WorldWideScience

Sample records for climate molecular insights

  1. New insights into deglacial climate variability in tropical South America from molecular fossil and isotopic indicators in Lake Titicaca

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shanahan, T. M.; Hughen, K. A.; Fornace, K.; Baker, P. A.; Fritz, S. C.

    2010-12-01

    As one of the main centers of tropical convection, the South American Altiplano plays a crucial role in the long-term climate variability of South America. However, both the timing and the drivers of climate variability on orbital to millennial timescales remain poorly understood for this region. New data from molecular fossil (e.g., TEX86) and compound specific hydrogen isotope (D/H) analyses provide new insights into the climate evolution of this region over the last ~50 kyr. TEX86 temperature reconstructions suggest that the Altiplano warmed as early as 19- 21 kyr ago and proceeded rapidly, consistent with published evidence for an early retreat of LGM glaciers at this time at some locations. The early warming signal observed at Lake Titicaca also appears to be synchronous with continental temperature reconstructions at some sites in tropical Africa, but leads tropical SST changes by several thousands of years. Although the initiation of warming coincided with the peak in southern hemisphere summer insolation, subsequent temperature increases were accompanied by decreases in southern hemisphere insolation, suggesting a northern hemisphere driver for temperature changes in tropical South America. Preliminary D/H ratios from leaf waxes appear to support existing data suggesting that wet conditions prevailed until the late glacial/early Holocene and are broadly consistent with local southern hemisphere summer insolation forcing of the summer monsoon. These data suggest that temperature and precipitation changes during the last deglaciation were decoupled and that both local and extratropical drivers are important for controlling climate change in this region on orbital timescales.

  2. Surviving historical Patagonian landscapes and climate: molecular insights from Galaxias maculatus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carrea Cecilia

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The dynamic geological and climatic histories of temperate South America have played important roles in shaping the contemporary distributions and genetic diversity of endemic freshwater species. We use mitochondria and nuclear sequence variation to investigate the consequences of mountain barriers and Quaternary glacial cycles for patterns of genetic diversity in the diadromous fish Galaxias maculatus in Patagonia (~300 individuals from 36 locations. Results Contemporary populations of G. maculatus, east and west of the Andes in Patagonia, represent a single monophyletic lineage comprising several well supported groups. Mantel tests using control region data revealed a strong positive relationship when geographic distance was modeled according to a scenario of marine dispersal. (r = 0.69, P = 0.055. By contrast, direct distance between regions was poorly correlated with genetic distance (r = -0.05, P = 0.463. Hierarchical AMOVAs using mtDNA revealed that pooling samples according to historical (pre-LGM oceanic drainage (Pacific vs. Atlantic explained approximately four times more variance than pooling them into present-day drainage (15.6% vs. 3.7%. Further post-hoc AMOVA tests revealed additional genetic structure between populations east and west of the Chilean Coastal Cordillera (coastal vs. interior. Overall female effective population size appears to have remained relatively constant until roughly 0.5 Ma when population size rapidly increased several orders of magnitude [100× (60×-190×] to reach contemporary levels. Maximum likelihood analysis of nuclear alleles revealed a poorly supported gene tree which was paraphyletic with respect to mitochondrial-defined haplogroups. Conclusions First diversifying in the central/north-west region of Patagonia, G. maculatus extended its range into Argentina via the southern coastal regions that join the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. More recent gene flow between northern

  3. Physiological and molecular insights into drought tolerance ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Physiological and molecular insights into drought tolerance. Sagadevan G Mundree, Bienyameen Baker, Shaheen Mowla, Shaun Peters, Saberi Marais, Clare Vander Willigen, Kershini Govender, Alice Maredza, Samson Muyanga, Jill M Farrant, Jennifer A Thomson ...

  4. Probing Molecular Insights into Zika Virus–Host Interactions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ina Lee

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available The recent Zika virus (ZIKV outbreak in the Americas surprised all of us because of its rapid spread and association with neurologic disorders including fetal microcephaly, brain and ocular anomalies, and Guillain–Barré syndrome. In response to this global health crisis, unprecedented and world-wide efforts are taking place to study the ZIKV-related human diseases. Much has been learned about this virus in the areas of epidemiology, genetic diversity, protein structures, and clinical manifestations, such as consequences of ZIKV infection on fetal brain development. However, progress on understanding the molecular mechanism underlying ZIKV-associated neurologic disorders remains elusive. To date, we still lack a good understanding of; (1 what virologic factors are involved in the ZIKV-associated human diseases; (2 which ZIKV protein(s contributes to the enhanced viral pathogenicity; and (3 how do the newly adapted and pandemic ZIKV strains alter their interactions with the host cells leading to neurologic defects? The goal of this review is to explore the molecular insights into the ZIKV–host interactions with an emphasis on host cell receptor usage for viral entry, cell innate immunity to ZIKV, and the ability of ZIKV to subvert antiviral responses and to cause cytopathic effects. We hope this literature review will inspire additional molecular studies focusing on ZIKV–host Interactions.

  5. Probing Molecular Insights into Zika Virus–Host Interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Ina; Li, Ge; Wang, Shusheng; Desprès, Philippe; Zhao, Richard Y.

    2018-01-01

    The recent Zika virus (ZIKV) outbreak in the Americas surprised all of us because of its rapid spread and association with neurologic disorders including fetal microcephaly, brain and ocular anomalies, and Guillain–Barré syndrome. In response to this global health crisis, unprecedented and world-wide efforts are taking place to study the ZIKV-related human diseases. Much has been learned about this virus in the areas of epidemiology, genetic diversity, protein structures, and clinical manifestations, such as consequences of ZIKV infection on fetal brain development. However, progress on understanding the molecular mechanism underlying ZIKV-associated neurologic disorders remains elusive. To date, we still lack a good understanding of; (1) what virologic factors are involved in the ZIKV-associated human diseases; (2) which ZIKV protein(s) contributes to the enhanced viral pathogenicity; and (3) how do the newly adapted and pandemic ZIKV strains alter their interactions with the host cells leading to neurologic defects? The goal of this review is to explore the molecular insights into the ZIKV–host interactions with an emphasis on host cell receptor usage for viral entry, cell innate immunity to ZIKV, and the ability of ZIKV to subvert antiviral responses and to cause cytopathic effects. We hope this literature review will inspire additional molecular studies focusing on ZIKV–host Interactions. PMID:29724036

  6. Factoring the car-climate challenge: Insights and implications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    DeCicco, John M.

    2013-01-01

    Three approaches commonly are identified for controlling automobile greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions: reducing travel demand, improving vehicle efficiency and using alternatively (non-petroleum) fueled vehicles (AFVs). Similarly, sector emissions are factored by travel distance, vehicle fuel intensity and fuel GHG (“carbon”) intensity. Analyzing these factors using US and China data reveals that for a broad range of conditions, stringent GHG emissions limits for the auto sector imply limits of comparable stringency for fuel carbon intensity. However, carbon intensity is a modeled representation of complex energy supply and use systems rather than a measurable property of fuels themselves. Carefully examining the locations and magnitudes of fuel-related emissions indicates that the proper policy focus is on the sectors that supply fuel rather than the choice of fuels in the auto sector. Therefore, beyond fundamental R and D, policies to commercialize AFVs are not necessarily required for climate protection at present. In addition to managing travel demand and improving vehicle efficiency, the implied policy priority is limiting net GHG impacts in the energy and other natural resource sectors that supply fuels. Future work is needed to develop GHG management protocols for liquid fuel supply systems involving fungible commodities and dynamic global supply chains. - Highlights: • Factor analysis offers insights about ways to reduce automotive GHG emissions. • Improving vehicle efficiency and reducing travel demand remain important. • Reducing net GHG impacts in energy sectors that supply motor fuels is also a priority. • Commercialization of alternatively fueled vehicles is not necessarily required at present

  7. Molecular electronics: insight from first-principles transport simulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paulsson, Magnus; Frederiksen, Thomas; Brandbyge, Mads

    2010-01-01

    Conduction properties of nanoscale contacts can be studied using first-principles simulations. Such calculations give insight into details behind the conductance that is not readily available in experiments. For example, we may learn how the bonding conditions of a molecule to the electrodes affect the electronic transport. Here we describe key computational ingredients and discuss these in relation to simulations for scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) experiments with C60 molecules where the experimental geometry is well characterized. We then show how molecular dynamics simulations may be combined with transport calculations to study more irregular situations, such as the evolution of a nanoscale contact with the mechanically controllable break-junction technique. Finally we discuss calculations of inelastic electron tunnelling spectroscopy as a characterization technique that reveals information about the atomic arrangement and transport channels.

  8. Molecular-level insights into aging processes of skin elastin

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mora Huertas, Angela C; Schmelzer, Christian E H; Hoehenwarter, Wolfgang

    2016-01-01

    Skin aging is characterized by different features including wrinkling, atrophy of the dermis and loss of elasticity associated with damage to the extracellular matrix protein elastin. The aim of this study was to investigate the aging process of skin elastin at the molecular level by evaluating...... the influence of intrinsic (chronological aging) and extrinsic factors (sun exposure) on the morphology and susceptibility of elastin towards enzymatic degradation. Elastin was isolated from biopsies derived from sun-protected or sun-exposed skin of differently aged individuals. The morphology of the elastin...... pronounced in sun-exposed tissue. Marker peptides were identified, which showed an age-related increase or decrease in their abundances and provide insights into the progression of the aging process of elastin fibers. Strong age-related cleavage occurs in hydrophobic tropoelastin domains 18, 20, 24 and 26...

  9. Molecular insight into conformational transmission of human P-glycoprotein

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chang, Shan-Yan; Liu, Fu-Feng; Dong, Xiao-Yan; Sun, Yan

    2013-01-01

    P-glycoprotein (P-gp), a kind of ATP-binding cassette transporter, can export candidates through a channel at the two transmembrane domains (TMDs) across the cell membranes using the energy released from ATP hydrolysis at the two nucleotide-binding domains (NBDs). Considerable evidence has indicated that human P-gp undergoes large-scale conformational changes to export a wide variety of anti-cancer drugs out of the cancer cells. However, molecular mechanism of the conformational transmission of human P-gp from the NBDs to the TMDs is still unclear. Herein, targeted molecular dynamics simulations were performed to explore the atomic detail of the conformational transmission of human P-gp. It is confirmed that the conformational transition from the inward- to outward-facing is initiated by the movement of the NBDs. It is found that the two NBDs move both on the two directions (x and y). The movement on the x direction leads to the closure of the NBDs, while the movement on the y direction adjusts the conformations of the NBDs to form the correct ATP binding pockets. Six key segments (KSs) protruding from the TMDs to interact with the NBDs are identified. The relative movement of the KSs along the y axis driven by the NBDs can be transmitted through α-helices to the rest of the TMDs, rendering the TMDs to open towards periplasm in the outward-facing conformation. Twenty eight key residue pairs are identified to participate in the interaction network that contributes to the conformational transmission from the NBDs to the TMDs of human P-gp. In addition, 9 key residues in each NBD are also identified. The studies have thus provided clear insight into the conformational transmission from the NBDs to the TMDs in human P-gp

  10. Molecular Sociology: Further Insights from Biological and Environmental Aspects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ahed Jumah Mahmoud Al-Khatib

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available The present study expanded our previous study in which features of molecular sociology were mentioned. In this study, we added the microbial dimensions in which it is thought that religiosity may be impacted by microbes that manipulate brains to create better conditions for their existence. This hypothesis is called “biomeme hypothesis”. We talked about other environmental impacts on human behaviors through three studies in which exposure to lead caused violent behaviors ending with arresting in prisons. By conclusion, the present study has expanded our horizon about interferences on various levels including biological and environmental impacts with our behaviors. Although we are convinced that behavior is a very diverse and complex phenomenon and cannot be understood within certain frame as either biologically or environmentally, but further new insights are possible to participate in better understanding of human behaviors. Many behaviors have their roots in religion, and we showed how religious rituals may be affected by some microbes that make to form a microenvironment within the host for microbial benefits.

  11. Sex Change in Clownfish: Molecular Insights from Transcriptome Analysis

    KAUST Repository

    Casas, Laura

    2016-10-17

    Sequential hermaphroditism is a unique reproductive strategy among teleosts that is displayed mainly in fish species living in the coral reef environment. The reproductive biology of hermaphrodites has long been intriguing; however, very little is known about the molecular pathways underlying their sex change. Here, we provide the first de novo transcriptome analyses of a hermaphrodite teleost´s undergoing sex change in its natural environment. Our study has examined relative gene expression across multiple groups—rather than just two contrasting conditions— and has allowed us to explore the differential expression patterns throughout the whole process. Our analysis has highlighted the rapid and complex genomic response of the brain associated with sex change, which is subsequently transmitted to the gonads, identifying a large number of candidate genes, some well-known and some novel, involved in the process. The present study provides strong evidence of the importance of the sex steroidogenic machinery during sex change in clownfish, with the aromatase gene playing a central role, both in the brain and the gonad. This work constitutes the first genome-wide study in a social sex-changing species and provides insights into the genetic mechanism governing social sex change and gonadal restructuring in protandrous hermaphrodites.

  12. Paleo-dust insights onto dust-climate interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albani, S.; Mahowald, N. M.

    2017-12-01

    Mineral dust emissions are affected by changing climate conditions, and in turn dust impacts the atmospheric radiation budget, clouds and biogeochemical cycles. Climate and public health dust-related issues call for attention on the fate of the dust cycle in the future, and the representation of the dust cycle is now part of the strategy of the Paleoclimate Modelling Intercomparison Project phase 4 and the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 6 (PMIP4-CMIP6). Since mineral aerosols are one of the most important natural aerosols, understanding past dust responses to climate in the paleoclimate will allow us to better understand mineral aerosol feedbacks with climate and biogeochemistry in the Anthropocene. Modern observations and paleoclimate records offer the possibility of multiple, complementary views on the global dust cycle, and allow to validate and/or constrain the numerical representation of dust in climate and Earth system models. We present our results from a set of simulations with the Community Earth System Model for different climate states, including present and past climates such as the pre-industrial, the mid-Holocene and the Last Glacial Maximum. A set of simulations including a prognostic dust cycle was thoroughly compared with a wide set of present day observations from different platforms and regions, in order to realistically constrain the magnitude of dust load, surface concentration, deposition, optical properties, and particle size distributions. The magnitude of emissions for past climate regimes was constrained based on compilations of paleodust mass accumulation rates and size distributions, as well as based on information on dust provenance. The comparison with a parallel set of simulations without dust allows estimating the impacts of dust on surface climate. We analyze impacts of dust on the mean and variability of surface temperature and precipitation in each climate state, as well as the impacts that changing dust emissions had

  13. Climate variability and sustainable food production: Insights from ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The past two decades have seen invigorated debates on the causal link between climate variability and food crop production. This study[1] extends the debate further by investigating how climate variability has affected the production of four specific food crops: maize, millet, rice, and groundnuts in north-eastern Ghana.

  14. Molecular-level insights into aging processes of skin elastin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mora Huertas, Angela C; Schmelzer, Christian E H; Hoehenwarter, Wolfgang; Heyroth, Frank; Heinz, Andrea

    2016-01-01

    Skin aging is characterized by different features including wrinkling, atrophy of the dermis and loss of elasticity associated with damage to the extracellular matrix protein elastin. The aim of this study was to investigate the aging process of skin elastin at the molecular level by evaluating the influence of intrinsic (chronological aging) and extrinsic factors (sun exposure) on the morphology and susceptibility of elastin towards enzymatic degradation. Elastin was isolated from biopsies derived from sun-protected or sun-exposed skin of differently aged individuals. The morphology of the elastin fibers was characterized by scanning electron microscopy. Mass spectrometric analysis and label-free quantification allowed identifying differences in the cleavage patterns of the elastin samples after enzymatic digestion. Principal component analysis and hierarchical cluster analysis were used to visualize differences between the samples and to determine the contribution of extrinsic and intrinsic aging to the proteolytic susceptibility of elastin. Moreover, the release of potentially bioactive peptides was studied. Skin aging is associated with the decomposition of elastin fibers, which is more pronounced in sun-exposed tissue. Marker peptides were identified, which showed an age-related increase or decrease in their abundances and provide insights into the progression of the aging process of elastin fibers. Strong age-related cleavage occurs in hydrophobic tropoelastin domains 18, 20, 24 and 26. Photoaging makes the N-terminal and central parts of the tropoelastin molecules more susceptible towards enzymatic cleavage and, hence, accelerates the age-related degradation of elastin. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. and Société Française de Biochimie et Biologie Moléculaire (SFBBM). All rights reserved.

  15. Molecular Insights into the Transmembrane Domain of the Thyrotropin Receptor.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanessa Chantreau

    Full Text Available The thyrotropin receptor (TSHR is a G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR that is member of the leucine-rich repeat subfamily (LGR. In the absence of crystal structure, the success of rational design of ligands targeting the receptor internal cavity depends on the quality of the TSHR models built. In this subfamily, transmembrane helices (TM 2 and 5 are characterized by the absence of proline compared to most receptors, raising the question of the structural conformation of these helices. To gain insight into the structural properties of these helices, we carried out bioinformatics and experimental studies. Evolutionary analysis of the LGR family revealed a deletion in TM5 but provided no information on TM2. Wild type residues at positions 2.58, 2.59 or 2.60 in TM2 and/or at position 5.50 in TM5 were substituted to proline. Depending on the position of the proline substitution, different effects were observed on membrane expression, glycosylation, constitutive cAMP activity and responses to thyrotropin. Only proline substitution at position 2.59 maintained complex glycosylation and high membrane expression, supporting occurrence of a bulged TM2. The TSHR transmembrane domain was modeled by homology with the orexin 2 receptor, using a protocol that forced the deletion of one residue in the TM5 bulge of the template. The stability of the model was assessed by molecular dynamics simulations. TM5 straightened during the equilibration phase and was stable for the remainder of the simulations. Our data support a structural model of the TSHR transmembrane domain with a bulged TM2 and a straight TM5 that is specific of glycoprotein hormone receptors.

  16. Molecular basis of Bcl-X(L-p53 interaction: insights from molecular dynamics simulations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nagakumar Bharatham

    Full Text Available Bcl-X(L, an antiapoptotic Bcl-2 family protein, plays a central role in the regulation of the apoptotic pathway. Heterodimerization of the antiapoptotic Bcl-2 family proteins with the proapoptotic family members such as Bad, Bak, Bim and Bid is a crucial step in the apoptotic regulation. In addition to these conventional binding partners, recent evidences reveal that the Bcl-2 family proteins also interact with noncanonical binding partners such as p53. Our previous NMR studies showed that Bcl-X(L: BH3 peptide and Bcl-X(L: SN15 peptide (a peptide derived from residues S15-N29 of p53 complex structures share similar modes of bindings. To further elucidate the molecular basis of the interactions, here we have employed molecular dynamics simulations coupled with MM/PBSA approach. Bcl-X(L and other Bcl-2 family proteins have 4 hydrophobic pockets (p1-p4, which are occupied by four systematically spaced hydrophobic residues (h1-h4 of the proapoptotic Bad and Bak BH3 peptides. We observed that three conserved hydrophobic residues (F19, W23 and L26 of p53 (SN15 peptide anchor into three hydrophobic pockets (p2-p4 of Bcl-X(L in a similar manner as BH3 peptide. Our results provide insights into the novel molecular recognition by Bcl-X(L with p53.

  17. Climate variability and sustainable food production: Insights from ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    They are integrated and balance the ... implement resilient agricultural practices that increase productivity and production; that help maintain ecosystems ... other forms of life, the manner in which human beings respond to climate variability is critical not ..... work for longer hours and at the same time its effect on their health.

  18. Sex Change in Clownfish: Molecular Insights from Transcriptome Analysis

    KAUST Repository

    Casas, Laura; Saborido-Rey, Fran; Ryu, Tae Woo; Michell, Craig; Ravasi, Timothy; Irigoien, Xabier

    2016-01-01

    steroidogenic machinery during sex change in clownfish, with the aromatase gene playing a central role, both in the brain and the gonad. This work constitutes the first genome-wide study in a social sex-changing species and provides insights into the genetic

  19. Molecular Electronics: Insight from First-Principles Transport Simulations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Paulsson, Magnus; Frederiksen, Thomas; Brandbyge, Mads

    2010-01-01

    Conduction properties of nanoscale contacts can be studied using first-principles simulations. Such calculations give insight into details behind the conductance that is not readily available in experiments. For example, we may learn how the bonding conditions of a molecule to the electrodes affect...

  20. Mars Climate History: Insights From Impact Crater Wall Slope Statistics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kreslavsky, Mikhail A.; Head, James W.

    2018-02-01

    We use the global distribution of the steepest slopes on crater walls derived from Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter profile data to assess the magnitudes of degradational processes with latitude, altitude, and time. We independently confirm that Amazonian polar/high-latitude crater slope modification is substantial, but that craters in the low latitudes have essentially escaped significant slope modification since the Early Hesperian. We find that the total amount of crater wall degradation in the Late Noachian is very small in comparison to the circumpolar regions in the Late Amazonian, an observation that we interpret to mean that the Late Noachian climate was not characterized by persistent and continuous warm and wet conditions. A confirmed elevational zonality in degradation in the Early Hesperian is interpreted to mean that the atmosphere was denser than today.

  1. Cognitive and psychological science insights to improve climate change data visualization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harold, Jordan; Lorenzoni, Irene; Shipley, Thomas F.; Coventry, Kenny R.

    2016-12-01

    Visualization of climate data plays an integral role in the communication of climate change findings to both expert and non-expert audiences. The cognitive and psychological sciences can provide valuable insights into how to improve visualization of climate data based on knowledge of how the human brain processes visual and linguistic information. We review four key research areas to demonstrate their potential to make data more accessible to diverse audiences: directing visual attention, visual complexity, making inferences from visuals, and the mapping between visuals and language. We present evidence-informed guidelines to help climate scientists increase the accessibility of graphics to non-experts, and illustrate how the guidelines can work in practice in the context of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change graphics.

  2. Insights on different participation schemes to meet climate goals

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Russ, Peter; Ierland, Tom van

    2009-01-01

    Models and scenarios to assess greenhouse gas mitigation action have become more diversified and detailed, allowing the simulation of more realistic global climate policy set-ups. In this paper, different participation schemes to meet different levels of radiative forcing are analysed. The focus is on scenarios that are in line with the 2 deg. C target. Typical stylised participation schemes are based either on a perfect global carbon market or delayed participation with targets only for developed countries, no actions by developing countries and no access to credits from offsetting mechanisms in developing countries. This paper adds an intermediate policy scenario assuming a gradual incorporation of all countries, including a gradually developing carbon market, and taking into account the ability to contribute of different parties. Perfect participation by all parties would be optimal, but it is shown that participation schemes involving a gradual and differentiated participation by all parties can substantially decrease global costs and still meet the 2 deg. C target. Carbon markets can compensate in part for those costs incurred by developing countries' own, autonomous mitigation actions that do not generate tradable emission credits.

  3. The structure of biodiversity – insights from molecular phylogeography

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hewitt Godfrey M

    2004-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract DNA techniques, analytical methods and palaeoclimatic studies are greatly advancing our knowledge of the global distribution of genetic diversity, and how it evolved. Such phylogeographic studies are reviewed from Arctic, Temperate and Tropical regions, seeking commonalities of cause in the resulting genetic patterns. The genetic diversity is differently patterned within and among regions and biomes, and is related to their histories of climatic changes. This has major implications for conservation science.

  4. Molecular Insights into Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever Virus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marko Zivcec

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus (CCHFV is a tick-borne pathogen that causes high morbidity and mortality. Efficacy of vaccines and antivirals to treat human CCHFV infections remains limited and controversial. Research into pathology and underlying molecular mechanisms of CCHFV and other nairoviruses is limited. Significant progress has been made in our understanding of CCHFV replication and pathogenesis in the past decade. Here we review the most recent molecular advances in CCHFV-related research, and provide perspectives on future research.

