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Sample records for biological membrane structure

  1. Structure Biology of Membrane Bound Enzymes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fu, Dax [Johns Hopkins Univ., Baltimore, MD (United States). School of Medicine. Dept. of Physiology

    2016-11-30

    The overall goal of the proposed research is to understand the membrane-associated active processes catalyzed by an alkane $\\square$-hydroxylase (AlkB) from eubacterium Pseudomonase oleovorans. AlkB performs oxygenation of unactivated hydrocarbons found in crude oils. The enzymatic reaction involves energy-demanding steps in the membrane with the uses of structurally unknown metal active sites featuring a diiron [FeFe] center. At present, a critical barrier to understanding the membrane-associated reaction mechanism is the lack of structural information. The structural biology efforts have been challenged by technical difficulties commonly encountered in crystallization and structural determination of membrane proteins. The specific aims of the current budget cycle are to crystalize AlkB and initiate X-ray analysis to set the stage for structural determination. The long-term goals of our structural biology efforts are to provide an atomic description of AlkB structure, and to uncover the mechanisms of selective modification of hydrocarbons. The structural information will help elucidating how the unactivated C-H bonds of saturated hydrocarbons are oxidized to initiate biodegradation and biotransformation processes. The knowledge gained will be fundamental to biotechnological applications to biofuel transformation of non-edible oil feedstock. Renewable biodiesel is a promising energy carry that can be used to reduce fossil fuel dependency. The proposed research capitalizes on prior BES-supported efforts on over-expression and purification of AlkB to explore the inner workings of a bioenergy-relevant membrane-bound enzyme.

  2. Overcoming bottlenecks in the membrane protein structural biology pipeline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hardy, David; Bill, Roslyn M; Jawhari, Anass; Rothnie, Alice J

    2016-06-15

    Membrane proteins account for a third of the eukaryotic proteome, but are greatly under-represented in the Protein Data Bank. Unfortunately, recent technological advances in X-ray crystallography and EM cannot account for the poor solubility and stability of membrane protein samples. A limitation of conventional detergent-based methods is that detergent molecules destabilize membrane proteins, leading to their aggregation. The use of orthologues, mutants and fusion tags has helped improve protein stability, but at the expense of not working with the sequence of interest. Novel detergents such as glucose neopentyl glycol (GNG), maltose neopentyl glycol (MNG) and calixarene-based detergents can improve protein stability without compromising their solubilizing properties. Styrene maleic acid lipid particles (SMALPs) focus on retaining the native lipid bilayer of a membrane protein during purification and biophysical analysis. Overcoming bottlenecks in the membrane protein structural biology pipeline, primarily by maintaining protein stability, will facilitate the elucidation of many more membrane protein structures in the near future. © 2016 The Author(s). published by Portland Press Limited on behalf of the Biochemical Society.

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

    CERN Document Server

    Chung, Shin-Ho; Krishnamurthy, Vikram

    2007-01-01

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

  4. Structural adaptations of proteins to different biological membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pogozheva, Irina D.; Tristram-Nagle, Stephanie; Mosberg, Henry I.; Lomize, Andrei L.

    2013-01-01

    To gain insight into adaptations of proteins to their membranes, intrinsic hydrophobic thicknesses, distributions of different chemical groups and profiles of hydrogen-bonding capacities (α and β) and the dipolarity/polarizability parameter (π*) were calculated for lipid-facing surfaces of 460 integral α-helical, β-barrel and peripheral proteins from eight types of biomembranes. For comparison, polarity profiles were also calculated for ten artificial lipid bilayers that have been previously studied by neutron and X-ray scattering. Estimated hydrophobic thicknesses are 30-31 Å for proteins from endoplasmic reticulum, thylakoid, and various bacterial plasma membranes, but differ for proteins from outer bacterial, inner mitochondrial and eukaryotic plasma membranes (23.9, 28.6 and 33.5 Å, respectively). Protein and lipid polarity parameters abruptly change in the lipid carbonyl zone that matches the calculated hydrophobic boundaries. Maxima of positively charged protein groups correspond to the location of lipid phosphates at 20-22 Å distances from the membrane center. Locations of Tyr atoms coincide with hydrophobic boundaries, while distributions maxima of Trp rings are shifted by 3-4 Å toward the membrane center. Distributions of Trp atoms indicate the presence of two 5-8 Å-wide midpolar regions with intermediate π* values within the hydrocarbon core, whose size and symmetry depend on the lipid composition of membrane leaflets. Midpolar regions are especially asymmetric in outer bacterial membranes and cell membranes of mesophilic but not hyperthermophilic archaebacteria, indicating the larger width of the central nonpolar region in the later case. In artificial lipid bilayers, midpolar regions are observed up to the level of acyl chain double bonds. PMID:23811361

  5. Physics of biological membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mouritsen, Ole G.

    The biological membrane is a complex system consisting of an aqueous biomolecular planar aggregate of predominantly lipid and protein molecules. At physiological temperatures, the membrane may be considered a thin (˜50Å) slab of anisotropic fluid characterized by a high lateral mobility of the various molecular components. A substantial fraction of biological activity takes place in association with membranes. As a very lively piece of condensed matter, the biological membrane is a challenging research topic for both the experimental and theoretical physicists who are facing a number of fundamental physical problems including molecular self-organization, macromolecular structure and dynamics, inter-macromolecular interactions, structure-function relationships, transport of energy and matter, and interfacial forces. This paper will present a brief review of recent theoretical and experimental progress on such problems, with special emphasis on lipid bilayer structure and dynamics, lipid phase transitions, lipid-protein and lipid-cholesterol interactions, intermembrane forces, and the physical constraints imposed on biomembrane function and evolution. The paper advocates the dual point of view that there are a number of interesting physics problems in membranology and, at the same time, that the physical properties of biomembranes are important regulators of membrane function.

  6. The in vivo structure of biological membranes and evidence for lipid domains

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nickels, Jonathan D. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States); Chatterjee, Sneha [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Stanley, Christopher B. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Qian, Shuo [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Cheng, Xiaolin [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States); Myles, Dean A. A. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Standaert, Robert F. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States); Elkins, James G. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States); Katsaras, John [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States); Lopez, Daniel [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States)

    2017-05-23

    Examining the fundamental structure and processes of living cells at the nanoscale poses a unique analytical challenge, as cells are dynamic, chemically diverse, and fragile. A case in point is the cell membrane, which is too small to be seen directly with optical microscopy and provides little observational contrast for other methods. As a consequence, nanoscale characterization of the membrane has been performed ex vivo or in the presence of exogenous labels used to enhance contrast and impart specificity. Here, we introduce an isotopic labeling strategy in the gram-positive bacterium Bacillus subtilis to investigate the nanoscale structure and organization of its plasma membrane in vivo. Through genetic and chemical manipulation of the organism, we labeled the cell and its membrane independently with specific amounts of hydrogen (H) and deuterium (D). These isotopes have different neutron scattering properties without altering the chemical composition of the cells. From neutron scattering spectra, we confirmed that the B. subtilis cell membrane is lamellar and determined that its average hydrophobic thickness is 24.3 ± 0.9 Ångstroms (Å). Furthermore, by creating neutron contrast within the plane of the membrane using a mixture of H- and D-fatty acids, we detected lateral features smaller than 40 nm that are consistent with the notion of lipid rafts. These experiments—performed under biologically relevant conditions—answer long-standing questions in membrane biology and illustrate a fundamentally new approach for systematic in vivo investigations of cell membrane structure.

  7. Current strategies for protein production and purification enabling membrane protein structural biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pandey, Aditya; Shin, Kyungsoo; Patterson, Robin E; Liu, Xiang-Qin; Rainey, Jan K

    2016-12-01

    Membrane proteins are still heavily under-represented in the protein data bank (PDB), owing to multiple bottlenecks. The typical low abundance of membrane proteins in their natural hosts makes it necessary to overexpress these proteins either in heterologous systems or through in vitro translation/cell-free expression. Heterologous expression of proteins, in turn, leads to multiple obstacles, owing to the unpredictability of compatibility of the target protein for expression in a given host. The highly hydrophobic and (or) amphipathic nature of membrane proteins also leads to challenges in producing a homogeneous, stable, and pure sample for structural studies. Circumventing these hurdles has become possible through the introduction of novel protein production protocols; efficient protein isolation and sample preparation methods; and, improvement in hardware and software for structural characterization. Combined, these advances have made the past 10-15 years very exciting and eventful for the field of membrane protein structural biology, with an exponential growth in the number of solved membrane protein structures. In this review, we focus on both the advances and diversity of protein production and purification methods that have allowed this growth in structural knowledge of membrane proteins through X-ray crystallography, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, and cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM).

  8. Fusion of biological membranes

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Pramana – Journal of Physics; Volume 64; Issue 6. Fusion of biological membranes. K Katsov M Müller M Schick. Invited Talks:- Topic 11. Biologically motivated problems (protein-folding models, dynamics at the scale of the cell; biological networks, evolution models, etc.) Volume 64 Issue 6 June 2005 pp ...

  9. Shell and membrane theories in mechanics and biology from macro- to nanoscale structures

    CERN Document Server

    Mikhasev, Gennadi

    2015-01-01

    This book presents the latest results related to shells  characterize and design shells, plates, membranes and other thin-walled structures, a multidisciplinary approach from macro- to nanoscale is required which involves the classical disciplines of mechanical/civil/materials engineering (design, analysis, and properties) and physics/biology/medicine among others. The book contains contributions of a meeting of specialists (mechanical engineers, mathematicians, physicists and others) in such areas as classical and non-classical shell theories. New trends with respect to applications in mechanical, civil and aero-space engineering, as well as in new branches like medicine and biology are presented which demand improvements of the theoretical foundations of these theories and a deeper understanding of the material behavior used in such structures.

  10. Ninth International Workshop on Plant Membrane Biology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1993-12-31

    This report is a compilation of abstracts from papers which were discussed at a workshop on plant membrane biology. Topics include: plasma membrane ATP-ases; plant-environment interactions, membrane receptors; signal transduction; ion channel physiology; biophysics and molecular biology; vaculor H+ pumps; sugar carriers; membrane transport; and cellular structure and function.

  11. A Glimpse of Membrane Transport through Structures-Advances in the Structural Biology of the GLUT Glucose Transporters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Nieng

    2017-08-18

    The cellular uptake of glucose is an essential physiological process, and movement of glucose across biological membranes requires specialized transporters. The major facilitator superfamily glucose transporters GLUTs, encoded by the SLC2A genes, have been a paradigm for functional, mechanistic, and structural understanding of solute transport in the past century. This review starts with a glimpse into the structural biology of membrane proteins and particularly membrane transport proteins, enumerating the landmark structures in the past 25years. The recent breakthrough in the structural elucidation of GLUTs is then elaborated following a brief overview of the research history of these archetypal transporters, their functional specificity, and physiological and pathophysiological significances. Structures of GLUT1, GLUT3, and GLUT5 in distinct transport and/or ligand-binding states reveal detailed mechanisms of the alternating access transport cycle and substrate recognition, and thus illuminate a path by which structure-based drug design may be applied to help discover novel therapeutics against several debilitating human diseases associated with GLUT malfunction and/or misregulation. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Integrated Structural Biology for α-Helical Membrane Protein Structure Determination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xia, Yan; Fischer, Axel W; Teixeira, Pedro; Weiner, Brian; Meiler, Jens

    2018-04-03

    While great progress has been made, only 10% of the nearly 1,000 integral, α-helical, multi-span membrane protein families are represented by at least one experimentally determined structure in the PDB. Previously, we developed the algorithm BCL::MP-Fold, which samples the large conformational space of membrane proteins de novo by assembling predicted secondary structure elements guided by knowledge-based potentials. Here, we present a case study of rhodopsin fold determination by integrating sparse and/or low-resolution restraints from multiple experimental techniques including electron microscopy, electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy, and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Simultaneous incorporation of orthogonal experimental restraints not only significantly improved the sampling accuracy but also allowed identification of the correct fold, which is demonstrated by a protein size-normalized transmembrane root-mean-square deviation as low as 1.2 Å. The protocol developed in this case study can be used for the determination of unknown membrane protein folds when limited experimental restraints are available. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Mesoscopic models of biological membranes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Venturoli, M.; Sperotto, Maria Maddalena; Kranenburg, M.

    2006-01-01

    Phospholipids are the main components of biological membranes and dissolved in water these molecules self-assemble into closed structures, of which bilayers are the most relevant from a biological point of view. Lipid bilayers are often used, both in experimental and by theoretical investigations...... to coarse grain a biological membrane. The conclusion of this comparison is that there can be many valid different strategies, but that the results obtained by the various mesoscopic models are surprisingly consistent. A second objective of this review is to illustrate how mesoscopic models can be used...

  14. Micro-scale NMR Experiments for Monitoring the Optimization of Membrane Protein Solutions for Structural Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horst, Reto; Wüthrich, Kurt

    2015-07-20

    Reconstitution of integral membrane proteins (IMP) in aqueous solutions of detergent micelles has been extensively used in structural biology, using either X-ray crystallography or NMR in solution. Further progress could be achieved by establishing a rational basis for the selection of detergent and buffer conditions, since the stringent bottleneck that slows down the structural biology of IMPs is the preparation of diffracting crystals or concentrated solutions of stable isotope labeled IMPs. Here, we describe procedures to monitor the quality of aqueous solutions of [ 2 H, 15 N]-labeled IMPs reconstituted in detergent micelles. This approach has been developed for studies of β-barrel IMPs, where it was successfully applied for numerous NMR structure determinations, and it has also been adapted for use with α-helical IMPs, in particular GPCRs, in guiding crystallization trials and optimizing samples for NMR studies (Horst et al ., 2013). 2D [ 15 N, 1 H]-correlation maps are used as "fingerprints" to assess the foldedness of the IMP in solution. For promising samples, these "inexpensive" data are then supplemented with measurements of the translational and rotational diffusion coefficients, which give information on the shape and size of the IMP/detergent mixed micelles. Using microcoil equipment for these NMR experiments enables data collection with only micrograms of protein and detergent. This makes serial screens of variable solution conditions viable, enabling the optimization of parameters such as the detergent concentration, sample temperature, pH and the composition of the buffer.

  15. Hijacked then lost in translation: the plight of the recombinant host cell in membrane protein structural biology projects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bill, Roslyn M; von der Haar, Tobias

    2015-06-01

    Membrane protein structural biology is critically dependent upon the supply of high-quality protein. Over the last few years, the value of crystallising biochemically characterised, recombinant targets that incorporate stabilising mutations has been established. Nonetheless, obtaining sufficient yields of many recombinant membrane proteins is still a major challenge. Solutions are now emerging based on an improved understanding of recombinant host cells; as a 'cell factory' each cell is tasked with managing limited resources to simultaneously balance its own growth demands with those imposed by an expression plasmid. This review examines emerging insights into the role of translation and protein folding in defining high-yielding recombinant membrane protein production in a range of host cells. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  16. 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.

  17. Structural Biology Fact Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... NIGMS NIGMS Home > Science Education > Structural Biology Structural Biology Tagline (Optional) Middle/Main Content Area PDF Version (688 KB) Other Fact Sheets What is structural biology? Structural biology is the study of how biological ...

  18. Molecular Structure of Membrane Tethers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Baoukina, Svetlana; Marrink, Siewert J.; Tieleman, D. Peter

    2012-01-01

    Membrane tethers are nanotubes formed by a lipid bilayer. They play important functional roles in cell biology and provide an experimental window on lipid properties. Tethers have been studied extensively in experiments and described by theoretical models, but their molecular structure remains

  19. Neutron structural biology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schoenborn, B.

    1997-01-01

    This is the final report of a one-year, Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) project at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). We investigated design concepts of neutron scattering capabilities for structural biology at spallation sources. This included the analysis of design parameters for protein crystallography as well as membrane diffraction instruments. These instruments are designed to be general user facilities and will be used by scientists from industry, universities, and other national laboratories

  20. Structure and physical properties of bio membranes and model membranes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tibor Hianik

    2006-01-01

    Bio membranes belong to the most important structures of the cell and the cell organelles. They play not only structural role of the barrier separating the external and internal part of the membrane but contain also various functional molecules, like receptors, ionic channels, carriers and enzymes. The cell membrane also preserves non-equilibrium state in a cell which is crucial for maintaining its excitability and other signaling functions. The growing interest to the bio membranes is also due to their unique physical properties. From physical point of view the bio membranes, that are composed of lipid bilayer into which are incorporated integral proteins and on their surface are anchored peripheral proteins and polysaccharides, represent liquid s crystal of smectic type. The bio membranes are characterized by anisotropy of structural and physical properties. The complex structure of bio membranes makes the study of their physical properties rather difficult. Therefore several model systems that mimic the structure of bio membranes were developed. Among them the lipid monolayers at an air-water interphase, bilayer lipid membranes, supported bilayer lipid membranes and liposomes are most known. This work is focused on the introduction into the physical word of the bio membranes and their models. After introduction to the membrane structure and the history of its establishment, the physical properties of the bio membranes and their models are stepwise presented. The most focus is on the properties of lipid monolayers, bilayer lipid membranes, supported bilayer lipid membranes and liposomes that were most detailed studied. This lecture has tutorial character that may be useful for undergraduate and graduate students in the area of biophysics, biochemistry, molecular biology and bioengineering, however it contains also original work of the author and his co-worker and PhD students, that may be useful also for specialists working in the field of bio membranes and model

  1. Investigation of interactions in a biological membrane using structure factor/pair correlation function approach: a first communication on nerve myelin

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gbordzoe, M.K.

    1984-09-01

    Interactions in biological and artificial membranes have been studied by applying mostly the methods of biochemical analysis and determination of thermodynamic parameters related to phase transition phenomena. Structure factor, obtained by measuring scattered intensity from small-angle X-ray or neutron scattering experiments, has been used mainly for determining electron density distribution. Drawing upon the experience of the theory of liquids, where Johnson and March (1963) and Johnson, Hutchinson and March (1964) first established the possibility of deriving interparticle potential from experimental measurement of structure factor, it is suggested that structure factor/distance correlation function approach, can be a useful method for studying interactions between various membrane components. Preliminary experimental data presented for nerve myelin are to demonstrate the possibility of studying interactions from the distance correlation function of a membrane pair. (author)

  2. Testing of Synthetic Biological Membranes for Forward Osmosis Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parodi, Jurek; Mangado, Jaione Romero; Stefanson, Ofir; Flynn, Michael; Mancinelli, Rocco; Kawashima, Brian; Trieu, Serena; Brozell, Adrian; Rosenberg, Kevan

    2016-01-01

    Commercially available forward osmosis membranes have been extensively tested for human space flight wastewater treatment. Despite the improvements achieved in the last decades, there is still a challenge to produce reliable membranes with anti-fouling properties, chemical resistance, and high flux and selectivity. Synthetic biological membranes that mimic the ones present in nature, which underwent millions of years of evolution, represent a potential solution for further development and progress in membrane technology. Biomimetic forward osmosis membranes based on a polymeric support filter and coated with surfactant multilayers have been engineered to investigate how different manufacturing processes impact the performance and structure of the membrane. However, initial results of the first generation prototype membranes tests reveal a high scatter in the data, due to the current testing apparatus set up. The testing apparatus has been upgraded to improve data collection, reduce errors, and to allow higher control of the testing process.

  3. Importance of the hexagonal lipid phase in biological membrane organisation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juliette eJouhet

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract:Domains are present in every natural membrane. They are characterised by a distinctive protein and/or lipid composition. Their size is highly variable from the nano- to the micrometer scale. The domains confer specific properties to the membrane leading to original structure and function. The determinants leading to domain organisation are therefore important but remain obscure. This review presents how the ability of lipids to organize into hexagonal II or lamellar phases can promote particular local structures within membranes. Since biological membranes are composed of a mixture of lipids, each with distinctive biophysical properties, lateral and transversal sorting of lipids can promote creation of domains inside the membrane through local modulation of the lipid phase. Lipid biophysical properties have been characterized for long based on in vitro analyses using non-natural lipid molecules; their re-examinations using natural lipids might open interesting perspectives on membrane architecture occurring in vivo in various cellular and physiological contexts.

  4. Importance of the hexagonal lipid phase in biological membrane organization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jouhet, Juliette

    2013-01-01

    Domains are present in every natural membrane. They are characterized by a distinctive protein and/or lipid composition. Their size is highly variable from the nano- to the micrometer scale. The domains confer specific properties to the membrane leading to original structure and function. The determinants leading to domain organization are therefore important but remain obscure. This review presents how the ability of lipids to organize into hexagonal II or lamellar phases can promote particular local structures within membranes. Since biological membranes are composed of a mixture of lipids, each with distinctive biophysical properties, lateral and transversal sorting of lipids can promote creation of domains inside the membrane through local modulation of the lipid phase. Lipid biophysical properties have been characterized for long based on in vitro analyses using non-natural lipid molecules; their re-examinations using natural lipids might open interesting perspectives on membrane architecture occurring in vivo in various cellular and physiological contexts.

  5. Measuring shape fluctuations in biological membranes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Monzel, C; Sengupta, K

    2016-01-01

    Shape fluctuations of lipid membranes have intrigued cell biologists and physicists alike. In the cellular context, their origin—thermal or active—and their physiological significance are open questions. These small incessant displacements, also called membrane undulations, have mostly been studied in model membranes and membranes of simple cells like erythrocytes. Thermal fluctuations of such membranes have been very well described both theoretically and experimentally; active fluctuations are a topic of current interest. Experimentally, membrane fluctuations are not easy to measure, the main challenge being to develop techniques which are capable of measuring very small displacements at very high speed, and preferably over a large area and long time. Scattering techniques have given access to fluctuations in membrane stacks and a variety of optical microscopy based techniques have been devised to study membrane fluctuations of unilamellar vesicles, erythrocytes and other cells. Among them are flicker spectroscopy, dynamic light scattering, diffraction phase microscopy and reflection interference contrast microscopy. Each of these techniques has its advantages and limitations. Here we review the basic principles of the major experimental techniques used to measure bending or shape fluctuations of biomembranes. We report seminal results obtained with each technique and highlight how these studies furthered our understanding of physical properties of membranes and their interactions. We also discuss suggested role of membrane fluctuations in different biological processes. (topical review)

  6. Structure and properties of cell membranes. Volume 3: Methodology and properties of membranes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Benga, G.

    1985-01-01

    This book covers the topics: Quantum chemical approach to study the mechanisms of proton translocation across membranes through protein molecules; monomolecular films as biomembrane models; planar lipid bilayers in relation to biomembranes; relation of liposomes to cell membranes; reconstitution of membrane transport systems; structure-function relationships in cell membranes as revealed by X-ray techniques; structure-function relationships in cell membranes as revealed by spin labeling ESR; structure and dynamics of cell membranes as revealed by NMR techniques; the effect of dietary lipids on the composition and properties of biological membranes and index

  7. Study of structural model of biological membranes by synchrotron radiation; Estudo estrutural de membranas modelo utilizando radiacao sincrotron

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cavalcanti, Leide Passos

    2001-07-01

    The objective of this work has been to study, from the structural point of view, the process of incorporation of various types of hydrophobic compounds into the lamellar phase of liposomes and multilayers of the zwitterionic phospholipid DPPC. X-ray diffraction and scattering techniques using synchrotron radiation, have been used to monitor changes of several bilayer systems. Thermotropic phase transitions as well as the order of the lamellar packing were studied in situ experiments. The behavior of the L{beta}' and L{alpha} phases was followed as a function of the water content in dispersions of DPPC multi lamellar vesicles with the addition of the alkaloid Ellipticine in several concentrations. The results showed a decrease in the temperature of the pre-transition as well as that of the main transition (P{beta}' ->L{alpha}). The decrease of the lamellar spacing as a function of temperature in the liquid crystalline phase leads to the description of the thermal compression coefficient in the L{alpha} phase. It was also proved that addition of the anionic lipid Cardiolipin to the DPPC/water system it is possible to promote the incorporation of Ellipticine. The aforementioned methods were used in another set of experiments to study the lamellar phases of DPPC with the addition of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons known to have various degrees of carcinogenic activity. It was verified that the main transition temperature as well as the spacing of the multilammelar vesicles in the L{alpha} phase have a change with the incorporation of these compounds. It was possible to show that the hydrophobic PAHs favor the formation of the liquid crystalline phase, causing a broadening of the P{beta}' -> L {alpha} phase transition.The results obtained in this work are basically important in the development of thermo sensitive liposomes, which can act as drug carriers. They also contribute to the understanding of the perturbations caused by the interaction of highly

  8. Dyneins: structure, biology and disease

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    King, Stephen M

    2012-01-01

    .... From bench to bedside, Dynein: Structure, Biology and Disease offers research on fundamental cellular processes to researchers and clinicians across developmental biology, cell biology, molecular biology, biophysics, biomedicine...

  9. Static and Dynamic Membrane Structures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sergiu Ivanov

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available While originally P systems were defined to contain multiset rewriting rules, it turned out that considering different types of rules may produce important results, such as increasing the computational power of the rules. This paper focuses on factoring out the concept of a membrane structure out of various P system models with the goal of providing useful formalisations. Both static and dynamic membrane structures are considered.

  10. Polyamide membranes with nanoscale Turing structures for water purification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Zhe; Chen, Shengfu; Peng, Xinsheng; Zhang, Lin; Gao, Congjie

    2018-05-01

    The emergence of Turing structures is of fundamental importance, and designing these structures and developing their applications have practical effects in chemistry and biology. We use a facile route based on interfacial polymerization to generate Turing-type polyamide membranes for water purification. Manipulation of shapes by control of reaction conditions enabled the creation of membranes with bubble or tube structures. These membranes exhibit excellent water-salt separation performance that surpasses the upper-bound line of traditional desalination membranes. Furthermore, we show the existence of high water permeability sites in the Turing structures, where water transport through the membranes is enhanced.

  11. Neutron structural biology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Niimura, Nobuo

    1999-01-01

    Neutron structural biology will be one of the most important fields in the life sciences which will interest human beings in the 21st century because neutrons can provide not only the position of hydrogen atoms in biological macromolecules but also the dynamic molecular motion of hydrogen atoms and water molecules. However, there are only a few examples experimentally determined at present because of the lack of neutron source intensity. Next generation neutron source scheduled in JAERI (Performance of which is 100 times better than that of JRR-3M) opens the life science of the 21st century. (author)

  12. Robust mixed conducting membrane structure

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2010-01-01

    circuited. The present invention further provides a method of producing the above membrane structure, comprising the steps of : providing a ionically conducting layer; applying at least one layer of electronically conducting material on each side of said ionically conducting layer; sintering the multilayer...

  13. Editorial: Molecular Organization of Membranes: Where Biology Meets Biophysics

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Cebecauer, Marek; Holowka, D.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 5, č. 113 (2017), s. 1-3 ISSN 2296-634X Institutional support: RVO:61388955 Keywords : nanodomains * membrane properties * cell membrane Subject RIV: CE - Biochemistry OBOR OECD: Biochemistry and molecular biology

  14. Ultrafast spectroscopy of model biological membranes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ghosh, Avishek

    2009-01-01

    In this PhD thesis, I have described the novel time-resolved sum-frequency generation (TR-SFG) spectroscopic technique that I developed during the course of my PhD research and used it study the ultrafast vibrational, structural and orientational dynamics of water molecules at model biological

  15. Innovative hybrid biological reactors using membranes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Diez, R.; Esteban-Garcia, A. L.; Florio, L. de; Rodriguez-Hernandez, L.; Tejero, I.

    2011-01-01

    In this paper we present two lines of research on hybrid reactors including the use of membranes, although with different functions: RBPM, biofilm reactors and membranes filtration RBSOM, supported biofilm reactors and oxygen membranes. (Author) 14 refs.

  16. Mathematics, structuralism and biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saunders, P T

    1988-01-01

    A new approach is gaining ground in biology, one that has much in common with the structuralist tradition in other fields. It is very much in the spirit of an earlier view of biology and indeed of science in general. It is also, though this is not generally recognized, in the spirit of twentieth century physics. As in modern physics, however, it is not a question of ignoring all the progress that has been made within the former paradigm. On the contrary, the aim is to use it as a basis for setting out in a somewhat different direction. Complex phenomena do not generally lend themselves to reductionist analyses which seek explanation only in terms of detailed mechanisms, but a proper scientific discussion of structure must make full use of what we have already learned - by whatever means - about the processes that underly the phenomena we are trying to understand.

  17. Biological control of biofilms on membranes by metazoans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klein, Theresa; Zihlmann, David; Derlon, Nicolas; Isaacson, Carl; Szivak, Ilona; Weissbrodt, David G; Pronk, Wouter

    2016-01-01

    Traditionally, chemical and physical methods have been used to control biofouling on membranes by inactivating and removing the biofouling layer. Alternatively, the permeability can be increased using biological methods while accepting the presence of the biofouling layer. We have investigated two different types of metazoans for this purpose, the oligochaete Aelosoma hemprichi and the nematode Plectus aquatilis. The addition of these grazing metazoans in biofilm-controlled membrane systems resulted in a flux increase of 50% in presence of the oligochaetes (Aelosoma hemprichi), and a flux increase of 119-164% in presence of the nematodes (Plectus aquatilis) in comparison to the control system operated without metazoans. The change in flux resulted from (1) a change in the biofilm structure, from a homogeneous, cake-like biofilm to a more heterogeneous, porous structure and (2) a significant reduction in the thickness of the basal layer. Pyrosequencing data showed that due to the addition of the predators, also the community composition of the biofilm in terms of protists and bacteria was strongly affected. The results have implications for a range of membrane processes, including ultrafiltration for potable water production, membrane bioreactors and reverse osmosis. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. NMR spectroscopic studies of membrane-bound biological systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hohlweg, W.

    2013-01-01

    In the course of this thesis, biological NMR spectroscopy was employed in studying membrane-bound peptides and proteins, for which structural information is still comparatively hard to obtain. Initial work focused on various model peptides bound to membrane-mimicking micelles, studying the protonation state of arginine in a membrane environment. Strong evidence for a cation-π complex was found in TM7, a peptide which forms the seventh transmembrane helix of subunit a of the vacuolar-type H+-ATPase (V-ATPase). V-ATPase is a physiologically highly relevant proton pump, which is present in intracellular membranes of all eukaryotic organisms, as well as the plasma membrane of several specialized cells. Loss of functional V-ATPase is associated with human diseases such as osteopetrosis, distal renal tubular acidosis or the spreading of cancer. V-ATPase is considered a potential drug target in the treatment of osteoporosis and cancer, or in the development of novel contraceptives. Results from NMR solution structure determination, NMR titration experiments, paramagnetic relaxation enhancement experiments and tryptophan fluorescence spectroscopy confirm the existence of a buried cation-? complex formed between arginine residue R735, which is essential for proton transport, and neighbouring tryptophan and tyrosine residues. In vivo experiments in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae using selective growth tests and fluorescence microscopy showed that formation of the cation-π complex is essential for V-ATPase function. Deletion of both aromatic residues, as well as only the one tryptophan residue leads to growth defects and inability to maintain vacuolar pH homeostasis. These findings shine new light on the still elusive mechanism of proton transport in V-ATPase, and show that arginine R735 may be directly involved in proton transfer across the membrane. (author) [de

  19. Structural Molecular Biology 2017 | SSRL

    Science.gov (United States)

    Highlights Training Workshops & Summer Schools Summer Students Structural Molecular Biology Illuminating experimental driver for structural biology research, serving the needs of a large number of academic and — Our Mission The SSRL Structural Molecular Biology program operates as an integrated resource and has

  20. Biological black water treatment combined with membrane separation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Voorthuizen, E.M.; Zwijnenburg, A.; van der Meer, Walterus Gijsbertus Joseph; Temmink, Hardy

    2008-01-01

    Separate treatment of black (toilet) water offers the possibility to recover energy and nutrients. In this study three combinations of biological treatment and membrane filtration were compared for their biological and membrane performance and nutrient conservation: a UASB followed by effluent

  1. Electrochemically etched nanoporous silicon membrane for separation of biological molecules in mixture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burham, Norhafizah; Azlan Hamzah, Azrul; Yunas, Jumril; Yeop Majlis, Burhanuddin

    2017-07-01

    This paper presents a technique for separating biological molecules in mixture using nanoporous silicon membrane. Nanopores were formed using electrochemical etching process (ECE) by etching a prefabricated silicon membrane in hydrofluoric acid (HF) and ethanol, and then directly bonding it with PDMS to form a complete filtration system for separating biological molecules. Tygon S3™ tubings were used as fluid interconnection between PDMS molds and silicon membrane during testing. Electrochemical etching parameters were manipulated to control pore structure and size. In this work, nanopores with sizes of less than 50 nm, embedded on top of columnar structures have been fabricated using high current densities and variable HF concentrations. Zinc oxide was diluted with deionized (DI) water and mixed with biological molecules and non-biological particles, namely protein standard, serum albumin and sodium chloride. Zinc oxide particles were trapped on the nanoporous silicon surface, while biological molecules of sizes up to 12 nm penetrated the nanoporous silicon membrane. The filtered particles were inspected using a Zetasizer Nano SP for particle size measurement and count. The Zetasizer Nano SP results revealed that more than 95% of the biological molecules in the mixture were filtered out by the nanoporous silicon membrane. The nanoporous silicon membrane fabricated in this work is integratable into bio-MEMS and Lab-on-Chip components to separate two or more types of biomolecules at once. The membrane is especially useful for the development of artificial kidney.

  2. Structural Studies of Biological Solids Using NMR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramamoorthy, Ayyalusamy

    2011-03-01

    High-resolution structure and dynamics of biological molecules are important in understanding their function. While studies have been successful in solving the structures of water-soluble biomolecules, it has been proven difficult to determine the structures of membrane proteins and fibril systems. Recent studies have shown that solid-state NMR is a promising technique and could be highly valuable in studying such non-crystalline and non-soluble biosystems. I will present strategies to study the structures of such challenging systems and also about the applications of solid-state NMR to study the modes of membrane-peptide interactions for a better assessment of the prospects of antimicrobial peptides as substitutes to antibiotics in the control of human disease. Our studies on the mechanism of membrane disruption by LL-37 (a human antimicrobial peptide), analogs of the naturally occurring antimicrobial peptide magainin2 extracted from the skin of the African frog Xenopus Laevis, and pardaxin will be presented. Solid-state NMR experiments were used to determine the secondary structure, dynamics and topology of these peptides in lipid bilayers. Similarities and difference in the cell-lysing mechanism, and their dependence on the membrane composition, of these peptides will be discussed. Atomic-level resolution NMR structures of amyloidogenic proteins revealing the misfolding pathway and early intermediates that play key roles in amyloid toxicity will also be presented.

  3. Membrane Binding of Recoverin: From Mechanistic Understanding to Biological Functionality

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Timr, S.; Pleskot, Roman; Kadlec, J.; Kohagen, M.; Magarkar, A.; Jungwirth, P.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 3, č. 8 (2017), s. 868-874 ISSN 2374-7943 Institutional support: RVO:61389030 Keywords : recoverin * membrane * myristoyl Subject RIV: CF - Physical ; Theoretical Chemistry OBOR OECD: Cell biology Impact factor: 7.481, year: 2016

  4. The role of antioxidant-protein interactions in biological membrane

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McGillivray, Duncan J; Singh, Rachna; Melton, Laurence D.; Worcester, David L.; Gilbert, Elliot P.

    2009-01-01

    Full text: Oxidative damage of cellular membranes has been linked to a variety of disease pathologies, including cardiac disease, Alzheimer's and complications due to diabetes. The oxidation of unsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acid chains found in cellular membranes leads to significant alteration in membrane physical properties, including lipid orientation and membrane permeability, which ultimately affect biological function. Polyphenols are naturally occurring phytochemicals present in a number of fruit and vegetables that are of interest for their anti-oxidative powers. These polyphenols inhibit lipid oxidation in cellular membrane surfaces, although the mechanism of this inhibition is not entirely clear. Moreover, the polyphenols have significant binding affinity for proteins, which can lead to the formation of soluble and insoluble protein-polyphenol complexes Significantly, in the presence of casein proteins the oxidation inhibition the polyphenols in the membrane is significantly enhanced (as assessed by Lipid Peroxidation Inhibition Capacity assays). Thus the antioxidant pathway appears to involve these protein/polyphenol complexes, as well as direct antioxidant action by the polyphenol. Here we discuss neutron and x-ray scattering results from phospholipid membranes, looking at the positioning of two examples of polyphenolic antioxidants in phospholipid membranes, quercetin and phloretin, the antioxidants' impact on the membrane organisation, and the interaction between antioxidant and extra-membranous protein. This information sheds light on the mechanism of antioxidant protection in these systems, which may be used to understand biological responses to oxidative stress.

  5. Cardiolipin effects on membrane structure and dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Unsay, Joseph D; Cosentino, Katia; Subburaj, Yamunadevi; García-Sáez, Ana J

    2013-12-23

    Cardiolipin (CL) is a lipid with unique properties solely found in membranes generating electrochemical potential. It contains four acyl chains and tends to form nonlamellar structures, which are believed to play a key role in membrane structure and function. Indeed, CL alterations have been linked to disorders such as Barth syndrome and Parkinson's disease. However, the molecular effects of CL on membrane organization remain poorly understood. Here, we investigated the structure and physical properties of CL-containing membranes using confocal microscopy, fluorescence correlation spectroscopy, and atomic force microscopy. We found that the fluidity of the lipid bilayer increased and its mechanical stability decreased with CL concentration, indicating that CL decreases the packing of the membrane. Although the presence of up to 20% CL gave rise to flat, stable bilayers, the inclusion of 5% CL promoted the formation of flowerlike domains that grew with time. Surprisingly, we often observed two membrane-piercing events in atomic force spectroscopy experiments with CL-containing membranes. Similar behavior was observed with a lipid mixture mimicking the mitochondrial outer membrane composition. This suggests that CL promotes the formation of membrane areas with apposed double bilayers or nonlamellar structures, similar to those proposed for mitochondrial contact sites. All together, we show that CL induces membrane alterations that support the role of CL in facilitating bilayer structure remodeling, deformation, and permeabilization.

  6. Hierarchically structured, nitrogen-doped carbon membranes

    KAUST Repository

    Wang, Hong; Wu, Tao

    2017-01-01

    The present invention is a structure, method of making and method of use for a novel macroscopic hierarchically structured, nitrogen-doped, nano-porous carbon membrane (HNDCMs) with asymmetric and hierarchical pore architecture that can be produced

  7. Lipophilic drug transfer between liposomal and biological membranes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fahr, Alfred; van Hoogevest, Peter; Kuntsche, Judith

    2006-01-01

    This review presents the current knowledge on the interaction of lipophilic, poorly water soluble drugs with liposomal and biological membranes. The center of attention will be on drugs having the potential to dissolve in a lipid membrane without perturbing them too much. The degree of interaction...... is described as solubility of a drug in phospholipid membranes and the kinetics of transfer of a lipophilic drug between membranes. Finally, the consequences of these two factors on the design of lipid-based carriers for oral, as well as parenteral use, for lipophilic drugs and lead selection of oral...... lipophilic drugs is described. Since liposomes serve as model-membranes for natural membranes, the assessment of lipid solubility and transfer kinetics of lipophilic drug using liposome formulations may additionally have predictive value for bioavailability and biodistribution and the pharmacokinetics...

  8. Investigating Membranes: Using Artificial Membranes to Convey Chemistry and Biology Concepts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zrelak, Yoshi; McCallister, Gary

    2009-01-01

    While not organic in nature, quick-"growing" artificial membranes can be a profound visual aid when teaching students about cellular processes and the chemical nature of membranes. Students are often intrigued when they see biological and chemical concepts come to life before their eyes. In this article, the authors share their approach to growing…

  9. Electrospun superhydrophobic membranes with unique structures for membrane distillation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liao, Yuan; Loh, Chun-Heng; Wang, Rong; Fane, Anthony G

    2014-09-24

    With modest temperature demand, low operating pressure, and high solute rejection, membrane distillation (MD) is an attractive option for desalination, waste treatment, and food and pharmaceutical processing. However, large-scale practical applications of MD are still hindered by the absence of effective membranes with high hydrophobicity, high porosity, and adequate mechanical strength, which are important properties for MD permeation fluxes, stable long-term performance, and effective packing in modules without damage. This study describes novel design strategies for highly robust superhydrophobic dual-layer membranes for MD via electrospinning. One of the newly developed membranes comprises a durable and ultrathin 3-dimensional (3D) superhydrophobic skin and porous nanofibrous support whereas another was fabricated by electrospinning 3D superhydrophobic layers on a nonwoven support. These membranes exhibit superhydrophobicity toward distilled water, salty water, oil-in-water emulsion, and beverages, which enables them to be used not only for desalination but also for other processes. The superhydrophobic dual-layer membrane #3S-N with nanofibrous support has a competitive permeation flux of 24.6 ± 1.2 kg m(-2) h(-1) in MD (feed and permeate temperate were set as 333 and 293 K, respectively) due to the higher porosity of the nanofibrous scaffold. Meanwhile, the membranes with the nonwoven support exhibit greater mechanical strength due to this support combined with better long-term performance because of the thicker 3D superhydrophobic layers. The morphology, pore size, porosity, mechanical properties, and liquid enter pressure of water of these superhydrophobic composite membranes with two different structures are reported and compared with commercial polyvinylidene fluoride membranes.

  10. Structural Biology Guides Antibiotic Discovery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polyak, Steven

    2014-01-01

    Modern drug discovery programs require the contribution of researchers in a number of specialist areas. One of these areas is structural biology. Using X-ray crystallography, the molecular basis of how a drug binds to its biological target and exerts its mode of action can be defined. For example, a drug that binds into the active site of an…

  11. Fabrication of Ceramic Membrane Chromatography for Biologics Purification

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maizirwan Mel

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Chromatography is one of the most important separation processes of choice for the recovery/purification of proteins and complex bio-structures. Fabrication of chromatographic membranes and their efficiency in the chromatography process has been the subject of many recent researches. In this study, a coin-like, 13 mm diameter and 3 mm thick, ceramic membrane was fabricated to be used as a chromatographic medium. The membrane is used to replace the conventional resin-based chromatography columns. Hydroxyapatite (HA powder was used as a material for the membrane fabrication. In this project, a HA powder was produced using starch as pore creating agents. Characterization processes were done for the ceramic membrane using the suitable apparatuses. Three parameters of the fabrication process (starch wt %, compaction pressure and sintering temperature were manipulated to optimize the performance of the membrane. The fabricated membrane was placed in a (FPLC system to be tested for its performance as an adsorptive membrane. (IMAC process was run by immobilizing Ni2+ ions at the membrane particles surfaces. NP protein of the (NDV was used to test the membrane's ability to bind Histidine-tagged proteins. The optimum set of process parameters that yielded in the highest porosity and good chromatogram was determined to be 5 wt % starch, 3000 psi compaction pressure and 1100°C sintering temperature.ABSTRAK: Kromatografi merupakan satu daripada proses pengasingan yang penting yang dipilih untuk perolehan/penapisan protein dan biostruktur yang kompleks. Pemfabrikatan membran kromatografi dan kecekapannya dalam proses kromatografi merupakan fokus beberapa kajian terkini. Dalam kajian ini, membran seramik berbentuk duit syiling, berdiameter 13 mm dengan ketebalan 3 mm, direka untuk digunakan sebagai perantara kromatografi. Membran ini digunakan untuk menggantikan turus kromatografi berasaskan resin yang lazim. Serbuk hidroksiapatit (HA digunakan sebagai bahan

  12. Inference problems in structural biology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olsson, Simon

    The structure and dynamics of biological molecules are essential for their function. Consequently, a wealth of experimental techniques have been developed to study these features. However, while experiments yield detailed information about geometrical features of molecules, this information is of...

  13. Ice formation in model biological membranes in the presence of cryoprotectors

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kiselev, M.A. E-mail: kiselev@nf.jinr.ru; Lesieur, P.; Kisselev, A.M.; Ollivon, M

    2000-06-21

    Ice formation in model biological membranes is studied by SAXS and WAXS in the presence of cryoprotectors: dimethyl sulfoxide and glycerol. Three types of phospholipid membranes: DPPC, DMPC, DSPC are chosen for the investigation as well-studied model biological membranes. A special cryostat is used for sample cooling from 14.1 deg. C to -55.4 deg. C. The ice formation is detected only by WAXS in binary phospholipid/water and ternary phospholipid/cryoprotector/water systems in the condition of excess solvent. Ice formation in a binary phospholipid/water system creates an abrupt decrease of the membrane repeat distance by {delta}d, the so-called ice-induced dehydration of intermembrane space. The value of {delta}d decreases as the cryoprotector concentration increases. The formation of ice does not influence the membrane structure ({delta}d=0) for cryoprotector mole fractions higher than 0.05.

  14. Neutron structural biology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Niimura, Nobuo [Japan Atomic Energy Research Inst., Tokai, Ibaraki (Japan). Tokai Research Establishment

    1998-03-01

    Neutron diffraction provides an experimental method of directly locating hydrogen atoms in protein which play important roles in physiological functions. However, there are relatively few examples of neutron crystallography in biology since it takes a lot of time to collect a sufficient number of Bragg reflections due to the low flux of neutrons illuminating the sample. In order to overcome the flux problem, we have successfully developed the neutron IP, where the neutron converter, {sup 6}Li or Gd, was mixed with a photostimulated luminescence material on flexible plastic support. Neutron Laue diffraction 2A data from tetragonal lysozyme were collected for 10 days with neutron imaging plates, and 960 hydrogen atoms in the molecule and 157 bound water molecules were identified. These results explain the proposed hydrolysis mechanism of the sugar by the lysozyme molecule and that lysozyme is less active at pH7.0. (author)

  15. Applications of membrane computing in systems and synthetic biology

    CERN Document Server

    Gheorghe, Marian; Pérez-Jiménez, Mario

    2014-01-01

    Membrane Computing was introduced as a computational paradigm in Natural Computing. The models introduced, called Membrane (or P) Systems, provide a coherent platform to describe and study living cells as computational systems. Membrane Systems have been investigated for their computational aspects and employed to model problems in other fields, like: Computer Science, Linguistics, Biology, Economy, Computer Graphics, Robotics, etc. Their inherent parallelism, heterogeneity and intrinsic versatility allow them to model a broad range of processes and phenomena, being also an efficient means to solve and analyze problems in a novel way. Membrane Computing has been used to model biological systems, becoming with time a thorough modeling paradigm comparable, in its modeling and predicting capabilities, to more established models in this area. This book is the result of the need to collect, in an organic way, different facets of this paradigm. The chapters of this book, together with the web pages accompanying th...

  16. Overcoming barriers to membrane protein structure determination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bill, Roslyn M; Henderson, Peter J F; Iwata, So; Kunji, Edmund R S; Michel, Hartmut; Neutze, Richard; Newstead, Simon; Poolman, Bert; Tate, Christopher G; Vogel, Horst

    2011-04-01

    After decades of slow progress, the pace of research on membrane protein structures is beginning to quicken thanks to various improvements in technology, including protein engineering and microfocus X-ray diffraction. Here we review these developments and, where possible, highlight generic new approaches to solving membrane protein structures based on recent technological advances. Rational approaches to overcoming the bottlenecks in the field are urgently required as membrane proteins, which typically comprise ~30% of the proteomes of organisms, are dramatically under-represented in the structural database of the Protein Data Bank.

  17. Hierarchically structured, nitrogen-doped carbon membranes

    KAUST Repository

    Wang, Hong

    2017-08-03

    The present invention is a structure, method of making and method of use for a novel macroscopic hierarchically structured, nitrogen-doped, nano-porous carbon membrane (HNDCMs) with asymmetric and hierarchical pore architecture that can be produced on a large-scale approach. The unique HNDCM holds great promise as components in separation and advanced carbon devices because they could offer unconventional fluidic transport phenomena on the nanoscale. Overall, the invention set forth herein covers a hierarchically structured, nitrogen-doped carbon membranes and methods of making and using such a membranes.

  18. Membrane materials for storing biological samples intended for comparative nanotoxicological testing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Metelkin, A.; Kuznetsov, D.; Kolesnikov, E.; Chuprunov, K.; Kondakov, S.; Osipov, A.; Samsonova, J.

    2015-11-01

    The study is aimed at identifying the samples of most promising membrane materials for storing dry specimens of biological fluids (Dried Blood Spots, DBS technology). Existing sampling systems using cellulose fiber filter paper have a number of drawbacks such as uneven distribution of the sample spot, dependence of the spot spreading area on the individual biosample properties, incomplete washing-off of the sample due to partially inconvertible sorption of blood components on cellulose fibers, etc. Samples of membrane materials based on cellulose, polymers and glass fiber with applied biosamples were studied using methods of scanning electron microscopy, FT-IR spectroscopy and surface-wetting measurement. It was discovered that cellulose-based membrane materials sorb components of biological fluids inside their structure, while membranes based on glass fiber display almost no interaction with the samples and biological fluid components dry to films in the membrane pores between the structural fibers. This characteristic, together with the fact that membrane materials based on glass fiber possess sufficient strength, high wetting properties and good storage capacity, attests them as promising material for dry samples of biological fluids storage systems.

  19. Membrane materials for storing biological samples intended for comparative nanotoxicological testing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Metelkin, A; Kuznetsov, D; Kolesnikov, E; Chuprunov, K; Kondakov, S; Osipov, A; Samsonova, J

    2015-01-01

    The study is aimed at identifying the samples of most promising membrane materials for storing dry specimens of biological fluids (Dried Blood Spots, DBS technology). Existing sampling systems using cellulose fiber filter paper have a number of drawbacks such as uneven distribution of the sample spot, dependence of the spot spreading area on the individual biosample properties, incomplete washing-off of the sample due to partially inconvertible sorption of blood components on cellulose fibers, etc. Samples of membrane materials based on cellulose, polymers and glass fiber with applied biosamples were studied using methods of scanning electron microscopy, FT-IR spectroscopy and surface-wetting measurement. It was discovered that cellulose-based membrane materials sorb components of biological fluids inside their structure, while membranes based on glass fiber display almost no interaction with the samples and biological fluid components dry to films in the membrane pores between the structural fibers. This characteristic, together with the fact that membrane materials based on glass fiber possess sufficient strength, high wetting properties and good storage capacity, attests them as promising material for dry samples of biological fluids storage systems. (paper)

  20. Structural biological composites: An overview

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyers, Marc A.; Lin, Albert Y. M.; Seki, Yasuaki; Chen, Po-Yu; Kad, Bimal K.; Bodde, Sara

    2006-07-01

    Biological materials are complex composites that are hierarchically structured and multifunctional. Their mechanical properties are often outstanding, considering the weak constituents from which they are assembled. They are for the most part composed of brittle (often, mineral) and ductile (organic) components. These complex structures, which have risen from millions of years of evolution, are inspiring materials scientists in the design of novel materials. This paper discusses the overall design principles in biological structural composites and illustrates them for five examples; sea spicules, the abalone shell, the conch shell, the toucan and hornbill beaks, and the sheep crab exoskeleton.

  1. [Network structures in biological systems].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oleskin, A V

    2013-01-01

    Network structures (networks) that have been extensively studied in the humanities are characterized by cohesion, a lack of a central control unit, and predominantly fractal properties. They are contrasted with structures that contain a single centre (hierarchies) as well as with those whose elements predominantly compete with one another (market-type structures). As far as biological systems are concerned, their network structures can be subdivided into a number of types involving different organizational mechanisms. Network organization is characteristic of various structural levels of biological systems ranging from single cells to integrated societies. These networks can be classified into two main subgroups: (i) flat (leaderless) network structures typical of systems that are composed of uniform elements and represent modular organisms or at least possess manifest integral properties and (ii) three-dimensional, partly hierarchical structures characterized by significant individual and/or intergroup (intercaste) differences between their elements. All network structures include an element that performs structural, protective, and communication-promoting functions. By analogy to cell structures, this element is denoted as the matrix of a network structure. The matrix includes a material and an immaterial component. The material component comprises various structures that belong to the whole structure and not to any of its elements per se. The immaterial (ideal) component of the matrix includes social norms and rules regulating network elements' behavior. These behavioral rules can be described in terms of algorithms. Algorithmization enables modeling the behavior of various network structures, particularly of neuron networks and their artificial analogs.

  2. Role for chlamydial inclusion membrane proteins in inclusion membrane structure and biogenesis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeffrey Mital

    Full Text Available The chlamydial inclusion membrane is extensively modified by the insertion of type III secreted effector proteins. These inclusion membrane proteins (Incs are exposed to the cytosol and share a common structural feature of a long, bi-lobed hydrophobic domain but little or no primary amino acid sequence similarity. Based upon secondary structural predictions, over 50 putative inclusion membrane proteins have been identified in Chlamydia trachomatis. Only a limited number of biological functions have been defined and these are not shared between chlamydial species. Here we have ectopically expressed several C. trachomatis Incs in HeLa cells and find that they induce the formation of morphologically distinct membranous vesicular compartments. Formation of these vesicles requires the bi-lobed hydrophobic domain as a minimum. No markers for various cellular organelles were observed in association with these vesicles. Lipid probes were incorporated by the Inc-induced vesicles although the lipids incorporated were dependent upon the specific Inc expressed. Co-expression of Inc pairs indicated that some colocalized in the same vesicle, others partially overlapped, and others did not associate at all. Overall, it appears that Incs may have an intrinsic ability to induce membrane formation and that individual Incs can induce membranous structures with unique properties.

  3. Nano-swimmers in biological membranes and propulsion hydrodynamics in two dimensions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Mu-Jie; Chen, Hsuan-Yi; Mikhailov, Alexander S

    2012-11-01

    Active protein inclusions in biological membranes can represent nano-swimmers and propel themselves in lipid bilayers. A simple model of an active inclusion with three particles (domains) connected by variable elastic links is considered. First, the membrane is modeled as a two-dimensional viscous fluid and propulsion behavior in two dimensions is examined. After that, an example of a microscopic dynamical simulation is presented, where the lipid bilayer structure of the membrane is resolved and the solvent effects are included by multiparticle collision dynamics. Statistical analysis of data reveals ballistic motion of the swimmer, in contrast to the classical diffusion behavior found in the absence of active transitions between the states.

  4. Osmotic versus conventional membrane bioreactors integrated with reverse osmosis for water reuse: Biological stability, membrane fouling, and contaminant removal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Wenhai; Phan, Hop V; Xie, Ming; Hai, Faisal I; Price, William E; Elimelech, Menachem; Nghiem, Long D

    2017-02-01

    This study systematically compares the performance of osmotic membrane bioreactor - reverse osmosis (OMBR-RO) and conventional membrane bioreactor - reverse osmosis (MBR-RO) for advanced wastewater treatment and water reuse. Both systems achieved effective removal of bulk organic matter and nutrients, and almost complete removal of all 31 trace organic contaminants investigated. They both could produce high quality water suitable for recycling applications. During OMBR-RO operation, salinity build-up in the bioreactor reduced the water flux and negatively impacted the system biological treatment by altering biomass characteristics and microbial community structure. In addition, the elevated salinity also increased soluble microbial products and extracellular polymeric substances in the mixed liquor, which induced fouling of the forward osmosis (FO) membrane. Nevertheless, microbial analysis indicated that salinity stress resulted in the development of halotolerant bacteria, consequently sustaining biodegradation in the OMBR system. By contrast, biological performance was relatively stable throughout conventional MBR-RO operation. Compared to conventional MBR-RO, the FO process effectively prevented foulants from permeating into the draw solution, thereby significantly reducing fouling of the downstream RO membrane in OMBR-RO operation. Accumulation of organic matter, including humic- and protein-like substances, as well as inorganic salts in the MBR effluent resulted in severe RO membrane fouling in conventional MBR-RO operation. Crown Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    CERN Document Server

    Leshem, Ya’Acov Y

    1992-01-01

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

  6. Importance of the hexagonal lipid phase in biological membrane organization

    OpenAIRE

    Jouhet, Juliette

    2013-01-01

    Domains are present in every natural membrane. They are characterized by a distinctive protein and/or lipid composition. Their size is highly variable from the nano- to the micrometer scale. The domains confer specific properties to the membrane leading to original structure and function. The determinants leading to domain organization are therefore important but remain obscure. This review presents how the ability of lipids to organize into hexagonal II or lamellar phases can promote particu...

