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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. Dissecting molecular mechanisms in the living brain of dementia patients.

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    Barrio, Jorge R; Satyamurthy, Nagichettiar; Huang, Sung-Cheng; Petric, Andrej; Small, Gary W; Kepe, Vladimir

    2009-07-21

    Understanding the molecular mechanisms associated with the development of dementia is essential for designing successful interventions. Dementia, like cancer and cardiovascular disease, requires early detection to potentially arrest or prevent further disease progression. By the time a neurologist begins to manage clinical symptoms, the disease has often damaged the brain significantly. Because successful treatment is the logical goal, detecting the disease when brain damage is still limited is of the essence. The role of chemistry in this discovery process is critical. With the advent of molecular imaging, the understanding of molecular mechanisms in human neurodegenerative diseases has exploded. Traditionally, knowledge of enzyme and neurotransmitter function in humans has been extrapolated from animal studies, but now we can acquire data directly from both healthy and diseased human subjects. In this Account, we describe the use of molecular imaging probes to elucidate the biochemical and cellular bases of dementia (e.g., Alzheimer's disease) and the application of these discoveries to the design of successful therapeutic interventions. Molecular imaging permits observation and evaluation of the basic molecular mechanisms of disease progression in the living brains of patients. 2-Deoxy-2-[(18)F]fluoro-d-glucose is used to assess the effect of Alzheimer's disease progression on neuronal circuits projecting from and to the temporal lobe (one of the earliest metabolic signs of the disease). Recently, we have developed imaging probes for detection of amyloid neuropathology (both tau and beta-amyloid peptide deposits) and neuronal losses. These probes allow us to visualize the development of pathology in the living brain of dementia patients and its consequences, such as losses of critical neurons associated with memory deficits and other neuropsychiatric impairments. Because inflammatory processes are tightly connected to the brain degenerative processes

  3. MOLECULAR MECHANISMS REGULATING LPS-INDUCED INFLAMMATION IN THE BRAIN

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    Olena eLykhmus

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Neuro-inflammation, one of the pathogenic causes of neurodegenerative diseases, is regulated through the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway via the 7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (7 nAChR. We previously showed that either bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS or immunization with the 7(1-208 nAChR fragment decrease 7 nAChRs density in the mouse brain, exacerbating chronic inflammation, beta-amyloid accumulation and episodic memory decline, which mimic the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. To study the molecular mechanisms underlying the LPS and antibody effects in the brain, we employed an in vivo model of acute LPS-induced inflammation and an in vitro model of cultured glioblastoma U373 cells. Here, we report that LPS challenge decreased the levels of 7 nAChR RNA and protein and of acetylcholinesterase (AChE RNA and activity in distinct mouse brain regions, sensitized brain mitochondria to the apoptogenic effect of Ca2+ and modified brain microRNA profiles, including the cholinergic-regulatory CholinomiRs-132/212, in favor of anti-inflammatory and pro-apoptotic ones. Adding 7(1-208-specific antibodies to the LPS challenge prevented elevation of both the anti-inflammatory and pro-apoptotic miRNAs while supporting the resistance of brain mitochondria to Ca2+ and maintaining 7 nAChR/AChE decreases. In U373 cells, 7-specific antibodies and LPS both stimulated interleukin-6 production through the p38/Src-dependent pathway. Our findings demonstrate that acute LPS-induced inflammation induces the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway in the brain, that 7 nAChR down-regulation limits this pathway, and that 7-specific antibodies aggravate neuroinflammation by inducing the pro-inflammatory interleukin-6 and dampening anti-inflammatory miRNAs; however, these antibodies may protect brain mitochondria and decrease the levels of pro-apoptotic miRNAs, preventing LPS-induced neurodegeneration.

  4. Molecular Mechanisms Regulating LPS-Induced Inflammation in the Brain

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    Lykhmus, Olena; Mishra, Nibha; Koval, Lyudmyla; Kalashnyk, Olena; Gergalova, Galyna; Uspenska, Kateryna; Komisarenko, Serghiy; Soreq, Hermona; Skok, Maryna

    2016-01-01

    Neuro-inflammation, one of the pathogenic causes of neurodegenerative diseases, is regulated through the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway via the α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7 nAChR). We previously showed that either bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or immunization with the α7(1–208) nAChR fragment decrease α7 nAChRs density in the mouse brain, exacerbating chronic inflammation, beta-amyloid accumulation and episodic memory decline, which mimic the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). To study the molecular mechanisms underlying the LPS and antibody effects in the brain, we employed an in vivo model of acute LPS-induced inflammation and an in vitro model of cultured glioblastoma U373 cells. Here, we report that LPS challenge decreased the levels of α7 nAChR RNA and protein and of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) RNA and activity in distinct mouse brain regions, sensitized brain mitochondria to the apoptogenic effect of Ca2+ and modified brain microRNA profiles, including the cholinergic-regulatory CholinomiRs-132/212, in favor of anti-inflammatory and pro-apoptotic ones. Adding α7(1–208)-specific antibodies to the LPS challenge prevented elevation of both the anti-inflammatory and pro-apoptotic miRNAs while supporting the resistance of brain mitochondria to Ca2+ and maintaining α7 nAChR/AChE decreases. In U373 cells, α7-specific antibodies and LPS both stimulated interleukin-6 production through the p38/Src-dependent pathway. Our findings demonstrate that acute LPS-induced inflammation induces the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway in the brain, that α7 nAChR down-regulation limits this pathway, and that α7-specific antibodies aggravate neuroinflammation by inducing the pro-inflammatory interleukin-6 and dampening anti-inflammatory miRNAs; however, these antibodies may protect brain mitochondria and decrease the levels of pro-apoptotic miRNAs, preventing LPS-induced neurodegeneration. PMID:27013966

  5. 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.

  6. [Cellular and molecular mechanisms of radiation-induced brain injury: can peripheral markers be detected?].

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    Piskunov, A K; Nikitin, K V; Potapov, A A

    2015-01-01

    Investigation of the mechanisms of radiation-induced brain injury is a relevant fundamental objective of radiobiology and neuroradiology. Damage to the healthy brain tissue is the key factor limiting the application of radiation therapy in patients with nervous systems neoplasms. Furthermore, postradiation brain injury can be clinically indiscernible from continued tumor growth and requires differential diagnosis. Thus, there exists high demand for biomarkers of radiation effects on the brain in neurosurgery and radiobiology. These markers could be used for better understanding and quantifying the effects of ionizing radiation on brain tissues, as well as for elaborating personalized therapy. Despite the high demand, biomarkers of radiation-induced brain injury have not been identified thus far. The cellular and molecular mechanisms of the effect of ionizing radiation on the brain were analyzed in this review in order to identify potential biomarkers of radiation-induced injury to nervous tissue.

  7. [Molecular-cellular and hormonal mechanisms of induced brain tolerance of extreme factors].

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    Samoĭlov, M O; Rybnikova, E A

    2012-01-01

    This review includes results of own studies and literature data on the topical problem of neurobiology and medicine: discovery of the mechanisms of increased brain resistance to extreme exposures. The emphasis is made on the molecular-cellular and hormonal mechanisms of hypoxic preconditioning-induced brain tolerance to injurious hypoxia, psychoemotional and traumatic stress. A role of basic hormonal and intracellular cascade pro-adaptive processes mediating the neuroprotective action of hypoxic preconditioning is reviewed. A dynamics of the mechanisms of development of induced susceptible brain areas (hippocampus, neocortex) tolerance which includes phases of induction, transformation and expression, is presented. New data on preconditioning-induced cross-tolerance providing increased brain resistance not only to hypoxia but also to other stresses are reported. For the first time neuroprotective effects of hypoxic postconditioning are described.

  8. Endogenous recovery after brain damage: molecular mechanisms that balance neuronal life/death fate.

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    Tovar-y-Romo, Luis B; Penagos-Puig, Andrés; Ramírez-Jarquín, Josué O

    2016-01-01

    Neuronal survival depends on multiple factors that comprise a well-fueled energy metabolism, trophic input, clearance of toxic substances, appropriate redox environment, integrity of blood-brain barrier, suppression of programmed cell death pathways and cell cycle arrest. Disturbances of brain homeostasis lead to acute or chronic alterations that might ultimately cause neuronal death with consequent impairment of neurological function. Although we understand most of these processes well when they occur independently from one another, we still lack a clear grasp of the concerted cellular and molecular mechanisms activated upon neuronal damage that intervene in protecting damaged neurons from death. In this review, we summarize a handful of endogenously activated mechanisms that balance molecular cues so as to determine whether neurons recover from injury or die. We center our discussion on mechanisms that have been identified to participate in stroke, although we consider different scenarios of chronic neurodegeneration as well. We discuss two central processes that are involved in endogenous repair and that, when not regulated, could lead to tissue damage, namely, trophic support and neuroinflammation. We emphasize the need to construct integrated models of neuronal degeneration and survival that, in the end, converge in neuronal fate after injury. Under neurodegenerative conditions, endogenously activated mechanisms balance out molecular cues that determine whether neurons contend toxicity or die. Many processes involved in endogenous repair may as well lead to tissue damage depending on the strength of stimuli. Signaling mediated by trophic factors and neuroinflammation are examples of these processes as they regulate different mechanisms that mediate neuronal demise including necrosis, apoptosis, necroptosis, pyroptosis and autophagy. In this review, we discuss recent findings on balanced regulation and their involvement in neuronal death.

  9. Molecular Mechanisms of Allosteric Inhibition of Brain Glycogen Phosphorylase by Neurotoxic Dithiocarbamate Chemicals.

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    Mathieu, Cécile; Bui, Linh-Chi; Petit, Emile; Haddad, Iman; Agbulut, Onnik; Vinh, Joelle; Dupret, Jean-Marie; Rodrigues-Lima, Fernando

    2017-02-03

    Dithiocarbamates (DTCs) are important industrial chemicals used extensively as pesticides and in a variety of therapeutic applications. However, they have also been associated with neurotoxic effects and in particular with the development of Parkinson-like neuropathy. Although different pathways and enzymes (such as ubiquitin ligases or the proteasome) have been identified as potential targets of DTCs in the brain, the molecular mechanisms underlying their neurotoxicity remain poorly understood. There is increasing evidence that alteration of glycogen metabolism in the brain contributes to neurodegenerative processes. Interestingly, recent studies with N,N-diethyldithiocarbamate suggest that brain glycogen phosphorylase (bGP) and glycogen metabolism could be altered by DTCs. Here, we provide molecular and mechanistic evidence that bGP is a target of DTCs. To examine this system, we first tested thiram, a DTC pesticide known to display neurotoxic effects, observing that it can react rapidly with bGP and readily inhibits its glycogenolytic activity (kinact = 1.4 × 10(5) m(-1) s(-1)). Using cysteine chemical labeling, mass spectrometry, and site-directed mutagenesis approaches, we show that thiram (and certain of its metabolites) alters the activity of bGP through the formation of an intramolecular disulfide bond (Cys(318)-Cys(326)), known to act as a redox switch that precludes the allosteric activation of bGP by AMP. Given the key role of glycogen metabolism in brain functions and neurodegeneration, impairment of the glycogenolytic activity of bGP by DTCs such as thiram may be a new mechanism by which certain DTCs exert their neurotoxic effects.

  10. Effect of growth hormone and melatonin on the brain: from molecular mechanisms to structural changes.

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    Kireev, Roman A; Cuesta, Sara; Vara, Elena; Tresguerres, Jesus A F

    2011-10-01

    Aging of the brain causes important reductions in quality of life and has wide socio-economic consequences. An increase in oxidative stress, and the associated inflammation and apoptosis, could be responsible for the pathogenesis of aging associated brain lesions. Melatonin has neuroprotective effects, by limiting the negative effects of oxygen and nitrogen free radicals. Growth hormone (GH) might exert additional neuro-protective and or neurogenic effects on the brain. The molecular mechanisms of the protective effects of GH and melatonin on the aging brain have been investigated in young and old Wistar rats. A reduction in the total number of neurons in the hilus of the dentate gyrus was evident at 24 months of age and was associated with a significant increase in inflammation markers as well as in pro-apoptotic parameters, confirming the role of apoptosis in its reduction. Melatonin treatment was able to enhance neurogenesis in old rats without modification of the total number of neurons, whereas GH treatment increased the total number of neurons without enhancing neurogenesis. Both GH and melatonin were able to reduce inflammation and apoptosis in the hippocampus. In conclusion, neuroprotective effects demonstrated by GH and melatonin in the hippocampus were exerted by decreasing inflammation and apoptosis.

  11. Molecular mechanisms of increased cerebral vulnerability after repeated mild blast-induced traumatic brain injury

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    Alaa Kamnaksh

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The consequences of a mild traumatic brain injury can be especially severe if it is repeated within the period of increased cerebral vulnerability (ICV that follows the initial insult. To better understand the molecular mechanisms that contribute to ICV, we exposed rats to different levels of mild blast overpressure (5 exposures; total pressure range: 15.54–19.41 psi or 107.14–133.83 kPa at a rate of 1 per 30 min, monitored select physiological parameters, and assessed behavior. Two days post-injury or sham, we determined changes in protein biomarkers related to various pathologies in behaviorally relevant brain regions and in plasma. We found that oxygen saturation and heart rate were transiently depressed following mild blast exposure and that injured rats exhibited significantly increased anxiety- and depression-related behaviors. Proteomic analyses of the selected brain regions showed evidence of substantial oxidative stress and vascular changes, altered cell adhesion, and inflammation predominantly in the prefrontal cortex. Importantly, these pathological changes as well as indications of neuronal and glial cell loss/damage were also detected in the plasma of injured rats. Our findings illustrate some of the complex molecular changes that contribute to the period of ICV in repeated mild blast-induced traumatic brain injury. Further studies are needed to determine the functional and temporal relationship between the various pathomechanisms. The validation of these and other markers can help to diagnose individuals with ICV using a minimally invasive procedure and to develop evidence-based treatments for chronic neuropsychiatric conditions.

  12. Molecular mechanisms associated with ALA-PDT of brain tumor cells

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    Alqawi, Omar; Espiritu, Myrna; Singh, Gurmit

    2009-06-01

    Previous studies have shown that low-dose PDT using 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA)-induced photoporphyrin IX (PpIX) can induce apoptosis in tumor cells without causing necrosis. In this study we investigated the molecular mechanisms associated with apoptosis after ALA-PDT treatment in two brain glioma cell lines: human U87, and rat CNS-1cells. We used high energy light at a short time (acute PDT) and low energy light at a long time of exposure (metronomic PDT) to treat both cell lines. The cells were treated with 0.25 mM ALA at 5 joules for energy. We found that CNS-1 cells were more resistant to ALA-PDT than U87 cells when treated by both acute and metronomic PDT. To screen possible apoptosis mechanisms associated with acute and metronomic PDT, microarray analysis of gene expression was performed on RNA from glioblastoma cells treated with either acute or metronomic ALA-PDT. Within the set of genes that were negatively or positively regulated by both treatments are tumor necrosis factor receptors. The expression of TNF receptors was investigated further by RT-PCR and western blotting. The apoptosis mechanism of the cell death occurred through different pathways including BCL-2 and TNF receptors, and in part caused by cleaving caspase 3. Interestingly, metronomic ALA-PDT inhibited the expression of LTβR and the transcription factor NFκB. This inhibition was ALA concentration dependent at low concentrations.

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

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    Liu, He; Song, Ni

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27375363

  14. 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.

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

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    Lin, Chi-Hsin; Wang, Chen-Hsuan; Hsu, Shih-Lan; Liao, Li-Ya; Lin, Ting-An; Hsueh, Chi-Mei

    2016-01-01

    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.

  16. 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...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gaurav eSinghal

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Recent studies on environmental enrichment (EE have shown cytokines, cellular immune components (e.g. T lymphocytes, 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, a form of EE, elicits anti-inflammatory and neuromodulatory effects through interaction with several immune pathways including IL-6 secretion from muscle fibers, reduced expression of TLR’s on monocytes and macrophages, reduced secretion of adipokines, modulation of hippocampal T cells, priming of microglia and upregulation of MKP-1 in CNS. In contrast, immunomodulatory roles of other enrichment methods are not studied extensively. Nonetheless, studies showing reduction in the expression of IL-1β and TNF-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 towards formulating environ-immuno therapies for treating psychiatric illnesses with minimal use of pharmacotherapy. While the immuno-modulatory role of physical exercise has been evaluated extensively, more research is required to investigate neuroimmune changes associated with other enrichment methods.

  18. 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

  19. Molecular Mechanisms for Exercise Training-Induced Changes in Vascular Structure and Function: Skeletal Muscle, Cardiac Muscle, and the Brain.

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    Olver, T Dylan; Ferguson, Brian S; Laughlin, M Harold

    2015-01-01

    Compared with resting conditions, during incremental exercise, cardiac output in humans is elevated from ~5 to 25 L min(-1). In conjunction with this increase, the proportion of cardiac output directed toward skeletal muscle increases from ~20% to 85%, while blood flow to cardiac muscle increases 500% and blood flow to specific brain structures increases nearly 200%. Based on existing evidence, researchers believe that blood flow in these tissues is matched to the increases in metabolic rate during exercise. This phenomenon, the matching of blood flow to metabolic requirement, is often referred to as functional hyperemia. This chapter summarizes mechanical and metabolic factors that regulate functional hyperemia as well as other exercise-induced signals, which are also potent stimuli for chronic adaptations in vascular biology. Repeated exposure to exercise-induced increases in shear stress and the induction of angiogenic factors alter vascular cell gene expression and mediate changes in vascular volume and blood flow control. The magnitude and regulation of this coordinated response appear to be tissue specific and coupled to other factors such as hypertrophy and hyperplasia. The cumulative effects of these adaptations contribute to increased exercise capacity, reduced relative challenge of a given submaximal exercise bout and ameliorated vascular outcomes in patient populations with pathological conditions. In the subsequent discussion, this chapter explores exercise as a regulator of vascular biology and summarizes the molecular mechanisms responsible for exercise training-induced changes in vascular structure and function in skeletal and cardiac muscle as well as the brain.

  20. Molecular Mechanisms of Preeclampsia

    OpenAIRE

    N. Vitoratos; D. Hassiakos; Iavazzo, C.

    2012-01-01

    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.

  1. Molecular mechanisms of cryptococcal meningitis.

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    Liu, Tong-Bao; Perlin, David S; Xue, Chaoyang

    2012-01-01

    Fungal meningitis is a serious disease caused by a fungal infection of the central nervous system (CNS) mostly in individuals with immune system deficiencies. Fungal meningitis is often fatal without proper treatment, and the mortality rate remains unacceptably high even with antifungal drug interventions. Currently, cryptococcal meningitis is the most common fungal meningitis in HIV-1/AIDS, and its disease mechanism has been extensively studied. The key steps for fungi to infect brain and cause meningitis after establishment of local infection are the dissemination of fungal cells to the bloodstream and invasion through the blood brain barrier to reach the CNS. In this review, we use cryptococcal CNS infection as an example to describe the current molecular understanding of fungal meningitis, including the establishment of the infection, dissemination, and brain invasion. Host and microbial factors that contribute to these infection steps are also discussed.

  2. 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.

  3. Screening of biochemical and molecular mechanisms of secondary injury and repair in the brain after experimental blast-induced traumatic brain injury in rats.

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    Kochanek, Patrick M; Dixon, C Edward; Shellington, David K; Shin, Samuel S; Bayır, Hülya; Jackson, Edwin K; Kagan, Valerian E; Yan, Hong Q; Swauger, Peter V; Parks, Steven A; Ritzel, David V; Bauman, Richard; Clark, Robert S B; Garman, Robert H; Bandak, Faris; Ling, Geoffrey; Jenkins, Larry W

    2013-06-01

    Abstract Explosive blast-induced traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the signature insult in modern combat casualty care and has been linked to post-traumatic stress disorder, memory loss, and chronic traumatic encephalopathy. In this article we report on blast-induced mild TBI (mTBI) characterized by fiber-tract degeneration and axonal injury revealed by cupric silver staining in adult male rats after head-only exposure to 35 psi in a helium-driven shock tube with head restraint. We now explore pathways of secondary injury and repair using biochemical/molecular strategies. Injury produced ∼25% mortality from apnea. Shams received identical anesthesia exposure. Rats were sacrificed at 2 or 24 h, and brain was sampled in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex. Hippocampal samples were used to assess gene array (RatRef-12 Expression BeadChip; Illumina, Inc., San Diego, CA) and oxidative stress (OS; ascorbate, glutathione, low-molecular-weight thiols [LMWT], protein thiols, and 4-hydroxynonenal [HNE]). Cortical samples were used to assess neuroinflammation (cytokines, chemokines, and growth factors; Luminex Corporation, Austin, TX) and purines (adenosine triphosphate [ATP], adenosine diphosphate, adenosine, inosine, 2'-AMP [adenosine monophosphate], and 5'-AMP). Gene array revealed marked increases in astrocyte and neuroinflammatory markers at 24 h (glial fibrillary acidic protein, vimentin, and complement component 1) with expression patterns bioinformatically consistent with those noted in Alzheimer's disease and long-term potentiation. Ascorbate, LMWT, and protein thiols were reduced at 2 and 24 h; by 24 h, HNE was increased. At 2 h, multiple cytokines and chemokines (interleukin [IL]-1α, IL-6, IL-10, and macrophage inflammatory protein 1 alpha [MIP-1α]) were increased; by 24 h, only MIP-1α remained elevated. ATP was not depleted, and adenosine correlated with 2'-cyclic AMP (cAMP), and not 5'-cAMP. Our data reveal (1) gene-array alterations similar to disorders of

  4. Melanoma Brain Metastasis: Mechanisms, Models, and Medicine.

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    Kircher, David A; Silvis, Mark R; Cho, Joseph H; Holmen, Sheri L

    2016-09-02

    The development of brain metastases in patients with advanced stage melanoma is common, but the molecular mechanisms responsible for their development are poorly understood. Melanoma brain metastases cause significant morbidity and mortality and confer a poor prognosis; traditional therapies including whole brain radiation, stereotactic radiotherapy, or chemotherapy yield only modest increases in overall survival (OS) for these patients. While recently approved therapies have significantly improved OS in melanoma patients, only a small number of studies have investigated their efficacy in patients with brain metastases. Preliminary data suggest that some responses have been observed in intracranial lesions, which has sparked new clinical trials designed to evaluate the efficacy in melanoma patients with brain metastases. Simultaneously, recent advances in our understanding of the mechanisms of melanoma cell dissemination to the brain have revealed novel and potentially therapeutic targets. In this review, we provide an overview of newly discovered mechanisms of melanoma spread to the brain, discuss preclinical models that are being used to further our understanding of this deadly disease and provide an update of the current clinical trials for melanoma patients with brain metastases.

  5. Cellular and molecular neurobiology of brain preconditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cadet, Jean Lud; Krasnova, Irina N

    2009-02-01

    The tolerant brain which is a consequence of adaptation to repeated nonlethal insults is accompanied by the upregulation of protective mechanisms and the downregulation of prodegenerative pathways. During the past 20 years, evidence has accumulated to suggest that protective mechanisms include increased production of chaperones, trophic factors, and other antiapoptotic proteins. In contrast, preconditioning can cause substantial dampening of the organism's metabolic state and decreased expression of proapoptotic proteins. Recent microarray analyses have also helped to document a role of several molecular pathways in the induction of the brain refractory state. The present review highlights some of these findings and suggests that a better understanding of these mechanisms will inform treatment of a number of neuropsychiatric disorders.

  6. Heparanase Mechanisms in Melanoma Brain Metastasis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-10-01

    with HPSE- mediated cell signaling and actions, and ultimately affecting the modulation of BMM. Accordingly, this, by employing the pINDUCER lentiviral...found that HPSE plays important roles in mechanisms modulating BMM onset. A new molecular mechanism was also identified by which HPSE mediates an... mediated by enzymatically active heparanase. Our work has implicated heparanase as a promoter of brain metastasis since the enzyme is most active in cells

  7. Molecular mechanisms of meditation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jindal, Vishal; Gupta, Sorab; Das, Ritwik

    2013-12-01

    Meditation is a complex process involving change in cognition, memory, and social and emotional control, and causes improvement in various cardiovascular, neurological, autoimmune, and renal pathologies. Meditation also become widely used in medical and psychological treatment therapies for stress-related physical and mental disorders. But still, biological mechanisms in terms of effect on brain and body are poorly understood. This paper explains the basic changes due to meditation in cerebral cortex, prefrontal area, cingulate gyrus, neurotransmitters, white matter, autonomic nervous system, limbic system, cytokines, endorphins, hormones, etc. The following is a review of the current literature regarding the various neurophysiological mechanisms, neuro-endocrine mechanisms, neurochemical substrates, etc. that underlies the complex processes of meditation.

  8. Molecular mechanisms in gliomagenesis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hulleman, Esther; Helin, Kristian

    2005-01-01

    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....... The expression of several of the components of these signaling cascades has been found altered in GBM, and recent data indicate that combinations of mutations in these pathways may contribute to GBM formation, although the exact mechanisms are still to be uncovered. Use of novel techniques including large...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-11-14

    microtubule-associated protein tau, which has been shown to be predictive of clinical outcome and intracranial pressure after severe TBI (Zemlan et al., 2002... intracranial pressure and clinical outcome. Brain Res 947:131–139. Zhang J, Yang Y, Wang Y, Zhang J, Wang Z, Yin M, Shen X. 2011. Identification of hub...1 illustrates the systems biology strategy. We started by performing computational analyses to generate TABLE I. Summary of the Four TBI Gene

  10. Screening of Biochemical and Molecular Mechanisms of Secondary Injury and Repair in the Brain after Experimental Blast-Induced Traumatic Brain Injury in Rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    10 mM ThioGloTM-1 (Calbiochem, SanDiego, CA), a maleimid reagent that produces a highly fluorescent product upon its reaction with thiol groups.21...GSH concentrations were determined by addition of GSH peroxidase and cumene hydro peroxide to the brain homogenates with ThioGloTM-1 working solution...cAMP, 5’- AMP, 3’-AMP, 2’-AMP, adenosine and inosine using our standard LC-MS/MS purine assay with selected reaction monitoring (SRM).24 The brain

  11. 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.

  12. Molecular modifications by regulating cAMP signaling and oxidant-antioxidant defence mechanisms, produce antidepressant-like effect: A possible mechanism of etazolate aftermaths of impact accelerated traumatic brain injury in rat model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jindal, Ankur; Mahesh, Radhakrishnan; Bhatt, Shvetank; Pandey, Dilip

    2016-12-14

    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one of the leading cause of psychiatric conditions in patients, amongst which, depression and anxiety are more frequent. Despite the preclinical antidepressant-like effects, clinical development of Phospodiesterase-4 (PDE4) enzyme inhibitors has been hampered due to serious side effect profiles, such as nausea and vomiting. Etazolate (ETZ) is a new generation PDE4 inhibitor with encouraging safety and tolerance profiles. In our previous studies we have addressed that ETZ produces antidepressant-like effects in animal models of depression, however, the underlying mechanism(s) following TBI have not been completely explored. Impact accelerated TBI by weight drop method causes depression-like behavioral deficits in modified open field exploration, hyper-emotionality and sucrose consumption paradigms. TBI not only causes immediate mechanical damage to the brain, but also induces biochemical changes that lead to delayed neural cell loss leading to a secondary injury. The present study examines the antidepressant effects of ETZ on the TBI-induced depression-like behavior deficits and attempts to explore the underlying mechanism. In order to understand the underlying pathology of TBI and mechanism(s) of ETZ in TBI molecular markers namely, brain cAMP, cAMP response element binding protein (pCREB) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) were estimated. Additionally, the level of oxidative (lipid peroxidation) & nitrosative (nitrite) stress markers, along with antioxidant enzymes markers, such as, reduced glutathione (GSH), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) were measured. Furthermore, the involvement of hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis activity in underlying mechanism was also investigated by measuring serum corticosterone (CORT) level. The results revealed that TBI significantly altered cAMP, pCREB and BDNF levels. Moreover, a significant increase in oxidative-nitrosative stress markers levels, while, significant

  13. The neuroprotective mechanism of brain ischemic preconditioning

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xiao-qian LIU; Rui SHENG; Zheng-hong QIN

    2009-01-01

    Brain ischemia is one of the most common causes of death and the leading cause of adult disability in the world. Brain ischemic pre- conditioning (BIP) refers to a transient, sublethal ischemia which results in tolerance to later, otherwise lethal, cerebral ischemia. Many attempts have been made to understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the neuroprotection offered by ischemic preconditioning. Many studies have shown that neuroprotective mechanisms may involve a series of molecular regulatory pathways including activation of the N-methyI-D-aspartate (NMDA) and adenosine receptors; activation of intracellular signaling pathways such as mitogen activated protein kinases (MAPK) and other protein kinases; upregulation of Bcl-2 and heat shock proteins (HSPs); and activation of the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway and the autophagic-lysosomal pathway. A better understanding of the processes that lead to cell death after stroke as well as of the endogenous neuroprotective mechanisms by which BIP protects against brain ischemic insults could help to develop new therapeutic strategies for this devastating neurological disease. The purpose of the present review is to summarize the neuroprotective mechanisms of BIP and to discuss the possibility of mimicking ischemic preconditioning as a new strategy for preventive treatment of ischemia.

  14. Recovery after Brain Injury: Mechanisms and Principles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Randolph J. Nudo

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The past 20 years have represented an important period in the development of principles underlying neuroplasticity, especially as they apply to recovery from neurological injury. It is now generally accepted that acquired brain injuries, such as occur in stroke or trauma, initiate a cascade of regenerative events that last for at least several weeks, if not months. Many investigators have pointed out striking parallels between post-injury plasticity and the molecular and cellular events that take place during normal brain development. As evidence for the principles and mechanisms underlying post-injury neuroplasticity has been gleaned from both animal models and human populations, novel approaches to therapeutic intervention have been proposed. One important theme has persisted as the sophistication of clinicians and scientists in their knowledge of neuroplasticity mechanisms has grown: Behavioral experience is the most potent modulator of brain plasticity. While there is substantial evidence for this principle in normal, healthy brains, the injured brain is particularly malleable. Based on the quantity and quality of motor experience, the brain can be reshaped after injury in either adaptive or maladaptive ways. This paper reviews selected studies that have demonstrated the neurophysiological and neuroanatomical changes that are triggered by motor experience, by injury, and the interaction of these processes. In addition, recent studies using new and elegant techniques are providing novel perspectives on the events that take place in the injured brain, providing a real-time window into post-injury plasticity. These new approaches are likely to accelerate the pace of basic research, and provide a wealth of opportunities to translate basic principles into therapeutic methodologies.

  15. 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.

  16. Barrier mechanisms in the Drosophila blood-brain barrier

    OpenAIRE

    Samantha Jane Hindle; Roland Jerome Bainton

    2014-01-01

    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 funct...

  17. The Molecular Basis of Human Brain Evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Enard, Wolfgang

    2016-10-24

    Humans are a remarkable species, especially because of the remarkable properties of their brain. Since the split from the chimpanzee lineage, the human brain has increased three-fold in size and has acquired abilities for vocal learning, language and intense cooperation. To better understand the molecular basis of these changes is of great biological and biomedical interest. However, all the about 16 million fixed genetic changes that occurred during human evolution are fully correlated with all molecular, cellular, anatomical and behavioral changes that occurred during this time. Hence, as humans and chimpanzees cannot be crossed or genetically manipulated, no direct evidence for linking particular genetic and molecular changes to human brain evolution can be obtained. Here, I sketch a framework how indirect evidence can be obtained and review findings related to the molecular basis of human cognition, vocal learning and brain size. In particular, I discuss how a comprehensive comparative approach, leveraging cellular systems and genomic technologies, could inform the evolution of our brain in the future.

  18. [Cellular and molecular mechanisms of memory].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laroche, Serge

    2010-01-01

    A defining characteristic of the brain is its remarkable capacity to undergo activity-dependent functional and morphological remodelling via mechanisms of plasticity that form the basis of our capacity to encode and retain memories. Today, it is generally accepted that one key neurobiological mechanism underlying the formation of memories reside in activity-driven modifications of synaptic strength and structural remodelling of neural networks activated during learning. The discovery and detailed report of the phenomenon generally known as long-term potentiation, a long-lasting activity-dependent form of synaptic strengthening, opened a new chapter in the study of the neurobiological substrate of memory in the vertebrate brain, and this form of synaptic plasticity has now become the dominant model in the search for the cellular bases of learning and memory. To date, the key events in the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying synaptic plasticity and memory formation are starting to be identified. They require the activation of specific receptors and of several molecular cascades to convert extracellular signals into persistent functional changes in neuronal connectivity. Accumulating evidence suggests that the rapid activation of neuronal gene programs is a key mechanism underlying the enduring modification of neural networks required for the laying down of memory. The recent developments in the search for the cellular and molecular mechanisms of memory storage are reviewed.

  19. Pathogenesis and Molecular Mechanisms of Zika Virus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nayak, Shriddha; Lei, Jun; Pekosz, Andrew; Klein, Sabra; Burd, Irina

    2016-09-01

    Zika virus (ZIKV) is one of the most important emerging viruses of 2016. A developing outbreak in the Americas has demonstrated an association between the virus and serious clinical manifestations, such as Guillain-Barré syndrome in adults and congenital malformations in infants born to infected mothers. Pathogenesis and mechanisms of neurologic or immune disease by ZIKV have not been clearly delineated. However, several pathways have been described to explain viral involvement in brain and immune system as well as other organ systems such as eye, skin, and male and female reproductive tracts. ZIKV activates toll-like receptor 3 and several pathways have been described to explain the mechanisms at a molecular level. The mechanism of microcephaly has been more difficult to demonstrate experimentally, likely due to the multifactorial and complex nature of the phenotype. This article provides an overview of existing literature on ZIKV pathogenicity and possible molecular mechanisms of disease as outlined to date.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Barrier Mechanisms in the Developing Brain

    OpenAIRE

    Saunders, Norman R.; Liddelow, Shane A.; Dziegielewska, Katarzyna M.

    2012-01-01

    The adult brain functions within a well-controlled stable environment, the properties of which are determined by cellular exchange mechanisms superimposed on the diffusion restraint provided by tight junctions at interfaces between blood, brain and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). These interfaces are referred to as “the” blood–brain barrier. It is widely believed that in embryos and newborns, this barrier is immature or “leaky,” rendering the developing brain more vulnerable to drugs or toxins ent...

  3. Molecular Mechanisms of Parturition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Ferré

    1997-01-01

    Full Text Available The initial signal for triggering human parturition might be fetal but of trophoblastic origin. Concomitantly, this placental signal would have as its target not only the uterus but also the fetus by activating its hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenocortical axis. The latter would represent a second fetal signal which, at the fetomaternal interface, would amplify and define in time the mechanisms responsible for the onset of labor, implying changes in the myometrial and cervical extracellular matrix associated with the accession of the contractile phenotype for myometrial cells. At each phase of these processes in the utero-feto-placental system, the nature of these signals remains to be identified. Is there a single substance, or rather, and more likely, a combination of several?

  4. 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.

  5. Molecular mechanisms of rosacea pathogenesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Davydova A.M.

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available The article presents possible molecular mechanisms for rosacea pathogenesis from current domestic and foreign clinical observations and laboratory research: regulation and expression defects of antimicrobial peptides, vascular endothelial growth factor, the effect of serine proteases, oxidative stress, reactive oxygen species and ferritin on the occurrence and course of rosacea. New developments in molecular biology and genetics are advanced for researching the interaction of multiple factors involved in rosacea pathogenesis, as well as providing the bases for potentially new therapies.

  6. Molecular mechanisms underlying bacterial persisters

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Maisonneuve, Etienne; Gerdes, Kenn

    2014-01-01

    All bacteria form persisters, cells that are multidrug tolerant and therefore able to survive antibiotic treatment. Due to the low frequencies of persisters in growing bacterial cultures and the complex underlying molecular mechanisms, the phenomenon has been challenging to study. However, recent...

  7. 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. 

  8. [Brain mechanisms of male sexual function].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Ying; Dou, Xin; Li, Jun-Fa; Luo, Yan-Lin

    2011-08-01

    In this paper, we reviewed the brain imaging studies of male sexual function in recent years from three aspects: the brain mechanism of normal sexual function, the brain mechanism of sexual dysfunction, and the mechanism of drug therapy for sexual dysfunction. Studies show that the development stages of male sexual activities, such as the excitement phase, plateau phase and orgasm phase, are controlled by different neural networks. The mesodiencephalic transition zone may play an important role in the start up of male ejaculation. There are significant differences between sexual dysfunction males and normal males in activation patterns of the brain in sexual arousal. The medial orbitofrontal cortex and inferior frontal gyrus in the abnormal activation pattern are correlated with sexual dysfunction males in sexual arousal. Serum testosterone and morphine are commonly used drugs for male sexual dysfunction, whose mechanisms are to alter the activating levels of the medial orbitofrontal cortex, insula, claustrum and inferior temporal gyrus.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Superspreading: mechanisms and molecular design.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-03

    The intriguing ability of certain surfactant molecules to drive the superspreading of liquids to complete wetting on hydrophobic substrates is central to numerous applications that range from coating flow technology to enhanced oil recovery. Despite significant experimental efforts, the precise mechanisms underlying superspreading remain unknown to date. Here, we isolate these mechanisms by analyzing coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations of surfactant molecules of varying molecular architecture and substrate affinity. We observe that for superspreading to occur, two key conditions must be simultaneously satisfied: the adsorption of surfactants from the liquid-vapor surface onto the three-phase contact line augmented by local bilayer formation. Crucially, this must be coordinated with the rapid replenishment of liquid-vapor and solid-liquid interfaces with surfactants from the interior of the droplet. This article also highlights and explores the differences between superspreading and conventional surfactants, paving the way for the design of molecular architectures tailored specifically for applications that rely on the control of wetting.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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...

  15. Anticancer molecular mechanisms of resveratrol

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena Maria Varoni

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Resveratrol is a pleiotropic phytochemical belonging to the stilbene family. Despite it is only significantly present in grape products, a huge amount of preclinical studies investigated its anticancer properties in a plethora of cellular and animal models. Molecular mechanisms of resveratrol involved signaling pathways related to: extracellular growth factors and receptor tyrosine kinases; formation of multiprotein complexes and cell metabolism; cell proliferation and genome instability; cytoplasmic tyrosine kinase signaling (cytokine, integrin and developmental pathways; signal transduction by the transforming growth factor-β super-family; apoptosis and inflammation; immune-surveillance and hormone signaling. Resveratrol also showed a promising role to counteract multi-drug resistance: in adjuvant therapy, associated with 5-fluoruracyl and cisplatin, resveratrol had additive and/or synergistic effects increasing the chemosensitization of cancer cells. Resveratrol, by acting on diverse mechanisms simultaneously, has been emphasized as a promising, multi-target, anticancer agent, relevant in both cancer prevention and treatment.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Thyroid, brain and mood modulation in affective disorder: insights from molecular research and functional brain imaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bauer, M; London, E D; Silverman, D H; Rasgon, N; Kirchheiner, J; Whybrow, P C

    2003-11-01

    The efficacy resulting from adjunctive use of supraphysiological doses of levothyroxine has emerged as a promising approach to therapy and prophylaxis for refractory mood disorders. Most patients with mood disorders who receive treatment with supraphysiological doses of levothyroxine have normal peripheral thyroid hormone levels, and also respond differently to the hormone and tolerate it better than healthy individuals and patients with primary thyroid diseases. Progress in molecular and functional brain imaging techniques has provided a new understanding of these phenomena, illuminating the relationship between thyroid function, mood modulation and behavior. Thyroid hormones are widely distributed in the brain and have a multitude of effects on the central nervous system. Notably many of the limbic system structures where thyroid hormone receptors are prevalent have been implicated in the pathogenesis of mood disorders. The influence of the thyroid system on neurotransmitters (particularly serotonin and norepinephrine), which putatively play a major role in the regulation of mood and behavior, may contribute to the mechanisms of mood modulation. Recent functional brain imaging studies using positron emission tomography (PET) with [ (18)F]-fluorodeoxyglucose demonstrated that thyroid hormone treatment with levothyroxine affects regional brain metabolism in patients with hypothyroidism and bipolar disorder. Theses studies confirm that thyroid hormones are active in modulating metabolic function in the mature adult brain, and provide intriging neuroanatomic clues that may guide future research.

  19. 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.

  20. The role of mechanics during brain development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Budday, Silvia; Steinmann, Paul; Kuhl, Ellen

    2014-12-01

    Convolutions are a classical hallmark of most mammalian brains. Brain surface morphology is often associated with intelligence and closely correlated with neurological dysfunction. Yet, we know surprisingly little about the underlying mechanisms of cortical folding. Here we identify the role of the key anatomic players during the folding process: cortical thickness, stiffness, and growth. To establish estimates for the critical time, pressure, and the wavelength at the onset of folding, we derive an analytical model using the Föppl-von Kármán theory. Analytical modeling provides a quick first insight into the critical conditions at the onset of folding, yet it fails to predict the evolution of complex instability patterns in the post-critical regime. To predict realistic surface morphologies, we establish a computational model using the continuum theory of finite growth. Computational modeling not only confirms our analytical estimates, but is also capable of predicting the formation of complex surface morphologies with asymmetric patterns and secondary folds. Taken together, our analytical and computational models explain why larger mammalian brains tend to be more convoluted than smaller brains. Both models provide mechanistic interpretations of the classical malformations of lissencephaly and polymicrogyria. Understanding the process of cortical folding in the mammalian brain has direct implications on the diagnostics of neurological disorders including severe retardation, epilepsy, schizophrenia, and autism.

  1. The role of mechanics during brain development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Budday, Silvia; Steinmann, Paul; Kuhl, Ellen

    2014-12-01

    Convolutions are a classical hallmark of most mammalian brains. Brain surface morphology is often associated with intelligence and closely correlated to neurological dysfunction. Yet, we know surprisingly little about the underlying mechanisms of cortical folding. Here we identify the role of the key anatomic players during the folding process: cortical thickness, stiffness, and growth. To establish estimates for the critical time, pressure, and the wavelength at the onset of folding, we derive an analytical model using the Föppl-von-Kármán theory. Analytical modeling provides a quick first insight into the critical conditions at the onset of folding, yet it fails to predict the evolution of complex instability patterns in the post-critical regime. To predict realistic surface morphologies, we establish a computational model using the continuum theory of finite growth. Computational modeling not only confirms our analytical estimates, but is also capable of predicting the formation of complex surface morphologies with asymmetric patterns and secondary folds. Taken together, our analytical and computational models explain why larger mammalian brains tend to be more convoluted than smaller brains. Both models provide mechanistic interpretations of the classical malformations of lissencephaly and polymicrogyria. Understanding the process of cortical folding in the mammalian brain has direct implications on the diagnostics of neurological disorders including severe retardation, epilepsy, schizophrenia, and autism.

  2. 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.

  3. 创伤性脑损伤的分子机制和治疗策略%Molecular mechanisms and therapeutic strategy of traumatic brain injury

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    周旺宁; 陈忠平

    2005-01-01

    创伤性脑损伤(traumatic brain injury,TBI)的病理生理过程相当复杂,除原发创伤产生的剪切力对细胞膜、神经元胞体、白质结构和血管床的损伤外,伤后脑缺血、脑水肿/脑肿胀和颅内K增高是加重损伤程度的重要因。在脑损伤后积极纠正缺血、低氧、低血糖、脑水肿、癫痫,感染和电解质紊乱,

  4. Antioxidative defense mechanisms in the aging brain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jovanović Zorica

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Aging is an extremely complex, multifactorial process that is characterized by a gradual and continuous loss of physiological functions and responses, particularly marked in the brain. A common hallmark in aging and age-related diseases is an increase in oxidative stress and the failure of antioxidant defense systems. Current knowledge indicates that the level of glutathione progressively declines during aging. Because nerve cells are the longest-living cells that exhibit a high consumption rate of oxygen throughout an individual’s lifetime, the brain may be especially vulnerable to oxidative damage and this vulnerability increases during aging. In addition, the brain contains high concentrations of polyunsaturated fatty acids and transition metals and low antioxidative defense mechanisms. Although aging is an inevitable event, a growing volume of data confirms that antioxidant supplementation in combination with symptomatic drug treatments reduces oxidative stress and improves cognitive function in aging and age-related diseases. The present review discusses the neuroprotective effects of antioxidants in the aging brain.

  5. Biophysical mechanisms of traumatic brain injuries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Lee Ann; Rule, Gregory T; Bocchieri, Robert T; Burns, Jennie M

    2015-02-01

    Despite years of effort to prevent traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), the occurrence of TBI in the United States alone has reached epidemic proportions. When an external force is applied to the head, it is converted into stresses that must be absorbed into the brain or redirected by a helmet or other protective equipment. Complex interactions of the head, neck, and jaw kinematics result in strains in the brain. Even relatively mild mechanical trauma to these tissues can initiate a neurochemical cascade that leads to TBI. Civilians and warfighters can experience head injuries in both combat and noncombat situations from a variety of threats, including ballistic and blunt impact, acceleration, and blast. It is critical to understand the physics created by these threats to develop meaningful improvements to clinical care, injury prevention, and mitigation. Here the authors review the current state of understanding of the complex loading conditions that lead to TBI and characterize how these loads are transmitted through soft tissue, the skull and into the brain, resulting in TBI. In addition, gaps in knowledge and injury thresholds are reviewed, as these must be addressed to better design strategies that reduce TBI incidence and severity.

  6. Molecular mechanisms of synaptic plasticity and memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elgersma, Y; Silva, A J

    1999-04-01

    To unravel the molecular and cellular bases of learning and memory is one of the most ambitious goals of modern science. The progress of recent years has not only brought us closer to understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying stable, long-lasting changes in synaptic strength, but it has also provided further evidence that these mechanisms are required for memory formation.

  7. Serotonergic mechanisms in the migraine brain - a systematic review

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Deen, Marie; 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......BACKGROUND: Migraine is one of the most common and disabling of all medical conditions, affecting 16% of the general population, causing huge socioeconomic costs globally. Current available treatment options are inadequate. Serotonin is a key molecule in the neurobiology of migraine, but the exact...... 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...

  8. Developing Attention: Behavioral and Brain Mechanisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael I. Posner

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Brain networks underlying attention are present even during infancy and are critical for the developing ability of children to control their emotions and thoughts. For adults, individual differences in the efficiency of attentional networks have been related to neuromodulators and to genetic variations. We have examined the development of attentional networks and child temperament in a longitudinal study from infancy (7 months to middle childhood (7 years. Early temperamental differences among infants, including smiling and laughter and vocal reactivity, are related to self-regulation abilities at 7 years. However, genetic variations related to adult executive attention, while present in childhood, are poor predictors of later control, in part because individual genetic variation may have many small effects and in part because their influence occurs in interaction with caregiver behavior and other environmental influences. While brain areas involved in attention are present during infancy, their connectivity changes and leads to improvement in control of behavior. It is also possible to influence control mechanisms through training later in life. The relation between maturation and learning may allow advances in our understanding of human brain development.

  9. 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...

  10. Quantum mechanics of molecular structures

    CERN Document Server

    Yamanouchi, Kaoru

    2012-01-01

    At a level accessible to advanced undergraduates, this textbook explains the fundamental role of quantum mechanics in determining the structure, dynamics, and other properties of molecules. Readers will come to understand the quantum-mechanical basis for harmonic oscillators, angular momenta and scattering processes. Exercises are provided to help readers deepen their grasp of the essential phenomena.

  11. Neurodegeneration with brain iron accumulation: update on pathogenic mechanisms.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sonia eLevi

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Perturbation of iron distribution is observed in many neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, but the comprehension of the metal role in the development and progression of such disorders is still very limited. The combination of more powerful brain imaging techniques and faster genomic DNA sequencing procedures has allowed the description of a set of genetic disorders characterized by a constant and often early accumulation of iron in specific brain regions and the identification of the associated genes; these disorders are now collectively included in the category of Neurodegeneration with Brain Iron Accumulation (NBIA. So far 10 different genetic forms have been described but this number is likely to increase in short time. Two forms are linked to mutations in genes directly involved in iron metabolism: Neuroferritinopathy, associated to mutations in the FTL gene and Aceruloplasminaemia, where the ceruloplasmin gene product is defective. In the other forms the connection with iron metabolism is not evident at all and the genetic data let infer the involvement of other pathways: Pank2, COASY,Pla2G6, C19orf12, and FA2H genes seem to be related to lipid metabolism and to mitochondria functioning, WDR45 and ATP13A2 genes are implicated in lysosomal and autophagosome activity, while the C2orf37 gene encodes a nucleolar protein of unknown function. There is much hope in the scientific community that the study of the NBIA forms may provide important insight as to the link between brain iron metabolism and neurodegenerative mechanisms and eventually pave the way for new therapeutic avenues also for the more common neurodegenerative disorders. In this work we will review the most recent findings in the molecular mechanisms underlining the most common forms of NBIA and analyze their possible link with brain iron metabolism.

  12. Molecular deformation mechanisms in polyethylene

    CERN Document Server

    Coutry, S

    2001-01-01

    adjacent labelled stems is significantly larger when the DPE guest is a copolymer molecule. Our comparative studies on various types of polyethylene lead to the conclusion that their deformation behaviour under drawing has the same basis, with additional effects imputed to the presence of tie-molecules and branches. Three major points were identified in this thesis. The changes produced by drawing imply (1) the crystallisation of some of the amorphous polymer and the subsequent orientation of the newly formed crystals, (2) the re-orientation of the crystalline ribbons and (3) the beginning of crystallite break-up. However, additional effects were observed for the high molecular weight linear sample and the copolymer sample and were attributed, respectively, to the presence of tie-molecules and of branches. It was concluded that both the tie-molecules and the branches are restricting the molecular movement during deformation, and that the branches may be acting as 'anchors'. This work is concerned with details...

