol repletion recovered the fertilization ability of cholesterol-depleted oocytes, indicating reversibility of these effects. In vivo time-lapse analyses using fluorescent cholesterol permitted to identify the time-point at which the probe is mainly located at the plasma membrane enabling the estimation of the extent of the cholesterol depletion. We confirmed that the mouse oocyte is rich in rafts according to the presence of the raft marker lipid, ganglioside GM1 on the membrane of living oocytes and we identified the coexistence of two types of microdomains, planar rafts and caveolae-like structures, by terms of two differential rafts markers, flotillin-2 and caveolin-1, respectively. Moreover, this is the first report that shows characteristic caveolae-like invaginations in the mouse oocyte identified by electron microscopy. Raft disruption by cholesterol depletion disturbed the subcellular localization of the signal molecule c-Src and the inhibition of Src kinase proteins prevented second polar body extrusion, consistent with a role of Src-related kinases in fertilization via signaling complexes. Our data highlight the functional importance of intact membrane rafts for mouse fertilization and its dependence on cholesterol.

  7. Structural interactions of a voltage sensor toxin with lipid membranes

    OpenAIRE

    Mihailescu, Mihaela; Krepkiy, Dmitriy; Milescu, Mirela; Gawrisch, Klaus; Swartz, Kenton J.; White, Stephen

    2014-01-01

    Tarantula venom contains protein toxins that interact with diverse families of ion channels and alter their activity. A number of tarantula toxins are known to interact with membranes and are thought to bind to ion channel proteins within the lipid bilayer. In the present study, we find that tarantula toxins influence the structure and dynamics of the lipid bilayer, and that the toxin orients itself within membranes to facilitate formation of the toxin–channel complexes. Our results have impl...

  8. Optimization of fluorimetric lipid membrane biosensor sensitivity through manipulation of membrane structure and nitrobenzoxadiazole dipalmitoylphosphatidylethanolamine concentration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shrive, Jason D. A.; Krull, Ulrich J.

    1995-01-01

    In the work reported here, surface concentrations of 0.027 and 0.073 molecules nm-2 of the fluorescent membrane probe molecule nitrobenzoxadiazole dipalmitoylphosphatidylethanolamine (NBD-PE) were shown to yield optimum sensitivity for fluorimetric transduction of membrane structural perturbations for lipid membrane-based biosensor development. These optima were obtained through correlation of experimental data with theoretical predictions of optimum surface concentrations based on a model for NBD-PE self quenching previously published by our group. It was also determined that membrane structural heterogeneity improves the sensitivity of NBD-PE labeled membrane transducers. Together with fluorescence microscopy, observations of surface potential change upon compression or expansion of phosphatidylcholine (PC)/phosphatidic acid (PA) monolayers were used to qualitatively indicate the degree of structural heterogeneity in these membranes. It was determined that sub-microscopic domains must exist in microscopically homogeneous egg PC/egg PA membranes in order to facilitate the observed NBD-PE self-quenching responses upon alteration of bulk pH and therefore, membrane surface electrostatics and structure.

  9. Structural alterations in irradiated myoglobin

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Effects of radiation on the structure-function relationship of myoglobin molecule have been extensively studied. It was observed that even though myoglobins from various species are structurally similar, offering two major sites for radiation damage - viz., protoporphyrin nucleus and the apoglobin moiety, they differ greatly in their responses to radiation. In the case of fish myoglobins known to contain sulphydryl groups, metmyoglobin was converted to oxymyoglobin as a result of irradiation (50 and 100 Krad), as evidenced by their spectral pattern. On the other hand, lamb meat myoglobin devoid of sulphydryl groups, showed anomalous spectral behaviour when subjected to different doses of radiation. Differences were also observed in the occurrence of microheterogeneity; lamb meat myoglobin separating into two coloured fractions (LM I and LM II) on sephadex G-100 column, each of these fractions resolving further into 3 - 4 bands on polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Indian salmon and black pomfret myoglobins did not exhibit microheterogeneity. The effects of radiation on the catalytic function of myoglobin in autoxidation have also been discussed. (author)

  10. Plant membranes a biophysical approach to structure, development and senescence

    CERN Document Server

    Leshem, Ya’Acov Y

    1992-01-01

    The plasma membrane is at once the window through which the cell senses the environment and the portal through which the environment influences the structure and activities of the cell. Its importance in cellular physiology can thus hardly be overestimated, since constant flow of materials between cell and environment is essential to the well-being of any biological system. The nature of the materials mov­ ing into the cell is also critical, since some substances are required for maintenance and growth, while others, because of their toxicity, must either be rigorously excluded or permitted to enter only after chemical alteration. Such alteration frequently permits the compounds to be sequestered in special cellular compartments having different types of membranes. This type of homogeneity, plus the fact that the wear and tear of transmembrane molecular traffic compels the system to be constantly monitored and repaired, means that the membrane system of any organism must be both structurally complex and dy­...

  11. Alterations of red cell membrane properties in neuroacanthocytosis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudia Siegl

    Full Text Available Neuroacanthocytosis (NA refers to a group of heterogenous, rare genetic disorders, namely chorea acanthocytosis (ChAc, McLeod syndrome (MLS, Huntington's disease-like 2 (HDL2 and pantothenate kinase associated neurodegeneration (PKAN, that mainly affect the basal ganglia and are associated with similar neurological symptoms. PKAN is also assigned to a group of rare neurodegenerative diseases, known as NBIA (neurodegeneration with brain iron accumulation, associated with iron accumulation in the basal ganglia and progressive movement disorder. Acanthocytosis, the occurrence of misshaped erythrocytes with thorny protrusions, is frequently observed in ChAc and MLS patients but less prevalent in PKAN (about 10% and HDL2 patients. The pathological factors that lead to the formation of the acanthocytic red blood cell shape are currently unknown. The aim of this study was to determine whether NA/NBIA acanthocytes differ in their functionality from normal erythrocytes. Several flow-cytometry-based assays were applied to test the physiological responses of the plasma membrane, namely drug-induced endocytosis, phosphatidylserine exposure and calcium uptake upon treatment with lysophosphatidic acid. ChAc red cell samples clearly showed a reduced response in drug-induced endovesiculation, lysophosphatidic acid-induced phosphatidylserine exposure, and calcium uptake. Impaired responses were also observed in acanthocyte-positive NBIA (PKAN red cells but not in patient cells without shape abnormalities. These data suggest an "acanthocytic state" of the red cell where alterations in functional and interdependent membrane properties arise together with an acanthocytic cell shape. Further elucidation of the aberrant molecular mechanisms that cause this acanthocytic state may possibly help to evaluate the pathological pathways leading to neurodegeneration.

  12. Salt Concentration Differences Alter Membrane Resistance in Reverse Electrodialysis Stacks

    KAUST Repository

    Geise, Geoffrey M.

    2014-01-14

    Membrane ionic resistance is usually measured by immersing the membrane in a salt solution at a single, fixed concentration. While salt concentration is known to affect membrane resistance when the same concentration is used on both sides of the membrane, little is known about membrane resistance when the membrane is placed between solutions of different concentrations, such as in a reverse electrodialysis (RED) stack. Ionic resistance measurements obtained using Selemion CMV and AMV that separated sodium chloride and ammonium bicarbonate solutions of different concentrations were greater than those measured using only the high-concentration solution. Measured RED stack resistances showed good agreement with resistances calculated using an equivalent series resistance model, where the membranes accounted for 46% of the total stack resistance. The high area resistance of the membranes separating different salt concentration solutions has implications for modeling and optimizing membranes used in RED systems.

  13. Outer membrane alterations in multiresistant mutants of Pseudomonas aeruginosa selected by ciprofloxacin.

    OpenAIRE

    Legakis, N. J.; Tzouvelekis, L. S.; Makris, A; Kotsifaki, H

    1989-01-01

    Spontaneous mutants of Pseudomonas aeruginosa selected by ciprofloxacin were studied for outer membrane alterations. Acquisition of ciprofloxacin resistance was at least partially related to defects in lipopolysaccharide synthesis. When ciprofloxacin resistance was combined with resistance to beta-lactams and aminoglycosides, several alterations in outer membrane proteins were noted.

  14. Ion induced changes in the structure of bordered pit membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jinkee; Holbrook, N Michele; Zwieniecki, Maciej A

    2012-01-01

    Ion-mediated changes in xylem hydraulic resistance are hypothesized to result from hydrogel like properties of pectins located in the bordered pit membranes separating adjacent xylem vessels. Although the kinetics of the ion-mediated changes in hydraulic resistance are consistent with the swelling/deswelling behavior of pectins, there is no direct evidence of this activity. In this report we use atomic force microscopy (AFM) to investigate structural changes in bordered pit membranes associated with changes in the ionic concentration of the surrounding solution. When submerged in de-ionized water, AFM revealed bordered pit membranes as relatively smooth, soft, and lacking any sharp edges surface, in contrast to pictures from scanning electron microscope (SEM) or AFM performed on air-dry material. Exposure of the bordered pit membranes to 50 mM KCl solution resulted in significant changes in both surface physical properties and elevation features. Specifically, bordered pit membranes became harder and the fiber edges were clearly visible. In addition, the membrane contracted and appeared much rougher due to exposed microfibers. In neither solution was there any evidence of discrete pores through the membrane whose dimensions were altered in response to the ionic composition of the surrounding solution. Instead the variable hydraulic resistance appears to involve changes in the both the permeability and the thickness of the pit membrane.

  15. Penetration of the signal sequence of Escherichia coli PhoE protein into phospholipid model membranes leads to lipid-specific changes in signal peptide structure and alterations of lipid organization

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Batenburg, A.M.; Demel, R.A.; Verkleij, A.J.; de Kruijff, B.

    1988-07-26

    In order to obtain more insight in the initial steps of the process of protein translocation across membranes, biophysical investigations were undertaken on the lipid specificity and structural consequences of penetration of the PhoE signal peptide into lipid model membranes and on the conformation of the signal peptide adopted upon interaction with the lipids. When the monolayer technique and differential scanning calorimetry are used, a stronger penetration is observed for negatively charged lipids, significantly influenced by the physical state of the lipid but not by temperature or acyl chain unsaturation as such. Although the interaction is principally electrostatic, as indicated also by the strong penetration of N-terminal fragments into negatively charged lipid monolayers, the effect of ionic strength suggests an additional hydrophobic component. Most interestingly with regard to the mechanism of protein translocation, the molecular area of the peptide in the monolayer also shows lipid specificity: the area in the presence of PC is consistent with a looped helical orientation, whereas in the presence of cardiolipin a time-dependent conformational change is observed, most likely leading from a looped to a stretched orientation with the N-terminus directed toward the water. This is in line also with the determined peptide-lipid stoichiometry. Preliminary /sup 31/P NMR and electron microscopy data on the interaction with lipid bilayer systems indicate loss of bilayer structure.

  16. Penetration of the signal sequence of Escherichia coli PhoE protein into phospholipid model membranes leads to lipid-specific changes in signal peptide structure and alterations of lipid organization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In order to obtain more insight in the initial steps of the process of protein translocation across membranes, biophysical investigations were undertaken on the lipid specificity and structural consequences of penetration of the PhoE signal peptide into lipid model membranes and on the conformation of the signal peptide adopted upon interaction with the lipids. When the monolayer technique and differential scanning calorimetry are used, a stronger penetration is observed for negatively charged lipids, significantly influenced by the physical state of the lipid but not by temperature or acyl chain unsaturation as such. Although the interaction is principally electrostatic, as indicated also by the strong penetration of N-terminal fragments into negatively charged lipid monolayers, the effect of ionic strength suggests an additional hydrophobic component. Most interestingly with regard to the mechanism of protein translocation, the molecular area of the peptide in the monolayer also shows lipid specificity: the area in the presence of PC is consistent with a looped helical orientation, whereas in the presence of cardiolipin a time-dependent conformational change is observed, most likely leading from a looped to a stretched orientation with the N-terminus directed toward the water. This is in line also with the determined peptide-lipid stoichiometry. Preliminary 31P NMR and electron microscopy data on the interaction with lipid bilayer systems indicate loss of bilayer structure

  17. Altered Membrane Potential and Electrolyte in Sickle Cell Anemia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    JK Nnodim

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Aim: This study has been to evaluate the level of membrane potential and electrolyte in sickle cell disease patients. Material and methods: 100 sickle cell patients in steady state ages 5 to 30 years attending General Hospital Owerri were used in the study while 100 normal subjects (HbAA were used as control. Also 30 HbSS in crisis have been involved. Results: The results obtained showed that the level of membrane potential was significantly lower in sickle cell anemia as compared to the controls. Also, the level of the electrolyte was found significantly decreased in HbSS when compared with HbAA at P<0.05. Conclusion: The membrane potential translates to energy which means that there is less energy in sickle cell disease which is linked to electrolyte imbalance. Hence people with sickle disease should be monitored closely for their electrolytes to avoid crisis.

  18. Structural basis for membrane anchoring of HIV-1 envelope spike.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dev, Jyoti; Park, Donghyun; Fu, Qingshan; Chen, Jia; Ha, Heather Jiwon; Ghantous, Fadi; Herrmann, Tobias; Chang, Weiting; Liu, Zhijun; Frey, Gary; Seaman, Michael S; Chen, Bing; Chou, James J

    2016-07-01

    HIV-1 envelope spike (Env) is a type I membrane protein that mediates viral entry. We used nuclear magnetic resonance to determine an atomic structure of the transmembrane (TM) domain of HIV-1 Env reconstituted in bicelles that mimic a lipid bilayer. The TM forms a well-ordered trimer that protects a conserved membrane-embedded arginine. An amino-terminal coiled-coil and a carboxyl-terminal hydrophilic core stabilize the trimer. Individual mutations of conserved residues did not disrupt the TM trimer and minimally affected membrane fusion and infectivity. Major changes in the hydrophilic core, however, altered the antibody sensitivity of Env. These results show how a TM domain anchors, stabilizes, and modulates a viral envelope spike and suggest that its influence on Env conformation is an important consideration for HIV-1 immunogen design. PMID:27338706

  19. Phytochemicals Perturb Membranes and Promiscuously Alter Protein Function

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ingólfsson, Helgi I; Thakur, Pratima; Herold, Karl F; Hobart, E Ashley; Ramsey, Nicole B; Periole, Xavier; de Jong, Djurre H; Zwama, Martijn; Yilmaz, Duygu; Hall, Katherine; Maretzky, Thorsten; Hemmings, Hugh C; Blobel, Carl; Marrink, Siewert J; Kocer, Armagan; Sack, Jon T; Andersen, Olaf S

    2014-01-01

    A wide variety of phytochemicals are consumed for their perceived health benefits. Many of these phytochemicals have been found to alter numerous cell functions, but the mechanisms underlying their biological activity tend to be poorly understood. Phenolic phytochemicals are particularly promiscuous

  20. Structural Transition in Myelin Membrane as Initiator of Multiple Sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaharabani, Rona; Ram-On, Maor; Avinery, Ram; Aharoni, Rina; Arnon, Ruth; Talmon, Yeshayahu; Beck, Roy

    2016-09-21

    In demyelinating diseases such as multiple sclerosis, disrupted myelin structures impair the functional role of the sheath as an insulating layer for proper nerve conduction. Though the etiology and recovery pathways remain unclear, in vivo studies show alterations in the lipid and the adhesive protein (myelin basic protein, MBP) composition. We find that in vitro cytoplasmic myelin membranes with modified lipid composition and low MBP concentration, as in demyelinating disease, show structural instabilities and pathological phase transition from a lamellar to inverted hexagonal, which involve enhanced local curvature. Similar curvatures are also found in vivo in diseased myelin sheaths. In addition, MBP dimers form a correlated mesh-like network within the inner membrane space, only in the vicinity of native lipid composition. These findings delineate the distinct functional roles of dominant constituents in cytoplasmic myelin sheaths, and shed new light on mechanisms disrupting lipid-protein complexes in the diseased state.

  1. STRUCTURAL ALTERATIONS OF SKELETAL MUSCLE IN COPD

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sunita eMathur

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Background: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD is a respiratory disease associated with a systemic inflammatory response. Peripheral muscle dysfunction has been well characterized in individuals with COPD and results from a complex interaction between systemic and local factors. Objective: In this narrative review, we will describe muscle wasting in people with COPD, the associated structural changes, muscle regenerative capacity and possible mechanisms for muscle wasting. We will also discuss how structural changes relate to impaired muscle function and mobility in people with COPD. Key Observations: Approximately 30-40% of individuals with COPD experience muscle mass depletion. Furthermore, muscle atrophy is a predictor of physical function and mortality in this population. Associated structural changes include a decreased proportion and size of type-I fibers, reduced oxidative capacity and mitochondrial density mainly in the quadriceps. Observations related to impaired muscle regenerative capacity in individuals with COPD include a lower proportion of central nuclei in the presence or absence of muscle atrophy and decreased maximal telomere length, which has been correlated with reduced muscle cross-sectional area. Potential mechanisms for muscle wasting in COPD may include excessive production of reactive oxygen species, altered amino acid metabolism and lower expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors-gamma-coactivator 1-alpha mRNA. Despite a moderate relationship between muscle atrophy and function, impairments in oxidative metabolism only seems weakly related to muscle function. Conclusion: This review article demonstrates the cellular modifications in the peripheral muscle of people with COPD and describes the evidence of its relationship to muscle function. Future research will focus on rehabilitation strategies to improve muscle wasting and maximize function.

  2. Conformational Exchange in a Membrane Transport Protein Is Altered in Protein Crystals

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    D Freed; P Horanyi; M Wiener; D Cafiso

    2011-12-31

    Successful macromolecular crystallography requires solution conditions that may alter the conformational sampling of a macromolecule. Here, site-directed spin labeling is used to examine a conformational equilibrium within BtuB, the Escherichia coli outer membrane transporter for vitamin B{sub 12}. Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectra from a spin label placed within the N-terminal energy coupling motif (Ton box) of BtuB indicate that this segment is in equilibrium between folded and unfolded forms. In bilayers, substrate binding shifts this equilibrium toward the unfolded form; however, EPR spectra from this same spin-labeled mutant indicate that this unfolding transition is blocked in protein crystals. Moreover, crystal structures of this spin-labeled mutant are consistent with the EPR result. When the free energy difference between substates is estimated from the EPR spectra, the crystal environment is found to alter this energy by 3 kcal/mol when compared to the bilayer state. Approximately half of this energy change is due to solutes or osmolytes in the crystallization buffer, and the remainder is contributed by the crystal lattice. These data provide a quantitative measure of how a conformational equilibrium in BtuB is modified in the crystal environment, and suggest that more-compact, less-hydrated substates will be favored in protein crystals.

  3. Alteration of membrane phospholipid methylation by adenosine analogs does not affect T lymphocyte activation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Membrane phospholipid methylation has been described during activation of various immune cells. Moreover recent data indicated modulation of immune cells functions by adenosine. As S-adenosyl-methionine and S-adenosyl-homocysteine are adenosine analogs and modulators of transmethylation reactions, the effects of SAH and SAM were investigated on membrane phospholipid methylation and lymphocyte activation. SAM was shown to induce the membrane phospholipid methylation as assessed by the 3Hmethyl-incorporation in membrane extract. This effect was inhibited by SAH. In contrast SAM and SAH did not affect the phytohemagglutinin-induced proliferative response of peripheral blood mononuclear cells. SAH neither modified the early internalization of membrane CD3 antigens nor did it prevent the late expression of HLA-DR antigens on lymphocytes activated by phytohemagglutinin. These results indicate that in vitro alteration of phospholipid methylation does not affect subsequent steps of human T lymphocyte activation and proliferation

  4. Exploiting Microbeams for Membrane Protein Structure Determination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warren, Anna J; Axford, Danny; Paterson, Neil G; Owen, Robin L

    2016-01-01

    A reproducible, and sample independent means of predictably obtaining large, well-ordered crystals has proven elusive in macromolecular crystallography. In the structure determination pipeline, crystallisation often proves to be a rate-limiting step, and the process of obtaining even small or badly ordered crystals can prove time-consuming and laborious. This is particularly true in the field of membrane protein crystallography and this is reflected in the limited number of unique membrane protein structures deposited in the protein data bank (less than 650 by June 2016 - http://blanco.biomol.uci.edu/mpstruc ). Over recent years the requirement for, and time and cost associated with obtaining, large crystals has been partially alleviated through the development of beamline instrumentation allowing data collection, and structure solution, from ever-smaller crystals. Advances in several areas have led to a step change in what might be considered achievable during a synchrotron trip over the last decade. This chapter will briefly review the current status of the field, the tools available to ease data collection and processing, and give some examples of exploitation of these for membrane protein microfocus macromolecular crystallography. PMID:27553238

  5. Sphingolipid symmetry governs membrane lipid raft structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quinn, Peter J

    2014-07-01

    Lipid domain formation in membranes underlies the concept of rafts but their structure is controversial because the key role of cholesterol has been challenged. The configuration of glycosphingolipid receptors for agonists, bacterial toxins and enveloped viruses in plasma membrane rafts appears to be an important factor governing ligand binding and infectivity but the details are as yet unresolved. I have used X-ray diffraction methods to examine how cholesterol affects the distribution of glycosphingolipid in aqueous dispersions of an equimolar mixture of cholesterol and egg-sphingomyelin containing different proportions of glucosylceramide from human extracts. Three coexisting liquid-ordered bilayer structures are observed at 37°C in mixtures containing up to 20mol% glycosphingolipid. All the cholesterol was sequestered in one bilayer with the minimum amount of sphingomyelin (33mol%) to prevent formation of cholesterol crystals. The other two bilayers consisted of sphingomyelin and glucosylceramide. Asymmetric molecular species of glucosylceramide with N-acyl chains longer than 20 carbons form an equimolar complex with sphingomyelin in which the glycosidic residues are arranged in hexagonal array. Symmetric molecular species mix with sphingomyelin in proportions less than equimolar to form quasicrystalline bilayers. When the glycosphingolipid exceeds equimolar proportions with sphingomyelin cholesterol is incorporated into the structure and formation of a gel phase of glucosylceramide is prevented. The demonstration of particular structural features of ceramide molecular species combined with the diversity of sugar residues of glycosphingolipid classes paves the way for a rational approach to understanding the functional specificity of lipid rafts and how they are coupled across cell membranes.

  6. Impacts of operating conditions and solution chemistry on osmotic membrane structure and performance

    KAUST Repository

    Wong, Mavis C.Y.

    2012-02-01

    Herein, we report on changes in the performance of a commercial cellulose triacetate (CTA) membrane, imparted by varied operating conditions and solution chemistries. Changes to feed and draw solution flow rate did not significantly alter the CTA membrane\\'s water permeability, salt permeability, or membrane structural parameter when operated with the membrane skin layer facing the draw solution (PRO-mode). However, water and salt permeability increased with increasing feed or draw solution temperature, while the membrane structural parameter decreased with increasing draw solution, possibly due to changes in polymer intermolecular interactions. High ionic strength draw solutions may de-swell the CTA membrane via charge neutralization, which resulted in lower water permeability, higher salt permeability, and lower structural parameter. This observed trend was further exacerbated by the presence of divalent cations which tends to swell the polymer to a greater extent. Finally, the calculated CTA membrane\\'s structural parameter was lower and less sensitive to external factors when operated in PRO-mode, but highly sensitive to the same factors when the skin layer faced the feed solution (FO-mode), presumably due to swelling/de-swelling of the saturated porous substructure by the draw solution. This is a first attempt aimed at systematically evaluating the changes in performance of the CTA membrane due to operating conditions and solution chemistry, shedding new insight into the possible advantages and disadvantages of this material in certain applications. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

  7. [Function of surface membrane structures in Thiobacillus thiooxidans].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pivovarova, T A; Karavaĭko, G I

    1975-01-01

    The function of the surface membrane structures was studied with cytochemical techniques on ultrathin sections of Thiobacillus thiooxidans. The transport of elementary sulphur inside the cell involves the surface membrane structures, while oxidation of the sulphur to sulphuric acid takes place on the outer surface of the cytoplasmic membrane. The surface membrane structures are supposed also to participate in the primary dissolution of elementary sulphur at the site of contact of the cells with the mineral.

  8. Network community structure alterations in adult schizophrenia: identification and localization of alterations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lerman-Sinkoff, Dov B; Barch, Deanna M

    2016-01-01

    A growing body of literature suggests functional connectivity alterations in schizophrenia. While findings have been mixed, evidence points towards a complex pattern of hyper-connectivity and hypo-connectivity. This altered connectivity can be represented and analyzed using the mathematical frameworks provided by graph and information theory to represent functional connectivity data as graphs comprised of nodes and edges linking the nodes. One analytic technique in this framework is the determination and analysis of network community structure, which is the grouping of nodes into linked communities or modules. This data-driven technique finds a best-fit structure such that nodes in a given community have greater connectivity with nodes in their community than with nodes in other communities. These community structure representations have been found to recapitulate known neural-systems in healthy individuals, have been used to identify novel functional systems, and have identified and localized community structure alterations in a childhood onset schizophrenia cohort. In the present study, we sought to determine whether community structure alterations were present in an adult onset schizophrenia cohort while stringently controlling for sources of imaging artifacts. Group level average graphs in healthy controls and individuals with schizophrenia exhibited visually similar network community structures and high amounts of normalized mutual information (NMI). However, testing of individual subject community structures identified small but significant alterations in community structure with alterations being driven by changes in node community membership in the somatosensory, auditory, default mode, salience, and subcortical networks.

  9. pH Dependence of Chlorophyll States, Protein Structures and Function of the PSII Membranes

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李冬海; 阮翔; 许强; 王可玢; 公衍道; 匡廷云; 张秀芳; 赵南明

    2003-01-01

    The effect of varying pH on the photosystem II (PSII) membrane was studied using absorption and steady-state fluorescence spectroscopy, and using a variable fluorescence technique.pH variations induced significant changes in the chlorophyll states of the PSII membrane, but no effect was seen on the chlorophyll fluorescence parameter F′v/F′m.For acidic pH conditions, protein structures of the PSII membrane were slightly altered, whilst at alkaline pH levels, large changes in the protein structure of the PSII membrane were detected.The results indicate that the microenvironment around Cys in the PSII membrane is very susceptible to alkaline pH conditions, and that in the acid (4≤pH7) regions, pH variation has no effect on the protein structures of the PSII reaction center (RC).

  10. Daptomycin resistance in enterococci is associated with distinct alterations of cell membrane phospholipid content.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nagendra N Mishra

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The lipopeptide antibiotic, daptomycin (DAP interacts with the bacterial cell membrane (CM. Development of DAP resistance during therapy in a clinical strain of Enterococcus faecalis was associated with mutations in genes encoding enzymes involved in cell envelope homeostasis and phospholipid metabolism. Here we characterized changes in CM phospholipid profiles associated with development of DAP resistance in clinical enterococcal strains. METHODOLOGY: Using two clinical strain-pairs of DAP-susceptible and DAP-resistant E. faecalis (S613 vs. R712 and E. faecium (S447 vs. R446 recovered before and after DAP therapy, we compared four distinct CM profiles: phospholipid content, fatty acid composition, membrane fluidity and capacity to be permeabilized and/or depolarized by DAP. Additionally, we characterized the cell envelope of the E. faecium strain-pair by transmission electron microscopy and determined the relative cell surface charge of both strain-pairs. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Both E. faecalis and E. faecium mainly contained four major CM PLs: phosphatidylglycerol (PG, cardiolipin, lysyl-phosphatidylglycerol (L-PG and glycerolphospho-diglycodiacylglycerol (GP-DGDAG. In addition, E. faecalis CMs (but not E. faecium also contained: i phosphatidic acid; and ii two other unknown species of amino-containing PLs. Development of DAP resistance in both enterococcal species was associated with a significant decrease in CM fluidity and PG content, with a concomitant increase in GP-DGDAG. The strain-pairs did not differ in their outer CM translocation (flipping of amino-containing PLs. Fatty acid content did not change in the E. faecalis strain-pair, whereas a significant decrease in unsaturated fatty acids was observed in the DAP-resistant E. faecium isolate R446 (vs S447. Resistance to DAP in E. faecium was associated with distinct structural alterations of the cell envelope and cell wall thickening, as well as a decreased ability of DAP to

  11. Alteration of interleaflet coupling due to compounds displaying rapid translocation in lipid membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reigada, Ramon

    2016-09-01

    The spatial coincidence of lipid domains at both layers of the cell membrane is expected to play an important role in many cellular functions. Competition between the surface interleaflet tension and a line hydrophobic mismatch penalty are conjectured to determine the transversal behavior of laterally heterogeneous lipid membranes. Here, by a combination of molecular dynamics simulations, a continuum field theory and kinetic equations, I demonstrate that the presence of small, rapidly translocating molecules residing in the lipid bilayer may alter its transversal behavior by favoring the spatial coincidence of similar lipid phases.

  12. Wind-induced response analysis of conical membrane structures

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CHEN Bo; WU Yue; SHEN Shi-zhao

    2005-01-01

    Conical membrane structures are a typical form of tensile membrane structures. In the past, most studies focused on the static performance, but few on dynamic performance. In this paper, systematic parameter analysis of wind-induced response of conical membrane structures has been performed with nonlinear random simulation method in a time domain, by considering some parameters, such as span, rise-span ratio, prestress of membrane, and characteristic of the approaching wind flow. Moreover, formulas of the dynamic coefficient and nonlinear adjustment factor are advised, which can be conveniently used in wind-resistant design of conical membrane structures.

  13. Mathematical Model of Gas Permeation Through PTFEP orous Membrane and the Effect of Membrane Pore Structure

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    张秀莉; 张卫东; 郝新政; 张慧峰; 张泽廷; 张建春

    2003-01-01

    Membrane-based separation processes are new technology combined membrane separation with conventional separation. Hydrophobic porous membranes are often used in these processes. The structure of hydrophobic porous membrane has significant effect on mass transfer process. The permeabilities of five kinds of gas, He, N2,O2, CO2 and water vapor, across six polytetrafluoroethylene(PTFE) fiat membranes were tested experimentally.Results indicated that the greater the membrane mean pore size and the wider the pore size distribution are, the higher the gas permeability. A gas permeation model, including the effects of membrane structure parameter and gas properties, was established. A comprehensive characteristic parameter (including porosity, thickness and tortuosity) was found more effective to express the influence of membrane structure in gas permeation process. The predicted permeation coefficients were in good agreement with experimental data.

  14. Transport studies through peritoneal membrane: Effect of alteration in concentration of Trace Metal Ion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The effect of trace metals on thermodynamic properties of peritoneum has been examined. Membrane potential across peritoneal membrane of buffalo (Bof. Bubalis) for various 2:1, 3:1 and 1:2 electrolytes solutions have been measured with a view to examine the transport number of ions, effective fixed charge density and permselectivity of electrolyte systems. The transport number of co-ions decreased as the concentration of electrolyte is decreased. The applicability of different theories of membrane given by Kobatake et al. based on non-equilibrium thermodynamics have been tested. It has been observed that in biological systems also the fixed charged density is a constant quantity and does not vary with the concentrations of electrolytes as in the case of artificial membranes. Equations for 3:1 and 2:1 electrolytes have been derived, which will be essential for evaluating the transport number of trace material ions. This experimental model can be used to study and calculate the transport to study and calculate the transport number across biological membrane using Benventa's equation. The result of this study is valuable in understanding the influence of alteration in trace elements milieu on electrophysical behavior of all membranes. (author)

  15. Loss of liver FA binding protein significantly alters hepatocyte plasma membrane microdomains[S

    OpenAIRE

    McIntosh, Avery L.; Atshaves, Barbara P.; Storey, Stephen M.; Landrock, Kerstin K.; Landrock, Danilo; Martin, Gregory G.; Kier, Ann B.; Schroeder, Friedhelm

    2012-01-01

    Although lipid-rich microdomains of hepatocyte plasma membranes serve as the major scaffolding regions for cholesterol transport proteins important in cholesterol disposition, little is known regarding intracellular factors regulating cholesterol distribution therein. On the basis of its ability to bind cholesterol and alter hepatic cholesterol accumulation, the cytosolic liver type FA binding protein (L-FABP) was hypothesized to be a candidate protein regulating these microdomains. Compared ...

  16. Dynamical and Phase Behavior of a Phospholipid Membrane Altered by an Antimicrobial Peptide at Low Concentration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, V K; Mamontov, E; Tyagi, M; Qian, S; Rai, D K; Urban, V S

    2016-07-01

    The mechanism of action of antimicrobial peptides is traditionally attributed to the formation of pores in the lipid cell membranes of pathogens, which requires a substantial peptide to lipid ratio. However, using incoherent neutron scattering, we show that even at a concentration too low for pore formation, an archetypal antimicrobial peptide, melittin, disrupts the regular phase behavior of the microscopic dynamics in a phospholipid membrane, dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine (DMPC). At the same time, another antimicrobial peptide, alamethicin, does not exert a similar effect on the DMPC microscopic dynamics. The melittin-altered lateral motion of DMPC at physiological temperature no longer resembles the fluid-phase behavior characteristic of functional membranes of the living cells. The disruptive effect demonstrated by melittin even at low concentrations reveals a new mechanism of antimicrobial action relevant in more realistic scenarios, when peptide concentration is not as high as would be required for pore formation, which may facilitate treatment with antimicrobial peptides. PMID:27232190

  17. Fuel-Cell Structure Prevents Membrane Drying

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mcelroy, J.

    1986-01-01

    Embossed plates direct flows of reactants and coolant. Membrane-type fuel-cell battery has improved reactant flow and heat removal. Compact, lightweight battery produces high current and power without drying of membranes.

  18. Analysis of tensioned membrane structures considering cable sliding

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    宋昌永

    2003-01-01

    In routine design of tensioned membrane structures, the membrane is generally modeled using space membrane elements and the cables by space cable elements, with no sliding allowed between the membrane and the cables. On the other hand, large deflections are expected and sliding between the membrane and the cables is inevitable. In the present paper, the general finite element code ABAQUS was employed to investigate the influence of cable sliding on membrane surface on the structural behavior. Three analysis models were devised to fulfill this purpose: (1) The membrane element shares nodes with the cable element; (2) The cable can slide on the membrane surface freely (without friction) and (3) The cable can slide on the membrane surface, but with friction between the cable and the membrane. The sliding problem is modeled using a surface - based contact algorithm. The results from three analysis models are compared, showing that cable sliding has only little influence on the structure shape and on the stress distributions in the membrane. The main influence of cable sliding may be its effect on the dynamic behavior of tensioned membrane structures.

  19. Guanidination of notexin alters its membrane-damaging activity in response to sphingomyelin and cholesterol

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Pei-Hsiu Kao; Yi-Ling Chiou; Shinne-Ren Lin; Long-Sen Chang

    2010-12-01

    To elucidate the contribution of phospholipase A2 (PLA2) activity of notexin to its ability to perturb membranes, comparative studies on the interaction of notexin and guanidinated notexin (Gu-notexin) with egg yolk phosphatidylcholine (EYPC), EYPC/egg yolk sphingomyelin (EYSM) and EYPC/EYSM/cholesterol vesicles were conducted. EYSM notably reduced the membrane-damaging activity of notexin against EYPC vesicles, but had an insignificant influence on that of Gu-notexin. Unlike the effects noted with notexin, inactivation of PLA2 activity by EDTA led to a reduction in the ability of Gu-notexin to induce EYPC/EYSM vesicle leakage and to increase Gu-notexin-induced membrane permeability of EYPC/EYSM/cholesterol vesicles. The geometrical arrangement of notexin and Gu-notexin in contact with either EYPC/EYSM vesicles or EYPC/EYSM/cholesterol vesicles differed. Moreover, global conformation of notexin and Gu-notexin differed in either Ca2+-bound or metal-free states. These results indicate that notexin and Gu-notexin could induce membrane permeability without the involvement of PLA2 activity, and suggest that guanidination alters the membrane-bound mode of notexin on damaging phospholipid vesicles containing sphingomyelin and cholesterol.

  20. Lipids in the structure and functions of biological membranes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kuznetsov V.I.

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Lipids are one of the main components of cellular membranes. Lipids make up 30-55% of the cell content depending on the types of cells. Phospholipids, sphingomyelins, cholesterol, etc. are characteristic to cellular membranes. The composition of lipids of the both sides of the membranes differs. This fact determines asymmetry of the structure of bili-pid layer. The reason for many pathologies is the changes in the properties of cellular membranes with the modification of their components. The study of structure and functioning of cellular biomembranes is essential for many researchers. The condition of membranes, their quality, their quantitative composition and modification under the influence of different factors as well as their interaction with carbohydrate and protein component are of great importance for the functioning of both membranes, cells and the body in general. Analysis and structuring of lipids and their functions in biological membranes are studied.

  1. Analysis of tensioned membrane structures considering cable sliding

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    宋昌永

    2003-01-01

    In routine design of tensioned membrane st ructures, the membrane is gen erally modeled using space membrane elements and the cables by space cable eleme nts, with no sliding allowed between the membrane and the cables. On the other h and, large deflections are expected and sliding between the membrane and the cab les is inevitable. In the present paper, the general finite element code ABAQUS was employed to investigate the influence of cable sliding on membrane surface o n the structural behavior. Three analysis models were devised to fulfill this pu rpose: (1) The membrane element shares nodes with the cable element; (2) The cab le can slide on the membrane surface freely (without friction) and (3) The cable can slide on the membrane surface, but with friction between the cable and the membrane. The sliding problem is modeled using a surface-based contact algorithm . The results from three analysis models are compared, showing that cable slidin g has only little influence on the structure shape and on the stress distributio ns in the membrane. The main influence of cable sliding may be its effect on the dynamic behavior of tensioned membrane structures.

  2. Membrane Elastegrities: A New Model Viscoelastic Structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavlides, Eleftherios; Pearce, Jennifer

    2014-11-01

    We propose a new class of structures, membrane elastegrities, a network of rigid and elastic members maintaining shape through elastic forces, named by analogy to tensegrities that maintain shape through tension alone. Numerous researchers have proposed tensegrities as models to biological structure. Elastegrities expand tensegrity properties primarily by suggesting a mechanism for containing and pumping non-Newtonian fluids in living organisms. The chiral icosahedral elastegrity compared to the 6-strut tensegrity have identical symmetry, negative Poisson Ratio, and the reaction force to external forces is distributed throughout the elastic members causing reversible deformation. They also have important differences: a) elastic hinge connections enable containment and pumping of fluids versus nodal connections, b) simple assembly by folding a flat shape-memory material versus assembly requiring scaffolding, c) hinge connections limit freedom of movement resulting in isometric forces as members rotate cooperatively contracting versus large freedom of movement with unpredictable deformation. d) The chiral icosahedral elastegrity can contain liquid and requires increased force for equal displacement as it rotates towards a zero volume octahedron suggesting a mechanism for a non-Newtonian pump.

  3. Rare earth impact on glass structure and alteration kinetics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This work is related to the question of the geological deep repository of high-level waste glass. These wastes include fission products and minor actinides, elements which can be simulated by rare earths. As new glass compositions could enable increased rare earth concentrations, it is crucial to know and understand rare earth impact on glass structure on the one hand, and on glass alteration kinetics or their incorporation into an altered layer. This work studied simplified borosilicate glasses in order to limit synergetic effects between rare earths and other elements. Various complementary techniques were used to characterize pristine and altered glasses (solid-high resolution NMR, Raman spectroscopy, fluorescence, SIMS, SAXS). Firstly, the structural role of a rare earth is discussed and is compared to a calcium cation. The local environment of rare earths is also probed. Secondly, rare earth (nature and concentration) impact on several alteration regimes was studied (initial rate, rate drop). Then, after alteration, rare earth elements being retained within the altered layer, the structural impact of rare earth elements (and their local environment) in this alteration layer was also investigated. (author)

  4. Eugenol alters the integrity of cell membrane and acts against the nosocomial pathogen Proteus mirabilis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Devi, K Pandima; Sakthivel, R; Nisha, S Arif; Suganthy, N; Pandian, S Karutha

    2013-03-01

    Eugenol, a member of the phenylpropanoids class of chemical compounds, is a clear to pale yellow oily liquid extracted from certain essential oils especially from clove oil, nutmeg, cinnamon, and bay leaf. The antibacterial activity of eugenol and its mechanism of bactericidal action against Proteus mirabilis were evaluated. Treatment with eugenol at their minimum inhibitory concentration [0.125 % (v/v)] and minimum bactericidal concentration [0.25 % (v/v)] reduced the viability and resulted in complete inhibition of P. mirabilis. A strong bactericidal effect on P. mirabilis was also evident, as eugenol inactivated the bacterial population within 30 min exposure. Chemo-attractant property and the observance of highest antibacterial activity at alkaline pH suggest that eugenol can work more effectively when given in vivo. Eugenol inhibits the virulence factors produced by P. mirabilis as observed by swimming motility, swarming behavior and urease activity. It interacts with cellular membrane of P. mirabilis and makes it highly permeable, forming nonspecific pores on plasma membrane, which in turn directs the release of 260 nm absorbing materials and uptake of more crystal violet from the medium into the cells. SDS-polyacrylamide gel, scanning electron microscopy and Fourier transform infrared analysis further proves the disruptive action of eugenol on the plasma membrane of P. mirabilis. The findings reveal that eugenol shows an excellent bactericidal activity against P. mirabilis by altering the integrity of cell membrane. PMID:23444040

  5. Red blood cells in Rett syndrome: oxidative stress, morphological changes and altered membrane organization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ciccoli, Lucia; De Felice, Claudio; Leoncini, Silvia; Signorini, Cinzia; Cortelazzo, Alessio; Zollo, Gloria; Pecorelli, Alessandra; Rossi, Marcello; Hayek, Joussef

    2015-11-01

    In this review, we summarize the current evidence on the erythrocyte as a previously unrecognized target cell in Rett syndrome, a rare (1:10 000 females) and devastating neurodevelopmental disorder caused by loss-of-function mutations in a single gene (i.e. MeCP2, CDKL5, or rarely FOXG1). In particular, we focus on morphological changes, membrane oxidative damage, altered membrane fatty acid profile, and aberrant skeletal organization in erythrocytes from patients with typical Rett syndrome and MeCP2 gene mutations. The beneficial effects of ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are also summarized for this condition to be considered as a 'model' condition for autism spectrum disorders.

  6. Alterations in Lipid Levels of Mitochondrial Membranes Induced by Amyloid-β: A Protective Role of Melatonin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosales-Corral, Sergio A.; Lopez-Armas, Gabriela; Cruz-Ramos, Jose; Melnikov, Valery G.; Tan, Dun-Xian; Manchester, Lucien C.; Munoz, Ruben; Reiter, Russel J.

    2012-01-01

    Alzheimer pathogenesis involves mitochondrial dysfunction, which is closely related to amyloid-β (Aβ) generation, abnormal tau phosphorylation, oxidative stress, and apoptosis. Alterations in membranal components, including cholesterol and fatty acids, their characteristics, disposition, and distribution along the membranes, have been studied as evidence of cell membrane alterations in AD brain. The majority of these studies have been focused on the cytoplasmic membrane; meanwhile the mitochondrial membranes have been less explored. In this work, we studied lipids and mitochondrial membranes in vivo, following intracerebral injection of fibrillar amyloid-β (Aβ). The purpose was to determine how Aβ may be responsible for beginning of a vicious cycle where oxidative stress and alterations in cholesterol, lipids and fatty acids, feed back on each other to cause mitochondrial dysfunction. We observed changes in mitochondrial membrane lipids, and fatty acids, following intracerebral injection of fibrillar Aβ in aged Wistar rats. Melatonin, a well-known antioxidant and neuroimmunomodulator indoleamine, reversed some of these alterations and protected mitochondrial membranes from obvious damage. Additionally, melatonin increased the levels of linolenic and n-3 eicosapentaenoic acid, in the same site where amyloid β was injected, favoring an endogenous anti-inflammatory pathway. PMID:22666620

  7. Alterations in Lipid Levels of Mitochondrial Membranes Induced by Amyloid-ß: A Protective Role of Melatonin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sergio A. Rosales-Corral

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Alzheimer pathogenesis involves mitochondrial dysfunction, which is closely related to amyloid-ß (Aß generation, abnormal tau phosphorylation, oxidative stress, and apoptosis. Alterations in membranal components, including cholesterol and fatty acids, their characteristics, disposition, and distribution along the membranes, have been studied as evidence of cell membrane alterations in AD brain. The majority of these studies have been focused on the cytoplasmic membrane; meanwhile the mitochondrial membranes have been less explored. In this work, we studied lipids and mitochondrial membranes in vivo, following intracerebral injection of fibrillar amyloid-ß (Aß. The purpose was to determine how Aß may be responsible for beginning of a vicious cycle where oxidative stress and alterations in cholesterol, lipids and fatty acids, feed back on each other to cause mitochondrial dysfunction. We observed changes in mitochondrial membrane lipids, and fatty acids, following intracerebral injection of fibrillar Aß in aged Wistar rats. Melatonin, a well-known antioxidant and neuroimmunomodulator indoleamine, reversed some of these alterations and protected mitochondrial membranes from obvious damage. Additionally, melatonin increased the levels of linolenic and n-3 eicosapentaenoic acid, in the same site where amyloid ß was injected, favoring an endogenous anti-inflammatory pathway.

  8. Are aortic endograft prostheses fully hemo-compatible? A dielectric spectroscopy investigation of the electrical alterations induced on erythrocyte cell membranes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Basoli, Antonio [Clinica Chirurgica II, Universita di Roma ' La Sapienza' , Rome (Italy); Bordi, Federico [Dipartimento di Fisica, Universita di Roma ' La Sapienza' , Rome (Italy); Cametti, Cesare [Dipartimento di Fisica, Universita di Roma ' La Sapienza' , Rome (Italy); Faraglia, Vittorio [Cattedra di Chirurgia Vascolare, Second School of Medicine, Universita di Roma ' La Sapienza' , Rome (Italy); Gili, Tommaso [Dipartimento di Fisica, Universita di Roma ' La Sapienza' , Rome (Italy); Rizzo, Luigi [Cattedra di Chirurgia Vascolare, Second School of Medicine, Universita di Roma ' La Sapienza' , Rome (Italy); Taurino, Maurizio [Cattedra di Chirurgia Vascolare, Second School of Medicine, Universita di Roma ' La Sapienza' , Rome (Italy)

    2007-03-01

    In this paper we present a new approach directed to ascertain the full hemo-compatibility of aortic endograft prostheses based on the measurement of the passive electrical parameters of the erythrocyte cell membrane. The red blood cell membrane, from an electric point of view, is characterized by an electrical permittivity, {epsilon}{sub s}, which takes into account the structural charged organization of the lipid double layer, and by the electrical conductivity, {sigma}{sub s}, which accounts for the ionic transport processes across the membrane. These parameters can be easily measured by means of a radiowave dielectric spectroscopy technique, analyzing the dependence of the electrical impedance of an erythrocyte suspension on the frequency of the applied electric field. In this preliminary report, we investigate the alterations induced, at a membrane level, by two different devices commonly employed for endovascular abdominal aortic aneurysm exclusion, i.e., Excluder (registered) and Zenith (registered) devices, implanted in ten patients. We observe, in all the cases investigated, a statistically significant increase of both the permittivity {epsilon}{sub s} and electrical conductivity {sigma}{sub s} of the erythrocyte membrane upon the prosthesis implant, this increase being higher than about 20% of the un-treated values. Moreover, these alterations remain roughly unaffected 30 days after surgery. These findings suggest that a complete hemo-compatibility of these prostheses is lacking, even if the observed alterations may not have a clinical relevance.

  9. Hypoxia reduces the efficiency of elisidepsin by inhibiting hydroxylation and altering the structure of lipid rafts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Király, Anna; Váradi, Tímea; Hajdu, Tímea; Rühl, Ralph; Galmarini, Carlos M; Szöllősi, János; Nagy, Peter

    2013-12-02

    The mechanism of action of elisidepsin (PM02734, Irvalec®) is assumed to involve membrane permeabilization via attacking lipid rafts and hydroxylated lipids. Here we investigate the role of hypoxia in the mechanism of action of elisidepsin. Culturing under hypoxic conditions increased the half-maximal inhibitory concentration and decreased the drug's binding to almost all cell lines which was reversed by incubation of cells with 2-hydroxy palmitic acid. The expression of fatty acid 2-hydroxylase was strongly correlated with the efficiency of the drug and inversely correlated with the effect of hypoxia. Number and brightness analysis and fluorescence anisotropy experiments showed that hypoxia decreased the clustering of lipid rafts and altered the structure of the plasma membrane. Although the binding of elisidepsin to the membrane is non-cooperative, its membrane permeabilizing effect is characterized by a Hill coefficient of ~3.3. The latter finding is in agreement with elisidepsin-induced clusters of lipid raft-anchored GFP visualized by confocal microscopy. We propose that the concentration of elisidepsin needs to reach a critical level in the membrane above which elisidepsin induces the disruption of the cell membrane. Testing for tumor hypoxia or the density of hydroxylated lipids could be an interesting strategy to increase the efficiency of elisidepsin.

  10. Refsum disease diagnostic marker phytanic acid alters the physical state of membrane proteins of liver mitochondria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schönfeld, P; Struy, H

    1999-08-27

    Phytanic acid (3,7,11,15-tetramethylhexadecanoic acid), a branched chain fatty acid accumulating in Refsum disease to high levels throughout the body, induces uncoupling of rat liver mitochondria similar to non-branched fatty acids (e.g. palmitic acid), but the contribution of the ADP/ATP carrier or the aspartate/glutamate carrier in phytanic acid-induced uncoupling is of minor importance. Possible deleterious effects of phytanic acid on membrane-linked energy coupling processes were studied by ESR spectroscopy using rat liver mitochondria and a membrane preparation labeled with the lipid-specific spin probe 5-doxylstearic acid (5-DSA) or the protein-specific spin probe MAL-TEMPO (4-maleimido-2,2,6, 6-tetramethyl-piperidine-1-oxyl). The effects of phytanic acid on phospholipid molecular dynamics and on the physical state of membrane proteins were quantified by estimation of the order parameter or the ratio of the amplitudes of the weakly to strongly immobilized MAL-TEMPO binding sites (W/S ratio), respectively. It was found, that phytanic acid (1) increased the mobility of phospholipid molecules (indicated by a decrease in the order parameter) and (2) altered the conformational state and/or the segmental mobility of membrane proteins (indicated by a drastic decrease in the W/S ratio). Unsaturated fatty acids with multiple cis-double bonds (e.g. linolenic or arachidonic acid), but not non-branched FFA (ranging from chain length C10:0 to C18:0), also decrease the W/S ratio. It is hypothesized that the interaction of phytanic acid with transmembrane proteins might stimulate the proton permeability through the mitochondrial inner membrane according to a mechanism, different to a protein-supported fatty acid cycling.

  11. Characterization of ion-exchange membrane materials: properties vs structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berezina, N P; Kononenko, N A; Dyomina, O A; Gnusin, N P

    2008-06-22

    This review focuses on the preparation, structure and applications of ion-exchange membranes formed from various materials and exhibiting various functions (electrodialytic, perfluorinated sulphocation-exchange and novel laboratory-tested membranes). A number of experimental techniques for measuring electrotransport properties as well as the general procedure for membrane testing are also described. The review emphasizes the relationships between membrane structures, physical and chemical properties and mechanisms of electrochemical processes that occur in charged membrane materials. The water content in membranes is considered to be a key factor in the ion and water transfer and in polarization processes in electromembrane systems. We suggest the theoretical approach, which makes it possible to model and characterize the electrochemical properties of heterogeneous membranes using several transport-structural parameters. These parameters are extracted from the experimental dependences of specific electroconductivity and diffusion permeability on concentration. The review covers the most significant experimental and theoretical research on ion-exchange membranes that have been carried out in the Membrane Materials Laboratory of the Kuban State University. These results have been discussed at the conferences "Membrane Electrochemistry", Krasnodar, Russia for many years and were published mainly in Russian scientific sources.

  12. New membrane structures with proton conducting properties

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nørgaard, Casper Frydendal

    for these membranes is restricted by the loss of conductivity and dimensional stability as the temperature reaches the boiling point of water and the glass transition temperature of the polymer. At low relative humidity the membranes dehydrate, resulting in loss of conductivity and reduced dimensions. High...... [1, 2, 3]. Improved fuel cell performance from incorporation of hygroscopic oxides or solid proton conductors (e.g. zirconium phosphates) has been reported. The poster exhibits upcoming work in the field of composite electrolyte membranes at the University of Southern Denmark, combining radiation...

  13. Electron crystallography for structural and functional studies of membrane proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fujiyoshi, Yoshinori

    2011-01-01

    Membrane proteins are important research targets for basic biological sciences and drug design, but studies of their structure and function are considered difficult to perform. Studies of membrane structures have been greatly facilitated by technological and instrumental advancements in electron microscopy together with methodological advancements in biology. Electron crystallography is especially useful in studying the structure and function of membrane proteins. Electron crystallography is now an established method of analyzing the structures of membrane proteins in lipid bilayers, which resembles their natural biological environment. To better understand the neural system function from a structural point of view, we developed the cryo-electron microscope with a helium-cooled specimen stage, which allows for analysis of the structures of membrane proteins at a resolution higher than 3 Å. This review introduces recent instrumental advances in cryo-electron microscopy and presents some examples of structure analyses of membrane proteins, such as bacteriorhodopsin, water channels and gap junction channels. This review has two objectives: first, to provide a personal historical background to describe how we came to develop the cryo-electron microscope and second, to discuss some of the technology required for the structural analysis of membrane proteins based on cryo-electron microscopy.

  14. STRUCTURE AND PROPERTIES OF COMPOSITE POLYURETHANE HOLLOW FIBER MEMBRANES

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xian-feng Li; Chang-fa Xiao

    2005-01-01

    Composite polyurethane (PU)-SiO2 hollow fiber membranes were successfully prepared via optimizing the technique of dry-jet wet spinning, and their pressure-responsibilities were confirmed by the relationships of pure water fluxtransmembrane pressure (PWF-TP) for the first time. The origin for this phenomenon was analyzed on the basis of membrane structure and material characteristics. The effects of SiO2 content on the structure and properties of membrane were investigated. The experimental results indicated that SiO2 in membrane created a great many interfacial micro-voids and played an important role in pressure-responsibility, PWF and rejection of membrane: with the increase of SiO2 content, the ability of membrane recovery weakened, PWF increased, and rejection decreased slightly.

  15. The Structural Basis of Cholesterol Activity in Membranes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Olsen, Brett N.; Bielska, Agata; Lee, Tiffany; Daily, Michael D.; Covey, Douglas F.; Schlesinger, Paul H.; Baker, Nathan A.; Ory, Daniel S.

    2013-10-15

    Although the majority of free cellular cholesterol is present in the plasma membrane, cholesterol homeostasis is principally regulated through sterol-sensing proteins that reside in the cholesterol-poor endoplasmic reticulum (ER). In response to acute cholesterol loading or depletion, there is rapid equilibration between the ER and plasma membrane cholesterol pools, suggesting a biophysical model in which the availability of plasma membrane cholesterol for trafficking to internal membranes modulates ER membrane behavior. Previous studies have predominantly examined cholesterol availability in terms of binding to extramembrane acceptors, but have provided limited insight into the structural changes underlying cholesterol activation. In this study, we use both molecular dynamics simulations and experimental membrane systems to examine the behavior of cholesterol in membrane bilayers. We find that cholesterol depth within the bilayer provides a reasonable structural metric for cholesterol availability and that this is correlated with cholesterol-acceptor binding. Further, the distribution of cholesterol availability in our simulations is continuous rather than divided into distinct available and unavailable pools. This data provide support for a revised cholesterol activation model in which activation is driven not by saturation of membrane-cholesterol interactions but rather by bulk membrane remodeling that reduces membrane-cholesterol affinity.

  16. Alterations in plasma membrane promote overexpression and increase of sodium influx through epithelial sodium channel in hypertensive platelets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cerecedo, D; Martínez-Vieyra, Ivette; Sosa-Peinado, Alejandro; Cornejo-Garrido, Jorge; Ordaz-Pichardo, Cynthia; Benítez-Cardoza, Claudia

    2016-08-01

    Platelets are small, anucleated cell fragments that activate in response to a wide variety of stimuli, triggering a complex series of intracellular pathways leading to a hemostatic thrombus formation at vascular injury sites. However, in essential hypertension, platelet activation contributes to causing myocardial infarction and ischemic stroke. Reported abnormalities in platelet functions, such as platelet hyperactivity and hyperaggregability to several agonists, contribute to the pathogenesis and complications of thrombotic events associated with hypertension. Platelet membrane lipid composition and fluidity are determining for protein site accessibility, structural arrangement of platelet surface, and response to appropriate stimuli. The present study aimed to demonstrate whether structural and biochemical abnormalities in lipid membrane composition and fluidity characteristic of platelets from hypertensive patients influence the expression of the Epithelial Sodium Channel (ENaC), fundamental for sodium influx during collagen activation. Wb, cytometry and quantitative Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (qRT-PCR) assays demonstrated ENaC overexpression in platelets from hypertensive subjects and in relation to control subjects. Additionally, our results strongly suggest a key role of β-dystroglycan as a scaffold for the organization of ENaC and associated proteins. Understanding of the mechanisms of platelet alterations in hypertension should provide valuable information for the pathophysiology of hypertension. PMID:27137675

  17. Alterations in plasma membrane promote overexpression and increase of sodium influx through epithelial sodium channel in hypertensive platelets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cerecedo, D; Martínez-Vieyra, Ivette; Sosa-Peinado, Alejandro; Cornejo-Garrido, Jorge; Ordaz-Pichardo, Cynthia; Benítez-Cardoza, Claudia

    2016-08-01

    Platelets are small, anucleated cell fragments that activate in response to a wide variety of stimuli, triggering a complex series of intracellular pathways leading to a hemostatic thrombus formation at vascular injury sites. However, in essential hypertension, platelet activation contributes to causing myocardial infarction and ischemic stroke. Reported abnormalities in platelet functions, such as platelet hyperactivity and hyperaggregability to several agonists, contribute to the pathogenesis and complications of thrombotic events associated with hypertension. Platelet membrane lipid composition and fluidity are determining for protein site accessibility, structural arrangement of platelet surface, and response to appropriate stimuli. The present study aimed to demonstrate whether structural and biochemical abnormalities in lipid membrane composition and fluidity characteristic of platelets from hypertensive patients influence the expression of the Epithelial Sodium Channel (ENaC), fundamental for sodium influx during collagen activation. Wb, cytometry and quantitative Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (qRT-PCR) assays demonstrated ENaC overexpression in platelets from hypertensive subjects and in relation to control subjects. Additionally, our results strongly suggest a key role of β-dystroglycan as a scaffold for the organization of ENaC and associated proteins. Understanding of the mechanisms of platelet alterations in hypertension should provide valuable information for the pathophysiology of hypertension.

  18. Structure and Water Transport in Nafion Nanocomposite Membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Eric; Page, Kirt

    2014-03-01

    Perfluorinated ionomers, specifically Nafion, are the most widely used ion exchange membranes for vanadium redox flow battery applications, where an understanding of the relationship between membrane structure and transport of water/ions is critical to battery performance. In this study, the structure of Nafion/SiO2 nanocomposite membranes, synthesized using sol-gel chemistry, as well as cast directly from Nafion/SiO2 nanoparticle dispersions, was measured using both small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) and ultra-small-angle neutron scattering (USANS). Through contrast match studies of the SiO2 nanoparticles, direct information on the change in the structure of the Nafion membranes and the ion-transport channels within was obtained, where differences in membrane structure was observed between the solution-cast membranes and the membranes synthesized using sol-gel chemistry. Additionally, water sorption and diffusion in these Nafion/SiO2 nanocomposite membranes were measured using in situ time-resolved Fourier transform infrared-attenuated total reflectance (FTIR-ATR) spectroscopy and dynamic vapor sorption (DVS).

  19. The structure of melittin in membranes.

    OpenAIRE

    Vogel, H.; Jähnig, F

    1986-01-01

    The conformation of the polypeptide melittin in lipid membranes as determined by Raman spectroscopy is a bent alpha-helix formed by the mainly hydrophobic residues 1-21, and a nonhelical COOH-terminal segment of the hydrophilic residues 22-26. Fluorescence quenching experiments on residue Trp19 reveal that all COOH-termini are located on that side of a vesicular membrane to which melittin was added. By means of fluorescence energy transfer between unmodified and modified Trp19 residues, melit...

  20. Discovery of novel membrane binding structures and functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kufareva, Irina; Lenoir, Marc; Dancea, Felician; Sridhar, Pooja; Raush, Eugene; Bissig, Christin; Gruenberg, Jean; Abagyan, Ruben; Overduin, Michael

    2014-12-01

    The function of a protein is determined by its intrinsic activity in the context of its subcellular distribution. Membranes localize proteins within cellular compartments and govern their specific activities. Discovering such membrane-protein interactions is important for understanding biological mechanisms and could uncover novel sites for therapeutic intervention. We present a method for detecting membrane interactive proteins and their exposed residues that insert into lipid bilayers. Although the development process involved analysis of how C1b, C2, ENTH, FYVE, Gla, pleckstrin homology (PH), and PX domains bind membranes, the resulting membrane optimal docking area (MODA) method yields predictions for a given protein of known three-dimensional structures without referring to canonical membrane-targeting modules. This approach was tested on the Arf1 GTPase, ATF2 acetyltransferase, von Willebrand factor A3 domain, and Neisseria gonorrhoeae MsrB protein and further refined with membrane interactive and non-interactive FAPP1 and PKD1 pleckstrin homology domains, respectively. Furthermore we demonstrate how this tool can be used to discover unprecedented membrane binding functions as illustrated by the Bro1 domain of Alix, which was revealed to recognize lysobisphosphatidic acid (LBPA). Validation of novel membrane-protein interactions relies on other techniques such as nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR), which was used here to map the sites of micelle interaction. Together this indicates that genome-wide identification of known and novel membrane interactive proteins and sites is now feasible and provides a new tool for functional annotation of the proteome.

  1. Sandwich-structured hollow fiber membranes for osmotic power generation

    KAUST Repository

    Fu, Feng Jiang

    2015-11-01

    In this work, a novel sandwich-structured hollow fiber membrane has been developed via a specially designed spinneret and optimized spinning conditions. With this specially designed spinneret, the outer layer, which is the most crucial part of the sandwich-structured membrane, is maintained the same as the traditional dual-layer membrane. The inner substrate layer is separated into two layers: (1) an ultra-thin middle layer comprising a high molecular weight polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) additive to enhance integration with the outer polybenzimidazole (PBI) selective layer, and (2) an inner-layer to provide strong mechanical strength for the membrane. Experimental results show that a high water permeability and good mechanical strength could be achieved without the expensive post treatment process to remove PVP which was necessary for the dual-layer pressure retarded osmosis (PRO) membranes. By optimizing the composition, the membrane shows a maximum power density of 6.23W/m2 at a hydraulic pressure of 22.0bar when 1M NaCl and 10mM NaCl are used as the draw and feed solutions, respectively. To our best knowledge, this is the best phase inversion hollow fiber membrane with an outer selective PBI layer for osmotic power generation. In addition, this is the first work that shows how to fabricate sandwich-structured hollow fiber membranes for various applications. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.

  2. Nanodevices based on Membrane-Carbon Nanotube Hybrid Structures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Hye Jun; Kim, Tae Hyun; Namgung, Seon; Hong, Seunghun; Lee, Sang Hun; Park, Tai Hyun

    2010-03-01

    Proteins in cell membrane have been drawing attention due to their versatile functionalities such as ion transfer for neuronal activity and selective binding for sensory systems. However, it is still very difficult to manipulate and study those proteins because they easily lose their functionalities without lipid membranes. We developed a method to coat lipid membranes containing various functional membrane proteins on single-walled carbon nanotube (swCNT)-based field effect transistors (FETs). In this hybrid structure, the activity of membrane proteins can be monitored by underlying swCNT-FETs, allowing us to easily study the functionalities of membrane proteins. Furthermore, we built advanced devices based on these hybrid structures. For an example, we coated lipid membrane containing `olfactory receptors' on swCNT-FETs, resulting in `bioelectric nose' systems. The bioelectric nose system had high sensitivity and human nose-like selectivity to odorant molecules. This talk will also discuss about the future prospect of these membrane-CNT hybrid structures.

  3. Studying Membrane Protein Structure and Function Using Nanodiscs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Huda, Pie

    The structure and dynamic of membrane proteins can provide valuable information about general functions, diseases and effects of various drugs. Studying membrane proteins are a challenge as an amphiphilic environment is necessary to stabilise the protein in a functionally and structurally relevant...... form. This is most typically achieved through the use of detergent based reconstitution systems. However, time and again such systems fail to provide a suitable environment causing aggregation and inactivation. Nanodiscs are self-assembled lipoproteins containing two membrane scaffold proteins...... for understanding the key mechanisms during reconstitution of membrane proteins in these lipoproteins. In this project the self-assembly of nanodiscs has been structurally characterized with small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) in a time resolved fashion. This brought knowledge about the structural development...

  4. Investigating cell membrane structure and dynamics with TCSPC-FLIM

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Marois, Alix; Owen, Dylan M.; Suhling, Klaus

    2015-03-01

    We report the use of Time-Correlated Single Photon Counting (TCSPC) in a polarization-resolved Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging (FLIM) setup for the investigation of cell membrane structural and dynamic properties. This technique allows us to study the orientation and mobility of fluorescent membrane dyes, namely di-4-ANEPPDHQ and DiO, in model bilayers of different lipid compositions. Dipole alignment and extent of rotational motion can be linked to membrane order and fluidity. Comparison of the time-resolved anisotropy decays of the two fluorescent dyes suggests that rotational motion of membrane constituents is restricted in liquid-ordered phases, and appears to be limited to the region of aliphatic tails in liquid-disordered phases. In living cells, understanding the membrane structure provides crucial information on its functional properties, such as exo- and endocytosis, cell mobility and signal transduction.

  5. Functional and structural alterations induced by copper in xanthine oxidase

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Mahnaz Hadizadeh; Ezzatollah Keyhani; Jacqueline Keyhani; Cyrus Khodadadi

    2009-01-01

    Xanthine oxidase (XO),a key enzyme in purine metab-olism,produces reactive oxygen species causing vascu-lar injuries and chronic heart failure.Here,copper's ability to alter XO activity and structure was investi-gated in vitro after pre-incubation of the enzyme with increasing Cu2+ concentrations for various periods of time.The enzymatic activity was measured by following XO-catalyzed xanthine oxidation to uric acid under steady-state kinetics conditions.Structural alterations were assessed by electronic absorption,fluorescence,and circular dichroism spectroscopy.Results showed that Cu2+ either stimulated or inhibited XO activity,depending on metal concentration and pre-incubation length,the latter also determining the inhibition type.Cu2+-XO complex formation was characterized by modifications in XO electronic absorption bands,intrinsic fluorescence,and α-helical and β-sheet content.Apparent dissociation constant values implied high- and low-affinity Cu2+ binding sites in the vicinity of the enzyme's reactive centers.Data indicated that Cu2+ binding to high-affinity sites caused alterations around XO molybdenum and flavin adenine dinucleo-tide centers,changes in secondary structure,and mod-erate activity inhibition;binding to low affinity sites caused alterations around all XO reactive centers including FeS,changes in tertiary structure as reflected by alterations in spectral properties,and drastic activity inhibition.Stimulation was attributed to transient stabilization of XO optimal conformation.Results also emphasized the potential role of copper in the regu-lation of XO activity stemming from its binding properties.

  6. Integral membrane protein structure determination using pseudocontact shifts

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Obtaining enough experimental restraints can be a limiting factor in the NMR structure determination of larger proteins. This is particularly the case for large assemblies such as membrane proteins that have been solubilized in a membrane-mimicking environment. Whilst in such cases extensive deuteration strategies are regularly utilised with the aim to improve the spectral quality, these schemes often limit the number of NOEs obtainable, making complementary strategies highly beneficial for successful structure elucidation. Recently, lanthanide-induced pseudocontact shifts (PCSs) have been established as a structural tool for globular proteins. Here, we demonstrate that a PCS-based approach can be successfully applied for the structure determination of integral membrane proteins. Using the 7TM α-helical microbial receptor pSRII, we show that PCS-derived restraints from lanthanide binding tags attached to four different positions of the protein facilitate the backbone structure determination when combined with a limited set of NOEs. In contrast, the same set of NOEs fails to determine the correct 3D fold. The latter situation is frequently encountered in polytopical α-helical membrane proteins and a PCS approach is thus suitable even for this particularly challenging class of membrane proteins. The ease of measuring PCSs makes this an attractive route for structure determination of large membrane proteins in general

  7. Integral membrane protein structure determination using pseudocontact shifts

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Crick, Duncan J.; Wang, Jue X. [University of Cambridge, Department of Biochemistry (United Kingdom); Graham, Bim; Swarbrick, James D. [Monash University, Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (Australia); Mott, Helen R.; Nietlispach, Daniel, E-mail: dn206@cam.ac.uk [University of Cambridge, Department of Biochemistry (United Kingdom)

    2015-04-15

    Obtaining enough experimental restraints can be a limiting factor in the NMR structure determination of larger proteins. This is particularly the case for large assemblies such as membrane proteins that have been solubilized in a membrane-mimicking environment. Whilst in such cases extensive deuteration strategies are regularly utilised with the aim to improve the spectral quality, these schemes often limit the number of NOEs obtainable, making complementary strategies highly beneficial for successful structure elucidation. Recently, lanthanide-induced pseudocontact shifts (PCSs) have been established as a structural tool for globular proteins. Here, we demonstrate that a PCS-based approach can be successfully applied for the structure determination of integral membrane proteins. Using the 7TM α-helical microbial receptor pSRII, we show that PCS-derived restraints from lanthanide binding tags attached to four different positions of the protein facilitate the backbone structure determination when combined with a limited set of NOEs. In contrast, the same set of NOEs fails to determine the correct 3D fold. The latter situation is frequently encountered in polytopical α-helical membrane proteins and a PCS approach is thus suitable even for this particularly challenging class of membrane proteins. The ease of measuring PCSs makes this an attractive route for structure determination of large membrane proteins in general.

  8. Graphene-based structure, method of suspending graphene membrane, and method of depositing material onto graphene membrane

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zettl, Alexander K.; Meyer, Jannik Christian

    2013-04-02

    An embodiment of a method of suspending a graphene membrane across a gap in a support structure includes attaching graphene to a substrate. A pre-fabricated support structure having the gap is attached to the graphene. The graphene and the pre-fabricated support structure are then separated from the substrate which leaves the graphene membrane suspended across the gap in the pre-fabricated support structure. An embodiment of a method of depositing material includes placing a support structure having a graphene membrane suspended across a gap under vacuum. A precursor is adsorbed to a surface of the graphene membrane. A portion of the graphene membrane is exposed to a focused electron beam which deposits a material from the precursor onto the graphene membrane. An embodiment of a graphene-based structure includes a support structure having a gap, a graphene membrane suspended across the gap, and a material deposited in a pattern on the graphene membrane.

  9. Quercetin modulates activities of Taiwan cobra phospholipase A2 via its effects on membrane structure and membrane-bound mode of phospholipase A2

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Yi-Ling Chiou; Shinne-Ren Lin; Wan-Ping Hu; Long-Sen Chang

    2012-06-01

    The goal of the present study is to elucidate the mechanism of quercetin on modulating Naja naja atra phospholipase A2 (PLA2) activities. Sphingomyelin inhibited PLA2 enzymatic activity and membrane-damaging activity against egg yolk phosphatidylcholine (EYPC), while cholesterol and quercetin abrogated the sphingomeyelin inhibitory effect. Quercetin incorporation led to a reduction in PLA2 enzymatic activity and membrane-damaging activity toward EYPC/sphingomyelin/cholesterol vesicles. Both cholesterol and quercetin increased detergent resistance and reduced membrane fluidity of EYPC/sphingomyelin vesicles. Quercetin reduced detergent insolubility but increased ordered lipid packing of EYPC/sphingomyelin/cholesterol vesicles. Acrylamide quenching studies and trinitrophenylation of Lys residues revealed that quercetin altered the membrane-bound mode of PLA2 differently upon absorption onto the membrane bilayers of different lipid compositions. However, 8-anilinonaphthalene sulphonate-binding assay revealed that quercetin marginally affected the interaction between active site of PLA2 with phospholipid vesicles. Collectively, our data indicate that membrane-inserted quercetin modulates PLA2 interfacial activity and membrane-damaging activity via its effects on membrane structure and membrane-bound mode of PLA2.