  7. Discovery of novel membrane binding structures and functions

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  8. Electrochemically deposited and etched membranes with precisely sized micropores for biological fluids microfiltration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hamzah, A A; Zainal Abidin, H E; Yeop Majlis, B; Mohd Nor, M; Ismardi, A; Sugandi, G; Tiong, T Y; Dee, C F; Yunas, J

    2013-01-01

    This paper presents simple and economical, yet reliable techniques to fabricate a micro-fluidic filter for MEMS lab-on-chip (LoC) applications. The microporous filter is a crucial component in a MEMS LoC system. Microsized components and contaminants in biological fluids are selectively filtered using copper and silicon membranes with precisely controlled microsized pores. Two techniques were explored in microporous membrane fabrication, namely copper electroplating and electrochemical etching (ECE) of silicon. In the first technique, a copper membrane with evenly distributed micropores was fabricated by electroplating the copper layer on the silicon nitride membrane, which was later removed to leave the freestanding microporous membrane structure. The second approach involves the thinning of bulk silicon down to a few micrometers thick using KOH and etching the resulting silicon membrane in 5% HF by ECE to create micropores. Upon testing with nanoparticles of various sizes, it was observed that electroplated copper membrane passes nanoparticles up to 200 nm wide, while porous silicon membrane passes nanoparticles up to 380 nm in size. Due to process compatibility, simplicity, and low-cost fabrication, electroplated copper and porous silicon membranes enable synchronized microfilter fabrication and integration into the MEMS LoC system. (paper)

  9. Probing nanomechanical interaction at the interface between biological membrane and potentially toxic chemical.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lim, Chanoong; Park, Sohee; Park, Jinwoo; Ko, Jina; Lee, Dong Woog; Hwang, Dong Soo

    2018-04-12

    Various xenobiotics interact with biological membranes, and precise evaluations of the molecular interactions between them are essential to foresee the toxicity and bioavailability of existing or newly synthesized molecules. In this study, surface forces apparatus (SFA) measurement and Langmuir trough based tensiometry are performed to reveal nanomechanical interaction mechanisms between potential toxicants and biological membranes for ex vivo toxicity evaluation. As a toxicant, polyhexamethylene guanidine (PHMG) was selected because PHMG containing humidifier disinfectant and Vodka caused lots of victims in both S. Korea and Russia, respectively, due to the lack of holistic toxicity evaluation of PHMG. Here, we measured strong attraction (Wad ∼4.2 mJ/m 2 ) between PHMG and head group of biological membranes while no detectable adhesion force between the head group and control molecules was measured. Moreover, significant changes in π-A isotherm of 1,2-Dipalmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphatidylcholine (DPPC) monolayers were measured upon PHMG adsorption. These results indicate PHMG strongly binds to hydrophilic group of lipid membranes and alters the structural and phase behavior of them. More importantly, complementary utilization of SFA and Langmuir trough techniques are found to be useful to predict the potential toxicity of a chemical by evaluating the molecular interaction with biological membranes, the primary protective barrier for living organisms. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bugge, Katrine Østergaard

    bilayer via structural characterizations of TMD representatives. To enable structural studies of these domains, an organic-extraction based strategy for efficient production of isotope-labeled TMDs with or without short intrinsically disordered regions was developed. This strategy successfully provided...... of these challenging domains. Supplemented by a review of the current collection of TMD structures from single-pass transmembrane receptors, the thesis as a whole provides important insights on the structure and function in the membrane as well as highlight the open questions to be addressed in the years to come.......Class I cytokine receptors are involved in important biological functions of both physiological and pathological nature in mammals. However, the molecular details of the cross-membrane signal transduction through these receptors remain obscure. One of the major reasons for this is the lack...

  11. Ion transport through biological membranes an integrated theoretical approach

    CERN Document Server

    Mackey, Michael C

    1975-01-01

    This book illustrates some of the ways physics and mathematics have been, and are being, used to elucidate the underlying mechan­ isms of passive ion movement through biological membranes in general, and the membranes of excltable cells in particular. I have made no effort to be comprehensive in my introduction of biological material and the reader interested in a brief account of single cell electro­ physlology from a physically-oriented biologists viewpoint will find the chapters by Woodbury (1965) an excellent introduction. Part I is introductory in nature, exploring the basic electrical properties of inexcitable and excitable cell plasma membranes. Cable theory is utilized to illustrate the function of the non-decrementing action potential as a signaling mechanism for the long range trans­ mission of information in the nervous system, and to gain some in­ sight into the gross behaviour of neurons. The detailed analysis of Hodgkin and Huxley on the squid giant axon membrane ionic conductance properties...

  12. AFM imaging of functionalized carbon nanotubes on biological membranes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lamprecht, C; Danzberger, J; Rangl, M; Gruber, H J; Hinterdorfer, P; Kienberger, F; Ebner, A; Liashkovich, I; Neves, V; Heister, E; Coley, H M; McFadden, J; Flahaut, E

    2009-01-01

    Multifunctional carbon nanotubes are promising for biomedical applications as their nano-size, together with their physical stability, gives access into the cell and various cellular compartments including the nucleus. However, the direct and label-free detection of carbon nanotube uptake into cells is a challenging task. The atomic force microscope (AFM) is capable of resolving details of cellular surfaces at the nanometer scale and thus allows following of the docking of carbon nanotubes to biological membranes. Here we present topographical AFM images of non-covalently functionalized single walled (SWNT) and double walled carbon nanotubes (DWNT) immobilized on different biological membranes, such as plasma membranes and nuclear envelopes, as well as on a monolayer of avidin molecules. We were able to visualize DWNT on the nuclear membrane while at the same time resolving individual nuclear pore complexes. Furthermore, we succeeded in localizing individual SWNT at the border of incubated cells and in identifying bundles of DWNT on cell surfaces by AFM imaging.

  13. Structure and function in biology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hirs, C.H.W.

    1976-01-01

    A summary is given of the history of the developments of structural chemistry in biology beginning with the work of the bacteriologist Ehrlich leading to a comprehensive examination of the influence of size and configuration on the interaction between specific antibodies and side-chain determinants. Recent developments include the recognition of a higher order of specificity in the interaction of proteins with one another

  14. Diffraction Techniques in Structural Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Egli, Martin

    2016-01-01

    A detailed understanding of chemical and biological function and the mechanisms underlying the molecular activities ultimately requires atomic-resolution structural data. Diffraction-based techniques such as single-crystal X-ray crystallography, electron microscopy, and neutron diffraction are well established and they have paved the road to the stunning successes of modern-day structural biology. The major advances achieved in the last 20 years in all aspects of structural research, including sample preparation, crystallization, the construction of synchrotron and spallation sources, phasing approaches, and high-speed computing and visualization, now provide specialists and nonspecialists alike with a steady flow of molecular images of unprecedented detail. The present unit combines a general overview of diffraction methods with a detailed description of the process of a single-crystal X-ray structure determination experiment, from chemical synthesis or expression to phasing and refinement, analysis, and quality control. For novices it may serve as a stepping-stone to more in-depth treatises of the individual topics. Readers relying on structural information for interpreting functional data may find it a useful consumer guide. PMID:27248784

  15. Dissipative structures and biological rhythms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldbeter, Albert

    2017-10-01

    Sustained oscillations abound in biological systems. They occur at all levels of biological organization over a wide range of periods, from a fraction of a second to years, and with a variety of underlying mechanisms. They control major physiological functions, and their dysfunction is associated with a variety of physiological disorders. The goal of this review is (i) to give an overview of the main rhythms observed at the cellular and supracellular levels, (ii) to briefly describe how the study of biological rhythms unfolded in the course of time, in parallel with studies on chemical oscillations, (iii) to present the major roles of biological rhythms in the control of physiological functions, and (iv) the pathologies associated with the alteration, disappearance, or spurious occurrence of biological rhythms. Two tables present the main examples of cellular and supracellular rhythms ordered according to their period, and their role in physiology and pathophysiology. Among the rhythms discussed are neural and cardiac rhythms, metabolic oscillations such as those occurring in glycolysis in yeast, intracellular Ca++ oscillations, cyclic AMP oscillations in Dictyostelium amoebae, the segmentation clock that controls somitogenesis, pulsatile hormone secretion, circadian rhythms which occur in all eukaryotes and some bacteria with a period close to 24 h, the oscillatory dynamics of the enzymatic network driving the cell cycle, and oscillations in transcription factors such as NF-ΚB and tumor suppressors such as p53. Ilya Prigogine's concept of dissipative structures applies to temporal oscillations and allows us to unify within a common framework the various rhythms observed at different levels of biological organization, regardless of their period and underlying mechanism.

  16. Separations using biological carriers immobilized in porous polymeric and sol-gel template synthesized nanotubular membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lakshmi, Brinda B.

    1998-12-01

    The overall goal of the dissertation was to use immobilized biological carriers in membranes to separate compounds as challenging as enantiomers. The membranes were prepared by a process called 'template synthesis'. Template synthesis has been used to synthesize semiconductor nanostructures and also membranes which do the enantioseparation by a process called facilitated transport. The immobilized proteins act as carriers facilitating the transport of the substrate molecules through the membrane. The apoenzymes are enzymes devoid of cofactor. Apoenzymes will possess the molecular recognition site for the substrate but will not catalyze the reaction. Apoenzymes immobilized in the pores of porous polycarbonate membrane was used as a carrier. The ends of the pores were closed with porous polypyrrole. Compounds as interesting as enantiomers were separated with these membranes. Template synthesis has been extended to the synthesis of many important semiconductor oxide naostructures like TiO2, SiO2, ZnO, Co3O4 and MnO2. These structures were made by dipping the alumina template membrane in the sol and heating. Ti0 2 tubules and fibers were obtained by this method. The fibers were used to study photocatalysis reaction of organic compounds in sunlight. Proteins were immobilized within the inner surface of the tubules using Sn chemistry. Bovine serum albumn (BSA) immobilized within the different diameter tubules showed varying degree of facilitation with phenylalanine. The membranes also show interesting switching of selectivity from L to D depending on the tube size and feed concentration.

  17. Overcoming barriers to membrane protein structure determination

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bill, Roslyn M.; Henderson, Peter J. F.; Iwata, So; Kunji, Edmund R. S.; Michel, Hartmut; Neutze, Richard; Newstead, Simon; Poolman, Bert; Tate, Christopher G.; Vogel, Horst

    After decades of slow progress, the pace of research on membrane protein structures is beginning to quicken thanks to various improvements in technology, including protein engineering and microfocus X-ray diffraction. Here we review these developments and, where possible, highlight generic new

  18. Plasma membrane--cortical cytoskeleton interactions: a cell biology approach with biophysical considerations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kapus, András; Janmey, Paul

    2013-07-01

    From a biophysical standpoint, the interface between the cell membrane and the cytoskeleton is an intriguing site where a "two-dimensional fluid" interacts with an exceedingly complex three-dimensional protein meshwork. The membrane is a key regulator of the cytoskeleton, which not only provides docking sites for cytoskeletal elements through transmembrane proteins, lipid binding-based, and electrostatic interactions, but also serves as the source of the signaling events and molecules that control cytoskeletal organization and remolding. Conversely, the cytoskeleton is a key determinant of the biophysical and biochemical properties of the membrane, including its shape, tension, movement, composition, as well as the mobility, partitioning, and recycling of its constituents. From a cell biological standpoint, the membrane-cytoskeleton interplay underlies--as a central executor and/or regulator--a multitude of complex processes including chemical and mechanical signal transduction, motility/migration, endo-/exo-/phagocytosis, and other forms of membrane traffic, cell-cell, and cell-matrix adhesion. The aim of this article is to provide an overview of the tight structural and functional coupling between the membrane and the cytoskeleton. As biophysical approaches, both theoretical and experimental, proved to be instrumental for our understanding of the membrane/cytoskeleton interplay, this review will "oscillate" between the cell biological phenomena and the corresponding biophysical principles and considerations. After describing the types of connections between the membrane and the cytoskeleton, we will focus on a few key physical parameters and processes (force generation, curvature, tension, and surface charge) and will discuss how these contribute to a variety of fundamental cell biological functions. © 2013 American Physiological Society.

  19. Structural Biology: Practical NMR Applications

    CERN Document Server

    Teng, Quincy

    2005-01-01

    This textbook begins with an overview of NMR development and applications in biological systems. It describes recent developments in instrument hardware and methodology. Chapters highlight the scope and limitation of NMR methods. While detailed math and quantum mechanics dealing with NMR theory have been addressed in several well-known NMR volumes, chapter two of this volume illustrates the fundamental principles and concepts of NMR spectroscopy in a more descriptive manner. Topics such as instrument setup, data acquisition, and data processing using a variety of offline software are discussed. Chapters further discuss several routine stategies for preparing samples, especially for macromolecules and complexes. The target market for such a volume includes researchers in the field of biochemistry, chemistry, structural biology and biophysics.

  20. High Cholesterol/Low Cholesterol: Effects in Biological Membranes: A Review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Subczynski, Witold K; Pasenkiewicz-Gierula, Marta; Widomska, Justyna; Mainali, Laxman; Raguz, Marija

    2017-12-01

    Lipid composition determines membrane properties, and cholesterol plays a major role in this determination as it regulates membrane fluidity and permeability, as well as induces the formation of coexisting phases and domains in the membrane. Biological membranes display a very diverse lipid composition, the lateral organization of which plays a crucial role in regulating a variety of membrane functions. We hypothesize that, during biological evolution, membranes with a particular cholesterol content were selected to perform certain functions in the cells of eukaryotic organisms. In this review, we discuss the major membrane properties induced by cholesterol, and their relationship to certain membrane functions.

  1. Review of Large Spacecraft Deployable Membrane Antenna Structures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Zhi-Quan; Qiu, Hui; Li, Xiao; Yang, Shu-Li

    2017-11-01

    The demand for large antennas in future space missions has increasingly stimulated the development of deployable membrane antenna structures owing to their light weight and small stowage volume. However, there is little literature providing a comprehensive review and comparison of different membrane antenna structures. Space-borne membrane antenna structures are mainly classified as either parabolic or planar membrane antenna structures. For parabolic membrane antenna structures, there are five deploying and forming methods, including inflation, inflation-rigidization, elastic ribs driven, Shape Memory Polymer (SMP)-inflation, and electrostatic forming. The development and detailed comparison of these five methods are presented. Then, properties of membrane materials (including polyester film and polyimide film) for parabolic membrane antennas are compared. Additionally, for planar membrane antenna structures, frame shapes have changed from circular to rectangular, and different tensioning systems have emerged successively, including single Miura-Natori, double, and multi-layer tensioning systems. Recent advances in structural configurations, tensioning system design, and dynamic analysis for planar membrane antenna structures are investigated. Finally, future trends for large space membrane antenna structures are pointed out and technical problems are proposed, including design and analysis of membrane structures, materials and processes, membrane packing, surface accuracy stability, and test and verification technology. Through a review of large deployable membrane antenna structures, guidance for space membrane-antenna research and applications is provided.

  2. Probing Induced Structural Changes in Biomimetic Bacterial Cell Membrane Interactions with Divalent Cations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Holt, Allison M [ORNL; Standaert, Robert F [ORNL; Jubb, Aaron M [ORNL; Katsaras, John [ORNL; Johs, Alexander [ORNL

    2017-01-01

    Biological membranes, formed primarily by the self-assembly of complex mixtures of phospholipids, provide a structured scaffold for compartmentalization and structural processes in living cells. The specific physical properties of phospholipid species present in a given membrane play a key role in mediating these processes. Phosphatidylethanolamine (PE), a zwitterionic lipid present in bacterial, yeast, and mammalian cell membranes, is exceptional. In addition to undergoing the standard lipid polymorphic transition between the gel and liquid-crystalline phase, it can also assume an unusual polymorphic state, the inverse hexagonal phase (HII). Divalent cations are among the factors that drive the formation of the HII phase, wherein the lipid molecules form stacked tubular structures by burying the hydrophilic head groups and exposing the hydrophobic tails to the bulk solvent. Most biological membranes contain a lipid species capable of forming the HII state suggesting that such lipid polymorphic structural states play an important role in structural biological processes such as membrane fusion. In this study, the interactions between Mg2+ and biomimetic bacterial cell membranes composed of PE and phosphatidylglycerol (PG) were probed using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), small-angle x-ray scattering (SAXS), and fluorescence spectroscopy. The lipid phase transitions were examined at varying ratios of PE to PG and upon exposure to physiologically relevant concentrations of Mg2+. An understanding of these basic interactions enhances our understanding of membrane dynamics and how membrane-mediated structural changes may occur in vivo.

  3. Environmental behaviour of tensile membrane structures

    OpenAIRE

    Elnokaly, Amira; Chilton, John; Wilson, Robin

    2002-01-01

    This paper considers the environmental properties of spaces enclosed by tensile membrane structures (TMS). Limitations in the understanding of the environmental and thermal performance of TMS have to some extent hindered their acceptance by building clients and the building industry. A review of the early attempts to model the thermal environment of spaces enclosed by TMS is given and their environmental and thermal properties are discussed. The lack of appropriate tools for the investigation...

  4. Lipid polymorphism and the functional roles of lipids in biological membranes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cullis, P.R.; Kruijff, B. de

    1979-01-01

    The reasons for the great variety of lipids found in biological membranes, and the relations between lipid composition and membrane function pose major unsolved problems in membrane biology. Perhaps the only major functional role of lipids which may be regarded as firmly established involves the

  5. Track structure in biological models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curtis, S B

    1986-01-01

    High-energy heavy ions in the galactic cosmic radiation (HZE particles) may pose a special risk during long term manned space flights outside the sheltering confines of the earth's geomagnetic field. These particles are highly ionizing, and they and their nuclear secondaries can penetrate many centimeters of body tissue. The three dimensional patterns of ionizations they create as they lose energy are referred to as their track structure. Several models of biological action on mammalian cells attempt to treat track structure or related quantities in their formulation. The methods by which they do this are reviewed. The proximity function is introduced in connection with the theory of Dual Radiation Action (DRA). The ion-gamma kill (IGK) model introduces the radial energy-density distribution, which is a smooth function characterizing both the magnitude and extension of a charged particle track. The lethal, potentially lethal (LPL) model introduces lambda, the mean distance between relevant ion clusters or biochemical species along the track. Since very localized energy depositions (within approximately 10 nm) are emphasized, the proximity function as defined in the DRA model is not of utility in characterizing track structure in the LPL formulation.

  6. Factors Determining the Oxygen Permeability of Biological Membranes: Oxygen Transport Across Eye Lens Fiber-Cell Plasma Membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Subczynski, Witold Karol; Widomska, Justyna; Mainali, Laxman

    2017-01-01

    Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spin-label oximetry allows the oxygen permeability coefficient to be evaluated across homogeneous lipid bilayer membranes and, in some cases, across coexisting membrane domains without their physical separation. The most pronounced effect on oxygen permeability is observed for cholesterol, which additionally induces the formation of membrane domains. In intact biological membranes, integral proteins induce the formation of boundary and trapped lipid domains with a low oxygen permeability. The effective oxygen permeability coefficient across the intact biological membrane is affected not only by the oxygen permeability coefficients evaluated for each lipid domain but also by the surface area occupied by these domains in the membrane. All these factors observed in fiber cell plasma membranes of clear human eye lenses are reviewed here.

  7. Effect of high linear energy transfer radiation on biological membranes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Choudhary, D.; Srivastava, M.; Kale, R.K.; Sarma, A.

    1998-01-01

    Cellular membranes are vital elements, and their integrity is extremely essential for the viability of the cells. We studied the effects of high linear energy transfer (LET) radiation on the membranes. Rabbit erythrocytes (1 x 10 7 cells/ml) and microsomes (0.6 mg protein/ml) prepared from liver of rats were irradiated with 7 Li ions of energy 6.42 MeV/u and 16 O ions of energy 4.25 MeV/u having maximum LET values of 354 keV/μm and 1130 keV/μm, respectively. 7 Li- and 16 O-induced microsomal lipid peroxidation was found to increase with fluence. The 16 O ions were more effective than 7 Li ions, which could be due to the denser energy distribution in the track and the yield of free radicals. These findings suggested that the biological membranes could be peroxidized on exposure to high-LET radiation. Inhibition of the lipid peroxidation was observed in the presence of a membrane-active drug, chlorpromazine (CPZ), which could be due to scavenging of free radicals (mainly HO. and ROO.), electron donation, and hydrogen transfer reactions. The 7 Li and 16 O ions also induced hemolysis in erythrocytes. The extent of hemolysis was found to be a function of time and fluence, and showed a characteristic sigmoidal pattern. The 16 O ions were more effective in the lower fluence range than 7 Li ions. These results were compared with lipid peroxidation and hemolysis induced by gamma-radiation. (orig.)

  8. Enhanced water desalination performance through hierarchically-structured ceramic membranes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Liu, Tong; Lei, Libin; Gu, Jianqiang; Wang, Yao; Winnubst, Louis; Chen, Chusheng; Ye, Chunsong; Chen, Fanglin

    2017-01-01

    Developments of membrane water desalination are impeded by low water vapor flux across the membrane. We present an innovative membrane design to significantly enhance the water vapor flux. A bilayer zirconia-based membrane with a thick hierarchically-structured support and a thin functional layer is

  9. Extracellular membrane vesicles in blood products-biology and clinical relevance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emilija Krstova Krajnc

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Extracellular membrane vesicles are fragments shed from plasma membranes off all cell types that are undergoing apoptosis or are being subjected to various types of stimulation or stress.  Even in the process of programmed cell death (apoptosis, cell fall apart of varying size vesicles. They expose phosphatidylserine (PS on the outer leaflet of their membrane, and bear surface membrane antigens reflecting their cellular origin. Extracellular membrane vesicles have been isolated from many types of biological fluids, including serum, cerebrospinal fluid, urine, saliva, tears and conditioned culture medium. Flow cytometry is one of the many different methodological approaches that have been used to analyze EMVs. The method attempts to characterize the EMVs cellular origin, size, population, number, and structure. EMVs are present and accumulate in blood products (erythrocytes, platelets as well as in fresh frozen plasma during storage. The aim of this review is to highlight the importance of extracellular vesicles as a cell-to-cell communication system and the role in the pathogenesis of different diseases. Special emphasis will be given to the implication of extracellular membrane vesicles in blood products and their clinical relevance. Although our understanding of the role of  EMVs in disease is far from comprehensive, they display promise as biomarkers for different diseases in the future and also as a marker of quality and safety in the quality control of blood products.

  10. Biological evaluation of silver nanoparticles incorporated into chitosan-based membranes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Shao, J.; Yu, N.; Kolwijck, E.; Wang, B.; Tan, K.W.; Jansen, J.A.; Walboomers, X.F.; Yang, F.

    2017-01-01

    AIM: To evaluate the antibacterial potential and biological performance of silver nanoparticles in chitosan-based membranes. MATERIALS & METHODS: Electrospun chitosan/poly(ethylene oxide) membranes with different amounts of silver nanoparticles were evaluated for antibacterial properties and

  11. Communication on the structure of biological networks

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Introduction. Over the past few years, network science has drawn attention from a large number of ... The qualitative properties of biological networks cannot ... Here, we study the underlying undirected structure of empirical biological networks.

  12. Structure modification of particle track membranes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lueck, H.B.; Gemende, B.; Heinrich, B.

    1991-01-01

    Three different structure modifications were studied in order to improve the flux and dirt loading capacity of particle track membranes without affecting their retention characteristic. Divergent irradiation is a very effective tool for decreasing the number of multiple pores and increasing the porosity up to 20 per cent. The technique leads to a remarkable but not efficient enhancement of the surface porosity. Improved surface porosity produced by a double irradiation technique turns out to be very effective with respect to the filtration performance. (author)

  13. Computational structural biology: methods and applications

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Schwede, Torsten; Peitsch, Manuel Claude

    2008-01-01

    ... sequencing reinforced the observation that structural information is needed to understand the detailed function and mechanism of biological molecules such as enzyme reactions and molecular recognition events. Furthermore, structures are obviously key to the design of molecules with new or improved functions. In this context, computational structural biology...

  14. Membrane structure in disease and drug therapy

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Zimmer, G

    2000-01-01

    ...) interaction with membranous transport systems (opening or closing of ion or substrate channels); (2) reaction with receptors; (3) activation or inhibition of membrane enzymes; or (4) cytosolic membranous signaling and exchange. These consequences within the membrane influence intracellular wellbeing: life is possible only if a bala...

  15. The structure and function of cell membranes studied by atomic force microscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Yan; Cai, Mingjun; Zhou, Lulu; Wang, Hongda

    2018-01-01

    The cell membrane, involved in almost all communications of cells and surrounding matrix, is one of the most complicated components of cells. Lack of suitable methods for the detection of cell membranes in vivo has sparked debates on the biochemical composition and structure of cell membranes over half a century. The development of single molecule techniques, such as AFM, SMFS, and TREC, provides a versatile platform for imaging and manipulating cell membranes in biological relevant environments. Here, we discuss the latest developments in AFM and the progress made in cell membrane research. In particular, we highlight novel structure models and dynamic processes, including the mechanical properties of the cell membranes. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Bioactive Structure of Membrane Lipids and Natural Products Elucidated by a Chemistry-Based Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murata, Michio; Sugiyama, Shigeru; Matsuoka, Shigeru; Matsumori, Nobuaki

    2015-08-01

    Determining the bioactive structure of membrane lipids is a new concept, which aims to examine the functions of lipids with respect to their three-dimensional structures. As lipids are dynamic by nature, their "structure" does not refer solely to a static picture but also to the local and global motions of the lipid molecules. We consider that interactions with lipids, which are completely defined by their structures, are controlled by the chemical, functional, and conformational matching between lipids and between lipid and protein. In this review, we describe recent advances in understanding the bioactive structures of membrane lipids bound to proteins and related molecules, including some of our recent results. By examining recent works on lipid-raft-related molecules, lipid-protein interactions, and membrane-active natural products, we discuss current perspectives on membrane structural biology. © 2015 The Chemical Society of Japan & Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  17. Structural biology at York Structural Biology Laboratory; laboratory information management systems for structural genomics

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Dohnálek, Jan

    2005-01-01

    Roč. 12, č. 1 (2005), s. 3 ISSN 1211-5894. [Meeting of Structural Biologists /4./. 10.03.2005-12.03.2005, Nové Hrady] R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) 1K05008 Keywords : structural biology * LIMS * structural genomics Subject RIV: CD - Macromolecular Chemistry

  18. Fuel-Cell Structure Prevents Membrane Drying

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mcelroy, J.

    1986-01-01

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

  19. Changes in plasma membrane structure upon irradiation on thymocytes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dreval', V.I.

    1993-01-01

    Thymocytes were irradiated with doses of 4 to 10 4 Gy. The binding of 1-anilinonaphtalene-8-sulphonate and Ca 2+ to plasma membranes; viscosity and lipid peroxidation; Stern-Folmer constant; and the number of Sh-groups of membrane proteins were determined. The structural changes in plasma membranes after irradiation of thymocytes were found to be cooperative

  20. In situ single molecule imaging of cell membranes: linking basic nanotechniques to cell biology, immunology and medicine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pi, Jiang; Jin, Hua; Yang, Fen; Chen, Zheng W.; Cai, Jiye

    2014-10-01

    The cell membrane, which consists of a viscous phospholipid bilayer, different kinds of proteins and various nano/micrometer-sized domains, plays a very important role in ensuring the stability of the intracellular environment and the order of cellular signal transductions. Exploring the precise cell membrane structure and detailed functions of the biomolecules in a cell membrane would be helpful to understand the underlying mechanisms involved in cell membrane signal transductions, which could further benefit research into cell biology, immunology and medicine. The detection of membrane biomolecules at the single molecule level can provide some subtle information about the molecular structure and the functions of the cell membrane. In particular, information obtained about the molecular mechanisms and other information at the single molecule level are significantly different from that detected from a large amount of biomolecules at the large-scale through traditional techniques, and can thus provide a novel perspective for the study of cell membrane structures and functions. However, the precise investigations of membrane biomolecules prompts researchers to explore cell membranes at the single molecule level by the use of in situ imaging methods, as the exact conformation and functions of biomolecules are highly controlled by the native cellular environment. Recently, the in situ single molecule imaging of cell membranes has attracted increasing attention from cell biologists and immunologists. The size of biomolecules and their clusters on the cell surface are set at the nanoscale, which makes it mandatory to use high- and super-resolution imaging techniques to realize the in situ single molecule imaging of cell membranes. In the past few decades, some amazing imaging techniques and instruments with super resolution have been widely developed for molecule imaging, which can also be further employed for the in situ single molecule imaging of cell membranes. In

  1. [Classification of organisms and structuralism in biology].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasil'eva, L I

    2001-01-01

    Structuralism in biology is the oldest trend oriented to the search for natural "laws of forms" comparable with laws of growth of crystal, was revived at the end of 20th century on the basis of structuralist thought in socio-humanitarian sciences. The development of principal ideas of the linguistic structuralism in some aspects is similar to that of biological systematics, especially concerning the relationships between "system" and "evolution". However, apart from this general similarity, biological structuralism is strongly focused on familiar problems of the origin of diversity in nature. In their striving for the renovation of existing views, biological structuralists oppose the neo-darwinism emphasizing the existence of "law of forms", that are independent on heredity and genetic "determinism". The trend to develop so-called "rational taxonomy" is also characteristic of biological structuralism but this attempt failed being connected neither with Darwin's historicism nor with Plato's typology.

  2. Temperature-dependent phase transitions in zeptoliter volumes of a complex biological membrane

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nikiforov, Maxim P; Jesse, Stephen; Kalinin, Sergei V; Hohlbauch, Sophia; Proksch, Roger; King, William P; Voitchovsky, Kislon; Contera, Sonia Antoranz

    2011-01-01

    Phase transitions in purple membrane have been a topic of debate for the past two decades. In this work we present studies of a reversible transition of purple membrane in the 50-60 deg. C range in zeptoliter volumes under different heating regimes (global heating and local heating). The temperature of the reversible phase transition is 52 ± 5 deg. C for both local and global heating, supporting the hypothesis that this transition is mainly due to a structural rearrangement of bR molecules and trimers. To achieve high resolution measurements of temperature-dependent phase transitions, a new scanning probe microscopy-based method was developed. We believe that our new technique can be extended to other biological systems and can contribute to the understanding of inhomogeneous phase transitions in complex systems.

  3. Membrane Structure Studies by Means of Small-Angle Neutron Scattering (SANS)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Knott, R. B.

    2008-01-01

    The basic model for membrane structure--a lipid bilayer with imbedded proteins--was formulated 35 years ago, however the detailed structure is still under active investigation using a variety of physical, chemical and computational techniques. Every biologically active cell is encapsulated by a plasma membrane with most cells also equipped with an extensive intracellular membrane system. The plasma membrane is an important boundary between the cytoplasm of the cell and the external environment, and selectively isolates the cell from that environment. Passive diffusion and/or active transport mechanisms are provided for water, ions, substrates etc. which are vital for cell metabolism and viability. Membranes also facilitate excretion of substances either as useful cellular products or as waste. Despite their complexity and diverse function, plasma membranes from quite different cells have surprisingly similar compositions. A typical membrane structure consists of a phospholipid bilayer with a number of proteins scattered throughout, along with carbohydrates (glycoproteins), glycolipids and sterols. The plasma membranes of most eukaryotic cells contain approximately equal weights of lipid and protein, which corresponds to about 100 lipid molecules per protein molecule. Clearly, lipids are a major constituent and the study of their structure and function in isolation provides valuable insight into the more complex intact multicomponent membrane. The membrane bound protein is the other major constituent and is a very active area of research for a number of reasons including the fact that over 60% of modern drugs act on their receptor sites. The interaction between the protein and the supporting lipid bilayer is clearly of major importance. Neutron scattering is a powerful technique for exploring the structure of membranes, either as reconstituted membranes formed from well characterised lipids, or as intact membranes isolated from selected biological systems. A brief

  4. West-Life, Tools for Integrative Structural Biology

    CERN Multimedia

    CERN. Geneva

    2018-01-01

    Structural biology is part of molecular biology focusing on determining structure of macromolecules inside living cells and cell membranes. As macromolecules determines most of the functions of cells the structural knowledge is very useful for further research in metabolism, physiology to application in pharmacology etc. As macromolecules are too small to be observed directly by light microscope, there are other methods used to determine the structure including nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), X-Ray crystalography, cryo electron microscopy and others. Each method has it's advantages and disadvantages in the terms of availability, sample preparation, resolution. West-Life project has ambition to facilitate integrative approach using multiple techniques mentioned above. As there are already lot of software tools to process data produced by the techniques above, the challenge is to integrate them together in a way they can be used by experts in one technique but not experts in other techniques. One product ...

  5. Physical origin of selectivity in ionic channels of biological membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laio, A; Torre, V

    1999-01-01

    This paper shows that the selectivity properties of monovalent cation channels found in biological membranes can originate simply from geometrical properties of the inner core of the channel without any critical contribution from electrostatic interactions between the permeating ions and charged or polar groups. By using well-known techniques of statistical mechanics, such as the Langevin equations and Kramer theory of reaction rates, a theoretical equation is provided relating the permeability ratio PB/PA between ions A and B to simple physical properties, such as channel geometry, thermodynamics of ion hydration, and electrostatic interactions between the ion and charged (or polar) groups. Diffusive corrections and recrossing rates are also considered and evaluated. It is shown that the selectivity found in usual K+, gramicidin, Na+, cyclic nucleotide gated, and end plate channels can be explained also in the absence of any charged or polar group. If these groups are present, they significantly change the permeability ratio only if the ion at the selectivity filter is in van der Waals contact with them, otherwise these groups simply affect the channel conductance, lowering the free energy barrier of the same amount for the two ions, thus explaining why single channel conductance, as it is experimentally observed, can be very different in channels sharing the same selectivity sequence. The proposed theory also provides an estimate of channel minimum radius for K+, gramicidin, Na+, and cyclic nucleotide gated channels.

  6. Guided Bone Regeneration in Long-Bone Defects with a Structural Hydroxyapatite Graft and Collagen Membrane

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Original Articles Guided Bone Regeneration in Long-Bone Defects with a Structural Hydroxyapatite Graft and Collagen Membrane Teja Guda, PhD,1,2 John...Joint Surg Br 90-B, 1617, 2008. 6. Carlo Reis, E.C., Borges AaPB, Araujo, M.V.F., Mendes, V.C., Guan, L., and Davies, J.E. Periodontal regeneration...Regeneration of periodontal tissues: combinations of barrier membranes and grafting materials–biological foundation and preclinical evi- dence: a

  7. Effect of ozone on the performance of a hybrid ceramic membrane-biological activated carbon process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Jianning; Hu, Jiangyong; Tao, Yi; Zhu, Jia; Zhang, Xihui

    2014-04-01

    Two hybrid processes including ozonation-ceramic membrane-biological activated carbon (BAC) (Process A) and ceramic membrane-BAC (Process B) were compared to treat polluted raw water. The performance of hybrid processes was evaluated with the removal efficiencies of turbidity, ammonia and organic matter. The results indicated that more than 99% of particle count was removed by both hybrid processes and ozonation had no significant effect on its removal. BAC filtration greatly improved the removal of ammonia. Increasing the dissolved oxygen to 30.0 mg/L could lead to a removal of ammonia with concentrations as high as 7.80 mg/L and 8.69 mg/L for Processes A and B, respectively. The average removal efficiencies of total organic carbon and ultraviolet absorbance at 254 nm (UV254, a parameter indicating organic matter with aromatic structure) were 49% and 52% for Process A, 51% and 48% for Process B, respectively. Some organic matter was oxidized by ozone and this resulted in reduced membrane fouling and increased membrane flux by 25%-30%. However, pre-ozonation altered the components of the raw water and affected the microorganisms in the BAC, which may impact the removals of organic matter and nitrite negatively. Copyright © 2014 The Research Centre for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. New membrane structures with proton conducting properties

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nørgaard, Casper Frydendal

    if higher operating temperature is enabled. One approach to obtain improved membranes in the aspects of applicable operating temperature and methanol permeability, which has attracted considerable attention, is the formation of composites by distributing inorganic fillers into Nafion or alternative polymers...... temperature and high relative humidity can cause excessive swelling of the membranes, yielding insufficient mechanical properties and breakdown of membrane function. Moreover, in the case of the Direct Methanol Fuel Cell (DMFC), their significant methanol permeability causes loss of efficiency. Higher...

  9. Integrable structure in discrete shell membrane theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schief, W K

    2014-05-08

    We present natural discrete analogues of two integrable classes of shell membranes. By construction, these discrete shell membranes are in equilibrium with respect to suitably chosen internal stresses and external forces. The integrability of the underlying equilibrium equations is proved by relating the geometry of the discrete shell membranes to discrete O surface theory. We establish connections with generalized barycentric coordinates and nine-point centres and identify a discrete version of the classical Gauss equation of surface theory.

  10. Effective protection of biological membranes against photo-oxidative damage: Polymeric antioxidant forming a protecting shield over the membrane.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mertins, Omar; Mathews, Patrick D; Gomide, Andreza B; Baptista, Mauricio S; Itri, Rosangela

    2015-10-01

    We have prepared a chitosan polymer modified with gallic acid in order to develop an efficient protection strategy biological membranes against photodamage. Lipid bilayers were challenged with photoinduced damage by photosensitization with methylene blue, which usually causes formation of hydroperoxides, increasing area per lipid, and afterwards allowing leakage of internal materials. The damage was delayed by a solution of gallic acid in a concentration dependent manner, but further suppressed by the polymer at very low concentrations. The membrane of giant unilamellar vesicles was covered with this modified macromolecule leading to a powerful shield against singlet oxygen and thus effectively protecting the lipid membrane from oxidative stress. The results have proven the discovery of a promising strategy for photo protection of biological membranes. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. X-ray microscopy study of track membranes and biological objects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Artioukov, I.A.; Levashov, V.E.; Struk, I.I.; Vinogradov, A.V.; Asadchikov, V.E.; Mchedlishvili, B.V.; Postnov, A.A.; Vilensky, A.I.; Zagorsky, D.L.; Gulimova, V.I.; Saveliev, S.V.; Kurohtin, A.N.; Popov, A.V.

    2000-01-01

    The development of two types of X-ray microscopy applying to the organic objects investigation (biological samples and polymer matrix) is reported. Polymer track membranes were investigated using Schwarzchild X-ray microscope with 20 nm wavelength. Pore diameters down to 0.2 μm were clearly imaged. Contact X-ray microscopy at 0.229 nm wavelength was used to obtain clear images of inner structure of native biological samples. High contrast together with the high resolution (about 2-3 μm) allowed us to use this method for quantitative analysis of demineralization process taking place in the skeleton of amphibious after several weeks of weightlessness on biosputnik board

  12. Depression, osteoporosis, serotonin and cell membrane viscosity between biology and philosophical anthropology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabrielli Fabio

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Due to the relationship between biology and culture, we believe that depression, understood as a cultural and existential phenomenon, has clear markers in molecular biology. We begin from an existential analysis of depression constituting the human condition and then shift to analysis of biological data confirming, according to our judgment, its original (ontological structure. In this way philosophy is involved at the anthropological level, in as much as it detects the underlying meanings of depression in the original biological-cultural horizon of human life. Considering the integration of knowledge it is the task of molecular biology to identify the aforementioned markers, to which the existential aspects of depression are linked to. In particular, recent works show the existence of a link between serotonin and osteoporosis as a result of a modified expression of the low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 5 gene. Moreover, it is believed that the hereditary or acquired involvement of tryptophan hydroxylase 2 (Tph2 or 5-hydroxytryptamine transporter (5-HTT is responsible for the reduced concentration of serotonin in the central nervous system, causing depression and affective disorders. This work studies the depression-osteoporosis relationship, with the aim of focusing on depressive disorders that concern the quantitative dynamic of platelet membrane viscosity and interactome cytoskeleton modifications (in particular Tubulin and Gsα protein as a possible condition of the involvement of the serotonin axis (gut, brain and platelet, not only in depression but also in connection with osteoporosis.

  13. Effect of dope solution temperature on the membrane structure and membrane distillation performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nawi, N. I. M.; Bilad, M. R.; Nordin, N. A. H. M.

    2018-04-01

    Membrane distillation (MD) is a non-isothermal process applicable to purify water using hydrophobic membrane. Membrane in MD is hydrophobic, permeable to water vapor but repels liquid water. MD membrane is expected to pose high flux, high fouling and scaling resistances and most importantly high wetting resistance. This study develops flat-sheet polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) membrane by exploring both liquid-liquid and liquid-solid phase inversion technique largely to improve its wetting resistance and flux performance. We hypothesize that temperature of dope solution play roles in solid-liquid separation during membrane formation and an optimum balance between liquid-liquid and liquid-solid (crystallization) separation leads to highly performance PVDF membrane. Findings obtained from differential scanning calorimeter test show that increasing dope solution temperature reduces degree of PVDF crystallinity and suppresses formation of crystalline structure. The morphological images of the resulting membranes show that at elevated dope solution temperature (40, 60, 80 and 100°C), the spherulite-like structures are formed across the thickness of membranes ascribed from due to different type of crystals. The performance of direct-contact MD shows that the obtained flux of the optimum dope temperature (60°C) of 10.8 L/m2h is comparable to commercial PTFE-based MD membrane.

  14. NMR structural studies of peptides and proteins in membranes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Opella, S J [Pennsylvania Univ., Philadelphia, PA (United States). Dept. of Chemistry

    1994-12-31

    The use of NMR methodology in structural studies is described as applicable to larger proteins, considering that the majority of membrane proteins is constructed from a limited repertoire of structural and dynamic elements. The membrane associated domains of these proteins are made up of long hydrophobic membrane spanning helices, shorter amphipathic bridging helices in the plane of the bilayer, connecting loops with varying degrees of mobility, and mobile N- and C- terminal sections. NMR studies have been successful in identifying all of these elements and their orientations relative to each other and the membrane bilayer 19 refs., 9 figs.

  15. Wrinkling reduction of membrane structure by trimming edges

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mingjun Liu

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Thin membranes have negligible bending stiffness, compressive stresses inevitably lead to wrinkling. Therefore, it is important to keep the surface of membrane structures flat in order to guarantee high precision. Edge-trimming is an effective method to passively diminish wrinkles, however a key difficulty in this process is the determination of the optimal trimming level. In this paper, regular polygonal membrane structures subjected to equal radial forces were analyzed, and a new stress field distribution model for arc-edge square membrane structure was proposed to predict the optimal trimming level. This model is simple and applicable to any polygonal membrane structures. Comparison among the results of the finite element analysis, and the experimental and analytical results showed that the proposed model accurately described the stress field distribution and guaranteed that there are no wrinkles appear inside the effective inscribed circle region for the optimal trimming level.

  16. Structural Biology for A-Level Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Philip, Judith

    2013-01-01

    The relationship between the structure and function of proteins is an important area in biochemistry. Pupils studying A-level Biology are introduced to the four levels of protein structure (primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary) and how these can be used to describe the progressive folding of a chain of amino acid residues to a final,…

  17. The nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug indomethacin induces heterogeneity in lipid membranes: potential implication for its diverse biological action.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yong Zhou

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available The nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID, indomethacin (Indo, has a large number of divergent biological effects, the molecular mechanism(s for which have yet to be fully elucidated. Interestingly, Indo is highly amphiphilic and associates strongly with lipid membranes, which influence localization, structure and function of membrane-associating proteins and actively regulate cell signaling events. Thus, it is possible that Indo regulates diverse cell functions by altering micro-environments within the membrane. Here we explored the effect of Indo on the nature of the segregated domains in a mixed model membrane composed of dipalmitoyl phosphatidyl-choline (di16:0 PC, or DPPC and dioleoyl phosphatidyl-choline (di18:1 PC or DOPC and cholesterol that mimics biomembranes.Using a series of fluorescent probes in a fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET study, we found that Indo induced separation between gel domains and fluid domains in the mixed model membrane, possibly by enhancing the formation of gel-phase domains. This effect originated from the ability of Indo to specifically target the ordered domains in the mixed membrane. These findings were further confirmed by measuring the ability of Indo to affect the fluidity-dependent fluorescence quenching and the level of detergent resistance of membranes.Because the tested lipids are the main lipid constituents in cell membranes, the observed formation of gel phase domains induced by Indo potentially occurs in biomembranes. This marked Indo-induced change in phase behavior potentially alters membrane protein functions, which contribute to the wide variety of biological activities of Indo and other NSAIDs.

  18. Protein shape and crowding drive domain formation and curvature in biological membranes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Frese, R.N.; Pamies, Josep C.; Olsen, John D.; Bahatyrova, S.; van der Weij-de Wit, Chantal D.; Aartsma, Thijs J.; Otto, Cornelis; Hunter, C. Neil; Frenkel, Daan; van Grondelle, Rienk

    2007-01-01

    Folding, curvature, and domain formation are characteristics of many biological membranes. Yet the mechanisms that drive both curvature and the formation of specialized domains enriched in particular protein complexes are unknown. For this reason, studies in membranes whose shape and organization

  19. Bobbing of Oxysterols: Molecular Mechanism for Translocation of Tail-Oxidized Sterols through Biological Membranes

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kulig, W.; Mikkolainen, H.; Olžyńska, Agnieszka; Jurkiewicz, Piotr; Cwiklik, Lukasz; Hof, Martin; Vattulainen, I.; Jungwirth, Pavel; Rog, T.

    2018-01-01

    Roč. 9, č. 5 (2018), s. 1118-1123 ISSN 1948-7185 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GBP208/12/G016 Institutional support: RVO:61388955 ; RVO:61388963 Keywords : biological membranes * alcohols * cell membranes Subject RIV: CF - Physical ; Theoretical Chemistry OBOR OECD: Physical chemistry Impact factor: 9.353, year: 2016

  20. Structural Aspects of Bacterial Outer Membrane Protein Assembly.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  1. Studying Membrane Protein Structure and Function Using Nanodiscs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Huda, Pie

    The structure and dynamic of membrane proteins can provide valuable information about general functions, diseases and effects of various drugs. Studying membrane proteins are a challenge as an amphiphilic environment is necessary to stabilise the protein in a functionally and structurally relevant...... form. This is most typically achieved through the use of detergent based reconstitution systems. However, time and again such systems fail to provide a suitable environment causing aggregation and inactivation. Nanodiscs are self-assembled lipoproteins containing two membrane scaffold proteins...... and a lipid bilayer in defined nanometer size, which can act as a stabiliser for membrane proteins. This enables both functional and structural investigation of membrane proteins in a detergent free environment which is closer to the native situation. Understanding the self-assembly of nanodiscs is important...

  2. Structured population models in biology and epidemiology

    CERN Document Server

    Ruan, Shigui

    2008-01-01

    This book consists of six chapters written by leading researchers in mathematical biology. These chapters present recent and important developments in the study of structured population models in biology and epidemiology. Topics include population models structured by age, size, and spatial position; size-structured models for metapopulations, macroparasitc diseases, and prion proliferation; models for transmission of microparasites between host populations living on non-coincident spatial domains; spatiotemporal patterns of disease spread; method of aggregation of variables in population dynamics; and biofilm models. It is suitable as a textbook for a mathematical biology course or a summer school at the advanced undergraduate and graduate level. It can also serve as a reference book for researchers looking for either interesting and specific problems to work on or useful techniques and discussions of some particular problems.

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

    KAUST Repository

    Fu, Feng Jiang; Zhang, Sui; Chung, Neal Tai-Shung

    2015-01-01

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

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

    KAUST Repository

    Fu, Feng Jiang

    2015-11-01

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

  5. Biofilm formation on membranes used for membrane aerated biological reactors, under different stress conditions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Andrade-Molinar, C.; Ballinas-Casarrubias, M. L.; Solis-Martinez, F. J.; Rivera-Chavira, B. E.; Cuevas-Rodirguez, G.; Nevarez-Moorillon, G. V.

    2009-01-01

    Bacterial biofilm play an important role in wastewater treatment processes, and have been optimized in the membrane aerated biofilm reactors (MABR). In MABR, a hydrophobic membrane is used as support for the formation of biofilm, and supplements enough aeration to assure an aerobic process. (Author)

  6. High throughput platforms for structural genomics of integral membrane proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mancia, Filippo; Love, James

    2011-08-01

    Structural genomics approaches on integral membrane proteins have been postulated for over a decade, yet specific efforts are lagging years behind their soluble counterparts. Indeed, high throughput methodologies for production and characterization of prokaryotic integral membrane proteins are only now emerging, while large-scale efforts for eukaryotic ones are still in their infancy. Presented here is a review of recent literature on actively ongoing structural genomics of membrane protein initiatives, with a focus on those aimed at implementing interesting techniques aimed at increasing our rate of success for this class of macromolecules. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Cell biology symposium: Membrane trafficking and signal transduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    In general, membrane trafficking is a broad group of processes where proteins and other large molecules are distributed throughout the cell as well as adjacent extracellular spaces. Whereas signal transduction is a process where signals are transmitted through a series of chemical or molecular event...

  8. Integral membrane protein structure determination using pseudocontact shifts

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-04-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zettl, Alexander K.; Meyer, Jannik Christian

    2013-04-02

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

  10. Structural investigation of membrane proteins by electron microscopy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Moscicka, Katarzyna Beata

    2009-01-01

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

  11. Influence of membrane phospholipid composition and structural organization on spontaneous lipid transfer between membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pankov, R; Markovska, T; Antonov, P; Ivanova, L; Momchilova, A

    2006-09-01

    Investigations were carried out on the influence of phospholipid composition of model membranes on the processes of spontaneous lipid transfer between membranes. Acceptor vesicles were prepared from phospholipids extracted from plasma membranes of control and ras-transformed fibroblasts. Acceptor model membranes with manipulated levels of phosphatidylethanolamine (PE), sphingomyelin and phosphatidic acid were also used in the studies. Donor vesicles were prepared of phosphatidylcholine (PC) and contained two fluorescent lipid analogues, NBD-PC and N-Rh-PE, at a self-quenching concentration. Lipid transfer rate was assessed by measuring the increase of fluorescence in acceptor membranes due to transfer of fluorescent lipid analogues from quenched donor to unquenched acceptor vesicles. The results showed that spontaneous NBD-PC transfer increased upon fluidization of acceptor vesicles. In addition, elevation of PE concentration in model membranes was also accompanied by an increase of lipid transfer to all series of acceptor vesicles. The results are discussed with respect to the role of lipid composition and structural order of cellular plasma membranes in the processes of spontaneous lipid exchange between membrane bilayers.

  12. Study of structural stability and damaging effect on membrane for four Aβ42 dimers.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei Feng

    Full Text Available Increasing evidence shows that Aβ oligomers are key pathogenic molecules in Alzheimer's disease. Among Aβ oligomers, dimer is the smallest aggregate and toxic unit. Therefore, understanding its structural and dynamic properties is quite useful to prevent the formation and toxicity of the Aβ oligomers. In this study, we performed molecular dynamic simulations on four Aβ42 dimers, 2NCb, CNNC, NCNC and NCCN, within the hydrated DPPC membrane. Four Aβ42 dimers differ in the arrangements of two Aβ42 peptides. This study aims to investigate the impact of aggregation pattern of two Aβ peptides on the structural stability of the Aβ42 dimer and its disruption to the biological membrane. The MD results demonstrate that the NCCN, CNNC and NCNC have the larger structural fluctuation at the N-terminus of Aβ42 peptide, where the β-strand structure converts into the coil structure. The loss of the N-terminal β-strand further impairs the aggregate ability of Aβ42 dimer. In addition, inserting Aβ42 dimer into the membrane can considerably decrease the average APL of DPPC membrane. Moreover this decrease effect is largely dependent on the distance to the location of Aβ42 dimer and its secondary structure forms. Based on the results, the 2NCb is considered as a stable dimeric unit for aggregating the larger Aβ42 oligomer, and has a potent ability to disrupt the membrane.

  13. Biologically Complex Planar Cell Plasma Membranes Supported on Polyelectrolyte Cushions Enhance Transmembrane Protein Mobility and Retain Native Orientation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Han-Yuan; Chen, Wei-Liang; Ober, Christopher K; Daniel, Susan

    2018-01-23

    Reconstituted supported lipid bilayers (SLB) are widely used as in vitro cell-surface models because they are compatible with a variety of surface-based analytical techniques. However, one of the challenges of using SLBs as a model of the cell surface is the limited complexity in membrane composition, including the incorporation of transmembrane proteins and lipid diversity that may impact the activity of those proteins. Additionally, it is challenging to preserve the transmembrane protein native orientation, function, and mobility in SLBs. Here, we leverage the interaction between cell plasma membrane vesicles and polyelectrolyte brushes to create planar bilayers from cell plasma membrane vesicles that have budded from the cell surface. This approach promotes the direct incorporation of membrane proteins and other species into the planar bilayer without using detergent or reconstitution and preserves membrane constituents. Furthermore, the structure of the polyelectrolyte brush serves as a cushion between the planar bilayer and rigid supporting surface, limiting the interaction of the cytosolic domains of membrane proteins with this surface. Single particle tracking was used to analyze the motion of GPI-linked yellow fluorescent proteins (GPI-YFP) and neon-green fused transmembrane P2X2 receptors (P2X2-neon) and shows that this platform retains over 75% mobility of multipass transmembrane proteins in its native membrane environment. An enzyme accessibility assay confirmed that the protein orientation is preserved and results in the extracellular domain facing toward the bulk phase and the cytosolic side facing the support. Because the platform presented here retains the complexity of the cell plasma membrane and preserves protein orientation and mobility, it is a better representative mimic of native cell surfaces, which may find many applications in biological assays aimed at understanding cell membrane phenomena.

  14. Carbon nanotube embedded PVDF membranes: Effect of solvent composition on the structural morphology for membrane distillation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mapunda, Edgar C.; Mamba, Bhekie B.; Msagati, Titus A. M.

    2017-08-01

    Rapid population increase, growth in industrial and agricultural sectors and global climate change have added significant pressure on conventional freshwater resources. Tapping freshwater from non-conventional water sources such as desalination and wastewater recycling is considered as sustainable alternative to the fundamental challenges of water scarcity. However, affordable and sustainable technologies need to be applied for the communities to benefit from the treatment of non-conventional water source. Membrane distillation is a potential desalination technology which can be used sustainably for this purpose. In this work multi-walled carbon nanotube embedded polyvinylidene fluoride membranes for application in membrane distillation desalination were prepared via non-solvent induced phase separation method. The casting solution was prepared using mixed solvents (N, N-dimethylacetamide and triethyl phosphate) at varying ratios to study the effect of solvent composition on membrane morphological structures. Membrane morphological features were studied using a number of techniques including scanning electron microscope, atomic force microscope, SAXSpace tensile strength analysis, membrane thickness, porosity and contact angle measurements. It was revealed that membrane hydrophobicity, thickness, tensile strength and surface roughness were increasing as the composition of N, N-dimethylacetamide in the solvent was increasing with maximum values obtained between 40 and 60% N, N-dimethylacetamide. Internal morphological structures were changing from cellular structures to short finger-like and sponge-like pores and finally to large macro void type of pores when the amount of N, N-dimethylacetamide in the solvent was changed from low to high respectively. Multi-walled carbon nanotube embedded polyvinylidene fluoride membranes of desired morphological structures and physical properties can be synthesized by regulating the composition of solvents used to prepare the

  15. Role of biological membranes in slow-wave sleep.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karnovsky, M L

    1991-02-01

    Two involvements of cellular membranes in slow-wave sleep (SWS) are discussed. In the first the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is focussed upon, and in the second, the plasmalemma, where specific binding sites (receptors?) for promoters of slow-wave sleep are believed to be located. The study concerning the ER focuses on an enzyme in the brain, glucose-6-phosphatase, which, although present at low levels, manifests greatly increased activity during SWS compared to the waking state. The work on the plasmalemma has to do with the specific binding of muramyl peptides, inducers of slow-wave sleep, to various cells, and membrane preparations of various sorts, including those from brain tissue. Such cells as macrophages from mice, B-lymphocytes from human blood, and cells from a cell line (C-6 glioma) have been examined in this context.

