WorldWideScience

Sample records for biological functions

  1. Functions in Biological Kind Classification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lombrozo, Tania; Rehder, Bob

    2012-01-01

    Biological traits that serve functions, such as a zebra's coloration (for camouflage) or a kangaroo's tail (for balance), seem to have a special role in conceptual representations for biological kinds. In five experiments, we investigate whether and why functional features are privileged in biological kind classification. Experiment 1…

  2. The relativity of biological function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laubichler, Manfred D; Stadler, Peter F; Prohaska, Sonja J; Nowick, Katja

    2015-12-01

    Function is a central concept in biological theories and explanations. Yet discussions about function are often based on a narrow understanding of biological systems and processes, such as idealized molecular systems or simple evolutionary, i.e., selective, dynamics. Conflicting conceptions of function continue to be used in the scientific literature to support certain claims, for instance about the fraction of "functional DNA" in the human genome. Here we argue that all biologically meaningful interpretations of function are necessarily context dependent. This implies that they derive their meaning as well as their range of applicability only within a specific theoretical and measurement context. We use this framework to shed light on the current debate about functional DNA and argue that without considering explicitly the theoretical and measurement contexts all attempts to integrate biological theories are prone to fail.

  3. The biological function of consciousness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Earl, Brian

    2014-01-01

    This research is an investigation of whether consciousness—one's ongoing experience—influences one's behavior and, if so, how. Analysis of the components, structure, properties, and temporal sequences of consciousness has established that, (1) contrary to one's intuitive understanding, consciousness does not have an active, executive role in determining behavior; (2) consciousness does have a biological function; and (3) consciousness is solely information in various forms. Consciousness is associated with a flexible response mechanism (FRM) for decision-making, planning, and generally responding in nonautomatic ways. The FRM generates responses by manipulating information and, to function effectively, its data input must be restricted to task-relevant information. The properties of consciousness correspond to the various input requirements of the FRM; and when important information is missing from consciousness, functions of the FRM are adversely affected; both of which indicate that consciousness is the input data to the FRM. Qualitative and quantitative information (shape, size, location, etc.) are incorporated into the input data by a qualia array of colors, sounds, and so on, which makes the input conscious. This view of the biological function of consciousness provides an explanation why we have experiences; why we have emotional and other feelings, and why their loss is associated with poor decision-making; why blindsight patients do not spontaneously initiate responses to events in their blind field; why counter-habitual actions are only possible when the intended action is in mind; and the reason for inattentional blindness. PMID:25140159

  4. Biological couplings: Function, characteristics and implementation mode

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2010-01-01

    Through rigorous natural selection, biological organisms have evolved exceptional functions highly adaptable to their living environments. Biological organisms can achieve a variety of biological functions efficiently by using the synergic actions of two or more different parts of the body, or the coupling effects of multiple factors, and demonstrate optimal adaptations to the living environment. In this paper, the function, characteristics and types of biological couplings are analyzed, the implementation mechanism and mode of biological coupling functions are revealed from the bionic viewpoint. Finally, the technological prospects of the bionic implementation of biological coupling function are predicted.

  5. Functional quantum biology in photosynthesis and magnetoreception

    CERN Document Server

    Lambert, Neill; Cheng, Yuan-Chung; Li, Che-Ming; Chen, Guang-Yin; Nori, Franco

    2012-01-01

    Is there a functional role for quantum mechanics or coherent quantum effects in biological processes? While this question is as old as quantum theory, only recently have measurements on biological systems on ultra-fast time-scales shed light on a possible answer. In this review we give an overview of the two main candidates for biological systems which may harness such functional quantum effects: photosynthesis and magnetoreception. We discuss some of the latest evidence both for and against room temperature quantum coherence, and consider whether there is truly a functional role for coherence in these biological mechanisms. Finally, we give a brief overview of some more speculative examples of functional quantum biology including the sense of smell, long-range quantum tunneling in proteins, biological photoreceptors, and the flow of ions across a cell membrane.

  6. Integrating Functional, Developmental and Evolutionary Biology into Biology Curricula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haave, Neil

    2012-01-01

    A complete understanding of life involves how organisms are able to function in their environment and how they arise. Understanding how organisms arise involves both their evolution and development. Thus to completely comprehend living things, biology must study their function, development and evolution. Previous proposals for standardized…

  7. Metacognition: computation, biology and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fleming, Stephen M; Dolan, Raymond J; Frith, Christopher D

    2012-05-19

    Many complex systems maintain a self-referential check and balance. In animals, such reflective monitoring and control processes have been grouped under the rubric of metacognition. In this introductory article to a Theme Issue on metacognition, we review recent and rapidly progressing developments from neuroscience, cognitive psychology, computer science and philosophy of mind. While each of these areas is represented in detail by individual contributions to the volume, we take this opportunity to draw links between disciplines, and highlight areas where further integration is needed. Specifically, we cover the definition, measurement, neurobiology and possible functions of metacognition, and assess the relationship between metacognition and consciousness. We propose a framework in which level of representation, order of behaviour and access consciousness are orthogonal dimensions of the conceptual landscape.

  8. Functional model of biological neural networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lo, James Ting-Ho

    2010-12-01

    A functional model of biological neural networks, called temporal hierarchical probabilistic associative memory (THPAM), is proposed in this paper. THPAM comprises functional models of dendritic trees for encoding inputs to neurons, a first type of neuron for generating spike trains, a second type of neuron for generating graded signals to modulate neurons of the first type, supervised and unsupervised Hebbian learning mechanisms for easy learning and retrieving, an arrangement of dendritic trees for maximizing generalization, hardwiring for rotation-translation-scaling invariance, and feedback connections with different delay durations for neurons to make full use of present and past informations generated by neurons in the same and higher layers. These functional models and their processing operations have many functions of biological neural networks that have not been achieved by other models in the open literature and provide logically coherent answers to many long-standing neuroscientific questions. However, biological justifications of these functional models and their processing operations are required for THPAM to qualify as a macroscopic model (or low-order approximate) of biological neural networks.

  9. Understanding biological functions through molecular networks

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Jing-Dong Jackie Han

    2008-01-01

    The completion of genome sequences and subsequent high-throughput mapping of molecular networks have allowed us to study biology from the network perspective. Experimental, statistical and mathematical modeling approaches have been employed to study the structure, function and dynamics of molecular networks, and begin to reveal important links of various network properties to the functions of the biological systems. In agreement with these functional links, evolutionary selection of a network is apparently based on the function, rather than directly on the structure of the network. Dynamic modularity is one of the prominent features of molecular networks. Taking advantage of such a feature may simplify network-based biological studies through construction of process-specific modular networks and provide functional and mechanistic insights linking genotypic variations to complex traits or diseases, which is likely to be a key approach in the next wave of understanding complex human diseases. With the development of ready-to-use network analysis and modeling tools the networks approaches will be infused into everyday biological research in the near future.

  10. Inferring Biologically Relevant Models: Nested Canalyzing Functions

    CERN Document Server

    Hinkelmann, Franziska

    2010-01-01

    Inferring dynamic biochemical networks is one of the main challenges in systems biology. Given experimental data, the objective is to identify the rules of interaction among the different entities of the network. However, the number of possible models fitting the available data is huge and identifying a biologically relevant model is of great interest. Nested canalyzing functions, where variables in a given order dominate the function, have recently been proposed as a framework for modeling gene regulatory networks. Previously we described this class of functions as an algebraic toric variety. In this paper, we present an algorithm that identifies all nested canalyzing models that fit the given data. We demonstrate our methods using a well-known Boolean model of the cell cycle in budding yeast.

  11. Imaging cellular and molecular biological functions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shorte, S.L. [Institut Pasteur, 75 - Paris (France). Plateforme d' Imagerie Dynamique PFID-Imagopole; Frischknecht, F. (eds.) [Heidelberg Univ. Medical School (Germany). Dept. of Parasitology

    2007-07-01

    'Imaging cellular and molecular biological function' provides a unique selection of essays by leading experts, aiming at scientist and student alike who are interested in all aspects of modern imaging, from its application and up-scaling to its development. Indeed the philosophy of this volume is to provide student, researcher, PI, professional or provost the means to enter this applications field with confidence, and to construct the means to answer their own specific questions. (orig.)

  12. Biological Function of REE in Plants & Microbes

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2005-01-01

    Rare earth elements (REE) and their compounds are widely applied in agronomic and medical fields for many years. The bioinorganic chemical research of REE during the past few years indicates that REE play important roles in the promotion of photosynthetic rate as well as root absorption, regulation of hormone and nitrogen metabolism, and suppression of microbes, etc. The metallic or non-metallic targets of key biomolecule in various physiological processes can be chosen by REE for the chelation or replacement, which enables REE to regulate the biological functions or behaviors of those biomolecule and consequently leads to significant embodiment of biological function of REE in plants and microbes.Overdose of REE, however, shows an inhibitory effect on living organisms. Therefore, this paper proposes two suggestions that will be available in the extension of full use of REE's biological function. One is to obey the dose law of REE and control REE concentrations within a safe range. The other is to further test the bioaccumulation and long-period influence of REE on organisms.

  13. Functional biology of sympatric krill species

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Agersted, Mette Dalgaard; Nielsen, Torkel Gissel

    2016-01-01

    Here we compare the functional biology of the sympatric krill species, Meganyctiphanes norvegica and Thysanoessa inermis. For M. norvegica, we investigated functional responses on diatoms and copepods, together with prey size spectra on plankton ,400 mm and copepods in the size range 500–3220 mm....... For T. inermis, only prey size spectrum on plankton ,400 mm were investigated. The prey size ranges of both species include organisms ,400 mm, and they consequently graze on several trophic levels. However, T. inermis feed on cells ,10 mm equivalent spherical diameter (ESD), whereas M. norvegica only...

  14. Marine Carotenoids: Biological Functions and Commercial Applications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José M. Vega

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Carotenoids are the most common pigments in nature and are synthesized by all photosynthetic organisms and fungi. Carotenoids are considered key molecules for life. Light capture, photosynthesis photoprotection, excess light dissipation and quenching of singlet oxygen are among key biological functions of carotenoids relevant for life on earth. Biological properties of carotenoids allow for a wide range of commercial applications. Indeed, recent interest in the carotenoids has been mainly for their nutraceutical properties. A large number of scientific studies have confirmed the benefits of carotenoids to health and their use for this purpose is growing rapidly. In addition, carotenoids have traditionally been used in food and animal feed for their color properties. Carotenoids are also known to improve consumer perception of quality; an example is the addition of carotenoids to fish feed to impart color to farmed salmon.

  15. Biological functions of decorin in cancer

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xiu-Li Bi; Wancai Yang

    2013-01-01

    Decorin is a member of the extracellular matrix small leucine-rich proteoglycans family that exists and functions in stromal and epithelial cells.Accumulating evidence suggests that decorin affects the biology of various types of cancer by directly or indirectly targeting the signaling molecules involved in cell growth,survival,metastasis,and angiogenesis.More recent studies show that decorin plays important roles during tumor development and progression and is a potential cancer therapeutic agent.In this article,we summarize recent studies of decorin in cancer and discuss decorin's therapeutic and prognostic value.

  16. Flavonoids: Biosynthesis, Biological functions and Biotechnological applications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Lorena eFalcone Ferreyra

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Flavonoids are widely distributed secondary metabolites with different metabolic functions in plants. The elucidation of the biosynthetic pathways, as well as their regulation by MYB, bHLH and WD40-type transcription factors, has allowed metabolic engineering of plants through the manipulation of the different final products with valuable applications. The present review describes the regulation of flavonoid biosynthesis, as well as the biological functions of flavonoids in plants, such as in defense against UV-B radiation and pathogen infection, nodulation, pollen fertility. In addition, we discuss different strategies and achievements through the genetic engineering of flavonoid biosynthesis with implication in the industry and the combinatorial biosynthesis in microorganisms by the reconstruction of the pathway to obtain high amounts of specific compounds.

  17. Frameworks for programming biological function through RNA parts and devices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Win, Maung Nyan; Liang, Joe C; Smolke, Christina D

    2009-03-27

    One of the long-term goals of synthetic biology is to reliably engineer biological systems that perform human-defined functions. Currently, researchers face several scientific and technical challenges in designing and building biological systems, one of which is associated with our limited ability to access, transmit, and control molecular information through the design of functional biomolecules exhibiting novel properties. The fields of RNA biology and nucleic acid engineering, along with the tremendous interdisciplinary growth of synthetic biology, are fueling advances in the emerging field of RNA programming in living systems. Researchers are designing functional RNA molecules that exhibit increasingly complex functions and integrating these molecules into cellular circuits to program higher-level biological functions. The continued integration and growth of RNA design and synthetic biology presents exciting potential to transform how we interact with and program biology.

  18. The Structure and Function of Biological Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Daniel Duanqing

    2010-01-01

    Biology has been revolutionized in recent years by an explosion in the availability of data. Transforming this new wealth of data into meaningful biological insights and clinical breakthroughs requires a complete overhaul both in the questions being asked and the methodologies used to answer them. A major challenge in organizing and understanding…

  19. Dynamics of biomolecules, ligand binding & biological functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yi, Myunggi

    Proteins are flexible and dynamic. One static structure alone does not often completely explain biological functions of the protein, and some proteins do not even have high resolution structures. In order to provide better understanding to the biological functions of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor, Diphtheria toxin repressor and M2 proton channel, the dynamics of these proteins are investigated using molecular modeling and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. With absence of high resolution structure of alpha7 receptor, the homology models of apo and cobra toxin bound forms have been built. From the MD simulations of these model structures, we observed one subunit of apo simulation moved away from other four subunits. With local movement of flexible loop regions, the whole subunit tilted clockwise. These conformational changes occurred spontaneously, and were strongly correlated with the conformational change when the channel is activated by agonists. Unlike other computational studies, we directly compared our model of open conformation with the experimental data. However, the subunits of toxin bound form were stable, and conformational change is restricted by the bound cobra toxin. These results provide activation and inhibition mechanisms of alpha7 receptors and a possible explanation for intermediate conductance of the channel. Intramolecular complex of SH3-like domain with a proline-rich (Pr) peptide segment in Diphtheria toxin repressor (DtxR) is stabilized in inactive state. Upon activation of DtxR by transition metal binding, this intramolecular complex should be dissociated. The dynamics of this intramolecular complex is investigated using MD simulations and NMR spectroscopy. We observed spontaneous opening and closing motions of the Pr segment binding pockets in both Pr-SH3 and SH3 simulations. The MD simulation results and NMR relaxation data suggest that the Pr segment exhibits a binding ↔ unbinding equilibrium. Despite a wealth of experimental

  20. Fibroblast Growth Factors: Biology, Function, and Application for Tissue Regeneration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ye-Rang Yun

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Fibroblast growth factors (FGFs that signal through FGF receptors (FGFRs regulate a broad spectrum of biological functions, including cellular proliferation, survival, migration, and differentiation. The FGF signal pathways are the RAS/MAP kinase pathway, PI3 kinase/AKT pathway, and PLCγ pathway, among which the RAS/MAP kinase pathway is known to be predominant. Several studies have recently implicated the in vitro biological functions of FGFs for tissue regeneration. However, to obtain optimal outcomes in vivo, it is important to enhance the half-life of FGFs and their biological stability. Future applications of FGFs are expected when the biological functions of FGFs are potentiated through the appropriate use of delivery systems and scaffolds. This review will introduce the biology and cellular functions of FGFs and deal with the biomaterials based delivery systems and their current applications for the regeneration of tissues, including skin, blood vessel, muscle, adipose, tendon/ligament, cartilage, bone, tooth, and nerve tissues.

  1. BioFNet: biological functional network database for analysis and synthesis of biological systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurata, Hiroyuki; Maeda, Kazuhiro; Onaka, Toshikazu; Takata, Takenori

    2014-09-01

    In synthetic biology and systems biology, a bottom-up approach can be used to construct a complex, modular, hierarchical structure of biological networks. To analyze or design such networks, it is critical to understand the relationship between network structure and function, the mechanism through which biological parts or biomolecules are assembled into building blocks or functional networks. A functional network is defined as a subnetwork of biomolecules that performs a particular function. Understanding the mechanism of building functional networks would help develop a methodology for analyzing the structure of large-scale networks and design a robust biological circuit to perform a target function. We propose a biological functional network database, named BioFNet, which can cover the whole cell at the level of molecular interactions. The BioFNet takes an advantage in implementing the simulation program for the mathematical models of the functional networks, visualizing the simulated results. It presents a sound basis for rational design of biochemical networks and for understanding how functional networks are assembled to create complex high-level functions, which would reveal design principles underlying molecular architectures.

  2. Functionalized Nanodiamonds for Biological and Medical Applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lai, Lin; Barnard, Amanda S

    2015-02-01

    Nanodiamond is a promising material for biological and medical applications, owning to its relatively inexpensive and large-scale synthesis, unique structure, and superior optical properties. However, most biomedical applications, such as drug delivery and bio-imaging, are dependent upon the precise control of the surfaces, and can be significantly affected by the type, distribution and stability of chemical funtionalisations of the nanodiamond surface. In this paper, recent studies on nanodiamonds and their biomedical applications by conjugating with different chemicals are reviewed, while highlighting the critical importance of surface chemical states for various applications.

  3. FUNCTION IN BIOLOGY: ETIOLOGICAL AND ORGANIZATIONAL PERSPECTIVES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nunes Neto Nei Freitas Freitas

    2009-12-01

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    ABSTRACT. In this paper, we argue for a taxonomy of approaches to function based on different epistemological perspectives assumed with regard to the treatment of this central concept in the life sciences. We distinguish between etiological and organizational perspectives on function, analyzing two distinct theories related to each perspective: Wright’s selectionist etiological approach and Godfrey-Smith’s modern history theory of functions, in the case of the etiological perspective; and Cummins’ functional analysis and Collier’s interactivist approach to function, among organizational accounts. We explain differences and similarities between these theories and the broader perspectives on function, arguing for a particular way of understanding the consensus without unity in debates about function. While explaining the accounts of function, we also deal with the relationship between this concept and other important biological concepts, such as adaptation, selection, complexity, and autonomy. We also advance an argument for the limits and prospects of the explanatory role of function in evolution. By arguing that changes in functionality are always grounded on changes in systems’ organization, we show that function can never explain the origins of traits. Nevertheless, it can explain the spread of traits in populations, but only when we are dealing with functionally novel traits. Finally, we stress that organizational accounts of function are needed to understand how new functions appear by means of changes in systems

  4. Towards Integration of Biological and Physiological Functions at Multiple Levels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Taishin eNomura

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available An aim of systems physiology today can be stated as to establish logical and quantitative bridges between phenomenological attributes of physiological entities such as cells and organs and physical attributes of biological entities, i.e., biological molecules, allowing us to describe and better understand physiological functions in terms of underlying biological functions. This article illustrates possible schema that can be used for promoting systems physiology by integrating quantitative knowledge of biological and physiological functions at multiple levels of time and space with the use of information technology infrastructure. Emphasis will be made for systematic, modular, hierarchical, and standardized descriptions of mathematical models of the functions and advantages for the use of them.

  5. Autofluorescence: Biological functions and technical applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Plazaola, José Ignacio; Fernández-Marín, Beatriz; Duke, Stephen O; Hernández, Antonio; López-Arbeloa, Fernando; Becerril, José María

    2015-07-01

    Chlorophylls are the most remarkable examples of fluorophores, and their fluorescence has been intensively studied as a non-invasive tool for assessment of photosynthesis. Many other fluorophores occur in plants, such as alkaloids, phenolic compounds and porphyrins. Fluorescence could be more than just a physicochemical curiosity in the plant kingdom, as several functional roles in biocommunication occur or have been proposed. Besides, fluorescence emitted by secondary metabolites can convert damaging blue and UV into wavelengths potentially useful for photosynthesis. Detection of the fluorescence of some secondary phytochemicals may be a cue for some pollinators and/or seed dispersal organisms. Independently of their functions, plant fluorophores provide researchers with a tool that allows the visualization of some metabolites in plants and cells, complementing and overcoming some of the limitations of the use of fluorescent proteins and dyes to probe plant physiology and biochemistry. Some fluorophores are influenced by environmental interactions, allowing fluorescence to be also used as a specific stress indicator.

  6. Genomic Functionalization: The Next Revolution In Biology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Anderson, Peter [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-CA), Livermore, CA (United States); Schoeniger, Joseph S. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-CA), Livermore, CA (United States); Imbro, Paula M. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-CA), Livermore, CA (United States)

    2014-07-01

    We have implemented a ligand-alignment algorithm into our developed computational pipeline for identifying specificity-determining features (SDFs) in protein-ligand complexes. Given a set of protein-ligand complex structures, the algorithm aligns the complexes by ligand rather than by the C -RMSD or standard approach, providing a single reference frame for extracting SDFs. We anticipate that this ligand-alignment capability will be highly useful for protein function prediction. We already have a database containing > 20 K ligand-protein complex crystal structures taken from the Protein Data Bank. By aligning these proteins to single reference frames using ligand alignment, we can submit the complexes to our pipeline for SDF extraction. The SDFs derived from this training procedure can be used as thumbprints that are hallmarks of individual enzyme classes. These SDF thumbprints may then serve as guides to the prediction of function of new unknown proteins.

  7. Evidence for a Role of Executive Functions in Learning Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rhodes, Sinéad M.; Booth, Josephine N.; Campbell, Lorna Elise; Blythe, Richard A.; Wheate, Nial J.; Delibegovic, Mirela

    2014-01-01

    Research examining cognition and science learning has focused on working memory, but evidence implicates a broader set of executive functions. The current study examined executive functions and learning of biology in young adolescents. Fifty-six participants, aged 12-13?years, completed tasks of working memory (Spatial Working Memory), inhibition…

  8. Evolutionary cell biology: functional insight from "endless forms most beautiful".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richardson, Elisabeth; Zerr, Kelly; Tsaousis, Anastasios; Dorrell, Richard G; Dacks, Joel B

    2015-12-15

    In animal and fungal model organisms, the complexities of cell biology have been analyzed in exquisite detail and much is known about how these organisms function at the cellular level. However, the model organisms cell biologists generally use include only a tiny fraction of the true diversity of eukaryotic cellular forms. The divergent cellular processes observed in these more distant lineages are still largely unknown in the general scientific community. Despite the relative obscurity of these organisms, comparative studies of them across eukaryotic diversity have had profound implications for our understanding of fundamental cell biology in all species and have revealed the evolution and origins of previously observed cellular processes. In this Perspective, we will discuss the complexity of cell biology found across the eukaryotic tree, and three specific examples of where studies of divergent cell biology have altered our understanding of key functional aspects of mitochondria, plastids, and membrane trafficking.

  9. Mimicking biological functionality with polymers for biomedical applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Jordan J.; Elisseeff, Jennifer H.

    2016-12-01

    The vast opportunities for biomaterials design and functionality enabled by mimicking nature continue to stretch the limits of imagination. As both biological understanding and engineering capabilities develop, more sophisticated biomedical materials can be synthesized that have multifaceted chemical, biological and physical characteristics designed to achieve specific therapeutic goals. Mimicry is being used in the design of polymers for biomedical applications that are required locally in tissues, systemically throughout the body, and at the interface with tissues.

  10. Uncovering Biological Network Function via Graphlet Degree Signatures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nataša Pržulj

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Motivation: Proteins are essential macromolecules of life and thus understanding their function is of great importance. The number of functionally unclassified proteins is large even for simple and well studied organisms such as baker’s yeast. Methods for determining protein function have shifted their focus from targeting specific proteins based solely on sequence homology to analyses of the entire proteome based on protein-protein interaction (PPI networks. Since proteins interact to perform a certain function, analyzing structural properties of PPI networks may provide useful clues about the biological function of individual proteins, protein complexes they participate in, and even larger subcellular machines.Results: We design a sensitive graph theoretic method for comparing local structures of node neighborhoods that demonstrates that in PPI networks, biological function of a node and its local network structure are closely related. The method summarizes a protein’s local topology in a PPI network into the vector of graphlet degrees called the signature of the protein and computes the signature similarities between all protein pairs. We group topologically similar proteins under this measure in a PPI network and show that these protein groups belong to the same protein complexes, perform the same biological functions, are localized in the same subcellular compartments, and have the same tissue expressions. Moreover, we apply our technique on a proteome-scale network data and infer biological function of yet unclassified proteins demonstrating that our method can provide valuable guidelines for future experimental research such as disease protein prediction.Availability: Data is available upon request.

  11. Biological ensilage of fish - optimization of stability, safety and functionality

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Enes Dapkevicius, M.L.N.

    2002-01-01

    This thesis deals with stability, safety, and functionality aspects of biological fish silage (BFS) obtained by lactic acid fermentation. BFS may provide an economically viable, environment friendly way of upgrading fish waste.BFS has been found advantageous when compared to the so-called acid proce

  12. Functional and biological characteristics of asthma in cleaning workers.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vizcaya, D.; Mirabelli, M.C.; Orriols, R.; Antó, J.M.; Barreiro, E.; Burgos, F.; Arjona, L.; Gomez, F.; Zock, J.P.

    2013-01-01

    Objectives: Cleaning workers have an increased risk of asthma but the underlying mechanisms are largely unknown. We studied functional and biological characteristics in asthmatic cleaners and compared these to healthy cleaners. Methods: Forty-two cleaners with a history of asthma and/or recent respi

  13. Milk protein tailoring to improve functional and biological properties

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    JEAN-MARC CHOBERT

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Proteins are involved in every aspects of life: structure, motion, catalysis, recognition and regulation. Today's highly sophisticated science of the modifications of proteins has ancient roots. The tailoring of proteins for food and medical uses precedes the beginning of what is called biochemistry. Chemical modification of proteins was pursued early in the twentieth century as an analytical procedure for side-chain amino acids. Later, methods were developed for specific inactivation of biologically active proteins and titration of their essential groups. Enzymatic modifications were mainly developed in the seventies when many more enzymes became economically available. Protein engineering has become a valuable tool for creating or improving proteins for practical use and has provided new insights into protein structure and function. The actual and potential use of milk proteins as food ingredients has been a popular topic for research over the past 40 years. With today's sophisticated analytical, biochemical and biological research tools, the presence of compounds with biological activity has been demonstrated. Improvements in separation techniques and enzyme technology have enabled efficient and economic isolation and modification of milk proteins, which has made possible their use as functional foods, dietary supplements, nutraceuticals and medical foods. In this review, some chemical and enzymatic modifications of milk proteins are described, with particular focus on their functional and biological properties.

  14. Applications of large-scale density functional theory in biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cole, Daniel J.; Hine, Nicholas D. M.

    2016-10-01

    Density functional theory (DFT) has become a routine tool for the computation of electronic structure in the physics, materials and chemistry fields. Yet the application of traditional DFT to problems in the biological sciences is hindered, to a large extent, by the unfavourable scaling of the computational effort with system size. Here, we review some of the major software and functionality advances that enable insightful electronic structure calculations to be performed on systems comprising many thousands of atoms. We describe some of the early applications of large-scale DFT to the computation of the electronic properties and structure of biomolecules, as well as to paradigmatic problems in enzymology, metalloproteins, photosynthesis and computer-aided drug design. With this review, we hope to demonstrate that first principles modelling of biological structure-function relationships are approaching a reality.

  15. A structural biology perspective on NMDA receptor pharmacology and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Regan, Michael C; Romero-Hernandez, Annabel; Furukawa, Hiro

    2015-08-01

    N-methyld-aspartate receptors (NMDARs) belong to the large family of ionotropic glutamate receptors (iGluRs), which are critically involved in basic brain functions as well as multiple neurological diseases and disorders. The NMDARs are large heterotetrameric membrane protein complexes. The extensive extracellular domains recognize neurotransmitter ligands and allosteric compounds and translate the binding information to regulate activity of the transmembrane ion channel. Here, we review recent advances in the structural biology of NMDARs with a focus on pharmacology and function. Structural analysis of the isolated extracellular domains in combination with the intact heterotetrameric NMDAR structure provides important insights into how this sophisticated ligand-gated ion channel may function.

  16. Neuroscience in the era of functional genomics and systems biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geschwind, Daniel H; Konopka, Genevieve

    2009-10-15

    Advances in genetics and genomics have fuelled a revolution in discovery-based, or hypothesis-generating, research that provides a powerful complement to the more directly hypothesis-driven molecular, cellular and systems neuroscience. Genetic and functional genomic studies have already yielded important insights into neuronal diversity and function, as well as disease. One of the most exciting and challenging frontiers in neuroscience involves harnessing the power of large-scale genetic, genomic and phenotypic data sets, and the development of tools for data integration and mining. Methods for network analysis and systems biology offer the promise of integrating these multiple levels of data, connecting molecular pathways to nervous system function.

  17. Morpho-chemistry and functionality of diseased biological tissues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lange, Marta; Cicchi, Riccardo; Pavone, Francesco

    2014-09-01

    Heart and cardiovascular diseases are one of the most common in the world, in particular - arthrosclerosis. The aim of the research is to distinguish pathological and healthy tissue regions in biological samples, in this case - to distinguish collagen and lipid rich regions within the arterial wall. In the work a specific combination of such methods are used: FLIM and SHG in order to evaluate the biological tissue morphology and functionality, so that this research could give a contribution for creating a new biological tissue imaging standard in the closest future. During the study the most appropriate parameter for fluorescence lifetime decay was chosen in order to evaluate lifetime decay parameters and the isotropy of the arterial wall and deposition, using statistical methods FFT and GLCM. The research gives a contribution or the future investigations for evaluating lipid properties when it can de-attach from the arterial wall and cause clotting in the blood vessel or even a stroke.

  18. SU-E-T-54: Benefits of Biological Cost Functions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Demirag, N [Elekta CMS GmbH, Freiburg Im Breisgau, baden wurttemberg (Germany)

    2014-06-01

    Purpose: To verify the benefits of the biological cost functions. Methods: TG166 patients were used for the test case scenarios. Patients were planned using Monaco V5.0 (CMS/Elekta, St.Louis, MO) Monaco has 3 biological and 8 physical CFs. In this study the plans were optimized using 3 different scenarios. 1- Biological CFs only 2-Physical CFs only 3- Combination of Physical and Biological CFsMonaco has 3 biological CFs. Target EUD used for the targets, derived from the poisson cell kill model, has an α value that controls the cold spots inside the target. α values used in the optimization were 0.5 and 0.8. if cold spots needs to be penalized α value increased. Serial CF: it's called serial to mimic the behaviour of the serial organs, if a high k value like 12 or 14 is used it controls the maximum dose. Serial CF has a k parameter that is used to shape the whole dvh curve. K value ranges between 1–20. k:1 is used to control the mean dose, lower k value controls the mean dose, higher k value controls the higher dose, using 2 serial CFs with different k values controls the whole DVH. Paralel CF controls the percentage of the volume that tolerates higher doses than the reference dose to mimic the behaviour of the paralel organs. Results: It was possible to achive clinically accepted plans in all 3 scenarios. The benefit of the biological cost functions were to control the mean dose for target and OAR, to shape the DVH curve using one EUD value and one k value simplifies the optimization process. Using the biological CFs alone, it was hard to control the dose at a point. Conclusion: Biological CFs in Monaco doesn't require the ntcp/tcp values from the labs and useful to shape the whole dvh curve. I work as an applications support specialist for Elekta and I am a Ph.D. Student in Istanbul University for radiation therapy physics.

  19. Biological framework for soil aggregation: Implications for ecological functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghezzehei, Teamrat; Or, Dani

    2016-04-01

    Soil aggregation is heuristically understood as agglomeration of primary particles bound together by biotic and abiotic cementing agents. The organization of aggregates is believed to be hierarchical in nature; whereby primary particles bond together to form secondary particles and subsequently merge to form larger aggregates. Soil aggregates are not permanent structures, they continuously change in response to internal and external forces and other drivers, including moisture, capillary pressure, temperature, biological activity, and human disturbances. Soil aggregation processes and the resulting functionality span multiple spatial and temporal scales. The intertwined biological and physical nature of soil aggregation, and the time scales involved precluded a universally applicable and quantifiable framework for characterizing the nature and function of soil aggregation. We introduce a biophysical framework of soil aggregation that considers the various modes and factors of the genesis, maturation and degradation of soil aggregates including wetting/drying cycles, soil mechanical processes, biological activity and the nature of primary soil particles. The framework attempts to disentangle mechanical (compaction and soil fragmentation) from in-situ biophysical aggregation and provides a consistent description of aggregate size, hierarchical organization, and life time. It also enables quantitative description of biotic and abiotic functions of soil aggregates including diffusion and storage of mass and energy as well as role of aggregates as hot spots of nutrient accumulation, biodiversity, and biogeochemical cycles.

  20. Deducing protein function by forensic integrative cell biology.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William C Earnshaw

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Our ability to sequence genomes has provided us with near-complete lists of the proteins that compose cells, tissues, and organisms, but this is only the beginning of the process to discover the functions of cellular components. In the future, it's going to be crucial to develop computational analyses that can predict the biological functions of uncharacterised proteins. At the same time, we must not forget those fundamental experimental skills needed to confirm the predictions or send the analysts back to the drawing board to devise new ones.

  1. Deducing protein function by forensic integrative cell biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Earnshaw, William C

    2013-12-01

    Our ability to sequence genomes has provided us with near-complete lists of the proteins that compose cells, tissues, and organisms, but this is only the beginning of the process to discover the functions of cellular components. In the future, it's going to be crucial to develop computational analyses that can predict the biological functions of uncharacterised proteins. At the same time, we must not forget those fundamental experimental skills needed to confirm the predictions or send the analysts back to the drawing board to devise new ones.

  2. Biological properties of extracellular vesicles and their physiological functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María Yáñez-Mó

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available In the past decade, extracellular vesicles (EVs have been recognized as potent vehicles of intercellular communication, both in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. This is due to their capacity to transfer proteins, lipids and nucleic acids, thereby influencing various physiological and pathological functions of both recipient and parent cells. While intensive investigation has targeted the role of EVs in different pathological processes, for example, in cancer and autoimmune diseases, the EV-mediated maintenance of homeostasis and the regulation of physiological functions have remained less explored. Here, we provide a comprehensive overview of the current understanding of the physiological roles of EVs, which has been written by crowd-sourcing, drawing on the unique EV expertise of academia-based scientists, clinicians and industry based in 27 European countries, the United States and Australia. This review is intended to be of relevance to both researchers already working on EV biology and to newcomers who will encounter this universal cell biological system. Therefore, here we address the molecular contents and functions of EVs in various tissues and body fluids from cell systems to organs. We also review the physiological mechanisms of EVs in bacteria, lower eukaryotes and plants to highlight the functional uniformity of this emerging communication system.

  3. Biological properties of extracellular vesicles and their physiological functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yáñez-Mó, María; Siljander, Pia R.-M.; Andreu, Zoraida; Zavec, Apolonija Bedina; Borràs, Francesc E.; Buzas, Edit I.; Buzas, Krisztina; Casal, Enriqueta; Cappello, Francesco; Carvalho, Joana; Colás, Eva; Silva, Anabela Cordeiro-da; Fais, Stefano; Falcon-Perez, Juan M.; Ghobrial, Irene M.; Giebel, Bernd; Gimona, Mario; Graner, Michael; Gursel, Ihsan; Gursel, Mayda; Heegaard, Niels H. H.; Hendrix, An; Kierulf, Peter; Kokubun, Katsutoshi; Kosanovic, Maja; Kralj-Iglic, Veronika; Krämer-Albers, Eva-Maria; Laitinen, Saara; Lässer, Cecilia; Lener, Thomas; Ligeti, Erzsébet; Linē, Aija; Lipps, Georg; Llorente, Alicia; Lötvall, Jan; Manček-Keber, Mateja; Marcilla, Antonio; Mittelbrunn, Maria; Nazarenko, Irina; Hoen, Esther N.M. Nolte-‘t; Nyman, Tuula A.; O'Driscoll, Lorraine; Olivan, Mireia; Oliveira, Carla; Pállinger, Éva; del Portillo, Hernando A.; Reventós, Jaume; Rigau, Marina; Rohde, Eva; Sammar, Marei; Sánchez-Madrid, Francisco; Santarém, N.; Schallmoser, Katharina; Ostenfeld, Marie Stampe; Stoorvogel, Willem; Stukelj, Roman; Van der Grein, Susanne G.; Vasconcelos, M. Helena; Wauben, Marca H. M.; De Wever, Olivier

    2015-01-01

    In the past decade, extracellular vesicles (EVs) have been recognized as potent vehicles of intercellular communication, both in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. This is due to their capacity to transfer proteins, lipids and nucleic acids, thereby influencing various physiological and pathological functions of both recipient and parent cells. While intensive investigation has targeted the role of EVs in different pathological processes, for example, in cancer and autoimmune diseases, the EV-mediated maintenance of homeostasis and the regulation of physiological functions have remained less explored. Here, we provide a comprehensive overview of the current understanding of the physiological roles of EVs, which has been written by crowd-sourcing, drawing on the unique EV expertise of academia-based scientists, clinicians and industry based in 27 European countries, the United States and Australia. This review is intended to be of relevance to both researchers already working on EV biology and to newcomers who will encounter this universal cell biological system. Therefore, here we address the molecular contents and functions of EVs in various tissues and body fluids from cell systems to organs. We also review the physiological mechanisms of EVs in bacteria, lower eukaryotes and plants to highlight the functional uniformity of this emerging communication system. PMID:25979354

  4. Mnk kinase pathway: Cellular functions and biological outcomes

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Sonali; Joshi; Leonidas; C; Platanias

    2014-01-01

    The mitogen-activated protein kinase(MAPK) interacting protein kinases 1 and 2(Mnk1 and Mnk2) play important roles in controlling signals involved in mRNA translation. In addition to the MAPKs(p38 or Erk), multiple studies suggest that the Mnk kinases can be regulated by other known kinases such as Pak2 and/or other unidentified kinases by phosphorylation of residues distinct from the sites phosphorylated by the MAPKs. Several studies have established multiple Mnk protein targets, including PSF, heterogenous nuclear ribonucleoprotein A1, Sprouty 2 and have lead to the identification of distinct biological functions and substrate specificity for the Mnk kinases. In this review we discuss the pathways regulating the Mnk kinases, their known substrates as well as the functional consequences of engagement of pathways controlled by Mnk kinases. These kinases play an important role in mRNA translation via their regulation of eukaryotic initiation factor 4E(eIF4E) and their functions have important implications in tumor biology as well as the regulation of drug resistance to anti-oncogenic therapies. Other studies have identified a role for the Mnk kinases in cap-independent mRNA translation, suggesting that the Mnk kinases can exert important functional effects independently of the phosphorylation of eIF4 E. The role of Mnk kinases in inflammation and inflammationinduced malignancies is also discussed.

  5. Probing the Xenopus laevis inner ear transcriptome for biological function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Powers TuShun R

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The senses of hearing and balance depend upon mechanoreception, a process that originates in the inner ear and shares features across species. Amphibians have been widely used for physiological studies of mechanotransduction by sensory hair cells. In contrast, much less is known of the genetic basis of auditory and vestibular function in this class of animals. Among amphibians, the genus Xenopus is a well-characterized genetic and developmental model that offers unique opportunities for inner ear research because of the amphibian capacity for tissue and organ regeneration. For these reasons, we implemented a functional genomics approach as a means to undertake a large-scale analysis of the Xenopus laevis inner ear transcriptome through microarray analysis. Results Microarray analysis uncovered genes within the X. laevis inner ear transcriptome associated with inner ear function and impairment in other organisms, thereby supporting the inclusion of Xenopus in cross-species genetic studies of the inner ear. The use of gene categories (inner ear tissue; deafness; ion channels; ion transporters; transcription factors facilitated the assignment of functional significance to probe set identifiers. We enhanced the biological relevance of our microarray data by using a variety of curation approaches to increase the annotation of the Affymetrix GeneChip® Xenopus laevis Genome array. In addition, annotation analysis revealed the prevalence of inner ear transcripts represented by probe set identifiers that lack functional characterization. Conclusions We identified an abundance of targets for genetic analysis of auditory and vestibular function. The orthologues to human genes with known inner ear function and the highly expressed transcripts that lack annotation are particularly interesting candidates for future analyses. We used informatics approaches to impart biologically relevant information to the Xenopus inner ear transcriptome

  6. Chemical and biological flocculation process to treat municipal sewage and analysis of biological function

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    XIA Si-qing; YANG Dian-hai; XU Bin; ZHAO Jian-fu

    2005-01-01

    The pilot-scale experimental apparatus and the procedure of the chemical and biological flocculation process to verify the feasibility in treating Shanghai municipal sewage were introduced in this paper. In addition, the biological function of the process was discussed. The results of optimal running showed that in the reaction tank, the concentration of mixed liquor suspended solid(MLSS) was2 g/L, hydraulic retention time(HRT) was 35 min, dosage of liquid polyaluminium chloride(PAC) was 60 mg/L, and the concentration of polyacrylamide(PAM) was 0.5 mg/L. The effluent average concentrations of CODcr, TP, SS and BOD5 were 50 mg/L, 0.62 mg/L, 18mg/L, and 17 mg/L, respectively. These were better than the designed demand. In addition, the existence of biological degradation in this system was proven by several methods. The removal efficiencies of the chemical and biological flocculation process were 20% higher than that of the chemical flocculation process above at the same coagulant dosage. The treatment process under different situations was evaluated on a pilot-scale experiment, and the results provided magnificent parameters and optimal condition for future operation of the plant.

  7. Click Chemistry Mediated Functionalization of Vertical Nanowires for Biological Applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vutti, Surendra; Schoffelen, Sanne; Bolinsson, Jessica; Buch-Månson, Nina; Bovet, Nicolas; Nygård, Jesper; Martinez, Karen L; Meldal, Morten

    2016-01-11

    Semiconductor nanowires (NWs) are gaining significant importance in various biological applications, such as biosensing and drug delivery. Efficient and controlled immobilization of biomolecules on the NW surface is crucial for many of these applications. Here, we present for the first time the use of the Cu(I) -catalyzed alkyne-azide cycloaddition and its strain-promoted variant for the covalent functionalization of vertical NWs with peptides and proteins. The potential of the approach was demonstrated in two complementary applications of measuring enzyme activity and protein binding, which is of general interest for biological studies. The attachment of a peptide substrate provided NW arrays for the detection of protease activity. In addition, green fluorescent protein was immobilized in a site-specific manner and recognized by antibody binding to demonstrate the proof-of-concept for the use of covalently modified NWs for diagnostic purposes using minute amounts of material.

  8. IQGAP1 and its binding proteins control diverse biological functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Colin D; Erdemir, Huseyin H; Sacks, David B

    2012-04-01

    IQGAP proteins have been identified in a wide spectrum of organisms, ranging from yeast to humans. The most extensively studied family member is the ubiquitously expressed scaffold protein IQGAP1, which participates in multiple essential aspects of mammalian biology. IQGAP1 mediates these effects by binding to and regulating the function of numerous interacting proteins. Over ninety proteins have been reported to associate with IQGAP1, either directly or as part of a larger complex. In this review, we summarise those IQGAP1 binding partners that have been identified in the last five years. The molecular mechanisms by which these interactions contribute to the functions of receptors and their signalling cascades, small GTPase function, cytoskeletal dynamics, neuronal regulation and intracellular trafficking are evaluated. The evidence that has accumulated recently validates the role of IQGAP1 as a scaffold protein and expands the repertoire of cellular activities in which it participates.

  9. Biomarkers of Aging: From Function to Molecular Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagner, Karl-Heinz; Cameron-Smith, David; Wessner, Barbara; Franzke, Bernhard

    2016-06-02

    Aging is a major risk factor for most chronic diseases and functional impairments. Within a homogeneous age sample there is a considerable variation in the extent of disease and functional impairment risk, revealing a need for valid biomarkers to aid in characterizing the complex aging processes. The identification of biomarkers is further complicated by the diversity of biological living situations, lifestyle activities and medical treatments. Thus, there has been no identification of a single biomarker or gold standard tool that can monitor successful or healthy aging. Within this short review the current knowledge of putative biomarkers is presented, focusing on their application to the major physiological mechanisms affected by the aging process including physical capability, nutritional status, body composition, endocrine and immune function. This review emphasizes molecular and DNA-based biomarkers, as well as recent advances in other biomarkers such as microRNAs, bilirubin or advanced glycation end products.

  10. Functionalization of hydroxyl terminated polybutadiene with biologically active fluorescent molecule

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    R Murali Sankar; Subhadeep Saha; K Seeni Meera; Tushar Jana

    2009-10-01

    A biologically active molecule, 2-chloro-4,6-bis(dimethylamino)-1,3,5-triazine (CBDT), has been covalently attached at the terminal carbon atoms of the hydroxyl terminated polybutadiene (HTPB) backbone. The modification of HTPB backbone by CBDT molecule does not affect the unique physico-chemical properties such as fluidity, hydroxyl value and microstructure of the parent HTPB. The formation of hydrogen bonding between the terminal hydroxyl groups and the nitrogen atoms of triazine moiety is the driving force for the terminal attachment chemistry. The functionalized HTPB (HTPB–CBDT) shows a strong fluorescence emission at 385 nm.

  11. Functionalization of polydopamine coated magnetic nanoparticles with biological entities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mǎgeruşan, Lidia; Mrówczyński, Radosław; Turcu, Rodica

    2015-12-01

    New hybrid materials, obtained through introduction of cysteine, lysine and folic acid as biological entities into polydopamine-coated magnetite nanoparticles, are reported. The syntheses are straight forward and various methods were applied for structural and morphological characterization of the resulting nanoparticles. XPS proved a very powerful tool for surface chemical analysis and it evidences the functionalization of polydopamine coated magnetite nanoparticles. The superparamagnetic behavior and the high values of saturation magnetization recommend all products for further application where magnetism is important for targeting, separation, or heating by alternative magnetic fields.

  12. STAT6: its role in interleukin 4-mediated biological functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takeda, K; Kishimoto, T; Akira, S

    1997-05-01

    Interleukin (IL) 4 is known to be a cytokine which plays a central role in the regulation of immune response. Studies on cytokine signal transduction have clarified the mechanism by which IL4 exerts its functions. Two cytoplasmic proteins, signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) 6 and IL4-induced phosphotyrosine substrate/insulin receptor substrate 2 (4PS/IRS2), are activated in IL4 signal transduction. Recent studies from STAT6-deficient mice have revealed the essential role of STAT6 in IL4-mediated biological actions. In addition, STAT6 has also been demonstrated to be important for the functions mediated by IL13, which is related to IL4. IL4 and IL13 have been shown to induce the production of IgE, which is a major mediator in an allergic response. These findings indicate that STAT6 activation is involved in IL4- and IL13-mediated disorders such as allergy.

  13. Current studies on physiological functions and biological production of lactosucrose.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mu, Wanmeng; Chen, Qiuming; Wang, Xiao; Zhang, Tao; Jiang, Bo

    2013-08-01

    Lactosucrose (O-β-D-galactopyranosyl-(1,4)-O-α-D-glucopyranosyl-(1,2)-β-D-fructofuranoside) is a trisaccharide formed from lactose and sucrose by enzymatic transglycosylation. This rare trisaccharide is a kind of indigestible carbohydrate, has good prebiotic effect, and promotes intestinal mineral absorption. It has been used as a functional ingredient in a range of food products which are approved as foods for specified health uses in Japan. Using lactose and sucrose as substrates, lactosucrose can be produced through transfructosylation by β-fructofuranosidase from Arthrobacter sp. K-1 or a range of levansucrases, or through transgalactosylation by β-galactosidase from Bacillus circulans. This article presented a review of recent studies on the physiological functions of lactosucrose and the biological production from lactose and sucrose by different enzymes.

  14. Diffusion of innovations dynamics, biological growth and catenary function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guseo, Renato

    2016-12-01

    The catenary function has a well-known role in determining the shape of chains and cables supported at their ends under the force of gravity. This enables design using a specific static equilibrium over space. Its reflected version, the catenary arch, allows the construction of bridges and arches exploiting the dual equilibrium property under uniform compression. In this paper, we emphasize a further connection with well-known aggregate biological growth models over time and the related diffusion of innovation key paradigms (e.g., logistic and Bass distributions over time) that determine self-sustaining evolutionary growth dynamics in naturalistic and socio-economic contexts. Moreover, we prove that the 'local entropy function', related to a logistic distribution, is a catenary and vice versa. This special invariance may be explained, at a deeper level, through the Verlinde's conjecture on the origin of gravity as an effect of the entropic force.

  15. Sucrose metabolism gene families and their biological functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Shu-Ye; Chi, Yun-Hua; Wang, Ji-Zhou; Zhou, Jun-Xia; Cheng, Yan-Song; Zhang, Bao-Lan; Ma, Ali; Vanitha, Jeevanandam; Ramachandran, Srinivasan

    2015-11-30

    Sucrose, as the main product of photosynthesis, plays crucial roles in plant development. Although studies on general metabolism pathway were well documented, less information is available on the genome-wide identification of these genes, their expansion and evolutionary history as well as their biological functions. We focused on four sucrose metabolism related gene families including sucrose synthase, sucrose phosphate synthase, sucrose phosphate phosphatase and UDP-glucose pyrophosphorylase. These gene families exhibited different expansion and evolutionary history as their host genomes experienced differentiated rates of the whole genome duplication, tandem and segmental duplication, or mobile element mediated gene gain and loss. They were evolutionarily conserved under purifying selection among species and expression divergence played important roles for gene survival after expansion. However, we have detected recent positive selection during intra-species divergence. Overexpression of 15 sorghum genes in Arabidopsis revealed their roles in biomass accumulation, flowering time control, seed germination and response to high salinity and sugar stresses. Our studies uncovered the molecular mechanisms of gene expansion and evolution and also provided new insight into the role of positive selection in intra-species divergence. Overexpression data revealed novel biological functions of these genes in flowering time control and seed germination under normal and stress conditions.

  16. Event-based text mining for biology and functional genomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ananiadou, Sophia; Thompson, Paul; Nawaz, Raheel; McNaught, John; Kell, Douglas B

    2015-05-01

    The assessment of genome function requires a mapping between genome-derived entities and biochemical reactions, and the biomedical literature represents a rich source of information about reactions between biological components. However, the increasingly rapid growth in the volume of literature provides both a challenge and an opportunity for researchers to isolate information about reactions of interest in a timely and efficient manner. In response, recent text mining research in the biology domain has been largely focused on the identification and extraction of 'events', i.e. categorised, structured representations of relationships between biochemical entities, from the literature. Functional genomics analyses necessarily encompass events as so defined. Automatic event extraction systems facilitate the development of sophisticated semantic search applications, allowing researchers to formulate structured queries over extracted events, so as to specify the exact types of reactions to be retrieved. This article provides an overview of recent research into event extraction. We cover annotated corpora on which systems are trained, systems that achieve state-of-the-art performance and details of the community shared tasks that have been instrumental in increasing the quality, coverage and scalability of recent systems. Finally, several concrete applications of event extraction are covered, together with emerging directions of research.

  17. DMPD: Type I interferon receptors: biochemistry and biological functions. [Dynamic Macrophage Pathway CSML Database

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available 17502368 Type I interferon receptors: biochemistry and biological functions. de Wee...(.html) (.csml) Show Type I interferon receptors: biochemistry and biological functions. PubmedID 17502368 T...itle Type I interferon receptors: biochemistry and biological functions. Authors

  18. Discoveries of rhythms in human biological functions: a historical review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lemmer, Björn

    2009-08-01

    Though there are very early and ancient observations on the daily variation in physiological and pathophysiological functions (e.g., bronchial asthma), more detailed and scientific reports were not published until the beginning of the 17th century. The aim of this review is to bring those reports to the attention of researchers of chronobiology and chronopharmacology. The ancient books and their contents, which constitute the basis for this review, are part of the personal library collection of the author; numerous observations and reports on biologic rhythms in man are presented here for the first time. The intent of this review is to demonstrate that the fields of chronobiology and chronopharmacology are not only a new and modern branch of science, but that it stands on the shoulders of wonderful and insightful observations and explanations made by our scientific forefathers. It is the hope that the reader will enjoy the richness of the ancient reports that contribute to our present knowledge achieved through astute early biologic rhythm research.

  19. Linking biological soil crust diversity to ecological functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glaser, Karin; Borchhardt, Nadine; Schulz, Karoline; Mikhailyuk, Tatiana; Baumann, Karen; Leinweber, Peter; Ulf, Karsten

    2016-04-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSCs) are an association of different microorganisms and soil particles in the top millimeters of the soil. They are formed by algae, cyanobacteria, microfungi, bacteria, bryophytes and lichens in various compositions. Our aim was to determine and compare the biodiversity of all occurring organisms in biogeographically different habitats, ranging from polar (both Arctic and Antarctic), subpolar (Scandinavia), temperate (Germany) to dry regions (Chile). The combination of microscopy and molecular techniques (next-generation sequencing) revealed highly diverse crust communities, whose composition clustered by region and correlates with habitat characteristics such as water content. The BSC biodiversity was then linked to the ecological function of the crusts. The functional role of the BSCs in the biogeochemical cycles of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorous is evaluated using an array of state of the art soil chemistry methods including Py-FIMS (pyrolysis field ionization mass spectrometry) and XANES (x-ray absorbance near edge structure). Total P as well as P fractions were quantified in all BSCs, adjacent soil underneath and comparable nearby soil of BSC-free areas revealing a remarkable accumulation of total phosphorous and a distinct pattern of P fractions in the crust. Further, we observed an indication of a different P-speciation composition in the crust compared with BSC-free soil. The data allow answering the question whether BSCs act as sink or source for these compounds, and how biodiversity controls the biogeochemical function of BSCs.

  20. Genome-wide survey for biologically functional pseudogenes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Orjan Svensson

    2006-05-01

    Full Text Available According to current estimates there exist about 20,000 pseudogenes in a mammalian genome. The vast majority of these are disabled and nonfunctional copies of protein-coding genes which, therefore, evolve neutrally. Recent findings that a Makorin1 pseudogene, residing on mouse Chromosome 5, is, indeed, in vivo vital and also evolutionarily preserved, encouraged us to conduct a genome-wide survey for other functional pseudogenes in human, mouse, and chimpanzee. We identify to our knowledge the first examples of conserved pseudogenes common to human and mouse, originating from one duplication predating the human-mouse species split and having evolved as pseudogenes since the species split. Functionality is one possible way to explain the apparently contradictory properties of such pseudogene pairs, i.e., high conservation and ancient origin. The hypothesis of functionality is tested by comparing expression evidence and synteny of the candidates with proper test sets. The tests suggest potential biological function. Our candidate set includes a small set of long-lived pseudogenes whose unknown potential function is retained since before the human-mouse species split, and also a larger group of primate-specific ones found from human-chimpanzee searches. Two processed sequences are notable, their conservation since the human-mouse split being as high as most protein-coding genes; one is derived from the protein Ataxin 7-like 3 (ATX7NL3, and one from the Spinocerebellar ataxia type 1 protein (ATX1. Our approach is comparative and can be applied to any pair of species. It is implemented by a semi-automated pipeline based on cross-species BLAST comparisons and maximum-likelihood phylogeny estimations. To separate pseudogenes from protein-coding genes, we use standard methods, utilizing in-frame disablements, as well as a probabilistic filter based on Ka/Ks ratios.

  1. Twenty years of protein interaction studies for biological function deciphering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Legrain, Pierre; Rain, Jean-Christophe

    2014-07-31

    Intensive methodological developments and technology innovation have been devoted to protein-protein interaction studies over 20years. Genetic indirect assays and sophisticated large scale biochemical analyses have jointly contributed to the elucidation of protein-protein interactions, still with a lot of drawbacks despite heavy investment in human resources and technologies. With the most recent developments in mass spectrometry and computational tools for studying protein content of complex samples, the initial goal of deciphering molecular bases of biological functions is now within reach. Here, we described the various steps of this process and gave examples of key milestones in this scientific story line. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: 20years of Proteomics in memory of Viatliano Pallini. Guest Editors: Luca Bini, Juan J. Calvete, Natacha Turck, Denis Hochstrasser and Jean-Charles Sanchez.

  2. Structure, Function, and Biology of the Enterococcus faecalis Cytolysin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daria Van Tyne

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Enterococcus faecalis is a Gram-positive commensal member of the gut microbiota of a wide range of organisms. With the advent of antibiotic therapy, it has emerged as a multidrug resistant, hospital-acquired pathogen. Highly virulent strains of E. faecalis express a pore-forming exotoxin, called cytolysin, which lyses both bacterial and eukaryotic cells in response to quorum signals. Originally described in the 1930s, the cytolysin is a member of a large class of lanthionine-containing bacteriocins produced by Gram-positive bacteria. While the cytolysin shares some core features with other lantibiotics, it possesses unique characteristics as well. The current understanding of cytolysin biosynthesis, structure/function relationships, and contribution to the biology of E. faecalis are reviewed, and opportunities for using emerging technologies to advance this understanding are discussed.

  3. Biological Functional Relevance of Asymmetric Dimethylarginine (ADMA in Cardiovascular Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara Franceschelli

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available There is growing evidence that increased levels of the endogenous NO synthase inhibitor asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA may contribute to endothelial dysfunction. Studies in animal models as well as in humans have suggested that the increase in ADMA occurs at a time when vascular disease has not yet become clinically evident. ADMA competitively inhibits NO elaboration by displacing L-arginine from NO synthase. In a concentration-dependent manner, it thereby interferes not only with endothelium-dependent, NO-mediated vasodilation, but also with other biological functions exerted by NO. The upshot may be a pro-atherogenic state. Recently, several studies have investigated the effect of various therapeutical interventions on ADMA plasma concentrations.

  4. Functionalized nanoparticles for biological imaging and detection applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mei, Bing C.

    Semiconductor quantum dots (QDs) and gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) have gained tremendous attention in the last decade as a result of their size-dependent spectroscopic properties. These nanoparticles have been a subject of intense study to bridge the gap between macroscopic and atomic behavior, as well as to generate new materials for novel applications in therapeutics, biological sensing, light emitting devices, microelectronics, lasers, and solar cells. One of the most promising areas for the use of these nanoparticles is in biotechnology, where their size-dependent optical properties are harnessed for imaging and sensing applications. However, these nanoparticles, as synthesized, are often not stable in aqueous media and lack simple and reliable means of covalently linking to biomolecules. The focus of this work is to advance the progress of these nanomaterials for biotechnology by synthesizing them, characterizing their optical properties and rendering them water-soluble and functional while maintaining their coveted optical properties. QDs were synthesized by an organometallic chemical procedure that utilizes coordinating solvents to provide brightly luminescent nanoparticles. The optical interactions of these QDs were studied as a function of concentration to identify particle size-dependent optimal concentrations, where scattering and indirection excitation are minimized and the amount light observed per particle is maximized. Both QDs and AuNPs were rendered water-soluble and stable in a broad range of biologically relevant conditions by using a series of ligands composed of dihydrolipoic acid (DHLA) appended to poly(ethylene glycol) methyl ether. By studying the stability of the surface modified AuNPs, we revealed some interesting information regarding the role of the surface ligand on the nanoparticle stability (i.e. solubility in high salt concentration, resistance to dithiothreitol competition and cyanide decomposition). Furthermore, the nanoparticles

  5. Multifunctional surfaces with discrete functionalized regions for biological applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghosh, Moniraj; Alves, Christina; Tong, Ziqiu; Tettey, Kwadwo; Konstantopoulos, Konstantinos; Stebe, Kathleen J

    2008-08-05

    In this paper we describe a method for creating multifunctional glass surfaces presenting discrete patches of different proteins on an inert PEG-functionalized background. Microcontact printing is used to stamp the substrate with octadecyltrichlorosilane to define the active regions. The substrate is then back-filled with PEG-silane {[[2-methoxypoly(ethyleneoxy)]propyl]trimethoxysilane} to define passive regions. A microfluidics device is subsequently affixed to the substrate to deliver proteins to the active regions, with as many channels as there are proteins to be patterned. Examples of trifunctional surfaces are given which present three terminating functional groups, i.e., protein 1, protein 2, and PEG. These surfaces should be broadly useful in biological studies, as patch size is well established to influence cell viability, growth, and differentiation. Three examples of cellular interactions with the surfaces are demonstrated, including the capture of cells from a single cell suspension, the selective sorting of cells from a mixed suspension, and the adhesion of cells to ligand micropatches at critical shear stresses. Within these examples, we demonstrate that the patterned immobilized proteins are active, as they retain their ability to interact with either antibodies in solution or receptors presented by cells. When appropriate (e.g., for E-selectin), proteins are patterned in their physiological orientations using a sandwich immobilization technique, which is readily accommodated within our method. The protein surface densities are highly reproducible in the patches, as supported by fluorescence intensity measurements. Potential applications include biosensors based on the interaction of cells or of marker proteins with protein patches, fundamental studies of cell adhesion as a function of patch size and shear stress, and studies of cell differentiation as a function of surface cues.

  6. Biosynthesis and biological functions of terpenoids in plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tholl, Dorothea

    2015-01-01

    Terpenoids (isoprenoids) represent the largest and most diverse class of chemicals among the myriad compounds produced by plants. Plants employ terpenoid metabolites for a variety of basic functions in growth and development but use the majority of terpenoids for more specialized chemical interactions and protection in the abiotic and biotic environment. Traditionally, plant-based terpenoids have been used by humans in the food, pharmaceutical, and chemical industries, and more recently have been exploited in the development of biofuel products. Genomic resources and emerging tools in synthetic biology facilitate the metabolic engineering of high-value terpenoid products in plants and microbes. Moreover, the ecological importance of terpenoids has gained increased attention to develop strategies for sustainable pest control and abiotic stress protection. Together, these efforts require a continuous growth in knowledge of the complex metabolic and molecular regulatory networks in terpenoid biosynthesis. This chapter gives an overview and highlights recent advances in our understanding of the organization, regulation, and diversification of core and specialized terpenoid metabolic pathways, and addresses the most important functions of volatile and nonvolatile terpenoid specialized metabolites in plants.

  7. Polymer biomaterial constructs for regenerative medicine and functional biological systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meng, Linghui

    The use of collagen as a biomaterial is currently undergoing a renaissance in the tissue engineering field. The excellent biocompatibility and safety due to its biological characteristics, such as biodegradability and weak antigenicity, make collagen a primary material resource in medical applications. Described herein is work towards the development of novel collagen-based matrices, with additional multi-functionality imparted through a novel in-situ crosslinking approach. The process of electrospinning has become a widely used technique for the creation of fibrous scaffolds for tissue engineering applications due to its ability to rapidly create structures composed of nano-scale polymer fibers closely resembling the architecture of the extracellular matrix (ECM). Collagen-PCL sheath-core bicomponent fibrous scaffolds were fabricated using a novel variation on traditional electrospinning, known as co-axial electrospinning. The results showed that the addition of a synthetic polymer core into collagen nanofibers remarkably increased the mechanical strength of collagen matrices spun from the benign solvent system. A novel single-step, in-situ collagen crosslink approach was developed in order to solve the problems dominating traditional collagen crosslinking methods, such as dimensional shrinking and loss of porous morphology, and to simplify the crosslinking procedure for electrospun collagen scaffolds. The excess amount of NHS present in the crosslinking mixture was found to delay the EDC/collagen coupling reaction in a controlled fashion. Fundamental investigations into the development and characterization of in-situ crosslinked collagen matrices such as fibrous scaffolds, gels and sponges, as well as their biomedical applications including cell culture substrates, wound dressings, drug delivery matrices and bone regeneration substitutes, were performed. The preliminary mice studies indicated that the in-situ crosslinked collagen matrices could be good candidates

  8. Natural killer cells: Biology, functions and clinical relevance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vojvodić Svetlana

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Introduction. Natural Killer cells (NK cells represent the subset of peripheral lymphocytes that play critical role in the innate immune response to virus-infected and tumor transformed cells. Lysis of NK sensitive target cells could be mediated independently of antigen stimulation and without requirement of peptide presentation by the major histocompatibility complex (MHC molecules. NK cell activity and functions are controlled by a considerable number of cell surface receptors, which exist in both inhibitory and activating isoforms. There are several groups of NK cell surface receptors: 1 killer immunoglobulin like receptors-KIR, 2 C-type lectin receptors,3natural citotoxicity receptors-NCR and 4 Toll-like receptors-TLR. Functions of NK receptors. Defining the biology of NK cell surface receptors has contributed to the concept of the manner how NK cells selectively recognize and lyse tumor and virally infected cells while sparing normal cells. Further, identification of NK receptor ligands and their expression on the normal and transformed cells has led to the development of clinical approaches to manipulating receptor/ligand interactions that showed clinical benefit. NK cells are the first lymphocyte subset that reconstitute the peripheral blood following allogeneic HSCT and multiple roles for alloreactive donor NK cells have been demonstrated, in diminishing Graft vs. Host Disease (GvHD through selective killing recipient dendritic cells, prevention of graft rejection by killing recipient T cells and participation in Graft vs. Leukaemia (GvL effect through destruction of residual host tumor cells. Conclusion. Besides their role in HSCT, NK cell receptors have an important clinical relevance that reflects from the fact that they play a crucial role in the development of some diseases as well as in possibilities of managing all NK receptors through selective expansion and usage of NK cells in cancer immunotherapy.

  9. Function and regulation of lipid biology in Caenorhabditis elegans aging

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicole Shangming Hou

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Rapidly expanding aging populations and a concomitant increase in the prevalence of age-related diseases are global health problems today. Over the past three decades, a large body of work has led to the identification of genes and regulatory networks that affect longevity and health span, often benefitting from the tremendous power of genetics in vertebrate and invertebrate model organisms. Interestingly, many of these factors appear linked to lipids, important molecules that participate in cellular signaling, energy metabolism, and structural compartmentalization. Despite the putative link between lipids and longevity, the role of lipids in aging remains poorly understood. Emerging data from the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans suggest that lipid composition may change during aging, as several pathways that influence aging also regulate lipid metabolism enzymes; moreover, some of these enzymes apparently play key roles in the pathways that affect the rate of aging. By understanding how lipid biology is regulated during C. elegans aging, and how it impacts molecular, cellular and organismal function, we may gain insight into novel ways to delay aging using genetic or pharmacological interventions. In the present review we discuss recent insights into the roles of lipids in C. elegans aging, including regulatory roles played by lipids themselves, the regulation of lipid metabolic enzymes, and the roles of lipid metabolism genes in the pathways that affect aging.

  10. Function and Regulation of Lipid Biology in Caenorhabditis elegans Aging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hou, Nicole Shangming; Taubert, Stefan

    2012-01-01

    Rapidly expanding aging populations and a concomitant increase in the prevalence of age-related diseases are global health problems today. Over the past three decades, a large body of work has led to the identification of genes and regulatory networks that affect longevity and health span, often benefiting from the tremendous power of genetics in vertebrate and invertebrate model organisms. Interestingly, many of these factors appear linked to lipids, important molecules that participate in cellular signaling, energy metabolism, and structural compartmentalization. Despite the putative link between lipids and longevity, the role of lipids in aging remains poorly understood. Emerging data from the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans suggest that lipid composition may change during aging, as several pathways that influence aging also regulate lipid metabolism enzymes; moreover, some of these enzymes apparently play key roles in the pathways that affect the rate of aging. By understanding how lipid biology is regulated during C. elegans aging, and how it impacts molecular, cellular, and organismal function, we may gain insight into novel ways to delay aging using genetic or pharmacological interventions. In the present review we discuss recent insights into the roles of lipids in C. elegans aging, including regulatory roles played by lipids themselves, the regulation of lipid metabolic enzymes, and the roles of lipid metabolism genes in the pathways that affect aging. PMID:22629250

  11. Endogenous nitric oxide synthesis: biological functions and pathophysiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bredt, D S

    1999-12-01

    Modern molecular biology has revealed vast numbers of large and complex proteins and genes that regulate body function. By contrast, discoveries over the past ten years indicate that crucial features of neuronal communication, blood vessel modulation and immune response are mediated by a remarkably simple chemical, nitric oxide (NO). Endogenous NO is generated from arginine by a family of three distinct calmodulin- dependent NO synthase (NOS) enzymes. NOS from endothelial cells (eNOS) and neurons (nNOS) are both constitutively expressed enzymes, whose activities are stimulated by increases in intracellular calcium. Immune functions for NO are mediated by a calcium-independent inducible NOS (iNOS). Expression of iNOS protein requires transcriptional activation, which is mediated by specific combinations of cytokines. All three NOS use NADPH as an electron donor and employ five enzyme cofactors to catalyze a five-electron oxidation of arginine to NO with stoichiometric formation of citrulline. The highest levels of NO throughout the body are found in neurons, where NO functions as a unique messenger molecule. In the autonomic nervous system NO functions NO functions as a major non-adrenergic non-cholinergic (NANC) neurotransmitter. This NANC pathway plays a particularly important role in producing relaxation of smooth muscle in the cerebral circulation and the gastrointestinal, urogenital and respiratory tracts. Dysregulation of NOS activity in autonomic nerves plays a major role in diverse pathophysiological conditions including migraine headache, hypertrophic pyloric stenosis and male impotence. In the brain, NO functions as a neuromodulator and appears to mediate aspects of learning and memory. Although endogenous NO was originally appreciated as a mediator of smooth muscle relaxation, NO also plays a major role in skeletal muscle. Physiologically muscle-derived NO regulates skeletal muscle contractility and exercise-induced glucose uptake. nNOS occurs at the

  12. Phytochrome from Green Plants: Properties and biological Function

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Quail, Peter H.

    2014-07-25

    Pfr conformer reverses this activity upon initial light exposure, inducing the switch to photomorphogenic development. This reversal involves light-triggered translocation of the photoactivated phy molecule into the nucleus where it interacts with PIF-family members, inducing rapid phosphorylation and degradation of the PIFs via the ubiquitin-proteasome system. This degradation in turn elicits rapid alterations in gene expression that drive the deetiolation transition. This project has made considerable progress in defining phy-PIF signaling activity in controlling the SAR. The biological functions of the multiple PIF-family members in controlling the SAR, including dissection of the relative contributions of the individual PIFs to this process, as well as to diurnal growth-control oscillations, have been investigated using higher-order pif-mutant combinations. Using microarray analysis of a quadruple pif mutant we have defined the shade-induced, PIF-regulated transcriptional network genome-wide. This has revealed that a dynamic antagonism between the phys and PIFs generates selective reciprocal responses during deetiolation and the SAR in a rapidly light-responsive transcriptional network. Using integrated RNA-seq and ChIP-seq analysis of higher order pif-mutant combinations, we have defined the direct gene-targets of PIF transcriptional regulation, and have obtained evidence that this regulation involves differential direct targeting of rapidly light-responsive genes by the individual PIF-family members. This project has provided significant advances in our understanding of the molecular mechanisms by which the phy-PIF photosensory signaling pathway regulates an important bioenergy-related plant response to the light environment. The identification of molecular targets in the primary transcriptional-regulatory circuitry of this pathway has the potential to enable genetic or reverse-genetic manipulation of the partitioning of carbon between reproductive and

  13. Alterations in immune function with biologic therapies for autoimmune disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Her, Minyoung; Kavanaugh, Arthur

    2016-01-01

    Autoimmune disorders, including rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, psoriasis, and others, are characterized by dysregulation of various aspects of normal immunity and inflammation. Biologic agents targeting key components of the dysregulated immune response have dramatically improved patient outcomes and transformed treatment paradigms for a number of systemic inflammatory autoimmune diseases. Despite their excellent efficacy, because they do affect normal immune responsiveness, biologic agents can potentially be associated with a variety of adverse effects. Important potential adverse effects related to the use of biologic agents include immunosuppression, which might result in outcomes such as infection, and autoimmunity, that could result in paradoxical inflammation or even autoimmune disease. In this article the current clinical evidence and immunologic mechanisms of the adverse effects related to biologic agents are discussed.

  14. Cell biology and functional dynamics of the mammalian sperm surface

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gadella, B.M.; Luna, C.