  10. Magnetic apatite for structural insights on the plasma membrane

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The iron oxide-hydroxyapatite (FeOxHA) nanoparticles reported here differ from those reported before by their advantage of homogeneity and simple preparation; moreover, the presence of carboxymethyldextran (CMD), together with hydroxyapatite (HA), allows access to the cellular membrane, which makes our magnetic apatite unique. These nanoparticles combine magnetic behavior, Raman label ability and the property of interaction with the cellular membrane; they therefore represent an interesting material for structural differentiation of the cell membrane. It was observed by Raman spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and fluorescence microscopy that FeOxHA adheres to the plasma membrane and does not penetrate the membrane. These insights make the nanoparticles a promising material for magnetic cell sorting, e.g. in microfluidic device applications. (paper)

  11. Cell structure and cytokinesis alterations in multidrug-resistant Leishmania (Leishmania) amazonensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borges, V M; Lopes, U G; De Souza, W; Vannier-Santos, M A

    2005-01-01

    Multidrug-resistant Leishmania (Leishmania) amazonensis may be obtained by in vitro selection with vinblastine. In order to determine whether this phenotype is linked to structural alterations, we analyzed the cell architecture by electron microscopy. The vinblastine resistant CL2 clone of L. (L.) amazonensis, but not wild-type parasites, showed a cytokinesis dysfunction. The CL2 promastigotes had multiple nuclei, kinetoplasts and flagella, suggesting that vinblastine resistance may be associated with truncated cell division. The subpellicular microtubule plasma membrane connection was also affected. Wild-type parasites treated with vinblastine displayed similar alterations, presenting lobulated and multinucleated cells. Taken together, these data indicate that antimicrotubule drug-selected parasites may show evidence of the mutation of cytoskeleton proteins, impairing normal cell function. PMID:15592939

  12. Crystal structure of the plasma membrane proton pump.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pedersen, Bjørn P; Buch-Pedersen, Morten J; Morth, J Preben; Palmgren, Michael G; Nissen, Poul

    2007-12-13

    A prerequisite for life is the ability to maintain electrochemical imbalances across biomembranes. In all eukaryotes the plasma membrane potential and secondary transport systems are energized by the activity of P-type ATPase membrane proteins: H+-ATPase (the proton pump) in plants and fungi, and Na+,K+-ATPase (the sodium-potassium pump) in animals. The name P-type derives from the fact that these proteins exploit a phosphorylated reaction cycle intermediate of ATP hydrolysis. The plasma membrane proton pumps belong to the type III P-type ATPase subfamily, whereas Na+,K+-ATPase and Ca2+-ATPase are type II. Electron microscopy has revealed the overall shape of proton pumps, however, an atomic structure has been lacking. Here we present the first structure of a P-type proton pump determined by X-ray crystallography. Ten transmembrane helices and three cytoplasmic domains define the functional unit of ATP-coupled proton transport across the plasma membrane, and the structure is locked in a functional state not previously observed in P-type ATPases. The transmembrane domain reveals a large cavity, which is likely to be filled with water, located near the middle of the membrane plane where it is lined by conserved hydrophilic and charged residues. Proton transport against a high membrane potential is readily explained by this structural arrangement. PMID:18075595

  13. The effect of natural and synthetic fatty acids on membrane structure, microdomain organization, cellular functions and human health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ibarguren, Maitane; López, David J; Escribá, Pablo V

    2014-06-01

    This review deals with the effects of synthetic and natural fatty acids on the biophysical properties of membranes, and on their implication on cell function. Natural fatty acids are constituents of more complex lipids, like triacylglycerides or phospholipids, which are used by cells to store and obtain energy, as well as for structural purposes. Accordingly, natural and synthetic fatty acids may modify the structure of the lipid membrane, altering its microdomain organization and other physical properties, and provoking changes in cell signaling. Therefore, by modulating fatty acids it is possible to regulate the structure of the membrane, influencing the cell processes that are reliant on this structure and potentially reverting pathological cell dysfunctions that may provoke cancer, diabetes, hypertension, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. The so-called Membrane Lipid Therapy offers a strategy to regulate the membrane composition through drug administration, potentially reverting pathological processes by re-adapting cell membrane structure. Certain fatty acids and their synthetic derivatives are described here that may potentially be used in such therapies, where the cell membrane itself can be considered as a target to combat disease. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Membrane Structure and Function: Relevance in the Cell's Physiology, Pathology and Therapy.

  14. Membrane transport mechanism 3D structure and beyond

    CERN Document Server

    Ziegler, Christine

    2014-01-01

    This book provides a molecular view of membrane transport by means of numerous biochemical and biophysical techniques. The rapidly growing number of atomic structures of transporters in different conformations and the constant progress in bioinformatics have recently added deeper insights.   The unifying mechanism of energized solute transport across membranes is assumed to consist of the conformational cycling of a carrier protein to provide access to substrate binding sites from either side of a cellular membrane. Due to the central role of active membrane transport there is considerable interest in deciphering the principles of one of the most fundamental processes in nature: the alternating access mechanism.   This book brings together particularly significant structure-function studies on a variety of carrier systems from different transporter families: Glutamate symporters, LeuT-like fold transporters, MFS transporters and SMR (RND) exporters, as well as ABC-type importers.   The selected examples im...

  15. Ternary structure reveals mechanism of a membrane diacylglycerol kinase

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Dianfan; Stansfeld, Phillip J.; Sansom, Mark S. P.; Keogh, Aaron; Vogeley, Lutz; Howe, Nicole; Lyons, Joseph A.; Aragao, David; Fromme, Petra; Fromme, Raimund; Basu, Shibom; Grotjohann, Ingo; Kupitz, Christopher; Rendek, Kimberley; Weierstall, Uwe; Zatsepin, Nadia A.; Cherezov, Vadim; Liu, Wei; Bandaru, Sateesh; English, Niall J.; Gati, Cornelius; Barty, Anton; Yefanov, Oleksandr; Chapman, Henry N.; Diederichs, Kay; Messerschmidt, Marc; Boutet, Sébastien; Williams, Garth J.; Marvin Seibert, M.; Caffrey, Martin

    2015-12-01

    Diacylglycerol kinase catalyses the ATP-dependent conversion of diacylglycerol to phosphatidic acid in the plasma membrane of Escherichia coli. The small size of this integral membrane trimer, which has 121 residues per subunit, means that available protein must be used economically to craft three catalytic and substrate-binding sites centred about the membrane/cytosol interface. How nature has accomplished this extraordinary feat is revealed here in a crystal structure of the kinase captured as a ternary complex with bound lipid substrate and an ATP analogue. Residues, identified as essential for activity by mutagenesis, decorate the active site and are rationalized by the ternary structure. The γ-phosphate of the ATP analogue is positioned for direct transfer to the primary hydroxyl of the lipid whose acyl chain is in the membrane. A catalytic mechanism for this unique enzyme is proposed. The active site architecture shows clear evidence of having arisen by convergent evolution.

  16. Sphingomyelinase D activity in model membranes: structural effects of in situ generation of ceramide-1-phosphate.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberto P Stock

    Full Text Available The toxicity of Loxosceles spider venom has been attributed to a rare enzyme, sphingomyelinase D, which transforms sphingomyelin to ceramide-1-phosphate. The bases of its inflammatory and dermonecrotic activity, however, remain unclear. In this work the effects of ceramide-1-phosphate on model membranes were studied both by in situ generation of this lipid using a recombinant sphingomyelinase D from the spider Loxosceles laeta and by pre-mixing it with sphingomyelin and cholesterol. The systems of choice were large unilamellar vesicles for bulk studies (enzyme kinetics, fluorescence spectroscopy and dynamic light scattering and giant unilamellar vesicles for fluorescence microscopy examination using a variety of fluorescent probes. The influence of membrane lateral structure on the kinetics of enzyme activity and the consequences of enzyme activity on the structure of target membranes containing sphingomyelin were examined. The findings indicate that: 1 ceramide-1-phosphate (particularly lauroyl ceramide-1-phosphate can be incorporated into sphingomyelin bilayers in a concentration-dependent manner and generates coexistence of liquid disordered/solid ordered domains, 2 the activity of sphingomyelinase D is clearly influenced by the supramolecular organization of its substrate in membranes and, 3 in situ ceramide-1-phosphate generation by enzymatic activity profoundly alters the lateral structure and morphology of the target membranes.

  17. Preterm birth and structural brain alterations in early adulthood

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chiara Nosarti

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Alterations in cortical development and impaired neurodevelopmental outcomes have been described following very preterm (VPT birth in childhood and adolescence, but only a few studies to date have investigated grey matter (GM and white matter (WM maturation in VPT samples in early adult life. Using voxel-based morphometry (VBM we studied regional GM and WM volumes in 68 VPT-born individuals (mean gestational age 30 weeks and 43 term-born controls aged 19–20 years, and their association with cognitive outcomes (Hayling Sentence Completion Test, Controlled Oral Word Association Test, Visual Reproduction test of the Wechsler Memory Scale-Revised and gestational age. Structural MRI data were obtained with a 1.5 Tesla system and analysed using the VBM8 toolbox in SPM8 with a customized study-specific template. Similarly to results obtained at adolescent assessment, VPT young adults compared to controls demonstrated reduced GM volume in temporal, frontal, insular and occipital areas, thalamus, caudate nucleus and putamen. Increases in GM volume were noted in medial/anterior frontal gyrus. Smaller subcortical WM volume in the VPT group was observed in temporal, parietal and frontal regions, and in a cluster centred on posterior corpus callosum/thalamus/fornix. Larger subcortical WM volume was found predominantly in posterior brain regions, in areas beneath the parahippocampal and occipital gyri and in cerebellum. Gestational age was associated with GM and WM volumes in areas where VPT individuals demonstrated GM and WM volumetric alterations, especially in temporal, parietal and occipital regions. VPT participants scored lower than controls on measures of IQ, executive function and non-verbal memory. When investigating GM and WM alterations and cognitive outcome scores, subcortical WM volume in an area beneath the left inferior frontal gyrus accounted for 14% of the variance of full-scale IQ (F = 12.9, p < 0.0001. WM volume in posterior corpus

  18. The C-terminal Cytosolic Region of Rim21 Senses Alterations in Plasma Membrane Lipid Composition: INSIGHTS INTO SENSING MECHANISMS FOR PLASMA MEMBRANE LIPID ASYMMETRY.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishino, Kanako; Obara, Keisuke; Kihara, Akio

    2015-12-25

    Yeast responds to alterations in plasma membrane lipid asymmetry and external alkalization via the sensor protein Rim21 in the Rim101 pathway. However, the sensing mechanism used by Rim21 remains unclear. Here, we found that the C-terminal cytosolic domain of Rim21 (Rim21C) fused with GFP was associated with the plasma membrane under normal conditions but dissociated upon alterations in lipid asymmetry or external alkalization. This indicates that Rim21C contains a sensor motif. Rim21C contains multiple clusters of charged residues. Among them, three consecutive Glu residues (EEE motif) were essential for Rim21 function and dissociation of Rim21C from the plasma membrane in response to changes in lipid asymmetry. In contrast, positively charged residues adjacent to the EEE motif were required for Rim21C to associate with the membrane. We therefore propose an "antenna hypothesis," in which Rim21C moves to or from the plasma membrane and functions as the sensing mechanism of Rim21.

  19. Structure and Dynamic Properties of Membrane Proteins using NMR

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rösner, Heike; Kragelund, Birthe

    2012-01-01

    conformational changes. Their structural and functional decoding is challenging and has imposed demanding experimental development. Solution nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy is one of the techniques providing the capacity to make a significant difference in the deciphering of the membrane protein...... structure-function paradigm. The method has evolved dramatically during the last decade resulting in a plethora of new experiments leading to a significant increase in the scientific repertoire for studying membrane proteins. Besides solving the three-dimensional structures using state-of-the-art approaches......-populated states, this review seeks to introduce the vast possibilities solution NMR can offer to the study of membrane protein structure-function analyses with special focus on applicability. © 2012 American Physiological Society. Compr Physiol 2:1491-1539, 2012....

  20. Class I Cytokine Receptors: Structure and function in the Membrane

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bugge, Katrine Østergaard

    of these challenging domains. Supplemented by a review of the current collection of TMD structures from single-pass transmembrane receptors, the thesis as a whole provides important insights on the structure and function in the membrane as well as highlight the open questions to be addressed in the years to come....... with a globular domain in combination with a membrane embedded domain and an intrinsically disordered domain is exceptionally challenging, this structure, along with data collected on the adjacent domains in isolation, was utilized to present the first full-length integrative structure of a class I cytokine......Class I cytokine receptors are involved in important biological functions of both physiological and pathological nature in mammals. However, the molecular details of the cross-membrane signal transduction through these receptors remain obscure. One of the major reasons for this is the lack...

  1. A beam-membrane structure micromachined differential pressure flow sensor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, P; Zhao, Y L; Tian, B; Li, C; Li, Y Y

    2015-04-01

    A beam-membrane structure micromachined flow sensor is designed, depending on the principle of differential pressure caused by the mass flow, which is directly proportional to the square flow rate. The FSI (fluid structure interaction) characteristics of the differential pressure flow sensor are investigated via numerical analysis and analog simulation. The working mechanism of the flow sensor is analyzed depending on the FSI results. Then, the flow sensor is fabricated and calibrated. The calibration results show that the beam-membrane structure differential pressure flow sensor achieves ideal static characteristics and works well in the practical applications.

  2. Use of reverse micelles in membrane protein structural biology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Van Horn, Wade D. [Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Department of Biochemistry and Center for Structural Biology (United States); Ogilvie, Mark E.; Flynn, Peter F. [University of Utah, Department of Chemistry (United States)], E-mail: peter.flynn@utah.edu

    2008-03-15

    Membrane protein structural biology is a rapidly developing field with fundamental importance for elucidating key biological and biophysical processes including signal transduction, intercellular communication, and cellular transport. In addition to the intrinsic interest in this area of research, structural studies of membrane proteins have direct significance on the development of therapeutics that impact human health in diverse and important ways. In this article we demonstrate the potential of investigating the structure of membrane proteins using the reverse micelle forming surfactant dioctyl sulfosuccinate (AOT) in application to the prototypical model ion channel gramicidin A. Reverse micelles are surfactant based nanoparticles which have been employed to investigate fundamental physical properties of biomolecules. The results of this solution NMR based study indicate that the AOT reverse micelle system is capable of refolding and stabilizing relatively high concentrations of the native conformation of gramicidin A. Importantly, pulsed-field-gradient NMR diffusion and NOESY experiments reveal stable gramicidin A homodimer interactions that bridge reverse micelle particles. The spectroscopic benefit of reverse micelle-membrane protein solubilization is also explored, and significant enhancement over commonly used micelle based mimetic systems is demonstrated. These results establish the effectiveness of reverse micelle based studies of membrane proteins, and illustrate that membrane proteins solubilized by reverse micelles are compatible with high resolution solution NMR techniques.

  3. Discovery of novel membrane binding structures and functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kufareva, Irina; Lenoir, Marc; Dancea, Felician; Sridhar, Pooja; Raush, Eugene; Bissig, Christin; Gruenberg, Jean; Abagyan, Ruben; Overduin, Michael

    2014-12-01

    The function of a protein is determined by its intrinsic activity in the context of its subcellular distribution. Membranes localize proteins within cellular compartments and govern their specific activities. Discovering such membrane-protein interactions is important for understanding biological mechanisms and could uncover novel sites for therapeutic intervention. We present a method for detecting membrane interactive proteins and their exposed residues that insert into lipid bilayers. Although the development process involved analysis of how C1b, C2, ENTH, FYVE, Gla, pleckstrin homology (PH), and PX domains bind membranes, the resulting membrane optimal docking area (MODA) method yields predictions for a given protein of known three-dimensional structures without referring to canonical membrane-targeting modules. This approach was tested on the Arf1 GTPase, ATF2 acetyltransferase, von Willebrand factor A3 domain, and Neisseria gonorrhoeae MsrB protein and further refined with membrane interactive and non-interactive FAPP1 and PKD1 pleckstrin homology domains, respectively. Furthermore we demonstrate how this tool can be used to discover unprecedented membrane binding functions as illustrated by the Bro1 domain of Alix, which was revealed to recognize lysobisphosphatidic acid (LBPA). Validation of novel membrane-protein interactions relies on other techniques such as nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR), which was used here to map the sites of micelle interaction. Together this indicates that genome-wide identification of known and novel membrane interactive proteins and sites is now feasible and provides a new tool for functional annotation of the proteome. PMID:25394204

  4. Prolonged agonist stimulation does not alter the protein composition of membrane domains in spite of dramatic changes induced in a specific signaling cascade.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matousek, Petr; Novotny, Jirí; Rudajev, Vladimír; Svoboda, Petr

    2005-01-01

    Protein composition of membrane domains prepared by three different procedures (mechanical homogenization, alkaline treatment with 1 M Na2CO3 [pH 11.0], or extraction with nonionic detergent Triton X-100), and isolated from the bulk of plasma membranes by flotation on equilibrium sucrose density gradients, was analyzed by two-dimensional (2D) electrophoresis and compared in preparations from control (quiescent) and agonist-stimulated human embryonic kidney cells (HEK)293 or S49 cells. HEK293 cells (clone e2m11) stably expressing high levels of thyrotropin-releasing hormone receptor and G11alpha protein were stimulated by thyrotropin-releasing hormone and S49 lymphoma cells by the beta-adrenergic receptor agonist isoprenaline. Whereas sustained exposure (16 h) of both cell lines to the appropriate hormones led to substantial cellular redistribution and downregulation of the cognate G proteins (G(q)alpha/G11alpha and G(s)alpha, respectively), the distribution and levels of nonstimulated G(i) proteins remained unchanged. The 2D electrophoretic analysis of membrane domains distinguished approx 150-170 major proteins in these structures and none of these proteins was significantly altered by prolonged agonist stimulation. Furthermore, specific immunochemical determination of a number of plasma membrane markers, including transmembrane and glycosyl-phosphatidylinositol-anchored peripheral proteins, confirmed that their detergent-extractability/solubility was not influenced by hormone treatment. Collectively, our present data indicate that sustained hormone stimulation of target cells does not alter the basic protein composition of membrane domain/raft compartments of the plasma membrane in spite of marked changes proceeding in a given signaling cascade. PMID:15673926

  5. Effect of Melatonin and Cholesterol on the Structure of DOPC and DPPC Membranes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Drolle, E [University of Waterloo, Canada; Kucerka, Norbert [Canadian Neutron Beam Centre and Comelius University (Slovakia); Hoopes, M I [University of Waterloo, Canada; Choi, Y [University of Waterloo, Canada; Katsaras, John [ORNL; Karttunen, M [University of Waterloo, Canada; Leonenko, Z [University of Waterloo, Canada

    2013-01-01

    The cell membrane plays an important role in the molecular mechanism of amyloid toxicity associated with Alzheimer's disease. The membrane's chemical composition and the incorporation of small molecules, such as melatonin and cholesterol, can alter its structure and physical properties, thereby affecting its interaction with amyloid peptides. Both melatonin and cholesterol have been recently linked to amyloid toxicity. Melatonin has been shown to have a protective role against amyloid toxicity. However, the underlying molecular mechanism of this protection is still not well understood, and cholesterol's role remains controversial. We used small-angle neutron diffraction (SAND) from oriented lipid multi-layers, small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) from unilamellar vesicles experiments andMolecular Dynamics (MD) simulations to elucidate non-specific interactions of melatonin and cholesterol with 1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DOPC) and 1,2-dipalmitoyl-snglycero-3-phosphocholine (DPPC) model membranes. We conclude that melatonin decreases the thickness of both model membranes by disordering the lipid hydrocarbon chains, thus increasing membrane fluidity. This result is in stark contrast to the much accepted ordering effect induced by cholesterol, which causes membranes to thicken.

  6. Alteration of membrane lipid biophysical properties and resistance of human lung adenocarcinoma A549 cells to cisplatin

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2001-01-01

    Alterations of membrane lipid biophysical properties of sensitiveA549 and resistant A549/DDP cells to the Cis-dichlorodiammine platinum (Cisplatin) were performed by measurements of fluorescence and flow cytometry approaches using fluorescence dyes of DPH, N-AS and Merocyanine 540 (MC 540) respectively. Fatty acids of membrane lipid of the two cell lines were analyzed by gas chromatography. The results indicated clearly that fluorescence polarization (P) of the DPH probe is 0.169 for the sensitive A549 cell and 0.194 for the resistant A549/DDP cells. Statistical analysis showed significant difference between the two cell lines. The polarizations of 2-AS and 7-AS which reflect the fluidity of surface and middle of lipid bilayer are 0.134 and 0.144 for the sensitive A549 cells as well as 0.171 and 0.178 for the resistant A549/DDP cells respectively, but there is no significant difference of the polarization of 12-AS between the two cell lines. This shows that altera-tions of the membrane fluidity of both cells were mainly located on the surface and middle of the lipid bilayer. In addition, the packing density of phospholipid molecules in the membrane of the two cell lines detected by MC540 probe indicated that lipid packing of A549 cell membranes was looser than that of the A549/DDP cells. And unsaturation degree of plasma membrane fatty acids of the A549/DDP cells was also lower than that of A549 cells. Taken together, it was proposed that the al-teration of membrane lipid biophysical state may be involved in the resistance of A549/DDP cells to cisplatin.

  7. Disease-associated mutations that alter the RNA structural ensemble.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew Halvorsen

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Genome-wide association studies (GWAS often identify disease-associated mutations in intergenic and non-coding regions of the genome. Given the high percentage of the human genome that is transcribed, we postulate that for some observed associations the disease phenotype is caused by a structural rearrangement in a regulatory region of the RNA transcript. To identify such mutations, we have performed a genome-wide analysis of all known disease-associated Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs from the Human Gene Mutation Database (HGMD that map to the untranslated regions (UTRs of a gene. Rather than using minimum free energy approaches (e.g. mFold, we use a partition function calculation that takes into consideration the ensemble of possible RNA conformations for a given sequence. We identified in the human genome disease-associated SNPs that significantly alter the global conformation of the UTR to which they map. For six disease-states (Hyperferritinemia Cataract Syndrome, beta-Thalassemia, Cartilage-Hair Hypoplasia, Retinoblastoma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD, and Hypertension, we identified multiple SNPs in UTRs that alter the mRNA structural ensemble of the associated genes. Using a Boltzmann sampling procedure for sub-optimal RNA structures, we are able to characterize and visualize the nature of the conformational changes induced by the disease-associated mutations in the structural ensemble. We observe in several cases (specifically the 5' UTRs of FTL and RB1 SNP-induced conformational changes analogous to those observed in bacterial regulatory Riboswitches when specific ligands bind. We propose that the UTR and SNP combinations we identify constitute a "RiboSNitch," that is a regulatory RNA in which a specific SNP has a structural consequence that results in a disease phenotype. Our SNPfold algorithm can help identify RiboSNitches by leveraging GWAS data and an analysis of the mRNA structural ensemble.

  8. Deformation of wrinkled membrane inflatable structures under concentrated loads

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WANG Chang-guo; DU Xing-wen; WAN Zhi-min; HE Xiao-dong

    2008-01-01

    The axisymmetric deformation of a paraboloidal membrane inflatable structure subjected to a concentrated load at its apex and a uniform intemal pressure was analyzed.The wrinkle angle was obtained according to the membrane theory when wrinkles appeared and determined the wrinkle region.The wrinkled deformation was obtained based on the relaxed energy function.The effects of inflation pressure and concentrated loads on the wrinkle ansle were analyzed and the deformation Was obtained at the apex of structure.According to the numerical analysis,the shape of deformed meridians with wrinkles Was obtained.

  9. Characterization of a structural intermediate of flavivirus membrane fusion.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karin Stiasny

    2007-02-01

    Full Text Available Viral membrane fusion proceeds through a sequence of steps that are driven by triggered conformational changes of viral envelope glycoproteins, so-called fusion proteins. Although high-resolution structural snapshots of viral fusion proteins in their prefusion and postfusion conformations are available, it has been difficult to define intermediate structures of the fusion pathway because of their transient nature. Flaviviruses possess a class II viral fusion protein (E mediating fusion at acidic pH that is converted from a dimer to a trimer with a hairpin-like structure during the fusion process. Here we show for tick-borne encephalitis virus that exposure of virions to alkaline instead of acidic pH traps the particles in an intermediate conformation in which the E dimers dissociate and interact with target membranes via the fusion peptide without proceeding to the merger of the membranes. Further treatment to low pH, however, leads to fusion, suggesting that these monomers correspond to an as-yet-elusive intermediate required to convert the prefusion dimer into the postfusion trimer. Thus, the use of nonphysiological conditions allows a dissection of the flavivirus fusion process and the identification of two separate steps, in which membrane insertion of multiple copies of E monomers precedes the formation of hairpin-like trimers. This sequence of events provides important new insights for understanding the dynamic process of viral membrane fusion.

  10. Structuring detergents for extracting and stabilizing functional membrane proteins.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rima Matar-Merheb

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Membrane proteins are privileged pharmaceutical targets for which the development of structure-based drug design is challenging. One underlying reason is the fact that detergents do not stabilize membrane domains as efficiently as natural lipids in membranes, often leading to a partial to complete loss of activity/stability during protein extraction and purification and preventing crystallization in an active conformation. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Anionic calix[4]arene based detergents (C4Cn, n=1-12 were designed to structure the membrane domains through hydrophobic interactions and a network of salt bridges with the basic residues found at the cytosol-membrane interface of membrane proteins. These compounds behave as surfactants, forming micelles of 5-24 nm, with the critical micellar concentration (CMC being as expected sensitive to pH ranging from 0.05 to 1.5 mM. Both by 1H NMR titration and Surface Tension titration experiments, the interaction of these molecules with the basic amino acids was confirmed. They extract membrane proteins from different origins behaving as mild detergents, leading to partial extraction in some cases. They also retain protein functionality, as shown for BmrA (Bacillus multidrug resistance ATP protein, a membrane multidrug-transporting ATPase, which is particularly sensitive to detergent extraction. These new detergents allow BmrA to bind daunorubicin with a Kd of 12 µM, a value similar to that observed after purification using dodecyl maltoside (DDM. They preserve the ATPase activity of BmrA (which resets the protein to its initial state after drug efflux much more efficiently than SDS (sodium dodecyl sulphate, FC12 (Foscholine 12 or DDM. They also maintain in a functional state the C4Cn-extracted protein upon detergent exchange with FC12. Finally, they promote 3D-crystallization of the membrane protein. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: These compounds seem promising to extract in a functional state

  11. Altered Escherichia coli membrane protein assembly machinery allows proper membrane assembly of eukaryotic protein vitamin K epoxide reductase

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hatahet, Feras; Blazyk, Jessica L.; Martineau, Eugenie; Mandela, Eric; Zhao, Yongxin; Campbell, Robert E.; Beckwith, Jonathan; Boyd, Dana

    2015-01-01

    Functional overexpression of polytopic membrane proteins, particularly when in a foreign host, is often a challenging task. Factors that negatively affect such processes are poorly understood. Using the mammalian membrane protein vitamin K epoxide reductase (VKORc1) as a reporter, we describe a genetic selection approach allowing the isolation of Escherichia coli mutants capable of functionally expressing this blood-coagulation enzyme. The isolated mutants map to components of membrane protein assembly and quality control proteins YidC and HslV. We show that changes in the VKORc1 sequence and in the YidC hydrophilic groove along with the inactivation of HslV promote VKORc1 activity and dramatically increase its expression level. We hypothesize that such changes correct for mismatches in the membrane topogenic signals between E. coli and eukaryotic cells guiding proper membrane integration. Furthermore, the obtained mutants allow the study of VKORc1 reaction mechanisms, inhibition by warfarin, and the high-throughput screening for potential anticoagulants. PMID:26598701

  12. Extinction order and altered community structure rapidly disrupt ecosystem functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larsen, Trond H; Williams, Neal M; Kremen, Claire

    2005-05-01

    By causing extinctions and altering community structure, anthropogenic disturbances can disrupt processes that maintain ecosystem integrity. However, the relationship between community structure and ecosystem functioning in natural systems is poorly understood. Here we show that habitat loss appeared to disrupt ecosystem functioning by affecting extinction order, species richness and abundance. We studied pollination by bees in a mosaic of agricultural and natural habitats in California and dung burial by dung beetles on recently created islands in Venezuela. We found that large-bodied bee and beetle species tended to be both most extinction-prone and most functionally efficient, contributing to rapid functional loss. Simulations confirmed that extinction order led to greater disruption of function than predicted by random species loss. Total abundance declined with richness and also appeared to contribute to loss of function. We demonstrate conceptually and empirically how the non-random response of communities to disturbance can have unexpectedly large functional consequences.

  13. Local Reasoning about Programs that Alter Data Structures

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    O'Hearn, Peter W.; Reynolds, John Clifton; Yang, Hongseok

    2001-01-01

    We describe an extension of Hoare's logic for reasoning about programs that alter data structures. We consider a low-level storage model based on a heap with associated lookup, update, allocation and deallocation operations, and unrestricted address arithmetic. The assertion language is based...... on a possible worlds model of the logic of bunched implications, and includes spatial conjunction and implication connectives alongside those of classical logic. Heap operations are axiomatized using what we call the \\small axioms", each of which mentions only those cells accessed by a particular command....... Through these and a number of examples we show that the formalism supports local reasoning: A speci-cation and proof can concentrate on only those cells in memory that a program accesses. This paper builds on earlier work by Burstall, Reynolds, Ishtiaq and O'Hearn on reasoning about data structures....

  14. FATE OF REVERSE OSMOSIS (RO) MEMBRANES DURING OXIDATION BY DISINFECTANTS USED IN WATER TREATMENT: IMPACT ON MEMBRANE STRUCTURE AND PERFORMANCES

    KAUST Repository

    Maugin, Thomas

    2013-12-01

    Providing pretreatment prior RO filtration is essential to avoid biofouling and subsequent loss of membrane performances. Chlorine is known to degrade polymeric membrane, improving or reducing membrane efficiency depending on oxidation conditions. This study aimed to assess the impact of alternative disinfectant, NH2Cl, as well as secondary oxidants formed during chloramination of seawater, e.g. HOBr, HOI, or used in water treatment e.g. ClO2, O3, on membrane structure and performances. Permeability, total and specific rejection (Cl-, SO4 2-, Br-, Boron), FTIR profile, elemental composition were analyzed. Results showed that each oxidant seems to react differently with the membrane. HOCl, HOBr, ClO2 and O3 improved membrane permeability but decreased rejection in different extent. In comparison, chloramines resulted in identical trends but oxidized membrane very slowly. On the contrary, iodine improved membrane rejection e.g. boron, but decreased permeability. Reaction conducted with chlorine, bromine, iodine and chloramines resulted in the incorporation of halogen in the membrane structure. All oxidant except iodine were able to break amide bonds of the membrane structure in our condition. In addition, chloramine seemed to react with membrane differently, involving a potential addition of nitrogen. Chloramination of seawater amplified membrane performances evolutions due to generation of bromochloramine. Moreover, chloramines reacted both with NOM and membrane during oxidation in natural seawater, leading to additional rejection drop.

  15. Pantothenate kinase-associated neurodegeneration: altered mitochondria membrane potential and defective respiration in Pank2 knock-out mouse model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brunetti, Dario; Dusi, Sabrina; Morbin, Michela; Uggetti, Andrea; Moda, Fabio; D'Amato, Ilaria; Giordano, Carla; d'Amati, Giulia; Cozzi, Anna; Levi, Sonia; Hayflick, Susan; Tiranti, Valeria

    2012-12-15

    Neurodegeneration with brain iron accumulation (NBIA) comprises a group of neurodegenerative disorders characterized by high brain content of iron and presence of axonal spheroids. Mutations in the PANK2 gene, which encodes pantothenate kinase 2, underlie an autosomal recessive inborn error of coenzyme A metabolism, called pantothenate kinase-associated neurodegeneration (PKAN). PKAN is characterized by dystonia, dysarthria, rigidity and pigmentary retinal degeneration. The pathogenesis of this disorder is poorly understood and, although PANK2 is a mitochondrial protein, perturbations in mitochondrial bioenergetics have not been reported. A knock-out (KO) mouse model of PKAN exhibits retinal degeneration and azoospermia, but lacks any neurological phenotype. The absence of a clinical phenotype has partially been explained by the different cellular localization of the human and murine PANK2 proteins. Here we demonstrate that the mouse Pank2 protein localizes to mitochondria, similar to its human orthologue. Moreover, we show that Pank2-defective neurons derived from KO mice have an altered mitochondrial membrane potential, a defect further corroborated by the observations of swollen mitochondria at the ultra-structural level and by the presence of defective respiration. PMID:22983956

  16. Pantothenate kinase-associated neurodegeneration: altered mitochondria membrane potential and defective respiration in Pank2 knock-out mouse model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brunetti, Dario; Dusi, Sabrina; Morbin, Michela; Uggetti, Andrea; Moda, Fabio; D'Amato, Ilaria; Giordano, Carla; d'Amati, Giulia; Cozzi, Anna; Levi, Sonia; Hayflick, Susan; Tiranti, Valeria

    2012-12-15

    Neurodegeneration with brain iron accumulation (NBIA) comprises a group of neurodegenerative disorders characterized by high brain content of iron and presence of axonal spheroids. Mutations in the PANK2 gene, which encodes pantothenate kinase 2, underlie an autosomal recessive inborn error of coenzyme A metabolism, called pantothenate kinase-associated neurodegeneration (PKAN). PKAN is characterized by dystonia, dysarthria, rigidity and pigmentary retinal degeneration. The pathogenesis of this disorder is poorly understood and, although PANK2 is a mitochondrial protein, perturbations in mitochondrial bioenergetics have not been reported. A knock-out (KO) mouse model of PKAN exhibits retinal degeneration and azoospermia, but lacks any neurological phenotype. The absence of a clinical phenotype has partially been explained by the different cellular localization of the human and murine PANK2 proteins. Here we demonstrate that the mouse Pank2 protein localizes to mitochondria, similar to its human orthologue. Moreover, we show that Pank2-defective neurons derived from KO mice have an altered mitochondrial membrane potential, a defect further corroborated by the observations of swollen mitochondria at the ultra-structural level and by the presence of defective respiration.

  17. Different Structures of PVA Nanofibrous Membrane for Sound Absorption Application

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jana Mohrova

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The thin nanofibrous layer has different properties in the field of sound absorption in comparison with porous fibrous material which works on a principle of friction of air particles in contact with walls of pores. In case of the thin nanofibrous layer, which represents a sound absorber here, the energy of sonic waves is absorbed by the principle of membrane resonance. The structure of the membrane can play an important role in the process of converting the sonic energy to a different energy type. The vibration system acts differently depending on the presence of smooth fibers in the structure, amount of partly merged fibers, or structure of polymer foil as extreme. Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA was used as a polymer because of its good water solubility. It is possible to influence the structure of nanofibrous layer during the production process thanks to this property of polyvinyl alcohol.

  18. Membrane tubule formation by banana-shaped proteins with or without transient network structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noguchi, Hiroshi

    2016-02-01

    In living cells, membrane morphology is regulated by various proteins. Many membrane reshaping proteins contain a Bin/Amphiphysin/Rvs (BAR) domain, which consists of a banana-shaped rod. The BAR domain bends the biomembrane along the rod axis and the features of this anisotropic bending have recently been studied. Here, we report on the role of the BAR protein rods in inducing membrane tubulation, using large-scale coarse-grained simulations. We reveal that a small spontaneous side curvature perpendicular to the rod can drastically alter the tubulation dynamics at high protein density, whereas no significant difference is obtained at low density. A percolated network is intermediately formed depending on the side curvature. This network suppresses tubule protrusion, leading to the slow formation of fewer tubules. Thus, the side curvature, which is generated by protein-protein and membrane-protein interactions, plays a significant role in tubulation dynamics. We also find that positive surface tensions and the vesicle membrane curvature can stabilize this network structure by suppressing the tubulation.

  19. Crystal structure of the plasma membrane proton pump

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Bjørn P.; Buch-Pedersen, Morten Jeppe; Morth, J. Preben;

    2007-01-01

    -3, and Na1,K1-ATPase (the sodium-potassium pump) in animals4. The name P-type derives from the fact that these proteins exploit a phosphorylated reaction cycle intermediate of ATP hydrolysis5.The plasma membrane proton pumps belong to the type III P-type ATPase subfamily, whereas Na1,K1-ATPase and Ca21...... where it is lined by conserved hydrophilic and charged residues. Proton transport against a high membrane potential is readily explained by this structural arrangement....

  20. Amelioration of altered antioxidant status and membrane linked functions by vanadium and Trigonella in alloxan diabetic rat brains

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Mohammad Rizwan Siddiqui; Asia Taha; K Moorthy; Mohd Ejaz Hussain; S F Basir; Najma Zaheer Baquer

    2005-09-01

    Trigonella foenum graecum seed powder (TSP) and sodium orthovanadate (SOV) have been reported to have antidiabetic effects. However, SOV exerts hypoglycemic effects at relatively high doses with several toxic effects. We used low doses of vanadate in combination with TSP and evaluated their antidiabetic effects on antioxidant enzymes and membrane-linked functions in diabetic rat brains. In rats, diabetes was induced by alloxan monohydrate (15 mg/100 g body wt.) and they were treated with 2 IU insulin, 0.6 mg/ml SOV, 5% TSP and a combination of 0.2 mg/ml SOV with 5% TSP for 21 days. Blood glucose levels, activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), Na+/K+ ATPase, membrane lipid peroxidation and fluidity were determined in different fractions of whole brain after 21 days of treatment. Diabetic rats showed high blood glucose ( < 0.001), decreased activities of SOD, catalase and Na+/K+ ATPase ( < 0.01, < 0.001 and < 0.01), increased levels of GPx and MDA ( < 0.01 and < 0.001) and decreased membrane fluidity ( < 0.01). Treatment with different antidiabetic compounds restored the above-altered parameters. Combined dose of Trigonella and vanadate was found to be the most effective treatment in normalizing these alterations. Lower doses of vanadate could be used in combination with TSP to effectively counter diabetic alterations without any toxic effects.

  1. Tethered and Polymer Supported Bilayer Lipid Membranes: Structure and Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersson, Jakob; Köper, Ingo

    2016-01-01

    Solid supported bilayer lipid membranes are model systems to mimic natural cell membranes in order to understand structural and functional properties of such systems. The use of a model system allows for the use of a wide variety of analytical tools including atomic force microscopy, impedance spectroscopy, neutron reflectometry, and surface plasmon resonance spectroscopy. Among the large number of different types of model membranes polymer-supported and tethered lipid bilayers have been shown to be versatile and useful systems. Both systems consist of a lipid bilayer, which is de-coupled from an underlying support by a spacer cushion. Both systems will be reviewed, with an emphasis on the effect that the spacer moiety has on the bilayer properties. PMID:27249006

  2. Tethered and Polymer Supported Bilayer Lipid Membranes: Structure and Function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jakob Andersson

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Solid supported bilayer lipid membranes are model systems to mimic natural cell membranes in order to understand structural and functional properties of such systems. The use of a model system allows for the use of a wide variety of analytical tools including atomic force microscopy, impedance spectroscopy, neutron reflectometry, and surface plasmon resonance spectroscopy. Among the large number of different types of model membranes polymer-supported and tethered lipid bilayers have been shown to be versatile and useful systems. Both systems consist of a lipid bilayer, which is de-coupled from an underlying support by a spacer cushion. Both systems will be reviewed, with an emphasis on the effect that the spacer moiety has on the bilayer properties.

  3. Development of structured polymer electrolyte membranes for fuel cell applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gasa, Jeffrey

    The objective of this research was to explore structure-property relationships to develop the understanding needed for introduction of superior PEM materials. Polymer electrolyte membranes based on sulfonated poly(ether ketone ketone) (SPEKK) were fabricated using N-methyl pyrrolidone as casting solvent. The membranes were characterized in terms of properties that were relevant to fuel cell applications, such as proton conductivity, methanol permeability, and swelling properties, among others. It was found in this study that the proton conductivity of neat SPEKK membranes could reach the conductivity of commercial membranes such as NafionRTM. However, when the conductivity of SPEKK was comparable to NafionRTM, the swelling of SPEKK in water was quite excessive. The swelling problem was remedied by modifying the microstructure of SPEKK using different techniques. One of them involved blending of lightly sulfonated PEKK with highly acidic particles (sulfonated crosslinked polystyrene-SXLPS). Low sulfonation level of SPEKK was used to reduce the swelling of the membrane in water and the role of the highly acidic particles was to enhance the proton conductivity of the membrane. Because of the residual crystallinity in SPEKK with low sulfonation levels (IEC blending with non-conductive polymers (poly(ether imide) and poly(ether sulfone)) to act as mechanical reinforcement. It was found that miscibility behavior of the blends had a significant impact on the transport and swelling properties of these blends, which could be explained by the blend microstructure. The miscibility behavior was found to be strongly dependent on the sulfonation level of SPEKK. The conductivities of the blends were enhanced by as much as two orders of magnitude when the morphology was modified by electric field. The last approach was ionic crosslinking of the sulfonate groups in SPEKK using divalent cations, specifically barium ions. The crosslinking treatment has greatly improved the thermal

  4. The structural factor of hypertension: large and small artery alterations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laurent, Stéphane; Boutouyrie, Pierre

    2015-03-13

    Pathophysiological studies have extensively investigated the structural factor in hypertension, including large and small artery remodeling and functional changes. Here, we review the recent literature on the alterations in small and large arteries in hypertension. We discuss the possible mechanisms underlying these abnormalities and we explain how they accompany and often precede hypertension. Finally, we propose an integrated pathophysiological approach to better understand how the cross-talk between large and small artery changes interacts in pressure wave transmission, exaggerates cardiac, brain and kidney damage, and lead to cardiovascular and renal complications. We focus on patients with essential hypertension because this is the most prevalent form of hypertension, and describe other forms of hypertension only for contrasting their characteristics with those of uncomplicated essential hypertension.

  5. Ion induced changes in the structure of bordered pit membranes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jinkee eLee

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Xylem hydraulic resistance varies with ion concentration in sap solution. It is assumed that this variation in resistance results from hydrogel like properties of pectins located in bordered pit membranes separating adjacent vessels. Although kinetics of the resistance change suggests swelling/deswelling behavior of the pectins, there is no direct evidence of this activity. In this report we provide evidence of structural changes in bordered pit membranes responding to variation in ionic concentration of solute around it using atomic force microscopy (AFM. AFM revealed bordered pit membranes as relatively smooth, soft and lacking any sharp edges surface when submerged in de-ionized water, in contrast to pictures from scanning electron microscope (SEM or AFM performed on air dry material. Exposure of the bordered pit membranes to 50 mM KCl solution resulted in significant changes in both surface physical properties with and elevation features as bordered pit membrane became harder, with visible edges of fibers and collapsed, while no change in porosity was observed. Analysis suggests a need for a major shift in our understanding to the physical bases of variable xylem resistance from change in porosity to change in pathway length. Findings support the role of actuating properties of hybrid hydrogel-cellulose materials in water redistribution and embolism resistance.

  6. Importance of Membrane Structural Integrity for RPE65 Retinoid Isomerization Activity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Golczak, Marcin; Kiser, Philip D.; Lodowski, David T.; Maeda, Akiko; Palczewski, Krzysztof (Case Western)

    2010-04-05

    Regeneration of visual chromophore in the vertebrate visual cycle involves the retinal pigment epithelium-specific protein RPE65, the key enzyme catalyzing the cleavage and isomerization of all-trans-retinyl fatty acid esters to 11-cis-retinol. Although RPE65 has no predicted membrane spanning domains, this protein predominantly associates with microsomal fractions isolated from bovine retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). We have re-examined the nature of RPE65 interactions with native microsomal membranes by using extraction and phase separation experiments. We observe that hydrophobic interactions are the dominant forces that promote RPE65 association with these membranes. These results are consistent with the crystallographic model of RPE65, which features a large lipophilic surface that surrounds the entrance to the catalytic site of this enzyme and likely interacts with the hydrophobic core of the endoplasmic reticulum membrane. Moreover, we report a critical role for phospholipid membranes in preserving the retinoid isomerization activity and physical properties of RPE65. Isomerase activity measured in bovine RPE was highly sensitive to phospholipase A{sup 2} treatment, but the observed decline in 11-cis-retinol production did not directly reflect inhibition by products of lipid hydrolysis. Instead, a direct correlation between the kinetics of phospholipid hydrolysis and retinoid isomerization suggests that the lipid membrane structure is critical for RPE65 enzymatic activity. We also provide evidence that RPE65 operates in a multiprotein complex with retinol dehydrogenase 5 and retinal G protein-coupled receptor in RPE microsomes. Modifications in the phospholipid environment affecting interactions with these protein components may be responsible for the alterations in retinoid metabolism observed in phospholipid-depleted RPE microsomes. Thus, our results indicate that the enzymatic activity of native RPE65 strongly depends on its membrane binding and

  7. PLASMA-MEMBRANE LIPID ALTERATIONS INDUCED BY NACL IN WINTER-WHEAT ROOTS

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    MANSOUR, MMF; VANHASSELT, PR; KUIPER, PJC

    1994-01-01

    A highly enriched plasma membrane fraction was isolated by two phase partitioning from wheat roots (Triticum aestivum L. cv. Vivant) grown with and without 100 mM NaCl. The lipids of the plasma membrane fraction were extracted and characterized. Phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylethanolamine were

  8. Structural effects of the Solanum steroids solasodine, diosgenin and solanine on human erythrocytes and molecular models of eukaryotic membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manrique-Moreno, Marcela; Londoño-Londoño, Julián; Jemioła-Rzemińska, Małgorzata; Strzałka, Kazimierz; Villena, Fernando; Avello, Marcia; Suwalsky, Mario

    2014-01-01

    This report presents evidence that the following Solanum steroids: solasodine, diosgenin and solanine interact with human erythrocytes and molecular models of their membranes as follows: a) X-ray diffraction studies showed that the compounds at low molar ratios (0.1-10.0mol%) induced increasing structural perturbation to dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine bilayers and to a considerable lower extent to those of dimyristoylphosphatidylethanolamine; b) differential scanning calorimetry data showed that the compounds were able to alter the cooperativity of dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine, dimyristoylphosphatidylethanolamine and dimyristoylphosphatidylserine phase transitions in a concentration-dependent manner; c) in the presence of steroids, the fluorescence of Merocyanine 540 incorporated to the membranes decreased suggesting a fluidization of the lipid system; d) scanning electron microscopy observations showed that all steroids altered the normal shape of human erythrocytes inducing mainly echinocytosis, characterized by the formation of blebs in their surfaces, an indication that their molecules are located into the outer monolayer of the erythrocyte membrane.

  9. Axon Membrane Skeleton Structure is Optimized for Coordinated Sodium Propagation

    CERN Document Server

    Zhang, Yihao; Li, He; Tzingounis, Anastasios V; Lykotrafitis, George

    2016-01-01

    Axons transmit action potentials with high fidelity and minimal jitter. This unique capability is likely the result of the spatiotemporal arrangement of sodium channels along the axon. Super-resolution microscopy recently revealed that the axon membrane skeleton is structured as a series of actin rings connected by spectrin filaments that are held under entropic tension. Sodium channels also exhibit a periodic distribution pattern, as they bind to ankyrin G, which associates with spectrin. Here, we elucidate the relationship between the axon membrane skeleton structure and the function of the axon. By combining cytoskeletal dynamics and continuum diffusion modeling, we show that spectrin filaments under tension minimize the thermal fluctuations of sodium channels and prevent overlap of neighboring channel trajectories. Importantly, this axon skeletal arrangement allows for a highly reproducible band-like activation of sodium channels leading to coordinated sodium propagation along the axon.

  10. Membrane binding of Escherichia coli RNase E catalytic domain stabilizes protein structure and increases RNA substrate affinity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murashko, Oleg N; Kaberdin, Vladimir R; Lin-Chao, Sue

    2012-05-01

    RNase E plays an essential role in RNA processing and decay and tethers to the cytoplasmic membrane in Escherichia coli; however, the function of this membrane-protein interaction has remained unclear. Here, we establish a mechanistic role for the RNase E-membrane interaction. The reconstituted highly conserved N-terminal fragment of RNase E (NRne, residues 1-499) binds specifically to anionic phospholipids through electrostatic interactions. The membrane-binding specificity of NRne was confirmed using circular dichroism difference spectroscopy; the dissociation constant (K(d)) for NRne binding to anionic liposomes was 298 nM. E. coli RNase G and RNase E/G homologs from phylogenetically distant Aquifex aeolicus, Haemophilus influenzae Rd, and Synechocystis sp. were found to be membrane-binding proteins. Electrostatic potentials of NRne and its homologs were found to be conserved, highly positive, and spread over a large surface area encompassing four putative membrane-binding regions identified in the "large" domain (amino acids 1-400, consisting of the RNase H, S1, 5'-sensor, and DNase I subdomains) of E. coli NRne. In vitro cleavage assay using liposome-free and liposome-bound NRne and RNA substrates BR13 and GGG-RNAI showed that NRne membrane binding altered its enzymatic activity. Circular dichroism spectroscopy showed no obvious thermotropic structural changes in membrane-bound NRne between 10 and 60 °C, and membrane-bound NRne retained its normal cleavage activity after cooling. Thus, NRne membrane binding induced changes in secondary protein structure and enzymatic activation by stabilizing the protein-folding state and increasing its binding affinity for its substrate. Our results demonstrate that RNase E-membrane interaction enhances the rate of RNA processing and decay. PMID:22509045

  11. Solution NMR Structure of Membrane-Integral Diacylglycerol Kinase

    OpenAIRE

    Van Horn, Wade D.; Kim, Hak-Jun; Ellis, Charles D.; Hadziselimovic, Arina; Sulistijo, Endah S.; Karra, Murthy D.; Tian, Changlin; Sönnichsen, Frank D.; Sanders, Charles R.

    2009-01-01

    Escherichia coli diacylglycerol kinase (DAGK) represents a family of integral membrane enzymes that is unrelated to all other phosphotransferases. We have determined the three-dimensional structure of the DAGK homotrimer using solution NMR. The third transmembrane helix from each subunit is domain-swapped with the first and second transmembrane segments from an adjacent subunit. Each of DAGK’s three active sites resembles a portico. The cornice of the portico appears to be the determinant of ...

  12. Membrane Transporters: Structure, Function and Targets for Drug Design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ravna, Aina W.; Sager, Georg; Dahl, Svein G.; Sylte, Ingebrigt

    Current therapeutic drugs act on four main types of molecular targets: enzymes, receptors, ion channels and transporters, among which a major part (60-70%) are membrane proteins. This review discusses the molecular structures and potential impact of membrane transporter proteins on new drug discovery. The three-dimensional (3D) molecular structure of a protein contains information about the active site and possible ligand binding, and about evolutionary relationships within the protein family. Transporters have a recognition site for a particular substrate, which may be used as a target for drugs inhibiting the transporter or acting as a false substrate. Three groups of transporters have particular interest as drug targets: the major facilitator superfamily, which includes almost 4000 different proteins transporting sugars, polyols, drugs, neurotransmitters, metabolites, amino acids, peptides, organic and inorganic anions and many other substrates; the ATP-binding cassette superfamily, which plays an important role in multidrug resistance in cancer chemotherapy; and the neurotransmitter:sodium symporter family, which includes the molecular targets for some of the most widely used psychotropic drugs. Recent technical advances have increased the number of known 3D structures of membrane transporters, and demonstrated that they form a divergent group of proteins with large conformational flexibility which facilitates transport of the substrate.

  13. Structural basis for alginate secretion across the bacterial outer membrane

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Whitney, J.C.; Robinson, H.; Hay, I. D.; Li, C.; Eckford, P. D. W.; Amaya, M. F.; Wood, L. F.; Ohman, D. E.; Bear, C. E.; Rehm, B. H.; Howell, P. L.

    2011-08-09

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa is the predominant pathogen associated with chronic lung infection among cystic fibrosis patients. During colonization of the lung, P. aeruginosa converts to a mucoid phenotype characterized by the overproduction of the exopolysaccharide alginate. Secretion of newly synthesized alginate across the outer membrane is believed to occur through the outer membrane protein AlgE. Here we report the 2.3 {angstrom} crystal structure of AlgE, which reveals a monomeric 18-stranded {beta}-barrel characterized by a highly electropositive pore constriction formed by an arginine-rich conduit that likely acts as a selectivity filter for the negatively charged alginate polymer. Interestingly, the pore constriction is occluded on either side by extracellular loop L2 and an unusually long periplasmic loop, T8. In halide efflux assays, deletion of loop T8 ({Delta}T8-AlgE) resulted in a threefold increase in anion flux compared to the wild-type or {Delta}L2-AlgE supporting the idea that AlgE forms a transport pathway through the membrane and suggesting that transport is regulated by T8. This model is further supported by in vivo experiments showing that complementation of an algE deletion mutant with {Delta}T8-AlgE impairs alginate production. Taken together, these studies support a mechanism for exopolysaccharide export across the outer membrane that is distinct from the Wza-mediated translocation observed in canonical capsular polysaccharide export systems.

  14. Structural Basis for Alginate Secretion Across the Bacterial Outer Membrane

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    J Whitney; I Hay; C Li; P Eckford; H Robinson; M Amaya; L Wood; D Ohman; C Bear; et al.

    2011-12-31

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa is the predominant pathogen associated with chronic lung infection among cystic fibrosis patients. During colonization of the lung, P. aeruginosa converts to a mucoid phenotype characterized by the overproduction of the exopolysaccharide alginate. Secretion of newly synthesized alginate across the outer membrane is believed to occur through the outer membrane protein AlgE. Here we report the 2.3 {angstrom} crystal structure of AlgE, which reveals a monomeric 18-stranded {beta}-barrel characterized by a highly electropositive pore constriction formed by an arginine-rich conduit that likely acts as a selectivity filter for the negatively charged alginate polymer. Interestingly, the pore constriction is occluded on either side by extracellular loop L2 and an unusually long periplasmic loop, T8. In halide efflux assays, deletion of loop T8 ({Delta}T8-AlgE) resulted in a threefold increase in anion flux compared to the wild-type or {Delta}L2-AlgE supporting the idea that AlgE forms a transport pathway through the membrane and suggesting that transport is regulated by T8. This model is further supported by in vivo experiments showing that complementation of an algE deletion mutant with {Delta}T8-AlgE impairs alginate production. Taken together, these studies support a mechanism for exopolysaccharide export across the outer membrane that is distinct from the Wza-mediated translocation observed in canonical capsular polysaccharide export systems.

  15. Modulating membrane composition alters free fatty acid tolerance in Escherichia coli.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca M Lennen

    Full Text Available Microbial synthesis of free fatty acids (FFA is a promising strategy for converting renewable sugars to advanced biofuels and oleochemicals. Unfortunately, FFA production negatively impacts membrane integrity and cell viability in Escherichia coli, the dominant host in which FFA production has been studied. These negative effects provide a selective pressure against FFA production that could lead to genetic instability at industrial scale. In prior work, an engineered E. coli strain harboring an expression plasmid for the Umbellularia californica acyl-acyl carrier protein (ACP thioesterase was shown to have highly elevated levels of unsaturated fatty acids in the cell membrane. The change in membrane content was hypothesized to be one underlying cause of the negative physiological effects associated with FFA production. In this work, a connection between the regulator of unsaturated fatty acid biosynthesis in E. coli, FabR, thioesterase expression, and unsaturated membrane content was established. A strategy for restoring normal membrane saturation levels and increasing tolerance towards endogenous production of FFAs was implemented by modulating acyl-ACP pools with a second thioesterase (from Geobacillus sp. Y412MC10 that primarily targets medium chain length, unsaturated acyl-ACPs. The strategy succeeded in restoring membrane content and improving viability in FFA producing E. coli while maintaining FFA titers. However, the restored fitness did not increase FFA productivity, indicating the existence of additional metabolic or regulatory barriers.

  16. Structural, chemical surface and transport modifications of regenerated cellulose dense membranes due to low-dose {gamma}-radiation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vazquez, M.I. [Grupo de Caracterizacion Electrocinetica en Membranas e Interfases, Departamento de Fisica Aplicada I, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Malaga, E-29071 Malaga (Spain); Heredia-Guerrero, J.A., E-mail: jose.alejandro@icmse.csic.es [Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales de Sevilla, Centro Mixto CSIC-Universidad de Sevilla, Avda, Americo Vespuccio 49, 41092 Sevilla (Spain); Galan, P. [Grupo de Caracterizacion Electrocinetica en Membranas e Interfases, Departamento de Fisica Aplicada I, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Malaga, E-29071 Malaga (Spain); Benitez, J.J. [Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales de Sevilla, Centro Mixto CSIC-Universidad de Sevilla, Avda, Americo Vespuccio 49, 41092 Sevilla (Spain); Benavente, J. [Grupo de Caracterizacion Electrocinetica en Membranas e Interfases, Departamento de Fisica Aplicada I, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Malaga, E-29071 Malaga (Spain)

    2011-04-15

    Research highlights: {yields} Low dose {gamma}-radiation causes slight structural, chemical and morphological changes on regenerated cellulose films. {yields} Induced structural changes increase the fragility of irradiated films. {yields} Structural modifications reduce ion permeability of films. - Abstract: Modifications caused in commercial dense regenerated cellulose (RC) flat membranes by low-dose {gamma}-irradiation (average photons energy of 1.23 MeV) are studied. Slight structural, chemical and morphological surface changes due to irradiation in three films with different RC content were determined by ATR-FTIR, XRD, XPS and AFM. Also, the alteration of their mechanical elasticity has been studied. Modification of membrane performance was determined from solute diffusion coefficient and effective membrane fixed charge concentration obtained from NaCl diffusion measurements. Induced structural changes defining new and effective fracture propagation directions are considered to be responsible for the increase of fragility of irradiated RC membranes. The same structural changes are proposed to explain the reduction of the membrane ion permeability through a mechanism involving either ion pathways elongation and/or blocking.

  17. Structural and dynamical insights into the membrane-bound α-synuclein.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neha Jain

    Full Text Available Membrane-induced disorder-to-helix transition of α-synuclein, a presynaptic protein, has been implicated in a number of important neuronal functions as well as in the etiology of Parkinson's disease. In order to obtain structural insights of membrane-bound α-synuclein at the residue-specific resolution, we took advantage of the fact that the protein is devoid of tryptophan and incorporated single tryptophan at various residue positions along the sequence. These tryptophans were used as site-specific markers to characterize the structural and dynamical aspects of α-synuclein on the negatively charged small unilamellar lipid vesicles. An array of site-specific fluorescence readouts, such as the spectral-shift, quenching efficiency and anisotropy, allowed us to discern various features of the conformational rearrangements occurring at different locations of α-synuclein on the lipid membrane. In order to define the spatial localization of various regions of the protein near the membrane surface, we utilized a unique and sensitive indicator, namely, red-edge excitation shift (REES, which originates when a fluorophore is located in a highly ordered micro-environment. The extent of REES observed at different residue positions allowed us to directly identify the residues that are localized at the membrane-water interface comprising a thin (∼ 15 Å layer of motionally restrained water molecules and enabled us to construct a dynamic hydration map of the protein. The combination of site-specific fluorescence readouts allowed us to unravel the intriguing molecular details of α-synuclein on the lipid membrane in a direct model-free fashion. Additionally, the combination of methodologies described here are capable of distinguishing subtle but important structural alterations of α-synuclein bound to different negatively charged lipids with varied head-group chemistry. We believe that the structural modulations of α-synuclein on the membrane could

  18. Structure, composition, and strength of nitrifying membrane-aerated biofilms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pellicer i Nàcher, Carles; Smets, Barth F.

    2014-01-01

    Membrane-aerated biofilm reactors (MABRs) are a novel technology based on the growth of biofilms on oxygen-permeable membranes. Hereby, MABRs combine all the advantages of biofilm growth with a more flexible and efficient control of the oxygen load. In the present work, flow cell operation...... to achieve full nitrification revealed a significantly different structure of nitrifying MABR biofilms with respect to its co-diffusion counterparts reported in the literature (up to now assumed to have similar properties). Different levels of shear stress and oxygen loadings during MABR operation also...... affected these biofilm parameters. Furthermore, reactor operation at higher oxygen loads resulted in an increase of the biofilm cohesiveness, which depended on the EPS mass in the biofilms and the type of stress applied (more cohesive against normal than shear stresses). The EPS in the strongest biofilms...

  19. Solution NMR Structure of Membrane-Integral Diacylglycerol Kinase

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Horn, Wade D.; Kim, Hak-Jun; Ellis, Charles D.; Hadziselimovic, Arina; Sulistijo, Endah S.; Karra, Murthy D.; Tian, Changlin; Sönnichsen, Frank D.; Sanders, Charles R.

    2009-01-01

    Escherichia coli diacylglycerol kinase (DAGK) represents a family of integral membrane enzymes that is unrelated to all other phosphotransferases. We have determined the three-dimensional structure of the DAGK homotrimer using solution NMR. The third transmembrane helix from each subunit is domain-swapped with the first and second transmembrane segments from an adjacent subunit. Each of DAGK’s three active sites resembles a portico. The cornice of the portico appears to be the determinant of DAGK’s lipid substrate specificity and overhangs the site of phosphoryl transfer near the water-membrane interface. Mutations to cysteine that caused severe misfolding were located in or near the active site, indicating a high degree of overlap between sites responsible for folding and for catalysis. PMID:19556511

  20. beta-Sitosterol inhibits HT-29 human colon cancer cell growth and alters membrane lipids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Awad, A B; Chen, Y C; Fink, C S; Hennessey, T

    1996-01-01

    The purpose of the present study was to examine the effect of beta-sitosterol, the main dietary phytosterol on the growth of HT-29 cells, a human colon cancer cell line. In addition, the incorporation of this phytosterol into cellular membranes and how this might influence the lipid composition of the membranes were investigated. Tumor cells were grown in DMEM containing 10% FBS and supplemented with sterols (cholesterol or beta-sitosterol) at final concentrations up to 16 microM. The sterols were supplied to the media in the form of sterol cyclodextrin complexes. The cyclodextrin used was 2-hydroxypropyl-beta-cyclodextrin. The sterol to cyclodextrin molar ratio was maintained at 1:300. The study indicated that 8 and 16 microM beta-sitosterol were effective at cel growth inhibition as compared to cholesterol or to the control (no sterol supplementation). After supplementation with 16 microM beta-sitosterol for 9 days, cell growth was only one-third that of cells supplemented with equimolar concentration of cholesterol. No effect was observed on total membrane phospholipid concentration. At 16 microM beta-sitosterol supplementation, membrane cholesterol was reduced by 26%. Cholesterol supplementation resulted in a significant increase in the cholesterol/phospholipid ratio compared to either beta-sitosterol supplemented cells or controls. There was a 50% reduction in membrane sphingomyelin (SM) of cells grown in 16 microM beta-sitosterol. Additional changes were observed in the fatty acid composition of minor phospholipids of beta-sitosterol supplemented cells, such as SM, phosphatidylserine (PS), and phosphatidylinositol (PI). Only in the case of PI, was there an effect of these fatty acid changes on the unsaturation index, beta-sitosterol incorporation resulted in an increase in the U.I. It is possible that the observed growth inhibition by beta-sitosterol may be mediated through the influence of signal transduction pathways that involve membrane phospholipids.

  1. 18 CFR 1304.209 - Land-based structures/alterations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... 18 Conservation of Power and Water Resources 2 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Land-based structures... APPROVAL OF CONSTRUCTION IN THE TENNESSEE RIVER SYSTEM AND REGULATION OF STRUCTURES AND OTHER ALTERATIONS TVA-Owned Residential Access Shoreland § 1304.209 Land-based structures/alterations. (a) Except...

  2. Structural studies on membrane-embedded influenza hemagglutinin and its fragments.

    OpenAIRE

    Gray, C; Tamm, L K

    1997-01-01

    The mechanism of influenza virus hemagglutinin (HA)-mediated membrane fusion has been inferred in part from studies examining pH-induced structural changes in soluble HA derivatives lacking the viral membrane anchor and, sometimes, the fusion peptide (the C- and N-terminal residues of the HA2 chain, respectively). To reconcile structure-based mechanisms of HA-mediated membrane fusion with structural implications of functional studies performed on membrane-embedded HA, we have undertaken atten...

  3. Chemical crosslinking and mass spectrometry studies of the structure and dynamics of membrane proteins and receptors.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Haskins, William E.; Leavell, Michael D.; Lane, Pamela; Jacobsen, Richard B.; Hong, Joohee; Ayson, Marites J.; Wood, Nichole L.; Schoeniger, Joseph S.; Kruppa, Gary Hermann; Sale, Kenneth L.; Young, Malin M.; Novak, Petr

    2005-03-01

    Membrane proteins make up a diverse and important subset of proteins for which structural information is limited. In this study, chemical cross-linking and mass spectrometry were used to explore the structure of the G-protein-coupled photoreceptor bovine rhodopsin in the dark-state conformation. All experiments were performed in rod outer segment membranes using amino acid 'handles' in the native protein sequence and thus minimizing perturbations to the native protein structure. Cysteine and lysine residues were covalently cross-linked using commercially available reagents with a range of linker arm lengths. Following chemical digestion of cross-linked protein, cross-linked peptides were identified by accurate mass measurement using liquid chromatography-fourier transform mass spectrometry and an automated data analysis pipeline. Assignments were confirmed and, if necessary, resolved, by tandem MS. The relative reactivity of lysine residues participating in cross-links was evaluated by labeling with NHS-esters. A distinct pattern of cross-link formation within the C-terminal domain, and between loop I and the C-terminal domain, emerged. Theoretical distances based on cross-linking were compared to inter-atomic distances determined from the energy-minimized X-ray crystal structure and Monte Carlo conformational search procedures. In general, the observed cross-links can be explained by re-positioning participating side-chains without significantly altering backbone structure. One exception, between C3 16 and K325, requires backbone motion to bring the reactive atoms into sufficient proximity for cross-linking. Evidence from other studies suggests that residues around K325 for a region of high backbone mobility. These findings show that cross-linking studies can provide insight into the structural dynamics of membrane proteins in their native environment.

  4. Structural health monitoring (vibration) as a tool for identifying structural alterations of the lumbar spine

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kawchuk, Gregory N; Hartvigsen, Jan; Edgecombe, Tiffany;

    2016-01-01

    Structural health monitoring (SHM) is an engineering technique used to identify mechanical abnormalities not readily apparent through other means. Recently, SHM has been adapted for use in biological systems, but its invasive nature limits its clinical application. As such, the purpose of this...... project was to determine if a non-invasive form of SHM could identify structural alterations in the spines of living human subjects. Lumbar spines of 10 twin pairs were visualized by magnetic resonance imaging then assessed by a blinded radiologist to determine whether twin pairs were structurally...

  5. Plasma membrane lipid alterations associated with cold acclimation of winter rye seedlings (Secale cereale L. cv Puma)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lynch, D.V.; Steponkus, P.L. (Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY (USA))

    1987-01-01

    Highly enriched plasma membrane fractions were isolated from leaves of nonacclimated (NA) and acclimated (ACC) rye (Secale cereale L. cv Puma) seedlings. Collectively, free sterols, steryl glucosides, and acylated steryl glucosides constituted > 50 mole % of the total lipid in both NA and ACC plasma membrane fractions. Glucocerebrosides containing hydroxy fatty acids constituted the major glycolipid class of the plasma membrane, accounting for 16 mole % of the total lipid. Phospholipids, primarily phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylethanolamine with lesser amounts of phosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidic acid, phosphatidylserine, and phosphatidylinositol, comprised only 32 mole% of the total lipid in NA samples. Following cold acclimation, free sterols increased from 33 to 44 mole %, while steryl glucosides and acylated steryl glucosides decreased from 15 to 6 mole % and 4 to 1 mole %, respectively. Sterol analyses of these lipid classes demonstrated that free {beta}-sitosterol increased from 21 to 32 mole % (accounting for the increase in free sterols as a class) at the expense of sterol derivatives containing {beta}-sitosterol. Glucocerebrosides decreased from 16 to 7 mole % of the total lipid following cold acclimation. In addition, the relative proportions of associated hydroxy fatty acids, including 22:0 (h), 24:0 (h), 22:1 (h), and 24:1 (h) were altered. The phospholipid content of the plasma membrane fraction increased to 42 mole % of the total lipid following cold acclimation. Although the relative proportions of the individual phospholipids did not change appreciably after cold acclimation, there were substantial differences in the molecular species. Di-unsaturated molecular species of phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylethanolamine increased following acclimation. These results demonstrate that cold acclimation results in substantial changes in the lipid composition of the plasma membrane.

  6. Raft protein clustering alters N-Ras membrane interactions and activation pattern

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Eisenberg, Sharon; Beckett, Alison J; Prior, Ian A; Dekker, Frank J; Hedberg, Christian; Waldmann, Herbert; Ehrlich, Marcelo; Henis, Yoav I; Dekker, Frank

    2011-01-01

    The trafficking, membrane localization, and lipid raft association of Ras proteins, which are crucial oncogenic mediators, dictate their isoform-specific biological responses. Accordingly, their spatiotemporal dynamics are tightly regulated. While extensively studied for H- and K-Ras, such informati

  7. Rapid temperature adaptation in trout: Alterations in membrane molecular species metabolism

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Williams, E.E.; Hazel, J.R. (Arizona State Univ., Tempe (United States))

    1991-03-11

    The ability of poikilotherms to change their membrane phospholipid composition in response to long term temperature change is well documented. Less understood are the changes which occur when rapid temperature fluctuations are encountered. The authors have followed the fate of 16:0/18:1 phosphatidylcholine (PC), radiocarbon labeled at the 18:1 acyl chain, in the plasma membranes of trout hepatocytes. After isolation by PC, 5%-10% of which was taken up into the plasma membranes. The cells were then divided into two groups and either held at acclimation temperature or transferred to 5C. After 1 hour at 20C or 5 hours at 5C the plasma membranes were isolated, the lipids extracted, and the PC fraction was resolved into its molecular species. The distribution of radiolabel between the warm and cold exposed cells was then determined. In both groups radioactivity was found in molecular species other than 16:0/18:1, however no radioactivity was found in lipids other than PC. Cold exposed cells contained less radioactivity in 18:2/18:2, 20:1/22:6, 16:0/18:2 and 18:0/18:1 PC than the warm cells, but contained more in 18:1/18:1 PC. These results indicate that the environmental temperature influences the rates of in situ desaturation, chain elongation, and intermolecular acyl chain regroupings. Subtle changes in molecular species metabolism might be important early steps in temperature acclimation.

  8. Beyond Membrane Protein Structure: Drug Discovery, Dynamics and Difficulties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biggin, Philip C; Aldeghi, Matteo; Bodkin, Michael J; Heifetz, Alexander

    2016-01-01

    Most of the previous content of this book has focused on obtaining the structures of membrane proteins. In this chapter we explore how those structures can be further used in two key ways. The first is their use in structure based drug design (SBDD) and the second is how they can be used to extend our understanding of their functional activity via the use of molecular dynamics. Both aspects now heavily rely on computations. This area is vast, and alas, too large to consider in depth in a single book chapter. Thus where appropriate we have referred the reader to recent reviews for deeper assessment of the field. We discuss progress via the use of examples from two main drug target areas; G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) and ion channels. We end with a discussion of some of the main challenges in the area.