  5. Molecular and cellular insights into Zika virus-related neuropathies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Kai; Wang, Long; Yu, Di; Huang, Hesuyuan; Ji, Hong; Mo, Xuming

    2017-06-01

    Zika virus (ZIKV), a relatively elusive Aedes mosquito-transmitted flavivirus, had been brought into spotlight until recent widespread outbreaks accompanied by unexpectedly severe clinical neuropathies, including fetal microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) in the adult. In this review, we focus on the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms by which vertically transmitted microorganisms reach the fetus and trigger neuropathies.

  6. Toward a Theoretical Framework for Studying Climate Change Policies: Insights from the Case Study of Singapore

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ai Sian Ng

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available The world decided in December 2015 to take actions to reduce global warming. To contribute toward this goal, this research examines possible policy levers for inclusion in the climate change ratification plan. A case study of the measures taken by the Republic of Singapore, a low-lying 719.2 km2 island without natural resources in Asia, is conducted. Being vulnerable to climate change impact and yet having to balance her people’s needs and economic progress with limited resources, the measures taken by this small country could offer policy insights for small states and states without access to alternative energy sources. This research analyzes the online policy documents posted by eleven organizations to answer the main research question of identifying policy levers as theoretical constructs to form a framework that can be used to study climate change policies. A qualitative data analysis software, QSR NVivo 10, is used to classify the proposed nodes developed by the researchers using a system perspective integrating the insights from the key international climate change frameworks with the theoretical concepts from the model of pro-environmental behavior. The findings can offer insights toward developing a new contextual influence framework, which can help strengthen policy development and outcome measurement.

  7. Molecular insights into the biology of Greater Sage-Grouse

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oyler-McCance, Sara J.; Quinn, Thomas W.

    2011-01-01

    Recent research on Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) genetics has revealed some important findings. First, multiple paternity in broods is more prevalent than previously thought, and leks do not comprise kin groups. Second, the Greater Sage-Grouse is genetically distinct from the congeneric Gunnison sage-grouse (C. minimus). Third, the Lyon-Mono population in the Mono Basin, spanning the border between Nevada and California, has unique genetic characteristics. Fourth, the previous delineation of western (C. u. phaios) and eastern Greater Sage-Grouse (C. u. urophasianus) is not supported genetically. Fifth, two isolated populations in Washington show indications that genetic diversity has been lost due to population declines and isolation. This chapter examines the use of molecular genetics to understand the biology of Greater Sage-Grouse for the conservation and management of this species and put it into the context of avian ecology based on selected molecular studies.

  8. Molecular Insights into Variable Electron Transfer in Amphibian Cryptochrome

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sjulstok, Emil; Lüdemann, Gesa; Kubař, Tomáš

    2018-01-01

    are mutated, radical-pair formation is still observed. In this study, we computationally investigate electron-transfer pathways in the X. laevis cryptochrome DASH by extensively equilibrating a previously established homology model using molecular dynamics simulations and then mutating key amino acids......Cryptochrome proteins are activated by the absorption of blue light, leading to the formation of radical pairs through electron transfer in the active site. Recent experimental studies have shown that once some of the amino acid residues in the active site of Xenopus laevis cryptochrome DASH...... involved in the electron transfer. The electron-transfer pathways are then probed by using tight-binding density-functional theory. We report the alternative electron-transfer pathways resolved at the molecular level and, through comparison of amino acid sequences for cryptochromes from different species...

  9. Two Antarctic penguin genomes reveal insights into their evolutionary history and molecular changes related to the Antarctic environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Cai; Zhang, Yong; Li, Jianwen; Kong, Lesheng; Hu, Haofu; Pan, Hailin; Xu, Luohao; Deng, Yuan; Li, Qiye; Jin, Lijun; Yu, Hao; Chen, Yan; Liu, Binghang; Yang, Linfeng; Liu, Shiping; Zhang, Yan; Lang, Yongshan; Xia, Jinquan; He, Weiming; Shi, Qiong; Subramanian, Sankar; Millar, Craig D; Meader, Stephen; Rands, Chris M; Fujita, Matthew K; Greenwold, Matthew J; Castoe, Todd A; Pollock, David D; Gu, Wanjun; Nam, Kiwoong; Ellegren, Hans; Ho, Simon Yw; Burt, David W; Ponting, Chris P; Jarvis, Erich D; Gilbert, M Thomas P; Yang, Huanming; Wang, Jian; Lambert, David M; Wang, Jun; Zhang, Guojie

    2014-01-01

    Penguins are flightless aquatic birds widely distributed in the Southern Hemisphere. The distinctive morphological and physiological features of penguins allow them to live an aquatic life, and some of them have successfully adapted to the hostile environments in Antarctica. To study the phylogenetic and population history of penguins and the molecular basis of their adaptations to Antarctica, we sequenced the genomes of the two Antarctic dwelling penguin species, the Adélie penguin [Pygoscelis adeliae] and emperor penguin [Aptenodytes forsteri]. Phylogenetic dating suggests that early penguins arose ~60 million years ago, coinciding with a period of global warming. Analysis of effective population sizes reveals that the two penguin species experienced population expansions from ~1 million years ago to ~100 thousand years ago, but responded differently to the climatic cooling of the last glacial period. Comparative genomic analyses with other available avian genomes identified molecular changes in genes related to epidermal structure, phototransduction, lipid metabolism, and forelimb morphology. Our sequencing and initial analyses of the first two penguin genomes provide insights into the timing of penguin origin, fluctuations in effective population sizes of the two penguin species over the past 10 million years, and the potential associations between these biological patterns and global climate change. The molecular changes compared with other avian genomes reflect both shared and diverse adaptations of the two penguin species to the Antarctic environment.

  10. The PICS Climate Insights 101 Courses: A Visual Approach to Learning About Climate Science, Mitigation and Adaptation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pedersen, T. F.; Zwiers, F. W.; Breen, C.; Murdock, T. Q.

    2014-12-01

    The Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS) has now made available online three free, peer-reviewed, unique animated short courses in a series entitled "Climate Insights 101" that respectively address basic climate science, carbon-emissions mitigation approaches and opportunities, and adaptation. The courses are suitable for students of all ages, and use professionally narrated animations designed to hold a viewer's attention. Multiple issues are covered, including complex concerns like the construction of general circulation models, carbon pricing schemes in various countries, and adaptation approaches in the face of extreme weather events. Clips will be shown in the presentation. The first course (Climate Science Basics) has now been seen by over two hundred thousand individuals in over 80 countries, despite being offered in English only. Each course takes about two hours to work through, and in recognizing that that duration might pose an attention barrier to some students, PICS selected a number of short clips from the climate-science course and posted them as independent snippets on YouTube. A companion series of YouTube videos entitled, "Clear The Air", was created to confront the major global-warming denier myths. But a major challenge remains: despite numerous efforts to promote the availability of the free courses and the shorter YouTube pieces, they have yet to become widely known. Strategies to overcome that constraint will be discussed.

  11. New insights on molecular mechanisms of renal aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmitt, R; Melk, A

    2012-11-01

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

  12. Implementation and new insights in molecular diagnostics for HIV infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsang, Hin-Fung; Chan, Lawrence Wing-Chi; Tong, Jennifer Chiu-Hung; Wong, Heong-Ting; Lai, Christopher Koon-Chi; Au, Thomas Chi-Chuen; Chan, Amanda Kit-Ching; Ng, Lawrence Po-Wah; Cho, William Chi-Shing; Wong, Sze-Chuen Cesar

    2018-05-01

    Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a kind of acquired disease that breaks down the immune system. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is the causative agent of AIDS. By the end of 2016, there were 36.7 million people living with HIV worldwide. Early diagnosis can alert infected individuals to risk behaviors in order to control HIV transmission. Infected individuals are also benefited from proper treatment and management upon early diagnosis. Thanks to the public awareness of the disease, the annual increase of new HIV infections has been slowly declining over the past decades. The advent of molecular diagnostics has allowed early detection and better management of HIV infected patients. Areas covered: In this review, the authors summarized and discussed the current and future technologies in molecular diagnosis as well as the biomarkers developed for HIV infection. Expert Commentary: A simple and rapid detection of viral load is important for patients and doctors to monitor HIV progression and antiretroviral treatment efficiency. In the near future, it is expected that new technologies such as digital PCR and CRISPR-based technology will play more important role in HIV detection and patient management.

  13. Assessing Climate Risk on Agricultural Production: Insights Using Retrospective Analysis of Crop Insurance and Climatic Trends

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reyes, J. J.; Elias, E.; Eischens, A.; Shilts, M.; Rango, A.; Steele, R.

    2017-12-01

    The collaborative synthesis of existing datasets, such as long-term climate observations and farmers' crop insurance payments, can increase their overall collective value and societal application. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Climate Hubs were created to develop and deliver science-based information and technologies to agricultural and natural resource managers to enable climate-informed decision-making. As part of this mission, Hubs work across USDA and other climate service agencies to synthesize existing information. The USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA) is responsible for overseeing the Federal crop insurance program which currently insures over $100 billion in crops annually. RMA hosts data describing the cause for loss (e.g. drought, wind, irrigation failure) and indemnity amount (i.e. total cost of loss) at multiple spatio-temporal scales (i.e. state, county, year, month). The objective of this paper is to link climate information with indemnities, and their associated cause of loss, to assess climate risk on agricultural production and provide regionally-relevant information to stakeholders to promote resilient working landscapes. We performed a retrospective trend analysis at the state-level for the American Southwest (SW). First, we assessed indemnity-only trends by cause of loss and crop type at varying temporal scales. Historical monthly weather data (i.e. precipitation and temperature) and long-term drought indices (e.g. Palmer Drought Severity Index) were then linked with indemnities and grouped by different causes of loss. Climatological ranks were used to integrate historical comparative intensity of acute and long-term climatic events. Heat and drought as causes of loss were most correlated with temperature and drought indicators, respectively. Across all SW states increasing indemnities were correlated with warmer conditions. Multiple statistical trend analyses suggest a framework is necessary to appropriately measure the biophysical

  14. Insights of asphaltene aggregation mechanism from molecular dynamics simulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer De León

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Se estudió el proceso de agregación de asfaltenos utilizando té cnicas de dinámica molecular. Se utilizaron cuatro estructuras diferentes. Las primeras tres moléculas tienen una estructura continental, con núcleos aromáticos condensador, mientras que la cuarta pose e una estructura tipo archipiélago, con pequeños grupos de anillos ar omáticos conectados con cadenas saturadas. Las moléculas fueron construidas de manera atomística, en la cual cada átomo se desc ribe individualmente. Se calcula ron las fuerzas de interacción a 300 K y 200 atm; las fuerzas de Van der W aals y las interacciones elect rostáticas fueron evaluadas separadamente. Se calculó el paráme tro de solubilidad para las cuatro molécu las. Se encontró que las inte racciones de Van der Waals asoc iadas a los anillos aromáticos y las fuerzas electrostáticas ocasionadas princ ipalmente por la presencia de heteroátomos como oxígeno, azufr e y nitrógeno, son igualmente r elevantes en la agregación de moléculas de asfalteno. Para todas las molé culas se encontró que los sistemas de asfaltenos tienen menor e nergía en estado de agregación que en estado monomérico. Para las estruct uras continentales, la presencia de largas cadenas obstruye el proceso de formación de agregados. Para las estructuras tipo archipiélago, la flexibilidad de las moléculas facilita la agregación con ot ras estructuras. La presencia de heteroátomos ocasiona una fuerza repulsiva que dificulta la agregación. El volumen molecular y la energía de c ohesión también son sensibles a la confi guración geométrica y la compos ición de las especies, lo cual afecta el parámetro de solubilidad.

  15. Insights into channel dysfunction from modelling and molecular dynamics simulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Musgaard, Maria; Paramo, Teresa; Domicevica, Laura; Andersen, Ole Juul; Biggin, Philip C

    2018-04-01

    Developments in structural biology mean that the number of different ion channel structures has increased significantly in recent years. Structures of ion channels enable us to rationalize how mutations may lead to channelopathies. However, determining the structures of ion channels is still not trivial, especially as they necessarily exist in many distinct functional states. Therefore, the use of computational modelling can provide complementary information that can refine working hypotheses of both wild type and mutant ion channels. The simplest but still powerful tool is homology modelling. Many structures are available now that can provide suitable templates for many different types of ion channels, allowing a full three-dimensional interpretation of mutational effects. These structural models, and indeed the structures themselves obtained by X-ray crystallography, and more recently cryo-electron microscopy, can be subjected to molecular dynamics simulations, either as a tool to help explore the conformational dynamics in detail or simply as a means to refine the models further. Here we review how these approaches have been used to improve our understanding of how diseases might be linked to specific mutations in ion channel proteins. This article is part of the Special Issue entitled 'Channelopathies.' Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  16. Molecular Ecological Insights into Neotropical Bird-Tick Interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Matthew J; Esser, Helen J; Loaiza, Jose R; Herre, Edward Allen; Aguilar, Celestino; Quintero, Diomedes; Alvarez, Eric; Bermingham, Eldredge

    2016-01-01

    In the tropics, ticks parasitize many classes of vertebrate hosts. However, because many tropical tick species are only identifiable in the adult stage, and these adults usually parasitize mammals, most attention on the ecology of tick-host interactions has focused on mammalian hosts. In contrast, immature Neotropical ticks are often found on wild birds, yet difficulties in identifying immatures hinder studies of birds' role in tropical tick ecology and tick-borne disease transmission. In Panama, we found immature ticks on 227 out of 3,498 individually-sampled birds representing 93 host species (24% of the bird species sampled, and 13% of the Panamanian land bird fauna). Tick parasitism rates did not vary with rainfall or temperature, but did vary significantly with several host ecological traits. Likewise, Neotropical-Nearctic migratory birds were significantly less likely to be infested than resident species. Using a molecular library developed from morphologically-identified adult ticks specifically for this study, we identified eleven tick species parasitizing birds, indicating that a substantial portion of the Panamanian avian species pool is parasitized by a diversity of tick species. Tick species that most commonly parasitized birds had the widest diversity of avian hosts, suggesting that immature tick species are opportunistic bird parasites. Although certain avian ecological traits are positively associated with parasitism, we found no evidence that individual tick species show specificity to particular avian host ecological traits. Finally, our data suggest that the four principal vectors of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in the Neotropics rarely, if ever, parasitize Panamanian birds. However, other tick species that harbor newly-discovered rickettsial parasites of unknown pathogenicity are frequently found on these birds. Given our discovery of broad interaction between Panamanian tick and avian biodiversity, future work on tick ecology and the dynamics of

  17. Molecular Ecological Insights into Neotropical Bird-Tick Interactions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew J Miller

    Full Text Available In the tropics, ticks parasitize many classes of vertebrate hosts. However, because many tropical tick species are only identifiable in the adult stage, and these adults usually parasitize mammals, most attention on the ecology of tick-host interactions has focused on mammalian hosts. In contrast, immature Neotropical ticks are often found on wild birds, yet difficulties in identifying immatures hinder studies of birds' role in tropical tick ecology and tick-borne disease transmission. In Panama, we found immature ticks on 227 out of 3,498 individually-sampled birds representing 93 host species (24% of the bird species sampled, and 13% of the Panamanian land bird fauna. Tick parasitism rates did not vary with rainfall or temperature, but did vary significantly with several host ecological traits. Likewise, Neotropical-Nearctic migratory birds were significantly less likely to be infested than resident species. Using a molecular library developed from morphologically-identified adult ticks specifically for this study, we identified eleven tick species parasitizing birds, indicating that a substantial portion of the Panamanian avian species pool is parasitized by a diversity of tick species. Tick species that most commonly parasitized birds had the widest diversity of avian hosts, suggesting that immature tick species are opportunistic bird parasites. Although certain avian ecological traits are positively associated with parasitism, we found no evidence that individual tick species show specificity to particular avian host ecological traits. Finally, our data suggest that the four principal vectors of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in the Neotropics rarely, if ever, parasitize Panamanian birds. However, other tick species that harbor newly-discovered rickettsial parasites of unknown pathogenicity are frequently found on these birds. Given our discovery of broad interaction between Panamanian tick and avian biodiversity, future work on tick ecology

  18. USDA Climate Hubs - delivering usable information and tools to farmers, ranchers and forest land managers - Communication insights from the Regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, R.; Steele, R.

    2016-12-01

    The USDA Climate Hubs were established in 2014 to develop and deliver science-based, region-specific information and technologies, with USDA agencies and partners, to agricultural and natural resource managers to enable climate-informed decision-making. In the two and half years of existence, our regional leads have gained insights into communicating with the agricultural and forestry communities throughout the different regions of the country. Perspectives differ somewhat among regions and sectors. This talk will share those various insights.

  19. Improving Public Engagement With Climate Change: Five "Best Practice" Insights From Psychological Science.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Linden, Sander; Maibach, Edward; Leiserowitz, Anthony

    2015-11-01

    Despite being one of the most important societal challenges of the 21st century, public engagement with climate change currently remains low in the United States. Mounting evidence from across the behavioral sciences has found that most people regard climate change as a nonurgent and psychologically distant risk-spatially, temporally, and socially-which has led to deferred public decision making about mitigation and adaptation responses. In this article, we advance five simple but important "best practice" insights from psychological science that can help governments improve public policymaking about climate change. Particularly, instead of a future, distant, global, nonpersonal, and analytical risk that is often framed as an overt loss for society, we argue that policymakers should (a) emphasize climate change as a present, local, and personal risk; (b) facilitate more affective and experiential engagement; (c) leverage relevant social group norms; (d) frame policy solutions in terms of what can be gained from immediate action; and (e) appeal to intrinsically valued long-term environmental goals and outcomes. With practical examples we illustrate how these key psychological principles can be applied to support societal engagement and climate change policymaking. © The Author(s) 2015.

  20. Life on thin ice: Insights from Uummannaq, Greenland for connecting climate science with Arctic communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baztan, Juan; Cordier, Mateo; Huctin, Jean-Michel; Zhu, Zhiwei; Vanderlinden, Jean-Paul

    2017-09-01

    What are the links between mainstream climate science and local community knowledge? This study takes the example of Greenland, considered one of the regions most impacted by climate change, and Inuit people, characterized as being highly adaptive to environmental change, to explore this question. The study is based on 10 years of anthropological participatory research in Uummannaq, Northwest Greenland, along with two fieldwork periods in October 2014 and April 2015, and a quantitative bibliometric analysis of the international literature on sea ice - a central subject of concern identified by Uummannaq community members during the fieldwork periods. Community members' perceptions of currently available scientific climate knowledge were also collected during the fieldwork. This was done to determine if community members consider available scientific knowledge salient and if it covers issues they consider relevant. The bibliometric analysis of the sea ice literature provided additional insight into the degree to which scientific knowledge about climate change provides information relevant for the community. Our results contribute to the ongoing debate on the missing connections between community worldviews, cultural values, livelihood needs, interests and climate science. Our results show that more scientific research efforts should consider local-level needs in order to produce local-scale knowledge that is more salient, credible and legitimate for communities experiencing climate change. In Uummannaq, as in many Inuit communities with similar conditions, more research should be done on sea ice thickness in winter and in areas through which local populations travel. This paper supports the growing evidence that whenever possible, climate change research should focus on environmental features that matter to communities, at temporal and spatial scales relevant to them, in order to foster community adaptations to change. We recommend such research be connected to and

  1. Climate change induced transformations of agricultural systems: insights from a global model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leclère, D.; Havlík, P.; Fuss, S.; Schmid, E.; Mosnier, A.; Walsh, B.; Valin, H.; Herrero, M.; Khabarov, N.; Obersteiner, M.

    2014-12-01

    Climate change might impact crop yields considerably and anticipated transformations of agricultural systems are needed in the coming decades to sustain affordable food provision. However, decision-making on transformational shifts in agricultural systems is plagued by uncertainties concerning the nature and geography of climate change, its impacts, and adequate responses. Locking agricultural systems into inadequate transformations costly to adjust is a significant risk and this acts as an incentive to delay action. It is crucial to gain insight into how much transformation is required from agricultural systems, how robust such strategies are, and how we can defuse the associated challenge for decision-making. While implementing a definition related to large changes in resource use into a global impact assessment modelling framework, we find transformational adaptations to be required of agricultural systems in most regions by 2050s in order to cope with climate change. However, these transformations widely differ across climate change scenarios: uncertainties in large-scale development of irrigation span in all continents from 2030s on, and affect two-thirds of regions by 2050s. Meanwhile, significant but uncertain reduction of major agricultural areas affects the Northern Hemisphere’s temperate latitudes, while increases to non-agricultural zones could be large but uncertain in one-third of regions. To help reducing the associated challenge for decision-making, we propose a methodology exploring which, when, where and why transformations could be required and uncertain, by means of scenario analysis.

  2. Climate change induced transformations of agricultural systems: insights from a global model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Leclère, D; Havlík, P; Mosnier, A; Walsh, B; Valin, H; Khabarov, N; Obersteiner, M; Fuss, S; Schmid, E; Herrero, M

    2014-01-01

    Climate change might impact crop yields considerably and anticipated transformations of agricultural systems are needed in the coming decades to sustain affordable food provision. However, decision-making on transformational shifts in agricultural systems is plagued by uncertainties concerning the nature and geography of climate change, its impacts, and adequate responses. Locking agricultural systems into inadequate transformations costly to adjust is a significant risk and this acts as an incentive to delay action. It is crucial to gain insight into how much transformation is required from agricultural systems, how robust such strategies are, and how we can defuse the associated challenge for decision-making. While implementing a definition related to large changes in resource use into a global impact assessment modelling framework, we find transformational adaptations to be required of agricultural systems in most regions by 2050s in order to cope with climate change. However, these transformations widely differ across climate change scenarios: uncertainties in large-scale development of irrigation span in all continents from 2030s on, and affect two-thirds of regions by 2050s. Meanwhile, significant but uncertain reduction of major agricultural areas affects the Northern Hemisphere’s temperate latitudes, while increases to non-agricultural zones could be large but uncertain in one-third of regions. To help reducing the associated challenge for decision-making, we propose a methodology exploring which, when, where and why transformations could be required and uncertain, by means of scenario analysis. (letter)

  3. Molecular interaction of PCB153 to human serum albumin: Insights from spectroscopic and molecular modeling studies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Han, Chao; Fang, Senbiao; Cao, Huiming; Lu, Yan; Ma, Yaqiong [School of Pharmacy, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000 (China); Wei, Dongfeng [Institute of Basic Research in Clinical Medicine, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing 100700 (China); Xie, Xiaoyun [College of Earth and Environmental Science, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000 (China); Liu, Xiaohua [School of Pharmacy, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000 (China); Li, Xin [College of Food and Bioengineering, Henan University of Science and Technology, Luoyang 471003 (China); Fei, Dongqing [School of Pharmacy, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000 (China); Zhao, Chunyan, E-mail: zhaochy07@lzu.edu.cn [School of Pharmacy, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000 (China)

    2013-03-15

    Highlights: ► We identify the binding mode of PCB153 to human serum albumin (HSA). ► Spectroscopic and molecular modeling results reveal that PCB153 binds at the site II. ► The interaction is mainly governed by hydrophobic and hydrogen bond forces. ► The work helps to probe transporting, distribution and toxicity effect of PCBs. -- Abstract: Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) possessed much potential hazard to environment because of its chemical stability and biological toxicity. Here, we identified the binding mode of a representative compound, PCB153, to human serum albumin (HSA) using fluorescence and molecular dynamics simulation methods. The fluorescence study showed that the intrinsic fluorescence of HSA was quenched by addition of PCB153 through a static quenching mechanism. The thermodynamic analysis proved the binding behavior was mainly governed by hydrophobic force. Furthermore, as evidenced by site marker displacement experiments using two probe compounds, it revealed that PCB153 acted exactly on subdomain IIIA (site II) of HSA. On the other hand, the molecular dynamics studies as well as free energy calculations made another important contribution to understand the conformational changes of HSA and the stability of HSA-PCB153 system. Molecular docking revealed PCB153 can bind in a large hydrophobic activity of subdomain IIIA by the hydrophobic interaction and hydrogen bond interactions between chlorine atoms and residue ASN391. The present work provided reasonable models helping us further understand the transporting, distribution and toxicity effect of PCBs when it spread into human blood serum.