    2014-01-01

    Theriogenology has now a 40-year rich history on covering sperm biological aspects with a special emphasis on farm and husbandry animals. The major and most influential of these contributions will be placed into an evolutionary perspective of ongoing and intriguing progresses made in this field. Alt

  15. Design of Functional Polyesters for Electronic and Biological Applications

    OpenAIRE

    Nelson, Ashley Marie

    2015-01-01

    Melt polymerization and novel monomers enabled the synthesis of polyesters for electronic and biological applications. Inspiration from nature and a passion for environmental preservation instigated an emphasis on the incorporation of renewable resources into polymeric materials. Critical analysis of current research surrounding bisphenol-A replacements and ion-containing segmented polyurethanes aided in identifying benchmark polymers, including limitations, challenges, and future needs. S...

  16. Click chemistry mediated functionalization of vertical nanowires for biological applications

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vutti, Surendra; Schoffelen, Sanne; Bolinsson, Jessica;

    2016-01-01

    is of general interest for biological studies. The attachment of a peptide substrate provided NW arrays for the detection of protease activity. In addition, green fluorescent protein was immobilized in a site-specific manner and recognized by antibody binding to demonstrate the proof-of-concept for the use...

  17. Oxidative metabolites of lycopene and their biological functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    To gain a better understanding of the beneficial biological activities of lycopene on cancer prevention, a greater knowledge of the metabolism of lycopene is needed. In particular, the identification of lycopene metabolites and oxidation products in vivo; the importance of tissue specific lycopene c...

  18. In search of lipid translocases and their biological functions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hoekstra, D; van Ijzendoorn, SCD

    2003-01-01

    In plasma membranes, lipids distribute asymmetrically across the bilayer, a process that requires proteins. Recent work identified novel lipid translocators in yeast, and their activity was functionally correlated to endocytosis, thus boosting investigations on identity, mechanism, and function of l

  19. Opposing Biological Functions of Tryptophan Catabolizing Enzymes During Intracellular Infection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Divanovic, Senad; Sawtell, Nancy M.; Trompette, Aurelien; Warning, Jamie I.; Dias, Alexandra; Cooper, Andrea M.; Yap, George S.; Arditi, Moshe; Shimada, Kenichi; DuHadaway, James B.; Prendergast, George C.; Basaraba, Randall J.; Mellor, Andrew L.; Munn, David H.; Aliberti, Julio

    2012-01-01

    Recent studies have underscored physiological and pathophysiological roles for the tryptophan-degrading enzyme indolamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) in immune counterregulation. However, IDO was first recognized as an antimicrobial effector, restricting tryptophan availability to Toxoplasma gondii and other pathogens in vitro. The biological relevance of these findings came under question when infectious phenotypes were not forthcoming in IDO-deficient mice. The recent discovery of an IDO homolog, IDO-2, suggested that the issue deserved reexamination. IDO inhibition during murine toxoplasmosis led to 100% mortality, with increased parasite burdens and no evident effects on the immune response. Similar studies revealed a counterregulatory role for IDO during leishmaniasis (restraining effector immune responses and parasite clearance), and no evident role for IDO in herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) infection. Thus, IDO plays biologically important roles in the host response to diverse intracellular infections, but the dominant nature of this role—antimicrobial or immunoregulatory—is pathogen-specific. PMID:21990421

  20. Cerenkov Radiation: A Multi-functional Approach for Biological Sciences

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaowei eMa

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Cerenkov radiation (CR has been used in various biological research fields, which has aroused lots of attention in recent years. Combining optical imaging instruments and most of nuclear medicine imaging or radiotherapy probes, the CR was developed as a new imaging modality for biology studies, called Cerenkov luminescence imaging (CLI. On the other hand, it was novelly used as an internal excitation source to activate some fluorophores for energy transfer imaging. However, it also has some shortages such as relatively weak luminescence intensity and low penetration in tissue. Thus some scientific groups demonstrated to optimize the CLI and demonstrated it to three-dimension tomography. In this article, we elaborate on its principle, history, and applications and discuss a number of directions for technical improvements. Then concluded some advantages and shortages of CR and discuss some prospects of it.

  1. Mining Functional Modules in Heterogeneous Biological Networks Using Multiplex PageRank Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jun; Zhao, Patrick X

    2016-01-01

    Identification of functional modules/sub-networks in large-scale biological networks is one of the important research challenges in current bioinformatics and systems biology. Approaches have been developed to identify functional modules in single-class biological networks; however, methods for systematically and interactively mining multiple classes of heterogeneous biological networks are lacking. In this paper, we present a novel algorithm (called mPageRank) that utilizes the Multiplex PageRank approach to mine functional modules from two classes of biological networks. We demonstrate the capabilities of our approach by successfully mining functional biological modules through integrating expression-based gene-gene association networks and protein-protein interaction networks. We first compared the performance of our method with that of other methods using simulated data. We then applied our method to identify the cell division cycle related functional module and plant signaling defense-related functional module in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Our results demonstrated that the mPageRank method is effective for mining sub-networks in both expression-based gene-gene association networks and protein-protein interaction networks, and has the potential to be adapted for the discovery of functional modules/sub-networks in other heterogeneous biological networks. The mPageRank executable program, source code, the datasets and results of the presented two case studies are publicly and freely available at http://plantgrn.noble.org/MPageRank/.

  2. The SHP-2 tyrosine phosphatase: Signaling mechanisms and biological functions

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2000-01-01

    Cellular biological activities are tightly controlled by intracellular signaling processes initiated by extracellular signals.Protein tyrosine phosphatases, which remove phosphate groups from phosphorylated signaling molecules, play equally important tyrosine roles as protein tyrosine kinases in signal transduction.SHP-2, a cytoplasmic SH2 domain containing protein tyrosine phosphatase, is involved in the signaling pathways of a variety of growth factors and cytokines. Recent studies have clearly demonstrated that this phosphatase plays an important role in transducing signal relay from the cell surface to the nucleus, and is a critical intracellular regulator in mediating cell proliferation and differentiation.

  3. Inferring biological functions of guanylyl cyclases with computational methods

    KAUST Repository

    Alquraishi, May Majed

    2013-09-03

    A number of studies have shown that functionally related genes are often co-expressed and that computational based co-expression analysis can be used to accurately identify functional relationships between genes and by inference, their encoded proteins. Here we describe how a computational based co-expression analysis can be used to link the function of a specific gene of interest to a defined cellular response. Using a worked example we demonstrate how this methodology is used to link the function of the Arabidopsis Wall-Associated Kinase-Like 10 gene, which encodes a functional guanylyl cyclase, to host responses to pathogens. © Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013.

  4. Neuroscience in the era of functional genomics and systems biology

    OpenAIRE

    Geschwind, Daniel H.; Konopka, Genevieve

    2009-01-01

    Advances in genetics and genomics have fuelled a revolution in discovery-based, or hypothesis-generating, research that provides a powerful complement to the more directly hypothesis-driven molecular, cellular and systems neuroscience. Genetic and functional genomic studies have already yielded important insights into neuronal diversity and function, as well as disease. One of the most exciting and challenging frontiers in neuroscience involves harnessing the power of large-scale genetic, gen...

  5. Exosome Function: From Tumor Immunology to Pathogen Biology

    OpenAIRE

    Schorey, Jeffrey S; Bhatnagar, Sanchita

    2008-01-01

    Exosomes are the newest family member of ‘bioactive vesicles’ that function to promote intercellular communication. Exosomes are derived from the fusion of multi-vesicular bodies with the plasma membrane and extracellular release of the intraluminal vesicles. Recent studies have focused on the biogenesis and composition of exosomes as well as regulation of exosome release. Exosomes have been shown to be released by cells of hematopoietic and non-hematopoietic origin, yet their function remain...

  6. Integrated omics for the identification of key functionalities in biological wastewater treatment microbial communities

    OpenAIRE

    Narayanasamy, Shaman; Muller, Emilie; Sheik, Abdul; Wilmes, Paul

    2015-01-01

    Biological wastewater treatment plants harbour diverse and complex microbial communities which prominently serve as models for microbial ecology and mixed culture biotechnological processes. Integrated omic analyses (combined metagenomics, metatranscriptomics, metaproteomics and metabolomics) are currently gaining momentum towards providing enhanced understanding of community structure, function and dynamics in situ as well as offering the potential to discover novel biological functionalitie...

  7. Novel ESCRT functions in cell biology: spiraling out of control?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campsteijn, Coen; Vietri, Marina; Stenmark, Harald

    2016-08-01

    The endosomal sorting complex required for transport (ESCRT), originally identified for its role in endosomal protein sorting and biogenesis of multivesicular endosomes (MVEs), has proven to be a versatile machinery for involution and scission of narrow membrane invaginations filled with cytosol. Budding of enveloped viruses and cytokinetic abscission were early described functions for the ESCRT machinery, and recently a number of new ESCRT functions have emerged. These include cytokinetic abscission checkpoint control, plasma membrane repair, exovesicle release, quality control of nuclear pore complexes, neuron pruning, and sealing of the newly formed nuclear envelope. Here we review these novel ESCRT mechanisms and discuss similarities and differences between the various ESCRT-dependent activities.

  8. Molecular structure and biological function of proliferating cell nuclear antigen

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

    Proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) is the core component of replication complex in eukaryote.As a processive factor of DNA polymerase delta, PCNA coordinates the replication process by interacting with various replication proteins. PCNA appears to play an essential role in many cell events, such as DNA damage repair, cell cycle regulation, and apoptosis, through the coordination or organization of different partners. PCNA is an essential factor in cell proliferation, and has clinical significance in tumor research. In this article we review the functional structure of PCNA, which acts as a function switch in different cell events.

  9. The functionality of biological knowledge in the workplace. Integrating school and workplace learning about reproduction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mazereeuw, M.

    2013-01-01

    This thesis reports on a design research project about a learning, supervising and teaching strategy to enable students in agricultural preparatory vocational secondary education (VMBO) to recognize the functionality of biological knowledge of reproduction in work placement sites. Although biologica

  10. Social inclusion enhances biological motion processing: a functional near-infrared spectroscopy study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolling, Danielle Z; Pelphrey, Kevin A; Kaiser, Martha D

    2013-04-01

    Humans are especially tuned to the movements of other people. Neural correlates of this social attunement have been proposed to lie in and around the right posterior superior temporal sulcus (STS) region, which robustly responds to biological motion in contrast to a variety of non-biological motions. This response persists even when no form information is provided, as in point-light displays (PLDs). The aim of the current study was to assess the ability of functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) to reliably measure brain responses to PLDs of biological motion, and determine the sensitivity of these responses to interpersonal contextual factors. To establish reliability, we measured brain activation to biological motion with fNIRS and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during two separate sessions in an identical group of 12 participants. To establish sensitivity, brain responses to biological motion measured with fNIRS were subjected to an additional social manipulation where participants were either socially included or excluded before viewing PLDs of biological motion. Results revealed comparable brain responses to biological motion using fMRI and fNIRS in the right supramarginal gyrus. Further, social inclusion increased brain responses to biological motion in right supramarginal gyrus and posterior STS. Thus, fNIRS can reliably measure brain responses to biological motion and can detect social experience-dependent modulations of these brain responses.

  11. Functional Nanostructured Platforms for Chemical and Biological Sensing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Letant, S E

    2006-03-20

    The central goal of our work is to combine semiconductor nanotechnology and surface functionalization in order to build platforms for the selective detection of bio-organisms ranging in size from bacteria (micron range) down to viruses, as well as for the detection of chemical agents (nanometer range). We will show on three porous silicon platforms how pore geometry and pore wall chemistry can be combined and optimized to capture and detect specific targets. We developed a synthetic route allowing to directly anchor proteins on silicon surfaces and illustrated the relevance of this technique by immobilizing live enzymes onto electrochemically etched luminescent nano-porous silicon. The powerful association of the specific enzymes with the transducing matrix led to a selective hybrid platform for chemical sensing. We also used light-assisted electrochemistry to produce periodic arrays of through pores on pre-patterned silicon membranes with controlled diameters ranging from many microns down to tens of nanometers. We demonstrated the first covalently functionalized silicon membranes and illustrated their selective capture abilities with antibody-coated micro-beads. These engineered membranes are extremely versatile and could be adapted to specifically recognize the external fingerprints (size and coat composition) of target bio-organisms. Finally, we fabricated locally functionalized single nanopores using a combination of focused ion beam drilling and ion beam assisted oxide deposition. We showed how a silicon oxide ring can be grown around a single nanopore and how it can be functionalized with DNA probes to detect single viral-sized beads. The next step for this platform is the detection of whole viruses and bacteria.

  12. Density functional theory across chemistry, physics and biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Mourik, Tanja; Bühl, Michael; Gaigeot, Marie-Pierre

    2014-03-13

    The past decades have seen density functional theory (DFT) evolve from a rising star in computational quantum chemistry to one of its major players. This Theme Issue, which comes half a century after the publication of the Hohenberg-Kohn theorems that laid the foundations of modern DFT, reviews progress and challenges in present-day DFT research. Rather than trying to be comprehensive, this Theme Issue attempts to give a flavour of selected aspects of DFT.

  13. Biological functions of iduronic acid in chondroitin/dermatan sulfate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thelin, Martin A; Bartolini, Barbara; Axelsson, Jakob; Gustafsson, Renata; Tykesson, Emil; Pera, Edgar; Oldberg, Åke; Maccarana, Marco; Malmstrom, Anders

    2013-05-01

    The presence of iduronic acid in chondroitin/dermatan sulfate changes the properties of the polysaccharides because it generates a more flexible chain with increased binding potentials. Iduronic acid in chondroitin/dermatan sulfate influences multiple cellular properties, such as migration, proliferation, differentiation, angiogenesis and the regulation of cytokine/growth factor activities. Under pathological conditions such as wound healing, inflammation and cancer, iduronic acid has diverse regulatory functions. Iduronic acid is formed by two epimerases (i.e. dermatan sulfate epimerase 1 and 2) that have different tissue distribution and properties. The role of iduronic acid in chondroitin/dermatan sulfate is highlighted by the vast changes in connective tissue features in patients with a new type of Ehler-Danlos syndrome: adducted thumb-clubfoot syndrome. Future research aims to understand the roles of the two epimerases and their interplay with the sulfotransferases involved in chondroitin sulfate/dermatan sulfate biosynthesis. Furthermore, a better definition of chondroitin/dermatan sulfate functions using different knockout models is needed. In this review, we focus on the two enzymes responsible for iduronic acid formation, as well as the role of iduronic acid in health and disease.

  14. Biochemical and biological functions of class I phosphatidylinositol transfer proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cockcroft, Shamshad; Carvou, Nicolas

    2007-06-01

    Phosphoinositides function in a diverse array of cellular activities. They include a role as substrate for lipid kinases and phospholipases to generate second messengers, regulators of the cytoskeleton, of enzymes and of ion channels, and docking sites for reversible recruitment of proteins to membranes. Mammalian phosphatidylinositol transfer proteins, PITPalpha and PITPbeta are paralogs that share 77% sequence identity and contain a hydrophobic cavity that can sequester either phosphatidylinositol or phosphatidylcholine. A string of 11 amino acid residues at the C-terminal acts as a "lid" which shields the lipid from the aqueous environment. PITPs in vitro can facilitate inter-membrane lipid transfer and this requires the movement of the "lid" to allow the lipid cargo to be released. Thus PITPs are structurally designed for delivering lipid cargo and could thus participate in cellular events that are dependent on phosphatidylinositol or derivatives of phosphatidylinositol. Phosphatidylinositol, the precursor for all phosphoinositides is synthesised at the endoplasmic reticulum and its distribution to other organelles could be facilitated by PITPs. Here we highlight recent studies that report on the three-dimensional structures of the different PITP forms and suggest how PITPs are likely to dock at the membrane surface for lipid delivery and extraction. Additionally we discuss whether PITPs are important regulators of sphingomyelin metabolism, and finally describe recent studies that link the association of PITPs with diverse functions including membrane traffic at the Golgi, neurite outgrowth, cytokinesis and stem cell growth.

  15. [Adipogenic function and other biologic effects of insulin].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pankov, Y A

    2016-01-01

    Studies on experimental animals with knockout of the insulin receptor gene Insr (in the whole body or in certain tissues) and/or related genes encoding proteins involved in realization of insulin signal transduction in target cells, have made an important contribution to the elucidation of insulin regulation of metabolism, particularly fat metabolism. Since the whole insulin secreted by b-cells, together with the products of gastrointestinal tract digestion of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates reach the liver, the latter is the first organ on which this hormone acts. The liver employs released amino acids for synthesis of proteins, including apoproteins for various lipoproteins. Glucose is used for synthesis of glycogen, fatty acids, and triglycerides, which enter all the organs in very low density lipoproteins (VLDL). The LIRKO mice with knockout of the Insr gene in the liver demonstrated inhibition of synthesis of macromolecular compounds from amino acids, glucose, and fatty acids. Low molecular weight substances demonstrated increased entry to circulation, and together with other disorders induced hyperglycemia. In LIRKO mice blood glucose levels and glucose tolerance demonstrated time-dependent normalization and at later stages the increase in glucose levels was replaced by hypoglycemia. These changes can be well explained if we take into consideration that one of the main functions of insulin consists in stimulation of energy accumulation by means of activation of triglyceride deposition in adipose tissue. FIRKO mice with selective knockout of adipose tissue Insr were characterized by decreased uptake of glucose in adipocytes, and its transformation into lipids. However, the level of body fat in animals remained normal, possibly due to preserved insulin receptor in the liver and insulin-induced activation of triglyceride production which maintained normal levels of body fat stores, the effective functioning of adipose tissue and secretion of leptin by

  16. Development of biological functional material and product from Nelumbo nucifera

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jeong, Il Yun; Park, Yong Dae; Jin, Chang Hyun; Choi, Dae Seong

    2008-01-15

    The solvent extracts of Nelumbo nucifera G. were investigated for the activities of antioxidant, whitening, anti-wrinkle and antimicrobial effects to apply as a functional ingredient for cosmetic products. The electron donating ability of irradiated NN-L extract was above 85% at the concentration of 50ppm. The superoxide dismutase(SOD)-like activity of irradiated NN-L extract was about 76% at 1,000ppm concentration. The xanthine oxidase inhibitory effect of irradiated NN-L extract was about 15% at 1,000ppm. The tyrosinase inhibitory effect of irradiated NN-L extract was about 18% at 1,000ppm. Anti-wrinkle effect, the elastase inhibition activity of irradiated NN-L extract was about 45% at 1,000ppm concentration. All these findings suggested that Nelumbo nucifera G. has a great potential as a cosmeceutical ingredient.

  17. The biology and function of exosomes in cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalluri, Raghu

    2016-04-01

    Humans circulate quadrillions of exosomes at all times. Exosomes are a class of extracellular vesicles released by all cells, with a size range of 40-150 nm and a lipid bilayer membrane. Exosomes contain DNA, RNA, and proteins. Exosomes likely remove excess and/or unnecessary constituents from the cells, functioning like garbage bags, although their precise physiological role remains unknown. Additionally, exosomes may mediate specific cell-to-cell communication and activate signaling pathways in cells they fuse or interact with. Exosomes are detected in the tumor microenvironment, and emerging evidence suggests that they play a role in facilitating tumorigenesis by regulating angiogenesis, immunity, and metastasis. Circulating exosomes can be used as liquid biopsies and noninvasive biomarkers for early detection, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer patients.

  18. Biological function of activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ritu Kumar

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Activation-induced Cytidine Deaminase (AID is an essential regulator of B cell diversification, but its full range of action has until recently been an enigma. Based on homology, it was originally proposed to be an RNA-editing enzyme, but so far, no RNA substrates are known. Rather, it functions by deaminating cytidine, and in this manner, coupled with base-excision repair or mismatch repair machinery, it is a natural mutator. This allows it to play a central role in adaptive immunity, whereby it initiates the processes of class switch recombination and somatic hypermutation to help generate a diverse and high-affinity repertoire of immunoglobulin isotypes. More recently, it has been appreciated that methylated cytidine, already known as a key epigenetic mark on DNA controlling gene expression, can also be a target for AID modification. Coupled with repair machinery, this can facilitate the active removal of methylated DNA. This activity can impact the process of cellular reprogramming, including transition of a somatic cell to pluripotency, which requires major reshuffling of epigenetic memory. Thus, seemingly disparate roles for AID in controlling immune diversity and epigenetic memory have a common mechanistic basis. However, the very activity that is so useful for B cell diversity and cellular reprogramming is dangerous for the integrity of the genome. Thus, AID expression and activity is tightly regulated, and deregulation is associated with diseases including cancer. Here, we review the range of AID functions with a focus on its mechanisms of action and regulation. Major questions remain to be answered concerning how and when AID is targeted to specific loci and how this impacts development and disease.

  19. GSK-3: functional insights from cell biology and animal models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oksana eKaidanovich-Beilin

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3 is a widely expressed and highly conserved serine/threonine protein kinase encoded in mammals by two genes that generate two related proteins: GSK-3α and GSK-3β. GSK-3 is active in cells under resting conditions and is primarily regulated through inhibition or diversion of its activity. While GSK-3 is one of the few protein kinases that can be inactivated by phosphorylation, the mechanisms of GSK-3 regulation are more varied and not fully understood. Precise control appears to be achieved by a combination of phosphorylation, localization, and sequestration by a number of GSK-3-binding proteins. GSK-3 lies downstream of several major signaling pathways including the phosphatidylinositol 3’ kinase pathway, the Wnt pathway, Hedgehog signaling and Notch. Specific pools of GSK-3, which differ in intracellular localization, binding partner affinity and relative amount are differentially sensitized to several distinct signaling pathways and these sequestration mechanisms contribute to pathway insulation and signal specificity. Dysregulation of signaling pathways involving GSK-3 is associated with the pathogenesis of numerous neurological and psychiatric disorders and there are data suggesting GSK-3 isoform-selective roles in several of these. Here, we review the current knowledge of GSK-3 regulation and targets and discuss the various animal models that have been employed to dissect the functions of GSK-3 in brain development and function through the use of conventional or conditional knock-out mice as well as transgenic mice. These studies have revealed fundamental roles for these protein kinases in memory, behavior and neuronal fate determination and provide insights into possible therapeutic interventions.

  20. Biological function of activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Ritu; DiMenna, Lauren J; Chaudhuri, Jayanta; Evans, Todd

    2014-01-01

    Activation-induced Cytidine Deaminase (AID) is an essential regulator of B cell diversification, but its full range of action has until recently been an enigma. Based on homology, it was originally proposed to be an RNA-editing enzyme, but so far, no RNA substrates are known. Rather, it functions by deaminating cytidine, and in this manner, coupled with base-excision repair or mismatch repair machinery, it is a natural mutator. This allows it to play a central role in adaptive immunity, whereby it initiates the processes of class switch recombination and somatic hypermutation to help generate a diverse and high-affinity repertoire of immunoglobulin isotypes. More recently, it has been appreciated that methylated cytidine, already known as a key epigenetic mark on DNA controlling gene expression, can also be a target for AID modification. Coupled with repair machinery, this can facilitate the active removal of methylated DNA. This activity can impact the process of cellular reprogramming, including transition of a somatic cell to pluripotency, which requires major reshuffling of epigenetic memory. Thus, seemingly disparate roles for AID in controlling immune diversity and epigenetic memory have a common mechanistic basis. However, the very activity that is so useful for B cell diversity and cellular reprogramming is dangerous for the integrity of the genome. Thus, AID expression and activity is tightly regulated, and deregulation is associated with diseases including cancer. Here, we review the range of AID functions with a focus on its mechanisms of action and regulation. Major questions remain to be answered concerning how and when AID is targeted to specific loci and how this impacts development and disease.

  1. The reflection of life functional entailment and imminence in relational biology

    CERN Document Server

    Louie, A H

    2013-01-01

    A. H. Louie’s The Reflection of Life: Functional Entailment and Imminence in Relational Biology is a continuation of the exploratory journey in relational biology which began with his 2009 monograph More Than Life Itself: A Synthetic Continuation in Relational Biology. The theme of his first book was ‘What is life?’; the theme of this sequel is “How do two life forms interact?” Biology is a subject concerned with organization of relations. Relational biology is the approach that advocates ‘function dictates structure”, rather than ‘structure implies function’. It is mathematics decoded into biological realizations. The book demonstrates some of the powers of the approach of relational biology, and illustrates how pertinent problems in biology can be better addressed this way. In the first volume the theory was developed by using partially ordered sets, lattices, simulations, models, Aristotle’s four causes, graphs, categories, simple and complex systems, anticipatory systems, and metabolis...

  2. Biological catalysis of the hydrological cycle: life's thermodynamic function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Michaelian

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Darwinian theory depicts life as being overwhelmingly consumed by a fight for survival in a hostile environment. However, from a thermodynamic perspective, life is a dynamic out of equilibrium process, stabilizing and coevolving in concert with its abiotic environment. The living component of the biosphere on the surface of the Earth of greatest biomass, the plants and cyanobacteria, are involved in the transpiration of a vast amount of water. Transpiration is part of the global water cycle, and it is this cycle that distinguishes Earth from its apparently life barren neighboring planets, Venus and Mars. The dissipation of sunlight into heat by organic molecules in the biosphere and its coupling to the water cycle (as well as other abiotic processes, is by far the greatest entropy producing process occurring on Earth. Life, from this perspective, can be viewed as performing an important thermodynamic function; acting as a dynamic catalyst by aiding irreversible abiotic process such as the water cycle, hurricanes, and ocean and wind currents to produce entropy. The role of animals in this view is that of unwitting but dedicated servants of the plants and cyanobacteria, helping them to grow and to spread into initially inhospitable areas.

  3. Functionalized diamond nanopowder for phosphopeptides enrichment from complex biological fluids

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hussain, Dilshad [Division of Analytical Chemistry, Institute of Chemical Sciences, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan 60800 (Pakistan); Najam-ul-Haq, Muhammad, E-mail: najamulhaq@bzu.edu.pk [Division of Analytical Chemistry, Institute of Chemical Sciences, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan 60800 (Pakistan); Institute of Analytical Chemistry and Radiochemistry, Leopold-Franzens University, Innrain 80-82, A-6020 Innsbruck (Austria); Jabeen, Fahmida; Ashiq, Muhammad N.; Athar, Muhammad [Division of Analytical Chemistry, Institute of Chemical Sciences, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan 60800 (Pakistan); Rainer, Matthias; Huck, Christian W.; Bonn, Guenther K. [Institute of Analytical Chemistry and Radiochemistry, Leopold-Franzens University, Innrain 80-82, A-6020 Innsbruck (Austria)

    2013-05-02

    Graphical abstract: -- Highlights: •Derivatization of diamond nanopowder as IMAC and RP. •Characterization with SEM, EDX and FT-IR. •Phosphopeptide enrichment from standard as well as real samples. •Desalting and human serum profiling with reproducible results. •MALDI-MS analysis with database identification. -- Abstract: Diamond is known for its high affinity and biocompatibility towards biomolecules and is used exclusively in separation sciences and life science research. In present study, diamond nanopowder is derivatized as Immobilized Metal Ion Affinity Chromatographic (IMAC) material for the phosphopeptides enrichment and as Reversed Phase (C-18) media for the desalting of complex mixtures and human serum profiling through MALDI-TOF-MS. Functionalized diamond nanopowder is characterized by Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) spectroscopy. Diamond-IMAC is applied to the standard protein (β-casein), spiked human serum, egg yolk and non-fat milk for the phosphopeptides enrichment. Results show the selectivity of synthesized IMAC-diamond immobilized with Fe{sup 3+} and La{sup 3+} ions. To comprehend the elaborated use, diamond-IMAC is also applied to the serum samples from gall bladder carcinoma for the potential biomarkers. Database search is carried out by the Mascot program ( (www.matrixscience.com)) for the assignment of phosphorylation sites. Diamond nanopowder is thus a separation media with multifunctional use and can be applied to cancer protein profiling for the diagnosis and biomarker identification.

  4. The biological effect and medical functions of the Infrared Rays

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    PANG Xiao-feng

    2001-01-01

    The quantum vibrational energy-spectra including high excited states of the protein molecules have been calculated by new theory of bio-energy transport along the protein molecules and its dynamic equation, discrete nonlinear Schrodinger equation, appropriate to the protein molecules on the basis of the level of molecular structure. This energy-spectra obtained are basically consistent with the experimental values by infrared absorption and radiated measurement of person's hands and laser-Raman spectrum from metabolically active E. Coli.. From this energy-spectra we know that the infrared lights with (1-3)x1000nm and (5-7)x1000nm wavelength can be absorbed by the protein molecules in the living systems.In accordance with the non-linear theory of the bio-energy transport we know that the energy of the infrared light absorbed by the proteins can result in vibrations of amide-I in amino acids and can facilitate the bio-energy transport along the protein molecular chains from one place to other for the growth of living bodies. This processe is non-thermal. This is just non-thermal effect of the infrared lights. According to the mechanism we explained further the medical functions of the infrared lights absorbed.

  5. Towards understanding the biological function of hopanoids (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doughty, D. M.; Hunter, R.; Summons, R. E.; Newman, D. K.

    2010-12-01

    Rhodopseudomonas palustris TIE-1 expresses bacterial hopanoid lipids that are structurally similar and evolutionarily related to eukaryotic sterols. The genome of R. palustris TIE-1 contains two copies of the hpnN gene (hpnN1 and hpnN2) that are orthologs of genes encoding eukaryotic sterol and lipid transporters. Hopanoid localization to the outer membrane was found to be dependent upon hpnN1. Since the cell cycle of R. palustris TIE-1 is obligately bimodal with each cell division resulting in the generation of one mother and one swarmer cell, evidence was obtained that hopanoids where specifically localized to the outer membrane of mother cells. The sequestration of hopanoids to the mother cells was also disrupted by the deletion of the hpnN1 gene. Mutants lacking the hopanoid transporters were able to grow normally at 30 °C but showed decreased growth at 38 °C. The hopanoid transporter mutant formed cellular filaments when grown at elevated temperature. Because sedimentary steranes and hopanes comprise some of the earliest evidence for the emergence of distinct bacteria and eukaryotic phyla, a better appreciation of the function of hopanoids will improve our ability to interpret the evolution of life on Earth.

  6. Strigolactone biology: genes, functional genomics, epigenetics and applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Makhzoum, Abdullah; Yousefzadi, Morteza; Malik, Sonia; Gantet, Pascal; Tremouillaux-Guiller, Jocelyne

    2017-03-01

    Strigolactones (SLs) represent an important new plant hormone class marked by their multifunctional role in plant and rhizosphere interactions. These compounds stimulate hyphal branching in arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and seed germination of root parasitic plants. In addition, they are involved in the control of plant architecture by inhibiting bud outgrowth as well as many other morphological and developmental processes together with other plant hormones such as auxins and cytokinins. The biosynthetic pathway of SLs that are derived from carotenoids was partially decrypted based on the identification of mutants from a variety of plant species. Only a few SL biosynthetic and regulated genes and related regulatory transcription factors have been identified. However, functional genomics and epigenetic studies started to give first elements on the modality of the regulation of SLs related genes. Since they control plant architecture and plant-rhizosphere interaction, SLs start to be used for agronomical and biotechnological applications. Furthermore, the genes involved in the SL biosynthetic pathway and genes regulated by SL constitute interesting targets for plant breeding. Therefore, it is necessary to decipher and better understand the genetic determinants of their regulation at different levels.

  7. Revealing complex function, process and pathway interactions with high-throughput expression and biological annotation data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Nitesh Kumar; Ernst, Mathias; Liebscher, Volkmar; Fuellen, Georg; Taher, Leila

    2016-10-20

    The biological relationships both between and within the functions, processes and pathways that operate within complex biological systems are only poorly characterized, making the interpretation of large scale gene expression datasets extremely challenging. Here, we present an approach that integrates gene expression and biological annotation data to identify and describe the interactions between biological functions, processes and pathways that govern a phenotype of interest. The product is a global, interconnected network, not of genes but of functions, processes and pathways, that represents the biological relationships within the system. We validated our approach on two high-throughput expression datasets describing organismal and organ development. Our findings are well supported by the available literature, confirming that developmental processes and apoptosis play key roles in cell differentiation. Furthermore, our results suggest that processes related to pluripotency and lineage commitment, which are known to be critical for development, interact mainly indirectly, through genes implicated in more general biological processes. Moreover, we provide evidence that supports the relevance of cell spatial organization in the developing liver for proper liver function. Our strategy can be viewed as an abstraction that is useful to interpret high-throughput data and devise further experiments.

  8. Esthetic-functional recovery of permanent posterior tooth using autogenous biological restoration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A M Botelho

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Occlusal morphology and difficult access for cleaning permanent molars result in the buildup of bacterial plaque and the development of caries. One method known as biological restoration was carried out. This technique known as biological restoration, has as main restorative material a fragment obtained from a duly donated extracted human tooth. This case report describes the restoration of an extensively decayed molar through the bonding of a fragment obtained from a third molar extracted from the patient himself. Biological restoration is a low-cost option that offers satisfactory aesthetic, morphological and functional results.The morphological/functional reestablishment of posterior teeth can be obtained through biological restoration, which allows the recovery of properties inherent to the dental structure, offers satisfactory aesthetic results and low cost.

  9. Bioactive Components and Functional Properties of Biologically Activated Cereal Grains: A Bibliographic Review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Arashdeep; Sharma, Savita

    2015-10-14

    Whole grains provide energy, nutrients, fibres and bioactive compounds that may synergistically contribute to their protective effects. A wide range of these compounds is affected by germination. While some compounds, such as β-glucans are degraded, others, like antioxidants and total phenolics are increased by means of biological activation of grains. The water and oil absorption capacity as well as emulsion and foaming capacity of biologically activated grains are also improved. Application of biological activation of grains is of emerging interest, which may significantly enhance the nutritional, functional and bioactive content of grains, as well as improve palatability of grain foods in a natural way. Therefore, biological activation of cereals can be a way to produce food grains enriched with health promoting compounds and enhanced functional attributes.

  10. Sharing Structure and Function in Biological Design with SBOL 2.0.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roehner, Nicholas; Beal, Jacob; Clancy, Kevin; Bartley, Bryan; Misirli, Goksel; Grünberg, Raik; Oberortner, Ernst; Pocock, Matthew; Bissell, Michael; Madsen, Curtis; Nguyen, Tramy; Zhang, Michael; Zhang, Zhen; Zundel, Zach; Densmore, Douglas; Gennari, John H; Wipat, Anil; Sauro, Herbert M; Myers, Chris J

    2016-06-17

    The Synthetic Biology Open Language (SBOL) is a standard that enables collaborative engineering of biological systems across different institutions and tools. SBOL is developed through careful consideration of recent synthetic biology trends, real use cases, and consensus among leading researchers in the field and members of commercial biotechnology enterprises. We demonstrate and discuss how a set of SBOL-enabled software tools can form an integrated, cross-organizational workflow to recapitulate the design of one of the largest published genetic circuits to date, a 4-input AND sensor. This design encompasses the structural components of the system, such as its DNA, RNA, small molecules, and proteins, as well as the interactions between these components that determine the system's behavior/function. The demonstrated workflow and resulting circuit design illustrate the utility of SBOL 2.0 in automating the exchange of structural and functional specifications for genetic parts, devices, and the biological systems in which they operate.

  11. Biologic

    CERN Document Server

    Kauffman, L H

    2002-01-01

    In this paper we explore the boundary between biology and the study of formal systems (logic). In the end, we arrive at a summary formalism, a chapter in "boundary mathematics" where there are not only containers but also extainers ><, entities open to interaction and distinguishing the space that they are not. The boundary algebra of containers and extainers is to biologic what boolean algebra is to classical logic. We show how this formalism encompasses significant parts of the logic of DNA replication, the Dirac formalism for quantum mechanics, formalisms for protein folding and the basic structure of the Temperley Lieb algebra at the foundations of topological invariants of knots and links.

  12. Diurnal rhythmicity in biological processes involved in bioavailability of functional food factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsurusaki, Takashi; Sakakibara, Hiroyuki; Aoshima, Yoshiki; Yamazaki, Shunsuke; Sakono, Masanobu; Shimoi, Kayoko

    2013-05-01

    In the past few decades, many types of functional factors have been identified in dietary foods; for example, flavonoids are major groups widely distributed in the plant kingdom. However, the absorption rates of the functional food factors are usually low, and many of these are difficult to be absorbed in the intact forms because of metabolization by biological processes during absorption. To gain adequate beneficial effects, it is therefore mandatory to know whether functional food factors are absorbed in sufficient quantity, and then reach target organs while maintaining beneficial effects. These are the reasons why the bioavailability of functional food factors has been well investigated using rodent models. Recently, many of the biological processes have been reported to follow diurnal rhythms recurring every 24 h. Therefore, absorption and metabolism of functional food factors influenced by the biological processes may vary with time of day. Consequently, the evaluation of the bioavailability of functional food factors using rodent models should take into consideration the timing of consumption. In this review, we provide a perspective overview of the diurnal rhythm of biological processes involved in the bioavailability of functional food factors, particularly flavonoids.

  13. N-acylation of phosphatidylethanolamine and its biological functions in mammals

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wellner, Niels; Diep, Thi Ai; Janfelt, Christian;

    2013-01-01

    N-acylphosphatidylethanolamine (NAPE) and N-acylplasmenylethanolamine (pNAPE) are widely found phospholipids, and they are precursors for N-acylethanolamines, a group of compounds that has a variety of biological effects and encompasses the endocannabinoid anandamide. NAPE and pNAPE are synthesiz...... reviews the metabolism, occurrence and assay of NAPE and pNAPE, and discusses the putative biological functions in mammals of these phospholipids. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Phospholipids and Phospholipid Metabolism....

  14. Priority of TCM in Regulating Gene Function as a Whole Through Development of Modern Biology

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Hu zuo-wei; zhou yan-ping; Shen zi-yin

    2004-01-01

    Molecular Biology based on the DNA Double-helix structure has made great progress in 20 century.After Human Genome Project (HGP) completed, Molecular Biology is faced upon more and more challenges, andtake changes from protion concept to integration concept, from linear thinking to complicated thinking. so post-genomics, including functional genomics, proteomics, is gradually established. Among them, System Biology is themost prominent. It is becoming to tend to integration, and infiltrate to each other for the two thinking of genomeand TCM in studying life science, which reflect the inevitablility and importance of integration of TCM and West-ern Medicine. The priority of TCM in treatment as a whole, and regulating functional gene and functional networkmay take greater achievement in post - genomic time.

  15. Electromagnetic fields as structure-function zeitgebers in biological systems: environmental orchestrations of morphogenesis and consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rouleau, Nicolas; Dotta, Blake T

    2014-01-01

    Within a cell system structure dictates function. Any interaction between cells, or a cell and its environment, has the potential to have long term implications on the function of a given cell and emerging cell aggregates. The structure and function of cells are continuously subjected to modification by electrical and chemical stimuli. However, biological systems are also subjected to an ever-present influence: the electromagnetic (EM) environment. Biological systems have the potential to be influenced by subtle energies which are exchanged at atomic and subatomic scales as EM phenomena. These energy exchanges have the potential to manifest at higher orders of discourse and affect the output (behavior) of a biological system. Here we describe theoretical and experimental evidence of EM influence on cells and the integration of whole systems. Even weak interactions between EM energies and biological systems display the potential to affect a developing system. We suggest the growing literature of EM effects on biological systems has significant implications to the cell and its functional aggregates.

  16. BeeSpace Navigator: exploratory analysis of gene function using semantic indexing of biological literature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sen Sarma, Moushumi; Arcoleo, David; Khetani, Radhika S; Chee, Brant; Ling, Xu; He, Xin; Jiang, Jing; Mei, Qiaozhu; Zhai, ChengXiang; Schatz, Bruce

    2011-07-01

    With the rapid decrease in cost of genome sequencing, the classification of gene function is becoming a primary problem. Such classification has been performed by human curators who read biological literature to extract evidence. BeeSpace Navigator is a prototype software for exploratory analysis of gene function using biological literature. The software supports an automatic analogue of the curator process to extract functions, with a simple interface intended for all biologists. Since extraction is done on selected collections that are semantically indexed into conceptual spaces, the curation can be task specific. Biological literature containing references to gene lists from expression experiments can be analyzed to extract concepts that are computational equivalents of a classification such as Gene Ontology, yielding discriminating concepts that differentiate gene mentions from other mentions. The functions of individual genes can be summarized from sentences in biological literature, to produce results resembling a model organism database entry that is automatically computed. Statistical frequency analysis based on literature phrase extraction generates offline semantic indexes to support these gene function services. The website with BeeSpace Navigator is free and open to all; there is no login requirement at www.beespace.illinois.edu for version 4. Materials from the 2010 BeeSpace Software Training Workshop are available at www.beespace.illinois.edu/bstwmaterials.php.

  17. Functional genomics bridges the gap between quantitative genetics and molecular biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lappalainen, Tuuli

    2015-10-01

    Deep characterization of molecular function of genetic variants in the human genome is becoming increasingly important for understanding genetic associations to disease and for learning to read the regulatory code of the genome. In this paper, I discuss how recent advances in both quantitative genetics and molecular biology have contributed to understanding functional effects of genetic variants, lessons learned from eQTL studies, and future challenges in this field.

  18. Integrated omics for the identification of key functionalities in biological wastewater treatment microbial communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Narayanasamy, Shaman; Muller, Emilie E L; Sheik, Abdul R; Wilmes, Paul

    2015-05-01

    Biological wastewater treatment plants harbour diverse and complex microbial communities which prominently serve as models for microbial ecology and mixed culture biotechnological processes. Integrated omic analyses (combined metagenomics, metatranscriptomics, metaproteomics and metabolomics) are currently gaining momentum towards providing enhanced understanding of community structure, function and dynamics in situ as well as offering the potential to discover novel biological functionalities within the framework of Eco-Systems Biology. The integration of information from genome to metabolome allows the establishment of associations between genetic potential and final phenotype, a feature not realizable by only considering single 'omes'. Therefore, in our opinion, integrated omics will become the future standard for large-scale characterization of microbial consortia including those underpinning biological wastewater treatment processes. Systematically obtained time and space-resolved omic datasets will allow deconvolution of structure-function relationships by identifying key members and functions. Such knowledge will form the foundation for discovering novel genes on a much larger scale compared with previous efforts. In general, these insights will allow us to optimize microbial biotechnological processes either through better control of mixed culture processes or by use of more efficient enzymes in bioengineering applications.

  19. Determining the impacts of trawling on benthic function in European waters : a biological traits approach

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bolam, Stefan; Kenny, Andrew; Garcia, Clement;

    on benthic ecosystem functioning over much larger spatial scales than previously undertaken. Biological traits information from 887 stations across European waters (Norwegian, UK, Belgian, Dutch, Danish waters, the Mediterranean and Black Sea) were analysed to: i) quantify the relationships between infaunal...

  20. Functional annotation of the vlinc class of non-coding RNAs using systems biology approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    St Laurent, Georges; Vyatkin, Yuri; Antonets, Denis; Ri, Maxim; Qi, Yao; Saik, Olga; Shtokalo, Dmitry; de Hoon, Michiel J L; Kawaji, Hideya; Itoh, Masayoshi; Lassmann, Timo; Arner, Erik; Forrest, Alistair R R; Nicolas, Estelle; McCaffrey, Timothy A; Carninci, Piero; Hayashizaki, Yoshihide; Wahlestedt, Claes; Kapranov, Philipp

    2016-04-20

    Functionality of the non-coding transcripts encoded by the human genome is the coveted goal of the modern genomics research. While commonly relied on the classical methods of forward genetics, integration of different genomics datasets in a global Systems Biology fashion presents a more productive avenue of achieving this very complex aim. Here we report application of a Systems Biology-based approach to dissect functionality of a newly identified vast class of very long intergenic non-coding (vlinc) RNAs. Using highly quantitative FANTOM5 CAGE dataset, we show that these RNAs could be grouped into 1542 novel human genes based on analysis of insulators that we show here indeed function as genomic barrier elements. We show that vlinc RNAs genes likely function in cisto activate nearby genes. This effect while most pronounced in closely spaced vlinc RNA-gene pairs can be detected over relatively large genomic distances. Furthermore, we identified 101 vlinc RNA genes likely involved in early embryogenesis based on patterns of their expression and regulation. We also found another 109 such genes potentially involved in cellular functions also happening at early stages of development such as proliferation, migration and apoptosis. Overall, we show that Systems Biology-based methods have great promise for functional annotation of non-coding RNAs.

  1. To be well - to function well. Health biology at Copenhagen University

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rosenkilde, Per

    1995-01-01

    Human Fysiologi, Health biology, Public health, Biology Curriculum, University curriculum, Health promotion.......Human Fysiologi, Health biology, Public health, Biology Curriculum, University curriculum, Health promotion....

  2. Functional Genomics Assistant (FUGA: a toolbox for the analysis of complex biological networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ouzounis Christos A

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Cellular constituents such as proteins, DNA, and RNA form a complex web of interactions that regulate biochemical homeostasis and determine the dynamic cellular response to external stimuli. It follows that detailed understanding of these patterns is critical for the assessment of fundamental processes in cell biology and pathology. Representation and analysis of cellular constituents through network principles is a promising and popular analytical avenue towards a deeper understanding of molecular mechanisms in a system-wide context. Findings We present Functional Genomics Assistant (FUGA - an extensible and portable MATLAB toolbox for the inference of biological relationships, graph topology analysis, random network simulation, network clustering, and functional enrichment statistics. In contrast to conventional differential expression analysis of individual genes, FUGA offers a framework for the study of system-wide properties of biological networks and highlights putative molecular targets using concepts of systems biology. Conclusion FUGA offers a simple and customizable framework for network analysis in a variety of systems biology applications. It is freely available for individual or academic use at http://code.google.com/p/fuga.

  3. A biomimetic functionalization approach to integration of carbon nanoutbes into biological systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Xing; Tam, Un Chong; Bertozzi, Carolyn; Zettl, Alex

    2006-03-01

    Due to their remarkable structural, electrical, and mechanical properties, carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have potential applications in biology ranging from imaging and tissue engineering. To realize these applications, however, new strategies for controlling the interaction between CNTs and biological systems such as proteins and cells are required. Here we describe a biomimetic approach to functionalize CNTs and therefore render them biocompatibility in order to facilitate their integration into biological systems. CNTs were coated with synthetic gycopolymers that mimic cell surface mucin gycoproteins. The functionalized CNTs were soluble in water, resisted non-specific protein binding and bound specifically to biomolecules. The coated CNTs could then be integrated onto mammalian cell surface by virtue of glycan-receptor interactions. Furthermore, the functionalized CNTs are non-toxic to cells. This strategy offers new opportunities for development of biosensor to probe biological processes. References: 1. X. Chen, G. S. Lee, A. Zettl, C. R. Bertozzi, Angewandte Chemie-International Edition 43, 6111 (2004). 2. X. Chen, U. C. Tam, J. L. Czlapanski, G. S. Lee, D. Rabuka, A. Zettl, C. R. Bertozzi, submitted.

  4. The functional biology and trophic role of krill (Thysanoessa raschii) in a Greenlandic fjord

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Agersted, Mette Dalgaard; Nielsen, Torkel Gissel; Munk, Peter

    2011-01-01

    Despite being a key zooplankton group, knowledge on krill biology from the Arctic is inadequate. The present study examine the functional biology and evaluate the trophic role of krill in the GodthAyenbsfjord (64 degrees N, 51 degrees W) SW Greenland, through a combination of fieldwork...... ration of 1% body C d(-1). Furthermore, T. raschii was capable of exploiting plankton cells from 5 to 400 mu m, covering several trophic levels of the pelagic food web. The calculated grazing impact by T. raschii on the fjord plankton community was negligible. However, the schooling and migratory...

  5. A biologically inspired psychometric function for accuracy of visual identification as a function of exposure duration

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Petersen, Anders; Andersen, Tobias

    in modelling human performance in whole and partial report tasks in which multiple simultaneously presented letters are to be reported (Shibuya & Bundesen, 1988). Therefore, we investigated visual letter identification as a function of exposure duration. On each trial, a single randomly chosen letter (A......The psychometric function of letter identification is typically described as a function of stimulus intensity. However, the effect of stimulus exposure duration on letter identification remains poorly described. This is surprising because the effect of exposure duration has played a central role......-Z) was presented at the centre of the screen. Exposure duration was varied from 5 to 210 milliseconds. The letter was followed by a pattern mask. Three subjects each completed 54,080 trials in a 26-Alternative Forced Choice procedure. We compared the exponential, the gamma and the Weibull psychometric functions...

  6. Closure, function, emergence, semiosis, and life: the same idea? Reflections on the concrete and the abstract in theoretical biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emmeche, C

    2000-01-01

    In this note epistemological problems in general theories about living systems are considered; in particular, the question of hidden connections between different areas of experience, such as folk biology and scientific biology, and hidden connections between central concepts of theoretical biology, such as function, semiosis, closure, and life.

  7. The bottom-up approach to defining life : deciphering the functional organization of biological cells via multi-objective representation of biological complexity from molecules to cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sathish ePeriyasamy

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available In silico representation of cellular systems needs to represent the adaptive dynamics of biological cells, recognizing a cell’s multi-objective topology formed by spatially and temporally cohesive intracellular structures. The design of these models needs to address the hierarchical and concurrent nature of cellular functions and incorporate the ability to self-organise in response to transitions between healthy and pathological phases, and adapt accordingly. The functions of biological systems are constantly evolving, due to the ever changing demands of their environment. Biological systems meet these demands by pursuing objectives, aided by their constituents, giving rise to biological functions. A biological cell is organised into an objective/task hierarchy. These objective hierarchy corresponds to the nested nature of temporally cohesive structures and representing them will facilitate in studying pleiotropy and polygeny by modeling causalities propagating across multiple interconnected intracellular processes. Although biological adaptations occur in physiological, developmental and reproductive timescales, the paper is focused on adaptations that occur within physiological timescales, where the biomolecular activities contributing to functional organisation, play a key role in cellular physiology. The paper proposes a multi-scale and multi-objective modelling approach from the bottom-up by representing temporally cohesive structures for multi-tasking of intracellular processes. Further the paper characterises the properties and constraints that are consequential to the organisational and adaptive dynamics in biological cells.

  8. Colorimetric detection of biological hydrogen sulfide using fluorosurfactant functionalized gold nanorods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xuan; Zhou, Wenjuan; Yuan, Zhiqin; Lu, Chao

    2015-11-07

    As a well-known environmental pollutant but also an important gaseous transmitter, the specific detection of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is significant in biological systems. In this study, fluorosurfactant functionalized gold nanorods (FSN-AuNRs) have been proposed to act as selective colorimetric nanoprobes for H2S. With the combination of strong gold-S interactions and small FSN bilayer interstices, FSN-AuNRs demonstrate favorable selectivity and sensitivity toward H2S over other anions and small biological molecules. The practical application of the present method in biological H2S detection was validated with human and mouse serum samples. Moreover, the proposed nanoprobe can also be used for evaluating the activity of H2S synthetase.

  9. The Widespread Prevalence and Functional Significance of Silk-Like Structural Proteins in Metazoan Biological Materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDougall, Carmel; Woodcroft, Ben J.

    2016-01-01

    In nature, numerous mechanisms have evolved by which organisms fabricate biological structures with an impressive array of physical characteristics. Some examples of metazoan biological materials include the highly elastic byssal threads by which bivalves attach themselves to rocks, biomineralized structures that form the skeletons of various animals, and spider silks that are renowned for their exceptional strength and elasticity. The remarkable properties of silks, which are perhaps the best studied biological materials, are the result of the highly repetitive, modular, and biased amino acid composition of the proteins that compose them. Interestingly, similar levels of modularity/repetitiveness and similar bias in amino acid compositions have been reported in proteins that are components of structural materials in other organisms, however the exact nature and extent of this similarity, and its functional and evolutionary relevance, is unknown. Here, we investigate this similarity and use sequence features common to silks and other known structural proteins to develop a bioinformatics-based method to identify similar proteins from large-scale transcriptome and whole-genome datasets. We show that a large number of proteins identified using this method have roles in biological material formation throughout the animal kingdom. Despite the similarity in sequence characteristics, most of the silk-like structural proteins (SLSPs) identified in this study appear to have evolved independently and are restricted to a particular animal lineage. Although the exact function of many of these SLSPs is unknown, the apparent independent evolution of proteins with similar sequence characteristics in divergent lineages suggests that these features are important for the assembly of biological materials. The identification of these characteristics enable the generation of testable hypotheses regarding the mechanisms by which these proteins assemble and direct the construction of

  10. The Widespread Prevalence and Functional Significance of Silk-Like Structural Proteins in Metazoan Biological Materials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDougall, Carmel; Woodcroft, Ben J; Degnan, Bernard M

    2016-01-01

    In nature, numerous mechanisms have evolved by which organisms fabricate biological structures with an impressive array of physical characteristics. Some examples of metazoan biological materials include the highly elastic byssal threads by which bivalves attach themselves to rocks, biomineralized structures that form the skeletons of various animals, and spider silks that are renowned for their exceptional strength and elasticity. The remarkable properties of silks, which are perhaps the best studied biological materials, are the result of the highly repetitive, modular, and biased amino acid composition of the proteins that compose them. Interestingly, similar levels of modularity/repetitiveness and similar bias in amino acid compositions have been reported in proteins that are components of structural materials in other organisms, however the exact nature and extent of this similarity, and its functional and evolutionary relevance, is unknown. Here, we investigate this similarity and use sequence features common to silks and other known structural proteins to develop a bioinformatics-based method to identify similar proteins from large-scale transcriptome and whole-genome datasets. We show that a large number of proteins identified using this method have roles in biological material formation throughout the animal kingdom. Despite the similarity in sequence characteristics, most of the silk-like structural proteins (SLSPs) identified in this study appear to have evolved independently and are restricted to a particular animal lineage. Although the exact function of many of these SLSPs is unknown, the apparent independent evolution of proteins with similar sequence characteristics in divergent lineages suggests that these features are important for the assembly of biological materials. The identification of these characteristics enable the generation of testable hypotheses regarding the mechanisms by which these proteins assemble and direct the construction of

  11. The Widespread Prevalence and Functional Significance of Silk-Like Structural Proteins in Metazoan Biological Materials.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carmel McDougall

    Full Text Available In nature, numerous mechanisms have evolved by which organisms fabricate biological structures with an impressive array of physical characteristics. Some examples of metazoan biological materials include the highly elastic byssal threads by which bivalves attach themselves to rocks, biomineralized structures that form the skeletons of various animals, and spider silks that are renowned for their exceptional strength and elasticity. The remarkable properties of silks, which are perhaps the best studied biological materials, are the result of the highly repetitive, modular, and biased amino acid composition of the proteins that compose them. Interestingly, similar levels of modularity/repetitiveness and similar bias in amino acid compositions have been reported in proteins that are components of structural materials in other organisms, however the exact nature and extent of this similarity, and its functional and evolutionary relevance, is unknown. Here, we investigate this similarity and use sequence features common to silks and other known structural proteins to develop a bioinformatics-based method to identify similar proteins from large-scale transcriptome and whole-genome datasets. We show that a large number of proteins identified using this method have roles in biological material formation throughout the animal kingdom. Despite the similarity in sequence characteristics, most of the silk-like structural proteins (SLSPs identified in this study appear to have evolved independently and are restricted to a particular animal lineage. Although the exact function of many of these SLSPs is unknown, the apparent independent evolution of proteins with similar sequence characteristics in divergent lineages suggests that these features are important for the assembly of biological materials. The identification of these characteristics enable the generation of testable hypotheses regarding the mechanisms by which these proteins assemble and direct the

  12. Functionalized nanoporous silica for the removal of heavy metals from biological systems: adsorption and application.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yantasee, Wassana; Rutledge, Ryan D; Chouyyok, Wilaiwan; Sukwarotwat, Vichaya; Orr, Galya; Warner, Cynthia L; Warner, Marvin G; Fryxell, Glen E; Wiacek, Robert J; Timchalk, Charles; Addleman, R Shane

    2010-10-01

    Surface-functionalized nanoporous silica, often referred to as self-assembled monolayers on mesoporous supports (SAMMS), has previously demonstrated the ability to serve as very effective heavy metal sorbents in a range of aquatic and environmental systems, suggesting that they may be advantageously utilized for biomedical applications such as chelation therapy. Herein we evaluate surface chemistries for heavy metal capture from biological fluids, various facets of the materials' biocompatibility, and the suitability of these materials as potential therapeutics. Of the materials tested, thiol-functionalized SAMMS proved most capable of removing selected heavy metals from biological solutions (i.e., blood, urine, etc.) Consequentially, thiol-functionalized SAMMS was further analyzed to assess the material's performance under a number of different biologically relevant conditions (i.e., variable pH and ionic strength) to gauge any potentially negative effects resulting from interaction with the sorbent, such as cellular toxicity or the removal of essential minerals. Additionally, cellular uptake studies demonstrated no cell membrane permeation by the silica-based materials generally highlighting their ability to remain cellularly inert and thus nontoxic. The results show that organic ligand functionalized nanoporous silica could be a valuable material for a range of detoxification therapies and potentially other biomedical applications.

  13. Fundamental and functional aspects of mesoscopic architectures with examples in physics, cell biology, and chemistry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalay, Ziya

    2011-08-01

    How small can a macroscopic object be made without losing its intended function? Obviously, the smallest possible size is determined by the size of an atom, but it is not so obvious how many atoms are required to assemble an object so small, and yet that performs the same function as its macroscopic counterpart. In this review, we are concerned with objects of intermediate nature, lying between the microscopic and the macroscopic world. In physics and chemistry literature, this regime in-between is often called mesoscopic, and is known to bear interesting and counterintuitive features. After a brief introduction to the concept of mesoscopic systems from the perspective of physics, we discuss the functional aspects of mesoscopic architectures in cell biology, and supramolecular chemistry through many examples from the literature. We argue that the biochemistry of the cell is largely regulated by mesoscopic functional architectures; however, the significance of mesoscopic phenomena seems to be quite underappreciated in biological sciences. With this motivation, one of our main purposes here is to emphasize the critical role that mesoscopic structures play in cell biology and biochemistry.

  14. High performance hybrid functional Petri net simulations of biological pathway models on CUDA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chalkidis, Georgios; Nagasaki, Masao; Miyano, Satoru

    2011-01-01

    Hybrid functional Petri nets are a wide-spread tool for representing and simulating biological models. Due to their potential of providing virtual drug testing environments, biological simulations have a growing impact on pharmaceutical research. Continuous research advancements in biology and medicine lead to exponentially increasing simulation times, thus raising the demand for performance accelerations by efficient and inexpensive parallel computation solutions. Recent developments in the field of general-purpose computation on graphics processing units (GPGPU) enabled the scientific community to port a variety of compute intensive algorithms onto the graphics processing unit (GPU). This work presents the first scheme for mapping biological hybrid functional Petri net models, which can handle both discrete and continuous entities, onto compute unified device architecture (CUDA) enabled GPUs. GPU accelerated simulations are observed to run up to 18 times faster than sequential implementations. Simulating the cell boundary formation by Delta-Notch signaling on a CUDA enabled GPU results in a speedup of approximately 7x for a model containing 1,600 cells.

  15. Form and function: Perspectives on structural biology and resources for the future

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vaughan, D. (ed.)

    1990-12-01

    The purpose of this study is largely to explore and expand on the thesis that biological structures and their functions are suited to. Form indeed follows function and if we are to understand the workings of a living system, with all that such an understanding promises, we must first seek to describe the structure of its parts. Descriptions of a few achievements of structural biology lay the groundwork, but the substance of this booklet is a discussion of important questions yet unanswered and opportunities just beyond our grasp. The concluding pages then outline a course of action in which the Department of Energy would exercise its responsibility to develop the major resources needed to extend our reach and to answer some of those unanswered questions. 22 figs.

  16. Mediating objects: scientific and public functions of models in nineteenth-century biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ludwig, David

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this article is to examine the scientific and public functions of two- and three-dimensional models in the context of three episodes from nineteenth-century biology. I argue that these models incorporate both data and theory by presenting theoretical assumptions in the light of concrete data or organizing data through theoretical assumptions. Despite their diverse roles in scientific practice, they all can be characterized as mediators between data and theory. Furthermore, I argue that these different mediating functions often reflect their different audiences that included specialized scientists, students, and the general public. In this sense, models in nineteenth-century biology can be understood as mediators between theory, data, and their diverse audiences.

  17. A bottom-up characterization of transfer functions for synthetic biology designs: lessons from enzymology

    OpenAIRE

    Carbonell-Ballestero, M.; Duran-Nebreda, S.; Montanez, R.; Sole, R.; Macia, J.; Rodriguez-Caso, C.

    2014-01-01

    Within the field of synthetic biology, a rational design of genetic parts should include a causal understanding of their input-output responses-the so-called transfer function-and how to tune them. However, a commonly adopted strategy is to fit data to Hill-shaped curves without considering the underlying molecular mechanisms. Here we provide a novel mathematical formalization that allows prediction of the global behavior of a synthetic device by considering the actual information from the in...

  18. New insights in the biology of BDNF synthesis and release: implications in CNS function

    OpenAIRE

    Greenberg, Michael E.; Xu, Baoji; Lu, Bai; Hempstead, Barbara L.

    2009-01-01

    BDNF has pleiotrophic effects on neuronal development and synaptic plasticity that underlie circuit formation and cognitive function. Recent breakthroughs reveal that neuronal activity regulates BDNF cell biology, including Bdnf transcription, dendritic targeting and trafficking of BDNF mRNA and protein, and secretion and extracellular conversion of proBDNF to mature BDNF. Defects in these mechanisms contribute differentially to cognitive dysfunction and anxiety–like behaviors. Here we review...

  19. Nanoelectromechanics of Inorganic and Biological Systems: From Structural Imaging to Local Functionalities

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rodriguez, Brian [University College, Dublin; Kalinin, Sergei V [ORNL; Jesse, Stephen [ORNL; Thompson, G. L. [Clemson University; Vertegel, Alexey [ORNL; Hohlbauch, Sophia [Asylum Research, Santa Barbara, CA; Proksch, Roger [Asylum Research, Santa Barbara, CA

    2008-01-01

    Coupling between electrical and mechanical phenomena is extremely common in inorganic materials, and nearly ubiquitous in biological systems, underpinning phenomena and devices ranging from SONAR to cardiac activity and hearing. This paper briefly summarizes the Scanning Probe Microscopy (SPM) approach, referred to as Piezoresponse Force Microscopy (PFM), for probing electromechanical coupling on the nanometer scales, and delineates some existing and emerging applications to probe local structure and functionality in inorganic ferroelectrics, calcified and connective tissues, and complex biosystems based on electromechanical detection.

  20. Validation of Procedures for Monitoring Crewmember Immune Function - Short Duration Biological Investigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sams, Clarence; Crucian, Brian; Stowe, Raymond; Pierson, Duane; Mehta, Satish; Morukov, Boris; Uchakin, Peter; Nehlsen-Cannarella, Sandra

    2008-01-01

    Validation of Procedures for Monitoring Crew Member Immune Function - Short Duration Biological Investigation (Integrated Immune-SDBI) will assess the clinical risks resulting from the adverse effects of space flight on the human immune system and will validate a flightcompatible immune monitoring strategy. Immune system changes will be monitored by collecting and analyzing blood, urine and saliva samples from crewmembers before, during and after space flight.

  1. Functionalized Nanoporous Silica for Removal of Heavy Metals from Biological Systems; Adsorption and Application

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yantasee, Wassana; Rutledge, Ryan D.; Chouyyok, Wilaiwan; Sukwarotwat, Vichaya; Orr, Galya; Warner, Cynthia L.; Warner, Marvin G.; Fryxell, Glen E.; Wiacek, Robert J.; Timchalk, Charles; Addleman, Raymond S.

    2010-10-01

    Functionalized nanoporous silica, often referred to as self-assembled monolayers on mesoporous supports (SAMMS) have previously demonstrated the ability to serve as very effective heavy metal sorbents in a range of aquatic and environmental systems suggesting they may be advantageously utilized for biomedical applications such as chelation therapy. Herein we evaluate surface chemistries for heavy metal capture from biological fluids, various facets of the materials biocompatibility and the suitability of these materials as potential therapeutics. Of the materials tested, thiol-functionalized SAMMS proved most capable of removing selected heavy metals from biological solutions (i.e. blood, urine, etc.) As a result, thiol SAMMS was further analyzed to assess the material’s performance under a number of different biologically relevant conditions (i.e. variable pH and ionic strength) as well to gauge any potentially negative cellular effects resulting from interaction with the sorbent, such as cellular toxicity or possible chelation of essential minerals. Additionally, cellular uptake studies demonstrated no cell membrane permeation by the silica-based materials generally highlighting their ability to remain cellularly inert and thus non-toxic. As a result, it has been determined that organic ligand-functionalized nanoporous silica materials could be a valuable material for detoxification therapeutics and potentially other biomedical applications as needed.

  2. Biological roles and functional mechanisms of arenavirus Z protein in viral replication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jialong; Danzy, Shamika; Kumar, Naveen; Ly, Hinh; Liang, Yuying

    2012-09-01

    Arenaviruses can cause severe hemorrhagic fever diseases in humans, with limited prophylactic or therapeutic measures. A small RING-domain viral protein Z has been shown to mediate the formation of virus-like particles and to inhibit viral RNA synthesis, although its biological roles in an infectious viral life cycle have not been directly addressed. By taking advantage of the available reverse genetics system for a model arenavirus, Pichinde virus (PICV), we provide the direct evidence for the essential biological roles of the Z protein's conserved residues, including the G2 myristylation site, the conserved C and H residues of RING domain, and the poorly characterized C-terminal L79 and P80 residues. Dicodon substitutions within the late (L) domain (PSAPPYEP) of the PICV Z protein, although producing viable mutant viruses, have significantly reduced virus growth, a finding suggestive of an important role for the intact L domain in viral replication. Further structure-function analyses of both PICV and Lassa fever virus Z proteins suggest that arenavirus Z proteins have similar molecular mechanisms in mediating their multiple functions, with some interesting variations, such as the role of the G2 residue in blocking viral RNA synthesis. In summary, our studies have characterized the biological roles of the Z protein in an infectious arenavirus system and have shed important light on the distinct functions of its domains in virus budding and viral RNA regulation, the knowledge of which may lead to the development of novel antiviral drugs.

  3. Emerging Molecular and Biological Functions of MBD2, a Reader of DNA Methylation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kathleen H Wood

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available DNA methylation is an epigenetic mark that is essential for many biological processes and is linked to diseases such as cancer. Methylation is usually associated with transcriptional silencing, but new research has challenged this model. Both transcriptional activation and repression have recently been found to be associated with DNA methylation in a context-specific manner. How DNA methylation patterns are interpreted into different functional output remains poorly understood. One mechanism involves the protein ‘readers’ of methylation, which includes the methyl-CpG binding domain (MBD family of proteins. This review examines the molecular and biological functions of MBD2, which binds to CpG methylation and is an integral part of the nucleosome remodeling and histone deacetylation (NuRD complex. MBD2 has been linked to immune system function and tumorigenesis, yet little is known about its functions in vivo. Recent studies have found the MBD2 protein is ubiquitously expressed, with relatively high levels in the lung, liver and colon. Mbd2 null mice surprisingly show relatively mild phenotypes compared to mice with loss of function of other MBD proteins. This evidence has previously been interpreted as functional redundancy between the MBD proteins. Here we examine and contextualize research that suggests MBD2 has unique properties and functions among the MBD proteins. These functions translate to recently described roles in the development and differentiation of multiple cell lineages, including pluripotent stem cells and various cell types of the immune system, as well as in tumorigenesis. We also consider possible models for the dynamic interactions between MBD2 and NuRD in different tissues in vivo. The functions of MBD2 may have direct therapeutic implications for several areas of human disease, including autoimmune conditions and cancer, in addition to providing insights into the actions of NuRD and chromatin regulation.

  4. Effective dielectric properties of biological cells: generalization of the spectral density function approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goncharenko, Anatoliy V; Chang, Yia-Chung

    2009-07-23

    We suggest an extension of the spectral density function approach to describe the complex dielectric response of suspensions of arbitrarily shaped particles having a thin shell, in particular, biological cells. The approach is shown to give analytical results in some simple but practically important cases. In the general case, for the 3-phase systems it reduces to determination of the spectral density function for the suspension of a certain kind. Prospects and limitations of the approach, as well as practical examples, are also considered.

  5. Functionalization and microfluidic integration of silicon nanowire biologically gated field effect transistors

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pfreundt, Andrea

    with nanowire sensors functionalized using different modification schemes. To facilitate functionalization and measurement and as a first step towards integration into a point-of-care device, several microfluidic tools were developed for sample delivery to the sensor surface and as a modular platform......This thesis deals with the development of a novel biosensor for the detection of biomolecules based on a silicon nanowire biologically gated field-effect transistor and its integration into a point-of-care device. The sensor and electrical on-chip integration was developed in a different project...

