WorldWideScience

Sample records for cell membrane structures

  1. Fuel-Cell Structure Prevents Membrane Drying

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mcelroy, J.

    1986-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Benga, G.

    1985-01-01

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

  3. Identification of glycan structure alterations on cell membrane proteins in desoxyepothilone B resistant leukemia cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakano, Miyako; Saldanha, Rohit; Göbel, Anja; Kavallaris, Maria; Packer, Nicolle H

    2011-11-01

    Resistance to tubulin-binding agents used in cancer is often multifactorial and can include changes in drug accumulation and modified expression of tubulin isotypes. Glycans on cell membrane proteins play important roles in many cellular processes such as recognition and apoptosis, and this study investigated whether changes to the glycan structures on cell membrane proteins occur when cells become resistant to drugs. Specifically, we investigated the alteration of glycan structures on the cell membrane proteins of human T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (CEM) cells that were selected for resistance to desoxyepothilone B (CEM/dEpoB). The glycan profile of the cell membrane glycoproteins was obtained by sequential release of N- and O-glycans from cell membrane fraction dotted onto polyvinylidene difluoride membrane with PNGase F and β-elimination respectively. The released glycan alditols were analyzed by liquid chromatography (graphitized carbon)-electrospray ionization tandem MS. The major N-glycan on CEM cell was the core fucosylated α2-6 monosialo-biantennary structure. Resistant CEM/dEpoB cells had a significant decrease of α2-6 linked sialic acid on N-glycans. The lower α2-6 sialylation was caused by a decrease in activity of β-galactoside α2-6 sialyltransferase (ST6Gal), and decreased expression of the mRNA. It is clear that the membrane glycosylation of leukemia cells changes during acquired resistance to dEpoB drugs and that this change occurs globally on all cell membrane glycoproteins. This is the first identification of a specific glycan modification on the surface of drug resistant cells and the mechanism of this downstream effect on microtubule targeting drugs may offer a route to new interventions to overcome drug resistance.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  6. Plant cell plasma membrane structure and properties under clinostatting

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

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

  8. The effect of near-infrared MLS laser radiation on cell membrane structure and radical generation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kujawa, Jolanta; Pasternak, Kamila; Zavodnik, Ilya; Irzmański, Robert; Wróbel, Dominika; Bryszewska, Maria

    2014-09-01

    The therapeutic effects of low-power laser radiation of different wavelengths and light doses are well known, but the biochemical mechanism of the interaction of laser light with living cells is not fully understood. We have investigated the effect of MLS (Multiwave Locked System) laser near-infrared irradiation on cell membrane structure, functional properties, and free radical generation using human red blood cells and breast cancer MCF-4 cells. The cells were irradiated with low-intensity MLS near-infrared (simultaneously 808 nm, continuous emission and 905 nm, pulse emission, pulse-wave frequency, 1,000 or 2,000 Hz) laser light at light doses from 0 to 15 J (average power density 212.5 mW/cm(2), spot size was 3.18 cm(2)) at 22 °C, the activity membrane bound acetylcholinesterase, cell stability, anti-oxidative activity, and free radical generation were the parameters used in characterizing the structural and functional changes of the cell. Near-infrared low-intensity laser radiation changed the acetylcholinesterase activity of the red blood cell membrane in a dose-dependent manner: There was a considerable increase of maximal enzymatic rate and Michaelis constant due to changes in the membrane structure. Integral parameters such as erythrocyte stability, membrane lipid peroxidation, or methemoglobin levels remained unchanged. Anti-oxidative capacity of the red blood cells increased after MLS laser irradiation. This irradiation induced a time-dependent increase in free radical generation in MCF-4 cells. Low-intensity near-infrared MLS laser radiation induces free radical generation and changes enzymatic and anti-oxidative activities of cellular components. Free radical generation may be the mechanism of the biomodulative effect of laser radiation.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ROMANA MASNIKOSA

    2003-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-01

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

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

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    Chulsung Bae

    2011-01-01

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

  12. Crosslinked polybenzimidazoles containing branching structure as membrane materials with excellent cell performance and durability for fuel cell applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Meishao; Ni, Jiangpeng; Zhang, Boping; Neelakandan, Sivasubramaniyan; Wang, Lei

    2018-06-01

    Crosslinking is an effective method to improve the properties of high temperature proton exchange membranes based on polybenzimidazole. However, the compact structure of crosslinked polybenzimidazole hinders the phosphoric acid absorption of the membranes, resulting in a relatively poor fuel cell performance. Recently, we find that branched polymers can absorb more phosphoric acid with a larger free volume, but suffer from deteriorated mechanical strength. In this work, a new method is proposed to obtain excellent over-all properties of high temperature proton exchange membranes. A series of crosslinked polybenzimidazoles containing branching structure as membrane materials are successfully prepared for the first time. Compared with conventional crosslinked membranes, these crosslinked polybenzimidazole membranes containing branching structure exhibit a higher phosphoric acid doping level and proton conductivity, improved durability, lower swelling rate and comparable mechanical strength. In particular, the fuel cell base on the crosslinked and branched membrane with a 10% ratio of crosslinker in non-humidified hydrogen/air at 160 °C achieves a power density of 404 mW cm-2. The results indicate that the combination of crosslinking and branching is an effective approach to improve the properties of polybenzimidazole membrane materials.

  13. Helium Ion Microscopy of proton exchange membrane fuel cell electrode structures

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chiriaev, Serguei; Dam Madsen, Nis; Rubahn, Horst-Günter

    2017-01-01

    electrode interface structure dependence on ionomer content, systematically studied by Helium Ion Microscopy (HIM). A special focus was on acquiring high resolution images of the electrode structure and avoiding interface damage from irradiation and tedious sample preparation. HIM demonstrated its....... In the hot-pressed electrodes, we found more closed contact between the electrode components, reduced particle size, polymer coalescence and formation of nano-sized polymer fiber architecture between the particles. Keywords: proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs); Helium Ion Microscopy (HIM...

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

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    Seruni K.U. Freisleben

    2011-08-01

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

  15. Radiation effects on cell membranes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Koeteles, G.J.

    1982-01-01

    The recent developments in the field of membrane biology of eukaryotic cells result in revival of relevant radiobiological studies. The spatial relations and chemical nature of membrane components provide rather sensitive targets. Experimental data are presented concerning the effects of relatively low doses of X-irradiation and low concentration of tritiated water (HTO) on various receptor functions - concanavalin A, cationized ferritin, poliovirus - of plasma membranes of animal and human cells which point to early and temporary disturbances of the composite structures and functions of membranes. References are given to the multifold roles of radiationinduced membrane phenomena on the development and regeneration of radiation injuries. (orig.)

  16. Radiation effects on cell membranes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Koeteles, G.J.

    1982-11-01

    The recent developments in the field of membrane biology of eukaryotic cells result in revival of relevant radiobiological studies. The spatial relations and chemical nature of membrane components provide rather sensitive targets. Experimental data are presented concerning the effects of relatively low doses of X-irradiation and low concentration of tritiated water (HTO) on various receptor functions - concanavalin A, cationized ferritin, poliovirus - of plasma membranes of animal and human cells which point to early and temporary disturbances of the composite structures and functions of membranes. References are given to the multifold roles of radiationinduced membrane phenomena on the development and regeneration of radiation injuries.

  17. Bacillus subtilis MreB orthologs self-organize into filamentous structures underneath the cell membrane in a heterologous cell system.

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    Felix Dempwolff

    Full Text Available Actin-like bacterial cytoskeletal element MreB has been shown to be essential for the maintenance of rod cell shape in many bacteria. MreB forms rapidly remodelling helical filaments underneath the cell membrane in Bacillus subtilis and in other bacterial cells, and co-localizes with its two paralogs, Mbl and MreBH. We show that MreB localizes as dynamic bundles of filaments underneath the cell membrane in Drosophila S2 Schneider cells, which become highly stable when the ATPase motif in MreB is modified. In agreement with ATP-dependent filament formation, the depletion of ATP in the cells lead to rapid dissociation of MreB filaments. Extended induction of MreB resulted in the formation of membrane protrusions, showing that like actin, MreB can exert force against the cell membrane. Mbl also formed membrane associated filaments, while MreBH formed filaments within the cytosol. When co-expressed, MreB, Mbl and MreBH built up mixed filaments underneath the cell membrane. Membrane protein RodZ localized to endosomes in S2 cells, but localized to the cell membrane when co-expressed with Mbl, showing that bacterial MreB/Mbl structures can recruit a protein to the cell membrane. Thus, MreB paralogs form a self-organizing and dynamic filamentous scaffold underneath the membrane that is able to recruit other proteins to the cell surface.

  18. Bacillus subtilis MreB orthologs self-organize into filamentous structures underneath the cell membrane in a heterologous cell system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dempwolff, Felix; Reimold, Christian; Reth, Michael; Graumann, Peter L

    2011-01-01

    Actin-like bacterial cytoskeletal element MreB has been shown to be essential for the maintenance of rod cell shape in many bacteria. MreB forms rapidly remodelling helical filaments underneath the cell membrane in Bacillus subtilis and in other bacterial cells, and co-localizes with its two paralogs, Mbl and MreBH. We show that MreB localizes as dynamic bundles of filaments underneath the cell membrane in Drosophila S2 Schneider cells, which become highly stable when the ATPase motif in MreB is modified. In agreement with ATP-dependent filament formation, the depletion of ATP in the cells lead to rapid dissociation of MreB filaments. Extended induction of MreB resulted in the formation of membrane protrusions, showing that like actin, MreB can exert force against the cell membrane. Mbl also formed membrane associated filaments, while MreBH formed filaments within the cytosol. When co-expressed, MreB, Mbl and MreBH built up mixed filaments underneath the cell membrane. Membrane protein RodZ localized to endosomes in S2 cells, but localized to the cell membrane when co-expressed with Mbl, showing that bacterial MreB/Mbl structures can recruit a protein to the cell membrane. Thus, MreB paralogs form a self-organizing and dynamic filamentous scaffold underneath the membrane that is able to recruit other proteins to the cell surface.

  19. Membrane-lipid therapy: A historical perspective of membrane-targeted therapies - From lipid bilayer structure to the pathophysiological regulation of cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Escribá, Pablo V

    2017-09-01

    Our current understanding of membrane lipid composition, structure and functions has led to the investigation of their role in cell signaling, both in healthy and pathological cells. As a consequence, therapies based on the regulation of membrane lipid composition and structure have been recently developed. This novel field, known as Membrane Lipid Therapy, is growing and evolving rapidly, providing treatments that are now in use or that are being studied for their application to oncological disorders, Alzheimer's disease, spinal cord injury, stroke, diabetes, obesity, and neuropathic pain. This field has arisen from relevant discoveries on the behavior of membranes in recent decades, and it paves the way to adopt new approaches in modern pharmacology and nutrition. This innovative area will promote further investigation into membranes and the development of new therapies with molecules that target the cell membrane. Due to the prominent roles of membranes in the cells' physiology and the paucity of therapeutic approaches based on the regulation of the lipids they contain, it is expected that membrane lipid therapy will provide new treatments for numerous pathologies. The first on-purpose rationally designed molecule in this field, minerval, is currently being tested in clinical trials and it is expected to enter the market around 2020. However, it seems feasible that during the next few decades other membrane regulators will also be marketed for the treatment of human pathologies. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Membrane Lipid Therapy: Drugs Targeting Biomembranes edited by Pablo V. Escribá. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krause, Martin R; Regen, Steven L

    2014-12-16

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

  1. Performance enhancement of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells by dual-layered membrane electrode assembly structures with carbon nanotubes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jung, Dong-Won; Kim, Jun-Ho; Kim, Se-Hoon; Kim, Jun-Bom; Oh, Eun-Suok

    2013-05-01

    The effect of dual-layered membrane electrode assemblies (d-MEAs) on the performance of a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) was investigated using the following characterization techniques: single cell performance test, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS), and cyclic voltammetry (CV). It has been shown that the PEMFC with d-MEAs has better cell performance than that with typical mono-layered MEAs (m-MEAs). In particular, the d-MEA whose inner layer is composed of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) showed the best fuel cell performance. This is due to the fact that the d-MEAs with MWCNTs have the highest electrochemical surface area and the lowest activation polarization, as observed from the CV and EIS test.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tibor Hianik

    2006-01-01

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

  3. Radiation effects on cell membranes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Koeteles, G.J.

    1982-01-01

    Experimental data are presented concerning the effects of relatively low doses of x radiation and low concentration of tritiated water (HTO) on various receptor functions - concanavalin A, cationized ferritin, poliovirus of plasma membranes of animal and human cells which point to early and temporary disturbances of the composite structures and functions of membranes. References are given to the manifold influence of radiation-induced membrane phenomenon on the development and regeneration of radiation injuries. (author)

  4. Fluorescent probes for detecting cholesterol-rich ordered membrane microdomains: entangled relationships between structural analogies in the membrane and functional homologies in the cell

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gérald Gaibelet

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available This review addresses the question of fluorescent detection of ordered membrane (micro domains in living (cultured cells, with a “practical” point of view since the situation is much more complicated than for studying model membranes. We first briefly recall the bases of model membrane structural organization involving liquid-ordered and -disordered phases, and the main features of their counterparts in cell membranes that are the various microdomains. We then emphasize the utility of the fluorescent probes derived from cholesterol, and delineate the respective advantages, limitations and drawbacks of the existing ones. In particular, besides their intra-membrane behavior, their relevant characteristics should integrate their different cellular fates for membrane turn-over, trafficking and metabolism, in order to evaluate and improve their efficiency for in-situ probing membrane microdomains in the cell physiology context. Finally, at the present stage, it appears that Bdp-Chol and Pyr-met-Chol display well complementary properties, allowing to use them in combination to improve the reliability of the current experimental approaches. But the field is still open, and there remains much work to perform in this research area.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-05-09

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-11-01

    Structural, biochemical and biophysical studies of eukaryotic membrane proteins are often hampered by difficulties in overexpression of the candidate molecule. Baculovirus transduction of mammalian cells (BacMam), although a powerful method to heterologously express membrane proteins, can be cumbersome for screening and expression of multiple constructs. We therefore developed plasmid Eric Gouaux (pEG) BacMam, a vector optimized for use in screening assays, as well as for efficient production of baculovirus and robust expression of the target protein. In this protocol, we show how to use small-scale transient transfection and fluorescence-detection size-exclusion chromatography (FSEC) experiments using a GFP-His8-tagged candidate protein to screen for monodispersity and expression level. Once promising candidates are identified, we describe how to generate baculovirus, transduce HEK293S GnTI(-) (N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase I-negative) cells in suspension culture and overexpress the candidate protein. We have used these methods to prepare pure samples of chicken acid-sensing ion channel 1a (cASIC1) and Caenorhabditis elegans glutamate-gated chloride channel (GluCl) for X-ray crystallography, demonstrating how to rapidly and efficiently screen hundreds of constructs and accomplish large-scale expression in 4-6 weeks.

  7. Recent progress in electrocatalysts with mesoporous structures for application in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    OpenAIRE

    Xing, Wei; Wu, Zucheng; Tao, Shanwen

    2016-01-01

    Recently mesoporous materials have drawn great attention in fuel cell related applications, such as preparation of polymer electrolyte membranes and catalysts, hydrogen storage and purification. In this mini-review, we focus on recent developments in mesoporous electrocatalysts for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells, including metallic and metal-free catalysts for use as either anode or cathode catalysts. Mesoporous Pt-based metals have been synthesized as anode catalysts with improved a...

  8. Performance of diagonal control structures at different operating conditions for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Serra, Maria; Husar, Attila; Feroldi, Diego; Riera, Jordi [Institut de Robotica i Informatica Industrial, Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, C. Llorens i Artigas 4, 08028 Barcelona (Spain)

    2006-08-25

    This work is focused on the selection of operating conditions in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells. It analyses efficiency and controllability aspects, which change from one operating point to another. Specifically, several operating points that deliver the same amount of net power are compared, and the comparison is done at different net power levels. The study is based on a complex non-linear model, which has been linearised at the selected operating points. Different linear analysis tools are applied to the linear models and results show important controllability differences between operating points. The performance of diagonal control structures with PI controllers at different operating points is also studied. A method for the tuning of the controllers is proposed and applied. The behaviour of the controlled system is simulated with the non-linear model. Conclusions indicate a possible trade-off between controllability and optimisation of hydrogen consumption. (author)

  9. Helium Ion Microscopy of proton exchange membrane fuel cell electrode structures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Serguei Chiriaev

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Characterization of composite materials with microscopy techniques is an essential route to understanding their properties and degradation mechanisms, though the observation with a suitable type of microscopy is not always possible. In this work, we present proton exchange membrane fuel cell electrode interface structure dependence on ionomer content, systematically studied by Helium Ion Microscopy (HIM. A special focus was on acquiring high resolution images of the electrode structure and avoiding interface damage from irradiation and tedious sample preparation. HIM demonstrated its advantages in surface imaging, which is paramount in studies of the interface morphology of ionomer covered or absorbed catalyst structures in a combination with electrochemical characterization and accelerated stress test. The electrode porosity was found to depend on the ionomer content. The stressed electrodes demonstrated higher porosity in comparison to the unstressed ones on the condition of no external mechanical pressure. Moreover, formation of additional small grains was observed for the electrodes with the low ionomer content, indicating Pt redeposition through Ostwald ripening. Polymer nanofiber structures were found in the crack regions of the catalyst layer, which appear due to the internal stress originated from the solvent evaporation. These fibers have fairly uniform diameters of a few tens of nanometers, and their density increases with the increasing ionomer content in the electrodes. In the hot-pressed electrodes, we found more closed contact between the electrode components, reduced particle size, polymer coalescence and formation of nano-sized polymer fiber architecture between the particles.

  10. Structural Changes in the Surface of Red Blood Cell Membranes during Long-Term Donor Blood Storage

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. V. Moroz

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective: to study changes in the surface of red blood cell membranes of donor blood at the macro- and ultrastructural level during its storage for 30 days and to evaluate the functional state of the red blood cell membrane during the whole storage period. Material and methods. The investigation was conducted on human whole blood and packed red blood cells placed in the specialized packs containing the preservative CPDA-1, by using calibrated electroporation and atomic force microscopy and measuring plasma pH. Conclusion. The long-term, up to 30-day, storage of whole blood and packed red blood cells at 4°C was attended by lower plasma pH and increased hemolysis rate constant during calibrated electroporation and by the development of oxidative processes. The hemolysis rate constant was also higher in the packed red blood cells than that in the whole blood. On days 5—6, the membrane structure showed defects that developed, as the blood was stored, and caused irreversible cell membrane damage by day 30. Key words: donor blood, red blood cell membranes, atomic force microscopy.

  11. Prolonged Intake of Dietary Lipids Alters Membrane Structure and T Cell Responses in LDLr-/- Mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pollock, Abigail H; Tedla, Nicodemus; Hancock, Sarah E; Cornely, Rhea; Mitchell, Todd W; Yang, Zhengmin; Kockx, Maaike; Parton, Robert G; Rossy, Jérémie; Gaus, Katharina

    2016-05-15

    Although it is recognized that lipids and membrane organization in T cells affect signaling and T cell activation, to what extent dietary lipids alter T cell responsiveness in the absence of obesity and inflammation is not known. In this study, we fed low-density lipoprotein receptor knockout mice a Western high-fat diet for 1 or 9 wk and examined T cell responses in vivo along with T cell lipid composition, membrane order, and activation ex vivo. Our data showed that high levels of circulating lipids for a prolonged period elevated CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cell proliferation and resulted in an increased proportion of CD4(+) central-memory T cells within the draining lymph nodes following induction of contact hypersensitivity. In addition, the 9-wk Western high-fat diet elevated the total phospholipid content and monounsaturated fatty acid level, but decreased saturated phosphatidylcholine and sphingomyelin within the T cells. The altered lipid composition in the circulation, and of T cells, was also reflected by enhanced membrane order at the activation site of ex vivo activated T cells that corresponded to increased IL-2 mRNA levels. In conclusion, dietary lipids can modulate T cell lipid composition and responses in lipoprotein receptor knockout mice even in the absence of excess weight gain and a proinflammatory environment. Copyright © 2016 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.

  12. Molecular Structure of Membrane Tethers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bill, Roslyn M; von der Haar, Tobias

    2015-06-01

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

  14. Structural study of the membrane protein MscL using cell-free expression and solid-state NMR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdine, Alaa; Verhoeven, Michiel A.; Park, Kyu-Ho; Ghazi, Alexandre; Guittet, Eric; Berrier, Catherine; Van Heijenoort, Carine; Warschawski, Dror E.

    2010-05-01

    High-resolution structures of membrane proteins have so far been obtained mostly by X-ray crystallography, on samples where the protein is surrounded by detergent. Recent developments of solid-state NMR have opened the way to a new approach for the study of integral membrane proteins inside a membrane. At the same time, the extension of cell-free expression to the production of membrane proteins allows for the production of proteins tailor made for NMR. We present here an in situ solid-state NMR study of a membrane protein selectively labeled through the use of cell-free expression. The sample consists of MscL (mechano-sensitive channel of large conductance), a 75 kDa pentameric α-helical ion channel from Escherichia coli, reconstituted in a hydrated lipid bilayer. Compared to a uniformly labeled protein sample, the spectral crowding is greatly reduced in the cell-free expressed protein sample. This approach may be a decisive step required for spectral assignment and structure determination of membrane proteins by solid-state NMR.

  15. Correlation between membrane fluidity cellular development and stem cell differentiation

    KAUST Repository

    Noutsi, Bakiza Kamal

    2016-01-01

    Cell membranes are made up of a complex structure of lipids and proteins that diffuse laterally giving rise to what we call membrane fluidity. During cellular development, such as neuronal differentiation, cell membranes undergo dramatic structural

  16. Live cell linear dichroism imaging reveals extensive membrane ruffling within the docking structure of natural killer cell immune synapses

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Benninger, Richard K P; Vanherberghen, Bruno; Young, Stephen

    2009-01-01

    We have applied fluorescence imaging of two-photon linear dichroism to measure the subresolution organization of the cell membrane during formation of the activating (cytolytic) natural killer (NK) cell immune synapse (IS). This approach revealed that the NK cell plasma membrane is convoluted...... into ruffles at the periphery, but not in the center of a mature cytolytic NK cell IS. Time-lapse imaging showed that the membrane ruffles formed at the initial point of contact between NK cells and target cells and then spread radialy across the intercellular contact as the size of the IS increased, becoming...... absent from the center of the mature synapse. Understanding the role of such extensive membrane ruffling in the assembly of cytolytic synapses is an intriguing new goal....

  17. Predicting liquid water saturation through differently structured cathode gas diffusion media of a proton exchange Membrane Fuel Cell

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Akhtar, N.; Kerkhof, P.J.A.M.

    2012-01-01

    The role of gas diffusion media with differently structured properties have been examined with emphasis on the liquid water saturation within the cathode of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). The cathode electrode consists of a gas diffusion layer (GDL), a micro-porous layer and a

  18. Structural changes in plasma membranes prepared from irradiated Chinese hamster V79 cells as revealed by Raman spectroscopy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Verma, S.P.; Sonwalkar, N.

    1991-01-01

    The effect of gamma irradiation on the integrity of plasma membranes isolated from Chinese hamster V79 cells was investigated by Raman spectroscopy. Plasma membranes of control V79 cells show transitions between -10 and 5 degree C (low-temperature transition), 10 and 22 degree C (middle-temperature transition), and 32 and 40 degree C (high-temperature transition). Irradiation (5 Gy) alters these transitions markedly. First, the low-temperature transition shifts to higher temperature (onset and completion temperatures 4 and 14 degree C). Second, the middle-temperature transition shifts up to the range of about 20-32 degree C, but the width remains unchanged. Third, the higher temperature transition broadens markedly and shifts to the range of about 15-40 degree C. Protein secondary structure as determined by least-squares analysis of the amide I bands shows 36% total helix, 55% total beta-strand, and 9% turn plus undefined for control plasma membrane proteins. Plasma membrane proteins of irradiated V79 cells show an increase in total helix (40 and 45% at 5 and 10 Gy, respectively) and a decrease in the total beta-strand (48 and 44% at 5 and 10 Gy, respectively) structures. The qualitative analysis of the Raman features of plasma membranes and model compounds in the 1600 cm-1 region, assigned to tyrosine groups, revealed that irradiation alters the microenvironment of these groups. We conclude that the radiation dose used in the survival range of Chinese hamster V79 cells can cause damage to plasma membrane proteins without detectable lipid peroxidation, and that the altered proteins react differently with lipids, yielding a shift in the thermal transition properties

  19. Fuel cell membrane humidification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Mahlon S.

    1999-01-01

    A polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell assembly has an anode side and a cathode side separated by the membrane and generating electrical current by electrochemical reactions between a fuel gas and an oxidant. The anode side comprises a hydrophobic gas diffusion backing contacting one side of the membrane and having hydrophilic areas therein for providing liquid water directly to the one side of the membrane through the hydrophilic areas of the gas diffusion backing. In a preferred embodiment, the hydrophilic areas of the gas diffusion backing are formed by sewing a hydrophilic thread through the backing. Liquid water is distributed over the gas diffusion backing in distribution channels that are separate from the fuel distribution channels.

  20. Entrapped cells-based-anaerobic membrane bioreactor treating domestic wastewater: Performances, fouling, and bacterial community structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Juntawang, Chaipon; Rongsayamanont, Chaiwat; Khan, Eakalak

    2017-11-01

    A laboratory scale study on treatment performances and fouling of entrapped cells-based-anaerobic membrane bioreactor (E-AnMBR) in comparison with suspended cells-based-bioreactor (S-AnMBR) treating domestic wastewater was conducted. The difference between E-AnMBR and S-AnMBR was the uses of cells entrapped in phosphorylated polyvinyl alcohol versus planktonic cells. Bulk organic removal efficiencies by the two AnMBRs were comparable. Lower concentrations of suspended biomass, bound extracellular polymeric substances and soluble microbial products in E-AnMBR resulted in less fouling compared to S-AnMBR. S-AnMBR provided 7 days of operation time versus 11 days for E-AnMBR before chemical cleaning was required. The less frequent chemical cleaning potentially leads to a longer membrane life-span for E-AnMBR compared to S-AnMBR. Phyla Proteobacteria, Chloroflexi, Bacteroidetes and Acidobacteria were dominant in cake sludge from both AnMBRs but their abundances were different between the two AnMBRs, suggesting influence of cell entrapment on the bacteria community. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Human lactoferricin derived di-peptides deploying loop structures induce apoptosis specifically in cancer cells through targeting membranous phosphatidylserine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riedl, Sabrina; Leber, Regina; Rinner, Beate; Schaider, Helmut; Lohner, Karl; Zweytick, Dagmar

    2015-11-01

    Host defense-derived peptides have emerged as a novel strategy for the development of alternative anticancer therapies. In this study we report on characteristic features of human lactoferricin (hLFcin) derivatives which facilitate specific killing of cancer cells of melanoma, glioblastoma and rhabdomyosarcoma compared with non-specific derivatives and the synthetic peptide RW-AH. Changes in amino acid sequence of hLFcin providing 9-11 amino acids stretched derivatives LF11-316, -318 and -322 only yielded low antitumor activity. However, the addition of the repeat (di-peptide) and the retro-repeat (di-retro-peptide) sequences highly improved cancer cell toxicity up to 100% at 20 μM peptide concentration. Compared to the complete parent sequence hLFcin the derivatives showed toxicity on the melanoma cell line A375 increased by 10-fold and on the glioblastoma cell line U-87mg by 2-3-fold. Reduced killing velocity, apoptotic blebbing, activation of caspase 3/7 and formation of apoptotic DNA fragments proved that the active and cancer selective peptides, e.g. R-DIM-P-LF11-322, trigger apoptosis, whereas highly active, though non-selective peptides, such as DIM-LF11-318 and RW-AH seem to kill rapidly via necrosis inducing membrane lyses. Structural studies revealed specific toxicity on cancer cells by peptide derivatives with loop structures, whereas non-specific peptides comprised α-helical structures without loop. Model studies with the cancer membrane mimic phosphatidylserine (PS) gave strong evidence that PS only exposed by cancer cells is an important target for specific hLFcin derivatives. Other negatively charged membrane exposed molecules as sialic acid, heparan and chondroitin sulfate were shown to have minor impact on peptide activity. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  2. Development of nano-structure controlled polymer electrolyte fuel-cell membranes by high-energy heavy ion irradiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yamaki, Tetsuya; Asano, Masaharu; Maekawa, Yasunari; Yoshida, Masaru; Kobayashi, Misaki; Nomura, Kumiko; Takagi, Shigeharu

    2008-01-01

    There is increasing interest in polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs) together with recent worldwide energy demand and environmental issues. In order to develop proton-conductive membranes for PEFCs, we have been using high-energy heavy ion beams from the cyclotron accelerator of Takasaki Ion Accelerators for Advanced Radiation Application (TIARA), JAEA. Our strategic focus is centered on using nano-scale controllability of the ion-beam processing; the membrane preparation involves (1) the irradiation of commercially-available base polymer films with MeV ions, (2) graft polymerization of vinyl monomers into electronically-excited parts along the ion trajectory, called latent tracks, and (3) sulfonation of the graft polymers. Interestingly, the resulting membranes exhibited anisotropic proton transport, i.e., higher conductivity in the thickness direction. According to microscopic observations, this is probably because the columnar electrolyte phase extended, with a width of tens-to-hundreds nanometers, through the membrane. Other excellent membrane properties, e.g., sufficient mechanical strength, high dimensional stability, and low gas permeability should be due to such a controlled structure. (author)

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T.R. Oliveira

    2009-09-01

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

  4. Functional dynamics of cell surface membrane proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishida, Noritaka; Osawa, Masanori; Takeuchi, Koh; Imai, Shunsuke; Stampoulis, Pavlos; Kofuku, Yutaka; Ueda, Takumi; Shimada, Ichio

    2014-04-01

    Cell surface receptors are integral membrane proteins that receive external stimuli, and transmit signals across plasma membranes. In the conventional view of receptor activation, ligand binding to the extracellular side of the receptor induces conformational changes, which convert the structure of the receptor into an active conformation. However, recent NMR studies of cell surface membrane proteins have revealed that their structures are more dynamic than previously envisioned, and they fluctuate between multiple conformations in an equilibrium on various timescales. In addition, NMR analyses, along with biochemical and cell biological experiments indicated that such dynamical properties are critical for the proper functions of the receptors. In this review, we will describe several NMR studies that revealed direct linkage between the structural dynamics and the functions of the cell surface membrane proteins, such as G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs), ion channels, membrane transporters, and cell adhesion molecules. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Membrane Microdomain Structures of Liposomes and Their Contribution to the Cellular Uptake Efficiency into HeLa Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Onuki, Yoshinori; Obata, Yasuko; Kawano, Kumi; Sano, Hiromu; Matsumoto, Reina; Hayashi, Yoshihiro; Takayama, Kozo

    2016-02-01

    The purpose of this study is to obtain a comprehensive relationship between membrane microdomain structures of liposomes and their cellular uptake efficiency. Model liposomes consisting of 1,2-dipalmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DPPC)/1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DOPC)/cholesterol (Ch) were prepared with various lipid compositions. To detect distinct membrane microdomains in the liposomes, fluorescence-quenching assays were performed at temperatures ranging from 25 to 60 °C using 1,6-diphenyl-1,3,5-hexatriene-labeled liposomes and (2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidin-1-yl)oxyl. From the data analysis using the response surface method, we gained a better understanding of the conditions for forming distinct domains (Lo, Ld, and gel phase membranes) as a function of lipid composition. We further performed self-organizing maps (SOM) clustering to simplify the complicated behavior of the domain formation to obtain its essence. As a result, DPPC/DOPC/Ch liposomes in any lipid composition were integrated into five distinct clusters in terms of similarity of the domain structure. In addition, the findings from synchrotron small-angle X-ray scattering analysis offered further insight into the domain structures. As a last phase of this study, an in vitro cellular uptake study using HeLa cells was conducted using SOM clusters' liposomes with/without PEGylation. As a consequence of this study, higher cellular uptake was observed from liposomes having Ch-rich ordered domains.

  6. Proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    CERN Document Server

    Qi, Zhigang

    2013-01-01

    Preface Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel CellsFuel CellsTypes of Fuel CellsAdvantages of Fuel CellsProton Exchange Membrane Fuel CellsMembraneCatalystCatalyst LayerGas Diffusion MediumMicroporous LayerMembrane Electrode AssemblyPlateSingle CellStackSystemCell Voltage Monitoring Module (CVM)Fuel Supply Module (FSM)Air Supply Module (ASM)Exhaust Management Module (EMM)Heat Management Module (HMM)Water Management Module (WMM)Internal Power Supply Module (IPM)Power Conditioning Module (PCM)Communications Module (COM)Controls Module (CM)SummaryThermodynamics and KineticsTheoretical EfficiencyVoltagePo

  7. The structure and function of the urokinase receptor, a membrane protein governing plasminogen activation on the cell surface

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Behrendt, N; Rønne, E; Danø, K

    1995-01-01

    PA receptor, uPAR, is a cell-surface protein which plays an important role in the localization and regulation of these processes. In the present article a number of established conclusions concerning the structure and function of uPAR are presented, and in addition various models are discussed which might...... explain additional observations for which the mechanisms involved have not yet been clarified experimentally. uPAR is a highly glycosylated, 3-domain protein, anchored in the plasma membrane by a glycolipid moiety. The domain organization is important for efficient ligand-binding, and the NH2-terminal...

  8. Crosslinking and alkyl substitution in nano-structured grafted fluoropolymer for use as proton-exchange membranes in fuel cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Mikkel Juul; Ma, Yue; Lund, Peter Brilner

    2009-01-01

    In order to develop cheaper and better fuel-cell electrolyte membranes than the polyperfluorosulfonic acids, an effort has been made to improve the fuel-cell relevant properties of sulfonated styrene/divinylbenzenegrafted poly(ethylene-alt-tetrafluoroethylene) membranes. Thus the influence of the...

  9. Functional imaging of microdomains in cell membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duggan, James; Jamal, Ghadir; Tilley, Mark; Davis, Ben; McKenzie, Graeme; Vere, Kelly; Somekh, Michael G; O'Shea, Paul; Harris, Helen

    2008-10-01

    The presence of microdomains or rafts within cell membranes is a topic of intense study and debate. The role of these structures in cell physiology, however, is also not yet fully understood with many outstanding problems. This problem is partly based on the small size of raft structures that presents significant problems to their in vivo study, i.e., within live cell membranes. But the structure and dynamics as well as the factors that control the assembly and disassembly of rafts are also of major interest. In this review we outline some of the problems that the study of rafts in cell membranes present as well as describing some views of what are considered the generalised functions of membrane rafts. We point to the possibility that there may be several different 'types' of membrane raft in cell membranes and consider the factors that affect raft assembly and disassembly, particularly, as some researchers suggest that the lifetimes of rafts in cell membranes may be sub-second. We attempt to review some of the methods that offer the ability to interrogate rafts directly as well as describing factors that appear to affect their functionality. The former include both near-field and far-field optical approaches as well as scanning probe techniques. Some of the advantages and disadvantages of these techniques are outlined. Finally, we describe our own views of raft functionality and properties, particularly, concerning the membrane dipole potential, and describe briefly some of the imaging strategies we have developed for their study.

  10. A review of reagents for fluorescence microscopy of cellular compartments and structures, Part III: reagents for actin, tubulin, cellular membranes, and whole cell and cytoplasm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kilgore, Jason A; Dolman, Nick J; Davidson, Michael W

    2014-01-02

    Non-antibody commercial fluorescent reagents for imaging of cytoskeletal structures have been limited primarily to tubulin and actin, with the main factor in choice based mainly on whether cells are live or fixed and permeabilized. A wider range of options exist for cell membrane dyes, and the choice of reagent primarily depends on the preferred localization in the cell (i.e., all membranes or only the plasma membrane) and usage (i.e., whether the protocol involves fixation and permeabilization). For whole-cell or cytoplasmic imaging, the choice of reagent is determined mostly by the length of time that the cells need to be visualized (hours or days) and by fixation status. Presented here is a discussion on choosing commercially available reagents for these cellular structures, with an emphasis on use for microscopic imaging, with a featured reagent for each structure, a recommended protocol, troubleshooting guide, and example image. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

  11. Glutaraldehyde cross-linking of amniotic membranes affects their nanofibrous structures and limbal epithelial cell culture characteristics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lai JY

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Jui-Yang Lai,1–3 David Hui-Kang Ma4,5 1Institute of Biochemical and Biomedical Engineering, 2Biomedical Engineering Research Center, 3Molecular Medicine Research Center, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan, Taiwan; 4Limbal Stem Cell Laboratory, Department of Ophthalmology, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taoyuan, Taiwan; 5Department of Chinese Medicine, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan, Taiwan Abstract: Given that the cells can sense nanometer dimensions, the chemical cross-linking-mediated alteration in fibrillar structure of collagenous tissue scaffolds is critical to determining their cell culture performances. This article explores, for the first time, the effect of nanofibrous structure of glutaraldehyde (GTA cross-linked amniotic membrane (AM on limbal epithelial cell (LEC cultivation. Results of ninhydrin assays demonstrated that the amount of new cross-links formed between the collagen chains is significantly increased with increasing the cross-linking time from 1 to 24 hours. By transmission electron microscopy, the AM treated with GTA for a longer duration exhibited a greater extent of molecular aggregation, thereby leading to a considerable increase in nanofiber diameter and resistance against collagenase degradation. In vitro biocompatibility studies showed that the samples cross-linked with GTA for 24 hours are not well-tolerated by the human corneal epithelial cell cultures. When the treatment duration is less than 6 hours, the biological tissues cross-linked with GTA for a longer time may cause slight reductions in 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl-5-(3-carboxymethoxyphenyl-2-(4-sulfophenyl-2H-tetrazolium, inner salt, and anti-inflammatory activities. Nevertheless, significant collagen molecular aggregation also enhances the stemness gene expression, indicating a high ability of these AM matrices to preserve the progenitors of LECs in vitro. It is concluded that GTA cross-linking of collagenous tissue materials may affect their nanofibrous

  12. Glutaraldehyde cross-linking of amniotic membranes affects their nanofibrous structures and limbal epithelial cell culture characteristics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lai, Jui-Yang; Ma, David Hui-Kang

    2013-01-01

    Given that the cells can sense nanometer dimensions, the chemical cross-linking-mediated alteration in fibrillar structure of collagenous tissue scaffolds is critical to determining their cell culture performances. This article explores, for the first time, the effect of nanofibrous structure of glutaraldehyde (GTA) cross-linked amniotic membrane (AM) on limbal epithelial cell (LEC) cultivation. Results of ninhydrin assays demonstrated that the amount of new cross-links formed between the collagen chains is significantly increased with increasing the cross-linking time from 1 to 24 hours. By transmission electron microscopy, the AM treated with GTA for a longer duration exhibited a greater extent of molecular aggregation, thereby leading to a considerable increase in nanofiber diameter and resistance against collagenase degradation. In vitro biocompatibility studies showed that the samples cross-linked with GTA for 24 hours are not well-tolerated by the human corneal epithelial cell cultures. When the treatment duration is less than 6 hours, the biological tissues cross-linked with GTA for a longer time may cause slight reductions in 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-5-(3-carboxymethoxyphenyl)-2-(4-sulfophenyl)-2H-tetrazolium, inner salt, and anti-inflammatory activities. Nevertheless, significant collagen molecular aggregation also enhances the stemness gene expression, indicating a high ability of these AM matrices to preserve the progenitors of LECs in vitro. It is concluded that GTA cross-linking of collagenous tissue materials may affect their nanofibrous structures and corneal epithelial stem cell culture characteristics. The AM treated with GTA for 6 hours holds promise for use as a niche for the expansion and transplantation of limbal epithelial progenitor cells.

  13. Analysis of the control structures for an integrated ethanol processor for proton exchange membrane fuel cell systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Biset, S; Nieto Deglioumini, L; Basualdo, M [GIAIP-CIFASIS (UTN-FRRo-CONICET-UPCAM-UNR), BV. 27 de Febrero 210 Bis, S2000EZP Rosario (Argentina); Garcia, V M; Serra, M [Institut de Robotica i Informatica Industrial, C. Llorens i Artigas 4-6, 08028 Barcelona (Spain)

    2009-07-01

    The aim of this work is to investigate which would be a good preliminary plantwide control structure for the process of Hydrogen production from bioethanol to be used in a proton exchange membrane (PEM) accounting only steady-state information. The objective is to keep the process under optimal operation point, that is doing energy integration to achieve the maximum efficiency. Ethanol, produced from renewable feedstocks, feeds a fuel processor investigated for steam reforming, followed by high- and low-temperature shift reactors and preferential oxidation, which are coupled to a polymeric fuel cell. Applying steady-state simulation techniques and using thermodynamic models the performance of the complete system with two different control structures have been evaluated for the most typical perturbations. A sensitivity analysis for the key process variables together with the rigorous operability requirements for the fuel cell are taking into account for defining acceptable plantwide control structure. This is the first work showing an alternative control structure applied to this kind of process. (author)

  14. Model cell membranes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Günther-Pomorski, Thomas; Nylander, Tommy; Cardenas Gomez, Marite

    2014-01-01

    The high complexity of biological membranes has motivated the development and application of a wide range of model membrane systems to study biochemical and biophysical aspects of membranes in situ under well defined conditions. The aim is to provide fundamental understanding of processes control...

  15. Static and Dynamic Membrane Structures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sergiu Ivanov

    2012-10-01

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

  16. In-situ small/wide-angle neutron scattering studies of the cluster structure in polyelectrolyte membrane for fuel cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nakano, Tomohiro; Kaneko, Michiyo; Otomo, Toshiya; Kamiyama, Takashi; Sugiyama, Masaaki; Fukunaga, Toshiharu; Kanno, Ryoji; Yamamoto, Satoru; Hyodo, Shiaki

    2007-01-01

    Proton conductivity of Nafion membrane is varied by humidity and it has been thought to be affected by the cluster structure of the membrane. We applied Small-Angle Scattering technique under humidity-controlled atmosphere with X-ray (SAXS) and neutron (SANS) to clarify the relationship between the cluster structure and molecular structure in two types of Nafion membrane, N115 and NE151F, which have different equivalent weight (EW). The proton conductivity of N115 is higher than that of NE151F. By these two measurements, three different sized periodic structures were observed in the Nafion membrane. Contrast variation method (D/H=60/40, 75/25, 80/20, 90/10) was also applied in SANS experiments and it was suggested that two of three peaks are originated from two different sizes of water clusters. A distinguishing peak at q=0.2[A -1 ], which shifts to lower q region by humidity increase, was reproduced by a simulation of Dissipative Particle Dynamics (DPD): the shifts of the peak was interpreted as the swelling of cluster structure. The size of the cluster calculated from the peak position is positively correlated with the proton conductivity. Finally, the effect of EW on the proton conductivity of Nafion membrane was briefly discussed from the point of its cluster structure. (author)

  17. [Mg2+, ATP-dependent plasma membrane calcium pump of smooth muscle cells. I. Structural organization and properties].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veklich, T O; Mazur, Iu Iu; Kosterin, S O

    2015-01-01

    Tight control of cytoplasm Ca2+ concentration is essential in cell functioning. Changing of Ca2+ concentration is thorough in smooth muscle cells, because it determines relaxation/constraint process. One of key proteins which control Ca2+ concentration in cytoplasm is Mg2+, ATP-dependent plasma membrane calcium pump. Thus, it is important to find compoumds which allowed one to change Mg2+, ATP-dependent plasma membrane calcium pump activity, as long as this topic is of current interest in biochemical research which regards energy and pharmacomechanical coupling mechanism of muscle excitation and contraction. In this article we generalized literatute and own data about properties of smooth muscle cell plasma membrane Ca(2+)-pump. Stuctural oganization, kinetical properties and molecular biology are considered.

  18. POLYMER ELECTROLYTE MEMBRANE FUEL CELLS

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2001-01-01

    A method for preparing polybenzimidazole or polybenzimidazole blend membranes and fabricating gas diffusion electrodes and membrane-electrode assemblies is provided for a high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell. Blend polymer electrolyte membranes based on PBI and various...... thermoplastic polymers for high temperature polymer electrolyte fuel cells have also been developed. Miscible blends are used for solution casting of polymer membranes (solid electrolytes). High conductivity and enhanced mechanical strength were obtained for the blend polymer solid electrolytes....... With the thermally resistant polymer, e.g., polybenzimidazole or a mixture of polybenzimidazole and other thermoplastics as binder, the carbon-supported noble metal catalyst is tape-cast onto a hydrophobic supporting substrate. When doped with an acid mixture, electrodes are assembled with an acid doped solid...

  19. Wood cell-wall structure requires local 2D-microtubule disassembly by a novel plasma membrane-anchored protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oda, Yoshihisa; Iida, Yuki; Kondo, Yuki; Fukuda, Hiroo

    2010-07-13

    Plant cells have evolved cortical microtubules, in a two-dimensional space beneath the plasma membrane, that regulate patterning of cellulose deposition. Although recent studies have revealed that several microtubule-associated proteins facilitate self-organization of transverse cortical microtubules, it is still unknown how diverse patterns of cortical microtubules are organized in different xylem cells, which are the major components of wood. Using our newly established in vitro xylem cell differentiation system, we found that a novel microtubule end-tracking protein, microtubule depletion domain 1 (MIDD1), was anchored to distinct plasma membrane domains and promoted local microtubule disassembly, resulting in pits on xylem cell walls. The introduction of RNA interference for MIDD1 resulted in the failure of local microtubule depletion and the formation of secondary walls without pits. Conversely, the overexpression of MIDD1 reduced microtubule density. MIDD1 has two coiled-coil domains for the binding to microtubules and for the anchorage to plasma membrane domains, respectively. Combination of the two coils caused end tracking of microtubules during shrinkage and suppressed their rescue events. Our results indicate that MIDD1 integrates spatial information in the plasma membrane with cortical microtubule dynamics for determining xylem cell wall pattern. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Robust mixed conducting membrane structure

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2010-01-01

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

  1. Cell membranes in radiation injury

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Koeteles, G.J.

    1986-01-01

    Cell membrane-related phenomena caused by low linear energy transfer radiation with doses lower than those producing cell killing are outlined. Micromorphological alterations as well as functional activities appearing with the receptors and in binding sites render it possible to reveal early and temporary changes. The cell injuries are suggested to transfer damaging conditions to surviving cells and to contribute to further development of non-stochastic effects in tissues

  2. Model-based diagnosis through Structural Analysis and Causal Computation for automotive Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polverino, Pierpaolo; Frisk, Erik; Jung, Daniel; Krysander, Mattias; Pianese, Cesare

    2017-07-01

    The present paper proposes an advanced approach for Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) systems fault detection and isolation through a model-based diagnostic algorithm. The considered algorithm is developed upon a lumped parameter model simulating a whole PEMFC system oriented towards automotive applications. This model is inspired by other models available in the literature, with further attention to stack thermal dynamics and water management. The developed model is analysed by means of Structural Analysis, to identify the correlations among involved physical variables, defined equations and a set of faults which may occur in the system (related to both auxiliary components malfunctions and stack degradation phenomena). Residual generators are designed by means of Causal Computation analysis and the maximum theoretical fault isolability, achievable with a minimal number of installed sensors, is investigated. The achieved results proved the capability of the algorithm to theoretically detect and isolate almost all faults with the only use of stack voltage and temperature sensors, with significant advantages from an industrial point of view. The effective fault isolability is proved through fault simulations at a specific fault magnitude with an advanced residual evaluation technique, to consider quantitative residual deviations from normal conditions and achieve univocal fault isolation.

  3. Epithelial cell-cell junctions and plasma membrane domains

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Giepmans, Ben N. G.; van Ijzendoorn, Sven C. D.

    Epithelial cells form a barrier against the environment, but are also required for the regulated exchange of molecules between an organism and its surroundings. Epithelial cells are characterised by a remarkable polarization of their plasma membrane, evidenced by the appearance of structurally,

  4. Embryo Cell Membranes Reconstruction by Tensor Voting

    OpenAIRE

    Michelin , Gaël; Guignard , Léo; Fiuza , Ulla-Maj; Malandain , Grégoire

    2014-01-01

    International audience; Image-based studies of developing organs or embryos produce a huge quantity of data. To handle such high-throughput experimental protocols, automated computer-assisted methods are highly desirable. This article aims at designing an efficient cell segmentation method from microscopic images. The proposed approach is twofold: first, cell membranes are enhanced or extracted by the means of structure-based filters, and then perceptual grouping (i.e. tensor voting) allows t...

  5. Membrane phospholipids and radiation-induced death of mammalian cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wolters, H.

    1987-01-01

    Radiation-induced cell killing is generally believed to be a consequence of residual DNA damage or damage that is mis-repaired. However, besides this DNA damage, damage to other molecules or structures of the cell may be involved in the killing. Especially membranes have been suggested as a determinant in cellular radiosensitivity. In this thesis experiments are described, dealing with the possible involvement of membranes in radiation-induced killing of mammalian cells. A general treatise of membrane structure is followed by information concerning deleterious effects of radiation on membranes. Consequences of damage to structure and function of membranes are reviewed. Thereafter evidence relating to the possible involvement of membranes in radiation-induced cell killing is presented. (Auth.)

  6. Molecular machines open cell membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-López, Víctor; Chen, Fang; Nilewski, Lizanne G; Duret, Guillaume; Aliyan, Amir; Kolomeisky, Anatoly B; Robinson, Jacob T; Wang, Gufeng; Pal, Robert; Tour, James M

    2017-08-30

    Beyond the more common chemical delivery strategies, several physical techniques are used to open the lipid bilayers of cellular membranes. These include using electric and magnetic fields, temperature, ultrasound or light to introduce compounds into cells, to release molecular species from cells or to selectively induce programmed cell death (apoptosis) or uncontrolled cell death (necrosis). More recently, molecular motors and switches that can change their conformation in a controlled manner in response to external stimuli have been used to produce mechanical actions on tissue for biomedical applications. Here we show that molecular machines can drill through cellular bilayers using their molecular-scale actuation, specifically nanomechanical action. Upon physical adsorption of the molecular motors onto lipid bilayers and subsequent activation of the motors using ultraviolet light, holes are drilled in the cell membranes. We designed molecular motors and complementary experimental protocols that use nanomechanical action to induce the diffusion of chemical species out of synthetic vesicles, to enhance the diffusion of traceable molecular machines into and within live cells, to induce necrosis and to introduce chemical species into live cells. We also show that, by using molecular machines that bear short peptide addends, nanomechanical action can selectively target specific cell-surface recognition sites. Beyond the in vitro applications demonstrated here, we expect that molecular machines could also be used in vivo, especially as their design progresses to allow two-photon, near-infrared and radio-frequency activation.