  4. Application of molecular simulations: Insight into liquid bridging and jetting phenomena

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. Nezbeda

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Molecular dynamics simulations have been performed on pure liquid water, aqueous solutions of sodium chloride, and polymer solutions exposed to a strong external electric field with the goal to gain molecular insight into the structural response to the field. Several simulation methodologies have been used to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of the processes leading to the formation of liquid bridges and jets (in the production of nanofibers. It is shown that in the established nanoscale structures, the molecules form a chain with their dipole moments oriented parallel to the applied field throughout the entire sample volume. The presence of ions may disturb this structure leading to its ultimate disintegration into droplets; the concentration dependence of the threshold field required to stabilize a liquid column has been determined. Conformational changes of the polymer in the jetting process have also been observed.

  5. Macroscale patterns in body size of intertidal crustaceans provide insights on climate change effects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dugan, Jenifer E.; Hubbard, David M.; Contreras, Heraldo; Duarte, Cristian; Acuña, Emilio; Schoeman, David S.

    2017-01-01

    Predicting responses of coastal ecosystems to altered sea surface temperatures (SST) associated with global climate change, requires knowledge of demographic responses of individual species. Body size is an excellent metric because it scales strongly with growth and fecundity for many ectotherms. These attributes can underpin demographic as well as community and ecosystem level processes, providing valuable insights for responses of vulnerable coastal ecosystems to changing climate. We investigated contemporary macroscale patterns in body size among widely distributed crustaceans that comprise the majority of intertidal abundance and biomass of sandy beach ecosystems of the eastern Pacific coasts of Chile and California, USA. We focused on ecologically important species representing different tidal zones, trophic guilds and developmental modes, including a high-shore macroalga-consuming talitrid amphipod (Orchestoidea tuberculata), two mid-shore scavenging cirolanid isopods (Excirolana braziliensis and E. hirsuticauda), and a low-shore suspension-feeding hippid crab (Emerita analoga) with an amphitropical distribution. Significant latitudinal patterns in body sizes were observed for all species in Chile (21° - 42°S), with similar but steeper patterns in Emerita analoga, in California (32°- 41°N). Sea surface temperature was a strong predictor of body size (-4% to -35% °C-1) in all species. Beach characteristics were subsidiary predictors of body size. Alterations in ocean temperatures of even a few degrees associated with global climate change are likely to affect body sizes of important intertidal ectotherms, with consequences for population demography, life history, community structure, trophic interactions, food-webs, and indirect effects such as ecosystem function. The consistency of results for body size and temperature across species with different life histories, feeding modes, ecological roles, and microhabitats inhabiting a single widespread coastal

  6. Insights into Penultimate Interglacial-Glacial Climate Change on Vegetation History at Lake Van, Turkey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pickarski, N.; Litt, T.

    2017-12-01

    -resolution record presents an improved insight into regional vegetation dynamics and climate variability in the eastern Mediterranean region.

  7. Molecular modeling of human neutral sphingomyelinase provides insight into its molecular interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dinesh; Goswami, Angshumala; Suresh, Panneer Selvam; Thirunavukkarasu, Chinnasamy; Weiergräber, Oliver H; Kumar, Muthuvel Suresh

    2011-01-01

    The neutral sphingomyelinase (N-SMase) is considered a major candidate for mediating the stress-induced production of ceramide, and it plays an important role in cell-cycle arrest, apoptosis, inflammation, and eukaryotic stress responses. Recent studies have identified a small region at the very N-terminus of the 55 kDa tumour necrosis factor receptor (TNF-R55), designated the neutral sphingomyelinase activating domain (NSD) that is responsible for the TNF-induced activation of N-SMase. There is no direct association between TNF-R55 NSD and N-SMase; instead, a protein named factor associated with N-SMase activation (FAN) has been reported to couple the TNF-R55 NSD to N-SMase. Since the three-dimensional fold of N-SMase is still unknown, we have modeled the structure using the protein fold recognition and threading method. Moreover, we propose models for the TNF-R55 NSD as well as the FAN protein in order to study the structural basis of N-SMase activation and regulation. Protein-protein interaction studies suggest that FAN is crucially involved in mediating TNF-induced activation of the N-SMase pathway, which in turn regulates mitogenic and proinflammatory responses. Inhibition of N-SMase may lead to reduction of ceramide levels and hence may provide a novel therapeutic strategy for inflammation and autoimmune diseases. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations were performed to check the stability of the predicted model and protein-protein complex; indeed, stable RMS deviations were obtained throughout the simulation. Furthermore, in silico docking of low molecular mass ligands into the active site of N-SMase suggests that His135, Glu48, Asp177, and Asn179 residues play crucial roles in this interaction. Based on our results, these ligands are proposed to be potent and selective N-SMase inhibitors, which may ultimately prove useful as lead compounds for drug development.

  8. Art Advancing Science: Filmmaking Leads to Molecular Insights at the Nanoscale.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reilly, Charles; Ingber, Donald E

    2017-12-26

    Many have recognized the potential value of facilitating activities that span the art-science interface for the benefit of society; however, there are few examples that demonstrate how pursuit of an artistic agenda can lead to scientific insights. Here, we describe how we set out to produce an entertaining short film depicting the fertilization of the egg by sperm as a parody of a preview for another Star Wars movie to excite the public about science, but ended up developing a simulation tool for multiscale modeling. To produce an aesthetic that communicates mechanical continuity across spatial scales, we developed custom strategies that integrate physics-based animation software from the entertainment industry with molecular dynamics simulation tools, using experimental data from research publications. Using this approach, we were able to depict biological physicality across multiple spatial scales, from how sperm tails move to collective molecular behavior within the axoneme to how the molecular motor, dynein, produces force at the nanometer scale. The dynein simulations, which were validated by replicating results of past simulations and cryo-electron microscopic studies, also predicted a potential mechanism for how ATP hydrolysis drives dynein motion along the microtubule as well as how dynein changes its conformation when it goes through the power stroke. Thus, pursuit of an artistic work led to insights into biology at the nanoscale as well as the development of a highly generalizable modeling and simulation technology that has utility for nanoscience and any other area of scientific investigation that involves analysis of complex multiscale systems.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2009-12-18

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

  10. A Social Identity Analysis of Climate Change and Environmental Attitudes and Behaviors: Insights and Opportunities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fielding, Kelly S; Hornsey, Matthew J

    2016-01-01

    Environmental challenges are often marked by an intergroup dimension. Political conservatives and progressives are divided on their beliefs about climate change, farmers come into conflict with scientists and environmentalists over water allocation or species protection, and communities oppose big business and mining companies that threaten their local environment. These intergroup tensions are reminders of the powerful influence social contexts and group memberships can have on attitudes, beliefs, and actions relating to climate change and the environment more broadly. In this paper, we use social identity theory to help describe and explain these processes. We review literature showing, how conceiving of oneself in terms of a particular social identity influences our environmental attitudes and behaviors, how relations between groups can impact on environmental outcomes, and how the content of social identities can direct group members to act in more or less pro-environmental ways. We discuss the similarities and differences between the social identity approach to these phenomena and related theories, such as cultural cognition theory, the theory of planned behavior, and value-belief-norm theory. Importantly, we also advance social-identity based strategies to foster more sustainable environmental attitudes and behaviors. Although this theoretical approach can provide important insights and potential solutions, more research is needed to build the empirical base, especially in relation to testing social identity solutions.

  11. A Social Identity Analysis of Climate Change and Environmental Attitudes and Behaviors: Insights and Opportunities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fielding, Kelly S.; Hornsey, Matthew J.

    2016-01-01

    Environmental challenges are often marked by an intergroup dimension. Political conservatives and progressives are divided on their beliefs about climate change, farmers come into conflict with scientists and environmentalists over water allocation or species protection, and communities oppose big business and mining companies that threaten their local environment. These intergroup tensions are reminders of the powerful influence social contexts and group memberships can have on attitudes, beliefs, and actions relating to climate change and the environment more broadly. In this paper, we use social identity theory to help describe and explain these processes. We review literature showing, how conceiving of oneself in terms of a particular social identity influences our environmental attitudes and behaviors, how relations between groups can impact on environmental outcomes, and how the content of social identities can direct group members to act in more or less pro-environmental ways. We discuss the similarities and differences between the social identity approach to these phenomena and related theories, such as cultural cognition theory, the theory of planned behavior, and value-belief-norm theory. Importantly, we also advance social-identity based strategies to foster more sustainable environmental attitudes and behaviors. Although this theoretical approach can provide important insights and potential solutions, more research is needed to build the empirical base, especially in relation to testing social identity solutions. PMID:26903924

  12. A social identity analysis of climate change and environmental attitudes and behaviors: Insights and opportunities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kelly Shanene Fielding

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Environmental challenges are often marked by an intergroup dimension. Political conservatives and progressives are divided on their beliefs about climate change, farmers come into conflict with scientists and environmentalists over water allocation or species protection, and communities oppose big business and mining companies that threaten their local environment. These intergroup tensions are reminders of the powerful influence social contexts and group memberships can have on attitudes, beliefs, and actions relating to climate change and the environment more broadly. In this paper we use social identity theory to help describe and explain these processes. We review literature showing how conceiving of oneself in terms of a particular social identity influences our environmental attitudes and behaviors, how relations between groups can impact on environmental outcomes, and how the content of social identities can direct group members to act in more or less pro-environmental ways. We discuss the similarities and differences between the social identity approach to these phenomena and related theories such as cultural cognition theory, the theory of planned behavior and value-belief-norm theory. Importantly, we also advance social-identity based strategies to foster more sustainable environmental attitudes and behaviors. Although this theoretical approach can provide important insights and potential solutions, more research is needed to build the empirical base, especially in relation to testing social identity solutions.

  13. Structure of sulfamidase provides insight into the molecular pathology of mucopolysaccharidosis IIIA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sidhu, Navdeep S.; Schreiber, Kathrin; Pröpper, Kevin; Becker, Stefan; Usón, Isabel; Sheldrick, George M.; Gärtner, Jutta; Krätzner, Ralph; Steinfeld, Robert

    2014-01-01

    Mucopolysaccharidosis IIIA is a fatal neurodegenerative disease that typically manifests itself in childhood and is caused by mutations in the gene for the lysosomal enzyme sulfamidase. The first structure of this enzyme is presented, which provides insight into the molecular basis of disease-causing mutations, and the enzymatic mechanism is proposed. Mucopolysaccharidosis type IIIA (Sanfilippo A syndrome), a fatal childhood-onset neurodegenerative disease with mild facial, visceral and skeletal abnormalities, is caused by an inherited deficiency of the enzyme N-sulfoglucosamine sulfohydrolase (SGSH; sulfamidase). More than 100 mutations in the SGSH gene have been found to reduce or eliminate its enzymatic activity. However, the molecular understanding of the effect of these mutations has been confined by a lack of structural data for this enzyme. Here, the crystal structure of glycosylated SGSH is presented at 2 Å resolution. Despite the low sequence identity between this unique N-sulfatase and the group of O-sulfatases, they share a similar overall fold and active-site architecture, including a catalytic formylglycine, a divalent metal-binding site and a sulfate-binding site. However, a highly conserved lysine in O-sulfatases is replaced in SGSH by an arginine (Arg282) that is positioned to bind the N-linked sulfate substrate. The structure also provides insight into the diverse effects of pathogenic mutations on SGSH function in mucopolysaccharidosis type IIIA and convincing evidence for the molecular consequences of many missense mutations. Further, the molecular characterization of SGSH mutations will lay the groundwork for the development of structure-based drug design for this devastating neurodegenerative disorder

  14. Structure of sulfamidase provides insight into the molecular pathology of mucopolysaccharidosis IIIA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sidhu, Navdeep S. [University of Göttingen, Robert-Koch-Strasse 40, 37075 Göttingen (Germany); University of Göttingen, Tammannstrasse 4, 37077 Göttingen (Germany); Schreiber, Kathrin [University of Göttingen, Robert-Koch-Strasse 40, 37075 Göttingen (Germany); Pröpper, Kevin [University of Göttingen, Tammannstrasse 4, 37077 Göttingen (Germany); Becker, Stefan [Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Am Fassberg 11, 37077 Göttingen (Germany); Usón, Isabel [Instituto de Biologia Molecular de Barcelona (IBMB–CSIC), Barcelona Science Park, Baldiri Reixach 15, 08028 Barcelona (Spain); Institucio Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avancats (ICREA), (Spain); Sheldrick, George M. [University of Göttingen, Tammannstrasse 4, 37077 Göttingen (Germany); Gärtner, Jutta; Krätzner, Ralph, E-mail: rkraetz@gwdg.de; Steinfeld, Robert, E-mail: rkraetz@gwdg.de [University of Göttingen, Robert-Koch-Strasse 40, 37075 Göttingen (Germany)

    2014-05-01

    Mucopolysaccharidosis IIIA is a fatal neurodegenerative disease that typically manifests itself in childhood and is caused by mutations in the gene for the lysosomal enzyme sulfamidase. The first structure of this enzyme is presented, which provides insight into the molecular basis of disease-causing mutations, and the enzymatic mechanism is proposed. Mucopolysaccharidosis type IIIA (Sanfilippo A syndrome), a fatal childhood-onset neurodegenerative disease with mild facial, visceral and skeletal abnormalities, is caused by an inherited deficiency of the enzyme N-sulfoglucosamine sulfohydrolase (SGSH; sulfamidase). More than 100 mutations in the SGSH gene have been found to reduce or eliminate its enzymatic activity. However, the molecular understanding of the effect of these mutations has been confined by a lack of structural data for this enzyme. Here, the crystal structure of glycosylated SGSH is presented at 2 Å resolution. Despite the low sequence identity between this unique N-sulfatase and the group of O-sulfatases, they share a similar overall fold and active-site architecture, including a catalytic formylglycine, a divalent metal-binding site and a sulfate-binding site. However, a highly conserved lysine in O-sulfatases is replaced in SGSH by an arginine (Arg282) that is positioned to bind the N-linked sulfate substrate. The structure also provides insight into the diverse effects of pathogenic mutations on SGSH function in mucopolysaccharidosis type IIIA and convincing evidence for the molecular consequences of many missense mutations. Further, the molecular characterization of SGSH mutations will lay the groundwork for the development of structure-based drug design for this devastating neurodegenerative disorder.

  15. Molecular genetics and genomics generate new insights into invertebrate pest invasions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirk, Heather; Dorn, Silvia; Mazzi, Dominique

    2013-07-01

    Invertebrate pest invasions and outbreaks are associated with high social, economic, and ecological costs, and their significance will intensify with an increasing pressure on agricultural productivity as a result of human population growth and climate change. New molecular genetic and genomic techniques are available and accessible, but have been grossly underutilized in studies of invertebrate pest invasions, despite that they are useful tools for applied pest management and for understanding fundamental features of pest invasions including pest population demographics and adaptation of pests to novel and/or changing environments. Here, we review current applications of molecular genetics and genomics in the study of invertebrate pest invasions and outbreaks, and we highlight shortcomings from the current body of research. We then discuss recent conceptual and methodological advances in the areas of molecular genetics/genomics and data analysis, and we highlight how these advances will further our understanding of the demographic, ecological, and evolutionary features of invertebrate pest invasions. We are now well equipped to use molecular data to understand invertebrate dispersal and adaptation, and this knowledge has valuable applications in agriculture at a time when these are critically required.

  16. Insight to forcing of late Quaternary climate change from aeolian dust archives in eastern Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGowan, H. A.; Marx, S.; Soderholm, J.; Denholm, J.; Petherick, L.

    2010-12-01

    The Australian continent is the largest source of dust in the Southern Hemisphere. Historical dust emissions records display inter-annual variability in response to the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon and inter-decadal variability which has been linked to the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). These reflect change in hydrometeorology of the continents two major dust source regions, the Murray-Darling Basin and the Lake Eyre Basin. The historical records do not allow longer term variability of ENSO and the PDO and their influence on Australia to be quantified. Importantly, sub-Milankovitch centennial to multi-millennial scale climate cycles and their impacts are not represented in the historical records. In this paper we present summary results from the analysis of two aeolain dust records spanning 7 ka and 45 ka. These were developed from ombrotrophic mire and lacustrine sediment cores collected from the Australian Alps and southeast Queensland. Both sites are located in the southeast Australian dust transport pathway and provide rare insight to forcings of climate variability and its impacts on eastern Australia through the late Quaternary. Age controls for the cores were established using 14C and 210Pb dating [McGowan et al. 2008, 2010]. The cores were sliced into 2 to 5 mm segments with a sub-sample of each segment combusted at 450°C for 12 hrs to destroy organic material and allow recovery of mineral dust. Geochemical fingerprinting of the global climate variability and the impact of forcings originating from the North Hemisphere. These results highlight the potential for adverse impacts on the climate of Australia by disturbance to North Atlantic Ocean circulation. References Marx, S. K., et al. 2005: Provenance of long travelled dust determined with ultra trace element composition: A pilot study with samples from New Zealand glaciers. Earth Surf. Processes Landforms, 30, 699-716. McGowan, H.A., et al. 2008: An ultra-high resolution record of

  17. Insights into carbon nanotube and graphene formation mechanisms from molecular simulations: a review

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Page, A J; Ding, F; Irle, S; Morokuma, K

    2015-01-01

    The discovery of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and graphene over the last two decades has heralded a new era in physics, chemistry and nanotechnology. During this time, intense efforts have been made towards understanding the atomic-scale mechanisms by which these remarkable nanostructures grow. Molecular simulations have made significant contributions in this regard; indeed, they are responsible for many of the key discoveries and advancements towards this goal. Here we review molecular simulations of CNT and graphene growth, and in doing so we highlight the many invaluable insights gained from molecular simulations into these complex nanoscale self-assembly processes. This review highlights an often-overlooked aspect of CNT and graphene formation—that the two processes, although seldom discussed in the same terms, are in fact remarkably similar. Both can be viewed as a 0D → 1D → 2D transformation, which converts carbon atoms (0D) to polyyne chains (1D) to a complete sp 2 -carbon network (2D). The difference in the final structure (CNT or graphene) is determined only by the curvature of the catalyst and the strength of the carbon–metal interaction. We conclude our review by summarizing the present shortcomings of CNT/graphene growth simulations, and future challenges to this important area. (review article)

  18. Milestone in the NTB phase investigation and beyond: direct insight into molecular self-assembly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivšić, Trpimir; Vinković, Marijana; Baumeister, Ute; Mikleušević, Ana; Lesac, Andreja

    2014-12-14

    Although liquid-crystalline materials are most widely exploited for flat-panel displays, their ability to self-organize into periodically ordered nanostructures gives rise to a broad variety of additional applications. The recently discovered low-temperature nematic phase (N(TB)) with unusual characteristics generated considerable attention within the scientific community: despite the fact that the molecules from which the phase is composed are not chiral, the helicoidal structure of the phase is strongly implicated. Here we report on combined experimental, computational and spectroscopic studies of the structural aspects influencing formation of the N(TB) phase as well as on the molecular organization within the phase. In an extensive DFT study, the structure-property prerequisite was traced to a "bent-propeller" shape of the molecule. We also demonstrate the first utilization of liquid state NMR for direct analysis of intermolecular interactions within thermotropic liquid-crystalline phases, providing new insight into molecular packing that can lead towards design of novel chiral functional materials. The synergy of experimental, computational and NMR studies suggests a syn-parallel helical molecular organization within the N(TB) phase.

  19. High-throughput molecular analysis in lung cancer: insights into biology and potential clinical applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ocak, S; Sos, M L; Thomas, R K; Massion, P P

    2009-08-01

    During the last decade, high-throughput technologies including genomic, epigenomic, transcriptomic and proteomic have been applied to further our understanding of the molecular pathogenesis of this heterogeneous disease, and to develop strategies that aim to improve the management of patients with lung cancer. Ultimately, these approaches should lead to sensitive, specific and noninvasive methods for early diagnosis, and facilitate the prediction of response to therapy and outcome, as well as the identification of potential novel therapeutic targets. Genomic studies were the first to move this field forward by providing novel insights into the molecular biology of lung cancer and by generating candidate biomarkers of disease progression. Lung carcinogenesis is driven by genetic and epigenetic alterations that cause aberrant gene function; however, the challenge remains to pinpoint the key regulatory control mechanisms and to distinguish driver from passenger alterations that may have a small but additive effect on cancer development. Epigenetic regulation by DNA methylation and histone modifications modulate chromatin structure and, in turn, either activate or silence gene expression. Proteomic approaches critically complement these molecular studies, as the phenotype of a cancer cell is determined by proteins and cannot be predicted by genomics or transcriptomics alone. The present article focuses on the technological platforms available and some proposed clinical applications. We illustrate herein how the "-omics" have revolutionised our approach to lung cancer biology and hold promise for personalised management of lung cancer.

  20. Insight derived from molecular dynamics simulations into molecular motions, thermodynamics and kinetics of HIV-1 gp120.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peng Sang

    Full Text Available Although the crystal structures of the HIV-1 gp120 core bound and pre-bound by CD4 are known, the details of dynamics involved in conformational equilibrium and transition in relation to gp120 function have remained elusive. The homology models of gp120 comprising the N- and C-termini and loops V3 and V4 in the CD4-bound and CD4-unbound states were built and subjected to molecular dynamics (MD simulations to investigate the differences in dynamic properties and molecular motions between them. The results indicate that the CD4-bound gp120 adopted a more compact and stable conformation than the unbound form during simulations. For both the unbound and bound gp120, the large concerted motions derived from essential dynamics (ED analyses can influence the size/shape of the ligand-binding channel/cavity of gp120 and, therefore, were related to its functional properties. The differences in motion direction between certain structural components of these two forms of gp120 were related to the conformational interconversion between them. The free energy calculations based on the metadynamics simulations reveal a more rugged and complex free energy landscape (FEL for the unbound than for the bound gp120, implying that gp120 has a richer conformational diversity in the unbound form. The estimated free energy difference of ∼-6.0 kJ/mol between the global minimum free energy states of the unbound and bound gp120 indicates that gp120 can transform spontaneously from the unbound to bound states, revealing that the bound state represents a high-probability "ground state" for gp120 and explaining why the unbound state resists crystallization. Our results provide insight into the dynamics-and-function relationship of gp120, and facilitate understandings of the thermodynamics, kinetics and conformational control mechanism of HIV-1 gp120.

  1. Gene expression profiles give insight into the molecular pathology of bone in primary hyperparathyroidism

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Reppe, Sjur; Stilgren, Lis; Olstad, Ole K

    2006-01-01

    to bone and extra-cellular matrix, showed altered expression. Of these were 85 up- and 14 down-regulated before operation. The majority of regulated genes represented structural and adhesion proteins, but included also proteases and protease regulators which promote resorption. Increased expressions...... of collagen type 1 and osteocalcin mRNAs in disease reflecting the PTH anabolic action were paralleled by increased concentrations of these proteins in serum. In addition, genes encoding transcriptional factors and their regulators as well as cellular signal molecules were up-regulated during disease....... The identified genetic signature represents the first extensive description of the ensemble of bone and matrix related mRNAs, which are regulated by chronic PTH action. These results identify the molecular basis for this skeletal disease, and provide new insight into this clinical condition with potential...