  6. The Swine Plasma Metabolome Chronicles "Many Days" Biological Timing and Functions Linked to Growth.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Timothy G Bromage

    Full Text Available The paradigm of chronobiology is based almost wholly upon the daily biological clock, or circadian rhythm, which has been the focus of intense molecular, cellular, pharmacological, and behavioral, research. However, the circadian rhythm does not explain biological timings related to fundamental aspects of life history such as rates of tissue/organ/body size development and control of the timing of life stages such as gestation length, age at maturity, and lifespan. This suggests that another biological timing mechanism is at work. Here we focus on a "many days" (multidien chronobiological period first observed as enigmatic recurring growth lines in developing mammalian tooth enamel that is strongly associate with all adult tissue, organ, and body masses as well as life history attributes such as gestation length, age at maturity, weaning, and lifespan, particularly among the well studied primates. Yet, knowledge of the biological factors regulating the patterning of mammalian life, such as the development of body size and life history structure, does not exist. To identify underlying molecular mechanisms we performed metabolome and genome analyses from blood plasma in domestic pigs. We show that blood plasma metabolites and small non-coding RNA (sncRNA drawn from 33 domestic pigs over a two-week period strongly oscillate on a 5-day multidien rhythm, as does the pig enamel rhythm. Metabolomics and genomics pathway analyses actually reveal two 5-day rhythms, one related to growth in which biological functions include cell proliferation, apoptosis, and transcription regulation/protein synthesis, and another 5-day rhythm related to degradative pathways that follows three days later. Our results provide experimental confirmation of a 5-day multidien rhythm in the domestic pig linking the periodic growth of enamel with oscillations of the metabolome and genome. This association reveals a new class of chronobiological rhythm and a snapshot of the

  7. The Swine Plasma Metabolome Chronicles "Many Days" Biological Timing and Functions Linked to Growth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bromage, Timothy G; Idaghdour, Youssef; Lacruz, Rodrigo S; Crenshaw, Thomas D; Ovsiy, Olexandra; Rotter, Björn; Hoffmeier, Klaus; Schrenk, Friedemann

    2016-01-01

    The paradigm of chronobiology is based almost wholly upon the daily biological clock, or circadian rhythm, which has been the focus of intense molecular, cellular, pharmacological, and behavioral, research. However, the circadian rhythm does not explain biological timings related to fundamental aspects of life history such as rates of tissue/organ/body size development and control of the timing of life stages such as gestation length, age at maturity, and lifespan. This suggests that another biological timing mechanism is at work. Here we focus on a "many days" (multidien) chronobiological period first observed as enigmatic recurring growth lines in developing mammalian tooth enamel that is strongly associate with all adult tissue, organ, and body masses as well as life history attributes such as gestation length, age at maturity, weaning, and lifespan, particularly among the well studied primates. Yet, knowledge of the biological factors regulating the patterning of mammalian life, such as the development of body size and life history structure, does not exist. To identify underlying molecular mechanisms we performed metabolome and genome analyses from blood plasma in domestic pigs. We show that blood plasma metabolites and small non-coding RNA (sncRNA) drawn from 33 domestic pigs over a two-week period strongly oscillate on a 5-day multidien rhythm, as does the pig enamel rhythm. Metabolomics and genomics pathway analyses actually reveal two 5-day rhythms, one related to growth in which biological functions include cell proliferation, apoptosis, and transcription regulation/protein synthesis, and another 5-day rhythm related to degradative pathways that follows three days later. Our results provide experimental confirmation of a 5-day multidien rhythm in the domestic pig linking the periodic growth of enamel with oscillations of the metabolome and genome. This association reveals a new class of chronobiological rhythm and a snapshot of the biological bases that

  8. The Swine Plasma Metabolome Chronicles "Many Days" Biological Timing and Functions Linked to Growth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bromage, Timothy G.; Idaghdour, Youssef; Lacruz, Rodrigo S.; Crenshaw, Thomas D.; Ovsiy, Olexandra; Rotter, Björn; Hoffmeier, Klaus; Schrenk, Friedemann

    2016-01-01

    The paradigm of chronobiology is based almost wholly upon the daily biological clock, or circadian rhythm, which has been the focus of intense molecular, cellular, pharmacological, and behavioral, research. However, the circadian rhythm does not explain biological timings related to fundamental aspects of life history such as rates of tissue/organ/body size development and control of the timing of life stages such as gestation length, age at maturity, and lifespan. This suggests that another biological timing mechanism is at work. Here we focus on a "many days" (multidien) chronobiological period first observed as enigmatic recurring growth lines in developing mammalian tooth enamel that is strongly associate with all adult tissue, organ, and body masses as well as life history attributes such as gestation length, age at maturity, weaning, and lifespan, particularly among the well studied primates. Yet, knowledge of the biological factors regulating the patterning of mammalian life, such as the development of body size and life history structure, does not exist. To identify underlying molecular mechanisms we performed metabolome and genome analyses from blood plasma in domestic pigs. We show that blood plasma metabolites and small non-coding RNA (sncRNA) drawn from 33 domestic pigs over a two-week period strongly oscillate on a 5-day multidien rhythm, as does the pig enamel rhythm. Metabolomics and genomics pathway analyses actually reveal two 5-day rhythms, one related to growth in which biological functions include cell proliferation, apoptosis, and transcription regulation/protein synthesis, and another 5-day rhythm related to degradative pathways that follows three days later. Our results provide experimental confirmation of a 5-day multidien rhythm in the domestic pig linking the periodic growth of enamel with oscillations of the metabolome and genome. This association reveals a new class of chronobiological rhythm and a snapshot of the biological bases that

  9. Toward total synthesis of cell function: Reconstituting cell dynamics with synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Allen K; DeRose, Robert; Ueno, Tasuku; Lin, Benjamin; Komatsu, Toru; Nakamura, Hideki; Inoue, Takanari

    2016-02-09

    Biological phenomena, such as cellular differentiation and phagocytosis, are fundamental processes that enable cells to fulfill important physiological roles in multicellular organisms. In the field of synthetic biology, the study of these behaviors relies on the use of a broad range of molecular tools that enable the real-time manipulation and measurement of key components in the underlying signaling pathways. This Review will focus on a subset of synthetic biology tools known as bottom-up techniques, which use technologies such as optogenetics and chemically induced dimerization to reconstitute cellular behavior in cells. These techniques have been crucial not only in revealing causal relationships within signaling networks but also in identifying the minimal signaling components that are necessary for a given cellular function. We discuss studies that used these systems in a broad range of cellular and molecular phenomena, including the time-dependent modulation of protein activity in cellular proliferation and differentiation, the reconstitution of phagocytosis, the reconstitution of chemotaxis, and the regulation of actin reorganization. Finally, we discuss the potential contribution of synthetic biology to medicine.

  10. Applications of post-translational modifications of FoxO family proteins in biological functions

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Ying Zhao; Yachen Wang; Wei-Guo Zhu

    2011-01-01

    The functions of the FoxO family proteins, in particular their transcriptional activities, are modulated by post-translational modifications (PTMs), including phosphorylation, acetylation, ubiquitination, methylation and glycosylation. These PTMs occur in response to different cellular stresses, which in turn regulate the subcellular localization of FoxO family proteins, as well as their half-life, DNA binding, transcriptional activity and ability to interact with other cellular proteins. In this review, we summarize the role of PTMs of FoxO family proteins in linking their biological and functional relevance with various diseases.%The functions of the FoxO family proteins,in particular their transcriptional activities,are modulated by post-translational modifications (PTMs),including phosphorylation,acetylation,ubiquitination,methylation and glycosylation.These PTMs occur in response to different cellular stresses,which in turn regulate the subceilular localization of FoxO family proteins,as well as their half-life,DNA binding,transcriptional activity and ability to interact with other cellular proteins.In this review,we summarize the role of PTMs of FoxO family proteins in linking their biological and functional relevance with various diseases.

  11. Functional results after repair of large hiatal hernia by use of a biologic mesh

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Filimon eAntonakis

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Background: The aim of this observational study is to analyze the results of patients with large hiatal hernia and upside-down stomach after surgical closure with a biologic mesh (Permacol®, Covidien, Neustadt an der Donau, Germany. Biologic mesh is used to prevent long-term detrimental effects of artificial meshes and to reduce recurrence rates. Methods: A total of 13 patients with a large hiatal hernia and endothoracic stomach, who underwent surgery between 2010 and 2014, were included. Interviews and upper endoscopy were conducted to determine recurrence, lifestyle restrictions and current complaints. Results: After a mean follow-up of 26+18 months (range 3-58 months 10 patients (three men, mean age 73+13, range 26-81 years were evaluated. A small recurrent axial hernia was found in one patient postoperatively. Dysphagia was the most common complaint (four cases, while in one case the problem was solved after endoscopic dilatation. In three cases bloat and postprandial pain were documented. In one case explantation of the mesh was necessary due to mesh migration and painful adhesions. In one further case with gastroparesis pyloroplasty was performed without success.Conclusion: Recurrence was rare after hernia repair with the biologic mesh Permacol®. Dysphagia, gas bloat and intraabdominal pain were frequent complaints. Despite the small number of patients it can be concluded that a biologic mesh may be an alternative to synthetic meshes to reduce recurrences. Long-term results should be studied in the future in order to assess the potential of biologic meshes to preserve esophageal function as well. This is important since artificial meshes are known to erode the esophagus after 5–10 years.

  12. A Critical Role for Cysteine 57 in the Biological Functions of Selenium Binding Protein-1

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    Qi Ying

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available The concentration of selenium-binding protein1 (SBP1 is often lower in tumors than in the corresponding tissue and lower levels have been associated with poor clinical outcomes. SBP1 binds tightly selenium although what role selenium plays in its biological functions remains unknown. Previous studies indicated that cysteine 57 is the most likely candidate amino acid for selenium binding. In order to investigate the role of cysteine 57 in SBP1, this amino acid was altered to a glycine and the mutated protein was expressed in human cancer cells. The SBP1 half-life, as well as the cellular response to selenite cytotoxicity, was altered by this change. The ectopic expression of SBP1GLY also caused mitochondrial damage in HCT116 cells. Taken together, these results indicated that cysteine 57 is a critical determinant of SBP1 function and may play a significant role in mitochondrial function.

  13. Functional profiles reveal unique ecological roles of various biological soil crust organisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowker, M.A.; Mau, R.L.; Maestre, F.T.; Escolar, C.; Castillo-Monroy, A. P.

    2011-01-01

    1. At the heart of the body of research on biodiversity effects on ecosystem function is the debate over whether different species tend to be functionally singular or redundant. When we consider ecosystem multi-function, the provision of multiple ecosystem functions simultaneously, we may find that seemingly redundant species may in fact play unique roles in ecosystems. 2. Over the last few decades, the significance of biological soil crusts (BSCs) as ecological boundaries and ecosystem engineers, and their multi-functional nature, has become increasingly well documented. We compiled 'functional profiles' of the organisms in this understudied community, to determine whether functional singularity emerges when multiple ecosystem functions are considered. 3. In two data sets, one representing multiple sites around the semi-arid regions of Spain (regional scale), and another from a single site in central Spain (local scale), we examined correlations between the abundance or frequency of BSC species in a community, and multiple surrogates of ecosystem functioning. There was a wide array of apparent effects of species on specific functions. 4. Notably, in gypsiferous soils and at regional scale, we found that indicators of carbon (C) and phosphorus cycling were apparently suppressed and promoted by the lichens Diploschistes diacapsis and Squamarina lentigera, respectively. The moss Pleurochaete squarrosa appears to promote C cycling in calcareous soils at this spatial scale. At the local scale in gypsiferous soils, D. diacapsis positively correlated with carbon cycling, but negatively with nitrogen cycling, whereas numerous lichens exhibited the opposite profile. 5. We found a high degree of functional singularity, i.e. that species were highly individualistic in their effects on multiple functions. Many functional attributes were not easily predictable from existing functional grouping systems based primarily on morphology. 6. Our results suggest that maintaining

  14. A primer on molecular biology for imagers: III. Proteins: structure and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pandit, Sunil D; Li, King C P

    2004-04-01

    This article along with the first 2 in this series (4,12) completes the discussion on the key molecules and process inside the cell namely, DNA, RNA, and proteins. These 3 articles provide a very basic foundation for understanding molecular biology concepts and summarize some of the work of numerous scientists over the past century. We understand these processes far better now than we did in the past, but clearly this knowledge is by no means complete and a number of basic scientists are working hard to elucidate and understand the fundamental mechanisms that operate within a cell. Genes and gene products work with each other in complex, interconnected pathways, and in perfect harmony to make a functional cell, tissue, and an organism as a whole. There is a lot of cross-talk that happens between different proteins that interact with various other proteins, DNA, and RNA to establish pathways, networks, and molecular systems as a team working to perfection. The past 15 years have seen the rapid development of systems biology approaches. We live in an era that emphasizes multi-disciplinary, cross-functional teams to perform science rather than individual researchers working on the bench on a very specific problem. Global approaches have become more common and the amount of data generated must be managed by trained bioinformatics personnel and large computers. In our subsequent articles, we will discuss these global approaches and the areas of genomics, functional genomics, and proteomics that have revolutionized the way we perform science.

  15. Engineering multiple biological functional motifs into a blank collagen-like protein template from Streptococcus pyogenes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, Yong Y; Stoichevska, Violet; Schacht, Kristin; Werkmeister, Jerome A; Ramshaw, John A M

    2014-07-01

    Bacterially derived triple-helical, collagen-like proteins are attractive as potential biomedical materials. The collagen-like domain of the Scl2 protein from S. pyogenes lacks any specific binding sites for mammalian cells yet possesses the inherent structural integrity of the collagen triple-helix of animal collagens. It can, therefore, be considered as a structurally-stable "blank slate" into which various defined, biological sequences, derived from animal collagens, can be added by substitutions or insertions, to enable production of novel designed materials to fit specific functional requirements. In the present study, we have used site directed mutagenesis to substitute two functional sequences, one for heparin binding and the other for integrin binding, into different locations in the triple-helical structure. This provided three new constructs, two containing the single substitutions and one containing both substitutions. The stability of these constructs was marginally reduced when compared to the unmodified sequence. When compared to the unmodified bacterial collagen, both the modified collagens that contain the heparin binding site showed marked binding of fluorescently labeled heparin. Similarly, the modified collagens from both constructs containing the integrin binding site showed significant adhesion of L929 cells that are known to possess the appropriate integrin receptor. C2C12 cells that lack any appropriate integrins did not bind. These data show that bacterial collagen-like sequences can be modified to act like natural extracellular matrix collagens by inserting one or more unique biological domains with defined function.

  16. Correlating novel variable and conserved motifs in the Hemagglutinin protein with significant biological functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Werner Mark

    2008-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Variations in the influenza Hemagglutinin protein contributes to antigenic drift resulting in decreased efficiency of seasonal influenza vaccines and escape from host immune response. We performed an in silico study to determine characteristics of novel variable and conserved motifs in the Hemagglutinin protein from previously reported H3N2 strains isolated from Hong Kong from 1968–1999 to predict viral motifs involved in significant biological functions. Results 14 MEME blocks were generated and comparative analysis of the MEME blocks identified blocks 1, 2, 3 and 7 to correlate with several biological functions. Analysis of the different Hemagglutinin sequences elucidated that the single block 7 has the highest frequency of amino acid substitution and the highest number of co-mutating pairs. MEME 2 showed intermediate variability and MEME 1 was the most conserved. Interestingly, MEME blocks 2 and 7 had the highest incidence of potential post-translational modifications sites including phosphorylation sites, ASN glycosylation motifs and N-myristylation sites. Similarly, these 2 blocks overlap with previously identified antigenic sites and receptor binding sites. Conclusion Our study identifies motifs in the Hemagglutinin protein with different amino acid substitution frequencies over a 31 years period, and derives relevant functional characteristics by correlation of these motifs with potential post-translational modifications sites, antigenic and receptor binding sites.

  17. A Gaussian mixture model based cost function for parameter estimation of chaotic biological systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shekofteh, Yasser; Jafari, Sajad; Sprott, Julien Clinton; Hashemi Golpayegani, S. Mohammad Reza; Almasganj, Farshad

    2015-02-01

    As we know, many biological systems such as neurons or the heart can exhibit chaotic behavior. Conventional methods for parameter estimation in models of these systems have some limitations caused by sensitivity to initial conditions. In this paper, a novel cost function is proposed to overcome those limitations by building a statistical model on the distribution of the real system attractor in state space. This cost function is defined by the use of a likelihood score in a Gaussian mixture model (GMM) which is fitted to the observed attractor generated by the real system. Using that learned GMM, a similarity score can be defined by the computed likelihood score of the model time series. We have applied the proposed method to the parameter estimation of two important biological systems, a neuron and a cardiac pacemaker, which show chaotic behavior. Some simulated experiments are given to verify the usefulness of the proposed approach in clean and noisy conditions. The results show the adequacy of the proposed cost function.

  18. Synthesis, characterization, and in vitro biological evaluation of highly stable diversely functionalized superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bhattacharya, Dipsikha; Sahu, Sumanta K. [Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, Department of Chemistry (India); Banerjee, Indranil [Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, Department of Biotechnology (India); Das, Manasmita [Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, Department of Chemistry (India); Mishra, Debashish; Maiti, Tapas K. [Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, Department of Biotechnology (India); Pramanik, Panchanan, E-mail: dipsikha.chem@gmail.com [Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, Department of Chemistry (India)

    2011-09-15

    In this article, we report the design and synthesis of a series of well-dispersed superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) using chitosan as a surface modifying agent to develop a potential T{sub 2} contrast probe for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The amine, carboxyl, hydroxyl, and thiol functionalities were introduced on chitosan-coated magnetic probe via simple reactions with small reactive organic molecules to afford a series of biofunctionalized nanoparticles. Physico-chemical characterizations of these functionalized nanoparticles were performed by TEM, XRD, DLS, FTIR, and VSM. The colloidal stability of these functionalized iron oxide nanoparticles was investigated in presence of phosphate buffer saline, high salt concentrations and different cell media for 1 week. MRI analysis of human cervical carcinoma (HeLa) cell lines treated with nanoparticles elucidated that the amine-functionalized nanoparticles exhibited higher amount of signal darkening and lower T{sub 2} relaxation in comparison to the others. The cellular internalization efficacy of these functionalized SPIONs was also investigated with HeLa cancer cell line by magnetically activated cell sorting (MACS) and fluorescence microscopy and results established selectively higher internalization efficacy of amine-functionalized nanoparticles to cancer cells. These positive attributes demonstrated that these nanoconjugates can be used as a promising platform for further in vitro and in vivo biological evaluations.

  19. New insights in the biology of BDNF synthesis and release: implications in CNS function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenberg, Michael E; Xu, Baoji; Lu, Bai; Hempstead, Barbara L

    2009-10-14

    BDNF has pleiotropic effects on neuronal development and synaptic plasticity that underlie circuit formation and cognitive function. Recent breakthroughs reveal that neuronal activity regulates BDNF cell biology, including Bdnf transcription, dendritic targeting and trafficking of BDNF mRNA and protein, and secretion and extracellular conversion of proBDNF to mature BDNF. Defects in these mechanisms contribute differentially to cognitive dysfunction and anxiety-like behaviors. Here we review recent studies, presented at a symposium at Neuroscience 2009, that describe regulatory mechanisms that permit rapid and dynamic refinement of BDNF actions in neurons.

  20. Systems biology: Functional analysis of natural microbial consortia using community proteomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    VerBerkmoes, Nathan C; Denef, Vincent J; Hettich, Robert L; Banfield, Jillian F

    2009-03-01

    We know very little about the metabolic functioning and evolutionary dynamics of microbial communities. Recent advances in comprehensive, sequencing-based methods, however, are laying a molecular foundation for new insights into how microbial communities shape the Earth's biosphere. Here we explore the convergence of microbial ecology, genomics, biological mass spectrometry and informatics that form the new field of microbial community proteogenomics. We discuss the first applications of proteogenomics and its potential for studying the physiology, ecology and evolution of microbial populations and communities.

  1. Late-stage functionalization of biologically active heterocycles through photoredox catalysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dirocco, Daniel A; Dykstra, Kevin; Krska, Shane; Vachal, Petr; Conway, Donald V; Tudge, Matthew

    2014-05-05

    The direct CH functionalization of heterocycles has become an increasingly valuable tool in modern drug discovery. However, the introduction of small alkyl groups, such as methyl, by this method has not been realized in the context of complex molecule synthesis since existing methods rely on the use of strong oxidants and elevated temperatures to generate the requisite radical species. Herein, we report the use of stable organic peroxides activated by visible-light photoredox catalysis to achieve the direct methyl-, ethyl-, and cyclopropylation of a variety of biologically active heterocycles. The simple protocol, mild reaction conditions, and unique tolerability of this method make it an important tool for drug discovery.

  2. Functional knowledge transfer for high-accuracy prediction of under-studied biological processes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher Y Park

    Full Text Available A key challenge in genetics is identifying the functional roles of genes in pathways. Numerous functional genomics techniques (e.g. machine learning that predict protein function have been developed to address this question. These methods generally build from existing annotations of genes to pathways and thus are often unable to identify additional genes participating in processes that are not already well studied. Many of these processes are well studied in some organism, but not necessarily in an investigator's organism of interest. Sequence-based search methods (e.g. BLAST have been used to transfer such annotation information between organisms. We demonstrate that functional genomics can complement traditional sequence similarity to improve the transfer of gene annotations between organisms. Our method transfers annotations only when functionally appropriate as determined by genomic data and can be used with any prediction algorithm to combine transferred gene function knowledge with organism-specific high-throughput data to enable accurate function prediction. We show that diverse state-of-art machine learning algorithms leveraging functional knowledge transfer (FKT dramatically improve their accuracy in predicting gene-pathway membership, particularly for processes with little experimental knowledge in an organism. We also show that our method compares favorably to annotation transfer by sequence similarity. Next, we deploy FKT with state-of-the-art SVM classifier to predict novel genes to 11,000 biological processes across six diverse organisms and expand the coverage of accurate function predictions to processes that are often ignored because of a dearth of annotated genes in an organism. Finally, we perform in vivo experimental investigation in Danio rerio and confirm the regulatory role of our top predicted novel gene, wnt5b, in leftward cell migration during heart development. FKT is immediately applicable to many bioinformatics

  3. The origin of neutron biological effectiveness as a function of energy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baiocco, G.; Barbieri, S.; Babini, G.; Morini, J.; Alloni, D.; Friedland, W.; Kundrát, P.; Schmitt, E.; Puchalska, M.; Sihver, L.; Ottolenghi, A.

    2016-01-01

    The understanding of the impact of radiation quality in early and late responses of biological targets to ionizing radiation exposure necessarily grounds on the results of mechanistic studies starting from physical interactions. This is particularly true when, already at the physical stage, the radiation field is mixed, as it is the case for neutron exposure. Neutron Relative Biological Effectiveness (RBE) is energy dependent, maximal for energies ~1 MeV, varying significantly among different experiments. The aim of this work is to shed light on neutron biological effectiveness as a function of field characteristics, with a comprehensive modeling approach: this brings together transport calculations of neutrons through matter (with the code PHITS) and the predictive power of the biophysical track structure code PARTRAC in terms of DNA damage evaluation. Two different energy dependent neutron RBE models are proposed: the first is phenomenological and based only on the characterization of linear energy transfer on a microscopic scale; the second is purely ab-initio and based on the induction of complex DNA damage. Results for the two models are compared and found in good qualitative agreement with current standards for radiation protection factors, which are agreed upon on the basis of RBE data. PMID:27654349

  4. Automated methods of predicting the function of biological sequences using GO and BLAST

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Baumann Ute

    2005-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background With the exponential increase in genomic sequence data there is a need to develop automated approaches to deducing the biological functions of novel sequences with high accuracy. Our aim is to demonstrate how accuracy benchmarking can be used in a decision-making process evaluating competing designs of biological function predictors. We utilise the Gene Ontology, GO, a directed acyclic graph of functional terms, to annotate sequences with functional information describing their biological context. Initially we examine the effect on accuracy scores of increasing the allowed distance between predicted and a test set of curator assigned terms. Next we evaluate several annotator methods using accuracy benchmarking. Given an unannotated sequence we use the Basic Local Alignment Search Tool, BLAST, to find similar sequences that have already been assigned GO terms by curators. A number of methods were developed that utilise terms associated with the best five matching sequences. These methods were compared against a benchmark method of simply using terms associated with the best BLAST-matched sequence (best BLAST approach. Results The precision and recall of estimates increases rapidly as the amount of distance permitted between a predicted term and a correct term assignment increases. Accuracy benchmarking allows a comparison of annotation methods. A covering graph approach performs poorly, except where the term assignment rate is high. A term distance concordance approach has a similar accuracy to the best BLAST approach, demonstrating lower precision but higher recall. However, a discriminant function method has higher precision and recall than the best BLAST approach and other methods shown here. Conclusion Allowing term predictions to be counted correct if closely related to a correct term decreases the reliability of the accuracy score. As such we recommend using accuracy measures that require exact matching of predicted

  5. Importance of N-Glycosylation on CD147 for Its Biological Functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yang Bai

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Glycosylation of glycoproteins is one of many molecular changes that accompany malignant transformation. Post-translational modifications of proteins are closely associated with the adhesion, invasion, and metastasis of tumor cells. CD147, a tumor-associated antigen that is highly expressed on the cell surface of various tumors, is a potential target for cancer diagnosis and therapy. A significant biochemical property of CD147 is its high level of glycosylation. Studies on the structure and function of CD147 glycosylation provide valuable clues to the development of targeted therapies for cancer. Here, we review current understanding of the glycosylation characteristics of CD147 and the glycosyltransferases involved in the biosynthesis of CD147 N-glycans. Finally, we discuss proteins regulating CD147 glycosylation and the biological functions of CD147 glycosylation.

  6. An expanded role for microbial physiology in metabolic engineering and functional genomics: moving towards systems biology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Jens; Olsson, Lisbeth

    2002-01-01

    . With the progress in molecular biology it has become possible to optimize industrial fermentations through introduction of directed genetic modification - an approach referred to as metabolic engineering. Furthermore, as a consequence of large sequencing programs the complete genomic sequence has become available...... function, and this leads to an expanded role of the classical approach applied in microbial physiology. With the increased understanding of the molecular mechanisms it is envisaged that in the future it will be possible to describe the interaction between all the components in the system (the cell), also......Microbial physiology has traditionally played a very important role in both fundamental research and in industrial applications of microorganisms. The classical approach in microbial physiology has been to analyze the role of individual components (genes or proteins) in the overall cell function...

  7. Biological Sensitivity to Family Income: Differential Effects on Early Executive Functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Obradović, Jelena; Portilla, Ximena A; Ballard, Parissa J

    2016-01-01

    The study examined how the interplay between children's cortisol response and family income is related to executive function (EF) skills. The sample included one hundred and two 5- to 6-year-olds (64% minority). EF skills were measured using laboratory tasks and observer ratings. Physiological reactivity was assessed via cortisol response during a laboratory visit. A consistent, positive association between family income and EF skills emerged only for children who showed high cortisol response, a marker of biological sensitivity to context. In contrast, family income was not related to EF skills in children who displayed low cortisol response. Follow-up analyses revealed a disordinal interaction, suggesting that differential susceptibility can be detected at the level of basic cognitive and self-regulatory skills that support adaptive functioning.

  8. Enzymes for ecdysteroid biosynthesis: their biological functions in insects and beyond.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niwa, Ryusuke; Niwa, Yuko S

    2014-01-01

    Steroid hormones are responsible for the coordinated regulation of many aspects of biological processes in multicellular organisms. Since the last century, many studies have identified and characterized steroidogenic enzymes in vertebrates, including mammals. However, much less is known about invertebrate steroidogenic enzymes. In the last 15 years, a number of steroidogenic enzymes and their functions have been characterized in ecdysozoan animals, especially in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. In this review, we summarize the latest knowledge of enzymes crucial for synthesizing ecdysteroids, the principal insect steroid hormones. We also discuss the functional conservation and diversity of ecdysteroidogenic enzymes in other insects and even non-insect species, such as nematodes, vertebrates, and lower eukaryotes.

  9. Importance of N-glycosylation on CD147 for its biological functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bai, Yang; Huang, Wan; Ma, Li-Tian; Jiang, Jian-Li; Chen, Zhi-Nan

    2014-04-15

    Glycosylation of glycoproteins is one of many molecular changes that accompany malignant transformation. Post-translational modifications of proteins are closely associated with the adhesion, invasion, and metastasis of tumor cells. CD147, a tumor-associated antigen that is highly expressed on the cell surface of various tumors, is a potential target for cancer diagnosis and therapy. A significant biochemical property of CD147 is its high level of glycosylation. Studies on the structure and function of CD147 glycosylation provide valuable clues to the development of targeted therapies for cancer. Here, we review current understanding of the glycosylation characteristics of CD147 and the glycosyltransferases involved in the biosynthesis of CD147 N-glycans. Finally, we discuss proteins regulating CD147 glycosylation and the biological functions of CD147 glycosylation.

  10. Differential Function of Lip Residues in the Mechanism and Biology of an Anthrax Hemophore

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ekworomadu, MarCia T.; Poor, Catherine B.; Owens, Cedric P.; Balderas, Miriam A.; Fabian, Marian; Olson, John S.; Murphy, Frank; Balkabasi, Erol; Honsa, Erin S.; He, Chuan; Goulding, Celia W.; Maresso, Anthony W. (Baylor); (UCI); (Cornell); (Rice); (UC)

    2014-10-02

    To replicate in mammalian hosts, bacterial pathogens must acquire iron. The majority of iron is coordinated to the protoporphyrin ring of heme, which is further bound to hemoglobin. Pathogenic bacteria utilize secreted hemophores to acquire heme from heme sources such as hemoglobin. Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax disease, secretes two hemophores, IsdX1 and IsdX2, to acquire heme from host hemoglobin and enhance bacterial replication in iron-starved environments. Both proteins contain NEAr-iron Transporter (NEAT) domains, a conserved protein module that functions in heme acquisition in Gram-positive pathogens. Here, we report the structure of IsdX1, the first of a Gram-positive hemophore, with and without bound heme. Overall, IsdX1 forms an immunoglobin-like fold that contains, similar to other NEAT proteins, a 3{sub 10}-helix near the heme-binding site. Because the mechanistic function of this helix in NEAT proteins is not yet defined, we focused on the contribution of this region to hemophore and NEAT protein activity, both biochemically and biologically in cultured cells. Site-directed mutagenesis of amino acids in and adjacent to the helix identified residues important for heme and hemoglobin association, with some mutations affecting both properties and other mutations affecting only heme stabilization. IsdX1 with mutations that reduced the ability to associate with hemoglobin and bind heme failed to restore the growth of a hemophore-deficient strain of B. anthracis on hemoglobin as the sole iron source. These data indicate that not only is the 3{sub 10}-helix important for NEAT protein biology, but also that the processes of hemoglobin and heme binding can be both separate as well as coupled, the latter function being necessary for maximal heme-scavenging activity. These studies enhance our understanding of NEAT domain and hemophore function and set the stage for structure-based inhibitor design to block NEAT domain interaction with

  11. Functional and molecular characterization of the role of CTCF in human embryonic stem cell biology.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sri Kripa Balakrishnan

    Full Text Available The CCCTC-binding factor CTCF is the only known vertebrate insulator protein and has been shown to regulate important developmental processes such as imprinting, X-chromosome inactivation and genomic architecture. In this study, we examined the role of CTCF in human embryonic stem cell (hESC biology. We demonstrate that CTCF associates with several important pluripotency genes, including NANOG, SOX2, cMYC and LIN28 and is critical for hESC proliferation. CTCF depletion impacts expression of pluripotency genes and accelerates loss of pluripotency upon BMP4 induced differentiation, but does not result in spontaneous differentiation. We find that CTCF associates with the distal ends and internal sites of the co-regulated 160 kb NANOG-DPPA3-GDF3 locus. Each of these sites can function as a CTCF-dependent enhancer-blocking insulator in heterologous assays. In hESCs, CTCF exists in multisubunit protein complexes and can be poly(ADPribosylated. Known CTCF cofactors, such as Cohesin, differentially co-localize in the vicinity of specific CTCF binding sites within the NANOG locus. Importantly, the association of some cofactors and protein PARlation selectively changes upon differentiation although CTCF binding remains constant. Understanding how unique cofactors may impart specialized functions to CTCF at specific genomic locations will further illuminate its role in stem cell biology.

  12. Strategies for the chemical and biological functionalization of scaffolds for cardiac tissue engineering: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tallawi, Marwa; Rosellini, Elisabetta; Barbani, Niccoletta; Cascone, Maria Grazia; Rai, Ranjana; Saint-Pierre, Guillaume; Boccaccini, Aldo R

    2015-07-06

    The development of biomaterials for cardiac tissue engineering (CTE) is challenging, primarily owing to the requirement of achieving a surface with favourable characteristics that enhances cell attachment and maturation. The biomaterial surface plays a crucial role as it forms the interface between the scaffold (or cardiac patch) and the cells. In the field of CTE, synthetic polymers (polyglycerol sebacate, polyethylene glycol, polyglycolic acid, poly-l-lactide, polyvinyl alcohol, polycaprolactone, polyurethanes and poly(N-isopropylacrylamide)) have been proven to exhibit suitable biodegradable and mechanical properties. Despite the fact that they show the required biocompatible behaviour, most synthetic polymers exhibit poor cell attachment capability. These synthetic polymers are mostly hydrophobic and lack cell recognition sites, limiting their application. Therefore, biofunctionalization of these biomaterials to enhance cell attachment and cell material interaction is being widely investigated. There are numerous approaches for functionalizing a material, which can be classified as mechanical, physical, chemical and biological. In this review, recent studies reported in the literature to functionalize scaffolds in the context of CTE, are discussed. Surface, morphological, chemical and biological modifications are introduced and the results of novel promising strategies and techniques are discussed.

  13. Biological adaptations for functional features of language in the face of cultural evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christiansen, Morten H; Reali, Florencia; Chater, Nick

    2011-04-01

    Although there may be no true language universals, it is nonetheless possible to discern several family resemblance patterns across the languages of the world. Recent work on the cultural evolution of language indicates the source of these patterns is unlikely to be an innate universal grammar evolved through biological adaptations for arbitrary linguistic features. Instead, it has been suggested that the patterns of resemblance emerge because language has been shaped by the brain, with individual languages representing different but partially overlapping solutions to the same set of nonlinguistic constraints. Here, we use computational simulations to investigate whether biological adaptation for functional features of language, deriving from cognitive and communicative constraints, may nonetheless be possible alongside rapid cultural evolution. Specifically, we focus on the Baldwin effect as an evolutionary mechanism by which previously learned linguistic features might become innate through natural selection across many generations of language users. The results indicate that cultural evolution of language does not necessarily prevent functional features of language from becoming genetically fixed, thus potentially providing a particularly informative source of constraints on cross-linguistic resemblance patterns.

  14. A bottom-up characterization of transfer functions for synthetic biology designs: lessons from enzymology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carbonell-Ballestero, Max; Duran-Nebreda, Salva; Montañez, Raúl; Solé, Ricard; Macía, Javier; Rodríguez-Caso, Carlos

    2014-12-16

    Within the field of synthetic biology, a rational design of genetic parts should include a causal understanding of their input-output responses-the so-called transfer function-and how to tune them. However, a commonly adopted strategy is to fit data to Hill-shaped curves without considering the underlying molecular mechanisms. Here we provide a novel mathematical formalization that allows prediction of the global behavior of a synthetic device by considering the actual information from the involved biological parts. This is achieved by adopting an enzymology-like framework, where transfer functions are described in terms of their input affinity constant and maximal response. As a proof of concept, we characterize a set of Lux homoserine-lactone-inducible genetic devices with different levels of Lux receptor and signal molecule. Our model fits the experimental results and predicts the impact of the receptor's ribosome-binding site strength, as a tunable parameter that affects gene expression. The evolutionary implications are outlined.

  15. Biological performance of functionalized biomedical polymers for potential applications as intraocular lens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Zhiwen; Wang, Yingjun; Jiao, Yan; Zhai, Zhichen

    2016-08-01

    To study the biological performance of surface-modified biomedical polymer materials, a model of the functional mechanism of nonspecific adsorption resistance was constructed. Cell behavior on the surface and in vivo transplantation features of intraocular lens (IOL) materials, such as hydrophobic acrylic ester and polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), were investigated. The results of cell adhesion and proliferation studies showed that the addition of hirudin can significantly resist epithelial cell adhesion, better than the pure amination process, and thereby inhibit excessive proliferation on the surface. Experiments on the eyes of rabbits indicated that the IOL surfaces with hirudin modification reduced the incidence of cell aggregation and inflammation. Combined with a study of protein-resistant layer construction with recombinant hirudin on the material surface, the mechanism of surface functionalization was determined. The biological performance indicated that nonspecific adsorption is greatly decreased due to the existence of amphiphilic ions or hydration layers, which lead to stability and long-term resistance to nonspecific adsorption. These results offer a theoretical basis for the use of traditional biomedical polymer materials in long-term clinical applications. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part A: 104A: 1961-1967, 2016.

  16. Substrate chemistry influences the morphology and biological function of adsorbed extracellular matrix assemblies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sherratt, Michael J; Bax, Daniel V; Chaudhry, Shazia S; Hodson, Nigel; Lu, Jian R; Saravanapavan, Priya; Kielty, Cay M

    2005-12-01

    In addition to mediating cell signalling events, native extracellular matrix (ECM) assemblies interact with other ECM components, act as reservoirs for soluble signalling molecules and perform structural roles. The potential of native ECM assemblies in the manufacture of biomimetic materials has not been fully exploited due, in part, to the effects of substrate interactions on their morphology. We have previously demonstrated that the ECM components, fibrillin and type VI collagen microfibrils, exhibit substrate dependent morphologies on chemically and topographically variable heterogeneous surfaces. Using both cleaning and coating approaches on silicon wafers and glass coverslips we have produced chemically homogeneous, topographically similar substrates which cover a large amphiphilic range. Extremes of substrate amphiphilicity induced morphological changes in periodicity, curvature and lateral spreading which may mask binding sites or disrupt domain structure. Biological functionality, as assayed by the ability to support cell spreading, was significantly reduced for fibrillin microfibrils adsorbed on highly hydrophilic substrates (contact angle 20.7 degrees) compared with less hydrophilic (contact angle 38.3 degrees) and hydrophobic (contact angle 92.8 degrees) substrates. With an appropriate choice of surface chemistry, multifunctional ECM assemblies retain their native morphology and biological functionality.

  17. Biology of bone and how it orchestrates the form and function of the skeleton

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sommerfeldt, D. W.; Rubin, C. T.

    2001-01-01

    The principal role of the skeleton is to provide structural support for the body. While the skeleton also serves as the body's mineral reservoir, the mineralized structure is the very basis of posture, opposes muscular contraction resulting in motion, withstands functional load bearing, and protects internal organs. Although the mass and morphology of the skeleton is defined, to some extent, by genetic determinants, it is the tissue's ability to remodel--the local resorption and formation of bone--which is responsible for achieving this intricate balance between competing responsibilities. The aim of this review is to address bone's form-function relationship, beginning with extensive research in the musculoskeletal disciplines, and focusing on several recent cellular and molecular discoveries which help understand the complex interdependence of bone cells, growth factors, physical stimuli, metabolic demands, and structural responsibilities. With a clinical and spine-oriented audience in mind, the principles of bone cell and molecular biology and physiology are presented, and an attempt has been made to incorporate epidemiologic data and therapeutic implications. Bone research remains interdisciplinary by nature, and a deeper understanding of bone biology will ultimately lead to advances in the treatment of diseases and injuries to bone itself.

  18. Structural characteristics and biological functions of the HIV-1 gp120 V3 region

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2002-01-01

    Recent studies demonstrate that the V3 loop of HIV-1 gp120 plays an important role in the attachment of HIV-1 to the target cells. Several amino acids in this domain are involved in the interaction of gp120 with the co-receptors. The V3 loop elicits one of the earliest antiviral antibody responses in HIV-1 infection and has been identified as the principal neutralizing determinant (PND). A subset of antibodies to V3 loop show a broad range of neutralizing activity. Unfortunately, this loop undergoes broad mutation and is one of the hypervariable regions. Mutations of some amino acids in this PND could affect syncytium formation, virus infectivity and neutralization. Knowing the structural characteristics and biological functions of the V3 region could help us to understand mechanism of HIV infection and to develop new strategy against HIV-1. In this review, the structural characteristics, variation and biological functions of the V3 loop as well as immunological responses to the V3 loop are discussed.

  19. The biology of cancer testis antigens: putative function, regulation and therapeutic potential.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fratta, Elisabetta; Coral, Sandra; Covre, Alessia; Parisi, Giulia; Colizzi, Francesca; Danielli, Riccardo; Nicolay, Hugues Jean Marie; Sigalotti, Luca; Maio, Michele

    2011-04-01

    Cancer testis antigens (CTA) are a large family of tumor-associated antigens expressed in human tumors of different histological origin, but not in normal tissues except for testis and placenta. This tumor-restricted pattern of expression, together with their strong in vivo immunogenicity, identified CTA as ideal targets for tumor-specific immunotherapeutic approaches, and prompted the development of several clinical trials of CTA-based vaccine therapy. Driven by this practical clinical interest, a more detailed characterization of CTA biology has been recently undertaken. So far, at least 70 families of CTA, globally accounting for about 140 members, have been identified. Most of these CTA are expressed during spermatogenesis, but their function is still largely unknown. Epigenetic events, particularly DNA methylation, appear to be the primary mechanism regulating CTA expression in both normal and transformed cells, as well as in cancer stem cells. In view of the growing interest in CTA biology, the aim of this review is to provide the most recent information on their expression, regulation and function, together with a brief summary of the major clinical trials involving CTA as therapeutic agents. The pharmacologic modulation of CTA expression profiles on neoplastic cells by DNA hypomethylating drugs will also be discussed as a feasible approach to design new combination therapies potentially able to improve the clinical efficacy of currently adopted CTA-based immunotherapeutic regimens in cancer patients.

  20. How biological soil crusts became recognized as a functional unit: a selective history

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lange, Otto L.; Belnap, Jayne

    2016-01-01

    It is surprising that despite the world-wide distribution and general importance of biological soil crusts (biocrusts), scientific recognition and functional analysis of these communities is a relatively young field of science. In this chapter, we sketch the historical lines that led to the recognition of biocrusts as a community with important ecosystem functions. The idea of biocrusts as a functional ecological community has come from two main scientific branches: botany and soil science. For centuries, botanists have long recognized that multiple organisms colonize the soil surface in the open and often dry areas occurring between vascular plants. Much later, after the initial taxonomic and phyto-sociological descriptions were made, soil scientists and agronomists observed that these surface organisms interacted with soils in ways that changed the soil structure. In the 1970’s, research on these communities as ecological units that played an important functional role in drylands began in earnest, and these studies have continued to this day. Here, we trace the history of these studies from the distant past until 1990, when biocrusts became well-known to scientists and the public.

  1. Multiscale modeling of biological functions: from enzymes to molecular machines (Nobel Lecture).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warshel, Arieh

    2014-09-15

    A detailed understanding of the action of biological molecules is a pre-requisite for rational advances in health sciences and related fields. Here, the challenge is to move from available structural information to a clear understanding of the underlying function of the system. In light of the complexity of macromolecular complexes, it is essential to use computer simulations to describe how the molecular forces are related to a given function. However, using a full and reliable quantum mechanical representation of large molecular systems has been practically impossible. The solution to this (and related) problems has emerged from the realization that large systems can be spatially divided into a region where the quantum mechanical description is essential (e.g. a region where bonds are being broken), with the remainder of the system being represented on a simpler level by empirical force fields. This idea has been particularly effective in the development of the combined quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) models. Here, the coupling between the electrostatic effects of the quantum and classical subsystems has been a key to the advances in describing the functions of enzymes and other biological molecules. The same idea of representing complex systems in different resolutions in both time and length scales has been found to be very useful in modeling the action of complex systems. In such cases, starting with coarse grained (CG) representations that were originally found to be very useful in simulating protein folding, and augmenting them with a focus on electrostatic energies, has led to models that are particularly effective in probing the action of molecular machines. The same multiscale idea is likely to play a major role in modeling of even more complex systems, including cells and collections of cells.

  2. [The biological reaction of inflammation, methylglyoxal of blood plasma, functional and structural alterations in elastic type arteries at the early stage of hypertension disease].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Titov, V N; Dmitriev, V A; Oshchepkov, E V; Balakhonova, T V; Tripoten', M I; Shiriaeva, Iu K

    2012-08-01

    The article deals with studying of the relationship between biologic reaction of inflammation with glycosylation reaction and content of methylglyoxal in blood serum. The positive correlation between pulse wave velocity and content of methylglyoxal, C-reactive protein in intercellular medium and malleolar brachial index value was established. This data matches the experimental results concerning involvement of biological reaction of inflammation into structural changes of elastic type arteries under hypertension disease, formation of arteries' rigidity and increase of pulse wave velocity. The arterial blood pressure is a biological reaction of hydrodynamic pressure which is used in vivo by several biological functions: biological function of homeostasis, function of endoecology, biological function of adaptation and function of locomotion. The biological reaction of hydrodynamic (hydraulic) pressure is a mode of compensation of derangement of several biological functions which results in the very high rate of hypertension disease in population. As a matter of fact, hypertension disease is a syndrome of lingering pathological compensation by higher arterial blood pressure of the biological functions derangements occurring in the distal section at the level of paracrine cenoses of cells. The arterial blood pressure is a kind of in vivo integral indicator of deranged metabolism. The essential hypertension disease pathogenically is a result of the derangement of three biological functions: biological function of homeostasis, biological function of trophology - nutrition (biological reaction of external feeding - exotrophia) and biological function of endoecology. In case of "littering" of intercellular medium in vivo with nonspecific endogenic flogogens a phylogenetically earlier activation of biological reactions of excretion, inflammation and hydrodynamic arterial blood pressure occur. In case of derangement of biological function of homeostasis, decreasing of

  3. Species composition,distribution patterns and ecological functions of biological soil crusts in the Gurbantunggut Desert

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2010-01-01

    As one of the most important biological factors that maintain the stability of the largest fixed and semi-fixed desert in China,the Gurbantunggut Desert,the biological soil crusts (BSCs) develop well and play critical ecological roles in the desert ecosystem. In this paper,we briefly summarize our research findings since 2002 including species composition,distribution pattern and ecological functions of BSCs in the desert. Our results indicate abundant species diversity of BSCs in the Gurbantunggut Desert in comparison to other deserts in China. At the scales of sand dune or whole desert,the distribution patterns of BSCs are location-specific. The existence of BSCs in this desert could:(1) accelerate the formation of desert soil and the weathering of minerals; (2) accumulate organic matter in surface soil through related species in soil crusts; (3) enhance the abilities of sand surface to resist wind erosion; (4) influence seed germination of vascular plants; and (5) enhance the production of dew deposition on sandy soil surface.

  4. The role of ontologies in biological and biomedical research: a functional perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoehndorf, Robert; Schofield, Paul N; Gkoutos, Georgios V

    2015-11-01

    Ontologies are widely used in biological and biomedical research. Their success lies in their combination of four main features present in almost all ontologies: provision of standard identifiers for classes and relations that represent the phenomena within a domain; provision of a vocabulary for a domain; provision of metadata that describes the intended meaning of the classes and relations in ontologies; and the provision of machine-readable axioms and definitions that enable computational access to some aspects of the meaning of classes and relations. While each of these features enables applications that facilitate data integration, data access and analysis, a great potential lies in the possibility of combining these four features to support integrative analysis and interpretation of multimodal data. Here, we provide a functional perspective on ontologies in biology and biomedicine, focusing on what ontologies can do and describing how they can be used in support of integrative research. We also outline perspectives for using ontologies in data-driven science, in particular their application in structured data mining and machine learning applications.

  5. Identification of distinct biological functions for four 3′-5′ RNA polymerases

    Science.gov (United States)

    Long, Yicheng; Abad, Maria G.; Olson, Erik D.; Carrillo, Elisabeth Y.; Jackman, Jane E.

    2016-01-01

    The superfamily of 3′-5′ polymerases synthesize RNA in the opposite direction to all other DNA/RNA polymerases, and its members include eukaryotic tRNAHis guanylyltransferase (Thg1), as well as Thg1-like proteins (TLPs) of unknown function that are broadly distributed, with family members in all three domains of life. Dictyostelium discoideum encodes one Thg1 and three TLPs (DdiTLP2, DdiTLP3 and DdiTLP4). Here, we demonstrate that depletion of each of the genes results in a significant growth defect, and that each protein catalyzes a unique biological reaction, taking advantage of specialized biochemical properties. DdiTLP2 catalyzes a mitochondria-specific tRNAHis maturation reaction, which is distinct from the tRNAHis maturation reaction typically catalyzed by Thg1 enzymes on cytosolic tRNA. DdiTLP3 catalyzes tRNA repair during mitochondrial tRNA 5′-editing in vivo and in vitro, establishing template-dependent 3′-5′ polymerase activity of TLPs as a bona fide biological activity for the first time since its unexpected discovery more than a decade ago. DdiTLP4 is cytosolic and, surprisingly, catalyzes robust 3′-5′ polymerase activity on non-tRNA substrates, strongly implying further roles for TLP 3′-5′ polymerases in eukaryotes. PMID:27484477

  6. Identification of distinct biological functions for four 3'-5' RNA polymerases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Long, Yicheng; Abad, Maria G; Olson, Erik D; Carrillo, Elisabeth Y; Jackman, Jane E

    2016-09-30

    The superfamily of 3'-5' polymerases synthesize RNA in the opposite direction to all other DNA/RNA polymerases, and its members include eukaryotic tRNA(His) guanylyltransferase (Thg1), as well as Thg1-like proteins (TLPs) of unknown function that are broadly distributed, with family members in all three domains of life. Dictyostelium discoideum encodes one Thg1 and three TLPs (DdiTLP2, DdiTLP3 and DdiTLP4). Here, we demonstrate that depletion of each of the genes results in a significant growth defect, and that each protein catalyzes a unique biological reaction, taking advantage of specialized biochemical properties. DdiTLP2 catalyzes a mitochondria-specific tRNA(His) maturation reaction, which is distinct from the tRNA(His) maturation reaction typically catalyzed by Thg1 enzymes on cytosolic tRNA. DdiTLP3 catalyzes tRNA repair during mitochondrial tRNA 5'-editing in vivo and in vitro, establishing template-dependent 3'-5' polymerase activity of TLPs as a bona fide biological activity for the first time since its unexpected discovery more than a decade ago. DdiTLP4 is cytosolic and, surprisingly, catalyzes robust 3'-5' polymerase activity on non-tRNA substrates, strongly implying further roles for TLP 3'-5' polymerases in eukaryotes.

  7. The role of ontologies in biological and biomedical research: a functional perspective

    KAUST Repository

    Hoehndorf, Robert

    2015-04-10

    Ontologies are widely used in biological and biomedical research. Their success lies in their combination of four main features present in almost all ontologies: provision of standard identifiers for classes and relations that represent the phenomena within a domain; provision of a vocabulary for a domain; provision of metadata that describes the intended meaning of the classes and relations in ontologies; and the provision of machine-readable axioms and definitions that enable computational access to some aspects of the meaning of classes and relations. While each of these features enables applications that facilitate data integration, data access and analysis, a great potential lies in the possibility of combining these four features to support integrative analysis and interpretation of multimodal data. Here, we provide a functional perspective on ontologies in biology and biomedicine, focusing on what ontologies can do and describing how they can be used in support of integrative research. We also outline perspectives for using ontologies in data-driven science, in particular their application in structured data mining and machine learning applications.

  8. Acceleration of cardiovascular-biological age by amphetamine exposure is a power function of chronological age

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norman, Amanda; Hulse, Gary Kenneth

    2017-01-01

    Background Amphetamine abuse is becoming more widespread internationally. The possibility that its many cardiovascular complications are associated with a prematurely aged cardiovascular system, and indeed biological organism systemically, has not been addressed. Methods Radial arterial pulse tonometry was performed using the SphygmoCor system (Sydney). 55 amphetamine exposed patients were compared with 107 tobacco smokers, 483 non-smokers and 68 methadone patients (total=713 patients) from 2006 to 2011. A cardiovascular-biological age (VA) was determined. Results The age of the patient groups was 30.03±0.51–40.45±1.15 years. This was controlled for with linear regression. The sex ratio was the same in all groups. 94% of amphetamine exposed patients had used amphetamine in the previous week. When the (log) VA was regressed against the chronological age (CA) and a substance-type group in both cross-sectional and longitudinal models, models quadratic in CA were superior to linear models (both pamphetamine exposure persisted after adjustment for all known cardiovascular risk factors (pamphetamines is associated with an advancement of cardiovascular-organismal age both over age and over time, and is robust to adjustment. That this is associated with power functions of age implies a feed-forward positively reinforcing exacerbation of the underlying ageing process. PMID:28243315

  9. The relationship between the connecting peptide of recombined single chain insulin and its biological function

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    黄一丁; 梁镇和; 冯佑民

    2001-01-01

    To investigate the relationship between the biological activity of recombined single chain insulin and the length of the connecting peptide, we designed and prepared three single chain insulin molecules, namely, PIP, [A]5PIP and [A]10PIP, by site-directed mutagenesis, in which B30 and A1 were linked through dipeptide A-K, heptapeptide A-A-A-A-A-A-K, and dodecapeptide A-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-K, respectively. Their receptor binding capacities were 0.14%, 14.3% and 11.1% of that of insulin respectively and their in vivo biological activities were in consistence with their receptor binding capacity; whereas their growth promoting activities were 17%, 116.3% and 38% of that of insulin. These results suggested the following conclusions. (i) The recombined single chain insulin could also possess the same metabolic and mitogenic function as insulin. (ii) The receptor binding capacity of recombined single chain insulin to insulin receptor was closely related to the length and amino acid composition of the connecting peptide and could change from 0 to 100% of insulin depending on the different connecting peptides. This result further illustrated the necessity of B chain C-terminus swaying away from A chain N-terminus when insulin binds to its receptor. (iii) The mitogenic activity of recombined single chain insulin also depended on the length and the amino acid composition of the connecting peptide and was higher than its metabolic activity.

  10. Restoration of voice function by using biological feedback in laryngeal and hypopharyngeal carcinoma patients

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choinzonov, E. L.; Balatskaya, L. N.; Chizhevskaya, S. Yu.; Meshcheryakov, R. V.; Kostyuchenko, E. Yu.; Ivanova, T. A.

    2016-08-01

    The aim of the research is to develop and introduce a new technique of post-laryngectomy voice rehabilitation of laryngeal and hypopharyngeal carcinoma patients. The study involves comparing and analyzing 82 cases of voice function restoration by using biological feedback based on mathematical modeling of voice production. The advantage of the modern technology-based method in comparison with the conventional one is proved. Restoration of voice function using biofeedback allows taking into account patient's abilities, adjusting parameters of voice trainings, and controlling their efficiency in real-time mode. The data obtained indicate that the new method contributes to the rapid inclusion of self-regulation mechanisms of the body and results in the overall success rate of voice rehabilitation in totally laryngectomized patients reaching 92%, which reduces the rehabilitation period to 18 days, compared to 86% and 38 days in the control group, respectively. Restoration of disturbed functions after successful treatment is an important task of rehabilitation and is crucial in terms of the quality of cancer patients' lives. To assess life quality of laryngeal cancer patients, the EORTC Quality of Life Core Questionnaire (QLQ-C30), and head and neck module (QLQ-H&N35) were used. The analyzed results proved that the technique of biofeedback voice restoration significantly improves the quality of life of laryngectomized patients. It allows reducing the number of disabled people, restoring patients' ability to work-related activities, and significantly improving social adaptation of these patients.

  11. FUSE: a profit maximization approach for functional summarization of biological networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seah Boon-Siew

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The availability of large-scale curated protein interaction datasets has given rise to the opportunity to investigate higher level organization and modularity within the protein interaction network (PPI using graph theoretic analysis. Despite the recent progress, systems level analysis of PPIS remains a daunting task as it is challenging to make sense out of the deluge of high-dimensional interaction data. Specifically, techniques that automatically abstract and summarize PPIS at multiple resolutions to provide high level views of its functional landscape are still lacking. We present a novel data-driven and generic algorithm called FUSE (Functional Summary Generator that generates functional maps of a PPI at different levels of organization, from broad process-process level interactions to in-depth complex-complex level interactions, through a pro t maximization approach that exploits Minimum Description Length (MDL principle to maximize information gain of the summary graph while satisfying the level of detail constraint. Results We evaluate the performance of FUSE on several real-world PPIS. We also compare FUSE to state-of-the-art graph clustering methods with GO term enrichment by constructing the biological process landscape of the PPIS. Using AD network as our case study, we further demonstrate the ability of FUSE to quickly summarize the network and identify many different processes and complexes that regulate it. Finally, we study the higher-order connectivity of the human PPI. Conclusion By simultaneously evaluating interaction and annotation data, FUSE abstracts higher-order interaction maps by reducing the details of the underlying PPI to form a functional summary graph of interconnected functional clusters. Our results demonstrate its effectiveness and superiority over state-of-the-art graph clustering methods with GO term enrichment.

  12. Distinguishing Pattern Formation Phenotypes: Applying Minkowski Functionals to Cell Biology Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rericha, Erin; Guven, Can; Parent, Carole; Losert, Wolfgang

    2011-03-01

    Spatial Clustering of proteins within cells or cells themselves frequently occur in cell biology systems. However quantifying the underlying order and determining the regulators of these cluster patterns have proved difficult due to the inherent high noise levels in the systems. For instance the patterns formed by wild type and cyclic-AMP regulatory mutant Dictyostelium cells are visually distinctive, yet the large error bars in measurements of the fractal number, area, Euler number, eccentricity, and wavelength making it difficult to quantitatively distinguish between the patterns. We apply a spatial analysis technique based on Minkowski functionals and develop metrics which clearly separate wild type and mutant cell lines into distinct categories. Having such a metric facilitated the development of a computational model for cellular aggregation and its regulators. Supported by NIH-NGHS Nanotechnology (R01GM085574) and the Burroughs Wellcome Fund.

  13. The universality and biological significance of signal molecules with intracellular-extracellular compatible functions

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2000-01-01

    Generally,cell signal molecules are classified into the extracellular signal molecules (the first messengers) and the intracellular signal ones (the second messengers).Cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP),calcium ions and calmodulin (CaM) are the traditional intracellular messengers,but they are also present in extracellular matrix (ECM).Some of them have been discovered to act as the first messengers through cell surface receptors.Other second messengers,such as cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP),cyclic adenosine diphosphate ribose (cADPR) and annexin,are also found existing outside animal and plant cells.The existence of these messengers with intracellular-extracellular compatible functions in cells may be a regular biological phenomenon.These compatible messengers might be the communication factors between intracellular and extracellular regions or among the cell populations,and are also important in regulating cell development procedure.

  14. Function of parotid gland following irradiation and its relation to biological parameters

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sasaki, T. (Tohoku Univ., Sendai, Japan); Yamamoto, M.; Takeda, M.

    1980-09-01

    The function of the parotid gland in the mouse (synthesis and secretion of ..cap alpha..-amylase) following X irradiation was analyzed in relation to the parameters of surviving acinar cell fraction, DNA or protein content, and wet weight of the gland. Both synthesis and secretion of amylase in parotid were essentially unchanged when mice were irradiated with a dose of up to 3000 rad. When mice were irradiated and then given a proliferative stimulus of isoproterenol, latent lethal damage in the acinar cell population was expressed and resulted in cell degeneration in a dose-dependent manner. The mean value of amylase activity per gland in similarly treated parotids was, however, totally unaffected. The relationship between amylase activity per gland and the other biological parameters was analyzed by regression analysis. The results indicate that amylase activity per surviving acinar cell increased proportionately to compensate for the loss of acinar cells.

  15. The Evolution of Human Basophil Biology from Neglect towards Understanding of Their Immune Functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steiner, Markus; Huber, Sara; Harrer, Andrea

    2016-01-01

    Being discovered long ago basophils have been neglected for more than a century. During the past decade evidence emerged that basophils share features of innate and adaptive immunity. Nowadays, basophils are best known for their striking effector role in the allergic reaction. They hence have been used for establishing new diagnostic tests and therapeutic approaches and for characterizing natural and recombinant allergens as well as hypoallergens, which display lower or diminished IgE-binding activity. However, it was a long way from discovery in 1879 until identification of their function in hypersensitivity reactions, including adverse drug reactions. Starting with a historical background, this review highlights the modern view on basophil biology. PMID:28078302

  16. N-Hexyl-4-aminobutyl glycosides for investigating structures and biological functions of carbohydrates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suzuki, Katsuhiko; Tobe, Akifumi; Adachi, Shin; Daikoku, Shusaku; Hasegawa, Yasuko; Shioiri, Yuki; Kobayashi, Mariko; Kanie, Osamu

    2009-11-21

    The potential applications of N-hexyl-4-aminobutyl glycosides in the mass spectrometric investigation of glycan structure and in the investigation of glycan functions were studied. Under collision-induced dissociation (CID) conditions, sodiated glycosides carrying N-hexyl-4-aminobutyl groups effectively produced a hemiacetal species (C-ions), which is important in mass-spectrometry-based structural investigation. The usefulness of N-hexyl-4-aminobutyl glycosides in biological analysis was also confirmed by obtaining a binding constant for the binding of dipyrrometheneboron difluoride C3-labeled N-hexyl-4-aminobutyl beta-lactoside with an Erythrina cristagalli lectin, and by visualizing cellular organelles using a more hydrophobic BODIPY-labeled compound.

  17. Perspectives in the biological function and the technological application of polygalacturonases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lang, C; Dörnenburg, H

    2000-04-01

    Polygalacturonases (PG) have evolved in the past years from a pectinase "simply" being used for food processing to an important parameter in plant-fungal interaction. PG-inhibiting proteins (PGIP) that are synthesised in plants as a specific response to PGs of pathogenic fungi, have become a focus as a possible target in resistance breeding, and PGIPs are also a concern as an inhibiting factor in food processing. Plant PGs have been identified as a major factor in fruit ripening, and PG-deficient transgenic plants have been bred. Mainly fungal PGs are used in industrial processes for juice clarification and the range of enzymes is being extended through new recombinant and non-recombinant fungal strains. Finally, novel fields of application can be envisaged for PGs in the production of oligogalacturonides as functional food components. Here we aim to highlight the various fields where PGs are encountered and where they are of biological or technological importance.

  18. Stereoelectronic effects dictate molecular conformation and biological function of heterocyclic amides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reid, Robert C; Yau, Mei-Kwan; Singh, Ranee; Lim, Junxian; Fairlie, David P

    2014-08-27

    Heterocycles adjacent to amides can have important influences on molecular conformation due to stereoelectronic effects exerted by the heteroatom. This was shown for imidazole- and thiazole-amides by comparing low energy conformations (ab initio MP2 and DFT calculations), charge distribution, dipole moments, and known crystal structures which support a general principle. Switching a heteroatom from nitrogen to sulfur altered the amide conformation, producing different three-dimensional electrostatic surfaces. Differences were attributed to different dipole and orbital alignments and spectacularly translated into opposing agonist vs antagonist functions in modulating a G-protein coupled receptor for inflammatory protein complement C3a on human macrophages. Influences of the heteroatom were confirmed by locking the amide conformation using fused bicyclic rings. These findings show that stereoelectronic effects of heterocycles modulate molecular conformation and can impart strikingly different biological properties.

  19. Organic Composition and Morphology of Sea Spray Aerosols as a Function of Biological Life during IMPACTS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pham, D.; Moffet, R.; Fraund, M. W.; O'Brien, R.; Laskina, O.; Prather, K. A.; Grassian, V. H.; Beall, C.; Wang, X.; Forestieri, S.; Cappa, C. D.

    2015-12-01

    Aerosols influence climate by directly reflecting or absorbing sunlight, or indirectly by affecting clouds. A major source of aerosols is from oceanic wave breaking. Due to their complexity, the effects of marine aerosol on climate are uncertain. To provide more detailed measurements of the chemical composition of marine aerosols, Scanning Transmission X-Ray Microscopy coupled with Near Edge X-Ray Absorption Fine Structure (SXTM-NEXAFS) was used to give spatially resolved molecular information for carbon and oxygen. Application of STXM/NEXAFS to particles collected during a mesocosm study using a unique wave channel facility to generate aerosols shows that the organic volume fraction of aerosols at the aerodynamic diameter size range of 0.18-0.32 μm are a direct function of the biological activity in the sea water. Aerosol organic volume fraction increased from 0.32 for particles generated from seawater containing low biolife to 0.49 and 0.40 for particles produced during phytoplankton blooms. However, the organic volume fraction of aerosols at the aerodynamic diameter size range of 0.56-1 μm did not change with biological activity. Measurements also show that different types of organics can concentrate into aerosols depending on the enzyme activity expressed at the time. Enhanced spectral signatures for aliphatic hydrocarbons were observed during the first phytoplankton bloom compared to a second phytoplankton bloom occurring directly thereafter. The decreased signature of aliphatic organics in the second phytoplankton bloom was correlated with increased lipase activity from heterobacteria. Organic aggregates having similar morphology also differ in composition from their carbon spectra from the two blooms. For July 17, organic aggregates were much richer in hydrocarbons, which showed a remarkably intense C-H absorbance and a broad C-C absorbance. Organic aggregates observed for July 26-27, did not have the C-H and C-C signatures, but contained more polar

  20. [The hyperiricosuria as an indicator of derangement of biologic functions of endoecology and adaptation, biologic reactions of excretion, inflammation and arterial tension].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Titov, V N; Oshchepkova, E V; Dmitriev, V A; Gushchina, O V; Shiriaeva, Iu K; Iashin, A Ia

    2012-04-01

    During millions years in all animals allantoine (oxidized by uricase uric acid) was catabolite of purines and ascorbic acid was an acceptor of active forms of oxygen. The proximal tubules of nephron reabsorbed the trace amounts of uric acid Then during phylogenesis the primates had a mutation of ascorbic acid gen minus. Later on occurred a second spontaneous mutation and uricase gen minus and uric acid became catabolites of purines. In absence of ascorbic acid synthesis ions of urates became a major capturers of active forms of oxygen and all uric acid as before underwent the reabsorption. Later the carriers were formed which began in epithelium of proximal tubules to secrete all uric acid into urine. At every incident of "littering" of intercellular medium with endogenic flogogens (impairment of biologic function of endoecology) under compensatory development of biologic reaction of inflammation the need in inactivation of active forms of oxygen increases. Hence later on in phylogenesis one more stage was formed--post secretory reabsorption of uric acid In the biologic reaction of inflammation epithelium of proximal tubules initiates retentional hyperiricosuria. The general antioxidant activity of human blood plasma in 60% is presented by urates' ions. The excretion of uric acid includes 4 stages: filtration, full reabsorption, secretion and post secretory reabsorption. In phylogenesis these stages formed in sequence. The mild hyperiricosuria is most frequently considered as a non-specific indicator of activation of biologic reaction of inflammation. The productive hyperiricosuria develops more infrequently under surplus of meat food and cytolysis syndrome (intensification of cell loss in vivo). Under concentration of uric acid more than 400 mkmol/l part of urates circulates in intercellular medium in the form of crystals. The microcrystals of uric acid (biologic "litter") initiate the syndrome of systemic inflammatory response as an endogenic flogogen

  1. Mimicking/extracting structure and functions of natural products: synthetic approaches that address unexplored needs in chemical biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirai, Go

    2015-04-01

    Natural products are often attractive and challenging targets for synthetic chemists, and many have interesting biological activities. However, synthetic chemists need to be more than simply suppliers of compounds to biologists. Therefore, we have been seeking ways to actively apply organic synthetic methods to chemical biology studies of natural products and their activities. In this personal review, I would like to introduce our work on the development of new biologically active compounds inspired by, or extracted from, the structures of natural products, focusing on enhancement of functional activity and specificity and overcoming various drawbacks of the parent natural products.

  2. Technique for examining biological materials using diffuse reflectance spectroscopy and the kubelka-munk function

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Alfano, Robert R.; Yang, Yuanlong

    2003-09-02

    Method and apparatus for examining biological materials using diffuse reflectance spectroscopy and the Kubelka-Munk function. In one aspect, the method is used to determine whether a tissue sample is cancerous or not and comprises the steps of (a) measuring the diffuse reflectance from the tissue sample at a first wavelength and at a second wavelength, wherein the first wavelength is a wavelength selected from the group consisting of 255-265 nm and wherein the second wavelength is a wavelength selected from the group consisting of 275-285 nm; (b) using the Kubelka-Munk function to transform the diffuse reflectance measurement obtained at the first and second wavelengths; and (c) comparing a ratio or a difference of the transformed Kubelka-Munk measurements at the first and second wavelengths to appropriate standards determine whether or not the tissue sample is cancerous. One can use the spectral profile of KMF between 250 nm to 300 nm to determine whether or not the tissue sample is cancerous or precancerous. According to the value at the first and second wavelengths determine whether or not the malignant tissue is invasive or mixed invasive and in situ or carcinoma in situ.

  3. SPED Light Sheet Microscopy: Fast Mapping of Biological System Structure and Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomer, Raju; Lovett-Barron, Matthew; Kauvar, Isaac; Andalman, Aaron; Burns, Vanessa M; Sankaran, Sethuraman; Grosenick, Logan; Broxton, Michael; Yang, Samuel; Deisseroth, Karl

    2015-12-17

    The goal of understanding living nervous systems has driven interest in high-speed and large field-of-view volumetric imaging at cellular resolution. Light sheet microscopy approaches have emerged for cellular-resolution functional brain imaging in small organisms such as larval zebrafish, but remain fundamentally limited in speed. Here, we have developed SPED light sheet microscopy, which combines large volumetric field-of-view via an extended depth of field with the optical sectioning of light sheet microscopy, thereby eliminating the need to physically scan detection objectives for volumetric imaging. SPED enables scanning of thousands of volumes-per-second, limited only by camera acquisition rate, through the harnessing of optical mechanisms that normally result in unwanted spherical aberrations. We demonstrate capabilities of SPED microscopy by performing fast sub-cellular resolution imaging of CLARITY mouse brains and cellular-resolution volumetric Ca(2+) imaging of entire zebrafish nervous systems. Together, SPED light sheet methods enable high-speed cellular-resolution volumetric mapping of biological system structure and function.

  4. Biology of Bone Tissue: Structure, Function, and Factors That Influence Bone Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Florencio-Silva, Rinaldo; Sasso, Gisela Rodrigues da Silva; Sasso-Cerri, Estela; Simões, Manuel Jesus; Cerri, Paulo Sérgio

    2015-01-01

    Bone tissue is continuously remodeled through the concerted actions of bone cells, which include bone resorption by osteoclasts and bone formation by osteoblasts, whereas osteocytes act as mechanosensors and orchestrators of the bone remodeling process. This process is under the control of local (e.g., growth factors and cytokines) and systemic (e.g., calcitonin and estrogens) factors that all together contribute for bone homeostasis. An imbalance between bone resorption and formation can result in bone diseases including osteoporosis. Recently, it has been recognized that, during bone remodeling, there are an intricate communication among bone cells. For instance, the coupling from bone resorption to bone formation is achieved by interaction between osteoclasts and osteoblasts. Moreover, osteocytes produce factors that influence osteoblast and osteoclast activities, whereas osteocyte apoptosis is followed by osteoclastic bone resorption. The increasing knowledge about the structure and functions of bone cells contributed to a better understanding of bone biology. It has been suggested that there is a complex communication between bone cells and other organs, indicating the dynamic nature of bone tissue. In this review, we discuss the current data about the structure and functions of bone cells and the factors that influence bone remodeling.

  5. Expression of Recombinant Human Amelogenin in Iranian Lizard Leishmania and Its Biological Function Assay

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zahra YADEGARI

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Background: Amelogenins are the major components of enamel matrix proteins. Enamel matrix derivatives (EMD can be used in periodontal diseases to regenerate periodontal tissues. The main aim of this study was to evaluate ex-pression of full-length functional recombinant human amelogenin (rhAm in Iranian lizard Leishmania (I.L.L. as an alternative eukaryotic expression system.Methods: Human cDNA encoding a 175-amino acid amelogenin expression cassette was sub cloned into a pLEXSY vector. The construct was transferred into Leishmania cells by electroporation. The protein production was surveyed in the transcription and the translation levels. The expressed protein was purified and some of its biological properties were investigated in comparison to EMD and negative control.Results: Expression of rhAm was confirmed by RT-PCR and western blot test in Leishmania cells. Purified rhAm sig-nificantly inhibited the formation of tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase positive (TRAP+ multinuclear cells in calcitriol stimulated mouse marrow cultures. Moreover, it significantly promoted proliferation and DNA synthesis in L929 mouse fibroblast cells.Conclusion: Functional rhAm was successfully expressed in I.L.L. Easy handling and post translation modification were the main advantages of this expression system. It is suggested to investigate molecular properties of this rhAm in the future.

  6. Decreased functional diversity and biological pest control in conventional compared to organic crop fields.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krauss, Jochen; Gallenberger, Iris; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf

    2011-01-01

    Organic farming is one of the most successful agri-environmental schemes, as humans benefit from high quality food, farmers from higher prices for their products and it often successfully protects biodiversity. However there is little knowledge if organic farming also increases ecosystem services like pest control. We assessed 30 triticale fields (15 organic vs. 15 conventional) and recorded vascular plants, pollinators, aphids and their predators. Further, five conventional fields which were treated with insecticides were compared with 10 non-treated conventional fields. Organic fields had five times higher plant species richness and about twenty times higher pollinator species richness compared to conventional fields. Abundance of pollinators was even more than one-hundred times higher on organic fields. In contrast, the abundance of cereal aphids was five times lower in organic fields, while predator abundances were three times higher and predator-prey ratios twenty times higher in organic fields, indicating a significantly higher potential for biological pest control in organic fields. Insecticide treatment in conventional fields had only a short-term effect on aphid densities while later in the season aphid abundances were even higher and predator abundances lower in treated compared to untreated conventional fields. Our data indicate that insecticide treatment kept aphid predators at low abundances throughout the season, thereby significantly reducing top-down control of aphid populations. Plant and pollinator species richness as well as predator abundances and predator-prey ratios were higher at field edges compared to field centres, highlighting the importance of field edges for ecosystem services. In conclusion organic farming increases biodiversity, including important functional groups like plants, pollinators and predators which enhance natural pest control. Preventative insecticide application in conventional fields has only short-term effects on aphid

  7. Pegylation of fibronectin and its functional domains: Effect on stability and biological activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Chen

    Delayed wound healing in many chronic wounds has been linked to the lack of extracellular matrix (ECM) support and the degradation of fibronectin (FN) by an abnormally high protease level. The ECM provides physical and chemical cues that direct tissue growth and development while FN is a key ECM protein that attracts and binds different molecules and cells. The goal of my study is creating an ECM analogue based on a composite of polyethylene glycol (PEG) hydrogels and FN binding domains and stabilizing FN against proteolytic degradation by conjugating it to PEG. The work presented here shows a two-prong approach by which the problem of ECM degradation and deficiency chronic wound healing can be addressed. The first approach for addressing ECM deficiency is through a scaffold design methodology. The novelty of the scaffold approach is that it uses the cell-binding domains of FN instead of the often-used RGD peptide. I demonstrate that a PEG hydrogel with the cell-binding domain produces a more robust biological response in cells than a PEG hydrogel with the RGD peptide. I also demonstrate that varying different functional domains of FN can be used to controllably stimulate multiple biological responses. The second approach demonstrates a method by which FN, a key ECM protein, is stabilized against proteolytic degradation without perturbing its activity. These studies of creating PEG-FN conjugates are the first of their kind. Collectively, the data that I present in this thesis will lead to novel therapeutic methods for treating chronic wounds.