  13. Molecular insights into human brain evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, Robert Sean; Walsh, Christopher A

    2005-09-01

    Rapidly advancing knowledge of genome structure and sequence enables new means for the analysis of specific DNA changes associated with the differences between the human brain and that of other mammals. Recent studies implicate evolutionary changes in messenger RNA and protein expression levels, as well as DNA changes that alter amino acid sequences. We can anticipate having a systematic catalogue of DNA changes in the lineage leading to humans, but an ongoing challenge will be relating these changes to the anatomical and functional differences between our brain and that of our ancient and more recent ancestors.

  14. Brain mechanisms of drug reward and euphoria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wise, R A; Bozarth, M A

    1985-01-01

    Drugs of abuse have in common the fact that they serve as biological rewards. They presumably do so because of their ability to activate endogenous brain circuitry. By determining the brain circuitry activated by rewarding drug injections, much can be learned about the degree to which there is a common basis for the abuse liability of seemingly different drugs. The brain circuitry activated by two classes of abused drugs, psychomotor stimulants and opiates, is now partially understood; the current evidence suggests a shared mechanism of stimulant reward and opiate reward. The identified portion of the circuitry involves dopamine-containing cells of the ventral tegmental area and their fiber projections to the cells of the nucleus accumbens. Morphine activates these cells in the region of the cell bodies; it may have direct actions on receptors imbedded in the dopaminergic cell membrane, or it may act on afferent terminals that synapse on the dopaminergic cell bodies or dendrites. Cocaine and amphetamine act at the terminals of the dopaminergic fibers to nucleus accumbens and perhaps other structures. The shared activation of the dopaminergic input to nucleus accumbens accounts for the behaviorally activating and the rewarding effects of both stimulants and opiates (the opiate stimulant action is not widely known because it is usually masked by depressant actions of opiates in other, antagonistic, brain circuits). The activation of dopaminergic systems also accounts for amphetamine euphoria; it almost certainly accounts for cocaine euphoria and it probably accounts for opiate euphoria as well. Opiates and psychomotor stimulants clearly have many other actions which are not shared; nonshared actions must account for the well-known differences in the subjective effects of opiates and stimulants. One of the major nonshared actions is physical dependence. Opiates gain access to a major component of the circuitry mediating opiate physical dependence through opiate

  15. Molecular mechanism of insulin resistance

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Samir Bhattacharya; Debleena Dey; Sib Sankar Roy

    2007-03-01

    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, leading to a reduced amount of IR protein in insulin target cells. PDK1-independent phosphorylation of PKCε causes this reduction in insulin receptor gene expression. One of the pathways through which fatty acid can induce insulin resistance in insulin target cells is suggested by these studies. We provide an overview of this important area, emphasizing the current status.

  16. Molecular mechanisms of antibiotic resistance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blair, Jessica M A; Webber, Mark A; Baylay, Alison J; Ogbolu, David O; Piddock, Laura J V

    2015-01-01

    Antibiotic-resistant bacteria that are difficult or impossible to treat are becoming increasingly common and are causing a global health crisis. Antibiotic resistance is encoded by several genes, many of which can transfer between bacteria. New resistance mechanisms are constantly being described, and new genes and vectors of transmission are identified on a regular basis. This article reviews recent advances in our understanding of the mechanisms by which bacteria are either intrinsically resistant or acquire resistance to antibiotics, including the prevention of access to drug targets, changes in the structure and protection of antibiotic targets and the direct modification or inactivation of antibiotics.

  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 of thiamine utilization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singleton, C K; Martin, P R

    2001-05-01

    Thiamine is required for all tissues and is found in high concentrations in skeletal muscle, heart, liver, kidneys and brain. A state of severe depletion is seen in patients on a strict thiamine-deficient diet in 18 days, but the most common cause of thiamine deficiency in affluent countries is alcoholism. Thiamine diphosphate is the active form of thiamine, and it serves as a cofactor for several enzymes involved primarily in carbohydrate catabolism. The enzymes are important in the biosynthesis of a number of cell constituents, including neurotransmitters, and for the production of reducing equivalents used in oxidant stress defenses and in biosyntheses and for synthesis of pentoses used as nucleic acid precursors. Because of the latter fact, thiamine utilization is increased in tumor cells. Thiamine uptake by the small intestines and by cells within various organs is mediated by a saturable, high affinity transport system. Alcohol affects thiamine uptake and other aspects of thiamine utilization, and these effects may contribute to the prevalence of thiamine deficiency in alcoholics. The major manifestations of thiamine deficiency in humans involve the cardiovascular (wet beriberi) and nervous (dry beriberi, or neuropathy and/or Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome) systems. A number of inborn errors of metabolism have been described in which clinical improvements can be documented following administration of pharmacological doses of thiamine, such as thiamine-responsive megaloblastic anemia. Substantial efforts are being made to understand the genetic and biochemical determinants of inter-individual differences in susceptibility to development of thiamine deficiency-related disorders and of the differential vulnerabilities of tissues and cell types to thiamine deficiency.

  19. 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.

  20. Quantum Mechanics/Molecular Mechanics Modeling of Drug Metabolism

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

    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......)-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...... 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...

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Marijuana use and brain immune mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabral, Guy A; Jamerson, Melissa

    2014-01-01

    The recreational smoking of marijuana, or Cannabis sativa, has become widespread, including among adolescents. Marijuana contains a class of compounds known as phytocannabinoids that include cannabidiol (CBD) and Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the major psychoactive component in marijuana, but also exhibits immunosuppressive activity. CBD, while not psychotropic, also modulates immune function, but its mechanism of action appears to differ from that of THC. Since both compounds are highly lipophilic, they readily passage the blood-brain barrier and access the central nervous system. Since CBD is not psychotropic, it has been considered as a candidate therapeutic compound for ablating neuropathological processes characterized by hyperinflammation. However, an unresolved question centers around the impact of these compounds on immune-competent cells within the CNS in relation to susceptibility to infection. There are accumulating data indicating that THC inhibits the migratory capability of macrophage-like cells resident in the CNS, such as microglia, toward nodes of microbial invasion. Furthermore, phytocannabinoids have been reported to exert developmental and long-term effects on the immune system suggesting that exposure to these substances during an early stage in life has the potential to alter the fundamental neuroimmune response to select microbial agents in the adult.

  4. Modelling the molecular mechanisms of aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mc Auley, Mark T; Guimera, Alvaro Martinez; Hodgson, David; Mcdonald, Neil; Mooney, Kathleen M; Morgan, Amy E; Proctor, Carole J

    2017-02-28

    The aging process is driven at the cellular level by random molecular damage that slowly accumulates with age. Although cells possess mechanisms to repair or remove damage, they are not 100% efficient and their efficiency declines with age. There are many molecular mechanisms involved and exogenous factors such as stress also contribute to the aging process. The complexity of the aging process has stimulated the use of computational modelling in order to increase our understanding of the system, test hypotheses and make testable predictions. As many different mechanisms are involved, a wide range of models have been developed. This paper gives an overview of the types of models that have been developed, the range of tools used, modelling standards and discusses many specific examples of models that have been grouped according to the main mechanisms that they address. We conclude by discussing the opportunities and challenges for future modelling in this field.

  5. Molecular aging of the brain, neuroplasticity, and vulnerability to depression and other brain-related disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sibille, Etienne

    2013-03-01

    The increased risk for neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders associated with extended lifespan has long suggested mechanistic links between chronological age and brain-related disorders, including depression, Recent characterizations of age-dependent gene expression changes now show that aging of the human brain engages a specific set of biological pathways along a continuous lifelong trajectory, and that the same genes that are associated with normal brain aging are also frequently and similarly implicated in depression and other brain-related disorders. These correlative observations suggest a model of age-by-disease molecular interactions, in which brain aging promotes biological changes associated with diseases, and additional environmental factors and genetic variability contribute to defining disease risk or resiliency trajectories. Here we review the characteristic features of brain aging in terms of changes in gene function over time, and then focus on evidence supporting accelerated molecular aging in depression. This proposed age-by-disease biological interaction model addresses the current gap in research between "normal" brain aging and its connection to late-life diseases. The implications of this model are profound, as it provides an investigational framework for identifying critical moderating factors, outlines opportunities for early interventions or preventions, and may form the basis for a dimensional definition of diseases that goes beyond the current categorical system.

  6. The biological significance of brain barrier mechanisms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

    that prevent the entry of many drugs of therapeutic potential into the brain. We outline those that have been tried and discuss why they may so far have been largely unsuccessful. Currently, a promising approach appears to be focal, reversible disruption of the blood-brain barrier using focused ultrasound...

  7. Molecular mechanisms of drug-induced thrombocytopenia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Burgess, Janette K.

    2001-01-01

    A wide range of drugs can induce thrombocytopenia. Molecular mechanisms for the formation of specific epitopes for all the drug-dependent antibodies appear to be very similar. A restricted set of glycoproteins on the platelet surface interacts with the drugs to form neoepitopes, to which the drug-de

  8. Mechanical transduction mechanisms of RecA-like molecular motors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liao, Jung-Chi

    2011-12-01

    A majority of ATP-dependent molecular motors are RecA-like proteins, performing diverse functions in biology. These RecA-like molecular motors consist of a highly conserved core containing the ATP-binding site. Here I examined how ATP binding within this core is coupled to the conformational changes of different RecA-like molecular motors. Conserved hydrogen bond networks and conformational changes revealed two major mechanical transduction mechanisms: (1) intra-domain conformational changes and (2) inter-domain conformational changes. The intra-domain mechanism has a significant hydrogen bond rearrangement within the domain containing the P-loop, causing relative motion between two parts of the protein. The inter-domain mechanism exhibits little conformational change in the P-loop domain. Instead, the major conformational change is observed between the P-loop domain and an adjacent domain or subunit containing the arginine finger. These differences in the mechanical transduction mechanisms may link to the underlying energy surface governing a Brownian ratchet or a power stroke.

  9. Brain enabled mechanized speech synthesizer using Brain Mobile Interface

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N.R.Raajan

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Communication is easily evoked when the necessity to carry out the thoughts and vision arises. As the communication technology developed it cultivated the threats of information security, on the otherhand physically challenged people have no possibility to communicate freely hence the urge for development in the field of communication is necessary in present scenario. Aim of this work is to propose a system that improves the present communication system. Here we had put forward the concept of Brain Mobile Interface (BMI from the basis of Brain Computer Interface (BCI. BMI serves as a device to translate human thoughts about speech without the need of physical movement. Wireless EEG headsets are used to acquire the speech signals directly from the brain and after signal processing it is given to the mobile which consist of inbuilt speller application. With the help of speller application the message to be conveyed is acquired as text which is then converted into speech by means of text to speech converter.

  10. Teratogenic effects of thalidomide: molecular mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ito, Takumi; Ando, Hideki; Handa, Hiroshi

    2011-05-01

    Fifty years ago, prescription of the sedative thalidomide caused a worldwide epidemic of multiple birth defects. The drug is now used in the treatment of leprosy and multiple myeloma. However, its use is limited due to its potent teratogenic activity. The mechanism by which thalidomide causes limb malformations and other developmental defects is a long-standing question. Multiple hypotheses exist to explain the molecular mechanism of thalidomide action. Among them, theories involving oxidative stress and anti-angiogenesis have been widely supported. Nevertheless, until recently, the direct target of thalidomide remained elusive. We identified a thalidomide-binding protein, cereblon (CRBN), as a primary target for thalidomide teratogenicity. Our data suggest that thalidomide initiates its teratogenic effects by binding to CRBN and inhibiting its ubiquitin ligase activity. In this review, we summarize the biology of thalidomide, focusing on the molecular mechanisms of its teratogenic effects. In addition, we discuss the questions still to be addressed.

  11. 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.

  12. Molecular mechanism of Endosulfan action in mammals

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    ROBIN SEBASTIAN; SATHEES C RAGHAVAN

    2017-03-01

    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 understood. In two recentstudies, our group investigated the physiological and molecular aspects of endosulfan action using in vitro, ex vivo andin vivo analyses. The results showed that apart from reducing fertility levels in male animals, Endosulfan inducedDNA damage that triggers compromised DNA damage response leading to undesirable processing of broken DNAends. In this review, pesticide use especially of Endosulfan in the Indian scenario is summarized and the importance ofour findings, especially the rationalized use of pesticides in the future, is emphasized.

  13. Brain mechanisms in early language acquisition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuhl, Patricia K

    2010-09-09

    The last decade has produced an explosion in neuroscience research examining young children's early processing of language. Noninvasive, safe functional brain measurements have now been proven feasible for use with children starting at birth. The phonetic level of language is especially accessible to experimental studies that document the innate state and the effect of learning on the brain. The neural signatures of learning at the phonetic level can be documented at a remarkably early point in development. Continuity in linguistic development from infants' earliest brain responses to phonetic stimuli is reflected in their language and prereading abilities in the second, third, and fifth year of life, a finding with theoretical and clinical impact. There is evidence that early mastery of the phonetic units of language requires learning in a social context. Neuroscience on early language learning is beginning to reveal the multiple brain systems that underlie the human language faculty.

  14. In-vivo human brain molecular imaging with a brain-dedicated PET/MRI system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, Zang Hee; Son, Young Don; Choi, Eun Jung; Kim, Hang Keun; Kim, Jeong Hee; Lee, Sang Yoon; Ogawa, Seiji; Kim, Young Bo

    2013-02-01

    Advances in the new-generation of ultra-high-resolution, brain-dedicated positron emission tomography-magnetic resonance imaging (PET/MRI) systems have begun to provide many interesting insights into the molecular dynamics of the brain. First, the finely delineated structural information from ultra-high-field MRI can help us to identify accurate landmark structures, thereby making it easier to locate PET activation sites that are anatomically well-correlated with metabolic or ligand-specific organs in the neural structures in the brain. This synergistic potential of PET/MRI imaging is discussed in terms of neuroscience and neurological research from both translational and basic research perspectives. Experimental results from the hippocampus, thalamus, and brainstem obtained with (18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose and (11)C-3-amino-4-(2-dimethylaminomethylphenylsulfanyl)benzonitrile are used to demonstrate the potential of this new brain PET/MRI system.

  15. Brain molecular aging, promotion of neurological disease and modulation by sirtuin 5 longevity gene polymorphism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glorioso, Christin; Oh, Sunghee; Douillard, Gaelle Guilloux; Sibille, Etienne

    2011-02-01

    Mechanisms determining characteristic age-of-onset for neurological diseases are largely unknown. Normal brain aging associates with robust and progressive transcriptome changes ("molecular aging"), but the intersection with disease pathways is mostly uncharacterized. Here, using cross-cohort microarray analysis of four human brain areas, we show that neurological disease pathways largely overlap with molecular aging and that subjects carrying a newly-characterized low-expressing polymorphism in a putative longevity gene (Sirtuin5; SIRT5(prom2)) have older brain molecular ages. Specifically, molecular aging was remarkably conserved across cohorts and brain areas, and included numerous developmental and transcription-regulator genes. Neurological disease-associated genes were highly overrepresented within age-related genes and changed almost unanimously in pro-disease directions, together suggesting an underlying genetic "program" of aging that progressively promotes disease. To begin testing this putative pathway, we developed and used an age-biosignature to assess five candidate longevity gene polymorphisms' association with molecular aging rates. Most robustly, aging was accelerated in cingulate, but not amygdala, of subjects carrying a SIRT5 promoter polymorphism (+9 years, p=0.004), in concordance with cingulate-specific decreased SIRT5 expression. This effect was driven by a set of core transcripts (+24 years, p=0.0004), many of which were mitochondrial, including Parkinson's disease genes, PINK-1 and DJ-1/PARK7, hence suggesting that SIRT5(prom2) may represent a risk factor for mitochondrial dysfunction-related diseases, including Parkinson's, through accelerated molecular aging of disease-related genes. Based on these results we speculate that a "common mechanism" may underlie age-of-onset across several neurological diseases. Confirming this pathway and its regulation by common genetic variants would provide new strategies for predicting, delaying, and

  16. Molecular mechanism for the umami taste synergism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Feng; Klebansky, Boris; Fine, Richard M; Xu, Hong; Pronin, Alexey; Liu, Haitian; Tachdjian, Catherine; Li, Xiaodong

    2008-12-30

    Umami is one of the 5 basic taste qualities. The umami taste of L-glutamate can be drastically enhanced by 5' ribonucleotides and the synergy is a hallmark of this taste quality. The umami taste receptor is a heteromeric complex of 2 class C G-protein-coupled receptors, T1R1 and T1R3. Here we elucidate the molecular mechanism of the synergy using chimeric T1R receptors, site-directed mutagenesis, and molecular modeling. We propose a cooperative ligand-binding model involving the Venus flytrap domain of T1R1, where L-glutamate binds close to the hinge region, and 5' ribonucleotides bind to an adjacent site close to the opening of the flytrap to further stabilize the closed conformation. This unique mechanism may apply to other class C G-protein-coupled receptors.

  17. Molecular mechanism of the sweet taste enhancers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Feng; Klebansky, Boris; Fine, Richard M; Liu, Haitian; Xu, Hong; Servant, Guy; Zoller, Mark; Tachdjian, Catherine; Li, Xiaodong

    2010-03-01

    Positive allosteric modulators of the human sweet taste receptor have been developed as a new way of reducing dietary sugar intake. Besides their potential health benefit, the sweet taste enhancers are also valuable tool molecules to study the general mechanism of positive allosteric modulations of T1R taste receptors. Using chimeric receptors, mutagenesis, and molecular modeling, we reveal how these sweet enhancers work at the molecular level. Our data argue that the sweet enhancers follow a similar mechanism as the natural umami taste enhancer molecules. Whereas the sweeteners bind to the hinge region and induce the closure of the Venus flytrap domain of T1R2, the enhancers bind close to the opening and further stabilize the closed and active conformation of the receptor.

  18. Estrogenic endocrine disruptors: Molecular mechanisms of action.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiyama, Ryoiti; Wada-Kiyama, Yuko

    2015-10-01

    A comprehensive summary of more than 450 estrogenic chemicals including estrogenic endocrine disruptors is provided here to understand the complex and profound impact of estrogen action. First, estrogenic chemicals are categorized by structure as well as their applications, usage and effects. Second, estrogenic signaling is examined by the molecular mechanism based on the receptors, signaling pathways, crosstalk/bypassing and autocrine/paracrine/homeostatic networks involved in the signaling. Third, evaluation of estrogen action is discussed by focusing on the technologies and protocols of the assays for assessing estrogenicity. Understanding the molecular mechanisms of estrogen action is important to assess the action of endocrine disruptors and will be used for risk management based on pathway-based toxicity testing.

  19. Molecular mechanism and regulation of autophagy

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Ya-ping YANG; Zhong-qin LIANG; Zhen-lun GU; Zheng-hong QIN

    2005-01-01

    Autophagy is a major cellular pathway for the degradation of long-lived proteins and cytoplasmic organelles in eukaryotic cells. A large number of intracellular/extracellular stimuli, including amino acid starvation and invasion of microorganisms, are able to induce the autophagic response in cells. The discovery of the ATG genes in yeast has greatly advanced our understanding of the molecular mechanisms participating in autophagy and the genes involved in regulating the autophagic pathway. Many yeast genes have mammalian homologs,suggesting that the basic machinery for autophagy has been evolutionarily conserved along the eukaryotic phylum. The regulation of autophagy is a very complex process. Many signaling pathways, including target of rapamycin (TOR) or mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-I (PI3K-I)/PKB, GTPases, calcium and protein synthesis all play important roles in regulating autophagy. The molecular mechanisms and regulation of autophagy are discussed in this review.

  20. Molecular mechanisms of metastasis in prostate cancer

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Noel W.Clarke; Claire A.Hart; Mick D.Brown

    2009-01-01

    Prostate cancer (PCa) preferentially metastasizes to the bone marrow stroma of the axial skeleton.This activity is the principal cause of PCa morbidity and mortality.The exact mechanism of PCa metastasis is currently unknown,although considerable progress has been made in determining the key players in this process.In this review,we present the current understanding of the molecular processes driving PCa metastasis to the bone.

  1. [Molecular imaging of histamine receptors in the human brain].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tashiro, Manabu; Yanai, Kazuhiko

    2007-03-01

    Brain histamine is involved in a wide range of physiological functions such as regulation of sleep-wake cycle, arousal, appetite control, cognition, learning and memory mainly through the 4 receptor subtypes: H1, H2, H3 and H4. Neurons producing histamine, histaminergic neurons, are exclusively located in the tuberomammillary nucleus of the posterior hypothalamus and are transmitting histamine to almost all regions of the brain. Roles of brain histamine have been studied using animals including knock-out mice and human subjects. For clinical studies, molecular imaging technique such as positron emission tomography (PET), with ligands such as [11C]doxepin and [11C]pyrilamine, has been a useful tool. A series of clinical studies on histamine H1 antagonists, or antihistamines, have demonstrated that antihistamines can be classified into sedative, mildly-sedative and non-sedative drugs according to their blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability, showing apparent clinical usefulness regarding QOL, work efficiency and traffic safety of allergic patients. PET has also been used for elucidation of aging effects and pathophysiological roles of histaminergic nervous system in various neuropsychiatric disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia and depression, where H1 receptor binding potentials were lower than age-matched healthy controls. It has been also demonstrated that brain histamine functions as an endogenous anti-epileptic. In addition, H3 receptors are located in the presynaptic sites of not only histaminergic nerves but also in other nervous systems such as serotonergic, cholinergic and dopaminergic systems, and to be regulating secretion of various neurotransmitters. Nowadays, H3 receptors have been thought to be a new target of drug treatment of various neuropsychiatric disorders. There are still many research topics to be investigated regarding molecular imaging of histamine and histamine receptors. The authors hope that this line of research contributes

  2. 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...

  3. Vocal Emotion of Humanoid Robots: A Study from Brain Mechanism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Youhui Wang

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Driven by rapid ongoing advances in humanoid robot, increasing attention has been shifted into the issue of emotion intelligence of AI robots to facilitate the communication between man-machines and human beings, especially for the vocal emotion in interactive system of future humanoid robots. This paper explored the brain mechanism of vocal emotion by studying previous researches and developed an experiment to observe the brain response by fMRI, to analyze vocal emotion of human beings. Findings in this paper provided a new approach to design and evaluate the vocal emotion of humanoid robots based on brain mechanism of human beings.

  4. Molecular mechanisms for protein-encoded inheritance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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; (Cornell); (HHMI)

    2009-12-01

    In prion inheritance and transmission, strains are phenotypic variants encoded by protein 'conformations'. However, it is unclear how a protein conformation can be stable enough to endure transmission between cells or organisms. Here we describe new polymorphic crystal structures of segments of prion and other amyloid proteins, which offer two structural mechanisms for the encoding of prion strains. In packing polymorphism, prion strains are encoded by alternative packing arrangements (polymorphs) of {beta}-sheets formed by the same segment of a protein; in segmental polymorphism, prion strains are encoded by distinct {beta}-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 protein-encoded information into prion strains share features with the familiar mechanism for transfer of nucleic acid-encoded information into microbial strains, including sequence specificity and recognition by noncovalent bonds.

  5. 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

    2009-09-01

    In prion inheritance and transmission, strains are phenotypic variants encoded by protein 'conformations'. However, it is unclear how a protein conformation can be stable enough to endure transmission between cells or organisms. Here we describe new polymorphic crystal structures of segments of prion and other amyloid proteins, which offer two structural mechanisms for the encoding of prion strains. In packing polymorphism, prion strains are encoded by alternative packing arrangements (polymorphs) of beta-sheets formed by the same segment of a protein; in segmental polymorphism, prion strains are encoded by distinct beta-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 protein-encoded information into prion strains share features with the familiar mechanism for transfer of nucleic acid-encoded information into microbial strains, including sequence specificity and recognition by noncovalent bonds.

  6. Pathophysiologic mechanisms of brain-body associations in ruptured brain aneurysms: A systematic review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin W. Y. Lo

    2015-01-01

    Conclusions: This systematic review synthesizes the most current evidence of underlying mechanisms of brain related associations with body systems in aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage. Results gained from these studies are clinically useful and shed light on how ruptured brain aneurysms affect the cardiopulmonary system. Subsequent neuro-cardio-endocrine responses then interact with other body systems as part of the secondary responses to primary injury.

  7. Molecular model with quantum mechanical bonding information.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bohórquez, Hugo J; Boyd, Russell J; Matta, Chérif F

    2011-11-17

    The molecular structure can be defined quantum mechanically thanks to the theory of atoms in molecules. Here, we report a new molecular model that reflects quantum mechanical properties of the chemical bonds. This graphical representation of molecules is based on the topology of the electron density at the critical points. The eigenvalues of the Hessian are used for depicting the critical points three-dimensionally. The bond path linking two atoms has a thickness that is proportional to the electron density at the bond critical point. The nuclei are represented according to the experimentally determined atomic radii. The resulting molecular structures are similar to the traditional ball and stick ones, with the difference that in this model each object included in the plot provides topological information about the atoms and bonding interactions. As a result, the character and intensity of any given interatomic interaction can be identified by visual inspection, including the noncovalent ones. Because similar bonding interactions have similar plots, this tool permits the visualization of chemical bond transferability, revealing the presence of functional groups in large molecules.

  8. Molecular mechanics conformational analysis of tylosin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivanov, Petko M.

    1998-01-01

    The conformations of the 16-membered macrolide antibiotic tylosin were studied with molecular mechanics (AMBER∗ force field) including modelling of the effect of the solvent on the conformational preferences (GB/SA). A Monte Carlo conformational search procedure was used for finding the most probable low-energy conformations. The present study provides complementary data to recently reported analysis of the conformations of tylosin based on NMR techniques. A search for the low-energy conformations of protynolide, a 16-membered lactone containing the same aglycone as tylosin, was also carried out, and the results were compared with the observed conformation in the crystal as well as with the most probable conformations of the macrocyclic ring of tylosin. The dependence of the results on force field was also studied by utilizing the MM3 force field. Some particular conformations were computed with the semiempirical molecular orbital methods AM1 and PM3.

  9. Death Associated Protein Kinases: Molecular Structure and Brain Injury

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claire Thornton

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Perinatal brain damage underlies an important share of motor and neurodevelopmental disabilities, such as cerebral palsy, cognitive impairment, visual dysfunction and epilepsy. Clinical, epidemiological, and experimental studies have revealed that factors such as inflammation, excitotoxicity and oxidative stress contribute considerably to both white and grey matter injury in the immature brain. A member of the death associated protein kinase (DAPk family, DAPk1, has been implicated in cerebral ischemic damage, whereby DAPk1 potentiates NMDA receptor-mediated excitotoxicity through interaction with the NR2BR subunit. DAPk1 also mediate a range of activities from autophagy, membrane blebbing and DNA fragmentation ultimately leading to cell death. DAPk mRNA levels are particularly highly expressed in the developing brain and thus, we hypothesize that DAPk1 may play a role in perinatal brain injury. In addition to reviewing current knowledge, we present new aspects of the molecular structure of DAPk domains, and relate these findings to interacting partners of DAPk1, DAPk-regulation in NMDA-induced cerebral injury and novel approaches to blocking the injurious effects of DAPk1.

  10. Death associated protein kinases: molecular structure and brain injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nair, Syam; Hagberg, Henrik; Krishnamurthy, Rajanikant; Thornton, Claire; Mallard, Carina

    2013-07-04

    Perinatal brain damage underlies an important share of motor and neurodevelopmental disabilities, such as cerebral palsy, cognitive impairment, visual dysfunction and epilepsy. Clinical, epidemiological, and experimental studies have revealed that factors such as inflammation, excitotoxicity and oxidative stress contribute considerably to both white and grey matter injury in the immature brain. A member of the death associated protein kinase (DAPk) family, DAPk1, has been implicated in cerebral ischemic damage, whereby DAPk1 potentiates NMDA receptor-mediated excitotoxicity through interaction with the NR2BR subunit. DAPk1 also mediate a range of activities from autophagy, membrane blebbing and DNA fragmentation ultimately leading to cell death. DAPk mRNA levels are particularly highly expressed in the developing brain and thus, we hypothesize that DAPk1 may play a role in perinatal brain injury. In addition to reviewing current knowledge, we present new aspects of the molecular structure of DAPk domains, and relate these findings to interacting partners of DAPk1, DAPk-regulation in NMDA-induced cerebral injury and novel approaches to blocking the injurious effects of DAPk1.

  11. Modeling molecular mechanisms in the axon

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Rooij, R.; Miller, K. E.; Kuhl, E.

    2017-03-01

    Axons are living systems that display highly dynamic changes in stiffness, viscosity, and internal stress. However, the mechanistic origin of these phenomenological properties remains elusive. Here we establish a computational mechanics model that interprets cellular-level characteristics as emergent properties from molecular-level events. We create an axon model of discrete microtubules, which are connected to neighboring microtubules via discrete crosslinking mechanisms that obey a set of simple rules. We explore two types of mechanisms: passive and active crosslinking. Our passive and active simulations suggest that the stiffness and viscosity of the axon increase linearly with the crosslink density, and that both are highly sensitive to the crosslink detachment and reattachment times. Our model explains how active crosslinking with dynein motors generates internal stresses and actively drives axon elongation. We anticipate that our model will allow us to probe a wide variety of molecular phenomena—both in isolation and in interaction—to explore emergent cellular-level features under physiological and pathological conditions.

  12. Molecular mechanisms of sex determination in reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rhen, T; Schroeder, A

    2010-01-01

    Charles Darwin first provided a lucid explanation of how gender differences evolve nearly 140 years ago. Yet, a disconnect remains between his theory of sexual selection and the mechanisms that underlie the development of males and females. In particular, comparisons between representatives of different phyla (i.e., flies and mice) reveal distinct genetic mechanisms for sexual differentiation. Such differences are hard to comprehend unless we study organisms that bridge the phylogenetic gap. Analysis of variation within monophyletic groups (i.e., amniotes) is just as important if we hope to elucidate the evolution of mechanisms underlying sexual differentiation. Here we review the molecular, cellular, morphological, and physiological changes associated with sex determination in reptiles. Most research on the molecular biology of sex determination in reptiles describes expression patterns for orthologs of mammalian sex-determining genes. Many of these genes have evolutionarily conserved expression profiles (i.e., DMRT1 and SOX9 are expressed at a higher level in developing testes vs. developing ovaries in all species), which suggests functional conservation. However, expression profiling alone does not test gene function and will not identify novel sex-determining genes or gene interactions. For that reason, we provide a prospectus on various techniques that promise to reveal new sex-determining genes and regulatory interactions among these genes. We offer specific examples of novel candidate genes and a new signaling pathway in support of these techniques.

  13. Molecular mapping of brain areas involved in parrot vocal communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jarvis, E D; Mello, C V

    2000-03-27

    Auditory and vocal regulation of gene expression occurs in separate discrete regions of the songbird brain. Here we demonstrate that regulated gene expression also occurs during vocal communication in a parrot, belonging to an order whose ability to learn vocalizations is thought to have evolved independently of songbirds. Adult male budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus) were stimulated to vocalize with playbacks of conspecific vocalizations (warbles), and their brains were analyzed for expression of the transcriptional regulator ZENK. The results showed that there was distinct separation of brain areas that had hearing- or vocalizing-induced ZENK expression. Hearing warbles resulted in ZENK induction in large parts of the caudal medial forebrain and in 1 midbrain region, with a pattern highly reminiscent of that observed in songbirds. Vocalizing resulted in ZENK induction in nine brain structures, seven restricted to the lateral and anterior telencephalon, one in the thalamus, and one in the midbrain, with a pattern partially reminiscent of that observed in songbirds. Five of the telencephalic structures had been previously described as part of the budgerigar vocal control pathway. However, functional boundaries defined by the gene expression patterns for some of these structures were much larger and different in shape than previously reported anatomical boundaries. Our results provide the first functional demonstration of brain areas involved in vocalizing and auditory processing of conspecific sounds in budgerigars. They also indicate that, whether or not vocal learning evolved independently, some of the gene regulatory mechanisms that accompany learned vocal communication are similar in songbirds and parrots.

  14. Thymic Output: Influence Factors and Molecular Mechanism

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Rong Jin; Jun Zhang; Weifeng Chen

    2006-01-01

    Thymus is a primary lymphoid organ, able to generate mature T cells that eventually colonize secondary lymphoid organs, and is therefore essential for peripheral T cell renewal. Recent data showed that normal thymocyte export can be altered by several influence factors including several chemokines,sphingosinel-phosphate (S1P),transcription factors such as Foxjl, Kruppel-like transcription factor 2 (KLF2) and antigen stimulation, etc. In this review, we summarized the recent reports about study strategies, influence factors and possible molecular mechanisms in thymic output.

  15. Molecular mechanisms underlying noncoding risk variations in psychiatric genetic studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiao, X; Chang, H; Li, M

    2017-01-03

    Recent large-scale genetic approaches such as genome-wide association studies have allowed the identification of common genetic variations that contribute to risk architectures of psychiatric disorders. However, most of these susceptibility variants are located in noncoding genomic regions that usually span multiple genes. As a result, pinpointing the precise variant(s) and biological mechanisms accounting for the risk remains challenging. By reviewing recent progresses in genetics, functional genomics and neurobiology of psychiatric disorders, as well as gene expression analyses of brain tissues, here we propose a roadmap to characterize the roles of noncoding risk loci in the pathogenesis of psychiatric illnesses (that is, identifying the underlying molecular mechanisms explaining the genetic risk conferred by those genomic loci, and recognizing putative functional causative variants). This roadmap involves integration of transcriptomic data, epidemiological and bioinformatic methods, as well as in vitro and in vivo experimental approaches. These tools will promote the translation of genetic discoveries to physiological mechanisms, and ultimately guide the development of preventive, therapeutic and prognostic measures for psychiatric disorders.Molecular Psychiatry advance online publication, 3 January 2017; doi:10.1038/mp.2016.241.

  16. 基于数据挖掘和网络分析的“脑心同治”分子机制研究%Molecular mechanism research on simultaneous therapy of brain and heart based on data mining and network analysis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    陈迪; 卢朋; 张方博; 唐仕欢; 杨洪军

    2013-01-01

    研究从分子层面出发,结合利用信息技术中的网络分析、聚类和关联规则分析方法,找到步长脑心通这一实现脑心同治的方剂中的化合物成分共同作用于人体内的主要靶标组合,并对比分析这些主要成分在基于冠心病和中风病相关的蛋白质交互作用网络中作用的节点的异同.结果从分子层面上找出该方的主要成分对于2种疾病频繁作用的共同靶标及对于2种疾病分别作用到的不同靶标,同时确定了主要成分在作用于2种疾病共同靶标的同时也间接影响到不同靶标,从而解释其脑心同治的分子作用机制.%Objective:The theory of treating heart and brain simultaneously is from the theory of traditional Chinese medicine,and there aren't enough explanations for this theory from the perspective of molecular mechanism.As one successful case of this theory,the Chinese medicine formula——Buchang Naoxintong can achieve the goal of treating coronary heart disease and stroke at the same time.To illustrate the mechanism of the theory of treating heart and brain simultaneously,it is necessary to find out the molecular mechanism of this formula.Method:Using the network analysis method,together with two data mining methods-clustering and apriori algorithm,the frequent gene combinations interfered by the chemicals of the formula based on the protein-protein interaction networks related with coronary heart disease and stroke disease were figured out respectively.To find out the molecular mechanism of the theory of treating heart and brain simultaneously,the results got from two diseases were compared and analyzed.Result:Based on comparing two results from these two different diseases,the mechanism of the theory of treating heart and brain simultaneously was explained from molecular level by finding out key genes targeted by the components of this formula for both diseases and some particular genes interfered by the components for each

  17. 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.

  18. [Molecular mechanisms regulating the activity of macrophages].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Onoprienko, L V

    2011-01-01

    This article reviews modern concepts of the most common types of macrophage activation: classical, alternative, and type II. Molecular mechanisms of induction and regulation of these three types of activation are discussed. Any population of macrophages was shown to change its properties depending on its microenvironment and concrete biological situation (the "functional plasticity of macrophages"). Many intermediate states of macrophages were described along with the most pronounced and well-known activation types (classical activation, alternative activation, and type II activation). These intermediate states are characterized by a variety of combinations of their biological properties, including elements of the three afore mentioned types of activation. Macrophage activity is regulated by a complex network of interrelated cascade mechanisms.

  19. 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.

  20. Molecular Mechanisms Regulating Macrophage Response to Hypoxia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michal Amit Rahat

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Monocytes and Macrophages (Mo/Mϕ exhibit great plasticity, as they can shift between different modes of activation and, driven by their immediate microenvironment, perform divergent functions. These include, among others, patrolling their surroundings and maintaining homeostasis (resident Mo/Mϕ, combating invading pathogens and tumor cells (classically activated or M1 Mo/Mϕ, orchestrating wound healing (alternatively activated or M2 Mo/Mϕ, and restoring homeostasis after an inflammatory response (resolution Mϕ. Hypoxia is an important factor in the Mϕ microenvironment, is prevalent in many physiological and pathological conditions, and is interdependent with the inflammatory response. Although Mo/Mϕ have been studied in hypoxia, the mechanisms by which hypoxia influences the different modes of their activation, and how it regulates the shift between them, remain unclear. Here we review the current knowledge about the molecular mechanisms that mediate this hypoxic regulation of Mϕ activation. Much is known about the hypoxic transcriptional regulatory network, which includes the master regulators HIF-1 and NF-κB, as well as other transcription factors (e.g. AP-1, Erg-1, but we also highlight the role of post-transcriptional and post-translational mechanisms. These mechanisms mediate hypoxic induction of Mϕ pro-angiogenic mediators, suppress M1 Mϕ by post-transcriptionally inhibiting pro-inflammatory mediators, and help shift the classically activated Mϕ into an activation state which approximate the alternatively activated or resolution Mϕ.

  1. 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.

  2. Mechanisms of CTC Biomarkers in Breast Cancer Brain Metastasis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-10-01

    represents the most devastating and feared consequence of breast cancer . BCBM is usually fatal and is increasing in frequency with occult brain...metastatic breast cancer (stage IV) patients with or without clinically diagnosed BCBM employing multiparametric flow cytometry (FACS; ARIA IIID system)(10...AWARD NUMBER: W81XWH-14-1-0214 TITLE: Mechanisms of CTC Biomarkers in Breast Cancer Brain Metastasis PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Dario

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pfisterer, Ulrich; Khodosevich, Konstantin

    2017-03-02

    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 a particular neuron will die. To accommodate this signaling, immature neurons in the brain express a number of transmembrane factors as well as intracellular signaling molecules that will regulate the cell survival/death decision, and many of these factors cease being expressed upon neuronal maturation. Furthermore, pro-survival factors and intracellular responses depend on the type of neuron and region of the brain. Thus, in addition to some common neuronal pro-survival signaling, different types of neurons possess a variety of 'neuron type-specific' pro-survival constituents that might help them to adapt 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 types of immature neurons. Importantly, we mainly focus on in vivo data to describe neuronal survival specifically in the brain, without extrapolating data obtained in the PNS or spinal cord, and thus emphasize the influence of the complex brain environment on neuronal survival during development.

  4. Quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics dual Hamiltonian free energy perturbation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polyak, Iakov; Benighaus, Tobias; Boulanger, Eliot; Thiel, Walter

    2013-08-14

    The dual Hamiltonian free energy perturbation (DH-FEP) method is designed for accurate and efficient evaluation of the free energy profile of chemical reactions in quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical (QM/MM) calculations. In contrast to existing QM/MM FEP variants, the QM region is not kept frozen during sampling, but all degrees of freedom except for the reaction coordinate are sampled. In the DH-FEP scheme, the sampling is done by semiempirical QM/MM molecular dynamics (MD), while the perturbation energy differences are evaluated from high-level QM/MM single-point calculations at regular intervals, skipping a pre-defined number of MD sampling steps. After validating our method using an analytic model potential with an exactly known solution, we report a QM/MM DH-FEP study of the enzymatic reaction catalyzed by chorismate mutase. We suggest guidelines for QM/MM DH-FEP calculations and default values for the required computational parameters. In the case of chorismate mutase, we apply the DH-FEP approach in combination with a single one-dimensional reaction coordinate and with a two-dimensional collective coordinate (two individual distances), with superior results for the latter choice.

  5. Exploring human brain lateralization with molecular genetics and genomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Francks, Clyde

    2015-11-01

    Lateralizations of brain structure and motor behavior have been observed in humans as early as the first trimester of gestation, and are likely to arise from asymmetrical genetic-developmental programs, as in other animals. Studies of gene expression levels in postmortem tissue samples, comparing the left and right sides of the human cerebral cortex, have generally not revealed striking transcriptional differences between the hemispheres. This is likely due to lateralization of gene expression being subtle and quantitative. However, a recent re-analysis and meta-analysis of gene expression data from the adult superior temporal and auditory cortex found lateralization of transcription of genes involved in synaptic transmission and neuronal electrophysiology. Meanwhile, human subcortical mid- and hindbrain structures have not been well studied in relation to lateralization of gene activity, despite being potentially important developmental origins of asymmetry. Genetic polymorphisms with small effects on adult brain and behavioral asymmetries are beginning to be identified through studies of large datasets, but the core genetic mechanisms of lateralized human brain development remain unknown. Identifying subtly lateralized genetic networks in the brain will lead to a new understanding of how neuronal circuits on the left and right are differently fine-tuned to preferentially support particular cognitive and behavioral functions.

  6. Vibrational spectrum at a water surface: a hybrid quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics molecular dynamics approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishiyama, Tatsuya; Takahashi, Hideaki; Morita, Akihiro

    2012-03-28

    A hybrid quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) molecular dynamics (MD) simulation is applied to the calculation of surface orientational structure and vibrational spectrum (second-order nonlinear susceptibility) at the vapor/water interface for the first time. The surface orientational structure of the QM water molecules is consistent with the previous MD studies, and the calculated susceptibility reproduces the experimentally reported one, supporting the previous results using the classical force field MD simulation. The present QM/MM MD simulation also demonstrates that the positive sign of the imaginary part of the second-order nonlinear susceptibility at the lower hydrogen bonding OH frequency region originates not from individual molecular orientational structure, but from cooperative electronic structure through the hydrogen bonding network.

  7. Molecular mechanisms of HIV-1 associated neurodegeneration

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Hakan Ozdener

    2005-06-01

    Since identification of the human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1), numerous studies suggest a link between neurological impairments, in particular dementia, with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) with alarming occurrence worldwide. Approximately, 60% of HIV-infected people show some form of neurological impairment, and neuropathological changes are found in 90% of autopsied cases. Approximately 30% of untreated HIV-infected persons may develop dementia. The mechanisms behind these pathological changes are still not understood. Mounting data obtained by in vivo and in vitro experiments suggest that neuronal apoptosis is a major feature of HIV associated dementia (HAD), which can occur in the absence of direct infection of neurons. The major pathway of neuronal apoptosis occurs indirectly through release of neurotoxins by activated cells in the central nervous system (CNS) involving the induction of excitotoxicity and oxidative stress. In addition a direct mechanism induced by viral proteins in the pathogenesis of HAD may also play a role. This review focuses on the molecular mechanisms of HIV-associated dementia and possible therapeutic strategies.

  8. [Neuroprotective mechanisms of cannabinoids in brain ischemia and neurodegenerative disorders].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osuna-Zazuetal, Marcela Amparo; Ponce-Gómez, Juan Antonio; Pérez-Neri, Iván

    2015-06-01

    One of the most important causes of morbidity and mortality is neurologic dysfunction; its high incidence has led to an intense research of the mechanisms that protect the central nervous system from hypoxia and ischemia. The mayor challenge is to block the biochemical events leading to neuronal death. This may be achieved by neuroprotective mechanisms that avoid the metabolic and immunologic cascades that follow a neurological damage. When it occurs, several pathophysiological events develop including cytokine release, oxidative stress and excitotoxicity. Neuroprotective effects of cannabinoids to all those mechanisms have been reported in animal models of brain ischemia, excitotoxicity, brain trauma and neurodegenerative disorders. Some endocannabinoid analogs are being tested in clinical studies (I-III phase) for acute disorders involving neuronal death (brain trauma and ischemia). The study of the cannabinoid system may allow the discovery of effective neuroprotective drugs for the treatment of neurological disorders.

  9. 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.

  10. Conscious perception of emotional stimuli: brain mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, Derek G V; Greening, Steven G

    2012-08-01

    Emotional stimuli are thought to gain rapid and privileged access to processing resources in the brain. The structures involved in this enhanced access are thought to support subconscious, reflexive processes. Whether these pathways contribute to the phenomenological experience of emotional visual awareness (i.e., conscious perception) is unclear. In this review, it is argued that subcortical networks associated with the rapid detection of emotionally salient stimuli also play a key role in shaping awareness. This proposal is based on the idea that awareness of visual stimuli should be considered along a continuum, having intermediate levels, rather than as an all-or-none construct. It is also argued that awareness of emotional stimuli requires less input from frontoparietal structures that are often considered crucial for visual awareness. Evidence is also presented that implicates a region of the medial prefrontal cortex, involved in emotion regulation, in modulating amygdala output to determine awareness of emotional visual stimuli; when emotional stimuli are present, the conscious perception of alternative stimuli requires greater regulatory influences from cortical structures. Thus, emotional stimuli are privileged not only for neuronal representation and impact on subconscious processes, but also for awareness, allowing humans to deal flexibly rather than merely reflexively to biologically significant stimuli.

  11. Molecular mechanisms involved in intestinal iron absorption

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Paul Sharp; Surjit Kaila Srai

    2007-01-01

    Iron is an essential trace metal in the human diet due to its obligate role in a number of metabolic processes.In the diet, iron is present in a number of different forms, generally described as haem (from haemoglobin and myoglobin in animal tissue) and non-haem iron (including ferric oxides and salts, ferritin and lactoferrin).This review describes the molecular mechanisms that co-ordinate the absorption of iron from the diet and its release into the circulation. While many components of the iron transport pathway have been elucidated, a number of key issues still remain to be resolved. Future work in this area will provide a clearer picture regarding the transcellular flux of iron and its regulation by dietary and humoral factors.

  12. Molecular mechanism of TNF signaling and beyond

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Zheng-gang LIU

    2005-01-01

    Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) is a proinflammatory cytokine that plays a critical role in diverse cellular events,including cell proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis. TNF is also involved in many types of diseases. In recent years, the molecular mechanisms of TNF functions have been intensively investigated. Studies from many laboratories have demonstrated that the TNF-mediated diverse biological responses are achieved through activating multiple signaling pathways. Especially the activation of transcription factors NF-κB and AP-1 plays a critical role in mediating these cellular responses. Several proteins, including FADD, the death domain kinase RIP and the TNF receptor associated factor TRAF2 have been identified as the key effectors of TNF signaling. Recently, we found that the effector molecules of TNF signaling, such as RIP and TRAF2, are also involved in other cellular responses. These finding suggests that RIP and TRAF2 serve a broader role than as just an effector of TNF signaling.

  13. Phenotypic plasticity: molecular mechanisms and adaptive significance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelly, Scott A; Panhuis, Tami M; Stoehr, Andrew M

    2012-04-01

    Phenotypic plasticity can be broadly defined as the ability of one genotype to produce more than one phenotype when exposed to different environments, as the modification of developmental events by the environment, or as the ability of an individual organism to alter its phenotype in response to changes in environmental conditions. Not surprisingly, the study of phenotypic plasticity is innately interdisciplinary and encompasses aspects of behavior, development, ecology, evolution, genetics, genomics, and multiple physiological systems at various levels of biological organization. From an ecological and evolutionary perspective, phenotypic plasticity may be a powerful means of adaptation and dramatic examples of phenotypic plasticity include predator avoidance, insect wing polymorphisms, the timing of metamorphosis in amphibians, osmoregulation in fishes, and alternative reproductive tactics in male vertebrates. From a human health perspective, documented examples of plasticity most commonly include the results of exercise, training, and/or dieting on human morphology and physiology. Regardless of the discipline, phenotypic plasticity has increasingly become the target of a plethora of investigations with the methodological approaches utilized ranging from the molecular to whole organsimal. In this article, we provide a brief historical outlook on phenotypic plasticity; examine its potential adaptive significance; emphasize recent molecular approaches that provide novel insight into underlying mechanisms, and highlight examples in fishes and insects. Finally, we highlight examples of phenotypic plasticity from a human health perspective and underscore the use of mouse models as a powerful tool in understanding the genetic architecture of phenotypic plasticity.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Blood-brain barrier permeability and brain uptake mechanism of kainic acid and dihydrokainic acid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gynther, Mikko; Petsalo, Aleksanteri; Hansen, Steen H; Bunch, Lennart; Pickering, Darryl S

    2015-03-01

    The glutamatergic neurotransmitter system is involved in important neurophysiological processes and thus constitutes a promising target for the treatment of neurological diseases. The two ionotropic glutamate receptor agonists kainic acid (KA) and dihydrokainic acid (DHK) have been used as research 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 volume of distribution in brain is also low. Therefore, even though the total KA and DHK concentrations in the brain are low after systemic dosing, the concentrations in the vicinity of the glutamate receptors are sufficient for their activation and thus the observed efficacy.

  19. Mechanisms and effects of seizures in the immature brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nardou, Romain; Ferrari, Diana C; Ben-Ari, Yehezkel

    2013-08-01

    The developing immature brain is not simply a small adult brain but rather possesses unique physiological properties. These include neuronal ionic currents that differ markedly from those in the adult brain, typically being longer-lasting and less selective. This enables immature heterogeneous neurons to connect and fire together but at the same time, along with other features may contribute to the enhanced propensity of the developing brain to become epileptic. Indeed, immature neurons tend to readily synchronize and thus generate seizures. Here, we review the differences between the immature and adult brain, with particular focus on the developmental sequence of γ-aminobutyric acid that excites immature neurons while being inhibitory in the normal adult brain. We review the mechanisms underlying the developmental changes to intracellular chloride levels, as well as how epileptiform activity can drive pathologic changes to chloride balance in the brain. We show that regulation of intracellular chloride is one important factor that underlies both the ease with which seizures can be generated and the facilitation of further seizures. We stress in particular the importance of understanding normal developmental sequences and how they are interrupted by seizures and other insults, and how this knowledge has led to the identification of potential novel treatments for conditions such as neonatal seizures.