  7. Molecular machines open cell membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-López, Víctor; Chen, Fang; Nilewski, Lizanne G.; Duret, Guillaume; Aliyan, Amir; Kolomeisky, Anatoly B.; Robinson, Jacob T.; Wang, Gufeng; Pal, Robert; Tour, James M.

    2017-08-01

    Beyond the more common chemical delivery strategies, several physical techniques are used to open the lipid bilayers of cellular membranes. These include using electric and magnetic fields, temperature, ultrasound or light to introduce compounds into cells, to release molecular species from cells or to selectively induce programmed cell death (apoptosis) or uncontrolled cell death (necrosis). More recently, molecular motors and switches that can change their conformation in a controlled manner in response to external stimuli have been used to produce mechanical actions on tissue for biomedical applications. Here we show that molecular machines can drill through cellular bilayers using their molecular-scale actuation, specifically nanomechanical action. Upon physical adsorption of the molecular motors onto lipid bilayers and subsequent activation of the motors using ultraviolet light, holes are drilled in the cell membranes. We designed molecular motors and complementary experimental protocols that use nanomechanical action to induce the diffusion of chemical species out of synthetic vesicles, to enhance the diffusion of traceable molecular machines into and within live cells, to induce necrosis and to introduce chemical species into live cells. We also show that, by using molecular machines that bear short peptide addends, nanomechanical action can selectively target specific cell-surface recognition sites. Beyond the in vitro applications demonstrated here, we expect that molecular machines could also be used in vivo, especially as their design progresses to allow two-photon, near-infrared and radio-frequency activation.

  8. Alternate Fuel Cell Membranes for Energy Independence

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Storey, Robson, F.; Mauritz, Kenneth, A.; Patton, Derek, L.; Savin, Daniel, A.

    2012-12-18

    performance properties of experimental membranes, 9) fabrication and FC performance testing of membrane electrode assemblies (MEA) from experimental membranes, and 10) measurement of ex situ and in situ membrane durability of experimental membranes. Although none of the experimental hydrocarbon membranes that issued from the project displayed proton conductivities that met DOE requirements, the project contributed to our basic understanding of membrane structure-property relationships in a number of key respects. An important finding of the benchmark studies is that physical degradation associated with humidity and temperature variations in the FC tend to open new fuel crossover pathways and act synergistically with chemical degradation to accelerate overall membrane degradation. Thus, for long term membrane survival and efficient fuel utilization, membranes must withstand internal stresses due to humidity and temperature changes. In this respect, rigid aromatic hydrocarbon fuel cell membranes, e.g. PAES, offer an advantage over un-modified Nafion membranes. The benchmark studies also showed that broadband dielectric spectroscopy is a potentially powerful tool in assessing shifts in the fundamental macromolecular dynamics caused by Nafion chemical degradation, and thus, this technique is of relevance in interrogating proton exchange membrane durability in fuel cells and macromolecular dynamics as coupled to proton migration, which is of fundamental relevance in proton exchange membranes in fuel cells. A key finding from the hydrocarbon membrane synthesis effort was that rigid aromatic polymers containing isolated ion exchange groups tethered tightly to the backbone (short tether), such as HPPS, provide excellent mechanical and durability properties but do not provide sufficient conductivity, in either random or block configuration, when used as the sole ion exchange monomer. However, we continue to hypothesize that longer tethers, and tethered groups spaced more closely

  9. Conical nano-structure arrays of Platinum cathode catalyst for enhanced cell performance in PEMFC (proton exchange membrane fuel cell)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Khan, Aziz; Nath, Bhabesh Kumar; Chutia, Joyanti

    2015-01-01

    Conical nanostructure arrays of Pt (Platinum) as cathode catalyst are developed using a novel integrated plasma sputtering technique. The integration method involves successive deposition of Pt catalyst arrays one upon another maintaining a uniform time gap. Deposition by integrated approach results in the formation of dense arrays of Pt nanostructure as compared to continuous deposition. These high number density integrated arrays with low Pt loading of 0.10 mg cm −2 at the cathode provide enhanced performance compared to non-integrated cathode catalyst prepared by continuous deposition and standard commercial electrodes with Pt loadings of 1 mg cm −2 . The performance is compared on the basis of polarization curve measurements and the calculated power density values. PEM fuel cell with dual integrated cathode showed an improved power density of 0.90 W cm −2 , which is higher than continuously deposited cathode catalyst with maximum power density of 0.67 W cm −2 for the same Pt loading of 0.10 mg cm −2 . - Highlights: • Conical nanostructures with high number density are prepared by a novel integrated deposition technique. • Electrode with such catalyst shows maximum performance of 0.9 W cm −2 . • Integrated catalyst performs better than continuously prepared nanostructure catalyst.

  10. The influence of saponins on cell membrane cholesterol.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Böttger, Stefan; Melzig, Matthias F

    2013-11-15

    We studied the influence of structurally different saponins on the cholesterol content of cellular membranes. Therefore a cell culture model using ECV-304 urinary bladder carcinoma cells was developed. To measure the cholesterol content we used radiolabeled (3)H-cholesterol which is chemically and physiologically identical to natural cholesterol. The cells were pre-incubated with (3)H-cholesterol and after a medium change, they were treated with saponins to assess a saponin-induced cholesterol liberation from the cell membrane. In another experiment the cells were pre-incubated with saponins and after a medium change, they were treated with (3)H-cholesterol to assess a saponin-induced inhibition of cholesterol uptake into the cell membrane. Furthermore, the membrane toxicity of all applied saponins was analyzed using extracellular LDH quantification and the general cytotoxicity was analyzed using a colorimetric MTT-assay and DNA quantification. Our results revealed a correlation between membrane toxicity and general cytotoxicity. We also compared the results from the experiments on the saponin-induced cholesterol liberation as well as the saponin-induced inhibition of cholesterol uptake with the membrane toxicity. A significant reduction in the cell membrane cholesterol content was noted for those saponins who showed membrane toxicity (IC50 saponins either liberated (3)H-cholesterol from intact cell membranes or blocked the integration of supplemented (3)H-cholesterol into the cell membrane. Saponins with little influence on the cell membrane (IC50 >100 μM) insignificantly altered the cell membrane cholesterol content. The results suggested that the general cytotoxicity of saponins is mainly dependent on their membrane toxicity and that the membrane toxicity might be caused by the loss of cholesterol from the cell membrane. We also analyzed the influence of a significantly membrane toxic saponin on the cholesterol content of intracellular membranes such as those

  11. Cardiolipin effects on membrane structure and dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-23

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

  12. A highly order-structured membrane electrode assembly with vertically aligned carbon nanotubes for ultra-low Pt loading PEM fuel cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tian, Zhi Qun; Lim, San Hua; Poh, Chee Kok; Lin, Jianyi [Institute of Chemical and Engineering Sciences, 1 Pesek Road, Jurong Island, Singapore 627833 (Singapore); Tang, Zhe; Chua, Daniel [Department of Materials Science and Engineering, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117542 (Singapore); Xia, Zetao [Institute of Materials Research and Engineering, 3 Research Link, Singapore 117602 (Singapore); Luo, Zhiqiang; Shen, Zexiang [Division of Physics and Applied Physics, School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, Nanyang Technological University, 637371 Singapore (Singapore); Shen, Pei Kang [State Key Laboratory of Optoelectronic Materials and Technologies, and Key Laboratory of Low-carbon Chemistry and Energy Conservation of Guangdong Province, School of Physics and Engineering, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, 510275 (China); Feng, Yuan Ping [Department of Physics, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117542 (Singapore)

    2011-11-15

    A simple method was developed to prepare ultra-low Pt loading membrane electrode assembly (MEA) using vertically aligned carbon nanotubes (VACNTs) as highly ordered catalyst support for PEM fuel cells application. In the method, VACNTs were directly grown on the cheap household aluminum foil by plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD), using Fe/Co bimetallic catalyst. By depositing a Pt thin layer on VACNTs/Al and subsequent hot pressing, Pt/VACNTs can be 100% transferred from Al foil onto polymer electrolyte membrane for the fabrication of MEA. The whole transfer process does not need any chemical removal and destroy membrane. The PEM fuel cell with the MEA fabricated using this method showed an excellent performance with ultra-low Pt loading down to 35 {mu}g cm{sup -2} which was comparable to that of the commercial Pt catalyst on carbon powder with 400 {mu}g cm{sup -2}. To the best of our knowledge, for the first time, we identified that it is possible to substantially reduce the Pt loading one order by application of order-structured electrode based on VACNTs as Pt catalysts support, compared with the traditional random electrode at a comparable performance through experimental and mathematical methods. (Copyright copyright 2011 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH and Co. KGaA, Weinheim)

  13. Introducing Membrane Charge and Membrane Potential to T Cell Signaling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuanqing Ma

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available While membrane models now include the heterogeneous distribution of lipids, the impact of membrane charges on regulating the association of proteins with the plasma membrane is often overlooked. Charged lipids are asymmetrically distributed between the two leaflets of the plasma membrane, resulting in the inner leaflet being negatively charged and a surface potential that attracts and binds positively charged ions, proteins, and peptide motifs. These interactions not only create a transmembrane potential but they can also facilitate the formation of charged membrane domains. Here, we reference fields outside of immunology in which consequences of membrane charge are better characterized to highlight important mechanisms. We then focus on T cell receptor (TCR signaling, reviewing the evidence that membrane charges and membrane-associated calcium regulate phosphorylation of the TCR–CD3 complex and discuss how the immunological synapse exhibits distinct patterns of membrane charge distribution. We propose that charged lipids, ions in solution, and transient protein interactions form a dynamic equilibrium during T cell activation.

  14. Chemical degradation mechanisms of membranes for alkaline membrane fuel cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Choe, Yoong-Kee [National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Umezono 1-1-1, Tsukuba (Japan); Henson, Neil J.; Kim, Yu Seung [Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM (United States)

    2015-12-31

    Chemical degradation mechanisms of membranes for alkaline membrane fuel cells have been investigated using density functional theory (DFT). We have elucidated that the aryl-ether moiety of membranes is one of the weakest site against attack of hydroxide ions. The results of DFT calculations for hydroxide initiated aryl-ether cleavage indicated that the aryl-ether cleavage occurred prior to degradation of cationic functional group. Such a weak nature of the aryl-ether group arises from the electron deficiency of the aryl group as well as the low bond dissociation energy. The DFT results suggests that removal of the aryl-ether group in the membrane should enhance the stability of membranes under alkaline conditions. In fact, an ether fee poly(phenylene) membrane exhibits excellent stability against the attack from hydroxide ions.

  15. Correlation between membrane fluidity cellular development and stem cell differentiation

    KAUST Repository

    Noutsi, Pakiza

    2016-12-01

    Cell membranes are made up of a complex structure of lipids and proteins that diffuse laterally giving rise to what we call membrane fluidity. During cellular development, such as neuronal differentiation, cell membranes undergo dramatic structural changes induced by proteins such as ARC and Cofilin among others in the case of synaptic modification. In this study we used the generalized polarization (GP) property of fluorescent probe Laurdan using two-photon microscopy to determine membrane fluidity as a function of time and for various cell lines. A low GP value corresponds to a higher fluidity and a higher GP value is associated with a more rigid membrane. Four different cell lines were monitored such as hN2, NIH3T3, HEK293 and L6 cells. As expected, NIH3T3 cells have more rigid membrane at earlier stages of their development. On the other hand neurons tend to have the highest membrane fluidity early in their development emphasizing its correlation with plasticity and the need for this malleability during differentiation. This study sheds light on the involvement of membrane fluidity during neuronal differentiation and development of other cell lines.

  16. Hierarchically structured, nitrogen-doped carbon membranes

    KAUST Repository

    Wang, Hong; Wu, Tao

    2017-01-01

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

  17. New membrane structures with proton conducting properties

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nørgaard, Casper Frydendal

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

  18. Production of membrane proteins without cells or detergents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajesh, Sundaresan; Knowles, Timothy; Overduin, Michael

    2011-04-30

    The production of membrane proteins in cellular systems is besieged by several problems due to their hydrophobic nature which often causes misfolding, protein aggregation and cytotoxicity, resulting in poor yields of stable proteins. Cell-free expression has emerged as one of the most versatile alternatives for circumventing these obstacles by producing membrane proteins directly into designed hydrophobic environments. Efficient optimisation of expression and solubilisation conditions using a variety of detergents, membrane mimetics and lipids has yielded structurally and functionally intact membrane proteins, with yields several fold above the levels possible from cell-based systems. Here we review recently developed techniques available to produce functional membrane proteins, and discuss amphipols, nanodisc and styrene maleic acid lipid particle (SMALP) technologies that can be exploited alongside cell-free expression of membrane proteins. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Interactions of Model Cell Membranes with Nanoparticles

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Angelo, S. M.; Camesano, T. A.; Nagarajan, R.

    2011-12-01

    or pores in the cell membrane. The dissipation changes were small, which indicates that even with the membrane destabilization that occurs, the overall structure of the bilayer is not greatly perturbed. For the 80 nm nanoparticles, we initially saw the same pattern as the smaller nanoparticles with a mass loss from the membrane, but eventually we saw a large decrease in frequency, representing an increase in mass. This addition of mass may be attributed to adsorption of the gold nanoparticles onto the bilayer. The 80 nm particles also created a change in the energy dissipation, which suggests that the formation of the bilayer was altered with the adsorbed particles. This study suggests that nanoparticle size controls the mechanism by which nanoparticles interact with model cell membranes. We are extending this work to other types of gold nanoparticles. We are interested in examining the role of nanoparticle hydrophobicity and type of chemical functionalization on the interactions of the nanoparticle with a model membrane. We are also conducting studies on environmental bacteria, to correlate the mechanisms of nanoparticle cytoxicity with killing data on bacterial cells.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-24

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

  1. [Germ cell membrane lipids in spermatogenesis].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Ting; Shi, Xiao; Quan, Song

    2016-05-01

    Spermatogenesis is a complex developmental process in which a diploid progenitor germ cell transforms into highly specialized spermatozoa. During spermatogenesis, membrane remodeling takes place, and cell membrane permeability and liquidity undergo phase-specific changes, which are all associated with the alteration of membrane lipids. Lipids are important components of the germ cell membrane, whose volume and ratio fluctuate in different phases of spermatogenesis. Abnormal lipid metabolism can cause spermatogenic dysfunction and consequently male infertility. Germ cell membrane lipids are mainly composed of cholesterol, phospholipids and glycolipids, which play critical roles in cell adhesion and signal transduction during spermatogenesis. An insight into the correlation of membrane lipids with spermatogenesis helps us to better understand the mechanisms of spermatogenesis and provide new approaches to the diagnosis and treatment of male infertility.

  2. Dendronized Polymer Architectures for Fuel Cell Membranes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Mads Møller; Dimitrov, Ivaylo; Takamuku, S.

    2013-01-01

    Multi‐step synthetic pathways to low‐ion exchange capacity (IEC) polysulfone (PSU) with sulfonic acid functionalized aliphatic dendrons and sulfonated comb‐type PSU structures are developed and investigated in a comparative study as non‐fluorinated proton exchange membrane (PEM) candidates. In each...... case the side chains are synthesized and introduced in their sulfonated form onto an azide‐functionalized PSU via click chemistry. Three degrees of substitution of each architecture were prepared in order to evaluate the dependence on number of sulfonated side chains. Solution cast membranes were...... evaluated as PEMs for use in fuel cells by proton conductivity measurements, and in the case of dendronized architectures: thermal stability. The proposed synthetic strategy facilitates exploration of a non‐fluorous system with various flexible side chains where IEC is tunable by the degree of substitution....

  3. Lactobacillus casei combats acid stress by maintaining cell membrane functionality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Chongde; Zhang, Juan; Wang, Miao; Du, Guocheng; Chen, Jian

    2012-07-01

    Lactobacillus casei strains have traditionally been recognized as probiotics and frequently used as adjunct culture in fermented dairy products where lactic acid stress is a frequently encountered environmental condition. We have investigated the effect of lactic acid stress on the cell membrane of L. casei Zhang [wild type (WT)] and its acid-resistant mutant Lbz-2. Both strains were grown under glucose-limiting conditions in chemostats; following challenge by low pH, the cell membrane stress responses were investigated. In response to acid stress, cell membrane fluidity decreased and its fatty acid composition changed to reduce the damage caused by lactic acid. Compared with the WT, the acid-resistant mutant exhibited numerous survival advantages, such as higher membrane fluidity, higher proportions of unsaturated fatty acids, and higher mean chain length. In addition, cell integrity analysis showed that the mutant maintained a more intact cellular structure and lower membrane permeability after environmental acidification. These results indicate that alteration in membrane fluidity, fatty acid distribution, and cell integrity are common mechanisms utilized by L. casei to withstand severe acidification and to reduce the deleterious effect of lactic acid on the cell membrane. This detailed comparison of cell membrane responses between the WT and mutant add to our knowledge of the acid stress adaptation and thus enable new strategies to be developed aimed at improving the industrial performance of this species under acid stress.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weber, Igor

    2007-01-01

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

  5. Magnetic apatite for structural insights on the plasma membrane

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. Magnetic apatite for structural insights on the plasma membrane

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Overcoming barriers to membrane protein structure determination.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-04-01

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

  8. Hierarchically structured, nitrogen-doped carbon membranes

    KAUST Repository

    Wang, Hong

    2017-08-03

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

  9. Lipids as organizers of cell membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kornmann, Benoît; Roux, Aurélien

    2012-08-01

    The 105th Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds International Titisee Conference 'Lipids as Organizers of Cell Membranes' took place in March 2012, in Germany. Kai Simons and Gisou Van der Goot gathered cell biologists and biophysicists to discuss the interplay between lipids and proteins in biological membranes, with an emphasis on how technological advances could help fill the gap in our understanding of the lipid part of the membrane.

  10. Radiation Grafted Polymer Membranes for Fuel Cell Applications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Scherer, G.G.; Wallasch, F.; Ben Youcef, H.; Gubler, L.

    2012-01-01

    Partially fluorinated proton exchange membranes prepared via radiation induced graft copolymerization ('radiation grafting') offer the prospect of cost-effective and tailor made membrane electrolytes for the polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC). The composition and structure of radiation grafted membranes can be adjusted in a broad range to balance the different requirements of proton transport and mechanical robustness. Based on the earlier work on Styrene grafting, the novel monomer combination α-methyl-styrene/methacrylonitrile (AMS/MAN) is introduced for improved stability in the prevailing fuel cell environment. Successful fuel cell experiments proved the concept. (author)

  11. Radiation Grafted Polymer Membranes for Fuel Cell Applications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Scherer, G G; Wallasch, F; Ben Youcef, H; Gubler, L [Electrochemistry Laboratory, Paul Scherrer Institut, CH-5232 Villigen (Switzerland)

    2012-09-15

    Partially fluorinated proton exchange membranes prepared via radiation induced graft copolymerization ('radiation grafting') offer the prospect of cost-effective and tailor made membrane electrolytes for the polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC). The composition and structure of radiation grafted membranes can be adjusted in a broad range to balance the different requirements of proton transport and mechanical robustness. Based on the earlier work on Styrene grafting, the novel monomer combination {alpha}-methyl-styrene/methacrylonitrile (AMS/MAN) is introduced for improved stability in the prevailing fuel cell environment. Successful fuel cell experiments proved the concept. (author)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-11-01

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

  13. Performance enhancement of membrane electrode assemblies with plasma etched polymer electrolyte membrane in PEM fuel cell

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cho, Yong-Hun; Yoon, Won-Sub [School of Advanced Materials Engineering, Kookmin University, 861-1 Jeongneung-dong, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul 136-702 (Korea); Bae, Jin Woo; Cho, Yoon-Hwan; Lim, Ju Wan; Ahn, Minjeh; Jho, Jae Young; Sung, Yung-Eun [World Class University (WCU) program of Chemical Convergence for Energy and Environment (C2E2), School of Chemical and Biological Engineering, College of Engineering, Seoul National University (SNU), 599 Gwanak-Ro, Gwanak-gu, Seoul 151-744 (Korea); Kwon, Nak-Hyun [Fuel Cell Vehicle Team 3, Advanced Technology Center, Corporate Research and Development Division, Hyundai-Kia Motors, 104 Mabuk-dong, Giheung-gu, Yongin-si, Gyeonggi-do 446-912 (Korea)

    2010-10-15

    In this work, a surface modified Nafion 212 membrane was fabricated by plasma etching in order to enhance the performance of a membrane electrode assembly (MEA) in a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell. Single-cell performance of MEA at 0.7 V was increased by about 19% with membrane that was etched for 10 min compared to that with untreated Nafion 212 membrane. The MEA with membrane etched for 20 min exhibited a current density of 1700 mA cm{sup -2} at 0.35 V, which was 8% higher than that of MEA with untreated membrane (1580 mA cm{sup -2}). The performances of MEAs containing etched membranes were affected by complex factors such as the thickness and surface morphology of the membrane related to etching time. The structural changes and electrochemical properties of the MEAs with etched membranes were characterized by field emission scanning electron microscopy, Fourier transform-infrared spectrometry, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, and cyclic voltammetry. (author)

  14. Protein diffusion in plant cell plasma membranes: The cell-wall corral

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandre eMartinière

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Studying protein diffusion informs us about how proteins interact with their environment. Work on protein diffusion over the last several decades has illustrated the complex nature of biological lipid bilayers. The plasma membrane contains an array of membrane-spanning proteins or proteins with peripheral membrane associations. Maintenance of plasma membrane microstructure can be via physical features that provide intrinsic ordering such as lipid microdomains, or from membrane-associated structures such as the cytoskeleton. Recent evidence indicates, that in the case of plant cells, the cell wall seems to be a major player in maintaining plasma membrane microstructure. This interconnection / interaction between cell-wall and plasma membrane proteins most likely plays an important role in signal transduction, cell growth, and cell physiological responses to the environment.

  15. Protein diffusion in plant cell plasma membranes: the cell-wall corral.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinière, Alexandre; Runions, John

    2013-01-01

    Studying protein diffusion informs us about how proteins interact with their environment. Work on protein diffusion over the last several decades has illustrated the complex nature of biological lipid bilayers. The plasma membrane contains an array of membrane-spanning proteins or proteins with peripheral membrane associations. Maintenance of plasma membrane microstructure can be via physical features that provide intrinsic ordering such as lipid microdomains, or from membrane-associated structures such as the cytoskeleton. Recent evidence indicates, that in the case of plant cells, the cell wall seems to be a major player in maintaining plasma membrane microstructure. This interconnection / interaction between cell-wall and plasma membrane proteins most likely plays an important role in signal transduction, cell growth, and cell physiological responses to the environment.

  16. [Spatial structure of the calixarene-aminophosphonic acids is important for their inhibition of the Na+,K(+)-ATPase activity in plasma membrane of smooth muscle cells].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veklich, T O; Shkrabak, O A; Rodik, R V; Boĭko, V I; Kal'chenko, V I; Kosterin, S O

    2010-01-01

    It was found that calixarene C-107 (5,17-diamino(2-pyridyl)methylphosphono-11,23-di-tret-butyl-26,28-dihydroxy-25,27-dipropoxycalix[4]arene) could effectively reduce Na+,K(+)-ATPase activity of the myometrium cell plasmatic membranes (the value of the apparent constant of inhibition I0.5 was 33 +/- 4 nM) while it practically did not influence the "basal" Mg2(+)-ATPase activity of the same membrane. In comparative experiments, we have shown that the model calixarene C-150--the calixarene "scaffold" (26,28-dihydroxy-25,27-dipropoxycalix[4]arene), and the model compound M-3 (4-hydroxyaniline(2-pyridine)methylphosphonic acid)--a fragment of the calixarene C-107, had practically no influence on the enzymatic activities of Na+,K(+)-ATPase and Mg(2+)-ATPase over a wide range of concentrations. Hence, the influence of calixarene C-107 on Na+,K(+)-ATPase activity was caused by the joint action of two aminophosphonic substituents on the upper rim of the calixarene bowl. The isomer of calixarene C-107--calixarene C-160 (5,11-diamino(2-pyridyl)methylphosphono-17,23-di-tret-butyl-26,28-dihydroxy-25,27-dipropoxycalix[4]arene) also did not influence the Na+,K(+)-ATPase and Mg(2+)-ATPase activities of plasmatic membrane of myometrium cells. We carried out molecular modeling of calixarenes C-107 and C-160 and showed differences in interatomic distance between aminophosphonic substituents of mentioned calixarenes. We came to the conclusion that spatial structure of calixarene C-107, namely localization of two aminophosphonic substituents in 5,17 position of the upper rim of this calixarene, is crucial for inhibition of Na+,K(+)-ATPase activity. Using laser correlation spectroscopy it was found that the 100 microM solution of calixarene C-107 and 2.5% DMSO had microparticles with size range from 100 nm to 10 microm. Plasma membrane vesicles had average hydrodynamic diameter 401 +/- 17 nm, but after interaction of these vesicles with calixarene C-107 we have registered the creation of

  17. Channels in cell membranes and synchrotron radiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yan Xiaohui; Tian Liang; Zhang Xinyi

    2004-01-01

    For long time a lot of scientists have devoted to study how matter, such as water molecules and K + , Na + , Ca 2+ , Cl - ions, move through cell membranes and complete the matter exchange between the inside and outside of cells. Peter Agre discovered and characterized the first water channel protein in 1988 and Roderick MacKinnon elucidated the structural and mechanistic basis for ion channel function in 1998. These achievements have made it possible for us to 'see' these exquisitely designed molecular machines in action at the atomic level. The Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 2003 is shared between these two scientists. In determining the high resolution 3D structure of these channels, the synchrotron X-ray diffraction plays an important role

  18. Interaction of Defensins with Model Cell Membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanders, Lori K.; Schmidt, Nathan W.; Yang, Lihua; Mishra, Abhijit; Gordon, Vernita D.; Selsted, Michael E.; Wong, Gerard C. L.

    2009-03-01

    Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) comprise a key component of innate immunity for a wide range of multicellular organisms. For many AMPs, activity comes from their ability to selectively disrupt and lyse bacterial cell membranes. There are a number of proposed models for this action, but the detailed molecular mechanism of selective membrane permeation remains unclear. Theta defensins are circularized peptides with a high degree of selectivity. We investigate the interaction of model bacterial and eukaryotic cell membranes with theta defensins RTD-1, BTD-7, and compare them to protegrin PG-1, a prototypical AMP, using synchrotron small angle x-ray scattering (SAXS). The relationship between membrane composition and peptide induced changes in membrane curvature and topology is examined. By comparing the membrane phase behavior induced by these different peptides we will discuss the importance of amino acid composition and placement on membrane rearrangement.

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

    CERN Document Server

    Leshem, Ya’Acov Y

    1992-01-01

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

  20. How the antimicrobial peptides destroy bacteria cell membrane: Translocations vs. membrane buckling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golubovic, Leonardo; Gao, Lianghui; Chen, Licui; Fang, Weihai

    2012-02-01

    In this study, coarse grained Dissipative Particle Dynamics simulation with implementation of electrostatic interactions is developed in constant pressure and surface tension ensemble to elucidate how the antimicrobial peptide molecules affect bilayer cell membrane structure and kill bacteria. We find that peptides with different chemical-physical properties exhibit different membrane obstructing mechanisms. Peptide molecules can destroy vital functions of the affected bacteria by translocating across their membranes via worm-holes, or by associating with membrane lipids to form hydrophilic cores trapped inside the hydrophobic domain of the membranes. In the latter scenario, the affected membranes are strongly corrugated (buckled) in accord with very recent experimental observations [G. E. Fantner et al., Nat. Nanotech., 5 (2010), pp. 280-285].

  1. A Quaternary Polybenzimidazole Membrane for Intermediate Temperature Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Xu, C.; Scott, K.; Li, Qingfeng

    2013-01-01

    at 150 °C with the PA acid loading level of 3.5 PRU (amount of H3PO4 per repeat unit of polymer QPBI). The QPBI membrane was characterized in terms of composition, structure and morphology by NMR, FTIR, SEM, and EDX. The fuel cell performance with the membrane gave peak power densities of 440 and 240 m......A quaternary ammonium polybenzimidazole (QPBI) membrane was synthesized for applications in intermediate temperature (100–200 °C) hydrogen fuel cells. The QPBI membrane was imbibed with phosphoric acid to provide suitable proton conductivity. The proton conductivity of the membrane was 0.051 S cm–1......W cm–2 using oxygen and air, respectively, at 175 °C....

  2. Membrane lipidome of an epithelial cell line

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sampaio, Julio L; Gerl, Mathias J; Klose, Christian

    2011-01-01

    Tissue differentiation is an important process that involves major cellular membrane remodeling. We used Madin-Darby canine kidney cells as a model for epithelium formation and investigated the remodeling of the total cell membrane lipidome during the transition from a nonpolarized morphology...... to an epithelial morphology and vice versa. To achieve this, we developed a shotgun-based lipidomics workflow that enabled the absolute quantification of mammalian membrane lipidomes with minimal sample processing from low sample amounts. Epithelial morphogenesis was accompanied by a major shift from sphingomyelin...... to generate an apical membrane domain that serves as a protective barrier for the epithelial sheet....

  3. Polyarylenethioethersulfone Membranes for Fuel Cells (Postprint)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    The Electrochemical SocietyProton exchange membrane fuel cells PEMFCs are an attrac- tive power source due to their energy efficiency and...standard in PEMFC technology.3,4 Nafion membranes have a polytetrafluoro- ethylene PTFE backbone, which provides thermal and chemical stability, and...diffusion layers to fabricate MEAs. Single-cell test (H- PEMFC ).— MEAs were positioned in a single-cell fixture with graphite blocks as current

  4. Diffuse Charge Effects in Fuel Cell Membranes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Biesheuvel, P.M.; Franco, A.A.; Bazant, M.Z.

    2009-01-01

    It is commonly assumed that electrolyte membranes in fuel cells are electrically neutral, except in unsteady situations, when the double-layer capacitance is heuristically included in equivalent circuit calculations. Indeed, the standard model for electron transfer kinetics at the membrane/electrode

  5. Membrane elastic properties and cell function.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruno Pontes

    Full Text Available Recent studies indicate that the cell membrane, interacting with its attached cytoskeleton, is an important regulator of cell function, exerting and responding to forces. We investigate this relationship by looking for connections between cell membrane elastic properties, especially surface tension and bending modulus, and cell function. Those properties are measured by pulling tethers from the cell membrane with optical tweezers. Their values are determined for all major cell types of the central nervous system, as well as for macrophage. Astrocytes and glioblastoma cells, which are considerably more dynamic than neurons, have substantially larger surface tensions. Resting microglia, which continually scan their environment through motility and protrusions, have the highest elastic constants, with values similar to those for resting macrophage. For both microglia and macrophage, we find a sharp softening of bending modulus between their resting and activated forms, which is very advantageous for their acquisition of phagocytic functions upon activation. We also determine the elastic constants of pure cell membrane, with no attached cytoskeleton. For all cell types, the presence of F-actin within tethers, contrary to conventional wisdom, is confirmed. Our findings suggest the existence of a close connection between membrane elastic constants and cell function.

  6. Modeling of interactions between nanoparticles and cell membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ban, Young-Min

    containing the nanoparticles exhibit localized perturbation around the nanoparticle. The nanoparticles are not likely to affect membrane protein function by the weak perturbation of the internal stress in the membrane. Due to the short-ranged interactions between the nanoparticles, the nanoparticles would not form aggregates inside membranes. The effect of lipid peroxidation on cell membrane deformation is assessed. The peroxidized lipids introduce a perturbation to the internal structure of the membrane leading to higher amplitude of the membrane fluctuations. Higher concentration of the peroxidized lipids induces more significant perturbation. Cumulative effects of lipid peroxidation caused by nanoparticles are examined for the first time. The considered amphiphilic particle appears to reduce the perturbation of the membrane structure at its equilibrium position inside the peroxidized membrane. This suggests a possibility of antioxidant effect of the nanoparticle.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeffrey Mital

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

  8. Molecular organization in bacterial cell membranes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Larraga, V.; Munoz, E.

    1975-01-01

    The paper reports about an investigation into the question of the specific labelling and topological distribution of glycoproteins and proteins in Streptomyces albus membranes. The method of sample preparation is described: Tritium labelling of glycoproteins in protoplasts and membranes, iodination of proteins, trypsin treatment and polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. The findings suggest an asymmetrical distribution of the glycoproteins in membranes and a weak accessibility to iodine label. A structural model of the plasma membranes of Streptomyces albus is proposed similar to the general 'fluid mosaic' model of Singer and Nicholson. (BSC) [de

  9. Durability of PEM Fuel Cell Membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Xinyu; Reifsnider, Ken

    Durability is still a critical limiting factor for the commercialization of polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells, a leading energy conversion technology for powering future hydrogen fueled automobiles, backup power systems (e.g., for base transceiver station of cellular networks), portable electronic devices, etc. Ionic conducting polymer (ionomer) electrolyte membranes are the critical enabling materials for the PEM fuel cells. They are also widely used as the central functional elements in hydrogen generation (e.g., electrolyzers), membrane cell for chlor-alkali production, etc. A perfluorosulfonic acid (PFSA) polymer with the trade name Nafion® developed by DuPont™ is the most widely used PEM in chlor-alkali cells and PEM fuel cells. Similar PFSA membranes have been developed by Dow Chemical, Asahi Glass, and lately Solvay Solexis. Frequently, such membranes serve the dual function of reactant separation and selective ionic conduction between two otherwise separate compartments. For some applications, the compromise of the "separation" function via the degradation and mechanical failure of the electrolyte membrane can be the life-limiting factor; this is particularly the case for PEM in hydrogen/oxygen fuel cells.

  10. Chapter 6: cubic membranes the missing dimension of cell membrane organization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almsherqi, Zakaria A; Landh, Tomas; Kohlwein, Sepp D; Deng, Yuru

    2009-01-01

    Biological membranes are among the most fascinating assemblies of biomolecules: a bilayer less than 10 nm thick, composed of rather small lipid molecules that are held together simply by noncovalent forces, defines the cell and discriminates between "inside" and "outside", survival, and death. Intracellular compartmentalization-governed by biomembranes as well-is a characteristic feature of eukaryotic cells, which allows them to fulfill multiple and highly specialized anabolic and catabolic functions in strictly controlled environments. Although cellular membranes are generally visualized as flat sheets or closely folded isolated objects, multiple observations also demonstrate that membranes may fold into "unusual", highly organized structures with 2D or 3D periodicity. The obvious correlation of highly convoluted membrane organizations with pathological cellular states, for example, as a consequence of viral infection, deserves close consideration. However, knowledge about formation and function of these highly organized 3D periodic membrane structures is scarce, primarily due to the lack of appropriate techniques for their analysis in vivo. Currently, the only direct way to characterize cellular membrane architecture is by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). However, deciphering the spatial architecture solely based on two-dimensionally projected TEM images is a challenging task and prone to artifacts. In this review, we will provide an update on the current progress in identifying and analyzing 3D membrane architectures in biological systems, with a special focus on membranes with cubic symmetry, and their potential role in physiological and pathophysiological conditions. Proteomics and lipidomics approaches in defined experimental cell systems may prove instrumental to understand formation and function of 3D membrane morphologies.

  11. Structure Biology of Membrane Bound Enzymes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-11-30

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

  12. Plasma membrane associated membranes (PAM) from Jurkat cells contain STIM1 protein is PAM involved in the capacitative calcium entry?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kozieł, Katarzyna; Lebiedzinska, Magdalena; Szabadkai, Gyorgy; Onopiuk, Marta; Brutkowski, Wojciech; Wierzbicka, Katarzyna; Wilczyński, Grzegorz; Pinton, Paolo; Duszyński, Jerzy; Zabłocki, Krzysztof; Wieckowski, Mariusz R

    2009-12-01

    A proper cooperation between the plasma membrane, the endoplasmic reticulum and the mitochondria seems to be essential for numerous cellular processes involved in Ca(2+) signalling and maintenance of Ca(2+) homeostasis. A presence of microsomal and mitochondrial proteins together with those characteristic for the plasma membrane in the fraction of the plasma membrane associated membranes (PAM) indicates a formation of stabile interactions between these three structures. We isolated the plasma membrane associated membranes from Jurkat cells and found its significant enrichment in the plasma membrane markers including plasma membrane Ca(2+)-ATPase, Na(+), K(+)-ATPase and CD3 as well as sarco/endoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+) ATPase as a marker of the endoplasmic reticulum membranes. In addition, two proteins involved in the store-operated Ca(2+) entry, Orai1 located in the plasma membrane and an endoplasmic reticulum protein STIM1 were found in this fraction. Furthermore, we observed a rearrangement of STIM1-containing protein complexes isolated from Jurkat cells undergoing stimulation by thapsigargin. We suggest that the inter-membrane compartment composed of the plasma membrane and the endoplasmic reticulum, and isolated as a stabile plasma membrane associated membranes fraction, might be involved in the store-operated Ca(2+) entry, and their formation and rebuilding have an important regulatory role in cellular Ca(2+) homeostasis.

  13. Cooperative tumour cell membrane targeted phototherapy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Heegon; Lee, Junsung; Oh, Chanhee; Park, Ji-Ho

    2017-06-01

    The targeted delivery of therapeutics using antibodies or nanomaterials has improved the precision and safety of cancer therapy. However, the paucity and heterogeneity of identified molecular targets within tumours have resulted in poor and uneven distribution of targeted agents, thus compromising treatment outcomes. Here, we construct a cooperative targeting system in which synthetic and biological nanocomponents participate together in the tumour cell membrane-selective localization of synthetic receptor-lipid conjugates (SR-lipids) to amplify the subsequent targeting of therapeutics. The SR-lipids are first delivered selectively to tumour cell membranes in the perivascular region using fusogenic liposomes. By hitchhiking with extracellular vesicles secreted by the cells, the SR-lipids are transferred to neighbouring cells and further spread throughout the tumour tissues where the molecular targets are limited. We show that this tumour cell membrane-targeted delivery of SR-lipids leads to uniform distribution and enhanced phototherapeutic efficacy of the targeted photosensitizer.

  14. Overcoming barriers to membrane protein structure determination

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

  15. Fuel cell subassemblies incorporating subgasketed thrifted membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iverson, Eric J.; Pierpont, Daniel M.; Yandrasits, Michael A.; Hamrock, Steven J.; Obradovich, Stephan J.; Peterson, Donald G.

    2016-03-01

    A fuel cell roll good subassembly is described that includes a plurality of individual electrolyte membranes. One or more first subgaskets are attached to the individual electrolyte membranes. Each of the first subgaskets has at least one aperture and the first subgaskets are arranged so the center regions of the individual electrolyte membranes are exposed through the apertures of the first subgaskets. A second subgasket comprises a web having a plurality of apertures. The second subgasket web is attached to the one or more first subgaskets so the center regions of the individual electrolyte membranes are exposed through the apertures of the second subgasket web. The second subgasket web may have little or no adhesive on the subgasket surface facing the electrolyte membrane.

  16. Cell membrane softening in human breast and cervical cancer cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Händel, Chris; Schmidt, B. U. Sebastian; Schiller, Jürgen; Dietrich, Undine; Möhn, Till; Kießling, Tobias R.; Pawlizak, Steve; Fritsch, Anatol W.; Horn, Lars-Christian; Briest, Susanne; Höckel, Michael; Zink, Mareike; Käs, Josef A.

    2015-08-01

    Biomechanical properties are key to many cellular functions such as cell division and cell motility and thus are crucial in the development and understanding of several diseases, for instance cancer. The mechanics of the cellular cytoskeleton have been extensively characterized in cells and artificial systems. The rigidity of the plasma membrane, with the exception of red blood cells, is unknown and membrane rigidity measurements only exist for vesicles composed of a few synthetic lipids. In this study, thermal fluctuations of giant plasma membrane vesicles (GPMVs) directly derived from the plasma membranes of primary breast and cervical cells, as well as breast cell lines, are analyzed. Cell blebs or GPMVs were studied via thermal membrane fluctuations and mass spectrometry. It will be shown that cancer cell membranes are significantly softer than their non-malignant counterparts. This can be attributed to a loss of fluid raft forming lipids in malignant cells. These results indicate that the reduction of membrane rigidity promotes aggressive blebbing motion in invasive cancer cells.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  18. Effect of ozone on leaf cell membranes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Swanson, E S; Thomson, W W; Mudd, J B

    1973-01-01

    The objective of this study was to determine the effects of ozone on membrane lipids and on the electron-density patterns of cell membranes in electron micrographs. Analysis of fatty acids from tobacco leaves fumigated with ozone indicated that there was no significant difference between the ozone-treated and the control plants in the relative amounts of the fatty acids. This suggests that if the primary site of ozone action is unsaturated lipids in membranes then the amounts of affected unsaturated fatty acids are too small to be detected by gas chromatography. In support of this, characteristic electron-microscopic images of membranes are observed in cells of fumigated leaves. However, measurements of the length and width of the chloroplasts and the determination of axial ratios indicated that the ozone treatment resulted in a shrinkage of the chloroplasts. In contrast, mitochondrial changes are apparently explained in terms of ozone-induced swelling. 33 references, 3 figures, 1 table.

  19. Layer-by-layer cell membrane assembly

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matosevic, Sandro; Paegel, Brian M.

    2013-11-01

    Eukaryotic subcellular membrane systems, such as the nuclear envelope or endoplasmic reticulum, present a rich array of architecturally and compositionally complex supramolecular targets that are as yet inaccessible. Here we describe layer-by-layer phospholipid membrane assembly on microfluidic droplets, a route to structures with defined compositional asymmetry and lamellarity. Starting with phospholipid-stabilized water-in-oil droplets trapped in a static droplet array, lipid monolayer deposition proceeds as oil/water-phase boundaries pass over the droplets. Unilamellar vesicles assembled layer-by-layer support functional insertion both of purified and of in situ expressed membrane proteins. Synthesis and chemical probing of asymmetric unilamellar and double-bilayer vesicles demonstrate the programmability of both membrane lamellarity and lipid-leaflet composition during assembly. The immobilized vesicle arrays are a pragmatic experimental platform for biophysical studies of membranes and their associated proteins, particularly complexes that assemble and function in multilamellar contexts in vivo.

  20. Cell cycle dependent changes in the plasma membrane organization of mammalian cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Denz, Manuela; Chiantia, Salvatore; Herrmann, Andreas; Mueller, Peter; Korte, Thomas; Schwarzer, Roland

    2017-03-01

    Lipid membranes are major structural elements of all eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms. Although many aspects of their biology have been studied extensively, their dynamics and lateral heterogeneity are still not fully understood. Recently, we observed a cell-to-cell variability in the plasma membrane organization of CHO-K1 cells (Schwarzer et al., 2014). We surmised that cell cycle dependent changes of the individual cells from our unsynchronized cell population account for this phenomenon. In the present study, this hypothesis was tested. To this aim, CHO-K1 cells were arrested in different cell cycle phases by chemical treatments, and the order of their plasma membranes was determined by various fluorescent lipid analogues using fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy. Our experiments exhibit significant differences in the membrane order of cells arrested in the G2/M or S phase compared to control cells. Our single-cell analysis also enabled the specific selection of mitotic cells, which displayed a significant increase of the membrane order compared to the control. In addition, the lipid raft marker GPImYFP was used to study the lateral organization of cell cycle arrested cells as well as mitotic cells and freely cycling samples. Again, significant differences were found between control and arrested cells and even more pronounced between control and mitotic cells. Our data demonstrate a direct correlation between cell cycle progression and plasma membrane organization, underlining that cell-to-cell heterogeneities of membrane properties have to be taken into account in cellular studies especially at the single-cell level. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Synthesis and characterization of Nafion/TiO2 nanocomposite membrane for proton exchange membrane fuel cell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Tae Young; Cho, Sung Yong

    2011-08-01

    In this study, the syntheses and characterizations of Nafion/TiO2 membranes for a proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) were investigated. Porous TiO2 powders were synthesized using the sol-gel method; with Nafion/TiO2 nanocomposite membranes prepared using the casting method. An X-ray diffraction analysis demonstrated that the synthesized TiO2 had an anatase structure. The specific surface areas of the TiO2 and Nafion/TiO2 nanocomposite membrane were found to be 115.97 and 33.91 m2/g using a nitrogen adsorption analyzer. The energy dispersive spectra analysis indicated that the TiO2 particles were uniformly distributed in the nanocomposite membrane. The membrane electrode assembly prepared from the Nafion/TiO2 nanocomposite membrane gave the best PEMFC performance compared to the Nafion/P-25 and Nafion membranes.

  2. A novel catalyst layer structure based surface-patterned Nafion® membrane for high-performance direct methanol fuel cell

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chen, Ming; Wang, Meng; Ding, Xianan

    2018-01-01

    .5% respectively, compared with the conventional catalyst layer. Performance improvement is attributed to the fact that the novel catalyst layer structure optimizes the electrolyte membrane/catalyst layer and gas diffusion layer/catalyst layer interfacial structure, which increases the electrochemical reaction......Conventional catalyst layer with a smooth surface exists the larger area of“catalytic dead zone” and reduces the utilization of catalyst. Based on this, a novel catalyst layer structure based surface-patterned Nafion® membrane was designed to achieve more efficient electrochemical reaction...... to prepare the novel catalyst layer, and the effect of pressure on the performance of MEA was investigated. The results suggested that the peak power density of DMFC with optimal novel catalyst layer structure increased by 28.84%, the charge transfer resistances of anode and cathode reduced by 28.8% and 26...

  3. Polymers application in proton exchange membranes for fuel cells (PEMFCs)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walkowiak-Kulikowska, Justyna; Wolska, Joanna; Koroniak, Henryk

    2017-07-01

    This review presents the most important research on alternative polymer membranes with ionic groups attached, provides examples of materials with a well-defined chemical structure that are described in the literature. Furthermore, it elaborates on the synthetic methods used for preparing PEMs, the current status of fuel cell technology and its application. It also briefly discusses the development of the PEMFC market.

  4. Focus on Membrane Differentiation and Membrane Domains in the Prokaryotic Cell

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boekema, Egbert J.; Scheffers, Dirk-Jan; van Bezouwen, Laura S.; Bolhuis, Henk; Folea, I. Mihaela

    2013-01-01

    A summary is presented of membrane differentiation in the prokaryotic cell, with an emphasis on the organization of proteins in the plasma/cell membrane. Many species belonging to the Eubacteria and Archaea have special membrane domains and/or membrane proliferation, which are vital for different

  5. Review of Large Spacecraft Deployable Membrane Antenna Structures

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

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

  6. Microstructured Electrolyte Membranes to Improve Fuel Cell Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Xue

    Fuel cells, with the advantages of high efficiency, low greenhouse gas emission, and long lifetime are a promising technology for both portable power and stationary power sources. The development of efficient electrolyte membranes with high ionic conductivity, good mechanical durability and dense structure at low cost remains a challenge to the commercialization of fuel cells. This thesis focuses on exploring novel composite polymer membranes and ceramic electrolytes with the microstructure engineered to improve performance in direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs) and solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs), respectively. Polymer/particle composite membranes hold promise to meet the demands of DMFCs at lower cost. The structure of composite membranes was controlled by aligning proton conducting particles across the membrane thickness under an applied electric field. The field-induced structural changes caused the membranes to display an enhanced water uptake, proton conductivity, and methanol permeability in comparison to membranes prepared without an applied field. Although both methanol permeability and proton conductivity are enhanced by the applied field, the permeability increase is relatively lower than the proton conductivity improvement, which results in enhanced proton/methanol selectivity and improved DMFC performance. Apatite ceramics are a new class of fast ion conductors being studied as alternative SOFC electrolytes in the intermediate temperature range. An electrochemical/hydrothermal deposition method was developed to grow fully dense apatite membranes containing well-developed crystals with c-axis alignment to promote ion conductivity. Hydroxyapatite seed crystals were first deposited onto a metal substrate electrochemically. Subsequent ion substitution during the hydrothermal growth process promoted the formation of dense, fully crystalline films with microstructure optimal for ion transport. The deposition parameters were systematically investigated, such as

  7. Alkaline fuel cell with nitride membrane

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Shen-Huei; Pilaski, Moritz; Wartmann, Jens; Letzkus, Florian; Funke, Benedikt; Dura, Georg; Heinzel, Angelika

    2017-06-01

    The aim of this work is to fabricate patterned nitride membranes with Si-MEMS-technology as a platform to build up new membrane-electrode-assemblies (MEA) for alkaline fuel cell applications. Two 6-inch wafer processes based on chemical vapor deposition (CVD) were developed for the fabrication of separated nitride membranes with a nitride thickness up to 1 μm. The mechanical stability of the perforated nitride membrane has been adjusted in both processes either by embedding of subsequent ion implantation step or by optimizing the deposition process parameters. A nearly 100% yield of separated membranes of each deposition process was achieved with layer thickness from 150 nm to 1 μm and micro-channel pattern width of 1μm at a pitch of 3 μm. The process for membrane coating with electrolyte materials could be verified to build up MEA. Uniform membrane coating with channel filling was achieved after the optimization of speed controlled dip-coating method and the selection of dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) as electrolyte solvent. Finally, silver as conductive material was defined for printing a conductive layer onto the MEA by Ink-Technology. With the established IR-thermography setup, characterizations of MEAs in terms of catalytic conversion were performed successfully. The results of this work show promise for build up a platform on wafer-level for high throughput experiments.

  8. Membrane phosphorylation and nerve cell function

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Baer, P.R.

    1982-01-01

    This thesis deals with the phosphorylation of membrane components. In part I a series of experiments is described using the hippocampal slice as a model system. In part II a different model system - cultured hybrid cells - is used to study protein and lipid phosphorylation, influenced by incubation with neuropeptides. In part III in vivo and in vitro studies are combined to study protein phosphorylation after neuroanatomical lesions. In a section of part II (Page 81-90) labelling experiments of the membrane inositol-phospholipids are described. 32 P-ATP was used to label phospholipids in intact hybrid cells, and short incubations were found to be the most favourable. (C.F.)

