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Sample records for brain molecular mechanisms

  1. Molecular Mechanisms of Neonatal Brain Injury

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    Claire Thornton

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Fetal/neonatal brain injury is an important cause of neurological disability. Hypoxia-ischemia and excitotoxicity are considered important insults, and, in spite of their acute nature, brain injury develops over a protracted time period during the primary, secondary, and tertiary phases. The concept that most of the injury develops with a delay after the insult makes it possible to provide effective neuroprotective treatment after the insult. Indeed, hypothermia applied within 6 hours after birth in neonatal encephalopathy reduces neurological disability in clinical trials. In order to develop the next generation of treatment, we need to know more about the pathophysiological mechanism during the secondary and tertiary phases of injury. We review some of the critical molecular events related to mitochondrial dysfunction and apoptosis during the secondary phase and report some recent evidence that intervention may be feasible also days-weeks after the insult.

  2. Molecular mechanisms of cognitive dysfunction following traumatic brain injury

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    Walker, Kendall R.; Tesco, Giuseppina

    2013-01-01

    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) results in significant disability due to cognitive deficits particularly in attention, learning and memory, and higher-order executive functions. The role of TBI in chronic neurodegeneration and the development of neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and most recently chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is of particular importance. However, despite significant effort very few therapeutic options exist to prevent or reverse cognitive impairment following TBI. In this review, we present experimental evidence of the known secondary injury mechanisms which contribute to neuronal cell loss, axonal injury, and synaptic dysfunction and hence cognitive impairment both acutely and chronically following TBI. In particular we focus on the mechanisms linking TBI to the development of two forms of dementia: AD and CTE. We provide evidence of potential molecular mechanisms involved in modulating Aβ and Tau following TBI and provide evidence of the role of these mechanisms in AD pathology. Additionally we propose a mechanism by which Aβ generated as a direct result of TBI is capable of exacerbating secondary injury mechanisms thereby establishing a neurotoxic cascade that leads to chronic neurodegeneration. PMID:23847533

  3. Molecular mechanisms of cognitive dysfunction following traumatic brain injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Kendall R; Tesco, Giuseppina

    2013-01-01

    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) results in significant disability due to cognitive deficits particularly in attention, learning and memory, and higher-order executive functions. The role of TBI in chronic neurodegeneration and the development of neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and most recently chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is of particular importance. However, despite significant effort very few therapeutic options exist to prevent or reverse cognitive impairment following TBI. In this review, we present experimental evidence of the known secondary injury mechanisms which contribute to neuronal cell loss, axonal injury, and synaptic dysfunction and hence cognitive impairment both acutely and chronically following TBI. In particular we focus on the mechanisms linking TBI to the development of two forms of dementia: AD and CTE. We provide evidence of potential molecular mechanisms involved in modulating Aβ and Tau following TBI and provide evidence of the role of these mechanisms in AD pathology. Additionally we propose a mechanism by which Aβ generated as a direct result of TBI is capable of exacerbating secondary injury mechanisms thereby establishing a neurotoxic cascade that leads to chronic neurodegeneration.

  4. Molecular Mechanisms of Cannabis Signaling in the Brain.

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    Ronan, Patrick J; Wongngamnit, Narin; Beresford, Thomas P

    2016-01-01

    Cannabis has been cultivated and used by humans for thousands of years. Research for decades was focused on understanding the mechanisms of an illegal/addictive drug. This led to the discovery of the vast endocannabinoid system. Research has now shifted to understanding fundamental biological questions related to one of the most widespread signaling systems in both the brain and the body. Our understanding of cannabinoid signaling has advanced significantly in the last two decades. In this review, we discuss the state of knowledge on mechanisms of Cannabis signaling in the brain and the modulation of key brain neurotransmitter systems involved in both brain reward/addiction and psychiatric disorders. It is highly probable that various cannabinoids will be found to be efficacious in the treatment of a number of psychiatric disorders. However, while there is clearly much potential, marijuana has not been properly vetted by the medical-scientific evaluation process and there are clearly a range of potentially adverse side-effects-including addiction. We are at crossroads for research on endocannabinoid function and therapeutics (including the use of exogenous treatments such as Cannabis). With over 100 cannabinoid constituents, the majority of which have not been studied, there is much Cannabis research yet to be done. With more states legalizing both the medicinal and recreational use of marijuana the rigorous scientific investigation into cannabinoid signaling is imperative. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  5. Brain Iron Homeostasis: From Molecular Mechanisms To Clinical Significance and Therapeutic Opportunities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haldar, Swati; Tripathi, Ajai K.; Horback, Katharine; Wong, Joseph; Sharma, Deepak; Beserra, Amber; Suda, Srinivas; Anbalagan, Charumathi; Dev, Som; Mukhopadhyay, Chinmay K.; Singh, Ajay

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Iron has emerged as a significant cause of neurotoxicity in several neurodegenerative conditions, including Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD), and others. In some cases, the underlying cause of iron mis-metabolism is known, while in others, our understanding is, at best, incomplete. Recent evidence implicating key proteins involved in the pathogenesis of AD, PD, and sCJD in cellular iron metabolism suggests that imbalance of brain iron homeostasis associated with these disorders is a direct consequence of disease pathogenesis. A complete understanding of the molecular events leading to this phenotype is lacking partly because of the complex regulation of iron homeostasis within the brain. Since systemic organs and the brain share several iron regulatory mechanisms and iron-modulating proteins, dysfunction of a specific pathway or selective absence of iron-modulating protein(s) in systemic organs has provided important insights into the maintenance of iron homeostasis within the brain. Here, we review recent information on the regulation of iron uptake and utilization in systemic organs and within the complex environment of the brain, with particular emphasis on the underlying mechanisms leading to brain iron mis-metabolism in specific neurodegenerative conditions. Mouse models that have been instrumental in understanding systemic and brain disorders associated with iron mis-metabolism are also described, followed by current therapeutic strategies which are aimed at restoring brain iron homeostasis in different neurodegenerative conditions. We conclude by highlighting important gaps in our understanding of brain iron metabolism and mis-metabolism, particularly in the context of neurodegenerative disorders. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 20, 1324–1363. PMID:23815406

  6. Molecular Mechanism of Adult Neurogenesis and its Association with Human Brain Diseases

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    He Liu

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Recent advances in neuroscience challenge the old dogma that neurogenesis occurs only during embryonic development. Mounting evidence suggests that functional neurogenesis occurs throughout adulthood. This review article discusses molecular factors that affect adult neurogenesis, including morphogens, growth factors, neurotransmitters, transcription factors, and epigenetic factors. Furthermore, we summarize and compare current evidence of associations between adult neurogenesis and human brain diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, and brain tumors.

  7. Molecular mechanisms controlling brain development: an overview of neuroepithelial secondary organizers.

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    Vieira, Claudia; Pombero, Ana; García-Lopez, Raquel; Gimeno, Lourdes; Echevarria, Diego; Martínez, Salvador

    2010-01-01

    The vertebrate Central Nervous System (CNS) originates from the embryonic dorsal ectoderm. Differentiation of the neural epithelium from the ectoderm and the formation of the neural plate constitute the first phase of a complex process called neurulation which culminates in the formation of the neural tube, the anlage of the CNS in sauropsids and mammals (for review see Smith and Schoenwolf, 1997; Colas and Schoenwolf, 2001). At neural plate and neural tube stages, local signaling centers in the neuroepithelium, known as secondary organizers, refine the antero-posterior specification of different neural territories (for review see Echevarria et al., 2003; Stern et al.,2006; Woltering and Durston, 2008). In this review, we will describe the principle aspects of CNS development in birds and mammals, starting from early stages of embryogenesis (gastrulation and neurulation) and culminating with the formation of a variety of different regions which contribute to the structural complexity of the brain (regionalization and morphogenesis). We will pay special attention to the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in neural tube regionalization and the key role played by localized secondary organizers in the patterning of neural primordia.

  8. Molecular mechanisms of aluminium ions neurotoxicity in brain cells of fish from various pelagic areas

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    E. V. Sukharenko

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Neurotoxic effects of aluminum chloride in higher than usual environment concentration (10 mg/L were studied in brains of fishes from various pelagic areas, especially in sunfish (Lepomis macrochirus Rafinesque, 1819, roach (Rutilus rutilus Linnaeus, 1758, crucian carp (Carasius carasius Linnaeus, 1758, goby (Neogobius fluviatilis Pallas, 1811. The intensity of oxidative stress and the content of both cytoskeleton protein GFAP and cytosol Ca-binding protein S100β were determined. The differences in oxidative stress data were observed in the liver and brain of fish during 45 days of treatment with aluminum chloride. The data indicated that in the modeling of aluminum intoxication in mature adult fishes the level of oxidative stress was noticeably higher in the brain than in the liver. This index was lower by1.5–2.0 times on average in the liver cells than in the brain. The obtained data evidently demonstrate high sensitivity to aluminum ions in neural tissue cells of fish from various pelagic areas. Chronic intoxication with aluminum ions induced intense astrogliosis in the fish brain. Astrogliosis was determined as result of overexpression of both cytoskeleton and cytosole markers of astrocytes – GFAP and protein S100β (on 75–112% and 67–105% accordingly. Moreover, it was shown that the neurotixic effect of aluminum ions is closely related to metabolism of astroglial intermediate filaments. The results of western blotting showed a considerable increase in the content of the lysis protein products of GFAP with a range of molecular weight from 40–49 kDa. A similar metabolic disturbance was determined for the upregulation protein S100β expression and particularly in the increase in the content of polypeptide fragments of this protein with molecular weight 24–37 kDa. Thus, the obtained results allow one to presume that aluminum ions activate in the fish brain intracellular proteases which have a capacity to destroy the proteins of

  9. Molecular Mechanisms Responsible for Neuron-Derived Conditioned Medium (NCM-Mediated Protection of Ischemic Brain.

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    Chi-Hsin Lin

    Full Text Available The protective value of neuron-derived conditioned medium (NCM in cerebral ischemia and the underlying mechanism(s responsible for NCM-mediated brain protection against cerebral ischemia were investigated in the study. NCM was first collected from the neuronal culture growing under the in vitro ischemic condition (glucose-, oxygen- and serum-deprivation or GOSD for 2, 4 or 6 h. Through the focal cerebral ischemia (bilateral CCAO/unilateral MCAO animal model, we discovered that ischemia/reperfusion (I/R-induced brain infarction was significantly reduced by NCM, given directly into the cistern magna at the end of 90 min of CCAO/MCAO. Immunoblocking and chemical blocking strategies were applied in the in vitro ischemic studies to show that NCM supplement could protect microglia, astrocytes and neurons from GOSD-induced cell death, in a growth factor (TGFβ1, NT-3 and GDNF and p-ERK dependent manner. Brain injection with TGFβ1, NT3, GDNF and ERK agonist (DADS alone or in combination, therefore also significantly decreased the infarct volume of ischemic brain. Moreover, NCM could inhibit ROS but stimulate IL-1β release from GOSD-treated microglia and limit the infiltration of IL-β-positive microglia into the core area of ischemic brain, revealing the anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory activities of NCM. In overall, NCM-mediated brain protection against cerebral ischemia has been demonstrated for the first time in S.D. rats, due to its anti-apoptotic, anti-oxidant and potentially anti-glutamate activities (NCM-induced IL-1β can inhibit the glutamate-mediated neurotoxicity and restriction upon the infiltration of inflammatory microglia into the core area of ischemic brain. The therapeutic potentials of NCM, TGFβ1, GDNF, NT-3 and DADS in the control of cerebral ischemia in human therefore have been suggested and require further investigation.

  10. Molecular mechanisms underlying the regulation of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) translation in dendrites

    OpenAIRE

    Pinheiro, Vera Lúcia Margarido

    2010-01-01

    Dissertação de mestrado em Biologia Celular e Molecular apresentada ao Departamento de Ciências da Vida da Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade de Coimbra A especificidade espacial e temporal subjacente à diversidade de processos de plasticidade sináptica que ocorrem no sistema nervoso central está profundamente relacionada com a disponibilidade da proteína brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) em domínios sub-celulares distintos, especialmente na área pós-sinápti...

  11. Radiated-induced brain injury: advance of molecular mechanisms and neuroprotection strategies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gao Bo; Wang Xuejian

    2007-01-01

    The underlying mechanisms of radiated-induced brain injury (RBI) remain incompletely clear. Pathophysiological data indicate that the development of RBI involves complex and dynamic interactions between neurons, glia, and vascular endothelial cells within thecentral nervous system (CNS). Radiated-induced injury in the CNS can be modulated by the therapies directed at altering steps in the cascade of events leading to the clinical expression of normal tissue injury. Some neuroprotective strategies are also addressed in the review. (authors)

  12. A systems biology strategy to identify molecular mechanisms of action and protein indicators of traumatic brain injury.

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    Yu, Chenggang; Boutté, Angela; Yu, Xueping; Dutta, Bhaskar; Feala, Jacob D; Schmid, Kara; Dave, Jitendra; Tawa, Gregory J; Wallqvist, Anders; Reifman, Jaques

    2015-02-01

    The multifactorial nature of traumatic brain injury (TBI), especially the complex secondary tissue injury involving intertwined networks of molecular pathways that mediate cellular behavior, has confounded attempts to elucidate the pathology underlying the progression of TBI. Here, systems biology strategies are exploited to identify novel molecular mechanisms and protein indicators of brain injury. To this end, we performed a meta-analysis of four distinct high-throughput gene expression studies involving different animal models of TBI. By using canonical pathways and a large human protein-interaction network as a scaffold, we separately overlaid the gene expression data from each study to identify molecular signatures that were conserved across the different studies. At 24 hr after injury, the significantly activated molecular signatures were nonspecific to TBI, whereas the significantly suppressed molecular signatures were specific to the nervous system. In particular, we identified a suppressed subnetwork consisting of 58 highly interacting, coregulated proteins associated with synaptic function. We selected three proteins from this subnetwork, postsynaptic density protein 95, nitric oxide synthase 1, and disrupted in schizophrenia 1, and hypothesized that their abundance would be significantly reduced after TBI. In a penetrating ballistic-like brain injury rat model of severe TBI, Western blot analysis confirmed our hypothesis. In addition, our analysis recovered 12 previously identified protein biomarkers of TBI. The results suggest that systems biology may provide an efficient, high-yield approach to generate testable hypotheses that can be experimentally validated to identify novel mechanisms of action and molecular indicators of TBI. © 2014 The Authors. Journal of Neuroscience Research Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  13. Glutamate excitoxicity is the key molecular mechanism which is influenced by body temperature during the acute phase of brain stroke.

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    Campos, Francisco; Pérez-Mato, María; Agulla, Jesús; Blanco, Miguel; Barral, David; Almeida, Angeles; Brea, David; Waeber, Christian; Castillo, José; Ramos-Cabrer, Pedro

    2012-01-01

    Glutamate excitotoxicity, metabolic rate and inflammatory response have been associated to the deleterious effects of temperature during the acute phase of stroke. So far, the association of temperature with these mechanisms has been studied individually. However, the simultaneous study of the influence of temperature on these mechanisms is necessary to clarify their contributions to temperature-mediated ischemic damage. We used non-invasive Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy to simultaneously measure temperature, glutamate excitotoxicity and metabolic rate in the brain in animal models of ischemia. The immune response to ischemia was measured through molecular serum markers in peripheral blood. We submitted groups of animals to different experimental conditions (hypothermia at 33°C, normothermia at 37°C and hyperthermia at 39°C), and combined these conditions with pharmacological modulation of glutamate levels in the brain through systemic injections of glutamate and oxaloacetate. We show that pharmacological modulation of glutamate levels can neutralize the deleterious effects of hyperthermia and the beneficial effects of hypothermia, however the analysis of the inflammatory response and metabolic rate, demonstrated that their effects on ischemic damage are less critical than glutamate excitotoxity. We conclude that glutamate excitotoxicity is the key molecular mechanism which is influenced by body temperature during the acute phase of brain stroke.

  14. An investigation on the mechanism of sublimed DHB matrix on molecular ion yields in SIMS imaging of brain tissue.

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    Dowlatshahi Pour, Masoumeh; Malmberg, Per; Ewing, Andrew

    2016-05-01

    We have characterized the use of sublimation to deposit matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) matrices in secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) analysis, i.e. matrix-enhanced SIMS (ME-SIMS), a common surface modification method to enhance sensitivity for larger molecules and to increase the production of intact molecular ions. We use sublimation to apply a thin layer of a conventional MALDI matrix, 2,5-dihydroxybenzoic acid (DHB), onto rat brain cerebellum tissue to show how this technique can be used to enhance molecular yields in SIMS while still retaining a lateral resolution around 2 μm and also to investigate the mechanism of this enhancement. The results here illustrate that cholesterol, which is a dominant lipid species in the brain, is decreased on the tissue surface after deposition of matrix, particularly in white matter. The decrease of cholesterol is followed by an increased ion yield of several other lipid species. Depth profiling of the sublimed rat brain reveals that the lipid species are de facto extracted by the DHB matrix and concentrated in the top most layers of the sublimed matrix. This extraction/concentration of lipids directly leads to an increase of higher mass lipid ion yield. It is also possible that the decrease of cholesterol decreases the potential suppression of ion yield caused by cholesterol migration to the tissue surface. This result provides us with significant insights into the possible mechanisms involved when using sublimation to deposit this matrix in ME-SIMS.

  15. Molecular mechanisms in gliomagenesis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hulleman, Esther; Helin, Kristian

    2005-01-01

    Glioma, and in particular high-grade astrocytoma termed glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), is the most common primary tumor of the brain. Primarily because of its diffuse nature, there is no effective treatment for GBM, and relatively little is known about the processes by which it develops. Therefore......, in order to design novel therapies and treatments for GBM, research has recently intensified to identify the cellular and molecular mechanisms leading to GBM formation. Modeling of astrocytomas by genetic manipulation of mice suggests that deregulation of the pathways that control gliogenesis during normal...... brain development, such as the differentiation of neural stem cells (NSCs) into astrocytes, might contribute to GBM formation. These pathways include growth factor-induced signal transduction routes and processes that control cell cycle progression, such as the p16-CDK4-RB and the ARF-MDM2-p53 pathways...

  16. Cellular and molecular mechanisms of immunomodulation in the brain through environmental enrichment

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    Singhal, Gaurav; Jaehne, Emily J.; Corrigan, Frances; Baune, Bernhard T.

    2014-01-01

    Recent studies on environmental enrichment (EE) have shown cytokines, cellular immune components [e.g., T lymphocytes, natural killer (NK) cells], and glial cells in causal relationship to EE in bringing out changes to neurobiology and behavior. The purpose of this review is to evaluate these neuroimmune mechanisms associated with neurobiological and behavioral changes in response to different EE methods. We systematically reviewed common research databases. After applying all inclusion and exclusion criteria, 328 articles remained for this review. Physical exercise (PE), a form of EE, elicits anti-inflammatory and neuromodulatory effects through interaction with several immune pathways including interleukin (IL)-6 secretion from muscle fibers, reduced expression of Toll-like receptors on monocytes and macrophages, reduced secretion of adipokines, modulation of hippocampal T cells, priming of microglia, and upregulation of mitogen-activated protein kinase phosphatase-1 in central nervous system. In contrast, immunomodulatory roles of other enrichment methods are not studied extensively. Nonetheless, studies showing reduction in the expression of IL-1β and tumor necrosis factor-α in response to enrichment with novel objects and accessories suggest anti-inflammatory effects of novel environment. Likewise, social enrichment, though considered a necessity for healthy behavior, results in immunosuppression in socially defeated animals. This has been attributed to reduction in T lymphocytes, NK cells and IL-10 in subordinate animals. EE through sensory stimuli has been investigated to a lesser extent and the effect on immune factors has not been evaluated yet. Discovery of this multidimensional relationship between immune system, brain functioning, and EE has paved a way toward formulating environ-immuno therapies for treating psychiatric illnesses with minimal use of pharmacotherapy. While the immunomodulatory role of PE has been evaluated extensively, more research

  17. Molecular analysis of the mechanisms involved in THBS4 differential geneexpression in the human brain

    OpenAIRE

    Rubio Acero, Raquel

    2014-01-01

    Durante las últimas décadas ha crecido el interés en cuestiones como qué nos hace humanos o cómo difiere a nivel molecular el cerebro humano del de nuestros parientes más cercanos. Se han podido identificar cientos de genes con diferencias de expresión entre el ser humano y otros primates no humanos. Sin embargo, es importante estudiar más en detalle estos genes para comprobar si realmente están involucrados en las características específicas de nuestro cerebro. Las trombospondinas son glicop...

  18. Molecular Mechanisms of Neuroplasticity: An Expanding Universe.

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    Gulyaeva, N V

    2017-03-01

    Biochemical processes in synapses and other neuronal compartments underlie neuroplasticity (functional and structural alterations in the brain enabling adaptation to the environment, learning, memory, as well as rehabilitation after brain injury). This basic molecular level of brain plasticity covers numerous specific proteins (enzymes, receptors, structural proteins, etc.) participating in many coordinated and interacting signal and metabolic processes, their modulation forming a molecular basis for brain plasticity. The articles in this issue are focused on different "hot points" in the research area of biochemical mechanisms supporting neuroplasticity.

  19. Molecular Mechanisms of Preeclampsia

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    N. Vitoratos

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Preeclampsia is one of the leading causes of maternal morbidity/mortality. The pathogenesis of preeclampsia is still under investigation. The aim of this paper is to present the molecular mechanisms implicating in the pathway leading to preeclampsia.

  20. Transcriptomic Profiles of Brain Provide Insights into Molecular Mechanism of Feed Conversion Efficiency in Crucian Carp (Carassius auratus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pang, Meixia; Luo, Weiwei; Yu, Xiaomu; Zhou, Ying; Tong, Jingou

    2018-01-01

    Feed efficiency is an economically crucial trait for cultured animals, however, progress has been scarcely made in the genetic analyses of feed conversion efficiency (FCE) in fish because of the difficulties in measurement of trait phenotypes. In the present investigation, we present the first application of RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) combined with differentially expressed genes (DEGs) analysis for identification of functional determinants related to FCE at the gene level in an aquaculture fish, crucian carp (Carassius auratus). Brain tissues of six crucian carp with extreme FCE performances were subjected to transcriptome analysis. A total of 544,612 unigenes with a mean size of 644.38 bp were obtained from Low- and High-FCE groups, and 246 DEGs that may be involved in FCE traits were identified in these two groups. qPCR confirmed that genes previously identified as up- or down-regulated by RNA-Seq were effectively up- or down-regulated under the studied conditions. Thirteen key genes, whose functions are associated with metabolism (Dgkk, Mgst3 and Guk1b), signal transduction (Vdnccsa1b, Tgfα, Nr4a1 and Tacr2) and growth (Endog, Crebrtc2, Myh7, Myh1, Myh14 and Igfbp7) were identified according to GO (Gene Ontology) and KEGG (Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes) annotations. Our novel findings provide useful pathway information and candidate genes for future studies of genetic mechanisms underlying FCE in crucian carp. PMID:29538345

  1. Transcriptomic Profiles of Brain Provide Insights into Molecular Mechanism of Feed Conversion Efficiency in Crucian Carp (Carassius auratus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meixia Pang

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Feed efficiency is an economically crucial trait for cultured animals, however, progress has been scarcely made in the genetic analyses of feed conversion efficiency (FCE in fish because of the difficulties in measurement of trait phenotypes. In the present investigation, we present the first application of RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq combined with differentially expressed genes (DEGs analysis for identification of functional determinants related to FCE at the gene level in an aquaculture fish, crucian carp (Carassius auratus. Brain tissues of six crucian carp with extreme FCE performances were subjected to transcriptome analysis. A total of 544,612 unigenes with a mean size of 644.38 bp were obtained from Low- and High-FCE groups, and 246 DEGs that may be involved in FCE traits were identified in these two groups. qPCR confirmed that genes previously identified as up- or down-regulated by RNA-Seq were effectively up- or down-regulated under the studied conditions. Thirteen key genes, whose functions are associated with metabolism (Dgkk, Mgst3 and Guk1b, signal transduction (Vdnccsa1b, Tgfα, Nr4a1 and Tacr2 and growth (Endog, Crebrtc2, Myh7, Myh1, Myh14 and Igfbp7 were identified according to GO (Gene Ontology and KEGG (Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes annotations. Our novel findings provide useful pathway information and candidate genes for future studies of genetic mechanisms underlying FCE in crucian carp.

  2. Understanding molecular structure from molecular mechanics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allinger, Norman L

    2011-04-01

    Molecular mechanics gives us a well known model of molecular structure. It is less widely recognized that valence bond theory gives us structures which offer a direct interpretation of molecular mechanics formulations and parameters. The electronic effects well-known in physical organic chemistry can be directly interpreted in terms of valence bond structures, and hence quantitatively calculated and understood. The basic theory is outlined in this paper, and examples of the effects, and their interpretation in illustrative examples is presented.

  3. Channel opening of γ-aminobutyric acid receptor from rat brain: molecular mechanisms of the receptor responses

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cash, D.J.; Subbarao, K.

    1987-01-01

    The function of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors, which mediate transmembrane chloride flux, can be studied by use of 36 Cl - isotope tracer with membrane from mammalian brain by quench-flow technique, with reaction times that allow resolution of the receptor desensitization rates from the ion flux rates. The rates of chloride exchange into the vesicles in the absence and presence of GABA were characterized with membrane from rat cerebral cortex. Unspecific 36 Cl - influx was completed in three phases of ca. 3% (t/sub 1/2/ = 0.6 s), 56% (t/sub 1/2 = 82 s), and 41% (t/sub 1/2 = 23 min). GABA-mediated, specific chloride exchange occurred with 6.5% of the total vesicular internal volume. The GABA-dependent 36 Cl - influx proceeded in two phases, each progressively slowed by desensitization. The measurements supported the presence of two distinguishable active GABA receptors on the same membrane mediating chloride exchange into the vesicles. The half-response concentrations were similar for both receptors. The two receptors were present in the activity ratio of ca. 4/1, similar to the ratio of low affinity to high-affinity GABA sites found in ligand binding experiments. The desensitization rates have a different dependence on GABA concentration than the channel-opening equilibria. For both receptors, the measurements over a 2000-fold GABA concentration range required a minimal mechanism involving the occupation of both of the two GABA binding sites for significant channel opening; then the receptors were ca. 80% open. Similarly for both receptors, desensitization was mediated by a different pair of binding sites, although desensitization with only one ligand molecule bound could occur at a 20-fold slower rate

  4. A Systems Biology Strategy to Identify Molecular Mechanisms of Action and Protein Indicators of Traumatic Brain Injury

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-11-14

    mediate neuronal damage over hours to months after the initial trauma (Ulitsky and Shamir, 2007; Greve and Zink, 2009; Feala et al., 2013). To date, much...the right hemisphere of the brain. The probe was inserted through a cranial window over the frontal cortex, and rapid inflation/deflation of the water...data sets and two pathways conserved in three data sets. Conversely, no activated pathway was related to the nerv - ous system, and no suppressed

  5. Mechanism of brain tumor headache.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Lynne P

    2014-04-01

    Headaches occur commonly in all patients, including those who have brain tumors. Using the search terms "headache and brain tumors," "intracranial neoplasms and headache," "facial pain and brain tumors," "brain neoplasms/pathology," and "headache/etiology," we reviewed the literature from the past 78 years on the proposed mechanisms of brain tumor headache, beginning with the work of Penfield. Most of what we know about the mechanisms of brain tumor associated headache come from neurosurgical observations from intra-operative dural and blood vessel stimulation as well as intra-operative observations and anecdotal information about resolution of headache symptoms with various tumor-directed therapies. There is an increasing overlap between the primary and secondary headaches and they may actually share a similar biological mechanism. While there can be some criticism that the experimental work with dural and arterial stimulation produced head pain and not actual headache, when considered with the clinical observations about headache type, coupled with improvement after treatment of the primary tumor, we believe that traction on these structures, coupled with increased intracranial pressure, is clearly part of the genesis of brain tumor headache and may also involve peripheral sensitization with neurogenic inflammation as well as a component of central sensitization through trigeminovascular afferents on the meninges and cranial vessels. © 2014 American Headache Society.

  6. Serotonergic mechanisms in the migraine brain

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Marie Deen; Christensen, Casper Emil; Hougaard, Anders

    2017-01-01

    role of brain serotonergic mechanisms remains a matter of controversy. Methods We systematically searched PubMed for studies investigating the serotonergic system in the migraine brain by either molecular neuroimaging or electrophysiological methods. Results The literature search resulted in 59 papers......, of which 13 were eligible for review. The reviewed papers collectively support the notion that migraine patients have alterations in serotonergic neurotransmission. Most likely, migraine patients have a low cerebral serotonin level between attacks, which elevates during a migraine attack. Conclusion...... This review suggests that novel methods of investigating the serotonergic system in the migraine brain are warranted. Uncovering the serotonergic mechanisms in migraine pathophysiology could prove useful for the development of future migraine drugs....

  7. Brain mechanisms of emotions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simonov, P V

    1997-01-01

    At the 23rd International Congress of Physiology Sciences (Tokyo, 1965) the results of experiment led us to the conclusion that emotions were determined by the actual need and estimation of probability (possibility) of its satisfaction. Low probability of need satisfaction leads to negative emotions actively minimized by the subject. Increased probability of satisfaction, as compared to the earlier forecast, generates positive emotions which the subject tries to maximize, that is, to enhance, to prolong, to repeat. We named our concept the Need-Informational Theory of Emotions. According to this theory, motivation, emotion, and estimation of probability have different neuromorphological substrates. Activation through the hypothalamic motivatiogenic structures of the frontal parts of the neocortex orients the behavior to signals with a high probability of their reinforcement. At the same time the hippocampus is necessary for reactions to signals of low probability events, which are typical for the emotionally excited brain. By comparison of motivational excitation with available stimuli or their engrams, the amygdala selects a dominant motivation, destined to be satisfied in the first instance. In the cases of classical conditioning and escape reaction the reinforcement was related to involvement of the negative emotion's hypothalamic neurons, while in the course of avoidance reaction the positive emotion's neurons were involved. The role of the left and right frontal neocortex in the appearance or positive or negative emotions depends on these informational (cognitive) functions.

  8. Molecular mechanisms of cancer

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Weber, Georg F

    2007-01-01

    ... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Section I. General Mechanisms of Transformation 1. Theories of Carcinogenesis...

  9. Channel opening of gamma-aminobutyric acid receptor from rat brain: molecular mechanisms of the receptor responses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cash, D J; Subbarao, K

    1987-12-01

    The function of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors, which mediate transmembrane chloride flux, can be studied by use of 36Cl- isotope tracer with membrane from mammalian brain by quench-flow technique, with reaction times that allow resolution of the receptor desensitization rates from the ion flux rates. The rates of chloride exchange into the vesicles in the absence and presence of GABA were characterized with membrane from rat cerebral cortex. Unspecific 36Cl- influx was completed in three phases of ca. 3% (t 1/2 = 0.6 s), 56% (t 1/2 = 82 s), and 41% (t 1/2 = 23 min). GABA-mediated, specific chloride exchange occurred with 6.5% of the total vesicular internal volume. The GABA-dependent 36Cl- influx proceeded in two phases, each progressively slowed by desensitization. The measurements supported the presence of two distinguishable active GABA receptors on the same membrane mediating chloride exchange into the vesicles with initial first-order rate constants of 9.5 s-1 and 2.3 s-1 and desensitizing with first-order rate constants of 21 s-1 and 1.4 s-1, respectively, at saturation. The half-response concentrations were similar for both receptors, 150 microM and 114 microM GABA for desensitization and 105 microM and 82 microM for chloride exchange, for the faster and slower desensitizing receptors, respectively. The two receptors were present in the activity ratio of ca. 4/1, similar to the ratio of "low-affinity" to "high-affinity" GABA sites found in ligand binding experiments. The desensitization rates have a different dependence on GABA concentration than the channel-opening equilibria.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  10. Molecular Mechanisms of Preeclampsia

    OpenAIRE

    N. Vitoratos; D. Hassiakos; C. Iavazzo

    2012-01-01

    Preeclampsia is a pregnancy-specific disease characterized by new onset hypertension and proteinuria after 20 wk of gestation. It is a leading cause of maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality worldwide. Exciting discoveries in the last decade have contributed to a better understanding of the molecular basis of this disease. Epidemiological, experimental, and therapeutic studies from several laboratories have provided compelling evidence that an antiangiogenic state owing to alterations in ...

  11. Molecular Mechanisms of Preeclampsia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hod, Tammy; Cerdeira, Ana Sofia; Karumanchi, S Ananth

    2015-08-20

    Preeclampsia is a pregnancy-specific disease characterized by new onset hypertension and proteinuria after 20 wk of gestation. It is a leading cause of maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality worldwide. Exciting discoveries in the last decade have contributed to a better understanding of the molecular basis of this disease. Epidemiological, experimental, and therapeutic studies from several laboratories have provided compelling evidence that an antiangiogenic state owing to alterations in circulating angiogenic factors leads to preeclampsia. In this review, we highlight the role of key circulating antiangiogenic factors as pathogenic biomarkers and in the development of novel therapies for preeclampsia. Copyright © 2015 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press; all rights reserved.

  12. Molecular Mechanisms of Preeclampsia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hod, Tammy; Cerdeira, Ana Sofia; Karumanchi, S. Ananth

    2015-01-01

    Preeclampsia is a pregnancy-specific disease characterized by new onset hypertension and proteinuria after 20 wk of gestation. It is a leading cause of maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality worldwide. Exciting discoveries in the last decade have contributed to a better understanding of the molecular basis of this disease. Epidemiological, experimental, and therapeutic studies from several laboratories have provided compelling evidence that an antiangiogenic state owing to alterations in circulating angiogenic factors leads to preeclampsia. In this review, we highlight the role of key circulating antiangiogenic factors as pathogenic biomarkers and in the development of novel therapies for preeclampsia. PMID:26292986

  13. Molecular mechanisms of carcinogenesis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hall, E.J.

    1997-01-01

    The possibility that chromosomal changes are responsible for neoplasia was proposed in the early years of this century. A combination of improved cytogenetics and the advent of recombinant technology has settled the issue. As recently as 20 years ago, however, the genetic and molecular basis of familiar predisposition to cancer were a mystery, and it is only in the last few years that light has been shed on a few specific types of malignancies. As the genetic basis of human cancer had been documented, a number of genes have been identified as functioning either as oncogenes which act in a dominant fashion to promote tumor growth when mutated, or as tumor suppressor genes which act in a recessive fashion

  14. Molecular Mechanisms of Appetite Regulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ji Hee Yu

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available The prevalence of obesity has been rapidly increasing worldwide over the last several decades and has become a major health problem in developed countries. The brain, especially the hypothalamus, plays a key role in the control of food intake by sensing metabolic signals from peripheral organs and modulating feeding behaviors. To accomplish these important roles, the hypothalamus communicates with other brain areas such as the brainstem and reward-related limbic pathways. The adipocyte-derived hormone leptin and pancreatic β-cell-derived insulin inform adiposity to the hypothalamus. Gut hormones such as cholecystokinin, peptide YY, pancreatic polypeptide, glucagon-like peptide 1, and oxyntomodulin transfer satiety signals to the brain and ghrelin relays hunger signals. The endocannabinoid system and nutrients are also involved in the physiological regulation of food intake. In this article, we briefly review physiological mechanisms of appetite regulation.

  15. Effects of special brain area regional cerebral blood flow abnormal perfusion on learning and memory function and its molecular mechanism in rats

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2008-01-01

    s To study the effect of special brain area regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) abnormal perfusion on learning and memory function and its molecular mechanism,64 adult male healthy Spragne-Dawley (SD) rats were randomly divided into two groups,the false operation group (control group) and the operation group (model group).After surgical operation,the operation group undertook bilateral common carotid artery permanent ligation,while the other group did not.Learning and memory function were measured by Y-maze at 4 h,8 h,24 h and 3 d after surgical operation,respectively.The rCBF of the right frontal lobe and hippocampus was also detected by the PerifluxPF model laser Doppler flowmetry,and the expressions of c-fos or c-jun or Bcl-2 and Bax were also measured by immune histochemistry S-P method accordingly.Results showed that the rCBF of the right frontal lobe and hippocampus in the operation group was significantly lower than that in the false operation group (P < 0.05).The learning indexes,error number (EN),day of reach standard and total reaction time (TRT) in the operation group,were significantly higher than that in the false operation group (P< 0.05).However,the initiative evasion rate in the operation group was significantly lower than that in the false operation group.The study also found that the rCBF was relatively more,the indexes (EN,the day of reach standard and TRT) relatively fewer,but the initiative evasion rate and the memory keeping rate were relatively more.The positive expression and the average absorbency of Fos and Jun in the operation group were significantly higher than that in the false operation group (P< 0.05).Furthermore,Bax and Bcl-2 positive cells were all increased over time in the operation group,and the expression ratio of Bax/Bcl-2 in the operation group was significantly higher than that in the false operation group (P<0.01).In conclusion,rCBF decrease can impair the learning and memory function in rats,which may be related to

  16. STATINS AND MYOPATHY: MOLECULAR MECHANISMS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O. M. Drapkina

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The safety of statin therapy is considered. In particular the reasons of a complication such as myopathy are discussed in detail. The molecular mechanisms of statin myopathy , as well as its risk factors are presented. The role of coenzyme Q10 in the myopathy development and coenzyme Q10 application for the prevention of this complication are considered. 

  17. Brain mechanisms of flavor learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamamoto, Takashi; Ueji, Kayoko

    2011-01-01

    Once the flavor of the ingested food (conditioned stimulus, CS) is associated with a preferable (e.g., good taste or nutritive satisfaction) or aversive (e.g., malaise with displeasure) signal (unconditioned stimulus, US), animals react to its subsequent exposure by increasing or decreasing ingestion to the food. These two types of association learning (preference learning vs. aversion learning) are known as classical conditioned reactions which are basic learning and memory phenomena, leading selection of food and proper food intake. Since the perception of flavor is generated by interaction of taste and odor during food intake, taste and/or odor are mainly associated with bodily signals in the flavor learning. After briefly reviewing flavor learning in general, brain mechanisms of conditioned taste aversion is described in more detail. The CS-US association leading to long-term potentiation in the amygdala, especially in its basolateral nucleus, is the basis of establishment of conditioned taste aversion. The novelty of the CS detected by the cortical gustatory area may be supportive in CS-US association. After the association, CS input is conveyed through the amygdala to different brain regions including the hippocampus for contextual fear formation, to the supramammillary and thalamic paraventricular nuclei for stressful anxiety or memory dependent fearful or stressful emotion, to the reward system to induce aversive expression to the CS, or hedonic shift from positive to negative, and to the CS-responsive neurons in the gustatory system to enhance the responsiveness to facilitate to detect the harmful stimulus.

  18. Possible Brain Mechanisms of Creativity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heilman, Kenneth M

    2016-06-01

    Creativity is the new discovery, understanding, development and expression of orderly and meaningful relationships. Creativity has three major stages: preparation, the development (nature and nurture) of critical knowledge and skills; innovation, the development of a creative solution; and creative production. Successful preparation requires a basic level of general intelligence and domain specific knowledge and skills and highly creative people may have anatomic alterations of specific neocortical regions. Innovation requires disengagement and divergent thinking primarily mediated by frontal networks. Creative people are often risk-takers and novelty seekers, behaviors that activate their ventral striatal reward system. Innovation also requires associative and convergent thinking, activities that are dependent on the integration of highly distributed networks. People are often most creative when they are in mental states associated with reduced levels of brain norepinephrine, which may enhance the communication between distributed networks. We, however, need to learn more about the brain mechanisms of creativity. Published by Oxford University Press 2016. This work is written by (a) US Government employee(s) and is in the public domain in the US.

  19. Hyperinsulinemic Hypoglycemia ? The Molecular Mechanisms

    OpenAIRE

    Nessa, Azizun; Rahman, Sofia A.; Hussain, Khalid

    2016-01-01

    Under normal physiological conditions, pancreatic β-cells secrete insulin to maintain fasting blood glucose levels in the range 3.5–5.5 mmol/L. In hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia (HH), this precise regulation of insulin secretion is perturbed so that insulin continues to be secreted in the presence of hypoglycemia. HH may be due to genetic causes (congenital) or secondary to certain risk factors. The molecular mechanisms leading to HH involve defects in the key genes regulating insulin secretio...

  20. Brain mechanisms of flavor learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takashi eYamamoto

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Once the flavor of the ingested food (conditioned stimulus, CS is associated with a preferable (e.g., good taste or nutritive satisfaction or aversive (e.g., malaise with displeasure signal (unconditioned stimulus, US, animals react to its subsequent exposure by increasing or decreasing ingestion to the food. These two types of association learning (preference learning vs. aversion learning are known as classical conditioned reactions which are basic learning and memory phenomena, leading selection of food and proper food intake. Since the perception of flavor is generated by interaction of taste and odor during food intake, taste and/or odor are mainly associated with bodily signals in the flavor learning. After briefly reviewing flavor learning in general, brain mechanisms of conditioned taste aversion is described in more detail. The CS-US association leading to long-term potentiation in the amygdala, especially in its basolateral nucleus, is the basis of establishment of conditioned taste aversion. The novelty of the CS detected by the cortical gustatory area may be supportive in CS-US association. After the association, CS input is conveyed through the amygdala to different brain regions including the hippocampus for contextual fear formation, to the supramammilary and thalamic paraventricular nuclei for stressful anxiety or memory dependent fearful or stressful emotion, to the reward system to induce aversive expression to the CS, or hedonic shift from positive to negative, and to the CS-responsive neurons in the gustatory system to enhance the responsiveness to facilitate to detect the harmful stimulus.

  1. Molecular mechanisms of fluoride toxicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbier, Olivier; Arreola-Mendoza, Laura; Del Razo, Luz María

    2010-11-05

    Halfway through the twentieth century, fluoride piqued the interest of toxicologists due to its deleterious effects at high concentrations in human populations suffering from fluorosis and in in vivo experimental models. Until the 1990s, the toxicity of fluoride was largely ignored due to its "good reputation" for preventing caries via topical application and in dental toothpastes. However, in the last decade, interest in its undesirable effects has resurfaced due to the awareness that this element interacts with cellular systems even at low doses. In recent years, several investigations demonstrated that fluoride can induce oxidative stress and modulate intracellular redox homeostasis, lipid peroxidation and protein carbonyl content, as well as alter gene expression and cause apoptosis. Genes modulated by fluoride include those related to the stress response, metabolic enzymes, the cell cycle, cell-cell communications and signal transduction. The primary purpose of this review is to examine recent findings from our group and others that focus on the molecular mechanisms of the action of inorganic fluoride in several cellular processes with respect to potential physiological and toxicological implications. This review presents an overview of the current research on the molecular aspects of fluoride exposure with emphasis on biological targets and their possible mechanisms of involvement in fluoride cytotoxicity. The goal of this review is to enhance understanding of the mechanisms by which fluoride affects cells, with an emphasis on tissue-specific events in humans. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Molecular mechanisms of renal aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmitt, Roland; Melk, Anette

    2017-09-01

    Epidemiologic, clinical, and molecular evidence suggest that aging is a major contributor to the increasing incidence of acute kidney injury and chronic kidney disease. The aging kidney undergoes complex changes that predispose to renal pathology. The underlying molecular mechanisms could be the target of therapeutic strategies in the future. Here, we summarize recent insight into cellular and molecular processes that have been shown to contribute to the renal aging phenotype.The main clinical finding of renal aging is the decrease in glomerular filtration rate, and its structural correlate is the loss of functioning nephrons. Mechanistically, this has been linked to different processes, such as podocyte hypertrophy, glomerulosclerosis, tubular atrophy, and gradual microvascular rarefaction. Renal functional recovery after an episode of acute kidney injury is significantly worse in elderly patients. This decreased regenerative potential, which is a hallmark of the aging process, may be caused by cellular senescence. Accumulation of senescent cells could explain insufficient repair and functional loss, a view that has been strengthened by recent studies showing that removal of senescent cells results in attenuation of renal aging. Other potential mechanisms are alterations in autophagy as an important component of a disturbed renal stress response and functional differences in the inflammatory system. Promising therapeutic measures to counteract these age-related problems include mimetics of caloric restriction, pharmacologic renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system inhibition, and novel strategies of senotherapy with the goal of reducing the number of senescent cells to decrease aging-related disease in the kidney. Copyright © 2017 International Society of Nephrology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Molecular Mechanism of Somite Development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gulfidan Coskun

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available From third week of gestation, notochord and the neural folds begin to gather at the center of the embryo to form the paraxial mesoderm. Paraxial mesoderm separates into blocks of cells called somitomers at the lateral sides of the neural tube of the head region. At the beginning of the third week somitomeres take ring shapes and form blocks of somites from occipital region to caudal region. Although somites are transient structures, they are extremely important in organizing the segmental pattern of vertebrate embryos. Somites give rise to the cells that form the vertebrae and ribs, the dermis of the dorsal skin, the skeletal muscles of the back, and the skeletal muscles of the body wall and limbs. Somitogenesis are formed by a genetic mechanism that is regulated by cyclical expression of genes in the Notch, Wnt and fibroblast growth factor signaling pathways. The prevailing model of the mechanism governing somitogenesis is the “clock and wave front”. Somitogenesis has components of periodicity, separation, epithelialization and axial specification. According to this model, the clock causes cells to undergo repeated oscillations, with a particular phase of each oscillation defining the competency of cells in the presomitic mesoderm to form a somite. Any disruption in this mechanism can be cause of severe segmentation defects of the vertebrae and congenital anomalies. In this review, we discuss the molecular mechanisms underlying the somitogenesis which is an important part of morphogenesis. [Archives Medical Review Journal 2013; 22(3.000: 362-376

  4. Transcriptome analysis of the brain of the silkworm Bombyx mori infected with Bombyx mori nucleopolyhedrovirus: A new insight into the molecular mechanism of enhanced locomotor activity induced by viral infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Guobao; Zhang, Jianjia; Shen, Yunwang; Zheng, Qin; Feng, Min; Xiang, Xingwei; Wu, Xiaofeng

    2015-06-01

    Baculoviruses have been known to induce hyperactive behavior in their lepidopteran hosts for over a century. As a typical lepidopteran insect, the silkworm Bombyx mori displays enhanced locomotor activity (ELA) following infection with B. mori nucleopolyhedrovirus (BmNPV). Some investigations have focused on the molecular mechanisms underlying this abnormal hyperactive wandering behavior due to the virus; however, there are currently no reports about B. mori. Based on previous studies that have revealed that behavior is controlled by the central nervous system, the transcriptome profiles of the brains of BmNPV-infected and non-infected silkworm larvae were analyzed with the RNA-Seq technique to reveal the changes in the BmNPV-infected brain on the transcriptional level and to provide new clues regarding the molecular mechanisms that underlies BmNPV-induced ELA. Compared with the controls, a total of 742 differentially expressed genes (DEGs), including 218 up-regulated and 524 down-regulated candidates, were identified, of which 499, 117 and 144 DEGs could be classified into GO categories, KEGG pathways and COG annotations by GO, KEGG and COG analyses, respectively. We focused our attention on the DEGs that are involved in circadian rhythms, synaptic transmission and the serotonin receptor signaling pathway of B. mori. Our analyses suggested that these genes were related to the locomotor activity of B. mori via their essential roles in the regulations of a variety of behaviors and the down-regulation of their expressions following BmNPV infection. These results provide new insight into the molecular mechanisms of BmNPV-induced ELA. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Molecular Mechanisms of Induced Pluripotency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muchkaeva, I.A.; Dashinimaev, E.B.; Terskikh, V.V.; Sukhanov, Y.V.; Vasiliev, A.V.

    2012-01-01

    In this review the distinct aspects of somatic cell reprogramming are discussed. The molecular mechanisms of generation of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells from somatic cells via the introduction of transcription factors into adult somatic cells are considered. Particular attention is focused on the generation of iPS cells without genome modifications via the introduction of the mRNA of transcription factors or the use of small molecules. Furthermore, the strategy of direct reprogramming of somatic cells omitting the generation of iPS cells is considered. The data concerning the differences between ES and iPS cells and the problem of epigenetic memory are also discussed. In conclusion, the possibility of using iPS cells in regenerative medicine is considered. PMID:22708059

  6. Molecular Mechanisms of Bacterial Pathogenicity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuchs, Thilo Martin

    Cautious optimism has arisen over recent decades with respect to the long struggle against bacteria, viruses, and parasites. This has been offset, however, by a fatal complacency stemming from previous successes such as the development of antimicrobial drugs, the eradication of smallpox, and global immunization programs. Infectious diseases nevertheless remain the world's leading cause of death, killing at least 17 million persons annually [61]. Diarrheal diseases caused by Vibrio cholerae or Shigella dysenteriae kill about 3 million persons every year, most of them young children: Another 4 million die of tuberculosis or tetanus. Outbreaks of diphtheria in Eastern Europe threatens the population with a disease that had previously seemed to be overcome. Efforts to control infectious diseases more comprehensively are undermined not only by socioeconomic conditions but also by the nature of the pathogenic organisms itself; some isolates of Staphylococcus aureus and Enterobacter have become so resistant to drugs by horizontal gene transfer that they are almost untreatable. In addition, the mechanism of genetic variability helps pathogens to evade the human immune system, thus compromising the development of powerful vaccines. Therefore detailed knowledge of the molecular mechanisms of microbial pathogenicity is absolutely necessary to develop new strategies against infectious diseases and thus to lower their impact on human health and social development.

  7. Respiratory mechanics in brain injury: A review

    OpenAIRE

    Koutsoukou, Antonia; Katsiari, Maria; Orfanos, Stylianos E; Kotanidou, Anastasia; Daganou, Maria; Kyriakopoulou, Magdalini; Koulouris, Nikolaos G; Rovina, Nikoletta

    2016-01-01

    Several clinical and experimental studies have shown that lung injury occurs shortly after brain damage. The responsible mechanisms involve neurogenic pulmonary edema, inflammation, the harmful action of neurotransmitters, or autonomic system dysfunction. Mechanical ventilation, an essential component of life support in brain-damaged patients (BD), may be an additional traumatic factor to the already injured or susceptible to injury lungs of these patients thus worsening lung injury, in case ...

  8. Barrier mechanisms in the Drosophila blood-brain barrier

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samantha Jane Hindle

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The invertebrate blood-brain barrier field is growing at a rapid pace and, in recent years, studies have shown a physiologic and molecular complexity that has begun to rival its vertebrate counterpart. Novel mechanisms of paracellular barrier maintenance through GPCR signaling were the first demonstrations of the complex adaptive mechanisms of barrier physiology. Building upon this work, the integrity of the invertebrate blood-brain barrier has recently been shown to require coordinated function of all layers of the compound barrier structure, analogous to signaling between the layers of the vertebrate neurovascular unit. These findings strengthen the notion that many blood-brain barrier mechanisms are conserved between vertebrates and invertebrates, and suggest that novel findings in invertebrate model organisms will have a significant impact on the understanding of vertebrate BBB functions. In this vein, important roles in coordinating localized and systemic signaling to dictate organism development and growth are beginning to show how the blood-brain barrier can govern whole animal physiologies. This includes novel functions of blood-brain barrier gap junctions in orchestrating synchronized neuroblast proliferation, and of blood-brain barrier secreted antagonists of insulin receptor signaling. These advancements and others are pushing the field forward in exciting new directions. In this review, we provide a synopsis of invertebrate blood-brain barrier anatomy and physiology, with a focus on insights from the past 5 years, and highlight important areas for future study.

  9. Running from Disease: Molecular Mechanisms Associating Dopamine and Leptin Signaling in the Brain with Physical Inactivity, Obesity, and Type 2 Diabetes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruegsegger, Gregory N; Booth, Frank W

    2017-01-01

    Physical inactivity is a primary contributor to diseases such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes. Accelerometry data suggest that a majority of US adults fail to perform substantial levels of physical activity needed to improve health. Thus, understanding the molecular factors that stimulate physical activity, and physical inactivity, is imperative for the development of strategies to reduce sedentary behavior and in turn prevent chronic disease. Despite many of the well-known health benefits of physical activity being described, little is known about genetic and biological factors that may influence this complex behavior. The mesolimbic dopamine system regulates motivating and rewarding behavior as well as motor movement. Here, we present data supporting the hypothesis that obesity may mechanistically lower voluntary physical activity levels via dopamine dysregulation. In doing so, we review data that suggest mesolimbic dopamine activity is a strong contributor to voluntary physical activity behavior. We also summarize findings suggesting that obesity leads to central dopaminergic dysfunction, which in turn contributes to reductions in physical activity that often accompany obesity. Additionally, we highlight examples in which central leptin activity influences physical activity levels in a dopamine-dependent manner. Future elucidation of these mechanisms will help support strategies to increase physical activity levels in obese patients and prevent diseases caused by physical inactivity.

  10. Running from Disease: Molecular Mechanisms Associating Dopamine and Leptin Signaling in the Brain with Physical Inactivity, Obesity, and Type 2 Diabetes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gregory N. Ruegsegger

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Physical inactivity is a primary contributor to diseases such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes. Accelerometry data suggest that a majority of US adults fail to perform substantial levels of physical activity needed to improve health. Thus, understanding the molecular factors that stimulate physical activity, and physical inactivity, is imperative for the development of strategies to reduce sedentary behavior and in turn prevent chronic disease. Despite many of the well-known health benefits of physical activity being described, little is known about genetic and biological factors that may influence this complex behavior. The mesolimbic dopamine system regulates motivating and rewarding behavior as well as motor movement. Here, we present data supporting the hypothesis that obesity may mechanistically lower voluntary physical activity levels via dopamine dysregulation. In doing so, we review data that suggest mesolimbic dopamine activity is a strong contributor to voluntary physical activity behavior. We also summarize findings suggesting that obesity leads to central dopaminergic dysfunction, which in turn contributes to reductions in physical activity that often accompany obesity. Additionally, we highlight examples in which central leptin activity influences physical activity levels in a dopamine-dependent manner. Future elucidation of these mechanisms will help support strategies to increase physical activity levels in obese patients and prevent diseases caused by physical inactivity.

  11. Molecular toxicity mechanism of nanosilver

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Danielle McShan

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Silver is an ancient antibiotic that has found many new uses due to its unique properties on the nanoscale. Due to its presence in many consumer products, the toxicity of nanosilver has become a hot topic. This review summarizes recent advances, particularly the molecular mechanism of nanosilver toxicity. The surface of nanosilver can easily be oxidized by O2 and other molecules in the environmental and biological systems leading to the release of Ag+, a known toxic ion. Therefore, nanosilver toxicity is closely related to the release of Ag+. In fact, it is difficult to determine what portion of the toxicity is from the nano-form and what is from the ionic form. The surface oxidation rate is closely related to the nanosilver surface coating, coexisting molecules, especially thiol-containing compounds, lighting conditions, and the interaction of nanosilver with nucleic acids, lipid molecules, and proteins in a biological system. Nanosilver has been shown to penetrate the cell and become internalized. Thus, nanosilver often acts as a source of Ag+ inside the cell. One of the main mechanisms of toxicity is that it causes oxidative stress through the generation of reactive oxygen species and causes damage to cellular components including DNA damage, activation of antioxidant enzymes, depletion of antioxidant molecules (e.g., glutathione, binding and disabling of proteins, and damage to the cell membrane. Several major questions remain to be answered: (1 the toxic contribution from the ionic form versus the nano-form; (2 key enzymes and signaling pathways responsible for the toxicity; and (3 effect of coexisting molecules on the toxicity and its relationship to surface coating.

  12. Mechanics of the brain: perspectives, challenges, and opportunities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goriely, Alain; Geers, Marc G D; Holzapfel, Gerhard A; Jayamohan, Jayaratnam; Jérusalem, Antoine; Sivaloganathan, Sivabal; Squier, Waney; van Dommelen, Johannes A W; Waters, Sarah; Kuhl, Ellen

    2015-10-01

    The human brain is the continuous subject of extensive investigation aimed at understanding its behavior and function. Despite a clear evidence that mechanical factors play an important role in regulating brain activity, current research efforts focus mainly on the biochemical or electrophysiological activity of the brain. Here, we show that classical mechanical concepts including deformations, stretch, strain, strain rate, pressure, and stress play a crucial role in modulating both brain form and brain function. This opinion piece synthesizes expertise in applied mathematics, solid and fluid mechanics, biomechanics, experimentation, material sciences, neuropathology, and neurosurgery to address today's open questions at the forefront of neuromechanics. We critically review the current literature and discuss challenges related to neurodevelopment, cerebral edema, lissencephaly, polymicrogyria, hydrocephaly, craniectomy, spinal cord injury, tumor growth, traumatic brain injury, and shaken baby syndrome. The multi-disciplinary analysis of these various phenomena and pathologies presents new opportunities and suggests that mechanical modeling is a central tool to bridge the scales by synthesizing information from the molecular via the cellular and tissue all the way to the organ level.

  13. Conformation analysis of trehalose. Molecular dynamics simulation and molecular mechanics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Donnamaira, M.C.; Howard, E.I.; Grigera, J.R.

    1992-09-01

    Conformational analysis of the disaccharide trehalose is done by molecular dynamics and molecular mechanics. In spite of the different force fields used in each case, comparison between the molecular dynamics trajectories of the torsional angles of glycosidic linkage and energy conformational map shows a good agreement between both methods. By molecular dynamics it is observed a moderate mobility of the glycosidic linkage. The demands of computer time is comparable in both cases. (author). 6 refs, 4 figs

  14. Brain mechanisms underlying human communication

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthijs L Noordzij

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Human communication has been described as involving the coding-decoding of a conventional symbol system, which could be supported by parts of the human motor system (i.e. the “mirror neurons system”. However, this view does not explain how these conventions could develop in the first place. Here we target the neglected but crucial issue of how people organize their non-verbal behavior to communicate a given intention without pre-established conventions. We have measured behavioral and brain responses in pairs of subjects during communicative exchanges occurring in a real, interactive, on-line social context. In two fMRI studies, we found robust evidence that planning new communicative actions (by a sender and recognizing the communicative intention of the same actions (by a receiver relied on spatially overlapping portions of their brains (the right posterior superior temporal sulcus. The response of this region was lateralized to the right hemisphere, modulated by the ambiguity in meaning of the communicative acts, but not by their sensorimotor complexity. These results indicate that the sender of a communicative signal uses his own intention recognition system to make a prediction of the intention recognition performed by the receiver. This finding supports the notion that our communicative abilities are distinct from both sensorimotor processes and language abilities.

  15. Brain mechanisms underlying human communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noordzij, Matthijs L; Newman-Norlund, Sarah E; de Ruiter, Jan Peter; Hagoort, Peter; Levinson, Stephen C; Toni, Ivan

    2009-01-01

    Human communication has been described as involving the coding-decoding of a conventional symbol system, which could be supported by parts of the human motor system (i.e. the "mirror neurons system"). However, this view does not explain how these conventions could develop in the first place. Here we target the neglected but crucial issue of how people organize their non-verbal behavior to communicate a given intention without pre-established conventions. We have measured behavioral and brain responses in pairs of subjects during communicative exchanges occurring in a real, interactive, on-line social context. In two fMRI studies, we found robust evidence that planning new communicative actions (by a sender) and recognizing the communicative intention of the same actions (by a receiver) relied on spatially overlapping portions of their brains (the right posterior superior temporal sulcus). The response of this region was lateralized to the right hemisphere, modulated by the ambiguity in meaning of the communicative acts, but not by their sensorimotor complexity. These results indicate that the sender of a communicative signal uses his own intention recognition system to make a prediction of the intention recognition performed by the receiver. This finding supports the notion that our communicative abilities are distinct from both sensorimotor processes and language abilities.

  16. The biological significance of brain barrier mechanisms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Saunders, Norman R; Habgood, Mark D; Møllgård, Kjeld

    2016-01-01

    , but more work is required to evaluate the method before it can be tried in patients. Overall, our view is that much more fundamental knowledge of barrier mechanisms and development of new experimental methods will be required before drug targeting to the brain is likely to be a successful endeavor......Barrier mechanisms in the brain are important for its normal functioning and development. Stability of the brain's internal environment, particularly with respect to its ionic composition, is a prerequisite for the fundamental basis of its function, namely transmission of nerve impulses....... In addition, the appropriate and controlled supply of a wide range of nutrients such as glucose, amino acids, monocarboxylates, and vitamins is also essential for normal development and function. These are all cellular functions across the interfaces that separate the brain from the rest of the internal...

  17. Molecular mechanics calculations on cobalt phthalocyanine dimers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Heuts, J.P.A.; Schipper, E.T.W.M.; Piet, P.; German, A.L.

    1995-01-01

    In order to obtain insight into the structure of cobalt phthalocyanine dimers, molecular mechanics calculations were performed on dimeric cobalt phthalocyanine species. Molecular mechanics calculations are first presented on monomeric cobalt(II) phthalocyanine. Using the Tripos force field for the

  18. Mechanisms of gender-linked ischemic brain injury

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Mingyue; Dziennis, Suzan; Hurn, Patricia D.; Alkayed, Nabil J.

    2010-01-01

    Biological sex is an important determinant of stroke risk and outcome. Women are protected from cerebrovascular disease relative to men, an observation commonly attributed to the protective effect of female sex hormones, estrogen and progesterone. However, sex differences in brain injury persist well beyond the menopause and can be found in the pediatric population, suggesting that the effects of reproductive steroids may not completely explain sexual dimorphism in stroke. We review recent advances in our understanding of sex steroids (estradiol, progesterone and testosterone) in the context of ischemic cell death and neuroprotection. Understanding the molecular and cell-based mechanisms underlying sex differences in ischemic brain injury will lead to a better understanding of basic mechanisms of brain cell death and is an important step toward designing more effective therapeutic interventions in stroke. PMID:19531872

  19. [The brain mechanisms of emotions].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simonov, P V

    1997-01-01

    At the 23rd International Congress of Physiological Sciences (Tokyo, 1965) the results of experiment brought us to a conclusion that emotions were determined by the actual need and estimation of probability (possibility) of its satisfaction. Low probability of need satisfaction leads to negative emotions actively minimized by the subject. Increased probability of satisfaction, as compared to the earlier forecast, generates positive emotions which the subject tries to maximize, that is to enhance, to prolong, to repeat. We named our concept the Need-Informational Theory of Emotions. According to this theory, motivation, emotion and estimation of probability have different neuromorphological substrate. Activating by motivatiogenic structures of the hypothalamus the frontal parts of neocortex orients the behavior to signals with a high probability of their reinforcement. At the same time the hippocampus is necessary for reactions to signals of low probability events, which is typical for emotionally excited brain. By comparison of motivational excitation with available stimuli or their engrams the amygdala selects a dominant motivation, destined to be satisfied in the first instance. In the cases of classical conditioning and escape reaction the reinforcement was related to involvement of the negative emotion's hypothalamic neurons while in the course of avoidance reaction the positive emotion's neurons being involved. The role of the left and right frontal neocortex in the appearance of positive or negative emotions depends on this informational (cognitive) functions.

  20. Uncovering the mechanism(s) of deep brain stimulation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li Gang; Yu Chao; Lin Ling; Lu, Stephen C-Y

    2005-01-01

    Deep brain stimulators, often called 'pacemakers for the brain', are implantable devices which continuously deliver impulse stimulation to specific targeted nuclei of deep brain structure, namely deep brain stimulation (DBS). To date, deep brain stimulation (DBS) is the most effective clinical technique for the treatment of several medically refractory movement disorders (e.g., Parkinson's disease, essential tremor, and dystonia). In addition, new clinical applications of DBS for other neurologic and psychiatric disorders (e.g., epilepsy and obsessive-compulsive disorder) have been put forward. Although DBS has been effective in the treatment of movement disorders and is rapidly being explored for the treatment of other neurologic disorders, the scientific understanding of its mechanisms of action remains unclear and continues to be debated in the scientific community. Optimization of DBS technology for present and future therapeutic applications will depend on identification of the therapeutic mechanism(s) of action. The goal of this review is to address our present knowledge of the effects of high-frequency stimulation within the central nervous system and comment on the functional implications of this knowledge for uncovering the mechanism(s) of DBS

  1. Molecular Genetics Techniques to Develop New Treatments for Brain Cancers

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fox, Jacob; Fathallan-Shaykh, Hassan

    2006-09-22

    The objectives of this report are: (1) to devise novel molecular gene therapies for malignant brain tumors, (2) advance our understanding of the immune system in the central nervous system; and (3) apply genomics to find molecular probes to diagnose brain tumors, predict prognosis, biological behavior and their response to treatment.

  2. Molecular mechanisms of NCAM function

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hinsby, Anders M; Berezin, Vladimir; Bock, Elisabeth

    2004-01-01

    receptor that responds to both homophilic and heterophilic cues, as well as a mediator of cell-cell adhesion. This review describes NCAM function at the molecular level. We discuss recent models for extracellular ligand-interactions of NCAM, and the intracellular signaling cascade that follows to define...

  3. Molecular mechanisms of insulin resistance

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Review Article. ,. Molecular ... This review discusses recent advances in understanding of the structure and ... insulin action from receptor to the alteration of blood glucose. Hence, in ... the first protein to have its amino acid sequence determined;2 ... an integral membrane glycoprotein composed of two subunits, a and 13 ...