  8. Metalloproteinases: A parade of functions in matrix biology and an outlook for the future.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Apte, Suneel S; Parks, William C

    2015-01-01

    This issue of Matrix Biology is devoted to exploring how metalloproteinases - here inclusive of related families of extracellular proteinases - act on extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins to influence an astonishing diversity of biological systems and diseases. Since their discovery in the 1960's, matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) have oft and widely been considered as the principal mediators of ECM destruction. However, as becomes clear from several articles in this issue, MMPs affect processes that both promote and limit ECM assembly, structure, and quantity. Furthermore, it has become increasingly apparent that ECM proteolysis is neither the exclusive function of MMPs nor their only sphere of influence. Thus, other enzymes may be important participants in ECM proteolysis, and indeed they are. The ADAMTS (a disintegrin-like and metalloproteinase domain with thrombospondin type 1 repeat) proteinases, BMP/tolloid proteases, and meprins have all emerged as major mechanisms of ECM proteolysis. An aggregate view of proteolysis as an exquisitely specific and crucial post-translational modification of secreted proteins emerges from these reviews. The cumulative evidence strongly suggests that although some MMPs can and do cleave ECM components, notably fibrillar collagens, the majority of these proteinases are not key physiological participants in morphogenesis nor in control of matrix metabolism in homeostasis or disease. In contrast, deficiency of ADAMTS proteases leads to a remarkable array of morphogenetic defects and connective tissue disorders consistent with a specialized role in turnover of the embryonic provisional ECM and in ECM assembly. Astacin-related proteases emerge into crucial positions in ECM assembly and turnover, although they also have numerous roles related to morphogen and growth factor regulation. To further turn the traditional view on its head, it is clear that many MMPs are key participants in many, diverse immune and inflammation processes

  9. Recent advances in alveolar biology: evolution and function of alveolar proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orgeig, Sandra; Hiemstra, Pieter S; Veldhuizen, Edwin J A; Casals, Cristina; Clark, Howard W; Haczku, Angela; Knudsen, Lars; Possmayer, Fred

    2010-08-31

    This review is focused on the evolution and function of alveolar proteins. The lung faces physical and environmental challenges, due to changing pressures/volumes and foreign pathogens, respectively. The pulmonary surfactant system is integral in protecting the lung from these challenges via two groups of surfactant proteins - the small molecular weight hydrophobic SPs, SP-B and -C, that regulate interfacial adsorption of the lipids, and the large hydrophilic SPs, SP-A and -D, which are surfactant collectins capable of inhibiting foreign pathogens. Further aiding pulmonary host defence are non-surfactant collectins and antimicrobial peptides that are expressed across the biological kingdoms. Linking to the first symposium session, which emphasised molecular structure and biophysical function of surfactant lipids and proteins, this review begins with a discussion of the role of temperature and hydrostatic pressure in shaping the evolution of SP-C in mammals. Transitioning to the role of the alveolus in innate host defence we discuss the structure, function and regulation of antimicrobial peptides, the defensins and cathelicidins. We describe the recent discovery of novel avian collectins and provide evidence for their role in preventing influenza infection. This is followed by discussions of the roles of SP-A and SP-D in mediating host defence at the alveolar surface and in mediating inflammation and the allergic response of the airways. Finally we discuss the use of animal models of lung disease including knockouts to develop an understanding of the role of these proteins in initiating and/or perpetuating disease with the aim of developing new therapeutic strategies.

  10. The Biological Function of the Prion Protein: A Cell Surface Scaffold of Signaling Modules

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linden, Rafael

    2017-01-01

    The prion glycoprotein (PrPC) is mostly located at the cell surface, tethered to the plasma membrane through a glycosyl-phosphatydil inositol (GPI) anchor. Misfolding of PrPC is associated with the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), whereas its normal conformer serves as a receptor for oligomers of the β-amyloid peptide, which play a major role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). PrPC is highly expressed in both the nervous and immune systems, as well as in other organs, but its functions are controversial. Extensive experimental work disclosed multiple physiological roles of PrPC at the molecular, cellular and systemic levels, affecting the homeostasis of copper, neuroprotection, stem cell renewal and memory mechanisms, among others. Often each such process has been heralded as the bona fide function of PrPC, despite restricted attention paid to a selected phenotypic trait, associated with either modulation of gene expression or to the engagement of PrPC with a single ligand. In contrast, the GPI-anchored prion protein was shown to bind several extracellular and transmembrane ligands, which are required to endow that protein with the ability to play various roles in transmembrane signal transduction. In addition, differing sets of those ligands are available in cell type- and context-dependent scenarios. To account for such properties, we proposed that PrPC serves as a dynamic platform for the assembly of signaling modules at the cell surface, with widespread consequences for both physiology and behavior. The current review advances the hypothesis that the biological function of the prion protein is that of a cell surface scaffold protein, based on the striking similarities of its functional properties with those of scaffold proteins involved in the organization of intracellular signal transduction pathways. Those properties are: the ability to recruit spatially restricted sets of binding molecules involved in specific signaling

  11. Object-based attentional modulation of biological motion processing: spatiotemporal dynamics using functional magnetic resonance imaging and electroencephalography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Safford, Ashley S; Hussey, Elizabeth A; Parasuraman, Raja; Thompson, James C

    2010-07-07

    Although it is well documented that the ability to perceive biological motion is mediated by the lateral temporal cortex, whether and when neural activity in this brain region is modulated by attention is unknown. In particular, it is unclear whether the processing of biological motion requires attention or whether such stimuli are processed preattentively. Here, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging, high-density electroencephalography, and cortically constrained source estimation methods to investigate the spatiotemporal effects of attention on the processing of biological motion. Directing attention to tool motion in overlapping movies of biological motion and tool motion suppressed the blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) response of the right superior temporal sulcus (STS)/middle temporal gyrus (MTG), while directing attention to biological motion suppressed the BOLD response of the left inferior temporal sulcus (ITS)/MTG. Similarly, category-based modulation of the cortical current source density estimates from the right STS/MTG and left ITS was observed beginning at approximately 450 ms following stimulus onset. Our results indicate that the cortical processing of biological motion is strongly modulated by attention. These findings argue against preattentive processing of biological motion in the presence of stimuli that compete for attention. Our findings also suggest that the attention-based segregation of motion category-specific responses only emerges relatively late (several hundred milliseconds) in processing.

  12. Single-molecule conformational dynamics of a biologically functional hydroxocobalamin riboswitch.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holmstrom, Erik D; Polaski, Jacob T; Batey, Robert T; Nesbitt, David J

    2014-12-03

    Riboswitches represent a family of highly structured regulatory elements found primarily in the leader sequences of bacterial mRNAs. They function as molecular switches capable of altering gene expression; commonly, this occurs via a conformational change in a regulatory element of a riboswitch that results from ligand binding in the aptamer domain. Numerous studies have investigated the ligand binding process, but little is known about the structural changes in the regulatory element. A mechanistic description of both processes is essential for deeply understanding how riboswitches modulate gene expression. This task is greatly facilitated by studying all aspects of riboswitch structure/dynamics/function in the same model system. To this end, single-molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer (smFRET) techniques have been used to directly observe the conformational dynamics of a hydroxocobalamin (HyCbl) binding riboswitch (env8HyCbl) with a known crystallographic structure.1 The single-molecule RNA construct studied in this work is unique in that it contains all of the structural elements both necessary and sufficient for regulation of gene expression in a biological context. The results of this investigation reveal that the undocking rate constant associated with the disruption of a long-range kissing-loop (KL) interaction is substantially decreased when the ligand is bound to the RNA, resulting in a preferential stabilization of the docked conformation. Notably, the formation of this tertiary KL interaction directly sequesters the Shine-Dalgarno sequence (i.e., the ribosome binding site) via base-pairing, thus preventing translation initiation. These results reveal that the conformational dynamics of this regulatory switch are quantitatively described by a four-state kinetic model, whereby ligand binding promotes formation of the KL interaction. The results of complementary cell-based gene expression experiments conducted in Escherichia coli are highly

  13. Carbohydrate/glycan-binding specificity of legume lectins in respect to their proposed biological functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Márcio Viana Ramos

    2000-01-01

    Full Text Available The lectins, proteins which specifically recognize carbohydrate moieties, have been extensively studied in many biochemical and structural aspects in order to establish the molecular basis of this non-catalytic event. On the other hand, their clinical and agricultural potentials have been growing fast. Although lectins, mainly those from legume plants, had been investigated for biological properties, studies about the physiological functions of lectins are scarce in literature. Therefore, despite the accumulated data on lectins (as proteins, the role played by these signalizing molecules is poorly discussed. In the light of our accumulated results on legume lectins, specially those obtained from plants belonging to the Diocleinae sub-tribe and available data in literature, we discuss here the main hypothesis of their functions according to their carbohydrate/glycan-binding specificity.As lectinas, proteinas que especificamente reconhecem estruturas que contém carboidratos, têm sido extensivamente estudadas em muitos aspectos bioquímicos e estruturais, objetivando estabelecer as bases moleculares deste evento não-catalítico. Por outro lado, os potenciais clínicos e agriculturais destas proteínas têm crescido rapidamente. Embora as lectinas, principalmente aquelas de legumes tenham sido bastante investigadas em suas propriedades biológicas, estudos sobre as funcões fisiológicas de lectinas são escassos na literatura. Além disto, a despeito da quantidade de dados acumulados sobre lectinas (como proteínas, o papel desempenhado por estas moléculas de sinalização é pobremente discutido. Valendo-se de nossos estudos sobre lectinas de leguminosas, principalmente da sub-tribo Diocleinae, e outros dados presentes na literatura, discutimos aqui, as principais hipóteses de suas funções com base na especificidade por carboidratos e glicanos complexos.

  14. Unexpected functional similarities between gatekeeper tumour suppressor genes and proto-oncogenes revealed by systems biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Yongzhong; Epstein, Richard J

    2011-05-01

    Familial tumor suppressor genes comprise two subgroups: caretaker genes (CTs) that repair DNA, and gatekeeper genes (GKs) that trigger cell death. Since GKs may also induce cell cycle delay and thus enhance cell survival by facilitating DNA repair, we hypothesized that the prosurvival phenotype of GKs could be selected during cancer progression, and we used a multivariable systems biology approach to test this. We performed multidimensional data analysis, non-negative matrix factorization and logistic regression to compare the features of GKs with those of their putative antagonists, the proto-oncogenes (POs), as well as with control groups of CTs and functionally unrelated congenital heart disease genes (HDs). GKs and POs closely resemble each other, but not CTs or HDs, in terms of gene structure (P<0.001), expression level and breadth (P<0.01), DNA methylation signature (P<0.001) and evolutionary rate (P<0.001). The similar selection pressures and epigenetic trajectories of GKs and POs so implied suggest a common functional attribute that is strongly negatively selected-that is, a shared phenotype that enhances cell survival. The counterintuitive finding of similar evolutionary pressures affecting GKs and POs raises an intriguing possibility: namely, that cancer microevolution is accelerated by an epistatic cascade in which upstream suppressor gene defects subvert the normal bifunctionality of wild-type GKs by constitutively shifting the phenotype away from apoptosis towards survival. If correct, this interpretation would explain the hitherto unexplained phenomenon of frequent wild-type GK (for example, p53) overexpression in tumors.

  15. Improved normal tissue sparing in head and neck radiotherapy using biological cost function based-IMRT.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, N; Lawford, C; Khoo, V; Rolfo, M; Joon, D L; Wada, M

    2011-12-01

    Intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) has reduced the impact of acute and late toxicities associated with head and neck radiotherapy. Treatment planning system (TPS) advances in biological cost function based optimization (BBO) and improved segmentation techniques have increased organ at risk (OAR) sparing compared to conventional dose-based optimization (DBO). A planning study was undertaken to compare OAR avoidance in DBO and BBO treatment planning. Simultaneous integrated boost treatment plans were produced for 10 head and neck patients using both planning systems. Plans were compared for tar get coverage and OAR avoidance. Comparisons were made using the BBO TPS Monte Carlo dose engine to eliminate differences due to inherent algorithms. Target coverage (V95%) was maintained for both solutions. BBO produced lower OAR doses, with statistically significant improvement to left (12.3%, p = 0.005) and right parotid mean dose (16.9%, p = 0.004), larynx V50_Gy (71.0%, p = 0.005), spinal cord (21.9%, p < 0.001) and brain stem dose maximums (31.5%, p = 0.002). This study observed improved OAR avoidance with BBO planning. Further investigations will be undertaken to review any clinical benefit of this improved planned dosimetry.

  16. Melanocyte biology and function with reference to oral melanin hyperpigmentation in HIV-seropositive subjects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feller, Liviu; Chandran, Rakesh; Kramer, Beverley; Khammissa, Razia A G; Altini, Mario; Lemmer, Johan

    2014-09-01

    The color of normal skin and of oral mucosa is not determined by the number of melanocytes in the epithelium but rather by their melanogenic activity. Pigmented biopolymers or melanins are synthesized in melanosomes. Tyrosinase is the critical enzyme in the biosynthesis of both brown/black eumelanin and yellow/red pheomelanin. The number of the melanosomes within the melanocytes, the type of melanin within the melanosomes, and the efficacy of the transfer of melanosomes from the melanocytes to the neighboring keratinocytes all play an important role in tissue pigmentation. Melanin production is regulated by locally produced factors including proopiomelanocortin and its derivative peptides, particularly alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH), melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R), adrenergic and cholinergic agents, growth factors, cytokines, and nitric oxide. Both eumelanin and pheomelanin can be produced by the same melanocytes, and the proportion of the two melanin types is influenced by the degree of functional activity of the α-MSH/MC1R intracellular pathway. The cause of HIV oral melanosis is not fully understood but may be associated with HIV-induced cytokine dysregulation, with the medications commonly prescribed to HIV-seropositive persons, and with adrenocortical dysfunction, which is not uncommon in HIV-seropositive subjects with AIDS. The purpose of this article is to discuss some aspects of melanocyte biology and HIV-associated oral melanin hyperpigmentation.

  17. Functional and biological diversity of foliar spectra in tree canopies throughout the Andes to Amazon region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asner, Gregory P; Martin, Roberta E; Carranza-Jiménez, Loreli; Sinca, Felipe; Tupayachi, Raul; Anderson, Christopher B; Martinez, Paola

    2014-10-01

    Spectral properties of foliage express fundamental chemical interactions of canopies with solar radiation. However, the degree to which leaf spectra track chemical traits across environmental gradients in tropical forests is unknown. We analyzed leaf reflectance and transmittance spectra in 2567 tropical canopy trees comprising 1449 species in 17 forests along a 3400-m elevation and soil fertility gradient from the Amazonian lowlands to the Andean treeline. We developed quantitative links between 21 leaf traits and 400-2500-nm spectra, and developed classifications of tree taxa based on spectral traits. Our results reveal enormous inter-specific variation in spectral and chemical traits among canopy trees of the western Amazon. Chemical traits mediating primary production were tightly linked to elevational changes in foliar spectral signatures. By contrast, defense compounds and rock-derived nutrients tracked foliar spectral variation with changing soil fertility in the lowlands. Despite the effects of abiotic filtering on mean foliar spectral properties of tree communities, the spectra were dominated by phylogeny within any given community, and spectroscopy accurately classified 85-93% of Amazonian tree species. Our findings quantify how tropical tree canopies interact with sunlight, and indicate how to measure the functional and biological diversity of forests with spectroscopy.

  18. Expression of a Magnaporthe grisea Elicitor and Its Biological Function in Activating Resistance in Rice

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

    The expression of a protein elicitor from Magnaporthe griesea and its biological function in activating resistance in rice (Oryza sativa L) were reported. The gene of elicitor was expressed in Escherichia coli cells and produced a His6-fusion protein with 42 kD apparent molecular weight on SDS-PAGE. The purified protein could induce the resistance to blast disease, with the control efficiency of 46.47% and 36.41% at the 14th day and the 21st day after blast inoculation, respectively.After treatment with the expressed protein, the phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL) and peroxidase (POD) activities were promoted in rice plants, meanwhile, the transcription levels of STKM, FAD, PBZ1 and PR1 genes were increased in rice plants. Moreover, after comparing the profile of total rice leaf proteins on two-dimensional eiectrophoresis gel, about 14proteins were found to be increased in expression level after the expressed protein treatment. All the results indicated that the expressed protein could act as an elicitor to trigger the resistance in rice.

  19. Gene-based GWAS and biological pathway analysis of the resilience of executive functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mukherjee, Shubhabrata; Kim, Sungeun; Ramanan, Vijay K; Gibbons, Laura E; Nho, Kwangsik; Glymour, M Maria; Ertekin-Taner, Nilüfer; Montine, Thomas J; Saykin, Andrew J; Crane, Paul K

    2014-03-01

    Resilience in executive functioning (EF) is characterized by high EF measured by neuropsychological test performance despite structural brain damage from neurodegenerative conditions. We previously reported single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genome-wide association study (GWAS) results for EF resilience. Here, we report gene- and pathway-based analyses of the same resilience phenotype, using an optimal SNP-set (Sequence) Kernel Association Test (SKAT) for gene-based analyses (conservative threshold for genome-wide significance = 0.05/18,123 = 2.8 × 10(-6)) and the gene-set enrichment package GSA-SNP for biological pathway analyses (False discovery rate (FDR) resilience (p = 1.33 × 10(-7)). Genetic pathways involved with dendritic/neuron spine, presynaptic membrane, postsynaptic density, etc., were enriched with association to EF resilience. Although replication of these results is necessary, our findings indicate the potential value of gene- and pathway-based analyses in research on determinants of cognitive resilience.

  20. The biology and functional morphology of Macoma biota (Bivalvia: Tellinidae: Macominae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pedro Ribeiro Piffer

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Macoma biota Arruda & Domaneschi, 2005, is a recently described species known only from the intertidal zone of Praia da Cidade, Caraguatatuba Bay, in the state of São Paulo, southeastern Brazil. The main purpose of the present paper is to describe the biology of M. biota, beginning with a detailed analysis of its anatomy and functional morphology and how these attributes are correlated with its habitat and life history. The morphology of the organs in the pallial cavity and their sorting devices indicate that this species has efficient mechanisms to process large amounts of particles that enter this cavity via the inhalant current. M. biota can rapidly select the material suitable for ingestion and direct the undesired excess to the rejection mantle tracts. These characteristics along with the siphon's behavior and the digestive tract configuration reveal that this species can be classified primarily as a deposit feeder, like other species of the genus; however, it can also behave as a suspension feeder, depending on the environmental conditions.

  1. Biological functions of glycosyltransferase genes involved in O-fucose glycan synthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okajima, Tetsuya; Matsuura, Aiko; Matsuda, Tsukasa

    2008-07-01

    Rare types of glycosylation often occur in a domain-specific manner and are involved in specific biological processes. Well-known examples of such modification are O-linked fucose (O-fucose) and O-linked glucose (O-glucose) glycans on epidermal growth factor (EGF) domains. In particular, O-fucose glycans are reported to regulate the functions of EGF domain-containing proteins such as urinary-type plasminogen activator and Notch receptors. Two glycosyltransferases catalyze the initiation and elongation of O-fucose glycans. The initiation process is catalyzed by O-fucosyltransferase 1, which is essential for Notch signalling in both Drosophila and mice. O-fucosyltransferase 1 can affect the folding, ligand interaction and endocytosis of Notch receptors, and both the glycosyltransferase and non-catalytic activities of O-fucosyltransferase 1 have been reported. The elongation of O-fucose monosaccharide is catalyzed by Fringe-related genes, which differentially modulate the interaction between Notch and two classes of ligands, namely, Delta and Serrate/Jagged. In this article, we have reviewed the recent reports addressing the distinctive features of the glycosyltransferases and O-glycans present on the EGF domains.

  2. Mechanically robust, rapidly actuating, and biologically functionalized macroporous poly(N-isopropylacrylamide)/silk hybrid hydrogels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gil, Eun Seok; Park, Sang-Hyug; Tien, Lee W; Trimmer, Barry; Hudson, Samuel M; Kaplan, David L

    2010-10-05

    A route toward mechanically robust, rapidly actuating, and biologically functionalized polymeric actuators using macroporous soft materials is described. The materials were prepared by combining silk protein and a synthetic polymer (poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIAPPm)) to form interpenetrating network materials and macroporous structures by freeze-drying, with hundreds of micrometer diameter pores and exploiting the features of both polymers related to dynamic materials and structures. The chemically cross-linked PNIPAAm networks provided stimuli-responsive features, while the silk interpenetrating network formed by inducing protein β-sheet crystallinity in situ for physical cross-links provided material robustness, improved expansion force, and enzymatic degradability. The macroporous hybrid hydrogels showed enhanced thermal-responsive properties in comparison to pure PNIPAAm hydrogels, nonporous silk/PNIPAAm hybrid hydrogels, and previously reported macroporous PNIPAAm hydrogels. These new systems reach near equilibrium sizes in shrunken/swollen states in less than 1 min, with the structural features providing improved actuation rates and stable oscillatory properties due to the macroporous transport and the mechanically robust silk network. Confocal images of the hydrated hydrogels around the lower critical solution temperature (LCST) revealed macropores that could be used to track changes in the real time morphology upon thermal stimulus. The material system transformed from a macroporous to a nonporous structure upon enzymatic degradation. To extend the utility of the system, an affinity platform for a switchable or tunable system was developed by immobilizing biotin and avidin on the macropore surfaces.

  3. Soft robotic arm inspired by the octopus: I. From biological functions to artificial requirements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Margheri, L; Laschi, C; Mazzolai, B

    2012-06-01

    Octopuses are molluscs that belong to the group Cephalopoda. They lack joints and rigid links, and as a result, their arms possess virtually limitless freedom of movement. These flexible appendages exhibit peculiar biomechanical features such as stiffness control, compliance, and high flexibility and dexterity. Studying the capabilities of the octopus arm is a complex task that presents a challenge for both biologists and roboticists, the latter of whom draw inspiration from the octopus in designing novel technologies within soft robotics. With this idea in mind, in this study, we used new, purposively developed methods of analysing the octopus arm in vivo to create new biologically inspired design concepts. Our measurements showed that the octopus arm can elongate by 70% in tandem with a 23% diameter reduction and exhibits an average pulling force of 40 N. The arm also exhibited a 20% mean shortening at a rate of 17.1 mm s(-1) and a longitudinal stiffening rate as high as 2 N (mm s)(-1). Using histology and ultrasounds, we investigated the functional morphology of the internal tissues, including the sinusoidal arrangement of the nerve cord and the local insertion points of the longitudinal and transverse muscle fibres. The resulting information was used to create novel design principles and specifications that can in turn be used in developing a new soft robotic arm.

  4. Structural changes in PVDF fibers due to electrospinning and its effect on biological function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Damaraju, Sita M; Wu, Siliang; Jaffe, Michael; Arinzeh, Treena Livingston

    2013-08-01

    Polyvinylidine fluoride (PVDF) is being investigated as a potential scaffold for bone tissue engineering because of its proven biocompatibility and piezoelectric property, wherein it can generate electrical activity when mechanically deformed. In this study, PVDF scaffolds were prepared by electrospinning using different voltages (12-30 kV), evaluated for the presence of the piezoelectric β-crystal phase and its effect on biological function. Electrospun PVDF was compared with unprocessed/raw PVDF, films and melt-spun fibers for the presence of the piezoelectric β-phase using differential scanning calorimetry, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and x-ray diffraction. The osteogenic differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) was evaluated on scaffolds electrospun at 12 and 25 kV (PVDF-12 kV and PVDF-25 kV, respectively) and compared to tissue culture polystyrene (TCP). Electrospinning PVDF resulted in the formation of the piezoelectric β-phase with the highest β-phase fraction of 72% for electrospun PVDF at 25 kV. MSCs cultured on both the scaffolds were well attached as indicated by a spread morphology. Cells on PVDF-25 kV scaffolds had the greatest alkaline phosphatase activity and early mineralization by day 10 as compared to TCP and PVDF-12 kV. The results demonstrate the potential for the use of PVDF scaffolds for bone tissue engineering applications.

  5. Molecular mechanism and biological function of miRNA-155 and its target genes on endometriosis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Na Ji; Li Zhao; Xin Feng; Li-Mei Luo; Ting Liang; Chen-Yu Zhuang; Li-Hua Zhang

    2015-01-01

    Objective:To explore molecular mechanism and biological function of miR-155 and its target genes on endometriosis.Methods: The expression of miR-155 in Ems patient and healthy control were assayed by RT-PCR. After miR-155 mimic and inhibitor were transfected into Ems endometrial cells for 48 h, the viability of cell was detected by MTT assay. Transwell migration and invasion assay were used to detect cell migration and invasion. The expression of cell apoptotic protein Bax and Bcl-2, matrix metalloproteinase (MMP 2) and MMP 9 were assayed by western blot.Results: The expression of miR-155 in Ems patient was more than that in the health control (P<0.01). After miR-155 mimic and inhibitor were transfected into Ems endometrial cells for 48 h, miR-155 over-expression could increase cell viability, and promoted cell migration and invasion, which was related to down-regulation of Bax along with up-regulation of Bcl-2, MMP 2 and MMP 9.Conclusion:These results suggested miR-155 lower expression inhibit endometrial cell proliferation and migration of the Ems.

  6. From electron microscopy to molecular cell biology, molecular genetics and structural biology: intracellular transport and kinesin superfamily proteins, KIFs: genes, structure, dynamics and functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirokawa, Nobutaka

    2011-01-01

    Cells transport and sort various proteins and lipids following synthesis as distinct types of membranous organelles and protein complexes to the correct destination at appropriate velocities. This intracellular transport is fundamental for cell morphogenesis, survival and functioning not only in highly polarized neurons but also in all types of cells in general. By developing quick-freeze electron microscopy (EM), new filamentous structures associated with cytoskeletons are uncovered. The characterization of chemical structures and functions of these new filamentous structures led us to discover kinesin superfamily molecular motors, KIFs. In this review, I discuss the identification of these new structures and characterization of their functions using molecular cell biology and molecular genetics. KIFs not only play significant roles by transporting various cargoes along microtubule rails, but also play unexpected fundamental roles on various important physiological processes such as learning and memory, brain wiring, development of central nervous system and peripheral nervous system, activity-dependent neuronal survival, development of early embryo, left-right determination of our body and tumourigenesis. Furthermore, by combining single-molecule biophysics with structural biology such as cryo-electrom microscopy and X-ray crystallography, atomic structures of KIF1A motor protein of almost all states during ATP hydrolysis have been determined and a common mechanism of motility has been proposed. Thus, this type of studies could be a good example of really integrative multidisciplinary life science in the twenty-first century.

  7. Short term recovery of soil biological functions in a new vineyard cultivated in organic farming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costantini, Edoardo; Agnelli, Alessandro; Fabiani, Arturo; Gagnarli, Elena; Mocali, Stefano; Priori, Simone; Simoni, Sauro; Valboa, Giuseppe

    2014-05-01

    soil biological classes). Physical soil characteristics remained unchanged after the first year from the earthworks and did not change under grass cover. Chemical analysis only indicated a significant effect of earthworks. Over the 2010-2013 period, the new vineyard showed a slight increase of TOC and total N contents; as compared to the old vineyard, it averaged lower TOC and total N, and higher CaCO3 contents, suggesting still evolving equilibrium conditions. Microarthropod analysis showed significant different abundances and communities' structures both by management system and by year, increasing where the land use pressure was reduced by permanent grass cover and along with the aging of vineyard. Though the euedaphic forms, well adapted to soil life, were always rare. Microbiological analysis showed a different structure of eubacterial communities and a lower microbial activity in the new vineyard, especially during 2010-2012. In contrast, significant differences were not observed between the two vineyards in 2013, and grass cover effect was controversial. To sum up, the consequence of deep earthworks on chemical and biological properties were still evident after four years from planting and more time was needed to recover soil functions. Permanent grass cover did not always show a consistent positive effect.

  8. Single Fluorescent Molecules as Nano-Illuminators for Biological Structure and Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moerner, W. E.

    2011-03-01

    Since the first optical detection and spectroscopy of a single molecule in a solid (Phys. Rev. Lett. {62}, 2535 (1989)), much has been learned about the ability of single molecules to probe local nanoenvironments and individual behavior in biological and nonbiological materials in the absence of ensemble averaging that can obscure heterogeneity. Because each single fluorophore acts a light source roughly 1 nm in size, microscopic imaging of individual fluorophores leads naturally to superlocalization, or determination of the position of the molecule with precision beyond the optical diffraction limit, simply by digitization of the point-spread function from the single emitter. For example, the shape of single filaments in a living cell can be extracted simply by allowing a single molecule to move through the filament (PNAS {103}, 10929 (2006)). The addition of photoinduced control of single-molecule emission allows imaging beyond the diffraction limit (super-resolution) and a new array of acronyms (PALM, STORM, F-PALM etc.) and advances have appeared. We have used the native blinking and switching of a common yellow-emitting variant of green fluorescent protein (EYFP) reported more than a decade ago (Nature {388}, 355 (1997)) to achieve sub-40 nm super-resolution imaging of several protein structures in the bacterium Caulobacter crescentus: the quasi-helix of the actin-like protein MreB (Nat. Meth. {5}, 947 (2008)), the cellular distribution of the DNA binding protein HU (submitted), and the recently discovered division spindle composed of ParA filaments (Nat. Cell Biol. {12}, 791 (2010)). Even with these advances, better emitters would provide more photons and improved resolution, and a new photoactivatable small-molecule emitter has recently been synthesized and targeted to specific structures in living cells to provide super-resolution images (JACS {132}, 15099 (2010)). Finally, a new optical method for extracting three-dimensional position information based on

  9. Biological oscillations for learning walking coordination: dynamic recurrent neural network functionally models physiological central pattern generator.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoellinger, Thomas; Petieau, Mathieu; Duvinage, Matthieu; Castermans, Thierry; Seetharaman, Karthik; Cebolla, Ana-Maria; Bengoetxea, Ana; Ivanenko, Yuri; Dan, Bernard; Cheron, Guy

    2013-01-01

    The existence of dedicated neuronal modules such as those organized in the cerebral cortex, thalamus, basal ganglia, cerebellum, or spinal cord raises the question of how these functional modules are coordinated for appropriate motor behavior. Study of human locomotion offers an interesting field for addressing this central question. The coordination of the elevation of the 3 leg segments under a planar covariation rule (Borghese et al., 1996) was recently modeled (Barliya et al., 2009) by phase-adjusted simple oscillators shedding new light on the understanding of the central pattern generator (CPG) processing relevant oscillation signals. We describe the use of a dynamic recurrent neural network (DRNN) mimicking the natural oscillatory behavior of human locomotion for reproducing the planar covariation rule in both legs at different walking speeds. Neural network learning was based on sinusoid signals integrating frequency and amplitude features of the first three harmonics of the sagittal elevation angles of the thigh, shank, and foot of each lower limb. We verified the biological plausibility of the neural networks. Best results were obtained with oscillations extracted from the first three harmonics in comparison to oscillations outside the harmonic frequency peaks. Physiological replication steadily increased with the number of neuronal units from 1 to 80, where similarity index reached 0.99. Analysis of synaptic weighting showed that the proportion of inhibitory connections consistently increased with the number of neuronal units in the DRNN. This emerging property in the artificial neural networks resonates with recent advances in neurophysiology of inhibitory neurons that are involved in central nervous system oscillatory activities. The main message of this study is that this type of DRNN may offer a useful model of physiological central pattern generator for gaining insights in basic research and developing clinical applications.

  10. Biological oscillations for learning walking coordination: dynamic recurrent neural network functionally models physiological central pattern generator

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas eHoellinger

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available The existence of dedicated neuronal modules such as those organized in the cerebral cortex, thalamus, basal ganglia, cerebellum or spinal cord raises the question of how these functional modules are coordinated for appropriate motor behavior. Study of human locomotion offers an interesting field for addressing this central question. The coordination of the elevation of the 3 leg segments under a planar covariation rule (Borghese et al., 1996 was recently modeled (Barliya et al., 2009 by phase-adjusted simple oscillators shedding new light on the understanding of the central pattern generator processing relevant oscillation signals. We describe the use of a dynamic recurrent neural network (DRNN mimicking the natural oscillatory behavior of human locomotion for reproducing the planar covariation rule in both legs at different walking speeds. Neural network learning was based on sinusoid signals integrating frequency and amplitude features of the first three harmonics of the sagittal elevation angles of the thigh, shank and foot of each lower limb. We verified the biological plausibility of the neural networks. Best results were obtained with oscillations extracted from the first three harmonics in comparison to oscillations outside the harmonic frequency peaks. Physiological replication steadily increased with the number of neuronal units from 1 to 80, where similarity index reached 0.99. Analysis of synaptic weighting showed that the proportion of inhibitory connections consistently increased with the number of neuronal units in the DRNN. This emerging property in the artificial neural networks resonates with recent advances in neurophysiology of inhibitory neurons that are involved in central nervous system oscillatory activities. The main message of this study is that this type of DRNN may offer a useful model of physiological central pattern generator for gaining insights in basic research and developing clinical applications.

  11. Interaction of hepatitis B virus with tumor suppressor gene p53: its significance and biological function

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2002-01-01

    The mechanism of the interaction of hepatitis B virus (HBV) with tumor suppressor p53 and its role in the hepatocarcinogenesis have been studied by PCR-directed sequencing, gel shift assays and in situ ultraviolet cross-linking assay. The biological function of the interaction of HBV with p53 gene was investigated by co-transfection of chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (CAT) reporter gene, p53 and HBV DNA, and quantitative PCR. Among the 16 primary hepatocellular carcinoma (PHC) samples, 13 were HBV-DNA positive,10 HBxAg positive and 9 p53 protein positive. The p53 gene point mutation was found in 5 samples, one of which had a G to T substitution located at codon 249. After analyzing the HBV genome by a computer program, a p53 response element binding sequence was found in HBV genome at upstream of enhancer I, from 1047 to 1059 nucleotides. This sequence could specifically bind to p53 protein, increase p53 protein accumulation in the PHC cells and stimulate the transactivating activity of p53 and HBV replication .The results also revealed that HBxAg could combine with p53 protein to form a complex in the cells and enhance CAT expression. Immunocytochemical staining showed that p53 protein complex was located in the cytoplasm and the process of p53 entry to nuclei was, in part, blocked. From our results, we conclude that the mutation of p53 gene at codon 249 is infrequent in HBV-associated PHC, the DNA-protein binding between HBV and p53, and the protein-protein binding between HBxAg and p53 might lead to the reduction or inactivation of p53 protein, which in turn resulting in HBV-associated hepatocarcinogenesis.

  12. Biological function of hpsh4590 localized in the plasticity zone of Helicobacter pylori.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gu, Yu-feng; Li, Yu; Song, Yu; Chang, Xin; Qu, Ye-Min; Wang, Ming-Yi; Gao, Xiao-Zhong

    2016-04-01

    The aim of this study was to determine the biological function of hpsh4590 in Helicobacter pylori. After Hpsh4590 was expressed using a prokaryotic expression system, the cytotoxic effects and IL-8 production of Hpsh4590 were analyzed by co-culturing with GES-1 cells. Meanwhile, the antibody of rHpsh4590, produced by immunizing rabbit, was used for localization and protein interaction studies. Hpsh4590 fusion protein was expressed successfully in Escherichia coli Rosetta (DE3), and the polyclonal antibody was produced at high titers. The MTT assay showed that the inhibition ratio of GES-1 cells cultured with 0.1 μg/mL rHpsh4590 (3.02% ± 0.02%) was significantly lower than that of 20 μg/mL rHpsh4590 (57.57% ± 0.03%, p < 0.01), while DAPI staining showed the cytotoxic effects of rHpsh4590 for GES-1 cells. The up-regulation of cleaved caspase-3 and cleaved PARP was observed after GES-1 cells co-cultured with rHpsh4590 by Western blot. Co-culturing of GES-1 cells with rHpsh0459 (20 μg/mL) led to significant production of IL-8 at 12 h(1097.74 ± 212.37 pg/mL) and 24 h (1379.55 ± 209.58 pg/mL) then at 6 h(134.68 ± 14.64 pg/mL, p < 0.01). These observations suggest that the cytotoxicity of Hpsh4590 occurred in a concentration dependent manner, which is related with IL-8 secretion from gastric mucosal epithelial cells. Hpsh4590 was found localized in the membrane and the periplasm of H. pylori, interacted with zinc finger protein and methionine ABC transporter ATP-binding protein, and potentially regulates DNA uptake or transfer.

  13. Rapidly restoring biological soil crusts and ecosystem functions in a severely disturbed desert ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiquoine, Lindsay P; Abella, Scott R; Bowker, Matthew A

    2016-06-01

    Restoring biological soil crusts (biocrusts) in degraded drylands can contribute to recovery of ecosystem functions that have global implications, including erosion resistance and nutrient cycling. To examine techniques for restoring biocrusts, we conducted a replicated, factorial experiment on recently abandoned road surfaces by applying biocrust inoculation (salvaged and stored dry for two years), salvaged topsoil, an abiotic soil amendment (wood shavings), and planting of a dominant perennial shrub (Ambrosia dumosa). Eighteen months after treatments, we measured biocrust abundance and species composition, soil chlorophyll a content and fertility, and soil resistance to erosion. Biocrust addition significantly accelerated biocrust recovery on disturbed soils, including increasing lichen and moss cover and cyanobacteria colonization. Compared to undisturbed controls, inoculated plots had similar lichen and moss composition, recovered 43% of total cyanobacteria density, had similar soil chlorophyll content, and exhibited recovery of soil fertility and soil stability. Inoculation was the only treatment that generated lichen and moss cover. Topsoil application resulted in partial recovery of the cyanobacteria community and soil properties. Compared to untreated disturbed plots, topsoil application without inoculum increased cyanobacteria density by 186% and moderately improved soil chlorophyll and ammonium content and soil stability. Topsoil application produced 22% and 51% of the cyanobacteria density g⁻¹ soil compared to undisturbed and inoculated plots, respectively. Plots not treated with either topsoil or inoculum had significantly lower cyanobacteria density, soil chlorophyll and ammonium concentrations, and significantly higher soil nitrate concentration. Wood shavings and Ambrosia had no influence on biocrust lichen and moss species recovery but did affect cyanobacteria composition and soil fertility. Inoculation of severely disturbed soil with native

  14. Mapping biological soil crusts for understanding their functional relevance in dryland ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez-Caballero, E.; Escribano, P.; Chamizo, S.; Canton, Y.

    2012-04-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSCs) are considered a key element in the functioning of arid and semiarid ecosystems as they modify numerous soil surface properties involved in primary ecosystem processes such as hydrological and erosion processes, and nutrient cycling.. It is known that arid and semiarid ecosystems are conformed by a complex matrix of vegetated and open ground patches usually covered by BSCs. Geomorphic evolution of drylands depends on the individual response of patches and also on the interactions and feedback-processes among patches. These interactions are controlled by patch spatial distribution. On this account, to understand the role of BSCs in the system, it is necessary to introduce their effect at coarser scales, and to have accurate and spatially continuous information of BSC distribution. The inherent complexity and the spatial heterogeneity of drylands make field survey methods very limited for BSC mapping. Images reported by remote sensors are presented as a powerful tool for mapping BSC spatial distribution. Remote sensors provide synoptic and spatially continuous information of the territory. Different indices for mapping BSCs have been published. These indices are based on distinctive spectral characteristic of BSCs and differ in nature and objectives. The aim of this work was to analyze the feasibility of some of these indices in a semiarid area characterized by sparse vegetation cover usually mixed at subpixel level with elements characterized by very similar spectral response (bare soil, BSCs and dry vegetation). These indices were: i) CRCIA, index applied for mapping BSCs from hyperspectral images. ii) CI, index developed for mapping of cyanobacteria-dominated BSCs and iii) BSCI, index for mapping of lichen-dominated BSCs. The multispectral indices (CI and BSCI) classified as BSCs 50% of the pixels dominated by BSCs. The CRCIA hyperspectral index, showed better results than those obtained with multispectral indices. This index

  15. Virtual Agonist-antagonist Mechanisms Produce Biological Muscle-like Functions: An Application for Robot Joint Control

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Xiong, Xiaofeng; Wörgötter, Florentin; Manoonpong, Poramate

    2014-01-01

    or torque sensing systems; thereby capable of implementing the model on small legged robots driven by, e.g., standard servo motors. Thus, the VAAM minimizes hardware and reduces system complexity. From this point of view, the model opens up another way of simulating muscle behaviors on artificial machines......Purpose – Biological muscles of animals have a surprising variety of functions, i.e., struts, springs, and brakes. According to this, the purpose of this paper is to apply virtual agonist-antagonist mechanisms to robot joint control allowing for muscle-like functions and variably compliant joint......, variably compliant joint motions can be produced without mechanically bulky and complex mechanisms or complex force/toque sensing at each joint. Moreover, through tuning the damping coefficient of the VAAM, the functions of the VAAM are comparable to biological muscles. Originality/value – The model (i...

  16. Antisense oligodeoxynucleotide inhibition as a potent diagnostic tool for gene function in plant biology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jansson, Christer; Sun, Chuanxin; Ghebramedhin, Haile; Hoglund, Anna-Stina; Jansson, Christer

    2008-01-15

    Antisense oligodeoxynucleotide (ODN) inhibition emerges as an effective means for probing gene function in plant cells. Employing this method we have established the importance of the SUSIBA2 transcription factor for regulation of starch synthesis in barley endosperm, and arrived at a model for the role of the SUSIBAs in sugar signaling and source-sink commutation during cereal endosperm development. In this addendum we provide additional data demonstrating the suitability of the antisense ODN technology in studies on starch branching enzyme activities in barley leaves. We also comment on the mechanism for ODN uptake in plant cells. Antisense ODNs are short (12-25 nt-long) stretches of single-stranded ODNs that hybridize to the cognate mRNA in a sequence-specific manner, thereby inhibiting gene expression. They are naturally occurring in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes where they partake in gene regulation and defense against viral infection. The mechanisms for antisense ODN inhibition are not fully understood but it is generally considered that the ODN either sterically interferes with translation or promotes transcript degradation by RNase H activation. The earliest indication of the usefulness of antisense ODN technology for the purposes of molecular biology and medical therapy was the demonstration in 1978 that synthetic ODNs complementary to Raos sarcoma virus could inhibit virus replication in tissue cultures of chick embryo fibroblasts. Since then the antisense ODN technology has been widely used in animal sciences and as an important emerging therapeutic approach in clinical medicine. However, antisense ODN inhibition has been an under-exploited strategy for plant tissues, although the prospects for plant cells in suspension cultures to take up single-stranded ODNs was reported over a decade ago. In 2001, two reports from Malho and coworker demonstrated the use of cationic-complexed antisense ODNs to suppress expression of genes encoding pollen

  17. Antisense oligodeoxynucleotide inhibition as a potent diagnostic tool for gene function in plant biology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jansson, Christer; Sun, Chuanxin; Ghebramedhin, Haile; Hoglund, Anna-Stina; Jansson, Christer

    2008-01-15

    Antisense oligodeoxynucleotide (ODN) inhibition emerges as an effective means for probing gene function in plant cells. Employing this method we have established the importance of the SUSIBA2 transcription factor for regulation of starch synthesis in barley endosperm, and arrived at a model for the role of the SUSIBAs in sugar signaling and source-sink commutation during cereal endosperm development. In this addendum we provide additional data demonstrating the suitability of the antisense ODN technology in studies on starch branching enzyme activities in barley leaves. We also comment on the mechanism for ODN uptake in plant cells. Antisense ODNs are short (12-25 nt-long) stretches of single-stranded ODNs that hybridize to the cognate mRNA in a sequence-specific manner, thereby inhibiting gene expression. They are naturally occurring in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes where they partake in gene regulation and defense against viral infection. The mechanisms for antisense ODN inhibition are not fully understood but it is generally considered that the ODN either sterically interferes with translation or promotes transcript degradation by RNase H activation. The earliest indication of the usefulness of antisense ODN technology for the purposes of molecular biology and medical therapy was the demonstration in 1978 that synthetic ODNs complementary to Raos sarcoma virus could inhibit virus replication in tissue cultures of chick embryo fibroblasts. Since then the antisense ODN technology has been widely used in animal sciences and as an important emerging therapeutic approach in clinical medicine. However, antisense ODN inhibition has been an under-exploited strategy for plant tissues, although the prospects for plant cells in suspension cultures to take up single-stranded ODNs was reported over a decade ago. In 2001, two reports from Malho and coworker demonstrated the use of cationic-complexed antisense ODNs to suppress expression of genes encoding pollen

  18. A Functional Model for Teaching Osmosis-Diffusion to Biology Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olsen, Richard W.; Petry, Douglas E.

    1976-01-01

    Described is a maternal-fetal model, operated by the student, to teach osmosis-diffusion to biology students. Included are materials needed, assembly instructions, and student operating procedures. (SL)

  19. Synthesis, characterization and functionalization of silicon nanoparticle based hybrid nanomaterials for photovoltaic and biological applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Zejing

    Silicon nanoparticles are attractive candidates for biological, photovoltaic and energy storage applications due to their size dependent optoelectronic properties. These include tunable light emission, high brightness, and stability against photo-bleaching relative to organic dyes (see Chapter 1). The preparation and characterization of silicon nanoparticle based hybrid nanomaterials and their relevance to photovoltaic and biological applications are described. The surface-passivated silicon nanoparticles were produced in one step from the reactive high-energy ball milling (RHEBM) of silicon wafers with various organic ligands. The surface structure and optical properties of the passivated silicon nanoparticles were systematically characterized. Fast approaches for purifying and at the same time size separating the silicon nanoparticles using a gravity GPC column were developed. The hydrodynamic diameter and size distribution of these size-separated silicon nanoparticles were determined using GPC and Diffusion Ordered NMR Spectroscopy (DOSY) as fast, reliable alternative approaches to TEM. Water soluble silicon nanoparticles were synthesized by grafting PEG polymers onto functionalized silicon nanoparticles with distal alkyne or azide moieties. The surface-functionalized silicon nanoparticles were produced from the reactive high-energy ball milling (RHEBM) of silicon wafers with a mixture of either 5-chloro-1-pentyne in 1-pentyne or 1,7 octadiyne in 1-hexyne to afford air and water stable chloroalkyl or alkynyl terminated nanoparticles, respectively. Nanoparticles with the ω-chloroalkyl substituents were easily converted to ω-azidoalkyl groups through the reaction of the silicon nanoparticles with sodium azide in DMF. The azido terminated nanoparticles were then grafted with monoalkynyl-PEG polymers using a copper catalyzed alkyne-azide cycloaddition (CuAAC) reaction to afford core-shell silicon nanoparticles with a covalently attached PEG shell. Covalently

  20. Holistic systems biology approaches to molecular mechanisms of human helper T cell differentiation to functionally distinct subsets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Z; Lönnberg, T; Lahesmaa, R

    2013-08-01

    Current knowledge of helper T cell differentiation largely relies on data generated from mouse studies. To develop therapeutical strategies combating human diseases, understanding the molecular mechanisms how human naïve T cells differentiate to functionally distinct T helper (Th) subsets as well as studies on human differentiated Th cell subsets is particularly valuable. Systems biology approaches provide a holistic view of the processes of T helper differentiation, enable discovery of new factors and pathways involved and generation of new hypotheses to be tested to improve our understanding of human Th cell differentiation and immune-mediated diseases. Here, we summarize studies where high-throughput systems biology approaches have been exploited to human primary T cells. These studies reveal new factors and signalling pathways influencing T cell differentiation towards distinct subsets, important for immune regulation. Such information provides new insights into T cell biology and into targeting immune system for therapeutic interventions.

  1. [THE FUNCTIONAL CONSTITUENT OF A BIOLOGICAL COMPONENT IN PROGRAMS FOR TRAINING SPECIALISTS IN THE AREA OF PARASITOLOGY FOR ACCREDITATION].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dovgalev, A S; Astanina, S Yu; Andreeva, N D

    2015-01-01

    The paper considers the functional aspects of a biological component in programs for training specialists in the area of Parasitology for accreditation within the current enactments, including those on modernization of public health and additional professional education. The working program of the module "Fundamental Disciplines" has been used as an example to outline approaches to molding a medical parasitologist's capacity and readiness to solve professional tasks on the basis of knowledge of fundamental disciplines: biology, immunology, and medical geography. Education fundamentalization is shown to suggest more unsupervised work of a learner in the teaching process. The fundamental constituent of a biological component of the 'programs for training learners in the specialty of Parasitology for accreditation is shown in the interaction of all sections of this area with special and allied subjects.

  2. Coral Reef Health Indices versus the Biological, Ecological and Functional Diversity of Fish and Coral Assemblages in the Caribbean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Díaz-Pérez, Leopoldo; Ortiz, Marco; Cupul-Magaña, Amílcar Leví; Carriquiry, Jose D.; Ríos-Jara, Eduardo; Rodríguez-Troncoso, Alma Paola; García-Rivas, María del Carmen

    2016-01-01

    This study evaluated the relationship between the indices known as the Reef Health Index (RHI) and two-dimensional Coral Health Index (2D-CHI) and different representative metrics of biological, ecological and functional diversity of fish and corals in 101 reef sites located across seven zones in the western Caribbean Sea. Species richness and average taxonomic distinctness were used to asses biological estimation; while ecological diversity was evaluated with the indices of Shannon diversity and Pielou´s evenness, as well as by taxonomic diversity and distinctness. Functional diversity considered the number of functional groups, the Shannon diversity and the functional Pielou´s evenness. According to the RHI, 57.15% of the zones were classified as presenting a "poor" health grade, while 42.85% were in "critical" grade. Based on the 2D-CHI, 28.5% of the zones were in "degraded" condition and 71.5% were "very degraded". Differences in fish and coral diversity among sites and zones were demonstrated using permutational ANOVAs. Differences between the two health indices (RHI and 2D-CHI) and some indices of biological, ecological and functional diversity of fish and corals were observed; however, only the RHI showed a correlation between the health grades and the species and functional group richness of fish at the scale of sites, and with the species and functional group richness and Shannon diversity of the fish assemblages at the scale of zones. None of the health indices were related to the metrics analyzed for the coral diversity. In general, our study suggests that the estimation of health indices should be complemented with classic community indices, or should at least include diversity indices of fish and corals, in order to improve the accuracy of the estimated health status of coral reefs in the western Caribbean Sea. PMID:27579575

  3. Coral Reef Health Indices versus the Biological, Ecological and Functional Diversity of Fish and Coral Assemblages in the Caribbean Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Díaz-Pérez, Leopoldo; Rodríguez-Zaragoza, Fabián Alejandro; Ortiz, Marco; Cupul-Magaña, Amílcar Leví; Carriquiry, Jose D; Ríos-Jara, Eduardo; Rodríguez-Troncoso, Alma Paola; García-Rivas, María Del Carmen

    2016-01-01

    This study evaluated the relationship between the indices known as the Reef Health Index (RHI) and two-dimensional Coral Health Index (2D-CHI) and different representative metrics of biological, ecological and functional diversity of fish and corals in 101 reef sites located across seven zones in the western Caribbean Sea. Species richness and average taxonomic distinctness were used to asses biological estimation; while ecological diversity was evaluated with the indices of Shannon diversity and Pielou´s evenness, as well as by taxonomic diversity and distinctness. Functional diversity considered the number of functional groups, the Shannon diversity and the functional Pielou´s evenness. According to the RHI, 57.15% of the zones were classified as presenting a "poor" health grade, while 42.85% were in "critical" grade. Based on the 2D-CHI, 28.5% of the zones were in "degraded" condition and 71.5% were "very degraded". Differences in fish and coral diversity among sites and zones were demonstrated using permutational ANOVAs. Differences between the two health indices (RHI and 2D-CHI) and some indices of biological, ecological and functional diversity of fish and corals were observed; however, only the RHI showed a correlation between the health grades and the species and functional group richness of fish at the scale of sites, and with the species and functional group richness and Shannon diversity of the fish assemblages at the scale of zones. None of the health indices were related to the metrics analyzed for the coral diversity. In general, our study suggests that the estimation of health indices should be complemented with classic community indices, or should at least include diversity indices of fish and corals, in order to improve the accuracy of the estimated health status of coral reefs in the western Caribbean Sea.

  4. Prioritizing conservation effort through the use of biological soil crusts as ecosystem function indicators in an arid region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowker, M.A.; Miller, M.E.; Belnap, J.; Sisk, T.D.; Johnson, N.C.

    2008-01-01

    Conservation prioritization usually focuses on conservation of rare species or biodiversity, rather than ecological processes. This is partially due to a lack of informative indicators of ecosystem function. Biological soil crusts (BSCs) trap and retain soil and water resources in arid ecosystems and function as major carbon and nitrogen fixers; thus, they may be informative indicators of ecosystem function. We created spatial models of multiple indicators of the diversity and function of BSCs (species richness, evenness, functional diversity, functional redundancy, number of rare species, number of habitat specialists, nitrogen and carbon fixation indices, soil stabilization, and surface roughening) for the 800,000-ha Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (Utah, U.S.A.). We then combined the indicators into a single BSC function map and a single BSC biodiversity map (2 alternative types of conservation value) with an unweighted averaging procedure and a weighted procedure derived from validations performance. We also modeled potential degradation with data from a rangeland assessment survey. To determine which areas on the landscape were the highest conservation priorities, we overlaid the function- and diversity-based conservation-value layers on the potential degradation layer. Different methods for ascribing conservation-value and conservation-priority layers all yielded strikingly similar results (r = 0.89-0.99), which suggests that in this case biodiversity and function can be conserved simultaneously. We believe BSCs can be used as indicators of ecosystem function in concert with other indicators (such as plant-community properties) and that such information can be used to prioritize conservation effort in drylands. ?? 2008 Society for Conservation Biology.

  5. FUNCTION IN BIOLOGY: ETIOLOGICAL AND ORGANIZATIONAL PERSPECTIVES Función en Biología: perspectivas etiológicas y organizacionales

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    CHARBEL NIÑO EL-HANI

    Full Text Available In this paper, we argue for a taxonomy of approaches to function based on different epistemological perspectives assumed with regard to the treatment of this central concept in the life sciences. We distinguish between etiological and organizational perspectives on function, analyzing distinct theories: Wright's selectionist etiological approach and Godfrey-Smith's modern history theory of functions, in the case of the etiological perspective; and Cummins' functional analysis and Collier's interactivist approach to function, among organizational accounts. We explain differences and similarities between these theories and the broader perspectives on function, arguing for a particular way of understanding the consensus without unity in debates about function. While explaining the accounts of function, we also deal with the relationship between this concept and other important biological concepts, such as adaptation, selection, complexity, and autonomy. We also advance an argument for the limits and prospects of the explanatory role of function in evolution. By arguing that changes in functionality are always grounded on changes in systems' organization, we show that function can never explain the origins of traits. Nevertheless, it can explain the spread of traits in populations, but only when we are dealing with functionally novel traits. Finally, we stress that organizational accounts of function are needed to understand how new functions appear by means of changes in systems' organization.En este artículo, argumentamos a favor de una taxonomía de abordajes del concepto función basada en diferentes perspectivas epistemológicas de acuerdo al tratamiento de este concepto central en las ciencias de la vida. Distinguimos entre perspectivas etiológicas y organizacionales sobre la noción de función, analizando teorías distintas: la teoría etiológica seleccionista de Wright y la teoría de la historia moderna de Godfrey-Smith, en el caso de

  6. Discovering and validating biological hypotheses from coherent patterns in functional genomics data

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Joachimiak, Marcin Pawel

    2008-08-12

    The area of transcriptomics analysis is among the more established in computational biology, having evolved in both technology and experimental design. Transcriptomics has a strong impetus to develop sophisticated computational methods due to the large amounts of available whole-genome datasets for many species and because of powerful applications in regulatory network reconstruction as well as elucidation and modeling of cellular transcriptional responses. While gene expression microarray data can be noisy and comparisons across experiments challenging, there are a number of sophisticated methods that aid in arriving at statistically and biologically significant conclusions. As such, computational transcriptomics analysis can provide guidance for analysis of results from newer experimental technologies. More recently, search methods have been developed to identify modules of genes, which exhibit coherent expression patterns in only a subset of experimental conditions. The latest advances in these methods allow to integrate multiple data types anddatasets, both experimental and computational, within a single statistical framework accounting for data confidence and relevance to specific biological questions. Such frameworks provide a unified environment for the exploration of specific biological hypothesis and for the discovery of coherent data patterns along with the evidence supporting them.

  7. Human embryonic stem cells : advancing biology and cardiogenesis towards functional applications l

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Braam, Stefan Robbert

    2010-01-01

    Human embryonic stem cells (hESC) hold great potential as a model for human development, disease pathology, drug discovery and safety pharmacology. All these applications will depend on comprehensive knowledge of their biology and control of their signaling mechanisms and fate choices. To begin to a

  8. Surface functionalization of bioactive glasses with natural molecules of biological significance, Part I: Gallic acid as model molecule

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xin; Ferraris, Sara; Prenesti, Enrico; Verné, Enrica

    2013-12-01

    Gallic acid (3,4,5-trihydroxybenzoic acid, GA) and its derivatives are a group of biomolecules (polyphenols) obtained from plants. They have effects which are potentially beneficial to heath, for example they are antioxidant, anticarcinogenic and antibacterial, as recently investigated in many fields such as medicine, food and plant sciences. The main drawbacks of these molecules are both low stability and bioavailability. In this research work the opportunity to graft GA to bioactive glasses is investigated, in order to deliver the undamaged biological molecule into the body, using the biomaterial surfaces as a localized carrier. GA was considered for functionalization since it is a good model molecule for polyphenols and presents several interesting biological activities, like antibacterial, antioxidant and anticarcinogenic properties. Two different silica based bioactive glasses (SCNA and CEL2), with different reactivity, were employed as substrates. UV photometry combined with the Folin&Ciocalteu reagent was adopted to test the concentration of GA in uptake solution after functionalization. This test verified how much GA consumption occurred with surface modification and it was also used on solid samples to test the presence of GA on functionalized glasses. XPS and SEM-EDS techniques were employed to characterize the modification of material surface properties and functional group composition before and after functionalization.

  9. Relationship between chemical composition and biological function of Pseudomonas aeruginosa lipopolysaccharide: effect on human neutrophil chemotaxis and oxidative burst

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kharazmi, A; Fomsgaard, A; Conrad, R S;

    1991-01-01

    There are conflicting data on the effect of bacterial lipopolysaccharides (LPS) on the function of human neutrophils. The present study was designed to examine the relationship between chemical composition and the modulatory effect of LPS on human neutrophil function. LPS was extracted from five ...... composition of the LPS molecule may play an important role in biological activity of LPS.......There are conflicting data on the effect of bacterial lipopolysaccharides (LPS) on the function of human neutrophils. The present study was designed to examine the relationship between chemical composition and the modulatory effect of LPS on human neutrophil function. LPS was extracted from five...... no effect on neutrophil chemotaxis and a slight effect on chemiluminescence. The major differences in chemical composition of the LPS from these two strains are in the rhamnose and heptose content of the O side chain and in the alanine content of the core region. These data indicate that chemical...

  10. Mechanical and biological properties of the micro-/nano-grain functionally graded hydroxyapatite bioceramics for bone tissue engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Changchun; Deng, Congying; Chen, Xuening; Zhao, Xiufen; Chen, Ying; Fan, Yujiang; Zhang, Xingdong

    2015-08-01

    Functionally graded materials (FGM) open the promising approach for bone tissue repair. In this study, a novel functionally graded hydroxyapatite (HA) bioceramic with micrograin and nanograin structure was fabricated. Its mechanical properties were tailored by composition of micrograin and nanograin. The dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) indicated that the graded HA ceramics had similar mechanical property compared to natural bones. Their cytocompatibility was evaluated via fluorescent microscopy and MTT colorimetric assay. The viability and proliferation of rabbit bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) on ceramics indicated that this functionally graded HA ceramic had better cytocompatibility than conventional HA ceramic. This study demonstrated that functionally graded HA ceramics create suitable structures to satisfy both the mechanical and biological requirements of bone tissues.

  11. Impact on disease development, genomic location and biological function of copy number alterations in non-small cell lung cancer.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yen-Tsung Huang

    Full Text Available Lung cancer, of which more than 80% is non-small cell, is the leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States. Copy number alterations (CNAs in lung cancer have been shown to be positionally clustered in certain genomic regions. However, it remains unclear whether genes with copy number changes are functionally clustered. Using a dense single nucleotide polymorphism array, we performed genome-wide copy number analyses of a large collection of non-small cell lung tumors (n = 301. We proposed a formal statistical test for CNAs between different groups (e.g., non-involved lung vs. tumors, early vs. late stage tumors. We also customized the gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA algorithm to investigate the overrepresentation of genes with CNAs in predefined biological pathways and gene sets (i.e., functional clustering. We found that CNAs events increase substantially from germline, early stage to late stage tumor. In addition to genomic position, CNAs tend to occur away from the gene locations, especially in germline, non-involved tissue and early stage tumors. Such tendency decreases from germline to early stage and then to late stage tumors, suggesting a relaxation of selection during tumor progression. Furthermore, genes with CNAs in non-small cell lung tumors were enriched in certain gene sets and biological pathways that play crucial roles in oncogenesis and cancer progression, demonstrating the functional aspect of CNAs in the context of biological pathways that were overlooked previously. We conclude that CNAs increase with disease progression and CNAs are both positionally and functionally clustered. The potential functional capabilities acquired via CNAs may be sufficient for normal cells to transform into malignant cells.

  12. Functional biology and ecological role of krill in Northern marine ecosystems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Agersted, Mette Dalgaard

    Krill is an understudied key group of zooplankton, which transfers energy through the food web by linking lower and higher trophic levels. Furthermore, krill play an important role in the biological pump by transporting carbon out of the euphotic zone to depth by diel vertical migration (DVM......) and by production of fast sinking carbon-rich faecal pellets. Hence, the large schools of krill greatly influence the pelagic food web and the flux of organic matter in the sea. However, knowledge of the distribution and feeding biology in krill from northern areas is scarce, although of importance to get a better...... in regions with colder temperatures. Results from stable isotope analyses and feeding experiments show that there is an overlap in the diet of the species and that they are able to exploit several trophic levels. Trophic positions are related to available prey. However, the size of the krill seemed...

  13. Functional Components of Carob Fruit: Linking the Chemical and Biological Space.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goulas, Vlasios; Stylos, Evgenios; Chatziathanasiadou, Maria V; Mavromoustakos, Thomas; Tzakos, Andreas G

    2016-11-10

    The contribution of natural products to the drug-discovery pipeline has been remarkable since they have served as a rich source for drug development and discovery. Natural products have adapted, during the course of evolution, optimum chemical scaffolds against a wide variety of diseases, including cancer and diabetes. Advances in high-throughput screening assays, assisted by the continuous development on the instrumentation's capabilities and omics, have resulted in charting a large chemical and biological space of drug-like compounds, originating from natural sources. Herein, we attempt to integrate the information on the chemical composition and the associated biological impact of carob fruit in regards to human health. The beneficial and health-promoting effects of carob along with the clinical trials and the drug formulations derived from carob's natural components are presented in this review.

  14. Functional Components of Carob Fruit: Linking the Chemical and Biological Space

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vlasios Goulas

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available The contribution of natural products to the drug-discovery pipeline has been remarkable since they have served as a rich source for drug development and discovery. Natural products have adapted, during the course of evolution, optimum chemical scaffolds against a wide variety of diseases, including cancer and diabetes. Advances in high-throughput screening assays, assisted by the continuous development on the instrumentation’s capabilities and omics, have resulted in charting a large chemical and biological space of drug-like compounds, originating from natural sources. Herein, we attempt to integrate the information on the chemical composition and the associated biological impact of carob fruit in regards to human health. The beneficial and health-promoting effects of carob along with the clinical trials and the drug formulations derived from carob’s natural components are presented in this review.

  15. Instructive Biologic Scaffold for Functional Tissue Regeneration Following Trauma to the Extremities

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-01

    SIS-ECM scaffold, trimmed to fit the defect, and will serve as their own control. Only one segmental muscle defect will be treated in each subject...Kuklo TR. 2007. Missed Opportunities in Patients with Osteoporosis and Distal Radius Fractures. Clin Orthop Relat Res. Jan;454:202-206. 9. Nesti LJ...Res Sep 25(9):1128-35. 11. Shanti RM, Li WJ, Nesti LJ, Wang X, Tuan RS. Adult Mesenchymal Stem Cells: Biological Properties, Characteristics, and

  16. Estimation of relevant variables on high-dimensional biological patterns using iterated weighted kernel functions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sergio Rojas-Galeano

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The analysis of complex proteomic and genomic profiles involves the identification of significant markers within a set of hundreds or even thousands of variables that represent a high-dimensional problem space. The occurrence of noise, redundancy or combinatorial interactions in the profile makes the selection of relevant variables harder. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here we propose a method to select variables based on estimated relevance to hidden patterns. Our method combines a weighted-kernel discriminant with an iterative stochastic probability estimation algorithm to discover the relevance distribution over the set of variables. We verified the ability of our method to select predefined relevant variables in synthetic proteome-like data and then assessed its performance on biological high-dimensional problems. Experiments were run on serum proteomic datasets of infectious diseases. The resulting variable subsets achieved classification accuracies of 99% on Human African Trypanosomiasis, 91% on Tuberculosis, and 91% on Malaria serum proteomic profiles with fewer than 20% of variables selected. Our method scaled-up to dimensionalities of much higher orders of magnitude as shown with gene expression microarray datasets in which we obtained classification accuracies close to 90% with fewer than 1% of the total number of variables. CONCLUSIONS: Our method consistently found relevant variables attaining high classification accuracies across synthetic and biological datasets. Notably, it yielded very compact subsets compared to the original number of variables, which should simplify downstream biological experimentation.

  17. Human Dopamine Receptors Interaction Network (DRIN): a systems biology perspective on topology, stability and functionality of the network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Podder, Avijit; Jatana, Nidhi; Latha, N

    2014-09-21

    Dopamine receptors (DR) are one of the major neurotransmitter receptors present in human brain. Malfunctioning of these receptors is well established to trigger many neurological and psychiatric disorders. Taking into consideration that proteins function collectively in a network for most of the biological processes, the present study is aimed to depict the interactions between all dopamine receptors following a systems biology approach. To capture comprehensive interactions of candidate proteins associated with human dopamine receptors, we performed a protein-protein interaction network (PPIN) analysis of all five receptors and their protein partners by mapping them into human interactome and constructed a human Dopamine Receptors Interaction Network (DRIN). We explored the topology of dopamine receptors as molecular network, revealing their characteristics and the role of central network elements. More to the point, a sub-network analysis was done to determine major functional clusters in human DRIN that govern key neurological pathways. Besides, interacting proteins in a pathway were characterized and prioritized based on their affinity for utmost drug molecules. The vulnerability of different networks to the dysfunction of diverse combination of components was estimated under random and direct attack scenarios. To the best of our knowledge, the current study is unique to put all five dopamine receptors together in a common interaction network and to understand the functionality of interacting proteins collectively. Our study pinpointed distinctive topological and functional properties of human dopamine receptors that have helped in identifying potential therapeutic drug targets in the dopamine interaction network.

  18. The relationship between the connecting peptide of recombined single chain insulin and its biological function

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    HUANG; Yiding; (

    2001-01-01

    [1]Straus, D. S., Growth-stimulatory of insulin in vitro and in vivo, Endocr. Rev., 1984, 5(2): 356-369.[2]Svenningsen, A. F., Kanje, M., Insulin and the insulin-like growth factors I and II are mitogenic to cultured rat sciatic nerve segments and stimulate [3H] thuymidine incorporation through their respective receptors, Glia, 1996, 18(1): 68-72.[3]Ogihara, S., Yamada, M., Saito, T. et al., Insulin potentiates mitogenic effect of epidermal growth factor on cultured guinea pig gastric mucous cells, Am. J. Physiol., 1996, 271(1 Pt 1): G104-121.[4]Steiner, D. F., Oyer, P. E., The biosynthesis of insulin and a probable precursor of insulin by a human islet cell adenoma, Proc. Nalt. Acad. Sci. USA, 1967, 57(2): 473-480.[5]King, G. L., Kahn, C. R., The growth-promoting effects of insulin, in Growth and Maturation Factors(ed. Guroff, G.), New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1984, 223-265.[6]Peavy, D. E., Brunner, M. R., Duckworth, W. C. et al., Receptor binding and biological potency of several split forms (conversion intermediates) of human proinsulin, Studies in cultured IM-9 lymphocytes and in vivo and in vitro in rats, J. Biol. Chem., 1985, 260: 13989-13994.[7]Derewenda, U., Derewenda, Z., Dodson, E. J. et al., X-ray analysis of the single chain B29-A1 peptide-linked insulin molecule. A completely inactive analogue, J. Mol. Biol., 1991, 220: 425-433.[8]Hua, Q. X., Shoelson, S. E., Kochoyan, M. et al., Receptor binding redefined by a structural switch in a mutant human insulin, Nature, 1991, 354: 238-241.[9]Hua, Q. X., Gozani, S. N., Chance, R. E. et al., Structure of a protein in a kinetic trap, Nat. Struc. Boil, 1995, 2: 129-138.[10]Kristensen, C., Andersen, A. S., Hach, M., A single-chain insulin-like growth factor I/insulin hybrid binds with high affinity to the insulin receptor, Biochem. J., 1995, 305: 981-986.[11]Humbel, R. E., Insulin-like growth factors I and II, Euro. J. Biochem., 1990, 190: 445-462.[12]Cooke, R. M

  19. [The unity of image recognition of tolite homothetic receptors and glycosylation end product receptors in biologic function in case of diabetes].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Titov, V N; Shiriaeva, Iu K

    2011-08-01

    In compliance with our theory of biologic functions and reactions, pathogenesis of all diseases in formed in the framework of disorder of seven biologic functions: trophology, homeostasis, endoecology, adaptation, locomotion, genus continuation and intelligence. The disorder of biologic function of endoecology ("purity" of intercellular medium in vivo) is the most common basis of pathogenesis of diseases' nosological forms. There are two methods of elimination of disorder of this function. First is the biological reaction of excretion i.e. the removal of minor endogenic phlogogenes (initiators of inflammation) with molecular weightless than 70 amu. The second is the biological function of inflammation i.e. utilization of large endogenic phlogogenes (more than 70 amu) by means of phagocytosis of functional phagocytes. The inherent and acquired immunity are other biological reactions of biological function of endoecology. They overlap with biological reaction of transcytosis and biological reaction of hydrodynamic pressure activating transcytosis. The system of tolite homothetic receptors discriminating molecules of native proteins and endogenic phlogogenes on principle "right-wrong" is the basis of biological function of inherent immunity. In case of hyperglycemia and diabetes glucose becomes the minor biological "refuse". The products of chemical reaction between glucose and proteins and formation of the end products of glycosylation, components of areolar tissue become the major biological "refuse". The accumulation of products of glycosylation of collagen with cross-links in capillaries' wall increases its rigidity and makes it impossible for pericytes to implement the qualities of primary peristaltic pump. Hence the formation of hypoperfusion, condition of hypoxemia in microcirculatory section of blood circulation (muscular type arteriolae, postateriolae with muscular sphincter, metabolic capillaries) resulting in the development of microangiopathies of distal

  20. Rate-dependence of 'wet' biological adhesives and the function of the pad secretion in insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Labonte, David; Federle, Walter

    2015-11-28

    Many insects use soft adhesive footpads for climbing. The surface contact of these organs is mediated by small volumes of a liquid secretion, which forms thin films in the contact zone. Here, we investigate the role of viscous dissipation by this secretion and the 'bulk' pad cuticle by quantifying the rate-dependence of the adhesive force of individual pads. Adhesion increased with retraction speed, but this effect was independent of the amount of pad secretion present in the contact zone, suggesting that the secretion's viscosity did not play a significant role. Instead, the rate-dependence can be explained by relating the strain energy release rate to the speed of crack propagation, using an established empirical power law. The 'wet' pads' behaviour was akin to that of 'dry' elastomers, with an equilibrium energy release rate close to that of dry van-der-Waals contacts. We suggest that the secretion mainly serves as a 'release layer', minimising viscous dissipation and thereby reducing the time- and 'loading-history'-dependence of the adhesive pads. In contrast to many commercial adhesives which derive much of their strength from viscous dissipation, we show that the major modulator of adhesive strength in 'wet' biological adhesive pads is friction, exhibiting a much larger effect than retraction speed. A comparison between 'wet' and 'dry' biological adhesives, using both results from this study and the literature, revealed a striking lack of differences in attachment performance under varying experimental conditions. Together, these results suggest that 'wet' and 'dry' biological adhesives may be more similar than previously thought.