  16. Membrane Binding of Recoverin: From Mechanistic Understanding to Biological Functionality

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Timr, Štěpán; Pleskot, Roman; Kadlec, Jan; Kohagen, Miriam; Magarkar, Aniket; Jungwirth, Pavel

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 3, č. 8 (2017), s. 868-874 ISSN 2374-7943 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GBP208/12/G016 Institutional support: RVO:61388963 Keywords : recoverin * membrane * myristoyl * molecular dynamics Subject RIV: CF - Physical ; Theoretical Chemistry OBOR OECD: Physical chemistry Impact factor: 7.481, year: 2016 http://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/acscentsci.7b00210

  17. Toward the Structure of Dynamic Membrane-Anchored Actin Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weber, Igor

    2007-01-01

    In the cortex of a motile cell, membrane-anchored actin filaments assemble into structures of varying shape and function. Filopodia are distinguished by a core of bundled actin filaments within finger-like extensions of the membrane. In a recent paper by Medalia et al1 cryo-electron tomography has been used to reconstruct, from filopodia of Dictyostelium cells, the 3-dimensional organization of actin filaments in connection with the plasma membrane. A special arrangement of short filaments converging toward the filopod's tip has been called a “terminal cone”. In this region force is applied for protrusion of the membrane. Here we discuss actin organization in the filopodia of Dictyostelium in the light of current views on forces that are generated by polymerizing actin filaments, and on the resistance of membranes against deformation that counteracts these forces. PMID:19262130

  18. Magnetic apatite for structural insights on the plasma membrane

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stanca, Sarmiza E; Müller, Robert; Dellith, Jan; Deckert, Volker; Krafft, Christoph; Popp, Jürgen; Fritzsche, Wolfgang; Nietzsche, Sandor; Stöckel, Stephan; Biskup, Christoph

    2015-01-01

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

  19. Magnetic apatite for structural insights on the plasma membrane

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanca, Sarmiza E.; Müller, Robert; Dellith, Jan; Nietzsche, Sandor; Stöckel, Stephan; Biskup, Christoph; Deckert, Volker; Krafft, Christoph; Popp, Jürgen; Fritzsche, Wolfgang

    2015-01-01

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

  20. Transmission electron microscopy in molecular structural biology: A historical survey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, J Robin

    2015-09-01

    In this personal, historic account of macromolecular transmission electron microscopy (TEM), published data from the 1940s through to recent times is surveyed, within the context of the remarkable progress that has been achieved during this time period. The evolution of present day molecular structural biology is described in relation to the associated biological disciplines. The contribution of numerous electron microscope pioneers to the development of the subject is discussed. The principal techniques for TEM specimen preparation, thin sectioning, metal shadowing, negative staining and plunge-freezing (vitrification) of thin aqueous samples are described, with a selection of published images to emphasise the virtues of each method. The development of digital image analysis and 3D reconstruction is described in detail as applied to electron crystallography and reconstructions from helical structures, 2D membrane crystals as well as single particle 3D reconstruction of icosahedral viruses and macromolecules. The on-going development of new software, algorithms and approaches is highlighted before specific examples of the historical progress of the structural biology of proteins and viruses are presented. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Structural biology facilities at Brookhaven National Laboratory`s high flux beam reactor

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Korszun, Z.R.; Saxena, A.M.; Schneider, D.K. [Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY (United States)

    1994-12-31

    The techniques for determining the structure of biological molecules and larger biological assemblies depend on the extent of order in the particular system. At the High Flux Beam Reactor at the Brookhaven National Laboratory, the Biology Department operates three beam lines dedicated to biological structure studies. These beam lines span the resolution range from approximately 700{Angstrom} to approximately 1.5{Angstrom} and are designed to perform structural studies on a wide range of biological systems. Beam line H3A is dedicated to single crystal diffraction studies of macromolecules, while beam line H3B is designed to study diffraction from partially ordered systems such as biological membranes. Beam line H9B is located on the cold source and is designed for small angle scattering experiments on oligomeric biological systems.

  2. Lipid nanotechnologies for structural studies of membrane-associated proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoilova-McPhie, Svetla; Grushin, Kirill; Dalm, Daniela; Miller, Jaimy

    2014-11-01

    We present a methodology of lipid nanotubes (LNT) and nanodisks technologies optimized in our laboratory for structural studies of membrane-associated proteins at close to physiological conditions. The application of these lipid nanotechnologies for structure determination by cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) is fundamental for understanding and modulating their function. The LNTs in our studies are single bilayer galactosylceramide based nanotubes of ∼20 nm inner diameter and a few microns in length, that self-assemble in aqueous solutions. The lipid nanodisks (NDs) are self-assembled discoid lipid bilayers of ∼10 nm diameter, which are stabilized in aqueous solutions by a belt of amphipathic helical scaffold proteins. By combining LNT and ND technologies, we can examine structurally how the membrane curvature and lipid composition modulates the function of the membrane-associated proteins. As proof of principle, we have engineered these lipid nanotechnologies to mimic the activated platelet's phosphtaidylserine rich membrane and have successfully assembled functional membrane-bound coagulation factor VIII in vitro for structure determination by cryo-EM. The macromolecular organization of the proteins bound to ND and LNT are further defined by fitting the known atomic structures within the calculated three-dimensional maps. The combination of LNT and ND technologies offers a means to control the design and assembly of a wide range of functional membrane-associated proteins and complexes for structural studies by cryo-EM. The presented results confirm the suitability of the developed methodology for studying the functional structure of membrane-associated proteins, such as the coagulation factors, at a close to physiological environment. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  3. Determination of the Fatty Acid Content of Biological Membranes: A Highly Versatile GC-MS Experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schultz, Emeric; Pugh, Michael Eugene

    2001-07-01

    The experiment involves the GC-MS of fatty acid methyl esters (FAMEs) obtained from bacterial membranes. It takes about 2 h, from cell harvest to injection. This experiment is done in a lab course for non-science majors and in biochemistry. For non-science majors the focus is on GC-MS as a technique for fingerprinting and on the underlying basis of that fingerprinting. In biochemistry the focus is on the composition of membranes and how this changes with temperature--specifically how the ratio of saturated to unsaturated fatty acids changes to maintain constant cell fluidity. Combined with a parallel DNA experiment, the two major types of intermolecular forces important for the structure and function of biomolecules are compared. How this versatile experiment could be adapted in other chemistry courses is presented. The experiment has obvious appeal to biology majors, can be used to develop several important chemistry concepts, involves teamwork, and employs an important instrument. It could be used in the laboratory portion of a course other than biochemistry to fulfill the new ACS biochemistry requirement.

  4. Influence of attapulgite addition on the biological performance and microbial communities of submerged dynamic membrane bioreactor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wensong Duan

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available A submerged dynamic membrane bioreactor (sDMBR was developed to test the influence of attapulgite (AT addition on the treatment performances and the microbial community structure and function. The batch experimental results displayed the highest UV254 and dissolved organic carbon (DOC removal efficiencies with 5% AT/mixed liquid suspended solids addition dosage. The continuous sDMBR results showed that the removal efficiencies of chemical oxygen demand, NH4+-N, total nitrogen and total phosphorus significantly increased in the AT added sDMBR. Excitation emission matrix analysis demonstrated that the protein-like peaks and fulvic acid-like peaks were significantly decreased in both in the mixed liquid and the effluent of the AT added reactor. The obligate anaerobes were observed in the sDMBR with AT addition, such as Bacteroidetes and Gamma proteobacterium in the dynamic membrane, which played an important role in the process of sludge granulation. Bacterial community richness significantly increased after AT addition with predominated phyla of Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes. Similarly, species abundance significantly increased in the AT added sDMBR. Further investigations with cluster proved that AT was a favorite biological carrier for the microbial ecology, which enriched microbial abundance and community diversity of the sDMBR.

  5. Membrane transport mechanism 3D structure and beyond

    CERN Document Server

    Ziegler, Christine

    2014-01-01

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

  6. Development of topologically structured membranes of aluminum oxide

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bankova, A.; Videkov, V.; Tzaneva, B.

    2014-05-01

    In recent years, nanomembranes have become one of the most widely used construction material for ultrasensitive and ultrathin applications in micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) and other sensor structures due to their remarkable mechanical properties. Among these, the mechanical stability is of particular importance. We present an approach to the analysis of the stability of nanostructured anodic aluminum oxide free membranes subjected to mechanical bending. The membranes tested were with a thickness of 500 nm to 15 urn in various topological shapes; we describe the technological schemes of their preparation. Bends were applied to membranes prepared by using a selective process of etching and anodizing. The results of the preparation of the membranes are discussed, together with the influence of the angle of deflection, and the number of bendings. The results obtained can be used in designing MEMS structures and sensors which use nanostructured anodic aluminum oxide.

  7. Development of topologically structured membranes of aluminum oxide

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bankova, A; Videkov, V; Tzaneva, B

    2014-01-01

    In recent years, nanomembranes have become one of the most widely used construction material for ultrasensitive and ultrathin applications in micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) and other sensor structures due to their remarkable mechanical properties. Among these, the mechanical stability is of particular importance. We present an approach to the analysis of the stability of nanostructured anodic aluminum oxide free membranes subjected to mechanical bending. The membranes tested were with a thickness of 500 nm to 15 urn in various topological shapes; we describe the technological schemes of their preparation. Bends were applied to membranes prepared by using a selective process of etching and anodizing. The results of the preparation of the membranes are discussed, together with the influence of the angle of deflection, and the number of bendings. The results obtained can be used in designing MEMS structures and sensors which use nanostructured anodic aluminum oxide.

  8. Structure and Dynamic Properties of Membrane Proteins using NMR

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rösner, Heike; Kragelund, Birthe

    2012-01-01

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

  9. Correct use of Membrane Elements in Structural Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rothman Timothy

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Structural analysis of consumer electronic devices such as phones and tablets involves Finite Element Analysis (FEA. Dynamic loading conditions such as device dropping and bending dictate accurate FEA models to reduce design risk in many areas. The solid elements typically used in structural analysis do not have integration points on the surface. The outer surface is of most interest because that is where the cracks start. Analysts employ a post processing trick through using membranes to bring accurate stress/strain results to the surface. This paper explains numerical issues with implementation of membranes and recommends a methodology for accurate structural analysis.

  10. Increasing the Performance of Vacuum Membrane Distillation Using Micro-Structured Hydrophobic Aluminum Hollow Fiber Membranes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chia-Chieh Ko

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available This study develops a micro-structured hydrophobic alumina hollow fiber with a high permeate flux of 60 Lm−2h−1 and salt rejection over 99.9% in a vacuum membrane distillation process. The fiber is fabricated by phase inversion and sintering, and then modified with fluoroalkylsilanes to render it hydrophobic. The influence of the sintering temperature and feeding temperature in membrane distillation (MD on the characteristics of the fiber and MD performance are investigated. The vacuum membrane distillation uses 3.5 wt % NaCl aqueous solution at 70 °C at 0.03 bar. The permeate flux of 60 Lm−2h−1 is the highest, compared with reported data and is higher than that for polymeric hollow fiber membranes.

  11. Contribution of assimilable organic carbon to biological fouling in seawater reverse osmosis membrane treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weinrich, Lauren; LeChevallier, Mark; Haas, Charles N

    2016-09-15

    Biological fouling occurs on RO membranes when bacteria and nutrients are present in conditions that are conducive to growth and proliferation of the bacteria. Controlling microbial growth on the membranes is typically limited to biocide application (i.e., disinfectants) in seawater RO plants. However, biological growth and subsequent fouling has not been well-managed. Pretreatment has not been focused on nutrient limitation. This project used a biological assay, the assimilable organic carbon (AOC) test to evaluate pretreatment effects on the nutrient supply. The AOC test provided a useful surrogate measurement for the biodegradability or biofouling potential of RO feed water. Biofouling observed in controlled conditions at the bench- and pilot-scale resulted in statistically significant correlations between AOC and the operational effects caused by biofouling. Membrane fouling rates are observed through operational changes over time such as increased differential pressure between the membrane feed and concentrate locations and decreased permeate flux through the membrane. In full scale plants there were strong correlations when AOC was used as a predictor variable for increased differential pressure (0.28-0.55 bar from September-December 2012) and decreased specific flux (1.40 L per hour/(m(2) · bar)). Increased differential pressure was associated with RO membrane biological fouling when the median AOC was 50 μg/L during pilot testing. Conditions were also evaluated at the bench-scale using a flat sheet RO membrane. In a comparison test using 30 and 1000 μg/L AOC, fouling was detected on more portions of the membrane when AOC was higher. Biofilm and bacterial deposits were apparent from scanning electron microscope imaging and biomass measurements using ATP. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Atomic force microscopy on domains in biological model membranes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rinia, H.A.

    2001-01-01

    This thesis describes the preparation and imaging of supported lipid bilayers, which can be regarded as biological modelmembranes, in the light of the formation of domains. The bilayers were prepared with either the Langmuir-Blodgett method, or with vesicle fusion. They were imaged with Atomic Force

  13. Converting differential-equation models of biological systems to membrane computing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muniyandi, Ravie Chandren; Zin, Abdullah Mohd; Sanders, J W

    2013-12-01

    This paper presents a method to convert the deterministic, continuous representation of a biological system by ordinary differential equations into a non-deterministic, discrete membrane computation. The dynamics of the membrane computation is governed by rewrite rules operating at certain rates. That has the advantage of applying accurately to small systems, and to expressing rates of change that are determined locally, by region, but not necessary globally. Such spatial information augments the standard differentiable approach to provide a more realistic model. A biological case study of the ligand-receptor network of protein TGF-β is used to validate the effectiveness of the conversion method. It demonstrates the sense in which the behaviours and properties of the system are better preserved in the membrane computing model, suggesting that the proposed conversion method may prove useful for biological systems in particular. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Structural studies of the lipid membranes at the Siberia-2 synchrotron radiation source

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kiselev, M. A.; Ermakova, E. V.; Ryabova, N. Yu.; Nayda, O. V.; Zabelin, A. V.; Pogorely, D. K.; Korneev, V. N.; Balagurov, A. M.

    2010-01-01

    Lipid membranes are a subject of contemporary interdisciplinary studies at the junction of biology, biophysics, pharmacology, and bionanotechnology. The results of the structural studies of several types of lipid membranes by the lamellar and lateral diffraction of X-ray synchrotron radiation are presented. The experiments were performed at the Mediana and DICSI stations of the Siberia-2 synchrotron radiation source at the Russian Research Center Kurchatov Institute. The data obtained are compared with the results of studying lipid membranes at the small-angle scattering beamlines D22 and D24 at LURE (France) and at the A2 beamline at DESY (Germany). The parameters of the DICSI station are shown to meet the basic requirements for the structural study of lipid systems, which are of fundamental and applied interest.

  15. Refractive-index-based screening of membrane-protein-mediated transfer across biological membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brändén, Magnus; Tabaei, Seyed R; Fischer, Gerhard; Neutze, Richard; Höök, Fredrik

    2010-07-07

    Numerous membrane-transport proteins are major drug targets, and therefore a key ingredient in pharmaceutical development is the availability of reliable, efficient tools for membrane transport characterization and inhibition. Here, we present the use of evanescent-wave sensing for screening of membrane-protein-mediated transport across lipid bilayer membranes. This method is based on a direct recording of the temporal variations in the refractive index that occur upon a transfer-dependent change in the solute concentration inside liposomes associated to a surface plasmon resonance (SPR) active sensor surface. The applicability of the method is demonstrated by a functional study of the aquaglyceroporin PfAQP from the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Assays of the temperature dependence of facilitated diffusion of sugar alcohols on a single set of PfAQP-reconstituted liposomes reveal that the activation energies for facilitated diffusion of xylitol and sorbitol are the same as that previously measured for glycerol transport in the aquaglyceroporin of Escherichia coli (5 kcal/mole). These findings indicate that the aquaglyceroporin selectivity filter does not discriminate sugar alcohols based on their length, and that the extra energy cost of dehydration of larger sugar alcohols, upon entering the pore, is compensated for by additional hydrogen-bond interactions within the aquaglyceroporin pore. Copyright 2010 Biophysical Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. The Tobacco mosaic virus Movement Protein Associates with but Does Not Integrate into Biological Membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peiró, Ana; Martínez-Gil, Luis; Tamborero, Silvia; Pallás, Vicente

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT Plant positive-strand RNA viruses require association with plant cell endomembranes for viral translation and replication, as well as for intra- and intercellular movement of the viral progeny. The membrane association and RNA binding of the Tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) movement protein (MP) are vital for orchestrating the macromolecular network required for virus movement. A previously proposed topological model suggests that TMV MP is an integral membrane protein with two putative α-helical transmembrane (TM) segments. Here we tested this model using an experimental system that measured the efficiency with which natural polypeptide segments were inserted into the ER membrane under conditions approximating the in vivo situation, as well as in planta. Our results demonstrated that the two hydrophobic regions (HRs) of TMV MP do not span biological membranes. We further found that mutations to alter the hydrophobicity of the first HR modified membrane association and precluded virus movement. We propose a topological model in which the TMV MP HRs intimately associate with the cellular membranes, allowing maximum exposure of the hydrophilic domains of the MP to the cytoplasmic cellular components. IMPORTANCE To facilitate plant viral infection and spread, viruses encode one or more movement proteins (MPs) that interact with ER membranes. The present work investigated the membrane association of the 30K MP of Tobacco mosaic virus (TMV), and the results challenge the previous topological model, which predicted that the TMV MP behaves as an integral membrane protein. The current data provide greatly needed clarification of the topological model and provide substantial evidence that TMV MP is membrane associated only at the cytoplasmic face of the membrane and that neither of its domains is integrated into the membrane or translocated into the lumen. Understanding the topology of MPs in the ER is vital for understanding the role of the ER in plant virus transport

  17. Integration of biological method and membrane technology in treating palm oil mill effluent

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHANG Yejian; YAN Li; QIAO Xiangli; CHI Lina; NIU Xiangjun; MEI Zhijian; ZHANG Zhenjia

    2008-01-01

    Palm oil industry is the most important agro-industry in Malaysia, but its by-product-palm oil mill effluent (POME), posed a great threat to water environment. In the past decades, several treatment and disposal methods have been proposed and investigated to solve this problem. A two-stage pilot-scale plant was designed and constructed for POME treatment. Anaerobic digestion and aerobic biodegradation constituted the first biological stage, while ultrafiltration (UF) and reverse osmosis (RO) membrane units were combined as the second membrane separation stage. In the anaerobic expanded granular sludge bed (EGSB) reactor, about 43% organic matter in POME was converted into biogas, and COD reduction efficiency reached 93% and 22% in EGSB and the following aerobic reactor, respectively. With the treatment in the first biological stage, suspended solids and oil also decreased to a low degree. All these alleviated the membrane fouling and prolonged the membrane life. In the membrane process unit, almost all the suspended solids were captured by UF membranes, while RO membrane excluded most of the dissolved solids or inorganic salts from RO permeate. After the whole treatment processes, organic matter in POME expressed by BOD and COD was removed almost thoroughly. Suspended solids and color were not detectable in RO permeate any more, and mineral elements only existed in trace amount (except for K and Na). The high-quality effluent was crystal clear and could be used as the boiler feed water.

  18. The radioinduced membranes injuries as biological dose indicators: mechanisms of studies and practical applications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vincent-Genod, Lucie

    2001-10-01

    After an accidental overexposure, the assessment of the received dose in biological dosimetry is performed by a method based on the effects of irradiation on the DNA molecule. But this technique shows some limitations; therefore we tried to find new bio-sensors of radiation exposure. We have pointed out that membrane is a critical target of ionising radiation after an in vitro and in vivo overexposure. In vitro, these modifications were involved in the radio-induced apoptotic pathway. The measure of membrane fluidity allowed us to obtain an overall view of cellular membrane. Moreover, in vivo, by changing the lipid nutritional status of animals, our results displayed the important role played by membrane lipid composition in radio-induced membrane alterations. Besides, membrane effects were adjusted by the extracellular physiological control, and in particular by the damages on membrane fatty acid pattern. Finally, we have tested the use of membrane fluidity index as a bio-sensor of radiation exposure on in vivo models and blood samples from medical total body irradiated patients. The results achieved on animal models suggested that the membrane fluidity index was a bio-sensor of radiation exposure. Nevertheless, the observations realised on patients highlight that the effect of the first dose fraction of the radiotherapy treatment had some difficulties to be noticed. Indeed, the combined treatment: chemotherapy and radiotherapy disturbed the membrane fluidity index measures. To conclude, whereas this parameter was not a bio-sensor of irradiation exposure usable in biological dosimetry, it may allow us to assess the radio-induced damages and their cellular but also tissue impacts. (author)

  19. Modification of track membranes structure by gas discharge etching method

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dmitriev, S.N.; Kravets, L.I.

    1996-01-01

    An investigation of the properties of polyethyleneterephthalate track membranes (PET TM) treated with the plasma RF-discharge in air has been performed. The influence of the plasma treatment conditions on the basic properties of the membranes, namely pore size and pore shape, porosity and mechanical strength has been studied. It was arranged that the effect of air plasma on the PET TM results to etching a membrane's surface layer. The membranes' pore size and the form in this case change. It is shown that it is possible to change the structure of track membranes directly by the gas discharge etching method. Depending on the choice of discharge parameters, it is possible to make etching either in a part of the channel or along the whole length of the pore channels. In both cases the membranes with an asymmetric pore shape are formed which possess higher porosity and flow rate. The use of the membranes of such a type allows one to increase drastically the efficiency of the filtration processes. 12 refs., 5 figs., 1 tab

  20. DNA nanotubes for NMR structure determination of membrane proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bellot, Gaëtan; McClintock, Mark A; Chou, James J; Shih, William M

    2013-04-01

    Finding a way to determine the structures of integral membrane proteins using solution nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy has proved to be challenging. A residual-dipolar-coupling-based refinement approach can be used to resolve the structure of membrane proteins up to 40 kDa in size, but to do this you need a weak-alignment medium that is detergent-resistant and it has thus far been difficult to obtain such a medium suitable for weak alignment of membrane proteins. We describe here a protocol for robust, large-scale synthesis of detergent-resistant DNA nanotubes that can be assembled into dilute liquid crystals for application as weak-alignment media in solution NMR structure determination of membrane proteins in detergent micelles. The DNA nanotubes are heterodimers of 400-nm-long six-helix bundles, each self-assembled from a M13-based p7308 scaffold strand and >170 short oligonucleotide staple strands. Compatibility with proteins bearing considerable positive charge as well as modulation of molecular alignment, toward collection of linearly independent restraints, can be introduced by reducing the negative charge of DNA nanotubes using counter ions and small DNA-binding molecules. This detergent-resistant liquid-crystal medium offers a number of properties conducive for membrane protein alignment, including high-yield production, thermal stability, buffer compatibility and structural programmability. Production of sufficient nanotubes for four or five NMR experiments can be completed in 1 week by a single individual.

  1. The structure of ions and zwitterionic lipids regulates the charge of dipolar membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szekely, Or; Steiner, Ariel; Szekely, Pablo; Amit, Einav; Asor, Roi; Tamburu, Carmen; Raviv, Uri

    2011-06-21

    In pure water, zwitterionic lipids form lamellar phases with an equilibrium water gap on the order of 2 to 3 nm as a result of the dominating van der Waals attraction between dipolar bilayers. Monovalent ions can swell those neutral lamellae by a small amount. Divalent ions can adsorb onto dipolar membranes and charge them. Using solution X-ray scattering, we studied how the structure of ions and zwitterionic lipids regulates the charge of dipolar membranes. We found that unlike monovalent ions that weakly interact with all of the examined dipolar membranes, divalent and trivalent ions adsorb onto membranes containing lipids with saturated tails, with an association constant on the order of ∼10 M(-1). One double bond in the lipid tail is sufficient to prevent divalent ion adsorption. We suggest that this behavior is due to the relatively loose packing of lipids with unsaturated tails that increases the area per lipid headgroup, enabling their free rotation. Divalent ion adsorption links two lipids and limits their free rotation. The ion-dipole interaction gained by the adsorption of the ions onto unsaturated membranes is insufficient to compensate for the loss of headgroup free-rotational entropy. The ion-dipole interaction is stronger for cations with a higher valence. Nevertheless, polyamines behave as monovalent ions near dipolar interfaces in the sense that they interact weakly with the membrane surface, whereas in the bulk their behavior is similar to that of multivalent cations. Advanced data analysis and comparison with theory provide insight into the structure and interactions between ion-induced regulated charged interfaces. This study models biologically relevant interactions between cell membranes and various ions and the manner in which the lipid structure governs those interactions. The ability to monitor these interactions creates a tool for probing systems that are more complex and forms the basis for controlling the interactions between dipolar

  2. Neutron Reflectometry Investigations of the Interaction of DNA-PAMAM Dendrimers with Model Biological Membranes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ainalem, M.L.; Rennie, A.R.; Campbell, Richard; Edler, Karen; Nylander, Tommy

    2009-01-01

    The systemic delivery of DNA for gene therapy requires control of DNA compaction by an agent, such a lipid, surfactant or a polymer (e.g. cationic dendrimers) as well as understanding of how this complex interacts with a biological membrane. Poly (amido amine) (PAMAM) dendrimers have been reported to be a promising synthetic gene-transfection agent. We have studied the structure of the complexes formed between DNA and PAMAM dendrimers with SANS, dynamic light scattering and cryo-TEM. Here we noted that the structure of the complex formed strongly depends on the generation of the dendrimer. The results of the adsorption of generation 2 (G2) and 4 (G4) PAMAM dendrimers to surface deposited bilayers, consisting of palmitoyl oleoyl phosphatidyl choline on silicon surface, have been studied using neutron reflectometry (NR). The NR data shows that the dendrimers are able to penetrate the bilayer. However, the complex is less able to penetrate the bilayer, but rather stays on the top of the bilayer. The dendrimers appear slightly flattened on the surface in comparison with their size in bulk as determined by light scattering. We will also report on the interfacial behavior of the DNA-PAMAM complexes at other types of studies of interfaces, important for biomedical applications, where NR has allowed us to determine the layer structure and composition. (author)

  3. Perturbations of Native Membrane Protein Structure in Alkyl Phosphocholine Detergents: A Critical Assessment of NMR and Biophysical Studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    2018-01-01

    Membrane proteins perform a host of vital cellular functions. Deciphering the molecular mechanisms whereby they fulfill these functions requires detailed biophysical and structural investigations. Detergents have proven pivotal to extract the protein from its native surroundings. Yet, they provide a milieu that departs significantly from that of the biological membrane, to the extent that the structure, the dynamics, and the interactions of membrane proteins in detergents may considerably vary, as compared to the native environment. Understanding the impact of detergents on membrane proteins is, therefore, crucial to assess the biological relevance of results obtained in detergents. Here, we review the strengths and weaknesses of alkyl phosphocholines (or foscholines), the most widely used detergent in solution-NMR studies of membrane proteins. While this class of detergents is often successful for membrane protein solubilization, a growing list of examples points to destabilizing and denaturing properties, in particular for α-helical membrane proteins. Our comprehensive analysis stresses the importance of stringent controls when working with this class of detergents and when analyzing the structure and dynamics of membrane proteins in alkyl phosphocholine detergents. PMID:29488756

  4. Structural Identifiability of Dynamic Systems Biology Models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villaverde, Alejandro F; Barreiro, Antonio; Papachristodoulou, Antonis

    2016-10-01

    A powerful way of gaining insight into biological systems is by creating a nonlinear differential equation model, which usually contains many unknown parameters. Such a model is called structurally identifiable if it is possible to determine the values of its parameters from measurements of the model outputs. Structural identifiability is a prerequisite for parameter estimation, and should be assessed before exploiting a model. However, this analysis is seldom performed due to the high computational cost involved in the necessary symbolic calculations, which quickly becomes prohibitive as the problem size increases. In this paper we show how to analyse the structural identifiability of a very general class of nonlinear models by extending methods originally developed for studying observability. We present results about models whose identifiability had not been previously determined, report unidentifiabilities that had not been found before, and show how to modify those unidentifiable models to make them identifiable. This method helps prevent problems caused by lack of identifiability analysis, which can compromise the success of tasks such as experiment design, parameter estimation, and model-based optimization. The procedure is called STRIKE-GOLDD (STRuctural Identifiability taKen as Extended-Generalized Observability with Lie Derivatives and Decomposition), and it is implemented in a MATLAB toolbox which is available as open source software. The broad applicability of this approach facilitates the analysis of the increasingly complex models used in systems biology and other areas.

  5. Capacitive Structures for Gas and Biological Sensing

    KAUST Repository

    Sapsanis, Christos

    2015-04-01

    The semiconductor industry was benefited by the advances in technology in the last decades. This fact has an impact on the sensors field, where the simple transducer was evolved into smart miniaturized multi-functional microsystems. However, commercially available gas and biological sensors are mostly bulky, expensive, and power-hungry, which act as obstacles to mass use. The aim of this work is gas and biological sensing using capacitive structures. Capacitive sensors were selected due to its design simplicity, low fabrication cost, and no DC power consumption. In the first part, the dominant structure among interdigitated electrodes (IDEs), fractal curves (Peano and Hilbert) and Archimedean spiral was investigated from capacitance density perspective. The investigation consists of geometrical formula calculations, COMSOL Multiphysics simulations and cleanroom fabrication of the capacitors on a silicon substrate. Moreover, low-cost fabrication on flexible plastic PET substrate was conducted outside cleanroom with rapid prototyping using a maskless laser etching. The second part contains the humidity, Volatile Organic compounds (VOCs) and Ammonia sensing of polymers, Polyimide and Nafion, and metal-organic framework (MOF), Cu(bdc)2.xH2O using IDEs and tested in an automated gas setup for experiment control and data extraction. The last part includes the biological sensing of C - reactive protein (CRP) quantification, which is considered as a biomarker of being prone to cardiac diseases and Bovine serum albumin (BSA) protein quantification, which is used as a reference for quantifying unknown proteins.

  6. Ion Transport across Biological Membranes by Carborane-Capped Gold Nanoparticles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grzelczak, Marcin P; Danks, Stephen P; Klipp, Robert C; Belic, Domagoj; Zaulet, Adnana; Kunstmann-Olsen, Casper; Bradley, Dan F; Tsukuda, Tatsuya; Viñas, Clara; Teixidor, Francesc; Abramson, Jonathan J; Brust, Mathias

    2017-12-26

    Carborane-capped gold nanoparticles (Au/carborane NPs, 2-3 nm) can act as artificial ion transporters across biological membranes. The particles themselves are large hydrophobic anions that have the ability to disperse in aqueous media and to partition over both sides of a phospholipid bilayer membrane. Their presence therefore causes a membrane potential that is determined by the relative concentrations of particles on each side of the membrane according to the Nernst equation. The particles tend to adsorb to both sides of the membrane and can flip across if changes in membrane potential require their repartitioning. Such changes can be made either with a potentiostat in an electrochemical cell or by competition with another partitioning ion, for example, potassium in the presence of its specific transporter valinomycin. Carborane-capped gold nanoparticles have a ligand shell full of voids, which stem from the packing of near spherical ligands on a near spherical metal core. These voids are normally filled with sodium or potassium ions, and the charge is overcompensated by excess electrons in the metal core. The anionic particles are therefore able to take up and release a certain payload of cations and to adjust their net charge accordingly. It is demonstrated by potential-dependent fluorescence spectroscopy that polarized phospholipid membranes of vesicles can be depolarized by ion transport mediated by the particles. It is also shown that the particles act as alkali-ion-specific transporters across free-standing membranes under potentiostatic control. Magnesium ions are not transported.

  7. Structural Interfaces and Attachments in Biology

    CERN Document Server

    Birman, Victor; Genin, Guy

    2013-01-01

    Attachment of dissimilar materials in engineering and surgical practice is a perennial challenge. Bimaterial attachment sites are common locations for injury, repeated injury, and mechanical failure. Nature presents several highly effective solutions to the challenge of bimaterial attachment that differ from those found in engineering practice. Structural Interfaces and Attachments in Biology describes the attachment of dissimilar materials from multiple perspectives. The text will simultaneously elucidate natural bimaterial attachments and outline engineering principles underlying successful attachments to the communities of tissue engineers and surgeons. Included an in-depth analysis of the biology of attachments in the body and mechanisms by which robust attachments are formed, a review of current concepts of attaching dissimilar materials in surgical practice and a discussion of bioengineering approaches that are currently being developed. This book also: Provides the first comprehensive treatment of phys...

  8. A Trade Study of Two Membrane-Aerated Biological Water Processors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allada, Ram; Lange, Kevin; Vega. Leticia; Roberts, Michael S.; Jackson, Andrew; Anderson, Molly; Pickering, Karen

    2011-01-01

    Biologically based systems are under evaluation as primary water processors for next generation life support systems due to their low power requirements and their inherent regenerative nature. This paper will summarize the results of two recent studies involving membrane aerated biological water processors and present results of a trade study comparing the two systems with regards to waste stream composition, nutrient loading and system design. Results of optimal configurations will be presented.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karin Stiasny

    2007-02-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rima Matar-Merheb

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

  11. Heavy water effects on the structure, functions and behavior of biological systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buzgariu, Wanda; Caloianu, Maria; Moldovan, Lucia; Titescu, G.

    2003-01-01

    The H 2 O substitution for D 2 O either in environment or in the culture medium of the living systems generates changes in their main functions and composition. In this paper some of the heavy water effects in biological systems such as structural and functional changes were reviewed: normal cell architecture alterations, cell division and membrane functions disturbance, muscular contractility and the perturbations of biological oscillators such as circadian rhythm, heart rate, respiratory cycle, tidal and ultradian rhythm. (authors)

  12. Membranolytic Activity of Bile Salts: Influence of Biological Membrane Properties and Composition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alfred Blume

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available The two main steps of the membranolytic activity of detergents: 1 the partitioning of detergent molecules in the membrane and 2 the solubilisation of the membrane are systematically investigated. The interactions of two bile salt molecules, sodium cholate (NaC and sodium deoxycholate (NaDC with biological phospholipid model membranes are considered. The membranolytic activity is analysed as a function of the hydrophobicity of the bile salt, ionic strength, temperature, membrane phase properties, membrane surface charge and composition of the acyl chains of the lipids. The results are derived from calorimetric measurements (ITC, isothermal titration calorimetry. A thermodynamic model is described, taking into consideration electrostatic interactions, which is used for the calculation of the partition coefficient as well as to derive the complete thermodynamic parameters describing the interaction of detergents with biological membranes (change in enthalpy, change in free energy, change in entropy etc. The solubilisation properties are described in a so-called vesicle-to-micelle phase transition diagram. The obtained results are supplemented and confirmed by data obtained from other biophysical techniques (DSC differential scanning calorimetry, DLS dynamic light scattering, SANS small angle neutron scattering.

  13. Parallel computing and molecular dynamics of biological membranes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    La Penna, G.; Letardi, S.; Minicozzi, V.; Morante, S.; Rossi, G.C.; Salina, G.

    1998-01-01

    In this talk I discuss the general question of the portability of molecular dynamics codes for diffusive systems on parallel computers of the APE family. The intrinsic single precision of the today available platforms does not seem to affect the numerical accuracy of the simulations, while the absence of integer addressing from CPU to individual nodes puts strong constraints on possible programming strategies. Liquids can be satisfactorily simulated using the ''systolic'' method. For more complex systems, like the biological ones at which we are ultimately interested in, the ''domain decomposition'' approach is best suited to beat the quadratic growth of the inter-molecular computational time with the number of atoms of the system. The promising perspectives of using this strategy for extensive simulations of lipid bilayers are briefly reviewed. (orig.)

  14. Crystal structure of the plasma membrane proton pump

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2007-01-01

    A prerequisite for life is the ability to maintain electrochemical imbalances across biomembranes. In all eukaryotes the plasma membrane potential and secondary transport systems are energized by the activity of P-type ATPase membrane proteins: H1-ATPase (the proton pump) in plants and fungi1......-3, and Na1,K1-ATPase (the sodium-potassium pump) in animals4. The name P-type derives from the fact that these proteins exploit a phosphorylated reaction cycle intermediate of ATP hydrolysis5.The plasma membrane proton pumps belong to the type III P-type ATPase subfamily, whereas Na1,K1-ATPase and Ca21......- ATPase are type II6. Electron microscopy has revealed the overall shape of proton pumps7, however, an atomic structure has been lacking. Here we present the first structure of a P-type proton pump determined by X-ray crystallography. Ten transmembrane helices and three cytoplasmic domains define...

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

    KAUST Repository

    Maugin, Thomas

    2013-12-01

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

  16. Fish skin as a model membrane: structure and characteristics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konrádsdóttir, Fífa; Loftsson, Thorsteinn; Sigfússon, Sigurdur Dadi

    2009-01-01

    Synthetic and cell-based membranes are frequently used during drug formulation development for the assessment of drug availability. However, most of the currently used membranes do not mimic mucosal membranes well, especially the aqueous mucous layer of the membranes. In this study we evaluated catfish (Anarichas lupus L) skin as a model membrane. Permeation of hydrocortisone, lidocaine hydrochloride, benzocaine, diethylstilbestrol, naproxen, picric acid and sodium nitrate through skin from a freshly caught catfish was determined in Franz diffusion cells. Both lipophilic and hydrophilic molecules permeate through catfish skin via hydrated channels or aqueous pores. No correlation was observed between the octanol/water partition coefficient of the permeating molecules and their permeability coefficient through the skin. Permeation through catfish skin was found to be diffusion controlled. The results suggest that permeation through the fish skin proceeds via a diffusion-controlled process, a process that is similar to drug permeation through the aqueous mucous layer of a mucosal membrane. In addition, the fish skin, with its collagen matrix structure, appears to possess similar properties to the eye sclera.

  17. MEMBRANE TECHNOLOGIES — AN INNOVATIVE METHOD OF PROTEIN BIOLOGICAL VALUE INCREASING IN YOUNG CHILDREN FEEDING

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. V. Gmoshinskii

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available A qualitatively new approach to protein production for milk formulas for infants is discussed in this article. The advantage of membrane technologies usage is that they allow preserving protein biological value and make it possible to control the levels of amino-acids in protein by optimizing their proportion and quantity.

  18. Micro-electromembrane extraction across free liquid membranes. Extractions of basic drugs from undiluted biological samples

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kubáň, Pavel; Boček, Petr

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 1337, Apr (2014), s. 32-39 ISSN 0021-9673 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA13-05762S Institutional support: RVO:68081715 Keywords : micro-electromembrane extraction * free liquid membranes * biological samples Subject RIV: CB - Analytical Chemistry, Separation Impact factor: 4.169, year: 2014

  19. Synergy and interactions among biological pathways leading to preterm premature rupture of membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lannon, Sophia M R; Vanderhoeven, Jeroen P; Eschenbach, David A; Gravett, Michael G; Adams Waldorf, Kristina M

    2014-10-01

    Preterm premature rupture of membranes (PPROM) occurs in 1% to 2% of births. Impact of PPROM is greatest in low- and middle-income countries where prematurity-related deaths are most common. Recent investigations identify cytokine and matrix metalloproteinase activation, oxidative stress, and apoptosis as primary pathways to PPROM. These biological processes are initiated by heterogeneous etiologies including infection/inflammation, placental bleeding, uterine overdistention, and genetic polymorphisms. We hypothesize that pathways to PPROM overlap and act synergistically to weaken membranes. We focus our discussion on membrane composition and strength, pathways linking risk factors to membrane weakening, and future research directions to reduce the global burden of PPROM. © The Author(s) 2014.

  20. Cytosol-dependent membrane fusion in ER, nuclear envelope and nuclear pore assembly: biological implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rafikova, Elvira R; Melikov, Kamran; Chernomordik, Leonid V

    2010-01-01

    Endoplasmic reticulum and nuclear envelope rearrangements after mitosis are often studied in the reconstitution system based on Xenopus egg extract. In our recent work we partially replaced the membrane vesicles in the reconstitution mix with protein-free liposomes to explore the relative contributions of cytosolic and transmembrane proteins. Here we discuss our finding that cytosolic proteins mediate fusion between membranes lacking functional transmembrane proteins and the role of membrane fusion in endoplasmic reticulum and nuclear envelope reorganization. Cytosol-dependent liposome fusion has allowed us to restore, without adding transmembrane nucleoporins, functionality of nuclear pores, their spatial distribution and chromatin decondensation in nuclei formed at insufficient amounts of membrane material and characterized by only partial decondensation of chromatin and lack of nuclear transport. Both the mechanisms and the biological implications of the discovered coupling between spatial distribution of nuclear pores, chromatin decondensation and nuclear transport are discussed.

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

    KAUST Repository

    Shi, Meixia

    2016-01-01

    polymerization. Among the different substrates we include standard asymmetric porous membranes prepared from homopolymers, such as polysulfone. Additionally block copolymer membrane and Anodisc alumina membrane are chosen based on their exceptional structures

  2. STRUCTURES AND BIOLOGICAL ACTIVITY OF CUPROPHYLLINS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martynov A.V.

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Chlorophylls (a, b are the porphyrin compounds and most common chemical in the plant’s world. In fact, these compounds are an obligatory intermediate product both in energy metabolism and in plant catabolism. At the same time, currently there are few pharmaceutical preparations on the pharmaceutical market based on chlorophylls. Dyes based on hydrolyzed chlorophyll are successfully used in the food industry. Commercial chlorophylline is a copper complex of hydrolyzed chlorophylls. As shown earlier in TLC, the chlorophyllin mixture contains a large number of different compounds. It is like water-soluble saponified derivatives in the form of sodium-magnesium complexes, and similar structures in the form of a complex with copper. The latter are more brightly colored, soluble in water and widely used as coloring agents in cooking. In this case, if the initial chlorophyll was not found to have a pronounced biological activity, the substituted derivatives in the form of copper complexes possessed a number of new unique biological properties. Non-hydrolyzed hydrophobic cuprophylline obtained from eucalyptus leaves possessed high antimicrobial activity to most strains of staphylococci, inclusion resistant to antimicrobials and multiresistant strains. This drug is called Chlorophyllipt, it is allowed to be used as a medicinal product and is one of the oldest antibacterial drugs from plants on the market. It is marketed as ethanoic and oily solutions for topical use, and as an alcohol solution for intravenous injections. Its main purpose is the fight against staphylococcal infections. Recently, found that the oral administration of chlorophyllipt activates cellular immunity and indirectly exhibits antiviral activity. Another compound of cuprophyllin is water-soluble chlorophyllin. Some authors show the variability of the structure and biological activity of cuprophyllins. Different derivatives of chlorophyll have different biological activity

  3. Applications of contact predictions to structural biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Felix Simkovic

    2017-05-01

    methods. Finally, predicted contacts can distinguish between biologically relevant interfaces and mere lattice contacts in a final crystal structure, and have potential in the identification of functionally important regions and in foreseeing the consequences of mutations.

  4. Structure and membrane organization of photosystem II in green plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hankamer, B; Barber, J; Boekema, EJ

    1997-01-01

    Photosystem II (PSII) is the pigment protein complex embedded in the thylakoid membrane of higher plants, algae, and cyanobacteria that uses solar energy to drive the photosynthetic water-splitting reaction. This chapter reviews the primary, secondary, tertiary, and quaternary structures of PSII as

  5. Fabrication of functional structures on thin silicon nitride membranes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ekkels, P.; Tjerkstra, R.W.; Krijnen, Gijsbertus J.M.; Berenschot, Johan W.; Brugger, J.P.; Elwenspoek, Michael Curt

    A process to fabricate functional polysilicon structures above large (4×4 mm2) thin (200 nm), very flat LPCVD silicon rich nitride membranes was developed. Key features of this fabrication process are the use of low-stress LPCVD silicon nitride, sacrificial layer etching, and minimization of

  6. Structure and interactions in biomaterials based on membrane-biopolymer self-assembly

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koltover, Ilya

    Physical and chemical properties of artificial pure lipid membranes have been extensively studied during the last two decades and are relatively well understood. However, most real membrane systems of biological and biotechnological importance incorporate macromolecules either embedded into the membranes or absorbed onto their surfaces. We have investigated three classes of self-assembled membrane-biopolymer biomaterials: (i) Structure, interactions and stability of the two-dimensional crystals of the integral membrane protein bacteriorhodopsin (bR). We have conducted a synchrotron x-ray diffraction study of oriented bR multilayers. The important findings were as follows: (1) the protein 2D lattice exhibited diffraction patterns characteristic of a 2D solid with power-law decay of in-plane positional correlations, which allowed to measure the elastic constants of protein crystal; (2) The crystal melting temperature was a function of the multilayer hydration, reflecting the effect of inter-membrane repulsion on the stability of protein lattice; (3) Preparation of nearly perfect (mosaicity gene therapy applications. We have established that DNA complexes with cationic lipid (DOTAP) and a neutral lipid (DOPC) have a compact multilayer liquid crystalline structure ( L ca ) with DNA intercalated between the lipid bilayers in a periodic 2D smectic phase. Furthermore, a different 2D columnar phase of complexes was found in mixtures with a transfectionen-hancing lipid DOPE. This structure ( HcII ) derived from synchrotron x-ray diffraction consists of DNA coated by cationic lipid monolayers and arranged on a two-dimensional hexagonal lattice. Optical microscopy revealed that the L ca complexes bind stably to anionic vesicles (models of cellular membranes), whereas the more transfectant HcII complexes are unstable, rapidly fusing and releasing DNA upon adhering to anionic vesicles.

  7. 2010 Diffraction Methods in Structural Biology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dr. Ana Gonzalez

    2011-03-10

    Advances in basic methodologies have played a major role in the dramatic progress in macromolecular crystallography over the past decade, both in terms of overall productivity and in the increasing complexity of the systems being successfully tackled. The 2010 Gordon Research Conference on Diffraction Methods in Structural Biology will, as in the past, focus on the most recent developments in methodology, covering all aspects of the process from crystallization to model building and refinement, complemented by examples of structural highlights and complementary methods. Extensive discussion will be encouraged and it is hoped that all attendees will participate by giving oral or poster presentations, the latter using the excellent poster display area available at Bates College. The relatively small size and informal atmosphere of the meeting provides an excellent opportunity for all participants, especially younger scientists, to meet and exchange ideas with leading methods developers.

  8. UV inactivation of enzymes in supramolecular complexes of biological membranes. The phenomenon of photochemical allotropy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Konev, S.V.; Volotovskij, I.D.; Sheiko, L.M.

    1978-01-01

    The photosensitivity of erythrocyte acetylcholinesterase (AChE) is different in its free and membrane-bound states. The modification of the structure of membraneous lipids by phospholipases A 2 , C and D or by cholesterol depletion is accompanied by a change in AChE photosensitivity. UV light was demonstrated to induce cooperative structural transitions in the erythrocyte membrane. This follows from the data obtained by circular dichroism and solubilization in detergents. In contrast to free AChE, UV light acts on the membraneous enzyme as a mixed inhibitor (simultaneous change in Vsub(max) and Ksub(m)). The anomalous behaviour of membrane-bound enzyme, termed the phenomenon of photochemical allotropy, is associated with a modification of the structure within the microenvironment of the residual AChE. The phenomenon depends on membrane integrity, and disappears after treatment of erythrocyte ghosts with ultrasound, trypsin, phospholipases and neuraminidase and remains unchanged in cholesterol-depleted membranes. The nature and localization of events responsible for this phenomenon are discussed. (author)

  9. Structural Changes of PVDF Membranes by Phase Separation Control

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, Semin; Kim, Sung Soo

    2016-01-01

    Thermally induced phase separation (TIPS) and nonsolvent induced phase separation (NIPS) were simultaneously induced for the preparation of flat PVDF membranes. N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP) was used as a solvent and dibutyl-phthlate (DBP) was used as a diluent for PVDF. When PVDF was melt blended with NMP and DBP, crystallization temperature was lowered for TIPS and unstable region was expanded for NIPS. Ratio of solvent to diluent changed the phase separation mechanism to obtain the various membrane structures. Contact mode of dope solution with nonsolvent determined the dominant phase separation behavior. Since heat transfer rate was greater than mass transfer rate, surface structure was formed by NIPS and inner structure was by TIPS. Quenching temperature of dope solution also affected the phase separation mechanism and phase separation rate to result in the variation of structure

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jana Mohrova

    2012-01-01

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

  11. Probing membrane protein structure using water polarization transfer solid-state NMR.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Jonathan K; Hong, Mei

    2014-10-01

    Water plays an essential role in the structure and function of proteins, lipid membranes and other biological macromolecules. Solid-state NMR heteronuclear-detected (1)H polarization transfer from water to biomolecules is a versatile approach for studying water-protein, water-membrane, and water-carbohydrate interactions in biology. We review radiofrequency pulse sequences for measuring water polarization transfer to biomolecules, the mechanisms of polarization transfer, and the application of this method to various biological systems. Three polarization transfer mechanisms, chemical exchange, spin diffusion and NOE, manifest themselves at different temperatures, magic-angle-spinning frequencies, and pulse irradiations. Chemical exchange is ubiquitous in all systems examined so far, and spin diffusion plays the key role in polarization transfer within the macromolecule. Tightly bound water molecules with long residence times are rare in proteins at ambient temperature. The water polarization-transfer technique has been used to study the hydration of microcrystalline proteins, lipid membranes, and plant cell wall polysaccharides, and to derive atomic-resolution details of the kinetics and mechanism of ion conduction in channels and pumps. Using this approach, we have measured the water polarization transfer to the transmembrane domain of the influenza M2 protein to obtain information on the structure of this tetrameric proton channel. At short mixing times, the polarization transfer rates are site-specific and depend on the pH, labile protons, sidechain conformation, as well as the radial position of the residues in this four-helix bundle. Despite the multiple dependences, the initial transfer rates reflect the periodic nature of the residue positions from the water-filled pore, thus this technique provides a way of gleaning secondary structure information, helix tilt angle, and the oligomeric structure of membrane proteins. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All

  12. Designing CNC Knit for Hybrid Membrane And Bending Active Structures

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tamke, Martin; Holden Deleuran, Anders; Gengnagel, Christoph

    2015-01-01

    specific properties and detailing. CNC knitting with high tenacity yarn enables this practice and offers an alternative to current woven membranes. The design and fabrication of an 8m high fabric tower through an interdisciplinary team of architects, structural and textile engineers, allowed to investigate...... means to design, specify, make and test CNC knit as material for hybrid structures in architectural scale. This paper shares the developed process, identifies challenges, potentials and future work...

  13. Investigation of the utility of selective methyl protonation for determination of membrane protein structures

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shih, Steve C. C.; Stoica, Ileana; Goto, Natalie K.

    2008-01-01

    Polytopic α-helical membrane proteins present one of the final frontiers for protein structural biology, with significant challenges causing severe under-representation in the protein structure databank. However, with the advent of hardware and methodology geared to the study of large molecular weight complexes, solution NMR is being increasingly considered as a tool for structural studies of these types of membrane proteins. One method that has the potential to facilitate these studies utilizes uniformly deuterated samples with protons reintroduced at one or two methyl groups of leucine, valine and isoleucine. In this work we demonstrate that in spite of the increased proportion of these amino acids in membrane proteins, the quality of structures that can be obtained from this strategy is similar to that obtained for all α-helical water soluble proteins. This is partly attributed to the observation that NOEs between residues within the transmembrane helix did not have an impact on structure quality. Instead the most important factors controlling structure accuracy were the strength of dihedral angle restraints imposed and the number of unique inter-helical pairs of residues constrained by NOEs. Overall these results suggest that the most accurate structures will arise from accurate identification of helical segments and utilization of inter-helical distance restraints from various sources to maximize the distribution of long-range restraints

  14. Microwave-Driven Multifunctional Capability of Membrane Structures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Sang H.; Chu, Sang-Hyong; Song, Kyo D.; King, Glen C.

    2002-01-01

    A large, ultra lightweight space structure, such as solar sails and Gossamer spacecrafts, requires a distributed power source to alleviate wire networks, unlike the localized on-board power infrastructures typically found in most small spacecrafts. The concept of microwave-driven multifunctional capability for membrane structures is envisioned as the best option to alleviate the complexity associated with hard-wired control circuitry and on-board power infrastructures. A rectenna array based on a patch configuration for high voltage output was developed to drive membrane actuators, sensors, probes, or other devices. Networked patch rectenna array receives and converts microwave power into a DC power for an array of smart actuators. To use microwave power effectively, the concept of a power allocation and distribution (PAD) circuit is adopted for networking a rectenna/actuator patch array. The use of patch rectennas adds a significant amount of rigidity to membrane flexibility and they are relatively heavy. A dipole rectenna array (DRA) appears to be ideal for thin-film membrane structures, since DRA is flexible and light. Preliminary design and fabrication of PAD circuitry that consists of a few nodal elements were made for laboratory testing. The networked actuators were tested to correlate the network coupling effect, power allocation and distribution, and response time.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jakob Andersson

    2016-05-01

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

  16. Assembly of MreB filaments on liposome membranes: a synthetic biology approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maeda, Yusuke T; Nakadai, Tomoyoshi; Shin, Jonghyeon; Uryu, Kunihiro; Noireaux, Vincent; Libchaber, Albert

    2012-02-17

    The physical interaction between the cytoskeleton and the cell membrane is essential in defining the morphology of living organisms. In this study, we use a synthetic approach to polymerize bacterial MreB filaments inside phospholipid vesicles. When the proteins MreB and MreC are expressed inside the liposomes, the MreB cytoskeleton structure develops at the inner membrane. Furthermore, when purified MreB is used inside the liposomes, MreB filaments form a 4-10 μm rigid bundle structure and deform the lipid vesicles in physical contact with the vesicle inner membrane. These results indicate that the fibrillation of MreB filaments can take place either in close proximity of deformable lipid membrane or in the presence of associated protein. Our finding might be relevant for the self-assembly of cytoskeleton filaments toward the construction of artificial cell systems.

  17. Structural basis for catalysis at the membrane-water interface.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dufrisne, Meagan Belcher; Petrou, Vasileios I; Clarke, Oliver B; Mancia, Filippo

    2017-11-01

    The membrane-water interface forms a uniquely heterogeneous and geometrically constrained environment for enzymatic catalysis. Integral membrane enzymes sample three environments - the uniformly hydrophobic interior of the membrane, the aqueous extramembrane region, and the fuzzy, amphipathic interfacial region formed by the tightly packed headgroups of the components of the lipid bilayer. Depending on the nature of the substrates and the location of the site of chemical modification, catalysis may occur in each of these environments. The availability of structural information for alpha-helical enzyme families from each of these classes, as well as several beta-barrel enzymes from the bacterial outer membrane, has allowed us to review here the different ways in which each enzyme fold has adapted to the nature of the substrates, products, and the unique environment of the membrane. Our focus here is on enzymes that process lipidic substrates. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Bacterial Lipids edited by Russell E. Bishop. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Studies of membrane structure by freeze--etching. Progress report, 1 July 1974--30 June 1975

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Branton, D.

    1975-01-01

    The structure and organization of biological membranes was studied using a variety of physical and biochemical techniques together with electron microscopy and freeze-etching. These studies are providing knowledge relating the architecture of cellular membranes to their role in regulating the transport of molecules into and out of cells. A number of model systems, including Acholeplasma laidlawii and human erythrocyte membranes were proved to determine the distribution and asymmetry of component lipids and proteins. For this purpose, a novel combination of freeze-fracture and electron microscope autoradiographic techniques has been developed and is being tested. (U.S.)

  19. Surface functionalization of a polymeric lipid bilayer for coupling a model biological membrane with molecules, cells, and microstructures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morigaki, Kenichi; Mizutani, Kazuyuki; Saito, Makoto; Okazaki, Takashi; Nakajima, Yoshihiro; Tatsu, Yoshiro; Imaishi, Hiromasa

    2013-02-26

    We describe a stable and functional model biological membrane based on a polymerized lipid bilayer with a chemically modified surface. A polymerized lipid bilayer was formed from a mixture of two diacetylene-containing phospholipids, 1,2-bis(10,12-tricosadiynoyl)-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DiynePC) and 1,2-bis(10,12-tricosadiynoyl)-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine (DiynePE). DiynePC formed a stable bilayer structure, whereas the ethanolamine headgroup of DiynePE enabled functional molecules to be grafted onto the membrane surface. Copolymerization of DiynePC and DiynePE resulted in a robust bilayer. Functionalization of the polymeric bilayer provided a route to a robust and biomimetic surface that can be linked with biomolecules, cells, and three-dimensional (3D) microstructures. Biotin and peptides were grafted onto the polymeric bilayer for attaching streptavidin and cultured mammalian cells by molecular recognition, respectively. Nonspecific adsorption of proteins and cells on polymeric bilayers was minimum. DiynePE was also used to attach a microstructure made of an elastomer (polydimethylsiloxan: PDMS) onto the membrane, forming a confined aqueous solution between the two surfaces. The microcompartment enabled us to assay the activity of a membrane-bound enzyme (cyochrome P450). Natural (fluid) lipid bilayers were incorporated together with membrane-bound proteins by lithographically polymerizing DiynePC/DiynePE bilayers. The hybrid membrane of functionalized polymeric bilayers and fluid bilayers offers a novel platform for a wide range of biomedical applications including biosensor, bioassay, cell culture, and cell-based assay.

  20. Structural Basis of Biological Nitrile Reduction*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chikwana, Vimbai M.; Stec, Boguslaw; Lee, Bobby W. K.; de Crécy-Lagard, Valérie; Iwata-Reuyl, Dirk; Swairjo, Manal A.