  20. 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.

  1. The Stress and Vascular Catastrophes in Newborn Rats: Mechanisms Preceding and Accompanying the Brain Hemorrhages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Semyachkina-Glushkovskaya, Oxana; Borisova, Ekaterina; Abakumov, Maxim; Gorin, Dmitry; Avramov, Latchezar; Fedosov, Ivan; Namykin, Anton; Abdurashitov, Arkady; Serov, Alexander; Pavlov, Alexey; Zinchenko, Ekaterina; Lychagov, Vlad; Navolokin, Nikita; Shirokov, Alexander; Maslyakova, Galina; Zhu, Dan; Luo, Qingming; Chekhonin, Vladimir; Tuchin, Valery; Kurths, Jürgen

    2016-01-01

    In this study, we analyzed the time-depended scenario of stress response cascade preceding and accompanying brain hemorrhages in newborn rats using an interdisciplinary approach based on: a morphological analysis of brain tissues, coherent-domain optical technologies for visualization of the cerebral blood flow, monitoring of the cerebral oxygenation and the deformability of red blood cells (RBCs). Using a model of stress-induced brain hemorrhages (sound stress, 120 dB, 370 Hz), we studied changes in neonatal brain 2, 4, 6, 8 h after stress (the pre-hemorrhage, latent period) and 24 h after stress (the post-hemorrhage period). We found that latent period of brain hemorrhages is accompanied by gradual pathological changes in systemic, metabolic, and cellular levels of stress. The incidence of brain hemorrhages is characterized by a progression of these changes and the irreversible cell death in the brain areas involved in higher mental functions. These processes are realized via a time-depended reduction of cerebral venous blood flow and oxygenation that was accompanied by an increase in RBCs deformability. The significant depletion of the molecular layer of the prefrontal cortex and the pyramidal neurons, which are crucial for associative learning and attention, is developed as a consequence of homeostasis imbalance. Thus, stress-induced processes preceding and accompanying brain hemorrhages in neonatal period contribute to serious injuries of the brain blood circulation, cerebral metabolic activity and structural elements of cognitive function. These results are an informative platform for further studies of mechanisms underlying stress-induced brain hemorrhages during the first days of life that will improve the future generation's health. PMID:27378933

  2. Quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics restrained electrostatic potential fitting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burger, Steven K; Schofield, Jeremy; Ayers, Paul W

    2013-12-05

    We present a quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) method to evaluate the partial charges of amino acid residues for use in MM potentials based on their protein environment. For each residue of interest, the nearby residues are included in the QM system while the rest of the protein is treated at the MM level of theory. After a short structural optimization, the partial charges of the central residue are fit to the electrostatic potential using the restrained electrostatic potential (RESP) method. The resulting charges and electrostatic potential account for the individual environment of the residue, although they lack the transferable nature of library partial charges. To evaluate the quality of the QM/MM RESP charges, thermodynamic integration is used to measure the pKa shift of the aspartic acid residues in three different proteins, turkey egg lysozyme, beta-cryptogein, and Thioredoxin. Compared to the AMBER ff99SB library values, the QM/MM RESP charges show better agreement between the calculated and experimental pK(a) values for almost all of the residues considered.

  3. Multiresolution molecular mechanics: Implementation and efficiency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biyikli, Emre; To, Albert C.

    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.

  4. Molecular advances to treat cancer of the brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fathallah-Shaykh, H M; Zhao, L J; Mickey, B; Kafrouni, A I

    2000-06-01

    Malignant primary and metastatic brain tumours continue to be associated with poor prognosis. Nevertheless, recent advances in molecular medicine, specifically in the strategies of gene therapy, targeting tumour cells, anti-angiogenesis and immunotherapy, have created novel tools that may be of therapeutic value. To date, gene therapy trials have not yet demonstrated clinical efficacy because of inherent defects in vector design. Despite this, advances in adenoviral technology, namely the helper-dependent adenoviral constructs (gutless) and the uncovering of brain parenchymal cells as effective and necessary targets for antitumour benefits of adenoviral-mediated gene transfer, suggest that developments in vector design may be approaching the point of clinical utility. Targeting tumour cells refers to strategies that destroy malignant but spare normal cells. A new assortment of oncolytic viruses have emerged, capable of specific lysis of cancer tissue while sparing normal cells and propagating until they reach the tumour borders. Furthermore, peptides have been transformed into bullets that specifically seek and destroy cancer cells. The concept of tumour angiogenesis has been challenged by new but still very controversial findings that tumour cells themselves may form blood channels. These results may lead to the redirecting of the molecular targets toward anti-angiogenesis in some tumours including glioblastoma multiform. Unfortunately, our knowledge regarding the immunological ignorance of the tumour is still limited. Even so, newly discovered molecules have shed light on novel pathways leading to the escape of the tumour from the immune system. Finally, significant limitations in our current experimental tumour models may soon be overcome by firstly, the development of models of reproducible organ-specific tumours in non-inbred animals and secondly applying genomics to individualize therapy for a particular tumour in a specific patient.

  5. Deciphering the Molecular Mechanisms of Breast Cancer

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-03-01

    BRCA1 and BRCA2, by a Signalosome-like Subunit and its Role in DNA Repair. Molecular Cell 12; 1087-1099 (2003). Presentations/Abstracts...BRCA1 and BRCA2, by a Signalosome-like Subunit and its Role in DNA Repair. Molecular Cell 12; 1087-1099. APPENDICIES: CURRICULUM VITAE...Oncogenesis Program Member, Faculty Recruitment Committee Periodic Manuscript Reviews: Cell, Science, Molecular Cell , Molecular and Cellular

  6. [Intestinal-brain axis. Neuronal and immune-inflammatory mechanisms of brain and intestine pathology].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bondarenko, V M; Riabichenko, E V

    2013-01-01

    Mutually directed connections between intestine and brain are implemented by endocrine, neural and immune systems and nonspecific natural immunity. Intestine micro flora as an active participant of intestine-brain axis not only influences intestine functions but also stimulates the development of CNS in perinatal period and interacts with higher nervous centers causing depression and cognitive disorders in pathology. A special role belongs to intestine microglia. Apart from mechanic (protective) and trophic functions for intestine neurons, glia implements neurotransmitter, immunologic, barrier and motoric functions in the intestine. An interconnection between intestine barrier function and hematoencephalic barrier regulation exists. Chronic endotoxinemia as a result of intestine barrier dysfunction forms sustained inflammation state in periventricular zone of the brain with consequent destabilization of hematoencephalic barriers and spread oF inflammation to other parts of the brain resulting in neurodegradation development.

  7. Decision-making mechanisms in the brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deco, Gustavo; Rolls, Edmund T.

    2007-02-01

    Behavioral, neurophysiological, and theoretical studies are converging to a common theory of decision-making that assumes an underlying diffusion process which integrates both the accumulation of perceptual and cognitive evidence for making the decision and motor choice in one unifying neural network. In particular, neuronal activity in the ventral premotor cortex (VPC) is related to decision-making while trained monkeys compare two mechanical vibrations applied sequentially to the tip of a finger to report which of the two stimuli have the higher frequency (Romo et al. 2004, Neuron 41: 165). In particular, neurons were found whose response depended only on the difference between the two applied frequencies, the sign of that difference being the determining factor for correct task performance. We describe an integrate-and-fire attractor model with realistic synaptic dynamics including AMPA, NMDA and GABA synapses which can reproduce the decision-making related response selectivity of VPC neurons during the comparison period of the task. Populations of neurons for each decision in the biased competition attractor receive a bias input that depends on the firing rates of neurons in the VPC that code for the two vibrotactile frequencies. It was found that if the connectivity parameters of the network are tuned, using mean-field techniques, so that the network has two possible stable stationary final attractors respectively related to the two possible decisions, then the firing rate of the neurons in whichever attractor wins reflects the sign of the difference in the frequencies being compared but not the absolute frequencies. Thus Weber's law for frequency comparison is not encoded by the firing rate of the neurons in these attractors. An analysis of the nonstationary evolution of the dynamics of the network model shows that Weber's law is implemented in the probability of transition from the initial spontaneous firing state to one of the two possible attractor states

  8. Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Psychological Stress and Cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shin, Kyeong Jin; Lee, Yu Jin; Yang, Yong Ryoul; Park, Seorim; Suh, Pann-Ghill; Follo, Matilde Yung; Cocco, Lucio; Ryu, Sung Ho

    2016-01-01

    Psychological stress is an emotion experienced when people are under mental pressure or encounter unexpected problems. Extreme or repetitive stress increases the risk of developing human disease, including cardiovascular disease (CVD), immune diseases, mental disorders, and cancer. Several studies have shown an association between psychological stress and cancer growth and metastasis in animal models and case studies of cancer patients. Stress induces the secretion of stress-related mediators, such as catecholamine, cortisol, and oxytocin, via the activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis or the sympathetic nervous system (SNS). These stress-related hormones and neurotransmitters adversely affect stress-induced tumor progression and cancer therapy. Catecholamine is the primary factor that influences tumor progression. It can regulate diverse cellular signaling pathways through adrenergic receptors (ADRs), which are expressed by several types of cancer cells. Activated ADRs enhance the proliferation and invasion abilities of cancer cells, alter cell activity in the tumor microenvironment, and regulate the interaction between cancer and its microenvironment to promote tumor progression. Additionally, other stress mediators, such as glucocorticoids and oxytocin, and their cognate receptors are involved in stress-induced cancer growth and metastasis. Here, we will review how each receptor-mediated signal cascade contributes to tumor initiation and progression and discuss how we can use these molecular mechanisms for cancer therapy.

  9. Parkinson disease: from pathology to molecular disease mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dexter, David T; Jenner, Peter

    2013-09-01

    Parkinson disease (PD) is a complex neurodegenerative disorder with both motor and nonmotor symptoms owing to a spreading process of neuronal loss in the brain. At present, only symptomatic treatment exists and nothing can be done to halt the degenerative process, as its cause remains unclear. Risk factors such as aging, genetic susceptibility, and environmental factors all play a role in the onset of the pathogenic process but how these interlink to cause neuronal loss is not known. There have been major advances in the understanding of mechanisms that contribute to nigral dopaminergic cell death, including mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative stress, altered protein handling, and inflammation. However, it is not known if the same processes are responsible for neuronal loss in nondopaminergic brain regions. Many of the known mechanisms of cell death are mirrored in toxin-based models of PD, but neuronal loss is rapid and not progressive and limited to dopaminergic cells, and drugs that protect against toxin-induced cell death have not translated into neuroprotective therapies in humans. Gene mutations identified in rare familial forms of PD encode proteins whose functions overlap widely with the known molecular pathways in sporadic disease and these have again expanded our knowledge of the neurodegenerative process but again have so far failed to yield effective models of sporadic disease when translated into animals. We seem to be missing some key parts of the jigsaw, the trigger event starting many years earlier in the disease process, and what we are looking at now is merely part of a downstream process that is the end stage of neuronal death.

  10. Molecular codes for neuronal individuality and cell assembly in the brain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takeshi eYagi

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available The brain contains an enormous, but finite, number of neurons. The ability of this limited number of neurons to produce nearly limitless neural information over a lifetime is typically explained by combinatorial explosion; that is, by the exponential amplification of each neuron’s contribution through its incorporation into cell assemblies and neural networks. In development, each neuron expresses diverse cellular recognition molecules that permit the formation of the appropriate neural cell assemblies to elicit various brain functions. The mechanism for generating neuronal assemblies and networks must involve molecular codes that give neurons individuality and allow them to recognize one another and join appropriate networks. The extensive molecular diversity of cell-surface proteins on neurons is likely to contribute to their individual identities. The cadherin-related neuronal receptors and clustered protocadherins (CNR/Pcdh is a large subfamily within the diverse cadherin superfamily. The CNR/Pcdh genes are encoded in tandem by three gene clusters, and are present in all known vertebrate genomes. The set of CNR/Pcdh genes is expressed in a random and combinatorial manner in each neuron. In addition, cis-tetramers composed of heteromultimeric CNR/Pcdh isoforms represent selective binding units for cell-cell interactions. Here I present the mathematical probabilities for neuronal individuality based on the random and combinatorial expression of CNR/Pcdh isoforms and their formation of cis-tetramers in each neuron. Notably, CNR/Pcdh gene products are known to play crucial roles in correct axonal projections, synaptic formation, and neuronal survival. Their molecular and biological features suggest that the diverse CNR/Pcdh molecules provide the molecular code by which neuronal individuality and cell assembly permit the combinatorial explosion of networks that supports enormous processing capability and plasticity of the brain.

  11. Silica Synthesis by Sponges: Unanticipated Molecular Mechanism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morse, D. E.; Weaver, J. C.

    2001-12-01

    substitutions of specific amino acid sidechains, in conjunction with computer-assisted molecular modeling and biomimetic synthesis, allowed us to probe the determinants of catalytic activity and confirm the identification of the amino acid sidechains required for hydrolysis of the silicon alkoxides. If, as suggested by the data of others, silicic acid is conjugated with organic moieties after its transport into the cell, the catalytic mechanism described here may be important in biosilicification by sponges. As is often the case, we have been better able to answer mechanistic questions about "how" silica can be formed biologically, than "why" the diversity of structures is elaborated. Studies of spicule formation during cellular regeneration in Tethya aurantia reveal that synthesis of the larger silica needles (megascleres) and smaller starburst-shaped microscleres may be independently regulated, presumably at the genetic level. The spatial segregation of these morphologically-distinct spicule types within the sponge further suggests an adaptive significance of the different skeletal elements.

  12. Development of brain mechanisms for processing affective touch

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Malin eBjornsdotter

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Affective tactile stimulation plays a key role in the maturation of neural circuits, but the development of brain mechanisms processing touch is poorly understood. We therefore used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI to study brain responses to soft brush stroking of both glabrous (palm and hairy (forearm skin in healthy children (5-13 years, adolescents (14-17 years and adults (25-35 years. Adult-defined regions-of-interests in the primary somatosensory cortex (SI, secondary somatosensory cortex (SII, insular cortex and right posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS were significantly and similarly activated in all age groups. Whole-brain analyses revealed that responses in the ipsilateral SII were positively correlated with age in both genders, and that responses in bilateral regions near the pSTS correlated significantly and strongly with age in females but not in males. These results suggest that brain mechanisms associated with both sensory-discriminative and affective-motivational aspects of touch are largely established in school-aged children, and that there is a general continuing maturation of SII and a female-specific increase in pSTS sensitivity with age. Our work establishes a groundwork for future comparative studies of tactile processing in developmental disorders characterized by disrupted social perception such as autism.

  13. Molecular Mechanisms of Metastasis Suppression in Human Breast Cancer

    Science.gov (United States)

    2000-07-01

    and breast carcinoma metastasis, Wake Forest University Cancer Center, July 28 Molecular mechanisms controlling melanoma and breast carcinoma...Bowman Show, August 17 Molecular regulation of melanoma and breast carcinoma metastasis, Wake Forest University Cancer Center, July 28 Molecular...Institute, April 20, Pathology ofNeoplasia Cumberland Unit, American Cancer Society, April 19; Breast Cancer Research Ministerio de Sanidad y

  14. Age-related hearing loss: ear and brain mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frisina, Robert D

    2009-07-01

    Loss of sensory function in the aged has serious consequences for economic productivity, quality of life, and healthcare costs in the billions each year. Understanding the neural and molecular bases will pave the way for biomedical interventions to prevent, slow, or reverse these conditions. This chapter summarizes new information regarding age changes in the auditory system involving both the ear (peripheral) and brain (central). A goal is to provide findings that have implications for understanding some common biological underpinnings that affect sensory systems, providing a basis for eventual interventions to improve overall sensory functioning, including the chemical senses.

  15. Brain Mechanisms of Altered Consciousness in Generalised Seizures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefano Seri

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available In spite of the inherent difficulties in achieving a biologically meaningful definition of consciousness, recent neurophysiological studies are starting to provide some insight in fundamental mechanisms associated with impaired consciousness in neurological disorders. Generalised seizures are associated with disruption of the default state network, a functional network of discrete brain areas, which include the fronto-parietal cortices. Subcortical contribution through activation of thalamocortical structures, as well as striate nuclei are also crucial to produce impaired consciousness in generalised seizures.

  16. Crash Simulator: Brain-and-Spine Injury Mechanics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivancevic, Vladimir G.; Reid, Darryn J.

    2015-11-01

    Recently, the first author has proposed a new coupled loading-rate hypothesis as a unique cause of both brain and spinal injuries, which states that they are both caused by a Euclidean jolt, an impulsive loading that strikes head and spine (or, any other part of the human body)- in several coupled degrees-of-freedom simultaneously. Injury never happens in a single direction only, nor is it ever caused by a static force. It is always an impulsive translational plus rotational force. The Euclidean jolt causes two basic forms of brain, spine and other musculo-skeletal injuries: (i) localized translational dislocations; and (ii) localized rotational disclinations. In the present Chapter, we first review this unique mechanics of a general human mechanical injury, and then describe how it can be predicted and controlled by a crash simulator toolbox. This rigorous Matlab toolbox has been developed using an existing thirdparty toolbox DiffMan, for accurately solving differential equations on smooth manifolds and mechanical Lie groups. The present crash simulator toolbox performs prediction/control of brain and spinal injuries within the framework of the Euclidean group SE(3) of rigid motions in our natural 3-dimensional space.

  17. 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.

  18. Inferring brain-computational mechanisms with models of activity measurements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kriegeskorte, Nikolaus; Diedrichsen, Jörn

    2016-10-01

    High-resolution functional imaging is providing increasingly rich measurements of brain activity in animals and humans. A major challenge is to leverage such data to gain insight into the brain's computational mechanisms. The first step is to define candidate brain-computational models (BCMs) that can perform the behavioural task in question. We would then like to infer which of the candidate BCMs best accounts for measured brain-activity data. Here we describe a method that complements each BCM by a measurement model (MM), which simulates the way the brain-activity measurements reflect neuronal activity (e.g. local averaging in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) voxels or sparse sampling in array recordings). The resulting generative model (BCM-MM) produces simulated measurements. To avoid having to fit the MM to predict each individual measurement channel of the brain-activity data, we compare the measured and predicted data at the level of summary statistics. We describe a novel particular implementation of this approach, called probabilistic representational similarity analysis (pRSA) with MMs, which uses representational dissimilarity matrices (RDMs) as the summary statistics. We validate this method by simulations of fMRI measurements (locally averaging voxels) based on a deep convolutional neural network for visual object recognition. Results indicate that the way the measurements sample the activity patterns strongly affects the apparent representational dissimilarities. However, modelling of the measurement process can account for these effects, and different BCMs remain distinguishable even under substantial noise. The pRSA method enables us to perform Bayesian inference on the set of BCMs and to recognize the data-generating model in each case.This article is part of the themed issue 'Interpreting BOLD: a dialogue between cognitive and cellular neuroscience'.

  19. β-Hydroxybutyrate in the Brain: One Molecule, Multiple Mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Achanta, Lavanya B; Rae, Caroline D

    2017-01-01

    β-Hydroxybutyrate (βOHB), a ketone body, is oxidised as a brain fuel. Although its contribution to energy metabolism in the healthy brain is minimal, it is an interesting metabolite which is not only oxidised but also has other direct and collateral effects which make it a molecule of interest for therapeutic purposes. In brain βOHB can be produced in astrocytes from oxidation of fatty acids or catabolism of amino acids and is metabolised in the mitochondria of all brain cell types although uptake across the blood brain barrier is a metabolic control point. βOHB possesses an intrinsic high heat of combustion, making it an efficient mitochondrial fuel, where it can alter the NAD(+)/NADH and Q/QH2 couples and reduce production of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species. It can directly interact as a signalling molecule influencing opening of K(+) channels and regulation of Ca(2+) channels. βOHB is an inhibitor of histone deacetylases resulting in upregulation of genes involved in protection against oxidative stress and regulation of metabolism. It interacts with an inflammasome in immune cells to reduce production of inflammatory cytokines and reduce inflammation. Use of βOHB as an efficient neurotherapeutic relies on increasing blood βOHB levels so as to encourage entry of βOHB to the brain. While use of βOHB as a sole therapeutic is currently limited, with employment of a ketogenic diet a more widely used approach, recent development and testing of esterified forms of βOHB have shown great promise, with the approach elevating plasma βOHB while allowing consumption of normal diet. An improved understanding of the mechanisms by which βOHB acts will allow better design of both diet and supplemental interventions.

  20. Inferring brain-computational mechanisms with models of activity measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diedrichsen, Jörn

    2016-01-01

    High-resolution functional imaging is providing increasingly rich measurements of brain activity in animals and humans. A major challenge is to leverage such data to gain insight into the brain's computational mechanisms. The first step is to define candidate brain-computational models (BCMs) that can perform the behavioural task in question. We would then like to infer which of the candidate BCMs best accounts for measured brain-activity data. Here we describe a method that complements each BCM by a measurement model (MM), which simulates the way the brain-activity measurements reflect neuronal activity (e.g. local averaging in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) voxels or sparse sampling in array recordings). The resulting generative model (BCM-MM) produces simulated measurements. To avoid having to fit the MM to predict each individual measurement channel of the brain-activity data, we compare the measured and predicted data at the level of summary statistics. We describe a novel particular implementation of this approach, called probabilistic representational similarity analysis (pRSA) with MMs, which uses representational dissimilarity matrices (RDMs) as the summary statistics. We validate this method by simulations of fMRI measurements (locally averaging voxels) based on a deep convolutional neural network for visual object recognition. Results indicate that the way the measurements sample the activity patterns strongly affects the apparent representational dissimilarities. However, modelling of the measurement process can account for these effects, and different BCMs remain distinguishable even under substantial noise. The pRSA method enables us to perform Bayesian inference on the set of BCMs and to recognize the data-generating model in each case. This article is part of the themed issue ‘Interpreting BOLD: a dialogue between cognitive and cellular neuroscience’. PMID:27574316

  1. Mechanical Loading of Neurons and Astrocytes with Application to Blast Traumatic Brain Injury

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    traumatic brain injury ( TBI ). Neurons and astrocytes are susceptible to damage mechanisms arising from various...further developments may be pursued to unravel the key mechanical pathways potentially involved in TBI . 1. INTRODUCTION Traumatic brain injury ... injury mechanisms at the cellular level. This is especially important when studying traumatic brain injury ( TBI ). Neurons and astrocytes

  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.

  3. Mechanisms of CCK signaling from gut to brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raybould, Helen E

    2007-12-01

    Following the observation that exogenous peripheral injection of CCK could inhibit food intake, the mechanisms by which CCK influences the gut-brain pathway have been the subject of intense study for nearly 30 years. Recently, it has become evident that the system is more complex and that the consequences of CCK's action on the gut-brain pathway are more far reaching than previously recognized. This review will examine the recent evidence showing the role of CCK and CCK1Rs in modulating expression of other receptors for orexigenic and anorexigenic regulatory peptides at the level of vagal afferent neurons. In addition, new evidence showing the importance of the action of CCK at the level of the vagus nerve in the regulation of food intake, body weight, and in activation of an anti-inflammatory pathway will be reviewed.

  4. 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.

  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 SN1-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. Glioma-related edema: new insight into molecular mechanisms and their clinical implications

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Zhi-Xiong Lin

    2013-01-01

    Glioma-related edema (GRE) is a significant contributor to morbidity and mortality from glioma.GRE is a complicated process involving not only peritumoral edema but also the water content of the tumor body.In terms of etiology,this condition derives from both GRE in the untreated state and GRE secondary to clinical intervention,and different cell types contribute to distinct components of GRE.Peritumoral edema was previously believed to loosen glioma tissue,facilitating tumor-cell invasion;however,the nutrition hypothesis of the tumor microecosystem suggests that tumor cells invade for the sake of nutrition.Edema is the pathologic consequence of the reconstructed trophic linkage within the tumor microecosystem.Glioma cells induce peritumoral brain edema via an active process that supplies a suitable niche for peritumoral invasive cells,suggesting that glioma-related peritumoral brain edema is determined by the invasive property of tumor cells.There are differences between pivotal molecular events and reactive molecular events in the development of GRE.Molecular therapy should target the former,as targeting reactive molecular events will produce undesired or even adverse results.At present,brain glioma angiogenesis models have not been translated into a new understanding of the features of brain images.The effect of these models on peritumoral brain edema is unclear.Clinical approaches should be transformed on the basis of new knowledge of the molecular mechanism underlying GRE.Exploring clinical assessment methods,optimizing the existing control strategy of GRE,and simultaneously developing new treatments are essential.

  7. A molecular mechanism of aluminium-induced Alzheimer's disease?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Exley, C

    1999-08-30

    An abundance of research has continued to link aluminium (Al) with Alzheimer's disease (AD) (Strong et al., J. Toxicol. Environ. Health 48 (1996) 599; Savory et al., J. Toxicol. Environ. Health 48 (1996) 615). Animals loaded with Al develop both symptoms and brain lesions that are similar to those found in AD. However, these animal models of Al intoxication are not representative of human exposure to Al. They have not addressed the significance of a truly chronic exposure to Al. If Al is a cause of AD it is effective at the level of our everyday exposure to the metal and AD will be one possible outcome of the life-long presence of a low, though burgeoning, brain Al burden. Individual susceptibility to AD will be as much to do with differences in brain physiology as with changes in our everyday exposure to the metal. There will be a chemical response and indeed biochemical/physiological response in the brain to Al. The question is whether brain Al homeostasis could impact upon brain function. In reviewing the recent literature covering the neurotoxicity of Al and, in particular, of the known and probable mechanisms involved in brain Al homeostasis I have identified a mechanism through which a truly chronic exposure to Al would bring about subtle and persistent changes in neurotransmission which, in time, could instigate the cascade of events known collectively as AD. This mechanism involves the potentiation of the activities of neurotransmitters by the action of Al-ATP at adenosine 5'-triphosphate (ATP) receptors in the brain.

  8. Transport and regulation mechanism of the colloidal gold liposomes in the brain microvascular endothelial cells

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WANG Lipeng; CHANG Yanzhong

    2015-01-01

    Objective:Blood-brain barrier is the key barrier of brain in the innate immune. It can prevent the harmful substances from the blood into the brain. In order to keep the brain in a relatively stable environment and maintain the normal function of the nervous system, it can also pump harmful substances or excess substances outside the brain selectively. Among them, brain microvascular endothelial cell tissue is a key part in the blood-brain barrier's function. The number of the patients with central nervous system ( CNS) diseases increased year by year. The therapeutic drug is usually inhibited by the blood-brain barrier and is difficult to work. Therefore, how to modify the drug and to make it easier to cross the blood brain barrier is the key point to cure CNS. At present, more than 95% research focus only on how nano drugs can enter the cell, the way and efficiency to enter the cell and the research of effect of nano drug etc. For the process of drug carrier in endocytosis, intracellular transport and release and regulation of research are rarely reported. Clathrin and P-glycoprotein are related protein in endo-cytosis and exocytosis with nano drug. Clathrin is located on the plasma membrane. It participates in endocytosis of some nutrients, and maybe the entry into the cell of some drugs. P-glycoprotein is located in the membrane of cer-ebral capillary endothelial cells. It can efflux drugs relying on ATP. Although there is a certain understanding of the cell in the inner swallow and efflux. But the process of the liposome drug is not clear. To solve the above prob-lems, using colloidal gold liposome nano materials to trace liposome's transport and regulation mechanism in brain microvascular endothelial cells, and study endocytosis, release, distribution and regulation mechanism of nano lipo-somes in brain microvascular. The solution of this problem can guide to construct reasonable drug carrier, and look forward to clarifing the molecular basis and mechanism of

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Regulatory mechanisms for glycogenolysis and K+ uptake in brain astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DiNuzzo, Mauro; Mangia, Silvia; Maraviglia, Bruno; Giove, Federico

    2013-11-01

    Recent advances in brain energy metabolism support the notion that glycogen in astrocytes is necessary for the clearance of neuronally-released K(+) from the extracellular space. However, how the multiple metabolic pathways involved in K(+)-induced increase in glycogen turnover are regulated is only partly understood. Here we summarize the current knowledge about the mechanisms that control glycogen metabolism during enhanced K(+) uptake. We also describe the action of the ubiquitous Na(+)/K(+) ATPase for both ion transport and intracellular signaling cascades, and emphasize its importance in understanding the complex relation between glycogenolysis and K(+) uptake.

  12. Molecular Mechanisms of Sex Determination in Reptiles

    OpenAIRE

    Rhen, T; Schroeder, A

    2010-01-01

    Charles Darwin first provided a lucid explanation of how gender differences evolve nearly 140 years ago. Yet, a disconnect remains between his theory of sexual selection and the mechanisms that underlie the development of males and females. In particular, comparisons between representatives of different phyla (i.e., flies and mice) reveal distinct genetic mechanisms for sexual differentiation. Such differences are hard to comprehend unless we study organisms that bridge the phylogenetic gap. ...

  13. 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)

  14. Molecular and cellular mechanisms of pulmonary fibrosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Todd Nevins W

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract 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.

  15. Molecular mechanisms of STIM/Orai communication

    Science.gov (United States)

    Derler, Isabella; Jardin, Isaac

    2016-01-01

    Ca2+ entry into the cell via store-operated Ca2+ release-activated Ca2+ (CRAC) channels triggers diverse signaling cascades that affect cellular processes like cell growth, gene regulation, secretion, and cell death. These store-operated Ca2+ channels open after depletion of intracellular Ca2+ stores, and their main features are fully reconstituted by the two molecular key players: the stromal interaction molecule (STIM) and Orai. STIM represents an endoplasmic reticulum-located Ca2+ sensor, while Orai forms a highly Ca2+-selective ion channel in the plasma membrane. Functional as well as mutagenesis studies together with structural insights about STIM and Orai proteins provide a molecular picture of the interplay of these two key players in the CRAC signaling cascade. This review focuses on the main experimental advances in the understanding of the STIM1-Orai choreography, thereby establishing a portrait of key mechanistic steps in the CRAC channel signaling cascade. The focus is on the activation of the STIM proteins, the subsequent coupling of STIM1 to Orai1, and the consequent structural rearrangements that gate the Orai channels into the open state to allow Ca2+ permeation into the cell. PMID:26825122

  16. Genetic approaches to the molecular/neuronal mechanisms underlying learning and memory in the mouse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakajima, Akira; Tang, Ya-Ping

    2005-09-01

    Learning and memory is an essential component of human intelligence. To understand its underlying molecular and neuronal mechanisms is currently an extensive focus in the field of cognitive neuroscience. We have employed advanced mouse genetic approaches to analyze the molecular and neuronal bases for learning and memory, and our results showed that brain region-specific genetic manipulations (including transgenic and knockout), inducible/reversible knockout, genetic/chemical kinase inactivation, and neuronal-based genetic approach are very powerful tools for studying the involvements of various molecules or neuronal substrates in the processes of learning and memory. Studies using these techniques may eventually lead to the understanding of how new information is acquired and how learned information is memorized in the brain.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shamloo, Amir; Pedram, Maysam Z.; Heidari, Hossein; Alasty, Aria

    2016-07-01

    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.

  18. [Brain mechanisms of imagination during verbal creative problem solving].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodionov, A R

    2013-01-01

    In the present study, EEG spectral analysis was used to examine the brain mechanisms of imagination in student actors and student non-actors under three experimental conditions: when subjects created a coherent story based on a presented picture (STORY), listed the details of the presented picture (DETAIL) and executed simple calculation while they looked at neutral background (COUNT). Statistical comparison of STORY and DETAIL conditions revealed significantly higher spectral power in alpha1 (7.5-10 Hz) and alpha2 (10-12.5 Hz) bands in the most of investigated cortical areas in actors and non-actors. By contrast, in comparisons STORY-COUNT and DETAIL-COUNT significantly lower spectral power in the same frequency bands in all investigated cortical areas in both groups was obtained. The most prominent differences in comparison STORY-DETAIL were revealed over the central parietal area. The most prominent differences in comparisons STORY-COUNT and DETAIL-COUNT were revealed mainly over the occipital areas. These EEG changes were found in both groups of subjects. Taking this fact into account we consider parietal areas to be stable element of the brain system which maintain verbal creativity in actors and non-actors. The discussion of our results with respect to those obtained in previous studies leads to conclusion that parietal areas are involved into the mechanism of selective inhibition of visual information processing during imagination.

  19. Male sex determination: insights into molecular mechanisms

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Kathryn McClelland; Josephine Bowles; Peter Koopman

    2012-01-01

    Disorders of sex development often arise from anomalies in the molecular or cellular networks that guide the differentiation of the embryonic gonad into either a testis or an ovary,two functionally distinct organs.The activation of the Y-linked gene Sry(sexdetermining region Y) and its downstream target Sox9 (Sry box-containinggene 9) triggers testis differentiation by stimulating the differentiation of Sertoli cells,which then direct testis morphogenesis.Once engaged,a genetic pathway promotes the testis development while actively suppressing genes involved in ovarian development.This review focuses on the events of testis determination and the struggle to maintain male fate in the face of antagonistic pressure from the underlying female programme.

  20. Mechanism of Molecular Exchange in Copolymer Micelles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Soo-Hyung; Lodge, Timothy; Bates, Frank

    2010-03-01

    Compared to thermodynamic structure, much less has been known about the kinetics of block copolymer micelles which should underlay the attainment of thermodynamic equilibrium. In this presentation, molecular exchange between spherical micelles formed by isotopically labeled diblock copolymers was investigated using time-resolved small-angle neutron scattering. Two pairs of structurally matched poly(styrene-b-ethylene-alt-propylene) (PS-PEP) were synthesized and dispersed in isotopic mixture of squalane, highly selective to PEP block. Each pair includes polymers with fully deuterated (dPS-PEP) and a normal (hPS-PEP) PS blocks. Temperature dependence of the micelle exchange rate R(t) is consistent with melt dynamics for the core polymer. Furthermore, R(t) is significantly sensitive to the core block length N due to the thermodynamic penalty associated with ejecting a core block into the solvent. This hypersensitivity, combined with modest polydispersity in N, leads to an approximately logarithmic decay in R(t).

  1. Mechanisms that Underlie Co-variation of the Brain and Face

    OpenAIRE

    Marcucio, Ralph S.; Young, Nathan M.; Hu, Diane; Hallgrimsson, Benedikt

    2011-01-01

    The effect of the brain on the morphology of the face has long been recognized in both evolutionary biology and clinical medicine. In this paper we describe factors that are active between development of the brain and face and how these might impact craniofacial variation. First, there is the physical influence of the brain, which contributes to overall growth and morphology of the face through direct structural interactions. Second, there is the molecular influence of the brain, which signal...

  2. 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.

  3. Molecular Mechanisms of Lymphocyte-Mediated Cytotoxicity

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Zusen Fan; Qixiang Zhang

    2005-01-01

    Granule-mediated cytotoxicity is the major mechanism for lymphocytes to kill viruses, intracellular bacteria and tumors. The cytotoxic granules move to the immunological synapse by exocytosis after recognition of a killer cell.The contents of the granules are delivered into target cells with the help of perforin by endocytosis. A group of serine protease granzymes cleave their critical substrates to initiate DNA damage and cell death. The most abundant granzymes are granzyme A and B. They induce cell death through alternate and nonoverlapping pathways. The substrates and functions of the majority of the orphan granzymes have not yet been identified. It is possible that the diversity of granzymes provides fail-safe mechanisms for killing viruses and tumor cells.

  4. Molecular Mechanisms of Mechanosensitivity in Focal Adhesions

    OpenAIRE

    2016-01-01

    Physical environment guides tissue regeneration and morphology in both health and disease. In the past three decades, several experiments illustrated that mechanical cues are captured and transduced to biochemical signals in the cellular level (mechanotransduction) mediated by cell adhesion. Cells adhere to their microenvironment through large protein assemblies known as focal adhesions that directly couple intra- and extra-cellular matrices and play a critical role in many vital cell functio...

  5. [Molecular cytogenetic methods for studying interphase chromosomes in human brain cells].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iurov, I Iu; Vorsanova, S G; Solov'ev, I V; Iurov, Iu B

    2010-09-01

    One of the main genetic factors determining the functional activity of the genome in somatic cells, including brain nerve cells, is the spatial organization of chromosomes in the interphase nucleus. For a long time, no studies of human brain cells were carried out until high-resolution methods of molecular cytogenetics were developed to analyze interphase chromosomes in nondividing somatic cells. The purpose of the present work was to assess the potential of high-resolution methods of interphase molecular cytogenetics for studying chromosomes and the nuclear organization in postmitotic brain cells. A high efficiency was shown by such methods as multiprobe and quantitative fluorescence in situ hybridization (Multiprobe FISH and QFISH), ImmunoMFISH (analysis of the chromosome organization in different types of brain cells), and interphase chromosome-specific multicolor banding (ICS-MCB). These approaches allowed studying the nuclear organization depending on the gene composition and types of repetitive DNA of specific chromosome regions in certain types of brain cells (in neurons and glial cells, in particular). The present work demonstrates a high potential of interphase molecular cytogenetics for studying the structural and functional organizations of the cell nucleus in highly differentiated nerve cells. Analysis of interphase chromosomes of brain cells in the normal and pathological states can be considered as a promising line of research in modern molecular cytogenetics and cell neurobiology, i. e., molecular neurocytogenetics.

  6. 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.

  7. Molecular mechanisms for tumour resistance to chemotherapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Shu-Ting; Li, Zhi-Ling; He, Zhi-Xu; Qiu, Jia-Xuan; Zhou, Shu-Feng

    2016-08-01

    Chemotherapy is one of the prevailing methods used to treat malignant tumours, but the outcome and prognosis of tumour patients are not optimistic. Cancer cells gradually generate resistance to almost all chemotherapeutic drugs via a variety of distinct mechanisms and pathways. Chemotherapeutic resistance, either intrinsic or acquired, is caused and sustained by reduced drug accumulation and increased drug export, alterations in drug targets and signalling transduction molecules, increased repair of drug-induced DNA damage, and evasion of apoptosis. In order to better understand the mechanisms of chemoresistance, this review highlights our current knowledge of the role of altered drug metabolism and transport and deregulation of apoptosis and autophagy in the development of tumour chemoresistance. Reduced intracellular activation of prodrugs (e.g. thiotepa and tegafur) or enhanced drug inactivation by Phase I and II enzymes contributes to the development of chemoresistance. Both primary and acquired resistance can be caused by alterations in the transport of anticancer drugs which is mediated by a variety of drug transporters such as P-glycoprotein (P-gp), multidrug resistance associated proteins, and breast cancer resistance protein. Presently there is a line of evidence indicating that deregulation of programmed cell death including apoptosis and autophagy is also an important mechanism for tumour resistance to anticancer drugs. Reversal of chemoresistance is likely via pharmacological and biological approaches. Further studies are warranted to grasp the full picture of how each type of cancer cells develop resistance to anticancer drugs and to identify novel strategies to overcome it.

  8. Death Associated Protein Kinases: Molecular Structure and Brain Injury

    OpenAIRE

    Claire Thornton; Carina Mallard; Rajanikant Krishnamurthy; Syam Nair; Henrik Hagberg

    2013-01-01

    Perinatal brain damage underlies an important share of motor and neurodevelopmental disabilities, such as cerebral palsy, cognitive impairment, visual dysfunction and epilepsy. Clinical, epidemiological, and experimental studies have revealed that factors such as inflammation, excitotoxicity and oxidative stress contribute considerably to both white and grey matter injury in the immature brain. A member of the death associated protein kinase (DAPk) family, DAPk1, has been implicated in cerebr...

  9. Molecular mechanism of parallel fiber-Purkinje cell synapse formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mishina, Masayoshi; Uemura, Takeshi; Yasumura, Misato; Yoshida, Tomoyuki

    2012-01-01

    The cerebellum receives two excitatory afferents, the climbing fiber (CF) and the mossy fiber-parallel fiber (PF) pathway, both converging onto Purkinje cells (PCs) that are the sole neurons sending outputs from the cerebellar cortex. Glutamate receptor δ2 (GluRδ2) is expressed selectively in cerebellar PCs and localized exclusively at the PF-PC synapses. We found that a significant number of PC spines lack synaptic contacts with PF terminals and some of residual PF-PC synapses show mismatching between pre- and postsynaptic specializations in conventional and conditional GluRδ2 knockout mice. Studies with mutant mice revealed that in addition to PF-PC synapse formation, GluRδ2 is essential for synaptic plasticity, motor learning, and the restriction of CF territory. GluRδ2 regulates synapse formation through the amino-terminal domain, while the control of synaptic plasticity, motor learning, and CF territory is mediated through the carboxyl-terminal domain. Thus, GluRδ2 is the molecule that bridges synapse formation and motor learning. We found that the trans-synaptic interaction of postsynaptic GluRδ2 and presynaptic neurexins (NRXNs) through cerebellin 1 (Cbln1) mediates PF-PC synapse formation. The synaptogenic triad is composed of one molecule of tetrameric GluRδ2, two molecules of hexameric Cbln1 and four molecules of monomeric NRXN. Thus, GluRδ2 triggers synapse formation by clustering four NRXNs. These findings provide a molecular insight into the mechanism of synapse formation in the brain.

  10. Molecular mechanism of parallel fiber-Purkinje cell synapse formation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masayoshi eMishina

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available The cerebellum receives two excitatory afferents, the climbing fiber (CF and the mossy fiber-parallel fiber (PF pathway, both converging onto Purkinje cells (PCs that are the sole neurons sending outputs from the cerebellar cortex. Glutamate receptor δ2 (GluRδ2 is expressed selectively in cerebellar PCs and localized exclusively at the PF-PC synapses. We found that a significant number of PC spines lack synaptic contacts with PF terminals and some of residual PF-PC synapses show mismatching between pre- and postsynaptic specializations in conventional and conditional GluRδ2 knockout mice. Studies with mutant mice revealed that in addition to PF-PC synapse formation, GluRδ2 is essential for synaptic plasticity, motor learning and the restriction of CF territory. GluRδ2 regulates synapse formation through the amino-terminal domain, while the control of synaptic plasticity, motor learning and CF territory is mediated through the carboxyl-terminal domain. Thus, GluRδ2 is the molecule that bridges synapse formation and motor learning. We found that the trans-synaptic interaction of postsynaptic GluRδ2 and presynaptic neurexins (NRXNs through Cbln1 mediates PF-PC synapse formation. The synaptogenic triad is composed of one molecule of tetrameric GluRδ2, two molecules of hexameric Cbln1 and four molecules of monomeric NRXN. Thus, GluRδ2 triggers synapse formation by clustering four NRXNs. These findings provide a molecular insight into the mechanism of synapse formation in the brain.

  11. Molecular mechanisms of neurodegeneration mediated by dysfunctional subcellular organelles in transmissible spongiform encephalopathies

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Zhiqi Song; Deming Zhao; Lifeng Yang

    2013-01-01

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies refer to a group of infectious neurodegenerative diseases with an entirely novel mechanism of transmission and pathophysiology including synaptic damage,dendritic atrophy,vacuolization,and microglial activation.Extensive neuronal loss is the main cause of chronic brain deterioration and fatal outcome of prion diseases.As the final outcome of pathological alterations,neuronal death is a prominent feature of all prion diseases.The mechanisms responsible for prion diseases are not well understood.A more comprehensive understanding of the molecular basis of neuronal damage is essential for the development of an effective therapy for transmissible spongiform encephalopathies and other neurodegenerative diseases sharing similar features.Here,we review the molecular mechanisms of mitochondrial dysfunction and endoplasmic reticulum stress-mediated neuronal death,which play crucial roles in the pathogenisis of prion diseases.

  12. 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

  13. Molecular mechanisms of somatostatin receptor trafficking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Csaba, Zsolt; Peineau, Stéphane; Dournaud, Pascal

    2012-02-01

    The neuropeptide somatostatin (SRIF) is an important modulator of neurotransmission in the central nervous system and acts as a potent inhibitor of hormone and exocrine secretion. In addition, SRIF regulates cell proliferation in normal and tumorous tissues. The six somatostatin receptor subtypes (sst1, sst2A, sst2B, sst3, sst4, and sst5), which belong to the G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) family, share a common molecular topology: a hydrophobic core of seven transmembrane-spanning α-helices, three intracellular loops, three extracellular loops, an amino-terminus outside the cell, and a carboxyl-terminus inside the cell. For most of the GPCRs, intracytosolic sequences, and more particularly the C-terminus, are believed to interact with proteins that are mandatory for either exporting neosynthesized receptor, anchoring receptor at the plasma membrane, internalization, recycling, or degradation after ligand binding. Accordingly, most of the SRIF receptors can traffic not only in vitro within different cell types but also in vivo. A picture of the pathways and proteins involved in these processes is beginning to emerge.

  14. Molecular mechanisms of male germ cell differentiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hecht, N B

    1998-07-01

    During spermatogenesis, diploid stem cells differentiate, undergo meiosis, and transform into haploid spermatozoa. As this precisely timed series of events proceeds, chromosomal ploidy is reduced and the nucleosomes of the chromatin are replaced by a transcriptionally quiescent protamine-containing nucleus. The premature termination of transcription during the haploid phase of spermatogenesis necessitates an especially prominent role for posttranscriptional regulation in the temporal and spatial expression of many testis-specific proteins and isozymes. In this review article, discussion will focus on novel mechanisms regulating gene expression in mammalian male germ cells from genome to protein.

  15. Membrane curvature in cell biology: An integration of molecular mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jarsch, Iris K; Daste, Frederic; Gallop, Jennifer L

    2016-08-15

    Curving biological membranes establishes the complex architecture of the cell and mediates membrane traffic to control flux through subcellular compartments. Common molecular mechanisms for bending membranes are evident in different cell biological contexts across eukaryotic phyla. These mechanisms can be intrinsic to the membrane bilayer (either the lipid or protein components) or can be brought about by extrinsic factors, including the cytoskeleton. Here, we review examples of membrane curvature generation in animals, fungi, and plants. We showcase the molecular mechanisms involved and how they collaborate and go on to highlight contexts of curvature that are exciting areas of future research. Lessons from how membranes are bent in yeast and mammals give hints as to the molecular mechanisms we expect to see used by plants and protists.

  16. [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.

  17. 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.

  18. The neurobiology of depression--revisiting the serotonin hypothesis. I. Cellular and molecular mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albert, Paul R; Benkelfat, Chawki; Descarries, Laurent

    2012-09-05

    The serotonin (5-HT) hypothesis of depression dates from the 1960s. It originally postulated that a deficit in brain serotonin, corrected by antidepressant drugs, was the origin of the illness. Nowadays, it is generally accepted that recurring mood disorders are brain diseases resulting from the combination, to various degrees, of genetic and other biological as well as environmental factors, evolving through the lifespan. All areas of neuroscience, from genes to behaviour, molecules to mind, and experimental to clinical, are actively engaged in attempts at elucidating the pathophysiology of depression and the mechanisms underlying the efficacy of antidepressant treatments. This first of two special issues of Philosophical Transactions B seeks to provide an overview of current developments in the field, with an emphasis on cellular and molecular mechanisms, and how their unravelling opens new perspectives for future research.

  19. Molecular properties determining unbound intracellular and extracellular brain exposure of CNS drug candidates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loryan, Irena; Sinha, Vikash; Mackie, Claire; Van Peer, Achiel; Drinkenburg, Wilhelmus H; Vermeulen, An; Heald, Donald; Hammarlund-Udenaes, Margareta; Wassvik, Carola M

    2015-02-01

    In the present work we sought to gain a mechanistic understanding of the physicochemical properties that influence the transport of unbound drug across the blood-brain barrier (BBB) as well as the intra- and extracellular drug exposure in the brain. Interpretable molecular descriptors that significantly contribute to the three key neuropharmacokinetic properties related to BBB drug transport (Kp,uu,brain), intracellular accumulation (Kp,uu,cell), and binding and distribution in the brain (Vu,brain) for a set of 40 compounds were identified using partial least-squares (PLS) analysis. The tailoring of drug properties for improved brain exposure includes decreasing the polarity and/or hydrogen bonding capacity. The design of CNS drug candidates with intracellular targets may benefit from an increase in basicity and/or the number of hydrogen bond donors. Applying this knowledge in drug discovery chemistry programs will allow designing compounds with more desirable CNS pharmacokinetic properties.

  20. Developmental modes and developmental mechanisms can channel brain evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christine J Charvet

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Anseriform birds (ducks and geese as well as parrots and songbirds have evolved a disproportionately enlarged telencephalon compared with many other birds. However, parrots and songbirds differ from anseriform birds in their mode of development. Whereas ducks and geese are precocial (e.g., hatchlings feed on their own, parrots and songbirds are altricial (e.g., hatchlings are fed by their parents. We here consider how developmental modes may limit and facilitate specific changes in the mechanisms of brain development. We suggest that altriciality facilitates the evolution of telencephalic expansion by delaying telencephalic neurogenesis. We further hypothesize that delays in telencephalic neurogenesis generate delays in telencephalic maturation, which in turn foster neural adaptations that facilitate learning. Specifically, we propose that delaying telencephalic neurogenesis was a prerequisite for the evolution of neural circuits that allow parrots and songbirds to produce learned vocalizations. Overall, we argue that developmental modes have influenced how some lineages of birds increased the size of their telencephalon and that this, in turn, has influenced subsequent changes in brain circuits and behavior.