  4. Molecular mechanisms of synaptic remodeling in alcoholism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kyzar, Evan J; Pandey, Subhash C

    2015-08-05

    Alcohol use and alcohol addiction represent dysfunctional brain circuits resulting from neuroadaptive changes during protracted alcohol exposure and its withdrawal. Alcohol exerts a potent effect on synaptic plasticity and dendritic spine formation in specific brain regions, providing a neuroanatomical substrate for the pathophysiology of alcoholism. Epigenetics has recently emerged as a critical regulator of gene expression and synaptic plasticity-related events in the brain. Alcohol exposure and withdrawal induce changes in crucial epigenetic processes in the emotional brain circuitry (amygdala) that may be relevant to the negative affective state defined as the "dark side" of addiction. Here, we review the literature concerning synaptic plasticity and epigenetics, with a particular focus on molecular events related to dendritic remodeling during alcohol abuse and alcoholism. Targeting epigenetic processes that modulate synaptic plasticity may yield novel treatments for alcoholism. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

  5. Polarization effects in molecular mechanical force fields

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cieplak, Piotr [Burnham Institute for Medical Research, 10901 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92120 (United States); Dupradeau, Francois-Yves [UMR CNRS 6219-Faculte de Pharmacie, Universite de Picardie Jules Verne, 1 rue des Louvels, F-80037 Amiens (France); Duan, Yong [Genome Center and Department of Applied Science, University of California, Davis, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616 (United States); Wang Junmei, E-mail: pcieplak@burnham.or [Department of Pharmacology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, 6001 Forest Park Boulevard, ND9.136, Dallas, TX 75390-9050 (United States)

    2009-08-19

    The focus here is on incorporating electronic polarization into classical molecular mechanical force fields used for macromolecular simulations. First, we briefly examine currently used molecular mechanical force fields and the current status of intermolecular forces as viewed by quantum mechanical approaches. Next, we demonstrate how some components of quantum mechanical energy are effectively incorporated into classical molecular mechanical force fields. Finally, we assess the modeling methods of one such energy component-polarization energy-and present an overview of polarizable force fields and their current applications. Incorporating polarization effects into current force fields paves the way to developing potentially more accurate, though more complex, parameterizations that can be used for more realistic molecular simulations. (topical review)

  6. Molecular mechanism of insulin resistance

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Free fatty acids are known to play a key role in promoting loss of insulin sensitivity, thereby causing insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. However, the underlying mechanism involved is still unclear. In searching for the cause of the mechanism, it has been found that palmitate inhibits insulin receptor (IR) gene expression, ...

  7. Elucidation of Molecular Pathogenic Mechanisms of Norrie Disease

    OpenAIRE

    Luhmann, Ulrich F.O.

    2010-01-01

    Summary Norrie disease (ND) is a rare X-linked recessive congenital blindness, sometimes associated with deafness and mental retardation. In this thesis the molecular pathogenic mechanisms of this syndrome should be elucidated using the Ndph knockout mouse model. Gene expression studies but also histology and protein biochemistry were used to characterize the affected organs, eye and brain. Gene expression analyses of eyes at p21 using cDNA subtrac...

  8. Semiclassical mechanics with molecular applications

    CERN Document Server

    Child, M S

    2014-01-01

    Semiclassical mechanics, which stems from the old quantum theory, has seen a remarkable revival in recent years as a physically intuitive and computationally accurate scheme for the interpretation of modern experiments. The main text concentrates less on the mathematical foundations than on the global influence of the classical phase space structures on the quantum mechanical observables. Further mathematical detail is contained in the appendices. Worked problem sets are included as an aid to the student.

  9. Molecular biological mechanism II. Molecular mechanisms of cell cycle regulation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jung, T.

    2000-01-01

    The cell cycle in eukaryotes is regulated by central cell cycle controlling protein kinase complexes. These protein kinase complexes consist of a catalytic subunit from the cyclin-dependent protein kinase family (CDK), and a regulatory subunit from the cyclin family. Cyclins are characterised by their periodic cell cycle related synthesis and destruction. Each cell cycle phase is characterised by a specific set of CDKs and cyclins. The activity of CDK/cyclin complexes is mainly regulated on four levels. It is controlled by specific phosphorylation steps, the synthesis and destruction of cyclins, the binding of specific inhibitor proteins, and by active control of their intracellular localisation. At several critical points within the cell cycle, named checkpoints, the integrity of the cellular genome is monitored. If damage to the genome or an unfinished prior cell cycle phase is detected, the cell cycle progression is stopped. These cell cycle blocks are of great importance to secure survival of cells. Their primary importance is to prevent the manifestation and heritable passage of a mutated genome to daughter cells. Damage sensing, DNA repair, cell cycle control and apoptosis are closely linked cellular defence mechanisms to secure genome integrity. Disregulation in one of these defence mechanisms are potentially correlated with an increased cancer risk and therefore in at least some cases with an increased radiation sensitivity. (orig.) [de

  10. Molecular mechanisms of crystal growth

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pina, C. M.

    2000-01-01

    In this paper I present an example of the research that the Mineral Surface Group of the Munster University is conducting in the field of Crystal Growth. Atomic Force Microscopy (Am) in situ observations of different barite (BaSO4) faces growing from aqueous solutions, in combination with computer simulations of the surface attachment of growth units allows us to test crystal growth models. Our results demonstrate the strong structural control that a crystal can exert on its own growth, revealing also the limitation of the classical crystal growth theories (two dimensional nucleation and spiral growth models) in providing a complete explanation for the growth behaviour at a molecular scale. (Author) 6 refs

  11. Molecular mechanisms of induced pluripotency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kulcenty, Katarzyna; Wróblewska, Joanna; Mazurek, Sylwia; Liszewska, Ewa; Jaworski, Jacek

    2015-01-01

    Growing knowledge concerning transcriptional control of cellular pluripotency has led to the discovery that the fate of differentiated cells can be reversed, which has resulted in the generation, by means of genetic manipulation, of induced pluripotent stem cells. Overexpression of just four pluripotency-related transcription factors, namely Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, and c-Myc (Yamanaka factors, OKSM), in fibroblasts appears sufficient to produce this new cell type. Currently, we know that these factors induce several changes in genetic program of differentiated cells that can be divided in two general phases: the initial one is stochastic, and the subsequent one is highly hierarchical and organised. This review briefly discusses the molecular events leading to induction of pluripotency in response to forced presence of OKSM factors in somatic cells. We also discuss other reprogramming strategies used thus far as well as the advantages and disadvantages of laboratory approaches towards pluripotency induction in different cell types.

  12. Respiratory mechanics in brain injury: A review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koutsoukou, Antonia; Katsiari, Maria; Orfanos, Stylianos E; Kotanidou, Anastasia; Daganou, Maria; Kyriakopoulou, Magdalini; Koulouris, Nikolaos G; Rovina, Nikoletta

    2016-02-04

    Several clinical and experimental studies have shown that lung injury occurs shortly after brain damage. The responsible mechanisms involve neurogenic pulmonary edema, inflammation, the harmful action of neurotransmitters, or autonomic system dysfunction. Mechanical ventilation, an essential component of life support in brain-damaged patients (BD), may be an additional traumatic factor to the already injured or susceptible to injury lungs of these patients thus worsening lung injury, in case that non lung protective ventilator settings are applied. Measurement of respiratory mechanics in BD patients, as well as assessment of their evolution during mechanical ventilation, may lead to preclinical lung injury detection early enough, allowing thus the selection of the appropriate ventilator settings to avoid ventilator-induced lung injury. The aim of this review is to explore the mechanical properties of the respiratory system in BD patients along with the underlying mechanisms, and to translate the evidence of animal and clinical studies into therapeutic implications regarding the mechanical ventilation of these critically ill patients.

  13. Molecular pathogenesis and mechanisms of thyroid cancer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xing, Mingzhao

    2013-01-01

    Thyroid cancer is a common endocrine malignancy. There has been exciting progress in understanding its molecular pathogenesis in recent years, as best exemplified by the elucidation of the fundamental role of several major signalling pathways and related molecular derangements. Central to these mechanisms are the genetic and epigenetic alterations in these pathways, such as mutation, gene copy-number gain and aberrant gene methylation. Many of these molecular alterations represent novel diagnostic and prognostic molecular markers and therapeutic targets for thyroid cancer, which provide unprecedented opportunities for further research and clinical development of novel treatment strategies for this cancer. PMID:23429735

  14. Learning Predictive Statistics: Strategies and Brain Mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Rui; Shen, Yuan; Tino, Peter; Welchman, Andrew E; Kourtzi, Zoe

    2017-08-30

    When immersed in a new environment, we are challenged to decipher initially incomprehensible streams of sensory information. However, quite rapidly, the brain finds structure and meaning in these incoming signals, helping us to predict and prepare ourselves for future actions. This skill relies on extracting the statistics of event streams in the environment that contain regularities of variable complexity from simple repetitive patterns to complex probabilistic combinations. Here, we test the brain mechanisms that mediate our ability to adapt to the environment's statistics and predict upcoming events. By combining behavioral training and multisession fMRI in human participants (male and female), we track the corticostriatal mechanisms that mediate learning of temporal sequences as they change in structure complexity. We show that learning of predictive structures relates to individual decision strategy; that is, selecting the most probable outcome in a given context (maximizing) versus matching the exact sequence statistics. These strategies engage distinct human brain regions: maximizing engages dorsolateral prefrontal, cingulate, sensory-motor regions, and basal ganglia (dorsal caudate, putamen), whereas matching engages occipitotemporal regions (including the hippocampus) and basal ganglia (ventral caudate). Our findings provide evidence for distinct corticostriatal mechanisms that facilitate our ability to extract behaviorally relevant statistics to make predictions. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Making predictions about future events relies on interpreting streams of information that may initially appear incomprehensible. Past work has studied how humans identify repetitive patterns and associative pairings. However, the natural environment contains regularities that vary in complexity from simple repetition to complex probabilistic combinations. Here, we combine behavior and multisession fMRI to track the brain mechanisms that mediate our ability to adapt to

  15. Molecular Mechanisms of Renal Ischemic Conditioning Strategies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kierulf-Lassen, Casper; Nieuwenhuijs-Moeke, Gertrude J; Krogstrup, Nicoline V

    2015-01-01

    summarizes research on the molecular mechanisms underlying both local and remote ischemic pre-, per- and postconditioning of the kidney. The different types of conditioning strategies in the kidney recruit similar powerful pro-survival mechanisms. Likewise, renal ischemic conditioning mobilizes many...

  16. Molecular mechanisms of thyroid tumorigenesis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Krause, K.; Fuehrer, D.

    2008-01-01

    Thyroid nodules are the most frequent endocrine disorder and occur in approximately 30% of the German population. Thyroid nodular disease constitutes a very heterogeneous entity. A striking diversity of possible functional and morphological features of a thyroid tumour derived from the same thyroid ancestor cell, is a hallmark of thyroid tumorigenesis and is due to specific genetic alterations. Defects in known candidate genes can be found in up to 70% of differentiated thyroid carcinomas and determine the respective cancer phenotype. Papillary thyroid cancers (PTC) harbour BRAF (or much less frequently RAS) mutations in sporadically occurring tumours, while radiation-induced PTC display chromosomal rearrangements such as RET, TRK, APR9 / BRAF. These genetic events results in constitutive MAPKinase activation. Follicular thyroid cancers (FTC) harbour RAS mutations or PAX8/ PPARγ rearrangements, both of which, however have also been identified in follicular adenoma. In addition, recent studies show, that activation of PI3K/AKT signalling occurs with high frequency in follicular thyroid tumours. Undifferentiated (anaplastic) thyroid cancers (ATC) display genetic features of FTC or PTC, in addition to aberant activation of multiple tyrosinkinase pathways (overexpression or mutations in PI3K and MAPK pathways). This underscores the concept of a sequential evolution of ATC from differentiated thyroid cancer, a process widely conceived to be triggered by p53 inactivation. In contrast, the molecular pathogenesis of benign thyroid tumours, in particular cold thyroid nodules is less known, except for toxic thyroid nodules, which arise from constitutive activation of cAMP signalling, predominantly through TSHR mutations. (orig.)

  17. Quantum Interactomics and Cancer Molecular Mechanisms: I. Report Outline

    CERN Document Server

    Baianu, I C

    2004-01-01

    Single cell interactomics in simpler organisms, as well as somatic cell interactomics in multicellular organisms, involve biomolecular interactions in complex signalling pathways that were recently represented in modular terms by quantum automata with ‘reversible behavior’ representing normal cell cycling and division. Other implications of such quantum automata, modular modeling of signaling pathways and cell differentiation during development are in the fields of neural plasticity and brain development leading to quantum-weave dynamic patterns and specific molecular processes underlying extensive memory, learning, anticipation mechanisms and the emergence of human consciousness during the early brain development in children. Cell interactomics is here represented for the first time as a mixture of ‘classical’ states that determine molecular dynamics subject to Boltzmann statistics and ‘steady-state’, metabolic (multi-stable) manifolds, together with ‘configuration’ spaces of metastable quant...

  18. Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Hepatocellular Carcinoma

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Trepo

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Hepatocarcinogenesis is a complex process that remains still partly understood. That might be explained by the multiplicity of etiologic factors, the genetic/epigenetic heterogeneity of tumors bulks and the ignorance of the liver cell types that give rise to tumorigenic cells that have stem cell-like properties. The DNA stress induced by hepatocyte turnover, inflammation and maybe early oncogenic pathway activation and sometimes viral factors, leads to DNA damage response which activates the key tumor suppressive checkpoints p53/p21Cip1 and p16INK4a/pRb responsible of cell cycle arrest and cellular senescence as reflected by the cirrhosis stage. Still obscure mechanisms, but maybe involving the Wnt signaling and Twist proteins, would allow pre-senescent hepatocytes to bypass senescence, acquire immortality by telomerase reactivation and get the last genetic/epigenetic hits necessary for cancerous transformation. Among some of the oncogenic pathways that might play key driving roles in hepatocarcinogenesis, c-myc and the Wnt/β-catenin signaling seem of particular interest. Finally, antiproliferative and apoptosis deficiencies involving TGF-β, Akt/PTEN, IGF2 pathways for instance are prerequisite for cancerous transformation. Of evidence, not only the transformed liver cell per se but the facilitating microenvironment is of fundamental importance for tumor bulk growth and metastasis.

  19. Molecular mechanisms of DNA photodamage

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Starrs, S.M

    2000-05-01

    Photodamage in DNA, caused by ultraviolet (UV) light, can occur by direct excitation of the nucleobases or indirectly via the action of photosensitisers. Such, DNA photodamage can be potentially mutagenic or lethal. Among the methods available for detecting UV-induced DNA damage, gel sequencing protocols, utilising synthetic oligodeoxyribonucleotides as targets for UV radiation, allow photolesions to be mapped at nucleotide resolution. This approach has been applied to investigate both DNA damage mechanisms. Following a general overview of DNA photoreactivity, and a description of the main experimental procedures, Chapter 3 identifies the origin of an anomalous mobility shift observed in purine chemical sequence ladders that can confuse the interpretation of DNA cleavage results; measures to abolish this shift are also described. Chapters 4 and 5 examine the alkali-labile DNA damage photosensitised by representative nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and the fluoroquinolone antibiotics. Suprofen was the most photoactive NSAID studied, producing different patterns of guanine-specific damage in single-stranded and duplex DNA. Uniform modification of guanine bases, typifying attack by singlet oxygen, was observed in single-stranded oligodeoxyribonucleotides. In duplex molecules, modification was limited to the 5'-G of GG doublets, which is indicative of an electron transfer. The effect of quenchers and photoproduct analysis substantiated these findings. The quinolone, nalidixic acid, behaves similarly. The random base cleavage photosensitised by the fluoroquinolones, has been attributed to free radicals produced during their photodecomposition. Chapter 6 addresses the photoreactivity of purines within unusual DNA structures formed by the repeat sequences (GGA){sub n} and (GA){sub n}, and a minihairpin. There was no definitive evidence for enhanced purine reactivity caused by direct excitation. Finally, Chapter 7 investigates the mutagenic potential of a

  20. Molecular mechanisms of DNA photodamage

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Starrs, S.M.

    2000-05-01

    Photodamage in DNA, caused by ultraviolet (UV) light, can occur by direct excitation of the nucleobases or indirectly via the action of photosensitisers. Such, DNA photodamage can be potentially mutagenic or lethal. Among the methods available for detecting UV-induced DNA damage, gel sequencing protocols, utilising synthetic oligodeoxyribonucleotides as targets for UV radiation, allow photolesions to be mapped at nucleotide resolution. This approach has been applied to investigate both DNA damage mechanisms. Following a general overview of DNA photoreactivity, and a description of the main experimental procedures, Chapter 3 identifies the origin of an anomalous mobility shift observed in purine chemical sequence ladders that can confuse the interpretation of DNA cleavage results; measures to abolish this shift are also described. Chapters 4 and 5 examine the alkali-labile DNA damage photosensitised by representative nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and the fluoroquinolone antibiotics. Suprofen was the most photoactive NSAID studied, producing different patterns of guanine-specific damage in single-stranded and duplex DNA. Uniform modification of guanine bases, typifying attack by singlet oxygen, was observed in single-stranded oligodeoxyribonucleotides. In duplex molecules, modification was limited to the 5'-G of GG doublets, which is indicative of an electron transfer. The effect of quenchers and photoproduct analysis substantiated these findings. The quinolone, nalidixic acid, behaves similarly. The random base cleavage photosensitised by the fluoroquinolones, has been attributed to free radicals produced during their photodecomposition. Chapter 6 addresses the photoreactivity of purines within unusual DNA structures formed by the repeat sequences (GGA) n and (GA) n , and a minihairpin. There was no definitive evidence for enhanced purine reactivity caused by direct excitation. Finally, Chapter 7 investigates the mutagenic potential of a dimeric

  1. Quantum Mechanics/Molecular Mechanics Modeling of Drug Metabolism

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lonsdale, Richard; Fort, Rachel M; Rydberg, Patrik

    2016-01-01

    )-mexiletine in CYP1A2 with hybrid quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) methods, providing a more detailed and realistic model. Multiple reaction barriers have been calculated at the QM(B3LYP-D)/MM(CHARMM27) level for the direct N-oxidation and H-abstraction/rebound mechanisms. Our calculated barriers......The mechanism of cytochrome P450(CYP)-catalyzed hydroxylation of primary amines is currently unclear and is relevant to drug metabolism; previous small model calculations have suggested two possible mechanisms: direct N-oxidation and H-abstraction/rebound. We have modeled the N-hydroxylation of (R...... indicate that the direct N-oxidation mechanism is preferred and proceeds via the doublet spin state of Compound I. Molecular dynamics simulations indicate that the presence of an ordered water molecule in the active site assists in the binding of mexiletine in the active site...

  2. Probing the brain with molecular fMRI.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghosh, Souparno; Harvey, Peter; Simon, Jacob C; Jasanoff, Alan

    2018-04-09

    One of the greatest challenges of modern neuroscience is to incorporate our growing knowledge of molecular and cellular-scale physiology into integrated, organismic-scale models of brain function in behavior and cognition. Molecular-level functional magnetic resonance imaging (molecular fMRI) is a new technology that can help bridge these scales by mapping defined microscopic phenomena over large, optically inaccessible regions of the living brain. In this review, we explain how MRI-detectable imaging probes can be used to sensitize noninvasive imaging to mechanistically significant components of neural processing. We discuss how a combination of innovative probe design, advanced imaging methods, and strategies for brain delivery can make molecular fMRI an increasingly successful approach for spatiotemporally resolved studies of diverse neural phenomena, perhaps eventually in people. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Molecular machines with bio-inspired mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Liang; Marcos, Vanesa; Leigh, David A

    2018-02-26

    The widespread use of molecular-level motion in key natural processes suggests that great rewards could come from bridging the gap between the present generation of synthetic molecular machines-which by and large function as switches-and the machines of the macroscopic world, which utilize the synchronized behavior of integrated components to perform more sophisticated tasks than is possible with any individual switch. Should we try to make molecular machines of greater complexity by trying to mimic machines from the macroscopic world or instead apply unfamiliar (and no doubt have to discover or invent currently unknown) mechanisms utilized by biological machines? Here we try to answer that question by exploring some of the advances made to date using bio-inspired machine mechanisms.

  4. Molecular mechanism of Endosulfan action in mammals

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Keywords. DNA damage; double-strand break; genomic instability; infertility; MMEJ; NHEJ; pesticides. Abstract. Endosulfan is a broad-spectrum organochlorine pesticide, speculated to be detrimental to human health in areas ofactive exposure. However, the molecular insights to its mechanism of action remain poorly ...

  5. Short-term mechanisms influencing volumetric brain dynamics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dieleman, Nikki; Koek, Huiberdina L.; Hendrikse, Jeroen

    2017-01-01

    With the use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and brain analysis tools, it has become possible to measure brain volume changes up to around 0.5%. Besides long-term brain changes caused by atrophy in aging or neurodegenerative disease, short-term mechanisms that influence brain volume may exist.

  6. [Neonatal hyperbilirubinemia and molecular mechanisms of jaundice].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jirsa, M; Sticová, E

    2013-07-01

    The introductory summarises the classical path of heme degradation and classification of jaundice. Subsequently, a description of neonatal types of jaundice is given, known as Crigler Najjar, Gilberts, DubinJohnson and Rotor syndromes, emphasising the explanation of the molecular mechanisms of these metabolic disorders. Special attention is given to a recently discovered molecular mechanism of the Rotor syndrome. The mechanism is based on the inability of the liver to retrospectively uptake the conjugated bilirubin fraction primarily excreted into the blood, not bile. A reduced ability of the liver to uptake the conjugated bilirubin contributes to the development of hyperbilirubinemia in common disorders of the liver and bile ducts and to the toxicity of xenobiotics and drugs using transport proteins for conjugated bilirubin.

  7. Sampling Molecular Conformers in Solution with Quantum Mechanical Accuracy at a Nearly Molecular-Mechanics Cost.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosa, Marta; Micciarelli, Marco; Laio, Alessandro; Baroni, Stefano

    2016-09-13

    We introduce a method to evaluate the relative populations of different conformers of molecular species in solution, aiming at quantum mechanical accuracy, while keeping the computational cost at a nearly molecular-mechanics level. This goal is achieved by combining long classical molecular-dynamics simulations to sample the free-energy landscape of the system, advanced clustering techniques to identify the most relevant conformers, and thermodynamic perturbation theory to correct the resulting populations, using quantum-mechanical energies from density functional theory. A quantitative criterion for assessing the accuracy thus achieved is proposed. The resulting methodology is demonstrated in the specific case of cyanin (cyanidin-3-glucoside) in water solution.

  8. Molecular biology of the mammalian brain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Morrison, M.R.; Griffin, W.S.T.

    1985-01-01

    The authors' characterization of abundant mRNAs by analysis of their in vitro translation products has provided detailed information on the changes in steady-state mRNA levels taking place during brain and neuroblastoma differentiation as well as on more general aspects of mRNA structure and utilization in the nervous system. Quantitation of specific mRNAs using radiolabelled recombinant DNA probes has confirmed that the measurements of translationally active tubulin and actin mRNAs by this method are indeed an accurate indication of their steady-state levels. The technology is now available to characterize neuropathology at the cellular level. Analysis of mRNA changes in diseased brain are of obvious relevance in documenting gross pathological changes in transcription patterns. In situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry can now be used, perhaps even in combination with computer reconstruction to investigate more critically the specific cell losses so characteristic of diseases such as Huntington's, Parkinson's, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, multiple sclerosis, and Alzheimer's. In situ hybridization of probes to mRNAs encoding specific neurotransmitter enzymes and abundant ''housekeeping'' proteins can now be used to determine whether the remaining cells in affected brain areas are transcriptionally normal. Furthermore, this technique can also be used to document the transcriptional changes in cell types not presently identified as compromised and thus will pinpoint more precisely the initial cell targets of disease

  9. Molecular mechanisms of curcumin action: gene expression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shishodia, Shishir

    2013-01-01

    Curcumin derived from the tropical plant Curcuma longa has a long history of use as a dietary agent, food preservative, and in traditional Asian medicine. It has been used for centuries to treat biliary disorders, anorexia, cough, diabetic wounds, hepatic disorders, rheumatism, and sinusitis. The preventive and therapeutic properties of curcumin are associated with its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer properties. Extensive research over several decades has attempted to identify the molecular mechanisms of curcumin action. Curcumin modulates numerous molecular targets by altering their gene expression, signaling pathways, or through direct interaction. Curcumin regulates the expression of inflammatory cytokines (e.g., TNF, IL-1), growth factors (e.g., VEGF, EGF, FGF), growth factor receptors (e.g., EGFR, HER-2, AR), enzymes (e.g., COX-2, LOX, MMP9, MAPK, mTOR, Akt), adhesion molecules (e.g., ELAM-1, ICAM-1, VCAM-1), apoptosis related proteins (e.g., Bcl-2, caspases, DR, Fas), and cell cycle proteins (e.g., cyclin D1). Curcumin modulates the activity of several transcription factors (e.g., NF-κB, AP-1, STAT) and their signaling pathways. Based on its ability to affect multiple targets, curcumin has the potential for the prevention and treatment of various diseases including cancers, arthritis, allergies, atherosclerosis, aging, neurodegenerative disease, hepatic disorders, obesity, diabetes, psoriasis, and autoimmune diseases. This review summarizes the molecular mechanisms of modulation of gene expression by curcumin. Copyright © 2012 International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  10. Brain mechanisms that control sleep and waking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siegel, Jerome

    This review paper presents a brief historical survey of the technological and early research that laid the groundwork for recent advances in sleep-waking research. A major advance in this field occurred shortly after the end of World War II with the discovery of the ascending reticular activating system (ARAS) as the neural source in the brain stem of the waking state. Subsequent research showed that the brain stem activating system produced cortical arousal via two pathways: a dorsal route through the thalamus and a ventral route through the hypothalamus and basal forebrain. The nuclei, pathways, and neurotransmitters that comprise the multiple components of these arousal systems are described. Sleep is now recognized as being composed of two very different states: rapid eye movements (REMs) sleep and non-REM sleep. The major findings on the neural mechanisms that control these two sleep states are presented. This review ends with a discussion of two current views on the function of sleep: to maintain the integrity of the immune system and to enhance memory consolidation.

  11. Molecular mechanisms for protein-encoded inheritance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiltzius, Jed J. W.; Landau, Meytal; Nelson, Rebecca; Sawaya, Michael R.; Apostol, Marcin I.; Goldschmidt, Lukasz; Soriaga, Angela B.; Cascio, Duilio; Rajashankar, Kanagalaghatta; Eisenberg, David

    2013-01-01

    Strains are phenotypic variants, encoded by nucleic acid sequences in chromosomal inheritance and by protein “conformations” in prion inheritance and transmission. But how is a protein “conformation” stable enough to endure transmission between cells or organisms? Here new polymorphic crystal structures of segments of prion and other amyloid proteins offer structural mechanisms for prion strains. In packing polymorphism, prion strains are encoded by alternative packings (polymorphs) of β-sheets formed by the same segment of a protein; in a second mechanism, segmental polymorphism, prion strains are encoded by distinct β-sheets built from different segments of a protein. Both forms of polymorphism can produce enduring “conformations,” capable of encoding strains. These molecular mechanisms for transfer of information into prion strains share features with the familiar mechanism for transfer of information by nucleic acid inheritance, including sequence specificity and recognition by non-covalent bonds. PMID:19684598

  12. MOLECULAR MECHANISMS OF FEAR LEARNING AND MEMORY

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johansen, Joshua P.; Cain, Christopher K.; Ostroff, Linnaea E.; LeDoux, Joseph E.

    2011-01-01

    Pavlovian fear conditioning is a useful behavioral paradigm for exploring the molecular mechanisms of learning and memory because a well-defined response to a specific environmental stimulus is produced through associative learning processes. Synaptic plasticity in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA) underlies this form of associative learning. Here we summarize the molecular mechanisms that contribute to this synaptic plasticity in the context of auditory fear conditioning, the form of fear conditioning best understood at the molecular level. We discuss the neurotransmitter systems and signaling cascades that contribute to three phases of auditory fear conditioning: acquisition, consolidation, and reconsolidation. These studies suggest that multiple intracellular signaling pathways, including those triggered by activation of Hebbian processes and neuromodulatory receptors, interact to produce neural plasticity in the LA and behavioral fear conditioning. Together, this research illustrates the power of fear conditioning as a model system for characterizing the mechanisms of learning and memory in mammals, and potentially for understanding fear related disorders, such as PTSD and phobias. PMID:22036561

  13. Molecular mechanisms of fear learning and memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johansen, Joshua P; Cain, Christopher K; Ostroff, Linnaea E; LeDoux, Joseph E

    2011-10-28

    Pavlovian fear conditioning is a particularly useful behavioral paradigm for exploring the molecular mechanisms of learning and memory because a well-defined response to a specific environmental stimulus is produced through associative learning processes. Synaptic plasticity in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA) underlies this form of associative learning. Here, we summarize the molecular mechanisms that contribute to this synaptic plasticity in the context of auditory fear conditioning, the form of fear conditioning best understood at the molecular level. We discuss the neurotransmitter systems and signaling cascades that contribute to three phases of auditory fear conditioning: acquisition, consolidation, and reconsolidation. These studies suggest that multiple intracellular signaling pathways, including those triggered by activation of Hebbian processes and neuromodulatory receptors, interact to produce neural plasticity in the LA and behavioral fear conditioning. Collectively, this body of research illustrates the power of fear conditioning as a model system for characterizing the mechanisms of learning and memory in mammals and potentially for understanding fear-related disorders, such as PTSD and phobias. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Molecular Mechanisms Underlying the Epileptogenesis and Seizure Progression in Tuberous Sclerosis Complex 1 Deficient Mouse Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-10-01

    dysregulation in epileptogenesis in the developing brain? 2) What are the molecular mechanisms downstream of mTOR hyperactivation that trigger epileptogenesis...underlying epilepsy. Hopefully, a knowledge of these mechanisms will aid in a rational development of therapies. KEYWORDS Tuberous Sclerosis, Epilepsy

  15. Molecular Mechanisms in Exercise-Induced Cardioprotection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saeid Golbidi

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Physical inactivity is increasingly recognized as modifiable behavioral risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. A partial list of proposed mechanisms for exercise-induced cardioprotection include induction of heat shock proteins, increase in cardiac antioxidant capacity, expression of endoplasmic reticulum stress proteins, anatomical and physiological changes in the coronary arteries, changes in nitric oxide production, adaptational changes in cardiac mitochondria, increased autophagy, and improved function of sarcolemmal and/or mitochondrial ATP-sensitive potassium channels. It is currently unclear which of these protective mechanisms are essential for exercise-induced cardioprotection. However, most investigations focus on sarcolemmal KATP channels, NO production, and mitochondrial changes although it is very likely that other mechanisms may also exist. This paper discusses current information about these aforementioned topics and does not consider potentially important adaptations within blood or the autonomic nervous system. A better understanding of the molecular basis of exercise-induced cardioprotection will help to develop better therapeutic strategies.

  16. Biological Applications of Hybrid Quantum Mechanics/Molecular Mechanics Calculation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiyoung Kang

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Since in most cases biological macromolecular systems including solvent water molecules are remarkably large, the computational costs of performing ab initio calculations for the entire structures are prohibitive. Accordingly, QM calculations that are jointed with MM calculations are crucial to evaluate the long-range electrostatic interactions, which significantly affect the electronic structures of biological macromolecules. A UNIX-shell-based interface program connecting the quantum mechanics (QMs and molecular mechanics (MMs calculation engines, GAMESS and AMBER, was developed in our lab. The system was applied to a metalloenzyme, azurin, and PU.1-DNA complex; thereby, the significance of the environmental effects on the electronic structures of the site of interest was elucidated. Subsequently, hybrid QM/MM molecular dynamics (MD simulation using the calculation system was employed for investigation of mechanisms of hydrolysis (editing reaction in leucyl-tRNA synthetase complexed with the misaminoacylated tRNALeu, and a novel mechanism of the enzymatic reaction was revealed. Thus, our interface program can play a critical role as a powerful tool for state-of-the-art sophisticated hybrid ab initio QM/MM MD simulations of large systems, such as biological macromolecules.

  17. Molecular mechanism of Danshensu on platelet antiaggregation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Chen; Geng, Feng; Fan, Hua-Ying; Luan, Hai-Yun; Liu, Yue; Ji, Kai; Fu, Feng-Hua

    2018-04-01

    In this study, we detected the effect of Danshensu on PARs-PLCβsignaling pathway to elucidate molecular mechanism of Danshensu on platelet anti-aggregation. Our results demonstrate that Danshensu is able to decrease the levels of IP3, Ca2+ and AA secretion, which indicate that Danshensu may involve in PARs-PLCβ signaling pathways. Molecular docking study shows that Danshesu has similar polar interactions with PAR1 receptors as BMS200261 at the same position. The findings from our study enable a better understanding of Danshensu biological properties, which could ultimately lead to the development of multi-target antiplatelet natural medicine for the treatment and/or prevention of some thrombotic diseases.

  18. Measuring the mechanical properties of molecular conformers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jarvis, S. P.; Taylor, S.; Baran, J. D.; Champness, N. R.; Larsson, J. A.; Moriarty, P.

    2015-09-01

    Scanning probe-actuated single molecule manipulation has proven to be an exceptionally powerful tool for the systematic atomic-scale interrogation of molecular adsorbates. To date, however, the extent to which molecular conformation affects the force required to push or pull a single molecule has not been explored. Here we probe the mechanochemical response of two tetra(4-bromophenyl)porphyrin conformers using non-contact atomic force microscopy where we find a large difference between the lateral forces required for manipulation. Remarkably, despite sharing very similar adsorption characteristics, variations in the potential energy surface are capable of prohibiting probe-induced positioning of one conformer, while simultaneously permitting manipulation of the alternative conformational form. Our results are interpreted in the context of dispersion-corrected density functional theory calculations which reveal significant differences in the diffusion barriers for each conformer. These results demonstrate that conformational variation significantly modifies the mechanical response of even simple porpyhrins, potentially affecting many other flexible molecules.

  19. Molecular regionalization in the compact brain of the meiofaunal annelid Dinophilus gyrociliatus (Dinophilidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandra Kerbl

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Annelida is a morphologically diverse animal group that exhibits a remarkable variety in nervous system architecture (e.g., number and location of longitudinal cords, architecture of the brain. Despite this heterogeneity of neural arrangements, the molecular profiles related to central nervous system patterning seem to be conserved even between distantly related annelids. In particular, comparative molecular studies on brain and anterior neural region patterning genes have focused so far mainly on indirect-developing macrofaunal taxa. Therefore, analyses on microscopic, direct-developing annelids are important to attain a general picture of the evolutionary events underlying the vast diversity of annelid neuroanatomy. Results We have analyzed the expression domains of 11 evolutionarily conserved genes involved in brain and anterior neural patterning in adult females of the direct-developing meiofaunal annelid Dinophilus gyrociliatus. The small, compact brain shows expression of dimmed, foxg, goosecoid, homeobrain, nk2.1, orthodenticle, orthopedia, pax6, six3/6 and synaptotagmin-1. Although most of the studied markers localize to specific brain areas, the genes six3/6 and synaptotagmin-1 are expressed in nearly all perikarya of the brain. All genes except for goosecoid, pax6 and nk2.2 overlap in the anterior brain region, while the respective expression domains are more separated in the posterior brain. Conclusions Our findings reveal that the expression patterns of the genes foxg, orthodenticle, orthopedia and six3/6 correlate with those described in Platynereis dumerilii larvae, and homeobrain, nk2.1, orthodenticle and synaptotagmin-1 resemble the pattern of late larvae of Capitella teleta. Although data on other annelids are limited, molecular similarities between adult Dinophilus and larval Platynereis and Capitella suggest an overall conservation of molecular mechanisms patterning the anterior neural regions, independent

  20. Pitfall in quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical molecular dynamics simulation of small solutes in solution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Hao; Liu, Haiyan

    2013-05-30

    Developments in computing hardware and algorithms have made direct molecular dynamics simulation with the combined quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical methods affordable for small solute molecules in solution, in which much improved accuracy can be obtained via the quantum mechanical treatment of the solute molecule and even sometimes water molecules in the first solvation shell. However, unlike the conventional molecular mechanical simulations of large molecules, e.g., proteins, in solutions, special care must be taken in the technical details of the simulation, including the thermostat of the solute/solvent system, so that the conformational space of the solute molecules can be properly sampled. We show here that the common setup for classical molecular mechanical molecular dynamics simulations, such as the Berendsen or single Nose-Hoover thermostat, and/or rigid water models could lead to pathological sampling of the solutes' conformation. In the extreme example of a methanol molecule in aqueous solution, improper and sluggish setups could generate two peaks in the distribution of the O-H bond length. We discuss the factors responsible for this somewhat unexpected result and evoke a simple and ancient technical fix-up to resolve this problem.

  1. Studies on Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Spinocerebellar Ataxia Type 3

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kristensen, Line Vildbrad

    . Even though a range of mechanisms contributing to polyQ diseases have been uncovered, there is still no treatment available. One of the more common polyQ diseases is SCA3, which is caused by a polyQ expansion in the ataxin-3 protein that normally functions as a deubiquitinating enzyme involved...... in protein quality control. In SCA3 patients polyQ expanded ataxin-3 forms intranuclear inclusions in various brain areas, but why the polyQ expansion of ataxin-3 leads to neuronal dysfunction is still not well understood. This thesis describes molecular biological investigations of ataxin-3 biology, aimed...... at furthering our understanding of SCA3 disease mechanisms. In manuscript I, we investigated if post-translational modifications of ataxin-3 were changed by the polyQ expansion. The ubiquitin chain topology and ubiquitination pattern of ataxin-3 were unaltered by the polyQ expansion. In contrast...

  2. Mechanically controllable break junctions for molecular electronics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiang, Dong; Jeong, Hyunhak; Lee, Takhee; Mayer, Dirk

    2013-09-20

    A mechanically controllable break junction (MCBJ) represents a fundamental technique for the investigation of molecular electronic junctions, especially for the study of the electronic properties of single molecules. With unique advantages, the MCBJ technique has provided substantial insight into charge transport processes in molecules. In this review, the techniques for sample fabrication, operation and the various applications of MCBJs are introduced and the history, challenges and future of MCBJs are discussed. Copyright © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  3. Molecular mechanisms of action of bacterial exotoxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balfanz, J; Rautenberg, P; Ullmann, U

    1996-07-01

    Toxins are one of the inventive strategies that bacteria have developed in order to survive. As virulence factors, they play a major role in the pathogenesis of infectious diseases. Recent discoveries have once more highlighted the effectiveness of these precisely adjusted bacterial weapons. Furthermore, toxins have become an invaluable tool in the investigation of fundamental cell processes, including regulation of cellular functions by various G proteins, cytoskeletal dynamics and neural transmission. In this review, the bacterial toxins are presented in a rational classification based on the molecular mechanisms of action.

  4. Molecular mechanics of silk nanostructures under varied mechanical loading.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bratzel, Graham; Buehler, Markus J

    2012-06-01

    Spider dragline silk is a self-assembling tunable protein composite fiber that rivals many engineering fibers in tensile strength, extensibility, and toughness, making it one of the most versatile biocompatible materials and most inviting for synthetic mimicry. While experimental studies have shown that the peptide sequence and molecular structure of silk have a direct influence on the stiffness, toughness, and failure strength of silk, few molecular-level analyses of the nanostructure of silk assemblies, in particular, under variations of genetic sequences have been reported. In this study, atomistic-level structures of wildtype as well as modified MaSp1 protein from the Nephila clavipes spider dragline silk sequences, obtained using an in silico approach based on replica exchange molecular dynamics and explicit water molecular dynamics, are subjected to simulated nanomechanical testing using different force-control loading conditions including stretch, pull-out, and peel. The authors have explored the effects of the poly-alanine length of the N. clavipes MaSp1 peptide sequence and identify differences in nanomechanical loading conditions on the behavior of a unit cell of 15 strands with 840-990 total residues used to represent a cross-linking β-sheet crystal node in the network within a fibril of the dragline silk thread. The specific loading condition used, representing concepts derived from the protein network connectivity at larger scales, have a significant effect on the mechanical behavior. Our analysis incorporates stretching, pull-out, and peel testing to connect biochemical features to mechanical behavior. The method used in this study could find broad applications in de novo design of silk-like tunable materials for an array of applications. Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. Simulation with quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics for drug discovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbault, Florent; Maurel, François

    2015-10-01

    Biological macromolecules, such as proteins or nucleic acids, are (still) molecules and thus they follow the same chemical rules that any simple molecule follows, even if their size generally renders accurate studies unhelpful. However, in the context of drug discovery, a detailed analysis of ligand association is required for understanding or predicting their interactions and hybrid quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) computations are relevant tools to help elucidate this process. In this review, the authors explore the use of QM/MM for drug discovery. After a brief description of the molecular mechanics (MM) technique, the authors describe the subtractive and additive techniques for QM/MM computations. The authors then present several application cases in topics involved in drug discovery. QM/MM have been widely employed during the last decades to study chemical processes such as enzyme-inhibitor interactions. However, despite the enthusiasm around this area, plain MM simulations may be more meaningful than QM/MM. To obtain reliable results, the authors suggest fixing several keystone parameters according to the underlying chemistry of each studied system.

  6. Molecular mechanisms in radiation damage to DNA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Osman, R.

    1991-01-01

    The objectives of this work are to elucidate the molecular mechanisms that are responsible for radiation-induced DNA damage. The overall goal is to understand the relationship between the chemical and structural changes produced by ionizing radiation in DNA and the resulting impairment of biological function expressed as carcinogenesis or cell death. The studies are based on theoretical explorations of possible mechanisms that link initial radiation damage in the form of base and sugar damage to conformational changes in DNA. These mechanistic explorations should lead to the formulation of testable hypothesis regarding the processes of impairment of regulation of gene expression, alternation in DNA repair, and damage to DNA structure involved in cell death or cancer

  7. Molecular mechanisms of glucocorticoid receptor signaling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marta Labeur

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available This review highlights the most recent findings on the molecular mechanisms of the glucocorticoid receptor (GR. Most effects of glucocorticoids are mediated by the intracellular GR which is present in almost every tissue and controls transcriptional activation via direct and indirect mechanisms. Nevertheless the glucocorticoid responses are tissue -and gene- specific. GR associates selectively with corticosteroid ligands produced in the adrenal gland in response to changes of humoral homeostasis. Ligand interaction with GR promotes either GR binding to genomic glucocorticoid response elements, in turn modulating gene transcription, or interaction of GR monomers with other transcription factors activated by other signalling pathways leading to transrepression. The GR regulates a broad spectrum of physiological functions, including cell differentiation, metabolism and inflammatory responses. Thus, disruption or dysregulation of GR function will result in severe impairments in the maintenance of homeostasis and the control of adaptation to stress.

  8. Multiscale Quantum Mechanics/Molecular Mechanics Simulations with Neural Networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Lin; Wu, Jingheng; Yang, Weitao

    2016-10-11

    Molecular dynamics simulation with multiscale quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) methods is a very powerful tool for understanding the mechanism of chemical and biological processes in solution or enzymes. However, its computational cost can be too high for many biochemical systems because of the large number of ab initio QM calculations. Semiempirical QM/MM simulations have much higher efficiency. Its accuracy can be improved with a correction to reach the ab initio QM/MM level. The computational cost on the ab initio calculation for the correction determines the efficiency. In this paper we developed a neural network method for QM/MM calculation as an extension of the neural-network representation reported by Behler and Parrinello. With this approach, the potential energy of any configuration along the reaction path for a given QM/MM system can be predicted at the ab initio QM/MM level based on the semiempirical QM/MM simulations. We further applied this method to three reactions in water to calculate the free energy changes. The free-energy profile obtained from the semiempirical QM/MM simulation is corrected to the ab initio QM/MM level with the potential energies predicted with the constructed neural network. The results are in excellent accordance with the reference data that are obtained from the ab initio QM/MM molecular dynamics simulation or corrected with direct ab initio QM/MM potential energies. Compared with the correction using direct ab initio QM/MM potential energies, our method shows a speed-up of 1 or 2 orders of magnitude. It demonstrates that the neural network method combined with the semiempirical QM/MM calculation can be an efficient and reliable strategy for chemical reaction simulations.

  9. Programmed necrosis and necroptosis – molecular mechanisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Agata Giżycka

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Programmed necrosis has been proven vital for organism development and homeostasis maintenance. Its regulatory effects on functional activity of the immune system, as well as on pathways regulating the death mechanisms in cells with diminished apoptotic activity, including malignant cells, have been confirmed. There is also increasing evidence indicating necrosis involvement in many human pathologies. Contrary to previous beliefs, necrosis is not only a passive, pathological, gene-independent process. However, the current knowledge regarding molecular regulation of programmed necrosis is scarce. In part this is due to the multiplicity and complexity of signaling pathways involved in programmed necrosis, as well as the absence of specific cellular markers identifying this process, but also the ambiguous and imprecise international terminology. This review presents the current state of the art on molecular mechanisms of programmed necrosis. In particular, its specific and frequent form, necroptosis, is discussed. The role of RIP1 and RIP3 kinases in this process is presented, as well as the diverse pathways induced by ligation of tumor necrosis factor α, to its receptor, TNFR1, i.e. cell survival, apoptosis or necroptosis.

  10. Understanding the molecular mechanisms of reprogramming

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Krause, Marie N. [Gene Expression Laboratory, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, 10010 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla 92037, CA (United States); University Hospital of Würzburg, Department of Pediatrics, 2 Josef-Schneiderstrasse, 97080 Würzburg (Germany); Sancho-Martinez, Ignacio [Gene Expression Laboratory, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, 10010 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla 92037, CA (United States); Centre for Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine, King' s College London, 28th Floor, Tower Wing, Guy' s Hospital, Great Maze Pond, London (United Kingdom); Izpisua Belmonte, Juan Carlos, E-mail: belmonte@salk.edu [Gene Expression Laboratory, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, 10010 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla 92037, CA (United States)

    2016-05-06

    Despite the profound and rapid advancements in reprogramming technologies since the generation of the first induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) in 2006[1], the molecular basics of the process and its implications are still not fully understood. Recent work has suggested that a subset of TFs, so called “Pioneer TFs”, play an important role during the stochastic phase of iPSC reprogramming [2–6]. Pioneer TFs activities differ from conventional transcription factors in their mechanism of action. They bind directly to condensed chromatin and elicit a series of chromatin remodeling events that lead to opening of the chromatin. Chromatin decondensation by pioneer factors progressively occurs during cell division and in turn exposes specific gene promoters in the DNA to which TFs can now directly bind to promoters that are readily accessible[2, 6]. Here, we will summarize recent advancements on our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying reprogramming to iPSC as well as the implications that pioneer Transcription Factor activities might play during different lineage conversion processes. - Highlights: • Pioneer transcription factor activity underlies the initial steps of iPSC generation. • Reprogramming can occur by cis- and/or trans- reprogramming events. • Cis-reprogramming implies remodeling of the chromatin for enabling TF accessibility. • Trans-reprogramming encompasses direct binding of Tfs to their target gene promoters.

  11. The Center for Integrated Molecular Brain Imaging (Cimbi) database

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Knudsen, Gitte M.; Jensen, Peter S.; Erritzoe, David

    2016-01-01

    We here describe a multimodality neuroimaging containing data from healthy volunteers and patients, acquired within the Lundbeck Foundation Center for Integrated Molecular Brain Imaging (Cimbi) in Copenhagen, Denmark. The data is of particular relevance for neurobiological research questions rela...... currently contains blood and in some instances saliva samples from about 500 healthy volunteers and 300 patients with e.g., major depression, dementia, substance abuse, obesity, and impulsive aggression. Data continue to be added to the Cimbi database and biobank....

  12. Barrier mechanisms in the Drosophila blood-brain barrier.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hindle, Samantha J; Bainton, Roland J

    2014-01-01

    The invertebrate blood-brain barrier (BBB) field is growing at a rapid pace and, in recent years, studies have shown a physiologic and molecular complexity that has begun to rival its vertebrate counterpart. Novel mechanisms of paracellular barrier maintenance through G-protein coupled receptor signaling were the first demonstrations of the complex adaptive mechanisms of barrier physiology. Building upon this work, the integrity of the invertebrate BBB has recently been shown to require coordinated function of all layers of the compound barrier structure, analogous to signaling between the layers of the vertebrate neurovascular unit. These findings strengthen the notion that many BBB mechanisms are conserved between vertebrates and invertebrates, and suggest that novel findings in invertebrate model organisms will have a significant impact on the understanding of vertebrate BBB functions. In this vein, important roles in coordinating localized and systemic signaling to dictate organism development and growth are beginning to show how the BBB can govern whole animal physiologies. This includes novel functions of BBB gap junctions in orchestrating synchronized neuroblast proliferation, and of BBB secreted antagonists of insulin receptor signaling. These advancements and others are pushing the field forward in exciting new directions. In this review, we provide a synopsis of invertebrate BBB anatomy and physiology, with a focus on insights from the past 5 years, and highlight important areas for future study.

  13. Short-term mechanisms influencing volumetric brain dynamics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nikki Dieleman

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available With the use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI and brain analysis tools, it has become possible to measure brain volume changes up to around 0.5%. Besides long-term brain changes caused by atrophy in aging or neurodegenerative disease, short-term mechanisms that influence brain volume may exist. When we focus on short-term changes of the brain, changes may be either physiological or pathological. As such determining the cause of volumetric dynamics of the brain is essential. Additionally for an accurate interpretation of longitudinal brain volume measures by means of neurodegeneration, knowledge about the short-term changes is needed. Therefore, in this review, we discuss the possible mechanisms influencing brain volumes on a short-term basis and set-out a framework of MRI techniques to be used for volumetric changes as well as the used analysis tools. 3D T1-weighted images are the images of choice when it comes to MRI of brain volume. These images are excellent to determine brain volume and can be used together with an analysis tool to determine the degree of volume change. Mechanisms that decrease global brain volume are: fluid restriction, evening MRI measurements, corticosteroids, antipsychotics and short-term effects of pathological processes like Alzheimer's disease, hypertension and Diabetes mellitus type II. Mechanisms increasing the brain volume include fluid intake, morning MRI measurements, surgical revascularization and probably medications like anti-inflammatory drugs and anti-hypertensive medication. Exercise was found to have no effect on brain volume on a short-term basis, which may imply that dehydration caused by exercise differs from dehydration by fluid restriction. In the upcoming years, attention should be directed towards studies investigating physiological short-term changes within the light of long-term pathological changes. Ultimately this may lead to a better understanding of the physiological short-term effects of

  14. Transverse section brain imager scanning mechanism

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Doherty, E.J.

    1982-01-01

    An array of focussed collimators enables the quantification and spatial location of the radioactivity of a body organ, such as the brain, of a patient who has been administered material tagged with radionuclides

  15. Brain injury with diabetes mellitus: evidence, mechanisms and treatment implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamed, Sherifa A

    2017-04-01

    Diabetes mellitus is a risk for brain injury. Brain injury is associated with acute and chronic hyperglycaemia, insulin resistance, hyperinsulinemia, diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) and hypoglycaemic events in diabetic patients. Hyperglycemia is a cause of cognitive deterioration, low intelligent quotient, neurodegeneration, brain aging, brain atrophy and dementia. Areas covered: The current review highlights the experimental, clinical, neuroimaging and neuropathological evidence of brain injury induced by diabetes and its associated metabolic derangements. It also highlights the mechanisms of diabetes-induced brain injury. It seems that the pathogenesis of hyperglycemia-induced brain injury is complex and includes combination of vascular disease, oxidative stress, neuroinflammation, mitochondrial dysfunction, apoptosis, reduction of neurotrophic factors, acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activation, neurotransmitters' changes, impairment of brain repair processes, impairment of brain glymphatic system, accumulation of amyloid β and tau phosphorylation and neurodegeneration. The potentials for prevention and treatment are also discussed. Expert commentary: We summarize the risks and the possible mechanisms of DM-induced brain injury and recommend strategies for neuroprotection and neurorestoration. Recently, a number of drugs and substances [in addition to insulin and its mimics] have shown promising potentials against diabetes-induced brain injury. These include: antioxidants, neuroinflammation inhibitors, anti-apoptotics, neurotrophic factors, AChE inhibitors, mitochondrial function modifiers and cell based therapies.

  16. Molecular Mechanisms of Mouse Skin Tumor Promotion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rundhaug, Joyce E.; Fischer, Susan M.

    2010-01-01

    Multiple molecular mechanisms are involved in the promotion of skin carcinogenesis. Induction of sustained proliferation and epidermal hyperplasia by direct activation of mitotic signaling pathways or indirectly in response to chronic wounding and/or inflammation, or due to a block in terminal differentiation or resistance to apoptosis is necessary to allow clonal expansion of initiated cells with DNA mutations to form skin tumors. The mitotic pathways include activation of epidermal growth factor receptor and Ras/Raf/mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling. Chronic inflammation results in inflammatory cell secretion of growth factors and cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukins, as well as production of reactive oxygen species, all of which can stimulate proliferation. Persistent activation of these pathways leads to tumor promotion

  17. Molecular Mechanisms of DNA Replication Checkpoint Activation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bénédicte Recolin

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available The major challenge of the cell cycle is to deliver an intact, and fully duplicated, genetic material to the daughter cells. To this end, progression of DNA synthesis is monitored by a feedback mechanism known as replication checkpoint that is untimely linked to DNA replication. This signaling pathway ensures coordination of DNA synthesis with cell cycle progression. Failure to activate this checkpoint in response to perturbation of DNA synthesis (replication stress results in forced cell division leading to chromosome fragmentation, aneuploidy, and genomic instability. In this review, we will describe current knowledge of the molecular determinants of the DNA replication checkpoint in eukaryotic cells and discuss a model of activation of this signaling pathway crucial for maintenance of genomic stability.

  18. Dissecting the Molecular Mechanisms of Neurodegenerative Diseases through Network Biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jose A. Santiago

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Neurodegenerative diseases are rarely caused by a mutation in a single gene but rather influenced by a combination of genetic, epigenetic and environmental factors. Emerging high-throughput technologies such as RNA sequencing have been instrumental in deciphering the molecular landscape of neurodegenerative diseases, however, the interpretation of such large amounts of data remains a challenge. Network biology has become a powerful platform to integrate multiple omics data to comprehensively explore the molecular networks in the context of health and disease. In this review article, we highlight recent advances in network biology approaches with an emphasis in brain-networks that have provided insights into the molecular mechanisms leading to the most prevalent neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s (AD, Parkinson’s (PD and Huntington’s diseases (HD. We discuss how integrative approaches using multi-omics data from different tissues have been valuable for identifying biomarkers and therapeutic targets. In addition, we discuss the challenges the field of network medicine faces toward the translation of network-based findings into clinically actionable tools for personalized medicine applications.

  19. Molecular mechanism of the Syk activation switch.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsang, Emily; Giannetti, Anthony M; Shaw, David; Dinh, Marie; Tse, Joyce K Y; Gandhi, Shaan; Ho, Hoangdung; Wang, Sandra; Papp, Eva; Bradshaw, J Michael

    2008-11-21

    Many immune signaling pathways require activation of the Syk tyrosine kinase to link ligation of surface receptors to changes in gene expression. Despite the central role of Syk in these pathways, the Syk activation process remains poorly understood. In this work we quantitatively characterized the molecular mechanism of Syk activation in vitro using a real time fluorescence kinase assay, mutagenesis, and other biochemical techniques. We found that dephosphorylated full-length Syk demonstrates a low initial rate of substrate phosphorylation that increases during the kinase reaction due to autophosphorylation. The initial rate of Syk activity was strongly increased by either pre-autophosphorylation or binding of phosphorylated immune tyrosine activation motif peptides, and each of these factors independently fully activated Syk. Deletion mutagenesis was used to identify regions of Syk important for regulation, and residues 340-356 of the SH2 kinase linker region were identified to be important for suppression of activity before activation. Comparison of the activation processes of Syk and Zap-70 revealed that Syk is more readily activated by autophosphorylation than Zap-70, although both kinases are rapidly activated by Src family kinases. We also studied Syk activity in B cell lysates and found endogenous Syk is also activated by phosphorylation and immune tyrosine activation motif binding. Together these experiments show that Syk functions as an "OR-gate" type of molecular switch. This mechanism of switch-like activation helps explain how Syk is both rapidly activated after receptor binding but also sustains activity over time to facilitate longer term changes in gene expression.

  20. Exact and Optimal Quantum Mechanics/Molecular Mechanics Boundaries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Qiming; Chan, Garnet Kin-Lic

    2014-09-09

    Motivated by recent work in density matrix embedding theory, we define exact link orbitals that capture all quantum mechanical (QM) effects across arbitrary quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) boundaries. Exact link orbitals are rigorously defined from the full QM solution, and their number is equal to the number of orbitals in the primary QM region. Truncating the exact set yields a smaller set of link orbitals optimal with respect to reproducing the primary region density matrix. We use the optimal link orbitals to obtain insight into the limits of QM/MM boundary treatments. We further analyze the popular general hybrid orbital (GHO) QM/MM boundary across a test suite of molecules. We find that GHOs are often good proxies for the most important optimal link orbital, although there is little detailed correlation between the detailed GHO composition and optimal link orbital valence weights. The optimal theory shows that anions and cations cannot be described by a single link orbital. However, expanding to include the second most important optimal link orbital in the boundary recovers an accurate description. The second optimal link orbital takes the chemically intuitive form of a donor or acceptor orbital for charge redistribution, suggesting that optimal link orbitals can be used as interpretative tools for electron transfer. We further find that two optimal link orbitals are also sufficient for boundaries that cut across double bonds. Finally, we suggest how to construct "approximately" optimal link orbitals for practical QM/MM calculations.

  1. Molecular medicine of fragile X syndrome: based on known molecular mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Shi-Yu; Wu, Ling-Qian; Duan, Ran-Hui

    2016-02-01

    Extensive research on fragile X mental retardation gene knockout mice and mutant Drosophila models has largely expanded our knowledge on mechanism-based treatment of fragile X syndrome (FXS). In light of these findings, several clinical trials are now underway for therapeutic translation to humans. Electronic literature searches were conducted using the PubMed database and ClinicalTrials.gov. The search terms included "fragile X syndrome", "FXS and medication", "FXS and therapeutics" and "FXS and treatment". Based on the publications identified in this search, we reviewed the neuroanatomical abnormalities in FXS patients and the potential pathogenic mechanisms to monitor the progress of FXS research, from basic studies to clinical trials. The pathological mechanisms of FXS were categorized on the basis of neuroanatomy, synaptic structure, synaptic transmission and fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP) loss of function. The neuroanatomical abnormalities in FXS were described to motivate extensive research into the region-specific pathologies in the brain responsible for FXS behavioural manifestations. Mechanism-directed molecular medicines were classified according to their target pathological mechanisms, and the most recent progress in clinical trials was discussed. Current mechanism-based studies and clinical trials have greatly contributed to the development of FXS pharmacological therapeutics. Research examining the extent to which these treatments provided a rescue effect or FMRP compensation for the developmental impairments in FXS patients may help to improve the efficacy of treatments.

  2. Molecular Mechanisms of Circadian Regulation During Spaceflight

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zanello, S. B.; Boyle, R.

    2012-01-01

    The physiology of both vertebrates and invertebrates follows internal rhythms coordinated in phase with the 24-hour daily light cycle. This circadian clock is governed by a central pacemaker, the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) in the brain. However, peripheral circadian clocks or oscillators have been identified in most tissues. How the central and peripheral oscillators are synchronized is still being elucidated. Light is the main environmental cue that entrains the circadian clock. Under the absence of a light stimulus, the clock continues its oscillation in a free-running condition. In general, three functional compartments of the circadian clock are defined. The vertebrate retina contains endogenous clocks that control many aspects of retinal physiology, including retinal sensitivity to light, neurohormone synthesis (melatonin and dopamine), rod disk shedding, signalling pathways and gene expression. Neurons with putative local circadian rhythm generation are found among all the major neuron populations in the mammalian retina. In the mouse, clock genes and function are more localized to the inner retinal and ganglion cell layers. The photoreceptor, however, secrete melatonin which may still serve a an important circadian signal. The reception and transmission of the non-visual photic stimulus resides in a small subpopulation (1-3%) or retinal ganglion cells (RGC) that express the pigment melanopsin (Opn4) and are called intrisically photoreceptive RGC (ipRGC). Melanopsin peak absorption is at 420 nm and all the axons of the ipRGC reach the SCN. A common countermeasure for circadian re-entrainment utilizes blue-green light to entrain the circadian clock and mitigate the risk of fatigue and health and performance decrement due to circadian rhythm disruption. However, an effective countermeasure targeting the photoreceptor system requires that the basic circadian molecular machinery remains intact during spaceflight. We hypothesize that spaceflight may affect ip

  3. Neuronal survival in the brain: neuron type-specific mechanisms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pfisterer, Ulrich Gottfried; Khodosevich, Konstantin

    2017-01-01

    Neurogenic regions of mammalian brain produce many more neurons that will eventually survive and reach a mature stage. Developmental cell death affects both embryonically produced immature neurons and those immature neurons that are generated in regions of adult neurogenesis. Removal of substantial...... numbers of neurons that are not yet completely integrated into the local circuits helps to ensure that maturation and homeostatic function of neuronal networks in the brain proceed correctly. External signals from brain microenvironment together with intrinsic signaling pathways determine whether...... for survival in a certain brain region. This review focuses on how immature neurons survive during normal and impaired brain development, both in the embryonic/neonatal brain and in brain regions associated with adult neurogenesis, and emphasizes neuron type-specific mechanisms that help to survive for various...

  4. Molecular and cellular mechanisms of aortic stenosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yetkin, Ertan; Waltenberger, Johannes

    2009-06-12

    Calcific aortic stenosis is the most common cause of aortic valve replacement in developed countries, and this condition increases in prevalence with advancing age. The fibrotic thickening and calcification are common eventual endpoint in both non-rheumatic calcific and rheumatic aortic stenoses. New observations in human aortic valves support the hypothesis that degenerative valvular aortic stenosis is the result of active bone formation in the aortic valve, which may be mediated through a process of osteoblast-like differentiation in these tissues. Additionally histopathologic evidence suggests that early lesions in aortic valves are not just a disease process secondary to aging, but an active cellular process that follows the classical "response to injury hypothesis" similar to the situation in atherosclerosis. Although there are similarities with the risk factor and as well as with the process of atherogenesis, not all the patients with coronary artery disease or atherosclerosis have calcific aortic stenosis. This review mainly focuses on the potential vascular and molecular mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of aortic valve stenosis. Namely extracellular matrix remodeling, angiogenesis, inflammation, and eventually osteoblast-like differentiation resulting in bone formation have been shown to play a role in the pathogenesis of calcific aortic stenosis. Several mediators related to underlying mechanisms, including growth factors especially transforming growth factor-beta1 and vascular endothelial growth factors, angiogenesis, cathepsin enzymes, adhesion molecules, bone regulatory proteins and matrix metalloproteinases have been demonstrated, however the target to be attacked is not defined yet.

  5. Molecular Mechanisms of Insulin Resistance Development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vsevolod Arsen'evich Tkachuk

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Insulin resistance (IR is a phenomenon associated with an impaired ability of insulin to stimulate glucose uptake by target cells and to reduce the blood glucose level. A response increase in insulin secretion by the pancreas and hyperinsulinemia are compensatory reactions of the body. The development of IR leads to the inability of target cells to respond to insulin that results in developing type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM and metabolic syndrome. For this reason, the metabolic syndrome is defined in practice as a combination of IR with one or more pathologies such as T2DM, arterial hypertension, dyslipidemia, abdominal obesity, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and some others. However, a combination of high blood glucose and insulin levels always serves as its physiological criterion.IR should be considered as a systemic failure of the endocrine regulation in the body. Physiological causes of IR are diverse. The main ones are nutritional overload and accumulation of certain lipids and their metabolites in cells, low physical activity, chronic inflammation and stress of various nature, including oxidative and endoplasmic reticulum stress (impairment of damaged protein degradation in the cell. Recent studies have demonstrated that these physiological mechanisms likely act through a single intracellular scenario. This is the impairment of signal transduction from the insulin receptor to its targets via the negative feedback mechanism in intracellular insulin-dependent signaling cascades.This review describes the physiological and intracellular mechanisms of insulin action and focuses on their abnormalities upon IR development. Finally, feasible trends in early molecular diagnosis and therapy of IR are discussed.

  6. Multiresolution molecular mechanics: Implementation and efficiency

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Biyikli, Emre; To, Albert C., E-mail: albertto@pitt.edu

    2017-01-01

    Atomistic/continuum coupling methods combine accurate atomistic methods and efficient continuum methods to simulate the behavior of highly ordered crystalline systems. Coupled methods utilize the advantages of both approaches to simulate systems at a lower computational cost, while retaining the accuracy associated with atomistic methods. Many concurrent atomistic/continuum coupling methods have been proposed in the past; however, their true computational efficiency has not been demonstrated. The present work presents an efficient implementation of a concurrent coupling method called the Multiresolution Molecular Mechanics (MMM) for serial, parallel, and adaptive analysis. First, we present the features of the software implemented along with the associated technologies. The scalability of the software implementation is demonstrated, and the competing effects of multiscale modeling and parallelization are discussed. Then, the algorithms contributing to the efficiency of the software are presented. These include algorithms for eliminating latent ghost atoms from calculations and measurement-based dynamic balancing of parallel workload. The efficiency improvements made by these algorithms are demonstrated by benchmark tests. The efficiency of the software is found to be on par with LAMMPS, a state-of-the-art Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulation code, when performing full atomistic simulations. Speed-up of the MMM method is shown to be directly proportional to the reduction of the number of the atoms visited in force computation. Finally, an adaptive MMM analysis on a nanoindentation problem, containing over a million atoms, is performed, yielding an improvement of 6.3–8.5 times in efficiency, over the full atomistic MD method. For the first time, the efficiency of a concurrent atomistic/continuum coupling method is comprehensively investigated and demonstrated.