    2012-01-01

    The enzyme QueF catalyzes the reduction of the nitrile group of 7-cyano-7-deazaguanine (preQ0) to 7-aminomethyl-7-deazaguanine (preQ1), the only nitrile reduction reaction known in biology. We describe here two crystal structures of Bacillus subtilis QueF, one of the wild-type enzyme in complex with the substrate preQ0, trapped as a covalent thioimide, a putative intermediate in the reaction, and the second of the C55A mutant in complex with the substrate preQ0 bound noncovalently. The QueF enzyme forms an asymmetric tunnel-fold homodecamer of two head-to-head facing pentameric subunits, harboring 10 active sites at the intersubunit interfaces. In both structures, a preQ0 molecule is bound at eight sites, and in the wild-type enzyme, it forms a thioimide covalent linkage to the catalytic residue Cys-55. Both structural and transient kinetic data show that preQ0 binding, not thioimide formation, induces a large conformational change in and closure of the active site. Based on these data, we propose a mechanism for the activation of the Cys-55 nucleophile and subsequent hydride transfer. PMID:22787148

  1. Computational Approaches for Revealing the Structure of Membrane Transporters: Case Study on Bilitranslocase

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katja Venko

    Full Text Available The structural and functional details of transmembrane proteins are vastly underexplored, mostly due to experimental difficulties regarding their solubility and stability. Currently, the majority of transmembrane protein structures are still unknown and this present a huge experimental and computational challenge. Nowadays, thanks to X-ray crystallography or NMR spectroscopy over 3000 structures of membrane proteins have been solved, among them only a few hundred unique ones. Due to the vast biological and pharmaceutical interest in the elucidation of the structure and the functional mechanisms of transmembrane proteins, several computational methods have been developed to overcome the experimental gap. If combined with experimental data the computational information enables rapid, low cost and successful predictions of the molecular structure of unsolved proteins. The reliability of the predictions depends on the availability and accuracy of experimental data associated with structural information. In this review, the following methods are proposed for in silico structure elucidation: sequence-dependent predictions of transmembrane regions, predictions of transmembrane helix–helix interactions, helix arrangements in membrane models, and testing their stability with molecular dynamics simulations. We also demonstrate the usage of the computational methods listed above by proposing a model for the molecular structure of the transmembrane protein bilitranslocase. Bilitranslocase is bilirubin membrane transporter, which shares similar tissue distribution and functional properties with some of the members of the Organic Anion Transporter family and is the only member classified in the Bilirubin Transporter Family. Regarding its unique properties, bilitranslocase is a potentially interesting drug target. Keywords: Membrane proteins, Bilitranslocase, 3D protein structure, Transmembrane region predictors, Helix–helix interactions

  2. Differential Interaction of Synthetic Glycolipids with Biomimetic Plasma Membrane Lipids Correlates with the Plant Biological Response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nasir, Mehmet Nail; Lins, Laurence; Crowet, Jean-Marc; Ongena, Marc; Dorey, Stephan; Dhondt-Cordelier, Sandrine; Clément, Christophe; Bouquillon, Sandrine; Haudrechy, Arnaud; Sarazin, Catherine; Fauconnier, Marie-Laure; Nott, Katherine; Deleu, Magali

    2017-09-26

    Natural and synthetic amphiphilic molecules including lipopeptides, lipopolysaccharides, and glycolipids are able to induce defense mechanisms in plants. In the present work, the perception of two synthetic C14 rhamnolipids, namely, Alk-RL and Ac-RL, differing only at the level of the lipid tail terminal group have been investigated using biological and biophysical approaches. We showed that Alk-RL induces a stronger early signaling response in tobacco cell suspensions than does Ac-RL. The interactions of both synthetic RLs with simplified biomimetic membranes were further analyzed using experimental and in silico approaches. Our results indicate that the interactions of Alk-RL and Ac-RL with lipids were different in terms of insertion and molecular responses and were dependent on the lipid composition of model membranes. A more favorable insertion of Alk-RL than Ac-RL into lipid membranes is observed. Alk-RL forms more stable molecular assemblies than Ac-RL with phospholipids and sterols. At the molecular level, the presence of sterols tends to increase the RLs' interaction with lipid bilayers, with a fluidizing effect on the alkyl chains. Taken together, our findings suggest that the perception of these synthetic RLs at the membrane level could be related to a lipid-driven process depending on the organization of the membrane and the orientation of the RLs within the membrane and is correlated with the induction of early signaling responses in tobacco cells.

  3. Concept-Development of a Structure Supported Membrane for Deployable Space Applications - From Nature to Manufacture and Testing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zander, Martin; Belvin, W. K.

    2012-01-01

    Current space applications of membrane structures include large area solar power arrays, solar sails, antennas, and numerous other large aperture devices like the solar shades of the new James Webb Space Telescope. These expandable structural systems, deployed in-orbit to achieve the desired geometry, are used to collect, reflect and/or transmit electromagnetic radiation. This work, a feasibility study supporting a diploma thesis, describes the systematic process for developing a biologically inspired concept for a structure supported (integrated) membrane, that features a rip stop principle, makes self-deployment possible and is part of an ultra-light weight space application. Novel manufacturing of membrane prototypes and test results are presented for the rip-stop concepts. Test data showed that the new membrane concept has a higher tear resistance than neat film of equivalent mass.

  4. Biological nitrogen and phosphorus removal in membrane bioreactors: model development and parameter estimation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cosenza, Alida; Mannina, Giorgio; Neumann, Marc B; Viviani, Gaspare; Vanrolleghem, Peter A

    2013-04-01

    Membrane bioreactors (MBR) are being increasingly used for wastewater treatment. Mathematical modeling of MBR systems plays a key role in order to better explain their characteristics. Several MBR models have been presented in the literature focusing on different aspects: biological models, models which include soluble microbial products (SMP), physical models able to describe the membrane fouling and integrated models which couple the SMP models with the physical models. However, only a few integrated models have been developed which take into account the relationships between membrane fouling and biological processes. With respect to biological phosphorus removal in MBR systems, due to the complexity of the process, practical use of the models is still limited. There is a vast knowledge (and consequently vast amount of data) on nutrient removal for conventional-activated sludge systems but only limited information on phosphorus removal for MBRs. Calibration of these complex integrated models still remains the main bottleneck to their employment. The paper presents an integrated mathematical model able to simultaneously describe biological phosphorus removal, SMP formation/degradation and physical processes which also include the removal of organic matter. The model has been calibrated with data collected in a UCT-MBR pilot plant, located at the Palermo wastewater treatment plant, applying a modified version of a recently developed calibration protocol. The calibrated model provides acceptable correspondence with experimental data and can be considered a useful tool for MBR design and operation.

  5. Structure and organization of nanosized-inclusion-containing bilayer membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ren, Chun-Lai; Ma, Yu-Qiang

    2009-07-01

    Based on a considerable amount of experimental evidence for lateral organization of lipid membranes which share astonishingly similar features in the presence of different inclusions, we use a hybrid self-consistent field theory (SCFT)/density-functional theory (DFT) approach to deal with bilayer membranes embedded by nanosized inclusions and explain experimental findings. Here, the hydrophobic inclusions are simple models of hydrophobic drugs or other nanoparticles for biomedical applications. It is found that lipid/inclusion-rich domains are formed at moderate inclusion concentrations and disappear with the increase in the concentration of inclusions. At high inclusion content, chaining of inclusions occurs due to the effective depletion attraction between inclusions mediated by lipids. Meanwhile, the increase in the concentration of inclusions can also cause thickening of the membrane and the distribution of inclusions undergoes a layering transition from one-layer structure located in the bilayer midplane to two-layer structure arranged into the two leaflets of a bilayer. Our theoretical predictions address the complex interactions between membranes and inclusions suggesting a unifying mechanism which reflects the competition between the conformational entropy of lipids favoring the formation of lipid- and inclusion-rich domains in lipids and the steric repulsion of inclusions leading to the uniform dispersion.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ROMANA MASNIKOSA

    2003-11-01

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

  7. TCA Cycle and Mitochondrial Membrane Potential Are Necessary for Diverse Biological Functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez-Reyes, Inmaculada; Diebold, Lauren P; Kong, Hyewon; Schieber, Michael; Huang, He; Hensley, Christopher T; Mehta, Manan M; Wang, Tianyuan; Santos, Janine H; Woychik, Richard; Dufour, Eric; Spelbrink, Johannes N; Weinberg, Samuel E; Zhao, Yingming; DeBerardinis, Ralph J; Chandel, Navdeep S

    2016-01-21

    Mitochondrial metabolism is necessary for the maintenance of oxidative TCA cycle function and mitochondrial membrane potential. Previous attempts to decipher whether mitochondria are necessary for biological outcomes have been hampered by genetic and pharmacologic methods that simultaneously disrupt multiple functions linked to mitochondrial metabolism. Here, we report that inducible depletion of mitochondrial DNA (ρ(ο) cells) diminished respiration, oxidative TCA cycle function, and the mitochondrial membrane potential, resulting in diminished cell proliferation, hypoxic activation of HIF-1, and specific histone acetylation marks. Genetic reconstitution only of the oxidative TCA cycle function specifically in these inducible ρ(ο) cells restored metabolites, resulting in re-establishment of histone acetylation. In contrast, genetic reconstitution of the mitochondrial membrane potential restored ROS, which were necessary for hypoxic activation of HIF-1 and cell proliferation. These results indicate that distinct mitochondrial functions associated with respiration are necessary for cell proliferation, epigenetics, and HIF-1 activation. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. MEMS-Based Fuel Reformer with Suspended Membrane Structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Kuei-Sung; Tanaka, Shuji; Esashi, Masayoshi

    We report a MEMS-based fuel reformer for supplying hydrogen to micro-fuel cells for portable applications. A combustor and a reforming chamber are fabricated at either side of a suspended membrane structure. This design is used to improve the overall thermal efficiency, which is a critical issue to realize a micro-fuel reformer. The suspended membrane structure design provided good thermal isolation. The micro-heaters consumed 0.97W to maintain the reaction zone of the MEMS-based fuel reformer at 200°C, but further power saving is necessary by improving design and fabrication. The conversion rate of methanol to hydrogen was about 19% at 180°C by using evaporated copper as a reforming catalyst. The catalytic combustion of hydrogen started without any assistance of micro-heaters. By feeding the fuel mixture of an equivalence ratio of 0.35, the temperature of the suspended membrane structure was maintained stable at 100°C with a combustion efficiency of 30%. In future works, we will test a micro-fuel reformer by using a micro-combustor to supply heat.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  10. F-BAR family proteins, emerging regulators for cell membrane dynamic changes-from structure to human diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Suxuan; Xiong, Xinyu; Zhao, Xianxian; Yang, Xiaofeng; Wang, Hong

    2015-05-09

    Eukaryotic cell membrane dynamics change in curvature during physiological and pathological processes. In the past ten years, a novel protein family, Fes/CIP4 homology-Bin/Amphiphysin/Rvs (F-BAR) domain proteins, has been identified to be the most important coordinators in membrane curvature regulation. The F-BAR domain family is a member of the Bin/Amphiphysin/Rvs (BAR) domain superfamily that is associated with dynamic changes in cell membrane. However, the molecular basis in membrane structure regulation and the biological functions of F-BAR protein are unclear. The pathophysiological role of F-BAR protein is unknown. This review summarizes the current understanding of structure and function in the BAR domain superfamily, classifies F-BAR family proteins into nine subfamilies based on domain structure, and characterizes F-BAR protein structure, domain interaction, and functional relevance. In general, F-BAR protein binds to cell membrane via F-BAR domain association with membrane phospholipids and initiates membrane curvature and scission via Src homology-3 (SH3) domain interaction with its partner proteins. This process causes membrane dynamic changes and leads to seven important cellular biological functions, which include endocytosis, phagocytosis, filopodium, lamellipodium, cytokinesis, adhesion, and podosome formation, via distinct signaling pathways determined by specific domain-binding partners. These cellular functions play important roles in many physiological and pathophysiological processes. We further summarize F-BAR protein expression and mutation changes observed in various diseases and developmental disorders. Considering the structure feature and functional implication of F-BAR proteins, we anticipate that F-BAR proteins modulate physiological and pathophysiological processes via transferring extracellular materials, regulating cell trafficking and mobility, presenting antigens, mediating extracellular matrix degradation, and transmitting

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2011-08-09

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2011-12-31

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

  13. Membrane binding properties of EBV gp110 C-terminal domain; evidences for structural transition in the membrane environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Park, Sung Jean; Seo, Min-Duk; Lee, Suk Kyeong; Lee, Bong Jin

    2008-01-01

    Gp110 of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) mainly localizes on nuclear/ER membranes and plays a role in the assembly of EBV nucleocapsid. The C-terminal tail domain (gp110 CTD) is essential for the function of gp110 and the nuclear/ER membranes localization of gp110 is ruled by its C-terminal unique nuclear localization signal (NLS), consecutive four arginines. In the present study, the structural properties of gp110 CTD in membrane mimics were investigated using CD, size-exclusion chromatography, and NMR, to elucidate the effect of membrane environment on the structural transition and to compare the structural feature of the protein in the solution state with that of the membrane-bound form. CD and NMR analysis showed that gp110 CTD in a buffer solution appears to adopt a stable folding intermediate which lacks compactness, and a highly helical structure is formed only in membrane environments. The helical content of gp110 CTD was significantly affected by the negative charge as well as the size of membrane mimics. Based on the elution profiles of the size-exclusion chromatography, we found that gp110 CTD intrinsically forms a trimer, revealing that a trimerization region may exist in the C-terminal domain of gp110 like the ectodomain of gp110. The mutation of NLS (RRRR) to RTTR does not affect the overall structure of gp110 CTD in membrane mimics, while the helical propensity in a buffer solution was slightly different between the wild-type and the mutant proteins. This result suggests that not only the helicity induced in membrane environment but also the local structure around NLS may be related to trafficking to the nuclear membrane. More detailed structural difference between the wild-type and the mutant in membrane environment was examined using synthetic two peptides including the wild-type NLS and the mutant NLS

  14. Effect of Biological Contact Filters (BCFs on Membrane Fouling in Drinking Water Treatment Systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susumu Hasegawa

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Membrane fouling is a serious problem in drinking water treatment systems. Biological contact filters (BCFs are often used as a pretreatment to remove ammonia, dissolved organic matter (DOM, and metal ions such as iron and manganese. In this study, the effect of BCF as a pretreatment for membrane fouling was evaluated using a laboratory-scale mini module consisting of a mini BCF column and a mini MF column. Initially, it was confirmed that the main foulant was a biopolymer (at low concentration in the raw water. Subsequently, the biopolymer concentrations in the BCF influent and effluent were measured with the excitation emission matrix (EEM fluorescence spectroscopy and the liquid chromatograph organic carbon detector (LC-OCD. The fouling potential of the BCF influent and effluent was also measured to evaluate MF membrane fouling rate. The results demonstrate that application of the BCF reduced the biopolymer concentration of the effluent and reduced membrane fouling. The effect of BCF was also established in an actual drinking water treatment plant. It was found that optimizing the contact time of raw water with the BCF was crucial to reduce membrane fouling.

  15. Structural Biology in the context of EGEE

    CERN Document Server

    García, D; Carazo, J M; Valverde, J R; Moscicki, J; Muraru, A

    2007-01-01

    Electron microscopy (EM) is a crucial technique, which allows Structural Biology researchers to characterize macromolecular assemblies in distinct functional states. Image processing in three dimensional EM (3D-EM) is used by a flourishing community (exemplarized by the EU funded 3D-EM NoE) and is characterized by voluminous data and large computing requirements, making this a problem well suited for Grid computing and the EGEE infrastructure. There are various steps in the 3D-EM refinement process that may benefit from Grid computing. To start with, large numbers of experimental images need to be averaged. Nowadays, typically tens of thousands of images are used, while future studies may routinely employ millions of images. Our group has been developing Xmipp, a package for single-particle 3D-EM image processing. Using Xmipp, the classification of 91,000 ribosome projections into 4 classes took more than 2500 CPU hours using the resources of the MareNostrum supercomputer at the Barcelona Supercomputing Centr...

  16. Structure-based membrane dome mechanism for Piezo mechanosensitivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Yusong R; MacKinnon, Roderick

    2017-12-12

    Mechanosensitive ion channels convert external mechanical stimuli into electrochemical signals for critical processes including touch sensation, balance, and cardiovascular regulation. The best understood mechanosensitive channel, MscL, opens a wide pore, which accounts for mechanosensitive gating due to in-plane area expansion. Eukaryotic Piezo channels have a narrow pore and therefore must capture mechanical forces to control gating in another way. We present a cryo-EM structure of mouse Piezo1 in a closed conformation at 3.7Å-resolution. The channel is a triskelion with arms consisting of repeated arrays of 4-TM structural units surrounding a pore. Its shape deforms the membrane locally into a dome. We present a hypothesis in which the membrane deformation changes upon channel opening. Quantitatively, membrane tension will alter gating energetics in proportion to the change in projected area under the dome. This mechanism can account for highly sensitive mechanical gating in the setting of a narrow, cation-selective pore. © 2017, Guo et al.

  17. Depression, osteoporosis, serotonin and cell membrane viscosity between biology and philosophical anthropology

    OpenAIRE

    Cocchi, Massimo; Tonello, Lucio; Gabrielli, Fabio; Pregnolato, Massimo

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Due to the relationship between biology and culture, we believe that depression, understood as a cultural and existential phenomenon, has clear markers in molecular biology. We begin from an existential analysis of depression constituting the human condition and then shift to analysis of biological data confirming, according to our judgment, its original (ontological) structure. In this way philosophy is involved at the anthropological level, in as much as it detects the underlying m...

  18. The Effect of LiCl and Coagulation Bath Temperature on the Structure and Performance of PVDF Membranes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marzieh Sedaghat

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF membranes are widely used in microfiltration and ultrafiltration processes for their excellent mechanical and chemical resistance and thermal stability in comparison with other polymeric membranes. Non-solvent induced phase separation (NIPS is the most important method by which the PVDF membranes are prepared. The structure of the membranes prepared by NIPS method depends on different parameters including the concentration of the polymer solution, polymer molecular weight, the composition and temperature of coagulation bath, type of solvent and the presence of additives in the initial solution. In the present work, the effects of coagulation bath temperature and LiCl content of the dope solution were studied with respect to the structure and performance of PVDF membranes. N-Methyl-2-pyrrolidone and water were used as solvent and coagulation bath, respectively. A set of analytical techniques including: scanning electron microscopy, mechanical test, pure water permeability and mean pore radius of pores was used to characterize the membranes. Moreover, the separation of humic acid, a main biological contaminant in surface water resources, was studied to determine membranes performance. The results show that at constant coagulation bath temperature, presence of LiCl in the dope solution increased the number as well as the mean pore radius of the pores at the surface of membranes and consequently, pure water permeability of the membranes was increased, whereas, the mechanical strength and humic acid rejection of the membranes were dropped. Moreover, at a constant content of LiCl, increasing the coagulation bath temperature decreased the size of macrovoids so that the mechanical strength as well as humic acid rejection of the membranes was increased.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ortiz, Elisa Parra; Perez-Gil, Jesús

    2015-01-01

    of breathing and avoiding alveolar collapse, especially at the end of expiration. The goal of the present review is to summarize current knowledge regarding the structure, lipid-protein interactions and mechanical features of surfactant membranes and films and how these properties correlate with surfactant...... biological function inside the lungs. Surfactant mechanical properties can be severely compromised by different agents, which lead to surfactant inhibition and ultimately contributes to the development of pulmonary disorders and pathologies in newborns, children and adults. A detailed comprehension...

  20. 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…

  1. The effects of 7-dehydrocholesterol on the structural properties of membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yingzhe; Chipot, Christophe; Shao, Xueguang; Cai, Wensheng

    2011-10-01

    Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome, a congenital and developmental malformation disease, is typified by abnormal accumulation of 7-dehydrocholesterol (7DHC), the immediate precursor of cholesterol (CHOL), and depletion thereof. Knowledge of the effect of 7DHC on the biological membrane is, however, still fragmentary. In this study, large-scale atomistic molecular dynamics simulations, employing two distinct force fields, have been conducted to elucidate differences in the structural properties of a hydrated dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine bilayer due to CHOL and 7DHC. The present series of results indicate that CHOL and 7DHC possess virtually the same ability to condense and order membranes. Furthermore, the condensing and ordering effects are shown to be strengthened at increasing sterol concentrations.

  2. Diode λ830nm laser associated with hydroxyapatite and biological membranes: bone repair in rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carneiro, Vanda S. M.; Limeira, Francisco d. A.; Gerbi, Marleny E. M.; Menezes, Rebeca F. d.; Santos-Neto, Alexandrino P. d.; Araújo, Natália C.

    2016-02-01

    The aim of the present study was to histologically assess the effect of laser therapy (AsGaAl, 830nm, 40mW, CW, φ ~0,6mm, 16J/cm2 per session, four points of 4J/cm2) on the repair of surgical defects created in the femur of Wistar rats. Background data: Several techniques have been proposed for the correction of bone defects, including the use of grafts and membranes. Despite the increase in the use of laser therapy for the biomodulation of bone repair, very few studies have assessed the associations between laser light and biomaterials. Method: The defects were filled with synthetic micro granular hydroxyapatite (HA) Gen-phos® implants and associated with bovine bone membranes (Gen-derm®). Surgical bone defects were created in 48 rats and divided into four groups: Group IA (control, n=12); Group IB (laser, n=12); Group IIA (HA + membrane, n=12); Group IIB (HA + membrane + laser, n=12). The irradiated groups received the first irradiation immediately after surgery. This radiation was then repeated seven times every 48h. The animals were sacrificed after 15, 21, and 30 days. Results: When comparing the groups irradiated with implants and membranes, it was found that the repair of the defects submitted to laser therapy occurred more quickly, starting 15 and 21 days after surgery. By the 30th day, the level of repair of the defects was similar in the irradiated and the non-irradiated groups. New bone formation was confirmed inside the cavity by the implant's osteoconduction. In the irradiated groups, there was an increment of this new bone formation. Conclusions: In conclusion, the use of laser therapy, particularly when associated with hydroxyapatite and biological membranes, produced a positive biomodulation effect on the healing process of bone defects on the femurs of rats.

  3. Recognition of GPCRs by peptide ligands and membrane compartments theory: structural studies of endogenous peptide hormones in membrane environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sankararamakrishnan, Ramasubbu

    2006-04-01

    One of the largest family of cell surface proteins, G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) regulate virtually all known physiological processes in mammals. With seven transmembrane segments, they respond to diverse range of extracellular stimuli and represent a major class of drug targets. Peptidergic GPCRs use endogenous peptides as ligands. To understand the mechanism of GPCR activation and rational drug design, knowledge of three-dimensional structure of receptor-ligand complex is important. The endogenous peptide hormones are often short, flexible and completely disordered in aqueous solution. According to "Membrane Compartments Theory", the flexible peptide binds to the membrane in the first step before it recognizes its receptor and the membrane-induced conformation is postulated to bind to the receptor in the second step. Structures of several peptide hormones have been determined in membrane-mimetic medium. In these studies, micelles, reverse micelles and bicelles have been used to mimic the cell membrane environment. Recently, conformations of two peptide hormones have also been studied in receptor-bound form. Membrane environment induces stable secondary structures in flexible peptide ligands and membrane-induced peptide structures have been correlated with their bioactivity. Results of site-directed mutagenesis, spectroscopy and other experimental studies along with the conformations determined in membrane medium have been used to interpret the role of individual residues in the peptide ligand. Structural differences of membrane-bound peptides that belong to the same family but differ in selectivity are likely to explain the mechanism of receptor selectivity and specificity of the ligands. Knowledge of peptide 3D structures in membrane environment has potential applications in rational drug design.

  4. Liquid membrane extraction techniques for trace metal analysis and speciation in environmental and biological matrices

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ndungu, Kuria

    1999-04-01

    In this thesis, liquid-membrane-based methods for the analysis of trace metal species in samples of environmental and biological origin were developed. By incorporating extracting reagents in the membrane liquid, trace metal ions were selectively separated from humic-rich natural waters and urine samples, prior to their determination using various instrumental techniques. The extractions were performed in closed flow systems thus allowing easy automation of both the sample clean-up and enrichment. An acidic organophosphorus reagent (DEHPA) and a basic tetraalkylammonium reagent (Aliquat-336) were used as extractants in the membrane liquid to selectively extract and enrich cationic and anionic metal species respectively. A speciation method for chromium species was developed that allowed the determination of cationic Cr(III) species and anionic CR(VI) species in natural water samples without the need of a chromatographic separation step prior to their detection. SLM was also coupled on-line to potentiometric stripping analysis providing a fast and sensitive method for analysis of Pb in urine samples. A microporous membrane liquid-liquid extraction (MMLLE) method was developed for the determination of organotin compounds in natural waters that reduced the number of manual steps involved in the LLE of organotin compounds prior to their CC separation. Clean extracts obtained after running unfiltered humic-rich river water samples through the MMLLE flow system allowed selective determination of all the organotin compounds in a single run using GC-MS in the selected ion monitoring mode (SIM) 171 refs, 9 figs, 4 tabs

  5. G protein-membrane interactions II: Effect of G protein-linked lipids on membrane structure and G protein-membrane interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casas, Jesús; Ibarguren, Maitane; Álvarez, Rafael; Terés, Silvia; Lladó, Victoria; Piotto, Stefano P; Concilio, Simona; Busquets, Xavier; López, David J; Escribá, Pablo V

    2017-09-01

    G proteins often bear myristoyl, palmitoyl and isoprenyl moieties, which favor their association with the membrane and their accumulation in G Protein Coupled Receptor-rich microdomains. These lipids influence the biophysical properties of membranes and thereby modulate G protein binding to bilayers. In this context, we showed here that geranylgeraniol, but neither myristate nor palmitate, increased the inverted hexagonal (H II ) phase propensity of phosphatidylethanolamine-containing membranes. While myristate and palmitate preferentially associated with phosphatidylcholine membranes, geranylgeraniol favored nonlamellar-prone membranes. In addition, Gαi 1 monomers had a higher affinity for lamellar phases, while Gβγ and Gαβγ showed a marked preference for nonlamellar prone membranes. Moreover, geranylgeraniol enhanced the binding of G protein dimers and trimers to phosphatidylethanolamine-containing membranes, yet it decreased that of monomers. By contrast, both myristate and palmitate increased the Gαi 1 preference for lamellar membranes. Palmitoylation reinforced the binding of the monomer to PC membranes and myristoylation decreased its binding to PE-enriched bilayer. Finally, binding of dimers and trimers to lamellar-prone membranes was decreased by palmitate and myristate, but it was increased in nonlamellar-prone bilayers. These results demonstrate that co/post-translational G protein lipid modifications regulate the membrane lipid structure and that they influence the physico-chemical properties of membranes, which in part explains why G protein subunits sort to different plasma membrane domains. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Membrane Lipid Therapy: Drugs Targeting Biomembranes edited by Pablo V. Escribá. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Structural Biology and Molecular Applications Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Part of NCI's Division of Cancer Biology's research portfolio, research and development in this area focuses on enabling technologies, models, and methodologies to support basic and applied cancer research.

  7. Measuring excess free energies of self-assembled membrane structures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norizoe, Yuki; Daoulas, Kostas Ch; Müller, Marcus

    2010-01-01

    Using computer simulation of a solvent-free, coarse-grained model for amphiphilic membranes, we study the excess free energy of hourglass-shaped connections (i.e., stalks) between two apposed bilayer membranes. In order to calculate the free energy by simulation in the canonical ensemble, we reversibly transfer two apposed bilayers into a configuration with a stalk in three steps. First, we gradually replace the intermolecular interactions by an external, ordering field. The latter is chosen such that the structure of the non-interacting system in this field closely resembles the structure of the original, interacting system in the absence of the external field. The absence of structural changes along this path suggests that it is reversible; a fact which is confirmed by expanded-ensemble simulations. Second, the external, ordering field is changed as to transform the non-interacting system from the apposed bilayer structure to two-bilayers connected by a stalk. The final external field is chosen such that the structure of the non-interacting system resembles the structure of the stalk in the interacting system without a field. On the third branch of the transformation path, we reversibly replace the external, ordering field by non-bonded interactions. Using expanded-ensemble techniques, the free energy change along this reversible path can be obtained with an accuracy of 10(-3)k(B)T per molecule in the n VT-ensemble. Calculating the chemical potential, we obtain the free energy of a stalk in the grandcanonical ensemble, and employing semi-grandcanonical techniques, we calculate the change of the excess free energy upon altering the molecular architecture. This computational strategy can be applied to compute the free energy of self-assembled phases in lipid and copolymer systems, and the excess free energy of defects or interfaces.

  8. Hydrological structure and biological productivity of the tropical Indian Ocean

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Muraleedharan, U.D.; Muraleedharan, P.M.

    Hydrological structure analyses of regions in the tropical Atlantic Ocean have consistently revealed the existence of a typical tropical structure characterized by a nitrate-depleted mixed layer above the thermocline. The important biological...

  9. CSMB | Center For Structural Molecular Biology

    Data.gov (United States)

    Federal Laboratory Consortium — The Center for Structural Molecular Biologyat ORNL is dedicated to developing instrumentation and methods for determining the 3-dimensional structures of proteins,...

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

    KAUST Repository

    Tiraferri, Alberto; Yip, Ngai Yin; Phillip, William A.; Schiffman, Jessica D.; Elimelech, Menachem

    2011-01-01

    the technology to the point that it is commercially viable. Here, a systematic investigation of the influence of thin-film composite membrane support layer structure on forward osmosis performance is conducted. The membranes consist of a selective polyamide

  11. Saturation recovery EPR spin-labeling method for quantification of lipids in biological membrane domains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mainali, Laxman; Camenisch, Theodore G; Hyde, James S; Subczynski, Witold K

    2017-12-01

    The presence of integral membrane proteins induces the formation of distinct domains in the lipid bilayer portion of biological membranes. Qualitative application of both continuous wave (CW) and saturation recovery (SR) electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spin-labeling methods allowed discrimination of the bulk, boundary, and trapped lipid domains. A recently developed method, which is based on the CW EPR spectra of phospholipid (PL) and cholesterol (Chol) analog spin labels, allows evaluation of the relative amount of PLs (% of total PLs) in the boundary plus trapped lipid domain and the relative amount of Chol (% of total Chol) in the trapped lipid domain [ M. Raguz, L. Mainali, W. J. O'Brien, and W. K. Subczynski (2015), Exp. Eye Res., 140:179-186 ]. Here, a new method is presented that, based on SR EPR spin-labeling, allows quantitative evaluation of the relative amounts of PLs and Chol in the trapped lipid domain of intact membranes. This new method complements the existing one, allowing acquisition of more detailed information about the distribution of lipids between domains in intact membranes. The methodological transition of the SR EPR spin-labeling approach from qualitative to quantitative is demonstrated. The abilities of this method are illustrated for intact cortical and nuclear fiber cell plasma membranes from porcine eye lenses. Statistical analysis (Student's t -test) of the data allowed determination of the separations of mean values above which differences can be treated as statistically significant ( P ≤ 0.05) and can be attributed to sources other than preparation/technique.

  12. Membrane interactions and biological activity of antimicrobial peptides from Australian scorpion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luna-Ramírez, Karen; Sani, Marc-Antoine; Silva-Sanchez, Jesus; Jiménez-Vargas, Juana María; Reyna-Flores, Fernando; Winkel, Kenneth D; Wright, Christine E; Possani, Lourival D; Separovic, Frances

    2014-09-01

    UyCT peptides are antimicrobial peptides isolated from the venom of the Australian scorpion. The activity of the UyCT peptides against Gram positive and Gram negative bacteria and red blood cells was determined. The membrane interactions of these peptides were evaluated by dye release (DR) of the fluorophore calcein from liposomes and isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC); and their secondary structure was determined by circular dichroism (CD). Three different lipid systems were used to mimic red blood cells, Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus membranes. UyCT peptides exhibited broad spectrum antimicrobial activity with low MIC for S. aureus and multi-drug resistant Gram negative strains. Peptide combinations showed some synergy enhancing their potency but not hemolytic activity. The UyCT peptides adopted a helical structure in lipid environments and DR results confirmed that the mechanism of action is by disrupting the membrane. ITC data indicated that UyCT peptides preferred prokaryotic rather than eukaryotic membranes. The overall results suggest that UyCT peptides could be pharmaceutical leads for the treatment of Gram negative multiresistant bacterial infections, especially against Acinetobacter baumanni, and candidates for peptidomimetics to enhance their potency and minimize hemolysis. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Interfacially Active Peptides and Proteins. Guest Editors: William C. Wimley and Kalina Hristova. © 2013.

  13. Structure, reactivity, and biological properties of hidantoines

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Oliveira, Silvania Maria de; Silva, Joao Bosco Paraiso da; Hernandes, Marcelo Zaldini; Lima, Maria do Carmo Alves de; Galdino, Suely Lins; Pitta, Ivan da Rocha

    2008-01-01

    Hydantoin (imidazolidine-2,4-dione) is a 2,4-diketotetrahydroimidazole discovered by Baeyer in 1861. Thiohydantoins and derivatives were prepared, having chemical properties similar to the corresponding carbonyl compounds. Some biological activities (antimicrobial, anticonvulsant, schistosomicidal) are attributed to the chemical reactivity and consequent affinity of hydantoinic rings towards biomacromolecules. Therefore, knowledge about the chemistry of hydantoins has increased enormously. In this review, we present important aspects such as reactivity of hydantoins, acidity of hydantoins, spectroscopy and crystallographic properties, and biological activities of hydantoin and its derivatives. (author)

  14. Ion track membranes providing heat pipe surfaces with capillary structures

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Akapiev, G.N.; Dmitriev, S.N.; Erler, B.; Shirkova, V.V.; Schulz, A.; Pietsch, H.

    2003-01-01

    The microgalvanic method for metal filling of etched ion tracks in organic foils is of particular interest for the fabrication of microsized structures. Microstructures like copper whiskers with a high aspect ratio produced in ion track membranes are suitable for the generation of high-performance heat transfer surfaces. A surface with good heat transfer characteristics is defined as a surface on which a small temperature difference causes a large heat transfer from the surface material to the liquid. It is well-known that a porous surface layer transfers to an evaporating liquid a given quantity of heat at a smaller temperature difference than does a usual smooth surface. Copper whiskers with high aspect ratio and a density 10 5 per cm 2 form such a porous structure, which produces strong capillary forces and therefore a maximum of heat transfer coefficients

  15. Ion beam evaluation of silicon carbide membrane structures intended for particle detectors

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pallon, J., E-mail: jan.pallon@nuclear.lu.se [Division of Nuclear Physics, Physics Department, Lund University, Box 118, SE-221 00 Lund (Sweden); Syväjärvi, M. [Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, SE-58183 Linköping (Sweden); Graphensic AB, Teknikringen 1F, SE-58330 Linköping (Sweden); Wang, Q. [Sensor System, ACREO Swedish ICT AB, Box 1070, SE-164 25 Kista (Sweden); Yakimova, R.; Iakimov, T. [Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, SE-58183 Linköping (Sweden); Graphensic AB, Teknikringen 1F, SE-58330 Linköping (Sweden); Elfman, M.; Kristiansson, P.; Nilsson, E.J.C.; Ros, L. [Division of Nuclear Physics, Physics Department, Lund University, Box 118, SE-221 00 Lund (Sweden)

    2016-03-15

    Thin ion transmission detectors can be used as a part of a telescope detector for mass and energy identification but also as a pre-cell detector in a microbeam system for studies of biological effects from single ion hits on individual living cells. We investigated a structure of graphene on silicon carbide (SiC) with the purpose to explore a thin transmission detector with a very low noise level and having mechanical strength to act as a vacuum window. In order to reach very deep cavities in the SiC wafers for the preparation of the membrane in the detector, we have studied the Inductive Coupled Plasma technique to etch deep circular cavities in 325 μm prototype samples. By a special high temperature process the outermost layers of the etched SiC wafers were converted into a highly conductive graphitic layer. The produced cavities were characterized by electron microscopy, optical microscopy and proton energy loss measurements. The average membrane thickness was found to be less than 40 μm, however, with a slightly curved profile. Small spots representing much thinner membrane were also observed and might have an origin in crystal defects or impurities. Proton energy loss measurement (also called Scanning Transmission Ion Microscopy, STIM) is a well suited technique for this thickness range. This work presents the first steps of fabricating a membrane structure of SiC and graphene which may be an attractive approach as a detector due to the combined properties of SiC and graphene in a monolithic materials structure.

  16. Bacterial membrane vesicles, an overlooked environmental colloid: Biology, environmental perspectives and applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toyofuku, Masanori; Tashiro, Yosuke; Hasegawa, Yusuke; Kurosawa, Masaharu; Nomura, Nobuhiko

    2015-12-01

    Phospholipid vesicles play important roles in biological systems. Bacteria are one of the most abundant organisms on Earth, and bacterial membrane vesicles (MVs) were first observed 50 years ago. Many bacteria release MVs to the environment that mainly consist of the cell membrane and typically range from 20 to 400 nm in size. Bacterial MVs are involved in several biological functions, such as delivery of cargo, virulence and gene transfer. MVs can be isolated from laboratory culture and directly from the environment, indicating their high abundance in and impact on ecosystems. Many colloidal particles in the environment ranging in size from 1 nm to 1 μm have been reported but not characterized at the molecular level, and MVs remain to be explored. Hence, MVs can be considered terra incognita in environmental colloid research. Although MV biogenesis and biological roles are yet to be fully understood, the accumulation of knowledge has opened new avenues for their applications. Via genetic engineering, the MV yield can be greatly increased, and the components of MVs can be tailored. Recent studies have demonstrated that MVs have promising potential for applications such as drug delivery systems and nanobiocatalysts. For instance, MV vaccines have been extensively studied and have already been approved in Europe. Recent MV studies have evoked great interest in the fields of biology and biotechnology, but fundamental questions, such as their transport in the environment or physicochemical features of MVs, remain to be addressed. In this review, we present the current understanding of bacterial MVs and environmental perspectives and further introduce their applications. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  17. Molecular simulations of hydrated proton exchange membranes. The structure

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Marcharnd, Gabriel [Duisburg-Essen Univ., Essen (Germany). Lehrstuhl fuer Theoretische Chemie; Bordeaux Univ., Talence (France). Dept. of Chemistry; Bopp, Philippe A. [Bordeaux Univ., Talence (France). Dept. of Chemistry; Spohr, Eckhard [Duisburg-Essen Univ., Essen (Germany). Lehrstuhl fuer Theoretische Chemie

    2013-01-15

    The structure of two hydrated proton exchange membranes for fuel cells (PEMFC), Nafion {sup registered} (Dupont) and Hyflon {sup registered} (Solvay), is studied by all-atom molecular dynamics (MD) computer simulations. Since the characteristic times of these systems are long compared to the times for which they can be simulated, several different, but equivalent, initial configurations with a large degree of randomness are generated for different water contents and then equilibrated and simulated in parallel. A more constrained structure, analog to the newest model proposed in the literature based on scattering experiments, is investigated in the same way. One might speculate that a limited degree of entanglement of the polymer chains is a key feature of the structures showing the best agreement with experiment. Nevertheless, the overall conclusion remains that the scattering experiments cannot distinguish between the several, in our view equally plausible, structural models. We thus find that the characteristic features of experimental scattering curves are, after equilibration, fairly well reproduced by all systems prepared with our method. We thus study in more detail some structural details. We attempt to characterize the spatial and size distribution of the water rich domains, which is where the proton diffusion mostly takes place, using several clustering algorithms. (orig.)

  18. Is the fluid mosaic (and the accompanying raft hypothesis a suitable model to describe fundamental features of biological membranes? What may be missing?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luis Alberto Bagatolli

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available The structure, dynamics, and stability of lipid bilayers are controlled by thermodynamic forces, leading to overall tensionless membranes with a distinct lateral organization and a conspicuous lateral pressure profile. Bilayers are also subject to built-in curvature-stress instabilities that may be released locally or globally in terms of morphological changes leading to the formation of non-lamellar and curved structures. A key controller of the bilayer’s propensity to form curved structures is the average molecular shape of the different lipid molecules. Via the curvature stress, molecular shape mediates a coupling to membrane-protein function and provides a set of physical mechanisms for formation of lipid domains and laterally differentiated regions in the plane of the membrane. Unfortunately, these relevant physical features of membranes are often ignored in the most popular models for biological membranes. Results from a number of experimental and theoretical studies emphasize the significance of these fundamental physical properties and call for a refinement of the fluid mosaic model (and the accompanying raft hypothesis.

  19. Biological Activity Alterations of Human Amniotic Membrane Pre and Post Irradiation Tissue Banking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nemr, Waleed; Bashandy, A S; Araby, Eman; Khamiss, O

    Innate immunity of Human Amniotic Membrane (HAM) and its highly active secretome that rich with various types of growth factors and anti-inflammatory substances proposed it as a promising material for many medical studies and applications. This study evaluate the biological activity of cultivated HAM pre and post tissue banking process in which freeze-dried HAM was sterilized by 25 KGray (kGy) dose of γ radiation. The HAM's antimicrobial activity, viability, growth of isolated human amniotic epithelial cells (HAECs), hematopoietic stimulation of co-cultivated murine bone marrow cells (mammalian model), scaffold efficiency for fish brain building up (non-mammalian model) and self re-epithelialization after trypsin denuding treatment were examined as supposed biological activity features. Native HAM revealed viability indications and was active to kill all tested microorganisms; 6 bacterial species (3 Gram-positive and 3 Gram-negative) and Candida albicans as a pathogenic fungus. Also, HAM activity promoted colony formation of murine hematopoietic cells, Tilapia nilotica brain fragment building-up and self re-epithelialization after trypsin treatment. In contrary, radiation-based tissue banking of HAM caused HAM cellular death and consequently lacked almost all of examined biological activity features. Viable HAM was featured with biological activity than fixed HAM prepared by irradiation tissue banking.

  20. Low-Resolution Structure of Detergent-Solubilized Membrane Proteins from Small-Angle Scattering Data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koutsioubas, Alexandros

    2017-12-05

    Despite the ever-increasing usage of small-angle scattering as a valuable complementary method in the field of structural biology, applications concerning membrane proteins remain elusive mainly due to experimental challenges and the relative lack of theoretical tools for the treatment of scattering data. This fact adds up to general difficulties encountered also by other established methods (crystallography, NMR) for the study of membrane proteins. Following the general paradigm of ab initio methods for low-resolution restoration of soluble protein structure from small-angle scattering data, we construct a general multiphase model with a set of physical constraints, which, together with an appropriate minimization procedure, gives direct structural information concerning the different components (protein, detergent molecules) of detergent-solubilized membrane protein complexes. Assessment of the method's precision and robustness is evaluated by performing shape restorations from simulated data of a tetrameric α-helical membrane channel (Aquaporin-0) solubilized by n-Dodecyl β-D-Maltoside and from previously published small-angle neutron scattering experimental data of the filamentous hemagglutinin adhesin β-barrel protein transporter solubilized by n-Octyl β-D-glucopyranoside. It is shown that the acquisition of small-angle neutron scattering data at two different solvent contrasts, together with an estimation of detergent aggregation number around the protein, permits the reliable reconstruction of the shape of membrane proteins without the need for any prior structural information. Copyright © 2017 Biophysical Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. A Coincidence Detection Mechanism Controls PX-BAR Domain-Mediated Endocytic Membrane Remodeling via an Allosteric Structural Switch.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lo, Wen-Ting; Vujičić Žagar, Andreja; Gerth, Fabian; Lehmann, Martin; Puchkov, Dymtro; Krylova, Oxana; Freund, Christian; Scapozza, Leonardo; Vadas, Oscar; Haucke, Volker

    2017-11-20

    Clathrin-mediated endocytosis occurs by bending and remodeling of the membrane underneath the coat. Bin-amphiphysin-rvs (BAR) domain proteins are crucial for endocytic membrane remodeling, but how their activity is spatiotemporally controlled is largely unknown. We demonstrate that the membrane remodeling activity of sorting nexin 9 (SNX9), a late-acting endocytic PX-BAR domain protein required for constriction of U-shaped endocytic intermediates, is controlled by an allosteric structural switch involving coincident detection of the clathrin adaptor AP2 and phosphatidylinositol-3,4-bisphosphate (PI(3,4)P 2 ) at endocytic sites. Structural, biochemical, and cell biological data show that SNX9 is autoinhibited in solution. Binding to PI(3,4)P 2 via its PX-BAR domain, and concomitant association with AP2 via sequences in the linker region, releases SNX9 autoinhibitory contacts to enable membrane constriction. Our results reveal a mechanism for restricting the latent membrane remodeling activity of BAR domain proteins to allow spatiotemporal coupling of membrane constriction to the progression of the endocytic pathway. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Fluorescence response of hypocrellin B to the environmental changes in a mimic biological membrane--liposome

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    JIN; Xuanye; ZHAO; Yuewei; XIE; Jie; ZHAO; Jingquan

    2004-01-01

    , Photochem.Photobiol., 2001, 73 (5): 482-488.[13]Mang, T. S., Dougherty, T. J., Potter, W. R. et al., Photobleaching of porphyrins used in photodynamic therapy and implications for therapy, Photochem. Photobiol., 1987, 45: 501-506.[14]Shoko, Y., Tadahiro, T., Masahiko, A., Preparation of ganglioside GM3 liposomes and their membrane properties, Colloid Surface B, 2002, 27: 181-187.[15]Murakami, S., Packer, L., The role of cations in the organization of chloroplast membranes, Arch. Biochem. Biophys., 1971, 146:337-347.[16]Angeli, N. G., Lagorio, M. G., San Román, E. et al., Meso-substituted cationic porphyrins of biological interest, Photophysical and physicochemical properties in solution and bound to liposomes,Photochem. Photobiol., 2000, 72(1 ): 49-56.

  3. Communication on the structure of biological networks

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Networks are widely used to represent interaction pattern among the components in complex systems. Structures of real networks from different domains may vary quite significantly. As there is an interplay between network architecture and dynamics, structure plays an important role in communication and spreading of ...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chithra M. Mathew

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Permeating disciplines: Overcoming barriers between molecular simulations and classical structure-function approaches in biological ion transport.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard, Rebecca J; Carnevale, Vincenzo; Delemotte, Lucie; Hellmich, Ute A; Rothberg, Brad S

    2018-04-01

    Ion translocation across biological barriers is a fundamental requirement for life. In many cases, controlling this process-for example with neuroactive drugs-demands an understanding of rapid and reversible structural changes in membrane-embedded proteins, including ion channels and transporters. Classical approaches to electrophysiology and structural biology have provided valuable insights into several such proteins over macroscopic, often discontinuous scales of space and time. Integrating these observations into meaningful mechanistic models now relies increasingly on computational methods, particularly molecular dynamics simulations, while surfacing important challenges in data management and conceptual alignment. Here, we seek to provide contemporary context, concrete examples, and a look to the future for bridging disciplinary gaps in biological ion transport. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Beyond the Structure-Function Horizon of Membrane Proteins edited by Ute Hellmich, Rupak Doshi and Benjamin McIlwain. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Hierarchically structured transparent hybrid membranes by in situ growth of mesostructured organosilica in host polymer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vallé, Karine; Belleville, Philippe; Pereira, Franck; Sanchez, Clément

    2006-02-01

    The elaborate performances characterizing natural materials result from functional hierarchical constructions at scales ranging from nanometres to millimetres, each construction allowing the material to fit the physical or chemical demands occurring at these different levels. Hierarchically structured materials start to demonstrate a high input in numerous promising applied domains such as sensors, catalysis, optics, fuel cells, smart biologic and cosmetic vectors. In particular, hierarchical hybrid materials permit the accommodation of a maximum of elementary functions in a small volume, thereby optimizing complementary possibilities and properties between inorganic and organic components. The reported strategies combine sol-gel chemistry, self-assembly routes using templates that tune the material's architecture and texture with the use of larger inorganic, organic or biological templates such as latex, organogelator-derived fibres, nanolithographic techniques or controlled phase separation. We propose an approach to forming transparent hierarchical hybrid functionalized membranes using in situ generation of mesostructured hybrid phases inside a non-porogenic hydrophobic polymeric host matrix. We demonstrate that the control of the multiple affinities existing between organic and inorganic components allows us to design the length-scale partitioning of hybrid nanomaterials with tuned functionalities and desirable size organization from ångström to centimetre. After functionalization of the mesoporous hybrid silica component, the resulting membranes have good ionic conductivity offering interesting perspectives for the design of solid electrolytes, fuel cells and other ion-transport microdevices.

  7. On the Concept "Microscope": Biology Student Teachers' Cognitive Structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurt, Hakan; Ekici, Gulay; Aktas, Murat; Aksu, Ozlem

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of the current study is to determine biology student teachers' cognitive structures on the concept of microscope. Qualitative research methodology has been applied in the study. The data were collected from biology student teachers. Free word association test and drawing-writing test were used to collect data. The data collected were…

  8. Biology Student Teachers' Cognitive Structure about "Living Thing"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurt, Hakan

    2013-01-01

    The current study aims to determine biology student teachers' cognitive structure on the concept of "living thing" through revealing their conceptual framework. Qualitative research method was applied in this study. The data were collected from 44 biology student teachers. A free word association test was used as a data collection…

  9. Deciphering complement mechanisms: The contributions of structural biology.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Arlaud, G.J.; Barlow, P.N.; Gaboriaud, C.; Gros, P.; Narayana, S.V.L.

    2007-01-01

    Since the resolution of the first three-dimensional structure of a complement component in 1980, considerable efforts have been put into the investigation of this system through structural biology techniques, resulting in about a hundred structures deposited in the Protein Data Bank by the beginning

  10. Role of charged lipids in membrane structures — Insight given by simulations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pöyry, Sanja; Vattulainen, Ilpo

    2016-01-01

    Lipids and proteins are the main components of cell membranes. It is becoming increasingly clear that lipids, in addition to providing an environment for proteins to work in, are in many cases also able to modulate the structure and function of those proteins. Particularly charged lipids...... to fruitful directions. In this paper, we review studies that have utilized molecular dynamics simulations to unravel the roles of charged lipids in membrane structures. We focus on lipids as active constituents of the membranes, affecting both general membrane properties as well as non-lipid membrane...

  11. Neutron scattering for the analysis of biological structures. Brookhaven symposia in biology. Number 27

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schoenborn, B P [ed.

    1976-01-01

    Sessions were included on neutron scattering and biological structure analysis, protein crystallography, neutron scattering from oriented systems, solution scattering, preparation of deuterated specimens, inelastic scattering, data analysis, experimental techniques, and instrumentation. Separate entries were made for the individual papers.

  12. An Error Analysis of Structured Light Scanning of Biological Tissue

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Sebastian Hoppe Nesgaard; Wilm, Jakob; Aanæs, Henrik

    2017-01-01

    This paper presents an error analysis and correction model for four structured light methods applied to three common types of biological tissue; skin, fat and muscle. Despite its many advantages, structured light is based on the assumption of direct reflection at the object surface only......, statistical linear model based on the scan geometry. As such, scans can be corrected without introducing any specially designed pattern strategy or hardware. We can effectively reduce the error in a structured light scanner applied to biological tissue by as much as factor of two or three........ This assumption is violated by most biological material e.g. human skin, which exhibits subsurface scattering. In this study, we find that in general, structured light scans of biological tissue deviate significantly from the ground truth. We show that a large portion of this error can be predicted with a simple...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ryabova, N. Yu.; Kiselev, M. A.; Balagurov, A. M.

    2010-01-01

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

  14. Spatial Structures and Regulation in Biological Systems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yde, Pernille

    , and the other is the spatial regulation of biological systems, here related to different aspects of the inflammatory response. All systems are studied using computational modelling and mathematical analysis. The first part of the thesis explores different protein aggregation scenarios. In Chapter 1, we consider...... a previously studied and very general aggregation model describing frangible linear filaments. This model is especially relevant for the growth of amyloid fibres, that have been related to a number of serious human diseases, and which are known to grow in an accelerated self-enhanced manner.We derive...... model of the tissue and show how coupled cells are able to function as an excitable medium and propagate waves of high cytokine concentration through the tissue. If the internal regulation in the cells is over-productive, the model predicts a continuous amplification of cytokines, which spans the entire...

  15. Cation-π interactions in structural biology

    OpenAIRE

    Gallivan, Justin P.; Dougherty, Dennis A.

    1999-01-01

    Cation-pi interactions in protein structures are identified and evaluated by using an energy-based criterion for selecting significant sidechain pairs. Cation-pi interactions are found to be common among structures in the Protein Data Bank, and it is clearly demonstrated that, when a cationic sidechain (Lys or Arg) is near an aromatic sidechain (Phe, Tyr, or Trp), the geometry is biased toward one that would experience a favorable cation-pi interaction. The sidechain of Arg is more likely tha...

  16. The Balance of Fluid and Osmotic Pressures across Active Biological Membranes with Application to the Corneal Endothelium.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xi Cheng

    Full Text Available The movement of fluid and solutes across biological membranes facilitates the transport of nutrients for living organisms and maintains the fluid and osmotic pressures in biological systems. Understanding the pressure balances across membranes is crucial for studying fluid and electrolyte homeostasis in living systems, and is an area of active research. In this study, a set of enhanced Kedem-Katchalsky (KK equations is proposed to describe fluxes of water and solutes across biological membranes, and is applied to analyze the relationship between fluid and osmotic pressures, accounting for active transport mechanisms that propel substances against their concentration gradients and for fixed charges that alter ionic distributions in separated environments. The equilibrium analysis demonstrates that the proposed theory recovers the Donnan osmotic pressure and can predict the correct fluid pressure difference across membranes, a result which cannot be achieved by existing KK theories due to the neglect of fixed charges. The steady-state analysis on active membranes suggests a new pressure mechanism which balances the fluid pressure together with the osmotic pressure. The source of this pressure arises from active ionic fluxes and from interactions between solvent and solutes in membrane transport. We apply the proposed theory to study the transendothelial fluid pressure in the in vivo cornea, which is a crucial factor maintaining the hydration and transparency of the tissue. The results show the importance of the proposed pressure mechanism in mediating stromal fluid pressure and provide a new interpretation of the pressure modulation mechanism in the in vivo cornea.

  17. Innovative hybrid biological reactors using membranes; Reactores biologico hibrido innovadores utilizando membranas

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Diez, R.; Esteban-Garcia, A. L.; Florio, L. de; Rodriguez-Hernandez, L.; Tejero, I.

    2011-07-01

    In this paper we present two lines of research on hybrid reactors including the use of membranes, although with different functions: RBPM, biofilm reactors and membranes filtration RBSOM, supported biofilm reactors and oxygen membranes. (Author) 14 refs.

  18. The structural role of cholesterol in cell membranes: from condensed bilayers to lipid rafts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krause, Martin R; Regen, Steven L

    2014-12-16

    CONSPECTUS: Defining the two-dimensional structure of cell membranes represents one of the most daunting challenges currently facing chemists, biochemists, and biophysicists. In particular, the time-averaged lateral organization of the lipids and proteins that make up these natural enclosures has yet to be established. As the classic Singer-Nicolson model of cell membranes has evolved over the past 40 years, special attention has focused on the structural role played by cholesterol, a key component that represents ca. 30% of the total lipids that are present. Despite extensive studies with model membranes, two fundamental issues have remained a mystery: (i) the mechanism by which cholesterol condenses low-melting lipids by uncoiling their acyl chains and (ii) the thermodynamics of the interaction between cholesterol and high- and low-melting lipids. The latter bears directly on one of the most popular notions in modern cell biology, that is, the lipid raft hypothesis, whereby cholesterol is thought to combine with high-melting lipids to form "lipid rafts" that float in a "sea" of low-melting lipids. In this Account, we first describe a chemical approach that we have developed in our laboratories that has allowed us to quantify the interactions between exchangeable mimics of cholesterol and low- and high-melting lipids in model membranes. In essence, this "nearest-neighbor recognition" (NNR) method involves the synthesis of dimeric forms of these lipids that contain a disulfide moiety as a linker. By means of thiolate-disulfide interchange reactions, equilibrium mixtures of dimers are then formed. These exchange reactions are initiated either by adding dithiothreitol to a liposomal dispersion to generate a small amount of thiol monomer or by including a small amount of thiol monomer in the liposomes at pH 5.0 and then raising the pH to 7.4. We then show how such NNR measurements have allowed us to distinguish between two very different mechanisms that have been

  19. Plant cell plasma membrane structure and properties under clinostatting

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  20. The NMR structure of human obestatin in membrane-like environments: insights into the structure-bioactivity relationship of obestatin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alén, Begoña O; Nieto, Lidia; Gurriarán-Rodríguez, Uxía; Mosteiro, Carlos S; Álvarez-Pérez, Juan C; Otero-Alén, María; Camiña, Jesús P; Gallego, Rosalía; García-Caballero, Tomás; Martín-Pastor, Manuel; Casanueva, Felipe F; Jiménez-Barbero, Jesús; Pazos, Yolanda

    2012-01-01

    The quest for therapeutic applications of obestatin involves, as a first step, the determination of its 3D solution structure and the relationship between this structure and the biological activity of obestatin. On this basis, we have employed a combination of circular dichroism (CD), nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, and modeling techniques to determine the solution structure of human obestatin (1). Other analogues, including human non-amidated obestatin (2) and the fragment peptides (6-23)-obestatin (3), (11-23)-obestatin (4), and (16-23)-obestatin (5) have also been scrutinized. These studies have been performed in a micellar environment to mimic the cell membrane (sodium dodecyl sulfate, SDS). Furthermore, structural-activity relationship studies have been performed by assessing the in vitro proliferative capabilities of these peptides in the human retinal pigmented epithelial cell line ARPE-19 (ERK1/2 and Akt phosphorylation, Ki67 expression, and cellular proliferation). Our findings emphasize the importance of both the primary structure (composition and size) and particular segments of the obestatin molecule that posses significant α-helical characteristics. Additionally, details of a species-specific role for obestatin have also been hypothesized by comparing human and mouse obestatins (1 and 6, respectively) at both the structural and bioactivity levels.