  1. Developmental Modes and Developmental Mechanisms can Channel Brain Evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charvet, Christine J; Striedter, Georg F

    2011-01-01

    Anseriform birds (ducks and geese) as well as parrots and songbirds have evolved a disproportionately enlarged telencephalon compared with many other birds. However, parrots and songbirds differ from anseriform birds in their mode of development. Whereas ducks and geese are precocial (e.g., hatchlings feed on their own), parrots and songbirds are altricial (e.g., hatchlings are fed by their parents). We here consider how developmental modes may limit and facilitate specific changes in the mechanisms of brain development. We suggest that altriciality facilitates the evolution of telencephalic expansion by delaying telencephalic neurogenesis. We further hypothesize that delays in telencephalic neurogenesis generate delays in telencephalic maturation, which in turn foster neural adaptations that facilitate learning. Specifically, we propose that delaying telencephalic neurogenesis was a prerequisite for the evolution of neural circuits that allow parrots and songbirds to produce learned vocalizations. Overall, we argue that developmental modes have influenced how some lineages of birds increased the size of their telencephalon and that this, in turn, has influenced subsequent changes in brain circuits and behavior.

  2. Brain mechanisms of altered conscious states during epileptic seizures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cavanna, Andrea Eugenio; Monaco, Francesco

    2009-05-01

    Impaired consciousness has long been considered the hallmark of epileptic seizures. Both generalized seizures and complex partial seizures are characterized by a multifaceted spectrum of altered conscious states, in terms of the general level of awareness and the subjective contents of consciousness. Complete loss of consciousness occurs when epileptic activity involves both cortical and subcortical structures, as in tonic-clonic seizures and absence seizures. Medial temporal lobe discharges can selectively impair experience in complex partial seizures (with affected responsiveness) and certain simple partial seizures (with unaffected responsiveness). Electrical stimulation of temporal lobe structures has been shown to evoke similar subjective experiences. Findings from neurophysiological and brain-imaging studies in epilepsy have now demonstrated that involvement of the bilateral thalamus and upper brainstem leads to selective impairment of frontoparietal association cortices and midline 'default mode' networks, which results in ictal loss of consciousness. The spread of epileptic discharges from the medial temporal lobe to the same subcortical structures can ultimately cause impairment in the level of consciousness in the late ictal and immediate postictal phase of complex partial seizures. This paper reviews novel insights into the brain mechanisms that underlie alterations of consciousness during epileptic seizures and the implications for clinical practice in terms of diagnosis and management.

  3. 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.

  4. Natural Defense Mechanisms of the Human Brain against Chronic Ischemia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. V. Sergeev

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective: to study the structural bases of natural defense mechanisms of the human brain against chronic ischemia. Materials and methods. To accomplish this, histological, immunohistochemical (NSE, calbindin, NPY, p38 and morphometric examinations of intraoperative biopsy specimens were performed to determine the reorganization of excitatory and inhibitory neurons in the ischemic penumbra of the temporal cerebral cortex (CC. Morphometric analysis was made using the specially developed algorithms to verify neurons and their elements in the ImageJ 1.46 program. Results. The reduction in the total numerical density of neurons and synapses in chronic ischemia was ascertained to be accompanied by the compensatorily enhanced expression of NSE, calbindin, p38, and NPY in the remaining CC neurons. There were signs of hypertrophy of inhibitory CC interneurons and growth of their processes. In consequence, the impact of inhibitory CC interneurons on excitatory neurons was likely to enhance. Conclusion. In chronic ischemia, the human brain is anticipated to respond to damage to some cells via compensatory excitatory and inhibitory neuronal reorganization directed towards its natural defense against excitatory damage and towards better conditions for compensatory recovery of the structure and function of CC. 

  5. Sex steroids and their receptors: molecular actions on brain cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mannella, Paolo; Simoncini, Tommaso

    2012-03-01

    Sex steroids exert actions of paramount importance on brain cells. They contribute to shape the central nervous system during embryo development. They modulate the formation and the turnover of the interconnections between neurons. They control the function of glial cells. And they do it through a signaling machinery that is apparently simple, but that hides a level of complexity that has been unveiled only in part. Different receptor isoforms, different interactions between receptors and co-regulators, chains of events originating at the cell membrane and leading to effects in the nucleus (or the other way around) all interact to determine selective modulations of brain cells. All these actions end up in phenomenal effects on brain function that change through adolescence, pregnancy, adulthood, up to menopause and ageing. Many of these actions are relevant for degenerative processes and research may offer soon new strategies to counteract these diseases.

  6. 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

    For the first time a consistent catalytic mechanism of phospholipase C from Bacillus cereus is reported based on molecular mechanics calculations. We have identified the position of the nucleophilic water molecule, which is directly involved in the hydrolysis of the natural substrate phosphatidyl...

  7. Molecular mechanisms of alcohol associated pancreatitis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Dahn; L; Clemens; Mark; A; Wells; Katrina; J; Schneider; Shailender; Singh

    2014-01-01

    Alcohol abuse is commonly associated with the development of both acute and chronic pancreatitis. Despite this close association, the fact that only a small percentage of human beings who abuse alcohol develop pancreatitis indicates that alcohol abuse alone is not sufficient to initiate clinical pancreatitis. This contention is further supported by the fact that administration of ethanol to experimental animals does not cause pancreatitis. Because of these findings, it is widely believed that ethanol sensitizes the pancreas to injury and additional factors trigger the development of overt pancreatitis. How ethanol sensitizes the pancreas to pancreatitis is not entirely known. Numerous studies have demonstrated that ethanol and its metabolites have a number of deleterious effects on acinar cells. Important acinar cells properties that are affected by ethanol include: calcium signaling, secretion of zymogens, autophagy, cellular regeneration, the unfolded protein response, and mitochondrial membrane integrity. In addition to the actions of ethanol on acinar cells, it is apparent that ethanol also affects pancreatic stellatecells. Pancreatic stellate cells have a critical role in normal tissue repair and the pathologic fibrotic response. Given that ethanol and its metabolites affect so many pancreatic functions, and that all of these effects occur simultaneously, it is likely that none of these effects is "THE" effect. Instead, it is most likely that the cumulative effect of ethanol on the pancreas predisposes the organ to pancreatitis. The focus of this article is to highlight some of the important mechanisms by which ethanol alters pancreatic functions and may predispose the pancreas to disease.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Molecular deformation mechanisms of the wood cell wall material.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Kai; Qin, Zhao; Buehler, Markus J

    2015-02-01

    Wood is a biological material with outstanding mechanical properties resulting from its hierarchical structure across different scales. Although earlier work has shown that the cellular structure of wood is a key factor that renders it excellent mechanical properties at light weight, the mechanical properties of the wood cell wall material itself still needs to be understood comprehensively. The wood cell wall material features a fiber reinforced composite structure, where cellulose fibrils act as stiff fibers, and hemicellulose and lignin molecules act as soft matrix. The angle between the fiber direction and the loading direction has been found to be the key factor controlling the mechanical properties. However, how the interactions between theses constitutive molecules contribute to the overall properties is still unclear, although the shearing between fibers has been proposed as a primary deformation mechanism. Here we report a molecular model of the wood cell wall material with atomistic resolution, used to assess the mechanical behavior under shear loading in order to understand the deformation mechanisms at the molecular level. The model includes an explicit description of cellulose crystals, hemicellulose, as well as lignin molecules arranged in a layered nanocomposite. The results obtained using this model show that the wood cell wall material under shear loading deforms in an elastic and then plastic manner. The plastic regime can be divided into two parts according to the different deformation mechanisms: yielding of the matrix and sliding of matrix along the cellulose surface. Our molecular dynamics study provides insights of the mechanical behavior of wood cell wall material at the molecular level, and paves a way for the multi-scale understanding of the mechanical properties of wood.

  12. 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.

  13. BBB on chip: microfluidic platform to mechanically and biochemically modulate blood-brain barrier function

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Griep, L.M.; Wolbers, F.; Wagenaar, de B.; Braak, ter P.M.; Weksler, B.B.; Romero, A.; Couraud, P.O.; Vermes, I.; Meer, van der A.D.; Berg, van den A.

    2013-01-01

    The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is a unique feature of the human body, preserving brain homeostasis and preventing toxic substances to enter the brain. However, in various neurodegenerative diseases, the function of the BBB is disturbed. Mechanisms of the breakdown of the BBB are incompletely understo

  14. Perspectives on Molecular Biomarkers of Oxidative Stress and Antioxidant Strategies in Traumatic Brain Injury

    OpenAIRE

    André Mendes Arent; Luiz Felipe de Souza; Roger Walz; Alcir Luiz Dafre

    2014-01-01

    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is frequently associated with abnormal blood-brain barrier function, resulting in the release of factors that can be used as molecular biomarkers of TBI, among them GFAP, UCH-L1, S100B, and NSE. Although many experimental studies have been conducted, clinical consolidation of these biomarkers is still needed to increase the predictive power and reduce the poor outcome of TBI. Interestingly, several of these TBI biomarkers are oxidatively modified to carbonyl group...

  15. Aquaporin water channels: molecular mechanisms for human diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agre, Peter; Kozono, David

    2003-11-27

    Although water is the major component of all biological fluids, the molecular pathways for water transport across cell membranes eluded identification until the discovery of the aquaporin family of water channels. The atomic structure of mammalian AQP1 illustrates how this family of proteins is freely permeated by water but not protons (hydronium ions, H3O+). Definition of the subcellular sites of expression predicted their physiological functions and potential clinical disorders. Analysis of several human disease states has confirmed that aquaporins are involved in multiple different illnesses including abnormalities of kidney function, loss of vision, onset of brain edema, starvation, and arsenic toxicity.

  16. Molecular imaging of the brain. Using multi-quantum coherence and diagnostics of brain disorders

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kaila, M.M. [New South Wales Univ., Sydney, NSW (Australia). School of Physics; Kaila, Rakhi [Univ. of New South Wales, Sydney (Australia). School of Medicine

    2013-11-01

    Explains the basics of the MRI and its use in the diagnostics and the treatment of the human brain disorders. Examines multi-quantum magnetic resonance imaging methods and the diagnostics of brain disorders. Covers how in a non-invasive manner one can diagnose diseases of the brain. 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 practices are included to illustrate the newly emerging ideas and techniques. The reader should note that the two parts of the book are written with no interdependence. One can read them quite independently.

  17. Immunosignaturing can detect products from molecular markers in brain cancer.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexa K Hughes

    Full Text Available Immunosignaturing shows promise as a general approach to diagnosis. It has been shown to detect immunological signs of infection early during the course of disease and to distinguish Alzheimer's disease from healthy controls. Here we test whether immunosignatures correspond to clinical classifications of disease using samples from people with brain tumors. Blood samples from patients undergoing craniotomies for therapeutically naïve brain tumors with diagnoses of astrocytoma (23 samples, Glioblastoma multiforme (22 samples, mixed oligodendroglioma/astrocytoma (16 samples, oligodendroglioma (18 samples, and 34 otherwise healthy controls were tested by immunosignature. Because samples were taken prior to adjuvant therapy, they are unlikely to be perturbed by non-cancer related affects. The immunosignaturing platform distinguished not only brain cancer from controls, but also pathologically important features about the tumor including type, grade, and the presence or absence of O(6-methyl-guanine-DNA methyltransferase methylation promoter (MGMT, an important biomarker that predicts response to temozolomide in Glioblastoma multiformae patients.

  18. Molecular mechanisms controlling the cell cycle in embryonic stem cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdelalim, Essam M

    2013-12-01

    Embryonic stem (ES) cells are originated from the inner cell mass of a blastocyst stage embryo. They can proliferate indefinitely, maintain an undifferentiated state (self-renewal), and differentiate into any cell type (pluripotency). ES cells have an unusual cell cycle structure, consists mainly of S phase cells, a short G1 phase and absence of G1/S checkpoint. Cell division and cell cycle progression are controlled by mechanisms ensuring the accurate transmission of genetic information from generation to generation. Therefore, control of cell cycle is a complicated process, involving several signaling pathways. Although great progress has been made on the molecular mechanisms involved in the regulation of ES cell cycle, many regulatory mechanisms remain unknown. This review summarizes the current knowledge about the molecular mechanisms regulating the cell cycle of ES cells and describes the relationship existing between cell cycle progression and the self-renewal.

  19. Combination of metformin with chemotherapeutic drugs via different molecular mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, Mei; Darko, Kwame Oteng; Tao, Ting; Huang, Yanjun; Su, Qiongli; He, Caimei; Yin, Tao; Liu, Zhaoqian; Yang, Xiaoping

    2017-03-01

    Metformin, a widely prescribed drug for treating type II diabetes, is one of the most extensively recognized metabolic modulators which has shown an important anti-cancer property. However, fairly amount of clinical trials on its single administration have not demonstrated a convincing efficiency yet. Thus, recent studies tend to combine metformin with clinical commonly used chemotherapeutic drugs to decrease their toxicity and attenuate their tumor resistance. These strategies have displayed promising clinical benefits. Interestingly, metformin experiences a diversity of molecular mechanisms when it combines different chemotherapeutic drugs. For example, AMPK/mTOR signaling pathway activation plays a major role when it combines with hormone modulating drugs. In contrast, suppression of HIF-1, p-gp and MRP1 protein expression is its main mechanism when metformin combines with anti-metabolites. Furthermore, when combining of metformin with antibiotics, inhibition of oxidative stress and inflammatory signaling pathway becomes a novel pharmaceutical mechanism for its cardio-protective effect. Induction of apoptotic mitochondria and nucleus could be the major player for the synergistic effect of its combination with cisplatin. In contrast, down-regulation of lipoprotein or cholesterol synthesis might be the undefined molecular base when metformin combines with taxane. Thus, deep exploration of molecular mechanisms of metformin with these different drugs is critical to understand its synergistic effect and help for personalized administration. In this mini-review, detailed molecular mechanisms of these combinations are discussed and summarized. This work will promote better understanding of molecular mechanisms of metformin and provide precise targets to identify specific patient groups to achieve satisfactory treatment efficacy.

  20. Resveratrol and calcium signaling: molecular mechanisms and clinical relevance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCalley, Audrey E; Kaja, Simon; Payne, Andrew J; Koulen, Peter

    2014-06-05

    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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

    2015-01-01

    Background: 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. Methods: 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. Results: 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. Conclusion: 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. PMID:25522422

  3. Wilson's disease: a comprehensive review of the molecular mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Fei; Wang, Jing; Pu, Chunwen; Qiao, Liang; Jiang, Chunmeng

    2015-01-01

    Wilson's disease (WD), also known as hepatolenticular degeneration, is an autosomal recessive inherited disorder resulting from abnormal copper metabolism. Reduced copper excretion causes an excessive deposition of the copper in many organs such as the liver, central nervous system (CNS), cornea, kidney, joints, and cardiac muscle where the physiological functions of the affected organs are impaired. The underlying molecular mechanisms for WD have been extensively studied. It is now believed that a defect in P-type adenosine triphosphatase (ATP7B), the gene encoding the copper transporting P-type ATPase, is responsible for hepatic copper accumulation. Deposited copper in the liver produces toxic effects via modulating several molecular pathways. WD can be a lethal disease if left untreated. A better understanding of the molecular mechanisms causing the aberrant copper deposition and organ damage is the key to developing effective management approaches.

  4. Study on the molecular mechanism of high +Gz induced brain injury and the protection of low +Gz preconditioning%高+Gz应激致脑损伤的分子机制与低+Gz预适应的保护作用

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    吴峰; 陈良恩; 赵安东; 葛华; 李侠; 詹皓

    2014-01-01

    目的:筛选与高+Gz暴露和低+Gz预适应相关的差异表达基因,并进行生物信息学分析,加深对加速度应激致脑损伤分子机制的认识。方法将大鼠分为对照组、+10 Gz应激组和低+Gz预适应组,在+10 Gz暴露后24 h分别提取大鼠海马组织总RNA,利用基因芯片技术进行差异基因筛选,基于京都基因与基因组百科全书(kyoto encyclopedia of genes and genomes,KEGG)数据库进行Pathway分析。结果与对照组比较,+10 Gz应激组筛选出差异基因846个,涉及56个KEGG信号通路;低+Gz预适应组筛选出差异基因992个,涉及49个KEGG信号通路。结论对高+Gz应激和低+Gz预适应组的差异基因表达的分析发现,差异基因表达涉及多条信号通路,可为深入研究高+Gz应激致脑损伤的分子机制和探讨有关防护措施的效果提供实验依据。%ObjectiveTo identify differentially expressed genes in hippocampus of rats with high +Gz stress exposure and low +Gz preconditioning,so as to further understand the molecular mechanisms of positive acceleration induced brain injury. MethodsMale SD rats were randomly assigned to three groups: control group, +10 Gz stress group and low +Gz preconditioning group. Total RNA was prepared from experimental rats hippocampus after 24 hour of +10 Gz exposure. The method of microarray was applied to detect the differentially expressed genes and analyze the pathways through KEGG database.ResultsThe results showed that there were 846 genes differentially expressed in +10 Gz stress group and 992 genes in low +Gz preconditioning group compared with the control group. There were 56 KEGG pathways in +10 Gz stress group, 49 KEGG pathways in low +Gz preconditioning group.ConclusionsThe results indicated that the differentially expressed genes were involved in different signaling pathways. These patterns of gene expression might contribute to understanding the molecular mechanism of high +Gz stress

  5. Molecular mechanisms in muscular dystrophy : a gene expression profiling study.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Turk, Rolf

    2006-01-01

    The muscular dystrophies are a group of neuromuscular disorders characterized by progres¬sive muscle weakness and wasting. Although the underlying genetic defects of a large number of muscular dystrophies are now know, the molecular mechanisms resulting in the devastating effects of the disease are

  6. Molecular mechanisms of novel regulators in cytokine signal transduction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Xiaofei, Zhang

    2013-01-01

    By identifying and studying novel regulators, the studies described in this thesis give substantive insights into the molecular mechanisms and different levels of control of TGF-β/BMP, IL-1β and Wnt signaling pathways. Crucially, our work for the first time demonstrated the monoubiquitination of an

  7. Blast and the Consequences on Traumatic Brain Injury-Multiscale Mechanical Modeling of Brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-02-17

    brain and spinal cord injury, is the largest contributor to a poor neurological outcome in survivors of brain and spinal cord trauma. Microscale...anatomical features of a 50th percentile male head, including the brain, falx and tentorium, cerebral spinal fluid (CSF), duramater, piamater, facial...discretized finite elements. (b) Sections of the head model; the right half of the head model is shown with the brain, the meningeal layers (dura

  8. 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...

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Molecular mechanisms underlying the fetal programming of adult disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vo, Thin; Hardy, Daniel B

    2012-08-01

    Adverse events in utero can be critical in determining quality of life and overall health. It is estimated that up to 50 % of metabolic syndrome diseases can be linked to an adverse fetal environment. However, the mechanisms linking impaired fetal development to these adult diseases remain elusive. This review uncovers some of the molecular mechanisms underlying how normal physiology may be impaired in fetal and postnatal life due to maternal insults in pregnancy. By understanding the mechanisms, which include epigenetic, transcriptional, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, and reactive oxygen species (ROS), we also highlight how intervention in fetal and neonatal life may be able to prevent these diseases long-term.

  12. Molecular imaging of brain tumors personal experience and review of the literature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaller, Bernhard J; Cornelius, Jan F; Sandu, Nora; Buchfelder, Michael

    2008-12-01

    Non-invasive energy metabolism measurements in brain tumors in vivo are now performed widely as molecular imaging by positron emission tomography. This capability has developed from a large number of basic and clinical science investigations that have cross fertilized one another. Apart from precise anatomical localization and quantification, the most intriguing advantage of such imaging is the opportunity to investigate the time course (dynamics) of disease-specific molecular events in the intact organism. Most importantly, molecular imaging represents a key-technology in translational research, helping to develop experimental protocols that may later be applied to human patients. Common clinical indications for molecular imaging of primary brain tumors therefore contain (i) primary brain tumor diagnosis, (ii) identification of the metabolically most active brain tumor reactions (differentiation of viable tumor tissue from necrosis), and (iii) prediction of treatment response by measurement of tumor perfusion, or ischemia. The key-question remains whether the magnitude of biochemical alterations demonstrated by molecular imaging reveals prognostic value with respect to survival. Molecular imaging may identify early disease and differentiate benign from malignant lesions. Moreover, an early identification of treatment effectiveness could influence patient management by providing objective criteria for evaluation of therapeutic strategies for primary brain tumors. Specially, its novel potential to visualize metabolism and signal transduction to gene expression is used in reporter gene assays to trace the location and temporal level of expression of therapeutic and endogenous genes. The authors present here illustrative data of PET imaging: the thymidine kinase gene expression in experimentally transplanted F98 gliomas in cat brain indicates, that [(18)F]FHBG visualizes cells expressing TK-GFP gene in transduced gliomas as well as quantities and localizes transduced

  13. A Modiifed Molecular Structure Mechanics Method for Analysis of Graphene

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    HUA Jun; LI Dongbo; ZHAO Dong; LIANG Shengwei; LIU Qinlong; JIA Ruiyan

    2015-01-01

    Based on molecular mechanics and the deformation characteristics of the atomic lattice structure of graphene, a modiifed molecular structure mechanics method was developed to improve the original one, that is, the semi-rigid connections were used to model the bond angle variations between the C-C bonds in graphene. The simulated results show that the equivalent space frame model with semi-rigid connections for graphene proposed in this article is a simple, efifcient, and accurate model to evaluate the equivalent elastic properties of graphene. Though the present computational model of the semi-rigid connected space frame is only applied to characterize the mechanical behaviors of the space lattices of graphene, it has more potential applications in the static and dynamic analyses of graphene and other nanomaterials.

  14. 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...

  15. Brain Mechanisms of Social Threat Effects on Working Memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Ast, V A; Spicer, J; Smith, E E; Schmer-Galunder, S; Liberzon, I; Abelson, J L; Wager, T D

    2016-02-01

    Social threat can have adverse effects on cognitive performance, but the brain mechanisms underlying its effects are poorly understood. We investigated the effects of social evaluative threat on working memory (WM), a core component of many important cognitive capabilities. Social threat impaired WM performance during an N-back task and produced widespread reductions in activation in lateral prefrontal cortex and intraparietal sulcus (IPS), among other regions. In addition, activity in frontal and parietal regions predicted WM performance, and mediation analyses identified regions in the bilateral IPS that mediated the performance-impairing effects of social threat. Social threat also decreased connectivity between the IPS and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, while increasing connectivity between the IPS and the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, a region strongly implicated in the generation of autonomic and emotional responses. Finally, cortisol response to the stressor did not mediate WM impairment but was rather associated with protective effects. These results provide a basis for understanding interactions between social and cognitive processes at a neural systems level.

  16. Exploring the molecular mechanism of acute heat stress exposure in broiler chickens using gene expression profiling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Q B; Song, X Y; Ji, C L; Zhang, X Q; Zhang, D X

    2014-08-10

    The process of heat regulation is complex and its exact molecular mechanism is not fully understood. In this study, to investigate the global gene regulation response to acute heat exposure, gene microarrays were exploited to analyze the effects of heat stress on three tissues (brain, liver, leg muscle) of the yellow broiler chicken (Gallus gallus). We detected 166 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in the brain, 219 in the leg muscle and 317 in the liver. Six of these genes were differentially expressed in all three tissues and were validated by qRT-PCR, and included heat shock protein genes (HSPH1, HSP25), apoptosis-related genes (RB1CC1, BAG3), a cell proliferation and differentiation-related gene (ID1) and the hunger and energy metabolism related gene (PDK). All these genes might be important factors in chickens suffering from heat stress. We constructed gene co-expression networks using the DEGs of the brain, leg muscle and liver and two, four and two gene co-expression modules were identified in these tissues, respectively. Functional enrichment of these gene modules revealed that various functional clusters were related to the effects of heat stress, including those for cytoskeleton, extracellular space, ion binding and energy metabolism. We concluded that these genes and functional clusters might be important factors in chickens under acute heat stress. Further in-depth research on the newly discovered heat-related genes and functional clusters is required to fully understand their molecular functions in thermoregulation.

  17. 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)

  18. Molecular scaffolds underpinning macroglial polarization: an analysis of retinal Müller cells and brain astrocytes in mouse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Enger, Rune; Gundersen, Georg Andreas; Haj-Yasein, Nadia Nabil; Eilert-Olsen, Martine; Thoren, Anna Elisabeth; Vindedal, Gry Fluge; Petersen, Pétur Henry; Skare, Øivind; Nedergaard, Maiken; Ottersen, Ole Petter; Nagelhus, Erlend A

    2012-12-01

    Key roles of macroglia are inextricably coupled to specialized membrane domains. The perivascular endfoot membrane has drawn particular attention, as this domain contains a unique complement of aquaporin-4 (AQP4) and other channel proteins that distinguishes it from perisynaptic membranes. Recent studies indicate that the polarization of macroglia is lost in a number of diseases, including temporal lobe epilepsy and Alzheimer's disease. A better understanding is required of the molecular underpinning of astroglial polarization, particularly when it comes to the significance of the dystrophin associated protein complex (DAPC). Here, we employ immunofluorescence and immunogold cytochemistry to analyze the molecular scaffolding in perivascular endfeet in macroglia of retina and three regions of brain (cortex, dentate gyrus, and cerebellum), using AQP4 as a marker. Compared with brain astrocytes, Müller cells (a class of retinal macroglia) exhibit lower densities of the scaffold proteins dystrophin and α-syntrophin (a DAPC protein), but higher levels of AQP4. In agreement, depletion of dystrophin or α-syntrophin--while causing a dramatic loss of AQP4 from endfoot membranes of brain astrocytes--had only modest or insignificant effect, respectively, on the AQP4 pool in endfoot membranes of Müller cells. In addition, while polarization of brain macroglia was less affected by dystrophin depletion than by targeted deletion of α-syntrophin, the reverse was true for retinal macroglia. These data indicate that the molecular scaffolding in perivascular endfeet is more complex than previously assumed and that macroglia are heterogeneous with respect to the mechanisms that dictate their polarization.

  19. Molecular mechanics methods for individual carbon nanotubes and nanotube assemblies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eberhardt, Oliver; Wallmersperger, Thomas

    2015-04-01

    Since many years, carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have been considered for a wide range of applications due to their outstanding mechanical properties. CNTs are tubular structures, showing a graphene like hexagonal lattice. Our interest in the calculation of the mechanical properties is motivated by several applications which demand the knowledge of the material behavior. One application in which the knowledge of the material behavior is vital is the CNT based fiber. Due to the excellent stiffness and strength of the individual CNTs, these fibers are expected to be a promising successor for state of the art carbon fibers. However, the mechanical properties of the fibers fall back behind the properties of individual CNTs. It is assumed that this gap in the properties is a result of the van-der-Waals interactions of the individual CNTs within the fiber. In order to understand the mechanical behavior of the fibers we apply a molecular mechanics approach. The mechanical properties of the individual CNTs are investigated by using a modified structural molecular mechanics approach. This is done by calculating the properties of a truss-beam element framework representing the CNT with the help of a chemical force field. Furthermore, we also investigate the interactions of CNTs arranged in basic CNT assemblies, mimicking the ones in a simple CNT fiber. We consider the van-der-Waals interactions in the structure and calculate the potential surface of the CNT assemblies.

  20. Microscopic and macroscopic polarization within a combined quantum mechanics and molecular mechanics model

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jensen, L; Swart, M; van Duijnen, PT

    2005-01-01

    A polarizable quantum mechanics and molecular mechanics model has been extended to account for the difference between the macroscopic electric field and the actual electric field felt by the solute molecule. This enables the calculation of effective microscopic properties which can be related to mac

  1. Molecular dynamics simulations of diffusion mechanisms in NiAl

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Soule De Bas, B.; Farkas, D

    2003-03-14

    Molecular dynamics simulations of the diffusion process in ordered B2 NiAl at high temperature were performed using an embedded atom interatomic potential. Diffusion occurs through a variety of cyclic mechanisms that accomplish the motion of the vacancy through nearest neighbor jumps restoring order to the alloy at the end of the cycle. The traditionally postulated six-jump cycle is only one of the various cycles observed and some of these are quite complex. A detailed sequential analysis of the observed six-jump cycles was performed and the results are analyzed in terms of the activation energies for individual jumps calculated using molecular statics simulations.

  2. Molecular mechanisms involved in mammalian primary sex determination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    She, Zhen-Yu; Yang, Wan-Xi

    2014-08-01

    Sex determination refers to the developmental decision that directs the bipotential genital ridge to develop as a testis or an ovary. Genetic studies on mice and humans have led to crucial advances in understanding the molecular fundamentals of sex determination and the mutually antagonistic signaling pathway. In this review, we summarize the current molecular mechanisms of sex determination by focusing on the known critical sex determining genes and their related signaling pathways in mammalian vertebrates from mice to humans. We also discuss the underlying delicate balance between testis and ovary sex determination pathways, concentrating on the antagonisms between major sex determining genes.

  3. Quantum Mechanical/Molecular Mechanical Studies on Spectral Tuning Mechanisms of Visual Pigments and Other Photoactive Proteins†

    Science.gov (United States)

    Altun, Ahmet; Yokoyama, Shozo; Morokuma, Keiji

    2008-01-01

    The protein environments surrounding the retinal tune electronic absorption maximum from 350 to 630 nm. Hybrid quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical (QM/MM) methods can be used in calculating excitation energies of retinal in its native protein environments and in studying the molecular basis of spectral tuning. We hereby review recent QM/MM results on the phototransduction of bovine rhodopsin, bacteriorhodopsin, sensory rhodopsin II, nonretinal photoactive yellow protein and their mutants. PMID:18331400

  4. Quantum Mechanical/Molecular Mechanical Studies on Spectral Tuning Mechanisms of Visual Pigments and Other Photoactive Proteins†

    OpenAIRE

    Altun, Ahmet; Yokoyama, Shozo; Morokuma, Keiji

    2008-01-01

    The protein environments surrounding the retinal tune electronic absorption maximum from 350 to 630 nm. Hybrid quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical (QM/MM) methods can be used in calculating excitation energies of retinal in its native protein environments and in studying the molecular basis of spectral tuning. We hereby review recent QM/MM results on the phototransduction of bovine rhodopsin, bacteriorhodopsin, sensory rhodopsin II, nonretinal photoactive yellow protein and their mutants.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kerbl, Alexandra; Martín-Durán, José M.; Worsaae, Katrine;

    2016-01-01

    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...

  6. Genetic classification and molecular mechanisms of primary dystonia

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xueping Chen; Huifang Shang; Zuming Luo

    2008-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Primary dystonia is a heterogeneous disease, with a complex genetic basis. In previous studies, primary dystonia was classified according to age of onset, involved regions, and other clinical characteristics. With the development of molecular genetics, new virulence genes and sites have been discovered. Therefore, there is a gradual understanding of the various forms of dystonia, based on new viewpoints. There are 15 subtypes of dystonia, based on the molecular level, i.e., DYT1 to DYT15. OBJECTIVE: To analyze the genetic development of dystonia in detail, and to further investigate molecular mechanisms of dystonia. RETRIEVAL STRATEGY: A computer-based online search was conducted in PubMed for English language publications containing the keywords "dystonia and genetic" from January 1980 to March 2007. There were 105 articles in total. Inclusion criteria: ① the contents of the articles should closely address genetic classification and molecular mechanisms of primary dystonia; ② the articles published in recent years or in high-impact journals took preference. Exclusion criteria: duplicated articles. LITERATURE EVALUATION: The selected articles were on genetic classification and molecular genetics mechanism of primary dystonia. Of those, 27 were basic or clinical studies. DATA SYNTHESIS: ① Dystonia is a heterogeneous disease, with a complex genetic basis. According to the classification of the Human Genome Organization, there are 15 dystonia subtypes, based on genetics, i.e., DYT1-DYT15,including primary dystonia, dystonia plus syndrome, degeneration plus dystonia, and paroxysmal dyskinesia plus dystonia. ② To date, the chromosomes of 13 subtypes have been localized; however, DYT2 and DYT4 remain unclear. Six subtypes have been located within virulence genes. Specifically, torsinA gene expression results in the DYT1 genotype; autosomal dominant GTP cyclohydrolase I gene expression and recessive tyrosine hydroxylase expression result in the DYT5

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Facial Morphogenesis: Physical and Molecular Interactions Between the Brain and the Face.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marcucio, Ralph; Hallgrimsson, Benedikt; Young, Nathan M

    2015-01-01

    Morphogenesis of the brain and face is intrinsically linked by a number of factors. These include: origins of tissues, adjacency allowing their physical interactions, and molecular cross talk controlling growth. Neural crest cells that form the facial primordia originate on the dorsal neural tube. In the caudal pharyngeal arches, a Homeobox code regulates arch identity. In anterior regions, positional information is acquired locally. Second, the brain is a structural platform that influences positioning of the facial primordia, and brain growth influences the timing of primordia fusion. Third, the brain helps induce a signaling center, the frontonasal ectodermal zone, in the ectoderm, which participates in patterned growth of the upper jaw. Similarly, signals from neural crest cells regulate expression of fibroblast growth factor 8 in the anterior neural ridge, which controls growth of the anterior forebrain. Disruptions to these interactions have significant consequences for normal development of the craniofacial complex, leading to structural malformations and birth defects.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Experimental research of mechanical behavior of porcine brain tissue under rotational shear stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Gang; Zhang, Jianhua; Wang, Kan; Wang, Mingyu; Gao, Changqing; Ma, Chao

    2016-04-01

    The objective of this paper is to investigate mechanical behavior of porcine brain tissue with a series of rotational shear stress control experiments. To this end, several experiments including stress sweep tests, frequency sweep tests and quasi-static creep tests were designed and conducted with a standard rheometer (HAAKE RheoStress6000). The effects of the loading stress rates to mechanical properties of brain tissue were also studied in stress sweep tests. The results of stress sweep tests performed on the same brain showed that brain tissue had an obvious regional inhomogeneity and the mechanical damage occurred at the rotational shear stress of 10-15Pa. The experimental data from three different loading stress rates demonstrated that the mechanical behavior of porcine brain tissue was loading stress rate dependent. With the decrease of loading stress rate, a stiffer mechanical characteristic of brain tissue was observed and the occurrence of mechanical damage can be delayed to a higher stress. From the results of frequency sweep tests we found that brain tissue had almost completely elastic properties at high frequency area. The nonlinear creep response under the rotational shear stress of 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9Pa was shown in results of creep tests. A new nonlinear viscoelastic solid model was proposed for creep tests and matched well with the test data. Considering the regional differences, loading stress rates and test conditions effects, loss tangent tan δ in porcine brain tissue showed a high uniformity of 0.25-0.45.

  15. 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

  16. Molecular mechanisms of insulin resistance in chronic hepatitis C

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Mark W Douglas; Jacob George

    2009-01-01

    It is now widely recognized that chronic hepatitis C (CHC) is associated with insulin resistance (IR) and type 2 diabetes, so can be considered a metabolic disease. IR is most strongly associated with hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 1, in contrast to hepatic steatosis, which is associated with genotype 3 infection. Apart from the well-described complications of diabetes, IR in CHC predicts faster progression to fibrosis and cirrhosis that may culminate in liver failure and hepatocellular carcinoma. More recently, it has been recognized that IR in CHC predicts a poor response to antiviral therapy. The molecular mechanisms for the association between IR and HCV infection are not well defined. This review will elaborate on the clinical associations between CHC and IR and summarize current knowledge regarding the molecular mechanisms that potentially mediate HCV-associated IR.

  17. Engineering molecular mechanics: an efficient static high temperature molecular simulation technique.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Subramaniyan, Arun K; Sun, C T

    2008-07-16

    Inspired by the need for an efficient molecular simulation technique, we have developed engineering molecular mechanics (EMM) as an alternative molecular simulation technique to model high temperature (T>0 K) phenomena. EMM simulations are significantly more computationally efficient than conventional techniques such as molecular dynamics simulations. The advantage of EMM is achieved by converting the dynamic atomistic system at high temperature (T>0 K) into an equivalent static system. Fundamentals of the EMM methodology are derived using thermal expansion to modify the interatomic potential. Temperature dependent interatomic potentials are developed to account for the temperature effect. The efficiency of EMM simulations is demonstrated by simulating the temperature dependence of elastic constants of copper and nickel and the thermal stress developed in a confined copper system.

  18. Molecular mechanisms of TRAIL-induced apoptosis of cancer cells

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2001-01-01

    @@Tumor Necrosis Factor-related Apoptosis-inducing Ligand (TRAIL) is a recently identified member of the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) family[1]. Numerous studies indicate that TRAIL can induce apoptosis of cancer cells but not of normal cells, pointing to the possibility of de-veloping TRAIL into a cancer drug[2-4]. This review will summary the molecular mechanisms of TRAIL-induced apoptosis and discuss the questions to be resolved in this field.

  19. Molecular Transport Mechanisms for Associating and Solvating Penetrant in Polymers

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-11-02

    PIB ) at different vapor activities in order to understand complex diffusion mechanisms and probe molecular structures above the glass tranisition. The...the individual diffusion coefficients can be separated and that they are equal to each other for the acetic acid/ PIB system. The values of the...BOH) mixtures in polyisobutylene ( PIB ) was studied at varying mixture compositions. Diffusion coefficients and hydrogen bonding interactions were

  20. Molecular mechanisms in muscular dystrophy: a gene expression profiling study.

    OpenAIRE

    2006-01-01

    The muscular dystrophies are a group of neuromuscular disorders characterized by progres¬sive muscle weakness and wasting. Although the underlying genetic defects of a large number of muscular dystrophies are now know, the molecular mechanisms resulting in the devastating effects of the disease are not yet clear. Furthermore, the muscular dystrophies differ in clinical presentation and severity. The processes responsible for this di¬vergence are largely unknown as well. In this thesis, gene e...

  1. Molecular mechanisms and treatment options for muscle wasting eiseases

    OpenAIRE

    Rüegg, Markus A; Glass, David J.

    2010-01-01

    Loss of muscle mass can be the consequence of pathological changes, as observed in muscular dystrophies; or it can be secondary to cachexia-inducing diseases that cause muscle atrophy, such as cancer, heart disease, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; or it can be a consequence of aging or simple disuse. Although muscular dystrophies are rare, muscle loss affects millions of people worldwide.Wediscuss the molecular mechanisms involved in muscular dystrophy and in muscle atrophy and pres...

  2. Molecular Composites: Processing, Post-Treatment and Mechanics

    Science.gov (United States)

    1987-07-01

    Mechanical Analyzer was used. 3.2 Articulated Matricies Several isotropic solutions (2.5, 3.0, and 3.2 wt%) were made from PBT36 and ABPBI in MSA at a fixed...built to address this problem. 22 3.3 Thermoplastic Matricies Thermoplastic matrix molecular composites could potentially be melt processed. This would...provide obvious advantages over PBT which is, of course, limited to solution processing. Several candidates were considered for matricies . The only re

  3. 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.

  4. Molecular mechanism of signaling by tumor necrosis factor

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHA; Jikun(查纪坤); SHU; Hongbing(舒红兵)

    2002-01-01

    Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) is an important cytokine with multiple biological effects,including cell growth,differentiation,apoptosis,immune regulation and induction of inflammation. The effects of TNF are mediated by two receptors,TNF-R1 and TNF-R2. The major signal transduction pathways triggered by TNF include those that lead to apoptosis,activation of transcription factor NF-??B and protein kinase JNK. This review will discuss the molecular mechanisms of these signaling pathways.

  5. Molecular simulation of the reversible mechanical unfolding of proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rathore, Nitin; Yan, Qiliang; de Pablo, Juan J

    2004-03-22

    In this work we have combined a Wang-Landau sampling scheme [F. Wang and D. Landau, Phys. Rev. Lett. 86, 2050 (2001)] with an expanded ensemble formalism to yield a simple and powerful method for computing potentials of mean force. The new method is implemented to investigate the mechanical deformation of proteins. Comparisons are made with analytical results for simple model systems such as harmonic springs and Rouse chains. The method is then illustrated on a model 15-residue alanine molecule in an implicit solvent. Results for mechanical unfolding of this oligopeptide are compared to those of steered molecular dynamics calculations.

  6. Molecular mechanism of abnormal aggregation of α-synuclein

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    HU HongYua; LIN XiaoJing

    2007-01-01

    The abnormal aggregation of α-synuclein (α-Syn) is thought to be closely associated with Parkinson's disease, but the pathogenesis is still unclear. In this review, we survey the latest development in the molecular mechanism of abnormal α-Syn aggregation, especially in the aspects of the core sequences, aggregation inhibitors, structural transformation and filament morphologies. By exploring the mechanism of α-Syn aggregation, we will have a better understanding of the disease pathogenesis, and develop strategies for preventing and treating this severe disease.

  7. Simulated scaling method for localized enhanced sampling and simultaneous "alchemical" free energy simulations: a general method for molecular mechanical, quantum mechanical, and quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical simulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Hongzhi; Fajer, Mikolai; Yang, Wei

    2007-01-14

    A potential scaling version of simulated tempering is presented to efficiently sample configuration space in a localized region. The present "simulated scaling" method is developed with a Wang-Landau type of updating scheme in order to quickly flatten the distributions in the scaling parameter lambdam space. This proposal is meaningful for a broad range of biophysical problems, in which localized sampling is required. Besides its superior capability and robustness in localized conformational sampling, this simulated scaling method can also naturally lead to efficient "alchemical" free energy predictions when dual-topology alchemical hybrid potential is applied; thereby simultaneously, both of the chemically and conformationally distinct portions of two end point chemical states can be efficiently sampled. As demonstrated in this work, the present method is also feasible for the quantum mechanical and quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical simulations.

  8. Molecular Mechanism of Isocupressic Acid Supresses MA-10 Cell Steroidogenesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kuan-Hao Tsui

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Consumption of ponderosa pine needles causes late-term abortions in cattle and is a serious poisonous plant problem in foothill and mountain rangelands. Isocupressic acid (IA is the component of pine needles responsible for the abortifacient effect, its abortifacient effect may be due to inhibition of steroidogenesis. To investigate the more detail molecular mechanism, we used MA-10 cell, which is wild used to investigate molecular mechanism of steroidogenesis, to characterize the molecular mechanisms underlying the actions of IA in more detail. In this report, we focus on the function of IA on important steroidogenic genes, including steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR, cytochrome P450 cholesterol side-chain cleavage (P450scc, and 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3β-HSD. We found that IA does not affect enzyme activities of these genes but inhibits transcription of P450scc and translation of StAR and P450scc through attenuating cAMP-PKA signaling. Thus, steroid productions of cells were suppressed.

  9. Genomic and molecular mechanisms for efficient biodegradation of aromatic dye.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Su; Xie, Shangxian; Chen, Hu; Cheng, Yanbing; Shi, Yan; Qin, Xing; Dai, Susie Y; Zhang, Xiaoyu; Yuan, Joshua S

    2016-01-25

    Understanding the molecular mechanisms for aromatic compound degradation is crucial for the development of effective bioremediation strategies. We report the discovery of a novel phenomenon for improved degradation of Direct Red 5B azo dye by Irpex lacteus CD2 with lignin as a co-substrate. Transcriptomics analysis was performed to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of aromatic degradation in white rot fungus by comparing dye, lignin, and dye/lignin combined treatments. A full spectrum of lignin degradation peroxidases, oxidases, radical producing enzymes, and other relevant components were up-regulated under DR5B and lignin treatments. Lignin induced genes complemented the DR5B induced genes to provide essential enzymes and redox conditions for aromatic compound degradation. The transcriptomics analysis was further verified by manganese peroxidase (MnP) protein over-expression, as revealed by proteomics, dye decolorization assay by purified MnP and increased hydroxyl radical levels, as indicated by an iron reducing activity assay. Overall, the molecular and genomic mechanisms indicated that effective aromatic polymer degradation requires synergistic enzymes and radical-mediated oxidative reactions to form an effective network of chemical processes. This study will help to guide the development of effective bioremediation and biomass degradation strategies.

  10. 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...... a particular neuron will die. To accommodate this signaling, immature neurons in the brain express a number of transmembrane factors as well as intracellular signaling molecules that will regulate the cell survival/death decision, and many of these factors cease being expressed upon neuronal maturation...... 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...

  11. Molecular structure and elastic properties of thermotropic liquid crystals: Integrated molecular dynamics—Statistical mechanical theory vs molecular field approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Capar, M. Ilk; Nar, A.; Ferrarini, A.; Frezza, E.; Greco, C.; Zakharov, A. V.; Vakulenko, A. A.

    2013-03-01

    The connection between the molecular structure of liquid crystals and their elastic properties, which control the director deformations relevant for electro-optic applications, remains a challenging objective for theories and computations. Here, we compare two methods that have been proposed to this purpose, both characterized by a detailed molecular level description. One is an integrated molecular dynamics-statistical mechanical approach, where the bulk elastic constants of nematics are calculated from the direct correlation function (DCFs) and the single molecule orientational distribution function [D. A. McQuarrie, Statistical Mechanics (Harper & Row, New York, 1973)]. The latter is obtained from atomistic molecular dynamics trajectories, together with the radial distribution function, from which the DCF is then determined by solving the Ornstein-Zernike equation. The other approach is based on a molecular field theory, where the potential of mean torque experienced by a mesogen in the liquid crystal phase is parameterized according to its molecular surface. In this case, the calculation of elastic constants is combined with the Monte Carlo sampling of single molecule conformations. Using these different approaches, but the same description, at the level of molecular geometry and torsional potentials, we have investigated the elastic properties of the nematic phase of two typical mesogens, 4'-n-pentyloxy-4-cyanobiphenyl and 4'-n-heptyloxy-4-cyanobiphenyl. Both methods yield K3(bend) >K1 (splay) >K2 (twist), although there are some discrepancies in the average elastic constants and in their anisotropy. These are interpreted in terms of the different approximations and the different ways of accounting for the structural properties of molecules in the two approaches. In general, the results point to the role of the molecular shape, which is modulated by the conformational freedom and cannot be fully accounted for by a single descriptor such as the aspect ratio.

  12. Long term ex vivo culturing of Drosophila brain as a method to live image pupal brains: insights into the cellular mechanisms of neuronal remodeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rabinovich, Dana; Mayseless, Oded; Schuldiner, Oren

    2015-01-01

    Holometabolous insects, including Drosophila melanogaster, undergo complete metamorphosis that includes a pupal stage. During metamorphosis, the Drosophila nervous system undergoes massive remodeling and growth, that include cell death and large-scale axon and synapse elimination as well as neurogenesis, developmental axon regrowth, and formation of new connections. Neuronal remodeling is an essential step in the development of vertebrate and invertebrate nervous systems. Research on the stereotypic remodeling of Drosophila mushroom body (MB) γ neurons has contributed to our knowledge of the molecular mechanisms of remodeling but our knowledge of the cellular mechanisms remain poorly understood. A major hurdle in understanding various dynamic processes that occur during metamorphosis is the lack of time-lapse resolution. The pupal case and opaque fat bodies that enwrap the central nervous system (CNS) make live-imaging of the central brain in-vivo impossible. We have established an ex vivo long-term brain culture system that supports the development and neuronal remodeling of pupal brains. By optimizing culture conditions and dissection protocols, we have observed development in culture at kinetics similar to what occurs in vivo. Using this new method, we have obtained the first time-lapse sequence of MB γ neurons undergoing remodeling in up to a single cell resolution. We found that axon pruning is initiated by blebbing, followed by one-two nicks that seem to initiate a more widely spread axon fragmentation. As such, we have set up some of the tools and methodologies needed for further exploration of the cellular mechanisms of neuronal remodeling, not limited to the MB. The long-term ex vivo brain culture system that we report here could be used to study dynamic aspects of neurodevelopment of any Drosophila neuron.

  13. Molecular cytogenetic analysis in the study of brain tumors: findings and applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bayani, Jane; Pandita, Ajay; Squire, Jeremy A

    2005-11-15

    Classic cytogenetics has evolved from black and white to technicolor images of chromosomes as a result of advances in fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) techniques, and is now called molecular cytogenetics. Improvements in the quality and diversity of probes suitable for FISH, coupled with advances in computerized image analysis, now permit the genome or tissue of interest to be analyzed in detail on a glass slide. It is evident that the growing list of options for cytogenetic analysis has improved the understanding of chromosomal changes in disease initiation, progression, and response to treatment. The contributions of classic and molecular cytogenetics to the study of brain tumors have provided scientists and clinicians alike with new avenues for investigation. In this review the authors summarize the contributions of molecular cytogenetics to the study of brain tumors, encompassing the findings of classic cytogenetics, interphase- and metaphase-based FISH studies, spectral karyotyping, and metaphase- and array-based comparative genomic hybridization. In addition, this review also details the role of molecular cytogenetic techniques in other aspects of understanding the pathogenesis of brain tumors, including xenograft, cancer stem cell, and telomere length studies.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Molecular mechanism: ERK signaling, drug addiction and behavioral effects

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

    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 results 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. PMID:26809997

  17. The superspreading mechanism unveiled via molecular dynamics simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Theodorakis, Panagiotis; Muller, Erich; Craster, Richard; Matar, Omar

    2014-11-01

    Superspreading, by which aqueous droplets laden with specific surfactants wet hydrophobic substrates, is an unusual and dramatic phenomenon. This is attributed to various factors, e.g., a particular surfactant geometry, Marangoni flow, unique solid-fluid interactions, however, direct evidence for a plausible mechanism for superspreading has not yet been provided. Here, we use molecular dynamics simulations of a coarse-grained model with force fields obtained from the SAFT- γ equation of state to capture the superspreading mechanism of water drops with surfactants on model surfaces. Our simulations highlight and monitor the main features of the molecular behavior that lead to the superspreading mechanism, and reproduce and explain the experimentally-observed characteristic maxima of the spreading rate of the droplet vs. surfactant concentration and wettability. We also present a comparison between superspreading and non-superspreading surfactants underlining the main morphological and energetic characteristics of superspreaders. We believe that this is the first time a plausible superspreading mechanism based on a microscopic description is proposed; this will enable the design of surfactants with enhanced spreading ability specifically tailored for applications. EPSRC Grant Number EP/J010502/1.