  7. Brain-lung crosstalk in critical care: how protective mechanical ventilation can affect the brain homeostasis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazzeo, A T; Fanelli, V; Mascia, L

    2013-03-01

    The maintenance of brain homeostasis against multiple internal and external challenges occurring during the acute phase of acute brain injury may be influenced by critical care management, especially in its respiratory, hemodynamic and metabolic components. The occurrence of acute lung injury represents the most frequent extracranial complication after brain injury and deserves special attention in daily practice as optimal ventilatory strategy for patients with acute brain and lung injury are potentially in conflict. Protecting the lung while protecting the brain is thus a new target in the modern neurointensive care. This article discusses the essentials of brain-lung crosstalk and focuses on how mechanical ventilation may exert an active role in the process of maintaining or treatening brain homeostasis after acute brain injury, highlighting the following points: 1) the role of inflammation as common pathomechanism of both acute lung and brain injury; 2) the recognition of ventilatory induced lung injury as determinant of systemic inflammation affecting distal organs, included the brain; 3) the possible implication of protective mechanical ventilation strategy on the patient with an acute brain injury as an undiscovered area of research in both experimental and clinical settings.

  8. Unraveling the cellular and molecular mechanisms of repetitive magnetic stimulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florian eMüller-Dahlhaus

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Despite numerous clinical studies, which have investigated the therapeutic potential of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS in various brain diseases, our knowledge of the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying rTMS-based therapies remains limited. Thus, a deeper understanding of rTMS-induced neural plasticity is required to optimize current treatment protocols. Studies in small animals or appropriate in vitro preparations (including models of brain diseases provide highly useful experimental approaches in this context. State-of-the-art electrophysiological and live-cell imaging techniques that are well established in basic neuroscience can help answering some of the major questions in the field, such as (i which neural structures are activated during TMS, (ii how does rTMS induce Hebbian plasticity, and (iii are other forms of plasticity (e.g., metaplasticity, structural plasticity induced by rTMS? We argue that data gained from these studies will support the development of more effective and specific applications of rTMS in clinical practice.

  9. Molecular mechanisms of intrauterine growth restriction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gurugubelli Krishna, Rao; Vishnu Bhat, B

    2017-07-10

    Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) is a pregnancy specific disease characterized by decreased growth rate of fetus than the normal growth potential at particular gestational age. In the current scenario it is a leading cause of fetal and neonatal morbidity and mortality. In the last decade exhilarating experimental studies from several laboratories have provided fascinating proof for comprehension of molecular basis of IUGR. Atypical expression of enzymes governed by TGFβ causes the placental apoptosis and altered expression of TGFβ due to hyper alimentation causes impairment of lung function. Crosstalk of cAMP with protein kinases plays a prominent role in the regulation of cortisol levels. Increasing levels of NOD1 proteins leads to development of IUGR by increasing the levels of inflammatory mediators. Increase in leptin synthesis in placental trophoblast cells is associated with IUGR. In this review, we emphasize on the regulatory mechanisms of IUGR and its associated diseases. They may help improve the in-utero fetal growth and provide a better therapeutic intervention for prevention and treatment of IUGR.

  10. Molecular and genetic mechanisms of environmental mutagens

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kubitschek, H.E.; Derstine, P.L.; Griego, V.M.; Matsushita, T.; Peak, J.G.; Peak, M.J.; Reynolds, P.R.; Webb, R.B.; Williams-Hill, D.

    1981-01-01

    This program is primarily concerned with elucidation of the nature of DNA lesions produced by environmental and energy related mutagens, their mechanisms of action, and their repair. The main focus is on actions of chemical mutagens and electromagnetic radiations. Synergistic interactions between mutagens and the mutational processes that lead to synergism are being investigated. Mutagens are chosen for study on the basis of their potential for analysis of mutation (as genetic probes), for development of procedures for reducing mutational damage, for their potential importance to risk assessment, and for development of improved mutagen testing systems. Bacterial cells are used because of the rapidity and clarity of scientific results that can be obtained, the detailed genetic maps, and the many well-defined mutand strains available. The conventional tools of microbial and molecular genetics are used, along with intercomparison of genetically related strains. Advantage is taken of tcollective dose commitment will result in more attention being paid to potential releases of radionuclides at relatively short times after disposal

  11. Molecular mechanism of radiosensitization by nitro compounds

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kagiya, T.; Wada, T.; Nishimoto, S.I.

    1984-01-01

    In this chapter a molecular mechanism of radiosensitization by electron-affinic nitro compounds is discussed, mainly on the basis of the results of the radiation-induced chemical studies of DNA-related compounds in aqueous solutions. In Section II the general aspects of the radiation chemistry of organic compounds in the absence and presence of oxygen in aqueous solution are shown in order to demonstrate characteristic differences between radiation chemical reactions in hypoxic and oxic cells. The effects of nitro compounds on the radiolysis yields of DNA-related compounds in aqueous solutions are described in Section III. In Section IV the retardation effects of misonidazole on the radiation chemical processes of DNA-related compounds are shown along with the reaction characteristics of misonidazole with hydroxyl radical ( . OH) and hydrated electron (e/sub aq/-bar) produced by the radiolysis of water. The promotion of radiation-induced oxidation of thymine into thymine glycol (TG) by nitro radiosensitizers in deoxygenated solution and the relations between the activity of nitro compound for the thymine glycol formation and the enhancement activity measured in vitro are described in Section V. Finally, the protection against radiation-induced damage of thymine by a sulfhydryl compound of glutathione and the ability of electron-affinic compounds to decompose the intracellular radioprotector are described in Section VI

  12. Spiers Memorial Lecture. Molecular mechanics and molecular electronics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beckman, Robert; Beverly, Kris; Boukai, Akram; Bunimovich, Yuri; Choi, Jang Wook; DeIonno, Erica; Green, Johnny; Johnston-Halperin, Ezekiel; Luo, Yi; Sheriff, Bonnie; Stoddart, Fraser; Heath, James R

    2006-01-01

    We describe our research into building integrated molecular electronics circuitry for a diverse set of functions, and with a focus on the fundamental scientific issues that surround this project. In particular, we discuss experiments aimed at understanding the function of bistable rotaxane molecular electronic switches by correlating the switching kinetics and ground state thermodynamic properties of those switches in various environments, ranging from the solution phase to a Langmuir monolayer of the switching molecules sandwiched between two electrodes. We discuss various devices, low bit-density memory circuits, and ultra-high density memory circuits that utilize the electrochemical switching characteristics of these molecules in conjunction with novel patterning methods. We also discuss interconnect schemes that are capable of bridging the micrometre to submicrometre length scales of conventional patterning approaches to the near-molecular length scales of the ultra-dense memory circuits. Finally, we discuss some of the challenges associated with fabricated ultra-dense molecular electronic integrated circuits.

  13. Molecular mechanisms in radiation carcinogenesis: introduction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Setlow, R.B.

    1975-01-01

    Molecular studies of radiation carcinogenesis are discussed in relation to theories for extrapolating from cellular and animal models to man. Skin cancer is emphasized because of sunlight-induced photochemical damage to DNA. It is emphasized that cellular and animal models are needed as well as molecular theories for quantitative evaluation of hazardous environmental agents. (U.S.)

  14. Mechanical properties of brain tissue by indentation : interregional variation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dommelen, van J.A.W.; Sande, van der T.P.J.; Hrapko, M.; Peters, G.W.M.

    2010-01-01

    Although many studies on the mechanical properties of brain tissue exist, some controversy concerning the possible differences in mechanical properties of white and gray matter tissue remains. Indentation experiments are conducted on white and gray matter tissue of various regions of the cerebrum

  15. Blood-brain barrier permeability and brain uptake mechanism of kainic Acid and dihydrokainic Acid

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gynther, Mikko; Petsalo, Aleksanteri; Hansen, Steen Honoré

    2015-01-01

    tools in various in vivo central nervous system disease models in rodents, as well as being templates in the design of novel ligands affecting the glutamatergic system. Both molecules are highly polar but yet capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier (BBB). We used an in situ rat brain perfusion...... technique to determine the brain uptake mechanism and permeability across the BBB. To determine KA and DHK concentrations in the rat brain, simple and rapid sample preparation and liquid chromatography mass spectrometer methods were developed. According to our results the BBB permeability of KA and DHK...... is low, 0.25 × 10(-6) and 0.28 × 10(-6) cm/s for KA and DHK, respectively. In addition, the brain uptake is mediated by passive diffusion, and not by active transport. Furthermore, the non-specific plasma and brain protein binding of KA and DHK was determined to be low, which means that the unbound drug...

  16. Advanced in study of cellular and molecular mechanisms of radiation effects on central nervous system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang Wei; Tu Yu; Wang Lili

    2008-01-01

    Along with radiation treatment extensively applied, radiation injury also is valued gradually. The effect of radiation to the cellular and molecular of central nervous system (CNS) is a complicated and moderately advanced process and the mechanism is remains incompletely clear yet. Inquiring into the possible mechanism of the CNS including the injury and the restoration of neuron, neuroglia cells, endotheliocyte cell and blood-brain barrier and the molecular level of change induced by radiation, so as to provide beneficial thought for preventing and curing radiation injury clinically. Some neuroprotective strategies are also addressed in the review. (authors)

  17. Mechanism of Chronic Pain in Rodent Brain Imaging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Pei-Ching

    Chronic pain is a significant health problem that greatly impacts the quality of life of individuals and imparts high costs to society. Despite intense research effort in understanding of the mechanism of pain, chronic pain remains a clinical problem that has few effective therapies. The advent of human brain imaging research in recent years has changed the way that chronic pain is viewed. To further extend the use of human brain imaging techniques for better therapies, the adoption of imaging technique onto the animal pain models is essential, in which underlying brain mechanisms can be systematically studied using various combination of imaging and invasive techniques. The general goal of this thesis is to addresses how brain develops and maintains chronic pain in an animal model using fMRI. We demonstrate that nucleus accumbens, the central component of mesolimbic circuitry, is essential in development of chronic pain. To advance our imaging technique, we develop an innovative methodology to carry out fMRI in awake, conscious rat. Using this cutting-edge technique, we show that allodynia is assoicated with shift brain response toward neural circuits associated nucleus accumbens and prefrontal cortex that regulate affective and cognitive component of pain. Taken together, this thesis provides a deeper understanding of how brain mediates pain. It builds on the existing body of knowledge through maximizing the depth of insight into brain imaging of chronic pain.

  18. Quantum chemical approaches: semiempirical molecular orbital and hybrid quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical techniques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bryce, Richard A; Hillier, Ian H

    2014-01-01

    The use of computational quantum chemical methods to aid drug discovery is surveyed. An overview of the various computational models spanning ab initio, density function theory, semiempirical molecular orbital (MO), and hybrid quantum mechanical (QM)/molecular mechanical (MM) methods is given and their strengths and weaknesses are highlighted, focussing on the challenge of obtaining the accuracy essential for them to make a meaningful contribution to drug discovery. Particular attention is given to hybrid QM/MM and semiempirical MO methods which have the potential to yield the necessary accurate predictions of macromolecular structure and reactivity. These methods are shown to have advanced the study of many aspects of substrate-ligand interactions relevant to drug discovery. Thus, the successful parametrization of semiempirical MO methods and QM/MM methods can be used to model noncovalent substrate-protein interactions, and to lead to improved scoring functions. QM/MM methods can be used in crystal structure refinement and are particularly valuable for modelling covalent protein-ligand interactions and can thus aid the design of transition state analogues. An extensive collection of examples from the areas of metalloenzyme structure, enzyme inhibition, and ligand binding affinities and scoring functions are used to illustrate the power of these techniques.

  19. Mechanical origins of rightward torsion in early chick brain development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Zi; Guo, Qiaohang; Dai, Eric; Taber, Larry

    2015-03-01

    During early development, the neural tube of the chick embryo undergoes a combination of progressive ventral bending and rightward torsion. This torsional deformation is one of the major organ-level left-right asymmetry events in development. Previous studies suggested that bending is mainly due to differential growth, however, the mechanism for torsion remains poorly understood. Since the heart almost always loops rightwards that the brain twists, researchers have speculated that heart looping affects the direction of brain torsion. However, direct evidence is lacking, nor is the mechanical origin of such torsion understood. In our study, experimental perturbations show that the bending and torsional deformations in the brain are coupled and that the vitelline membrane applies an external load necessary for torsion to occur. Moreover, the asymmetry of the looping heart gives rise to the chirality of the twisted brain. A computational model and a 3D printed physical model are employed to help interpret these findings. Our work clarifies the mechanical origins of brain torsion and the associated left-right asymmetry, and further reveals that the asymmetric development in one organ can induce the asymmetry of another developing organ through mechanics, reminiscent of D'Arcy Thompson's view of biological form as ``diagram of forces''. Z.C. is supported by the Society in Science - Branco Weiss fellowship, administered by ETH Zurich. L.A.T acknowledges the support from NIH Grants R01 GM075200 and R01 NS070918.

  20. Therapeutic potential of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF and a small molecular mimics of BDNF for traumatic brain injury

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mary Wurzelmann

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Traumatic brain injury (TBI is a major health problem worldwide. Following primary mechanical insults, a cascade of secondary injuries often leads to further neural tissue loss. Thus far there is no cure to rescue the damaged neural tissue. Current therapeutic strategies primarily target the secondary injuries focusing on neuroprotection and neuroregeneration. The neurotrophin brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF has significant effect in both aspects, promoting neuronal survival, synaptic plasticity and neurogenesis. Recently, the flavonoid 7,8-dihydroxyflavone (7,8-DHF, a small TrkB agonist that mimics BDNF function, has shown similar effects as BDNF in promoting neuronal survival and regeneration following TBI. Compared to BDNF, 7,8-DHF has a longer half-life and much smaller molecular size, capable of penetrating the blood-brain barrier, which makes it possible for non-invasive clinical application. In this review, we summarize functions of the BDNF/TrkB signaling pathway and studies examining the potential of BDNF and 7,8-DHF as a therapy for TBI.

  1. Therapeutic potential of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and a small molecular mimics of BDNF for traumatic brain injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wurzelmann, Mary; Romeika, Jennifer; Sun, Dong

    2017-01-01

    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major health problem worldwide. Following primary mechanical insults, a cascade of secondary injuries often leads to further neural tissue loss. Thus far there is no cure to rescue the damaged neural tissue. Current therapeutic strategies primarily target the secondary injuries focusing on neuroprotection and neuroregeneration. The neurotrophin brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has significant effect in both aspects, promoting neuronal survival, synaptic plasticity and neurogenesis. Recently, the flavonoid 7,8-dihydroxyflavone (7,8-DHF), a small TrkB agonist that mimics BDNF function, has shown similar effects as BDNF in promoting neuronal survival and regeneration following TBI. Compared to BDNF, 7,8-DHF has a longer half-life and much smaller molecular size, capable of penetrating the blood-brain barrier, which makes it possible for non-invasive clinical application. In this review, we summarize functions of the BDNF/TrkB signaling pathway and studies examining the potential of BDNF and 7,8-DHF as a therapy for TBI.

  2. The cognitive life of mechanical molecular models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charbonneau, Mathieu

    2013-12-01

    The use of physical models of molecular structures as research tools has been central to the development of biochemistry and molecular biology. Intriguingly, it has received little attention from scholars of science. In this paper, I argue that these physical models are not mere three-dimensional representations but that they are in fact very special research tools: they are cognitive augmentations. Despite the fact that they are external props, these models serve as cognitive tools that augment and extend the modeler's cognitive capacities and performance in molecular modeling tasks. This cognitive enhancement is obtained because of the way the modeler interacts with these models, the models' materiality contributing to the solving of the molecule's structure. Furthermore, I argue that these material models and their component parts were designed, built and used specifically to serve as cognitive facilitators and cognitive augmentations. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Quantum mechanics of molecular rate processes

    CERN Document Server

    Levine, Raphael D

    1999-01-01

    This survey of applications of the theory of collisions and rate processes to molecular problems explores collisions of molecules with internal structure, generalized Ehrenfest theorem, theory of reactive collisions, and role of symmetry. It also reviews partitioning technique, equivalent potentials and quasibound states, theory of direct reactions, more. 1969 edition.

  4. Oligodendroglioma: pathology, molecular mechanisms and markers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wesseling, P.; Bent, M. van den; Perry, A.

    2015-01-01

    For nearly a century, the diagnosis and grading of oligodendrogliomas and oligoastrocytomas has been based on histopathology alone. Roughly 20 years ago, the first glioma-associated molecular signature was found with complete chromosome 1p and 19q codeletion being particularly common in

  5. Quantum Mechanics/Molecular Mechanics Study of the Sialyltransferase Reaction Mechanism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamada, Yojiro; Kanematsu, Yusuke; Tachikawa, Masanori

    2016-10-11

    The sialyltransferase is an enzyme that transfers the sialic acid moiety from cytidine 5'-monophospho-N-acetyl-neuraminic acid (CMP-NeuAc) to the terminal position of glycans. To elucidate the catalytic mechanism of sialyltransferase, we explored the potential energy surface along the sialic acid transfer reaction coordinates by the hybrid quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics method on the basis of the crystal structure of sialyltransferase CstII. Our calculation demonstrated that CstII employed an S N 1-like reaction mechanism via the formation of a short-lived oxocarbenium ion intermediate. The computational barrier height was 19.5 kcal/mol, which reasonably corresponded with the experimental reaction rate. We also found that two tyrosine residues (Tyr156 and Tyr162) played a vital role in stabilizing the intermediate and the transition states by quantum mechanical interaction with CMP.

  6. Molecular mechanisms involved in convergent crop domestication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lenser, Teresa; Theißen, Günter

    2013-12-01

    Domestication has helped to understand evolution. We argue that, vice versa, novel insights into evolutionary principles could provide deeper insights into domestication. Molecular analyses have demonstrated that convergent phenotypic evolution is often based on molecular changes in orthologous genes or pathways. Recent studies have revealed that during plant domestication the causal mutations for convergent changes in key traits are likely to be located in particular genes. These insights may contribute to defining candidate genes for genetic improvement during the domestication of new plant species. Such efforts may help to increase the range of arable crops available, thus increasing crop biodiversity and food security to help meet the predicted demands of the continually growing global population under rapidly changing environmental conditions. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Molecular Mechanisms of Synaptic Specificity: Spotlight on Hippocampal and Cerebellar Synapse Organizers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Dongseok; Bae, Sungwon; Yoon, Taek Han; Ko, Jaewon

    2018-04-18

    Synapses and neural circuits form with exquisite specificity during brain development to allow the precise and appropriate flow of neural information. Although this property of synapses and neural circuits has been extensively investigated for more than a century, molecular mechanisms underlying this property are only recently being unveiled. Recent studies highlight several classes of cell-surface proteins as organizing hubs in building structural and functional architectures of specific synapses and neural circuits. In the present minireview, we discuss recent findings on various synapse organizers that confer the distinct properties of specific synapse types and neural circuit architectures in mammalian brains, with a particular focus on the hippocampus and cerebellum.

  8. Raman molecular imaging of brain frozen tissue sections.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kast, Rachel E; Auner, Gregory W; Rosenblum, Mark L; Mikkelsen, Tom; Yurgelevic, Sally M; Raghunathan, Aditya; Poisson, Laila M; Kalkanis, Steven N

    2014-10-01

    Raman spectroscopy provides a molecular signature of the region being studied. It is ideal for neurosurgical applications because it is non-destructive, label-free, not impacted by water concentration, and can map an entire region of tissue. The objective of this paper is to demonstrate the meaningful spatial molecular information provided by Raman spectroscopy for identification of regions of normal brain, necrosis, diffusely infiltrating glioma and solid glioblastoma (GBM). Five frozen section tissues (1 normal, 1 necrotic, 1 GBM, and 2 infiltrating glioma) were mapped in their entirety using a 300-µm-square step size. Smaller regions of interest were also mapped using a 25-µm step size. The relative concentrations of relevant biomolecules were mapped across all tissues and compared with adjacent hematoxylin and eosin-stained sections, allowing identification of normal, GBM, and necrotic regions. Raman peaks and peak ratios mapped included 1003, 1313, 1431, 1585, and 1659 cm(-1). Tissue maps identified boundaries of grey and white matter, necrosis, GBM, and infiltrating tumor. Complementary information, including relative concentration of lipids, protein, nucleic acid, and hemoglobin, was presented in a manner which can be easily adapted for in vivo tissue mapping. Raman spectroscopy can successfully provide label-free imaging of tissue characteristics with high accuracy. It can be translated to a surgical or laboratory tool for rapid, non-destructive imaging of tumor margins.

  9. Molecular mechanisms of induced-mutations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kato, Takeshi

    1985-01-01

    The outcome of recent studies on mechanisms of induced-mutations is outlined with particular emphasis on the dependence of recA gene function in Escherichia coli. Genes involved in spontaneous mutation and x-ray- and chemical-induced mutation and genes involved in adaptive response are presented. As for SOS mutagenesis, SOS-induced regulation mechanisms and mutagenic routes are described. Furthermore, specificity of mutagens themselves are discussed in relation to mechanisms of base substitution, frameshift, and deletion mutagenesis. (Namekawa, K.)

  10. Molecular Mechanisms of Bacterial Superantigen Function

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Sadegh-Nasseri, Scheherazade

    2004-01-01

    ...) Vb domains and can result in systemic shock and death. Rational design of strategies for prevention or treatments of such diseases may only be possible if we have insights into the mechanisms of T cell activation by SEs...

  11. Molecular mechanisms of HIV-1 associated neurodegeneration

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Unknown

    progressive multiple symptoms of motor, cognitive dys- function and behavioural ..... using different types of neurons such as rodent cortical, hippocampal and ..... in the neocortex of rat via a mechanism involving CXCR4 chemokine receptor ...

  12. Mechanically magnified imaging of molecular interferograms

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stibor, A.; Stefanov, A.; Goldfarb, F.; Reiger, E.; Arndt, M.

    2005-01-01

    Full text: Imaging of surface adsorbed molecules is presented as a valuable detection method for matter interferometry with fluorescent particles. A mechanical magnification scheme is implemented to circumvent the optical resolution limit. Mechanically magnified fluorescence imaging turns out to be an excellent tool for recording quantum interference patterns with high visibility. A unique advantage of this technique is its scalability: for certain classes of nanosized objects, the detection sensitivity will even increase significantly with increasing size of the particle. (author)

  13. Molecular biological mechanisms I. DNA repair

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Friedl, A.A.

    2000-01-01

    Cells of all living systems possess a variety of mechanisms that allow to repair spontaneous and exogeneously induced DNA damage. DNA repair deficiencies may invoke enhanced sensitivity towards DNA-damaging agents such as ionizing radiation. They may also enhance the risk of cancer development, both spontaneously or after induction. This article reviews several DNA repair mechanisms, especially those dealing with DNA double-strand breaks, and describes hereditary diseases associated with DNA repair defects. (orig.) [de

  14. The molecular mechanism of gene-radiotherapy of tumor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhu Xian

    2004-01-01

    Gene-radiotherapy of tumor is a new method which is induced by ionizing radiation. The molecular mechanism is to activate various molecular target by many ways and induce the apoptosis of tumor cell. It is a gene therapy based on the radiation-inducible property of the Egr-1 gene. It has good application prospect in therapy of tumor

  15. Molecular mechanisms of canalization: Hsp90 and beyond

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Madhu Sudhan

    2007-03-26

    Mar 26, 2007 ... clients are essential nodes in signal transduction pathways and regulatory circuits, accounting for the .... respective contributions of genetics versus epigenetics ... authors succeeded in elucidating the molecular mechanism.

  16. Symposium on molecular and cellular mechanisms of mutagenesis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1981-01-01

    These proceedings contain abstracts only of the 21 papers presented at the Sympsoium. The papers dealt with molecular mechanisms of mutagenesis and cellular responses to chemical and physical mutagenic agents

  17. What molecular mechanism is adapted by plants during salt stress ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    What molecular mechanism is adapted by plants during salt stress tolerance? ... Salt stress harmfully shocks agricultural yield throughout the world affecting production whether it is for subsistence or economic outcomes. ... from 32 Countries:.

  18. Symposium on molecular and cellular mechanisms of mutagenesis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1981-01-01

    These proceedings contain abstracts only of the 21 papers presented at the Sympsoium. The papers dealt with molecular mechanisms of mutagenesis and cellular responses to chemical and physical mutagenic agents. (ERB)

  19. Molecular Dynamics Simulations with Quantum Mechanics/Molecular Mechanics and Adaptive Neural Networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Lin; Yang, Weitao

    2018-03-13

    Direct molecular dynamics (MD) simulation with ab initio quantum mechanical and molecular mechanical (QM/MM) methods is very powerful for studying the mechanism of chemical reactions in a complex environment but also very time-consuming. The computational cost of QM/MM calculations during MD simulations can be reduced significantly using semiempirical QM/MM methods with lower accuracy. To achieve higher accuracy at the ab initio QM/MM level, a correction on the existing semiempirical QM/MM model is an attractive idea. Recently, we reported a neural network (NN) method as QM/MM-NN to predict the potential energy difference between semiempirical and ab initio QM/MM approaches. The high-level results can be obtained using neural network based on semiempirical QM/MM MD simulations, but the lack of direct MD samplings at the ab initio QM/MM level is still a deficiency that limits the applications of QM/MM-NN. In the present paper, we developed a dynamic scheme of QM/MM-NN for direct MD simulations on the NN-predicted potential energy surface to approximate ab initio QM/MM MD. Since some configurations excluded from the database for NN training were encountered during simulations, which may cause some difficulties on MD samplings, an adaptive procedure inspired by the selection scheme reported by Behler [ Behler Int. J. Quantum Chem. 2015 , 115 , 1032 ; Behler Angew. Chem., Int. Ed. 2017 , 56 , 12828 ] was employed with some adaptions to update NN and carry out MD iteratively. We further applied the adaptive QM/MM-NN MD method to the free energy calculation and transition path optimization on chemical reactions in water. The results at the ab initio QM/MM level can be well reproduced using this method after 2-4 iteration cycles. The saving in computational cost is about 2 orders of magnitude. It demonstrates that the QM/MM-NN with direct MD simulations has great potentials not only for the calculation of thermodynamic properties but also for the characterization of

  20. Molecular dynamics and Monte Carlo calculations in statistical mechanics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wood, W.W.; Erpenbeck, J.J.

    1976-01-01

    Monte Carlo and molecular dynamics calculations on statistical mechanical systems is reviewed giving some of the more significant recent developments. It is noted that the term molecular dynamics refers to the time-averaging technique for hard-core and square-well interactions and for continuous force-law interactions. Ergodic questions, methodology, quantum mechanical, Lorentz, and one-dimensional, hard-core, and square and triangular-well systems, short-range soft potentials, and other systems are included. 268 references

  1. Neonatal brain hemorrhage (NBH) of prematurity: translational mechanisms of the vascular-neural network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lekic, Tim; Klebe, Damon; Poblete, Roy; Krafft, Paul R; Rolland, William B; Tang, Jiping; Zhang, John H

    2015-01-01

    Neonatal brain hemorrhage (NBH) of prematurity is an unfortunate consequence of preterm birth. Complications result in shunt dependence and long-term structural changes such as posthemorrhagic hydrocephalus, periventricular leukomalacia, gliosis, and neurological dysfunction. Several animal models are available to study this condition, and many basic mechanisms, etiological factors, and outcome consequences, are becoming understood. NBH is an important clinical condition, of which treatment may potentially circumvent shunt complication, and improve functional recovery (cerebral palsy, and cognitive impairments). This review highlights key pathophysiological findings of the neonatal vascular-neural network in the context of molecular mechanisms targeting the posthemorrhagic hydrocephalus affecting this vulnerable infant population.

  2. Neonatal Brain Hemorrhage (NBH) of Prematurity: Translational Mechanisms of the Vascular-Neural Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lekic, Tim; Klebe, Damon; Poblete, Roy; Krafft, Paul R.; Rolland, William B.; Tang, Jiping; Zhang, John H.

    2015-01-01

    Neonatal brain hemorrhage (NBH) of prematurity is an unfortunate consequence of preterm birth. Complications result in shunt dependence and long-term structural changes such as post-hemorrhagic hydrocephalus, periventricular leukomalacia, gliosis, and neurological dysfunction. Several animal models are available to study this condition, and many basic mechanisms, etiological factors, and outcome consequences, are becoming understood. NBH is an important clinical condition, of which treatment may potentially circumvent shunt complication, and improve functional recovery (cerebral palsy, and cognitive impairments). This review highlights key pathophysiological findings of the neonatal vascular-neural network in the context of molecular mechanisms targeting the post-hemorrhagic hydrocephalus affecting this vulnerable infant population. PMID:25620100

  3. Molecular and cellular mechanisms of pulmonary fibrosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Pulmonary fibrosis is a chronic lung disease characterized by excessive accumulation of extracellular matrix (ECM) and remodeling of the lung architecture. Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is considered the most common and severe form of the disease, with a median survival of approximately three years and no proven effective therapy. Despite the fact that effective treatments are absent and the precise mechanisms that drive fibrosis in most patients remain incompletely understood, an extensive body of scientific literature regarding pulmonary fibrosis has accumulated over the past 35 years. In this review, we discuss three broad areas which have been explored that may be responsible for the combination of altered lung fibroblasts, loss of alveolar epithelial cells, and excessive accumulation of ECM: inflammation and immune mechanisms, oxidative stress and oxidative signaling, and procoagulant mechanisms. We discuss each of these processes separately to facilitate clarity, but certainly significant interplay will occur amongst these pathways in patients with this disease. PMID:22824096

  4. Molecular and cellular mechanisms of cadmium carcinogenesis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Waisberg, Michael; Joseph, Pius; Hale, Beverley; Beyersmann, Detmar

    2003-01-01

    Cadmium is a heavy metal, which is widely used in industry, affecting human health through occupational and environmental exposure. In mammals, it exerts multiple toxic effects and has been classified as a human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Cadmium affects cell proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis and other cellular activities. Cd 2+ does not catalyze Fenton-type reactions because it does not accept or donate electrons under physiological conditions, and it is only weakly genotoxic. Hence, indirect mechanisms are implicated in the carcinogenicity of cadmium. In this review multiple mechanisms are discussed, such as modulation of gene expression and signal transduction, interference with enzymes of the cellular antioxidant system and generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), inhibition of DNA repair and DNA methylation, role in apoptosis and disruption of E-cadherin-mediated cell-cell adhesion. Cadmium affects both gene transcription and translation. The major mechanisms of gene induction by cadmium known so far are modulation of cellular signal transduction pathways by enhancement of protein phosphorylation and activation of transcription and translation factors. Cadmium interferes with antioxidant defense mechanisms and stimulates the production of reactive oxygen species, which may act as signaling molecules in the induction of gene expression and apoptosis. The inhibition of DNA repair processes by cadmium represents a mechanism by which cadmium enhances the genotoxicity of other agents and may contribute to the tumor initiation by this metal. The disruption of E-cadherin-mediated cell-cell adhesion by cadmium probably further stimulates the development of tumors. It becomes clear that there exist multiple mechanisms which contribute to the carcinogenicity of cadmium, although the relative weights of these contributions are difficult to estimate

  5. [Lung-brain interaction in the mechanically ventilated patient].

    Science.gov (United States)

    López-Aguilar, J; Fernández-Gonzalo, M S; Turon, M; Quílez, M E; Gómez-Simón, V; Jódar, M M; Blanch, L

    2013-10-01

    Patients with acute lung injury or acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) admitted to the ICU present neuropsychological alterations, which in most cases extend beyond the acute phase and have an important adverse effect upon quality of life. The aim of this review is to deepen in the analysis of the complex interaction between lung and brain in critically ill patients subjected to mechanical ventilation. This update first describes the neuropsychological alterations occurring both during the acute phase of ICU stay and at discharge, followed by an analysis of lung-brain interactions during mechanical ventilation, and finally explores the etiology and mechanisms leading to the neurological disorders observed in these patients. The management of critical patients requires an integral approach focused on minimizing the deleterious effects over the short, middle or long term. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier España, S.L. y SEMICYUC. All rights reserved.

  6. Xenon preconditioning: molecular mechanisms and biological effects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liu Wenwu

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Xenon is one of noble gases and has been recognized as an anesthetic for more than 50 years. Xenon possesses many of the characteristics of an ideal anesthetic, but it is not widely applied in clinical practice mainly because of its high cost. In recent years, numerous studies have demonstrated that xenon as an anesthetic can exert neuroprotective and cardioprotective effects in different models. Moreover, xenon has been applied in the preconditioning, and the neuroprotective and cardioprotective effects of xenon preconditioning have been investigated in a lot of studies in which some mechanisms related to these protections are proposed. In this review, we summarized these mechanisms and the biological effects of xenon preconditioning.

  7. Vancomycin Molecular Interactions: Antibiotic and Enantioselective Mechanisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ward, Timothy J.; Gilmore, Aprile; Ward, Karen; Vowell, Courtney

    Medical studies established that vancomycin and other related macrocyclic antibiotics have an enhanced antimicrobial activity when they are associated as dimers. The carbohydrate units attached to the vancomycin basket have an essential role in the dimerization reaction. Covalently synthesized dimers were found active against vancomycin-resistant bacterial strains. A great similarity between antibiotic potential and enantioselectivity was established. A covalent vancomycin dimer was studied in capillary electrophoresis producing excellent chiral separation of dansyl amino acids. Balhimycin is a macrocyclic glycopeptide structurally similar to vancomycin. The small differences are, however, responsible for drastic differences in enantioselectivity in the same experimental conditions. Contributions from studies examining vancomycin's mechanism for antimicrobial activity have substantially aided our understanding of its mechanism in chiral recognition.

  8. Non-thermal activation of the hsp27/p38MAPK stress pathway by mobile phone radiation in human endothelial cells: molecular mechanism for cancer- and blood-brain barrier-related effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leszczynski, Dariusz; Joenväärä, Sakari; Reivinen, Jukka; Kuokka, Reetta

    2002-05-01

    We have examined whether non-thermal exposures of cultures of the human endothelial cell line EA.hy926 to 900 MHz GSM mobile phone microwave radiation could activate stress response. Results obtained demonstrate that 1-hour non-thermal exposure of EA.hy926 cells changes the phosphorylation status of numerous, yet largely unidentified, proteins. One of the affected proteins was identified as heat shock protein-27 (hsp27). Mobile phone exposure caused a transient increase in phosphorylation of hsp27, an effect which was prevented by SB203580, a specific inhibitor of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38MAPK). Also, mobile phone exposure caused transient changes in the protein expression levels of hsp27 and p38MAPK. All these changes were non-thermal effects because, as determined using temperature probes, irradiation did not alter the temperature of cell cultures, which remained throughout the irradiation period at 37 +/- 0.3 degrees C. Changes in the overall pattern of protein phosphorylation suggest that mobile phone radiation activates a variety of cellular signal transduction pathways, among them the hsp27/p38MAPK stress response pathway. Based on the known functions of hsp27, we put forward the hypothesis that mobile phone radiation-induced activation of hsp27 may (i) facilitate the development of brain cancer by inhibiting the cytochrome c/caspase-3 apoptotic pathway and (ii) cause an increase in blood-brain barrier permeability through stabilization of endothelial cell stress fibers. We postulate that these events, when occurring repeatedly over a long period of time, might become a health hazard because of the possible accumulation of brain tissue damage. Furthermore, our hypothesis suggests that other brain damaging factors may co-participate in mobile phone radiation-induced effects.

  9. Physical mechanisms of biological molecular motors

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Miller, John H. Jr. [Department of Physics and Texas Center for Superconductivity, University of Houston, 4800 Calhoun Road, Ste. 617 SR1 Houston, TX 77204-5005 (United States)], E-mail: jhmiller@uh.edu; Vajrala, Vijayanand; Infante, Hans L. [Department of Physics and Texas Center for Superconductivity, University of Houston, 4800 Calhoun Road, Ste. 617 SR1 Houston, TX 77204-5005 (United States); Claycomb, James R. [Department of Physics and Texas Center for Superconductivity, University of Houston, 4800 Calhoun Road, Ste. 617 SR1 Houston, TX 77204-5005 (United States); Department of Mathematics and Physics, Houston Baptist University, 7502 Fondren Road, Houston, TX 77074-3298 (United States); Palanisami, Akilan; Fang Jie; Mercier, George T. [Department of Physics and Texas Center for Superconductivity, University of Houston, 4800 Calhoun Road, Ste. 617 SR1 Houston, TX 77204-5005 (United States)

    2009-03-01

    Biological motors generally fall into two categories: (1) those that convert chemical into mechanical energy via hydrolysis of a nucleoside triphosphate, usually adenosine triphosphate, regarded as life's chemical currency of energy and (2) membrane bound motors driven directly by an ion gradient and/or membrane potential. Here we argue that electrostatic interactions play a vital role for both types of motors and, therefore, the tools of physics can greatly contribute to understanding biological motors.

  10. Physical mechanisms of biological molecular motors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Miller, John H. Jr.; Vajrala, Vijayanand; Infante, Hans L.; Claycomb, James R.; Palanisami, Akilan; Fang Jie; Mercier, George T.

    2009-01-01

    Biological motors generally fall into two categories: (1) those that convert chemical into mechanical energy via hydrolysis of a nucleoside triphosphate, usually adenosine triphosphate, regarded as life's chemical currency of energy and (2) membrane bound motors driven directly by an ion gradient and/or membrane potential. Here we argue that electrostatic interactions play a vital role for both types of motors and, therefore, the tools of physics can greatly contribute to understanding biological motors

  11. Cellular and molecular mechanisms of muscle atrophy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paolo Bonaldo

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Skeletal muscle is a plastic organ that is maintained by multiple pathways regulating cell and protein turnover. During muscle atrophy, proteolytic systems are activated, and contractile proteins and organelles are removed, resulting in the shrinkage of muscle fibers. Excessive loss of muscle mass is associated with poor prognosis in several diseases, including myopathies and muscular dystrophies, as well as in systemic disorders such as cancer, diabetes, sepsis and heart failure. Muscle loss also occurs during aging. In this paper, we review the key mechanisms that regulate the turnover of contractile proteins and organelles in muscle tissue, and discuss how impairments in these mechanisms can contribute to muscle atrophy. We also discuss how protein synthesis and degradation are coordinately regulated by signaling pathways that are influenced by mechanical stress, physical activity, and the availability of nutrients and growth factors. Understanding how these pathways regulate muscle mass will provide new therapeutic targets for the prevention and treatment of muscle atrophy in metabolic and neuromuscular diseases.

  12. Study of the influence and molecular mechanism of ticagrelor on cerebral ischemia reperfusion injury in rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gui-Fa Chen

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Objective: To study the influence and molecular mechanism of ticagrelor on cerebral ischemia reperfusion injury in rats. Methods: SD rats were selected as experimental animals and divided into control group, model group, ticagrelor group and clopidogrel group, cerebral ischemic reperfusion injury models were made, then ticagrelor group were given intragastric administration of 150 mg ticagrelor, clopidogrel group were given intragastric administration of 90 mg clopidogrel. 1 week after intervention, the brain water content as well as the contents of oxidative stress molecules and inflammatory factors were measured. Results: Water content in brain, MDA, Ox-LDL, NF-kB, TNF-α, IL-1β and IL-6 contents in brain tissue as well as TNF-α, IL-1β and IL-6 contents in serum of model group were significantly higher than those of control group while SOD, GSH-Px and Prdx6 contents in brain tissue were significantly lower than those of control group; water content in brain, MDA, Ox-LDL, NFkB, TNF-α, IL-1β and IL-6 contents in brain tissue as well as TNF-α, IL-1β and IL-6 contents in serum of ticagrelor group and clopidogrel group were significantly lower than those of model group while SOD, GSH-Px and Prdx6 contents in brain tissue were significantly higher than those of model group; water content in brain, MDA, Ox-LDL, NF-kB, TNF-α, IL-1β and IL-6 contents in brain tissue as well as TNF-α, IL-1β and IL-6 contents in serum of ticagrelor group were significantly lower than those of clopidogrel group while SOD, GSHPx and Prdx6 contents in brain tissue were significantly higher than those of clopidogrel group. Conclusion: Ticagrelor can be more effective in inhibiting oxidative stress response and inflammatory response, and reducing the cerebral ischemia reperfusion injury than clopidogrel.

  13. Molecular mechanisms in radiation damage to DNA: Final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Osman, R.

    1996-01-01

    The objectives of this work were to elucidate the molecular mechanisms that were responsible for radiation-induced DNA damage. The studies were based on theoretical explorations of possible mechanisms that link initial radiation damage in the form of base and sugar damage to conformational changes in DNA

  14. Molecular cytotoxic mechanisms of anticancer hydroxychalcones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sabzevari, Omid; Galati, Giuseppe; Moridani, Majid Y; Siraki, Arno; O'Brien, Peter J

    2004-06-30

    Chalcones are being considered as anticancer agents as they are natural compounds that are particularly cytotoxic towards K562 leukemia or melanoma cells. In this study, we have investigated phloretin, isoliquiritigenin, and 10 other hydroxylated chalcones for their cytotoxic mechanisms towards isolated rat hepatocytes. All hydroxychalcones partly depleted hepatocyte GSH and oxidized GSH to GSSG. These chalcones also caused a collapse of mitochondrial membrane potential and increased oxygen uptake. Furthermore, glycolytic or citric acid cycle substrates prevented cytotoxicity and mitochondrial membrane potential collapse. The highest pKa chalcones were the most effective at collapsing the mitochondrial membrane potential which suggests that the cytotoxic activity of hydroxychalcones are likely because of their ability to uncouple mitochondria.

  15. [Molecular mechanisms of skeletal muscle hypertrophy].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Astratenkova, I V; Rogozkin, V A

    2014-06-01

    Enzymes Akt, AMPK, mTOR, S6K and PGC-1a coactivator take part in skeletal muscles in the regulation of synthesis of proteins. The expression of these proteins is regulated by growth factors, hormones, nutrients, mechanical loading and leads to an increase in muscle mass and skeletal muscle hypertrophy. The review presents the results of studies published in the past four years, which expand knowledge on the effects of various factors on protein synthesis in skeletal muscle. The attention is focused on the achievements that reveal and clarify the signaling pathways involved in the regulation of protein synthesis in skeletal muscle. The central place is taken by mTOR enzyme which controls and regulates the main stages of the cascade of reactions of muscle proteins providing synthesis in the conditions of human life. coactivator PGC-1a.

  16. Molecular and neuroendocrine mechanisms of cancer cachexia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendes, Maria Carolina S; Pimentel, Gustavo D; Costa, Felipe O; Carvalheira, José B C

    2015-09-01

    Cancer and its morbidities, such as cancer cachexia, constitute a major public health problem. Although cancer cachexia has afflicted humanity for centuries, its underlying multifactorial and complex physiopathology has hindered the understanding of its mechanism. During the last few decades we have witnessed a dramatic increase in the understanding of cancer cachexia pathophysiology. Anorexia and muscle and adipose tissue wasting are the main features of cancer cachexia. These apparently independent symptoms have humoral factors secreted by the tumor as a common cause. Importantly, the hypothalamus has emerged as an organ that senses the peripheral signals emanating from the tumoral environment, and not only elicits anorexia but also contributes to the development of muscle and adipose tissue loss. Herein, we review the roles of factors secreted by the tumor and its effects on the hypothalamus, muscle and adipose tissue, as well as highlighting the key targets that are being exploited for cancer cachexia treatment. © 2015 Society for Endocrinology.

  17. Neurotrophin Propeptides: Biological Functions and Molecular Mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rafieva, Lola M; Gasanov, Eugene V

    2016-01-01

    Neurotrophins constitute a family of growth factors that play a key role in the regulation of the development and function of the central and peripheral nervous systems. A common feature of all the neurotrophins is their synthesis in cells as long precursors (pre-pro-neurotrophins) that contain an N-terminal signal peptide, a following propeptide and the mature neurotrophin. Although the signal peptide functions have been well studied, the role of neurotrophin propeptides is not so clear. Here, we briefly summarize the biochemistry of neurotrophin propeptides, including their role as folding-assistants for the mature factor and their role in processing and in secretion of neurotrophins. In the main part of the review we summarize our current state of knowledge of the biological activity of neurotrophin propeptides, their possible mechanisms of action, and their potential influence on the activity of the mature neurotrophins.

  18. Cellular and molecular mechanisms coordinating pancreas development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bastidas-Ponce, Aimée; Scheibner, Katharina; Lickert, Heiko; Bakhti, Mostafa

    2017-08-15

    The pancreas is an endoderm-derived glandular organ that participates in the regulation of systemic glucose metabolism and food digestion through the function of its endocrine and exocrine compartments, respectively. While intensive research has explored the signaling pathways and transcriptional programs that govern pancreas development, much remains to be discovered regarding the cellular processes that orchestrate pancreas morphogenesis. Here, we discuss the developmental mechanisms and principles that are known to underlie pancreas development, from induction and lineage formation to morphogenesis and organogenesis. Elucidating such principles will help to identify novel candidate disease genes and unravel the pathogenesis of pancreas-related diseases, such as diabetes, pancreatitis and cancer. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  19. Deep mechanisms of social affect - Plastic parental brain mechanisms for sensitivity versus contempt.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swain, James E; Ho, S Shaun

    2017-01-01

    Insensitive parental thoughts and affect, similar to contempt, may be mapped onto a network of basic emotions moderated by attitudinal representations of social-relational value. Brain mechanisms that reflect emotional valence of baby signals among parents vary according to individual differences and show plasticity over time. Furthermore, mental health problems and treatments for parents may affect these brain systems toward or away from contempt, respectively.

  20. Physical insights into the blood-brain barrier translocation mechanisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Theodorakis, Panagiotis E.; Müller, Erich A.; Craster, Richard V.; Matar, Omar K.

    2017-08-01

    The number of individuals suffering from diseases of the central nervous system (CNS) is growing with an aging population. While candidate drugs for many of these diseases are available, most of these pharmaceutical agents cannot reach the brain rendering most of the drug therapies that target the CNS inefficient. The reason is the blood-brain barrier (BBB), a complex and dynamic interface that controls the influx and efflux of substances through a number of different translocation mechanisms. Here, we present these mechanisms providing, also, the necessary background related to the morphology and various characteristics of the BBB. Moreover, we discuss various numerical and simulation approaches used to study the BBB, and possible future directions based on multi-scale methods. We anticipate that this review will motivate multi-disciplinary research on the BBB aiming at the design of effective drug therapies.

  1. Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury and Autism: Elucidating Shared Mechanisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rahul Singh

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Pediatric traumatic brain injury (TBI and autism spectrum disorder (ASD are two serious conditions that affect youth. Recent data, both preclinical and clinical, show that pediatric TBI and ASD share not only similar symptoms but also some of the same biologic mechanisms that cause these symptoms. Prominent symptoms for both disorders include gastrointestinal problems, learning difficulties, seizures, and sensory processing disruption. In this review, we highlight some of these shared mechanisms in order to discuss potential treatment options that might be applied for each condition. We discuss potential therapeutic and pharmacologic options as well as potential novel drug targets. Furthermore, we highlight advances in understanding of brain circuitry that is being propelled by improved imaging modalities. Going forward, advanced imaging will help in diagnosis and treatment planning strategies for pediatric patients. Lessons from each field can be applied to design better and more rigorous trials that can be used to improve guidelines for pediatric patients suffering from TBI or ASD.

  2. Performance assessment of semiempirical molecular orbital methods in describing halogen bonding: quantum mechanical and quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical-molecular dynamics study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ibrahim, Mahmoud A A

    2011-10-24

    The performance of semiempirical molecular-orbital methods--MNDO, MNDO-d, AM1, RM1, PM3 and PM6--in describing halogen bonding was evaluated, and the results were compared with molecular mechanical (MM) and quantum mechanical (QM) data. Three types of performance were assessed: (1) geometrical optimizations and binding energy calculations for 27 halogen-containing molecules complexed with various Lewis bases (Two of the tested methods, AM1 and RM1, gave results that agree with the QM data.); (2) charge distribution calculations for halobenzene molecules, determined by calculating the solvation free energies of the molecules relative to benzene in explicit and implicit generalized Born (GB) solvents (None of the methods gave results that agree with the experimental data.); and (3) appropriateness of the semiempirical methods in the hybrid quantum-mechanical/molecular-mechanical (QM/MM) scheme, investigated by studying the molecular inhibition of CK2 protein by eight halobenzimidazole and -benzotriazole derivatives using hybrid QM/MM molecular-dynamics (MD) simulations with the inhibitor described at the QM level by the AM1 method and the rest of the system described at the MM level. The pure MM approach with inclusion of an extra point of positive charge on the halogen atom approach gave better results than the hybrid QM/MM approach involving the AM1 method. Also, in comparison with the pure MM-GBSA (generalized Born surface area) binding energies and experimental data, the calculated QM/MM-GBSA binding energies of the inhibitors were improved by replacing the G(GB,QM/MM) solvation term with the corresponding G(GB,MM) term.

  3. Penfield's prediction: a mechanism for deep brain stimulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard W. Murrow

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available (1Context: Despite its widespread use, the precise mechanism of action of Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS therapy remains unknown. The modern urgency to publish more and new data can obscure previously learned lessons by the giants who have preceded us and whose shoulders we now stand upon. Wilder Penfield extensively studied the effects of artificial electrical brain stimulation and his comments on the subject are still very relevant today. In particular, he noted two very different (and seemingly opposite effects of stimulation within the human brain. In some structures, artificial electrical stimulation has an effect which mimics ablation, while, in other structures, it produces a stimulatory effect on that tissue. (2Hypothesis:The hypothesis of this paper is fourfold. First, it proposes that some neural circuits are widely synchronized with other neural circuits, while some neural circuits are unsynchronized and operate independently. Second, it proposes that artificial high frequency electrical stimulation of a synchronized neural circuit results in an ablative effect, but artificial high frequency electrical stimulation of an unsynchronized neural circuit results in a stimulatory effect. Third, it suggests a part of the mechanism by which large scale physiologic synchronization of widely distributed independently processed information streams may occur. This may be the neural mechanism underlying Penfield’s centrencephalic system which he emphasized so many years ago. Fourth, it outlines the specific anatomic distribution of this physiologic synchronization, which Penfield has already clearly delineated as the distribution of his centrencephalic system. (3Evidence:This paper draws on a brief overview of previous theory regarding the mechanism of action of DBS and on historical, as well as widely known modern clinical data regarding the observed effects of stimulation delivered to various targets within the brain. Basic science in

  4. Brain. Conscious and Unconscious Mechanisms of Cognition, Emotions, and Language

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roman Ilin

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Conscious and unconscious brain mechanisms, including cognition, emotions and language are considered in this review. The fundamental mechanisms of cognition include interactions between bottom-up and top-down signals. The modeling of these interactions since the 1960s is briefly reviewed, analyzing the ubiquitous difficulty: incomputable combinatorial complexity (CC. Fundamental reasons for CC are related to the Gödel’s difficulties of logic, a most fundamental mathematical result of the 20th century. Many scientists still “believed” in logic because, as the review discusses, logic is related to consciousness; non-logical processes in the brain are unconscious. CC difficulty is overcome in the brain by processes “from vague-unconscious to crisp-conscious” (representations, plans, models, concepts. These processes are modeled by dynamic logic, evolving from vague and unconscious representations toward crisp and conscious thoughts. We discuss experimental proofs and relate dynamic logic to simulators of the perceptual symbol system. “From vague to crisp” explains interactions between cognition and language. Language is mostly conscious, whereas cognition is only rarely so; this clarifies much about the mind that might seem mysterious. All of the above involve emotions of a special kind, aesthetic emotions related to knowledge and to cognitive dissonances. Cognition-language-emotional mechanisms operate throughout the hierarchy of the mind and create all higher mental abilities. The review discusses cognitive functions of the beautiful, sublime, music.

  5. Molecular mechanism for generation of antibody memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shivarov, Velizar; Shinkura, Reiko; Doi, Tomomitsu; Begum, Nasim A; Nagaoka, Hitoshi; Okazaki, Il-Mi; Ito, Satomi; Nonaka, Taichiro; Kinoshita, Kazuo; Honjo, Tasuku

    2009-03-12

    Activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID) is the essential enzyme inducing the DNA cleavage required for both somatic hypermutation and class switch recombination (CSR) of the immunoglobulin gene. We originally proposed the RNA-editing model for the mechanism of DNA cleavage by AID. We obtained evidence that fulfils three requirements for CSR by this model, namely (i) AID shuttling between nucleus and cytoplasm, (ii) de novo protein synthesis for CSR, and (iii) AID-RNA complex formation. The alternative hypothesis, designated as the DNA-deamination model, assumes that the in vitro DNA deamination activity of AID is representative of its physiological function in vivo. Furthermore, the resulting dU was removed by uracil DNA glycosylase (UNG) to generate a basic site, followed by phosphodiester bond cleavage by AP endonuclease. We critically examined each of these provisional steps. We identified a cluster of mutants (H48A, L49A, R50A and N51A) that had particularly higher CSR activities than expected from their DNA deamination activities. The most striking was the N51A mutant that had no ability to deaminate DNA in vitro but retained approximately 50 per cent of the wild-type level of CSR activity. We also provide further evidence that UNG plays a non-canonical role in CSR, namely in the repair step of the DNA breaks. Taking these results together, we favour the RNA-editing model for the function of AID in CSR.

  6. Molecular Theory of the Living Cell Concepts, Molecular Mechanisms, and Biomedical Applications

    CERN Document Server

    Ji, Sungchul

    2012-01-01

    This book presents a comprehensive molecular theory of the living cell based on over thirty concepts, principles and laws imported from thermodynamics, statistical mechanics, quantum mechanics, chemical kinetics, informatics, computer science, linguistics, semiotics, and philosophy. The author formulates physically, chemically and enzymologically realistic molecular mechanisms to account for the basic living processes such as ligand-receptor interactions, protein folding, single-molecule enzymic catalysis, force-generating mechanisms in molecular motors, signal transduction, regulation of the genome-wide RNA metabolism, morphogenesis, the micro-macro coupling in coordination dynamics, the origin of life, and the mechanisms of biological evolution itself. Possible solutions to basic and practical problems facing contemporary biology and biomedical sciences have been suggested, including pharmacotheragnostics and personalized medicine.

  7. Mini-review: Molecular mechanisms of antifouling compounds

    KAUST Repository

    Qian, Pei-Yuan

    2013-04-01

    Various antifouling (AF) coatings have been developed to protect submerged surfaces by deterring the settlement of the colonizing stages of fouling organisms. A review of the literature shows that effective AF compounds with specific targets are ones often considered non-toxic. Such compounds act variously on ion channels, quorum sensing systems, neurotransmitters, production/release of adhesive, and specific enzymes that regulate energy production or primary metabolism. In contrast, AF compounds with general targets may or may not act through toxic mechanisms. These compounds affect a variety of biological activities including algal photosynthesis, energy production, stress responses, genotoxic damage, immunosuppressed protein expression, oxidation, neurotransmission, surface chemistry, the formation of biofilms, and adhesive production/release. Among all the targets, adhesive production/release is the most common, possibly due to a more extensive research effort in this area. Overall, the specific molecular targets and the molecular mechanisms of most AF compounds have not been identified. Thus, the information available is insufficient to draw firm conclusions about the types of molecular targets to be used as sensitive biomarkers for future design and screening of compounds with AF potential. In this review, the relevant advantages and disadvantages of the molecular tools available for studying the molecular targets of AF compounds are highlighted briefly and the molecular mechanisms of the AF compounds, which are largely a source of speculation in the literature, are discussed. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

  8. Graph-drawing algorithms geometries versus molecular mechanics in fullereness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaufman, M.; Pisanski, T.; Lukman, D.; Borštnik, B.; Graovac, A.

    1996-09-01

    The algorithms of Kamada-Kawai (KK) and Fruchterman-Reingold (FR) have been recently generalized (Pisanski et al., Croat. Chem. Acta 68 (1995) 283) in order to draw molecular graphs in three-dimensional space. The quality of KK and FR geometries is studied here by comparing them with the molecular mechanics (MM) and the adjacency matrix eigenvectors (AME) algorithm geometries. In order to compare different layouts of the same molecule, an appropriate method has been developed. Its application to a series of experimentally detected fullerenes indicates that the KK, FR and AME algorithms are able to reproduce plausible molecular geometries.

  9. Brain Mechanisms Supporting Modulation of Pain by Mindfulness Meditation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeidan, F.; Martucci, K.T.; Kraft, R.A.; Gordon, N.S.; McHaffie, J.G.; Coghill, R.C.

    2011-01-01

    The subjective experience of one’s environment is constructed by interactions among sensory, cognitive, and affective processes. For centuries, meditation has been thought to influence such processes by enabling a non-evaluative representation of sensory events. To better understand how meditation influences the sensory experience, we employed arterial spin labeling (ASL) functional magnetic resonance imaging to assess the neural mechanisms by which mindfulness meditation influences pain in healthy human participants. After four-days of mindfulness meditation training, meditating in the presence of noxious stimulation significantly reduced pain-unpleasantness by 57% and pain-intensity ratings by 40% when compared to rest. A two factor repeated measures analysis of variance was used to identify interactions between meditation and pain-related brain activation. Meditation reduced pain-related activation of the contra lateral primary somatosensory cortex. Multiple regression analysis was used to identify brain regions associated with individual differences in the magnitude of meditation-related pain reductions. Meditation-induced reductions in pain intensity ratings were associated with increased activity in the anterior cingulate cortex and anterior insula, areas involved in the cognitive regulation of nociceptive processing. Reductions in pain unpleasantness ratings were associated with orbitofrontal cortex activation, an area implicated in reframing the contextual evaluation of sensory events. Moreover, reductions in pain unpleasantness also were associated with thalamic deactivation, which may reflect a limbic gating mechanism involved in modifying interactions between afferent in put and executive-order brain areas. Taken together, these data indicate that meditation engages multiple brain mechanisms that alter the construction of the subjectively available pain experience from afferent information. PMID:21471390

  10. Circadian Rhythms in Fear Conditioning: An Overview of Behavioral, Brain System, and Molecular Interactions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne Albrecht

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The formation of fear memories is a powerful and highly evolutionary conserved mechanism that serves the behavioral adaptation to environmental threats. Accordingly, classical fear conditioning paradigms have been employed to investigate fundamental molecular processes of memory formation. Evidence suggests that a circadian regulation mechanism allows for a timestamping of such fear memories and controlling memory salience during both their acquisition and their modification after retrieval. These mechanisms include an expression of molecular clocks in neurons of the amygdala, hippocampus, and medial prefrontal cortex and their tight interaction with the intracellular signaling pathways that mediate neural plasticity and information storage. The cellular activities are coordinated across different brain regions and neural circuits through the release of glucocorticoids and neuromodulators such as acetylcholine, which integrate circadian and memory-related activation. Disturbance of this interplay by circadian phase shifts or traumatic experience appears to be an important factor in the development of stress-related psychopathology, considering these circadian components are of critical importance for optimizing therapeutic approaches to these disorders.

  11. Reaction Mechanism of Mycobacterium Tuberculosis Glutamine Synthetase Using Quantum Mechanics/Molecular Mechanics Calculations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreira, Cátia; Ramos, Maria J; Fernandes, Pedro Alexandrino

    2016-06-27

    This paper is devoted to the understanding of the reaction mechanism of mycobacterium tuberculosis glutamine synthetase (mtGS) with atomic detail, using computational quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) methods at the ONIOM M06-D3/6-311++G(2d,2p):ff99SB//B3LYP/6-31G(d):ff99SB level of theory. The complete reaction undergoes a three-step mechanism: the spontaneous transfer of phosphate from ATP to glutamate upon ammonium binding (ammonium quickly loses a proton to Asp54), the attack of ammonia on phosphorylated glutamate (yielding protonated glutamine), and the deprotonation of glutamine by the leaving phosphate. This exothermic reaction has an activation free energy of 21.5 kcal mol(-1) , which is consistent with that described for Escherichia coli glutamine synthetase (15-17 kcal mol(-1) ). The participating active site residues have been identified and their role and energy contributions clarified. This study provides an insightful atomic description of the biosynthetic reaction that takes place in this enzyme, opening doors for more accurate studies for developing new anti-tuberculosis therapies. © 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  12. Physiological and molecular biochemical mechanisms of bile formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reshetnyak, Vasiliy Ivanovich

    2013-01-01

    This review considers the physiological and molecular biochemical mechanisms of bile formation. The composition of bile and structure of a bile canaliculus, biosynthesis and conjugation of bile acids, bile phospholipids, formation of bile micellar structures, and enterohepatic circulation of bile acids are described. In general, the review focuses on the molecular physiology of the transporting systems of the hepatocyte sinusoidal and apical membranes. Knowledge of physiological and biochemical basis of bile formation has implications for understanding the mechanisms of development of pathological processes, associated with diseases of the liver and biliary tract. PMID:24259965

  13. Cortical and subcortical mechanisms of brain-machine interfaces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marchesotti, Silvia; Martuzzi, Roberto; Schurger, Aaron; Blefari, Maria Laura; Del Millán, José R; Bleuler, Hannes; Blanke, Olaf

    2017-06-01

    Technical advances in the field of Brain-Machine Interfaces (BMIs) enable users to control a variety of external devices such as robotic arms, wheelchairs, virtual entities and communication systems through the decoding of brain signals in real time. Most BMI systems sample activity from restricted brain regions, typically the motor and premotor cortex, with limited spatial resolution. Despite the growing number of applications, the cortical and subcortical systems involved in BMI control are currently unknown at the whole-brain level. Here, we provide a comprehensive and detailed report of the areas active during on-line BMI control. We recorded functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data while participants controlled an EEG-based BMI inside the scanner. We identified the regions activated during BMI control and how they overlap with those involved in motor imagery (without any BMI control). In addition, we investigated which regions reflect the subjective sense of controlling a BMI, the sense of agency for BMI-actions. Our data revealed an extended cortical-subcortical network involved in operating a motor-imagery BMI. This includes not only sensorimotor regions but also the posterior parietal cortex, the insula and the lateral occipital cortex. Interestingly, the basal ganglia and the anterior cingulate cortex were involved in the subjective sense of controlling the BMI. These results inform basic neuroscience by showing that the mechanisms of BMI control extend beyond sensorimotor cortices. This knowledge may be useful for the development of BMIs that offer a more natural and embodied feeling of control for the user. Hum Brain Mapp 38:2971-2989, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  14. Prediction of mechanical properties for hexagonal boron nitride nanosheets using molecular mechanics model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Natsuki, Toshiaki [Shinshu University, Faculty of Textile Science and Technology, Ueda (Japan); Shinshu University, Institute of Carbon Science and Technology, Nagano (Japan); Natsuki, Jun [Shinshu University, Institute of Carbon Science and Technology, Nagano (Japan)

    2017-04-15

    Mechanical behaviors of nanomaterials are not easy to be evaluated in the laboratory because of their extremely small size and difficulty controlling. Thus, a suitable model for the estimation of the mechanical properties for nanomaterials becomes very important. In this study, the elastic properties of boron nitride (BN) nanosheets, including the elastic modulus, the shear modulus, and the Poisson's ratio, are predicted using a molecular mechanics model. The molecular mechanics force filed is established to directly incorporate the Morse potential function into the constitutive model of nanostructures. According to the molecular mechanics model, the chirality effect of hexagonal BN nanosheets on the elastic modulus is investigated through a closed-form solution. The simulated result shows that BN nanosheets exhibit an isotropic elastic property. The present analysis yields a set of very simple formulas and is able to be served as a good approximation on the mechanical properties for the BN nanosheets. (orig.)

  15. Prediction of mechanical properties for hexagonal boron nitride nanosheets using molecular mechanics model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Natsuki, Toshiaki; Natsuki, Jun

    2017-01-01

    Mechanical behaviors of nanomaterials are not easy to be evaluated in the laboratory because of their extremely small size and difficulty controlling. Thus, a suitable model for the estimation of the mechanical properties for nanomaterials becomes very important. In this study, the elastic properties of boron nitride (BN) nanosheets, including the elastic modulus, the shear modulus, and the Poisson's ratio, are predicted using a molecular mechanics model. The molecular mechanics force filed is established to directly incorporate the Morse potential function into the constitutive model of nanostructures. According to the molecular mechanics model, the chirality effect of hexagonal BN nanosheets on the elastic modulus is investigated through a closed-form solution. The simulated result shows that BN nanosheets exhibit an isotropic elastic property. The present analysis yields a set of very simple formulas and is able to be served as a good approximation on the mechanical properties for the BN nanosheets. (orig.)

  16. Resveratrol and Calcium Signaling: Molecular Mechanisms and Clinical Relevance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Audrey E. McCalley

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Resveratrol is a naturally occurring compound contributing to cellular defense mechanisms in plants. Its use as a nutritional component and/or supplement in a number of diseases, disorders, and syndromes such as chronic diseases of the central nervous system, cancer, inflammatory diseases, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases has prompted great interest in the underlying molecular mechanisms of action. The present review focuses on resveratrol, specifically its isomer trans-resveratrol, and its effects on intracellular calcium signaling mechanisms. As resveratrol’s mechanisms of action are likely pleiotropic, its effects and interactions with key signaling proteins controlling cellular calcium homeostasis are reviewed and discussed. The clinical relevance of resveratrol’s actions on excitable cells, transformed or cancer cells, immune cells and retinal pigment epithelial cells are contrasted with a review of the molecular mechanisms affecting calcium signaling proteins on the plasma membrane, cytoplasm, endoplasmic reticulum, and mitochondria. The present review emphasizes the correlation between molecular mechanisms of action that have recently been identified for resveratrol and their clinical implications.