  1. The NMR structure of human obestatin in membrane-like environments: insights into the structure-bioactivity relationship of obestatin.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Begoña O Alén

    Full Text Available The quest for therapeutic applications of obestatin involves, as a first step, the determination of its 3D solution structure and the relationship between this structure and the biological activity of obestatin. On this basis, we have employed a combination of circular dichroism (CD, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR spectroscopy, and modeling techniques to determine the solution structure of human obestatin (1. Other analogues, including human non-amidated obestatin (2 and the fragment peptides (6-23-obestatin (3, (11-23-obestatin (4, and (16-23-obestatin (5 have also been scrutinized. These studies have been performed in a micellar environment to mimic the cell membrane (sodium dodecyl sulfate, SDS. Furthermore, structural-activity relationship studies have been performed by assessing the in vitro proliferative capabilities of these peptides in the human retinal pigmented epithelial cell line ARPE-19 (ERK1/2 and Akt phosphorylation, Ki67 expression, and cellular proliferation. Our findings emphasize the importance of both the primary structure (composition and size and particular segments of the obestatin molecule that posses significant α-helical characteristics. Additionally, details of a species-specific role for obestatin have also been hypothesized by comparing human and mouse obestatins (1 and 6, respectively at both the structural and bioactivity levels.

  2. Invisible detergents for structure determination of membrane proteins by small-angle neutron scattering

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Midtgaard, Søren Roi; Darwish, Tamim A.; Pedersen, Martin Cramer

    2018-01-01

    A novel and generally applicable method for determining structures of membrane proteins in solution via small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) is presented. Common detergents for solubilizing membrane proteins were synthesized in isotope-substituted versions for utilizing the intrinsic neutron sca...... solution structure determination of membrane proteins by SANS and subsequent data analysis available to non-specialists. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved....

  3. Giant plasma membrane vesicles: models for understanding membrane organization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levental, Kandice R; Levental, Ilya

    2015-01-01

    The organization of eukaryotic membranes into functional domains continues to fascinate and puzzle cell biologists and biophysicists. The lipid raft hypothesis proposes that collective lipid interactions compartmentalize the membrane into coexisting liquid domains that are central to membrane physiology. This hypothesis has proven controversial because such structures cannot be directly visualized in live cells by light microscopy. The recent observations of liquid-liquid phase separation in biological membranes are an important validation of the raft hypothesis and enable application of the experimental toolbox of membrane physics to a biologically complex phase-separated membrane. This review addresses the role of giant plasma membrane vesicles (GPMVs) in refining the raft hypothesis and expands on the application of GPMVs as an experimental model to answer some of key outstanding problems in membrane biology. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Cellular compartmentation follows rules: The Schnepf theorem, its consequences and exceptions: A biological membrane separates a plasmatic from a non-plasmatic phase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moog, Daniel; Maier, Uwe G

    2017-08-01

    Is the spatial organization of membranes and compartments within cells subjected to any rules? Cellular compartmentation differs between prokaryotic and eukaryotic life, because it is present to a high degree only in eukaryotes. In 1964, Prof. Eberhard Schnepf formulated the compartmentation rule (Schnepf theorem), which posits that a biological membrane, the main physical structure responsible for cellular compartmentation, usually separates a plasmatic form a non-plasmatic phase. Here we review and re-investigate the Schnepf theorem by applying the theorem to different cellular structures, from bacterial cells to eukaryotes with their organelles and compartments. In conclusion, we can confirm the general correctness of the Schnepf theorem, noting explicit exceptions only in special cases such as endosymbiosis and parasitism. © 2017 WILEY Periodicals, Inc.

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

    KAUST Repository

    Wong, Mavis C.Y.

    2012-02-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2001-01-01

    The structural and dynamical properties of DPPC liposomes containing lipopolymers (PEG-lipids) and charged DPPS lipids have been,studied in relation to the lipid membrane interaction of enzymes and peptides. The results suggest that both the lipid membrane structure and dynamics and in particular...

  7. Asymmetric block copolymer membranes with ultrahigh porosity and hierarchical pore structure by plain solvent evaporation

    KAUST Repository

    Yu, H.

    2016-09-14

    Membranes with a hierarchical porous structure could be manufactured from a block copolymer blend by pure solvent evaporation. Uniform pores in a 30 nm thin skin layer supported by a macroporous structure were formed. This new process is attractive for membrane production because of its simplicity and the lack of liquid waste.

  8. Asymmetric block copolymer membranes with ultrahigh porosity and hierarchical pore structure by plain solvent evaporation

    KAUST Repository

    Yu, H.; Qiu, Xiaoyan; Behzad, Ali Reza; Musteata, Valentina-Elena; Smilgies, D.-M.; Nunes, Suzana Pereira; Peinemann, Klaus-Viktor

    2016-01-01

    Membranes with a hierarchical porous structure could be manufactured from a block copolymer blend by pure solvent evaporation. Uniform pores in a 30 nm thin skin layer supported by a macroporous structure were formed. This new process is attractive for membrane production because of its simplicity and the lack of liquid waste.

  9. Structural Systems Biology Evaluation of Metabolic Thermotolerance in Escherichia coli

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chang, Roger L.; Andrews, Kathleen; Kim, Donghyuk

    2013-01-01

    Improve the System A "systems biology" approach may clarify, for example, how particular proteins determine sensitivity of bacteria to extremes of temperature. Chang et al. (p. 1220) integrated information on protein structure with a model of metabolism, thus associating the protein structure of ...

  10. XFELs open a new era in structural chemical biology

    OpenAIRE

    Fromme, Petra

    2015-01-01

    X-ray crystallography, the workhorse of structural biology, has been revolutionized by the advent of serial femtosecond crystallography using X-ray free electron lasers. Here, the fast pace and history of discoveries are discussed together with current challenges and the method’s great potential to make new structural discoveries, such as the ability to generate molecular movies of biomolecules at work.

  11. Effective Elastic Modulus of Structured Adhesives: From Biology to Biomimetics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xin Wang

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Micro- and nano-hierarchical structures (lamellae, setae, branches, and spatulae on the toe pads of many animals play key roles for generating strong but reversible adhesion for locomotion. The hierarchical structure possesses significantly reduced, effective elastic modulus (Eeff, as compared to the inherent elastic modulus (Einh of the corresponding biological material (and therefore contributes to a better compliance with the counterpart surface. Learning from nature, three types of hierarchical structures (namely self-similar pillar structure, lamella–pillar hybrid structure, and porous structure have been developed and investigated.

  12. Wrapping up : nidovirus membrane structures and innate immunity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oudshoorn, D.

    2017-01-01

    The replication of all positive-stranded RNA viruses of eukaryotes is thought to take place at cytoplasmic membranous replication organelles. One of the most prominent types of viral ROs induced by a number of these viruses, including coronaviruses and arteriviruses, are double-membrane vesicles

  13. Patterning of super-hydrophobic structures on permeable sensor membranes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pelt, van S.; Eggermont, J.; Frijns, A.J.H.; Dietzel, A.H.; Colin, S; Morini, GL; Brandner, JJ

    2012-01-01

    For a disposable smart food monitoring system, a gas sensor membrane is needed that isolates the sensor surface from (dust) particles water droplets. At the same time, this membrane must have a high permeability, a sufficiently fast response times and should be water repellent to avoid blocking of

  14. The Tower: Modelling, Analysis and Construction of Bending Active Tensile Membrane Hybrid Structures

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Holden Deleuran, Anders; Schmeck, Michel; Charles Quinn, Gregory

    2015-01-01

    The project is the result of an interdisciplinary research collaboration between CITA, KET and Fibrenamics exploring the design of integrated hybrid structures employing bending active elements and tensile membranes with bespoke material properties and detailing. Hybrid structures are defined her...

  15. MUNI Ways and Structures Building Integrated Solar Membrane Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Smith, Randall

    2014-07-03

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

  16. Advances in Structural Biology and the Application to Biological Filament Systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popp, David; Koh, Fujiet; Scipion, Clement P M; Ghoshdastider, Umesh; Narita, Akihiro; Holmes, Kenneth C; Robinson, Robert C

    2018-04-01

    Structural biology has experienced several transformative technological advances in recent years. These include: development of extremely bright X-ray sources (microfocus synchrotron beamlines and free electron lasers) and the use of electrons to extend protein crystallography to ever decreasing crystal sizes; and an increase in the resolution attainable by cryo-electron microscopy. Here we discuss the use of these techniques in general terms and highlight their application for biological filament systems, an area that is severely underrepresented in atomic resolution structures. We assemble a model of a capped tropomyosin-actin minifilament to demonstrate the utility of combining structures determined by different techniques. Finally, we survey the methods that attempt to transform high resolution structural biology into more physiological environments, such as the cell. Together these techniques promise a compelling decade for structural biology and, more importantly, they will provide exciting discoveries in understanding the designs and purposes of biological machines. © 2018 The Authors. BioEssays Published by WILEY Periodicals, Inc.

  17. Hierarchical structure of biological systems: a bioengineering approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alcocer-Cuarón, Carlos; Rivera, Ana L; Castaño, Victor M

    2014-01-01

    A general theory of biological systems, based on few fundamental propositions, allows a generalization of both Wierner and Berthalanffy approaches to theoretical biology. Here, a biological system is defined as a set of self-organized, differentiated elements that interact pair-wise through various networks and media, isolated from other sets by boundaries. Their relation to other systems can be described as a closed loop in a steady-state, which leads to a hierarchical structure and functioning of the biological system. Our thermodynamical approach of hierarchical character can be applied to biological systems of varying sizes through some general principles, based on the exchange of energy information and/or mass from and within the systems.

  18. Construction of membrane-bound artificial cells using microfluidics: a new frontier in bottom-up synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elani, Yuval

    2016-06-15

    The quest to construct artificial cells from the bottom-up using simple building blocks has received much attention over recent decades and is one of the grand challenges in synthetic biology. Cell mimics that are encapsulated by lipid membranes are a particularly powerful class of artificial cells due to their biocompatibility and the ability to reconstitute biological machinery within them. One of the key obstacles in the field centres on the following: how can membrane-based artificial cells be generated in a controlled way and in high-throughput? In particular, how can they be constructed to have precisely defined parameters including size, biomolecular composition and spatial organization? Microfluidic generation strategies have proved instrumental in addressing these questions. This article will outline some of the major principles underpinning membrane-based artificial cells and their construction using microfluidics, and will detail some recent landmarks that have been achieved. © 2016 The Author(s).

  19. Antibacterial Membrane with a Bone-Like Structure for Guided Bone Regeneration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    YuYuan Zhang

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available An antibacterial membrane with a bone-like structure was developed for guided bone regeneration (GBR by mineralising acellular bovine pericardium (ABP and loading it with the antibiotic minocycline. The bovine pericardium (BP membrane was processed using physical and chemical methods to remove the cellular components and obtain ABP membranes. Then, the ABP membranes were biomimetically mineralised using a calcium phosphate-loaded agarose hydrogel system aided by electrophoresis. Minocycline was adsorbed to the mineralised ABP membrane, and the release profile in vitro was studied. The membranes were characterised through scanning electron microscopy, diffuse reflectance-Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and X-ray diffraction. Results showed that the ABP membrane had an asymmetric structure with a layer of densely arranged and irregularly aligned collagen fibrils. Collagen fibrils were calcified with the formation of intrafibrillar and interfibrillar hydroxyapatites similar to the bone structure. Minocycline was incorporated into the mineralised collagen membrane and could be released in vitro. This process endowed the membrane with an antibacterial property. This novel composite membrane offers promising applications in bioactive GBR.

  20. The JCSG high-throughput structural biology pipeline

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Elsliger, Marc-André; Deacon, Ashley M.; Godzik, Adam; Lesley, Scott A.; Wooley, John; Wüthrich, Kurt; Wilson, Ian A.

    2010-01-01

    The Joint Center for Structural Genomics high-throughput structural biology pipeline has delivered more than 1000 structures to the community over the past ten years and has made a significant contribution to the overall goal of the NIH Protein Structure Initiative (PSI) of expanding structural coverage of the protein universe. The Joint Center for Structural Genomics high-throughput structural biology pipeline has delivered more than 1000 structures to the community over the past ten years. The JCSG has made a significant contribution to the overall goal of the NIH Protein Structure Initiative (PSI) of expanding structural coverage of the protein universe, as well as making substantial inroads into structural coverage of an entire organism. Targets are processed through an extensive combination of bioinformatics and biophysical analyses to efficiently characterize and optimize each target prior to selection for structure determination. The pipeline uses parallel processing methods at almost every step in the process and can adapt to a wide range of protein targets from bacterial to human. The construction, expansion and optimization of the JCSG gene-to-structure pipeline over the years have resulted in many technological and methodological advances and developments. The vast number of targets and the enormous amounts of associated data processed through the multiple stages of the experimental pipeline required the development of variety of valuable resources that, wherever feasible, have been converted to free-access web-based tools and applications

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, Jimin; Li, Yue; Modis, Yorgo

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2014-04-15

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

  3. Structural biology by NMR: structure, dynamics, and interactions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Phineus R L Markwick

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available The function of bio-macromolecules is determined by both their 3D structure and conformational dynamics. These molecules are inherently flexible systems displaying a broad range of dynamics on time-scales from picoseconds to seconds. Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR spectroscopy has emerged as the method of choice for studying both protein structure and dynamics in solution. Typically, NMR experiments are sensitive both to structural features and to dynamics, and hence the measured data contain information on both. Despite major progress in both experimental approaches and computational methods, obtaining a consistent view of structure and dynamics from experimental NMR data remains a challenge. Molecular dynamics simulations have emerged as an indispensable tool in the analysis of NMR data.

  4. An Investigation on bilayer structures of electrospun polyacrylonitrile nanofibrous membrane and cellulose membrane used as filtration media for apple juice clarification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sawitri, Asti; Miftahul Munir, Muhammad; Edikresnha, Dhewa; Sandi, Ahzab; Fauzi, Ahmad; Rajak, Abdul; Natalia, Dessy; Khairurrijal, Khairurrijal

    2018-05-01

    Nanofibrous membrane has a potential to use in filtration technology with electrospinning as one of the techniques used in synthesizing nanofibers. Polyacrylonitrile (PAN) nanofibrous membranes with various fibers diameters were electrospun by varying its precursor solution concentration. The average fibers diameters of the PAN nanofibrous membranes obtained from the precursor solution concentrations of 6, 9, 12, and 14 wt% were 341, 534, 1274, and 2107 nm, respectively. Filtration media for apple juice clarification were bilayer-structured membranes made of PAN nanofibrous membranes on commercial cellulose microfibrous membranes. It has been shown that the reduction of apple juice color or turbidity performed by the cellulose microfibrous membrane was well enhanced by the presence of the PAN nanofibrous membrane in the bilayer-structured membrane. In addition, the apple-juice color and turbidity reductions increased with decreasing the average fibers diameter of the PAN nanofibrous membrane. Furthermore, the PAN nanofibrous membrane also helped the cellulose microfibrous membrane in the bilayer-structured membrane enhance the reductions of total phenols, protein, and glucose of the apple juice.

  5. Structural basis for plant plasma membrane protein dynamics and organization into functional nanodomains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gronnier, Julien; Crowet, Jean-Marc; Habenstein, Birgit; Nasir, Mehmet Nail; Bayle, Vincent; Hosy, Eric; Platre, Matthieu Pierre; Gouguet, Paul; Raffaele, Sylvain; Martinez, Denis; Grelard, Axelle; Loquet, Antoine; Simon-Plas, Françoise; Gerbeau-Pissot, Patricia; Der, Christophe; Bayer, Emmanuelle M; Jaillais, Yvon; Deleu, Magali; Germain, Véronique; Lins, Laurence; Mongrand, Sébastien

    2017-07-31

    Plasma Membrane is the primary structure for adjusting to ever changing conditions. PM sub-compartmentalization in domains is thought to orchestrate signaling. Yet, mechanisms governing membrane organization are mostly uncharacterized. The plant-specific REMORINs are proteins regulating hormonal crosstalk and host invasion. REMs are the best-characterized nanodomain markers via an uncharacterized moiety called REMORIN C-terminal Anchor. By coupling biophysical methods, super-resolution microscopy and physiology, we decipher an original mechanism regulating the dynamic and organization of nanodomains. We showed that targeting of REMORIN is independent of the COP-II-dependent secretory pathway and mediated by PI4P and sterol. REM-CA is an unconventional lipid-binding motif that confers nanodomain organization. Analyses of REM-CA mutants by single particle tracking demonstrate that mobility and supramolecular organization are critical for immunity. This study provides a unique mechanistic insight into how the tight control of spatial segregation is critical in the definition of PM domain necessary to support biological function.

  6. HAMLET interacts with lipid membranes and perturbs their structure and integrity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mossberg, Ann-Kristin; Puchades, Maja; Halskau, Øyvind; Baumann, Anne; Lanekoff, Ingela; Chao, Yinxia; Martinez, Aurora; Svanborg, Catharina; Karlsson, Roger

    2010-02-23

    Cell membrane interactions rely on lipid bilayer constituents and molecules inserted within the membrane, including specific receptors. HAMLET (human alpha-lactalbumin made lethal to tumor cells) is a tumoricidal complex of partially unfolded alpha-lactalbumin (HLA) and oleic acid that is internalized by tumor cells, suggesting that interactions with the phospholipid bilayer and/or specific receptors may be essential for the tumoricidal effect. This study examined whether HAMLET interacts with artificial membranes and alters membrane structure. We show by surface plasmon resonance that HAMLET binds with high affinity to surface adherent, unilamellar vesicles of lipids with varying acyl chain composition and net charge. Fluorescence imaging revealed that HAMLET accumulates in membranes of vesicles and perturbs their structure, resulting in increased membrane fluidity. Furthermore, HAMLET disrupted membrane integrity at neutral pH and physiological conditions, as shown by fluorophore leakage experiments. These effects did not occur with either native HLA or a constitutively unfolded Cys-Ala HLA mutant (rHLA(all-Ala)). HAMLET also bound to plasma membrane vesicles formed from intact tumor cells, with accumulation in certain membrane areas, but the complex was not internalized by these vesicles or by the synthetic membrane vesicles. The results illustrate the difference in membrane affinity between the fatty acid bound and fatty acid free forms of partially unfolded HLA and suggest that HAMLET engages membranes by a mechanism requiring both the protein and the fatty acid. Furthermore, HAMLET binding alters the morphology of the membrane and compromises its integrity, suggesting that membrane perturbation could be an initial step in inducing cell death.

  7. How membrane lipids control the 3D structure and function of receptors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jacques Fantini

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available The cohabitation of lipids and proteins in the plasma membrane of mammalian cells is controlled by specific biochemical and biophysical rules. Lipids may be either constitutively tightly bound to cell-surface receptors (non-annular lipids or less tightly attached to the external surface of the protein (annular lipids. The latter are exchangeable with surrounding bulk membrane lipids on a faster time scale than that of non-annular lipids. Not only do non-annular lipids bind to membrane proteins through stereoselective mechanisms, they can also help membrane receptors acquire (or maintain a functional 3D structure. Cholesterol is the prototype of membrane lipids that finely controls the 3D structure and function of receptors. However, several other lipids such as sphingolipids may also modulate the function of membrane proteins though conformational adjustments. All these concepts are discussed in this review in the light of representative examples taken from the literature.

  8. Structural basis of sterol recognition and nonvesicular transport by lipid transfer proteins anchored at membrane contact sites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tong, Junsen; Manik, Mohammad Kawsar; Im, Young Jun

    2018-01-30

    Membrane contact sites (MCSs) in eukaryotic cells are hotspots for lipid exchange, which is essential for many biological functions, including regulation of membrane properties and protein trafficking. Lipid transfer proteins anchored at membrane contact sites (LAMs) contain sterol-specific lipid transfer domains [StARkin domain (SD)] and multiple targeting modules to specific membrane organelles. Elucidating the structural mechanisms of targeting and ligand recognition by LAMs is important for understanding the interorganelle communication and exchange at MCSs. Here, we determined the crystal structures of the yeast Lam6 pleckstrin homology (PH)-like domain and the SDs of Lam2 and Lam4 in the apo form and in complex with ergosterol. The Lam6 PH-like domain displays a unique PH domain fold with a conserved N-terminal α-helix. The Lam6 PH-like domain lacks the basic surface for phosphoinositide binding, but contains hydrophobic patches on its surface, which are critical for targeting to endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-mitochondrial contacts. Structures of the LAM SDs display a helix-grip fold with a hydrophobic cavity and a flexible Ω1-loop as a lid. Ergosterol is bound to the pocket in a head-down orientation, with its hydrophobic acyl group located in the tunnel entrance. The Ω1-loop in an open conformation is essential for ergosterol binding by direct hydrophobic interaction. Structural comparison suggested that the sterol binding mode of the Lam2 SD2 is likely conserved among the sterol transfer proteins of the StARkin superfamily. Structural models of full-length Lam2 correlated with the sterol transport function at the membrane contact sites.

  9. Cationic liposome/DNA complexes: from structure to interactions with cellular membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caracciolo, Giulio; Amenitsch, Heinz

    2012-10-01

    Gene-based therapeutic approaches are based upon the concept that, if a disease is caused by a mutation in a gene, then adding back the wild-type gene should restore regular function and attenuate the disease phenotype. To deliver the gene of interest, both viral and nonviral vectors are used. Viruses are efficient, but their application is impeded by detrimental side-effects. Among nonviral vectors, cationic liposomes are the most promising candidates for gene delivery. They form stable complexes with polyanionic DNA (lipoplexes). Despite several advantages over viral vectors, the transfection efficiency (TE) of lipoplexes is too low compared with those of engineered viral vectors. This is due to lack of knowledge about the interactions between complexes and cellular components. Rational design of efficient lipoplexes therefore requires deeper comprehension of the interactions between the vector and the DNA as well as the cellular pathways and mechanisms involved. The importance of the lipoplex structure in biological function is revealed in the application of synchrotron small-angle X-ray scattering in combination with functional TE measurements. According to current understanding, the structure of lipoplexes can change upon interaction with cellular membranes and such changes affect the delivery efficiency. Recently, a correlation between the mechanism of gene release from complexes, the structure, and the physical and chemical parameters of the complexes has been established. Studies aimed at correlating structure and activity of lipoplexes are reviewed herein. This is a fundamental step towards rational design of highly efficient lipid gene vectors.

  10. Deformation mechanisms of a porous structure of the poly(ethylene terephthalate) nuclear track membrane

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ovchinnikov, V.V.

    1989-01-01

    The deformation mechanisms of a porous structure of the nuclear track membrane made of poly(ethylene terephthalate) are investigated in the temperature range from 333 to 473 K. It is shown that the pore size of the membrane can both decrease and increase. The analytical equation based on the Alfrey mechanical approach to the relaxation deformation of polymers describes the experimental data satisfactorily over the whole range of temperatures and pore radii of the membranes. 21 refs.; 5 figs.; 3 tabs

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, Fu-Shin; Wang, Pi-Wen; Chen, Chih-Hsiung

    2008-01-01

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

  12. Aspartate and glutamate mimetic structures in biologically active compounds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stefanic, Peter; Dolenc, Marija Sollner

    2004-04-01

    Glutamate and aspartate are frequently recognized as key structural elements for the biological activity of natural peptides and synthetic compounds. The acidic side-chain functionality of both the amino acids provides the basis for the ionic interaction and subsequent molecular recognition by specific receptor sites that results in the regulation of physiological or pathophysiological processes in the organism. In the development of new biologically active compounds that possess the ability to modulate these processes, compounds offering the same type of interactions are being designed. Thus, using a peptidomimetic design approach, glutamate and aspartate mimetics are incorporated into the structure of final biologically active compounds. This review covers different bioisosteric replacements of carboxylic acid alone, as well as mimetics of the whole amino acid structure. Amino acid analogs presented include those with different distances between anionic moieties, and analogs with additional functional groups that result in conformational restriction or alternative interaction sites. The article also provides an overview of different cyclic structures, including various cycloalkane, bicyclic and heterocyclic analogs, that lead to conformational restriction. Higher di- and tripeptide mimetics in which carboxylic acid functionality is incorporated into larger molecules are also reviewed. In addition to the mimetic structures presented, emphasis in this article is placed on their steric and electronic properties. These mimetics constitute a useful pool of fragments in the design of new biologically active compounds, particularly in the field of RGD mimetics and excitatory amino acid agonists and antagonists.

  13. From crystallography to structural biology, a century of discoveries

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Montoya, Guillermo

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available From crystallography, the technique mostly used to study the structure of matter, the field mutated into structural biology, has mutated in life sciences into structural biology, which has been developed as an essential and rather successful area of research to fully understand the workings of cellular pathways. The application of physical approaches to biological systems has been crucial to comprehend the structure and function of the biological components of living organisms. In this assay the author walks the reader through the last century, which has witnessed how this life sciences research area was born and moved towards larger assemblies in the core of crucial biological problems. The influence of research in physics, biochemistry and molecular biology has been key in the successes and large body of seminal results obtained by structural biologists. The author proposes that the future of this area implies the integration of its results at the cellular level apart of using more quantitative approaches to describe biological processes.La cristalografía, la técnica más ampliamente usada para estudiar la estructura de la materia, ha evolucionado en las ciencias de la vida hacia la biología estructural, una exitosa área de investigación encaminada a comprender el funcionamiento de los procesos celulares. La aplicación de aproximaciones físicas a sistemas biológicos es clave para entender la estructura y funcionamiento de los componentes de los organismos. En este artículo el autor ofrece al lector un paseo por la evolución de esta área de conocimiento durante el siglo XX, desde su nacimiento hasta el análisis de grandes complejos macromoleculares, protagonistas importantes en diversos procesos biológicos. La influencia de investigaciones en física, bioquímica y biología molecular ha sido clave para los numerosos éxitos alcanzados por biólogos estructurales. El autor sostiene que el futuro de esta disciplina pasa por la

  14. Study of nanoscale structural biology using advanced particle beam microscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boseman, Adam J.

    This work investigates developmental and structural biology at the nanoscale using current advancements in particle beam microscopy. Typically the examination of micro- and nanoscale features is performed using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), but in order to decrease surface charging, and increase resolution, an obscuring conductive layer is applied to the sample surface. As magnification increases, this layer begins to limit the ability to identify nanoscale surface structures. A new technology, Helium Ion Microscopy (HIM), is used to examine uncoated surface structures on the cuticle of wild type and mutant fruit flies. Corneal nanostructures observed with HIM are further investigated by FIB/SEM to provide detailed three dimensional information about internal events occurring during early structural development. These techniques are also used to reconstruct a mosquito germarium in order to characterize unknown events in early oogenesis. Findings from these studies, and many more like them, will soon unravel many of the mysteries surrounding the world of developmental biology.

  15. Isolation, Characterization and Biological Properties of Membrane Vesicles Produced by the Swine Pathogen Streptococcus suis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruno Haas

    Full Text Available Streptococcus suis, more particularly serotype 2, is a major swine pathogen and an emerging zoonotic agent worldwide that mainly causes meningitis, septicemia, endocarditis, and pneumonia. Although several potential virulence factors produced by S. suis have been identified in the last decade, the pathogenesis of S. suis infections is still not fully understood. In the present study, we showed that S. suis produces membrane vesicles (MVs that range in diameter from 13 to 130 nm and that appear to be coated by capsular material. A proteomic analysis of the MVs revealed that they contain 46 proteins, 9 of which are considered as proven or suspected virulence factors. Biological assays confirmed that S. suis MVs possess active subtilisin-like protease (SspA and DNase (SsnA. S. suis MVs degraded neutrophil extracellular traps, a property that may contribute to the ability of the bacterium to escape the host defense response. MVs also activated the nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB signaling pathway in both monocytes and macrophages, inducing the secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which may in turn contribute to increase the permeability of the blood brain barrier. The present study brought evidence that S. suis MVs may play a role as a virulence factor in the pathogenesis of S. suis infections, and given their composition be an excellent candidate for vaccine development.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chulsung Bae

    2011-01-01

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

  17. Biological activity of antitumoural MGBG: the structural variable.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marques, M P M; Gil, F P S C; Calheiros, R; Battaglia, V; Brunati, A M; Agostinelli, E; Toninello, A

    2008-05-01

    The present study aims at determining the structure-activity relationships (SAR's) ruling the biological function of MGBG (methylglyoxal bis(guanylhydrazone)), a competitive inhibitor of S-adenosyl-L-methionine decarboxylase displaying anticancer activity, involved in the biosynthesis of the naturally occurring polyamines spermidine and spermine. In order to properly understand its biochemical activity, MGBG's structural preferences at physiological conditions were ascertained, by quantum mechanical (DFT) calculations.

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

    KAUST Repository

    Wong, Mavis C.Y.; Martinez, Kristina; Ramon, Guy Z.; Hoek, Eric M.V.

    2012-01-01

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

  19. Biological, Histological and Ultra-Structural Studies of Female Mullet ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Biological, Histological and Ultra-Structural Studies of Female Mullet, Mugil cephalus , Ovaries Collected from Different Habitats during Annual Reproductive Cycle. ... 35 and 52 cm, respectively; whereas, the total number of ripe ova in brackish water fish ranged from 0.57±0.14 to 3.81±0.59 x106 for the same length groups.

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

    KAUST Repository

    Tiraferri, Alberto

    2011-02-01

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

  1. Recent progress in structural biology: lessons from our research history.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nitta, Ryo; Imasaki, Tsuyoshi; Nitta, Eriko

    2018-05-16

    The recent 'resolution revolution' in structural analyses of cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) has drastically changed the research strategy for structural biology. In addition to X-ray crystallography and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, cryo-EM has achieved the structural analysis of biological molecules at near-atomic resolution, resulting in the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2017. The effect of this revolution has spread within the biology and medical science fields affecting everything from basic research to pharmaceutical development by visualizing atomic structure. As we have used cryo-EM as well as X-ray crystallography since 2000 to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of the fundamental phenomena in the cell, here we review our research history and summarize our findings. In the first half of the review, we describe the structural mechanisms of microtubule-based motility of molecular motor kinesin by using a joint cryo-EM and X-ray crystallography method. In the latter half, we summarize our structural studies on transcriptional regulation by X-ray crystallography of in vitro reconstitution of a multi-protein complex.

  2. Interaction of Clostridium perfringens epsilon-toxin with biological and model membranes: A putative protein receptor in cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manni, Marco M; Sot, Jesús; Goñi, Félix M

    2015-03-01

    Epsilon-toxin (ETX) is a powerful toxin produced by some strains of Clostridium perfringens (classified as types B and D) that is responsible for enterotoxemia in animals. ETX forms pores through the plasma membrane of eukaryotic cells, consisting of a β-barrel of 14 amphipathic β-strands. ETX shows a high specificity for certain cell lines, of which Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) is the first sensitive cell line identified and the most studied one. The aim of this study was to establish the role of lipids in the toxicity caused by ETX and the correlation of its activity in model and biological membranes. In MDCK cells, using cell counting and confocal microscopy, we have observed that the toxin causes cell death mediated by toxin binding to plasma membrane. Moreover, ETX binds and permeabilizes the membranes of giant plasma membrane vesicles (GPMV). However, little effect is observed on protein-free vesicles. The data suggest the essential role of a protein receptor for the toxin in cell membranes. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Toward the fourth dimension of membrane protein structure: insight into dynamics from spin-labeling EPR spectroscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McHaourab, Hassane S; Steed, P Ryan; Kazmier, Kelli

    2011-11-09

    Trapping membrane proteins in the confines of a crystal lattice obscures dynamic modes essential for interconversion between multiple conformations in the functional cycle. Moreover, lattice forces could conspire with detergent solubilization to stabilize a minor conformer in an ensemble thus confounding mechanistic interpretation. Spin labeling in conjunction with electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy offers an exquisite window into membrane protein dynamics in the native-like environment of a lipid bilayer. Systematic application of spin labeling and EPR identifies sequence-specific secondary structures, defines their topology and their packing in the tertiary fold. Long range distance measurements (60 Å-80 Å) between pairs of spin labels enable quantitative analysis of equilibrium dynamics and triggered conformational changes. This review highlights the contribution of spin labeling to bridging structure and mechanism. Efforts to develop methods for determining structures from EPR restraints and to increase sensitivity and throughput promise to expand spin labeling applications in membrane protein structural biology. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Membrane structure: neutron diffraction and small angle scattering studies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zaccai, G.

    1985-01-01

    The author considers a molecule in a beam of radiation of wavelength lambda. Two extreme ways are shown in which on can have many identical molecules in a sample: a crystal in which they are related to each other by the symmetry of a lattice, and complete disorder in which there is no correlation between molecules. The detailed crystallographic analysis of isomorphous replacement is examined. Neutron diffraction experiments with specific deuteration are performed to characterize interactions of cholesterol with lipid bilayers. Retinal rod outer segment disk membranes and the purple membrane of H. halobium are examined

  5. The performance of double layer structure membrane prepared from flowing coagulant

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mieow Kee, Chan; Xeng, Anthony Leong Chan; Regal, Sasiskala; Singh, Balvinder; Raoo, Preeshaath; Koon Eu, Yap; Sok Choo, Ng

    2017-12-01

    Membrane with double layer structure is favourable as it exhibits smooth surface and macrovoids free structure. However, its’ performance in terms of permeability, porosity and strength has not been studied thoroughly. Additionally, the effect of flowing coagulant on the formation of double layer membrane has not been reported. Thus, the objective of this study is to investigate the performance of double layer membranes, which were prepared using flowing coagulant. Results showed that when the coagulant flow changed from laminar to turbulent, the pure water permeation of the membrane increased. It was due to the higher porosity in the membrane, which prepared by turbulent flow (CA-Turbulent) compared to the membrane which fabricated under laminar condition (CA-Laminar). This can be explained by the rapid solvent-coagulant exchange rate between the polymer solution and the turbulent coagulant. In term of strength, the tensile strength of the CA-Turbulent was ~32 MPa, which was 100% higher compared to CA-Laminar. This may due to the presence of large amount of nodules on its surface, which reduced the surface integrity. In conclusion, flowing coagulant altered the membrane properties and adopting turbulent coagulant flow in membrane fabrication would improve the porosity, surface roughness and the strength of the membrane.

  6. Structural and morphological changes in supramolecular-structured polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell on addition of phosphoric acid

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hendrana, S.; Pryliana, R. F.; Natanael, C. L.; Rahayu, I.

    2018-03-01

    Phosphoric acid is one agents used in membrane fuel cell to modify ionic conductivity. Therefore, its distribution in membrane is a key parameter to gain expected conductivity. Efforts have been made to distribute phosphoric acid in a supramolecular-structured membrane prepared with a matrix. To achieve even distribution across bulk of the membrane, the inclusion of the polyacid is carried out under pressurized chamber. Image of scanning electron microscopy (SEM) shows better phosphoric acid distribution for one prepared in pressurized state. It also leads in better performing in ionic conductivity. Moreover, data from differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) indicate that the addition of phosphoric acid is prominent in the change of membrane structure, while morphological changes are captured in SEM images.

  7. Ultrafiltration of biologically treated domestic wastewater: How membrane properties influence performance

    KAUST Repository

    Filloux, Emmanuelle; Teychene, Benoî t; Tazi-Pain, Annie; Croue, Jean-Philippe

    2014-01-01

    In this study, the impact of membrane properties on membrane fouling and permeate water quality was investigated. Short- and long-term laboratory scale experiments using four commercially available hollow fiber UF membranes were performed to study the impact of membrane properties on reversible and irreversible fouling. No significant differences in terms of permeate quality (i.e. biopolymer rejection) were observed over the four tested membranes. It was found that membrane characteristics including pore size, pore distribution and especially materials had a strong impact on the filtration performances in terms of both reversible and irreversible fouling. The short-term filtration tests showed that due to its specific hydrodynamic condition only the inside-out mode UF membrane was subjected to irreversible fouling. These data demonstrate the importance of membrane selection with appropriate operating conditions for optimum performances. The added value of membrane characterization to lab-scale filtration tests for membrane performance was discussed. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Preparation, characterization, biological activity, and transport study of polystyrene based calcium–barium phosphate composite membrane

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Khan, Mohammad Mujahid Ali; Rafiuddin,, E-mail: rafi_amu@rediffmail.com

    2013-10-15

    Calcium–barium phosphate (CBP) composite membrane with 25% polystyrene was prepared by co-precipitation method. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transformed infrared (FTIR), and Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) were used to characterize the membrane. The membrane was found to be crystalline in nature with consistent arrangement of particles and no indication of visible cracks. The electrical potentials measured across the composite membrane in contact with univalent electrolytes (KCl, NaCl and LiCl), have been found to increase with decrease in concentrations. Thus the membrane was found to be cation-selective. Transport properties of developed membranes may be utilized for the efficient desalination of saline water and more importantly demineralization process. The antibacterial study of this composite membrane shows good results for killing the disease causing bacteria along with waste water treatment. Highlights: • Transport properties of composite membrane are evaluated. • The composite membrane was found to be stable in all media. • TMS method is used for electrochemical characterization. • The membrane was found to be cation selective. • The order of surface charge density was found to be LiCl < NaCl < KCl.

  9. Ultrafiltration of biologically treated domestic wastewater: How membrane properties influence performance

    KAUST Repository

    Filloux, Emmanuelle

    2014-09-01

    In this study, the impact of membrane properties on membrane fouling and permeate water quality was investigated. Short- and long-term laboratory scale experiments using four commercially available hollow fiber UF membranes were performed to study the impact of membrane properties on reversible and irreversible fouling. No significant differences in terms of permeate quality (i.e. biopolymer rejection) were observed over the four tested membranes. It was found that membrane characteristics including pore size, pore distribution and especially materials had a strong impact on the filtration performances in terms of both reversible and irreversible fouling. The short-term filtration tests showed that due to its specific hydrodynamic condition only the inside-out mode UF membrane was subjected to irreversible fouling. These data demonstrate the importance of membrane selection with appropriate operating conditions for optimum performances. The added value of membrane characterization to lab-scale filtration tests for membrane performance was discussed. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Neutron scattering applications in structural biology: now and the future

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Trewhella, J [Los Alamos National Lab., NM (United States)

    1996-05-01

    Neutrons have an important role to play in structural biology. Neutron crystallography, small-angle neutron scattering and inelastic neutron scattering techniques all contribute unique information on biomolecular structures. In particular, solution scattering techniques give critical information on the conformations and dispositions of the components of complex assemblies under a wide variety of relevant conditions. The power of these methods is demonstrated here by studies of protein/DNA complexes, and Ca{sup 2+}-binding proteins complexed with their regulatory targets. In addition, we demonstrate the utility of a new structural approach using neutron resonance scattering. The impact of biological neutron scattering to date has been constrained principally by the available fluxes at neutron sources and the true potential of these approaches will only be realized with the development of new more powerful neutron sources. (author)

  11. Probing water structure and transport in proton exchange membranes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ling, X.

    2018-01-01

    Proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) have attracted tremendous attention as alternative energy sources because of their high energy density and practically zero greenhouse gas emission - water is their only direct by-product. Critical to the function of PEMFCs is fast proton and water

  12. Visualizing Membranes : 3D Electron Microscopic Imaging of Cellular Structures

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lebbink, M.N.

    2009-01-01

    Cells are organized in a highly complex manner. And while there are many different types of cells - each organized in a different manner according to their function - they do share certain commonalities. Among these commonalities are membranes that functions not only as a barrier between the extra-

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

  14. Uniform Structure of Eukaryotic Plasma Membrane: Lateral Domains in Plants

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Malínská, Kateřina; Zažímalová, Eva

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 12, č. 2 (2011), s. 148-155 ISSN 1389-2037 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) LC06034 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50380511 Keywords : Plasma membrane * microdomains * lateral segregation Subject RIV: ED - Physiology Impact factor: 2.886, year: 2011

  15. Building bridges between cellular and molecular structural biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patwardhan, Ardan; Brandt, Robert; Butcher, Sarah J; Collinson, Lucy; Gault, David; Grünewald, Kay; Hecksel, Corey; Huiskonen, Juha T; Iudin, Andrii; Jones, Martin L; Korir, Paul K; Koster, Abraham J; Lagerstedt, Ingvar; Lawson, Catherine L; Mastronarde, David; McCormick, Matthew; Parkinson, Helen; Rosenthal, Peter B; Saalfeld, Stephan; Saibil, Helen R; Sarntivijai, Sirarat; Solanes Valero, Irene; Subramaniam, Sriram; Swedlow, Jason R; Tudose, Ilinca; Winn, Martyn; Kleywegt, Gerard J

    2017-07-06

    The integration of cellular and molecular structural data is key to understanding the function of macromolecular assemblies and complexes in their in vivo context. Here we report on the outcomes of a workshop that discussed how to integrate structural data from a range of public archives. The workshop identified two main priorities: the development of tools and file formats to support segmentation (that is, the decomposition of a three-dimensional volume into regions that can be associated with defined objects), and the development of tools to support the annotation of biological structures.

  16. Biologically inspired autonomous structural materials with controlled toughening and healing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, Michael E.; Sodano, Henry A.

    2010-04-01

    The field of structural health monitoring (SHM) has made significant contributions in the field of prognosis and damage detection in the past decade. The advantageous use of this technology has not been integrated into operational structures to prevent damage from propagating or to heal injured regions under real time loading conditions. Rather, current systems relay this information to a central processor or human operator, who then determines a course of action such as altering the mission or scheduling repair maintenance. Biological systems exhibit advanced sensory and healing traits that can be applied to the design of material systems. For instance, bone is the major structural component in vertebrates; however, unlike modern structural materials, bone has many properties that make it effective for arresting the propagation of cracks and subsequent healing of the fractured area. The foremost goal for the development of future adaptive structures is to mimic biological systems, similar to bone, such that the material system can detect damage and deploy defensive traits to impede damage from propagating, thus preventing catastrophic failure while in operation. After sensing and stalling the propagation of damage, the structure must then be repaired autonomously using self healing mechanisms motivated by biological systems. Here a novel autonomous system is developed using shape memory polymers (SMPs), that employs an optical fiber network as both a damage detection sensor and a network to deliver stimulus to the damage site initiating adaptation and healing. In the presence of damage the fiber optic fractures allowing a high power laser diode to deposit a controlled level of thermal energy at the fractured sight locally reducing the modulus and blunting the crack tip, which significantly slows the crack growth rate. By applying a pre-induced strain field and utilizing the shape memory recovery effect, thermal energy can be deployed to close the crack and return

  17. Paramyxovirus membrane fusion: Lessons from the F and HN atomic structures

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lamb, Robert A.; Paterson, Reay G.; Jardetzky, Theodore S.

    2006-01-01

    Paramyxoviruses enter cells by fusion of their lipid envelope with the target cell plasma membrane. Fusion of the viral membrane with the plasma membrane allows entry of the viral genome into the cytoplasm. For paramyxoviruses, membrane fusion occurs at neutral pH, but the trigger mechanism that controls the viral entry machinery such that it occurs at the right time and in the right place remains to be elucidated. Two viral glycoproteins are key to the infection process-an attachment protein that varies among different paramyxoviruses and the fusion (F) protein, which is found in all paramyxoviruses. For many of the paramyxoviruses (parainfluenza viruses 1-5, mumps virus, Newcastle disease virus and others), the attachment protein is the hemagglutinin/neuraminidase (HN) protein. In the last 5 years, atomic structures of paramyxovirus F and HN proteins have been reported. The knowledge gained from these structures towards understanding the mechanism of viral membrane fusion is described

  18. A new look at lipid-membrane structure in relation to drug research

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mouritsen, Ole G.; Jørgensen, Kent

    1998-01-01

    Lipid-bilayer membranes are key objects in drug research in relation to (i) interaction of drugs with membrane-bound receptors, (ii) drug targeting, penetration, and permeation of cell membranes, and (iii) use of liposomes in micro-encapsulation technologies for drug delivery. Rational design...... of new drugs and drug-delivery systems therefore requries insight into the physical properties of lipid-bilayer membranes. This mini-review provides a perspective on the current view of lipid-bilayer structure and dynamics based on information obtained from a variety of recent experimental...... and theoretical studies. Special attention is paid to trans-bilayer structure, lateral molecular organization of the lipid bilayer, lipid-mediated protein assembly, and lipid-bilayer permeability. It is argued that lipids play a major role in lipid membrane-organization and functionality....

  19. Spontaneous formation of structurally diverse membrane channel architectures from a single antimicrobial peptide

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yukun; Chen, Charles H.; Hu, Dan; Ulmschneider, Martin B.; Ulmschneider, Jakob P.

    2016-11-01

    Many antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) selectively target and form pores in microbial membranes. However, the mechanisms of membrane targeting, pore formation and function remain elusive. Here we report an experimentally guided unbiased simulation methodology that yields the mechanism of spontaneous pore assembly for the AMP maculatin at atomic resolution. Rather than a single pore, maculatin forms an ensemble of structurally diverse temporarily functional low-oligomeric pores, which mimic integral membrane protein channels in structure. These pores continuously form and dissociate in the membrane. Membrane permeabilization is dominated by hexa-, hepta- and octamers, which conduct water, ions and small dyes. Pores form by consecutive addition of individual helices to a transmembrane helix or helix bundle, in contrast to current poration models. The diversity of the pore architectures--formed by a single sequence--may be a key feature in preventing bacterial resistance and could explain why sequence-function relationships in AMPs remain elusive.

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

    KAUST Repository

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

    2014-01-01

    Ensuring the quality and reproducibility of results from biofilm structure and microbial community analysis is essential to membrane biofouling studies. This study evaluated the impacts of three sample preparation factors (ie number of buffer rinses

  1. Properties and in vitro biological evaluation of nano-hydroxyapatite/chitosan membranes for bone guided regeneration

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cheng Xianmiao [Research Center for Nano-Biomaterials, Analytical and Testing Center, Sichuan University, 610064 Chengdu (China); Department of Chemistry, Sichuan University, 610064 Chengdu (China); Li Yubao [Research Center for Nano-Biomaterials, Analytical and Testing Center, Sichuan University, 610064 Chengdu (China)], E-mail: nic7504@scu.edu.cn; Zuo Yi; Zhang Li [Research Center for Nano-Biomaterials, Analytical and Testing Center, Sichuan University, 610064 Chengdu (China); Li Jidong [Research Center for Nano-Biomaterials, Analytical and Testing Center, Sichuan University, 610064 Chengdu (China); Department of Chemistry, Sichuan University, 610064 Chengdu (China); Wang Huanan [Research Center for Nano-Biomaterials, Analytical and Testing Center, Sichuan University, 610064 Chengdu (China)

    2009-01-01

    Nano-hydroxyapatite(n-HA)/chitosan(CS) composite membranes were prepared by solvent casting and evaporation methods for the function of guided bone regeneration (GBR). The effect of n-HA content and solvent evaporation temperature on the properties of the composite membranes was studied. The n-HA/CS membranes were analyzed by scanning electron microscopy, Fourier transformed infrared spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, swelling measurement, mechanical test, cell culture and MTT (3-[4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl]-2,5-diphenylte-2H-tetrazolium bromide) assay. The results show that the surface roughness and micropores of the composite membranes increase with the rise of n-HA content, suitable for adhesion, crawl and growth of cells. The hydroxyapatite holds nano size and distributes uniformly in the composite membranes. Chemical bond interaction exists between Ca ions and -OH groups of n-HA and -NH{sub 2} or -OH groups of CS. The n-HA content and solvent evaporation temperature have obvious influence on the swelling ratio, tensile strength and elongation rate of the composite membranes. Cell culture and MTT assays show that n-HA and its content can affect the proliferation of cells. The n-HA/CS composite membranes have no negative effect on the cell morphology, viability and proliferation and possess good biocompatibility. This study makes the n-HA/CS composite membrane be a prospective biodegradable GBR membrane for future applications.

  2. Properties and in vitro biological evaluation of nano-hydroxyapatite/chitosan membranes for bone guided regeneration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cheng Xianmiao; Li Yubao; Zuo Yi; Zhang Li; Li Jidong; Wang Huanan

    2009-01-01

    Nano-hydroxyapatite(n-HA)/chitosan(CS) composite membranes were prepared by solvent casting and evaporation methods for the function of guided bone regeneration (GBR). The effect of n-HA content and solvent evaporation temperature on the properties of the composite membranes was studied. The n-HA/CS membranes were analyzed by scanning electron microscopy, Fourier transformed infrared spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, swelling measurement, mechanical test, cell culture and MTT (3-[4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl]-2,5-diphenylte-2H-tetrazolium bromide) assay. The results show that the surface roughness and micropores of the composite membranes increase with the rise of n-HA content, suitable for adhesion, crawl and growth of cells. The hydroxyapatite holds nano size and distributes uniformly in the composite membranes. Chemical bond interaction exists between Ca ions and -OH groups of n-HA and -NH 2 or -OH groups of CS. The n-HA content and solvent evaporation temperature have obvious influence on the swelling ratio, tensile strength and elongation rate of the composite membranes. Cell culture and MTT assays show that n-HA and its content can affect the proliferation of cells. The n-HA/CS composite membranes have no negative effect on the cell morphology, viability and proliferation and possess good biocompatibility. This study makes the n-HA/CS composite membrane be a prospective biodegradable GBR membrane for future applications

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. Influence of ionizing radiation on the spatial structure of erythrocyte membranes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dreval', V.Yi.; Syichevs'ka, L.V.; Doroshenko, A.O.; Roshal', O.D.

    1998-01-01

    Influence of gamma-radiation of doses of 10, 10 2 , 5 centre dot 10 2 , and 10 3 Gy on the structure of the protein-lipid complexes of erythrocyte membranes is investigated. The allotment of fluorescence of protein in the donor-acceptor pair of tryptophan-pyrene and the distance of protein from the surface of the lipid bilayer of a membrane are determined by the method of inductive-resonance transfer of energy. The pair is localized at the distance of above 3.2 nm from lipids. We find that the action of irradiation changes the space structure of proteins and lipids of the erythrocyte membrane

  5. Databases, Repositories, and Other Data Resources in Structural Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Heping; Porebski, Przemyslaw J; Grabowski, Marek; Cooper, David R; Minor, Wladek

    2017-01-01

    Structural biology, like many other areas of modern science, produces an enormous amount of primary, derived, and "meta" data with a high demand on data storage and manipulations. Primary data come from various steps of sample preparation, diffraction experiments, and functional studies. These data are not only used to obtain tangible results, like macromolecular structural models, but also to enrich and guide our analysis and interpretation of various biomedical problems. Herein we define several categories of data resources, (a) Archives, (b) Repositories, (c) Databases, and (d) Advanced Information Systems, that can accommodate primary, derived, or reference data. Data resources may be used either as web portals or internally by structural biology software. To be useful, each resource must be maintained, curated, as well as integrated with other resources. Ideally, the system of interconnected resources should evolve toward comprehensive "hubs", or Advanced Information Systems. Such systems, encompassing the PDB and UniProt, are indispensable not only for structural biology, but for many related fields of science. The categories of data resources described herein are applicable well beyond our usual scientific endeavors.

  6. Basement Membrane Type IV Collagen and Laminin: An Overview of Their Biology and Value as Fibrosis Biomarkers of Liver Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mak, Ki M; Mei, Rena

    2017-08-01

    Basement membranes provide structural support to epithelium, endothelium, muscles, fat cells, Schwann cells, and axons. Basement membranes are multifunctional: they modulate cellular behavior, regulate organogenesis, promote tissue repair, form a barrier to filtration and tumor metastasis, bind growth factors, and mediate angiogenesis. All basement membranes contain type IV collagen (Col IV), laminin, nidogen, and perlecan. Col IV and laminin self-assemble into two independent supramolecular networks that are linked to nidogen and perlecan to form a morphological discernable basement membrane/basal lamina. The triple helical region, 7S domain and NCI domain of Col IV, laminin and laminin fragment P1 have been evaluated as noninvasive fibrosis biomarkers of alcoholic liver disease, viral hepatitis, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Elevated serum Col IV and laminin are related to degrees of fibrosis and severity of hepatitis, and may reflect hepatic basement membrane metabolism. But the serum assays have not been linked to disclosing the anatomical sites and lobular distribution of perisinusoidal basement membrane formation in the liver. Hepatic sinusoids normally lack a basement membrane, although Col IV is a normal matrix component of the space of Disse. In liver disease, laminin deposits in the space of Disse and codistributes with Col IV, forming a perisinusoidal basement membrane. Concomitantly, the sinusoidal endothelium loses its fenestrae and is transformed into vascular type endothelium. These changes lead to capillarization of hepatic sinusoids, a significant pathology that impairs hepatic function. Accordingly, codistribution of Col IV and laminin serves as histochemical marker of perisinusoidal basement membrane formation in liver disease. Anat Rec, 300:1371-1390, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  7. Membrane fusion

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bendix, Pól Martin

    2015-01-01

    At Stanford University, Boxer lab, I worked on membrane fusion of small unilamellar lipid vesicles to flat membranes tethered to glass surfaces. This geometry closely resembles biological systems in which liposomes fuse to plasma membranes. The fusion mechanism was studied using DNA zippering...... between complementary strands linked to the two apposing membranes closely mimicking the zippering mechanism of SNARE fusion complexes....

  8. Heat-induced reorganization of the structure of photosystem II membranes: role of oxygen evolving complex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Busheva, Mira; Tzonova, Iren; Stoitchkova, Katerina; Andreeva, Atanaska

    2012-12-05

    The sensitivity of the green plants' photosystem II (PSII) to high temperatures is investigated in PSII enriched membranes and in membranes, from which the oxygen evolving complex is removed. Using steady-state 77 K fluorescence and resonance Raman spectroscopy we analyze the interdependency between the temperature-driven changes in structure and energy distribution in the PSII supercomplex. The results show that the heat treatment induces different reduction of the 77 K fluorescence emission in both types of investigated membranes: (i) an additional considerable decrease of the overall fluorescence emission in Tris-washed membranes as compared to the native membranes; (ii) a transition point at 42°C(,) observed only in native membranes; (iii) a sharp reduction of the PSII core fluorescence in Tris-washed membranes at temperatures higher than 50°C; (iv) a 3 nm red-shift of F700 band's maximum in Tris-washed membranes already at 20°C and its further shift by 1 nm at temperature increase. Both treatments intensified their action by increasing the aggregation and dissociation of the peripheral light harvesting complexes. The oxygen-evolving complex, in addition to its main function to produce O(2), increases the thermal stability of PSII core by strengthening the connection between the core and the peripheral antenna proteins and by keeping their structural integrity. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Biochar composite membrane for high performance pollutant management: Fabrication, structural characteristics and synergistic mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghaffar, Abdul; Zhu, Xiaoying; Chen, Baoliang

    2018-02-01

    Biochar, a natural sourced carbon-rich material, has been used commonly in particle shape for carbon sequestration, soil fertility and environmental remediation. Here, we report a facile approach to fabricate freestanding biochar composite membranes for the first time. Wood biochars pyrolyzed at 300 °C and 700 °C were blended with polyvinylidene fluoride (PVdF) in three percentages (10%, 30% and 50%) to construct membranes through thermal phase inversion process. The resultant biochar composite membranes possess high mechanical strength and porous structure with uniform distribution of biochar particles throughout the membrane surface and cross-section. The membrane pure water flux was increased with B300 content (4825-5411 ± 21 L m -2 h -1 ) and B700 content (5823-6895 ± 72 L m -2 h -1 ). The membranes with B300 were more hydrophilic with higher surface free energy (58.84-60.31 mJ m -2 ) in comparison to B700 (56.32-51.91 mJ m -2 ). The biochar composite membranes indicated promising adsorption capacities (47-187 mg g -1 ) to Rhodamine B (RhB) dye. The biochar membranes also exhibited high retention (74-93%) for E. coli bacterial suspensions through filtration. After simple physical cleaning, both the adsorption and sieving capabilities of the biochar composite membranes could be effectively recovered. Synergistic mechanisms of biochar/PVdF in the composite membrane are proposed to elucidate the high performance of the membrane in pollutant management. The multifunctional biochar composite membrane not only effectively prevent the problems caused by directly using biochar particle as sorbent but also can be produced in large scale, indicating great potential for practical applications. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Structural Biology Meets Drug Resistance: An Overview on Multidrug Resistance Transporters

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Shaheen, Aqsa; Iqbal, Mazhar; Mirza, Osman

    2017-01-01

    . Research on the underlying causes of multidrug resistance in cancerous cells and later on in infectious bacteria revealed the involvement of integral membrane transporters, capable of recognizing a broad range of structurally different molecules as substrates and exporting them from the cell using cellular...... superfamilies, viz., ATP-binding cassette superfamily, major facilitator superfamily and resistance nodulation division superfamily are presented. Further, the future role of structural biology in improving our understanding of drug-transporter interactions and in designing novel inhibitors against MDR pump...... century, mankind has become aware and confronted with the emergence of antibiotic-resistant pathogens. In parallel to the failure of antibiotic therapy against infectious pathogens, there had been continuous reports of cancerous cells not responding to chemotherapy with increase in the duration of therapy...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philippe Moulin

    2011-04-01

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

  12. Molecular aspects of GAPR-1 interactions with biological and model membranes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Galen, J.