  9. Environmental behaviour of tensile membrane structures

    OpenAIRE

    Elnokaly, Amira; Chilton, John; Wilson, Robin

    2002-01-01

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

  10. Membrane fluidity increases during apoptosis of sheep ileal Peyer's patch B cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jourd'heuil, D.; Aspinall, A.; Reynolds, J.D.; Meddings, J.B.

    1996-01-01

    To investigate specific plasma membrane structural changes associated with apoptosis, whole cells and purified plasma membranes of apoptotic B cells from the ileal Peyer's patch of sheep were analyzed for their 'membrane fluidity'. The ileal Peyer's patch of sheep provided a large number of B cells required for plasma membrane isolation (>5 x 10 9 ). As the incidence of apoptosis increased with time of culture, the fluidity of purified plasma membranes, as measured with the fluorophore DPH (diphenylhexatriene), increased. To evaluate this phenomenon with intact cells, B cells at different apoptotic stages were fractionated on discontinuous Percoll gradients. Similar results were obtained using the fluorophore TMA-DPH (trimethylammoniumdiphenylhexatriene), which has been shown to localize specifically to the plasma membrane. Functionally, the increase in plasma membrane fluidity associated with apoptosis may represent either a mechanism to cycle phosphatidylserine to the outer leaflet, mediating phagocytic recognition of apoptotic cells, or a consequence of this event. (author). 20 refs., 1 tab., 4 figs

  11. Cell Membrane Transport Mechanisms: Ion Channels and Electrical Properties of Cell Membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kulbacka, Julita; Choromańska, Anna; Rossowska, Joanna; Weżgowiec, Joanna; Saczko, Jolanta; Rols, Marie-Pierre

    2017-01-01

    Cellular life strongly depends on the membrane ability to precisely control exchange of solutes between the internal and external (environmental) compartments. This barrier regulates which types of solutes can enter and leave the cell. Transmembrane transport involves complex mechanisms responsible for passive and active carriage of ions and small- and medium-size molecules. Transport mechanisms existing in the biological membranes highly determine proper cellular functions and contribute to drug transport. The present chapter deals with features and electrical properties of the cell membrane and addresses the questions how the cell membrane accomplishes transport functions and how transmembrane transport can be affected. Since dysfunctions of plasma membrane transporters very often are the cause of human diseases, we also report how specific transport mechanisms can be modulated or inhibited in order to enhance the therapeutic effect.

  12. Modeling and Simulation for Fuel Cell Polymer Electrolyte Membrane

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takahiro Hayashi

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available We have established methods to evaluate key properties that are needed to commercialize polyelectrolyte membranes for fuel cell electric vehicles such as water diffusion, gas permeability, and mechanical strength. These methods are based on coarse-graining models. For calculating water diffusion and gas permeability through the membranes, the dissipative particle dynamics–Monte Carlo approach was applied, while mechanical strength of the hydrated membrane was simulated by coarse-grained molecular dynamics. As a result of our systematic search and analysis, we can now grasp the direction necessary to improve water diffusion, gas permeability, and mechanical strength. For water diffusion, a map that reveals the relationship between many kinds of molecular structures and diffusion constants was obtained, in which the direction to enhance the diffusivity by improving membrane structure can be clearly seen. In order to achieve high mechanical strength, the molecular structure should be such that the hydrated membrane contains narrow water channels, but these might decrease the proton conductivity. Therefore, an optimal design of the polymer structure is needed, and the developed models reviewed here make it possible to optimize these molecular structures.

  13. Myosin IIA interacts with the spectrin-actin membrane skeleton to control red blood cell membrane curvature and deformability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Alyson S; Nowak, Roberta B; Zhou, Sitong; Giannetto, Michael; Gokhin, David S; Papoin, Julien; Ghiran, Ionita C; Blanc, Lionel; Wan, Jiandi; Fowler, Velia M

    2018-05-08

    The biconcave disk shape and deformability of mammalian RBCs rely on the membrane skeleton, a viscoelastic network of short, membrane-associated actin filaments (F-actin) cross-linked by long, flexible spectrin tetramers. Nonmuscle myosin II (NMII) motors exert force on diverse F-actin networks to control cell shapes, but a function for NMII contractility in the 2D spectrin-F-actin network of RBCs has not been tested. Here, we show that RBCs contain membrane skeleton-associated NMIIA puncta, identified as bipolar filaments by superresolution fluorescence microscopy. MgATP disrupts NMIIA association with the membrane skeleton, consistent with NMIIA motor domains binding to membrane skeleton F-actin and contributing to membrane mechanical properties. In addition, the phosphorylation of the RBC NMIIA heavy and light chains in vivo indicates active regulation of NMIIA motor activity and filament assembly, while reduced heavy chain phosphorylation of membrane skeleton-associated NMIIA indicates assembly of stable filaments at the membrane. Treatment of RBCs with blebbistatin, an inhibitor of NMII motor activity, decreases the number of NMIIA filaments associated with the membrane and enhances local, nanoscale membrane oscillations, suggesting decreased membrane tension. Blebbistatin-treated RBCs also exhibit elongated shapes, loss of membrane curvature, and enhanced deformability, indicating a role for NMIIA contractility in promoting membrane stiffness and maintaining RBC biconcave disk cell shape. As structures similar to the RBC membrane skeleton exist in many metazoan cell types, these data demonstrate a general function for NMII in controlling specialized membrane morphology and mechanical properties through contractile interactions with short F-actin in spectrin-F-actin networks.

  14. New Insight Into the Roles of Membrane Microdomains in Physiological Activities of Fungal Cells.

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Malínský, Jan; Opekarová, Miroslava

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 325, mar. (2016), s. 119-180 ISSN 1937-6448 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA15-10641S Institutional support: RVO:68378041 Keywords : membrane microdomain * membrane structure * fungi * membrane contact sites Subject RIV: EA - Cell Biology Impact factor: 3.752, year: 2015

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jakob Andersson

    2016-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sankararamakrishnan, Ramasubbu

    2006-04-01

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

  17. Lithium. Effects on excitable cell membranes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ploeger, Egbert Johan

    1974-01-01

    LITHIUM: Effects on excitable cell membranes. Lithium salts have been used in the treatment of manic-depressive psychosis for many years but their mechanism of action is not well understood. Many workers assume that the action of lithium on catecholamine metabolism and/or on electrolyte distribution

  18. Organización de la membrana celular: banda 3, estructura y función Organization of the cell membrane: band 3, structure and function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ada Amalia Arce Hernández

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available El término banda 3 se refiere a un grupo de intercambiadores aniónicos (AE 0-3, que están presentes en la membrana de todas las células y organelos celulares, y que participan en diversas actividades fisiológicas, entre las que se destacan el intercambio bicarbonato/ cloruro, unión de IgG y remoción celular y el mantenimiento de la integridad celular. El AE 1 constituye el elemento central integral de un macrocomplejo proteico en el contexto de la organización de la membrana del eritrocito, que está constituido por 3 dominios con funciones estructurales y metabólicas específicas. Cambios estructurales de la banda 3 y la presencia de autoanticuerpos naturales anti banda 3 se han asociado con el envejecimiento celular y la generación del antígeno de senescencia celular (ASC. Se analiza el mecanismo de envejecimiento prematuro de los eritrocitos SS en la drepanocitosis a partir de la auto-oxidación aumentada de la hemoglobina, que trae como consecuencia alteraciones en la banda 3 y expresión del ASC, unión de IgG y la remoción de los eritrocitos SS mediante fagocitosis. Alteraciones en banda 3 se han observado también en enfermedades neurológicas como el Alzheimer, disquinesia idiopática familiar, epilepsias idiopáticas, así como en enfermedades cardiovasculares, señalándose la elevada mortalidad en el neonato con deficiencia total de banda 3The term band 3 refers to a group of anion exchangers (AE 0-3 that are present in the membrane of all cells and cellular organella and take part in diverse physiologic activities, among which the bicarbonate/ chloride exchange, the IgG binding and cellular removal , and the maintenance of cellular integrity stand out. AE1 is the central integral element of a protein macrocomplex in the context of the organization of the erythrocyte membrane that is composed of 3 domains with specific structural and metabolic functions. Structural changes of band 3 and the presence of natural anti band 3

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pöyry, Sanja; Vattulainen, Ilpo

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Effects of nitrate and sulfate on the performance and bacterial community structure of membrane-less single-chamber air-cathode microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seo, Yoonjoo; Kang, Hyemin; Chang, Sumin; Lee, Yun-Yeong; Cho, Kyung-Suk

    2018-01-02

    Membrane-less, single-chamber, air-cathode, microbial fuel cells (ML-SC MFCs) have attracted attention as being suitable for wastewater treatment. In this study, the effects of nitrate and sulfate on the performance of ML-SC MFCs and their bacterial structures were evaluated. The maximum power density increased after nitrate addition from 8.6 mW·m -2 to 14.0 mW·m -2 , while it decreased after sulfate addition from 11.5 mW·m -2 to 7.7 mW·m -2 . The chemical oxygen demand removal efficiencies remained at more than 90% regardless of the nitrate or sulfate additions. The nitrate was removed completely (93.0%) in the ML-SC MFC, while the sulfate removal efficiency was relatively low (17.6%). Clostridium (23.1%), Petrimonas (20.0%), and unclassified Rhodocyclaceae (6.2%) were dominant on the anode before the addition of nitrate or sulfate. After the addition of nitrate, Clostridium was still the most dominant on the anode (23.6%), but Petrimonas significantly decreased (6.0%) and unclassified Rhodocyclaceae increased (17.1%). After the addition of sulfate, the amount of Clostridium almost doubled in the composition on the anode (43.2%), while Petrimonas decreased (5.5%). The bacterial community on the cathode was similar to that on the anode after the addition of nitrate. However, Desulfovibrio was remarkably dominant on the cathode (32.9%) after the addition of sulfate. These results promote a deeper understanding of the effects of nitrate or sulfate on the ML-SC MFCs' performance and their bacterial community.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  2. Composite polymer membranes for proton exchange membrane fuel cells operating at elevated temperatures and reduced humidities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Tao

    Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFCs) are the leading candidate in the fuel cell technology due to the high power density, solid electrolyte, and low operational temperature. However, PEMFCs operating in the normal temperature range (60-80°C) face problems including poor carbon monoxide tolerance and heat rejection. The poisoning effect can be significantly relieved by operating the fuel cell at elevated temperature, which also improves the heat rejection and electrochemical kinetics. Low relative humidity (RH) operation is also desirable to simplify the reactant humidification system. However, at elevated temperatures, reduced RH PEMFC performance is seriously impaired due to irreversible water loss from presently employed state-of-the-art polymer membrane, Nafion. This thesis focuses on developing polymer electrolyte membranes with high water retention ability for operation in elevated temperature (110-150°C), reduced humidity (˜50%RH) PEMFCs. One approach is to alter Nafion by adding inorganic particles such as TiO2, SiO2, Zr(HPO 4)2, etc. While the presence of these materials in Nafion has proven beneficial, a reduction or no improvement in the PEMFC performance of Nafion/TiO2 and Nafion/Zr(HPO4)2 membranes is observed with reduced particle sizes or increased particle loadings in Nafion. It is concluded that the PEMFC performance enhancement associated with addition of these inorganic particles was not due to the particle hydrophilicity. Rather, the particle, partially located in the hydrophobic region of the membrane, benefits the cell performance by altering the membrane structure. Water transport properties of some Nafion composite membranes were investigated by NMR methods including pulsed field gradient spin echo diffusion, spin-lattice relaxation, and spectral measurements. Compared to unmodified Nafion, composite membranes materials exhibit longer longitudinal relaxation time constant T1. In addition to the Nafion material, sulfonated styrene

  3. Cell Secretion: Current Structural and Biochemical Insights

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saurabh Trikha

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Essential physiological functions in eukaryotic cells, such as release of hormones and digestive enzymes, neurotransmission, and intercellular signaling, are all achieved by cell secretion. In regulated (calcium-dependent secretion, membrane-bound secretory vesicles dock and transiently fuse with specialized, permanent, plasma membrane structures, called porosomes or fusion pores. Porosomes are supramolecular, cup-shaped lipoprotein structures at the cell plasma membrane that mediate and control the release of vesicle cargo to the outside of the cell. The sizes of porosomes range from 150nm in diameter in acinar cells of the exocrine pancreas to 12nm in neurons. In recent years, significant progress has been made in our understanding of the porosome and the cellular activities required for cell secretion, such as membrane fusion and swelling of secretory vesicles. The discovery of the porosome complex and the molecular mechanism of cell secretion are summarized in this article.

  4. Selectivity of Direct Methanol Fuel Cell Membranes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonino S. Aricò

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Sulfonic acid-functionalized polymer electrolyte membranes alternative to Nafion® were developed. These were hydrocarbon systems, such as blend sulfonated polyetheretherketone (s-PEEK, new generation perfluorosulfonic acid (PFSA systems, and composite zirconium phosphate–PFSA polymers. The membranes varied in terms of composition, equivalent weight, thickness, and filler and were investigated with regard to their methanol permeation characteristics and proton conductivity for application in direct methanol fuel cells. The behavior of the membrane electrode assemblies (MEA was investigated in fuel cell with the aim to individuate a correlation between membrane characteristics and their performance in a direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC. The power density of the DMFC at 60 °C increased according to a square root-like function of the membrane selectivity. This was defined as the reciprocal of the product between area specific resistance and crossover. The power density achieved at 60 °C for the most promising s-PEEK-based membrane-electrode assembly (MEA was higher than the benchmark Nafion® 115-based MEA (77 mW·cm−2 vs. 64 mW·cm−2. This result was due to a lower methanol crossover (47 mA·cm−2 equivalent current density for s-PEEK vs. 120 mA·cm−2 for Nafion® 115 at 60 °C as recorded at OCV with 2 M methanol and a suitable area specific resistance (0.15 Ohm cm2 for s-PEEK vs. 0.22 Ohm cm2 for Nafion® 115.

  5. Selectivity of Direct Methanol Fuel Cell Membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aricò, Antonino S; Sebastian, David; Schuster, Michael; Bauer, Bernd; D'Urso, Claudia; Lufrano, Francesco; Baglio, Vincenzo

    2015-11-24

    Sulfonic acid-functionalized polymer electrolyte membranes alternative to Nafion(®) were developed. These were hydrocarbon systems, such as blend sulfonated polyetheretherketone (s-PEEK), new generation perfluorosulfonic acid (PFSA) systems, and composite zirconium phosphate-PFSA polymers. The membranes varied in terms of composition, equivalent weight, thickness, and filler and were investigated with regard to their methanol permeation characteristics and proton conductivity for application in direct methanol fuel cells. The behavior of the membrane electrode assemblies (MEA) was investigated in fuel cell with the aim to individuate a correlation between membrane characteristics and their performance in a direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC). The power density of the DMFC at 60 °C increased according to a square root-like function of the membrane selectivity. This was defined as the reciprocal of the product between area specific resistance and crossover. The power density achieved at 60 °C for the most promising s-PEEK-based membrane-electrode assembly (MEA) was higher than the benchmark Nafion(®) 115-based MEA (77 mW·cm(-2) vs. 64 mW·cm(-2)). This result was due to a lower methanol crossover (47 mA·cm(-2) equivalent current density for s-PEEK vs. 120 mA·cm(-2) for Nafion(®) 115 at 60 °C as recorded at OCV with 2 M methanol) and a suitable area specific resistance (0.15 Ohm cm² for s-PEEK vs. 0.22 Ohm cm² for Nafion(®) 115).

  6. Multi-membrane chitosan hydrogels as chondrocytic cell bioreactors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ladet, S G; Tahiri, K; Montembault, A S; Domard, A J; Corvol, M-T M

    2011-08-01

    We investigated the bioactivity of new chitosan-based multi-membrane hydrogel (MMH) architectures towards chondrocyte-like cells. The microstructure of the hydrogels constituting the membranes precludes any living cell penetration, whereas their lower scale architecture allows the protein diffusion. The biological behavior of chondrocytes implanted within the MMH inter-membrane spaces was studied for 45 days in culture. Chondrocytes formed cell aggregates and proliferated without loosing their chondrogenic phenotype as illustrated by collagen II and aggrecan expressions at the mRNA and protein levels. Cells produced neo-formed alcyan blue matrix proteins filling MMH interspaces. The HiF-2α/SOX9 pattern of expression suggested that the elevated chondrocytic phenotype in MMH could be related to a better hypoxic local environment than in classical culture conditions. Pro-inflammatory markers were not expressed during the period of culture. The low level of nitric oxide accumulation within the inter-membrane spaces and in the incubation medium implied that chitosan consumed nitrites produced by entrapped chondrocytes, in relation with the decrease of its molecular weight of 50%. Our data suggest that MMH structures may be considered as complex chondrocytic cell bioreactors; "active decoys of biological media", potentially promising for various biomedical applications like the inter-vertebral disk replacement. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Cell-autonomous defense, re-organization and trafficking of membranes in plant-microbe interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dörmann, Peter; Kim, Hyeran; Ott, Thomas; Schulze-Lefert, Paul; Trujillo, Marco; Wewer, Vera; Hückelhoven, Ralph

    2014-12-01

    Plant cells dynamically change their architecture and molecular composition following encounters with beneficial or parasitic microbes, a process referred to as host cell reprogramming. Cell-autonomous defense reactions are typically polarized to the plant cell periphery underneath microbial contact sites, including de novo cell wall biosynthesis. Alternatively, host cell reprogramming converges in the biogenesis of membrane-enveloped compartments for accommodation of beneficial bacteria or invasive infection structures of filamentous microbes. Recent advances have revealed that, in response to microbial encounters, plasma membrane symmetry is broken, membrane tethering and SNARE complexes are recruited, lipid composition changes and plasma membrane-to-cytoskeleton signaling is activated, either for pre-invasive defense or for microbial entry. We provide a critical appraisal on recent studies with a focus on how plant cells re-structure membranes and the associated cytoskeleton in interactions with microbial pathogens, nitrogen-fixing rhizobia and mycorrhiza fungi. © 2014 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2014 New Phytologist Trust.

  8. Proton exchange membrane fuel cells modeling

    CERN Document Server

    Gao, Fengge; Miraoui, Abdellatif

    2013-01-01

    The fuel cell is a potential candidate for energy storage and conversion in our future energy mix. It is able to directly convert the chemical energy stored in fuel (e.g. hydrogen) into electricity, without undergoing different intermediary conversion steps. In the field of mobile and stationary applications, it is considered to be one of the future energy solutions.Among the different fuel cell types, the proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell has shown great potential in mobile applications, due to its low operating temperature, solid-state electrolyte and compactness.This book pre

  9. Structure modification of particle track membranes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1991-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2017-05-23

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

  11. A study for the research trends of membranes for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sener, T.

    2004-01-01

    'Full text:' A single PEM fuel cell is comprised of a membrane electrode assembly, two bipolar plates and two fields. Membrane electrode assembly is the basic component of PEM fuel cell due to its cost and function, and it consists a membrane sandwiched between two electrocatalyst layers/electrodes and two gas diffusion layers. Increasing the PEM fuel cell operation temperature from 80 o C to 150-200 o C will prevent electrocatalysts CO poisoning and increase the fuel cell performance. Therefore, membranes must have chemical and mechanical resistance and must keep enough water at high temperatures. The aim of membrane studies through fuel cell commercialization is to produce a less expensive thin membrane with high operation temperature, chemical and mechanical resistance and water adsorption capacity. Within this frame, alternative membrane materials, membrane electrode assembly manufacture and evaluation methods are being studied. In this paper, recent studies are reviewed to give a conclusion for research trends. (author)

  12. Cell membrane disruption stimulates cAMP and Ca2+ signaling to potentiate cell membrane resealing in neighboring cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tatsuru Togo

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Disruption of cellular plasma membranes is a common event in many animal tissues, and the membranes are usually rapidly resealed. Moreover, repeated membrane disruptions within a single cell reseal faster than the initial wound in a protein kinase A (PKA- and protein kinase C (PKC-dependent manner. In addition to wounded cells, recent studies have demonstrated that wounding of Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK cells potentiates membrane resealing in neighboring cells in the short-term by purinergic signaling, and in the long-term by nitric oxide/protein kinase G signaling. In the present study, real-time imaging showed that cell membrane disruption stimulated cAMP synthesis and Ca2+ mobilization from intracellular stores by purinergic signaling in neighboring MDCK cells. Furthermore, inhibition of PKA and PKC suppressed the ATP-mediated short-term potentiation of membrane resealing in neighboring cells. These results suggest that cell membrane disruption stimulates PKA and PKC via purinergic signaling to potentiate cell membrane resealing in neighboring MDCK cells.

  13. Polyamide membranes with nanoscale Turing structures for water purification

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-01

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

  14. Membrane structure in disease and drug therapy

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Zimmer, G

    2000-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-02-23

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

  16. [Correcting influence of vitamin E short chain derivatives on lipid peroxidation, liver cell membrane, and chromatin structure when rats are exposed to embichin].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kovalenko, V M; Byshovets', T F; Hubs'kyĭ, Iu I; Levyts'kyĭ, Ie L; Shaiakhmetova, H M; Marchenko, O M; Voloshyna, O S; Saĭfetdinova, H A; Okhrimenko, V O; Donchenko, H V

    2000-01-01

    Embikhin causes activation of LPO processes in endoplasmic reticulum and in nuclear chromatine fractions of rat liver cells. The latter is accompanied by the impairment of repressive and active nuclear chromatine fractions structure. Derivate of vitamin E in these conditions renders correcting action on parameters of lipid peroxidation in the investigated subcellular structures, testifying its positive influence on the cell heredity apparatus state. The normalizing action of tocopherol derivative on cytochromes P450 and b5 levels is shown.

  17. Microdomains in the membrane landscape shape antigen-presenting cell function

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zuidscherwoude, M.; Winde, C.M. de; Cambi, A.; Spriel, A.B. van

    2014-01-01

    The plasma membrane of immune cells is a highly organized cell structure that is key to the initiation and regulation of innate and adaptive immune responses. It is well-established that immunoreceptors embedded in the plasma membrane have a nonrandom spatial distribution that is important for

  18. Annexin A4 and A6 induce membrane curvature and constriction during cell membrane repair

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Boye, Theresa Louise; Maeda, Kenji; Pezeshkian, Weria

    2017-01-01

    Efficient cell membrane repair mechanisms are essential for maintaining membrane integrity and thus for cell life. Here we show that the Ca2+- and phospholipid-binding proteins annexin A4 and A6 are involved in plasma membrane repair and needed for rapid closure of micron-size holes. We demonstrate...... that annexin A4 binds to artificial membranes and generates curvature force initiated from free edges, whereas annexin A6 induces constriction force. In cells, plasma membrane injury and Ca2+ influx recruit annexin A4 to the vicinity of membrane wound edges where its homo-trimerization leads to membrane...... that induction of curvature force around wound edges is an early key event in cell membrane repair....

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Knott, R. B.

    2008-01-01

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

  20. Living target of Ce(III) action on horseradish cells: proteins on/in cell membrane.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Guangmei; Sun, Zhaoguo; Lv, Xiaofen; Deng, Yunyun; Zhou, Qing; Huang, Xiaohua

    2012-12-01

    Positive and negative effects of rare earth elements (REEs) in life have been reported in many papers, but the cellular mechanisms have not been answered, especially the action sites of REEs on plasma membrane are unknown. Proteins on/in the plasma membrane perform main functions of the plasma membrane. Cerium (Ce) is the richest REEs in crust. Thus, the interaction between Ce(III) and the proteins on/in the plasma membrane, the morphology of protoplast, and the contents of nutrient elements in protoplast of horseradish were investigated using the optimized combination of the fluorescence microscopy, fluorescence spectroscopy, circular dichroism, scanning electron microscopy, and X-ray energy dispersive spectroscopy. It was found that Ce(III) at the low concentrations (10, 30 μM) could interact with proteins on/in the plasma membrane of horseradish, leading to the improvement in the structure of membrane proteins and the plasma membrane, which accelerated the intra-/extra-cellular substance exchange and further promoted the development of cells. When horseradish was treated with Ce(III) at the high concentrations (60, 80 μM), Ce(III) also could interact with the proteins on/in the plasma membrane of horseradish, leading to the destruction in the structure of membrane proteins and the plasma membrane. These effects decelerated the intra-/extra-cellular substance exchange and further inhibited the development of cells. Thus, the interaction between Ce(III) and proteins on/in the plasma membrane in plants was an important reason of the positive and negative effects of Ce(III) on plants. The results would provide some references for understanding the cellular effect mechanisms of REEs on plants.

  1. Sodium selectivity of Reissner's membrane epithelial cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kim Kyunghee X

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Sodium absorption by Reissner's membrane is thought to contribute to the homeostasis of the volume of cochlear endolymph. It was previously shown that the absorptive transepithelial current was blocked by amiloride and benzamil. The most commonly-observed target of these drugs is the epithelial sodium channel (ENaC, which is composed of the three subunits α-,β- and γ-ENaC. However, other less-selective cation channels have also been observed to be sensitive to benzamil and amiloride. The aim of this study was to determine whether Reissner's membrane epithelial cells could support parasensory K+ absorption via amiloride- and benzamil-sensitive electrogenic pathways. Results We determined the molecular and functional expression of candidate cation channels with gene array (GEO GSE6196, RT-PCR, and whole-cell patch clamp. Transcript expression analysis of Reissner's membrane detected no amiloride-sensitive acid-sensing ion channels (ASIC1a, ASIC2a, ASIC2b nor amiloride-sensitive cyclic-nucleotide gated channels (CNGA1, CNGA2, CNGA4, CNGB3. By contrast, α-,β- and γ-ENaC were all previously reported as present in Reissner's membrane. The selectivity of the benzamil-sensitive cation currents was observed in whole-cell patch clamp recordings under Cl--free conditions where cations were the only permeant species. The currents were carried by Na+ but not K+, and the permeability of Li+ was greater than that of Na+ in Reissner's membrane. Complete replacement of bath Na+ with the inpermeable cation NMDG+ led to the same inward current as with benzamil in a Na+ bath. Conclusions These results are consistent with the amiloride/benzamil-sensitive absorptive flux of Reissner's membrane mediated by a highly Na+-selective channel that has several key characteristics in common with αβγ-ENaC. The amiloride-sensitive pathway therefore absorbs only Na+ in this epithelium and does not provide a parasensory K+ efflux route from scala

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jacques Fantini

    2018-02-01

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

  3. Fuel cell membrane hydration and fluid metering

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Daniel O.; Walsh, Michael M.

    1999-01-01

    A hydration system includes fuel cell fluid flow plate(s) and injection port(s). Each plate has flow channel(s) with respective inlet(s) for receiving respective portion(s) of a given stream of reactant fluid for a fuel cell. Each injection port injects a portion of liquid water directly into its respective flow channel in order to mix its respective portion of liquid water with the corresponding portion of the stream. This serves to hydrate at least corresponding part(s) of a given membrane of the corresponding fuel cell(s). The hydration system may be augmented by a metering system including flow regulator(s). Each flow regulator meters an injecting at inlet(s) of each plate of respective portions of liquid into respective portion(s) of a given stream of fluid by corresponding injection port(s).

  4. MEMS-Based Fuel Reformer with Suspended Membrane Structure

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  5. Vesicles mimicking normal and cancer cell membranes exhibit differential responses to the cell-penetrating peptide Pep-1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almarwani, Bashiyar; Phambu, Esther Nzuzi; Alexander, Christopher; Nguyen, Ha Aimee T; Phambu, Nsoki; Sunda-Meya, Anderson

    2018-06-01

    The cell-penetrating peptide (CPP) Pep-1 presents a great potential in drug delivery due to its intrinsic property to cross plasma membrane. However, its mechanism of entry into the cell remains unresolved. In this study, we compare the selectivity of Pep-1 towards vesicles mimicking normal and cancer cell membranes. The interaction was performed in a wide range of peptide-to-lipid molar ratios using infrared (IR), fluorescence, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) techniques. At low peptide concentration, fluorescence experiments show that lipid-phosphatidylserine (PS) seems to enable Pep-1 translocation into cancer cell membrane as evidenced by the blue shift of its maximal emission wavelength. DSC data show that Pep-1 induces segregation of lipids. At high peptide concentration, IR data indicate that the interaction of Pep-1 is relatively stronger with normal cell membrane than with cancer cell membrane through the phosphate groups, while the interaction is weaker with normal cell membrane than with cancer cell membrane through the carbonyl groups. TGA and DSC data reveal that vesicles of normal cell membrane are thermally more stable than vesicles of cancer cell membrane. This suggests that the additional lipid PS included in cancer cell membrane has a destabilizing effect on the membrane structure. SEM images reveal that Pep-1 form superstructures including spherical particles and fibrils in the presence of both model membranes. PS seems to enhance peptide transport across cellular membranes. The biophysical techniques in this study provide valuable insights into the properties of CPPs in drug delivery systems. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Membrane Purification Cell for Aluminum Recycling

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    David DeYoung; James Wiswall; Cong Wang

    2011-11-29

    Recycling mixed aluminum scrap usually requires adding primary aluminum to the scrap stream as a diluent to reduce the concentration of non-aluminum constituents used in aluminum alloys. Since primary aluminum production requires approximately 10 times more energy than melting scrap, the bulk of the energy and carbon dioxide emissions for recycling are associated with using primary aluminum as a diluent. Eliminating the need for using primary aluminum as a diluent would dramatically reduce energy requirements, decrease carbon dioxide emissions, and increase scrap utilization in recycling. Electrorefining can be used to extract pure aluminum from mixed scrap. Some example applications include producing primary grade aluminum from specific scrap streams such as consumer packaging and mixed alloy saw chips, and recycling multi-alloy products such as brazing sheet. Electrorefining can also be used to extract valuable alloying elements such as Li from Al-Li mixed scrap. This project was aimed at developing an electrorefining process for purifying aluminum to reduce energy consumption and emissions by 75% compared to conventional technology. An electrolytic molten aluminum purification process, utilizing a horizontal membrane cell anode, was designed, constructed, operated and validated. The electrorefining technology could also be used to produce ultra-high purity aluminum for advanced materials applications. The technical objectives for this project were to: - Validate the membrane cell concept with a lab-scale electrorefining cell; - Determine if previously identified voltage increase issue for chloride electrolytes holds for a fluoride-based electrolyte system; - Assess the probability that voltage change issues can be solved; and - Conduct a market and economic analysis to assess commercial feasibility. The process was tested using three different binary alloy compositions (Al-2.0 wt.% Cu, Al-4.7 wt.% Si, Al-0.6 wt.% Fe) and a brazing sheet scrap composition (Al-2

  7. Clean hydrogen generation through the electrocatalytic oxidation of ethanol in a Proton Exchange Membrane Electrolysis Cell (PEMEC): Effect of the nature and structure of the catalytic anode

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamy, Claude; Jaubert, Thomas; Baranton, Stève; Coutanceau, Christophe

    2014-01-01

    The electrocatalytic oxidation of ethanol was investigated in a Proton Exchange Membrane Electrolysis Cell (PEMEC) working at low temperature (20°C) on several Pt-based catalysts (Pt/C, PtSn/C, PtSnRu/C) in order to produce very clean hydrogen by electrolysis of a biomass compound. The electrocatalytic activity was determined by cyclic voltammetry and the rate of hydrogen evolution was measured for each catalyst at different current densities. The cell voltages UEtOH were recorded as a function of time for each current density. At 100 mA cm-2, i.e. 0.5 A with the 5 cm2 surface area PEMEC used, the cell voltage did not exceed 0.9 V for an evolution rate of about 220 cm3 of hydrogen per hour and the electrical energy consumed was less than 2.3 kWh (Nm3)-1, i.e. less than one half of the energy needed for water electrolysis (4.7 kWh (Nm3)-1 at UH2O = 2 V). This result is valid for the decomposition of any organic compound, particularly those originated from biomass resource, provided that their electro-oxidation rate is sufficient (>100 mA cm-2) at a relatively low cell voltage (Ucell < 1 V) which necessitates the development of efficient electrocatalysts for the electrochemical decomposition of this compound.

  8. Membrane Proteins : The Key Players of a Cancer Cell

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kampen, Kim R.

    Membrane proteins are involved in the prognosis of the most common forms of cancer. Membrane proteins are the hallmark of a cancer cell. The overexpressed membrane receptors are becoming increasingly important in cancer cell therapy. Current renewing therapy approaches based on receptor

  9. Membrane fluidity adjustments in ethanol-stressed Oenococcus oeni cells

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Silveira, da M.G.; Golovina, E.A.; Hoekstra, F.A.; Rombouts, F.M.; Abee, T.

    2003-01-01

    The effect of ethanol on the cytoplasmic membrane of Oenococcus oeni cells and the role of membrane changes in the acquired tolerance to ethanol were investigated. Membrane tolerance to ethanol was defined as the resistance to ethanol-induced leakage of preloaded carboxyfluorescein (cF) from cells.

  10. Human Lipoproteins at Model Cell Membranes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Browning, K L; Lind, T K; Maric, S

    2017-01-01

    High and low density lipoproteins (HDL and LDL) are thought to play vital roles in the onset and development of atherosclerosis; the biggest killer in the western world. Key issues of initial lipoprotein (LP) interactions at cellular membranes need to be addressed including LP deposition and lipid...... exchange. Here we present a protocol for monitoring the in situ kinetics of lipoprotein deposition and lipid exchange/removal at model cellular membranes using the non-invasive, surface sensitive methods of neutron reflection and quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation. For neutron reflection, lipid...... support the notion of HDL acting as the 'good' cholesterol, removing lipid material from lipid-loaded cells, whereas LDL acts as the 'bad' cholesterol, depositing lipid material into the vascular wall....

  11. Changes in plasma membrane structure upon irradiation on thymocytes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dreval', V.I.

    1993-01-01

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

  12. Binding and Fusion of Extracellular Vesicles to the Plasma Membrane of Their Cell Targets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prada, Ilaria; Meldolesi, Jacopo

    2016-08-09

    Exosomes and ectosomes, extracellular vesicles of two types generated by all cells at multivesicular bodies and the plasma membrane, respectively, play critical roles in physiology and pathology. A key mechanism of their function, analogous for both types of vesicles, is the fusion of their membrane to the plasma membrane of specific target cells, followed by discharge to the cytoplasm of their luminal cargo containing proteins, RNAs, and DNA. Here we summarize the present knowledge about the interactions, binding and fusions of vesicles with the cell plasma membrane. The sequence initiates with dynamic interactions, during which vesicles roll over the plasma membrane, followed by the binding of specific membrane proteins to their cell receptors. Membrane binding is then converted rapidly into fusion by mechanisms analogous to those of retroviruses. Specifically, proteins of the extracellular vesicle membranes are structurally rearranged, and their hydrophobic sequences insert into the target cell plasma membrane which undergoes lipid reorganization, protein restructuring and membrane dimpling. Single fusions are not the only process of vesicle/cell interactions. Upon intracellular reassembly of their luminal cargoes, vesicles can be regenerated, released and fused horizontally to other target cells. Fusions of extracellular vesicles are relevant also for specific therapy processes, now intensely investigated.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-10-01

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

  14. Influence of estrogenic pesticides on membrane integrity and membrane transfer of monosaccharide into the human red cell

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ingermann, R.L.

    1989-01-01

    Some natural and synthetic estrogens inhibit carrier-mediated transport of glucose into human red blood cells and membrane vesicles from the placenta. The inhibitory action of these estrogens on transport appears to be a direct effect at the membrane and does not involve receptor binding and protein synthesis. It is not clear, however, whether such inhibition is a common feature among estrogenic agents. Several chlorinated hydrocarbon pesticides have been shown to possess estrogenic activity. These pesticides could have inhibitory effects on the human sodium-independent glucose transporter. Owing to the apparent importance of this membrane transporter in human tissues, direct interaction of hormones and xenobiotics with the glucose transporter is of fundamental significance. Some pesticides have been shown to alter membrane structure directly and alter the passive permeability of membranes. Whether the estrogenic pesticides influence passive diffusion of sugars across membranes has not been established. Finally, preliminary observations have suggested that some estrogens and pesticides have lytic effects on intact cells. Consequently, this study focuses on the ability of several estrogens and estrogenic pesticides to disrupt the cell membrane, influence the monosaccharide transporter, and alter the rate of monosaccharide permeation through the membrane by simple diffusion

  15. Nonlinear electro-mechanobiological behavior of cell membrane during electroporation

    KAUST Repository

    Deng, Peigang; Lee, Yi-Kuen; Lin, Ran; Zhang, Tong-Yi

    2012-01-01

    A nonlinear electroporation (EP) model is proposed to study the electro-mechanobiological behavior of cell membrane during EP, by taking the nonlinear large deformation of the membrane into account. The proposed model predicts the critical

  16. Synthesis of cell wall xylans and glucans by golgi membranes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gibeaut, D.M.; Carpita, N.C.

    1989-01-01

    We investigated the biosynthesis of mixed-linkage β-D-glucan and glucuronoarabinoxylans which make up the hemicellulosic matrix of the primary cell walls of maize and other cereal grasses. The Golgi apparatus was enriched from plasma membrane and other organelles by flotation density gradient centrifugation. Glucan synthase I and II, which are established markers for Golgi and plasma membrane, respectively, displayed considerable overlap in conventional separations with sucrose density gradients. Flotation gradients improved separation of the membranes substantially, but the different synthases themselves also incorporated radioactivity from either 10 μM or 1 mM UDP-[ 14 C]-glucose into polymer. Relative incorporation of radioactivity into polymers from UDP-[ 14 C]-xylose by the various membrane fractions was nearly identical to relative IDPase activities, indicating that combined xylosyl transferase-xylan synthase represents a new, unequivocal marker for the Golgi apparatus. We also have developed techniques of gas-liquid chromatography and radiogas proportional counting to achieve capillary quality separation of partially methylated alditol acetates with simultaneous determination of radioactivity in the derivatives. Digestion of polymeric products by specific endo-glycanohydrolases to diagnostic oligosaccharides also reveal specific kinds of polysaccharides synthesized by the Golgi membranes. A combination of these techniques provides unequivocal determination of the linkage structure of specific polymers synthesized by the purified Golgi apparatus

  17. Polybenzimidazole and sulfonated polyhedral oligosilsesquioxane composite membranes for high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Aili, David; Allward, Todd; Alfaro, Silvia Martinez

    2014-01-01

    Composite membranes based on poly(2,2′(m-phenylene)-5,5́bibenzimidazole) (PBI) and sulfonated polyhedral oligosilsesquioxane (S-POSS) with S-POSS contents of 5 and 10wt.% were prepared by solution casting as base materials for high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells. With membranes...

  18. Molecular dynamics study of lipid bilayers modeling the plasma membranes of normal murine thymocytes and leukemic GRSL cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andoh, Yoshimichi; Okazaki, Susumu; Ueoka, Ryuichi

    2013-04-01

    Molecular dynamics (MD) calculations for the plasma membranes of normal murine thymocytes and thymus-derived leukemic GRSL cells in water have been performed under physiological isothermal-isobaric conditions (310.15K and 1 atm) to investigate changes in membrane properties induced by canceration. The model membranes used in our calculations for normal and leukemic thymocytes comprised 23 and 25 kinds of lipids, respectively, including phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylserine, phosphatidylinositol, sphingomyelin, lysophospholipids, and cholesterol. The mole fractions of the lipids adopted here were based on previously published experimental values. Our calculations clearly showed that the membrane area was increased in leukemic cells, and that the isothermal area compressibility of the leukemic plasma membranes was double that of normal cells. The calculated membranes of leukemic cells were thus considerably bulkier and softer in the lateral direction compared with those of normal cells. The tilt angle of the cholesterol and the conformation of the phospholipid fatty acid tails both showed a lower level of order in leukemic cell membranes compared with normal cell membranes. The lateral radial distribution function of the lipids also showed a more disordered structure in leukemic cell membranes than in normal cell membranes. These observations all show that, for the present thymocytes, the lateral structure of the membrane is considerably disordered by canceration. Furthermore, the calculated lateral self-diffusion coefficient of the lipid molecules in leukemic cell membranes was almost double that in normal cell membranes. The calculated rotational and wobbling autocorrelation functions also indicated that the molecular motion of the lipids was enhanced in leukemic cell membranes. Thus, here we have demonstrated that the membranes of thymocyte leukemic cells are more disordered and more fluid than normal cell membranes. Copyright © 2013

  19. Chemical Imaging of the Cell Membrane by NanoSIMS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Weber, P.K.; Kraft, M.L.; Frisz, J.F.; Carpenter, K.J.; Hutcheon, I.D.

    2010-01-01

    The existence of lipid microdomains and their role in cell membrane organization are currently topics of great interest and controversy. The cell membrane is composed of a lipid bilayer with embedded proteins that can flow along the two-dimensional surface defined by the membrane. Microdomains, known as lipid rafts, are believed to play a central role in organizing this fluid system, enabling the cell membrane to carry out essential cellular processes, including protein recruitment and signal transduction. Lipid rafts are also implicated in cell invasion by pathogens, as in the case of the HIV. Therefore, understanding the role of lipid rafts in cell membrane organization not only has broad scientific implications, but also has practical implications for medical therapies. One of the major limitations on lipid organization research has been the inability to directly analyze lipid composition without introducing artifacts and at the relevant length-scales of tens to hundreds of nanometers. Fluorescence microscopy is widely used due to its sensitivity and specificity to the labeled species, but only the labeled components can be observed, fluorophores can alter the behavior of the lipids they label, and the length scales relevant to imaging cell membrane domains are between that probed by fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) imaging (<10 nm) and the diffraction limit of light. Topographical features can be imaged on this length scale by atomic force microscopy (AFM), but the chemical composition of the observed structures cannot be determined. Immuno-labeling can be used to study the distribution of membrane proteins at high resolution, but not lipid composition. We are using imaging mass spectrometry by secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) in concert with other high resolution imaging methods to overcome these limitations. The experimental approach of this project is to combine molecule-specific stable isotope labeling with high-resolution SIMS using a

  20. Cell membrane as a possible site of Fröhlich's coherent oscillations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blinowska, K. J.; Lech, W.; Wittlin, A.

    1985-05-01

    The microwave absorption spectra of erythrocytes and their ghosts have a resonant structure and reveal a close resemblance, indicating that the cell membrane is the primary site of Fröhlich's coherent oscillations.

  1. Integrable structure in discrete shell membrane theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schief, W K

    2014-05-08

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

  2. Assessment of Membrane Fluidity Fluctuations during Cellular Development Reveals Time and Cell Type Specificity

    KAUST Repository

    Noutsi, Bakiza Kamal; Gratton, Enrico; Chaieb, Saharoui

    2016-01-01

    Cell membrane is made up of a complex structure of lipids and proteins that diffuse laterally giving rise to what we call membrane fluidity. During cellular development, such as differentiation cell membranes undergo dramatic fluidity changes induced by proteins such as ARC and Cofilin among others. In this study we used the generalized polarization (GP) property of fluorescent probe Laurdan using two-photon microscopy to determine membrane fluidity as a function of time and for various cell lines. A low GP value corresponds to a higher fluidity and a higher GP value is associated with a more rigid membrane. Four different cell lines were monitored such as hN2, NIH3T3, HEK293 and L6 cells. Membrane fluidity was measured at 12h, 72h and 92 h. Our results show significant changes in membrane fluidity among all cell types at different time points. GP values tend to increase significantly within 92 h in hN2 cells and 72 h in NIH3T3 cells and only at 92 h in HEK293 cells. L6 showed a marked decrease in membrane fluidity at 72 h and starts to increase at 92 h. As expected, NIH3T3 cells have more rigid membrane at earlier time points. On the other hand, neurons tend to have the highest membrane fluidity at early time points emphasizing its correlation with plasticity and the need for this malleability during differentiation. This study sheds light on the involvement of membrane fluidity during neuronal differentiation and development of other cell lines.

  3. Assessment of Membrane Fluidity Fluctuations during Cellular Development Reveals Time and Cell Type Specificity

    KAUST Repository

    Noutsi, Bakiza Kamal

    2016-06-30

    Cell membrane is made up of a complex structure of lipids and proteins that diffuse laterally giving rise to what we call membrane fluidity. During cellular development, such as differentiation cell membranes undergo dramatic fluidity changes induced by proteins such as ARC and Cofilin among others. In this study we used the generalized polarization (GP) property of fluorescent probe Laurdan using two-photon microscopy to determine membrane fluidity as a function of time and for various cell lines. A low GP value corresponds to a higher fluidity and a higher GP value is associated with a more rigid membrane. Four different cell lines were monitored such as hN2, NIH3T3, HEK293 and L6 cells. Membrane fluidity was measured at 12h, 72h and 92 h. Our results show significant changes in membrane fluidity among all cell types at different time points. GP values tend to increase significantly within 92 h in hN2 cells and 72 h in NIH3T3 cells and only at 92 h in HEK293 cells. L6 showed a marked decrease in membrane fluidity at 72 h and starts to increase at 92 h. As expected, NIH3T3 cells have more rigid membrane at earlier time points. On the other hand, neurons tend to have the highest membrane fluidity at early time points emphasizing its correlation with plasticity and the need for this malleability during differentiation. This study sheds light on the involvement of membrane fluidity during neuronal differentiation and development of other cell lines.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  5. Synthesis of Nanogels via Cell Membrane-Templated Polymerization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Jianhua; Gao, Weiwei; Fang, Ronnie H; Dong, Anjie; Zhang, Liangfang

    2015-09-09

    The synthesis of biomimetic hydrogel nanoparticles coated with a natural cell membrane is described. Compared to the existing strategy of wrapping cell membranes onto pre-formed nanoparticle substrates, this new approach forms the cell membrane-derived vesicles first, followed by growing nanoparticle cores in situ. It adds significant controllability over the nanoparticle properties and opens unique opportunities for a broad range of biomedical applications. © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  6. Durability Issues of High Temperature Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells Based on Acid Doped Polybenzimidazole Membranes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    . As a critical concern, issues of long term durability of PBI based fuel cells are addressed in this talk, including oxidative degradation of the polymer, mechanical failures of the membrane, acid leaching out, corrosion of carbon support and sintering of catalysts particles. Excellent polymer durability has...... or ionically cross-linking and structure modification With load, thermal or startup-shutdown cycling, the performance loss was found to be much bigger, about 300 µV per cycle or 40 µV per operating hour, due to the increased acid loss and catalyst support corrosion, particularly under open circuit voltage...... operation. Further efforts are outlined to the future work....

  7. New proton conducting membranes for fuel cell applications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sukumar, P R

    2006-07-01

    In order to synthesize proton-conducting materials which retain acids in the membrane during fuel cell operating conditions, the synthesis of poly(vinylphosphonic acid) grafted polybenzimidazole (PVPA grafted PBI) and the fabrication of multilayer membranes are mainly focussed in this dissertation. Synthesis of PVPA grafted PBI membrane can be done according to ''grafting through'' method. In ''grafting through'' method (or macromonomer method), monomer (e.g., vinylphosphonic acid) is radically copolymerized with olefin group attached macromonomer (e.g., allyl grafted PBI and vinylbenzyl grafted PBI). This approach is inherently limited to synthesize graft-copolymer with well-defined architectural and structural parameters. The incorporation of poly(vinylphosphonic acid) into PBI lead to improvements in proton conductivity up to 10-2 S/cm. Regarding multilayer membranes, the proton conducting layer-by-layer (LBL) assembly of polymers by various strong acids such as poly(vinylphosphonic acid), poly(vinylsulfonic acid) and poly(styrenesulfonic acid) paired with basic polymers such as poly(4-vinylimidazole) and poly(benzimidazole), which are appropriate for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell applications have been described. Proton conductivity increases with increasing smoothness of the film and the maximum measured conductivity was 10-4 S/cm at 25A C. Recently, anhydrous proton-conducting membranes with flexible structural backbones, which show proton-conducting properties comparable to Nafion have been focus of current research. The flexible backbone of polymer chains allow for a high segmental mobility and thus, a sufficiently low glass transition temperature (Tg), which is an essential factor to reach highly conductive systems. Among the polymers with a flexible chain backbone, poly(vinylphosphonic acid), poly(vinylbenzylphosphonic acid), poly(2-vinylbenzimidazole), poly(4-styrenesulfonic acid), poly(4-vinylimidazole), poly(4-vinylimidazole

  8. New proton conducting membranes for fuel cell applications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sukumar, P.R.

    2006-07-01

    In order to synthesize proton-conducting materials which retain acids in the membrane during fuel cell operating conditions, the synthesis of poly(vinylphosphonic acid) grafted polybenzimidazole (PVPA grafted PBI) and the fabrication of multilayer membranes are mainly focussed in this dissertation. Synthesis of PVPA grafted PBI membrane can be done according to ''grafting through'' method. In ''grafting through'' method (or macromonomer method), monomer (e.g., vinylphosphonic acid) is radically copolymerized with olefin group attached macromonomer (e.g., allyl grafted PBI and vinylbenzyl grafted PBI). This approach is inherently limited to synthesize graft-copolymer with well-defined architectural and structural parameters. The incorporation of poly(vinylphosphonic acid) into PBI lead to improvements in proton conductivity up to 10-2 S/cm. Regarding multilayer membranes, the proton conducting layer-by-layer (LBL) assembly of polymers by various strong acids such as poly(vinylphosphonic acid), poly(vinylsulfonic acid) and poly(styrenesulfonic acid) paired with basic polymers such as poly(4-vinylimidazole) and poly(benzimidazole), which are appropriate for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell applications have been described. Proton conductivity increases with increasing smoothness of the film and the maximum measured conductivity was 10-4 S/cm at 25A C. Recently, anhydrous proton-conducting membranes with flexible structural backbones, which show proton-conducting properties comparable to Nafion have been focus of current research. The flexible backbone of polymer chains allow for a high segmental mobility and thus, a sufficiently low glass transition temperature (Tg), which is an essential factor to reach highly conductive systems. Among the polymers with a flexible chain backbone, poly(vinylphosphonic acid), poly(vinylbenzylphosphonic acid), poly(2-vinylbenzimidazole), poly(4-styrenesulfonic acid), poly(4-vinylimidazole), poly

  9. Perforate on CHO cell membranes induced by electromagnetic ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    STORAGESEVER

    2009-06-17

    Jun 17, 2009 ... Key words: Electromagnetic pulse (EMP), atomic force microscope, CHO cell, cell membrane. INTRODUCTION .... of perforation ranges from 390 to 660 nm and the depth is. 392.95 nm. ... cell membrane perforations increased when both the field intensity and ..... Melatonin and a spin-trap compound block.