  17. Advance of Mechanically Controllable Break Junction for Molecular Electronics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Lu; Wang, Ling; Zhang, Lei; Xiang, Dong

    2017-06-01

    Molecular electronics stands for the ultimate size of functional elements, keeping up with an unstoppable trend over the past few decades. As a vital component of molecular electronics, single molecular junctions have attracted significant attention from research groups all over the world. Due to its pronounced superiority, the mechanically controllable break junctions (MCBJ) technique has been widely applied to characterize the dynamic performance of single molecular junctions. This review presents a system analysis for single-molecule junctions and offers an overview of four test-beds for single-molecule junctions, thus offering more insight into the mechanisms of electron transport. We mainly focus on the development of state-of-the-art mechanically controlled break junctions. The three-terminal gated MCBJ approaches are introduced to manipulate the electron transport of molecules, and MCBJs are combined with characterization techniques. Additionally, applications of MCBJs and remarkable properties of single molecules are addressed. Finally, the challenges and perspective for the mechanically controllable break junctions technique are provided.

  18. Survival under stress: molecular mechanisms of metabolic rate ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Studies in my laboratory are analysing the molecular mechanisms and regulatory events that underlie transitions to and from hypometabolic states In systems including anoxia-tolerant turtles and molluscs, estivating snails and toads, hibernating small mammals, and freeze tolerant frogs and insects. Our newest research ...

  19. Molecular Mechanisms for Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 Pathogenesis in Alzheimer’s Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Steven A.; Harris, Elizabeth A.

    2018-01-01

    This review focuses on research in the areas of epidemiology, neuropathology, molecular biology and genetics that implicates herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) as a causative agent in the pathogenesis of sporadic Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Molecular mechanisms whereby HSV-1 induces AD-related pathophysiology and pathology, including neuronal production and accumulation of amyloid beta (Aβ), hyperphosphorylation of tau proteins, dysregulation of calcium homeostasis, and impaired autophagy, are discussed. HSV-1 causes additional AD pathologies through mechanisms that promote neuroinflammation, oxidative stress, mitochondrial damage, synaptic dysfunction, and neuronal apoptosis. The AD susceptibility genes apolipoprotein E (APOE), phosphatidylinositol binding clathrin assembly protein (PICALM), complement receptor 1 (CR1) and clusterin (CLU) are involved in the HSV lifecycle. Polymorphisms in these genes may affect brain susceptibility to HSV-1 infection. APOE, for example, influences susceptibility to certain viral infections, HSV-1 viral load in the brain, and the innate immune response. The AD susceptibility gene cholesterol 25-hydroxylase (CH25H) is upregulated in the AD brain and is involved in the antiviral immune response. HSV-1 interacts with additional genes to affect cognition-related pathways and key enzymes involved in Aβ production, Aβ clearance, and hyperphosphorylation of tau proteins. Aβ itself functions as an antimicrobial peptide (AMP) against various pathogens including HSV-1. Evidence is presented supporting the hypothesis that Aβ is produced as an AMP in response to HSV-1 and other brain infections, leading to Aβ deposition and plaque formation in AD. Epidemiologic studies associating HSV-1 infection with AD and cognitive impairment are discussed. Studies are reviewed supporting subclinical chronic reactivation of latent HSV-1 in the brain as significant in the pathogenesis of AD. Finally, the rationale for and importance of clinical

  20. Fetal Stress and Programming of Hypoxic/Ischemic-Sensitive Phenotype in the Neonatal Brain: Mechanisms and Possible Interventions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yong; Gonzalez, Pablo; Zhang, Lubo

    2012-01-01

    Growing evidence of epidemiological, clinical and experimental studies has clearly shown a close link between adverse in utero environment and the increased risk of neurological, psychological and psychiatric disorders in later life. Fetal stresses, such as hypoxia, malnutrition, and fetal exposure to nicotine, alcohol, cocaine and glucocorticoids may directly or indirectly act at cellular and molecular levels to alter the brain development and result in programming of heightened brain vulnerability to hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy and the development of neurological diseases in the postnatal life. The underlying mechanisms are not well understood. However, glucocorticoids may play a crucial role in epigenetic programming of neurological disorders of fetal origins. This review summarizes the recent studies about the effects of fetal stress on the abnormal brain development, focusing on the cellular, molecular and epigenetic mechanisms and highlighting the central effects of glucocorticoids on programming of hypoxicischemic-sensitive phenotype in the neonatal brain, which may enhance the understanding of brain pathophysiology resulting from fetal stress and help explore potential targets of timely diagnosis, prevention and intervention in neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy and other for brain disorders. PMID:22627492

  1. Fetal stress and programming of hypoxic/ischemic-sensitive phenotype in the neonatal brain: mechanisms and possible interventions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yong; Gonzalez, Pablo; Zhang, Lubo

    2012-08-01

    Growing evidence of epidemiological, clinical and experimental studies has clearly shown a close link between adverse in utero environment and the increased risk of neurological, psychological and psychiatric disorders in later life. Fetal stresses, such as hypoxia, malnutrition, and fetal exposure to nicotine, alcohol, cocaine and glucocorticoids may directly or indirectly act at cellular and molecular levels to alter the brain development and result in programming of heightened brain vulnerability to hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy and the development of neurological diseases in the postnatal life. The underlying mechanisms are not well understood. However, glucocorticoids may play a crucial role in epigenetic programming of neurological disorders of fetal origins. This review summarizes the recent studies about the effects of fetal stress on the abnormal brain development, focusing on the cellular, molecular and epigenetic mechanisms and highlighting the central effects of glucocorticoids on programming of hypoxic-ischemic-sensitive phenotype in the neonatal brain, which may enhance the understanding of brain pathophysiology resulting from fetal stress and help explore potential targets of timely diagnosis, prevention and intervention in neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy and other brain disorders. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Memory, imprinting, and the brain: an inquiry into mechanisms

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Horn, Gabriel

    1985-01-01

    ... process, and advances in our understanding of the mechanisms by which information is stored in the brain are recent and have been made on a limited front. The purpose of writing this book is to say something about these advances. The book is not, nor is it intended to be, a general review of this field, but gives an account of work in which I have been involved, over the past two decades or so, on habituation and imprinting. During that time modest success has been achieved in analysing habituation- a common change...

  3. Quantum Mechanics/Molecular Mechanics Simulations Identify the Ring-Opening Mechanism of Creatininase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jitonnom, Jitrayut; Mujika, Jon I; van der Kamp, Marc W; Mulholland, Adrian J

    2017-12-05

    Creatininase catalyzes the conversion of creatinine (a biosensor for kidney function) to creatine via a two-step mechanism: water addition followed by ring opening. Water addition is common to other known cyclic amidohydrolases, but the precise mechanism for ring opening is still under debate. The proton donor in this step is either His178 or a water molecule bound to one of the metal ions, and the roles of His178 and Glu122 are unclear. Here, the two possible reaction pathways have been fully examined by means of combined quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics simulations at the SCC-DFTB/CHARMM22 level of theory. The results indicate that His178 is the main catalytic residue for the whole reaction and explain its role as proton shuttle during the ring-opening step. In the first step, His178 provides electrostatic stabilization to the gem-diolate tetrahedral intermediate. In the second step, His178 abstracts the hydroxyl proton of the intermediate and delivers it to the cyclic amide nitrogen, leading to ring opening. The latter is the rate-limiting step with a free energy barrier of 18.5 kcal/mol, in agreement with the experiment. We find that Glu122 must be protonated during the enzyme reaction, so that it can form a stable hydrogen bond with its neighboring water molecule. Simulations of the E122Q mutant showed that this replacement disrupts the H-bond network formed by three conserved residues (Glu34, Ser78, and Glu122) and water, increasing the energy barrier. Our computational studies provide a comprehensive explanation for previous structural and kinetic observations, including why the H178A mutation causes a complete loss of activity but the E122Q mutation does not.

  4. Mechanistic insights into Mg2+-independent prenylation by CloQ from classical molecular mechanics and hybrid quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics molecular dynamics simulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bayse, Craig A; Merz, Kenneth M

    2014-08-05

    Understanding the mechanism of prenyltransferases is important to the design of engineered proteins capable of synthesizing derivatives of naturally occurring therapeutic agents. CloQ is a Mg(2+)-independent aromatic prenyltransferase (APTase) that transfers a dimethylallyl group to 4-hydroxyphenylpyruvate in the biosynthetic pathway for clorobiocin. APTases consist of a common ABBA fold that defines a β-barrel containing the reaction cavity. Positively charged basic residues line the inside of the β-barrel of CloQ to activate the pyrophosphate leaving group to replace the function of the Mg(2+) cofactor in other APTases. Classical molecular dynamics simulations of CloQ, its E281G and F68S mutants, and the related NovQ were used to explore the binding of the 4-hydroxyphenylpyruvate (4HPP) and dimethylallyl diphosphate substrates in the reactive cavity and the role of various conserved residues. Hybrid quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics potential of mean force (PMF) calculations show that the effect of the replacement of the Mg(2+) cofactor with basic residues yields a similar activation barrier for prenylation to Mg(2+)-dependent APTases like NphB. The topology of the binding pocket for 4HPP is important for selective prenylation at the ortho position of the ring. Methylation at this position alters the conformation of the substrate for O-prenylation at the phenol group. Further, a two-dimensional PMF scan shows that a "reverse" prenylation product may be a possible target for protein engineering.

  5. Investigation of deformation mechanisms of staggered nanocomposites using molecular dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathiazhagan, S.; Anup, S.

    2016-08-01

    Biological materials with nanostructure of regularly or stair-wise staggered arrangements of hard platelets reinforced in a soft protein matrix have superior mechanical properties. Applications of these nanostructures to ceramic matrix composites could enhance their toughness. Using molecular dynamics simulations, mechanical behaviour of the bio-inspired nanocomposites is studied. Regularly staggered model shows better flow behaviour compared to stair-wise staggered model due to the symmetrical crack propagation along the interface. Though higher stiffness and strength are obtained for stair-wise staggered models, rapid crack propagation reduces the toughness. Arresting this crack propagation could lead to superior mechanical properties in stair-wise staggered models.

  6. Submillisecond elastic recoil reveals molecular origins of fibrin fiber mechanics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hudson, Nathan E; Ding, Feng; Bucay, Igal; O'Brien, E Timothy; Gorkun, Oleg V; Superfine, Richard; Lord, Susan T; Dokholyan, Nikolay V; Falvo, Michael R

    2013-06-18

    Fibrin fibers form the structural scaffold of blood clots. Thus, their mechanical properties are of central importance to understanding hemostasis and thrombotic disease. Recent studies have revealed that fibrin fibers are elastomeric despite their high degree of molecular ordering. These results have inspired a variety of molecular models for fibrin's elasticity, ranging from reversible protein unfolding to rubber-like elasticity. An important property that has not been explored is the timescale of elastic recoil, a parameter that is critical for fibrin's mechanical function and places a temporal constraint on molecular models of fiber elasticity. Using high-frame-rate imaging and atomic force microscopy-based nanomanipulation, we measured the recoil dynamics of individual fibrin fibers and found that the recoil was orders of magnitude faster than anticipated from models involving protein refolding. We also performed steered discrete molecular-dynamics simulations to investigate the molecular origins of the observed recoil. Our results point to the unstructured αC regions of the otherwise structured fibrin molecule as being responsible for the elastic recoil of the fibers. Copyright © 2013 Biophysical Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Submillisecond Elastic Recoil Reveals Molecular Origins of Fibrin Fiber Mechanics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hudson, Nathan E.; Ding, Feng; Bucay, Igal; O’Brien, E. Timothy; Gorkun, Oleg V.; Superfine, Richard; Lord, Susan T.; Dokholyan, Nikolay V.; Falvo, Michael R.

    2013-01-01

    Fibrin fibers form the structural scaffold of blood clots. Thus, their mechanical properties are of central importance to understanding hemostasis and thrombotic disease. Recent studies have revealed that fibrin fibers are elastomeric despite their high degree of molecular ordering. These results have inspired a variety of molecular models for fibrin’s elasticity, ranging from reversible protein unfolding to rubber-like elasticity. An important property that has not been explored is the timescale of elastic recoil, a parameter that is critical for fibrin’s mechanical function and places a temporal constraint on molecular models of fiber elasticity. Using high-frame-rate imaging and atomic force microscopy-based nanomanipulation, we measured the recoil dynamics of individual fibrin fibers and found that the recoil was orders of magnitude faster than anticipated from models involving protein refolding. We also performed steered discrete molecular-dynamics simulations to investigate the molecular origins of the observed recoil. Our results point to the unstructured αC regions of the otherwise structured fibrin molecule as being responsible for the elastic recoil of the fibers. PMID:23790375

  8. Substrate binding and catalytic mechanism in phospholipase C from Bacillus cereus. a molecular mechanics and molecular dynamics study

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    da Graça Thrige, D; Buur, J R; Jørgensen, Flemming Steen

    1997-01-01

    cereus including a docked substrate molecule was subjected to a stepwise molecular mechanics energy minimization. Second, the location of the nucleophilic water molecule in the active site of the fully relaxed enzyme-substrate complex was determined by evaluation of nonbonded interaction energies between...... water molecule was verified during a 100 ps molecular dynamics simulation. During the simulation the substrate undergoes a conformational change, but retains its localization in the active site. The contacts between the enzyme, the substrate, and the nucleophilic water molecule display some fluctuations...... the strong electrostatic interactions in the active site realistically during energy minimization, delocalization of the charges from the three zinc ions was considered. Therefore, quantum mechanics calculations on the zinc ions and the zinc-coordinating residues were carried out prior to the molecular...

  9. A quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics study on the hydrolysis mechanism of New Delhi metallo-β-lactamase-1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Kongkai; Lu, Junyan; Liang, Zhongjie; Kong, Xiangqian; Ye, Fei; Jin, Lu; Geng, Heji; Chen, Yong; Zheng, Mingyue; Jiang, Hualiang; Li, Jun-Qian; Luo, Cheng

    2013-03-01

    New Delhi metallo-β-lactamase-1 (NDM-1) has emerged as a major global threat to human health for its rapid rate of dissemination and ability to make pathogenic microbes resistant to almost all known β-lactam antibiotics. In addition, effective NDM-1 inhibitors have not been identified to date. In spite of the plethora of structural and kinetic data available, the accurate molecular characteristics of and details on the enzymatic reaction of NDM-1 hydrolyzing β-lactam antibiotics remain incompletely understood. In this study, a combined computational approach including molecular docking, molecular dynamics simulations and quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics calculations was performed to characterize the catalytic mechanism of meropenem catalyzed by NDM-1. The quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics results indicate that the ionized D124 is beneficial to the cleavage of the C-N bond within the β-lactam ring. Meanwhile, it is energetically favorable to form an intermediate if no water molecule coordinates to Zn2. Moreover, according to the molecular dynamics results, the conserved residue K211 plays a pivotal role in substrate binding and catalysis, which is quite consistent with previous mutagenesis data. Our study provides detailed insights into the catalytic mechanism of NDM-1 hydrolyzing meropenem β-lactam antibiotics and offers clues for the discovery of new antibiotics against NDM-1 positive strains in clinical studies.

  10. Computing the blood brain barrier (BBB) diffusion coefficient: A molecular dynamics approach

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shamloo, Amir, E-mail: shamloo@sharif.edu; Pedram, Maysam Z.; Heidari, Hossein; Alasty, Aria, E-mail: aalasti@sharif.edu

    2016-07-15

    Various physical and biological aspects of the Blood Brain Barrier (BBB) structure still remain unfolded. Therefore, among the several mechanisms of drug delivery, only a few have succeeded in breaching this barrier, one of which is the use of Magnetic Nanoparticles (MNPs). However, a quantitative characterization of the BBB permeability is desirable to find an optimal magnetic force-field. In the present study, a molecular model of the BBB is introduced that precisely represents the interactions between MNPs and the membranes of Endothelial Cells (ECs) that form the BBB. Steered Molecular Dynamics (SMD) simulations of the BBB crossing phenomenon have been carried out. Mathematical modeling of the BBB as an input-output system has been considered from a system dynamics modeling viewpoint, enabling us to analyze the BBB behavior based on a robust model. From this model, the force profile required to overcome the barrier has been extracted for a single NP from the SMD simulations at a range of velocities. Using this data a transfer function model has been obtained and the diffusion coefficient is evaluated. This study is a novel approach to bridge the gap between nanoscale models and microscale models of the BBB. The characteristic diffusion coefficient has the nano-scale molecular effects inherent, furthermore reducing the computational costs of a nano-scale simulation model and enabling much more complex studies to be conducted. - Highlights: • Molecular dynamics simulation of crossing nano-particles through the BBB membrane at different velocities. • Recording the position of nano-particle and the membrane-NP interaction force profile. • Identification of a frequency domain model for the membrane. • Calculating the diffusion coefficient based on MD simulation and identified model. • Obtaining a relation between continuum medium and discrete medium.

  11. Molecular Mechanisms Behind the Chemopreventive Effects of Anthocyanidins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    De-Xing Hou

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available Anthocyanins are polyphenolic ring-based flavonoids, and are widespread in fruits and vegetables of red-blue color. Epidemiological investigations and animal experiments have indicated that anthocyanins may contribute to cancer chemoprevention. The studies on the mechanism have been done recently at molecular level. This review summarizes current molecular bases for anthocyanidins on several key steps involved in cancer chemoprevention: (i inhibition of anthocyanidins in cell transformation through targeting mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK pathway and activator protein 1 (AP-1 factor; (ii suppression of anthocyanidins in inflammation and carcinogenesis through targeting nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB pathway and cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2 gene; (iii apoptotic induction of cancer cells by anthocyanidins through reactive oxygen species (ROS / c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK-mediated caspase activation. These data provide a first molecular view of anthocyanidins contributing to cancer chemoprevention.

  12. Mammalian life histories: their evolution and molecular-genetic mechanisms

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sacher, G.A.

    1978-01-01

    Survival curves for various species of mammals are discussed and a table is presented to show recorded maximum life spans of about 30 species of mammals. The range of longevities is from one year for shrews and moles up to more than 80 years for the fin whale. The constitutional correlates of longevity are discussed with regard to body size, brain weight,metabolic rates, and body temperature. It is concluded that longevity evolved as a positive trait, associated with the evolution of large body size and brain size. Life table data for man, the thorough-bred horse, beagle dogs, and the laboratory rodents, Mus musculus and Peromyscus leucopus are discussed. The data show a pattern of exponential increase of death rate with age. A laboratory model using Mus musculus and Peromyscus leucopus for the study of the longevity-assurance mechanisms is described. (HLW)

  13. Alcohol Withdrawal and Brain Injuries: Beyond Classical Mechanisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marianna E. Jung

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Unmanaged sudden withdrawal from the excessive consumption of alcohol (ethanol adversely alters neuronal integrity in vulnerable brain regions such as the cerebellum, hippocampus, or cortex. In addition to well known hyperexcitatory neurotransmissions, ethanol withdrawal (EW provokes the intense generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS and the activation of stress-responding protein kinases, which are the focus of this review article. EW also inflicts mitochondrial membranes/membrane potential, perturbs redox balance, and suppresses mitochondrial enzymes, all of which impair a fundamental function of mitochondria. Moreover, EW acts as an age-provoking stressor. The vulnerable age to EW stress is not necessarily the oldest age and varies depending upon the target molecule of EW. A major female sex steroid, 17β-estradiol (E2, interferes with the EW-induced alteration of oxidative signaling pathways and thereby protects neurons, mitochondria, and behaviors. The current review attempts to provide integrated information at the levels of oxidative signaling mechanisms by which EW provokes brain injuries and E2 protects against it. Unmanaged sudden withdrawal from the excessive consumption of alcohol (ethanol adversely alters neuronal integrity in vulnerable brain regions such as the cerebellum, hippocampus, or cortex. In addition to well known hyperexcitatory neurotransmissions, ethanol withdrawal (EW provokes the intense generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS and the activation of stress-responding protein kinases, which are the focus of this review article. EW also inflicts mitochondrial membranes/membrane potential, perturbs redox balance, and suppresses mitochondrial enzymes, all of which impair a fundamental function of mitochondria. Moreover, EW acts as an age-provoking stressor. The vulnerable age to EW stress is not necessarily the oldest age and varies depending upon the target molecule of EW. A major female sex steroid, 17

  14. Oxytocin and Serotonin Brain Mechanisms in the Nonhuman Primate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lefevre, Arthur; Richard, Nathalie; Jazayeri, Mina; Beuriat, Pierre-Aurélien; Fieux, Sylvain; Zimmer, Luc; Duhamel, Jean-René; Sirigu, Angela

    2017-07-12

    Oxytocin (OT) is increasingly studied for its therapeutic potential in psychiatric disorders, which are associated with the deregulation of several neurotransmission systems. Studies in rodents demonstrated that the interaction between OT and serotonin (5-HT) is critical for several aspects of social behavior. Using PET scan in humans, we have recently found that 5-HT 1A receptor (5-HT 1A R) function is modified after intranasal oxytocin intake. However, the underlying mechanism between OT and 5-HT remains unclear. To understand this interaction, we tested 3 male macaque monkeys using both [ 11 C]DASB and [ 18 F]MPPF, two PET radiotracers, marking the serotonin transporter and the 5-HT 1A R, respectively. Oxytocin (1 IU in 20 μl of ACSF) or placebo was injected into the brain lateral ventricle 45 min before scans. Additionally, we performed postmortem autoradiography. Compared with placebo, OT significantly reduced [ 11 C]DASB binding potential in right amygdala, insula, and hippocampus, whereas [ 18 F]MPPF binding potential increased in right amygdala and insula. Autoradiography revealed that [ 11 C]DASB was sensitive to physiological levels of 5-HT modification, and that OT does not act directly on the 5-HT 1A R. Our results show that oxytocin administration in nonhuman primates influences serotoninergic neurotransmission via at least two ways: (1) by provoking a release of serotonin in key limbic regions; and (2) by increasing the availability of 5-HT 1A R receptors in the same limbic areas. Because these two molecules are important for social behavior, our study sheds light on the specific nature of their interaction, therefore helping to develop new mechanisms-based therapies for psychiatric disorders. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Social behavior is largely controlled by brain neuromodulators, such as oxytocin and serotonin. While these are currently targeted in the context of psychiatric disorders such as autism and schizophrenia, a new promising pharmaceutical

  15. Atomistic insight into the catalytic mechanism of glycosyltransferases by combined quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tvaroška, Igor

    2015-02-11

    Glycosyltransferases catalyze the formation of glycosidic bonds by assisting the transfer of a sugar residue from donors to specific acceptor molecules. Although structural and kinetic data have provided insight into mechanistic strategies employed by these enzymes, molecular modeling studies are essential for the understanding of glycosyltransferase catalyzed reactions at the atomistic level. For such modeling, combined quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) methods have emerged as crucial. These methods allow the modeling of enzymatic reactions by using quantum mechanical methods for the calculation of the electronic structure of the active site models and treating the remaining enzyme environment by faster molecular mechanics methods. Herein, the application of QM/MM methods to glycosyltransferase catalyzed reactions is reviewed, and the insight from modeling of glycosyl transfer into the mechanisms and transition states structures of both inverting and retaining glycosyltransferases are discussed. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Molecular Mechanisms of Chromium in Alleviating Insulin Resistance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hua, Yinan; Clark, Suzanne; Ren, Jun; Sreejayan, Nair

    2011-01-01

    Type 2 diabetes is often associated with obesity, dyslipidemia, and cardiovascular anomalies and is a major health problem approaching global epidemic proportions. Insulin resistance, a prediabetic condition, precedes the onset of frank type 2 diabetes and offers potential avenues for early intervention to treat the disease. Although lifestyle modifications and exercise can reduce the incidence of diabetes, compliance has proved to be difficult, warranting pharmacological interventions. However, most of the currently available drugs that improve insulin sensitivity have adverse effects. Therefore, attractive strategies to alleviate insulin resistance include dietary supplements. One such supplement is chromium, which has been shown reduce insulin resistance in some, but not all, studies. Furthermore, the molecular mechanisms of chromium in alleviating insulin resistance remain elusive. This review examines emerging reports on the effect of chromium, as well as molecular and cellular mechanisms by which chromium may provide beneficial effects in alleviating insulin resistance. PMID:22423897

  17. Molecular mechanisms of cisplatin resistance in cervical cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhu H

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Haiyan Zhu, Hui Luo, Wenwen Zhang, Zhaojun Shen, Xiaoli Hu, Xueqiong Zhu Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou, People’s Republic of China Abstract: Patients with advanced or recurrent cervical cancer have poor prognosis, and their 1-year survival is only 10%–20%. Chemotherapy is considered as the standard treatment for patients with advanced or recurrent cervical cancer, and cisplatin appears to treat the disease effectively. However, resistance to cisplatin may develop, thus substantially compromising the efficacy of cisplatin to treat advanced or recurrent cervical cancer. In this article, we systematically review the recent literature and summarize the recent advances in our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying cisplatin resistance in cervical cancer. Keywords: cisplatin, epithelial–mesenchymal transition, microRNA, molecular mechanism, resistance

  18. Self-renewal molecular mechanisms of colorectal cancer stem cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Tianhui; Xu, Jinghong; Zhu, Yongliang

    2017-01-01

    Colorectal cancer stem cells (CCSCs) represent a small fraction of the colorectal cancer cell population that possess self-renewal and multi-lineage differentiation potential and drive tumorigenicity. Self-renewal is essential for the malignant biological behaviors of colorectal cancer stem cells. While the self-renewal molecular mechanisms of colorectal cancer stem cells are not yet fully understood, the aberrant activation of signaling pathways, such as Wnt, Notch, transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β)/bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) and Hedgehog-Gli (HH-GLI), specific roles mediated by cell surface markers and micro-environmental factors are involved in the regulation of self-renewal. The elucidation of the molecular mechanisms behind self-renewal may lead to the development of novel targeted interventions for the treatment of colorectal cancer.

  19. The Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms of Axon Guidance in Mossy Fiber Sprouting

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryuta Koyama

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available The question of whether mossy fiber sprouting is epileptogenic has not been resolved; both sprouting-induced recurrent excitatory and inhibitory circuit hypotheses have been experimentally (but not fully supported. Therefore, whether mossy fiber sprouting is a potential therapeutic target for epilepsy remains under debate. Moreover, the axon guidance mechanisms of mossy fiber sprouting have attracted the interest of neuroscientists. Sprouting of mossy fibers exhibits several uncommon axonal growth features in the basically non-plastic adult brain. For example, robust branching of axonal collaterals arises from pre-existing primary mossy fiber axons. Understanding the branching mechanisms in adulthood may contribute to axonal regeneration therapies in neuroregenerative medicine in which robust axonal re-growth is essential. Additionally, because granule cells are produced throughout life in the neurogenic dentate gyrus, it is interesting to examine whether the mossy fibers of newly generated granule cells follow the pre-existing trajectories of sprouted mossy fibers in the epileptic brain. Understanding these axon guidance mechanisms may contribute to neuron transplantation therapies, for which the incorporation of transplanted neurons into pre-existing neural circuits is essential. Thus, clarifying the axon guidance mechanisms of mossy fiber sprouting could lead to an understanding of central nervous system (CNS network reorganization and plasticity. Here, we review the molecular and cellular mechanisms of axon guidance in mossy fiber sprouting by discussing mainly in vitro studies.

  20. Molecular dynamics simulation of nanocrystalline nickel: structure and mechanical properties

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Swygenhoven, H. van [Paul Scherrer Inst. (PSI), Villigen (Switzerland); Caro, A. [Comision Nacional de Energia Atomica, San Carlos de Bariloche (Argentina). Centro Atomico Bariloche

    1997-09-01

    Molecular dynamics computer simulations of low temperature elastic and plastic deformation of Ni nanophase samples (3-7 nm) are performed. The samples are polycrystals nucleated from different seeds, with random locations and orientations. Bulk and Young`s modulus, onset of plastic deformation and mechanism responsible for the plastic behaviour are studied and compared with the behaviour of coarse grained samples. (author) 1 fig., 3 refs.

  1. Unraveling the mechanism of molecular doping in organic semiconductors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mityashin, Alexander; Olivier, Yoann; Van Regemorter, Tanguy; Rolin, Cedric; Verlaak, Stijn; Martinelli, Nicolas G; Beljonne, David; Cornil, Jérôme; Genoe, Jan; Heremans, Paul

    2012-03-22

    The mechanism by which molecular dopants donate free charge carriers to the host organic semiconductor is investigated and is found to be quite different from the one in inorganic semiconductors. In organics, a strong correlation between the doping concentration and its charge donation efficiency is demonstrated. Moreover, there is a threshold doping level below which doping simply has no electrical effect. Copyright © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  2. Molecular dynamics simulation of nanocrystalline nickel: structure and mechanical properties

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Swygenhoven, H. van; Caro, A.

    1997-01-01

    Molecular dynamics computer simulations of low temperature elastic and plastic deformation of Ni nanophase samples (3-7 nm) are performed. The samples are polycrystals nucleated from different seeds, with random locations and orientations. Bulk and Young's modulus, onset of plastic deformation and mechanism responsible for the plastic behaviour are studied and compared with the behaviour of coarse grained samples. (author) 1 fig., 3 refs

  3. Radiotracer studies on molecular mechanisms of death and resuscitation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nikulin, V.J.; Pogossova, A.V.; Konikova, A.S.

    1980-01-01

    Tracer techniques and artificial circulation were applied to rabbits after death by anoxia and deep hypothermia in order to study molecular mechanisms. 60 min after death the biosynthesis and disintegration of protein RNA and DNA practically stopped in all organs. In animals cooled post mortem the process of biosynthesis and degradation of protein, RNA and DNA, as well as the physiological functions of the whole organism, were restored. (author)

  4. Molecular Mechanism and Genetic Determinants of Buprofezin Degradation

    OpenAIRE

    Chen, Xueting; Ji, Junbin; Zhao, Leizhen; Qiu, Jiguo; Dai, Chen; Wang, Weiwu; He, Jian; Jiang, Jiandong; Hong, Qing; Yan, Xin

    2017-01-01

    Buprofezin is a widely used insect growth regulator whose residue has been frequently detected in the environment, posing a threat to aquatic organisms and nontarget insects. Microorganisms play an important role in the degradation of buprofezin in the natural environment. However, the relevant catabolic pathway has not been fully characterized, and the molecular mechanism of catabolism is still completely unknown. Rhodococcus qingshengii YL-1 can utilize buprofezin as a sole source of carbon...

  5. Self-renewal molecular mechanisms of colorectal cancer stem cells

    OpenAIRE

    Pan, Tianhui; Xu, Jinghong; Zhu, Yongliang

    2016-01-01

    Colorectal cancer stem cells (CCSCs) represent a small fraction of the colorectal cancer cell population that possess self-renewal and multi-lineage differentiation potential and drive tumorigenicity. Self-renewal is essential for the malignant biological behaviors of colorectal cancer stem cells. While the self-renewal molecular mechanisms of colorectal cancer stem cells are not yet fully understood, the aberrant activation of signaling pathways, such as Wnt, Notch, transforming growth facto...

  6. Combined quantum and molecular mechanics (QM/MM).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friesner, Richard A

    2004-12-01

    We describe the current state of the art of mixed quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) methodology, with a particular focus on modeling of enzymatic reactions. Over the past decade, the effectiveness of these methods has increased dramatically, based on improved quantum chemical methods, advances in the description of the QM/MM interface, and reductions in the cost/performance of computing hardware. Two examples of pharmaceutically relevant applications, cytochrome P450 and class C β-lactamase, are presented.: © 2004 Elsevier Ltd . All rights reserved.

  7. Lignin biodegradation: experimental evidence, molecular, biochemical and physiological mechanisms

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Monties, B

    1985-01-01

    A critical review is presented of English, French and some German language literature, mainly from 1983 onwards. It examines experimental evidence on the behaviour as barriers to biodegradation of lignins and phenolic polymers such as tannins and suberins. The different molecular mechanisms of lignolysis by fungi (mainly), actinomycetes and bacteria are examined. A new biochemical approach to the physiological mechanism of regulation of lignolytic activities is suggested based on the discoveries of ligniolytic enzymes: effects of nitrogen, oxygen and substrate are discussed. It is concluded that a better knowledge of the structure and reactivity of phenolic barriers is needed in order to control the process of lignolysis.

  8. Protecting the newborn brain: molecular mechanisms and therapeutic targets

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nijboer, C.H.A.

    2008-01-01

    Hypoxia-ischemia (HI) during the perinatal period is a significant health problem for the newborn. The discovery of safe and effective therapies to combat perinatal HI remains an ongoing challenge for perinatal medicine. Understanding the interplay between numerous pathophysiological pathways that

  9. Molecular mechanisms underlying the effects of cannabinoids in the brain

    OpenAIRE

    Puighermanal Puigvert, Emma, 1983-

    2011-01-01

    El sistema endocannabinoid és un sistema neuromodulador endogen que regula diverses funcions fisiològiques, incloent el control del moviment, la memòria, l’ansietat i el dolor, entre altres. Els compostos cannabinoids es troben principalment a la planta Cannabis sativa i exerceixen els seus efectes actuant al sistema endocannabinoid. Els cannabinoids tenen potencial terapèutic, principalment per l’esclerosi múltiple, el dolor i l’èmesi, tot i que una limitació important pel seu ús recau en el...

  10. Molecular Mechanisms of Neurodegeneration in Spinal Muscular Atrophy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saif Ahmad

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA is an autosomal recessive motor neuron disease with a high incidence and is the most common genetic cause of infant mortality. SMA is primarily characterized by degeneration of the spinal motor neurons that leads to skeletal muscle atrophy followed by symmetric limb paralysis, respiratory failure, and death. In humans, mutation of the Survival Motor Neuron 1 (SMN1 gene shifts the load of expression of SMN protein to the SMN2 gene that produces low levels of full-length SMN protein because of alternative splicing, which are sufficient for embryonic development and survival but result in SMA. The molecular mechanisms of the (a regulation of SMN gene expression and (b degeneration of motor neurons caused by low levels of SMN are unclear. However, some progress has been made in recent years that have provided new insights into understanding of the cellular and molecular basis of SMA pathogenesis. In this review, we have briefly summarized recent advances toward understanding of the molecular mechanisms of regulation of SMN levels and signaling mechanisms that mediate neurodegeneration in SMA.

  11. Role of the Brain's Reward Circuitry in Depression: Transcriptional Mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nestler, Eric J

    2015-01-01

    Increasing evidence supports an important role for the brain's reward circuitry in controlling mood under normal conditions and contributing importantly to the pathophysiology and symptomatology of a range of mood disorders, such as depression. Here we focus on the nucleus accumbens (NAc), a critical component of the brain's reward circuitry, in depression and other stress-related disorders. The prominence of anhedonia, reduced motivation, and decreased energy level in most individuals with depression supports the involvement of the NAc in these conditions. We concentrate on several transcription factors (CREB, ΔFosB, SRF, NFκB, and β-catenin), which are altered in the NAc in rodent depression models--and in some cases in the NAc of depressed humans, and which produce robust depression- or antidepressant-like effects when manipulated in the NAc in animal models. These studies of the NAc have established novel approaches toward modeling key symptoms of depression in animals and could enable the development of antidepressant medications with fundamentally new mechanisms of action. © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Brain mechanisms for simple perception and bistable perception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Megan; Arteaga, Daniel; He, Biyu J

    2013-08-27

    When faced with ambiguous sensory inputs, subjective perception alternates between the different interpretations in a stochastic manner. Such multistable perception phenomena have intrigued scientists and laymen alike for over a century. Despite rigorous investigations, the underlying mechanisms of multistable perception remain elusive. Recent studies using multivariate pattern analysis revealed that activity patterns in posterior visual areas correlate with fluctuating percepts. However, increasing evidence suggests that vision--and perception at large--is an active inferential process involving hierarchical brain systems. We applied searchlight multivariate pattern analysis to functional magnetic resonance imaging signals across the human brain to decode perceptual content during bistable perception and simple unambiguous perception. Although perceptually reflective activity patterns during simple perception localized predominantly to posterior visual regions, bistable perception involved additionally many higher-order frontoparietal and temporal regions. Moreover, compared with simple perception, both top-down and bottom-up influences were dramatically enhanced during bistable perception. We further studied the intermittent presentation of ambiguous images--a condition that is known to elicit perceptual memory. Compared with continuous presentation, intermittent presentation recruited even more higher-order regions and was accompanied by further strengthened top-down influences but relatively weakened bottom-up influences. Taken together, these results strongly support an active top-down inferential process in perception.

  13. Quantum mechanics/coarse-grained molecular mechanics (QM/CG-MM).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinitskiy, Anton V; Voth, Gregory A

    2018-01-07

    Numerous molecular systems, including solutions, proteins, and composite materials, can be modeled using mixed-resolution representations, of which the quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) approach has become the most widely used. However, the QM/MM approach often faces a number of challenges, including the high cost of repetitive QM computations, the slow sampling even for the MM part in those cases where a system under investigation has a complex dynamics, and a difficulty in providing a simple, qualitative interpretation of numerical results in terms of the influence of the molecular environment upon the active QM region. In this paper, we address these issues by combining QM/MM modeling with the methodology of "bottom-up" coarse-graining (CG) to provide the theoretical basis for a systematic quantum-mechanical/coarse-grained molecular mechanics (QM/CG-MM) mixed resolution approach. A derivation of the method is presented based on a combination of statistical mechanics and quantum mechanics, leading to an equation for the effective Hamiltonian of the QM part, a central concept in the QM/CG-MM theory. A detailed analysis of different contributions to the effective Hamiltonian from electrostatic, induction, dispersion, and exchange interactions between the QM part and the surroundings is provided, serving as a foundation for a potential hierarchy of QM/CG-MM methods varying in their accuracy and computational cost. A relationship of the QM/CG-MM methodology to other mixed resolution approaches is also discussed.

  14. Quantum mechanics/coarse-grained molecular mechanics (QM/CG-MM)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinitskiy, Anton V.; Voth, Gregory A.

    2018-01-01

    Numerous molecular systems, including solutions, proteins, and composite materials, can be modeled using mixed-resolution representations, of which the quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) approach has become the most widely used. However, the QM/MM approach often faces a number of challenges, including the high cost of repetitive QM computations, the slow sampling even for the MM part in those cases where a system under investigation has a complex dynamics, and a difficulty in providing a simple, qualitative interpretation of numerical results in terms of the influence of the molecular environment upon the active QM region. In this paper, we address these issues by combining QM/MM modeling with the methodology of "bottom-up" coarse-graining (CG) to provide the theoretical basis for a systematic quantum-mechanical/coarse-grained molecular mechanics (QM/CG-MM) mixed resolution approach. A derivation of the method is presented based on a combination of statistical mechanics and quantum mechanics, leading to an equation for the effective Hamiltonian of the QM part, a central concept in the QM/CG-MM theory. A detailed analysis of different contributions to the effective Hamiltonian from electrostatic, induction, dispersion, and exchange interactions between the QM part and the surroundings is provided, serving as a foundation for a potential hierarchy of QM/CG-MM methods varying in their accuracy and computational cost. A relationship of the QM/CG-MM methodology to other mixed resolution approaches is also discussed.

  15. Mechanisms and Therapy for Cancer Metastasis to the Brain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Federica Franchino

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Advances in chemotherapy and targeted therapies have improved survival in cancer patients with an increase of the incidence of newly diagnosed brain metastases (BMs. Intracranial metastases are symptomatic in 60–70% of patients. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI with gadolinium is more sensitive than computed tomography and advanced neuroimaging techniques have been increasingly used in the detection, treatment planning, and follow-up of BM. Apart from the morphological analysis, the most effective tool for characterizing BM is immunohistochemistry. Molecular alterations not always reflect those of the primary tumor. More sophisticated methods of tumor analysis detecting circulating biomarkers in fluids (liquid biopsy, including circulating DNA, circulating tumor cells, and extracellular vesicles, containing tumor DNA and macromolecules (microRNA, have shown promise regarding tumor treatment response and progression. The choice of therapeutic approaches is guided by prognostic scores (Recursive Partitioning Analysis and diagnostic-specific Graded Prognostic Assessment-DS-GPA. The survival benefit of surgical resection seems limited to the subgroup of patients with controlled systemic disease and good performance status. Leptomeningeal disease (LMD can be a complication, especially in posterior fossa metastases undergoing a “piecemeal” resection. Radiosurgery of the resection cavity may offer comparable survival and local control as postoperative whole-brain radiotherapy (WBRT. WBRT alone is now the treatment of choice only for patients with single or multiple BMs not amenable to surgery or radiosurgery, or with poor prognostic factors. To reduce the neurocognitive sequelae of WBRT intensity modulated radiotherapy with hippocampal sparing, and pharmacological approaches (memantine and donepezil have been investigated. In the last decade, a multitude of molecular abnormalities have been discovered. Approximately 33% of patients with non

  16. A pseudobond parametrization for improved electrostatics in quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical simulations of enzymes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parks, Jerry M; Hu, Hao; Cohen, Aron J; Yang, Weitao

    2008-10-21

    The pseudobond method is used in quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical (QM/MM) simulations in which a covalent bond connects the quantum mechanical and classical subsystems. In this method, the molecular mechanical boundary atom is replaced by a special quantum mechanical atom with one free valence that forms a bond with the rest of the quantum mechanical subsystem. This boundary atom is modified through the use of a parametrized effective core potential and basis set. The pseudobond is designed to reproduce the properties of the covalent bond that it has replaced, while invoking as small a perturbation as possible on the system. Following the work of Zhang [J. Chem. Phys. 122, 024114 (2005)], we have developed new pseudobond parameters for use in the simulation of enzymatic systems. Our parameters yield improved electrostatics and deprotonation energies, while at the same time maintaining accurate geometries. We provide parameters for C(ps)(sp(3))-C(sp(3)), C(ps)(sp(3))-C(sp(2),carbonyl), and C(ps)(sp(3))-N(sp(3)) pseudobonds, which allow the interface between the quantum mechanical and molecular mechanical subsystems to be constructed at either the C(alpha)-C(beta) bond of a given amino acid residue or along the peptide backbone. In addition, we demonstrate the efficiency of our parametrization method by generating residue-specific pseudobond parameters for a single amino acid. Such an approach may enable higher accuracy than general purpose parameters for specific QM/MM applications.

  17. Nanostructure and molecular mechanics of spider dragline silk protein assemblies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keten, Sinan; Buehler, Markus J.

    2010-01-01

    Spider silk is a self-assembling biopolymer that outperforms most known materials in terms of its mechanical performance, despite its underlying weak chemical bonding based on H-bonds. While experimental studies have shown that the molecular structure of silk proteins has a direct influence on the stiffness, toughness and failure strength of silk, no molecular-level analysis of the nanostructure and associated mechanical properties of silk assemblies have been reported. Here, we report atomic-level structures of MaSp1 and MaSp2 proteins from the Nephila clavipes spider dragline silk sequence, obtained using replica exchange molecular dynamics, and subject these structures to mechanical loading for a detailed nanomechanical analysis. The structural analysis reveals that poly-alanine regions in silk predominantly form distinct and orderly beta-sheet crystal domains, while disorderly regions are formed by glycine-rich repeats that consist of 31-helix type structures and beta-turns. Our structural predictions are validated against experimental data based on dihedral angle pair calculations presented in Ramachandran plots, alpha-carbon atomic distances, as well as secondary structure content. Mechanical shearing simulations on selected structures illustrate that the nanoscale behaviour of silk protein assemblies is controlled by the distinctly different secondary structure content and hydrogen bonding in the crystalline and semi-amorphous regions. Both structural and mechanical characterization results show excellent agreement with available experimental evidence. Our findings set the stage for extensive atomistic investigations of silk, which may contribute towards an improved understanding of the source of the strength and toughness of this biological superfibre. PMID:20519206

  18. Comparison of Amino Acid Positron Emission Tomographic Radiotracers for Molecular Imaging of Primary and Metastatic Brain Tumors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Csaba Juhász

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Positron emission tomography (PET is an imaging technology that can detect and characterize tumors based on their molecular and biochemical properties, such as altered glucose, nucleoside, or amino acid metabolism. PET plays a significant role in the diagnosis, prognostication, and treatment of various cancers, including brain tumors. In this article, we compare uptake mechanisms and the clinical performance of the amino acid PET radiotracers (L-[methyl-11C]methionine [MET], 18F-fluoroethyl-tyrosine [FET], 18F-fluoro-L- dihydroxy-phenylalanine [FDOPA], and 11C-alpha-methyl-L-tryptophan [AMT] most commonly used for brain tumor imaging. First, we discuss and compare the mechanisms of tumoral transport and accumulation, the basis of differential performance of these radioligands in clinical studies. Then we summarize studies that provided direct comparisons among these amino acid tracers and to clinically used 2-deoxy-2[18F]fluoro-D-glucose [FDG] PET imaging. We also discuss how tracer kinetic analysis can enhance the clinical information obtained from amino acid PET images. We discuss both similarities and differences in potential clinical value for each radioligand. This comparative review can guide which radiotracer to favor in future clinical trials aimed at defining the role of these molecular imaging modalities in the clinical management of brain tumor patients.

  19. Multiscale simulations in face-centered cubic metals: A method coupling quantum mechanics and molecular mechanics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yu Xiao-Xiang; Wang Chong-Yu

    2013-01-01

    An effective multiscale simulation which concurrently couples the quantum-mechanical and molecular-mechanical calculations based on the position continuity of atoms is presented. By an iterative procedure, the structure of the dislocation core in face-centered cubic metal is obtained by first-principles calculation and the long-range stress is released by molecular dynamics relaxation. Compared to earlier multiscale methods, the present work couples the long-range strain to the local displacements of the dislocation core in a simpler way with the same accuracy. (condensed matter: electronic structure, electrical, magnetic, and optical properties)

  20. Molecular mechanisms of fertilization: the role of male factor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ewa Maria Kratz

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Fertilization, the fusion of male and female gametes, is an incompletely known, multistep, complex process, in which many factors participate. Fertilization is a precisely regulated, species-specific process, but some cellular mechanisms are similar for many mammal species. The studies of mechanisms of male and female gamete production enable understanding of fertilization issues and, as a result, make the analysis of the causes of infertility possible. Male and female infertility is a progressive phenomenon. The development of laboratory medicine enables the analysis of molecular aspects of the reactions between gametes, which may result in better diagnosis of many infertility cases and indicate the direction of therapeutic management. The fertilization process is accompanied by many biochemical reactions, in which glycoproteins present in human ejaculate play a very important role. Glycan structures enable glycoproteins to participate in the interactions between cells, including those between gametes. The analysis of the glycosylation profile and degree of ejaculate glycoproteins not only contributes to deepening the knowledge about mechanisms accompanying the fertilization process, but also may be useful as an additional diagnostic marker of male infertility.The aim of the present review is to approach selected molecular mechanisms occurring in the male genital tract, related to the fertilization process, as well as to analyze their influence on male fertility.

  1. Molecular models of zinc phthalocyanines: semi-empirical molecular orbital computations and physicochemical properties studied by molecular mechanics simulations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gantchev, Tsvetan G.; van Lier, Johan E.; Hunting, Darel J.

    2005-01-01

    To build 3D-molecular models of Zinc-phthalocyanines (ZnPc) and to study their diverse chemical and photosensitization properties, we performed quantum mechanical molecular orbital (MO) semi-empirical (AM1) computations of the ground, excited singlet and triplet states as well as free radical (ionic) species. RHF and UHF (open shell) geometry optimizations led to near-perfect symmetrical ZnPc. Predicted ionization potentials (IP), electron affinities (EA) and lowest electronic transitions of ZnPc are in good agreement with the published experimental and theoretical data. The computation-derived D 4h /D 2h -symmetry 3D-structures of ground and excited states and free radicals of ZnPc, together with the frontier orbital energies and Mulliken electron population analysis enabled us to build robust molecular models. These models were used to predict important chemical-reactivity entities such as global electronegativity (χ), hardness (η) and local softness based on Fukui-functions analysis. Examples of molecular mechanics (MM) applications of the 3D-molecular models are presented as approaches to evaluate solvation free energy (ΔG 0 ) solv and to estimate ground- and excited- state oxidation/reduction potentials as well as intermolecular interactions and stability of ground and excited state dimers (exciplexes) and radical ion-pairs

  2. SPECT and PET Serve as Molecular Imaging Techniques and in Vivo Biomarkers for Brain Metastases

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palumbo, Barbara; Buresta, Tommaso; Nuvoli, Susanna; Spanu, Angela; Schillaci, Orazio; Fravolini, Mario Luca; Palumbo, Isabella

    2014-01-01

    Nuclear medicine techniques (single photon emission computerized tomography, SPECT, and positron emission tomography, PET) represent molecular imaging tools, able to provide in vivo biomarkers of different diseases. To investigate brain tumours and metastases many different radiopharmaceuticals imaged by SPECT and PET can be used. In this review the main and most promising radiopharmaceuticals available to detect brain metastases are reported. Furthermore the diagnostic contribution of the combination of SPECT and PET data with radiological findings (magnetic resonance imaging, MRI) is discussed. PMID:24897023

  3. Unraveling the neurotoxicity of titanium dioxide nanoparticles: focusing on molecular mechanisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bin Song

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Titanium dioxide nanoparticles (TiO2 NPs possess unique characteristics and are widely used in many fields. Numerous in vivo studies, exposing experimental animals to these NPs through systematic administration, have suggested that TiO2 NPs can accumulate in the brain and induce brain dysfunction. Nevertheless, the exact mechanisms underlying the neurotoxicity of TiO2 NPs remain unclear. However, we have concluded from previous studies that these mechanisms mainly consist of oxidative stress (OS, apoptosis, inflammatory response, genotoxicity, and direct impairment of cell components. Meanwhile, other factors such as disturbed distributions of trace elements, disrupted signaling pathways, dysregulated neurotransmitters and synaptic plasticity have also been shown to contribute to neurotoxicity of TiO2 NPs. Recently, studies on autophagy and DNA methylation have shed some light on possible mechanisms of nanotoxicity. Therefore, we offer a new perspective that autophagy and DNA methylation could contribute to neurotoxicity of TiO2 NPs. Undoubtedly, more studies are needed to test this idea in the future. In short, to fully understand the health threats posed by TiO2 NPs and to improve the bio-safety of TiO2 NPs-based products, the neurotoxicity of TiO2 NPs must be investigated comprehensively through studying every possible molecular mechanism.

  4. Investigation of deformation mechanisms of staggered nanocomposites using molecular dynamics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mathiazhagan, S., E-mail: smathi.research@gmail.com; Anup, S., E-mail: anupiist@gmail.com

    2016-08-19

    Biological materials with nanostructure of regularly or stair-wise staggered arrangements of hard platelets reinforced in a soft protein matrix have superior mechanical properties. Applications of these nanostructures to ceramic matrix composites could enhance their toughness. Using molecular dynamics simulations, mechanical behaviour of the bio-inspired nanocomposites is studied. Regularly staggered model shows better flow behaviour compared to stair-wise staggered model due to the symmetrical crack propagation along the interface. Though higher stiffness and strength are obtained for stair-wise staggered models, rapid crack propagation reduces the toughness. Arresting this crack propagation could lead to superior mechanical properties in stair-wise staggered models. - Highlights: • The deformation behaviour of staggered nanocomposites is studied. • Stair-wise staggered model has high stiffness and strength, but low toughness. • Rapid crack growth in overlap region causes this low toughness. • Toughness could be enhanced by arresting interfacial crack in the overlap.

  5. Deformation mechanisms in nanotwinned copper by molecular dynamics simulation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhao, Xing [School of Mechanical, Materials and Mechatronic Engineering, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW 2522 (Australia); State Key Laboratory of High Performance Complex Manufacturing, Central South University, Changsha 410083 (China); Lu, Cheng, E-mail: chenglu@uow.edu.au [School of Mechanical, Materials and Mechatronic Engineering, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW 2522 (Australia); Tieu, Anh Kiet; Pei, Linqing; Zhang, Liang; Su, Lihong [School of Mechanical, Materials and Mechatronic Engineering, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW 2522 (Australia); Zhan, Lihua [State Key Laboratory of High Performance Complex Manufacturing, Central South University, Changsha 410083 (China)

    2017-02-27

    Nanotwinned materials exhibit simultaneous ultrahigh strength and high ductility which is attributed to the interactions between dislocations and twin boundaries but the specific deformation mechanisms are rarely seen in experiments at the atomic level. Here we use large scale molecular dynamics simulations to explore this intricate interplay during the plastic deformation of nanotwinned Cu. We demonstrate that the dominant deformation mechanism transits dynamically from slip transfer to twin boundary migration to slip-twin interactions as the twin boundary orientation changes from horizontal to slant, and then to a vertical direction. Building on the fundamental physics of dislocation processes from computer simulations and combining the available experimental investigations, we unravel the underlying deformation mechanisms for nanotwinned Cu, incorporating all three distinct dislocation processes. Our results give insights into systematically engineering the nanoscale twins to fabricate nanotwinned metals or alloys that have high strength and considerable ductility.

  6. Investigation of deformation mechanisms of staggered nanocomposites using molecular dynamics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mathiazhagan, S.; Anup, S.

    2016-01-01

    Biological materials with nanostructure of regularly or stair-wise staggered arrangements of hard platelets reinforced in a soft protein matrix have superior mechanical properties. Applications of these nanostructures to ceramic matrix composites could enhance their toughness. Using molecular dynamics simulations, mechanical behaviour of the bio-inspired nanocomposites is studied. Regularly staggered model shows better flow behaviour compared to stair-wise staggered model due to the symmetrical crack propagation along the interface. Though higher stiffness and strength are obtained for stair-wise staggered models, rapid crack propagation reduces the toughness. Arresting this crack propagation could lead to superior mechanical properties in stair-wise staggered models. - Highlights: • The deformation behaviour of staggered nanocomposites is studied. • Stair-wise staggered model has high stiffness and strength, but low toughness. • Rapid crack growth in overlap region causes this low toughness. • Toughness could be enhanced by arresting interfacial crack in the overlap.

  7. Molecular mechanism of extreme mechanostability in a pathogen adhesin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milles, Lukas F; Schulten, Klaus; Gaub, Hermann E; Bernardi, Rafael C

    2018-03-30

    High resilience to mechanical stress is key when pathogens adhere to their target and initiate infection. Using atomic force microscopy-based single-molecule force spectroscopy, we explored the mechanical stability of the prototypical staphylococcal adhesin SdrG, which targets a short peptide from human fibrinogen β. Steered molecular dynamics simulations revealed, and single-molecule force spectroscopy experiments confirmed, the mechanism by which this complex withstands forces of over 2 nanonewtons, a regime previously associated with the strength of a covalent bond. The target peptide, confined in a screwlike manner in the binding pocket of SdrG, distributes forces mainly toward the peptide backbone through an intricate hydrogen bond network. Thus, these adhesins can attach to their target with exceptionally resilient mechanostability, virtually independent of peptide side chains. Copyright © 2018 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works.

  8. Physiological, Molecular and Genetic Mechanisms of Long-Term Habituation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Calin-Jageman, Robert J

    2009-09-12

    Work funded on this grant has explored the mechanisms of long-term habituation, a ubiquitous form of learning that plays a key role in basic cognitive functioning. Specifically, behavioral, physiological, and molecular mechanisms of habituation have been explored using a simple model system, the tail-elicited siphon-withdrawal reflex (T-SWR) in the marine mollusk Aplysia californica. Substantial progress has been made on the first and third aims, providing some fundamental insights into the mechanisms by which memories are stored. We have characterized the physiological correlates of short- and long-term habituation. We found that short-term habituation is accompanied by a robust sensory adaptation, whereas long-term habituation is accompanied by alterations in sensory and interneuron synaptic efficacy. Thus, our data indicates memories can be shifted between different sites in a neural network as they are consolidated from short to long term. At the molecular level, we have accomplished microarray analysis comparing gene expression in both habituated and control ganglia. We have identified a network of putatively regulated transcripts that seems particularly targeted towards synaptic changes (e.g. SNAP25, calmodulin) . We are now beginning additional work to confirm regulation of these transcripts and build a more detailed understanding of the cascade of molecular events leading to the permanent storage of long-term memories. On the third aim, we have fostered a nascent neuroscience program via a variety of successful initiatives. We have funded over 11 undergraduate neuroscience scholars, several of whom have been recognized at national and regional levels for their research. We have also conducted a pioneering summer research program for community college students which is helping enhance access of underrepresented groups to life science careers. Despite minimal progress on the second aim, this project has provided a) novel insight into the network mechanisms by

  9. Homeostasis-altering molecular processes as mechanisms of inflammasome activation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liston, Adrian; Masters, Seth L

    2017-03-01

    The innate immune system uses a distinct set of germline-encoded pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) to initiate downstream inflammatory cascades. This recognition system is in stark contrast to the adaptive immune system, which relies on highly variable, randomly generated antigen receptors. A key limitation of the innate immune system's reliance on fixed PRRs is its inflexibility in responding to rapidly evolving pathogens. Recent advances in our understanding of inflammasome activation suggest that the innate immune system also has sophisticated mechanisms for responding to pathogens for which there is no fixed PRR. This includes the recognition of debris from dying cells, known as danger-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs), which can directly activate PRRs in a similar manner to pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs). Distinct from this, emerging data for the inflammasome components NLRP3 (NOD-, LRR- and pyrin domain-containing 3) and pyrin suggest that they do not directly detect molecular patterns, but instead act as signal integrators that are capable of detecting perturbations in cytoplasmic homeostasis, for example, as initiated by infection. Monitoring these perturbations, which we term 'homeostasis-altering molecular processes' (HAMPs), provides potent flexibility in the capacity of the innate immune system to detect evolutionarily novel infections; however, HAMP sensing may also underlie the sterile inflammation that drives chronic inflammatory diseases.

  10. Deciphering Molecular Mechanism Underlying Hypolipidemic Activity of Echinocystic Acid

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Han

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Our previous study showed that a triterpene mixture, consisting of echinocystic acid (EA and oleanolic acid (OA at a ratio of 4 : 1, dose-dependently ameliorated the hyperlipidemia and atherosclerosis in rabbits fed with high fat/high cholesterol diets. This study was aimed at exploring the mechanisms underlying antihyperlipidemic effect of EA. Molecular docking simulation of EA was performed using Molegro Virtual Docker (version: 4.3.0 to investigate the potential targets related to lipid metabolism. Based on the molecular docking information, isotope labeling method or spectrophotometry was applied to examine the effect of EA on the activity of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA reductase, acyl-CoA:cholesterol acyltransferase (ACAT, and diacylglycerol acyltransferase (DGAT in rat liver microsomes. Our results revealed a strong affinity of EA towards ACAT and DGAT in molecular docking analysis, while low binding affinity existed between EA and HMG-CoA reductase as well as between EA and cholesteryl ester transfer protein. Consistent with the results of molecular docking, in vitro enzyme activity assays showed that EA inhibited ACAT and DGAT, with IC50 values of 103 and 139 μM, respectively, and exhibited no significant effect on HMG-CoA reductase activity. The present findings suggest that EA may exert hypolipidemic effect by inhibiting the activity of ACAT and DGAT.

  11. Molecular mechanisms of aging and immune system regulation in Drosophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eleftherianos, Ioannis; Castillo, Julio Cesar

    2012-01-01

    Aging is a complex process that involves the accumulation of deleterious changes resulting in overall decline in several vital functions, leading to the progressive deterioration in physiological condition of the organism and eventually causing disease and death. The immune system is the most important host-defense mechanism in humans and is also highly conserved in insects. Extensive research in vertebrates has concluded that aging of the immune function results in increased susceptibility to infectious disease and chronic inflammation. Over the years, interest has grown in studying the molecular interaction between aging and the immune response to pathogenic infections. The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster is an excellent model system for dissecting the genetic and genomic basis of important biological processes, such as aging and the innate immune system, and deciphering parallel mechanisms in vertebrate animals. Here, we review the recent advances in the identification of key players modulating the relationship between molecular aging networks and immune signal transduction pathways in the fly. Understanding the details of the molecular events involved in aging and immune system regulation will potentially lead to the development of strategies for decreasing the impact of age-related diseases, thus improving human health and life span.

  12. Molecular mechanisms of mutagenesis determined by the recombinant DNA technology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, W.R.

    1985-01-01

    A study of the alteration of the DNA in the mutant gene can determine mechanisms of mutation by distinguishing between mutations induced by transition, transversion, frameshifts of a single base and deletions involving many base pairs. The association of a specific pattern of response with a mutagen will permit detecting mutants induced by the mutagen with a reduced background by removing mutations induced by other mechanisms from the pool of potential mutants. From analyses of studies that have been conducted, it is quite apparent that there are substantial differences among mutagens in their modes of action. Of 31 x-ray induced mutants, 20 were large deletions while only 3 showed normal Southern blots. Only one mutant produced a sub-unit polypeptide of normal molecular weight and charge in the in vivo test whereas in vitro synthesis produced a second one. In contrast, nine of thirteen EMS induced mutants produced cross-reacting proteins with sub-unit polypeptide molecular weights equivalent to wild type. Two of three ENU induced mutants recently analyzed in our laboratory produced protein with sub-unit polypeptide molecular weight and electrical charge similar to the wild type stock in which the mutants were induced. One ENU induced mutation is a large deletion. 21 refs., 1 fig

  13. Molecular mechanisms of foliar water uptake in a desert tree.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Xia; Zhou, Maoxian; Dong, Xicun; Zou, Songbing; Xiao, Honglang; Ma, Xiao-Fei

    2015-11-12

    Water deficits severely affect growth, particularly for the plants in arid and semiarid regions of the world. In addition to precipitation, other subsidiary water, such as dew, fog, clouds and small rain showers, may also be absorbed by leaves in a process known as foliar water uptake. With the severe scarcity of water in desert regions, this process is increasingly becoming a necessity. Studies have reported on physical and physiological processes of foliar water uptake. However, the molecular mechanisms remain less understood. As major channels for water regulation and transport, aquaporins (AQPs) are involved in this process. However, due to the regulatory complexity and functional diversity of AQPs, their molecular mechanism for foliar water uptake remains unclear. In this study, Tamarix ramosissima, a tree species widely distributed in desert regions, was investigated for gene expression patterns of AQPs and for sap flow velocity. Our results suggest that the foliar water uptake of T. ramosissima occurs in natural fields at night when the humidity is over a threshold of 85 %. The diurnal gene expression pattern of AQPs suggests that most AQP gene expressions display a circadian rhythm, and this could affect both photosynthesis and transpiration. At night, the PIP2-1 gene is also upregulated with increased relative air humidity. This gene expression pattern may allow desert plants to regulate foliar water uptake to adapt to extreme drought. This study suggests a molecular basis of foliar water uptake in desert plants. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company.

  14. Epidemiological bases and molecular mechanisms linking obesity, diabetes, and cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutiérrez-Salmerón, María; Chocarro-Calvo, Ana; García-Martínez, José Manuel; de la Vieja, Antonio; García-Jiménez, Custodia

    2017-02-01

    The association between diabetes and cancer was hypothesized almost one century ago. Today, a vast number of epidemiological studies support that obese and diabetic populations are more likely to experience tissue-specific cancers, but the underlying molecular mechanisms remain unknown. Obesity, diabetes, and cancer share many hormonal, immune, and metabolic changes that may account for the relationship between diabetes and cancer. In addition, antidiabetic treatments may have an impact on the occurrence and course of some cancers. Moreover, some anticancer treatments may induce diabetes. These observations aroused a great controversy because of the ethical implications and the associated commercial interests. We report an epidemiological update from a mechanistic perspective that suggests the existence of many common and differential individual mechanisms linking obesity and type 1 and 2 diabetes mellitus to certain cancers. The challenge today is to identify the molecular links responsible for this association. Classification of cancers by their molecular signatures may facilitate future mechanistic and epidemiological studies. Copyright © 2016 SEEN. Publicado por Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.

  15. Postischemic revascularization: from cellular and molecular mechanisms to clinical applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silvestre, Jean-Sébastien; Smadja, David M; Lévy, Bernard I

    2013-10-01

    After the onset of ischemia, cardiac or skeletal muscle undergoes a continuum of molecular, cellular, and extracellular responses that determine the function and the remodeling of the ischemic tissue. Hypoxia-related pathways, immunoinflammatory balance, circulating or local vascular progenitor cells, as well as changes in hemodynamical forces within vascular wall trigger all the processes regulating vascular homeostasis, including vasculogenesis, angiogenesis, arteriogenesis, and collateral growth, which act in concert to establish a functional vascular network in ischemic zones. In patients with ischemic diseases, most of the cellular (mainly those involving bone marrow-derived cells and local stem/progenitor cells) and molecular mechanisms involved in the activation of vessel growth and vascular remodeling are markedly impaired by the deleterious microenvironment characterized by fibrosis, inflammation, hypoperfusion, and inhibition of endogenous angiogenic and regenerative programs. Furthermore, cardiovascular risk factors, including diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, diabetes, and aging, constitute a deleterious macroenvironment that participates to the abrogation of postischemic revascularization and tissue regeneration observed in these patient populations. Thus stimulation of vessel growth and/or remodeling has emerged as a new therapeutic option in patients with ischemic diseases. Many strategies of therapeutic revascularization, based on the administration of growth factors or stem/progenitor cells from diverse sources, have been proposed and are currently tested in patients with peripheral arterial disease or cardiac diseases. This review provides an overview from our current knowledge regarding molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in postischemic revascularization, as well as advances in the clinical application of such strategies of therapeutic revascularization.

  16. Molecular Mechanism: ERK Signaling, Drug Addiction, and Behavioral Effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Wei-Lun; Quizon, Pamela M; Zhu, Jun

    2016-01-01

    Addiction to psychostimulants has been considered as a chronic psychiatric disorder characterized by craving and compulsive drug seeking and use. Over the past two decades, accumulating evidence has demonstrated that repeated drug exposure causes long-lasting neurochemical and cellular changes that result in enduring neuroadaptation in brain circuitry and underlie compulsive drug consumption and relapse. Through intercellular signaling cascades, drugs of abuse induce remodeling in the rewarding circuitry that contributes to the neuroplasticity of learning and memory associated with addiction. Here, we review the role of the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), a member of the mitogen-activated protein kinase, and its related intracellular signaling pathways in drug-induced neuroadaptive changes that are associated with drug-mediated psychomotor activity, rewarding properties and relapse of drug seeking behaviors. We also discuss the neurobiological and behavioral effects of pharmacological and genetic interferences with ERK-associated molecular cascades in response to abused substances. Understanding the dynamic modulation of ERK signaling in response to drugs may provide novel molecular targets for therapeutic strategies to drug addiction. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  17. Radiation toxins: molecular mechanisms of action and radiomimetic properties .