  2. Natural and molecular history of prolactinoma: insights from a Prlr-/- mouse model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernard, Valérie; Villa, Chiara; Auguste, Aurélie; Lamothe, Sophie; Guillou, Anne; Martin, Agnès; Caburet, Sandrine; Young, Jacques; Veitia, Reiner A; Binart, Nadine

    2018-01-19

    Lactotroph adenoma, also called prolactinoma, is the most common pituitary tumor but little is known about its pathogenesis. Mouse models of prolactinoma can be useful to better understand molecular mechanisms involved in abnormal lactotroph cell proliferation and secretion. We have previously developed a prolactin receptor deficient ( Prlr -/- ) mouse, which develops prolactinoma. The present study aims to explore the natural history of prolactinoma formation in Prlr -/- mice, using hormonal, radiological, histological and molecular analyses to uncover mechanisms involved in lactotroph adenoma development. Prlr -/- females develop large secreting prolactinomas from 12 months of age, with a penetrance of 100%, mimicking human aggressive densely granulated macroprolactinoma, which is a highly secreting subtype. Mean blood PRL measurements reach 14 902 ng/mL at 24 months in Prlr -/- females while PRL levels were below 15 ng/mL in control mice ( p model in ACI rats, we pinpointed 218 concordantly differentially expressed (DE) genes involved in cell cycle, mitosis, cell adhesion molecules, dopaminergic synapse and estrogen signaling. Pathway/gene-set enrichment analyses suggest that the transcriptomic dysregulation in both models of prolactinoma might be mediated by a limited set of transcription factors (i.e., STAT5, STAT3, AhR, ESR1, BRD4, CEBPD, YAP, FOXO1) and kinases (i.e., JAK2, AKT1, BRAF, BMPR1A, CDK8, HUNK, ALK, FGFR1, ILK). Our experimental results and their bioinformatic analysis provide insights into early genomic changes in murine models of the most frequent human pituitary tumor.

  3. New Insights into Molecular Organization of Human Neuraminidase-1: Transmembrane Topology and Dimerization Ability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maurice, Pascal; Baud, Stéphanie; Bocharova, Olga V.; Bocharov, Eduard V.; Kuznetsov, Andrey S.; Kawecki, Charlotte; Bocquet, Olivier; Romier, Beatrice; Gorisse, Laetitia; Ghirardi, Maxime; Duca, Laurent; Blaise, Sébastien; Martiny, Laurent; Dauchez, Manuel; Efremov, Roman G.; Debelle, Laurent

    2016-12-01

    Neuraminidase 1 (NEU1) is a lysosomal sialidase catalyzing the removal of terminal sialic acids from sialyloconjugates. A plasma membrane-bound NEU1 modulating a plethora of receptors by desialylation, has been consistently documented from the last ten years. Despite a growing interest of the scientific community to NEU1, its membrane organization is not understood and current structural and biochemical data cannot account for such membrane localization. By combining molecular biology and biochemical analyses with structural biophysics and computational approaches, we identified here two regions in human NEU1 - segments 139-159 (TM1) and 316-333 (TM2) - as potential transmembrane (TM) domains. In membrane mimicking environments, the corresponding peptides form stable α-helices and TM2 is suited for self-association. This was confirmed with full-size NEU1 by co-immunoprecipitations from membrane preparations and split-ubiquitin yeast two hybrids. The TM2 region was shown to be critical for dimerization since introduction of point mutations within TM2 leads to disruption of NEU1 dimerization and decrease of sialidase activity in membrane. In conclusion, these results bring new insights in the molecular organization of membrane-bound NEU1 and demonstrate, for the first time, the presence of two potential TM domains that may anchor NEU1 in the membrane, control its dimerization and sialidase activity.

  4. Structural insights into the molecular mechanisms of myasthenia gravis and their therapeutic implications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Noridomi, Kaori; Watanabe, Go; Hansen, Melissa N.; Han, Gye Won; Chen, Lin (USC)

    2017-04-25

    The nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) is a major target of autoantibodies in myasthenia gravis (MG), an autoimmune disease that causes neuromuscular transmission dysfunction. Despite decades of research, the molecular mechanisms underlying MG have not been fully elucidated. Here, we present the crystal structure of the nAChR α1 subunit bound by the Fab fragment of mAb35, a reference monoclonal antibody that causes experimental MG and competes with ~65% of antibodies from MG patients. Our structures reveal for the first time the detailed molecular interactions between MG antibodies and a core region on nAChR α1. These structures suggest a major nAChR-binding mechanism shared by a large number of MG antibodies and the possibility to treat MG by blocking this binding mechanism. Structure-based modeling also provides insights into antibody-mediated nAChR cross-linking known to cause receptor degradation. Our studies establish a structural basis for further mechanistic studies and therapeutic development of MG.

  5. Insights into Meteoric 10Be Dynamics and Climate Stability along the Hawaiian Kohala Climosequence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dixon, J. L.; Chadwick, O.

    2017-12-01

    We measure meteoric 10Be in soils across a well-studied climate gradient spanning Kohala, Hawaii to provide new understanding of the isotope behavior in soils and constraints on nuclide delivery rates to Earth's surface. Annual rainfall across the Kohala climogradient varies from 16 - 300 cm, with Hawaiian soils reflecting evolution over the past 150 ka, the nominal age of the volcanic parent material. We analyzed a sequence of nine soil profiles for meteoric 10Be and compared with previously measured data on soil chemistry and dust fluxes. In the Kohala system, soil inventories of 10Be span 40-300 x 109 atom/cm2 and generally increase linearly with rainfall, consistent with precipitation-driven fluxes and the high retention of 10Be in clay-rich soil horizons. However, nuclide inventories dramatically decrease for soils at rainfall >140 cm/y. The observed decrease corresponds with other strong changes in weathering intensity across the climate gradient, associated with previously studied and recognized pedogenic thresholds. These thresholds represent abrupt transitions in soil chemistry related to increased throughflow of soil solutions, decreases in base saturation and pH, and the destruction of phyllosilicates and replacement with amorphous oxyhydroxides. Meteoric-derived ages, based on 10Be-flux estimates and measured inventories are uniform for dry soils ( 60ka), but far less than the known substrate age (150ka), indicating that actual delivery rates are lower than predicted from current models in this region. Despite the offset in predicted and substrate ages, the consistency in pattern suggests that the rainfall gradient over the 150 thousand years of soil development has not deviated significantly from its present structure. Furthermore, based on clear 10Be losses in soils with high moisture availability, our results indicate meteoric 10Be may not be a robust tracer of soil age and movement in systems with high rainfall and weathering intensity and low soil

  6. An insight into the isolation, enumeration and molecular detection of Listeria monocytogenes in food

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jodi Woan-Fei Law

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Listeria monocytogenes, a foodborne pathogen that can cause listeriosis through the consumption of food contaminated with this pathogen. The ability of L. monocytogenes to survive in extreme conditions and cause food contaminations have become a major concern. Hence, routine microbiological food testing is necessary to prevent food contamination and outbreaks of foodborne illness. This review provides insight into the methods for cultural detection, enumeration and molecular identification of L. monocytogenes in various food samples. There are a number of enrichment and plating media that can be used for the isolation of L. monocytogenes from food samples. Enrichment media such as buffered Listeria Enrichment Broth (BLEB, Fraser broth and University of Vermont Medium (UVM Listeria enrichment broth are recommended by regulatory agencies such as FDA-BAM, USDA-FSIS and ISO. Many plating media are available for the isolation of L. monocytogenes, for instance, PALCAM, Oxford and other chromogenic media. Besides, reference methods like FDA-BAM, ISO 11290 method and USDA-FSIS method are usually applied for the cultural detection or enumeration of L. monocytogenes. MPN technique is applied for the enumeration of L. monocytogenes in the case of low level contamination. Molecular methods including polymerase chain reaction (PCR, multiplex polymerase chain reaction (mPCR, real-time/quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR, nucleic acid sequence-based amplification (NASBA, loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP, DNA microarray and Next Generation Sequencing (NGS technology for the detection and identification of L. monocytogenes are discussed in this review. Overall, molecular methods are rapid, sensitive, specific, time- and labour-saving. In future, there are chances for the development of new techniques for the detection and identification of foodborne with improved features.

  7. An insight into the isolation, enumeration, and molecular detection of Listeria monocytogenes in food

    Science.gov (United States)

    Law, Jodi Woan-Fei; Ab Mutalib, Nurul-Syakima; Chan, Kok-Gan; Lee, Learn-Han

    2015-01-01

    Listeria monocytogenes, a foodborne pathogen that can cause listeriosis through the consumption of food contaminated with this pathogen. The ability of L. monocytogenes to survive in extreme conditions and cause food contaminations have become a major concern. Hence, routine microbiological food testing is necessary to prevent food contamination and outbreaks of foodborne illness. This review provides insight into the methods for cultural detection, enumeration, and molecular identification of L. monocytogenes in various food samples. There are a number of enrichment and plating media that can be used for the isolation of L. monocytogenes from food samples. Enrichment media such as buffered Listeria enrichment broth, Fraser broth, and University of Vermont Medium (UVM) Listeria enrichment broth are recommended by regulatory agencies such as Food and Drug Administration-bacteriological and analytical method (FDA-BAM), US Department of Agriculture-Food and Safety (USDA-FSIS), and International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Many plating media are available for the isolation of L. monocytogenes, for instance, polymyxin acriflavin lithium-chloride ceftazidime aesculin mannitol, Oxford, and other chromogenic media. Besides, reference methods like FDA-BAM, ISO 11290 method, and USDA-FSIS method are usually applied for the cultural detection or enumeration of L. monocytogenes. most probable number technique is applied for the enumeration of L. monocytogenes in the case of low level contamination. Molecular methods including polymerase chain reaction, multiplex polymerase chain reaction, real-time/quantitative polymerase chain reaction, nucleic acid sequence-based amplification, loop-mediated isothermal amplification, DNA microarray, and next generation sequencing technology for the detection and identification of L. monocytogenes are discussed in this review. Overall, molecular methods are rapid, sensitive, specific, time- and labor-saving. In future, there are

  8. Chemical insight from density functional modeling of molecular adsorption: Tracking the bonding and diffusion of anthracene derivatives on Cu(111) with molecular orbitals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wyrick, Jonathan; Einstein, T. L.; Bartels, Ludwig

    2015-03-01

    We present a method of analyzing the results of density functional modeling of molecular adsorption in terms of an analogue of molecular orbitals. This approach permits intuitive chemical insight into the adsorption process. Applied to a set of anthracene derivates (anthracene, 9,10-anthraquinone, 9,10-dithioanthracene, and 9,10-diselenonanthracene), we follow the electronic states of the molecules that are involved in the bonding process and correlate them to both the molecular adsorption geometry and the species' diffusive behavior. We additionally provide computational code to easily repeat this analysis on any system.

  9. Molecular fossils in modern genomes provide physiological and geochemical insights to the ancient earth (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dupont, C.; Caetano-Anolles, G.

    2010-12-01

    The genomes of extant organisms are ultimately derived from ancient life, thus theoretically contain insight to ancient physiology, ecology, and environments. In particular, metalloenzymes may be particularly insightful. The fundamental chemistry of trace elements dictates the molecular speciation and reactivity both within cells and the environment at large. Using protein structure and comparative genomics, we elucidate several major influences this chemistry has had upon biology. All of life exhibits the same proteome size-dependent scaling for the number of metal-binding proteins within a proteome. This fundamental evolutionary constant shows that the selection of one element occurs at the exclusion of another, with the eschewal of Fe for Zn and Ca being a defining feature of eukaryotic pro- teomes. Early life lacked both the structures required to control intracellular metal concentrations and the metal-binding proteins that catalyze electron transport and redox transformations. The development of protein structures for metal homeostasis coincided with the emergence of metal-specific structures, which predomi- nantly bound metals abundant in the Archean ocean. Potentially, this promoted the diversification of emerging lineages of Archaea and Bacteria through the establishment of biogeochemical cycles. In contrast, structures binding Cu and Zn evolved much later, pro- viding further evidence that environmental availability influenced the selection of the elements. The late evolving Zn-binding proteins are fundamental to eukaryotic cellular biology, and Zn bioavailabil- ity may have been a limiting factor in eukaryotic evolution. The results presented here provide an evolutionary timeline based on genomic characteristics, and key hypotheses can be tested by alternative geochemical methods.

  10. A multi-layered governance framework for incorporating social science insights into adapting to the health impacts of climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowen, Kathryn J; Ebi, Kristie; Friel, Sharon; McMichael, Anthony J

    2013-09-10

    Addressing climate change and its associated effects is a multi-dimensional and ongoing challenge. This includes recognizing that climate change will affect the health and wellbeing of all populations over short and longer terms, albeit in varied ways and intensities. That recognition has drawn attention to the need to take adaptive actions to lessen adverse impacts over the next few decades from unavoidable climate change, particularly in developing country settings. A range of sectors is responsible for appropriate adaptive policies and measures to address the health risks of climate change, including health services, water and sanitation, trade, agriculture, disaster management, and development. To broaden the framing of governance and decision-making processes by using innovative methods and assessments to illustrate the multi-sectoral nature of health-related adaptation to climate change. This is a shift from sector-specific to multi-level systems encompassing sectors and actors, across temporal and spatial scales. A review and synthesis of the current knowledge in the areas of health and climate change adaptation governance and decision-making processes. A novel framework is presented that incorporates social science insights into the formulation and implementation of adaptation activities and policies to lessen the health risks posed by climate change. Clarification of the roles that different sectors, organizations, and individuals occupy in relation to the development of health-related adaptation strategies will facilitate the inclusion of health and wellbeing within multi-sector adaptation policies, thereby strengthening the overall set of responses to minimize the adverse health effects of climate change.

  11. A multi-layered governance framework for incorporating social science insights into adapting to the health impacts of climate change

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kathryn J. Bowen

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Background: Addressing climate change and its associated effects is a multi-dimensional and ongoing challenge. This includes recognizing that climate change will affect the health and wellbeing of all populations over short and longer terms, albeit in varied ways and intensities. That recognition has drawn attention to the need to take adaptive actions to lessen adverse impacts over the next few decades from unavoidable climate change, particularly in developing country settings. A range of sectors is responsible for appropriate adaptive policies and measures to address the health risks of climate change, including health services, water and sanitation, trade, agriculture, disaster management, and development. Objectives: To broaden the framing of governance and decision-making processes by using innovative methods and assessments to illustrate the multi-sectoral nature of health-related adaptation to climate change. This is a shift from sector-specific to multi-level systems encompassing sectors and actors, across temporal and spatial scales. Design: A review and synthesis of the current knowledge in the areas of health and climate change adaptation governance and decision-making processes. Results: A novel framework is presented that incorporates social science insights into the formulation and implementation of adaptation activities and policies to lessen the health risks posed by climate change. Conclusion: Clarification of the roles that different sectors, organizations, and individuals occupy in relation to the development of health-related adaptation strategies will facilitate the inclusion of health and wellbeing within multi-sector adaptation policies, thereby strengthening the overall set of responses to minimize the adverse health effects of climate change.

  12. Molecular stratigraphy: a new tool for climatic assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brassell, S. C.; Eglinton, G.; Marlowe, I. T.; Pflaumann, U.; Sarnthein, M.

    1986-03-01

    Variations in sea-surface temperatures over the past 500,000 years are inferred from the relative abundance behaviour of two organic compounds, C37 alkenones over the upper 8 metres of a sediment core from the eastern equatorial Atlantic. This molecular record, ascribed to contributions from prymnesiophyte algae, correlates well with the variations in the δ18 signal for the calcareous skeletons of certain planktonic foraminifera, thus providing the first demonstration of a new stratigraphical technique, which may be especially valuable where methods based on carbonate δ18 fail.

  13. Molecular insights into the evolutionary pathway of Vibrio cholerae O1 atypical El Tor variants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Eun Jin; Lee, Dokyung; Moon, Se Hoon; Lee, Chan Hee; Kim, Sang Jun; Lee, Jae Hyun; Kim, Jae Ouk; Song, Manki; Das, Bhabatosh; Clemens, John D; Pape, Jean William; Nair, G Balakrish; Kim, Dong Wook

    2014-09-01

    Pandemic V. cholerae strains in the O1 serogroup have 2 biotypes: classical and El Tor. The classical biotype strains of the sixth pandemic, which encode the classical type cholera toxin (CT), have been replaced by El Tor biotype strains of the seventh pandemic. The prototype El Tor strains that produce biotype-specific cholera toxin are being replaced by atypical El Tor variants that harbor classical cholera toxin. Atypical El Tor strains are categorized into 2 groups, Wave 2 and Wave 3 strains, based on genomic variations and the CTX phage that they harbor. Whole-genome analysis of V. cholerae strains in the seventh cholera pandemic has demonstrated gradual changes in the genome of prototype and atypical El Tor strains, indicating that atypical strains arose from the prototype strains by replacing the CTX phages. We examined the molecular mechanisms that effected the emergence of El Tor strains with classical cholera toxin-carrying phage. We isolated an intermediary V. cholerae strain that carried two different CTX phages that encode El Tor and classical cholera toxin, respectively. We show here that the intermediary strain can be converted into various Wave 2 strains and can act as the source of the novel mosaic CTX phages. These results imply that the Wave 2 and Wave 3 strains may have been generated from such intermediary strains in nature. Prototype El Tor strains can become Wave 3 strains by excision of CTX-1 and re-equipping with the new CTX phages. Our data suggest that inter-chromosomal recombination between 2 types of CTX phages is possible when a host bacterial cell is infected by multiple CTX phages. Our study also provides molecular insights into population changes in V. cholerae in the absence of significant changes to the genome but by replacement of the CTX prophage that they harbor.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tvaroška, Igor

    2015-02-11

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

  15. Storm track response to climate change: Insights from simulations using an idealized dry GCM.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mbengue, Cheikh; Schneider, Tapio

    2013-04-01

    The midlatitude storm tracks, where the most intense extratropical cyclones are found, are an important fixture in the general circulation. They are instrumental in balancing the Earth's heat, momentum, and moisture budgets and are responsible for the weather and climatic patterns over large regions of the Earth's surface. As a result, the midlatitude storm tracks are the subject of a considerable amount of scientific research to understand their response to global warming. This has produced the robust result showing that the storm tracks migrate poleward with global warming. However, the dynamical mechanisms responsible for this migration remain unclear. Our work seeks to broaden understanding of the dynamical mechanisms responsible for storm track migration. Competing mechanisms present in the comprehensive climate models often used to study storm track dynamics make it difficult to determine the primary mechanisms responsible for storm track migration. We are thus prompted to study storm track dynamics from a simplified and idealized framework, which enables the decoupling of mean temperature effects from the effects of static stability and of tropical from extratropical effects. Using a statistically zonally symmetric, dry general circulation model (GCM), we conduct a series of numerical simulations to help understand the storm track response to global mean temperatures and to the tropical convective static stability, which we can vary independently. We define storm tracks as regions of zonally and temporally averaged maxima of barotropic eddy kinetic energy (EKE). This storm track definition also allows us to use previously found scalings between the magnitude of bulk measures of mean available potential energy (MAPE) and EKE, to decompose MAPE, and to obtain some mechanistic understanding of the storm track response in our simulations. These simulations provide several insights, which enable us to extend upon existing theories on the mechanisms driving the

  16. Prolactin and teleost ionocytes: new insights into cellular and molecular targets of prolactin in vertebrate epithelia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breves, Jason P.; McCormick, Stephen D.; Karlstrom, Rolf O.

    2014-01-01

    The peptide hormone prolactin is a functionally versatile hormone produced by the vertebrate pituitary. Comparative studies over the last six decades have revealed that a conserved function for prolactin across vertebrates is the regulation of ion and water transport in a variety of tissues including those responsible for whole-organism ion homeostasis. In teleost fishes, prolactin was identified as the “freshwater-adapting hormone”, promoting ion-conserving and water-secreting processes by acting on the gill, kidney, gut and urinary bladder. In mammals, prolactin is known to regulate renal, intestinal, mammary and amniotic epithelia, with dysfunction linked to hypogonadism, infertility, and metabolic disorders. Until recently, our understanding of the cellular mechanisms of prolactin action in fishes has been hampered by a paucity of molecular tools to define and study ionocytes, specialized cells that control active ion transport across branchial and epidermal epithelia. Here we review work in teleost models indicating that prolactin regulates ion balance through action on ion transporters, tight-junction proteins, and water channels in ionocytes, and discuss recent advances in our understanding of ionocyte function in the genetically and embryonically accessible zebrafish (Danio rerio). Given the high degree of evolutionary conservation in endocrine and osmoregulatory systems, these studies in teleost models are contributing novel mechanistic insight into how prolactin participates in the development, function, and dysfunction of osmoregulatory systems across the vertebrate lineage.

  17. Calcium-Activated Cl- Channel: Insights on the Molecular Identity in Epithelial Tissues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rottgen, Trey S; Nickerson, Andrew J; Rajendran, Vazhaikkurichi M

    2018-05-10

    Calcium-activated chloride secretion in epithelial tissues has been described for many years. However, the molecular identity of the channel responsible for the Ca 2+ -activated Cl − secretion in epithelial tissues has remained a mystery. More recently, TMEM16A has been identified as a new putative Ca 2+ -activated Cl − channel (CaCC). The primary goal of this article will be to review the characterization of TMEM16A, as it relates to the physical structure of the channel, as well as important residues that confer voltage and Ca 2+ -sensitivity of the channel. This review will also discuss the role of TMEM16A in epithelial physiology and potential associated-pathophysiology. This will include discussion of developed knockout models that have provided much needed insight on the functional localization of TMEM16A in several epithelial tissues. Finally, this review will examine the implications of the identification of TMEM16A as it pertains to potential novel therapies in several pathologies.

  18. Assessing surface water flood risk and management strategies under future climate change: Insights from an Agent-Based Model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenkins, K; Surminski, S; Hall, J; Crick, F

    2017-10-01

    Climate change and increasing urbanization are projected to result in an increase in surface water flooding and consequential damages in the future. In this paper, we present insights from a novel Agent Based Model (ABM), applied to a London case study of surface water flood risk, designed to assess the interplay between different adaptation options; how risk reduction could be achieved by homeowners and government; and the role of flood insurance and the new flood insurance pool, Flood Re, in the context of climate change. The analysis highlights that while combined investment in property-level flood protection and sustainable urban drainage systems reduce surface water flood risk, the benefits can be outweighed by continued development in high risk areas and the effects of climate change. In our simulations, Flood Re is beneficial in its function to provide affordable insurance, even under climate change. However, the scheme does face increasing financial pressure due to rising surface water flood damages. If the intended transition to risk-based pricing is to take place then a determined and coordinated strategy will be needed to manage flood risk, which utilises insurance incentives, limits new development, and supports resilience measures. Our modelling approach and findings are highly relevant for the ongoing regulatory and political approval process for Flood Re as well as for wider discussions on the potential of insurance schemes to incentivise flood risk management and climate adaptation in the UK and internationally. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Evaluating climate change mitigation potential of hydrochars: compounding insights from three different indicators

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Owsianiak, Mikołaj; Brooks, Jennifer; Renz, Michael

    2017-01-01

    beet, fava bean, onion and lucerne) and two different countries (Spain and Germany), and used three different indicators of climate change: global warming potential (GWP), global temperature change potential (GTP), and climate tipping potential (CTP). We found that although climate change benefits (GWP......) from just sequestration and temporary storage of carbon are sufficient to outweigh impacts stemming from hydrochar production and transportation to the field, even greater benefits stem from replacing climate-inefficient biowaste management treatment options, like composting in Spain. By contrast...