  1. Prioritizing conservation effort through the use of biological soil crusts as ecosystem function indicators in an arid region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowker, Matthew A; Miller, Mark E; Belnap, Jayne; Sisk, Thomas D; Johnson, Nancy C

    2008-12-01

    Conservation prioritization usually focuses on conservation of rare species or biodiversity, rather than ecological processes. This is partially due to a lack of informative indicators of ecosystem function. Biological soil crusts (BSCs) trap and retain soil and water resources in arid ecosystems and function as major carbon and nitrogen fixers; thus, they may be informative indicators of ecosystem function. We created spatial models of multiple indicators of the diversity and function of BSCs (species richness, evenness, functional diversity, functional redundancy, number of rare species, number of habitat specialists, nitrogen and carbon fixation indices, soil stabilization, and surface roughening) for the 800,000-ha Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (Utah, U.S.A.). We then combined the indicators into a single BSC function map and a single BSC biodiversity map (2 alternative types of conservation value) with an unweighted averaging procedure and a weighted procedure derived from validations performance. We also modeled potential degradation with data from a rangeland assessment survey. To determine which areas on the landscape were the highest conservation priorities, we overlaid the function- and diversity-based conservation-value layers on the potential degradation layer. Different methods for ascribing conservation-value and conservation-priority layers all yielded strikingly similar results (r= 0.89-0.99), which suggests that in this case biodiversity and function can be conserved simultaneously. We believe BSCs can be used as indicators of ecosystem function in concert with other indicators (such as plant-community properties) and that such information can be used to prioritize conservation effort in drylands.

  2. The schizophrenia risk gene ZNF804A: clinical associations, biological mechanisms and neuronal functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, H; Xiao, X; Li, M

    2017-03-14

    ZNF804A (zinc-finger protein 804A) has been recognized as a schizophrenia risk gene across multiple world populations. Its intronic single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs1344706 is among one of the strongest susceptibility variants that have achieved genome-wide significance in genome-wide association studies (GWAS) for schizophrenia and has been widely and intensively studied. To elucidate the biological mechanisms underlying the genetic risk conferred by rs1344706, we retrospectively analyzed the progresses in brain gene expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) analyses, ZNF804A-induced pathway alterations in neural cells and changes in synaptic phenotypes associated with ZNF804A expression. Based on these data, we hypothesize a potential biological mechanism for a genetic risk allele of ZNF804A in schizophrenia pathogenesis. We also review the efforts being made to characterize the affected intermediate phenotypes using neuroimaging and neuropsychological approaches. We then discuss additional common and rare ZNF804A variants in schizophrenia susceptibility and the potential genetic heterogeneity of these genomic loci between Europeans and Asians. This review for we believe the first time systematically presents the evidence for ZNF804A, describing its discovery and likely roles in brain development and schizophrenia pathogenesis. We believe that this work has summarized this information with a systemic and broad assessment of recent findings.Molecular Psychiatry advance online publication, 14 March 2017; doi:10.1038/mp.2017.19.

  3. Development of new techniques for functionalizing single-wall carbon nanotubes for composite and biological systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hudson, Jared Lee

    Building from established methods of using diazonium salts to derivatize single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWNTs), new methodologies for achieving functionalized individual nanotubes that are compatible with a wide variety of materials have been developed. The use of aryl triazenes as diazonium precursors to functionalize surfactant stabilized suspensions of individual SWNTs has resulted in the ability to synthesize more complex molecules bearing a diazonium salt precursor. Prior to this work, such functionality was difficult to install in complex molecules due to the required linearity of diazonium salt synthesis. A protocol to access individualized SWNTs without the use of scale-limiting techniques such as high powered sonication and centrifugation was achieved by the use of oleum as a solvent for underivatized SWNTs. This disentangled suspension of SWNTs was then treated with a modification of an established in-situ diazonium functionalization protocol to yield alcohol and water-soluble, exfoliated, nonroping SWNTs. Functionalized SWNTs were used as polymerization initiators for both anionic and atom transfer radical polymerization. They were used to reinforce poly(dimethylsiloxane) and poly(propylene fumarate) based composites. The functionalized SWNTs were also used as a support for neuronal interface systems and to reinforce the collagen network in rat cervical tissue. Through continued functionalization and PEGylation (poly(ethylene glycol) attachment) of cut SWNTs, the development of a SWNT-based, viable nanovector core has been achieved. Continued functionalization provides one with the ability to further derivatize aqueous suspensions of previously functionalized SWNTs, while the PEGylation of cut SWNTs offers solubility in water, irrigation saline, and phosphate buffered saline. Using the developed SWNT-based nanovector core, molecules that are relevant for attachment to a nanovector were targeted. This includes a fluorescein-5-isothiocyanate (FITC

  4. Minimal information: an urgent need to assess the functional reliability of recombinant proteins used in biological experiments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    de Marco Ario

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Structural characterization of proteins used in biological experiments is largely neglected. In most publications, the information available is totally insufficient to judge the functionality of the proteins used and, therefore, the significance of identified protein-protein interactions (was the interaction specific or due to unspecific binding of misfolded protein regions? or reliability of kinetic and thermodynamic data (how much protein was in its native form?. As a consequence, the results of single experiments might not only become questionable, but the whole reliability of systems biology, built on these fundaments, would be weakened. The introduction of Minimal Information concerning purified proteins to add as metadata to the main body of a manuscript would render straightforward the assessment of their functional and structural qualities and, consequently, of results obtained using these proteins. Furthermore, accepted standards for protein annotation would simplify data comparison and exchange. This article has been envisaged as a proposal for aggregating scientists who share the opinion that the scientific community needs a platform for Minimum Information for Protein Functionality Evaluation (MIPFE.

  5. Virulent and avirulent strains of Toxoplasma gondii which differ in their glycosylphosphatidylinositol content induce similar biological functions in macrophages.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sebastian Niehus

    Full Text Available Glycosylphosphatidylinositols (GPIs from several protozoan parasites are thought to elicit a detrimental stimulation of the host innate immune system aside their main function to anchor surface proteins. Here we analyzed the GPI biosynthesis of an avirulent Toxoplasma gondii type 2 strain (PTG by metabolic radioactive labeling. We determined the biological function of individual GPI species in the PTG strain in comparison with previously characterized GPI-anchors of a virulent strain (RH. The GPI intermediates of both strains were structurally similar, however the abundance of two of six GPI intermediates was significantly reduced in the PTG strain. The side-by-side comparison of GPI-anchor content revealed that the PTG strain had only ∼ 34% of the protein-free GPIs as well as ∼ 70% of the GPI-anchored proteins with significantly lower rates of protein N-glycosylation compared to the RH strain. All mature GPIs from both strains induced comparable secretion levels of TNF-α and IL-12p40, and initiated TLR4/MyD88-dependent NF-κBp65 activation in macrophages. Taken together, these results demonstrate that PTG and RH strains differ in their GPI biosynthesis and possess significantly different GPI-anchor content, while individual GPI species of both strains induce similar biological functions in macrophages.

  6. A promising future for integrative biodiversity research: an increased role of scale-dependency and functional biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Price, S A; Schmitz, L

    2016-04-05

    Studies into the complex interaction between an organism and changes to its biotic and abiotic environment are fundamental to understanding what regulates biodiversity. These investigations occur at many phylogenetic, temporal and spatial scales and within a variety of biological and geological disciplines but often in relative isolation. This issue focuses on what can be achieved when ecological mechanisms are integrated into analyses of deep-time biodiversity patterns through the union of fossil and extant data and methods. We expand upon this perspective to argue that, given its direct relevance to the current biodiversity crisis, greater integration is needed across biodiversity research. We focus on the need to understand scaling effects, how lower-level ecological and evolutionary processes scale up and vice versa, and the importance of incorporating functional biology. Placing function at the core of biodiversity research is fundamental, as it establishes how an organism interacts with its abiotic and biotic environment and it is functional diversity that ultimately determines important ecosystem processes. To achieve full integration, concerted and ongoing efforts are needed to build a united and interactive community of biodiversity researchers, with education and interdisciplinary training at its heart.

  7. Surface functionalization of bioactive glasses with natural molecules of biological significance, part II: Grafting of polyphenols extracted from grape skin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xin; Ferraris, Sara; Prenesti, Enrico; Verné, Enrica

    2013-12-01

    Polyphenols, as one of the most important family of phytochemicals protective substances from grape fruit, possess various biological activities and health-promoting benefits, for example: inhibition of some degenerative diseases, cardiovascular diseases and certain types of cancers, reduction of plasma oxidative stress and slowing aging. The combination of polyphenols and biomaterials may have good potential to reach good bioavailability and controlled release, as well as to give biological signaling properties to the biomaterial surfaces. In this research, conventional solvent extraction was developed for obtaining polyphenols from dry grape skins. The Folin&Ciocalteu method was used to determine the amount of total polyphenols in the extracts. Surface functionalization of two bioactive glasses (SCNA and CEL2) was performed by grafting the extracted polyphenols on their surfaces. The effectiveness of the functionalization was tested by UV spectroscopy, which analyzes the amount of polyphenols in the uptake solution (before and after functionalization) and on solid samples, and XPS, which analyzes the presence of phenols on the material surface.

  8. Functionalization of Self-Organized Nanoparticles for Biological Targeting and Active Drug Release

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jølck, Rasmus Irming

    Functional nanomaterials have attracted much attention due to the unique properties of these nanoconstructs. In recognition of the huge potential within this field, much research has been devoted to develop sophisticated nanoparticles for medical diagnostics, sensors, contrast agents, vaccines an...

  9. The dynamics of the biological membrane surrounding the buffalo milk fat globule investigated as a function of temperature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, Hanh T H; Madec, Marie-Noëlle; Ong, Lydia; Kentish, Sandra E; Gras, Sally L; Lopez, Christelle

    2016-08-01

    The biological membrane surrounding fat globules in milk (the MFGM) is poorly understood, despite its importance in digestion and in determining the properties of fat globules. In this study, in situ structural investigations of buffalo MFGM were performed as a function of temperature (4-60°C), using confocal microscopy. We demonstrate that temperature and rate of temperature change affected the lipid domains formed in the MFGM with the lateral segregation (i) of high Tm lipids and cholesterol in a Lo phase for both TTm and (ii) of high Tm lipids in a gel phase for Tfat globules during processing and digestion.

  10. Dissecting functions of the retinoblastoma tumor suppressor and the related pocket proteins by integrating genetic, cell biology, and electrophoretic techniques

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Klaus; Lukas, J; Holm, K;

    1999-01-01

    The members of the 'pocket protein' family, comprising the retinoblastoma tumor suppressor (pRB) and its relatives, p107 and p130, negatively regulate cell proliferation and modulate fundamental biological processes including embryonic development, differentiation, homeostatic tissue renewal...... phosphorylation events on multiple serine and threonine residues of pRB, p107, and p130, events which are carried out, at least in part, by the cyclin-dependent kinases that form the key elements of the cell cycle machinery. Here we discuss the recently obtained new insights into the diverse functions of the pRB...

  11. A Tricky Trait: Applying the Fruits of the "Function Debate" in the Philosophy of Biology to the "Venom Debate" in the Science of Toxinology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Timothy N W; Fry, Bryan G

    2016-09-07

    The "function debate" in the philosophy of biology and the "venom debate" in the science of toxinology are conceptually related. Venom systems are complex multifunctional traits that have evolved independently numerous times throughout the animal kingdom. No single concept of function, amongst those popularly defended, appears adequate to describe these systems in all their evolutionary contexts and extant variations. As such, a pluralistic view of function, previously defended by some philosophers of biology, is most appropriate. Venom systems, like many other functional traits, exist in nature as points on a continuum and the boundaries between "venomous" and "non-venomous" species may not always be clearly defined. This paper includes a brief overview of the concept of function, followed by in-depth discussion of its application to venom systems. A sound understanding of function may aid in moving the venom debate forward. Similarly, consideration of a complex functional trait such as venom may be of interest to philosophers of biology.

  12. [The Functional Role of Exosomes in Cancer Biology and Their Potential as Biomarkers and Therapeutic Targets of Cancer].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naito, Yutaka; Yoshioka, Yusuke; Ochiya, Takahiro

    2015-06-01

    Intercellular communication plays an important role in the regulation of various cellular events. In particular, cancer cells and the surrounding cells communicate with each other, and this intercellular communication triggers cancer initiation and progression through the secretion of molecules, including growth factors and cytokines. Recent advances in cancer biology have indicated that small membrane vesicles, termed exosomes, also serve as regulatory agents in intercellular communications. Exosomes contain functional cellular components, including proteins and microRNAs (miRNAs), and they transfer these components to recipient cells. This exosome-mediated intercellular communication leads to increased growth, invasion, and metastasis of cancer. Thus, researchers regard exosomes as important cues to understanding the molecular mechanisms of cancer biology. Indeed, several lines of evidence have demonstrated that exosomes can explain multiple aspects of cancer biology. In addition, increasing evidence suggests that exosomes and their specific molecules are also attractive for use as biomarkers and therapeutic targets in cancer. Recent reports showed the efficacy of a novel diagnosis by detecting component molecules of cancer-derived exosomes, including miRNAs and membrane proteins. Furthermore, clinical trials that test the application of exosomes for cancer therapy have already been reported. From these points of view, we will summarize experimental data that support the role of exosomes in cancer progression and the potential of exosomes for use in novel diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for cancer.

  13. Translating inter-individual genetic variation to biological function in complex phenotypes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yadav, Rachita

    examines epigenetic, genetic, transcriptomic and proteomic variations within different multifactorial diseases and this pivotal information is then annotated and associated to its corresponding phenotype. Childhood asthma and obesity are the two main phenotypic themes in this thesis. In the first section......The key objectives of this thesis work are to decipher and prioritise observed variations among different phenotypes. With advancements in high throughput technology leading to a surge in biological data, it is imperative to analyse and interpret this information. Consequently, this thesis work......, Chapter 1 provides an introduction to various methodologies utilised in this thesis work. Subsequently, chapters 2, 3 and 4 in the second section, address finding causal variations in childhood asthma. Chapter 2 focuses on a genome wide association study (GWAS) performed on asthma exacerbation case cohort...

  14. Covariance Association Test (CVAT) Identifies Genetic Markers Associated with Schizophrenia in Functionally Associated Biological Processes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rohde, Palle Duun; Demontis, Ditte; Castro Dias Cuyabano, Beatriz;

    2016-01-01

    Schizophrenia is a psychiatric disorder with large personal and social costs, and understanding the genetic etiology is important. Such knowledge can be obtained by testing the association between a disease phenotype and individual genetic markers; however, such single-marker methods have limited...... power to detect genetic markers with small effects. Instead, aggregating genetic markers based on biological information might increase the power to identify sets of genetic markers of etiological significance. Several set test methods have been proposed: Here we propose a new set test derived from...... genomic best linear unbiased prediction (GBLUP), the covariance association test (CVAT). We compared the performance of CVAT to other commonly used set tests. The comparison was conducted using a simulated study population having the same genetic parameters as for schizophrenia. We found that CVAT...

  15. The EBI Search engine: providing search and retrieval functionality for biological data from EMBL-EBI.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Squizzato, Silvano; Park, Young Mi; Buso, Nicola; Gur, Tamer; Cowley, Andrew; Li, Weizhong; Uludag, Mahmut; Pundir, Sangya; Cham, Jennifer A; McWilliam, Hamish; Lopez, Rodrigo

    2015-07-01

    The European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI-https://www.ebi.ac.uk) provides free and unrestricted access to data across all major areas of biology and biomedicine. Searching and extracting knowledge across these domains requires a fast and scalable solution that addresses the requirements of domain experts as well as casual users. We present the EBI Search engine, referred to here as 'EBI Search', an easy-to-use fast text search and indexing system with powerful data navigation and retrieval capabilities. API integration provides access to analytical tools, allowing users to further investigate the results of their search. The interconnectivity that exists between data resources at EMBL-EBI provides easy, quick and precise navigation and a better understanding of the relationship between different data types including sequences, genes, gene products, proteins, protein domains, protein families, enzymes and macromolecular structures, together with relevant life science literature.

  16. Role and Function of MicroRNAs in Extracellular Vesicles in Cardiovascular Biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philipp Pfeifer

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Intercellular communication mediated by extracellular vesicles is crucial for preserving vascular integrity and in the development of cardiovascular disease. Extracellular vesicles consist of apoptotic bodies, microvesicles, and exosomes that can be found in almost every fluid compartment of the body like blood, saliva, and urine. In the recent years, a lot of reports came up suggesting that major cardiovascular and metabolic pathologies like atherogenesis, heart failure, or diabetes are highly influenced by transfer of microRNAs via extracellular vesicles leading to altered protein expression and phenotypes of recipient cells. The following review will summarize the fast developing field of intercellular signaling in cardiovascular biology by microRNA-containing extracellular vesicles.

  17. Molecular biology of the kallikrein-kinin system: from structure to function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J.B. Pesquero

    1998-09-01

    Full Text Available The participation of the kallikrein-kinin system, comprising the serine proteases kallikreins, the protein substrates kininogens and the effective peptides kinins, in some pathological processes like hypertension and cardiovascular diseases is still a matter of controversy. The use of different experimental set-ups in concert with the development of potent and specific inhibitors and antagonists for the system has highlighted its importance but the results still lack conclusivity. Over the last few years, transgenic and gene-targeting technologies associated with molecular biology tools have provided specific information about the elusive role of the kallikrein-kinin system in the control of blood pressure and electrolyte homeostasis. cDNA and genomic sequences for kinin receptors B2 and B1 from different species were isolated and shown to encode G-protein-coupled receptors and the structure and pharmacology of the receptors were characterized. Transgenic animals expressing an overactive kallikrein-kinin system were established to study the cardiovascular effects of these alterations and the results of these investigations further corroborate the importance of this system in the maintenance of normal blood pressure. Knockout animals for B2 and B1 receptors are available and their analysis also points to the role of these receptors in cardiovascular regulation and inflammatory processes. In this paper the most recent and relevant genetic animal models developed for the study of the kallikrein-kinin system are reviewed, and the advances they brought to the understanding of the biological role of this system are discussed.

  18. MYC function and regulation in flies: how Drosophila has enlightened MYC cancer biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jue Er Amanda Lee

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Progress in our understanding of the complex signaling events driving human cancer would have been unimaginably slow without discoveries from Drosophila genetic studies. Significantly, many of the signaling pathways now synonymous with cancer biology were first identified as a result of elegant screens for genes fundamental to metazoan development. Indeed the name given to many core cancer-signaling cascades tells of their history as developmental patterning regulators in flies—e.g. Wingless (Wnt, Notch and Hippo. Moreover, astonishing insight has been gained into these complex signaling networks, and many other classic oncogenic signaling networks (e.g. EGFR/RAS/RAF/ERK, InR/PI3K/AKT/TOR, using sophisticated fly genetics. Of course if we are to understand how these signaling pathways drive cancer, we must determine the downstream program(s of gene expression activated to promote the cell and tissue over growth fundamental to cancer. Here we discuss one commonality between each of these pathways: they are all implicated as upstream activators of the highly conserved MYC oncogene and transcription factor. MYC can drive all aspects of cell growth and cell cycle progression during animal development. MYC is estimated to be dysregulated in over 50% of all cancers, underscoring the importance of elucidating the signals activating MYC. We also discuss the FUBP1/FIR/FUSE system, which acts as a ‘cruise control’ on the MYC promoter to control RNA Polymerase II pausing and, therefore, MYC transcription in response to the developmental signaling environment. Importantly, the striking conservation between humans and flies within these major axes of MYC regulation has made Drosophila an extremely valuable model organism for cancer research. We therefore discuss how Drosophila studies have helped determine the validity of signaling pathways regulating MYC in vivo using sophisticated genetics, and continue to provide novel insight into cancer biology.

  19. IGF-IEc expression, regulation and biological function in different tissues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dai, Zhongquan; Wu, Feng; Yeung, Ella W; Li, Yinghui

    2010-08-01

    Insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) is an important growth factor for embryonic development, postnatal growth, tissue repair and maintenance of homeostasis. IGF-I functions and regulations are complex and tissue-specific. IGF-I mediates growth hormone signaling to target tissues during growth, but many IGF-I variants have been discovered, resulting in complex models to describe IGF-I function and regulation. Mechano-growth factor (MGF) is an alternative splicing variant of IGF-I and serves as a local tissue repair factor that responds to changes in physiological conditions or environmental stimuli. MGF expression is significantly increased in muscle, bone and tendon following damage resulting from mechanical stimuli and in the brain and heart following ischemia. MGF has been shown to activate satellite cells in muscle resulting in hypertrophy or regeneration, and functions as a neuroprotectant in brain ischemia. Both expression and processing of this IGF-I variant are tissue specific, but the functional mechanism is poorly understood. MGF and its short derivative have been examined as a potential therapy for muscular dystrophy and cerebral hypoxia-ischemia using experimental animals. Although the unique mode of action of MGF has been identified, the details remain elusive. Here we review the expression and regulation of MGF and the function of this IGF-I isoform in tissue protection.

  20. Functional extension of high-speed AFM for wider biological applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uchihashi, Takayuki; Watanabe, Hiroki; Fukuda, Shingo; Shibata, Mikihiro; Ando, Toshio

    2016-01-01

    High-speed atomic force microscopy (HS-AFM) has been established and used, which can visualize biomolecules in dynamic action at high spatiotemporal resolution without disturbing their function. Various studies conducted in the past few years have demonstrated that the dynamic structure and action of biomolecules revealed with HS-AFM can provide greater insights than ever before into how the molecules function. However, this microscopy has still limitations in some regards. Recently, efforts have been carried out to overcome some of the limitations. As a result, it has now become possible to visualize dynamic processes occurring even on live cells and perform simultaneous observations of topographic and fluorescent images at a high rate. In this review, we focus on technical developments for expanding the range of objects and phenomena observable by HS-AFM as well as for granting multiple functionalities to HS-AFM.

  1. Functional soil microbial diversity across Europe estimated by EEA, MicroResp and BIOLOG

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Winding, Anne; Rutgers, Michiel; Creamer, Rachel

    Soil microorganisms are abundant and essential for the bio-geochemical processes of soil, soil quality and soil ecosystem services. All this is dependent on the actual functions the microbial communities are performing in the soil. Measuring soil respiration has for many years been the basis...... of estimating soil microbial activity. However, today several techniques are in use for determining microbial functional diversity and assessing soil biodiversity: Methods based on CO2 development by the microbes such as substrate induced respiration (SIR) on specific substrates have lead to the development...... of MicroResp and Community Level Physiological Profile (CLPP), while soil enzymatic activity are being assayed by Extracellular Enzyme Activity (EEA) based on MUF-substrates. Here we compared and contrasted the three techniques of assessing soil microbial functional diversity in a European transect...

  2. Structural profiling and biological performance of phospholipid-hyaluronan functionalized single-walled carbon nanotubes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dvash, Ram; Khatchatouriants, Artium; Solmesky, Leonardo J

    2013-01-01

    In spite of significant insolubility and toxicity, carbon nanotubes (CNTs) erupt into the biomedical research, and create an increasing interest in the field of nanomedicine. Single-walled CNTs (SWCNTs) are highly hydrophobic and have been shown to be toxic while systemically administrated. Thus......, SWCNTs have to be functionalized to render water solubility and biocompatibility. Herein, we introduce a method for functionalizing SWCNT using phospholipids (PL) conjugated to hyaluronan (HA), a hydrophilic glycosaminoglycan, with known receptors on many types of cancer and immune cells...

  3. Superclusters. A search for novel structures and functions of biological iron-sulfur clusters.

    OpenAIRE

    Arendsen, A.F.

    1996-01-01

    Iron sulfur (Fe-S) proteins are found in a variety of organisms. They usually function in electron transport, but they may also be involved in other functions like gene regulation and Lewis acid catalysis. The structure and spectroscopic properties of Fe-S clusters holding one, two, three, or four iron atoms is known to a great extent. These 'common' clusters share some basic properties. Firstly, they contain not more than four iron atoms. Secondly, despite the fact that they may contain more...

  4. Using synthetic biology to screen for functional diversity of GH1 enzymes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Deutsch, Sam; Datta, Supratim; Hamilton, Matthew; Friedland, Greg; D' Haeseleer, Patrik; Chen, Jan-Fang; Chivian, Dylan; Egan, Rob; Sale, Kenneth; Simmons, Blake; Rubin, Eddy

    2011-05-31

    Advances in next-generation sequencing technologies have enabled single genomes as well as complex environmental samples (metagenomes) to be comprehensively sequenced on a routine basis. Bioinformatics analysis of the resulting sequencing data reveals a continually expanding catalogue of predicted proteins ( 14 million as of April 2011), 75 percent of which are associated with functional annotation (COG, Pfam, Enzyme, Kegg, etc). These predicted proteins cover the full spectrum of known pathways and functional activities, including many novel biocatalysts that are expected to significantly contribute to the development of clean technologies including biomass degradation, lipid transformation for biodiesel generation, intermediates for polymer production, carbon capture, and bioremediation.

  5. Cold Spring Harbor symposia on quantitative biology: Volume 52, Evolution of catalytic function

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1987-01-01

    This document contains 97 papers presented at the symposium. The primary topic was the evolution of the catalytic function. Speakers discussed the evolution of genetic apparatus, the primordial soup, the anatomy of RNA, RNA templates, protein assembly, protein structure, cofactors, ribosomes, exons, and introns. Individual papers were processed separately for the data base. (TEM)

  6. The fine-grained metaphysics of artifactual and biological functional kinds

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Carrara, M.; Vermaas, P.E.

    2008-01-01

    In this paper we consider the emerging position in metaphysics that artifact functions characterize real kinds of artifacts. We analyze how it can circumvent an objection by David Wiggins (Sameness and substance renewed, 2001, 87) and then argue that this position, in comparison to expert judgments,

  7. Recent advances in alveolar biology: Evolution and function of alveolar proteins

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Orgeig, S.; Hiemstra, P.S.; Veldhuizen, E.J.A.; Casals, C.; Clark, H.W.; Hackzu, A.; Knudsen, L.; Possmayer, F.

    2010-01-01

    This review is focused on the evolution and function of alveolar proteins. The lung faces physical and environmental challenges, due to changing pressures/volumes and foreign pathogens, respectively. The pulmonary surfactant system is integral in protecting the lung from these challenges via two gro

  8. The Paradox of the Missing Biological Function in Understanding: Implications for Moral and General Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iran-Nejad, Asghar

    2013-01-01

    This essay argues that the endemic moral crisis and the crisis of confidence in education are related; and both are a function, in part, of a paradoxical divide between two types of human understanding: psychological and biofunctional. In the psychological realm, people cause understanding using the psychological theories they know.…

  9. Allergen structures and biologic functions: the cutting edge of allergy research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pomés, Anna

    2008-09-01

    Studies of structure and function of allergens using state-of-the-art technologies have led to a better understanding of allergenicity, including aspects related to cross-reactivity, allergen nomenclature, and the identification of antigenic determinants. This information is being applied to the design and production of allergy vaccines, some of which already have proven efficacy and safety in clinical trials.

  10. In silico determination of intracellular glycosylation and phosphorylation sites in human selectins: Implications for biological function

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ahmad, I.; Hoessli, D.C.; Gupta, Ramneek

    2007-01-01

    Post-translational modifications provide the proteins with the possibility to perform functions in addition to those determined by their primary sequence. However, analysis of multifunctional protein structures in the environment of cells and body fluids is made especially difficult by the presence...

  11. The dimer interface of the membrane type 1 matrix metalloproteinase hemopexin domain: crystal structure and biological functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tochowicz, Anna; Goettig, Peter; Evans, Richard; Visse, Robert; Shitomi, Yasuyuki; Palmisano, Ralf; Ito, Noriko; Richter, Klaus; Maskos, Klaus; Franke, Daniel; Svergun, Dmitri; Nagase, Hideaki; Bode, Wolfram; Itoh, Yoshifumi

    2011-03-04

    Homodimerization is an essential step for membrane type 1 matrix metalloproteinase (MT1-MMP) to activate proMMP-2 and to degrade collagen on the cell surface. To uncover the molecular basis of the hemopexin (Hpx) domain-driven dimerization of MT1-MMP, a crystal structure of the Hpx domain was solved at 1.7 Å resolution. Two interactions were identified as potential biological dimer interfaces in the crystal structure, and mutagenesis studies revealed that the biological dimer possesses a symmetrical interaction where blades II and III of molecule A interact with blades III and II of molecule B. The mutations of amino acids involved in the interaction weakened the dimer interaction of Hpx domains in solution, and incorporation of these mutations into the full-length enzyme significantly inhibited dimer-dependent functions on the cell surface, including proMMP-2 activation, collagen degradation, and invasion into the three-dimensional collagen matrix, whereas dimer-independent functions, including gelatin film degradation and two-dimensional cell migration, were not affected. These results shed light on the structural basis of MT1-MMP dimerization that is crucial to promote cellular invasion.

  12. Individual features of the physical development and the onset of biological maturity of morphological and functional structures of the body

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oleksandr Aghyppo

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: to justify the observed features of physical development of the individual and the nature of the flow pattern of biological maturity of morphological and functional structures of the body other than the population norm of behavior trends of these processes. Materials and Methods: analysis of scientific literature on the research, the use of survey data contingent of children of preschool and primary school age, the use of attributive semantic spaces, method of similarity and dimensions, the method of analogy, the method of slowly varying amplitudes. Results: the nature of occurrence of the individual characteristics of the physical development and the onset of biological maturity of morphological and functional structures of the whole organism. Substantiates the nature of occurrence of the individual variation of these processes. Conclusions: the existing differences in the individual development of physical and somatotype shaping involve a violation of the synchronization of interdependent relations system. This reduces the potential viability and is expressed in the constitution somatotype features that can be used for preclinical diagnosis

  13. Abnormal expression of calcyphosine is associated with poor prognosis and cell biology function in colorectal cancer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shao, Weiwei; Wang, Quhui; Wang, Feiran; Jiang, Yasu; Xu, Meirong; Xu, Junfei

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the calcyphosine (CAPS) expression in human colorectal cancer (CRC) and to explore its clinical and prognostic significances. CAPS expression was measured by Western blot, real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis, and immunohistochemistry. The relationships between the CAPS expression levels and the clinicopathological factors were investigated. The Kaplan–Meier method and log-rank test were used to investigate the overall survival of the patients. Moreover, the effects of CAPS on biological roles of CRC cells were also evaluated by MTT assay, colony formation assay, and transwell assay. CAPS was significantly overexpressed in cancerous tissue and CRC cell lines compared with adjacent nontumor tissue and a normal human intestinal epithelial cell line. Overexpression of CAPS was significantly associated with histological grade (P=0.004), invasive depth (P<0.001), lymph node metastasis (P=0.003), tumor node metastasis stage (P=0.017), and distant metastasis (P=0.042). Furthermore, silencing of CAPS expression in CRC cells inhibited their proliferation, colony formation, migration, and invasion. Kaplan–Meier survival analysis showed that high CAPS expression might demonstrate poor prognosis in CRC patients. Cox regression analysis revealed that CAPS expression was an independent prognostic factor of CRC. Our data suggested that the upregulation of CAPS might play a role in the carcinogenesis and progression of CRC. CAPS could be used as a potential diagnostic factor and be an independent good prognostic indicator for CRC patients. PMID:26889086

  14. Using synthetic biology to distinguish and overcome regulatory and functional barriers related to nitrogen fixation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xia Wang

    Full Text Available Biological nitrogen fixation is a complex process requiring multiple genes working in concert. To date, the Klebsiella pneumoniae nif gene cluster, divided into seven operons, is one of the most studied systems. Its nitrogen fixation capacity is subject to complex cascade regulation and physiological limitations. In this report, the entire K. pneumoniae nif gene cluster was reassembled as operon-based BioBrick parts in Escherichia coli. It provided ~100% activity of native K. pneumoniae system. Based on the expression levels of these BioBrick parts, a T7 RNA polymerase-LacI expression system was used to replace the σ(54-dependent promoters located upstream of nif operons. Expression patterns of nif operons were critical for the maximum activity of the recombinant system. By mimicking these expression levels with variable-strength T7-dependent promoters, ~42% of the nitrogenase activity of the σ(54-dependent nif system was achieved in E. coli. When the newly constructed T7-dependent nif system was challenged with different genetic and physiological conditions, it bypassed the original complex regulatory circuits, with minor physiological limitations. Therefore, we have successfully replaced the nif regulatory elements with a simple expression system that may provide the first step for further research of introducing nif genes into eukaryotic organelles, which has considerable potentials in agro-biotechnology.

  15. Genetic associations at 53 loci highlight cell types and biological pathways relevant for kidney function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pattaro, Cristian; Teumer, Alexander; Gorski, Mathias; Chu, Audrey Y; Li, Man; Mijatovic, Vladan; Garnaas, Maija; Tin, Adrienne; Sorice, Rossella; Li, Yong; Taliun, Daniel; Olden, Matthias; Foster, Meredith; Yang, Qiong; Chen, Ming-Huei; Pers, Tune H; Johnson, Andrew D; Ko, Yi-An; Fuchsberger, Christian; Tayo, Bamidele; Nalls, Michael; Feitosa, Mary F; Isaacs, Aaron; Dehghan, Abbas; d'Adamo, Pio; Adeyemo, Adebowale; Dieffenbach, Aida Karina; Zonderman, Alan B; Nolte, Ilja M; van der Most, Peter J; Wright, Alan F; Shuldiner, Alan R; Morrison, Alanna C; Hofman, Albert; Smith, Albert V; Dreisbach, Albert W; Franke, Andre; Uitterlinden, Andre G; Metspalu, Andres; Tonjes, Anke; Lupo, Antonio; Robino, Antonietta; Johansson, Åsa; Demirkan, Ayse; Kollerits, Barbara; Freedman, Barry I; Ponte, Belen; Oostra, Ben A; Paulweber, Bernhard; Krämer, Bernhard K; Mitchell, Braxton D; Buckley, Brendan M; Peralta, Carmen A; Hayward, Caroline; Helmer, Catherine; Rotimi, Charles N; Shaffer, Christian M; Müller, Christian; Sala, Cinzia; van Duijn, Cornelia M; Saint-Pierre, Aude; Ackermann, Daniel; Shriner, Daniel; Ruggiero, Daniela; Toniolo, Daniela; Lu, Yingchang; Cusi, Daniele; Czamara, Darina; Ellinghaus, David; Siscovick, David S; Ruderfer, Douglas; Gieger, Christian; Grallert, Harald; Rochtchina, Elena; Atkinson, Elizabeth J; Holliday, Elizabeth G; Boerwinkle, Eric; Salvi, Erika; Bottinger, Erwin P; Murgia, Federico; Rivadeneira, Fernando; Ernst, Florian; Kronenberg, Florian; Hu, Frank B; Navis, Gerjan J; Curhan, Gary C; Ehret, George B; Homuth, Georg; Coassin, Stefan; Thun, Gian-Andri; Pistis, Giorgio; Gambaro, Giovanni; Malerba, Giovanni; Montgomery, Grant W; Eiriksdottir, Gudny; Jacobs, Gunnar; Li, Guo; Wichmann, H-Erich; Campbell, Harry; Schmidt, Helena; Wallaschofski, Henri; Völzke, Henry; Brenner, Hermann; Kroemer, Heyo K; Kramer, Holly; Lin, Honghuang; Leach, I Mateo; Ford, Ian; Guessous, Idris; Rudan, Igor; Prokopenko, Inga; Borecki, Ingrid; Heid, Iris M; Kolcic, Ivana; Persico, Ivana; Jukema, J Wouter; Wilson, James F; Felix, Janine F; Divers, Jasmin; Lambert, Jean-Charles; Stafford, Jeanette M; Gaspoz, Jean-Michel; Smith, Jennifer A; Faul, Jessica D; Wang, Jie Jin; Ding, Jingzhong; Hirschhorn, Joel N; Attia, John; Whitfield, John B; Chalmers, John; Viikari, Jorma; Coresh, Josef; Denny, Joshua C; Karjalainen, Juha; Fernandes, Jyotika K; Endlich, Karlhans; Butterbach, Katja; Keene, Keith L; Lohman, Kurt; Portas, Laura; Launer, Lenore J; Lyytikäinen, Leo-Pekka; Yengo, Loic; Franke, Lude; Ferrucci, Luigi; Rose, Lynda M; Kedenko, Lyudmyla; Rao, Madhumathi; Struchalin, Maksim; Kleber, Marcus E; Cavalieri, Margherita; Haun, Margot; Cornelis, Marilyn C; Ciullo, Marina; Pirastu, Mario; de Andrade, Mariza; McEvoy, Mark A; Woodward, Mark; Adam, Martin; Cocca, Massimiliano; Nauck, Matthias; Imboden, Medea; Waldenberger, Melanie; Pruijm, Menno; Metzger, Marie; Stumvoll, Michael; Evans, Michele K; Sale, Michele M; Kähönen, Mika; Boban, Mladen; Bochud, Murielle; Rheinberger, Myriam; Verweij, Niek; Bouatia-Naji, Nabila; Martin, Nicholas G; Hastie, Nick; Probst-Hensch, Nicole; Soranzo, Nicole; Devuyst, Olivier; Raitakari, Olli; Gottesman, Omri; Franco, Oscar H; Polasek, Ozren; Gasparini, Paolo; Munroe, Patricia B; Ridker, Paul M; Mitchell, Paul; Muntner, Paul; Meisinger, Christa; Smit, Johannes H; Kovacs, Peter; Wild, Philipp S; Froguel, Philippe; Rettig, Rainer; Mägi, Reedik; Biffar, Reiner; Schmidt, Reinhold; Middelberg, Rita P S; Carroll, Robert J; Penninx, Brenda W; Scott, Rodney J; Katz, Ronit; Sedaghat, Sanaz; Wild, Sarah H; Kardia, Sharon L R; Ulivi, Sheila; Hwang, Shih-Jen; Enroth, Stefan; Kloiber, Stefan; Trompet, Stella; Stengel, Benedicte; Hancock, Stephen J; Turner, Stephen T; Rosas, Sylvia E; Stracke, Sylvia; Harris, Tamara B; Zeller, Tanja; Zemunik, Tatijana; Lehtimäki, Terho; Illig, Thomas; Aspelund, Thor; Nikopensius, Tiit; Esko, Tonu; Tanaka, Toshiko; Gyllensten, Ulf; Völker, Uwe; Emilsson, Valur; Vitart, Veronique; Aalto, Ville; Gudnason, Vilmundur; Chouraki, Vincent; Chen, Wei-Min; Igl, Wilmar; März, Winfried; Koenig, Wolfgang; Lieb, Wolfgang; Loos, Ruth J F; Liu, Yongmei; Snieder, Harold; Pramstaller, Peter P; Parsa, Afshin; O'Connell, Jeffrey R; Susztak, Katalin; Hamet, Pavel; Tremblay, Johanne; de Boer, Ian H; Böger, Carsten A; Goessling, Wolfram; Chasman, Daniel I; Köttgen, Anna; Kao, W H Linda; Fox, Caroline S

    2016-01-21

    Reduced glomerular filtration rate defines chronic kidney disease and is associated with cardiovascular and all-cause mortality. We conducted a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies for estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), combining data across 133,413 individuals with replication in up to 42,166 individuals. We identify 24 new and confirm 29 previously identified loci. Of these 53 loci, 19 associate with eGFR among individuals with diabetes. Using bioinformatics, we show that identified genes at eGFR loci are enriched for expression in kidney tissues and in pathways relevant for kidney development and transmembrane transporter activity, kidney structure, and regulation of glucose metabolism. Chromatin state mapping and DNase I hypersensitivity analyses across adult tissues demonstrate preferential mapping of associated variants to regulatory regions in kidney but not extra-renal tissues. These findings suggest that genetic determinants of eGFR are mediated largely through direct effects within the kidney and highlight important cell types and biological pathways.

  16. Using synthetic biology to distinguish and overcome regulatory and functional barriers related to nitrogen fixation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xia; Yang, Jian-Guo; Chen, Li; Wang, Ji-Long; Cheng, Qi; Dixon, Ray; Wang, Yi-Ping

    2013-01-01

    Biological nitrogen fixation is a complex process requiring multiple genes working in concert. To date, the Klebsiella pneumoniae nif gene cluster, divided into seven operons, is one of the most studied systems. Its nitrogen fixation capacity is subject to complex cascade regulation and physiological limitations. In this report, the entire K. pneumoniae nif gene cluster was reassembled as operon-based BioBrick parts in Escherichia coli. It provided ~100% activity of native K. pneumoniae system. Based on the expression levels of these BioBrick parts, a T7 RNA polymerase-LacI expression system was used to replace the σ(54)-dependent promoters located upstream of nif operons. Expression patterns of nif operons were critical for the maximum activity of the recombinant system. By mimicking these expression levels with variable-strength T7-dependent promoters, ~42% of the nitrogenase activity of the σ(54)-dependent nif system was achieved in E. coli. When the newly constructed T7-dependent nif system was challenged with different genetic and physiological conditions, it bypassed the original complex regulatory circuits, with minor physiological limitations. Therefore, we have successfully replaced the nif regulatory elements with a simple expression system that may provide the first step for further research of introducing nif genes into eukaryotic organelles, which has considerable potentials in agro-biotechnology.

  17. Genetic associations at 53 loci highlight cell types and biological pathways relevant for kidney function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pattaro, Cristian; Teumer, Alexander; Gorski, Mathias; Chu, Audrey Y.; Li, Man; Mijatovic, Vladan; Garnaas, Maija; Tin, Adrienne; Sorice, Rossella; Li, Yong; Taliun, Daniel; Olden, Matthias; Foster, Meredith; Yang, Qiong; Chen, Ming-Huei; Pers, Tune H.; Johnson, Andrew D.; Ko, Yi-An; Fuchsberger, Christian; Tayo, Bamidele; Nalls, Michael; Feitosa, Mary F.; Isaacs, Aaron; Dehghan, Abbas; d'Adamo, Pio; Adeyemo, Adebowale; Dieffenbach, Aida Karina; Zonderman, Alan B.; Nolte, Ilja M.; van der Most, Peter J.; Wright, Alan F.; Shuldiner, Alan R.; Morrison, Alanna C.; Hofman, Albert; Smith, Albert V.; Dreisbach, Albert W.; Franke, Andre; Uitterlinden, Andre G.; Metspalu, Andres; Tonjes, Anke; Lupo, Antonio; Robino, Antonietta; Johansson, Åsa; Demirkan, Ayse; Kollerits, Barbara; Freedman, Barry I.; Ponte, Belen; Oostra, Ben A.; Paulweber, Bernhard; Krämer, Bernhard K.; Mitchell, Braxton D.; Buckley, Brendan M.; Peralta, Carmen A.; Hayward, Caroline; Helmer, Catherine; Rotimi, Charles N.; Shaffer, Christian M.; Müller, Christian; Sala, Cinzia; van Duijn, Cornelia M.; Saint-Pierre, Aude; Ackermann, Daniel; Shriner, Daniel; Ruggiero, Daniela; Toniolo, Daniela; Lu, Yingchang; Cusi, Daniele; Czamara, Darina; Ellinghaus, David; Siscovick, David S.; Ruderfer, Douglas; Gieger, Christian; Grallert, Harald; Rochtchina, Elena; Atkinson, Elizabeth J.; Holliday, Elizabeth G.; Boerwinkle, Eric; Salvi, Erika; Bottinger, Erwin P.; Murgia, Federico; Rivadeneira, Fernando; Ernst, Florian; Kronenberg, Florian; Hu, Frank B.; Navis, Gerjan J.; Curhan, Gary C.; Ehret, George B.; Homuth, Georg; Coassin, Stefan; Thun, Gian-Andri; Pistis, Giorgio; Gambaro, Giovanni; Malerba, Giovanni; Montgomery, Grant W.; Eiriksdottir, Gudny; Jacobs, Gunnar; Li, Guo; Wichmann, H-Erich; Campbell, Harry; Schmidt, Helena; Wallaschofski, Henri; Völzke, Henry; Brenner, Hermann; Kroemer, Heyo K.; Kramer, Holly; Lin, Honghuang; Leach, I. Mateo; Ford, Ian; Guessous, Idris; Rudan, Igor; Prokopenko, Inga; Borecki, Ingrid; Heid, Iris M.; Kolcic, Ivana; Persico, Ivana; Jukema, J. Wouter; Wilson, James F.; Felix, Janine F.; Divers, Jasmin; Lambert, Jean-Charles; Stafford, Jeanette M.; Gaspoz, Jean-Michel; Smith, Jennifer A.; Faul, Jessica D.; Wang, Jie Jin; Ding, Jingzhong; Hirschhorn, Joel N.; Attia, John; Whitfield, John B.; Chalmers, John; Viikari, Jorma; Coresh, Josef; Denny, Joshua C.; Karjalainen, Juha; Fernandes, Jyotika K.; Endlich, Karlhans; Butterbach, Katja; Keene, Keith L.; Lohman, Kurt; Portas, Laura; Launer, Lenore J.; Lyytikäinen, Leo-Pekka; Yengo, Loic; Franke, Lude; Ferrucci, Luigi; Rose, Lynda M.; Kedenko, Lyudmyla; Rao, Madhumathi; Struchalin, Maksim; Kleber, Marcus E.; Cavalieri, Margherita; Haun, Margot; Cornelis, Marilyn C.; Ciullo, Marina; Pirastu, Mario; de Andrade, Mariza; McEvoy, Mark A.; Woodward, Mark; Adam, Martin; Cocca, Massimiliano; Nauck, Matthias; Imboden, Medea; Waldenberger, Melanie; Pruijm, Menno; Metzger, Marie; Stumvoll, Michael; Evans, Michele K.; Sale, Michele M.; Kähönen, Mika; Boban, Mladen; Bochud, Murielle; Rheinberger, Myriam; Verweij, Niek; Bouatia-Naji, Nabila; Martin, Nicholas G.; Hastie, Nick; Probst-Hensch, Nicole; Soranzo, Nicole; Devuyst, Olivier; Raitakari, Olli; Gottesman, Omri; Franco, Oscar H.; Polasek, Ozren; Gasparini, Paolo; Munroe, Patricia B.; Ridker, Paul M.; Mitchell, Paul; Muntner, Paul; Meisinger, Christa; Smit, Johannes H.; Abecasis, Goncalo R.; Adair, Linda S.; Alexander, Myriam; Altshuler, David; Amin, Najaf; Arking, Dan E.; Arora, Pankaj; Aulchenko, Yurii; Bakker, Stephan J. L.; Bandinelli, Stefania; Barroso, Ines; Beckmann, Jacques S.; Beilby, John P.; Bergman, Richard N.; Bergmann, Sven; Bis, Joshua C.; Boehnke, Michael; Bonnycastle, Lori L.; Bornstein, Stefan R.; Bots, Michiel L.; Bragg-Gresham, Jennifer L.; Brand, Stefan-Martin; Brand, Eva; Braund, Peter S.; Brown, Morris J.; Burton, Paul R.; Casas, Juan P.; Caulfield, Mark J.; Chakravarti, Aravinda; Chambers, John C.; Chandak, Giriraj R.; Chang, Yen-Pei C.; Charchar, Fadi J.; Chaturvedi, Nish; Shin Cho, Yoon; Clarke, Robert; Collins, Francis S.; Collins, Rory; Connell, John M.; Cooper, Jackie A.; Cooper, Matthew N.; Cooper, Richard S.; Corsi, Anna Maria; Dörr, Marcus; Dahgam, Santosh; Danesh, John; Smith, George Davey; Day, Ian N. M.; Deloukas, Panos; Denniff, Matthew; Dominiczak, Anna F.; Dong, Yanbin; Doumatey, Ayo; Elliott, Paul; Elosua, Roberto; Erdmann, Jeanette; Eyheramendy, Susana; Farrall, Martin; Fava, Cristiano; Forrester, Terrence; Fowkes, F. Gerald R.; Fox, Ervin R.; Frayling, Timothy M.; Galan, Pilar

    2016-01-01

    Reduced glomerular filtration rate defines chronic kidney disease and is associated with cardiovascular and all-cause mortality. We conducted a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies for estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), combining data across 133,413 individuals with replication in up to 42,166 individuals. We identify 24 new and confirm 29 previously identified loci. Of these 53 loci, 19 associate with eGFR among individuals with diabetes. Using bioinformatics, we show that identified genes at eGFR loci are enriched for expression in kidney tissues and in pathways relevant for kidney development and transmembrane transporter activity, kidney structure, and regulation of glucose metabolism. Chromatin state mapping and DNase I hypersensitivity analyses across adult tissues demonstrate preferential mapping of associated variants to regulatory regions in kidney but not extra-renal tissues. These findings suggest that genetic determinants of eGFR are mediated largely through direct effects within the kidney and highlight important cell types and biological pathways. PMID:26831199

  18. Prediction of GPCR-G Protein Coupling Specificity Using Features of Sequences and Biological Functions

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Toshihide Ono; Haretsugu Hishigaki

    2006-01-01

    Understanding the coupling specificity between G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) and specific classes of G proteins is important for further elucidation of receptor functions within a cell. Increasing information on GPCR sequences and the G protein family would facilitate prediction of the coupling properties of GPCRs. In this study, we describe a novel approach for predicting the coupling specificity between GPCRs and G proteins. This method uses not only GPCR sequences but also the functional knowledge generated by natural language processing, and can achieve 92.2% prediction accuracy by using the C4.5 algorithm.Furthermore, rules related to GPCR-G protein coupling are generated. The combination of sequence analysis and text mining improves the prediction accuracy for GPCR-G protein coupling specificity, and also provides clues for understanding GPCR signaling.

  19. Intersection of transfer cells with phloem biology – broad evolutionary trends, function and induction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Felicity eAndriunas

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Transfer cells (TCs are ubiquitous throughout the plant kingdom. Their unique ingrowth wall labyrinths, supporting a plasma membrane enriched in transporter proteins, provides these cells with an enhanced membrane transport capacity for resources. In certain plant species, TCs have been shown to function to facilitate phloem loading and/or unloading at cellular sites of intense resource exchange between symplasmic/apoplasmic compartments. Within the phloem, the key cellular locations of TCs are leaf minor veins of collection phloem and stem nodes of transport phloem. In these locations, companion and phloem parenchyma cells trans-differentiate to a TC morphology consistent with facilitating loading and re-distribution of resources respectively. At a species level, occurrence of TCs is significantly higher in transport than in collection phloem. TCs are absent from release phloem but occur within post-sieve element unloading pathways and particularly at interfaces between generations of developing Angiosperm seeds. Experimental accessibility of seed TCs has provided opportunities to investigate their inductive signaling, regulation of ingrowth wall formation and membrane transport function. This review uses this information base to explore current knowledge of phloem transport function and inductive signaling for phloem-associated TCs. The functional role of collection phloem and seed TCs is supported by definitive evidence, but no such information is available for stem node TCs that present an almost intractable experimental challenge. There is an emerging understanding of inductive signals and signaling pathways responsible for initiating trans-differentiation to a TC morphology in developing seeds. However, scant information is available to comment on a potential role for inductive signals that induce seed TCs, in regulating induction of phloem-associated TCs. Biotic phloem invaders have been used as a model to speculate on involvement of

  20. New themes in the biological functions of 5-methylcytosine and 5-hydroxymethylcytosine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moen, Erika L; Mariani, Christopher J; Zullow, Hayley; Jeff-Eke, Meselle; Litwin, Edward; Nikitas, John N; Godley, Lucy A

    2015-01-01

    5-methylcytosine (5-mC) and 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5-hmC) play a critical role in development and normal physiology. Alterations in 5-mC and 5-hmC patterns are common events in hematopoietic neoplasms. In this review, we begin by emphasizing the importance of 5-mC, 5-hmC, and their enzymatic modifiers in hematological malignancies. Then, we discuss the functions of 5-mC and 5-hmC at distinct genic contexts, including promoter regions, gene bodies, intron-exon boundaries, alternative promoters, and intragenic microRNAs. Recent advances in technology have allowed for the study of 5-mC and 5-hmC independently and specifically permitting distinction between the bases that show them to have transcriptional effects that vary by their location relative to gene structure. We extend these observations to their functions at enhancers and transcription factor binding sites. We discuss dietary influences on 5-mC and 5-hmC levels and summarize the literature on the effects of folate and vitamin C on 5-mC and 5-hmC, respectively. Finally, we discuss how these new themes in the functions of 5-mC and 5-hmC will likely influence the broader research field of epigenetics.

  1. The biological mechanisms and behavioral functions of opsin-based light detection by the skin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer L Kelley

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Light detection not only forms the basis of vision (via visual retinal photoreceptors, but can also occur in other parts of the body, including many non-rod/non-cone ocular cells, the pineal complex, the deep brain, and the skin. Indeed, many of the photopigments (an opsin linked to a light-sensitive 11-cis retinal chromophore that mediate color vision in the eyes of vertebrates are also present in the skin of animals such as reptiles, amphibians, crustaceans and fishes (with related photoreceptive molecules present in cephalopods, providing a localized mechanism for light detection across the surface of the body. This form of non-visual photosensitivity may be particularly important for animals that can change their coloration by altering the dispersion of pigments within the chromatophores (pigment containing cells of the skin. Thus, skin coloration may be directly color matched or tuned to both the luminance and spectral properties of the local background environment, thereby facilitating behavioral functions such as camouflage, thermoregulation, and social signaling. This review examines the diversity and sensitivity of opsin-based photopigments present in the skin and considers their putative functional roles in mediating animal behavior. Furthermore, it discusses the potential underlying biochemical and molecular pathways that link shifts in environmental light to both photopigment expression and chromatophore photoresponses. Although photoreception that occurs independently of image formation remains poorly understood, this review highlights the important role of non-visual light detection in facilitating the multiple functions of animal coloration.

  2. MicroRNA functional network in pancreatic cancer: From biology to biomarkers of disease

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Jin Wang; Subrata Sen

    2011-08-01

    MicroRNAs (miRs), the 17- to 25-nucleotide-long non-coding RNAs, regulate expression of approximately 30% of the protein-coding genes at the post-transcriptional level and have emerged as critical components of the complex functional pathway networks controlling important cellular processes, such as proliferation, development, differentiation, stress response' and apoptosis. Abnormal expression levels of miRs, regulating critical cancerassociated pathways, have been implicated to play important roles in the oncogenic processes, functioning both as oncogenes and as tumour suppressor genes. Elucidation of the genetic networks regulated by the abnormally expressing miRs in cancer cells is proving to be extremely significant in understanding the role of these miRs in the induction of malignant-transformation-associated phenotypic changes. As a result, the miRs involved in the oncogenic transformation process are being investigated as novel biomarkers of disease detection and prognosis as well as potential therapeutic targets for human cancers. In this \\article, we review the existing literature in the field documenting the significance of aberrantly expressed miRs in human pancreatic cancer and discuss how the oncogenic miRs may be involved in the genetic networks regulating functional pathways deregulated in this malignancy.

  3. Sensitivity analysis of biological Boolean networks using information fusion based on nonadditive set functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Background An algebraic method for information fusion based on nonadditive set functions is used to assess the joint contribution of Boolean network attributes to the sensitivity of the network to individual node mutations. The node attributes or characteristics under consideration are: in-degree, out-degree, minimum and average path lengths, bias, average sensitivity of Boolean functions, and canalizing degrees. The impact of node mutations is assessed using as target measure the average Hamming distance between a non-mutated/wild-type network and a mutated network. Results We find that for a biochemical signal transduction network consisting of several main signaling pathways whose nodes represent signaling molecules (mainly proteins), the algebraic method provides a robust classification of attribute contributions. This method indicates that for the biochemical network, the most significant impact is generated mainly by the combined effects of two attributes: out-degree, and average sensitivity of nodes. Conclusions The results support the idea that both topological and dynamical properties of the nodes need to be under consideration. The algebraic method is robust against the choice of initial conditions and partition of data sets in training and testing sets for estimation of the nonadditive set functions of the information fusion procedure. PMID:25189194

  4. Abnormal expression of calcyphosine is associated with poor prognosis and cell biology function in colorectal cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shao W

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Weiwei Shao,* Quhui Wang,* Feiran Wang, Yasu Jiang, Meirong Xu, Junfei XuDepartment of General Surgery, Affiliated Hospital of Nantong University, Nantong, People’s Republic of China*These authors contributed equally to this workAbstract: The aim of this study was to investigate the calcyphosine (CAPS expression in human colorectal cancer (CRC and to explore its clinical and prognostic significances. CAPS expression was measured by Western blot, real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis, and immunohistochemistry. The relationships between the CAPS expression levels and the clinicopathological factors were investigated. The Kaplan–Meier method and log-rank test were used to investigate the overall survival of the patients. Moreover, the effects of CAPS on biological roles of CRC cells were also evaluated by MTT assay, colony formation assay, and transwell assay. CAPS was significantly overexpressed in cancerous tissue and CRC cell lines compared with adjacent nontumor tissue and a normal human intestinal epithelial cell line. Overexpression of CAPS was significantly associated with histological grade (P=0.004, invasive depth (P<0.001, lymph node metastasis (P=0.003, tumor node metastasis stage (P=0.017, and distant metastasis (P=0.042. Furthermore, silencing of CAPS expression in CRC cells inhibited their proliferation, colony formation, migration, and invasion. Kaplan–Meier survival analysis showed that high CAPS expression might demonstrate poor prognosis in CRC patients. Cox regression analysis revealed that CAPS expression was an independent prognostic factor of CRC. Our data suggested that the upregulation of CAPS might play a role in the carcinogenesis and progression of CRC. CAPS could be used as a potential diagnostic factor and be an independent good prognostic indicator for CRC patients.Keywords: calcyphosine, colorectal cancer, prognosis

  5. Iron-sulphur clusters, their biosynthesis, and biological functions in protozoan parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ali, Vahab; Nozaki, Tomoyoshi

    2013-01-01

    Fe-S clusters are ensembles of sulphide-linked di-, tri-, and tetra-iron centres of a variety of metalloproteins that play important roles in reduction and oxidation of mitochondrial electron transport, energy metabolism, regulation of gene expression, cell survival, nitrogen fixation, and numerous other metabolic pathways. The Fe-S clusters are assembled by one of four distinct systems: NIF, SUF, ISC, and CIA machineries. The ISC machinery is a house-keeping system conserved widely from prokaryotes to higher eukaryotes, while the other systems are present in a limited range of organisms and play supplementary roles under certain conditions such as stress. Fe-S cluster-containing proteins and the components required for Fe-S cluster biosynthesis are modulated under stress conditions, drug resistance, and developmental stages. It is also known that a defect in Fe-S proteins and Fe-S cluster biogenesis leads to many genetic disorders in humans, which indicates the importance of the systems. In this review, we describe the biological and physiological significance of Fe-S cluster-containing proteins and their biosynthesis in parasitic protozoa including Plasmodium, Trypanosoma, Leishmania, Giardia, Trichomonas, Entamoeba, Cryptosporidium, Blastocystis, and microsporidia. We also discuss the roles of Fe-S cluster biosynthesis in proliferation, differentiation, and stress response in protozoan parasites. The heterogeneity of the systems and the compartmentalization of Fe-S cluster biogenesis in the protozoan parasites likely reflect divergent evolution under highly diverse environmental niches, and influence their parasitic lifestyle and pathogenesis. Finally, both Fe-S cluster-containing proteins and their biosynthetic machinery in protozoan parasites are remarkably different from those in their mammalian hosts. Thus, they represent a rational target for the development of novel chemotherapeutic and prophylactic agents against protozoan infections.

  6. Mammalian Exo1 encodes both structural and catalytic functions that play distinct roles in essential biological processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaetzlein, Sonja; Chahwan, Richard; Avdievich, Elena; Roa, Sergio; Wei, Kaichun; Eoff, Robert L; Sellers, Rani S; Clark, Alan B; Kunkel, Thomas A; Scharff, Matthew D; Edelmann, Winfried

    2013-07-02

    Mammalian Exonuclease 1 (EXO1) is an evolutionarily conserved, multifunctional exonuclease involved in DNA damage repair, replication, immunoglobulin diversity, meiosis, and telomere maintenance. It has been assumed that EXO1 participates in these processes primarily through its exonuclease activity, but recent studies also suggest that EXO1 has a structural function in the assembly of higher-order protein complexes. To dissect the enzymatic and nonenzymatic roles of EXO1 in the different biological processes in vivo, we generated an EXO1-E109K knockin (Exo1(EK)) mouse expressing a stable exonuclease-deficient protein and, for comparison, a fully EXO1-deficient (Exo1(null)) mouse. In contrast to Exo1(null/null) mice, Exo1(EK/EK) mice retained mismatch repair activity and displayed normal class switch recombination and meiosis. However, both Exo1-mutant lines showed defects in DNA damage response including DNA double-strand break repair (DSBR) through DNA end resection, chromosomal stability, and tumor suppression, indicating that the enzymatic function is required for those processes. On a transformation-related protein 53 (Trp53)-null background, the DSBR defect caused by the E109K mutation altered the tumor spectrum but did not affect the overall survival as compared with p53-Exo1(null) mice, whose defects in both DSBR and mismatch repair also compromised survival. The separation of these functions demonstrates the differential requirement for the structural function and nuclease activity of mammalian EXO1 in distinct DNA repair processes and tumorigenesis in vivo.

  7. Effects and biological limitations of +Gz acceleration on the autonomic functions-related circulation in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishida, Yasuhiro; Maruyama, Satoshi; Shouji, Ichiro; Kemuriyama, Takehito; Tashiro, Akimasa; Ohta, Hiroyuki; Hagisawa, Kohsue; Hiruma, Megumi; Yokoe, Hidetake

    2016-11-01

    The effects of gravitational loading (G load) on humans have been studied ever since the early 20th century. After the dangers of G load in the vertical head-to-leg direction (+Gz load) became evident, many animal experiments were performed between 1920 and 1945 in an effort to identify the origins of high G-force-induced loss of consciousness (G-LOC), which led to development of the anti-G suit. The establishment of norms and training for G-LOC prevention resulted in a gradual decline in reports of animal experiments on G load, a decline that steepened with the establishment of anti-G techniques in humans, such as special breathing methods and skeletal muscle contraction, called an anti-G straining maneuver, which are voluntary physiological functions. Because the issue involves humans during flight, the effects on humans themselves are clearly of great importance, but ethical considerations largely preclude any research on the human body that probes to any depth the endogenous physiological states and functions. The decline in reports on animal experiments may therefore signify a general decline in research into the changes seen in the various involuntary, autonomic functions. The declining number of related reports on investigations of physiological autonomic systems other than the circulatory system seems to bear this out. In this review, we therefore describe our findings on the effects of G load on the autonomic nervous system, cardiac function, cerebral blood flow, tissue oxygen level, and other physiological autonomic functions as measured in animal experiments, including denervation or pharmacological blocking, in an effort to present the limits and the mechanisms of G-load response extending physiologically. We demonstrate previously unrecognized risks due to G load, and also describe fundamental research aimed at countering these effects and development of a scientific training measure devised for actively enhancing +Gz tolerance in involuntary

  8. The Role of Soil Biological Function in Regulating Agroecosystem Services and Sustainability in the Quesungual Agroforestry System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fonte, S.; Pauli, N.; Rousseau, L.; SIX, J. W. U. A.; Barrios, E.

    2014-12-01

    The Quesungual agroforestry system from western Honduras has been increasingly promoted as a promising alternative to traditional slash-and-burn agriculture in tropical dry forest regions of the Americas. Improved residue management and the lack of burning in this system can greatly impact soil biological functioning and a number of key soil-based ecosystem services, yet our understanding of these processes has not been thoroughly integrated to understand system functionality as a whole that can guide improved management. To address this gap, we present a synthesis of various field studies conducted in Central America aimed at: 1) quantifying the influence of the Quesungual agroforestry practices on soil macrofauna abundance and diversity, and 2) understanding how these organisms influence key soil-based ecosystem services that ultimately drive the success of this system. A first set of studies examined the impact of agroecosystem management on soil macrofauna populations, soil fertility and key soil processes. Results suggest that residue inputs (derived from tree biomass pruning), a lack of burning, and high tree densities, lead to conditions that support abundant, diverse soil macrofauna communities under agroforestry, with soil organic carbon content comparable to adjacent forest. Additionally, there is great potential in working with farmers to develop refined soil quality indicators for improved land management. A second line of research explored interactions between residue management and earthworms in the regulation of soil-based ecosystem services. Earthworms are the most prominent ecosystem engineers in these soils. We found that earthworms are key drivers of soil structure maintenance and the stabilization of soil organic matter within soil aggregates, and also had notable impacts on soil nutrient dynamics. However, the impact of earthworms appears to depend on residue management practices, thus indicating the need for an integrated approach for

  9. Ribosome-based protein folding systems are structurally divergent but functionally universal across biological kingdoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ito, Koreaki

    2005-07-01

    In bacteria, Trigger factor (TF) is the first chaperone that interacts with nascent polypeptides as soon as they emerge from the exit tunnel of the ribosome. TF binds to the ribosomal protein L23 located next to the tunnel exit of the large subunit, with which it forms a cradle-like space embracing the polypeptide exit region. It cooperates with the DnaK Hsp70 chaperone system to ensure correct folding of a number of newly translated cytosolic proteins in Escherichia coli. Whereas TF is exclusively found in prokaryotes and chloroplasts, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a eukaryotic microorganism, has a three-member Hsp70-J protein complex, Ssb-Ssz-Zuo, which could act as a ribosome-associated folding facilitator. In the work reported in this volume of Molecular Microbiology, Rauch et al. (2005, Mol Microbiol, doi:10.1111/j.1365-2958.2005.04690.x) examined the functional similarity of the ribosome-associated chaperones in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. In spite of the fact that TF and the Hsp70-based triad are structurally unrelated, TF can bind to the yeast ribosome via Rpl25 (the L23 counterpart) and can substitute for some, but not all, of the functions assigned to Ssb-Ssz-Zuo in yeast. The functional conservation of the ribosome-associated chaperones without structural similarity is remarkable and suggests that during evolution nature has employed a common design but divergent components to facilitate folding of polypeptides as they emerge from the ribosomal exit, a fundamental process required for the efficient expression of genetic information.

  10. Normal and disease-related biological functions of Twist1 and underlying molecular mechanisms

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Qian Qin; Young Xu; Tao He; Chunlin Qin; Jianming Xu

    2012-01-01

    This article reviews the molecular structure,expression pattern,physiological function,pathological roles and molecular mechanisms of Twist1 in development,genetic disease and cancer.Twist1 is a basic helix-loop-helix domaincontaining transcription factor.It forms homo- or hetero-dimers in order to bind the Nde1 E-box element and activate or repress its target genes.During development,Twistl is essential for mesoderm specification and differentiation.Heterozygous loss-of-function mutations of the human Twist1 gene cause several diseases including the SaethreChotzen syndrome.The Twist1-null mouse embryos die with unclosed cranial neural tubes and defective head mesenchyme,somites and limb buds.Twist1 is expressed in breast,liver,prostate,gastric and other types of cancers,and its expression is usually associated with invasive and metastatic cancer phenotypes.In cancer cells,Twistl is upregulated by multiple factors including SRC-1,STAT3,MSX2,HIF-1α,integrin-linked kinase and NF-κB.Twist1 significantly enhances epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and cancer cell migration and invasion,hence promoting cancer metastasis.Twistl promotes EMT in part by directly repressing E-cadherin expression by recruiting the nucleosome remodeling and deacetylase complex for gene repression and by upregulating Bmil,AKT2,YB-1,etc.Emerging evidence also suggests that Twist1 plays a role in expansion and chemotherapeutic resistance of cancer stem cells.Further understanding of the mechanisms by which Twist1 promotes metastasis and identification of Twist1 functional modulators may hold promise for developing new strategies to inhibit EMT and cancer metastasis.

  11. Biological functions of hCG and hCG-related molecules

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cole Laurence A

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background hCG is a term referring to 4 independent molecules, each produced by separate cells and each having completely separate functions. These are hCG produced by villous syncytiotrophoblast cells, hyperglycosylated hCG produced by cytotrophoblast cells, free beta-subunit made by multiple primary non-trophoblastic malignancies, and pituitary hCG made by the gonadotrope cells of the anterior pituitary. Results and discussion hCG has numerous functions. hCG promotes progesterone production by corpus luteal cells; promotes angiogenesis in uterine vasculature; promoted the fusion of cytotrophoblast cell and differentiation to make syncytiotrophoblast cells; causes the blockage of any immune or macrophage action by mother on foreign invading placental cells; causes uterine growth parallel to fetal growth; suppresses any myometrial contractions during the course of pregnancy; causes growth and differentiation of the umbilical cord; signals the endometrium about forthcoming implantation; acts on receptor in mother's brain causing hyperemesis gravidarum, and seemingly promotes growth of fetal organs during pregnancy. Hyperglycosylated hCG functions to promote growth of cytotrophoblast cells and invasion by these cells, as occurs in implantation of pregnancy, and growth and invasion by choriocarcinoma cells. hCG free beta-subunit is produced by numerous non-trophoblastic malignancies of different primaries. The detection of free beta-subunit in these malignancies is generally considered a sign of poor prognosis. The free beta-subunit blocks apoptosis in cancer cells and promotes the growth and malignancy of the cancer. Pituitary hCG is a sulfated variant of hCG produced at low levels during the menstrual cycle. Pituitary hCG seems to mimic luteinizing hormone actions during the menstrual cycle.

  12. Impact of AT2-receptor stimulation on vascular biology, kidney function, and blood pressure

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Danyel, L.A.; Schmerler, P.; Paulis, L.;

    2013-01-01

    angiotensin II) and with relevance for blood pressure (BP) regulation or hypertensive end-organ damage. These data will include studies on vasodilation/vasoconstriction in isolated resistance arteries ex vivo, studies on kidney function, studies on vascular remodeling, and studies that measured the net effect...... to attenuate hypertension-induced vascular remodeling and reduce arterial stiffening, which in more chronic settings and together with the natriuretic effect may result in modest lowering of BP. We conclude from these preclinical data that AT2R agonists are not suitable for antihypertensive monotherapy...