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popov, Dmitri; Maliev, Vecheslav

    Introduction: Acute Radiation Disease (ARD) or Acute Radiation Syndromes (ARS) were defined as a toxic poisonous with development of the acute pathological processes in irradi-ated animals: systemic inflammatory response syndrome(SIRS), toxic multiple organ injury (TMOI), toxic multiple organ dysfunction syndromes (TMOD), toxic multiple organ failure (TMOF). However, the nature of radiation toxins, their mechanisms of formation, molecular structure, and mechanism of actions remain uncertain. Moderate and high doses of radiation induce apoptotic necrosis of radiosensitive cells with formation of Radiation Toxins and in-flammation development. Mild doses of radiation induce apoptosis or controlled programmed death of radiosensitive cells without Radiation Toxins formation and development of inflam-mation processes. Only radiation induced apoptotic necrosis initiates formation of Radiation Toxins(RT). Radiation Toxins are playing an important role as the trigger mechanisms for in-flammation development and cell lysis. The systemic inflammatory response syndrome after radiation involves an influence of various endogenous agents and mediators of inflammation such as bradykinin, histamine, serotonin and phospholipases activation, prostaglandins biosyn-thesis. Although, formation of non-specific toxins such as Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) is an important pathological process at mild or high doses of radiation. Reactive Oxygen Species play an important role in molecules damage and development of peroxidation of lipids and pro-teins which are the structural parts of cell and mitochondrial membranes. ROS and bio-radicals induce damage of DNA and RNA and peroxidation of their molecules. But high doses of radia-tion, severe and extremely severe physiological stress, result in cells death by apoptotic necrosis and could be defined as the neuroimmune acute disease. Excitotoxicity is an important patho-logical mechanism which damages the central nervous system. We postulate that

  18. The morphological and molecular changes of brain cells exposed to direct current electric field stimulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pelletier, Simon J; Lagacé, Marie; St-Amour, Isabelle; Arsenault, Dany; Cisbani, Giulia; Chabrat, Audrey; Fecteau, Shirley; Lévesque, Martin; Cicchetti, Francesca

    2014-12-07

    The application of low-intensity direct current electric fields has been experimentally used in the clinic to treat a number of brain disorders, predominantly using transcranial direct current stimulation approaches. However, the cellular and molecular changes induced by such treatment remain largely unknown. Here, we tested various intensities of direct current electric fields (0, 25, 50, and 100V/m) in a well-controlled in vitro environment in order to investigate the responses of neurons, microglia, and astrocytes to this type of stimulation. This included morphological assessments of the cells, viability, as well as shape and fiber outgrowth relative to the orientation of the direct current electric field. We also undertook enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays and western immunoblotting to identify which molecular pathways were affected by direct current electric fields. In response to direct current electric field, neurons developed an elongated cell body shape with neurite outgrowth that was associated with a significant increase in growth associated protein-43. Fetal midbrain dopaminergic explants grown in a collagen gel matrix also showed a reorientation of their neurites towards the cathode. BV2 microglial cells adopted distinct morphological changes with an increase in cyclooxygenase-2 expression, but these were dependent on whether they had already been activated with lipopolysaccharide. Finally, astrocytes displayed elongated cell bodies with cellular filopodia that were oriented perpendicularly to the direct current electric field. We show that cells of the central nervous system can respond to direct current electric fields both in terms of their morphological shape and molecular expression of certain proteins, and this in turn can help us to begin understand the mechanisms underlying the clinical benefits of direct current electric field. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of CINP.

  19. Separating grain boundary migration mechanisms in molecular dynamics simulations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ulomek, Felix; Mohles, Volker

    2016-01-01

    In molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of grain boundary (GB) migration it is quite common to find a temperature dependence of GB mobility that deviates strongly from an Arrhenius-type dependence. This usually indicates that more than one mechanism is actually active. With the goal to separate different GB migration mechanisms we investigate a Σ7 <111> 38.2° GB by MD using an EAM potential for aluminium. To drive the GB with a well-known and adjustable force, the energy conserving orientational driving force (ECO DF) is used that had been introduced recently. The magnitude of the DF and the temperature are varied. This yielded a high and a low temperature range for the GB velocity, with a transition temperature that depends on the magnitude of the DF. A method is introduced which allows both a visual and a statistical characterization of GB motion on a per atom basis. These analyses reveal that two mechanisms are active in this GB, a shuffling mechanism and its initiation. These mechanisms operate in a sequential, coupled manner. Based on this, a simple model is introduced that describes all simulated GB velocities (and hence the mobility) very well, including the transition between the dominating mechanisms.

  20. Molecular mechanisms in compatibility and mechanical properties of Polyacrylamide/Polyvinyl alcohol blends.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Qinghua; Wang, Yanen; Che, Yu; Yang, Mingming; Li, Xinpei; Zhang, Yingfeng

    2017-01-01

    The objectives of this study were to develop a computational model based on molecular dynamics technique to investigate the compatibility and mechanical properties of Polyacrylamide (PAM)/Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) blends. Five simulation models of PAM/PVA with different composition ratios (4/0, 3/1, 2/2, 1/3, 0/4) were constructed and simulated by using molecular dynamics (MD) simulation. The interaction mechanisms of molecular chains in PAM/PVA blend system were elaborated from the aspects of the compatibility, mechanical properties, binding energy and pair correlation function, respectively. The computed values of solubility parameters for PAM and PVA indicate PAM has a good miscibility with PVA. The results of the static mechanical analysis, based on the equilibrium structures of blends with differing component ratios, shows us that the elastic coefficient, engineering modulus, and ductility are increased with the addition of PVA content, which is 4/0 PAM/PVAPVAPVAPVAPVA. Moreover, binding energy results indicate that a stronger interaction exists among PVA molecular chains comparing with PAM molecular chains, which is why the mechanical properties of blend system increasing with the addition of PVA content. Finally, the results of pair correlation functions (PCFs) between polar functional groups and its surrounding hydrogen atoms, indicated they interact with each other mainly by hydrogen bonds, and the strength of three types of polar functional groups has the order of O(-OH)>O(-C=O)>N(-NH 2 ). This further elaborates the root reason why the mechanical properties of blend system increase with the addition of PVA content. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Conduction mechanism of nitronyl-nitroxide molecular magnetic compounds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dotti, N.; Heintze, E.; Slota, M.; Hübner, R.; Wang, F.; Nuss, J.; Dressel, M.; Bogani, L.

    2016-04-01

    We investigate the conduction mechanisms of nitronyl-nitroxide (NIT) molecular radicals, as useful for the creation of nanoscopic molecular spintronic devices, finding that it does not correspond to standard Mott behavior, as previously postulated. We provide a complete investigation using transport measurements, low-energy, sub-THz spectroscopy and introducing differently substituted phenyl appendages. We show that a nontrivial surface-charge-limited regime is present in addition to the standard low-voltage Ohmic conductance. Scaling analysis allows one to determine all the main transport parameters for the compounds and highlights the presence of charge-trapping effects. Comparison among the different compounds shows the relevance of intermolecular stacking between the aromatic ring of the phenyl appendix and the NIT motif in the creation of useful electron transport channels. The importance of intermolecular pathways is further highlighted by electronic structure calculations, which clarify the nature of the electronic channels and their effect on the Mott character of the compounds.

  2. The molecular mechanism and physiological role of cytoplasmic streaming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tominaga, Motoki; Ito, Kohji

    2015-10-01

    Cytoplasmic streaming occurs widely in plants ranging from algae to angiosperms. However, the molecular mechanism and physiological role of cytoplasmic streaming have long remained unelucidated. Recent molecular genetic approaches have identified specific myosin members (XI-2 and XI-K as major and XI-1, XI-B, and XI-I as minor motive forces) for the generation of cytoplasmic streaming among 13 myosin XIs in Arabidopsis thaliana. Simultaneous knockout of these myosin XI members led to a reduced velocity of cytoplasmic streaming and marked defects of plant development. Furthermore, the artificial modifications of myosin XI-2 velocity changed plant and cell sizes along with the velocity of cytoplasmic streaming. Therefore, we assume that cytoplasmic streaming is one of the key regulators in determining plant size. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  3. Multi-scale mechanics of traumatic brain injury

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cloots, R.J.H.

    2011-01-01

    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) can be caused by road traffic, sports-related or other types of accidents and often leads to permanent health issues or even death. For a good prevention or diagnosis of TBI, brain injury criteria are used to assess the probability of brain injury as a result of a

  4. Internal force corrections with machine learning for quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics simulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Jingheng; Shen, Lin; Yang, Weitao

    2017-10-28

    Ab initio quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) molecular dynamics simulation is a useful tool to calculate thermodynamic properties such as potential of mean force for chemical reactions but intensely time consuming. In this paper, we developed a new method using the internal force correction for low-level semiempirical QM/MM molecular dynamics samplings with a predefined reaction coordinate. As a correction term, the internal force was predicted with a machine learning scheme, which provides a sophisticated force field, and added to the atomic forces on the reaction coordinate related atoms at each integration step. We applied this method to two reactions in aqueous solution and reproduced potentials of mean force at the ab initio QM/MM level. The saving in computational cost is about 2 orders of magnitude. The present work reveals great potentials for machine learning in QM/MM simulations to study complex chemical processes.

  5. Sexual polyploidization in plants--cytological mechanisms and molecular regulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Storme, Nico; Geelen, Danny

    2013-05-01

    In the plant kingdom, events of whole genome duplication or polyploidization are generally believed to occur via alterations of the sexual reproduction process. Thereby, diploid pollen and eggs are formed that contain the somatic number of chromosomes rather than the gametophytic number. By participating in fertilization, these so-called 2n gametes generate polyploid offspring and therefore constitute the basis for the establishment of polyploidy in plants. In addition, diplogamete formation, through meiotic restitution, is an essential component of apomixis and also serves as an important mechanism for the restoration of F1 hybrid fertility. Characterization of the cytological mechanisms and molecular factors underlying 2n gamete formation is therefore not only relevant for basic plant biology and evolution, but may also provide valuable cues for agricultural and biotechnological applications (e.g. reverse breeding, clonal seeds). Recent data have provided novel insights into the process of 2n pollen and egg formation and have revealed multiple means to the same end. Here, we summarize the cytological mechanisms and molecular regulatory networks underlying 2n gamete formation, and outline important mitotic and meiotic processes involved in the ectopic induction of sexual polyploidization. © 2013 Ghent University. New Phytologist © 2013 New Phytologist Trust.

  6. Molecular biology of the blood-brain and the blood-cerebrospinal fluid barriers: similarities and differences

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Redzic Zoran

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Efficient processing of information by the central nervous system (CNS represents an important evolutionary advantage. Thus, homeostatic mechanisms have developed that provide appropriate circumstances for neuronal signaling, including a highly controlled and stable microenvironment. To provide such a milieu for neurons, extracellular fluids of the CNS are separated from the changeable environment of blood at three major interfaces: at the brain capillaries by the blood-brain barrier (BBB, which is localized at the level of the endothelial cells and separates brain interstitial fluid (ISF from blood; at the epithelial layer of four choroid plexuses, the blood-cerebrospinal fluid (CSF barrier (BCSFB, which separates CSF from the CP ISF, and at the arachnoid barrier. The two barriers that represent the largest interface between blood and brain extracellular fluids, the BBB and the BCSFB, prevent the free paracellular diffusion of polar molecules by complex morphological features, including tight junctions (TJs that interconnect the endothelial and epithelial cells, respectively. The first part of this review focuses on the molecular biology of TJs and adherens junctions in the brain capillary endothelial cells and in the CP epithelial cells. However, normal function of the CNS depends on a constant supply of essential molecules, like glucose and amino acids from the blood, exchange of electrolytes between brain extracellular fluids and blood, as well as on efficient removal of metabolic waste products and excess neurotransmitters from the brain ISF. Therefore, a number of specific transport proteins are expressed in brain capillary endothelial cells and CP epithelial cells that provide transport of nutrients and ions into the CNS and removal of waste products and ions from the CSF. The second part of this review concentrates on the molecular biology of various solute carrier (SLC transport proteins at those two barriers and underlines

  7. Drugs meeting the molecular basis of diabetic kidney disease: bridging from molecular mechanism to personalized medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lambers Heerspink, Hiddo J; Oberbauer, Rainer; Perco, Paul; Heinzel, Andreas; Heinze, Georg; Mayer, Gert; Mayer, Bernd

    2015-08-01

    Diabetic kidney disease (DKD) is a complex, multifactorial disease and is associated with a high risk of renal and cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Clinical practice guidelines for diabetes recommend essentially identical treatments for all patients without taking into account how the individual responds to the instituted therapy. Yet, individuals vary widely in how they respond to medications and therefore optimal therapy differs between individuals. Understanding the underlying molecular mechanisms of variability in drug response will help tailor optimal therapy. Polymorphisms in genes related to drug pharmacokinetics have been used to explore mechanisms of response variability in DKD, but with limited success. The complex interaction between genetic make-up and environmental factors on the abundance of proteins and metabolites renders pharmacogenomics alone insufficient to fully capture response variability. A complementary approach is to attribute drug response variability to individual variability in underlying molecular mechanisms involved in the progression of disease. The interplay of different processes (e.g. inflammation, fibrosis, angiogenesis, oxidative stress) appears to drive disease progression, but the individual contribution of each process varies. Drugs at the other hand address specific targets and thereby interfere in certain disease-associated processes. At this level, biomarkers may help to gain insight into which specific pathophysiological processes are involved in an individual followed by a rational assessment whether a specific drug's mode of action indeed targets the relevant process at hand. This article describes the conceptual background and data-driven workflow developed by the SysKid consortium aimed at improving characterization of the molecular mechanisms underlying DKD at the interference of the molecular impact of individual drugs in order to tailor optimal therapy to individual patients. © The Author 2015. Published by

  8. Common resting brain dynamics indicate a possible mechanism underlying zolpidem response in severe brain injury

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Shawniqua T; Conte, Mary M; Goldfine, Andrew M; Noirhomme, Quentin; Gosseries, Olivia; Thonnard, Marie; Beattie, Bradley; Hersh, Jennifer; Katz, Douglas I; Victor, Jonathan D; Laureys, Steven; Schiff, Nicholas D

    2013-01-01

    Zolpidem produces paradoxical recovery of speech, cognitive and motor functions in select subjects with severe brain injury but underlying mechanisms remain unknown. In three diverse patients with known zolpidem responses we identify a distinctive pattern of EEG dynamics that suggests a mechanistic model. In the absence of zolpidem, all subjects show a strong low frequency oscillatory peak ∼6–10 Hz in the EEG power spectrum most prominent over frontocentral regions and with high coherence (∼0.7–0.8) within and between hemispheres. Zolpidem administration sharply reduces EEG power and coherence at these low frequencies. The ∼6–10 Hz activity is proposed to arise from intrinsic membrane properties of pyramidal neurons that are passively entrained across the cortex by locally-generated spontaneous activity. Activation by zolpidem is proposed to arise from a combination of initial direct drug effects on cortical, striatal, and thalamic populations and further activation of underactive brain regions induced by restoration of cognitively-mediated behaviors. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.01157.001 PMID:24252875

  9. Molecular mechanisms of methicillin resistance in Staphylococcus aureus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domínguez, M A; Liñares, J; Martín, R

    1997-09-01

    Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) strains are among the most common nosocomial pathogens. The most significant mechanism of resistance to methicillin in this-species is the acquisition of a genetic determinant (mecA gene). However, resistance seems to have a more complex molecular basis, since additional chromosomal material is involved in such resistance. Besides, overproduction of penicillinase and/or alterations in the PBPs can contribute to the formation of resistance phenotypes. Genetic and environmental factors leading to MRSA are reviewed.

  10. Mixed 2D molecular systems: Mechanic, thermodynamic and dielectric properties

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Beno, Juraj [Department of Physics, Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology, Slovak University of Technology, Ilkovicova 3, 812 19-SK Bratislava (Slovakia); Weis, Martin [Department of Physics, Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology, Slovak University of Technology, Ilkovicova 3, 812 19-SK Bratislava (Slovakia)], E-mail: Martin.Weis@stuba.sk; Dobrocka, Edmund [Department of Physics, Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology, Slovak University of Technology, Ilkovicova 3, 812 19-SK Bratislava (Slovakia); Institute of Electrical Engineering, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Dubravska cesta 9, 841 04-SK Bratislava (Slovakia); Hasko, Daniel [International Laser Centre, Ilkovicova 3, 812 19-SK Bratislava (Slovakia)

    2008-08-15

    Study of Langmuir monolayers consisting of stearic acid (SA) and dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC) molecules was done by surface pressure-area isotherms ({pi}-A), the Maxwell displacement current (MDC) measurement, X-ray reflectivity (XRR) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) to investigate the selected mechanic, thermodynamic and dielectric properties based on orientational structure of monolayers. On the base of {pi}-A isotherms analysis we explain the creation of stable structures and found optimal monolayer composition. The dielectric properties represented by MDC generated monolayers were analyzed in terms of excess dipole moment, proposing the effect of dipole-dipole interaction. XRR and AFM results illustrate deposited film structure and molecular ordering.

  11. The mechanism of selective molecular capture in carbon nanotube networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wan, Yu; Guan, Jun; Yang, Xudong; Zheng, Quanshui; Xu, Zhiping

    2014-07-28

    Recently, air pollution issues have drawn significant attention to the development of efficient air filters, and one of the most promising materials for this purpose is nanofibers. We explore here the mechanism of selective molecular capture of volatile organic compounds in carbon nanotube networks by performing atomistic simulations. The results are discussed with respect to the two key parameters that define the performance of nanofiltration, i.e. the capture efficiency and flow resistance, which demonstrate the advantages of carbon nanotube networks with high surface-to-volume ratio and atomistically smooth surfaces. We also reveal the important roles of interfacial adhesion and diffusion that govern selective gas transport through the network.

  12. New insights on molecular mechanisms of renal aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmitt, R; Melk, A

    2012-11-01

    Long-term transplant outcome is importantly influenced by the age of the organ donor. The mechanisms how age carries out its pathophysiological impact on graft survival are still not understood. One major contributing factor for the observed poor performance of old donor kidneys seems in particular the age-related loss in renal regenerative capacity. In this review, we will summarize recent findings about the molecular basis of renal aging with specific focus on the potential role of somatic cellular senescence and mitochondrial aging in renal transplant outcome. © Copyright 2012 The American Society of Transplantation and the American Society of Transplant Surgeons.

  13. Molecular mechanisms of cisplatin resistance in cervical cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Haiyan; Luo, Hui; Zhang, Wenwen; Shen, Zhaojun; Hu, Xiaoli; Zhu, Xueqiong

    2016-01-01

    Patients with advanced or recurrent cervical cancer have poor prognosis, and their 1-year survival is only 10%-20%. Chemotherapy is considered as the standard treatment for patients with advanced or recurrent cervical cancer, and cisplatin appears to treat the disease effectively. However, resistance to cisplatin may develop, thus substantially compromising the efficacy of cisplatin to treat advanced or recurrent cervical cancer. In this article, we systematically review the recent literature and summarize the recent advances in our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying cisplatin resistance in cervical cancer.

  14. Molecular Mechanisms of Survival Strategies in Extreme Conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Federica Migliardo

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Today, one of the major challenges in biophysics is to disclose the molecular mechanisms underlying biological processes. In such a frame, the understanding of the survival strategies in extreme conditions received a lot of attention both from the scientific and applicative points of view. Since nature provides precious suggestions to be applied for improving the quality of life, extremophiles are considered as useful model-systems. The main goal of this review is to present an overview of some systems, with a particular emphasis on trehalose playing a key role in several extremophile organisms. The attention is focused on the relation among the structural and dynamic properties of biomolecules and bioprotective mechanisms, as investigated by complementary spectroscopic techniques at low- and high-temperature values.

  15. HBV DNA Integration: Molecular Mechanisms and Clinical Implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tu, Thomas; Budzinska, Magdalena A.; Shackel, Nicholas A.; Urban, Stephan

    2017-01-01

    Chronic infection with the Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) is a major cause of liver-related morbidity and mortality. One peculiar observation in cells infected with HBV (or with closely‑related animal hepadnaviruses) is the presence of viral DNA integration in the host cell genome, despite this form being a replicative dead-end for the virus. The frequent finding of somatic integration of viral DNA suggests an evolutionary benefit for the virus; however, the mechanism of integration, its functions, and the clinical implications remain unknown. Here we review the current body of knowledge of HBV DNA integration, with particular focus on the molecular mechanisms and its clinical implications (including the possible consequences of replication-independent antigen expression and its possible role in hepatocellular carcinoma). HBV DNA integration is likely to influence HBV replication, persistence, and pathogenesis, and so deserves greater attention in future studies. PMID:28394272

  16. Molecular mechanisms in radiation damage to DNA. Progress report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Osman, R.

    1994-01-01

    The objectives of this work are to elucidate the molecular mechanisms that are responsible for radiation-induced DNA damage. The overall goal is to understand the relationship between the chemical and structural changes produced by ionizing radiation in DNA and the resulting impairment of biological function expressed as carcinogenesis or cell death. The studies are based on theoretical explorations of possible mechanisms that link initial radiation damage in the form of base and sugar damage to conformational changes in DNA. These mechanistic explorations should lead to the formulation of testable hypotheses regarding the processes of impairment of regulation of gene expression, alteration in DNA repair, and damage to DNA structure involved in cell death or cancer

  17. Molecular Mechanism Underlying Lymphatic Metastasis in Pancreatic Cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhiwen Xiao

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available As the most challenging human malignancies, pancreatic cancer is characterized by its insidious symptoms, low rate of surgical resection, high risk of local invasion, metastasis and recurrence, and overall dismal prognosis. Lymphatic metastasis, above all, is recognized as an early adverse event in progression of pancreatic cancer and has been described to be an independent poor prognostic factor. It should be noted that the occurrence of lymphatic metastasis is not a casual or stochastic but an ineluctable and designed event. Increasing evidences suggest that metastasis-initiating cells (MICs and the microenvironments may act as a double-reed style in this crime. However, the exact mechanisms on how they function synergistically for this dismal clinical course remain largely elusive. Therefore, a better understanding of its molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in pancreatic lymphatic metastasis is urgently required. In this review, we will summarize the latest advances on lymphatic metastasis in pancreatic cancer.

  18. Molecular mechanisms of platelet P2Y(12) receptor regulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cunningham, Margaret R; Nisar, Shaista P; Mundell, Stuart J

    2013-02-01

    Platelets are critical for haemostasis, however inappropriate activation can lead to the development of arterial thrombosis, which can result in heart attack and stroke. ADP is a key platelet agonist that exerts its actions via stimulation of two surface GPCRs (G-protein-coupled receptors), P2Y(1) and P2Y(12). Similar to most GPCRs, P2Y receptor activity is tightly regulated by a number of complex mechanisms including receptor desensitization, internalization and recycling. In the present article, we review the molecular mechanisms that underlie P2Y(1) and P2Y(12) receptor regulation, with particular emphasis on the structural motifs within the P2Y(12) receptor, which are required to maintain regulatory protein interaction. The implications of these findings for platelet responsiveness are also discussed.

  19. Delivery of Biologics Across the Blood-Brain Barrier with Molecular Trojan Horse Technology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pardridge, William M

    2017-12-01

    Biologics are potential new therapeutics for many diseases of the central nervous system. Biologics include recombinant lysosomal enzymes, neurotrophins, decoy receptors, and therapeutic antibodies. These are large molecule drugs that do not cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB). All classes of biologics have been tested, without success, in clinical trials of brain disease over the last 25 years. In none of these past clinical trials was the biologic re-engineered to enable transport across the BBB. If the biologic does not cross the BBB, the drug cannot reach the target site in brain, and success in a clinical trial is not expected. Biologics can be re-engineered for BBB transport with the use of molecular Trojan horse technology. A BBB molecular Trojan horse is a monoclonal antibody (MAb) against an endogenous BBB receptor transporter, such as the insulin receptor or transferrin receptor. The receptor-specific MAb penetrates the brain via transport on the endogenous BBB receptor. The MAb acts as a molecular Trojan horse to deliver across the BBB the biologic pharmaceutical that is genetically fused to the MAb. The lead Trojan horse is a MAb against the human insulin receptor (HIR), and HIRMAb-derived fusion proteins have entered clinical trials for the treatment of brain disease.

  20. DMPD: Molecular mechanisms of the anti-inflammatory functions of interferons. [Dynamic Macrophage Pathway CSML Database

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available 18086388 Molecular mechanisms of the anti-inflammatory functions of interferons. Ko....csml) Show Molecular mechanisms of the anti-inflammatory functions of interferons. PubmedID 18086388 Title ...Molecular mechanisms of the anti-inflammatory functions of interferons. Authors K

  1. Molecular Imaging of the Brain Using Multi-Quantum Coherence and Diagnostics of Brain Disorders

    CERN Document Server

    Kaila, M M

    2013-01-01

    This book examines multi-quantum magnetic resonance imaging methods and the diagnostics of brain disorders. It consists of two Parts. The part I is initially devoted towards the basic concepts of the conventional single quantum MRI techniques. It is supplemented by the basic knowledge required to understand multi-quantum MRI. Practical illustrations are included both on recent developments in conventional MRI and the MQ-MRI. This is to illustrate the connection between theoretical concepts and their scope in the clinical applications. The Part II initially sets out the basic details about quadrupole charge distribution present in certain nuclei and their importance about the functions they perform in our brain. Some simplified final mathematical expressions are included to illustrate facts about the basic concepts of the quantum level interactions between magnetic dipole and the electric quadrupole behavior of useful nuclei present in the brain. Selected practical illustrations, from research and clinical pra...

  2. [Motivation and Emotional States: Structural Systemic, Neurochemical, Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bazyan, A S

    2016-01-01

    The structural, systemic, neurochemical, molecular and cellular mechanisms of organization and coding motivation and emotional states are describe. The GABA and glutamatergic synaptic systems of basal ganglia form a neural network and participate in the implementation of voluntary behavior. Neuropeptides, neurohormones and paracrine neuromodulators involved in the organization of motivation and emotional states, integrated with synaptic systems, controlled by neural networks and organizing goal-directed behavior. Structural centers for united and integrated of information in voluntary and goal-directed behavior are globus pallidus. Substantia nigra pars reticulata switches the information from corticobasal networks to thalamocortical networks, induces global dopaminergic (DA) signal and organize interaction of mesolimbic and nigostriatnoy DA systems controlled by prefrontal and motor cortex. Together with the motor cortex, substantia nigra displays information in the brainstem and spinal cord to implementation of behavior. Motivation states are formed in the interaction of neurohormonal and neuropeptide systems by monoaminergic systems of brain. Emotional states are formed by monoaminergic systems of the mid-brain, where the leading role belongs to the mesolimbic DA system. The emotional and motivation state of the encoded specific epigenetic molecular and chemical pattern of neuron.

  3. Molecular mechanism and potential targets for bone metastasis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Iguchi, Haruo

    2007-01-01

    The incidence of bone metastasis has been increasing in all cancers in recent years. Bone metastasis is associated with substantial morbidity, including bone pain, pathological fracture, neurological deficit and/or hypercalcemia. Thus, the management of bone metastasis in patients is a clinically significant issue. In the process of bone metastasis, the primary mechanism responsible for bone destruction is cancer cell-mediated stimulation of osteoclastic bone resorption, which results in osteolysis and release of various growth factors from the bone matrix. These growth factors are prerequisites for successful colonization and subsequent invasive growth of cancer cells in bone, which is called a 'vicious cycle.' Thus, it is important to elucidate what molecules are involved in this step of bone destruction, and the understanding of these molecular mechanisms could lead to develop molecular-target therapies for bone metastasis. Bisphosphonates introduced in the treatment for bone metastasis have been shown to reduce skeletal morbidity. In Japan, the most potent bisphosphonate, zoledronate (ZOMETA), was introduced in this past April, and a phase III clinical trial of humanized anti-receptor activator of NF-κB ligand (RANKL) monoclonal antibody (Denosumab) against bone metastasis is under way as a global study. These new agents, which are targeted to osteoclasts, are considered to be standard management in the care of bone metastasis patients in combination with chemotherapy and/or hormone therapy. (author)

  4. Neurogenetics of developmental dyslexia: from genes to behavior through brain neuroimaging and cognitive and sensorial mechanisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mascheretti, S; De Luca, A; Trezzi, V; Peruzzo, D; Nordio, A; Marino, C; Arrigoni, F

    2017-01-01

    Developmental dyslexia (DD) is a complex neurodevelopmental deficit characterized by impaired reading acquisition, in spite of adequate neurological and sensorial conditions, educational opportunities and normal intelligence. Despite the successful characterization of DD-susceptibility genes, we are far from understanding the molecular etiological pathways underlying the development of reading (dis)ability. By focusing mainly on clinical phenotypes, the molecular genetics approach has yielded mixed results. More optimally reduced measures of functioning, that is, intermediate phenotypes (IPs), represent a target for researching disease-associated genetic variants and for elucidating the underlying mechanisms. Imaging data provide a viable IP for complex neurobehavioral disorders and have been extensively used to investigate both morphological, structural and functional brain abnormalities in DD. Performing joint genetic and neuroimaging studies in humans is an emerging strategy to link DD-candidate genes to the brain structure and function. A limited number of studies has already pursued the imaging–genetics integration in DD. However, the results are still not sufficient to unravel the complexity of the reading circuit due to heterogeneous study design and data processing. Here, we propose an interdisciplinary, multilevel, imaging–genetic approach to disentangle the pathways from genes to behavior. As the presence of putative functional genetic variants has been provided and as genetic associations with specific cognitive/sensorial mechanisms have been reported, new hypothesis-driven imaging–genetic studies must gain momentum. This approach would lead to the optimization of diagnostic criteria and to the early identification of ‘biologically at-risk’ children, supporting the definition of adequate and well-timed prevention strategies and the implementation of novel, specific remediation approach. PMID:28045463

  5. Neurogenetics of developmental dyslexia: from genes to behavior through brain neuroimaging and cognitive and sensorial mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mascheretti, S; De Luca, A; Trezzi, V; Peruzzo, D; Nordio, A; Marino, C; Arrigoni, F

    2017-01-03

    Developmental dyslexia (DD) is a complex neurodevelopmental deficit characterized by impaired reading acquisition, in spite of adequate neurological and sensorial conditions, educational opportunities and normal intelligence. Despite the successful characterization of DD-susceptibility genes, we are far from understanding the molecular etiological pathways underlying the development of reading (dis)ability. By focusing mainly on clinical phenotypes, the molecular genetics approach has yielded mixed results. More optimally reduced measures of functioning, that is, intermediate phenotypes (IPs), represent a target for researching disease-associated genetic variants and for elucidating the underlying mechanisms. Imaging data provide a viable IP for complex neurobehavioral disorders and have been extensively used to investigate both morphological, structural and functional brain abnormalities in DD. Performing joint genetic and neuroimaging studies in humans is an emerging strategy to link DD-candidate genes to the brain structure and function. A limited number of studies has already pursued the imaging-genetics integration in DD. However, the results are still not sufficient to unravel the complexity of the reading circuit due to heterogeneous study design and data processing. Here, we propose an interdisciplinary, multilevel, imaging-genetic approach to disentangle the pathways from genes to behavior. As the presence of putative functional genetic variants has been provided and as genetic associations with specific cognitive/sensorial mechanisms have been reported, new hypothesis-driven imaging-genetic studies must gain momentum. This approach would lead to the optimization of diagnostic criteria and to the early identification of 'biologically at-risk' children, supporting the definition of adequate and well-timed prevention strategies and the implementation of novel, specific remediation approach.

  6. MATCH: An Atom- Typing Toolset for Molecular Mechanics Force Fields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yesselman, Joseph D.; Price, Daniel J.; Knight, Jennifer L.; Brooks, Charles L.

    2011-01-01

    We introduce a toolset of program libraries collectively titled MATCH (Multipurpose Atom-Typer for CHARMM) for the automated assignment of atom types and force field parameters for molecular mechanics simulation of organic molecules. The toolset includes utilities for the conversion from multiple chemical structure file formats into a molecular graph. A general chemical pattern-matching engine using this graph has been implemented whereby assignment of molecular mechanics atom types, charges and force field parameters is achieved by comparison against a customizable list of chemical fragments. While initially designed to complement the CHARMM simulation package and force fields by generating the necessary input topology and atom-type data files, MATCH can be expanded to any force field and program, and has core functionality that makes it extendable to other applications such as fragment-based property prediction. In the present work, we demonstrate the accurate construction of atomic parameters of molecules within each force field included in CHARMM36 through exhaustive cross validation studies illustrating that bond increment rules derived from one force field can be transferred to another. In addition, using leave-one-out substitution it is shown that it is also possible to substitute missing intra and intermolecular parameters with ones included in a force field to complete the parameterization of novel molecules. Finally, to demonstrate the robustness of MATCH and the coverage of chemical space offered by the recent CHARMM CGENFF force field (Vanommeslaeghe, et al., JCC., 2010, 31, 671–690), one million molecules from the PubChem database of small molecules are typed, parameterized and minimized. PMID:22042689

  7. Brain mechanisms for loss of awareness of thought and movement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oakley, David A.; Halligan, Peter W.; Mehta, Mitul A.; Deeley, Quinton

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Loss or reduction of awareness is common in neuropsychiatric disorders and culturally influenced dissociative phenomena but the underlying brain mechanisms are poorly understood. fMRI was combined with suggestions for automatic writing in 18 healthy highly hypnotically suggestible individuals in a within-subjects design to determine whether clinical alterations in awareness of thought and movement can be experimentally modelled and studied independently of illness. Subjective ratings of control, ownership, and awareness of thought and movement, and fMRI data were collected following suggestions for thought insertion and alien control of writing movement, with and without loss of awareness. Subjective ratings confirmed that suggestions were effective. At the neural level, our main findings indicated that loss of awareness for both thought and movement during automatic writing was associated with reduced activation in a predominantly left-sided posterior cortical network including BA 7 (superior parietal lobule and precuneus), and posterior cingulate cortex, involved in self-related processing and awareness of the body in space. Reduced activity in posterior parietal cortices may underlie specific clinical and cultural alterations in awareness of thought and movement. Clinically, these findings may assist development of imaging assessments for loss of awareness of psychological origin, and interventions such as neurofeedback. PMID:28338742

  8. Theory of brain function, quantum mechanics and superstrings

    CERN Document Server

    Nanopoulos, Dimitri V.

    1995-01-01

    Recent developments/efforts to understand aspects of the brain function at the {\\em sub-neural} level are discussed. MicroTubules (MTs) participate in a wide variety of dynamical processes in the cell especially in bioinformation processes such as learning and memory, by possessing a well-known binary error-correcting code with 64 words. In fact, MTs and DNA/RNA are unique cell structures that possess a code system. It seems that the MTs' code system is strongly related to a kind of ``Mental Code" in the following sense. The MTs' periodic paracrystalline structure make them able to support a superposition of coherent quantum states, as it has been recently conjectured by Hameroff and Penrose, representing an external or mental order, for sufficient time needed for efficient quantum computing. Then the quantum superposition collapses spontaneously/dynamically through a new, string-derived mechanism for collapse proposed recently by Ellis, Mavromatos, and myself. At the moment of collapse, organized quantum exo...

  9. Mechanisms of action of brain insulin against neurodegenerative diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramalingam, Mahesh; Kim, Sung-Jin

    2014-06-01

    Insulin, a pancreatic hormone, is best known for its peripheral effects on the metabolism of glucose, fats and proteins. There is a growing body of evidence linking insulin action in the brain to neurodegenerative diseases. Insulin present in central nervous system is a regulator of central glucose metabolism nevertheless this glucoregulation is not the main function of insulin in the brain. Brain is known to be specifically vulnerable to oxidative products relative to other organs and altered brain insulin signaling may cause or promote neurodegenerative diseases which invalidates and reduces the quality of life. Insulin located within the brain is mostly of pancreatic origin or is produced in the brain itself crosses the blood-brain barrier and enters the brain via a receptor-mediated active transport system. Brain Insulin, insulin receptor and insulin receptor substrate-mediated signaling pathways play important roles in the regulation of peripheral metabolism, feeding behavior, memory and maintenance of neural functions such as neuronal growth and differentiation, neuromodulation and neuroprotection. In the present review, we would like to summarize the novel biological and pathophysiological roles of neuronal insulin in neurodegenerative diseases and describe the main signaling pathways in use for therapeutic strategies in the use of insulin to the cerebral tissues and their biological applications to neurodegenerative diseases.

  10. A Practical Quantum Mechanics Molecular Mechanics Method for the Dynamical Study of Reactions in Biomolecules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendieta-Moreno, Jesús I; Marcos-Alcalde, Iñigo; Trabada, Daniel G; Gómez-Puertas, Paulino; Ortega, José; Mendieta, Jesús

    2015-01-01

    Quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) methods are excellent tools for the modeling of biomolecular reactions. Recently, we have implemented a new QM/MM method (Fireball/Amber), which combines an efficient density functional theory method (Fireball) and a well-recognized molecular dynamics package (Amber), offering an excellent balance between accuracy and sampling capabilities. Here, we present a detailed explanation of the Fireball method and Fireball/Amber implementation. We also discuss how this tool can be used to analyze reactions in biomolecules using steered molecular dynamics simulations. The potential of this approach is shown by the analysis of a reaction catalyzed by the enzyme triose-phosphate isomerase (TIM). The conformational space and energetic landscape for this reaction are analyzed without a priori assumptions about the protonation states of the different residues during the reaction. The results offer a detailed description of the reaction and reveal some new features of the catalytic mechanism. In particular, we find a new reaction mechanism that is characterized by the intramolecular proton transfer from O1 to O2 and the simultaneous proton transfer from Glu 165 to C2. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Use of Nonequilibrium Work Methods to Compute Free Energy Differences Between Molecular Mechanical and Quantum Mechanical Representations of Molecular Systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hudson, Phillip S; Woodcock, H Lee; Boresch, Stefan

    2015-12-03

    Carrying out free energy simulations (FES) using quantum mechanical (QM) Hamiltonians remains an attractive, albeit elusive goal. Renewed efforts in this area have focused on using "indirect" thermodynamic cycles to connect "low level" simulation results to "high level" free energies. The main obstacle to computing converged free energy results between molecular mechanical (MM) and QM (ΔA(MM→QM)), as recently demonstrated by us and others, is differences in the so-called "stiff" degrees of freedom (e.g., bond stretching) between the respective energy surfaces. Herein, we demonstrate that this problem can be efficiently circumvented using nonequilibrium work (NEW) techniques, i.e., Jarzynski's and Crooks' equations. Initial applications of computing ΔA(NEW)(MM→QM), for blocked amino acids alanine and serine as well as to generate butane's potentials of mean force via the indirect QM/MM FES method, showed marked improvement over traditional FES approaches.

  12. Metabolic actions of FGF21: molecular mechanisms and therapeutic implications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xuan Ge

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21 is an atypical member of the FGF family that functions as an endocrine factor. In obese animals, elevation of plasma FGF21 levels by either pharmacological or genetic approaches reduces body weight, decreases hyperglycemia and hyperlipidemia, alleviates fatty liver and increases insulin sensitivity. FGF21 exerts its pleiotropic metabolic effects through its actions on multiple targets, including adipose tissue, liver, brain and pancreas. The expression of FGF21 is under the control of both peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPARα. A growing body of evidence suggests that the metabolic benefits of these two nuclear receptors are mediated in part by induction of FGF21. In humans, plasma levels of FGF21 are elevated in obese subjects and patients with type 2 diabetes, but are reduced in patients with autoimmune diabetes. This review summarizes recent advances in understanding the physiological roles of FGF21 and the molecular pathways underlying its actions, and also discusses the future prospective of developing FGF21 or its agonists as therapeutic agents for obesity-related medical complications.

  13. Molecular and Epigenetic Mechanisms of MLL in Human Leukemogenesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas A. Milne

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Epigenetics is often defined as the study of heritable changes in gene expression or chromosome stability that don’t alter the underlying DNA sequence. Epigenetic changes are established through multiple mechanisms that include DNA methylation, non-coding RNAs and the covalent modification of specific residues on histone proteins. It is becoming clear not only that aberrant epigenetic changes are common in many human diseases such as leukemia, but that these changes by their very nature are malleable, and thus are amenable to treatment. Epigenetic based therapies have so far focused on the use of histone deacetylase (HDAC inhibitors and DNA methyltransferase inhibitors, which tend to have more general and widespread effects on gene regulation in the cell. However, if a unique molecular pathway can be identified, diseases caused by epigenetic mechanisms are excellent candidates for the development of more targeted therapies that focus on specific gene targets, individual binding domains, or specific enzymatic activities. Designing effective targeted therapies depends on a clear understanding of the role of epigenetic mutations during disease progression. The Mixed Lineage Leukemia (MLL protein is an example of a developmentally important protein that controls the epigenetic activation of gene targets in part by methylating histone 3 on lysine 4. MLL is required for normal development, but is also mutated in a subset of aggressive human leukemias and thus provides a useful model for studying the link between epigenetic cell memory and human disease. The most common MLL mutations are chromosome translocations that fuse the MLL gene in frame with partner genes creating novel fusion proteins. In this review, we summarize recent work that argues MLL fusion proteins could function through a single molecular pathway, but we also highlight important data that suggests instead that multiple independent mechanisms underlie MLL mediated leukemogenesis.

  14. Molecular and Epigenetic Mechanisms of MLL in Human Leukemogenesis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ballabio, Erica; Milne, Thomas A., E-mail: thomas.milne@imm.ox.ac.uk [MRC Molecular Haematology Unit, Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, John Radcliffe Hospital Headington, Oxford OX3 9DS (United Kingdom)

    2012-09-10

    Epigenetics is often defined as the study of heritable changes in gene expression or chromosome stability that don’t alter the underlying DNA sequence. Epigenetic changes are established through multiple mechanisms that include DNA methylation, non-coding RNAs and the covalent modification of specific residues on histone proteins. It is becoming clear not only that aberrant epigenetic changes are common in many human diseases such as leukemia, but that these changes by their very nature are malleable, and thus are amenable to treatment. Epigenetic based therapies have so far focused on the use of histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors and DNA methyltransferase inhibitors, which tend to have more general and widespread effects on gene regulation in the cell. However, if a unique molecular pathway can be identified, diseases caused by epigenetic mechanisms are excellent candidates for the development of more targeted therapies that focus on specific gene targets, individual binding domains, or specific enzymatic activities. Designing effective targeted therapies depends on a clear understanding of the role of epigenetic mutations during disease progression. The Mixed Lineage Leukemia (MLL) protein is an example of a developmentally important protein that controls the epigenetic activation of gene targets in part by methylating histone 3 on lysine 4. MLL is required for normal development, but is also mutated in a subset of aggressive human leukemias and thus provides a useful model for studying the link between epigenetic cell memory and human disease. The most common MLL mutations are chromosome translocations that fuse the MLL gene in frame with partner genes creating novel fusion proteins. In this review, we summarize recent work that argues MLL fusion proteins could function through a single molecular pathway, but we also highlight important data that suggests instead that multiple independent mechanisms underlie MLL mediated leukemogenesis.

  15. Molecular and Epigenetic Mechanisms of MLL in Human Leukemogenesis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ballabio, Erica; Milne, Thomas A.

    2012-01-01

    Epigenetics is often defined as the study of heritable changes in gene expression or chromosome stability that don’t alter the underlying DNA sequence. Epigenetic changes are established through multiple mechanisms that include DNA methylation, non-coding RNAs and the covalent modification of specific residues on histone proteins. It is becoming clear not only that aberrant epigenetic changes are common in many human diseases such as leukemia, but that these changes by their very nature are malleable, and thus are amenable to treatment. Epigenetic based therapies have so far focused on the use of histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors and DNA methyltransferase inhibitors, which tend to have more general and widespread effects on gene regulation in the cell. However, if a unique molecular pathway can be identified, diseases caused by epigenetic mechanisms are excellent candidates for the development of more targeted therapies that focus on specific gene targets, individual binding domains, or specific enzymatic activities. Designing effective targeted therapies depends on a clear understanding of the role of epigenetic mutations during disease progression. The Mixed Lineage Leukemia (MLL) protein is an example of a developmentally important protein that controls the epigenetic activation of gene targets in part by methylating histone 3 on lysine 4. MLL is required for normal development, but is also mutated in a subset of aggressive human leukemias and thus provides a useful model for studying the link between epigenetic cell memory and human disease. The most common MLL mutations are chromosome translocations that fuse the MLL gene in frame with partner genes creating novel fusion proteins. In this review, we summarize recent work that argues MLL fusion proteins could function through a single molecular pathway, but we also highlight important data that suggests instead that multiple independent mechanisms underlie MLL mediated leukemogenesis

  16. Behavioral and molecular processing of visceral pain in the brain of mice: impact of colitis and psychological stress

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Piyush eJain

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Gastrointestinal disorders with abdominal pain are associated with central sensitization and psychopathologies that are often exacerbated by stress. Here we investigated the impact of colitis induced by dextran sulfate sodium (DSS and repeated water avoidance stress (WAS on spontaneous and nociception-related behavior and molecular signaling in the mouse brain. DSS increased the mechanical pain sensitivity of the abdominal skin while both WAS and DSS enhanced the mechanical and thermal pain sensitivity of the plantar skin. These manifestations of central sensitization were associated with augmented c-Fos expression in spinal cord, thalamus, hypothalamus, amygdala and prefrontal cortex. While WAS stimulated phosphorylation of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK p42/44, DSS activated another signaling pathway, both of which converged on c-Fos. The DSS- and WAS-induced hyperalgesia in the abdominal and plantar skin and c-Fos expression in the brain disappeared when the mice were subjected to WAS+DSS treatment. Intrarectal allyl isothiocyanate (AITC evoked aversive behavior (freezing, reduction of locomotion and exploration in association with p42/44 MAPK and c-Fos activation in spinal cord and brain. These effects were inhibited by morphine, which attests to their relationship with nociception. DSS and WAS exerted opposite effects on AITC-evoked p42/44 MAPK and c-Fos activation, which indicates that these transduction pathways subserve different aspects of visceral pain processing in the brain. In summary, behavioral perturbations caused by colitis and psychological stress are associated with distinct alterations in cerebral signaling. These findings provide novel perspectives on central sensitization and the sensory and emotional processing of visceral pain stimuli in the brain.

  17. Uptake Mechanism of ApoE-Modified Nanoparticles on Brain Capillary Endothelial Cells as a Blood-Brain Barrier Model

    OpenAIRE

    Wagner, Sylvia; Zensi, Anja; Wien, Sascha L.; Tschickardt, Sabrina E.; Maier, Wladislaw; Vogel, Tikva; Worek, Franz; Pietrzik, Claus U.; Kreuter, Jörg; von Briesen, Hagen

    2012-01-01

    Background: The blood-brain barrier (BBB) represents an insurmountable obstacle for most drugs thus obstructing an effective treatment of many brain diseases. One solution for overcoming this barrier is a transport by binding of these drugs to surface-modified nanoparticles. Especially apolipoprotein E (ApoE) appears to play a major role in the nanoparticle-mediated drug transport across the BBB. However, at present the underlying mechanism is incompletely understood. Methodology/Principal Fi...

  18. Trans-differentiation of neural stem cells: a therapeutic mechanism against the radiation induced brain damage.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyeung Min Joo

    Full Text Available Radiation therapy is an indispensable therapeutic modality for various brain diseases. Though endogenous neural stem cells (NSCs would provide regenerative potential, many patients nevertheless suffer from radiation-induced brain damage. Accordingly, we tested beneficial effects of exogenous NSC supplementation using in vivo mouse models that received whole brain irradiation. Systemic supplementation of primarily cultured mouse fetal NSCs inhibited radiation-induced brain atrophy and thereby preserved brain functions such as short-term memory. Transplanted NSCs migrated to the irradiated brain and differentiated into neurons, astrocytes, or oligodendrocytes. In addition, neurotrophic factors such as NGF were significantly increased in the brain by NSCs, indicating that both paracrine and replacement effects could be the therapeutic mechanisms of NSCs. Interestingly, NSCs also differentiated into brain endothelial cells, which was accompanied by the restoration the cerebral blood flow that was reduced from the irradiation. Inhibition of the VEGF signaling reduced the migration and trans-differentiation of NSCs. Therefore, trans-differentiation of NSCs into brain endothelial cells by the VEGF signaling and the consequential restoration of the cerebral blood flow would also be one of the therapeutic mechanisms of NSCs. In summary, our data demonstrate that exogenous NSC supplementation could prevent radiation-induced functional loss of the brain. Therefore, successful combination of brain radiation therapy and NSC supplementation would provide a highly promising therapeutic option for patients with various brain diseases.

  19. Optimization and benchmarking of a perturbative Metropolis Monte Carlo quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feldt, Jonas; Miranda, Sebastião; Pratas, Frederico; Roma, Nuno; Tomás, Pedro; Mata, Ricardo A

    2017-12-28

    In this work, we present an optimized perturbative quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) method for use in Metropolis Monte Carlo simulations. The model adopted is particularly tailored for the simulation of molecular systems in solution but can be readily extended to other applications, such as catalysis in enzymatic environments. The electrostatic coupling between the QM and MM systems is simplified by applying perturbation theory to estimate the energy changes caused by a movement in the MM system. This approximation, together with the effective use of GPU acceleration, leads to a negligible added computational cost for the sampling of the environment. Benchmark calculations are carried out to evaluate the impact of the approximations applied and the overall computational performance.

  20. Method for isolation and molecular characterization of extracellular microvesicles released from brain endothelial cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haqqani Arsalan S

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In addition to possessing intracellular vesicles, eukaryotic cells also produce extracellular microvesicles, ranging from 50 to 1000 nm in diameter that are released or shed into the microenvironment under physiological and pathological conditions. These membranous extracellular organelles include both exosomes (originating from internal vesicles of endosomes and ectosomes (originating from direct budding/shedding of plasma membranes. Extracellular microvesicles contain cell-specific collections of proteins, glycoproteins, lipids, nucleic acids and other molecules. These vesicles play important roles in intercellular communication by acting as carrier for essential cell-specific information to target cells. Endothelial cells in the brain form the blood–brain barrier, a specialized interface between the blood and the brain that tightly controls traffic of nutrients and macromolecules between two compartments and interacts closely with other cells forming the neurovascular unit. Therefore, brain endothelial cell extracellular microvesicles could potentially play important roles in ‘externalizing’ brain-specific biomarkers into the blood stream during pathological conditions, in transcytosis of blood-borne molecules into the brain, and in cell-cell communication within the neurovascular unit. Methods To study cell-specific molecular make-up and functions of brain endothelial cell exosomes, methods for isolation of extracellular microvesicles using mass spectrometry-compatible protocols and the characterization of their signature profiles using mass spectrometry -based proteomics were developed. Results A total of 1179 proteins were identified in the isolated extracellular microvesicles from brain endothelial cells. The microvesicles were validated by identification of almost 60 known markers, including Alix, TSG101 and the tetraspanin proteins CD81 and CD9. The surface proteins on isolated microvesicles could potentially

  1. Molecular mechanisms of radioadaptive responses in human lymphoblastoid cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kakimoto, Ayana; Taki, Keiko; Nakajima, Tetsuo

    2008-01-01

    Radioadaptive response is a biodefensive response observed in a variety of mammalian cells and animals where exposure to low dose radiation induces resistance against the subsequent high dose radiation. Elucidation of its mechanisms is important for risk estimation of low dose radiation because the radioadaptive response implies that low dose radiation affects cells/individuals in a different manner from high dose radiation. In the present study, we explored the molecular mechanisms of the radioadaptive response in human lymphoblastoid cells AHH-1 in terms of mutation at the hypoxanthine phosphoribosyltransferase (HPRT) gene locus. First we observed that preexposure to the priming dose in the range from 0.02 Gy to 0.2 Gy significantly reduced mutation frequency at HPRT gene locus after irradiation with 3 Gy of X rays. As no significant adaptive response was observed with the priming dose of 0.005 Gy, it was indicated that the lower limit of the priming dose to induce radioadaptive response may be between 0.005 Gy and 0.02 Gy. Second, we examined the effect of 3-amino-benzamide (3AB), an inhibitor of poly(ADP-ribose)polymerase1, which has been reported to inhibit the radioadaptive response in terms of chromosome aberration. However we could observe significant radioadaptive responses in terms of mutation even in the presence of 3AB. These findings suggested that molecular mechanisms of the radioadaptive response in terms of mutation may be different from that for radioadaptive responses in terms of chromosomal aberration, although we could not exclude a possibility that the differential effects of 3AB was due to cell type difference. Finally, by performing a comprehensive analysis of alterations in gene expression using high coverage expression profiling (HiCEP), we could identify 17 genes whose expressions were significantly altered 6 h after irradiation with 0.02 Gy. We also found 17 and 20 genes, the expressions of which were different with or without priming

  2. Mechanical Properties of Nanostructured Materials Determined Through Molecular Modeling Techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clancy, Thomas C.; Gates, Thomas S.

    2005-01-01

    The potential for gains in material properties over conventional materials has motivated an effort to develop novel nanostructured materials for aerospace applications. These novel materials typically consist of a polymer matrix reinforced with particles on the nanometer length scale. In this study, molecular modeling is used to construct fully atomistic models of a carbon nanotube embedded in an epoxy polymer matrix. Functionalization of the nanotube which consists of the introduction of direct chemical bonding between the polymer matrix and the nanotube, hence providing a load transfer mechanism, is systematically varied. The relative effectiveness of functionalization in a nanostructured material may depend on a variety of factors related to the details of the chemical bonding and the polymer structure at the nanotube-polymer interface. The objective of this modeling is to determine what influence the details of functionalization of the carbon nanotube with the polymer matrix has on the resulting mechanical properties. By considering a range of degree of functionalization, the structure-property relationships of these materials is examined and mechanical properties of these models are calculated using standard techniques.

  3. Chemical and mechanical efficiencies of molecular motors and implications for motor mechanisms

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang Hongyun

    2005-01-01

    Molecular motors operate in an environment dominated by viscous friction and thermal fluctuations. The chemical reaction in a motor may produce an active force at the reaction site to directly move the motor forward. Alternatively a molecular motor may generate a unidirectional motion by rectifying thermal fluctuations using free energy barriers established in the chemical reaction. The reaction cycle has many occupancy states, each having a different effect on the motor motion. The average effect of the chemical reaction on the motor motion can be characterized by the motor potential profile. The biggest advantage of studying the motor potential profile is that it can be reconstructed from the time series of motor positions measured in single-molecule experiments. In this paper, we use the motor potential profile to express the Stokes efficiency as the product of the chemical efficiency and the mechanical efficiency. We show that both the chemical and mechanical efficiencies are bounded by 100% and, thus, are properly defined efficiencies. We discuss implications of high efficiencies for motor mechanisms: a mechanical efficiency close to 100% implies that the motor potential profile is close to a constant slope; a chemical efficiency close to 100% implies that (i) the chemical transitions are not slower than the mechanical motion and (ii) the equilibrium constant of each chemical transition is close to one

  4. Natural agents: cellular and molecular mechanisms of photoprotection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Afaq, Farrukh

    2011-04-15

    The skin is the largest organ of the body that produces a flexible and self-repairing barrier and protects the body from most common potentially harmful physical, environmental, and biological insults. Solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation is one of the major environmental insults to the skin and causes multi-tiered cellular and molecular events eventually leading to skin cancer. The past decade has seen a surge in the incidence of skin cancer due to changes in life style patterns that have led to a significant increase in the amount of UV radiation that people receive. Reducing excessive exposure to UV radiation is desirable; nevertheless this approach is not easy to implement. Therefore, there is an urgent need to develop novel strategies to reduce the adverse biological effects of UV radiation on the skin. A wide variety of natural agents have been reported to possess substantial skin photoprotective effects. Numerous preclinical and clinical studies have elucidated that natural agents act by several cellular and molecular mechanisms to delay or prevent skin cancer. In this review article, we have summarized and discussed some of the selected natural agents for skin photoprotection. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Neuroprotection and its molecular mechanism following spinal cord injury☆

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Nai-Kui; Xu, Xiao-Ming

    2012-01-01

    Acute spinal cord injury initiates a complex cascade of molecular events termed ‘secondary injury’, which leads to progressive degeneration ranging from early neuronal apoptosis at the lesion site to delayed degeneration of intact white matter tracts, and, ultimately, expansion of the initial injury. These secondary injury processes include, but are not limited to, inflammation, free radical-induced cell death, glutamate excitotoxicity, phospholipase A2 activation, and induction of extrinsic and intrinsic apoptotic pathways, which are important targets in developing neuroprotective strategies for treatment of spinal cord injury. Recently, a number of studies have shown promising results on neuroprotection and recovery of function in rodent models of spinal cord injury using treatments that target secondary injury processes including inflammation, phospholipase A2 activation, and manipulation of the PTEN-Akt/mTOR signaling pathway. The present review outlines our ongoing research on the molecular mechanisms of neuroprotection in experimental spinal cord injury and briefly summarizes our earlier findings on the therapeutic potential of pharmacological treatments in spinal cord injury. PMID:25624837

  6. Nanoparticles and potential neurotoxicity: focus on molecular mechanisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Davide Lovisolo

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available The last decades have seen an explosive increase in the development of nanoparticles and in their use in consumer, industrial and medical applications. Their fast diffusion has also raised widespread concern about the potential toxic effects on living organisms, including humans: at the nanoscale, they can interact with subcellular components such as membranes, proteins, lipids, nucleic acids, thus inducing unpredicted functional perturbations in cells and tissues. The nervous tissue is a particular sensitive target, because its cellular components (mainly neurons and glial cells are tightly regulated and metabolically exigent biological entities. While the literature on the potential toxicity of nanoparticles has grown in parallel with their utilization, the available data on neurotoxicity are less abundant. In particular, information on the neuronal molecular targets of nanoparticles is still largely incomplete. A better understanding of this issue is highly relevant for the rational and controlled design of nanoparticles, both for their general utilization and more specifically for their use in the promising field of nanoneuromedicine. In this review, we will discuss the available information on the mechanisms involved in the interaction between nanoobjects and cells of the nervous system, focusing on the known molecular actors, both at the plasma membrane and in intracellular compartments.

  7. Quantum mechanical force fields for condensed phase molecular simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giese, Timothy J.; York, Darrin M.

    2017-09-01

    Molecular simulations are powerful tools for providing atomic-level details into complex chemical and physical processes that occur in the condensed phase. For strongly interacting systems where quantum many-body effects are known to play an important role, density-functional methods are often used to provide the model with the potential energy used to drive dynamics. These methods, however, suffer from two major drawbacks. First, they are often too computationally intensive to practically apply to large systems over long time scales, limiting their scope of application. Second, there remain challenges for these models to obtain the necessary level of accuracy for weak non-bonded interactions to obtain quantitative accuracy for a wide range of condensed phase properties. Quantum mechanical force fields (QMFFs) provide a potential solution to both of these limitations. In this review, we address recent advances in the development of QMFFs for condensed phase simulations. In particular, we examine the development of QMFF models using both approximate and ab initio density-functional models, the treatment of short-ranged non-bonded and long-ranged electrostatic interactions, and stability issues in molecular dynamics calculations. Example calculations are provided for crystalline systems, liquid water, and ionic liquids. We conclude with a perspective for emerging challenges and future research directions.

  8. Anticancer Chemodiversity of Ranunculaceae Medicinal Plants: Molecular Mechanisms and Functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hao, Da-Cheng; He, Chun-Nian; Shen, Jie; Xiao, Pei-Gen

    2017-02-01

    The buttercup family, Ranunculaceae, comprising more than 2,200 species in at least 62 genera, mostly herbs, has long been used in folk medicine and worldwide ethnomedicine since the beginning of human civilization. Various medicinal phytometabolites have been found in Ranunculaceae plants, many of which, such as alkaloids, terpenoids, saponins, and polysaccharides, have shown anti-cancer activities in vitro and in vivo. Most concerns have been raised for two epiphany molecules, the monoterpene thymoquinone and the isoquinoline alkaloid berberine. At least 17 genera have been enriched with anti-cancer phytometabolites. Some Ranunculaceae phytometabolites induce the cell cycle arrest and apoptosis of cancer cells or enhance immune activities, while others inhibit the proliferation, invasion, angiogenesis, and metastasis, or reverse the multi-drug resistance of cancer cells thereby regulating all known hallmarks of cancer. These phytometabolites could exert their anti-cancer activities via multiple signaling pathways. In addition, absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion/toxicity properties and structure/activity relationships of some phytometabolites have been revealed assisting in the early drug discovery and development pipelines. However, a comprehensive review of the molecular mechanisms and functions of Ranunculaceae anti-cancer phytometabolites is lacking. Here, we summarize the recent progress of the anti-cancer chemo- and pharmacological diversity of Ranunculaceae medicinal plants, focusing on the emerging molecular machineries and functions of anti-cancer phytometabolites. Gene expression profiling and relevant omics platforms (e.g. genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics) could reveal differential effects of phytometabolites on the phenotypically heterogeneous cancer cells.

  9. Molecular mechanisms of maternal vascular dysfunction in preeclampsia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goulopoulou, Styliani; Davidge, Sandra T

    2015-02-01

    In preeclampsia, as a heterogeneous syndrome, multiple pathways have been proposed for both the causal as well as the perpetuating factors leading to maternal vascular dysfunction. Postulated mechanisms include imbalance in the bioavailability and activity of endothelium-derived contracting and relaxing factors and oxidative stress. Studies have shown that placenta-derived factors [antiangiogenic factors, microparticles (MPs), cell-free nucleic acids] are released into the maternal circulation and act on the vascular wall to modify the secretory capacity of endothelial cells and alter the responsiveness of vascular smooth muscle cells to constricting and relaxing stimuli. These molecules signal their deleterious effects on the maternal vascular wall via pathways that provide the molecular basis for novel and effective therapeutic interventions. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. DNA replication stress: from molecular mechanisms to human disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz, Sergio; Méndez, Juan

    2017-02-01

    The genome of proliferating cells must be precisely duplicated in each cell division cycle. Chromosomal replication entails risks such as the possibility of introducing breaks and/or mutations in the genome. Hence, DNA replication requires the coordinated action of multiple proteins and regulatory factors, whose deregulation causes severe developmental diseases and predisposes to cancer. In recent years, the concept of "replicative stress" (RS) has attracted much attention as it impinges directly on genomic stability and offers a promising new avenue to design anticancer therapies. In this review, we summarize recent progress in three areas: (1) endogenous and exogenous factors that contribute to RS, (2) molecular mechanisms that mediate the cellular responses to RS, and (3) the large list of diseases that are directly or indirectly linked to RS.

  11. The molecular mechanisms of offspring effects from obese pregnancy.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Dowling, Daniel

    2013-01-01

    The incidence of obesity, increased weight gain and the popularity of high-fat \\/ high-sugar diets are seriously impacting upon the global population. Billions of individuals are affected, and although diet and lifestyle are of paramount importance to the development of adult obesity, compelling evidence is emerging which suggests that maternal obesity and related disorders may be passed on to the next generation by non-genetic means. The processes acting within the uteri of obese mothers may permanently predispose offspring to a diverse plethora of diseases ranging from obesity and diabetes to psychiatric disorders. This review aims to summarise some of the molecular mechanisms and active processes currently known about maternal obesity and its effect on foetal and neonatal physiology and metabolism. Complex and multifactorial networks of molecules are intertwined and culminate in a pathologically synergistic manner to cause disruption and disorganisation of foetal physiology. This altered phenotype may potentiate the cycle of intergenerational transmission of obesity and related disorders.

  12. Recent Advances in Methamphetamine Neurotoxicity Mechanisms and Its Molecular Pathophysiology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shaobin Yu

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Methamphetamine (METH is a sympathomimetic amine that belongs to phenethylamine and amphetamine class of psychoactive drugs, which are widely abused for their stimulant, euphoric, empathogenic, and hallucinogenic properties. Many of these effects result from acute increases in dopamine and serotonin neurotransmission. Subsequent to these acute effects, METH produces persistent damage to dopamine and serotonin release in nerve terminals, gliosis, and apoptosis. This review summarized the numerous interdependent mechanisms including excessive dopamine, ubiquitin-proteasome system dysfunction, protein nitration, endoplasmic reticulum stress, p53 expression, inflammatory molecular, D3 receptor, microtubule deacetylation, and HIV-1 Tat protein that have been demonstrated to contribute to this damage. In addition, the feasible therapeutic strategies according to recent studies were also summarized ranging from drug and protein to gene level.

  13. Quantum-Mechanical Calculations on Molecular Substructures Involved in Nanosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beata Szefler

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available In this review article, four ideas are discussed: (a aromaticity of fullerenes patched with flowers of 6-and 8-membered rings, optimized at the HF and DFT levels of theory, in terms of HOMA and NICS criteria; (b polybenzene networks, from construction to energetic and vibrational spectra computations; (c quantum-mechanical calculations on the repeat units of various P-type crystal networks and (d construction and stability evaluation, at DFTB level of theory, of some exotic allotropes of diamond D5, involved in hyper-graphenes. The overall conclusion was that several of the yet hypothetical molecular nanostructures herein described are serious candidates to the status of real molecules.