  20. Limitations of climatic data for inferring species boundaries: insights from speckled rattlesnakes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jesse M Meik

    Full Text Available Phenotypes, DNA, and measures of ecological differences are widely used in species delimitation. Although rarely defined in such studies, ecological divergence is almost always approximated using multivariate climatic data associated with sets of specimens (i.e., the "climatic niche"; the justification for this approach is that species-specific climatic envelopes act as surrogates for physiological tolerances. Using identical statistical procedures, we evaluated the usefulness and validity of the climate-as-proxy assumption by comparing performance of genetic (nDNA SNPs and mitochondrial DNA, phenotypic, and climatic data for objective species delimitation in the speckled rattlesnake (Crotalus mitchellii complex. Ordination and clustering patterns were largely congruent among intrinsic (heritable traits (nDNA, mtDNA, phenotype, and discordance is explained by biological processes (e.g., ontogeny, hybridization. In contrast, climatic data did not produce biologically meaningful clusters that were congruent with any intrinsic dataset, but rather corresponded to regional differences in atmospheric circulation and climate, indicating an absence of inherent taxonomic signal in these data. Surrogating climate for physiological tolerances adds artificial weight to evidence of species boundaries, as these data are irrelevant for that purpose. Based on the evidence from congruent clustering of intrinsic datasets, we recommend that three subspecies of C. mitchellii be recognized as species: C. angelensis, C. mitchellii, and C. Pyrrhus.

  1. Climate change, water stress, conflict and migration : Taking stock of current insights through a vulnerability lens

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hermans, L.M.

    2011-01-01

    There is a growing awareness in international policy circles that climate change may be a driver of increased migration flows. In addition to political refugees and economic migrants, climate change-induced migration and environmental migrants are increasingly recognized as categories in human

  2. Molecular proxies for climate maladaptation in a long-lived tree (Pinus pinaster Aiton, Pinaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaramillo-Correa, Juan-Pablo; Rodríguez-Quilón, Isabel; Grivet, Delphine; Lepoittevin, Camille; Sebastiani, Federico; Heuertz, Myriam; Garnier-Géré, Pauline H; Alía, Ricardo; Plomion, Christophe; Vendramin, Giovanni G; González-Martínez, Santiago C

    2015-03-01

    Understanding adaptive genetic responses to climate change is a main challenge for preserving biological diversity. Successful predictive models for climate-driven range shifts of species depend on the integration of information on adaptation, including that derived from genomic studies. Long-lived forest trees can experience substantial environmental change across generations, which results in a much more prominent adaptation lag than in annual species. Here, we show that candidate-gene SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms) can be used as predictors of maladaptation to climate in maritime pine (Pinus pinaster Aiton), an outcrossing long-lived keystone tree. A set of 18 SNPs potentially associated with climate, 5 of them involving amino acid-changing variants, were retained after performing logistic regression, latent factor mixed models, and Bayesian analyses of SNP-climate correlations. These relationships identified temperature as an important adaptive driver in maritime pine and highlighted that selective forces are operating differentially in geographically discrete gene pools. The frequency of the locally advantageous alleles at these selected loci was strongly correlated with survival in a common garden under extreme (hot and dry) climate conditions, which suggests that candidate-gene SNPs can be used to forecast the likely destiny of natural forest ecosystems under climate change scenarios. Differential levels of forest decline are anticipated for distinct maritime pine gene pools. Geographically defined molecular proxies for climate adaptation will thus critically enhance the predictive power of range-shift models and help establish mitigation measures for long-lived keystone forest trees in the face of impending climate change. Copyright © 2015 by the Genetics Society of America.

  3. Country, climate change adaptation and colonisation: insights from an Indigenous adaptation planning process, Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nursey-Bray, Melissa; Palmer, Robert

    2018-03-01

    Indigenous peoples are going to be disproportionately affected by climate change. Developing tailored, place based, and culturally appropriate solutions will be necessary. Yet finding cultural and institutional 'fit' within and between competing values-based climate and environmental management governance regimes remains an ongoing challenge. This paper reports on a collaborative research project with the Arabana people of central Australia, that resulted in the production of the first Indigenous community-based climate change adaptation strategy in Australia. We aimed to try and understand what conditions are needed to support Indigenous driven adaptation initiatives, if there are any cultural differences that need accounting for and how, once developed they be integrated into existing governance arrangements. Our analysis found that climate change adaptation is based on the centrality of the connection to 'country' (traditional land), it needs to be aligned with cultural values, and focus on the building of adaptive capacity. We find that the development of climate change adaptation initiatives cannot be divorced from the historical context of how the Arabana experienced and collectively remember colonisation. We argue that in developing culturally responsive climate governance for and with Indigenous peoples, that that the history of colonisation and the ongoing dominance of entrenched Western governance regimes needs acknowledging and redressing into contemporary environmental/climate management.

  4. Structural and molecular insights into novel surface-exposed mucus adhesins from Lactobacillus reuteri human strains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Etzold, Sabrina; MacKenzie, Donald A; Jeffers, Faye; Walshaw, John; Roos, Stefan; Hemmings, Andrew M; Juge, Nathalie

    2014-05-01

    The mucus layer covering the gastrointestinal tract is the first point of contact of the intestinal microbiota with the host. Cell surface macromolecules are critical for adherence of commensal bacteria to mucus but structural information is scarce. Here we report the first molecular and structural characterization of a novel cell-surface protein, Lar_0958 from Lactobacillus reuteri JCM 1112(T) , mediating adhesion of L. reuteri human strains to mucus. Lar_0958 is a modular protein of 133 kDa containing six repeat domains, an N-terminal signal sequence and a C-terminal anchoring motif (LPXTG). Lar_0958 homologues are expressed on the cell-surface of L. reuteri human strains, as shown by flow-cytometry and immunogold microscopy. Adhesion of human L. reuteri strains to mucus in vitro was significantly reduced in the presence of an anti-Lar_0958 antibody and Lar_0958 contribution to adhesion was further confirmed using a L. reuteri ATCC PTA 6475 lar_0958 KO mutant (6475-KO). The X-ray crystal structure of a single Lar_0958 repeat, determined at 1.5 Å resolution, revealed a divergent immunoglobulin (Ig)-like β-sandwich fold, sharing structural homology with the Ig-like inter-repeat domain of internalins of the food borne pathogen Listeria monocytogenes. These findings provide unique structural insights into cell-surface protein repeats involved in adhesion of Gram-positive bacteria to the intestine. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. Can Payments for Ecosystem Services Contribute to Adaptation to Climate Change? Insights from a Watershed in Kenya

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isabel van de Sand

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Climate change presents new challenges for the management of social-ecological systems and the ecosystem services they provide. Although the instrument of payments for ecosystem services (PES has emerged as a promising tool to safeguard or enhance the provision of ecosystem services (ES, little attention has been paid to the potential role of PES in climate change adaptation. As an external stressor climate change has an impact on the social-ecological system in which PES takes place, including the various actors taking part in the PES scheme. Following a short description of the conceptual link between PES and adaptation to climate change, we provide practical insights into the relationship between PES and adaptation to climate change by presenting results from a case study of a rural watershed in Kenya. Drawing upon the results of a participatory vulnerability assessment among potential ecosystem service providers in Sasumua watershed north of Nairobi, we show that PES can play a role in enhancing adaptation to climate change by influencing certain elements of adaptive capacity and incentivizing adaptation measures. In addition, trade-offs and synergies between proposed measures under PES and adaptation to climate change are identified. Results show that although it may not be possible to establish PES schemes based on water utilities as the sole source of financing, embedding PES in a wider adaptation framework creates an opportunity for the development of watershed PES schemes in Africa and ensures their sustainability. We conclude that there is a need to embed PES in a wider institutional framework and that extra financial resources are needed to foster greater integration between PES and adaptation to climate change. This can be achieved through scaling up PES by bringing in other buyers and additional ecosystem services. PES can achieve important coadaptation benefits, but for more effective adaptation outcomes it needs to be combined

  6. Absolute Molecular Orientation of Isopropanol at Ceria (100) Surfaces: Insight into Catalytic Selectivity from the Interfacial Structure

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Doughty, Benjamin [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Goverapet Srinivasan, Sriram [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Indian Inst. of Technology (IIT), Rajasthan (India); Bryantsev, Vyacheslav S. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Lee, Dongkyu [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Lee, Ho Nyung [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Ma, Ying-Zhong [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Lutterman, Daniel A. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)

    2017-06-12

    The initial mechanistic steps underlying heterogeneous chemical catalysis can be described in a framework where the composition, structure, and orientation of molecules adsorbed to reactive interfaces are known. However, extracting this vital information is the limiting step in most cases due in part to challenges in probing the interfacial monolayer with enough chemical specificity to characterize the surface molecular constituents. These challenges are exacerbated at complex or spatially heterogeneous interfaces where competing processes and a distribution of local environments can uniquely drive chemistry. To address these limitations, this work presents a distinctive combination of materials synthesis, surface specific optical experiments, and theory to probe and understand molecular structure at catalytic interfaces. Specifically, isopropanol was adsorbed to surfaces of the model CeO2 catalyst that were synthesized with only the (100) facet exposed. Vibrational sum-frequency generation was used to probe the molecular monolayer, and with the guidance of density functional theory calculations, was used to extract the structure and absolute molecular orientation of isopropanol at the CeO2 (100) surface. Our results show that isopropanol is readily deprotonated at the surface, and through the measured absolute molecular orientation of isopropanol, we obtain new insight into the selectivity of the (100) surface to form propylene. Our findings reveal key insight into the chemical and physical phenomena taking place at pristine interfaces thereby pointing to intuitive structural arguments to describe catalytic selectivity in more complex systems.

  7. Postglacial Human resilience and susceptibility to abrupt climate change new insights from Star Carr

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blockley, Simon; Abrook, Ashley; Bayliss, Alex; Candy, Ian; Conneller, Chantal; Darvill, Chris; Deeprose, Laura; Kearney, Rebecca; Langdon, Pete; Langdon Langdon, Cath; Lincoln, Paul; Macleod, Alison; Matthews, Ian; Palmer, Adrian; Schreve, Danielle; Taylor, Barry; Milner, Nicky

    2017-04-01

    We know little about the lives of the early humans who lived during the early Postglacial period (the Lateglacial and Early Holocene), a time characterised by abrupt climate change after 16,000, which includes a series of abrupt climatic transitions linked to the reorganisation of the global environment after the glacial maximum and the last major global warming event at the onset of the Holocene. The hunter-gatherers who lived during the early Postglacial have been characterised as highly mobile, dispersed and living within small groups, and there is much debate as to how they adapted to climatic and environmental change: did they move in response to climatic transitions (and if so what was the climatic threshold), or instead adapt their lifeways to the new environmental conditions? A key area for examining these ideas is the British Isles as it sits on the Atlantic fringe of Northwest Europe with a climate that is highly responsive to the wider climate forcing experienced in the northern Hemisphere. Furthermore, in this period, Britain is directly linked to continental Europe due to lowered global sea levels allowing for the ease of human migration in and out of this region. In general the British record has been seen as being dominated by abandonment and reoccupation in the Postglacial during periods of climatic transition with hunter-gatherer mobility being closely linked to the prevailing environment. Recent discoveries at the Early Mesolithic site of Star Carr and surrounding area, linked to local and regional climate records, based on isotopic, chironomid and pollen proxy data and dated at high chronological resolution, offer a new picture. Postglacial human occupation of the area commences at the Pleistocene/Holocene transition but is short lived and appears to end close to the Pre-Boreal Oscillation, However, this is followed by a period where hunter-gatherers occupy Star Carr and settle and invest time and effort into building huts and large scale wooden

  8. The Psychology of Climate Change Communication - Insights from the Center for Research on Environmental Decisions (CRED) (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marx, S.

    2010-12-01

    social goals in favor or self interest; early involvement of stakeholders through participatory processes can help identify key concerns and information needs which can then be addressed in a tailored approach; taking advantage of default effects can make it easier for people to choose environmentally and socially beneficial options. Using research into the reactions of groups as disparate as African farmers and conservative U.S. voters, we offer insights on how scientists, educators, journalists and others can effectively connect with wider audiences. The communication principles presented in this talk can be applied beyond climate change and to science communication in general.

  9. Global Deliberative Democracy and Climate Change: Insights from World Wide Views on Global Warming in Australia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chris Riedy

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available On 26 September 2009, approximately 4,000 citizens in 38 countries participated in World Wide Views on Global Warming (WWViews. WWViews was an ambitious first attempt to convene a deliberative mini-public at a global scale, giving people from around the world an opportunity to deliberate on international climate policy and to make recommendations to the decision-makers meeting at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen (COP-15 in December 2009. In this paper, we examine the role that deliberative mini-publics can play in facilitating the emergence of a global deliberative system for climate change response. We pursue this intent through a reflective evaluation of the Australian component of the World Wide Views on Global Warming project (WWViews. Our evaluation of WWViews is mixed. The Australian event was delivered with integrity and feedback from Australian participants was almost universally positive. Globally, WWViews demonstrated that it is feasible to convene a global mini-public to deliberate on issues of global relevance, such as climate change. On the other hand, the contribution of WWViews towards the emergence of a global deliberative system for climate change response was limited and it achieved little influence on global climate change policy. We identify lessons for future global mini-publics, including the need to prioritise the quality of deliberation and provide flexibility to respond to cultural and political contexts in different parts of the world. Future global mini-publics may be more influential if they seek to represent discourse diversity in addition to demographic profiles, use designs that maximise the potential for transmission from public to empowered space, run over longer time periods to build momentum for change and experiment with ways of bringing global citizens together in a single process instead of discrete national events.

  10. Toward a Theoretical Framework for Studying Climate Change Policies: Insights from the Case Study of Singapore

    OpenAIRE

    Ai Sian Ng; May O. Lwin; Augustine Pang

    2017-01-01

    The world decided in December 2015 to take actions to reduce global warming. To contribute toward this goal, this research examines possible policy levers for inclusion in the climate change ratification plan. A case study of the measures taken by the Republic of Singapore, a low-lying 719.2 km2 island without natural resources in Asia, is conducted. Being vulnerable to climate change impact and yet having to balance her people’s needs and economic progress with limited resources, the measure...

  11. New Biogeographic insight into Bauhinia s.l. (Leguminosae): integration from fossil records and molecular analyses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meng, Hong-Hu; Jacques, Frédéric Mb; Su, Tao; Huang, Yong-Jiang; Zhang, Shi-Tao; Ma, Hong-Jie; Zhou, Zhe-Kun

    2014-08-10

    Given that most species that have ever existed on earth are extinct, it stands to reason that the evolutionary history can be better understood with fossil taxa. Bauhinia is a typical genus of pantropical intercontinental disjunction among the Asian, African, and American continents. Geographic distribution patterns are better recognized when fossil records and molecular sequences are combined in the analyses. Here, we describe a new macrofossil species of Bauhinia from the Upper Miocene Xiaolongtan Formation in Wenshan County, Southeast Yunnan, China, and elucidate the biogeographic significance through the analyses of molecules and fossils. Morphometric analysis demonstrates that the leaf shapes of B. acuminata, B. championii, B. chalcophylla, B. purpurea, and B. podopetala closely resemble the leaf shapes of the new finding fossil. Phylogenetic relationships among the Bauhinia species were reconstructed using maximum parsimony and Bayesian inference, which inferred that species in Bauhinia species are well-resolved into three main groups. Divergence times were estimated by the Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) method under a relaxed clock, and inferred that the stem diversification time of Bauhinia was ca. 62.7 Ma. The Asian lineage first diverged at ca. 59.8 Ma, followed by divergence of the Africa lineage starting during the late Eocene, whereas that of the neotropical lineage starting during the middle Miocene. Hypotheses relying on vicariance or continental history to explain pantropical disjunct distributions are dismissed because they require mostly Palaeogene and older tectonic events. We suggest that Bauhinia originated in the middle Paleocene in Laurasia, probably in Asia, implying a possible Tethys Seaway origin or an "Out of Tropical Asia", and dispersal of legumes. Its present pantropical disjunction resulted from disruption of the boreotropical flora by climatic cooling after the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM). North Atlantic land

  12. Planning for climate change in small islands: insights from national hurricane preparedness in the Cayman Islands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tompkins, E.L.

    2005-01-01

    This paper examines contemporary national scale responses to tropical storm risk in a small island in the Caribbean to derive lessons for adapting to climate change. There is little empirical evidence to guide national planners on how to adapt to climate change, and less still on how to build on past adaptation experiences. The paper investigates the construction of institutional resilience and the process of adaptation to tropical storm risk by the Cayman Islands' Government from 1988 to 2002. It explains the roles of persuasion, exposure and collective action as key components in developing the ability to buffer external disturbance using models of institutional economics and social resilience concepts. The study finds that self-efficacy, strong local and international support networks, combined with a willingness to act collectively and to learn from mistakes appear to have increased the resilience of the Cayman Islands' Government to tropical storm risk. The lessons learned from building resilience to storm risk can contribute to the creation of national level adaptive capacity to climate change, but climate change has to be prioritised before these lessons can be transferred. (author)

  13. Reconciling collaborative action research with existing institutions: insights from Dutch and German climate knowledge programmes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Termeer, C.J.A.M.; Buuren, van A.; Knieling, J.; Gottschick, M.

    2015-01-01

    Researchers and policymakers increasingly aim to set up collaborative research programmes to address the challenges of adaptation to climate change. This does not only apply for technical knowledge, but for governance knowledge also. Both the Netherlands and Germany have set up large scale

  14. Planning for climate change in small islands: insights from national hurricane preparedness in the Cayman Islands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tompkins, E.L. [University of East Anglia, Norwich (United Kingdom). School of Environmental Sciences

    2005-07-01

    This paper examines contemporary national scale responses to tropical storm risk in a small island in the Caribbean to derive lessons for adapting to climate change. There is little empirical evidence to guide national planners on how to adapt to climate change, and less still on how to build on past adaptation experiences. The paper investigates the construction of institutional resilience and the process of adaptation to tropical storm risk by the Cayman Islands' Government from 1988 to 2002. It explains the roles of persuasion, exposure and collective action as key components in developing the ability to buffer external disturbance using models of institutional economics and social resilience concepts. The study finds that self-efficacy, strong local and international support networks, combined with a willingness to act collectively and to learn from mistakes appear to have increased the resilience of the Cayman Islands' Government to tropical storm risk. The lessons learned from building resilience to storm risk can contribute to the creation of national level adaptive capacity to climate change, but climate change has to be prioritised before these lessons can be transferred. (author)

  15. Molecular records of climate variability and vegetation response since the Late Pleistocene in the Lake Victoria basin, East Africa

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Berke, M.A.; Johnson, T.C.; Werne, J.P.; Grice, K.; Schouten, S.; Sinninghe Damsté, J.S.

    2012-01-01

    New molecular proxies of temperature and hydrology are helping to constrain tropical climate change and elucidate possible forcing mechanisms during the Holocene. Here, we examine a similar to 14,000 year record of climate variability from Lake Victoria, East Africa, the world's second largest

  16. The terrestrial hydro-climate of the Early Eocene: insights from the oxygen and clumped isotope composition of pedogenic siderite

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Dijk, J.; Fernandez, A.; Müller, I.; White, T. S.; Bernasconi, S. M.

    2016-12-01

    The Early Eocene (56 Ma) is the youngest period of Earth's history when CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere (600-1500 ppm) reached levels close to those predicted for future emission scenarios. Proxy-based climate reconstructions from this interval can therefore be used to gain insights on effects that anthropogenic emissions might have on the climate system. So far, Early Eocene climatic data is limited to the oceans, where proxies for temperature are abundant and relatively well understood. However, in order to get a complete picture of the Early Eocene climate, temperature and rainfall reconstructions on the continental paleo-surface are needed. Here, we present clumped and stable oxygen isotope measurements of siderite samples collected along a North-South transect in the North American Continent. These siderites formed in kaolinitic soils that developed globally under the extremely wet and warm conditions of the Early Eocene. They provide a record of both soil temperature and the δ18O composition of meteoric water, which can be used to unravel the regional paleo-precipitation rate. Both parameters were estimated using an elaborate in-house calibration constructed with synthetic siderite precipitated in the presence or absence of iron reducing bacteria. Measurements of δD on plant-derived N-alkanes present within the same soils align well with our δ18Owater data, confirming an Early Eocene meteoric water line similar to the present day. We provide an estimate of the meridional temperature gradient during the Early Eocene and offer constraints on the boundary conditions of the Earth's hydrologic cycle under high pCO2.

  17. Insights into structural features of HDAC1 and its selectivity inhibition elucidated by Molecular dynamic simulation and Molecular Docking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sixto-López, Yudibeth; Bello, Martiniano; Correa-Basurto, José

    2018-03-06

    Histone deacetylases (HDACs) are a family of proteins whose main function is the removal of acetyl groups from lysine residues located on histone and non-histone substrates, which regulates gene transcription and other activities in cells. HDAC1 dysfunction has been implicated in cancer development and progression; thus, its inhibition has emerged as a new therapeutic strategy. Two additional metal binding sites (Site 1 and Site 2) in HDACs have been described that are primarily occupied by potassium ions, suggesting a possible structural role that affects HDAC activity. In this work, we explored the structural role of potassium ions in Site 1 and Site 2 and how they affect the interactions of compounds with high affinities for HDAC1 (AC1OCG0B, Chlamydocin, Dacinostat and Quisinostat) and SAHA (a pan-inhibitor) using molecular docking and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations in concert with a Molecular-Mechanics-Generalized-Born-Surface-Area (MMGBSA) approach. Four models were generated: one with a potassium ion (K + ) in both sites (HDAC1 k ), a second with K + only at site 1 (HDAC1 ks1 ), a third with K + only at site 2 (HDAC1 ks2 ) and a fourth with no K + (HDAC1 wk ). We found that the presence or absence of K + not only impacted the structural flexibility of HDAC1, but also its molecular recognition, consistent with experimental findings. These results could therefore be useful for further structure-based drug design studies addressing new HDAC1 inhibitors.

  18. An Insight towards Conceptual Understanding: Looking into the Molecular Structures of Compounds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uyulgan, Melis Arzu; Akkuzu, Nalan

    2016-01-01

    The subject of molecular structures is one of the most important and complex subject in chemistry which a majority of the undergraduate students have difficulties to understand its concepts and characteristics correctly. To comprehend the molecular structures and their characteristics the students need to understand related subjects such as Lewis…

  19. Quantitative analysis of oyster larval proteome provides new insights into the effects of multiple climate change stressors

    KAUST Repository

    Dineshram, Ramadoss

    2016-03-19

    The metamorphosis of planktonic larvae of the Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas) underpins their complex life-history strategy by switching on the molecular machinery required for sessile life and building calcite shells. Metamorphosis becomes a survival bottleneck, which will be pressured by different anthropogenically induced climate change-related variables. Therefore, it is important to understand how metamorphosing larvae interact with emerging climate change stressors. To predict how larvae might be affected in a future ocean, we examined changes in the proteome of metamorphosing larvae under multiple stressors: decreased pH (pH 7.4), increased temperature (30 °C), and reduced salinity (15 psu). Quantitative protein expression profiling using iTRAQ-LC-MS/MS identified more than 1300 proteins. Decreased pH had a negative effect on metamorphosis by down-regulating several proteins involved in energy production, metabolism, and protein synthesis. However, warming switched on these down-regulated pathways at pH 7.4. Under multiple stressors, cell signaling, energy production, growth, and developmental pathways were up-regulated, although metamorphosis was still reduced. Despite the lack of lethal effects, significant physiological responses to both individual and interacting climate change related stressors were observed at proteome level. The metamorphosing larvae of the C. gigas population in the Yellow Sea appear to have adequate phenotypic plasticity at the proteome level to survive in future coastal oceans, but with developmental and physiological costs. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  20. Structural insights of Staphylococcus aureus FtsZ inhibitors through molecular docking, 3D-QSAR and molecular dynamics simulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ballu, Srilata; Itteboina, Ramesh; Sivan, Sree Kanth; Manga, Vijjulatha

    2018-02-01

    Filamentous temperature-sensitive protein Z (FtsZ) is a protein encoded by the FtsZ gene that assembles into a Z-ring at the future site of the septum of bacterial cell division. Structurally, FtsZ is a homolog of eukaryotic tubulin but has low sequence similarity; this makes it possible to obtain FtsZ inhibitors without affecting the eukaryotic cell division. Computational studies were performed on a series of substituted 3-arylalkoxybenzamide derivatives reported as inhibitors of FtsZ activity in Staphylococcus aureus. Quantitative structure-activity relationship models (QSAR) models generated showed good statistical reliability, which is evident from r 2 ncv and r 2 loo values. The predictive ability of these models was determined and an acceptable predictive correlation (r 2 Pred ) values were obtained. Finally, we performed molecular dynamics simulations in order to examine the stability of protein-ligand interactions. This facilitated us to compare free binding energies of cocrystal ligand and newly designed molecule B1. The good concordance between the docking results and comparative molecular field analysis (CoMFA)/comparative molecular similarity indices analysis (CoMSIA) contour maps afforded obliging clues for the rational modification of molecules to design more potent FtsZ inhibitors.