  9. Electrical Dissipative Structures in Membrane-Coupled Compartment Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feudel, U.; Feistel, R.; Ebeling, W.

    Reaction-diffusion systems with charged particles are studied. Conditions for the arising of electrical dissipative structures in a compartment system consisting of two boxes separated by a membrane are derived. The appearance of a polar dissipative structure is proved for a simple capacitor model in combination with a simple second order chemical kinetics which leads to an analytically solvable problem. Electrical dissipative structures can in principle be considered as non equilibrium electrical batteries. The theoretical efficiency of such batteries is estimated.Translated AbstractElektrische Dissipative Strukturen in Membrangekoppelten SystemenEs werden Reaktions-Diffusionssysteme mit geladenen Teilchen studiert. Bedingungen für die Entstehung elektrischer dissipativer Strukturen in einem Kompartment-System, bestehend aus zwei durch eine Membran getrennten Zellen werden abgeleitet. Die Entstehung einer polaren dissipativen Struktur wird für ein einfaches Kondensatorenmodell in Kombination mit einer einfachen chemischen Kinetik, das analytische Lösbarkeit gestattet, nachgewiesen. Elektrische dissipative Strukturen können im Prinzip als elektrische Batterien fern von Gleichgewicht betrachtet werden. Der theoretische Wirkungsgrad einer solchen Batterie wird berechnet.

  10. Structural basis of complement membrane attack complex formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serna, Marina; Giles, Joanna L.; Morgan, B. Paul; Bubeck, Doryen

    2016-02-01

    In response to complement activation, the membrane attack complex (MAC) assembles from fluid-phase proteins to form pores in lipid bilayers. MAC directly lyses pathogens by a `multi-hit' mechanism; however, sublytic MAC pores on host cells activate signalling pathways. Previous studies have described the structures of individual MAC components and subcomplexes; however, the molecular details of its assembly and mechanism of action remain unresolved. Here we report the electron cryo-microscopy structure of human MAC at subnanometre resolution. Structural analyses define the stoichiometry of the complete pore and identify a network of interaction interfaces that determine its assembly mechanism. MAC adopts a `split-washer' configuration, in contrast to the predicted closed ring observed for perforin and cholesterol-dependent cytolysins. Assembly precursors partially penetrate the lipid bilayer, resulting in an irregular β-barrel pore. Our results demonstrate how differences in symmetric and asymmetric components of the MAC underpin a molecular basis for pore formation and suggest a mechanism of action that extends beyond membrane penetration.

  11. Are altered pHi and membrane potential in hu MDR 1 transfectants sufficient to cause MDR protein-mediated multidrug resistance?

    OpenAIRE

    1996-01-01

    Multidrug resistance (MDR) mediated by overexpression of the MDR protein (P-glycoprotein) has been associated with intracellular alkalinization, membrane depolarization, and other cellular alterations. However, virtually all MDR cell lines studied in detail have been created via protocols that involve growth on chemotherapeutic drugs, which can alter cells in many ways. Thus it is not clear which phenotypic alterations are explicitly due to MDR protein overexpression alone. To more precisely ...

  12. Molecular Dynamics Study of Carbon Nanotubes/Polyamide Reverse Osmosis Membranes: Polymerization, Structure, and Hydration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Araki, Takumi; Cruz-Silva, Rodolfo; Tejima, Syogo; Takeuchi, Kenji; Hayashi, Takuya; Inukai, Shigeki; Noguchi, Toru; Tanioka, Akihiko; Kawaguchi, Takeyuki; Terrones, Mauricio; Endo, Morinobu

    2015-11-11

    Carbon nanotubes/polyamide (PA) nanocomposite thin films have become very attractive as reverse osmosis (RO) membranes. In this work, we used molecular dynamics to simulate the influence of single walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) in the polyamide molecular structure as a model case of a carbon nanotubes/polyamide nanocomposite RO membrane. It was found that the addition of SWCNTs decreases the pore size of the composite membrane and increases the Na and Cl ion rejection. Analysis of the radial distribution function of water confined in the pores of the membranes shows that SWCNT+PA nanocomposite membranes also exhibit smaller clusters of water molecules within the membrane, thus suggesting a dense membrane structure (SWCNT+PA composite membranes were 3.9% denser than bare PA). The results provide new insights into the fabrication of novel membranes reinforced with tubular structures for enhanced desalination performance. PMID:26505521

  13. Membraner

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bach, Finn

    2009-01-01

    Notatet giver en kort introduktion til den statiske virkemåde af membraner og membrankonstruktioner......Notatet giver en kort introduktion til den statiske virkemåde af membraner og membrankonstruktioner...

  14. Structural Alterations of the Glomerular Wall And Vessels in Early Stages of Diabetes Mellitus: Light and Transmission Electron Microscopic Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dkhil MA

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective: The capillary changes at the initial stage of diabetes may show an angioarchitecture clearly different from those of later stages and,/or very severe glomerular change. However, the onset of alterations in the early phases is unclear. This study attempts to determine the functional and structural alterations of the glomerular wall and vesicles in the early stage of diabetes.Material and Methods: Twenty-five adult rats were used in this study. They were divided into two groups: the first group of five was used as a control .The second group of 20 (the experimental group was injected intraperitoneally by a single dose of streptozotocin to induce hyperglycemia. Rats were sacrificed after ten days, two months, and four months.Five rats at two months of age with hyperglycemia were treated with insulin for eight weeks. Renal tissues were prepared by routine technique for light and transmission electron microscopic evaluation. Results: By light microscopy after ten days of induced hyperglycemia, there were no structural modifications detected either in renal glomerular fine vessels or in the glomerular basement membrane of the glomerular capillaries. After two months, there was a moderate glomerular enlargement and dilatation of glomerular capillaries, afferent, and efferent arterioles. After four months, glomerular basement membrane thickening was the only structural alteration observed. Recovery of the glomerular alterations was observed after two months of treatment with insulin. Conclusion: In early stages of diabetes mellitus in rats, there was an increase in the diameter of glomerular vessels. In later stages of the disease, the reverse was seen, but insulin treatment had a positive role in reversing these changes in the study subjects.

  15. Low temperature alters plasma membrane lipid composition and ATPase activity of pineapple fruit during blackheart development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Yuchan; Pan, Xiaoping; Qu, Hongxia; Underhill, Steven J R

    2014-02-01

    Plasma membrane (PM) plays central role in triggering primary responses to chilling injury and sustaining cellular homeostasis. Characterising response of membrane lipids to low temperature can provide important information for identifying early causal factors contributing to chilling injury. To this end, PM lipid composition and ATPase activity were assessed in pineapple fruit (Ananas comosus) in relation to the effect of low temperature on the development of blackheart, a form of chilling injury. Chilling temperature at 10 °C induced blackheart development in concurrence with increase in electrolyte leakage. PM ATPase activity was decreased after 1 week at low temperature, followed by a further decrease after 2 weeks. The enzyme activity was not changed during 25 °C storage. Loss of total PM phospholipids was found during postharvest senescence, but more reduction was shown from storage at 10 °C. Phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylethanolamine were the predominant PM phospholipid species. Low temperature increased the level of phosphatidic acid but decreased the level of phosphatidylinositol. Both phospholipid species were not changed during storage at 25 °C. Postharvest storage at both temperatures decreased the levels of C18:3 and C16:1, and increased level of C18:1. Low temperature decreased the level of C18:2 and increased the level of C14:0. Exogenous application of phosphatidic acid was found to inhibit the PM ATPase activity of pineapple fruit in vitro. Modification of membrane lipid composition and its effect on the functional property of plasma membrane at low temperature were discussed in correlation with their roles in blackheart development of pineapple fruit.

  16. Modelling and Fabrication of Micro-SOFC Membrane Structure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brigita ABAKEVIČIENĖ

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Fabrication process of micro-SOFC membrane structure using the bulk micromachining of silicon technique with SiO2 and Si3N4 sacrificial layers is presented in this study. The process involves back side photolithography, magnetron sputtering of platinum thin films, thermal evaporation of YSZ electrolyte, deep reactive ion etching of silicon, and, finally, release of free-standing membrane using CF4/O2 plasma etching.X-ray analysis shows the cubic phase of YSZ electrolyte and platinum electrodes. Modelling of normal stress distribution in the micro-SOFC structure with the Si3N4 sacrificial layer shows that at high temperatures the substrate expands less than the coating, causing tensile stresses in the substrate area next to the coating and compressive stresses in the coating, as the substrate material has a lower coefficient of thermal expansion than the layered Pt/YSZ/Pt coating. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5755/j01.ms.20.2.5585

  17. Alterations in nuclear structure promote lupus autoimmunity in a mouse model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Namrata; Johnstone, Duncan B.; Martin, Kayla A.; Tempera, Italo; Kaplan, Mariana J.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disorder characterized by the development of autoantibodies that recognize components of the cell nucleus. The vast majority of lupus research has focused on either the contributions of immune cell dysfunction or the genetics of the disease. Because granulocytes isolated from human SLE patients had alterations in neutrophil nuclear morphology that resembled the Pelger–Huet anomaly, and had prominent mis-splicing of mRNA encoding the nuclear membrane protein lamin B receptor (LBR), consistent with their Pelger–Huet-like nuclear morphology, we used a novel mouse model system to test the hypothesis that a disruption in the structure of the nucleus itself also contributes to the development of lupus autoimmunity. The lupus-prone mouse strain New Zealand White (NZW) was crossed with c57Bl/6 mice harboring a heterozygous autosomal dominant mutation in Lbr (B6.Lbric/+), and the (NZW×B6.Lbric)F1 offspring were evaluated for induction of lupus autoimmunity. Only female (NZW×B6.Lbric)F1 mice developed lupus autoimmunity, which included splenomegaly, kidney damage and autoantibodies. Kidney damage was accompanied by immune complex deposition, and perivascular and tubule infiltration of mononuclear cells. The titers of anti-chromatin antibodies exceeded those of aged female MRL-Faslpr mice, and were predominantly of the IgG2 subclasses. The anti-nuclear antibody staining profile of female (NZW×B6.Lbric)F1 sera was complex, and consisted of an anti-nuclear membrane reactivity that colocalized with the A-type lamina, in combination with a homogeneous pattern that was related to the recognition of histones with covalent modifications that are associated with gene activation. An anti-neutrophil IgM recognizing calreticulin, but not myeloperoxidase (MPO) or proteinase 3 (PR3), was also identified. Thus, alterations in nuclear structure contribute to lupus autoimmunity when expressed in the context of a lupus

  18. Alterations in T-tubule and dyad structure in heart disease: challenges and opportunities for computational analyses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poláková, Eva; Sobie, Eric A

    2013-05-01

    Compelling recent experimental results make clear that sub-cellular structures are altered in ventricular myocytes during the development of heart failure, in both human samples and diverse experimental models. These alterations can include, but are not limited to, changes in the clusters of sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) Ca(2+)-release channels, ryanodine receptors, and changes in the average distance between the cell membrane and ryanodine receptor clusters. In this review, we discuss the potential consequences of these structural alterations on the triggering of SR Ca(2+) release during excitation-contraction coupling. In particular, we describe how mathematical models of local SR Ca(2+) release can be used to predict functional changes resulting from diverse modifications that occur in disease states. We review recent studies that have used simulations to understand the consequences of sub-cellular structural changes, and we discuss modifications that will allow for future modelling studies to address unresolved questions. We conclude with a discussion of improvements in both experimental and mathematical modelling techniques that will be required to provide a stronger quantitative understanding of the functional consequences of changes in sub-cellular structure in heart disease.

  19. Correlations of Flow Structure and Particle Deposition with Structural Alterations in Severe Asthmatic Lungs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Sanghun; Miyawaki, Shinjiro; Choi, Jiwoong; Hoffman, Eric A.; Wenzel, Sally; Lin, Ching-Long

    2014-11-01

    Severe asthmatics are characterized by alterations of bifurcation angle, hydraulic diameter, circularity of the airways, and local shift of air-volume functional change. The characteristics altered against healthy human subjects can affect flow structure and particle deposition. A large-eddy-simulation (LES) model for transitional and turbulent flows is utilized to study flow characteristics and particle deposition with representative healthy and severe asthmatic lungs. For the subject-specific boundary condition, local air-volume changes are derived with two computed tomography images at inspiration and expiration. Particle transport simulations are performed on LES-predicted flow fields. In severe asthmatics, the elevated air-volume changes of apical lung regions affect the increased particle distribution toward upper lobes, especially for small particles. The constricted airways are significantly correlated with high wall shear stress, leading to the increased pressure drop and particle deposition. The structural alterations of bifurcation angle, circularity and hydraulic diameter in severe asthmatics are associated with the increase of particle deposition, wall shear stress and wall thickness. NIH Grants: U01-HL114494, R01-HL094315 and S10-RR022421. Computer time: XSEDE.

  20. Alteration of membrane lipid biophysical properties and resistance of human lung adenocarcinoma A549 cells to cisplatin

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LIANG; Xingjie; (

    2001-01-01

    [1]Simon, S. M., Schindler, M., Cell biological mechanisms of multidrug resistance in tumors, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 1994, 91: 3497.[2]Ambudkar, S. V., Dey, S., Hrycyna, C. A. et al., Biochemical, cellular, and pharmacological aspects of the multidrug trans-porter, Annu. Rev. Pharmacol. Toxicol., 1999, 39: 361.[3]Dudeja, P. K., Anderson, K. M., Harris, J. S. et al., Reversal of multidrug resistance phenotype by surfactants: Relationship to membrane lipid fluidity, Arch. Biochem. Biophys., 1995, 319 (1): 8309.[4]Collins, J. M., Scott, R. B., Grogan, W. M., Plasma membrane fluidity gradients of human peripheral blood leukocytes, J. Cell Physiol., 1990, 144: 42.[5]Collins, J. M., Dominey, R. N., Grogan, W. M., Shape of the fluidity gradient in the plasma membrane of living Hela cells, J. Lipid Res., 1990, 31: 261.[6]Ashman, R. F., Peckham, D., Alhasan, S. et al., Membrane unpacking and the rapid disposal of apoptotic cells, Immunol. Lett., 1995, 48(3): 159.[7]Sentjurc, M., Zorec, M., Cemazar, M. et al., Effect of vinblastine on cell membrane fluidity in vinblastine-sensitive and -resistant HeLa cells, Cancer Lett., 1998, 130(1-2):183.[8]Regev, R., Assaraf, Y. G., Eytan, G. D. et al., Membrane fluidization by ether, other anesthetics, and certain agents abolish-es P-glycoprotein ATPase activity and modulates efflux from multidrug-resistant cells, Eur. J. Biochem., 1999, 259(1-2): 18.[9]Robert, A. S., Mariamme, S., Katherine, L. S., Altered lipid packing identifies apoptotic thymocytes, Immunol. Lett., 1993, 36: 283.[10] Lagerberg, J. W., Kallen, K. J., Haest, C. W. et al., Factors affecting the amount and the mode of merocyanine 540 binding to the membrane of human erythrocytes, Biochim. Biophys. Acta, 1995, 1235(2): 428.[11] Stillwell, W., Wassall, S. R., Dumaual, A. C. et al., Use of merocyanine (MC540) in quantifying lipid domains and pack-ing in phospholipid vesicles and tumor cells, Biochem. Biophys. Acta, 1993

  1. Heat Denaturation of Protein Structures and Chlorophyll States in PSII Membranes

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李冬海; 阮翔; 许强; 王可玢; 公衍道; 匡廷云; 赵南明

    2002-01-01

    Heat denaturation is an important technique in the study of the structure and function of photosynthetic proteins. Heat denaturation of photosystem II (PSII) membrane was studied using circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and oxygen electrode. Complete loss of oxygen-evolving activity of the PSII membrane was observed at temperatures below 45℃. The decrease of excitonic interaction between chlorophyll molecules occurred more rapidly than the change of the protein secondary structure of the PSII membrane at temperatures above 45℃. The results indicate that the protein secondary structure of the membrane proteins in PSII membranes is more stable than the excitonic interaction between chlorophyll molecules during heat denaturation.

  2. Phosphate Ions Affect the Water Structure at Functionalized Membrane Surfaces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrett, Aliyah; Imbrogno, Joseph; Belfort, Georges; Petersen, Poul B

    2016-09-01

    Antifouling surfaces improve function, efficiency, and safety in products such as water filtration membranes, marine vehicle coatings, and medical implants by resisting protein and biofilm adhesion. Understanding the role of water structure at these materials in preventing protein adhesion and biofilm formation is critical to designing more effective coatings. Such fouling experiments are typically performed under biological conditions using isotonic aqueous buffers. Previous studies have explored the structure of pure water at a few different antifouling surfaces, but the effect of electrolytes and ionic strength (I) on the water structure at antifouling surfaces is not well studied. Here sum frequency generation (SFG) spectroscopy is used to characterize the interfacial water structure at poly(ether sulfone) (PES) and two surface-modified PES films in contact with 0.01 M phosphate buffer with high and low salt (Ionic strength, I= 0.166 and 0.025 M, respectively). Unmodified PES, commonly used as a filtration membrane, and modified PES with a hydrophobic alkane (C18) and with a poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) were used. In the low ionic strength phosphate buffer, water was strongly ordered near the surface of the PEG-modified PES film due to exclusion of phosphate ions and the creation of a surface potential resulting from charge separation between phosphate anions and sodium cations. However, in the high ionic strength phosphate buffer, the sodium and potassium chloride (138 and 3 mM, respectively) in the phosphate buffered saline screened this charge and substantially reduced water ordering. A much smaller water ordering and subsequent reduction upon salt addition was observed for the C18-modified PES, and little water structure change was seen for the unmodified PES. The large difference in water structuring with increasing ionic strength between widely used phosphate buffer and phosphate buffered saline at the PEG interface demonstrates the importance of studying

  3. Mediterranean-style diet effect on the structural properties of the erythrocyte cell membrane of hypertensive patients: the Prevencion con Dieta Mediterranea Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barceló, Francisca; Perona, Javier S; Prades, Jesús; Funari, Sérgio S; Gomez-Gracia, Enrique; Conde, Manuel; Estruch, Ramon; Ruiz-Gutiérrez, Valentina

    2009-11-01

    A currently ongoing randomized trial has revealed that the Mediterranean diet, rich in virgin olive oil or nuts, reduces systolic blood pressure in high-risk cardiovascular patients. Here, we present a structural substudy to assess the effect of a Mediterranean-style diet supplemented with nuts or virgin olive oil on erythrocyte membrane properties in 36 hypertensive participants after 1 year of intervention. Erythrocyte membrane lipid composition, structural properties of reconstituted erythrocyte membranes, and serum concentrations of inflammatory markers are reported. After the intervention, the membrane cholesterol content decreased, whereas that of phospholipids increased in all of the dietary groups; the diminishing cholesterol:phospholipid ratio could be associated with an increase in the membrane fluidity. Moreover, reconstituted membranes from the nuts and virgin olive oil groups showed a higher propensity to form a nonlamellar inverted hexagonal phase structure that was related to an increase in phosphatidylethanolamine lipid class. These data suggest that the Mediterranean-style diet affects the lipid metabolism that is altered in hypertensive patients, influencing the structural membrane properties. The erythrocyte membrane modulation described provides insight in the structural bases underlying the beneficial effect of a Mediterranean-style diet in hypertensive subjects.

  4. Mechanism of choline deficiency and membrane alteration in postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome primary skin fibroblasts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schenkel, Laila C; Singh, Ratnesh K; Michel, Vera; Zeisel, Steven H; da Costa, Kerry-Ann; Johnson, Amy R; Mudd, Harvey S; Bakovic, Marica

    2015-05-01

    Fibroblasts from a patient with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), who presented with low plasma choline and betaine, were studied to determine the metabolic characteristics of the choline deficiency. Choline is required for the synthesis of the phospholipid phosphatidylcholine (PC) and for betaine, an important osmoregulator. Here, choline transport, lipid homeostasis, and mitochondria function were analyzed in skin fibroblasts from POTS and compared with control cells. The choline transporter-like protein 1/solute carrier 44A1 (CTL1/SLC44A1) and mRNA expression were 2-3 times lower in POTS fibroblasts, and choline uptake was reduced 60% (P < 0.05). Disturbances of membrane homeostasis were observed by reduced ratios between PC:phosphatidylethanolamine and sphingomyelin:cholesterol, as well as by modified phospholipid fatty acid composition. Choline deficiency also impaired mitochondria function, which was observed by a reduction in oxygen consumption, mitochondrial potential, and glycolytic activity. When POTS cells were treated with choline, transporter was up-regulated, and uptake of choline increased, offering an option for patient treatment. The characteristics of the POTS fibroblasts described here represent a first model of choline and CTL1/SLC44A1 deficiency, in which choline transport, membrane homeostasis, and mitochondrial function are impaired.

  5. Altered Esophageal Mucosal Structure in Patients with Celiac Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinto-Sánchez, María Inés; Nachman, Fabio D.; Fuxman, Claudia; Iantorno, Guido; Hwang, Hui Jer; Ditaranto, Andrés; Costa, Florencia; Longarini, Gabriela; Wang, Xuan Yu; Huang, Xianxi; Vázquez, Horacio; Moreno, María L.; Niveloni, Sonia; Bercik, Premysl; Smecuol, Edgardo; Mazure, Roberto; Bilder, Claudio; Mauriño, Eduardo C.; Verdu, Elena F.; Bai, Julio C.

    2016-01-01

    Background/Aim. Reflux symptoms (RS) are common in patients with celiac disease (CD), a chronic enteropathy that affects primarily the small intestine. We evaluated mucosal integrity and motility of the lower esophagus as mechanisms contributing to RS generation in patients with CD. Methods. We enrolled newly diagnosed CD patients with and without RS, nonceliac patients with classical reflux disease (GERD), and controls (without RS). Endoscopic biopsies from the distal esophagus were assessed for dilated intercellular space (DIS) by light microscopy and electron microscopy. Tight junction (TJ) mRNA proteins expression for zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1) and claudin-2 and claudin-3 (CLDN-2; CLDN-3) was determined using qRT-PCR. Results. DIS scores were higher in patients with active CD than in controls, but similar to GERD patients. The altered DIS was found even in CD patients without RS and normalized after one year of a gluten-free diet. CD patients with and without RS had lower expression of ZO-1 than controls. The expression of CLDN-2 and CLDN-3 was similar in CD and GERD patients. Conclusions. Our study shows that patients with active CD have altered esophageal mucosal integrity, independently of the presence of RS. The altered expression of ZO-1 may underlie loss of TJ integrity in the esophageal mucosa and may contribute to RS generation. PMID:27446827

  6. Structure and supramolecular architecture of membrane channel-forming peptides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spach, G; Duclohier, H; Molle, G; Valleton, J M

    1989-01-01

    Peptides gathering together to induce channels in lipid bilayers may be classified in several categories according to the spatial structures involved. For example, gramicidin A forms intramolecular tubes, alamethicin, bundles of helical rods with intermolecular pores, porins (being proteins, properly speaking) are rich in beta-sheets that may form barrels, whereas cyclic peptides might stack together resulting in the formation of pores. The chemical structure of these compounds is now well characterized. The transmembrane electrical signals that they transmit are also typical of the particular supramolecular configurations (or architecture). Investigations in this field are thus relevant to structure-function relationship studies due to the availability of natural or synthetic analogues allowing the measurement of the influence of physico-chemical parameters upon the energy profiles of the pores. Consequently, questions such as the existence and probabilities of conductance substrates, their voltage-dependence and their ion or molecular selectivity can be tackled. Today, the loosest aspect of these studies lies in the actual molecular conformations and architecture in the membranes of the peptide aggregates, the knowledge of which remains imprecise, even 'at rest' in the best-studied cases. This review attempts to point out still unresolved questions and to propose some plausible approaches concerning, for example: 1) the configurations of the molecular aggregates responsible for ion transfer; 2) the mechanisms for channel-opening and closing (gating); 3) the eventual cooperative phenomena between channels, via the bilayer or interfacial components. Possible applications of these structures will be tentatively outlined. PMID:2470416

  7. Alteration of membrane transductive mechanisms induced by ethanol in human lymphocyte cultures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fanò, G; Belia, S; Mariggiò, M A; Antonica, A; Agea, E; Spinozzi, F

    1993-03-01

    Ethanol, in millimolar concentrations, significantly modifies different transductive systems in human lymphocyte cultures. In particular, the presence of alcohol in the medium more than doubles the [Ca2+]i (from 70-90 to 200-250 nM), increasing Ca2+ fluxes from outside, and inhibits the active transport carried out by the calcium pump. The Ca2+ release from intracellular stores is not involved because 10 mM EGTA in the medium completely abolished the rise of [Ca2+]i. Since IP3 levels and cAMP concentrations are also involved in ethanol events (although with opposite effects), it seems that the alcohol may have a specific target on cell membranes (G-proteins) which influence many transductive pathways. PMID:8388700

  8. Structural and Electrochemical Analysis of PMMA Based Gel Electrolyte Membranes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chithra M. Mathew

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available New gel polymer electrolytes containing poly(vinylidene chloride-co-acrylonitrile and poly(methyl methacrylate are prepared by solution casting method. With the addition of 60 wt.% of EC to PVdC-AN/PMMA blend, ionic conductivity value 0.398×10-6 S cm−1 has been achieved. XRD and FT-IR studies have been conducted to investigate the structure and complexation in the polymer gel electrolytes. The FT-IR spectra show that the functional groups C=O and C≡N play major role in ion conduction. Thermal stability of the prepared membranes is found to be about 180°C.

  9. Structural features of membrane-bound glucocerebrosidase and α-synuclein probed by neutron reflectometry and fluorescence spectroscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yap, Thai Leong; Jiang, Zhiping; Heinrich, Frank; Gruschus, James M; Pfefferkorn, Candace M; Barros, Marilia; Curtis, Joseph E; Sidransky, Ellen; Lee, Jennifer C

    2015-01-01

    Mutations in glucocerebrosidase (GCase), the enzyme deficient in Gaucher disease, are a common genetic risk factor for the development of Parkinson disease and related disorders, implicating the role of this lysosomal hydrolase in the disease etiology. A specific physical interaction exists between the Parkinson disease-related protein α-synuclein (α-syn) and GCase both in solution and on the lipid membrane, resulting in efficient enzyme inhibition. Here, neutron reflectometry was employed as a first direct structural characterization of GCase and α-syn·GCase complex on a sparsely-tethered lipid bilayer, revealing the orientation of the membrane-bound GCase. GCase binds to and partially inserts into the bilayer with its active site most likely lying just above the membrane-water interface. The interaction was further characterized by intrinsic Trp fluorescence, circular dichroism, and surface plasmon resonance spectroscopy. Both Trp fluorescence and neutron reflectometry results suggest a rearrangement of loops surrounding the catalytic site, where they extend into the hydrocarbon chain region of the outer leaflet. Taking advantage of contrasting neutron scattering length densities, the use of deuterated α-syn versus protiated GCase showed a large change in the membrane-bound structure of α-syn in the complex. We propose a model of α-syn·GCase on the membrane, providing structural insights into inhibition of GCase by α-syn. The interaction displaces GCase away from the membrane, possibly impeding substrate access and perturbing the active site. GCase greatly alters membrane-bound α-syn, moving helical residues away from the bilayer, which could impact the degradation of α-syn in the lysosome where these two proteins interact.

  10. Structural Features of Membrane-bound Glucocerebrosidase and α-Synuclein Probed by Neutron Reflectometry and Fluorescence Spectroscopy*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yap, Thai Leong; Jiang, Zhiping; Heinrich, Frank; Gruschus, James M.; Pfefferkorn, Candace M.; Barros, Marilia; Curtis, Joseph E.; Sidransky, Ellen; Lee, Jennifer C.

    2015-01-01

    Mutations in glucocerebrosidase (GCase), the enzyme deficient in Gaucher disease, are a common genetic risk factor for the development of Parkinson disease and related disorders, implicating the role of this lysosomal hydrolase in the disease etiology. A specific physical interaction exists between the Parkinson disease-related protein α-synuclein (α-syn) and GCase both in solution and on the lipid membrane, resulting in efficient enzyme inhibition. Here, neutron reflectometry was employed as a first direct structural characterization of GCase and α-syn·GCase complex on a sparsely-tethered lipid bilayer, revealing the orientation of the membrane-bound GCase. GCase binds to and partially inserts into the bilayer with its active site most likely lying just above the membrane-water interface. The interaction was further characterized by intrinsic Trp fluorescence, circular dichroism, and surface plasmon resonance spectroscopy. Both Trp fluorescence and neutron reflectometry results suggest a rearrangement of loops surrounding the catalytic site, where they extend into the hydrocarbon chain region of the outer leaflet. Taking advantage of contrasting neutron scattering length densities, the use of deuterated α-syn versus protiated GCase showed a large change in the membrane-bound structure of α-syn in the complex. We propose a model of α-syn·GCase on the membrane, providing structural insights into inhibition of GCase by α-syn. The interaction displaces GCase away from the membrane, possibly impeding substrate access and perturbing the active site. GCase greatly alters membrane-bound α-syn, moving helical residues away from the bilayer, which could impact the degradation of α-syn in the lysosome where these two proteins interact. PMID:25429104

  11. Structure-function relationships in pulmonary surfactant membranes: from biophysics to therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopez-Rodriguez, Elena; Pérez-Gil, Jesús

    2014-06-01

    Pulmonary surfactant is an essential lipid-protein complex to maintain an operative respiratory surface at the mammalian lungs. It reduces surface tension at the alveolar air-liquid interface to stabilise the lungs against physical forces operating along the compression-expansion breathing cycles. At the same time, surfactant integrates elements establishing a primary barrier against the entry of pathogens. Lack or deficiencies of the surfactant system are associated with respiratory pathologies, which treatment often includes supplementation with exogenous materials. The present review summarises current models on the molecular mechanisms of surfactant function, with particular emphasis in its biophysical properties to stabilise the lungs and the molecular alterations connecting impaired surfactant with diseased organs. It also provides a perspective on the current surfactant-based strategies to treat respiratory pathologies. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Membrane Structure and Function: Relevance in the Cell's Physiology, Pathology and Therapy. PMID:24525076

  12. The Structural Basis of Cholesterol Accessibility in Membranes

    OpenAIRE

    Olsen, Brett N.; Bielska, Agata A.; Lee, Tiffany; Daily, Michael D.; Covey, Douglas F.; Schlesinger, Paul H.; Baker, Nathan A.; Ory, Daniel S.

    2013-01-01

    Although the majority of free cellular cholesterol is present in the plasma membrane, cholesterol homeostasis is principally regulated through sterol-sensing proteins that reside in the cholesterol-poor endoplasmic reticulum (ER). In response to acute cholesterol loading or depletion, there is rapid equilibration between the ER and plasma membrane cholesterol pools, suggesting a biophysical model in which the availability of plasma membrane cholesterol for trafficking to internal membranes mo...

  13. Morphological alteration, lysosomal membrane fragility and apoptosis of the cells of Indian freshwater sponge exposed to washing soda (sodium carbonate).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mukherjee, Soumalya; Ray, Mitali; Dutta, Manab Kumar; Acharya, Avanti; Mukhopadhyay, Sandip Kumar; Ray, Sajal

    2015-12-01

    Washing soda is chemically known as sodium carbonate and is a component of laundry detergent. Domestic effluent, drain water and various anthropogenic activities have been identified as major routes of sodium carbonate contamination of the freshwater ecosystem. The freshwater sponge, Eunapius carteri, bears ecological and evolutionary significance and is considered as a bioresource in aquatic ecosystems. The present study involves estimation of morphological damage, lysosomal membrane integrity, activity of phosphatases and apoptosis in the cells of E. carteri under the environmentally realistic concentrations of washing soda. Exposure to washing soda resulted in severe morphological alterations and damages in cells of E. carteri. Fragility and destabilization of lysosomal membranes of E. carteri under the sublethal exposure was indicative to toxin induced physiological stress in sponge. Prolonged exposure to sodium carbonate resulted a reduction in the activity of acid and alkaline phosphatases in the cells of E. carteri. Experimental concentration of 8 mg/l of washing soda for 192 h yielded an increase in the physiological level of cellular apoptosis among the semigranulocytes and granulocytes of E. carteri, which was suggestive to possible shift in apoptosis mediated immunoprotection. The results were indicative of an undesirable shift in the immune status of sponge. Contamination of the freshwater aquifers by washing soda thus poses an alarming ecotoxicological threat to sponges.

  14. A Surface Biotinylation Strategy for Reproducible Plasma Membrane Protein Purification and Tracking of Genetic and Drug-Induced Alterations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hörmann, Katrin; Stukalov, Alexey; Müller, André C; Heinz, Leonhard X; Superti-Furga, Giulio; Colinge, Jacques; Bennett, Keiryn L

    2016-02-01

    Plasma membrane (PM) proteins contribute to the identity of a cell, mediate contact and communication, and account for more than two-thirds of known drug targets.1-8 In the past years, several protocols for the proteomic profiling of PM proteins have been described. Nevertheless, comparative analyses have mainly focused on different variations of one approach.9-11 We compared sulfo-NHS-SS-biotinylation, aminooxy-biotinylation, and surface coating with silica beads to isolate PM proteins for subsequent analysis by one-dimensional gel-free liquid chromatography mass spectrometry. Absolute and relative numbers of PM proteins and reproducibility parameters on a qualitative and quantitative level were assessed. Sulfo-NHS-SS-biotinylation outperformed aminooxy-biotinylation and surface coating using silica beads for most of the monitored criteria. We further simplified this procedure by a competitive biotin elution strategy achieving an average PM annotated protein fraction of 54% (347 proteins). Computational analysis using additional databases and prediction tools revealed that in total over 90% of the purified proteins were associated with the PM, mostly as interactors. The modified sulfo-NHS-SS-biotinylation protocol was validated by tracking changes in the plasma membrane proteome composition induced by genetic alteration and drug treatment. Glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored proteins were depleted in PM purifications from cells deficient in the GPI transamidase component PIGS, and treatment of cells with tunicamycin significantly reduced the abundance of N-glycoproteins in surface purifications.

  15. Decidual-secreted factors alter invasive trophoblast membrane and secreted proteins implying a role for decidual cell regulation of placentation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menkhorst, Ellen Melaleuca; Lane, Natalie; Winship, Amy Louise; Li, Priscilla; Yap, Joanne; Meehan, Katie; Rainczuk, Adam; Stephens, Andrew; Dimitriadis, Evdokia

    2012-01-01

    Inadequate or inappropriate implantation and placentation during the establishment of human pregnancy is thought to lead to first trimester miscarriage, placental insufficiency and other obstetric complications. To create the placental blood supply, specialized cells, the 'extravillous trophoblast' (EVT) invade through the differentiated uterine endometrium (the decidua) to engraft and remodel uterine spiral arteries. We hypothesized that decidual factors would regulate EVT function by altering the production of EVT membrane and secreted factors. We used a proteomics approach to identify EVT membrane and secreted proteins regulated by decidual cell factors. Human endometrial stromal cells were decidualized in vitro by treatment with estradiol (10(-8) M), medroxyprogesterone acetate (10(-7) M) and cAMP (0.5 mM) for 14 days. Conditioned media (CM) was collected on day 2 (non-decidualized CM) and 14 (decidualized CM) of treatment. Isolated primary EVT cultured on Matrigel™ were treated with media control, non-decidualized or decidualized CM for 16 h. EVT CM was fractionated for proteins HPLC-MS/MS. 43 proteins produced by EVT were identified; 14 not previously known to be expressed in the placenta and 12 which had previously been associated with diseases of pregnancy including preeclampsia. Profilin 1, lysosome associated membrane glycoprotein 1 (LAMP1), dipeptidyl peptidase 1 (DPP1/cathepsin C) and annexin A2 expression by interstitial EVT in vivo was validated by immunhistochemistry. Decidual CM regulation in vitro was validated by western blotting: decidualized CM upregulated profilin 1 in EVT CM and non-decidualized CM upregulated annexin A2 in EVT CM and pro-DPP1 in EVT cell lysate. Here, non-decidualized factors induced protease expression by EVT suggesting that non-decidualized factors may induce a pro-inflammatory cascade. Preeclampsia is a pro-inflammatory condition. Overall, we have demonstrated the potential of a proteomics approach to identify novel

  16. Inflammation and the Peritoneal Membrane: Causes and Impact on Structure and Function during Peritoneal Dialysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gilberto Baroni

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Peritoneal dialysis therapy has increased in popularity since the end of the 1970s. This method provides a patient survival rate equivalent to hemodialysis and better preservation of residual renal function. However, technique failure by peritonitis, and ultrafiltration failure, which is a multifactorial complication that can affect up to 40% of patients after 3 years of therapy. Encapsulant peritoneal sclerosis is an extreme and potentially fatal manifestation. Causes of inflammation in peritoneal dialysis range from traditional factors to those related to chronic kidney disease per se, as well as from the peritoneal dialysis treatment, including the peritoneal dialysis catheter, dialysis solution, and infectious peritonitis. Peritoneal inflammation generated causes significant structural alterations including: thickening and cubic transformation of mesothelial cells, fibrin deposition, fibrous capsule formation, perivascular bleeding, and interstitial fibrosis. Structural alterations of the peritoneal membrane described above result in clinical and functional changes. One of these clinical manifestations is ultrafiltration failure and can occur in up to 30% of patients on PD after five years of treatment. An understanding of the mechanisms involved in peritoneal inflammation is fundamental to improve patient survival and provide a better quality of life.

  17. Influence of Lipid Oxidization on Structures and Functions of Biological Membranes

    OpenAIRE

    Korytowski, Agatha Anna

    2016-01-01

    The primary aim of this thesis is to clarify how the structures and functions of biological membranes are influenced by the oxidative damage mediated by free radicals. As a precisely defined model systems, artificially reconstituted lipid membranes (Langmuir monolayers, vesicles, supported membranes, multilamellar membranes) incorporating two oxidized phospholipids bearing aldehyde or carboxyl groups at the end of truncated sn-2 acyl chains were fabricated. By the combination of various exper...

  18. Altered cytoskeletal structures in transformed cells exhibiting obviously metastatic capabilities

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LINZHONGXIANG; WUBINGQUAN; 等

    1990-01-01

    Cytoskeletal changes in transformed cells (LM-51) eshibiting obviously metastatic capabilities were investigated by utilization of double-fluorescent labelling through combinations of:(1) tubulin indirect immunofluorescence plus Rhodamine-phalloidin staining of F-actins;(2) indirect immunofluorescent staining with α-actinin polyclonal-and vinculin monoclonal antibodies.The LM-51 cells which showed metastatic index of >50% were derived from lung metastasis in nude mice after subcutaneous inoculation of human highly metastatic tumor DNA transfected NIH3T3 cell transformants.The parent NIH3T3 cells exhibited well-organized microtubules,prominent stress fibers and adhesion plaques while their transformants showed remarkable cytoskeletal alterations:(1)reduced microtubules but increased MTOC fluorescence;(2)disrupted stress fibers and fewer adhesion plaques with their protein components redistributed in the cytoplasm;(3)Factin-and α-actinin/vinculin aggregates appeared in the cytoplasm.These aggregates were dot-like,varied in size(0.1-0.4μm) and number,located near the ventral surface of the cells.TPA-induced actin/vinculin bodies were studied too.Indications that actin and α-actinin/vinculin redistribution might be important alterations involved in the expression of metastatic capabilities of LM-51 transformed cells were discussed.

  19. Influence of cholesterol and ceramide VI on the structure of multilamellar lipid membranes at water exchange

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The structural changes in the multilamellar lipid membranes of dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC)/cholesterol and DPPC/ceramide VI binary systems during hydration and dehydration have been studied by neutron diffraction. The effect of cholesterol and ceramide on the kinetics of water exchange in DPPC membranes is characterized. Compared to pure DPPC, membranes of binary systems swell faster during hydration (with a characteristic time of ∼30 min). Both compounds, ceramide VI and cholesterol, similarly affect the hydration of DPPC membranes, increasing the repeat distance due to the bilayer growth. However, in contrast to cholesterol, ceramide significantly reduces the thickness of the membrane water layer. The introduction of cholesterol into a DPPC membrane slows down the change in the parameters of the bilayer internal structure during dehydration. In the DPPC/ceramide VI/cholesterol ternary system (with a molar cholesterol concentration of 40%), cholesterol is partially released from the lamellar membrane structure into the crystalline phase.

  20. High Temperature Membrane with Humidification-Independent Cluster Structure

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lipp, Ludwig [FuelCell Energy, Inc., Danbury, CT (United States)

    2015-07-10

    The objective of this project was to develop high temperature membranes to facilitate the wide-spread deployment of hydrogen fuel cells. High temperature membranes offer significant advantages in PEM system operation, overall capital and operating costs. State-of-the-art Nafion-based membranes are inadequate for the high temperature operation. These conventional membranes become unstable at higher temperatures (90-120°C) and lose their conductivity, particularly at low relative humidity. In this program, alternate materials were developed to enable fabrication of novel high performance composite membranes. FCE’s concept for the multi-component composite membrane, named mC2, has been used in the design of more conductive membranes.

  1. Myocardial Reloading after Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation Alters Substrate Metabolism While Promoting Protein Synthesis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kajimoto, Masaki; Priddy, Colleen M.; Ledee, Dolena; Xu, Chun; Isern, Nancy G.; Olson, Aaron; Des Rosiers, Christine; Portman, Michael A.

    2013-08-19

    Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) unloads the heart providing a bridge to recovery in children after myocardial stunning. Mortality after ECMO remains high.Cardiac substrate and amino acid requirements upon weaning are unknown and may impact recovery. We assessed the hypothesis that ventricular reloading modulates both substrate entry into the citric acid cycle (CAC) and myocardial protein synthesis. Fourteen immature piglets (7.8-15.6 kg) were separated into 2 groups based on ventricular loading status: 8 hour-ECMO (UNLOAD) and post-wean from ECMO (RELOAD). We infused [2-13C]-pyruvate as an oxidative substrate and [13C6]-L-leucine, as a tracer of amino acid oxidation and protein synthesis into the coronary artery. RELOAD showed marked elevations in myocardial oxygen consumption above baseline and UNLOAD. Pyruvate uptake was markedly increased though RELOAD decreased pyruvate contribution to oxidative CAC metabolism.RELOAD also increased absolute concentrations of all CAC intermediates, while maintaining or increasing 13C-molar percent enrichment. RELOAD also significantly increased cardiac fractional protein synthesis rates by >70% over UNLOAD. Conclusions: RELOAD produced high energy metabolic requirement and rebound protein synthesis. Relative pyruvate decarboxylation decreased with RELOAD while promoting anaplerotic pyruvate carboxylation and amino acid incorporation into protein rather than to the CAC for oxidation. These perturbations may serve as therapeutic targets to improve contractile function after ECMO.

  2. Stage structure alters how complexity affects stability of ecological networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rudolf, V.H.W.; Lafferty, Kevin D.

    2011-01-01

    Resolving how complexity affects stability of natural communities is of key importance for predicting the consequences of biodiversity loss. Central to previous stability analysis has been the assumption that the resources of a consumer are substitutable. However, during their development, most species change diets; for instance, adults often use different resources than larvae or juveniles. Here, we show that such ontogenetic niche shifts are common in real ecological networks and that consideration of these shifts can alter which species are predicted to be at risk of extinction. Furthermore, niche shifts reduce and can even reverse the otherwise stabilizing effect of complexity. This pattern arises because species with several specialized life stages appear to be generalists at the species level but act as sequential specialists that are hypersensitive to resource loss. These results suggest that natural communities are more vulnerable to biodiversity loss than indicated by previous analyses.

  3. High frequency application of nanosecond pulsed electric fields alters cellular membrane disruption and fluorescent dye uptake

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steelman, Zachary A.; Tolstykh, Gleb P.; Beier, Hope T.; Ibey, Bennett L.

    2016-03-01

    Cells exposed to nanosecond-pulsed electric fields (nsPEF) exhibit a wide variety of nonspecific effects, including blebbing, swelling, intracellular calcium bursts, apoptotic and necrotic cell death, formation of nanopores, and depletion of phosphatidylinositol 4,5-biphosphate (PIP2) to induce activation of the inositol trisphosphate/diacylglycerol pathway. While several studies have taken place in which multiple pulses were delivered to cells, the effect of pulse repetition rate (PRR) is not well understood. To better understand the effects of PRR, a laser scanning confocal microscope was used to observe CHO-K1 cells exposed to ten 600ns, 200V pulses at varying repetition rates (5Hz up to 500KHz) in the presence of either FM 1-43, YO-PRO-1, or Propidium Iodide (PI) fluorescent dyes, probes frequently used to indicate nanoporation or permeabilization of the plasma membrane. Dye uptake was monitored for 30 seconds after pulse application at a rate of 1 image/second. In addition, a single long pulse of equivalent energy (200V, 6 μs duration) was applied to test the hypothesis that very fast PRR will approximate the biological effects of a single long pulse of equal energy. Upon examination of the data, we found strong variation in the relationship between PRR and uptake in each of the three dyes. In particular, PI uptake showed little frequency dependence, FM 1-43 showed a strong inverse relationship between frequency and internal cell fluorescence, and YO-PRO-1 exhibited a "threshold" point of around 50 KHz, after which the inverse trend observed in FM 1-43 was seen to reverse itself. Further, a very high PRR of 500 KHz only approximated the biological effects of a single 6 μs pulse in cells stained with YO-PRO-1, suggesting that uptake of different dyes may proceed by different physical mechanisms.

  4. Plant cell plasma membrane structure and properties under clinostatting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polulakh, Yu. A.; Zhadko, S. I.; Klimchuk, D. A.; Baraboy, V. A.; Alpatov, A. N.; Sytnik, K. M.

    Structural-functional organization of plasma membrane of pea roots seedling was investigated by methods of chemiluminescence, fluorescence probes, chromatography and freeze-fracture studies under normal conditions and clinostatting. Phase character of lipid peroxidation intensity was fixed. The initial phase of this process is characterized by lipid peroxidation decreasing with its next induction. The primary changes depending on free-radical mechanisms of lipid peroxidation were excellently revealed by chemiluminescence. Plasmalemma microviscosity increased on the average of 15-20 % under microgravity at the initial stages of its phenomenon. There were major changes of phosphatidilcholine and phosphatidilethanolamine contents. The total quantity of phospholipids remained rather stable. Changes of phosphatide acid concentration point to degradation and phospholipids biosynthesis. There were increases of unsaturated fatty acids mainly at the expense of linoleic and linolenic acids and also a decrease of saturated fatty acid content at the expense of palmitic and stearic acids. Unsaturation index of fatty acids increased as well. On the whole fatty acid composition was variable in comparison with phospholipids. Probably it is one of mechanisms of maintaining of microviscosity within definite limits. Considerable structural changes in organization of plasmalemma protein-lipid complex were not revealed by the freeze-fracture studies.

  5. Determining the effects of lipophilic drugs on membrane structure by solid-state NMR spectroscopy: the case of the antioxidant curcumin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barry, Jeffrey; Fritz, Michelle; Brender, Jeffrey R; Smith, Pieter E S; Lee, Dong-Kuk; Ramamoorthy, Ayyalusamy

    2009-04-01

    Curcumin is the active ingredient of turmeric powder, a natural spice used for generations in traditional medicines. Curcumin's broad spectrum of antioxidant, anticarcinogenic, antimutagenic, and anti-inflammatory properties makes it particularly interesting for the development of pharmaceutical compounds. Because of curcumin's various effects on the function of numerous unrelated membrane proteins, it has been suggested that it affects the properties of the bilayer itself. However, a detailed atomic-level study of the interaction of curcumin with membranes has not been attempted. A combination of solid-state NMR and differential scanning calorimetry experiments shows curcumin has a strong effect on membrane structure at low concentrations. Curcumin inserts deep into the membrane in a transbilayer orientation, anchored by hydrogen bonding to the phosphate group of lipids in a manner analogous to cholesterol. Like cholesterol, curcumin induces segmental ordering in the membrane. Analysis of the concentration dependence of the order parameter profile derived from NMR results suggests curcumin forms higher order oligomeric structures in the membrane that span and likely thin the bilayer. Curcumin promotes the formation of the highly curved inverted hexagonal phase, which may influence exocytotic and membrane fusion processes within the cell. The experiments outlined here show promise for understanding the action of other drugs such as capsaicin in which drug-induced alterations of membrane structure have strong pharmacological effects.

  6. Habitat structure alters top-down control in litter communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalinkat, Gregor; Brose, Ulrich; Rall, Björn Christian

    2013-07-01

    The question whether top-down or bottom-up forces dominate trophic relationships, energy flow, and abundances within food webs has fuelled much ecological research with particular focus on soil litter ecosystems. Because litter simultaneously provides habitat structure and a basal resource, disentangling direct trophic and indirect non-trophic effects on different trophic levels remains challenging. Here, we focussed on short-term per capita interaction strengths of generalist predators (centipedes) on their microbi-detritivore prey (springtails) and addressed how the habitat structuring effects of the leaf litter modifies this interaction. We performed a series of laboratory functional response experiments where four levels of habitat structure were constructed by adding different amounts of leaf litter to the experimental arenas. We found that increased leaf litter reduced the consumption rate of the predator. We interpreted this as a dilution effect of the augmented habitat size provided by the increasing leaf litter surface available to the species. Dilution of the prey population decreased encounter rates, whereas the capture success was not affected. Interestingly, our results imply that top-down control by centipedes decreased with increasing resource supply for the microbi-detritivore prey (i.e. the leaf litter that simultaneously provides habitat structure). Therefore, effective top-down control of predators on microbi-detritvore populations seems unlikely in litter-rich ecosystems due to the non-trophic, habitat-structuring effect of the basal litter resource. PMID:23188055

  7. Altered intrahemispheric structural connectivity in Gilles de la Tourette syndrome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bastian Cheng

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Gilles de la Tourette syndrome (GTS is a common developmental neuropsychiatric disorder characterized by tics and frequent psychiatric comorbidities, often causing significant disability. Tic generation has been linked to disturbed networks of brain areas involved in planning, controlling and execution of actions, particularly structural and functional disorders in the striatum and cortico–striato–thalamo–cortical loops. We therefore applied structural diffusion tensor imaging (DTI to characterize changes in intrahemispheric white matter connectivity in cortico-subcortical circuits engaged in motor control in 15 GTS patients without psychiatric comorbidities. White matter connectivity was analyzed by probabilistic fiber tractography between 12 predefined cortical and subcortical regions of interest. Connectivity values were combined with measures of clinical severity rated by the Yale Global Tic Severity Scale (YGTSS. GTS patients showed widespread structural connectivity deficits. Lower connectivity values were found specifically in tracts connecting the supplementary motor areas (SMA with basal ganglia (pre-SMA–putamen, SMA–putamen and in frontal cortico-cortical circuits. There was an overall trend towards negative correlations between structural connectivity in these tracts and YGTSS scores. Structural connectivity of frontal brain networks involved in planning, controlling and executing actions is reduced in adult GTS patients which is associated with tic severity. These findings are in line with the concept of GTS as a neurodevelopmental disorder of brain immaturity.

  8. Altered intrahemispheric structural connectivity in Gilles de la Tourette syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Bastian; Braass, Hanna; Ganos, Christos; Treszl, Andras; Biermann-Ruben, Katja; Hummel, Friedhelm C; Müller-Vahl, Kirsten; Schnitzler, Alfons; Gerloff, Christian; Münchau, Alexander; Thomalla, Götz

    2014-01-01

    Gilles de la Tourette syndrome (GTS) is a common developmental neuropsychiatric disorder characterized by tics and frequent psychiatric comorbidities, often causing significant disability. Tic generation has been linked to disturbed networks of brain areas involved in planning, controlling and execution of actions, particularly structural and functional disorders in the striatum and cortico-striato-thalamo-cortical loops. We therefore applied structural diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to characterize changes in intrahemispheric white matter connectivity in cortico-subcortical circuits engaged in motor control in 15 GTS patients without psychiatric comorbidities. White matter connectivity was analyzed by probabilistic fiber tractography between 12 predefined cortical and subcortical regions of interest. Connectivity values were combined with measures of clinical severity rated by the Yale Global Tic Severity Scale (YGTSS). GTS patients showed widespread structural connectivity deficits. Lower connectivity values were found specifically in tracts connecting the supplementary motor areas (SMA) with basal ganglia (pre-SMA-putamen, SMA-putamen) and in frontal cortico-cortical circuits. There was an overall trend towards negative correlations between structural connectivity in these tracts and YGTSS scores. Structural connectivity of frontal brain networks involved in planning, controlling and executing actions is reduced in adult GTS patients which is associated with tic severity. These findings are in line with the concept of GTS as a neurodevelopmental disorder of brain immaturity.

  9. Lipid membranes for the fabrication of functional micro- and nano-structures

    OpenAIRE

    Gopalakrishnan, Gopakumar; Vogel, Horst

    2007-01-01

    The central goal of this thesis work is to fabricate novel, functional fluorescent nanostructures in confined systems offered by phospholipid membranes, which are known to have highly ordered, thermotropic and lyotropic structures. In separate approaches, we have used three different lipid systems: multilamellar planar lipid membranes, unilamellar vesicular membranes as well as lipid monolayers for the development of functional fluorescent nano-, micro- and meso-scopic structures. Techniques ...

  10. Dynamical and structural properties of lipid membranes in relation to liposomal drug delivery systems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Kent; Høyrup, Lise Pernille Kristine; Pedersen, Tina B.;

    2001-01-01

    The structural and dynamical properties of DPPC liposomes containing lipopolymers (PEG-lipids) and charged DPPS lipids have been,studied in relation to the lipid membrane interaction of enzymes and peptides. The results suggest that both the lipid membrane structure and dynamics and in particular...... liposomal drug delivery systems that become destabilized by membrane degrading phospholipase A(2) enzymes, which are found at elevated concentrations at diseased sites....

  11. Nanoscale Distribution of Sulfonic Acid Groups Determines Structure and Binding of Water in Nafion Membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ling, Xiao; Bonn, Mischa

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The connection between the nanoscale structure of two chemically equivalent, yet morphologically distinct Nafion fuel‐cell membranes and their macroscopic chemical properties is demonstrated. Quantification of the chemical interactions between water and Nafion reveals that extruded membranes have smaller water channels with a reduced sulfonic acid head group density compared to dispersion‐cast membranes. As a result, a disproportionally large amount of non‐bulk water molecules exists in extruded membranes, which also exhibit larger proton conductivity and larger water mobility compared to cast membranes. The differences in the physicochemical properties of the membranes, that is, the chemical constitution of the water channels and the local water structure, and the accompanying differences in macroscopic water and proton transport suggest that the chemistry of nanoscale channels is an important, yet largely overlooked parameter that influences the functionality of fuel‐cell membranes. PMID:26895211

  12. Reactive oxygen species induced structural alterations of substance P

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Y. T. Konttinen

    1992-01-01

    Full Text Available Substance P (SP1-11 was exposed to a continuous flux of superoxide (O2- or hydroxyl radicals (.OH in a hypoxanthine (HX/xanthine oxidase (86 mU system in the presence of 1 mM deferoxamine and 40 mM D-mannitol or 50 μM FeCI3. 6H2O and 50 μM EDTA, respectively. O2- caused fragmentation between the Phe7 and Phe8, whereas .OH induced cleavage also between the Phe8 and Gly9. Reactive oxygen species H2O2 and HCIO did not cause fragmentation, but modification of the amino acid side chains and/or aggregation with altered hydrophobicity in reverse phase high performance liquid chromatography compared to native SP1-11. Furthermore, exposure of SP1-11 to phorbol myristate acetate preactivated neutrophils resuited in products similar to those observed upon exposure to superoxide or hydroxyl radicals in a cell-free HX/xanthine oxidase system. This study suggests that, in contrast to rigid proteins, fragmentation is relatively easily induced in a small peptide like SP1-11, perhaps due to strain on the peptide and t-carbon bonds caused by the movable, random coil configuration acquired by SP1-11 in an aqueous solution. Oxidative modification might modulate paracrine actions of SP1-11 at site of inflammation.

  13. Structural properties of lipid reconstructs and lipid composition of normotensive and hypertensive rat vascular smooth muscle cell membranes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T.R. Oliveira

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Multiple cell membrane alterations have been reported to be the cause of various forms of hypertension. The present study focuses on the lipid portion of the membranes, characterizing the microviscosity of membranes reconstituted with lipids extracted from the aorta and mesenteric arteries of spontaneously hypertensive (SHR and normotensive control rat strains (WKY and NWR. Membrane-incorporated phospholipid spin labels were used to monitor the bilayer structure at different depths. The packing of lipids extracted from both aorta and mesenteric arteries of normotensive and hypertensive rats was similar. Lipid extract analysis showed similar phospholipid composition for all membranes. However, cholesterol content was lower in SHR arteries than in normotensive animal arteries. These findings contrast with the fact that the SHR aorta is hyporeactive while the SHR mesenteric artery is hyperreactive to vasopressor agents when compared to the vessels of normotensive animal strains. Hence, factors other than microviscosity of bulk lipids contribute to the vascular smooth muscle reactivity and hypertension of SHR. The excess cholesterol in the arteries of normotensive animal strains apparently is not dissolved in bulk lipids and is not directly related to vascular reactivity since it is present in both the aorta and mesenteric arteries. The lower cholesterol concentrations in SHR arteries may in fact result from metabolic differences due to the hypertensive state or to genes that co-segregate with those that determine hypertension during the process of strain selection.

  14. Structural and Spectroscopic Characterization of A Nanosized Sulfated TiO2 Filler and of Nanocomposite Nafion Membranes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valentina Allodi

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available A large number of nano-sized oxides have been studied in the literature as fillers for polymeric membranes, such as Nafion®. Superacidic sulfated oxides have been proposed and characterized. Once incorporated into polymer matrices, their beneficial effect on peculiar membrane properties has been demonstrated. The alteration of physical-chemical properties of composite membranes has roots in the intermolecular interaction between the inorganic filler surface groups and the polymer chains. In the attempt to tackle this fundamental issue, here we discuss, by a multi-technique approach, the properties of a nanosized sulfated titania material as a candidate filler for Nafion membranes. The results of a systematic study carried out by synchrotron X-ray diffraction, transmission electron microscopy, thermogravimetry, Raman and infrared spectroscopies are presented and discussed to get novel insights about the structural features, molecular properties, and morphological characteristics of sulphated TiO2 nanopowders and composite Nafion membranes containing different amount of sulfated TiO2 nanoparticles (2%, 5%, 7% w/w.

  15. Effects of Irradiation on the Structure-activity Relationship of Konjac Glucomannan Molecular Chain Membrane

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WU Chun-Hua; PENG Shu-Hui; WEN Cheng-Rong; WANG Li-Xia; XIONG Bo; LIU Ya-Nan; FAN Lin-Lin; YAO Min-Na; PANG Jie

    2012-01-01

    To know the effects of irradiation on the konjac glucomannan (KGM) molecular chain membrane, KGM membrane solution was treated with the irradiation dose of 0-20 kGy in this study, and the structure and properties of KGM membrane were analyzed with Infrared spectrum, Raman spectrum, X-ray, SEM scanning and so on. The results revealed that the effects of different irradiation doses on the KGM molecular chain structure were different. Higher irradiation dose (20 kGy) resulted in partial damage against KGM membrane crystal structure, and there was no obvious change for the amorphous structure; with membrane property test, the tensile strength of KGM membrane gradually increased with the increase of irradiation dose and its elongation at break reduced, but these changes were not significant, WVP value reduced; with SEM, the membrane surface treated with irradiation was smoother even than the membrane without treatment. In addition, when increasing the irradiation dose, membrane surface became more even, and arrangement was more orderly and compact. KGM membrane nrooerties, and it is an ideal Irradiation modification could effectively improve the modification method.

  16. Alterations of CNS structure & function by charged particle radiation & resultant oxidative stress

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Gregory; Chang, Polly; Favre, Cecile; Fike, John; Komarova, Natalia; Limoli, Charles; Mao, Xiao-Wen; Obenaus, Andre; Raber, Jacob; Spigelman, Igor; Soltesz, Ivan; Song, Sheng-Kwei; Stampanoni, Marco; Vlkolinsky, Roman; Wodarz, Dominik

    The NSCOR program project is transitioning from establishing the existence of CNS responses to low doses of charged particles, to an investigation of mechanisms underlying these changes and extending the irradiation paradigm to more space-like exposures. In earlier experiments we examined radiation responses of the mouse brain (hippocampus) following exposure to 250 MeV protons and 600 MeV/n iron ions. Our key findings on structural changes were: 1) Significant dose and time dependent loss of en-dothelial cells and microvessel network remodeling occurs suggesting that vascular insufficiency is produced. 2) Significant dose dependent losses of neural precursor cells were observed in a lineage specific pattern which may be associated with cognitive impairment. 3) Evaluation of DNA damage showed dose and time dependent accumulation of mutations with region-specific mutation structures and gene expression profiling demonstrated activation of neurotrophic and adhesion factors as well as chemokine receptors associated with inflammation. Our key find-ings on functional changes were: 1) Time and dose dependent modifications to neural output expressed as enhanced excitability but reduced synaptic efficacy and plasticity (including long term potentiation). 2) Intrinsic membrane properties of neurons were not significantly modi-fied by radiation exposure but pharmacological treatments demonstrated changes in inhibitory synapses. 3) MRI imaging visualized brain structural changes based on altered water diffu-sion properties and patterns were consistent with demyelination or gliosis. Our key findings on neurodegeneration and fidelity of homeostasis were: 1) APP23 transgenic mice exhibited accelerated APP-type electrophysiological pathology over several months. 2) Microvessel net-work changes following irradiation were suggestive of poor tissue oxygenation. 3) The ability of the brain to respond a controlled septic shock was altered by irradiation; the septic shock reactions

  17. [Radiation-induced changes in structural state of membranes of human blood cells].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burlakova, E B; Atkarskaia, M V; Fatkullina, L D; Andreev, S G

    2014-01-01

    To evaluate radiation-induced changes in the structural state of the membranes, blood samples of healthy donors were subjected to gamma radiation in the range of small (1-10 cGy) and medium doses (50 cGy-2 Gy). After irradiation, the microviscosity of lipid membranes of red and white blood cells was measured by ESR spin probe method. At doses exceeding 1 cGy, statistically significant changes of the degree of spontaneous erythrocyte hemolysis and of the lymphocyte plasma membrane microviscosity were observed. Under identical irradiation conditions, the stability of lymphocyte membranes was less as compared to erythrocyte membranes.

  18. Altered functional and structural connectivity networks in psychogenic non-epileptic seizures.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ju-Rong Ding

    Full Text Available Psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES are paroxysmal behaviors that resemble epileptic seizures but lack abnormal electrical activity. Recent studies suggest aberrant functional connectivity involving specific brain regions in PNES. Little is known, however, about alterations of topological organization of whole-brain functional and structural connectivity networks in PNES. We constructed functional connectivity networks from resting-state functional MRI signal correlations and structural connectivity networks from diffusion tensor imaging tractography in 17 PNES patients and 20 healthy controls. Graph theoretical analysis was employed to compute network properties. Moreover, we investigated the relationship between functional and structural connectivity networks. We found that PNES patients exhibited altered small-worldness in both functional and structural networks and shifted towards a more regular (lattice-like organization, which could serve as a potential imaging biomarker for PNES. In addition, many regional characteristics were altered in structural connectivity network, involving attention, sensorimotor, subcortical and default-mode networks. These regions with altered nodal characteristics likely reflect disease-specific pathophysiology in PNES. Importantly, the coupling strength of functional-structural connectivity was decreased and exhibited high sensitivity and specificity to differentiate PNES patients from healthy controls, suggesting that the decoupling strength of functional-structural connectivity might be an important characteristic reflecting the mechanisms of PNES. This is the first study to explore the altered topological organization in PNES combining functional and structural connectivity networks, providing a new way to understand the pathophysiological mechanisms of PNES.

  19. Altered PLP1 splicing causes hypomyelination of early myelinating structures

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kevelam, Sietske H; Taube, Jennifer R; van Spaendonk, Rosalina M L;

    2015-01-01

    for causal mutations. In silico analysis of effects of the mutations on splicing and RNA folding was performed. In vitro gene splicing was examined in RNA from patients' fibroblasts and an immortalized immature oligodendrocyte cell line after transfection with mutant minigene splicing constructs. RESULTS......: All patients had unusual hemizygous mutations of PLP1 located in exon 3B (one deletion, one missense and two silent), which is spliced out in isoform DM20, or in intron 3 (five mutations). The deletion led to truncation of PLP1, but not DM20. Four mutations were predicted to affect PLP1/DM20...... alternative splicing by creating exonic splicing silencer motifs or new splice donor sites or by affecting the local RNA structure of the PLP1 splice donor site. Four deep intronic mutations were predicted to destabilize a long-distance interaction structure in the secondary PLP1 RNA fragment involved...

  20. Import to the inner nuclear membrane : a structural perspective

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hapsari, Rizqiya Astri

    2016-01-01

    In all eukaryotic cell, form yeast to humans, the Nuclear Pore Complexes provide the main gateway to the nuclear interior. While the transport of soluble cargo’s in and out of the nucleus is relatively well understood, the transport of membrane proteins that reside in the membranes of the nuclear en

  1. A Bilayered Structure Comprised of Functionalized Carbon Nanotubes for Desalination by Membrane Distillation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhadra, Madhuleena; Roy, Sagar; Mitra, Somenath

    2016-08-01

    The development of a novel carbon nanotube (CNT) immobilized membrane comprised of a double-layer structure is presented for water desalination by membrane distillation. The bilayered structure is comprised of CNTs functionalized with a hydrophobic octadecyl amine group on the feed side and carboxylated CNTs on the permeate side. The latter is more hydrophilic. The hydrophobic CNTs provide higher water vapor permeation, while the hydrophilic CNTs facilitate the condensation of water vapor. Together, these led to superior performance, and flux in a direct contact membrane distillation mode was found to be as high as 121 kg/m(2)h at 80 °C. The bilayered membrane represented an enhancement of 70% over the unmodified membrane and 37% over a membrane which had a monolayered structure where only the feed side was CNT-modified. PMID:27387851

  2. Do artificial structures alter marine invertebrate genetic makeup?

    OpenAIRE

    Fauvelot, Cecile; Costantini, Federica; Virgilio, Massimiliano; Abbiati, Marco

    2012-01-01

    Human-made structures are increasingly built in marine coastal habitats for a variety of purposes. Offshore oil and gas production platforms are among the largest examples. Yet, biological effects of these increasing density artificial substrata are under evaluated. The objective of our study is to investigate the possible role of offshore platforms in modifying the genetic composition of populations of natural rocky shores species. The serpulid Pomatoceros triqueter was used as a model, and ...

  3. Repression and activation by multiprotein complexes that alter chromatin structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kingston, R E; Bunker, C A; Imbalzano, A N

    1996-04-15

    Recent studies have provided strong evidence that macromolecular complexes are used in the cell to remodel chromatin structure during activation and to create an inaccessible structure during repression, Although there is not yet any rigorous demonstration that modification of chromatin structure plays a direct, causal role in either activation or repression, there is sufficient smoke to indicate the presence of a blazing inferno nearby. It is clear that complexes that remodel chromatin are tractable in vitro; hopefully this will allow the establishment of systems that provide a direct analysis of the role that remodeling might play in activation. These studies indicate that establishment of functional systems to corroborate the elegant genetic studies on repression might also be tractable. As the mechanistic effects of these complexes are sorted out, it will become important to understand how the complexes are regulated. In many of the instances discussed above, the genes whose products make up these complexes were identified in genetic screens for effects on developmental processes. This implies a regulation of the activity of these complexes in response to developmental cues and further implies that the work to fully understand these complexes will occupy a generation of scientists.

  4. Experimental sulfate amendment alters peatland bacterial community structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strickman, R J S; Fulthorpe, R R; Coleman Wasik, J K; Engstrom, D R; Mitchell, C P J

    2016-10-01

    As part of a long-term, peatland-scale sulfate addition experiment, the impact of varying sulfate deposition on bacterial community responses was assessed using 16S tag encoded pyrosequencing. In three separate areas of the peatland, sulfate manipulations included an eight year quadrupling of atmospheric sulfate deposition (experimental), a 3-year recovery to background deposition following 5years of elevated deposition (recovery), and a control area. Peat concentrations of methylmercury (MeHg), a bioaccumulative neurotoxin, were measured, the production of which is attributable to a growing list of microorganisms, including many sulfate-reducing Deltaproteobacteria. The total bacterial and Deltaproteobacterial community structures in the experimental treatment differed significantly from those in the control and recovery treatments that were either indistinguishable or very similar to one another. Notably, the relatively rapid return (within three years) of bacterial community structure in the recovery treatment to a state similar to the control, demonstrates significant resilience of the peatland bacterial community to changes in atmospheric sulfate deposition. Changes in MeHg accumulation between sulfate treatments correlated with changes in the Deltaproteobacterial community, suggesting that sulfate may affect MeHg production through changes in the community structure of this group. PMID:27267720

  5. MUNI Ways and Structures Building Integrated Solar Membrane Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Smith, Randall

    2014-07-03

    The initial goal of the MUNI Ways and Structures Building Integrated Solar Membrane Installation Project was for the City and County of San Francisco (CCSF) to gain experience using the integrated higher efficiency solar photovoltaic (PV) single-ply membrane product, as it differs from the conventional, low efficiency, thin-film PV products, to determine the feasibility of success of larger deployment. As several of CCSF’s municipal rooftops are constrained with respect to weight restrictions, staff of the Energy Generation Group of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) proposed to install a solar PV system using single-ply membrane The installation of the 100 kW (DC-STC) lightweight photo voltaic (PV) system at the MUNI Ways and Structures Center (700 Pennsylvania Ave., San Francisco) is a continuation of the commitment of the City and County of San Francisco (CCSF) to increase the pace of municipal solar development, and serve its municipal facilities with clean renewable energy. The fourteen (14) solar photovoltaic systems that have already been installed at CCSF municipal facilities are assisting in the reduction of fossil-fuel use, and reduction of greenhouse gases from fossil combustion. The MUNI Ways & Structures Center roof has a relatively low weight-bearing capacity (3.25 pounds per square foot) and use of traditional crystalline panels was therefore rejected. Consequently it was decided to use the best available highest efficiency Building-Integrated PV (BIPV) technology, with consideration for reliability and experience of the manufacturer which can meet the low weight-bearing capacity criteria. The original goal of the project was to provide an opportunity to monitor the results of the BIPV technology and compare these results to other City and County of San Francisco installed PV systems. The MUNI Ways and Structures Center was acquired from the Cookson Doors Company, which had run the Center for many decades. The building was

  6. Effect of Structure on the Interactions between Five Natural Antimicrobial Compounds and Phospholipids of Bacterial Cell Membrane on Model Monolayers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stella W. Nowotarska

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Monolayers composed of bacterial phospholipids were used as model membranes to study interactions of the naturally occurring phenolic compounds 2,5-dihydroxybenzaldehyde and 2-hydroxy-5-methoxybenzaldehyde, and the plant essential oil compounds carvacrol, cinnamaldehyde, and geraniol, previously found to be active against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative pathogenic microorganisms. The lipid monolayers consist of 1,2-dihexadecanoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine (DPPE, 1,2-dihexa- decanoyl-sn-glycero-3-phospho-(1'-rac-glycerol (DPPG, and 1,1',2,2'-tetratetradecanoyl cardiolipin (cardiolipin. Surface pressure–area (π-A and surface potential–area (Δψ-A isotherms were measured to monitor changes in the thermodynamic and physical properties of the lipid monolayers. Results of the study indicated that the five compounds modified the three lipid monolayer structures by integrating into the monolayer, forming aggregates of antimicrobial –lipid complexes, reducing the packing effectiveness of the lipids, increasing the membrane fluidity, and altering the total dipole moment in the monolayer membrane model. The interactions of the five antimicrobial compounds with bacterial phospholipids depended on both the structure of the antimicrobials and the composition of the monolayers. The observed experimental results provide insight into the mechanism of the molecular interactions between naturally-occurring antimicrobial compounds and phospholipids of the bacterial cell membrane that govern activities.