  14. Complement Involvement in Periodontitis: Molecular Mechanisms and Rational Therapeutic Approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hajishengallis, George; Maekawa, Tomoki; Abe, Toshiharu; Hajishengallis, Evlambia; Lambris, John D

    2015-01-01

    The complement system is a network of interacting fluid-phase and cell surface-associated molecules that trigger, amplify, and regulate immune and inflammatory signaling pathways. Dysregulation of this finely balanced network can destabilize host-microbe homeostasis and cause inflammatory tissue damage. Evidence from clinical and animal model-based studies suggests that complement is implicated in the pathogenesis of periodontitis, a polymicrobial community-induced chronic inflammatory disease that destroys the tooth-supporting tissues. This review discusses molecular mechanisms of complement involvement in the dysbiotic transformation of the periodontal microbiome and the resulting destructive inflammation, culminating in loss of periodontal bone support. These mechanistic studies have additionally identified potential therapeutic targets. In this regard, interventional studies in preclinical models have provided proof-of-concept for using complement inhibitors for the treatment of human periodontitis.

  15. A Hybrid Imperative and Functional Molecular Mechanics Application

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Deboni

    1996-01-01

    Full Text Available Molecular mechanics applications model the interactions among large ensembles of discrete particles. They are used where probabilistic methods are inadequate, such as drug chemistry. This methodology is difficult to parallelize with good performance, due to its poor locality, uneven partitions, and dynamic behavior. Imperative programs have been written that attempt this on shared and distributed memory machines. Given such a program, the computational kernel can be rewritten in Sisal, a functional programming language, and integrated with the rest of the imperative program under the Sisal Foreign Language Interface. This allows minimal effort and maximal return from parallelization work, and leaves the work appropriate to imperative implementation in its original form. We describe such an effort, focusing on the parts of the application that are appropriate for Sisal implementation, the specifics of mixed-language programming, and the complex performance behavior of the resulting hybrid code.

  16. Obstructive renal injury: from fluid mechanics to molecular cell biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ucero, Alvaro C; Gonçalves, Sara; Benito-Martin, Alberto; Santamaría, Beatriz; Ramos, Adrian M; Berzal, Sergio; Ruiz-Ortega, Marta; Egido, Jesus; Ortiz, Alberto

    2010-04-22

    Urinary tract obstruction is a frequent cause of renal impairment. The physiopathology of obstructive nephropathy has long been viewed as a mere mechanical problem. However, recent advances in cell and systems biology have disclosed a complex physiopathology involving a high number of molecular mediators of injury that lead to cellular processes of apoptotic cell death, cell injury leading to inflammation and resultant fibrosis. Functional studies in animal models of ureteral obstruction using a variety of techniques that include genetically modified animals have disclosed an important role for the renin-angiotensin system, transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) and other mediators of inflammation in this process. In addition, high throughput techniques such as proteomics and transcriptomics have identified potential biomarkers that may guide clinical decision-making.

  17. Recent Advances in Molecular Mechanisms of Taste Signaling and Modifying.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shigemura, Noriatsu; Ninomiya, Yuzo

    2016-01-01

    The sense of taste conveys crucial information about the quality and nutritional value of foods before it is ingested. Taste signaling begins with taste cells via taste receptors in oral cavity. Activation of these receptors drives the transduction systems in taste receptor cells. Then particular transmitters are released from the taste cells and activate corresponding afferent gustatory nerve fibers. Recent studies have revealed that taste sensitivities are defined by distinct taste receptors and modulated by endogenous humoral factors in a specific group of taste cells. Such peripheral taste generations and modifications would directly influence intake of nutritive substances. This review will highlight current understanding of molecular mechanisms for taste reception, signal transduction in taste bud cells, transmission between taste cells and nerves, regeneration from taste stem cells, and modification by humoral factors at peripheral taste organs. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Molecular mechanisms of water transport in the eye

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hamann, Steffen

    2002-01-01

    The four major sites for ocular water transport, the corneal epithelium and endothelium, the ciliary epithelium, and the retinal pigment epithelium, are reviewed. The cornea has an inherent tendency to swell, which is counteracted by its two surface cell layers, the corneal epithelium...... and endothelium. The bilayered ciliary epithelium secretes the aqueous humor into the posterior chamber, and the retinal pigment epithelium transports water from the retinal to the choroidal site. For each epithelium, ion transport mechanisms are associated with fluid transport, but the exact molecular coupling...... sites between ion and water transport remain undefined. In the retinal pigment epithelium, a H+-lactate cotransporter transports water. This protein could be the site of coupling between salt and water in this epithelium. The distribution of aquaporins does not suggest a role for these proteins...

  19. Molecular mechanism for inhibition of twinfilin by phosphoinositides

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hakala, Markku; Kalimeri, Maria; Enkavi, Giray

    2018-01-01

    actin-depolymerizing factor (ADF)/cofilin-like ADF homology domains of twinfilin bind phosphoinositides only with low affinity. Mutagenesis and biochemical experiments combined with atomistic molecular dynamics simulations reveal that the C-terminal tail of twinfilin interacts with membranes through......Membrane phosphoinositides control organization and dynamics of the actin cytoskeleton by regulating the activities of several key actin-binding proteins. Twinfilin is an evolutionarily conserved protein that contributes to cytoskeletal dynamics by interacting with actin monomers, filaments......, and the heterodimeric capping protein. Twinfilin also binds phosphoinositides, which inhibit its interactions with actin, but the underlying mechanism has remained unknown. Here, we show that the high-affinity binding site of twinfilin for phosphoinositides is located at the C-terminal tail region, whereas the two...

  20. Molecular spectroscopic study for suggested mechanism of chrome tanned leather

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nashy, Elshahat H. A.; Osman, Osama; Mahmoud, Abdel Aziz; Ibrahim, Medhat

    2012-03-01

    Collagen represents the structural protein of the extracellular matrix, which gives strength of hides and/or skin under tanning process. Chrome tan is the most important tanning agent all over the world. The methods for production of leather evolved over several centuries as art and engineering with little understanding of the underlying science. The present work is devoted to suggest the most probable mechanistic action of chrome tan on hide proteins. First the affect of Cr upon hide protein is indicated by the studied mechanical properties. Then the spectroscopic characterization of the hide protein as well as chrome tanned leather was carried out with Horizontal Attenuated Total Reflection (HATR) FT-IR. The obtained results indicate how the chromium can attached with the active sites of collagen. Molecular modeling confirms that chromium can react with amino as well as carboxylate groups. Four schemes were obtained to describe the possible interactions of chrome tan with hide proteins.

  1. Emerging Molecular Targets for Brain Repair after Stroke

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jerzy Krupinski

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The field of neuroprotection generated consistent preclinical findings of mechanisms of cell death but these failed to be translated into clinics. The approaches that combine the modulation of the inhibitory environment together with the promotion of intrinsic axonal outgrowth needs further work before combined therapeutic strategies will be transferable to clinic trials. It is likely that only when some answers have been found to these issues will our therapeutic efforts meet our expectations. Stroke is a clinically heterogeneous disease and combinatorial treatments require much greater work in pharmacological and toxicological testing. Advances in genetics and results of the Whole Human Genome Project (HGP provided new unknown information in relation to stroke. Genetic factors are not the only determinants of responses to some diseases. It was recognized early on that “epigenetic” factors were major players in the aetiology and progression of many diseases like stroke. The major players are microRNAs that represent the best-characterized subclass of noncoding RNAs. Epigenetic mechanisms convert environmental conditions and physiological stresses into long-term changes in gene expression and translation. Epigenetics in stroke are in their infancy but offer great promise for better understanding of stroke pathology and the potential viability of new strategies for its treatment.

  2. Molecular mechanism and genetic determinants of buprofezin degradation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Xueting; Ji, Junbin; Zhao, Leizhen; Qiu, Jiguo; Dai, Chen; Wang, Weiwu; He, Jian; Jiang, Jiandong; Hong, Qing; Yan, Xin

    2017-07-14

    Buprofezin is a widely used insect growth regulator whose residue has been frequently detected in the environment, posing a threat to aquatic organisms and non-target insects. Microorganisms play an important role in the degradation of buprofezin in the natural environment. However, the relevant catabolic pathway has not been fully characterized, and the molecular mechanism of catabolism is still completely unknown. Rhodococcus qingshengii YL-1 can utilize buprofezin as a sole source of carbon and energy for growth. In this study, the upstream catabolic pathway in strain YL-1 was identified using tandem mass spectrometry. Buprofezin is composed of a benzene ring and a heterocyclic ring. The degradation is initiated by the dihydroxylation of the benzene ring and continues via dehydrogenation, aromatic ring cleavage, breaking of an amide bond and the release of the heterocyclic ring 2- tert -butylimino-3-isopropyl-1,3,5-thiadiazinan-4-one (2-BI). A buprofezin degradation-deficient mutant strain YL-0 was isolated. Comparative genomic analysis combined with gene deletion and complementation experiments revealed that the gene cluster bfzBA3A4A1A2C is responsible for the upstream catabolic pathway of buprofezin. bfzA3A4A1A2 encodes a novel Rieske non-heme iron oxygenase (RHO) system that is responsible for the dihydroxylation of buprofezin at the benzene ring; bfzB is involved in dehydrogenation, and bfzC is in charge of benzene ring cleavage. Furthermore, the products of bfzBA3A4A1A2C can also catalyze dihydroxylation, dehydrogenation and aromatic ring cleavage of biphenyl, flavanone, flavone and bifenthrin. In addition, a transcriptional study revealed that bfzBA3A4A1A2C is organized in one transcriptional unit that is constitutively expressed in strain YL-1. Importance There is an increasing concern about the residue and environmental fate of buprofezin. Microbial metabolism is an important mechanism responsible for the buprofezin degradation in natural environment

  3. Uptake mechanism of ApoE-modified nanoparticles on brain capillary endothelial cells as a blood-brain barrier model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagner, Sylvia; Zensi, Anja; Wien, Sascha L; Tschickardt, Sabrina E; Maier, Wladislaw; Vogel, Tikva; Worek, Franz; Pietrzik, Claus U; Kreuter, Jörg; von Briesen, Hagen

    2012-01-01

    The blood-brain barrier (BBB) represents an insurmountable obstacle for most drugs thus obstructing an effective treatment of many brain diseases. One solution for overcoming this barrier is a transport by binding of these drugs to surface-modified nanoparticles. Especially apolipoprotein E (ApoE) appears to play a major role in the nanoparticle-mediated drug transport across the BBB. However, at present the underlying mechanism is incompletely understood. In this study, the uptake of the ApoE-modified nanoparticles into the brain capillary endothelial cells was investigated to differentiate between active and passive uptake mechanism by flow cytometry and confocal laser scanning microscopy. Furthermore, different in vitro co-incubation experiments were performed with competing ligands of the respective receptor. This study confirms an active endocytotic uptake mechanism and shows the involvement of low density lipoprotein receptor family members, notably the low density lipoprotein receptor related protein, on the uptake of the ApoE-modified nanoparticles into the brain capillary endothelial cells. This knowledge of the uptake mechanism of ApoE-modified nanoparticles enables future developments to rationally create very specific and effective carriers to overcome the blood-brain barrier.

  4. Uptake mechanism of ApoE-modified nanoparticles on brain capillary endothelial cells as a blood-brain barrier model.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sylvia Wagner

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The blood-brain barrier (BBB represents an insurmountable obstacle for most drugs thus obstructing an effective treatment of many brain diseases. One solution for overcoming this barrier is a transport by binding of these drugs to surface-modified nanoparticles. Especially apolipoprotein E (ApoE appears to play a major role in the nanoparticle-mediated drug transport across the BBB. However, at present the underlying mechanism is incompletely understood. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In this study, the uptake of the ApoE-modified nanoparticles into the brain capillary endothelial cells was investigated to differentiate between active and passive uptake mechanism by flow cytometry and confocal laser scanning microscopy. Furthermore, different in vitro co-incubation experiments were performed with competing ligands of the respective receptor. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: This study confirms an active endocytotic uptake mechanism and shows the involvement of low density lipoprotein receptor family members, notably the low density lipoprotein receptor related protein, on the uptake of the ApoE-modified nanoparticles into the brain capillary endothelial cells. This knowledge of the uptake mechanism of ApoE-modified nanoparticles enables future developments to rationally create very specific and effective carriers to overcome the blood-brain barrier.

  5. SPECT and PET Serve as Molecular Imaging Techniques and in Vivo Biomarkers for Brain Metastases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barbara Palumbo

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Nuclear medicine techniques (single photon emission computerized tomography, SPECT, and positron emission tomography, PET represent molecular imaging tools, able to provide in vivo biomarkers of different diseases. To investigate brain tumours and metastases many different radiopharmaceuticals imaged by SPECT and PET can be used. In this review the main and most promising radiopharmaceuticals available to detect brain metastases are reported. Furthermore the diagnostic contribution of the combination of SPECT and PET data with radiological findings (magnetic resonance imaging, MRI is discussed.

  6. Mechanism of the Glycosidic Bond Cleavage of Mismatched Thymine in Human Thymine DNA Glycosylase Revealed by Classical Molecular Dynamics and Quantum Mechanical/Molecular Mechanical Calculations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kanaan, Natalia; Crehuet, Ramon; Imhof, Petra

    2015-09-24

    Base excision of mismatched or damaged nucleotides catalyzed by glycosylase enzymes is the first step of the base excision repair system, a machinery preserving the integrity of DNA. Thymine DNA glycosylase recognizes and removes mismatched thymine by cleaving the C1'-N1 bond between the base and the sugar ring. Our quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical calculations of this reaction in human thymine DNA glycosylase reveal a requirement for a positive charge in the active site to facilitate C1'-N1 bond scission: protonation of His151 significantly lowers the free energy barrier for C1'-N1 bond dissociation compared to the situation with neutral His151. Shuttling a proton from His151 to the thymine base further reduces the activation free energy for glycosidic bond cleavage. Classical molecular dynamics simulations of the H151A mutant suggest that the mutation to the smaller, neutral, residue increases the water accessibility of the thymine base, rendering direct proton transfer from the bulk feasible. Quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical calculations of the glycosidic bond cleavage reaction in the H151A mutant show that the activation free energy is slightly lower than in the wild-type enzyme, explaining the experimentally observed higher reaction rates in this mutant.

  7. Possible roles of transglutaminases in molecular mechanisms responsible for human neurodegenerative diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicola Gaetano Gatta

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Transglutaminases are a family of Ca2+-dependent enzymes which catalyze post-translational modifications of proteins. The main activity of these enzymes is the cross-linking of glutaminyl residues of a protein/peptide substrate to lysyl residues of a protein/peptide co-substrate. In addition to lysyl residues, other second nucleophilic co-substrates may include monoamines or polyamines (to form mono- or bi-substituted/crosslinked adducts or –OH groups (to form ester linkages. In absence of co-substrates, the nucleophile may be water, resulting in the net deamidation of the glutaminyl residue. Transglutaminase activity has been suggested to be involved in molecular mechanisms responsible for both physiological or pathological processes. In particular, transglutaminase activity has been shown to be responsible for human autoimmune diseases, Celiac Disease is just one of them. Interestingly, neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, supranuclear palsy, Huntington’s Disease and other polyglutamine diseases, are characterized in part by aberrant cerebral transglutaminase activity and by increased cross-linked proteins in affected brains. This review describes the possible molecular mechanisms by which these enzymes could be responsible for such diseases and the possible use of transglutaminase inhibitors for patients with diseases characterized by aberrant transglutaminase activity.

  8. Ozone Atmospheric Pollution and Alzheimer's Disease: From Epidemiological Facts to Molecular Mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Croze, Marine L; Zimmer, Luc

    2018-01-01

    Atmospheric pollution is a well-known environmental hazard, especially in developing countries where millions of people are exposed to airborne pollutant levels above safety standards. Accordingly, several epidemiological and animal studies confirmed its role in respiratory and cardiovascular pathologies and identified a strong link between ambient air pollution exposure and adverse health outcomes such as hospitalization and mortality. More recently, the potential deleterious effect of air pollution inhalation on the central nervous system was also investigated and mounting evidence supports a link between air pollution exposure and neurodegenerative pathologies, especially Alzheimer's disease (AD). The focus of this review is to highlight the possible link between ozone air pollution exposure and AD incidence. This review's approach will go from observational and epidemiological facts to the proposal of molecular mechanisms. First, epidemiological and postmortem human study data concerning residents of ozone-severely polluted megacities will be presented and discussed. Then, the more particular role of ozone air pollution in AD pathology will be described and evidenced by toxicological studies in rat or mouse with ozone pollution exposure only. The experimental paradigms used to reproduce in rodent the human exposure to ozone air pollution will be described. Finally, current insights into the molecular mechanisms through which ozone inhalation can affect the brain and play a role in AD development or progression will be recapitulated.

  9. Mechanical properties of porcine brain tissue in vivo and ex vivo estimated by MR elastography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guertler, Charlotte A; Okamoto, Ruth J; Schmidt, John L; Badachhape, Andrew A; Johnson, Curtis L; Bayly, Philip V

    2018-03-01

    The mechanical properties of brain tissue in vivo determine the response of the brain to rapid skull acceleration. These properties are thus of great interest to the developers of mathematical models of traumatic brain injury (TBI) or neurosurgical simulations. Animal models provide valuable insight that can improve TBI modeling. In this study we compare estimates of mechanical properties of the Yucatan mini-pig brain in vivo and ex vivo using magnetic resonance elastography (MRE) at multiple frequencies. MRE allows estimations of properties in soft tissue, either in vivo or ex vivo, by imaging harmonic shear wave propagation. Most direct measurements of brain mechanical properties have been performed using samples of brain tissue ex vivo. It has been observed that direct estimates of brain mechanical properties depend on the frequency and amplitude of loading, as well as the time post-mortem and condition of the sample. Using MRE in the same animals at overlapping frequencies, we observe that porcine brain tissue in vivo appears stiffer than porcine brain tissue samples ex vivo at frequencies of 100 Hz and 125 Hz, but measurements show closer agreement at lower frequencies. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Insulin, Aging, and the Brain: Mechanisms and Implications

    OpenAIRE

    Akintola, Abimbola A.; van Heemst, Diana

    2015-01-01

    There is now an impressive body of literature implicating insulin and insulin signaling in successful aging and longevity. New information from in vivo and in vitro studies concerning insulin and insulin receptors has extended our understanding of the physiological role of insulin in the brain. However, the relevance of these to aging and longevity remains to be elucidated. Here, we review advances in our understanding of the physiological role of insulin in the brain, how insulin gets into t...

  11. Mechanical injury induces brain endothelial-derived microvesicle release: Implications for cerebral vascular injury during traumatic brain injury

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Allison M. Andrews

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available It is well established that the endothelium responds to mechanical forces induced by changes in shear stress and mechanotransduction. However, our understanding of vascular remodeling following traumatic brain injury (TBI remains incomplete. Recently published studies have revealed that lung and umbilical endothelial cells produce extracellular microvesicles (eMVs, such as microparticles, in response to changes in mechanical forces (blood flow and mechanical injury. Yet, to date, no studies have shown whether brain endothelial cells produce eMVs following TBI. The brain endothelium is highly specialized and forms the blood-brain barrier (BBB, which regulates diffusion and transport of solutes into the brain. This specialization is largely due to the presence of tight junction proteins (TJPs between neighboring endothelial cells. Following TBI, a breakdown in tight junction complexes at the BBB leads to increased permeability, which greatly contributes to the secondary phase of injury. We have therefore tested the hypothesis that brain endothelium responds to mechanical injury, by producing eMVs that contain brain endothelial proteins, specifically TJPs. In our study, primary human adult brain microvascular endothelial cells (BMVEC were subjected to rapid mechanical injury to simulate the abrupt endothelial disruption that can occur in the primary injury phase of TBI. eMVs were isolated from the media following injury at 2, 6, 24 and 48 hrs. Western blot analysis of eMVs demonstrated a time-dependent increase in TJP occludin, PECAM-1 and ICAM-1 following mechanical injury. In addition, activation of ARF6, a small GTPase linked to extracellular vesicle production, was increased after injury. To confirm these results in vivo, mice were subjected to sham surgery or TBI and blood plasma was collected 24 hrs post-injury. Isolation and analysis of eMVs from blood plasma using cryo-EM and flow cytometry revealed elevated levels of vesicles containing

  12. Mechanical Injury Induces Brain Endothelial-Derived Microvesicle Release: Implications for Cerebral Vascular Injury during Traumatic Brain Injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrews, Allison M; Lutton, Evan M; Merkel, Steven F; Razmpour, Roshanak; Ramirez, Servio H

    2016-01-01

    It is well established that the endothelium responds to mechanical forces induced by changes in shear stress and strain. However, our understanding of vascular remodeling following traumatic brain injury (TBI) remains incomplete. Recently published studies have revealed that lung and umbilical endothelial cells produce extracellular microvesicles (eMVs), such as microparticles, in response to changes in mechanical forces (blood flow and mechanical injury). Yet, to date, no studies have shown whether brain endothelial cells produce eMVs following TBI. The brain endothelium is highly specialized and forms the blood-brain barrier (BBB), which regulates diffusion and transport of solutes into the brain. This specialization is largely due to the presence of tight junction proteins (TJPs) between neighboring endothelial cells. Following TBI, a breakdown in tight junction complexes at the BBB leads to increased permeability, which greatly contributes to the secondary phase of injury. We have therefore tested the hypothesis that brain endothelium responds to mechanical injury, by producing eMVs that contain brain endothelial proteins, specifically TJPs. In our study, primary human adult brain microvascular endothelial cells (BMVEC) were subjected to rapid mechanical injury to simulate the abrupt endothelial disruption that can occur in the primary injury phase of TBI. eMVs were isolated from the media following injury at 2, 6, 24, and 48 h. Western blot analysis of eMVs demonstrated a time-dependent increase in TJP occludin, PECAM-1 and ICAM-1 following mechanical injury. In addition, activation of ARF6, a small GTPase linked to extracellular vesicle production, was increased after injury. To confirm these results in vivo, mice were subjected to sham surgery or TBI and blood plasma was collected 24 h post-injury. Isolation and analysis of eMVs from blood plasma using cryo-EM and flow cytometry revealed elevated levels of vesicles containing occludin following brain trauma

  13. Deciphering spreading mechanisms in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: clinical evidence and potential molecular processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pradat, Pierre-François; Kabashi, Edor; Desnuelle, Claude

    2015-10-01

    The aim of this review is to refer to recent arguments supporting the existence of specific propagation mechanisms associated with spreading of neuron injury in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Misfolded ALS-linked protein accumulation can induce aggregation of their native equivalent isoforms through a mechanism analogous to the infectious prion proteins initiation and its propagation. Although ALS is clinically heterogeneous, a shared characteristic is the focal onset and the progressive extension to all body regions. Being viewed until now as just summation of the increased number of affected neurons, dispersion is now rather considered as the result of a seeded self-propagating process. A sequential regional spreading pattern is supported by the distribution of TDP-43 aggregates in ALS autopsy cases. Electrophysiology and advanced neuroimaging methods also recently provided some evidence for propagation of lesions both in the brain and spinal cord, more longitudinal studies being still needed. Lesions are supposed to spread cell-to-cell regionally or through connected neuronal pathway. At the molecular level, the prion-like spreading is an emerging mechanism hypothesis, but other machineries such as those that are in charge of dealing with misfolded proteins and secretion of deleterious peptides may be involved in the propagation of neuron loss. Deciphering the mechanisms underlying spreading of ALS symptoms is of crucial importance to better understand this neurodegenerative disease, build new and appropriate animal models and to define novel therapeutic targets.

  14. Molecular Mechanisms of Particle Ration Induced Apoptosis in Lymphocyte

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Yufang

    Space radiation, composed of high-energy charged nuclei (HZE particles) and protons, has been previously shown to severely impact immune homeostasis in mice. To determine the molecular mechanisms that mediate acute lymphocyte depletion following exposure to HZE particle radiation mice were exposed to particle radiation beams at Brookhaven National Laboratory. We found that mice given whole body 5 6Fe particle irradiation (1GeV /n) had dose-dependent losses in total lymphocyte numbers in the spleen and thymus (using 200, 100 and 50 cGy), with thymocytes being more sensitive than splenocytes. All phenotypic subsets were reduced in number. In general, T cells and B cells were equally sensitive, while CD8+ T cells were more senstive than CD4+ T cells. In the thymus, immature CD4+CD8+ double-positive thymocytes were exquisitely sensitive to radiation-induced losses, single-positive CD4 or CD8 cells were less sensitive, and the least mature double negative cells were resistant. Irradiation of mice deficient in genes encoding essential apoptosis-inducing proteins revealed that the mechanism of lymphocyte depletion is independent of Fas ligand and TRAIL (TNF-ralated apoptosis-inducing ligand), in contrast to γ-radiation-induced lymphocyte losses which require the Fas-FasL pathway. Using inhibitors in vitro, lymphocyte apoptosis induced by HZE particle radiation was found to be caspase dependent, and not involve nitric oxide or oxygen free radicals.

  15. Molecular Mechanisms of Liver Fibrosis in HIV/HCV Coinfection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudio M. Mastroianni

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV infection is an important cause of morbidity and mortality in people coinfected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV. Several studies have shown that HIV infection promotes accelerated HCV hepatic fibrosis progression, even with HIV replication under full antiretroviral control. The pathogenesis of accelerated hepatic fibrosis among HIV/HCV coinfected individuals is complex and multifactorial. The most relevant mechanisms involved include direct viral effects, immune/cytokine dysregulation, altered levels of matrix metalloproteinases and fibrosis biomarkers, increased oxidative stress and hepatocyte apoptosis, HIV-associated gut depletion of CD4 cells, and microbial translocation. In addition, metabolic alterations, heavy alcohol use, as well drug use, may have a potential role in liver disease progression. Understanding the pathophysiology and regulation of liver fibrosis in HIV/HCV co-infection may lead to the development of therapeutic strategies for the management of all patients with ongoing liver disease. In this review, we therefore discuss the evidence and potential molecular mechanisms involved in the accelerated liver fibrosis seen in patients coinfected with HIV and HCV.

  16. Cisplatin in cancer therapy: molecular mechanisms of action.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dasari, Shaloam; Tchounwou, Paul Bernard

    2014-10-05

    Cisplatin, cisplatinum, or cis-diamminedichloroplatinum (II), is a well-known chemotherapeutic drug. It has been used for treatment of numerous human cancers including bladder, head and neck, lung, ovarian, and testicular cancers. It is effective against various types of cancers, including carcinomas, germ cell tumors, lymphomas, and sarcomas. Its mode of action has been linked to its ability to crosslink with the purine bases on the DNA; interfering with DNA repair mechanisms, causing DNA damage, and subsequently inducing apoptosis in cancer cells. However, because of drug resistance and numerous undesirable side effects such as severe kidney problems, allergic reactions, decrease immunity to infections, gastrointestinal disorders, hemorrhage, and hearing loss especially in younger patients, other platinum-containing anti-cancer drugs such as carboplatin, oxaliplatin and others, have also been used. Furthermore, combination therapies of cisplatin with other drugs have been highly considered to overcome drug-resistance and reduce toxicity. This comprehensive review highlights the physicochemical properties of cisplatin and related platinum-based drugs, and discusses its uses (either alone or in combination with other drugs) for the treatment of various human cancers. A special attention is paid to its molecular mechanisms of action, and its undesirable side effects. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Cellular and molecular mechanisms of metformin: an overview

    Science.gov (United States)

    Viollet, Benoit; Guigas, Bruno; Sanz Garcia, Nieves; Leclerc, Jocelyne; Foretz, Marc; Andreelli, Fabrizio

    2012-01-01

    Considerable efforts have been made since the 1950s to better understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms of action of metformin, a potent antihyperglycemic agent now recommended as the first line oral therapy for type 2 diabetes (T2D). The main effect of this drug from the biguanide family is to acutely decrease hepatic glucose production, mostly through a mild and transient inhibition of the mitochondrial respiratory-chain complex 1. In addition, the resulting decrease in hepatic energy status activates the AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), a cellular metabolic sensor, providing a generally accepted mechanism for metformin action on hepatic gluconeogenic program. The demonstration that the respiratory-chain complex 1, but not AMPK, is the primary target of metformin was recently strengthened by showing that the metabolic effect of the drug is preserved in liver-specific AMPK-deficient mice. Beyond its effect on glucose metabolism, metformin was reported to restore ovarian function in polycystic ovary syndrome, reduce fatty liver and to lower microvascular and macrovascular complications associated with T2D. Its use was also recently suggested as an adjuvant treatment for cancer or gestational diabetes, and for the prevention in pre-diabetic populations. These emerging new therapeutic areas for metformin will be reviewed together with recent data from pharmacogenetic studies linking genetic variations to drug response, a promising new step towards personalized medicine in the treatment of T2D. PMID:22117616

  18. Cisplatin in cancer therapy: molecular mechanisms of action

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dasari, Shaloam; Tchounwou, Paul Bernard

    2014-01-01

    Cisplatin, cisplatinum, or cis-diamminedichloroplatinum (II), is a well-known chemotherapeutic drug. It has been used for treatment of numerous human cancers including bladder, head and neck, lung, ovarian, and testicular cancers. It is effective against various types of cancers, including carcinomas, germ cell tumors, lymphomas, and sarcomas. Its mode of action has been linked to its ability to crosslink with the purine bases on the DNA; interfering with DNA repair mechanisms, causing DNA damage, and subsequently inducing apoptosis in cancer cells. However, because of drug resistance and numerous undesirable side effects such as severe kidney problems, allergic reactions, decrease immunity to infections, gastrointestinal disorders, hemorrhage, and hearing loss especially in younger patients, other platinum-containing anti-cancer drugs such as carboplatin, oxaliplatin and others, have also been used. Furthermore, combination therapies of cisplatin with other drugs have been highly considered to overcome drug-resistance and reduce toxicity. This comprehensive review highlights the physicochemical properties of cisplatin and related platinum-based drugs, and discusses its uses (either alone or in combination with other drugs) for the treatment of various human cancers. A special attention is given to its molecular mechanisms of action, and its undesirable side effects. PMID:25058905

  19. Multiresolution molecular mechanics: Surface effects in nanoscale materials

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yang, Qingcheng, E-mail: qiy9@pitt.edu; To, Albert C., E-mail: albertto@pitt.edu

    2017-05-01

    Surface effects have been observed to contribute significantly to the mechanical response of nanoscale structures. The newly proposed energy-based coarse-grained atomistic method Multiresolution Molecular Mechanics (MMM) (Yang, To (2015), ) is applied to capture surface effect for nanosized structures by designing a surface summation rule SR{sup S} within the framework of MMM. Combined with previously proposed bulk summation rule SR{sup B}, the MMM summation rule SR{sup MMM} is completed. SR{sup S} and SR{sup B} are consistently formed within SR{sup MMM} for general finite element shape functions. Analogous to quadrature rules in finite element method (FEM), the key idea to the good performance of SR{sup MMM} lies in that the order or distribution of energy for coarse-grained atomistic model is mathematically derived such that the number, position and weight of quadrature-type (sampling) atoms can be determined. Mathematically, the derived energy distribution of surface area is different from that of bulk region. Physically, the difference is due to the fact that surface atoms lack neighboring bonding. As such, SR{sup S} and SR{sup B} are employed for surface and bulk domains, respectively. Two- and three-dimensional numerical examples using the respective 4-node bilinear quadrilateral, 8-node quadratic quadrilateral and 8-node hexahedral meshes are employed to verify and validate the proposed approach. It is shown that MMM with SR{sup MMM} accurately captures corner, edge and surface effects with less 0.3% degrees of freedom of the original atomistic system, compared against full atomistic simulation. The effectiveness of SR{sup MMM} with respect to high order element is also demonstrated by employing the 8-node quadratic quadrilateral to solve a beam bending problem considering surface effect. In addition, the introduced sampling error with SR{sup MMM} that is analogous to numerical integration error with quadrature rule in FEM is very small. - Highlights:

  20. Molecular mechanisms controlling proton pumping by bacteriorhodopsin. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Crouch, Rosalie K.; Ebrey, Thomas G.

    2000-02-10

    Bacteriorhodopsin (bR) is the simplest biological system for the transduction of light energy. Light energy is directly converted to transmembrane proton gradient by a single, small membrane protein. The extraordinary stability of bR makes it an outstanding subject for bioenergetic studies. This project has focused on the role of interactions between key residues of the pigment involved in light-induced proton transfer. Methods to estimate the strength of these interactions and their correlation with the rate and efficiency of proton transfer have been developed. The concept of the coupling of the protonation states of key groups has been applied to individual steps of the proton transfer with the ultimate goal of understanding on the molecular level the driving forces for proton transport and the pathway of the transported proton in bT. The mechanism of light-induced proton release, uptake and the mechanism of recovery of initial state of bT has been examined. The experiments were performed with genetically engineered, site-specific mutants of bR. This has enabled us to characterize the role of individual amino acid residues in bR. Time resolved and low temperature absorption spectroscopy and light-induced photocurrent measurements were used in order to study the photochemical cycle and proton transfer in mutant pigments. Chemical modification and crosslinking of both the specific amino acids to the chromophore or to other amino acids were used to elucidate the role of light-induced conformational changes in the photocycle and the structure of the protein in the ground state. The results of this project provided new knowledge on the architecture of the proton transfer pathways inside the protein, on the mechanism of proton release in bR, and on the role of specific amino acid residues in the structure and function of bR.

  1. Molecular and cellular mechanisms of aldosterone producing adenoma development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sheerazed eBoulkroun

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Primary aldosteronism (PA is the most common form of secondary hypertension with an estimated prevalence of ~10% in referred patients. PA occurs as a result of a dysregulation of the normal mechanisms controlling adrenal aldosterone production. It is characterized by hypertension with low plasma renin and elevated aldosterone and often associated with hypokalemia. The two major causes of PA are unilateral aldosterone producing adenoma (APA and bilateral adrenal hyperplasia, accounting together for ~95% of cases. In addition to the well-characterized effect of excess mineralocorticoids on blood pressure, high levels of aldosterone also have cardiovascular, renal and metabolic consequences. Hence, long-term consequences of PA include increased risk of coronary artery disease, myocardial infarction, heart failure and atrial fibrillation. Despite recent progress in the management of patients with PA, critical issues related to diagnosis, subtype differentiation and treatment of non-surgically correctable forms still persist. A better understanding of the pathogenic mechanisms of the disease should lead to the identification of more reliable diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers for a more sensitive and specific screening and new therapeutic options. In this review we will summarize our current knowledge on the molecular and cellular mechanisms of APA development. On one hand, we will discuss how various animal models have improved our understanding of the pathophysiology of excess aldosterone production. On the other hand, we will summarize the major advances made during the last few years in the genetics of APA due to transcriptomic studies and whole exome sequencing. The identification of recurrent and somatic mutations in genes coding for ion channels (KCNJ5 and CACNA1D and ATPases (ATP1A1 and ATP2B3 allowed highlighting the central role of calcium signaling in autonomous aldosterone production by the adrenal.

  2. Novel Mechanism for Reducing Acute and Chronic Neurodegeneration After Traumatic Brain Injury

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-07-01

    Award Number: W81XWH-14-1-0195 TITLE: Novel Mechanism for Reducing Acute and Chronic Neurodegeneration after Traumatic Brain Injury...Purpose: The purpose of this project is to develop a radically different strategy to reduce brain glutamate excitotoxicity and treat TBI. We will...objective of reducing blood levels of glutamate. This will produce a brain -to-blood gradient of glutamate which will enhance the removal of excess

  3. Survivin-T34A: molecular mechanism and therapeutic potential

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan R Aspe

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Jonathan R Aspe, Nathan R WallCenter for Health Disparities Research and Molecular Medicine, Division of Biochemistry and Microbiology, Department of Basic Sciences, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA, USAAbstract: The inhibitor of apoptosis protein survivin's threonine 34 to alanine (T34A mutation abolishes a phosphorylation site for p34(cdc2–cyclin B1, resulting in initiation of the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway in cancer cells; however, it has little known direct effects on normal cells. The possibility that targeting survivin in this way may provide a novel approach for selective cancer gene therapy has yet to be fully evaluated. Although a flurry of work was undertaken in the late 1990s and early 2000s, only minor advances on this mutant have recently taken place. We recently described that cells generated to express a stable form of the mutant protein released this survivin-T34A to the conditioned medium. When this conditioned medium was collected and deposited on naive tumor cells, conditioned medium T34A was as effective as some chemotherapeutics in the induction of tumor cell apoptosis, and when combined with other forms of genotoxic stressors potentiated their killing effects. We hope with this review to revitalize the T34A field, as there is still much that needs to be investigated. In addition to determining the therapeutic dose and the duration of drug therapy required at the disease site, a better understanding of other key factors is also important. These include knowledge of target cell populations, cell-surface receptors, changes that occur in the target tissue at the molecular and cellular level with progression of the disease, and the mechanism and site of therapeutic action.Keywords: survivin, T34A, apoptosis, proliferation, therapy

  4. Molecular mechanisms for sweet-suppressing effect of gymnemic acids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanematsu, Keisuke; Kusakabe, Yuko; Shigemura, Noriatsu; Hirokawa, Takatsugu; Nakamura, Seiji; Imoto, Toshiaki; Ninomiya, Yuzo

    2014-09-12

    Gymnemic acids are triterpene glycosides that selectively suppress taste responses to various sweet substances in humans but not in mice. This sweet-suppressing effect of gymnemic acids is diminished by rinsing the tongue with γ-cyclodextrin (γ-CD). However, little is known about the molecular mechanisms underlying the sweet-suppressing effect of gymnemic acids and the interaction between gymnemic acids versus sweet taste receptor and/or γ-CD. To investigate whether gymnemic acids directly interact with human (h) sweet receptor hT1R2 + hT1R3, we used the sweet receptor T1R2 + T1R3 assay in transiently transfected HEK293 cells. Similar to previous studies in humans and mice, gymnemic acids (100 μg/ml) inhibited the [Ca(2+)]i responses to sweet compounds in HEK293 cells heterologously expressing hT1R2 + hT1R3 but not in those expressing the mouse (m) sweet receptor mT1R2 + mT1R3. The effect of gymnemic acids rapidly disappeared after rinsing the HEK293 cells with γ-CD. Using mixed species pairings of human and mouse sweet receptor subunits and chimeras, we determined that the transmembrane domain of hT1R3 was mainly required for the sweet-suppressing effect of gymnemic acids. Directed mutagenesis in the transmembrane domain of hT1R3 revealed that the interaction site for gymnemic acids shared the amino acid residues that determined the sensitivity to another sweet antagonist, lactisole. Glucuronic acid, which is the common structure of gymnemic acids, also reduced sensitivity to sweet compounds. In our models, gymnemic acids were predicted to dock to a binding pocket within the transmembrane domain of hT1R3. © 2014 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  5. Phosphorus physiological ecology and molecular mechanisms in marine phytoplankton.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Senjie; Litaker, Richard Wayne; Sunda, William G

    2016-02-01

    Phosphorus (P) is an essential nutrient for marine phytoplankton and indeed all life forms. Current data show that P availability is growth-limiting in certain marine systems and can impact algal species composition. Available P occurs in marine waters as dissolved inorganic phosphate (primarily orthophosphate [Pi]) or as a myriad of dissolved organic phosphorus (DOP) compounds. Despite numerous studies on P physiology and ecology and increasing research on genomics in marine phytoplankton, there have been few attempts to synthesize information from these different disciplines. This paper is aimed to integrate the physiological and molecular information on the acquisition, utilization, and storage of P in marine phytoplankton and the strategies used by these organisms to acclimate and adapt to variations in P availability. Where applicable, we attempt to identify gaps in our current knowledge that warrant further research and examine possible metabolic pathways that might occur in phytoplankton from well-studied bacterial models. Physical and chemical limitations governing cellular P uptake are explored along with physiological and molecular mechanisms to adapt and acclimate to temporally and spatially varying P nutrient regimes. Topics covered include cellular Pi uptake and feedback regulation of uptake systems, enzymatic utilization of DOP, P acquisition by phagotrophy, P-limitation of phytoplankton growth in oceanic and coastal waters, and the role of P-limitation in regulating cell size and toxin levels in phytoplankton. Finally, we examine the role of P and other nutrients in the transition of phytoplankton communities from early succession species (diatoms) to late succession ones (e.g., dinoflagellates and haptophytes). © 2015 Phycological Society of America.

  6. Molecular nucleation mechanisms and control strategies for crystal polymorph selection

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Driessche, Alexander E. S.; van Gerven, Nani; Bomans, Paul H. H.; Joosten, Rick R. M.; Friedrich, Heiner; Gil-Carton, David; Sommerdijk, Nico A. J. M.; Sleutel, Mike

    2018-04-01

    The formation of condensed (compacted) protein phases is associated with a wide range of human disorders, such as eye cataracts, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, sickle cell anaemia and Alzheimer’s disease. However, condensed protein phases have their uses: as crystals, they are harnessed by structural biologists to elucidate protein structures, or are used as delivery vehicles for pharmaceutical applications. The physiochemical properties of crystals can vary substantially between different forms or structures (‘polymorphs’) of the same macromolecule, and dictate their usability in a scientific or industrial context. To gain control over an emerging polymorph, one needs a molecular-level understanding of the pathways that lead to the various macroscopic states and of the mechanisms that govern pathway selection. However, it is still not clear how the embryonic seeds of a macromolecular phase are formed, or how these nuclei affect polymorph selection. Here we use time-resolved cryo-transmission electron microscopy to image the nucleation of crystals of the protein glucose isomerase, and to uncover at molecular resolution the nucleation pathways that lead to two crystalline states and one gelled state. We show that polymorph selection takes place at the earliest stages of structure formation and is based on specific building blocks for each space group. Moreover, we demonstrate control over the system by selectively forming desired polymorphs through site-directed mutagenesis, specifically tuning intermolecular bonding or gel seeding. Our results differ from the present picture of protein nucleation, in that we do not identify a metastable dense liquid as the precursor to the crystalline state. Rather, we observe nucleation events that are driven by oriented attachments between subcritical clusters that already exhibit a degree of crystallinity. These insights suggest ways of controlling macromolecular phase transitions, aiding the development of protein

  7. Functioning and nonfunctioning thyroid adenomas involve different molecular pathogenetic mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tonacchera, M; Vitti, P; Agretti, P; Ceccarini, G; Perri, A; Cavaliere, R; Mazzi, B; Naccarato, A G; Viacava, P; Miccoli, P; Pinchera, A; Chiovato, L

    1999-11-01

    The molecular biology of follicular cell growth in thyroid nodules is still poorly understood. Because gain-of-function (activating) mutations of the thyroid-stimulating hormone receptor (TShR) and/or Gs alpha genes may confer TSh-independent growth advantage to neoplastic thyroid cells, we searched for somatic mutations of these genes in a series of hyperfunctioning and nonfunctioning follicular thyroid adenomas specifically selected for their homogeneous gross anatomy (single nodule in an otherwise normal thyroid gland). TShR gene mutations were identified by direct sequencing of exons 9 and 10 of the TShR gene in genomic DNA obtained from surgical specimens. Codons 201 and 227 of the Gs alpha gene were also analyzed. At histology, all hyperfunctioning nodules and 13 of 15 nonfunctioning nodules were diagnosed as follicular adenomas. Two nonfunctioning thyroid nodules, although showing a prevalent microfollicular pattern of growth, had histological features indicating malignant transformation (a minimally invasive follicular carcinoma and a focal papillary carcinoma). Activating mutations of the TShR gene were found in 12 of 15 hyperfunctioning follicular thyroid adenomas. In one hyperfunctioning adenoma, which was negative for TShR mutations, a mutation in codon 227 of the Gs alpha gene was identified. At variance with hyperfunctioning thyroid adenomas, no mutation of the TShR or Gs alpha genes was detected in nonfunctioning thyroid nodules. In conclusion, our findings clearly define a different molecular pathogenetic mechanism in hyperfunctioning and nonfunctioning follicular thyroid adenomas. Activation of the cAMP cascade, which leads to proliferation but maintains differentiation of follicular thyroid cells, typically occurs in hyperfunctioning thyroid adenomas. Oncogenes other than the TShR and Gs alpha genes are probably involved in nonfunctioning follicular adenomas.

  8. MALDI mass spectrometry based molecular phenotyping of CNS glial cells for prediction in mammalian brain tissue

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hanrieder, Jørg; Wicher, Grzegorz; Bergquist, Jonas

    2011-01-01

    . Complementary proteomic experiments revealed the identity of these signature proteins that were predominantly expressed in the different glial cell types, including histone H4 for oligodendrocytes and S100-A10 for astrocytes. MALDI imaging MS was performed, and signature masses were employed as molecular...... tracers for prediction of oligodendroglial and astroglial localization in brain tissue. The different cell type specific protein distributions in tissue were validated using immunohistochemistry. ICMS of intact neuroglia is a simple and straightforward approach for characterization and discrimination...

  9. Mechanisms regulating brain docosahexaenoic acid uptake: what is the recent evidence?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chouinard-Watkins, Raphaël; Lacombe, R J Scott; Bazinet, Richard P

    2018-03-01

    To summarize recent advances pertaining to the mechanisms regulating brain docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) uptake. DHA is an omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid highly enriched in neuronal membranes and it is implicated in several important neurological processes. However, DHA synthesis is extremely limited within the brain. There are two main plasma pools that supply the brain with DHA: the nonesterified pool and the lysophosphatidylcholine (lysoPtdCho) pool. Quantitatively, plasma nonesterified-DHA (NE-DHA) is the main contributor to brain DHA. Fatty acid transport protein 1 (FATP1) in addition to fatty acid-binding protein 5 (FABP5) are key players that regulate brain uptake of NE-DHA. However, the plasma half-life of lysoPtdCho-DHA and its brain partition coefficient are higher than those of NE-DHA after intravenous administration. The mechanisms regulating brain DHA uptake are more complicated than once believed, but recent advances provide some clarity notably by suggesting that FATP1 and FABP5 are key contributors to cellular uptake of DHA at the blood-brain barrier. Elucidating how DHA enters the brain is important as we might be able to identify methods to better deliver DHA to the brain as a potential therapeutic.

  10. Brain mechanisms in religion and spirituality : An integrative predictive processing framework

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Elk, Michiel; Aleman, Andre

    We present the theory of predictive processing as a unifying framework to account for the neurocognitive basis of religion and spirituality. Our model is substantiated by discussing four different brain mechanisms that play a key role in religion and spirituality: temporal brain areas are associated

  11. Molecular mechanism of APC/C activation by mitotic phosphorylation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Suyang; Chang, Leifu; Alfieri, Claudio; Zhang, Ziguo; Yang, Jing; Maslen, Sarah; Skehel, Mark; Barford, David

    2016-05-12

    In eukaryotes, the anaphase-promoting complex (APC/C, also known as the cyclosome) regulates the ubiquitin-dependent proteolysis of specific cell-cycle proteins to coordinate chromosome segregation in mitosis and entry into the G1 phase. The catalytic activity of the APC/C and its ability to specify the destruction of particular proteins at different phases of the cell cycle are controlled by its interaction with two structurally related coactivator subunits, Cdc20 and Cdh1. Coactivators recognize substrate degrons, and enhance the affinity of the APC/C for its cognate E2 (refs 4-6). During mitosis, cyclin-dependent kinase (Cdk) and polo-like kinase (Plk) control Cdc20- and Cdh1-mediated activation of the APC/C. Hyperphosphorylation of APC/C subunits, notably Apc1 and Apc3, is required for Cdc20 to activate the APC/C, whereas phosphorylation of Cdh1 prevents its association with the APC/C. Since both coactivators associate with the APC/C through their common C-box and Ile-Arg tail motifs, the mechanism underlying this differential regulation is unclear, as is the role of specific APC/C phosphorylation sites. Here, using cryo-electron microscopy and biochemical analysis, we define the molecular basis of how phosphorylation of human APC/C allows for its control by Cdc20. An auto-inhibitory segment of Apc1 acts as a molecular switch that in apo unphosphorylated APC/C interacts with the C-box binding site and obstructs engagement of Cdc20. Phosphorylation of the auto-inhibitory segment displaces it from the C-box-binding site. Efficient phosphorylation of the auto-inhibitory segment, and thus relief of auto-inhibition, requires the recruitment of Cdk-cyclin in complex with a Cdk regulatory subunit (Cks) to a hyperphosphorylated loop of Apc3. We also find that the small-molecule inhibitor, tosyl-l-arginine methyl ester, preferentially suppresses APC/C(Cdc20) rather than APC/C(Cdh1), and interacts with the binding sites of both the C-box and Ile-Arg tail motifs. Our

  12. Corticonic models of brain mechanisms underlying cognition and intelligence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farhat, Nabil H.

    The concern of this review is brain theory or more specifically, in its first part, a model of the cerebral cortex and the way it: (a) interacts with subcortical regions like the thalamus and the hippocampus to provide higher-level-brain functions that underlie cognition and intelligence, (b) handles and represents dynamical sensory patterns imposed by a constantly changing environment, (c) copes with the enormous number of such patterns encountered in a lifetime by means of dynamic memory that offers an immense number of stimulus-specific attractors for input patterns (stimuli) to select from, (d) selects an attractor through a process of “conjugation” of the input pattern with the dynamics of the thalamo-cortical loop, (e) distinguishes between redundant (structured) and non-redundant (random) inputs that are void of information, (f) can do categorical perception when there is access to vast associative memory laid out in the association cortex with the help of the hippocampus, and (g) makes use of “computation” at the edge of chaos and information driven annealing to achieve all this. Other features and implications of the concepts presented for the design of computational algorithms and machines with brain-like intelligence are also discussed. The material and results presented suggest, that a Parametrically Coupled Logistic Map network (PCLMN) is a minimal model of the thalamo-cortical complex and that marrying such a network to a suitable associative memory with re-entry or feedback forms a useful, albeit, abstract model of a cortical module of the brain that could facilitate building a simple artificial brain. In the second part of the review, the results of numerical simulations and drawn conclusions in the first part are linked to the most directly relevant works and views of other workers. What emerges is a picture of brain dynamics on the mesoscopic and macroscopic scales that gives a glimpse of the nature of the long sought after brain code

  13. Instant Update: Considering the Molecular Mechanisms of Mutation & Natural Selection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hubler, Tina; Adams, Patti; Scammell, Jonathan

    2015-01-01

    The molecular basis of evolution is an important concept to understand but one that students and teachers often find challenging. This article provides training and guidance for teachers on how to present molecular evolution concepts so that students will associate molecular changes with the evolution of form and function in organisms. Included…

  14. Molecular Mechanisms of Microcystin Toxicity in Animal Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandre Campos

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Microcystins (MC are potent hepatotoxins produced by the cyanobacteria of the genera Planktothrix, Microcystis, Aphanizomenon, Nostoc and Anabaena. These cyclic heptapeptides have strong affinity to serine/threonine protein phosphatases (PPs thereby acting as an inhibitor of this group of enzymes. Through this interaction a cascade of events responsible for the MC cytotoxic and genotoxic effects in animal cells may take place. Moreover MC induces oxidative stress in animal cells and together with the inhibition of PPs, this pathway is considered to be one of the main mechanisms of MC toxicity. In recent years new insights on the key enzymes involved in the signal-transduction and toxicity have been reported demonstrating the complexity of the interaction of these toxins with animal cells. Key proteins involved in MC up-take, biotransformation and excretion have been identified, demonstrating the ability of aquatic animals to metabolize and excrete the toxin. MC have shown to interact with the mitochondria. The consequences are the dysfunction of the organelle, induction of reactive oxygen species (ROS and cell apoptosis. MC activity leads to the differential expression/activity of transcriptional factors and protein kinases involved in the pathways of cellular differentiation, proliferation and tumor promotion activity. This activity may result from the direct inhibition of the protein phosphatases PP1 and PP2A. This review aims to summarize the increasing data regarding the molecular mechanisms of MC toxicity in animal systems, reporting for direct MC interacting proteins and key enzymes in the process of toxicity biotransformation/excretion of these cyclic peptides.

  15. Molecular Mechanisms of Curcumin Renoprotection in Experimental Acute Renal Injury

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Youling Fan

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available As a highly perfused organ, the kidney is especially sensitive to ischemia and reperfusion. Ischemia-reperfusion (IR-induced acute kidney injury (AKI has a high incidence during the perioperative period in the clinic and is an important link in ischemic acute renal failure (IARF. Therefore, IR-induced AKI has important clinical significance and it is necessary to explore to develop drugs to prevent and alleviate IR-induced AKI. Curcumin [diferuloylmethane, 1,7-bis(4-hydroxy-3-methoxiphenyl-1,6-heptadiene-3,5-dione] is a polyphenol compound derived from Curcuma longa (turmeric and was shown to have a renoprotective effect on ischemia-reperfusion injury (IRI in a previous study. However, the specific mechanisms underlying the protective role of curcumin in IR-induced AKI are not completely understood. APPL1 is a protein coding gene that has been shown to be involved in the crosstalk between the adiponectin-signaling and insulin-signaling pathways. In the study, to investigate the molecular mechanisms of curcumin effects in kidney ischemia/reperfusion model, we observed the effect of curcumin in experimental models of IR-induced AKI and we found that curcumin treatment significantly increased the expression of APPL1 and inhibited the activation of Akt after IR treatment in the kidney. Our in vitro results showed that apoptosis of renal tubular epithelial cells was exacerbated with hypoxia-reoxygenation (HR treatment compared to sham control cells. Curcumin significantly decreased the rate of apoptosis in renal tubular epithelial cells with HR treatment. Moreover, knockdown of APPL1 activated Akt and subsequently aggravated apoptosis in HR-treated renal tubular epithelial cells. Conversely, inhibition of Akt directly reversed the effects of APPL1 knockdown. In summary, our study demonstrated that curcumin mediated upregulation of APPL1 protects against ischemia reperfusion induced AKI by inhibiting Akt phosphorylation.

  16. Molecular mechanism of allosteric communication in Hsp70 revealed by molecular dynamics simulations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Federica Chiappori

    Full Text Available Investigating ligand-regulated allosteric coupling between protein domains is fundamental to understand cell-life regulation. The Hsp70 family of chaperones represents an example of proteins in which ATP binding and hydrolysis at the Nucleotide Binding Domain (NBD modulate substrate recognition at the Substrate Binding Domain (SBD. Herein, a comparative analysis of an allosteric (Hsp70-DnaK and a non-allosteric structural homolog (Hsp110-Sse1 of the Hsp70 family is carried out through molecular dynamics simulations, starting from different conformations and ligand-states. Analysis of ligand-dependent modulation of internal fluctuations and local deformation patterns highlights the structural and dynamical changes occurring at residue level upon ATP-ADP exchange, which are connected to the conformational transition between closed and open structures. By identifying the dynamically responsive protein regions and specific cross-domain hydrogen-bonding patterns that differentiate Hsp70 from Hsp110 as a function of the nucleotide, we propose a molecular mechanism for the allosteric signal propagation of the ATP-encoded conformational signal.

  17. Fluid Mechanics of the Vascular Basement Membrane in the Brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coloma, Mikhail; Hui, Jonathan; Chiarot, Paul; Huang, Peter; Carare, Roxana; McLeod, Kenneth; Schaffer, David

    2013-11-01

    Beta-amyloid is a normal product of brain metabolic function and is found within the interstitial fluid of the brain. Failure of the clearance of beta-amyloid from the aging brain leads to its accumulation within the walls of arteries and to Alzheimer's disease. The vascular basement membrane (VBM) within the walls of cerebral arteries surrounds the spirally arranged smooth muscle cells and represents an essential pathway for removal of beta-amyloid from the brain. This process fails with the stiffening of arterial walls associated with aging. In this study we hypothesize that the deformation of the VBM associated with arterial pulsations drives the interstitial fluid to drain in the direction opposite of the arterial blood flow. This hypothesis is theoretically investigated by modeling the VBM as a thin, coaxial, fluid-filled porous medium surrounding a periodically deforming cylindrical tube. Flow and boundary conditions required to achieve such a backward clearance are derived through a control volume analysis of mass, momentum, and energy.

  18. Consciousness Regained: Disentangling Mechanisms, Brain Systems, and Behavioral Responses

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Storm, J.F.; Boly, M.; Casali, A.G.; Massimini, M.; Olcese, U.; Pennartz, C.M.A.; Wilke, M.

    2017-01-01

    How consciousness (experience) arises from and relates to material brain processes (the "mind-body problem") has been pondered by thinkers for centuries, and is regarded as among the deepest unsolved problems in science, with wide-ranging theoretical, clinical, and ethical implications. Until the

  19. Mechanical properties of brain tissue: characterisation and constitutive modelling

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dommelen, van J.A.W.; Hrapko, M.; Peters, G.W.M.; Kamkin, A.; Kiseleva, I.

    2009-01-01

    The head is often considered as the most critical region of the human body for life-threatening injuries sustained in accidents. In order to develop effective protective measures, a better understanding of the process of injury development in the brain is required. Finite Element (FE) models are

  20. Molecular mechanisms of circulatory dysfunction in cirrhotic portal hypertension

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hsin-Ling Ho

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Acute or chronic insults to the liver are usually followed by a tissue repairing process. Unfortunately, this action, in most cases, is not effective enough to restore the normal hepatic structure and function. Instead, fibrogenesis and regenerative nodules formation ensue, which are relatively nonfunctioning. The common final stage of the process is liver cirrhosis with increased intrahepatic resistance to portal venous blood flow. Throughout the entire course, the extrahepatic circulatory dysfunction, including increased splanchnic blood flow, elevated portal venous blood flow and pressure, decreased splanchnic and peripheral vascular resistance, tachycardia, and increased cardiac output, are noted and denoted as portal hypertension with hyperdynamic circulatory dysfunction. When such a condition is established, patients may suffer from fatal complications such as gastroesophageal variceal hemorrhage, hepatic encephalopathy, or hepatorenal syndrome. The cause of such a circulatory dysfunction is not fully elucidated. Nevertheless, clarification of the pathophysiology definitely contributes to the control of portal hypertension-related complications. Herein, the molecular mechanism of this intriguing disaster is reviewed and discussed.

  1. Mechanical properties of irradiated nanowires – A molecular dynamics study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Figueroa, Emilio [Grupo de NanoMateriales, Departamento de Física, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Chile, Casilla, 653 Santiago (Chile); Departamento de Física, Facultad de Ciencias Naturales, Matemática y del Medio Ambiente, Universidad Tecnológica Metropolitana, Santiago 7800002 (Chile); Tramontina, Diego [Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, 5500 Mendoza (Argentina); Instituto de Bioingeniería, Universidad de Mendoza, 5500 Mendoza (Argentina); Gutiérrez, Gonzalo, E-mail: gonzalo@fisica.ciencias.uchile.cl [Grupo de NanoMateriales, Departamento de Física, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Chile, Casilla, 653 Santiago (Chile); Bringa, Eduardo [Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, 5500 Mendoza (Argentina)

    2015-12-15

    In this work we study, by means of molecular dynamics simulation, the change in the mechanical properties of a gold nanowire with pre-existing radiation damage. The gold nanowire is used as a simple model for a nanofoam, made of connected nanowires. Radiation damage by keV ions leads to the formation of a stacking fault tetrahedron (SFT), and this defect leads to a reduced plastic threshold, as expected, when the nanowire is subjected to tension. We quantify dislocation and twin density during the deformation, and find that the early activation of the SFT as a dislocation source leads to reduced dislocation densities compared to the case without radiation damage. In addition, we observed a total destruction of the SFT, as opposed to a recent simulation study where it was postulated that SFTs might act as self-generating dislocation sources. The flow stress at large deformation is also found to be slightly larger for the irradiated case, in agreement with recent experiments. - Highlights: • Stacking Fault Tetrahedra (SFT) formation proceeds by cascades, containing typically a vacancy cluster and interstitials. • Applied tension leads to the destruction of the SFT, in contrast to a recently reported case of a SFT which soften the NW. • After the initial dislocation activity, strength is controlled by a few surviving dislocations.

  2. Molecular Mechanisms in the shock induced decomposition of FOX-7

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mishra, Ankit; Tiwari, Subodh C.; Nakano, Aiichiro; Vashishta, Priya; Kalia, Rajiv; CACS Team

    Experimental and first principle computational studies on FOX 7 have either involved a very small system consisting of a few atoms or they did not take into account the decomposition mechanisms under extreme conditions of temperature and pressure. We have performed a large-scale reactive MD simulation using ReaxFF-lg force field to study the shock decomposition of FOX 7. The chemical composition of the principal decomposition products correlates well with experimental observations. Furthermore, we observed that the production of N2 and H2O was inter molecular in nature and was through different chemical pathways. Moreover, the production of CO and CO2 was delayed due to production of large stable C,O atoms cluster. These critical insights into the initial processes involved in the shock induced decomposition of FOX-7 will greatly help in understanding the factors playing an important role in the insensitiveness of this high energy material. This research is supported by AFOSR Award No. FA9550-16-1-0042.

  3. The Molecular Mechanisms of Offspring Effects from Obese Pregnancy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Dowling

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available The incidence of obesity, increased weight gain and the popularity of high-fat / high-sugar diets are seriously impacting upon the global population. Billions of individuals are affected, and although diet and lifestyle are of paramount importance to the development of adult obesity, compelling evidence is emerging which suggests that maternal obesity and related disorders may be passed on to the next generation by non-genetic means. The processes acting within the uteri of obese mothers may permanently predispose offspring to a diverse plethora of diseases ranging from obesity and diabetes to psychiatric disorders. This review aims to summarise some of the molecular mechanisms and active processes currently known about maternal obesity and its effect on foetal and neonatal physiology and metabolism. Complex and multifactorial networks of molecules are intertwined and culminate in a pathologically synergistic manner to cause disruption and disorganisation of foetal physiology. This altered phenotype may potentiate the cycle of intergenerational transmission of obesity and related disorders.

  4. Molecular Mechanisms and New Treatment Paradigm for Atrial Fibrillation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sirish, Padmini; Li, Ning; Timofeyev, Valeriy; Zhang, Xiao-Dong; Wang, Lianguo; Yang, Jun; Lee, Kin Sing Stephen; Bettaieb, Ahmed; Ma, Sin Mei; Lee, Jeong Han; Su, Demetria; Lau, Victor C; Myers, Richard E; Lieu, Deborah K; López, Javier E; Young, J Nilas; Yamoah, Ebenezer N; Haj, Fawaz; Ripplinger, Crystal M; Hammock, Bruce D; Chiamvimonvat, Nipavan

    2016-05-01

    Atrial fibrillation represents the most common arrhythmia leading to increased morbidity and mortality, yet, current treatment strategies have proven inadequate. Conventional treatment with antiarrhythmic drugs carries a high risk for proarrhythmias. The soluble epoxide hydrolase enzyme catalyzes the hydrolysis of anti-inflammatory epoxy fatty acids, including epoxyeicosatrienoic acids from arachidonic acid to the corresponding proinflammatory diols. Therefore, the goal of the study is to directly test the hypotheses that inhibition of the soluble epoxide hydrolase enzyme can result in an increase in the levels of epoxyeicosatrienoic acids, leading to the attenuation of atrial structural and electric remodeling and the prevention of atrial fibrillation. For the first time, we report findings that inhibition of soluble epoxide hydrolase reduces inflammation, oxidative stress, atrial structural, and electric remodeling. Treatment with soluble epoxide hydrolase inhibitor significantly reduces the activation of key inflammatory signaling molecules, including the transcription factor nuclear factor κ-light-chain-enhancer, mitogen-activated protein kinase, and transforming growth factor-β. This study provides insights into the underlying molecular mechanisms leading to atrial fibrillation by inflammation and represents a paradigm shift from conventional antiarrhythmic drugs, which block downstream events to a novel upstream therapeutic target by counteracting the inflammatory processes in atrial fibrillation. © 2016 American Heart Association, Inc.

  5. Final Report - Molecular Mechanisms of Bacterial Mercury Transformation - UCSF

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Miller, Susan M. [UCSF

    2014-04-24

    The bacterial mercury resistance (mer) operon functions in Hg biogeochemistry and bioremediation by converting reactive inorganic Hg(II) and organic [RHg(II)]1+ mercurials to relatively inert monoatomic mercury vapor, Hg(0). Its genes regulate operon expression (MerR, MerD, MerOP), import Hg(II) (MerT, MerP, and MerC), and demethylate (MerB) and reduce (MerA) mercurials. We focus on how these components interact with each other and with the host cell to allow cells to survive and detoxify Hg compounds. Understanding how this ubiquitous detoxification system fits into the biology and ecology of its bacterial host is essential to guide interventions that support and enhance Hg remediation. In the current overall project we focused on two aspects of this system: (1) investigations of the energetics of Hg(II)-ligand binding interactions, and (2) both experimental and computational approaches to investigating the molecular mechanisms of Hg(II) acquisition by MerA and intramolecular transfer of Hg(II) prior to reduction within the MerA enzyme active site. Computational work was led by Prof. Jeremy Smith and took place at the University of Tennessee, while experimental work on MerA was led by Prof. Susan Miller and took place at the University of California San Francisco.

  6. Cellular and molecular mechanisms of alcohol-induced osteopenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Zhenhua; Liu, Yao; Liu, Yitong; Chen, Hui; Shi, Songtao; Liu, Yi

    2017-12-01

    Alcoholic beverages are widely consumed, resulting in a staggering economic cost in different social and cultural settings. Types of alcohol consumption vary from light occasional to heavy, binge drinking, and chronic alcohol abuse at all ages. In general, heavy alcohol consumption is widely recognized as a major epidemiological risk factor for chronic diseases and is detrimental to many organs and tissues, including bones. Indeed, recent findings demonstrate that alcohol has a dose-dependent toxic effect in promoting imbalanced bone remodeling. This imbalance eventually results in osteopenia, an established risk factor for osteoporosis. Decreased bone mass and strength are major hallmarks of osteopenia, which is predominantly attributed not only to inhibition of bone synthesis but also to increased bone resorption through direct and indirect pathways. In this review, we present knowledge to elucidate the epidemiology, potential pathogenesis, and major molecular mechanisms and cellular effects that underlie alcoholism-induced bone loss in osteopenia. Novel therapeutic targets for correcting alcohol-induced osteopenia are also reviewed, such as modulation of proinflammatory cytokines and Wnt and mTOR signaling and the application of new drugs.