  1. From monsoon to marine productivity in the Arabian Sea: insights from glacial and interglacial climates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Mézo, Priscilla; Beaufort, Luc; Bopp, Laurent; Braconnot, Pascale; Kageyama, Masa

    2017-07-01

    The current-climate Indian monsoon is known to boost biological productivity in the Arabian Sea. This paradigm has been extensively used to reconstruct past monsoon variability from palaeo-proxies indicative of changes in surface productivity. Here, we test this paradigm by simulating changes in marine primary productivity for eight contrasted climates from the last glacial-interglacial cycle. We show that there is no straightforward correlation between boreal summer productivity of the Arabian Sea and summer monsoon strength across the different simulated climates. Locally, productivity is fuelled by nutrient supply driven by Ekman dynamics. Upward transport of nutrients is modulated by a combination of alongshore wind stress intensity, which drives coastal upwelling, and by a positive wind stress curl to the west of the jet axis resulting in upward Ekman pumping. To the east of the jet axis there is however a strong downward Ekman pumping due to a negative wind stress curl. Consequently, changes in coastal alongshore stress and/or curl depend on both the jet intensity and position. The jet position is constrained by the Indian summer monsoon pattern, which in turn is influenced by the astronomical parameters and the ice sheet cover. The astronomical parameters are indeed shown to impact wind stress intensity in the Arabian Sea through large-scale changes in the meridional gradient of upper-tropospheric temperature. However, both the astronomical parameters and the ice sheets affect the pattern of wind stress curl through the position of the sea level depression barycentre over the monsoon region (20-150° W, 30° S-60° N). The combined changes in monsoon intensity and pattern lead to some higher glacial productivity during the summer season, in agreement with some palaeo-productivity reconstructions.

  2. New insights into thermal growing conditions of Portuguese grapevine varieties under changing climates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, João A.; Costa, Ricardo; Fraga, Helder

    2018-03-01

    New decision support tools for Portuguese viticulture are urging under a climate change context. In the present study, heat and chilling accumulation conditions of a collection of 44 grapevine cultivars currently grown in Portugal are assessed at very high spatial resolution ( 1 km) and for 1981-2015. Two bioclimatic indices that incorporate non-linear plant-temperature relationships are selected for this purpose: growing degree hours—GDH (February-October) and chilling portions—CP (October-February). The current thermal growing conditions of each variety are examined and three clusters of grapevine cultivars are identified based on their GDH medians, thus assembling varieties with close heat accumulation requirements and providing more physiologically consistent information when compared to previous studies, as non-linear plant-temperature relationships are herein taken into account. These new clusters are also a complement to previous bioclimatic zoning. Ensemble mean projections under two anthropogenic-driven scenarios (RCP4.5 and RCP8.5, 2041-2070), from four EURO-CORDEX simulations, reveal a widespread increase of GDH and decrease of CP, but with spatial heterogeneities. The spatial variability of these indices throughout Portugal is projected to decrease (strongest increases of GDH in the coolest regions of the northeast) and to increase (strongest decreases of CP in the warmest regions of the south and west), respectively. The typical heat accumulation conditions of each cluster are projected to gradually shift north-eastwards and to higher-elevation areas, whereas insufficient chilling may represent a new challenge in warmer future climates. An unprecedented level of detail for a large collection of grapevine varieties in Portugal is provided, thus promoting a better planning of climate change adaptation measures.

  3. Insights into soil carbon dynamics across climatic and geologic gradients from temporally-resolved radiocarbon measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Voort, T. S.; Hagedorn, F.; Mannu, U.; Walthert, L.; McIntyre, C.; Eglinton, T. I.

    2016-12-01

    Soil carbon constitutes the largest terrestrial reservoir of organic carbon, and therefore quantifying soil organic matter dynamics (carbon turnover, stocks and fluxes) across spatial gradients is essential for an understanding of the carbon cycle and the impacts of global change. In particular, links between soil carbon dynamics and different climatic and compositional factors remains poorly understood. Radiocarbon constitutes a powerful tool for unraveling soil carbon dynamics. Temporally-resolved radiocarbon measurements, which take advantage of "bomb-radiocarbon"-driven changes in atmospheric 14C, enable further constraints to be placed on C turnover times. These in turn can yield more precise flux estimates for both upper and deeper soil horizons. This project combines bulk radiocarbon measurements on a suite of soil profiles spanning strong climatic (MAT 1.3-9.2°C, MAP 600 to 2100 mm m-2y-1) and geologic gradients with a more in-depth approach for a subset of locations. For this subset, temporal and carbon-fraction specific radiocarbon data has been acquired for both topsoil and deeper soils. These well-studied sites are part of the Long-Term Forest Ecosystem Research (LWF) program of the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape research (WSL). Resulting temporally-resolved turnover estimates are coupled to carbon stocks, fluxes across this wide range of forest ecosystems and are examined in the context of environmental drivers (temperature, precipitation, primary production and soil moisture) as well as composition (sand, silt and clay content). Statistical analysis on the region-scale - correlating radiocarbon signature with climatic variables such as temperature, precipitation, primary production and elevation - indicates that composition rather than climate is a key driver of ­­Δ14C signatures. Estimates of carbon turnover, stocks and fluxes derived from temporally-resolved measurements highlight the pivotal role of soil moisture as a

  4. Molecular-level Insight into the Spectral Tuning Mechanism of the DsRed Chromophore

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    List, Nanna Holmgaard; Olsen, Jógvan Magnus Haugaard; Jensen, Hans Jørgen Aagaard

    2012-01-01

    the protein. Our results indicate that this mainly is attributable to counter-directional contributions stemming from Lys163 and the conserved Arg95 with the former additionally identified as a key residue in the color tuning mechanism. The results provide new insights into the tuning mechanism of Ds...

  5. Molecular recognition of malachite green by hemoglobin and their specific interactions: insights from in silico docking and molecular spectroscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, Wei; Ding, Fei; Peng, Yu-Kui; Sun, Ying

    2014-01-01

    Malachite green is an organic compound that can be widely used as a dyestuff for various materials; it has also emerged as a controversial agent in aquaculture. Since malachite green is proven to be carcinogenic and mutagenic, it may become a hazard to public health. For this reason, it is urgently required to analyze this controversial dye in more detail. In our current research, the interaction between malachite green and hemoglobin under physiological conditions was investigated by the methods of molecular modeling, fluorescence spectroscopy, circular dichroism (CD) as well as hydrophobic ANS displacement experiments. From the molecular docking, the central cavity of hemoglobin was assigned to possess high-affinity for malachite green, this result was corroborated by time-resolved fluorescence and hydrophobic ANS probe results. The recognition mechanism was found to be of static type, or rather the hemoglobin-malachite green complex formation occurred via noncovalent interactions such as π-π interactions, hydrogen bonds and hydrophobic interactions with an association constant of 10(4) M(-1). Moreover, the results also show that the spatial structure of the biopolymer was changed in the presence of malachite green with a decrease of the α-helix and increase of the β-sheet, turn and random coil suggesting protein damage, as derived from far-UV CD and three-dimensional fluorescence. Results of this work will help to further comprehend the molecular recognition of malachite green by the receptor protein and the possible toxicological profiles of other compounds, which are the metabolites and ramifications of malachite green.

  6. Aqueous Electrolyte Surfaces in Strong Electric Fields: Molecular Insight into Nanoscale Jets and Bridges.

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Jirsák, J.; Moučka, F.; Škvor, J.; Nezbeda, Ivo

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 113, č. 8 (2015), s. 848-853 ISSN 0026-8976 Institutional support: RVO:67985858 Keywords : molecular dynamics * floating water bridge * electrospinning Subject RIV: CF - Physical ; Theoretical Chemistry Impact factor: 1.837, year: 2015

  7. Molecular taxonomy provides new insights into anopheles species of the neotropical arribalzagia series.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giovan F Gómez

    Full Text Available Phylogenetic analysis of partial mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase c subunit I (COI and nuclear internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2 sequences were used to evaluate initial identification and to investigate phylogenetic relationships of seven Anopheles morphospecies of the Arribalzagia Series from Colombia. Phylogenetic trees recovered highly supported clades for An. punctimaculas.s., An. calderoni, An. malefactor s.l., An. neomaculipalpus, An. apicimacula s.l., An. mattogrossensis and An. peryassui. This study provides the first molecular confirmation of An. malefactorfrom Colombia and discovered conflicting patterns of divergence for the molecular markers among specimens from northeast and northern Colombia suggesting the presence of two previously unrecognized Molecular Operational Taxonomic Units (MOTUs. Furthermore, two highly differentiated An. apicimacula MOTUs previously found in Panama were detected. Overall, the combined molecular dataset facilitated the detection of known and new Colombian evolutionary lineages, and constitutes the baseline for future research on their bionomics, ecology and potential role as malaria vectors.

  8. Structural insight into RNA recognition motifs: versatile molecular Lego building blocks for biological systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muto, Yutaka; Yokoyama, Shigeyuki

    2012-01-01

    'RNA recognition motifs (RRMs)' are common domain-folds composed of 80-90 amino-acid residues in eukaryotes, and have been identified in many cellular proteins. At first they were known as RNA binding domains. Through discoveries over the past 20 years, however, the RRMs have been shown to exhibit versatile molecular recognition activities and to behave as molecular Lego building blocks to construct biological systems. Novel RNA/protein recognition modes by RRMs are being identified, and more information about the molecular recognition by RRMs is becoming available. These RNA/protein recognition modes are strongly correlated with their biological significance. In this review, we would like to survey the recent progress on these versatile molecular recognition modules. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  9. Hydroclimate variability in Scandinavia over the last millennium - insights from a climate model-proxy data comparison

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seftigen, Kristina; Goosse, Hugues; Klein, Francois; Chen, Deliang

    2017-12-01

    The integration of climate proxy information with general circulation model (GCM) results offers considerable potential for deriving greater understanding of the mechanisms underlying climate variability, as well as unique opportunities for out-of-sample evaluations of model performance. In this study, we combine insights from a new tree-ring hydroclimate reconstruction from Scandinavia with projections from a suite of forced transient simulations of the last millennium and historical intervals from the CMIP5 and PMIP3 archives. Model simulations and proxy reconstruction data are found to broadly agree on the modes of atmospheric variability that produce droughts-pluvials in the region. Despite these dynamical similarities, large differences between simulated and reconstructed hydroclimate time series remain. We find that the GCM-simulated multi-decadal and/or longer hydroclimate variability is systematically smaller than the proxy-based estimates, whereas the dominance of GCM-simulated high-frequency components of variability is not reflected in the proxy record. Furthermore, the paleoclimate evidence indicates in-phase coherencies between regional hydroclimate and temperature on decadal timescales, i.e., sustained wet periods have often been concurrent with warm periods and vice versa. The CMIP5-PMIP3 archive suggests, however, out-of-phase coherencies between the two variables in the last millennium. The lack of adequate understanding of mechanisms linking temperature and moisture supply on longer timescales has serious implications for attribution and prediction of regional hydroclimate changes. Our findings stress the need for further paleoclimate data-model intercomparison efforts to expand our understanding of the dynamics of hydroclimate variability and change, to enhance our ability to evaluate climate models, and to provide a more comprehensive view of future drought and pluvial risks.

  10. A Best Practices Notebook for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation: Guidance and Insights for Policy and Practice from the CATALYST Project

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hare, M.; Bers, van C.; Mysiak, J.; Calliari, E.; Haque, A.; Warner, K.; Yuzva, K.; Zissener, M.; Jaspers, A.M.J.; Timmerman, J.G.

    2014-01-01

    This publication, A Best Practices Notebook for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation: Guidance and Insights for Policy and Practice from the CATALYST Project is one of two main CATALYST knowledge products that focus on the transformative approaches and measures that can support

  11. Coarse-grained modelling of triglyceride crystallisation: a molecular insight into tripalmitin tristearin binary mixtures by molecular dynamics simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pizzirusso, Antonio; Brasiello, Antonio; De Nicola, Antonio; Marangoni, Alejandro G.; Milano, Giuseppe

    2015-12-01

    The first simulation study of the crystallisation of a binary mixture of triglycerides using molecular dynamics simulations is reported. Coarse-grained models of tristearin (SSS) and tripalmitin (PPP) molecules have been considered. The models have been preliminarily tested in the crystallisation of pure SSS and PPP systems. Two different quenching procedures have been tested and their performances have been analysed. The structures obtained from the crystallisation procedures show a high orientation order and a high content of molecules in the tuning fork conformation, comparable with the crystalline α phase. The behaviour of melting temperatures for the α phase of the mixture SSS/PPP obtained from the simulations is in qualitative agreement with the behaviour that was experimentally determined.

  12. Coarse-grained modelling of triglyceride crystallisation: a molecular insight into tripalmitin tristearin binary mixtures by molecular dynamics simulations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pizzirusso, Antonio; De Nicola, Antonio; Milano, Giuseppe; Brasiello, Antonio; Marangoni, Alejandro G

    2015-01-01

    The first simulation study of the crystallisation of a binary mixture of triglycerides using molecular dynamics simulations is reported. Coarse-grained models of tristearin (SSS) and tripalmitin (PPP) molecules have been considered. The models have been preliminarily tested in the crystallisation of pure SSS and PPP systems. Two different quenching procedures have been tested and their performances have been analysed. The structures obtained from the crystallisation procedures show a high orientation order and a high content of molecules in the tuning fork conformation, comparable with the crystalline α phase. The behaviour of melting temperatures for the α phase of the mixture SSS/PPP obtained from the simulations is in qualitative agreement with the behaviour that was experimentally determined. (paper)

  13. Molecular markers in transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder: New insights into mechanisms and prognosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Behfar Ehdaie

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Urothelial carcinoma is potentially life-threatening and expensive to treat since for many patients, the diagnosis entails a lifetime of surveillance to detect recurrent disease. Advancements in technology have provided an understanding of the molecular mechanisms of carcinogenesis and defined distinct pathways in tumorigenesis and progression. At the molecular level, urothelial carcinoma is being seen as a disease with distinct pathways of carcinogenesis and progression and thus markers of these processes should be used as both diagnostics and predictors of progression and patient outcome. Herein we present a selective overview of the molecular underpinning of urothelial carcinogenesis and progression and discuss the potential for proteins involved in these processes to serve as biomarkers. The discovery of biomarkers has enabled the elucidation of targets for novel therapeutic agents to disrupt the deregulation underlying the development and progression of urothelial carcinogenesis.

  14. Insight into the binding interactions of CYP450 aromatase inhibitors with their target enzyme: a combined molecular docking and molecular dynamics study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galeazzi, Roberta; Massaccesi, Luca

    2012-03-01

    CYP450 aromatase catalyzes the terminal and rate-determining step in estrogen synthesis, the aromatization of androgens, and its inhibition is an efficient approach to treating estrogen-dependent breast cancer. Insight into the molecular basis of the interaction at the catalytic site between CYP450 aromatase inhibitors and the enzyme itself is required in order to design new and more active compounds. Hence, a combined molecular docking-molecular dynamics study was carried out to obtain the structure of the lowest energy association complexes of aromatase with some third-generation aromatase inhibitors (AIs) and with other novel synthesized letrozole-derived compounds which showed high in vitro activity. The results obtained clearly demonstrate the role of the pharmacophore groups present in the azaheterocyclic inhibitors (NSAIs)-namely the triazolic ring and highly functionalized aromatic moieties carrying H-bond donor or acceptor groups. In particular, it was pointed out that all of them can contribute to inhibition activity by interacting with residues of the catalytic cleft, but the amino acids involved are different for each compound, even if they belong to the same class. Furthermore, the azaheterocyclic group strongly coordinates with the Fe(II) of heme cysteinate in the most active NSAI complexes, while it prefers to adopt another orientation in less active ones.

  15. Late Triassic tropical climate of Pangea: Carbon isotopic and other insights into the rise of dinosaurs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whiteside, J. H.; Lindström, S.; Irmis, R. B.; Glasspool, I.; Schaller, M. F.; Dunlavey, M.; Nesbitt, S. J.; Smith, N. D.; Turner, A. H.

    2015-12-01

    The rarity and species-poor nature of early dinosaurs and their relatives at low paleolatitudes persisted for 30 million years after their origin and 10-15 million years after they became abundant and speciose at higher latitudes. New environmental reconstructions from stable carbon isotope ratios of preserved organic matter (δ13Corg), atmospheric pCO2 data based on the δ13C of soil carbonate, palynological, and wildfire data from charcoal from early dinosaur-bearing strata at low paleolatitudes in western North America show that variations in δ13Corg and palynomorph ecotypes are tightly correlated, displaying large and high-frequency excursions. These variations occurred within an environment characterized by elevated and increasing atmospheric pCO2, pervasive wildfires, and rapidly fluctuating extreme climatic conditions. Whereas pseudosuchian archosaur-dominated communities were able to persist in these same regions until the end-Triassic, the large-bodied, fast-growing tachymetabolic dinosaurian herbivores were not. We hypothesize that the greater resources required by the herbivores made it difficult from them to adapt to the unstable conditions at low paleolatitudes in the Late Triassic.

  16. Insight into climate change from the carbon exchange of biocrusts utilizing non-rainfall water.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ouyang, Hailong; Hu, Chunxiang

    2017-05-31

    Biocrusts are model ecosystems of global change studies. However, light and non-rainfall water (NRW) were previously few considered. Different biocrust types further aggravated the inconsistence. So carbon-exchange of biocrusts (cyanobacteria crusts-AC1/AC2; cyanolichen crust-LC1; chlorolichen crust-LC2; moss crust-MC) utilizing NRW at various temperatures and light-intensities were determined under simulated and insitu mesocosm experiments. Carbon input of all biocrusts were negatively correlated with experimental temperature under all light-intensity with saturated water and stronger light with equivalent NRW, but positively correlated with temperature under weak light with equivalent NRW. LCPs and R/Pg of AC1 were lowest, followed in turn by AC2, LC2 and MC. Thus AC1 had most opportunities to use NRW, and 2.5 °C warming did cause significant changes of carbon exchange. Structural equation models further revealed that air-temperature was most important for carbon-exchange of ACs, but equally important as NRW for LC2 and MC; positive influence of warming on carbon-input in ACs was much stronger than the latter. Therefore, temperature effect on biocrust carbon-input depends on both moisture and light. Meanwhile, the role of NRW, transitional states between ACs, and obvious carbon-fixation differences between lichen crusts should be fully considered in the future study of biocrusts responding to climate change.

  17. Characterization of hairless (Hr) and FGF5 genes provides insights into the molecular basis of hair loss in cetaceans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Zhuo; Wang, Zhengfei; Xu, Shixia; Zhou, Kaiya; Yang, Guang

    2013-02-09

    Hair is one of the main distinguishing characteristics of mammals and it has many important biological functions. Cetaceans originated from terrestrial mammals and they have evolved a series of adaptations to aquatic environments, which are of evolutionary significance. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying their aquatic adaptations have not been well explored. This study provided insights into the evolution of hair loss during the transition from land to water by investigating and comparing two essential regulators of hair follicle development and hair follicle cycling, i.e., the Hairless (Hr) and FGF5 genes, in representative cetaceans and their terrestrial relatives. The full open reading frame sequences of the Hr and FGF5 genes were characterized in seven cetaceans. The sequence characteristics and evolutionary analyses suggested the functional loss of the Hr gene in cetaceans, which supports the loss of hair during their full adaptation to aquatic habitats. By contrast, positive selection for the FGF5 gene was found in cetaceans where a series of positively selected amino acid residues were identified. This is the first study to investigate the molecular basis of the hair loss in cetaceans. Our investigation of Hr and FGF5, two indispensable regulators of the hair cycle, provide some new insights into the molecular basis of hair loss in cetaceans. The results suggest that positive selection for the FGF5 gene might have promoted the termination of hair growth and early entry into the catagen stage of hair follicle cycling. Consequently, the hair follicle cycle was disrupted and the hair was lost completely due to the loss of the Hr gene function in cetaceans. This suggests that cetaceans have evolved an effective and complex mechanism for hair loss.

  18. Molecular evolution of lepidopteran silk proteins: Insights from the ghost moth, Hepialus californicus

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Collin, M. A.; Mita, K.; Sehnal, František; Hayashi, C. Y.

    2010-01-01

    Roč. 70, č. 5 (2010), s. 519-529 ISSN 0022-2844 Grant - others:NSF(BE) DEB-0515868 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50070508 Keywords : Lepidoptera * Trichoptera * silk Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 2.311, year: 2010

  19. Insight into the molecular regulation of the epithelial magnesium channel TRPM6.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cao, G.; Hoenderop, J.G.J.; Bindels, R.J.M.

    2008-01-01

    PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Recent studies have greatly increased our knowledge concerning the molecular mechanisms of renal magnesium handling. This review highlights the functional features of the newly identified transient receptor potential channel melastatin subtype 6 (TRPM6), which forms the gatekeeper

  20. Molecular Dynamics Insights into Water-Parylene C Interface: Relevance of Oxygen Plasma Treatment for Biocompatibility

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Golda-Cepa, M.; Kulig, W.; Cwiklik, Lukasz; Kotarba, A.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 9, č. 19 (2017), s. 16685-16693 ISSN 1944-8244 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA17-06792S Institutional support: RVO:61388955 Keywords : molecular dynamics * contact angle * surface free energy * parylene C * biomaterials oxygen plasma Subject RIV: CF - Physical ; Theoretical Chemistry OBOR OECD: Physical chemistry Impact factor: 7.504, year: 2016

  1. Molecular Dynamics Insights into Water-Parylene C Interface: Relevance of Oxygen Plasma Treatment for Biocompatibility

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Golda-Cepa, M.; Kulig, W.; Cwiklik, Lukasz; Kotarba, A.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 9, č. 19 (2017), s. 16685-16693 ISSN 1944-8244 Institutional support: RVO:61388963 Keywords : molecular dynamics * contact angle * surface free energy * parylene C * biomaterials oxygen plasma Subject RIV: CF - Physical ; Theoretical Chemistry OBOR OECD: Physical chemistry Impact factor: 7.504, year: 2016

  2. Molecular dynamics insight to phase transition in n-alkanes with carbon nanofillers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Monisha Rastogi

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available The present work aims to investigate the phase transition, dispersion and diffusion behavior of nanocomposites of carbon nanotube (CNT and straight chain alkanes. These materials are potential candidates for organic phase change materials(PCMs and have attracted flurry of research recently. Accurate experimental evaluation of the mass, thermal and transport properties of such composites is both difficult as well as economically taxing. Additionally it is crucial to understand the factors that results in modification or enhancement of their characteristic at atomic or molecular level. Classical molecular dynamics approach has been extended to elucidate the same. Bulk atomistic models have been generated and subjected to rigorous multistage equilibration. To reaffirm the approach, both canonical and constant-temperature, constant- pressure ensembles were employed to simulate the models under consideration. Explicit determination of kinetic, potential, non-bond and total energy assisted in understanding the enhanced thermal and transport property of the nanocomposites from molecular point of view. Crucial parameters including mean square displacement and simulated self diffusion coefficient precisely define the balance of the thermodynamic and hydrodynamic interactions. Radial distribution function also reflected the density variation, strength and mobility of the nanocomposites. It is expected that CNT functionalization could improve the dispersion within n-alkane matrix. This would further ameliorate the mass and thermal properties of the composite. Additionally, the determined density was in good agreement with experimental data. Thus, molecular dynamics can be utilized as a high throughput technique for theoretical investigation of nanocomposites PCMs.