  18. 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

  19. Mechanisms that underlie co-variation of the brain and face.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marcucio, Ralph S; Young, Nathan M; Hu, Diane; Hallgrimsson, Benedikt

    2011-04-01

    The effect of the brain on the morphology of the face has long been recognized in both evolutionary biology and clinical medicine. In this work, we describe factors that are active between the development of the brain and face and how these might impact craniofacial variation. First, there is the physical influence of the brain, which contributes to overall growth and morphology of the face through direct structural interactions. Second, there is the molecular influence of the brain, which signals to facial tissues to establish signaling centers that regulate patterned growth. Importantly, subtle alterations to these physical or molecular interactions may contribute to both normal and abnormal variation. These interactions are therefore critical to our understanding of how a diversity of facial morphologies can be generated both within species and across evolutionary time.

  20. 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.

  1. T cell mediated pathogenesis in EAE: Molecular mechanisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florian C Kurschus

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available T cells are major initiators and mediators of disease in multiple sclerosis (MS and in its animal model experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE. EAE is an antigen-driven autoimmune model in which immunization against myelin autoantigens elicits strong T cell responses which initiate its pathology with CNS myelin destruction. T cells cause pathogenic events by several mechanisms; some work in a direct fashion in the CNS, such as direct cytokine-induced damage, granzyme-mediated killing, or glutamate-induced neurotoxicity, whereas most are indirect mechanisms, such as activation of other cell types like macrophages, B cells, or neutrophils. This review aims to describe and discuss the molecular effector mechanism by which T cells harm the CNS during EAE.

  2. 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

  3. Studies on the molecular mechanisms of seed germination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Chao; Yang, Pingfang

    2015-05-01

    Seed germination that begins with imbibition and ends with radicle emergence is the first step for plant growth. Successful germination is not only crucial for seedling establishment but also important for crop yield. After being dispersed from mother plant, seed undergoes continuous desiccation in ecosystem and selects proper environment to trigger germination. Owing to the contribution of transcriptomic, proteomic, and molecular biological studies, molecular aspect of seed germination is elucidated well in Arabidopsis. Recently, more and more proteomic and genetic studies concerning cereal seed germination were performed on rice (Oryza sativa) and barley (Hordeum vulgare), which possess completely different seed structure and domestication background with Arabidopsis. In this review, both the common features and the distinct mechanisms of seed germination are compared among different plant species including Arabidopsis, rice, and maize. These features include morphological changes, cell and its related structure recovery, metabolic activation, hormone behavior, and transcription and translation activation. This review will provide more comprehensive insights into the molecular mechanisms of seed germination.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Combined quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) methods in computational enzymology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Kamp, Marc W; Mulholland, Adrian J

    2013-04-23

    Computational enzymology is a rapidly maturing field that is increasingly integral to understanding mechanisms of enzyme-catalyzed reactions and their practical applications. Combined quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) methods are important in this field. By treating the reacting species with a quantum mechanical method (i.e., a method that calculates the electronic structure of the active site) and including the enzyme environment with simpler molecular mechanical methods, enzyme reactions can be modeled. Here, we review QM/MM methods and their application to enzyme-catalyzed reactions to investigate fundamental and practical problems in enzymology. A range of QM/MM methods is available, from cheaper and more approximate methods, which can be used for molecular dynamics simulations, to highly accurate electronic structure methods. We discuss how modeling of reactions using such methods can provide detailed insight into enzyme mechanisms and illustrate this by reviewing some recent applications. We outline some practical considerations for such simulations. Further, we highlight applications that show how QM/MM methods can contribute to the practical development and application of enzymology, e.g., in the interpretation and prediction of the effects of mutagenesis and in drug and catalyst design.

  7. Complement system part I - molecular mechanisms of activation and regulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicolas eMerle

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Complement is a complex innate immune surveillance system, playing a key role in defense against pathogens and in host homeostasis. The complement system is initiated by conformational changes in recognition molecular complexes upon sensing danger signals. The subsequent cascade of enzymatic reactions is tightly regulated to assure that complement is activated only at specific locations requiring defense against pathogens, thus avoiding host tissue damage. Here we discuss the recent advances describing the molecular and structural basis of activation and regulation of the complement pathways and their implication on physiology and pathology. This article will review the mechanisms of activation of alternative, classical and lectin pathways, the formation of C3 and C5 convertases, the action of anaphylatoxins and the membrane attack complex. We will also discuss the importance of structure-function relationships using the example of atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome. Lastly we will discuss the development and benefits of therapies using complement inhibitors.

  8. Neural tube closure: cellular, molecular and biomechanical mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nikolopoulou, Evanthia; Galea, Gabriel L; Rolo, Ana; Greene, Nicholas D E; Copp, Andrew J

    2017-02-15

    Neural tube closure has been studied for many decades, across a range of vertebrates, as a paradigm of embryonic morphogenesis. Neurulation is of particular interest in view of the severe congenital malformations - 'neural tube defects' - that result when closure fails. The process of neural tube closure is complex and involves cellular events such as convergent extension, apical constriction and interkinetic nuclear migration, as well as precise molecular control via the non-canonical Wnt/planar cell polarity pathway, Shh/BMP signalling, and the transcription factors Grhl2/3, Pax3, Cdx2 and Zic2. More recently, biomechanical inputs into neural tube morphogenesis have also been identified. Here, we review these cellular, molecular and biomechanical mechanisms involved in neural tube closure, based on studies of various vertebrate species, focusing on the most recent advances in the field.

  9. Cocoa phytochemicals: recent advances in molecular mechanisms on health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Jiyoung; Kim, Jaekyoon; Shim, Jaesung; Lee, Chang Yong; Lee, Ki Won; Lee, Hyong Joo

    2014-01-01

    Recent reports on cocoa are appealing in that a food commonly consumed for pure pleasure might also bring tangible benefits for human health. Cocoa consumption is correlated with reduced health risks of cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, atherosclerosis, and cancer, and the health-promoting effects of cocoa are mediated by cocoa-driven phytochemicals. Cocoa is rich in procyanidins, theobromine, (-)-epicatechin, catechins, and caffeine. Among the phytochemicals present in consumed cocoa, theobromine is most available in human plasma, followed by caffeine, (-)-epicatechin, catechin, and procyanidins. It has been reported that cocoa phytochemicals specifically modulate or interact with specific molecular targets linked to the pathogenesis of chronic human diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, obesity, diabetes, and skin aging. This review summarizes comprehensive recent findings on the beneficial actions of cocoa-driven phytochemicals in molecular mechanisms of human health.

  10. Mechanisms of Helicobacter pylori antibiotic resistance and molecular testing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Toshihiro eNishizawa

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Antibiotic resistance in Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori is the main factor affecting the efficacy of current treatment methods against infection caused by this organism. The traditional culture methods for testing bacterial susceptibility to antibiotics are expensive and require 10 to 14 days. Since resistance to clarithromycin, fluoroquinolone, and tetracycline seems to be exclusively caused by specific mutations in a small region of the responsible gene, molecular methods offer an attractive alternative to the above-mentioned techniques. The technique of polymerase chain reaction (PCR is an accurate and rapid method for the detection of mutations that confer antibiotic resistance. This review highlights the mechanisms of antibiotic resistance in H. pylori and the molecular methods for antibiotic susceptibility testing.

  11. 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.

  12. Multi-study integration of brain cancer transcriptomes reveals organ-level molecular signatures.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaeyun Sung

    Full Text Available We utilized abundant transcriptomic data for the primary classes of brain cancers to study the feasibility of separating all of these diseases simultaneously based on molecular data alone. These signatures were based on a new method reported herein--Identification of Structured Signatures and Classifiers (ISSAC--that resulted in a brain cancer marker panel of 44 unique genes. Many of these genes have established relevance to the brain cancers examined herein, with others having known roles in cancer biology. Analyses on large-scale data from multiple sources must deal with significant challenges associated with heterogeneity between different published studies, for it was observed that the variation among individual studies often had a larger effect on the transcriptome than did phenotype differences, as is typical. For this reason, we restricted ourselves to studying only cases where we had at least two independent studies performed for each phenotype, and also reprocessed all the raw data from the studies using a unified pre-processing pipeline. We found that learning signatures across multiple datasets greatly enhanced reproducibility and accuracy in predictive performance on truly independent validation sets, even when keeping the size of the training set the same. This was most likely due to the meta-signature encompassing more of the heterogeneity across different sources and conditions, while amplifying signal from the repeated global characteristics of the phenotype. When molecular signatures of brain cancers were constructed from all currently available microarray data, 90% phenotype prediction accuracy, or the accuracy of identifying a particular brain cancer from the background of all phenotypes, was found. Looking forward, we discuss our approach in the context of the eventual development of organ-specific molecular signatures from peripheral fluids such as the blood.

  13. Molecular-dynamics study of detonation. II. The reaction mechanism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rice, Betsy M.; Mattson, William; Grosh, John; Trevino, S. F.

    1996-01-01

    In this work, we investigate mechanisms of chemical reactions that sustain an unsupported detonation. The chemical model of an energetic crystal used in this study consists of heteronuclear diatomic molecules that, at ambient pressure, dissociate endothermically. Subsequent association of the products to form homonuclear diatomic molecules provides the energy release that sustains the detonation. A many-body interaction is used to simulate changes in the electronic bonding as a function of local atomic environment. The consequence of the many-body interaction in this model is that the intramolecular bond is weakened with increasing density. The mechanism of the reaction for this model was extracted by investigating the details of the molecular properties in the reaction zone with two-dimensional molecular dynamics. The mechanism for the initiation of the reaction in this model is pressure-induced atomization. There was no evidence of excitation of vibrational modes to dissociative states. This particular result is directly attributable to the functional form and choice of parameters for this model, but might also have more general applicability.

  14. Molecular mechanical properties of short-sequence peptide enzyme mimics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takahashi, Tsukasa; Vo Ngo, Bao C; Xiao, Leyang; Arya, Gaurav; Heller, Michael J

    2016-01-01

    While considerable attempts have been made to recreate the high turnover rates of enzymes using synthetic enzyme mimics, most have failed and only a few have produced minimal reaction rates that can barely be considered catalytic. One particular approach we have focused on is the use of short-sequence peptides that contain key catalytic groups in close proximity. In this study, we designed six different peptides and tested their ability to mimic the catalytic mechanism of the cysteine proteases. Acetylation and deacylation by Ellman's Reagent trapping experiments showed the importance of having phenylalanine groups surrounding the catalytic sites in order to provide greater proximity between the cysteine, histidine, and aspartate amino acid R-groups. We have also carried out all-atom molecular dynamics simulations to determine the distance between these catalytic groups and the overall mechanical flexibility of the peptides. We found strong correlations between the magnitude of fluctuations in the Cys-His distance, which determines the flexibility and interactions between the cysteine thiol and histidine imidazole groups, and the deacylation rate. We found that, in general, shorter Cys-His distance fluctuations led to a higher deacylation rate constant, implying that greater confinement of the two residues will allow a higher frequency of the acetyl exchange between the cysteine thiol and histidine imidazole R-groups. This may be the key to future design of peptide structures with molecular mechanical properties that lead to viable enzyme mimics.

  15. Shifting gears: seeking new approaches for mind/brain mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gazzaniga, Michael S

    2013-01-01

    Using an autobiographical approach, I review several animal and human split-brain studies that have led me to change my long-term view on how best to understand mind/brain interactions. Overall, the view is consistent with the idea that complex neural systems, like other complex information processing systems, are highly modular. At the same time, how the modules come to interact and produce unitary goals is unknown. Here, I review the importance of self-cueing in that process of producing unitary goals from disparate functions. The role of self-cueing is demonstrably evident in the human neurologic patient and especially in patients with hemispheric disconnection. When viewed in the context of modularity, it may provide insights into how a highly parallel and distributed brain locally coordinates its activities to produce an apparent unitary output. Capturing and understanding how this is achieved will require shifting gears away from standard linear models and adopting a more dynamical systems view of brain function.

  16. United polarizable multipole water model for molecular mechanics simulation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Qi, Rui; Wang, Qiantao; Ren, Pengyu, E-mail: pren@mail.utexas.edu [Department of Biomedical Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas 78712 (United States); Wang, Lee-Ping; Pande, Vijay S. [Department of Chemistry, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305 (United States)

    2015-07-07

    We report the development of a united AMOEBA (uAMOEBA) polarizable water model, which is computationally 3–5 times more efficient than the three-site AMOEBA03 model in molecular dynamics simulations while providing comparable accuracy for gas-phase and liquid properties. In this coarse-grained polarizable water model, both electrostatic (permanent and induced) and van der Waals representations have been reduced to a single site located at the oxygen atom. The permanent charge distribution is described via the molecular dipole and quadrupole moments and the many-body polarization via an isotropic molecular polarizability, all located at the oxygen center. Similarly, a single van der Waals interaction site is used for each water molecule. Hydrogen atoms are retained only for the purpose of defining local frames for the molecular multipole moments and intramolecular vibrational modes. The parameters have been derived based on a combination of ab initio quantum mechanical and experimental data set containing gas-phase cluster structures and energies, and liquid thermodynamic properties. For validation, additional properties including dimer interaction energy, liquid structures, self-diffusion coefficient, and shear viscosity have been evaluated. The results demonstrate good transferability from the gas to the liquid phase over a wide range of temperatures, and from nonpolar to polar environments, due to the presence of molecular polarizability. The water coordination, hydrogen-bonding structure, and dynamic properties given by uAMOEBA are similar to those derived from the all-atom AMOEBA03 model and experiments. Thus, the current model is an accurate and efficient alternative for modeling water.

  17. Molecular mechanisms in autoimmune type 1 diabetes: a critical review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Zhiguo; Chang, Christopher; Zhou, Zhiguang

    2014-10-01

    Autoimmune type 1 diabetes is characterized by selective destruction of insulin-secreting beta cells in the pancreas of genetically susceptible individuals. The mechanisms underlying the development of type 1 diabetes are not fully understood. However, a widely accepted point is that type 1 diabetes is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Although most type 1 diabetes patients do not have a family history, genetic susceptibility does play a vital role in beta cell autoimmunity and destruction. Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) regions are the strongest genetic determinants, which can contribute 40-50 % of the genetic risk to type 1 diabetes. Other genes, including INS also contribute to disease risk. The mechanisms of the susceptible genes in type 1 diabetes may relate to their respective roles in antigen presentation, beta cell autoimmunity, immune tolerance, and autoreactive T cell response. Environmental susceptibility factors also contribute to the risk of developing type 1 diabetes. From an epigenetic standpoint, the pathologic mechanisms involved in the development of type 1 diabetes may include DNA methylation, histone modification, microRNA, and molecular mimicry. These mechanisms may act through regulating of gene expression, thereby affecting the immune system response toward islet beta cells. One of the characteristics of type 1 diabetes is the recognition of islet autoantigens by autoreactive CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells and autoantibodies. Autoantibodies against islet autoantigens are involved in autoantigen processing and presentation by HLA molecules. This review will mainly focus on the molecular mechanism by which genetic, epigenetic, and environmental factors contribute to the risk of type 1 diabetes.

  18. Fluorescence microscopy studies of a peripheral-benzodiazepine-receptor-targeted molecular probe for brain tumor imaging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marcu, Laura; Vernier, P. Thomas; Manning, H. Charles; Salemi, Sarah; Li, Aimin; Craft, Cheryl M.; Gundersen, Martin A.; Bornhop, Darryl J.

    2003-10-01

    This study investigates the potential of a new multi-modal lanthanide chelate complex for specifically targeting brain tumor cells. We report here results from ongoing studies of up-take, sub-cellular localization and binding specificity of this new molecular imaging probe. Fluorescence microscopy investigations in living rat C6 glioma tumor cells demonstrate that the new imaging agent has affinity for glioma cells and binds to mitochondria.

  19. The Morphological and Molecular Changes of Brain Cells Exposed to Direct Current Electric Field Stimulation

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

    Background: 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. Methods: 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 r...

  20. Molecular and anatomical signatures of sleep deprivation in the mouse brain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carol L Thompson

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Sleep deprivation (SD leads to a suite of cognitive and behavioral impairments, and yet the molecular consequences of SD in the brain are poorly understood. Using a systematic immediate-early gene mapping to detect neuronal activation, the consequences of SD were mapped primarily to forebrain regions. Sleep deprivation was found to both induce and suppress immediate early gene expression (and thus neuronal activity in subregions of neocortex, striatum, and other brain regions. Laser microdissection and cDNA microarrays were used to identify the molecular consequences of SD in 7 brain regions. In situ hybridization for 222 genes selected from the microarray data and other sources confirmed that robust molecular changes were largely restricted to the forebrain. Analysis of the ISH data for 222 genes (publicly accessible at http://sleep.alleninstitute.org provided a molecular and anatomic signature of the effects of SD on the brain. The SCN and the neocortex exhibited differential regulation of the same genes, such that in the SCN genes exhibited time-of-day effects while in the neocortex, genes exhibited only SD and W effects. In the neocortex, SD activated gene expression in areal-, layer-, and cell type-specific manner. In the forebrain, SD preferentially activated excitatory neurons, as demonstrated by double-labeling, except for striatum which consists primarily of inhibitory neurons. These data provide a characterization of the anatomical and cell-type specific signatures of SD on neuronal activity and gene expression that may account for the associated cognitive and behavioral effects.

  1. 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.

  2. Buckling of microtubules: An insight by molecular and continuum mechanics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhang, Jin; Meguid, S. A., E-mail: meguid@mie.utoronto.ca [Mechanics and Aerospace Design Laboratory, Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario M5S 3G8 (Canada)

    2014-10-27

    The molecular structural mechanics method has been extended to investigate the buckling of microtubules (MTs) with various configurations. The results indicate that for relative short MTs the shear deformation effect, rather than the nonlocal effect, is mainly responsible for the limitation of their widely used Euler beam description and the observed length-dependence of their bending stiffness. In addition, the configuration effect of MTs is also studied and considered as an explanation for the large scattering of the critical buckling force and bending stiffness observed in existing experiments. This configuration effect is also found to mainly originate from the geometry of the MTs and is mainly determined by the protofilament number.

  3. 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.

  4. Molecular and biochemical mechanisms of drug resistance in fungi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamaguchi, H

    1999-01-01

    This paper reviews the current status of our understanding of resistance mechanisms of three major classes of antifungal drugs for systemic use, amphotericin B (AMPH), flucytosine (5-FC) and several azole antifungals, in particular fluconazole (FLCZ), at the molecular and cellular levels. Although the number of reports of AMPH- or 5-FC-resistant fungal species and strains is limited, several mechanisms of resistance have been described. AMPH-resistant Candida have a marked decrease in ergosterol content compared with AMPH-susceptible control isolates. A lesion in the UMP-pyrophosphorylase is the most frequent determinant of 5-FC resistance in C. albicans. Recently resistance of C. albicans to azoles has become an increasing problem. Extensive biochemical studies have highlighted a significant diversity in mechanisms conferring resistance to FLCZ and other azoles, which include alterations in sterol biosynthesis, target site, uptake and efflux. Among them, the most important mechanism clinically is reduced access of the drug to the intracellular P450 14 DM target, probably because of the action of a multidrug resistance efflux pump, and overproduction of that target. However, other possible resistance mechanisms for azoles remain to be identified.

  5. Estimation of mechanical properties of single wall carbon nanotubes using molecular mechanics approach

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    P Subba Rao; Sunil Anandatheertha; G Narayana Naik; G Gopalakrishnan

    2015-06-01

    Molecular mechanics based finite element analysis is adopted in the current work to evaluate the mechanical properties of Zigzag, Armchair and Chiral Single wall Carbon Nanotubes (SWCNT) of different diameters and chiralities. Three different types of atomic bonds, that is Carbon–Carbon covalent bond and two types of Carbon–Carbon van der Waals bonds are considered in the carbon nanotube system. The stiffness values of these bonds are calculated using the molecular potentials, namely Morse potential function and Lennard-Jones interaction potential function respectively and these stiffness’s are assigned to spring elements in the finite element model of the CNT. The geometry of CNT is built using a macro that is developed for the finite element analysis software. The finite element model of the CNT is constructed, appropriate boundary conditions are applied and the behavior of mechanical properties of CNT is studied.

  6. Autophagy - Adaptive Molecular Mechanisms in Condition of Starvation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pedrycz Agnieszka

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Autophagy is an extremely old process during which long-lived proteins and cellular organelles are removed by means of lysosomes. Autophagy may be caused by cellular stress mechanisms. Research has proven that autophagy plays a key role in obtaining nutrients and adapting to the conditions of starvation. Owing to this, it takes part in maintaining homeostasis in cytoplasm and cell nucleus. This objective may be achieved through a number of ways. Depending on the manner in which a substrate connects with the lysosome, we can talk about macroautophagy and microautophagy. Additionally, some authors also distinguish a chaperone-mediated autophagy. The article presented below describes molecular mechanisms of each type of autophagy and focuses particularly on macroautophagy, which is the best understood of all the autophagy types.

  7. 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.

  8. Molecular Mechanisms of Two-Component Signal Transduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zschiedrich, Christopher P; Keidel, Victoria; Szurmant, Hendrik

    2016-09-25

    Two-component systems (TCS) comprising sensor histidine kinases and response regulator proteins are among the most important players in bacterial and archaeal signal transduction and also occur in reduced numbers in some eukaryotic organisms. Given their importance to cellular survival, virulence, and cellular development, these systems are among the most scrutinized bacterial proteins. In the recent years, a flurry of bioinformatics, genetic, biochemical, and structural studies have provided detailed insights into many molecular mechanisms that underlie the detection of signals and the generation of the appropriate response by TCS. Importantly, it has become clear that there is significant diversity in the mechanisms employed by individual systems. This review discusses the current knowledge on common themes and divergences from the paradigm of TCS signaling. An emphasis is on the information gained by a flurry of recent structural and bioinformatics studies.

  9. Molecular mechanism of size control in development and human diseases

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xiaolong Yang; Tian Xu

    2011-01-01

    How multicellular organisms control their size is a fundamental question that fascinated generations of biologists.In the past 10 years, tremendous progress has been made toward our understanding of the molecular mechanism underlying size control. Original studies from Drosophila showed that in addition to extrinsic nutritional and hormonal cues, intrinsic mechanisms also play important roles in the control of organ size during development. Several novel signaling pathways such as insulin and Hippo-LATS signaling pathways have been identified that control organ size by regulating cell size and/or cell number through modulation of cell growth, cell division, and cell death. Later studies using mammalian cell and mouse models also demonstrated that the signaling pathways identified in flies are also conserved in mammals. Significantly, recent studies showed that dysregulation of size control plays important roles in the development of many human diseases sucha as cancer,diabetes,and hypertrophy.

  10. RNA processing-associated molecular mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Anna Y

    2016-08-01

    Dysfunctions of RNA processing and mutations of RNA binding proteins (RBPs) play a fundamental role in the pathogenesis of many neurodegenerative diseases. To elucidate the function of RNA processing and RBPs mutations in neuronal cells and to increase our understanding on the pathogenic mechanisms of neurodegeneration, I have reviewed recent advances on RNA processing-associated molecular mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases, including RBPs-mediated dysfunction of RNA processing, dysfunctional microRNA (miRNA)-based regulation of gene expression, and oxidative RNA modification. I have focused on neurodegeneration induced by RBPs mutations, by dysfunction of miRNA regulation, and by the oxidized RNAs within neurons, and discuss how these dysfunctions have pathologically contributed to neurodegenerative diseases. The advances overviewed above will be valuable to basic investigation and clinical application of target diagnostic tests and therapies.

  11. Targeted therapies in epithelial ovarian cancer: Molecular mechanisms of action

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Hiroaki; Itamochi

    2010-01-01

    Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death in women with gynecological cancer. Most patients are diagnosed at an advanced stage and have a poor prognosis.Currently, surgical tumor debulking, followed by platinum- and taxane-based chemotherapy is the standard treatment for advanced ovarian cancer. However, these patients are at great risk of recurrence and emerging drug resistance. Therefore, novel treatment strategies are required to improve outcomes for women with advanced ovarian cancer. A variety of molecular targeted agents, the majority of which are monoclonal antibodies and small-molecule protein-kinase inhibitors, have been explored in the management of ovarian cancer. The targets of these agents include angiogenesis, the human epidermal growth factor receptor family, ubiquitinproteasome pathway, epigenetic modulators, poly(ADPribose) polymerase (PARP), and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathway, which are aberrant in tumor tissue. The antiangiogenic agent, bevacizumab, has been reported as the most effective targeted agent and should be included in the standard chemotherapeutic regimen for advanced ovarian cancer. PARP inhibitors, which are mainly used in breast and ovarian cancer susceptibility gene-mutated patients, and mTOR inhibitors are also attractive treatment strategies, either alone or combination with chemotherapy, for ovarian cancer. Understanding the tumor molecular biology and identification of predictive biomarkers are essential steps for selection of the best treatment strategies. This article reviews the molecular mechanisms of the most promising targeted agents that are under early phase clinical evaluation for ovarian cancer.

  12. A molecular understanding of the dynamic mechanism of aquaporin osmosis

    CERN Document Server

    Shua, Liangsuo; Qian, Xin; Wanga, Xiyun; Lin, Yixin; Tan, Kai; Shu, Chaohui; Jin, Shiping

    2014-01-01

    AQPs (aquaporins), the rapid water channels of cells, play a key role in maintaining osmotic equilibrium of cells. In this paper, we reported the dynamic mechanism of AQP osmosis at the molecular level. A theoretical model based on molecular dynamics was carried out and verified by the published experimental data. The reflection coefficients ({\\sigma}) of neutral molecules are mainly decided by their relative size with AQPs, and increase with a third power up to a constant value 1. This model also indicated that the reflection coefficient of a complete impermeable solute can be smaller than 1. The H+ concentration of solution can influence the driving force of the AQPs by changing the equivalent diameters of vestibules surrounded by loops with abundant polar amino acids. In this way, pH of solution can regulate water permeability of AQPs. Therefore, an AQP may not only work as a switch to open or close, but as a rapid response molecular valve to control its water flow. The vestibules can prevent the channel b...

  13. Mechanical response of infant brain to manually inflicted shaking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Couper, Z; Albermani, F

    2010-01-01

    Shaken baby syndrome (SBS) is a contentious issue on both biomechanical and medical fronts, primarily due to a lack of understanding of the loading-injury relationship of infant shaking and the parameters that are deterministic to its nature. In order to address this lack, a finite element (FE) representation of a three month infant head was developed to apply kinematics derived from physical testing with an anthropomorphic infant surrogate. The FE mesh was derived from a three-dimensional geometric basis, allowing for mesh size grading in regions of high importance, and future patient-specific adaptation. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) was represented through static pressure equilibration in combination with a locally based squeezing resistance. The results of the simulation indicate that anteroposterior shaking will lead to specific patterns of brain matter motion, increased likelihood of focal axonal injury at contact locations and deep brain structures, and a capacity for the development of subdural hematomas (SDH) due to rupture of central bridging veins.

  14. Molecular composition of staufen2-containing ribonucleoproteins in embryonic rat brain.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marjolaine Maher-Laporte

    Full Text Available Messenger ribonucleoprotein particles (mRNPs are used to transport mRNAs along neuronal dendrites to their site of translation. Numerous mRNA-binding and regulatory proteins within mRNPs finely regulate the fate of bound-mRNAs. Their specific combination defines different types of mRNPs that in turn are related to specific synaptic functions. One of these mRNA-binding proteins, Staufen2 (Stau2, was shown to transport dendritic mRNAs along microtubules. Its knockdown expression in neurons was shown to change spine morphology and synaptic functions. To further understand the molecular mechanisms by which Stau2 modulates synaptic function in neurons, it is important to identify and characterize protein co-factors that regulate the fate of Stau2-containing mRNPs. To this end, a proteomic approach was used to identify co-immunoprecipitated proteins in Staufen2-containing mRNPs isolated from embryonic rat brains. The proteomic approach identified mRNA-binding proteins (PABPC1, hnRNP H1, YB1 and hsc70, proteins of the cytoskeleton (alpha- and beta-tubulin and RUFY3 a poorly characterized protein. While PABPC1 and YB1 associate with Stau2-containing mRNPs through RNAs, hsc70 is directly bound to Stau2 and this interaction is regulated by ATP. PABPC1 and YB1 proteins formed puncta in dendrites of embryonic rat hippocampal neurons. However, they poorly co-localized with Stau2 in the large dendritic complexes suggesting that they are rather components of Stau2-containing mRNA particles. All together, these results represent a further step in the characterization of Stau2-containing mRNPs in neurons and provide new tools to study and understand how Stau2-containing mRNPs are transported, translationally silenced during transport and/or locally expressed according to cell needs.

  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

    The glutamatergic neurotransmitter system is involved in important neurophysiological processes and thus constitutes a promising target for the treatment of neurological diseases. The two ionotropic glutamate receptor agonists kainic acid (KA) and dihydrokainic acid (DHK) have been used as research...... volume of distribution in brain is also low. Therefore, even though the total KA and DHK concentrations in the brain are low after systemic dosing, the concentrations in the vicinity of the glutamate receptors are sufficient for their activation and thus the observed efficacy....

  16. Brain mechanisms for representing what another person sees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heyda, Ratha D; Green, Steven R; Vander Wyk, Brent C; Morris, James P; Pelphrey, Kevin A

    2010-04-01

    We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and a naturalistic joint attention scenario to evaluate two, alternative hypotheses concerning the social brain. The first, Content Specific Attribution hypothesis, was that core regions previously identified as being involved in social cognition also participate in representing the contents of another mind. The second, Dual Role hypothesis, was that extrastriate, category-specific visual regions respond to a visible stimulus of a specific category and to the same stimulus occluded, but when it appears to be the focus of another person's visual attention. Participants viewed category-specific stimuli (Place and Body images) to localize the extrastriate body area (EBA) and parahippocampal place area (PPA). Then, they observed a computerized character viewing each stimulus category, occluded from the participant's view. In support of the Content Specific Attribution hypothesis, whole-brain analyses revealed that viewing someone else looking at an occluded picture of a body activated brain regions previously associated with components of social cognition more than viewing someone else looking at an occluded picture of a place. Counter to the Dual Role hypothesis, functional region of interest (ROI) analyses revealed that the EBA and PPA were not clearly involved in representing what the character was seeing.

  17. 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.

  18. Molecular Fundaments of Mechanical Properties of Spider Silk

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    潘志娟; 刘敏; 李春萍; 李栋高; 盛家镛

    2003-01-01

    Dragline,framework and cocoon silk fibers of Araneus Ventricosus were used for this study.To investigate the microstructure mechanisms of stress-strain behavior of spider silk,firstly,amino acid compositions were analyzed and molecular conformations and crystallinity were measured with Raman spectra and X-ray diffraction respectively.The results showed that there were more amino acids with large side groups and polar ones in spider silk than those of Bombyx silk,and the amino acid distribution varied with different spider silk.The molecular structures were mainly α-helix and β-sheet,and random coil and β-turn existed as well.The proportions and arrangement of these conformations of dragline silk were different from framework and cocoon silk fibers.Microstructure was one of important factors of excellent mechanical properties of spider silk.Crystallinity of spider silk was very low,which implied that the roles of crystal on spider silk were not as great as other protein fibers.

  19. Zinc and diabetes--clinical links and molecular mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jansen, Judith; Karges, Wolfram; Rink, Lothar

    2009-06-01

    Zinc is an essential trace element crucial for the function of more than 300 enzymes and it is important for cellular processes like cell division and apoptosis. Hence, the concentration of zinc in the human body is tightly regulated and disturbances of zinc homeostasis have been associated with several diseases including diabetes mellitus, a disease characterized by high blood glucose concentrations as a consequence of decreased secretion or action of insulin. Zinc supplementation of animals and humans has been shown to ameliorate glycemic control in type 1 and 2 diabetes, the two major forms of diabetes mellitus, but the underlying molecular mechanisms have only slowly been elucidated. Zinc seems to exert insulin-like effects by supporting the signal transduction of insulin and by reducing the production of cytokines, which lead to beta-cell death during the inflammatory process in the pancreas in the course of the disease. Furthermore, zinc might play a role in the development of diabetes, since genetic polymorphisms in the gene of zinc transporter 8 and in metallothionein (MT)-encoding genes could be demonstrated to be associated with type 2 diabetes mellitus. The fact that antibodies against this zinc transporter have been detected in type 1 diabetic patients offers new diagnostic possibilities. This article reviews the influence of zinc on the diabetic state including the molecular mechanisms, the role of the zinc transporter 8 and MT for diabetes development and the resulting diagnostic and therapeutic options.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alvaro C Ucero

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Alvaro C Ucero1,*, Sara Gonçalves2,*, Alberto Benito-Martin1, Beatriz Santamaría1, Adrian M Ramos1, Sergio Berzal1, Marta Ruiz-Ortega1, Jesus Egido1, Alberto Ortiz11Fundación Jiménez Díaz, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Fundación Renal Iñigo Alvarez de Toledo, Madrid, Spain; 2Nefrologia e Transplantação Renal, Hospital de Santa Maria EPE, Lisbon, Portugal *Both authors contributed equally to the manuscriptAbstract: 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.Keywords: urinary tract obstruction, renal injury, fluid mechanics, molecular cell biology

  1. Molecular mechanism of fluoroquinolones resistance in Mycoplasma hominis clinical isolates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meng, Dong-Ya; Sun, Chang-Jian; Yu, Jing-Bo; Ma, Jun; Xue, Wen-Cheng

    2014-01-01

    To evaluate the molecular mechanism of fluoroquinolones resistance in Mycoplasma hominis (MH) clinical strains isolated from urogenital specimens. 15 MH clinical isolates with different phenotypes of resistance to fluoroquinolones antibiotics were screened for mutations in the quinolone resistance-determining regions (QRDRs) of DNA gyrase (gyrA and gyrB) and topoisomerase IV (parC and parE) in comparison with the reference strain PG21, which is susceptible to fluoroquinolones antibiotics. 15 MH isolates with three kinds of quinolone resistance phenotypes were obtained. Thirteen out of these quinolone-resistant isolates were found to carry nucleotide substitutions in either gyrA or parC. There were no alterations in gyrB and no mutations were found in the isolates with a phenotype of resistance to Ofloxacin (OFX), intermediate resistant to Levofloxacin (LVX) and Sparfloxacin (SFX), and those susceptible to all three tested antibiotics. The molecular mechanism of fluoroquinolone resistance in clinical isolates of MH was reported in this study. The single amino acid mutation in ParC of MH may relate to the resistance to OFX and LVX and the high-level resistance to fluoroquinolones for MH is likely associated with mutations in both DNA gyrase and the ParC subunit of topoisomerase IV.

  2. Molecular mechanism of fluoroquinolones resistance in Mycoplasma hominis clinical isolates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meng Dong-Ya

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available To evaluate the molecular mechanism of fluoroquinolones resistance in Mycoplasma hominis (MH clinical strains isolated from urogenital specimens. 15 MH clinical isolates with different phenotypes of resistance to fluoroquinolones antibiotics were screened for mutations in the quinolone resistance-determining regions (QRDRs of DNA gyrase (gyrA and gyrB and topoisomerase IV (parC and parE in comparison with the reference strain PG21, which is susceptible to fluoroquinolones antibiotics. 15 MH isolates with three kinds of quinolone resistance phenotypes were obtained. Thirteen out of these quinolone-resistant isolates were found to carry nucleotide substitutions in either gyrA or parC. There were no alterations in gyrB and no mutations were found in the isolates with a phenotype of resistance to Ofloxacin (OFX, intermediate resistant to Levofloxacin (LVX and Sparfloxacin (SFX, and those susceptible to all three tested antibiotics. The molecular mechanism of fluoroquinolone resistance in clinical isolates of MH was reported in this study. The single amino acid mutation in ParC of MH may relate to the resistance to OFX and LVX and the high-level resistance to fluoroquinolones for MH is likely associated with mutations in both DNA gyrase and the ParC subunit of topoisomerase IV.

  3. Molecular mechanisms of ROS production and oxidative stress in diabetes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newsholme, Philip; Cruzat, Vinicius Fernandes; Keane, Kevin Noel; Carlessi, Rodrigo; de Bittencourt, Paulo Ivo Homem

    2016-12-15

    Oxidative stress and chronic inflammation are known to be associated with the development of metabolic diseases, including diabetes. Oxidative stress, an imbalance between oxidative and antioxidative systems of cells and tissues, is a result of over production of oxidative-free radicals and associated reactive oxygen species (ROS). One outcome of excessive levels of ROS is the modification of the structure and function of cellular proteins and lipids, leading to cellular dysfunction including impaired energy metabolism, altered cell signalling and cell cycle control, impaired cell transport mechanisms and overall dysfunctional biological activity, immune activation and inflammation. Nutritional stress, such as that caused by excess high-fat and/or carbohydrate diets, promotes oxidative stress as evident by increased lipid peroxidation products, protein carbonylation and decreased antioxidant status. In obesity, chronic oxidative stress and associated inflammation are the underlying factors that lead to the development of pathologies such as insulin resistance, dysregulated pathways of metabolism, diabetes and cardiovascular disease through impaired signalling and metabolism resulting in dysfunction to insulin secretion, insulin action and immune responses. However, exercise may counter excessive levels of oxidative stress and thus improve metabolic and inflammatory outcomes. In the present article, we review the cellular and molecular origins and significance of ROS production, the molecular targets and responses describing how oxidative stress affects cell function including mechanisms of insulin secretion and action, from the point of view of possible application of novel diabetic therapies based on redox regulation.

  4. Molecular Mechanisms of Phosphorus Metabolism and Transport during Leaf Senescence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyla A. Stigter

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Leaf senescence, being the final developmental stage of the leaf, signifies the transition from a mature, photosynthetically active organ to the attenuation of said function and eventual death of the leaf. During senescence, essential nutrients sequestered in the leaf, such as phosphorus (P, are mobilized and transported to sink tissues, particularly expanding leaves and developing seeds. Phosphorus recycling is crucial, as it helps to ensure that previously acquired P is not lost to the environment, particularly under the naturally occurring condition where most unfertilized soils contain low levels of soluble orthophosphate (Pi, the only form of P that roots can directly assimilate from the soil. Piecing together the molecular mechanisms that underpin the highly variable efficiencies of P remobilization from senescing leaves by different plant species may be critical for devising effective strategies for improving overall crop P-use efficiency. Maximizing Pi remobilization from senescing leaves using selective breeding and/or biotechnological strategies will help to generate P-efficient crops that would minimize the use of unsustainable and polluting Pi-containing fertilizers in agriculture. This review focuses on the molecular mechanisms whereby P is remobilized from senescing leaves and transported to sink tissues, which encompasses the action of hormones, transcription factors, Pi-scavenging enzymes, and Pi transporters.

  5. Towards identification of molecular mechanisms of short stature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waldman, Lindsey A; Chia, Dennis J

    2013-11-20

    Growth evaluations are among the most common referrals to pediatric endocrinologists. Although a number of pathologies, both primary endocrine and non-endocrine, can present with short stature, an estimated 80% of evaluations fail to identify a clear etiology, leaving a default designation of idiopathic short stature (ISS). As a group, several features among children with ISS are suggestive of pathophysiology of the GH-IGF-1 axis, including low serum levels of IGF-1 despite normal GH secretion. Candidate gene analysis of rare cases has demonstrated that severe mutations of genes of the GH-IGF-1 axis can present with a profound height phenotype, leading to speculation that a collection of mild mutations or polymorphisms of these genes can explain poor growth in a larger proportion of patients. Recent genome-wide association studies have identified ~180 genomic loci associated with height that together account for approximately 10% of height variation. With only modest representation of the GH-IGF-1 axis, there is little support for the long-held hypothesis that common genetic variants of the hormone pathway provide the molecular mechanism for poor growth in a substantial proportion of individuals. The height-associated common variants are not observed in the anticipated frequency in the shortest individuals, suggesting rare genetic factors with large effect are more plausible in this group. As we advance towards establishing a molecular mechanism for poor growth in a greater percentage of those currently labeled ISS, we highlight two strategies that will likely be offered with increasing frequency: (1) unbiased genetic technologies including array analysis for copy number variation and whole exome/genome sequencing and (2) epigenetic alterations of key genomic loci. Ultimately data from subsets with similar molecular etiologies may emerge that will allow tailored interventions to achieve the best clinical outcome.

  6. 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.

  7. A Thoracic Mechanism of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Due to Blast Pressure Waves

    CERN Document Server

    Courtney, Amy; 10.1016/j.mehy.2008.08.015

    2008-01-01

    The mechanisms by which blast pressure waves cause mild to moderate traumatic brain injury (mTBI) are an open question. Possibilities include acceleration of the head, direct passage of the blast wave via the cranium, and propagation of the blast wave to the brain via a thoracic mechanism. The hypothesis that the blast pressure wave reaches the brain via a thoracic mechanism is considered in light of ballistic and blast pressure wave research. Ballistic pressure waves, caused by penetrating ballistic projectiles or ballistic impacts to body armor, can only reach the brain via an internal mechanism and have been shown to cause cerebral effects. Similar effects have been documented when a blast pressure wave has been applied to the whole body or focused on the thorax in animal models. While vagotomy reduces apnea and bradycardia due to ballistic or blast pressure waves, it does not eliminate neural damage in the brain, suggesting that the pressure wave directly affects the brain cells via a thoracic mechanism. ...

  8. Molecular mechanisms in deformation of cross-linked hydrogel nanocomposite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathesan, Santhosh; Rath, Amrita; Ghosh, Pijush

    2016-02-01

    The self-folding behavior in response to external stimuli observed in hydrogels is potentially used in biomedical applications. However, the use of hydrogels is limited because of its reduced mechanical properties. These properties are enhanced when the hydrogels are cross-linked and reinforced with nanoparticles. In this work, molecular dynamics (MD) simulation is applied to perform uniaxial tension and pull out tests to understand the mechanism contributing towards the enhanced mechanical properties. Also, nanomechanical characterization is performed using quasi static nanoindentation experiments to determine the Young's modulus of hydrogels in the presence of nanoparticles. The stress-strain responses for chitosan (CS), chitosan reinforced with hydroxyapatite (HAP) and cross-linked chitosan are obtained from uniaxial tension test. It is observed that the Young's modulus and maximum stress increase as the HAP content increases and also with cross-linking process. Load displacement plot from pullout test is compared for uncross-linked and cross-linked chitosan chains on hydroxyapatite surface. MD simulation reveals that the variation in the dihedral conformation of chitosan chains and the evolution of internal structural variables are associated with mechanical properties. Additional results reveal that the formation of hydrogen bonds and electrostatic interactions is responsible for the above variations in different systems.

  9. 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.

  10. MOLECULAR MECHANISM OF MICROBIAL TECHNETIUM REDUCTION FINAL REPORT

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    DiChristina, Thomas J. [Georgia Tech

    2013-04-30

    Microbial Tc(VII) reduction is an attractive alternative strategy for bioremediation of technetium-contaminated subsurface environments. Traditional ex situ remediation processes (e.g., adsorption or ion exchange) are often limited by poor extraction efficiency, inhibition by competing ions and production of large volumes of produced waste. Microbial Tc(VII) reduction provides an attractive alternative in situ remediation strategy since the reduced end-product Tc(IV) precipitates as TcO2, a highly insoluble hydrous oxide. Despite its potential benefits, the molecular mechanism of microbial Tc(VII) reduction remains poorly understood. The main goal of the proposed DOENABIR research project is to determine the molecular mechanism of microbial Tc(VII) reduction. Random mutagenesis studies in our lab have resulted in generation of a set of six Tc(VII) reduction-deficient mutants of Shewanella oneidensis. The anaerobic respiratory deficiencies of each Tc(VII) reduction-deficient mutant was determined by anaerobic growth on various combinations of three electron donors and 14 terminal electron acceptors. Results indicated that the electron transport pathways to Tc(VII), NO3 -, Mn(III) and U(VI) share common structural or regulatory components. In addition, we have recently found that wild-type Shewanella are also able to reduce Tc(IV) as electron acceptor, producing Tc(III) as an end-product. The recent genome sequencing of a variety of technetium-reducing bacteria and the anticipated release of several additional genome sequences in the coming year, provides us with an unprecedented opportunity to determine the mechanism of microbial technetium reduction across species and genus lines.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Interactions between hormonal and environmental signals on hypothalamic neurons molecular mechanisms signaling environmental events.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Y S; Dellovade, T L; Pfaff, D W

    1997-04-01

    It is axiomatic that the central nervous system must manage the integration of several environmental factors with steroid hormonal influences for the biologically adaptive performance of reproductive behavior. Launching from established behavioral investigations and from hormonal influences on gene function in the brain, we review here studies on how synaptic inputs and sex hormone influences codetermine hypothalamic gene expression. A particularly exciting implication of results on the ability of thyroid hormone receptors to interfere with estrogen receptor-dependent neuroendocrine function is that environmentally stimulated changes in thyroid hormone levels could influence hypothalamic transcriptional mechanisms important for behavior. If so, this would unite naturalistic environmental thinking with molecular neurobiological thinking important for the hypothalamic control of reproduction. (Trends Endocrinol Metab 1997;8:111-115). (c) 1997, Elsevier Science Inc.

  14. Brain illness and creativity: mechanisms and treatment risks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flaherty, Alice W

    2011-03-01

    Brain diseases and their treatment may help or hurt creativity in ways that shape quality of life. Increased creative drive is associated with bipolar disorder, depression, psychosis, temporal lobe epilepsy, frontotemporal dementia, Parkinson disease treatments, and autism. Creativity depends on goal-driven approach motivation from midbrain dopaminergic systems. Fear-driven avoidance motivation is of less aid to creativity. When serotonin and norepinephrine lower motivation and flexible behaviour, they can inhibit creativity. Hemispheric lateralization and frontotemporal connections must interact to create new ideas and conceptual schemes. The right brain and temporal lobe contribute skill in novelty detection, while the left brain and frontal lobe foster approach motivation and more easily generate new patterns of action from the novel perceptions. Genes and phenotypes that increase plasticity and creativity in tolerant environments with relaxed selection pressure may confer risk in rigorous environments. Few papers substantively address this important but fraught topic. Antidepressants (ADs) that inhibit fear-driven motivation, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, sometimes inhibit goal-oriented motivation as well. ADs that boost goal-directed motivation, such as bupropion, may remediate this effect. Benzodiazepines and alcohol may be counterproductive. Although dopaminergic agonists sometimes stimulate creativity, their doing so may inappropriately disinhibit behaviour. Dopamine antagonists may suppress creative motivation; lithium and anticonvulsant mood stabilizers may do so less. Physical exercise and REM sleep may help creativity. Art therapy and psychotherapy are not well studied. Preserving creative motivation can help creativity and other aspects of well-being in all patients, not just artists or researchers.

  15. Dissociable brain mechanisms for processing social exclusion and rule violation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolling, Danielle Z; Pitskel, Naomi B; Deen, Ben; Crowley, Michael J; McPartland, James C; Mayes, Linda C; Pelphrey, Kevin A

    2011-02-01

    Social exclusion inherently involves an element of expectancy violation, in that we expect other people to follow the unwritten rule to include us in social interactions. In this functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study, we employed a unique modification of an interactive virtual ball-tossing game called "Cyberball" (Williams et al., 2000) and a novel paradigm called "Cybershape," in which rules are broken in the absence of social exclusion, to dissociate brain regions that process social exclusion from rule violations more generally. Our Cyberball game employed an alternating block design and removed evoked responses to events when the participant was throwing the ball in inclusion to make this condition comparable to exclusion, where participants did not throw. With these modifications, we replicated prior findings of ventral anterior cingulate cortex (vACC), insula, and posterior cingulate cortex activity evoked by social exclusion relative to inclusion. We also identified exclusion-evoked activity in the hippocampi, left ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, and left middle temporal gyrus. Comparing social exclusion and rule violation revealed a functional dissociation in the active neural systems as well as differential functional connectivity with vACC. Some overlap was observed in regions differentially modulated by social exclusion and rule violation, including the vACC and lateral parietal cortex. These overlapping brain regions showed different activation during social exclusion compared to rule violation, each relative to fair play. Comparing activation patterns to social exclusion and rule violation allowed for the dissociation of brain regions involved in the experience of exclusion versus expectancy violation.

  16. A quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical approach to the investigation of particle-molecule interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sloth, Marianne; Bilde, Merete; Mikkelsen, Kurt V.

    2003-06-01

    A quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical aerosol model is developed to describe the interaction between gas phase molecules and atmospheric particles. The model enables the calculation of interaction energies and time-dependent properties. We use the model to investigate how a succinic acid molecule interacts with an aqueous particle. We show how the interaction energies and linear response properties (excitation energies, transition moments, and polarizabilities) depend on the distance between aerosol particle and molecule and on their relative orientation. The results are compared with those obtained previously using a dielectric continuum model [Sloth et al., J. Phys. Chem. (submitted)].

  17. Small-Molecule Hormones: Molecular Mechanisms of Action

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Monika Puzianowska-Kuznicka

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Small-molecule hormones play crucial roles in the development and in the maintenance of an adult mammalian organism. On the molecular level, they regulate a plethora of biological pathways. Part of their actions depends on their transcription-regulating properties, exerted by highly specific nuclear receptors which are hormone-dependent transcription factors. Nuclear hormone receptors interact with coactivators, corepressors, basal transcription factors, and other transcription factors in order to modulate the activity of target genes in a manner that is dependent on tissue, age and developmental and pathophysiological states. The biological effect of this mechanism becomes apparent not earlier than 30–60 minutes after hormonal stimulus. In addition, small-molecule hormones modify the function of the cell by a number of nongenomic mechanisms, involving interaction with proteins localized in the plasma membrane, in the cytoplasm, as well as with proteins localized in other cellular membranes and in nonnuclear cellular compartments. The identity of such proteins is still under investigation; however, it seems that extranuclear fractions of nuclear hormone receptors commonly serve this function. A direct interaction of small-molecule hormones with membrane phospholipids and with mRNA is also postulated. In these mechanisms, the reaction to hormonal stimulus appears within seconds or minutes.