  7. Decidual-secreted factors alter invasive trophoblast membrane and secreted proteins implying a role for decidual cell regulation of placentation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ellen Melaleuca Menkhorst

    Full Text Available Inadequate or inappropriate implantation and placentation during the establishment of human pregnancy is thought to lead to first trimester miscarriage, placental insufficiency and other obstetric complications. To create the placental blood supply, specialized cells, the 'extravillous trophoblast' (EVT invade through the differentiated uterine endometrium (the decidua to engraft and remodel uterine spiral arteries. We hypothesized that decidual factors would regulate EVT function by altering the production of EVT membrane and secreted factors. We used a proteomics approach to identify EVT membrane and secreted proteins regulated by decidual cell factors. Human endometrial stromal cells were decidualized in vitro by treatment with estradiol (10(-8 M, medroxyprogesterone acetate (10(-7 M and cAMP (0.5 mM for 14 days. Conditioned media (CM was collected on day 2 (non-decidualized CM and 14 (decidualized CM of treatment. Isolated primary EVT cultured on Matrigel™ were treated with media control, non-decidualized or decidualized CM for 16 h. EVT CM was fractionated for proteins <30 kDa using size-exclusion affinity nanoparticles (SEAN before trypsin digestion and HPLC-MS/MS. 43 proteins produced by EVT were identified; 14 not previously known to be expressed in the placenta and 12 which had previously been associated with diseases of pregnancy including preeclampsia. Profilin 1, lysosome associated membrane glycoprotein 1 (LAMP1, dipeptidyl peptidase 1 (DPP1/cathepsin C and annexin A2 expression by interstitial EVT in vivo was validated by immunhistochemistry. Decidual CM regulation in vitro was validated by western blotting: decidualized CM upregulated profilin 1 in EVT CM and non-decidualized CM upregulated annexin A2 in EVT CM and pro-DPP1 in EVT cell lysate. Here, non-decidualized factors induced protease expression by EVT suggesting that non-decidualized factors may induce a pro-inflammatory cascade. Preeclampsia is a pro

  8. Abdominal Pain, the Adolescent and Altered Brain Structure and Function.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catherine S Hubbard

    Full Text Available Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS is a functional gastrointestinal (GI disorder of unknown etiology. Although relatively common in children, how this condition affects brain structure and function in a pediatric population remains unclear. Here, we investigate brain changes in adolescents with IBS and healthy controls. Imaging was performed with a Siemens 3 Tesla Trio Tim MRI scanner equipped with a 32-channel head coil. A high-resolution T1-weighted anatomical scan was acquired followed by a T2-weighted functional scan. We used a surface-based morphometric approach along with a seed-based resting-state functional connectivity (RS-FC analysis to determine if groups differed in cortical thickness and whether areas showing structural differences also showed abnormal RS-FC patterns. Patients completed the Abdominal Pain Index and the GI Module of the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory to assess abdominal pain severity and impact of GI symptoms on health-related quality of life (HRQOL. Disease duration and pain intensity were also assessed. Pediatric IBS patients, relative to controls, showed cortical thickening in the posterior cingulate (PCC, whereas cortical thinning in posterior parietal and prefrontal areas were found, including the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC. In patients, abdominal pain severity was related to cortical thickening in the intra-abdominal area of the primary somatosensory cortex (SI, whereas HRQOL was associated with insular cortical thinning. Disease severity measures correlated with cortical thickness in bilateral DLPFC and orbitofrontal cortex. Patients also showed reduced anti-correlations between PCC and DLPFC compared to controls, a finding that may reflect aberrant connectivity between default mode and cognitive control networks. We are the first to demonstrate concomitant structural and functional brain changes associated with abdominal pain severity, HRQOL related to GI-specific symptoms, and disease

  9. Abdominal Pain, the Adolescent and Altered Brain Structure and Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hubbard, Catherine S; Becerra, Lino; Heinz, Nicole; Ludwick, Allison; Rasooly, Tali; Wu, Rina; Johnson, Adriana; Schechter, Neil L; Borsook, David; Nurko, Samuel

    2016-01-01

    Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorder of unknown etiology. Although relatively common in children, how this condition affects brain structure and function in a pediatric population remains unclear. Here, we investigate brain changes in adolescents with IBS and healthy controls. Imaging was performed with a Siemens 3 Tesla Trio Tim MRI scanner equipped with a 32-channel head coil. A high-resolution T1-weighted anatomical scan was acquired followed by a T2-weighted functional scan. We used a surface-based morphometric approach along with a seed-based resting-state functional connectivity (RS-FC) analysis to determine if groups differed in cortical thickness and whether areas showing structural differences also showed abnormal RS-FC patterns. Patients completed the Abdominal Pain Index and the GI Module of the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory to assess abdominal pain severity and impact of GI symptoms on health-related quality of life (HRQOL). Disease duration and pain intensity were also assessed. Pediatric IBS patients, relative to controls, showed cortical thickening in the posterior cingulate (PCC), whereas cortical thinning in posterior parietal and prefrontal areas were found, including the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). In patients, abdominal pain severity was related to cortical thickening in the intra-abdominal area of the primary somatosensory cortex (SI), whereas HRQOL was associated with insular cortical thinning. Disease severity measures correlated with cortical thickness in bilateral DLPFC and orbitofrontal cortex. Patients also showed reduced anti-correlations between PCC and DLPFC compared to controls, a finding that may reflect aberrant connectivity between default mode and cognitive control networks. We are the first to demonstrate concomitant structural and functional brain changes associated with abdominal pain severity, HRQOL related to GI-specific symptoms, and disease-specific measures in

  10. Structural network alterations and neurological dysfunction in cerebral amyloid angiopathy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reijmer, Yael D.; Fotiadis, Panagiotis; Martinez-Ramirez, Sergi; Salat, David H.; Schultz, Aaron; Shoamanesh, Ashkan; Ayres, Alison M.; Vashkevich, Anastasia; Rosas, Diana; Schwab, Kristin; Leemans, Alexander; Biessels, Geert-Jan; Rosand, Jonathan; Johnson, Keith A.; Viswanathan, Anand; Gurol, M. Edip

    2015-01-01

    Cerebral amyloid angiopathy is a common form of small-vessel disease and an important risk factor for cognitive impairment. The mechanisms linking small-vessel disease to cognitive impairment are not well understood. We hypothesized that in patients with cerebral amyloid angiopathy, multiple small spatially distributed lesions affect cognition through disruption of brain connectivity. We therefore compared the structural brain network in patients with cerebral amyloid angiopathy to healthy control subjects and examined the relationship between markers of cerebral amyloid angiopathy-related brain injury, network efficiency, and potential clinical consequences. Structural brain networks were reconstructed from diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging in 38 non-demented patients with probable cerebral amyloid angiopathy (69 ± 10 years) and 29 similar aged control participants. The efficiency of the brain network was characterized using graph theory and brain amyloid deposition was quantified by Pittsburgh compound B retention on positron emission tomography imaging. Global efficiency of the brain network was reduced in patients compared to controls (0.187 ± 0.018 and 0.201 ± 0.015, respectively, P < 0.001). Network disturbances were most pronounced in the occipital, parietal, and posterior temporal lobes. Among patients, lower global network efficiency was related to higher cortical amyloid load (r = −0.52; P = 0.004), and to magnetic resonance imaging markers of small-vessel disease including increased white matter hyperintensity volume (P < 0.001), lower total brain volume (P = 0.02), and number of microbleeds (trend P = 0.06). Lower global network efficiency was also related to worse performance on tests of processing speed (r = 0.58, P < 0.001), executive functioning (r = 0.54, P = 0.001), gait velocity (r = 0.41, P = 0.02), but not memory. Correlations with cognition were independent of age, sex, education level, and other magnetic resonance imaging

  11. Altered membrane dynamics of quantum dot-conjugated integrins during osteogenic differentiation of human bone marrow derived progenitor cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Hongfeng; Titushkin, Igor; Stroscio, Michael; Cho, Michael

    2007-02-15

    Functionalized quantum dots offer several advantages for tracking the motion of individual molecules on the cell surface, including selective binding, precise optical identification of cell surface molecules, and detailed examination of the molecular motion without photobleaching. We have used quantum dots conjugated with integrin antibodies and performed studies to quantitatively demonstrate changes in the integrin dynamics during osteogenic differentiation of human bone marrow derived progenitor cells (BMPCs). Consistent with the unusually strong BMPC adhesion previously observed, integrins on the surface of undifferentiated BMPC were found in clusters and the lateral diffusion was slow (e.g., approximately 10(-11) cm2/s). At times as early as those after a 3-day incubation in the osteogenic differentiation media, the integrin diffusion coefficients increased by an order of magnitude, and the integrin dynamics became indistinguishable from that measured on the surface of terminally differentiated human osteoblasts. Furthermore, microfilaments in BMPCs consisted of atypically thick bundles of stress fibers that were responsible for restricting the integrin lateral mobility. Studies using laser optical tweezers showed that, unlike fully differentiated osteoblasts, the BMPC cytoskeleton is weakly associated with its cell membrane. Based on these findings, it appears likely that the altered integrin dynamics is correlated with BMPC differentiation and that the integrin lateral mobility is restricted by direct links to microfilaments.

  12. Structural Aspects of Bacterial Outer Membrane Protein Assembly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calmettes, Charles; Judd, Andrew; Moraes, Trevor F

    2015-01-01

    The outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria is predominantly populated by β-Barrel proteins and lipid anchored proteins that serve a variety of biological functions. The proper folding and assembly of these proteins is essential for bacterial viability and often plays a critical role in virulence and pathogenesis. The β-barrel assembly machinery (Bam) complex is responsible for the proper assembly of β-barrels into the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria, whereas the localization of lipoproteins (Lol) system is required for proper targeting of lipoproteins to the outer membrane. PMID:26621472

  13. Structural models of the membrane anchors of envelope glycoproteins E1 and E2 from pestiviruses

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, Jimin, E-mail: jimin.wang@yale.edu; Li, Yue; Modis, Yorgo, E-mail: yorgo.modis@yale.edu

    2014-04-15

    The membrane anchors of viral envelope proteins play essential roles in cell entry. Recent crystal structures of the ectodomain of envelope protein E2 from a pestivirus suggest that E2 belongs to a novel structural class of membrane fusion machinery. Based on geometric constraints from the E2 structures, we generated atomic models of the E1 and E2 membrane anchors using computational approaches. The E1 anchor contains two amphipathic perimembrane helices and one transmembrane helix; the E2 anchor contains a short helical hairpin stabilized in the membrane by an arginine residue, similar to flaviviruses. A pair of histidine residues in the E2 ectodomain may participate in pH sensing. The proposed atomic models point to Cys987 in E2 as the site of disulfide bond linkage with E1 to form E1–E2 heterodimers. The membrane anchor models provide structural constraints for the disulfide bonding pattern and overall backbone conformation of the E1 ectodomain. - Highlights: • Structures of pestivirus E2 proteins impose constraints on E1, E2 membrane anchors. • Atomic models of the E1 and E2 membrane anchors were generated in silico. • A “snorkeling” arginine completes the short helical hairpin in the E2 membrane anchor. • Roles in pH sensing and E1–E2 disulfide bond formation are proposed for E1 residues. • Implications for E1 ectodomain structure and disulfide bonding pattern are discussed.

  14. Structural and functional changes induced in the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor by membrane phospholipids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández-Carvajal, Asia M; Encinar, José A; Poveda, José Antonio; de Juan, Entilio; Martínez-Pinna, Juan; Ivorra, Isabel; Ferragut, José Antonio; Morales, Andrés; González-Ros, José Manuel

    2006-01-01

    Ligand-gated ion channels (LGICs) constitute an important family of complex membrane proteins acting as receptors for neurotransmitters (Barnard, 1992; Ortells and Lunt, 1995). The nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) from Torpedo is the most extensively studied member of the LGIC family and consists of a pentameric transmembrane glycoprotein composed of four different polypeptide subunits (alpha, beta, gamma, and delta) in a 2:1:1:1 stoichiometry (Galzi and Changeux, 1995; Hucho et al., 1996) that are arranged pseudosymmetrically around a central cation-selective ion channel. Conformational transitions, from the closed (nonconducting), to agonist-induced open (ion-conducting), to desensitized (nonconducting) states, are critical for functioning of the nAChR (Karlin, 2002). The ability of the nAChR to undergo these transitions is profoundly influenced by the lipid composition of the bilayer (Barrantes, 2004). Despite existing information on lipid dependence of AChR function, no satisfactory explanation has been given on the molecular events by which specific lipids exert such effects on the activity of an integral membrane protein. To date, several hypotheses have been entertained, including (1) indirect effects of lipids through the alteration of properties of the bilayer, such as fluidity (an optimal fluidity hypothesis [Fong and McNamee, 1986]) or membrane curvature and lateral pressure (Cantor, 1997; de Kruijff, 1997), or (2) direct effects through binding of lipids to defined sites on the transmembrane portion of the protein (Jones and McNamee, 1988; Blanton and Wang, 1990; Fernández et al., 1993; Fernández-Ballester et al., 1994), which has led to the postulation of a possible role of certain lipids as peculiar allosteric ligands of the protein. In this paper we have reconstituted purified AChRs from Torpedo into complex multicomponent lipid vesicles in which the phospholipid composition has been systematically altered. Stopped-flow rapid kinetics of

  15. Membrane interaction and structure of the transmembrane domain of influenza hemagglutinin and its fusion peptide complex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lin Chi-Hui

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background To study the organization and interaction with the fusion domain (or fusion peptide, FP of the transmembrane domain (TMD of influenza virus envelope glycoprotein for its role in membrane fusion which is also essential in the cellular trafficking of biomolecules and sperm-egg fusion. Results The fluorescence and gel electrophoresis experiments revealed a tight self-assembly of TMD in the model membrane. A weak but non-random interaction between TMD and FP in the membrane was found. In the complex, the central TMD oligomer was packed by FP in an antiparallel fashion. FP insertion into the membrane was altered by binding to TMD. An infrared study exhibited an enhanced membrane perturbation by the complex formation. A model was built to illustrate the role of TMD in the late stages of influenza virus-mediated membrane fusion reaction. Conclusion The TMD oligomer anchors the fusion protein in the membrane with minimal destabilization to the membrane. Upon associating with FP, the complex exerts a synergistic effect on the membrane perturbation. This effect is likely to contribute to the complete membrane fusion during the late phase of fusion protein-induced fusion cascade. The results presented in the work characterize the nature of the interaction of TMD with the membrane and TMD in a complex with FP in the steps leading to pore initiation and dilation during virus-induced fusion. Our data and proposed fusion model highlight the key role of TMD-FP interaction and have implications on the fusion reaction mediated by other type I viral fusion proteins. Understanding the molecular mechanism of membrane fusion may assist in the design of anti-viral drugs.

  16. BCL::MP-Fold: membrane protein structure prediction guided by EPR restraints

    CERN Document Server

    Fischer, Axel Walter; Woetzel, Nils; Karakas, Mert; Weiner, Brian; Meiler, Jens

    2015-01-01

    For many membrane proteins the determination of their topology remains a challenge for methods like X-ray crystallography and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy has evolved as an alternative technique to study structure and dynamics of membrane proteins. The present study demonstrates the feasibility of membrane protein topology determination using limited EPR distance and accessibility measurements. The BCL::MP-Fold (BioChemical Library membrane protein fold) algorithm assembles secondary structure elements (SSEs) in the membrane using a Monte Carlo Metropolis (MCM) approach. Sampled models are evaluated using knowledge-based potential functions and agreement with the EPR data and a knowledge-based energy function. Twenty-nine membrane proteins of up to 696 residues are used to test the algorithm. The RMSD100 value of the most accurate model is better than 8{\\AA} for twenty-seven, better than 6{\\AA} for twenty-two and better than 4{\\AA} for fifte...

  17. Toward high-resolution computational design of the structure and function of helical membrane proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barth, Patrick; Senes, Alessandro

    2016-06-01

    The computational design of α-helical membrane proteins is still in its infancy but has already made great progress. De novo design allows stable, specific and active minimal oligomeric systems to be obtained. Computational reengineering can improve the stability and function of naturally occurring membrane proteins. Currently, the major hurdle for the field is the experimental characterization of the designs. The emergence of new structural methods for membrane proteins will accelerate progress. PMID:27273630

  18. Structure and Orientation of a Voltage-Sensor Toxin in Lipid Membranes

    OpenAIRE

    Jung, Hyun Ho; Jung, Hoi Jong; Milescu, Mirela; Lee, Chul Won; Lee, Seungkyu; Lee, Ju Yeon; Eu, Young-Jae; Kim, Ha Hyung; Swartz, Kenton J.; Kim, Jae Il

    2010-01-01

    Amphipathic protein toxins from tarantula venom inhibit voltage-activated potassium (Kv) channels by binding to a critical helix-turn-helix motif termed the voltage sensor paddle. Although these toxins partition into membranes to bind the paddle motif, their structure and orientation within the membrane are unknown. We investigated the interaction of a tarantula toxin named SGTx with membranes using both fluorescence and NMR spectroscopy. Depth-dependent fluorescence-quenching experiments wit...

  19. Deformation analysis of a film-overlapped micro-pump membrane structure

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    A novel approach is developed to study a film-overlapped membrane structure. Meanwhile, the established model is employed to design the micro-pump membrane structure and to evaluate its pumping efficiency. Two-dimensional coupling effects between the overlapping actuator films and the deformable membrane are thoroughly investigated, including the influences on the membrane from the overlapping films' elongation effects, Poisson's ratio effects and shear strain effects. Overall deformations and interactions for the three-layer membrane structures are accurately calculated through exercising the developed model, in contrast to what difficulties are usually encountered in carrying out FEM methods with very thin elements meshed for the actuator films. Furthermore, this study demonstrates that the high stiffness of the actuating metal films needs to be reflected in the equivalent stiffness of the membrane structures, especially when the sizes of the actuator films become compatible with the sizes of the membranes. Hence, the optimal micro-pumping efficiency of a membrane structure is acquired upon exercising the developed model, and larger sizes of the actuating films do not definitely obtain larger pumping efficiencies for the electromagnetically actuated micro-pumps

  20. Present and future of membrane protein structure determination by electron crystallography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ubarretxena-Belandia, Iban; Stokes, David L

    2010-01-01

    Membrane proteins are critical to cell physiology, playing roles in signaling, trafficking, transport, adhesion, and recognition. Despite their relative abundance in the proteome and their prevalence as targets of therapeutic drugs, structural information about membrane proteins is in short supply. This chapter describes the use of electron crystallography as a tool for determining membrane protein structures. Electron crystallography offers distinct advantages relative to the alternatives of X-ray crystallography and NMR spectroscopy. Namely, membrane proteins are placed in their native membranous environment, which is likely to favor a native conformation and allow changes in conformation in response to physiological ligands. Nevertheless, there are significant logistical challenges in finding appropriate conditions for inducing membrane proteins to form two-dimensional arrays within the membrane and in using electron cryo-microscopy to collect the data required for structure determination. A number of developments are described for high-throughput screening of crystallization trials and for automated imaging of crystals with the electron microscope. These tools are critical for exploring the necessary range of factors governing the crystallization process. There have also been recent software developments to facilitate the process of structure determination. However, further innovations in the algorithms used for processing images and electron diffraction are necessary to improve throughput and to make electron crystallography truly viable as a method for determining atomic structures of membrane proteins.

  1. Cell-free methods to produce structurally intact mammalian membrane proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shinoda, Takehiro; Shinya, Naoko; Ito, Kaori; Ishizuka-Katsura, Yoshiko; Ohsawa, Noboru; Terada, Takaho; Hirata, Kunio; Kawano, Yoshiaki; Yamamoto, Masaki; Tomita, Taisuke; Ishibashi, Yohei; Hirabayashi, Yoshio; Kimura-Someya, Tomomi; Shirouzu, Mikako; Yokoyama, Shigeyuki

    2016-01-01

    The crystal structures of four membrane proteins, from bacteria or a unicellular alga, have been solved with samples produced by cell-free protein synthesis. In this study, for mammalian membrane protein production, we established the precipitating and soluble membrane fragment methods: membrane proteins are synthesized with the Escherichia coli cell-free system in the presence of large and small membrane fragments, respectively, and are simultaneously integrated into the lipid environments. We applied the precipitating membrane fragment method to produce various mammalian membrane proteins, including human claudins, glucosylceramide synthase, and the γ-secretase subunits. These proteins were produced at levels of about 0.1-1.0 mg per ml cell-free reaction under the initial conditions, and were obtained as precipitates by ultracentrifugation. Larger amounts of membrane proteins were produced by the soluble membrane fragment method, collected in the ultracentrifugation supernatants, and purified directly by column chromatography. For several proteins, the conditions of the membrane fragment methods were further optimized, such as by the addition of specific lipids/detergents. The functional and structural integrities of the purified proteins were confirmed by analyses of their ligand binding activities, size-exclusion chromatography profiles, and/or thermal stabilities. We successfully obtained high-quality crystals of the complex of human claudin-4 with an enterotoxin. PMID:27465719

  2. Bedfordshire County Structure Plan. Proposed alterations -Public participation statement. Policy 97: Nuclear waste

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The document describes steps taken, in accord with the Town and Country Planning Act 1971, by Bedfordshire County Council, submitting proposed Alterations to the County Structure Plan to the Secretary of State for the Environment. When approving the submission the Council decided to add an additional Alteration dealing with nuclear waste: as this had not been the subject of public consultation the Council decided to seek the public's views on the proposal before submitting the Alteration. The arrangements for consultation and a list of persons and organizations consulted are given, together with the arrangements for considering comments. (U.K.)

  3. Bedfordshire County Structure Plan. Proposed alterations. Results of public consultation. Policy 97: Nuclear waste

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The document refers to Alterations to the County Structure Plan, proposed by Bedfordshire County Council and submitted to the Secretary of State for the Environment. An additional Alteration initiated at the County Council's meeting, dealing with nuclear waste, had not been the subject of prior public consultation. Consultation had since been arranged, and the present document summarises the responses that have been received, and describes the next action to be taken. (U.K.)

  4. Structure and Properties of Polytetrafluorethylene and Polyurethane Layered Membrane for Protective Clothing

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2006-01-01

    This paper presents a new idea for intensifying protective and stretch recovery properties of micro porous polytetrafluorethylene and hydrophilic polyurethane (PTFE/PU) layered membrane through a co-stretching process. The structure and properties of co-stretching PTFE/PU layered membrane and coated PTFE/PU layered membrane by means of directly coating the PU on the PTFE membrane were investigated using Electron Microscope, Universal Materials Testing Machine, and the water vapor permeability (WVP) was measured according to absorption method of water vapor of GB/T 12704 - 91. Contrasted to PU coating process, the PU membrane on the co-stretching PTFE/PU membrane is nonporous because of heat treatment process, which can prevent the SARS virus from permeating the Co-stretching PTFE/PU membrane. The stretch and recovery properties of the Co-stretching PTFE/PU membrane is at least 66% after being stretched to 50% of its original length in transverse directions and that of the coated PTFE/PU membrane is 52%. The WVP of the Coresults suggest that when Co-stretching PTFE/PU membrane is laminated to a stretchable fabric, the fabric would have excellent stretch and recovery properties while waterproof and being permeable to water vapor. So, the Costretching PTFE/PU membrane laminated fabric will be a comfortable protective clothing material.

  5. Solid state NMR: The essential technology for helical membrane protein structural characterization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cross, Timothy A.; Ekanayake, Vindana; Paulino, Joana; Wright, Anna

    2014-02-01

    NMR spectroscopy of helical membrane proteins has been very challenging on multiple fronts. The expression and purification of these proteins while maintaining functionality has consumed countless graduate student hours. Sample preparations have depended on whether solution or solid-state NMR spectroscopy was to be performed - neither have been easy. In recent years it has become increasingly apparent that membrane mimic environments influence the structural result. Indeed, in these recent years we have rediscovered that Nobel laureate, Christian Anfinsen, did not say that protein structure was exclusively dictated by the amino acid sequence, but rather by the sequence in a given environment (Anfinsen, 1973) [106]. The environment matters, molecular interactions with the membrane environment are significant and many examples of distorted, non-native membrane protein structures have recently been documented in the literature. However, solid-state NMR structures of helical membrane proteins in proteoliposomes and bilayers are proving to be native structures that permit a high resolution characterization of their functional states. Indeed, solid-state NMR is uniquely able to characterize helical membrane protein structures in lipid environments without detergents. Recent progress in expression, purification, reconstitution, sample preparation and in the solid-state NMR spectroscopy of both oriented samples and magic angle spinning samples has demonstrated that helical membrane protein structures can be achieved in a timely fashion. Indeed, this is a spectacular opportunity for the NMR community to have a major impact on biomedical research through the solid-state NMR spectroscopy of these proteins.

  6. An innovative methodology for measurement of stress distribution of inflatable membrane structures

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The inflatable membrane structure has been widely used in the fields of civil building, industrial building, airship, super pressure balloon and spacecraft. It is important to measure the stress distribution of the inflatable membrane structure because it influences the safety of the structural design. This paper presents an innovative methodology for the measurement and determination of the stress distribution of the inflatable membrane structure under different internal pressures, combining photogrammetry and the force-finding method. The shape of the inflatable membrane structure is maintained by the use of pressurized air, and the internal pressure is controlled and measured by means of an automatic pressure control system. The 3D coordinates of the marking points pasted on the membrane surface are acquired by three photographs captured from three cameras based on photogrammetry. After digitizing the markings on the photographs, the 3D curved surfaces are rebuilt. The continuous membrane surfaces are discretized into quadrilateral mesh and simulated by membrane links to calculate the stress distributions using the force-finding method. The internal pressure is simplified to the external node forces in the normal direction according to the contributory area of the node. Once the geometry x, the external force r and the topology C are obtained, the unknown force densities q in each link can be determined. Therefore, the stress distributions of the inflatable membrane structure can be calculated, combining the linear adjustment theory and the force density method based on the force equilibrium of inflated internal pressure and membrane internal force without considering the mechanical properties of the constitutive material. As the use of the inflatable membrane structure is attractive in the field of civil building, an ethylene-tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) cushion is used with the measurement model to validate the proposed methodology. The comparisons between the

  7. An innovative methodology for measurement of stress distribution of inflatable membrane structures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Bing; Chen, Wujun; Hu, Jianhui; Chen, Jianwen; Qiu, Zhenyu; Zhou, Jinyu; Gao, Chengjun

    2016-02-01

    The inflatable membrane structure has been widely used in the fields of civil building, industrial building, airship, super pressure balloon and spacecraft. It is important to measure the stress distribution of the inflatable membrane structure because it influences the safety of the structural design. This paper presents an innovative methodology for the measurement and determination of the stress distribution of the inflatable membrane structure under different internal pressures, combining photogrammetry and the force-finding method. The shape of the inflatable membrane structure is maintained by the use of pressurized air, and the internal pressure is controlled and measured by means of an automatic pressure control system. The 3D coordinates of the marking points pasted on the membrane surface are acquired by three photographs captured from three cameras based on photogrammetry. After digitizing the markings on the photographs, the 3D curved surfaces are rebuilt. The continuous membrane surfaces are discretized into quadrilateral mesh and simulated by membrane links to calculate the stress distributions using the force-finding method. The internal pressure is simplified to the external node forces in the normal direction according to the contributory area of the node. Once the geometry x, the external force r and the topology C are obtained, the unknown force densities q in each link can be determined. Therefore, the stress distributions of the inflatable membrane structure can be calculated, combining the linear adjustment theory and the force density method based on the force equilibrium of inflated internal pressure and membrane internal force without considering the mechanical properties of the constitutive material. As the use of the inflatable membrane structure is attractive in the field of civil building, an ethylene-tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) cushion is used with the measurement model to validate the proposed methodology. The comparisons between the

  8. Structural elucidation of the interaction between neurodegenerative disease-related tau protein with model lipid membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Emmalee M.

    A protein's sequence of amino acids determines how it folds. That folded structure is linked to protein function, and misfolding to dysfunction. Protein misfolding and aggregation into beta-sheet rich fibrillar aggregates is connected with over 20 neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease (AD). AD is characterized in part by misfolding, aggregation and deposition of the microtubule associated tau protein into neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs). However, two questions remain: What is tau's fibrillization mechanism, and what is tau's cytotoxicity mechanism? Tau is prone to heterogeneous interactions, including with lipid membranes. Lipids have been found in NFTs, anionic lipid vesicles induced aggregation of the microtubule binding domain of tau, and other protein aggregates induced ion permeability in cells. This evidence prompted our investigation of tau's interaction with model lipid membranes to elucidate the structural perturbations those interactions induced in tau protein and in the membrane. We show that although tau is highly charged and soluble, it is highly surface active and preferentially interacts with anionic membranes. To resolve molecular-scale structural details of tau and model membranes, we utilized X-ray and neutron scattering techniques. X-ray reflectivity indicated tau aggregated at air/water and anionic lipid membrane interfaces and penetrated into membranes. More significantly, membrane interfaces induced tau protein to partially adopt a more compact conformation with density similar to folded protein and ordered structure characteristic of beta-sheet formation. This suggests possible membrane-based mechanisms of tau aggregation. Membrane morphological changes were seen using fluorescence microscopy, and X-ray scattering techniques showed tau completely disrupts anionic membranes, suggesting an aggregate-based cytotoxicity mechanism. Further investigation of protein constructs and a "hyperphosphorylation" disease mimic helped

  9. Partially Fluorinated Sulfonated Poly(ether amide Fuel Cell Membranes: Influence of Chemical Structure on Membrane Properties

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chulsung Bae

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available A series of fluorinated sulfonated poly (ether amides (SPAs were synthesized for proton exchange membrane fuel cell applications. A polycondensation reaction of 4,4’-oxydianiline, 2-sulfoterephthalic acid monosodium salt, and tetrafluorophenylene dicarboxylic acids (terephthalic and isophthalic or fluoroaliphatic dicarboxylic acids produced SPAs with sulfonation degrees of 80–90%. Controlling the feed ratio of the sulfonated and unsulfonated dicarboxylic acid monomers afforded random SPAs with ion exchange capacities between 1.7 and 2.2 meq/g and good solubility in polar aprotic solvents. Their structures were characterized using NMR and FT IR spectroscopies. Tough, flexible, and transparent films were obtained with dimethylsulfoxide using a solution casting method. Most SPA membranes with 90% sulfonation degree showed high proton conductivity (>100 mS/cm at 80 °C and 100% relative humidity. Among them, two outstanding ionomers (ODA-STA-TPA-90 and ODA-STA-IPA-90 showed proton conductivity comparable to that of Nafion 117 between 40 and 80 °C. The influence of chemical structure on the membrane properties was systematically investigated by comparing the fluorinated polymers to their hydrogenated counterparts. The results suggest that the incorporation of fluorinated moieties in the polymer backbone of the membrane reduces water absorption. High molecular weight and the resulting physical entanglement of the polymers chains played a more important role in improving stability in water, however.

  10. Investigation of structural change of purple membrane in storage by transmission electron microscope and atomic force microscope

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2001-01-01

    The structural change of purple membrane during storage has been investigated by means of transmission electron microscope and atomic force microscope. It is found that many liposomes have spontaneously evolved from the purple membrane sheets isolated three years ago. The membrane proteins on the liposomes, bacteriorhodopsin, are still presented as trimers in 2-D hexagonal structure, which is the same as that in natural cell membrane. However, the cytoplasmic surface of purple membrane faced outside on the liposomes.

  11. Relating performance of thin-film composite forward osmosis membranes to support layer formation and structure

    KAUST Repository

    Tiraferri, Alberto

    2011-02-01

    Osmotically driven membrane processes have the potential to treat impaired water sources, desalinate sea/brackish waters, and sustainably produce energy. The development of a membrane tailored for these processes is essential to advance the technology to the point that it is commercially viable. Here, a systematic investigation of the influence of thin-film composite membrane support layer structure on forward osmosis performance is conducted. The membranes consist of a selective polyamide active layer formed by interfacial polymerization on top of a polysulfone support layer fabricated by phase separation. By systematically varying the conditions used during the casting of the polysulfone layer, an array of support layers with differing structures was produced. The role that solvent quality, dope polymer concentration, fabric layer wetting, and casting blade gate height play in the support layer structure formation was investigated. Using a 1M NaCl draw solution and a deionized water feed, water fluxes ranging from 4 to 25Lm-2h-1 with consistently high salt rejection (>95.5%) were produced. The relationship between membrane structure and performance was analyzed. This study confirms the hypothesis that the optimal forward osmosis membrane consists of a mixed-structure support layer, where a thin sponge-like layer sits on top of highly porous macrovoids. Both the active layer transport properties and the support layer structural characteristics need to be optimized in order to fabricate a high performance forward osmosis membrane. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

  12. Preparation of Ferrierite Zeolite Membranes in the Absence of Organic Structure-directing Agents

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xiao Hui SU; Gang LI; Rui Sen LIN; Eiichi KIKUCHI; Masahiko MATSUKATA

    2006-01-01

    Ferrierite zeolite membranes were prepared for the first time in the absence of organic structure-directing agents (SDA) on the surface of a porous α-alumina support. These membranes were characterized by means of X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and pervaporation tests.

  13. Multi-objective optimization of membrane structures based on Pareto Genetic Algorithm

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    SAN Bing-bing; SUN Xiao-ying; WU Yue

    2010-01-01

    A multi-objective optimization method based on Pareto Genetic Algorithm is presented for shape design of membrane structures from a structural view point.Several non-dimensional variables are defined as optimization variables,which are decision factors of shapes of membrane structures.Three objectives are proposed including maximization of stiffness,maximum uniformity of stress and minimum reaction under external loads.Pareto Muhi-objective Genetic Algorithm is introduced to solve the Pareto solutions.Consequently,the dependence of the optimality upon the optimization variables is derived to provide guidelines on how to determine design parameters.Moreover,several examples illustrate the proposed methods and applications.The study shows that the multi-objective optimization method in this paper is feasible and efficient for membrane structures; the research on Pareto solutions can provide explicit and useful guidelines for shape design of membrane structures.

  14. Effect of Sterol Structure on Chain Ordering of an Unsaturated Phospholipid: A 2H-NMR Study of POPC/Sterol Membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaghaghi, Mehran; Thewalt, Jenifer; Zuckermann, Martin

    2012-10-01

    The physical properties of biological membranes are considerably altered by the presence of sterols. In particular, sterols help to maintain the integrity of the cell by adjusting the fluidity of the plasma membrane. Cholesterol is in addition an important component of lipid rafts which are hypothesized to compartmentalize the cell membrane surface thereby making it possible for certain proteins to function. Using 2H-NMR spectroscopy, we studied the effect of a series of different sterols on the chain ordering of POPC, an unsaturated phospholipid present in eukaryotic cell membranes. We were able to assigned specific roles to the structural differences between the sterols by comparing the manner in which they affect the average lipid chain conformation of POPC.

  15. Organophosphorous pesticide exposure alters sperm chromatin structure in Mexican agricultural workers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Our objective was to evaluate alterations in sperm chromatin structure in men occupationally exposed to a mixture of organophosphorus pesticides (OP) because these alterations have been proposed to compromise male fertility and offspring development. Chromatin susceptibility to in situ acid-induced denaturation structure was assessed by the sperm chromatin structure assay (SCSA). Urinary levels of alkylphosphates (DAP) were used to assess exposure. Diethylthiophosphate (DETP) was the most frequent OP metabolite found in urine samples indicating that compounds derived from thiophosphoric acid were mainly used. Chromatin structure was altered in most samples. About 75% of semen samples were classified as having poor fertility potential (>30% of Percentage of DNA Fragmentation Index [DFI%]), whereas individuals without OP occupational exposure showed average DFI% values of 9.9%. Most parameters of conventional semen analysis were within normality except for the presence of immature cells (IGC) in which 82% of the samples were above reference values. There were significant direct associations between urinary DETP concentrations and mean DFI and SD-DFI but marginally (P = 0.079) with DFI%, after adjustment for potential confounders, including IGC. This suggests that OP exposure alters sperm chromatin condensation, which could be reflected in an increased number of cells with greater susceptibility to DNA denaturation. This study showed that human sperm chromatin is a sensitive target to OP exposure and may contribute to adverse reproductive outcomes. Further studies on the relevance of protein phosphorylation as a possible mechanism by which OP alter sperm chromatin are required

  16. Opioid-receptor (OR) signaling cascades in rat cerebral cortex and model cell lines: the role of plasma membrane structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ujčíková, H; Brejchová, J; Vošahlíková, M; Kagan, D; Dlouhá, K; Sýkora, J; Merta, L; Drastichová, Z; Novotný, J; Ostašov, P; Roubalová, L; Parenti, M; Hof, M; Svoboda, P

    2014-01-01

    Large number of extracellular signals is received by plasma membrane receptors which, upon activation, transduce information into the target cell interior via trimeric G-proteins (GPCRs) and induce activation or inhibition of adenylyl cyclase enzyme activity (AC). Receptors for opioid drugs such as morphine (micro-OR, delta-OR and kappa-OR) belong to rhodopsin family of GPCRs. Our recent results indicated a specific up-regulation of AC I (8-fold) and AC II (2.5-fold) in plasma membranes (PM) isolated from rat brain cortex exposed to increasing doses of morphine (10-50 mg/kg) for 10 days. Increase of ACI and ACII represented the specific effect as the amount of ACIII-ACIX, prototypical PM marker Na, K-ATPase and trimeric G-protein alpha and beta subunits was unchanged. The up-regulation of ACI and ACII faded away after 20 days since the last dose of morphine. Proteomic analysis of these PM indicated that the brain cortex of morphine-treated animals cannot be regarded as being adapted to this drug because significant up-regulation of proteins functionally related to oxidative stress and alteration of brain energy metabolism occurred. The number of delta-OR was increased 2-fold and their sensitivity to monovalent cations was altered. Characterization of delta-OR-G-protein coupling in model HEK293 cell line indicated high ability of lithium to support affinity of delta-OR response to agonist stimulation. Our studies of PM structure and function in context with desensitization of GPCRs action were extended by data indicating participation of cholesterol-enriched membrane domains in agonist-specific internalization of delta-OR. In HEK293 cells stably expressing delta-OR-G(i)1alpha fusion protein, depletion of PM cholesterol was associated with the decrease in affinity of G-protein response to agonist stimulation, whereas maximum response was unchanged. Hydrophobic interior of isolated PM became more "fluid", chaotically organized and accessible to water molecules

  17. A Subset of Membrane-Altering Agents and γ-Secretase Modulators Provoke Nonsubstrate Cleavage by Rhomboid Proteases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Siniša Urban

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Rhomboid proteases are integral membrane enzymes that regulate cell signaling, adhesion, and organelle homeostasis pathways, making substrate specificity a key feature of their function. Interestingly, we found that perturbing the membrane pharmacologically in living cells had little effect on substrate processing but induced inappropriate cleavage of nonsubstrates by rhomboid proteases. A subclass of drugs known to modulate γ-secretase activity acted on the membrane directly and induced nonsubstrate cleavage by rhomboid proteases but left true substrate cleavage sites unaltered. These observations highlight an active role for the membrane in guiding rhomboid selectivity and caution that membrane-targeted drugs should be evaluated for cross-activity against membrane-resident enzymes that are otherwise unrelated to the intended drug target. Furthermore, some γ-secretase-modulating activity or toxicity could partly result from global membrane effects.

  18. Arrhythmogenicity of the hypertrophied and senescent heart and relationship to membrane proteins involved in the altered calcium handling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carré, F; Rannou, F; Sainte Beuve, C; Chevalier, B; Moalic, J M; Swynghedauw, B; Charlemagne, D

    1993-10-01

    The high incidence of arrhythmias in human left ventricular hypertrophy has been well established but the mechanisms of arrhythmias are not well defined. In attempt to clarify these mechanisms, we tried to determine if a relationship might exist in the hypertrophied or senescent hearts between the incidence of arrhythmias and alterations in the gene expression of the main membrane proteins involved in the regulation of calcium movements. Holter monitoring was used in young and senescent rats where hypertrophy had been induced by aortic stenosis and hyperthyroidism (young rats) or by DOCA-salt treatment (senescent rats). Different types of spontaneous arrhythmias were detected. In the aortic stenosis group, the heart rate and the number of supraventricular premature beats were increased significantly, whereas the number of ventricular premature beats was increased in some animals but not in all. In senescent rats, the numbers of ventricular and supraventricular premature beats and the incidence of atrioventricular block were very high. At the cellular level, the density of calcium channels from the sarcolemma and of the alpha 1 subunit of the Na+/K(+)-ATPase were unchanged in the hypertrophied and senescent hearts but most of the proteins involved in the regulation of calcium movements (calcium release channel and Ca(2+)-ATPase from the sarcoplasmic reticulum, Na+/Ca2+ exchange, and beta adrenergic and muscarinic receptors from the sarcolemma) have a decreased density or activity. These changes might account for the slowing of the maximum shortening velocity and the impaired contractility of the hypertrophied and senescent hearts.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:8275524

  19. Restoring effect of selenium on the molecular content, structure and fluidity of diabetic rat kidney brush border cell membrane.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gurbanov, Rafig; Bilgin, Mehmet; Severcan, Feride

    2016-04-01

    Diabetic kidney disease (DKD) is a dominant factor standing for kidney impairments during diabetes. In this study, attenuated total reflectance-Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy was used to disclose the diabetes-induced structural changes in the kidney and evaluate the effects of selenium on diabetes. The increase in the area of the olefinic band indicated increased amount of lipid peroxidation end products in diabetic kidney brush border cell membrane. Moreover, saturated lipid content of this cell membrane considerably diminished. DKD was found to disrupt lipid order and cause a decrease in membrane dynamics. However, the administration of selenium at low and medium doses was shown to improve these conditions by changing the lipid contents toward control values, restoring the ordered structure of the lipids and membrane dynamics. Curve-fitting and artificial neural network (ANN) analyses of secondary structures of proteins demonstrated a relative increase in α-helix and reduction in the β-sheet during diabetes in comparison to the control group, which were ameliorated following selenium treatment at low and medium doses. These findings were further confirmed by applying hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA) and principal component analysis (PCA). A clear separation of the experimental groups was obtained with high heterogeneity in the lipid and protein regions. These chemometric analyses showed that the low and medium doses of selenium-treated diabetic groups are successfully segregated from the diabetic group and clustered closer to the control. The study suggests that medium and, more predominantly, low-dose selenium treatment can be efficient in eliminating diabetes-induced structural alterations. PMID:26850735

  20. Pinkbar is an epithelial-specific BAR domain protein that generates planar membrane structures

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pykäläinen, Anette; Boczkowska, Malgorzata; Zhao, Hongxia; Saarikangas, Juha; Rebowski, Grzegorz; Jansen, Maurice; Hakanen, Janne; Koskela, Essi V.; Peränen, Johan; Vihinen, Helena; Jokitalo, Eija; Salminen, Marjo; Ikonen, Elina; Dominguez, Roberto; Lappalainen, Pekka (Helsinki); (Penn)

    2013-05-29

    Bin/amphipysin/Rvs (BAR)-domain proteins sculpt cellular membranes and have key roles in processes such as endocytosis, cell motility and morphogenesis. BAR domains are divided into three subfamilies: BAR- and F-BAR-domain proteins generate positive membrane curvature and stabilize cellular invaginations, whereas I-BAR-domain proteins induce negative curvature and stabilize protrusions. We show that a previously uncharacterized member of the I-BAR subfamily, Pinkbar, is specifically expressed in intestinal epithelial cells, where it localizes to Rab13-positive vesicles and to the plasma membrane at intercellular junctions. Notably, the BAR domain of Pinkbar does not induce membrane tubulation but promotes the formation of planar membrane sheets. Structural and mutagenesis analyses reveal that the BAR domain of Pinkbar has a relatively flat lipid-binding interface and that it assembles into sheet-like oligomers in crystals and in solution, which may explain its unique membrane-deforming activity.

  1. Damage detection in membrane structures using non-contact laser excitation and wavelet transformation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huda, Feblil; Kajiwara, Itsuro; Hosoya, Naoki

    2014-08-01

    In this paper, a vibration testing and health monitoring system based on an impulse response excited by laser is proposed to detect damage in membrane structures. A high power Nd: YAG pulse laser is used to supply an ideal impulse to a membrane structure by generating shock waves via laser-induced breakdown in air. A health monitoring apparatus is developed with this vibration testing system and a damage detecting algorithm which only requires the vibration mode shape of the damaged membrane. Artificial damage is induced in membrane structure by cutting and tearing the membrane. The vibration mode shapes of the membrane structure extracted from vibration testing by using the laser-induced breakdown and laser Doppler vibrometer are then analyzed by 2-D continuous wavelet transformation. The location of damage is determined by the dominant peak of the wavelet coefficient which can be seen clearly by applying a boundary treatment and the concept of an iso-surface to the 2-D wavelet coefficient. The applicability of the present approach is verified by finite element analysis and experimental results, demonstrating the ability of the method to detect and identify the positions of damage induced on the membrane structure.

  2. Structural basis for the membrane association of ankyrinG via palmitoylation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fujiwara, Yuichiro; Kondo, Hiroko X.; Shirota, Matsuyuki; Kobayashi, Megumi; Takeshita, Kohei; Nakagawa, Atsushi; Okamura, Yasushi; Kinoshita, Kengo

    2016-04-01

    By clustering various ion channels and transporters, ankyrin-G (AnkG) configures the membrane-excitation platforms in neurons and cardiomyocytes. AnkG itself localizes to specific areas on the plasma membrane via s-palmitoylation of Cys. However, the structural mechanism by which AnkG anchors to the membrane is not understood. In this study, we solved the crystal structures of the reduced and oxidized forms of the AnkG s-palmitoylation domain and used multiple long-term coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations to analyze their membrane association. Here we report that the membrane anchoring of AnkG was facilitated by s-palmitoylation, defining a stable binding interface on the lipid membrane, and that AnkG without s-palmitoylation also preferred to stay near the membrane but did not have a unique binding interface. This suggests that AnkG in the juxtamembrane region is primed to accept lipid modification at Cys, and once that happens AnkG constitutes a rigid structural base upon which a membrane-excitation platform can be assembled.

  3. Structural investigation of membrane proteins by electron microscopy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Moscicka, Katarzyna Beata

    2009-01-01

    Biological membranes are vital components of all living systems, forming the boundaries of cells and their organelles. They consist of a lipid bilayer and embedded proteins, which are nanomachines that fulfill key functions such as energy conversion, solute transport, secretion, and signal transduct

  4. The Plasma Membrane of Saccharomyces cerevisiae : Structure, Function, and Biogenesis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    VANDERREST, ME; KAMMINGA, AH; NAKANO, A; ANRAKU, Y; POOLMAN, B; KONINGS, WN

    1995-01-01

    The composition of phospholipids, sphingolipids, and sterols in the plasma membrane has a strong influence on the activity of the proteins associated or embedded in the lipid bilayer. Since most lipid-synthesizing enzymes in Saccharomyces cerevisiae are located in intracellular organelles, an extens

  5. Porous membrane structures as stationary phase for capillary electrochromatography

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kopec, K.K.; Wessling, M.; Stamatialis, D.

    2012-01-01

    This work presents the application of membrane technology for the fabrication of stationary phase for CEC columns using the technique based on phase inversion of polymer solution. A blend of polyimide P84 and sulphonated poly(ether ether ketone was processed via immersion precipitation dry-wet spinn

  6. Asymmetric membrane structures as a result of phase separation phenomena

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Broens, L.; Altena, F.W.; Smolders, C.A.; Koenhen, D.M.

    1980-01-01

    In this report we give a description of the membrane formation mechanism based on theoretical and experimental knowledge of phase separation phenomena in concentrated polymer solutions. We demonstrate that different types of phase separation are responsible for the build-up of the dense skin layer a

  7. Effect of Heat Treatment on Structures and Properties of Polyurethane Blend Ultrafiltration Membranes

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    封严; 肖长发

    2004-01-01

    The polyurethane/polyacrylonitrile ( PU/PAN ) and polyurethane/cellulose acetate (PU/CA) blend ultra filtration membranes were prepared based on LoebSourirajan phase transition method. The change of the structures and properties of the PU/PAN and PU/CA membranes with the heat treatment process was studied.The results showed: the water flux decreased and retention increased with the increase of heat treatment temperature of PU/PAN blend membrane, but the water flux of PU/CA blend membrane got the maximum with heat treatment temperature of 60℃ and decreased rapidly with the heat treatment temperature of 100 ℃. The interfacial microvoid structure and its influence on the properties of PU/PAN and PU/CA blend membranes were studied.

  8. Magnetic resonance imaging structural alterations in brain of alcohol abusers and its association with impulsivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asensio, Samuel; Morales, Julia L; Senabre, Isabel; Romero, Maria J; Beltran, Miguel A; Flores-Bellver, Miguel; Barcia, Jorge M; Romero, Francisco J

    2016-07-01

    Despite the suggestion that impulsivity plays a central role in the transfer from a recreational drug use to a substance use disorder, very few studies focused on neurobiological markers for addiction. This study aimed to identify volumetric alterations in a sample of patients with mild alcohol use disorder with a short history of alcohol use, compared with a control group, and also focused on its association with impulsivity levels. Most magnetic resonance imaging studies have focused on severe alcohol use disorder, formerly called alcohol-dependent patients, showing alcohol-related structural alterations and their association with alcohol use history variables but not with personality parameters like impulsivity. Our hypothesis is that our group of alcohol users may already display structural alterations especially in brain regions related to inhibitory control like medial-prefrontal regions, and that those structural alterations could be more associated to personality traits like impulsivity than to drug use variables. Our results clearly demonstrate that our population showed lower regional grey and white matter volumes in the medial-prefrontal and orbitofrontal cortices, as well as higher regional white matter volume in the ventral striatum and the internal capsule. Volumetric alterations were associated to the Barratt's impulsivity score: the more impulsive the subjects, the lower the medial-prefrontal cortex grey matter volume. PMID:25988724

  9. Ultra-structural hair alterations of drug abusers: a scanning electron microscopic investigation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turkmenoglu, Fatma Pinar; Kasirga, Ugur Baran; Celik, Hakan Hamdi

    2015-01-01

    As drug abuse carries a societal stigma, patients do not often report their history of drug abuse to the healthcare providers. However, drug abuse is highly co-morbid with a host of other health problems such as psychiatric disorders and skin diseases, and majority of individuals with drug use disorders seek treatment in the first place for other problems. Therefore, it is very important for physicians to be aware of clinical signs and symptoms of drug use. Recently diagnostic value of dermatologic tissue alterations associated with drug abuse has become a very particular interest because skin changes were reported to be the earliest noticeable consequence of drug abuse prompting earlier intervention and treatment. Although hair is an annex of skin, alterations on hair structure due to drug use have not been demonstrated. This study represents the first report on ultra-structural hair alterations of drug abusers. We have investigated ultra-structure of the hair samples obtained from 6 cocaine, 6 heroin, 7 cannabis and 4 lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) abusers by scanning electron microscope (SEM). SEM analysis of hair samples gave us drug-specific discriminating alterations. We suggest that results of this study will make a noteworthy contribution to cutaneous alterations associated with drug abuse which are regarded as the earliest clinical manifestations, and this SEM approach is a very specific and effective tool in the detection of abuse of respective drugs, leading early treatment. PMID:26309532

  10. COUPLING COMPUTATION OF THE FLOW FIELD AND THE LARGE DEFORMATION OF MEMBRANE STRUCTURE OF STRATOSPHERE AIRSHIPS

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LIU Jian-min

    2008-01-01

    In this article, the mathematical model of the coupling of the three-dimensional fluid flow and the large deformation of membrane structure is established. The fluid-structure coupling interaction is simulated using the computational codes developed by the authors. By analyzing the interactions of membrane and flow field, the aeroelasticity of the airship is detailed. All the results are adopted in the focused study of the stratosphere airship in trimmed state.

  11. Molecular Structure, Function, and Dynamics of Clathrin-Mediated Membrane Traffic

    OpenAIRE

    Kirchhausen, Tom; Owen, David; Harrison, Stephen C.

    2014-01-01

    Clathrin is a molecular scaffold for vesicular uptake of cargo at the plasma membrane, where its assembly into cage-like lattices underlies the clathrin-coated pits of classical endocytosis. This review describes the structures of clathrin, major cargo adaptors, and other proteins that participate in forming a clathrin-coated pit, loading its contents, pinching off the membrane as a lattice-enclosed vesicle, and recycling the components. It integrates as much of the structural information as ...

  12. On ripples and rafts: Curvature induced nanoscale structures in lipid membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmid, Friederike; Dolezel, Stefan; Lenz, Olaf; Meinhardt, Sebastian

    2014-03-01

    We develop an elastic theory that predicts the spontaneous formation of nanoscale structures in lipid bilayers which locally phase separate between two phases with different spontaneous monolayer curvature. The theory rationalizes in a unified manner the observation of a variety of nanoscale structures in lipid membranes: Rippled states in one-component membranes, lipid rafts in multicomponent membranes. Furthermore, we report on recent observations of rippled states and rafts in simulations of a simple coarse-grained model for lipid bilayers, which are compatible with experimental observations and with our elastic model.

  13. Expression and structural-functional alterations of α-1-acid glycoprotein at the pathological state

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kulinich A. O.

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available The review analyzes up-to-date knowledge on structure and biological functions of α-acid glycoprotein. The special attention is given to alterations of fucosylation, sialylation and branching of orosomucoid at the acute, chronic inflammation and oncotransformations.

  14. Biological Membrane Ion Channels Dynamics, Structure, and Applications

    CERN Document Server

    Chung, Shin-Ho; Krishnamurthy, Vikram

    2007-01-01

    Ion channels are biological nanotubes that are formed by membrane proteins. Because ion channels regulate all electrical activities in living cells, understanding their mechanisms at a molecular level is a fundamental problem in biology. This book deals with recent breakthroughs in ion-channel research that have been brought about by the combined effort of experimental biophysicists and computational physicists, who together are beginning to unravel the story of these exquisitely designed biomolecules. With chapters by leading experts, the book is aimed at researchers in nanodevices and biosensors, as well as advanced undergraduate and graduate students in biology and the physical sciences. Key Features Presents the latest information on the molecular mechanisms of ion permeation through membrane ion channels Uses schematic diagrams to illustrate important concepts in biophysics Written by leading researchers in the area of ion channel investigations

  15. Interplay between structure and relaxations in perfluorosulfonic acid proton conducting membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giffin, Guinevere A; Haugen, Gregory M; Hamrock, Steven J; Di Noto, Vito

    2013-01-16

    This study focuses on changes in the structure of ionomer membranes, provided by the 3M Fuel Cells Component Group, as a function of the equivalent weight (EW) and the relationship between the structure and the properties of the membrane. Wide-angle X-ray diffraction results showed evidence of both non-crystalline and crystalline ordered hydrophobic regions in all the EW membranes except the 700 EW membrane. The spectral changes evident in the vibrational spectra of the 3M membranes can be associated with two major phenomena: (1) dissociation of the proton from the sulfonic acid groups even in the presence of small amounts of water; and (2) changes in the conformation or the degree of crystallinity of the poly(tetrafluoroethylene) hydrophobic domains both as a function of EW and membrane water content. All the membranes, regardless of EW, are thermally stable up to 360 °C. The wet membranes have conductivities between 7 and 20 mS/cm at 125 °C. In this condition, the conductivity values follow VTF behavior, which suggests that the proton migration occurs via proton exchange processes between delocalization bodies (DBs) that are facilitated by the dynamics of the host polymer. The conductivity along the interface between the hydrophobic and hydrophilic domains makes a larger contribution in the smaller EW membranes likely due to the existence of a greater number of interfaces in the membrane. The larger crystalline domains present in the higher EW membranes provide percolation pathways for charge migration between DBs, which reduces the probability of charge transfer along the interface. Therefore, at higher EWs although there is charge migration along the interface within the hydrophobic-hydrophilic domains, the exchange of protons between different DBs is likely the rate-limiting step of the overall conduction process. PMID:23249300

  16. Structural Analysis of the Angiogenesis in the Chicken Chorioallantoic Membrane

    OpenAIRE

    Verhoelst, Eva

    2011-01-01

    During the last decades, the poultry sector is in search of ways to monitor chicken embryonic growth, health and quality, as to control and optimize the incubation conditions, especially the gas concentrations. One of the parameters of chicken development which may change under different gas concentrations is the angiogenesis in the chorioallantoic membrane (CAM), the organ for gas exchange of the chicken embryo. To be able to perform large incubation experiments under different gaseous condi...

  17. NOVEL NANOCOMPOSITE MEMBRANE STRUCTURES FOR H2 SEPARATIONS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Benny D. Freeman

    2005-03-31

    This report explores possible methods of improving CO{sub 2} selectivity in polymer based membranes. The first method investigated using basic nanoparticles to enhance the solubility of acid gases in nanocomposite membranes, thus enhancing the overall acid gas/light gas selectivity (e.g., CO{sub 2}/H{sub 2}, CO{sub 2}/CH{sub 4}, etc.). The influence of nanoparticle surface chemistry on nanocomposite morphology and transport properties will be determined experimentally in a series of poly(1-trimethylsilyl-1-propyne). Additional factors (e.g., chemical reaction of the particles with the polymers) have been considered, as necessary, during the course of the investigation. The second method investigated using polar polymers such as crosslinked poly(ethylene oxide) and poly(ether-b-amide) to improve CO{sub 2} sorption and thereby increase CO{sub 2} permeability and CO{sub 2}/light gas selectivity. For both types of materials, CO{sub 2} and light gas permeabilities have been characterized. The overall objective was to improve the understanding of materials design strategies to improve acid gas transport properties of membranes.

  18. Membrane Characterization by Microscopic and Scattering Methods: Multiscale Structure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philippe Moulin

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Several microscopic and scattering techniques at different observation scales (from atomic to macroscopic were used to characterize both surface and bulk properties of four new flat-sheet polyethersulfone (PES membranes (10, 30, 100 and 300 kDa and new 100 kDa hollow fibers (PVDF. Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM with “in lens” detection was used to obtain information on the pore sizes of the skin layers at the atomic scale. White Light Interferometry (WLI and Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM using different scales (for WLI: windows: 900 × 900 µm2 and 360 × 360 µm2; number of points: 1024; for AFM: windows: 50 × 50 µm2 and 5 × 5 µm2; number of points: 512 showed that the membrane roughness increases markedly with the observation scale and that there is a continuity between the different scan sizes for the determination of the RMS roughness. High angular resolution ellipsometric measurements were used to obtain the signature of each cut-off and the origin of the scattering was identified as coming from the membrane bulk.

  19. Membrane characterization by microscopic and scattering methods: multiscale structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamime, Rahma; Wyart, Yvan; Siozade, Laure; Baudin, Isabelle; Deumie, Carole; Glucina, Karl; Moulin, Philippe

    2011-04-13

    Several microscopic and scattering techniques at different observation scales (from atomic to macroscopic) were used to characterize both surface and bulk properties of four new flat-sheet polyethersulfone (PES) membranes (10, 30, 100 and 300 kDa) and new 100 kDa hollow fibers (PVDF). Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) with "in lens" detection was used to obtain information on the pore sizes of the skin layers at the atomic scale. White Light Interferometry (WLI) and Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) using different scales (for WLI: windows: 900 × 900 µm2 and 360 × 360 µm2; number of points: 1024; for AFM: windows: 50 × 50 µm2 and 5 × 5 µm2; number of points: 512) showed that the membrane roughness increases markedly with the observation scale and that there is a continuity between the different scan sizes for the determination of the RMS roughness. High angular resolution ellipsometric measurements were used to obtain the signature of each cut-off and the origin of the scattering was identified as coming from the membrane bulk.

  20. Altered starch structure is associated with endosperm modification in Quality Protein Maize

    OpenAIRE

    Gibbon, Bryan C.; Wang, Xuelu; Larkins, Brian A

    2003-01-01

    The biochemical basis of modified kernel texture in Quality Protein Maize (QPM) is poorly understood. Proteomic analysis of several QPM lines indicated increased levels of granule-bound starch synthase I in the soluble nonzein protein fraction of these genotypes. Increased extraction of this enzyme reflected a change in starch structure, which was manifested as shorter amylopectin branches and increased starch-granule swelling. In mature kernels, these alterations in starch structure were ass...

  1. Label-free optical quantification of structural alterations in Alzheimer's disease

    CERN Document Server

    Lee, Moosung; Jung, JaeHwang; Yu, Hyeonseung; Kim, Kyoohyun; Lee, Shinhwa; Jeong, Yong; Park, YongKeun

    2016-01-01

    We present a quantitative label-free imaging of mouse whole brain tissue slices with sub-micrometre resolution, employing holographic microscopy and an automated scanning platform. From the measured light field images, scattering coefficients and anisotropies are quantitatively retrieved, which enables access to structural information about brain tissues. As a proof of principle, we demonstrate that these scattering parameters enable us to quantitatively address structural alteration in the brain tissues of mice with Alzheimer's disease.

  2. Advances in structural and functional analysis of membrane proteins by electron crystallography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wisedchaisri, Goragot; Reichow, Steve L; Gonen, Tamir

    2011-10-12

    Electron crystallography is a powerful technique for the study of membrane protein structure and function in the lipid environment. When well-ordered two-dimensional crystals are obtained the structure of both protein and lipid can be determined and lipid-protein interactions analyzed. Protons and ionic charges can be visualized by electron crystallography and the protein of interest can be captured for structural analysis in a variety of physiologically distinct states. This review highlights the strengths of electron crystallography and the momentum that is building up in automation and the development of high throughput tools and methods for structural and functional analysis of membrane proteins by electron crystallography.

  3. Structure changes and water filtration properties of electrospun polyamide nanofibre membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daels, N; Harinck, L; Goethals, A; De Clerck, K; Van Hulle, S W H

    2016-01-01

    Nanofibre membranes are studied extensively in water treatment. Inappropriate storage, however, could alter their performance, e.g. regarding water filtration. This shows the need for investigating this effect in more detail so as to offer a solution for long-term behaviour and stability. In this study, polyamide nanofibre membranes were treated under different conditions, simulating the diverse storage conditions and to simulate their use in water filtration systems. Under all these different settings, nanofibre properties (scanning electron microscope pictures, dimensional changes, tensile strength) and water filtration performance (clean water permeability (CWP), bacterial removal) were investigated. The results demonstrate that, as soon as the dimensional change of a membrane is >2%, the CWP, tensile strength and bacterial removal significantly decrease. These dimensional changes occurred when the membrane became dry after it had been in contact with water. As such, it is important to keep the membrane either in dry or in wet conditions to store its unique properties. When heat-treated, the membrane had a higher tensile strength and kept its morphology and characteristics better during storage.

  4. Membrane dish analysis: A summary of structural and optical analysis capabilities

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Steele, C.R.; Balch, C.D.; Jorgensen, G.J.; Wendelin, T.; Lewandowski, A.

    1991-11-01

    Research at SERI within the Department of Energy`s Solar Thermal Technology Program has focused on the development of membrane dish concentrators for space and terrestrial power applications. As potentially lightweight, inexpensive, high-performance structures, they are excellent candidates for space-deployable energy sources as well as cost-effective terrestrial energy concepts. A thorough engineering research treatment of these types of structures consists primarily of two parts: (1) structural mechanics of the membrane and ring support and (2) analysis and characterization of the concentrator optical performance. It is important to understand the effects of the membrane`s structure and support system on the optical performance of the concentrator. This requires an interface between appropriate structural and optical models. Until recently, such models and the required interface have not existed. This report documents research that has been conducted at SERI in this area. It is a compilation of several papers describing structural models of membrane dish structures and optical models used to predict dish concentrator optical and thermal performance. The structural models were developed under SERI subcontract by Dr. Steele and Dr. Balch of Stanford University. The optical model was developed in-house by SERI staff. In addition, the interface between the models is described. It allows easy and thorough characterization of membrane dish systems from the mechanics to the resulting optical performance. The models described herein have been and continue to be extremely useful to SERI, industry, and universities involved with the modeling and analysis of lightweight membrane concentrators for solar thermal applications.

  5. Structure refinement and membrane positioning of selectively labeled OmpX in phospholipid nanodiscs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    NMR structural studies on membrane proteins are often complicated by their large size, taking into account the contribution of the membrane mimetic. Therefore, classical resonance assignment approaches often fail. The large size of phospholipid nanodiscs, a detergent-free phospholipid bilayer mimetic, prevented their use in high-resolution solution-state NMR spectroscopy so far. We recently introduced smaller nanodiscs that are suitable for NMR structure determination. However, side-chain assignments of a membrane protein in nanodiscs still remain elusive. Here, we utilized a NOE-based approach to assign (stereo-) specifically labeled Ile, Leu, Val and Ala methyl labeled and uniformly 15N-Phe and 15N-Tyr labeled OmpX and calculated a refined high-resolution structure. In addition, we were able to obtain residual dipolar couplings (RDCs) of OmpX in nanodiscs using Pf1 phage medium for the induction of weak alignment. Back-calculated NOESY spectra of the obtained NMR structures were compared to experimental NOESYs in order to validate the quality of these structures. We further used NOE information between protonated lipid head groups and side-chain methyls to determine the position of OmpX in the phospholipid bilayer. These data were verified by paramagnetic relaxation enhancement (PRE) experiments obtained with Gd3+-modified lipids. Taken together, this study emphasizes the need for the (stereo-) specific labeling of membrane proteins in a highly deuterated background for high-resolution structure determination, particularly in large membrane mimicking systems like phospholipid nanodiscs. Structure validation by NOESY back-calculation will be helpful for the structure determination and validation of membrane proteins where NOE assignment is often difficult. The use of protein to lipid NOEs will be beneficial for the positioning of a membrane protein in the lipid bilayer without the need for preparing multiple protein samples

  6. Structure refinement and membrane positioning of selectively labeled OmpX in phospholipid nanodiscs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hagn, Franz, E-mail: franz.hagn@tum.de; Wagner, Gerhard, E-mail: gerhard-wagner@hms.harvard.edu [Harvard Medical School, Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology (United States)

    2015-04-15

    NMR structural studies on membrane proteins are often complicated by their large size, taking into account the contribution of the membrane mimetic. Therefore, classical resonance assignment approaches often fail. The large size of phospholipid nanodiscs, a detergent-free phospholipid bilayer mimetic, prevented their use in high-resolution solution-state NMR spectroscopy so far. We recently introduced smaller nanodiscs that are suitable for NMR structure determination. However, side-chain assignments of a membrane protein in nanodiscs still remain elusive. Here, we utilized a NOE-based approach to assign (stereo-) specifically labeled Ile, Leu, Val and Ala methyl labeled and uniformly {sup 15}N-Phe and {sup 15}N-Tyr labeled OmpX and calculated a refined high-resolution structure. In addition, we were able to obtain residual dipolar couplings (RDCs) of OmpX in nanodiscs using Pf1 phage medium for the induction of weak alignment. Back-calculated NOESY spectra of the obtained NMR structures were compared to experimental NOESYs in order to validate the quality of these structures. We further used NOE information between protonated lipid head groups and side-chain methyls to determine the position of OmpX in the phospholipid bilayer. These data were verified by paramagnetic relaxation enhancement (PRE) experiments obtained with Gd{sup 3+}-modified lipids. Taken together, this study emphasizes the need for the (stereo-) specific labeling of membrane proteins in a highly deuterated background for high-resolution structure determination, particularly in large membrane mimicking systems like phospholipid nanodiscs. Structure validation by NOESY back-calculation will be helpful for the structure determination and validation of membrane proteins where NOE assignment is often difficult. The use of protein to lipid NOEs will be beneficial for the positioning of a membrane protein in the lipid bilayer without the need for preparing multiple protein samples.

  7. Structural and Spectroscopic Characterization of A Nanosized Sulfated TiO2 Filler and of Nanocomposite Nafion Membranes

    OpenAIRE

    Valentina Allodi; Sergio Brutti; Marco Giarola; Mirko Sgambetterra; Maria Assunta Navarra; Stefania Panero; Gino Mariotto

    2016-01-01

    A large number of nano-sized oxides have been studied in the literature as fillers for polymeric membranes, such as Nafion®. Superacidic sulfated oxides have been proposed and characterized. Once incorporated into polymer matrices, their beneficial effect on peculiar membrane properties has been demonstrated. The alteration of physical-chemical properties of composite membranes has roots in the intermolecular interaction between the inorganic filler surface groups and the polymer chains. In t...

  8. Static and Dynamic Analyses of Long-Span Spatial Steel-Cable-Membrane Hybrid Structures

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    丁阳; 彭翼; 李忠献

    2003-01-01

    With the increment of the complexity of structural systems and the span of spatial structures, the interactions between parts of the structures, especially between some flexible substructures, become too complex to be analyzed clearly. In this paper, taking an actual gymnasium of a long-span spatial steel-cable-membrane hybrid structure as the calculation model, the static and dynamic analyses of the hybrid structures are performed by employing the global analysis of the whole hybrid structure and the substructural analysis of the truss arch substructure, the cable-membrane substructure, etc. In addition, the comparison of stresses and displacements of structural members in the global and substructural analyses is made. The numerical results show that serious errors exist in the substructural analysis of the hybrid structure, and the global analysis is necessary for the hybrid structure under the excitation of static loads and seismic loads.

  9. Exploring Patterns of Alteration in Alzheimer's Disease Brain Networks: A Combined Structural and Functional Connectomics Analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palesi, Fulvia; Castellazzi, Gloria; Casiraghi, Letizia; Sinforiani, Elena; Vitali, Paolo; Gandini Wheeler-Kingshott, Claudia A M; D'Angelo, Egidio

    2016-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by a severe derangement of cognitive functions, primarily memory, in elderly subjects. As far as the functional impairment is concerned, growing evidence supports the "disconnection syndrome" hypothesis. Recent investigations using fMRI have revealed a generalized alteration of resting state networks (RSNs) in patients affected by AD and mild cognitive impairment (MCI). However, it was unclear whether the changes in functional connectivity were accompanied by corresponding structural network changes. In this work, we have developed a novel structural/functional connectomic approach: resting state fMRI was used to identify the functional cortical network nodes and diffusion MRI to reconstruct the fiber tracts to give a weight to internodal subcortical connections. Then, local and global efficiency were determined for different networks, exploring specific alterations of integration and segregation patterns in AD and MCI patients compared to healthy controls (HC). In the default mode network (DMN), that was the most affected, axonal loss, and reduced axonal integrity appeared to compromise both local and global efficiency along posterior-anterior connections. In the basal ganglia network (BGN), disruption of white matter integrity implied that main alterations occurred in local microstructure. In the anterior insular network (AIN), neuronal loss probably subtended a compromised communication with the insular cortex. Cognitive performance, evaluated by neuropsychological examinations, revealed a dependency on integration and segregation of brain networks. These findings are indicative of the fact that cognitive deficits in AD could be associated not only with cortical alterations (revealed by fMRI) but also with subcortical alterations (revealed by diffusion MRI) that extend beyond the areas primarily damaged by neurodegeneration, toward the support of an emerging concept of AD as a "disconnection

  10. Exploring Patterns of Alteration in Alzheimer's Disease Brain Networks: A Combined Structural and Functional Connectomics Analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palesi, Fulvia; Castellazzi, Gloria; Casiraghi, Letizia; Sinforiani, Elena; Vitali, Paolo; Gandini Wheeler-Kingshott, Claudia A M; D'Angelo, Egidio

    2016-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by a severe derangement of cognitive functions, primarily memory, in elderly subjects. As far as the functional impairment is concerned, growing evidence supports the "disconnection syndrome" hypothesis. Recent investigations using fMRI have revealed a generalized alteration of resting state networks (RSNs) in patients affected by AD and mild cognitive impairment (MCI). However, it was unclear whether the changes in functional connectivity were accompanied by corresponding structural network changes. In this work, we have developed a novel structural/functional connectomic approach: resting state fMRI was used to identify the functional cortical network nodes and diffusion MRI to reconstruct the fiber tracts to give a weight to internodal subcortical connections. Then, local and global efficiency were determined for different networks, exploring specific alterations of integration and segregation patterns in AD and MCI patients compared to healthy controls (HC). In the default mode network (DMN), that was the most affected, axonal loss, and reduced axonal integrity appeared to compromise both local and global efficiency along posterior-anterior connections. In the basal ganglia network (BGN), disruption of white matter integrity implied that main alterations occurred in local microstructure. In the anterior insular network (AIN), neuronal loss probably subtended a compromised communication with the insular cortex. Cognitive performance, evaluated by neuropsychological examinations, revealed a dependency on integration and segregation of brain networks. These findings are indicative of the fact that cognitive deficits in AD could be associated not only with cortical alterations (revealed by fMRI) but also with subcortical alterations (revealed by diffusion MRI) that extend beyond the areas primarily damaged by neurodegeneration, toward the support of an emerging concept of AD as a "disconnection

  11. Structure and transport properties of ethylcellulose membranes with different types and granulation of magnetic powder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krasowska, Monika; Strzelewicz, Anna; Rybak, Aleksandra; Dudek, Gabriela; Cieśla, Michał

    2016-06-01

    Structure and transport properties of ethylcellulose membranes with dispersed magnetic powder were investigated. The study mainly focused on diffusion, which is one of the transport mechanisms. The transport properties depend on many parameters like: polymeric matrix used, type of powder, its amount and granulation. The structure of the pattern formed by magnetic particles in the membrane matrix was studied. Description of the system was based on the phenomenological and molecular (random walk on a fractal lattice) approaches. Two parameters were calculated: the fractal dimension of random walk dw, and the fractal dimension of membrane structure df. The knowledge of both parameters made it possible to use the generalized equation of diffusion on the fractal structure obtained by Metzler et al. The research was carried out to determine the influence of magnetic powder granulation on the transport properties. The results showed that the random walk within the membranes of the smallest magnetic powder granulation was of the most subdiffusive character. Detailed investigation and quantitative description of gas transport through the membranes enables designing the membranes to be used in air oxygen enrichment.