    2008-01-01

    Golgi-Associated Plant Pathogenesis-Related protein 1 (GAPR-1) is a mammalian protein that belongs to the superfamily of plant pathogenesis related proteins group 1 (PR-1). It is a peripheral membrane protein that strongly associates with the cytosolic leaflet of Golgi membranes and is enriched in

  13. Structural and electrical characterization of PZT on gold for micromachined piezoelectric membranes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Robinson, M.C.; Morris, D.J.; Hayenga, P.D.; Cho, J.H.; Richards, C.D.; Richards, R.F.; Bahr, D.F.

    2006-01-01

    Piezoelectric membranes have been fabricated that incorporate a gold bottom electrode with an adhesion layer of titanium-tungsten (10:90 wt. %). For solution-deposited acetic acid based lead zirconate titanate (HoAc-PZT) with a Zr:Ti ratio of 40:60, the film's average piezoelectric coefficient, e 31 , is -5.31 C/m 2 , with a dielectric constant of 814 at 200 Hz, which is similar to values for platinum bottom electrodes. The PZT structure remains columnar on both types of bottom electrodes. Initial fabrication attempts resulted in cracking that initiated in the PZT layer of the structure. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy was utilized to establish how processing affects diffusion throughout the composite membrane structure. Crack-free membranes were fabricated and tested. This paper discusses the performance properties and piezoelectric fatigue results for these membranes. (orig.)

  14. The synthesis of recombinant membrane proteins in yeast for structural studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Routledge, Sarah J; Mikaliunaite, Lina; Patel, Anjana; Clare, Michelle; Cartwright, Stephanie P; Bawa, Zharain; Wilks, Martin D B; Low, Floren; Hardy, David; Rothnie, Alice J; Bill, Roslyn M

    2016-02-15

    Historically, recombinant membrane protein production has been a major challenge meaning that many fewer membrane protein structures have been published than those of soluble proteins. However, there has been a recent, almost exponential increase in the number of membrane protein structures being deposited in the Protein Data Bank. This suggests that empirical methods are now available that can ensure the required protein supply for these difficult targets. This review focuses on methods that are available for protein production in yeast, which is an important source of recombinant eukaryotic membrane proteins. We provide an overview of approaches to optimize the expression plasmid, host cell and culture conditions, as well as the extraction and purification of functional protein for crystallization trials in preparation for structural studies. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. The potential for biological structure determination with pulsed neutrons

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wilson, C.C. [CLRC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Chilton Didcot Oxon (United Kingdom)

    1994-12-31

    The potential of pulsed neutron diffraction in structural determination of biological materials is discussed. The problems and potential solutions in this area are outlined, with reference to both current and future sources and instrumentation. The importance of developing instrumentation on pulsed sources in emphasized, with reference to the likelihood of future expansion in this area. The possibilities and limitations of single crystal, fiber and powder diffraction in this area are assessed.

  16. The potential for biological structure determination with pulsed neutrons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wilson, C.C.

    1994-01-01

    The potential of pulsed neutron diffraction in structural determination of biological materials is discussed. The problems and potential solutions in this area are outlined, with reference to both current and future sources and instrumentation. The importance of developing instrumentation on pulsed sources in emphasized, with reference to the likelihood of future expansion in this area. The possibilities and limitations of single crystal, fiber and powder diffraction in this area are assessed

  17. Molecular biology of Neisseria meningitidis class 5 and H. 8 outer membrane proteins

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kawula, T.H.

    1987-01-01

    One of the surface structures responsible for inter- and intrastrain antigenic variability in meningococci is the heat-modifiable class 5 (C.5) protein. Neisseria meningitidis strain FAM18 (a meningococcal disease isolate) expressed two different C.5 proteins (C.5a and C.5b) identifiable by sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. We generated two monoclonal antibodies (MAbs), each specific for one of the identified C.5 proteins. The MAbs, which were bactericidal for variants expressing the appropriate C.5 protein, were used to study C.5 expression changes in FAM18. The H.8 protein is an antigenically conserved outer membrane protein expressed almost exclusively by the pathogenic Neisseria. We have cloned and sequenced an H.8 gene from N. meningitidis FAM18. The predicted H.8 amino acid sequence indicated that the most probable signal peptide processing site matched the consensus prokaryotic lipoprotein processing/modification sequence. We then showed that the H.8 protein could be labeled with {sup 14}C-palmitic acid, confirming that H.8 was a lipoprotein. Processing of the H.8 protein was inhibited by globomycin in E. coli indicating that H.8 was modified by the described lipoprotein processing/modifying pathway described in both gram negative and gram positive genera.

  18. Structure and hydration of membranes embedded with voltage-sensing domains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krepkiy, Dmitriy; Mihailescu, Mihaela; Freites, J Alfredo; Schow, Eric V; Worcester, David L; Gawrisch, Klaus; Tobias, Douglas J; White, Stephen H; Swartz, Kenton J

    2009-11-26

    Despite the growing number of atomic-resolution membrane protein structures, direct structural information about proteins in their native membrane environment is scarce. This problem is particularly relevant in the case of the highly charged S1-S4 voltage-sensing domains responsible for nerve impulses, where interactions with the lipid bilayer are critical for the function of voltage-activated ion channels. Here we use neutron diffraction, solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and molecular dynamics simulations to investigate the structure and hydration of bilayer membranes containing S1-S4 voltage-sensing domains. Our results show that voltage sensors adopt transmembrane orientations and cause a modest reshaping of the surrounding lipid bilayer, and that water molecules intimately interact with the protein within the membrane. These structural findings indicate that voltage sensors have evolved to interact with the lipid membrane while keeping energetic and structural perturbations to a minimum, and that water penetrates the membrane, to hydrate charged residues and shape the transmembrane electric field.

  19. Modeling of the axon membrane skeleton structure and implications for its mechanical properties.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yihao Zhang

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Super-resolution microscopy recently revealed that, unlike the soma and dendrites, the axon membrane skeleton is structured as a series of actin rings connected by spectrin filaments that are held under tension. Currently, the structure-function relationship of the axonal structure is unclear. Here, we used atomic force microscopy (AFM to show that the stiffness of the axon plasma membrane is significantly higher than the stiffnesses of dendrites and somata. To examine whether the structure of the axon plasma membrane determines its overall stiffness, we introduced a coarse-grain molecular dynamics model of the axon membrane skeleton that reproduces the structure identified by super-resolution microscopy. Our proposed computational model accurately simulates the median value of the Young's modulus of the axon plasma membrane determined by atomic force microscopy. It also predicts that because the spectrin filaments are under entropic tension, the thermal random motion of the voltage-gated sodium channels (Nav, which are bound to ankyrin particles, a critical axonal protein, is reduced compared to the thermal motion when spectrin filaments are held at equilibrium. Lastly, our model predicts that because spectrin filaments are under tension, any axonal injuries that lacerate spectrin filaments will likely lead to a permanent disruption of the membrane skeleton due to the inability of spectrin filaments to spontaneously form their initial under-tension configuration.

  20. Modeling of the axon membrane skeleton structure and implications for its mechanical properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yihao; Abiraman, Krithika; Li, He; Pierce, David M; Tzingounis, Anastasios V; Lykotrafitis, George

    2017-02-01

    Super-resolution microscopy recently revealed that, unlike the soma and dendrites, the axon membrane skeleton is structured as a series of actin rings connected by spectrin filaments that are held under tension. Currently, the structure-function relationship of the axonal structure is unclear. Here, we used atomic force microscopy (AFM) to show that the stiffness of the axon plasma membrane is significantly higher than the stiffnesses of dendrites and somata. To examine whether the structure of the axon plasma membrane determines its overall stiffness, we introduced a coarse-grain molecular dynamics model of the axon membrane skeleton that reproduces the structure identified by super-resolution microscopy. Our proposed computational model accurately simulates the median value of the Young's modulus of the axon plasma membrane determined by atomic force microscopy. It also predicts that because the spectrin filaments are under entropic tension, the thermal random motion of the voltage-gated sodium channels (Nav), which are bound to ankyrin particles, a critical axonal protein, is reduced compared to the thermal motion when spectrin filaments are held at equilibrium. Lastly, our model predicts that because spectrin filaments are under tension, any axonal injuries that lacerate spectrin filaments will likely lead to a permanent disruption of the membrane skeleton due to the inability of spectrin filaments to spontaneously form their initial under-tension configuration.

  1. Critical Structure for Telescopic Movement of Honey bee (Insecta: Apidae) Abdomen: Folded Intersegmental Membrane.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Jieliang; Yan, Shaoze; Wu, Jianing

    2016-01-01

    The folded intersegmental membrane is a structure that interconnects two adjacent abdominal segments; this structure is distributed in the segments of the honey bee abdomen. The morphology of the folded intersegmental membrane has already been documented. However, the ultrastructure of the intersegmental membrane and its assistive role in the telescopic movements of the honey bee abdomen are poorly understood. To explore the morphology and ultrastructure of the folded intersegmental membrane in the honey bee abdomen, frozen sections were analyzed under a scanning electron microscope. The intersegmental membrane between two adjacent terga has a Z-S configuration that greatly influences the daily physical activities of the honey bee abdomen. The dorsal intersegmental membrane is 2 times thicker than the ventral one, leading to asymmetric abdominal motion. Honey bee abdominal movements were recorded using a high-speed camera and through phase-contrast computed tomography. These movements conformed to the structural features of the folded intersegmental membrane. © The Authors 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America.

  2. Synthesis, crystal structure and biological activity of novel diester cyclophanes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang, Pengfei; Yang, Bingqin; Fang, Xianwen; Cheng, Zhao; Yang, Meipan

    2012-01-01

    A series of novel diester cyclophanes was synthesized by esterification of 1,2-benzenedicarbonyl chloride with eight different diols under high dilution conditions. The structures of the compounds were verified by elemental analysis, 1 H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), IR spectroscopy and high resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS). The crystal structures of two compounds were characterized by single crystal X-ray diffractometry (XRD). All the new cyclophanes were evaluated for biological activities and the results showed that some of these compounds have low antibacterial or antifungal activities (author)

  3. Synthesis, crystal structure and biological activity of novel diester cyclophanes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhang, Pengfei; Yang, Bingqin; Fang, Xianwen; Cheng, Zhao; Yang, Meipan, E-mail: yangbq@nwu.edu.cn [Department of Chemistry, Key Laboratory of Synthetic and Natural Functional Molecule Chemistry, Northwest University, Shaanxi (China)

    2012-10-15

    A series of novel diester cyclophanes was synthesized by esterification of 1,2-benzenedicarbonyl chloride with eight different diols under high dilution conditions. The structures of the compounds were verified by elemental analysis, {sup 1}H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), IR spectroscopy and high resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS). The crystal structures of two compounds were characterized by single crystal X-ray diffractometry (XRD). All the new cyclophanes were evaluated for biological activities and the results showed that some of these compounds have low antibacterial or antifungal activities (author)

  4. Human Embryonic Kidney 293 Cells: A Vehicle for Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing, Structural Biology, and Electrophysiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Jianwen; Han, Jizhong; Li, Haoran; Zhang, Xian; Liu, Lan Lan; Chen, Fei; Zeng, Bin

    2018-01-01

    Mammalian cells, e.g., CHO, BHK, HEK293, HT-1080, and NS0 cells, represent important manufacturing platforms in bioengineering. They are widely used for the production of recombinant therapeutic proteins, vaccines, anticancer agents, and other clinically relevant drugs. HEK293 (human embryonic kidney 293) cells and their derived cell lines provide an attractive heterologous system for the development of recombinant proteins or adenovirus productions, not least due to their human-like posttranslational modification of protein molecules to provide the desired biological activity. Secondly, they also exhibit high transfection efficiency yielding high-quality recombinant proteins. They are easy to maintain and express with high fidelity membrane proteins, such as ion channels and transporters, and thus are attractive for structural biology and electrophysiology studies. In this article, we review the literature on HEK293 cells regarding their origins but also stress their advancements into the different cell lines engineered and discuss some significant aspects which make them versatile systems for biopharmaceutical manufacturing, drug screening, structural biology research, and electrophysiology applications. © 2018 S. Karger AG, Basel.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-04-15

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

  6. J D Bernal and the genesis of structural biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caffrey, Martin

    2007-02-01

    I was invited to participate in this Symposium a month or so before the event. At that time however, I knew little about J D Bernal. I vaguely remembered a brief conversation on the topic over a decade ago with Professor Vittorio Luzzati as we ambled around the gardens at the Palace of Varsailles. Vittorio likely knew Bernal through his friend Rosalind Franklin who worked with Bernal at Birbeck College. But beyond that I knew nothing about the man or his science. And so it was most fortunate that Andrew Brown's book J D Bernal: The Sage of Science appeared in 2005 and I was able to call on it. Indeed, much of the material included in this chapter is based on that source and on Dorothy Hodgkin's biographic memoir of J D Bernal, her postgraduate supervisor. Given that this chapter is to be published in a Physics journal I thought it appropriate to provide some background to the theme of my presentation, structural biology. Accordingly, I will begin with an introduction to proteins, one of structural biology's central characters, and to which Bernal devoted much energy and attention. How the molecular structure of a protein determines its activity and function will then be described. Bernal's major contribution in this area was to X-ray crystallography, the primary method by which a protein's structure is determined. The method, and aspects of its development, will be described. I will also make reference to some of Bernal's additional contributions in related fields. Finally, Vincent Casey, the symposium organizer, asked that I comment on how structural biology might impact on society. I will attempt to address that at the close of my presentation.

  7. J D Bernal and the genesis of structural biology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Caffrey, Martin

    2007-01-01

    I was invited to participate in this Symposium a month or so before the event. At that time however, I knew little about J D Bernal. I vaguely remembered a brief conversation on the topic over a decade ago with Professor Vittorio Luzzati as we ambled around the gardens at the Palace of Varsailles. Vittorio likely knew Bernal through his friend Rosalind Franklin who worked with Bernal at Birbeck College. But beyond that I knew nothing about the man or his science. And so it was most fortunate that Andrew Brown's book J D Bernal: The Sage of Science appeared in 2005 and I was able to call on it. Indeed, much of the material included in this chapter is based on that source and on Dorothy Hodgkin's biographic memoir of J D Bernal, her postgraduate supervisor. Given that this chapter is to be published in a Physics journal I thought it appropriate to provide some background to the theme of my presentation, structural biology. Accordingly, I will begin with an introduction to proteins, one of structural biology's central characters, and to which Bernal devoted much energy and attention. How the molecular structure of a protein determines its activity and function will then be described. Bernal's major contribution in this area was to X-ray crystallography, the primary method by which a protein's structure is determined. The method, and aspects of its development, will be described. I will also make reference to some of Bernal's additional contributions in related fields. Finally, Vincent Casey, the symposium organizer, asked that I comment on how structural biology might impact on society. I will attempt to address that at the close of my presentation

  8. Structural role of lipids in mitochondrial and sarcoplasmic reticulum membranes: freeze-fracture electron microscopy studies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Packer, L; Mehard, C W; Meissner, G; Zahler, W L; Fleischer, S

    1974-01-01

    The role of phospholipid in the structure of the membranes of beef heart mitochondria and of the sarcoplasmic reticulum membranes from rabbit skeletal muscle has been investigated by freeze-fracture electron microscopy. Progressive removal of membrane phospholipids, by phospholipase A treatment or detergent treatment, or by organic solvent extraction, results in loss of the smooth background seen in membrane fracture faces and decreased ability of membrane to undergo freeze fracture to yield fracture faces. Instead cross-sections of vesicles or particle clusters are observed. Sarcoplasmic reticulum vesicles have a 9 to 1 asymmetry in the distribution of particles between the convex and concave fracture faces. There is also a wide range of particle size distribution in both of these fracture faces with 85-A particles in greatest number. The removal of membrane associated proteins by detergent extraction does not appreciably change the distribution in particle size. Sarcoplasmic reticulum vesicles were dissolved with detergent and reassembled to form membrane vesicles containing mainly one protein (approx. 90%), i.e., the Ca/sup 2 +/ pump protein, and with a ratio of lipid to protein similar to the original membrane. The reconstituted vesicles readily underwent freeze fracture but the asymmetric particle distribution between the fracture faces was no longer observed. The size distribution of particles in the reconstituted membrane, consisting mainly of Ca/sup 2 +/ pump protein, and phospholipid, was similar in heterogeneity to the original sarcoplasmic reticulum membrane. Thus the heterogeneity in particle size could reflect variation in the orientation of the Ca/sup 2 +/ pump protein within the membrane.

  9. Interferometric scattering (iSCAT) microscopy: studies of biological membrane dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reina, Francesco; Galiani, Silvia; Shrestha, Dilip; Sezgin, Erdinc; Lagerholm, B. Christoffer; Cole, Daniel; Kukura, Philipp; Eggeling, Christian

    2018-02-01

    The study of the organization and dynamics of molecules in model and cellular membranes is an important topic in contemporary biophysics. Imaging and single particle tracking in this particular field, however, proves particularly demanding, as it requires simultaneously high spatio-temporal resolution and high signal-to-noise ratios. A remedy to this challenge might be Interferometric Scattering (iSCAT) microscopy, due to its fast sampling rates, label-free imaging capabilities and, most importantly, tuneable signal level output. Here we report our recent advances in the imaging and molecular tracking on phase-separated model membrane systems and live-cell membranes using this technique.

  10. Robust hydrophobic polyurethane fibrous membranes with tunable porous structure for waterproof and breathable application

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gu, Jiatai; Gu, Haihong; Cao, Jin; Chen, Shaojie; Li, Ni; Xiong, Jie

    2018-05-01

    In this work, novel nanofibrous membranes with waterproof and breathable (W&B) performance were successfully fabricated by the combination of electrospinning and surface modification technology. This fibrous membranes consisted of polyurethane (PU), NaCl, and fluoroalkylsilane (FAS). Firstly, The fibrous construction and porous structure of fibrous membranes were regulated by tuning the NaCl concentrations in PU solutions. Then, the obtained PU/NaCl fibrous membranes were further modified with fluoroalkylsilane (FAS) to improve hydrophobic property. The synergistic effect of porous structure and hydrophobicity on waterproof and breathable performance was investigated. Furthermore, the mechanical property of fibrous membranes was deeply analysed on the basis of macromolecule orientation and adhesive structure. Benefiting from the optimized porous structure and hydrophobic modification, the resultant fibrous membranes exhibited excellent waterproof (hydrostatic pressure of 1261 Mbar), breathable (water vapor transmission (WVT) rate of 9.06 kg m-2 d-1 and air permeability of 4.8 mm s-1) performance, as well as high tensile strength (breakage stress of 10.4 MPa), suggesting a promising candidate for various applications, especially in protective clothing.

  11. Impact of ozonation and biological activated carbon filtration on ceramic membrane fouling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ibn Abdul Hamid, Khaled; Sanciolo, Peter; Gray, Stephen; Duke, Mikel; Muthukumaran, Shobha

    2017-12-01

    Ozone pre-treatment (ozonation, ozonisation) and biological activated carbon (BAC) filtration pre-treatment for the ceramic microfiltration (CMF) treatment of secondary effluent (SE) were studied. Ozone pre-treatment was found to result in higher overall removal of UV absorbance (UVA 254 ) and colour, and higher permeability than BAC pre-treatment or the combined use of ozone and BAC (O3+BAC) pre-treatment. The overall removal of colour and UVA 254 by ceramic filtration of the ozone pre-treated water was 97% and 63% respectively, compared to 86% and 48% respectively for BAC pre-treatment and 29% and 6% respectively for the untreated water. Ozone pre-treatment, however, was not effective in removal of dissolved organic carbon (DOC). The permeability of the ozone pre-treated water through the ceramic membrane was found to decrease to 50% of the original value after 200 min of operation, compared to approximately 10% of the original value for the BAC pre-treated, O3+BAC pre-treated water and the untreated water. The higher permeability of the ozone pre-treated water was attributed to the excellent removal of biopolymer particles (100%) and high removal of humic substances (84%). The inclusion of a BAC stage between ozone pre-treatment and ceramic filtration was detrimental. The O3+BAC+CMF process was found to yield higher biopolymer removal (96%), lower humic substance (HS) component removal (66%) and lower normalized permeability (0.1) after 200 min of operation than the O3+CMF process (86%, 84% and 0.5 respectively). This was tentatively attributed to the chemical oxidation effect of ozone on the BAC biofilm and adsorbed components, leading to the generation of foulants that are not generated in the O3+CMF process. This study demonstrated the potential of ozone pre-treatment for reducing organic fouling and thus improving flux for the CMF of SE compared to O3+BAC pre-treatment. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Quantitative Modeling of Membrane Transport and Anisogamy by Small Groups Within a Large-Enrollment Organismal Biology Course

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric S. Haag

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Quantitative modeling is not a standard part of undergraduate biology education, yet is routine in the physical sciences. Because of the obvious biophysical aspects, classes in anatomy and physiology offer an opportunity to introduce modeling approaches to the introductory curriculum. Here, we describe two in-class exercises for small groups working within a large-enrollment introductory course in organismal biology. Both build and derive biological insights from quantitative models, implemented using spreadsheets. One exercise models the evolution of anisogamy (i.e., small sperm and large eggs from an initial state of isogamy. Groups of four students work on Excel spreadsheets (from one to four laptops per group. The other exercise uses an online simulator to generate data related to membrane transport of a solute, and a cloud-based spreadsheet to analyze them. We provide tips for implementing these exercises gleaned from two years of experience.

  13. An experimental study of perovskite-structured mixed ionic- electronic conducting oxides and membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeng, Pingying

    In recent decades, ceramic membranes based on mixed ionic and electronic conducting (MIEC) perovskite-structured oxides have received many attentions for their applications for air separation, or as a membrane reactor for methane oxidation. While numerous perovskite oxide materials have been explored over the past two decades; there are hardly any materials with sufficient practical economic value and performance for large scale applications, which justifies continuing the search for new materials. The main purposes of this thesis study are: (1) develop several novel SrCoO3-delta based MIEC oxides, SrCoCo1-xMxO3-delta, based on which membranes exhibit excellent oxygen permeability; (2) investigate the significant effects of the species and concentration of the dopants M (metal ions with fixed valences) on the various properties of these membranes; (3) investigate the significant effects of sintering temperature on the microstructures and performance of oxygen permeation membranes; and (4) study the performance of oxygen permeation membranes as a membrane reactor for methane combustion. To stabilize the cubic phase structure of the SrCoO3-delta oxide, various amounts of scandium was doped into the B-site of SrCoO 3-delta to form a series of new perovskite oxides, SrScxCoCo 1-xO3-delta (SSCx, x = 0-0.7). The significant effects of scandium-doping concentration on the phase structure, electrical conductivity, sintering performance, thermal and structural stability, cathode performance, and oxygen permeation performance of the SSCx membranes, were systematically studied. Also for a more in-depth understanding, the rate determination steps for the oxygen transport process through the membranes were clarified by theoretical and experimental investigation. It was found that only a minor amount of scandium (5 mol%) doping into the B-site of SrCoO3-delta can effectively stabilize the cubic phase structure, and thus significantly improve the electrical conductivity and

  14. Depolarization affects lateral microdomain structure of yeast plasma membrane

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Herman, P.; Večeř, J.; Opekarová, Miroslava; Veselá, Petra; Jančíková, I.; Zahumenský, J.; Malínský, Jan

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 282, č. 3 (2015), s. 419-434 ISSN 1742-464X R&D Projects: GA ČR GAP205/12/0720 Institutional support: RVO:68378041 Keywords : gel microdomains * lipid order * transmembrane potential Subject RIV: EA - Cell Biology Impact factor: 4.237, year: 2015

  15. Tensegrity I. Cell structure and hierarchical systems biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ingber, Donald E.

    2003-01-01

    In 1993, a Commentary in this journal described how a simple mechanical model of cell structure based on tensegrity architecture can help to explain how cell shape, movement and cytoskeletal mechanics are controlled, as well as how cells sense and respond to mechanical forces (J. Cell Sci. 104, 613-627). The cellular tensegrity model can now be revisited and placed in context of new advances in our understanding of cell structure, biological networks and mechanoregulation that have been made over the past decade. Recent work provides strong evidence to support the use of tensegrity by cells, and mathematical formulations of the model predict many aspects of cell behavior. In addition, development of the tensegrity theory and its translation into mathematical terms are beginning to allow us to define the relationship between mechanics and biochemistry at the molecular level and to attack the larger problem of biological complexity. Part I of this two-part article covers the evidence for cellular tensegrity at the molecular level and describes how this building system may provide a structural basis for the hierarchical organization of living systems--from molecule to organism. Part II, which focuses on how these structural networks influence information processing networks, appears in the next issue.

  16. Removal of selected nitrogenous heterocyclic compounds in biologically pretreated coal gasification wastewater (BPCGW) using the catalytic ozonation process combined with the two-stage membrane bioreactor (MBR).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Hao; Han, Yuxing; Ma, Wencheng; Han, Hongjun; Ma, Weiwei

    2017-12-01

    Three identical anoxic-aerobic membrane bioreactors (MBRs) were operated in parallel for 300 consecutive days for raw (R 1 ), ozonated (R 2 ) and catalytic ozonated (R 3 ) biologically pretreated coal gasification wastewater (BPCGW) treatment. The results demonstrated that catalytic ozonation process (COP) applied asa pretreatment remarkably improved the performance of the unsatisfactory single MBR. The overall removal efficiencies of COD, NH 3 -N and TN in R 3 were 92.7%, 95.6% and 80.6%, respectively. In addition, typical nitrogenous heterocyclic compounds (NHCs) of quinoline, pyridine and indole were completely removed in the integrated process. Moreover, COP could alter sludge properties and reshape microbial community structure, thus delaying the occurrence of membrane fouling. Finally, the total cost for this integrated process was estimated to be lower than that of single MBR. The results of this study suggest that COP is a good option to enhance pollutants removal and alleviate membrane fouling in the MBR for BPCGW treatment. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Influence of the surface structure on the filtration performance of UV-modified PES membranes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kæselev, Bozena Alicja; Kingshott, P.; Jonsson, Gunnar Eigil

    2002-01-01

    chemically characterised using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and time of flight-static secondary ion mass spectrometry (TOF-static SIMS). The filtration performance of irradiated/non-modified and irradiated/modified membranes was examined in a crossflow cell, using a dextran solution. The filtration...... in relation to dextran when compared to membranes modified by AAG and AAP. This work suggests that the structure of the presence of grafted chains seems to be responsible for the observed changes to filtration performance of the modified membrane. Surface analysis supports the claim that the specific surface...

  18. Molecular Interactions at Membranes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jagalski, Vivien

    . Today, we know more than ever before about the properties of biological membranes. Advanced biophysical techniques and sophisticated membrane models allow us to answer specific questions about the structure of the components within membranes and their interactions. However, many detailed structural...... the surface-immobilization of LeuT by exchanging the detergent with natural phosphatidylcholine (PC) lipids. Various surface sensitive techniques, including neutron reflectometry (NR), are employed and finally enabled us to confirm the gross structure of LeuT in a lipid environment as predicted by molecular...... dynamic simulations. In a second study, the co-localization of three toxic plant-derived diterpene resin acids (RAs) within DPPC membranes was investigated. These compounds are reported to disrupt the membrane and increase its fluidity. The RAs used in this study vary in their toxicity while...

  19. Screening and large-scale expression of membrane proteins in mammalian cells for structural studies

    OpenAIRE

    Goehring, April; Lee, Chia-Hsueh; Wang, Kevin H.; Michel, Jennifer Carlisle; Claxton, Derek P.; Baconguis, Isabelle; Althoff, Thorsten; Fischer, Suzanne; Garcia, K. Christopher; Gouaux, Eric

    2014-01-01

    Structural, biochemical and biophysical studies of eukaryotic membrane proteins are often hampered by difficulties in over-expression of the candidate molecule. Baculovirus transduction of mammalian cells (BacMam), although a powerful method to heterologously express membrane proteins, can be cumbersome for screening and expression of multiple constructs. We therefore developed plasmid Eric Gouaux (pEG) BacMam, a vector optimized for use in screening assays, as well as for efficient productio...

  20. Structural features and dynamic investigations of the membrane-bound cytochrome P450 17A1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cui, Ying-Lu; Xue, Qiao; Zheng, Qing-Chuan; Zhang, Ji-Long; Kong, Chui-Peng; Fan, Jing-Rong; Zhang, Hong-Xing

    2015-10-01

    Cytochrome P450 (CYP) 17A1 is a dual-function monooxygenase with a critical role in the synthesis of many human steroid hormones. The enzyme is an important target for treatment of breast and prostate cancers that proliferate in response to estrogens and androgens. Despite the crystallographic structures available for CYP17A1, no membrane-bound structural features of this enzyme at atomic level are available. Accumulating evidence has indicated that the interactions between bounded CYPs and membrane could contribute to the recruitment of lipophilic substrates. To this end, we have investigated the effects on structural characteristics in the presence of the membrane for CYP17A1. The MD simulation results demonstrate a spontaneous insertion process of the enzyme to the lipid. Two predominant modes of CYP17A1 in the membrane are captured, characterized by the depths of insertion and orientations of the enzyme to the membrane surface. The measured heme tilt angles show good consistence with experimental data, thereby verifying the validity of the structural models. Moreover, conformational changes induced by the membrane might have impact on the accessibility of the active site to lipophilic substrates. The dynamics of internal aromatic gate formed by Trp220 and Phe224 are suggested to regulate tunnel opening motions. The knowledge of the membrane binding characteristics could guide future experimental and computational works on membrane-bound CYPs so that various investigations of CYPs in their natural, lipid environment rather than in artificially solubilized forms may be achieved. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Reinau, Marika Ejby; Otzen, Daniel

    2009-01-01

    the apoprotein. Escherichia coli lipid and DOPG (and to a smaller extent DOPC) increase Ffh's α-helical content, possibly related to Ffh's role in guiding membrane proteins to the membrane. Binding is largely mediated by electrostatic interactions but does not protect Ffh against trypsinolysis. We conclude...... that Ffh is a structurally flexible and dynamic protein whose stability is significantly modulated by the environment. © 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved....

  2. Molecular dynamics simulation studies of transmembrane transport of chemical components in Chinese herbs and the function of platycodin D in a biological membrane

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shufang Yang

    2017-04-01

    Conclusion: The Martini force field was successfully applied to the study of the interaction between herbal compounds and a biological membrane. By combining the dynamics equilibrium morphology, the distribution of drugs inside and outside the biomembrane, and the interaction sites of drugs on the DPPC bilayer, factors influencing transmembrane transport of drugs were elucidated and the function of platycodin D in a biological membrane was reproduced.

  3. Structure and Biological Activity of Pathogen-like Synthetic Nanomedicines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lőrincz, Orsolya; Tőke, Enikő R.; Somogyi, Eszter; Horkay, Ferenc; Chandran, Preethi; Douglas, Jack F.; Szebeni, János; Lisziewicz, Julianna

    2011-01-01

    Here we characterize the structure, stability and intracellular mode-of-action of DermaVir nanomedicine that is under clinical development for the treatment of HIV/AIDS. This nanomedicine is comprised of pathogen-like pDNA/PEIm nanoparticles (NPs) having the structure and function resembling spherical viruses that naturally evolved to deliver nucleic acids to the cells. Atomic force microscopy demonstrated spherical 100–200nm NPs with a smooth polymer surface protecting the pDNA in the core. Optical-absorption determined both the NP structural stability and biological activity relevant to their ability to escape from the endosome and release the pDNA at the nucleus. Salt, pH and temperature influence the nanomedicine shelf-life and intracellular stability. This approach facilitates the development of diverse polyplex nanomedicines where the delivered pDNA-expressed antigens induce immune responses to kill infected cells. PMID:21839051

  4. A computer simulation approach to quantify the true area and true area compressibility modulus of biological membranes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chacón, Enrique; Tarazona, Pedro; Bresme, Fernando

    2015-01-01

    We present a new computational approach to quantify the area per lipid and the area compressibility modulus of biological membranes. Our method relies on the analysis of the membrane fluctuations using our recently introduced coupled undulatory (CU) mode [Tarazona et al., J. Chem. Phys. 139, 094902 (2013)], which provides excellent estimates of the bending modulus of model membranes. Unlike the projected area, widely used in computer simulations of membranes, the CU area is thermodynamically consistent. This new area definition makes it possible to accurately estimate the area of the undulating bilayer, and the area per lipid, by excluding any contributions related to the phospholipid protrusions. We find that the area per phospholipid and the area compressibility modulus features a negligible dependence with system size, making possible their computation using truly small bilayers, involving a few hundred lipids. The area compressibility modulus obtained from the analysis of the CU area fluctuations is fully consistent with the Hooke’s law route. Unlike existing methods, our approach relies on a single simulation, and no a priori knowledge of the bending modulus is required. We illustrate our method by analyzing 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine bilayers using the coarse grained MARTINI force-field. The area per lipid and area compressibility modulus obtained with our method and the MARTINI forcefield are consistent with previous studies of these bilayers

  5. Protein-centric N-glycoproteomics analysis of membrane and plasma membrane proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Bingyun; Hood, Leroy

    2014-06-06

    The advent of proteomics technology has transformed our understanding of biological membranes. The challenges for studying membrane proteins have inspired the development of many analytical and bioanalytical tools, and the techniques of glycoproteomics have emerged as an effective means to enrich and characterize membrane and plasma-membrane proteomes. This Review summarizes the development of various glycoproteomics techniques to overcome the hurdles formed by the unique structures and behaviors of membrane proteins with a focus on N-glycoproteomics. Example contributions of N-glycoproteomics to the understanding of membrane biology are provided, and the areas that require future technical breakthroughs are discussed.

  6. Structure, function, and behaviour of computational models in systems biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knüpfer, Christian; Beckstein, Clemens; Dittrich, Peter; Le Novère, Nicolas

    2013-05-31

    Systems Biology develops computational models in order to understand biological phenomena. The increasing number and complexity of such "bio-models" necessitate computer support for the overall modelling task. Computer-aided modelling has to be based on a formal semantic description of bio-models. But, even if computational bio-models themselves are represented precisely in terms of mathematical expressions their full meaning is not yet formally specified and only described in natural language. We present a conceptual framework - the meaning facets - which can be used to rigorously specify the semantics of bio-models. A bio-model has a dual interpretation: On the one hand it is a mathematical expression which can be used in computational simulations (intrinsic meaning). On the other hand the model is related to the biological reality (extrinsic meaning). We show that in both cases this interpretation should be performed from three perspectives: the meaning of the model's components (structure), the meaning of the model's intended use (function), and the meaning of the model's dynamics (behaviour). In order to demonstrate the strengths of the meaning facets framework we apply it to two semantically related models of the cell cycle. Thereby, we make use of existing approaches for computer representation of bio-models as much as possible and sketch the missing pieces. The meaning facets framework provides a systematic in-depth approach to the semantics of bio-models. It can serve two important purposes: First, it specifies and structures the information which biologists have to take into account if they build, use and exchange models. Secondly, because it can be formalised, the framework is a solid foundation for any sort of computer support in bio-modelling. The proposed conceptual framework establishes a new methodology for modelling in Systems Biology and constitutes a basis for computer-aided collaborative research.

  7. Micro-buckling in the nanocomposite structure of biological materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, Yewang; Ji, Baohua; Hwang, Keh-Chih; Huang, Yonggang

    2012-10-01

    Nanocomposite structure, consisting of hard mineral and soft protein, is the elementary building block of biological materials, where the mineral crystals are arranged in a staggered manner in protein matrix. This special alignment of mineral is supposed to be crucial to the structural stability of the biological materials under compressive load, but the underlying mechanism is not yet clear. In this study, we performed analytical analysis on the buckling strength of the nanocomposite structure by explicitly considering the staggered alignment of the mineral crystals, as well as the coordination among the minerals during the buckling deformation. Two local buckling modes of the nanostructure were identified, i.e., the symmetric mode and anti-symmetric mode. We showed that the symmetric mode often happens at large aspect ratio and large volume fraction of mineral, while the anti-symmetric happens at small aspect ratio and small volume fraction. In addition, we showed that because of the coordination of minerals with the help of their staggered alignment, the buckling strength of these two modes approached to that of the ideally continuous fiber reinforced composites at large aspect ratio given by Rosen's model, insensitive to the existing "gap"-like flaws between mineral tips. Furthermore, we identified a mechanism of buckling mode transition from local to global buckling with increase of aspect ratio, which was attributed to the biphasic dependence of the buckling strength on the aspect ratio. That is, for small aspect ratio, the local buckling strength is smaller than that of global buckling so that it dominates the buckling behavior of the nanocomposite; for comparatively larger aspect ratio, the local buckling strength is higher than that of global buckling so that the global buckling dominates the buckling behavior. We also found that the hierarchical structure can effectively enhance the buckling strength, particularly, this structural design enables

  8. Microbial community structure characteristics associated membrane fouling in A/O-MBR system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Da-Wen; Wen, Zhi-Dan; Li, Bao; Liang, Hong

    2014-02-01

    The study demonstrated the potential relationship between microbial community structure and membrane fouling in an anoxic-oxic membrane bioreactor (A/O-MBR). The results showed that the microbial community structure in biocake was different with aerobic mixture, and the dominant populations were out of sync during the fouling process. Based on microbial community structure and metabolites analysis, the results showed that the succession of microbial community might be the leading factor to the variation of metabolites, and it might be the primary cause of membrane fouling. The rise of Shannon diversity index (H) of the microbial community in A/O-MBR went with the gradually serious membrane fouling. Pareto-Lorenz curve was used to describe the evenness of microbial distribution in A/O-MBR, and the result indicated when community evenness was low, the membrane fouling took place smoothly or slightly, otherwise, high evenness of microbial community would lead to more seriously membrane fouling. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    KAUST Repository

    Shi, Meixia

    2016-06-01

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

  10. Single-particle electron microscopy in the study of membrane protein structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Zorzi, Rita; Mi, Wei; Liao, Maofu; Walz, Thomas

    2016-02-01

    Single-particle electron microscopy (EM) provides the great advantage that protein structure can be studied without the need to grow crystals. However, due to technical limitations, this approach played only a minor role in the study of membrane protein structure. This situation has recently changed dramatically with the introduction of direct electron detection device cameras, which allow images of unprecedented quality to be recorded, also making software algorithms, such as three-dimensional classification and structure refinement, much more powerful. The enhanced potential of single-particle EM was impressively demonstrated by delivering the first long-sought atomic model of a member of the biomedically important transient receptor potential channel family. Structures of several more membrane proteins followed in short order. This review recounts the history of single-particle EM in the study of membrane proteins, describes the technical advances that now allow this approach to generate atomic models of membrane proteins and provides a brief overview of some of the membrane protein structures that have been studied by single-particle EM to date. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Japanese Society of Microscopy. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2016-01-01

    Molecular dynamics simulations have been used to investigate the influence of the valency of counter-ions on the structure of freestanding bilayer membranes of the anionic 1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoglycerol (DMPG) lipid at 310 K and 1 atm. At this temperature, the membrane is in the fluid phase with a monovalent counter-ion and in the gel phase with a divalent counter-ion. The diffusion constant of water as a function of its depth in the membrane has been determined from mean-square-displacement calculations. Also, calculated incoherent quasielastic neutron scattering functions have been compared to experimental results and used to determine an average diffusion constant for all water molecules in the system. On extrapolating the diffusion constants inferred experimentally to a temperature of 310 K, reasonable agreement with the simulations is obtained. However, the experiments do not have the sensitivity to confirm the diffusion of a small component of water bound to the lipids as found in the simulations. In addition, the orientation of the dipole moment of the water molecules has been determined as a function of their depth in the membrane. Previous indirect estimates of the electrostatic potential within phospholipid membranes imply an enormous electric field of 10 8 –10 9 V m −1 , which is likely to have great significance in controlling the conformation of translocating membrane proteins and in the transfer of ions and molecules across the membrane. We have calculated the membrane potential for DMPG bilayers and found ∼1 V (∼2 ⋅ 10 8 V m −1 ) when in the fluid phase with a monovalent counter-ion and ∼1.4 V (∼2.8 ⋅ 10 8 V m −1 ) when in the gel phase with a divalent counter-ion. The number of water molecules for a fully hydrated DMPG membrane has been estimated to be 9.7 molecules per lipid in the gel phase and 17.5 molecules in the fluid phase, considerably smaller than inferred experimentally for 1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rønnest, A. K.; Peters, G. H.; Hansen, F. Y., E-mail: flemming@kemi.dtu.dk [Department of Chemistry, Technical University of Denmark, IK 207 DTU, DK-2800 Lyngby (Denmark); Taub, H.; Miskowiec, A. [Department of Physics and Astronomy and the University of Missouri Research Reactor,University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri 65211 (United States)

    2016-04-14

    Molecular dynamics simulations have been used to investigate the influence of the valency of counter-ions on the structure of freestanding bilayer membranes of the anionic 1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoglycerol (DMPG) lipid at 310 K and 1 atm. At this temperature, the membrane is in the fluid phase with a monovalent counter-ion and in the gel phase with a divalent counter-ion. The diffusion constant of water as a function of its depth in the membrane has been determined from mean-square-displacement calculations. Also, calculated incoherent quasielastic neutron scattering functions have been compared to experimental results and used to determine an average diffusion constant for all water molecules in the system. On extrapolating the diffusion constants inferred experimentally to a temperature of 310 K, reasonable agreement with the simulations is obtained. However, the experiments do not have the sensitivity to confirm the diffusion of a small component of water bound to the lipids as found in the simulations. In addition, the orientation of the dipole moment of the water molecules has been determined as a function of their depth in the membrane. Previous indirect estimates of the electrostatic potential within phospholipid membranes imply an enormous electric field of 10{sup 8}–10{sup 9} V m{sup −1}, which is likely to have great significance in controlling the conformation of translocating membrane proteins and in the transfer of ions and molecules across the membrane. We have calculated the membrane potential for DMPG bilayers and found ∼1 V (∼2 ⋅ 10{sup 8} V m{sup −1}) when in the fluid phase with a monovalent counter-ion and ∼1.4 V (∼2.8 ⋅ 10{sup 8} V m{sup −1}) when in the gel phase with a divalent counter-ion. The number of water molecules for a fully hydrated DMPG membrane has been estimated to be 9.7 molecules per lipid in the gel phase and 17.5 molecules in the fluid phase, considerably smaller than inferred experimentally for 1

  13. Radiation effects on cell membranes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Koeteles, G.J.

    1982-01-01

    The recent developments in the field of membrane biology of eukaryotic cells result in revival of relevant radiobiological studies. The spatial relations and chemical nature of membrane components provide rather sensitive targets. Experimental data are presented concerning the effects of relatively low doses of X-irradiation and low concentration of tritiated water (HTO) on various receptor functions - concanavalin A, cationized ferritin, poliovirus - of plasma membranes of animal and human cells which point to early and temporary disturbances of the composite structures and functions of membranes. References are given to the multifold roles of radiationinduced membrane phenomena on the development and regeneration of radiation injuries. (orig.)

  14. Radiation effects on cell membranes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Koeteles, G.J.

    1982-11-01

    The recent developments in the field of membrane biology of eukaryotic cells result in revival of relevant radiobiological studies. The spatial relations and chemical nature of membrane components provide rather sensitive targets. Experimental data are presented concerning the effects of relatively low doses of X-irradiation and low concentration of tritiated water (HTO) on various receptor functions - concanavalin A, cationized ferritin, poliovirus - of plasma membranes of animal and human cells which point to early and temporary disturbances of the composite structures and functions of membranes. References are given to the multifold roles of radiationinduced membrane phenomena on the development and regeneration of radiation injuries.

  15. Exploring biological network structure with clustered random networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bansal Shweta

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Complex biological systems are often modeled as networks of interacting units. Networks of biochemical interactions among proteins, epidemiological contacts among hosts, and trophic interactions in ecosystems, to name a few, have provided useful insights into the dynamical processes that shape and traverse these systems. The degrees of nodes (numbers of interactions and the extent of clustering (the tendency for a set of three nodes to be interconnected are two of many well-studied network properties that can fundamentally shape a system. Disentangling the interdependent effects of the various network properties, however, can be difficult. Simple network models can help us quantify the structure of empirical networked systems and understand the impact of various topological properties on dynamics. Results Here we develop and implement a new Markov chain simulation algorithm to generate simple, connected random graphs that have a specified degree sequence and level of clustering, but are random in all other respects. The implementation of the algorithm (ClustRNet: Clustered Random Networks provides the generation of random graphs optimized according to a local or global, and relative or absolute measure of clustering. We compare our algorithm to other similar methods and show that ours more successfully produces desired network characteristics. Finding appropriate null models is crucial in bioinformatics research, and is often difficult, particularly for biological networks. As we demonstrate, the networks generated by ClustRNet can serve as random controls when investigating the impacts of complex network features beyond the byproduct of degree and clustering in empirical networks. Conclusion ClustRNet generates ensembles of graphs of specified edge structure and clustering. These graphs allow for systematic study of the impacts of connectivity and redundancies on network function and dynamics. This process is a key step in

  16. Identification of glycan structure alterations on cell membrane proteins in desoxyepothilone B resistant leukemia cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakano, Miyako; Saldanha, Rohit; Göbel, Anja; Kavallaris, Maria; Packer, Nicolle H

    2011-11-01

    Resistance to tubulin-binding agents used in cancer is often multifactorial and can include changes in drug accumulation and modified expression of tubulin isotypes. Glycans on cell membrane proteins play important roles in many cellular processes such as recognition and apoptosis, and this study investigated whether changes to the glycan structures on cell membrane proteins occur when cells become resistant to drugs. Specifically, we investigated the alteration of glycan structures on the cell membrane proteins of human T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (CEM) cells that were selected for resistance to desoxyepothilone B (CEM/dEpoB). The glycan profile of the cell membrane glycoproteins was obtained by sequential release of N- and O-glycans from cell membrane fraction dotted onto polyvinylidene difluoride membrane with PNGase F and β-elimination respectively. The released glycan alditols were analyzed by liquid chromatography (graphitized carbon)-electrospray ionization tandem MS. The major N-glycan on CEM cell was the core fucosylated α2-6 monosialo-biantennary structure. Resistant CEM/dEpoB cells had a significant decrease of α2-6 linked sialic acid on N-glycans. The lower α2-6 sialylation was caused by a decrease in activity of β-galactoside α2-6 sialyltransferase (ST6Gal), and decreased expression of the mRNA. It is clear that the membrane glycosylation of leukemia cells changes during acquired resistance to dEpoB drugs and that this change occurs globally on all cell membrane glycoproteins. This is the first identification of a specific glycan modification on the surface of drug resistant cells and the mechanism of this downstream effect on microtubule targeting drugs may offer a route to new interventions to overcome drug resistance.

  17. Structural valve deterioration in the Mitroflow biological heart valve prosthesis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Issa, Issa Farah; Poulsen, Steen Hvitfeldt; Waziri, Farhad

    2018-01-01

    OBJECTIVES: Concern has been raised regarding the long-term durability of the Mitroflow biological heart valve prosthesis. Our aim was to assess the incidence of structural valve degeneration (SVD) for the Mitroflow bioprosthesis in a nationwide study in Denmark including all patients alive......: A total of 173 patients were diagnosed with SVD by echocardiography. Of these, 64 (11%) patients had severe SVD and 109 (19%) patients moderate SVD. Severe SVD was associated with the age of the prosthesis and small prosthesis size [Size 21: hazard ratio (95% confidence interval, CI) 2.72 (0.97-8.56), P...

  18. Electrokinetic migration across artificial liquid membranes. New concept for rapid sample preparation of biological fluids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pedersen-Bjergaard, Stig; Rasmussen, Knut Einar

    2006-03-24

    Basic drug substances were transported across a thin artificial organic liquid membrane by the application of 300 V d.c. From a 300 microl aqueous donor compartment (containing 10 mM HCl), the drugs migrated through a 200 microm artificial liquid membrane of 2-nitrophenyl octyl ether immobilized in the pores of a polypropylene hollow fiber, and into a 30 microl aqueous acceptor solution of 10 mM HCl inside the lumen of the hollow fiber. The transport was forced by an electrical potential difference sustained over the liquid membrane, resulting in electrokinetic migration of drug substances from the donor compartment to the acceptor solution. Within 5 min of operation at 300 V, pethidine, nortriptyline, methadone, haloperidol, and loperamide were extracted with recoveries in the range 70-79%, which corresponded to enrichments in the range 7.0-7.9. The chemical composition of the organic liquid membrane strongly affected the permeability, and may serve as an efficient tool for controlling the transport selectivity. Water samples, human plasma, and human urine were successfully processed, and in light of the present report, electrokinetic migration across thin artificial liquid membranes may be an interesting tool for future isolation within chemical analysis.

  19. X-ray structure, thermodynamics, elastic properties and MD simulations of cardiolipin/dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine mixed membranes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Boscia, Alexander L.; Treece, Bradley W.; Mohammadyani, Dariush

    2014-01-01

    TMCL. Coarse grain molecular dynamics simulations confirm the experimental thickening of 2 Å for 20 mol% TMCL and locate the TMCL headgroups near the glycerol-carbonyl region of DMPC; i.e., they are sequestered below the DMPC phosphocholine headgroup. Our results suggest that TMCL plays a role similar...... to cholesterol in that it thickens and stiffens DMPC membranes, orders chains, and is positioned under the umbrella of the PC headgroup. CL may be necessary for hydrophobic matching to inner mitochondrial membrane proteins. Differential scanning calorimetry, S Xray and CGMD simulations all suggest that TMCL does......Cardiolipins (CLs) are important biologically for their unique role in biomembranes that couple phosphorylation and electron transport like bacterial plasma membranes, chromatophores, chloroplasts and mitochondria. CLs are often tightly coupled to proteins involved in oxidative phosphorylation...

  20. A Class of Rigid Linker-bearing Glucosides for Membrane Protein Structural Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sadaf, Aiman; Mortensen, Jonas S; Capaldi, Stefano; Tikhonova, Elena; Hariharan, Parameswaran; de Castro Ribeiro, Orquidea; Loland, Claus J; Guan, Lan; Byrne, Bernadette; Chae, Pil Seok

    2016-03-01

    Membrane proteins are amphipathic bio-macromolecules incompatible with the polar environments of aqueous media. Conventional detergents encapsulate the hydrophobic surfaces of membrane proteins allowing them to exist in aqueous solution. Membrane proteins stabilized by detergent micelles are used for structural and functional analysis. Despite the availability of a large number of detergents, only a few agents are sufficiently effective at maintaining the integrity of membrane proteins to allow successful crystallization. In the present study, we describe a novel class of synthetic amphiphiles with a branched tail group and a triglucoside head group. These head and tail groups were connected via an amide or ether linkage by using a tris(hydroxylmethyl)aminomethane (TRIS) or neopentyl glycol (NPG) linker to produce TRIS-derived triglucosides (TDTs) and NPG-derived triglucosides (NDTs), respectively. Members of this class conferred enhanced stability on target membrane proteins compared to conventional detergents. Because of straightforward synthesis of the novel agents and their favourable effects on a range of membrane proteins, these agents should be of wide applicability to membrane protein science.

  1. Utilization of ionizing radiation for the sterilization of membraneous connective tissue allografts. Part of a coordinated programme on radiation sterilization of medical products and biological tissues

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Triantafyllou, N.

    1978-05-01

    The work carried out, covered several aspects of radiation sterilization of membraneous allografts. In general the findings show that the sterilization of biological membranes with gamma irradiation using doses of up to 3 Mrads is a very satisfactory method for the sterilization of the material, since it does not seriously alter the biological properties of allografts. As for the changes of the mechanical properties, this is not considered to be a serious draw back, because the membraneous allografts cover surgical needs where the mechanical strength is not of paramount importance

  2. Using systems and structure biology tools to dissect cellular phenotypes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Floratos, Aris; Honig, Barry; Pe'er, Dana; Califano, Andrea

    2012-01-01

    The Center for the Multiscale Analysis of Genetic Networks (MAGNet, http://magnet.c2b2.columbia.edu) was established in 2005, with the mission of providing the biomedical research community with Structural and Systems Biology algorithms and software tools for the dissection of molecular interactions and for the interaction-based elucidation of cellular phenotypes. Over the last 7 years, MAGNet investigators have developed many novel analysis methodologies, which have led to important biological discoveries, including understanding the role of the DNA shape in protein-DNA binding specificity and the discovery of genes causally related to the presentation of malignant phenotypes, including lymphoma, glioma, and melanoma. Software tools implementing these methodologies have been broadly adopted by the research community and are made freely available through geWorkbench, the Center's integrated analysis platform. Additionally, MAGNet has been instrumental in organizing and developing key conferences and meetings focused on the emerging field of systems biology and regulatory genomics, with special focus on cancer-related research.

  3. Chitosan derivatives targeting lipid bilayers: Synthesis, biological activity and interaction with model membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martins, Danubia Batista; Nasário, Fábio Domingues; Silva-Gonçalves, Laiz Costa; de Oliveira Tiera, Vera Aparecida; Arcisio-Miranda, Manoel; Tiera, Marcio José; Dos Santos Cabrera, Marcia Perez

    2018-02-01

    The antimicrobial activity of chitosan and derivatives to human and plant pathogens represents a high-valued prospective market. Presently, two low molecular weight derivatives, endowed with hydrophobic and cationic character at different ratios were synthesized and characterized. They exhibit antimicrobial activity and increased performance in relation to the intermediate and starting compounds. However, just the derivative with higher cationic character showed cytotoxicity towards human cervical carcinoma cells. Considering cell membranes as targets, the mode of action was investigated through the interaction with model lipid vesicles mimicking bacterial, tumoral and erythrocyte membranes. Intense lytic activity and binding are demonstrated for both derivatives in anionic bilayers. The less charged compound exhibits slightly improved selectivity towards bacterial model membranes, suggesting that balancing its hydrophobic/hydrophilic character may improve efficiency. Observing the aggregation of vesicles, we hypothesize that the "charge cluster mechanism", ascribed to some antimicrobial peptides, could be applied to these chitosan derivatives. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jimin; Li, Yue; Modis, Yorgo

    2014-01-01

    The membrane anchors of viral envelope proteins play essential roles in cell entry. Recent crystal structures of the ectodomain of envelope protein E2 from a pestivirus suggest that E2 belongs to a novel structural class of membrane fusion machinery. Based on geometric constraints from the E2 structures, we generated atomic models of the E1 and E2 membrane anchors using computational approaches. The E1 anchor contains two amphipathic perimembrane helices and one transmembrane helix; the E2 anchor contains a short helical hairpin stabilized in the membrane by an arginine residue, similar to flaviviruses. A pair of histidine residues in the E2 ectodomain may participate in pH sensing. The proposed atomic models point to Cys987 in E2 as the site of disulfide bond linkage with E1 to form E1–E2 heterodimers. The membrane anchor models provide structural constraints for the disulfide bonding pattern and overall backbone conformation of the E1 ectodomain. PMID:24725935

  5. Laser-matter structuration of optical and biological materials

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hallo, L., E-mail: hallo@celia.u-bordeaux1.fr [CELIA, Universite Bordeaux 1 (France); Mezel, C., E-mail: candice.mezel@cea.fr [CELIA, Universite Bordeaux 1 (France); CEA Le Ripault, 37260 Monts (France); Guillemot, F., E-mail: fabien.guillemot@inserm.fr [UMR 577 INSERM, Universite Bordeaux 2 (France); Chimier, B., E-mail: chimier@celia.u-bordeaux1.fr [CELIA, Universite Bordeaux 1 (France); Bourgeade, A., E-mail: antoine.bourgeade@cea.fr [CEA-CESTA, Le Barp (France); Regan, C., E-mail: regan@celia.u-bordeaux1.fr [CELIA, Universite Bordeaux 1 (France); Duchateau, G., E-mail: duchateau@celia.u-bordeaux1.fr [CELIA, Universite Bordeaux 1 (France); Souquet, A., E-mail: agnes.souquet@inserm.fr [UMR 577 INSERM, Universite Bordeaux 2 (France); Hebert, D., E-mail: david.hebert@cea.fr [CEA-CESTA, Le Barp (France)

    2012-09-15

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer In this study we model nanomaterial structuring. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The laser energy deposition is discussed first. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Full and approximate models are discussed. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Dynamic material response is addressed via hydrodynamics. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Sild effects are accounted for - Abstract: Interaction of ultrafast laser, i.e. from the femtosecond (fs) to the nanosecond (ns) regime, with initially transparent matter may produce very high energy density hot spots in the bulk as well as at the material surface, depending on focusing conditions. In the fs regime, absorption is due to ionisation of the dielectric, which enables absorption process to begin, and then hydrodynamic to take place. In the ns regime both absorption and hydrodynamic are coupled to each other, which complexifies considerably the comprehension but matter structuration looks similar. A numerical tool including solution of 3D Maxwell equations and a rate equation for free electrons is first compared to some available simple models of laser energy absorption. Then, subsequent material deformation, i.e. structuration, is determined by solving hydrodynamic equations, including or not solid behaviour. We show that nature of the final structures strongly depends on the amount of deposited energy and on the shape of the absorption zone. Then we address some problems related to laser-matter structuration of optical and biological materials in the fs, ps and ns regimes.