  13. DNA structure, binding mechanism and biology functions of polypyridyl complexes in biomedicine

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2001-01-01

    There is considerable research interest and vigorous debate about the DNA binding of polypyridyl complexes including the electron transfer involving DNA. In this review, based on the fluorescence quenching experiments, it was proposed that DNA might serve as a conductor. From the time-interval CD spectra, the different binding rates of D- and L-enantiomer to calf thymus DNA were observed. The factors influencing the DNA-binding of polypyridyl complexes, and the potential bio-functions of the complexes are also discussed.

  14. Novel Molecular Interactions and Biological Functions of the Neurofibromatosis 2 Tumor Suppressor Protein, Merlin

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-08-01

    Cancer. 92, 2662-2672. Kissil J.L., Johnson K.C., Eckman M.S. and Jacks T. (2002) Merlin phosphorylation by p21-activated kinase 2 and effects of...Johnson KC, Eckman MS, Jacks T. (2002). J Biol Chem 277: 10394–10399. Louis DN, Ramesh V, Gusella JF. (1995). Brain Pathol 5: 163–172. Lutchman M...2006) A functional association between merlin and HEI10, a cell cycle regulator. Oncogene, 25, 4389–4398. 20. Kissil, J.L., Johnson, K.C., Eckman , M.S

  15. CD33 Alzheimer’s disease locus: Altered monocyte function and amyloid biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradshaw, Elizabeth M; Chibnik, Lori B; Keenan, Brendan T; Ottoboni, Linda; Raj, Towfique; Tang, Anna; Rosenkrantz, Laura L; Imboywa, Selina; Lee, Michelle; Von Korff, Alina; Morris, Martha C; Evans, Denis A; Johnson, Keith; Sperling, Reisa A; Schneider, Julie A; Bennett, David A; De Jager, Philip L

    2013-01-01

    In our functional dissection of the CD33 Alzheimer’s disease susceptibility locus, we find that the rs3865444C risk allele is associated with greater cell surface expression of CD33 in monocytes (t50 = 10.06, pjoint=1.3×10–13) of young and older individuals. It is also associated with (1) diminished internalization of Aβ42) (2) accumulation of neuritic amyloid pathology and fibrillar amyloid on in vivo imaging and (3), increased numbers of activated human microglia. PMID:23708142

  16. Chitin synthetases in Candida albicans: a review on their subcellular distribution and biological function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez, J P; Gozalbo, D

    1994-09-01

    In the light of recent genetic advances, some results regarding chitin biosynthetic activities are reviewed in this paper. Genes coding for distinct enzymes displaying chitin synthetase activities have been characterized in Saccharomyces cerevisiae as well as in other fungal species including Candida albicans. Several activities seem to exist in the cells: (i) one zymogenic, located in cytoplasmic vesicles called chitosomes, although the presence of other types of vesicles with zymogenic activity cannot be completely discarded, and (ii) plasma membrane associated activities (the active enzyme and probably two distinct pools of zymogenic activity). Possible relationships between these activities, if any, remain to be determined. These multiplicity of enzymes is not surprising taking into account that chitin biosynthesis is required during very well defined temporal and spatial events of the cell cycle. A general repair function for one of the chitin biosynthetic activities is proposed as a possible salvage mechanism to warrant cell survival after wall damage has been caused, since chitin appears to be the most suitable polymer to carry out this function due to its particular physico-chemical properties.

  17. Biomass density-function relationships in suspended growth biological processes - A critical review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Lin; Pagilla, Krishna R

    2017-03-15

    Good settling performance in suspended growth biomass systems, for example in activated sludge (AS) process, leads to efficient wastewater and sludge treatment. Factors that cause the differences in settleablility of AS include the morphology of bacteria, microbial community structure, and the density of bacteria and flocs. Density of AS at three levels, namely, cell, floc, and process, have been discussed here to explain the variations in AS settleability. Dense materials, inside or outside the cell, significantly increase density of AS bacteria or flocs. Functional bacteria, defined as those performing N and P removal and recovery such as phosphate accumulating organisms, nitrifiers, and anammox contain cellular inclusions that increase their density, and consequently a dense and well-settling biomass results at the process level in those systems. A density based selector of AS can be used to enrich functional bacteria in the process through the wasting and sludge age control operations in AS process. This paper critically reviews the latest literature to elucidate mechanisms of density enhancement from cell to process level, and identifies needs/strategies to improve the AS process through a biomass density selector.

  18. Molecular biology of human herpesvirus 8: novel functions and virus-host interactions implicated in viral pathogenesis and replication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cousins, Emily; Nicholas, John

    2014-01-01

    Human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8), also known as Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV), is the second identified human gammaherpesvirus. Like its relative Epstein-Barr virus, HHV-8 is linked to B-cell tumors, specifically primary effusion lymphoma and multicentric Castleman's disease, in addition to endothelial-derived KS. HHV-8 is unusual in its possession of a plethora of "accessory" genes and encoded proteins in addition to the core, conserved herpesvirus and gammaherpesvirus genes that are necessary for basic biological functions of these viruses. The HHV-8 accessory proteins specify not only activities deducible from their cellular protein homologies but also novel, unsuspected activities that have revealed new mechanisms of virus-host interaction that serve virus replication or latency and may contribute to the development and progression of virus-associated neoplasia. These proteins include viral interleukin-6 (vIL-6), viral chemokines (vCCLs), viral G protein-coupled receptor (vGPCR), viral interferon regulatory factors (vIRFs), and viral antiapoptotic proteins homologous to FLICE (FADD-like IL-1β converting enzyme)-inhibitory protein (FLIP) and survivin. Other HHV-8 proteins, such as signaling membrane receptors encoded by open reading frames K1 and K15, also interact with host mechanisms in unique ways and have been implicated in viral pathogenesis. Additionally, a set of micro-RNAs encoded by HHV-8 appear to modulate expression of multiple host proteins to provide conditions conducive to virus persistence within the host and could also contribute to HHV-8-induced neoplasia. Here, we review the molecular biology underlying these novel virus-host interactions and their potential roles in both virus biology and virus-associated disease.

  19. The paracaspase MALT1: biological function and potential for therapeutic inhibition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaworski, Maike; Thome, Margot

    2016-02-01

    The paracaspase MALT1 has a central role in the activation of lymphocytes and other immune cells including myeloid cells, mast cells and NK cells. MALT1 activity is required not only for the immune response, but also for the development of natural Treg cells that keep the immune response in check. Exaggerated MALT1 activity has been associated with the development of lymphoid malignancies, and recently developed MALT1 inhibitors show promising anti-tumor effects in xenograft models of diffuse large B cell lymphoma. In this review, we provide an overview of the present understanding of MALT1's function, and discuss possibilities for its therapeutic targeting based on recently developed inhibitors and animal models.

  20. Drivers of structural features in gene regulatory networks: From biophysical constraints to biological function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, O. C.; Krzywicki, A.; Zagorski, M.

    2016-07-01

    Living cells can maintain their internal states, react to changing environments, grow, differentiate, divide, etc. All these processes are tightly controlled by what can be called a regulatory program. The logic of the underlying control can sometimes be guessed at by examining the network of influences amongst genetic components. Some associated gene regulatory networks have been studied in prokaryotes and eukaryotes, unveiling various structural features ranging from broad distributions of out-degrees to recurrent "motifs", that is small subgraphs having a specific pattern of interactions. To understand what factors may be driving such structuring, a number of groups have introduced frameworks to model the dynamics of gene regulatory networks. In that context, we review here such in silico approaches and show how selection for phenotypes, i.e., network function, can shape network structure.

  1. The Viable Mitral Annular Dynamics and Left Ventricular Function after Mitral Valve Repair by Biological Rings

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Farideh Roshanali

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Objective: Considering the importance of annular dynamics in the valvular and ventricular function, we sought to evaluate the effects of treated pericardial annuloplasty rings on mitral annular dynamics and left-ventricular (LV function after mitral valve repair. The results were compared with the mitral annular dynamics and LV function in patients with rigid and flexible rings and also in those without any heart problems. Materials and Methods: One hundred and thirty-six consecutive patients with a myxomatous mitral valve and severe regurgitation were prospectively enrolled in this observational cohort study. The patients underwent comparable surgical mitral valve reconstruction; of these 100 received autologous pericardium rings (Group I, 20 were given flexible prosthetic rings (Group II, and 16 received rigid rings (Group III. Other repair modalities were also performed, depending on the involved segments. The patients were compared with 100 normal subjects in whom an evaluation of the coronary artery was not indicative of valvular or myocardial abnormalities (Group IV. At follow-up, LV systolic indices were assessed via two-dimensional echocardiography at rest and during dobutamine stress echocardiography. Mitral annular motion was examined through mitral annulus systolic excursion (MASE. Peak transmitral flow velocities (TMFV and mitral valve area (MVA were also evaluated by means of continuous-wave Doppler. Results: A postoperative echocardiographic study showed significant mitral regurgitation (>=2+ in one patient in Group I, one patient in Group II, and none in Group III. None of the patients died. There was a noteworthy increase in TMFV with stress in all the groups, the increase being more considerable in the prosthetic ring groups (Group I from 1.10 ± 0.08 to 1.36 ± 0.13 m/s, Group II from 1.30 ± 0.11 to 1.59 ± 0.19 m/s, Group III from 1.33 ± 0.09 to 1.69 ± 0.21 m/s, and Group IV from 1.08 ± 0.08 to 1.21 ± 0.12 m

  2. Natural Killer Cells in Human Cancer: From Biological Functions to Clinical Applications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Estrella Mariel Levy

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Natural killer (NK cells are central components of the innate immunity. In murine models, it has been shown that NK cells can control both local tumor growth and metastasis due to their ability to exert direct cellular cytotoxicity without prior sensitization and to secrete immunostimulatory cytokines like IFN-γ. The latter participates in cancer elimination by inhibiting cellular proliferation and angiogenesis, promoting apoptosis, and stimulating the adaptive immune system, and it is instrumental for enhancing Ag processing and presentation. Nevertheless, NK cells display impaired functionality and capability to infiltrate tumors in cancer patients. Also, NK cells are feasible targets of stimulation to participate in immunotherapeutic approaches like antibody-based strategies and adoptive cell transfer. Thus, multiple attempts currently aim to manipulate NK for utilization in the immunotherapy of cancer.

  3. Venus kinase receptors: prospects in signaling and biological functions of these invertebrate kinases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dissous, Colette; Morel, Marion; Vanderstraete, Mathieu

    2014-01-01

    Venus kinase receptors (VKRs) form a family of invertebrate receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) initially discovered in the parasitic platyhelminth Schistosoma mansoni. VKRs are single transmembrane receptors that contain an extracellular venus fly trap structure similar to the ligand-binding domain of G protein-coupled receptors of class C, and an intracellular tyrosine kinase domain close to that of insulin receptors. VKRs are found in a large variety of invertebrates from cnidarians to echinoderms and are highly expressed in larval stages and in gonads, suggesting a role of these proteins in embryonic and larval development as well as in reproduction. VKR gene silencing could demonstrate the function of these receptors in oogenesis as well as in spermatogenesis in S. mansoni. VKRs are activated by amino acids and are highly responsive to arginine. As many other RTKs, they form dimers when activated by ligands and induce intracellular pathways involved in protein synthesis and cellular growth, such as MAPK and PI3K/Akt/S6K pathways. VKRs are not present in vertebrates or in some invertebrate species. Questions remain open about the origin of this little-known RTK family in evolution and its role in emergence and specialization of Metazoa. What is the meaning of maintenance or loss of VKR in some phyla or species in terms of development and physiological functions? The presence of VKRs in invertebrates of economical and medical importance, such as pests, vectors of pathogens, and platyhelminth parasites, and the implication of these RTKs in gametogenesis and reproduction processes are valuable reasons to consider VKRs as interesting targets in new programs for eradication/control of pests and infectious diseases, with the main advantage in the case of parasite targeting that VKR counterparts are absent from the vertebrate host kinase panel.

  4. Venus Kinase Receptors: prospects in signalling and biological functions of these invertebrate receptors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Colette eDissous

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Venus Kinase Receptors (VKRs form a family of invertebrate receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs initially discovered in the parasitic platyhelminth Schistosoma mansoni. VKRs are single transmembrane receptors which contain an extracellular Venus Flytrap (VFT structure similar to the ligand binding domain of G Protein Coupled Receptors of class C, and an intracellular Tyrosine Kinase domain close to that of Insulin Receptors. VKRs are found in a large variety of invertebrates from cnidarians to echinoderms, and are highly expressed in larval stages and in gonads, suggesting a role of these proteins in embryonic and larval development as well as in reproduction. Vkr gene silencing could demonstrate the function of these receptors in oogenesis as well as in spermatogenesis in Schistosoma .mansoni. VKRs are activated by amino-acids, and highly responsive to arginine. As many other RTKs, they form dimers when activated by ligands and induce intracellular pathways involved in protein synthesis and cellular growth, such as MAPK and PI3K/Akt/S6K pathways. VKRs are not present in vertebrates, nor in some invertebrate species. Questions remain open about the origin of this little-known RTK family in evolution and its role in emergence and specialization of Metazoa. What is the meaning of maintenance or loss of VKR in some phyla or species in terms of development and physiological functions? The presence of VKRs in invertebrates of economical and medical importance, such as pests, vectors of pathogens and platyhelminth parasites, and the implication of these RTKs in gametogenesis and reproduction processes are valuable reasons to consider VKRs as interesting targets in new programs for eradication/ control of pests and infectious diseases, with the main advantage in the case of parasite targeting that VKR counterparts are absent from the vertebrate host kinase panel.

  5. Unique biological function of cathepsin L in secretory vesicles for biosynthesis of neuropeptides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Funkelstein, Lydiane; Beinfeld, Margery; Minokadeh, Ardalan; Zadina, James; Hook, Vivian

    2010-12-01

    Neuropeptides are essential for cell-cell communication in the nervous and neuroendocrine systems. Production of active neuropeptides requires proteolytic processing of proneuropeptide precursors in secretory vesicles that produce, store, and release neuropeptides that regulate physiological functions. This review describes recent findings indicating the prominent role of cathepsin L in secretory vesicles for production of neuropeptides from their protein precursors. The role of cathepsin L in neuropeptide production was discovered using the strategy of activity-based probes for proenkephalin-cleaving activity for identification of the enzyme protein by mass spectrometry. The novel role of cathepsin L in secretory vesicles for neuropeptide production has been demonstrated in vivo by cathepsin L gene knockout studies, cathepsin L gene expression in neuroendocrine cells, and notably, cathepsin L localization in neuropeptide-containing secretory vesicles. Cathepsin L is involved in producing opioid neuropeptides consisting of enkephalin, β-endorphin, and dynorphin, as well as in generating the POMC-derived peptide hormones ACTH and α-MSH. In addition, NPY, CCK, and catestatin neuropeptides utilize cathepsin L for their biosynthesis. The neuropeptide-synthesizing functions of cathepsin L represent its unique activity in secretory vesicles, which contrasts with its role in lysosomes. Interesting evaluations of protease gene knockout studies in mice that lack cathepsin L compared to those lacking PC1/3 and PC2 (PC, prohormone convertase) indicate the key role of cathepsin L in neuropeptide production. Therefore, dual cathepsin L and prohormone convertase protease pathways participate in neuropeptide production. Significantly, the recent new findings indicate cathepsin L as a novel 'proprotein convertase' for production of neuropeptides that mediate cell-cell communication in health and disease.

  6. Binomial distribution for quantification of protein subunits in biological nanoassemblies and functional nanomachines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fang, Huaming; Zhang, Peng; Huang, Lisa P; Zhao, Zhengyi; Pi, Fengmei; Montemagno, Carlo; Guo, Peixuan

    2014-10-01

    Living systems produce ordered structures and nanomachines that inspire the development of biomimetic nanodevices such as chips, MEMS, actuators, sensors, sorters, and apparatuses for single-pore DNA sequencing, disease diagnosis, drug or therapeutic RNA delivery. Determination of the copy numbers of subunits that build these machines is challenging due to small size. Here we report a simple mathematical method to determine the stoichiometry, using phi29 DNA-packaging nanomotor as a model to elucidate the application of a formula ∑M=0(Z)((Z)M)p(Z-M)q(M), where p and q are the percentage of wild-type and inactive mutant in the empirical assay; M is the copy numbers of mutant and Z is the stoichiometry in question. Variable ratios of mutants and wild-type were mixed to inhibit motor function. Empirical data were plotted over the theoretical curves to determine the stoichiometry and the value of K, which is the number of mutant needed in each machine to block the function, all based on the condition that wild-type and mutant are equal in binding affinity. Both Z and K from 1-12 were investigated. The data precisely confirmed that phi29 motor contains six copies (Z) of the motor ATPase gp16, and K=1. From the clinical editor: To determine copy numbers of subunits that form nanomachines in living organisms is a daunting task due to the complexities and the inherently small sizes associated with such systems. In this paper, a simple mathematical method is described how to determine the stoichiometry of copies in biomimetic nanodevices, using phi29 DNA-packaging nanomotor as a model.

  7. Gene expression analysis of zebrafish melanocytes, iridophores, and retinal pigmented epithelium reveals indicators of biological function and developmental origin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Higdon, Charles W; Mitra, Robi D; Johnson, Stephen L

    2013-01-01

    In order to facilitate understanding of pigment cell biology, we developed a method to concomitantly purify melanocytes, iridophores, and retinal pigmented epithelium from zebrafish, and analyzed their transcriptomes. Comparing expression data from these cell types and whole embryos allowed us to reveal gene expression co-enrichment in melanocytes and retinal pigmented epithelium, as well as in melanocytes and iridophores. We found 214 genes co-enriched in melanocytes and retinal pigmented epithelium, indicating the shared functions of melanin-producing cells. We found 62 genes significantly co-enriched in melanocytes and iridophores, illustrative of their shared developmental origins from the neural crest. This is also the first analysis of the iridophore transcriptome. Gene expression analysis for iridophores revealed extensive enrichment of specific enzymes to coordinate production of their guanine-based reflective pigment. We speculate the coordinated upregulation of specific enzymes from several metabolic pathways recycles the rate-limiting substrate for purine synthesis, phosphoribosyl pyrophosphate, thus constituting a guanine cycle. The purification procedure and expression analysis described here, along with the accompanying transcriptome-wide expression data, provide the first mRNA sequencing data for multiple purified zebrafish pigment cell types, and will be a useful resource for further studies of pigment cell biology.

  8. Gene expression analysis of zebrafish melanocytes, iridophores, and retinal pigmented epithelium reveals indicators of biological function and developmental origin.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charles W Higdon

    Full Text Available In order to facilitate understanding of pigment cell biology, we developed a method to concomitantly purify melanocytes, iridophores, and retinal pigmented epithelium from zebrafish, and analyzed their transcriptomes. Comparing expression data from these cell types and whole embryos allowed us to reveal gene expression co-enrichment in melanocytes and retinal pigmented epithelium, as well as in melanocytes and iridophores. We found 214 genes co-enriched in melanocytes and retinal pigmented epithelium, indicating the shared functions of melanin-producing cells. We found 62 genes significantly co-enriched in melanocytes and iridophores, illustrative of their shared developmental origins from the neural crest. This is also the first analysis of the iridophore transcriptome. Gene expression analysis for iridophores revealed extensive enrichment of specific enzymes to coordinate production of their guanine-based reflective pigment. We speculate the coordinated upregulation of specific enzymes from several metabolic pathways recycles the rate-limiting substrate for purine synthesis, phosphoribosyl pyrophosphate, thus constituting a guanine cycle. The purification procedure and expression analysis described here, along with the accompanying transcriptome-wide expression data, provide the first mRNA sequencing data for multiple purified zebrafish pigment cell types, and will be a useful resource for further studies of pigment cell biology.

  9. Fetal Programming of Body Composition, Obesity, and Metabolic Function: The Role of Intrauterine Stress and Stress Biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sonja Entringer

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Epidemiological, clinical, physiological, cellular, and molecular evidence suggests that the origins of obesity and metabolic dysfunction can be traced back to intrauterine life and supports an important role for maternal nutrition prior to and during gestation in fetal programming. The elucidation of underlying mechanisms is an area of interest and intense investigation. In this perspectives paper we propose that in addition to maternal nutrition-related processes it may be important to concurrently consider the potential role of intrauterine stress and stress biology. We frame our arguments in the larger context of an evolutionary-developmental perspective that supports roles for both nutrition and stress as key environmental conditions driving natural selection and developmental plasticity. We suggest that intrauterine stress exposure may interact with the nutritional milieu, and that stress biology may represent an underlying mechanism mediating the effects of diverse intrauterine perturbations, including but not limited to maternal nutritional insults (undernutrition and overnutrition, on brain and peripheral targets of programming of body composition, energy balance homeostasis, and metabolic function. We discuss putative maternal-placental-fetal endocrine and immune/inflammatory candidate mechanisms that may underlie the long-term effects of intrauterine stress. We conclude with a commentary of the implications for future research and clinical practice.

  10. A review on protein-protein interaction network of APE1/Ref-1 and its associated biological functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thakur, S; Dhiman, M; Tell, G; Mantha, A K

    2015-04-01

    Apurinic/apyrimidinic endonuclease 1 (APE1) is a classic example of functionally variable protein. Besides its well-known role in (i) DNA repair of oxidative base damage, APE1 also plays a critical role in (ii) redox regulation of transcription factors controlling gene expression for cell survival pathways, for which it is also known as redox effector factor 1 (Ref-1), and recent evidences advocates for (iii) coordinated control of other non-canonical protein-protein interaction(s) responsible for significant biological functions in mammalian cells. The diverse functions of APE1 can be ascribed to its ability to interact with different protein partners, owing to the attainment of unfolded domains during evolution. Association of dysregulation of APE1 with various human pathologies, such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases and neurodegeneration, is attributable to its multifunctional nature, and this makes APE1 a potential therapeutic target. This review covers the important aspects of APE1 in terms of its significant protein-protein interaction(s), and this knowledge is required to understand the onset and development of human pathologies and to design or improve the strategies to target such interactions for treatment and management of various human diseases.

  11. Use of fish functional traits to associate in-stream suspended sediment transport metrics with biological impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwartz, John S; Simon, Andrew; Klimetz, Lauren

    2011-08-01

    Loss of ecological integrity due to excessive suspended sediment in rivers and streams is a major cause of water quality impairment in the USA. Current assessment protocols for development of sediment total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) lack a means to link temporally variable sediment transport rates with specific losses of ecological functions as loads increase. In order to accomplish this linkage assessment, a functional traits-based approach was used to correlate site occurrences of 17 fish species traits in three main groups (preferred rearing habitat, trophic feeding guild, and spawning behavior) with suspended sediment transport metrics. The sediment transport metrics included concentrations, durations, and dosages for a range of exceedance frequencies; and mean annual suspended sediment yields (SSY). In addition, this study in the Northwestern Great Plains Ecoregion examined trait relationships with three environmental gradients: channel stability, drainage area, and elevation. Potential stressor responses due to elevated suspended sediment concentration (SSC) levels were correlated with occurrences of five traits: preferred pool habitat; feeding generalists, omnivores, piscivores, and nest-building spawners; and development of ecologically based TMDL targets were demonstrated for specific SSC exceedance frequencies. In addition, reduced site occurrences for preferred pool habitat and nest-building spawners traits were associated with unstable channels and higher SSY. At an ecoregion scale, a functional traits assessment approach provided a means to quantify relations between biological impairment and episodically elevated levels of suspended sediment, supporting efforts to develop ecologically based sediment TMDLs.

  12. Integrating cell biology, image analysis, and computational mechanical modeling to analyze the contributions of cellulose and xyloglucan to stomatal function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rui, Yue; Yi, Hojae; Kandemir, Baris; Wang, James Z; Puri, Virendra M; Anderson, Charles T

    2016-06-01

    Cell walls are likely to be essential determinants of the amazing strength and flexibility of the guard cells that surround each stomatal pore in plants, but surprisingly little is known about cell wall composition, organization, and dynamics in guard cells. Recent analyses of cell wall organization and stomatal function in the guard cells of Arabidopsis thaliana mutants with defects in cellulose and xyloglucan have allowed for the development of new hypotheses about the relative contributions of these components to guard cell function. Advanced image analysis methods can allow for the automated detection of key structures, such as microtubules (MTs) and Cellulose Synthesis Complexes (CSCs), in guard cells, to help determine their contributions to stomatal function. A major challenge in the mechanical modeling of dynamic biological structures, such as guard cell walls, is to connect nanoscale features (e.g., wall polymers and their molecular interactions) with cell-scale mechanics; this challenge can be addressed by applying multiscale computational modeling that spans multiple spatial scales and physical attributes for cell walls.

  13. Biological Functionalities of Transglutaminase 2 and the Possibility of Its Compensation by Other Members of the Transglutaminase Family

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benedict Onyekachi Odii

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Transglutaminase 2 (TG2 is the most widely distributed and most abundantly expressed member of the transglutaminase family of enzymes, a group of intracellular and extracellular proteins that catalyze the Ca2+-dependent posttranslational modification of proteins. It is a unique member of the transglutaminase family owing to its specialized biochemical, structural and functional elements, ubiquitous tissue distribution and subcellular localization, and substrate specificity. The broad substrate specificity of TG2 and its flexible interaction with numerous other gene products may account for its multiple biological functions. In addition to the classic Ca2+-dependent transamidation of proteins, which is a hallmark of transglutaminase enzymes, additional Ca2+-independent enzymatic and nonenzymatic activities of TG2 have been identified. Many such activities have been directly or indirectly implicated in diverse cellular physiological events, including cell growth and differentiation, cell adhesion and morphology, extracellular matrix stabilization, wound healing, cellular development, receptor-mediated endocytosis, apoptosis, and disease pathology. Given the wide range of activities of the transglutaminase gene family it has been suggested that, in the absence of active versions of TG2, its function could be compensated for by other members of the transglutaminase family. It is in the light of this assertion that we review, herein, TG2 activities and the possibilities and premises for compensation for its absence.

  14. Prospects of innovative functional foods based on biologically active dietary supplement (BADS "VITAZAR"

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. E. Glagoleva

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The development of syn- and metabiotics is one of the most important technological lines of reserch in the production of functional foods. The positive effect of these products is achieved by the addition of enrichment components into the formulations that provide selective stimulation of the of intestinal normal flora's growth or activates it’s metabolic activity. In this regard, scientific and practical interest seem to study the possibility of expanding the range of synbiotic products containing not less than107 CFU / ml of the probiotic microorganisms on the dairy, vegetable-dairy (protein-free milk, or only on the plant-based medium without dairy ingredients. In the research work we have studied the conditions for the accumulation of biomass of probiotic microorganisms consortium, consisting of L. casei subsp. Rhamnosus, L. acidophilus, L. plantarum, L. fermentum, Bifidobacterium bifidum, Bifidobacterium longum, Bifidobacterium adolescentis on nutrient mediums containing 1-20 % wheat germ flour "Vitazar". The quantitative assessment of the accumulation of probiotic microflora biomass and its metabolites in milk-vitazar based, whey- vitazar based, water-vitazar based nutrient mediums has been carried out . The concentration of Lactobacterium and Bifidobacterium in active form in quantity of 109 CFU / ml has been reached. It was found out that "Vitazar", being a source of dietary fibers and a wide range of carbohydrates, is capable to support the growth of Lactobacterium and Bifidobacterium, forming the favorable environment. The accumulation of probiotic microflora has been observed by the increasing of titratable acidity due to lactose fermentation by β-galactosidase, produced by microorganisms of the consortium. The main stages of the process of the accumulation microbiomass have been identified in the study of the kinetics of the fermentation process. The derived fermented pastes, containing 20 % and 30 % "Vitazar" are

  15. 2D-RNA-coupling numbers: a new computational chemistry approach to link secondary structure topology with biological function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-Díaz, Humberto; Agüero-Chapin, Guillermín; Varona, Javier; Molina, Reinaldo; Delogu, Giovanna; Santana, Lourdes; Uriarte, Eugenio; Podda, Gianni

    2007-04-30

    Methods for prediction of proteins, DNA, or RNA function and mapping it onto sequence often rely on bioinformatics alignment approach instead of chemical structure. Consequently, it is interesting to develop computational chemistry approaches based on molecular descriptors. In this sense, many researchers used sequence-coupling numbers and our group extended them to 2D proteins representations. However, no coupling numbers have been reported for 2D-RNA topology graphs, which are highly branched and contain useful information. Here, we use a computational chemistry scheme: (a) transforming sequences into RNA secondary structures, (b) defining and calculating new 2D-RNA-coupling numbers, (c) seek a structure-function model, and (d) map biological function onto the folded RNA. We studied as example 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC) oxidases known as ACO, which control fruit ripening having importance for biotechnology industry. First, we calculated tau(k)(2D-RNA) values to a set of 90-folded RNAs, including 28 transcripts of ACO and control sequences. Afterwards, we compared the classification performance of 10 different classifiers implemented in the software WEKA. In particular, the logistic equation ACO = 23.8 . tau(1)(2D-RNA) + 41.4 predicts ACOs with 98.9%, 98.0%, and 97.8% of accuracy in training, leave-one-out and 10-fold cross-validation, respectively. Afterwards, with this equation we predict ACO function to a sequence isolated in this work from Coffea arabica (GenBank accession DQ218452). The tau(1)(2D-RNA) also favorably compare with other descriptors. This equation allows us to map the codification of ACO activity on different mRNA topology features. The present computational-chemistry approach is general and could be extended to connect RNA secondary structure topology to other functions.

  16. On expedient properties of common biological score functions for multi-modality, adaptive and 4D dose optimization

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sobotta, B; Alber, M [Section for Biomedical Physics, Radioonkologische Uniklinik, Universitaet Tuebingen, 72076 Tuebingen (Germany); Soehn, M [Department of Radiation Oncology, University Hospital Grosshadern, LMU Muenchen, 81377 Muenchen (Germany); Shaw, W, E-mail: benjamin.sobotta@med.uni-tuebingen.de [Department of Medical Physics, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Free State, PO Box 339, Bloemfontein 9300 (South Africa)

    2011-05-21

    Frequently, radiotherapy treatments are comprised of several dose distributions computed or optimized in different patient geometries. Therefore, the need arises to compute the comprehensive biological effect or physical figure of merit of the combined dose of a number of distinct geometry instances. For that purpose the dose is typically accumulated in a reference geometry through deformation fields obtained from deformable image registration. However, it is difficult to establish precise voxel-by-voxel relationships between different anatomical images in many cases. In this work, the mathematical properties of commonly used score functions are exploited to derive an upper boundary for the maximum effect for normal tissue and a lower boundary for the minimum effect for the target of accumulated doses on multiple geometry instances. (note)

  17. On expedient properties of common biological score functions for multi-modality, adaptive and 4D dose optimization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sobotta, B; Söhn, M; Shaw, W; Alber, M

    2011-05-21

    Frequently, radiotherapy treatments are comprised of several dose distributions computed or optimized in different patient geometries. Therefore, the need arises to compute the comprehensive biological effect or physical figure of merit of the combined dose of a number of distinct geometry instances. For that purpose the dose is typically accumulated in a reference geometry through deformation fields obtained from deformable image registration. However, it is difficult to establish precise voxel-by-voxel relationships between different anatomical images in many cases. In this work, the mathematical properties of commonly used score functions are exploited to derive an upper boundary for the maximum effect for normal tissue and a lower boundary for the minimum effect for the target of accumulated doses on multiple geometry instances.

  18. Gut microbiota and its biological functions%肠道菌群及其生物学意义

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    管远志

    2009-01-01

    The development of human gut flora, its biological functions of providing resistance to infections and allergy was reviewed. Potential risks of cesarean-section in terms of enteric infections and allergy of new born infants and the efficacy of probiotics and prebiotics in the prevention as well as treatment of infections/allergy were evaluated in this article.%文章综述了人类肠道菌群的形成机制及其抗感染和免疫调控功能,剖宫产对肠道菌群形成的影响以及新生儿感染、过敏的风险.介绍并评价了益生菌和益生原对剖宫产新生儿感染和过敏反应的治疗、预防作用.

  19. The biological function and clinical utilization of CD147 in human diseases: a review of the current scientific literature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiong, Lijuan; Edwards, Carl K; Zhou, Lijun

    2014-09-29

    CD147 or EMMPRIN is a member of the immunoglobulin superfamily in humans. It is widely expressed in human tumors and plays a central role in the progression of many cancers by stimulating the secretion of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and cytokines. CD147 regulates cell proliferation, apoptosis, and tumor cell migration, metastasis and differentiation, especially under hypoxic conditions. CD147 is also important to many organ systems. This review will provide a detailed overview of the discovery, characterization, molecular structure, diverse biological functions and regulatory mechanisms of CD147 in human physiological and pathological processes. In particular, recent studies have demonstrated the potential application of CD147 not only as a phenotypic marker of activated regulatory T cells but also as a potential diagnostic marker for early-stage disease. Moreover, CD147 is recognized as an effective therapeutic target for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and other cancers, and exciting clinical progress has been made in HCC treatment using CD147-directed monoclonal antibodies.

  20. Bridging from Cells to Cognition in Autism Pathophysiology: Biological Pathways to Defective Brain Function and Plasticity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Anderson, Matthew; Hooker, Brian S.; Herbert, Martha

    2008-01-01

    We review evidence to support the model that autism may begin when a maternal environmental, infectious, or autoantibody insult causes inflammation which increases reactive oxygen species (ROS) production in the fetus, leading to fetal DNA damage (nuclear and mitochondrial), and that these inflammatory and oxidative stressors persist beyond early development (with potential further exacerbations), producing ongoing functional consequences. In organs with a high metabolic demand such as the central nervous system, the continued use of mitochondria with DNA damage may generate additional ROS which will activate the innate immune system leading to more ROS production. Such a mechanism would self-sustain and possibly progressively worsen. The mitochondrial dysfunction and altered redox signal transduction pathways found in autism would conspire to activate both astroglia and microglia. These activated cells can then initiate a broad-spectrum proinflammatory gene response. Neurons may have acquired receptors for these inflammatory signals to inhibit neuronal signaling as a protection from excitotoxic damage during various pathologic insults (e.g., infection). In autism, over-zealous neuroinflammatory responses could not only influence neural developmental processes, but may more significantly impair neural signaling involved in cognition in an ongoing fashion. This model makes specific predictions in patients and experimental animal models and suggests a number of targets sites of intervention. Our model of potentially reversible pathophysiological mechanisms in autism motivates our hope that effective therapies may soon appear on the horizon.

  1. Recent insights into the biological functions of liver fatty acid binding protein 1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, GuQi; Bonkovsky, Herbert L; de Lemos, Andrew; Burczynski, Frank J

    2015-12-01

    Over four decades have passed since liver fatty acid binding protein (FABP)1 was first isolated. There are few protein families for which most of the complete tertiary structures, binding properties, and tissue occurrences are described in such detail and yet new functions are being uncovered for this protein. FABP1 is known to be critical for fatty acid uptake and intracellular transport and also has an important role in regulating lipid metabolism and cellular signaling pathways. FABP1 is an important endogenous cytoprotectant, minimizing hepatocyte oxidative damage and interfering with ischemia-reperfusion and other hepatic injuries. The protein may be targeted for metabolic activation through the cross-talk among many transcriptional factors and their activating ligands. Deficiency or malfunction of FABP1 has been reported in several diseases. FABP1 also influences cell proliferation during liver regeneration and may be considered as a prognostic factor for hepatic surgery. FABP1 binds and modulates the action of many molecules such as fatty acids, heme, and other metalloporphyrins. The ability to bind heme is another cytoprotective property and one that deserves closer investigation. The role of FABP1 in substrate availability and in protection from oxidative stress suggests that FABP1 plays a pivotal role during intracellular bacterial/viral infections by reducing inflammation and the adverse effects of starvation (energy deficiency).

  2. HESS Opinions "Biological catalysis of the hydrological cycle: life's thermodynamic function"

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Michaelian

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Darwinian theory depicts life as being overwhelmingly consumed by a fight for survival in a hostile environment. However, from a thermodynamic perspective, life is a dynamic, out of equilibrium process, stabilizing and coevolving in concert with its abiotic environment. The living components of the biosphere on the Earth's surface of greatest biomass, the plants and cyanobacteria, are involved in the transpiration of a vast amount of water. Transpiration is part of the global water cycle, and it is this cycle that distinguishes Earth from its apparently life-barren neighboring planets, Venus and Mars. The dissipation of sunlight into heat by organic molecules in the biosphere, and its coupling to the water cycle (as well as other abiotic processes, is by far the greatest entropy-producing process occurring on Earth. Life, from this perspective, can be viewed as performing an important thermodynamic function, acting as a dynamic catalyst by aiding irreversible abiotic processes such as the water cycle, hurricanes, and ocean and wind currents to produce entropy. The role of animals in this view is that of unwitting but dedicated servants of the plants and cyanobacteria, helping them to grow, and to spread into initially inhospitable areas.

  3. Cu(II) coordination chemistry of patellamide derivatives: possible biological functions of cyclic pseudopeptides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Comba, Peter; Dovalil, Nina; Gahan, Lawrence R; Haberhauer, Gebhard; Hanson, Graeme R; Noble, Christopher J; Seibold, Björn; Vadivelu, Prabha

    2012-02-27

    Two synthetic derivatives of the naturally occurring cyclic pseudooctapeptides patellamide  A-F and ascidiacyclamide, that is, H(4)pat(2), H(4)pat(3), as well as their Cu(II) complexes are described. These cyclic peptide derivatives differ from the naturally occurring macrocycles by the variation of the incorporated heterocyclic donor groups and the configuration of the amino acids connecting the heterocycles. The exchange of the oxazoline and thiazole groups by dimethylimidazoles or methyloxazoles leads to more rigid macrocycles, and the changes in the configuration of the side chains leads to significant differences in the folding of the cyclic peptides. These variations allow a detailed study of the various possible structural changes on the chemistry of the Cu(II) complexes formed. The coordination of Cu(II) with these macrocyclic species was monitored by high-resolution electrospray mass spectrometry (ESI-MS), spectrophotometric (UV/Vis) and circular dichroic (CD) titrations, and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy. Density functional theory (DFT) calculations and molecular mechanics (MM) simulations have been used to model the structures of the Cu(II) complexes and provide a detailed understanding of their geometric preferences and conformational flexibility. This is related to the Cu(II) coordination chemistry and the reactivity of the dinuclear Cu(II) complexes towards CO(2) fixation. The variation observed between the natural and various synthetic peptide systems enables conclusions about structure-reactivity correlations, and our results also provide information on why nature might have chosen oxazolines and thiazoles as incorporated heterocycles.

  4. [Biological function prediction of mir-210 in the liver of acute cold stress rat].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Wen-Jin; Lian, Shuai; Guo, Jing-Ru; Zhai, Jun-Fei; Zhang, Yu-Chen; Li, Yue; Zhen, Li; Ji, Hong; Yang, Huan-Min

    2016-04-25

    The study was aimed to observe mir-210 expression in liver tissue of acute cold stress rat and predict the function of mir-210 in cold stress. Thirty SPF Wistar male rats which were 12-week-old and weighed (340 ± 20) g were used. The rats were pre-fed in normal room temperature for one week, and then were randomly divided into acute cold stress group at (4 ± 0.1) °C and normal control group at (24 ± 0.1) °C. After the rats were treated with cold stress for 12 h, the liver tissue was extracted and the gene expression of mir-210 was assayed using qRT-PCR. The results demonstrated that the gene expression of mir-210 was significantly enhanced in acute cold stress group compared with that in normal control group (n = 3, P kinds of target genes such as E2F3, RAD52, ISCU and Ephrin-A3 are more relative with liver cold stress. ISCU regulates the cell respiratory metabolism and Ephrin-A3 is related with cell proliferation and apoptosis. On the other hand, up-regulated mir-210 affects the DNA repairing mechanism which usually leads to genetic instabilities. Our results suggest that cold stress-induced up-regulation of mir-210 in liver harmfully influences cell growth, energy metabolism and hereditary.

  5. Functionalization of Titanium with Chitosan via Silanation: Evaluation of Biological and Mechanical Performances

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renoud, Pauline; Toury, Bérangère; Benayoun, Stéphane; Attik, Ghania; Grosgogeat, Brigitte

    2012-01-01

    Complications in dentistry and orthopaedic surgery are mainly induced by peri-implant bacterial infections and current implant devices do not prevent such infections. The coating of antibacterial molecules such as chitosan on its surface would give the implant bioactive properties. The major challenge of this type of coating is the attachment of chitosan to a metal substrate. In this study, we propose to investigate the functionalization of titanium with chitosan via a silanation. Firstly, the surface chemistry and mechanical properties of such coating were evaluated. We also verified if the coated chitosan retained its biocompatibility with the peri-implant cells, as well as its antibacterial properties. FTIR and Tof-SIMS analyses confirmed the presence of chitosan on the titanium surface. This coating showed great scratch resistance and was strongly adhesive to the substrate. These mechanical properties were consistent with an implantology application. The Chitosan-coated surfaces showed strong inhibition of Actinomyces naeslundii growth; they nonetheless showed a non significant inhibition against Porphyromonas gingivalis after 32 hours in liquid media. The chitosan-coating also demonstrated good biocompatibility to NIH3T3 fibroblasts. Thus this method of covalent coating provides a biocompatible material with improved bioactive properties. These results proved that covalent coating of chitosan has significant potential in biomedical device implantation. PMID:22859940

  6. Functionalization of titanium with chitosan via silanation: evaluation of biological and mechanical performances.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renoud, Pauline; Toury, Bérangère; Benayoun, Stéphane; Attik, Ghania; Grosgogeat, Brigitte

    2012-01-01

    Complications in dentistry and orthopaedic surgery are mainly induced by peri-implant bacterial infections and current implant devices do not prevent such infections. The coating of antibacterial molecules such as chitosan on its surface would give the implant bioactive properties. The major challenge of this type of coating is the attachment of chitosan to a metal substrate. In this study, we propose to investigate the functionalization of titanium with chitosan via a silanation. Firstly, the surface chemistry and mechanical properties of such coating were evaluated. We also verified if the coated chitosan retained its biocompatibility with the peri-implant cells, as well as its antibacterial properties. FTIR and Tof-SIMS analyses confirmed the presence of chitosan on the titanium surface. This coating showed great scratch resistance and was strongly adhesive to the substrate. These mechanical properties were consistent with an implantology application. The Chitosan-coated surfaces showed strong inhibition of Actinomyces naeslundii growth; they nonetheless showed a non significant inhibition against Porphyromonas gingivalis after 32 hours in liquid media. The chitosan-coating also demonstrated good biocompatibility to NIH3T3 fibroblasts. Thus this method of covalent coating provides a biocompatible material with improved bioactive properties. These results proved that covalent coating of chitosan has significant potential in biomedical device implantation.

  7. Biological functions of selenium and its potential influence on Parkinson's disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    JOEL H. ELLWANGER

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Parkinson's disease is characterized by the death of dopaminergic neurons, mainly in the substantia nigra, and causes serious locomotor dysfunctions. It is likely that the oxidative damage to cellular biomolecules is among the leading causes of neurodegeneration that occurs in the disease. Selenium is an essential mineral for proper functioning of the brain, and mainly due to its antioxidant activity, it is possible to exert a special role in the prevention and in the nutritional management of Parkinson's disease. Currently, few researchers have investigated the effects of selenium on Parkinson´s disease. However, it is known that very high or very low body levels of selenium can (possibly contribute to the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease, because this imbalance results in increased levels of oxidative stress. Therefore, the aim of this work is to review and discuss studies that have addressed these topics and to finally associate the information obtained from them so that these data and associations serve as input to new research.

  8. [Molecular biological properties of the Epstein-Barr virus LMP1 gene: structure, function and polymorphism].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smirnova, K V; Diduk, S V; Senyuta, N B; Gurtsevitch, V E

    2015-01-01

    Recent studies indicate that the latent membrane protein 1 (LMP1) encoded by the same name gene of the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) plays an extremely important role in the pathogenesis of a number of malignant neoplasia. Specifically, LMP1 has the ability to transform human B-lymphocytes in vivo and in vitro and rodent fibroblasts (Rat-1) in vitro. The introduction of the latter into athymic mice leads to tumor development. In addition, expression of the oncoprotein has been often found in EBV-associated tumors at the DNA and constantly at the RNA levels. Having pleiotropic effects, LMP1, participates in the transmission and activation of multiple intracellular signals. It is also involved in the inhibition of key tumor suppressors, has significant influence on proliferation, apoptosis and morphological alteration of the infected cells finally resulting in their transformation. General characteristics of EBV and LMP1 gene as well as functional activity of the encoded LMP1 protein and a brief description of human pathologies associated with the virus have been discussed in this review. The questions concerning the polymorphism LMP1 in EBV-associated pathologies have been also analyzed in details.

  9. Two Arabidopsis orthologs of the transcriptional coactivator ADA2 have distinct biological functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hark, Amy T; Vlachonasios, Konstantinos E; Pavangadkar, Kanchan A; Rao, Sumana; Gordon, Hillary; Adamakis, Ioannis-Dimosthenis; Kaldis, Athanasios; Thomashow, Michael F; Triezenberg, Steven J

    2009-02-01

    Histone acetylation is an example of covalent modification of chromatin structure that has the potential to regulate gene expression. Gcn5 is a prototypical histone acetyltransferase that associates with the transcriptional coactivator Ada2. In Arabidopsis, two genes encode proteins that resemble yeast ADA2 and share approximately 45% amino acid sequence identity. We previously reported that plants harboring a T-DNA insertion in the ADA2b gene display a dwarf phenotype with developmental defects in several organs. Here we describe T-DNA insertion alleles in the ADA2a gene, which result in no dramatic growth or developmental phenotype. Both ADA2a and ADA2b are expressed in a variety of plant tissues; moreover, expression of ADA2a from a constitutive promoter fails to complement the ada2b-1 mutant phenotype, consistent with the hypothesis that the two proteins have distinct biochemical roles. To further probe the cellular roles of ADA2a and ADA2b, we studied the response of the transcriptional coactivator mutants to abiotic stress. Although ada2b seedlings display hypersensitivity to salt and abscisic acid and altered responses to low temperature stress, the responses of ada2a seedlings to abiotic stress generally parallel those of wildtype plants. Intriguingly, ada2a;ada2b double mutant plants display an intermediate, gcn5-like phenotype, suggesting that ADA2a and ADA2b each work independently with GCN5 to affect genome function in Arabidopsis.

  10. [The effect of Connexin43 downregulation on biological functions of HUVEC].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Cai-zhen; Mu, Xiao-feng; Xu, Xian-xiang; Qiu, Fei; Lin, Jun-sheng; Diao, Yong

    2015-03-01

    Connexin43 has been shown to play a pivotal role in wound healing process. Wound repair is enhanced by acute downregulation of connexin43, by increasing proliferation and migration of keratinocyte and fibroblast. Angiogenesis is also a central feature of wound repair, but little is known about the effects of connexin43 modulation on functions of endothelial cells. We used connexin43 specific small interference RNA (siRNA) to reduce the expression of connexin43 in human umbilical vein endothelial cell (HUVEC), and investigated the effects of connexin43 downregulation on intercellular communication, viability, proliferation, migration and angiogenic activity of HUVEC. Treatment of siRNA markedly reduced the expression of connexin43 by -80% in HUVEC (P HUVEC decreased significantly (P < 0.05), compared with that of the normal cells. The results suggest that temporally downregulation of connexin43 expression at early stage of wound to inhibit the abnormal angiogenesis characterized with leaky and inflamed blood vessels, maybe a prerequisite for coordinated normal healing process.

  11. Functionalization of titanium with chitosan via silanation: evaluation of biological and mechanical performances.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pauline Renoud

    Full Text Available Complications in dentistry and orthopaedic surgery are mainly induced by peri-implant bacterial infections and current implant devices do not prevent such infections. The coating of antibacterial molecules such as chitosan on its surface would give the implant bioactive properties. The major challenge of this type of coating is the attachment of chitosan to a metal substrate. In this study, we propose to investigate the functionalization of titanium with chitosan via a silanation. Firstly, the surface chemistry and mechanical properties of such coating were evaluated. We also verified if the coated chitosan retained its biocompatibility with the peri-implant cells, as well as its antibacterial properties. FTIR and Tof-SIMS analyses confirmed the presence of chitosan on the titanium surface. This coating showed great scratch resistance and was strongly adhesive to the substrate. These mechanical properties were consistent with an implantology application. The Chitosan-coated surfaces showed strong inhibition of Actinomyces naeslundii growth; they nonetheless showed a non significant inhibition against Porphyromonas gingivalis after 32 hours in liquid media. The chitosan-coating also demonstrated good biocompatibility to NIH3T3 fibroblasts. Thus this method of covalent coating provides a biocompatible material with improved bioactive properties. These results proved that covalent coating of chitosan has significant potential in biomedical device implantation.

  12. Abnormal functional brain asymmetry in depression: evidence of biologic commonality between major depression and dysthymia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruder, Gerard E; Stewart, Jonathan W; Hellerstein, David; Alvarenga, Jorge E; Alschuler, Daniel; McGrath, Patrick J

    2012-04-30

    Prior studies have found abnormalities of functional brain asymmetry in patients having a major depressive disorder (MDD). This study aimed to replicate findings of reduced right hemisphere advantage for perceiving dichotic complex tones in depressed patients, and to determine whether patients having "pure" dysthymia show the same abnormality of perceptual asymmetry as MDD. It also examined gender differences in lateralization, and the extent to which abnormalities of perceptual asymmetry in depressed patients are dependent on gender. Unmedicated patients having either a MDD (n=96) or "pure" dysthymic disorder (n=42) and healthy controls (n=114) were tested on dichotic fused-words and complex-tone tests. Patient and control groups differed in right hemisphere advantage for complex tones, but not left hemisphere advantage for words. Reduced right hemisphere advantage for tones was equally present in MDD and dysthymia, but was more evident among depressed men than depressed women. Also, healthy men had greater hemispheric asymmetry than healthy women for both words and tones, whereas this gender difference was not seen for depressed patients. Dysthymia and MDD share a common abnormality of hemispheric asymmetry for dichotic listening.

  13. Coelomocytes: Biology and Possible Immune Functions in Invertebrates with Special Remarks on Nematodes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qudsia Tahseen

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available All metazoans are exposed to a wide range of microbes and have evolved complex immune defenses used to repel infectious agents. Coelomocytes play a key role in the defense reactions of most invertebrates. They are involved in important immune functions, such as phagocytosis, encapsulation, graft rejection, and inflammation, as well as the synthesis and secretion of several humoral factors especially in annelids and echinoderms. Coelomocytes in nematodes are variable in shapes from round, ovoid, cuboidal, and spindle-shaped to stellate or branched cells that are found usually at fixed positions in the pseudocoelom. Their number usually varies from 2 to 6. The model nematode, C. elegans lacks an adaptive immune system and the coelomocytes are capable of endocytosis, but their involvement in phagocytosis of bacteria seems unlikely. The aim of this review is to evaluate current knowledge on coelomocytes of invertebrates with special reference to nematodes. The morphology and structure of these coelomocytes are discussed along with their origin. Their relative positions and diversity in different nematode groups have also been discussed and illustrated.

  14. Application of Symmetry Adapted Function Method for Three-Dimensional Reconstruction of Octahedral Biological Macromolecules

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Songjun Zeng

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available A method for three-dimensional (3D reconstruction of macromolecule assembles, that is, octahedral symmetrical adapted functions (OSAFs method, was introduced in this paper and a series of formulations for reconstruction by OSAF method were derived. To verify the feasibility and advantages of the method, two octahedral symmetrical macromolecules, that is, heat shock protein Degp24 and the Red-cell L Ferritin, were utilized as examples to implement reconstruction by the OSAF method. The schedule for simulation was designed as follows: 2000 random orientated projections of single particles with predefined Euler angles and centers of origins were generated, then different levels of noises that is signal-to-noise ratio (S/N =0.1,0.5, and 0.8 were added. The structures reconstructed by the OSAF method were in good agreement with the standard models and the relative errors of the structures reconstructed by the OSAF method to standard structures were very little even for high level noise. The facts mentioned above account for that the OSAF method is feasible and efficient approach to reconstruct structures of macromolecules and have ability to suppress the influence of noise.

  15. Calpain Activity Is Generally Elevated during Transformation but Has Oncogene-Specific Biological Functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N.O. Carragher

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available Several oncogene and tumor-suppressor gene products are known substrates for the calpain family of cysteine proteases, and calpain is required for transformation by v-src and tumor invasion. Thus, we have now addressed whether calpain is generally associated with transformation and how calpain contributes to oncogene function. Our results demonstrate that calpain activity is enhanced upon transformation induced by the v-Src, v-Jun, v-Myc, k-Ras, and v-Fos oncoproteins. Furthermore, elevated calpain activity commonly promotes focal adhesion remodelling, disruption of actin cytoskeleton, morphological transformation, and cell migration, although proteolysis of target substrates (such as focal adhesion kinase, talin, and spectrin is differently specified by individual oncoproteins. Interestingly, v-Fos differs from other common oncoproteins in not requiring calpain activity for actin/adhesion remodelling or migration of v-Fos transformed cells. However, anchorage-independent growth of all transformed cells is sensitive to calpain inhibition. In addition, elevated calpain activity contributes to oncogene-induced apoptosis associated with transformation by v-Myc. Taken together, these studies demonstrate that calpain activity is necessary for full cellular transformation induced by common oncoproteins, but has distinct roles in oncogenic events induced by individual transforming proteins. Thus, targeting calpain activity may represent a useful general strategy for interfering with activated protooncogenes in cancer cells.

  16. Functional proteomic analysis revealed ground-base ion radiations cannot reflect biological effects of space radiations of rice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Wei; Sun, Yeqing; Zhao, Qian; Han, Lu

    2016-07-01

    Highly ionizing radiation (HZE) in space is considered as main factor causing biological effects. Radiobiological studies during space flights are unrepeatable due to the variable space radiation environment, ground-base ion radiations are usually performed to simulate of the space biological effect. Spaceflights present a low-dose rate (0.1˜~0.3mGy/day) radiation environment inside aerocrafts while ground-base ion radiations present a much higher dose rate (100˜~500mGy/min). Whether ground-base ion radiation can reflect effects of space radiation is worth of evaluation. In this research, we compared the functional proteomic profiles of rice plants between on-ground simulated HZE particle radiation and spaceflight treatments. Three independent ground-base seed ionizing radiation experiments with different cumulative doses (dose range: 2˜~20000mGy) and different liner energy transfer (LET) values (13.3˜~500keV/μμm) and two independent seed spaceflight experiments onboard Chinese 20th satellite and SZ-6 spacecraft were carried out. Alterations in the proteome were analyzed by two-dimensional difference gel electrophoresis (2-D DIGE) with MALDI-TOF/TOF mass spectrometry identifications. 45 and 59 proteins showed significant (pmetabolic process, protein folding and phosphorylation. The results implied that ground-base radiations cannot truly reflect effects of spaceflight radiations, ground-base radiation was a kind of indirect effect to rice causing oxidation and metabolism stresses, but space radiation was a kind of direct effect leading to macromolecule (DNA and protein) damage and signal pathway disorders. This functional proteomic analysis work might provide a new evaluation method for further on-ground simulated HZE radiation experiments.

  17. R package climwin : climwin: Climate Window Analysis. Contains functions to detect and visualise periods of climate sensitivity (climate windows) for a given biological response.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bailey, Liam; Van de Pol, Martijn

    2015-01-01

    Contains a number of functions used to detect a period of climate sensitivity (climate window) for a given biological response, and visualise the detected climate window. The functions provided in climwin allow users to select meaningful time periods over which to investigate the impacts of climate,

  18. Z-DNA and its biological function%Z-DNA及其生物学功能

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    汤雅男; 杨攀; 胡成钰

    2009-01-01

    Z-DNA是一种处于高能状态、不稳定的DNA分子构象.形成Z-DNA的原因有很多:首先,转录过程中,移动的RNA聚合酶在模板DNA的5'端产生负超螺旋扭曲力,导致Z-DNA的形成;其次,含有d(GC)_n序列的核酸分子在高浓度的NaCl、[Co(NH_3)_6]~(2+)盐溶液中也能够形成Z-DNA;最后,化学修饰也可以使DNA产生稳定的Z-DNA.Z-DNA是在体外首先发现的,但随着研究的不断深入,发现Z-DNA在体内也广泛存在并可能具有功能的多样性,包括参与基因表达调控、染色体断裂、基因重组、抗病毒、病毒发生等生物学过程.%Z-DNA is an instable and high energy DNA conformation in vivo and it can be formed in many conditions.Firstly,when RNA polymerase is moving on a DNA template,transcription can result in negative supercoiling behind the polymerase,thus facilitating Z-DNA conformation at permissive regions.Secondly,the Z-DNA-conformation which is formed by d(GC)_n sequence can also be stabled in high-salt solution of NaCl or [Co(NH_3)_6]~(2+) and lastly,the Z-DNA can be formed by covalent modifications.Though Z-DNA was firstly discovered in vitro,recently many evidences revealed that Z-DNA was widely existed and may possessed diversity of function in vivo,including gene expression and regulation,chromosomal breaks,recombination,antivirus defense and virus generation and so on.

  19. Functional Genomic and Advanced Genetic Studies Reveal Novel Insights into the Metabolism, Regulation, and Biology of Haloferax volcanii

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jörg Soppa

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The genome sequence of Haloferax volcanii is available and several comparative genomic in silico studies were performed that yielded novel insight for example into protein export, RNA modifications, small non-coding RNAs, and ubiquitin-like Small Archaeal Modifier Proteins. The full range of functional genomic methods has been established and results from transcriptomic, proteomic and metabolomic studies are discussed. Notably, Hfx. volcanii is together with Halobacterium salinarum the only prokaryotic species for which a translatome analysis has been performed. The results revealed that the fraction of translationally-regulated genes in haloarchaea is as high as in eukaryotes. A highly efficient genetic system has been established that enables the application of libraries as well as the parallel generation of genomic deletion mutants. Facile mutant generation is complemented by the possibility to culture Hfx. volcanii in microtiter plates, allowing the phenotyping of mutant collections. Genetic approaches are currently used to study diverse biological questions–from replication to posttranslational modification—and selected results are discussed. Taken together, the wealth of functional genomic and genetic tools make Hfx. volcanii a bona fide archaeal model species, which has enabled the generation of important results in recent years and will most likely generate further breakthroughs in the future.

  20. Expression profiling and Ingenuity biological function analyses of interleukin-6- versus nerve growth factor-stimulated PC12 cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dimitriades-Schmutz Beatrice

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The major goal of the study was to compare the genetic programs utilized by the neuropoietic cytokine Interleukin-6 (IL-6 and the neurotrophin (NT Nerve Growth Factor (NGF for neuronal differentiation. Results The designer cytokine Hyper-IL-6 in which IL-6 is covalently linked to its soluble receptor s-IL-6R as well as NGF were used to stimulate PC12 cells for 24 hours. Changes in gene expression levels were monitored using Affymetrix GeneChip technology. We found different expression for 130 genes in IL-6- and 102 genes in NGF-treated PC12 cells as compared to unstimulated controls. The gene set shared by both stimuli comprises only 16 genes. A key step is upregulation of growth factors and functionally related external molecules known to play important roles in neuronal differentiation. In particular, IL-6 enhances gene expression of regenerating islet-derived 3 alpha (REG3A; 1084-fold, regenerating islet-derived 3 beta (REG3B/PAPI; 672-fold, growth differentiation factor 15 (GDF15; 80-fold, platelet-derived growth factor alpha (PDGFA; 69-fold, growth hormone releasing hormone (GHRH; 30-fold, adenylate cyclase activating polypeptide (PACAP; 20-fold and hepatocyte growth factor (HGF; 5-fold. NGF recruits GDF15 (131-fold, transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGFB1; 101-fold and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF; 89-fold. Both stimuli activate growth-associated protein 43 (GAP-43 indicating that PC12 cells undergo substantial neuronal differentiation. Moreover, IL-6 activates the transcription factors retinoic acid receptor alpha (RARA; 20-fold and early growth response 1 (Egr1/Zif268; 3-fold known to play key roles in neuronal differentiation. Ingenuity biological function analysis revealed that completely different repertoires of molecules are recruited to exert the same biological functions in neuronal differentiation. Major sub-categories include cellular growth and differentiation, cell migration, chemotaxis, cell

  1. Coordination, microprotonation equilibria and conformational changes of myo-inositol hexakisphosphate with pertinence to its biological function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veiga, Nicolás; Torres, Julia; Macho, Israel; Gómez, Kerman; González, Gabriel; Kremer, Carlos

    2014-11-21

    Within all the eukaryotic cells there is an important group of biomolecules that has been potentially related to signalling functions: the myo-inositol phosphates (InsPs). In nature, the most abundant member of this family is the so called InsP6 (phytate, L(12-)), for which our group has strived in the past to elucidate its intricate chemical behaviour. In this work we expand on our earlier findings, shedding light on the inframolecular details of its protonation and complexation processes. We evaluate systematically the chemical performance of InsP6 in the presence and absence of alkali and alkaline earth metal ions, through (31)P NMR measurements, in a non-interacting medium and over a wide pH range. The analysis of the titration curves by means of a model based on the cluster expansion method allows us to describe in detail the distribution of the different protonated microspecies of the ligand. With the aid of molecular modelling tools, we assess the energetic and geometrical characteristics of the protonation sequence and the conformational transition suffered by InsP6 as the pH changes. By completely characterizing the protonation pattern, conformation and geometry of the metal complexes, we unveil the chemical and structural basis behind the influence that the physiologically relevant cations, Na(+), K(+), Mg(2+) and Ca(2+) have over the phytate chemical reactivity. This information is essential in the process of gaining reliable structural knowledge about the most important InsP6 species in the in vitro and in vivo experiments, and how these features modulate their probable biological functions.

  2. Production of sorption functional media (SFM) from clinoptilolite tailings and its performance investigation in a biological aerated filter (BAF) reactor

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Feng, Yan [School of Municipal and Environmental Engineering, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin 150090 (China); School of Civil Engineering and Architecture, University of Jinan, Jinan 250022 (China); Qi, Jingyao, E-mail: qjy_hit@yahoo.cn [School of Municipal and Environmental Engineering, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin 150090 (China); Chi, Liying [School of Municipal and Environmental Engineering, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin 150090 (China); Wang, Dong [School of Civil Engineering and Architecture, University of Jinan, Jinan 250022 (China); Wang, Zhaoyang; Li, Ke; Li, Xin [School of Municipal and Environmental Engineering, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin 150090 (China)

    2013-02-15

    Highlights: ► Sorption functional media (SFM) were prepared using zeolite tailings. ► Two upflow BAFs were applied to treat municipal wastewater. ► SFM BAF brought a relative superiority to haydite reactor. ► SFM BAF has a stronger adaptability to low temperature (6–11°C) for NH{sub 3}-N removal. ► The application provided a promising way in zeolite tailings utilization. -- Abstract: The few reuse and large stockpile of zeolite tailings led to a series of social and environmental problems. This study investigated the possibility of using the zeolite tailings as one of principal raw materials to prepare sorption functional media (SFM) by a high temperature sintering process. The SFM was used to serve as a biomedium in a biological aerated filter (BAF) reactor for domestic wastewater treatment, and its purification performance was examined. The physical, chemical and sorption properties of SFM were also determined. The microstructure of the SFM was analyzed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Results revealed that: (1) zeolite tailings could be used to produce the SFM under the optimal sintering parameters; (2) the sorption and desorption isotherm of ammonia nitrogen on SFM could be well described by the Langmuir formula; (3) in terms of removing organic matter, ammonia nitrogen, turbidity and colourity, the performance of the biofilter with SFM was superior to that with haydite; and (4) SFM BAF has a stronger adaptability to low temperature (6–11 °C) for NH{sub 3}-N removal compared to haydite BAF. Therefore, the SFM produced from the zeolite tailings was suitable to serve as the biomedium in the domestic wastewater treatment.

  3. The Biological Function and Clinical Utilization of CD147 in Human Diseases: A Review of the Current Scientific Literature

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lijuan Xiong

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available CD147 or EMMPRIN is a member of the immunoglobulin superfamily in humans. It is widely expressed in human tumors and plays a central role in the progression of many cancers by stimulating the secretion of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs and cytokines. CD147 regulates cell proliferation, apoptosis, and tumor cell migration, metastasis and differentiation, especially under hypoxic conditions. CD147 is also important to many organ systems. This review will provide a detailed overview of the discovery, characterization, molecular structure, diverse biological functions and regulatory mechanisms of CD147 in human physiological and pathological processes. In particular, recent studies have demonstrated the potential application of CD147 not only as a phenotypic marker of activated regulatory T cells but also as a potential diagnostic marker for early-stage disease. Moreover, CD147 is recognized as an effective therapeutic target for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC and other cancers, and exciting clinical progress has been made in HCC treatment using CD147-directed monoclonal antibodies.

  4. Assessment of UV biological spectral weighting functions for phenolic metabolites and growth responses in silver birch seedlings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kotilainen, Titta; Venäläinen, Tuulia; Tegelberg, Riitta; Lindfors, Anders; Julkunen-Tiitto, Riitta; Sutinen, Sirkka; O'Hara, Robert B; Aphalo, Pedro J

    2009-01-01

    In research concerning stratospheric ozone depletion, action spectra are used as biological spectral weighting functions (BSWFs) for describing the effects of UV radiation on plant responses. Our aim was to evaluate the appropriateness of six frequently used BSWFs that differ in effectiveness with increasing wavelength. The evaluation of action spectra was based on calculating the effective UV radiation doses according to 1-2) two formulations of the generalized plant action spectrum, 3) a spectrum for ultraviolet induced erythema in human skin, 4) a spectrum for the accumulation of a flavonol in Mesembryanthemum crystallinum, 5) a spectrum for DNA damage in alfalfa seedlings and 6) the plant growth action spectrum. We monitored effects of UV radiation on the concentration of individual UV absorbing metabolites and chlorophyll concentrations in leaves and growth responses of silver birch (Betula pendula) seedlings. Experiments were conducted outdoors using plastic films attenuating different parts of the UV spectrum. Chlorophyll concentrations and growth were not affected by the UV treatments. The response to UV radiation varied between and within groups of phenolics. In general, the observed responses of phenolic groups and individual flavonoids were best predicted by action spectra extending into the UV-A region with moderate effectiveness.

  5. A biology-driven receptor model for daily pollen allergy risk in Korea based on Weibull probability density function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Kyu Rang; Kim, Mijin; Choe, Ho-Seong; Han, Mae Ja; Lee, Hye-Rim; Oh, Jae-Won; Kim, Baek-Jo

    2017-02-01

    Pollen is an important cause of respiratory allergic reactions. As individual sanitation has improved, allergy risk has increased, and this trend is expected to continue due to climate change. Atmospheric pollen concentration is highly influenced by weather conditions. Regression analysis and modeling of the relationships between airborne pollen concentrations and weather conditions were performed to analyze and forecast pollen conditions. Traditionally, daily pollen concentration has been estimated using regression models that describe the relationships between observed pollen concentrations and weather conditions. These models were able to forecast daily concentrations at the sites of observation, but lacked broader spatial applicability beyond those sites. To overcome this limitation, an integrated modeling scheme was developed that is designed to represent the underlying processes of pollen production and distribution. A maximum potential for airborne pollen is first determined using the Weibull probability density function. Then, daily pollen concentration is estimated using multiple regression models. Daily risk grade levels are determined based on the risk criteria used in Korea. The mean percentages of agreement between the observed and estimated levels were 81.4-88.2 % and 92.5-98.5 % for oak and Japanese hop pollens, respectively. The new models estimated daily pollen risk more accurately than the original statistical models because of the newly integrated biological response curves. Although they overestimated seasonal mean concentration, they did not simulate all of the peak concentrations. This issue would be resolved by adding more variables that affect the prevalence and internal maturity of pollens.

  6. Expression patterns of cysteine peptidase genes across the Tribolium castaneum life cycle provide clues to biological function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perkin, Lindsey; Elpidina, Elena N; Oppert, Brenda

    2016-01-01

    The red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum, is a major agricultural pest responsible for considerable loss of stored grain and cereal products worldwide. T. castaneum larvae have a highly compartmentalized gut, with cysteine peptidases mostly in the acidic anterior part of the midgut that are critical to the early stages of food digestion. In previous studies, we described 26 putative cysteine peptidase genes in T. castaneum (types B, L, O, F, and K) located mostly on chromosomes 3, 7, 8, and 10. In the present study, we hypothesized that specific cysteine peptidase genes could be associated with digestive functions for food processing based on comparison of gene expression profiles in different developmental stages, feeding and non-feeding. RNA-Seq was used to determine the relative expression of cysteine peptidase genes among four major developmental stages (egg, larvae, pupae, and adult) of T. castaneum. We also compared cysteine peptidase genes in T. castaneum to those in other model insects and coleopteran pests. By combining transcriptome expression, phylogenetic comparisons, response to dietary inhibitors, and other existing data, we identified key cysteine peptidases that T. castaneum larvae and adults use for food digestion, and thus new potential targets for biologically-based control products.

  7. Production of sorption functional media (SFM) from clinoptilolite tailings and its performance investigation in a biological aerated filter (BAF) reactor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Yan; Qi, Jingyao; Chi, Liying; Wang, Dong; Wang, Zhaoyang; Li, Ke; Li, Xin

    2013-02-15

    The few reuse and large stockpile of zeolite tailings led to a series of social and environmental problems. This study investigated the possibility of using the zeolite tailings as one of principal raw materials to prepare sorption functional media (SFM) by a high temperature sintering process. The SFM was used to serve as a biomedium in a biological aerated filter (BAF) reactor for domestic wastewater treatment, and its purification performance was examined. The physical, chemical and sorption properties of SFM were also determined. The microstructure of the SFM was analyzed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Results revealed that: (1) zeolite tailings could be used to produce the SFM under the optimal sintering parameters; (2) the sorption and desorption isotherm of ammonia nitrogen on SFM could be well described by the Langmuir formula; (3) in terms of removing organic matter, ammonia nitrogen, turbidity and colourity, the performance of the biofilter with SFM was superior to that with haydite; and (4) SFM BAF has a stronger adaptability to low temperature (6-11°C) for NH(3)-N removal compared to haydite BAF. Therefore, the SFM produced from the zeolite tailings was suitable to serve as the biomedium in the domestic wastewater treatment.

  8. A biology-driven receptor model for daily pollen allergy risk in Korea based on Weibull probability density function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Kyu Rang; Kim, Mijin; Choe, Ho-Seong; Han, Mae Ja; Lee, Hye-Rim; Oh, Jae-Won; Kim, Baek-Jo

    2016-07-01

    Pollen is an important cause of respiratory allergic reactions. As individual sanitation has improved, allergy risk has increased, and this trend is expected to continue due to climate change. Atmospheric pollen concentration is highly influenced by weather conditions. Regression analysis and modeling of the relationships between airborne pollen concentrations and weather conditions were performed to analyze and forecast pollen conditions. Traditionally, daily pollen concentration has been estimated using regression models that describe the relationships between observed pollen concentrations and weather conditions. These models were able to forecast daily concentrations at the sites of observation, but lacked broader spatial applicability beyond those sites. To overcome this limitation, an integrated modeling scheme was developed that is designed to represent the underlying processes of pollen production and distribution. A maximum potential for airborne pollen is first determined using the Weibull probability density function. Then, daily pollen concentration is estimated using multiple regression models. Daily risk grade levels are determined based on the risk criteria used in Korea. The mean percentages of agreement between the observed and estimated levels were 81.4-88.2 % and 92.5-98.5 % for oak and Japanese hop pollens, respectively. The new models estimated daily pollen risk more accurately than the original statistical models because of the newly integrated biological response curves. Although they overestimated seasonal mean concentration, they did not simulate all of the peak concentrations. This issue would be resolved by adding more variables that affect the prevalence and internal maturity of pollens.