  7. Quantum mechanical simulations of polymers for molecular electronics and photonics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dupuis, M.; Villar, H.O.; Clementi, E.

    1987-01-01

    Ab initio quantum mechanical studies can play an important role in obtaining a detailed understanding of the electronic structure of existing materials, and in predicting the properties of new ones. In this article the authors give a general outline of their research activity in two areas dealing with new materials, specifically, conducting polymers and polymers with non-linear optical properties. The authors present the strategy followed for the study of these molecular systems, and an overview of their findings concerning the structure of the prototypical conducting polymer, i.e. pure and doped polyacetylene (PA). They focused attention on vibrational spectra and infrared and Raman intensities. The results of self-consistent-field (SCF) calculations on charged soliton-like molecules are consistent with experimental observation. In particular, they show that the theoretically established accidental mutual exclusion of infrared and Raman bands invalidates the requirement formulated on the basis of the interpretation of experimental data, that defects in PA must have local C/sub 2h/ symmetry. These conclusions are derived from extensive calculations for which supercomputer performance was imperative and carried out on the parallel supercomputer assembled at IBM-Kingston as a loosely coupled array of processors (LCAP). The authors briefly describe this computer system which has proven to be ideally suited to the methods of ab initio quantum chemistry

  8. Molecular mechanisms of Ebola virus pathogenesis: focus on cell death.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falasca, L; Agrati, C; Petrosillo, N; Di Caro, A; Capobianchi, M R; Ippolito, G; Piacentini, M

    2015-08-01

    Ebola virus (EBOV) belongs to the Filoviridae family and is responsible for a severe disease characterized by the sudden onset of fever and malaise accompanied by other non-specific signs and symptoms; in 30-50% of cases hemorrhagic symptoms are present. Multiorgan dysfunction occurs in severe forms with a mortality up to 90%. The EBOV first attacks macrophages and dendritic immune cells. The innate immune reaction is characterized by a cytokine storm, with secretion of numerous pro-inflammatory cytokines, which induces a huge number of contradictory signals and hurts the immune cells, as well as other tissues. Other highly pathogenic viruses also trigger cytokine storms, but Filoviruses are thought to be particularly lethal because they affect a wide array of tissues. In addition to the immune system, EBOV attacks the spleen and kidneys, where it kills cells that help the body to regulate its fluid and chemical balance and that make proteins that help the blood to clot. In addition, EBOV causes liver, lungs and kidneys to shut down their functions and the blood vessels to leak fluid into surrounding tissues. In this review, we analyze the molecular mechanisms at the basis of Ebola pathogenesis with a particular focus on the cell death pathways induced by the virus. We also discuss how the treatment of the infection can benefit from the recent experience of blocking/modulating cell death in human degenerative diseases.

  9. Molecular Mechanisms of Anticancer Effects of Phytoestrogens in Breast Cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsieh, Chia-Jung; Hsu, Ya-Ling; Huang, Ya-Fang; Tsai, Eing-Mei

    2018-01-01

    Phytoestrogens derived from plants exert estrogenic as well as antiestrogenic effects and multiple actions within breast cancer cells. Chemopreventive properties of phytoestrogens have emerged from epidemiological observations. In recent clinical research studies, phytoestrogens are safe and may even protect against breast cancer. In this brief review, the molecular mechanisms of phytoestrogens on regulation of cell cycle, apoptosis, estrogen receptors, cell signaling pathways, and epigenetic modulations in relation to breast cancer are discussed. Phytoestrogens have a preferential affinity for estrogen receptor (ER)-β, which appears to be associated with antiproliferative and anticarcinogenic effects. Moreover, while phytoestrogens not only inhibit ER-positive but also ER-negative breast cancer cells, the possibility of epigenetic modulation playing an important role is also discussed. In conclusion, as there are multiple targets and actions of phytoestrogens, extensive research is still necessary. However, due to low toxicity, low cost, and easy availability, their potent chemoprevention effects deserve further study. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at epub@benthamscience.org.

  10. Understanding the mechanisms of amorphous creep through molecular simulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Penghui; Short, Michael P; Yip, Sidney

    2017-12-26

    Molecular processes of creep in metallic glass thin films are simulated at experimental timescales using a metadynamics-based atomistic method. Space-time evolutions of the atomic strains and nonaffine atom displacements are analyzed to reveal details of the atomic-level deformation and flow processes of amorphous creep in response to stress and thermal activations. From the simulation results, resolved spatially on the nanoscale and temporally over time increments of fractions of a second, we derive a mechanistic explanation of the well-known variation of creep rate with stress. We also construct a deformation map delineating the predominant regimes of diffusional creep at low stress and high temperature and deformational creep at high stress. Our findings validate the relevance of two original models of the mechanisms of amorphous plasticity: one focusing on atomic diffusion via free volume and the other focusing on stress-induced shear deformation. These processes are found to be nonlinearly coupled through dynamically heterogeneous fluctuations that characterize the slow dynamics of systems out of equilibrium.

  11. Considerations for optimal use of postmortem human brains for molecular psychiatry: lessons from schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weickert, Cynthia Shannon; Rothmond, Debora A; Purves-Tyson, Tertia D

    2018-01-01

    Schizophrenia is a disabling disease impacting millions of people around the world, for which there is no known cure. Current antipsychotic treatments for schizophrenia mainly target psychotic symptoms, do little to ameliorate social or cognitive deficits, have side-effects that cause weight gain, and diabetes and 30% of people do not respond. Thus, better therapeutics for schizophrenia aimed at the route biologic changes are needed and discovering the underlying neurobiology is key to this quest. Postmortem brain studies provide the most direct and detailed way to determine the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. This chapter outlines steps that can be taken to ensure the best-quality molecular data from postmortem brain tissue are obtained. In this chapter, we also discuss targeted and high-throughput methods for examining gene and protein expression and some of the strengths and limitations of each method. We briefly consider why gene and protein expression changes may not always concur within brain tissue. We conclude that postmortem brain research that investigates gene and protein expression in well-characterized and matched brain cohorts provides an important foundation to be considered when interpreting data obtained from studies of living schizophrenia patients. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Evaluation of carbohydrate molecular mechanical force fields by quantum mechanical calculations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hemmingsen, Lars Bo Stegeager; Madsen, D.E.; Esbensen, A.L.

    2004-01-01

    of the (gg, gt and tg) rotamers of methyl alpha-D-glucopyranoside and methyl alpha-D-galactopyranoside are (0.13, 0.00, 0.15) and (0.64, 0.00, 0.77) kcal/mol. respectively. The results of the quantum mechanical calculations are compared with the results of calculations using the 20 second...... for monosaccharide carbohydrate benchmark systems. Selected results are: (i) The interaction energy of the alpha-D-alucopyranose-H2O heterodimer is estimated to be 4.9 kcal/mol, using a composite method including terms at highly correlated (CCSD(T)) level. Most molecular mechanics force fields are in error...

  13. Trends in nanoscale mechanics mechanics of carbon nanotubes, graphene, nanocomposites and molecular dynamics

    CERN Document Server

    2014-01-01

    This book contains a collection of the state-of-the-art reviews written by the leading researchers in the areas of nanoscale mechanics, molecular dynamics, nanoscale modeling of nanocomposites and mechanics of carbon nanotubes. No other book has reviews of the recent discoveries such as a nanoscale analog of the Pauli’s principle, i.e., effect of the spatial exclusion of electrons or the SEE effect, a new Registry Matrix Analysis for the nanoscale interfacial sliding and new data on the effective viscosity of interfacial electrons in nanoscale stiction at the interfaces. This volume is also an exceptional resource on the well tested nanoscale modeling of carbon nanotubes and nanocomposites, new nanoscale effects, unique evaluations of the effective thickness of carbon nanotubes under different loads, new data on which size of carbon nanotubes is safer and many other topics. Extensive bibliography concerning all these topics is included along with the lucid short reviews. Numerous illustrations are provided...

  14. The lymphatic mechanisms of brain cleaning: application of optical coherence tomography and fluorescence microscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glushkovskaya-Semyachkina, O.; Abdurashitov, A.; Fedosov, I.; Namykin, A.; Pavlov, A.; Shirokov, A.; Shushunova, N.; Sindeeva, O.; Khorovodov, A.; Ulanova, M.; Sagatova, V.; Agranovich, I.; Bodrova, A.; Kurths, J.

    2018-04-01

    Here we studied the role of cerebral lymphatic system in the brain clearing using intraparenchymal injection of Evans Blue and gold nanorods assessed by optical coherent tomography and fluorescence microscopy. Our data clearly show that the cerebral lymphatic system plays an important role in the brain cleaning via meningeal lymphatic vessels but not cerebral veins. Meningeal lymphatic vessels transport fluid from the brain into the deep cervical node, which is the first anatomical "station" for lymph outflow from the brain. The lymphatic processes underlying brain clearing are more slowly vs. peripheral lymphatics. These results shed light on the lymphatic mechanisms responsible for brain clearing as well as interaction between the intra- and extracranial lymphatic compartment.

  15. molecular mechanisms of metabolic rate depression in animals

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    adjustments and the role of stress-induced gene expression in producing specific adaptive proteins. Protein ..... Furthermore, rat and bat brain PKC differed strongly in their responses to ...... The stress-activated protein kinase subfamily ofc-jun.

  16. The molecular mechanisms controlling morphogenesis and wiring of the habenula

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schmidt, Ewoud R.E.; Pasterkamp, R. Jeroen

    2017-01-01

    The habenula is an evolutionarily conserved brain region comprising bilaterally paired nuclei that plays a key role in processing reward information and mediating aversive responses to negative stimuli. An important aspect underlying habenula function is relaying information between forebrain and

  17. Insight into the molecular switch mechanism of human Rab5a from molecular dynamics simulations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, Jing-Fang, E-mail: jfwang@gordonlifescience.org [Key Laboratory of Systems Biology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 200031 (China); Shanghai Center for Bioinformation Technology, 100 Qinzhou Road, Shanghai 200235 (China); Gordon Life Science Institute, 13784 Torrey Del Mar Drive, San Diego, CA 92130 (United States); Chou, Kuo-Chen [Gordon Life Science Institute, 13784 Torrey Del Mar Drive, San Diego, CA 92130 (United States)

    2009-12-18

    Rab5a is currently a most interesting target because it is responsible for regulating the early endosome fusion in endocytosis and possibly the budding process. We utilized longtime-scale molecular dynamics simulations to investigate the internal motion of the wild-type Rab5a and its A30P mutant. It was observed that, after binding with GTP, the global flexibility of the two proteins is increasing, while the local flexibility in their sensitive sites (P-loop, switch I and II regions) is decreasing. Also, the mutation of Ala30 to Pro30 can cause notable flexibility variations in the sensitive sites. However, this kind of variations is dramatically reduced after binding with GTP. Such a remarkable feature is mainly caused by the water network rearrangements in the sensitive sites. These findings might be of use for revealing the profound mechanism of the displacements of Rab5a switch regions, as well as the mechanism of the GDP dissociation and GTP association.

  18. Mechanisms that determine the internal environment of the developing brain

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Liddelow, Shane A; Dziegielewska, Katarzyna M; Ek, C Joakim

    2013-01-01

    We provide comprehensive identification of embryonic (E15) and adult rat lateral ventricular choroid plexus transcriptome, with focus on junction-associated proteins, ionic influx transporters and channels. Additionally, these data are related to new structural and previously published permeability...... studies. Results reveal that most genes associated with intercellular junctions are expressed at similar levels at both ages. In total, 32 molecules known to be associated with brain barrier interfaces were identified. Nine claudins showed unaltered expression, while two claudins (6 and 8) were expressed......, a large number of previously unidentified ion channel and transporter genes were identified for the first time in plexus epithelium. These results, in addition to data obtained from electron microscopical and physiological permeability experiments in immature brains, indicate that exchange between blood...

  19. Synergistic Mechanisms Between Traumatic Brain Injury and Migraine

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-08-01

    Departmental seminar series), as well as locally at a Chicago chapter Society for Neuroscience conference. We will also present our studies in a poster to...We have started a collaboration with a MD from the local VA hospital. Dr. Joanne Tobacman is a specialist in brain extracellular matrix and...neurological diseases. She will examine tissue from the site of injury from mTBI mice and determine if there are any changes in extracellular matrix

  20. Molecular and Functional Properties of Regional Astrocytes in the Adult Brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morel, Lydie; Chiang, Ming Sum R; Higashimori, Haruki; Shoneye, Temitope; Iyer, Lakshmanan K; Yelick, Julia; Tai, Albert; Yang, Yongjie

    2017-09-06

    The molecular signature and functional properties of astroglial subtypes in the adult CNS remain largely undefined. By using translational ribosome affinity purification followed by RNA-Seq, we profiled astroglial ribosome-associated (presumably translating) mRNAs in major cortical and subcortical brain regions (cortex, hippocampus, caudate-putamen, nucleus accumbens, thalamus, and hypothalamus) of BAC aldh1l1 -translational ribosome affinity purification (TRAP) mice (both sexes). We found that the expression of astroglial translating mRNAs closely follows the dorsoventral axis, especially from cortex/hippocampus to thalamus/hypothalamus posteriorly. This region-specific expression pattern of genes, such as synaptogenic modulator sparc and transcriptional factors ( emx2 , lhx2 , and hopx ), was validated by qRT-PCR and immunostaining in brain sections. Interestingly, cortical or subcortical astrocytes selectively promote neurite growth and synaptic activity of neurons only from the same region in mismatched cocultures, exhibiting region-matched astrocyte to neuron communication. Overall, these results generated new molecular signature of astrocyte types in the adult CNS, providing insights into their origin and functional diversity. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT We investigated the in vivo molecular and functional heterogeneity of astrocytes inter-regionally from adult brain. Our results showed that the expression pattern of ribosome-associated mRNA profiles in astrocytes closely follows the dorsoventral axis, especially posteriorly from cortex/hippocampus to thalamus/hypothalamus. In line with this, our functional results further demonstrated region-selective roles of cortical and subcortical astrocytes in regulating cortical or subcortical neuronal synaptogenesis and maturation. These in vivo studies provide a previously uncharacterized and important molecular atlas for exploring region-specific astroglial functions. Copyright © 2017 the authors 0270-6474/17/378706-12$15.00/0.

  1. Insect brains use image interpolation mechanisms to recognise rotated objects.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adrian G Dyer

    Full Text Available Recognising complex three-dimensional objects presents significant challenges to visual systems when these objects are rotated in depth. The image processing requirements for reliable individual recognition under these circumstances are computationally intensive since local features and their spatial relationships may significantly change as an object is rotated in the horizontal plane. Visual experience is known to be important in primate brains learning to recognise rotated objects, but currently it is unknown how animals with comparatively simple brains deal with the problem of reliably recognising objects when seen from different viewpoints. We show that the miniature brain of honeybees initially demonstrate a low tolerance for novel views of complex shapes (e.g. human faces, but can learn to recognise novel views of stimuli by interpolating between or 'averaging' views they have experienced. The finding that visual experience is also important for bees has important implications for understanding how three dimensional biologically relevant objects like flowers are recognised in complex environments, and for how machine vision might be taught to solve related visual problems.

  2. A quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical study of the hydroxylation of phenol and halogeneted derivatives by phenol hydroxylase

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ridder, L.; Mulholland, A.J.; Rietjens, I.M.C.M.; Vervoort, J.

    2000-01-01

    A combined quantum mechanical and molecular mechanical (QM/MM) method (AM1/CHARMM) was used to investigate the mechanism of the aromatic hydroxylation of phenol by a flavin dependent phenol hydroxylase (PH), an essential reaction in the degradation of a wide range of aromatic compounds. The model

  3. Molecular mechanism of reduction in pregnenolone synthesis by cigarette smoke

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bose, Mahuya; Whittal, Randy M.; Gairola, C. Gary; Bose, Himangshu S.

    2008-01-01

    Steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR) facilitates the movement of cholesterol from the outer to inner mitochondrial membrane for the synthesis of pregnenolone. Here, we investigated the molecular mechanism of the reduction of pregnenolone synthesis by cigarette smoke condensate (CSC). Pre-exposure or post-exposure of cells with CSC led to reduced pregnenolone synthesis, in a fashion similar to its effect on isolated mitochondria. However, there was no difference in the expression of 30 kDa StAR in cells treated with moderately concentrated CSC by either regimen. The active form of 37 kDa StAR is degraded easily suggesting that the continuous presence of CSC reduces StAR expression. Mitochondrial import of 35 S-methionine-labeled StAR followed by extraction of the StAR-mitochondrial complex with 1% digitonin showed similarly sized complexes in the CSC-treated and untreated mitochondria. Further analysis by sucrose density gradient centrifugation showed a specific complex, 'complex 2', in the untreated mitochondria but absent in the CSC-treated mitochondria. Mass spectrometric analysis revealed that complex 2 is the outer mitochondrial protein, VDAC1. Knockdown of VDAC1 expression by siRNA followed by co-transfection with StAR resulted in a lack of pregnenolone synthesis and 37 kDa StAR expression with reduced expression of the intermediate, 32 kDa StAR. Taken together, these results suggest that in the absence of VDAC1, active StAR expression is reduced indicating that VDAC1 expression is essential for StAR activity. In the absence of VDAC1-StAR interaction, cholesterol cannot be transported into mitochondria; thus the interaction with VDAC1 is a mandatory step for initiating steroidogenesis

  4. Stability mechanisms of a thermophilic laccase probed by molecular dynamics.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Niels J Christensen

    Full Text Available Laccases are highly stable, industrially important enzymes capable of oxidizing a large range of substrates. Causes for their stability are, as for other proteins, poorly understood. In this work, multiple-seed molecular dynamics (MD was applied to a Trametes versicolor laccase in response to variable ionic strengths, temperatures, and glycosylation status. Near-physiological conditions provided excellent agreement with the crystal structure (average RMSD ∼0.92 Å and residual agreement with experimental B-factors. The persistence of backbone hydrogen bonds was identified as a key descriptor of structural response to environment, whereas solvent-accessibility, radius of gyration, and fluctuations were only locally relevant. Backbone hydrogen bonds decreased systematically with temperature in all simulations (∼9 per 50 K, probing structural changes associated with enthalpy-entropy compensation. Approaching T opt (∼350 K from 300 K, this change correlated with a beginning "unzipping" of critical β-sheets. 0 M ionic strength triggered partial denucleation of the C-terminal (known experimentally to be sensitive at 400 K, suggesting a general salt stabilization effect. In contrast, F(- (but not Cl(- specifically impaired secondary structure by formation of strong hydrogen bonds with backbone NH, providing a mechanism for experimentally observed small anion destabilization, potentially remedied by site-directed mutagenesis at critical intrusion sites. N-glycosylation was found to support structural integrity by increasing persistent backbone hydrogen bonds by ∼4 across simulations, mainly via prevention of F(- intrusion. Hydrogen-bond loss in distinct loop regions and ends of critical β-sheets suggest potential strategies for laboratory optimization of these industrially important enzymes.

  5. On The Molecular Mechanism Of Positive Novolac Resists

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Jian-Ping; Kwei, T. K.; Reiser, Arnost

    1989-08-01

    A molecular mechanism for the dissolution of novolac is proposed, based on the idea of a critical degree of deprotonation as being the condition for the transfer of polymer into solution. The rate at which the critical deprotonation condition is achieved is controlled by the supply of developer into a thin penetration zone, and depends in particular on the rate of diffusion of the base cations which are the developer component with the lowest mobility. The penetration zone contains phenolate ions and ion-bound water, but it retains the structure of a rigid polymer membrane, as evidenced by the diffusion coefficient of cations in the pene;tration zone which is several orders of magnitude slower than in an open gel of the same material. When the critical degree of deprotonation is reached, the membrane structure unravels and all subsequent events, chain rearrangement and transfer into solution, occur rapidly. The supralinear dependence of dissolution rate on base concentration and the effect of the size of the base cation are plausibly interpreted by the model. The diffusion of developer components is assumed to occur preferentially via hydrophilic sites in the polymer matrix. These sites define a diffusion path which acts like a hydrophilic diffusion channel. Suitably designed hydrophobic molecules can block some of the channels and in this way alter the dissolution rate. They reduce in effect the diffusion crossect ion of the material. Hydrophilic additives, on the other hand, introduce additional channels into the system and promote dissolution. The concept of diffusion channels appears to provide a unified interpretation for a number of common observations.

  6. Molecular mechanisms of extensive mitochondrial gene rearrangementin plethodontid salamanders

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mueller, Rachel Lockridge; Boore, Jeffrey L.

    2005-06-01

    Extensive gene rearrangement is reported in the mitochondrial genomes of lungless salamanders (Plethodontidae). In each genome with a novel gene order, there is evidence that the rearrangement was mediated by duplication of part of the mitochondrial genome, including the presence of both pseudogenes and additional, presumably functional, copies of duplicated genes. All rearrangement-mediating duplications include either the origin of light strand replication and the nearby tRNA genes or the regions flanking the origin of heavy strand replication. The latter regions comprise nad6, trnE, cob, trnT, an intergenic spacer between trnT and trnP and, in some genomes, trnP, the control region, trnF, rrnS, trnV, rrnL, trnL1, and nad1. In some cases, two copies of duplicated genes, presumptive regulatory regions, and/or sequences with no assignable function have been retained in the genome following the initial duplication; in other genomes, only one of the duplicated copies has been retained. Both tandem and non-tandem duplications are present in these genomes, suggesting different duplication mechanisms. In some of these mtDNAs, up to 25 percent of the total length is composed of tandem duplications of non-coding sequence that includes putative regulatory regions and/or pseudogenes of tRNAs and protein-coding genes along with otherwise unassignable sequences. These data indicate that imprecise initiation and termination of replication, slipped-strand mispairing, and intra-molecular recombination may all have played a role in generating repeats during the evolutionary history of plethodontid mitochondrial genomes.

  7. Hypoxia-induced pulmonary vascular remodeling: cellular and molecular mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stenmark, Kurt R; Fagan, Karen A; Frid, Maria G

    2006-09-29

    Chronic hypoxic exposure induces changes in the structure of pulmonary arteries, as well as in the biochemical and functional phenotypes of each of the vascular cell types, from the hilum of the lung to the most peripheral vessels in the alveolar wall. The magnitude and the specific profile of the changes depend on the species, sex, and the developmental stage at which the exposure to hypoxia occurred. Further, hypoxia-induced changes are site specific, such that the remodeling process in the large vessels differs from that in the smallest vessels. The cellular and molecular mechanisms vary and depend on the cellular composition of vessels at particular sites along the longitudinal axis of the pulmonary vasculature, as well as on local environmental factors. Each of the resident vascular cell types (ie, endothelial, smooth muscle, adventitial fibroblast) undergo site- and time-dependent alterations in proliferation, matrix protein production, expression of growth factors, cytokines, and receptors, and each resident cell type plays a specific role in the overall remodeling response. In addition, hypoxic exposure induces an inflammatory response within the vessel wall, and the recruited circulating progenitor cells contribute significantly to the structural remodeling and persistent vasoconstriction of the pulmonary circulation. The possibility exists that the lung or lung vessels also contain resident progenitor cells that participate in the remodeling process. Thus the hypoxia-induced remodeling of the pulmonary circulation is a highly complex process where numerous interactive events must be taken into account as we search for newer, more effective therapeutic interventions. This review provides perspectives on each of the aforementioned areas.

  8. Mechanical feedback in the molecular ISM of luminous IR galaxies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Loenen, A. F.; Spaans, M.; Baan, W. A.; Meijerink, R.

    Aims. Molecular emission lines originating in the nuclei of luminous infra-red galaxies are used to determine the physical properties of the nuclear ISM in these systems. Methods. A large observational database of molecular emission lines is compared with model predictions that include heating by UV

  9. Molecular Mechanisms of Glutamine Synthetase Mutations that Lead to Clinically Relevant Pathologies.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benedikt Frieg

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Glutamine synthetase (GS catalyzes ATP-dependent ligation of ammonia and glutamate to glutamine. Two mutations of human GS (R324C and R341C were connected to congenital glutamine deficiency with severe brain malformations resulting in neonatal death. Another GS mutation (R324S was identified in a neurologically compromised patient. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the impairment of GS activity by these mutations have remained elusive. Molecular dynamics simulations, free energy calculations, and rigidity analyses suggest that all three mutations influence the first step of GS catalytic cycle. The R324S and R324C mutations deteriorate GS catalytic activity due to loss of direct interactions with ATP. As to R324S, indirect, water-mediated interactions reduce this effect, which may explain the suggested higher GS residual activity. The R341C mutation weakens ATP binding by destabilizing the interacting residue R340 in the apo state of GS. Additionally, the mutation is predicted to result in a significant destabilization of helix H8, which should negatively affect glutamate binding. This prediction was tested in HEK293 cells overexpressing GS by dot-blot analysis: Structural stability of H8 was impaired through mutation of amino acids interacting with R341, as indicated by a loss of masking of an epitope in the glutamate binding pocket for a monoclonal anti-GS antibody by L-methionine-S-sulfoximine; in contrast, cells transfected with wild type GS showed the masking. Our analyses reveal complex molecular effects underlying impaired GS catalytic activity in three clinically relevant mutants. Our findings could stimulate the development of ATP binding-enhancing molecules by which the R324S mutant can be repaired extrinsically.

  10. The importance of brain banks for molecular neuropathological research: The New South Wales Tissue Resource Centre experience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dedova, Irina; Harding, Antony; Sheedy, Donna; Garrick, Therese; Sundqvist, Nina; Hunt, Clare; Gillies, Juliette; Harper, Clive G

    2009-01-01

    New developments in molecular neuropathology have evoked increased demands for postmortem human brain tissue. The New South Wales Tissue Resource Centre (TRC) at The University of Sydney has grown from a small tissue collection into one of the leading international brain banking facilities, which operates with best practice and quality control protocols. The focus of this tissue collection is on schizophrenia and allied disorders, alcohol use disorders and controls. This review highlights changes in TRC operational procedures dictated by modern neuroscience, and provides examples of applications of modern molecular techniques to study the neuropathogenesis of many different brain disorders.

  11. Quantum Mechanics/Molecular Mechanics Modeling of Enzymatic Processes: Caveats and Breakthroughs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quesne, Matthew G; Borowski, Tomasz; de Visser, Sam P

    2016-02-18

    Nature has developed large groups of enzymatic catalysts with the aim to transfer substrates into useful products, which enables biosystems to perform all their natural functions. As such, all biochemical processes in our body (we drink, we eat, we breath, we sleep, etc.) are governed by enzymes. One of the problems associated with research on biocatalysts is that they react so fast that details of their reaction mechanisms cannot be obtained with experimental work. In recent years, major advances in computational hardware and software have been made and now large (bio)chemical systems can be studied using accurate computational techniques. One such technique is the quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) technique, which has gained major momentum in recent years. Unfortunately, it is not a black-box method that is easily applied, but requires careful set-up procedures. In this work we give an overview on the technical difficulties and caveats of QM/MM and discuss work-protocols developed in our groups for running successful QM/MM calculations. © 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  12. Computing pKa Values with a Mixing Hamiltonian Quantum Mechanical/Molecular Mechanical Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yang; Fan, Xiaoli; Jin, Yingdi; Hu, Xiangqian; Hu, Hao

    2013-09-10

    Accurate computation of the pKa value of a compound in solution is important but challenging. Here, a new mixing quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical (QM/MM) Hamiltonian method is developed to simulate the free-energy change associated with the protonation/deprotonation processes in solution. The mixing Hamiltonian method is designed for efficient quantum mechanical free-energy simulations by alchemically varying the nuclear potential, i.e., the nuclear charge of the transforming nucleus. In pKa calculation, the charge on the proton is varied in fraction between 0 and 1, corresponding to the fully deprotonated and protonated states, respectively. Inspired by the mixing potential QM/MM free energy simulation method developed previously [H. Hu and W. T. Yang, J. Chem. Phys. 2005, 123, 041102], this method succeeds many advantages of a large class of λ-coupled free-energy simulation methods and the linear combination of atomic potential approach. Theory and technique details of this method, along with the calculation results of the pKa of methanol and methanethiol molecules in aqueous solution, are reported. The results show satisfactory agreement with the experimental data.

  13. Mechanical characterization of the P56 mouse brain under large-deformation dynamic indentation

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacManus, David B.; Pierrat, Baptiste; Murphy, Jeremiah G.; Gilchrist, Michael D.

    2016-02-01

    The brain is a complex organ made up of many different functional and structural regions consisting of different types of cells such as neurons and glia, as well as complex anatomical geometries. It is hypothesized that the different regions of the brain exhibit significantly different mechanical properties, which may be attributed to the diversity of cells and anisotropy of neuronal fibers within individual brain regions. The regional dynamic mechanical properties of P56 mouse brain tissue in vitro and in situ at velocities of 0.71-4.28 mm/s, up to a deformation of 70 μm are presented and discussed in the context of traumatic brain injury. The experimental data obtained from micro-indentation measurements were fit to three hyperelastic material models using the inverse Finite Element method. The cerebral cortex elicited a stiffer response than the cerebellum, thalamus, and medulla oblongata regions for all velocities. The thalamus was found to be the least sensitive to changes in velocity, and the medulla oblongata was most compliant. The results show that different regions of the mouse brain possess significantly different mechanical properties, and a significant difference also exists between the in vitro and in situ brain.

  14. Redox proteomics and the dynamic molecular landscape of the aging brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perluigi, Marzia; Swomley, Aaron M; Butterfield, D Allan

    2014-01-01

    It is well established that the risk to develop neurodegenerative disorders increases with chronological aging. Accumulating studies contributed to characterize the age-dependent changes either at gene and protein expression level which, taken together, show that aging of the human brain results from the combination of the normal decline of multiple biological functions with environmental factors that contribute to defining disease risk of late-life brain disorders. Finding the "way out" of the labyrinth of such complex molecular interactions may help to fill the gap between "normal" brain aging and development of age-dependent diseases. To this purpose, proteomics studies are a powerful tool to better understand where to set the boundary line of healthy aging and age-related disease by analyzing the variation of protein expression levels and the major post translational modifications that determine "protein" physio/pathological fate. Increasing attention has been focused on oxidative modifications due to the crucial role of oxidative stress in aging, in addition to the fact that this type of modification is irreversible and may alter protein function. Redox proteomics studies contributed to decipher the complexity of brain aging by identifying the proteins that were increasingly oxidized and eventually dysfunctional as a function of age. The purpose of this review is to summarize the most important findings obtained by applying proteomics approaches to murine models of aging with also a brief overview of some human studies, in particular those related to dementia. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  15. Brain glycogen

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Obel, Linea Lykke Frimodt; Müller, Margit S; Walls, Anne B

    2012-01-01

    Glycogen is a complex glucose polymer found in a variety of tissues, including brain, where it is localized primarily in astrocytes. The small quantity found in brain compared to e.g., liver has led to the understanding that brain glycogen is merely used during hypoglycemia or ischemia....... In this review evidence is brought forward highlighting what has been an emerging understanding in brain energy metabolism: that glycogen is more than just a convenient way to store energy for use in emergencies-it is a highly dynamic molecule with versatile implications in brain function, i.e., synaptic...... activity and memory formation. In line with the great spatiotemporal complexity of the brain and thereof derived focus on the basis for ensuring the availability of the right amount of energy at the right time and place, we here encourage a closer look into the molecular and subcellular mechanisms...

  16. Molecular mechanics and quantum mechanical modeling of hexane soot structure and interactions with pyrene

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kubicki JD

    2000-09-01

    Full Text Available Molecular simulations (energy minimizations and molecular dynamics of an n-hexane soot model developed by Smith and co-workers (M. S. Akhter, A. R. Chughtai and D. M. Smith, Appl. Spectrosc., 1985, 39, 143; ref. 1 were performed. The MM+ (N. L. Allinger, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 1977, 395, 157; ref. 2 and COMPASS (H. Sun, J. Phys. Chem., 1998, 102, 7338; ref. 3 force fields were tested for their ability to produce realistic soot nanoparticle structure. The interaction of pyrene with the model soot was simulated. Quantum mechanical calculations on smaller soot fragments were carried out. Starting from an initial 2D structure, energy minimizations are not able to produce the observed layering within soot with either force field. Results of molecular dynamics simulations indicate that the COMPASS force field does a reasonably accurate job of reproducing observations of soot structure. Increasing the system size from a 683 to a 2732 atom soot model does not have a significant effect on predicted structures. Neither does the addition of water molecules surrounding the soot model. Pyrene fits within the soot structure without disrupting the interlayer spacing. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH, such as pyrene, may strongly partition into soot and have slow desorption kinetics because the PAH-soot bonding is similar to soot–soot interactions. Diffusion of PAH into soot micropores may allow the PAH to be irreversibly adsorbed and sequestered so that they partition slowly back into an aqueous phase causing dis-equilibrium between soil organic matter and porewater.

  17. Study of effect of gamma radiation on molecular weight and mechanical properties of PHB and PHNV

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fechine, Guilhermino J.M.; Terence, Mauro C.; Rabello, M.S.; Willen, Renate M.R.

    2011-01-01

    The effect of gamma radiation on molecular weight and mechanical properties (tensile and flexural) of PHB and PHBV samples was investigated. The values of stress and strain at the break point for both mechanical properties indicated that scission molecular reactions were predominant in PHB and PHBV samples submitted to gamma radiation. These results were confirmed by Size Exclusion Chromatography (SEC) analysis. (author)

  18. A Model of How Different Biology Experts Explain Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trujillo, Caleb M.; Anderson, Trevor R.; Pelaez, Nancy J.

    2015-01-01

    Constructing explanations is an essential skill for all science learners. The goal of this project was to model the key components of expert explanation of molecular and cellular mechanisms. As such, we asked: What is an appropriate model of the components of explanation used by biology experts to explain molecular and cellular mechanisms? Do…

  19. Forcefields based molecular modeling on the mechanical and physical properties of emeraldine base polyaniline

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chen, X.; Yuan, C.A.; Wong, K.Y.; Zhang, G.Q.

    2010-01-01

    Molecular dynamics (MD) and molecular mechanical (MM) analysis are carried out to provide reliable and accurate model for emeraldine base polyaniline. This study validate the forcefields and model with the physical and mechanical properties of the polyaniline. The temperature effects on non-bond

  20. A quantum-mechanics molecular-mechanics scheme for extended systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunt, Diego; Sanchez, Veronica M; Scherlis, Damián A

    2016-08-24

    We introduce and discuss a hybrid quantum-mechanics molecular-mechanics (QM-MM) approach for Car-Parrinello DFT simulations with pseudopotentials and planewaves basis, designed for the treatment of periodic systems. In this implementation the MM atoms are considered as additional QM ions having fractional charges of either sign, which provides conceptual and computational simplicity by exploiting the machinery already existing in planewave codes to deal with electrostatics in periodic boundary conditions. With this strategy, both the QM and MM regions are contained in the same supercell, which determines the periodicity for the whole system. Thus, while this method is not meant to compete with non-periodic QM-MM schemes able to handle extremely large but finite MM regions, it is shown that for periodic systems of a few hundred atoms, our approach provides substantial savings in computational times by treating classically a fraction of the particles. The performance and accuracy of the method is assessed through the study of energetic, structural, and dynamical aspects of the water dimer and of the aqueous bulk phase. Finally, the QM-MM scheme is applied to the computation of the vibrational spectra of water layers adsorbed at the TiO2 anatase (1 0 1) solid-liquid interface. This investigation suggests that the inclusion of a second monolayer of H2O molecules is sufficient to induce on the first adsorbed layer, a vibrational dynamics similar to that taking place in the presence of an aqueous environment. The present QM-MM scheme appears as a very interesting tool to efficiently perform molecular dynamics simulations of complex condensed matter systems, from solutions to nanoconfined fluids to different kind of interfaces.

  1. A quantum-mechanics molecular-mechanics scheme for extended systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hunt, Diego; Scherlis, Damián A; Sanchez, Veronica M

    2016-01-01

    We introduce and discuss a hybrid quantum-mechanics molecular-mechanics (QM-MM) approach for Car–Parrinello DFT simulations with pseudopotentials and planewaves basis, designed for the treatment of periodic systems. In this implementation the MM atoms are considered as additional QM ions having fractional charges of either sign, which provides conceptual and computational simplicity by exploiting the machinery already existing in planewave codes to deal with electrostatics in periodic boundary conditions. With this strategy, both the QM and MM regions are contained in the same supercell, which determines the periodicity for the whole system. Thus, while this method is not meant to compete with non-periodic QM-MM schemes able to handle extremely large but finite MM regions, it is shown that for periodic systems of a few hundred atoms, our approach provides substantial savings in computational times by treating classically a fraction of the particles. The performance and accuracy of the method is assessed through the study of energetic, structural, and dynamical aspects of the water dimer and of the aqueous bulk phase. Finally, the QM-MM scheme is applied to the computation of the vibrational spectra of water layers adsorbed at the TiO 2 anatase (1 0 1) solid–liquid interface. This investigation suggests that the inclusion of a second monolayer of H 2 O molecules is sufficient to induce on the first adsorbed layer, a vibrational dynamics similar to that taking place in the presence of an aqueous environment. The present QM-MM scheme appears as a very interesting tool to efficiently perform molecular dynamics simulations of complex condensed matter systems, from solutions to nanoconfined fluids to different kind of interfaces. (paper)

  2. Skull Flexure from Blast Waves: A Mechanism for Brain Injury with Implications for Helmet Design

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Moss, W C; King, M J; Blackman, E G

    2009-04-30

    Traumatic brain injury [TBI] has become a signature injury of current military conflicts, with debilitating, costly, and long-lasting effects. Although mechanisms by which head impacts cause TBI have been well-researched, the mechanisms by which blasts cause TBI are not understood. From numerical hydrodynamic simulations, we have discovered that non-lethal blasts can induce sufficient skull flexure to generate potentially damaging loads in the brain, even without a head impact. The possibility that this mechanism may contribute to TBI has implications for injury diagnosis and armor design.

  3. Insights into the catalytic mechanism of dehydrogenase BphB: A quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Ruiming; Shi, Xiangli; Sun, Yanhui; Zhang, Qingzhu; Wang, Wenxing

    2018-05-17

    The present study delineated the dehydrogenation mechanism of cis-2,3-dihydro-2,3-dihydroxybiphenyl (2,3-DDBPH) and cis-2,3-dihydro-2,3-dihydroxy-4,4'-dichlorobiphenyl (2,3-DD-4,4'-DBPH) by Pandoraea pnomenusa strain B-356 cis-2,3-dihydro-2,3-dihydroxybiphenyl dehydrogenase (BphB) in atomistic detail. The enzymatic process was investigated by a combined quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) approach. Five different snapshots were extracted and calculated, which revealed that the Boltzmann-weighted average barriers of 2,3-DDBPH and 2,3-DD-4,4'-DBPH dehydrogenation processes are 10.7 and 11.5 kcal mol -1 , respectively. The established dehydrogenation mechanism provides new insight into the degradation processes of other chlorinated 2,3-DDBPH. In addition to Asn115, Ser142, and Lys149, the importance of Ile 89, Asn143, Pro184, Met 187, Thr189, and Lue 191 during the dehydrogenation process of 2,3-DDBPH and 2,3-DD-4,4'-DBPH were also highlighted to search for promising mutation targets for improving the catalytic efficiency of BphB. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  4. Insights into the Thiamine Diphosphate Enzyme Activation Mechanism: Computational Model for Transketolase Using a Quantum Mechanical/Molecular Mechanical Method.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nauton, Lionel; Hélaine, Virgil; Théry, Vincent; Hecquet, Laurence

    2016-04-12

    We propose the first computational model for transketolase (TK), a thiamine diphosphate (ThDP)-dependent enzyme, using a quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical method on the basis of crystallographic TK structures from yeast and Escherichia coli, together with experimental kinetic data reported in the literature with wild-type and mutant TK. This model allowed us to define a new route for ThDP activation in the enzyme environment. We evidenced a strong interaction between ThDP and Glu418B of the TK active site, itself stabilized by Glu162A. The crucial point highlighted here is that deprotonation of ThDP C2 is not performed by ThDP N4' as reported in the literature, but by His481B, involving a HOH688A molecule bridge. Thus, ThDP N4' is converted from an amino form to an iminium form, ensuring the stabilization of the C2 carbanion or carbene. Finally, ThDP activation proceeds via an intermolecular process and not by an intramolecular one as reported in the literature. More generally, this proposed ThDP activation mechanism can be applied to some other ThDP-dependent enzymes and used to define the entire TK mechanism with donor and acceptor substrates more accurately.

  5. Learning and Memory, Part II: Molecular Mechanisms of Synaptic Plasticity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lombroso, Paul; Ogren, Marilee

    2009-01-01

    The molecular events that are responsible for strengthening synaptic connections and how these are linked to memory and learning are discussed. The laboratory preparations that allow the investigation of these events are also described.

  6. AMMOS: Automated Molecular Mechanics Optimization tool for in silico Screening

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pajeva Ilza

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Virtual or in silico ligand screening combined with other computational methods is one of the most promising methods to search for new lead compounds, thereby greatly assisting the drug discovery process. Despite considerable progresses made in virtual screening methodologies, available computer programs do not easily address problems such as: structural optimization of compounds in a screening library, receptor flexibility/induced-fit, and accurate prediction of protein-ligand interactions. It has been shown that structural optimization of chemical compounds and that post-docking optimization in multi-step structure-based virtual screening approaches help to further improve the overall efficiency of the methods. To address some of these points, we developed the program AMMOS for refining both, the 3D structures of the small molecules present in chemical libraries and the predicted receptor-ligand complexes through allowing partial to full atom flexibility through molecular mechanics optimization. Results The program AMMOS carries out an automatic procedure that allows for the structural refinement of compound collections and energy minimization of protein-ligand complexes using the open source program AMMP. The performance of our package was evaluated by comparing the structures of small chemical entities minimized by AMMOS with those minimized with the Tripos and MMFF94s force fields. Next, AMMOS was used for full flexible minimization of protein-ligands complexes obtained from a mutli-step virtual screening. Enrichment studies of the selected pre-docked complexes containing 60% of the initially added inhibitors were carried out with or without final AMMOS minimization on two protein targets having different binding pocket properties. AMMOS was able to improve the enrichment after the pre-docking stage with 40 to 60% of the initially added active compounds found in the top 3% to 5% of the entire compound collection

  7. Atomic and molecular excitation mechanisms in the interstellar medium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sternberg, A.

    1986-01-01

    The detailed infrared response of dense molecular hydrogen gas to intense ultraviolet radiation fields in photodissociation regions is presented. The thermal and chemical structures of photodissociation regions are analyzed, and the relationship between the emission by molecular hydrogen and trace atomic and molecular species is explored. The ultraviolet spectrum of radiation generated by cosmic rays inside dense molecular clouds is presented, and the resulting rates of photodissociation for a variety of interstellar molecules are calculated. Effects of this radiation on the chemistry of dense molecular clouds are discussed, and it is argued that the cosmic ray induced photons will significantly inhibit the production of complex molecular species. It is argued that the annihilation of electrons and positrons at the galactic center may result in observable infrared line emission by atomic hydrogen. A correlation between the intensity variations of the 511 keV line and the hydrogen infrared lines emitted by the annihilation region is predicted. The observed infrared fluxes from compact infrared sources at the galactic center may be used to constrain theories of pair production there

  8. Mechanical and molecular studies of biocomposites filled with oil palm empty fruit bunches microfibers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nikmatin, S.; Saepulloh, D. R.; Irmansyah; Syafiuddin, A.

    2017-05-01

    The present work aims to investigate mechanical and molecular characteristics of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) composites filled with oil palm empty fruit bunches (OPEFB) microfibers. OPEFB microfibers were produced using mechanical milling. Composite granules were fabricated using single screw extruder. These composites were then used for fabricating helmet according to the Indonesian National Standard (SNI). Mechanical testing confirms that the helmet produced using this biocomposites are suitable to the SNI. Molecular interaction between matrix with OPEFB can be described using orbital hybridization theory. In general, this study has successfully investigated mechanical and molecular properties of the biocomposites.

  9. Parametrization of Combined Quantum Mechanical and Molecular Mechanical Methods: Bond-Tuned Link Atoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Xin-Ping; Gagliardi, Laura; Truhlar, Donald G

    2018-05-30

    Combined quantum mechanical and molecular mechanical (QM/MM) methods are the most powerful available methods for high-level treatments of subsystems of very large systems. The treatment of the QM-MM boundary strongly affects the accuracy of QM/MM calculations. For QM/MM calculations having covalent bonds cut by the QM-MM boundary, it has been proposed previously to use a scheme with system-specific tuned fluorine link atoms. Here, we propose a broadly parametrized scheme where the parameters of the tuned F link atoms depend only on the type of bond being cut. In the proposed new scheme, the F link atom is tuned for systems with a certain type of cut bond at the QM-MM boundary instead of for a specific target system, and the resulting link atoms are call bond-tuned link atoms. In principle, the bond-tuned link atoms can be as convenient as the popular H link atoms, and they are especially well adapted for high-throughput and accurate QM/MM calculations. Here, we present the parameters for several kinds of cut bonds along with a set of validation calculations that confirm that the proposed bond-tuned link-atom scheme can be as accurate as the system-specific tuned F link-atom scheme.

  10. Parametrization of Combined Quantum Mechanical and Molecular Mechanical Methods: Bond-Tuned Link Atoms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xin-Ping Wu

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Combined quantum mechanical and molecular mechanical (QM/MM methods are the most powerful available methods for high-level treatments of subsystems of very large systems. The treatment of the QM−MM boundary strongly affects the accuracy of QM/MM calculations. For QM/MM calculations having covalent bonds cut by the QM−MM boundary, it has been proposed previously to use a scheme with system-specific tuned fluorine link atoms. Here, we propose a broadly parametrized scheme where the parameters of the tuned F link atoms depend only on the type of bond being cut. In the proposed new scheme, the F link atom is tuned for systems with a certain type of cut bond at the QM−MM boundary instead of for a specific target system, and the resulting link atoms are call bond-tuned link atoms. In principle, the bond-tuned link atoms can be as convenient as the popular H link atoms, and they are especially well adapted for high-throughput and accurate QM/MM calculations. Here, we present the parameters for several kinds of cut bonds along with a set of validation calculations that confirm that the proposed bond-tuned link-atom scheme can be as accurate as the system-specific tuned F link-atom scheme.

  11. Auditory motion-specific mechanisms in the primate brain.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Colline Poirier

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available This work examined the mechanisms underlying auditory motion processing in the auditory cortex of awake monkeys using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI. We tested to what extent auditory motion analysis can be explained by the linear combination of static spatial mechanisms, spectrotemporal processes, and their interaction. We found that the posterior auditory cortex, including A1 and the surrounding caudal belt and parabelt, is involved in auditory motion analysis. Static spatial and spectrotemporal processes were able to fully explain motion-induced activation in most parts of the auditory cortex, including A1, but not in circumscribed regions of the posterior belt and parabelt cortex. We show that in these regions motion-specific processes contribute to the activation, providing the first demonstration that auditory motion is not simply deduced from changes in static spatial location. These results demonstrate that parallel mechanisms for motion and static spatial analysis coexist within the auditory dorsal stream.

  12. Molecular programs induced by heat acclimation confer neuroprotection against TBI and hypoxic insults via cross-tolerance mechanisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michal eHorowitz

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Neuroprotection following prolonged exposure to high ambient temperatures (heat acclimation HA develops via altered molecular programs such as cross-tolerance (Heat Acclimation -Neuroprotection Cross-Tolerance -HANCT. The mechanisms underlying cross-tolerance depend on enhanced on-demand protective pathways evolving during acclimation. The protection achieved is long lasting and limits the need for de novo recruitment of cytoprotective pathways upon exposure to novel stressors. Using mouse and rat acclimated phenotypes, we will focus on the impact of heat acclimation on Angiotensin II-AT2 receptors in neurogenesis and on HIF-1 as key mediators in spontaneous recovery and HANCT after traumatic brain injury (TBI. The neuroprotective consequences of heat acclimation on NMDA and AMPA receptors will be discussed using the global hypoxia model. A behavioral-molecular link will be crystallized. The differences between HANCT and consensus preconditioning will be reviewed.

  13. A mechanical actuator driven electrochemically by artificial molecular muscles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Juluri, Bala Krishna; Kumar, Ajeet S; Liu, Yi; Ye, Tao; Yang, Ying-Wei; Flood, Amar H; Fang, Lei; Stoddart, J Fraser; Weiss, Paul S; Huang, Tony Jun

    2009-02-24

    A microcantilever, coated with a monolayer of redox-controllable, bistable [3]rotaxane molecules (artificial molecular muscles), undergoes reversible deflections when subjected to alternating oxidizing and reducing electrochemical potentials. The microcantilever devices were prepared by precoating one surface with a gold film and allowing the palindromic [3]rotaxane molecules to adsorb selectively onto one side of the microcantilevers, utilizing thiol-gold chemistry. An electrochemical cell was employed in the experiments, and deflections were monitored both as a function of (i) the scan rate (+0.4 V) and reducing (artificial molecular muscles, were compared with (i) data from nominally bare microcantilevers precoated with gold and (ii) those coated with two types of control compounds, namely, dumbbell molecules to simulate the redox activity of the palindromic bistable [3]rotaxane molecules and inactive 1-dodecanethiol molecules. The comparisons demonstrate that the artificial molecular muscles are responsible for the deflections, which can be repeated over many cycles. The microcantilevers deflect in one direction following oxidation and in the opposite direction upon reduction. The approximately 550 nm deflections were calculated to be commensurate with forces per molecule of approximately 650 pN. The thermal relaxation that characterizes the device's deflection is consistent with the double bistability associated with the palindromic [3]rotaxane and reflects a metastable contracted state. The use of the cooperative forces generated by these self-assembled, nanometer-scale artificial molecular muscles that are electrically wired to an external power supply constitutes a seminal step toward molecular-machine-based nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS).

  14. Insights into the Reaction Mechanism of Aromatic Ring Cleavage by Homogentisate Dioxygenase: A Quantum Mechanical/Molecular Mechanical Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qi, Yue; Lu, Jiarui; Lai, Wenzhen

    2016-05-26

    To elucidate the reaction mechanism of the ring cleavage of homogentisate by homogentisate dioxygenase, quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical (QM/MM) calculations were carried out by using two systems in different protonation states of the substrate C2 hydroxyl group. When the substrate C2 hydroxyl group is ionized (the ionized pathway), the superoxo attack on the substrate is the rate-limiting step in the catalytic cycle, with a barrier of 15.9 kcal/mol. Glu396 was found to play an important role in stabilizing the bridge species and its O-O cleavage product by donating a proton via a hydrogen-bonded water molecule. When the substrate C2 hydroxyl group is not ionized (the nonionized pathway), the O-O bond cleavage of the bridge species is the rate-limiting step, with a barrier of 15.3 kcal/mol. The QM/MM-optimized geometries for the dioxygen and alkylperoxo complexes using the nonionized model (for the C2 hydroxyl group) are in agreement with the experimental crystal structures, suggesting that the C2 hydroxyl group is more likely to be nonionized.

  15. Molecular and functional characterization of riboflavin specific transport system in rat brain capillary endothelial cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patel, Mitesh; Vadlapatla, Ramya Krishna; Pal, Dhananjay; Mitra, Ashim K.

    2012-01-01

    Riboflavin is an important water soluble vitamin (B2) required for metabolic reactions, normal cellular growth, differentiation and function. Mammalian brain cells cannot synthesize riboflavin and must import from systemic circulation. However, the uptake mechanism, cellular translocation and intracellular trafficking of riboflavin in brain capillary endothelial cells are poorly understood. The primary objective of this study is to investigate the existence of riboflavin-specific transport system and delineate the uptake and intracellular regulation of riboflavin in immortalized rat brain capillary endothelial cells (RBE4). The uptake of [3H]-Riboflavin is sodium, temperature and energy dependent but pH independent. [3H]-Riboflavin uptake is saturable with Km and Vmax values of 19 ± 3 µM and 0.235 ± 0.012 picomoles/min/mg protein, respectively. The uptake process is inhibited by unlabelled structural analogs (lumiflavin, lumichrome) but not by structurally unrelated vitamins. Ca++/calmodulin and protein kinase A (PKA) pathways are found to play an important role in the intracellular regulation of [3H]-Riboflavin. Apical and baso-lateral uptake of [3H]-Riboflavin clearly indicate that riboflavin specific transport system is predominantly localized on the apical side of RBE4 cells. A 628 bp band corresponding to riboflavin transporter is revealed in RT-PCR analysis. These findings, for the first time report the existence of a specialized and high affinity transport system for riboflavin in RBE4 cells. Blood-brain barrier (BBB) is a major obstacle limiting drug transport inside the brain as it regulates drug permeation from systemic circulation. This transporter can be utilized for targeted delivery in enhancing brain permeation of highly potent drugs on systemic administration. PMID:22683359

  16. Combined quantum mechanical and molecular mechanical reaction pathway calculation for aromatic hydroxylation by p-hydroxybenzoate-3-hydroxylase

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ridder, L.; Mulholland, A.; Rietjens, I.M.C.M.; Vervoort, J.

    1999-01-01

    The reaction pathway for the aromatic 3-hydroxylation of p-hydroxybenzoate by the reactive C4a-hydroperoxyflavin cofactor intermediate in p-hydroxybenzoate hydroxylase (PHBH) has been investigated by a combined quantum mechanical and molecular mechanical (QM/MM) method. A structural model for the

  17. Brain mechanisms of successful recognition through retrieval of semantic context.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flegal, Kristin E; Marín-Gutiérrez, Alejandro; Ragland, J Daniel; Ranganath, Charan

    2014-08-01

    Episodic memory is associated with the encoding and retrieval of context information and with a subjective sense of reexperiencing past events. The neural correlates of episodic retrieval have been extensively studied using fMRI, leading to the identification of a "general recollection network" including medial temporal, parietal, and prefrontal regions. However, in these studies, it is difficult to disentangle the effects of context retrieval from recollection. In this study, we used fMRI to determine the extent to which the recruitment of regions in the recollection network is contingent on context reinstatement. Participants were scanned during a cued recognition test for target words from encoded sentences. Studied target words were preceded by either a cue word studied in the same sentence (thus congruent with encoding context) or a cue word studied in a different sentence (thus incongruent with encoding context). Converging fMRI results from independently defined ROIs and whole-brain analysis showed regional specificity in the recollection network. Activity in hippocampus and parahippocampal cortex was specifically increased during successful retrieval following congruent context cues, whereas parietal and prefrontal components of the general recollection network were associated with confident retrieval irrespective of contextual congruency. Our findings implicate medial temporal regions in the retrieval of semantic context, contributing to, but dissociable from, recollective experience.

  18. The corticotropin-releasing hormone network and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis: molecular and cellular mechanisms involved.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonfiglio, Juan José; Inda, Carolina; Refojo, Damián; Holsboer, Florian; Arzt, Eduardo; Silberstein, Susana

    2011-01-01

    Corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) plays a key role in adjusting the basal and stress-activated hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA). CRH is also widely distributed in extrahypothalamic circuits, where it acts as a neuroregulator to integrate the complex neuroendocrine, autonomic, and behavioral adaptive response to stress. Hyperactive and/or dysregulated CRH circuits are involved in neuroendocrinological disturbances and stress-related mood disorders such as anxiety and depression. This review describes the main physiological features of the CRH network and summarizes recent relevant information concerning the molecular mechanism of CRH action obtained from signal transduction studies using cells and wild-type and transgenic mice lines. Special focus is placed on the MAPK signaling pathways triggered by CRH through the CRH receptor 1 that plays an essential role in CRH action in pituitary corticotrophs and in specific brain structures. Recent findings underpin the concept of specific CRH-signaling pathways restricted to specific anatomical areas. Understanding CRH action at molecular levels will not only provide insight into the precise CRH mechanism of action, but will also be instrumental in identifying novel targets for pharmacological intervention in neuroendocrine tissues and specific brain areas involved in CRH-related disorders. Copyright © 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  19. A clinical perspective on the 2016 WHO brain tumor classification and routine molecular diagnostics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van den Bent, Martin J; Weller, Michael; Wen, Patrick Y; Kros, Johan M; Aldape, Ken; Chang, Susan

    2017-05-01

    The 2007 World Health Organization (WHO) classification of brain tumors did not use molecular abnormalities as diagnostic criteria. Studies have shown that genotyping allows a better prognostic classification of diffuse glioma with improved treatment selection. This has resulted in a major revision of the WHO classification, which is now for adult diffuse glioma centered around isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH) and 1p/19q diagnostics. This revised classification is reviewed with a focus on adult brain tumors, and includes a recommendation of genes of which routine testing is clinically useful. Apart from assessment of IDH mutational status including sequencing of R132H-immunohistochemistry negative cases and testing for 1p/19q, several other markers can be considered for routine testing, including assessment of copy number alterations of chromosome 7 and 10 and of TERT promoter, BRAF, and H3F3A mutations. For "glioblastoma, IDH mutated" the term "astrocytoma grade IV" could be considered. It should be considered to treat IDH wild-type grades II and III diffuse glioma with polysomy of chromosome 7 and loss of 10q as glioblastoma. New developments must be more quickly translated into further revised diagnostic categories. Quality control and rapid integration of molecular findings into the final diagnosis and the communication of the final diagnosis to clinicians require systematic attention. © The Author(s) 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Neuro-Oncology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  20. Molecular anatomy of interendothelial junctions in human blood-brain barrier microvessels.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrzej W Vorbrodt

    2004-07-01

    Full Text Available Immunogold cytochemical procedure was used to study the localization at the ultrastructural level of interendothelial junction-associated protein molecules in the human brain blood microvessels, representing the anatomic site of the blood-brain barrier (BBB. Ultrathin sections of Lowicryl K4M-embedded biopsy specimens of human cerebral cortex obtained during surgical procedures were exposed to specific antibodies, followed by colloidal gold-labeled secondary antibodies. All tight junction-specific integral membrane (transmembrane proteins--occludin, junctional adhesion molecule (JAM-1, and claudin-5--as well as peripheral zonula occludens protein (ZO-1 were highly expressed. Immunoreactivity of the adherens junction-specific transmembrane protein VE-cadherin was of almost similar intensity. Immunolabeling of the adherens junction-associated peripheral proteins--alpha-catenin, beta-catenin, and p120 catenin--although positive, was evidently less intense. The expression of gamma-catenin (plakoglobin was considered questionable because solitary immunosignals (gold particles appeared in only a few microvascular profiles. Double labeling of some sections made possible to observe strict colocalization of the junctional molecules, such as occludin and ZO-1 or JAM-1 and VE-cadherin, in the interendothelial junctions. We found that in human brain microvessels, the interendothelial junctional complexes contain molecular components specific for both tight and adherens junctions. It is assumed that the data obtained can help us find the immunodetectable junctional molecules that can serve as sensitive markers of normal or abnormal function of the BBB.

  1. Delayed brain radiation necrosis: pathological review and new molecular targets for treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Furuse, Motomasa; Nonoguchi, Naosuke; Kawabata, Shinji; Miyatake, Shin-Ichi; Kuroiwa, Toshihiko

    2015-12-01

    Delayed radiation necrosis is a well-known adverse event following radiotherapy for brain diseases and has been studied since the 1930s. The primary pathogenesis is thought to be the direct damage to endothelial and glial cells, particularly oligodendrocytes, which causes vascular hyalinization and demyelination. This primary pathology leads to tissue inflammation and ischemia, inducing various tissue protective responses including angiogenesis. Macrophages and lymphocytes then infiltrate the surrounding areas of necrosis, releasing inflammatory cytokines such as interleukin (IL)-1α, IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α. Microglia also express these inflammatory cytokines. Reactive astrocytes play an important role in angiogenesis, expressing vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Some chemokine networks, like the CXCL12/CXCR4 axis, are upregulated by tissue inflammation. Hypoxia may mediate the cell-cell interactions among reactive astrocytes, macrophages, and microglial cells around the necrotic core. Recently, bevacizumab, an anti-VEGF antibody, has demonstrated promising results as an alternative treatment for radiation necrosis. The importance of VEGF in the pathophysiology of brain radiation necrosis is being recognized. The discovery of new molecular targets could facilitate novel treatments for radiation necrosis. This literature review will focus on recent work characterizing delayed radiation necrosis in the brain.

  2. [Molecular Biology on the Mechanisms of Autism Spectrum Disorder for Clinical Psychiatrists].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Makinodan, Manabu

    2015-01-01

    While, in general, a certain number of clinical psychiatrists might not be familiar with molecular biology, the mechanisms of mental illnesses have been uncovered by molecular biology for decades. Among mental illnesses, even biological psychiatrists and neuroscientists have paid less attention to the biological treatment of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) than Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia since ASD has been regarded as a developmental disorder that was seemingly untreatable. However, multifaceted methods of molecular biology have revealed the mechanisms that would lead to the medication of ASD. In this article, how molecular biology dissects the pathobiology of ASD is described in order to announce the possibilities of biological treatment for clinical psychiatrists.

  3. Knowing When to Stop: The Brain Mechanisms of Chasing Losses

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Campbell-Meiklejohn, Daniel; Woolrich, Mark; Passingham, Dick

    2008-01-01

    adult participants decided to chase losses or decided to quit gambling to prevent further losses.ResultsChasing losses was associated with increased activity in cortical areas linked to incentive-motivation and an expectation of reward. By contrast, quitting was associated with decreased activity...... in pathological gambling might involve a failure to appropriately balance activity within neural systems coding conflicting motivational states. Similar mechanisms might underlie the loss-of-control over appetitive behaviors in other impulse control disorders....

  4. Molecular Mechanisms of Ion-Specific Effects on Proteins

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Rembert, K. B.; Paterová, Jana; Heyda, Jan; Hilty, Ch.; Jungwirth, Pavel; Cremer, P. S.

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 134, č. 24 (2012), s. 10039-10046 ISSN 0002-7863 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA203/08/0114 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z40550506 Keywords : ions * proteins * molecular dynamics * NMR Subject RIV: CF - Physical ; Theoretical Chemistry Impact factor: 10.677, year: 2012

  5. Molecular mechanisms of insulin resistance | Pillay | South African ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This review discusses recent advances in understanding of the structure and function of the insulin receptor and insulin action, and how these relate to the clinical aspects of insulin resistance associated with non-insulin-dependent diabetes and other disorders. Improved understanding of the molecular basis of insulin ...

  6. Treating electrostatics with Wolf summation in combined quantum mechanical and molecular mechanical simulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ojeda-May, Pedro; Pu, Jingzhi

    2015-11-07

    The Wolf summation approach [D. Wolf et al., J. Chem. Phys. 110, 8254 (1999)], in the damped shifted force (DSF) formalism [C. J. Fennell and J. D. Gezelter, J. Chem. Phys. 124, 234104 (2006)], is extended for treating electrostatics in combined quantum mechanical and molecular mechanical (QM/MM) molecular dynamics simulations. In this development, we split the QM/MM electrostatic potential energy function into the conventional Coulomb r(-1) term and a term that contains the DSF contribution. The former is handled by the standard machinery of cutoff-based QM/MM simulations whereas the latter is incorporated into the QM/MM interaction Hamiltonian as a Fock matrix correction. We tested the resulting QM/MM-DSF method for two solution-phase reactions, i.e., the association of ammonium and chloride ions and a symmetric SN2 reaction in which a methyl group is exchanged between two chloride ions. The performance of the QM/MM-DSF method was assessed by comparing the potential of mean force (PMF) profiles with those from the QM/MM-Ewald and QM/MM-isotropic periodic sum (IPS) methods, both of which include long-range electrostatics explicitly. For ion association, the QM/MM-DSF method successfully eliminates the artificial free energy drift observed in the QM/MM-Cutoff simulations, in a remarkable agreement with the two long-range-containing methods. For the SN2 reaction, the free energy of activation obtained by the QM/MM-DSF method agrees well with both the QM/MM-Ewald and QM/MM-IPS results. The latter, however, requires a greater cutoff distance than QM/MM-DSF for a proper convergence of the PMF. Avoiding time-consuming lattice summation, the QM/MM-DSF method yields a 55% reduction in computational cost compared with the QM/MM-Ewald method. These results suggest that, in addition to QM/MM-IPS, the QM/MM-DSF method may serve as another efficient and accurate alternative to QM/MM-Ewald for treating electrostatics in condensed-phase simulations of chemical reactions.