  10. Cell membrane temperature rate sensitivity predicted from the Nernst equation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, F S

    1984-01-01

    A hyperpolarized current is predicted from the Nernst equation for conditions of positive temperature derivatives with respect to time. This ion current, coupled with changes in membrane channel conductivities, is expected to contribute to a transient potential shift across the cell membrane for silent cells and to a change in firing rate for pacemaker cells.

  11. Low-cost non-fluorinated membranes for fuel cells

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Luo, H

    2010-08-31

    Full Text Available the driver of the next growth wave of the world’s economy. A proton conductive membrane is the core of the polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). Presently, Nafion® membranes are widely used in PEMFC. However, the high cost, low operation temperature...

  12. Water Soluble Polymers as Proton Exchange Membranes for Fuel Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bing-Joe Hwang

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available The relentless increase in the demand for useable power from energy-hungry economies continues to drive energy-material related research. Fuel cells, as a future potential power source that provide clean-at-the-point-of-use power offer many advantages such as high efficiency, high energy density, quiet operation, and environmental friendliness. Critical to the operation of the fuel cell is the proton exchange membrane (polymer electrolyte membrane responsible for internal proton transport from the anode to the cathode. PEMs have the following requirements: high protonic conductivity, low electronic conductivity, impermeability to fuel gas or liquid, good mechanical toughness in both the dry and hydrated states, and high oxidative and hydrolytic stability in the actual fuel cell environment. Water soluble polymers represent an immensely diverse class of polymers. In this comprehensive review the initial focus is on those members of this group that have attracted publication interest, principally: chitosan, poly (ethylene glycol, poly (vinyl alcohol, poly (vinylpyrrolidone, poly (2-acrylamido-2-methyl-1-propanesulfonic acid and poly (styrene sulfonic acid. The paper then considers in detail the relationship of structure to functionality in the context of polymer blends and polymer based networks together with the effects of membrane crosslinking on IPN and semi IPN architectures. This is followed by a review of pore-filling and other impregnation approaches. Throughout the paper detailed numerical results are given for comparison to today’s state-of-the-art Nafion® based materials.

  13. Collective cell behavior on basement membranes floating in space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellison, Sarah; Bhattacharjee, Tapomoy; Morley, Cameron; Sawyer, W.; Angelini, Thomas

    The basement membrane is an essential part of the polarity of endothelial and epithelial tissues. In tissue culture and organ-on-chip devices, monolayer polarity can be established by coating flat surfaces with extracellular matrix proteins and tuning the trans-substrate permeability. In epithelial 3D culture, spheroids spontaneously establish inside-out polarity, morphing into hollow shell-like structures called acini, generating their own basement membrane on the inner radius of the shell. However, 3D culture approaches generally lack the high degree of control provided by the 2D culture plate or organ-on-chip devices, making it difficult to create more faithful in vitro tissue models with complex surface curvature and morphology. Here we present a method for 3D printing complex basement membranes covered in cells. We 3D print collagen-I and Matrigel into a 3D growth medium made from jammed microgels. This soft, yielding material allows extracellular matrix to be formed as complex surfaces and shapes, floating in space. We then distribute MCF10A epithelial cells across the polymerized surface. We envision employing this strategy to study 3D collective cell behavior in numerous model tissue layers, beyond this simple epithelial model.

  14. Impedance study of membrane dehydration and compression in proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Le Canut, Jean-Marc; Latham, Ruth; Merida, Walter; Harrington, David A. [Institute for Integrated Energy Systems, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia (Canada)

    2009-07-15

    Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) is used to measure drying and rehydration in proton exchange membrane fuel cells running under load. The hysteresis between forward and backward acquisition of polarization curves is shown to be largely due to changes in the membrane resistance. Drying tests are carried out with hydrogen and simulated reformate (hydrogen and carbon dioxide), and quasi-periodic drying and rehydration conditions are studied. The membrane hydration state is clearly linked to the high-frequency arc in the impedance spectrum, which increases in size for dry conditions indicating an increase in membrane resistance. Changes in impedance spectra as external compression is applied to the cell assembly show that EIS can separate membrane and interfacial effects, and that changes in membrane resistance dominate. Reasons for the presence of a capacitance in parallel with the membrane resistance are discussed. (author)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-06-01

    This review deals with the effects of synthetic and natural fatty acids on the biophysical properties of membranes, and on their implication on cell function. Natural fatty acids are constituents of more complex lipids, like triacylglycerides or phospholipids, which are used by cells to store and obtain energy, as well as for structural purposes. Accordingly, natural and synthetic fatty acids may modify the structure of the lipid membrane, altering its microdomain organization and other physical properties, and provoking changes in cell signaling. Therefore, by modulating fatty acids it is possible to regulate the structure of the membrane, influencing the cell processes that are reliant on this structure and potentially reverting pathological cell dysfunctions that may provoke cancer, diabetes, hypertension, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. The so-called Membrane Lipid Therapy offers a strategy to regulate the membrane composition through drug administration, potentially reverting pathological processes by re-adapting cell membrane structure. Certain fatty acids and their synthetic derivatives are described here that may potentially be used in such therapies, where the cell membrane itself can be considered as a target to combat disease. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Membrane Structure and Function: Relevance in the Cell's Physiology, Pathology and Therapy. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, Jimin; Li, Yue; Modis, Yorgo

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2014-04-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-01

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

  19. Development of composite membranes of PVA-TEOS doped KOH for alkaline membrane fuel cell

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Haryadi,; Sugianto, D.; Ristopan, E.

    2015-01-01

    Anion exchange membranes (AEMs) play an important role in separating fuel and oxygen (or air) in the Alkaline Membrane Fuel Cells. Preparation of hybrid organic inorganic materials of Polyvinylalcohol (PVA) - Tetraethylorthosilicate (TEOS) composite membrane doped KOH for direct alcohol alkaline fuel cell application has been investigated. The sol-gel method has been used to prepare the composite membrane of PVA-TEOS through crosslinking step and catalyzed by concentrated of hydrochloric acid. The gel solution was cast on the membrane plastic plate to obtain membrane sheets. The dry membranes were then doped by immersing in various concentrations of KOH solutions for about 4 hours. Investigations of the cross-linking process and the presence of hydroxyl group were conducted by FTIR as shown for frequency at about 1600 cm −1 and 3300 cm −1 respectively. The degree of swelling in ethanol decreased as the KOH concentration for membrane soaking process increased. The ion exchange capacity (IEC) of the membrane was 0.25meq/g. This composite membranes display significant ionic conductivity of 3.23 x 10 −2 S/cm in deionized water at room temperature. In addition, the morphology observation by scanning electron microscope (SEM) of the membrane indicates that soaking process of membrane in KOH increased thermal resistant

  20. Development of composite membranes of PVA-TEOS doped KOH for alkaline membrane fuel cell

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Haryadi,, E-mail: haryadi@polban.ac.id; Sugianto, D.; Ristopan, E. [Department of Chemical Engineering, Politeknik Negeri Bandung Jl. Gegerkalong Hilir, Ds. Ciwaruga, Bandung West Java (Indonesia)

    2015-12-29

    Anion exchange membranes (AEMs) play an important role in separating fuel and oxygen (or air) in the Alkaline Membrane Fuel Cells. Preparation of hybrid organic inorganic materials of Polyvinylalcohol (PVA) - Tetraethylorthosilicate (TEOS) composite membrane doped KOH for direct alcohol alkaline fuel cell application has been investigated. The sol-gel method has been used to prepare the composite membrane of PVA-TEOS through crosslinking step and catalyzed by concentrated of hydrochloric acid. The gel solution was cast on the membrane plastic plate to obtain membrane sheets. The dry membranes were then doped by immersing in various concentrations of KOH solutions for about 4 hours. Investigations of the cross-linking process and the presence of hydroxyl group were conducted by FTIR as shown for frequency at about 1600 cm{sup −1} and 3300 cm{sup −1} respectively. The degree of swelling in ethanol decreased as the KOH concentration for membrane soaking process increased. The ion exchange capacity (IEC) of the membrane was 0.25meq/g. This composite membranes display significant ionic conductivity of 3.23 x 10{sup −2} S/cm in deionized water at room temperature. In addition, the morphology observation by scanning electron microscope (SEM) of the membrane indicates that soaking process of membrane in KOH increased thermal resistant.

  1. Development of composite membranes of PVA-TEOS doped KOH for alkaline membrane fuel cell

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haryadi, Sugianto, D.; Ristopan, E.

    2015-12-01

    Anion exchange membranes (AEMs) play an important role in separating fuel and oxygen (or air) in the Alkaline Membrane Fuel Cells. Preparation of hybrid organic inorganic materials of Polyvinylalcohol (PVA) - Tetraethylorthosilicate (TEOS) composite membrane doped KOH for direct alcohol alkaline fuel cell application has been investigated. The sol-gel method has been used to prepare the composite membrane of PVA-TEOS through crosslinking step and catalyzed by concentrated of hydrochloric acid. The gel solution was cast on the membrane plastic plate to obtain membrane sheets. The dry membranes were then doped by immersing in various concentrations of KOH solutions for about 4 hours. Investigations of the cross-linking process and the presence of hydroxyl group were conducted by FTIR as shown for frequency at about 1600 cm-1 and 3300 cm-1 respectively. The degree of swelling in ethanol decreased as the KOH concentration for membrane soaking process increased. The ion exchange capacity (IEC) of the membrane was 0.25meq/g. This composite membranes display significant ionic conductivity of 3.23 x 10-2 S/cm in deionized water at room temperature. In addition, the morphology observation by scanning electron microscope (SEM) of the membrane indicates that soaking process of membrane in KOH increased thermal resistant.

  2. Application of the nanocomposite membrane as electrolyte of proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mahreni

    2010-01-01

    Hydrogen fuel cells proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) is currently still in development and commercialization. Several barriers to the commercialization of these Nafion membrane as electrolyte is its very sensitive to humidity fluctuation. Nafion must be modified by making a composite Nafion-SiO 2 -HPA to increase electrolyte resistance against humidity fluctuations during the cell used. Research carried out by mixing Nafion solution with Tetra Ethoxy Ortho Silicate (TEOS) and conductive materials is phosphotungstic acid (PWA) by varying the ratio of Nafion, TEOS and PWA. The membrane is produced by heating a mixture of Nafion, TEOS and PWA by varying the evaporation temperature, time and annealing temperature to obtain the transparent membrane. The resulting membrane was analyzed its physical, chemical and electrochemical properties by applying the membrane as electrolyte of PEMFC at various humidity and temperature of operation. The results showed that at low temperatures (30-90 °C) and high humidity at 100 % RH, pure Nafion membrane is better than composite membrane (Nafion-SiO 2 -PWA), but at low humidity condition composite membrane is better than the pure Nafion membrane. It can be concluded that the composite membranes of (Nafion-SiO 2 -PWA) can be used as electrolyte of PEMFC operated at low humidity (40 % RH) and temperature between (30-90 °C). (author)

  3. NMR structural studies of peptides and proteins in membranes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1994-12-31

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

  4. Selective effect of cell membrane on synaptic neurotransmission

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Postila, Pekka A.; Vattulainen, Ilpo; Róg, Tomasz

    2016-01-01

    Atomistic molecular dynamics simulations were performed with 13 non-peptidic neurotransmitters (NTs) in three different membrane environments. The results provide compelling evidence that NTs are divided into membrane-binding and membrane-nonbinding molecules. NTs adhere to the postsynaptic membr...... the importance of cell membrane and specific lipids for neurotransmission, should to be of interest to neuroscientists, drug industry and the general public alike.......Atomistic molecular dynamics simulations were performed with 13 non-peptidic neurotransmitters (NTs) in three different membrane environments. The results provide compelling evidence that NTs are divided into membrane-binding and membrane-nonbinding molecules. NTs adhere to the postsynaptic...... membrane surface whenever the ligand-binding sites of their synaptic receptors are buried in the lipid bilayer. In contrast, NTs that have extracellular ligand-binding sites do not have a similar tendency to adhere to the membrane surface. This finding is a seemingly simple yet important addition...

  5. Membrane glycoproteins of differentiating skeletal muscle cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Miller, K.R.; Remy, C.N.; Smith, P.B.

    1987-01-01

    The composition of N-linked glycoprotein oligosaccharides was studied in myoblasts and myotubes of the C2 muscle cell line. Oligosaccharides were radioactively labelled for 15 hr with [ 3 H] mannose and plasma membranes isolated. Ten glycopeptides were detected by SDS-PAGE and fluorography. The extent of labelling was 4-6 fold greater in myoblasts vs myotubes. A glycopeptide of Mr > 100,000 was found exclusively in myoblast membranes. Lectin chromatography revealed that the proportion of tri-, tetranntenary, biantennary and high mannose chains was similar throughout differentiation. The high mannose chain fraction was devoid of hybrid chains. The major high mannose chain contained nine mannose residues. The higher level of glycopeptide labelling in myoblasts vs myotubes corresponded to a 5-fold greater rate of protein synthesis. Pulse-chase experiments were used to follow the synthesis of the Dol-oligosaccharides. Myoblasts and myotubes labelled equivalently the glucosylated tetradecasaccharide but myoblasts labelled the smaller intermediates 3-4 greater than myotubes. Myoblasts also exhibited a 2-3 fold higher Dol-P dependent glycosyl transferase activity for chain elongation and Dol-sugar synthesis. Together these results show that the degree of protein synthesis and level of Dol-P are contributing factors in the higher capacity of myoblasts to produce N-glycoproteins compared to myotubes

  6. At the border: the plasma membrane-cell wall continuum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Zengyu; Persson, Staffan; Sánchez-Rodríguez, Clara

    2015-03-01

    Plant cells rely on their cell walls for directed growth and environmental adaptation. Synthesis and remodelling of the cell walls are membrane-related processes. During cell growth and exposure to external stimuli, there is a constant exchange of lipids, proteins, and other cell wall components between the cytosol and the plasma membrane/apoplast. This exchange of material and the localization of cell wall proteins at certain spots in the plasma membrane seem to rely on a particular membrane composition. In addition, sensors at the plasma membrane detect changes in the cell wall architecture, and activate cytoplasmic signalling schemes and ultimately cell wall remodelling. The apoplastic polysaccharide matrix is, on the other hand, crucial for preventing proteins diffusing uncontrollably in the membrane. Therefore, the cell wall-plasma membrane link is essential for plant development and responses to external stimuli. This review focuses on the relationship between the cell wall and plasma membrane, and its importance for plant tissue organization. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  7. Wrinkling reduction of membrane structure by trimming edges

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mingjun Liu

    2017-05-01

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

  8. Nanoscale spin sensing in artificial cell membranes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Simpson David

    2014-01-01

    The use of the nitrogen-vacancy (NV) centre in diamond as a single spin sensor or magnetometer has attracted considerable interest in recent years because of its unique combination of sensitivity, nanoscale resolution, and optical initialisation and readout at room temperature. Nanodiamonds in particular hold great promise as an optical magnetometer probe for bio applications. In this work we employ nanodiamonds containing single NV spins to detect freely diffusing Mn2+ ions by detecting changes in the transverse relaxation time (T2) of the single spin probe. We also report the detection of gadolinium spin labels present in an artificial cell membrane by measuring changes in the longitudinal relaxation time (T1) of the probe. (author)

  9. Roles of membrane trafficking in plant cell wall dynamics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kazuo eEbine

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available The cell wall is one of the characteristic components of plant cells. The cell wall composition differs among cell types and is modified in response to various environmental conditions. To properly generate and modify the cell wall, many proteins are transported to the plasma membrane or extracellular space through membrane trafficking, which is one of the key protein transport mechanisms in eukaryotic cells. Given the diverse composition and functions of the cell wall in plants, the transport of the cell wall components and proteins that are involved in cell wall-related events could be specialized for each cell type, i.e., the machinery for cell wall biogenesis, modification, and maintenance could be transported via different trafficking pathways. In this review, we summarize the recent progress in the current understanding of the roles and mechanisms of membrane trafficking in plant cells and focus on the biogenesis and regulation of the cell wall.

  10. Membrane tension and cytoskeleton organization in cell motility

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sens, Pierre; Plastino, Julie

    2015-01-01

    Cell membrane shape changes are important for many aspects of normal biological function, such as tissue development, wound healing and cell division and motility. Various disease states are associated with deregulation of how cells move and change shape, including notably tumor initiation and cancer cell metastasis. Cell motility is powered, in large part, by the controlled assembly and disassembly of the actin cytoskeleton. Much of this dynamic happens in close proximity to the plasma membrane due to the fact that actin assembly factors are membrane-bound, and thus actin filaments are generally oriented such that their growth occurs against or near the membrane. For a long time, the membrane was viewed as a relatively passive scaffold for signaling. However, results from the last five years show that this is not the whole picture, and that the dynamics of the actin cytoskeleton are intimately linked to the mechanics of the cell membrane. In this review, we summarize recent findings concerning the role of plasma membrane mechanics in cell cytoskeleton dynamics and architecture, showing that the cell membrane is not just an envelope or a barrier for actin assembly, but is a master regulator controlling cytoskeleton dynamics and cell polarity. (topical review)

  11. Membrane tension and cytoskeleton organization in cell motility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sens, Pierre; Plastino, Julie

    2015-07-15

    Cell membrane shape changes are important for many aspects of normal biological function, such as tissue development, wound healing and cell division and motility. Various disease states are associated with deregulation of how cells move and change shape, including notably tumor initiation and cancer cell metastasis. Cell motility is powered, in large part, by the controlled assembly and disassembly of the actin cytoskeleton. Much of this dynamic happens in close proximity to the plasma membrane due to the fact that actin assembly factors are membrane-bound, and thus actin filaments are generally oriented such that their growth occurs against or near the membrane. For a long time, the membrane was viewed as a relatively passive scaffold for signaling. However, results from the last five years show that this is not the whole picture, and that the dynamics of the actin cytoskeleton are intimately linked to the mechanics of the cell membrane. In this review, we summarize recent findings concerning the role of plasma membrane mechanics in cell cytoskeleton dynamics and architecture, showing that the cell membrane is not just an envelope or a barrier for actin assembly, but is a master regulator controlling cytoskeleton dynamics and cell polarity.

  12. Better Proton-Conducting Polymers for Fuel-Cell Membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Narayan, Sri; Reddy, Prakash

    2012-01-01

    Polyoxyphenylene triazole sulfonic acid has been proposed as a basis for development of improved proton-conducting polymeric materials for solid-electrolyte membranes in hydrogen/air fuel cells. Heretofore, the proton-conducting membrane materials of choice have been exemplified by a family of perfluorosulfonic acid-based polymers (Nafion7 or equivalent). These materials are suitable for operation in the temperature of 75 to 85 C, but in order to reduce the sizes and/or increase the energy-conversion efficiencies of fuel-cell systems, it would be desirable to increase temperatures to as high as 120 C for transportation applications, and to as high as 180 C for stationary applications. However, at 120 C and at relative humidity values below 50 percent, the loss of water from perfluorosulfonic acid-based polymer membranes results in fuel-cell power densities too low to be of practical value. Therefore, membrane electrolyte materials that have usefully high proton conductivity in the temperature range of 180 C at low relative humidity and that do not rely on water for proton conduction at 180 C would be desirable. The proposed polyoxyphenylene triazole sulfonic acid-based materials have been conjectured to have these desirable properties. These materials would be free of volatile or mobile acid constituents. The generic molecular structure of these materials is intended to exploit the fact, demonstrated in previous research, that materials that contain ionizable acid and base groups covalently attached to thermally stable polymer backbones exhibit proton conduction even in the anhydrous state.

  13. Protonic conductors for proton exchange membrane fuel cells: An overview

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jurado Ramon Jose

    2002-01-01

    Full Text Available At present, Nation, which is a perfluorinated polymer, is one of the few materials that deliver the set of chemical and mechanical properties required to perform as a good electrolyte in proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs. However, Nation presents some disadvantages, such as limiting the operational temperature of the fuel system (So°C, because of its inability to retain water at higher temperatures and also suffers chemical crossover. In addition to these restrictions, Nation membranes are very expensive. Reducing costs and using environmentally friendly materials are good reasons to make a research effort in this field in order to achieve similar or even better fuel-cell performances. Glass materials of the ternary system SiO2-ZrO2-P2O5, hybrid materials based on Nation, and nanopore ceramic membranes based on SiO2 TiO2, Al2O3, etc. are considered at present, as promising candidates to replace Nation as the electrolyte in PEMFCs. These types of materials are generally prepared by sol-gel processes in order to tailor their channel-porous structure and pore size. In this communication, the possible candidates in the near future as electrolytes (including other polymers different than Nation in PEMFCs are briefly reviewed. Their preparation methods, their electrical transport properties and conduction mechanisms are considered. The advantages and disadvantages of these materials with respect to Nation are also discussed.

  14. Studying Membrane Protein Structure and Function Using Nanodiscs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Huda, Pie

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

  15. New ETFE-based membrane for direct methanol fuel cell

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Saarinen, V.; Kallio, T.; Paronen, M.; Tikkanen, P.; Rauhala, E.; Kontturi, K.

    2005-01-01

    The investigated membranes are based on 35-bar μ m thick commercial poly(ethylene-alt-tetrafluoroethylene) (ETFE) films. The films were made proton conductive by means of irradiation treatment followed by sulfonation. These membranes have exceptionally low water uptake and excellent dimensional stability. The new membranes are investigated widely in a laboratory-scale direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC). The temperature range used in the fuel cell tests was 30-85-bar o C and the measurement results were compared to those of the Nafion ( R)115 membrane. Also methanol permeability through the ETFE-based membrane was measured as a function of temperature, resulting in values less than 10% of the corresponding values for Nafion ( R)115, which was considerably thicker than the experimental membrane. Methanol crossover was reported to decrease when the thickness of the membrane increases, so the ETFE-based membrane compares favourably to Nafion ( R) membranes. The maximum power densities achieved with the experimental ETFE-based membrane were about 40-65% lower than the corresponding values of the Nafion ( R)115 membrane, because of the lower conductivity and noticeably higher IR-losses. Chemical and mechanical stability of the ETFE-based membrane appeared to be promising since it was tested over 2000-bar h in the DMFC without any performance loss

  16. Role of Membrane Biophysics in Alzheimer's - related cell pathways

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Donghui eZhu

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Cellular membrane alterations are commonly observed in many diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease (AD. Membrane biophysical properties, such as membrane molecular order, membrane fluidity, organization of lipid rafts, and adhesion between membrane and cytoskeleton, play an important role in various cellular activities and functions. While membrane biophysics impacts a broad range of cellular pathways, this review addresses the role of membrane biophysics in amyloid-β peptide aggregation, Aβ-induced oxidative pathways, amyloid precursor protein processing, and cerebral endothelial functions in AD. Understanding the mechanism(s underlying the effects of cell membrane properties on cellular processes should shed light on the development of new preventive and therapeutic strategies for this devastating disease.

  17. Review of cell performance in anion exchange membrane fuel cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dekel, Dario R.

    2018-01-01

    Anion exchange membrane fuel cells (AEMFCs) have recently received increasing attention since in principle they allow for the use of non-precious metal catalysts, which dramatically reduces the cost per kilowatt of power in fuel cell devices. Until not long ago, the main barrier in the development of AEMFCs was the availability of highly conductive anion exchange membranes (AEMs); however, improvements on this front in the past decade show that newly developed AEMs have already reached high levels of conductivity, leading to satisfactory cell performance. In recent years, a growing number of research studies have reported AEMFC performance results. In the last three years, new records in performance were achieved. Most of the literature reporting cell performance is based on hydrogen-AEMFCs, although an increasing number of studies have also reported the use of fuels others than hydrogen - such as alcohols, non-alcohol C-based fuels, as well as N-based fuels. This article reviews the cell performance and performance stability achieved in AEMFCs through the years since the first reports in the early 2000s.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mouritsen, Ole G.; Jørgensen, Kent

    1998-01-01

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

  19. Block Copolymers for Alkaline Fuel Cell Membrane Materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-07-30

    temperature fuel cells including proton exchange membrane fuel cell ( PEMFC ) and alkaline fuel cell (AFC) with operation temperature usually lower than 120...advantages over proton exchange membrane fuel cells ( PEMFCs ) resulting in the popularity of AFCs in the US space program.[8-11] The primary benefit AFC...offered over PEMFC is better electrochemical kinetics on the anode and cathode under the alkaline environment, which results in the ability to use

  20. Cell volume and membrane stretch independently control K+ channel activity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bomholtz, Sofia Hammami; Willumsen, Niels J; Olsen, Hervør L

    2009-01-01

    A number of potassium channels including members of the KCNQ family and the Ca(2+) activated IK and SK, but not BK, are strongly and reversibly regulated by small changes in cell volume. It has been argued that this general regulation is mediated through sensitivity to changes in membrane stretch...... was not affected by membrane stretch. The results indicate that (1) activation of BK channels by local membrane stretch is not mimicked by membrane stress induced by cell swelling, and (2) activation of KCNQ1 channels by cell volume increase is not mediated by local tension in the cell membrane. We conclude....... To test this hypothesis we have studied the regulation of KCNQ1 and BK channels after expression in Xenopus oocytes. Results from cell-attached patch clamp studies (approximately 50 microm(2) macropatches) in oocytes expressing BK channels demonstrate that the macroscopic volume-insensitive BK current...

  1. Crosslinked wholly aromatic polyether membranes based on quinoline derivatives and their application in high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kallitsis, K. J.; Nannou, R.; Andreopoulou, A. K.; Daletou, M. K.; Papaioannou, D.; Neophytides, S. G.; Kallitsis, J. K.

    2018-03-01

    An AB type difunctional quinoline based monomer bearing a pentafluorophenyl unit combined with a phenol functionality is being synthesized and homopolymerized to create linear aromatic polyethers as polymer electrolytes for HT-PEM FCs applications. Several conditions are tested for the optimized synthesis of the monomer and homopolymer. Additionally, covalent crosslinking through aromatic polyether bond formation enables the creation of wholly aromatic crosslinked polymeric electrolyte membranes. More specifically, the perfluorophenyl units are crosslinked with other hydroxyl end functionalized moieties, providing membranes with enhanced chemical and mechanical properties that are moreover easily doped with phosphoric acid even at ambient temperatures. All membranes are evaluated for their structural and thermal characteristics and their doping ability with phosphoric acid. Selected crosslinked membranes are further tested in terms of their single cell performance at the temperature range 160 °C-200 °C showing promising performance and high conductivity values even up to 0.2 S cm-1 in some cases.

  2. The thermomechanical stability of micro-solid oxide fuel cells fabricated on anodized aluminum oxide membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwon, Chang-Woo; Lee, Jae-Il; Kim, Ki-Bum; Lee, Hae-Weon; Lee, Jong-Ho; Son, Ji-Won

    2012-07-01

    The thermomechanical stability of micro-solid oxide fuel cells (micro-SOFCs) fabricated on an anodized aluminum oxide (AAO) membrane template is investigated. The full structure consists of the following layers: AAO membrane (600 nm)/Pt anode/YSZ electrolyte (900 nm)/porous Pt cathode. The utilization of a 600-nm-thick AAO membrane significantly improves the thermomechanical stability due to its well-known honeycomb-shaped nanopore structure. Moreover, the Pt anode layer deposited in between the AAO membrane and the YSZ electrolyte preserves its integrity in terms of maintaining the triple-phase boundary (TPB) and electrical conductivity during high-temperature operation. Both of these results guarantee thermomechanical stability of the micro-SOFC and extend the cell lifetime, which is one of the most critical issues in the fabrication of freestanding membrane-type micro-SOFCs.

  3. Membrane transport of anandamide through resealed human red blood cell membranes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bojesen, I.N.; Hansen, Harald S.

    2005-01-01

    The use of resealed red blood cell membranes (ghosts) allows the study of the transport of a compound in a nonmetabolizing system with a biological membrane. Transmembrane movements of anandamide (N-arachidonoylethanolamine, arachidonoylethanolamide) have been studied by exchange efflux experiments...... at 0°C and pH 7.3 with albumin-free and albumin-filled human red blood cell ghosts. The efflux kinetics is biexponential and is analyzed in terms of compartment models. The distribution of anandamide on the membrane inner to outer leaflet pools is determined to be 0.275 ± 0.023, and the rate constant...... of unidirectional flux from inside to outside is 0.361 ± 0.023 s. The rate constant of unidirectional flux from the membrane to BSA in the medium ([BSA]) increases with the square root of [BSA] in accordance with the theory of an unstirred layer around ghosts. Anandamide passed through the red blood cell membrane...

  4. Analysis of proton exchange membrane fuel cell performance with alternate membranes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wakizoe, Masanobu; Velev, O A; Srinivasan, S [Texas A and M Univ., College Station, TX (United States). Texas Engineering Experiment Station

    1995-02-01

    Renewed interest in proton exchange membrane fuel cell technology for space and terrestrial (particularly electric vehicles) was stimulated by the demonstration, in the mid 1980s, of high energy efficiencies and high power densities. One of the most vital components of the PEMFC is the proton conducting membrane. In this paper, an analysis is made of the performances of PEMFCs with Dupont`s Nafion, Dow`s experimental, and Asahi Chemical`s Aciplex-S membranes. Attempts were also made to draw correlations between the PEMFC performances with the three types of membranes and their physico-chemical characteristics. Practically identical levels of performances (energy efficiency, power density, and lifetime) were achieved in PEMFCs with the Dow and the Aciplex-S membranes and these performances were better than in the PEMFCs with the Nafion-115 membrane. The electrode kinetic parameters for oxygen reduction are better for the PEMFCs with the Aciplex-S and Nafion membranes than with the Dow membranes. The PEMFCs with the Aciplex-S and Dow membranes have nearly the same internal resistances which are considerably lower than for the PEMFC with the Nafion membrane. The desired membrane characteristics to obtain high levels of performance are low equivalent weight and high water content. (Author)

  5. Empirical membrane lifetime model for heavy duty fuel cell systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macauley, Natalia; Watson, Mark; Lauritzen, Michael; Knights, Shanna; Wang, G. Gary; Kjeang, Erik

    2016-12-01

    Heavy duty fuel cells used in transportation system applications such as transit buses expose the fuel cell membranes to conditions that can lead to lifetime-limiting membrane failure via combined chemical and mechanical degradation. Highly durable membranes and reliable predictive models are therefore needed in order to achieve the ultimate heavy duty fuel cell lifetime target of 25,000 h. In the present work, an empirical membrane lifetime model was developed based on laboratory data from a suite of accelerated membrane durability tests. The model considers the effects of cell voltage, temperature, oxygen concentration, humidity cycling, humidity level, and platinum in the membrane using inverse power law and exponential relationships within the framework of a general log-linear Weibull life-stress statistical distribution. The obtained model is capable of extrapolating the membrane lifetime from accelerated test conditions to use level conditions during field operation. Based on typical conditions for the Whistler, British Columbia fuel cell transit bus fleet, the model predicts a stack lifetime of 17,500 h and a membrane leak initiation time of 9200 h. Validation performed with the aid of a field operated stack confirmed the initial goal of the model to predict membrane lifetime within 20% of the actual operating time.

  6. In-situ membrane hydration measurement of proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lai, Yeh-Hung; Fly, Gerald W.; Clapham, Shawn

    2015-01-01

    Achieving proper membrane hydration control is one of the most critical aspects of PEM fuel cell development. This article describes the development and application of a novel 50 cm2 fuel cell device to study the in-situ membrane hydration by measuring the through-thickness membrane swelling via an array of linear variable differential transducers. Using this setup either as an air/air (dummy) cell or as a hydrogen/air (operating) cell, we performed a series of hydration and dehydration experiments by cycling the RH of the inlet gas streams at 80 °C. From the linear relationship between the under-the-land swelling and the over-the-channel water content, the mechanical constraint within the fuel cell assembly can suppress the membrane water uptake by 11%-18%. The results from the air/air humidity cycling test show that the membrane can equilibrate within 120 s for all RH conditions and that membrane can reach full hydration at a RH higher than 140% in spite of the use of a liquid water impermeable Carbel MP30Z microporous layer. This result confirms that the U.S. DOE's humidity cycling mechanical durability protocol induces sufficient humidity swings to maximize hygrothermal mechanical stresses. This study shows that the novel experimental technique can provide a robust and accurate means to study the in-situ hydration of thin membranes subject to a wide range of fuel cell conditions.

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

    KAUST Repository

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    KAUST Repository

    Fu, Feng Jiang

    2015-11-01

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

  9. Resolving mixed mechanisms of protein subdiffusion at the T cell plasma membrane

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golan, Yonatan; Sherman, Eilon

    2017-06-01

    The plasma membrane is a complex medium where transmembrane proteins diffuse and interact to facilitate cell function. Membrane protein mobility is affected by multiple mechanisms, including crowding, trapping, medium elasticity and structure, thus limiting our ability to distinguish them in intact cells. Here we characterize the mobility and organization of a short transmembrane protein at the plasma membrane of live T cells, using single particle tracking and photoactivated-localization microscopy. Protein mobility is highly heterogeneous, subdiffusive and ergodic-like. Using mobility characteristics, we segment individual trajectories into subpopulations with distinct Gaussian step-size distributions. Particles of low-to-medium mobility consist of clusters, diffusing in a viscoelastic and fractal-like medium and are enriched at the centre of the cell footprint. Particles of high mobility undergo weak confinement and are more evenly distributed. This study presents a methodological approach to resolve simultaneous mixed subdiffusion mechanisms acting on polydispersed samples and complex media such as cell membranes.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-01-15

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

  11. Phosphoric acid doped imidazolium polysulfone membranes for high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yang, Jingshuai; Li, Qingfeng; Jensen, Jens Oluf

    2012-01-01

    A novel acid–base polymer membrane is prepared by doping of imidazolium polysulfone with phosphoric acid for high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells. Polysulfone is first chloromethylated, followed by functionalization of the chloromethylated polysulfone with alkyl imidazoles i.e. me...

  12. S-layer and cytoplasmic membrane – exceptions from the typical archaeal cell wall with a focus on double membranes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas eKlingl

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available The common idea of typical cell wall architecture in archaea consists of a pseudo-crystalline proteinaceous surface layer (S-layer, situated upon the cytoplasmic membrane. This is true for the majority of described archaea, hitherto. Within the crenarchaea, the S-layer often represents the only cell wall component, but there are various exceptions from this wall architecture. Beside (glycosylated S-layers in (hyperthermophilic cren- and euryarchaea as well as halophilic archaea, one can find a great variety of other cell wall structures like proteoglycan-like S-layers (Halobacteria, glutaminylglycan (Natronococci, methanochondroitin (Methanosarcina or double layered cell walls with pseudomurein (Methanothermus and Methanopyrus. The presence of an outermost cellular membrane in the crenarchaeal species Ignicoccus hospitalis already gave indications for an outer membrane similar to Gram-negative bacteria. Although there is just limited data concerning their biochemistry and ultrastructure, recent studies on the euryarchaeal methanogen Methanomassiliicoccus luminyensis, cells of the ARMAN group, and the SM1 euryarchaeon delivered further examples for this exceptional cell envelope type consisting of two membranes.

  13. Functional implications of plasma membrane condensation for T cell activation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carles Rentero

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available The T lymphocyte plasma membrane condenses at the site of activation but the functional significance of this receptor-mediated membrane reorganization is not yet known. Here we demonstrate that membrane condensation at the T cell activation sites can be inhibited by incorporation of the oxysterol 7-ketocholesterol (7KC, which is known to prevent the formation of raft-like liquid-ordered domains in model membranes. We enriched T cells with 7KC, or cholesterol as control, to assess the importance of membrane condensation for T cell activation. Upon 7KC treatment, T cell antigen receptor (TCR triggered calcium fluxes and early tyrosine phosphorylation events appear unaltered. However, signaling complexes form less efficiently on the cell surface, fewer phosphorylated signaling proteins are retained in the plasma membrane and actin restructuring at activation sites is impaired in 7KC-enriched cells resulting in compromised downstream activation responses. Our data emphasizes lipids as an important medium for the organization at T cell activation sites and strongly indicates that membrane condensation is an important element of the T cell activation process.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mancia, Filippo; Love, James

    2011-08-01

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

  15. Integral membrane protein structure determination using pseudocontact shifts

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-04-15

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

  16. Pyroelectricity as a possible mechanism for cell membrane permeabilization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Sánchez, Tomás; Muscat, Adeline; Leray, Isabelle; Mir, Lluis M

    2018-02-01

    The effects of pyroelectricity on cell membrane permeability had never been explored. Pyroelectricity consists in the generation of an electric field in the surface of some materials when a change in temperature is produced. In the present study, tourmaline microparticles, which are known to display pyroelectrical properties, were subjected to different changes in temperature upon exposure to cells in order to induce an electric field at their surface. Then, the changes in the permeability of the cell membrane to a cytotoxic agent (bleomycin) were assessed by a cloning efficacy test. An increase in the permeability of the cell membrane was only detected when tourmaline was subjected to a change in temperature. This suggests that the apparition of an induced pyroelectrical electric field on the material could actually be involved in the observed enhancement of the cell membrane permeability as a result of cell electropermeabilization. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zettl, Alexander K.; Meyer, Jannik Christian

    2013-04-02

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

  18. A cell culture technique for human epiretinal membranes to describe cell behavior and membrane contraction in vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wertheimer, Christian; Eibl-Lindner, Kirsten H; Compera, Denise; Kueres, Alexander; Wolf, Armin; Docheva, Denitsa; Priglinger, Siegfried G; Priglinger, Claudia; Schumann, Ricarda G

    2017-11-01

    To introduce a human cell culture technique for investigating in-vitro behavior of primary epiretinal cells and membrane contraction of fibrocellular tissue surgically removed from eyes with idiopathic macular pucker. Human epiretinal membranes were harvested from ten eyes with idiopathic macular pucker during standard vitrectomy. Specimens were fixed on cell culture plastic using small entomological pins to apply horizontal stress to the tissue, and then transferred to standard cell culture conditions. Cell behavior of 400 epiretinal cells from 10 epiretinal membranes was observed in time-lapse microscopy and analyzed in terms of cell migration, cell velocity, and membrane contraction. Immunocytochemistry was performed for cell type-specific antigens. Cell specific differences in migration behavior were observed comprising two phenotypes: (PT1) epiretinal cells moving fast, less directly, with small round phenotype and (PT2) epiretinal cells moving slowly, directly, with elongated large phenotype. No mitosis, no outgrowth and no migration onto the plastic were seen. Horizontal contraction measurements showed variation between specimens. Masses of epiretinal cells with a myofibroblast-like phenotype expressed cytoplasmatic α-SMA stress fibers and correlated with cell behavior characteristics (PT2). Fast moving epiretinal cells (PT1) were identified as microglia by immunostaining. This in-vitro technique using traction application allows for culturing surgically removed epiretinal membranes from eyes with idiopathic macular pucker, demonstrating cell behavior and membrane contraction of primary human epiretinal cells. Our findings emphasize the abundance of myofibroblasts, the presence of microglia and specific differences of cell behavior in these membranes. This technique has the potential to improve the understanding of pathologies at the vitreomacular interface and might be helpful in establishing anti-fibrotic treatment strategies.

  19. Models of dynamic extraction of lipid tethers from cell membranes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nowak, Sarah A; Chou, Tom

    2010-01-01

    When a ligand that is bound to an integral membrane receptor is pulled, the membrane and the underlying cytoskeleton can deform before either the membrane delaminates from the cytoskeleton or the ligand detaches from the receptor. If the membrane delaminates from the cytoskeleton, it may be further extruded and form a membrane tether. We develop a phenomenological model for this process by assuming that deformations obey Hooke's law up to a critical force at which the cell membrane locally detaches from the cytoskeleton and a membrane tether forms. We compute the probability of tether formation and show that tethers can be extruded only within an intermediate range of force loading rates and pulling velocities. The mean tether length that arises at the moment of ligand detachment is computed as are the force loading rates and pulling velocities that yield the longest tethers

  20. Evaluation of the damage of cell wall and cell membrane for various extracellular polymeric substance extractions of activated sludge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Xuesong; Liu, Junxin; Xiao, Benyi

    2014-10-20

    Extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) are susceptible to contamination by intracellular substances released during the extraction of EPS owing to the damage caused to microbial cell structures. The damage to cell walls and cell membranes in nine EPS extraction processes of activated sludge was evaluated in this study. The extraction of EPS (including proteins, carbohydrates and DNA) was the highest using the NaOH extraction method and the lowest using formaldehyde extraction. All nine EPS extraction methods in this study resulted in cell wall and membrane damage. The damage to cell walls, evaluated by 2-keto-3-deoxyoctonate (KDO) and N-acetylglucosamine content changes in extracted EPS, was the most significant in the NaOH extraction process. Formaldehyde extraction showed a similar extent of damage to cell walls to those detected in the control method (centrifugation), while those in the formaldehyde-NaOH and cation exchange resin extractions were slightly higher than those detected in the control. N-acetylglucosamine was more suitable than KDO for the evaluation of cell wall damage in the EPS extraction of activated sludge. The damage to cell membranes was characterized by two fluorochromes (propidium iodide and FITC Annexin V) with flow cytometry (FCM) measurement. The highest proportion of membrane-damaged cells was detected in NaOH extraction (26.54% of total cells) while membrane-damaged cells comprised 8.19% of total cells in the control. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Nutrient Sensing at the Plasma Membrane of Fungal Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Dijck, Patrick; Brown, Neil Andrew; Goldman, Gustavo H; Rutherford, Julian; Xue, Chaoyang; Van Zeebroeck, Griet

    2017-03-01

    To respond to the changing environment, cells must be able to sense external conditions. This is important for many processes including growth, mating, the expression of virulence factors, and several other regulatory effects. Nutrient sensing at the plasma membrane is mediated by different classes of membrane proteins that activate downstream signaling pathways: nontransporting receptors, transceptors, classical and nonclassical G-protein-coupled receptors, and the newly defined extracellular mucin receptors. Nontransporting receptors have the same structure as transport proteins, but have lost the capacity to transport while gaining a receptor function. Transceptors are transporters that also function as a receptor, because they can rapidly activate downstream signaling pathways. In this review, we focus on these four types of fungal membrane proteins. We mainly discuss the sensing mechanisms relating to sugars, ammonium, and amino acids. Mechanisms for other nutrients, such as phosphate and sulfate, are discussed briefly. Because the model yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has been the most studied, especially regarding these nutrient-sensing systems, each subsection will commence with what is known in this species.

  2. The effect of MLS laser radiation on cell lipid membrane.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pasternak, Kamila; Wróbel, Dominika; Nowacka, Olga; Pieszyński, Ireneusz; Bryszewska, Maria; Kujawa, Jolanta

    2018-03-14

    Authors of numerous publications have proved the therapeutic effect of laser irradiation on biological material, but the mechanisms at cellular and subcellular level are not yet well understood. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of laser radiation emitted by the MLS M1 system (Multiwave Locked System) at two wavelengths (808 nm continuous and 905 nm pulsed) on the stability and fluidity of liposomes with a lipid composition similar to that of human erythrocyte membrane or made of phosphatidylocholine. Liposomes were exposed to low-energy laser radiation at surface densities 195 mW/cm2 (frequency 1,000 Hz) and 230 mW/cm2 (frequency 2,000 Hz). Different doses of radiation energy in the range 0-15 J were applied. The surface energy density was within the range 0.46 - 4.9 J/cm 2. The fluidity and stability of liposomes subjected to such irradiation changed depending on the parameters of radiation used. Since MLS M1 laser radiation, depending on the parameters used, affects fluidity and stability of liposomes with the lipid content similar to erythrocyte membrane, it may also cause structural and functional changes in cell membranes.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-09-01

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

  5. Periodontal ligament cellular structures engineered with electrospun poly(DL-lactide-co-glycolide) nanofibrous membrane scaffolds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inanç, Bülend; Arslan, Y Emre; Seker, Sükran; Elçin, A Eser; Elçin, Y Murat

    2009-07-01

    Periodontal tissue engineering is expected to overcome the limitations associated with the existing regenerative techniques for the treatment of periodontal defects involving alveolar bone, cementum, and periodontal ligament. Cell-based tissue engineering approaches involve the utilization of in vitro expanded cells with regenerative capacity and their delivery to the appropriate sites via biomaterial scaffolds. The aim of this study was to establish living periodontal ligament cell-containing structures on electrospun poly(DL-lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) nanofiber membrane scaffolds, assess their viability and characteristics, and engineer multilayered structures amenable to easy handling. Human periodontal ligament (hPDL) cells were expanded in explant culture and then characterized morphologically and immunohistochemically. PLGA nanofiber membranes were prepared by the electrospinning process; mechanical tensile properties were determined, surface topography, nanofiber size, and porosity status were investigated with SEM. Cells were seeded on the membranes at approximately 50,000 cell/cm(2) and cultured for 21 days either in expansion or in osteogenic induction medium. Cell adhesion and viability were demonstrated using SEM and MTT, respectively, and osteogenic differentiation was determined with IHC and immunohistomorphometric evaluation of osteopontin, osteocalcin, and bone sialoprotein marker expression. At days 3, 6, 9, and 12 additional cell/membrane layers were deposited on the existing ones and multilayered hybrid structures were established. Results indicate the feasibility of periodontal ligament cell-containing tissue-like structures engineering with PDL cells and electrospun nanofiber PLGA scaffolds supporting cell adhesion, viability and osteogenic differentiation properties of cells in hybrid structures amenable to macroscopic handling.

  6. Nanoscale cell membrane organization : a near-field optical view

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Koopman, Marjolein

    2006-01-01

    The cell plasma membrane of eukaryotic cells is a lipid bi-layer that separates the cell cytosol from the extracellular environment. The composition and organization of proteins and lipids within this bi-layer have a direct impact on many cellular processes, since they form the senses of the cell.

  7. Single cell wound generates electric current circuit and cell membrane potential variations that requires calcium influx.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luxardi, Guillaume; Reid, Brian; Maillard, Pauline; Zhao, Min

    2014-07-24

    Breaching of the cell membrane is one of the earliest and most common causes of cell injury, tissue damage, and disease. If the compromise in cell membrane is not repaired quickly, irreversible cell damage, cell death and defective organ functions will result. It is therefore fundamentally important to efficiently repair damage to the cell membrane. While the molecular aspects of single cell wound healing are starting to be deciphered, its bio-physical counterpart has been poorly investigated. Using Xenopus laevis oocytes as a model for single cell wound healing, we describe the temporal and spatial dynamics of the wound electric current circuitry and the temporal dynamics of cell membrane potential variation. In addition, we show the role of calcium influx in controlling electric current circuitry and cell membrane potential variations. (i) Upon wounding a single cell: an inward electric current appears at the wound center while an outward electric current is observed at its sides, illustrating the wound electric current circuitry; the cell membrane is depolarized; calcium flows into the cell. (ii) During cell membrane re-sealing: the wound center current density is maintained for a few minutes before decreasing; the cell membrane gradually re-polarizes; calcium flow into the cell drops. (iii) In conclusion, calcium influx is required for the formation and maintenance of the wound electric current circuitry, for cell membrane re-polarization and for wound healing.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

  9. Radiation Interaction with Therapeutic Drugs and Cell Membranes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Martin, Diana I.; Manaila, Elena N.; Matei, Constantin I.; Iacob, Nicusor I.; Ighigeanu, Daniel I.; Craciun, Gabriela D.; Moisescu, Mihaela I.; Savopol, Tudor D.; Kovacs, Eugenia A.; Cinca, Sabin A.; Margaritescu, Irina D.

    2007-01-01

    This transient permeabilized state of the cell membrane, named the 'cell electroporation' (CE) can be used to increase cells uptake of drugs that do not readily pass cell membrane, thus enabling their cytotoxicity. The anticancer drugs, such as bleomycin (BL) and cisplatin, are the most candidates for the combined use with ionizing and non-ionizing radiation fields. The methods and installations for the cell electroporation by electron beam (EB) and microwave (MW) irradiation are presented. The viability tests of the human leukocytes under EB and MW exposure with/without the BL in the cell cultures are discussed

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  11. High yield cell-free production of integral membrane proteins without refolding or detergents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wuu, Jessica J; Swartz, James R

    2008-05-01

    Integral membrane proteins act as critical cellular components and are important drug targets. However, difficulties in producing membrane proteins have hampered investigations of structure and function. In vivo production systems are often limited by cell toxicity, and previous in vitro approaches have required unnatural folding pathways using detergents or lipid solutions. To overcome these limitations, we present an improved cell-free expression system which produces high yields of integral membrane proteins without the use of detergents or refolding steps. Our cell-free reaction activates an Escherichia coli-derived cell extract for transcription and translation. Purified E. coli inner membrane vesicles supply membrane-bound components and the lipid environment required for insertion and folding. Using this system, we demonstrated successful synthesis of two complex integral membrane transporters, the tetracycline pump (TetA) and mannitol permease (MtlA), in yields of 570+/-50 microg/mL and 130+/-30 microg/mL of vesicle-associated protein, respectively. These yields are up to 400 times typical in vivo concentrations. Insertion and folding of these proteins are verified by sucrose flotation, protease digestion, and activity assays. Whereas TetA incorporates efficiently into vesicle membranes with over two-thirds of the synthesized protein being inserted, MtlA yields appear to be limited by insufficient concentrations of a membrane-associated chaperone.

  12. Role of Membrane Cholesterol Levels in Activation of Lyn upon Cell Detachment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takao Morinaga

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Cholesterol, a major component of the plasma membrane, determines the physicalproperties of biological membranes and plays a critical role in the assembly of membranemicrodomains. Enrichment or deprivation of membrane cholesterol affects the activities of manysignaling molecules at the plasma membrane. Cell detachment changes the structure of the plasmamembrane and influences the localizations of lipids, including cholesterol. Recent studies showedthat cell detachment changes the activities of a variety of signaling molecules. We previously reportedthat the localization and the function of the Src-family kinase Lyn are critically regulated by itsmembrane anchorage through lipid modifications. More recently, we found that the localization andthe activity of Lyn were changed upon cell detachment, although the manners of which vary betweencell types. In this review, we highlight the changes in the localization of Lyn and a role of cholesterolin the regulation of Lyn’s activation following cell detachment.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lebbink, M.N.

    2009-01-01

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

  14. Grafting of glycidyl methacrylate/styrene onto polyvinyldine fluoride membranes for proton exchange fuel cell

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Abdel-Hady, E.E.; El-Toony, M.M.; Abdel-Hamed, M.O.