  12. Thinking in Terms of Structure-Activity-Relationships (T-SAR): A Tool to Better Understand Nanofiltration Membranes

    OpenAIRE

    Stefan Stolte; Jorg Thöming; Fernández, José F.; Bernd Jastorff; Reinhold Störmann

    2011-01-01

    A frontier to be conquered in the field of membrane technology is related to the very limited scientific base for the rational and task-specific design of membranes. This is especially true for nanofiltration membranes with properties that are based on several solute-membrane interaction mechanisms. “Thinking in terms of Structure-Activity-Relationships” (T-SAR) is a methodology which applies a systematic analysis of a chemical entity based on its structural formula. However, the analysis bec...

  13. Structure and acoustic properties of hydrated nafion membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plazanet, M; Bartolini, P; Torre, R; Petrillo, C; Sacchetti, F

    2009-07-30

    The propagation of acoustic waves in water-hydrated Nafion membrane has been monitored using heterodyne-detected transient grating spectroscopy. At room temperature, upon increasing the water content, the speed of sound drops to a value lower than the respective velocities of sound in pure Nafion and pure water. This counterintuitive effect can be explained by a simple calculation of the sound velocity in an effective medium made of water and Nafion polymer. Upon cooling, a phase separation occurs in the sample, and the formation of ice is observed (M. Pineri et al. J. Power Sources 2007, 172, 587-596). This phase transition is characterized via a second acoustic wave observed in the signal. Sound propagation and X-ray diffraction confirm the formation of crystalline ice on the membrane surface, that reversibly melts upon heating. The amount of ice that forms in the sample is monitored as a function of temperature and represents an order parameter for the transition. This parameter follows a power law with an exponent of 0.5, indicating the critical nature of the observed process. PMID:19719280

  14. Structural Transition of Actin Filament in a Cell-Sized Water Droplet with a Phospholipid Membrane

    CERN Document Server

    Hase, M

    2005-01-01

    Actin filament, F-actin, is a semiflexible polymer with a negative charge, and is one of the main constituents on cell membranes. To clarify the effect of cross-talk between a phospholipid membrane and actin filaments in cells, we conducted microscopic observations on the structural changes in actin filaments in a cell-sized (several tens of micrometers in diameter) water droplet coated with a phospholipid membrane such as phosphatidylserine (PS; negatively-charged head group) or phosphatidylethanolamine (PE; neutral head group) as a simple model of a living cell membrane. With PS, actin filaments are distributed uniformly in the water phase without adsorption onto the membrane surface between 2 and 6 mM Mg2+, while between 6 and 12 mM Mg2+, actin filaments are adsorbed onto the inner membrane surface. With PE, actin filaments are uniformly adsorbed onto the inner membrane surface between 2 and 12 mM Mg2+. With both PS and PE membranes, at Mg2+ concentrations higher than 12 mM, thick bundles are formed in the...

  15. Structure, location, and lipid perturbations of melittin at the membrane interface.

    OpenAIRE

    Hristova, K; Dempsey, C E; White, S. H.

    2001-01-01

    Melittin is arguably the most widely studied amphipathic, membrane-lytic alpha-helical peptide. Although several lines of evidence suggest an interfacial membrane location at low concentrations, melittin's exact position and depth of penetration into the hydrocarbon core are unknown. Furthermore, the structural basis for its lytic action remains largely a matter of conjecture. Using a novel x-ray absolute-scale refinement method, we have now determined the location, orientation, and likely co...

  16. Probing Membrane Protein Structure Using Water Polarization Transfer Solid-State NMR

    OpenAIRE

    Williams, Jonathan K.; Hong, Mei

    2014-01-01

    Water plays an essential role in the structure and function of proteins, lipid membranes and other biological macromolecules. Solid-state NMR heteronuclear-detected 1H polarization transfer from water to biomolecules is a versatile approach for studying water-protein, water-membrane, and water-carbohydrate interactions in biology. We review radiofrequency pulse sequences for measuring water polarization transfer to biomolecules, the mechanisms of polarization transfer, and the application of ...

  17. Structure and properties of PVDF membrane with PES-C addition via thermally induced phase separation process

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Lishun; Sun, Junfen

    2014-12-01

    Polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) membrane and PVDF membrane with phenolphthalein polyethersulfone (PES-C) addition were prepared via thermally induced phase separation (TIPS) method by using diphenyl carbonate (DPC) and dimethyl acetamide (DMAc) as mixed diluents. The effects of coagulation temperature and pre-evaporation time on structure and properties of membranes were studied. The changes of sewage flux in MBR and the attenuation coefficient of sewage flux were investigated. The resistance distributions of PVDF and PVDF/PES-C membranes were compared by resistance analysis. Membrane composition and structure were characterized by ATR-FTIR, TGA, SEM and AFM. The foulant on membranes was analyzed by FTIR. The contact angle of PVDF/PES-C membrane was lower than that of PVDF membrane. A thinner skin layer and a porous cellular support layer formed in PVDF/PES-C membrane and resulted in a higher porosity and pure water flux. The pure water flux and porosity of PVDF/PES-C membrane increased with rising coagulation temperature and decreased with extending pre-evaporation time. The flux attenuation coefficient, the cake layer resistance and internal fouling resistance of PVDF/PES-C membrane in MBR were smaller than those of PVDF membrane in MBR. The FTIR spectrum of foulant on membrane indicated that the foulant on PVDF/PES-C membrane was mostly composed of protein and polysaccharide, while the foulant on pure PVDF membrane included biopolymer clusters besides protein and polysaccharide.

  18. Laser-Induced Fluorescence Photogrammetry for Dynamic Characterization of Transparent and Aluminized Membrane Structures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dorrington, Adrian A.; Jones, Thomas W.; Danehy, Paul M.; Pappa, Richard S.

    2003-01-01

    Photogrammetry has proven to be a valuable tool for static and dynamic profiling of membrane based inflatable and ultra-lightweight space structures. However, the traditional photogrammetric targeting techniques used for solid structures, such as attached retro-reflective targets and white-light dot projection, have some disadvantages and are not ideally suited for measuring highly transparent or reflective membrane structures. In this paper, we describe a new laser-induced fluorescence based target generation technique that is more suitable for these types of structures. We also present several examples of non-contact non-invasive photogrammetric measurements of laser-dye doped polymers, including the dynamic measurement and modal analysis of a 1m-by-1m aluminized solar sail style membrane.

  19. Structural hippocampal network alterations during healthy aging: A multi-modal MRI study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amandine ePelletier

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available While hippocampal atrophy has been described during healthy aging, few studies have examined its relationship with the integrity of White Matter (WM connecting tracts of the limbic system. This investigation examined WM structural damage specifically related to hippocampal atrophy in healthy aging subjects (n=129, using morphological MRI to assess hippocampal volume and Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI to assess WM integrity. Subjects with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI or dementia were excluded from the analysis. In our sample, increasing age was significantly associated with reduced hippocampal volume and reduced Fractional Anisotropy (FA at the level of the fornix and the cingulum bundle. The findings also demonstrate that hippocampal atrophy was specifically associated with reduced FA of the fornix bundle, but it was not related to alteration of the cingulum bundle. Our results indicate that the relationship between hippocampal atrophy and fornix FA values is not due to an independent effect of age on both structures. A recursive regression procedure was applied to evaluate sequential relationships between the alterations of these two brain structures. When both hippocampal atrophy and fornix FA values were included in the same model to predict age, fornix FA values remained significant whereas hippocampal atrophy was no longer significantly associated with age. According to this latter finding, hippocampal atrophy in healthy aging could be mediated by a loss of fornix connections. Structural alterations of this part of the limbic system, which have been associated with neurodegeneration in Alzheimer’s disease, result at least in part from the aging process.

  20. Structure-function insights of membrane and soluble proteins revealed by electron crystallography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dreaden, Tina M; Devarajan, Bharanidharan; Barry, Bridgette A; Schmidt-Krey, Ingeborg

    2013-01-01

    Electron crystallography is emerging as an important method in solving protein structures. While it has found extensive applications in the understanding of membrane protein structure and function at a wide range of resolutions, from revealing oligomeric arrangements to atomic models, electron crystallography has also provided invaluable information on the soluble α/β-tubulin which could not be obtained by any other method to date. Examples of critical insights from selected structures of membrane proteins as well as α/β-tubulin are described here, demonstrating the vast potential of electron crystallography that is first beginning to unfold.

  1. Effect of ConA—receptor interaction on the structure of cell membrane

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    DAIJIANWU; KECHUNLIN; 等

    1992-01-01

    Recently,the effect of ligand receptor interaction on the membrane structure of liposomes has been studied extensively,However,little is known about how it exists on biological membranes,In this paper,the effect of Concanavalin A(ConA) receptorinteratcion on the structure of cell membranes was studied by Circular DIchrosim(CD) and 31P Nuclear Magnetic Resonance(NMR).CD results of both the purified macrophage membranes and human erythrocyte hgosts(EG) showed that the conformation of membrane proteins changed after ConA binding.For further research,31P-NMR was used to detect the orgainzation of phosp[holipid molecules on macrophage membranes.After ConA binding,the tendercy to form non bilayer structure increased with the amount of ConA.The changes of 31P-NMR spectra of living macrophages might be partly due to the above stated reason too.In addition,ConA-receptor interaction also induced similar results of 31P-NMR spectra in EG.In contrast,wheat germ agglutinin (WGA),another kind of lectin,rarely showed the same influence.

  2. Structural Study and Modification of Support Layer for Forward Osmosis Membranes

    KAUST Repository

    Shi, Meixia

    2016-06-01

    Water scarcity is a serious global issue, due to the increasing population and developing economy, and membrane technology is an essential way to address this problem. Forward osmosis (FO) is an emerging membrane process, due to its low energy consumption (not considering the draw solute regeneration). A bottleneck to advance this technology is the design of the support layer for FO membranes to minimize the internal concentration polarization. In this dissertation, we focus on the structural study and modification of the support layer for FO membranes. Firstly, we digitally reconstruct different membrane morphologies in 3D and propose a method for predicting performance in ultrafiltration operations. Membranes with analogous morphologies are later used as substrate for FO membranes. Secondly, we experimentally apply substrates with different potentially suitable morphologies as an FO support layer. We investigate their FO performance after generating a selective polyamide layer on the top, by interfacial polymerization. Among the different substrates we include standard asymmetric porous membranes prepared from homopolymers, such as polysulfone. Additionally block copolymer membrane and Anodisc alumina membrane are chosen based on their exceptional structures, with cylindrical pores at least in part. 3D digitally reconstructed porous substrates, analogous to those investigated for ultrafiltration, are then used to model the performance in FO operation. Finally, we analyze the effect of intermediate layers between the porous substrate and the interfacial polymerized layer. We investigate two materials including chitosan and hydrogel. The main results are the following. Pore-scale modeling for digital membrane generation effectively predicts the velocity profile in different layers of the membrane and the performance in UF experiments. Flow simulations confirm the advantage of finger-like substrates over sponge-like ones, when high water permeance is sought

  3. Structure and dynamics of water and lipid molecules in charged anionic DMPG lipid bilayer membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rønnest, A. K.; Peters, G. H.; Hansen, F. Y.; Taub, H.; Miskowiec, A.

    2016-04-01

    Molecular dynamics simulations have been used to investigate the influence of the valency of counter-ions on the structure of freestanding bilayer membranes of the anionic 1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoglycerol (DMPG) lipid at 310 K and 1 atm. At this temperature, the membrane is in the fluid phase with a monovalent counter-ion and in the gel phase with a divalent counter-ion. The diffusion constant of water as a function of its depth in the membrane has been determined from mean-square-displacement calculations. Also, calculated incoherent quasielastic neutron scattering functions have been compared to experimental results and used to determine an average diffusion constant for all water molecules in the system. On extrapolating the diffusion constants inferred experimentally to a temperature of 310 K, reasonable agreement with the simulations is obtained. However, the experiments do not have the sensitivity to confirm the diffusion of a small component of water bound to the lipids as found in the simulations. In addition, the orientation of the dipole moment of the water molecules has been determined as a function of their depth in the membrane. Previous indirect estimates of the electrostatic potential within phospholipid membranes imply an enormous electric field of 108-109 V m-1, which is likely to have great significance in controlling the conformation of translocating membrane proteins and in the transfer of ions and molecules across the membrane. We have calculated the membrane potential for DMPG bilayers and found ˜1 V (˜2 ṡ 108 V m-1) when in the fluid phase with a monovalent counter-ion and ˜1.4 V (˜2.8 ṡ 108 V m-1) when in the gel phase with a divalent counter-ion. The number of water molecules for a fully hydrated DMPG membrane has been estimated to be 9.7 molecules per lipid in the gel phase and 17.5 molecules in the fluid phase, considerably smaller than inferred experimentally for 1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphorylcholine (DMPC

  4. Brucella ovis PA mutants for outer membrane proteins Omp10, Omp19, SP41, and BepC are not altered in their virulence and outer membrane properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sidhu-Muñoz, Rebeca S; Sancho, Pilar; Vizcaíno, Nieves

    2016-04-15

    Mutants in several genes have been obtained on the genetic background of virulent rough (lacking O-polysaccharide) Brucella ovis PA. The target genes encode outer membrane proteins previously associated with the virulence of smooth (bearing O-polysaccharide chains in the lipopolysaccharide) Brucella strains. Multiple attempts to delete omp16, coding for a homologue to peptidoglycan-associated lipoproteins, were unsuccessful, which suggests that Omp16 is probably essential for in vitro survival of B. ovis PA. Single deletion of omp10 or omp19-that encode two other outer membrane lipoproteins--was achieved, but the simultaneous removal of both genes failed, suggesting an essential complementary function between both proteins. Two other deletion mutants, defective in the Tol-C-homologue BepC or in the SP41 adhesin, were also obtained. Surprisingly when compared to previous results obtained with smooth Brucella, none of the B. ovis mutants showed attenuation in the virulence, either in the mouse model or in cellular models of professional and non-professional phagocytes. Additionally, and in contrast to the observations reported with smooth Brucella strains, several properties related to the outer membrane remained almost unaltered. These results evidence new distinctive traits between naturally rough B. ovis and smooth brucellae.

  5. Structure and functions of simple membrane-water interfaces. [Abstract only

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pohorille, A.; Wilson, M. A.

    1994-01-01

    The structure and functions of the earliest ancestors of contemporary cells are focal points in studies of the origin of life. Probably the first cell-like structures were vesicles - closed, spheroidal structures with aqueous medium trapped inside. The membranous walls of vesicles were most likely bilayers composed of simple amphiphilic material available on early earth. The membrane studied was composed of glycerol 1-monooleate (GMO). Glycerol forms the polar head group and the oily tail contains 18 carbon atoms. All head groups have been found to be located in two narrow regions at the interfaces with water. The membrane interior, formed by the hydrophobic tails, is quite fluid with chain disorder increasing towards the center of the bilayer. These results are in agreement with x-ray and neutron scattering data from related bilayers. The width of the membrane is not constant, but fluctuates in time and space. Occasional thinning defects in the membrane, observed during the course of the simulations, may have a significant influence on rates of passive transport of small molecules across membranes. It has been found that water penetrates the head group region but not the oily interior of the membrane. Water molecules near the interface are oriented by dipoles of the head groups. The resulting electrostatic potential across the interface, determined in our simulations, has been found to be markedly larger than across the water-oil interface. This quantity has been implicated as the source of selectivity, with respect to the sign of the charge, as an ion approaches the interface and during transport of hydrophobic ions across membranes.

  6. Stealth carriers for low-resolution structure determination of membrane proteins in solution

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Maric, Selma; Skar-Gislinge, Nicholas; Midtgaard, Søren;

    2014-01-01

    Structural studies of membrane proteins remain a great experimental challenge. Functional reconstitution into artificial nanoscale bilayer disc carriers that mimic the native bilayer environment allows the handling of membrane proteins in solution. This enables the use of small-angle scattering...... techniques for fast and reliable structural analysis. The difficulty with this approach is that the carrier discs contribute to the measured scattering intensity in a highly nontrivial fashion, making subsequent data analysis challenging. Here, an elegant solution to circumvent the intrinsic complexity......O at the length scales relevant to SANS. These 'stealth' carrier discs may be used as a general platform for low-resolution structural studies of membrane proteins using well established data-analysis tools originally developed for soluble proteins. © 2014 International Union of Crystallography....

  7. Crystal Structure of Mitochondrial Respiratory Membrane Protein Complex Ⅱ Determined

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2005-01-01

    @@ Scientists at the CAS Institute of Biophysics (IBP) and Tsinghua University have gained new insights into the mechanism of mitochondria, the subcellular structures which generate energy for living cells.

  8. Packaging and structural phenotype of brome mosaic virus capsid protein with altered N-terminal β-hexamer structure

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The first 45 amino acid region of brome mosaic virus (BMV) capsid protein (CP) contains RNA binding and structural domains that are implicated in the assembly of infectious virions. One such important structural domain encompassing amino acids 28QPVIV32, highly conserved between BMV and cowpea chlorotic mottle virus (CCMV), exhibits a β-hexamer structure. In this study we report that alteration of the β-hexamer structure by mutating 28QPVIV32 to 28AAAAA32 had no effect either on symptom phenotype, local and systemic movement in Chenopodium quinoa and RNA profile of in vivo assembled virions. However, sensitivity to RNase and assembly phenotypes distinguished virions assembled with CP subunits having β-hexamer from those of wild type. A comparison of 3-D models obtained by cryo electron microscopy revealed overall similar structural features for wild type and mutant virions, with small but significant differences near the 3-fold axes of symmetry.

  9. Label-free optical quantification of structural alterations in Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Moosung; Lee, Eeksung; Jung, JaeHwang; Yu, Hyeonseung; Kim, Kyoohyun; Yoon, Jonghee; Lee, Shinhwa; Jeong, Yong; Park, YongKeun

    2016-01-01

    We present a wide-field quantitative label-free imaging of mouse brain tissue slices with sub-micrometre resolution, employing holographic microscopy and an automated scanning platform. From the measured light field images, scattering coefficients and anisotropies are quantitatively retrieved by using the modified the scattering-phase theorem, which enables access to structural information about brain tissues. As a proof of principle, we demonstrate that these scattering parameters enable us to quantitatively address structural alteration in the brain tissues of mice with Alzheimer's disease. PMID:27485313

  10. Structure and composition of altered riparian forests in an agricultural Amazonian landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagy, R Chelsea; Porder, Stephen; Neill, Christopher; Brando, Paulo; Quintino, Raimundo Mota; do Nascimento, Sebastiâo Aviz

    2015-09-01

    Deforestation and fragmentation influence the microclimate, vegetation structure, and composition of remaining patches of tropical forest. In the southern Amazon, at the frontier of cropland expansion, forests are converted and fragmented in a pattern that leaves standing riparian forests whose dimensions are mandated by the Brazilian National Forest Code. These altered riparian forests share many characteristics of well-studied upland forest fragments, but differ because they remain connected to larger areas of forest downstream, and because they may experience wetter soil conditions because reduction of forest cover in the surrounding watershed raises groundwater levels and increases stream runoff. We compared forest regeneration, structure, composition, and diversity in four areas of intact riparian forest and four areas each of narrow, medium, and wide altered riparian forests that have been surrounded by agriculture since the early 1980s. We found that seedling abundance was reduced by as much as 64% and sapling abundance was reduced by as much as 67% in altered compared to intact riparian forests. The most pronounced differences between altered and intact forest occurred near forest edges and within the narrowest sections of altered riparian forests. Woody plant species composition differed and diversity was reduced in altered forests compared to intact riparian forests. However, despite being fragmented for several decades, large woody plant biomass and carbon storage, the number of live or dead large woody plants, mortality rates, and the size distribution of woody plants did not differ significantly between altered and intact riparian forests. Thus, even in these relatively narrow forests with high edge: area ratios, we saw no evidence of the increases in mortality and declines in biomass that have been found in other tropical forest fragment studies. However, because of the changes in both species community and reduced regeneration, it is unclear how long

  11. Structure and composition of altered riparian forests in an agricultural Amazonian landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagy, R Chelsea; Porder, Stephen; Neill, Christopher; Brando, Paulo; Quintino, Raimundo Mota; do Nascimento, Sebastiâo Aviz

    2015-09-01

    Deforestation and fragmentation influence the microclimate, vegetation structure, and composition of remaining patches of tropical forest. In the southern Amazon, at the frontier of cropland expansion, forests are converted and fragmented in a pattern that leaves standing riparian forests whose dimensions are mandated by the Brazilian National Forest Code. These altered riparian forests share many characteristics of well-studied upland forest fragments, but differ because they remain connected to larger areas of forest downstream, and because they may experience wetter soil conditions because reduction of forest cover in the surrounding watershed raises groundwater levels and increases stream runoff. We compared forest regeneration, structure, composition, and diversity in four areas of intact riparian forest and four areas each of narrow, medium, and wide altered riparian forests that have been surrounded by agriculture since the early 1980s. We found that seedling abundance was reduced by as much as 64% and sapling abundance was reduced by as much as 67% in altered compared to intact riparian forests. The most pronounced differences between altered and intact forest occurred near forest edges and within the narrowest sections of altered riparian forests. Woody plant species composition differed and diversity was reduced in altered forests compared to intact riparian forests. However, despite being fragmented for several decades, large woody plant biomass and carbon storage, the number of live or dead large woody plants, mortality rates, and the size distribution of woody plants did not differ significantly between altered and intact riparian forests. Thus, even in these relatively narrow forests with high edge: area ratios, we saw no evidence of the increases in mortality and declines in biomass that have been found in other tropical forest fragment studies. However, because of the changes in both species community and reduced regeneration, it is unclear how long

  12. Towards structural and functional analysis of the plant plasma membrane proton pump

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Justesen, Bo Højen

    of plasma membrane H+-ATPases. Studies on the plasma membrane H+-ATPases have involved both in vivo and in vitro approaches, with the latter employing either solubilisation by detergent micelles, or reconstitution into lipid vesicles. Despite resulting in a large body of information on structure, function...... into soluble nanoscale lipid bilayers, also termed nanodiscs. Extensive analysis confirms the correct assembly and reconstitution of active proton pump into nanodiscs. The pump inserts as a monomer, which through activity analysis confirms this as the minimal functional unit of the plasma membrane H......The plasma membrane H+-ATPase is a proton pump essential for several physiological important processes in plants. Through the extrusion of protons from the cell, the PM H+-ATPase establishes and maintains a proton gradient used by proton coupled transporters and secondary active transport...

  13. Stability and structure of the membrane protein transporter Ffh is modulated by substrates and lipids

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Reinau, Marika Ejby; Otzen, Daniel

    2009-01-01

    The cytosolic protein Ffh transports membrane proteins from the ribosome to the inner membrane in complex with 4.5S RNA. Here we show that native Ffh binds to the hydrophobic probe ANS in a 1 Ffh:3 ANS stoichiometry, revealing a hydrophobic binding site. Thermal precipitation of Ffh is shifted...... the apoprotein. Escherichia coli lipid and DOPG (and to a smaller extent DOPC) increase Ffh's α-helical content, possibly related to Ffh's role in guiding membrane proteins to the membrane. Binding is largely mediated by electrostatic interactions but does not protect Ffh against trypsinolysis. We conclude...... that Ffh is a structurally flexible and dynamic protein whose stability is significantly modulated by the environment. © 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved....

  14. Impact of the antimicrobial peptide Novicidin on membrane structure and integrity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Søren B; Otzen, Daniel Erik

    2010-01-01

    We have studied the impact of an 18-residue cationic antimicrobial peptide Novicidin (Nc) on the structure and integrity of partially anionic lipid membranes using oriented circular dichroism (OCD), quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation (QCM-D), dual polarization interferometry (DPI...... fluorescence spectroscopy and by loss of lipid alignment in DPI analysis. Laurdan generalized polarity shows a decrease in water accessibility or mobility in the hydrophobic/hydrophilic interface of the lipid membrane, consistent with rearrangement of lipid packing. QCM-D studies on the interaction of Nc...... with lipid membranes emphasize the importance of including the dissipation factor in data analysis, revealing formation of a highly hydrated film after exposure to 3muMNc. Our findings suggest a carpet mechanism of membrane disruption in which peptide binding first induces leakage at a critical surface...

  15. Altered modular organization of structural cortical networks in children with autism.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Feng Shi

    Full Text Available Autism is a complex developmental disability that characterized by deficits in social interaction, language skills, repetitive stereotyped behaviors and restricted interests. Although great heterogeneity exists, previous findings suggest that autism has atypical brain connectivity patterns and disrupted small-world network properties. However, the organizational alterations in the autistic brain network are still poorly understood. We explored possible organizational alterations of 49 autistic children and 51 typically developing controls, by investigating their brain network metrics that are constructed upon cortical thickness correlations. Three modules were identified in controls, including cortical regions associated with brain functions of executive strategic, spatial/auditory/visual, and self-reference/episodic memory. There are also three modules found in autistic children with similar patterns. Compared with controls, autism demonstrates significantly reduced gross network modularity, and a larger number of inter-module connections. However, the autistic brain network demonstrates increased intra- and inter-module connectivity in brain regions including middle frontal gyrus, inferior parietal gyrus, and cingulate, suggesting one underlying compensatory mechanism associated with brain functions of self-reference and episodic memory. Results also show that there is increased correlation strength between regions inside frontal lobe, as well as impaired correlation strength between frontotemporal and frontoparietal regions. This alteration of correlation strength may contribute to the organization alteration of network structures in autistic brains.

  16. Structure, Function and Regulation of Outer Membrane Proteins Involved in Drug Transport in Enterobactericeae: the OmpF/C - TolC Case.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masi, Muriel; Pagès, Jean-Marie

    2013-01-01

    Antibiotic translocation across membranes of Gram-negative bacteria is a key step for the activity on their specific intracellular targets. Resistant bacteria control their membrane permeability as a first line of defense to protect themselves against external toxic compounds such as antibiotics and biocides. On one hand, resistance to small hydrophilic antibiotics such as ß-lactams and fluoroquinolones frequently results from the « closing » of their way in: the general outer membrane porins. On the other hand, an effective way out for a wide range of antibiotics is provided by TolC-like proteins, which are outer membrane components of multidrug efflux pumps. Accordingly, altered membrane permeability, including porin modifications and/or efflux pumps' overexpression, is always associated to multidrug resistance (MDR) in a number of clinical isolates. Several recent studies have highlighted our current understanding of porins/TolC structures and functions in Enterobacteriaceae. Here, we review the transport of antibiotics through the OmpF/C general porins and the TolC-like channels with regards to recent data on their structure, function, assembly, regulation and contribution to bacterial resistance. Because MDR strains have evolved global strategies to identify and fight our antibiotic arsenal, it is important to constantly update our global knowledge on antibiotic transport. PMID:23569467

  17. Electrochemical properties of honeycomb-like structured HFBI self-organized membranes on HOPG electrodes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamasaki, Ryota; Takatsuji, Yoshiyuki; Lienemann, Michael; Asakawa, Hitoshi; Fukuma, Takeshi; Linder, Markus; Haruyama, Tetsuya

    2014-11-01

    HFBI (derived from Trichoderma sp.) is a unique structural protein, which forms a self-organized monolayer at both air/water interface and water/solid interfaces in accurate two-dimensional ordered structures. We have taken advantage of the unique functionality of HFBI as a molecular carrier for preparation of ordered molecular phase on solid substrate surfaces. The HFBI molecular carrier can easily form ordered structures; however, the dense molecular layers form an electrochemical barrier between the electrode and solution phase. In this study, the electrochemical properties of HFBI self-organized membrane-covered electrodes were investigated. Wild-type HFBI has balanced positive and negative charges on its surface. Highly oriented pyrolytic graphite (HOPG) electrodes coated with HFBI molecules were investigated electrochemically. To improve the electrochemical properties of this HFBI-coated electrode, the two types of HFBI variants, with oppositely charged surfaces, were prepared genetically. All three types of HFBI-coated HOPG electrode perform electron transfer between the electrode and solution phase through the dense HFBI molecular layer. This is because the HFBI self-organized membrane has a honeycomb-like structure, with penetrating holes. In the cases of HFBI variants, the oppositely charged HFBI membrane phases shown opposite electrochemical behaviors in electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. HFBI is a molecule with a unique structure, and can easily form honeycomb-like structures on solid material surfaces such as electrodes. The molecular membrane phase can be used for electrochemical molecular interfaces.

  18. Molecular structure, function, and dynamics of clathrin-mediated membrane traffic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirchhausen, Tom; Owen, David; Harrison, Stephen C

    2014-05-01

    Clathrin is a molecular scaffold for vesicular uptake of cargo at the plasma membrane, where its assembly into cage-like lattices underlies the clathrin-coated pits of classical endocytosis. This review describes the structures of clathrin, major cargo adaptors, and other proteins that participate in forming a clathrin-coated pit, loading its contents, pinching off the membrane as a lattice-enclosed vesicle, and recycling the components. It integrates as much of the structural information as possible at the time of writing into a sketch of the principal steps in coated-pit and coated-vesicle formation.

  19. Structural alteration of spermatozoa in the persons employed in lead acid battery factory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naha, Nibedita; Bhar, R B; Mukherjee, A; Chowdhury, Amal Roy

    2005-04-01

    Lead is one of the industrially heavy metals that caused adverse effects on male reproductive system among battery factory workers, but information on the possible impact of lead on the structural integrity of sperm cell is limited. Thus present study was undertaken to assess the structural details of human spermatozoa of lead acid battery factory workers. Blood and semen samples were collected from total 80 workers (7-15 years exposure) and 40 non-occupationally exposed control subjects. The lead exposed battery factory workers showed lowering (P lead and semen lead was significantly (P lead may reduce the antioxidant level in seminal plasma and enhance the lipid peroxidative changes in sperm membrane leading to concomitant structural damage of sperm cell surface in the workers employed in lead acid battery factories.

  20. Structural health monitoring (vibration) as a tool for identifying structural alterations of the lumbar spine: a twin control study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kawchuk, Gregory N; Hartvigsen, Jan; Edgecombe, Tiffany; Prasad, Narasimha; van Dieen, Jaap H

    2016-01-01

    Structural health monitoring (SHM) is an engineering technique used to identify mechanical abnormalities not readily apparent through other means. Recently, SHM has been adapted for use in biological systems, but its invasive nature limits its clinical application. As such, the purpose of this project was to determine if a non-invasive form of SHM could identify structural alterations in the spines of living human subjects. Lumbar spines of 10 twin pairs were visualized by magnetic resonance imaging then assessed by a blinded radiologist to determine whether twin pairs were structurally concordant or discordant. Vibration was then applied to each subject's spine and the resulting response recorded from sensors overlying lumbar spinous processes. The peak frequency, area under the curve and the root mean square were computed from the frequency response function of each sensor. Statistical analysis demonstrated that in twins whose structural appearance was discordant, peak frequency was significantly different between twin pairs while in concordant twins, no outcomes were significantly different. From these results, we conclude that structural changes within the spine can alter its vibration response. As such, further investigation of SHM to identify spinal abnormalities in larger human populations is warranted. PMID:26964507

  1. Tethered bilayer membranes as a complementary tool for functional and structural studies: The pyolysin case.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Preta, Giulio; Jankunec, Marija; Heinrich, Frank; Griffin, Sholeem; Sheldon, Iain Martin; Valincius, Gintaras

    2016-09-01

    We demonstrate the use of tethered bilayer lipid membranes (tBLMs) as an experimental platform for functional and structural studies of membrane associated proteins by electrochemical techniques. The reconstitution of the cholesterol-dependent cytolysin (CDC) pyolysin (PLO) from Trueperella pyogenes into tBLMs was followed in real-time by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). Changes of the EIS parameters of the tBLMs upon exposure to PLO solutions were consistent with the dielectric barrier damage occurring through the formation of water-filled pores in membranes. Parallel experiments involving a mutant version of PLO, which is able to bind to the membranes but does not form oligomer pores, strengthen the reliability of this methodology, since no change in the electrochemical impedance was observed. Complementary atomic force microscopy (AFM) and neutron reflectometry (NR) measurements revealed structural details of the membrane bound PLO, consistent with the structural transformations of the membrane bound toxins found for other cholesterol dependent cytolysins. In this work, using the tBLMs platform we also observed a protective effect of the dynamin inhibitor Dynasore against pyolysin as well as pneumolysin. An effect of Dynasore in tBLMs, which was earlier observed in experiments with live cells, confirms the biological relevance of the tBLMs models, as well as demonstrates the potential of the electrochemical impedance spectroscopy to quantify membrane damage by the pore forming toxins. In conclusion, tBLMs are a reliable and complementary method to explore the activity of CDCs in eukaryotic cells and to develop strategies to limit the toxic effects of CDCs. PMID:27211243

  2. Structure of an Intrinsically Disordered Stress Protein Alone and Bound to a Membrane Surface.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atkinson, John; Clarke, Matthew W; Warnica, Josephine M; Boddington, Kelly F; Graether, Steffen P

    2016-08-01

    Dehydrins are a group of intrinsically disordered proteins that protect plants from damage caused by drought, cold, and high salinity. Like other intrinsically disordered proteins, dehydrins can gain structure when bound to a ligand. Previous studies have shown that dehydrins are able to protect liposomes from cold damage, but the interactions that drive membrane binding and the detailed structure of the bound and unbound forms are not known. We use an ensemble-structure approach to generate models of a dehydrin known as K2 in the presence and absence of sodium dodecyl sulfate micelles, and we docked the bound structure to the micelle. The collection of residual dipolar coupling data, amide protection factors, and paramagnetic relaxation enhancement distances, in combination with chemical shifts and relaxation measurements, allows for determining plausible structures that are not otherwise visible in time-averaged structural data. The results show that in the bound structure, the conserved lysines are important for membrane binding, whereas the flanking hydrophobic residues play a lesser role. The unbound structure shows a high level of disorder and an extended structure. We propose that the structural differences between bound and unbound forms allow dehydrins to act as molecular shields in their unbound state and as membrane protectants in their bound state. Unlike α-synuclein, the significant gain of α-helicity in K2 at low concentrations of sodium dodecyl sulfate is not due to a decrease in the critical micelle concentration. The study provides structural insight into how a disordered protein can interact with a membrane surface. PMID:27508433

  3. Nonlinear Dynamic Response of Flexible Membrane Structures to Blast Loads

    OpenAIRE

    Kapoor, Hitesh

    2005-01-01

    The present work describes the finite element (FE) modeling and dynamic response of lightweight, deployable shelters (tent) to large external blast loads. Flexible shelters have been used as temporary storage places for housing equipments, vehicles etc. TEMPER Tents, Small Shelter System have been widely used by Air Force and Army, for various field applications. These shelters have pressurized Collective Protection System (CPS), liner, fitted to the frame structure, which can provide protect...

  4. Validation of an immersed thick boundary method for simulating fluid-structure interactions of deformable membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sigüenza, J.; Mendez, S.; Ambard, D.; Dubois, F.; Jourdan, F.; Mozul, R.; Nicoud, F.

    2016-10-01

    This paper constitutes an extension of the work of Mendez et al. (2014) [36], for three-dimensional simulations of deformable membranes under flow. An immersed thick boundary method is used, combining the immersed boundary method with a three-dimensional modeling of the structural part. The immersed boundary method is adapted to unstructured grids for the fluid resolution, using the reproducing kernel particle method. An unstructured finite-volume flow solver for the incompressible Navier-Stokes equations is coupled with a finite-element solver for the structure. The validation process relying on a number of test cases proves the efficiency of the method, and its robustness is illustrated when computing the dynamics of a tri-leaflet aortic valve. The proposed immersed thick boundary method is able to tackle applications involving both thin and thick membranes/closed and open membranes, in significantly high Reynolds number flows and highly complex geometries.

  5. Development of a stealth carrier system for structural studies of membrane proteins in solution

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Maric, Selma

    Structural studies of membrane proteins remain a great experimental challenge. Functional reconstitution into artificial carriers that mimic the native bilayer environment allows for the handling of membrane proteins in solution and enables the use of small-angle scattering techniques for fast...... which can be used for SANS structural analysis of membrane proteins in solution. In combination with the D2O/H2O-based contrast variation method it is demonstrated that it is possible to prepare specifically deuterated analogues of the nanodisc, which give minimal contribution to the neutron scattering...... scaffolding protein. To obtain physiologically relevant deuterated phosphatidylcholine (PC) species with the required scattering length density a novel method for deuteration of PC was developed to separately control the deuteration levels of three different parts of the phospholipid molecule: the lipid head...

  6. Large-scale natural disturbance alters genetic population structure of the sailfin molly, Poecilia latipinna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Apodaca, Joseph J; Trexler, Joel C; Jue, Nathaniel K; Schrader, Matthew; Travis, Joseph

    2013-02-01

    Many inferences about contemporary rates of gene flow are based on the assumption that the observed genetic structure among populations is stable. Recent studies have uncovered several cases in which this assumption is tenuous. Most of those studies have focused on the effects that regular environmental fluctuations can have on genetic structure and gene flow patterns. Occasional catastrophic disturbances could also alter either the distribution of habitat or the spatial distribution of organisms in a way that affects population structure. However, evidence of such effects is sparse in the literature because it is difficult to obtain. Hurricanes, in particular, have the potential to exert dramatic effects on population structure of organisms found on islands or coral reefs or in near shore and coastal habitats. Here we draw on a historic genetic data set and new data to suggest that the genetic structure of sailfin molly (Poecilia latipinna) populations in north Florida was altered dramatically by an unusually large and uncommon type of storm surge associated with Hurricane Dennis in 2005. We compare the spatial pattern of genetic variation in these populations after Hurricane Dennis to the patterns described in an earlier study in this same area. We use comparable genetic data from another region of Florida, collected in the same two periods, to estimate the amount of change expected from typical temporal variation in population structure. The comparative natural history of sailfin mollies in these two regions indicates that the change in population structure produced by the storm surge is not the result of many local extinctions with recolonization from a few refugia but emerged from a pattern of mixing and redistribution.

  7. Effect of non-solvent additives on the morphology, pore structure, and direct contact membrane distillation performance of PVDF-CTFE hydrophobic membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Libing; Wu, Zhenjun; Zhang, Yong; Wei, Yuansong; Wang, Jun

    2016-07-01

    Four common types of additives for polymer membrane preparation including organic macromolecule and micromolecule additives, inorganic salts and acids, and the strong non-solvent H2O were used to prepare poly (vinylidene fluoride-co-chlorotrifluoroethylene) (PVDF-CTFE) hydrophobic flat-sheet membranes. Membrane properties including morphology, porosity, hydrophobicity, pore size and pore distribution were investigated, and the permeability was evaluated via direct contact membrane distillation (DCMD) of 3.5g/L NaCl solution in a DCMD configuration. Both inorganic and organic micromolecule additives were found to slightly influence membrane hydrophobicity. Polyethylene glycol (PEG), organic acids, LiCl, MgCl2, and LiCl/H2O mixtures were proved to be effective additives to PVDF-CTFE membranes due to their pore-controlling effects and the capacity to improve the properties and performance of the resultant membranes. The occurrence of a pre-gelation process showed that when organic and inorganic micromolecules were added to PVDF-CTFE solution, the resultant membranes presented a high interconnectivity structure. The membrane prepared with dibutyl phthalate (DBP) showed a nonporous surface and symmetrical cross-section. When H2O and LiCl/H2O mixtures were also used as additives, they were beneficial for solid-liquid demixing, especially when LiCl/H2O mixed additives were used. The membrane prepared with 5% LiCl+2% H2O achieved a flux of 24.53kg/(m(2)·hr) with 99.98% salt rejection. This study is expected to offer a reference not only for PVDF-CTFE membrane preparation but also for other polymer membranes. PMID:27372116

  8. Small changes in environmental parameters lead to alterations in antibiotic resistance, cell morphology and membrane fatty acid composition in Staphylococcus lugdunensis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcus J Crompton

    Full Text Available Staphylococcus lugdunensis has emerged as a major cause of community-acquired and nosocomial infections. This bacterium can rapidly adapt to changing environmental conditions to survive and capitalize on opportunities to colonize and infect through wound surfaces. It was proposed that S. lugdunensis would have underlying alterations in metabolic homeostasis to provide the necessary levels of adaptive protection. The aims of this project were to examine the impacts of subtle variations in environmental conditions on growth characteristics, cell size and membrane fatty acid composition in S. lugdunensis. Liquid broth cultures of S. lugdunensis were grown under varying combinations of pH (6-8, temperature (35-39°C and osmotic pressure (0-5% sodium chloride w/w to reflect potential ranges of conditions encountered during transition from skin surfaces to invasion of wound sites. The cells were harvested at the mid-exponential phase of growth and assessed for antibiotic minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC, generation time, formation of small colony variants, cell size (by scanning electron microscopy and membrane fatty acid composition. Stress regimes with elevated NaCl concentrations resulted in significantly higher antibiotic resistance (MIC and three of the combinations with 5% NaCl had increased generation times (P<0.05. It was found that all ten experimental growth regimes, including the control and centroid cultures, yielded significantly different profiles of plasma membrane fatty acid composition (P<0.0001. Alterations in cell size (P<0.01 were also observed under the range of conditions with the most substantial reduction occurring when cells were grown at 39°C, pH 8 (514±52 nm, mean ± Standard Deviation compared with cells grown under control conditions at 37°C with pH 7 (702±76 nm, P<0.01. It was concluded that S. lugdunensis responded to slight changes in environmental conditions by altering plasma membrane fatty acid composition

  9. Crosslinked copolyazoles with a zwitterionic structure for organic solvent resistant membranes

    KAUST Repository

    Chisca, Stefan

    2015-01-01

    The preparation of crosslinked membranes with a zwitterionic structure based on a facile reaction between a newly synthesized copolyazole with free OH groups and (3-glycidyloxypropyl)trimethoxysilane (GPTMS) is reported. The new OH-functionalized copolyazole is soluble in common organic solvents, such as tetrahydrofuran (THF), dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO), N,N′-dimethylformamide (DMF) and N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP) and can be easily processed by phase inversion. After crosslinking with GPTMS, the membranes acquire high solvent resistance. We show the membrane performance and the influence of the crosslinking reaction conditions on the thermal stability, surface polarity, pore morphology, and solvent resistance. By using UV-spectroscopy we monitored the solvent resistance of the membranes in four aggressive solvents (THF, DMSO, DMF and NMP) for 30 days. After this time, only minor changes (less than 2%) were detected for membranes subjected to a crosslinking reaction for 6 hours or longer. Our data suggest that the novel crosslinked membranes can be used for industrial applications in wide harsh environments in the presence of organic solvents.

  10. Nano-Structured Proton Exchange Membrane for Fuel Cell

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Wu Chien-Suen; Lin Fan-Yen; Chu Peter P

    2005-01-01

    @@ 1Introduction Nano-structured materials are characterized by long range ordering of the nano-dimensioned quantum dot units. They have been found to deliver substantially different (electric, optical, magnetic and physical) properties from that of the bulk. The differences are mainly due to the increases of surface charge with large fraction of grain boundaries, and the periodical potential field created by the ordered nano-domains. Specifically,the issues considered in "nano ionics" are the degree of interaction, the charge distribution on the interfaces where they become obvious in ionic properties and thermodynamics such as mobility of charge carriers. Major efforts in this direction are focused on:

  11. Nanoclay-Directed Structure and Morphology in PVDF Electrospun Membranes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyunghwan Yoon

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The incorporation of organically modified Lucentite nanoclay dramatically modifies the structure and morphology of the PVDF electrospun fibers. In a molecular level, the nanoclay preferentially stabilizes the all-trans conformation of the polymer chain, promoting an α to β transformation of the crystalline phase. The piezoelectric properties of the β-phase carry great promise for energy harvest applications. At a larger scale, the nanoclay facilitates the formation of highly uniform, bead-free fibers. Such an effect can be attributed to the enhanced conductivity and viscoelasticity of the PVDF-clay suspension. The homogenous distribution of the directionally aligned nanoclays imparts advanced mechanical properties to the nanofibers.

  12. Increased expression of a phloem membrane protein encoded by NHL26 alters phloem export and sugar partitioning in Arabidopsis

    OpenAIRE

    Vilaine, Francoise; Kerchev, Pavel Ivanov; Clément, Gilles; Batailler, Brigitte; Cayla, Thibaud; Bill, Laurence; Gissot, Lionel; Dinant, Sylvie

    2013-01-01

    The complex process of phloem sugar transport involves symplasmic and apoplasmic events. We characterized Arabidopsis thaliana lines ectopically expressing a phloem-specific gene encoding NDR1/HIN1-like26 (NHL26), a putative membrane protein. NHL26 overexpressor plants grew more slowly than wild-type plants, accumulated high levels of carbohydrates in mature leaves, and had a higher shoot biomass, contrasting with slower root growth and a lower seed yield. Similar effects were observed when N...

  13. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons alter the structure of oceanic and oligotrophic microbial food webs

    KAUST Repository

    Cerezo, Maria Isabel

    2015-11-01

    One way organic pollutants reach remote oceanic regions is by atmospheric transport. During the Malaspina-2010 expedition, across the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans, we analyzed the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) effects on oceanic microbial food webs. We performed perturbation experiments adding PAHs to classic dilution experiments. The phytoplankton growth rates were reduced by more than 5 times, being Prochlorococcus spp. the most affected. 62% of the experiments showed a reduction in the grazing rates due to the presence of PAHs. For the remaining experiments, grazing usually increased likely due to cascading effects. We identified changes in the slope of the relation between the growth rate and the dilution fraction induced by the pollutants, moving from no grazing to V-shape, or to negative slope, indicative of grazing increase by cascade effects and alterations of the grazers\\' activity structure. Our perturbation experiments indicate that PAHs could influence the structure oceanic food-webs structure.

  14. Experimental study on alteration of adrenergic receptors activity in neuronal membranes protein of cerebral cortex following brain trauma in rats

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHANG Xin-wei; XU Ru-xiang; QI Yi-long; CHEN Chang-cai

    2001-01-01

    Objective: To define the course of changes taken by α1 and β adrenergic receptors (AR) activity after traumatic brain injury (TBI) and explore the approach for secondary brain injury (SBI) management. Methods: The neuronal membrane protein of cortex were extracted from the rats subject to traumatic brain injury, and the changes of α1- and β-AR activities in the neuronal membranes were examined by radio ligand binding assay (RLBA). Results: α1- and β-AR activities underwent obvious changes, reaching their peak values at 24 h after TBI. α1-AR binding density (Bmax) reduced by 22.6%while the ligand affinity increased by 66.7%, and for β-AR, however, Bmax increased by 116.9% and the ligand affinity reduced by 50.7%. Their antagonists could counteract the changes ofα1- and β-AR activity. Conclusion: The patterns of changes varies between α1- and β-AR activity after TBI, suggesting their different roles in the neuronal membranes after brain trauma, and timely administration of AR antagonists is potentially beneficial in TBI management.

  15. Lipid membrane structure and interactions in dimethyl sulfoxide/water mixtures.

    OpenAIRE

    Gordeliy, V. I.; Kiselev, M. A.; Lesieur, P.; Pole, A V; Teixeira, J.

    1998-01-01

    In this paper we have investigated via x-ray diffraction the influence of dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), known for its biological and therapeutic properties, on the structure of lipid membranes of dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC) in excess of the solvent (DMSO/water) at mole DMSO fractions XDMSO in (0.1) and under equilibrium conditions. At small XDMSO

  16. The asymmetrical structure of Golgi apparatus membranes revealed by in situ atomic force microscope.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haijiao Xu

    Full Text Available The Golgi apparatus has attracted intense attentions due to its fascinating morphology and vital role as the pivot of cellular secretory pathway since its discovery. However, its complex structure at the molecular level remains elusive due to limited approaches. In this study, the structure of Golgi apparatus, including the Golgi stack, cisternal structure, relevant tubules and vesicles, were directly visualized by high-resolution atomic force microscope. We imaged both sides of Golgi apparatus membranes and revealed that the outer leaflet of Golgi membranes is relatively smooth while the inner membrane leaflet is rough and covered by dense proteins. With the treatment of methyl-β-cyclodextrin and Triton X-100, we confirmed the existence of lipid rafts in Golgi apparatus membrane, which are mostly in the size of 20 nm -200 nm and appear irregular in shape. Our results may be of significance to reveal the structure-function relationship of the Golgi complex and pave the way for visualizing the endomembrane system in mammalian cells at the molecular level.

  17. Kinetics of structural reorganizations in multilamellarphotosynthetic membranes monitored by small-angle neutronscattering

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nagy, Gergely; Kovacs, Laszlo; Unnep, Renata;

    2013-01-01

    and in unicellular organisms, we discuss the advantages and technical and methodological limitations of timeresolved SANS. We present a detailed and more systematical investigation of the kinetics of light-induced structural reorganizations in isolated spinach thylakoid membranes, which show how changes...

  18. Fabrication and biocompatibility of an antimicrobial composite membrane with an asymmetric porous structure.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Li, J.; Zuo, Y.; Man, Y.; Mo, A.; Huang, C.; Liu, M.; Jansen, J.A.; Li, Y.

    2012-01-01

    A composite slurry from silver ion-substituted nano-hydroxyapatite, titania nano-particles and polyamide 66 (Ag-nHA/TiO(2)/PA66) was prepared and used to fabricate a novel antimicrobial membrane with a gradient porous structure for guided bone regeneration (GBR). Subsequently, assays were performed

  19. Composition, structure and mechanical properties define performance of pulmonary surfactant membranes and films

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ortiz, Elisa Parra; Perez-Gil, Jesús

    2015-01-01

    of breathing and avoiding alveolar collapse, especially at the end of expiration. The goal of the present review is to summarize current knowledge regarding the structure, lipid-protein interactions and mechanical features of surfactant membranes and films and how these properties correlate with surfactant...

  20. Membrane protein structural biology using X-ray free electron lasers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neutze, Richard; Brändén, Gisela; Schertler, Gebhard F X

    2015-08-01

    Membrane protein structural biology has benefitted tremendously from access to micro-focus crystallography at synchrotron radiation sources. X-ray free electron lasers (XFELs) are linear accelerator driven X-ray sources that deliver a jump in peak X-ray brilliance of nine orders of magnitude and represent a disruptive technology with potential to dramatically change the field. Membrane proteins were amongst the first macromolecules to be studied with XFEL radiation and include proof-of-principle demonstrations of serial femtosecond crystallography (SFX), the observation that XFEL data can deliver damage free crystallographic structures, initial experiments towards recording structural information from 2D arrays of membrane proteins, and time-resolved SFX, time-resolved wide angle X-ray scattering and time-resolved X-ray emission spectroscopy studies. Conversely, serial crystallography methods are now being applied using synchrotron radiation. We believe that a context dependent choice of synchrotron or XFEL radiation will accelerate progress towards novel insights in understanding membrane protein structure and dynamics.

  1. [Phospholipids and structural modification of tissues and cell membranes for adaptation in high altitude mountains].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iakovlev, V M; Vishnevskiĭ, A A; Shanazarov, A S

    2012-01-01

    The nature of the impact of physical factors of high altitudes (3200 m) on the lipids of tissues and membranes of animals was researched. It was established that the adaptation process in Wistar rats was followed by peroxide degradation and subsequent modification of the phospholipids' structure of tissues and microsomal membranes. Adaptive phospholipids reconstruction takes place in microsomal membranes in the tissues of the lungs, brain, liver and skeletal muscles. Together with this, the amount of phosphatidylinositol and phosphatidic acid accumulates, indicating that the hydrolysis of phosphatidylinositol-4, 5 biphosphate to diacylglycerol and secondary messenger--inositol triphosphate, occurs. A decrease in temperature adaptation (+10 degrees C) leads to a more noticeable shift in peroxide oxidation of lipids, phospholipid structure in the tissues and membranes rather than adaptation in thermoneutral conditions (+30 degrees C). Modification of lipid composition of tissues and cell membranes in the highlands obviously increases the adaptive capabilities of cells of the whole body: physical performance and resistance to hypoxia increases in animals. PMID:22586936

  2. [Phospholipids and structural modification of tissues and cell membranes for adaptation in high altitude mountains].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iakovlev, V M; Vishnevskiĭ, A A; Shanazarov, A S

    2012-01-01

    The nature of the impact of physical factors of high altitudes (3200 m) on the lipids of tissues and membranes of animals was researched. It was established that the adaptation process in Wistar rats was followed by peroxide degradation and subsequent modification of the phospholipids' structure of tissues and microsomal membranes. Adaptive phospholipids reconstruction takes place in microsomal membranes in the tissues of the lungs, brain, liver and skeletal muscles. Together with this, the amount of phosphatidylinositol and phosphatidic acid accumulates, indicating that the hydrolysis of phosphatidylinositol-4, 5 biphosphate to diacylglycerol and secondary messenger--inositol triphosphate, occurs. A decrease in temperature adaptation (+10 degrees C) leads to a more noticeable shift in peroxide oxidation of lipids, phospholipid structure in the tissues and membranes rather than adaptation in thermoneutral conditions (+30 degrees C). Modification of lipid composition of tissues and cell membranes in the highlands obviously increases the adaptive capabilities of cells of the whole body: physical performance and resistance to hypoxia increases in animals.

  3. Understanding the structure and performance of self-assembled triblock terpolymer membranes

    KAUST Repository

    Pendergast, MaryTheresa M.

    2013-10-01

    Nanoporous membranes represent a possible route towards more precise particle and macromolecular separations, which are of interest across many industries. Here, we explored membranes with vertically-aligned nanopores formed from a poly(isoprene-. b-styrene-. b-4 vinyl pyridine) (ISV) triblock terpolymer via a hybrid self-assembly/nonsolvent induced phase separation process (S-NIPS). ISV concentration, solvent composition, and evaporation time in the S-NIPS process were varied to tailor ordering of the selective layer and produce enhanced water permeability. Here, water permeability was doubled over previous versions of ISV membranes. This was achieved by increasing volatile solvent concentration, thereby decreasing the evaporation period required for self-assembly. Fine-tuning was required, however, since overly-rapid evaporation did not yield the desired pore structure. Transport models, used to relate the in-. situ structure to the performance of these materials, revealed narrowing of pores and blocking by the dense region below. It was shown that these vertically aligned nanoporous membranes compare favorably with commercial ultrafiltration membranes formed by NIPS and track-etching processes, which suggests that there is practical value in further developing and optimizing these materials for specific industrial separations. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

  4. Crystal structure and biochemical analyses reveal Beclin 1 as a novel membrane binding protein

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Weijiao Huang; Feng-Liang Wang; Haiteng Deng; Lei Liu; Ning Gao; Li Yu; Yigong Shi; Wooyoung Choi; Wanqiu Hu; Na Mi; Qiang Guo; Meisheng Ma; Mei Liu; Yuan Tian; Peilong Lu

    2012-01-01

    The Beclin 1 gene is a haplo-insufficient tumor suppressor and plays an essential role in autophagy.However,the molecular mechanism by which Beclin 1 functions remains largely unknown.Here we report the crystal structure of the evolutionarily conserved domain(ECD)of Beclin 1 at 1.6(A)resolution.Beclin 1 ECD exhibits a previously unreported fold,with three structural repeats arranged symmetrically around a central axis.Beclin 1 ECD defines a novel class of membrane-binding domain,with a strong preference for lipid membrane enriched with cardiolipin.The tip of a surface loop in Beclin 1 ECD,comprising three aromatic amino acids,acts as a hydrophobic finger to associate with lipid membrane,consequently resulting in the deformation of membrane and liposomes.Mutation of these aromatic residues rendered Beclin 1 unable to stably associate with lipid membrane in vitro and unable to fully rescue autophagy in Beclin 1-knockdown cells in vivo.These observations form an important framework for deciphering the biological functions of Beclin 1.

  5. The Flavivirus Precursor Membrane-Envelope Protein Complex: Structure and Maturation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, Long; Lok, Shee-Mei; Yu, I-Mei; Zhang, Ying; Kuhn, Richard J.; Chen, Jue; Rossmann, Michael G. (Purdue)

    2008-09-17

    Many viruses go through a maturation step in the final stages of assembly before being transmitted to another host. The maturation process of flaviviruses is directed by the proteolytic cleavage of the precursor membrane protein (prM), turning inert virus into infectious particles. We have determined the 2.2 angstrom resolution crystal structure of a recombinant protein in which the dengue virus prM is linked to the envelope glycoprotein E. The structure represents the prM-E heterodimer and fits well into the cryo-electron microscopy density of immature virus at neutral pH. The pr peptide {beta}-barrel structure covers the fusion loop in E, preventing fusion with host cell membranes. The structure provides a basis for identifying the stages of its pH-directed conformational metamorphosis during maturation, ending with release of pr when budding from the host.

  6. Structural health monitoring (vibration) as a tool for identifying structural alterations of the lumbar spine

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kawchuk, Gregory N; Hartvigsen, Jan; Edgecombe, Tiffany;

    2016-01-01

    Structural health monitoring (SHM) is an engineering technique used to identify mechanical abnormalities not readily apparent through other means. Recently, SHM has been adapted for use in biological systems, but its invasive nature limits its clinical application. As such, the purpose...

  7. Solution structure of a soluble fragment derived from a membrane protein by shotgun proteolysis

    OpenAIRE

    Allen, Mark D.; Christie, Mary; Jones, Peter; Porebski, Benjamin T.; Roome, Brendan; Freund, Stefan M V; Buckle, Ashley M.; Bycroft, Mark; Christ, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    We have previously reported a phage display method for the identification of protein domains on a genome-wide scale (shotgun proteolysis). Here we present the solution structure of a fragment of the Escherichia coli membrane protein yrfF, as identified by shotgun proteolysis, and determined by NMR spectroscopy. Despite the absence of computational predictions, the fragment formed a well-defined beta-barrel structure, distantly falling within the OB-fold classification. Our results highlight t...

  8. Structural brain alterations in patients with lumbar disc herniation: a preliminary study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Luchtmann

    Full Text Available Chronic pain is one of the most common health complaints in industrial nations. For example, chronic low back pain (cLBP disables millions of people across the world and generates a tremendous economic burden. While previous studies provided evidence of widespread functional as well as structural brain alterations in chronic pain, little is known about cortical changes in patients suffering from lumbar disc herniation. We investigated morphometric alterations of the gray and white matter of the brain in patients suffering from LDH. The volumes of the gray and white matter of 12 LDH patients were determined in a prospective study and compared to the volumes of healthy controls to distinguish local differences. High-resolution MRI brain images of all participants were performed using a 3 Tesla MRI scanner. Voxel-based morphometry was used to investigate local differences in gray and white matter volume between patients suffering from LDH and healthy controls. LDH patients showed significantly reduced gray matter volume in the right anterolateral prefrontal cortex, the right temporal lobe, the left premotor cortex, the right caudate nucleus, and the right cerebellum as compared to healthy controls. Increased gray matter volume, however, was found in the right dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, the left precuneal cortex, the left fusiform gyrus, and the right brainstem. Additionally, small subcortical decreases of the white matter were found adjacent to the left prefrontal cortex, the right premotor cortex and in the anterior limb of the left internal capsule. We conclude that the lumbar disk herniation can lead to specific local alterations of the gray and white matter in the human brain. The investigation of LDH-induced brain alterations could provide further insight into the underlying nature of the chronification processes and could possibly identify prognostic factors that may improve the conservative as well as the operative treatment of the

  9. Study of structural model of biological membranes by synchrotron radiation

    CERN Document Server

    Cavalcanti, L P

    2001-01-01

    The objective of this work has been to study, from the structural point of view, the process of incorporation of various types of hydrophobic compounds into the lamellar phase of liposomes and multilayers of the zwitterionic phospholipid DPPC. X-ray diffraction and scattering techniques using synchrotron radiation, have been used to monitor changes of several bilayer systems. Thermotropic phase transitions as well as the order of the lamellar packing were studied in situ experiments. The behavior of the L beta' and L alpha phases was followed as a function of the water content in dispersions of DPPC multi lamellar vesicles with the addition of the alkaloid Ellipticine in several concentrations. The results showed a decrease in the temperature of the pre-transition as well as that of the main transition (P beta' ->L alpha). The decrease of the lamellar spacing as a function of temperature in the liquid crystalline phase leads to the description of the thermal compression coefficient in the L alpha phase. It wa...

  10. Optimization design combined with coupled structural-electrostatic analysis for the electrostatically controlled deployable membrane reflector

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Chao; Yang, Guigeng; Zhang, Yiqun

    2015-01-01

    The electrostatically controlled deployable membrane reflector (ECDMR) is a promising scheme to construct large size and high precision space deployable reflector antennas. This paper presents a novel design method for the large size and small F/D ECDMR considering the coupled structure-electrostatic problem. First, the fully coupled structural-electrostatic system is described by a three field formulation, in which the structure and passive electrical field is modeled by finite element method, and the deformation of the electrostatic domain is predicted by a finite element formulation of a fictitious elastic structure. A residual formulation of the structural-electrostatic field finite element model is established and solved by Newton-Raphson method. The coupled structural-electrostatic analysis procedure is summarized. Then, with the aid of this coupled analysis procedure, an integrated optimization method of membrane shape accuracy and stress uniformity is proposed, which is divided into inner and outer iterative loops. The initial state of relatively high shape accuracy and uniform stress distribution is achieved by applying the uniform prestress on the membrane design shape and optimizing the voltages, in which the optimal voltage is computed by a sensitivity analysis. The shape accuracy is further improved by the iterative prestress modification using the reposition balance method. Finally, the results of the uncoupled and coupled methods are compared and the proposed optimization method is applied to design an ECDMR. The results validate the effectiveness of this proposed methods.

  11. Organization into Higher Ordered Ring Structures Counteracts Membrane Binding of IM30, a Protein Associated with Inner Membranes in Chloroplasts and Cyanobacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heidrich, Jennifer; Wulf, Verena; Hennig, Raoul; Saur, Michael; Markl, Jürgen; Sönnichsen, Carsten; Schneider, Dirk

    2016-07-15

    The IM30 (inner membrane-associated protein of 30 kDa), also known as the Vipp1 (vesicle-inducing protein in plastids 1), has a crucial role in thylakoid membrane biogenesis and maintenance. Recent results suggest that the protein binds peripherally to membranes containing negatively charged lipids. However, although IM30 monomers interact and assemble into large oligomeric ring complexes with different numbers of monomers, it is still an open question whether ring formation is crucial for membrane interaction. Here we show that binding of IM30 rings to negatively charged phosphatidylglycerol membrane surfaces results in a higher ordered membrane state, both in the head group and in the inner core region of the lipid bilayer. Furthermore, by using gold nanorods covered with phosphatidylglycerol layers and single particle spectroscopy, we show that not only IM30 rings but also lower oligomeric IM30 structures interact with membranes, although with higher affinity. Thus, ring formation is not crucial for, and even counteracts, membrane interaction of IM30. PMID:27226585

  12. Structural insight into the biogenesis of β-barrel membrane proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noinaj, Nicholas; Kuszak, Adam J; Gumbart, James C; Lukacik, Petra; Chang, Hoshing; Easley, Nicole C; Lithgow, Trevor; Buchanan, Susan K

    2013-09-19

    β-barrel membrane proteins are essential for nutrient import, signalling, motility and survival. In Gram-negative bacteria, the β-barrel assembly machinery (BAM) complex is responsible for the biogenesis of β-barrel membrane proteins, with homologous complexes found in mitochondria and chloroplasts. Here we describe the structure of BamA, the central and essential component of the BAM complex, from two species of bacteria: Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Haemophilus ducreyi. BamA consists of a large periplasmic domain attached to a 16-strand transmembrane β-barrel domain. Three structural features shed light on the mechanism by which BamA catalyses β-barrel assembly. First, the interior cavity is accessible in one BamA structure and conformationally closed in the other. Second, an exterior rim of the β-barrel has a distinctly narrowed hydrophobic surface, locally destabilizing the outer membrane. And third, the β-barrel can undergo lateral opening, suggesting a route from the interior cavity in BamA into the outer membrane. PMID:23995689

  13. Modification of the poly(ethylene) terephthalate track membrane structure and surface in the plasma of non-polymerized gases

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    An investigation of the properties of poly(ethylene) terephthalate track membranes (PETTMs) treated with a plasma RF-discharge in non-polymerized gases has been performed. The influence of the plasma treatment conditions on the basic properties of the membranes has been studied. It was arranged that the effect of non-polymerized gases plasma on the PETTMs results to etching a membrane's surface layer. The membranes' pore size and the form in this case change. It is shown that it is possible to change the structure of track membranes directly by gas discharge etching

  14. Specific glycosylation of membrane proteins in epithelial ovarian cancer cell lines: glycan structures reflect gene expression and DNA methylation status.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anugraham, Merrina; Jacob, Francis; Nixdorf, Sheri; Everest-Dass, Arun Vijay; Heinzelmann-Schwarz, Viola; Packer, Nicolle H

    2014-09-01

    Epithelial ovarian cancer is the fifth most common cause of cancer in women worldwide bearing the highest mortality rate among all gynecological cancers. Cell membrane glycans mediate various cellular processes such as cell signaling and become altered during carcinogenesis. The extent to which glycosylation changes are influenced by aberrant regulation of gene expression is nearly unknown for ovarian cancer and remains crucial in understanding the development and progression of this disease. To address this effect, we analyzed the membrane glycosylation of non-cancerous ovarian surface epithelial (HOSE 6.3 and HOSE 17.1) and serous ovarian cancer cell lines (SKOV 3, IGROV1, A2780, and OVCAR 3), the most common histotype among epithelial ovarian cancers. N-glycans were released from membrane glycoproteins by PNGase F and analyzed using nano-liquid chromatography on porous graphitized carbon and negative-ion electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS). Glycan structures were characterized based on their molecular masses and tandem MS fragmentation patterns. We identified characteristic glycan features that were unique to the ovarian cancer membrane proteins, namely the "bisecting N-acetyl-glucosamine" type N-glycans, increased levels of α 2-6 sialylated N-glycans and "N,N'-diacetyl-lactosamine" type N-glycans. These N-glycan changes were verified by examining gene transcript levels of the enzymes specific for their synthesis (MGAT3, ST6GAL1, and B4GALNT3) using qRT-PCR. We further evaluated the potential epigenetic influence on MGAT3 expression by treating the cell lines with 5-azacytidine, a DNA methylation inhibitor. For the first time, we provide evidence that MGAT3 expression may be epigenetically regulated by DNA hypomethylation, leading to the synthesis of the unique "bisecting GlcNAc" type N-glycans on the membrane proteins of ovarian cancer cells. Linking the observation of specific N-glycan substructures and their complex association with epigenetic

  15. Development of Pd Alloy Hydrogen Separation Membranes with Dense/Porous Hybrid Structure for High Hydrogen Perm-Selectivity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jae-Yun Han

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available For the commercial applications of hydrogen separation membranes, both high hydrogen selectivity and permeability (i.e., perm-selectivity are required. However, it has been difficult to fabricate thin, dense Pd alloy composite membranes on porous metal support that have a pore-free surface and an open structure at the interface between the Pd alloy films and the metal support in order to obtain the required properties simultaneously. In this study, we fabricated Pd alloy hydrogen separation membranes with dense/porous hybrid structure for high hydrogen perm-selectivity. The hydrogen selectivity of this membrane increased owing to the dense and pore-free microstructure of the membrane surface. The hydrogen permeation flux also was remarkably improved by the formation of an open microstructure with numerous open voids at the interface and by an effective reduction in the membrane thickness as a result of the porous structure formed within the Pd alloy films.

  16. Design Optimization of Deflection Caused After Release of Multilayer Structural Membrane of Symmetric Toggle Switch

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Maninder

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents the optimization in deflection caused by the inbuilt stress generated in mechanical or movable membrane of Symmetric Toggle RF MEMS Switch (STS. The movable membrane of STS was initially fabricated with two different materials, i.e. Chrome and Gold. The simulated deflection at 70 °C was 11.9 µm, and experimental deflection was 11-12 µm. We present a study of inbuilt deflection reduction in multimetal movable layers without change in actuation voltage of the switch. The design study was initially carried out on cantilevers and then on structural membrane of STS. STS with proposed multilayer of Cr-Au-Au-Ti-Au has a simulated deflection of 0.56 µm at 70 °C.

  17. Research on Several Prediction Methods of Membrane Protein Structure and Topology

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2001-01-01

    Since present prediction methods of membrane protein structureand topology made use of mixed data sets both from experiments and prediction as training and test sets, the reliability and accuracy of their prediction is still under debate. To benchmark the performance of these methods, this commentary uses a test set of membrane proteins created by European Bioinformatics Institute with either available 3-D structure or experimentally confirmed transmembrane regions. Then the prediction results are compared and the problems existing in these methods and important features for successful prediction are pointed out, which may help users to choose a more reliable prediction from different results. Based upon recent advances in membrane protein, possible means to improve topology prediction accuracy are discussed.

  18. The structural dynamics of the flavivirus fusion peptide-membrane interaction.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ygara S Mendes

    Full Text Available Membrane fusion is a crucial step in flavivirus infections and a potential target for antiviral strategies. Lipids and proteins play cooperative roles in the fusion process, which is triggered by the acidic pH inside the endosome. This acidic environment induces many changes in glycoprotein conformation and allows the action of a highly conserved hydrophobic sequence, the fusion peptide (FP. Despite the large volume of information available on the virus-triggered fusion process, little is known regarding the mechanisms behind flavivirus-cell membrane fusion. Here, we evaluated the contribution of a natural single amino acid difference on two flavivirus FPs, FLA(G ((98DRGWGNGCGLFGK(110 and FLA(H ((98DRGWGNHCGLFGK(110, and investigated the role of the charge of the target membrane on the fusion process. We used an in silico approach to simulate the interaction of the FPs with a lipid bilayer in a complementary way and used spectroscopic approaches to collect conformation information. We found that both peptides interact with neutral and anionic micelles, and molecular dynamics (MD simulations showed the interaction of the FPs with the lipid bilayer. The participation of the indole ring of Trp appeared to be important for the anchoring of both peptides in the membrane model, as indicated by MD simulations and spectroscopic analyses. Mild differences between FLA(G and FLA(H were observed according to the pH and the charge of the target membrane model. The MD simulations of the membrane showed that both peptides adopted a bend structure, and an interaction between the aromatic residues was strongly suggested, which was also observed by circular dichroism in the presence of micelles. As the FPs of viral fusion proteins play a key role in the mechanism of viral fusion, understanding the interactions between peptides and membranes is crucial for medical science and biology and may contribute to the design of new antiviral drugs.