  7. Molecular and Neuronal Plasticity Mechanisms in the Amygdala-Prefrontal Cortical Circuit: Implications for Opiate Addiction Memory Formation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura G Rosen

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available The persistence of associative memories linked to the rewarding properties of drugs of abuse is a core underlying feature of the addiction process. Opiate class drugs in particular, possess potent euphorigenic effects which, when linked to environmental cues, can produce drug-related ‘trigger’ memories that may persist for lengthy periods of time, even during abstinence, in both humans and other animals. Furthermore, the transitional switch from the drug-naïve, non-dependent state to states of dependence and withdrawal, represents a critical boundary between distinct neuronal and molecular substrates associated with opiate-reward memory formation. Identifying the functional molecular and neuronal mechanisms related to the acquisition, consolidation, recall and extinction phases of opiate-related reward memories is critical for understanding, and potentially reversing, addiction-related memory plasticity characteristic of compulsive drug-seeking behaviors. The mammalian prefrontal cortex (PFC and basolateral nucleus of the amygdala (BLA share important functional and anatomical connections that are involved importantly in the processing of associative memories linked to drug reward. In addition, both regions share interconnections with the mesolimbic pathway’s ventral tegmental area (VTA and nucleus accumbens (NAc and can modulate dopamine (DA transmission and neuronal activity associated with drug-related DAergic signaling dynamics. In this review, we will summarize research from both human and animal modelling studies highlighting the importance of neuronal and molecular plasticity mechanisms within this circuitry during critical phases of opiate addiction-related learning and memory processing. Specifically, we will focus on two molecular signaling pathways known to be involved in both drug-related neuroadaptations and in memory-related plasticity mechanisms; the extracellular-signal-regulated kinase system (ERK and the Ca2+/calmodulin

  8. On a possible mechanism of the brain for responding to dynamical features extracted from input signals

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu Zengrong; Chen Guanrong

    2003-01-01

    Based on the general theory of nonlinear dynamical systems, a possible mechanism for responding to some dynamical features extracted from input signals in brain activities is described and discussed. This mechanism is first converted to a nonlinear dynamical configuration--a generalized synchronization of complex dynamical systems. Then, some general conditions for achieving such synchronizations are derived. It is shown that dynamical systems have potentials of producing different responses for different features extracted from various input signals, which may be used to describe brain activities. For illustration, some numerical examples are given with simulation figures

  9. Molecular dialogues between the ischemic brain and the peripheral immune system: Dualistic roles in injury and repair

    Science.gov (United States)

    An, Chengrui; Shi, Yejie; Li, Peiying; Hu, Xiaoming; Gan, Yu; Stetler, Ruth A.; Leak, Rehana K.; Gao, Yanqin; Sun, Bao-Liang; Zheng, Ping; Chen, Jun

    2014-01-01

    Immune and inflammatory responses actively modulate the pathophysiological processes of acute brain injuries such as stroke. Soon after the onset of stroke, signals such as brain-derived antigens, danger-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs), cytokines, and chemokines are released from the injured brain into the systemic circulation. The injured brain also communicates with peripheral organs through the parasympathetic and sympathetic branches of the autonomic nervous system. Many of these diverse signals not only activate resident immune cells in the brain, but also trigger robust immune responses in the periphery. Peripheral immune cells then migrate toward the site of injury and release additional cytokines, chemokines, and other molecules, causing further disruptive or protective effects in the ischemic brain. Bidirectional communication between the injured brain and the peripheral immune system is now known to regulate the progression of stroke pathology as well as tissue repair. In the end, this exquisitely coordinated crosstalk helps determine the fate of animals after stroke. This article reviews the literature on ischemic brain-derived signals through which peripheral immune responses are triggered, and the potential impact of these peripheral responses on brain injury and repair. Pharmacological strategies and cell-based therapies that target the dialogue between the brain and peripheral immune system show promise as potential novel treatments for stroke. PMID:24374228

  10. Molecular dialogs between the ischemic brain and the peripheral immune system: dualistic roles in injury and repair.

    Science.gov (United States)

    An, Chengrui; Shi, Yejie; Li, Peiying; Hu, Xiaoming; Gan, Yu; Stetler, Ruth A; Leak, Rehana K; Gao, Yanqin; Sun, Bao-Liang; Zheng, Ping; Chen, Jun

    2014-04-01

    Immune and inflammatory responses actively modulate the pathophysiological processes of acute brain injuries such as stroke. Soon after the onset of stroke, signals such as brain-derived antigens, danger-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs), cytokines, and chemokines are released from the injured brain into the systemic circulation. The injured brain also communicates with peripheral organs through the parasympathetic and sympathetic branches of the autonomic nervous system. Many of these diverse signals not only activate resident immune cells in the brain, but also trigger robust immune responses in the periphery. Peripheral immune cells then migrate toward the site of injury and release additional cytokines, chemokines, and other molecules, causing further disruptive or protective effects in the ischemic brain. Bidirectional communication between the injured brain and the peripheral immune system is now known to regulate the progression of stroke pathology as well as tissue repair. In the end, this exquisitely coordinated crosstalk helps determine the fate of animals after stroke. This article reviews the literature on ischemic brain-derived signals through which peripheral immune responses are triggered, and the potential impact of these peripheral responses on brain injury and repair. Pharmacological strategies and cell-based therapies that target the dialog between the brain and peripheral immune system show promise as potential novel treatments for stroke. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  11. Mechanisms linking brain insulin resistance to Alzheimer's disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matioli, Maria Niures P.S.; Nitrini, Ricardo

    2015-01-01

    Several studies have indicated that Diabetes Mellitus (DM) can increase the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease (AD). This review briefly describes current concepts in mechanisms linking DM and insulin resistance/deficiency to AD. Insulin/insulin-like growth factor (IGF) resistance can contribute to neurodegeneration by several mechanisms which involve: energy and metabolism deficits, impairment of Glucose transporter-4 function, oxidative and endoplasmic reticulum stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, accumulation of AGEs, ROS and RNS with increased production of neuro-inflammation and activation of pro-apoptosis cascade. Impairment in insulin receptor function and increased expression and activation of insulin-degrading enzyme (IDE) have also been described. These processes compromise neuronal and glial function, with a reduction in neurotransmitter homeostasis. Insulin/IGF resistance causes the accumulation of AβPP-Aβ oligomeric fibrils or insoluble larger aggregated fibrils in the form of plaques that are neurotoxic. Additionally, there is production and accumulation of hyper-phosphorylated insoluble fibrillar tau which can exacerbate cytoskeletal collapse and synaptic disconnection. PMID:29213950

  12. Mechanisms linking brain insulin resistance to Alzheimer's disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Niures P.S. Matioli

    Full Text Available Several studies have indicated that Diabetes Mellitus (DM can increase the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease (AD. This review briefly describes current concepts in mechanisms linking DM and insulin resistance/deficiency to AD. Insulin/insulin-like growth factor (IGF resistance can contribute to neurodegeneration by several mechanisms which involve: energy and metabolism deficits, impairment of Glucose transporter-4 function, oxidative and endoplasmic reticulum stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, accumulation of AGEs, ROS and RNS with increased production of neuro-inflammation and activation of pro-apoptosis cascade. Impairment in insulin receptor function and increased expression and activation of insulin-degrading enzyme (IDE have also been described. These processes compromise neuronal and glial function, with a reduction in neurotransmitter homeostasis. Insulin/IGF resistance causes the accumulation of AβPP-Aβ oligomeric fibrils or insoluble larger aggregated fibrils in the form of plaques that are neurotoxic. Additionally, there is production and accumulation of hyper-phosphorylated insoluble fibrillar tau which can exacerbate cytoskeletal collapse and synaptic disconnection.

  13. Molecular Mechanisms of Cutaneous Inflammatory Disorder: Atopic Dermatitis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Jung Eun; Kim, Jong Sic; Cho, Dae Ho; Park, Hyun Jeong

    2016-01-01

    Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a multifactorial inflammatory skin disease resulting from interactions between genetic susceptibility and environmental factors. The pathogenesis of AD is poorly understood, and the treatment of recalcitrant AD is still challenging. There is accumulating evidence for new gene polymorphisms related to the epidermal barrier function and innate and adaptive immunity in patients with AD. Newly-found T cells and dendritic cell subsets, cytokines, chemokines and signaling pathways have extended our understanding of the molecular pathomechanism underlying AD. Genetic changes caused by environmental factors have been shown to contribute to the pathogenesis of AD. We herein present a review of the genetics, epigenetics, barrier dysfunction and immunological abnormalities in AD with a focus on updated molecular biology. PMID:27483258

  14. Molecular modeling of polycarbonate materials: Glass transition and mechanical properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palczynski, Karol; Wilke, Andreas; Paeschke, Manfred; Dzubiella, Joachim

    2017-09-01

    Linking the experimentally accessible macroscopic properties of thermoplastic polymers to their microscopic static and dynamic properties is a key requirement for targeted material design. Classical molecular dynamics simulations enable us to study the structural and dynamic behavior of molecules on microscopic scales, and statistical physics provides a framework for relating these properties to the macroscopic properties. We take a first step toward creating an automated workflow for the theoretical prediction of thermoplastic material properties by developing an expeditious method for parameterizing a simple yet surprisingly powerful coarse-grained bisphenol-A polycarbonate model which goes beyond previous coarse-grained models and successfully reproduces the thermal expansion behavior, the glass transition temperature as a function of the molecular weight, and several elastic properties.

  15. Focusing on neuronal cell-type specific mechanisms for brain circuit organization, function and dysfunction

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Lu Li

    2017-01-01

    Mammalian brain circuits consist of dynamically interconnected neurons with characteristic morphology, physiology, connectivity and genetics which are often called neuronal cell types. Neuronal cell types have been considered as building blocks of brain circuits, but knowledge of how neuron types or subtypes connect to and interact with each other to perform neural computation is still lacking. Such mechanistic insights are critical not only to our understanding of normal brain functions, such as perception, motion and cognition, but also to brain disorders including Alzheimer's disease, Schizophrenia and epilepsy, to name a few. Thus it is necessary to carry out systematic and standardized studies on neuronal cell-type specific mechanisms for brain circuit organization and function, which will provide good opportunities to bridge basic and clinical research. Here based on recent technology advancements, we discuss the strategy to target and manipulate specific populations of neuronsin vivo to provide unique insights on how neuron types or subtypes behave, interact, and generate emergent properties in a fully connected brain network. Our approach is highlighted by combining transgenic animal models, targeted electrophysiology and imaging with robotics, thus complete and standardized mapping ofin vivo properties of genetically defined neuron populations can be achieved in transgenic mouse models, which will facilitate the development of novel therapeutic strategies for brain disorders.

  16. Regulatory mechanisms for iron transport across the blood-brain barrier.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duck, Kari A; Simpson, Ian A; Connor, James R

    2017-12-09

    Many critical metabolic functions in the brain require adequate and timely delivery of iron. However, most studies when considering brain iron uptake have ignored the iron requirements of the endothelial cells that form the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Moreover, current models of BBB iron transport do not address regional regulation of brain iron uptake or how neurons, when adapting to metabolic demands, can acquire more iron. In this study, we demonstrate that both iron-poor transferrin (apo-Tf) and the iron chelator, deferoxamine, stimulate release of iron from iron-loaded endothelial cells in an in vitro BBB model. The role of the endosomal divalent metal transporter 1 (DMT1) in BBB iron acquisition and transport has been questioned. Here, we show that inhibition of DMT1 alters the transport of iron and Tf across the endothelial cells. These data support an endosome-mediated model of Tf-bound iron uptake into the brain and identifies mechanisms for local regional regulation of brain iron uptake. Moreover, our data provide an explanation for the disparity in the ratio of Tf to iron transport into the brain that has confounded the field. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Mechanical tuning of conductance and thermopower in helicene molecular junctions

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Vacek, Jaroslav; Vacek Chocholoušová, Jana; Stará, Irena G.; Starý, Ivo; Dubi, Y.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 7, č. 19 (2015), s. 8793-8802 ISSN 2040-3364 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP207/10/2207 Institutional support: RVO:61388963 Keywords : helicene molecular junctions * quantum interference * stereoselective syntheses * nonlinear optical properties Subject RIV: CC - Organic Chemistry Impact factor: 7.760, year: 2015 http://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlepdf/2015/nr/c5nr01297j

  18. Molecular and Metabolic Mechanisms of Carbon Sequestration in Marine Thrombolites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mobberley, Jennifer

    2013-01-01

    The overall goal of my dissertation project has been to examine the molecular processes underlying carbon sequestration in lithifying microbial ecosystems, known as thrombolitic mats, and assess their feasibility for use in bioregenerative life support systems. The results of my research and education efforts funded by the Graduate Student Researchers Program can be summarized in four peer-reviewed research publication, one educational publication, two papers in preparation, and six research presentations at local and national science meetings (see below for specific details).

  19. Effects of ionizing radiation and the molecular and cellular mechanisms

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1982-01-01

    This symposium with its 60 contributions presents a survey of the current state of the art in molecular radiation biophysics and radiobiology in the FRG. Many contributions show the trend of applying findings in these fields to cancer research. The various sessions have been devoted to: 1) Radiation chemistry of biomolecules; 2) DNA damage and repair; 3) Repair of DNA damage; 4) Cell proliferation and cell inactivation; 5) Cancerogenesis, mutation and chromosomal damage; 6) Effects of heavy ions. (AJ) [de

  20. Polarizable Atomic Multipole-based Molecular Mechanics for Organic Molecules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ren, Pengyu; Wu, Chuanjie; Ponder, Jay W

    2011-10-11

    An empirical potential based on permanent atomic multipoles and atomic induced dipoles is reported for alkanes, alcohols, amines, sulfides, aldehydes, carboxylic acids, amides, aromatics and other small organic molecules. Permanent atomic multipole moments through quadrupole moments have been derived from gas phase ab initio molecular orbital calculations. The van der Waals parameters are obtained by fitting to gas phase homodimer QM energies and structures, as well as experimental densities and heats of vaporization of neat liquids. As a validation, the hydrogen bonding energies and structures of gas phase heterodimers with water are evaluated using the resulting potential. For 32 homo- and heterodimers, the association energy agrees with ab initio results to within 0.4 kcal/mol. The RMS deviation of hydrogen bond distance from QM optimized geometry is less than 0.06 Å. In addition, liquid self-diffusion and static dielectric constants computed from molecular dynamics simulation are consistent with experimental values. The force field is also used to compute the solvation free energy of 27 compounds not included in the parameterization process, with a RMS error of 0.69 kcal/mol. The results obtained in this study suggest the AMOEBA force field performs well across different environments and phases. The key algorithms involved in the electrostatic model and a protocol for developing parameters are detailed to facilitate extension to additional molecular systems.

  1. Methylmercury transport across the blood-brain barrier by molecular mimicry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kerper, L.E.; Ballatori, N.; Clarkson, T.W.

    1990-01-01

    The mechanism by which methylmercury (MeHg) crosses the blood-brain barrier is not known. Co-administration of MeHg with L-cysteine by intravenous injection has been shown to accelerate MeHg uptake into brain tissue in rats. Since the complex of MeHg with L-cysteine is structurally similar to L-methionine, a substrate for the L (leucine-preferring) neutral amino acid transport system, this amino acid carrier may be involved in MeHg uptake into brain. To examine this hypothesis, the rapid carotid infusion technique was used in the rat. The concentration-dependence of initial rates of Me 203 Hg uptake into rat brains following injection of Me 203 Hg-L-cysteine complex was non-linear, exhibiting characteristics of saturable transport (K m 250 μM, V max 700 pmol·g -1 ·15 s -1 ). A slower, nonsaturable uptake was seen following MeHg-D-cysteine injection. MeHg-L-cysteine uptake was inhibited by co-injection of L-methionine (K i 200 μM), D-methionine (K i 600 μM), and amino acid analog 2-aminobicyclo-(2,2,1)-heptane-2-carboxylic acid (K i 1.4 mM), but not by amino acid analog α-methylaminoisobutyric acid. Transport of 14 C-L-phenylalanine was inhibited by MeHg-L-cysteine, but not by MeHgCl. The results suggest that MeHg may enter brain capillary endothelial cells as a cysteine complex, via amino acid transport system L

  2. Species-Specific Mechanisms of Neuron Subtype Specification Reveal Evolutionary Plasticity of Amniote Brain Development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tadashi Nomura

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Summary: Highly ordered brain architectures in vertebrates consist of multiple neuron subtypes with specific neuronal connections. However, the origin of and evolutionary changes in neuron specification mechanisms remain unclear. Here, we report that regulatory mechanisms of neuron subtype specification are divergent in developing amniote brains. In the mammalian neocortex, the transcription factors (TFs Ctip2 and Satb2 are differentially expressed in layer-specific neurons. In contrast, these TFs are co-localized in reptilian and avian dorsal pallial neurons. Multi-potential progenitors that produce distinct neuronal subtypes commonly exist in the reptilian and avian dorsal pallium, whereas a cis-regulatory element of avian Ctip2 exhibits attenuated transcription suppressive activity. Furthermore, the neuronal subtypes distinguished by these TFs are not tightly associated with conserved neuronal connections among amniotes. Our findings reveal the evolutionary plasticity of regulatory gene functions that contribute to species differences in neuronal heterogeneity and connectivity in developing amniote brains. : Neuronal heterogeneity is essential for assembling intricate neuronal circuits. Nomura et al. find that species-specific transcriptional mechanisms underlie diversities of excitatory neuron subtypes in mammalian and non-mammalian brains. Species differences in neuronal subtypes and connections suggest functional plasticity of regulatory genes for neuronal specification during amniote brain evolution. Keywords: Ctip2, Satb2, multi-potential progenitors, transcriptional regulation, neuronal connectivity

  3. Nucleon molecular orbitals and the transition mechanism between molecular orbitals in nucleus-nucleus collisions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Imanishi, B.; Misono, S.; von Oertzen, W.; Voit, H.

    1988-08-01

    The molecular orbitals of the nucleon(s) in nucleus-nucleus collisions are dynamically defined as a linear combination of nucleon single-particle orbits (LCNO) in a rotating frame by using the coupled-reaction-channel (CRC) theory. Nucleon molecular orbitals and the promotions of nucleon, - especially due to the Landau-Zener radial coupling are discussed with the method above mentioned. (author)

  4. Emotional attention for erotic stimuli: Cognitive and brain mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sennwald, Vanessa; Pool, Eva; Brosch, Tobias; Delplanque, Sylvain; Bianchi-Demicheli, Francesco; Sander, David

    2016-06-01

    It has long been posited that among emotional stimuli, only negative threatening information modulates early shifts of attention. However, in the last few decades there has been an increase in research showing that attention is also involuntarily oriented toward positive rewarding stimuli such as babies, food, and erotic information. Because reproduction-related stimuli have some of the largest effects among positive stimuli on emotional attention, the present work reviews recent literature and proposes that the cognitive and cerebral mechanisms underlying the involuntarily attentional orientation toward threat-related information are also sensitive to erotic information. More specifically, the recent research suggests that both types of information involuntarily orient attention due to their concern relevance and that the amygdala plays an important role in detecting concern-relevant stimuli, thereby enhancing perceptual processing and influencing emotional attentional processes. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. Quantum Mechanics and Molecular Mechanics Study of the Catalytic Mechanism of Human AMSH-LP Domain Deubiquitinating Enzymes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Wenyou; Liu, Yongjun; Ling, Baoping

    2015-08-25

    Deubiquitinating enzymes (DUBs) catalyze the cleavage of the isopeptide bond in polyubiquitin chains to control and regulate the deubiquitination process in all known eukaryotic cells. The human AMSH-LP DUB domain specifically cleaves the isopeptide bonds in the Lys63-linked polyubiquitin chains. In this article, the catalytic mechanism of AMSH-LP has been studied using a combined quantum mechanics and molecular mechanics method. Two possible hydrolysis processes (Path 1 and Path 2) have been considered. Our calculation results reveal that the activation of Zn(2+)-coordinated water molecule is the essential step for the hydrolysis of isopeptide bond. In Path 1, the generated hydroxyl first attacks the carbonyl group of Gly76, and then the amino group of Lys63 is protonated, which is calculated to be the rate limiting step with an energy barrier of 13.1 kcal/mol. The energy barrier of the rate limiting step and the structures of intermediate and product are in agreement with the experimental results. In Path 2, the protonation of amino group of Lys63 is prior to the nucleophilic attack of activated hydroxyl. The two proton transfer processes in Path 2 correspond to comparable overall barriers (33.4 and 36.1 kcal/mol), which are very high for an enzymatic reaction. Thus, Path 2 can be ruled out. During the reaction, Glu292 acts as a proton transfer mediator, and Ser357 mainly plays a role in stabilizing the negative charge of Gly76. Besides acting as a Lewis acid, Zn(2+) also influences the reaction by coordinating to the reaction substrates (W1 and Gly76).

  6. Brain alterations and clinical symptoms of dementia in diabetes: Abeta/tau-dependent and independent mechanisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naoyuki eSato

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Emerging evidence suggests that diabetes affects cognitive function and increases the incidence of dementia. However, the mechanisms by which diabetes modifies cognitive function still remains unclear. Morphologically, diabetes is associated with neuronal loss in the frontal and temporal lobes including the hippocampus, and aberrant functional connectivity of the posterior cingulate cortex and medial frontal/temporal gyrus. Clinically, diabetic patients show decreased executive function, information processing, planning, visuospatial construction, and visual memory. Therefore, in comparison with the characteristics of AD brain structure and cognition, diabetes seems to affect cognitive function through not only simple AD pathological feature-dependent mechanisms, but also independent mechanisms. As an Abeta/tau-independent mechanism, diabetes compromises cerebrovascular function, increases subcortical infarction and might alter the blood brain barrier (BBB. Diabetes also affects glucose metabolism, insulin signaling and mitochondrial function in the brain. Diabetes also modifies metabolism of Abeta and tau and causes Abeta/tau-dependent pathological changes. Moreover, there is evidence that suggests an interaction between Abeta/tau-dependent and independent mechanisms. Therefore, diabetes modifies cognitive function through Abeta/tau-dependent and independent mechanisms. Interaction between these two mechanisms forms a vicious cycle.

  7. Molecular mechanism of crystallization impacting calcium phosphate cements

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Giocondi, J L; El-Dasher, B S; Nancollas, G H; Orme, C A

    2009-05-31

    In summary, SPM data has shown that (1) Mg inhibits growth on all steps but relatively high Mg/Ca ratios are needed. Extracting the mechanism of interaction requires more modeling of the kinetic data, but step morphology is consistent with incorporation. (2) Citrate has several effects depending on the citrate/Ca ratio. At the lowest concentrations, citrate increases the step free energy without altering the step kinetics; at higher concentrations, the polar step is slowed. (3) Oxalate also slows the polar step but additionally stabilizes a new facet, with a [100]{sub Cc} step. (4) Etidronate has the greatest kinetic impact of the molecules studied. At 7{micro}M concentrations, the polar step slows by 60% and a new polar step appears. However, at the same time the [10-1]{sub Cc} increases by 67%. It should be noted that all of these molecules complex calcium and can effect kinetics by altering the solution supersaturation or the Ca to HPO{sub 4}{sup 2-} ratio. For the SPM data shown, this effect was corrected for to distinguish the effect of the molecule at the crystal surface from the effect of the molecule on the solution speciation. The goal of this paper is to draw connections between fundamental studies of atomic step motion and potential strategies for materials processing. It is not our intent to promote the utility of SPM for investigating processes in cement dynamics. The conditions are spectacularly different in many ways. The data shown in this paper are fairly close to equilibrium (S=1.6) whereas the nucleation of cements is initiated at supersaturation ratios in the thousands to millions. Of course, after the initial nucleation phase, the growth will occur at more modest supersaturations and as the cement evolves towards equilibrium certainly some of the growth will occur in regimes such as shown here. In addition to the difference in supersaturation, cements tend to have lower additive to calcium ratios. As an example, the additive to Ca ratio is

  8. Molecular mechanisms of plant competition: neighbour detection and response strategies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pierik, R.; Mommer, L.; Voesenek, L.A.C.J.

    2013-01-01

    Plant competition determines the diversity and species abundance of natural communities as well as potential yields in agricultural systems. Understanding the mechanisms of plant competition is instrumental to understanding plant performance in true vegetations. In this review, we will address

  9. Molecular Mechanisms of Insulin Secretion and Insulin Action.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flatt, Peter R.; Bailey, Clifford J.

    1991-01-01

    Information and current ideas on the factors regulating insulin secretion, the mechanisms underlying the secretion and biological actions of insulin, and the main characteristics of diabetes mellitus are presented. (Author)

  10. Molecular Mechanisms of Stress-Induced Increases in Fear Memory Consolidation within the Amygdala

    OpenAIRE

    Aubry, Antonio V.; Serrano, Peter A.; Burghardt, Nesha S.

    2016-01-01

    Stress can significantly impact brain function and increase the risk for developing various psychiatric disorders. Many of the brain regions that are implicated in psychiatric disorders and are vulnerable to the effects of stress are also involved in mediating emotional learning. Emotional learning has been a subject of intense investigation for the past 30 years, with the vast majority of studies focusing on the amygdala and its role in associative fear learning. However, the mechanisms by w...

  11. Molecular Mechanisms of Stress-Induced Increases in Fear Memory Consolidation Within the Amygdala

    OpenAIRE

    Antonio Aubry; Antonio Aubry; Peter Serrano; Peter Serrano; Nesha Burghardt; Nesha Burghardt

    2016-01-01

    Stress can significantly impact brain function and increase the risk for developing various psychiatric disorders. Many of the brain regions that are implicated in psychiatric disorders and are vulnerable to the effects of stress are also involved in mediating emotional learning. Emotional learning has been a subject of intense investigation for the past 30 years, with the vast majority of studies focusing on the amygdala and its role in associative fear learning. However, the mechanisms by...

  12. Examining the mechanical equilibrium of microscopic stresses in molecular simulations

    OpenAIRE

    Torres Sánchez, Alejandro; Vanegas, Juan Manuel; Arroyo Balaguer, Marino

    2015-01-01

    The microscopic stress field provides a unique connection between atomistic simulations and mechanics at the nanoscale. However, its definition remains ambiguous. Rather than a mere theoretical preoccupation, we show that this fact acutely manifests itself in local stress calculations of defective graphene, lipid bilayers, and fibrous proteins. We find that popular definitions of the microscopic stress violate the continuum statements of mechanical equilibrium, and we propose an unambiguous a...

  13. Brain mechanisms in religion and spirituality: An integrative predictive processing framework.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Elk, Michiel; Aleman, André

    2017-02-01

    We present the theory of predictive processing as a unifying framework to account for the neurocognitive basis of religion and spirituality. Our model is substantiated by discussing four different brain mechanisms that play a key role in religion and spirituality: temporal brain areas are associated with religious visions and ecstatic experiences; multisensory brain areas and the default mode network are involved in self-transcendent experiences; the Theory of Mind-network is associated with prayer experiences and over attribution of intentionality; top-down mechanisms instantiated in the anterior cingulate cortex and the medial prefrontal cortex could be involved in acquiring and maintaining intuitive supernatural beliefs. We compare the predictive processing model with two-systems accounts of religion and spirituality, by highlighting the central role of prediction error monitoring. We conclude by presenting novel predictions for future research and by discussing the philosophical and theological implications of neuroscientific research on religion and spirituality. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. The neural sociometer: brain mechanisms underlying state self-esteem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eisenberger, Naomi I; Inagaki, Tristen K; Muscatell, Keely A; Byrne Haltom, Kate E; Leary, Mark R

    2011-11-01

    On the basis of the importance of social connection for survival, humans may have evolved a "sociometer"-a mechanism that translates perceptions of rejection or acceptance into state self-esteem. Here, we explored the neural underpinnings of the sociometer by examining whether neural regions responsive to rejection or acceptance were associated with state self-esteem. Participants underwent fMRI while viewing feedback words ("interesting," "boring") ostensibly chosen by another individual (confederate) to describe the participant's previously recorded interview. Participants rated their state self-esteem in response to each feedback word. Results demonstrated that greater activity in rejection-related neural regions (dorsal ACC, anterior insula) and mentalizing regions was associated with lower-state self-esteem. Additionally, participants whose self-esteem decreased from prescan to postscan versus those whose self-esteem did not showed greater medial prefrontal cortical activity, previously associated with self-referential processing, in response to negative feedback. Together, the results inform our understanding of the origin and nature of our feelings about ourselves.

  15. Elucidating the molecular mechanisms underlying cellular response to biophysical cues using synthetic biology approaches

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Denning, Denise; Roos, Wouter H

    2016-01-01

    The use of synthetic surfaces and materials to influence and study cell behavior has vastly progressed our understanding of the underlying molecular mechanisms involved in cellular response to physicochemical and biophysical cues. Reconstituting cytoskeletal proteins and interfacing them with a

  16. Genetic factors and molecular mechanisms in dry eye disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Ling; Garrett, Qian; Flanagan, Judith; Chakrabarti, Subhabrata; Papas, Eric

    2018-04-01

    Dry eye disease (DED) is a complex condition with a multifactorial etiology that can be difficult to manage successfully. While external factors are modifiable, treatment success is limited if genetic factors contribute to the disease. The purpose of this review is to compile research describing normal and abnormal ocular surface function on a molecular level, appraise genetic studies involving DED or DED-associated diseases, and introduce the basic methods used for conducting genetic epidemiology studies. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Stability mechanisms of a thermophilic laccase probed by molecular dynamics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Niels Johan; Kepp, Kasper Planeta

    2013-01-01

    Laccases are highly stable, industrially important enzymes capable of oxidizing a large range of substrates. Causes for their stability are, as for other proteins, poorly understood. In this work, multiple-seed molecular dynamics (MD) was applied to a Trametes versicolor laccase in response...... integrity by increasing persistent backbone hydrogen bonds by ∼4 across simulations, mainly via prevention of F(-) intrusion. Hydrogen-bond loss in distinct loop regions and ends of critical β-sheets suggest potential strategies for laboratory optimization of these industrially important enzymes....

  18. Distinct molecular sites of anaesthetic action: pentobarbital block of human brain sodium channels is alleviated by removal of fast inactivation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wartenberg, H. C.; Urban, B. W.; Duch, D. S.

    1999-01-01

    Fast inactivation of sodium channel function is modified by anaesthetics. Its quantitative contribution to the overall anaesthetic effect is assessed by removing the fast inactivation mechanism enzymatically. Sodium channels from human brain cortex were incorporated into planar lipid bilayers. After

  19. Human brain activity associated with painful mechanical stimulation to muscle and bone

    OpenAIRE

    Maeda, Lynn; Ono, Mayu; Koyama, Tetsuo; Oshiro, Yoshitetsu; Sumitani, Masahiko; Mashimo, Takashi; Shibata, Masahiko

    2011-01-01

    Purpose The purpose of this study was to elucidate the central processing of painful mechanical stimulation to muscle and bone by measuring blood oxygen level-dependent signal changes using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Methods Twelve healthy volunteers were enrolled. Mechanical pressure on muscle and bone were applied at the right lower leg by an algometer. Intensities were adjusted to cause weak and strong pain sensation at either target site in preliminary testing. Brain ac...

  20. Similarities and differences in neuroplasticity mechanisms between brain gliomas and nonlesional epilepsy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bourdillon, Pierre; Apra, Caroline; Guénot, Marc; Duffau, Hugues

    2017-12-01

    To analyze the conceptual and practical implications of a hodotopic approach in neurosurgery, and to compare the similarities and the differences in neuroplasticity mechanisms between low-grade gliomas and nonlesional epilepsy. We review the recent data about the hodotopic organization of the brain connectome, alongside the organization of epileptic networks, and analyze how these two structures interact, suggesting therapeutic prospects. Then we focus on the mechanisms of neuroplasticity involved in glioma natural course and after glioma surgery. Comparing these mechanisms with those in action in an epileptic brain highlights their differences, but more importantly, gives an original perspective to the consequences of surgery on an epileptic brain and what could be expected after pathologic white matter removal. The organization of the brain connectome and the neuroplasticity is the same in all humans, but different pathologic mechanisms are involved, and specific therapeutic approaches have been developed in epilepsy and glioma surgery. We demonstrate that the "connectome" point of view can enrich epilepsy care. We also underscore how theoretical and practical tools commonly used in epilepsy investigations, such as invasive electroencephalography, can be of great help in awake surgery in general. Putting together advances in understanding of connectomics and neuroplasticity, leads to significant conceptual improvements in epilepsy surgery. Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 International League Against Epilepsy.

  1. Action and Language Mechanisms in the Brain: Data, Models and Neuroinformatics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonaiuto, James J.; Bornkessel-Schlesewsky, Ina; Kemmerer, David; MacWhinney, Brian; Nielsen, Finn Årup; Oztop, Erhan

    2014-01-01

    We assess the challenges of studying action and language mechanisms in the brain, both singly and in relation to each other to provide a novel perspective on neuroinformatics, integrating the development of databases for encoding – separately or together – neurocomputational models and empirical data that serve systems and cognitive neuroscience. PMID:24234916

  2. Fetal and neonatal brain injury: mechanisms, management, and the risks of practice

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Stevenson, David K; Benitz, William E; Sunshine, Philip

    2003-01-01

    ..., imaging studies, and laboratory measurements can identify the timing and severity of the injury event. Despite these advances, fetal and neonatal brain injury remains a major concern with devastating consequences. It is hoped that this definitive account will provide the clinician not only with a better understanding of the mechanisms involved but also with...

  3. Action and Language Mechanisms in the Brain: Data, Models and Neuroinformatics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Arbib, Michael A.; Bonaiuto, James J.; Bornkessel-Schlesewsky, Ina

    2014-01-01

    We assess the challenges of studying action and language mechanisms in the brain, both singly and in relation to each other to provide a novel perspective on neuroinformatics, integrating the development of databases for encoding - separately or together - neurocomputational models and empirical ...

  4. Multi-scale mechanics of traumatic brain injury : predicting axonal strains from head loads

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cloots, R.J.H.; Dommelen, van J.A.W.; Kleiven, S.; Geers, M.G.D.

    2013-01-01

    The length scales involved in the development of diffuse axonal injury typically range from the head level (i.e., mechanical loading) to the cellular level. The parts of the brain that are vulnerable to this type of injury are mainly the brainstem and the corpus callosum, which are regions with

  5. Nuclear Magnetic Shielding Constants from Quantum Mechanical/Molecular Mechanical Calculations Using Polarizable Embedding: Role of the Embedding Potential

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Steinmann, Casper; Olsen, Jógvan Magnus Haugaard; Kongsted, Jacob

    2014-01-01

    We present NMR shielding constants obtained through quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical (QM/MM) embedding calculations. Contrary to previous reports, we show that a relatively small QM region is sufficient, provided that a high-quality embedding potential is used. The calculated averaged NMR...... shielding constants of both acrolein and acetone solvated in water are based on a number of snapshots extracted from classical molecular dynamics simulations. We focus on the carbonyl chromophore in both molecules, which shows large solvation effects, and we study the convergence of shielding constants...

  6. Prediction of Sliding Friction Coefficient Based on a Novel Hybrid Molecular-Mechanical Model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xiaogang; Zhang, Yali; Wang, Jianmei; Sheng, Chenxing; Li, Zhixiong

    2018-08-01

    Sliding friction is a complex phenomenon which arises from the mechanical and molecular interactions of asperities when examined in a microscale. To reveal and further understand the effects of micro scaled mechanical and molecular components of friction coefficient on overall frictional behavior, a hybrid molecular-mechanical model is developed to investigate the effects of main factors, including different loads and surface roughness values, on the sliding friction coefficient in a boundary lubrication condition. Numerical modelling was conducted using a deterministic contact model and based on the molecular-mechanical theory of friction. In the contact model, with given external loads and surface topographies, the pressure distribution, real contact area, and elastic/plastic deformation of each single asperity contact were calculated. Then asperity friction coefficient was predicted by the sum of mechanical and molecular components of friction coefficient. The mechanical component was mainly determined by the contact width and elastic/plastic deformation, and the molecular component was estimated as a function of the contact area and interfacial shear stress. Numerical results were compared with experimental results and a good agreement was obtained. The model was then used to predict friction coefficients in different operating and surface conditions. Numerical results explain why applied load has a minimum effect on the friction coefficients. They also provide insight into the effect of surface roughness on the mechanical and molecular components of friction coefficients. It is revealed that the mechanical component dominates the friction coefficient when the surface roughness is large (Rq > 0.2 μm), while the friction coefficient is mainly determined by the molecular component when the surface is relatively smooth (Rq < 0.2 μm). Furthermore, optimal roughness values for minimizing the friction coefficient are recommended.

  7. Molecular mechanisms of the sleep wake cycle : therapeutic applications to insomnia

    OpenAIRE

    Grima, Melanie; Hunter, Therese; Zhang, Yimeng

    2017-01-01

    The aim of this review is to explore the molecular mechanism and genetic components of the sleepwake cycle and insomnia. Moreover, we wanted to review the correlation between primary insomnia and its comorbidities. With this aim, a systematic review of recent evidence of the molecular and genetic mechanisms involved in the causation of primary insomnia, along with associations between primary insomnia and other diseases were conducted. Primary insomnia is a complex disorder which accounts for...

  8. Molecular mechanics work station for protein conformational studies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fine, R.; Levinthal, C.; Schoenborn, B.; Dimmier, G.; Rankowitz, C.

    1984-01-01

    Interest in computational problems in Biology has intensified over the last few years, partly due to the development of techniques for the rapid cloning, sequencing, and mutagenesis of genes from organisims ranging from E. coli to Man. The central dogma of molecular biology; that DNA codes for mRNA which codes for protein, has been understood in a linear programming sense since the genetic code was cracked. But what is not understood at present is how a protein, once assembled as a long sequence of amino acids, folds back on itself to produce a three-dimensional structure which is unique to that protein and which dictates its chemical and biological activity. This folding process is purely physics, and involves the time evolution of a system of several thousand atoms which interact with each other and with atoms from the surrounding solvent. Molecular dynamics simulations on smaller molecules suggest that approaches which treat the protein as a classical ensemble of atoms interacting with each other via an empirical Hamiltonian can yield the kind of predictive results one would like when applied to proteins

  9. Molecular Mechanisms Modulating the Phenotype of Macrophages and Microglia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanie A. Amici

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Macrophages and microglia play crucial roles during central nervous system development, homeostasis and acute events such as infection or injury. The diverse functions of tissue macrophages and microglia are mirrored by equally diverse phenotypes. A model of inflammatory/M1 versus a resolution phase/M2 macrophages has been widely used. However, the complexity of macrophage function can only be achieved by the existence of varied, plastic and tridimensional macrophage phenotypes. Understanding how tissue macrophages integrate environmental signals via molecular programs to define pathogen/injury inflammatory responses provides an opportunity to better understand the multilayered nature of macrophages, as well as target and modulate cellular programs to control excessive inflammation. This is particularly important in MS and other neuroinflammatory diseases, where chronic inflammatory macrophage and microglial responses may contribute to pathology. Here, we perform a comprehensive review of our current understanding of how molecular pathways modulate tissue macrophage phenotype, covering both classic pathways and the emerging role of microRNAs, receptor-tyrosine kinases and metabolism in macrophage phenotype. In addition, we discuss pathway parallels in microglia, novel markers helpful in the identification of peripheral macrophages versus microglia and markers linked to their phenotype.

  10. Molecular mechanisms involved in Bacillus subtilis biofilm formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mielich-Süss, Benjamin; Lopez, Daniel

    2014-01-01

    Summary Biofilms are the predominant lifestyle of bacteria in natural environments, and they severely impact our societies in many different fashions. Therefore, biofilm formation is a topic of growing interest in microbiology, and different bacterial models are currently studied to better understand the molecular strategies that bacteria undergo to build biofilms. Among those, biofilms of the soil-dwelling bacterium Bacillus subtilis are commonly used for this purpose. Bacillus subtilis biofilms show remarkable architectural features that are a consequence of sophisticated programs of cellular specialization and cell-cell communication within the community. Many laboratories are trying to unravel the biological role of the morphological features of biofilms, as well as exploring the molecular basis underlying cellular differentiation. In this review, we present a general perspective of the current state of knowledge of biofilm formation in B. subtilis. In particular, a special emphasis is placed on summarizing the most recent discoveries in the field and integrating them into the general view of these truly sophisticated microbial communities. PMID:24909922

  11. Evidence for systems-level molecular mechanisms of tumorigenesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Capellá Gabriel

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Cancer arises from the consecutive acquisition of genetic alterations. Increasing evidence suggests that as a consequence of these alterations, molecular interactions are reprogrammed in the context of highly connected and regulated cellular networks. Coordinated reprogramming would allow the cell to acquire the capabilities for malignant growth. Results Here, we determine the coordinated function of cancer gene products (i.e., proteins encoded by differentially expressed genes in tumors relative to healthy tissue counterparts, hereafter referred to as "CGPs" defined as their topological properties and organization in the interactome network. We show that CGPs are central to information exchange and propagation and that they are specifically organized to promote tumorigenesis. Centrality is identified by both local (degree and global (betweenness and closeness measures, and systematically appears in down-regulated CGPs. Up-regulated CGPs do not consistently exhibit centrality, but both types of cancer products determine the overall integrity of the network structure. In addition to centrality, down-regulated CGPs show topological association that correlates with common biological processes and pathways involved in tumorigenesis. Conclusion Given the current limited coverage of the human interactome, this study proposes that tumorigenesis takes place in a specific and organized way at the molecular systems-level and suggests a model that comprises the precise down-regulation of groups of topologically-associated proteins involved in particular functions, orchestrated with the up-regulation of specific proteins.

  12. Molecular regionalization of the developing amphioxus neural tube challenges major partitions of the vertebrate brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albuixech-Crespo, Beatriz; López-Blanch, Laura; Burguera, Demian; Maeso, Ignacio; Sánchez-Arrones, Luisa; Moreno-Bravo, Juan Antonio; Somorjai, Ildiko; Pascual-Anaya, Juan; Puelles, Eduardo; Bovolenta, Paola; Garcia-Fernàndez, Jordi; Puelles, Luis; Irimia, Manuel; Ferran, José Luis

    2017-04-01

    All vertebrate brains develop following a common Bauplan defined by anteroposterior (AP) and dorsoventral (DV) subdivisions, characterized by largely conserved differential expression of gene markers. However, it is still unclear how this Bauplan originated during evolution. We studied the relative expression of 48 genes with key roles in vertebrate neural patterning in a representative amphioxus embryonic stage. Unlike nonchordates, amphioxus develops its central nervous system (CNS) from a neural plate that is homologous to that of vertebrates, allowing direct topological comparisons. The resulting genoarchitectonic model revealed that the amphioxus incipient neural tube is unexpectedly complex, consisting of several AP and DV molecular partitions. Strikingly, comparison with vertebrates indicates that the vertebrate thalamus, pretectum, and midbrain domains jointly correspond to a single amphioxus region, which we termed Di-Mesencephalic primordium (DiMes). This suggests that these domains have a common developmental and evolutionary origin, as supported by functional experiments manipulating secondary organizers in zebrafish and mice.

  13. Molecular mechanics of DNA bricks: in situ structure, mechanical properties and ionic conductivity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Slone, Scott Michael; Li, Chen-Yu; Aksimentiev, Aleksei; Yoo, Jejoong

    2016-01-01

    The DNA bricks method exploits self-assembly of short DNA fragments to produce custom three-dimensional objects with subnanometer precision. In contrast to DNA origami, the DNA brick method permits a variety of different structures to be realized using the same library of DNA strands. As a consequence of their design, however, assembled DNA brick structures have fewer interhelical connections in comparison to equivalent DNA origami structures. Although the overall shape of the DNA brick objects has been characterized and found to conform to the features of the target designs, the microscopic properties of DNA brick objects remain yet to be determined. Here, we use the all-atom molecular dynamics method to directly compare the structure, mechanical properties and ionic conductivity of DNA brick and DNA origami structures different only by internal connectivity of their consistituent DNA strands. In comparison to equivalent DNA origami structures, the DNA brick structures are found to be less rigid and less dense and have a larger cross-section area normal to the DNA helix direction. At the microscopic level, the junction in the DNA brick structures are found to be right-handed, similar to the structure of individual Holliday junctions (HJ) in solution, which contrasts with the left-handed structure of HJ in DNA origami. Subject to external electric field, a DNA brick plate is more leaky to ions than an equivalent DNA origami plate because of its lower density and larger cross-section area. Overall, our results indicate that the structures produced by the DNA brick method are fairly similar in their overall appearance to those created by the DNA origami method but are more compliant when subject to external forces, which likely is a consequence of their single crossover design. (paper)

  14. DMPD: Molecular mechanisms of macrophage activation and deactivation bylipopolysaccharide: roles of the receptor complex. [Dynamic Macrophage Pathway CSML Database

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available 14609719 Molecular mechanisms of macrophage activation and deactivation bylipopolys...acol Ther. 2003 Nov;100(2):171-94. (.png) (.svg) (.html) (.csml) Show Molecular mechanisms of macrophage act...medID 14609719 Title Molecular mechanisms of macrophage activation and deactivation bylipopolysaccharide: ro

  15. Molecular Mechanisms of Disease Pathogenesis Differ in Krabbe Disease Variants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Spratley, Samantha J; Hill, Chris H; Viuff, Agnete H

    2016-01-01

    different mutations have been identified in GALC that cause Krabbe disease but the mechanisms by which they cause disease remain unclear. We have generated monoclonal antibodies against full-length human GALC and used these to monitor the trafficking and processing of GALC variants in cell-based assays...

  16. Molecular mechanisms of toxicity of important food-borne phytotoxins

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rietjens, I.M.C.M.; Martena, M.J.; Boersma, M.G.; Spiegelenberg, W.; Alink, G.M.

    2005-01-01

    At present, there is an increasing interest for plant ingredients and their use in drugs, for teas, or in food supplements. The present review describes the nature and mechanism of action of the phytochemicals presently receiving increased attention in the field of food toxicology. This relates to

  17. Molecular Mechanisms Linking Exercise to Cancer Prevention and Treatment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hojman, Pernille; Gehl, Julie; Christensen, Jesper F.

    2018-01-01

    The benefits of exercise training for cancer patients are becoming increasingly evident. Physical exercise has been shown to reduce cancer incidence and inhibit tumor growth. Here we provide the status of the current molecular understanding of the effect of exercise on cancer. We propose...... that exercise has a role in controlling cancer progression through a direct effect on tumor-intrinsic factors, interplay with whole-body exercise effects, alleviation of cancer-related adverse events, and improvement of anti-cancer treatment efficacy. These findings have wide-ranging societal implications......, as this understanding may lead to changes in cancer treatment strategies. Hojman et al. discuss the role of exercise in controlling cancer progression through direct effects on tumor-intrinsic factors, interplay with whole-body exercise effects, alleviation of cancer-related adverse events, and improvement of cancer...

  18. Molecular mechanism of sarcopenia and cachexia: recent research advances.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakuma, Kunihiro; Aoi, Wataru; Yamaguchi, Akihiko

    2017-06-01

    Skeletal muscle provides a fundamental basis for human function, enabling locomotion and respiration. Muscle loss occurs as a consequence of several chronic diseases (cachexia) and normal aging (sarcopenia). Although many negative regulators (atrogin-1, muscle ring finger-1, nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-κB), myostatin, etc.) have been proposed to enhance protein degradation during both sarcopenia and cachexia, the adaptation of these mediators markedly differs within both conditions. Sarcopenia and cachectic muscles have been demonstrated to be abundant in myostatin-linked molecules. The ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) is activated during rapid atrophy model (cancer cachexia), but few mediators of the UPS change during sarcopenia. NF-κB signaling is activated in cachectic, but not in sarcopenic, muscle. Recent studies have indicated the age-related defect of autophagy signaling in skeletal muscle, whereas autophagic activation occurs in cachectic muscle. This review provides recent research advances dealing with molecular mediators modulating muscle mass in both sarcopenia and cachexia.

  19. Nucleocytoplasmic Shuttling of Cytoskeletal Proteins: Molecular Mechanism and Biological Significance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masahiro Kumeta

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Various nuclear functional complexes contain cytoskeletal proteins as regulatory subunits; for example, nuclear actin participates in transcriptional complexes, and actin-related proteins are integral to chromatin remodeling complexes. Nuclear complexes such as these are involved in both basal and adaptive nuclear functions. In addition to nuclear import via classical nuclear transport pathways or passive diffusion, some large cytoskeletal proteins spontaneously migrate into the nucleus in a karyopherin-independent manner. The balance of nucleocytoplasmic distribution of such proteins can be altered by several factors, such as import versus export, or capture and release by complexes. The resulting accumulation or depletion of the nuclear populations thereby enhances or attenuates their nuclear functions. We propose that such molecular dynamics constitute a form of cytoskeleton-modulated regulation of nuclear functions which is mediated by the translocation of cytoskeletal components in and out of the nucleus.

  20. The molecular mechanisms of sexual orientation and gender identity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher, Alessandra D; Ristori, Jiska; Morelli, Girolamo; Maggi, Mario

    2018-05-15

    Differences between males and females are widely represented in nature. There are gender differences in phenotypes, personality traits, behaviors and interests, cognitive performance, and proneness to specific diseases. The most marked difference in humans is represented by sexual orientation and core gender identity, the origins of which are still controversial and far from being understood. Debates continue on whether sexual behavior and gender identity are a result of biological (nature) or cultural (nurture) factors, with biology possibly playing a major role. The main goal of this review is to summarize the studies available to date on the biological factors involved in the development of both sexual orientation and gender identity. A systematic search of published evidence was performed using Medline (from January 1948 to June 2017). Review of the relevant literature was based on authors' expertise. Indeed, different studies have documented the possible role and interaction of neuroanatomic, hormonal and genetic factors. The sexual dimorphic brain is considered the anatomical substrate of psychosexual development, on which genes and gonadal hormones may have a shaping effect. In particular, growing evidence shows that prenatal and pubertal sex hormones permanently affect human behavior. In addition, heritability studies have demonstrated a role of genetic components. However, a convincing candidate gene has not been identified. Future studies (e.i. genome wide studies) are needed to better clarify the complex interaction between genes, anatomy and hormonal influences on psychosexual development. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  1. Molecular mechanism of action of opioids in human neuroblastoma cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yu, V.C.K.

    1987-01-01

    A series of human neuroblastoma cell lines was screened for the presence of opioid receptor sites. Of these cell lines, SK-N-SH was found to express approximately 50,000 μ and 10,000 δ opioid receptor sites/cell. In vitro characterization revealed that the binding properties of these receptor sites closely resembled those of human and rodent brain. Phosphatidylinositol turnover as a potential second messenger system for the μ receptor was examined in SK-N-SH cells. Neurotransmitter receptor systems were determined in the three sub-clones of SK-N-SH cells. Cells of the SH-SY5Y line, a phenotypically stable subclone of SK-N-SH cells, were induced to differentiate by treatment with various inducing agents, and changes of several neurotransmitter receptor systems were determined. Nerve growth factor (NGF) and retinoic acid (RA) up-regulated, while dBcAMP down-regulated opioid receptor sites. [ 3 H]Dopamine uptake was slightly enhanced only in RA-treated cells. Strikingly, the efficacy of PGE 1 -stimulated accumulation of cAMP was enhanced by 15- to 30-fold upon RA treatment

  2. Anisotropic mechanical properties of graphene sheets from molecular dynamics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ni Zhonghua; Bu Hao; Zou Min; Yi Hong; Bi Kedong; Chen Yunfei

    2010-01-01

    Anisotropic mechanical properties are observed for a sheet of graphene along different load directions. The anisotropic mechanical properties are attributed to the hexagonal structure of the unit cells of the graphene. Under the same tensile loads, the edge bonds bear larger load in the longitudinal mode (LM) than in the transverse mode (TM), which causes fracture sooner in LM than in TM. The Young's modulus and the third order elastic modulus for the LM are slightly larger than that for the TM. Simulation also demonstrates that, for both LM and TM, the loading and unloading stress-strain response curves overlap as long as the graphene is unloaded before the fracture point. This confirms that graphene sustains complete elastic and reversible deformation in the elongation process.

  3. Molecular mechanisms of DNA repair inhibition by caffeine

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Selby, C.P.; Sancar, A. (Univ. of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill (USA))

    1990-05-01

    Caffeine potentiates the mutagenic and lethal effects of genotoxic agents. It is thought that this is due, at least in some organisms, to inhibition of DNA repair. However, direct evidence for inhibition of repair enzymes has been lacking. Using purified Escherichia coli DNA photolyase and (A)BC excinuclease, we show that the drug inhibits photoreactivation and nucleotide excision repair by two different mechanisms. Caffeine inhibits photoreactivation by interfering with the specific binding of photolyase to damaged DNA, and it inhibits nucleotide excision repair by promoting nonspecific binding of the damage-recognition subunit, UvrA, of (A)BC excinuclease. A number of other intercalators, including acriflavin and ethidium bromide, appear to inhibit the excinuclease by a similar mechanism--that is, by trapping the UvrA subunit in nonproductive complexes on undamaged DNA.

  4. Molecular Mechanisms Regulating Temperature Compensation of the Circadian Clock.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Narasimamurthy, Rajesh; Virshup, David M

    2017-01-01

    An approximately 24-h biological timekeeping mechanism called the circadian clock is present in virtually all light-sensitive organisms from cyanobacteria to humans. The clock system regulates our sleep-wake cycle, feeding-fasting, hormonal secretion, body temperature, and many other physiological functions. Signals from the master circadian oscillator entrain peripheral clocks using a variety of neural and hormonal signals. Even centrally controlled internal temperature fluctuations can entrain the peripheral circadian clocks. But, unlike other chemical reactions, the output of the clock system remains nearly constant with fluctuations in ambient temperature, a phenomenon known as temperature compensation. In this brief review, we focus on recent advances in our understanding of the posttranslational modifications, especially a phosphoswitch mechanism controlling the stability of PER2 and its implications for the regulation of temperature compensation.

  5. Molecular Mechanisms Regulating Temperature Compensation of the Circadian Clock

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David M. Virshup

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available An approximately 24-h biological timekeeping mechanism called the circadian clock is present in virtually all light-sensitive organisms from cyanobacteria to humans. The clock system regulates our sleep–wake cycle, feeding–fasting, hormonal secretion, body temperature, and many other physiological functions. Signals from the master circadian oscillator entrain peripheral clocks using a variety of neural and hormonal signals. Even centrally controlled internal temperature fluctuations can entrain the peripheral circadian clocks. But, unlike other chemical reactions, the output of the clock system remains nearly constant with fluctuations in ambient temperature, a phenomenon known as temperature compensation. In this brief review, we focus on recent advances in our understanding of the posttranslational modifications, especially a phosphoswitch mechanism controlling the stability of PER2 and its implications for the regulation of temperature compensation.

  6. Molecular Mechanisms of Antipsychotic Drug-Induced Diabetes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiezhong Chen

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Antipsychotic drugs (APDs are widely prescribed to control various mental disorders. As mental disorders are chronic diseases, these drugs are often used over a life-time. However, APDs can cause serious glucometabolic side-effects including type 2 diabetes and hyperglycaemic emergency, leading to medication non-compliance. At present, there is no effective approach to overcome these side-effects. Understanding the mechanisms for APD-induced diabetes should be helpful in prevention and treatment of these side-effects of APDs and thus improve the clinical outcomes of APDs. In this review, the potential mechanisms for APD-induced diabetes are summarized so that novel approaches can be considered to relieve APD-induced diabetes. APD-induced diabetes could be mediated by multiple mechanisms: (1 APDs can inhibit the insulin signaling pathway in the target cells such as muscle cells, hepatocytes and adipocytes to cause insulin resistance; (2 APD-induced obesity can result in high levels of free fatty acids (FFA and inflammation, which can also cause insulin resistance. (3 APDs can cause direct damage to β-cells, leading to dysfunction and apoptosis of β-cells. A recent theory considers that both β-cell damage and insulin resistance are necessary factors for the development of diabetes. In high-fat diet-induced diabetes, the compensatory ability of β-cells is gradually damaged, while APDs cause direct β-cell damage, accounting for the severe form of APD-induced diabetes. Based on these mechanisms, effective prevention of APD-induced diabetes may need an integrated approach to combat various effects of APDs on multiple pathways.

  7. Molecular and Cell Mechanisms of Singlet Oxygen Effect on Biosystems

    OpenAIRE

    Martusevich А.А.; Peretyagin S.P.; Martusevich А.К.

    2012-01-01

    There has been considered a poorly studied form of activated oxygen — singlet oxygen. Its physicochemical properties (electron configuration of a molecule, reactive capacity, features) are analyzed, and enzymic and nonenzymic ways of singlet oxygen generation in body are specified. There are shown in detail biological effects of the compound as a regulator of cell activity including that determining the mechanism of apoptosis initiation. The relation of singlet oxygen and photodynamic effect ...

  8. Molecular Mechanisms Regulating Temperature Compensation of the Circadian Clock

    OpenAIRE

    David M. Virshup; Rajesh Narasimamurthy

    2017-01-01

    An approximately 24-h biological timekeeping mechanism called the circadian clock is present in virtually all light-sensitive organisms from cyanobacteria to humans. The clock system regulates our sleep–wake cycle, feeding–fasting, hormonal secretion, body temperature, and many other physiological functions. Signals from the master circadian oscillator entrain peripheral clocks using a variety of neural and hormonal signals. Even centrally controlled internal temperature fluctuations can entr...

  9. Cisplatin in cancer therapy: molecular mechanisms of action

    OpenAIRE

    Dasari, Shaloam; Tchounwou, Paul Bernard

    2014-01-01

    Cisplatin, cisplatinum, or cis-diamminedichloroplatinum (II), is a well-known chemotherapeutic drug. It has been used for treatment of numerous human cancers including bladder, head and neck, lung, ovarian, and testicular cancers. It is effective against various types of cancers, including carcinomas, germ cell tumors, lymphomas, and sarcomas. Its mode of action has been linked to its ability to crosslink with the purine bases on the DNA; interfering with DNA repair mechanisms, causing DNA da...

  10. Carboplatin: molecular mechanisms of action associated with chemoresistance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Graziele Fonseca de Sousa

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Carboplatin is a derivative of cisplatin; it has a similar mechanism of action, but differs in terms of structure and toxicity. It was approved by the FDA in the 1980s and since then it has been widely used in the treatment of several tumor types. This agent is characterized by its ability to generate lesions in DNA through the formation of adducts with platinum, thereby inhibiting replication and transcription and leading to cell death. However, its use can lead to serious inconvenience arising from the development of resistance that some patients acquire during treatment, limiting the scope of its full potential. Currently, the biochemical mechanisms related to resistance are not precisely known. Therefore, knowledge of pathways associated with resistance caused by carboplatin exposure may provide valuable clues for more efficient rational drug design in platinum-based therapy and the development of new therapeutic strategies. In this narrative review, we discuss some of the known mechanisms of resistance to platinum-based drugs, especially carboplatin.

  11. Insights of asphaltene aggregation mechanism from molecular dynamics simulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer De León

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Se estudió el proceso de agregación de asfaltenos utilizando té cnicas de dinámica molecular. Se utilizaron cuatro estructuras diferentes. Las primeras tres moléculas tienen una estructura continental, con núcleos aromáticos condensador, mientras que la cuarta pose e una estructura tipo archipiélago, con pequeños grupos de anillos ar omáticos conectados con cadenas saturadas. Las moléculas fueron construidas de manera atomística, en la cual cada átomo se desc ribe individualmente. Se calcula ron las fuerzas de interacción a 300 K y 200 atm; las fuerzas de Van der W aals y las interacciones elect rostáticas fueron evaluadas separadamente. Se calculó el paráme tro de solubilidad para las cuatro molécu las. Se encontró que las inte racciones de Van der Waals asoc iadas a los anillos aromáticos y las fuerzas electrostáticas ocasionadas princ ipalmente por la presencia de heteroátomos como oxígeno, azufr e y nitrógeno, son igualmente r elevantes en la agregación de moléculas de asfalteno. Para todas las molé culas se encontró que los sistemas de asfaltenos tienen menor e nergía en estado de agregación que en estado monomérico. Para las estruct uras continentales, la presencia de largas cadenas obstruye el proceso de formación de agregados. Para las estructuras tipo archipiélago, la flexibilidad de las moléculas facilita la agregación con ot ras estructuras. La presencia de heteroátomos ocasiona una fuerza repulsiva que dificulta la agregación. El volumen molecular y la energía de c ohesión también son sensibles a la confi guración geométrica y la compos ición de las especies, lo cual afecta el parámetro de solubilidad.

  12. Report of National Cancer Institute symposium: comparison of mechanisms of carcinogenesis by radiation and chemical agents. I. Common molecular mechanisms

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Borg, D.C.

    1984-01-01

    Some aspects of molecular mechanisms common to radiation and chemical carcinogenesis are discussed, particularly the DNA damage done by these agents. Emphasis is placed on epidemiological considerations and on dose-response models used in risk assessment to extrapolate from experimental data obtained at high doses to the effects from long-term, low-level exposures. 3 references, 6 figures. (ACR)

  13. Report of National Cancer Institute symposium: comparison of mechanisms of carcinogenesis by radiation and chemical agents. I. Common molecular mechanisms

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Borg, D.C.

    1984-01-01

    Some aspects of molecular mechanisms common to radiation and chemical carcinogenesis are discussed, particularly the DNA damage done by these agents. Emphasis is placed on epidemiological considerations and on dose-response models used in risk assessment to extrapolate from experimental data obtained at high doses to the effects from long-term, low-level exposures. 3 references, 6 figures

  14. Ab initio study of structural and mechanical property of solid molecular hydrogens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ye, Yingting; Yang, Li; Yang, Tianle; Nie, Jinlan; Peng, Shuming; Long, Xinggui; Zu, Xiaotao; Du, Jincheng

    2015-06-01

    Ab initio calculations based on density functional theory (DFT) were performed to investigate the structural and the elastic properties of solid molecular hydrogens (H2). The influence of molecular axes of H2 on structural relative stabilities of hexagonal close-packed (hcp) and face-centered cubic (fcc) structured hydrogen molecular crystals were systematically investigated. Our results indicate that for hcp structures, disordered hydrogen molecule structure is more stable, while for fcc structures, Pa3 hydrogen molecular crystal is most stable. The cohesive energy of fcc H2 crystal was found to be lower than hcp. The mechanical properties of fcc and hcp hydrogen molecular crystals were obtained, with results consistent with previous theoretical calculations. In addition, the effects of zero point energy (ZPE) and van der Waals (vdW) correction on the cohesive energy and the stability of hydrogen molecular crystals were systematically studied and discussed.

  15. Lipoprotein(a: Cellular Effects and Molecular Mechanisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kirsten Riches

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Lipoprotein(a (Lp(a is an independent risk factor for the development of cardiovascular disease (CVD. Indeed, individuals with plasma concentrations >20 mg/dL carry a 2-fold increased risk of developing CVD, accounting for ~25% of the population. Circulating levels of Lp(a are remarkably resistant to common lipid lowering therapies, and there are currently no robust treatments available for reduction of Lp(a apart from plasma apheresis, which is costly and labour intensive. The Lp(a molecule is composed of two parts, an LDL/apoB-100 core and a unique glycoprotein, apolipoprotein(a (apo(a, both of which can interact with components of the coagulation cascade, inflammatory pathways, and cells of the blood vessel wall (smooth muscle cells (SMC and endothelial cells (EC. Therefore, it is of key importance to determine the molecular pathways by which Lp(a exerts its influence on the vascular system in order to design therapeutics to target its cellular effects. This paper will summarise the role of Lp(a in modulating cell behaviour in all aspects of the vascular system including platelets, monocytes, SMC, and EC.

  16. Molecular mechanisms involved in the production of chromosomal aberrations. I

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Natarajan, A.T.; Obe, G.

    1978-01-01

    Chinese hamster ovary cells (CHO) were X-irradiated in G2 stage of the cell cycle and immediately treated, in the presence of inactivated Sendai virus, with Neurospora endonuclease (E.C. 3.1.4.), an enzyme which is specific for cleaving single-stranded DNA. With this treatment, the frequencies of all types of chromosome aberrations increased when compared to X-irradiated controls. These results are interpreted as due to the conversion of some of the X-ray induced single-stranded DNA breaks into double-strand breaks by this enzyme. Similar enhancement due to this enzyme was found following treatment with methyl methanesulfonate (MMS) and bleomycin, but not following UV and mitomycin C. Addition of Micrococcus endonuclease and Neurospora endonuclease to the cells did not alter the frequencies of aberrations induced by UV. The introduction of enzymes with specific DNA-repair function offers possibilities to probe into the molecular events involved in the formation of structural chromosome aberrations induced by different classes of physical and chemical mutagens. (Auth.)

  17. Evidence for low molecular weight, non-transferrin-bound iron in rat brain and cerebrospinal fluid

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Moos, Torben; Morgan, Evan H.

    1998-01-01

    Neuroscience, blood-brain barrier, choroid plexus, interstitial fluid, transferrin receptor, uptake......Neuroscience, blood-brain barrier, choroid plexus, interstitial fluid, transferrin receptor, uptake...

  18. [Review: plant polyphenols modulate lipid metabolism and related molecular mechanism].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dai, Yan-li; Zou, Yu-xiao; Liu, Fan; Li, Hong-zhi

    2015-11-01

    Lipid metabolism disorder is an important risk factor to obesity, hyperlipidemia and type 2 diabetes as well as other chronic metabolic disease. It is also a key target in preventing metabolic syndrome, chronic disease prevention. Plant polyphenol plays an important role in maintaining or improving lipid profile in a variety of ways. including regulating cholesterol absorption, inhibiting synthesis and secretion of triglyceride, and lowering plasma low density lipoprotein oxidation, etc. The purpose of this article is to review the lipid regulation effects of plant polyphenols and its related mechanisms.

  19. Molecular mechanisms in DM1 - a focus on foci

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pettersson, Olof Joakim; Aagaard, Lars; Jensen, Thomas G.

    2015-01-01

    -expanded RNA remains in the nuclear compartment, while in dividing cells such as fibroblasts a considerable fraction of the mutant RNA reaches the cytoplasm, consistent with findings that both nuclear and cytoplasmic events are mis-regulated in DM1. Recent evidence suggests that the nuclear aggregates......, or ribonuclear foci, are more dynamic than previously anticipated and regulated by several proteins, including RNA helicases. In this review, we focus on the homeostasis of DMPK mRNA foci and discuss how their dynamic regulation may affect disease-causing mechanisms in DM1...

  20. Radiative and mechanical feedback into the molecular gas of NGC 253

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rosenberg, M. J. F.; Kazandjian, M. V.; van der Werf, P. P.; Israel, F. P.; Meijerink, R.; Weiß, A.; Requena-Torres, M. A.; Güsten, R.

    Starburst galaxies are galaxies or regions of galaxies undergoing intense periods of star formation. Understanding the heating and cooling mechanisms in these galaxies can give us insight to the driving mechanisms that fuel the starburst. Molecular emission lines play a crucial role in the cooling