  18. Advances in understanding the molecular mechanism of pancreatic cancer metastasis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yong-Xing Du; Zi-Wen Liu; Lei You; Wen-Ming Wu; Yu-Pei Zhao

    2016-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Pancreatic cancer (PC) is usually diagnosed at the late-stage and therefore, has widespread metastasis and a very high mortality rate. The mechanisms underlying PC metastasis are not well understood. Recent advances in genomic sequencing have identiifed groups of gene mutations that affect PC metastasis, but studies elucidating their roles are lacking. The present review was to investigate the molecu-lar mechanisms of PC metastasis. DATA SOURCES: Relevant articles on PC metastasis were searched in MEDLINE via PubMed prior to April 2015. The search was limited in English publications. RESULTS: PC metastatic cascades are multi-factorial events including both intrinsic and extrinsic elements. This review highlights the most important genetic alterations and other mechanisms that account for PC invasion and metastasis, with particular regard to epithelial-mesenchymal transition, inlfammation, stress response, and circulating tumor cells. CONCLUSIONS: Analyses of relevant gene functions and signaling pathways are needed to establish the gene regula-tory network and to deifne the pivotal modulators. Another promising area of study is the genotyping and phenotyping of circulating tumor cells, which could lead to a new era of per-sonalized therapy by identifying speciifc markers and targets.

  19. 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.

  20. The Importance of Brain Banks for Molecular Neuropathological Research: The New South Wales Tissue Resource Centre Experience

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antony Harding

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Ethanol-Induced Cerebellar Ataxia: Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dar, M Saeed

    2015-08-01

    The cerebellum is an important target of ethanol toxicity given that cerebellar ataxia is the most consistent physical manifestation of acute ethanol consumption. Despite the significance of the cerebellum in ethanol-induced cerebellar ataxia (EICA), the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying EICA are incompletely understood. However, two important findings have shed greater light on this phenomenon. First, ethanol-induced blockade of cerebellar adenosine uptake in rodent models points to a role for adenosinergic A1 modulation of EICA. Second, the consistent observation that intracerebellar administration of nicotine in mice leads to antagonism of EICA provides evidence for a critical role of cerebellar nitric oxide (NO) in EICA reversal. Based on these two important findings, this review discusses the potential molecular events at two key synaptic sites (mossy fiber-granule cell-Golgi cell (MGG synaptic site) and granule cell parallel fiber-Purkinje cell (GPP synaptic site) that lead to EICA. Specifically, ethanol-induced neuronal NOS inhibition at the MGG synaptic site acts as a critical trigger for Golgi cell activation which leads to granule cell deafferentation. Concurrently, ethanol-induced inhibition of adenosine uptake at the GPP synaptic site produces adenosine accumulation which decreases glutamate release and leads to the profound activation of Purkinje cells (PCs). These molecular events at the MGG and GPP synaptic sites are mutually reinforcing and lead to cerebellar dysfunction, decreased excitatory output of deep cerebellar nuclei, and EICA. The critical importance of PCs as the sole output of the cerebellar cortex suggests normalization of PC function could have important therapeutic implications.

  3. 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.

  4. Conserved Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Homeostasis of the Golgi Complex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cathal Wilson

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available The Golgi complex performs a central function in the secretory pathway in the sorting and sequential processing of a large number of proteins destined for other endomembrane organelles, the plasma membrane, or secretion from the cell, in addition to lipid metabolism and signaling. The Golgi apparatus can be regarded as a self-organizing system that maintains a relatively stable morphofunctional organization in the face of an enormous flux of lipids and proteins. A large number of the molecular players that operate in these processes have been identified, their functions and interactions defined, but there is still debate about many aspects that regulate protein trafficking and, in particular, the maintenance of these highly dynamic structures and processes. Here, we consider how an evolutionarily conserved underlying mechanism based on retrograde trafficking that uses lipids, COPI, SNAREs, and tethers could maintain such a homeodynamic system.

  5. Shaping mitotic chromosomes: From classical concepts to molecular mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kschonsak, Marc; Haering, Christian H

    2015-07-01

    How eukaryotic genomes are packaged into compact cylindrical chromosomes in preparation for cell divisions has remained one of the major unsolved questions of cell biology. Novel approaches to study the topology of DNA helices inside the nuclei of intact cells, paired with computational modeling and precise biomechanical measurements of isolated chromosomes, have advanced our understanding of mitotic chromosome architecture. In this Review Essay, we discuss - in light of these recent insights - the role of chromatin architecture and the functions and possible mechanisms of SMC protein complexes and other molecular machines in the formation of mitotic chromosomes. Based on the information available, we propose a stepwise model of mitotic chromosome condensation that envisions the sequential generation of intra-chromosomal linkages by condensin complexes in the context of cohesin-mediated inter-chromosomal linkages, assisted by topoisomerase II. The described scenario results in rod-shaped metaphase chromosomes ready for their segregation to the cell poles.

  6. Molecular mechanism for cavitation in water under tension

    CERN Document Server

    Menzl, Georg; Geiger, Philipp; Caupin, Frédéric; Abascal, Jose L F; Valeriani, Chantal; Dellago, Christoph

    2016-01-01

    Despite its relevance in biology and engineering, the molecular mechanism driving cavitation in water remains unknown. Using computer simulations, we investigate the structure and dynamics of vapor bubbles emerging from metastable water at negative pressures. We find that in the early stages of cavitation, bubbles are irregularly shaped and become more spherical as they grow. Nevertheless, the free energy of bubble formation can be perfectly reproduced in the framework of classical nucleation theory (CNT) if the curvature dependence of the surface tension is taken into account. Comparison of the observed bubble dynamics to the predictions of the macroscopic Rayleigh--Plesset (RP) equation, augmented with thermal fluctuations, demonstrates that the growth of nanoscale bubbles is governed by viscous forces. Combining the dynamical prefactor determined from the RP equation with the free energy of CNT yields an analytical expression for the cavitation rate that reproduces the simulation results very well over a w...

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Cellular and molecular mechanisms of antiretroviral effects of HPA23.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dormont, D; Yeramian, P; Lambert, P; Spire, B; Daveloose, D; Barre-Sinoussi, F C; Chermann, J C

    1988-01-01

    HPA23 is an antimonio-tungstate that exhibits numerous antiviral activities both in vivo and in vitro. It has been described as a competitive inhibitor of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) reverse transcriptase (RT). Patients treated with daily injections of HPA23 show an inhibition of HIV RT activity in cell culture in 60% of the cases. Using biophysical (electronic spin resonance [ESR]), ultrastructural (microspectroscopic analysis), chemical (spectroscopy), and biological (cell culture) assays, HPA23 cellular and molecular mechanisms may be summarized as follows: 1) competitive inhibition of HIV-RT, 2) no or slight effect on cells infected with HIV in culture, 3) interactions with the cell membranes when long incubations are performed, and 4) antiviral activity possibly mediated by immune modulator effect of the drug.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. [Biodegradation mechanism of DDT and chlorpyrifos using molecular simulation].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Yu-Zhen; Zeng, Guang-Ming; Zhang, Yu; Chen, Ming; Jiang, Min; Zhang, Jia-Chao; Lu, Lun-Hui; Liu, Li-Feng

    2012-03-01

    In order to explore the microscopic degradation mechanism of organic pesticides degrading enzymes, we used molecular docking method to investigate the binding modes of DDT to laccase and chlorpyrifos to organophosphorus hydrolase, and obtained the corresponding complex structures. According to the principle of minimum scoring, the results showed that the MolDock scores were -103.134 and -111.626, re-rank scores were -72.858 and -80.261, respectively. And we used LPC/CSU server search the interactions between organic pesticides and their degrading enzymes. Our results showed that hydrophobic interaction was the strongest contacts in DDT-laccase complex, and both hydrogen bonds and hydrophobic interactions were the strongest contacts when chlorpyrifos-organophosphorus hydrolase complex. The amino acid residues Tyr224 in laccase and Arg254 in organophosphorus hydrolase were detected to play significant roles in catalytic processes.

  13. Drug-DNA intercalation: from discovery to the molecular mechanism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mukherjee, Arnab; Sasikala, Wilbee D

    2013-01-01

    The ability of small molecules to perturb the natural structure and dynamics of nucleic acids is intriguing and has potential applications in cancer therapeutics. Intercalation is a special binding mode where the planar aromatic moiety of a small molecule is inserted between a pair of base pairs, causing structural changes in the DNA and leading to its functional arrest. Enormous progress has been made to understand the nature of the intercalation process since its idealistic conception five decades ago. However, the biological functions were detected even earlier. In this review, we focus mainly on the acridine and anthracycline types of drugs and provide a brief overview of the development in the field through various experimental methods that led to our present understanding of the subject. Subsequently, we discuss the molecular mechanism of the intercalation process, free-energy landscapes, and kinetics that was revealed recently through detailed and rigorous computational studies.

  14. Molecular Mechanisms of Bipolar Disorder: Progress Made and Future Challenges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Yeni; Santos, Renata; Gage, Fred H.; Marchetto, Maria C.

    2017-01-01

    Bipolar disorder (BD) is a chronic and progressive psychiatric illness characterized by mood oscillations, with episodes of mania and depression. The impact of BD on patients can be devastating, with up to 15% of patients committing suicide. This disorder is associated with psychiatric and medical comorbidities and patients with a high risk of drug abuse, metabolic and endocrine disorders and vascular disease. Current knowledge of the pathophysiology and molecular mechanisms causing BD is still modest. With no clear biological markers available, early diagnosis is a great challenge to clinicians without previous knowledge of the longitudinal progress of illness. Moreover, despite recommendations from evidence-based guidelines, polypharmacy is still common in clinical treatment of BD, reflecting the gap between research and clinical practice. A major challenge in BD is the development of effective drugs with low toxicity for the patients. In this review article, we focus on the progress made and future challenges we face in determining the pathophysiology and molecular pathways involved in BD, such as circadian and metabolic perturbations, mitochondrial and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) dysfunction, autophagy and glutamatergic neurotransmission; which may lead to the development of new drugs. PMID:28261061

  15. Molecular mechanisms underlying phosphate sensing, signaling, and adaptation in plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Zhaoliang; Liao, Hong; Lucas, William J

    2014-03-01

    As an essential plant macronutrient, the low availability of phosphorus (P) in most soils imposes serious limitation on crop production. Plants have evolved complex responsive and adaptive mechanisms for acquisition, remobilization and recycling of phosphate (Pi) to maintain P homeostasis. Spatio-temporal molecular, physiological, and biochemical Pi deficiency responses developed by plants are the consequence of local and systemic sensing and signaling pathways. Pi deficiency is sensed locally by the root system where hormones serve as important signaling components in terms of developmental reprogramming, leading to changes in root system architecture. Root-to-shoot and shoot-to-root signals, delivered through the xylem and phloem, respectively, involving Pi itself, hormones, miRNAs, mRNAs, and sucrose, serve to coordinate Pi deficiency responses at the whole-plant level. A combination of chromatin remodeling, transcriptional and posttranslational events contribute to globally regulating a wide range of Pi deficiency responses. In this review, recent advances are evaluated in terms of progress toward developing a comprehensive understanding of the molecular events underlying control over P homeostasis. Application of this knowledge, in terms of developing crop plants having enhanced attributes for P use efficiency, is discussed from the perspective of agricultural sustainability in the face of diminishing global P supplies.

  16. Neuroprotection and its molecular mechanism following spinal cord injury

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Nai-Kui Liu; Xiao-Ming Xu

    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.

  17. Molecular mechanisms underlying phosphate sensing, signaling, and adaptation in plants

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Zhaoliang Zhang; Hong Liao; William J. Lucas

    2014-01-01

    As an essential plant macronutrient, the low availability of phosphorus (P) in most soils imposes serious limitation on crop production. Plants have evolved complex responsive and adaptive mechanisms for acquisition, remobiliza-tion and recycling of phosphate (Pi) to maintain P homeostasis. Spatio-temporal molecular, physiological, and biochemical Pi deficiency responses developed by plants are the consequence of local and systemic sensing and signaling pathways. Pi deficiency is sensed local y by the root system where hormones serve as important signaling components in terms of develop-mental reprogramming, leading to changes in root system architecture. Root-to-shoot and shoot-to-root signals, delivered through the xylem and phloem, respectively, involving Pi itself, hormones, miRNAs, mRNAs, and sucrose, serve to coordinate Pi deficiency responses at the whole-plant level. A combination of chromatin remodeling, transcriptional and posttranslational events contribute to global y regulating a wide range of Pi deficiency responses. In this review, recent advances are evaluated in terms of progress toward developing a comprehen-sive understanding of the molecular events underlying control over P homeostasis. Application of this knowledge, in terms of developing crop plants having enhanced attributes for P use efficiency, is discussed from the perspective of agricultural sustainability in the face of diminishing global P supplies.

  18. The molecular mechanisms of hazardous metals for carcinogenesis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ChenJK; LeiYX

    2002-01-01

    The available experimental and epidemiological data have shown that nickel (Ni) and cadmium (Dd) and their compounds are carcinogenic to experimental animals and human.These two metals have been classified as human carcinogens bythe International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).However,Their underlying molecular mechanisms remain unknown.The objective of this research was to investigate the molecular mechanisms responsible for Ni and Cd carcinogenesis through epidemiological study in human exposure,transformation expreiments in human epithelial cells (16HBE) and BALB/c-3T3 cell lines in vitro,DNA damage detections (comet,DNA-protein crosslinks) as well as telomerase activity and apoptosis assay,and analysis of oncogens,tumor suppressor genes and their mutation (including genomic instability,k-ras,p15,p16,p53,FHIT) in transformed cell lines or tumor cells/tissue.Furthermore,we also detected and analyses the methylation,related novel genes and encoded protein in Cd transformed cells.The results and conclusion are as follows:(1)There is significant relationship between some hazardous metals and lung cancer (OR=8.76),especially for nickel(OR=11.25).(2)Ni and Cd and their compounds could induce malignant transformation in mammalian cell lines and human epithelial cells,and induce tumorigenesis in nude mice.(3)There is obvious DNA damage during cell transformation and tumorigenesis induced by Ni.(4) Significant genomic instability has been shown during cell transformation and tumorigenesis induced by Ni.(5)Detection of k-ras,p15,p16 genes in point mutation have demonstrated no changes during cell transformation and tumorigenesis induced by hazardous medals,suggesting that gene mutation is not the main way to metal carcinogenesis.(6)There are some aberrant DNA methylation in Cdtransformed cell lines.(7)We found two novel Cd-responsive proto-oncogenes and their encoded proteins in Cd-transformed cell lines.

  19. Hybrid schemes based on quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics simulations goals to success, problems, and perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrer, Silvia; Ruiz-Pernía, Javier; Martí, Sergio; Moliner, Vicent; Tuñón, Iñaki; Bertrán, Juan; Andrés, Juan

    2011-01-01

    The development of characterization techniques, advanced synthesis methods, as well as molecular modeling has transformed the study of systems in a well-established research field. The current research challenges in biocatalysis and biotransformation evolve around enzyme discovery, design, and optimization. How can we find or create enzymes that catalyze important synthetic reactions, even reactions that may not exist in nature? What is the source of enzyme catalytic power? To answer these and other related questions, the standard strategies have evolved from trial-and-error methodologies based on chemical knowledge, accumulated experience, and common sense into a clearly multidisciplinary science that allows one to reach the molecular design of tailor-made enzyme catalysts. This is even more so when one refers to enzyme catalysts, for which the detailed structure and composition are known and can be manipulated to introduce well-defined residues which can be implicated in the chemical rearrangements taking place in the active site. The methods and techniques of theoretical and computational chemistry are becoming more and more important in both understanding the fundamental biological roles of enzymes and facilitating their utilization in biotechnology. Improvement of the catalytic function of enzymes is important from scientific and industrial viewpoints, and to put this fact in the actual perspective as well as the potentialities, we recommend the very recent report of Sanderson [Sanderson, K. (2011). Chemistry: enzyme expertise. Nature 471, 397.]. Great fundamental advances have been made toward the ab initio design of enzyme catalysts based on molecular modeling. This has been based on the molecular mechanistic knowledge of the reactions to be catalyzed, together with the development of advanced synthesis and characterization techniques. The corresponding molecular mechanism can be studied by means of powerful quantum chemical calculations. The catalytic

  20. Multisensory brain mechanisms of bodily self-consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanke, Olaf

    2012-07-18

    Recent research has linked bodily self-consciousness to the processing and integration of multisensory bodily signals in temporoparietal, premotor, posterior parietal and extrastriate cortices. Studies in which subjects receive ambiguous multisensory information about the location and appearance of their own body have shown that these brain areas reflect the conscious experience of identifying with the body (self-identification (also known as body-ownership)), the experience of where 'I' am in space (self-location) and the experience of the position from where 'I' perceive the world (first-person perspective). Along with phenomena of altered states of self-consciousness in neurological patients and electrophysiological data from non-human primates, these findings may form the basis for a neurobiological model of bodily self-consciousness.

  1. Molecular Mechanism for LAMP1 Recognition by Lassa Virus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen-Dvashi, Hadas; Cohen, Nadav; Israeli, Hadar

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Lassa virus is a notorious human pathogen that infects many thousands of people each year in West Africa, causing severe viral hemorrhagic fevers and significant mortality. The surface glycoprotein of Lassa virus mediates receptor recognition through its GP1 subunit. Here we report the crystal structure of GP1 from Lassa virus, which is the first representative GP1 structure for Old World arenaviruses. We identify a unique triad of histidines that forms a binding site for LAMP1, a known lysosomal protein recently discovered to be a critical receptor for internalized Lassa virus at acidic pH. We demonstrate that mutation of this histidine triad, which is highly conserved among Old World arenaviruses, impairs LAMP1 recognition. Our biochemical and structural data further suggest that GP1 from Lassa virus may undergo irreversible conformational changes that could serve as an immunological decoy mechanism. Together with a variable region that we identify on the surface of GP1, those could be two distinct mechanisms that Lassa virus utilizes to avoid antibody-based immune response. IMPORTANCE Structural data at atomic resolution for viral proteins is key for understanding their function at the molecular level and can facilitate novel avenues for combating viral infections. Here we used X-ray protein crystallography to decipher the crystal structure of the receptor-binding domain (GP1) from Lassa virus. This is a pathogenic virus that causes significant illness and mortality in West Africa. This structure reveals the overall architecture of GP1 domains from the group of viruses known as the Old World arenaviruses. Using this structural information, we elucidated the mechanisms for pH switch and binding of Lassa virus to LAMP1, a recently identified host receptor that is critical for successful infection. Lastly, our structural analysis suggests two novel immune evasion mechanisms that Lassa virus may utilize to escape antibody-based immune response. PMID

  2. Knowing When to Stop: The Brain Mechanisms of Chasing Losses

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Campbell-Meiklejohn, Daniel; Woolrich, Mark; Passingham, Dick;

    2008-01-01

    Background Continued gambling to recover previous losses (“loss-chasing”) is central to pathological gambling. However, very little is known about the neural mechanisms that mediate this behavior.MethodsWe used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine neural activity while healthy ...... 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....

  3. Mechanisms linking brain insulin resistance to Alzheimer's disease

    OpenAIRE

    Maria Niures P.S. Matioli; Ricardo Nitrini

    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 dy...

  4. [Metallothionein-I/II in brain injury repair mechanism and its application in forensic medicine].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Dong; Li, Ru-bo; Lin, Ju-li

    2013-10-01

    Metallothionein (MT) is a kind of metal binding protein. As an important member in metallothionein family, MT-I/II regulates metabolism and detoxication of brain metal ion and scavenges free radicals. It is capable of anti-inflammatory response and anti-oxidative stress so as to protect the brain tissue. During the repair process of brain injury, the latest study showed that MT-I/II could stimulate brain anti-inflammatory factors, growth factors, neurotrophic factors and the expression of the receptor, and promote the extension of axon of neuron, which makes contribution to the regeneration of neuron and has important effect on the recovery of brain injury. Based on the findings, this article reviews the structure, expression, distribution, adjustion, function, mechanism in the repair of brain injury of MT-I/II and its application prospect in forensic medicine. It could provide a new approach for the design and manufacture of brain injury drugs as well as for age estimation of the brain injury.

  5. Intracranial mechanisms for preserving brain blood flow in health and disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McBryde, F D; Malpas, S C; Paton, J F R

    2017-01-01

    The brain is an exceptionally energetically demanding organ with little metabolic reserve, and multiple systems operate to protect and preserve the brain blood supply. But how does the brain sense its own perfusion? In this review, we discuss how the brain may harness the cardiovascular system to counter threats to cerebral perfusion sensed via intracranial pressure (ICP), cerebral oxygenation and ischaemia. Since the work of Cushing over 100 years ago, the existence of brain baroreceptors capable of eliciting increases in sympathetic outflow and blood pressure has been hypothesized. In the clinic, this response has generally been thought to occur only in extremis, to perfuse the severely ischaemic brain as cerebral autoregulation fails. We review evidence that pressor responses may also occur with smaller, physiologically relevant increases in ICP. The incoming brain oxygen supply is closely monitored by the carotid chemoreceptors; however, hypoxia and other markers of ischaemia are also sensed intrinsically by astrocytes or other support cells within brain tissue itself and elicit reactive hyperaemia. Recent studies suggest that astrocytic oxygen signalling within the brainstem may directly affect sympathetic nerve activity and blood pressure. We speculate that local cerebral oxygen tension is a major determinant of the mean level of arterial pressure and discuss recent evidence that this may be the case. We conclude that intrinsic intra- and extra-cranial mechanisms sense and integrate information about hypoxia/ischaemia and ICP and play a major role in determining the long-term level of sympathetic outflow and arterial pressure, to optimize cerebral perfusion.

  6. A Principle for Describing and Verifying Brain Mechanisms Using Ongoing Activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eriksson, David

    2017-01-01

    Not even the most informed scientist can setup a theory that takes all brain signals into account. A neuron not only receives neuronal short range and long range input from all over the brain but a neuron also receives input from the extracellular space, astrocytes and vasculature. Given this complexity, how does one describe and verify a typical brain mechanism in vivo? Common to most described mechanisms is that one focuses on how one specific input signal gives rise to the activity in a population of neurons. This can be an input from a brain area, a population of neurons or a specific cell type. All remaining inputs originating from all over the brain are lumped together into one background input. The division into two inputs is attractive since it can be used to quantify the relative importance of either input. Here we have chosen to extract the specific and the background input by means of recording and inhibiting the specific input. We summarize what it takes to estimate the two inputs on a single trial level. The inhibition should not only be strong but also fast and the specific input measurement has to be tailor-made to the inhibition. In essence, we suggest ways to control electrophysiological experiments in vivo. By applying those controls it may become possible to describe and verify many brain mechanisms, and it may also allow the study of the integration of spontaneous and ongoing activity, which in turn governs cognition and behavior. PMID:28174523

  7. 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...varik P, Sauer I, Schaljo B. Immunobiology. 2007;212(9-10):895-901. Epub 2007 Nov 8. (.png) (.svg) (.html) (.csml) Show Molecular... mechanisms of the anti-inflammatory functions of interferons. PubmedID 18086388 Title Molecular

  8. 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

    at higher levels in the embryo. Expression levels for most cytoplasmic/regulatory adaptors (10 of 12) were similar at the two ages. A few junctional genes displayed lower expression in embryos, including 5 claudins, occludin and one junctional adhesion molecule. Three gap junction genes were enriched...... in the embryo. The functional effectiveness of these junctions was assessed using blood-delivered water-soluble tracers at both the light and electron microscopic level: embryo and adult junctions halted movement of both 286Da and 3kDa molecules into the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). The molecular identities...

  9. Molecular Mechanisms Regulating Impaired Neurogenesis of Fragile X Syndrome Human Embryonic Stem Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Telias, Michael; Mayshar, Yoav; Amit, Ami

    2015-01-01

    Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is the most common form of inherited cognitive impairment. It is caused by developmental inactivation of the FMR1 gene and the absence of its encoded protein FMRP, which plays pivotal roles in brain development and function. In FXS embryos with full FMR1 mutation, FMRP is expressed during early embryogenesis and is gradually downregulated at the third trimester of pregnancy. FX-human embryonic stem cells (FX-hESCs), derived from FX human blastocysts, demonstrate the same pattern of developmentally regulated FMR1 inactivation when subjected to in vitro neural differentiation (IVND). In this study, we used this in vitro human platform to explore the molecular mechanisms downstream to FMRP in the context of early human embryonic neurogenesis. Our results show a novel role for the SOX superfamily of transcription factors, specifically for SOX2 and SOX9, which could explain the reduced and delayed neurogenesis observed in FX cells. In addition, we assess in this study the “GSK3β theory of FXS” for the first time in a human-based model. We found no evidence for a pathological increase in GSK3β protein levels upon cellular loss of FMRP, in contrast to what was found in the brain of Fmr1 knockout mice. Our study adds novel data on potential downstream targets of FMRP and highlights the importance of the FX-hESC IVND system. PMID:26393806

  10. Molecular mechanisms of CRISPR-mediated microbial immunity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gasiunas, Giedrius; Sinkunas, Tomas; Siksnys, Virginijus

    2014-02-01

    Bacteriophages (phages) infect bacteria in order to replicate and burst out of the host, killing the cell, when reproduction is completed. Thus, from a bacterial perspective, phages pose a persistent lethal threat to bacterial populations. Not surprisingly, bacteria evolved multiple defense barriers to interfere with nearly every step of phage life cycles. Phages respond to this selection pressure by counter-evolving their genomes to evade bacterial resistance. The antagonistic interaction between bacteria and rapidly diversifying viruses promotes the evolution and dissemination of bacteriophage-resistance mechanisms in bacteria. Recently, an adaptive microbial immune system, named clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) and which provides acquired immunity against viruses and plasmids, has been identified. Unlike the restriction–modification anti-phage barrier that subjects to cleavage any foreign DNA lacking a protective methyl-tag in the target site, the CRISPR–Cas systems are invader-specific, adaptive, and heritable. In this review, we focus on the molecular mechanisms of interference/immunity provided by different CRISPR–Cas systems.

  11. Autoinhibitory mechanisms of ERG studied by molecular dynamics simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Yan; Salsbury, Freddie R.

    2015-01-01

    ERG, an ETS-family transcription factor, acts as a regulator of differentiation of early hematopoietic cells. It contains an autoinhibitory domain, which negatively regulates DNA-binding. The mechanism of autoinhibitory is still illusive. To understand the mechanism, we study the dynamical properties of ERG protein by molecular dynamics simulations. These simulations suggest that DNA binding autoinhibition associates with the internal dynamics of ERG. Specifically, we find that (1), The N-C terminal correlation in the inhibited ERG is larger than that in uninhibited ERG that contributes to the autoinhibition of DNA-binding. (2), DNA-binding changes the property of the N-C terminal correlation from being anti-correlated to correlated, that is, changing the relative direction of the correlated motions and (3), For the Ets-domain specifically, the inhibited and uninhibited forms exhibit essentially the same dynamics, but the binding of the DNA decreases the fluctuation of the Ets-domain. We also find from PCA analysis that the three systems, even with quite different dynamics, do have highly similar free energy surfaces, indicating that they share similar conformations.

  12. Statistical mechanics of quasispecies theories of molecular evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munoz Tavera, Enrique

    This thesis presents a statistical mechanical analysis of different formulations of quasispecies theory of molecular evolution. These theories, characterized by two different families of models, the Crow-Kimura and the Eigen model, constitute a microscopie description of evolution. These models are most often used for RNA viruses, where a phase transition is predicted, in agreement with experiments, between an organized or quasispecies phase, and a disordered non-selective phase when the mutation rate exceeds a critical value. The methods of statistical mechanics, in particular field-theoretic methods, are employed to obtain analytic solutions to four problems relevant to biological interest. The first chapter presents the study of evolution under a multiple-peak fitness landscape, with biological applications in the study of the proliferation of viruses or cancer under the control of drugs or the immune system. The second chapter studies the effect of incorporating different forms of horizontal gene transfer and two-parent recombination to the classical formulation of quasispecies models. As an example, we study the effect of the sign of epistasis of the fitness landscape on the advantage or disadvantage of recombination for the mean fitness. The third chapter considers the relaxation of the purine/pyrimidine assumption in the classical formulation of the models, by formulating and solving the parallel and Eigen models in the context of a four-letter alphabet. The fourth and final chapter studies finite population effects, both in the presence and in the absence of horizontal gene transfer.

  13. The molecular mechanism of thalidomide analogs in hematologic malignancies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindner, Stefanie; Krönke, Jan

    2016-12-01

    Thalidomide was sold in the 1950s as a sedative and was also used by pregnant women to treat morning sickness. It became notorious for causing severe birth defects and was removed from the market. More than four decades later, thalidomide had a renaissance in the treatment of cancer. Thalidomide and its more potent analogs, lenalidomide and pomalidomide, are nowadays approved treatments for multiple myeloma and myelodysplastic syndrome with deletion of chromosome 5q. In addition, thalidomide and its analogs inhibit release of tumor necrosis factor-α and increase interleukin-2 (IL-2) and interferon-γ release from T cells. The underlying molecular mechanisms for these pleiotropic effects remained obscure until the identification of the cereblon (CRBN) E3 ubiquitin ligase as the primary target of thalidomide and its analogs in 2010. Binding of thalidomide or lenalidomide increases the affinity of CRBN to the transcription factors IKZF1 and IKZF3 and casein kinase 1α (CK1α). Ubiquitination and degradation of these neo-substrates results in IL-2 release and growth arrest of multiple myeloma and MDS cells. The discovery of this previously undescribed mechanism for an approved drug provides a proof-of-concept for the development of new therapeutics that exploit ubiquitin ligases for specific degradation of disease-associated proteins.

  14. Nosocomial infection and its molecular mechanisms of antibiotic resistance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xia, Jufeng; Gao, Jianjun; Tang, Wei

    2016-02-01

    Nosocomial infection is a kind of infection, which is spread in various hospital environments, and leads to many serious diseases (e.g. pneumonia, urinary tract infection, gastroenteritis, and puerperal fever), and causes higher mortality than community-acquired infection. Bacteria are predominant among all the nosocomial infection-associated pathogens, thus a large number of antibiotics, such as aminoglycosides, penicillins, cephalosporins, and carbapenems, are adopted in clinical treatment. However, in recent years antibiotic resistance quickly spreads worldwide and causes a critical threat to public health. The predominant bacteria include Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Escherichia coli, and Acinetobacter baumannii. In these bacteria, resistance emerged from antibiotic resistant genes and many of those can be exchanged between bacteria. With technical advances, molecular mechanisms of resistance have been gradually unveiled. In this review, recent advances in knowledge about mechanisms by which (i) bacteria hydrolyze antibiotics (e.g. extended spectrum β-lactamases, (ii) AmpC β-lactamases, carbapenemases), (iii) avoid antibiotic targeting (e.g. mutated vanA and mecA genes), (iv) prevent antibiotic permeation (e.g. porin deficiency), or (v) excrete intracellular antibiotics (e.g. active efflux pump) are summarized.

  15. Emerging Anticancer Potentials of Goniothalamin and Its Molecular Mechanisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohamed Ali Seyed

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The treatment of most cancers is still inadequate, despite tremendous steady progress in drug discovery and effective prevention. Nature is an attractive source of new therapeutics. Several medicinal plants and their biomarkers have been widely used for the treatment of cancer with less known scientific basis of their functioning. Although a wide array of plant derived active metabolites play a role in the prevention and treatment of cancer, more extensive scientific evaluation of their mechanisms is still required. Styryl-lactones are a group of secondary metabolites ubiquitous in the genus Goniothalamus that have demonstrated to possess antiproliferative activity against cancer cells. A large body of evidence suggests that this activity is associated with the induction of apoptosis in target cells. In an effort to promote further research on the genus Goniothalamus, this review offers a broad analysis of the current knowledge on Goniothalamin (GTN or 5, 6, dihydro-6-styryl-2-pyronone (C13H12O2, a natural occurring styryl-lactone. Therefore, it includes (i the source of GTN and other metabolites; (ii isolation, purification, and (iii the molecular mechanisms of actions of GTN, especially the anticancer properties, and summarizes the role of GTN which is crucial for drug design, development, and application in future for well-being of humans.

  16. Molecular mechanisms controlling the migration of striatal interneurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villar-Cerviño, Verona; Kappeler, Caroline; Nóbrega-Pereira, Sandrina; Henkemeyer, Mark; Rago, Luciano; Nieto, M Angela; Marín, Oscar

    2015-06-10

    In the developing telencephalon, the medial ganglionic eminence (MGE) generates many cortical and virtually all striatal interneurons. While the molecular mechanisms controlling the migration of interneurons to the cortex have been extensively studied, very little is known about the nature of the signals that guide interneurons to the striatum. Here we report that the allocation of MGE-derived interneurons in the developing striatum of the mouse relies on a combination of chemoattractive and chemorepulsive activities. Specifically, interneurons migrate toward the striatum in response to Nrg1/ErbB4 chemoattraction, and avoid migrating into the adjacent cortical territories by a repulsive activity mediated by EphB/ephrinB signaling. Our results also suggest that the responsiveness of MGE-derived striatal interneurons to these cues is at least in part controlled by the postmitotic activity of the transcription factor Nkx2-1. This study therefore reveals parallel mechanisms for the migration of MGE-derived interneurons to the striatum and the cerebral cortex.

  17. Categorical prototyping: incorporating molecular mechanisms into 3D printing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brommer, Dieter B.; Giesa, Tristan; Spivak, David I.; Buehler, Markus J.

    2016-01-01

    We apply the mathematical framework of category theory to articulate the precise relation between the structure and mechanics of a nanoscale system in a macroscopic domain. We maintain the chosen molecular mechanical properties from the nanoscale to the continuum scale. Therein we demonstrate a procedure to ‘protoype a model’, as category theory enables us to maintain certain information across disparate fields of study, distinct scales, or physical realizations. This process fits naturally with prototyping, as a prototype is not a complete product but rather a reduction to test a subset of properties. To illustrate this point, we use large-scale multi-material printing to examine the scaling of the elastic modulus of 2D carbon allotropes at the macroscale and validate our printed model using experimental testing. The resulting hand-held materials can be examined more readily, and yield insights beyond those available in the original digital representations. We demonstrate this concept by twisting the material, a test beyond the scope of the original model. The method developed can be extended to other methods of additive manufacturing.

  18. Molecular Mechanisms of HTLV-1 Cell-to-Cell Transmission

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christine Gross

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The tumorvirus human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1, a member of the delta-retrovirus family, is transmitted via cell-containing body fluids such as blood products, semen, and breast milk. In vivo, HTLV-1 preferentially infects CD4+ T-cells, and to a lesser extent, CD8+ T-cells, dendritic cells, and monocytes. Efficient infection of CD4+ T-cells requires cell-cell contacts while cell-free virus transmission is inefficient. Two types of cell-cell contacts have been described to be critical for HTLV-1 transmission, tight junctions and cellular conduits. Further, two non-exclusive mechanisms of virus transmission at cell-cell contacts have been proposed: (1 polarized budding of HTLV-1 into synaptic clefts; and (2 cell surface transfer of viral biofilms at virological synapses. In contrast to CD4+ T-cells, dendritic cells can be infected cell-free and, to a greater extent, via viral biofilms in vitro. Cell-to-cell transmission of HTLV-1 requires a coordinated action of steps in the virus infectious cycle with events in the cell-cell adhesion process; therefore, virus propagation from cell-to-cell depends on specific interactions between cellular and viral proteins. Here, we review the molecular mechanisms of HTLV-1 transmission with a focus on the HTLV-1-encoded proteins Tax and p8, their impact on host cell factors mediating cell-cell contacts, cytoskeletal remodeling, and thus, virus propagation.

  19. Molecular mechanisms for interaction of glycine betaine with supra-molecular phycobiliprotein complexes

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    XU XiuLing; LI Heng; XIE Jie; ZHAO JingQuan

    2009-01-01

    Glycine betaine (GB) is a biologically important small molecule protecting cells,proteins and enzymes in vivo and in vitro under environmental stresses.Recently,it was found that GB could also relax the structure and inactivate the function of phycobiliproteins and phycobilisome (PBS),a kind of supramolecular complexes,in cyanobacterial cells.The molecular mechanisms for the opposite phenomena are quite ambiguous.Taking PBS and a trimeric or monomeric C-phycocyanin (C-PC) as models,the molecular mechanism for the interaction of GB with supra-molecular complexes or nuclear proteins was investigated.The energetic decoupling of PBS components induced by GB suggests that the PBS core-membrane linking polypeptide was the most sensitive site while the rod-core linker was the next.Biochemistry analysis proves that PBS structure was loosened but not dissociated into the components.On the basis of the results and structure knowledge,it was proposed that GB screened the electrostatic attraction of the opposite charges on a linker and a protein leading to a much looser structure.It was observed that GB induced a spectral blue shift for trimeric C-PC but a red shift for s monomeric C-PC (a nuclear protein),which were ascribed to GB's screening of the electrostatic attraction of a linker to a protein and strengthening of the hydrophobic interaction between C-PC monomers.The trimers and monomers' forming of the same products under high concentration of GB was ascribed to a compromise of the opposite interaction forces.

  20. Molecular mechanisms for interaction of glycine betaine with supra-molecular phycobiliprotein complexes

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2009-01-01

    Glycine betaine(GB) is a biologically important small molecule protecting cells,proteins and enzymes in vivo and in vitro under environmental stresses.Recently,it was found that GB could also relax the structure and inactivate the function of phycobiliproteins and phycobilisome(PBS),a kind of supramolecular complexes,in cyanobacterial cells.The molecular mechanisms for the opposite phenomena are quite ambiguous.Taking PBS and a trimeric or monomeric C-phycocyanin(C-PC) as models,the molecular mechanism for the interaction of GB with supra-molecular complexes or nuclear proteins was investigated.The energetic decoupling of PBS components induced by GB suggests that the PBS core-membrane linking polypeptide was the most sensitive site while the rod-core linker was the next.Biochemistry analysis proves that PBS structure was loosened but not dissociated into the components.On the basis of the results and structure knowledge,it was proposed that GB screened the electrostatic attraction of the opposite charges on a linker and a protein leading to a much looser structure.It was observed that GB induced a spectral blue shift for trimeric C-PC but a red shift for a monomeric C-PC(a nuclear protein),which were ascribed to GB’s screening of the electrostatic attraction of a linker to a protein and strengthening of the hydrophobic interaction between C-PC monomers.The trimers and monomers’ forming of the same products under high concentration of GB was ascribed to a compromise of the opposite interaction forces.

  1. A regularized and renormalized electrostatic coupling Hamiltonian for hybrid quantum-mechanical-molecular-mechanical calculations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biswas, P K; Gogonea, V

    2005-10-22

    We describe a regularized and renormalized electrostatic coupling Hamiltonian for hybrid quantum-mechanical (QM)-molecular-mechanical (MM) calculations. To remedy the nonphysical QM/MM Coulomb interaction at short distances arising from a point electrostatic potential (ESP) charge of the MM atom and also to accommodate the effect of polarized MM atom in the coupling Hamiltonian, we propose a partial-wave expansion of the ESP charge and describe the effect of a s-wave expansion, extended over the covalent radius r(c), of the MM atom. The resulting potential describes that, at short distances, large scale cancellation of Coulomb interaction arises intrinsically from the localized expansion of the MM point charge and the potential self-consistently reduces to 1r(c) at zero distance providing a renormalization to the Coulomb energy near interatomic separations. Employing this renormalized Hamiltonian, we developed an interface between the Car-Parrinello molecular-dynamics program and the classical molecular-dynamics simulation program Groningen machine for chemical simulations. With this hybrid code we performed QM/MM calculations on water dimer, imidazole carbon monoxide (CO) complex, and imidazole-heme-CO complex with CO interacting with another imidazole. The QM/MM results are in excellent agreement with experimental data for the geometry of these complexes and other computational data found in literature.

  2. A mechanical model predicts morphological abnormalities in the developing human brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Budday, Silvia; Raybaud, Charles; Kuhl, Ellen

    2014-07-01

    The developing human brain remains one of the few unsolved mysteries of science. Advancements in developmental biology, neuroscience, and medical imaging have brought us closer than ever to understand brain development in health and disease. However, the precise role of mechanics throughout this process remains underestimated and poorly understood. Here we show that mechanical stretch plays a crucial role in brain development. Using the nonlinear field theories of mechanics supplemented by the theory of finite growth, we model the human brain as a living system with a morphogenetically growing outer surface and a stretch-driven growing inner core. This approach seamlessly integrates the two popular but competing hypotheses for cortical folding: axonal tension and differential growth. We calibrate our model using magnetic resonance images from very preterm neonates. Our model predicts that deviations in cortical growth and thickness induce morphological abnormalities. Using the gyrification index, the ratio between the total and exposed surface area, we demonstrate that these abnormalities agree with the classical pathologies of lissencephaly and polymicrogyria. Understanding the mechanisms of cortical folding in the developing human brain has direct implications in the diagnostics and treatment of neurological disorders, including epilepsy, schizophrenia, and autism.

  3. NF-κB and epigenetic mechanisms as integrative regulators of brain resilience to anoxic stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarnico, Ilenia; Branca, Caterina; Lanzillotta, Annamaria; Porrini, Vanessa; Benarese, Marina; Spano, Pier Franco; Pizzi, Marina

    2012-10-02

    Brain cells display an amazing ability to respond to several different types of environmental stimuli and integrate this response physiologically. Some of these responses can outlive the original stimulus by days, weeks or even longer. Long-lasting changes in both physiological and pathological conditions occurring in response to external stimuli are almost always mediated by changes in gene expression. To effect these changes, cells have developed an impressive repertoire of signaling systems designed to modulate the activity of numerous transcription factors and epigenetic mechanisms affecting the chromatin structure. Since its initial characterization in the nervous system, NF-κB has shown to respond to multiple signals and elicit pleiotropic activities suggesting that it may play a pivotal role in integration of different types of information within the brain. Ample evidence demonstrates that NF-κB factors are engaged in and necessary for neuronal development and synaptic plasticity, but they also regulate brain response to environmental noxae. By focusing on the complexity of NF-κB transcriptional activity in neuronal cell death, it emerged that the composition of NF-κB active dimers finely tunes the neuronal vulnerability to brain ischemia. Even though we are only beginning to understand the contribution of distinct NF-κB family members to the regulation of gene transcription in the brain, an additional level of regulation of NF-κB activity has emerged as operated by the epigenetic mechanisms modulating histone acetylation. We will discuss NF-κB and epigenetic mechanisms as integrative regulators of brain resilience to anoxic stress and useful drug targets for restoration of brain function. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Brain Integration.

  4. 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.

  5. Mechanical Characterization of Molecular Assemblies at Oil/Water Interfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Wa

    The self-assembly of charged molecules in liquid phases and their ability to form functional layers at immiscible interfaces are areas of great interest. However, the implementation of these assemblies is often limited by a lack of understanding of the detailed assembly mechanisms. In order to enhance the performance of interfacial assemblies it is essential to be able to characterize the physical and mechanical properties of assembled layers, as well as develop model systems that will allow us to examine the factors that govern their interaction with the surrounding environment. The key purpose of this thesis is to develop an understanding of some of the important factors influencing interfacial assemblies at immiscible liquid interfaces. The first portion of the work involves mechanical characterization of interfacial layers formed by large amphiphilic molecules. The study of block and gradient copolymers, reveals the effect of copolymer sequence distribution on the ability of these molecules to form interfacial assemblies. Specifically, the unique network structure formed by gradient copolymers at oil/water interfaces enables us to create a robust membrane at the interface by ionic crosslinking. The second part of this thesis explores smaller molecule assemblies at liquid interfaces, including commonly used commercial surfactant (span 80) and nano particles (graphene oxide). Both studies demonstrate an interesting correlation between molecular structure and overall properties of the assembled layers. Factors such as interfacial density, particle sizes and pH can greatly influence the structure of the assembled layers, resulting in interesting phenomena such as spontaneous emulsification, wrinkling and layer collapse. The bulk of the oil/water interface study was performed using axisymmetric drop shape analysis (DSA), which successfully quantifies the mechanical tension in the interfacial layer. This analysis was further extended by a development of a double

  6. 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

  7. Molecular modifiers reveal a mechanism of pathological crystal growth inhibition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chung, Jihae; Granja, Ignacio; Taylor, Michael G.; Mpourmpakis, Giannis; Asplin, John R.; Rimer, Jeffrey D.

    2016-08-01

    Crystalline materials are crucial to the function of living organisms, in the shells of molluscs, the matrix of bone, the teeth of sea urchins, and the exoskeletons of coccoliths. However, pathological biomineralization can be an undesirable crystallization process associated with human diseases. The crystal growth of biogenic, natural and synthetic materials may be regulated by the action of modifiers, most commonly inhibitors, which range from small ions and molecules to large macromolecules. Inhibitors adsorb on crystal surfaces and impede the addition of solute, thereby reducing the rate of growth. Complex inhibitor-crystal interactions in biomineralization are often not well elucidated. Here we show that two molecular inhibitors of calcium oxalate monohydrate crystallization—citrate and hydroxycitrate—exhibit a mechanism that differs from classical theory in that inhibitor adsorption on crystal surfaces induces dissolution of the crystal under specific conditions rather than a reduced rate of crystal growth. This phenomenon occurs even in supersaturated solutions where inhibitor concentration is three orders of magnitude less than that of the solute. The results of bulk crystallization, in situ atomic force microscopy, and density functional theory studies are qualitatively consistent with a hypothesis that inhibitor-crystal interactions impart localized strain to the crystal lattice and that oxalate and calcium ions are released into solution to alleviate this strain. Calcium oxalate monohydrate is the principal component of human kidney stones and citrate is an often-used therapy, but hydroxycitrate is not. For hydroxycitrate to function as a kidney stone treatment, it must be excreted in urine. We report that hydroxycitrate ingested by non-stone-forming humans at an often-recommended dose leads to substantial urinary excretion. In vitro assays using human urine reveal that the molecular modifier hydroxycitrate is as effective an inhibitor of nucleation

  8. 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).

  9. Targeting Epigenetic Mechanisms in Pain Due to Trauma and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-10-01

    Pain  ( nociceptive ) sensitization was followed using the von Frey method. Those measures were continued until  the resolution of sensitization. We...AWARD NUMBER: W81XWH-14-1-0579 TITLE: Targeting Epigenetic Mechanisms in Pain due to Trauma and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) PRINCIPAL...SUBTITLE Targeting Epigenetic Mechanisms in Pain due to Trauma and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT NUMBER W81XWH-14-1-0579 5c

  10. How neurons make meaning: brain mechanisms for embodied and abstract-symbolic semantics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pulvermüller, Friedemann

    2013-09-01

    How brain structures and neuronal circuits mechanistically underpin symbolic meaning has recently been elucidated by neuroimaging, neuropsychological, and neurocomputational research. Modality-specific 'embodied' mechanisms anchored in sensorimotor systems appear to be relevant, as are 'disembodied' mechanisms in multimodal areas. In this paper, four semantic mechanisms are proposed and spelt out at the level of neuronal circuits: referential semantics, which establishes links between symbols and the objects and actions they are used to speak about; combinatorial semantics, which enables the learning of symbolic meaning from context; emotional-affective semantics, which establishes links between signs and internal states of the body; and abstraction mechanisms for generalizing over a range of instances of semantic meaning. Referential, combinatorial, emotional-affective, and abstract semantics are complementary mechanisms, each necessary for processing meaning in mind and brain.

  11. Working toward exposure thresholds for blast-induced traumatic brain injury: thoracic and acceleration mechanisms

    CERN Document Server

    Courtney, Michael; 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2010.05.025

    2011-01-01

    Research in blast-induced lung injury resulted in exposure thresholds that are useful in understanding and protecting humans from such injury. Because traumatic brain injury (TBI) due to blast exposure has become a prominent medical and military problem, similar thresholds should be identified that can put available research results in context and guide future research toward protecting warfighters as well as diagnosis and treatment. At least three mechanical mechanisms by which the blast wave may result in brain injury have been proposed - a thoracic mechanism, head acceleration and direct cranial transmission. These mechanisms need not be mutually exclusive. In this study, likely regions of interest for the first two mechanisms based on blast characteristics (positive pulse duration and peak effective overpressure) are developed using available data from blast experiments and related studies, including behind-armor blunt trauma and ballistic pressure wave studies. These related studies are appropriate to in...

  12. Mechanism Interpretation of the Biological Brain Cooling and Its Inspiration on Bionic Engineering

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xu Xue; Jing Liu

    2011-01-01

    The brain is one of the most important organs in a biological body which can only work in a relatively stable temperature range. However, many environmental factors in biosphere would cause cerebral temperature fluctuations. To sustain and regulate the brain temperature, many mechanisms of biological brain cooling have been evolved, including Selective Brain Cooling (SBC), cooling through surface water evaporation, respiration, behavior response and using special anatomical appendages. This article is dedicated to present a summarization and systematic interpretation on brain cooling strategies developed in animals by classifying and comparatively analyzing each typical biological brain cooling mechanism from the perspective of bio-heat transfer. Meanwhile, inspirations from such cooling in nature were proposed for developing advanced bionic engineering technologies especially with two focuses on therapeutic hypothermia and computer chip cooling areas. It is expected that many innovations can be achieved along this way to find out new cooling methodologies for a wide variety of industrial applications which will be highly efficient, energy saving, flexible or even intelligent.