  19. Dynamical clustering and a mechanism for raft-like structures in a model lipid membrane.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Starr, Francis W; Hartmann, Benedikt; Douglas, Jack F

    2014-05-01

    We use molecular dynamics simulations to examine the dynamical heterogeneity of a model single-component lipid membrane using a coarse-grained representation of lipid molecules. This model qualitatively reproduces the known phase transitions between disordered, ordered, and gel membrane phases, and the phase transitions are accompanied by significant changes in the nature of the lipid dynamics. In particular, lipid diffusion in the liquid-ordered phase is hindered by the transient trapping of molecules by their neighbors, similar to the dynamics of a liquid approaching its glass transition. This transient molecular caging gives rise to two distinct mobility groups within a single-component membrane: lipids that are transiently trapped, and lipids with displacements on the scale of the intermolecular spacing. Most significantly, lipids within these distinct mobility states spatially segregate, creating transient "islands" of enhanced mobility having a size and time scale compatible with lipid "rafts," dynamical structures thought to be important for cell membrane function. Although the dynamic lipid clusters that we observe do not themselves correspond to rafts (which are more complex, multicomponent structures), we hypothesize that such rafts may develop from the same universal mechanism, explaining why raft-like regions should arise, regardless of lipid structural or compositional details. These clusters are strikingly similar to the dynamical clusters found in glass-forming fluids, and distinct from phase-separation clusters. We also show that mobile lipid clusters can be dissected into smaller clusters of cooperatively rearranging molecules. The geometry of these clusters can be understood in the context of branched equilibrium polymers, related to percolation theory. We discuss how these dynamical structures relate to a range observations on the dynamics of lipid membranes.

  20. Myocardial structural alteration and systolic dysfunction in preclinical hypertrophic cardiomyopathy mutation carriers.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kai Hang Yiu

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: To evaluate the presence of myocardial structural alterations and subtle myocardial dysfunction during familial screening in asymptomatic mutation carriers without hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM phenotype. METHODS AND FINDINGS: Sixteen HCM families with pathogenic mutation were studied and 46 patients with phenotype expression (Mut+/Phen+ and 47 patients without phenotype expression (Mut+/Phen- were observed. Twenty-five control subjects, matched with the Mut+/Phen- group, were recruited for comparison. Echocardiography was performed to evaluate conventional parameters, myocardial structural alteration by calibrated integrated backscatter (cIBS and global and segmental longitudinal strain by speckle tracking analysis. All 3 groups had similar left ventricular dimensions and ejection fraction. Basal anteroseptal cIBS was the highest in Mut+/Phen+ patients (-14.0±4.6 dB, p-19.0 dB basal anteroseptal cIBS or >-18.0% basal anteroseptal longitudinal strain had a sensitivity of 98% and a specificity of 72% in differentiating Mut+/Phen- group from controls. CONCLUSION: The use of cIBS and segmental longitudinal strain can differentiate HCM Mut+/Phen- patients from controls with important clinical implications for the family screening and follow-up of these patients.

  1. Chronic ethanol intake leads to structural and molecular alterations in the rat endometrium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinez, Marcelo; Milton, Flora A; Pinheiro, Patricia Fernanda F; Almeida-Francia, Camila C D; Cagnon-Quitete, Valeria H A; Tirapelli, Luiz F; Padovani, Carlos Roberto; Chuffa, Luiz Gustavo A; Martinez, Francisco Eduardo

    2016-05-01

    We described the effects of low- and high-dose ethanol intake on the structure and apoptosis signaling of the uterine endometrium of UChA and UChB rats (animals with voluntary ethanol consumption). Thirty adult female rats, 90 days old, were divided into three groups (n = 10/group): UChA rats fed with 10% (v/v) ethanol ad libitum (free choice for water or ethanol) drinking water or ethanol) drinking from 2 to 5 g/kg/day; control rats without ethanol (only water). After 120 days of treatment, rats displaying estrus were euthanized. Uterine epithelial cells of the UCh rats showed dilated cisterns of the rough endoplasmic reticulum, presence of lipid droplets, altered nuclear chromatin, and disrupted mitochondria. The UCh rats exhibited intense atrophied epithelial cells with smaller areas and perimeters of cytoplasm and nuclei. The endometrium of UChA rats showed higher levels of caspase-3 while Xiap and Bcl2 varied from moderate to weak. Both UChA and UChB rats exhibited a stronger immunoreaction to Ki-67 and IGFR-1 on epithelial and stromal cells. Chronic ethanol intake leads to structural and molecular alterations in the uterine endometrium of UCh rats, regardless of low- or high-dose consumption, promoting reproductive disorders. PMID:27139238

  2. Structure and distribution of the Bacillus thuringiensis Cry4Ba toxin in lipid membranes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bacillus thuringiensis Cry δ-endotoxins cause death of susceptible insect larvae by forming lytic pores in the midgut epithelial cell membranes. The 65 kDa trypsin activated Cry4Ba toxin was previously shown to be capable of permeabilizing liposomes and forming ionic channels in receptor-free planar lipid bilayers. Here, magnetic ACmode (MACmode) atomic force microscopy (AFM) was used to characterize the lateral distribution and the native molecular structure of the Cry4Ba toxin in the membrane. Liposome fusion and the Langmuir-Blodgett technique were employed for supported lipid bilayer preparations. The toxin preferentially inserted in a self-assembled structure, rather than as a single monomeric molecule. In addition, the spontaneous insertion into receptor-free lipid bilayers lead to formation of characteristic pore-like structures with four-fold symmetry, suggesting that tetramers are the preferred oligomerization state of this toxin

  3. Structure and distribution of the Bacillus thuringiensis Cry4Ba toxin in lipid membranes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Puntheeranurak, Theeraporn [Institute for Biophysics, Johannes Kepler University of Linz, Altenbergerstr. 69, A-4040 Linz (Austria); Laboratory of Molecular Biophysics, Institute of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Mahidol University, Salaya Campus, Nakornpathom 73170 (Thailand); Stroh, Cordula [Institute for Biophysics, Johannes Kepler University of Linz, Altenbergerstr. 69, A-4040 Linz (Austria); Zhu Rong [Institute for Biophysics, Johannes Kepler University of Linz, Altenbergerstr. 69, A-4040 Linz (Austria); Angsuthanasombat, Chanan [Laboratory of Molecular Biophysics, Institute of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Mahidol University, Salaya Campus, Nakornpathom 73170 (Thailand); Hinterdorfer, Peter [Institute for Biophysics, Johannes Kepler University of Linz, Altenbergerstr. 69, A-4040 Linz (Austria)]. E-mail: peter.hinterdorfer@jku.at

    2005-11-15

    Bacillus thuringiensis Cry {delta}-endotoxins cause death of susceptible insect larvae by forming lytic pores in the midgut epithelial cell membranes. The 65 kDa trypsin activated Cry4Ba toxin was previously shown to be capable of permeabilizing liposomes and forming ionic channels in receptor-free planar lipid bilayers. Here, magnetic ACmode (MACmode) atomic force microscopy (AFM) was used to characterize the lateral distribution and the native molecular structure of the Cry4Ba toxin in the membrane. Liposome fusion and the Langmuir-Blodgett technique were employed for supported lipid bilayer preparations. The toxin preferentially inserted in a self-assembled structure, rather than as a single monomeric molecule. In addition, the spontaneous insertion into receptor-free lipid bilayers lead to formation of characteristic pore-like structures with four-fold symmetry, suggesting that tetramers are the preferred oligomerization state of this toxin.

  4. Membrane biofouling characterization: effects of sample preparation procedures on biofilm structure and the microbial community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xue, Zheng; Lu, Huijie; Liu, Wen-Tso

    2014-01-01

    Ensuring the quality and reproducibility of results from biofilm structure and microbial community analysis is essential to membrane biofouling studies. This study evaluated the impacts of three sample preparation factors (ie number of buffer rinses, storage time at 4°C, and DNA extraction method) on the downstream analysis of nitrifying biofilms grown on ultrafiltration membranes. Both rinse and storage affected biofilm structure, as suggested by their strong correlation with total biovolume, biofilm thickness, roughness and the spatial distribution of EPS. Significant variations in DNA yields and microbial community diversity were also observed among samples treated by different rinses, storage and DNA extraction methods. For the tested biofilms, two rinses, no storage and DNA extraction with both mechanical and chemical cell lysis from attached biofilm were the optimal sample preparation procedures for obtaining accurate information about biofilm structure, EPS distribution and the microbial community.

  5. Membrane biofouling characterization: effects of sample preparation procedures on biofilm structure and the microbial community

    KAUST Repository

    Xue, Zheng

    2014-07-15

    Ensuring the quality and reproducibility of results from biofilm structure and microbial community analysis is essential to membrane biofouling studies. This study evaluated the impacts of three sample preparation factors (ie number of buffer rinses, storage time at 4°C, and DNA extraction method) on the downstream analysis of nitrifying biofilms grown on ultrafiltration membranes. Both rinse and storage affected biofilm structure, as suggested by their strong correlation with total biovolume, biofilm thickness, roughness and the spatial distribution of EPS. Significant variations in DNA yields and microbial community diversity were also observed among samples treated by different rinses, storage and DNA extraction methods. For the tested biofilms, two rinses, no storage and DNA extraction with both mechanical and chemical cell lysis from attached biofilm were the optimal sample preparation procedures for obtaining accurate information about biofilm structure, EPS distribution and the microbial community. © 2014 © 2014 Taylor & Francis.

  6. Plasma lipid pattern and red cell membrane structure in β-thalassemia patients in Jakarta

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seruni K.U. Freisleben

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Background: Over the last 10 years, we have investigated thalassemia patients in Jakarta to obtain a comprehensive picture of iron overload, oxidative stress, and cell damage.Methods: In blood samples from 15 transfusion-dependent patients (group T, 5 non-transfused patients (group N and 10 controls (group C, plasma lipids and lipoproteins, lipid-soluble vitamin E, malondialdehyde (MDA and thiol status were measured. Isolated eryhtrocyte membranes were investigated with electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR spectroscopy using doxyl-stearic acid and maleimido-proxyl spin lables. Data were analyzed statistically with ANOVA.Results: Plasma triglycerides were higher and cholesterol levels were lower in thalassemic patients compared to controls. Vitamin E, group C: 21.8 vs T: 6.2 μmol/L and reactive thiols (C: 144 vs. T: 61 μmol/L were considerably lower in transfused patients, who exert clear signs of oxidative stress (MDA, C: 1.96 vs T: 9.2 μmol/L and of tissue cell damage, i.e., high transaminases plasma levels. Non-transfused thalassemia patients have slight signs of oxidative stress, but no significant indication of cell damage. Erythrocyte membrane parameters from EPR spectroscopy differ considerably between all groups. In transfusion-dependent patients the structure of the erythrocyte membrane and the gradients of polarity and fluidity are destroyed in lipid domains; binding capacity of protein thiols in the membrane is lower and immobilized.Conclusion: In tranfusion-dependent thalassemic patients, plasma lipid pattern and oxidative stress are associated with structural damage of isolated erythrocyte membranes as measured by EPR spectroscopy with lipid and proteinthiol spin labels. (Med J Indones 2011; 20:178-84Keywords: electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy, erythrocyte membrane, lipoproteins, oxidative stress, thalassemia, plasma lipids.

  7. Structure/property relationships in polymer membranes for water purification and energy applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geise, Geoffrey

    Providing sustainable supplies of purified water and energy is a critical global challenge for the future, and polymer membranes will play a key role in addressing these clear and pressing global needs for water and energy. Polymer membrane-based processes dominate the desalination market, and polymer membranes are crucial components in several rapidly developing power generation and storage applications that rely on membranes to control rates of water and/or ion transport. Much remains unknown about the influence of polymer structure on intrinsic water and ion transport properties, and these relationships must be developed to design next generation polymer membrane materials. For desalination applications, polymers with simultaneously high water permeability and low salt permeability are desirable in order to prepare selective membranes that can efficiently desalinate water, and a tradeoff relationship between water/salt selectivity and water permeability suggests that attempts to prepare such materials should rely on approaches that do more than simply vary polymer free volume. One strategy is to functionalize hydrocarbon polymers with fixed charge groups that can ionize upon exposure to water, and the presence of charged groups in the polymer influences transport properties. Additionally, in many emerging energy applications, charged polymers are exposed to ions that are very different from sodium and chloride. Specific ion effects have been observed in charged polymers, and these effects must be understood to prepare charged polymers that will enable emerging energy technologies. This presentation discusses research aimed at further understanding fundamental structure/property relationships that govern water and ion transport in charged polymer films considered for desalination and electric potential field-driven applications that can help address global needs for clean water and energy.

  8. The effects of heat exposure on the membranous structure of rat's intestinalepithelium and the biochemical indexes

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Guo Biao Zhu; Ji Hong Li

    2000-01-01

    AIM To study the effects of heat exposure and swimming on membranous structure of the small intestinalepithelium and the biochemical indexes.METHODS The distribution of the intra-membranous particles (IMPs) in enteric epithelium of SD rats andthe number of IMPs were analyzed with freeze-etching technique and TxB2, PGFIa, PRL, CORT and totalSA (TSA) were measured with the techniques of biochemistry and radio-immunity.RESULTS Heat exposure markedly affected the distributive pattern of IMPs in intestinal epithelium andmade the numbers of IMPs on the PF and EF faces of cell membrane and nuclear membrane decreased.Swimming exacerbated the above changes. And in the meantime heat exposure resulted in the massivereleasing of the body-hurting substance as TxB2 and reducing of the body-protecting substance as PGFIa.TSA increased obviously. These changes recovered partly after heat exposure, but the number of IMPs onboth PF and EF faces and certain biochemical indexes were still not restored to the levels as in the controlgroup.CONCLUSION Heat exposure and swimming can make the cellular catabolism accelerated and anabolismreduced, then bring about the numbers of IMPs of intestinal epithelium membrane and nuclear membranedecreased, and the distribution was abnormal. TxB2, PGFIa, PRL, CORT and TSA were changedabnormally during heat exposure. And above indexes showed no notable evidence of recovery after stoppingheat exposure 4 hours-24 hours; the delayed injury was obviously presented.

  9. Membrane-associated insulin-like growth factor (IGF binding structures in placental cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ROMANA MASNIKOSA

    2003-11-01

    Full Text Available The biological activities of IGF-I and –II are mediated mainly by the type 1 IGF receptor (IGF 1R and controlled by their interaction with soluble proteins, the IGF binding proteins (IGFBPs. Although there is a growing body of evidence that some IGFBPs may be cell surface-bound, published data concerning cell association of IGFBP-1 are scarce and none of them concern placental cells. The cell membranes used in this study were isolated from term human placentae. Detergent-solubilized membranes were shown to contain two types of IGF binding structures that were separated by gel filtration on a Sephadex G-100 column. Proteins in the first peak were eluted at V0 (Mr > 100 kD and they bound IGF-I with greater specificity and affinity than IGF-II and insulin. Most likely, they represented the IGF 1R. Small proteins (Mr ~ 45 kD were eluted with the membrane proteins in the second maximum. They were able to bind IGF-I and IGF-II, but not insulin. The identity of these proteins was shown to be IGFBP-1 on the basis of their reaction with specific anti-IGFBP-1 antibodies. To the best of our knowledge, the existence of IGFBP-1 associated with human placental cell membranes has not been reported in the literature before. Colocalisation of IGFBP-1 with IGF 1R in cell membranes could provide efficient modulation of IGF 1R receptor-ligand interactions.

  10. Field-based experimental acidification alters fouling community structure and reduces diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Norah E M; Therriault, Thomas W; Harley, Christopher D G

    2016-09-01

    Increasing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere are affecting ocean chemistry, leading to increased acidification (i.e. decreased pH) and reductions in calcium carbonate saturation state. Many species are likely to respond to acidification, but the direction and magnitude of these responses will be based on interspecific and ontogenetic variation in physiology and the relative importance of calcification. Differential responses to ocean acidification (OA) among species will likely result in important changes in community structure and diversity. To characterize the potential impacts of OA on community composition and structure, we examined the response of a marine fouling community to experimental CO2 enrichment in field-deployed flow-through mesocosm systems. Acidification significantly altered the community structure by altering the relative abundance of species and reduced community variability, resulting in more homogenous biofouling communities from one experimental tile to the next both among and within the acidified mesocosms. Mussel (Mytilus trossulus) recruitment was reduced by over 30% in the elevated CO2 treatment compared to the ambient treatment by the end of the experiment. Strong differences in mussel cover (up to 40% lower in acidified conditions) developed over the second half of the 10-week experiment. Acidification did not appear to affect the mussel growth, as average mussel sizes were similar between treatments at the end of the experiment. Hydroid (Obelia dichotoma) cover was significantly reduced in the elevated CO2 treatment after 8 weeks. Conversely, the percentage cover of bryozoan colonies (Mebranipora membranacea) was higher under acidified conditions with differences becoming apparent after 6 weeks. Neither recruitment nor final size of barnacles (Balanus crenatus) was affected by acidification. By the end of the experiment, diversity was 41% lower in the acidified treatment relative to ambient conditions. Overall, our findings support the

  11. Canopy structural alterations to nitrogen functions of the soil microbial community in a Quercus virginiana forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, L. D.; Van Stan, J. T., II; Rosier, C. L.; Gay, T. E.; Wu, T.

    2014-12-01

    Forest canopy structure controls the timing, amount and chemical character of precipitation supply to soils through interception and drainage along crown surfaces. Yet, few studies have examined forest canopy structural connections to soil microbial communities (SMCs), and none have measured how this affects SMC N functions. The maritime Quercus virginiana Mill. (southern live oak) forests of St Catherine's Island, GA, USA provide an ideal opportunity to examine canopy structural alterations to SMCs and their functioning, as their throughfall varies substantially across space due to dense Tillandsia usneoides L. (spanish moss) mats bestrewn throughout. To examine the impact of throughfall variability on SMC N functions, we examined points along the canopy coverage continuum: large canopy gaps (0%), bare canopy (50-60%), and canopy of heavy T. usneoides coverage (>=85%). Five sites beneath each of the canopy cover types were monitored for throughfall water/ions and soil leachates chemistry for one storm each month over the growing period (7 months, Mar-2014 to Sep-2014) to compare with soil chemistry and SMC communities sampled every two months throughout that same period (Mar, May, Jul, Sep). DGGE and QPCR analysis of the N functioning genes (NFGs) to characterize the ammonia oxidizing bacterial (AOB-amoA), archaea (AOA-amoA), and ammonification (chiA) communities were used to determine the nitrification and decomposition potential of these microbial communities. PRS™-probes (Western Ag Innovations Inc., Saskatoon, Canada) were then used to determine the availability of NO3-N and NH4+N in the soils over a 6-week period to evaluate whether the differing NFG abundance and community structures resulted in altered N cycling.

  12. Structure determination of an integral membrane protein at room temperature from crystals in situ

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Axford, Danny [Diamond Light Source, Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, Oxfordshire OX11 0DE (United Kingdom); Foadi, James [Diamond Light Source, Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, Oxfordshire OX11 0DE (United Kingdom); Imperial College London, London SW7 2AZ (United Kingdom); Hu, Nien-Jen; Choudhury, Hassanul Ghani [Diamond Light Source, Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, Oxfordshire OX11 0DE (United Kingdom); Imperial College London, London SW7 2AZ (United Kingdom); Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Oxfordshire OX11 0FA (United Kingdom); Iwata, So [Diamond Light Source, Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, Oxfordshire OX11 0DE (United Kingdom); Diamond Light Source, Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, Oxfordshire OX11 0DE (United Kingdom); Imperial College London, London SW7 2AZ (United Kingdom); Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Oxfordshire OX11 0FA (United Kingdom); Kyoto University, Kyoto 606-8501 (Japan); Beis, Konstantinos [Diamond Light Source, Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, Oxfordshire OX11 0DE (United Kingdom); Imperial College London, London SW7 2AZ (United Kingdom); Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Oxfordshire OX11 0FA (United Kingdom); Evans, Gwyndaf, E-mail: gwyndaf.evans@diamond.ac.uk [Diamond Light Source, Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, Oxfordshire OX11 0DE (United Kingdom); Alguel, Yilmaz, E-mail: gwyndaf.evans@diamond.ac.uk [Diamond Light Source, Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, Oxfordshire OX11 0DE (United Kingdom); Imperial College London, London SW7 2AZ (United Kingdom); Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Oxfordshire OX11 0FA (United Kingdom)

    2015-05-14

    The X-ray structure determination of an integral membrane protein using synchrotron diffraction data measured in situ at room temperature is demonstrated. The structure determination of an integral membrane protein using synchrotron X-ray diffraction data collected at room temperature directly in vapour-diffusion crystallization plates (in situ) is demonstrated. Exposing the crystals in situ eliminates manual sample handling and, since it is performed at room temperature, removes the complication of cryoprotection and potential structural anomalies induced by sample cryocooling. Essential to the method is the ability to limit radiation damage by recording a small amount of data per sample from many samples and subsequently assembling the resulting data sets using specialized software. The validity of this procedure is established by the structure determination of Haemophilus influenza TehA at 2.3 Å resolution. The method presented offers an effective protocol for the fast and efficient determination of membrane-protein structures at room temperature using third-generation synchrotron beamlines.

  13. Anti-deformed Polyacrylonitrile/Polysulfone Composite Membrane with Binary Structures for Effective Air Filtration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Shichao; Liu, Hui; Yin, Xia; Yu, Jianyong; Ding, Bin

    2016-03-01

    Airborne particle filtration proposed for fibers requires their assembly into porous structures with small pore size and low packing density. The ability to maintain structural stability upon deformation stress in service is essential to ensure a highly porous packing material that functions reliably; however, it has proven extremely challenging. Here, we report a strategy to create anti-deformed poly(ethylene oxide)@polyacrylonitrile/polysulfone (PEO@PAN/PSU) composite membranes with binary structures for effective air filtration by combining multijet electrospinning and physical bonding process. Our approach allows the ambigenous fiber framework including thin PAN nanofibers and fluffy PSU microfibers, through which run interpenetrating PEO bonding structures, to assemble into stable filtration medium with tunable pore size and packing density by facilely optimizing the bimodal fiber construction and benefiting from the PEO inspiration. With the integrated features of small pore size, high porosity, and robust mechanical properties (8.2 MPa), the resultant composite membrane exhibits high filtration efficiency of 99.992%, low pressure drop of 95 Pa, and desirable quality factor of 0.1 Pa(-1); more significantly, it successfully gets rid of the potential safety hazards caused by unexpected structural collapsing under service stress. The synthesis of PEO@PAN/PSU medium would not only make it a promising candidate for PM2.5 governance but also provide a versatile strategy to design and develop stable porous membranes for various applications. PMID:26958995

  14. Single-cell evaluation of red blood cell bio-mechanical and nano-structural alterations upon chemically induced oxidative stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinha, Ameya; Chu, Trang T T; Dao, Ming; Chandramohanadas, Rajesh

    2015-01-01

    Erythroid cells, specifically red blood cells (RBCs), are constantly exposed to highly reactive radicals during cellular gaseous exchange. Such exposure often exceeds the cells' innate anti-oxidant defense systems, leading to progressive damage and eventual senescence. One of the contributing factors to this process are alterations to hemoglobin conformation and globin binding to red cell cytoskeleton. However, in addition to the aforementioned changes, it is possible that oxidative damage induces critical changes to the erythrocyte cytoskeleton and corresponding bio-mechanical and nano-structural properties of the red cell membrane. To quantitatively characterize how oxidative damage accounts for such changes, we employed single-cell manipulation techniques such as micropipette aspiration and atomic force microscopy (AFM) on RBCs. These investigations demonstrated visible morphological changes upon chemically induced oxidative damage (using hydrogen peroxide, diamide, primaquine bisphosphate and cumene hydroperoxide). Our results provide previously unavailable observations on remarkable changes in red cell cytoskeletal architecture and membrane stiffness due to oxidative damage. Furthermore, we also demonstrate that a pathogen that infects human blood cells, Plasmodium falciparum was unable to penetrate through the oxidant-exposed RBCs that have damaged cytoskeleton and stiffer membranes. This indicates the importance of bio-physical factors pertinent to aged RBCs and it's relevance to malaria infectivity. PMID:25950144

  15. Stimulation of Slack K(+) Channels Alters Mass at the Plasma Membrane by Triggering Dissociation of a Phosphatase-Regulatory Complex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fleming, Matthew R; Brown, Maile R; Kronengold, Jack; Zhang, Yalan; Jenkins, David P; Barcia, Gulia; Nabbout, Rima; Bausch, Anne E; Ruth, Peter; Lukowski, Robert; Navaratnam, Dhasakumar S; Kaczmarek, Leonard K

    2016-08-30

    Human mutations in the cytoplasmic C-terminal domain of Slack sodium-activated potassium (KNa) channels result in childhood epilepsy with severe intellectual disability. Slack currents can be increased by pharmacological activators or by phosphorylation of a Slack C-terminal residue by protein kinase C. Using an optical biosensor assay, we find that Slack channel stimulation in neurons or transfected cells produces loss of mass near the plasma membrane. Slack mutants associated with intellectual disability fail to trigger any change in mass. The loss of mass results from the dissociation of the protein phosphatase 1 (PP1) targeting protein, Phactr-1, from the channel. Phactr1 dissociation is specific to wild-type Slack channels and is not observed when related potassium channels are stimulated. Our findings suggest that Slack channels are coupled to cytoplasmic signaling pathways and that dysregulation of this coupling may trigger the aberrant intellectual development associated with specific childhood epilepsies. PMID:27545877

  16. Stimulation of Slack K+ Channels Alters Mass at the Plasma Membrane by Triggering Dissociation of a Phosphatase-Regulatory Complex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew R. Fleming

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Human mutations in the cytoplasmic C-terminal domain of Slack sodium-activated potassium (KNa channels result in childhood epilepsy with severe intellectual disability. Slack currents can be increased by pharmacological activators or by phosphorylation of a Slack C-terminal residue by protein kinase C. Using an optical biosensor assay, we find that Slack channel stimulation in neurons or transfected cells produces loss of mass near the plasma membrane. Slack mutants associated with intellectual disability fail to trigger any change in mass. The loss of mass results from the dissociation of the protein phosphatase 1 (PP1 targeting protein, Phactr-1, from the channel. Phactr1 dissociation is specific to wild-type Slack channels and is not observed when related potassium channels are stimulated. Our findings suggest that Slack channels are coupled to cytoplasmic signaling pathways and that dysregulation of this coupling may trigger the aberrant intellectual development associated with specific childhood epilepsies.

  17. Structural and Functional Insights into the Cryoprotection of Membranes by the Intrinsically Disordered Dehydrins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clarke, Matthew W; Boddington, Kelly F; Warnica, Josephine M; Atkinson, John; McKenna, Sarah; Madge, Jeffrey; Barker, Christine H; Graether, Steffen P

    2015-11-01

    Dehydration can be due to desiccation caused by a lack of environmental water or to freezing caused by a lack of liquid water. Plants have evolved a large family of proteins called LEA (late embryogenesis abundant) proteins, which include the intrinsically disordered dehydrin (dehydration protein) family, to combat these abiotic stresses. Although transcription and translation studies have shown a correlation between dehydration stress and the presence of dehydrins, the biochemical mechanisms have remained somewhat elusive. We examine here the effect and structure of a small model dehydrin (Vitis riparia K2) on the protection of membranes from freeze-thaw stress. This protein is able to bind to liposomes containing phosphatidic acid and protect the liposomes from fusing after freeze-thaw treatment. The presence of K2 did not measurably affect liposome surface accessibility or lipid mobility but did lower its membrane transition temperature by 3 °C. Using sodium dodecyl sulfate as a membrane model, we examined the NMR structure of K2 in the presence and absence of the micelle. Biochemical and NMR experiments show that the conserved, lysine-rich segments are involved in the binding of the dehydrin to a membrane, whereas the poorly conserved φ segments play no role in binding or protection. PMID:26370084

  18. Post-directed-self-assembly membrane fabrication for in situ analysis of block copolymer structures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ren, J.; Ocola, L. E.; Divan, R.; Czaplewski, D. A.; Segal-Peretz, T.; Xiong, S.; Kline, R. J.; Arges, C. G.; Nealey, P. F.

    2016-10-01

    Full characterization of the three-dimensional structures resulting from the directed self-assembly (DSA) of block copolymers (BCP) remains a difficult challenge. Transmission electron microscope (TEM) tomography and resonant soft x-ray scattering have emerged as powerful and complementary methods for through-film characterization; both techniques require samples to be prepared on specialized membrane substrates. Here we report a generalizable process to implement BCP DSA with density multiplication on silicon nitride membranes. A key feature of the process developed here is that it does not introduce any artefacts or damage to the polymer assemblies as DSA is performed prior to back-etched membrane formation. Because most research and applications of BCP lithography are based on silicon substrates, process variations introduced by implementing DSA on a silicon nitride/silicon stack versus silicon were identified and mitigated. Using full-wafers, membranes were fabricated with different sizes and layouts to enable both TEM and x-ray characterization. Finally, both techniques were used to characterize structures resulting from the DSA of lamella-forming BCP with density multiplication.

  19. Fiber Temperature Sensor Based on Micro-mechanical Membranes and Optical Interference Structure

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Liu Yueming; Tian Weijian; Hua Jing, E-mail: liuym@cjlu.edu.cn [College of Optical and Electronic Technology, China Jiliang University, Hangzhou 310018 (China)

    2011-02-01

    A novel fiber temperature sensor is presented theoretically and experimentally in this paper. Its working principle is based on Optical Fabry-Perot interference structure that is formed between a polished optical fiber end and micro-mechanical Bi-layered membranes. When ambient temperature is varying, Bi-layered membranes will be deflected and the length of Fabry-Perot cavity will be changed correspondingly. By detecting the reflecting optical intensity from the Fabry-Perot cavity, the ambient temperature can be measured. Using finite element software ANSYS, the sensor structure was optimized based on optical Interference theory and Bi-layered membranes thermal expansion theory, and theoretical characteristics was simulated by computer software. In the end, using optical fiber 2x2 coupler and photo-electrical detector, the fabricated sample sensor was tested successfully by experiment that demonstrating above theoretical analysis and simulation results. This sensor has some favorable features, such as: micro size owing to its micro-mechanical structure, high sensitivity owing to its working Fabry-Perot interference cavity structure, and optical integration character by using optical fiber techniques.

  20. Alteration of human serum albumin tertiary structure induced by glycation. Spectroscopic study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szkudlarek, A.; Maciążek-Jurczyk, M.; Chudzik, M.; Równicka-Zubik, J.; Sułkowska, A.

    2016-01-01

    The modification of human serum albumin (HSA) structure by non-enzymatic glycation is one of the underlying factors that contribute to the development of complications of diabetes and neurodegenerative diseases. The aim of the present work was to estimate how glycation of HSA altered its tertiary structure. Changes of albumin conformation were investigated by comparison of glycated (gHSA) and non-glycated human serum albumin (HSA) absorption spectra, red edge excitation shift (REES) and synchronous spectra. Effect of glycation on human serum albumin tertiary structure was also investigated by 1H NMR spectroscopy. Formation of gHSA Advanced Glycation End-products (AGEs) caused absorption of UV-VIS light between 310 nm and 400 nm while for non-glycated HSA in this region no absorbance has been registered. Analysis of red edge excitation shift effect allowed for observation of structural changes of gHSA in the hydrophobic pocket containing the tryptophanyl residue. Moreover changes in the microenvironment of tryptophanyl and tyrosyl residues brought about AGEs on the basis of synchronous fluorescence spectroscopy have been confirmed. The influence of glycation process on serum albumin binding to 5-dimethylaminonaphthalene-1-sulfonamide (DNSA), 2-(p-toluidino) naphthalene-6-sulfonic acid (TNS), has been studied. Fluorescence analysis showed that environment of both binding site I and II is modified by galactose glycation.

  1. Electrostatics of cell membrane recognition: structure and activity of neutral and cationic rigid push-pull rods in isoelectric, anionic, and polarized lipid bilayer membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakai, N; Gerard, D; Matile, S

    2001-03-21

    Design, synthesis, and structural and functional studies of rigid-rod ionophores of different axial electrostatic asymmetry are reported. The employed design strategy emphasized presence of (a) a rigid scaffold to minimize the conformational complexity, (b) a unimolecular ion-conducting pathway to minimize the suprastructural complexity and monitor the function, (c) an extended fluorophore to monitor structure, (d) variable axial rod dipole, and (e) variable terminal charges to create axial asymmetry. Studies in isoelectric, anionic, and polarized bilayer membranes confirmed a general increase in activity of uncharged rigid push-pull rods in polarized bilayers. The similarly increased activity of cationic rigid push-pull rods with an electrostatic asymmetry comparable to that of alpha-helical bee toxin melittin (positive charge near negative axial dipole terminus) is shown by fluorescence-depth quenching experiments to originate from the stabilization of transmembrane rod orientation by the membrane potential. The reduced activity of rigid push-pull rods having an electrostatic asymmetry comparable to that in alpha-helical natural antibiotics (a positive charge near the positive axial dipole terminus) is shown by structural studies to originate from rod "ejection" by membrane potentials comparable to that found in mammalian plasma membranes. This structural evidence for cell membrane recognition by asymmetric rods is unprecedented and of possible practical importance with regard to antibiotic resistance.

  2. Microcystin-LR acute exposure does not alter in vitro and in vivo ATP, ADP and AMP hydrolysis in adult zebrafish (Danio rerio brain membranes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luiza Wilges Kist

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Microcystins (MCs are toxins produced by cyanobacteria during the blooms that could accumulate in aquatic animals and be relocated to higher trophic levels. Adenosine triphosphate (ATP acts as an excitatory neurotransmitter and/or a neuromodulator in the extracellular space playing important roles in physiological and pathological conditions. The aim of this study was, therefore, to evaluate the acute effects of different concentrations of MC-LR on nucleoside triphosphate diphosphohydrolases and 5’-nucleotidade in adult zebrafish (Danio rerio brain membranes. The results have shown no significant changes in ATP, adenosine diphosphate (ADP and adenosine monophosphate (AMP hydrolysis in zebrafish brain membranes. MC-LR in vitro also did not alter ATP, ADP and AMP hydrolysis in the concentrations tested. These findings show that acute exposure to MC-LR did not modulate ectonucleotidase activity in the conditions tested. However, additional studies including chronic exposure should be performed in order to achieve a better understanding about MC-LR toxicity mechanisms in the central nervous system.

  3. Pantethine Alters Lipid Composition and Cholesterol Content of Membrane Rafts, With Down-Regulation of CXCL12-Induced T Cell Migration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Gijsel-Bonnello, Manuel; Acar, Niyazi; Molino, Yves; Bretillon, Lionel; Khrestchatisky, Michel; de Reggi, Max; Gharib, Bouchra

    2015-10-01

    Pantethine, a natural low-molecular-weight thiol, shows a broad activity in a large range of essential cellular pathways. It has been long known as a hypolipidemic and hypocholesterolemic agent. We have recently shown that it exerts a neuroprotective action in mouse models of cerebral malaria and Parkinson's disease through multiple mechanisms. In the present study, we looked at its effects on membrane lipid rafts that serve as platforms for molecules engaged in cell activity, therefore providing a target against inappropriate cell response leading to a chronic inflammation. We found that pantethine-treated cells showed a significant change in raft fatty acid composition and cholesterol content, with ultimate downregulation of cell adhesion, CXCL12-driven chemotaxis, and transendothelial migration of various T cell types, including human Jurkat cell line and circulating effector T cells. The mechanisms involved include the alteration of the following: (i) CXCL12 binding to its target cells; (ii) membrane dynamics of CXCR4 and CXCR7, the two CXCL12 receptors; and (iii) cell redox status, a crucial determinant in the regulation of the chemokine system. In addition, we considered the linker for activation of T cells molecule to show that pantethine effects were associated with the displacement from the rafts of the acylated signaling molecules which had their palmitoylation level reduced.. In conclusion, the results presented here, together with previously published findings, indicate that due to its pleiotropic action, pantethine can downregulate the multifaceted process leading to pathogenic T cell activation and migration.

  4. Pantethine Alters Lipid Composition and Cholesterol Content of Membrane Rafts, With Down-Regulation of CXCL12-Induced T Cell Migration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Gijsel-Bonnello, Manuel; Acar, Niyazi; Molino, Yves; Bretillon, Lionel; Khrestchatisky, Michel; de Reggi, Max; Gharib, Bouchra

    2015-10-01

    Pantethine, a natural low-molecular-weight thiol, shows a broad activity in a large range of essential cellular pathways. It has been long known as a hypolipidemic and hypocholesterolemic agent. We have recently shown that it exerts a neuroprotective action in mouse models of cerebral malaria and Parkinson's disease through multiple mechanisms. In the present study, we looked at its effects on membrane lipid rafts that serve as platforms for molecules engaged in cell activity, therefore providing a target against inappropriate cell response leading to a chronic inflammation. We found that pantethine-treated cells showed a significant change in raft fatty acid composition and cholesterol content, with ultimate downregulation of cell adhesion, CXCL12-driven chemotaxis, and transendothelial migration of various T cell types, including human Jurkat cell line and circulating effector T cells. The mechanisms involved include the alteration of the following: (i) CXCL12 binding to its target cells; (ii) membrane dynamics of CXCR4 and CXCR7, the two CXCL12 receptors; and (iii) cell redox status, a crucial determinant in the regulation of the chemokine system. In addition, we considered the linker for activation of T cells molecule to show that pantethine effects were associated with the displacement from the rafts of the acylated signaling molecules which had their palmitoylation level reduced.. In conclusion, the results presented here, together with previously published findings, indicate that due to its pleiotropic action, pantethine can downregulate the multifaceted process leading to pathogenic T cell activation and migration. PMID:25728249

  5. alpha-Globin genes: thalassemic and structural alterations in a Brazilian population

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M.R.S.C. Wenning

    2000-09-01

    Full Text Available Seven unrelated patients with hemoglobin (Hb H disease and 27 individuals with alpha-chain structural alterations were studied to identify the alpha-globin gene mutations present in the population of Southeast Brazil. The -alpha3.7, --MED and -(alpha20.5 deletions were investigated by PCR, whereas non-deletional alpha-thalassemia (alphaHphalpha, alphaNcoIalpha, aaNcoI, alphaIcalpha and alphaTSaudialpha was screened with restriction enzymes and by nested PCR. Structural alterations were identified by direct DNA sequencing. Of the seven patients with Hb H disease, all of Italian descent, two had the -(alpha20.5/-alpha3.7 genotype, one had the --MED/-alpha3.7 genotype, one had the --MED/alphaHphalpha genotype and three showed interaction of the -alpha3.7 deletion with an unusual, unidentified form of non-deletional alpha-thalassemia [-alpha3.7/(aaT]. Among the 27 patients with structural alterations, 15 (of Italian descent had Hb Hasharon (alpha47Asp->His associated with the -alpha3.7 deletion, 4 (of Italian descent were heterozygous for Hb J-Rovigo (alpha53Ala->Asp, 4 (3 Blacks and 1 Caucasian were heterozygous for Hb Stanleyville-II (alpha78Asn->Lys associated with the alpha+-thalassemia, 1 (Black was heterozygous for Hb G-Pest (alpha74Asp->Asn, 1 (Caucasian was heterozygous for Hb Kurosaki (alpha7Lys->Glu, 1 (Caucasian was heterozygous for Hb Westmead (alpha122His->Gln, and 1 (Caucasian was the carrier of a novel silent variant (Hb Campinas, alpha26Ala->Val. Most of the mutations found reflected the Mediterranean and African origins of the population. Hbs G-Pest and Kurosaki, very rare, and Hb Westmead, common in southern China, were initially described in individuals of ethnic origin differing from those of the carriers reported in the present study and are the first cases to be reported in the Brazilian population.

  6. Effects of the Membrane Action of Tetralin on the Functional and Structural Properties of Artificial and Bacterial Membranes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    SIKKEMA, J; POOLMAN, B; KONINGS, WN; DEBONT, JAM

    1992-01-01

    Tetralin is toxic to bacterial cells at concentrations below 100-mu-mol/liter. To assess the inhibitory action of tetralin on bacterial membranes, a membrane model system, consisting of proteoliposomes in which beef heart cytochrome c oxidase was reconstituted as the proton motive force-generating m

  7. Experience-dependent plasticity in white matter microstructure: reasoning training alters structural connectivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mackey, Allyson P; Whitaker, Kirstie J; Bunge, Silvia A

    2012-01-01

    Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) techniques have made it possible to investigate white matter plasticity in humans. Changes in DTI measures, principally increases in fractional anisotropy (FA), have been observed following training programs as diverse as juggling, meditation, and working memory. Here, we sought to test whether three months of reasoning training could alter white matter microstructure. We recruited participants (n = 23) who were enrolled in a course to prepare for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), a test that places strong demands on reasoning skills, as well as age- and IQ-matched controls planning to take the LSAT in the future (n = 22). DTI data were collected at two scan sessions scheduled three months apart. In trained participants but not controls, we observed decreases in radial diffusivity (RD) in white matter connecting frontal cortices, and in mean diffusivity (MD) within frontal and parietal lobe white matter. Further, participants exhibiting larger gains on the LSAT exhibited greater decreases in MD in the right internal capsule. In summary, reasoning training altered multiple measures of white matter structure in young adults. While the cellular underpinnings are unknown, these results provide evidence of experience-dependent white matter changes that may not be limited to myelination. PMID:22936899

  8. Maternal Hyperleptinemia Is Associated with Male Offspring's Altered Vascular Function and Structure in Mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kathleen A Pennington

    Full Text Available Children of mothers with gestational diabetes have greater risk of developing hypertension but little is known about the mechanisms by which this occurs. The objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that high maternal concentrations of leptin during pregnancy, which are present in mothers with gestational diabetes and/or obesity, alter blood pressure, vascular structure and vascular function in offspring. Wildtype (WT offspring of hyperleptinemic, normoglycemic, Leprdb/+ dams were compared to genotype matched offspring of WT-control dams. Vascular function was assessed in male offspring at 6, and at 31 weeks of age after half the offspring had been fed a high fat, high sucrose diet (HFD for 6 weeks. Blood pressure was increased by HFD but not affected by maternal hyperleptinemia. On a standard diet, offspring of hyperleptinemic dams had outwardly remodeled mesenteric arteries and an enhanced vasodilatory response to insulin. In offspring of WT but not Leprdb/+ dams, HFD induced vessel hypertrophy and enhanced vasodilatory responses to acetylcholine, while HFD reduced insulin responsiveness in offspring of hyperleptinemic dams. Offspring of hyperleptinemic dams had stiffer arteries regardless of diet. Therefore, while maternal hyperleptinemia was largely beneficial to offspring vascular health under a standard diet, it had detrimental effects in offspring fed HFD. These results suggest that circulating maternal leptin concentrations may interact with other factors in the pre- and post -natal environments to contribute to altered vascular function in offspring of diabetic pregnancies.

  9. Experience-dependent plasticity in white matter microstructure: Reasoning training alters structural connectivity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Allyson P Mackey

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI techniques have made it possible to investigate white matter plasticity in humans. Changes in DTI measures, principally increases in fractional anisotropy (FA, have been observed following training programs as diverse as juggling, meditation, and working memory. Here, we sought to test whether three months of reasoning training could alter white matter microstructure. We recruited participants (n=23 who were enrolled in a course to prepare for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT, a test that places strong demands on reasoning skills, as well as age- and IQ-matched controls planning to take the LSAT in the future (n=22. DTI data were collected at two scan sessions scheduled three months apart. In trained participants but not controls, we observed decreases in radial diffusivity (RD in white matter connecting frontal cortices, and in mean diffusivity (MD within frontal and parietal lobe white matter. Further, participants exhibiting larger gains on the LSAT exhibited greater decreases in MD in the right internal capsule. In summary, reasoning training altered multiple measures of white matter structure in young adults. While the cellular underpinnings are unknown, these results provide evidence of experience-dependent white matter changes that may not be limited to myelination.

  10. Alteration of hepatic structure and oxidative stress induced by intravenous nanoceria

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tseng, Michael T., E-mail: mttsen01@louisville.edu [Dept of Anatomical Sciences and Neurobiology, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky (United States); Lu, Xiaoqin, E-mail: x0lu0003@louisville.edu [Dept of Anatomical Sciences and Neurobiology, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky (United States); Duan, Xiaoxian, E-mail: x0duan02@louisville.edu [Dept of Anatomical Sciences and Neurobiology, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky (United States); Hardas, Sarita S., E-mail: sarita.hardas@uky.edu [Dept. of Chemistry, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky (United States); Sultana, Rukhsana, E-mail: rsult2@uky.edu [Dept. of Chemistry, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky (United States); Wu, Peng, E-mail: peng.wu@uky.edu [Dept of Chemical and Materials Engineering, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky (United States); Unrine, Jason M., E-mail: jason.unrine@uky.edu [Dept of Plant and Soil Sciences, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky (United States); Graham, Uschi, E-mail: graham@caer.uky.edu [Center for Applied Energy Research, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky (United States); Butterfield, D. Allan, E-mail: dabcns@uky.edu [Dept. of Chemistry, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky (United States); Grulke, Eric A., E-mail: eric.grulke@uky.edu [Dept of Chemical and Materials Engineering, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky (United States); Yokel, Robert A., E-mail: ryokel@email.uky.edu [Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky (United States)

    2012-04-15

    Beyond the traditional use of ceria as an abrasive, the scope of nanoceria applications now extends into fuel cell manufacturing, diesel fuel additives, and for therapeutic intervention as a putative antioxidant. However, the biological effects of nanoceria exposure have yet to be fully defined, which gave us the impetus to examine its systemic biodistribution and biological responses. An extensively characterized nanoceria (5 nm) dispersion was vascularly infused into rats, which were terminated 1 h, 20 h or 30 days later. Light and electron microscopic tissue characterization was conducted and hepatic oxidative stress parameters determined. We observed acute ceria nanoparticle sequestration by Kupffer cells with subsequent bioretention in parenchymal cells as well. The internalized ceria nanoparticles appeared as spherical agglomerates of varying dimension without specific organelle penetration. In hepatocytes, the agglomerated nanoceria frequently localized to the plasma membrane facing bile canaliculi. Hepatic stellate cells also sequestered nanoceria. Within the sinusoids, sustained nanoceria bioretention was associated with granuloma formations comprised of Kupffer cells and intermingling CD3{sup +} T cells. A statistically significant elevation of serum aspartate aminotransferase (AST) level was seen at 1 and 20 h, but subsided by 30 days after ceria administration. Further, elevated apoptosis was observed on day 30. These findings, together with increased hepatic protein carbonyl levels on day 30, indicate ceria-induced hepatic injury and oxidative stress, respectively. Such observations suggest a single vascular infusion of nanoceria can lead to persistent hepatic retention of particles with possible implications for occupational and therapeutic exposures. -- Highlights: ► Time course study on nanoceria induced hepatic alterations in rats. ► Serum AST elevation indicated acute hepatotoxicity. ► Ceria is retained for up to 30 days in Kupffer cells

  11. Characterization of TBP containing polysiloxane membrane/insulator/semiconductor structures for hexavalent chromium detection

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zazoua, A. [Universite de Jijel, BP 98, Ouled Aissa, 18000 Jijel (Algeria); Universite de Annaba, BP 12, El-Hadjar, Annaba (Algeria); Kherrat, R.; Samar, M.H. [Universite de Annaba, BP 12, El-Hadjar, Annaba (Algeria); Errachid, A. [Laboratori de Nanobioenginyeria-IBEC, CIBER, Parc Cientific de Barcelona (PCB)-Departament d' Electronica. Universitat de Barcelona, C/Marti i Franques 1, 08028 Barcelona (Spain); Jaffrezic-Renault, N. [LSA - UMR 5180 CNRS - Universite Claude Bernard Lyon 1, 69622 Villeurbanne cedex (France)], E-mail: nicole.jaffrezic@univ-lyon1.fr; Bessueille, F.; Leonard, D. [LSA - UMR 5180 CNRS - Universite Claude Bernard Lyon 1, 69622 Villeurbanne cedex (France)

    2008-07-01

    A hexavalent chromium-sensitive EMIS sensor (electrolyte membrane insulator semiconductor sensor) is prepared by deposition of a tributylphosphate (TBP) ionophore-containing siloprene membrane on a Si/SiO{sub 2}/Si{sub 3}N{sub 4} structure. The developed EMIS sensor was studied by means of impedance spectroscopy, capacitance-voltage, X-ray photoelectron spectrometry and FT-IR spectroscopy. From the flat-band shift of the EMIS structure, the nersntian response to the anionic species Cr{sub 2}O{sub 7}{sup -} was demonstrated. The linear range of detection is 10{sup -4} M to 10{sup -1} M and the detection limit is 10{sup -5} M. Sulfate and chloride anions are shown not to be interfering whereas carbonate ions present a pK{sup pot} equal to 0.19.

  12. Crystal structure of the Neisseria gonorrhoeae MtrD inner membrane multidrug efflux pump.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jani Reddy Bolla

    Full Text Available Neisseria gonorrhoeae is an obligate human pathogen and the causative agent of the sexually-transmitted disease gonorrhea. The control of this disease has been compromised by the increasing proportion of infections due to antibiotic-resistant strains, which are growing at an alarming rate. The MtrCDE tripartite multidrug efflux pump, belonging to the hydrophobic and amphiphilic efflux resistance-nodulation-cell division (HAE-RND family, spans both the inner and outer membranes of N. gonorrhoeae and confers resistance to a variety of antibiotics and toxic compounds. We here report the crystal structure of the inner membrane MtrD multidrug efflux pump, which reveals a novel structural feature that is not found in other RND efflux pumps.

  13. Determining the Secondary Structure of Membrane Proteins and Peptides Via Electron Spin Echo Envelope Modulation (ESEEM) Spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Lishan; Mayo, Daniel J.; Sahu, Indra D.; Zhou, Andy; Zhang, Rongfu; McCarrick, Robert M.; Lorigan, Gary A.

    2016-01-01

    Revealing detailed structural and dynamic information of membrane embedded or associated proteins is challenging due to their hydrophobic nature which makes NMR and X-ray crystallographic studies challenging or impossible. Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) has emerged as a powerful technique to provide essential structural and dynamic information for membrane proteins with no size limitations in membrane systems which mimic their natural lipid bilayer environment. Therefore, tremendous efforts have been devoted toward the development and application of EPR spectroscopic techniques to study the structure of biological systems such as membrane proteins and peptides. This chapter introduces a novel approach established and developed in the Lorigan lab to investigate membrane protein and peptide local secondary structures utilizing the pulsed EPR technique electron spin echo envelope modulation (ESEEM) spectroscopy. Detailed sample preparation strategies in model membrane protein systems and the experimental setup are described. Also, the ability of this approach to identify local secondary structure of membrane proteins and peptides with unprecedented efficiency is demonstrated in model systems. Finally, applications and further developments of this ESEEM approach for probing larger size membrane proteins produced by over-expression systems are discussed. PMID:26477255

  14. Structure and Function of HAMLET: Epitopes, Membrane Interactions and Molecular Recognition

    OpenAIRE

    Ho, Chin Shing

    2014-01-01

    HAMLET (Human Alpha-lactalbumin Made LEthal to Tumor cells) is a complex of partially unfolded human alpha-lactalbumin and oleic acid that kills many different types of tumor cells and shows therapeutic efficacy in animal models and clinical studies. This thesis aims to (1) elucidate the structure of HAMLET and the exposure of biologically active domains, (2) define the contribution of lipids to the tumoricidal effect of HAMLET, (3) characterize the membranes response to HAMLET and the pertur...

  15. Structural requirement for the rapid movement of charged molecules across membranes. Experiments with tetraphenylborate analogues.

    OpenAIRE

    Benz, R

    1988-01-01

    Charge-pulse experiments were performed in the presence of structural analogues of tetraphenylborate (TPB) on membranes made of dioleoyl phosphatidylethanolamine and dioleoyl phosphatidylcholine. The analysis of the experimental results using a previously proposed model allowed the calculation of the partition coefficient, beta, and of the translocation rate constant, kappa i. The temperature dependence of the partition coefficients was used to calculate the thermodynamics of the adsorption o...

  16. A structural and compositional analysis of intervessel pit membranes in the sapwood of some mangrove woods

    OpenAIRE

    Schmitz, N.; Koch, G; Beeckman, H.; N. Koedam; Robert, E.M.R.; Schmitt, U.

    2012-01-01

    Intervessel pits are prominent wall structures involved in the water transport mechanism of land plants. The role of their intra-tree variation in the regulation of water transport, however, remains enigmatic. The hypothesis was tested that pit membrane thickness and degree of impregnation with phenolic substances increase along the stem axis with increasing tension on the water column as an adaptation to the higher risk for cavitation. Wood samples were taken at different heights from the ma...

  17. Diffusion in Cytoplasm: Effects of Excluded Volume Due to Internal Membranes and Cytoskeletal Structures

    OpenAIRE

    Novak, Igor L.; Kraikivski, Pavel; Slepchenko, Boris M.

    2009-01-01

    The intricate geometry of cytoskeletal networks and internal membranes causes the space available for diffusion in cytoplasm to be convoluted, thereby affecting macromolecule diffusivity. We present a first systematic computational study of this effect by approximating intracellular structures as mixtures of random overlapping obstacles of various shapes. Effective diffusion coefficients are computed using a fast homogenization technique. It is found that a simple two-parameter power law prov...

  18. Extended surface for membrane association in Zika virus NS1 structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, W Clay; Akey, David L; Konwerski, Jamie R; Tarrasch, Jeffrey T; Skiniotis, Georgios; Kuhn, Richard J; Smith, Janet L

    2016-09-01

    The Zika virus, which has been implicated in an increase in neonatal microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome, has spread rapidly through tropical regions of the world. The virulence protein NS1 functions in genome replication and host immune-system modulation. Here, we report the crystal structure of full-length Zika virus NS1, revealing an elongated hydrophobic surface for membrane association and a polar surface that varies substantially among flaviviruses. PMID:27455458

  19. Efficient and reusable polyamide-56 nanofiber/nets membrane with bimodal structures for air filtration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Bowen; Zhang, Shichao; Wang, Xueli; Yu, Jianyong; Ding, Bin

    2015-11-01

    Nanofibrous media that both possess high airborne particle interception efficiency and robust air permeability would have broad technological implications for areas ranging from individual protection and industrial security to environmental governance; however, creating such filtration media has proved extremely challenging. Here we report a strategy to construct the bio-based polyamide-56 nanofiber/nets (PA-56 NFN) membranes with bimodal structures for effective air filtration via one-step electrospinning/netting. The PA-56 membranes are composed of completely covered two-dimensional (2D) ultrathin (∼20 nm) nanonets which are optimized by facilely regulating the solution concentration, and the bonded scaffold fibers constructed cavity structures which are synchronously created by using the CH3COOH inspiration. With integrated properties of small aperture, high porosity, and bonded scaffold, the resulting PA-56 NFN membranes exhibit high filtration efficiency of 99.995%, low pressure drop of 111 Pa, combined with large dust holding capacity of 49 g/m(2) and dust-cleaning regeneration ability, for filtrating ultrafine airborne particles in the most safe manner involving sieving principle and surface filtration. The successful synthesis of PA-56 NFN medium would not only make it a promising candidate for air filtration, but also provide new insights into the design and development of nanonet-based bimodal structures for various applications. PMID:26188726

  20. Structure of a bacterial type III secretion system in contact with a host membrane in situ

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nans, Andrea; Kudryashev, Mikhail; Saibil, Helen R.; Hayward, Richard D.

    2015-12-01

    Many bacterial pathogens of animals and plants use a conserved type III secretion system (T3SS) to inject virulence effector proteins directly into eukaryotic cells to subvert host functions. Contact with host membranes is critical for T3SS activation, yet little is known about T3SS architecture in this state or the conformational changes that drive effector translocation. Here we use cryo-electron tomography and sub-tomogram averaging to derive the intact structure of the primordial Chlamydia trachomatis T3SS in the presence and absence of host membrane contact. Comparison of the averaged structures demonstrates a marked compaction of the basal body (4 nm) occurs when the needle tip contacts the host cell membrane. This compaction is coupled to a stabilization of the cytosolic sorting platform-ATPase. Our findings reveal the first structure of a bacterial T3SS from a major human pathogen engaged with a eukaryotic host, and reveal striking `pump-action' conformational changes that underpin effector injection.

  1. 3D wind-induced response analysis of a cable-membrane structure

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Jun-jie LUO; Da-jian HAN

    2009-01-01

    Wind loading is a dominant factor for design of a cable-membrane structure. Three orthogonal turbulent components, including the longitudinal, lateral and vertical wind velocities, should be taken into account for the wind loads. In this study, a stochastic 3D coupling wind field model is derived by the spectral representation theory, The coherence functions of the three orthognnal turbulent components are considered in this model. Then the model is applied to generate the three correlated wind turbulent components. After that, formulae are proposed to transform the velocities into wind loads, and to introduce the modified wind pressure force. Finally, a wind-induced time-history response analysis is conducted for a 3D cable-membrane structure. Analytical results indicate that responses induced by the proposed wind load model are 10%--25% larger than those by the con-ventionai uncorrelated model, and that the responses are not quite influenced by the modified wind pressure force. Therefore, we concluded that, in the time-history response analysis, the coherences of the three orthogonal turbulent components are necessary for a 3D cable-membrane structure, but the modified wind pressure force can be ignored.

  2. Cryo-EM structure of lysenin pore elucidates membrane insertion by an aerolysin family protein

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bokori-Brown, Monika; Martin, Thomas G.; Naylor, Claire E.; Basak, Ajit K.; Titball, Richard W.; Savva, Christos G.

    2016-04-01

    Lysenin from the coelomic fluid of the earthworm Eisenia fetida belongs to the aerolysin family of small β-pore-forming toxins (β-PFTs), some members of which are pathogenic to humans and animals. Despite efforts, a high-resolution structure of a channel for this family of proteins has been elusive and therefore the mechanism of activation and membrane insertion remains unclear. Here we determine the pore structure of lysenin by single particle cryo-EM, to 3.1 Å resolution. The nonameric assembly reveals a long β-barrel channel spanning the length of the complex that, unexpectedly, includes the two pre-insertion strands flanking the hypothetical membrane-insertion loop. Examination of other members of the aerolysin family reveals high structural preservation in this region, indicating that the membrane-insertion pathway in this family is conserved. For some toxins, proteolytic activation and pro-peptide removal will facilitate unfolding of the pre-insertion strands, allowing them to form the β-barrel of the channel.

  3. Efficient and reusable polyamide-56 nanofiber/nets membrane with bimodal structures for air filtration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Bowen; Zhang, Shichao; Wang, Xueli; Yu, Jianyong; Ding, Bin

    2015-11-01

    Nanofibrous media that both possess high airborne particle interception efficiency and robust air permeability would have broad technological implications for areas ranging from individual protection and industrial security to environmental governance; however, creating such filtration media has proved extremely challenging. Here we report a strategy to construct the bio-based polyamide-56 nanofiber/nets (PA-56 NFN) membranes with bimodal structures for effective air filtration via one-step electrospinning/netting. The PA-56 membranes are composed of completely covered two-dimensional (2D) ultrathin (∼20 nm) nanonets which are optimized by facilely regulating the solution concentration, and the bonded scaffold fibers constructed cavity structures which are synchronously created by using the CH3COOH inspiration. With integrated properties of small aperture, high porosity, and bonded scaffold, the resulting PA-56 NFN membranes exhibit high filtration efficiency of 99.995%, low pressure drop of 111 Pa, combined with large dust holding capacity of 49 g/m(2) and dust-cleaning regeneration ability, for filtrating ultrafine airborne particles in the most safe manner involving sieving principle and surface filtration. The successful synthesis of PA-56 NFN medium would not only make it a promising candidate for air filtration, but also provide new insights into the design and development of nanonet-based bimodal structures for various applications.

  4. Crystal Structure of the Herpesvirus Nuclear Egress Complex Provides Insights into Inner Nuclear Membrane Remodeling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tzviya Zeev-Ben-Mordehai

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Although nucleo-cytoplasmic transport is typically mediated through nuclear pore complexes, herpesvirus capsids exit the nucleus via a unique vesicular pathway. Together, the conserved herpesvirus proteins pUL31 and pUL34 form the heterodimeric nuclear egress complex (NEC, which, in turn, mediates the formation of tight-fitting membrane vesicles around capsids at the inner nuclear membrane. Here, we present the crystal structure of the pseudorabies virus NEC. The structure revealed that a zinc finger motif in pUL31 and an extensive interaction network between the two proteins stabilize the complex. Comprehensive mutational analyses, characterized both in situ and in vitro, indicated that the interaction network is not redundant but rather complementary. Fitting of the NEC crystal structure into the recently determined cryoEM-derived hexagonal lattice, formed in situ by pUL31 and pUL34, provided details on the molecular basis of NEC coat formation and inner nuclear membrane remodeling.

  5. Alterations in Brain Structure and Functional Connectivity in Alcohol Dependent Patients and Possible Association with Impulsivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Yue; Ma, Mengying; Ma, Yi; Dong, Yuru; Niu, Yajuan; Jiang, Yin; Wang, Hong; Wang, Zhiyan; Wu, Liuzhen; Sun, Hongqiang; Cui, Cailian

    2016-01-01

    Background Previous studies have documented that heightened impulsivity likely contributes to the development and maintenance of alcohol use disorders. However, there is still a lack of studies that comprehensively detected the brain changes associated with abnormal impulsivity in alcohol addicts. This study was designed to investigate the alterations in brain structure and functional connectivity associated with abnormal impulsivity in alcohol dependent patients. Methods Brain structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging data as well as impulsive behavior data were collected from 20 alcohol dependent patients and 20 age- and sex-matched healthy controls respectively. Voxel-based morphometry was used to investigate the differences of grey matter volume, and tract-based spatial statistics was used to detect abnormal white matter regions between alcohol dependent patients and healthy controls. The alterations in resting-state functional connectivity in alcohol dependent patients were examined using selected brain areas with gray matter deficits as seed regions. Results Compared with healthy controls, alcohol dependent patients had significantly reduced gray matter volume in the mesocorticolimbic system including the dorsal posterior cingulate cortex, the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, the medial prefrontal cortex, the orbitofrontal cortex and the putamen, decreased fractional anisotropy in the regions connecting the damaged grey matter areas driven by higher radial diffusivity value in the same areas and decreased resting-state functional connectivity within the reward network. Moreover, the gray matter volume of the left medial prefrontal cortex exhibited negative correlations with various impulse indices. Conclusions These findings suggest that chronic alcohol dependence could cause a complex neural changes linked to abnormal impulsivity. PMID:27575491

  6. The constant region affects antigen binding of antibodies to DNA by altering secondary structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xia, Yumin; Janda, Alena; Eryilmaz, Ertan; Casadevall, Arturo; Putterman, Chaim

    2013-11-01

    We previously demonstrated an important role of the constant region in the pathogenicity of anti-DNA antibodies. To determine the mechanisms by which the constant region affects autoantibody binding, a panel of isotype-switch variants (IgG1, IgG2a, IgG2b) was generated from the murine PL9-11 IgG3 autoantibody. The affinity of the PL9-11 antibody panel for histone was measured by surface plasmon resonance (SPR). Tryptophan fluorescence was used to determine wavelength shifts of the antibody panel upon binding to DNA and histone. Finally, circular dichroism spectroscopy was used to measure changes in secondary structure. SPR analysis revealed significant differences in histone binding affinity between members of the PL9-11 panel. The wavelength shifts of tryptophan fluorescence emission were found to be dependent on the antibody isotype, while circular dichroism analysis determined that changes in antibody secondary structure content differed between isotypes upon antigen binding. Thus, the antigen binding affinity is dependent on the particular constant region expressed. Moreover, the effects of antibody binding to antigen were also constant region dependent. Alteration of secondary structures influenced by constant regions may explain differences in fine specificity of anti-DNA antibodies between antibodies with similar variable regions, as well as cross-reactivity of anti-DNA antibodies with non-DNA antigens.

  7. Altered topological organization of white matter structural networks in patients with neuromyelitis optica.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yaou Liu

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: To investigate the topological alterations of the whole-brain white-matter (WM structural networks in patients with neuromyelitis optica (NMO. METHODS: The present study involved 26 NMO patients and 26 age- and sex-matched healthy controls. WM structural connectivity in each participant was imaged with diffusion-weighted MRI and represented in terms of a connectivity matrix using deterministic tractography method. Graph theory-based analyses were then performed for the characterization of brain network properties. A multiple linear regression analysis was performed on each network metric between the NMO and control groups. RESULTS: The NMO patients exhibited abnormal small-world network properties, as indicated by increased normalized characteristic path length, increased normalized clustering and increased small-worldness. Furthermore, largely similar hub distributions of the WM structural networks were observed between NMO patients and healthy controls. However, regional efficiency in several brain areas of NMO patients was significantly reduced, which were mainly distributed in the default-mode, sensorimotor and visual systems. Furthermore, we have observed increased regional efficiency in a few brain regions such as the orbital parts of the superior and middle frontal and fusiform gyri. CONCLUSION: Although the NMO patients in this study had no discernible white matter T2 lesions in the brain, we hypothesize that the disrupted topological organization of WM networks provides additional evidence for subtle, widespread cerebral WM pathology in NMO.

  8. Resources alter the structure and increase stochasticity in bromeliad microfauna communities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jana S Petermann

    Full Text Available Although stochastic and deterministic processes have been found to jointly shape structure of natural communities, the relative importance of both forces may vary across different environmental conditions and across levels of biological organization. We tested the effects of abiotic environmental conditions, altered trophic interactions and dispersal limitation on the structure of aquatic microfauna communities in Costa Rican tank bromeliads. Our approach combined natural gradients in environmental conditions with experimental manipulations of bottom-up interactions (resources, top-down interactions (predators and dispersal at two spatial scales in the field. We found that resource addition strongly increased the abundance and reduced the richness of microfauna communities. Community composition shifted in a predictable way towards assemblages dominated by flagellates and ciliates but with lower abundance and richness of algae and amoebae. While all functional groups responded strongly and predictably to resource addition, similarity among communities at the species level decreased, suggesting a role of stochasticity in species-level assembly processes. Dispersal limitation did not affect the communities. Since our design excluded potential priority effects we can attribute the differences in community similarity to increased demographic stochasticity of resource-enriched communities related to erratic changes in population sizes of some species. In contrast to resources, predators and environmental conditions had negligible effects on community structure. Our results demonstrate that bromeliad microfauna communities are strongly controlled by bottom-up forces. They further suggest that the relative importance of stochasticity may change with productivity and with the organizational level at which communities are examined.

  9. Brain structural alterations in obsessive-compulsive disorder patients with autogenous and reactive obsessions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marta Subirà

    Full Text Available Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD is a clinically heterogeneous condition. Although structural brain alterations have been consistently reported in OCD, their interaction with particular clinical subtypes deserves further examination. Among other approaches, a two-group classification in patients with autogenous and reactive obsessions has been proposed. The purpose of the present study was to assess, by means of a voxel-based morphometry analysis, the putative brain structural correlates of this classification scheme in OCD patients. Ninety-five OCD patients and 95 healthy controls were recruited. Patients were divided into autogenous (n = 30 and reactive (n = 65 sub-groups. A structural magnetic resonance image was acquired for each participant and pre-processed with SPM8 software to obtain a volume-modulated gray matter map. Whole-brain and voxel-wise comparisons between the study groups were then performed. In comparison to the autogenous group, reactive patients showed larger gray matter volumes in the right Rolandic operculum. When compared to healthy controls, reactive patients showed larger volumes in the putamen (bilaterally, while autogenous patients showed a smaller left anterior temporal lobe. Also in comparison to healthy controls, the right middle temporal gyrus was smaller in both patient subgroups. Our results suggest that autogenous and reactive obsessions depend on partially dissimilar neural substrates. Our findings provide some neurobiological support for this classification scheme and contribute to unraveling the neurobiological basis of clinical heterogeneity in OCD.

  10. Lipid membrane: inelastic deformation of surface structure by an atomic force microscope

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    张静; 孙润广

    2002-01-01

    The stability of the 1,2-Dioleoyl-sn-Glycero-3-[phospho-rac-1-Glycerol-Na] liposome in the liquid crystalline statehave been investigated using an atomic force microscope (AFM). We have observed the inelastic deformation of thesample surface. The AFM tip causes persistent deformation of the surface of the lipid membrane, in which some of thelipid molecules are eventually pushed or dragged by the AFM tip. The experiment shows how the surface structure ofthe lipid membrane can be created by the interaction between the AFM tip and lipid membrane. When the operatingforce exceeds 10-8 N, it leads to large deformations of the surface. A square region of about 1×1μm2 is created by thescanning probe on the surface. When the operating force is between 10-11N and 10-8N, it can image the topographyof the surface of the lipid membrane. The stability of the sample is related to the concentration of the medium in whichthe sample is prepared.

  11. Biophysical significance of the inner mitochondrial membrane structure on the electrochemical potential of mitochondria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Dong Hoon; Park, Jonghyun; Maurer, Laura L.; Lu, Wei; Philbert, Martin A.; Sastry, Ann Marie

    2013-12-01

    The available literature supports the hypothesis that the morphology of the inner mitochondrial membrane is regulated by different energy states, that the three-dimensional morphology of cristae is dynamic, and that both are related to biochemical function. Examination of the correlation between the inner mitochondrial membrane (IMM) structure and mitochondrial energetic function is critical to an understanding of the links between mesoscale morphology and function in progressive mitochondrial dysfunction such as aging, neurodegeneration, and disease. To investigate this relationship, we develop a model to examine the effects of three-dimensional IMM morphology on the electrochemical potential of mitochondria. The two-dimensional axisymmetric finite element method is used to simulate mitochondrial electric potential and proton concentration distribution. This simulation model demonstrates that the proton motive force (Δp) produced on the membranes of cristae can be higher than that on the inner boundary membrane. The model also shows that high proton concentration in cristae can be induced by the morphology-dependent electric potential gradient along the outer side of the IMM. Furthermore, simulation results show that a high Δp is induced by the large surface-to-volume ratio of an individual crista, whereas a high capacity for ATP synthesis can primarily be achieved by increasing the surface area of an individual crista. The mathematical model presented here provides compelling support for the idea that morphology at the mesoscale is a significant driver of mitochondrial function.

  12. Structure of the poly-C9 component of the complement membrane attack complex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dudkina, Natalya V.; Spicer, Bradley A.; Reboul, Cyril F.; Conroy, Paul J.; Lukoyanova, Natalya; Elmlund, Hans; Law, Ruby H. P.; Ekkel, Susan M.; Kondos, Stephanie C.; Goode, Robert J. A.; Ramm, Georg; Whisstock, James C.; Saibil, Helen R.; Dunstone, Michelle A.

    2016-02-01

    The membrane attack complex (MAC)/perforin-like protein complement component 9 (C9) is the major component of the MAC, a multi-protein complex that forms pores in the membrane of target pathogens. In contrast to homologous proteins such as perforin and the cholesterol-dependent cytolysins (CDCs), all of which require the membrane for oligomerisation, C9 assembles directly onto the nascent MAC from solution. However, the molecular mechanism of MAC assembly remains to be understood. Here we present the 8 Å cryo-EM structure of a soluble form of the poly-C9 component of the MAC. These data reveal a 22-fold symmetrical arrangement of C9 molecules that yield an 88-strand pore-forming β-barrel. The N-terminal thrombospondin-1 (TSP1) domain forms an unexpectedly extensive part of the oligomerisation interface, thus likely facilitating solution-based assembly. These TSP1 interactions may also explain how additional C9 subunits can be recruited to the growing MAC subsequent to membrane insertion.