  9. Porphyrins from Messel oil shale (Eocene, Germany): Structure elucidation, geochemical and biological significance, and distribution as a function of depth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ocampo, Rubén; Bauder, Claude; Callot, Henry J.; Albrecht, Pierre

    1992-02-01

    The extraction and isolation procedures of twenty nickel porphyrins (seven alkylporphyrins, thirteen carboxylic acids) from lacustrine Messel shale (Eocene, Germany), as well as the unequivocal structural assignments (obtained using 200 and 400 MHz nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), nuclear Overhauser effect, mass spectrometry and total or partial synthesis of six reference compounds) are described. Ten porphyrins could be specifically correlated with biological precursors: algal chlorophyll c (4), bacteriochlorophylls d (3) and heme (3), while the remaining ones may arise from several chlorophylls. The structures of these fossil pigments mostly confirm the classical "Treibs scheme," including the origin of some porphyrins from nonchlorophyll sources. They also show that, even in a very immature sediment, deep modifications occur, including, in particular, extensive degradation of chlorophyll E ring. The composition of the porphyrin fractions of Messel oil shale was also studied as a function of depth. A porphyrin acids/alkylporphyrins ratio varying from 0.35 to 24.8 demonstrated that the apparent homogeneity of the shale is not reflected on the molecular scale. This was confirmed when the abundance of the twenty individual porphyrins of known structure was measured along the core. Significant correlations between individual porphyrins were found: fossils of bacteriochlorophylls d, homolog pairs of porphyrins (3-H/3-ethyl), etc.

  10. EFFECT OF BcL-2 ANTISENSE DRUG WITH DIFFERENT STRUCTURE ON THE BIOLOGICAL FUNCTION OF K562 CELLS

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    雷小勇; 张洹; 何冬梅

    2004-01-01

    Objective: To study the differences and similarities of the antisense drugs with different structures on the biological functions of K562 cells. Methods: Cytotoxic effects were measured by use of a cell viability assay. Flow cytometric analysis and agarose gel electrophoresis of DNA fragmentation were also performed. The expression level of protein was assayed by immunofluorescence using fluoresce isothiocyanate label. Results: PNA targeting the coding region of the Bcl-2 messenger RNA could effectively inhibit K562 cell viability, down-regulate the synthesis of the Bcl-2 protein and increase cell apoptosis. By 72 h after the Bcl-2 antisense PNA treatment, K562 cells showed more reduction in the level of Bcl-2 protein compared with cells treated with the antisense ODN. After treatment with 10μmol/L of Bcl-2 antisense PNA or antisense ODN for 72 h, apoptotic rates of K562 cells were 13.15±1.13 and 11.72±1.12, respectively. Furthermore, there was significant difference in the percentage of apoptotic cells between antisense PNA group and antisense ODN group. Conclusion: The results suggest that antisense PNA targeting the coding region of Bcl-2 mRNA has better antisense effects than the antisense oligonucleotides on inducing apoptosis of K562 cells.

  11. Special conference of the American Association for Cancer Research on molecular imaging in cancer: linking biology, function, and clinical applications in vivo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luker, Gary D

    2002-04-01

    The AACR Special Conference on Molecular Imaging in Cancer: Linking Biology, Function, and Clinical Applications In Vivo, was held January 23-27, 2002, at the Contemporary Hotel, Walt Disney World, Orlando, FL. Co-Chairs David Piwnica-Worms, Patricia Price and Thomas Meade brought together researchers with diverse expertise in molecular biology, gene therapy, chemistry, engineering, pharmacology, and imaging to accelerate progress in developing and applying technologies for imaging specific cellular and molecular signals in living animals and humans. The format of the conference was the presentation of research that focused on basic and translational biology of cancer and current state-of-the-art techniques for molecular imaging in animal models and humans. This report summarizes the special conference on molecular imaging, highlighting the interfaces of molecular biology with animal models, instrumentation, chemistry, and pharmacology that are essential to convert the dreams and promise of molecular imaging into improved understanding, diagnosis, and management of cancer.

  12. The ubiquitination of the influenza A virus PB1-F2 protein is crucial for its biological function.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivan Košík

    Full Text Available The aim of the present study was to identify what influences the short half-life of the influenza A virus PB1-F2 protein and whether a prolonged half-life affects the properties of this molecule. We hypothesized that the short half-life of PB1-F2 could conceal the phenotype of the protein. Because proteasome degradation might be involved in PB1-F2 degradation, we focused on ubiquitination, a common label for proteasome targeting. A cluster of lysine residues was demonstrated as an ubiquitination acceptor site in evolutionary and functionally distinct proteins. The PB1-F2 sequence alignment revealed a cluster of lysines on the carboxy terminal end of PB1-F2 in almost all of the GenBank sequences available to date. Using a proximity ligation assay, we identified ubiquitination as a novel posttranslational modification of PB1-F2. Changing the lysines at positions 73, 78, and 85 to arginines suppressed the ubiquitination of A/Puerto Rico/8/1934 (H1N1-derived PB1-F2. The mutation of the C-terminal lysine residue cluster positively affected the overall expression levels of avian A/Honk Kong/156/1997 (H5N1- and mammalian A/Puerto Rico/8/1934 (H1N1-derived PB1-F2. Moreover, increased PB1-F2 copy numbers strengthened the functions of this virus in the infected cells. The results of a minigenome luciferase reporter assay revealed an enhancement of viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase activity in the presence of stabilized PB1-F2, regardless of viral origin. IFNβ antagonism was enhanced in 293T cells transfected with a plasmid expressing stabilized K→R mutant variants of PB1-F2. Compared with PB1-F2 wt, the loss of ubiquitination enhanced the antibody response after DNA vaccination. In summary, we revealed that PB1-F2 is an ubiquitinated IAV protein, and this posttranslational modification plays a central role in the regulation of the biological functions of this protein.

  13. Recombinant hamster oviductin is biologically active and exerts positive effects on sperm functions and sperm-oocyte binding.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaojing Yang

    Full Text Available Studies carried out in several mammalian species suggest that oviductin, also known as oviduct-specific glycoprotein or OVGP1, plays a key role in sperm capacitation, fertilization, and development of early embryos. In the present study, we used recombinant DNA technology to produce, for the first time, recombinant hamster OVGP1 (rHamOVGP1 in human embryonic kidney 293 (HEK293 cells. rHamOVGP1 secreted in the culture medium was purified by affinity chromatography. The resulting protein migrated as a poly-dispersed band of 160-350 kDa on SDS-PAGE corresponding to the molecular mass of the native HamOVGP1. Subsequent mass spectrometric analysis of the purified rHamOVGP1 confirmed its identity as HamOVGP1. Immunocytochemistry demonstrated binding of rHamOVGP1 to the mid-piece and head of hamster sperm and to the zona pellucida (ZP of ovarian oocytes. In vitro functional experiments showed that addition of rHamOVGP1 in the capacitation medium further enhanced tyrosine phosphorylation of two sperm proteins of approximately 75 kDa and 83 kDa in a time-dependent manner. After 3 hours of incubation in the presence of rHamOVGP1, a significant increase in acrosome reaction was measured. Pretreatment of either sperm or oocyte with 20 μg/ml of rHamOVGP1 prior to sperm-egg binding assay significantly increased the number of sperm bound to the ZP. Addition of rHamOVGP1 in the medium during sperm-egg binding with either oocyte or sperm pretreated with rHamOVGP1 also saw an increase in the number of sperm bound to ZP. In all experimental conditions, the effect of rHamOVGP1 on sperm-oocyte binding was negated by the addition of monoclonal anti-HamOVGP1 antibody. The successful production and purification of a biologically active rHamOVGP1 will allow further exploration of the function of this glycoprotein in reproductive function.

  14. Recombinant hamster oviductin is biologically active and exerts positive effects on sperm functions and sperm-oocyte binding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Xiaojing; Zhao, Yuewen; Yang, Xiaolong; Kan, Frederick W K

    2015-01-01

    Studies carried out in several mammalian species suggest that oviductin, also known as oviduct-specific glycoprotein or OVGP1, plays a key role in sperm capacitation, fertilization, and development of early embryos. In the present study, we used recombinant DNA technology to produce, for the first time, recombinant hamster OVGP1 (rHamOVGP1) in human embryonic kidney 293 (HEK293) cells. rHamOVGP1 secreted in the culture medium was purified by affinity chromatography. The resulting protein migrated as a poly-dispersed band of 160-350 kDa on SDS-PAGE corresponding to the molecular mass of the native HamOVGP1. Subsequent mass spectrometric analysis of the purified rHamOVGP1 confirmed its identity as HamOVGP1. Immunocytochemistry demonstrated binding of rHamOVGP1 to the mid-piece and head of hamster sperm and to the zona pellucida (ZP) of ovarian oocytes. In vitro functional experiments showed that addition of rHamOVGP1 in the capacitation medium further enhanced tyrosine phosphorylation of two sperm proteins of approximately 75 kDa and 83 kDa in a time-dependent manner. After 3 hours of incubation in the presence of rHamOVGP1, a significant increase in acrosome reaction was measured. Pretreatment of either sperm or oocyte with 20 μg/ml of rHamOVGP1 prior to sperm-egg binding assay significantly increased the number of sperm bound to the ZP. Addition of rHamOVGP1 in the medium during sperm-egg binding with either oocyte or sperm pretreated with rHamOVGP1 also saw an increase in the number of sperm bound to ZP. In all experimental conditions, the effect of rHamOVGP1 on sperm-oocyte binding was negated by the addition of monoclonal anti-HamOVGP1 antibody. The successful production and purification of a biologically active rHamOVGP1 will allow further exploration of the function of this glycoprotein in reproductive function.

  15. Integration of Genomic, Biologic, and Chemical Approaches to Target p53 Loss and Gain-of-Function in Triple Negative Breast Cancer

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-09-01

    Approaches to Target p53 Loss and Gain-of-Function in Triple Negative Breast Cancer PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Jennifer A. Pietenpol, Ph.D...Biologic, and Chemical Approaches to Target p53 Loss and Gain-of-Function in Triple Negative Breast Cancer 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER...states resulting from alterations in the p53 signaling pathway in triple negative breast cancer (TNBC). Development of therapies for TNBC is a

  16. Genome-Wide Mapping of Binding Sites Reveals Multiple Biological Functions of the Transcription Factor Cst6p in> Saccharomyces cerevisiae

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Liu, Guodong; Bergenholm, David; Nielsen, Jens

    2016-01-01

    In the model eukaryote Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the transcription factor Cst6p has been reported to play important roles in several biological processes. However, the genome-wide targets of Cst6p and its physiological functions remain unknown. Here, we mapped the genome-wide binding sites of Cst...

  17. Evaluation of the persistence of functional and biological respiratory health effects in clean-up workers 6 years after the Prestige oil spill.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zock, J.P.; Rodríguez-Trigo, G.; Rodríguez-Rodríguez, E.; Souto-Alonso, A.; Espinosa, A.; Pozo-Rodríguez, F.; Gómez, F.P.; Fuster, C.; Castaño-Vinyals, G.; Antó, J.M.; Barberà, J.A.

    2014-01-01

    Fishermen who had participated in clean-up activities of the Prestige oil spill showed increased bronchial responsiveness and higher levels of respiratory biomarkers 2years later. We aimed to evaluate the persistence of these functional and biological respiratory health effects 6years after clean-up

  18. Study and reflections on the functional and organizational role of neuromessenger nitric oxide in learning: An artificial and biological approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suárez Araujo, C. P.

    2000-05-01

    We present in this work a theoretical and conceptual study and some reflections on a fundamental aspect concerning with the structure and brain function: the Cellular Communication. The main interests of our study are the signal transmission mechanisms and the neuronal mechanisms responsible to learning. We propose the consideration of a new kind of communication mechanisms, different to the synaptic transmission, "Diffusion or Volume Transmission." This new alternative is based on a diffusing messenger as nitric oxide (NO). Our study aims towards the design of a conceptual framework, which covers implications of NO in the artificial neural networks (ANNs), both in neural architecture and learning processing. This conceptual frame might be able to provide possible biological support for many aspects of ANNs and to generate new concepts to improve the structure and operation of them. Some of these new concepts are The Fast Diffusion Neural Propagation (FDNP), the Diffuse Neighborhood (DNB), (1), the Diffusive Hybrid Neuromodulation (DHN), the Virtual Weights. Finally we will propose a new mathematical formulation for the Hebb learning law, taking into account the NO effect. Along the same lines, we will reflect on the possibility of a new formal framework for learning processes in ANNs, which consist of slow and fast learning concerning with co-operation between the classical neurotransmission and FDNP. We will develop this work from a computational neuroscience point of view, proposing a global study framework of diffusion messenger NO (GSFNO), using a hybrid natural/artificial approach. Finally it is important to note that we can consider this paper the first paper of a set of scientific work on nitric oxide (NO) and artificial neural networks (ANNs): NO and ANNs Series. We can say that this paper has a character of search and query on both subjects their implications and co-existence.

  19. Cry1Ab rice does not impact biological characters and functional response ofCyrtorhinus lividipennispreying onNilaparvata lugens eggs

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CHEN Yang; LAI Feng-xiang; SUN Yan-qun; HONG Li-ying; TIAN Jun-ce; ZHANG Zhi-tao; FU Qiang

    2015-01-01

    One concern about the use of transgenic plants is their potential risk to natural enemies. In this study, using the eggs of the rice brown planthopper,Nilaparvata lugens, as a food source, we investigated the effects of Cry1Ab rice on the biological characteristics and functional response of an important predatorCyrtorhinus lividipennis. The results showed that the survival ability (adult emergence rate and egg hatching rate), development (egg duration, nymphal developmental duration), adult fresh weight, adult longevity and fecundity ofC. lividipennis on Bt rice plants were not signiifcantly different compared to those on non-Bt rice plants. Furthermore, two important parameters of functional response (instantaneous search rate and handling time) were not signiifcantly affected by Bt rice. In conclusion, the tested Cry1Ab rice does not adversely impact the biological character and functional response ofC. lividipennis.

  20. Recruitment of SH-containing peptides to lipid and biological membranes through the use of a palmitic acid functionalized with a maleimide group.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haralampiev, Ivan; Mertens, Monique; Schwarzer, Roland; Herrmann, Andreas; Volkmer, Rudolf; Wessig, Pablo; Müller, Peter

    2015-01-02

    This study presents a novel and easily applicable approach to recruit sulfhydryl-containing biomolecules to membranes by using a palmitic acid which is functionalized with a maleimide group. Notably, this strategy can also be employed with preformed (biological) membranes. The applicability of the assay is demonstrated by characterizing the binding of a Rhodamine-labeled peptide to lipid and cellular membranes using methods of fluorescence spectroscopy, lifetime measurement, and microscopy. Our approach offers new possibilities for preparing biologically active liposomes and manipulating living cells.

  1. The dynamic range of biologic functions and variation of many environmental cues may be declining in the modern age: implications for diseases and therapeutics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yun, Anthony J; Bazar, Kimberly A; Gerber, Anthony; Lee, Patrick Y; Daniel, Stephanie M

    2005-01-01

    We hypothesize that declining dynamic range and variation of environmental cues may contribute to health dysfunctions, and that judicious expansion of biologic dynamic ranges may be beneficial. Three disparate examples involving the endocrine, autonomic, and musculoskeletal systems are discussed. Daytime sheltering, optical shading, and nighttime use of artificial light may reduce circadian luminal variation. The resulting melatonin alterations may contribute to systemic dysfunctions. Loss of temporal variation of other hormones may contribute to biologic dysfunctions, especially those involving the hypothalamic-pituitary axis. Reduced variation of physical exertion, environmental stressors, and thermal gradients that characterize modern lifestyles may reduce the autonomic dynamic range resulting in lowered heart rate variability and a myriad of systemic dysfunctions. The health benefits of activities such as exercise, meditation, acupuncture, coitus, and laughter may operate through increasing autonomic variability. Reduced physical exertion also accounts for declining dynamic range of musculoskeletal function. The resulting muscle atrophy, fat infiltration, and sarcomere shortening may not only have deleterious local effects, but may also be involved in systemic metabolic dysfunctions such as insulin resistance. The extent to which our endogenous systems rely on environmental variation for self-tuning and the impact that under-utilization of compensatory mechanisms has on biologic function are not well understood. Modern therapeutic approaches generally result in reversion to the mean of physiologic functions and may buffer against variation. For example, beta-blockers are given to reduce adrenergic excess, insulin to treat insulin insufficiency, serotonin-reuptake inhibitors for depression, and refractive lenses for myopia. By undermining the demand for native compensatory functions, such therapeutic strategies may actually impair future ability to respond to

  2. Usefulness and limitations of dK random graph models to predict interactions and functional homogeneity in biological networks under a pseudo-likelihood parameter estimation approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luan Yihui

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Many aspects of biological functions can be modeled by biological networks, such as protein interaction networks, metabolic networks, and gene coexpression networks. Studying the statistical properties of these networks in turn allows us to infer biological function. Complex statistical network models can potentially more accurately describe the networks, but it is not clear whether such complex models are better suited to find biologically meaningful subnetworks. Results Recent studies have shown that the degree distribution of the nodes is not an adequate statistic in many molecular networks. We sought to extend this statistic with 2nd and 3rd order degree correlations and developed a pseudo-likelihood approach to estimate the parameters. The approach was used to analyze the MIPS and BIOGRID yeast protein interaction networks, and two yeast coexpression networks. We showed that 2nd order degree correlation information gave better predictions of gene interactions in both protein interaction and gene coexpression networks. However, in the biologically important task of predicting functionally homogeneous modules, degree correlation information performs marginally better in the case of the MIPS and BIOGRID protein interaction networks, but worse in the case of gene coexpression networks. Conclusion Our use of dK models showed that incorporation of degree correlations could increase predictive power in some contexts, albeit sometimes marginally, but, in all contexts, the use of third-order degree correlations decreased accuracy. However, it is possible that other parameter estimation methods, such as maximum likelihood, will show the usefulness of incorporating 2nd and 3rd degree correlations in predicting functionally homogeneous modules.

  3. Acclimation, adaptation, traits and trade-offs in plankton functional type models: reconciling terminology for biology and modelling

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Flynn, Kevin J.; St. John, Michael; Raven, John A.;

    2015-01-01

    ideally only be considered for describing intra-generational interactions; in applications between generations, and certainly between unrelated species, such concepts should be avoided. We suggest that systems biology approaches, through to complex adaptive/acclimative systems modelling, with explicit...

  4. Variations in the Biological Functions of HIV-1 Clade C Envelope in a SHIV-Infected Rhesus Macaque during Disease Progression.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    For Yue Tso

    Full Text Available A better understanding of how the biological functions of the HIV-1 envelope (Env changes during disease progression may aid the design of an efficacious anti-HIV-1 vaccine. Although studies from patient had provided some insights on this issue, the differences in the study cohorts and methodology had make it difficult to reach a consensus of the variations in the HIV-1 Env functions during disease progression. To this end, an animal model that can be infected under controlled environment and reflect the disease course of HIV-1 infection in human will be beneficial. Such an animal model was previously demonstrated by the infection of macaque with SHIV, expressing HIV-1 clade C Env V1-V5 region. By using this model, we examined the changes in biological functions of Env in the infected animal over the entire disease course. Our data showed an increase in the neutralization resistance phenotype over time and coincided with the decrease in the net charges of the V1-V5 region. Infection of PBMC with provirus expressing various Env clones, isolated from the infected animal over time, showed a surprisingly better replicative fitness for viruses expressing the Env from early time point. Biotinylation and ELISA data also indicated a decrease of cell-surface-associated Env and virion-associated gp120 content with disease progression. This decrease did not affect the CD4-binding capability of Env, but were positively correlated with the decrease of Env fusion ability. Interestingly, some of these changes in biological functions reverted to the pre-AIDS level during advance AIDS. These data suggested a dynamic relationship between the Env V1-V5 region with the host immune pressure. The observed changes of biological functions in this setting might reflect and predict those occurring during natural disease progression in human.

  5. A computational functional genomics based self-limiting self-concentration mechanism of cell specialization as a biological role of jumping genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lötsch, Jörn; Ultsch, Alfred

    2016-01-01

    Specialization is ubiquitous in biological systems and its manifold mechanisms are active research topics. Although clearly adaptive, the way in which specialization of cells is realized remains incompletely understood as it requires the reshaping of a cell's genome to favor particular biological processes in the competition on a cell's functional capacity. Here, a self-specialization mechanism is identified as a possible biological role of jumping genes, in particular LINE-1 retrotransposition. The mechanism is self-limiting and consistent with its evolutionary preservation despite its likely gene-breaking effects. The scenario we studied was the need for a cell to process a longer exposition to an extraordinary situation, for example continuous exposure to the nociceptive input or the intake of addictive drugs. Both situations may evolve toward chronification. The mechanism involves competition within a gene set in which a subset of genes cooperating in particular biological processes. The subset carries a piece of information, consisting of the LINE-1 sequence, about the destruction of their functional competitor genes which are not involved in that process. During gene transcription, an active copy of LINE-1 is co-transcribed. At a certain low probability, a subsequently transcribed and thus actually exposed gene can be rendered nonfunctional by LINE-1 retrotransposition in a relevant gene part. As retrotransposition needs time it is unlikely that LINE-1 retrotranspose into its own carrier gene. This reshapes the cell genome toward self-specializing of those biological processes that are carried out with a high number of LINE-1 containing genes. Self-termination of the mechanism is achieved by allowing LINE-1 to also occasionally jump into the coding region of itself, thus destroying the information about competitor destruction by successively decreasing the number of LINE-1 until the mechanism ceases. Employing a computational functional genomics approach, we

  6. Simultaneous determination of indoor ammonia pollution and its biological metabolite in the human body with a recyclable nanocrystalline lanthanide-functionalized MOF

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hao, Ji-Na; Yan, Bing

    2016-01-01

    A Eu3+ post-functionalized metal-organic framework of nanosized Ga(OH)bpydc(Eu3+@Ga(OH)bpydc, 1a) with intense luminescence is synthesized and characterized. Luminescence measurements reveal that 1a can detect ammonia gas selectively and sensitively among various indoor air pollutants. 1a can simultaneously determine a biological ammonia metabolite (urinary urea) in the human body, which is a rare example of a luminescent sensor that can monitor pollutants in the environment and also detect their biological markers. Furthermore, 1a exhibits appealing features including high selectivity and sensitivity, fast response, simple and quick regeneration, and excellent recyclability.A Eu3+ post-functionalized metal-organic framework of nanosized Ga(OH)bpydc(Eu3+@Ga(OH)bpydc, 1a) with intense luminescence is synthesized and characterized. Luminescence measurements reveal that 1a can detect ammonia gas selectively and sensitively among various indoor air pollutants. 1a can simultaneously determine a biological ammonia metabolite (urinary urea) in the human body, which is a rare example of a luminescent sensor that can monitor pollutants in the environment and also detect their biological markers. Furthermore, 1a exhibits appealing features including high selectivity and sensitivity, fast response, simple and quick regeneration, and excellent recyclability. Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available: Experimental section; XPS spectra; N2 adsorption-desorption isotherms; ICP data; SEM image; PXRD patterns and other luminescence data. See DOI: 10.1039/c5nr06066d

  7. Platelet function and Isoprostane biology. Should Isoprostanes be the newest member of the Orphan-ligand family?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Khasawneh Fadi T

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract While there have been many reports investigating the biological activity and signaling mechanisms of isoprostanes, their role in biology, particularly in platelets, appears to still be underestimated. Moreover, whether these lipids have their own receptors is still debated, despite multiple reports that discrete receptors for isporpstanes do exist on platelets, vascular tissues, amongst others. This paper provides a review of the important literature of isoprostanes and provides reasoning that isoprostanes should be classified as orphan ligands until their receptor(s is/are identified.

  8. Radio Frequency Controlled Stimulation of Intracellular Gold or Silver Nanoparticle Conjugates for Use as Potential Sensors or Modulators of Biological Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-09-01

    metal ion sensors using chitosan -capped gold nanoparticles . Science and Technology of Advanced Materials. 6,335–340. 39. Wang, Z., Lee, J., Lu, Yi...AFRL-RH-WP-TR-2010-0141 Radio Frequency Controlled Stimulation of Intracellular Gold or Silver Nanoparticle Conjugates for Use as Potential...Frequency Controlled Stimulation of Intracellular Gold or Silver Nanoparticle Conjugates for Use as Potential Sensors or Modulators or Biological Function

  9. ASTM lights the way for tissue engineered medical products standards: jump start for combination medical products that restore biological function of human tissues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Picciolo, G L; Stocum, D L

    2001-01-01

    Everybody hopes for better health and restoration of impaired bodily function, and now that hope is illuminated by the promise of powerful biological tools that make human cells grow and replace human tissue. ASTM Committee F04 on Medical and Surgical Materials and Devices is taking the lead by defining some of those tools as standards that can be used for the development, production, testing, and regulatory approval of medical products.

  10. Biological and functional diversity of bird communities in natural and human modified habitats in Northern Flank of Knuckles Mountain Forest Range, Sri Lanka

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    KALYA SUBASINGHE

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Subasinghe K, Sumanapala AP. 2014. Biological and functional diversity of bird communities in natural and human modified habitats in Northern Flank of Knuckles Mountain Forest Range, Sri Lanka. Biodiversitas 15: 200-205. The Knuckles Mountain Forest Range (KMFR has a complex mosaic of natural and human modified habitats and the contribution of these habitats to the biological and functional diversities has not been deeply studied. Present study investigated both of these diversities in five habitat types (two natural habitats: Sub-montane forest and Pitawala Patana grassland; three modified habitats: cardamom, pinus and abandoned tea plantations in Northern Flank of KMFR using birds as the indicator group. Bird communities were surveyed using point count method. A total of 1,150 individuals belonging to 56 species were observed. The highest species richness was reported from the cardamom plantation where as sub-montane forest had the highest feeding guild diversity in terms of Shannon Weiner index. The abandoned tea plantation and the Pitawala Patana grasslands with fairly open habitats, showed relatively lower levels of feeding guild diversities. It is clear that the structurally complex habitats contribute more to the area’s biological and functional diversities and need to be taken into consideration when developing conservation plans.

  11. [The inversion of concepts about biological role of system rennin-angiotensin II- aldosterone and functions of arterial tension as a metabolism regulator].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Titov, V N

    2015-02-01

    The phylogenetic theory of general pathology postulates that in physiology and pathology the concepts of biological role of arterial tension had been subjected to inversion. The activation by nephron of synthesis of components rennin-angiotensin II and increasing of aldosterone secretion are directed not to increase arterial tension but to preserve volume of piece of third world ocean privatized by each entity as pool of intercellular medium where all cells continue to live as billions years before. In phylogenetic sense, early organs can't regulate effect of physical factor of regulation of metabolism the late one in phylogenesis of arterial tension. The cause of increasing of arterial tension is the vasomotor center but not the kidneys. The vasomotor center increases arterial tension in the proximal section and further hydrodynamic tension in the distal section of arterial stream and tends to resuscitate function of nephrons, biological function of endoecology and biological reaction of excretion. The arterial tension, besides the main role in biological function of locomotion, is a physical factor of compensation of disorders of biological functions of homeostasis, trophology, endoecology and adaptation. In phylogenesis, three levels of metabolism regulation has been developed The specific regulation of biochemical reactions occurs on autocrine level. In paracrin regulated cell cenosises, at distal section of arterial stream, metabolism is regulated by billions of local peristaltic pumps through compensation of biological reaction of endothelium-depended vasodilatation, micro-circulation, effect of humoral mediators and hormonal principles. In vivo, from the level of vasomotor center, metabolism non-specifically and systemic regulates physical factor-arterial tension through sympathetic activation of heart. The arterial tension in proximal section of arterial stream overcomes resistance and physically "forces through" arterioles with disordered micro

  12. Inverting Notions of the Biological Role of the Renin → Angiotensin-II → Aldosterone System and the Function of Arterial Pressure as a Metabolism Regulator

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vladimir N. Titov

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available The phylogenetic theory of general pathology postulates that notions of the biological role of arterial pressure (AP in physiology and pathology have been subjected to inversion. The nephron’s activation of the synthesis of the components renin → angiotensin-II (A-II and the augmentation of aldosterone secretion are directed not at an increase in AP but at preserving the volume of the piece of the third world ocean, privatized by each species, - the pool of the intercellular milieu in which, just like millions of years before, there continue to live all cells. Phylogenetically earlier organs cannot regulate the action of a later one in AP phylogenesis – a physical factor in metabolism regulation. It is not the kidneys that increase AP but the vasomotor center, which, increasing AP in the proximal segment and further hydrodynamic pressure in the distal segment of the arterial bed, seeks to reanimate the function of nephrons, the biological function of endoecology and the biological reaction of excretion. In addition to playing a major role in the biological function of locomotion, AP is a physical factor in compensating for impairments in the biological functions of homeostasis, trophology, endoecology, and adaptation. There have formed sequentially three levels of metabolic regulation in phylogenesis. At an autocrine level, there occurs a specific regulation of biochemical reactions. Within paracrinally regulated communities of cells, in the distal segment of the arterial bed, metabolism is regulated by millions of local peristaltic pumps through compensating for the biological reaction of endothelium-dependent vasodilation, microcirculation, and the action of humoral mediators and hormonal principles. In vivo from the level of the vasomotor center metabolism is non-specifically, systemically regulated by the physical factor – AP – through sympathetic activation of the heart; in the proximal segment of the arterial bed and the distal

  13. Selecting cost effective and policy-relevant biological indicators for European monitoring of soil biodiversity and ecosystem function

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Griffiths, B.S.; Römbke, J.; Schmelz, R.M.; Scheffczyk, A.; Faber, J.H.; Bloem, J.; Peres, G.; Cluzeau, D.; Chabbi, A.; Suhadolc, M.; Sousa, J.P.; Silva, da P.M.; Carvalho, F.; Mendes, S.; Morais, P.; Francisco, R.; Pereira, C.; Bonkowski, M.; Geisen, Stefan; Bardgetti, R.D.; Vries, De F.T.; Bolger, T.; Dirilgen, T.; Schmidt, O.; Winding, Anne; Hendriksen, Nicolien; Johansen, A.; Philippot, L.; Plassart, P.; Bru, D.; Thomson, B.M.; Griffiths, R.I.; Bailey, Megan; Keith, A.; Rutgers, M.; Mulder, Christian; Hannula, S.E.; Creamer, Rachel; Stone, D.

    2016-01-01

    Soils provide many ecosystem services that are ultimately dependent on the local diversity and belowground abundance of organisms. Soil biodiversity is affected negatively by many threats and there is a perceived policy requirement for the effective biological monitoring of soils at the European lev

  14. Selecting cost effective and policy-relevant biological indicators for European monitoring of soil biodiversity and ecosystem function

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Griffiths, B.s.; Römbke, J.; Schmelz, R.m.; Scheffczyk, A.; Faber, J.h.; Bloem, Jaap; Pérès, G.; Cluzeau, D.; Chabbi, A.; Suhadolc, M.; Sousa, J.p.; Martins Da Silva, P.; Carvalho, F.; Mendes, S.; Morais, P.; Francisco, R.; Pereira, C.; Bonkowski, M.; Geisen, S.; Bardgett, R.d.; De Vries, F.t.; Bolger, T.; Dirilgen, T.; Schmidt, O.; Winding, A.; Hendriksen, N.b.; Johansen, A.; Philippot, L.; Plassart, P.; Bru, D.; Thomson, B.; Griffiths, R.i.; Bailey, M.j.; Keith, A.; Rutgers, M.; Mulder, C.; Hannula, S.e.; Creamer, R.; Stone, D.

    2016-01-01

    Soils provide many ecosystem services that are ultimately dependent on the local diversity and below ground abundance of organisms. Soil biodiversity is affected negatively by many threats and there is a perceived policy requirement for the effective biological monitoring of soils at the European le

  15. 2K09 and thereafter : the coming era of integrative bioinformatics, systems biology and intelligent computing for functional genomics and personalized medicine research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Jack Y; Niemierko, Andrzej; Bajcsy, Ruzena; Xu, Dong; Athey, Brian D; Zhang, Aidong; Ersoy, Okan K; Li, Guo-Zheng; Borodovsky, Mark; Zhang, Joe C; Arabnia, Hamid R; Deng, Youping; Dunker, A Keith; Liu, Yunlong; Ghafoor, Arif

    2010-12-01

    Significant interest exists in establishing synergistic research in bioinformatics, systems biology and intelligent computing. Supported by the United States National Science Foundation (NSF), International Society of Intelligent Biological Medicine (http://www.ISIBM.org), International Journal of Computational Biology and Drug Design (IJCBDD) and International Journal of Functional Informatics and Personalized Medicine, the ISIBM International Joint Conferences on Bioinformatics, Systems Biology and Intelligent Computing (ISIBM IJCBS 2009) attracted more than 300 papers and 400 researchers and medical doctors world-wide. It was the only inter/multidisciplinary conference aimed to promote synergistic research and education in bioinformatics, systems biology and intelligent computing. The conference committee was very grateful for the valuable advice and suggestions from honorary chairs, steering committee members and scientific leaders including Dr. Michael S. Waterman (USC, Member of United States National Academy of Sciences), Dr. Chih-Ming Ho (UCLA, Member of United States National Academy of Engineering and Academician of Academia Sinica), Dr. Wing H. Wong (Stanford, Member of United States National Academy of Sciences), Dr. Ruzena Bajcsy (UC Berkeley, Member of United States National Academy of Engineering and Member of United States Institute of Medicine of the National Academies), Dr. Mary Qu Yang (United States National Institutes of Health and Oak Ridge, DOE), Dr. Andrzej Niemierko (Harvard), Dr. A. Keith Dunker (Indiana), Dr. Brian D. Athey (Michigan), Dr. Weida Tong (FDA, United States Department of Health and Human Services), Dr. Cathy H. Wu (Georgetown), Dr. Dong Xu (Missouri), Drs. Arif Ghafoor and Okan K Ersoy (Purdue), Dr. Mark Borodovsky (Georgia Tech, President of ISIBM), Dr. Hamid R. Arabnia (UGA, Vice-President of ISIBM), and other scientific leaders. The committee presented the 2009 ISIBM Outstanding Achievement Awards to Dr. Joydeep Ghosh (UT

  16. Scaffolded biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minelli, Alessandro

    2016-09-01

    Descriptions and interpretations of the natural world are dominated by dichotomies such as organism vs. environment, nature vs. nurture, genetic vs. epigenetic, but in the last couple of decades strong dissatisfaction with those partitions has been repeatedly voiced and a number of alternative perspectives have been suggested, from perspectives such as Dawkins' extended phenotype, Turner's extended organism, Oyama's Developmental Systems Theory and Odling-Smee's niche construction theory. Last in time is the description of biological phenomena in terms of hybrids between an organism (scaffolded system) and a living or non-living scaffold, forming unit systems to study processes such as reproduction and development. As scaffold, eventually, we can define any resource used by the biological system, especially in development and reproduction, without incorporating it as happens in the case of resources fueling metabolism. Addressing biological systems as functionally scaffolded systems may help pointing to functional relationships that can impart temporal marking to the developmental process and thus explain its irreversibility; revisiting the boundary between development and metabolism and also regeneration phenomena, by suggesting a conceptual framework within which to investigate phenomena of regular hypermorphic regeneration such as characteristic of deer antlers; fixing a periodization of development in terms of the times at which a scaffolding relationship begins or is terminated; and promoting plant galls to legitimate study objects of developmental biology.

  17. AroER tri-screen™ is a novel functional assay to estimate both estrogenic and estrogen precursor activity of chemicals or biological specimens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kanaya, Noriko; Nguyen, Duc M.; Lu, Hannah; Wang, Yuan-Zhong; Hsin, Li-Yu; Petreas, Myrto; Nelson, David; Guo, Weihong; Reynolds, Peggy; Synold, Tim; Chen, Shiuan

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of the study is to define AroER tri-screen's utility for identifying endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) that target aromatase and/or estrogen receptor (ER), and to measure the total estrogenic activity in biological specimens. ER-positive, aromatase-expressing MCF-7 breast cancer cells were stably transfected with an estrogen responsive element (ERE)-driven luciferase reporter plasmid to yield a new high-throughput screening platform—the AroER tri-screen. AroER tri-screen was capable of identifying estrogen precursors, such as cortodoxone, which function as estrogens through a two-step conversion process in aromatase-expressing tissue. Furthermore, the system proved useful for assessing EDC activity in biologically relevant samples. Estimating these activities is critical because natural estrogens and estrogenic EDCs are important factors in ER-positive breast cancer risk. As our research demonstrates, incorporating functionally active aromatase into the AroER tri-screen produces a powerful and unique tool to (1) identify new EDCs targeting aromatase and/or ER; (2) discover novel EDCs activated by aromatase; and (3) estimate overall estrogenic activities in biological samples as a potential intermediate risk factor for breast cancer. PMID:25962693

  18. AroER tri-screen™ is a novel functional assay to estimate both estrogenic and estrogen precursor activity of chemicals or biological specimens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kanaya, Noriko; Nguyen, Duc M; Lu, Hannah; Wang, Yuan-Zhong; Hsin, Li-Yu; Petreas, Myrto; Nelson, David; Guo, Weihong; Reynolds, Peggy; Synold, Tim; Chen, Shiuan

    2015-06-01

    The purpose of the study is to define AroER tri-screen's utility for identifying endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) that target aromatase and/or estrogen receptor (ER), and to measure the total estrogenic activity in biological specimens. ER-positive, aromatase-expressing MCF-7 breast cancer cells were stably transfected with an estrogen responsive element (ERE)-driven luciferase reporter plasmid to yield a new high-throughput screening platform-the AroER tri-screen. AroER tri-screen was capable of identifying estrogen precursors, such as cortodoxone, which function as estrogens through a two-step conversion process in aromatase-expressing tissue. Furthermore, the system proved useful for assessing EDC activity in biologically relevant samples. Estimating these activities is critical because natural estrogens and estrogenic EDCs are important factors in ER-positive breast cancer risk. As our research demonstrates, incorporating functionally active aromatase into the AroER tri-screen produces a powerful and unique tool to (1) identify new EDCs targeting aromatase and/or ER; (2) discover novel EDCs activated by aromatase; and (3) estimate overall estrogenic activities in biological samples as a potential intermediate risk factor for breast cancer.

  19. Gene-Set Local Hierarchical Clustering (GSLHC--A Gene Set-Based Approach for Characterizing Bioactive Compounds in Terms of Biological Functional Groups.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Feng-Hsiang Chung

    Full Text Available Gene-set-based analysis (GSA, which uses the relative importance of functional gene-sets, or molecular signatures, as units for analysis of genome-wide gene expression data, has exhibited major advantages with respect to greater accuracy, robustness, and biological relevance, over individual gene analysis (IGA, which uses log-ratios of individual genes for analysis. Yet IGA remains the dominant mode of analysis of gene expression data. The Connectivity Map (CMap, an extensive database on genomic profiles of effects of drugs and small molecules and widely used for studies related to repurposed drug discovery, has been mostly employed in IGA mode. Here, we constructed a GSA-based version of CMap, Gene-Set Connectivity Map (GSCMap, in which all the genomic profiles in CMap are converted, using gene-sets from the Molecular Signatures Database, to functional profiles. We showed that GSCMap essentially eliminated cell-type dependence, a weakness of CMap in IGA mode, and yielded significantly better performance on sample clustering and drug-target association. As a first application of GSCMap we constructed the platform Gene-Set Local Hierarchical Clustering (GSLHC for discovering insights on coordinated actions of biological functions and facilitating classification of heterogeneous subtypes on drug-driven responses. GSLHC was shown to tightly clustered drugs of known similar properties. We used GSLHC to identify the therapeutic properties and putative targets of 18 compounds of previously unknown characteristics listed in CMap, eight of which suggest anti-cancer activities. The GSLHC website http://cloudr.ncu.edu.tw/gslhc/ contains 1,857 local hierarchical clusters accessible by querying 555 of the 1,309 drugs and small molecules listed in CMap. We expect GSCMap and GSLHC to be widely useful in providing new insights in the biological effect of bioactive compounds, in drug repurposing, and in function-based classification of complex diseases.

  20. Sulfated fucans, fresh perspectives: structures, functions, and biological properties of sulfated fucans and an overview of enzymes active toward this class of polysaccharide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berteau, Olivier; Mulloy, Barbara

    2003-06-01

    Sulfated fucans, frequently referred to simply as fucans, constitute a class of polysaccharides first isolated in 1913. For many years fucans were regarded only as a potential source of l-fucose, although their anticoagulant activity was known. Even as the potent effects of fucans on physiological systems have become better characterized, structural studies have lagged behind. Recently the search for new drugs has raised increased interest in sulfated fucans. In the past few years, several structures of algal and invertebrate fucans have been solved, and many aspects of their biological activity have been elucidated. From this work emerges a more interesting picture of this class of polysaccharides than was previously suspected. The availability of purified fucans and fucan fractions with simple, but varied structures, in conjunction with the development of new enzymatic tools, demonstrate that the biological properties of sulfated fucans are not only a simple function of their charge density but also are determined by detailed structural features.

  1. Effect of matrine combined with cisplatin on endocrine function and malignant biological behavior of cervical cancer SiHa cell line

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Lan-Jiao Guo; Fang Lan; Meng-Li Wang

    2016-01-01

    Objective:To investigate the effect of matrine combined with cisplatin on endocrine function and malignant biological behavior of cervical cancer SiHa cell line.Methods:Cervical cancer SiHa cell lines were cultured and divided into control group,cisplatin (CDDP) group, oxymatrine (OMT) group and combined group. Then cell viability and migration capability as well as malignant biological molecules and miRNAs contents were detected.Results: (1) Malignant biological behavior: cell viability and migration rate of CDDP group, OMT group and combined group were lower than those of control group; cell viability and migration rate of combined group were lower than those of CDDP group and OMT group; (2) Endocrine function: HIF-1α, GDF-15, P450arom, HDAC2, ANXA2, miR-21 and miR-155 contents of CDDP group , OMT group and combined group were lower than those of control group, and miR-143 and miR-424 contents were higher than those of control group; HIF-1α, GDF-15, P450arom, HDAC2, ANXA2, miR-21 and miR-155 contents of combined group were lower than those of CDDP group and OMT group, and miR-143 and miR-424 contents were higher than those of CDDP group and OMT group.Conclusions:Matrine combined with cisplatin treatment can inhibit cell proliferation and migration, reduce the expression of malignant biological molecules and regulate the contents of related miRNAs.

  2. Biolog ECO解析不同产地大曲微生物群落功能多样性特征%Analysis of Microbial Community Functional Diversity in Daqu from Different Regions Using Biolog-ECO Method

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    周庆伍; 李红歌; 李安军; 刘国英; 汤有宏; 何宏魁; 李晓欢

    2014-01-01

    运用Biolog-ECO微平板技术研究安徽、四川、山东、湖北四个产地大曲的微生物群落功能多样性。结果表明,不同产地大曲微生物在碳源利用能力、均匀性和物种优势度等方面存在较大差异;对Biolog数据进行聚类分析显示:相似理化指标的大曲聚为一类,富集有相似的微生物群系。通过实验表明,应用BIOLOG微生物鉴定系统可以明确反映大曲微生态的情况,与传统的平板计数法相比,可以更加有效地反映大曲微生物的活性。%The Biolog ECO method was used in the study of microbial community functional diversity in Daqu from Anhui、 Sichuan、 Shandong、 Hubei. The results showed that Daqu microbes of different regions has different carbon source utilization ability, and the Simpson and McIntosh also was differences; The Analysis on the data of Hierar-chial Cluster showed that similar of physicochemical index of Daqu were clustered into one group, and enriching similar microbiota. Experiments showed that the application of Biolog microbes identification system can clearly re-flect the Daqu micro-ecological situation.Compared with the traditional method of plate,it can more effectively re-flect the Daqu microbial activity.

  3. Research Progress on Biological Function and Application of Lecithin%卵磷脂的生物学功能及其应用

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李贞

    2016-01-01

    近年来,卵磷脂的生物学功能越来越受到人们的关注,其在调节代谢、增强体能、强化脑部功能、调节血脂等方面具有较好的功效,在多个领域有着广泛的应用。主要综述了卵磷脂的生物功能及其应用的领域,以便人们更深入地了解卵磷脂。%In recent years, the biological function of lecithin is arousing more and more public attention. Lecithin shows good performance in regulating metabolism, enhancing physical fitness, strengthening brain function and regulating blood lipid, which is widely applied in various fields. The research progress on biological function and application of lecithin were reviewed, so as to provide references for the deeper understanding of lecithin.

  4. Assessment of the biological control capability of Hippodamia variegata (Col.: Coccinellidae) using functional response experiments

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Madadi, Hossein; Parizi, Emad Mohajeri; Allahyari, Hossein;

    2011-01-01

    responses towards cotton aphids, except for third instars which in the three-dimensional set-up reduced their search rate and increased their handling time. Fourth instars reacted in the same way to both Aphis gossypii and Acyrthosiphon pisum whereas the functional response parameters for third instars......Lady beetles are among the most successful predators of aphids in different environments. The functional responses of different life stages of Hippodamia variegata (Goeze) towards cotton aphidswere examined in two different set-ups, a two-dimensional Petri dish set-up with detached leaves...... and a three-dimensional set-up with whole plants. In addition, the functional responses in two-dimensional set-ups towards cotton aphids and the pea aphids were compared. H. variegata exhibited a functional type II response to both cotton aphids and pea aphids irrespective of life stage and spatial scale...

  5. [Biological adaptation and immune status of preschool children with visual function disorders in conditions of preschool educational institutions of compensating type].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bannikova, L P; Koksharov, A V

    2013-01-01

    For implementation of a comprehensive approach in the elaboration of preventive and corrective measures in children with impaired visual function in conditions of preschool educational institutions of compensating type there were studied adaptation reserves of their organism, as well as indices of immune status. Biological adaptation was studied with the help ofcardiointervalography in 111 children aged 6-7years. With the use of ELISA 88 children were examined in terms of IgA, IgM, IgG, slgA in saliva.

  6. Open questions in origin of life: experimental studies on the origin of nucleic acids and proteins with specific and functional sequences by a chemical synthetic biology approach

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Adamala, K.; Anella, F.; Wieczorek, R.

    2014-01-01

    In this mini-review we present some experimental approaches to the important issue in the origin of life, namely the origin of nucleic acids and proteins with specific and functional sequences. The formation of macromolecules on prebiotic Earth faces practical and conceptual difficulties. From...... sequences among a vast array of possible ones, the huge "sequence space", leading to the question "why these macromolecules, and not the others?" We have recently addressed these questions by using a chemical synthetic biology approach. In particular, we have tested the catalytic activity of small peptides...

  7. Synthetic predator cues impair immune function and make the biological pesticide Bti more lethal for vector mosquitoes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Op De Beeck, Lin; Janssens, Lizanne; Stoks, Robby

    2016-03-01

    The control of vector mosquitoes is one of the biggest challenges facing humankind with the use of chemical pesticides often leading to environmental impact and the evolution of resistance. Although to a lesser extent, this also holds for Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti), the most widely used biological pesticide to control mosquito populations. This raises the need for the development of integrated pest management strategies that allow the reduction of Bti concentrations without loss of the mosquito control efficiency. To this end, we tested in a laboratory experiment the combined effects of larval exposure to a sublethal Bti concentration and predation risk cues on life history and physiology of larval and adult Culex pipiens mosquitoes. Besides natural predator kairomones and prey alarm cues, we also tested synthetic kairomones of Notonecta predators. Neither Bti nor predation risk cues affected mortality, yet when both stressors were combined mortality increased on average by 133% compared to the treatment with only predation risk cues. This synergistic interaction was also present when Bti was combined with synthetic kairomones. This was further reflected in changes of the composite index of population performance, which suggested lowered per capita growth rates in mosquitoes exposed to Bti but only when Bti was combined with synthetic kairomones. Furthermore, predation risk cues shortened larval development time, reduced mass at metamorphosis in males, and had an immunosuppressive effect in larval and adult mosquitoes which may affect the mosquito vector competence. We provide the first demonstration that synthetic kairomones may generate similar effects on prey as natural kairomones. The identified immunosuppressive effect of synthetic kairomones and the novel lethal synergism type between a biological pesticide and synthetic predator kairomones provide an important proof of principle illustrating the potential of this combination for integrated

  8. Synthetic biology: insights into biological computation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manzoni, Romilde; Urrios, Arturo; Velazquez-Garcia, Silvia; de Nadal, Eulàlia; Posas, Francesc

    2016-04-18

    Organisms have evolved a broad array of complex signaling mechanisms that allow them to survive in a wide range of environmental conditions. They are able to sense external inputs and produce an output response by computing the information. Synthetic biology attempts to rationally engineer biological systems in order to perform desired functions. Our increasing understanding of biological systems guides this rational design, while the huge background in electronics for building circuits defines the methodology. In this context, biocomputation is the branch of synthetic biology aimed at implementing artificial computational devices using engineered biological motifs as building blocks. Biocomputational devices are defined as biological systems that are able to integrate inputs and return outputs following pre-determined rules. Over the last decade the number of available synthetic engineered devices has increased exponentially; simple and complex circuits have been built in bacteria, yeast and mammalian cells. These devices can manage and store information, take decisions based on past and present inputs, and even convert a transient signal into a sustained response. The field is experiencing a fast growth and every day it is easier to implement more complex biological functions. This is mainly due to advances in in vitro DNA synthesis, new genome editing tools, novel molecular cloning techniques, continuously growing part libraries as well as other technological advances. This allows that digital computation can now be engineered and implemented in biological systems. Simple logic gates can be implemented and connected to perform novel desired functions or to better understand and redesign biological processes. Synthetic biological digital circuits could lead to new therapeutic approaches, as well as new and efficient ways to produce complex molecules such as antibiotics, bioplastics or biofuels. Biological computation not only provides possible biomedical and

  9. Large scale fusion of gray matter and resting-state functional MRI reveals common and shared biological markers across the psychosis spectrum in the B-SNIP cohort

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zheng eWang

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available To investigate whether aberrant interactions between brain structure and function present similarly or differently across probands with psychotic illnesses (schizophrenia (SZ, schizoaffective disorder (SAD, and bipolar I disorder with psychosis (BP and whether these deficits are shared with their first-degree non-psychotic relatives. A total of 1199 subjects were assessed, including 220 SZ, 147 SAD, 180 psychotic BP, 150 first-degree relatives of SZ, 126 SAD relatives, 134 BP relatives and 242 healthy controls. All subjects underwent structural MRI (sMRI and resting-state functional MRI (rs-fMRI scanning. Joint independent analysis (jICA was used to fuse sMRI gray matter (GM and rs-fMRI amplitude of low frequency fluctuations (ALFF data to identify the relationship between the two modalities. Joint ICA revealed two significantly fused components. The association between functional brain alteration in a prefrontal-striatal-thalamic-cerebellar network and structural abnormalities in the default mode network (DMN was found to be common across psychotic diagnoses and correlated with cognitive function, social function and Schizo-Bipolar Scale (SBS scores. The fused alteration in the temporal lobe was unique to SZ and SAD. The above effects were not seen in any relative group (including those with cluster-A personality. Using a multivariate fused approach involving two widely used imaging markers we demonstrate both shared and distinct biological traits across the psychosis spectrum. Further, our results suggest that the above traits are psychosis biomarkers rather than endophenotypes.

  10. Density functional theory estimation of isotope fractionation of Fe, Ni, Cu, and Zn among species relevant to geochemical and biological environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fujii, Toshiyuki; Moynier, Frédéric; Blichert-Toft, Janne; Albarède, Francis

    2014-09-01

    This paper reports the values of reduced partition function ratios (as 1000 ln β) for Fe, Ni, Cu, and Zn bound to a number of inorganic and organic ligands. We used Density Functional Techniques to update the existing data and calculate ln β for new ligands. This work allows for the mass-dependent isotope fractionation to be predicted for various inorganic (hydrated cation, hydroxide, chloride, sulfate, sulfide, phosphate) and organic (citrate, amino acid) complexes of Fe, Ni, Cu, and Zn. Isotope fractionation among coexisting complexes of these metals was evaluated from the ln β values in a variety of geochemical and biological environments. The results provide a framework for interpretation of isotope fractionation observed in seawater and chemical sediments, in the roots and aerial parts of plants, and among the organs and body fluids of mammals.

  11. Influence of selenium supplementation on fatty acids profile and biological activity of four edible amaranth sprouts as new kind of functional food.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pasko, Pawel; Gdula-Argasinska, Joanna; Podporska-Carroll, Joanna; Quilty, Brid; Wietecha-Posluszny, Renata; Tyszka-Czochara, Malgorzata; Zagrodzki, Pawel

    2015-08-01

    Suitability assessment of amaranth sprouts as a new functional food was carried out. The optimisation of sprouting process and the influence of selenium supplementation, in doses 10, 15, and 30 mg/l of selenium as sodium selenite, on amaranth growth and fatty acid profile were examined. Methods such as FRAP, DPPH, polyphenols content and GPX activity were applied to characterize antioxidant potential of seeds and sprouts of four different edible amaranth genera. E. coli, S. aureus, C. albicans were used to evaluate amaranth sprouts antimicrobial properties. Interaction between amaranth sprouts and biological systems was assessed by analysing antibacterial and antifungal properties with a disc diffusion test. The studies proved amaranth sprouts to be potentially attractive as functional food. As confirmed by all the data amaranth sprouts are suitable as a moderate selenium accumulator and are rich in essential fatty acids, especially linoleic and alpha-linolenic acids, which are precursors of long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids. Thus, it opens dietary opportunities for amaranth sprouts. They can also serve as a moderate source of antioxidant compounds. Nevertheless, the experiments revealed neither antibacterial, nor antifungal properties of sprouts. In general, amaranth sprouts biological activity under evaluation has failed to prove to be significantly impacted by selenium fertilization.

  12. 维生素D生物学功能研究进展及意义%Review of Biological Function of Vitamin D and Its Marketing Opportunity

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    王昌博; 黄远英; 殷光玲

    2015-01-01

    维生素D作为防治佝偻病的维生素被广泛认知,但其在全球范围内的缺乏率却很高。近年来国内外的研究发现维生素D可能还具备其他的生物学功能,提示维生素D对人体健康有重要的意义。本文对维生素D潜在的生物学功能、国内外人群营养状况进行了综述,并简述了维生素D营养素补充剂的对于人群健康状况的意义。%Vitamin D is known as a nutrient for rickets , but still with high deficiency worldwide. Recent research reviewed some other biological function of Vitamin D , indicated that it might be significant for human health. This review summarized the biological function of Vitamin D , the nutritional status in population , and the meaning of developing Vitamin D supplement.

  13. Multiple biological functions of novel basic proteins isolated from duck egg white: duck basic protein small 1 (dBPS1) and 2 (dBPS2).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naknukool, Supaporn; Hayakawa, Shigeru; Ogawa, Masahiro

    2011-05-11

    Biological functions of duck basic protein small 1 (dBPS(1)) and 2 (dBPS(2)) were investigated by in vitro experiments. Results of agarose gel retardation assay indicated that dBPS(1) and dBPS(2) associate with RNA. Addition of NaCl or urea induced partial dissociation of dBPS(1)/dBPS(2)-RNA complex, implying that electrostatic interaction, hydrophobic interaction, and hydrogen bonds are involved in the association of dBPS(1)/dBPS(2) to RNA. dBPS(1) and dBPS(2) inhibited pancreatic lipase activity with the fifty percent inhibitory concentration (IC(50)) of 250 and 100 μg/mL, respectively. Peptic hydrolysates of dBPS(1) and those of dBPS(2) showed a potent angiotensin I-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibition with an IC(50) of 22.5 and 49.6 mg/L. The most potent ACE-inhibitory peptide was a nanopeptide (EKKGFCAGY) from dBPS(1) and an octapeptide (KYCPKVGY) from dBPS(2). These multiple biological functions of dBPS(1) and dBPS(2) may contribute to reducing the risk of lifestyle diseases.

  14. A comparative approach for the investigation of biological information processing: An examination of the structure and function of computer hard drives and DNA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D'Onofrio David J

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The robust storage, updating and utilization of information are necessary for the maintenance and perpetuation of dynamic systems. These systems can exist as constructs of metal-oxide semiconductors and silicon, as in a digital computer, or in the "wetware" of organic compounds, proteins and nucleic acids that make up biological organisms. We propose that there are essential functional properties of centralized information-processing systems; for digital computers these properties reside in the computer's hard drive, and for eukaryotic cells they are manifest in the DNA and associated structures. Methods Presented herein is a descriptive framework that compares DNA and its associated proteins and sub-nuclear structure with the structure and function of the computer hard drive. We identify four essential properties of information for a centralized storage and processing system: (1 orthogonal uniqueness, (2 low level formatting, (3 high level formatting and (4 translation of stored to usable form. The corresponding aspects of the DNA complex and a computer hard drive are categorized using this classification. This is intended to demonstrate a functional equivalence between the components of the two systems, and thus the systems themselves. Results Both the DNA complex and the computer hard drive contain components that fulfill the essential properties of a centralized information storage and processing system. The functional equivalence of these components provides insight into both the design process of engineered systems and the evolved solutions addressing similar system requirements. However, there are points where the comparison breaks down, particularly when there are externally imposed information-organizing structures on the computer hard drive. A specific example of this is the imposition of the File Allocation Table (FAT during high level formatting of the computer hard drive and the subsequent loading of an operating

  15. Functionalized gold nanoparticles for the binding, stabilization, and delivery of therapeutic DNA, RNA, and other biological macromolecules

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert K DeLong

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Robert K DeLong1, Christopher M Reynolds1, Yaneika Malcolm1, Ashley Schaeffer1, Tiffany Severs2, Adam Wanekaya21Department of Biomedical Science (Cell and Molecular Biology Program, 2Department of Chemistry, Missouri State University, Springfield, MO, USAAbstract: Nanotechnology has virtually exploded in the last few years with seemingly limitless opportunity across all segments of our society. If gene and RNA therapy are to ever realize their full potential, there is a great need for nanomaterials that can bind, stabilize, and deliver these macromolecular nucleic acids into human cells and tissues. Many researchers have turned to gold nanomaterials, as gold is thought to be relatively well tolerated in humans and provides an inert material upon which nucleic acids can attach. Here, we review the various strategies for associating macromolecular nucleic acids to the surface of gold nanoparticles (GNPs, the characterization chemistries involved, and the potential advantages of GNPs in terms of stabilization and delivery.Keywords: gold, nanoparticles, nanomaterials, RNA, nucleic acid

  16. BRCA1/2 mutations perturb telomere biology: characterization of structural and functional abnormalities in vitro and in vivo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uziel, Orit; Yerushalmi, Rinat; Zuriano, Lital; Naser, Shaden; Beery, Einat; Nordenberg, Jardena; Lubin, Ido; Adel, Yonatan; Shepshelovich, Daniel; Yavin, Hagai; Ben Aharon, Irit; Pery, Shlomit; Rizel, Shulamit; Pasmanik-Chor, Metsada; Frumkin, Dan; Lahav, Meir

    2016-01-19

    BRCA1 mutation is associated with carcinogenesis, especially of breast tissue. Telomere maintenance is crucial for malignant transformation. Being a part of the DNA repair machinery, BRCA1 may be implicated in telomere biology. We explored the role of BRCA1 in telomere maintenance in lymphocytes of BRCA1/2 mutation carriers and in in vitro system by knocking down its expression in non-malignant breast epithelial cells.The results in both systems were similar. BRCA1/2 mutation caused perturbation of telomere homeostasis, shortening of the single stranded telomere overhang and increased the intercellular telomere length variability as well as the number of telomere free chromosomal ends and telomeric circles. These changes resulted in an increased DNA damage status. Telomerase activity, inducibility and expression remained unchanged. BRCA1 mutation resulted also in changes in the binding of shelterin proteins to telomeres. DNMT-1 levels were markedly reduced both in the carriers and in in vitro system. The methylation pattern of the sub-telomeric regions in carriers suggested hypomethylation in chromosome 10. The expression of a distinct set of genes was also changed, some of which may relate to pre-disposition to malignancy.These results show that BRCA gene products have a role in telomere length homeostasis. It is plausible that these perturbations contribute to malignant transformation in BRCA mutants.

  17. Meadowsweet Teas as New Functional Beverages: Comparative Analysis of Nutrients, Phytochemicals and Biological Effects of Four Filipendula Species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniil N. Olennikov

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available In recent years, the increased popularity of functional beverages such as herbal teas and decoctions has led to the search for new sources of raw materials that provide appropriate taste and functionality to consumers. The objective of this study was to investigate the nutritional, phytochemical profiles and bioactivities of possible functional beverages produced from F. ulmaria and its alternative substitutes (F. camtschatica, F. denudata, F. stepposa. The investigated decoctions were analyzed regarding their macronutrient, carbohydrate, organic acid, amino acid and mineral composition. Quantification of the main phenolic compounds in the decoctions of meadowsweet floral teas was performed by a microcolumn RP-HPLC-UV procedure; the highest content was revealed in F. stepposa tea. The investigation of the essential oil of four meadowsweet teas revealed the presence of 28 compounds, including simple phenols, monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes and aliphatic components. The dominance of methyl salicylate and salicylaldehyde was noted in all samples. Studies on the water soluble polysaccharides of Filipendula flowers allowed us to establish their general affiliation to galactans and/or arabinogalactans with an admixture of glucans of the starch type and galacturonans as minor components. The bioactivity data demonstrated a good ability of meadowsweet teas to inhibit amylase, α-glucosidase and AGE formation. Tea samples showed antioxidant properties by the DPPH•, ABTS•+ and Br• free radicals scavenging assays and the carotene bleaching assay, caused by the presence of highly active ellagitannins. The anti-complement activity of the water-soluble polysaccharide fraction of meadowsweet teas indicated their possible immune-modulating properties. Filipendula beverage formulations can be expected to deliver beneficial effects due to their unique nutritional and phytochemical profiles. Potential applications as health-promoting functional products may be

  18. Revealing the Functions of Tenascin-C in 3-D Breast Cancer Models Using Cell Biological and in Silico Approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-03-01

    renditions of mammary acini, which were then used to assess and quantify acinar topography and volume. Although TN-C increased acinar surface roughness...epithelial 3-D tissue structure and function. In essence, we devised an algorithm to quantify acinar surface topography and volume in 3-D cultures of...deficient mice, Nature 1995, 377:539-544 39 34. Matsuda A, Yoshiki A, Tagawa Y, Matsuda H, Kusakabe M: Corneal wound healing in tenascin knockout mouse

  19. HER3 comes of age: new insights into its functions and role in signaling, tumor biology, and cancer therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, Marcia R; Amin, Dhara; Moasser, Mark M

    2010-03-01

    The human epidermal growth family (HER) of tyrosine kinase receptors underlies the pathogenesis of many types of human cancer. The oncogenic functions of three of the HER proteins can be unleashed through amplification, overexpression, or mutational activation. This has formed the basis for the development of clinically active targeted therapies. However, the third member HER3 is catalytically inactive, not found to be mutated or amplified in cancers, and its role and functions have remained shrouded in mystery. Recent evidence derived primarily from experimental models now seems to implicate HER3 in the pathogenesis of several types of cancer. Furthermore, the failure to recognize the central role of HER3 seems to underlie resistance to epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)- or HER2-targeted therapies in some cancers. Structural and biochemical studies have now greatly enhanced our understanding of signaling in the HER family and revealed the previously unrecognized activating functions embodied in the catalytically impaired kinase domain of HER3. This renewed interest and mechanistic basis has fueled the development of new classes of HER3-targeting agents for cancer therapy. However, identifying HER3-dependent tumors presents a formidable challenge and the success of HER3-targeting approaches depends entirely on the development and power of predictive tools.

  20. Fostering synergy between cell biology and systems biology

    OpenAIRE

    2015-01-01

    In the shared pursuit of elucidating detailed mechanisms of cell function, systems biology presents a natural complement to ongoing efforts in cell biology. Systems biology aims to characterize biological systems through integrated and quantitative modeling of cellular information. The process of model building and analysis provides value through synthesizing and cataloging information about cells and molecules; predicting mechanisms and identifying generalizable themes; generating hypotheses...

  1. All biology is computational biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-01-01

    Here, I argue that computational thinking and techniques are so central to the quest of understanding life that today all biology is computational biology. Computational biology brings order into our understanding of life, it makes biological concepts rigorous and testable, and it provides a reference map that holds together individual insights. The next modern synthesis in biology will be driven by mathematical, statistical, and computational methods being absorbed into mainstream biological training, turning biology into a quantitative science. PMID:28278152

  2. Biological oceanography, biogeochemical cycles, and pelagic ecosystem functioning of the east-central South Pacific Gyre: focus on Easter Island and Salas y Gómez Island

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter von Dassow

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available The Exclusive Economic Zone of Chile defined by Easter Island and Salas y Gómez Island is in the South Pacific Sub-tropical Gyre (SPSG, putting it at the center of the most oligotrophic and biomass poor waters in the world. Only 10 biological oceanographic expeditions have entered this zone in 105 years (19052010. We review key aspects of the plankton ecosystem and biogeochemical function relevant for the understanding of and conservation planning for marine environments. Plankton production is limited by lack of dissolved inorganic fixed nitrogen, not phosphorous. Higher organic nitrogen levels might be biologically unavailable. Short-term experiments suggested iron is not limiting, yet iron still likely limits nitrogen fixation, and thus production, at longer time scales, as the presence of nitrogen-fixers is exceptionally low compared to other ocean gyres. Plankton function is dominated by the smallest unicellular organisms, picoplankton (<3 μm in diameter. The SPSG represents a center of high biodiversity for picoplankton, as well as heterotrophic organisms such as tinntinids, siphonophores, and possibly amphipods, although data for key zooplankton, such as copepods, are lacking. Many groups exhibit negative relationships between diversity and total plankton biomass. High diversity might result from dispersal from a very large metacommunity and minimal competition within functional groups. Whether an island-mass effect causes a real or apparent increase in plankton biomass around Easter Island must be confirmed by high-resolution sampling in situ. Long-term threats to the planktonic ecosystem may include climate change-enhanced ocean stratification and plastic marine debris accumulation. Finally, priorities for future research are highlighted.

  3. Biological function of Hericium erinaceus polysaccharide%猴头菇多糖生物学功能研究

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    杜志强; 王建英

    2011-01-01

    利用“水提醇沉”的方法从猴头菇中提取多糖,经过初步纯化,进行免疫调节功能和抗氧化功能研究.实验结果显示,猴头菇多糖可以明显提高小鼠血清溶菌酶的含量,具有明显增强小鼠腹腔巨嗜细胞对鸡红细胞的吞噬功能,也能够明显提高幼年小鼠的胸腺指数.同时,发现猴头菇多糖可以有效地提高小鼠大脑和肝脏的SOD、CAT的含量,可以有效地降低小鼠大脑和肝脏的MDA的含量.这些结果都表明:猴头菇多糖是一个良好的免疫功能增强剂和一种良好的抗氧化物质,开发和应用前景极佳.%Polysaccharides in Hericium erinaceus were extracted by water extraction and ethanol precipitation. The polysaccharides were assessed for immunoregulatory and antioxidation function after preliminary purification. The results showed that the Hericium erinaceus polysaccharides could obviously improve the content of serum lysozyme and the phagocytic function of the macrophage to the chicken red blood cell. It could obviously increase the thymus index of young mouse. In addition, it could effectively enhance the content of SOD and CAT in brain and liver, and reduce the content of MDA. These results showed that Hericium erinaceus polysaccharides is a excellent immune function enhancer and antioxidants, and has a good potential application.

  4. Illuminating plant biology: using fluorescent proteins for high-throughput analysis of protein localization and function in plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeBlasio, Stacy L; Sylvester, Anne W; Jackson, David

    2010-03-01

    First discovered in jellyfish, fluorescent proteins (FPs) have been successfully optimized for use as effective biomarkers within living plant cells. When exposed to light, FPs fused to a protein or regulatory element will fluoresce, and non-invasively mark expression and protein localization, which allows for the in vivo monitoring of diverse cellular processes. In this review, we discuss how FP technology has evolved from small-scale analysis of individual genes to more high-throughput techniques for global expression and functional profiling in plants.

  5. Understanding the Biological Roles of Pectins in Plants through Physiological and Functional Characterizations of Plant and Fungal Mutants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stranne, Maria

    wall acetylation (Chapter 2), identification of a candidate gene required for acetylation of pectin (Chapter 3), screening of pectin mutants for susceptibility to the nectrotrophic fungal pathogen Botrytis cinerea (Chapter 4), and identification and functional characterization of an arabinan......-degrading enzyme secreted by B. cinerea during infection of plants (Chapter 5). The results described resulted in valuable new knowledge regarding the role of pectin acetylation and arabinosylation in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana documented in three published research papers, one manuscript and one...

  6. Development and biological function of the female gonads and genitalia in IGF-I deficiency -- Laron syndrome as a model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laron, Zvi

    2006-01-01

    Laron syndrome (LS) or primary GH insensitivity is a unique human model to study the effects of congenital IGF-I deficiency. Within our cohort of 63 patients with LS, 15 female patients were regularly followed since birth or infancy, throughout puberty. We observed that they were short at birth, with small genitalia and gonads -- during puberty, developed delayed puberty but eventually reached between 16 and 19 1/2 years full sexual development. Reproduction is unaffected at a young adult age. It is concluded that IGF-I in concert with the sex hormones has a modulatory but not essential function on female sexual development and maturation.

  7. Comparison of biological H2S removal characteristics between a composite packing material with and without functional microorganisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Rencheng; Li, Shunyi; Bao, Xiaofeng; Dumont, Éric

    2017-01-01

    The performances of two identical biofilters, filled with a new composite packing material (named CM-5) embedded with functional microorganisms or sterilized CM-5 without microorganisms, were investigated for H2S treatment. Running parameters in terms of microbial counts, pressure drops, and inlet and outlet H2S concentrations were measured. The results show that the microbial count of the CM-5 was approximately ×105 CFU/g before being filled into the biofilter, while that of the sterilized CM-5 was negligible. The functional microorganisms embedded in CM-5 adapted to the environment containing H2S quickly. In most cases, pressure drops of the CM-5 biofilter were slightly higher than those of the sterilized CM-5 biofilter when the gas flow rate was 0.6–2.5 m3/h. The maximum elimination capacity (EC) of the CM-5 biofilter in treating H2S could reach up to 65 g/(m3·h) when the loading rate (LR) was approximately 80 g/(m3·h). If the LR was much higher, the measured EC showed a slight downward trend. The experimental ECs of biofilters were fitted by two typical dynamic models: the Michaelis-Menten model and the Haldane model. Compared with the Michaelis-Menten model, the Haldane model fit the experimental ECs better for the two biofilters because of the presence of the substrate inhibition behaviour. PMID:28198800

  8. Comparison of biological H2S removal characteristics between a composite packing material with and without functional microorganisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Rencheng; Li, Shunyi; Bao, Xiaofeng; Dumont, Éric

    2017-02-01

    The performances of two identical biofilters, filled with a new composite packing material (named CM-5) embedded with functional microorganisms or sterilized CM-5 without microorganisms, were investigated for H2S treatment. Running parameters in terms of microbial counts, pressure drops, and inlet and outlet H2S concentrations were measured. The results show that the microbial count of the CM-5 was approximately ×105 CFU/g before being filled into the biofilter, while that of the sterilized CM-5 was negligible. The functional microorganisms embedded in CM-5 adapted to the environment containing H2S quickly. In most cases, pressure drops of the CM-5 biofilter were slightly higher than those of the sterilized CM-5 biofilter when the gas flow rate was 0.6–2.5 m3/h. The maximum elimination capacity (EC) of the CM-5 biofilter in treating H2S could reach up to 65 g/(m3·h) when the loading rate (LR) was approximately 80 g/(m3·h). If the LR was much higher, the measured EC showed a slight downward trend. The experimental ECs of biofilters were fitted by two typical dynamic models: the Michaelis-Menten model and the Haldane model. Compared with the Michaelis-Menten model, the Haldane model fit the experimental ECs better for the two biofilters because of the presence of the substrate inhibition behaviour.