  13. Conformational analysis of methylphenidate: comparison of molecular orbital and molecular mechanics methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilbert, Kathleen M.; Skawinski, William J.; Misra, Milind; Paris, Kristina A.; Naik, Neelam H.; Buono, Ronald A.; Deutsch, Howard M.; Venanzi, Carol A.

    2004-11-01

    Methylphenidate (MP) binds to the cocaine binding site on the dopamine transporter and inhibits reuptake of dopamine, but does not appear to have the same abuse potential as cocaine. This study, part of a comprehensive effort to identify a drug treatment for cocaine abuse, investigates the effect of choice of calculation technique and of solvent model on the conformational potential energy surface (PES) of MP and a rigid methylphenidate (RMP) analogue which exhibits the same dopamine transporter binding affinity as MP. Conformational analysis was carried out by the AM1 and AM1/SM5.4 semiempirical molecular orbital methods, a molecular mechanics method (Tripos force field with the dielectric set equal to that of vacuum or water) and the HF/6-31G* molecular orbital method in vacuum phase. Although all three methods differ somewhat in the local details of the PES, the general trends are the same for neutral and protonated MP. In vacuum phase, protonation has a distinctive effect in decreasing the regions of space available to the local conformational minima. Solvent has little effect on the PES of the neutral molecule and tends to stabilize the protonated species. The random search (RS) conformational analysis technique using the Tripos force field was found to be capable of locating the minima found by the molecular orbital methods using systematic grid search. This suggests that the RS/Tripos force field/vacuum phase protocol is a reasonable choice for locating the local minima of MP. However, the Tripos force field gave significantly larger phenyl ring rotational barriers than the molecular orbital methods for MP and RMP. For both the neutral and protonated cases, all three methods found the phenyl ring rotational barriers for the RMP conformers/invertamers (denoted as cte, tte, and cta) to be: cte, tte> MP > cta. Solvation has negligible effect on the phenyl ring rotational barrier of RMP. The B3LYP/6-31G* density functional method was used to calculate the phenyl

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Molecular Engineering for Mechanically Resilient and Stretchable Electronic Polymers and Composites

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-06-08

    determine molecular design rules for maximizing electronic performance with good mechanical deformability ( Roth et al. Chem. Mater. 2016, 28, 2363...efficient and mechanically stable. This paragraph was adapted from our paper Roth et al. Chem. Mater. 2016, 28, 2363-2373. Figure 2. Schematic...bandgap semiconducting polymers to determine molecular design rules for maximizing electronic performance with good mechanical deformability ( Roth et

  17. Molecular mechanisms governing competitive synaptic wiring in cerebellar Purkinje cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watanabe, Masahiko

    2008-03-01

    Cerebellar Purkinje cells (PCs) play a principal role in motor coordination and motor learning. To fulfill these functions, PCs receive and integrate two types of excitatory inputs, climbing fiber (CF) and parallel fiber (PF). CFs are projection axons from the inferior olive, and convey error signals to PCs. On the other hand, PFs are T-shaped axons of cerebellar granule cells, and convey sensory and motor information carried through the pontocerebellar and spinocerebellar mossy fiber pathways. The most remarkable feature of PC circuits is the highly territorial innervation by these two excitatory afferents. A single climbing CF powerfully and exclusively innervates proximal PC dendrites, whereas hundreds of thousands of PFs innervate distal PC dendrites. Recent studies using gene-manipulated mice have been elucidating that the PC circuitry is formed and maintained by molecular mechanisms that fuel homosynaptic competition among CFs and heterosynaptic competition between CFs and PFs. GluRdelta2 (a PC-specific glutamate receptor) and precerebellin or Cbln1 (a granule cell-derived secretory protein) cooperatively work for selective strengthening of PF-PC synapses, and prevent excessive distal extension of CFs that eventually causes multiple innervation at distal dendrites. In contrast, P/Q-type Ca2+ channels, which mediate Ca2+ influx upon CF activity, selectively strengthen the innervation by a single main CF, and expel PFs and other CFs from proximal dendrites that it innervates. Therefore, we now understand that owing to these mechanisms, territorial innervation by CFs and PFs is properly structured and mono-innervation by CFs is established. Several key issues for future study are also discussed.

  18. Molecular Mechanism of Acrylamide Neurotoxicity: Lessons Learned from Organic Chemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gavin, Terrence

    2012-01-01

    Background: Acrylamide (ACR) produces cumulative neurotoxicity in exposed humans and laboratory animals through a direct inhibitory effect on presynaptic function. Objectives: In this review, we delineate how knowledge of chemistry provided an unprecedented understanding of the ACR neurotoxic mechanism. We also show how application of the hard and soft, acids and bases (HSAB) theory led to the recognition that the α,β-unsaturated carbonyl structure of ACR is a soft electrophile that preferentially forms covalent bonds with soft nucleophiles. Methods: In vivo proteomic and in chemico studies demonstrated that ACR formed covalent adducts with highly nucleophilic cysteine thiolate groups located within active sites of presynaptic proteins. Additional research showed that resulting protein inactivation disrupted nerve terminal processes and impaired neurotransmission. Discussion: ACR is a type-2 alkene, a chemical class that includes structurally related electrophilic environmental pollutants (e.g., acrolein) and endogenous mediators of cellular oxidative stress (e.g., 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal). Members of this chemical family produce toxicity via a common molecular mechanism. Although individual environmental concentrations might not be toxicologically relevant, exposure to an ambient mixture of type-2 alkene pollutants could pose a significant risk to human health. Furthermore, environmentally derived type-2 alkenes might act synergistically with endogenously generated unsaturated aldehydes to amplify cellular damage and thereby accelerate human disease/injury processes that involve oxidative stress. Conclusions: These possibilities have substantial implications for environmental risk assessment and were realized through an understanding of ACR adduct chemistry. The approach delineated here can be broadly applied because many toxicants of different chemical classes are electrophiles that produce toxicity by interacting with cellular proteins. PMID:23060388

  19. 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.

  20. Molecular mechanisms of heavy metal tolerance and evolution n invertebrates

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Thierry K.S.Janssens; Dick Roelofs; Nico M.van Straalen

    2009-01-01

    Following the genomics revolution,our knowledge of the molecular mechanisms underlying defenses against stress has been greatly expanded.Under strong selective pressure many animals may evolve an enhanced stress tolerance.This can be achieved by altering the structure of proteins(through mutations in the coding regions of genes)or by altering the amount of protein(through changes in transcriptional regulation).The latter type of evolution Can be achieved by substitutions in the promoter of the gene of interest(cis-regulatory change)or by altering the structure or anaount of transcriptional regulator proteins (trans-regulatory change).The metallothionein system is one of the best studied stress response systems in the context of heavy metals.Metallothionein expression is assumed to be regulated by metal transcription factor 1(MTF-1);however,up to now the involvement of MTF-1 has only been proven for some vertebrates and Drosophila.Data on invertebrates such as nematodes and earthworms suggest that other mechanisms of metallothionein induction may be present.A detailed study of Cd tolerance was done for a species of soilliving springtail,Orchesella cincta.The metallothionein gene of this species is overexpressed in metal-exposed field populations.Analysis of the metallothionein promoter has demonstrated extensive polymorphisills that have a functional significance,as shown in bioreporter assays.In a study comparing 20 different populations,the frequency of a high-expresser promoter allele Was positively correlated with the concentration of metals in soil,especially Cd.The springtail study shows that cis-regulatory change of genes involved in the cellular stress response may contribute to evolution of metal tolerance.

  1. A Quantum-Mechanics Molecular-Mechanics scheme for extended systems

    CERN Document Server

    Hunt, Diego; Scherlis, Damian A

    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 throu...

  2. 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...

  3. Comparative Molecular Mechanics and Quantum Mechanics Study of Microhydration of Nucleic Acid Bases

    CERN Document Server

    Lino, J; Deriabina, A; Velasco, M; Poltev, V

    2013-01-01

    DNA is the most important biological molecule, and its hydration contributes essentially to the structure and functions of the double helix. We analyze the microhydration of the individual bases of nucleic acids and their methyl derivatives using methods of molecular mechanics (MM) with the Poltev-Malenkov (PM), AMBER and OPLS force fields, as well as ab initio Quantum Mechanics (QM) calculations at MP2/6-31G(d,p) level of theory. A comparison is made between the calculated interaction energies and the experimental enthalpies of microhydration of bases, obtained from mass spectrometry at low temperatures. Each local water-base interaction energy minimum obtained with MM corresponds to the minimum obtained with QM. General qualitative agreement was observed in the geometrical characteristics of the local minima obtained via the two groups of methods. MM minima correspond to slightly more coplanar structures than those obtained via QM methods, and the absolute MM energy values overestimate corresponding values ...

  4. Molecular mechanisms of resistance to the EGFR monoclonal antibody cetuximab.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brand, Toni M; Iida, Mari; Wheeler, Deric L

    2011-05-01

    The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is a receptor tyrosine kinase belonging to the HER family of receptor tyrosine kinases. Receptor activation upon ligand binding leads to down stream activation of the PI3K/AKT, RAS/RAF/MEK/ERK and PLCγ/PKC pathways that influence cell proliferation, survival and the metastatic potential of tumor cells. Increased activation by gene amplification, protein overexpression or mutations of the EGFR has been identified as an etiological factor in a number of human epithelial cancers (e.g., NSCLC, CRC, glioblastoma and breast cancer). Therefore, targeting the EGFR has been intensely pursued as a cancer treatment strategy over the last two decades. To date, five EGFR inhibitors, including three small molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) and two monoclonal antibodies have gained FDA approval for use in oncology. Both approaches to targeting the EGFR have shown clinical promise and the anti-EGFR antibody cetuximab is used to treat HNSCC and CRC. Despite clinical gains arising from use of cetuximab, both intrinsic resistance and the development of acquired resistance are now well recognized. In this review we focus on the biology of the EGFR, the role of EGFR in human cancer, the development of antibody-based anti-EGFR therapies and a summary of their clinical successes. Further, we provide an in depth discussion of described molecular mechanisms of resistance to cetuximab and potential strategies to circumvent this resistance.

  5. Molecular mechanics study on conformation of perylene-quinonoid photosensitizers

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    张红雨; 张志义

    1997-01-01

    Using molecular mechanics method,values of the heat of formation (HF) of different conformations,of perylenequinonoid photosensitizes hypocrellin A (HA) and hypocrellin B (HB) were calculated and the variance of HF after phenolic protons’ dissociation were calculated as well The following was found:(i) The HF values of lour conformational isomers of HA and HB are similar to each other,so the four isomcrs can transform to each other room temperature,(ii) There exists the difference between the ability of dissociation of phenolic protons of HA and that of HB,the former is higher than the latter (iii) There exist two intramolecular hydrogen bonds in HA and HB The bond energy is approximately 8 kJ/mol and the energy of conformation Ⅰ is lower than that of conformationⅡ The bond energy of HA is lower than that of HB.(iv) There exists a low energy snot when phenolic hydroxyl bond twists 180° from the position where hydrogen bond is formed,which suggests that this kind of conformation probably exists,(v) Th

  6. 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.

  7. Molecular mechanisms of pancreatic stone formation in chronic pancreatitis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shigeru B.H. Ko

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Chronic pancreatitis (CP is a progressive inflammatory disease in which the pancreatic secretory parenchyma is destroyed and replaced by fibrosis. The presence of intraductal pancreatic stone(s is important for the diagnosis of CP; however, the precise molecular mechanisms of pancreatic stone formation in CP were left largely unknown. CFTR is a chloride channel expressed in the apical plasma membrane of pancreatic duct cells and plays a central role in HCO3- secretion. In previous studies, we have found that CFTR is largely mislocalized to the cytoplasm of pancreatic duct cells in all forms of CP and corticosteroids normalizes the localization of CFTR to the proper apical membrane at least in autoimmune pancreatitis. From these observations, we could conclude that the mislocalization of CFTR is a cause of protein plug formation in CP, subsequently resulting in pancreatic stone formation.Considering our observation that the mislocalization of CFTR also occurs in alcoholic or idiopathic CP, it is very likely that these pathological conditions can also be treated by corticosteroids, thereby preventing pancreatic stone formation in these patients. Further studies are definitely required to clarify these fundamental issues.

  8. Molecular mechanism of resistance of Fusarium fujikuroi to benzimidazole fungicides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Zihao; Gao, Tao; Liang, Shuping; Liu, Kexue; Zhou, Mingguo; Chen, Changjun

    2014-08-01

    Although carbendazim (MBC) and other benzimidazole fungicides have effectively controlled bakanae disease of rice (which is caused by Fusarium fujikuroi, F. proliferatum, and F. verticillioides) in the past, MBC resistance has become common. Previous research has shown that MBC resistance results from a mutation in the β1 -tubulin (β1 tub) gene in F. verticillioides. However, MBC resistance in F. fujikuroi, a predominant species in China, does not result from a mutation in the β1 tub. The molecular mechanism of F. fujikuroi resistance against benzimidazole fungicides is poorly understood. In this study, we determined that although β1 tub and β2 -tubulin (β2 tub) in F. fujikuroi have high homology with β1 tub and β2 tub in F. verticillioides, MBC resistance in F. fujikuroi results from mutations in β2 tub [GAG(Glu)→GTG(Val) at codon 198, TTC(Phe)→TAC(Tyr) at codon 200, and GGC(Gly)→GGT(Gly) at codon 235] but not in β1 tub. Δβ2 tub (β2 tub deletion) mutants were highly sensitive to MBC, produced fewer conidia and were less virulent than parental strains. Complementation of the Δβ2 tub mutants with a copy of the whole β2 tub locus from their parental strains restored the level of MBC resistance (or sensitivity) to that of the parental strain.

  9. [Phenotype analysis and the molecular mechanism of enamel hypoplasia].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lv, Ping; Gao, Xue-jun

    2009-02-18

    Enamel hypoplasia is a surface defect of the tooth crown caused by a disturbance of enamel matrix secretion. Enamel hypoplasia may be inherited, or result from illness, malnutrition, trauma, or high concentrations of fluorides or strontium in the drinking water or food. Different types of enamel hypoplasia have been distinguished, such as pit-type, plane-type, and linear enamel hypoplasia. Hypoplasia has been related to the intensity and duration of stress events, the number of affected ameloblasts, and their position along the forming tooth crown. Amelogenesis imperfecta (AI) is a heterogeneous group of inherited defects in dental enamel formation, most teeth are affected in both the primary and permanent dentition. The malformed enamel can be unusually thin, soft, rough and stained. The strict definition of AI includes only those cases where enamel defects occur in the absence of other symptoms. Currently, there are seven candidate genes for AI: amelogenin, enamelin, ameloblastin, tuftelin, distal-less homeobox 3, enamelysin, and kallikrein 4. Since the enamel is formed according to a strict chronological sequence, and once formed, undergoes no repair or regeneration. Then the analysis the phenotype of enamel hypoplasia can provide insights of the severity of inherited or environmental stress and the molecular mechanism during the period of enamel formation.

  10. The molecular mechanisms between metabolic syndrome and breast cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yi; Wen, Ya-yuan; Li, Zhi-rong; Luo, Dong-lin; Zhang, Xiao-hua

    2016-03-18

    Metabolic syndrome, which is extremely common in developed and some developing countries, is a clustering of at least three of five of the following medical conditions: abdominal obesity, elevated blood pressure, elevated fasting plasma glucose, high serum triglycerides, and low high-density lipoprotein levels. It has been proved that there is a strong association between metabolic syndrome and breast cancer. Metabolic syndrome could increase the risk of breast cancer and influence the prognosis of the breast cancer patients. Some characteristic of metabolic syndrome such as obesity and lack of physical exercise are all risk factors for developing breast cancer. The metabolic syndrome mainly include obesity, type 2 diabetes, hypercholesterolemia and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and each of them impacts the risk of breast cancer and the prognosis of the breast cancer patients in different ways. In this Review, we focus on recently uncovered aspects of the immunological and molecular mechanisms that are responsible for the development of this highly prevalent and serious disease. These studies bring new insight into the complex associations between metabolic syndrome and breast cancer and have led to the development of novel therapeutic strategies that might enable a personalized approach in the management of this disease.

  11. Molecular mechanisms of metabolic resistance to synthetic and natural xenobiotics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xianchun; Schuler, Mary A; Berenbaum, May R

    2007-01-01

    Xenobiotic resistance in insects has evolved predominantly by increasing the metabolic capability of detoxificative systems and/or reducing xenobiotic target site sensitivity. In contrast to the limited range of nucleotide changes that lead to target site insensitivity, many molecular mechanisms lead to enhancements in xenobiotic metabolism. The genomic changes that lead to amplification, overexpression, and coding sequence variation in the three major groups of genes encoding metabolic enzymes, i.e., cytochrome P450 monooxygenases (P450s), esterases, and glutathione-S-transferases (GSTs), are the focus of this review. A substantial number of the adaptive genomic changes associated with insecticide resistance that have been characterized to date are transposon mediated. Several lines of evidence suggest that P450 genes involved in insecticide resistance, and perhaps insecticide detoxification genes in general, may share an evolutionary association with genes involved in allelochemical metabolism. Differences in the selective regime imposed by allelochemicals and insecticides may account for the relative importance of regulatory or structural mutations in conferring resistance.

  12. Adriamycin increases podocyte permeability: evidence and molecular mechanism

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李晓忠; 袁海涛; 张学光

    2003-01-01

    Objective To investigate the increased podocyte permeability by evidence of adriamycin (AD) and its molecular mechanism.Methods In this study, we explored the direct effects of AD on cultured mouse podocytes and the potential protection effects of Dexamethasome (Dex).Results After 24-hour AD (5×10-7 mol/L) treatment, albumin passage through podocyte monolayers was increased by 2.27-fold (P<0.01). AD caused a 62% decrease in Zonula Occluden -1 (ZO-1) protein (P<0.05), suggesting that AD might increase podocyte permeability by disrupting tight junctions. Dex (1×10-6 mol/L), co-administered with AD, protected podocytes from AD-induced increased albumin passage. This may be linked with an increased P-cadherin protein level to 1.93 fold of control (P<0.01).Conclusions AD has a direct, detrimental effect on podocyte permeability, probably through disrupting tight junctions; Dex could protect against AD-induced high podocyte permeability by upregulating adherent protein P-cadherin.

  13. [Molecular mechanisms of regulaion of transcription by PARP1].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maliuchenko, N V; Kulaeva, O I; Kotova, E; Chupyrkina, A A; Nikitin, D V; Kirpichnikov, M P; Studitskiĭ, V M

    2015-01-01

    Poly-ADP-ribosylation is a covalent post-translational modification of nuclear proteins that plays a key role in the immediate response of cells to genotoxic stress. Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) synthesizes long and branched polymers of ADP-ribose onto acceptor regulator proteins, and thereby change their activity. Metabolism of poly-ADP regulates DNA repair, cell cycle, replication, aging and death of cells, as well as remodeling of chromatin structure and gene transcription. PARP1 is one of the most common nuclear proteins; it is responsible for production of -90% of the polymers of ADP-ribose in the cell. PARP1 inhibitors are promising antitumor agents. At the same time, the current inhibitors target the catalytic domain of PARP1 that leads to.a number of side effects. Therefore, considering the potential benefits of PARP1 inhibitors for the treatment of multiple diseases, it is necessary to develop new strategies of PARP1 inhibition. PARP1 has a modular structure and has catalytic, transcription and DNA-binding activities. The review focuses primarily on the role of PARP1 in transcriptional regulation; the structure and functional organization of PARP1, as well as multiple ways of regulation of chromatin remodeling, DNA methylation and transcription are covered in detail. Studies of the molecular mechanisms of regulation of transcription factor PARP1 can serve as a basis for search and design of new inhibitors.

  14. Chemopreventive functions and molecular mechanisms of garlic organosulfur compounds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trio, Phoebe Zapanta; You, Sixiang; He, Xi; He, Jianhua; Sakao, Kozue; Hou, De-Xing

    2014-05-01

    Garlic (Allium sativum L.) has long been used both for culinary and medicinal purposes by many cultures. Population and preclinical investigations have suggested that dietary garlic intake has health benefits, such as lowering the risk of esophageal, stomach and prostate cancers. Extensive studies from laboratory and animal models have revealed that garlic has a wide range of biological activities, and garlic organosulfur compounds (OSCs) are responsible for the biological activities. However, the presence and potency of garlic OSCs vary with respect to the mode of garlic preparation and extraction. Cooked or processed garlic products showed different kinds of garlic OSCs, some of which are highly unstable and instantly decomposed. These facts, possibly gave paradoxical results on the garlic effects. In this review, we first summarized the biotransformation processes of garlic alliin into different garlic OSCs as well as the garlic OSCs compositions from different garlic preparations. Next, we reviewed the chemopreventive functions and molecular mechanisms focusing on the anti-inflammation, antioxidation, anti-diabetes and anticancer activity behind different garlic OSCs.

  15. Targeted Polymeric Nanoparticles for Brain Delivery of High Molecular Weight Molecules in Lysosomal Storage Disorders.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marika Salvalaio

    Full Text Available Lysosomal Storage Disorders (LSDs are a group of metabolic syndromes, each one due to the deficit of one lysosomal enzyme. Many LSDs affect most of the organ systems and overall about 75% of the patients present neurological impairment. Enzyme Replacement Therapy, although determining some systemic clinical improvements, is ineffective on the CNS disease, due to enzymes' inability to cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB. With the aim to deliver the therapeutic enzymes across the BBB, we here assayed biodegradable and biocompatible PLGA-nanoparticles (NPs in two murine models for LSDs, Mucopolysaccharidosis type I and II (MPS I and MPS II. PLGA-NPs were modified with a 7-aminoacid glycopeptide (g7, yet demonstrated to be able to deliver low molecular weight (MW molecules across the BBB in rodents. We specifically investigated, for the first time, the g7-NPs ability to transfer a model drug (FITC-albumin with a high MW, comparable to the enzymes to be delivered for LSDs brain therapy. In vivo experiments, conducted on wild-type mice and knockout mouse models for MPS I and II, also included a whole series of control injections to obtain a broad preliminary view of the procedure efficiency. Results clearly showed efficient BBB crossing of albumin in all injected mice, underlying the ability of NPs to deliver high MW molecules to the brain. These results encourage successful experiments with enzyme-loaded g7-NPs to deliver sufficient amounts of the drug to the brain district on LSDs, where exerting a corrective effect on the pathological phenotype.

  16. First quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics studies of the inhibition mechanism of cruzain by peptidyl halomethyl ketones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arafet, Kemel; Ferrer, Silvia; Moliner, Vicent

    2015-06-02

    Cruzain is a primary cysteine protease expressed by the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi during Chagas disease infection, and thus, the development of inhibitors of this protein is a promising target for designing an effective therapy against the disease. In this paper, the mechanism of inhibition of cruzain by two different irreversible peptidyl halomethyl ketones (PHK) inhibitors has been studied by means of hybrid quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics-molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to obtain a complete representation of the possible free energy reaction paths. These have been traced on free energy surfaces in terms of the potential of mean force computed at AM1d/MM and DFT/MM levels of theory. An analysis of the possible reaction mechanisms of the inhibition process has been performed showing that the nucleophilic attack of an active site cysteine, Cys25, on a carbon atom of the inhibitor and the cleavage of the halogen-carbon bond take place in a single step. PClK appears to be much more favorable than PFK from a kinetic point of view. This result would be in agreement with experimental studies in other papain-like enzymes. A deeper analysis of the results suggests that the origin of the differences between PClK and PFK can be the different stabilizing interactions established between the inhibitors and the residues of the active site of the protein. Any attempt to explore the viability of the inhibition process through a stepwise mechanism involving the formation of a thiohemiketal intermediate and a three-membered sulfonium intermediate has been unsuccessful. Nevertheless, a mechanism through a protonated thiohemiketal, with participation of His159 as a proton donor, appears to be feasible despite showing higher free energy barriers. Our results suggest that PClK can be used as a starting point to develop a proper inhibitor of cruzain.

  17. 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.

  18. Bioinformatics analysis of the molecular mechanism of diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deng, Lei; Xiong, Pengju; Luo, Yunhui; Bu, Xiao; Qian, Suokai; Zhong, Wuzhao

    2016-01-01

    The present study aimed to elucidate key molecular mechanisms in the progression of diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG). The gene expression profile GSE50021, which consisted of 35 pediatric DIPG samples and 10 normal brain samples, was downloaded from the Gene Expression Omnibus database. The differentially-expressed genes (DEGs) in the pediatric DIPG samples were identified. Gene Ontology (GO), Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) and Reactome pathways of DEGs were enriched and analyzed. The protein-protein interaction (PPI) network of the DEGs was constructed and functional modules of the PPI network were disclosed using ClusterONE. A total of 679 DEGs (454 up- and 225 downregulated) were identified in the pediatric DIPG samples. DEGs were significantly enriched in various GO terms, and KEGG and Reactome pathways. The PPI network of upregulated (153 nodes and 298 connections) and downregulated (71 nodes and 124 connections) DEGs, and two crucial modules, were obtained. Downregulated genes in module 2, such as cholecystokinin (CCK), gastrin (GAST), adenylate cyclase 2 (brain) (ADCY2) and 5-hydroxytryptamine (serotonin) receptor 7 (HTR7), were significantly enriched in the calcium signaling pathway, the neuroactive ligand-receptor interaction pathway and in GO terms, such as the G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR) signaling pathway, while upregulated genes in module 1 were not enriched in any pathways or GO terms. CCK and GAST associated with the GPCR signaling pathway, HTR7 enriched in the neuroactive ligand-receptor interaction, and ADCY2 and HTR7 involved in the calcium signaling pathway may be key mechanisms playing crucial roles in the development and progression of DIPG.

  19. Atypical Brain Mechanisms of Prediction According to Uncertainty in Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thillay, Alix; Lemaire, Mathieu; Roux, Sylvie; Houy-Durand, Emmanuelle; Barthélémy, Catherine; Knight, Robert T.; Bidet-Caulet, Aurélie; Bonnet-Brilhault, Frédérique

    2016-01-01

    Resistance to change is often reported in autism and may arise from an inability to predict events in uncertain contexts. Using EEG recorded in 12 adults with autism and age-matched controls performing a visual target detection task, we characterized the influence of a certain context (targets preceded by a predictive sequence of three distinct stimuli) or an uncertain context (random targets) on behavior and electrophysiological markers of predictive processing. During an uncertain context, adults with autism were faster than controls to detect targets. They also had an enhancement in CNV amplitude preceding all random stimuli—indexing enhanced preparatory mechanisms, and an earlier N2 to targets—reflecting faster information processing—compared to controls. During a certain context, both controls and adults with autism presented an increase in P3 amplitude to predictive stimuli—indexing information encoding of the predictive sequence, an enhancement in CNV amplitude preceding predictable targets—corresponding to the deployment of preparatory mechanisms, and an earlier P3 to predictable targets—reflecting efficient prediction building and implementation. These results suggest an efficient extraction of predictive information to generate predictions in both controls and adults with autism during a certain context. However, adults with autism displayed a failure to decrease mu power during motor preparation accompanied by a reduced benefit in reaction times to predictable targets. The data reveal that patients with autism over-anticipate stimuli occurring in an uncertain context, in accord with their sense of being overwhelmed by incoming information. These results suggest that adults with autism cannot flexibly modulate cortical activity according to changing levels of uncertainty. PMID:27458337

  20. Molecular size of benzodiazepine receptor in rat brain in situ: evidence for a functional dimer?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doble, A.; Iversen, L. L.

    1982-02-01

    Benzodiazepine tranquillizers such as diazepam and chlordiazepoxide interact with high-affinity binding sites in nervous tissue1,2. The correlation between the affinities of various benzodiazepines for these sites with their clinical potencies and activity in behavioural and electrophysiological tests in animals suggests that the sites represent the functional `receptor' whereby benzodiazepines exert their effects3. The intimate involvement of benzodiazepines with γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and chloride channels raised the possibility that the benzodiazepine binding site (BDZ-R) may be a protein in the GABA receptor-effector complex4,5. GABA agonists enhance the affinity of BDZ-R for benzodiazepines6, although BDZ-R is distinct from the GABA receptor itself3. However, electrophysiological evidence suggests that the action of benzodiazepines is chloride channel, rather than receptor, directed7-10. Several attempts have been made to measure the molecular weight (Mr) of BDZ-R after solubilization from brain membranes: treatment with 1% Triton X-100 followed by assay of binding activity in solute fractions separated according to molecular weight suggested11 a value of ~200,000, photoaffinity labelling of BDZ-R with 3H-flunitrazepam (3H-FNZ) followed by more rigorous solubilization and gel chromatography indicated12,13 an apparent Mr of ~55,000 and a third approach14 a value of ~100,000. The measured molecular weight seems to depend critically on the solubilization procedure used. Chang et al.15 recently described the use of radiation inactivation to determine the size of BDZ-R in situ in calf brain membranes, and estimated a Mr, of 216,000. We have also used this approach; the results reported here indicate a Mr of between 90,000 and 100,000, but this is reduced to 60,000-63,000 in membranes pretreated with GABA, suggesting the disaggregation of a normally dimeric form.

  1. Apert and Crouzon syndromes-Cognitive development, brain abnormalities, and molecular aspects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandes, Marilyse B L; Maximino, Luciana P; Perosa, Gimol B; Abramides, Dagma V M; Passos-Bueno, Maria Rita; Yacubian-Fernandes, Adriano

    2016-06-01

    Apert and Crouzon are the most common craniosynostosis syndromes associated with mutations in the fibroblast growth factor receptor 2 (FGFR2) gene. We conducted a study to examine the molecular biology, brain abnormalities, and cognitive development of individuals with these syndromes. A retrospective longitudinal review of 14 patients with Apert and Crouzon syndromes seen at the outpatient Craniofacial Surgery Hospital for Rehabilitation of Craniofacial Anomalies in Brazil from January 1999 through August 2010 was performed. Patients between 11 and 36 years of age (mean 18.29 ± 5.80), received cognitive evaluations, cerebral magnetic resonance imaging, and molecular DNA analyses. Eight patients with Apert syndrome (AS) had full scale intelligence quotients (FSIQs) that ranged from 47 to 108 (mean 76.9 ± 20.2), and structural brain abnormalities were identified in five of eight patients. Six patients presented with a gain-of-function mutation (p.Ser252Trp) in FGFR2 and FSIQs in those patients ranged from 47 to78 (mean 67.2 ± 10.7). One patient with a gain-of-function mutation (p.Pro253Arg) had a FSIQ of 108 and another patient with an atypical splice mutation (940-2A →G) had a FSIQ of 104. Six patients with Crouzon syndrome had with mutations in exons IIIa and IIIc of FGFR2 and their FSIQs ranged from 82 to 102 (mean 93.5 ± 6.7). These reveal that molecular aspects are another factor that can be considered in studies of global and cognitive development of patients with Apert and Crouzon syndrome (CS). © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  2. Brain Mechanisms Underlying Urge Incontinence and its Response to Pelvic Floor Muscle Training

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffiths, Derek; Clarkson, Becky; Tadic, Stasa D.; Resnick, Neil M.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose Urge urinary incontinence is a major problem, especially in the elderly, and to our knowledge the underlying mechanisms of disease and therapy are unknown. We used biofeedback assisted pelvic floor muscle training and functional brain imaging (functional magnetic resonance imaging) to investigate cerebral mechanisms, aiming to improve the understanding of brain-bladder control and therapy. Materials and Methods Before receiving biofeedback assisted pelvic floor muscle training functionally intact, older community dwelling women with urge urinary incontinence as well as normal controls underwent comprehensive clinical and bladder diary evaluation, urodynamic testing and brain functional magnetic resonance imaging. Evaluation was repeated after pelvic floor muscle training in those with urge urinary incontinence. Functional magnetic resonance imaging was done to determine the brain reaction to rapid bladder filling with urgency. Results Of 65 subjects with urge urinary incontinence 28 responded to biofeedback assisted pelvic floor muscle training with 50% or greater improvement of urge urinary incontinence frequency on diary. However, responders and nonresponders displayed 2 patterns of brain reaction. In pattern 1 in responders before pelvic floor muscle training the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex and the adjacent supplementary motor area were activated as well as the insula. After the training dorsal anterior cingulate cortex/supplementary motor area activation diminished and there was a trend toward medial prefrontal cortex deactivation. In pattern 2 in nonresponders before pelvic floor muscle training the medial prefrontal cortex was deactivated, which changed little after the training. Conclusions In older women with urge urinary incontinence there appears to be 2 patterns of brain reaction to bladder filling and they seem to predict the response and nonresponse to biofeedback assisted pelvic floor muscle training. Moreover, decreased cingulate

  3. Skull Flexure from Blast Waves: A New Mechanism for Brain Injury with Implications for Helmet Design

    CERN Document Server

    Moss, William C; Blackman, Eric G

    2008-01-01

    Traumatic brain injury [TBI] has become the signature injury of current military conflicts. The debilitating effects of TBI on society are long-lasting and costly. Although the mechanisms by which impacts cause TBI have been well researched, the mechanisms by which blasts cause TBI are not understood. Various mechanisms, including impacts caused by the blast, have been investigated, but blast-induced deformation of the skull has been neglected. Through the use of hydrodynamical numerical simulations, we have discovered that non-lethal blasts can induce sufficient flexure of the skull to generate potentially damaging loads in the brain, even if no impact occurs. This mechanism has implications for the diagnosis of TBI in soldiers and the design of protective equipment such as helmets.

  4. Research progress in mechanism of traumatic brain injury affecting speed of fracture healing

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHAO Xiao-gang; ZHAO Guang-feng; MA Yue-feng; JIANG Guan-yu

    2007-01-01

    @@ In patients who have sustained traumatic brain injury with associated extremity fracture, there is often a clinical perception that the rate of new bone formation around the fracture site increases. 1 An overgrowth of callus is observed and ectopic ossification even occurs in the muscle,2 but the mechanism remains unclear.

  5. 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...

  6. Understanding mechanical properties of polymer nanocomposites with molecular dynamics simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sen, Suchira

    Equilibrium Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulations are used extensively to study various aspects of polymer nanocomposite (PNC) behavior in the melt state---the key focus is on understanding mechanisms of mechanical reinforcement. Mechanical reinforcement of the nanocomposite is believed to be caused by the formation of a network-like structure---a result of polymer chains bridging particles to introduce network elasticity. In contrast, in traditional composites, where the particle size range is hundreds of microns and high loadings of particle are used, the dominant mechanism is the formation of a percolated filler structure. The difference in mechanism with varying particle sizes, at similar particle loading, arises from the polymer-particle interfacial area available, which increases dramatically as the particle size decreases. Our interest in this work is to find (a) the kind of polymer-particle interactions necessary to facilitate the formation of a polymer network in a nanocomposite, and (b) the reinforcing characteristics of such a polymer network. We find that very strong polymer-particle binding is necessary to create a reinforcing network. The strength of the binding has to be enough to immobilize polymer on the particle surface for timescales comparable and larger than the terminal relaxation time of the stress of the neat melt. The second finding, which is a direct outcome of very strong binding, is that the method of preparation plays a critical role in determining the reinforcement of the final product. The starting conformations of the polymer chains determine the quality of the network. The strong binding traps the polymer on the particle surface which gets rearranged to a limited extent, within stress relaxation times. Significant aging effects are seen in system relaxation; the inherent non-equilibrium consequences of such strong binding. The effect of the polymer immobilization slows down other relaxation processes. The diffusivity of all chains is

  7. 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.

  8. Pathway analysis reveals common pro-survival mechanisms of metyrapone and carbenoxolone after traumatic brain injury.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Helen L Hellmich

    Full Text Available Developing new pharmacotherapies for traumatic brain injury (TBI requires elucidation of the neuroprotective mechanisms of many structurally and functionally diverse compounds. To test our hypothesis that diverse neuroprotective drugs similarly affect common gene targets after TBI, we compared the effects of two drugs, metyrapone (MT and carbenoxolone (CB, which, though used clinically for noncognitive conditions, improved learning and memory in rats and humans. Although structurally different, both MT and CB inhibit a common molecular target, 11β hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1, which converts inactive cortisone to cortisol, thereby effectively reducing glucocorticoid levels. We examined injury-induced signaling pathways to determine how the effects of these two compounds correlate with pro-survival effects in surviving neurons of the injured rat hippocampus. We found that treatment of TBI rats with MT or CB acutely induced in hippocampal neurons transcriptional profiles that were remarkably similar (i.e., a coordinated attenuation of gene expression across multiple injury-induced cell signaling networks. We also found, to a lesser extent, a coordinated increase in cell survival signals. Analysis of injury-induced gene expression altered by MT and CB provided additional insight into the protective effects of each. Both drugs attenuated expression of genes in the apoptosis, death receptor and stress signaling pathways, as well as multiple genes in the oxidative phosphorylation pathway such as subunits of NADH dehydrogenase (Complex1, cytochrome c oxidase (Complex IV and ATP synthase (Complex V. This suggests an overall inhibition of mitochondrial function. Complex 1 is the primary source of reactive oxygen species in the mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation pathway, thus linking the protective effects of these drugs to a reduction in oxidative stress. The net effect of the drug-induced transcriptional changes observed here indicates that

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frieg, Benedikt; Görg, Boris; Homeyer, Nadine; Keitel, Verena; Häussinger, Dieter; Gohlke, Holger

    2016-02-01

    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.

  11. Plausible mechanisms for brain structural and size changes in human evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blazek, Vladimir; Brùzek, Jaroslav; Casanova, Manuel F

    2011-09-01

    Encephalization has many contexts and implications. On one hand, it is concerned with the transformation of eating habits, social relationships and communication, cognitive skills and the mind. Along with the increase in brain size on the other hand, encephalization is connected with the creation of more complex brain structures, namely in the cerebral cortex. It is imperative to inquire into the mechanisms which are linked with brain growth and to find out which of these mechanisms allow it and determine it. There exist a number of theories for understanding human brain evolution which originate from neurological sciences. These theories are the concept of radial units, minicolumns, mirror neurons, and neurocognitive networks. Over the course of evolution, it is evident that a whole range of changes have taken place in regards to heredity. These changes include new mutations of genes in the microcephalin complex, gene duplications, gene co-expression, and genomic imprinting. This complex study of the growth and reorganization of the brain and the functioning of hereditary factors and their external influences creates an opportunity to consider the implications of cultural evolution and cognitive faculties.

  12. New hybrid method for reactive systems from integrating molecular orbital or molecular mechanics methods with analytical potential energy surfaces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Espinosa-Garciá, Joaquín; Rangel, Cipriano; Navarrete, Marta; Corchado, José C

    2004-09-15

    A computational approach to calculating potential energy surfaces for reactive systems is presented and tested. This hybrid approach is based on integrated methods where calculations for a small model system are performed by using analytical potential energy surfaces, and for the real system by using molecular orbital or molecular mechanics methods. The method is tested on a hydrogen abstraction reaction by using the variational transition-state theory with multidimensional tunneling corrections. The agreement between the calculated and experimental information depends on the quality of the method chosen for the real system. When the real system is treated by accurate quantum mechanics methods, the rate constants are in excellent agreement with the experimental measurements over a wide temperature range. When the real system is treated by molecular mechanics methods, the results are still good, which is very encouraging since molecular mechanics itself is not at all capable of describing this reactive system. Since no experimental information or additional fits are required to apply this method, it can be used to improve the accuracy of molecular orbital methods or to extend the molecular mechanics method to treat any reactive system with the single constraint of the availability of an analytical potential energy surface that describes the model system.

  13. Unraveling the Molecular Mechanisms Underlying the Nasopharyngeal Bacterial Community Structure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wouter A. A. de Steenhuijsen Piters

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The upper respiratory tract is colonized by a diverse array of commensal bacteria that harbor potential pathogens, such as Streptococcus pneumoniae. As long as the local microbial ecosystem—also called “microbiome”—is in balance, these potentially pathogenic bacterial residents cause no harm to the host. However, similar to macrobiological ecosystems, when the bacterial community structure gets perturbed, potential pathogens can overtake the niche and cause mild to severe infections. Recent studies using next-generation sequencing show that S. pneumoniae, as well as other potential pathogens, might be kept at bay by certain commensal bacteria, including Corynebacterium and Dolosigranulum spp. Bomar and colleagues are the first to explore a specific biological mechanism contributing to the antagonistic interaction between Corynebacterium accolens and S. pneumoniae in vitro [L. Bomar, S. D. Brugger, B. H. Yost, S. S. Davies, K. P. Lemon, mBio 7(1:e01725-15, 2016, doi:10.1128/mBio.01725-15]. The authors comprehensively show that C. accolens is capable of hydrolyzing host triacylglycerols into free fatty acids, which display antipneumococcal properties, suggesting that these bacteria might contribute to the containment of pneumococcus. This work exemplifies how molecular epidemiological findings can lay the foundation for mechanistic studies to elucidate the host-microbe and microbial interspecies interactions underlying the bacterial community structure. Next, translation of these results to an in vivo setting seems necessary to unveil the magnitude and importance of the observed effect in its natural, polymicrobial setting.

  14. The molecular mechanism of embryonic stem cell pluripotency maintenance

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WANG Qingzhong; LIU Yixun; HAN Chunsheng

    2005-01-01

    In vitro cultured embryonic stem (ES) cells are derived from the inner cell mass (ICM) of pre-implantation embryos, and are capable of giving rise to all cell and tissue types of the three germ layers upon being injected back into blastocysts. These cells are therefore said to possess pluripotency that can be maintained infinitely in culture under optimal conditions. Such pluripotency maintenance is believed to be due to the symmetrical cleavage of the cells in an undifferentiated state. The pluripotency of ES cells is the basis for their various practical and potential applications. ES cells can be used as donor cells to generate knockout or transgenic animals, as in vitro models of mammalian development, and as cell resources for cell therapy in regenerative medicine. The further success in these applications, particularly in the last two, is dependent on the establishment of a culture system with components in the medium clearly defined and the subsequent procedures for controlled differentiation of the cells into specific lineages. In turn, elucidating the molecular mechanism for pluripotency maintenance of ES cells is the prerequisite. This paper summarizes the recent progresses in this area, focusing mainly on the LIF/STAT3, BMPs/Smads, canonical Wnt, TGFβ/activin/nodal, PI3K and FGF signaling pathways and the genes such as oct4, nanog that are crucial in ES cell pluripotency maintenance. The regulatory systems of pluripotency maintenance in both mouse and human ES cells are also discussed. We believe that the cross-talkings between these signaling pathways, as well as the regulatory system underlying pluripotency maintenance will be the main focus in the area of ES cell researches in the future.

  15. Molecular mechanisms of cholangiocarcinoma cell inhibition by medicinal plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leelawat, Surang; Leelawat, Kawin

    2017-01-01

    Cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) is one of the most common causes of cancer-associated mortality in Thailand. Certain phytochemicals have been demonstrated to modulate apoptotic signaling pathways, which may be targeted for the prevention and treatment of cancer. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of specific medicinal plants on the inhibition of CCA cell proliferation, and to identify the molecular mechanisms underlying this. A WST-1 cell proliferation assay was performed using an RMCCA1 cell line, and apoptotic signaling pathways were also investigated using a PathScan Stress and Apoptosis Signaling Antibody Array Kit. The cell proliferation assay indicated that extracts from the Phyllanthus emblica fruit pulp (PEf), Phyllanthus emblica seed (PEs), Terminalia chebula fruit pulp (TCf), Terminalia chebula seed (TCs), Areca catechu seed (ACs), Curcuma longa (CL) and Moringa oleifera seed (MOs) exerted anti-proliferative activity in RMCCA1 cells. In addition, the PathScan assay revealed that certain pro-apoptotic molecules, including caspase-3, poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase, checkpoint kinase 2 and tumor protein 53, exhibited increased activity in RMCCA1 cells treated with the aforementioned selected plant extracts, with the exception of PEf. The mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathways (including ERK1/2 and p38 MAPK) expression level was significantly increased in RMCCA1 cells pre-treated with extracts of PEs, TCf, CL and MOs. The activation of protein kinase B (Akt) was significantly demonstrated in RMCCA1 cells pre-treated with extracts of TCf, ACs and MOs. In summary, the present study demonstrated that extracts of PEs, TCf, TCs, ACs, CL and MOs exhibited anti-proliferative effects in CCA cells by inducing pro-apoptotic signals and modulating signal transduction molecules. Further studies in vivo are required to demonstrate the potential applications of specific plant extracts for the treatment of human cancer.

  16. Molecular mechanisms of acid-base sensing by the kidney.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Dennis; Wagner, Carsten A

    2012-05-01

    A major function of the kidney is to collaborate with the respiratory system to maintain systemic acid-base status within limits compatible with normal cell and organ function. It achieves this by regulating the excretion and recovery of bicarbonate (mainly in the proximal tubule) and the secretion of buffered protons (mainly in the distal tubule and collecting duct). How proximal tubular cells and distal professional proton transporting (intercalated) cells sense and respond to changes in pH, bicarbonate, and CO(2) status is a question that has intrigued many generations of renal physiologists. Over the past few years, however, some candidate molecular pH sensors have been identified, including acid/alkali-sensing receptors (GPR4, InsR-RR), kinases (Pyk2, ErbB1/2), pH-sensitive ion channels (ASICs, TASK, ROMK), and the bicarbonate-stimulated adenylyl cyclase (sAC). Some acid-sensing mechanisms in other tissues, such as CAII-PDK2L1 in taste buds, might also have similar roles to play in the kidney. Finally, the function of a variety of additional membrane channels and transporters is altered by pH variations both within and outside the cell, and the expression of several metabolic enzymes are altered by acid-base status in parts of the nephron. Thus, it is possible that a master pH sensor will never be identified. Rather, the kidney seems equipped with a battery of molecules that scan the epithelial cell environment to mount a coordinated physiologic response that maintains acid-base homeostasis. This review collates current knowledge on renal acid-base sensing in the context of a whole organ sensing and response process.

  17. 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.

  18. Molecular mechanism of glucocorticoid resistance in inflammatory bowel disease

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Sara De Iudicibus; Raffaella Franca; Stefano Martelossi; Alessandro Ventura; Giuliana Decorti

    2011-01-01

    Natural and synthetic glucocorticoids (GCs) are widely employed in a number of inflammatory, autoimmune and neoplastic diseases, and, despite the introduction of novel therapies, remain the first-line treatment for inducing remission in moderate to severe active Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Despite their extensive therapeutic use and the proven effectiveness, consider-able clinical evidence of wide inter-individual differences in GC efficacy among patients has been reported, in particular when these agents are used in inflammatory diseases. In recent years, a detailed knowledge of the GC mechanism of action and of the genetic variants affecting GC activity at the molecular level has arisen from several studies. GCs interact with their cytoplasmic receptor, and are able to repress inflammatory gene expression through several distinct mechanisms. The glucocorticoid receptor (GR) is therefore crucial for the effects of these agents: mutations in the GR gene (NR3C1, nuclear re-ceptor subfamily 3, group C, member 1) are the primary cause of a rare, inherited form of GC resistance; in ad-dition, several polymorphisms of this gene have been described and associated with GC response and toxicity. However, the GR is not self-standing in the cell and the receptor-mediated functions are the result of a complex interplay of GR and many other cellular partners. The latter comprise several chaperonins of the large coopera-tive hetero-oligomeric complex that binds the hormone-free GR in the cytosol, and several factors involved in the transcriptional machinery and chromatin remodeling, that are critical for the hormonal control of target genes transcription in the nucleus. Furthermore, variants in the principal effectors of GCs (e.g. cytokines and their regulators) have also to be taken into account for a com-prehensive evaluation of the variability in GC response. Polymorphisms in genes involved in the transport and/or metabolism of these hormones have also been

  19. 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.

  20. Quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics study of oxygen binding in hemocyanin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saito, Toru; Thiel, Walter

    2014-05-15

    We report a combined quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) study on the mechanism of reversible dioxygen binding in the active site of hemocyanin (Hc). The QM region is treated by broken-symmetry density functional theory (DFT) with spin projection corrections. The X-ray structures of deoxygenated (deoxyHc) and oxygenated (oxyHc) hemocyanin are well reproduced by QM/MM geometry optimizations. The computed relative energies strongly depend on the chosen density functional. They are consistent with the available thermodynamic data for oxygen binding in hemocyanin and in synthetic model complexes when the BH&HLYP hybrid functional with 50% Hartree-Fock exchange is used. According to the QM(BH&HLYP)/MM results, the reaction proceeds stepwise with two sequential electron transfer (ET) processes in the triplet state followed by an intersystem crossing to the singlet product. The first ET step leads to a nonbridged superoxo CuB(II)-O2(•-) intermediate via a low-barrier transition state. The second ET step is even more facile and yields a side-on oxyHc complex with the characteristic Cu2O2 butterfly core, accompanied by triplet-singlet intersystem crossing. The computed barriers are very small so that the two ET processes are expected to very rapid and nearly simultaneous.

  1. 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.

  2. Gauge-origin independent magnetizabilities from hybrid quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics models: Theory and applications to liquid water

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aidas, Kestutis; Kongsted, Jacob; Nielsen, Christian B.; Mikkelsen, Kurt V.; Christiansen, Ove; Ruud, Kenneth

    2007-07-01

    The theory of a hybrid quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) approach for gauge-origin independent calculations of the molecular magnetizability using Hartree-Fock or Density Functional Theory is presented. The method is applied to liquid water using configurations generated from classical Molecular Dynamics simulation to calculate the statistical averaged magnetizability. Based on a comparison with experimental data, treating only one water molecule quantum mechanically appears to be insufficient, while a quantum mechanical treatment of also the first solvation shell leads to good agreement between theory and experiment. This indicates that the gas-to-liquid phase shift for the molecular magnetizability is to a large extent of non-electrostatic nature.