  13. Altered white matter and cortical structure in neonates with antenatally diagnosed isolated ventriculomegaly

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Lockwood Estrin

    2016-01-01

    WM alterations in isolated VM cases may be consistent with abnormal development of WM tracts involved in language and cognition. Alterations in WM FA and MD may represent neural correlates for later neurodevelopmental deficits.

  14. Chronic hypoxia enhances adenosine release in rat PC12 cells by altering adenosine metabolism and membrane transport.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kobayashi, S; Zimmermann, H; Millhorn, D E

    2000-02-01

    Acute exposure to hypoxia causes a release of adenosine (ADO) that is inversely related to the O2 levels in oxygen-sensitive pheochromocytoma (PC12) cells. In the current study, chronic exposure (48 h) of PC12 cells to moderate hypoxia (5% O2) significantly enhanced the release of ADO during severe, acute hypoxia (1% O2). Investigation into the intra- and extracellular mechanisms underpinning the secretion of ADO in PC12 cells chronically exposed to hypoxia revealed changes in gene expression and activities of several key enzymes associated with ADO production and metabolism, as well as the down-regulation of a nucleoside transporter. Decreases in the enzymatic activities of ADO kinase and ADO deaminase accompanied by an increase in those of cytoplasmic and ecto-5'-nucleotidases bring about an increased capacity to produce intra- and extracellular ADO. This increased potential to generate ADO and decreased capacity to metabolize ADO indicate that PC12 cells shift toward an ADO producer phenotype during hypoxia. The reduced function of the rat equilibrative nucleoside transporter rENT1 also plays a role in controlling extracellular ADO levels. The hypoxia-induced alterations in the ADO metabolic enzymes and the rENT1 transporter seem to increase the extracellular concentration of ADO. The biological significance of this regulation is unclear but is likely to be associated with modulating cellular activity during hypoxia. PMID:10646513

  15. Deuterium Labeling Strategies for Creating Contrast in Structure-Function Studies of Model Bacterial Outer Membranes Using Neutron Reflectometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Brun, Anton P; Clifton, Luke A; Holt, Stephen A; Holden, Peter J; Lakey, Jeremy H

    2016-01-01

    Studying the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria is challenging due to the complex nature of its structure. Therefore, simplified models are required to undertake structure-function studies of processes that occur at the outer membrane/fluid interface. Model membranes can be created by immobilizing bilayers to solid supports such as gold or silicon surfaces, or as monolayers on a liquid support where the surface pressure and fluidity of the lipids can be controlled. Both model systems are amenable to having their structure probed by neutron reflectometry, a technique that provides a one-dimensional depth profile through a membrane detailing its thickness and composition. One of the strengths of neutron scattering is the ability to use contrast matching, allowing molecules containing hydrogen and those enriched with deuterium to be highlighted or matched out against the bulk isotopic composition of the solvent. Lipopolysaccharides, a major component of the outer membrane, can be isolated for incorporation into model membranes. Here, we describe the deuteration of lipopolysaccharides from rough strains of Escherichia coli for incorporation into model outer membranes, and how the use of deuterated materials enhances structural analysis of model membranes by neutron reflectometry. PMID:26791981

  16. Deuterium Labeling Strategies for Creating Contrast in Structure-Function Studies of Model Bacterial Outer Membranes Using Neutron Reflectometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Brun, Anton P; Clifton, Luke A; Holt, Stephen A; Holden, Peter J; Lakey, Jeremy H

    2016-01-01

    Studying the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria is challenging due to the complex nature of its structure. Therefore, simplified models are required to undertake structure-function studies of processes that occur at the outer membrane/fluid interface. Model membranes can be created by immobilizing bilayers to solid supports such as gold or silicon surfaces, or as monolayers on a liquid support where the surface pressure and fluidity of the lipids can be controlled. Both model systems are amenable to having their structure probed by neutron reflectometry, a technique that provides a one-dimensional depth profile through a membrane detailing its thickness and composition. One of the strengths of neutron scattering is the ability to use contrast matching, allowing molecules containing hydrogen and those enriched with deuterium to be highlighted or matched out against the bulk isotopic composition of the solvent. Lipopolysaccharides, a major component of the outer membrane, can be isolated for incorporation into model membranes. Here, we describe the deuteration of lipopolysaccharides from rough strains of Escherichia coli for incorporation into model outer membranes, and how the use of deuterated materials enhances structural analysis of model membranes by neutron reflectometry.

  17. Permeability Changes of Manduca sexta Midgut Brush Border Membranes Induced by Oligomeric Structures of Different Cry Toxins

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Muñoz-Garay, C.; Sánchez, J.; Darszon, A.; Maagd, de R.A.; Bakker, P.; Soberón, M.; Bravo, A.

    2006-01-01

    The pore-formation activity of monomeric and oligomeric forms of different Cry1 toxins (from Cry1A to Cry1G) was analyzed by monitoring ionic permeability across Manduca sexta brush border membrane vesicles. The membrane vesicles were isolated from microvilli structures, showing a high enrichment of

  18. Characterization of cake layer structure on the microfiltration membrane permeability by iron pre-coagulation

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Jin Wang; Siru Pan; Dongping Luo

    2013-01-01

    A cake layer is formed by coagulation aggregates under certain transmembrane pressure in the coagulation-microfiltration (MF) process.The characteristics of humic acid aggregates coagulated by different iron-based coagulants,such as charge,size,fractal dimension and compressibility,have an effect on the cake layer structure.At the optimum iron dose of 0.6 to 0.8 mmol/L for ferric chloride (FC) and polymer ferric sulfate (PFS) pre-coagulation,at the point of charge neutralization for near zero zeta potential,the aggregate particles produced possess the greatest size and highest fractal dimension,which contributes to the cake layer being most loose with high porosity and low compressibility.Thus the membrane filterability is better.At a low or high iron dose of FC and PFS,a high negative or positive zeta potential with high charge repulsion results in so many small aggregate particles and low fractal dimension that the cake layer is compact with low porosity and high compressibility.Therefore the membrane fouling is accelerated and MF permeability becomes worse.The variation of cake layer structure as measured by scanning electric microscopy corresponds with the fact that the smaller the coagulation flocs size and fractal dimension are,the lower the porosity and the tighter the cake layer conformation.This also explains the MF membrane flux variation visually and accurately.

  19. Structure and dynamics of nano-sized raft-like domains on the plasma membrane

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrera, Fernando E.; Pantano, Sergio

    2012-01-01

    Cell membranes are constitutively composed of thousands of different lipidic species, whose specific organization leads to functional heterogeneities. In particular, sphingolipids, cholesterol and some proteins associate among them to form stable nanoscale domains involved in recognition, signaling, membrane trafficking, etc. Atomic-detail information in the nanometer/second scale is still elusive to experimental techniques. In this context, molecular simulations on membrane systems have provided useful insights contributing to bridge this gap. Here we present the results of a series of simulations of biomembranes representing non-raft and raft-like nano-sized domains in order to analyze the particular structural and dynamical properties of these domains. Our results indicate that the smallest (5 nm) raft domains are able to preserve their distinctive structural and dynamical features, such as an increased thickness, higher ordering, lower lateral diffusion, and specific lipid-ion interactions. The insertion of a transmembrane protein helix into non-raft, extended raft-like, and raft-like nanodomain environments result in markedly different protein orientations, highlighting the interplay between the lipid-lipid and lipid-protein interactions.

  20. Structural determinants of protein partitioning into ordered membrane domains and lipid rafts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lorent, Joseph Helmuth; Levental, Ilya

    2015-11-01

    Increasing evidence supports the existence of lateral nanoscopic lipid domains in plasma membranes, known as lipid rafts. These domains preferentially recruit membrane proteins and lipids to facilitate their interactions and thereby regulate transmembrane signaling and cellular homeostasis. The functionality of raft domains is intrinsically dependent on their selectivity for specific membrane components; however, while the physicochemical determinants of raft association for lipids are known, very few systematic studies have focused on the structural aspects that guide raft partitioning of proteins. In this review, we describe biophysical and thermodynamic aspects of raft-mimetic liquid ordered phases, focusing on those most relevant for protein partitioning. Further, we detail the variety of experimental models used to study protein-raft interactions. Finally, we review the existing literature on mechanisms for raft targeting, including lipid post-translational modifications, lipid binding, and transmembrane domain features. We conclude that while protein palmitoylation is a clear raft-targeting signal, few other general structural determinants for raft partitioning have been revealed, suggesting that many discoveries lie ahead in this burgeoning field.

  1. Fabrication variables affecting the structure and properties of supported carbon molecular sieve membranes for hydrogen separation

    KAUST Repository

    Briceño, Kelly

    2012-10-01

    A high molecular weight polyimide (Matrimid) was used as a precursor for fabricating supported carbon molecular sieve membranes without crack formation at 550-700°C pyrolysis temperature. A one-step polymer (polyimide) coating method as precursor of carbon layer was used without needing a prior modification of a TiO 2 macroporous support. The following fabrication variables were optimized and studied to determine their effect on the carbon structure: polymeric solution concentration, solvent extraction, heating rate and pyrolysis temperature. Two techniques (Thermogravimetric analysis and Raman spectroscopy) were used to determine these effects on final carbon structure. Likewise, the effect of the support was also reported as an additional and important variable in the design of supported carbon membranes. Atomic force microscopy and differential scanning calorimetry quantified the degree of influence. Pure gas permeation tests were performed using CH 4, CO, CO 2 and H 2. The presence of a molecular sieving mechanism was confirmed after defects were plugged with PDMS solution at 12wt%. Gas selectivities higher than Knudsen theoretical values were reached with membranes obtained over 650°C, showing as best values 4.46, 4.70 and 10.62 for H 2/N 2, H 2/CO and H 2/CH 4 ratio, respectively. Permeance values were over 9.82×10 -9mol/(m 2Pas)during pure hydrogen permeation tests. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

  2. Different methods to alter surface morphology of high aspect ratio structures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leber, M.; Shandhi, M. M. H.; Hogan, A.; Solzbacher, F.; Bhandari, R.; Negi, S.

    2016-03-01

    In various applications such as neural prostheses or solar cells, there is a need to alter the surface morphology of high aspect ratio structures so that the real surface area is greater than geometrical area. The change in surface morphology enhances the devices functionality. One of the applications of altering the surface morphology is of neural implants such as the Utah electrode array (UEA) that communicate with single neurons by charge injection induced stimulation or by recording electrical neural signals. For high selectivity between single cells of the nervous system, the electrode surface area is required to be as small as possible, while the impedance is required to be as low as possible for good signal to noise ratios (SNR) during neural recording. For stimulation, high charge injection and charge transfer capacities of the electrodes are required, which increase with the electrode surface. Traditionally, researchers have worked with either increasing the roughness of the existing metallization (platinum grey, black) or other materials such as Iridium Oxide and PEDOT. All of these previously investigated methods lead to more complicated metal deposition processes that are difficult to control and often have a critical impact on the mechanical properties of the metal films. Therefore, a modification of the surface underneath the electrode's coating will increase its surface area while maintaining the standard and well controlled metal deposition process. In this work, the surfaces of the silicon micro-needles were engineered by creating a defined microstructure on the electrodes surface using several methods such as laser ablation, focused ion beam, sputter etching, reactive ion etching (RIE) and deep reactive ion etching (DRIE). The surface modification processes were optimized for the high aspect ratio silicon structures of the UEA. The increase in real surface area while maintaining the geometrical surface area was verified using scanning electron

  3. Mathematical Model of Gas Permeation Through PTFE Porous Membrane and the Effect of Membrane Pore Structure%PTFE多孔膜气体渗透数学模型和膜孔结构的影响

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    张秀莉; 张卫东; 郝新敏; 张慧峰; 张泽廷; 张建春

    2003-01-01

    Membrane-based separation processes are new technology combined membrane separation with conven-tional separation. Hydrophobic porous membranes are often used in these processes. The structure of hydrophobicporous membrane has significant effect on mass transfer process. The permeabilities of five kinds of gas, He, N2,O2, CO2 and water vapor, across six polytetrafiuoroethylene(PTFE) flat membranes were tested experimentally.Results indicated that the greater the membrane mean pore size and the wider the pore size distribution are, thehigher the gas permeability. A gas permeation model, including the effects of membrane structure parameter and gasproperties, was established. A comprehensive characteristic parameter (including porosity, thickness and tortuosity)was found more effective to express the influence of membrane structure in gas permeation process. The predictedpermeation coefficients were in good agreement with experimental data.

  4. Human hemoglobin structural and functional alterations and heme degradation upon interaction with benzene: A spectroscopic study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hosseinzadeh, Reza; Moosavi-Movahedi, Ali Akbar

    2016-03-01

    Here, the effect of benzene on hemoglobin structure, stability and heme prosthetic group integrity was studied by different methods. These included UV-vis absorption spectrophotometry, normal and synchronous fluorescence techniques, and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). Our results indicated that benzene has high hemolytic potential even at low concentrations. The UV-vis spectroscopic results demonstrated that benzene altered both the globin chain and the heme prosthetic group of hemoglobin increasing met- and deoxy-Hb, while decreasing oxy-Hb. However, with increasing benzene the concentration of all species decreased due to heme destruction. The spectrophotometric results show that benzene has a high potential for penetrating the hydrophobic pocket of hemoglobin. These results were consistent with the molecular docking simulation results of benzene-hHb. Aggregation and thermal denaturation studies show that the increased benzene concentration induced hemoglobin aggregation with a decrease in stability, which is consistent with the DSC results. Conventional fluorescence spectroscopy revealed that the heme degradation species were produced in the presence of benzene. The results of constant wavelength synchronous fluorescence spectroscopy (CWSFS) indicated that at least five heme-degraded species were produced. Together, our results indicated that benzene has adverse effects on hemoglobin structure and function, and heme degradation.

  5. Faunal Drivers of Soil Flux Dynamics via Alterations in Crack Structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeCarlo, Keita; Caylor, Kelly

    2016-04-01

    Organismal activity, in addition to its role in ecological feedbacks, has the potential to serve as instigators or enhancers of atmospheric and hydrologic processes via alterations in soil structural regimes. We investigated the biomechanical effect of faunal activity on soil carbon dynamics via changes in soil crack structure, focusing on three dryland soil systems: bioturbated, biocompacted and undisturbed soils. Carbon fluxes were characterized using a closed-system respiration chamber, with CO2 concentration differences measured using an infrared gas analyzer (IRGA). Results show that faunal influences play a divergent biomechanics role in bulk soil cracking: bioturbation induced by belowground fauna creates "surficial" (shallow, large, well-connected) networks relative to the "systematic" (deep, moderate, poorly connected) networks created by aboveground fauna. The latter also shows a "memory" of past wetting/drying events in the consolidated soil through a crack layering effect. These morphologies further drive differences in soil carbon flux: under dry conditions, bioturbated and control soils show a persistently high and low mean carbon flux, respectively, while biocompacted soils show a large diurnal trend, with daytime lows and nighttime highs comparable to the control and bioturbated soils, respectively. Overall fluxes under wet conditions are considerably higher, but also more variable, though higher mean fluxes are observed in the biocompacted and bioturbated soils. Our results suggest that the increased surface area in the bioturbated soils create enhanced but constant diffusive processes, whereas the increased thermal gradient in the biocompacted soils create novel convective processes that create high fluxes that are diurnal in nature.

  6. In vitro study on the alterations of brain tubulin structure and assembly affected by magnetite nanoparticles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dadras, Ali; Riazi, Gholam Hossein; Afrasiabi, Ali; Naghshineh, Ali; Ghalandari, Behafarid; Mokhtari, Farzad

    2013-03-01

    In recent decades, considerable efforts have been made to understand the mechanism of memory, cognition, and relevant neurodegenerative diseases in the human brain. Several studies have shown the importance of microtubule proteins in the memory mechanism and memory dysfunction. Microtubules possess dynamicity, which is essential for functions of neuronal networks. Microtubule-associated proteins, i.e., tau, play vital roles in microtubule stability. On the other hand, the ferromagnetic mineral magnetite (Fe(3)O(4)) has been detected in the normal human brain, and elevated levels of magnetite are also observed in the brains of Alzheimer's disease patients. Therefore, we propose that a relationship between microtubule organization in axons and brain magnetite nanoparticles is possible. In this study we found alterations of microtubule polymerization in the presence of increasing concentrations of magnetite through transmission electron microscopy images and a turbidimetry method. Structural changes of microtubule and tau protein, as an essential microtubule-associated protein for tubulin assembly, were detected via circular dichroism spectroscopy, intrinsic fluorescence, and 8-anilino-1-naphthalenesulfonic acid fluorometry. We predicted three possible binding sites on tau protein and one possible binding site on tubulin dimer for magnetite nanoparticles. Magnetite also causes the morphology of PC12 cells to change abnormally and cell viability to decrease. Finally, we suggest that magnetite changes microtubule dynamics and polymerization through two paths: (1) changing the secondary and tertiary structure of tubulin and (2) binding to either tubulin dimer or tau protein and preventing tau-tubulin interaction.

  7. Structural Origins of Nitroxide Side Chain Dynamics on Membrane Protein [alpha]-Helical Sites

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kroncke, Brett M.; Horanyi, Peter S.; Columbus, Linda (UV)

    2010-12-07

    Understanding the structure and dynamics of membrane proteins in their native, hydrophobic environment is important to understanding how these proteins function. EPR spectroscopy in combination with site-directed spin labeling (SDSL) can measure dynamics and structure of membrane proteins in their native lipid environment; however, until now the dynamics measured have been qualitative due to limited knowledge of the nitroxide spin label's intramolecular motion in the hydrophobic environment. Although several studies have elucidated the structural origins of EPR line shapes of water-soluble proteins, EPR spectra of nitroxide spin-labeled proteins in detergents or lipids have characteristic differences from their water-soluble counterparts, suggesting significant differences in the underlying molecular motion of the spin label between the two environments. To elucidate these differences, membrane-exposed {alpha}-helical sites of the leucine transporter, LeuT, from Aquifex aeolicus, were investigated using X-ray crystallography, mutational analysis, nitroxide side chain derivatives, and spectral simulations in order to obtain a motional model of the nitroxide. For each crystal structure, the nitroxide ring of a disulfide-linked spin label side chain (R1) is resolved and makes contacts with hydrophobic residues on the protein surface. The spin label at site I204 on LeuT makes a nontraditional hydrogen bond with the ortho-hydrogen on its nearest neighbor F208, whereas the spin label at site F177 makes multiple van der Waals contacts with a hydrophobic pocket formed with an adjacent helix. These results coupled with the spectral effect of mutating the i {+-} 3, 4 residues suggest that the spin label has a greater affinity for its local protein environment in the low dielectric than on a water-soluble protein surface. The simulations of the EPR spectra presented here suggest the spin label oscillates about the terminal bond nearest the ring while maintaining weak

  8. Alzheimer's-associated Abeta oligomers show altered structure, immunoreactivity and synaptotoxicity with low doses of oleocanthal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pitt, Jason; Roth, William; Lacor, Pascale; Smith, Amos B; Blankenship, Matthew; Velasco, Pauline; De Felice, Fernanda; Breslin, Paul; Klein, William L

    2009-10-15

    It now appears likely that soluble oligomers of amyloid-beta1-42 peptide, rather than insoluble fibrils, act as the primary neurotoxin in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Consequently, compounds capable of altering the assembly state of these oligomers (referred to as ADDLs) may have potential for AD therapeutics. Phenolic compounds are of particular interest for their ability to disrupt Abeta oligomerization and reduce pathogenicity. This study has focused on oleocanthal (OC), a naturally-occurring phenolic compound found in extra-virgin olive oil. OC increased the immunoreactivity of soluble Abeta species, when assayed with both sequence- and conformation-specific Abeta antibodies, indicating changes in oligomer structure. Analysis of oligomers in the presence of OC showed an upward shift in MW and a ladder-like distribution of SDS-stable ADDL subspecies. In comparison with control ADDLs, oligomers formed in the presence of OC (Abeta-OC) showed equivalent colocalization at synapses but exhibited greater immunofluorescence as a result of increased antibody recognition. The enhanced signal at synapses was not due to increased synaptic binding, as direct detection of fluorescently-labeled ADDLs showed an overall reduction in ADDL signal in the presence of OC. Decreased binding to synapses was accompanied by significantly less synaptic deterioration assayed by drebrin loss. Additionally, treatment with OC improved antibody clearance of ADDLs. These results indicate oleocanthal is capable of altering the oligomerization state of ADDLs while protecting neurons from the synaptopathological effects of ADDLs and suggest OC as a lead compound for development in AD therapeutics. PMID:19631677

  9. Porous thin film barrier layers from 2,3-dicarboxylic acid cellulose nanofibrils for membrane structures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Visanko, Miikka; Liimatainen, Henrikki; Sirviö, Juho Antti; Haapala, Antti; Sliz, Rafal; Niinimäki, Jouko; Hormi, Osmo

    2014-02-15

    To fabricate a strong hydrophilic barrier layer for ultrafiltration (UF) membranes, 2,3-dicarboxylic acid cellulose nanofibrils with high anionic surface charge density (1.2 mekv/g at pH 7) and a width of 22 ± 4 nm were used. A simple vacuum filtration method combined with a solvent exchange procedure resulted in a porous layer with a thickness of ∼ 0.85 μm. The fabricated membranes reached high rejection efficiencies (74-80%) when aqueous dextrans up to 35-45 kDa were filtrated to evaluate the molecular weight cut-offs (MWCO). A linear correlation between the barrier layer thickness and the flux rate was observed in all tested cases. Further optimization of the barrier layer thickness can lead to an even more effective structure. PMID:24507322

  10. Solution nuclear magnetic resonance structure of membrane-integral diacylglycerol kinase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Horn, Wade D; Kim, Hak-Jun; Ellis, Charles D; Hadziselimovic, Arina; Sulistijo, Endah S; Karra, Murthy D; Tian, Changlin; Sönnichsen, Frank D; Sanders, Charles R

    2009-06-26

    Escherichia coli diacylglycerol kinase (DAGK) represents a family of integral membrane enzymes that is unrelated to all other phosphotransferases. We have determined the three-dimensional structure of the DAGK homotrimer with the use of solution nuclear magnetic resonance. The third transmembrane helix from each subunit is domain-swapped with the first and second transmembrane segments from an adjacent subunit. Each of DAGK's three active sites resembles a portico. The cornice of the portico appears to be the determinant of DAGK's lipid substrate specificity and overhangs the site of phosphoryl transfer near the water-membrane interface. Mutations to cysteine that caused severe misfolding were located in or near the active site, indicating a high degree of overlap between sites responsible for folding and for catalysis. PMID:19556511

  11. pH control structure design for a periodically operated membrane separation process

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Prado Rubio, Oscar Andres; Jørgensen, Sten Bay; Jonsson, Gunnar Eigil

    2012-01-01

    structure is selected. The system controls pH using the imposed current density and resets the current density manipulating the hydroxide inlet concentration to the dialysate channel. The control structure is satisfactorily achieving a desired pH at the outlet of the feed channel in REED from period......A bioreactor integrated with an electrically driven membrane separation process (Reverse Electro-Enhanced Dialysis – REED) is under investigation as potential technology for intensifying lactic acid bioproduction. In this contribution the pH regulation issue in the periodically operated REED module...... is studied. A methodology for control structure design is proposed to handle the dynamic system. A sensitivity analysis is used for the conceptual design of the control structure. Dynamic simulations are employed to evaluate the sensitivity index. From the analysis a periodic input-resetting control...

  12. Association of the Astrovirus Structural Protein VP90 with Membranes Plays a Role in Virus Morphogenesis▿

    Science.gov (United States)

    Méndez, Ernesto; Aguirre-Crespo, Gabriela; Zavala, Guadalupe; Arias, Carlos F.

    2007-01-01

    VP90, the capsid polyprotein precursor of human astrovirus Yuc8, is assembled into viral particles, and its processing at the carboxy terminus by cellular caspases, to yield VP70, has been correlated with the cell release of the virus. Here, we characterized the effect of the VP90-VP70 processing on the properties of these proteins, as well as on their intracellular distribution. VP90 was found in membrane-enriched fractions (mVP90), as well as in fractions enriched in cytosolic proteins (cVP90), while VP70 was found exclusively in the latter fractions. Upon trypsin activation, infectivity was detected in all VP90-containing fractions, confirming that both mVP90 and cVP90 are able to assemble into particles; however, the two forms of VP90 showed differential sensitivities to trypsin, especially at their carboxy termini, which in the case of mVP90 was shown to remain membrane associated after protease digestion. Structural protein oligomers were detected in purified VP70-containing viruses, as well as in membrane-enriched fractions, but they were less evident in cytosolic fractions. Ultrastructural studies of infected cells revealed different types of viral particles, some of which appeared to be associated with membranes. By immunoelectron microscopy, structural proteins were shown to form virus particles in clusters and to associate with the edges of vesicles induced during infection, which also appear to contain subviral particles inside. Nonstructural proteins and viral RNA colocalized with mVP90, but not with cVP90, suggesting that mVP90 might represent the form of the protein that is initially assembled into particles, at the sites where the virus genome is being replicated. PMID:17652389

  13. Retinoid- and sodium-butyrate– induced decrease in heat shock protein 70 membrane-positive tumor cells is associated with reduced sensitivity to natural killer cell lysis, growth delay, and altered growth morphology

    OpenAIRE

    Gehrmann, Mathias; Schönberger, Johann; Zilch, Tanja; Rossbacher, Lydia; Thonigs, Gerald; Eilles, Christoph; Multhoff, Gabriele

    2005-01-01

    Human tumors frequently present heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70) on their cell membranes, whereas corresponding normal tissues fail to do so. Therefore, an Hsp70 membrane-positive phenotype provided a tumor-specific marker. Moreover, membrane-bound Hsp70 provides a target structure for the cytolytic attack mediated by natural killer (NK) cells. Vitamin A derivatives 13-cis retinoic acid (13-RA) and all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) and sodium-butyrate (SBU) are known for their redifferentiating cap...

  14. Dorsal raphe nucleus of brain in the rats flown in space inflight and postflight alteration of structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krasnov, I.

    The structure of brain dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN) was studied in the rats flown in space aboard Space Shuttle "Columbia" (STS-58, SLS-2 program) and dissected on day 13 of the mission ("inflight" rats) and in 5-6 hours after finishing 14-day flight ("postflight" rats). The brain of "inflight" rats were excised after decapitation, sectioned sagitally halves of brain were fixed by immersion in 2,5 % glutaraldehyde in 0.1 M cacodylate buffer pH 7.3 at 4°C and kept in the flight at 4°C. After landing the brain frontal 0.5 mm sections from DRN area were osmificated and embedded in araldite at NASA ARC. The brains of "postflight": and control rats were underwent to the same procedure. Electronmicroscopical analysis, computer morphometry and glial cell count were performed at Moscow. In DRN neuropil of "inflight" rats the most part of axo-dendritic synapses were surrounded by glia cell processes and had decreased electron density of pre- and postsynaptic membrane and pronounced diminution of synaptic vesicle amount while dendrites were characterized by decrease in matrix electron density and microtubule quantity that in total indicates the decline of afferent flow reaching DRN neurons in microgravity. In DRN neurons of "inflight" rats all mitochondria were characterized by evenly increased dimensions, decreased matrix electron density, small amount of short and far- between located cristae and enlarged intermembrane and intercristae spaces, that in total points out low level of coupling of oxidation to phosphorilation, decrease in energy supply of neuron. Amount of ribosome in cytoplasm was significantly decreased indicating lower lever of biosynthetic processes. The last is supported by diminished dimensions of neuronal body, nucleus and nucleolus (place of r RNA synthesis), cross section area of that were reduced in DRN neurons of "inflight" rats by 18.8 % (p < 0.01), 11.1 % and 26.6 % (p <0,005) correspondingly. Ultrastructure and dimensions of intracellular

  15. Influence of commercially available polyimide and formation conditions on the performance and structure of asymmetric polyimide organic solvent nanofiltration membranes

    OpenAIRE

    Lopes, Mafalda Pessoa

    2009-01-01

    This work covers experimental and theoretical research related to the impact of the polymer structure of commercially available polyimide and polyetherimides as well as the formation conditions on the performance and structure of polyimide Organic Solvent Nanofiltration membranes. The influence in some membrane formation parameters such as polymer choice, solvent system composition, chemical crosslinking, solubility, humidity and coagulation bath temperature on the performance of PI membra...

  16. Chromosomal breakpoints and structural alterations of the c-myc locus differ in endemic and sporadic forms of Burkitt lymphoma.

    OpenAIRE

    Pelicci, P.G.; Knowles, D M; Magrath, I; Dalla-Favera, R

    1986-01-01

    We have examined the position of the chromosomal breakpoint relative to the human c-myc gene (MYC) and the presence of other structural alterations of the same locus in 19 fresh samples of Burkitt lymphoma (BL) and 13 BL-derived cell lines. This panel includes the two pathogenetic forms of BL: the endemic (African-type) BL (eBL) and sporadic (American-type) BL (sBL). In all cases tested, including fresh samples and cell lines, structural alterations of the 5' portion of the gene were detected...

  17. Membrane interaction and secondary structure of de novo designed arginine-and tryptophan peptides with dual function

    KAUST Repository

    Rydberg, Hanna A.

    2012-10-01

    Cell-penetrating peptides and antimicrobial peptides are two classes of positively charged membrane active peptides with several properties in common. The challenge is to combine knowledge about the membrane interaction mechanisms and structural properties of the two classes to design peptides with membrane-specific actions, useful either as transporters of cargo or as antibacterial substances. Membrane active peptides are commonly rich in arginine and tryptophan. We have previously designed a series of arg/trp peptides and investigated how the position and number of tryptophans affect cellular uptake. Here we explore the antimicrobial properties and the interaction with lipid model membranes of these peptides, using minimal inhibitory concentrations assay (MIC), circular dichroism (CD) and linear dichroism (LD). The results show that the arg/trp peptides inhibit the growth of the two gram positive strains Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus pyogenes, with some individual variations depending on the position of the tryptophans. No inhibition of the gram negative strains Proteus mirabilis or Pseudomonas aeruginosa was noticed. CD indicated that when bound to lipid vesicles one of the peptides forms an α-helical like structure, whereas the other five exhibited rather random coiled structures. LD indicated that all six peptides were somehow aligned parallel with the membrane surface. Our results do not reveal any obvious connection between membrane interaction and antimicrobial effect for the studied peptides. By contrast cell-penetrating properties can be coupled to both the secondary structure and the degree of order of the peptides. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.

  18. Reconstitution of the membrane protein OmpF into biomimetic block copolymer–phospholipid hybrid membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bieligmeyer, Matthias; Artukovic, Franjo; Hirth, Thomas; Schiestel, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    Summary Structure and function of many transmembrane proteins are affected by their environment. In this respect, reconstitution of a membrane protein into a biomimetic polymer membrane can alter its function. To overcome this problem we used membranes formed by poly(1,4-isoprene-block-ethylene oxide) block copolymers blended with 1,2-diphytanoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine. By reconstituting the outer membrane protein OmpF from Escherichia coli into these membranes, we demonstrate functionality of this protein in biomimetic lipopolymer membranes, independent of the molecular weight of the block copolymers. At low voltages, the channel conductance of OmpF in 1 M KCl was around 2.3 nS. In line with these experiments, integration of OmpF was also revealed by impedance spectroscopy. Our results indicate that blending synthetic polymer membranes with phospholipids allows for the reconstitution of transmembrane proteins under preservation of protein function, independent of the membrane thickness. PMID:27547605

  19. Reconstitution of the membrane protein OmpF into biomimetic block copolymer–phospholipid hybrid membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bieligmeyer, Matthias; Artukovic, Franjo; Hirth, Thomas; Schiestel, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    Summary Structure and function of many transmembrane proteins are affected by their environment. In this respect, reconstitution of a membrane protein into a biomimetic polymer membrane can alter its function. To overcome this problem we used membranes formed by poly(1,4-isoprene-block-ethylene oxide) block copolymers blended with 1,2-diphytanoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine. By reconstituting the outer membrane protein OmpF from Escherichia coli into these membranes, we demonstrate functionality of this protein in biomimetic lipopolymer membranes, independent of the molecular weight of the block copolymers. At low voltages, the channel conductance of OmpF in 1 M KCl was around 2.3 nS. In line with these experiments, integration of OmpF was also revealed by impedance spectroscopy. Our results indicate that blending synthetic polymer membranes with phospholipids allows for the reconstitution of transmembrane proteins under preservation of protein function, independent of the membrane thickness.

  20. Structure formation of lipid membranes: Membrane self-assembly and vesicle opening-up to octopus-like micelles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noguchi, Hiroshi

    2013-02-01

    We briefly review our recent studies on self-assembly and vesicle rupture of lipid membranes using coarse-grained molecular simulations. For single component membranes, lipid molecules self-assemble from random gas states to vesicles via disk-shaped clusters. Clusters aggregate into larger clusters, and subsequently the large disks close into vesicles. The size of vesicles are determined by kinetics than by thermodynamics. When a vesicle composed of lipid and detergent types of molecules is ruptured, a disk-shaped micelle called bicelle can be formed. When both surfactants have negligibly low critical micelle concentration, it is found that bicelles connected with worm-like micelles are also formed depending on the surfactant ratio and spontaneous curvature of the membrane monolayer.

  1. Modulating immunogenic properties of HIV-1 gp41 membrane-proximal external region by destabilizing six-helix bundle structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banerjee, Saikat; Shi, Heliang; Habte, Habtom H; Qin, Yali; Cho, Michael W

    2016-03-01

    The C-terminal alpha-helix of gp41 membrane-proximal external region (MPER; (671)NWFDITNWLWYIK(683)) encompassing 4E10/10E8 epitopes is an attractive target for HIV-1 vaccine development. We previously reported that gp41-HR1-54Q, a trimeric protein comprised of the MPER in the context of a stable six-helix bundle (6HB), induced strong immune responses against the helix, but antibodies were directed primarily against the non-neutralizing face of the helix. To better target 4E10/10E8 epitopes, we generated four putative fusion intermediates by introducing double point mutations or deletions in the heptad repeat region 1 (HR1) that destabilize 6HB in varying degrees. One variant, HR1-∆10-54K, elicited antibodies in rabbits that targeted W672, I675 and L679, which are critical for 4E10/10E8 recognition. Overall, the results demonstrated that altering structural parameters of 6HB can influence immunogenic properties of the MPER and antibody targeting. Further exploration of this strategy could allow development of immunogens that could lead to induction of 4E10/10E8-like antibodies. PMID:26803471

  2. Lipid membrane partitioning of lysolipids and fatty acids: Effects of membrane phase structure and detergent chain length

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Høyrup, Lise Pernille Kristine; Davidsen, Jesper; Jørgensen, Kent

    2001-01-01

    The lipid membrane partitioning of lysolipids (lysoPC) and fatty acids (FA) into unilamellar vesicles composed of saturated DC$-16$/PC phospholipids has been determined by means of isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC). The calorimetric titrations were performed at low temperatures in the ordered...... gel phase and at high temperatures in the disordered fluid phase of the phospholipid membrane vesicles. The long saturated acyl chains of the lysolipids and fatty acids varied from 10 to 16 carbon atoms and all titrations were performed below the critical micellar concentrations (cmc...

  3. Bathroom greywater recycling using polyelectrolyte-complex bilayer membrane: Advanced study of membrane structure and treatment efficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oh, K S; Poh, P E; Chong, M N; Chan, E S; Lau, E V; Saint, C P

    2016-09-01

    Polyelectrolyte-complex bilayer membrane (PCBM) was fabricated using biodegradable chitosan and alginate polymers for subsequent application in the treatment of bathroom greywater. In this study, the properties of PCBMs were studied and it was found that the formation of polyelectrolyte network reduced the molecular weight cut-off (MWCO) from 242kDa in chitosan membrane to 2.71kDa in PCBM. The decrease in MWCO of PCBM results in better greywater treatment efficiency, subsequently demonstrated in a greywater filtration study where treated greywater effluent met the household reclaimed water standard of material in producing clean treated greywater for non-potable applications. PMID:27185127

  4. Nanofiber-net-binary structured membranes for highly sensitive detection of trace HCl gas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xianfeng; Wang, Jialin; Si, Yang; Ding, Bin; Yu, Jianyong; Sun, Gang; Luo, Wenjing; Zheng, Gang

    2012-12-01

    This work describes the detection of trace hydrogen chloride (HCl) gas through analyses of the resonance frequency signal from quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) sensors coated with polyaniline (PANI) functionalized polyamide 6 (PA 6) (PANI-PA 6) nanofiber-net-binary (NNB) structured membranes. The PA 6 NNB substrate comprising nanofibers and spider-web-like nano-nets fabricated by a versatile electro-spinning/netting (ESN) process offered an ideal interface for the uniform PANI functionalization and enhanced sensing performance. Benefiting from the large specific surface area, high porosity, and strong adhesive force to the QCM electrode of the PANI-PA 6 NNB membranes, the developed HCl-selective sensors exhibited a rapid response, good reproducibility and stability, and low detection limit (7 ppb) at room temperature. Additionally, the PANI-PA 6 NNB sensing membranes presented visible color changes upon cycled exposure to HCl and ammonia, suggesting their potential application in the development of colorimetric sensors. The PANI-PA 6 NNB coated QCM sensors are considered to be a promising candidate for trace HCl gas detection in practical applications.

  5. Crystal structure of MraY, an essential membrane enzyme for bacterial cell wall synthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chung, Ben C; Zhao, Jinshi; Gillespie, Robert A; Kwon, Do-Yeon; Guan, Ziqiang; Hong, Jiyong; Zhou, Pei; Lee, Seok-Yong

    2013-08-30

    MraY (phospho-MurNAc-pentapeptide translocase) is an integral membrane enzyme that catalyzes an essential step of bacterial cell wall biosynthesis: the transfer of the peptidoglycan precursor phospho-MurNAc-pentapeptide to the lipid carrier undecaprenyl phosphate. MraY has long been considered a promising target for the development of antibiotics, but the lack of a structure has hindered mechanistic understanding of this critical enzyme and the enzyme superfamily in general. The superfamily includes enzymes involved in bacterial lipopolysaccharide/teichoic acid formation and eukaryotic N-linked glycosylation, modifications that are central in many biological processes. We present the crystal structure of MraY from Aquifex aeolicus (MraYAA) at 3.3 Å resolution, which allows us to visualize the overall architecture, locate Mg(2+) within the active site, and provide a structural basis of catalysis for this class of enzyme. PMID:23990562

  6. Myelin-specific proteins: a structurally diverse group of membrane-interacting molecules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Huijong; Myllykoski, Matti; Ruskamo, Salla; Wang, Chaozhan; Kursula, Petri

    2013-01-01

    The myelin sheath is a multilayered membrane in the nervous system, which has unique biochemical properties. Myelin carries a set of specific high-abundance proteins, the structure and function of which are still poorly understood. The proteins of the myelin sheath are involved in a number of neurological diseases, including autoimmune diseases and inherited neuropathies. In this review, we briefly discuss the structural properties and functions of selected myelin-specific proteins (P0, myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein, myelin-associated glycoprotein, myelin basic protein, myelin-associated oligodendrocytic basic protein, P2, proteolipid protein, peripheral myelin protein of 22 kDa, 2',3'-cyclic nucleotide 3'-phosphodiesterase, and periaxin); such properties include, for example, interactions with lipid bilayers and the presence of large intrinsically disordered regions in some myelin proteins. A detailed understanding of myelin protein structure and function at the molecular level will be required to fully grasp their physiological roles in the myelin sheath.

  7. Exercise challenge in Gulf War Illness reveals two subgroups with altered brain structure and function.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rakib U Rayhan

    Full Text Available Nearly 30% of the approximately 700,000 military personnel who served in Operation Desert Storm (1990-1991 have developed Gulf War Illness, a condition that presents with symptoms such as cognitive impairment, autonomic dysfunction, debilitating fatigue and chronic widespread pain that implicate the central nervous system. A hallmark complaint of subjects with Gulf War Illness is post-exertional malaise; defined as an exacerbation of symptoms following physical and/or mental effort. To study the causal relationship between exercise, the brain, and changes in symptoms, 28 Gulf War veterans and 10 controls completed an fMRI scan before and after two exercise stress tests to investigate serial changes in pain, autonomic function, and working memory. Exercise induced two clinical Gulf War Illness subgroups. One subgroup presented with orthostatic tachycardia (n = 10. This phenotype correlated with brainstem atrophy, baseline working memory compensation in the cerebellar vermis, and subsequent loss of compensation after exercise. The other subgroup developed exercise induced hyperalgesia (n = 18 that was associated with cortical atrophy and baseline working memory compensation in the basal ganglia. Alterations in cognition, brain structure, and symptoms were absent in controls. Our novel findings may provide an understanding of the relationship between the brain and post-exertional malaise in Gulf War Illness.

  8. Exercise challenge in Gulf War Illness reveals two subgroups with altered brain structure and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rayhan, Rakib U; Stevens, Benson W; Raksit, Megna P; Ripple, Joshua A; Timbol, Christian R; Adewuyi, Oluwatoyin; VanMeter, John W; Baraniuk, James N

    2013-01-01

    Nearly 30% of the approximately 700,000 military personnel who served in Operation Desert Storm (1990-1991) have developed Gulf War Illness, a condition that presents with symptoms such as cognitive impairment, autonomic dysfunction, debilitating fatigue and chronic widespread pain that implicate the central nervous system. A hallmark complaint of subjects with Gulf War Illness is post-exertional malaise; defined as an exacerbation of symptoms following physical and/or mental effort. To study the causal relationship between exercise, the brain, and changes in symptoms, 28 Gulf War veterans and 10 controls completed an fMRI scan before and after two exercise stress tests to investigate serial changes in pain, autonomic function, and working memory. Exercise induced two clinical Gulf War Illness subgroups. One subgroup presented with orthostatic tachycardia (n = 10). This phenotype correlated with brainstem atrophy, baseline working memory compensation in the cerebellar vermis, and subsequent loss of compensation after exercise. The other subgroup developed exercise induced hyperalgesia (n = 18) that was associated with cortical atrophy and baseline working memory compensation in the basal ganglia. Alterations in cognition, brain structure, and symptoms were absent in controls. Our novel findings may provide an understanding of the relationship between the brain and post-exertional malaise in Gulf War Illness.

  9. The structural role of cholesterol in cell membranes: from condensed bilayers to lipid rafts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krause, Martin R; Regen, Steven L

    2014-12-16

    CONSPECTUS: Defining the two-dimensional structure of cell membranes represents one of the most daunting challenges currently facing chemists, biochemists, and biophysicists. In particular, the time-averaged lateral organization of the lipids and proteins that make up these natural enclosures has yet to be established. As the classic Singer-Nicolson model of cell membranes has evolved over the past 40 years, special attention has focused on the structural role played by cholesterol, a key component that represents ca. 30% of the total lipids that are present. Despite extensive studies with model membranes, two fundamental issues have remained a mystery: (i) the mechanism by which cholesterol condenses low-melting lipids by uncoiling their acyl chains and (ii) the thermodynamics of the interaction between cholesterol and high- and low-melting lipids. The latter bears directly on one of the most popular notions in modern cell biology, that is, the lipid raft hypothesis, whereby cholesterol is thought to combine with high-melting lipids to form "lipid rafts" that float in a "sea" of low-melting lipids. In this Account, we first describe a chemical approach that we have developed in our laboratories that has allowed us to quantify the interactions between exchangeable mimics of cholesterol and low- and high-melting lipids in model membranes. In essence, this "nearest-neighbor recognition" (NNR) method involves the synthesis of dimeric forms of these lipids that contain a disulfide moiety as a linker. By means of thiolate-disulfide interchange reactions, equilibrium mixtures of dimers are then formed. These exchange reactions are initiated either by adding dithiothreitol to a liposomal dispersion to generate a small amount of thiol monomer or by including a small amount of thiol monomer in the liposomes at pH 5.0 and then raising the pH to 7.4. We then show how such NNR measurements have allowed us to distinguish between two very different mechanisms that have been

  10. The influence of oscillating electromagnetic fields on membrane structure and function: Synthetic liposome and natural membrane bilayer systems with direct application to the controlled delivery of chemical agents

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Liburdy, R.P.; de Manincor, D.; Fingado, B.

    1989-09-01

    Investigations have been conducted to determine if an imposed electromagnetic field can influence membrane transport, and ion and drug permeability in both synthetic and natural cell membrane systems. Microwave fields enhance accumulation of sodium in the lymphocyte and induce protein shedding at Tc. Microwaves also trigger membrane permeability of liposome systems under specific field exposure conditions. Sensitivity varies in a defined way in bilayers displaying a membrane structural phase transition temperature, Tc; maximal release was observed at or near Tc. Significantly, liposome systems without a membrane phase transition were also found to experience permeability increases but, in contrast, this response was temperature independent. The above results indicate that field-enhanced drug release occurs in liposome vesicles that possess a Tc as well as non-Tc liposomes. Additional studies extend non-Tc liposome responses to the in vivo case in which microwaves trigger Gentamicin release from a liposome depot'' placed subcutaneously in the rat hind leg. In addition, evidence is provided that cell surface sequestered liposomes can be triggered by microwave fields to release drugs directly into target cells. 24 refs., 6 figs.

  11. Progressive alterations of central nervous system structure and function are caused by charged particle radiation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, G. A.; Cns Nscor Team

    A new NASA-sponsored program project (NSCOR) has been organized to conduct the first comprehensive investigation of the response of a mammalian brain structure (mouse hippocampus) to charged-particle radiation. The NSCOR collaboration has three main goals. The first goal is to quantify the time- and dose-dependent changes in cellular composition and architecture. By using stereology on preserved brains, subsets of cells (neurons, glia, endothelia and stem cells) will be quantified out to 2 years after irradiation with accelerated protons and iron ions. To further characterize changes in vasculature architecture a polymer infusion technique will be used to produce a three-dimensional vasculature cast that then will be mapped by x-ray tomography to determine topological changes, and microscopic infarcts associated with amyloid protein deposits. The 2nd goal is to quantify hippocampal function(s). The primary measurement of function will be extracellular electrical recordings from hippocampal ``brain slices'' that reflect underlying functions such as connectivity, action potential generation & conduction, and neurotransmitter formation, secretion, and uptake. Individual nerve membrane properties will be assessed by ``patch clamp'' recordings. Two non-invasive methods will evaluate brain function and the evolution of changes with time. Electroencephalograms will map macroscopic spontaneous electrical activity while two state-of-the-art MRI magnetization sequences will visualize and quantify local oxygen utilization and white matter fiber tracts structural integrity. To quantify the brains' overall performance under stress, animals will receive a systemic shock mediated by the immune system in the form of a reaction to lipopolysaccharide. A second strategy will employ the APP23 transgenic mouse that develops the pathological changes associated with Alzheimer's disease. Measurements of irradiated mice will determine whether radiation exposure affects the latency and

  12. On the vein-stiffening membrane structure of a dragonfly hind wing

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Zhong-xue LI; Wei SHEN; Gen-shu TONG; Jia-meng TIAN; Loc VU-QUOC

    2009-01-01

    Aiming at exploring the excellent structural performance of the vein-stiffening membrane structure of dragonfly hind wings, we analyzed two planar computational models and three 3D computational models with cambered corrugation based on the finite element method. It is shown that the vein size in different zones is proportional to the magnitude of the vein internal force when the wing structure is subjected to uniform out-of-plane transverse loading. The membrane contributes little to the flexural stiffness of the planar wing models, while exerting an immense impact upon the stiffness of the 3D wing models with cambered corrugation. If a lumped mass of 10% of the wing is fixed on the leading edge close to the wing tip, the wing fundamental fre-quency decreases by 10.7%~13.2%; ifa lumped mass is connected to the wing via multiple springs, the wing fundamental fre-quency decreases by 16.0%~18.0%. Such decrease in fundamental frequency explains the special function of the wing pterostigma in alleviating the wing quivering effect. These particular features of dragonfly wings can be mimicked in the design of new-style reticulately stiffening thin-walled roof systems and flapping wings in novel intelligent aerial vehicles.

  13. Purification of Human and Mammalian Membrane Proteins Expressed in Xenopus laevis Frog Oocytes for Structural Studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boggavarapu, Rajendra; Hirschi, Stephan; Harder, Daniel; Meury, Marcel; Ucurum, Zöhre; Bergeron, Marc J; Fotiadis, Dimitrios

    2016-01-01

    This protocol describes the isolation of recombinant human and mammalian membrane proteins expressed in Xenopus laevis frog oocytes for structural studies. The cDNA-derived cRNA of the desired genes is injected into several hundreds of oocytes, which are incubated for several days to allow protein expression. Recombinant proteins are then purified via affinity chromatography. The novelty of this method comes from the design of a plasmid that produces multi-tagged proteins and, most importantly, the development of a protocol for efficiently discarding lipids, phospholipids, and lipoproteins from the oocyte egg yolk, which represent the major contaminants in protein purifications. Thus, the high protein purity and good yield obtained from this method allows protein structure determination by transmission electron microscopy of single detergent-solubilized protein particles and of 2D crystals of membrane protein embedded in lipid bilayers. Additionally, a radiotracer assay for functional analysis of the expressed target proteins in oocytes is described. Overall, this method is a valuable option for structural studies of mammalian and particularly human proteins, for which other expression systems often fail. PMID:27485339

  14. Concept-Development of a Structure Supported Membrane for Deployable Space Applications - From Nature to Manufacture and Testing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zander, Martin; Belvin, W. K.

    2012-01-01

    Current space applications of membrane structures include large area solar power arrays, solar sails, antennas, and numerous other large aperture devices like the solar shades of the new James Webb Space Telescope. These expandable structural systems, deployed in-orbit to achieve the desired geometry, are used to collect, reflect and/or transmit electromagnetic radiation. This work, a feasibility study supporting a diploma thesis, describes the systematic process for developing a biologically inspired concept for a structure supported (integrated) membrane, that features a rip stop principle, makes self-deployment possible and is part of an ultra-light weight space application. Novel manufacturing of membrane prototypes and test results are presented for the rip-stop concepts. Test data showed that the new membrane concept has a higher tear resistance than neat film of equivalent mass.

  15. Exposure of soil microbial communities to chromium and arsenic alters their diversity and structure.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cody S Sheik

    Full Text Available Extensive use of chromium (Cr and arsenic (As based preservatives from the leather tanning industry in Pakistan has had a deleterious effect on the soils surrounding production facilities. Bacteria have been shown to be an active component in the geochemical cycling of both Cr and As, but it is unknown how these compounds affect microbial community composition or the prevalence and form of metal resistance. Therefore, we sought to understand the effects that long-term exposure to As and Cr had on the diversity and structure of soil microbial communities. Soils from three spatially isolated tanning facilities in the Punjab province of Pakistan were analyzed. The structure, diversity and abundance of microbial 16S rRNA genes were highly influenced by the concentration and presence of hexavalent chromium (Cr (VI and arsenic. When compared to control soils, contaminated soils were dominated by Proteobacteria while Actinobacteria and Acidobacteria (which are generally abundant in pristine soils were minor components of the bacterial community. Shifts in community composition were significant and revealed that Cr (VI-containing soils were more similar to each other than to As contaminated soils lacking Cr (VI. Diversity of the arsenic resistance genes, arsB and ACR3 were also determined. Results showed that ACR3 becomes less diverse as arsenic concentrations increase with a single OTU dominating at the highest concentration. Chronic exposure to either Cr or As not only alters the composition of the soil bacterial community in general, but affects the arsenic resistant individuals in different ways.

  16. Characterization of 4-HNE modified L-FABP reveals alterations in structural and functional dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smathers, Rebecca L; Fritz, Kristofer S; Galligan, James J; Shearn, Colin T; Reigan, Philip; Marks, Michael J; Petersen, Dennis R

    2012-01-01

    4-Hydroxynonenal (4-HNE) is a reactive α,β-unsaturated aldehyde produced during oxidative stress and subsequent lipid peroxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids. The reactivity of 4-HNE towards DNA and nucleophilic amino acids has been well established. In this report, using proteomic approaches, liver fatty acid-binding protein (L-FABP) is identified as a target for modification by 4-HNE. This lipid binding protein mediates the uptake and trafficking of hydrophobic ligands throughout cellular compartments. Ethanol caused a significant decrease in L-FABP protein (PL-FABP (PL-FABP were mapped using MALDI-TOF/TOF mass spectrometry on apo (Lys57 and Cys69) and holo (Lys6, Lys31, His43, Lys46, Lys57 and Cys69) L-FABP. The impact of 4-HNE adduction was found to occur in a concentration-dependent manner; affinity for the fluorescent ligand, anilinonaphthalene-8-sulfonic acid, was reduced from 0.347 µM to Kd(1) = 0.395 µM and Kd(2) = 34.20 µM. Saturation analyses revealed that capacity for ligand is reduced by approximately 50% when adducted by 4-HNE. Thermal stability curves of apo L-FABP was also found to be significantly affected by 4-HNE adduction (ΔTm = 5.44°C, PL-FABP while more apparent differences were observed within the internal binding pocket, revealing reduced area and structural integrity. New solvent accessible portals on the periphery of the protein were observed following 4-HNE modification in both the apo and holo state, suggesting an adaptive response to carbonylation. The results from this study detail the dynamic process associated with L-FABP modification by 4-HNE and provide insight as to how alterations in structural integrity and ligand binding may a contributing factor in the pathogenesis of ALD.

  17. Exposure of soil microbial communities to chromium and arsenic alters their diversity and structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheik, Cody S; Mitchell, Tyler W; Rizvi, Fariha Z; Rehman, Yasir; Faisal, Muhammad; Hasnain, Shahida; McInerney, Michael J; Krumholz, Lee R

    2012-01-01

    Extensive use of chromium (Cr) and arsenic (As) based preservatives from the leather tanning industry in Pakistan has had a deleterious effect on the soils surrounding production facilities. Bacteria have been shown to be an active component in the geochemical cycling of both Cr and As, but it is unknown how these compounds affect microbial community composition or the prevalence and form of metal resistance. Therefore, we sought to understand the effects that long-term exposure to As and Cr had on the diversity and structure of soil microbial communities. Soils from three spatially isolated tanning facilities in the Punjab province of Pakistan were analyzed. The structure, diversity and abundance of microbial 16S rRNA genes were highly influenced by the concentration and presence of hexavalent chromium (Cr (VI)) and arsenic. When compared to control soils, contaminated soils were dominated by Proteobacteria while Actinobacteria and Acidobacteria (which are generally abundant in pristine soils) were minor components of the bacterial community. Shifts in community composition were significant and revealed that Cr (VI)-containing soils were more similar to each other than to As contaminated soils lacking Cr (VI). Diversity of the arsenic resistance genes, arsB and ACR3 were also determined. Results showed that ACR3 becomes less diverse as arsenic concentrations increase with a single OTU dominating at the highest concentration. Chronic exposure to either Cr or As not only alters the composition of the soil bacterial community in general, but affects the arsenic resistant individuals in different ways. PMID:22768219

  18. Magnetically controlled permeability membranes

    KAUST Repository

    Kosel, Jurgen

    2013-10-31

    A bioactive material delivery system can include a thermoresponsive polymer membrane and nanowires distributed within the thermoresponsive polymer membrane. Magnetic activation of a thermoresponsive polymer membrane can take place via altering the magnetization or dimensions of nanowires dispersed or ordered within the membrane matrix.

  19. Nano-scale structure in membranes in relation to enzyme action - computer simulation vs. experiment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Høyrup, P.; Jørgensen, Kent; Mouritsen, O.G.

    2002-01-01

    There is increasing theoretical and experimental evidence indicating that small-scale domain structure and dynamical heterogeneity develop in lipid membranes as a consequence of the the underlying phase transitions and the associated density and composition fluctuations. The relevant coherence le...... mixtures show that the enzyme activity is modulated by nano-scale lipid-domain formation in the lipid bilayer and lead to a characteristic lag-burst behavior. The simulations are found to be in semi-quantitative agreement with experimental data....

  20. Solution structure of detergent micelles at conditions relevant to membrane protein crystallization.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Littrell, K.; Thiyagarajan, P.; Tiede, D.; Urban, V.

    1999-07-02

    In this study small angle neutron scattering was used to characterize the formation of micelles in aqueous solutions of the detergents DMG and SPC as a function of detergent concentration and ionic strength of the solvent. The effects on the micelle structure of the additives glycerol and PEG, alone as well as in combination typical for actual membrane protein crystallization, were also explored. This research suggests that the micelles are cigar-like in form at the concentrations studied. The size of the micelles was observed to increase with increasing ionic strength but decrease with the addition of glycerol or PEG.

  1. Computation of wind-induced vibrations of flexible shells and membranous structures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glück, M.; Breuer, M.; Durst, F.; Halfmann, A.; Rank, E.

    2003-04-01

    A partitioned coupling approach for time-dependent fluid-structure interactions is applied to thin shells and membranous structures with large displacements. The frame algorithm connects a three-dimensional, finite volume-based multi-block flow solver for incompressible fluids with a finite element code for geometrically nonlinear structural problems using a commercial coupling interface. Thus a high modularity is achieved and the whole range of opportunities with these two powerful codes - each of them highly adapted to its specific field of application - can be used also for coupled simulations. Two completely different configurations were investigated. First, the coupling algorithm was applied to an academic test configuration consisting of one, two, and three flexible L-shaped plates being loaded by a steady far-field flow. Various investigations were carried out at different Reynolds numbers /(Re=50,200, and 500) in order to study phenomena such as vortex shedding, resonance, influence of the interaction between several flexible plates, whereas the second and third plates were placed in the wake of the first. The second part of the paper shows that in principle the coupling procedure can also deal with real-life structures as they occur in civil engineering. A membranous roof of glass-fiber synthetics with a complex shape was exposed to a time-dependent wind gust from diagonally above which was superimposed on a constant basic wind flow parallel to the ground. The structural model contains the pre-stressed textile roof including the taut cables at its circumference which are fastened at the pylons. As a structural response, the wind gust led to a displacement of the textile roof which disappeared again when the gust subsided. With the coupled algorithm proposed in the paper it is possible to study dynamic interactions for engineering applications.

  2. Influence of myelin proteins on the structure and dynamics of a model membrane with emphasis on the low temperature regime

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Knoll, W. [University Joseph Fourier, UFR PhiTEM, Grenoble (France); Institut Laue–Langevin, Grenoble (France); Peters, J. [University Joseph Fourier, UFR PhiTEM, Grenoble (France); Institut Laue–Langevin, Grenoble (France); Institut de Biologie Structurale, Grenoble (France); Kursula, P. [University of Oulu, Oulu (Finland); CSSB–HZI, DESY, Hamburg (Germany); Gerelli, Y. [Institut Laue–Langevin, Grenoble (France); Natali, F., E-mail: natali@ill.fr [Institut Laue–Langevin, Grenoble (France); CNR–IOM–OGG, c/o Institut Laue–Langevin, Grenoble (France)

    2014-11-28

    Myelin is an insulating, multi-lamellar membrane structure wrapped around selected nerve axons. Increasing the speed of nerve impulses, it is crucial for the proper functioning of the vertebrate nervous system. Human neurodegenerative diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, are linked to damage to the myelin sheath through demyelination. Myelin exhibits a well defined subset of myelin-specific proteins, whose influence on membrane dynamics, i.e., myelin flexibility and stability, has not yet been explored in detail. In a first paper [W. Knoll, J. Peters, P. Kursula, Y. Gerelli, J. Ollivier, B. Demé, M. Telling, E. Kemner, and F. Natali, Soft Matter 10, 519 (2014)] we were able to spotlight, through neutron scattering experiments, the role of peripheral nervous system myelin proteins on membrane stability at room temperature. In particular, the myelin basic protein and peripheral myelin protein 2 were found to synergistically influence the membrane structure while keeping almost unchanged the membrane mobility. Further insight is provided by this work, in which we particularly address the investigation of the membrane flexibility in the low temperature regime. We evidence a different behavior suggesting that the proton dynamics is reduced by the addition of the myelin basic protein accompanied by negligible membrane structural changes. Moreover, we address the importance of correct sample preparation and characterization for the success of the experiment and for the reliability of the obtained results.

  3. Influence of myelin proteins on the structure and dynamics of a model membrane with emphasis on the low temperature regime

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knoll, W.; Peters, J.; Kursula, P.; Gerelli, Y.; Natali, F.

    2014-11-01

    Myelin is an insulating, multi-lamellar membrane structure wrapped around selected nerve axons. Increasing the speed of nerve impulses, it is crucial for the proper functioning of the vertebrate nervous system. Human neurodegenerative diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, are linked to damage to the myelin sheath through demyelination. Myelin exhibits a well defined subset of myelin-specific proteins, whose influence on membrane dynamics, i.e., myelin flexibility and stability, has not yet been explored in detail. In a first paper [W. Knoll, J. Peters, P. Kursula, Y. Gerelli, J. Ollivier, B. Demé, M. Telling, E. Kemner, and F. Natali, Soft Matter 10, 519 (2014)] we were able to spotlight, through neutron scattering experiments, the role of peripheral nervous system myelin proteins on membrane stability at room temperature. In particular, the myelin basic protein and peripheral myelin protein 2 were found to synergistically influence the membrane structure while keeping almost unchanged the membrane mobility. Further insight is provided by this work, in which we particularly address the investigation of the membrane flexibility in the low temperature regime. We evidence a different behavior suggesting that the proton dynamics is reduced by the addition of the myelin basic protein accompanied by negligible membrane structural changes. Moreover, we address the importance of correct sample preparation and characterization for the success of the experiment and for the reliability of the obtained results.

  4. Thinking in Terms of Structure-Activity-Relationships (T-SAR: A Tool to Better Understand Nanofiltration Membranes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefan Stolte

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available A frontier to be conquered in the field of membrane technology is related to the very limited scientific base for the rational and task-specific design of membranes. This is especially true for nanofiltration membranes with properties that are based on several solute-membrane interaction mechanisms. “Thinking in terms of Structure-Activity-Relationships” (T-SAR is a methodology which applies a systematic analysis of a chemical entity based on its structural formula. However, the analysis become more complex with increasing size of the molecules considered. In this study, T-SAR was combined with classical membrane characterization methods, resulting in a new methodology which allowed us not only to explain membrane characteristics, but also provides evidence for the importance of the chemical structure for separation performance. We demonstrate an application of the combined approach and its potential to discover stereochemistry, molecular interaction potentials, and reactivity of two FilmTec nanofiltration membranes (NF-90 and NF-270. Based on these results, it was possible to predict both properties and performance in the recovery of hydrophobic ionic liquids from aqueous solution.

  5. The NMR structure of human obestatin in membrane-like environments: insights into the structure-bioactivity relationship of obestatin.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Begoña O Alén

    Full Text Available The quest for therapeutic applications of obestatin involves, as a first step, the determination of its 3D solution structure and the relationship between this structure and the biological activity of obestatin. On this basis, we have employed a combination of circular dichroism (CD, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR spectroscopy, and modeling techniques to determine the solution structure of human obestatin (1. Other analogues, including human non-amidated obestatin (2 and the fragment peptides (6-23-obestatin (3, (11-23-obestatin (4, and (16-23-obestatin (5 have also been scrutinized. These studies have been performed in a micellar environment to mimic the cell membrane (sodium dodecyl sulfate, SDS. Furthermore, structural-activity relationship studies have been performed by assessing the in vitro proliferative capabilities of these peptides in the human retinal pigmented epithelial cell line ARPE-19 (ERK1/2 and Akt phosphorylation, Ki67 expression, and cellular proliferation. Our findings emphasize the importance of both the primary structure (composition and size and particular segments of the obestatin molecule that posses significant α-helical characteristics. Additionally, details of a species-specific role for obestatin have also been hypothesized by comparing human and mouse obestatins (1 and 6, respectively at both the structural and bioactivity levels.

  6. Backbone structure of Yersinia pestis Ail determined in micelles by NMR-restrained simulated annealing with implicit membrane solvation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The outer membrane protein Ail (attachment invasion locus) is a virulence factor of Yersinia pestis that mediates cell invasion, cell attachment and complement resistance. Here we describe its three-dimensional backbone structure determined in decyl-phosphocholine (DePC) micelles by NMR spectroscopy. The NMR structure was calculated using the membrane function of the implicit solvation potential, eefxPot, which we have developed to facilitate NMR structure calculations in a physically realistic environment. We show that the eefxPot force field guides the protein towards its native fold. The resulting structures provide information about the membrane-embedded global position of Ail, and have higher accuracy, higher precision and improved conformational properties, compared to the structures calculated with the standard repulsive potential

  7. Backbone structure of Yersinia pestis Ail determined in micelles by NMR-restrained simulated annealing with implicit membrane solvation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Marassi, Francesca M., E-mail: fmarassi@sbmri.org; Ding, Yi [Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (United States); Schwieters, Charles D. [National Institutes of Health, Division of Computational Bioscience, Center for Information Technology (United States); Tian, Ye; Yao, Yong [Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (United States)

    2015-09-15

    The outer membrane protein Ail (attachment invasion locus) is a virulence factor of Yersinia pestis that mediates cell invasion, cell attachment and complement resistance. Here we describe its three-dimensional backbone structure determined in decyl-phosphocholine (DePC) micelles by NMR spectroscopy. The NMR structure was calculated using the membrane function of the implicit solvation potential, eefxPot, which we have developed to facilitate NMR structure calculations in a physically realistic environment. We show that the eefxPot force field guides the protein towards its native fold. The resulting structures provide information about the membrane-embedded global position of Ail, and have higher accuracy, higher precision and improved conformational properties, compared to the structures calculated with the standard repulsive potential.

  8. Quantitative analysis of the nanoscale intra-nuclear structural alterations in hippocampal cells in chronic alcoholism via transmission electron microscopy study

    CERN Document Server

    Sahay, Peeyush; Ghimire, Hemendra M; Almabadi, Huda; Tripathi, Vibha; Mohanty, Samarendra K; Rao, Radhakrishna; Pradhan, Prabhakar

    2015-01-01

    Chronic alcoholism is known to alter morphology of hippocampal, an important region of cognitive function in the brain. We performed quantification of nanoscale structural alterations in nuclei of hippocampal neuron cells due to chronic alcoholism, in mice model. Transmission electron microscopy images of the neuron cells were obtained and the degrees of structural alteration, in terms of mass density fluctuations, were determined using the recently developed light localization analysis technique. The results, obtained at the length scales ranging from 33 to 195 nm, show that the 4-week alcohol fed mice have higher degree of structural alteration in comparison to the control mice. The degree of structural alterations starts becoming significantly distinguishable around 100 nm sample length, which is the typical length scale of the building blocks of cells, such as DNA, RNA, etc. Different degrees of structural alterations at such length scales suggest possible structural rearrangement of chromatin inside the ...

  9. Loss of the Arabidopsis thaliana P4-ATPases ALA6 and ALA7 Impairs Pollen Fitness and Alters the Pollen Tube Plasma Membrane

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen C McDowell

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Members of the P4 subfamily of P-type ATPases are thought to create and maintain lipid asymmetry in biological membranes by flipping specific lipids between membrane leaflets. In Arabidopsis, 7 of the 12 Aminophospholipid ATPase (ALA family members are expressed in pollen. Here we show that double knockout of ALA6 and ALA7 (ala6/7 results in siliques with a ~2-fold reduction in seed set with a high frequency of empty seed positions near the bottom. Seed set was reduced to near zero when plants were grown under a hot/cold temperature stress. Reciprocal crosses indicate that the ala6/7 reproductive deficiencies are due to a defect related to pollen transmission. In-vitro growth assays provide evidence that that ala6/7 pollen tubes are short and slow, with ~2-fold reductions in both maximal growth rate and overall length relative to wild-type. Outcrosses show that when ala6/7 pollen are in competition with wild-type pollen, they have a near 0% success rate in fertilizing ovules near the bottom of the pistil, consistent with ala6/7 pollen having short and slow growth defects. The ala6/7 phenotypes were rescued by the expression of either an ALA6-YFP or GFP-ALA6 fusion protein, which showed localization to both the plasma membrane and highly-mobile endomembrane structures. A mass spectrometry analysis of mature pollen grains revealed significant differences between ala6/7 and wild-type, both in the relative abundance of lipid classes and in the average number of double bonds present in acyl side chains. A change in the properties of the ala6/7 plasma membrane was also indicated by a ~10-fold reduction of labeling by lipophilic FM-dyes relative to wild-type. Together, these results indicate that ALA6 and ALA7 provide redundant activities that function to directly or indirectly change the distribution and abundance lipids in pollen, and support a model in which ALA6 and ALA7 are critical for pollen fitness under normal and temperature-stress conditions.

  10. Characterization of 4-HNE modified L-FABP reveals alterations in structural and functional dynamics.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca L Smathers

    Full Text Available 4-Hydroxynonenal (4-HNE is a reactive α,β-unsaturated aldehyde produced during oxidative stress and subsequent lipid peroxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids. The reactivity of 4-HNE towards DNA and nucleophilic amino acids has been well established. In this report, using proteomic approaches, liver fatty acid-binding protein (L-FABP is identified as a target for modification by 4-HNE. This lipid binding protein mediates the uptake and trafficking of hydrophobic ligands throughout cellular compartments. Ethanol caused a significant decrease in L-FABP protein (P<0.001 and mRNA (P<0.05, as well as increased poly-ubiquitinated L-FABP (P<0.001. Sites of 4-HNE adduction on mouse recombinant L-FABP were mapped using MALDI-TOF/TOF mass spectrometry on apo (Lys57 and Cys69 and holo (Lys6, Lys31, His43, Lys46, Lys57 and Cys69 L-FABP. The impact of 4-HNE adduction was found to occur in a concentration-dependent manner; affinity for the fluorescent ligand, anilinonaphthalene-8-sulfonic acid, was reduced from 0.347 µM to Kd(1 = 0.395 µM and Kd(2 = 34.20 µM. Saturation analyses revealed that capacity for ligand is reduced by approximately 50% when adducted by 4-HNE. Thermal stability curves of apo L-FABP was also found to be significantly affected by 4-HNE adduction (ΔTm = 5.44°C, P<0.01. Computational-based molecular modeling simulations of adducted protein revealed minor conformational changes in global protein structure of apo and holo L-FABP while more apparent differences were observed within the internal binding pocket, revealing reduced area and structural integrity. New solvent accessible portals on the periphery of the protein were observed following 4-HNE modification in both the apo and holo state, suggesting an adaptive response to carbonylation. The results from this study detail the dynamic process associated with L-FABP modification by 4-HNE and provide insight as to how alterations in structural integrity and ligand

  11. Aspectos estruturais da membrana eritrocitária Structural aspects of the erythrocyte membrane

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Priscila Murador

    2007-06-01

    ócito e é ainda responsável pela estabilidade sob mecanismos de estresse. Essa revisão da membrana eritrocitária é importante para um melhor entendimento das reações transfusionais, onde a formação de anticorpos contra antígenos de alta freqüência dificulta a transfusão compatível. O estudo da diversidade antigênica, a caracterização bioquímica de diferentes proteínas trará uma contribuição para o estabelecimento da saúde, assim como para o diagnóstico, desenvolvimento de tecnologias, como a produção de anticorpos monoclonais e conduta terapêutica para muitas enfermidades.This article describes the structures and functions of the erythrocyte membrane and its importance in transfusional medicine. The erythrocyte membrane is one of the best known membranes in terms of structure, function and genetic disorders. As any other plasma membrane, it mediates transport functions. It also provides the erythrocytes with their resilience and deformability. According to the International Society of Blood Transfusion (ISBT, more than 500 antigens are expressed in the erythrocyte membrane, and around 270 are involved in transfusion reaction cases and hemolytic diseases of the fetus and newborn. In the ISBT classification, the high frequency series is represented by antigens in more than 99% of population (high prevalence antigen. In transfusion, the absence of these antigens determines severe problems as for example, one woman without the P antigen suffered 6 repetitive miscarriages due to placental insufficiency, which was caused by an antibody formed against the absent P antigen. Some important erythrocyte membrane proteins are described here including Band 3, Glycophorins and spectrin. The most abundant integral membrane protein is Band 3 and its main function is to mediate exchange of chloride and bicarbonate anions across the plasma membrane. The second most abundant integral membrane protein in the human erythrocyte is sialoglycoprotein glycophorin A (GPA

  12. Comparative studies of the structural and alteration controls on gold mineralization in the Wa-Lawra region, NW Ghana.