  9. The 3' to 5' Exoribonuclease DIS3: From Structure and Mechanisms to Biological Functions and Role in Human Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sophie R. Robinson

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available DIS3 is a conserved exoribonuclease and catalytic subunit of the exosome, a protein complex involved in the 3' to 5' degradation and processing of both nuclear and cytoplasmic RNA species. Recently, aberrant expression of DIS3 has been found to be implicated in a range of different cancers. Perhaps most striking is the finding that DIS3 is recurrently mutated in 11% of multiple myeloma patients. Much work has been done to elucidate the structural and biochemical characteristics of DIS3, including the mechanistic details of its role as an effector of RNA decay pathways. Nevertheless, we do not understand how DIS3 mutations can lead to cancer. There are a number of studies that pertain to the function of DIS3 at the organismal level. Mutant phenotypes in S. pombe, S. cerevisiae and Drosophila suggest DIS3 homologues have a common role in cell-cycle progression and microtubule assembly. DIS3 has also recently been implicated in antibody diversification of mouse B-cells. This article aims to review current knowledge of the structure, mechanisms and functions of DIS3 as well as highlighting the genetic patterns observed within myeloma patients, in order to yield insight into the putative role of DIS3 mutations in oncogenesis.

  10. 鱼类leptin的生物学特性及功能%BIOLOGICAL CHARACTERISTICS AND FUNCTIONS OF LEPTIN IN FISH

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    卢荣华; 孙君君; 梁旭方; 聂国兴; 杨峰

    2015-01-01

    瘦素(Leptin)是肥胖基因(Obesegene)的产物,属于I型细胞因子.在哺乳动物中, leptin主要由脂肪细胞合成与分泌, 是调控摄食、能量代谢、骨骼发育、甲状腺功能以及繁殖等生理过程的重要激素.目前, 多种硬骨鱼类的 leptin 基因已被克隆, 其功能也已得到初步研究.研究认为, 鱼类 leptin的主要合成部位在肝脏,其在氨基酸序列上与哺乳动物存在很大差异,但蛋白质结构高度保守;功能方面, leptin可调节鱼类的摄食、葡萄糖和脂肪代谢以及繁殖等生命活动过程.本文就鱼类leptin及其受体的特征结构、组织分布、表达调控及功能研究进展进行简要综述.%Leptin is the product ofob gene and a kind of Type I cytokine. It is primarily synthesized and secreted by adipocytes and plays an important role in the regulation of ingestion, energy metabolism, skeletal development, thyroid function, and reproduction in mammals. To dateleptin gene has been cloned in various teleostean groups, and there have been studies of the physiological functions of leptin. Previous reports have suggested that fish leptin is mainly synthe-sized in liver, and the amino acid sequence is different from that in mammals; however, the protein structure is highly conservative. Because of its crucial roles in ingestion, glucose and lipid metabolism, and reproduction, Leptin is poten-tially a new drug target for improving the glucose utilization efficiency in fish in the future. Therefore in this review we discussed about fish leptin in terms of its structure, expression, functions, tissue-specific distribution and receptors.

  11. Bacterial type I topoisomerases – biological function and potential use as targets for antibiotic treatments 

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcin Szafran

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available The bacterial chromosome is composed of topologically independent domains, whose spatial organization is controlled by enzymes called topoisomerases. Topology maintenance is crucial in many important cellular processes such as replication, transcription and recombination. Moreover, the role of chromosome topology in adaptation of bacteria to environmental changes and, in the case of pathogenic strains, in their virulence was described. In recent years higher numbers of pathogenic strains resistant to antibiotic treatment have been noticed. In this paper we present the current state of knowledge about the structure and cellular functions of bacterial topoisomerases IA. In particular, we discuss the potential use of these enzymes as new targets for antibacterial compounds. 

  12. Structural plasticity of calmodulin on the surface of CaF2 nanoparticles preserves its biological function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Astegno, Alessandra; Maresi, Elena; Marino, Valerio; Dominici, Paola; Pedroni, Marco; Piccinelli, Fabio; Dell'Orco, Daniele

    2014-11-01

    Nanoparticles are increasingly used in biomedical applications and are especially attractive as biocompatible and biodegradable protein delivery systems. Herein, the interaction between biocompatible 25 nm CaF2 nanoparticles and the ubiquitous calcium sensor calmodulin has been investigated in order to assess the potential of these particles to serve as suitable surface protein carriers. Calmodulin is a multifunctional messenger protein that activates a wide variety of signaling pathways in eukaryotic cells by changing its conformation in a calcium-dependent manner. Isothermal titration calorimetry and circular dichroism studies have shown that the interaction between calmodulin and CaF2 nanoparticles occurs with physiologically relevant affinity and that the binding process is fully reversible, occurring without significant alterations in protein secondary and tertiary structures. Experiments performed with a mutant form of calmodulin having an impaired Ca2+-binding ability in the C-terminal lobe suggest that the EF-hand Ca2+-binding motifs are directly involved in the binding of calmodulin to the CaF2 matrix. The residual capability of nanoparticle-bound calmodulin to function as a calcium sensor protein, binding to and altering the activity of a target protein, was successfully probed by biochemical assays. Even if efficiently carried by CaF2 nanoparticles, calmodulin may dissociate, thus retaining the ability to bind the peptide encompassing the putative C-terminal calmodulin-binding domain of glutamate decarboxylase and activate the enzyme. We conclude that the high flexibility and structural plasticity of calmodulin are responsible for the preservation of its function when bound in high amounts to a nanoparticle surface.Nanoparticles are increasingly used in biomedical applications and are especially attractive as biocompatible and biodegradable protein delivery systems. Herein, the interaction between biocompatible 25 nm CaF2 nanoparticles and the ubiquitous

  13. Systematic analysis of compositional order of proteins reveals new characteristics of biological functions and a universal correlate of macroevolution.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erez Persi

    Full Text Available We present a novel analysis of compositional order (CO based on the occurrence of Frequent amino-acid Triplets (FTs that appear much more than random in protein sequences. The method captures all types of proteomic compositional order including single amino-acid runs, tandem repeats, periodic structure of motifs and otherwise low complexity amino-acid regions. We introduce new order measures, distinguishing between 'regularity', 'periodicity' and 'vocabulary', to quantify these phenomena and to facilitate the identification of evolutionary effects. Detailed analysis of representative species across the tree-of-life demonstrates that CO proteins exhibit numerous functional enrichments, including a wide repertoire of particular patterns of dependencies on regularity and periodicity. Comparison between human and mouse proteomes further reveals the interplay of CO with evolutionary trends, such as faster substitution rate in mouse leading to decrease of periodicity, while innovation along the human lineage leads to larger regularity. Large-scale analysis of 94 proteomes leads to systematic ordering of all major taxonomic groups according to FT-vocabulary size. This is measured by the count of Different Frequent Triplets (DFT in proteomes. The latter provides a clear hierarchical delineation of vertebrates, invertebrates, plants, fungi and prokaryotes, with thermophiles showing the lowest level of FT-vocabulary. Among eukaryotes, this ordering correlates with phylogenetic proximity. Interestingly, in all kingdoms CO accumulation in the proteome has universal characteristics. We suggest that CO is a genomic-information correlate of both macroevolution and various protein functions. The results indicate a mechanism of genomic 'innovation' at the peptide level, involved in protein elongation, shaped in a universal manner by mutational and selective forces.

  14. Systematic analysis of compositional order of proteins reveals new characteristics of biological functions and a universal correlate of macroevolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Persi, Erez; Horn, David

    2013-01-01

    We present a novel analysis of compositional order (CO) based on the occurrence of Frequent amino-acid Triplets (FTs) that appear much more than random in protein sequences. The method captures all types of proteomic compositional order including single amino-acid runs, tandem repeats, periodic structure of motifs and otherwise low complexity amino-acid regions. We introduce new order measures, distinguishing between 'regularity', 'periodicity' and 'vocabulary', to quantify these phenomena and to facilitate the identification of evolutionary effects. Detailed analysis of representative species across the tree-of-life demonstrates that CO proteins exhibit numerous functional enrichments, including a wide repertoire of particular patterns of dependencies on regularity and periodicity. Comparison between human and mouse proteomes further reveals the interplay of CO with evolutionary trends, such as faster substitution rate in mouse leading to decrease of periodicity, while innovation along the human lineage leads to larger regularity. Large-scale analysis of 94 proteomes leads to systematic ordering of all major taxonomic groups according to FT-vocabulary size. This is measured by the count of Different Frequent Triplets (DFT) in proteomes. The latter provides a clear hierarchical delineation of vertebrates, invertebrates, plants, fungi and prokaryotes, with thermophiles showing the lowest level of FT-vocabulary. Among eukaryotes, this ordering correlates with phylogenetic proximity. Interestingly, in all kingdoms CO accumulation in the proteome has universal characteristics. We suggest that CO is a genomic-information correlate of both macroevolution and various protein functions. The results indicate a mechanism of genomic 'innovation' at the peptide level, involved in protein elongation, shaped in a universal manner by mutational and selective forces.

  15. Lysophosphatidic Acid and Sphingosine-1-Phosphate: A Concise Review of Biological Function and Applications for Tissue Engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Binder, Bernard Y K; Williams, Priscilla A; Silva, Eduardo A; Leach, J Kent

    2015-12-01

    The presentation and controlled release of bioactive signals to direct cellular growth and differentiation represents a widely used strategy in tissue engineering. Historically, work in this field has primarily focused on the delivery of large cytokines and growth factors, which can be costly to manufacture and difficult to deliver in a sustained manner. There has been a marked increase over the past decade in the pursuit of lipid mediators due to their wide range of effects over multiple cell types, low cost, and ease of scale-up. Lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) and sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) are two bioactive lysophospholipids (LPLs) that have gained attention for use as pharmacological agents in tissue engineering applications. While these lipids can have similar effects on cellular response, they possess distinct chemical backbones, mechanisms of synthesis and degradation, and signaling pathways using a discrete set of G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). LPA and S1P predominantly act extracellularly on their GPCRs and can directly regulate cell survival, differentiation, cytokine secretion, proliferation, and migration--each of the important functions that must be considered in regenerative medicine. In addition to these potent physiological functions, these LPLs play pivotal roles in a number of pathophysiological processes. To capitalize on the promise of these molecules in tissue engineering, these lipids have been incorporated into biomaterials for in vivo delivery. Here, we survey the effects of LPA and S1P on both cellular- and tissue-level phenotypes, with an eye toward regulating stem/progenitor cell growth and differentiation. In particular, we examine work that has translational applications for cell-based tissue engineering strategies in promoting cell survival, bone and cartilage engineering, and therapeutic angiogenesis.

  16. Fundamental Issues Related to the Origin of Melatonin and Melatonin Isomers during Evolution: Relation to Their Biological Functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dun-Xian Tan

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Melatonin and melatonin isomers exist and/or coexist in living organisms including yeasts, bacteria and plants. The levels of melatonin isomers are significantly higher than that of melatonin in some plants and in several fermented products such as in wine and bread. Currently, there are no reports documenting the presence of melatonin isomers in vertebrates. From an evolutionary point of view, it is unlikely that melatonin isomers do not exist in vertebrates. On the other hand, large quantities of the microbial flora exist in the gut of the vertebrates. These microorganisms frequently exchange materials with the host. Melatonin isomers, which are produced by these organisms inevitably enter the host’s system. The origins of melatonin and its isomers can be traced back to photosynthetic bacteria and other primitive unicellular organisms. Since some of these bacteria are believed to be the precursors of mitochondria and chloroplasts these cellular organelles may be the primary sites of melatonin production in animals or in plants, respectively. Phylogenic analysis based on its rate-limiting synthetic enzyme, serotonin N-acetyltransferase (SNAT, indicates its multiple origins during evolution. Therefore, it is likely that melatonin and its isomer are also present in the domain of archaea, which perhaps require these molecules to protect them against hostile environments including extremely high or low temperature. Evidence indicates that the initial and primary function of melatonin and its isomers was to serve as the first-line of defence against oxidative stress and all other functions were acquired during evolution either by the process of adoption or by the extension of its antioxidative capacity.

  17. Progress in Biological Functions of Nuclear Receptors in Drosophila Melanogaster%果蝇核受体生物学功能研究进展

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    刘婷; 赵晓俊; 顾蔚

    2012-01-01

    Nuclear receptors; NRs> belong to a superfamily of ligand-activated transcription factors that can bind directly to DNA and regulate expression of downstream target genes involved in avariety of important biological processes in organism, such as metabolism, reproduction and development. Drosophila have 21NRs. They play crucial roles for Drosophila in regulating embryonic development, molting, metamorphosis, reproduction and metabolism. Here, we summarize the constitution of nuclear receptors, focusing on biological functions of themselve and their interactions. All these investigations will potentially supply new understanding of endocrine mechanism in insect.%核受体(nuclear receptors,NRs) 是配体依赖性转录因子超家族,能够直接与DNA结合,调节下游靶基因的表达,与机体代谢、生殖、发育等多种生理过程密切相关;果蝇中含有21个核受体,它们在果蝇的胚胎发育、蜕皮、变态、生殖及代谢中起着重要作用.本文描述了果蝇核受体的结构,并着重讨论了21个核受体的生物学功能和相互作用关系,为昆虫内分泌机制的探究提供新思路.

  18. Synthesis and Characterisation of Copper(II Complexes with Tridentate NNO Functionalized Ligand: Density Function Theory Study, DNA Binding Mechanism, Optical Properties, and Biological Application

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Madhumita Hazra

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The photo physical properties of two mononuclear pentacoordinated copper(II complexes formulated as [Cu(L(Cl(H2O] (1 and [Cu(L(Br(H2O] (2 HL = (1-[(3-methyl-pyridine-2-ylimino-methyl]-naphthalen-2-ol were synthesized and characterized by elemental, physicochemical, and spectroscopic methods. The density function theory calculations are used to investigate the electronic structures and the electronic properties of ligand and complex. The interactions of copper(II complexes towards calf thymus DNA were examined with the help of absorption, viscosity, and fluorescence spectroscopic techniques at pH 7.40. All spectroscopy's result indicates that complexes show good binding activity to calf thymus DNA through groove binding. The optical absorption and fluorescence emission properties of microwires were characterized by fluorescence microscope. From a spectroscopic viewpoint, all compounds strongly emit green light in the solid state. The microscopy investigation suggested that microwires exhibited optical waveguide behaviour which are applicable as fluorescent nanomaterials and can be used as building blocks for miniaturized photonic devices. Antibacterial study reveals that complexes are better antimicrobial agents than free Schiff base due to bacterial cell penetration by chelation. Moreover, the antioxidant study of the ligand and complexes is evaluated by using 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH free-radical assays, which demonstrate that the complexes are of higher antioxidant activity than free ligand.

  19. From Hans Selye's discovery of biological stress to the identification of corticotropin-releasing factor signaling pathways: implication in stress-related functional bowel diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taché, Yvette; Brunnhuber, Stefan

    2008-12-01

    Selye pioneered the concept of biological stress in 1936, culminating in the identification of the corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) signaling pathways by Vale's group in the last two decades. The characterization of the 41 amino-acid CRF and other peptide members of the mammalian CRF family, urocortin 1, urocortin 2, and urocortin 3, and the cloning of CRF(1) and CRF(2) receptors, which display distinct affinity for CRF ligands, combined with the development of selective CRF receptor antagonists enable us to unravel the importance of CRF(1) receptor in the stress-related endocrine (activation of pituitary-adrenal axis), behavioral (anxiety/depression, altered feeding), autonomic (activation of sympathetic nervous system), and immune responses. The activation of CRF(1) receptors is also one of the key mechanisms through which various stressors impact the gut to stimulate colonic propulsive motor function and to induce hypersensitivity to colorectal distension as shown by the efficacy of the CRF(1) receptor antagonists in blunting these stress-related components. The importance of CRF(1) signaling pathway in the visceral response to stress in experimental animals provided new therapeutic approaches for treatment of functional bowel disorder such as irritable bowel syndrome, a multifactor functional disorder characterized by altered bowel habits and visceral pain, for which stress has been implicated in the pathophysiology and is associated with anxiety-depression in a subset of patients.

  20. Research progresses in biological function of adiponectin%脂联素的生物学功能研究进展

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    张艳; 魏文青; 焦娟; 刘晶; 杨梦迪

    2013-01-01

    脂肪组织并非是单纯的能量储存器官,而是一种具有强大内分泌功能的内分泌器官.脂联素(Adiponectin,APN)在机体代谢过程中具有重要作用,其与肥胖、胰岛素抵抗、2型糖尿病、心脑血管疾病和肿瘤等多种疾病的发生、发展密切相关,现就脂联素的结构与基因表达、生物学功能、脂联素与肿瘤的关系作一论述.%Adipose tissue not only functions energy storage,but also is a endocrine organ with strong endocrine function.Adiponectin (APN) always plays an important role in the process of body metabolism,and it is also closely related to the occurrence and development of some diseases,such as the obesity,insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes mellitus,cardiovascular disease,tumor,and so on.The relationship between the tumor and adiponectin,the gene expression,the structure and biological function of the adiponectin (APN) will be discussed in this article.

  1. Biological functions of Piriformospora indica and its action mechanisms%印度梨形孢的生物学效应及其作用机制

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    宋凤鸣; 毛克克; 吴铖铖; 李大勇

    2011-01-01

    Piriformospora indica is one of recently found endophytic fungus in plants.This minireview summarizes the characteristics of P.indica, mutualistic interactions between P.indica and its host plants, biological functions and its action mechanisms of P.indica in plant growth/development and tolerance against biotic and abiotic stresses.%印度梨形孢(Piriformospora indica)是最近发现的一种植物根部内生真菌.本文简要综述了印度梨形孢的生物学性状、与植物的互作以及在促进植物生长发育、提高抗病抗逆能力的作用及其机制.

  2. Biological function and regulation of histone and non-histone lysine methylation in response to DNA damage

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yongcan Chen; Wei-Guo Zhu

    2016-01-01

    DNA damage response (DDR) signaling network is initiated to protect cells from various exogenous and endogenous damage resources.Timely and accurate regulation of DDR proteins is required for distinct DNA damage repair pathways.Post-translational modifications of histone and non-histone proteins play a vital role in the DDR factor foci formation and signaling pathway.Phosphorylation,ubiquitylation,SUMOylation,neddylation,poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation,acetylation,and methylation are all involved in the spatial-temporal regulation of DDR,among which phosphorylation and ubiquitylation are well studied.Studies in the past decade also revealed extensive roles of lysine methylation in response to DNA damage.Lysine methylation is finely regulated by plenty of lysine methyltransferases,lysine demethylases,and can be recognized by proteins with chromodomain,plant homeodomain,Tudor domain,malignant brain tumor domain,or prolinetryptophan-tryptophan-proline domain.In this review,we outline the dynamics and regulation of histone lysine methylation at canonical (H3K4,H3K9,H3K27,H3K36,H3K79,and H4K20) and non-canonical sites after DNA damage,and discuss their context-specific functions in DDR protein recruitment or extraction,chromatin environment establishment,and transcriptional regulation.We also present the emerging advances of lysine methylation in non-histone proteins during DDR.

  3. Biological Function of Acetic Acid-Improvement in Obesity and Glucose Tolerance by Acetic Acid in Type 2 Diabetic Rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamashita, Hiromi

    2016-07-29

    Fatty acids derived from adipose tissue are oxidized by β-oxidation to form ketone bodies as final products under the starving condition. Previously, we found that free acetic acid was formed concomitantly with the production of ketone bodies in isolated rat liver perfusion, and mitochondrial acetyl CoA hydrolase was appeared to be involved with the acetic acid production. It was revealed that acetic acid was formed as a final product of enhanced β-oxidation of fatty acids and utilized as a fuel in extrahepatic tissues under the starving condition. Under the fed condition, β-oxidation is suppressed and acetic acid production is decreased. When acetic acid was taken daily by obesity-linked type 2 diabetic Otsuka Long-Evans Tokushima Fatty (OLETF) rats under the fed condition, it protected OLETF rats against obesity. Furthermore, acetic acid contributed to protect from the accumulation of lipid in the liver as well as abdominal fat in OLETF rats. Transcripts of lipogenic genes in the liver were decreased, while transcripts of myoglobin and Glut4 genes in abdominal muscles were increased in the acetic acid-administered OLETF rats. It is indicated that exogenously administered acetic acid would have effects on lipid metabolism in both the liver and the skeletal muscles, and have function that works against obesity and obesity-linked type 2 diabetes.

  4. Microsatellite-encoded domain in rodent Sry functions as a genetic capacitor to enable the rapid evolution of biological novelty.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yen-Shan; Racca, Joseph D; Sequeira, Paul W; Phillips, Nelson B; Weiss, Michael A

    2013-08-13

    The male program of therian mammals is determined by Sry, a transcription factor encoded by the Y chromosome. Specific DNA binding is mediated by a high mobility group (HMG) box. Expression of Sry in the gonadal ridge activates a Sox9-dependent gene regulatory network leading to testis formation. A subset of Sry alleles in superfamily Muroidea (order Rodentia) is remarkable for insertion of an unstable DNA microsatellite, most commonly encoding (as in mice) a CAG repeat-associated glutamine-rich domain. We provide evidence, based on an embryonic pre-Sertoli cell line, that this domain functions at a threshold length as a genetic capacitor to facilitate accumulation of variation elsewhere in the protein, including the HMG box. The glutamine-rich domain compensates for otherwise deleterious substitutions in the box and absence of nonbox phosphorylation sites to ensure occupancy of DNA target sites. Such compensation enables activation of a male transcriptional program despite perturbations to the box. Whereas human SRY requires nucleocytoplasmic shuttling and coupled phosphorylation, mouse Sry contains a defective nuclear export signal analogous to a variant human SRY associated with inherited sex reversal. We propose that the rodent glutamine-rich domain has (i) fostered accumulation of cryptic intragenic variation and (ii) enabled unmasking of such variation due to DNA replicative slippage. This model highlights genomic contingency as a source of protein novelty at the edge of developmental ambiguity and may underlie emergence of non-Sry-dependent sex determination in the radiation of Muroidea.

  5. Dopamine functionalized-CdTe quantum dots as fluorescence probes for l-histidine detection in biological fluids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Fanping; Liu, Siyu; Su, Xingguang

    2014-07-01

    In this paper, we developed dopamine functionalized-CdTe quantum dots as fluorescence probes for the determination of l-histidine. Firstly, CdTe was covalently linked to dopamine to form a kind of fluorescence sensor with pyrocatechol structure on the surface. The photoluminescence intensity of CdTe-dopamine (QDs-DA) could be quenched by Ni(2+) due to the strong coordination interaction between the pyrocatechol structure of QDs-DA and Ni(2+). In the presence of l-histidine, Ni(2+) preferred to bind with l-histidine due to high affinity of Ni(2+) to l-histidine and the photoluminescence intensity of QDs-DA was recovered. The recovered photoluminescence intensity of QDs-DA was proportional to the concentration of l-histidine in the ranges of 1.0×10(-6)-1.0×10(-4)mol L(-1) and the detection limit was 5.0×10(-7)mol L(-1) respectively. The established method showed a good selectivity for l-histidine among other common amino acids, and it was applied for determination of l-histidine in human serum sample with satisfactory results.

  6. Transcriptional responses to loss or gain of function of the leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) gene uncover biological processes modulated by LRRK2 activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nikonova, Elena V.; Xiong, Yulan; Tanis, Keith Q.; Dawson, Valina L.; Vogel, Robert L.; Finney, Eva M.; Stone, David J.; Reynolds, Ian J.; Kern, Jonathan T.; Dawson, Ted M.

    2012-01-01

    Mutations in the leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 gene (LRRK2) are the most common genetic cause of Parkinson's disease (PD) and cause both autosomal dominant familial and sporadic PD. Currently, the physiological and pathogenic activities of LRRK2 are poorly understood. To decipher the biological functions of LRRK2, including the genes and pathways modulated by LRRK2 kinase activity in vivo, we assayed genome-wide mRNA expression in the brain and peripheral tissues from LRRK2 knockout (KO) and kinase hyperactive G2019S (G2019S) transgenic mice. Subtle but significant differences in mRNA expression were observed relative to wild-type (WT) controls in the cortex, striatum and kidney of KO animals, but only in the striatum in the G2019S model. In contrast, robust, consistent and highly significant differences were identified by the direct comparison of KO and G2019S profiles in the cortex, striatum, kidney and muscle, indicating opposite effects on mRNA expression by the two models relative to WT. Ribosomal and glycolytic biological functions were consistently and significantly up-regulated in LRRK2 G2019S compared with LRRK2 KO tissues. Genes involved in membrane-bound organelles, oxidative phosphorylation, mRNA processing and the endoplasmic reticulum were down-regulated in LRRK2 G2019S mice compared with KO. We confirmed the expression patterns of 35 LRRK2-regulated genes using quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. These findings provide the first description of the transcriptional responses to genetically modified LRRK2 activity and provide preclinical target engagement and/or pharmacodynamic biomarker strategies for LRRK2 and may inform future therapeutic strategies for LRRK2-associated PD. PMID:21972245

  7. ω-3不饱和脂肪酸的生物学作用%The biologic functions of ω-3unsatrated fatty acid

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    王利华; 霍贵成

    2001-01-01

    由于人们的膳食中饱和脂肪酸/多不饱和脂肪酸(S/P)及ω-6不饱和脂肪酸/ω-3不饱和脂肪酸的比例失调,使得心血管的发病率显著增加。正因为ω-3不饱和脂肪酸的摄入量相对不足,所以人们更加重视ω-3不饱和脂肪酸在脂肪酸促进胎儿和新生儿的大脑发育,抗肿瘤和炎性反应及降低冠心病、高血压、动脉粥样硬化、二型糖尿病等发病率的特殊作用,这些作用源于ω-3的某些生物学作用。本文阐述ω-3功能活性的生物学作用基础%Since the ratio of saturated fatty acid/polyunsaturated fatty acid and ω-6/ω-3 is serious imbalance, the incidence of cardiovascular disorder increases significantly. While ω-3 unsaturated fatty acids are relative inadequate to ω-6 unsaturated fatty acid, so they are paid close attention to promote brain growth of fetus and neonate, and be a inhibitor of tumor, inflammatory, coronary heart diseases, atherogensis, hypertension diabetic I and so on, all these are the action of ω-3 unsaturated fatty acid biologic functions. The review illustrates the biologic basis of its functions.

  8. Acrylamide-functionalized graphene micro-solid-phase extraction coupled to high-performance liquid chromatography for the online analysis of trace monoamine acidic metabolites in biological samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Xiaoting; Hu, Yufei; Li, Gongke; Zhang, Zhuomin

    2015-05-01

    Monoamine acidic metabolites in biological samples are essential biomarkers for the diagnosis of neurological disorders. In this work, acrylamide-functionalized graphene adsorbent was successfully synthesized by a chemical functionalization method and was packed in a homemade polyether ether ketone micro column as a micro-solid-phase extraction unit. This micro-solid-phase extraction unit was directly coupled to high-performance liquid chromatography to form an online system for the separation and analysis of three monoamine acidic metabolites including homovanillic acid, 5-hydroxyindole-3-acetic acid, and 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid in human urine and plasma. The online system showed high stability, permeability, and adsorption capacity toward target metabolites. The saturated extraction amount of this online system was 213.1, 107.0, and 153.4 ng for homovanillic acid, 5-hydroxyindole-3-acetic acid, and 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid, respectively. Excellent detection limits were achieved in the range of 0.08-0.25 μg/L with good linearity and reproducibility. It was interesting that three targets in urine and plasma could be actually quantified to be 0.94-3.93 μg/L in plasma and 7.15-19.38 μg/L in urine. Good recoveries were achieved as 84.8-101.4% for urine and 77.8-95.1% for plasma with the intra- and interday relative standard deviations less than 9.3 and 10.3%, respectively. This method shows great potential for online analysis of trace monoamine acidic metabolites in biological samples.

  9. Equol:Generation, Biological Functions and Its Application%雌马酚的产生、生物学功能及潜在应用

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李燕; 蒋守群; 陈伟

    2014-01-01

    Equol is one of metabolites of soy isoflavones in the animal’ s intestines under the action of microbi-al flora. It is reported that equol has higher biological activity than soy isoflavones. Expect for its hormone-like effect, equol also has antioxidative, immune regulatory and healthcare functions. Some studies showed that equol could improve meat quality and ease the effects of oxidative stress. This review mainly summarized latest development in the following aspects: its physical and chemical properties, production and metabolism, its generate influencing factors, biological functions and potential application, aiming at providing scientific base-ment for its application in livestock and poultry.%雌马酚( equol)是大豆异黄酮在动物肠道微生物菌群作用下的代谢产物之一,具有比大豆异黄酮更高的生物学活性。除了激素样作用外,雌马酚还具有抗氧化、免疫调控及保健功能,在畜禽上的研究表明其具有改善肉品质、缓解氧化应激的作用。本文主要从雌马酚的理化性质、产生与代谢、影响生成的因素、生物学功能及应用等方面来综述,旨在为雌马酚在畜禽上的科学应用提供思路。

  10. Letrozole-induced functional changes in carcinoma-associated fibroblasts and their influence on breast cancer cell biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Kaifu; Kang, Hua; Wang, Yajun; Hai, Tao; Rong, Guohua; Sun, Haichen

    2016-07-01

    Accumulating evidence suggests that carcinoma-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) influence the efficacy of endocrine therapy. Aromatase inhibitors inhibit the growth of breast tumors by inhibiting the synthesis of estrogen. However, it remains unknown whether the aromatase inhibitor letrozole has an additional impact on CAFs, which further influence the efficacy of endocrine therapy. Primary CAFs were isolated from primary estrogen receptor-positive human breast tumors. Estrogen-deprived culture medium was used to exclude the influence of steroids. In co-culture, primary cultured CAFs increased MCF7 cell adhesion, invasion, migration and proliferation, and letrozole treatment inhibited these increases, except for the increase in proliferation. In total, 258 up-regulated genes and 47 down-regulated genes with an absolute fold change >2 were identified in CAFs co-cultured with MCF7 cell after letrozole treatment. One up-regulated genes (POSTN) and seven down-regulated genes (CCL2, CCL5, CXCL1, IL-8, CXCL5, LEP and NGF) were further validated by real-time PCR. The changes in CCL2 and CXCL1 expression were further confirmed using an automated microscopic imaging-based, high content analysis platform. Although the results need further functional validation, this study is the first to describe the differential tumor-promoting phenotype of CAFs induced by letrozole and the associated gene expression alterations. Most importantly, our data revealed that down-regulation of several secreted factors (CCL2, CCL5, CXCL1 etc.) in CAFs might be partially responsible for the efficacy of letrozole.

  11. 组蛋白的生物素酰化修饰%The biological functions of histone biotinylation

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    王燕飞; 鲍宝龙

    2011-01-01

    Histories are subject to a wide variety of posttranslational modifications. Histone biotinylation, covalent binding of the vitamin biotin to lysine residues in histones, is a novel posttranslational modification. Evidence has been provided that biotinylation of histones plays a role in cell proliferation, gene silencing and cellular response to DNA damage. In this paper, we reviewed biotin metabolism, the mechanism of histone biotinylated by holocarbonxylase synthesis and the physiologic function of histone biotinylation. Finally, several issues relevant to histone biotinylation were discussed.%组蛋白修饰对基因表达的表现遗传学调控起着重要作用.组蛋白生物素酰化修饰是近年来新发现的一种组蛋白修饰,具有重要的生物学功能.有i证据表明组蛋白生物素酰化在细胞增殖、DNA修复、维持基因组稳定等方面发挥作用.组蛋白的生物素酰化修饰是由羧化全酶合成酶与组蛋白直接相互作用的结果.本文主要介绍了组蛋白生物素酰化发现的过程,并对近年来在组蛋白生物素酰化催化机制和组蛋白生物素酰化功能方面的研究进展进行了综述,最后对组蛋白生物素酰化研究领域存在的问题进行了探讨.

  12. Temporal dynamics of spectral bioindicators evidence biological and ecological differences among functional types in a cork oak open woodland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cerasoli, Sofia; Costa e Silva, Filipe; Silva, João M. N.

    2016-06-01

    The application of spectral vegetation indices for the purpose of vegetation monitoring and modeling increased largely in recent years. Nonetheless, the interpretation of biophysical properties of vegetation through their spectral signature is still a challenging task. This is particularly true in Mediterranean oak forest characterized by a high spatial and temporal heterogeneity. In this study, the temporal dynamics of vegetation indices expected to be related with green biomass and photosynthetic efficiency were compared for the canopy of trees, the herbaceous layer, and two shrub species: cistus ( Cistus salviifolius) and ulex ( Ulex airensis). coexisting in a cork oak woodland. All indices were calculated from in situ measurements with a FieldSpec3 spectroradiometer (ASD Inc., Boulder, USA). Large differences emerged in the temporal trends and in the correlation between climate and vegetation indices. The relationship between spectral indices and temperature, radiation, and vapor pressure deficit for cork oak was opposite to that observed for the herbaceous layer and cistus. No correlation was observed between rainfall and vegetation indices in cork oak and ulex, but in the herbaceous layer and in the cistus, significant correlations were found. The analysis of spectral vegetation indices with fraction of absorbed PAR (fPAR) and quantum yield of chlorophyll fluorescence ( ΔF/ Fm') evidenced strongest relationships with the indices Normalized Difference Water Index (NDWI) and Photochemical Reflectance Index (PRI)512, respectively. Our results, while confirms the ability of spectral vegetation indices to represent temporal dynamics of biophysical properties of vegetation, evidence the importance to consider ecosystem composition for a correct ecological interpretation of results when the spatial resolution of observations includes different plant functional types.

  13. Investigations on biological functions of heat shock transcription factor 1 (HSF1) using a gene knock out mouse model

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2001-01-01

    HSF1 is the major heat shock transcription factor that binds heat shock element (HSE) in the promoter of heat shock proteins (HSPs) and controls rapid HSP induction in cells subjected to various stresses such as elevated temperature, chemicals, or exposure to toxins. Although at least four members of the vertebrate HSF have been cloned, details of their individual physiological roles remain relatively obscure. To clarify the exact in vivo functions of HSF1 and assess whether HSF1 exhibits redundant or unique roles, we have created homozygous Hsf1-/- mice using standard gene targeting techniques and isolated Hsf1-/- embryonic fibroblasts. Here we demonstrate that heat shock response (HSR) was not attainable in Hsf1-/- embryonic fibroblasts, and this response was required for thermotolerance and protection against heat-induced apoptosis, and that homozygous Hsf1-/- mice, which survived to adulthood according to genetic background, exhibited multiple phenotypes including: (1) placental defects that reduced embryonic viability after late midgestation (day 13.5); (2) growth retardation; (3) female infertility caused by preimplantation lethality, and (4) increased mortality (+/+ vs -/-, P<0.05) and exaggerated production of proinflammatory cytokine, TNF α (+/- vs -/-, P<0.05) after endotoxin challenge. Interestingly, although Hsf1-/- mice exhibited placental defects and embryonic death, basal HSP expression is not appreciably altered during embryonic development by the HSF1 null mutation, suggesting this factor might be involved in regulating some non-HSP genes or signaling pathways which may be important for development. Taken together, our results established direct causal effects for the HSF1 transactivator in regulating diverse physiological and pathophysiological conditions such as developnent, growth, reproduction, apoptosis and sepsis. The present work also provided a useful mammalian model for further investigating the implications of Hsf1 and its target

  14. Biological effects of combined inactivation of plasminogen activator and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 gene function in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lijnen, H R; Moons, L; Beelen, V; Carmelie, P; Collen, D

    1995-10-01

    Mice with combined homozygous deficiency of tissue-type plasminogen activator (t-PA) and urokinase-type plasminogen activator (u-PA) (T-U-), of t-PA and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) (T-P-), of u-PA and PAI-1 (U-P-) or of t-PA, u-PA, and PAI-1 (T-U-P-) were generated by inbreeding of mice with the respective deficiencies. Homologous recombination at the t-PA, u-PA and PAI-1 locus was verified by Southern blot analysis of genomic tail tip DNA, and confirmed by measurement of antigen levels in plasma or urine. T-P- and U-P- mice were apparently healthy and fertile. T-U- mice showed extensive fibrin deposition with calcification in the liver, whereas T-U-P- mice were significantly (p measured 4 h after injection of a 125I-fibrin-labeled clot prepared from plasma of wild-type (WT) mice into the jugular vein, was (mean +/- SEM of n experiments) 2 +/- 1% (n = 8) for T-P-, 49 +/- 6% (n = 9) for U-P-, 1 +/- 1% (n = 4) for T-U- and 3 +/- 3% (n = 3) for T-U-P- mice, as compared to 32 +/- 4% (n = 10) for WT, 1 +/- 0% (n = 7) for T-, 30 +/- 5% (n = 5) for U- and 58 +/- 10% (n = 6) for P- mice. Plasminogen-dependent lysis of 125I-fibrin-labeled matrix and of 3H-proline-labeled subendothelial matrix (mean +/- SEM; n = 4 to 6) was lower with thioglycollate-stimulated macrophages obtained from U-P- mice (22 +/- 7% and 5 +/- 1%, respectively), as compared to WT mice (57 +/- 14% and 18 +/- 5%, respectively) and T-P- mice (87 +/- 6% and 27 +/- 4%, respectively). A similar decrease was previously observed with U- mice, but not with T- or P- mice. Thus, the phenotype of mice with combined deficiency of t-PA and PAI-1 or of u-PA and PAI-1 is similar to the phenotype observed in mice with single deficiency of the plasminogen activator. Additional deletion of PAI-1 does not affect viability, fertility, macrophage function or thrombolytic potential of the single deficient mice. Additional deletion of PAI in mice with combined deficiency of t-PA and u-PA does not restore the

  15. The lumen-facing domain is important for the biological function and organelle-to-organelle movement of bZIP28 during ER stress in Arabidopsis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Le; Lu, Sun-Jie; Zhang, Shuang-Shuang; Zhou, Shun-Fan; Sun, Ling; Liu, Jian-Xiang

    2013-09-01

    The membrane-associated transcription factor, bZIP28, is relocated from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) to the Golgi and proteolytically released from the membrane mediated by two proteases, S1P and S2P, in response to ER stress in Arabidopsis. The activated N-terminal domain recruits nuclear factor Y (NF-Y) subunits in the nucleus to regulate ER stress downstream genes. Little is known about the functions of the bZIP28 C-terminal lumen-facing domain. Here, we provide novel insights into how the ER lumen-facing domain affects the biological function and organelle-to-organelle movement of bZIP28 in the ER stress response. First, we demonstrated the functional redundancy of bZIP28 and bZIP60 by generation and analysis of the bZIP28 and bZIP60 double mutant zip28zip60. Subsequent genetic complementation experiments in zip28zip60 background with deletions on bZIP28 lumen-facing domain highlighted the importance of lumen-facing domain for its in vivo function of bZIP28 in the ER stress response. The protein subcellular localization and Western blotting results further revealed that the bZIP28 lumen-facing domain contains ER retention signal which is important for the proteolytic activation of bZIP28. Thus, the bZIP28 lumen-facing C-terminus plays important roles in the ER-to-Golgi movement of bZIP28, which may contribute to the sensing of the ER stress.

  16. Logical impossibilities in biological networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Monendra Grover

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Biological networks are complex and involve several kinds of molecules. For proper biological function it is important for these biomolecules to act at an individual level and act at the level of interaction of these molecules. In this paper some of the logical impossibilities that may arise in the biological networks and their possible solutions are discussed. It may be important to understand these paradoxes and their possible solutions in order to develop a holistic view of biological function.

  17. Breeding biology of muscovy duck (Cairina moschata) under natural incubation: the use of the weibull function and a beta-binomial model to predict nest hatchability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harun; Draisma; Frankena; Veeneklaas; Van Kampen M

    1999-05-07

    In this paper we tested the Weibull function and beta-binomial distribution to analyse and predict nest hatchability, using empirical data on hatchability in Muscovy duck (Cairina moschata) eggs under natural incubation (932 successfully incubated nests and 11 822 eggs). The estimated parameters of the Weibull function and beta-binomial model were compared with the logistic regression analysis. The maximum likelihood estimation of the parameters was used to quantify simultaneously the influence of the nesting behaviour and the duration of the reproduction cycle on hatchability. The estimated parameters showed that the hatchability was not affected in natural dump nests, but in artificial dump nests and in nests with non-term eggs the hatchability was reduced by 10 and 25%, respectively. Similar results were obtained using logistic regression. Both models provided a satisfactory description of the observed data set, but the beta-binomial model proved to have more parameters with practical and biological meaningful interpretations, because this model is able to quantify and incorporate the unexplained variation in a single parameter theta (which is a variance measure). Copyright 1999 Academic Press.

  18. Biological Activity of Coconut Oil:Medicinal Functions%椰子油的生理活性(I):药用功能

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    邓福明; 王挥; 赵松林; 陈卫军

    2013-01-01

    Coconut oil (CO) is a new kind of functional vegetable oil and very popular in the foreign market, which has a lot of biological function including antimicrobial, antioxidant, falling hematic fat and cholesterol, which has large market potential. At present, coconut oil market is almost a blank in China, some companies are grabbing market. This paper introduced detailedly the medicinal properties of CO in antibiosis, anti-virus, anti-inflammation and analgesia, protect the prostate gland, and the safety of the using, in order to provide theoretical basis for the development and application of the coconut oil.%椰子油是近年来国外市场非常流行的一种新型功能性植物油脂,具有抗菌、抗氧化、降血脂和胆固醇等多种生理功能,市场潜力巨大。目前,国内椰子油市场几乎空白,部分企业正纷纷抢占市场。本文详细介绍椰子油的抗菌、抗病毒、消炎镇痛、保护前列腺等药用功能及使用安全性,为椰子油的开发和应用提供一定的理论依据。

  19. Biological Assessment of Aquaculture Effects on Effluent-Receiving Streams in Ghana Using Structural and Functional Composition of Fish and Macroinvertebrate Assemblages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ansah, Yaw Boamah; Frimpong, Emmanuel A.; Amisah, Stephen

    2012-07-01

    Biological assessment of aquatic ecosystems is widely employed as an alternative or complement to chemical and toxicity testing due to numerous advantages of using biota to determine ecosystem condition. These advantages, especially to developing countries, include the relatively low cost and technical requirements. This study was conducted to determine the biological impacts of aquaculture operations on effluent-receiving streams in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. We collected water, fish and benthic macroinvertebrate samples from 12 aquaculture effluent-receiving streams upstream and downstream of fish farms and 12 reference streams between May and August of 2009, and then calculated structural and functional metrics for biotic assemblages. Fish species with non-guarding mode of reproduction were more abundant in reference streams than downstream ( P = 0.0214) and upstream ( P = 0.0251), and sand-detritus spawning fish were less predominant in reference stream than upstream ( P = 0.0222) and marginally less in downstream locations ( P = 0.0539). A possible subsidy-stress response of macroinvertebrate family richness and abundance was also observed, with nutrient (nitrogen) augmentation from aquaculture and other farming activities likely. Generally, there were no, or only marginal differences among locations downstream and upstream of fish farms and in reference streams in terms of several other biotic metrics considered. Therefore, the scale of impact in the future will depend not only on the management of nutrient augmentation from pond effluents, but also on the consideration of nutrient discharges from other industries like fruit and vegetable farming within the study area.

  20. Plant Allergic Proteins and Their Biological Functions%植物过敏性蛋白质及其生物学功能

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李东栋; 何韶衡

    2003-01-01

    Pollen, fruit and latex in plants can induce allergic diseases like rhinitis, asthma and hay fever. These are classfied into inhalent allergens, ingestent allergens and contactent allergens. Recent research showed that these plant allergens are responsible for specific and vital biological function for plants too. Studies on those allergenic proteins will be beneficial for immunotherapy and botanic research. Currently, research on the plant allergens and their related allergic diseases is setting up a novel and cross-subjects field involving plant molecular biology, immunology and allergy.%在引起I型超敏反应的变应原中, 植物的花粉、果实和汁液可以分别作为吸入性变应原(inhalent allergen)、食入性变应原(ingestent allergen)、接触性变应原(contactent allergen)使过敏者患上鼻炎、哮喘、枯草热等疾病.而其中引起这些超敏反应的植物类蛋白质本身在植物体内亦行使着特定的生物学功能.对这些植物类过敏性蛋白质的研究不仅在植物学本身研究中具有一定意义, 同时在变态反应性疾病的免疫治疗中亦具有重要的应用价值.目前, 这类涉及植物学、免疫学和变态反应学的研究逐渐形成了一个新的交叉研究领域.

  1. In vitro cell-biological performance and structural characterization of selective laser sintered and plasma surface functionalized polycaprolactone scaffolds for bone regeneration

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Van Bael, Simon, E-mail: simon.vanbael@mech.kuleuven.be [Department of Mechanical Engineering, Division of Production Engineering, Machine Design and Automation, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Celestijnenlaan 300b, 3001 Leuven (Belgium); Department of Mechanical Engineering, Division of Biomechanics and Engineering Design, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Celestijnenlaan 300c, bus 2419, 3001 Heverlee (Belgium); Prometheus, Division of Skeletal Tissue Engineering, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, O and N 1, Herestraat 49, bus 813, 3000 Leuven (Belgium); Desmet, Tim [Polymer Chemistry and Biomaterials Research Group, Ghent University, Krijgslaan 281 S4 Bis, Ghent, 9000 (Belgium); Research Unit Plasma Technology (RUPT), Department of Applied Physics, Faculty of Engineering, Ghent University, Jozef Plateaustraat 22, 9000 Ghent (Belgium); Chai, Yoke Chin [Prometheus, Division of Skeletal Tissue Engineering, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, O and N 1, Herestraat 49, bus 813, 3000 Leuven (Belgium); Pyka, Gregory [Prometheus, Division of Skeletal Tissue Engineering, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, O and N 1, Herestraat 49, bus 813, 3000 Leuven (Belgium); Department of Metallurgy and Materials Engineering, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Kasteelpark Arenberg 44, bus 2450, 3001 Leuven (Belgium); Dubruel, Peter [Polymer Chemistry and Biomaterials Research Group, Ghent University, Krijgslaan 281 S4 Bis, Ghent, 9000 (Belgium); Research Unit Plasma Technology (RUPT), Department of Applied Physics, Faculty of Engineering, Ghent University, Jozef Plateaustraat 22, 9000 Ghent (Belgium); Kruth, Jean-Pierre [Department of Mechanical Engineering, Division of Production Engineering, Machine Design and Automation, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Celestijnenlaan 300b, 3001 Leuven (Belgium); Schrooten, Jan [Prometheus, Division of Skeletal Tissue Engineering, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, O and N 1, Herestraat 49, bus 813, 3000 Leuven (Belgium)

    2013-08-01

    In the present study a structural characterization and in vitro cell-biological evaluation was performed on polycaprolactone (PCL) scaffolds that were produced by the additive manufacturing technique selective laser sintering (SLS), followed by a plasma-based surface modification technique, either non-thermal oxygen plasma or double protein coating, to functionalize the PCL scaffold surfaces. In the first part of this study pore morphology by means of 2D optical microscopy, surface chemistry by means of hydrophilicity measurement and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, strut surface roughness by means of 3D micro-computed tomography (CT) imaging and scaffold mechanical properties by means of compression testing were evaluated before and after the surface modifications. The results showed that both surface modifications increased the PCL scaffold hydrophilicity without altering the morphological and mechanical properties. In the second part of this study the in vitro cell proliferation and differentiation of human osteoprogenitor cells, over 14 days of culture in osteogenic and growth medium were investigated. The O{sub 2} plasma modification gave rise to a significant lower in vitro cell proliferation compared to the untreated and double protein coated scaffolds. Furthermore the double protein coating increased in vitro cell metabolic activity and cell differentiation compared to the untreated and O{sub 2} plasma PCL scaffolds when OM was used. - Highlights: • Polycaprolactone scaffolds are produced with selective laser sintering. • 2 types of plasma based surface functionalization were applied. • Plasma had no significant effect on strut roughness and pore morphology. • Plasma improved surface hydrophilicity. • In vitro cell differentiation increased with plasma protein coated functionalization.

  2. Evaluation of the persistence of functional and biological respiratory health effects in clean-up workers 6 years after the prestige oil spill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zock, Jan-Paul; Rodríguez-Trigo, Gema; Rodríguez-Rodríguez, Emma; Souto-Alonso, Ana; Espinosa, Ana; Pozo-Rodríguez, Francisco; Gómez, Federico P; Fuster, Carme; Castaño-Vinyals, Gemma; Antó, Josep Maria; Barberà, Joan Albert

    2014-01-01

    Fishermen who had participated in clean-up activities of the Prestige oil spill showed increased bronchial responsiveness and higher levels of respiratory biomarkers 2 years later. We aimed to evaluate the persistence of these functional and biological respiratory health effects 6 years after clean-up work. In 2008/2009 a follow-up study was done in 230 never-smoking fishermen who had been exposed to clean-up work in 2002/2003 and 87 non-exposed fishermen. Lung function and bronchial responsiveness testing and the determination of respiratory biomarkers in exhaled breath condensate were done identically as in the baseline survey in 2004/2005. Associations between participation in clean-up work and respiratory health parameters were assessed using linear and logistic regression analyses adjusting for sex and age. Information from 158 exposed (69%) and 57 non-exposed (66%) fishermen was obtained. Loss to follow-up in the non-exposed was characterised by less respiratory symptoms at baseline. During the 4-year follow-up period lung function, bronchial hyperresponsiveness and the levels of respiratory biomarkers of oxidative stress and growth factors had deteriorated notably more among non-exposed than among exposed. At follow-up, respiratory health indices were similar or better in clean-up workers than in non-exposed. No clear differences between highly exposed and moderately exposed clean-up workers were found. In conclusion, we could not detect long-term respiratory health effects in clean-up workers 6 years after the Prestige oil spill. Methodological issues that need to be considered in this type of studies include the choice of a non-exposed control group and limitation of follow-up to subgroups such as never smokers.

  3. Biological computation

    CERN Document Server

    Lamm, Ehud

    2011-01-01

    Introduction and Biological BackgroundBiological ComputationThe Influence of Biology on Mathematics-Historical ExamplesBiological IntroductionModels and Simulations Cellular Automata Biological BackgroundThe Game of Life General Definition of Cellular Automata One-Dimensional AutomataExamples of Cellular AutomataComparison with a Continuous Mathematical Model Computational UniversalitySelf-Replication Pseudo Code Evolutionary ComputationEvolutionary Biology and Evolutionary ComputationGenetic AlgorithmsExample ApplicationsAnalysis of the Behavior of Genetic AlgorithmsLamarckian Evolution Genet

  4. 植物提取物的生物学功能及其作用机理%Biological Functions of Plant Extracts and Its Mechanisms

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    甘利平; 杨维仁; 张崇玉; 张桂国

    2015-01-01

    Plant extracts are a kind of plant-derived active materials, which exert one or multiple biological functions such as growth promotion, antioxidant, antivirus, and immunological enhancement etc, when ap-plied into animal feeding. Based on the diversity of chemical structure, plant extracts exhibited multifarious act-ing mechanisms referring to the modulation of antioxidant enzymes, sterilization of pathogenic bacteria, media-tion of signaling pathways, defaunation, and inhibition of the methanobacteria proliferation, etc. This paper summarized the biological functions and its mechanisms of plant extracts, as well as the actual application effects in practice so as to provide a reference for further study in this field.%植物提取物是指一类来源于植物的,具有一种或多种生物学功能的活性物质,添加在饲料中能起到促生长、抗氧化、抗病毒、免疫增强等多种功能,且在畜产品中无残留,动物体内不易产生病原菌的抗药性. 由于植物提取物种类的多样性,其生物学活性的作用机制也不尽相同,这其中包括对体内抗氧化酶在转录和翻译水平的调控、病原菌表面受体结合与穿透融和、介导免疫细胞信号通路、去瘤胃原虫作用、减少甲烷菌的增殖等多个方面. 本文综述了当前对植物提取物的种类、生物学功能及作用机理的研究,为今后在此领域开展更深入的研究提供参考.

  5. Bioinspired materials: Boosting plant biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scholes, Gregory D.; Sargent, Edward H.

    2014-04-01

    Chloroplasts with extended photosynthetic activity beyond the visible absorption spectrum, and living leaves that perform non-biological functions, are made possible by localizing nanoparticles within plant organelles.

  6. Biological apatite (BAp) crystallographic orientation and texture as a new index for assessing the microstructure and function of bone regenerated by tissue engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakano, Takayoshi; Kaibara, Kazuhiro; Ishimoto, Takuya; Tabata, Yasuhiko; Umakoshi, Yukichi

    2012-10-01

    Recently, there have been remarkable advances in medical techniques for regenerating bone defects. To determine the degree of bone regeneration, it is essential to develop a new method that can analyze microstructure and related mechanical function. Here, quantitative analysis of the orientation distribution of biological apatite (BAp) crystallites by a microbeam X-ray diffractometer system is proposed as a new index of bone quality for the evaluation of regenerated bone microstructure. Preferential alignment of the BAp c-axis in the rabbit ulna and skull bone, regenerated by controlled release of basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) was investigated. The BAp c-axis orientation was evaluated by the relative intensity between the (002) and (310) diffraction peaks, or the three-dimensional texture for the (002) peak. It was found that new bone in the defects was initially produced without preferential alignment of the BAp c-axis, and subsequently reproduced to recover towards the original alignment. In other words, the BAp density recovered prior to the BAp orientation. Perfect recovery of BAp alignment was not achieved in the ulna and skull defects after 4 weeks and 12 weeks, respectively. Apparent recovery of the macroscopic shape and bio-mineralization of BAp was almost complete in the ulna defect after 4 weeks. However, an additional 2 weeks was required for complete repair of BAp orientation. It is finally concluded that orientation distribution of BAp crystallites offers an effective means of evaluating the degree of microstructural regeneration, and also the related mechanical function, in regenerated hard tissues.

  7. Taxonomic precision of different hypervariable regions of 16S rRNA gene and annotation methods for functional bacterial groups in biological wastewater treatment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Feng Guo

    Full Text Available High throughput sequencing of 16S rRNA gene leads us into a deeper understanding on bacterial diversity for complex environmental samples, but introduces blurring due to the relatively low taxonomic capability of short read. For wastewater treatment plant, only those functional bacterial genera categorized as nutrient remediators, bulk/foaming species, and potential pathogens are significant to biological wastewater treatment and environmental impacts. Precise taxonomic assignment of these bacteria at least at genus level is important for microbial ecological research and routine wastewater treatment monitoring. Therefore, the focus of this study was to evaluate the taxonomic precisions of different ribosomal RNA (rRNA gene hypervariable regions generated from a mix activated sludge sample. In addition, three commonly used classification methods including RDP Classifier, BLAST-based best-hit annotation, and the lowest common ancestor annotation by MEGAN were evaluated by comparing their consistency. Under an unsupervised way, analysis of consistency among different classification methods suggests there are no hypervariable regions with good taxonomic coverage for all genera. Taxonomic assignment based on certain regions of the 16S rRNA genes, e.g. the V1&V2 regions - provide fairly consistent taxonomic assignment for a relatively wide range of genera. Hence, it is recommended to use these regions for studying functional groups in activated sludge. Moreover, the inconsistency among methods also demonstrated that a specific method might not be suitable for identification of some bacterial genera using certain 16S rRNA gene regions. As a general rule, drawing conclusions based only on one sequencing region and one classification method should be avoided due to the potential false negative results.

  8. 微藻的生物活性物质及其功能%Biologically active compounds from microalgae and its health function

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    卢仡; 林红华; 柯群

    2011-01-01

    Microalgae are a biochemically diverse assemblage of microorganisms amenable to fermentation and mass culture.Most of these microalgae species produce unique products like carotenoids,antioxidants,fatty acids, enzymes,polymers,peptides,toxins and sterols.Microalgae might become economic sources of new drugs,other specialty chemicals and functional foods because production can be optimized in controlled culture. This paper introduced the biologically active compounds from microalgae and its health function, studies of microalgae in human nutrition and new trends in microalgae food,researched on microalgal health food,and the development of information was provided.%微藻是适于发酵和生物培养的一种微生物生化组合.大多数微藻产生特有的生物活性物质,如类胡萝卜素、抗氧化剂、脂肪酸、酶类、聚合物、肽类、毒素和甾醇.由于微藻可以控制、优化培养条件,将能成为新的药品、特种化学品和功能食品的经济资源.本文对微藻的生物活性物质及其保健功能、微藻与人类营养方面的研究以及微藻食品的新发展做了较全面的介绍,以期时微藻保健食品的研究、开发提供有益的参考.

  9. Blood flow-restricted strength training displays high functional and biological efficacy in women: a within-subject comparison with high-load strength training.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellefsen, Stian; Hammarström, Daniel; Strand, Tor A; Zacharoff, Erika; Whist, Jon E; Rauk, Irene; Nygaard, Håvard; Vegge, Geir; Hanestadhaugen, Marita; Wernbom, Mathias; Cumming, Kristoffer T; Rønning, Roar; Raastad, Truls; Rønnestad, Bent R

    2015-10-01

    Limited data exist on the efficacy of low-load blood flow-restricted strength training (BFR), as compared directly to heavy-load strength training (HST). Here, we show that 12 wk of twice-a-week unilateral BFR [30% of one repetition maximum (1RM) to exhaustion] and HST (6-10RM) of knee extensors provide similar increases in 1RM knee extension and cross-sectional area of distal parts of musculus quadriceps femoris in nine untrained women (age 22 ± 1 yr). The two protocols resulted in similar acute increases in serum levels of human growth hormone. On the cellular level, 12 wk of BFR and HST resulted in similar shifts in muscle fiber composition in musculus vastus lateralis, evident as increased MyHC2A proportions and decreased MyHC2X proportions. They also resulted in similar changes of the expression of 29 genes involved in skeletal muscle function, measured both in a rested state following 12 wk of training and subsequent to singular training sessions. Training had no effect on myonuclei proportions. Of particular interest, 1) gross adaptations to BFR and HST were greater in individuals with higher proportions of type 2 fibers, 2) both BFR and HST resulted in approximately four-fold increases in the expression of the novel exercise-responsive gene Syndecan-4, and 3) BFR provided lesser hypertrophy than HST in the proximal half of musculus quadriceps femoris and also in CSApeak, potentially being a consequence of pressure from the tourniquet utilized to achieve blood flow restriction. In conclusion, BFR and HST of knee extensors resulted in similar adaptations in functional, physiological, and cell biological parameters in untrained women.

  10. [Methylglyoxal--a test for impaired biological functions of exotrophy and endoecology, low glucose level in the cytosol and gluconeogenesis from fatty acids (a lecture)].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Titov, V N; Dmitriev, L F; Krylin, V A; Dmitriev, V A

    2010-03-01

    In philogenesis, due to the failure to store a great deal of carbohydrates in vivo as glycogen, all animal species began synthesizing from glucose palminitic fatty acid and depositing it as triglycerides. During biological dysfunction of exotrophy (long starvation, early postnatality, hibernation), cells also accomplish a reverse synthesis of glucose from fatty acids under aerobic conditions. Under physiological conditions, acetyl-CoA that is converted to malate and pyruvate in the glyoxalate cycle is a substrate of glyconeogenesis. Under pathological conditions of hypoxia and deficiency of macroerges, gluconeogenesis occurs without ATP consumption through the methylglyoxal pathway when used as a substrate of ketone bodies via the pathway: butyric acid (butyrate) --> beta-hydroxybutyrate --> acetoacetate --> acetone --> acetol --> methylglyoxal --> S-D-lactol-glutathione --> D-lactate --> pyruvate --> D-lactate. Under physiological conditions, this gluconeogenesis pathway does not function. We believe that with low glucose levels in the cell cytosole (glycopenia), under pathological conditions of hypoxia and due to failure to mitochondria to oxidize fatty acids, gene expression and gluconeogenesis occur through the methylglyoxal pathway. At the same time, the cytosol, intercellular environment, and plasma shows the elevated levels of methylglyoxal and D-lactate that it is converted to by the action of glyoxalases I and II. Under pathological conditions, glycopenia develops in starvation, diabetes, and metabolic acidosis, neoplasms, renal failure, and possibly, metabolic syndrome. The chemical interaction of methylglyoxal with the amino acid residues of lysine and arginine results in the denaturation of circulating and structurized proteins via carbonylation--glycosylation.

  11. Open questions in origin of life: experimental studies on the origin of nucleic acids and proteins with specific and functional sequences by a chemical synthetic biology approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adamala, Katarzyna; Anella, Fabrizio; Wieczorek, Rafal; Stano, Pasquale; Chiarabelli, Cristiano; Luisi, Pier Luigi

    2014-01-01

    In this mini-review we present some experimental approaches to the important issue in the origin of life, namely the origin of nucleic acids and proteins with specific and functional sequences. The formation of macromolecules on prebiotic Earth faces practical and conceptual difficulties. From the chemical viewpoint, macromolecules are formed by chemical pathways leading to the condensation of building blocks (amino acids, or nucleotides) in long-chain copolymers (proteins and nucleic acids, respectively). The second difficulty deals with a conceptual problem, namely with the emergence of specific sequences among a vast array of possible ones, the huge "sequence space", leading to the question "why these macromolecules, and not the others?" We have recently addressed these questions by using a chemical synthetic biology approach. In particular, we have tested the catalytic activity of small peptides, like Ser-His, with respect to peptide- and nucleotides-condensation, as a realistic model of primitive organocatalysis. We have also set up a strategy for exploring the sequence space of random proteins and RNAs (the so-called "never born biopolymer" project) with respect to the production of folded structures. Being still far from solved, the main aspects of these "open questions" are discussed here, by commenting on recent results obtained in our groups and by providing a unifying view on the problem and possible solutions. In particular, we propose a general scenario for macromolecule formation via fragment-condensation, as a scheme for the emergence of specific sequences based on molecular growth and selection.

  12. Red wine consumption may affect sperm biology: the effects of different concentrations of the phytoestrogen myricetin on human male gamete function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aquila, Saveria; Santoro, Marta; De Amicis, Francesca; Guido, Carmela; Bonofiglio, Daniela; Lanzino, Marilena; Cesario, Maria Grazia; Perrotta, Ida; Sisci, Diego; Morelli, Catia

    2013-02-01

    Myricetin is a natural flavonoid, particularly enriched in red wines, whose occurrence is widespread among plants. Despite extensive research, the beneficial effects of Myricetin on human health are still controversial. Here, we tested the estrogen-like effect of the phytoestrogen Myricetin on human ejaculated sperm biology. To this aim, human normozoospermic samples were exposed to increasing concentrations (10 nM, 100 nM, and 1 µM) of Myricetin. Motility, viability, capacitation-associated biochemical changes (i.e., cholesterol efflux and tyrosine phosphorylation), acrosin activity, as well as glucose utilization and fatty-acid oxidation (i.e., glucose and lipid metabolism) were all significantly increased by low doses of Myricetin. Importantly, both estrogen receptors α and β (ERs) and phosphatidylinositol-3-OH kinase (PI3K)/AKT signaling are activated in the presence of Myricetin since these were both abrogated by specific inhibitors of each pathway. Our results show how Myricetin, through ERs and PI3K/AKT signalings, potentiates sperm function. This effect is dose-dependent at low concentrations of Myricetin (up to 100 nM), whereas higher amounts do not seem to improve any further sperm motility, viability, or other tested features, and, in some cases, they reduced or even abrogated the efficacy exerted by lower doses. Further studies are needed to elucidate if high levels of Myricetin, which could be attained even with moderate wine consumption, could synergize with endogenous estrogens in the female reproductive tract, interfering with the physiological sperm fertilization process.

  13. The use of wavelength-selective plastic cladding materials in horticulture: understanding of crop and fungal responses through the assessment of biological spectral weighting functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul, Nigel D; Jacobson, Rob J; Taylor, Anna; Wargent, Jason J; Moore, Jason P

    2005-01-01

    Plant responses to light spectral quality can be exploited to deliver a range of agronomically desirable end points in protected crops. This can be achieved using plastics with specific spectral properties as crop covers. We have studied the responses of a range of crops to plastics that have either (a) increased transmission of UV compared with standard horticultural covers, (b) decreased transmission of UV or (c) increased the ratio of red (R) : far-red (FR) radiation. Both the UV-transparent and R : FR increasing films reduced leaf area and biomass, offering potential alternatives to chemical growth regulators. The UV-opaque film increased growth, but while this may be useful in some crops, there were trade-offs with elements of quality, such as pigmentation and taste. UV manipulation may also influence disease control. Increasing UV inhibited not only the pathogenic fungus Botrytis cinerea but also the disease biocontrol agent Trichoderma harzianum. Unlike B. cinerea, T. harzianum was highly sensitive to UV-A radiation. These fungal responses and those for plant growth in the growth room and the field under different plastics are analyzed in terms of alternative biological spectral weighting functions (BSWF). The role of BSWF in assessing general patterns of response to UV modification in horticulture is also discussed.

  14. The Research Situation on the Biological Functions of Hydrogen Sulfide%硫化氢生物学功能的研究概况

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    王茂先

    2013-01-01

    Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) has been recognized as a physiological mediator with a variety of bi-ological functions. It is produced by three enzymes,cytathiohineβ-synthase (CBS),cytathiohineγ-lyase (CSE) and 3-mercaptopyruvate sulfurtransferase (3MST) along with cysteine aminotransferase.The mech-anism of release and production, vasorelaxant effect, antioxidative stress and anti-inflammatory response of H2S were reviewed in the article.%硫化氢(H2S)已经被公认为一种生理介质,具有各种各样的生物学功能.胱硫醚β-合成酶(Cytathiohineβ-synthase, CBS)、胱硫醚γ-裂解酶(Cytathiohineγ-lyase, CSE)及3-硫基丙酮酸硫基转移酶(3-Mercaptopyruvate Sulfurtransferase,3MST)可利用半胱氨酸或者同型半胱氨酸生成H2S.本文就H2S的产生及其释放机制、血管舒张作用、抗氧化应激及其抗炎症反应等方面做了综述.

  15. Conservation and function of Rab small GTPases in Entamoeba: annotation of E. invadens Rab and its use for the understanding of Entamoeba biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakada-Tsukui, Kumiko; Saito-Nakano, Yumiko; Husain, Afzal; Nozaki, Tomoyoshi

    2010-11-01

    Entamoeba invadens is a reptilian enteric protozoan parasite closely related to the human pathogen Entamoeba histolytica and a good model organism of encystation. To understand the molecular mechanism of vesicular trafficking involved in the encystation of Entamoeba, we examined the conservation of Rab small GTPases between the two species. E. invadens has over 100 Rab genes, similar to E. histolytica. Most of the Rab subfamilies are conserved between the two species, while a number of species-specific Rabs are also present. We annotated all E. invadens Rabs according to the previous nomenclature [Saito-Nakano, Y., Loftus, B.J., Hall, N., Nozaki, T., 2005. The diversity of Rab GTPases in Entamoeba histolytica. Experimental Parasitology 110, 244-252]. Comparative genomic analysis suggested that the fundamental vesicular traffic machinery is well conserved, while there are species-specific protein transport mechanisms. We also reviewed the function of Rabs in Entamoeba, and proposed the use of the annotation of E. invadens Rab genes to understand the ubiquitous importance of Rab-mediated membrane trafficking during important biological processes including differentiation in Entamoeba.

  16. Biology, behaviour and functional response of Cydnocoris gilvus Brum. (Heteroptera: Reduviidae: Harpactorinae a predator of Tea Mosquito Bug (Helopeltis antonii Sign. on cashew in India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K.K. Srikumar

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Helopeltis spp. (Hemiptera: Miridae are major sucking pests of cashew (Anacardium occidentale L. in India. Cydnocoris gilvus Brum. (Heteroptera: Reduviidae: Harpactorinae is recorded as a potential predator of Helopeltis spp. Biology, mating behaviour and functional response of C. gilvus were studied by rearing in the laboratory (temperature 26-28 0C; relative humidity 89-94 % with wax moth, Galleria mellonella, larvae. Based on laboratory rearing, the fecundity was 56.33 eggs in 8.67 batches per female. The average stadial period was 37.3 days, with a maximum of 11 days for V instar and a minimum of 4.5 days for III instars. C. gilvus took 45.5 days to complete a generation. The innate capacity of natural increase was 0.07 with a gross reproduction of 67.8 females per female. The adult exhibited a pin and jab mode of predation in a sequence of actions. The sequential action of mating comprised arousal (1.32 min, approach (12.30 min, riding over (140.48 min and copulation (85.40 min. The predator responded to increasing prey density by killing more prey than at lower prey densities

  17. Applying x-ray tomography in the field of vertebrate biology: form, function, and evolution of the skull of caecilians (Lissamphibia: Gymnophiona)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kleinteich, Thomas; Beckmann, Felix; Herzen, Julia; Summers, Adam P.; Haas, Alexander

    2008-08-01

    Evolutionary research in biology relies on the comparison of different individuals of different species in order to explore the history of today's biodiversity. Synchrotron radiation based high resolution X-ray tomography (SRμCT) rapidly generates detailed three dimensional datasets. At the beamlines W2 and BW2 of the storage ring DORIS at DESY, Hamburg, Germany, we used SRμCT to study the cranial anatomy of different species and different developmental stages of caecilians (Lissamphibia: Gymnophiona). Here we describe a work-flow for analysis of the SRμCT data that covers segmentation of tissues in Amira® (Mercury Computer Systems), photorealistic rendering and animation in MayaTM, rapid prototyping, and morphometrics. The integration of different analyses of SRμCT data in our study resulted in a comprehensive understanding of form, function, and evolution of caecilian skulls. SRμCT imaging has the potential to become a standard technique for life sciences applications in the near future.

  18. Recent Advances in Studies on Ghrelin and its Biological Functions%生长激素释放肽及其生物学效应

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    来景辉; 范红结

    2012-01-01

    Ghrelin, a peptide lying widely in animal bodies, is the endogenous ligand for the growth hormone secretagogue receptor(GHSR). Ghrelin, after binding with GHSR in the hypothalamus and pituitary, not only promotes the GH releasing and increases appetite, but also adjusts the functions of digestive system and energy metabolism. This article mainly reviewed the recent developments on structure, distribution and biological effects of ghrelin as well as its potential applications in animal husbandry, which maybe promotes the further research of ghrelin.%生长激素释放肽(Ghrelin)是一种在动物体内广泛存在的生长激素促分泌素受体(GHSR)的内源性配体,Ghrelin与位于下丘脑的GHSR结合后,具有促进生长激素释放、增加食欲、调节消化系统功能及能量代谢等作用.文章就Ghrelin的结构、分布、生物学效应及在畜牧业上的应用前景等方面进行综述,以期促进Ghrelin的进一步深入研究.

  19. [Biological weapons].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kerwat, K; Becker, S; Wulf, H; Densow, D

    2010-08-01

    Biological weapons are weapons of mass destruction that use pathogens (bacteria, viruses) or the toxins produced by them to target living organisms or to contaminate non-living substances. In the past, biological warfare has been repeatedly used. Anthrax, plague and smallpox are regarded as the most dangerous biological weapons by various institutions. Nowadays it seems quite unlikely that biological warfare will be employed in any military campaigns. However, the possibility remains that biological weapons may be used in acts of bioterrorism. In addition all diseases caused by biological weapons may also occur naturally or as a result of a laboratory accident. Risk assessment with regard to biological danger often proves to be difficult. In this context, an early identification of a potentially dangerous situation through experts is essential to limit the degree of damage.

  20. Glycosides from Marine Sponges (Porifera, Demospongiae: Structures, Taxonomical Distribution, Biological Activities and Biological Roles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valentin A. Stonik

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Literature data about glycosides from sponges (Porifera, De