    2013-01-01

    Simultaneous gamma irradiation was used effectively for grafting facilitation of glycidyl methacrylate (GMA) and styrene (Sty) onto polyvinylidine fluoride (PVDF). Grafting percent was 122 when monomers ratio are 30% Sty and 70% GMA at 20 KGy gamma irradiation dose. Characterization of the membrane was performed using FT-IR, ion exchange capacity (IEC), water uptake. Mechanical behavior such as tensile strength was studied while morphological structure of the membrane was carried out by scan electron microscope (SEM). The membrane with degree of grafting 122% showed higher IEC (1.2 m mol/cm) than those of Nafion membrane with corresponding proton conductivity of 5.7 × 10 −2 S/cm similar to it. Operating the fuel cell unit showed higher voltage of the prepared membranes than that of Nafion 211. The prepared membranes stability for 300 h work approved their applicability from the cost benefit point of view

  15. Nonlinear Local Deformations of Red Blood Cell Membranes: Effects of Toxins and Pharmaceuticals (Part 2

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander M. Chernysh

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Modifiers of membranes cause local defects on the cell surface. Measurement of the rigidity at the sites of local defects can provide further information about the structure of defects and mechanical properties of altered membranes.The purpose of the study: a step-by-step study of the process of a nonlinear deformation of red blood cells membranes under the effect of modifiers of different physico-chemical nature.Materials and methods. The membrane deformation of a viscoelastic composite erythrocyte construction inside a cell was studied by the atomic force spectroscopy. Nonlinear deformations formed under the effect of hemin, Zn2+ ions, and verapamil were studied.Results. The process of elastic deformation of the membrane with the indentation of a probe at the sites of local defects caused by modifiers was demonstrated. The probe was inserted during the same step of the piezo scanner z displacement; the probe indentation occured at the different discrete values of h, which are the functions of the membrane structure. At the sites of domains, under the effect of the hemin, tension areas and plasticity areas appeared. A mathematical model of probe indentation at the site of membrane defects is presented.Conclusion. The molecular mechanisms of various types of nonlinear deformations occurring under the effect of toxins are discussed. The results of the study may be of interest both for fundamental researchers of the blood cell properties and for practical reanimatology and rehabilitology. 

  16. Facilitated Anion Transport Induces Hyperpolarization of the Cell Membrane That Triggers Differentiation and Cell Death in Cancer Stem Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soto-Cerrato, Vanessa; Manuel-Manresa, Pilar; Hernando, Elsa; Calabuig-Fariñas, Silvia; Martínez-Romero, Alicia; Fernández-Dueñas, Víctor; Sahlholm, Kristoffer; Knöpfel, Thomas; García-Valverde, María; Rodilla, Ananda M; Jantus-Lewintre, Eloisa; Farràs, Rosa; Ciruela, Francisco; Pérez-Tomás, Ricardo; Quesada, Roberto

    2015-12-23

    Facilitated anion transport potentially represents a powerful tool to modulate various cellular functions. However, research into the biological effects of small molecule anionophores is still at an early stage. Here we have used two potent anionophore molecules inspired in the structure of marine metabolites tambjamines to gain insight into the effect induced by these compounds at the cellular level. We show how active anionophores, capable of facilitating the transmembrane transport of chloride and bicarbonate in model phospholipid liposomes, induce acidification of the cytosol and hyperpolarization of plasma cell membranes. We demonstrate how this combined effect can be used against cancer stem cells (CSCs). Hyperpolarization of cell membrane induces cell differentiation and loss of stemness of CSCs leading to effective elimination of this cancer cell subpopulation.

  17. Lectin receptor kinases participate in protein-protein interactions to mediate plasma membrane-cell wall adhesions in Arabidopsis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gouget, A.; Senchou, V.; Govers, F.; Sanson, A.; Barre, A.; Rougé, P.; Pont-Lezica, R.; Canut, H.

    2006-01-01

    Interactions between plant cell walls and plasma membranes are essential for cells to function properly, but the molecules that mediate the structural continuity between wall and membrane are unknown. Some of these interactions, which are visualized upon tissue plasmolysis in Arabidopsis

  18. Staying Tight: Plasmodesmal Membrane Contact Sites and the Control of Cell-to-Cell Connectivity in Plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tilsner, Jens; Nicolas, William; Rosado, Abel; Bayer, Emmanuelle M

    2016-04-29

    Multicellularity differs in plants and animals in that the cytoplasm, plasma membrane, and endomembrane of plants are connected between cells through plasmodesmal pores. Plasmodesmata (PDs) are essential for plant life and serve as conduits for the transport of proteins, small RNAs, hormones, and metabolites during developmental and defense signaling. They are also the only pathways available for viruses to spread within plant hosts. The membrane organization of PDs is unique, characterized by the close apposition of the endoplasmic reticulum and the plasma membrane and spoke-like filamentous structures linking the two membranes, which define PDs as membrane contact sites (MCSs). This specialized membrane arrangement is likely critical for PD function. Here, we review how PDs govern developmental and defensive signaling in plants, compare them with other types of MCSs, and discuss in detail the potential functional significance of the MCS nature of PDs.

  19. Perforate on CHO cell membranes induced by electromagnetic ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Atomic force microscopy (AFM) has been used to visualize the morphological change on the surface of Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell membranes before and after electromagnetic pulses (EMP) irradiation. The results show that there were different sizes and shapes of membrane perforate (width ranging from 0.39 - 0.66 ...

  20. Catalytic membranes for CO oxidation in fuel cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandi-Tapia, Giselle; Carrado Gregar, Kathleen; Kizilel, Riza

    2010-06-08

    A hydrogen permeable membrane, which includes a polymer stable at temperatures of about 200 C having clay impregnated with Pt or Au or Ru or Pd particles or mixtures thereof with average diameters of less than about 10 nanometers (nms) is disclosed. The membranes are useful in fuel cells or any device which requires hydrogen to be separated from carbon monoxide.

  1. Toughness of membranes applied in polymer electrolyte fuel cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kiefer, J; Brack, H P; Scherer, G G [Paul Scherrer Inst. (PSI), Villigen (Switzerland)

    1999-08-01

    Since several years we apply the radiation-grafting technique to prepare polymeric membranes for application in polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs). Our investigations presented here focus on changes in toughness of these materials after the various synthesis steps and the importance of membrane toughness for their application in PEFCs. (author) 2 figs., 4 refs.

  2. Transformation of membrane nanosurface of red blood cells under hemin action

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kozlova, Elena; Chernysh, Alexander; Moroz, Victor; Gudkova, Olga; Sergunova, Victoria; Kuzovlev, Artem

    2014-08-01

    Hemin is the product of hemoglobin oxidation. Some diseases may lead to a formation of hemin. The accumulation of hemin causes destruction of red blood cells (RBC) membranes. In this study the process of development of topological defects of RBC membranes within the size range from nanoscale to microscale levels is shown. The formation of the grain-like structures in the membrane (``grains'') with typical sizes of 120-200 nm was experimentally shown. The process of formation of ``grains'' was dependent on the hemin concentration and incubation time. The possible mechanism of membrane nanostructure alterations is proposed. The kinetic equations of formation and transformation of small and medium topological defects were analyzed. This research can be used to study the cell intoxication and analyze the action of various agents on RBC membranes.

  3. Communication Between the Cell Membrane and the Nucleus: Role of Protein Compartmentalization

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lelievre, Sophie A; Bissell, Mina J

    1998-10-21

    Understanding how the information is conveyed from outside to inside the cell is a critical challenge for all biologists involved in signal transduction. The flow of information initiated by cell-cell and cell-extracellular matrix contacts is mediated by the formation of adhesion complexes involving multiple proteins. Inside adhesion complexes, connective membrane skeleton (CMS) proteins are signal transducers that bind to adhesion molecules, organize the cytoskeleton, and initiate biochemical cascades. Adhesion complex-mediated signal transduction ultimately directs the formation of supramolecular structures in the cell nucleus, as illustrated by the establishment of multi complexes of DNA-bound transcription factors, and the redistribution of nuclear structural proteins to form nuclear subdomains. Recently, several CMS proteins have been observed to travel to the cell nucleus, suggesting a distinctive role for these proteins in signal transduction. This review focuses on the nuclear translocation of structural signal transducers of the membrane skeleton and also extends our analysis to possible translocation of resident nuclear proteins to the membrane skeleton. This leads us to envision the communication between spatially distant cellular compartments (i.e., membrane skeleton and cell nucleus) as a bidirectional flow of information (a dynamic reciprocity) based on subtle multilevel structural and biochemical equilibria. At one level, it is mediated by the interaction between structural signal transducers and their binding partners, at another level it may be mediated by the balance and integration of signal transducers in different cellular compartments.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-11-01

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

  5. Concise Review: Plasma and Nuclear Membranes Convey Mechanical Information to Regulate Mesenchymal Stem Cell Lineage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uzer, Gunes; Fuchs, Robyn K; Rubin, Janet; Thompson, William R

    2016-06-01

    Numerous factors including chemical, hormonal, spatial, and physical cues determine stem cell fate. While the regulation of stem cell differentiation by soluble factors is well-characterized, the role of mechanical force in the determination of lineage fate is just beginning to be understood. Investigation of the role of force on cell function has largely focused on "outside-in" signaling, initiated at the plasma membrane. When interfaced with the extracellular matrix, the cell uses integral membrane proteins, such as those found in focal adhesion complexes to translate force into biochemical signals. Akin to these outside-in connections, the internal cytoskeleton is physically linked to the nucleus, via proteins that span the nuclear membrane. Although structurally and biochemically distinct, these two forms of mechanical coupling influence stem cell lineage fate and, when disrupted, often lead to disease. Here we provide an overview of how mechanical coupling occurs at the plasma and nuclear membranes. We also discuss the role of force on stem cell differentiation, with focus on the biochemical signals generated at the cell membrane and the nucleus, and how those signals influence various diseases. While the interaction of stem cells with their physical environment and how they respond to force is complex, an understanding of the mechanical regulation of these cells is critical in the design of novel therapeutics to combat diseases associated with aging, cancer, and osteoporosis. Stem Cells 2016;34:1455-1463. © 2016 AlphaMed Press.

  6. Membrane transport mechanism 3D structure and beyond

    CERN Document Server

    Ziegler, Christine

    2014-01-01

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

  7. Development of topologically structured membranes of aluminum oxide

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  8. Development of topologically structured membranes of aluminum oxide

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bankova, A; Videkov, V; Tzaneva, B

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  10. Innovative membrane development for fuel cells

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Vaivars, G

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available The innovative membranes for alternative energy devices will be presented. An electrical car is long waited solution to environmental and fuel supply problems in transport. Most probably, the shift from a combustion engine to an electrical car...

  11. Heat stress causes spatially-distinct membrane re-modelling in K562 leukemia cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gábor Balogh

    Full Text Available Cellular membranes respond rapidly to various environmental perturbations. Previously we showed that modulations in membrane fluidity achieved by heat stress (HS resulted in pronounced membrane organization alterations which could be intimately linked to the expression and cellular distribution of heat shock proteins. Here we examine heat-induced membrane changes using several visualisation methods. With Laurdan two-photon microscopy we demonstrate that, in contrast to the enhanced formation of ordered domains in surface membranes, the molecular disorder is significantly elevated within the internal membranes of cells preexposed to mild HS. These results were compared with those obtained by anisotropy, fluorescence lifetime and electron paramagnetic resonance measurements. All probes detected membrane changes upon HS. However, the structurally different probes revealed substantially distinct alterations in membrane heterogeneity. These data call attention to the careful interpretation of results obtained with only a single label. Subtle changes in membrane microstructure in the decision-making of thermal cell killing could have potential application in cancer therapy.

  12. Cell-free system for synthesizing membrane proteins cell free method for synthesizing membrane proteins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laible, Philip D; Hanson, Deborah K

    2013-06-04

    The invention provides an in vitro method for producing proteins, membrane proteins, membrane-associated proteins, and soluble proteins that interact with membrane-associated proteins for assembly into an oligomeric complex or that require association with a membrane for proper folding. The method comprises, supplying intracytoplasmic membranes from organisms; modifying protein composition of intracytoplasmic membranes from organism by modifying DNA to delete genes encoding functions of the organism not associated with the formation of the intracytoplasmic membranes; generating appropriate DNA or RNA templates that encode the target protein; and mixing the intracytoplasmic membranes with the template and a transcription/translation-competent cellular extract to cause simultaneous production of the membrane proteins and encapsulation of the membrane proteins within the intracytoplasmic membranes.

  13. Novel High Temperature Membrane for PEM Fuel Cells, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The innovation proposed in this STTR program is a high temperature membrane to increase the efficiency and power density of PEM fuel cells. The NASA application is...

  14. Stimulated-healing of proton exchange membrane fuel cell catalyst

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Latsuzbaia, R.; Negro, E.; Koper, G.J.M.

    2013-01-01

    Platinum nanoparticles, which are used as catalysts in Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFC), tend to degrade after long-term operation. We discriminate the following mechanisms of the degradation: poisoning, migration and coalescence, dissolution, and electrochemical Ostwald ripening. There

  15. Structure and Dynamic Properties of Membrane Proteins using NMR

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rösner, Heike; Kragelund, Birthe

    2012-01-01

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

  16. Correct use of Membrane Elements in Structural Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rothman Timothy

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chia-Chieh Ko

    2017-04-01

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

  18. Poly (ether ether ketone) membranes for fuel cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marrero, Jacqueline C.; Gomes, Ailton de S.; Filho, Jose C.D.; Hui, Wang S.; Oliveira, Vivianna S. de

    2015-01-01

    Polymeric membranes were developed using a SPEEK polymer matrix (sulphonated poly (ether ether ketone)), containing hygroscopic particles of zirconia (Zr) (incorporated by sol-gel method), for use as electrolyte membranes in fuel cells. SPEEK with different sulfonation degrees were used: 63 and 86%. The thermal analysis (TGA and DSC) was carried out to characterize the membranes and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) was carried out to evaluating the proton conductivity of the membranes. Additional analysis were underway in order to characterize these membranes, which include: X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) in order to evaluate the influence of zirconia and sulfonation degree on the properties of the membranes. (author)

  19. Membranes for direct ethanol fuel cells: An overview

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zakaria, Z.; Kamarudin, S.K.; Timmiati, S.N.

    2016-01-01

    Highlights: • DEFCs have emerged as alternative energy source. • But many issue need to be addressed. • This paper describes current problem and advancement of membrane in DEFC. - Abstract: Direct ethanol fuel cells (DEFCs) are attractive as a power source options because ethanol is a nontoxic, leading to ease of handling and a high energy density fuel, leading to high system energy density. However, to provide practical DEFCs power source there are several issues that still must be addressed including low power density, effect of ethanol crossover on efficiency of fuel utilization, electrical, mechanical and thermal stability and water uptake of the DEFCs electrolyte membrane. This paper describes the proton exchange membrane and alkaline exchange membrane for DEFCs, focusing on current problems and advancements in DEFC membranes. It also presents the specifications and performances of the membranes used in DEFC.

  20. Bipolar membranes in forward bias region for fuel cell reactors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lobyntseva, Elena; Kallio, Tanja; Kontturi, Kyoesti

    2006-01-01

    Three bipolar membranes, two home-made composed of commercial cation (DuPont) and anion (FuMA-Tech) exchange membranes (called Nafion/FT-FAA and Nafion/FT-FAS) and a commercial one, BP-1 from FuMA-Tech, were investigated in order to characterize their suitability to use in a H 2 /O 2 fuel cell intended to produce hydrogen peroxide on the cathode instead of water. The Nafion/FT-FAA and Nafion/FT-FAS membranes were prepared using a hot-pressing method. The optimal hot-pressing conditions were determined by measuring the ionic conductivity of the membranes. The latter was observed to depend on the relative humidity of the bipolar membrane. Of the studied bipolar membranes, Nafion/FT-FAA showed the best performance. The transport number of protons measured in a concentration cell was observed to depend on the direction of the proton diffusion flux through these membranes so that transport numbers of ca. unity were obtained when the cation exchange side faced the solution with higher proton concentration. In the opposite case, when the higher concentration faced anion exchange side, the transport number of proton was clearly lower, indicating the usefulness of the bipolar membranes for hydrogen peroxide production in the fuel cell

  1. Membrane Protein Mobility and Orientation Preserved in Supported Bilayers Created Directly from Cell Plasma Membrane Blebs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richards, Mark J; Hsia, Chih-Yun; Singh, Rohit R; Haider, Huma; Kumpf, Julia; Kawate, Toshimitsu; Daniel, Susan

    2016-03-29

    Membrane protein interactions with lipids are crucial for their native biological behavior, yet traditional characterization methods are often carried out on purified protein in the absence of lipids. We present a simple method to transfer membrane proteins expressed in mammalian cells to an assay-friendly, cushioned, supported lipid bilayer platform using cell blebs as an intermediate. Cell blebs, expressing either GPI-linked yellow fluorescent proteins or neon-green fused transmembrane P2X2 receptors, were induced to rupture on glass surfaces using PEGylated lipid vesicles, which resulted in planar supported membranes with over 50% mobility for multipass transmembrane proteins and over 90% for GPI-linked proteins. Fluorescent proteins were tracked, and their diffusion in supported bilayers characterized, using single molecule tracking and moment scaling spectrum (MSS) analysis. Diffusion was characterized for individual proteins as either free or confined, revealing details of the local lipid membrane heterogeneity surrounding the protein. A particularly useful result of our bilayer formation process is the protein orientation in the supported planar bilayer. For both the GPI-linked and transmembrane proteins used here, an enzymatic assay revealed that protein orientation in the planar bilayer results in the extracellular domains facing toward the bulk, and that the dominant mode of bleb rupture is via the "parachute" mechanism. Mobility, orientation, and preservation of the native lipid environment of the proteins using cell blebs offers advantages over proteoliposome reconstitution or disrupted cell membrane preparations, which necessarily result in significant scrambling of protein orientation and typically immobilized membrane proteins in SLBs. The bleb-based bilayer platform presented here is an important step toward integrating membrane proteomic studies on chip, especially for future studies aimed at understanding fundamental effects of lipid interactions

  2. Sulfonated carbon black-based composite membranes for fuel cell

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Composite membranes were then prepared using S–C as fillers and sulfonated poly(ether ether ketone) (SPEEK) as polymer matrix with three different sulfonation degrees (DS = 60, 70 and 82%). Structure and properties of the composite membranes were characterized by FTIR, TGA, scanning electron microscopy, proton ...

  3. Discovery of novel membrane binding structures and functions

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. Effects of anodic aluminum oxide membrane on performance of nanostructured solar cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dang, Hongmei; Singh, Vijay

    2015-01-01

    Three nanowire solar cell device configurations have been fabricated to demonstrate the effects of the host anodized aluminum oxide (AAO) membrane on device performance. The three configurations show similar transmittance spectra, indicating that AAO membrane has negligible optical absorption. Power conversion efficiency (PCE) of the device is studied as a function of the carrier transport and collection in cell structures with and without AAO membrane. Free standing nanowire solar cells exhibit PCE of 9.9%. Through inclusion of AAO in solar cell structure, interface defects and traps caused by humidity and oxygen are reduced, and direct contact of CdTe tentacles with SnO 2 and formation of micro shunt shorts are prevented; hence PCE is improved to 11.1%–11.3%. Partially embedded nanowire solar cells further reduce influence of non-ideal and non-uniform nanowire growth and generate a large amount of carriers in axial direction and also a small quantity of carriers in lateral direction, thus becoming a promising solar cell structure. Thus, including AAO membrane in solar cell structure provides favorable electro-optical properties as well as mechanical advantages. (paper)

  5. Effects of anodic aluminum oxide membrane on performance of nanostructured solar cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dang, Hongmei; Singh, Vijay

    2015-05-01

    Three nanowire solar cell device configurations have been fabricated to demonstrate the effects of the host anodized aluminum oxide (AAO) membrane on device performance. The three configurations show similar transmittance spectra, indicating that AAO membrane has negligible optical absorption. Power conversion efficiency (PCE) of the device is studied as a function of the carrier transport and collection in cell structures with and without AAO membrane. Free standing nanowire solar cells exhibit PCE of 9.9%. Through inclusion of AAO in solar cell structure, interface defects and traps caused by humidity and oxygen are reduced, and direct contact of CdTe tentacles with SnO2 and formation of micro shunt shorts are prevented; hence PCE is improved to 11.1%-11.3%. Partially embedded nanowire solar cells further reduce influence of non-ideal and non-uniform nanowire growth and generate a large amount of carriers in axial direction and also a small quantity of carriers in lateral direction, thus becoming a promising solar cell structure. Thus, including AAO membrane in solar cell structure provides favorable electro-optical properties as well as mechanical advantages.

  6. The influence of naphthenic acids and their fractions onto cell membrane permeability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pavlović Ksenija

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The influence of naphthenic acids (NAs mixture and their narrow fractions (called NA pH 4, pH 8 and pH 10 onto permeability of beetroot cell membrane is examined. The results showed that the effect depends on treatment duration, concentration and NAs structure. Longer treatment of plant cell membranes with sodium naphthenate (Na-naph resulted in the increase of membrane permeability (e.g. 4-hour treatment with Na-naph (C=100 μmol L-1 increased membrane permeability about 3 times, while prolongation of treatment to 24 hour resulted in the 18 times increasing of the effect. NAs in the concentration range from 0.1 to 10 μmol L-1 does not change membrane permeability, while membrane permeability is increasing linearly with concentration increasing from 10-100 μmol L-1. The strongest effect expressed fraction pH 8, where bi- and tricyclic carboxylic acids are the most abundant. These structures are predominant in the total NAs mixture as well. Thereby could be explained their closest, but a little bit weaker effect, comparing to NAs present in fraction pH 8. The effect of NAs onto beetroot cell membrane is between the effects of anionic (SDS and LS and non-ionic surfactants (Triton X-100. [Projekat Ministarstva nauke Republike Srbije, br. 172006. i br. TR31036

  7. Optimisation of polypyrrole/Nafion composite membranes for direct methanol fuel cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhu Jun; Sattler, Rita R.; Garsuch, Arnd; Yepez, Omar; Pickup, Peter G.

    2006-01-01

    Acidic and neutral Nafion[reg] 115 perfluorosulphonate membranes have been modified by in situ polymerization of pyrrole using Fe(III) and H 2 O 2 as oxidizing agents, in order to decrease methanol crossover in direct methanol fuel cells. Improved selectivities for proton over methanol transport and improved fuel cell performances were only obtained with membranes that were modified while in the acid form. Use of Fe(III) as the oxidizing agent can produce a large decrease in methanol crossover, but causes polypyrrole deposition on the surface of the membrane. This increases the resistance of the membrane, and leads to poor fuel cell performances due to poor bonding with the electrodes. Surface polypyrrole deposition can be minimized, and surface polypyrrole can be removed, by using H 2 O 2 . The use of Nafion in its tetrabutylammonium form leads to very low methanol permeabilities, and appears to offer potential for manipulating the location of polypyrrole within the Nafion structure

  8. Profilin as a regulator of the membrane-actin cytoskeleton interface in plant cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tiantian eSun

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Membrane structures and cytoskeleton dynamics are intimately inter-connected in the eukaryotic cell. Recently, the molecular mechanisms operating at this interface have been progressively addressed. Many experiments have revealed that the actin cytoskeleton can interact with membranes through various discrete membrane domains. The actin-binding protein, profilin has been proven to inhibit actin polymerization and to promote F-actin elongation. This is dependent on many factors, such as the profilin/G-actin ratio and the ionic environment of the cell. Additionally, profilin has specific domains that interact with phosphoinositides and poly-L-proline rich proteins; theoretically, this gives profilin the opportunity to interact with membranes, and a large number of experiments have confirmed this possibility. In this article, we summarize recent findings in plant cells, and discuss the evidence of the connections among actin cytoskeleton, profilin and biomembranes through direct or indirect relationships.

  9. Catalyst Degradation in High Temperature Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells Based on Acid Doped Polybenzimidazole Membranes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cleemann, Lars Nilausen; Buazar, F.; Li, Qingfeng

    2013-01-01

    and multi‐walled carbon nanotubes were used as supports for electrode catalysts and evaluated in accelerated durability tests under potential cycling at 150 °C. Measurements of open circuit voltage, area specific resistance and hydrogen permeation through the membrane were carried out, indicating little...... contribution of the membrane degradation to the performance losses during the potential cycling tests. As the major mechanism of the fuel cell performance degradation, the electrochemical active area of the cathodic catalysts showed a steady decrease in the cyclic voltammetric measurements, which was also......Degradation of carbon supported platinum catalysts is a major failure mode for the long term durability of high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells based on phosphoric acid doped polybenzimidazole membranes. With Vulcan carbon black as a reference, thermally treated carbon black...

  10. Structure and formation of egg membranes in Aedes aegypti. (L. ) (Diptera:Culicidae)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mathew, G; Rai, K S

    1975-01-01

    An ultrastructural study of mosquito ovarioles reveals that both the vitelline membrane and the endochorion are secreted by the follicular epithelium. The presecretory phase is characterized by the hypertrophy of endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi complex in the follicle cells. Synthesis of vitelline membrane precursors begins immediately after yolk protein uptake by micropinocytosis. Secretory droplets are budded off Golgi cisternae and released into the follicle cell--oocyte interface by exocytosis. The vitelline membrane first appears as dense plaques which eventually fuse to form a single homogeneous layer. Two types of secretory material are identified in the follicle cells prior to the formation of the endochorion. Golgi cisternae bud off small droplets similar in size and appearance to the precursors of the vitelline membrane. These migrate to the apical surface and accumulate between surface folds in the plasma membrane. The second type is a fibrous material formed in endoplasmic reticulum. When fully secreted, the endochorion is a 2-layered structure. The lower layer is comprised of pillar-like structures alternating with fibrous mesh-like areas. The pillars are formed by the coalescence of droplets released from Golgi, while the mesh-like areas presumably arise from the fibrous material. The outer layer is also fibrous. The follicle cells degenerate once the endochorion is laid down. endochorion is laid down.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1996-01-01

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

  12. Sensibilization of escherichia coli cells by cholesterol incorporated into their membrane

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Breslev, S.E.; Rozenberg, O.A.; Noskin, L.A.; Stepanova, I.M.; Beketova, A.G.; Loshakova, L.V.; Kovaleva, I.G.

    1984-01-01

    It has been established earlier that a level of cell radiosensitivity is defined by membrane viscosity changing in a wide temperature range. Therefore in epsilon coli cells of a natural type lethal doses of gamma rays are increased approximately a 3.5 times at 45 deg C, as compared to 4 deg C. Cholesterol changing a phase state of membrane lipids was used as a modifying factor. Liposomes were used with the goal of effective bacteria transfer to a membrane. It is established that liposomes without cholesterol do not affect their radioresistance and an increase of its content leads to resistance decrease. The effect is attained only at a sufficient long time of incubation of cells with liposomes (10-16 h). At 4 deg C lipids of E. coli membrane are in a solid-crystalline state independently on pholesterol presence, because of this, radiosensitivity does not change. Temperature increase up to 45 deg C transfer a part of lipids to a liquid-crystalline state, thus decreasing membrane viscosity. In this case cholesterol manifests itself. The authors explain viscosity increase with a violation in functioning of those enzyme systems, which activity is connected with membrane structural state, including enzymes of DNA repair. The authors assume that the radiosensibilization effect of cholesterol introduction into a bacterial membrane in high-temperature cell irradiation is explained by this phenomenon

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  14. Neutron scattering to study membrane systems: from lipid vesicles to living cells.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nickels, Jonathan D. [ORNL; Chatterjee, Sneha [ORNL; Stanley, Christopher B. [ORNL; Qian, Shuo [ORNL; Cheng, Xiaolin [ORNL; Myles, Dean A A [ORNL; Standaert, Robert F. [ORNL; Elkins, James G. [ORNL; Katsaras, John [ORNL

    2017-03-01

    The existence and role of lateral lipid organization in biological membranes has been studied and contested for more than 30 years. Lipid domains, or rafts, are hypothesized as scalable compartments in biological membranes, providing appropriate physical environments to their resident membrane proteins. This implies that lateral lipid organization is associated with a range of biological functions, such as protein co-localization, membrane trafficking, and cell signaling, to name just a few. Neutron scattering techniques have proven to be an excellent tool to investigate these structural features in model lipids, and more recently, in living cells. I will discuss our recent work using neutrons to probe the structure and mechanical properties in model lipid systems and our current efforts in using neutrons to probe the structure and organization of the bilayer in a living cell. These efforts in living cells have used genetic and biochemical strategies to generate a large neutron scattering contrast, making the membrane visible. I will present our results showing in vivo bilayer structure and discuss the outlook for this approach.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-15

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

  16. Glycan structures contain information for the spatial arrangement of glycoproteins in the plasma membrane.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M Kristen Hall

    Full Text Available Glycoconjugates at the cell surface are crucial for cells to communicate with each other and the extracellular microenvironment. While it is generally accepted that glycans are vectorial biopolymers, their information content is unclear. This report provides evidence that distinct N-glycan structures influence the spatial arrangement of two integral membrane glycoproteins, Kv3.1 and E-cadherin, at the adherent membrane which in turn alter cellular properties. Distinct N-glycan structures were generated by heterologous expression of these glycoproteins in parental and glycosylation mutant Chinese hamster ovary cell lines. Unlike the N-linked glycans, the O-linked glycans of the mutant cell lines are similar to those of the parental cell line. Western and lectin blots of total membranes and GFP immunopurified samples, combined with glycosidase digestion reactions, were employed to verify the glycoproteins had predominantly complex, oligomannose, and bisecting type N-glycans from Pro(-5, Lec1, and Lec10B cell lines, respectively. Based on total internal reflection fluorescence and differential interference contrast microscopy techniques, and cellular assays of live parental and glycosylation mutant CHO cells, we propose that glycoproteins with complex, oligomannose or bisecting type N-glycans relay information for localization of glycoproteins to various regions of the plasma membrane in both a glycan-specific and protein-specific manner, and furthermore cell-cell interactions are required for deciphering much of this information. These distinct spatial arrangements also impact cell adhesion and migration. Our findings provide direct evidence that N-glycan structures of glycoproteins contribute significantly to the information content of cells.

  17. Atomic force microscopy: Unraveling the fundamental principles governing secretion and membrane fusion in cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jena, Bhanu P.

    2009-01-01

    The story of cell secretion and membrane fusion is as old as life itself. Without these fundamental cellular processes known to occur in yeast to humans, life would cease to exist. In the last 15 years, primarily using the atomic force microscope, a detailed understanding of the molecular process and of the molecular machinery and mechanism of secretion and membrane fusion in cells has come to light. This has led to a paradigm shift in our understanding of the underlying mechanism of cell secretion. The journey leading to the discovery of a new cellular structure the 'porosome',-the universal secretory machinery in cells, and the contributions of the AFM in our understanding of the general molecular machinery and mechanism of cell secretion and membrane fusion, is briefly discussed in this article.

  18. Membrane potential and cation channels in rat juxtaglomerular cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Friis, U G; Jørgensen, F; Andreasen, D

    2004-01-01

    The relationship between membrane potential and cation channels in juxtaglomerular (JG) cells is not well understood. Here we review electrophysiological and molecular studies of JG cells demonstrating the presence of large voltage-sensitive, calcium-activated potassium channels (BK(Ca)) of the Z......The relationship between membrane potential and cation channels in juxtaglomerular (JG) cells is not well understood. Here we review electrophysiological and molecular studies of JG cells demonstrating the presence of large voltage-sensitive, calcium-activated potassium channels (BK...

  19. X-radiation effects on muscle cell membrane electrical parameters

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Portela, A.; Vaccari, J.G.; Llobera, O.; Campi, M.; Delbue, M.A.; Perez, J.C.; Stewart, P.A.; Gosztonyi, A.E.; Brown Univ., Providence, R.I.

    1975-01-01

    Early effects of 100 Kilorads of X-rays on muscle cell membrane properties have been measured in sartorius muscles from Leptodactylus ocellatus. Threshold strength for rectangular current pulses increased 10% after irradiation, and action potential propagation velocity decreased 10%. Passive membrane parameters were calculated from potential responses to sub-threshold current pulses, assuming conventional cable theory. Specific membrane conductance increased to 18% after irradiation, membrane capacitance increased 14%, and length constant decreased 10% but membrane time constant was unchanged. Cell diameter decreased 5%, and resting membrane potential decreased 8%. Membrane parameters during an action potential were also evaluated by the phase-plane and current-voltage plot techniques. Irradiation significantly decreased the action potential amplitude, the excitation potential, and the maximum rates of rise and fall of membrane potential. Increases were observed in dynamic sodium and potassium conductances, peak sodium current, and net charge accumulation per action potential. This X-ray dose also produced signficant changes in the timing of peak events during the action potential; in general the whole action potential process is slower after irradiation

  20. Microdomains in the membrane landscape shape antigen-presenting cell function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zuidscherwoude, Malou; de Winde, Charlotte M; Cambi, Alessandra; van Spriel, Annemiek B

    2014-02-01

    The plasma membrane of immune cells is a highly organized cell structure that is key to the initiation and regulation of innate and adaptive immune responses. It is well-established that immunoreceptors embedded in the plasma membrane have a nonrandom spatial distribution that is important for coupling to components of intracellular signaling cascades. In the last two decades, specialized membrane microdomains, including lipid rafts and TEMs, have been identified. These domains are preformed structures ("physical entities") that compartmentalize proteins, lipids, and signaling molecules into multimolecular assemblies. In APCs, different microdomains containing immunoreceptors (MHC proteins, PRRs, integrins, among others) have been reported that are imperative for efficient pathogen recognition, the formation of the immunological synapse, and subsequent T cell activation. In addition, recent work has demonstrated that tetraspanin microdomains and lipid rafts are involved in BCR signaling and B cell activation. Research into the molecular mechanisms underlying membrane domain formation is fundamental to a comprehensive understanding of membrane-proximal signaling and APC function. This review will also discuss the advances in the microscopy field for the visualization of the plasma membrane, as well as the recent progress in targeting microdomains as novel, therapeutic approach for infectious and malignant diseases.

  1. Pulse radiolysis studies of model membranes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Heijman, M.G.J.

    1984-01-01

    In this thesis the influence of the structure of membranes on the processes in cell membranes were examined. Different models of the membranes were evaluated. Pulse radiolysis was used as the technique to examine the membranes. (R.B.)

  2. Membrane Targeting of P-type ATPases in Plant Cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Harper, Jeffrey F.

    2004-01-01

    How membrane proteins are targeted to specific subcellular locations is a very complex and poorly understood area of research. Our long-term goal is to use P-type ATPases (ion pumps), in a model plant system Arabidopsis, as a paradigm to understand how members of a family of closely related membrane proteins can be targeted to different subcellular locations. The research is divided into two specific aims. The first aim is focused on determining the targeting destination of all 10 ACA-type calcium pumps (Arabidopsis Calcium ATPase) in Arabidopsis. ACAs represent a plant specific-subfamily of plasma membrane-type calcium pumps. In contrast to animals, the plant homologs have been found in multiple membrane systems, including the ER (ACA2), tonoplast (ACA4) and plasma membrane (ACA8). Their high degree of similarity provides a unique opportunity to use a comparative approach to delineate the membrane specific targeting information for each pump. One hypothesis to be tested is that an endomembrane located ACA can be re-directed to the plasma membrane by including targeting information from a plasma membrane isoform, ACA8. Our approach is to engineer domain swaps between pumps and monitor the targeting of chimeric proteins in plant cells using a Green Fluorescence Protein (GFP) as a tag. The second aim is to test the hypothesis that heterologous transporters can be engineered into plants and targeted to the plasma membrane by fusing them to a plasma membrane proton pump. As a test case we are evaluating the targeting properties of fusions made between a yeast sodium/proton exchanger (Sod2) and a proton pump (AHA2). This fusion may potentially lead to a new strategy for engineering salt resistant plants. Together these aims are designed to provide fundamental insights into the biogenesis and function of plant cell membrane systems

  3. Characterization and fuel cell performance analysis of polyvinylalcohol-mordenite mixed-matrix membranes for direct methanol fuel cell use

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Uctug, Fehmi Goerkem, E-mail: gorkem.uctug@bahcesehir.edu.t [University of Manchester, School of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science, M60 1QD (United Kingdom); Holmes, Stuart M. [University of Manchester, School of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science, M60 1QD (United Kingdom)

    2011-10-01

    Highlights: > We investigated the availability of PVA-mordenite membranes for DMFC use. > We measured the methanol permeability of PVA-mordenite membranes via pervaporation. > We did the fuel cell testing of these membranes, which had not been done before. > We showed that PVA-mordenite membranes have poorer DMFC performance than Nafion. > Membrane performance can be improved by increasing the proton conductivity of PVA. - Abstract: Polyvinylalcohol-mordenite (PVA-MOR) mixed matrix membranes were synthesized for direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) use. For the structural and the morphological characterization, Scanning Electron Microscopy and Thermal Gravimetric Analysis methods were used. Zeolite distribution within the polymer matrix was found to be homogeneous. An impedance spectroscope was used to measure the proton conductivity. In order to obtain information about methanol permeation characteristics, swelling tests and a series of pervaporation experiments were carried out. 60-40 wt% PVA-MOR membranes were found to give the optimum transport properties. Proton conductivity of these membranes was found to be slightly lower than that of Nafion117{sup TM} whereas their methanol permeability was at least two orders of magnitude lower than Nafion117{sup TM}. DMFC performance of the PVA-MOR membranes was also measured. The inferior DMFC performance of PVA-MOR membranes was linked to drying in the fuel cell medium and the consequent proton conductivity loss. Their performance was improved by adding a dilute solution of sulfuric acid into the feed methanol solution. Future studies on the improvement of the proton conductivity of PVA-MOR membranes, especially via sulfonation of the polymer matrix, can overcome the low-performance problem associated with insufficient proton conductivity.

  4. Characterization and fuel cell performance analysis of polyvinylalcohol-mordenite mixed-matrix membranes for direct methanol fuel cell use

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Uctug, Fehmi Goerkem; Holmes, Stuart M.

    2011-01-01

    Highlights: → We investigated the availability of PVA-mordenite membranes for DMFC use. → We measured the methanol permeability of PVA-mordenite membranes via pervaporation. → We did the fuel cell testing of these membranes, which had not been done before. → We showed that PVA-mordenite membranes have poorer DMFC performance than Nafion. → Membrane performance can be improved by increasing the proton conductivity of PVA. - Abstract: Polyvinylalcohol-mordenite (PVA-MOR) mixed matrix membranes were synthesized for direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) use. For the structural and the morphological characterization, Scanning Electron Microscopy and Thermal Gravimetric Analysis methods were used. Zeolite distribution within the polymer matrix was found to be homogeneous. An impedance spectroscope was used to measure the proton conductivity. In order to obtain information about methanol permeation characteristics, swelling tests and a series of pervaporation experiments were carried out. 60-40 wt% PVA-MOR membranes were found to give the optimum transport properties. Proton conductivity of these membranes was found to be slightly lower than that of Nafion117 TM whereas their methanol permeability was at least two orders of magnitude lower than Nafion117 TM . DMFC performance of the PVA-MOR membranes was also measured. The inferior DMFC performance of PVA-MOR membranes was linked to drying in the fuel cell medium and the consequent proton conductivity loss. Their performance was improved by adding a dilute solution of sulfuric acid into the feed methanol solution. Future studies on the improvement of the proton conductivity of PVA-MOR membranes, especially via sulfonation of the polymer matrix, can overcome the low-performance problem associated with insufficient proton conductivity.

  5. Super-resolution optical microscopy for studying membrane structure and dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sezgin, Erdinc

    2017-07-12

    Investigation of cell membrane structure and dynamics requires high spatial and temporal resolution. The spatial resolution of conventional light microscopy is limited due to the diffraction of light. However, recent developments in microscopy enabled us to access the nano-scale regime spatially, thus to elucidate the nanoscopic structures in the cellular membranes. In this review, we will explain the resolution limit, address the working principles of the most commonly used super-resolution microscopy techniques and summarise their recent applications in the biomembrane field.

  6. Nanoporous gold membranes: From morphological control to fuel cell catalysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Yi

    Porous noble metals are particularly attractive for scientific research and industrial applications such as catalysis, sensing, and filtration. In this thesis, I will discuss the fabrication, characterization, and application of a new class of porous metals, called nanoporous metals (NPM). NPM is made during selective dissolution (also called dealloying) of reactive components (e.g., silver) from multi-component alloys (e.g., Ag/Au alloy). Commercially available white gold leaf (Ag65Au35) can, for example, be etched into nanoporous gold (NPG) membrane by simply floating the leaf on concentrated nitric acid for periods of a few minutes. NPG leaf adopts a single crystal porous structure within individual grains. The microstructure of NPG, such as the pore size, is tunable between a few nanometers to sub-micron length scale by either thermal annealing or post-treatment in nitric acid for extended period of time. A new gas-liquid-solid interface electroless plating technique is developed to uniformly cover the NPG surface with other metals, such as silver and platinum. This technique allows new opportunities of making functionalized nanostructures. We show that a combination of silver plating and dealloying can be used to make multimodal porous metals, which are expected to have application in sensing field. Electroless platinum plating onto NPG shows very usual growth mode. TEM observation indicates that the platinum layer on NPG surface takes a novel form of layer-islanding growth (Stranski-Krastanov growth). Annealing the Pt/NPG composite smoothens the Pt islands and forms a 1 nm coherent Pt layer on the NPG backbone, possibly with dislocation formation at the Pt/Au interface. Furthermore, it was found that we could dissolve the gold away in aqueous gold etchant, leaving behind the 1 nm-thick Pt shell, a structure we call nanotubular mesoporous platinum (NMP). Pt plated NPG has a series of unique structural properties, such as high active surface area, thermally

  7. Meninges: from protective membrane to stem cell niche.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Decimo, Ilaria; Fumagalli, Guido; Berton, Valeria; Krampera, Mauro; Bifari, Francesco

    2012-01-01

    Meninges are a three tissue membrane primarily known as coverings of the brain. More in depth studies on meningeal function and ultrastructure have recently changed the view of meninges as a merely protective membrane. Accurate evaluation of the anatomical distribution in the CNS reveals that meninges largely penetrate inside the neural tissue. Meninges enter the CNS by projecting between structures, in the stroma of choroid plexus and form the perivascular space (Virchow-Robin) of every parenchymal vessel. Thus, meninges may modulate most of the physiological and pathological events of the CNS throughout the life. Meninges are present since the very early embryonic stages of cortical development and appear to be necessary for normal corticogenesis and brain structures formation. In adulthood meninges contribute to neural tissue homeostasis by secreting several trophic factors including FGF2 and SDF-1. Recently, for the first time, we have identified the presence of a stem cell population with neural differentiation potential in meninges. In addition, we and other groups have further described the presence in meninges of injury responsive neural precursors. In this review we will give a comprehensive view of meninges and their multiple roles in the context of a functional network with the neural tissue. We will highlight the current literature on the developmental feature of meninges and their role in cortical development. Moreover, we will elucidate the anatomical distribution of the meninges and their trophic properties in adult CNS. Finally, we will emphasize recent evidences suggesting the potential role of meninges as stem cell niche harbouring endogenous precursors that can be activated by injury and are able to contribute to CNS parenchymal reaction.

  8. Structural lipid changes and NKA activity of gill cells´ basolateral membranes as response to increasing salinity and atrazine stressors in sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus, L. juveniles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria João Lança

    2015-12-01

    Modulation of BLM lipids associated with NKA activity seems to be the strategy adopted by gill cells of juveniles to compensate for osmotic and ionic stressors and for contact/resistance to ATZ exposure.

  9. Durability and degradation analysis of hydrocarbon ionomer membranes in polymer electrolyte fuel cells accelerated stress evaluation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shimizu, Ryo; Tsuji, Junichi; Sato, Nobuyuki; Takano, Jun; Itami, Shunsuke; Kusakabe, Masato; Miyatake, Kenji; Iiyama, Akihiro; Uchida, Makoto

    2017-11-01

    The chemical durabilities of two proton-conducting hydrocarbon polymer electrolyte membranes, sulfonated benzophenone poly(arylene ether ketone) (SPK) semiblock copolymer and sulfonated phenylene poly(arylene ether ketone) (SPP) semiblock copolymer are evaluated under accelerated open circuit voltage (OCV) conditions in a polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC). Post-test characterization of the membrane electrodes assemblies (MEAs) is carried out via gel permeation chromatography (GPC) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. These results are compared with those of the initial MEAs. The SPP cell shows the highest OCV at 1000 h, and, in the post-test analysis, the SPP membrane retains up to 80% of the original molecular weight, based on the GPC results, and 90% of the hydrophilic structure, based on the NMR results. The hydrophilic structure of the SPP membrane is more stable after the durability evaluation than that of the SPK. From these results, the SPP membrane, with its simple hydrophilic structure, which does not include ketone groups, is seen to be significantly more resistant to radical attack. This structure leads to high chemical durability and thus impedes the chemical decomposition of the membrane.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kapus, András; Janmey, Paul

    2013-07-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karin Stiasny

    2007-02-01

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

  12. Probing water structure and transport in proton exchange membranes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ling, X.

    2018-01-01

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

  13. Structural investigation of membrane proteins by electron microscopy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Moscicka, Katarzyna Beata

    2009-01-01

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

  14. Fuel cell electrolyte membrane with basic polymer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larson, James M.; Pham, Phat T.; Frey, Matthew H.; Hamrock, Steven J.; Haugen, Gregory M.; Lamanna, William M.

    2012-12-04

    The present invention is an electrolyte membrane comprising an acid and a basic polymer, where the acid is a low-volatile acid that is fluorinated and is either oligomeric or non-polymeric, and where the basic polymer is protonated by the acid and is stable to hydrolysis.

  15. The lipid organisation of the cell membrane

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ladha, S.

    2000-04-01

    Full Text Available Lipids and proteins in biological membranes are arranged in a mosaic of domains in the membrane. These domains represent small-scale heterogeneities in composition, shape and fluidity within the plane of the membrane, over the range of hundreds of nanometers to a few micrometers. They arise from the complex interactions of the heterogeneous mixtures of phospholipids, sterols, and proteins that make up all biological membranes.Los lípidos y las proteínas en las membranas biológicas están dispuestos en un mosaico de campos en la membrana. Estos campos representan heterogeneidades a pequeña escala en la composición, forma y fluidez dentro del plano de la membrana, en un rango que va de los cientos de nanómetros a los pocos micrómetros. Estos campos se originan de las complejas interacciones de las mezclas heterogéneas de fosfolípidos, esteroles y proteínas de las que están hechas todas y cada una de las membranas biológicas.

  16. Motion of variable-length MreB filaments at the bacterial cell membrane influences cell morphology

    OpenAIRE

    Reimold, Christian; Defeu Soufo, Herve Joel; Dempwolff, Felix; Graumann, Peter L.

    2013-01-01

    The maintenance of rod-cell shape in many bacteria depends on actin-like MreB proteins and several membrane proteins that interact with MreB. Using superresolution microscopy, we show that at 50-nm resolution, Bacillus subtilis MreB forms filamentous structures of length up to 3.4 ?m underneath the cell membrane, which run at angles diverging up to 40? relative to the cell circumference. MreB from Escherichia coli forms at least 1.4-?m-long filaments. MreB filaments move along various tracks ...

  17. Polybenzimidazole Membranes Containing Benzimidazole Side Groups for High Temprature Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yang, Jingshuai; Li, Xueyuan; Xu, Yizin

    2013-01-01

    Polybenzimidazole (PBI) with a high molecular weight of 69,000 was first synthesized. It was afterwards grafted with benzimidazole pendant groups on the backbones. The acid doped benzimidaozle grafted PBI membranes were investigated and characterized including fuel cell tests at elevated temperat......Polybenzimidazole (PBI) with a high molecular weight of 69,000 was first synthesized. It was afterwards grafted with benzimidazole pendant groups on the backbones. The acid doped benzimidaozle grafted PBI membranes were investigated and characterized including fuel cell tests at elevated...... temperatures without humidification. At an acid doping level of 13.1 mol H3PO4 per average molar repeat unit, the PBI membranes with a benzimidazole grafting degree of 10.6% demonstrated a conductivity of 0.15 S cm-1 and a H2-air fuel cell peak power density of 378 mW cm-2 at 180 oC at ambient pressure without...

  18. Cell wall accumulation of fluorescent proteins derived from a trans-Golgi cisternal membrane marker and paramural bodies in interdigitated Arabidopsis leaf epidermal cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akita, Kae; Kobayashi, Megumi; Sato, Mayuko; Kutsuna, Natsumaro; Ueda, Takashi; Toyooka, Kiminori; Nagata, Noriko; Hasezawa, Seiichiro; Higaki, Takumi

    2017-01-01

    In most dicotyledonous plants, leaf epidermal pavement cells develop jigsaw puzzle-like shapes during cell expansion. The rapid growth and complicated cell shape of pavement cells is suggested to be achieved by targeted exocytosis that is coordinated with cytoskeletal rearrangement to provide plasma membrane and/or cell wall materials for lobe development during their morphogenesis. Therefore, visualization of membrane trafficking in leaf pavement cells should contribute an understanding of the mechanism of plant cell morphogenesis. To reveal membrane trafficking in pavement cells, we observed monomeric red fluorescent protein-tagged rat sialyl transferases, which are markers of trans-Golgi cisternal membranes, in the leaf epidermis of Arabidopsis thaliana. Quantitative fluorescence imaging techniques and immunoelectron microscopic observations revealed that accumulation of the red fluorescent protein occurred mostly in the curved regions of pavement cell borders and guard cell ends during leaf expansion. Transmission electron microscopy observations revealed that apoplastic vesicular membrane structures called paramural bodies were more frequent beneath the curved cell wall regions of interdigitated pavement cells and guard cell ends in young leaf epidermis. In addition, pharmacological studies showed that perturbations in membrane trafficking resulted in simple cell shapes. These results suggested possible heterogeneity of the curved regions of plasma membranes, implying a relationship with pavement cell morphogenesis.