  3. Molecular dynamics insight to phase transition in n-alkanes with carbon nanofillers

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rastogi, Monisha [School of Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Mandi, Himachal Pradesh 175 001 (India); Vaish, Rahul, E-mail: rahul@iitmandi.ac.in [School of Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Mandi, Himachal Pradesh 175 001 (India); Materials Research Centre, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore 560 012 (India)

    2015-05-15

    The present work aims to investigate the phase transition, dispersion and diffusion behavior of nanocomposites of carbon nanotube (CNT) and straight chain alkanes. These materials are potential candidates for organic phase change materials(PCMs) and have attracted flurry of research recently. Accurate experimental evaluation of the mass, thermal and transport properties of such composites is both difficult as well as economically taxing. Additionally it is crucial to understand the factors that results in modification or enhancement of their characteristic at atomic or molecular level. Classical molecular dynamics approach has been extended to elucidate the same. Bulk atomistic models have been generated and subjected to rigorous multistage equilibration. To reaffirm the approach, both canonical and constant-temperature, constant- pressure ensembles were employed to simulate the models under consideration. Explicit determination of kinetic, potential, non-bond and total energy assisted in understanding the enhanced thermal and transport property of the nanocomposites from molecular point of view. Crucial parameters including mean square displacement and simulated self diffusion coefficient precisely define the balance of the thermodynamic and hydrodynamic interactions. Radial distribution function also reflected the density variation, strength and mobility of the nanocomposites. It is expected that CNT functionalization could improve the dispersion within n-alkane matrix. This would further ameliorate the mass and thermal properties of the composite. Additionally, the determined density was in good agreement with experimental data. Thus, molecular dynamics can be utilized as a high throughput technique for theoretical investigation of nanocomposites PCMs.

  4. New insights into molecular diagnostic pathology of primary liver cancer: Advances and challenges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cong, Wen-Ming; Wu, Meng-Chao

    2015-11-01

    Primary liver cancer (PLC) is one of the most common malignancies worldwide with increasing incidence and accounts for the third leading cause of cancer-related mortality. Traditional morphopathology primarily emphasizes qualitative diagnosis of PLC, which is not sufficient to resolve the major concern of increasing the long-term treatment efficacy of PLC in clinical management for the modern era. Since the beginning of the 21st century, molecular pathology has played an active role in the investigation of the evaluation of the metastatic potential of PLC, detection of drug targets, prediction of recurrence risks, analysis of clonal origins, evaluation of the malignancy trend of precancerous lesions, and determination of clinical prognosis. As a result, many new progresses have been obtained, and new strategies of molecular-pathological diagnosis have been formed. Moreover, the new types of pathobiological diagnosis indicator systems for PLC have been preliminarily established. These achievements provide valuable molecular pathology-based guide for clinical formulation of individualized therapy programs for PLC. This review article briefly summarizes some relevant progresses of molecular-pathological diagnosis of PLC from the perspective of clinical translational application other than basic experimental studies. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Molecular Insights into the Potential Toxicological Interaction of 2-Mercaptothiazoline with the Antioxidant Enzyme—Catalase

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Zhenxing; Huang, Ming; Mi, Chenyu; Wang, Tao; Chen, Dong; Teng, Yue

    2016-01-01

    2-mercaptothiazoline (2-MT) is widely used in many industrial fields, but its residue is potentially harmful to the environment. In this study, to evaluate the biological toxicity of 2-MT at protein level, the interaction between 2-MT and the pivotal antioxidant enzyme—catalase (CAT) was investigated using multiple spectroscopic techniques and molecular modeling. The results indicated that the CAT fluorescence quenching caused by 2-MT should be dominated by a static quenching mechanism through formation of a 2-MT/CAT complex. Furthermore, the identifications of the binding constant, binding forces, and the number of binding sites demonstrated that 2-MT could spontaneously interact with CAT at one binding site mainly via Van der Waals’ forces and hydrogen bonding. Based on the molecular docking simulation and conformation dynamic characterization, it was found that 2-MT could bind into the junctional region of CAT subdomains and that the binding site was close to enzyme active sites, which induced secondary structural and micro-environmental changes in CAT. The experiments on 2-MT toxicity verified that 2-MT significantly inhibited CAT activity via its molecular interaction, where 2-MT concentration and exposure time both affected the inhibitory action. Therefore, the present investigation provides useful information for understanding the toxicological mechanism of 2-MT at the molecular level. PMID:27537873

  6. Molecular and genetic insights into an infantile epileptic encephalopathy – CDKL5 disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Ailing; Han, Song

    2017-01-01

    Background The discovery that mutations in cyclin-dependent kinase-like 5 (CDKL5) gene are associated with infantile epileptic encephalopathy has stimulated world-wide research effort to understand the molecular and genetic basis of CDKL5 disorder. Given the large number of literature published thus far, this review aims to summarize current genetic studies, draw a consensus on proposed molecular functions, and point to gaps of knowledge in CDKL5 research. Methods A systematic review process was conducted using the PubMed search engine focusing on CDKL5 studies in the recent ten years. We analyzed these publications and summarized the findings into four sections: genetic studies, CDKL5 expression patterns, molecular functions, and animal models. We also discussed challenges and future directions in each section. Results On the clinical side, CDKL5 disorder is characterized by early onset epileptic seizures, intellectual disability, and stereotypical behaviors. On the research side, a series of molecular and genetic studies in human patients, cell cultures and animal models have established the causality of CDKL5 to the infantile epileptic encephalopathy, and pointed to a key role for CDKL5 in regulating neuronal function in the brain. Mouse models of CDKL5 disorder have also been developed, and notably, manifest behavioral phenotypes, mimicking numerous clinical symptoms of CDKL5 disorder and advancing CDKL5 research to the preclinical stage. Conclusions Given what we have learned thus far, future identification of robust, quantitative, and sensitive outcome measures would be the key in animal model studies, particularly in heterozygous females. In the meantime, molecular and cellular studies of CDKL5 should focus on mechanism-based investigation and aim to uncover druggable targets that offer the potential to rescue or ameliorate CDKL5 disorder-related phenotypes. PMID:28580010

  7. Molecular and genetic insights into an infantile epileptic encephalopathy - CDKL5 disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Ailing; Han, Song; Zhou, Zhaolan Joe

    2017-02-01

    The discovery that mutations in cyclin-dependent kinase-like 5 ( CDKL5 ) gene are associated with infantile epileptic encephalopathy has stimulated world-wide research effort to understand the molecular and genetic basis of CDKL5 disorder. Given the large number of literature published thus far, this review aims to summarize current genetic studies, draw a consensus on proposed molecular functions, and point to gaps of knowledge in CDKL5 research. A systematic review process was conducted using the PubMed search engine focusing on CDKL5 studies in the recent ten years. We analyzed these publications and summarized the findings into four sections: genetic studies, CDKL5 expression patterns, molecular functions, and animal models. We also discussed challenges and future directions in each section. On the clinical side, CDKL5 disorder is characterized by early onset epileptic seizures, intellectual disability, and stereotypical behaviors. On the research side, a series of molecular and genetic studies in human patients, cell cultures and animal models have established the causality of CDKL5 to the infantile epileptic encephalopathy, and pointed to a key role for CDKL5 in regulating neuronal function in the brain. Mouse models of CDKL5 disorder have also been developed, and notably, manifest behavioral phenotypes, mimicking numerous clinical symptoms of CDKL5 disorder and advancing CDKL5 research to the preclinical stage. Given what we have learned thus far, future identification of robust, quantitative, and sensitive outcome measures would be the key in animal model studies, particularly in heterozygous females. In the meantime, molecular and cellular studies of CDKL5 should focus on mechanism-based investigation and aim to uncover druggable targets that offer the potential to rescue or ameliorate CDKL5 disorder-related phenotypes.

  8. Molecular and genetic insights into an infantile epileptic encephalopathy-CDKL5 disorder

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Ailing Zhou; Song Han; Zhaolan Joe Zhou

    2017-01-01

    BACKGROUND:The discovery that mutations in cyclin-dependent kinase-like 5 (CDKL5) gene are associated with infantile epileptic encephalopathy has stimulated world-wide research effort to understand the molecular and genetic basis of CDKL5 disorder.Given the large number of literature published thus far,this review aims to summarize current genetic studies,draw a consensus on proposed molecular functions,and point to gaps of knowledge in CDKL5 research.METHODS:A systematic review process was conducted using the PubMed search engine focusing on CDKL5 studies in the recent ten years.We analyzed these publications and summarized the findings into four sections:genetic studies,CDKL5 expression pattems,molecular functions,and animal models.We also discussed challenges and future directions in each section.RESULTS:On the clinical side,CDKL5 disorder is characterized by early onset epileptic seizures,intellectual disability,and stereotypical behaviors.On the research side,a series of molecular and genetic studies in human patients,cell cultures and animal models have established the causality of CDKL5 to the infantile epileptic encephalopathy,and pointed to a key role for CDKL5 in regulating neuronal function in the brain.Mouse models of CDKL5 disorder have also been developed,and notably,manifest behavioral phenotypes,mimicking numerous clinical symptoms of CDKL5 disorder and advancing CDKL5 research to the preclinical stage.CONCLUSIONS:Given what we have leamed thus far,future identification of robust,quantitative,and sensitive outcome measures would be the key in animal model studies,particularly in heterozygous females.In the meantime,molecular and cellular studies of CDKL5 should focus on mechanism-based investigation and aim to uncover druggable targets that offer the potential to rescue or ameliorate CDKL5 disorder-related phenotypes.

  9. Transcriptomic Changes in Coral Holobionts Provide Insights into Physiological Challenges of Future Climate and Ocean Change.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paulina Kaniewska

    Full Text Available Tropical reef-building coral stress levels will intensify with the predicted rising atmospheric CO2 resulting in ocean temperature and acidification increase. Most studies to date have focused on the destabilization of coral-dinoflagellate symbioses due to warming oceans, or declining calcification due to ocean acidification. In our study, pH and temperature conditions consistent with the end-of-century scenarios of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC caused major changes in photosynthesis and respiration, in addition to decreased calcification rates in the coral Acropora millepora. Population density of symbiotic dinoflagellates (Symbiodinium under high levels of ocean acidification and temperature (Representative Concentration Pathway, RCP8.5 decreased to half of that found under present day conditions, with photosynthetic and respiratory rates also being reduced by 40%. These physiological changes were accompanied by evidence for gene regulation of calcium and bicarbonate transporters along with components of the organic matrix. Metatranscriptomic RNA-Seq data analyses showed an overall down regulation of metabolic transcripts, and an increased abundance of transcripts involved in circadian clock control, controlling the damage of oxidative stress, calcium signaling/homeostasis, cytoskeletal interactions, transcription regulation, DNA repair, Wnt signaling and apoptosis/immunity/ toxins. We suggest that increased maintenance costs under ocean acidification and warming, and diversion of cellular ATP to pH homeostasis, oxidative stress response, UPR and DNA repair, along with metabolic suppression, may underpin why Acroporid species tend not to thrive under future environmental stress. Our study highlights the potential increased energy demand when the coral holobiont is exposed to high levels of ocean warming and acidification.

  10. Transcriptomic Changes in Coral Holobionts Provide Insights into Physiological Challenges of Future Climate and Ocean Change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaniewska, Paulina; Chan, Chon-Kit Kenneth; Kline, David; Ling, Edmund Yew Siang; Rosic, Nedeljka; Edwards, David; Hoegh-Guldberg, Ove; Dove, Sophie

    2015-01-01

    Tropical reef-building coral stress levels will intensify with the predicted rising atmospheric CO2 resulting in ocean temperature and acidification increase. Most studies to date have focused on the destabilization of coral-dinoflagellate symbioses due to warming oceans, or declining calcification due to ocean acidification. In our study, pH and temperature conditions consistent with the end-of-century scenarios of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) caused major changes in photosynthesis and respiration, in addition to decreased calcification rates in the coral Acropora millepora. Population density of symbiotic dinoflagellates (Symbiodinium) under high levels of ocean acidification and temperature (Representative Concentration Pathway, RCP8.5) decreased to half of that found under present day conditions, with photosynthetic and respiratory rates also being reduced by 40%. These physiological changes were accompanied by evidence for gene regulation of calcium and bicarbonate transporters along with components of the organic matrix. Metatranscriptomic RNA-Seq data analyses showed an overall down regulation of metabolic transcripts, and an increased abundance of transcripts involved in circadian clock control, controlling the damage of oxidative stress, calcium signaling/homeostasis, cytoskeletal interactions, transcription regulation, DNA repair, Wnt signaling and apoptosis/immunity/ toxins. We suggest that increased maintenance costs under ocean acidification and warming, and diversion of cellular ATP to pH homeostasis, oxidative stress response, UPR and DNA repair, along with metabolic suppression, may underpin why Acroporid species tend not to thrive under future environmental stress. Our study highlights the potential increased energy demand when the coral holobiont is exposed to high levels of ocean warming and acidification.

  11. Radiocarbon dating of American pika fecal pellets provides insights into population extirpations and climate refugia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Millar, Constance I; Heckman, Katherine; Swanston, Christopher; Schmidt, Karena; Westfall, Robert D; Delany, Diane L

    The American pika (Ochotona princeps) has become a species of concern for its sensitivity to warm temperatures and potential vulnerability to global warming. We explored the value of radiocarbon dating of fecal pellets to address questions of population persistence and timing of site extirpation. Carbon was extracted from pellets collected at 43 locations in the western Great Basin, USA, including three known occupied sites and 40 sites of uncertain status at range margins or where previous studies indicated the species is vulnerable. We resolved calibrated dates with high precision (within several years), most of which fell in the period of the mid-late 20th century bomb curve. The two-sided nature of the bomb curve renders far- and near-side dates of equal probability, which are separated by one to four decades. We document methods for narrowing resolution to one age range, including stratigraphic analysis of vegetation collected from pika haypiles. No evidence was found for biases in atmospheric 14C levels due to fossil-derived or industrial CO2 contamination. Radiocarbon dating indicated that pellets can persist for >59 years; known occupied sites resolved contemporary dates. Using combined evidence from field observations and radiocarbon dating, and the Bodie Mountains as an example, we propose a historical biogeographic scenario for pikas in minor Great Basin mountain ranges adjacent to major cordillera, wherein historical climate variability led to cycles of extirpation and recolonization during alternating cool and warm centuries. Using this model to inform future dynamics for small ranges in biogeographic settings similar to the Bodie Mountains in California, extirpation of pikas appears highly likely under directional warming trends projected for the next century, even while populations in extensive cordillera (e.g., Sierra Nevada, Rocky Mountains, Cascade Range) are likely to remain viable due to extensive, diverse habitat and high connectivity.

  12. Relationships between contourite deposition, climate and slope instability: new insights from the Demerara Plateau (French Guyana)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tallobre, C.; Bassetti, M. A.; Loncke, L.; Giresse, P.; Bayon, G.; Buscail, R.

    2015-12-01

    A Contourite Depositional System (CDS) has been described at the Demerara Plateau (DP) based on seismic investigations, but little is known about the mechanisms of associated sediment deposition and its interaction with past deep ocean circulation patterns (e.g. bottom current velocity) and bottom morphology related to ancient event of slope instability. The new seismic and bathymetric data recently acquired allow describing in details the CDS on the DP. Erosional and syn-sedimentary features on the seafloor (comet tail, « longitudinal waves », contourite drifts and moats) have been observed, helping to constrain the sedimentary processes at the origin of the CDS construction. Also, the recovery and multi-proxy analysis of sediment cores allows the characterization of sedimentary environments and possible relation with climate forcing. These sediment cores are characterized by the presence of several beds rich in glauconite grains. Glauconite can form at the sediment/water interface by winnowing effect that prevent sediment deposition and increase the residence time at the seafloor. Under strong winnowing conditions, glauconite grains can develop at several stages of maturity. We observed that the residence time and hence the maturity of glauconite is reflected by the color changes (light to dark green), the presence of crack on grains, the formation of (secondary) glauconite lamellae and decrease of grain porosity. A chronological framework (based on radiocarbon dates and δ18O variations) of contourite sequences at the studied location indicates correlation with grain-size parameters (sortable silt) and allows one to further constrain their dynamics through time. The combination of these proxies allows us to estimate and understand the evolution and the impact of the bottom current on sedimentation on the DP during the last 80 ky. These results show the potentiality of the glauconite study to estimate the relative variation of bottom current velocity at margins.

  13. Crater palaeolakes in the Tibesti mountains (Central Sahara, North Chad) - New insights into past Saharan climates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kröpelin, Stefan; Dinies, Michèle; Sylvestre, Florence; Hoelzmann, Philipp

    2016-04-01

    For the first time continuous lacustrine sections were sampled from the volcanic Tibesti Mountains (Chad): In the 900 m deep crater of Trou au Natron at Pic Toussidé (3,315 m a.s.l.) and from the 800 m deep Era Kohor, the major sub-caldera of Emi Koussi (3,445 m a.s.l.). The remnant diatomites on their slopes are located 360 m (Trou au Natron) and 125 m (Era Kohor) above the present day bottom of the calderas. These sediments from highly continental positions in the central Sahara are keys for the reconstruction of the last climatic cycles (Kröpelin et al. 2015). We report first results from sedimentary-geochemical (total organic and total inorganic carbon contents; total nitrogen; major elements; mineralogy) and palynological analyses for palaeo-environmental interpretations. The diatomites from the Trou au Natron comprise 330 cm of mostly calcitic sediments with relatively low organic carbon (basin. Two 14C-dated charcoals out of the upper part of the section indicate mid-Holocene ages and a linear extrapolation based on a sediment accumulation rate of 1.4mma-1 would lead to tentative dates of ~8650 cal a BP for basal lacustrine sediments and ~4450 cal a BP for the cessation of this lacustrine sequence. The diatomites from the Era Kohor reflect a suite of sections that in total sum up to 145 cm of mostly silica-based sediments with very low carbon contents (paradox of the Tibesti crater paleolakes (Central Sahara, North Chad). Abstract #64322 AGU-Fall-Meeting-2015.

  14. Characterization of 1577 primary prostate cancers reveals novel biological and clinicopathologic insights into molecular subtypes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomlins, Scott A; Alshalalfa, Mohammed; Davicioni, Elai; Erho, Nicholas; Yousefi, Kasra; Zhao, Shuang; Haddad, Zaid; Den, Robert B; Dicker, Adam P; Trock, Bruce J; DeMarzo, Angelo M; Ross, Ashley E; Schaeffer, Edward M; Klein, Eric A; Magi-Galluzzi, Cristina; Karnes, R Jeffrey; Jenkins, Robert B; Feng, Felix Y

    2015-10-01

    Prostate cancer (PCa) molecular subtypes have been defined by essentially mutually exclusive events, including ETS gene fusions (most commonly involving ERG) and SPINK1 overexpression. Clinical assessment may aid in disease stratification, complementing available prognostic tests. To determine the analytical validity and clinicopatholgic associations of microarray-based molecular subtyping. We analyzed Affymetrix GeneChip expression profiles for 1577 patients from eight radical prostatectomy cohorts, including 1351 cases assessed using the Decipher prognostic assay (GenomeDx Biosciences, San Diego, CA, USA) performed in a laboratory with Clinical Laboratory Improvements Amendment certification. A microarray-based (m-) random forest ERG classification model was trained and validated. Outlier expression analysis was used to predict other mutually exclusive non-ERG ETS gene rearrangements (ETS(+)) or SPINK1 overexpression (SPINK1(+)). Associations with clinical features and outcomes by multivariate logistic regression analysis and receiver operating curves. The m-ERG classifier showed 95% accuracy in an independent validation subset (155 samples). Across cohorts, 45% of PCas were classified as m-ERG(+), 9% as m-ETS(+), 8% as m-SPINK1(+), and 38% as triple negative (m-ERG(-)/m-ETS(-)/m-SPINK1(-)). Gene expression profiling supports three underlying molecularly defined groups: m-ERG(+), m-ETS(+), and m-SPINK1(+)/triple negative. On multivariate analysis, m-ERG(+) tumors were associated with lower preoperative serum prostate-specific antigen and Gleason scores, but greater extraprostatic extension (p<0.001). m-ETS(+) tumors were associated with seminal vesicle invasion (p=0.01), while m-SPINK1(+)/triple negative tumors had higher Gleason scores and were more frequent in Black/African American patients (p<0.001). Clinical outcomes were not significantly different among subtypes. A clinically available prognostic test (Decipher) can also assess PCa molecular subtypes

  15. Implications of recent research on microstructure modifications, through heat-related processing and trait alteration to bio-functions, molecular thermal stability and mobility, metabolic characteristics and nutrition in cool-climate cereal grains and other types of seeds with advanced molecular techniques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ying, Yuguang; Zhang, Huihua; Yu, Peiqiang

    2018-02-16

    The cutting-edge synchrotron radiation based and globar-sourced vibrational infrared microspectroscopy have recently been developed. These novel techniques are able to reveal structure features at cellular and molecular levels with the tested tissues being intact. However, to date, the advanced techniques are unfamiliar or unknown to food and feed scientists and have not been used to study the molecular structure changes in cool-climate cereal grain seeds and other types of bio-oil and bioenergy seeds. This article aims to provide some recent research in cool-climate cereal grains and other types of seeds on molecular structures and metabolic characteristics of carbohydrate and protein, and implication of microstructure modification through heat-related processing and trait alteration to bio-functions, molecular thermal stability and mobility, and nutrition with advanced molecular techniques- synchrotron radiation based and globar-sourced vibrational infrared microspectroscopy in the areas of (1) Inherent microstructure of cereal grain seeds; (2) The nutritional values of cereal grains; (3) Impact and modification of heat-related processing to cereal grain; (4) Conventional nutrition evaluation methodology; (5) Synchrotron radiation-based and globar-sourced vibrational (micro)-spectroscopy for molecular structure study and molecular thermal stability and mobility, and (6) Recent molecular spectroscopic technique applications in research on raw, traits altered and processed cool-climate cereal grains and other types of seeds. The information described in this article gives better insights of research progress and update in cool-climate cereal grains and other seeds with advanced molecular techniques.

  16. New Insight in Understanding the mechanical responses of polymer glasses using molecular dynamic simulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Yexin; Wang, Shi-Qing; Tsige, Mesfin

    The Kremer-Grest bead-spring model has been the standard model in molecular dynamics simulation of polymer glasses. However, due to current computational limitations in accessing relevant time scales in polymer glasses in a reasonable amount of CPU time, simulation of mechanical response of polymer glasses in molecular dynamic simulations requires a much higher quenching rate and deformation rate than used in experiments. Despite several orders of magnitude difference in time scale between simulation and experiment, previous studies have shown that simulations can produce meaningful results that can be directly compared with experimental results. In this work we show that by tuning the quenching rate and deformation rate relative to the segmental relaxation times, a reasonable mechanical response shows up in the glassy state. Specifically, we show a younger glass prepared with a faster quenching rate shows glassy responses only when the imposed deformation rate is proportionally higher. the National Science Foundation (DMR-1444859 and DMR-1609977).