  6. Data publication with the structural biology data grid supports live analysis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meyer, Peter A.; Socias, Stephanie; Key, Jason; Ransey, Elizabeth; Tjon, Emily C.; Buschiazzo, Alejandro; Lei, Ming; Botka, Chris; Withrow, James; Neau, David; Rajashankar, Kanagalaghatta; Anderson, Karen S.; Baxter, Richard H.; Blacklow, Stephen C.; Boggon, Titus J.; Bonvin, Alexandre M J J|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/113691238; Borek, Dominika; Brett, Tom J.; Caflisch, Amedeo; Chang, Chung I.; Chazin, Walter J.; Corbett, Kevin D.; Cosgrove, Michael S.; Crosson, Sean; Dhe-Paganon, Sirano; Di Cera, Enrico; Drennan, Catherine L.; Eck, Michael J.; Eichman, Brandt F.; Fan, Qing R.; Ferré-D'Amaré, Adrian R.; Fromme, J. Christopher; Garcia, K. Christopher; Gaudet, Rachelle; Gong, Peng; Harrison, Stephen C.; Heldwein, Ekaterina E.; Jia, Zongchao; Keenan, Robert J.; Kruse, Andrew C.; Kvansakul, Marc; McLellan, Jason S.; Modis, Yorgo; Nam, Yunsun; Otwinowski, Zbyszek; Pai, Emil F.; Pereira, Pedro José Barbosa; Petosa, Carlo; Raman, C. S.; Rapoport, Tom A.; Roll-Mecak, Antonina; Rosen, Michael K.; Rudenko, Gabby; Schlessinger, Joseph; Schwartz, Thomas U.; Shamoo, Yousif; Sondermann, Holger; Tao, Yizhi J.; Tolia, Niraj H.; Tsodikov, Oleg V.; Westover, Kenneth D.; Wu, Hao; Foster, Ian; Fraser, James S.; Maia, Filipe R N C; Gonen, Tamir; Kirchhausen, Tom; Diederichs, Kay; Crosas, Mercé; Sliz, Piotr

    2016-01-01

    Access to experimental X-ray diffraction image data is fundamental for validation and reproduction of macromolecular models and indispensable for development of structural biology processing methods. Here, we established a diffraction data publication and dissemination system, Structural Biology

  7. Tuning of Preparational Factors Affecting the Morphological Structure and Gas Separation Property of Asymmetric Polysulfone Membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuenyao, C.; Ruangdit, S.; Chittrakarn, T.

    2017-09-01

    The aim of this work was to study the effect of preparational factors such as solvent type, evaporation time (ET) and non-solvent additive, on the morphological structure, physical and gas separation properties of the prepared membrane samples by tuning of these parameters. Flat sheet asymmetric polysulfone (PSF) membranes were prepared by the dry/wet phase inversion process combined with the double coagulation bath method. The alteration of the prepared membranes were analyzed through scientific techniques such as Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) and Dynamic Mechanical Thermal Analysis (DMTA). Furthermore, gas separation performance of membrane samples was measured in term of gas permeation and ideal selectivity of CO2/CH4. Experimental results showed that the change of preparational factors affected to the gas permeation of asymmetric PSF membranes. For example, the selective layer thickness increased with increasing of ET. This lead to increase significantly of ideal selectivity of CO2/CH4. The CO2/CH4 ideal selectivity was also increased with increase of ethanol (non-solvent additive) concentration in casting solution. In summary, the tuning of preparational factors affected to morphological structure, physical and gas separation properties of PSF membranes.

  8. Structurally stable graphene oxide-based nanofiltration membranes with bioadhesive polydopamine coating

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Chongbin; Li, Zhiyuan; Chen, Jianxin; Yin, Yongheng; Wu, Hong

    2018-01-01

    Graphene oxide (GO)-based membranes possess promising potential in liquid separation for its high flux. The state-of-art GO-based membranes need to be supported by a substrate to ensure that the ultra-thin GO layer can withstand transmembrane pressure in practical applications. The interfacial compatibility of this kind of composite membrane remains a great challenge due to the intrinsic difference in chemical/physical properties between the GO sheets and the substrate. In this paper, a structurally stable GO-based composite nanofiltration membrane was fabricated by coupling the mussel-inspired adhesive platform and filtration-assisted assembly of GO laminates. The water flux for the prepared GO-based nanofiltration membrane reached up to 85 L m-2 h-1 bar-1 with a high retention above 95% and 100% for Orange G and Congo Red, respectively. The membrane exhibited highly stable structure owing to the covalent and noncovalent interactions between GO separation layer and dopamine adhesive platform.

  9. Structure, Dynamics, and Phase Behavior of DOPC/DSPC Mixture Membrane Systems: Molecular Dynamics Simulation Studies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kim, Seonghan; Chang, Rakwoo [Kwangwoon University, Seoul (Korea, Republic of)

    2016-07-15

    Full atomistic molecular dynamics simulations have been performed for model mixture bilayer membrane systems consisting of 1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DOPC) and 1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DSPC) phospholipids to understand the effects of two essential parameters such as lipid composition and temperature on the structural, dynamical, and phase behavior of mixture membrane systems. Although pure DSPC membranes are in the gel-like (L{sub β}' or P{sub β}') phase at 323 K, raising the temperature by only 10 K or replacing 20% of DSPC lipids by DOPC lipids can change the gel-like phase into the completely liquid-crystalline phase (L{sub α}). This phase change is accompanied by dramatic change in both structural properties such as area per lipid, membrane thickness, deuterium order parameter, and tail angle distribution, and dynamics properties such as mobility map. We also observe that the full width at half-maximum (FWHM) data of tail angle distribution as well as area per lipid (or membrane thickness)can be used as order parameters for the membrane phase transition.

  10. Structure, Dynamics, and Phase Behavior of DOPC/DSPC Mixture Membrane Systems: Molecular Dynamics Simulation Studies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kim, Seonghan; Chang, Rakwoo

    2016-01-01

    Full atomistic molecular dynamics simulations have been performed for model mixture bilayer membrane systems consisting of 1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DOPC) and 1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DSPC) phospholipids to understand the effects of two essential parameters such as lipid composition and temperature on the structural, dynamical, and phase behavior of mixture membrane systems. Although pure DSPC membranes are in the gel-like (L_β' or P_β') phase at 323 K, raising the temperature by only 10 K or replacing 20% of DSPC lipids by DOPC lipids can change the gel-like phase into the completely liquid-crystalline phase (L_α). This phase change is accompanied by dramatic change in both structural properties such as area per lipid, membrane thickness, deuterium order parameter, and tail angle distribution, and dynamics properties such as mobility map. We also observe that the full width at half-maximum (FWHM) data of tail angle distribution as well as area per lipid (or membrane thickness)can be used as order parameters for the membrane phase transition.

  11. Structure, Function, Self-Assembly and Origin of Simple Membrane Proteins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pohorille, Andrew

    2003-01-01

    Integral membrane proteins perform such essential cellular functions as transport of ions, nutrients and waste products across cell walls, transduction of environmental signals, regulation of cell fusion, recognition of other cells, energy capture and its conversion into high-energy compounds. In fact, 30-40% of genes in modem organisms codes for membrane proteins. Although contemporary membrane proteins or their functional assemblies can be quite complex, their transmembrane fragments are usually remarkably simple. The most common structural motif for these fragments is a bundle of alpha-helices, but occasionally it could be a beta-barrel. In a series of molecular dynamics computer simulations we investigated self-organizing properties of simple membrane proteins based on these structural motifs. Specifically, we studied folding and insertion into membranes of short, nonpolar or amphiphatic peptides. We also investigated glycophorin A, a peptide that forms sequence-specific dimers, and a transmembrane aggregate of four identical alpha-helices that forms an efficient and selective voltage-gated proton channel was investigated. Many peptides are attracted to water-membrane interfaces. Once at the interface, nonpolar peptides spontaneously fold to a-helices. Whenever the sequence permits, peptides that contain both polar and nonpolar amino also adopt helical structures, in which polar and nonpolar amino acid side chains are immersed in water and membrane, respectively. Specific identity of side chains is less important. Helical peptides at the interface could insert into the membrane and adopt a transmembrane conformation. However, insertion of a single helix is unfavorable because polar groups in the peptide become completely dehydrated upon insertion. The unfavorable free energy of insertion can be regained by spontaneous association of peptides in the membrane. The first step in this process is the formation of dimers, although the most common are aggregates of 4

  12. Modeling membrane protein structure through site-directed ESR spectroscopy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kavalenka, A.A.

    2009-01-01

    Site-directed spin labeling (SDSL) electron spin resonance (ESR) spectroscopy is a
    relatively new biophysical tool for obtaining structural information about proteins. This
    thesis presents a novel approach, based on powerful spectral analysis techniques (multicomponent
    spectral

  13. Biological augmentation of rotator cuff repair using bFGF-loaded electrospun poly(lactide-co-glycolide fibrous membranes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhao S

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Song Zhao,1,* Jingwen Zhao,3,* Shikui Dong,1 Xiaoqiao Huangfu,1 Bin Li,2,3 Huilin Yang,2,3 Jinzhong Zhao,1 Wenguo Cui2,31Department of Arthroscopic Surgery, Shanghai Jiao Tong University Affiliated Sixth People's Hospital, Shanghai, 2Orthopedic Institute, Soochow University, Suzhou, Jiangsu, 3Department of Orthopedics, The First Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University, Suzhou, Jiangsu, People's Republic of China *These authors contributed equally to this work Abstract: Clinically, rotator cuff tear (RCT is among the most common shoulder pathologies. Despite significant advances in surgical techniques, the re-tear rate after rotator cuff (RC repair remains high. Insufficient healing capacity is likely the main factor for reconstruction failure. This study reports on a basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF-loaded electrospun poly(lactide-co-glycolide (PLGA fibrous membrane for repairing RCT. Implantable biodegradable bFGF–PLGA fibrous membranes were successfully fabricated using emulsion electrospinning technology and then characterized and evaluated with in vitro and in vivo cell proliferation assays and repairs of rat chronic RCTs. Emulsion electrospinning fabricated ultrafine fibers with a core-sheath structure which secured the bioactivity of bFGF in a sustained manner for 3 weeks. Histological observations showed that electrospun fibrous membranes have excellent biocompatibility and biodegradability. At 2, 4, and 8 weeks after in vivo RCT repair surgery, electrospun fibrous membranes significantly increased the area of glycosaminoglycan staining at the tendon–bone interface compared with the control group, and bFGF–PLGA significantly improved collagen organization, as measured by birefringence under polarized light at the healing enthesis compared with the control and PLGA groups. Biomechanical testing showed that the electrospun fibrous membrane groups had a greater ultimate load-to-failure and stiffness than the control group at 4

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Justesen, Bo Højen

    The plasma membrane H+-ATPase is a proton pump essential for several physiological important processes in plants. Through the extrusion of protons from the cell, the PM H+-ATPase establishes and maintains a proton gradient used by proton coupled transporters and secondary active transport...... of nutrients and metabolites across the plasma membrane. Additional processes involving the PM H+-ATPase includes plant growth, development, and response to biotic and abiotic stresses. Extensive efforts have been made in attempts to elucidate the detailed physiological role and biochemical characteristics...... of plasma membrane H+-ATPases. Studies on the plasma membrane H+-ATPases have involved both in vivo and in vitro approaches, with the latter employing either solubilisation by detergent micelles, or reconstitution into lipid vesicles. Despite resulting in a large body of information on structure, function...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Søren B; Otzen, Daniel Erik

    2010-01-01

    We have studied the impact of an 18-residue cationic antimicrobial peptide Novicidin (Nc) on the structure and integrity of partially anionic lipid membranes using oriented circular dichroism (OCD), quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation (QCM-D), dual polarization interferometry (DPI......), calcein dye leakage and fluorescence spectroscopy. OCD consistently showed that Nc is bound in an alpha-helical, surface bound state over a range of peptide to lipid (P/L) ratios up to approximately 1:15. Realignment of Nc at higher P/L ratios correlates to loss of membrane integrity as shown by Laurdan...... concentration, probably through formation of transient pores or transient disruption of the membrane integrity, followed by more extensive membrane disintegration at higher P/L ratios....

  16. Structure and electrochemical properties of the track membranes modified by tetrafluoroethane plasma

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kravets, L.I.; Dmitriev, S.N.; Goryacheva, T.A.; Satulu, V.; Mitu, B.; Dinescu, G.

    2010-01-01

    A structure and charge transport properties of the poly(ethylene terephthalate) track membrane modified by the 1,1,1,2-tetrafluoroethane plasma have been studied. It has been found that the polymer deposition on the surface of a track membrane via the plasma polymerization of 1,1,1,2-tetrafluoroethane results in the creation of bilayered composite membranes that possess a conductivity asymmetry in electrolyte solutions - a rectification effect similar to that of p-n junction in semiconductors. This effect is caused by an important reduction of the pore diameter in the polymer layer that leads to changing the pore geometry as well as by existence of an interface between two layers with different concentrations of carboxyl groups. Information about the charge transport in the studied membranes has been obtained by the method of impedance spectroscopy

  17. Synchrotron radiation and structure biology. From the instrumentation view point

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sakabe, N.

    1996-01-01

    Structure Biology is based on a three dimensional macromolecule structures, the most of which are studied by x-ray crystal structure analysis. Synchrotron radiation X-rays are quite strong, tunable, very parallel and pico-second order bunch and are very suitable for diffraction data collection of macromolecular crystals. To collect accurate data at high resolution from large unit cell protein crystals using SR, we made screenless large Weissenberg cameras with imaging plates at the PF. 146 research projects using this data collection system were running in 1995. They include 51 projects from 11 overseas countries. Recently we have developed user-friendly type Weissenberg camera for the structure biology project of TARA (Tsukuba Advanced Research Alliance), and installed it at BL6B of the PF. Cylindrical cassette radius of this new camera is 575.7mm and two large format (400x800mm) imaging plates (IP) can be fixed into the cassette by suction from back side. However, the system is not automatic and manual tasks to be performed are heavy. Therefore an automation of the system is very urgent to maintain accuracy and resolution. We are now developing a high accuracy, high resolution and high speed automated data collection system. This fully automated system consists of a camera, an IP reader equipped with 8 reading heads, an IP eraser, and a cassette transportation mechanism. In the new system, one imaging plate is fixed inside of a movable cylindrical cassette. The cassette presenting 16 rectangular holes, direct beam injection of i.e. 1.0A X-rays would produce 8 images of data at 2.6A resolutions. As 2 cassettes can be used simultaneously on the cassette transportation system, one cassette is being read while the other one is being exposed, therefore completely removing the reading bottleneck problem. This system therefore permits to use the radiation with the maximum of efficiency, and reduce the manpower necessary for data recording. (author)

  18. Linking structural features of protein complexes and biological function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sowmya, Gopichandran; Breen, Edmond J; Ranganathan, Shoba

    2015-09-01

    Protein-protein interaction (PPI) establishes the central basis for complex cellular networks in a biological cell. Association of proteins with other proteins occurs at varying affinities, yet with a high degree of specificity. PPIs lead to diverse functionality such as catalysis, regulation, signaling, immunity, and inhibition, playing a crucial role in functional genomics. The molecular principle of such interactions is often elusive in nature. Therefore, a comprehensive analysis of known protein complexes from the Protein Data Bank (PDB) is essential for the characterization of structural interface features to determine structure-function relationship. Thus, we analyzed a nonredundant dataset of 278 heterodimer protein complexes, categorized into major functional classes, for distinguishing features. Interestingly, our analysis has identified five key features (interface area, interface polar residue abundance, hydrogen bonds, solvation free energy gain from interface formation, and binding energy) that are discriminatory among the functional classes using Kruskal-Wallis rank sum test. Significant correlations between these PPI interface features amongst functional categories are also documented. Salt bridges correlate with interface area in regulator-inhibitors (r = 0.75). These representative features have implications for the prediction of potential function of novel protein complexes. The results provide molecular insights for better understanding of PPIs and their relation to biological functions. © 2015 The Protein Society.

  19. Characterizing the structure of lipodisq nanoparticles for membrane protein spectroscopic studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Rongfu; Sahu, Indra D; Liu, Lishan; Osatuke, Anna; Comer, Raven G; Dabney-Smith, Carole; Lorigan, Gary A

    2015-01-01

    Membrane protein spectroscopic studies are challenging due to the difficulty introduced in preparing homogenous and functional hydrophobic proteins incorporated into a lipid bilayer system. Traditional membrane mimics such as micelles or liposomes have proved to be powerful in solubilizing membrane proteins for biophysical studies, however, several drawbacks have limited their applications. Recently, a nanosized complex termed lipodisq nanoparticles was utilized as an alternative membrane mimic to overcome these caveats by providing a homogeneous lipid bilayer environment. Despite all the benefits that lipodisq nanoparticles could provide to enhance the biophysical studies of membrane proteins, structural characterization in different lipid compositions that closely mimic the native membrane environment is still lacking. In this study, the formation of lipodisq nanoparticles using different weight ratios of POPC/POPG lipids to SMA polymers was characterized via solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (SSNMR) spectroscopy and dynamic light scattering (DLS). A critical weight ratio of (1/1.25) for the complete solubilization of POPC/POPG vesicles has been observed and POPC/POPG vesicles turned clear instantaneously upon the addition of the SMA polymer. The size of lipodisq nanoparticles formed from POPC/POPG lipids at this weight ratio of (1/1.25) was found to be about 30 nm in radius. We also showed that upon the complete solubilization of POPC/POPG vesicles by SMA polymers, the average size of the lipodisq nanoparticles is weight ratio dependent, when more SMA polymers were introduced, smaller lipodisq nanoparticles were obtained. The results of this study will be helpful for a variety of biophysical experiments when specific size of lipid disc is required. Further, this study will provide a proper path for researchers working on membrane proteins to obtain pertinent structure and dynamic information in a physiologically relevant membrane mimetic environment

  20. Super-resolution optical microscopy for studying membrane structure and dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sezgin, Erdinc

    2017-07-12

    Investigation of cell membrane structure and dynamics requires high spatial and temporal resolution. The spatial resolution of conventional light microscopy is limited due to the diffraction of light. However, recent developments in microscopy enabled us to access the nano-scale regime spatially, thus to elucidate the nanoscopic structures in the cellular membranes. In this review, we will explain the resolution limit, address the working principles of the most commonly used super-resolution microscopy techniques and summarise their recent applications in the biomembrane field.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Maric, Selma

    Structural studies of membrane proteins remain a great experimental challenge. Functional reconstitution into artificial carriers that mimic the native bilayer environment allows for the handling of membrane proteins in solution and enables the use of small-angle scattering techniques for fast...... and reliable structural analysis. The difficulty with this approach is that the carrier discs contribute to the measured scattering intensity in a highly non-trivial fashion, making subsequent data analysis challenging. This thesis presents the development of a specifically deuterated, stealth nanodisc system...

  2. Unconventional transport routes of soluble and membrane proteins and their role in developmental biology

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Pompa, A.; De Marchis, F.; Pallotta, M. T.; Benitez-Alfonso, Y.; Jones, A.; Schipper, K.; Moreau, K.; Žárský, Viktor; Di Sansebastiano, G. P.; Bellucci, M.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 18, č. 4 (2017), č. článku 703. E-ISSN 1422-0067 Institutional support: RVO:61389030 Keywords : Autophagy * Exosomes * Intercellular channels * Leaderless proteins * Protein secretion * Trafficking mechanisms * Unconventional secretion Subject RIV: EA - Cell Biology OBOR OECD: Developmental biology Impact factor: 3.226, year: 2016

  3. Dynamic nuclear polarization methods in solids and solutions to explore membrane proteins and membrane systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Chi-Yuan; Han, Songi

    2013-01-01

    Membrane proteins regulate vital cellular processes, including signaling, ion transport, and vesicular trafficking. Obtaining experimental access to their structures, conformational fluctuations, orientations, locations, and hydration in membrane environments, as well as the lipid membrane properties, is critical to understanding their functions. Dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP) of frozen solids can dramatically boost the sensitivity of current solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance tools to enhance access to membrane protein structures in native membrane environments. Overhauser DNP in the solution state can map out the local and site-specific hydration dynamics landscape of membrane proteins and lipid membranes, critically complementing the structural and dynamics information obtained by electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy. Here, we provide an overview of how DNP methods in solids and solutions can significantly increase our understanding of membrane protein structures, dynamics, functions, and hydration in complex biological membrane environments.

  4. Measurement and evaluation of the summer microclimate in the semi-enclosed space under a membrane structure

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    He, Jiang; Hoyano, Akira [Department of Environmental Science and Technology, Interdisciplinary Graduate School, Tokyo Institute of Technology, 4259-G5-2 Nagatsuta-cho, Midori-ku, Yokohama 226-8502 (Japan)

    2010-01-15

    This study aims to clarify the summer microclimate in membrane structure buildings with semi-outdoor spaces and develop a computational simulation tool for designing a comfortable urban environment using membrane structures. Field measurements were conducted in a membrane structure building with a semi-outdoor space during a summer period. The present paper describes analysis results of measurement data for vertical distributions of air temperature and velocity under the membrane structure on clear sunny days. The following subjects were also discussed: (1) the effect of solar transmission on the warming of air temperature by the floor under the membrane structure; (2) the temperature reduction effect of ventilation by wind; (3) evaluation of thermal comfort in the living space under the membrane structure in terms of a thermal comfort index (new standard effective temperature: SET*). In order to demonstrate the capability to improve the thermal environment in the test membrane structure building, an evaporative cooling pavement was assumed to be applied to the ground under the membrane structure. The microclimatic modifying effect of this passive cooling strategy was evaluated using a numerical simulation method of coupling computational fluid dynamics (CFD) with a 3D-CAD-based thermal simulation tool developed by the authors' research group. Simulation results show that the proposed simulation method is capable of quantifying spatial distributions of surface temperature, air temperature, air velocity and moisture in the living space under the membrane structure. The thermal comfort index (SET*) can also be estimated using these simulated results. (author)

  5. The Chemical Potential of Plasma Membrane Cholesterol: Implications for Cell Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ayuyan, Artem G; Cohen, Fredric S

    2018-02-27

    Cholesterol is abundant in plasma membranes and exhibits a variety of interactions throughout the membrane. Chemical potential accounts for thermodynamic consequences of molecular interactions, and quantifies the effective concentration (i.e., activity) of any substance participating in a process. We have developed, to our knowledge, the first method to measure cholesterol chemical potential in plasma membranes. This was accomplished by complexing methyl-β-cyclodextrin with cholesterol in an aqueous solution and equilibrating it with an organic solvent containing dissolved cholesterol. The chemical potential of cholesterol was thereby equalized in the two phases. Because cholesterol is dilute in the organic phase, here activity and concentration were equivalent. This equivalence allowed the amount of cholesterol bound to methyl-β-cyclodextrin to be converted to cholesterol chemical potential. Our method was used to determine the chemical potential of cholesterol in erythrocytes and in plasma membranes of nucleated cells in culture. For erythrocytes, the chemical potential did not vary when the concentration was below a critical value. Above this value, the chemical potential progressively increased with concentration. We used standard cancer lines to characterize cholesterol chemical potential in plasma membranes of nucleated cells. This chemical potential was significantly greater for highly metastatic breast cancer cells than for nonmetastatic breast cancer cells. Chemical potential depended on density of the cancer cells. A method to alter and fix the cholesterol chemical potential to any value (i.e., a cholesterol chemical potential clamp) was also developed. Cholesterol content did not change when cells were clamped for 24-48 h. It was found that the level of activation of the transcription factor STAT3 increased with increasing cholesterol chemical potential. The cholesterol chemical potential may regulate signaling pathways. Copyright © 2018. Published by

  6. Location and activity of ubiquinone 10 and ubiquinone analogues in model and biological membranes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cornell, B.A.; Keniry, M.A.; Post, A.; Roberston, R.N.; Weir, L.E.; Westerman, P.W.

    1987-01-01

    Deuteriated analogues of ubiquinone 10 (Q 10 ) have been dispersed with plasma membranes of Escherichia coli and with the inner membranes of beetroot mitochondria. Orientational order at various deuteriated sites was measured by solid-state deuterium nuclear magnetic resonance ( 2 H NMR). Similar measurements were made, using the compounds dispersed in dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine (DMPC) and egg yolk lecithin and dispersions prepared from the lipid extracts of beetroot mitochondria. In all cases only a single unresolved 2 H NMR spectrum (typically 1000-Hz full width at half-height) was observed at concentrations down to 0.02 mol % Q 10 per membrane lipid. This result shows that most Q 10 is in a mobile environment which is physically separate from the orientational constraints of the bilayer lipid chains. In contrast, a short-chain analog of Q 10 , in which the 10 isoprene groups have been replaced by a perdeuteriated tridecyl chain, showed 2 H NMR spectra with quadrupolar splittings typical of an ordered lipid that is intercalated into the bilayer. The NADH oxidase activity and O 2 uptake in Escherichia coli and in mitochondria were independent of which analog was incorporated into the membrane. Thus, despite the major difference in their physical association with membranes, or their lipid extracts, the electron transport function of the long- and short-chain ubiquinones is similar, suggesting that the bulk of the long-chain ubiquinone does not have a direct function in electron transporting activity. The physiologically active Q 10 may only be a small fraction of the total ubiquinone, a fraction that is below the level of detection of the present NMR equipment. However, our results do not support any model of Q 10 electron transport action that includes intercalation of the long isoprenoid chain in lipid

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberto P Stock

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

  8. Uniaxial and biaxial tensioning effects on thin membrane materials. [large space structures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinson, W. F.; Goslee, J. W.

    1980-01-01

    Thin laminated membranes are being considered for various surface applications on future large space structural systems. Some of the thin membranes would be stretched across or between structural members with the requirement that the membrane be maintained within specified limits of smoothness which would be dictated by the particular applications such as antenna reflector requirements. The multiaxial tensile force required to maintain the smoothness in the membrane needs to be determined for use in the structure design. Therefore, several types of thicknesses of thin membrane materials have been subjected to varied levels of uniaxial and biaxial tensile loads. During the biaxial tests, deviations of the material surface smoothness were measured by a noncontacting capacitance probe. Basic materials consisted of composites of vacuum deposited aluminum on Mylar and Kapton ranging in thickness from 0.00025 in (0.000635 cm) to 0.002 in (0.00508 cm). Some of the material was reinforced with Kevlar and Nomex scrim. The uniaxial tests determined the material elongation and tensile forces up to ultimate conditions. Biaxial tests indicated that a relatively smooth material surface could be achieved with tensile force of approximately 1 to 15 Newtons per centimeter, depending upon the material thickness and/or reinforcement.

  9. Shallow Boomerang-shaped Influenza Hemagglutinin G13A Mutant Structure Promotes Leaky Membrane Fusion*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lai, Alex L.; Tamm, Lukas K.

    2010-01-01

    Our previous studies showed that an angled boomerang-shaped structure of the influenza hemagglutinin (HA) fusion domain is critical for virus entry into host cells by membrane fusion. Because the acute angle of ∼105° of the wild-type fusion domain promotes efficient non-leaky membrane fusion, we asked whether different angles would still support fusion and thus facilitate virus entry. Here, we show that the G13A fusion domain mutant produces a new leaky fusion phenotype. The mutant fusion domain structure was solved by NMR spectroscopy in a lipid environment at fusion pH. The mutant adopted a boomerang structure similar to that of wild type but with a shallower kink angle of ∼150°. G13A perturbed the structure of model membranes to a lesser degree than wild type but to a greater degree than non-fusogenic fusion domain mutants. The strength of G13A binding to lipid bilayers was also intermediate between that of wild type and non-fusogenic mutants. These membrane interactions provide a clear link between structure and function of influenza fusion domains: an acute angle is required to promote clean non-leaky fusion suitable for virus entry presumably by interaction of the fusion domain with the transmembrane domain deep in the lipid bilayer. A shallower angle perturbs the bilayer of the target membrane so that it becomes leaky and unable to form a clean fusion pore. Mutants with no fixed boomerang angle interacted with bilayers weakly and did not promote any fusion or membrane perturbation. PMID:20826788

  10. Fast iodide-SAD phasing for high-throughput membrane protein structure determination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melnikov, Igor; Polovinkin, Vitaly; Kovalev, Kirill; Gushchin, Ivan; Shevtsov, Mikhail; Shevchenko, Vitaly; Mishin, Alexey; Alekseev, Alexey; Rodriguez-Valera, Francisco; Borshchevskiy, Valentin; Cherezov, Vadim; Leonard, Gordon A; Gordeliy, Valentin; Popov, Alexander

    2017-05-01

    We describe a fast, easy, and potentially universal method for the de novo solution of the crystal structures of membrane proteins via iodide-single-wavelength anomalous diffraction (I-SAD). The potential universality of the method is based on a common feature of membrane proteins-the availability at the hydrophobic-hydrophilic interface of positively charged amino acid residues with which iodide strongly interacts. We demonstrate the solution using I-SAD of four crystal structures representing different classes of membrane proteins, including a human G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR), and we show that I-SAD can be applied using data collection strategies based on either standard or serial x-ray crystallography techniques.

  11. Nano-scale structure in membranes in relation to enzyme action - computer simulation vs. experiment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Høyrup, P.; Jørgensen, Kent; Mouritsen, O.G.

    2002-01-01

    There is increasing theoretical and experimental evidence indicating that small-scale domain structure and dynamical heterogeneity develop in lipid membranes as a consequence of the the underlying phase transitions and the associated density and composition fluctuations. The relevant coherence...... lengths are in the nano-meter range. The nano-scale structure is believed to be important for controlling the activity of enzymes, specifically phospholipases, which act at bilayer membranes. We propose here a lattice-gas statistical mechanical model with appropriate dynamics to account for the non......-equilibrium action of the enzyme phospholipase A(2) which hydrolyses lipid-bilayer substrates. The resulting product molecules are assumed to induce local variations in the membrane interfacial pressure. Monte Carlo simulations of the non-equilibrium properties of the model for one-component as well as binary lipid...

  12. Physico-mechanical and structural properties of eggshell membrane gelatin- chitosan blend edible films

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mohammadi, Reza; Mohammadifar, Mohammad Amin; Rouhi, Milad

    2018-01-01

    This study investigated the physico-mechanical and structural properties of composite edible films based on eggshell membrane gelatin (G) and chitosan (Ch) (75G:25Ch, 50G:50Ch, 25G:75Ch). The results demonstrated that the addition of Ch increased elongation at break significantly (p< 0.05), but r......This study investigated the physico-mechanical and structural properties of composite edible films based on eggshell membrane gelatin (G) and chitosan (Ch) (75G:25Ch, 50G:50Ch, 25G:75Ch). The results demonstrated that the addition of Ch increased elongation at break significantly (p... interactions introduced by the addition of chitosan to eggshell membrane gelatin as new resources could improve the films’ functional properties....

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stock, Roberto; Brewer, Jonathan R.; Wagner, Kerstin

    2012-01-01

    The toxicity of Loxosceles spider venom has been attributed to a rare enzyme, sphingomyelinase D, which transforms sphingomyelin to ceramide-1-phosphate. The bases of its inflammatory and dermonecrotic activity, however, remain unclear. In this work the effects of ceramide-1-phosphate on model...... membranes were studied both by in situ generation of this lipid using a recombinant sphingomyelinase D from the spider Loxosceles laeta and by pre-mixing it with sphingomyelin and cholesterol. The systems of choice were large unilamellar vesicles for bulk studies (enzyme kinetics, fluorescence spectroscopy...... and dynamic light scattering) and giant unilamellar vesicles for fluorescence microscopy examination using a variety of fluorescent probes. The influence of membrane lateral structure on the kinetics of enzyme activity and the consequences of enzyme activity on the structure of target membranes containing...

  14. Bicelles and Other Membrane Mimics: Comparison of Structure, Properties, and Dynamics from MD Simulations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vestergaard, Mikkel; Kraft, Johan Frederik; Vosegaard, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    present molecular dynamics simulations to elucidate structural and dynamic properties of small bicelles and compare them to a large alignable bicelle, a small nanodisc, and a lipid bilayer. Properties such as lipid packing and properties related to embedding both an α-helical peptide and a transmembrane...... protein are investigated. The small bicelles are found to be very dynamic and mainly assume a prolate shape substantiating that small bicelles cannot be regarded as well-defined disclike structures. However, addition of a peptide results in an increased tendency to form disc-shaped bicelles. The small......The increased interest in studying membrane proteins has led to the development of new membrane mimics such as bicelles and nanodiscs. However, only limited knowledge is available of how these membrane mimics are affected by embedded proteins and how well they mimic a lipid bilayer. Herein, we...

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

    KAUST Repository

    Chisca, Stefan

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Structure and dynamics of cationic membrane peptides and proteins: Insights from solid-state NMR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hong, Mei; Su, Yongchao

    2011-01-01

    Many membrane peptides and protein domains contain functionally important cationic Arg and Lys residues, whose insertion into the hydrophobic interior of the lipid bilayer encounters significant energy barriers. To understand how these cationic molecules overcome the free energy barrier to insert into the lipid membrane, we have used solid-state NMR spectroscopy to determine the membrane-bound topology of these peptides. A versatile array of solid-state NMR experiments now readily yields the conformation, dynamics, orientation, depth of insertion, and site-specific protein–lipid interactions of these molecules. We summarize key findings of several Arg-rich membrane peptides, including β-sheet antimicrobial peptides, unstructured cell-penetrating peptides, and the voltage-sensing helix of voltage-gated potassium channels. Our results indicate the central role of guanidinium-phosphate and guanidinium-water interactions in dictating the structural topology of these cationic molecules in the lipid membrane, which in turn account for the mechanisms of this functionally diverse class of membrane peptides. PMID:21344534

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  18. Membrane Biophysics

    CERN Document Server

    Ashrafuzzaman, Mohammad

    2013-01-01

    Physics, mathematics and chemistry all play a vital role in understanding the true nature and functioning of biological membranes, key elements of living processes. Besides simple spectroscopic observations and electrical measurements of membranes we address in this book the phenomena of coexistence and independent existence of different membrane components using various theoretical approaches. This treatment will be helpful for readers who want to understand biological processes by applying both simple observations and fundamental scientific analysis. It provides a deep understanding of the causes and effects of processes inside membranes, and will thus eventually open new doors for high-level pharmaceutical approaches towards fighting membrane- and cell-related diseases.

  19. A lightweight, biological structure with tailored stiffness: The feather vane.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sullivan, Tarah N; Pissarenko, Andreï; Herrera, Steven A; Kisailus, David; Lubarda, Vlado A; Meyers, Marc A

    2016-09-01

    The flying feathers of birds are keratinous appendages designed for maximum performance with a minimum weight penalty. Thus, their design contains ingenious combinations of components that optimize lift, stiffness, aerodynamics, and damage resistance. This design involves two main parts: a central shaft that prescribes stiffness and lateral vanes which allows for the capture of air. Within the feather vane, barbs branch from the shaft and barbules branch from barbs, forming a flat surface which ensures lift. Microhooks at the end of barbules hold barbs tightly together, providing the close-knit, unified structure of the feather vane and enabling a repair of the structure through the reattachment of un-hooked junctions. Both the shaft and barbs are lightweight biological structures constructed of keratin using the common motif of a solid shell and cellular interior. The cellular core increases the resistance to buckling with little added weight. Here we analyze the detailed structure of the feather barb and, for the first time, explain its flexural stiffness in terms of the mechanics of asymmetric foam-filled beams subjected to bending. The results are correlated and validated with finite element modeling. We compare the flexure of single barbs as well as arrays of barbs and find that the interlocking adherence of barbs to one another enables a more robust structure due to minimized barb rotation during deflection. Thus, the flexure behavior of the feather vane can be tailored by the adhesive hooking between barbs, creating a system that mitigates damage. A simplified three-dimensional physical model for this interlocking mechanism is constructed by additive manufacturing. The exceptional architecture of the feather vane will motivate the design of bioinspired structures with tailored and unique properties ranging from adhesives to aerospace materials. Despite its importance to bird flight, literature characterizing the feather vane is extremely limited. The feather

  20. Complete flexural vibration band gaps in membrane-like lattice structures

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yu Dianlong; Liu Yaozong; Qiu Jing; Wang Gang; Zhao Honggang

    2006-01-01

    The propagation of flexural vibration in the periodical membrane-like lattice structure is studied. The band structure calculated with the plane wave expansion method indicates the existence of complete gaps. The frequency response function of a finite periodic structure is simulated with finite element method. Frequency ranges with vibration attenuation are in good agreement with the gaps found in the band structure. Much larger attenuations are found in the complete gaps comparing to those directional ones. The existence of complete flexural vibration gaps in such a lattice structure provides a new idea for vibration control of thin plates

  1. Dimensional and Structural Control of Silica Aerogel Membranes for Miniaturized Motionless Gas Pumps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Shanyu; Jiang, Bo; Maeder, Thomas; Muralt, Paul; Kim, Nayoung; Matam, Santhosh Kumar; Jeong, Eunho; Han, Yen-Lin; Koebel, Matthias M

    2015-08-26

    With growing public interest in portable electronics such as micro fuel cells, micro gas total analysis systems, and portable medical devices, the need for miniaturized air pumps with minimal electrical power consumption is on the rise. Thus, the development and downsizing of next-generation thermal transpiration gas pumps has been investigated intensively during the last decades. Such a system relies on a mesoporous membrane that generates a thermomolecular pressure gradient under the action of an applied temperature bias. However, the development of highly miniaturized active membrane materials with tailored porosity and optimized pumping performance remains a major challenge. Here we report a systematic study on the manufacturing of aerogel membranes using an optimized, minimal-shrinkage sol-gel process, leading to low thermal conductivity and high air conductance. This combination of properties results in superior performance for miniaturized thermomolecular air pump applications. The engineering of such aerogel membranes, which implies pore structure control and chemical surface modification, requires both chemical processing know-how and a detailed understanding of the influence of the material properties on the spatial flow rate density. Optimal pumping performance was found for devices with integrated membranes with a density of 0.062 g cm(-3) and an average pore size of 142.0 nm. Benchmarking of such low-density hydrophobic active aerogel membranes gave an air flow rate density of 3.85 sccm·cm(-2) at an operating temperature of 400 °C. Such a silica aerogel membrane based system has shown more than 50% higher pumping performance when compared to conventional transpiration pump membrane materials as well as the ability to withstand higher operating temperatures (up to 440 °C). This study highlights new perspectives for the development of miniaturized thermal transpiration air pumps while offering insights into the fundamentals of molecular pumping in

  2. Model Biological Membranes and Possibilities of Application of Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy for Their Characterization

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Skalová, Štěpánka; Vyskočil, V.; Barek, J.; Navrátil, Tomáš

    2018-01-01

    Roč. 30, č. 2 (2018), s. 207-219 ISSN 1040-0397 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA17-05387S; GA ČR GA17-03868S Institutional support: RVO:61388955 Keywords : Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) * Liposomes * Model membrane * Phospholipid bilayer * Planar lipid bilayer * Supported lipid bilayers * Tethered lipid bilayers Subject RIV: CG - Electrochemistry OBOR OECD: Electrochemistry (dry cells, batteries, fuel cells, corrosion metals, electrolysis) Impact factor: 2.851, year: 2016

  3. The High-Strain Rate Loading of Structural Biological Materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Proud, W. G.; Nguyen, T.-T. N.; Bo, C.; Butler, B. J.; Boddy, R. L.; Williams, A.; Masouros, S.; Brown, K. A.

    2015-10-01

    The human body can be subjected to violent acceleration as a result of explosion caused by military ordinance or accident. Blast waves cause injury and blunt trauma can be produced by violent impact of objects against the human body. The long-term clinical manifestations of blast injury can be significantly different in nature and extent to those suffering less aggressive insult. Similarly, the damage seen in lower limbs from those injured in explosion incidents is in general more severe than those falling from height. These phenomena increase the need for knowledge of the short- and long-term effect of transient mechanical loading to the biological structures of the human body. This paper gives an overview of some of the results of collaborative investigation into blast injury. The requirement for time-resolved data, appropriate mechanical modeling, materials characterization and biological effects is presented. The use of a range of loading platforms, universal testing machines, drop weights, Hopkinson bars, and bespoke traumatic injury simulators are given.

  4. Structural and Biological Assessment of Zinc Doped Hydroxyapatite Nanoparticles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristina Liana Popa

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the current research work was to study the physicochemical and biological properties of synthesized zinc doped hydroxyapatite (ZnHAp nanoparticles with Zn concentrations xZn=0 (HAp, xZn=0.07 (7ZnHAp, and xZn=0.1 (10ZnHAp for potential use in biological applications. The morphology, size, compositions, and incorporation of zinc into hydroxyapatite were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM, transmission electron microscopy (TEM, Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR, Raman scattering, and X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS. In addition, the cytotoxicity of ZnHAp nanoparticles was tested on both E. coli bacteria and human hepatocarcinoma cell line HepG2. The results showed that ZnHAp nanoparticles (HAp, 7ZnHAp, and 10ZnHAp have slightly elongated morphologies with average diameters between 25 nm and 18 nm. On the other hand, a uniform and homogeneous distribution of the constituent elements (calcium, phosphorus, zinc, and oxygen in the ZnHAp powder was noticed. Besides, FTIR and Raman analyses confirmed the proper hydroxyapatite structure of the synthesized ZnHAp nanoparticles with the signature of phosphate, carbonate, and hydroxyl groups. Moreover, it can be concluded that Zn doping at the tested concentrations is not inducing a specific prokaryote or eukaryote toxicity in HAp compounds.

  5. 2H NMR evidence for antibiotic-induced cholesterol immobilization in biological model membranes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dufourc, E.J.; Smith, I.C.

    1985-01-01

    The interaction of the polyene antibiotic filipin with membrane sterols has been studied by deuterium nuclear magnetic resonance of the molecular probes [2,2,3,4,4,6- 2 H6]cholesterol and 1-myristoyl-2-[4',4',14',14',14'- 2 H5]myristoyl-sn-glycero-3-phospho- choline. At physiological temperatures, there is evidence of filipin-induced cholesterol immobilization in the membrane. The 2 H NMR spectra of cholesterol show two domains in which ordering and dynamics are very different. In one of these, cholesterol is static on the 2 H NMR time scale, whereas in the other it undergoes rapid axially symmetric motions similar to those it exhibits in the drug-free membrane; this indicates that the jumping frequency of cholesterol between the labile and immobilized domains is less than 10(5) s -1 . The distribution of cholesterol between these two sites is temperature dependent. In contrast to cholesterol, the phospholipids sense only one type of environment, at both the top and center of the bilayer, indicating that cholesterol acts as a screen, preventing the lipids from direct interaction with the antibiotic. At low temperature, the ordering of the lipid in the presence of cholesterol does not change upon filipin addition, whereas at elevated temperatures the local ordering of both the lipid and the labile cholesterol is significantly lower than that in the absence of the drug

  6. Er:YAG delamination of immersed biological membranes using sealed flexible hollow waveguides

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sagi-Dolev, A. M.; Dror, Jacob; Inberg, Alexandra; Ferencz, J. R.; Croitoru, Nathan I.

    1996-04-01

    The radiation of Er-YAG laser ((lambda) equals 2.94 micrometer) gives selective interaction with tissues. The extinction in soft tissues is only a few micrometers and in hard tissues is of the order of hundreds of micrometers. This makes this type of laser very suitable for treatments in dentistry, orthopedy, or ophthalmology. Because the usual silica fibers are not transmitting the radiation at lambda equals 2.94 micrometer of this laser, many applications cannot be presently performed. Fused silica hollow fibers for Er-YAG radiation were developed in our laboratory and several possible applications in dentistry, orthopedy and ophthalmology were indicated. Hole opening and implantation preparation of teeth were experimented, using Er-YAG laser and hollow plastic waveguide delivery systems. Hole drilling in cow bones was demonstrated for applications in orthopedy. A new procedure of delivering Er-YAG radiation on fibrotic membranes of inner eggshell as a model of the membranes in eyes was developed employing silica hollow waveguides of 0.5 and 0.7 mm ID or a plastic waveguide of 1.0 mm ID. For this purpose waveguides with sealed distal tip were employed to enable us to approach the delivery system through liquid media near to the membrane. This experiment demonstrates the possibility of surgical applications in vitectomy in ophthalmology using Er-YAG laser and silica hollow waveguides.

  7. Data acquisition and analysis at the Structural Biology Center

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Westbrook, M.L.; Coleman, T.A.; Daly, R.T.; Pflugrath, J.W.

    1996-01-01

    The Structural Biology Center (SBC), a national user facility for macromolecular crystallography located at Argonne National Laboratory's Advanced Photon Source, is currently being built and commissioned. SBC facilities include a bending-magnet beamline, an insertion-device beamline, laboratory and office space adjacent to the beamlines, and associated instrumentation, experimental apparatus, and facilities. SBC technical facilities will support anomalous dispersion phasing experiments, data collection from microcrystals, data collection from crystals with large molecular structures and rapid data collection from multiple related crystal structures for protein engineering and drug design. The SBC Computing Systems and Software Engineering Group is tasked with developing the SBC Control System, which includes computing systems, network, and software. The emphasis of SBC Control System development has been to provide efficient and convenient beamline control, data acquisition, and data analysis for maximal facility and experimenter productivity. This paper describes the SBC Control System development, specifically data acquisition and analysis at the SBC, and the development methods used to meet this goal

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyunghwan Yoon

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Structural Diversity and Biological Activities of the Cyclodipeptides from Fungi

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaohan Wang

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Cyclodipeptides, called 2,5-diketopiperazines (2,5-DKPs, are obtained by the condensation of two amino acids. Fungi have been considered to be a rich source of novel and bioactive cyclodipeptides. This review highlights the occurrence, structures and biological activities of the fungal cyclodipeptides with the literature covered up to July 2017. A total of 635 fungal cyclodipeptides belonging to the groups of tryptophan-proline, tryptophan-tryptophan, tryptophan–Xaa, proline–Xaa, non-tryptophan–non-proline, and thio-analogs have been discussed and reviewed. They were mainly isolated from the genera of Aspergillus and Penicillium. More and more cyclodipeptides have been isolated from marine-derived and plant endophytic fungi. Some of them were screened to have cytotoxic, phytotoxic, antimicrobial, insecticidal, vasodilator, radical scavenging, antioxidant, brine shrimp lethal, antiviral, nematicidal, antituberculosis, and enzyme-inhibitory activities to show their potential applications in agriculture, medicinal, and food industry.

  10. The normative structure of mathematization in systematic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sterner, Beckett; Lidgard, Scott

    2014-06-01

    We argue that the mathematization of science should be understood as a normative activity of advocating for a particular methodology with its own criteria for evaluating good research. As a case study, we examine the mathematization of taxonomic classification in systematic biology. We show how mathematization is a normative activity by contrasting its distinctive features in numerical taxonomy in the 1960s with an earlier reform advocated by Ernst Mayr starting in the 1940s. Both Mayr and the numerical taxonomists sought to formalize the work of classification, but Mayr introduced a qualitative formalism based on human judgment for determining the taxonomic rank of populations, while the numerical taxonomists introduced a quantitative formalism based on automated procedures for computing classifications. The key contrast between Mayr and the numerical taxonomists is how they conceptualized the temporal structure of the workflow of classification, specifically where they allowed meta-level discourse about difficulties in producing the classification. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer, Axel W.; Alexander, Nathan S.; Woetzel, Nils; Karakaş, Mert; Weiner, Brian E.; Meiler, Jens

    2016-01-01

    For many membrane proteins, the determination of their topology remains a challenge for methods like X-ray crystallography and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy has evolved as an alternative technique to study structure and dynamics of membrane proteins. The present study demonstrates the feasibility of membrane protein topology determination using limited EPR distance and accessibility measurements. The BCL::MP-Fold algorithm assembles secondary structure elements (SSEs) in the membrane using a Monte Carlo Metropolis (MCM) approach. Sampled models are evaluated using knowledge-based potential functions and agreement with the EPR data and a knowledge-based energy function. Twenty-nine membrane proteins of up to 696 residues are used to test the algorithm. The protein-size-normalized root-mean-square-deviation (RMSD100) value of the most accurate model is better than 8 Å for twenty-seven, better than 6 Å for twenty-two, and better than 4 Å for fifteen out of twenty-nine proteins, demonstrating the algorithm’s ability to sample the native topology. The average enrichment could be improved from 1.3 to 2.5, showing the improved discrimination power by using EPR data. PMID:25820805

  12. Plasma-polymerized alkaline anion-exchange membrane: Synthesis and structure characterization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hu Jue; Meng Yuedong; Zhang Chengxu; Fang Shidong

    2011-01-01

    After-glow discharge plasma polymerization was developed for alkaline anion-exchange membranes synthesis using vinylbenzyl chloride as monomer. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and attenuated total reflection Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy were used to characterize the chemical structure properties of plasma-polymerized membranes. Ion-exchange capacities of quaternized poly(vinylbenzyl chloride) (QPVBC) membranes were measured to evaluate their capability of hydroxyl ion transport. A mechanism of plasma polymerization using VBC as monomer that accounts for the competitive effects of free radicals polymerization and plasma ablation in the plasma polymerization process was proposed. Our results indicate that plasma discharge power influences the contents of functional groups and the structure of the plasma polymer membranes, which attribute to the coactions of polymerization and ablation. The properties of uniform morphology, good adhesion to the substrate, high thermal stability and satisfying anion conduction level suggest the potential application of QPVBC membrane deposited at discharge power of 20 W in alkaline direct methanol fuel cells.

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

    KAUST Repository

    Pendergast, MaryTheresa M.; Mika Dorin, Rachel; Phillip, William A.; Wiesner, Ulrich; Hoek, Eric M.V.

    2013-01-01

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

  14. Assembly and structural organization of pigment-protein complexes in membranes of Rhodopseudomonas sphaeroides

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hunter, C.N.; Pennoyer, J.D.; Niederman, R.A.

    1982-01-01

    The B875 and B800-850 light-harvesting pigment-protein complexes of Rhodopseudomonas sphaeroides are characterized further by lithium dodecyl sulfate/polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis at 4 degrees C. Bacteriochlorophyll a was shown in reconstruction studies to remain complexed with its respective binding proteins during this procedure. From distributions in these gels, a quantitative description for the arrangement of the complexes is proposed. Assembly of the complexes was examined in delta-aminolevulinate-requiring mutant H-5 after a shift from high- to low-light intensity. After 10 h of delta-[ 3 H]aminolevulinate labeling, the specific radioactivity of bacteriochlorophyll in a fraction containing putative membrane invaginations reached the maximal level, while that of the mature photosynthetic membrane was at only one-third this level. This suggests that membrane invaginations are sites of preferential bacteriochlorophyll synthesis in which completed pigment-proteins exist transiently. Analysis of the 3 H distribution after electrophoretic separation further suggests that photosynthetic membranes grow mainly by addition of B800-850 to preformed membrane consisting largely of B875 and photochemical reaction centers. These results corroborate the above model for the structural organization of the light-harvesting system and indicate that the structurally and functionally discrete B800-850 pool is not completely assembled until all B875 sites for B800-850 interactions are occupied

  15. Structure and formation of egg membranes in Aedes aegypti. (L. ) (Diptera:Culicidae)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mathew, G; Rai, K S

    1975-01-01

    An ultrastructural study of mosquito ovarioles reveals that both the vitelline membrane and the endochorion are secreted by the follicular epithelium. The presecretory phase is characterized by the hypertrophy of endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi complex in the follicle cells. Synthesis of vitelline membrane precursors begins immediately after yolk protein uptake by micropinocytosis. Secretory droplets are budded off Golgi cisternae and released into the follicle cell--oocyte interface by exocytosis. The vitelline membrane first appears as dense plaques which eventually fuse to form a single homogeneous layer. Two types of secretory material are identified in the follicle cells prior to the formation of the endochorion. Golgi cisternae bud off small droplets similar in size and appearance to the precursors of the vitelline membrane. These migrate to the apical surface and accumulate between surface folds in the plasma membrane. The second type is a fibrous material formed in endoplasmic reticulum. When fully secreted, the endochorion is a 2-layered structure. The lower layer is comprised of pillar-like structures alternating with fibrous mesh-like areas. The pillars are formed by the coalescence of droplets released from Golgi, while the mesh-like areas presumably arise from the fibrous material. The outer layer is also fibrous. The follicle cells degenerate once the endochorion is laid down. endochorion is laid down.

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

    KAUST Repository

    Pendergast, MaryTheresa M.

    2013-10-01

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

  17. Micropore structure stabilization in organosilica membranes by gaseous catalyst post-treatment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dral, A. Petra; van Eck, Ernst R.H.; Winnubst, Louis; ten Elshof, Johan E.

    2018-01-01

    A post-treatment involving repeated exposure to gaseous HCl alternated with heating is demonstrated to strongly accelerate the recently reported structural evolution in organically bridged silica networks. Films, powders and membranes derived from 1,2-bis(triethoxysilyl)ethane were exposed to

  18. Solution structure and elevator mechanism of the membrane electron transporter CcdA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Yunpeng; Bushweller, John H

    2018-02-01

    Membrane oxidoreductase CcdA plays a central role in supplying reducing equivalents from the bacterial cytoplasm to the envelope. It transports electrons across the membrane using a single pair of cysteines by a mechanism that has not yet been elucidated. Here we report an NMR structure of the Thermus thermophilus CcdA (TtCcdA) in an oxidized and outward-facing state. CcdA consists of two inverted structural repeats of three transmembrane helices (2 × 3-TM). We computationally modeled and experimentally validated an inward-facing state, which suggests that CcdA uses an elevator-type movement to shuttle the reactive cysteines across the membrane. CcdA belongs to the LysE superfamily, and thus its structure may be relevant to other LysE clan transporters. Structure comparisons of CcdA, semiSWEET, Pnu, and major facilitator superfamily (MFS) transporters provide insights into membrane transporter architecture and mechanism.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haijiao Xu

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

  20. New penta-saccharide-bearing tripod amphiphiles for membrane protein structure studies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ehsan, Muhammad; Ghani, Lubna; Du, Yang

    2017-01-01

    of detergents, are available, purification and structural characterization of many membrane proteins remain challenging. In the current study, a new class of tripod amphiphiles bearing two different penta-saccharide head groups, designated TPSs, were developed and evaluated for their ability to extract...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nagy, Gergely; Kovacs, Laszlo; Unnep, Renata

    2013-01-01

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

  2. Solution Structure and Membrane Interaction of the Cytoplasmic Tail of HIV-1 gp41 Protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, R Elliot; Samal, Alexandra B; Vlach, Jiri; Saad, Jamil S

    2017-11-07

    The cytoplasmic tail of gp41 (gp41CT) remains the last HIV-1 domain with an unknown structure. It plays important roles in HIV-1 replication such as mediating envelope (Env) intracellular trafficking and incorporation into assembling virions, mechanisms of which are poorly understood. Here, we present the solution structure of gp41CT in a micellar environment and characterize its interaction with the membrane. We show that the N-terminal 45 residues are unstructured and not associated with the membrane. However, the C-terminal 105 residues form three membrane-bound amphipathic α helices with distinctive structural features such as variable degree of membrane penetration, hydrophobic and basic surfaces, clusters of aromatic residues, and a network of cation-π interactions. This work fills a major gap by providing the structure of the last segment of HIV-1 Env, which will provide insights into the mechanisms of Gag-mediated Env incorporation as well as the overall Env mobility and conformation on the virion surface. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Biophysical study of resin acid effects on phospholipid membrane structure and properties

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jagalski, Vivien; Barker, Robert; Topgaard, Daniel

    2016-01-01

    Hydrophobic resin acids (RAs) are synthesized by conifer trees as part of their defense mechanisms. One of the functions of RAs in plant defense is suggested to be the perturbation of the cellular membrane. However, there is a vast diversity of chemical structures within this class of molecules, ...

  4. Mitochondrial membranes with mono- and divalent salt: Changes induced by salt ions on structure and dynamics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pöyry, S.; Róg, T.; Karttunen, M.E.J.; Vattulainen, I.