  19. Direct visualization of membrane architecture of myelinating cells in transgenic mice expressing membrane-anchored EGFP.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deng, Yaqi; Kim, BongWoo; He, Xuelian; Kim, Sunja; Lu, Changqing; Wang, Haibo; Cho, Ssang-Goo; Hou, Yiping; Li, Jianrong; Zhao, Xianghui; Lu, Q Richard

    2014-04-01

    Myelinogenesis is a complex process that involves substantial and dynamic changes in plasma membrane architecture and myelin interaction with axons. Highly ramified processes of oligodendrocytes in the central nervous system (CNS) make axonal contact and then extrapolate to wrap around axons and form multilayer compact myelin sheathes. Currently, the mechanisms governing myelin sheath assembly and axon selection by myelinating cells are not fully understood. Here, we generated a transgenic mouse line expressing the membrane-anchored green fluorescent protein (mEGFP) in myelinating cells, which allow live imaging of details of myelinogenesis and cellular behaviors in the nervous systems. mEGFP expression is driven by the promoter of 2'-3'-cyclic nucleotide 3'-phosphodiesterase (CNP) that is expressed in the myelinating cell lineage. Robust mEGFP signals appear in the membrane processes of oligodendrocytes in the CNS and Schwann cells in the peripheral nervous system (PNS), wherein mEGFP expression defines the inner layers of myelin sheaths and Schmidt-Lanterman incisures in adult sciatic nerves. In addition, mEGFP expression can be used to track the extent of remyelination after demyelinating injury in a toxin-induced demyelination animal model. Taken together, the membrane-anchored mEGFP expression in the new transgenic line would facilitate direct visualization of dynamic myelin membrane formation and assembly during development and process remodeling during remyelination after various demyelinating injuries.

  20. Novel fluoropolymer anion exchange membranes for alkaline direct methanol fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yanmei; Fang, Jun; Wu, Yongbin; Xu, Hankun; Chi, Xianjun; Li, Wei; Yang, Yixu; Yan, Ge; Zhuang, Yongze

    2012-09-01

    A series of novel fluoropolymer anion exchange membranes based on the copolymer of vinylbenzyl chloride, butyl methacrylate, and hexafluorobutyl methacrylate has been prepared. Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy and elemental analysis techniques are used to study the chemical structure and chemical composition of the membranes. The water uptake, ion-exchange capacity (IEC), conductivity, methanol permeability, and chemical stability of the membranes are also determined. The membranes exhibit high anionic conductivity in deionized water at 65 °C ranging from 3.86×10(-2) S cm(-1) to 4.36×10(-2) S cm(-1). The methanol permeability coefficients of the membranes are in the range of 4.21-5.80×10(-8) cm(2) s(-1) at 65 °C. The novel membranes also show good chemical and thermal stability. An open-circuit voltage of 0.7 V and a maximum power density of 53.2 mW cm(-2) of alkaline direct methanol fuel cell (ADMFC) with the membrane C, 1 M methanol, 1 M NaOH, and humidified oxygen are achieved at 65 °C. Therefore, these membranes have great potential for applications in fuel cell systems. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rima Matar-Merheb

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

  2. Tritium labelling of a cholesterol amphiphile designed for cell membrane anchoring of proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schäfer, Balázs; Orbán, Erika; Kele, Zoltán; Tömböly, Csaba

    2015-01-01

    Cell membrane association of proteins can be achieved by the addition of lipid moieties to the polypeptide chain, and such lipid-modified proteins have important biological functions. A class of cell surface proteins contains a complex glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) glycolipid at the C-terminus, and they are accumulated in cholesterol-rich membrane microdomains, that is, lipid rafts. Semisynthetic lipoproteins prepared from recombinant proteins and designed lipids are valuable probes and model systems of the membrane-associated proteins. Because GPI-anchored proteins can be reinserted into the cell membrane with the retention of the biological function, they are appropriate candidates for preparing models via reduction of the structural complexity. A synthetic headgroup was added to the 3β-hydroxyl group of cholesterol, an essential lipid component of rafts, and the resulting cholesterol derivative was used as a simplified GPI mimetic. In order to quantitate the membrane integrated GPI mimetic after the exogenous addition to live cells, a tritium labelled cholesterol anchor was prepared. The radioactive label was introduced into the headgroup, and the radiolabelled GPI mimetic anchor was obtained with a specific activity of 1.37 TBq/mmol. The headgroup labelled cholesterol derivative was applied to demonstrate the sensitive detection of the cell membrane association of the anchor under in vivo conditions. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  3. Structure, Function, Self-Assembly and Origin of Simple Membrane Proteins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pohorille, Andrew

    2003-01-01

    Integral membrane proteins perform such essential cellular functions as transport of ions, nutrients and waste products across cell walls, transduction of environmental signals, regulation of cell fusion, recognition of other cells, energy capture and its conversion into high-energy compounds. In fact, 30-40% of genes in modem organisms codes for membrane proteins. Although contemporary membrane proteins or their functional assemblies can be quite complex, their transmembrane fragments are usually remarkably simple. The most common structural motif for these fragments is a bundle of alpha-helices, but occasionally it could be a beta-barrel. In a series of molecular dynamics computer simulations we investigated self-organizing properties of simple membrane proteins based on these structural motifs. Specifically, we studied folding and insertion into membranes of short, nonpolar or amphiphatic peptides. We also investigated glycophorin A, a peptide that forms sequence-specific dimers, and a transmembrane aggregate of four identical alpha-helices that forms an efficient and selective voltage-gated proton channel was investigated. Many peptides are attracted to water-membrane interfaces. Once at the interface, nonpolar peptides spontaneously fold to a-helices. Whenever the sequence permits, peptides that contain both polar and nonpolar amino also adopt helical structures, in which polar and nonpolar amino acid side chains are immersed in water and membrane, respectively. Specific identity of side chains is less important. Helical peptides at the interface could insert into the membrane and adopt a transmembrane conformation. However, insertion of a single helix is unfavorable because polar groups in the peptide become completely dehydrated upon insertion. The unfavorable free energy of insertion can be regained by spontaneous association of peptides in the membrane. The first step in this process is the formation of dimers, although the most common are aggregates of 4

  4. Structural adaptations of proteins to different biological membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  5. With or without rafts? Alternative views on cell membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sevcsik, Eva; Schütz, Gerhard J

    2016-02-01

    The fundamental mechanisms of protein and lipid organization at the plasma membrane have continued to engage researchers for decades. Among proposed models, one idea has been particularly successful which assumes that sterol-dependent nanoscopic phases of different lipid chain order compartmentalize proteins, thereby modulating protein functionality. This model of membrane rafts has sustainably sparked the fields of membrane biophysics and biology, and shifted membrane lipids into the spotlight of research; by now, rafts have become an integral part of our terminology to describe a variety of cell biological processes. But is the evidence clear enough to continue supporting a theoretical concept which has resisted direct proof by observation for nearly twenty years? In this essay, we revisit findings that gave rise to and substantiated the raft hypothesis, discuss its impact on recent studies, and present alternative mechanisms to account for plasma membrane heterogeneity. © 2015 WILEY Periodicals, Inc.

  6. Crystal structure of the plasma membrane proton pump

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    KAUST Repository

    Maugin, Thomas

    2013-12-01

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

  8. Polybenzimidazole/Mxene composite membranes for intermediate temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fei, Mingming; Lin, Ruizhi; Deng, Yuming; Xian, Hongxi; Bian, Renji; Zhang, Xiaole; Cheng, Jigui; Xu, Chenxi; Cai, Dongyu

    2018-01-01

    This report demonstrated the first study on the use of a new 2D nanomaterial (Mxene) for enhancing membrane performance of intermediate temperature (>100 °C) polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (ITPEMFCs). In this study, a typical Ti3C2T x -MXene was synthesized and incorporated into polybenzimidazole (PBI)-based membranes by using a solution blending method. The composite membrane with 3 wt% Ti3C2T x -MXene showed the proton conductivity more than 2 times higher than that of pristine PBI membrane at the temperature range of 100 °C-170 °C, and led to substantial increase in maximum power density of fuel cells by ˜30% tested at 150 °C. The addition of Ti3C2T x -MXene also improved the mechanical properties and thermal stability of PBI membranes. At 3 wt% Ti3C2T x -MXene, the elongation at break of phosphoric acid doped PBI remained unaffected at 150 °C, and the tensile strength and Young’s modulus was increased by ˜150% and ˜160%, respectively. This study pointed out promising application of MXene in ITPEMFCs.

  9. Pathophysiological Changes to the Peritoneal Membrane during PD-Related Peritonitis: The Role of Mesothelial Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yung, Susan; Chan, Tak Mao

    2012-01-01

    The success of peritoneal dialysis (PD) is dependent on the structural and functional integrity of the peritoneal membrane. The mesothelium lines the peritoneal membrane and is the first line of defense against chemical and/or bacterial insult. Peritonitis remains a major complication of PD and is a predominant cause of technique failure, morbidity and mortality amongst PD patients. With appropriate antibiotic treatment, peritonitis resolves without further complications, but in some PD patients excessive peritoneal inflammatory responses lead to mesothelial cell exfoliation and thickening of the submesothelium, resulting in peritoneal fibrosis and sclerosis. The detrimental changes in the peritoneal membrane structure and function correlate with the number and severity of peritonitis episodes and the need for catheter removal. There is evidence that despite clinical resolution of peritonitis, increased levels of inflammatory and fibrotic mediators may persist in the peritoneal cavity, signifying persistent injury to the mesothelial cells. This review will describe the structural and functional changes that occur in the peritoneal membrane during peritonitis and how mesothelial cells contribute to these changes and respond to infection. The latter part of the review discusses the potential of mesothelial cell transplantation and genetic manipulation in the preservation of the peritoneal membrane. PMID:22577250

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Justesen, Bo Højen

    The plasma membrane H+-ATPase is a proton pump essential for several physiological important processes in plants. Through the extrusion of protons from the cell, the PM H+-ATPase establishes and maintains a proton gradient used by proton coupled transporters and secondary active transport...... of nutrients and metabolites across the plasma membrane. Additional processes involving the PM H+-ATPase includes plant growth, development, and response to biotic and abiotic stresses. Extensive efforts have been made in attempts to elucidate the detailed physiological role and biochemical characteristics...... of plasma membrane H+-ATPases. Studies on the plasma membrane H+-ATPases have involved both in vivo and in vitro approaches, with the latter employing either solubilisation by detergent micelles, or reconstitution into lipid vesicles. Despite resulting in a large body of information on structure, function...

  11. Properties, degradation and high temperature fuel cell test of different types of PBI and PBI blend membranes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Li, Qingfeng; Rudbeck, Hans Christian; Chromik, Andreas

    2010-01-01

    Polybenzimidazoles (PBIs) with synthetically modified structures and their blends with a partially fluorinated sulfonated aromatic polyether have been prepared and characterized for high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells. Significant improvement in the polymer chemical stability...

  12. Water-Free Proton-Conducting Membranes for Fuel Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Narayanan, Sekharipuram; Yen, Shiao-Pin

    2007-01-01

    Poly-4-vinylpyridinebisulfate (P4VPBS) is a polymeric salt that has shown promise as a water-free proton-conducting material (solid electrolyte) suitable for use in membrane/electrode assemblies in fuel cells. Heretofore, proton-conducting membranes in fuel cells have been made from perfluorinated ionomers that cannot conduct protons in the absence of water and, consequently, cannot function at temperatures >100 C. In addition, the stability of perfluorinated ionomers at temperatures >100 C is questionable. However, the performances of fuel cells of the power systems of which they are parts could be improved if operating temperatures could be raised above 140 C. What is needed to make this possible is a solid-electrolyte material, such as P4VPBS, that can be cast into membranes and that both retains proton conductivity and remains stable in the desired higher operating temperature range. A family of solid-electrolyte materials different from P4VPBS was described in Anhydrous Proton-Conducting Membranes for Fuel Cells (NPO-30493), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 29, No. 8 (August 2005), page 48. Those materials notably include polymeric quaternized amine salts. If molecules of such a polymeric salt could be endowed with flexible chain structures, it would be possible to overcome the deficiencies of simple organic amine salts that must melt before being able to conduct protons. However, no polymeric quaternized amine salts have yet shown to be useful in this respect. The present solid electrolyte is made by quaternizing the linear polymer poly- 4-vinylpyridine (P4VP) to obtain P4VPBS. It is important to start with P4VP having a molecular weight of 160,000 daltons because P4VPBS made from lower-molecular-weight P4VP yields brittle membranes. In an experimental synthesis, P4VP was dissolved in methanol and then reacted with an excess of sulfuric acid to precipitate P4VPBS. The precipitate was recovered, washed several times with methanol to remove traces of acid, and dried to a

  13. Solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy of human immunodeficiency virus gp41 protein that includes the fusion peptide: NMR detection of recombinant Fgp41 in inclusion bodies in whole bacterial cells and structural characterization of purified and membrane-associated Fgp41.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vogel, Erica P; Curtis-Fisk, Jaime; Young, Kaitlin M; Weliky, David P

    2011-11-22

    Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection of a host cell begins with fusion of the HIV and host cell membranes and is mediated by the gp41 protein, a single-pass integral membrane protein of HIV. The 175 N-terminal residues make up the ectodomain that lies outside the virus. This work describes the production and characterization of an ectodomain construct containing the 154 N-terminal gp41 residues, including the fusion peptide (FP) that binds to target cell membranes. The Fgp41 sequence was derived from one of the African clade A strains of HIV-1 that have been less studied than European/North American clade B strains. Fgp41 expression at a level of ~100 mg/L of culture was evidenced by an approach that included amino acid type (13)CO and (15)N labeling of recombinant protein and solid-state NMR (SSNMR) spectroscopy of lyophilized whole cells. The approach did not require any protein solubilization or purification and may be a general approach for detection of recombinant protein. The purified Fgp41 yield was ~5 mg/L of culture. SSNMR spectra of membrane-associated Fgp41 showed high helicity for the residues C-terminal of the FP. This was consistent with a "six-helix bundle" (SHB) structure that is the final gp41 state during membrane fusion. This observation and negligible Fgp41-induced vesicle fusion supported a function for SHB gp41 of membrane stabilization and fusion arrest. SSNMR spectra of residues in the membrane-associated FP provided evidence of a mixture of molecular populations with either helical or β-sheet FP conformation. These and earlier SSNMR data strongly support the existence of these populations in the SHB state of membrane-associated gp41. © 2011 American Chemical Society

  14. Adrenal Chromaffin Cells Exposed to 5-ns Pulses Require Higher Electric Fields to Porate Intracellular Membranes than the Plasma Membrane: An Experimental and Modeling Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaklit, Josette; Craviso, Gale L; Leblanc, Normand; Yang, Lisha; Vernier, P Thomas; Chatterjee, Indira

    2017-10-01

    Nanosecond-duration electric pulses (NEPs) can permeabilize the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), causing release of Ca 2+ into the cytoplasm. This study used experimentation coupled with numerical modeling to understand the lack of Ca 2+ mobilization from Ca 2+ -storing organelles in catecholamine-secreting adrenal chromaffin cells exposed to 5-ns pulses. Fluorescence imaging determined a threshold electric (E) field of 8 MV/m for mobilizing intracellular Ca 2+ whereas whole-cell recordings of membrane conductance determined a threshold E-field of 3 MV/m for causing plasma membrane permeabilization. In contrast, a 2D numerical model of a chromaffin cell, which was constructed with internal structures representing a nucleus, mitochondrion, ER, and secretory granule, predicted that exposing the cell to the same 5-ns pulse electroporated the plasma and ER membranes at the same E-field amplitude, 3-4 MV/m. Agreement of the numerical simulations with the experimental results was obtained only when the ER interior conductivity was 30-fold lower than that of the cytoplasm and the ER membrane permittivity was twice that of the plasma membrane. A more realistic intracellular geometry for chromaffin cells in which structures representing multiple secretory granules and an ER showed slight differences in the thresholds necessary to porate the membranes of the secretory granules. We conclude that more sophisticated cell models together with knowledge of accurate dielectric properties are needed to understand the effects of NEPs on intracellular membranes in chromaffin cells, information that will be important for elucidating how NEPs porate organelle membranes in other cell types having a similarly complex cytoplasmic ultrastructure.

  15. The Acinar Cage: Basement Membranes Determine Molecule Exchange and Mechanical Stability of Human Breast Cell Acini.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aljona Gaiko-Shcherbak

    Full Text Available The biophysical properties of the basement membrane that surrounds human breast glands are poorly understood, but are thought to be decisive for normal organ function and malignancy. Here, we characterize the breast gland basement membrane with a focus on molecule permeation and mechanical stability, both crucial for organ function. We used well-established and nature-mimicking MCF10A acini as 3D cell model for human breast glands, with ether low- or highly-developed basement membrane scaffolds. Semi-quantitative dextran tracer (3 to 40 kDa experiments allowed us to investigate the basement membrane scaffold as a molecule diffusion barrier in human breast acini in vitro. We demonstrated that molecule permeation correlated positively with macromolecule size and intriguingly also with basement membrane development state, revealing a pore size of at least 9 nm. Notably, an intact collagen IV mesh proved to be essential for this permeation function. Furthermore, we performed ultra-sensitive atomic force microscopy to quantify the response of native breast acini and of decellularized basement membrane shells against mechanical indentation. We found a clear correlation between increasing acinar force resistance and basement membrane formation stage. Most important native acini with highly-developed basement membranes as well as cell-free basement membrane shells could both withstand physiologically relevant loads (≤ 20 nN without loss of structural integrity. In contrast, low-developed basement membranes were significantly softer and more fragile. In conclusion, our study emphasizes the key role of the basement membrane as conductor of acinar molecule influx and mechanical stability of human breast glands, which are fundamental for normal organ function.

  16. Nonlinear electro-mechanobiological behavior of cell membrane during electroporation

    KAUST Repository

    Deng, Peigang

    2012-01-01

    A nonlinear electroporation (EP) model is proposed to study the electro-mechanobiological behavior of cell membrane during EP, by taking the nonlinear large deformation of the membrane into account. The proposed model predicts the critical transmembrane potential and the activation energy for EP, the equilibrium pore size, and the resealing process of the pore. Single-cell EP experiments using a micro EP chip were conducted on chicken red blood cells at different temperatures to determine the activation energy and the critical transmembrane potential for EP. The experimental results are in good agreement with the theoretical predictions. © 2012 American Institute of Physics.

  17. Direct Cytoskeleton Forces Cause Membrane Softening in Red Blood Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-García, Ruddi; López-Montero, Iván; Mell, Michael; Egea, Gustavo; Gov, Nir S.; Monroy, Francisco

    2015-01-01

    Erythrocytes are flexible cells specialized in the systemic transport of oxygen in vertebrates. This physiological function is connected to their outstanding ability to deform in passing through narrow capillaries. In recent years, there has been an influx of experimental evidence of enhanced cell-shape fluctuations related to metabolically driven activity of the erythroid membrane skeleton. However, no direct observation of the active cytoskeleton forces has yet been reported to our knowledge. Here, we show experimental evidence of the presence of temporally correlated forces superposed over the thermal fluctuations of the erythrocyte membrane. These forces are ATP-dependent and drive enhanced flickering motions in human erythrocytes. Theoretical analyses provide support for a direct force exerted on the membrane by the cytoskeleton nodes as pulses of well-defined average duration. In addition, such metabolically regulated active forces cause global membrane softening, a mechanical attribute related to the functional erythroid deformability. PMID:26083919

  18. Cell-penetrating peptides for drug delivery across membrane barriers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Foged, Camilla; Nielsen, Hanne Moerck

    2008-01-01

    During the last decade, cell-penetrating peptides have been investigated for their ability to overcome the plasma membrane barrier of mammalian cells for the intracellular or transcellular delivery of cargoes as diverse as low molecular weight drugs, imaging agents, oligonucleotides, peptides......, proteins and colloidal carriers such as liposomes and polymeric nanoparticles. Their ability to cross biological membranes in a non-disruptive way without apparent toxicity is highly desired for increasing drug bioavailability. This review provides an overview of the application of cell......-penetrating peptides as transmembrane drug delivery agents, according to the recent literature, and discusses critical issues and future challenges in relation to fully understanding the fundamental principles of the cell-penetrating peptide-mediated membrane translocation of cargoes and the exploitation...

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

    KAUST Repository

    Shi, Meixia

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Interaction of Impulsive Pressures of Cavitation Bubbles with Cell Membranes during Sonoporation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kodama, Tetsuya; Koshiyama, Ken-ichiro; Tomita, Yukio; Suzuki, Maiko; Yano, Takeru; Fujikawa, Shigeo

    2006-05-01

    Ultrasound contrast agents (UCAs), are capable of enhancing non-invasive cytoplasmic molecular delivery in the presence of ultrasound. Collapse of UCAs may generate nano-scale cavitation bubbles, resulting in the transient permeabilization of the cell membrane. In the present study, we investigated the interaction of a cavitation bubble-induced shock wave with a cell membrane using acoustic theory and molecular dynamics (MD) simulation. From the theory, we obtained the shock wave propagation distance from the center of a cavitation bubble that would induce membrane damage. The MD simulation determined the relationship between the uptake of water molecules into the lipid bilayer and the shock wave. The interaction of the shock wave induced a structural change of the bilayer and subsequently increased the fluidity of each molecule. These changes in the bilayer due to shock waves may be an important factor in the use of UCAs to produce the transient membrane permeability during sonoporation.

  1. Cell packing structures

    KAUST Repository

    Pottmann, Helmut

    2015-03-03

    This paper is an overview of architectural structures which are either composed of polyhedral cells or closely related to them. We introduce the concept of a support structure of such a polyhedral cell packing. It is formed by planar quads and obtained by connecting corresponding vertices in two combinatorially equivalent meshes whose corresponding edges are coplanar and thus determine planar quads. Since corresponding triangle meshes only yield trivial structures, we focus on support structures associated with quad meshes or hex-dominant meshes. For the quadrilateral case, we provide a short survey of recent research which reveals beautiful relations to discrete differential geometry. Those are essential for successfully initializing numerical optimization schemes for the computation of quad-based support structures. Hex-dominant structures may be designed via Voronoi tessellations, power diagrams, sphere packings and various extensions of these concepts. Apart from the obvious application as load-bearing structures, we illustrate here a new application to shading and indirect lighting. On a higher level, our work emphasizes the interplay between geometry, optimization, statics, and manufacturing, with the overall aim of combining form, function and fabrication into novel integrated design tools.

  2. Application of Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell for Lift Trucks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hosseinzadeh, Elham; Rokni, Masoud

    2011-01-01

    In this study a general PEMFC (Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell) model has been developed to take into account the effect of pressure losses, water crossovers, humidity aspects and voltage over potentials in the cells. The model is zero dimensional and it is assumed to be steady state. The effect...

  3. Development of new membrane materials for direct methanol fuel cells

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Yildirim, M.H.

    2009-01-01

    Development of new membrane materials for direct methanol fuel cells Direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs) can convert the chemical energy of a fuel directly into electrical energy with high efficiency and low emission of pollutants. DMFCs can be used as the power sources to portable electronic devices

  4. Towards Extrusion of Ionomers to Process Fuel Cell Membranes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean-Yves Sanchez

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available While Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC membranes are currently prepared by film casting, this paper demonstrates the feasibility of extrusion, a solvent-free alternative process. Thanks to water-soluble process-aid plasticizers, duly selected, it was possible to extrude acidic and alkaline polysulfone ionomers. Additionally, the feasibility to extrude composites was demonstrated. The impact of the plasticizers on the melt viscosity was investigated. Following the extrusion, the plasticizers were fully removed in water. The extrusion was found to impact neither on the ionomer chains, nor on the performances of the membrane. This environmentally friendly process was successfully validated for a variety of high performance ionomers.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hankamer, B; Barber, J; Boekema, EJ

    1997-01-01

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

  6. Fabrication of functional structures on thin silicon nitride membranes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

  7. Cationic nanoparticles induce nanoscale disruption in living cell plasma membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Jiumei; Hessler, Jessica A; Putchakayala, Krishna; Panama, Brian K; Khan, Damian P; Hong, Seungpyo; Mullen, Douglas G; Dimaggio, Stassi C; Som, Abhigyan; Tew, Gregory N; Lopatin, Anatoli N; Baker, James R; Holl, Mark M Banaszak; Orr, Bradford G

    2009-08-13

    It has long been recognized that cationic nanoparticles induce cell membrane permeability. Recently, it has been found that cationic nanoparticles induce the formation and/or growth of nanoscale holes in supported lipid bilayers. In this paper, we show that noncytotoxic concentrations of cationic nanoparticles induce 30-2000 pA currents in 293A (human embryonic kidney) and KB (human epidermoid carcinoma) cells, consistent with a nanoscale defect such as a single hole or group of holes in the cell membrane ranging from 1 to 350 nm(2) in total area. Other forms of nanoscale defects, including the nanoparticle porating agents adsorbing onto or intercalating into the lipid bilayer, are also consistent; although the size of the defect must increase to account for any reduction in ion conduction, as compared to a water channel. An individual defect forming event takes 1-100 ms, while membrane resealing may occur over tens of seconds. Patch-clamp data provide direct evidence for the formation of nanoscale defects in living cell membranes. The cationic polymer data are compared and contrasted with patch-clamp data obtained for an amphiphilic phenylene ethynylene antimicrobial oligomer (AMO-3), a small molecule that is proposed to make well-defined 3.4 nm holes in lipid bilayers. Here, we observe data that are consistent with AMO-3 making approximately 3 nm holes in living cell membranes.

  8. Cell membrane damage by iron nanoparticles: an invitro study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gelare Hajsalimi

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Application of nanotechnology in medicinal and biological fields has attracted a great interest in the recent yeras. In this paper the cell membrane leakage induced by iron nanoparticles (Fe-NP against PC12 cell line which is known as a model of nervous system cell line was investigated by the lactate dehydrogenase (LDH test. Therefore, PC12 cells were incubated with different concentration of Fe-NP and test was performed after 48h of incubation of the cells with Fe-NP. The resulting data showed that the Fe-NP induced the damage of PC12 cell membrane in a concentration dependent manner. Hence, it may be concluded that the different cytotoxicty effect of NPs may be referred to the concentration of NPs, type of the NPs and the cells. Indeed, the kind of cytotoxic impacts of NPs on the cells can be reduced by the considering of above-mentioned parameters. The resulting data showed that the Fe-NP induced the damage of PC12 cell membrane in a concentration dependent manner. Hence, it may be concluded that the different cytotoxicty effect of NPs may be referred to the concentration of NPs, type of the NPs and the cells. Indeed, the kind of cytotoxic impacts of NPs on the cells can be reduced by the considering of above-mentioned parameters.

  9. Structural Changes of PVDF Membranes by Phase Separation Control

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, Semin; Kim, Sung Soo

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jana Mohrova

    2012-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bugge, Katrine Østergaard

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

  12. Oxidative degradation of polybenzimidazole membranes as electrolytes for high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Liao, J.H.; Li, Qingfeng; Rudbeck, H.C.

    2011-01-01

    the oxidative degradation of the polymer membrane was studied under the Fenton test conditions by the weight loss, intrinsic viscosity, size exclusion chromatography, scanning electron microscopy and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. During the Fenton test, significant weight losses depending...... on the initial molecular weight of the polymer were observed. At the same time, viscosity and SEC measurements revealed a steady decrease in molecular weight. The degradation of acid doped PBI membranes under Fenton test conditions is proposed to start by the attack of hydroxyl radicals at the carbon atom......Polybenzimidazole membranes imbibed with acid are emerging as a suitable electrolyte material for high-temperature polymer electrolyte fuel cells. The oxidative stability of polybenzimidazole has been identified as an important issue for the long-term durability of such cells. In this paper...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Electrically Conductive, Hydrophilic Porous Membrane for Fuel Cell Applications, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This Phase I effort seeks to produce a conductive polyethersulfone (PES) microporous membrane for fuel cell water management applications. This membrane will...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jimin; Li, Yue; Modis, Yorgo

    2014-01-01

    The membrane anchors of viral envelope proteins play essential roles in cell entry. Recent crystal structures of the ectodomain of envelope protein E2 from a pestivirus suggest that E2 belongs to a novel structural class of membrane fusion machinery. Based on geometric constraints from the E2 structures, we generated atomic models of the E1 and E2 membrane anchors using computational approaches. The E1 anchor contains two amphipathic perimembrane helices and one transmembrane helix; the E2 anchor contains a short helical hairpin stabilized in the membrane by an arginine residue, similar to flaviviruses. A pair of histidine residues in the E2 ectodomain may participate in pH sensing. The proposed atomic models point to Cys987 in E2 as the site of disulfide bond linkage with E1 to form E1–E2 heterodimers. The membrane anchor models provide structural constraints for the disulfide bonding pattern and overall backbone conformation of the E1 ectodomain. PMID:24725935

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-06-21

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

  17. Microwave-Driven Multifunctional Capability of Membrane Structures

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  18. Xyloglucan biosynthesis by Golgi membranes from suspension-cultured sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus) cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    White, A.R.; Xin, Yi

    1990-01-01

    Xyloglucan is a major hemicellulose polysaccharide in plant cell walls. Biosynthesis of such cell wall polysaccharides is closely linked to the process of plant cell growth and development. Xyloglucan polysaccharides consist of a β-1,4 glucan backbone synthesized by xyloglucan synthase and sidechains of xylose, galactose, and fucose added by other transferase enzymes. Most plant Golgi and plasma membranes also contain glucan synthases I ampersand II, which make β-1,4 and β-1,3 glucans, respectively. All of these enzymes have very similar activities. Cell walls on suspension-cultured cells from Acer pseudoplatanus (sycamore maple) were enzymatically softened prior to cell disruption by passing through a 30 μm nylon screen. Cell membranes from homogenates were separated by ultracentrifugation on top-loaded or flotation sucrose density gradients. Samples were collected by gradient fractionation and assayed for membrane markers and xyloglucan and glucan synthase activities. Standard marker assays (cyt. c reductase for eR, IDPase ampersand UDPase for Golgi, and eosin 5'-malelmide binding for plasma membrane) showed partial separation of these three membrane types. Golgi and plasma membrane markers overlapped in most gradients. Incorporation of 14 C-labeled sugars from UDP-glucose and UDP-xylose was used to detect xyloglucan synthase, glucan synthases I ampersand II, and xylosyl transferase in Golgi membrane fractions. These activities overlapped, although distinct peaks of xyloglucan synthase and xylosyl transferase were found. Ca ++ had a stimulatory effect on glucan synthases I ampersand II, while Mn ++ had an inhibitory effect on glucan synthase I in the presence of Ca ++ . The similarity of these various synthase activities demonstrates the need for careful structural characterization of newly synthesized polysaccharides

  19. Probing chemistry within the membrane structure of wood with soft X-ray spectral microscopy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cody, George D.

    2000-01-01

    Scanning Transmission Soft X-ray spectral microscopy on Carbon's 1s absorption edge reveals the distribution of structural biopolymers within cell membrane regions of modern cedar and oak. Cellulose is extremely susceptible to beam damage. Spectroscopic studies of beam damage reveals that the chemical changes resulting from secondary electron impact may be highly selective and is consistent with hydroxyl eliminations and structural rearrangement of pyranose rings in alpha-cellulose to hydroxyl substituted γ pyrones. A study of acetylated cellulose demonstrates significantly different chemistry; principally massive decarboxylation. Defocusing the beam to a 2 μm spot size allows for the acquisition of 'pristine' cellulose spectra. Spectral deconvolution is used to assess the distribution of lignin and cellulose in the different regions of the cell membrane. Using the intensity of the hydroxylated aromatic carbons 1s-π * transition, the ratio of coniferyl and syringyl based lignin within the middle lamellae and secondary cell wall of oak, an angiosperm can be determined

  20. Difference in membrane repair capacity between cancer cell lines and a normal cell line

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Frandsen, Stine Krog; McNeil, Anna K.; Novak, Ivana

    2016-01-01

    repair was investigated by disrupting the plasma membrane using laser followed by monitoring fluorescent dye entry over time in seven cancer cell lines, an immortalized cell line, and a normal primary cell line. The kinetics of repair in living cells can be directly recorded using this technique...... cancer cell lines (p immortalized cell line (p

  1. In Plant and Animal Cells, Detergent-Resistant Membranes Do Not Define Functional Membrane Rafts

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Tanner, W.; Malínský, Jan; Opekarová, Miroslava

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 23, č. 4 (2011), s. 1191-1193 ISSN 1040-4651 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50390512; CEZ:AV0Z50200510 Keywords : plasma-membrane * lipod rafts * proteins Subject RIV: EA - Cell Biology Impact factor: 8.987, year: 2011

  2. Estimation of membrane hydration status for standby proton exchange membrane fuel cell systems by impedance measurement

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bidoggia, Benoit; Rugholt, Mark; Nielsen, Morten Busk

    2014-01-01

    Fuel cells are getting growing interest in both backup systems and electric vehicles. Although these systems are characterized by long periods of inactivity, they must be able to start at any instant in the shortest time. However, the membrane of which PEMFCs are made tends to dry out when...

  3. Importance of balancing membrane and electrode water in anion exchange membrane fuel cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Omasta, T. J.; Wang, L.; Peng, X.; Lewis, C. A.; Varcoe, J. R.; Mustain, W. E.

    2018-01-01

    Anion exchange membrane fuel cells (AEMFCs) offer several potential advantages over proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs), most notably to overcome the cost barrier that has slowed the growth and large scale implementation of fuel cells for transportation. However, limitations in performance have held back AEMFCs, specifically in the areas of stability, carbonation, and maximum achievable current and power densities. In order for AEMFCs to contend with PEMFCs for market viability, it is necessary to realize a competitive cell performance. This work demonstrates a new benchmark for a H2/O2 AEMFC with a peak power density of 1.4 W cm-2 at 60 °C. This was accomplished by taking a more precise look at balancing necessary membrane hydration while preventing electrode flooding, which somewhat surprisingly can occur both at the anode and the cathode. Specifically, radiation-grafted ETFE-based anion exchange membranes and anion exchange ionomer powder, functionalized with benchmark benzyltrimethylammonium groups, were utilized to examine the effects of the following parameters on AEMFC performance: feed gas flow rate, the use of hydrophobic vs. hydrophilic gas diffusion layers, and gas feed dew points.

  4. Meninges: from protective membrane to stem cell niche

    OpenAIRE

    Decimo, Ilaria; Fumagalli, Guido; Berton, Valeria; Krampera, Mauro; Bifari, Francesco

    2012-01-01

    Meninges are a three tissue membrane primarily known as coverings of the brain. More in depth studies on meningeal function and ultrastructure have recently changed the view of meninges as a merely protective membrane. Accurate evaluation of the anatomical distribution in the CNS reveals that meninges largely penetrate inside the neural tissue. Meninges enter the CNS by projecting between structures, in the stroma of choroid plexus and form the perivascular space (Virchow-Robin) of every pare...

  5. Modified hydrogenated PBLH copolymer synthesis with styrene for proton exchange membranes fuel cell application

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ferraz, Fernando A.; Oliveira, Angelo R.S.; Rodrigues, Maraiza F.; Groetzner, Mariana B.; Cesar-Oliveira, Maria Aparecida F.; Cantao, Mauricio P.

    2005-01-01

    Polymers used as electrolyte in fuel cells are expected to have functional groups in their structure which are responsible for proton conductivity. Since the use of hydroxylated liquid polybutadiene (PBLH) has not been mentioned in the literature as an ion exchange membrane for fuel cell application (PEMFC), and its structure can be modified for a later sulfonation, it has been studied. In this work, PBLH was modified through a hydrogenation reaction. Furthermore, hydrogenated polymeric esters were obtained by esterification and transesterification reactions (PBLH- estearate and PBLH- methacrylate). Reacting the PBLH methacrylate with styrene, it was generated a copolymer with appropriated structure for sulfonation, justifying researches for fuel cell. (author)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeng, Pingying

    oxygen permeability of the SrCoO3-delta membrane. Among all the disk-shaped SSCx (x = 0-0.7) membranes with a thickness of 0.91 mm, both SSC0.05 and SSC0.1 exhibit the highest oxygen permeation rate of about 3.2 mL.cm-2.min-1 (STP) at 900 °C, SSC0.1 also shows excellent cathode performance for a solid oxide fuel cell. Therefore SSC0.1 is of special interest, and thus investigated regarding the performance as a membrane reactor for methane combustion. The performance was evaluated based on the results of methane conversion rates and CO 2 selectivity. Inspired by the above findings, a series of mixed-conducting perovskite oxides SrCo0.95M0.05O3-delta (SCM, M = Bi5+, Zr4+, Ce4+, Sc3+ , La3+, Y3+, Al3+, Zn 2+) were prepared to study the effects of different dopants M on the performance of SrCo0.95M0.05O3-delta. It was found that the M cations significantly affect the crystal phase structure, grain growth, membrane porosity, electrical conductivity, and the oxygen permeability of the SCM membranes. Specifically, it is postulated in this study that the formation of the cubic perovskite structure is dependent on the electron configuration in the outer orbits of M cations, which may provide theoretical guidance for future development of high oxygen permeation ceramic membranes based on the perovskite materials. To study the significant effects of grain sizes on the oxygen permeation behaviors of La0.6Sr0.4Co0.2Fe0.8O3-delta (LSCF) and SrSc0.1Co0.9O 3-delta (SSC0.1) membranes, the LSCF and SSC0.1 membranes were sintered at various temperatures to form different microstructures. Properties of these membranes with varied grain sizes were compared. Results showed that the oxygen permeation rate of the LSCF membrane increases with increasing the grain size, however, it is interesting that the oxygen permeation rate of the SSC0.1 membrane decreases with increasing the grain size. This implies that oxygen transport occurs more, however, less rapidly along grain boundaries than through

  7. Cell-free expression and stable isotope labelling strategies for membrane proteins

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sobhanifar, Solmaz; Reckel, Sina; Junge, Friederike; Schwarz, Daniel; Kai, Lei; Karbyshev, Mikhail; Loehr, Frank; Bernhard, Frank; Doetsch, Volker

    2010-01-01

    Membrane proteins are highly underrepresented in the structural data-base and remain one of the most challenging targets for functional and structural elucidation. Their roles in transport and cellular communication, furthermore, often make over-expression toxic to their host, and their hydrophobicity and structural complexity make isolation and reconstitution a complicated task, especially in cases where proteins are targeted to inclusion bodies. The development of cell-free expression systems provides a very interesting alternative to cell-based systems, since it circumvents many problems such as toxicity or necessity for the transportation of the synthesized protein to the membrane, and constitutes the only system that allows for direct production of membrane proteins in membrane-mimetic environments which may be suitable for liquid state NMR measurements. The unique advantages of the cell-free expression system, including strong expression yields as well as the direct incorporation of almost any combination of amino acids with very little metabolic scrambling, has allowed for the development of a wide-array of isotope labelling techniques which facilitate structural investigations of proteins whose spectral congestion and broad line-widths may have earlier rendered them beyond the scope of NMR. Here we explore various labelling strategies in conjunction with cell-free developments, with a particular focus on α-helical transmembrane proteins which benefit most from such methods.

  8. Cathode and electrolyte materials for solid oxide fuel cells and ion transport membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobson, Allan J; Wang, Shuangyan; Kim, Gun Tae

    2014-01-28

    Novel cathode, electrolyte and oxygen separation materials are disclosed that operate at intermediate temperatures for use in solid oxide fuel cells and ion transport membranes based on oxides with perovskite related structures and an ordered arrangement of A site cations. The materials have significantly faster oxygen kinetics than in corresponding disordered perovskites.

  9. Nafion®/ODF-silica composite membranes for medium temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    KAUST Repository

    Treekamol, Yaowapa

    2014-01-01

    A series of composite membranes were prepared by dispersing fluorinated polyoxadiazole oligomer (ODF)-functionalized silica nanoparticles in a Nafion matrix. Both melt-extrusion and solvent casting processes were explored. Ion exchange capacity, conductivity, water uptake and dimensional stability, thermal stability and morphology were characterized. The inclusion of functionalized nanoparticles proved advantageous, mainly due to a physical crosslinking effect and better water retention, with functionalized nanoparticles performing better than the pristine silica particles. For the same filler loading, better nanoparticle dispersion was achieved for solvent-cast membranes, resulting in higher proton conductivity. Filler agglomeration, however,was more severe for solvent-castmembranes at loadings beyond 5wt.%. The composite membranes showed excellent thermal stability, allowing for operation in medium temperature PEM fuel cells. Fuel cell performance of the compositemembranesdecreaseswithdecreasing relativehumidity, but goodperformance values are still obtained at 34% RHand 90 °C,with the best results obtained for solvent castmembranes loaded with 10 wt.% ODF-functionalized silica. Hydrogen crossover of the composite membranes is higher than that forpureNafion membranes,possiblydue toporosityresulting fromsuboptimalparticle- matrixcompatibility. © 2013 Crown Copyright and Elsevier BV. All rights reserved.

  10. Quinacrine pretreatment reduces microwave-induced neuronal damage by stabilizing the cell membrane

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Xue-feng; Wu, Yan; Qu, Wen-rui; Fan, Ming; Zhao, Yong-qi

    2018-01-01

    Quinacrine, widely used to treat parasitic diseases, binds to cell membranes. We previously found that quinacrine pretreatment reduced microwave radiation damage in rat hippocampal neurons, but the molecular mechanism remains poorly understood. Considering the thermal effects of microwave radiation and the protective effects of quinacrine on heat damage in cells, we hypothesized that quinacrine would prevent microwave radiation damage to cells in a mechanism associated with cell membrane stability. To test this, we used retinoic acid to induce PC12 cells to differentiate into neuron-like cells. We then pretreated the neurons with quinacrine (20 and 40 mM) and irradiated them with 50 mW/cm2 microwaves for 3 or 6 hours. Flow cytometry, atomic force microscopy and western blot assays revealed that irradiated cells pretreated with quinacrine showed markedly less apoptosis, necrosis, and membrane damage, and greater expression of heat shock protein 70, than cells exposed to microwave irradiation alone. These results suggest that quinacrine stabilizes the neuronal membrane structure by upregulating the expression of heat shock protein 70, thus reducing neuronal injury caused by microwave radiation. PMID:29623929

  11. Protein nanocoatings on synthetic polymeric nanofibrous membranes designed as carriers for skin cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bacakova, Marketa; Pajorova, Julia; Stranska, Denisa; Hadraba, Daniel; Lopot, Frantisek; Riedel, Tomas; Brynda, Eduard; Zaloudkova, Margit; Bacakova, Lucie

    2017-01-01

    Protein-coated resorbable synthetic polymeric nanofibrous membranes are promising for the fabrication of advanced skin substitutes. We fabricated electrospun polylactic acid and poly(lactide- co -glycolic acid) nanofibrous membranes and coated them with fibrin or collagen I. Fibronectin was attached to a fibrin or collagen nanocoating, in order further to enhance the cell adhesion and spreading. Fibrin regularly formed a coating around individual nanofibers in the membranes, and also formed a thin noncontinuous nanofibrous mesh on top of the membranes. Collagen also coated most of the fibers of the membrane and randomly created a soft gel on the membrane surface. Fibronectin predominantly adsorbed onto a thin fibrin mesh or a collagen gel, and formed a thin nanofibrous structure. Fibrin nanocoating greatly improved the attachment, spreading, and proliferation of human dermal fibroblasts, whereas collagen nanocoating had a positive influence on the behavior of human HaCaT keratinocytes. In addition, fibrin stimulated the fibroblasts to synthesize fibronectin and to deposit it as an extracellular matrix. Fibrin coating also showed a tendency to improve the ultimate tensile strength of the nanofibrous membranes. Fibronectin attached to fibrin or to a collagen coating further enhanced the adhesion, spreading, and proliferation of both cell types.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

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

  13. Quantifying pulsed electric field-induced membrane nanoporation in single cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moen, Erick K; Ibey, Bennett L; Beier, Hope T; Armani, Andrea M

    2016-11-01

    Plasma membrane disruption can trigger a host of cellular activities. One commonly observed type of disruption is pore formation. Molecular dynamic (MD) simulations of simplified lipid membrane structures predict that controllably disrupting the membrane via nano-scale poration may be possible with nanosecond pulsed electric fields (nsPEF). Until recently, researchers hoping to verify this hypothesis experimentally have been limited to measuring the relatively slow process of fluorescent markers diffusing across the membrane, which is indirect evidence of nanoporation that could be channel-mediated. Leveraging recent advances in nonlinear optical microscopy, we elucidate the role of pulse parameters in nsPEF-induced membrane permeabilization in live cells. Unlike previous techniques, it is able to directly observe loss of membrane order at the onset of the pulse. We also develop a complementary theoretical model that relates increasing membrane permeabilization to membrane pore density. Due to the significantly improved spatial and temporal resolution possible with our imaging method, we are able to directly compare our experimental and theoretical results. Their agreement provides substantial evidence that nanoporation does occur and that its development is dictated by the electric field distribution. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Mouse endometrial stromal cells produce basement-membrane components

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wewer, U M; Damjanov, A; Weiss, J

    1986-01-01

    During mouse pregnancy, uterine stromal cells transform into morphologically distinct decidual cells under the influence of the implanting embryo and a proper hormonal environment. Mechanical stimulation of hormonally primed uterine stromal cells leads to the same morphologic alterations. The dec......During mouse pregnancy, uterine stromal cells transform into morphologically distinct decidual cells under the influence of the implanting embryo and a proper hormonal environment. Mechanical stimulation of hormonally primed uterine stromal cells leads to the same morphologic alterations....... Mouse decidual cells isolated from 6- to 7-day pregnant uteri explanted in vitro continue to synthesize basement-membrane-like extracellular matrix. Using immunohistochemistry and metabolic labeling followed by immunoprecipitation, SDS-PAGE, and fluorography, it was shown that the decidual cells...... to undergo pseudodecidualization. We thus showed that stromal cells from pregnant and nonpregnant mouse uteri synthesize significant amounts of basement-membrane components in vitro, and hence could serve as a good model for the study of normal basement-membrane components....

  15. Proton-conductive nanochannel membrane for fuel-cell applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oleksandrov, Sergiy; Lee, Jeong-Woo; Jang, Joo-Hee; Haam, Seungjoo; Chung, Chan-Hwa

    2009-02-01

    Novel design of proton conductive membrane for direct methanol fuel cells is based on proton conductivity of nanochannels, which is acquired due to the electric double layer overlap. Proton conductivity and methanol permeability of an array of nanochannels were studied. Anodic aluminum oxide with pore diameter of 20 nm was used as nanochannel matrix. Channel surfaces of an AAO template were functionalized with sulfonic groups to increase proton conductivity of nanochannels. This was done in two steps; at first -SH groups were attached to walls of nanochannels using (3-Mercaptopropyl)-trimethyloxysilane and then they were converted to -SO3H groups using hydrogen peroxide. Treatment steps were analyzed by Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy and X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy. Proton conductivity and methanol permeability were measured. The data show methanol permeability of membrane to be an order of magnitude lower, than that measured of Nafion. Ion conductivity of functionalized AAO membrane was measured by an impedance analyzer at frequencies ranging from 1 Hz to 100 kHz and voltage 50 mV to be 0.15 Scm(-1). Measured ion conductivity of Nafion membrane was 0.05 Scm(-1). Obtained data show better results in comparison with commonly used commercial available proton conductive membrane Nafion, thus making nanochannel membrane very promising for use in fuel cell applications.

  16. Anion exchange membrane based on alkali doped poly(2,5-benzimidazole) for alkaline membrane fuel cell

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Luo, H

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available was prepared. The alkali doped poly(2,5-benzimidazole) membrane is a promising candidate as anion exchange membrane for fuel cell application. The alkali doped poly(2,5-benzimidazole) membrane reached an anion conductivity of 2.3×10-2 S cm-1 at room temperature...

  17. Red Blood Cell Membrane-Cloaked Nanoparticles For Drug Delivery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carpenter, Cody Westcott

    Herein we describe the development of the Red Blood Cell coated nanoparticle, RBC-NP. Purified natural erythrocyte membrane is used to coat drug-loaded poly(lacticco-glycolic acid) (PLGA). Synthetic PLGA co-polymer is biocompatible and biodegradable and has already received US FDA approval for drug-delivery and diagnostics. This work looks specifically at the retention of immunosuppressive proteins on RBC-NPs, right-sidedness of natural RBC membranes interfacing with synthetic polymer nanoparticles, sustained and retarded drug release of RBC-NPs as well as further surface modification of RBC-NPs for increased targeting of model cancer cell lines.

  18. Role of membranes and membrane reactors in the hydrogen supply of fuel cells for transports

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Julbe, A.; Guizard, Ch. [Institut Europeen des Membranes, UMII, Lab. des Materiaux et des Procedes Membranaires, CNRS UMR 5635, 34 - Montpellier (France)

    2000-07-01

    Production, storage and supply of high-purity hydrogen as a clean and efficient fuel is central to fuel cells technology, in particular in vehicle traction. Actually, technologies for handling liquefied or gaseous hydrogen in transports are not available so that a number of alternative fuels are considered with the aim of in-situ generation of hydrogen through catalytic processes. The integrated concept of membrane reactors (MRs) can greatly benefit to these technologies. Particular emphasis is put on inorganic membranes and their role in MRs performance for H{sub 2} production.

  19. Flavivirus cell entry and membrane fusion

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Smit, Jolanda M.; Moesker, Bastiaan; Rodenhuis-Zybert, Izabela; Wilschut, Jan

    2011-01-01

    Flaviviruses, such as dengue virus and West Nile virus, are enveloped viruses that infect cells through receptor-mediated endocytosis and fusion from within acidic endosomes. The cell entry process of flaviviruses is mediated by the viral E glycoprotein. This short review will address recent

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ren, Chun-Lai; Ma, Yu-Qiang

    2009-07-01

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

  1. The role of cell membranes in the regulation of lignification in pine cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hendrix, D. L.

    1978-01-01

    The identity of pine cell membranes bearing PAL enzyme activity, the isolation of a plasma membrane preparation from pine cells for testing as a regulatory barrier in lignification, and the measurement of the geopotential effect in pine stems are presented. A model to describe and predict the interaction of gravity and lignification of higher plants was developed.

  2. Isolation of plasma membranes from cultured glioma cells and application to evaluation of membrane sphingomyelin turnover

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cook, H.W.; Palmer, F.B.; Byers, D.M.; Spence, M.W.