  3. 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

    2009-04-14

    Traumatic brain injury [TBI] has become a signature injury of current military conflicts. The debilitating effects of TBI are long-lasting and costly. Although the mechanisms by which impacts cause TBI have been well researched, the mechanisms by which blasts cause TBI are not understood. Various possibilities have been investigated, but blast-induced deformation of the skull has been neglected. From numerical hydrodynamic simulations, we have discovered that nonlethal blasts can induce sufficient flexure of the skull to generate potentially damaging loads in the brain, even if no impact occurs. The possibility that this mechanism may contribute to TBI has implications for the diagnosis of soldiers and the design of protective equipment such as helmets.

  4. Circadian oscillators in the mouse brain: molecular clock components in the neocortex and cerebellar cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rath, Martin F; Rovsing, Louise; Møller, Morten

    2014-09-01

    The circadian timekeeper of the mammalian brain resides in the suprachiasmatic nucleus of the hypothalamus (SCN), and is characterized by rhythmic expression of a set of clock genes with specific 24-h daily profiles. An increasing amount of data suggests that additional circadian oscillators residing outside the SCN have the capacity to generate peripheral circadian rhythms. We have recently shown the presence of SCN-controlled oscillators in the neocortex and cerebellum of the rat. The function of these peripheral brain clocks is unknown, and elucidating this could involve mice with conditional cell-specific clock gene deletions. This prompted us to analyze the molecular clockwork of the mouse neocortex and cerebellum in detail. Here, by use of in situ hybridization and quantitative RT-PCR, we show that clock genes are expressed in all six layers of the neocortex and the Purkinje and granular cell layers of the cerebellar cortex of the mouse brain. Among these, Per1, Per2, Cry1, Arntl, and Nr1d1 exhibit circadian rhythms suggesting that local running circadian oscillators reside within neurons of the mouse neocortex and cerebellar cortex. The temporal expression profiles of clock genes are similar in the neocortex and cerebellum, but they are delayed by 5 h as compared to the SCN, suggestively reflecting a master-slave relationship between the SCN and extra-hypothalamic oscillators. Furthermore, ARNTL protein products are detectable in neurons of the mouse neocortex and cerebellum, as revealed by immunohistochemistry. These findings give reason to further pursue the physiological significance of circadian oscillators in the mouse neocortex and cerebellum.

  5. 脑水肿分子机制的研究进展%Progression on Molecular Mechanisms of Cerebral Edema

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    武柠子; 马慧萍; 王宁; 贾正平

    2016-01-01

    Cerebral edema is a pathological sign of increased brain volume induced by accumulation of fluid in the brain,and it is the response of brain tissues to a variety of pathogenic factors. Intracranial injury,ischemia,hypoxia, inflammation,cerebral dysmetabolism,brain tumor and poisoning can all cause brain edema. Brain edema can induce el-evation of intracranial pressure,and functional and structural injuries can be found when level of intracranial pressure in-creases to a certain degree,and it also can lead to brain death. The previous study for the mechanism of cerebral edema includes blood-brain barrier theory,calcium ion theory,cerebral microcirculation disturbance theory and so on. The study of recent years has shown that incidence of cerebral edema closely relates to aquaporin-4(AQP4),matrix metalloprotein-ases(MMPs),tight junction(TJ)protein and inflammatory cytokines. This paper summarizes the molecular mechanisms of cerebral edema.%脑水肿是指脑内水分增加导致脑容积增大的一种病理现象,是脑组织对各种致病因素的反应。颅内损伤、缺血、缺氧、炎症、脑代谢障碍、肿瘤以及中毒都会引起脑水肿。脑水肿可导致颅内压的升高,当颅内压升高到一定程度时,脑组织就会发生功能和结构的损害,严重者导致脑死亡。先前对脑水肿发病机制的研究包括血脑屏障学说、钙离子学说、脑微循环障碍学说、脑细胞代谢障碍等。但是近年的研究表明脑水肿的发生与水通道蛋白4、基质金属蛋白酶、紧密连接蛋白、炎性细胞因子等密切相关。本文就脑水肿发生的分子机制进行综述。

  6. 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.

  7. Quantum Brain?

    CERN Document Server

    Mershin, A; Skoulakis, E M C

    2000-01-01

    In order to create a novel model of memory and brain function, we focus our approach on the sub-molecular (electron), molecular (tubulin) and macromolecular (microtubule) components of the neural cytoskeleton. Due to their size and geometry, these systems may be approached using the principles of quantum physics. We identify quantum-physics derived mechanisms conceivably underlying the integrated yet differentiated aspects of memory encoding/recall as well as the molecular basis of the engram. We treat the tubulin molecule as the fundamental computation unit (qubit) in a quantum-computational network that consists of microtubules (MTs), networks of MTs and ultimately entire neurons and neural networks. We derive experimentally testable predictions of our quantum brain hypothesis and perform experiments on these.

  8. 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…

  9. Epigenetics: Behavioral Influences on Gene Function, Part II--Molecular Mechanisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogren, Marilee P.; Lombroso, Paul J.

    2008-01-01

    A study presented on the effect of parenting on stress response and other behaviors show that animals exposed to a high degree of nurturing show a blunted response to stress. Molecular mechanisms responsible for these differences in the adult offspring as well as the molecular mechanisms by which epigenetic effects are propagated from one…

  10. 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.

  11. 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

    A quantitative evaluation of 20 second-generation carbohydrate force fields was carried out using ab initio and density functional methods. Geometry-optimized structures (B3LYP/6-31G(d)) and relative energies using augmented correlation consistent basis sets were calculated in gas phase...... 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......-generation carbohydrate force fields. No single force field is consistently better than the others for all the test cases. A statistical assessment of the performance of the force fields indicates that CHEAT(95), CFF, certain versions of Amber and of MM3 have the best overall performance, for these gas phase...

  12. Nuclear magnetic shielding constants of liquid water: insights from hybrid quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kongsted, Jacob; Nielsen, Christian B; Mikkelsen, Kurt V; Christiansen, Ove; Ruud, Kenneth

    2007-01-21

    We present a gauge-origin independent method for the calculation of nuclear magnetic shielding tensors of molecules in a structured and polarizable environment. The method is based on a combination of density functional theory (DFT) or Hartree-Fock wave functions with molecular mechanics. The method is unique in the sense that it includes three important properties that need to be fulfilled in accurate calculations of nuclear magnetic shielding constants: (i) the model includes electron correlation effects, (ii) the model uses gauge-including atomic orbitals to give gauge-origin independent results, and (iii) the effect of the environment is treated self-consistently using a discrete reaction-field methodology. The authors present sample calculations of the isotropic nuclear magnetic shielding constants of liquid water based on a large number of solute-solvent configurations derived from molecular dynamics simulations employing potentials which treat solvent polarization either explicitly or implicitly. For both the (17)O and (1)H isotropic shielding constants the best predicted results compare fairly well with the experimental data, i.e., they reproduce the experimental solvent shifts to within 4 ppm for the (17)O shielding and 1 ppm for the (1)H shielding.

  13. Nuclear magnetic shielding constants of liquid water: Insights from hybrid quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kongsted, Jacob; Nielsen, Christian B.; Mikkelsen, Kurt V.; Christiansen, Ove; Ruud, Kenneth

    2007-01-01

    We present a gauge-origin independent method for the calculation of nuclear magnetic shielding tensors of molecules in a structured and polarizable environment. The method is based on a combination of density functional theory (DFT) or Hartree-Fock wave functions with molecular mechanics. The method is unique in the sense that it includes three important properties that need to be fulfilled in accurate calculations of nuclear magnetic shielding constants: (i) the model includes electron correlation effects, (ii) the model uses gauge-including atomic orbitals to give gauge-origin independent results, and (iii) the effect of the environment is treated self-consistently using a discrete reaction-field methodology. The authors present sample calculations of the isotropic nuclear magnetic shielding constants of liquid water based on a large number of solute-solvent configurations derived from molecular dynamics simulations employing potentials which treat solvent polarization either explicitly or implicitly. For both the O17 and H1 isotropic shielding constants the best predicted results compare fairly well with the experimental data, i.e., they reproduce the experimental solvent shifts to within 4ppm for the O17 shielding and 1ppm for the H1 shielding.

  14. 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.

  15. Impairment of interrelated iron- and copper homeostatic mechanisms in brain contributes to the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Skjørringe, Tina; Møller, Lisbeth Birk; Moos, Torben

    2012-01-01

    is strictly regulated, and concordantly protective barriers, i.e., the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and the blood-cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) barrier (BCB) have evolved to separate the brain environment from the circulation. The uptake mechanisms of the two metals interact. Both iron deficiency and overload lead......Iron and copper are important co-factors for a number of enzymes in the brain, including enzymes involved in neurotransmitter synthesis and myelin formation. Both shortage and an excess of iron or copper will affect the brain. The transport of iron and copper into the brain from the circulation...... to altered copper homeostasis in the brain. Similarly, changes in dietary copper affect the brain iron homeostasis. Moreover, the uptake routes of iron and copper overlap each other which affect the interplay between the concentrations of the two metals in the brain. The divalent metal transporter-1 (DMT1...

  16. [Research of anti-aging mechanism of ginsenoside Rg1 on brain].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Cheng-peng; Zhang, Meng-si; Liu, Jun; Geng, Shan; Li, Jing; Zhu, Jia-hong; Zhang, Yan-yan; Jia, Yan-yan; Wang, Lu; Wang, Shun-he; Wang, Ya-ping

    2014-11-01

    Neurodegenerative disease is common and frequently occurs in elderly patients. Previous studies have shown that ginsenoside Rg1 was able to inhibit senescent of brain, but the mechanism on the brain during the treatment remains elucidated. To study the mechanism of ginsenoside Rg1 in the process of anti-aging of brain, forty male SD rats were randomly divided into normal group, Rg1 normal group, brain aging model group and Rg1 brain aging model group, each group with 10 rats (brain aging model group: subcutaneous injection of D-galactose (120 mg kg(-1)), qd for 42 consecutive days; Rg1 brain aging model group: while copying the same test as that of brain aging model group, begin intraperitoneal injection of ginsenosides Rg1 (20 mg x kg(-1)) qd for 27 d from 16 d. Rg1 normal group: subcutaneous injection of the same amount of saline; begin intraperitoneal injection of ginsenosides Rg1 (20 mg x kg(-1)) qd for 27 d from 16 d. Normal: injected with an equal volume of saline within the same time. Perform the related experiment on the second day after finishing copying the model or the completion of the first two days of drug injections). Learning and memory abilities were measured by Morris water maze. The number of senescent cells was detected by SA-beta-Gal staining while the level of IL-1 and IL-6 proinflammatory cytokines in hippocampus were detected by ELISA. The activities of SOD, contents of GSH in hippo- campus were quantified by chromatometry. The change of telomerase activities and telomerase length were performed by TRAP-PCR and southern blotting assay, respectively. It is pointed that, in brain aging model group, the spatial learning and memory capacities were weaken, SA-beta-Gal positive granules increased in section of brain tissue, the activity of antioxidant enzyme SOD and the contents of GSH decreased in hippocampus, the level of IL-1 and IL-6 increased in hippocampus, while the length of telomere and the activity of telomerase decreased in hippocampus

  17. 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.

  18. Neurotransmitter mechanisms of the action of the antihistamine dimebon on the brain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shadurskaya, S.K.; Khomenko, A.I.; Pereverzev, V.A.; Balakeevskii, A.I.

    1986-11-01

    To discover the possible mechanism of the stimulating effect of dimebon on the CNS, the action of the drug was studied on catecholamine concentrations and turnover and activity of forms of monoamine oxidase (MAO), differing in the substrate metabolized, in brain structures involved in the regulation of the emotional state and in the regulation of motor activity in rats. /sup 3/H-serotonin creatinine-sulfate, /sup 3/H-dopamine hydrochloride, and /sup 14/C- benzylamine hydrochloride were used as substrates. The results show that dimebon can inhibit MAO activity in the basal ganglia and other brain structures both in vitro and in vivo, and can cause changes in DA and NA metabolism and in functional activity of catecholaminergic neuronal structures of the brain.

  19. Drug-Induced Apoptosis: Mechanism by which Alcohol and Many Other Drugs Can Disrupt Brain Development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John W. Olney

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Maternal ingestion of alcohol during pregnancy can cause a disability syndrome termed Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD, which may include craniofacial malformations, structural pathology in the brain, and a variety of long-term neuropsychiatric disturbances. There is compelling evidence that exposure to alcohol during early embryogenesis (4th week of gestation can cause excessive death of cell populations that are essential for normal development of the face and brain. While this can explain craniofacial malformations and certain structural brain anomalies that sometimes accompany FASD, in many cases these features are absent, and the FASD syndrome manifests primarily as neurobehavioral disorders. It is not clear from the literature how alcohol causes these latter manifestations. In this review we will describe a growing body of evidence documenting that alcohol triggers widespread apoptotic death of neurons and oligodendroglia (OLs in the developing brain when administered to animals, including non-human primates, during a period equivalent to the human third trimester of gestation. This cell death reaction is associated with brain changes, including overall or regional reductions in brain mass, and long-term neurobehavioral disturbances. We will also review evidence that many drugs used in pediatric and obstetric medicine, including general anesthetics (GAs and anti-epileptics (AEDs, mimic alcohol in triggering widespread apoptotic death of neurons and OLs in the third trimester-equivalent animal brain, and that human children exposed to GAs during early infancy, or to AEDs during the third trimester of gestation, have a significantly increased incidence of FASD-like neurobehavioral disturbances. These findings provide evidence that exposure of the developing human brain to GAs in early infancy, or to alcohol or AEDs in late gestation, can cause FASD-like neurodevelopmental disability syndromes. We propose that the mechanism by which

  20. Molecular mechanism for preQ1-II riboswitch function revealed by molecular dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aytenfisu, Asaminew H; Liberman, Joseph A; Wedekind, Joseph E; Mathews, David H

    2015-11-01

    Riboswitches are RNA molecules that regulate gene expression using conformational change, affected by binding of small molecule ligands. A crystal structure of a ligand-bound class II preQ1 riboswitch has been determined in a previous structural study. To gain insight into the dynamics of this riboswitch in solution, eight total molecular dynamic simulations, four with and four without ligand, were performed using the Amber force field. In the presence of ligand, all four of the simulations demonstrated rearranged base pairs at the 3' end, consistent with expected base-pairing from comparative sequence analysis in a prior bioinformatic analysis; this suggests the pairing in this region was altered by crystallization. Additionally, in the absence of ligand, three of the simulations demonstrated similar changes in base-pairing at the ligand binding site. Significantly, although most of the riboswitch architecture remained intact in the respective trajectories, the P3 stem was destabilized in the ligand-free simulations in a way that exposed the Shine-Dalgarno sequence. This work illustrates how destabilization of two major groove base triples can influence a nearby H-type pseudoknot and provides a mechanism for control of gene expression by a fold that is frequently found in bacterial riboswitches.

  1. Molecular mechanism for preQ1-II riboswitch function revealed by molecular dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aytenfisu, Asaminew H.; Liberman, Joseph A.; Wedekind, Joseph E.; Mathews, David H.

    2015-01-01

    Riboswitches are RNA molecules that regulate gene expression using conformational change, affected by binding of small molecule ligands. A crystal structure of a ligand-bound class II preQ1 riboswitch has been determined in a previous structural study. To gain insight into the dynamics of this riboswitch in solution, eight total molecular dynamic simulations, four with and four without ligand, were performed using the Amber force field. In the presence of ligand, all four of the simulations demonstrated rearranged base pairs at the 3′ end, consistent with expected base-pairing from comparative sequence analysis in a prior bioinformatic analysis; this suggests the pairing in this region was altered by crystallization. Additionally, in the absence of ligand, three of the simulations demonstrated similar changes in base-pairing at the ligand binding site. Significantly, although most of the riboswitch architecture remained intact in the respective trajectories, the P3 stem was destabilized in the ligand-free simulations in a way that exposed the Shine–Dalgarno sequence. This work illustrates how destabilization of two major groove base triples can influence a nearby H-type pseudoknot and provides a mechanism for control of gene expression by a fold that is frequently found in bacterial riboswitches. PMID:26370581

  2. Ochratoxin A: Molecular Interactions, Mechanisms of Toxicity and Prevention at the Molecular Level.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kőszegi, Tamás; Poór, Miklós

    2016-04-15

    Ochratoxin A (OTA) is a widely-spread mycotoxin all over the world causing major health risks. The focus of the present review is on the molecular and cellular interactions of OTA. In order to get better insight into the mechanism of its toxicity and on the several attempts made for prevention or attenuation of its toxic action, a detailed description is given on chemistry and toxicokinetics of this mycotoxin. The mode of action of OTA is not clearly understood yet, and seems to be very complex. Inhibition of protein synthesis and energy production, induction of oxidative stress, DNA adduct formation, as well as apoptosis/necrosis and cell cycle arrest are possibly involved in its toxic action. Since OTA binds very strongly to human and animal albumin, a major emphasis is done regarding OTA-albumin interaction. Displacement of OTA from albumin by drugs and by natural flavonoids are discussed in detail, hypothesizing their potentially beneficial effect in order to prevent or attenuate the OTA-induced toxic consequences.

  3. The Protective Effect of Rosuvastatin on Ischemic Brain Injury and Its Mechanism

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2006-01-01

    To study the protective effect of rosuvastatin on ischemic brain injury and its mechanism,in on ischemic brain injury and its mechanism,focal cerebral ischemia/reperfusion was induced by occlusion of the middle cerebral artery (MCA)-luminal filament technique. The cerebral blood flow was monitored with laser-Doppler flowmetry (LDF). The slices of brain tissue were stained with cresyl-violet. The cerebral e quantified with ImageJ software. The expressions of endothelial NO synthase (eNOS) and activated caspase-3 were detected with Western blot. The inducible NO were immunohistochemically observed. The results demonstrated that rosuvastatin (20 mg/kg) could remarkably decrease infarct volume and cerebral edema after MCAO ots showed that the expression of eNOS in cerebral cortex before and after ischemia was (100±43.3) %, (1668.9±112.2) % respectively (P<0.001), rosuvastatin gulated the expression of eNOS in non-ischemic cortex (P<0.001), whereas in ischemic cortex of rosuvastatin group the expression of eNOS was (1678.8±121.3) %. There was no hemic cortex, nonetheless the expression of activated caspase-3 increased after ischemia, and rosuvastatin significantly diminished it (P<0.01). Immunoaled no iNOS-positive cells in non-ischemic brain area, while in ischemic brain area the number of iNOS positive cells went up, and rosuvastatin could significantly reduced them.'s neural protection on ischemic brain injury are to enhance expression of eNOS, to inhibit expression of iNOS and activated caspase-3.mia/reperfusion; NOS; caspase-3

  4. Programmed Necrosis: A Prominent Mechanism of Cell Death following Neonatal Brain Injury

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raul Chavez-Valdez

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Despite the introduction of therapeutic hypothermia, neonatal hypoxic ischemic (HI brain injury remains a common cause of developmental disability. Development of rational adjuvant therapies to hypothermia requires understanding of the pathways of cell death and survival modulated by HI. The conceptualization of the apoptosis-necrosis “continuum” in neonatal brain injury predicts mechanistic interactions between cell death and hydrid forms of cell death such as programmed or regulated necrosis. Many of the components of the signaling pathway regulating programmed necrosis have been studied previously in models of neonatal HI. In some of these investigations, they participate as part of the apoptotic pathways demonstrating clear overlap of programmed death pathways. Receptor interacting protein (RIP-1 is at the crossroads between types of cellular death and survival and RIP-1 kinase activity triggers formation of the necrosome (in complex with RIP-3 leading to programmed necrosis. Neuroprotection afforded by the blockade of RIP-1 kinase following neonatal HI suggests a role for programmed necrosis in the HI injury to the developing brain. Here, we briefly review the state of the knowledge about the mechanisms behind programmed necrosis in neonatal brain injury recognizing that a significant proportion of these data derive from experiments in cultured cell and some from in vivo adult animal models. There are still more questions than answers, yet the fascinating new perspectives provided by the understanding of programmed necrosis in the developing brain may lay the foundation for new therapies for neonatal HI.

  5. Etiologic subtypes of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder : Brain imaging, molecular genetic and environmental factors and the dopamine hypothesis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Swanson, James M.; Kinsbourne, Marcel; Nigg, Joel; Lanphear, Bruce; Stefanatos, Gerry A.; Volkow, Nora; Taylor, Eric; Casey, B. J.; Castellanos, F. Xavier; Wadhwa, Pathik D.

    2007-01-01

    Multiple theories of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) have been proposed, but one that has stood the test of time is the dopamine deficit theory. We review the narrow literature from recent brain imaging and molecular genetic studies that has improved our understanding of the role of

  6. Brain mechanisms of hypoxic preconditioning%低氧预适应的脑机制

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    吕国蔚; 崔秀玉; 赵兰峰; 安仰原; 高翠英

    2004-01-01

    A concept ot tissue adaptation to hypoxia( i.e. hypoxic preconditioning) was developed and its corresponding animal models were reproduced in 1966s. The methods of model reproduction in rat, rabbit, and mouse in particular and the main results are brifly introduced in this review. The tolerance to hypoxia o{ preconditioned animals is significantly increased. Regular changes in animals' behavior, neurophysiology, respiratory and circulatory physiology, neuromorphology in vivo and {unction of brain and spinal cord in vitro are briefly demonstrated. The protective effects in vivo and in vitro of homogenate extract taken from the brain o{ preconditioned animals, neurochemcals and molecular neurobiolcgical alterations are briefly presented. The essence and significance of tissue adaption to hypoxia/hypoxic preconditioning are discussed in the review in terms of evolution and practical implication.

  7. Alzheimer’s disease: relevant molecular and physiopathological events affecting amyloid-β brain balance and the putative role of PPARs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zolezzi, Juan M.; Bastías-Candia, Sussy; Santos, Manuel J.; Inestrosa, Nibaldo C.

    2014-01-01

    Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common form of age-related dementia. With the expected aging of the human population, the estimated morbidity of AD suggests a critical upcoming health problem. Several lines of research are focused on understanding AD pathophysiology, and although the etiology of the disease remains a matter of intense debate, increased brain levels of amyloid-β (Aβ) appear to be a critical event in triggering a wide range of molecular alterations leading to AD. It has become evident in recent years that an altered balance between production and clearance is responsible for the accumulation of brain Aβ. Moreover, Aβ clearance is a complex event that involves more than neurons and microglia. The status of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and choroid plexus, along with hepatic functionality, should be considered when Aβ balance is addressed. Furthermore, it has been proposed that exposure to sub-toxic concentrations of metals, such as copper, could both directly affect these secondary structures and act as a seeding or nucleation core that facilitates Aβ aggregation. Recently, we have addressed peroxisomal proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs)-related mechanisms, including the direct modulation of mitochondrial dynamics through the PPARγ-coactivator-1α (PGC-1α) axis and the crosstalk with critical aging- and neurodegenerative-related cellular pathways. In the present review, we revise the current knowledge regarding the molecular aspects of Aβ production and clearance and provide a physiological context that gives a more complete view of this issue. Additionally, we consider the different structures involved in AD-altered Aβ brain balance, which could be directly or indirectly affected by a nuclear receptor (NR)/PPAR-related mechanism. PMID:25120477

  8. Microscopic and macroscopic polarization within a combined quantum mechanics and molecular mechanics model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jensen, L; Swart, Marcel; van Duijnen, Piet Th

    2005-01-15

    A polarizable quantum mechanics and molecular mechanics model has been extended to account for the difference between the macroscopic electric field and the actual electric field felt by the solute molecule. This enables the calculation of effective microscopic properties which can be related to macroscopic susceptibilities directly comparable with experimental results. By separating the discrete local field into two distinct contribution we define two different microscopic properties, the so-called solute and effective properties. The solute properties account for the pure solvent effects, i.e., effects even when the macroscopic electric field is zero, and the effective properties account for both the pure solvent effects and the effect from the induced dipoles in the solvent due to the macroscopic electric field. We present results for the linear and nonlinear polarizabilities of water and acetonitrile both in the gas phase and in the liquid phase. For all the properties we find that the pure solvent effect increases the properties whereas the induced electric field decreases the properties. Furthermore, we present results for the refractive index, third-harmonic generation (THG), and electric field induced second-harmonic generation (EFISH) for liquid water and acetonitrile. We find in general good agreement between the calculated and experimental results for the refractive index and the THG susceptibility. For the EFISH susceptibility, however, the difference between experiment and theory is larger since the orientational effect arising from the static electric field is not accurately described.

  9. Quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics electrostatic embedding with continuous and discrete functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cisneros, G Andrés; Piquemal, Jean-Philip; Darden, Thomas A

    2006-07-20

    A quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) implementation that uses the Gaussian electrostatic model (GEM) as the MM force field is presented. GEM relies on the reproduction of electronic density by using auxiliary basis sets to calculate each component of the intermolecular interaction. This hybrid method has been used, along with a conventional QM/MM (point charges) method, to determine the polarization on the QM subsystem by the MM environment in QM/MM calculations on 10 individual H(2)O dimers and a Mg(2+)-H(2)O dimer. We observe that GEM gives the correct polarization response in cases when the MM fragment has a small charge, while the point charges produce significant over-polarization of the QM subsystem and in several cases present an opposite sign for the polarization contribution. In the case when a large charge is located in the MM subsystem, for example, the Mg(2+) ion, the opposite is observed at small distances. However, this is overcome by the use of a damped Hermite charge, which provides the correct polarization response.

  10. Calculations of Solvation Free Energy through Energy Reweighting from Molecular Mechanics to Quantum Mechanics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jia, Xiangyu; Wang, Meiting; Shao, Yihan; König, Gerhard; Brooks, Bernard R; Zhang, John Z H; Mei, Ye

    2016-02-09

    In this work, the solvation free energies of 20 organic molecules from the 4th Statistical Assessment of the Modeling of Proteins and Ligands (SAMPL4) have been calculated. The sampling of phase space is carried out at a molecular mechanical level, and the associated free energy changes are estimated using the Bennett Acceptance Ratio (BAR). Then the quantum mechanical (QM) corrections are computed through the indirect Non-Boltzmann Bennett's acceptance ratio (NBB) or the thermodynamics perturbation (TP) method. We show that BAR+TP gives a minimum analytic variance for the calculated solvation free energy at the Gaussian limit and performs slightly better than NBB in practice. Furthermore, the expense of the QM calculations in TP is only half of that in NBB. We also show that defining the biasing potential as the difference of the solute-solvent interaction energy, instead of the total energy, can converge the calculated solvation free energies much faster but possibly to different values. Based on the experimental solvation free energies which have been published before, it is discovered in this study that BLYP yields better results than MP2 and some other later functionals such as B3LYP, M06-2X, and ωB97X-D.

  11. Molecular and neuronal plasticity mechanisms in the amygdala-prefrontal cortical circuit: implications for opiate addiction memory formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosen, Laura G; Sun, Ninglei; Rushlow, Walter; Laviolette, Steven R

    2015-01-01

    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 modeling 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 Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein

  12. 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

  13. Mechanisms of brain evolution: regulation of neural progenitor cell diversity and cell cycle length.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borrell, Victor; Calegari, Federico

    2014-09-01

    In the last few years, several studies have revisited long-held assumptions in the field of brain development and evolution providing us with a fundamentally new vision on the mechanisms controlling its size and shape, hence function. Among these studies, some described hitherto unforeseeable subtypes of neural progenitors while others reinterpreted long-known observations about their cell cycle in alternative new ways. Most remarkably, this knowledge combined has allowed the generation of mammalian model organisms in which brain size and folding has been selectively increased giving us the means to understand the mechanisms underlying the evolution of the most complex and sophisticated organ. Here we review the key findings made in this area and make a few conjectures about their evolutionary meaning including the likelihood of Martians conquering our planet.

  14. Altered brain-gut axis in autism: comorbidity or causative mechanisms?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayer, Emeran A; Padua, David; Tillisch, Kirsten

    2014-10-01

    The concept that alterated communications between the gut microbiome and the brain may play an important role in human brain disorders has recently received considerable attention. This is the result of provocative preclinical and some clinical evidence supporting early hypotheses about such communication in health and disease. Gastrointestinal symptoms are a common comorbidity in patients with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), even though the underlying mechanisms are largely unknown. In addition, alteration in the composition and metabolic products of the gut microbiome has long been implicated as a possible causative mechanism contributing to ASD pathophysiology, and this hypothesis has been supported by several recently published evidence from rodent models of autism induced by prenatal insults to the mother. Recent evidence in one such model involving maternal infection, that is characterized by alterations in behavior, gut physiology, microbial composition, and related metabolite profile, suggests a possible benefit of probiotic treatment on several of the observed abnormal behaviors.

  15. Pathogens penetrating the central nervous system: infection pathways and the cellular and molecular mechanisms of invasion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dando, Samantha J; Mackay-Sim, Alan; Norton, Robert; Currie, Bart J; St John, James A; Ekberg, Jenny A K; Batzloff, Michael; Ulett, Glen C; Beacham, Ifor R

    2014-10-01

    The brain is well protected against microbial invasion by cellular barriers, such as the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and the blood-cerebrospinal fluid barrier (BCSFB). In addition, cells within the central nervous system (CNS) are capable of producing an immune response against invading pathogens. Nonetheless, a range of pathogenic microbes make their way to the CNS, and the resulting infections can cause significant morbidity and mortality. Bacteria, amoebae, fungi, and viruses are capable of CNS invasion, with the latter using axonal transport as a common route of infection. In this review, we compare the mechanisms by which bacterial pathogens reach the CNS and infect the brain. In particular, we focus on recent data regarding mechanisms of bacterial translocation from the nasal mucosa to the brain, which represents a little explored pathway of bacterial invasion but has been proposed as being particularly important in explaining how infection with Burkholderia pseudomallei can result in melioidosis encephalomyelitis.

  16. The first hyperpolarizability of p-nitroaniline in 1,4-dioxane : A quantum mechanical/molecular mechanics study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jensen, L; van Duijnen, PT

    2005-01-01

    In this work we have investigated the first hyperpolarizability of pNA in 1,4-dioxane solution using a quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) model. The particular model adopted is the recently developed discrete solvent reaction field (DRF) model. The DRF model is a polarizable QM/MM model i

  17. Vagal stimulation modulates inflammation through a ghrelin mediated mechanism in traumatic brain injury

    OpenAIRE

    Bansal, V; Ryu, SY; Lopez, N; Allexan, S; Krzyzaniak, M; Eliceiri, B; Baird, A.; Coimbra, R

    2012-01-01

    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) releases a cascade of inflammatory cytokines. Vagal nerve stimulation (VNS) and ghrelin have known anti-inflammatory effects; furthermore, ghrelin release is stimulated by acetylcholine. We hypothesized VNS decreases post-TBI inflammation through a ghrelin-mediated mechanism. TBI was created in five groups of mice: sham, TBI, TBI/ghrelin, TBI/VNS, and TBI/VNS/ghrelin receptor antagonist (GRa). Serum and tissue ghrelin, and serum TNF-αwere measured. Ghrelin increas...

  18. Mechanical and Biological Interactions of Implants with the Brain and Their Impact on Implant Design.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prodanov, Dimiter; Delbeke, Jean

    2016-01-01

    Neural prostheses have already a long history and yet the cochlear implant remains the only success story about a longterm sensory function restoration. On the other hand, neural implants for deep brain stimulation are gaining acceptance for variety of disorders including Parkinsons disease and obsessive-compulsive disorder. It is anticipated that the progress in the field has been hampered by a combination of technological and biological factors, such as the limited understanding of the longterm behavior of implants, unreliability of devices, biocompatibility of the implants among others. While the field's understanding of the cell biology of interactions at the biotic-abiotic interface has improved, relatively little attention has been paid on the mechanical factors (stress, strain), and hence on the geometry that can modulate it. This focused review summarizes the recent progress in the understanding of the mechanisms of mechanical interaction between the implants and the brain. The review gives an overview of the factors by which the implants interact acutely and chronically with the tissue: blood-brain barrier (BBB) breach, vascular damage, micromotions, diffusion etc. We propose some design constraints to be considered in future studies. Aspects of the chronic cell-implant interaction will be discussed in view of the chronic local inflammation and the ways of modulating it.

  19. Brain mechanisms for emotional influences on perception and attention: what is magic and what is not.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pourtois, Gilles; Schettino, Antonio; Vuilleumier, Patrik

    2013-03-01

    The rapid and efficient selection of emotionally salient or goal-relevant stimuli in the environment is crucial for flexible and adaptive behaviors. Converging data from neuroscience and psychology have accrued during the last decade to identify brain systems involved in emotion processing, selective attention, and their interaction, which together act to extract the emotional or motivational value of sensory events and respond appropriately. An important hub in these systems is the amygdala, which may not only monitor the emotional value of stimuli, but also readily project to several other areas and send feedback to sensory pathways (including striate and extrastriate visual cortex). This system generates saliency signals that modulate perceptual, motor, as well as memory processes, and thus in turn regulate behavior appropriately. Here, we review our current views on the function and properties of these brain systems, with an emphasis on their involvement in the rapid and/or preferential processing of threat-relevant stimuli. We suggest that emotion signals may enhance processing efficiency and competitive strength of emotionally significant events through gain control mechanisms similar to those of other (e.g. endogenous) attentional systems, but mediated by distinct neural mechanisms in amygdala and interconnected prefrontal areas. Alterations in these brain mechanisms might be associated with psychopathological conditions, such as anxiety or phobia. We conclude that attention selection and awareness are determined by multiple attention gain control systems that may operate in parallel and use different sensory cues but act on a common perceptual pathway.

  20. Ultra-fast magnetic resonance encephalography of physiological brain activity - Glymphatic pulsation mechanisms?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiviniemi, Vesa; Wang, Xindi; Korhonen, Vesa; Keinänen, Tuija; Tuovinen, Timo; Autio, Joonas; LeVan, Pierre; Keilholz, Shella; Zang, Yu-Feng; Hennig, Jürgen; Nedergaard, Maiken

    2016-06-01

    The theory on the glymphatic convection mechanism of cerebrospinal fluid holds that cardiac pulsations in part pump cerebrospinal fluid from the peri-arterial spaces through the extracellular tissue into the peri-venous spaces facilitated by aquaporin water channels. Since cardiac pulses cannot be the sole mechanism of glymphatic propulsion, we searched for additional cerebrospinal fluid pulsations in the human brain with ultra-fast magnetic resonance encephalography. We detected three types of physiological mechanisms affecting cerebral cerebrospinal fluid pulsations: cardiac, respiratory, and very low frequency pulsations. The cardiac pulsations induce a negative magnetic resonance encephalography signal change in peri-arterial regions that extends centrifugally and covers the brain in ≈1 Hz cycles. The respiratory ≈0.3 Hz pulsations are centripetal periodical pulses that occur dominantly in peri-venous areas. The third type of pulsation was very low frequency (VLF 0.001-0.023 Hz) and low frequency (LF 0.023-0.73 Hz) waves that both propagate with unique spatiotemporal patterns. Our findings using critically sampled magnetic resonance encephalography open a new view into cerebral fluid dynamics. Since glymphatic system failure may precede protein accumulations in diseases such as Alzheimer's dementia, this methodological advance offers a novel approach to image brain fluid dynamics that potentially can enable early detection and intervention in neurodegenerative diseases.

  1. Agonistic effect of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs and its metabolites on brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF through molecular docking simulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vetrivel Umashankar

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF is a potent neurotrophic factor that is implicated in the regulation of food intake and body weight. Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs localised in cell membranes have been shown to alter the levels of BDNF in the brain, suggesting that PUFAs and BDNF could have physical interaction with each other. To decipher the molecular mechanism through which PUFAs modulates BDNF’s activity, molecular docking was performed for BDNF with PUFAs and its metabolites, with 4-Methyl Catechol as a control. Results Inferring from molecular docking studies, lipoxin A4 (LXA4, and a known anti-inflammatory bioactive metabolite derived from PUFAs, with a binding energy of −3.98 Kcal/mol and dissociation constant of 1.2mM showed highest binding affinity for BDNF in comparison to other PUFAs and metabolites considered in the study. Further, the residues Lys 18, Thr 20, Ala 21, Val 22, Phe 46, Glu 48, Lys 50, Lys 58, Thr 75, Gln 77, Arg 97 and Ile 98 form hot point motif, which on interaction enhances BDNF’s function. Conclusion These results suggest that PUFAs and their metabolites especially, LXA4, modulate insulin resistance by establishing a physical interaction with BDNF. Similar interaction(s was noted between BDNF and resolvins and protectins but were of lesser intensity compared to LXA4.

  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. The impact of acute brain dysfunction in the outcomes of mechanically ventilated cancer patients.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isabel C T Almeida

    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: Delirium and coma are a frequent source of morbidity for ICU patients. Several factors are associated with the prognosis of mechanically ventilated (MV cancer patients, but no studies evaluated delirium and coma (acute brain dysfunction. The present study evaluated the frequency and impact of acute brain dysfunction on mortality. METHODS: The study was performed at National Cancer Institute, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. We prospectively enrolled patients ventilated >48 h with a diagnosis of cancer. Acute brain dysfunction was assessed during the first 14 days of ICU using RASS/CAM-ICU. Patients were followed until hospital discharge. Univariate and multivariable analysis were performed to evaluate factors associated with hospital mortality. RESULTS: 170 patients were included. 73% had solid tumors, age 65 [53-72 (median, IQR 25%-75%] years. SAPS II score was 54[46-63] points and SOFA score was (7 [6-9] points. Median duration of MV was 13 (6-21 days and ICU stay was 14 (7.5-22 days. ICU mortality was 54% and hospital mortality was 66%. Acute brain dysfunction was diagnosed in 161 patients (95%. Survivors had more delirium/coma-free days [4(1,5-6 vs 1(0-2, p<0.001]. In multivariable analysis the number of days of delirium/coma-free days were associated with better outcomes as they were independent predictors of lower hospital mortality [0.771 (0.681 to 0.873, p<0.001]. CONCLUSIONS: Acute brain dysfunction in MV cancer patients is frequent and independently associated with increased hospital mortality. Future studies should investigate means of preventing or mitigating acute brain dysfunction as they may have a significant impact on clinical outcomes.

  4. Treating electrostatics with Wolf summation in combined quantum mechanical and molecular mechanical simulations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ojeda-May, Pedro; Pu, Jingzhi, E-mail: jpu@iupui.edu [Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis, 402 N. Blackford Street, Indianapolis, Indiana 46202 (United States)

    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{sup −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 SN{sub 2} 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 SN{sub 2} 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

  5. 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.

  6. Molecular mechanisms and treatment strategies for Dupuytren’s disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David B O’Gorman

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available David B O’Gorman1,2,3,4, Linda Vi1,2,5, Bing Siang Gan1,2,3,5,61Cell and Molecular Biology Laboratory, 2The Hand and Upper Limb Centre, St. Joseph’s Health Care London, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, 3Departments of Surgery, 4Biochemistry, 5Physiology and Pharmacology, 6Medical Biophysics, The University of Western Ontario, London, OT, CanadaAbstract: Dupuytren’s disease (DD is a common disease of the hand and is characterized by thickening of the palmar fascia and formation of tight collagenous disease cords. At present, the disease is incurable and the molecular pathophysiology of DD is unknown. Surgery remains the most commonly used treatment for DD, but this requires extensive postoperative therapy and is associated with high rates of recurrence. Over the past decades, more indepth exploration of the molecular basis of DD has raised the hopes of developing new treatment modalities. This paper reviews the clinical presentation and molecular pathophysiology of this disease, as well as current and emerging treatment. It also explores the implications of new findings in the laboratory for future treatment.Keywords: Dupuytren’s contracture, Dupuytren’s disease, fibrosis

  7. Tianeptine, olanzapine and fluoxetine show similar restoring effects on stress induced molecular changes in mice brain: An FT-IR study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Türker-Kaya, Sevgi; Mutlu, Oğuz; Çelikyurt, İpek K.; Akar, Furuzan; Ulak, Güner

    2016-05-01

    Chronic stress which can cause a variety of disorders and illness ranging from metabolic and cardiovascular to mental leads to alterations in content, structure and dynamics of biomolecules in brain. The determination of stress-induced changes along with the effects of antidepressant treatment on these parameters might bring about more effective therapeutic strategies. In the present study, we investigated unpredictable chronic mild stress (UCMS)-induced changes in biomolecules in mouse brain and the restoring effects of tianeptine (TIA), olanzapine (OLZ) and fluoxetine (FLX) on these variations, by Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy. The results revealed that chronic stress causes different membrane packing and an increase in lipid peroxidation, membrane fluidity. A significant increment for lipid/protein, Cdbnd O/lipid, CH3/lipid, CH2/lipid, PO-2/lipid, COO-/lipid and RNA/protein ratios but a significant decrease for lipid/protein ratios were also obtained. Additionally, altered protein secondary structure components were estimated, such as increment in random coils and beta structures. The administration of TIA, OLZ and FLX drugs restored these stress-induced variations except for alterations in protein structure and RNA/protein ratio. This may suggest that these drugs have similar restoring effects on the consequences of stress activity in brain, in spite of the differences in their action mechanisms. All findings might have importance in understanding molecular mechanisms underlying chronic stress and contribute to studies aimed for drug development.

  8. Brain mechanisms for predictive control by switching internal models: implications for higher-order cognitive functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Imamizu, Hiroshi; Kawato, Mitsuo

    2009-07-01

    Humans can guide their actions toward the realization of their intentions. Flexible, rapid and precise realization of intentions and goals relies on the brain learning to control its actions on external objects and to predict the consequences of this control. Neural mechanisms that mimic the input-output properties of our own body and other objects can be used to support prediction and control, and such mechanisms are called internal models. We first summarize functional neuroimaging, behavioral and computational studies of the brain mechanisms related to acquisition, modular organization, and the predictive switching of internal models mainly for tool use. These mechanisms support predictive control and flexible switching of intentional actions. We then review recent studies demonstrating that internal models are crucial for the execution of not only immediate actions but also higher-order cognitive functions, including optimization of behaviors toward long-term goals, social interactions based on prediction of others' actions and mental states, and language processing. These studies suggest that a concept of internal models can consistently explain the neural mechanisms and computational principles needed for fundamental sensorimotor functions as well as higher-order cognitive functions.

  9. Conical intersections in solution: formulation, algorithm, and implementation with combined quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics method.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cui, Ganglong; Yang, Weitao

    2011-05-28

    The significance of conical intersections in photophysics, photochemistry, and photodissociation of polyatomic molecules in gas phase has been demonstrated by numerous experimental and theoretical studies. Optimization of conical intersections of small- and medium-size molecules in gas phase has currently become a routine optimization process, as it has been implemented in many electronic structure packages. However, optimization of conical intersections of small- and medium-size molecules in solution or macromolecules remains inefficient, even poorly defined, due to large number of degrees of freedom and costly evaluations of gradient difference and nonadiabatic coupling vectors. In this work, based on the sequential quantum mechanics and molecular mechanics (QM/MM) and QM/MM-minimum free energy path methods, we have designed two conical intersection optimization methods for small- and medium-size molecules in solution or macromolecules. The first one is sequential QM conical intersection optimization and MM minimization for potential energy surfaces; the second one is sequential QM conical intersection optimization and MM sampling for potential of mean force surfaces, i.e., free energy surfaces. In such methods, the region where electronic structures change remarkably is placed into the QM subsystem, while the rest of the system is placed into the MM subsystem; thus, dimensionalities of gradient difference and nonadiabatic coupling vectors are decreased due to the relatively small QM subsystem. Furthermore, in comparison with the concurrent optimization scheme, sequential QM conical intersection optimization and MM minimization or sampling reduce the number of evaluations of gradient difference and nonadiabatic coupling vectors because these vectors need to be calculated only when the QM subsystem moves, independent of the MM minimization or sampling. Taken together, costly evaluations of gradient difference and nonadiabatic coupling vectors in solution or

  10. Biochemical and Molecular Mechanisms of Desiccation Tolerance in Bryophytes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bryophytes, because they descend from the earliest branching events in the phylogeny of land plants, hold an important position in our investigations into the mechanisms by which plants respond to dehydration and by what paths such mechanisms have evolved. This is true regardless of what aspect of p...

  11. Deep brain stimulation mechanisms: the control of network activity via neurochemistry modulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McIntyre, Cameron C; Anderson, Ross W

    2016-10-01

    Deep brain stimulation (DBS) has revolutionized the clinical care of late-stage Parkinson's disease and shows promise for improving the treatment of intractable neuropsychiatric disorders. However, after over 25 years of clinical experience, numerous questions still remain on the neurophysiological basis for the therapeutic mechanisms of action. At their fundamental core, the general purpose of electrical stimulation therapies in the nervous system are to use the applied electric field to manipulate the opening and closing of voltage-gated sodium channels on neurons, generate stimulation induced action potentials, and subsequently, control the release of neurotransmitters in targeted pathways. Historically, DBS mechanisms research has focused on characterizing the effects of stimulation on neurons and the resulting impact on neuronal network activity. However, when electrodes are placed within the central nervous system, glia are also being directly (and indirectly) influenced by the stimulation. Mounting evidence shows that non-neuronal tissue can play an important role in modulating the neurochemistry changes induced by DBS. The goal of this review is to evaluate how DBS effects on both neuronal and non-neuronal tissue can potentially work together to suppress oscillatory activity (and/or information transfer) between brain regions. These resulting effects of ~ 100 Hz electrical stimulation help explain how DBS can disrupt pathological network activity in the brain and generate therapeutic effects in patients. Deep brain stimulation is an effective clinical technology, but detailed therapeutic mechanisms remain undefined. This review provides an overview of the leading hypotheses, which focus on stimulation-induced disruption of network oscillations and integrates possible roles for non-neuronal tissue in explaining the clinical response to therapeutic stimulation. This article is part of a special issue on Parkinson disease.

  12. A meta-analysis of brain mechanisms of placebo analgesia: consistent findings and unanswered questions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atlas, Lauren Y; Wager, Tor D

    2014-01-01

    Placebo treatments reliably reduce pain in the clinic and in the lab. Because pain is a subjective experience, it has been difficult to determine whether placebo analgesia is clinically relevant. Neuroimaging studies of placebo analgesia provide objective evidence of placebo-induced changes in brain processing and allow researchers to isolate the mechanisms underlying placebo-based pain reduction. We conducted formal meta-analyses of 25 neuroimaging studies of placebo analgesia and expectancy-based pain modulation. Results revealed that placebo effects and expectations for reduced pain elicit reliable reductions in activation during noxious stimulation in regions often associated with pain processing, including the dorsal anterior cingulate, thalamus, and insula. In addition, we observed consistent reductions during painful stimulation in the amygdala and striatum, regions implicated widely in studies of affect and valuation. This suggests that placebo effects are strongest on brain regions traditionally associated with not only pain, but also emotion and value more generally. Other brain regions showed reliable increases in activation with expectations for reduced pain. These included the prefrontal cortex (including dorsolateral, ventromedial, and orbitofrontal cortices), the midbrain surrounding the periaqueductal gray, and the rostral anterior cingulate. We discuss implications of these findings as well as how future studies can expand our understanding of the precise functional contributions of the brain systems identified here.

  13. Mechanical Characterization of Brain Tissue in Compression at Dynamic Strain Rates

    CERN Document Server

    Rashid, Badar; Gilchrist, Michael; 10.1016/j.jmbbm.2012.01.022

    2013-01-01

    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs when local mechanical load exceeds certain tolerance levels for brain tissue. Extensive research has been done previously for brain matter experiencing compression at quasistatic loading; however, limited data is available to model TBI under dynamic impact conditions. In this research, an experimental setup was developed to perform unconfined compression tests and stress relaxation tests at strain rates < 90/s. The brain tissue showed a stiffer response with increasing strain rates, showing that hyperelastic models are not adequate. Specifically, the compressive nominal stress at 30% strain was 8.83 +/- 1.94, 12.8 +/- 3.10 and 16.0 +/- 1.41 kPa (mean +/- SD) at strain rates of 30, 60 and 90/s, respectively. Relaxation tests were also conducted at 10%-50% strain with the average rise time of 10 ms, which can be used to derive time dependent parameters. Numerical simulations were performed using one-term Ogden model with initial shear modulus mu_0 = 6.06 +/- 1.44, 9.44 +/-...

  14. Imaging social motivation: distinct brain mechanisms drive effort production during collaboration versus competition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Bouc, Raphaël; Pessiglione, Mathias

    2013-10-01

    Collaborative and competitive interactions have been investigated extensively so as to understand how the brain makes choices in the context of strategic games, yet such interactions are known to influence a more basic dimension of behavior: the energy invested in the task. The cognitive mechanisms that motivate effort production in social situations remain poorly understood, and their neural counterparts have not been explored so far. A dominant idea is that the motivation provided by the social context is reducible to the personal utility of effort production, which decreases in collaboration and increases in competition. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we scanned human participants while they produced a physical effort in a collaborative or competitive context. We found that motivation was indeed primarily driven by personal utility, which was reflected in brain regions devoted to reward processing (the ventral basal ganglia). However, subjects who departed from utility maximization, working more in collaborative situations, showed greater functional activation and anatomical volume in a brain region implicated previously in social cognition (the temporoparietal junction). Therefore, this region might mediate a purely pro-social motivation to produce greater effort in the context of collaboration. More generally, our findings suggest that the individual propensity to invest energy in collaborative work might have an identifiable counterpart in the brain functional architecture.

  15. Blood-brain barrier permeability mechanisms in view of quantitative structure-activity relationships (QSAR).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bujak, Renata; Struck-Lewicka, Wiktoria; Kaliszan, Michał; Kaliszan, Roman; Markuszewski, Michał J

    2015-04-10

    The goal of the present paper was to develop a quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) method using a simple statistical approach, such as mu