    2009-01-01

    We employ atomistic simulations to consider how mono- (NaCl) and divalent (CaCl2) salt affects properties of inner and outer membranes of mitochondria. We find that the influence of salt on structural properties is rather minute, only weakly affecting lipid packing, conformational ordering, and

  5. Membrane proteins bind lipids selectively to modulate their structure and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laganowsky, Arthur; Reading, Eamonn; Allison, Timothy M; Ulmschneider, Martin B; Degiacomi, Matteo T; Baldwin, Andrew J; Robinson, Carol V

    2014-06-05

    Previous studies have established that the folding, structure and function of membrane proteins are influenced by their lipid environments and that lipids can bind to specific sites, for example, in potassium channels. Fundamental questions remain however regarding the extent of membrane protein selectivity towards lipids. Here we report a mass spectrometry approach designed to determine the selectivity of lipid binding to membrane protein complexes. We investigate the mechanosensitive channel of large conductance (MscL) from Mycobacterium tuberculosis and aquaporin Z (AqpZ) and the ammonia channel (AmtB) from Escherichia coli, using ion mobility mass spectrometry (IM-MS), which reports gas-phase collision cross-sections. We demonstrate that folded conformations of membrane protein complexes can exist in the gas phase. By resolving lipid-bound states, we then rank bound lipids on the basis of their ability to resist gas phase unfolding and thereby stabilize membrane protein structure. Lipids bind non-selectively and with high avidity to MscL, all imparting comparable stability; however, the highest-ranking lipid is phosphatidylinositol phosphate, in line with its proposed functional role in mechanosensation. AqpZ is also stabilized by many lipids, with cardiolipin imparting the most significant resistance to unfolding. Subsequently, through functional assays we show that cardiolipin modulates AqpZ function. Similar experiments identify AmtB as being highly selective for phosphatidylglycerol, prompting us to obtain an X-ray structure in this lipid membrane-like environment. The 2.3 Å resolution structure, when compared with others obtained without lipid bound, reveals distinct conformational changes that re-position AmtB residues to interact with the lipid bilayer. Our results demonstrate that resistance to unfolding correlates with specific lipid-binding events, enabling a distinction to be made between lipids that merely bind from those that modulate membrane

  6. Core/Shell Structured Magnetic Nanoparticles for Biological Applications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Park, Jeong Chan; Jung, Myung Hwan

    2013-01-01

    Magnetic nanoparticles have been widely used for biomedical applications, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), hyperthermia, drug delivery and cell signaling. The surface modification of the nanomaterials is required for biomedical use to give physiogical stability, surface reactivity and targeting properties. Among many approaches for the surface modification with materials, such as polymers, organic ligands and metals, one of the most attractive ways is using metals. The fabrication of metal-based, monolayer-coated magnetic nanoparticles has been intensively studied. However, the synthesis of metal-capped magnetic nanoparticles with monodispersities and controllable sizes is still challenged. Recently, gold-capped magnetic nanoparticles have been reported to increase stability and to provide biocompatibility. Magnetic nanoparticle with gold coating is an attractive system, which can be stabilized in biological conditions and readily functionalized in biological conditions and readily functionalized through well-established surface modification (Au-S) chemistry. The Au coating offers plasmonic properties to magnetic nanoparticles. This makes the magnetic/Au core/shell combinations interesting for magnetic and optical applications. Herein, the synthesis and characterization of gold capped-magnetic core structured nanomaterials with different gold sources, such as gold acetate and chloroauric acid have been reported. The core/shell nanoparticles were transferred from organic to aqueous solutions for biomedical applications. Magnetic core/shell structured nanoparticles have been prepared and transferred from organic phase to aqueous solutions. The resulting Au-coated magnetic core nanoparticles might be an attractive system for biomedical applications, which are needed both magnetic resonance imaging and optical imaging

  7. Structural remodeling and oligomerization of human cathelicidin on membranes suggest fibril-like structures as active species

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sancho-Vaello, Enea; François, Patrice; Bonetti, Eve-Julie

    2017-01-01

    Antimicrobial peptides as part of the mammalian innate immune system target and remove major bacterial pathogens, often through irreversible damage of their cellular membranes. To explore the mechanism by which the important cathelicidin peptide LL-37 of the human innate immune system interacts w...... that these supramolecular structures represent the LL-37-membrane active state. Collectively, our study provides new insights into the fascinating plasticity of LL-37 demonstrated at atomic resolution and opens the venue for LL-37-based molecules as novel antibiotics....

  8. Effect of ionizing radiations of lymphocyte membranes. Part of a coordinated programme on cell membrane probes as biological indicators in radiation accidents

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ojeda, S.F.

    1981-06-01

    A study of the effects of low doses of irradiation on membrane receptors of lymphoid cells indicated that doses as low as 10 rads induced detectable changes in the antigen receptors of cell surfaces. Lymphoid cells from mice or rabbit lymph nodes, or circulating lymphocytes from human volunteers were irradiated and studied for their ability to bind antisera against the IgG membrane receptors. The isolated lymphoid cells were x-irradiated, and tested versus non-irradiated controls. They were incubated at 37 0 C for different times, and IgG-positive cells stained by the direct or indirect immunofluorescence technique. The percentage of IgG-positive cells was reduced by low-dose irradiation, and proved dose -and temperature-dependent. The disappearance phenomenon depends on the microtubular structure, metabolic energy, and levels of C-AMP. Only the reappearance phase is temperature-dependent and not affected by the drugs tested. The phenomenon is dose-rate dependent, showing greater sensitivity at lower dose/rates. Experiments using anti-Fc and anti-Fab portions of the surface molecule, appear to confirm a partial internatlization of the surface molecule as cause (at least in rabbit cells). Similar experiments with human cells did not show a differential effect. Human T-cells and FC receptors of Mast cells did, however, indicate that these surface molecules are also modified by irradiation

  9. Different Structures of PVA Nano fibrous Membrane for Sound Absorption Application

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mohrova, J.; Kalinova, K.

    2012-01-01

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

  10. Membrane-lipid therapy: A historical perspective of membrane-targeted therapies - From lipid bilayer structure to the pathophysiological regulation of cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Escribá, Pablo V

    2017-09-01

    Our current understanding of membrane lipid composition, structure and functions has led to the investigation of their role in cell signaling, both in healthy and pathological cells. As a consequence, therapies based on the regulation of membrane lipid composition and structure have been recently developed. This novel field, known as Membrane Lipid Therapy, is growing and evolving rapidly, providing treatments that are now in use or that are being studied for their application to oncological disorders, Alzheimer's disease, spinal cord injury, stroke, diabetes, obesity, and neuropathic pain. This field has arisen from relevant discoveries on the behavior of membranes in recent decades, and it paves the way to adopt new approaches in modern pharmacology and nutrition. This innovative area will promote further investigation into membranes and the development of new therapies with molecules that target the cell membrane. Due to the prominent roles of membranes in the cells' physiology and the paucity of therapeutic approaches based on the regulation of the lipids they contain, it is expected that membrane lipid therapy will provide new treatments for numerous pathologies. The first on-purpose rationally designed molecule in this field, minerval, is currently being tested in clinical trials and it is expected to enter the market around 2020. However, it seems feasible that during the next few decades other membrane regulators will also be marketed for the treatment of human pathologies. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Membrane Lipid Therapy: Drugs Targeting Biomembranes edited by Pablo V. Escribá. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  11. Conceptual model study using origami for membrane space structures : a perspective of origami-based engineering

    OpenAIRE

    NATORI, M. C.; SAKAMOTO, Hiraku; KATSUMATA, Nobuhisa; YAMAKAWA, Hiroshi; KISHIMOTO, Naoko

    2015-01-01

    This paper discusses what has been found and what will be found using conceptual “origami” models to develop deployable space structures. The study covers the following: (i) one-dimensional structural elements, which are axially buckled inflatable tubes; (ii) two-dimensional elements, which are deployable membranes, such as solar arrays and solar sails; and (iii) deployable elements in nature. The study clarifies what design considerations are necessary to adapt the basic concepts to actual s...

  12. Helium Ion Microscopy of proton exchange membrane fuel cell electrode structures

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chiriaev, Serguei; Dam Madsen, Nis; Rubahn, Horst-Günter

    2017-01-01

    electrode interface structure dependence on ionomer content, systematically studied by Helium Ion Microscopy (HIM). A special focus was on acquiring high resolution images of the electrode structure and avoiding interface damage from irradiation and tedious sample preparation. HIM demonstrated its....... In the hot-pressed electrodes, we found more closed contact between the electrode components, reduced particle size, polymer coalescence and formation of nano-sized polymer fiber architecture between the particles. Keywords: proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs); Helium Ion Microscopy (HIM...

  13. Structures of human folate receptors reveal biological trafficking states and diversity in folate and antifolate recognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wibowo, Ardian S; Singh, Mirage; Reeder, Kristen M; Carter, Joshua J; Kovach, Alexander R; Meng, Wuyi; Ratnam, Manohar; Zhang, Faming; Dann, Charles E

    2013-09-17

    Antifolates, folate analogs that inhibit vitamin B9 (folic acid)-using cellular enzymes, have been used over several decades for the treatment of cancer and inflammatory diseases. Cellular uptake of the antifolates in clinical use occurs primarily via widely expressed facilitative membrane transporters. More recently, human folate receptors (FRs), high affinity receptors that transport folate via endocytosis, have been proposed as targets for the specific delivery of new classes of antifolates or folate conjugates to tumors or sites of inflammation. The development of specific, FR-targeted antifolates would be accelerated if additional biophysical data, particularly structural models of the receptors, were available. Here we describe six distinct crystallographic models that provide insight into biological trafficking of FRs and distinct binding modes of folate and antifolates to these receptors. From comparison of the structures, we delineate discrete structural conformations representative of key stages in the endocytic trafficking of FRs and propose models for pH-dependent conformational changes. Additionally, we describe the molecular details of human FR in complex with three clinically prevalent antifolates, pemetrexed (also Alimta), aminopterin, and methotrexate. On the whole, our data form the basis for rapid design and implementation of unique, FR-targeted, folate-based drugs for the treatment of cancer and inflammatory diseases.

  14. Using the Cambridge structure database of organic and organometalic compounds in structure biology

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hašek, Jindřich

    2010-01-01

    Roč. 17, 1a (2010), b24-b26 ISSN 1211-5894. [Discussions in Structural Molecular Biology /8./. Nové Hrady, 18.03.2010-20.03.2010] R&D Projects: GA AV ČR IAA500500701; GA ČR GA305/07/1073 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z40500505 Keywords : organic chemistry * Cambridge Structure Data base * molecular structure Subject RIV: CD - Macromolecular Chemistry http://xray.cz/ms/bul2010-1a/friday2.pdf

  15. Fouling in Membrane Distillation, Osmotic Distillation and Osmotic Membrane Distillation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mourad Laqbaqbi

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Various membrane separation processes are being used for seawater desalination and treatment of wastewaters in order to deal with the worldwide water shortage problem. Different types of membranes of distinct morphologies, structures and physico-chemical characteristics are employed. Among the considered membrane technologies, membrane distillation (MD, osmotic distillation (OD and osmotic membrane distillation (OMD use porous and hydrophobic membranes for production of distilled water and/or concentration of wastewaters for recovery and recycling of valuable compounds. However, the efficiency of these technologies is hampered by fouling phenomena. This refers to the accumulation of organic/inorganic deposits including biological matter on the membrane surface and/or in the membrane pores. Fouling in MD, OD and OMD differs from that observed in electric and pressure-driven membrane processes such electrodialysis (ED, membrane capacitive deionization (MCD, reverse osmosis (RO, nanofiltration (NF, ultrafiltration (UF, microfiltration (MF, etc. Other than pore blockage, fouling in MD, OD and OMD increases the risk of membrane pores wetting and reduces therefore the quantity and quality of the produced water or the concentration efficiency of the process. This review deals with the observed fouling phenomena in MD, OD and OMD. It highlights different detected fouling types (organic fouling, inorganic fouling and biofouling, fouling characterization techniques as well as various methods of fouling reduction including pretreatment, membrane modification, membrane cleaning and antiscalants application.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kravets, L.I.; Dmitriev, S.N.; Apel, P.Y.

    1999-01-01

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

  17. Vestigial Biological Structures: A Classroom-Applicable Test of Creationist Hypotheses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Senter, Phil; Ambrocio, Zenis; Andrade, Julia B.; Foust, Katanya K.; Gaston, Jasmine E.; Lewis, Ryshonda P.; Liniewski, Rachel M.; Ragin, Bobby A.; Robinson, Khanna L.; Stanley, Shane G.

    2015-01-01

    Lists of vestigial biological structures in biology textbooks are so short that some young-Earth creationist authors claim that scientists have lost confidence in the existence of vestigial structures and can no longer identify any verifiable ones. We tested these hypotheses with a method that is easily adapted to biology classes. We used online…

  18. The Effect of Knowledge Linking Levels in Biology Lessons upon Students' Knowledge Structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wadouh, Julia; Liu, Ning; Sandmann, Angela; Neuhaus, Birgit J.

    2014-01-01

    Knowledge structure is an important aspect for defining students' competency in biology learning, but how knowledge structure is influenced by the teaching process in naturalistic biology classroom settings has scarcely been empirically investigated. In this study, 49 biology lessons in the teaching unit "blood and circulatory system" in…

  19. The Learning of Biology: A Structural Basis for Future Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, Darrel L.

    1977-01-01

    This article reviews recent research studies and experiences relating the learning theories of Ausubel to biology instruction. Also some suggestions are made for future research on the learning of biology. (MR)

  20. Heterogeneous structure and its effect on properties and electrochemical behavior of ion-exchange membrane

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ariono, D.; Khoiruddin; Subagjo; Wenten, I. G.

    2017-02-01

    Generally, commercially available ion-exchange membrane (IEM) can be classified into homogeneous and heterogeneous membranes. The classification is based on degree of heterogeneity in membrane structure. It is well known that the heterogeneity greatly affects the properties of IEM, such as conductivity, permselectivity, chemical and mechanical stability. The heterogeneity also influences ionic and electrical current transfer behavior of IEM-based processes during their operation. Therefore, understanding the role of heterogeneity in IEM properties is important to provide preliminary information on their operability and applicability. In this paper, the heterogeneity and its effect on IEM properties are reviewed. Some models for describing the heterogeneity of IEM and methods for characterizing the degree of heterogeneity are discussed. In addition, the influence of heterogeneity on the performance of IEM-based processes and their electrochemical behavior are described.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rønnest, A. K.; Peters, Günther H.J.; Hansen, Flemming Yssing

    2016-01-01

    Molecular dynamics simulations have been used to investigate the influence of the valency of counter-ions on the structure of freestanding bilayer membranes of the anionic 1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoglycerol (DMPG) lipid at 310 K and 1 atm. At this temperature, the membrane is in the fluid...... compared to experimental results and used to determine an average diffusion constant for all water molecules in the system. On extrapolating the diffusion constants inferred experimentally to a temperature of 310 K, reasonable agreement with the simulations is obtained. However, the experiments do not have...... the sensitivity to confirm the diffusion of a small component of water bound to the lipids as found in the simulations. In addition, the orientation of the dipole moment of the water molecules has been determined as a function of their depth in the membrane. Previous indirect estimates of the electrostatic...

  2. In silico local structure approach: a case study on outer membrane proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Juliette; de Brevern, Alexandre G; Camproux, Anne-Claude

    2008-04-01

    The detection of Outer Membrane Proteins (OMP) in whole genomes is an actual question, their sequence characteristics have thus been intensively studied. This class of protein displays a common beta-barrel architecture, formed by adjacent antiparallel strands. However, due to the lack of available structures, few structural studies have been made on this class of proteins. Here we propose a novel OMP local structure investigation, based on a structural alphabet approach, i.e., the decomposition of 3D structures using a library of four-residue protein fragments. The optimal decomposition of structures using hidden Markov model results in a specific structural alphabet of 20 fragments, six of them dedicated to the decomposition of beta-strands. This optimal alphabet, called SA20-OMP, is analyzed in details, in terms of local structures and transitions between fragments. It highlights a particular and strong organization of beta-strands as series of regular canonical structural fragments. The comparison with alphabets learned on globular structures indicates that the internal organization of OMP structures is more constrained than in globular structures. The analysis of OMP structures using SA20-OMP reveals some recurrent structural patterns. The preferred location of fragments in the distinct regions of the membrane is investigated. The study of pairwise specificity of fragments reveals that some contacts between structural fragments in beta-sheets are clearly favored whereas others are avoided. This contact specificity is stronger in OMP than in globular structures. Moreover, SA20-OMP also captured sequential information. This can be integrated in a scoring function for structural model ranking with very promising results. (c) 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  3. Applications of Amniotic Membrane and Fluid in Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kerry Rennie

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The amniotic membrane (AM and amniotic fluid (AF have a long history of use in surgical and prenatal diagnostic applications, respectively. In addition, the discovery of cell populations in AM and AF which are widely accessible, nontumorigenic and capable of differentiating into a variety of cell types has stimulated a flurry of research aimed at characterizing the cells and evaluating their potential utility in regenerative medicine. While a major focus of research has been the use of amniotic membrane and fluid in tissue engineering and cell replacement, AM- and AF-derived cells may also have capabilities in protecting and stimulating the repair of injured tissues via paracrine actions, and acting as vectors for biodelivery of exogenous factors to treat injury and diseases. Much progress has been made since the discovery of AM and AF cells with stem cell characteristics nearly a decade ago, but there remain a number of problematic issues stemming from the inherent heterogeneity of these cells as well as inconsistencies in isolation and culturing methods which must be addressed to advance the field towards the development of cell-based therapies. Here, we provide an overview of the recent progress and future perspectives in the use of AM- and AF-derived cells for therapeutic applications.

  4. Intramolecular energy transfer at donor-acceptor interactions in model and biological membranes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Umarova, Fatima T.

    2011-01-01

    Intramolecular triplet-triplet energy transfer between molecules of sensibilisator and photochrome for registration of protein interactions in the membrane preparation of Na,K-ATPase was investigated. Erythrosinithiocyanate (ERITC) was used as the triplet label of sensibilisator, and 4-acetoamido-4 -isothiocyanatostilbene-2,2 disullfonic acid (SITS) was used as the photochrome label. Na,K-ATPase preparations were covalently bound with ERITC in active centre of enzyme, and SITS molecules were covalently bound by NH2-groups. In model system, in chymotrypsinogene molecule, SITS and ERITC labels were used also. The cis-trans-isomerization of SITS was initiated by triplet-triplet energy transfer from light excited ERITC molecule to photochrome. The kinetics of isomerization was recorded by the SITS fluorescence measurements. The constant of rate of triplet-triplet energy transfer from ERITC to cis-isomers of SITS in Na,K-ATPase was determined as (3-7)x10 3 M -1 s -1 , and in model system it equals 1x 10 7 M 1 s -1 . The value of energy transfer between loos molecules of erythrosine and SITS in buffer solution equaled to 7x10 7 M -1 s -1 . This drop of R m y in the membrane preparation of Na,K-ATPase at 10 4 reflected the decrease in the frequency of label collisions caused by the increase in the media viscosity and steric hindrances. (author)

  5. Synthetic Biology Tools for the Membrane – Targeted Localisation and Elucidation of Protein Interactions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wendel, Sofie; Seppala, Susanna; Nørholm, Morten

    2014-01-01

    To meet the need for new, green production scenarios, development of biological cell factories is becoming increasingly important. In order for cell factories to compete with traditional production means, it is essential to expand the available toolbox. We are developing tools for the E. coli cel...

  6. From structure of the complex to understanding of the biology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rossmann, Michael G., E-mail: mr@purdue.edu [Department of Biological Sciences, Purdue University, 915 West State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2054 (United States); Arisaka, Fumio [Graduate School and School of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Tokyo Institute of Technology, 5249 Nagatsuta-cho, Yokohama 226-8501-B39 (Japan); Battisti, Anthony J.; Bowman, Valorie D.; Chipman, Paul R.; Fokine, Andrei; Hafenstein, Susan [Department of Biological Sciences, Purdue University, 915 West State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2054 (United States); Kanamaru, Shuji [Department of Biological Sciences, Purdue University, 915 West State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2054 (United States); Graduate School and School of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Tokyo Institute of Technology, 5249 Nagatsuta-cho, Yokohama 226-8501-B39 (Japan); Kostyuchenko, Victor A. [Department of Biological Sciences, Purdue University, 915 West State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2054 (United States); Mesyanzhinov, Vadim V.; Shneider, Mikhail M. [Laboratory of Molecular Bioengineering, Shemyakin-Ovchinnikov Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, 16/10 Miklukho-Maklaya Street, Moscow, 117997 (Russian Federation); Morais, Marc C.; Leiman, Petr G. [Department of Biological Sciences, Purdue University, 915 West State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2054 (United States); Palermo, Laura M.; Parrish, Colin R. [James A. Baker Institute, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853 (United States); Xiao, Chuan [Department of Biological Sciences, Purdue University, 915 West State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2054 (United States)

    2007-01-01

    The most extensive structural information on viruses relates to apparently icosahedral virions and is based on X-ray crystallography and on cryo-electron microscopy single-particle reconstructions. This paper concerns itself with the study of the macromolecular complexes that constitute viruses, using structural hybrid techniques. The most extensive structural information on viruses relates to apparently icosahedral virions and is based on X-ray crystallography and on cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) single-particle reconstructions. Both techniques lean heavily on imposing icosahedral symmetry, thereby obscuring any deviation from the assumed symmetry. However, tailed bacteriophages have icosahedral or prolate icosahedral heads that have one obvious unique vertex where the genome can enter for DNA packaging and exit when infecting a host cell. The presence of the tail allows cryo-EM reconstructions in which the special vertex is used to orient the head in a unique manner. Some very large dsDNA icosahedral viruses also develop special vertices thought to be required for infecting host cells. Similarly, preliminary cryo-EM data for the small ssDNA canine parvovirus complexed with receptor suggests that these viruses, previously considered to be accurately icosahedral, might have some asymmetric properties that generate one preferred receptor-binding site on the viral surface. Comparisons are made between rhinoviruses that bind receptor molecules uniformly to all 60 equivalent binding sites, canine parvovirus, which appears to have a preferred receptor-binding site, and bacteriophage T4, which gains major biological advantages on account of its unique vertex and tail organelle.

  7. From structure of the complex to understanding of the biology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rossmann, Michael G.; Arisaka, Fumio; Battisti, Anthony J.; Bowman, Valorie D.; Chipman, Paul R.; Fokine, Andrei; Hafenstein, Susan; Kanamaru, Shuji; Kostyuchenko, Victor A.; Mesyanzhinov, Vadim V.; Shneider, Mikhail M.; Morais, Marc C.; Leiman, Petr G.; Palermo, Laura M.; Parrish, Colin R.; Xiao, Chuan

    2007-01-01

    The most extensive structural information on viruses relates to apparently icosahedral virions and is based on X-ray crystallography and on cryo-electron microscopy single-particle reconstructions. This paper concerns itself with the study of the macromolecular complexes that constitute viruses, using structural hybrid techniques. The most extensive structural information on viruses relates to apparently icosahedral virions and is based on X-ray crystallography and on cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) single-particle reconstructions. Both techniques lean heavily on imposing icosahedral symmetry, thereby obscuring any deviation from the assumed symmetry. However, tailed bacteriophages have icosahedral or prolate icosahedral heads that have one obvious unique vertex where the genome can enter for DNA packaging and exit when infecting a host cell. The presence of the tail allows cryo-EM reconstructions in which the special vertex is used to orient the head in a unique manner. Some very large dsDNA icosahedral viruses also develop special vertices thought to be required for infecting host cells. Similarly, preliminary cryo-EM data for the small ssDNA canine parvovirus complexed with receptor suggests that these viruses, previously considered to be accurately icosahedral, might have some asymmetric properties that generate one preferred receptor-binding site on the viral surface. Comparisons are made between rhinoviruses that bind receptor molecules uniformly to all 60 equivalent binding sites, canine parvovirus, which appears to have a preferred receptor-binding site, and bacteriophage T4, which gains major biological advantages on account of its unique vertex and tail organelle

  8. Polyphenols from Bee Pollen: Structure, Absorption, Metabolism and Biological Activity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Rzepecka-Stojko

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Bee pollen constitutes a natural source of antioxidants such as phenolic acids and flavonoids, which are responsible for its biological activity. Research has indicated the correlation between dietary polyphenols and cardioprotective, hepatoprotective, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anticancerogenic, immunostimulating, antianaemic effects, as well as their beneficial influence on osseous tissue. The beneficial effects of bee pollen on health result from the presence of phenolic acids and flavonoids which possess anti-inflammatory properties, phytosterol and linolenic acid which play an anticancerogenic role, and polysaccharides which stimulate immunological activity. Polyphenols are absorbed in the alimentary tract, metabolised by CYP450 enzymes, and excreted with urine and faeces. Flavonoids and phenolic acids are characterised by high antioxidative potential, which is closely related to their chemical structure. The high antioxidant potential of phenolic acids is due to the presence and location of hydroxyl groups, a carboxyl group in the immediate vicinity of ortho-diphenolic substituents, and the ethylene group between the phenyl ring and the carboxyl group. As regards flavonoids, essential structural elements are hydroxyl groups at the C5 and C7 positions in the A ring, and at the C3′ and C4′ positions in the B ring, and a hydroxyl group at the C3 position in the C ring. Furthermore, both, the double bond between C2 and C3, and a ketone group at the C4 position in the C ring enhance the antioxidative potential of these compounds. Polyphenols have an ideal chemical structure for scavenging free radicals and for creating chelates with metal ions, which makes them effective antioxidants in vivo.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seruni K.U. Freisleben

    2011-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geise, Geoffrey

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

  11. Adhesion structures and their cytoskeleton-membrane interactions at podosomes of osteoclasts in culture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akisaka, Toshitaka; Yoshida, Hisaho; Suzuki, Reiko; Takama, Keiko

    2008-03-01

    The organization of the cytoskeleton in the podosomes of osteoclasts was studied by use of cell shearing, rotary replication, and fluorescence cytochemical techniques. After shearing, clathrin plaques and particles associated with the cytoskeleton were left behind on the exposed cytoplasmic side of the membrane. The cytoskeleton of the podosomes was characterized by two types of actin filaments: relatively long filaments in the portion surrounding the podosome core, and highly branched short filaments in the core. Individual actin filaments radiating from the podosomes interacted with several membrane particles along the length of the filaments. Many lateral contacts with the membrane surface by the particles were made along the length of individual actin filaments. The polarity of actin filaments in podosomes became oriented such that their barbed ends were directed toward the core of podosomes. The actin cytoskeletons terminated or branched at the podosomes, where the membrane tightly adhered to the substratum. Microtubules were not usually present in the podosome structures; however, certain microtubules appeared to be morphologically in direct contact with the podosome core. Most of the larger clathrin plaques consisted of flat sheets of clathrin lattices that interconnected neighboring clathrin lattices to form an extensive clathrin area. However, the small deeply invaginated clathrin plaques and the podosomal cytoskeleton were located close together. Thus, the clathrin plaques on the ventral membrane of osteoclasts might be involved in both cell adhesion and the formation of receptor-ligand complexes, i.e., endocytosis.

  12. Effect of Processing Parameters on Pore Structure and Thickness of Anodic Aluminum Oxide (AAO) Tubular Membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belwalkar, A.; Grasing, E.; Huang, Z.; Misiolek, W.Z.

    2008-01-01

    Nanoporous anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) tubular membranes were fabricated from aluminum alloy tubes in sulfuric and oxalic acid electrolytes using a two-step anodization process. The membranes were investigated for characteristics such as pore size, interpore distance and thickness by varying applied voltage and electrolyte concentration. Morphology of the membranes was examined using light optical and scanning electron microscopy and characterized using ImageJ software. Results showed that membranes having narrow pore size and uniform pore distribution with parallel channel arrays were obtained. The pore sizes were ranging from 14 to 24 nm and the wall thicknesses as high as 76 µm. It was found that the pore size increased in direct proportion with the applied voltage and inversely with the electrolyte concentration while the interpore distance increased linearly with the applied voltage. It was also observed that increase in acid concentration increased tubular membrane wall thickness that improved mechanical handling. By using anodic alumina technology, robust ceramic tubes with uniformly distributed pore-structure and parallel nano-channels of lengths and sizes practical for industrial applications were reliably produced in quantity. PMID:19578471

  13. Effect of Processing Parameters on Pore Structure and Thickness of Anodic Aluminum Oxide (AAO) Tubular Membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belwalkar, A; Grasing, E; Van Geertruyden, W; Huang, Z; Misiolek, W Z

    2008-07-01

    Nanoporous anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) tubular membranes were fabricated from aluminum alloy tubes in sulfuric and oxalic acid electrolytes using a two-step anodization process. The membranes were investigated for characteristics such as pore size, interpore distance and thickness by varying applied voltage and electrolyte concentration. Morphology of the membranes was examined using light optical and scanning electron microscopy and characterized using ImageJ software. Results showed that membranes having narrow pore size and uniform pore distribution with parallel channel arrays were obtained. The pore sizes were ranging from 14 to 24 nm and the wall thicknesses as high as 76 microm. It was found that the pore size increased in direct proportion with the applied voltage and inversely with the electrolyte concentration while the interpore distance increased linearly with the applied voltage. It was also observed that increase in acid concentration increased tubular membrane wall thickness that improved mechanical handling. By using anodic alumina technology, robust ceramic tubes with uniformly distributed pore-structure and parallel nano-channels of lengths and sizes practical for industrial applications were reliably produced in quantity.

  14. Physical degradation of membrane electrode assemblies undergoing freeze/thaw cycling: Micro-structure effects

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kim, S. [Fuel Cell Dynamics and Diagnostics Laboratory, Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802 (United States); Research and Development Division, Hyundai Motor Company, Yongin 446-912 (Korea); Mench, M.M. [Fuel Cell Dynamics and Diagnostics Laboratory, Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802 (United States)

    2007-11-22

    The objective of this work is to investigate physical damage of polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) materials subjected to freeze/thaw cycling. Effects of membrane electrode assembly micro-structures (catalyst layer cracking, membrane thickness, and membrane reinforcement) and diffusion media with micro-porous layers were analyzed by comparing scanning electron microscopy images of freeze/thaw cycled samples (-40 C/70 C) with those of virgin material and thermal cycled samples without freezing (5 C/70 C). Ex situ testing performed in this study has revealed a strong direction for the material choices in the PEFC and confirmed the previous computational model in the literature [S. He, M.M. Mench, J. Electrochem. Soc., 153 (2006) A1724-A1731; S. He, S.H. Kim, M.M. Mench, J. Electrochem. Soc., in press]. Specifically, the membrane electrode assemblies were found to be a source of water that can damage the catalyst layers under freeze/thaw conditions. Damage was found to occur almost exclusively under the channel, and not under the land (the graphite that touches the diffusion media). Conceptually, the best material to mitigate freeze-damage is a crack free virgin catalyst layer on a reinforced membrane that is as thin as possible, protected by a stiff diffusion media. (author)

  15. Engineering lipid structure for recognition of the liquid ordered membrane phase

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bordovsky, Stefan S.; Wong, Christopher S.; Bachand, George D.; Stachowiak, Jeanne C.; Sasaki, Darryl Y.

    2016-01-01

    The selective partitioning of lipid components in phase-separated membranes is essential for domain formation involved in cellular processes. Identifying and tracking the movement of lipids in cellular systems would be improved if we understood how to achieve selective affinity between fluorophore-labeled lipids and membrane assemblies. Furthermore, we investigated the structure and chemistry of membrane lipids to evaluate lipid designs that partition to the liquid ordered (L_o) phase. A range of fluorophores at the headgroup position and lengths of PEG spacer between the lipid backbone and fluorophore were examined. On a lipid body with saturated palmityl or palmitoyl tails, we found that although the lipid tails can direct selective partitioning to the L_o phase through favorable packing interactions, headgroup hydrophobicity can override the partitioning behavior and direct the lipid to the disordered membrane phase (L_d). The PEG spacer can serve as a buffer to mute headgroup–membrane interactions and thus improve L_o phase partitioning, but its effect is limited with strongly hydrophobic fluorophore headgroups. We present a series of lipid designs leading to the development of novel fluorescently labeled lipids with selective affinity for the L_o phase.

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

    KAUST Repository

    Xue, Zheng

    2014-07-15

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

  17. Self-ordered, controlled structure nanoporous membranes using constant current anodization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Kwan; Tang, Yun; Ouyang, Min

    2008-12-01

    We report a constant current (CC) based anodization technique to fabricate and control structure of mechanically stable anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) membranes with a long-range ordered hexagonal nanopore pattern. For the first time we show that interpore distance (Dint) of a self-ordered nanopore feature can be continuously tuned over a broad range with CC anodization and is uniquely defined by the conductivity of sulfuric acid as electrolyte. We further demonstrate that this technique can offer new degrees of freedom for engineering planar nanopore structures by fine tailoring the CC based anodization process. Our results not only facilitate further understanding of self-ordering mechanism of alumina membranes but also provide a fast, simple (without requirement of prepatterning or preoxide layer), and flexible methodology for controlling complex nanoporous structures, thus offering promising practical applications in nanotechnology.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Puntheeranurak, Theeraporn; Stroh, Cordula; Zhu Rong; Angsuthanasombat, Chanan; Hinterdorfer, Peter

    2005-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Axford, Danny; Foadi, James; Hu, Nien-Jen; Choudhury, Hassanul Ghani; Iwata, So; Beis, Konstantinos; Evans, Gwyndaf; Alguel, Yilmaz

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-05-14

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neha Jain

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

  2. Lanthanide metal complex-based membrane electrodes for sensing of biological amino alcohols

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mahajan, Rakesh Kumar; Kaur, Ravneet; Shinoda, Satoshi; Tsukube, Hiroshi

    2008-01-01

    Electrodes selective for amino alcohols were prepared by incorporating lanthanide tris(β-diketonates) in PVC membranes, which formed 1:1 highly coordinated complexes with amino alcohols. Several electrodes gave near-Nernstian slopes for 2-amino-3-methyl-1-butanol in the linear concentration range of 1.0 x 10 -1 to 1.0 x 10 -3 M, while the low detection limits of these electrodes were order of ∼10 -4 M. Although the observed response profiles were significantly dependent on the natures of the targeted amino alcohols, the electrodes exhibited stable potentiometric signals in the pH range of 6-12 in short time period of 20 s. The related monoalcohol, diol, and zwitterionic amino acid substrates gave no response, indicating that the present type of lanthanide tris(β-diketonates) were applicable in potentiometric sensing of amino alcohols

  3. Study of the aerobic biological treatment of slaughterhouse wastewater by membrane process

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ben yahmed, Nesrine

    2011-01-01

    The objective of this work is to study the performance of aerobic treatment of slaughterhouse wastewater by a side-stream membrane bioreactor (MBR) with semi-frontal filtration and to evaluate the sludge production generated by this system treatment. The MBR was fed with a flow rate of 5 L/d. The wastewater used in this study was collected from the WWTP Ellouhoum following pretreatment operations. They are characterized by an average total COD concentration of approximately 2 g/L. The mass load applied to the system was 0.18 g COD/gVSS.d. The results show that COD and total nitrogen removal efficiencies are respectively estimated at 90.66 pour cent and 92.86 pour cent. Treatment with MBR also allows a total elimination of TSS, fecal coliforms and pathogens. With a total biomass recycling, low sludge yield (Yobs) of 0.106 gTSS/g COD eliminated was obtained.

  4. Comparison of biological activated carbon (BAC) and membrane bioreactor (MBR) for pollutants removal in drinking water treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, J Y; Chen, Z L; Liang, H; Li, X; Wang, Z Z; Li, G B

    2009-01-01

    Biological activated carbon (BAC) and membrane bioreactor (MBR) were systematically compared for the drinking water treatment from slightly polluted raw water under the same hydraulic retention time (HRT) of 0.5 h. MBR exhibited excellent turbidity removal capacity due to the separation of the membrane; while only 60% of influent turbidity was intercepted by BAC. Perfect nitrification was achieved by MBR with the 89% reduction in ammonia; by contrast, BAC only eliminated a moderate amount of influent ammonia (by 54.5%). However, BAC was able to remove more dissolved organic matter (DOM, especially for organic molecules of 3,000 approximately 500 Daltons) and corresponding disinfection by-product formation potential (DBPFP) in raw water than MBR. Unfortunately, particulate organic matter (POM) was detected in the BAC effluent. On the other hand, BAC and MBR displayed essentially the same capacity for biodegradable organic matter (BOM) removal. Fractionation of DOM showed that the removal efficiencies of hydrophobic neutrals, hydrophobic acids, weakly hydrophobic acids and hydrophilic organic matter through BAC treatment were 11.7%, 8.8%, 13.9% and 4.8% higher than that through MBR; while MBR achieved 13.8% higher hydrophobic bases removal as compared with BAC.

  5. Membrane protein structure determination by SAD, SIR, or SIRAS phasing in serial femtosecond crystallography using an iododetergent

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakane, Takanori; Hanashima, Shinya; Suzuki, Mamoru; Saiki, Haruka; Hayashi, Taichi; Kakinouchi, Keisuke; Sugiyama, Shigeru; Kawatake, Satoshi; Matsuoka, Shigeru; Matsumori, Nobuaki; Nango, Eriko; Kobayashi, Jun; Shimamura, Tatsuro; Kimura, Kanako; Mori, Chihiro; Kunishima, Naoki; Sugahara, Michihiro; Takakyu, Yoko; Inoue, Shigeyuki; Masuda, Tetsuya; Hosaka, Toshiaki; Tono, Kensuke; Joti, Yasumasa; Kameshima, Takashi; Hatsui, Takaki; Inoue, Tsuyoshi; Nureki, Osamu; Iwata, So; Murata, Michio; Mizohata, Eiichi

    2016-01-01

    The 3D structure determination of biological macromolecules by X-ray crystallography suffers from a phase problem: to perform Fourier transformation to calculate real space density maps, both intensities and phases of structure factors are necessary; however, measured diffraction patterns give only intensities. Although serial femtosecond crystallography (SFX) using X-ray free electron lasers (XFELs) has been steadily developed since 2009, experimental phasing still remains challenging. Here, using 7.0-keV (1.771 Å) X-ray pulses from the SPring-8 Angstrom Compact Free Electron Laser (SACLA), iodine single-wavelength anomalous diffraction (SAD), single isomorphous replacement (SIR), and single isomorphous replacement with anomalous scattering (SIRAS) phasing were performed in an SFX regime for a model membrane protein bacteriorhodopsin (bR). The crystals grown in bicelles were derivatized with an iodine-labeled detergent heavy-atom additive 13a (HAD13a), which contains the magic triangle, I3C head group with three iodine atoms. The alkyl tail was essential for binding of the detergent to the surface of bR. Strong anomalous and isomorphous difference signals from HAD13a enabled successful phasing using reflections up to 2.1-Å resolution from only 3,000 and 4,000 indexed images from native and derivative crystals, respectively. When more images were merged, structure solution was possible with data truncated at 3.3-Å resolution, which is the lowest resolution among the reported cases of SFX phasing. Moreover, preliminary SFX experiment showed that HAD13a successfully derivatized the G protein-coupled A2a adenosine receptor crystallized in lipidic cubic phases. These results pave the way for de novo structure determination of membrane proteins, which often diffract poorly, even with the brightest XFEL beams. PMID:27799539

  6. The structure of the COPII transport-vesicle coat assembled on membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zanetti, Giulia; Prinz, Simone; Daum, Sebastian; Meister, Annette; Schekman, Randy; Bacia, Kirsten; Briggs, John A G

    2013-09-17

    Coat protein complex II (COPII) mediates formation of the membrane vesicles that export newly synthesised proteins from the endoplasmic reticulum. The inner COPII proteins bind to cargo and membrane, linking them to the outer COPII components that form a cage around the vesicle. Regulated flexibility in coat architecture is essential for transport of a variety of differently sized cargoes, but structural data on the assembled coat has not been available. We have used cryo-electron tomography and subtomogram averaging to determine the structure of the complete, membrane-assembled COPII coat. We describe a novel arrangement of the outer coat and find that the inner coat can assemble into regular lattices. The data reveal how coat subunits interact with one another and with the membrane, suggesting how coordinated assembly of inner and outer coats can mediate and regulate packaging of vesicles ranging from small spheres to large tubular carriers. DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.00951.001.

  7. Development of Hydrogen Separation Module with Structured Catalyst for Use in Membrane Reformer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Isamu Yasuda; Tatsuya Tsuneki; Yoshinori Shirasaki; Toru Shimamori; Hidekazu Shigaki; Hiroyuki Tanaka

    2006-01-01

    A new type of hydrogen separation module for use in a membrane reformer was proposed and developed. The new module, what we call MOC (Membrane On Catalyst), was designed to have a membrane of palladium-based alloy prepared on the surface of the tubular structured catalyst that has catalytic activity for steam reforming reaction, thermal expansion matching with the membrane material, proper porosity, mechanical strength and thermal conductivity. The best composition of the structured catalyst was identified in the composites of metallic Ni and YSZ (Yttria-Stabilized Zirconia). A hydrogen separation module was manufactured by electroless plating of Pd with thickness of 7 to 15 microns on the surface of porous sintered tube of Ni-YSZ with an approximate size of 9 mm in diameter and 100 mm in length. The hydrogen permeability measurements have shown hydrogen flux of 25 to 35 cc/min at 550 to 600 C, which is higher than the permeability of the conventional modules using rolled Pd film. (authors)

  8. Structure of the membrane anchor of pestivirus glycoprotein E(rns, a long tilted amphipathic helix.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Aberle

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available E(rns is an essential virion glycoprotein with RNase activity that suppresses host cellular innate immune responses upon being partially secreted from the infected cells. Its unusual C-terminus plays multiple roles, as the amphiphilic helix acts as a membrane anchor, as a signal peptidase cleavage site, and as a retention/secretion signal. We analyzed the structure and membrane binding properties of this sequence to gain a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms. CD spectroscopy in different setups, as well as Monte Carlo and molecular dynamics simulations confirmed the helical folding and showed that the helix is accommodated in the amphiphilic region of the lipid bilayer with a slight tilt rather than lying parallel to the surface. This model was confirmed by NMR analyses that also identified a central stretch of 15 residues within the helix that is fully shielded from the aqueous layer, which is C-terminally followed by a putative hairpin structure. These findings explain the strong membrane binding of the protein and provide clues to establishing the E(rns membrane contact, processing and secretion.

  9. Structure of the Membrane Anchor of Pestivirus Glycoprotein Erns, a Long Tilted Amphipathic Helix

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aberle, Daniel; Muhle-Goll, Claudia; Bürck, Jochen; Wolf, Moritz; Reißer, Sabine; Luy, Burkhard; Wenzel, Wolfgang; Ulrich, Anne S.; Meyers, Gregor

    2014-01-01

    Erns is an essential virion glycoprotein with RNase activity that suppresses host cellular innate immune responses upon being partially secreted from the infected cells. Its unusual C-terminus plays multiple roles, as the amphiphilic helix acts as a membrane anchor, as a signal peptidase cleavage site, and as a retention/secretion signal. We analyzed the structure and membrane binding properties of this sequence to gain a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms. CD spectroscopy in different setups, as well as Monte Carlo and molecular dynamics simulations confirmed the helical folding and showed that the helix is accommodated in the amphiphilic region of the lipid bilayer with a slight tilt rather than lying parallel to the surface. This model was confirmed by NMR analyses that also identified a central stretch of 15 residues within the helix that is fully shielded from the aqueous layer, which is C-terminally followed by a putative hairpin structure. These findings explain the strong membrane binding of the protein and provide clues to establishing the Erns membrane contact, processing and secretion. PMID:24586172

  10. Structure of the membrane anchor of pestivirus glycoprotein E(rns), a long tilted amphipathic helix.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aberle, Daniel; Muhle-Goll, Claudia; Bürck, Jochen; Wolf, Moritz; Reißer, Sabine; Luy, Burkhard; Wenzel, Wolfgang; Ulrich, Anne S; Meyers, Gregor

    2014-02-01

    E(rns) is an essential virion glycoprotein with RNase activity that suppresses host cellular innate immune responses upon being partially secreted from the infected cells. Its unusual C-terminus plays multiple roles, as the amphiphilic helix acts as a membrane anchor, as a signal peptidase cleavage site, and as a retention/secretion signal. We analyzed the structure and membrane binding properties of this sequence to gain a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms. CD spectroscopy in different setups, as well as Monte Carlo and molecular dynamics simulations confirmed the helical folding and showed that the helix is accommodated in the amphiphilic region of the lipid bilayer with a slight tilt rather than lying parallel to the surface. This model was confirmed by NMR analyses that also identified a central stretch of 15 residues within the helix that is fully shielded from the aqueous layer, which is C-terminally followed by a putative hairpin structure. These findings explain the strong membrane binding of the protein and provide clues to establishing the E(rns) membrane contact, processing and secretion.

  11. The effect of near-infrared MLS laser radiation on cell membrane structure and radical generation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kujawa, Jolanta; Pasternak, Kamila; Zavodnik, Ilya; Irzmański, Robert; Wróbel, Dominika; Bryszewska, Maria

    2014-09-01

    The therapeutic effects of low-power laser radiation of different wavelengths and light doses are well known, but the biochemical mechanism of the interaction of laser light with living cells is not fully understood. We have investigated the effect of MLS (Multiwave Locked System) laser near-infrared irradiation on cell membrane structure, functional properties, and free radical generation using human red blood cells and breast cancer MCF-4 cells. The cells were irradiated with low-intensity MLS near-infrared (simultaneously 808 nm, continuous emission and 905 nm, pulse emission, pulse-wave frequency, 1,000 or 2,000 Hz) laser light at light doses from 0 to 15 J (average power density 212.5 mW/cm(2), spot size was 3.18 cm(2)) at 22 °C, the activity membrane bound acetylcholinesterase, cell stability, anti-oxidative activity, and free radical generation were the parameters used in characterizing the structural and functional changes of the cell. Near-infrared low-intensity laser radiation changed the acetylcholinesterase activity of the red blood cell membrane in a dose-dependent manner: There was a considerable increase of maximal enzymatic rate and Michaelis constant due to changes in the membrane structure. Integral parameters such as erythrocyte stability, membrane lipid peroxidation, or methemoglobin levels remained unchanged. Anti-oxidative capacity of the red blood cells increased after MLS laser irradiation. This irradiation induced a time-dependent increase in free radical generation in MCF-4 cells. Low-intensity near-infrared MLS laser radiation induces free radical generation and changes enzymatic and anti-oxidative activities of cellular components. Free radical generation may be the mechanism of the biomodulative effect of laser radiation.

  12. Toxin studies using an integrated biophysical and structural biology approach.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Last, Julie A.; Schroeder, Anne E.; Slade, Andrea Lynn; Sasaki, Darryl Yoshio; Yip, Christopher M. (University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada); Schoeniger, Joseph S. (Sandia National Laboratories, Livermore, CA)

    2005-03-01

    Clostridial neurotoxins, such as botulinum and tetanus, are generally thought to invade neural cells through a process of high affinity binding mediated by gangliosides, internalization via endosome formation, and subsequent membrane penetration of the catalytic domain activated by a pH drop in the endosome. This surface recognition and internalization process is still not well understood with regard to what specific membrane features the toxins target, the intermolecular interactions between bound toxins, and the molecular conformational changes that occur as a result of pH lowering. In an effort to elucidate the mechanism of tetanus toxin binding and permeation through the membrane a simple yet representative model was developed that consisted of the ganglioside G{sub tlb} incorporated in a bilayer of cholesterol and DPPC (dipalmitoylphosphatidyl choline). The bilayers were stable over time yet sensitive towards the binding and activity of whole toxin. A liposome leakage study at constant pH as well as with a pH gradient, to mimic the processes of the endosome, was used to elucidate the effect of pH on the toxin's membrane binding and permeation capability. Topographic imaging of the membrane surface, via in situ tapping mode AFM, provided nanoscale characterization of the toxin's binding location and pore formation activity.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-06-01

    This review deals with the effects of synthetic and natural fatty acids on the biophysical properties of membranes, and on their implication on cell function. Natural fatty acids are constituents of more complex lipids, like triacylglycerides or phospholipids, which are used by cells to store and obtain energy, as well as for structural purposes. Accordingly, natural and synthetic fatty acids may modify the structure of the lipid membrane, altering its microdomain organization and other physical properties, and provoking changes in cell signaling. Therefore, by modulating fatty acids it is possible to regulate the structure of the membrane, influencing the cell processes that are reliant on this structure and potentially reverting pathological cell dysfunctions that may provoke cancer, diabetes, hypertension, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. The so-called Membrane Lipid Therapy offers a strategy to regulate the membrane composition through drug administration, potentially reverting pathological processes by re-adapting cell membrane structure. Certain fatty acids and their synthetic derivatives are described here that may potentially be used in such therapies, where the cell membrane itself can be considered as a target to combat disease. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Membrane Structure and Function: Relevance in the Cell's Physiology, Pathology and Therapy. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Single molecule tools for enzymology, structural biology, systems biology and nanotechnology: an update

    Science.gov (United States)

    Widom, Julia R.; Dhakal, Soma; Heinicke, Laurie A.; Walter, Nils G.

    2015-01-01

    Toxicology is the highly interdisciplinary field studying the adverse effects of chemicals on living organisms. It requires sensitive tools to detect such effects. After their initial implementation during the 1990s, single-molecule fluorescence detection tools were quickly recognized for their potential to contribute greatly to many different areas of scientific inquiry. In the intervening time, technical advances in the field have generated ever-improving spatial and temporal resolution, and have enabled the application of single-molecule fluorescence to increasingly complex systems, such as live cells. In this review, we give an overview of the optical components necessary to implement the most common versions of single-molecule fluorescence detection. We then discuss current applications to enzymology and structural studies, systems biology, and nanotechnology, presenting the technical considerations that are unique to each area of study, along with noteworthy recent results. We also highlight future directions that have the potential to revolutionize these areas of study by further exploiting the capabilities of single-molecule fluorescence microscopy. PMID:25212907

  15. Fluorescent probes for detecting cholesterol-rich ordered membrane microdomains: entangled relationships between structural analogies in the membrane and functional homologies in the cell

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gérald Gaibelet

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available This review addresses the question of fluorescent detection of ordered membrane (micro domains in living (cultured cells, with a “practical” point of view since the situation is much more complicated than for studying model membranes. We first briefly recall the bases of model membrane structural organization involving liquid-ordered and -disordered phases, and the main features of their counterparts in cell membranes that are the various microdomains. We then emphasize the utility of the fluorescent probes derived from cholesterol, and delineate the respective advantages, limitations and drawbacks of the existing ones. In particular, besides their intra-membrane behavior, their relevant characteristics should integrate their different cellular fates for membrane turn-over, trafficking and metabolism, in order to evaluate and improve their efficiency for in-situ probing membrane microdomains in the cell physiology context. Finally, at the present stage, it appears that Bdp-Chol and Pyr-met-Chol display well complementary properties, allowing to use them in combination to improve the reliability of the current experimental approaches. But the field is still open, and there remains much work to perform in this research area.

  16. New developments in high field electron paramagnetic resonance with applications in structural biology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bennati, Marina; Prisner, Thomas F

    2005-01-01

    Recent developments in microwave technologies have led to a renaissance of electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) due to the implementation of new spectrometers operating at frequencies ≥90 GHz. EPR at high fields and high frequencies (HF-EPR) has been established up to THz (very high frequency (VHF) EPR) in continuous wave (cw) operation and up to about 300 GHz in pulsed operation. To date, its most prominent application field is structural biology. This review article first gives an overview of the theoretical basics and the technical aspects of HF-EPR methodologies, such as cw and pulsed HF-EPR, as well as electron nuclear double resonance at high fields (HF-ENDOR). In the second part, the article illustrates different application areas of HF-EPR in studies of protein structure and function. In particular, HF-EPR has delivered essential contributions to disentangling complex spectra of radical cofactors or reaction intermediates in photosynthetic reaction centres, radical enzymes (such as ribonucleotide reductase) and in metalloproteins. Furthermore, HF-EPR combined with site-directed spin labelling in membranes and soluble proteins provides new methods of investigating complex molecular dynamics and intermolecular distances

  17. X-ray lasers for structural and dynamic biology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Spence, J C H; Weierstall, U; Chapman, H N

    2012-01-01

    Research opportunities and techniques are reviewed for the application of hard x-ray pulsed free-electron lasers (XFEL) to structural biology. These include the imaging of protein nanocrystals, single particles such as viruses, pump–probe experiments for time-resolved nanocrystallography, and snapshot wide-angle x-ray scattering (WAXS) from molecules in solution. The use of femtosecond exposure times, rather than freezing of samples, as a means of minimizing radiation damage is shown to open up new opportunities for the molecular imaging of biochemical reactions at room temperature in solution. This is possible using a ‘diffract-and-destroy’ mode in which the incident pulse terminates before radiation damage begins. Methods for delivering hundreds of hydrated bioparticles per second (in random orientations) to a pulsed x-ray beam are described. New data analysis approaches are outlined for the correlated fluctuations in fast WAXS, for protein nanocrystals just a few molecules on a side, and for the continuous x-ray scattering from a single virus. Methods for determining the orientation of a molecule from its diffraction pattern are reviewed. Methods for the preparation of protein nanocrystals are also reviewed. New opportunities for solving the phase problem for XFEL data are outlined. A summary of the latest results is given, which now extend to atomic resolution for nanocrystals. Possibilities for time-resolved chemistry using fast WAXS (solution scattering) from mixtures is reviewed, toward the general goal of making molecular movies of biochemical processes. (key issues reviews)

  18. Labelling of biological structures with technetium 99 m

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bernardo Filho, M.

    1988-01-01

    The labelling of red blood cells (RBC) with technetium 99m ( 99m Tc) depends on several factors, as the stannous ion (Sn ++ ) concentration, the time and temperature of incubation, the anticoagulant utilized, the presence of plasma proteins (PP) and others. Although the blinding of 99m Tc with hemoglobin and PP are similar, they appear to have specific characteristics as demonstrated by precipitation with alcohol, acetone, trichloroacetic acid, hydrochloric acid and mercury chloride. The bacterial cultures labeled with Technetium- 99m , at optimal Sn ++ ion concentration, presents a large stability and their viability is not altered by this treatment. The electrophoretic mobility, the hydrophobicity, the cationized ferritin distribution and the adherence to human buccal epithelial cells are not modified either. The possibility of labelling with 99m Tc of planaria and cercariae of Schistossoma mansoni evaluative cycle increases the utilization of this radionuclide to an experimental level. The results described with the labelling of these biological structures with 99m Tc demonstrated that stable labeled and viable operations are obtained. (author)

  19. Structural characterization of Bacillus subtilis membrane protein Bmr: an in silico approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nargotra, Amit; Rukmankesh; Ali, Shakir; Koul, Surrinder

    2014-01-01

    Efflux pump--a membrane protein belonging to Major Facilitator (MF) family and associated with Multi Drug Resistance (MDR) has been a major factor in drug resistance of bacteria. In the era when no new effective antibiotic had been reported for years, the detailed study of these membrane proteins became imperative in order to improve the efficacy of existing drugs. The Bacillus subtilis membrane protein Bmr belongs to the super family of major facilitator proteins and is one of the first-discovered bacterial multidrug-efflux transporters. Development of Bmr inhibitors (B. subtilis) for least resistance, better drug sustainability and effective cellular activity requires three dimensional structure of this protein which has not yet been determined. In this communication structural characterization of this important efflux pump has been attempted using in silico approaches. The modeled structure of Bmr has been found to have 12 main helical segments interspersed by loops of variable lengths at regular intervals with both N- and C-termini on the same side of membrane. Docking of the known inhibitor reserpine on to the predicted structure of Bmr and its mutants signified the importance of the residues Phe143, Val286 and Phe306 in the interaction with the ligand. Besides this, the role of Arg313 and Phe309 in the H-bond formation and π-π interaction respectively, with reserpine was the new significant finding based on the interaction studies. The structure elucidation of Bmr and the role of these residues in binding to the ligand are expected to have a great impact on the efflux pump inhibition studies around the world and hence in the efficiency of the existing antibiotic drugs.

  20. Periodontal ligament cellular structures engineered with electrospun poly(DL-lactide-co-glycolide) nanofibrous membrane scaffolds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inanç, Bülend; Arslan, Y Emre; Seker, Sükran; Elçin, A Eser; Elçin, Y Murat

    2009-07-01

    Periodontal tissue engineering is expected to overcome the limitations associated with the existing regenerative techniques for the treatment of periodontal defects involving alveolar bone, cementum, and periodontal ligament. Cell-based tissue engineering approaches involve the utilization of in vitro expanded cells with regenerative capacity and their delivery to the appropriate sites via biomaterial scaffolds. The aim of this study was to establish living periodontal ligament cell-containing structures on electrospun poly(DL-lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) nanofiber membrane scaffolds, assess their viability and characteristics, and engineer multilayered structures amenable to easy handling. Human periodontal ligament (hPDL) cells were expanded in explant culture and then characterized morphologically and immunohistochemically. PLGA nanofiber membranes were prepared by the electrospinning process; mechanical tensile properties were determined, surface topography, nanofiber size, and porosity status were investigated with SEM. Cells were seeded on the membranes at approximately 50,000 cell/cm(2) and cultured for 21 days either in expansion or in osteogenic induction medium. Cell adhesion and viability were demonstrated using SEM and MTT, respectively, and osteogenic differentiation was determined with IHC and immunohistomorphometric evaluation of osteopontin, osteocalcin, and bone sialoprotein marker expression. At days 3, 6, 9, and 12 additional cell/membrane layers were deposited on the existing ones and multilayered hybrid structures were established. Results indicate the feasibility of periodontal ligament cell-containing tissue-like structures engineering with PDL cells and electrospun nanofiber PLGA scaffolds supporting cell adhesion, viability and osteogenic differentiation properties of cells in hybrid structures amenable to macroscopic handling.