    1988-01-01

    A rapid and reliable method for the isolation of plasma membranes and microsomes of high purity and yield from cultured glioma cells is described. The procedure involves disruption by N2 cavitation, preliminary separation by centrifugation in Tricine buffer, and final separation on a gradient formed from 40% Percoll at pH 9.3. Enzyme and chemical markers indicated greater than 60% yield with six- to eightfold enrichment for plasma membranes and greater than 25% yield with three- to fourfold enrichment for a microsomal fraction consisting mainly of endoplasmic reticulum. The final fractions were obtained with high reproducibility in less than 1 h from the time of cell harvesting. Application of this procedure to human fibroblasts in culture is assessed. The isolation procedure was applied to investigations of synthesis and turnover of sphingomyelin and phosphatidylcholine in plasma membranes of glioma cells following incubation for 4-24 h with [methyl- 3 H]choline. These studies indicated that radioactivity from phosphatidylcholine synthesized in microsomes from exogenous choline may serve as a precursor of the head-group of sphingomyelin accumulating in the plasma membrane

  3. Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells Applied for Transport Sector

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hosseinzadeh, Elham; Rokni, Masoud

    2010-01-01

    A thermodynamic analysis of a PEMFC (proton exchange membrane fuel cell) is investigated. PEMFC may be the most promising technology for fuel cell automotive systems, which is operating at quite low temperatures, (between 60 to 80℃). In this study the fuel cell motive power part of a lift truck has...... been investigated. The fuel cell stack used in this model is developed using a Ballard PEMFC [1], so that the equations used in the stack modeling are derived from the experimental data. The stack can produce 3 to 15 kilowatt electricity depending on the number of cells used in the stack. Some...

  4. Wherever I may roam: protein and membrane trafficking in P. falciparum-infected red blood cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deponte, Marcel; Hoppe, Heinrich C; Lee, Marcus C S; Maier, Alexander G; Richard, Dave; Rug, Melanie; Spielmann, Tobias; Przyborski, Jude M

    2012-12-01

    Quite aside from its immense importance as a human pathogen, studies in recent years have brought to light the fact that the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum is an interesting eukaryotic model system to study protein trafficking. Studying parasite cell biology often reveals an overrepresentation of atypical cell biological features, possibly driven by the parasites' need to survive in an unusual biological niche. Malaria parasites possess uncommon cellular compartments to which protein traffic must be directed, including secretory organelles such as rhoptries and micronemes, a lysosome-like compartment referred to as the digestive vacuole and a complex (four membrane-bound) plastid, the apicoplast. In addition, the parasite must provide proteins to extracellular compartments and structures including the parasitophorous vacuole, the parasitophorous vacuolar membrane, the Maurer's clefts and both cytosol and plasma membrane of the host cell, the mature human red blood cell. Although some of these unusual destinations are possessed by other cell types, only Plasmodium parasites contain them all within one cell. Here we review what is known about protein and membrane transport in the P. falciparum-infected cell, highlighting novel features of these processes. A growing body of evidence suggests that this parasite is a real "box of tricks" with regards to protein traffic. Possibly, these tricks may be turned against the parasite by exploiting them as novel therapeutic targets. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Membrane Fluidity Changes, A Basic Mechanism of Interaction of Gravity with Cells?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohn, Florian; Hauslage, Jens; Hanke, Wolfgang

    2017-10-01

    All life on earth has been established under conditions of stable gravity of 1g. Nevertheless, in numerous experiments the direct gravity dependence of biological processes has been shown on all levels of organization, from single molecules to humans. According to the underlying mechanisms a variety of questions, especially about gravity sensation of single cells without specialized organelles or structures for gravity sensing is being still open. Biological cell membranes are complex structures containing mainly lipids and proteins. Functional aspects of such membranes are usually attributed to membrane integral proteins. This is also correct for the gravity dependence of cells and organisms which is well accepted since long for a wide range of biological systems. However, it is as well established that parameters of the lipid matrix are directly modifying the function of proteins. Thus, the question must be asked, whether, and how far plain lipid membranes are affected by gravity directly. In principle it can be said that up to recently no real basic mechanism for gravity perception in single cells has been presented or verified. However, it now has been shown that as a basic membrane parameter, membrane fluidity, is significantly dependent on gravity. This finding might deliver a real basic mechanism for gravity perception of living organisms on all scales. In this review we summarize older and more recent results to demonstrate that the finding of membrane fluidity being gravity dependent is consistent with a variety of published laboratory experiments. We additionally point out to the consequences of these recent results for research in the field life science under space condition.

  6. Shallow Boomerang-shaped Influenza Hemagglutinin G13A Mutant Structure Promotes Leaky Membrane Fusion*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lai, Alex L.; Tamm, Lukas K.

    2010-01-01

    Our previous studies showed that an angled boomerang-shaped structure of the influenza hemagglutinin (HA) fusion domain is critical for virus entry into host cells by membrane fusion. Because the acute angle of ∼105° of the wild-type fusion domain promotes efficient non-leaky membrane fusion, we asked whether different angles would still support fusion and thus facilitate virus entry. Here, we show that the G13A fusion domain mutant produces a new leaky fusion phenotype. The mutant fusion domain structure was solved by NMR spectroscopy in a lipid environment at fusion pH. The mutant adopted a boomerang structure similar to that of wild type but with a shallower kink angle of ∼150°. G13A perturbed the structure of model membranes to a lesser degree than wild type but to a greater degree than non-fusogenic fusion domain mutants. The strength of G13A binding to lipid bilayers was also intermediate between that of wild type and non-fusogenic mutants. These membrane interactions provide a clear link between structure and function of influenza fusion domains: an acute angle is required to promote clean non-leaky fusion suitable for virus entry presumably by interaction of the fusion domain with the transmembrane domain deep in the lipid bilayer. A shallower angle perturbs the bilayer of the target membrane so that it becomes leaky and unable to form a clean fusion pore. Mutants with no fixed boomerang angle interacted with bilayers weakly and did not promote any fusion or membrane perturbation. PMID:20826788

  7. Mapping the Local Organization of Cell Membranes Using Excitation-Polarization-Resolved Confocal Fluorescence Microscopy

    OpenAIRE

    Kress, Alla; Wang, Xiao; Ranchon, Hubert; Savatier, Julien; Rigneault, Hervé; Ferrand, Patrick; Brasselet, Sophie

    2013-01-01

    International audience; Fluorescence anisotropy and linear dichroism imaging have been widely used for imaging biomolecular orientational distributions in protein aggregates, fibrillar structures of cells, and cell membranes. However, these techniques do not give access to complete orientational order information in a whole image, because their use is limited to parts of the sample where the average orientation of molecules is known a priori. Fluorescence anisotropy is also highly sensitive t...

  8. Structure and dynamics of cationic membrane peptides and proteins: Insights from solid-state NMR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hong, Mei; Su, Yongchao

    2011-01-01

    Many membrane peptides and protein domains contain functionally important cationic Arg and Lys residues, whose insertion into the hydrophobic interior of the lipid bilayer encounters significant energy barriers. To understand how these cationic molecules overcome the free energy barrier to insert into the lipid membrane, we have used solid-state NMR spectroscopy to determine the membrane-bound topology of these peptides. A versatile array of solid-state NMR experiments now readily yields the conformation, dynamics, orientation, depth of insertion, and site-specific protein–lipid interactions of these molecules. We summarize key findings of several Arg-rich membrane peptides, including β-sheet antimicrobial peptides, unstructured cell-penetrating peptides, and the voltage-sensing helix of voltage-gated potassium channels. Our results indicate the central role of guanidinium-phosphate and guanidinium-water interactions in dictating the structural topology of these cationic molecules in the lipid membrane, which in turn account for the mechanisms of this functionally diverse class of membrane peptides. PMID:21344534

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  10. Membrane dynamics and the regulation of epithelial cell polarity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Wouden, JM; Maier, O; van IJzendoorn, SCD; Hoekstra, D

    2003-01-01

    Plasma membranes of epithelial cells consist of two domains, an apical and a basolateral domain, the surfaces of which differ in composition. The separation of these domains by a tight junction and the fact that specific transport pathways exist for intracellular communication between these domains

  11. Cell biology symposium: Membrane trafficking and signal transduction

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  12. hydrogel membrane as electrolyte for direct borohydride fuel cells

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    A direct borohydride fuel cell (DBFC) employing a poly (vinyl alcohol) hydrogel membrane electrolyte (PHME) is reported. The DBFC employs an AB5 Misch metal alloy as anode and a goldplated stainless steel mesh as cathode in conjunction with aqueous alkaline solution of sodium borohydride as fuel and aqueous ...

  13. Denaturation of membrane proteins and hyperthermic cell killing

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Burgman, Paulus Wilhelmus Johannes Jozef

    1993-01-01

    Summarizing: heat induced denaturation of membrane proteins is probably related to hyperthermic cell killing. Induced resistance of heat sensitive proteins seems to be involved in the development of thermotolerance. Although many questions remain still to be answered, it appears that HSP72, when

  14. Interaction of Dendritic Polymers with Synthetic Lipid and Cell Membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mecke, Almut; Hong, Seungpyo; Bielinska, Anna U.; Banaszak Holl, Mark M.; Orr, Bradford G.; Baker, James R., Jr.

    2004-03-01

    Polyamidoamine (PAMAM) dendrimers are promising candidates for the development of nanoscale therapeutic transport agents. Here we present studies on dendrimer-membrane interactions leading to a better understanding of possible uptake mechanisms into cells. Using synthetic lipid and natural cell membranes as model systems it is shown that the effect of PAMAM dendrimers on a membrane strongly depends on the dendrimer generation, architecture and chemical properties of the branch end groups. Atomic force microscopy data indicates that generation 7 dendrimers have the ability to form small ( 10-100 nm) holes in a lipid bilayer. When dendrimers with otherwise identical chemical properties are arranged in a covalently linked cluster, no hole formation occurs. Dendrimer-lipid micelle formation is proposed and investigated as a possible mechanism for this behavior. Smaller dendrimers (generation 5) have a greatly reduced ability to remove lipid molecules from a bilayer. In addition to the size of the dendrimer, the charge of the branch end groups plays a significant role for dendrimer-membrane interactions. These results agree well with biological studies using cultured cells and point to a new mechanism of specific targeting and uptake into cells.

  15. The roles of membrane microdomains (rafts) in T cell activation

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hořejší, Václav

    2003-01-01

    Roč. 191, - (2003), s. 148-164 ISSN 0105-2896 R&D Projects: GA MŠk LN00A026 Grant - others:Wellcome Trust(GB) J1116W24Z Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z5052915 Keywords : membrane microdomain * raft * T cell Subject RIV: EC - Immunology Impact factor: 7.052, year: 2003

  16. Salinity induced changes in cell membrane stability, protein and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    control), 4.7, 9.4 and 14.1 dS m-1 to determine the effect of salt on vegetative growth, relative water content, cell membrane stability, protein and RNA contents in sand culture experiment. Fresh and dry weights of plants, shoots and roots decreased ...

  17. Characterisation of cell-wall polysaccharides from mandarin segment membranes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Coll-Almela, L.; Saura-Lopez, D.; Laencina-Sanchez, J.; Schols, H.A.; Voragen, A.G.J.; Ros-García, J.M.

    2015-01-01

    In an attempt to develop a process of enzymatic peeling of mandarin segments suitable for use on an industrial scale, the cell wall fraction of the segment membrane of Satsuma mandarin fruits was extracted to obtain a chelating agent-soluble pectin fraction (ChSS), a dilute sodium hydroxide-soluble

  18. CAPSTONE SENIOR DESIGN - SUPRAMOLECULAR PROTON EXCHANGE MEMBRANES FOR FUEL CELLS

    Science.gov (United States)

    In order to assume a leading role in the burgeoning hydrogen economy, new infrastructure will be required for fuel cell manufacturing and R&D capabilities. The objective of this proposal is the development of a new generation of advanced proton exchange membrane (PEM) technol...

  19. An adhesion-based method for plasma membrane isolation: evaluating cholesterol extraction from cells and their membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bezrukov, Ludmila; Blank, Paul S; Polozov, Ivan V; Zimmerberg, Joshua

    2009-11-15

    A method to isolate large quantities of directly accessible plasma membrane from attached cells is presented. The method is based on the adhesion of cells to an adsorbed layer of polylysine on glass plates, followed by hypotonic lysis with ice-cold distilled water and subsequent washing steps. Optimal conditions for coating glass plates and time for cell attachment were established. No additional chemical or mechanical treatments were used. Contamination of the isolated plasma membrane by cell organelles was less than 5%. The method uses inexpensive, commercially available polylysine and reusable glass plates. Plasma membrane preparations can be made in 15 min. Using this method, we determined that methyl-beta-cyclodextrin differentially extracts cholesterol from fibroblast cells and their plasma membranes and that these differences are temperature dependent. Determination of the cholesterol/phospholipid ratio from intact cells does not reflect methyl-beta-cyclodextrin plasma membrane extraction properties.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  1. Degradation mechanisms of sulfonated poly-aromatic membranes in fuel cell

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Perrot, C.

    2006-11-01

    Fuel cell development requires an improvement in the electrode-membrane assembly durability which depends on both the polymer used and the fuel cell operating conditions. The origin of the degradation can be either electrochemical, chemical and/or mechanical. This study deals with the understanding of alternative membranes ageing mechanisms, i.e. non fluorinated membranes, such as sPEEK and sPI. For this kind of membranes, the first process is chemical. Understanding these mechanisms is the first essential step to develop more stable structures. An original approach is developed to overcome the analytical difficulties encountered with polymers. It consists in studying the degradation mechanism on model structures. Ageing are carried out in water, with H 2 O 2 in some cases (identified as a cause of membrane chemical ageing in the fuel cell system), and at different temperatures. The approach consists in separating the different products formed by chromatography. Then they are identified (NMR, IR, MS) and quantified. This method allows us to establish the ageing mechanism. We show that the ageing of a sPEEK structure mainly results from an attack by end chains which spreads to the whole. This mechanism is confirmed on ex-situ and in-situ aged membranes. These two kinds of ageing lead to an important decrease in polymerisation degree (determined by SEC). Formation of the same degradation products is observed. In fuel cells, a heterogeneous degradation is noticed. It takes place mainly on the cathode side. sPI are known for their high sensitivity to hydrolysis. Nevertheless, we highlight a limited degradation at 80 Celsius degrees due to the recombination of hydrolyzed species at this temperature. (author)

  2. Adhesion structures and their cytoskeleton-membrane interactions at podosomes of osteoclasts in culture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akisaka, Toshitaka; Yoshida, Hisaho; Suzuki, Reiko; Takama, Keiko

    2008-03-01

    The organization of the cytoskeleton in the podosomes of osteoclasts was studied by use of cell shearing, rotary replication, and fluorescence cytochemical techniques. After shearing, clathrin plaques and particles associated with the cytoskeleton were left behind on the exposed cytoplasmic side of the membrane. The cytoskeleton of the podosomes was characterized by two types of actin filaments: relatively long filaments in the portion surrounding the podosome core, and highly branched short filaments in the core. Individual actin filaments radiating from the podosomes interacted with several membrane particles along the length of the filaments. Many lateral contacts with the membrane surface by the particles were made along the length of individual actin filaments. The polarity of actin filaments in podosomes became oriented such that their barbed ends were directed toward the core of podosomes. The actin cytoskeletons terminated or branched at the podosomes, where the membrane tightly adhered to the substratum. Microtubules were not usually present in the podosome structures; however, certain microtubules appeared to be morphologically in direct contact with the podosome core. Most of the larger clathrin plaques consisted of flat sheets of clathrin lattices that interconnected neighboring clathrin lattices to form an extensive clathrin area. However, the small deeply invaginated clathrin plaques and the podosomal cytoskeleton were located close together. Thus, the clathrin plaques on the ventral membrane of osteoclasts might be involved in both cell adhesion and the formation of receptor-ligand complexes, i.e., endocytosis.

  3. Profiling of kidney vascular endothelial cell plasma membrane proteins by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Zan; Xu, Bo; Nameta, Masaaki; Zhang, Ying; Magdeldin, Sameh; Yoshida, Yutaka; Yamamoto, Keiko; Fujinaka, Hidehiko; Yaoita, Eishin; Tasaki, Masayuki; Nakagawa, Yuki; Saito, Kazuhide; Takahashi, Kota; Yamamoto, Tadashi

    2013-06-01

    Vascular endothelial cells (VECs) play crucial roles in physiological and pathologic conditions in tissues and organs. Most of these roles are related to VEC plasma membrane proteins. In the kidney, VECs are closely associated with structures and functions; however, plasma membrane proteins in kidney VECs remain to be fully elucidated. Rat kidneys were perfused with cationic colloidal silica nanoparticles (CCSN) to label the VEC plasma membrane. The CCSN-labeled plasma membrane fraction was collected by gradient ultracentrifugation. The VEC plasma membrane or whole-kidney lysate proteins were separated by sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and digested with trypsin in gels for liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Enrichment analysis was then performed. The VEC plasma membrane proteins were purified by the CCSN method with high yield (approximately 20 μg from 1 g of rat kidney). By Mascot search, 582 proteins were identified in the VEC plasma membrane fraction, and 1,205 proteins were identified in the kidney lysate. In addition to 16 VEC marker proteins such as integrin beta-1 and intercellular adhesion molecule-2 (ICAM-2), 8 novel proteins such as Deltex 3-like protein and phosphatidylinositol binding clathrin assembly protein (PICALM) were identified. As expected, many key functions of plasma membranes in general and of endothelial cells in particular (i.e., leukocyte adhesion) were significantly overrepresented in the proteome of CCSN-labeled kidney VEC fraction. The CCSN method is a reliable technique for isolation of VEC plasma membrane from the kidney, and proteomic analysis followed by bioinformatics revealed the characteristics of in vivo VECs in the kidney.

  4. Three-Dimensional Architecture and Biogenesis of Membrane Structures Associated with Plant Virus Replication

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xuejiao Jin

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Positive-sense (+ RNA viruses represent the most abundant group of viruses and are dependent on the host cell machinery to replicate. One remarkable feature that occurs after (+ RNA virus entry into cells is the remodeling of host endomembranes, leading to the formation of viral replication factories. Recently, rapid progress in three-dimensional (3D imaging technologies, such as electron tomography (ET and focused ion beam-scanning electron microscopy (FIB-SEM, has enabled researchers to visualize the novel membrane structures induced by viruses at high resolution. These 3D imaging technologies provide new mechanistic insights into the viral infection cycle. In this review, we summarize the latest reports on the cellular remodeling that occurs during plant virus infection; in particular, we focus on studies that provide 3D architectural information on viral replication factories. We also outline the mechanisms underlying the formation of these membranous structures and discuss possible future research directions.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2011-08-09

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2011-12-31

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  8. Modeling Of Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Systems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Mads Pagh

    The objective of this doctoral thesis was to develop reliable steady-state and transient component models suitable to asses-, develop- and optimize proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell systems. Several components in PEM fuel cell systems were characterized and modeled. The developed component...... cell systems. Consequences of indirectly fueling PEM stacks with hydrocarbons using reforming technology were investigated using a PEM stack model including CO poisoning kinetics and a transient Simulink steam reforming system model. Aspects regarding the optimization of PEM fuel cell systems...

  9. Alternative Sources of Adult Stem Cells: Human Amniotic Membrane

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolbank, Susanne; van Griensven, Martijn; Grillari-Voglauer, Regina; Peterbauer-Scherb, Anja

    Human amniotic membrane is a highly promising cell source for tissue engineering. The cells thereof, human amniotic epithelial cells (hAEC) and human amniotic mesenchymal stromal cells (hAMSC), may be immunoprivileged, they represent an early developmental status, and their application is ethically uncontroversial. Cell banking strategies may use freshly isolated cells or involve in vitro expansion to increase cell numbers. Therefore, we have thoroughly characterized the effect of in vitro cultivation on both phenotype and differentiation potential of hAEC. Moreover, we present different strategies to improve expansion including replacement of animal-derived supplements by human platelet products or the introduction of the catalytic subunit of human telomerase to extend the in vitro lifespan of amniotic cells. Characterization of the resulting cultures includes phenotype, growth characteristics, and differentiation potential, as well as immunogenic and immunomodulatory properties.

  10. Artificial Red Cells with Polyhemoglobin Membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1981-09-01

    Y. Reciprocal binding of oxygen and diphosphoglycerate by human hemoglobin. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 59:526-532, 1968. 12. Bunn, H. F., Seal, U. S...and Scott, A. F. The role of 2,3- diphosphoglycerate in mediating hemoglobin function of mammalian red cells. Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sciences 241:498-519

  11. Plasma-polymerized alkaline anion-exchange membrane: Synthesis and structure characterization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hu Jue; Meng Yuedong; Zhang Chengxu; Fang Shidong

    2011-01-01

    After-glow discharge plasma polymerization was developed for alkaline anion-exchange membranes synthesis using vinylbenzyl chloride as monomer. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and attenuated total reflection Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy were used to characterize the chemical structure properties of plasma-polymerized membranes. Ion-exchange capacities of quaternized poly(vinylbenzyl chloride) (QPVBC) membranes were measured to evaluate their capability of hydroxyl ion transport. A mechanism of plasma polymerization using VBC as monomer that accounts for the competitive effects of free radicals polymerization and plasma ablation in the plasma polymerization process was proposed. Our results indicate that plasma discharge power influences the contents of functional groups and the structure of the plasma polymer membranes, which attribute to the coactions of polymerization and ablation. The properties of uniform morphology, good adhesion to the substrate, high thermal stability and satisfying anion conduction level suggest the potential application of QPVBC membrane deposited at discharge power of 20 W in alkaline direct methanol fuel cells.

  12. Membrane interaction and secondary structure of de novo designed arginine-and tryptophan peptides with dual function

    KAUST Repository

    Rydberg, Hanna A.

    2012-10-01

    Cell-penetrating peptides and antimicrobial peptides are two classes of positively charged membrane active peptides with several properties in common. The challenge is to combine knowledge about the membrane interaction mechanisms and structural properties of the two classes to design peptides with membrane-specific actions, useful either as transporters of cargo or as antibacterial substances. Membrane active peptides are commonly rich in arginine and tryptophan. We have previously designed a series of arg/trp peptides and investigated how the position and number of tryptophans affect cellular uptake. Here we explore the antimicrobial properties and the interaction with lipid model membranes of these peptides, using minimal inhibitory concentrations assay (MIC), circular dichroism (CD) and linear dichroism (LD). The results show that the arg/trp peptides inhibit the growth of the two gram positive strains Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus pyogenes, with some individual variations depending on the position of the tryptophans. No inhibition of the gram negative strains Proteus mirabilis or Pseudomonas aeruginosa was noticed. CD indicated that when bound to lipid vesicles one of the peptides forms an α-helical like structure, whereas the other five exhibited rather random coiled structures. LD indicated that all six peptides were somehow aligned parallel with the membrane surface. Our results do not reveal any obvious connection between membrane interaction and antimicrobial effect for the studied peptides. By contrast cell-penetrating properties can be coupled to both the secondary structure and the degree of order of the peptides. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haijiao Xu

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

  14. Rotavirus RRV associates with lipid membrane microdomains during cell entry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Isa, Pavel; Realpe, Mauricio; Romero, Pedro; Lopez, Susana; Arias, Carlos F.

    2004-01-01

    Rotavirus cell entry is a multistep process, not completely understood, which requires at least four interactions between the virus and cell surface molecules. In this work, we investigated the role of the sphingolipid- and cholesterol-enriched lipid microdomains (rafts) in the entry of rotavirus strain RRV to MA104 cells. We found that ganglioside GM1, integrin subunits α2 and β3, and the heat shock cognate protein 70 (hsc70), all of which have been implicated as rotavirus receptors, are associated with TX-100 and Lubrol WX detergent-resistant membranes (DRMs). Integrin subunits α2 and β3 were found to be particularly enriched in DRMs resistant to lysis by Lubrol WX. When purified RRV particles were incubated with cells at 4 deg. C, about 10% of the total infectious virus was found associated with DRMs, and the DRM-associated virus increased to 37% in Lubrol-resistant membrane domains after 60-min incubation at 37 deg. C. The virus was excluded from DRMs if the cells were treated with methyl-β-cyclodextrin (MβCD). Immunoblot analysis of the viral proteins showed that the virus surface proteins became enriched in DRMs upon incubation at 37 deg. C, being almost exclusively localized in Lubrol-resistant DRMs after 60 min. These data suggest that detergent-resistant membrane domains play an important role in the cell entry of rotaviruses, which could provide a platform to facilitate the efficient interaction of the rotavirus receptors with the virus particle

  15. Backbone structure of Yersinia pestis Ail determined in micelles by NMR-restrained simulated annealing with implicit membrane solvation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marassi, Francesca M.; Ding, Yi; Schwieters, Charles D.; Tian, Ye; Yao, Yong

    2015-01-01

    The outer membrane protein Ail (attachment invasion locus) is a virulence factor of Yersinia pestis that mediates cell invasion, cell attachment and complement resistance. Here we describe its three-dimensional backbone structure determined in decyl-phosphocholine (DePC) micelles by NMR spectroscopy. The NMR structure was calculated using the membrane function of the implicit solvation potential, eefxPot, which we have developed to facilitate NMR structure calculations in a physically realistic environment. We show that the eefxPot force field guides the protein towards its native fold. The resulting structures provide information about the membrane-embedded global position of Ail, and have higher accuracy, higher precision and improved conformational properties, compared to the structures calculated with the standard repulsive potential

  16. Nanoscale domain formation of phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate in the plasma and vacuolar membranes of living yeast cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomioku, Kan-Na; Shigekuni, Mikiko; Hayashi, Hiroki; Yoshida, Akane; Futagami, Taiki; Tamaki, Hisanori; Tanabe, Kenji; Fujita, Akikazu

    2018-05-01

    In budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, PtdIns(4)P serves as an essential signalling molecule in the Golgi complex, endosomal system, and plasma membrane, where it is involved in the control of multiple cellular functions via direct interactions with PtdIns(4)P-binding proteins. To analyse the distribution of PtdIns(4)P in yeast cells at a nanoscale level, we employed an electron microscopy technique that specifically labels PtdIns(4)P on the freeze-fracture replica of the yeast membrane. This method minimizes the possibility of artificial perturbation, because molecules in the membrane are physically immobilised in situ. We observed that PtdIns(4)P is localised on the cytoplasmic leaflet, but not the exoplasmic leaflet, of the plasma membrane, Golgi body, vacuole, and vesicular structure membranes. PtdIns(4)P labelling was not observed in the membrane of the endoplasmic reticulum, and in the outer and inner membranes of the nuclear envelope or mitochondria. PtdIns(4)P forms clusters of plasma membrane and vacuolar membrane according to point pattern analysis of immunogold labelling. There are three kinds of compartments in the cytoplasmic leaflet of the plasma membrane. In the present study, we showed that PtdIns(4)P is specifically localised in the flat undifferentiated plasma membrane compartment. In the vacuolar membrane, PtdIns(4)P was concentrated in intramembrane particle (IMP)-deficient raft-like domains, which are tightly bound to lipid droplets, but not surrounding IMP-rich non-raft domains in geometrical IMP-distributed patterns in the stationary phase. This is the first report showing microdomain formations of PtdIns(4)P in the plasma membrane and vacuolar membrane of budding yeast cells at a nanoscale level, which will illuminate the functionality of PtdIns(4)P in each membrane. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  17. Recast Nafion{sup R}-based membranes for direct methanol fuel cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dimitrova, Penka; Friedrich, Kaspar A.; Stimming, Ulrich; Vogt, Brunhilde [Department of Physics, Technische Universitaet Muenchen, D-80333 Munich (Germany)

    2001-07-01

    Commercially available Nafion{sup R} membranes at present do not meet the requirements for direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) applications, amongst others factors because of their high methanol permeability. With the aim of improving this undesirable characteristic, a modification procedure has been applied to recast Nafion-based membranes. Membranes, containing different additives, are assessed with regard to their conductivity and methanol permeation rate. The preparation of the samples involves the introduction of a small amount of a high boiling point solvent to the as-received Nafion solution and then shaping the membranes by a recasting procedure (drying at room temperature and heating up to 150{sup o}C). An enhancement of the conductivity of the thermally treated membranes in comparison to the commercial Nafion 117 is found. The thickness-normalised methanol permeation rate of the samples, containing inorganic additives (Aerosil and molybdophosphoric acid) decreases compared to the pure recast and as-received Nafion membranes. The observed results are discussed in terms of the membrane structure and preparation. (author)

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

    CERN Document Server

    Chung, Shin-Ho; Krishnamurthy, Vikram

    2007-01-01

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

  19. Dimensional and Structural Control of Silica Aerogel Membranes for Miniaturized Motionless Gas Pumps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Shanyu; Jiang, Bo; Maeder, Thomas; Muralt, Paul; Kim, Nayoung; Matam, Santhosh Kumar; Jeong, Eunho; Han, Yen-Lin; Koebel, Matthias M

    2015-08-26

    With growing public interest in portable electronics such as micro fuel cells, micro gas total analysis systems, and portable medical devices, the need for miniaturized air pumps with minimal electrical power consumption is on the rise. Thus, the development and downsizing of next-generation thermal transpiration gas pumps has been investigated intensively during the last decades. Such a system relies on a mesoporous membrane that generates a thermomolecular pressure gradient under the action of an applied temperature bias. However, the development of highly miniaturized active membrane materials with tailored porosity and optimized pumping performance remains a major challenge. Here we report a systematic study on the manufacturing of aerogel membranes using an optimized, minimal-shrinkage sol-gel process, leading to low thermal conductivity and high air conductance. This combination of properties results in superior performance for miniaturized thermomolecular air pump applications. The engineering of such aerogel membranes, which implies pore structure control and chemical surface modification, requires both chemical processing know-how and a detailed understanding of the influence of the material properties on the spatial flow rate density. Optimal pumping performance was found for devices with integrated membranes with a density of 0.062 g cm(-3) and an average pore size of 142.0 nm. Benchmarking of such low-density hydrophobic active aerogel membranes gave an air flow rate density of 3.85 sccm·cm(-2) at an operating temperature of 400 °C. Such a silica aerogel membrane based system has shown more than 50% higher pumping performance when compared to conventional transpiration pump membrane materials as well as the ability to withstand higher operating temperatures (up to 440 °C). This study highlights new perspectives for the development of miniaturized thermal transpiration air pumps while offering insights into the fundamentals of molecular pumping in

  20. Proteomic characterization of golgi membranes enriched from Arabidopsis suspension cell cultures

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Sara Fasmer; Ebert, Berit; Rautengarten, Carsten

    2016-01-01

    The plant Golgi apparatus has a central role in the secretory pathway and is the principal site within the cell for the assembly and processing of macromolecules. The stacked membrane structure of the Golgi apparatus along with its interactions with the cytoskeleton and endoplasmic reticulum has...... historically made the isolation and purification of this organelle difficult. Density centrifugation has typically been used to enrich Golgi membranes from plant microsomal preparations, and aside from minor adaptations, the approach is still widely employed. Here we outline the enrichment of Golgi membranes...... from an Arabidopsis cell suspension culture that can be used to investigate the proteome of this organelle. We also provide a useful workflow for the examination of proteomic data as the result of multiple analyses. Finally, we highlight a simple technique to validate the subcellular localization...

  1. Investigations of the temperature distribution in proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jung, Chi-Young; Shim, Hyo-Sub; Koo, Sang-Man; Lee, Sang-Hwan; Yi, Sung-Chul

    2012-01-01

    A two-dimensional, non-isothermal model of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell was implemented to elucidate heat balance through the membrane electrode assembly (MEA). To take local utilization of platinum catalyst into account, the model was presented by considering the formation of agglomerated catalyst structure in the electrodes. To estimate energy balance through the MEA, various modes of heat generation and depletion by reversible/irreversible heat release, ohmic heating and phase change of water were included in the present model. In addition, dual-pathway kinetics, that is a combination of Heyrovsky–Volmer and Tafel–Volmer kinetics, were employed to precisely describe the hydrogen oxidation reaction. The proposed model was validated with experimental cell polarization, resulting in excellent fit. The temperature distribution inside the MEA was analyzed by the model. Consequently, a thorough investigation was made of the relation between membrane thickness and the temperature distribution inside the MEA.

  2. Comparative proteomic analysis of plasma membrane proteins between human osteosarcoma and normal osteoblastic cell lines

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang, Zhiyu; Ma, Fang; Cai, Zhengdong; Zhang, Lijun; Hua, Yingqi; Jia, Xiaofang; Li, Jian; Hu, Shuo; Peng, Xia; Yang, Pengyuan; Sun, Mengxiong

    2010-01-01

    Osteosarcoma (OS) is the most common primary malignant tumor of bone in children and adolescents. However, the knowledge in diagnostic modalities has progressed less. To identify new biomarkers for the early diagnosis of OS as well as for potential novel therapeutic candidates, we performed a sub-cellular comparative proteomic research. An osteosarcoma cell line (MG-63) and human osteoblastic cells (hFOB1.19) were used as our comparative model. Plasma membrane (PM) was obtained by aqueous two-phase partition. Proteins were analyzed through iTRAQ-based quantitative differential LC/MS/MS. The location and function of differential proteins were analyzed through GO database. Protein-protein interaction was examined through String software. One of differentially expressed proteins was verified by immunohistochemistry. 342 non-redundant proteins were identified, 68 of which were differentially expressed with 1.5-fold difference, with 25 up-regulated and 43 down-regulated. Among those differential proteins, 69% ware plasma membrane, which are related to the biological processes of binding, cell structure, signal transduction, cell adhesion, etc., and interaction with each other. One protein--CD151 located in net nodes was verified to be over-expressed in osteosarcoma tissue by immunohistochemistry. It is the first time to use plasma membrane proteomics for studying the OS membrane proteins according to our knowledge. We generated preliminary but comprehensive data about membrane protein of osteosarcoma. Among these, CD151 was further validated in patient samples, and this small molecule membrane might be a new target for OS research. The plasma membrane proteins identified in this study may provide new insight into osteosarcoma biology and potential diagnostic and therapeutic biomarkers

  3. Plasma membrane of a marine T cell lymphoma: surface labelling, membrane isolation, separation of membrane proteins and distribution of surface label amongst these proteins

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Crumpton, M.J.; Marchalonis, J.J.; Haustein, D.; Atwell, J.L.; Harris, A.W.

    1976-01-01

    Two established techniques for analysis of plasma membranes, namely, lactoperoxidase catalyzed surface radioiodination of intact cells and bulk membrane isolation following disruption of cells by shear forces, were applied in studies of membrane proteins of continuously cultured cells of the monoclonal T lymphoma line WEHI-22. It was found that macromolecular 125 I-iodide incorporated into plasma membrane proteins of intact cells was at least as good a marker for the plasma as was the commonly used enzyme 5'-nucleotidase, T lymphoma plasma membrane proteins were complex when analysed by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis in sodium dodecylsulphate-containing buffers and more than thirty distinct components were resolved. More than fifteen of the components observed on a mass basis were also labelled with 125 I-iodide. Certain bands, however, exhibited a degree of label disproportionate to their staining properties with Coomassie Blue. This was interpreted in terms of their accessibility to the solvent in the intact cells. (author)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Yusong R; MacKinnon, Roderick

    2017-12-12

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

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

    KAUST Repository

    Xue, Zheng

    2014-07-15

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Puntheeranurak, Theeraporn; Stroh, Cordula; Zhu Rong; Angsuthanasombat, Chanan; Hinterdorfer, Peter

    2005-01-01

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

  7. Mass Spectrometry of Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Viktor Johánek

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The chemical analysis of processes inside fuel cells under operating conditions in either direct or inverted (electrolysis mode and their correlation with potentiostatic measurements is a crucial part of understanding fuel cell electrochemistry. We present a relatively simple yet powerful experimental setup for online monitoring of the fuel cell exhaust (of either cathode or anode side downstream by mass spectrometry. The influence of a variety of parameters (composition of the catalyst, fuel type or its concentration, cell temperature, level of humidification, mass flow rate, power load, cell potential, etc. on the fuel cell operation can be easily investigated separately or in a combined fashion. We demonstrate the application of this technique on a few examples of low-temperature (70°C herein polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (both alcohol- and hydrogen-fed subjected to a wide range of conditions.

  8. New materials for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell current collectors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hentall, Philip L.; Lakeman, J. Barry; Mepsted, Gary O.; Adcock, Paul L.; Moore, Jon M.

    Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel cells for automotive applications need to have high power density, and be inexpensive and robust to compete effectively with the internal combustion engine. Development of membranes and new electrodes and catalysts have increased power significantly, but further improvements may be achieved by the use of new materials and construction techniques in the manufacture of the bipolar plates. To show this, a variety of materials have been fabricated into flow field plates, both metallic and graphitic, and single fuel cell tests were conducted to determine the performance of each material. Maximum power was obtained with materials which had lowest contact resistance and good electrical conductivity. The performance of the best material was characterised as a function of cell compression and flow field geometry.

  9. Nuclear myosin I regulates cell membrane tension

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Venit, Tomáš; Kalendová, Alžběta; Petr, Martin; Dzijak, Rastislav; Pastorek, Lukáš; Rohožková, Jana; Malohlava, M.; Hozák, Pavel

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 6, AUG 2 (2016), č. článku 30864. ISSN 2045-2322 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) ED1.1.00/02.0109; GA ČR GAP305/11/2232; GA MŠk(CZ) LO1304 Institutional support: RVO:68378050 Keywords : neuronal growth cone * rna-polymerase-ii * cancer cells * phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate * myo1c * actin * transcription * complex * motor * afm Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 4.259, year: 2016

  10. MEMBRANE LEc EXPRESSION IN BREAST CANCER CELLS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ya. A. Udalova

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Affine chromatography was used to isolate Lec antibodies from the sera of a healthy female donor with the high titers of these anti- bodies, which were labeled with biotin. The study enrolled 51 patients with primary breast cancer (BC. Antigen expression was found by immunohistochemistry and flow cytometry. With these two techniques being used, the detection rate of Lec expression in BC cells was 65% (33/51; the antigen was most frequently found by flow cytometry as compared with immunohistochemistry: 72 and 58% of cases, respectively.

  11. Nature of the elements transporting long-chain fatty acids through the red cell membrane

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bojesen, Inge Norby; Bojesen, Eigil

    1998-01-01

    Docosahexaenoic acid, linoleic acid, red cell membrane, transporting elements, transport kinetics, fatty acid transport......Docosahexaenoic acid, linoleic acid, red cell membrane, transporting elements, transport kinetics, fatty acid transport...

  12. Fluorescent in situ folding control for rapid optimization of cell-free membrane protein synthesis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annika Müller-Lucks

    Full Text Available Cell-free synthesis is an open and powerful tool for high-yield protein production in small reaction volumes predestined for high-throughput structural and functional analysis. Membrane proteins require addition of detergents for solubilization, liposomes, or nanodiscs. Hence, the number of parameters to be tested is significantly higher than with soluble proteins. Optimization is commonly done with respect to protein yield, yet without knowledge of the protein folding status. This approach contains a large inherent risk of ending up with non-functional protein. We show that fluorophore formation in C-terminal fusions with green fluorescent protein (GFP indicates the folding state of a membrane protein in situ, i.e. within the cell-free reaction mixture, as confirmed by circular dichroism (CD, proteoliposome reconstitution and functional assays. Quantification of protein yield and in-gel fluorescence intensity imply suitability of the method for membrane proteins of bacterial, protozoan, plant, and mammalian origin, representing vacuolar and plasma membrane localization, as well as intra- and extracellular positioning of the C-terminus. We conclude that GFP-fusions provide an extension to cell-free protein synthesis systems eliminating the need for experimental folding control and, thus, enabling rapid optimization towards membrane protein quality.

  13. Nanostructure of Red Blood Cell Membranes in Premature Neonates with Respiratory Distress Syndrome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. A. Perepelitsa

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective: to study the nanostructure of red blood cell membranes in premature babies with neonatal respiratory distress syndrome (NRDS, by applying atomic force microscopy. Subjects and methods. The investigation included 27 newborn infants, of them 13 premature babies with NRDS formed a study group. The mean gestational age was 33.1±2.3 weeks; their birth weight was 1800±299.3 g. A comparison group consisted of 14 full-term babies with favorable pregnancy and term labor. The mean gestational age of the babies was 39.4±0.5 weeks; their birth weight was 3131.7±588.8 g; the infants had a one minute Apgar score of 8±0.4. Their red blood cells were examined using an atomic force microscope. The objects to be examined were residual umbilical cord blood (RUCB from the premature infants; central venous blood after 7 hours of birth and neonatal venous blood taken on day 7 of life. Results. RUCB from full-term babies contained planocytes that were a major morphological type of red blood cells. In physiological pregnancy and acute fetal hypoxia, the morphological composition of red blood cells in premature neonates with NRDS was close to that in full-term babies. The planocytes are also a major morphological type of red blood cells in the premature infants; the frequency of their occurrence varies. Stomatocytes are typical of all the neonates in the NRDS group; their frequency levels vary greatly: from 8 to 65% of the total number of erythrocytes. The examination revealed that the premature infants of 31—36 weeks gestation were characterized by abnormal erythrocyte shapes that showed a high variability. At birth, the premature babies were found to have changes in the nanostructure of red blood cell membranes, which were influenced by intrauterine hypoxia. The first-order value reflecting flickering in the red blood cell membrane varies to the most extent. Conclusion. Atomic force microscopy showed that the greatest changes in the structure of red

  14. Mapping the local organization of cell membranes using excitation-polarization-resolved confocal fluorescence microscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kress, Alla; Wang, Xiao; Ranchon, Hubert; Savatier, Julien; Rigneault, Hervé; Ferrand, Patrick; Brasselet, Sophie

    2013-07-02

    Fluorescence anisotropy and linear dichroism imaging have been widely used for imaging biomolecular orientational distributions in protein aggregates, fibrillar structures of cells, and cell membranes. However, these techniques do not give access to complete orientational order information in a whole image, because their use is limited to parts of the sample where the average orientation of molecules is known a priori. Fluorescence anisotropy is also highly sensitive to depolarization mechanisms such as those induced by fluorescence energy transfer. A fully excitation-polarization-resolved fluorescence microscopy imaging that relies on the use of a tunable incident polarization and a nonpolarized detection is able to circumvent these limitations. We have developed such a technique in confocal epifluorescence microscopy, giving access to new regions of study in the complex and heterogeneous molecular organization of cell membranes. Using this technique, we demonstrate morphological changes at the subdiffraction scale in labeled COS-7 cell membranes whose cytoskeleton is perturbed. Molecular orientational order is also seen to be affected by cholesterol depletion, reflecting the strong interplay between lipid-packing regions and their nearby cytoskeleton. This noninvasive optical technique can reveal local organization in cell membranes when used as a complement to existing methods such as generalized polarization. Copyright © 2013 Biophysical Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Lipophilic organic pollutants induce changes in phospholipid and membrane protein composition leading to Vero cell morphological change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liao, Ting T; Wang, Lei; Jia, Ru W; Fu, Xiao H; Chua, Hong

    2014-01-01

    Membrane damage related to morphological change in Vero cells is a sensitive index of the composite biotoxicity of trace lipophilic chemicals. However, judging whether the morphological change in Vero cells happens and its ratio are difficult because it is not a quantitative characteristic. To find biomarkers of cell morphological change for quantitatively representing the ratio of morphological changed cell, the mechanism of cell membrane damage driven by typical lipophilic chemicals, such as trichlorophenol (TCP) and perfluorooctanesulphonate (PFOS), was explored. The ratio of morphologically changed cells generally increased with increased TCP or PFOS concentrations, and the level of four major components of phospholipids varied with concentrations of TCP or PFOS, but only the ratio of phosphatidylcholine (PC)/phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) decreased regularly as TCP or PFOS concentrations increased. Analysis of membrane proteins showed that the level of vimentin in normal cell membranes is high, while it decreases or vanishes after TCP exposure. These variations in phospholipid and membrane protein components may result in membrane leakage and variation in rigid structure, which leads to changes in cell morphology. Therefore, the ratio of PC/PE and amount of vimentin may be potential biomarkers for representing the ratio of morphological changed Vero cell introduced by trace lipophilic compounds, thus their composite bio-toxicity.

  16. Creating transient cell membrane pores using a standard inkjet printer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Owczarczak, Alexander B; Shuford, Stephen O; Wood, Scott T; Deitch, Sandra; Dean, Delphine

    2012-03-16

    Bioprinting has a wide range of applications and significance, including tissue engineering, direct cell application therapies, and biosensor microfabrication. Recently, thermal inkjet printing has also been used for gene transfection. The thermal inkjet printing process was shown to temporarily disrupt the cell membranes without affecting cell viability. The transient pores in the membrane can be used to introduce molecules, which would otherwise be too large to pass through the membrane, into the cell cytoplasm. The application being demonstrated here is the use of thermal inkjet printing for the incorporation of fluorescently labeled g-actin monomers into cells. The advantage of using thermal ink-jet printing to inject molecules into cells is that the technique is relatively benign to cells. Cell viability after printing has been shown to be similar to standard cell plating methods. In addition, inkjet printing can process thousands of cells in minutes, which is much faster than manual microinjection. The pores created by printing have been shown to close within about two hours. However, there is a limit to the size of the pore created (~10 nm) with this printing technique, which limits the technique to injecting cells with small proteins and/or particles. A standard HP DeskJet 500 printer was modified to allow for cell printing. The cover of the printer was removed and the paper feed mechanism was bypassed using a mechanical lever. A stage was created to allow for placement of microscope slides and coverslips directly under the print head. Ink cartridges were opened, the ink was removed and they were cleaned prior to use with cells. The printing pattern was created using standard drawing software, which then controlled the printer through a simple print command. 3T3 fibroblasts were grown to confluence, trypsinized, and then resuspended into phosphate buffered saline with soluble fluorescently labeled g-actin monomers. The cell suspension was pipetted into the

  17. Effects of X-irradiation on membranes of tumor cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fonck, K.

    1982-01-01

    The aim of the investigation was to gain more insight into the effect of ionizing radiation on biomembranes, especially the membrane phospholipids. A general outline of the experimental approach is given in the first chapter. The influence of membrane-active agents and hyperthermia on cell survival after irradiation was studied. Phospholipid turnover was followed by measuring the incorporation of radioactive precursors. The second chapter is an introduction to general radiobiology and to phospholipid metabolism. After the presentation of some physico-chemical properties of ionizing radiation, the effects on cells and cellular components are described. In chapters 3 to 6 the experimental part is described. Chapter 3 starts with the determination of the cellular survival of L5178Y lymphoma cells after X-irradiation. In chapter 4 the lipid composition of lymphosarcoma cell nuclei is presented and in chapter 5 studies on the effect of X-irradiation on the incorporation of palmitate and arachidonate into the phospholipids of lymphosarcoma cells are described. Chapter 6 describes experiments in which lymphosarcoma cells isolated from the spleens of tumor-bearing mice were used to study the effect of a low dose of X-rays (5 Gy) on the incorporation of [ 3 H]palmitate and [ 14 C]arachidonate into the lipids of the tumor cells. These fatty acids were rapidly incorporated especially into the phospholipids of the cells. Chapter 7 contains a general discussion on the experimental results. (Auth.)

  18. Phosphoric acid distribution in the membrane electrode assembly of high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kwon, Kyungjung; Park, Jung Ock; Yoo, Duck Young; Yi, Jung S.

    2009-01-01

    The ionomer content in electrode is one of the most important parameters for the high performance of fuel cells. The high temperature PEMFC based on phosphoric acid (PA)-doped polymer membrane with unhumidified reactant gases has a difficulty in controlling the liquid state PA ionomer content in electrode. To evaluate the PA content in electrode, the three techniques of cyclic voltammetry (CV), electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) and acid-base titration (ABT) are carried out in situ or ex situ. The properties of membrane electrode assembly (MEA) such as electrochemical surface area (ESA), ohmic resistance, charge transfer resistance, double layer capacitance and the amount of PA in MEA components (anode, cathode and membrane) are extracted by each technique. Ex situ CV with the usage of dry gases has a limitation in assessing the reliable ESA of unhumidified PEMFC. While in situ EIS presents some informative values of resistance and capacitance for understanding the PA distribution in MEA, its sensitivity to the PA content in MEA components needs to be higher for detecting a subtle change in PA distribution. Ex situ ABT supplies a clear PA distribution in MEA at room temperature but does not seem to reflect the operating state well at high temperatures. However, it can be used as a detection tool for the loss of the initial acid content in membrane during a long-term MEA durability study.

  19. Nafion/silane nanocomposite membranes for high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghi, Lee Jin; Park, Na Ri; Kim, Moon Sung; Rhee, Hee Woo

    2011-07-01

    The polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) has been studied actively for both potable and stationary applications because it can offer high power density and be used only hydrogen and oxygen as environment-friendly fuels. Nafion which is widely used has mechanical and chemical stabilities as well as high conductivity. However, there is a drawback that it can be useless at high temperatures (> or = 90 degrees C) because proton conducting mechanism cannot work above 100 degrees C due to dehydration of membrane. Therefore, PEMFC should be operated for long-term at high temperatures continuously. In this study, we developed nanocomposite membrane using stable properties of Nafion and phosphonic acid groups which made proton conducting mechanism without water. 3-Aminopropyl triethoxysilane (APTES) was used to replace sulfonic acid groups of Nafion and then its aminopropyl group was chemically modified to phosphonic acid groups. The nanocomposite membrane showed very high conductivity (approximately 0.02 S/cm at 110 degrees C, <30% RH).

  20. Phosphoric acid distribution in the membrane electrode assembly of high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kwon, Kyungjung [Fuel Cell Group, Energy Lab, SAIT, Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., San 14-1, Nongseo-dong, Giheung-gu, Yongin-si, Gyeonggi-do, 446-712 (Korea, Republic of)], E-mail: kfromberk@gmail.com; Park, Jung Ock; Yoo, Duck Young; Yi, Jung S. [Fuel Cell Group, Energy Lab, SAIT, Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., San 14-1, Nongseo-dong, Giheung-gu, Yongin-si, Gyeonggi-do, 446-712 (Korea, Republic of)

    2009-11-01

    The ionomer content in electrode is one of the most important parameters for the high performance of fuel cells. The high temperature PEMFC based on phosphoric acid (PA)-doped polymer membrane with unhumidified reactant gases has a difficulty in controlling the liquid state PA ionomer content in electrode. To evaluate the PA content in electrode, the three techniques of cyclic voltammetry (CV), electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) and acid-base titration (ABT) are carried out in situ or ex situ. The properties of membrane electrode assembly (MEA) such as electrochemical surface area (ESA), ohmic resistance, charge transfer resistance, double layer capacitance and the amount of PA in MEA components (anode, cathode and membrane) are extracted by each technique. Ex situ CV with the usage of dry gases has a limitation in assessing the reliable ESA of unhumidified PEMFC. While in situ EIS presents some informative values of resistance and capacitance for understanding the PA distribution in MEA, its sensitivity to the PA content in MEA components needs to be higher for detecting a subtle change in PA distribution. Ex situ ABT supplies a clear PA distribution in MEA at room temperature but does not seem to reflect the operating state well at high temperatures. However, it can be used as a detection tool for the loss of the initial acid content in membrane during a long-term MEA durability study.