    OpenAIRE

    Amponsah, Prince Ofori

    2016-01-01

    The objective of this thesis was to perform a detailed structural, mineralization and associated alteration studies of three gold deposits located in northwest Ghana, on the eastern margin of the West African Craton. Thus, the Kunche and Bepkong deposits, located in the Wa-Lawra belt and Julie deposit located in the Julie belt. These three deposits have multiple differences in terms of geological, structural, tectonic and geochemical characteristics but gold mineralization in these deposits a...

  13. Impact of soda-lime borosilicate glass composition on water penetration and water structure at the first time of alteration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In this study, the impact of soda-lime borosilicate glass composition and particularly the effect of charge compensators such Ca and Na and, of network formers such Si and Zr, on water penetration and water structure at the first time of alteration were investigated. Two non-destructive techniques were combined: the Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy in attenuated total reflection geometry to precise the predominant alteration mechanisms and assess the water structure in altered zone and the grazing incidence X-ray reflectometry to determine the thickness of the altered glass zone allowing to calculate the water diffusion coefficients through the glasses. The results of glass alteration at pH = 3 and 30 degrees C have shown that hydrolysis was the predominant mechanism after few seconds for glass having a high amount of non-binding oxygen. For the other glasses, which for the diffusion was the limiting reaction, the calculated water diffusion coefficients were comprised between 10-21 and 10-19 m2.s-1 and vary as a function of glass composition. An activation energy of 76.9 kJ.mol-1 was calculated and appears to be higher than inert gas diffusion through the glass highlighting that water molecules strongly interact with the glass matrix. (authors)

  14. RosettaTMH: a method for membrane protein structure elucidation combining EPR distance restraints with assembly of transmembrane helices

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew Leaver-Fay

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Membrane proteins make up approximately one third of all proteins, and they play key roles in a plethora of physiological processes. However, membrane proteins make up less than 2% of experimentally determined structures, despite significant advances in structure determination methods, such as X-ray crystallography, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and cryo-electron microscopy. One potential alternative means of structure elucidation is to combine computational methods with experimental EPR data. In 2011, Hirst and others introduced RosettaEPR and demonstrated that this approach could be successfully applied to fold soluble proteins. Furthermore, few computational methods for de novo folding of integral membrane proteins have been presented. In this work, we present RosettaTMH, a novel algorithm for structure prediction of helical membrane proteins. A benchmark set of 34 proteins, in which the proteins ranged in size from 91 to 565 residues, was used to compare RosettaTMH to Rosetta’s two existing membrane protein folding protocols: the published RosettaMembrane folding protocol (“MembraneAbinitio” and folding from an extended chain (“ExtendedChain”. When EPR distance restraints are used, RosettaTMH+EPR outperforms ExtendedChain+EPR for 11 proteins, including the largest six proteins tested. RosettaTMH+EPR is capable of achieving native-like folds for 30 of 34 proteins tested, including receptors and transporters. For example, the average RMSD100SSE relative to the crystal structure for rhodopsin was 6.1 ± 0.4 Å and 6.5 ± 0.6 Å for the 449-residue nitric oxide reductase subunit B, where the standard deviation reflects variance in RMSD100SSE values across ten different EPR distance restraint sets. The addition of RosettaTMH and RosettaTMH+EPR to the Rosetta family of de novo folding methods broadens the scope of helical membrane proteins that can be accurately modeled with this software suite.

  15. Structural comparison of highly similar nucleoside-diphosphate kinases: Molecular explanation of distinct membrane-binding behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Francois-Moutal, L; Marcillat, O; Granjon, T

    2014-10-01

    NDPK-A, NDPK-B and NDPK-D are three enzymes which belong to the NDPK group I isoforms and are not only involved in metabolism process but also in transcriptional regulation, DNA cleavage, histidine protein kinase activity and metastasis development. Those enzymes were reported to bind to membranes either in mitochondria where NDPK-D influences cardiolipin lateral organization and is thought to be involved in apoptotic pathway or in cytosol where NDPK-A and NDPK-B membrane association was shown to influence several cellular processes like endocytosis, cellular adhesion, ion transport, etc. However, despite numerous studies, the role of NDPK-membrane association and the molecular details of the binding process are still elusive. In the present work, a comparative study of the three NDPK isoforms allowed us to show that although membrane binding is a common feature of these enzymes, mechanisms differ at the molecular scale. NDPK-A was not able to bind to model membranes mimicking the inner leaflet of plasma membrane, suggesting that its in vivo membrane association is mediated by a non-lipidic partner or other partners than the studied phospholipids. On the contrary, NDPK-B and NDPK-D were shown to bind efficiently to liposomes mimicking plasma membrane and mitochondrial inner membrane respectively but details of the binding mechanism differ between the two enzymes as NDPK-B binding necessarily involved an anionic phospholipid partner while NDPK-D can bind either zwitterionic or anionic phospholipids. Although sharing similar secondary structure and homohexameric quaternary arrangement, tryptophan fluorescence revealed fine disparities in NDPK tertiary structures. Interfacial behavior as well as ANS fluorescence showed further dissimilarities between NDPK isoforms, notably the presence of distinct accessible hydrophobic areas as well as different capacity to form Gibbs monolayers related to their surface activity properties. Those distinct features may contribute to

  16. Revisiting the membrane interaction mechanism of a membrane-damaging β-barrel pore-forming toxin Vibrio cholerae cytolysin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rai, Anand Kumar; Chattopadhyay, Kausik

    2015-09-01

    Vibrio cholerae cytolysin (VCC) permeabilizes target cell membranes by forming transmembrane oligomeric β-barrel pores. VCC has been shown to associate with the target membranes via amphipathicity-driven spontaneous partitioning into the membrane environment. More specific interaction(s) of VCC with the membrane components have also been documented. In particular, specific binding of VCC with the membrane lipid components is believed to play a crucial role in determining the efficacy of the pore-formation process. However, the structural basis and the functional implications of the VCC interaction with the membrane lipids remain unclear. Here we show that the distinct loop sequences within the membrane-proximal region of VCC play critical roles to determine the functional interactions of the toxin with the membrane lipids. Alterations of the loop sequences via structure-guided mutagenesis allow amphipathicity-driven partitioning of VCC to the membrane lipid bilayer. Alterations of the loop sequences, however, block specific interactions of VCC with the membrane lipids and abort the oligomerization, membrane insertion, pore-formation and cytotoxic activity of the toxin. Present study identifies the structural signatures in VCC implicated for its functional interactions with the membrane lipid components, a process that presumably acts to drive the subsequent steps of the oligomeric β-barrel pore-formation and cytotoxic responses.

  17. Computational molecular modeling and structural rationalization for the design of a drug-loaded PLLA/PVA biopolymeric membrane

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sibeko, B; Pillay, V; Choonara, Y E; Khan, R A; Danckwerts, M P [Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, University of the Witwatersrand, 7 York Road, Parktown, 2193 Johannesburg (South Africa); Modi, G [Division of Neurosciences, Department of Neurology, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg (South Africa); Iyuke, S E [School of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg (South Africa); Naidoo, D, E-mail: viness.pillay@wits.ac.z [Division of Neurosciences, Department of Neurosurgery, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg (South Africa)

    2009-02-15

    The purpose of this study was to design, characterize and assess the influence of triethanolamine (TEA) on the physicomechanical properties and release of methotrexate (MTX) from a composite biopolymeric membrane. Conjugated poly(L-lactic acid) (PLLA) and poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) membranes were prepared by immersion precipitation with and without the addition of TEA. Drug entrapment efficiency (DEE) and release studies were performed in phosphate buffered saline (pH 7.4, 37 deg. C). Scanning electron microscopy elucidated the membrane surface morphology. Computational and structural molecular modeling rationalized the potential mechanisms of membrane formation and MTX release. Bi-axial force-distance (F-D) extensibility profiles were generated to determine the membrane toughness, elasticity and fracturability. Membranes were significantly toughened by the addition of TEA as a discrete rubbery phase within the co-polymer matrix. MTX-TEA-PLLA-PVA membranes were tougher (F = 89 N) and more extensible (D = 8.79 mm) compared to MTX-PLLA-PVA (F = 35 N, D = 3.7 mm) membranes as a greater force of extension and fracture distance were required (N = 10). DEE values were relatively high (>80%, N = 5) for both formulations. Photomicrographs revealed distinct crystalline layered morphologies with macro-pores. MTX was released by tri-phasic kinetics with a lower fractional release of MTX from MTX-TEA-PLLA-PVA membranes compared to MTX-PLLA-PVA. TEA provided a synergistic approach to improving the membrane physicomechanical properties and modulation of MTX release. The composite biopolymeric membrane may therefore be suitable for the novel delivery of MTX in the treatment of chronic primary central nervous system lymphoma.

  18. Physical association between a novel plasma-membrane structure and centrosome orients cell division

    Science.gov (United States)

    Negishi, Takefumi; Miyazaki, Naoyuki; Murata, Kazuyoshi; Yasuo, Hitoyoshi; Ueno, Naoto

    2016-01-01

    In the last mitotic division of the epidermal lineage in the ascidian embryo, the cells divide stereotypically along the anterior-posterior axis. During interphase, we found that a unique membrane structure invaginates from the posterior to the centre of the cell, in a microtubule-dependent manner. The invagination projects toward centrioles on the apical side of the nucleus and associates with one of them. Further, a cilium forms on the posterior side of the cell and its basal body remains associated with the invagination. A laser ablation experiment suggests that the invagination is under tensile force and promotes the posterior positioning of the centrosome. Finally, we showed that the orientation of the invaginations is coupled with the polarized dynamics of centrosome movements and the orientation of cell division. Based on these findings, we propose a model whereby this novel membrane structure orchestrates centrosome positioning and thus the orientation of cell division axis. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.16550.001 PMID:27502556

  19. Structure of BamA, an essential factor in outer membrane protein biogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albrecht, Reinhard; Schütz, Monika; Oberhettinger, Philipp; Faulstich, Michaela; Bermejo, Ivan; Rudel, Thomas; Diederichs, Kay; Zeth, Kornelius

    2014-06-01

    Outer membrane protein (OMP) biogenesis is an essential process for maintaining the bacterial cell envelope and involves the β-barrel assembly machinery (BAM) for OMP recognition, folding and assembly. In Escherichia coli this function is orchestrated by five proteins: the integral outer membrane protein BamA of the Omp85 superfamily and four associated lipoproteins. To unravel the mechanism underlying OMP folding and insertion, the structure of the E. coli BamA β-barrel and P5 domain was determined at 3 Å resolution. These data add information beyond that provided in the recently published crystal structures of BamA from Haemophilus ducreyi and Neisseria gonorrhoeae and are a valuable basis for the interpretation of pertinent functional studies. In an `open' conformation, E. coli BamA displays a significant degree of flexibility between P5 and the barrel domain, which is indicative of a multi-state function in substrate transfer. E. coli BamA is characterized by a discontinuous β-barrel with impaired β1-β16 strand interactions denoted by only two connecting hydrogen bonds and a disordered C-terminus. The 16-stranded barrel surrounds a large cavity which implies a function in OMP substrate binding and partial folding. These findings strongly support a mechanism of OMP biogenesis in which substrates are partially folded inside the barrel cavity and are subsequently released laterally into the lipid bilayer. PMID:24914988

  20. Pore formation by antimicrobial peptides: structural tendencies in bulk and quasi-2D membrane systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gordon, Vernita; Yang, Lihua; Davis, Matthew; Som, A.; Tew, G.; Wong, Gerard

    2007-03-01

    Antimicrobial peptides are cationic, amphiphilic structures that are key components of innate immunity. A prototypical family of synthetic analogs are the phenylene ethynylene antimicrobial oligomers (AMOs), which have hydrophobic alkyl chains connected to cationic hydrophilic regions. Synchrotron small-angle x-ray scattering (SAXS) shows that when AMO is mixed with concentrated model membranes, initially in the form of Small Unilamellar Vesicles, the sample forms the inverted hexagonal phase. This is a 3-dimensional phase characterized by a regular array of size-defined water channels. We demonstrate how this structural tendency is expressed when AMOs interact with dilute model membranes in the form of Giant Unilamellar Vesicles (GUVs). Using confocal microscopy, we see that applying AMO to the GUVs causes small encapsulated molecules to be released while large molecules are retained, indicating that size-defined pores have been created. Examining the partial release of polydisperse intermediately-sized molecules allows a closer measurement of the pore size, and there are indications that this single-vesicle microscopy will allow elucidation of the kinetics of the pore-forming process.

  1. Alterations of intestinal mucosa structure and barrier function following traumatic brain injury in rats

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Chun-Hua Hang; Ji-Xin Shi; Jie-Shou Li; Wei Wu; Hong-Xia Yin

    2003-01-01

    AIM: Gastrointestinal dysfunction is a common complication in patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI). However, the effect of traumatic brain injury on intestinal mucosa has not been studied previously. The aim of the current study was to explore the alterations of intestinal mucosa morphology and barrier function, and to determine how rapidly the impairment of gut barrier function occurs and how long it persists following traumatic brain injury.METHODS: Male Wistar rats were randomly divided into six groups (6 rats each group) including controls without brain injury and traumatic brain injury groups at hours 3,12, 24, and 72, and on day 7. The intestinal mucosa structure was detected by histopathological examination and electron microscopy. Gut barrier dysfunction was evaluated by detecting serum endotoxin and intestinal permeability. The level of serum endotoxin and intestinal permeability was measured by using chromogenic limulus amebocyte lysate and lactulose/mannitol (L/M) ratio, respectively.RESULTS: After traumatic brain injury, the histopathological alterations of gut mucosa occurred rapidly as early as 3 hours and progressed to a serious state, including shedding of epithelial cells, fracture of villi, focal ulcer, fusion of adjacent villi, dilation of central chyle duct, mucosal atrophy,and vascular dilation, congestion and edema in the villous interstitium and lamina propria. Apoptosis of epithelial cells,fracture and sparseness of microvilli, loss of tight junction between enterocytes, damage of mitochondria and endoplasm, were found by electron microscopy. The villous height, crypt depth and surface area in jejunum decreased progressively with the time of brain injury. As compared with that of control group (183.7±41.8 EU/L), serum endotoxin level was signnificantly increased at 3, 12, and 24 hours following TBI (434.8±54.9 EU/L, 324.2±61.7 EU/L and 303.3±60.2 EU/L, respectively), and peaked at 72 hours (560.5±76.2 EU/L), then declined on day 7

  2. Compared study of the local structure of alteration products of SON 68 glass and natural gels; Etude comparee de la structure locale des produits d'alteration du verre SON 68 et de gels naturels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pellegrin, E

    2000-07-01

    This study is a contribution in the understanding of the long time behavior of alteration products of the glass SON 68, used to simulate the nuclear glass R7T7. The local structure around Zirconium and iron has been probed using X-ray absorption spectroscopy in altered surface layer of glass SON 68. Alteration products of this glass have been prepared for short (3 hours to 7 days) and long (17 months) time, using various indexes of saturation for the leaching solution with respect to the Si content of the glass (from 0 to 90 %). The evolution of the local structure around Fe has also been studied in recent and old natural ferric gels. Zr, Fe- L{sub 2,3} XANES and Zr, Fe-K EXAFS spectroscopies have shown that, in the pristine glass, these elements are connected to the polymeric network. Zr is found in an environment close to that of a zircon-silicate containing Na and Ca. Trivalent Fe is a network former. The leached layer of glass SON 68 is constituted of poorly ordered Zr-and Fe-(oxi-hydr)oxides that may have been formed by a mechanism of dissolution/precipitation; a relict phase with the same Zr local structure as that observed in the pristine glass, probably obtained thanks to in-situ solid condensation. The structural characteristics of the leached layer are observed from the first steps of alteration for Zr and Fe. Conversely to Fe, the structural status of Zr depends on the leaching kinetic as well as the contents of Ca and Si in the solid. Fe-K EXAFS results in recent natural ferri-hydrides present a clear structural similarity with that determined in glass SON 68 leached products. The study of old paleosols (between 1,800 and 200,000 years) has demonstrated the long time stability of ferric gels, although an increase of medium range order around Fe is seen. (author)

  3. Erythrocyte membrane modifying agents and the inhibition of Plasmodium falciparum growth: structure-activity relationships for betulinic acid analogues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ziegler, Hanne L; Franzyk, Henrik; Sairafianpour, Majid; Tabatabai, Mehrnoush; Tehrani, Mahboubeh D; Bagherzadeh, Karim; Hägerstrand, Henry; Staerk, Dan; Jaroszewski, Jerzy W

    2004-01-01

    The natural triterpene betulinic acid and its analogues (betulinic aldehyde, lupeol, betulin, methyl betulinate and betulinic acid amide) caused concentration-dependent alterations of erythrocyte membrane shape towards stomatocytes or echinocytes according to their hydrogen bonding properties. Thus, the analogues with a functional group having a capacity of donating a hydrogen bond (COOH, CH(2)OH, CONH(2)) caused formation of echinocytes, whereas those lacking this ability (CH(3), CHO, COOCH(3)) induced formation of stomatocytes. Both kinds of erythrocyte alterations were prohibitive with respect to Plasmodium falciparum invasion and growth; all compounds were inhibitory with IC(50) values in the range 7-28 microM, and the growth inhibition correlated well with the extent of membrane curvature changes assessed by transmission electron microscopy. Erythrocytes pre-loaded with betulinic acid or its analogues and extensively washed in order to remove excess of the chemicals could not serve as hosts for P. falciparum parasites. Betulinic acid and congeners can be responsible for in vitro antiplasmodial activity of plant extracts, as shown for Zataria multiflora Boiss. (Labiatae) and Zizyphus vulgaris Lam. (Rhamnaceae). The activity is evidently due to the incorporation of the compounds into the lipid bilayer of erythrocytes, and may be caused by modifications of cholesterol-rich membrane rafts, recently shown to play an important role in parasite vacuolization. The established link between erythrocyte membrane modifications and antiplasmodial activity may provide a novel target for potential antimalarial drugs. PMID:14697777

  4. Molecular dynamics studies of simple membrane — Water interfaces: Structure and functions in the beginnings of cellular life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pohorille, Andrew; Wilson, Michael A.

    1995-06-01

    Molecular dynamics computer simulations of the structure and functions of a simple membrane are performed in order to examine whether membranes provide an environment capable of promoting protobiological evolution. Our model membrane is composed of glycerol 1-monooleate. It is found that the bilayer surface fluctuates in time and space, occasionally creating thinning defects in the membrane. These defects are essential for passive transport of simple ions across membranes because they reduce the Bom barrier to this process by approximately 40%. Negative ions are transferred across the bilayer more readily than positive ions due to favorable interactions with the electric field at the membrane-water interface. Passive transport of neutral molecules is, in general, more complex than predicted by the solubility-diffusion model. In particular, molecules which exhibit sufficient hydrophilicity and lipophilicity concentrate near membrane surfaces and experience “interfacial resistance” to transport. The membrane-water interface forms an environment suitable for heterogeneous catalysis. Several possible mechanisms leading to an increase of reaction rates at the interface are discussed. We conclude that vesicles have many properties that make them very good candidates for earliest protocells. Some potentially fruitful directions of experimental and theoretical research on this subject are proposed.

  5. Molecular dynamics studies of simple membrane-water interfaces: Structure and functions in the beginnings of cellular life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pohorille, Andrew; Wilson, Michael A.

    1995-01-01

    Molecular dynamics computer simulations of the structure and functions of a simple membrane are performed in order to examine whether membranes provide an environment capable of promoting protobiological evolution. Our model membrane is composed of glycerol 1-monooleate. It is found that the bilayer surface fluctuates in time and space, occasionally creating thinning defects in the membrane. These defects are essential for passive transport of simple ions across membranes because they reduce the Born barrier to this process by approximately 40%. Negative ions are transferred across the bilayer more readily than positive ions due to favorable interactions with the electric field at the membrane-water interface. Passive transport of neutral molecules is, in general, more complex than predicted by the solubility-diffusion model. In particular, molecules which exhibit sufficient hydrophilicity and lipophilicity concentrate near membrane surfaces and experience 'interfacial resistance' to transport. The membrane-water interface forms an environment suitable for heterogeneous catalysis. Several possible mechanisms leading to an increase of reaction rates at the interface are discussed. We conclude that vesicles have many properties that make them very good candidates for earliest protocells. Some potentially fruitful directions of experimental and theoretical research on this subject are proposed.

  6. Combinations of physiologic estrogens with xenoestrogens alter calcium and kinase responses, prolactin release, and membrane estrogen receptor trafficking in rat pituitary cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Watson Cheryl S

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Xenoestrogens such as alkylphenols and the structurally related plastic byproduct bisphenol A have recently been shown to act potently via nongenomic signaling pathways and the membrane version of estrogen receptor-α. Though the responses to these compounds are typically measured individually, they usually contaminate organisms that already have endogenous estrogens present. Therefore, we used quantitative medium-throughput screening assays to measure the effects of physiologic estrogens in combination with these xenoestrogens. Methods We studied the effects of low concentrations of endogenous estrogens (estradiol, estriol, and estrone at 10 pM (representing pre-development levels, and 1 nM (representing higher cycle-dependent and pregnancy levels in combinations with the same levels of xenoestrogens in GH3/B6/F10 pituitary cells. These levels of xenoestrogens represent extremely low contamination levels. We monitored calcium entry into cells using Fura-2 fluorescence imaging of single cells. Prolactin release was measured by radio-immunoassay. Extracellular-regulated kinase (1 and 2 phospho-activations and the levels of three estrogen receptors in the cell membrane (ERα, ERβ, and GPER were measured using a quantitative plate immunoassay of fixed cells either permeabilized or nonpermeabilized (respectively. Results All xenoestrogens caused responses at these concentrations, and had disruptive effects on the actions of physiologic estrogens. Xenoestrogens reduced the % of cells that responded to estradiol via calcium channel opening. They also inhibited the activation (phosphorylation of extracellular-regulated kinases at some concentrations. They either inhibited or enhanced rapid prolactin release, depending upon concentration. These latter two dose-responses were nonmonotonic, a characteristic of nongenomic estrogenic responses. Conclusions Responses mediated by endogenous estrogens representing different life stages are

  7. Membrane-electrode structures for molecular catalysts for use in fuel cells and other electrochemical devices

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kerr, John B.; Zhu, Xiaobing; Hwang, Gi Suk; Martin, Zulima; He, Qinggang; Driscoll, Peter; Weber, Adam; Clark, Kyle

    2016-09-27

    Water soluble catalysts, (M)meso-tetra(N-Methyl-4-Pyridyl)Porphinepentachloride (M=Fe, Co, Mn & Cu), have been incorporated into the polymer binder of oxygen reduction cathodes in membrane electrode assemblies used in PEM fuel cells and found to support encouragingly high current densities. The voltages achieved are low compared to commercial platinum catalysts but entirely consistent with the behavior observed in electroanalytical measurements of the homogeneous catalysts. A model of the dynamics of the electrode action has been developed and validated and this allows the MEA electrodes to be optimized for any chemistry that has been demonstrated in solution. It has been shown that improvements to the performance will come from modifications to the structure of the catalyst combined with optimization of the electrode structure and a well-founded pathway to practical non-platinum group metal catalysts exists.

  8. Shell and membrane theories in mechanics and biology from macro- to nanoscale structures

    CERN Document Server

    Mikhasev, Gennadi

    2015-01-01

    This book presents the latest results related to shells  characterize and design shells, plates, membranes and other thin-walled structures, a multidisciplinary approach from macro- to nanoscale is required which involves the classical disciplines of mechanical/civil/materials engineering (design, analysis, and properties) and physics/biology/medicine among others. The book contains contributions of a meeting of specialists (mechanical engineers, mathematicians, physicists and others) in such areas as classical and non-classical shell theories. New trends with respect to applications in mechanical, civil and aero-space engineering, as well as in new branches like medicine and biology are presented which demand improvements of the theoretical foundations of these theories and a deeper understanding of the material behavior used in such structures.

  9. Bordetella pertussis naturally occurring isolates with altered lipooligosaccharide structure fail to fully mature human dendritic cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brummelman, Jolanda; Veerman, Rosanne E; Hamstra, Hendrik Jan; Deuss, Anna J M; Schuijt, Tim J; Sloots, Arjen; Kuipers, Betsy; van Els, Cécile A C M; van der Ley, Peter; Mooi, Frits R; Han, Wanda G H; Pinelli, Elena

    2015-01-01

    Bordetella pertussis is a Gram-negative bacterium and the causative agent of whooping cough. Despite high vaccination coverage, outbreaks are being increasingly reported worldwide. Possible explanations include adaptation of this pathogen, which may interfere with recognition by the innate immune system. Here, we describe innate immune recognition and responses to different B. pertussis clinical isolates. By using HEK-Blue cells transfected with different pattern recognition receptors, we found that 3 out of 19 clinical isolates failed to activate Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4). These findings were confirmed by using the monocytic MM6 cell line. Although incubation with high concentrations of these 3 strains resulted in significant activation of the MM6 cells, it was found to occur mainly through interaction with TLR2 and not through TLR4. When using live bacteria, these 3 strains also failed to activate TLR4 on HEK-Blue cells, and activation of MM6 cells or human monocyte-derived dendritic cells was significantly lower than activation induced by the other 16 strains. Mass spectrum analysis of the lipid A moieties from these 3 strains indicated an altered structure of this molecule. Gene sequence analysis revealed mutations in genes involved in lipid A synthesis. Findings from this study indicate that B. pertussis isolates that do not activate TLR4 occur naturally and that this phenotype may give this bacterium an advantage in tempering the innate immune response and establishing infection. Knowledge on the strategies used by this pathogen in evading the host immune response is essential for the improvement of current vaccines or for the development of new ones.

  10. Spatial structuring of an evolving life-history strategy under altered environmental conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hegg, Jens C; Kennedy, Brian P; Chittaro, Paul M; Zabel, Richard W

    2013-08-01

    Human disturbances to ecosystems have created challenges to populations worldwide, forcing them to respond phenotypically in ways that increase their fitness under current conditions. One approach to examining population responses to disturbance in species with complex life histories is to study species that exhibit spatial patterns in their phenotypic response across populations or demes. In this study, we investigate a threatened population of fall chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) in the Snake River of Idaho, in which a significant fraction of the juvenile population have been shown to exhibit a yearling out-migration strategy which had not previously been thought to exist. It has been suggested that dam-related environmental changes may have altered the selective pressures experienced by out-migrating fall chinook, driving evolution of a later and more selectively advantageous migration strategy. Using isotopic analysis of otoliths from returning adult spawners, we reconstructed the locations of individual fish at three major juvenile life stages to determine if the representation of the yearling life history was geographically structured within the population. We reconstructed juvenile locations for natal, rearing and overwintering life stages in each of the major spawning areas in the basin. Our results indicate that the yearling life-history strategy is predominantly represented within one of the main spawning regions, the Clearwater River, rather than being distributed throughout the basin. Previous studies have shown the Clearwater River to have cooler temperatures, later hatch dates, and later outmigration of juveniles, indicating a link between environment and expression of the yearling life history. Our data suggest that this new yearling life history may be disproportionally represented in returning adult spawners, indicating selection for this life history within the population.

  11. Assessment of the structural brain network reveals altered connectivity in children with unilateral cerebral palsy due to periventricular white matter lesions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kerstin Pannek

    2014-01-01

    Conclusion: This study shows that network-based analysis of structural connectivity can identify alterations in FA in unilateral CP, and that these alterations in FA are related to clinical function. Application of this connectome-based analysis to investigate alterations in connectivity following treatment may elucidate the neurological correlates of improved functioning due to intervention.

  12. Effect of Nd-doping on the Thermal Stability and Pore-structure of Al2O3 Membranes

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    YU Jian-Chang; XU Wei-Jun; HUANG Qing-Ming; HU Sheng-Wei

    2005-01-01

    Unsupported Nd-doped Al2O3 membranes have been prepared with a sol-gel treatnt by using aluminium isopropoxide and Nd(NO3)3 as the main raw materials. The properties of Nd-doped Al2O3 membranes were characterized by XRD, DTA-TG, IR and N2 adsorption. The effects of Nd-doping on the phase composition, thermal stability as well as applications of pore- structure of Nd-doped Al2O3 membranes at high temperature were discussed. The results show that Nd-doping can raise the transition temperature rom γ-Al2O3 to α-Al2O3, enhance the thermal stability of Al2O3 membranes, and evidently improve the pore-structural parameters of Al2O3 mem- branes applied at higher temperatures.

  13. VESICULAR TRANSPORT. A structure of the COPI coat and the role of coat proteins in membrane vesicle assembly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dodonova, S O; Diestelkoetter-Bachert, P; von Appen, A; Hagen, W J H; Beck, R; Beck, M; Wieland, F; Briggs, J A G

    2015-07-10

    Transport of material within cells is mediated by trafficking vesicles that bud from one cellular compartment and fuse with another. Formation of a trafficking vesicle is driven by membrane coats that localize cargo and polymerize into cages to bend the membrane. Although extensive structural information is available for components of these coats, the heterogeneity of trafficking vesicles has prevented an understanding of how complete membrane coats assemble on the membrane. We combined cryo-electron tomography, subtomogram averaging, and cross-linking mass spectrometry to derive a complete model of the assembled coat protein complex I (COPI) coat involved in traffic between the Golgi and the endoplasmic reticulum. The highly interconnected COPI coat structure contradicted the current "adaptor-and-cage" understanding of coated vesicle formation.

  14. Structural studies of the vacuolar membrane ATPase from Neurospora crassa and comparison with the tonoplast membrane ATPase and Zea mays

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bowman, E.J.; Mandala, S.; Taiz, L.; Bowman, B.J.

    1986-01-01

    The H translocating ATPase located on vacuolar membranes of Neurospora crassa was partially purified by solubilization in two detergents, Triton X-100 and N-hexadecyl-N,N-dimethyl-3-ammonio-1-propanesulfonate, followed by centrifugation on sucrose density gradients. Two polypeptides of M/sub r/ approx. = 70,000 and approx. = 62,000 consistently migrated with activity, along with several minor bands of lower molecular weight. Radioactively labeled inhibitors of ATPase activity, N-( UC)ethylmaleimide and 7-chloro-4-nitro( UC)benzo-2-oxa-1,3-diazole, labeled the M/sub r/ approx. = 70,000 polypeptide; this labeling was reduced in the presence of ATP. N,N'-( UC)dicyclohexylcarbodiimide labeled a polypeptide of M/sub r/ approx. = 15,000. Estimation of the functional size of the vacuolar membrane ATPase by radiation inactivation gave a value of M/sub r/ 5.2 x 10V, 10-15% larger than the mitochondrial ATPase. The Neurospora vacuolar ATPase showed no crossreactivity with antiserum to plasma membrane or mitochrondrial ATPase but stongly crossreacted with antiserum against a polypeptide of M/sub r/ approx. = 70,000 associated with the tonoplast ATPase of corn coleoptiles. These results suggest that fungal and plant vacuolar ATPases may be large multisubunit complexes, somewhat similar to, but immunologically distinct from, known F0F1 ATPases.

  15. Inclusion of thiol DAB dendrimer/CdSe quantum dots based in a membrane structure: Surface and bulk membrane modification

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Highlights: ► Fluorescent nanocomposite based in CdSe quantum dots (QDs) coated by thiol polypropylenimine (DAB). ► Bulk chemical characterization by TEM and EDAX ► Inclusion of the S-DAB-CdSe QDs in a cellulosic support and its characterization by Fluorescence and XPS. ► Electrical characterization by Impedance Spectroscopy of dry and wet samples containing a heavy metal. -- Abstract: The behavior of a fluorescent nanocomposite, obtained by means of a thiol polypropylenimine dendrimer of third generation coated with CdSe quantum dots, and embedded in a hydrophilic cellulosic membrane as support is electrochemically studied in order to evaluate its applicability as a sensor in liquid media. The characterization of the nanocomposite by TEM and EDAX shows uniform nano morphology (size comprised in the range 60–90 nm) and composition, respectively. The analysis of the engineered hybrid cellulose-dendrimer quantum dots material by confocal fluorescence microscopy indicates almost mono-dispersion distribution of the nanocomposite when irradiated under UV light, while its presence on the film surface was determined by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. Impedance spectroscopy measurements performed with dry membrane samples show a decrease in the conductivity and dielectric constant of the modified membrane in comparison with the raw support. Electrical changes in the modified film associated to the presence of Cd(II) uptakes from a Cl2Cd solution were also obtained. These results support the possible application of this nanocomposite material as heavy metal sensor in liquid media

  16. Multi-decadal water-table manipulation alters peatland hydraulic structure and moisture retention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Paul; Morris, Paul; Waddington, James

    2015-04-01

    Peatlands are a globally important store of freshwater and soil carbon. However, there is a concern that these water and carbon stores may be at risk due to climate change as vapour pressure deficits, evapotranspiration and summer moisture deficits are expected to increase, leading to greater water table (WT) drawdown in northern continental regions where peatlands are prevalent. We argue that in order to evaluate the hydrological response (i.e. changes in WT level, storage, surface moisture availability, and moss evaporation) of peatlands under future climate change scenarios, the hydrophysical properties of peat and disparities between microforms must be well understood. A peatland complex disturbed by berm construction in the 1950's was used to examine the long-term impact of WT manipulation on peatland hydraulic properties and moisture retention at three adjacent sites with increasing average depth to WT (WET, INTermediate reference, and DRY). All three sites exhibited a strong depth dependence for hydraulic conductivity, specific yield, and bulk density. Moreover, the effect of microform on near-surface peat properties tended to be greater than the site effect. Bulk density was found to explain a high amount of variance (r2 > 0.69) in moisture retention across a range of pore water pressures (-15 to -500 cm H2O), where bulk density tended to be higher in hollows. The estimated residual water content for surface Sphagnum samples, while on average lower in hummocks (0.082 m3 m-3) versus hollows (0.087 m3 m-3), increased from WET (0.058 m3 m-3) to INT (0.088 m3 m-3) to DRY (0.108 m3 m-3) which has important implications for moisture stress under conditions of persistent WT drawdown. While we did not observe significant differences between sites, we did observe a greater proportional coverage and greater relative height of hummocks at the drier sites. Given the potential importance of microtopographic succession for altering peatland hydraulic structure, our

  17. Structure of the Membrane-tethering GRASP Domain Reveals a Unique PDZ Ligand Interaction That Mediates Golgi Biogenesis*

    OpenAIRE

    Truschel, Steven T.; Sengupta, Debrup; Foote, Adam; Heroux, Annie; Macbeth, Mark R.; Linstedt, Adam D.

    2011-01-01

    Biogenesis of the ribbon-like membrane network of the mammalian Golgi requires membrane tethering by the conserved GRASP domain in GRASP65 and GRASP55, yet the tethering mechanism is not fully understood. Here, we report the crystal structure of the GRASP55 GRASP domain, which revealed an unusual arrangement of two tandem PDZ folds that more closely resemble prokaryotic PDZ domains. Biochemical and functional data indicated that the interaction between the ligand-binding pocket of PDZ1 and an...

  18. Effect of hydrogenated cardanol on the structure of model membranes studied by EPR and NMR.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santeusanio, Stefania; Attanasi, Orazio Antonio; Majer, Roberta; Cangiotti, Michela; Fattori, Alberto; Ottaviani, Maria Francesca

    2013-09-01

    Hydrogenated cardanol (HC) is known to act as an antiobesity, promising antioxidant, and eco-friendly brominating agent. In this respect, it is important to find the way to transport and protect HC into the body; a micellar structure works as the simplest membrane model and may be considered a suitable biocarrier for HC. Therefore, it is useful to analyze the impact of HC in the micellar structure and properties. This study reports a computer aided electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) and (1)H NMR investigation of structural variations of cetyltrimetylammonium bromide (CTAB) micelles upon insertion of HC at different concentrations and pH variations. Surfactant spin probes inserted in the micelles allowed us to get information on the structure and dynamics of the micelles and the interactions between HC and CTAB. The formation of highly packed HC-CTAB mixed micelles were favored by the occurrence of both hydrophobic (chain-chain) and hydrophilic (between the polar and charged lipid heads) interactions. These interactions were enhanced by neutralization of the acidic HC heads. Different HC localizations into the micelles and micellar structures were identified by changing HC/CTAB relative concentrations and pH. The increase in HC concentration generated mixed micelles characterized by an increased surfactant packing. These results suggested a rod-like shape of the mixed micelles. The increase in pH promoted the insertion of deprotonated HC into less packed micelles, favored by the electrostatic head-head interactions between CTAB and deprotonated-HC surfactants. PMID:23915214

  19. Structural characterization of outer membrane components of the type IV pili system in pathogenic Neisseria.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samta Jain

    Full Text Available Structures of the type IV pili secretin complexes from Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Neisseria meningitidis, embedded in outer membranes were investigated by transmission electron microscopy. Single particle averaging revealed additional domains not observed previously. Secretin complexes of N. gonorrhoeae showed a double ring structure with a 14-15-fold symmetry in the central ring, and a 14-fold symmetry of the peripheral ring with 7 spikes protruding. In secretin complexes of N. meningitidis, the spikes were absent and the peripheral ring was partly or completely lacking. When present, it had a 19-fold symmetry. The structures of the complexes in several pil mutants were determined. Structures obtained from the pilC1/C2 adhesin and the pilW minor pilin deletion strains were similar to wild-type, whereas deletion of the homologue of N. meningitidis PilW resulted in the absence of secretin structures. Remarkably, the pilE pilin subunit and pilP lipoprotein deletion mutants showed a change in the symmetry of the peripheral ring from 14 to 19 and loss of spikes. The pilF ATPase mutant also lost the spikes, but maintained 14-fold symmetry. These results show that secretin complexes contain previously unidentified large and flexible extra domains with a probable role in stabilization or assembly of type IV pili.

  20. In-situ biofilm characterization in membrane systems using Optical Coherence Tomography: formation, structure, detachment and impact of flux change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dreszer, C; Wexler, A D; Drusová, S; Overdijk, T; Zwijnenburg, A; Flemming, H-C; Kruithof, J C; Vrouwenvelder, J S

    2014-12-15

    Biofouling causes performance loss in spiral wound nanofiltration (NF) and reverse osmosis (RO) membrane operation for process and drinking water production. The development of biofilm formation, structure and detachment was studied in-situ, non-destructively with Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) in direct relation with the hydraulic biofilm resistance and membrane performance parameters: transmembrane pressure drop (TMP) and feed-channel pressure drop (FCP). The objective was to evaluate the suitability of OCT for biofouling studies, applying a membrane biofouling test cell operated at constant crossflow velocity (0.1 m s(-1)) and permeate flux (20 L m(-2)h(-1)). In time, the biofilm thickness on the membrane increased continuously causing a decline in membrane performance. Local biofilm detachment was observed at the biofilm-membrane interface. A mature biofilm was subjected to permeate flux variation (20 to 60 to 20 L m(-2)h(-1)). An increase in permeate flux caused a decrease in biofilm thickness and an increase in biofilm resistance, indicating biofilm compaction. Restoring the original permeate flux did not completely restore the original biofilm parameters: After elevated flux operation the biofilm thickness was reduced to 75% and the hydraulic resistance increased to 116% of the original values. Therefore, after a temporarily permeate flux increase the impact of the biofilm on membrane performance was stronger. OCT imaging of the biofilm with increased permeate flux revealed that the biofilm became compacted, lost internal voids, and became more dense. Therefore, membrane performance losses were not only related to biofilm thickness but also to the internal biofilm structure, e.g. caused by changes in pressure. Optical Coherence Tomography proved to be a suitable tool for quantitative in-situ biofilm thickness and morphology studies which can be carried out non-destructively and in real-time in transparent membrane biofouling monitors.

  1. In-situ biofilm characterization in membrane systems using Optical Coherence Tomography: Formation, structure, detachment and impact of flux change

    KAUST Repository

    Dreszer, C.

    2014-12-01

    Biofouling causes performance loss in spiral wound nanofiltration (NF) and reverse osmosis (RO) membrane operation for process and drinking water production. The development of biofilm formation, structure and detachment was studied in-situ, non-destructively with Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) in direct relation with the hydraulic biofilm resistance and membrane performance parameters: transmembrane pressure drop (TMP) and feed-channel pressure drop (FCP). The objective was to evaluate the suitability of OCT for biofouling studies, applying a membrane biofouling test cell operated at constant crossflow velocity (0.1 m s-1) and permeate flux (20 L m-2h-1).In time, the biofilm thickness on the membrane increased continuously causing a decline in membrane performance. Local biofilm detachment was observed at the biofilm-membrane interface. A mature biofilm was subjected to permeate flux variation (20 to 60 to 20 L m-2h-1). An increase in permeate flux caused a decrease in biofilm thickness and an increase in biofilm resistance, indicating biofilm compaction. Restoring the original permeate flux did not completely restore the original biofilm parameters: After elevated flux operation the biofilm thickness was reduced to 75% and the hydraulic resistance increased to 116% of the original values. Therefore, after a temporarily permeate flux increase the impact of the biofilm on membrane performance was stronger. OCT imaging of the biofilm with increased permeate flux revealed that the biofilm became compacted, lost internal voids, and became more dense. Therefore, membrane performance losses were not only related to biofilm thickness but also to the internal biofilm structure, e.g. caused by changes in pressure.Optical Coherence Tomography proved to be a suitable tool for quantitative in-situ biofilm thickness and morphology studies which can be carried out non-destructively and in real-time in transparent membrane biofouling monitors.

  2. Structural Brain Alterations in Motor Subtypes of Parkinson’s Disease: Evidence from Probabilistic Tractography and Shape Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vervoort, Griet; Leunissen, Inge; Firbank, Michael; Heremans, Elke; Nackaerts, Evelien; Vandenberghe, Wim; Nieuwboer, Alice

    2016-01-01

    Background and Objectives The postural instability and gait disorder (PIGD) and tremor dominant (TD) subtypes of Parkinson’s disease (PD) show different patterns of alterations in functional connectivity (FC) between specific brain regions. This study aimed to investigate the relation between symptomatic heterogeneity in PD and structural alterations underlying these FC changes. Methods 68 PD patients classified as PIGD (n = 41) or TD (n = 19) and 19 age-matched controls underwent Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). Diffusion-weighted images were used to assess fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivity (MD) at the whole-brain level using tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS). In addition, structural connectivity was assessed between regions that previously showed altered FC using probabilistic tractography. Anatomical images were used to determine shape and volume of the putamen, caudate and pallidum. Results TBSS revealed widespread FA reductions in PIGD compared to controls involving the superior longitudinal fasciculi and corpus callosum. No such differences were found in TD. Both PD subgroups had increased MD compared to controls in tracts connecting the left caudate with the bilateral ventral putamen. TD patients additionally showed increased MD compared to PIGD and controls in tracts connecting the right inferior parietal lobule with the right premotor and primary motor cortex, which previously showed altered FC. We also found grey matter atrophy in the rostrodorsal head of the caudate in PIGD compared to controls. Conclusion Microstructural changes in white matter tracts, particularly in those connecting striatal sub-areas, partly underlie FC alterations in PD subtypes. Caudate shape alterations further implicate the striatum in PIGD pathophysiology. PMID:27314952

  3. Structural basis for feed-forward transcriptional regulation of membrane lipid homeostasis in Staphylococcus aureus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniela Albanesi

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The biosynthesis of membrane lipids is an essential pathway for virtually all bacteria. Despite its potential importance for the development of novel antibiotics, little is known about the underlying signaling mechanisms that allow bacteria to control their membrane lipid composition within narrow limits. Recent studies disclosed an elaborate feed-forward system that senses the levels of malonyl-CoA and modulates the transcription of genes that mediate fatty acid and phospholipid synthesis in many Gram-positive bacteria including several human pathogens. A key component of this network is FapR, a transcriptional regulator that binds malonyl-CoA, but whose mode of action remains enigmatic. We report here the crystal structures of FapR from Staphylococcus aureus (SaFapR in three relevant states of its regulation cycle. The repressor-DNA complex reveals that the operator binds two SaFapR homodimers with different affinities, involving sequence-specific contacts from the helix-turn-helix motifs to the major and minor grooves of DNA. In contrast with the elongated conformation observed for the DNA-bound FapR homodimer, binding of malonyl-CoA stabilizes a different, more compact, quaternary arrangement of the repressor, in which the two DNA-binding domains are attached to either side of the central thioesterase-like domain, resulting in a non-productive overall conformation that precludes DNA binding. The structural transition between the DNA-bound and malonyl-CoA-bound states of SaFapR involves substantial changes and large (>30 Å inter-domain movements; however, both conformational states can be populated by the ligand-free repressor species, as confirmed by the structure of SaFapR in two distinct crystal forms. Disruption of the ability of SaFapR to monitor malonyl-CoA compromises cell growth, revealing the essentiality of membrane lipid homeostasis for S. aureus survival and uncovering novel opportunities for the development of antibiotics

  4. Three-dimensionally Ordered Macroporous Structure Enabled Nanothermite Membrane of Mn2O3/Al

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Guoqiang; Zhang, Wenchao; Shen, Ruiqi; Ye, Jiahai; Qin, Zhichun; Chao, Yimin

    2016-03-01

    Mn2O3 has been selected to realize nanothermite membrane for the first time in the literature. Mn2O3/Al nanothermite has been synthesized by magnetron sputtering a layer of Al film onto three-dimensionally ordered macroporous (3DOM) Mn2O3 skeleton. The energy release is significantly enhanced owing to the unusual 3DOM structure, which ensures Al and Mn2O3 to integrate compactly in nanoscale and greatly increase effective contact area. The morphology and DSC curve of the nanothermite membrane have been investigated at various aluminizing times. At the optimized aluminizing time of 30 min, energy release reaches a maximum of 2.09 kJ•g-1, where the Al layer thickness plays a decisive role in the total energy release. This method possesses advantages of high compatibility with MEMS and can be applied to other nanothermite systems easily, which will make great contribution to little-known nanothermite research.

  5. Dynamical Clustering and the Origin of Raft-like Structures in a Model Lipid Membrane

    Science.gov (United States)

    Starr, Francis

    2014-03-01

    We investigate the dynamical heterogeneity of a model single-component lipid membrane using simulations of a coarse-grained representation of lipid molecules. In the liquid-ordered (LO) phase, lipid diffusion is hindered by the transient trapping of molecules by their neighbors, giving rise to two distinct mobility groups: low-mobility lipids which are temporarily ``caged'', and lipids with displacements on the scale of the intermolecular spacing. The lipid molecules within these distinct mobility states cluster, giving rise to transient ``islands'' of enhanced mobility having the size and time scale expected for lipid ``rafts''. These clusters are strikingly similar to the dynamical clusters found in glass-forming fluids, and distinct from phase-separation clusters. Such dynamic heterogeneity is ubiquitous in disordered condensed-phase systems. Thus, we hypothesize that rafts may originate from this universal mechanism, explaining why raft-like regions should arise, regardless of lipid structural or compositional details. This perspective provides a new approach to understand membrane transport.

  6. Composition, structure and mechanical properties define performance of pulmonary surfactant membranes and films.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parra, Elisa; Pérez-Gil, Jesús

    2015-01-01

    The respiratory surface in the mammalian lung is stabilized by pulmonary surfactant, a membrane-based system composed of multiple lipids and specific proteins, the primary function of which is to minimize the surface tension at the alveolar air-liquid interface, optimizing the mechanics of breathing and avoiding alveolar collapse, especially at the end of expiration. The goal of the present review is to summarize current knowledge regarding the structure, lipid-protein interactions and mechanical features of surfactant membranes and films and how these properties correlate with surfactant biological function inside the lungs. Surfactant mechanical properties can be severely compromised by different agents, which lead to surfactant inhibition and ultimately contributes to the development of pulmonary disorders and pathologies in newborns, children and adults. A detailed comprehension of the unique mechanical and rheological properties of surfactant layers is crucial for the diagnostics and treatment of lung diseases, either by analyzing the contribution of surfactant impairment to the pathophysiology or by improving the formulations in surfactant replacement therapies. Finally, a short review is also included on the most relevant experimental techniques currently employed to evaluate lung surfactant mechanics, rheology, and inhibition and reactivation processes. PMID:25260665

  7. Structural features of Escherichia coli heat-stable enterotoxin that activates membrane-associated guanylyl cyclase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sato, T; Shimonishi, Y

    2004-03-01

    Heat-stable enterotoxin (ST), a small peptide of 18 or 19 amino acid residues produced by enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli, is the cause of acute diarrhea in infants and travelers in developing countries. ST triggers a biological response by binding to a membrane-associated guanylyl cyclase C (GC-C) which is located on intestinal epithelial cell membranes. This binding causes an increase in the concentration of cGMP as a second messenger in cells and activates protein kinase A and cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator. Here we describe the crystal structure of an ST at 0.89 A resolution. The molecule has a ring-shaped molecular architecture consisting of six peptide molecules with external and internal diameters of approximately 35 and 7 A, respectively and a thickness of approximately 11 A. The conserved residues at the central portion of ST are distributed on the outer surface of the ring-shaped peptide hexamer, suggesting that the hexamer may be implicated in the association with GC-C through these invariant residues. PMID:15049831

  8. Composition, structure and mechanical properties define performance of pulmonary surfactant membranes and films.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parra, Elisa; Pérez-Gil, Jesús

    2015-01-01

    The respiratory surface in the mammalian lung is stabilized by pulmonary surfactant, a membrane-based system composed of multiple lipids and specific proteins, the primary function of which is to minimize the surface tension at the alveolar air-liquid interface, optimizing the mechanics of breathing and avoiding alveolar collapse, especially at the end of expiration. The goal of the present review is to summarize current knowledge regarding the structure, lipid-protein interactions and mechanical features of surfactant membranes and films and how these properties correlate with surfactant biological function inside the lungs. Surfactant mechanical properties can be severely compromised by different agents, which lead to surfactant inhibition and ultimately contributes to the development of pulmonary disorders and pathologies in newborns, children and adults. A detailed comprehension of the unique mechanical and rheological properties of surfactant layers is crucial for the diagnostics and treatment of lung diseases, either by analyzing the contribution of surfactant impairment to the pathophysiology or by improving the formulations in surfactant replacement therapies. Finally, a short review is also included on the most relevant experimental techniques currently employed to evaluate lung surfactant mechanics, rheology, and inhibition and reactivation processes.

  9. Unraveling the structure of membrane proteins in situ by transfer function corrected cryo-electron tomography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eibauer, Matthias; Hoffmann, Christian; Plitzko, Jürgen M; Baumeister, Wolfgang; Nickell, Stephan; Engelhardt, Harald

    2012-12-01

    Cryo-electron tomography in combination with subtomogram averaging allows to investigate the structure of protein assemblies in their natural environment in a close to live state. To make full use of the structural information contained in tomograms it is necessary to analyze the contrast transfer function (CTF) of projections and to restore the phases of higher spatial frequencies. CTF correction is however hampered by the difficulty of determining the actual defocus values from tilt series data, which is due to the low signal-to-noise ratio of electron micrographs. In this study, an extended acquisition scheme is introduced that enables an independent CTF determination. Two high-dose images are recorded along the tilt axis on both sides of each projection, which allow an accurate determination of the defocus values of these images. These values are used to calculate the CTF for each image of the tilt series. We applied this scheme to the mycobacterial outer membrane protein MspA reconstituted in lipid vesicles and tested several variants of CTF estimation in combination with subtomogram averaging and correction of the modulation transfer function (MTF). The 3D electron density map of MspA was compared with a structure previously determined by X-ray crystallography. We were able to demonstrate that structural information up to a resolution of 16.8Å can be recovered using our CTF correction approach, whereas the uncorrected 3D map had a resolution of only 26.2Å.

  10. Laboratory information management system for membrane protein structure initiative--from gene to crystal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Troshin, Petr V; Morris, Chris; Prince, Stephen M; Papiz, Miroslav Z

    2008-12-01

    Membrane Protein Structure Initiative (MPSI) exploits laboratory competencies to work collaboratively and distribute work among the different sites. This is possible as protein structure determination requires a series of steps, starting with target selection, through cloning, expression, purification, crystallization and finally structure determination. Distributed sites create a unique set of challenges for integrating and passing on information on the progress of targets. This role is played by the Protein Information Management System (PIMS), which is a laboratory information management system (LIMS), serving as a hub for MPSI, allowing collaborative structural proteomics to be carried out in a distributed fashion. It holds key information on the progress of cloning, expression, purification and crystallization of proteins. PIMS is employed to track the status of protein targets and to manage constructs, primers, experiments, protocols, sample locations and their detailed histories: thus playing a key role in MPSI data exchange. It also serves as the centre of a federation of interoperable information resources such as local laboratory information systems and international archival resources, like PDB or NCBI. During the challenging task of PIMS integration, within the MPSI, we discovered a number of prerequisites for successful PIMS integration. In this article we share our experiences and provide invaluable insights into the process of LIMS adaptation. This information should be of interest to partners who are thinking about using LIMS as a data centre for their collaborative efforts. PMID:18991141

  11. The interaction between membrane structure and wind based on the discontinuous boundary element

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2010-01-01

    Small disturbance potential theory is widely used in solving aerodynamic problems with low Mach numbers, and it plays an important role in engineering design. Concerning structure wind engineering, the body of the structure is in a low velocity wind field, with a low viscosity of air and thin boundary layer, therefore, the tiny shear stress caused by the boundary layer can be ignored, only wind pressure being considered. In this paper, based on small disturbance potential theory, the fluid-structure interaction between the wind and membrane structure is analyzed by joint utilization of the boundary element method (BEM) and finite element method (FEM) through a loose-coupling procedure. However, the boundary of flow field to be calculated is not fully smooth, corners and edges still exist, so the discontinuous boundary element is introduced. Furthermore, because a large scale boundary element equation set with a nonsymmetrical coefficient matrix must be solved, this paper imports a preconditioning GMRES (the generalized minimum residual) iterative algorithm, which takes full advantage of the boundary element method. Several calculation examples have verified the correctness and soundness of the treatments mentioned above.

  12. Structural remodeling of bacteriophage T4 and host membranes during infection initiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Bo; Margolin, William; Molineux, Ian J; Liu, Jun

    2015-09-01

    The first stages of productive bacteriophage infections of bacterial host cells require efficient adsorption to the cell surface followed by ejection of phage DNA into the host cytoplasm. To achieve this goal, a phage virion must undergo significant structural remodeling. For phage T4, the most obvious change is the contraction of its tail. Here, we use skinny E. coli minicells as a host, along with cryo-electron tomography and mutant phage virions, to visualize key structural intermediates during initiation of T4 infection. We show for the first time that most long tail fibers are folded back against the tail sheath until irreversible adsorption, a feature compatible with the virion randomly walking across the cell surface to find an optimal site for infection. Our data confirm that tail contraction is triggered by structural changes in the baseplate, as intermediates were found with remodeled baseplates and extended tails. After contraction, the tail tube penetrates the host cell periplasm, pausing while it degrades the peptidoglycan layer. Penetration into the host cytoplasm is accompanied by a dramatic local outward curvature of the cytoplasmic membrane as it fuses with the phage tail tip. The baseplate hub protein gp27 and/or the ejected tape measure protein gp29 likely form the transmembrane channel for viral DNA passage into the cell cytoplasm. Building on the wealth of prior biochemical and structural information, this work provides new molecular insights into the mechanistic pathway of T4 phage infection. PMID:26283379

  13. Unraveling the structure of membrane proteins in situ by transfer function corrected cryo-electron tomography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eibauer, Matthias; Hoffmann, Christian; Plitzko, Jürgen M; Baumeister, Wolfgang; Nickell, Stephan; Engelhardt, Harald

    2012-12-01

    Cryo-electron tomography in combination with subtomogram averaging allows to investigate the structure of protein assemblies in their natural environment in a close to live state. To make full use of the structural information contained in tomograms it is necessary to analyze the contrast transfer function (CTF) of projections and to restore the phases of higher spatial frequencies. CTF correction is however hampered by the difficulty of determining the actual defocus values from tilt series data, which is due to the low signal-to-noise ratio of electron micrographs. In this study, an extended acquisition scheme is introduced that enables an independent CTF determination. Two high-dose images are recorded along the tilt axis on both sides of each projection, which allow an accurate determination of the defocus values of these images. These values are used to calculate the CTF for each image of the tilt series. We applied this scheme to the mycobacterial outer membrane protein MspA reconstituted in lipid vesicles and tested several variants of CTF estimation in combination with subtomogram averaging and correction of the modulation transfer function (MTF). The 3D electron density map of MspA was compared with a structure previously determined by X-ray crystallography. We were able to demonstrate that structural information up to a resolution of 16.8Å can be recovered using our CTF correction approach, whereas the uncorrected 3D map had a resolution of only 26.2Å. PMID:23000705

  14. Laboratory information management system for membrane protein structure initiative--from gene to crystal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Troshin, Petr V; Morris, Chris; Prince, Stephen M; Papiz, Miroslav Z

    2008-12-01

    Membrane Protein Structure Initiative (MPSI) exploits laboratory competencies to work collaboratively and distribute work among the different sites. This is possible as protein structure determination requires a series of steps, starting with target selection, through cloning, expression, purification, crystallization and finally structure determination. Distributed sites create a unique set of challenges for integrating and passing on information on the progress of targets. This role is played by the Protein Information Management System (PIMS), which is a laboratory information management system (LIMS), serving as a hub for MPSI, allowing collaborative structural proteomics to be carried out in a distributed fashion. It holds key information on the progress of cloning, expression, purification and crystallization of proteins. PIMS is employed to track the status of protein targets and to manage constructs, primers, experiments, protocols, sample locations and their detailed histories: thus playing a key role in MPSI data exchange. It also serves as the centre of a federation of interoperable information resources such as local laboratory information systems and international archival resources, like PDB or NCBI. During the challenging task of PIMS integration, within the MPSI, we discovered a number of prerequisites for successful PIMS integration. In this article we share our experiences and provide invaluable insights into the process of LIMS adaptation. This information should be of interest to partners who are thinking about using LIMS as a data centre for their collaborative efforts.

  15. Detection of Chromosomal Structural Alterations in Single Cells by SNP Arrays: A Systematic Survey of Amplification Bias and Optimized Workflow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iwamoto, Kazuya; Bundo, Miki; Ueda, Junko; Nakano, Yoko; Ukai, Wataru; Hashimoto, Eri; Saito, Toshikazu; Kato, Tadafumi

    2007-01-01

    Background In single-cell human genome analysis using whole-genome amplified product, a strong amplification bias involving allele dropout and preferential amplification hampers the quality of results. Using an oligonucleotide single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array, we systematically examined the nature of this amplification bias, including frequency, degree, and preference for genomic location, and we assessed the effects of this amplification bias on subsequent genotype and chromosomal copy number analyses. Methodology/Principal Findings We found a large variability in amplification bias among the amplified products obtained by multiple displacement amplification (MDA), and this bias had a severe effect on the genotype and chromosomal copy number analyses. We established optimal experimental conditions for pre-screening for high-quality amplified products, processing array data, and analyzing chromosomal structural alterations. Using this optimized protocol, we successfully detected previously unidentified chromosomal structural alterations in single cells from a lymphoblastoid cell line. These alterations were subsequently confirmed by karyotype analysis. In addition, we successfully obtained reproducible chromosomal copy number profiles of single cells from the cell line with a complex karyotype, indicating the applicability and potential of our optimized workflow. Conclusions/Significance Our results suggest that the quality of amplification products should be critically assessed before using them for genomic analyses. The method of MDA-based whole-genome amplification followed by SNP array analysis described here will be useful for exploring chromosomal alterations in single cells. PMID:18074030

  16. Enhancing Structural Stability and Pervaporation Performance of Composite Membranes by Coating Gelatin onto Hydrophilically Modified Support Layer

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    吴洪; 芦霞; 李宪实; 李奕帆; 赵翠红; 姜忠义

    2014-01-01

    The interfacial compatibility of composite membrane is an important factor to its structural stability and separation performance. In this study, poly (ether sulfone) (PES) support layer was first hydrophilically modified with poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) via surface segregation during the phase inversion process. Gelatin (GE) was then cast on the PVA-modified PES support layer as the active layer followed by crosslinking to fabricate composite membranes for ethanol dehydration. The enrichment of PVA on the surface of support layer improved interfacial compatibility of the as-prepared GE/PVA-PES composite membrane. The water contact angle measurement and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) data confirmed the surface segregation of PVA with a surface coverage density of~80%. T-peel test showed that the maximal force to separate the support layer and the active layer was enhanced by 3 times compared with the GE/PES membrane. The effects of PVA content in the support layer, crosslinking of GE active layer and operating parameters on the pervaporative dehydration performance were in-vestigated. The operational stability of the composite membrane was tested by immersing the membrane in ethanol aqueous solution for a period of time. Stable pervaporation performance for dehydration of 90%ethanol solution was obtained for GE/PVA-PES membrane with a separation factor of~60 and a permeation flux of~1910 g·m-2·h-1 without peeling over 28 days immersion.

  17. Structure of the Membrane-tethering GRASP Domain Reveals a Unique PDZ Ligand Interaction That Mediates Golgi Biogenesis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    S Truschel; D Sengupta; A Foote; A Heroux; M Macbeth; A Linstedt

    2011-12-31

    Biogenesis of the ribbon-like membrane network of the mammalian Golgi requires membrane tethering by the conserved GRASP domain in GRASP65 and GRASP55, yet the tethering mechanism is not fully understood. Here, we report the crystal structure of the GRASP55 GRASP domain, which revealed an unusual arrangement of two tandem PDZ folds that more closely resemble prokaryotic PDZ domains. Biochemical and functional data indicated that the interaction between the ligand-binding pocket of PDZ1 and an internal ligand on PDZ2 mediates the GRASP self-interaction, and structural analyses suggest that this occurs via a unique mode of internal PDZ ligand recognition. Our data uncover the structural basis for ligand specificity and provide insight into the mechanism of GRASP-dependent membrane tethering of analogous Golgi cisternae.

  18. Structure of the Membrane-tethering GRASP Domain Reveals a Unique PDZ Ligand Interaction That Mediates Golgi Biogenesis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Truschel, S.T.; Heroux, A.; Sengupta, D.; Foote, A.; Macbeth, M. R.; Linstedt, A. D.

    2011-06-10

    Biogenesis of the ribbon-like membrane network of the mammalian Golgi requires membrane tethering by the conserved GRASP domain in GRASP65 and GRASP55, yet the tethering mechanism is not fully understood. Here, we report the crystal structure of the GRASP55 GRASP domain, which revealed an unusual arrangement of two tandem PDZ folds that more closely resemble prokaryotic PDZ domains. Biochemical and functional data indicated that the interaction between the ligand-binding pocket of PDZ1 and an internal ligand on PDZ2 mediates the GRASP self-interaction, and structural analyses suggest that this occurs via a unique mode of internal PDZ ligand recognition. Our data uncover the structural basis for ligand specificity and provide insight into the mechanism of GRASP-dependent membrane tethering of analogous Golgi cisternae.

  19. Charge transport in the electrospun nanofiber composite membrane's three-dimensional fibrous structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeGostin, Matthew B.; Peracchio, Aldo A.; Myles, Timothy D.; Cassenti, Brice N.; Chiu, Wilson K. S.

    2016-03-01

    In this paper, a Fiber Network (FN) ion transport model is developed to simulate the three-dimensional fibrous microstructural morphology that results from the electrospinning membrane fabrication process. This model is able to approximate fiber layering within a membrane as well as membrane swelling due to water uptake. The discrete random fiber networks representing membranes are converted to resistor networks and solved for current flow and ionic conductivity. Model predictions are validated by comparison with experimental conductivity data from electrospun anion exchange membranes (AEM) and proton exchange membranes (PEM) for fuel cells as well as existing theories. The model is capable of predicting in-plane and thru-plane conductivity and takes into account detailed membrane characteristics, such as volume fraction, fiber diameter, fiber conductivity, and membrane layering, and as such may be used as a tool for advanced electrode design.

  20. Particle-based simulations of bilayer membranes: self-assembly, structural analysis, and shock-wave damage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steinhauser, Martin O.; Schindler, Tanja

    2016-08-01

    We report on the results of particle-based, coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations of amphiphilic lipid molecules in aqueous environment where the membrane structures at equilibrium are subsequently exposed to strong shock waves, and their damage is analyzed. The lipid molecules self-assemble from unbiased random initial configurations to form stable bilayer membranes, including closed vesicles. During self-assembly of lipid molecules, we observe several stages of clustering, starting with many small clusters of lipids, gradually merging together to finally form one single bilayer membrane. We find that the clustering of lipids sensitively depends on the hydrophobic interaction h_c of the lipid tails in our model and on temperature T of the system. The self-assembled bilayer membranes are quantitatively analyzed at equilibrium with respect to their degree of order and their local structure. We also show that—by analyzing the membrane fluctuations and using a linearized theory— we obtain area compression moduli K_A and bending stiffnesses κ_B for our bilayer membranes which are within the experimental range of in vivo and in vitro measurements of biological membranes. We also discuss the density profile and the pair correlation function of our model membranes at equilibrium which has not been done in previous studies of particle-based membrane models. Furthermore, we present a detailed phase diagram of our lipid model that exhibits a sol-gel transition between quasi-solid and fluid domains, and domains where no self-assembly of lipids occurs. In addition, we present in the phase diagram the conditions for temperature T and hydrophobicity h_c of the lipid tails of our model to form closed vesicles. The stable bilayer membranes obtained at equilibrium are then subjected to strong shock waves in a shock tube setup, and we investigate the damage in the membranes due to their interaction with shock waves. Here, we find a transition from self

  1. Structure of raft-model membrane by using the inverse contrast variation neutron scattering method

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hirai, Mitsuhiro [Department of Physics, Gunma University, Maebashi 371-8510 (Japan); Hirai, Harutaka [Department of Physics, Gunma University, Maebashi 371-8510 (Japan); Koizumi, Masaharu [Department of Physics, Gunma University, Maebashi 371-8510 (Japan); Kasahara, Kohji [Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science, Tokyo 113-8613 (Japan); Yuyama, Kohei [Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science, Tokyo 113-8613 (Japan); Suzuki, Naoko [Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science, Tokyo 113-8613 (Japan)

    2006-11-15

    By means of the inverse contrast variation method in small-angle neutron scattering, we have studied the structure of a small unilamellar vesicle (SUV) composed of ganglioside, cholesterol and dipalmitoyl-phosphocholine. The SUV treated has a similar lipid composition as in a plasma membrane with microdomains, so-called rafts. The present results indicate an asymmetric distribution of lipid components within the bilayer of the vesicle, that is, a predominant distribution of ganglioside and cholesterol at the outer leaflet of the vesicle bilayer. The deviation from the linearity in a pseudo-Stuhrmannplot strongly suggests the presence of a large heterogeneity of lipid composition in a bilayer, namely a clustering of ganglioside and cholesterol molecules. This deviation is enhanced by temperature elevation, meaning that ganglioside-cholesterol clusters become larger with holding liquid-ordered (L{sub o}) phase.

  2. Performance of diagonal control structures at different operating conditions for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Serra, Maria; Husar, Attila; Feroldi, Diego; Riera, Jordi [Institut de Robotica i Informatica Industrial, Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, C. Llorens i Artigas 4, 08028 Barcelona (Spain)

    2006-08-25

    This work is focused on the selection of operating conditions in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells. It analyses efficiency and controllability aspects, which change from one operating point to another. Specifically, several operating points that deliver the same amount of net power are compared, and the comparison is done at different net power levels. The study is based on a complex non-linear model, which has been linearised at the selected operating points. Different linear analysis tools are applied to the linear models and results show important controllability differences between operating points. The performance of diagonal control structures with PI controllers at different operating points is also studied. A method for the tuning of the controllers is proposed and applied. The behaviour of the controlled system is simulated with the non-linear model. Conclusions indicate a possible trade-off between controllability and optimisation of hydrogen consumption. (author)

  3. Advances in the use of nanoscale bilayers to study membrane protein structure and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malhotra, Ketan; Alder, Nathan N

    2014-10-01

    Within the last decade, nanoscale lipid bilayers have emerged as powerful experimental systems in the analysis of membrane proteins (MPs) for both basic and applied research. These discoidal lipid lamellae are stabilized by annuli of specially engineered amphipathic polypeptides (nanodiscs) or polymers (SMALPs/Lipodisqs®). As biomembrane mimetics, they are well suited for the reconstitution of MPs within a controlled lipid environment. Moreover, because they are water-soluble, they are amenable to solution-based biochemical and biophysical experimentation. Hence, due to their solubility, size, stability, and monodispersity, nanoscale lipid bilayers offer technical advantages over more traditional MP analytic approaches such as detergent solubilization and reconstitution into lipid vesicles. In this article, we review some of the most recent advances in the synthesis of polypeptide- and polymer-bound nanoscale lipid bilayers and their application in the study of MP structure and function. PMID:25023464

  4. Structure and stability of the spinach aquaporin SoPIP2;1 in detergent micelles and lipid membranes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Inés Plasencia

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: SoPIP2;1 constitutes one of the major integral proteins in spinach leaf plasma membranes and belongs to the aquaporin family. SoPIP2;1 is a highly permeable and selective water channel that has been successfully overexpressed and purified with high yields. In order to optimize reconstitution of the purified protein into biomimetic systems, we have here for the first time characterized the structural stability of SoPIP2;1. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDING: We have characterized the protein structural stability after purification and after reconstitution into detergent micelles and proteoliposomes using circular dichroism and fluorescence spectroscopy techniques. The structure of SoPIP2;1 was analyzed either with the protein solubilized with octyl-β-D-glucopyranoside (OG or reconstituted into lipid membranes formed by E. coli lipids, diphytanoylphosphatidylcholine (DPhPC, or reconstituted into lipid membranes formed from mixtures of 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-phosphatidylcholine (POPE, 1-palmitoyl-2oleoyl-phosphatidylethanolamine (POPE, 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-phosphatidylserine (POPS, and ergosterol. Generally, SoPIP2;1 secondary structure was found to be predominantly α-helical in accordance with crystallographic data. The protein has a high thermal structural stability in detergent solutions, with an irreversible thermal unfolding occurring at a melting temperature of 58°C. Incorporation of the protein into lipid membranes increases the structural stability as evidenced by an increased melting temperature of up to 70°C. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: The results of this study provide insights into SoPIP2;1 stability in various host membranes and suggest suitable choices of detergent and lipid composition for reconstitution of SoPIP2;1 into biomimetic membranes for biotechnological applications.

  5. Exploring the structure-properties relationships of novel polyamide thin film composite membranes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Briceño, Kelly; Javakhishvili, Irakli; Guo, Haofei;

    Polysulfone (PSU) is a material widely used in the fabrication of membranes for ultrafiltration and as a support for nanofiltration and reverse osmosis membranes. Interfacial polymerization usually combines amine and acid chloride monomers for the fabrication of thin film composite membranes[1] ....... of UF membranes includes: Negatively charged PSF surfaces that could be less prone to biofouling Scale up process for the modification of PSU. An alternative to costly and technically challenging processes as in situ interfacial polymerization [3]....

  6. Exploring the structure-properties relationships of novel polyamide thin film composite membranes

    OpenAIRE

    Briceño, Kelly; Javakhishvili, Irakli; Guo, Haofei; Søtoft, Lene; Villy Christensen, Knud; Norddahl, Birgir; Hvilsted, Søren; Lipnizki, Jens

    2015-01-01

    Polysulfone (PSU) is a material widely used in the fabrication of membranes for ultrafiltration and as a support for nanofiltration and reverse osmosis membranes. Interfacial polymerization usually combines amine and acid chloride monomers for