  1. Modified SPEEK membranes for direct ethanol fuel cell

    KAUST Repository

    Maab, Husnul

    2010-07-01

    Membranes with low ethanol crossover were prepared aiming their application for direct ethanol fuel cell (DEFC). They were based on (1) sulfonated poly(ether ether ketone) (SPEEK) coated with carbon molecular sieves (CMS) and (2) on SPEEK/PI homogeneous blends. The membranes were characterized concerning their water and ethanol solution uptake, water and ethanol permeability in pervaporation experiments and their performance in DEFC tests. The ethanol permeabilities for the CMS-coated (180 nm and 400 nm thick layers) SPEEK were 8.5 and 3.1 x 10(-10) kg m s(-1) m(-2) and for the homogeneous SPEEK/PI blends membranes with 10, 20 and 30 wt.% of PI were 4.4, 1.0 and 0.4 x 10(-10) kg m s(-1) m(-2) respectively, which is 2- to 50-fold lower than that for plain SPEEK (19 x 10(-10) kg m s(-1) m(-2)). Particularly the SPEEK/PI membranes had substantially better performance than Nafion 117 membranes in DEFC tests at 60 degrees C and 90 degrees C. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Lowering the platinum loading of high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells with acid doped polybenzimidazole membranes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fernandez, Santiago Martin; Li, Qingfeng; Jensen, Jens Oluf

    2015-01-01

    Membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) with ultra-low Pt loading electrodes were prepared for high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (HT-PEMFCs) based on acid doped polybenzimidazole. With no electrode binders or ionomers, the triple phase boundary of the catalyst layer was establ......Membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) with ultra-low Pt loading electrodes were prepared for high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (HT-PEMFCs) based on acid doped polybenzimidazole. With no electrode binders or ionomers, the triple phase boundary of the catalyst layer...

  3. Ruthenium complexes with phenylterpyridine derivatives target cell membrane and trigger death receptors-mediated apoptosis in cancer cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deng, Zhiqin; Gao, Pan; Yu, Lianling; Ma, Bin; You, Yuanyuan; Chan, Leung; Mei, Chaoming; Chen, Tianfeng

    2017-06-01

    Elucidation of the communication between metal complexes and cell membrane may provide useful information for rational design of metal-based anticancer drugs. Herein we synthesized a novel class of ruthenium (Ru) complexes containing phtpy derivatives (phtpy = phenylterpyridine), analyzed their structure-activity relationship and revealed their action mechanisms. The result showed that, the increase in the planarity of hydrophobic Ru complexes significantly enhanced their lipophilicity and cellular uptake. Meanwhile, the introduction of nitro group effectively improved their anticancer efficacy. Further mechanism studies revealed that, complex (2c), firstly accumulated on cell membrane and interacted with death receptors to activate extrinsic apoptosis signaling pathway. The complex was then transported into cell cytoplasm through transferrin receptor-mediated endocytosis. Most of the intracellular 2c accumulated in cell plasma, decreasing the level of cellular ROS, inducing the activation of caspase-9 and thus intensifying the apoptosis. At the same time, the residual 2c can translocate into cell nucleus to interact with DNA, induce DNA damage, activate p53 pathway and enhance apoptosis. Comparing with cisplatin, 2c possesses prolonged circulation time in blood, comparable antitumor ability and importantly, much lower toxicity in vivo. Taken together, this study uncovers the role of membrane receptors in the anticancer actions of Ru complexes, and provides fundamental information for rational design of membrane receptor targeting anticancer drugs. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Spectroscopic characterization of cell membranes and their constituents of the plant-associated soil bacterium Azospirillum brasilense

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamnev, A. A.; Antonyuk, L. P.; Matora, L. Yu.; Serebrennikova, O. B.; Sumaroka, M. V.; Colina, M.; Renou-Gonnord, M.-F.; Ignatov, V. V.

    1999-05-01

    Structural and compositional features of bacterial membranes and some of their isolated constituents (cell surface lipopolysaccharide, phospholipids) of the plant-growth-promoting diazotrophic rhizobacterium Azospirillum brasilense (wild-type strain Sp245) were characterized using Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and some other techniques. FTIR spectra of the cell membranes were shown to comprise the main vibration modes of the relevant lipopolysaccharide and protein components which are believed to be involved in associative plant-bacterium interactions, as well as of phospholipid constituents. The role and functions of metal cations in the structural organization and physicochemical properties of bacterial cell membranes are also discussed considering their accumulation in the membranes from the culture medium.

  5. Motion of variable-length MreB filaments at the bacterial cell membrane influences cell morphology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reimold, Christian; Defeu Soufo, Herve Joel; Dempwolff, Felix; Graumann, Peter L

    2013-08-01

    The maintenance of rod-cell shape in many bacteria depends on actin-like MreB proteins and several membrane proteins that interact with MreB. Using superresolution microscopy, we show that at 50-nm resolution, Bacillus subtilis MreB forms filamentous structures of length up to 3.4 μm underneath the cell membrane, which run at angles diverging up to 40° relative to the cell circumference. MreB from Escherichia coli forms at least 1.4-μm-long filaments. MreB filaments move along various tracks with a maximal speed of 85 nm/s, and the loss of ATPase activity leads to the formation of extended and static filaments. Suboptimal growth conditions lead to formation of patch-like structures rather than extended filaments. Coexpression of wild-type MreB with MreB mutated in the subunit interface leads to formation of shorter MreB filaments and a strong effect on cell shape, revealing a link between filament length and cell morphology. Thus MreB has an extended-filament architecture with the potential to position membrane proteins over long distances, whose localization in turn may affect the shape of the cell wall.

  6. Carbon dioxide (hydrogen sulfide) membrane separations and WGS membrane reactor modeling for fuel cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Jin

    Acid-gas removal is of great importance in many environmental or energy-related processes. Compared to current commercial technologies, membrane-based CO2 and H2S capture has the advantages of low energy consumption, low weight and space requirement, simplicity of installation/operation, and high process flexibility. However, the large-scale application of the membrane separation technology is limited by the relatively low transport properties. In this study, CO2 (H2S)-selective polymeric membranes with high permeability and high selectivity have been studied based on the facilitated transport mechanism. The membrane showed facilitated effect for both CO2 and H2S. A CO2 permeability of above 2000 Barrers, a CO2/H2 selectivity of greater than 40, and a CO2/N2 selectivity of greater than 200 at 100--150°C were observed. As a result of higher reaction rate and smaller diffusing compound, the H2S permeability and H2S/H2 selectivity were about three times higher than those properties for CO2. The novel CO2-selective membrane has been applied to capture CO 2 from flue gas and natural gas. In the CO2 capture experiments from a gas mixture with N2 and H2, a permeate CO 2 dry concentration of greater than 98% was obtained by using steam as the sweep gas. In CO2/CH4 separation, decent CO 2 transport properties were obtained with a feed pressure up to 500 psia. With the thin-film composite membrane structure, significant increase on the CO2 flux was achieved with the decrease of the selective layer thickness. With the continuous removal of CO2, CO2-selective water-gas-shift (WGS) membrane reactor is a promising approach to enhance CO conversion and increase the purity of H2 at process pressure under relatively low temperature. The simultaneous reaction and transport process in the countercurrent WGS membrane reactor was simulated by using a one-dimensional non-isothermal model. The modeling results show that a CO concentration of less than 10 ppm and a H2 recovery of greater

  7. Development of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell cogeneration system

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hwang, Jenn Jiang; Zou, Meng Lin [Department of Greenergy, National University of Tainan, Tainan 700 (China)

    2010-05-01

    A proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) cogeneration system that provides high-quality electricity and hot water has been developed. A specially designed thermal management system together with a microcontroller embedded with appropriate control algorithm is integrated into a PEM fuel cell system. The thermal management system does not only control the fuel cell operation temperature but also recover the heat dissipated by FC stack. The dynamic behaviors of thermal and electrical characteristics are presented to verify the stability of the fuel cell cogeneration system. In addition, the reliability of the fuel cell cogeneration system is proved by one-day demonstration that deals with the daily power demand in a typical family. Finally, the effects of external loads on the efficiencies of the fuel cell cogeneration system are examined. Results reveal that the maximum system efficiency was as high as 81% when combining heat and power. (author)

  8. Modeling a Membrane: Using Engineering Design to Simulate Cell Transport Processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mason, Kevin; Evans, Brian

    2017-01-01

    The "plasma membrane," which controls what comes in and goes out of a cell, is integral to maintaining homeostasis. Cell transport of small molecules across the cell membrane happens in several different ways. Some small, nonpolar molecules cross the plasma membrane along the concentration gradient directly through the "phospholipid…

  9. Galactosylated poly(ε-caprolactone) membrane promoted liver-specific functions of HepG2 cells in vitro

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhang, Yan, E-mail: zhang_yan@ecust.edu.cn [The Key Laboratory for Ultrafine Materials of Ministry of Education, School of Materials Science and Engineering, East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai 200237 (China); Zhang, Yi [The Key Laboratory for Ultrafine Materials of Ministry of Education, School of Materials Science and Engineering, East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai 200237 (China); Chen, Min; Zhou, Yan [The State Key Laboratory of Bioreactor Engineering, School of Bioengineering, East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai, 200237 (China); Lang, Meidong, E-mail: mdlang@ecust.edu.cn [The Key Laboratory for Ultrafine Materials of Ministry of Education, School of Materials Science and Engineering, East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai 200237 (China)

    2014-08-01

    The lack of pendant functional groups on the PCL backbone has been a great challenge for surface bioactivation of poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL). In the present study, covalently galactosylated PCL (GPCL) was developed through coupling between the amino-functionalized PCL (NPCL) and the lactobionic acid (LA) and its potential application in maintenance of physiological functions of HepG2 cells was further evaluated. The structure and properties of GPCL were explored by {sup 1}H NMR, FT-IR, GPC and DSC. Moreover, the incorporation of galactose ligands onto GPCL membranes not only promoted higher wettability, but also radically changed surface morphology in comparison with PCL and NPCL according to the contact angle measurement and atomic force microscopy. When HepG2 cells were seeded onto these membranes, the cells on GPCL membranes showed more pronounced cell adhesion and tended to form aggregates during the initial adhesion stage and then progressively grew into multi-layer structures compared to those without galactose ligands by the observation with fluorescence microscope and scanning electron microscopy. Furthermore, live–dead assay and functional tests demonstrated that HepG2 cells on GPCL membranes had superior viability and maintained better liver-specific functions. Collectively, GPCL has great potential for hepatic tissue engineering scaffolds. - Graphical abstract: The specific recognition between the galactose ligands on the galactosylated poly(ε-caprolactone) membrane and the ASGPR on the HepG2 cell surface. The galactosylated poly(ε-caprolactone) membranes improved the cell-matrix interaction. The galactosylated functionalized PCL scaffold is a potential candidate for liver tissue engineering. - Highlights: • The specific recognition between the galactose ligands on the galactosylated poly(ε-caprolactone) membrane and the ASGPR on the HepG2 cell surface. • The galactosylated poly(ε-caprolactone) membranes improved the cell-matrix interaction.

  10. Development of a membrane electrode assembly process for proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Baldo, Wilians Roberto

    2003-01-01

    In this work, a Membrane Electrode Assembly (MEA) producing process was developed, involving simple steps, aiming cost reduction and good reproducibility for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) commercial applications. The electrodes were produced by spraying ink into both sides of the polymeric membrane, building the catalytic layers, followed by hot pressing of Gas Diffusion Layers (GDL), forming the MEA. This new producing method was called 'Spray and hot pressing hybrid method'. Concerning that all the parameters of spray and hot pressing methods are interdependent, a statistical procedure were used in order to study the mutual variables influences and to optimize the method. This study was earned out in two distinct steps: the first one, where seven variables were considered for the analysis and the second one, where only the variables that interfered in the process performance in the first step were considered for analysis. The results showed that the developed process was adequate, including only simple steps, reaching MEA's performance of 651 m A cm -2 at a potential of 600 mV for catalysts loading of 0,4 mg cm -2 Pt at the anode and 0,6 mg cm -2 Pt at the cathode. This result is compared to available commercial MEA's, with the same fuel cell operations conditions. (author)

  11. Solid Polymer Fuel Cells. Electrode and membrane performance studies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Moeller-Holst, S.

    1996-12-31

    This doctoral thesis studies aspects of fuel cell preparation and performance. The emphasis is placed on preparation and analysis of low platinum-loading solid polymer fuel cell (SPEC) electrodes. A test station was built and used to test cells within a wide range of real operating conditions, 40-150{sup o}C and 1-10 bar. Preparation and assembling equipment for single SPFCs was designed and built, and a new technique of spraying the catalyst layer directly onto the membrane was successfully demonstrated. Low Pt-loading electrodes (0.1 mg Pt/cm{sup 2}) prepared by the new technique exhibited high degree of catalyst utilization. The performance of single cells holding these electrodes is comparable to state-of-the-art SPFCs. Potential losses in single cell performance are ascribed to irreversibilities by analysing the efficiency of the Solid Oxide Fuel Cell by means of the second law of thermodynamics. The water management in membranes is discussed for a model system and the results are relevant to fuel cell preparation and performance. The new spray deposition technique should be commercially interesting as it involves few steps as well as techniques that are adequate for larger scale production. 115 refs., 43 figs., 18 tabs.

  12. Solid Polymer Fuel Cells. Electrode and membrane performance studies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Moeller-Holst, S

    1997-12-31

    This doctoral thesis studies aspects of fuel cell preparation and performance. The emphasis is placed on preparation and analysis of low platinum-loading solid polymer fuel cell (SPEC) electrodes. A test station was built and used to test cells within a wide range of real operating conditions, 40-150{sup o}C and 1-10 bar. Preparation and assembling equipment for single SPFCs was designed and built, and a new technique of spraying the catalyst layer directly onto the membrane was successfully demonstrated. Low Pt-loading electrodes (0.1 mg Pt/cm{sup 2}) prepared by the new technique exhibited high degree of catalyst utilization. The performance of single cells holding these electrodes is comparable to state-of-the-art SPFCs. Potential losses in single cell performance are ascribed to irreversibilities by analysing the efficiency of the Solid Oxide Fuel Cell by means of the second law of thermodynamics. The water management in membranes is discussed for a model system and the results are relevant to fuel cell preparation and performance. The new spray deposition technique should be commercially interesting as it involves few steps as well as techniques that are adequate for larger scale production. 115 refs., 43 figs., 18 tabs.

  13. Proton exchange membrane fuel cell technology for transportation applications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Swathirajan, S. [General Motors R& D Center, Warren, MI (United States)

    1996-04-01

    Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cells are extremely promising as future power plants in the transportation sector to achieve an increase in energy efficiency and eliminate environmental pollution due to vehicles. GM is currently involved in a multiphase program with the US Department of Energy for developing a proof-of-concept hybrid vehicle based on a PEM fuel cell power plant and a methanol fuel processor. Other participants in the program are Los Alamos National Labs, Dow Chemical Co., Ballard Power Systems and DuPont Co., In the just completed phase 1 of the program, a 10 kW PEM fuel cell power plant was built and tested to demonstrate the feasibility of integrating a methanol fuel processor with a PEM fuel cell stack. However, the fuel cell power plant must overcome stiff technical and economic challenges before it can be commercialized for light duty vehicle applications. Progress achieved in phase I on the use of monolithic catalyst reactors in the fuel processor, managing CO impurity in the fuel cell stack, low-cost electrode-membrane assembles, and on the integration of the fuel processor with a Ballard PEM fuel cell stack will be presented.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

  15. Physical degradation of membrane electrode assemblies undergoing freeze/thaw cycling: Micro-structure effects

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kim, S. [Fuel Cell Dynamics and Diagnostics Laboratory, Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802 (United States); Research and Development Division, Hyundai Motor Company, Yongin 446-912 (Korea); Mench, M.M. [Fuel Cell Dynamics and Diagnostics Laboratory, Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802 (United States)

    2007-11-22

    The objective of this work is to investigate physical damage of polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) materials subjected to freeze/thaw cycling. Effects of membrane electrode assembly micro-structures (catalyst layer cracking, membrane thickness, and membrane reinforcement) and diffusion media with micro-porous layers were analyzed by comparing scanning electron microscopy images of freeze/thaw cycled samples (-40 C/70 C) with those of virgin material and thermal cycled samples without freezing (5 C/70 C). Ex situ testing performed in this study has revealed a strong direction for the material choices in the PEFC and confirmed the previous computational model in the literature [S. He, M.M. Mench, J. Electrochem. Soc., 153 (2006) A1724-A1731; S. He, S.H. Kim, M.M. Mench, J. Electrochem. Soc., in press]. Specifically, the membrane electrode assemblies were found to be a source of water that can damage the catalyst layers under freeze/thaw conditions. Damage was found to occur almost exclusively under the channel, and not under the land (the graphite that touches the diffusion media). Conceptually, the best material to mitigate freeze-damage is a crack free virgin catalyst layer on a reinforced membrane that is as thin as possible, protected by a stiff diffusion media. (author)

  16. The influence of oscillating electromagnetic fields on membrane structure and function: Synthetic liposome and natural membrane bilayer systems with direct application to the controlled delivery of chemical agents

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liburdy, R.P.; de Manincor, D.; Fingado, B.

    1989-09-01

    Investigations have been conducted to determine if an imposed electromagnetic field can influence membrane transport, and ion and drug permeability in both synthetic and natural cell membrane systems. Microwave fields enhance accumulation of sodium in the lymphocyte and induce protein shedding at Tc. Microwaves also trigger membrane permeability of liposome systems under specific field exposure conditions. Sensitivity varies in a defined way in bilayers displaying a membrane structural phase transition temperature, Tc; maximal release was observed at or near Tc. Significantly, liposome systems without a membrane phase transition were also found to experience permeability increases but, in contrast, this response was temperature independent. The above results indicate that field-enhanced drug release occurs in liposome vesicles that possess a Tc as well as non-Tc liposomes. Additional studies extend non-Tc liposome responses to the in vivo case in which microwaves trigger Gentamicin release from a liposome ''depot'' placed subcutaneously in the rat hind leg. In addition, evidence is provided that cell surface sequestered liposomes can be triggered by microwave fields to release drugs directly into target cells. 24 refs., 6 figs

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  18. Cell-geometry-dependent changes in plasma membrane order direct stem cell signalling and fate

    Science.gov (United States)

    von Erlach, Thomas C.; Bertazzo, Sergio; Wozniak, Michele A.; Horejs, Christine-Maria; Maynard, Stephanie A.; Attwood, Simon; Robinson, Benjamin K.; Autefage, Hélène; Kallepitis, Charalambos; del Río Hernández, Armando; Chen, Christopher S.; Goldoni, Silvia; Stevens, Molly M.

    2018-03-01

    Cell size and shape affect cellular processes such as cell survival, growth and differentiation1-4, thus establishing cell geometry as a fundamental regulator of cell physiology. The contributions of the cytoskeleton, specifically actomyosin tension, to these effects have been described, but the exact biophysical mechanisms that translate changes in cell geometry to changes in cell behaviour remain mostly unresolved. Using a variety of innovative materials techniques, we demonstrate that the nanostructure and lipid assembly within the cell plasma membrane are regulated by cell geometry in a ligand-independent manner. These biophysical changes trigger signalling events involving the serine/threonine kinase Akt/protein kinase B (PKB) that direct cell-geometry-dependent mesenchymal stem cell differentiation. Our study defines a central regulatory role by plasma membrane ordered lipid raft microdomains in modulating stem cell differentiation with potential translational applications.

  19. Membrane-associated IL 1-like activity on rat dendritic cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nagelkerken, L.M.; van Breda Vriesman, P.J.C.

    1986-01-01

    The secretion of interleukin 1 (IL 1) by rat dendritic cells (DC) was studied in relation to their ability to induce the production interleukin 2 (IL 2 ) and to induce IL 2 responsiveness. IL 1 (or IL 1-like activity) was measured by its capacity to enhance IL 2 production by EL4 cells. In contrast to peritoneal exudate cells (PEC) or splenic adherent cells, DC from thoracic duct lymph (TD-DC) or from spleen did not secrete detectable amounts of IL 1 on stimulation with LPS/Silica. However, TD-DC and splenic DC were able to enhance IL 2 production by EL4 cells directly, and were only two times less effective than PEC. By preventing cell-to-cell contact between stimulator cells and EL4 cells, it was demonstrated that most of the IL 2-inducing activity of TD-DC and PEC was associated with the cell membrane. Treatment with 1% paraformaldehyde (PFA) to abolish metabolic activity resulted in a 50% decrease (or inactivation) of IL 2-inducing activity of TD-DC in the EL4 assay. Moreover, UVB-irradiation (300 mJ/cm 2 ) of TD-DC, which has been described to inhibit the release of IL 1 by macrophages, caused a 70% decrease in IL 2-inducing activity. These results suggest that membrane-associated structures, that are identical to or mimic Il 1, are involved in the activation of T cells by DC

  20. Internal humidifying of PEM [Proton Exchange Membrane] fuel cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Staschewski, D [Karlsruhe Research Center (FZK), Karlsruhe (Germany). Inst. for Neutron Physics and Reactor Technics

    1996-12-01

    Hydrogen fuel cells (FC) for vehicular traction should stand out for a car-specific lightweight design. As regards PEMFC systems containing proton exchange membranes, this quality can be considerably improved by introducing porous bipolar plates which are conditioned by a water loop and deliver hot humidifying water to the adjacent membrane-electrode assembly (MEA). According to the principle of internal humidification here indicated special fuel cells based on sintered fiber and powder graphite were manufactured at FZK on a semi-technical scale. Self-made Pt/C electrodes hotpressed onto Nafion resulted in currents up to 200 A with pure oxygen as oxidant, providing the precondition for detailed studies of turnover and drainage rates within a monocell test arrangement. (author)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  2. Binding of 18F by cell membranes and cell walls of Streptococcus mutans

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yotis, W.W.; Zeb, M.; McNulty, J.; Kirchner, F.; Reilly, C.; Glendenin, L.

    1983-01-01

    The binding of 18 F to isolated cell membranes and cell walls of Streptococcus mutans GS-5 or other bacteria was assayed. The attachment of 18 F to these cell envelopes proceeded slowly and reached equilibrium within 60 min. 18 F binding was stimulated by Ca 2+ (1 mM). The binding of 18 F to cellular components was dependent upon the pH, as well as the amount of 18 F and dose of the binder employed. The binding of 18 F by cell walls prepared from fluoride-sensitive and fluoride-resistant cells of S. salivarius and S. mutans did not differ significantly. The pretreatment of cell walls or cell membranes for 60 min at 30 degrees C with 1 mg of RNase, DNase, or trypsin per ml did not influence the binding of 18 F by the walls and membranes of S. mutans GS-5. However, prior exposure of cell membranes to sodium dodecyl sulfate caused a significant reduction in the number of 18 F atoms bound by the membranes. In saturated assay systems, cell membranes of S. mutans GS-5 bound 10(15) to 10(16) atoms of 18 F per mg (dry weight), whereas cell walls from S. mutans GS-5, FA-1, and HS-6 or Actinomyces viscosus T14V and T14AV bound 10(12) to 10(13) atoms of 18 F per mg (dry weight). 18 F in this quantity (10(12) to 10(13) atoms) cannot be detected with the fluoride electrode. The data provide, for the first time, a demonstration of 18 F binding by cell membranes and walls of oral flora

  3. Red blood cell (RBC) membrane proteomics--Part I: Proteomics and RBC physiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pasini, Erica M; Lutz, Hans U; Mann, Matthias; Thomas, Alan W

    2010-01-03

    Membrane proteomics is concerned with accurately and sensitively identifying molecules involved in cell compartmentalisation, including those controlling the interface between the cell and the outside world. The high lipid content of the environment in which these proteins are found often causes a particular set of problems that must be overcome when isolating the required material before effective HPLC-MS approaches can be performed. The membrane is an unusually dynamic cellular structure since it interacts with an ever changing environment. A full understanding of this critical cell component will ultimately require, in addition to proteomics, lipidomics, glycomics, interactomics and study of post-translational modifications. Devoid of nucleus and organelles in mammalian species other than camelids, and constantly in motion in the blood stream, red blood cells (RBCs) are the sole mammalian oxygen transporter. The fact that mature mammalian RBCs have no internal membrane-bound organelles, somewhat simplifies proteomics analysis of the plasma membrane and the fact that it has no nucleus disqualifies microarray based methods. Proteomics has the potential to provide a better understanding of this critical interface, and thereby assist in identifying new approaches to diseases. (c) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. The effect of curvature on the undulation spectrum of Red Blood Cell membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuriabova, Tatiana; Henle, Mark L.; Levine, Alex J.

    2009-03-01

    The human red blood cell (RBC) membrane has a composite structure of a fluid lipid bilayer tethered to an elastic 2D spectrin network. The study of the mechanical properties of RBCs is crucial to our understanding of their ability withstand large amplitude deformations during their passage through the microvasculature. The linear mechanical response of this composite membrane can be measured by observing its undulatory dynamics in thermal equilibrium, i.e. microrheology. Previous models of these dynamics postulated an effective surface tension. In this talk, we show that surface tension is not necessary. Rather, the coupling of membrane bending to spectrin network compression by curvature can account for the observed dynamics. We use a simplified theoretical model to describe the undulatory dynamics of RBCs, measured experimentally by the Popescu group.ootnotetextG. Popescu et al. ``Imaging red blood cell dynamics by quantitative phase microscopy, Blood Cells, Molecules, and Diseases, (2008), in print'' Analyzing their data using our model, we observe dramatic changes in RBC membrane elasticity associated with cells' morphological transition from discocytes to echinocyte to spherocyte.

  5. Investigation of physical properties and cell performance of Nafion/TiO{sub 2} nanocomposite membranes for high temperature PEM fuel cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Amjadi, M.; Peighambardoust, S.J. [School of Chemical Engineering, Iran University of Science and Technology, Tehran (Iran); Rowshanzamir, S. [School of Chemical Engineering, Iran University of Science and Technology, Tehran (Iran); Fuel Cell Research Laboratory, Green Research Centre, Iran University of Science and Technology, Tehran (Iran); Hosseini, M.G. [Electrochemistry Research Laboratory, Physical Chemistry Department, Chemistry Faculty, Tabriz University, Tabriz (Iran); Eikani, M.H. [Department of Chemical Industries, Iranian Research Organization for Science and Technology (IROST), Tehran (Iran)

    2010-09-15

    Synthesis and characterization of Nafion/TiO{sub 2} membranes for proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) operating at high temperatures were investigated in this study. Nafion/TiO{sub 2} nanocomposite membranes have been prepared by in-situ sol-gel and casting methods. In the sol-gel method, preformed Nafion membranes were soaked in tetrabutylortotitanate (TBT) and methanol solution. In order to compare synthesis methods, a Nafion/TiO{sub 2} composite membrane was fabricated with 3 wt.% of TiO{sub 2} particles by the solution casting method. The structures of membranes were investigated by Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), and Energy Dispersive X-Ray Analysis (EDXA). Also, water uptake and proton conductivity of modified membranes were measured. Furthermore, the membranes were tested in a real PEMFC. X-Ray spectra of the composite membranes indicate the presence of TiO{sub 2} in the modified membranes. In case of the same doping level, sol-gel method produces more uniform distribution of Ti particles in Nafion/TiO{sub 2} composite membrane than the ones produced by casting method. Water uptake of Nafion/TiO{sub 2} membrane with 3 wt.% of doping level was found to be 51% higher than that of the pure Nafion membrane. EIS measurements showed that the conductivity of modified membranes decreases with increasing the amount of doped TiO{sub 2}. Finally, the membrane electrode assembly (MEA) prepared from Nafion/Titania nanocomposite membrane shows the highest PEMFC performance in terms of voltage vs. current density (V-I) at high temperature (110 C) which is the main goal of this study. (author)

  6. The hydroxyflavone, fisetin, suppresses mast cell activation induced by interaction with activated T cell membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagai, K; Takahashi, Y; Mikami, I; Fukusima, T; Oike, H; Kobori, M

    2009-01-01

    Background and purpose: Cell-to-cell interactions between mast cells and activated T cells are increasingly recognized as a possible mechanism in the aetiology of allergic or non-allergic inflammatory disorders. To determine the anti-allergic effect of fisetin, we examined the ability of fisetin to suppress activation of the human mast cell line, HMC-1, induced by activated Jurkat T cell membranes. Experimental approach: HMC-1 cells were incubated with or without fisetin for 15 min and then co-cultured with Jurkat T cell membranes activated by phorbol-12-myristate 13-acetate for 16 h. We determined gene expression in activated HMC-1 cells by DNA microarray and quantitative reverse transcription (RT)-PCR analysis. We also examined activation of the transcription factor NF-κB and MAP kinases (MAPKs) in activated HMC-1 cells. Key results: Fisetin suppresses cell spreading and gene expression in HMC-1 cells stimulated by activated T cell membranes. Additionally, we show that these stimulated HMC-1 cells expressed granzyme B. The stimulatory interaction also induced activation of NF-κB and MAPKs; these activations were suppressed by fisetin. Fisetin also reduced the amount of cell surface antigen CD40 and intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) on activated HMC-1 cells. Conclusions and implications: Fisetin suppressed activation of HMC-1 cells by activated T cell membranes by interfering with cell-to-cell interaction and inhibiting the activity of NF-κB and MAPKs and thereby suppressing gene expression. Fisetin may protect against the progression of inflammatory diseases by limiting interactions between mast cells and activated T cells. PMID:19702784

  7. Polybenzimidazole membranes for zero gap alkaline electrolysis cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kraglund, Mikkel Rykær; Aili, David; Christensen, Erik

    Membranes of m-PBI doped in KOH (aq), 15-35 wt%, show high ionic conductivity in the temperature range 20-80 ºC. In electrolysis cells with nickel foam electrodes m-PBI membranesprovide low internal resistance. With a 60 µm membraneat 80ºC in 20 wt% KOH,1000 mA/cm2 is achieved at 2.25....

  8. A practical guide for the identification of membrane and plasma membrane proteins in human embryonic stem cells and human embryonal carcinoma cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dormeyer, Wilma; van Hoof, Dennis; Mummery, Christine L; Krijgsveld, Jeroen; Heck, Albert J R

    2008-10-01

    The identification of (plasma) membrane proteins in cells can provide valuable insights into the regulation of their biological processes. Pluripotent cells such as human embryonic stem cells and embryonal carcinoma cells are capable of unlimited self-renewal and share many of the biological mechanisms that regulate proliferation and differentiation. The comparison of their membrane proteomes will help unravel the biological principles of pluripotency, and the identification of biomarker proteins in their plasma membranes is considered a crucial step to fully exploit pluripotent cells for therapeutic purposes. For these tasks, membrane proteomics is the method of choice, but as indicated by the scarce identification of membrane and plasma membrane proteins in global proteomic surveys it is not an easy task. In this minireview, we first describe the general challenges of membrane proteomics. We then review current sample preparation steps and discuss protocols that we found particularly beneficial for the identification of large numbers of (plasma) membrane proteins in human tumour- and embryo-derived stem cells. Our optimized assembled protocol led to the identification of a large number of membrane proteins. However, as the composition of cells and membranes is highly variable we still recommend adapting the sample preparation protocol for each individual system.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Branton, D.

    1975-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-23

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

  11. Cloning of B cell-specific membrane tetraspanning molecule BTS possessing B cell proliferation-inhibitory function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suenaga, Tadahiro; Arase, Hisashi; Yamasaki, Sho; Kohno, Masayuki; Yokosuka, Tadashi; Takeuchi, Arata; Hattori, Takamichi; Saito, Takashi

    2007-11-01

    Lymphocyte proliferation is regulated by signals through antigen receptors, co-stimulatory receptors, and other positive and negative modulators. Several membrane tetraspanning molecules are also involved in the regulation of lymphocyte growth and death. We cloned a new B cell-specific tetraspanning (BTS) membrane molecule, which is similar to CD20 in terms of expression, structure and function. BTS is specifically expressed in the B cell line and its expression is increased after the pre-B cell stage. BTS is expressed in intracellular granules and on the cell surface. Overexpression of BTS in immature B cell lines induces growth retardation through inhibition of cell cycle progression and cell size increase without inducing apoptosis. This inhibitory function is mediated predominantly by the N terminus of BTS. The development of mature B cells is inhibited in transgenic mice expressing BTS, suggesting that BTS is involved in the in vivo regulation of B cells. These results indicate that BTS plays a role in the regulation of cell division and B cell growth.

  12. Crystal structure of the Neisseria gonorrhoeae MtrD inner membrane multidrug efflux pump.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jani Reddy Bolla

    Full Text Available Neisseria gonorrhoeae is an obligate human pathogen and the causative agent of the sexually-transmitted disease gonorrhea. The control of this disease has been compromised by the increasing proportion of infections due to antibiotic-resistant strains, which are growing at an alarming rate. The MtrCDE tripartite multidrug efflux pump, belonging to the hydrophobic and amphiphilic efflux resistance-nodulation-cell division (HAE-RND family, spans both the inner and outer membranes of N. gonorrhoeae and confers resistance to a variety of antibiotics and toxic compounds. We here report the crystal structure of the inner membrane MtrD multidrug efflux pump, which reveals a novel structural feature that is not found in other RND efflux pumps.

  13. Membrane toxicity of abnormal prion protein in adrenal chromaffin cells of scrapie infected sheep.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gillian McGovern

    Full Text Available Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs or prion diseases are associated with accumulations of disease specific PrP (PrP(d in the central nervous system (CNS and often the lymphoreticular system (LRS. Accumulations have additionally been recorded in other tissues including the peripheral nervous system and adrenal gland. Here we investigate the effect of sheep scrapie on the morphology and the accumulation of PrP(d in the adrenal medulla of scrapie affected sheep using light and electron microscopy. Using immunogold electron microscopy, non-fibrillar forms of PrP(d were shown to accumulate mainly in association with chromaffin cells, occasional nerve endings and macrophages. PrP(d accumulation was associated with distinctive membrane changes of chromaffin cells including increased electron density, abnormal linearity and invaginations. Internalisation of PrP(d from the chromaffin cell plasma membrane occurred in association with granule recycling following hormone exocytosis. PrP(d accumulation and internalisation from membranes is similarly associated with perturbations of membrane structure and trafficking in CNS neurons and tingible body macrophages of the LRS. These data suggest that a major toxic effect of PrP(d is at the level of plasma membranes. However, the precise nature of PrP(d-membrane toxicity is tissue and cell specific suggesting that the normal protein may act as a multi-functional scaffolding molecule. We further suggest that the co-localisation of PrP(d with exocytic granules of the hormone trafficking system may provide an additional source of infectivity in blood.

  14. Ceramic membrane fuel cells based on solid proton electrolytes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Meng, Guangyao; Ma, Qianli; Peng, Ranran; Liu, Xingqin [USTC Lab. for Solid State Chemistry and Inorganic Membranes, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei 230026 (China); Ma, Guilin [School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Suzhou University, Suzhou 215123 (China)

    2007-04-15

    The development of solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) has reached its new stage characterized with thin electrolytes on porous electrode support, and the most important fabrication techniques developed in which almost all are concerned with inorganic membranes, and so can be named as ceramic membrane fuel cells (CMFCs). CMFCs based on proton electrolytes (CMFC-H) may exhibit more advantages than CMFCs based on oxygen-ion electrolytes (CMFC-O) in many respects, such as energy efficiency and avoiding carbon deposit. Ammonia fuelled CMFC with proton-conducting BaCe{sub 0.8}Gd{sub 0.2}O{sub 2.9} (BCGO) electrolyte (50 {mu}m in thickness) is reported in this works, which showed the open current voltage (OCV) values close to theoretical ones and rather high power density. And also, we have found that the well known super oxide ion conductor, La{sub 0.9}Sr{sub 0.1}Ga{sub 0.8}Mg{sub 0.2}O{sub 3-{alpha}} (LSGM), is a pure proton conductor in H{sub 2} and mixed proton and oxide ion conductor in wet air, while it is a pure oxide ion conductor in oxygen or dry air. To demonstrate the CMFC-H concept to get high performance fuel cells the techniques for thin membranes, chemical vapor deposition (CVD), particularly novel CVD techniques, should be given more attention because of their many advantages. (author)

  15. Rupturing Giant Plasma Membrane Vesicles to Form Micron-sized Supported Cell Plasma Membranes with Native Transmembrane Proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiang, Po-Chieh; Tanady, Kevin; Huang, Ling-Ting; Chao, Ling

    2017-11-09

    Being able to directly obtain micron-sized cell blebs, giant plasma membrane vesicles (GPMVs), with native membrane proteins and deposit them on a planar support to form supported plasma membranes could allow the membrane proteins to be studied by various surface analytical tools in native-like bilayer environments. However, GPMVs do not easily rupture on conventional supports because of their high protein and cholesterol contents. Here, we demonstrate the possibility of using compression generated by the air-water interface to efficiently rupture GPMVs to form micron-sized supported membranes with native plasma membrane proteins. We demonstrated that not only lipid but also a native transmembrane protein in HeLa cells, Aquaporin 3 (AQP3), is mobile in the supported membrane platform. This convenient method for generating micron-sized supported membrane patches with mobile native transmembrane proteins could not only facilitate the study of membrane proteins by surface analytical tools, but could also enable us to use native membrane proteins for bio-sensing applications.

  16. Sound insulation property of membrane-type acoustic metamaterials carrying different masses at adjacent cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yuguang; Wen, Jihong; Zhao, Honggang; Yu, Dianlong; Cai, Li; Wen, Xisen

    2013-08-01

    We present the experimental realization and theoretical understanding of membrane-type acoustic metamaterials embedded with different masses at adjacent cells, capable of increasing the transmission loss at low frequency. Owing to the reverse vibration of adjacent cells, Transmission loss (TL) peaks appear, and the magnitudes of the TL peaks exceed the predicted results of the composite wall. Compared with commonly used configuration, i.e., all cells carrying with identical mass, the nonuniformity of attaching masses causes another much low TL peak. Finite element analysis was employed to validate and provide insights into the TL behavior of the structure.

  17. Dewetting transition assisted clearance of (NFGAILS) amyloid fibrils from cell membranes by graphene

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Liu, Jiajia; Yang, Zaixing; Gu, Zonglin [Institute of Quantitative Biology and Medicine, SRMP and RAD-X, Collaborative Innovation Center of Radiation Medicine of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions, and Jiangsu Provincial Key Laboratory of Radiation Medicine and Protection, Soochow University, Suzhou 215123 (China); Li, Haotian [Bio-X Lab, Department of Physics, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310027 (China); Garate, Jose Antonio [IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, New York 10598 (United States); Zhou, Ruhong, E-mail: ruhongz@us.ibm.com [Institute of Quantitative Biology and Medicine, SRMP and RAD-X, Collaborative Innovation Center of Radiation Medicine of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions, and Jiangsu Provincial Key Laboratory of Radiation Medicine and Protection, Soochow University, Suzhou 215123 (China); IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, New York 10598 (United States); Department of Chemistry, Columbia University, New York, New York 10027 (United States)

    2014-12-14

    Clearance of partially ordered oligomers and monomers deposited on cell membrane surfaces is believed to be an effective route to alleviate many potential protein conformational diseases (PCDs). With large-scale all-atom molecular dynamics simulations, here we show that graphene nanosheets can easily and quickly win a competitive adsorption of human islet amyloid polypeptides (hIAPP{sub 22-28}) NFGAILS and associated fibrils against cell membrane, due to graphene's unique two-dimensional, highly hydrophobic surface with its all-sp{sup 2} hybrid structure. A nanoscale dewetting transition was observed at the interfacial region between the fibril (originally deposited on the membrane) and the graphene nanosheet, which significantly assisted the adsorption of fibrils onto graphene from the membrane. The π–π stacking interaction between Phe23 and graphene played a crucial role, providing the driving force for the adsorption at the graphene surface. This study renders new insight towards the importance of water during the interactions between amyloid peptides, the phospholipidic membrane, and graphene, which might shed some light on future developments of graphene-based nanomedicine for preventing/curing PCDs like type II diabetes mellitus.

  18. Dewetting transition assisted clearance of (NFGAILS) amyloid fibrils from cell membranes by graphene

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu, Jiajia; Yang, Zaixing; Gu, Zonglin; Li, Haotian; Garate, Jose Antonio; Zhou, Ruhong

    2014-01-01

    Clearance of partially ordered oligomers and monomers deposited on cell membrane surfaces is believed to be an effective route to alleviate many potential protein conformational diseases (PCDs). With large-scale all-atom molecular dynamics simulations, here we show that graphene nanosheets can easily and quickly win a competitive adsorption of human islet amyloid polypeptides (hIAPP 22-28 ) NFGAILS and associated fibrils against cell membrane, due to graphene's unique two-dimensional, highly hydrophobic surface with its all-sp 2 hybrid structure. A nanoscale dewetting transition was observed at the interfacial region between the fibril (originally deposited on the membrane) and the graphene nanosheet, which significantly assisted the adsorption of fibrils onto graphene from the membrane. The π–π stacking interaction between Phe23 and graphene played a crucial role, providing the driving force for the adsorption at the graphene surface. This study renders new insight towards the importance of water during the interactions between amyloid peptides, the phospholipidic membrane, and graphene, which might shed some light on future developments of graphene-based nanomedicine for preventing/curing PCDs like type II diabetes mellitus

  19. Theoretical design strategies of bipolar membrane fuel cell with enhanced self-humidification behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Qiushi; Gong, Jian; Peng, Sikan; Lu, Shanfu; Sui, Pang-Chieh; Djilali, Ned; Xiang, Yan

    2016-03-01

    The bipolar membrane fuel cells (BPMFCs), which have a unique acid-alkaline jointed membrane electrode assembly (MEA) structure, have demonstrated their great potential for self-humidification during operation. Although the self-humidification ability of such bipolar membranes (BPMs) has recently been validated by a one-dimensional BPM model, the transport mechanism and the formation of self-humidification in the MEAs are not well understood. In the present study, a two-dimensional cross-channel MEA model is developed to elucidate the mechanisms and enhancement of water transport on self-humidification with comprehensive consideration of the three electrochemical reaction zones. The water-formation interface model has been successfully investigated by theoretical and experimental interface reaction kinetics, streamlines of water flux present the formation process and mechanism of self-humidification. A critical current (voltage) value, beyond which self-humidification is initiated, is identified. It is also found that such critical current (voltage) can be adjusted by changing the membrane thickness and the water uptake property of the ionomer. It is concluded that fabricating BPMs with proper membrane thickness and water uptake property are effective strategies to enhance the water management and cell performance in BPMFCs.

  20. Structure of the membrane anchor of pestivirus glycoprotein E(rns, a long tilted amphipathic helix.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Aberle

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available E(rns is an essential virion glycoprotein with RNase activity that suppresses host cellular innate immune responses upon being partially secreted from the infected cells. Its unusual C-terminus plays multiple roles, as the amphiphilic helix acts as a membrane anchor, as a signal peptidase cleavage site, and as a retention/secretion signal. We analyzed the structure and membrane binding properties of this sequence to gain a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms. CD spectroscopy in different setups, as well as Monte Carlo and molecular dynamics simulations confirmed the helical folding and showed that the helix is accommodated in the amphiphilic region of the lipid bilayer with a slight tilt rather than lying parallel to the surface. This model was confirmed by NMR analyses that also identified a central stretch of 15 residues within the helix that is fully shielded from the aqueous layer, which is C-terminally followed by a putative hairpin structure. These findings explain the strong membrane binding of the protein and provide clues to establishing the E(rns membrane contact, processing and secretion.

  1. Structure of the Membrane Anchor of Pestivirus Glycoprotein Erns, a Long Tilted Amphipathic Helix

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aberle, Daniel; Muhle-Goll, Claudia; Bürck, Jochen; Wolf, Moritz; Reißer, Sabine; Luy, Burkhard; Wenzel, Wolfgang; Ulrich, Anne S.; Meyers, Gregor

    2014-01-01

    Erns is an essential virion glycoprotein with RNase activity that suppresses host cellular innate immune responses upon being partially secreted from the infected cells. Its unusual C-terminus plays multiple roles, as the amphiphilic helix acts as a membrane anchor, as a signal peptidase cleavage site, and as a retention/secretion signal. We analyzed the structure and membrane binding properties of this sequence to gain a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms. CD spectroscopy in different setups, as well as Monte Carlo and molecular dynamics simulations confirmed the helical folding and showed that the helix is accommodated in the amphiphilic region of the lipid bilayer with a slight tilt rather than lying parallel to the surface. This model was confirmed by NMR analyses that also identified a central stretch of 15 residues within the helix that is fully shielded from the aqueous layer, which is C-terminally followed by a putative hairpin structure. These findings explain the strong membrane binding of the protein and provide clues to establishing the Erns membrane contact, processing and secretion. PMID:24586172

  2. Structure of the membrane anchor of pestivirus glycoprotein E(rns), a long tilted amphipathic helix.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aberle, Daniel; Muhle-Goll, Claudia; Bürck, Jochen; Wolf, Moritz; Reißer, Sabine; Luy, Burkhard; Wenzel, Wolfgang; Ulrich, Anne S; Meyers, Gregor

    2014-02-01

    E(rns) is an essential virion glycoprotein with RNase activity that suppresses host cellular innate immune responses upon being partially secreted from the infected cells. Its unusual C-terminus plays multiple roles, as the amphiphilic helix acts as a membrane anchor, as a signal peptidase cleavage site, and as a retention/secretion signal. We analyzed the structure and membrane binding properties of this sequence to gain a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms. CD spectroscopy in different setups, as well as Monte Carlo and molecular dynamics simulations confirmed the helical folding and showed that the helix is accommodated in the amphiphilic region of the lipid bilayer with a slight tilt rather than lying parallel to the surface. This model was confirmed by NMR analyses that also identified a central stretch of 15 residues within the helix that is fully shielded from the aqueous layer, which is C-terminally followed by a putative hairpin structure. These findings explain the strong membrane binding of the protein and provide clues to establishing the E(rns) membrane contact, processing and secretion.

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

    KAUST Repository

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

    2011-01-01

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

  4. Degradation mechanisms of sulfonated poly-aromatic membranes in fuel cell; Mecanismes de degradation des membranes polyaromatiques sulfonees en pile a combustible

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Perrot, C

    2006-11-15

    Fuel cell development requires an improvement in the electrode-membrane assembly durability which depends on both the polymer used and the fuel cell operating conditions. The origin of the degradation can be either electrochemical, chemical and/or mechanical. This study deals with the understanding of alternative membranes ageing mechanisms, i.e. non fluorinated membranes, such as sPEEK and sPI. For this kind of membranes, the first process is chemical. Understanding these mechanisms is the first essential step to develop more stable structures. An original approach is developed to overcome the analytical difficulties encountered with polymers. It consists in studying the degradation mechanism on model structures. Ageing are carried out in water, with H{sub 2}O{sub 2} in some cases (identified as a cause of membrane chemical ageing in the fuel cell system), and at different temperatures. The approach consists in separating the different products formed by chromatography. Then they are identified (NMR, IR, MS) and quantified. This method allows us to establish the ageing mechanism. We show that the ageing of a sPEEK structure mainly results from an attack by end chains which spreads to the whole. This mechanism is confirmed on ex-situ and in-situ aged membranes. These two kinds of ageing lead to an important decrease in polymerisation degree (determined by SEC). Formation of the same degradation products is observed. In fuel cells, a heterogeneous degradation is noticed. It takes place mainly on the cathode side. sPI are known for their high sensitivity to hydrolysis. Nevertheless, we highlight a limited degradation at 80 Celsius degrees due to the recombination of hydrolyzed species at this temperature. (author)

  5. Fuel cell end plate structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guthrie, Robin J.; Katz, Murray; Schroll, Craig R.

    1991-04-23

    The end plates (16) of a fuel cell stack (12) are formed of a thin membrane. Pressure plates (20) exert compressive load through insulation layers (22, 26) to the membrane. Electrical contact between the end plates (16) and electrodes (50, 58) is maintained without deleterious making and breaking of electrical contacts during thermal transients. The thin end plate (16) under compressive load will not distort with a temperature difference across its thickness. Pressure plate (20) experiences a low thermal transient because it is insulated from the cell. The impact on the end plate of any slight deflection created in the pressure plate by temperature difference is minimized by the resilient pressure pad, in the form of insulation, therebetween.

  6. Dynamic analysis of magnetic nanoparticles crossing cell membrane

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pedram, Maysam Z. [Department of Mechanical Engineering, Sharif University of Tech., Azadi Ave., Tehran (Iran, Islamic Republic of); Shamloo, Amir, E-mail: shamloo@sharif.edu [Department of Mechanical Engineering, Sharif University of Tech., Azadi Ave., Tehran (Iran, Islamic Republic of); Ghafar-Zadeh, Ebrahim [Biologically-Inspired Sensors and Actuators Laboratory, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer science, York University, Keel Street, Toronto (Canada); Alasty, Aria, E-mail: aalasti@sharif.edu [Department of Mechanical Engineering, Sharif University of Tech., Azadi Ave., Tehran (Iran, Islamic Republic of)

    2017-05-01

    Nowadays, nanoparticles (NPs) are used in a variety of biomedical applications including brain disease diagnostics and subsequent treatments. Among the various types of NPs, magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) have been implemented by many research groups for an array of life science applications. In this paper, we studied MNPs controlled delivery into the endothelial cells using a magnetic field. Dynamics equations of MNPs were defined in the continuous domain using control theory methods and were applied to crossing the cell membrane. This study, dedicated to clinical and biomedical research applications, offers a guideline for the generation of a magnetic field required for the delivery of MNPs.

  7. Experimental study on the membrane electrode assembly of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell: effects of microporous layer, membrane thickness and gas diffusion layer hydrophobic treatment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ferreira, Rui B.; Falcão, D.S.; Oliveira, V.B.; Pinto, A.M.F.R.

    2017-01-01

    Highlights: • EIS is employed to investigate the MEA design of a PEM fuel cell. • Effects of MPL, membrane thickness and GDL hydrophobic treatment are studied. • MPL increases cell output at low to medium currents but reduces it at high currents. • Better results are obtained when employing a thinner Nafion membrane. • GDL hydrophobic treatment improves the cell performance. - Abstract: In this study, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) is employed to analyze the influence of microporous layer (MPL), membrane thickness and gas diffusion layer (GDL) hydrophobic treatment in the performance of a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell. Results show that adding a MPL increases cell