  17. New insights into the molecular mechanism of intestinal fatty acid absorption.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Tony Y; Liu, Min; Portincasa, Piero; Wang, David Q-H

    2013-11-01

    Dietary fat is one of the most important energy sources of all the nutrients. Fatty acids, stored as triacylglycerols (also called triglycerides) in the body, are an important reservoir of stored energy and derived primarily from animal fats and vegetable oils. Although the molecular mechanisms for the transport of water-insoluble amphipathic fatty acids across cell membranes have been debated for many years, it is now believed that the dominant means for intestinal fatty acid uptake is via membrane-associated fatty acid-binding proteins, that is, fatty acid transporters on the apical membrane of enterocytes. These findings indicate that intestinal fatty acid absorption is a multistep process that is regulated by multiple genes at the enterocyte level, and intestinal fatty acid absorption efficiency could be determined by factors influencing intraluminal fatty acid molecules across the brush border membrane of enterocytes. To facilitate research on intestinal, hepatic and plasma triacylglycerol metabolism, it is imperative to establish standard protocols for precisely and accurately measuring the efficiency of intestinal fatty acid absorption in humans and animal models. In this review, we will discuss the chemical structure and nomenclature of fatty acids and summarize recent progress in investigating the molecular mechanisms underlying the intestinal absorption of fatty acids, with a particular emphasis on the physical chemistry of intestinal lipids and the molecular physiology of intestinal fatty acid transporters. A better understanding of the molecular mechanism of intestinal fatty acid absorption should lead to novel approaches to the treatment and the prevention of fatty acid-related metabolic diseases that are prevalent worldwide. © 2013 Stichting European Society for Clinical Investigation Journal Foundation. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  18. Structural insight into molecular mechanism of poly(ethylene terephthalate) degradation

    OpenAIRE

    Joo, Seongjoon; Cho, In Jin; Seo, Hogyun; Son, Hyeoncheol Francis; Sagong, Hye-Young; Shin, Tae Joo; Choi, So Young; Lee, Sang Yup; Kim, Kyung-Jin

    2018-01-01

    Plastics, including poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET), possess many desirable characteristics and thus are widely used in daily life. However, non-biodegradability, once thought to be an advantage offered by plastics, is causing major environmental problem. Recently, a PET-degrading bacterium, Ideonella sakaiensis, was identified and suggested for possible use in degradation and/or recycling of PET. However, the molecular mechanism of PET degradation is not known. Here we report the crystal ...

  19. Molecular Genetic Insights on Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) Ecology and Conservation in Namibia

    OpenAIRE

    Marker, Laurie L.; Wilkerson, Alison J. Pearks; Sarno, Ronald J.; Martenson, Janice; Breitenmoser-Würsten, Christian; O'Brien, Stephen J.; Johnson, Warren E.

    2017-01-01

    The extent and geographic patterns of molecular genetic diversity of the largest remaining free-ranging cheetah population were described in a survey of 313 individuals from throughout Namibia. Levels of relatedness, including paternity/maternity (parentage), were assessed across all individuals using 19 polymorphic microsatellite loci, and unrelated cheetahs (n = 89) from 7 regions were genotyped at 38 loci to document broad geographical patterns. There was limited differentiation among regi...

  20. Multiplicity of Mathematical Modeling Strategies to Search for Molecular and Cellular Insights into Bacteria Lung Infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cantone, Martina; Santos, Guido; Wentker, Pia; Lai, Xin; Vera, Julio

    2017-01-01

    Even today two bacterial lung infections, namely pneumonia and tuberculosis, are among the 10 most frequent causes of death worldwide. These infections still lack effective treatments in many developing countries and in immunocompromised populations like infants, elderly people and transplanted patients. The interaction between bacteria and the host is a complex system of interlinked intercellular and the intracellular processes, enriched in regulatory structures like positive and negative feedback loops. Severe pathological condition can emerge when the immune system of the host fails to neutralize the infection. This failure can result in systemic spreading of pathogens or overwhelming immune response followed by a systemic inflammatory response. Mathematical modeling is a promising tool to dissect the complexity underlying pathogenesis of bacterial lung infection at the molecular, cellular and tissue levels, and also at the interfaces among levels. In this article, we introduce mathematical and computational modeling frameworks that can be used for investigating molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying bacterial lung infection. Then, we compile and discuss published results on the modeling of regulatory pathways and cell populations relevant for lung infection and inflammation. Finally, we discuss how to make use of this multiplicity of modeling approaches to open new avenues in the search of the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying bacterial infection in the lung.

  1. Mechanistic and quantitative insight into cell surface targeted molecular imaging agent design.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Liang; Bhatnagar, Sumit; Deschenes, Emily; Thurber, Greg M

    2016-05-05

    Molecular imaging agent design involves simultaneously optimizing multiple probe properties. While several desired characteristics are straightforward, including high affinity and low non-specific background signal, in practice there are quantitative trade-offs between these properties. These include plasma clearance, where fast clearance lowers background signal but can reduce target uptake, and binding, where high affinity compounds sometimes suffer from lower stability or increased non-specific interactions. Further complicating probe development, many of the optimal parameters vary depending on both target tissue and imaging agent properties, making empirical approaches or previous experience difficult to translate. Here, we focus on low molecular weight compounds targeting extracellular receptors, which have some of the highest contrast values for imaging agents. We use a mechanistic approach to provide a quantitative framework for weighing trade-offs between molecules. Our results show that specific target uptake is well-described by quantitative simulations for a variety of targeting agents, whereas non-specific background signal is more difficult to predict. Two in vitro experimental methods for estimating background signal in vivo are compared - non-specific cellular uptake and plasma protein binding. Together, these data provide a quantitative method to guide probe design and focus animal work for more cost-effective and time-efficient development of molecular imaging agents.

  2. Molecular Dynamic Simulation Insights into the Normal State and Restoration of p53 Function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jianzhong Chen

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available As a tumor suppressor protein, p53 plays a crucial role in the cell cycle and in cancer prevention. Almost 50 percent of all human malignant tumors are closely related to a deletion or mutation in p53. The activity of p53 is inhibited by over-active celluar antagonists, especially by the over-expression of the negative regulators MDM2 and MDMX. Protein-protein interactions, or post-translational modifications of the C-terminal negative regulatory domain of p53, also regulate its tumor suppressor activity. Restoration of p53 function through peptide and small molecular inhibitors has become a promising strategy for novel anti-cancer drug design and development. Molecular dynamics simulations have been extensively applied to investigate the conformation changes of p53 induced by protein-protein interactions and protein-ligand interactions, including peptide and small molecular inhibitors. This review focuses on the latest MD simulation research, to provide an overview of the current understanding of interactions between p53 and its partners at an atomic level.

  3. Molecular motions that shape the cardiac action potential: Insights from voltage clamp fluorometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Wandi; Varga, Zoltan; Silva, Jonathan R

    2016-01-01

    Very recently, voltage-clamp fluorometry (VCF) protocols have been developed to observe the membrane proteins responsible for carrying the ventricular ionic currents that form the action potential (AP), including those carried by the cardiac Na(+) channel, NaV1.5, the L-type Ca(2+) channel, CaV1.2, the Na(+)/K(+) ATPase, and the rapid and slow components of the delayed rectifier, KV11.1 and KV7.1. This development is significant, because VCF enables simultaneous observation of ionic current kinetics with conformational changes occurring within specific channel domains. The ability gained from VCF, to connect nanoscale molecular movement to ion channel function has revealed how the voltage-sensing domains (VSDs) control ion flux through channel pores, mechanisms of post-translational regulation and the molecular pathology of inherited mutations. In the future, we expect that this data will be of great use for the creation of multi-scale computational AP models that explicitly represent ion channel conformations, connecting molecular, cell and tissue electrophysiology. Here, we review the VCF protocol, recent results, and discuss potential future developments, including potential use of these experimental findings to create novel computational models. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Molecular insights into the microbial formation of marine dissolved organic matter: recalcitrant or labile?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koch, B. P.; Kattner, G.; Witt, M.; Passow, U.

    2014-08-01

    The degradation of marine dissolved organic matter (DOM) is an important control variable in the global carbon cycle. For our understanding of the kinetics of organic matter cycling in the ocean, it is crucial to achieve a mechanistic and molecular understanding of its transformation processes. A long-term microbial experiment was performed to follow the production of non-labile DOM by marine bacteria. Two different glucose concentrations and dissolved algal exudates were used as substrates. We monitored the bacterial abundance, concentrations of dissolved and particulate organic carbon (DOC, POC), nutrients, amino acids and transparent exopolymer particles (TEP) for 2 years. The molecular characterization of extracted DOM was performed by ultrahigh resolution Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (FT-ICR MS) after 70 days and after ∼2 years of incubation. Although glucose quickly degraded, a non-labile DOC background (5-9% of the initial DOC) was generated in the glucose incubations. Only 20% of the organic carbon from the algal exudate degraded within the 2 years of incubation. The degradation rates for the non-labile DOC background in the different treatments varied between 1 and 11 μmol DOC L-1 year-1. Transparent exopolymer particles, which are released by microorganisms, were produced during glucose degradation but decreased back to half of the maximum concentration within less than 3 weeks (degradation rate: 25 μg xanthan gum equivalents L-1 d-1) and were below detection in all treatments after 2 years. Additional glucose was added after 2 years to test whether labile substrate can promote the degradation of background DOC (co-metabolism; priming effect). A priming effect was not observed but the glucose addition led to a slight increase of background DOC. The molecular analysis demonstrated that DOM generated during glucose degradation differed appreciably from DOM transformed during the degradation of the algal exudates. Our

  5. Equipartition terms in transition path ensemble: Insights from molecular dynamics simulations of alanine dipeptide

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Wenjin

    2018-02-01

    Transition path ensemble consists of reactive trajectories and possesses all the information necessary for the understanding of the mechanism and dynamics of important condensed phase processes. However, quantitative description of the properties of the transition path ensemble is far from being established. Here, with numerical calculations on a model system, the equipartition terms defined in thermal equilibrium were for the first time estimated in the transition path ensemble. It was not surprising to observe that the energy was not equally distributed among all the coordinates. However, the energies distributed on a pair of conjugated coordinates remained equal. Higher energies were observed to be distributed on several coordinates, which are highly coupled to the reaction coordinate, while the rest were almost equally distributed. In addition, the ensemble-averaged energy on each coordinate as a function of time was also quantified. These quantitative analyses on energy distributions provided new insights into the transition path ensemble.

  6. Insights into the immuno-molecular biology of Angiostrongylus vasorum through transcriptomics--prospects for new interventions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ansell, Brendan R E; Schnyder, Manuela; Deplazes, Peter; Korhonen, Pasi K; Young, Neil D; Hall, Ross S; Mangiola, Stefano; Boag, Peter R; Hofmann, Andreas; Sternberg, Paul W; Jex, Aaron R; Gasser, Robin B

    2013-12-01

    Angiostrongylus vasorum is a metastrongyloid nematode of dogs and other canids of major clinical importance in many countries. In order to gain first insights into the molecular biology of this worm, we conducted the first large-scale exploration of its transcriptome, and predicted essential molecules linked to metabolic and biological processes as well as host immune responses. We also predicted and prioritized drug targets and drug candidates. Following Illumina sequencing (RNA-seq), 52.3 million sequence reads representing adult A. vasorum were assembled and annotated. The assembly yielded 20,033 contigs, which encoded proteins with 11,505 homologues in Caenorhabditis elegans, and additional 2252 homologues in various other parasitic helminths for which curated data sets were publicly available. Functional annotation was achieved for 11,752 (58.6%) proteins predicted for A. vasorum, including peptidases (4.5%) and peptidase inhibitors (1.6%), protein kinases (1.7%), G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) (1.5%) and phosphatases (1.2%). Contigs encoding excretory/secretory and immuno-modulatory proteins represented some of the most highly transcribed molecules, and encoded enzymes that digest haemoglobin were conserved between A. vasorum and other blood-feeding nematodes. Using an essentiality-based approach, drug targets, including neurotransmitter receptors, an important chemosensory ion channel and cysteine proteinase-3 were predicted in A. vasorum, as were associated small molecular inhibitors/activators. Future transcriptomic analyses of all developmental stages of A. vasorum should facilitate deep explorations of the molecular biology of this important parasitic nematode and support the sequencing of its genome. These advances will provide a foundation for exploring immuno-molecular aspects of angiostrongylosis and have the potential to underpin the discovery of new methods of intervention. © 2013.

  7. Sharing the cost of river basin adaptation portfolios to climate change: Insights from social justice and cooperative game theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Girard, Corentin; Rinaudo, Jean-Daniel; Pulido-Velazquez, Manuel

    2016-10-01

    The adaptation of water resource systems to the potential impacts of climate change requires mixed portfolios of supply and demand adaptation measures. The issue is not only to select efficient, robust, and flexible adaptation portfolios but also to find equitable strategies of cost allocation among the stakeholders. Our work addresses such cost allocation problems by applying two different theoretical approaches: social justice and cooperative game theory in a real case study. First of all, a cost-effective portfolio of adaptation measures at the basin scale is selected using a least-cost optimization model. Cost allocation solutions are then defined based on economic rationality concepts from cooperative game theory (the Core). Second, interviews are conducted to characterize stakeholders' perceptions of social justice principles associated with the definition of alternatives cost allocation rules. The comparison of the cost allocation scenarios leads to contrasted insights in order to inform the decision-making process at the river basin scale and potentially reap the efficiency gains from cooperation in the design of river basin adaptation portfolios.

  8. Insight of Transmembrane Processes of Self-Assembling Nanotubes Based on a Cyclic Peptide Using Coarse Grained Molecular Dynamics Simulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fu, Yankai; Yan, Tingxuan; Xu, Xia

    2017-09-28

    Transmembrane self-assembling cyclic peptide (SCP) nanotubes are promising candidates for delivering specific molecules through cell membranes. The detailed mechanisms behind the transmembrane processes, as well as stabilization factors of transmembrane structures, are difficult to elucidate through experiments. In this study, the effects of peptide sequence and oligomeric state on the transmembrane capabilities of SCP nanotubes and the perturbation of embedded SCP nanotubes acting on the membrane were investigated based on coarse grained molecular dynamics simulation. The simulation results reveal that hydrophilic SCP oligomers result in the elevation of the energy barrier while the oligomerization of hydrophobic SCPs causes the reduction of the energy barrier, further leading to membrane insertion. Once SCP nanotubes are embedded, membrane properties such as density, thickness, ordering state and lateral mobility are adjusted along the radial direction. This study provides insight into the transmembrane strategy of SCP nanotubes and sheds light on designing novel transport systems.

  9. Effect of Heat Stress on Reproduction in Dairy Cows: Insights into the Cellular and Molecular Responses of the Oocyte.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roth, Zvi

    2017-02-08

    Among the components of the female reproductive tract, the ovarian pool of follicles and their enclosed oocytes are highly sensitive to hyperthermia. Heat-induced alterations in small antral follicles can be expressed later as compromised maturation and developmental capacity of the ovulating oocyte. This review summarizes the most up-to-date information on the effects of heat stress on the oocyte with an emphasis on unclear points and open questions, some of which might involve new research directions, for instance, whether preantral follicles are heat resistant. The review focuses on the follicle-enclosed oocytes, provides new insights into the cellular and molecular responses of the oocyte to elevated temperature, points out the role of the follicle microenvironment, and discusses some mechanisms that might underlie oocyte impairment. Mechanisms include nuclear and cytoplasmic maturation, mitochondrial function, apoptotic pathways, and oxidative stress. Understanding the mechanism by which heat stress compromises fertility might enable development of new strategies to mitigate its effects.

  10. Molecular Insights into the Genetic Diversity of Garcinia cambogia Germplasm Accessions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C Tharachand

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACTIn this work, the genetic relationship among twelveGarcinia cambogia (Gaertn. Desr. accessions were evaluated using Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA markers. The samples were part of the germplasm collected and maintained at NBPGR Regional station, Thrissur, India. Out of thirty RAPD primers used for screening, seven primers produced a total of 128 polymorphic markers in twelve accessions. The Polymorphic Information Content (PIC ranged from 0.28 (OPA18 to 0.37 (OPA9 and Marker Index (MI ranged between 3.61 (OPA12 and 5.93 (OPA3 among the primers used. Jaccard's coefficient of genetic similarity ranged between 0.07 and 0.64. The dendrogram constructed based on the similarity matrix generated from the molecular and morphological data showed the genetic relationship among the sampled accessions. Mantel matrix test showed a positive correlation (r = 0.49 between the cluster analysis of RAPD data and morphological data. The clustering pattern in the molecular dendrogram and Principle Coordinate Analysis (PCoA showed that the genotypes were diverse, which was in congruence with the similarity index values and morphological dendrogram. High frequency of similarity values in the range of 0.11 to 0.17 suggested the existence of high genetic diversity among the accessions. The high level of genetic diversity among the studied accessions ofG.cambogia was also supported by the large variation in the morphological characters observed in the flowers, leaves, fruits and seeds of these sampled accessions. This is the first report for the molecular based genetic diversity studies for these accessions.

  11. Corrosion in the SCWR: insights from molecular dynamics simulations of the supercritical water - iron hydroxide interface

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kallikragas, D.; Plugatyr, A.; Svishchev, I.M., E-mail: dimitrioskallikragas@trentu.ca [Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario (Canada)

    2013-07-01

    The adsorption properties of supercritical water confined between parallel iron (II) hydroxide surfaces were determined through molecular dynamics simulations. Simulations were conducted at temperatures and water densities typically found in the heat transport system of the supercritical water cooled nuclear reactor (SCWR). Surface water layer densities were compared to those of the bulk water. Adsorption coverage was calculated as a function of the number of waters per surface OH group. Images of the water molecules configurations are provided along with the density profile of the adsorption layer. The observed localized adsorption and surface clustering of supercritical water, would likely produce more localized corrosion phenomena in the water bearing components of the SCWR. (author)

  12. Mechanistic prospective for human PrPC conversion to PrPSc: Molecular dynamic insights

    OpenAIRE

    Nooshin Azari; Mohammad Reza Dayer; Nematollah Razmi; Mohammad Saaid Dayer

    2013-01-01

    PrPC conversion to PrPSc isoform is the main known cause for prion diseases including Crutzfeldt-Jakob, Gerstmann-Sträussler-Sheinker syndrome and fatal familial insomnia in human. The precise mechanism underling this conversion is yet to be well understood. In the present work, using the coordinate file of PrPC (available on the Protein Data Bank) as a starting structure, separate molecular dynamic simulations were carried out at neutral and acidic pH in an explicit water box at 37°C and 1 ...

  13. Atomic level insights into realistic molecular models of dendrimer-drug complexes through MD simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jain, Vaibhav; Maiti, Prabal K.; Bharatam, Prasad V.

    2016-09-01

    Computational studies performed on dendrimer-drug complexes usually consider 1:1 stoichiometry, which is far from reality, since in experiments more number of drug molecules get encapsulated inside a dendrimer. In the present study, molecular dynamic (MD) simulations were implemented to characterize the more realistic molecular models of dendrimer-drug complexes (1:n stoichiometry) in order to understand the effect of high drug loading on the structural properties and also to unveil the atomistic level details. For this purpose, possible inclusion complexes of model drug Nateglinide (Ntg) (antidiabetic, belongs to Biopharmaceutics Classification System class II) with amine- and acetyl-terminated G4 poly(amidoamine) (G4 PAMAM(NH2) and G4 PAMAM(Ac)) dendrimers at neutral and low pH conditions are explored in this work. MD simulation analysis on dendrimer-drug complexes revealed that the drug encapsulation efficiency of G4 PAMAM(NH2) and G4 PAMAM(Ac) dendrimers at neutral pH was 6 and 5, respectively, while at low pH it was 12 and 13, respectively. Center-of-mass distance analysis showed that most of the drug molecules are located in the interior hydrophobic pockets of G4 PAMAM(NH2) at both the pH; while in the case of G4 PAMAM(Ac), most of them are distributed near to the surface at neutral pH and in the interior hydrophobic pockets at low pH. Structural properties such as radius of gyration, shape, radial density distribution, and solvent accessible surface area of dendrimer-drug complexes were also assessed and compared with that of the drug unloaded dendrimers. Further, binding energy calculations using molecular mechanics Poisson-Boltzmann surface area approach revealed that the location of drug molecules in the dendrimer is not the decisive factor for the higher and lower binding affinity of the complex, but the charged state of dendrimer and drug, intermolecular interactions, pH-induced conformational changes, and surface groups of dendrimer do play an

  14. Molecular Insight into Human Lysozyme and Its Ability to Form Amyloid Fibrils in High Concentrations of Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate: A View from Molecular Dynamics Simulations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Majid Jafari

    Full Text Available Changes in the tertiary structure of proteins and the resultant fibrillary aggregation could result in fatal heredity diseases, such as lysozyme systemic amyloidosis. Human lysozyme is a globular protein with antimicrobial properties with tendencies to fibrillate and hence is known as a fibril-forming protein. Therefore, its behavior under different ambient conditions is of great importance. In this study, we conducted two 500000 ps molecular dynamics (MD simulations of human lysozyme in sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS at two ambient temperatures. To achieve comparative results, we also performed two 500000 ps human lysozyme MD simulations in pure water as controls. The aim of this study was to provide further molecular insight into all interactions in the lysozyme-SDS complexes and to provide a perspective on the ability of human lysozyme to form amyloid fibrils in the presence of SDS surfactant molecules. SDS, which is an anionic detergent, contains a hydrophobic tail with 12 carbon atoms and a negatively charged head group. The SDS surfactant is known to be a stabilizer for helical structures above the critical micelle concentration (CMC [1]. During the 500000 ps MD simulations, the helical structures were maintained by the SDS surfactant above its CMC at 300 K, while at 370 K, human lysozyme lost most of its helices and gained β-sheets. Therefore, we suggest that future studies investigate the β-amyloid formation of human lysozyme at SDS concentrations above the CMC and at high temperatures.

  15. The peptide-receptive transition state of MHC-1 molecules: Insight from structure and molecular dynamics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Robinson H.; Mage, M.; Dolan, M.; Wang, R.; Boyd, L.; Revilleza, M.; Natarajan, K.; Myers, N.; Hansen, T.; Margulies, D.

    2012-05-01

    MHC class I (MHC-I) proteins of the adaptive immune system require antigenic peptides for maintenance of mature conformation and immune function via specific recognition by MHC-I-restricted CD8(+) T lymphocytes. New MHC-I molecules in the endoplasmic reticulum are held by chaperones in a peptide-receptive (PR) transition state pending release by tightly binding peptides. In this study, we show, by crystallographic, docking, and molecular dynamics methods, dramatic movement of a hinged unit containing a conserved 3(10) helix that flips from an exposed 'open' position in the PR transition state to a 'closed' position with buried hydrophobic side chains in the peptide-loaded mature molecule. Crystallography of hinged unit residues 46-53 of murine H-2L(d) MHC-I H chain, complexed with mAb 64-3-7, demonstrates solvent exposure of these residues in the PR conformation. Docking and molecular dynamics predict how this segment moves to help form the A and B pockets crucial for the tight peptide binding needed for stability of the mature peptide-loaded conformation, chaperone dissociation, and Ag presentation.

  16. Molecular phylogeny and phylogeography of genus Pseudois (Bovidae, Cetartiodactyla): New insights into the contrasting phylogeographic structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Shuai; Wang, Zhihong; Jiang, Lichun; Peng, Rui; Zhang, Tao; Peng, Quekun; Zou, Fangdong

    2017-09-01

    Blue sheep, Pseudois nayaur , is endemic to the Tibetan Plateau and the surrounding mountains, which are the highest-elevation areas in the world. Classical morphological taxonomy suggests that there are two subspecies in genus Pseudois (Bovidae, Artiodactyla), namely Pseudois nayaur nayaur and Pseudois nayaur szechuanensis . However, the validity and geographic characteristics of these subspecies have never been carefully discussed and analyzed. This may be partially because previous studies have mainly focused on the vague taxonomic status of Pseudois schaeferi (dwarf blue sheep). Thus, there is an urgent need to investigate the evolutionary relationship and taxonomy system of this genus. This study enriches a previous dataset by providing a large number of new samples, based on a total of 225 samples covering almost the entire distribution of blue sheep. Molecular data from cytochrome b and the mitochondrial control region sequences were used to reconstruct the phylogeny of this species. The phylogenetic inferences show that vicariance plays an important role in diversification within this genus. In terms of molecular dating results and biogeographic analyses, the striking biogeographic pattern coincides significantly with major geophysical events. Although the results raise doubt about the present recognized distribution range of blue sheep, they have corroborated the validity of the identified subspecies in genus Pseudois . Meanwhile, these results demonstrate that the two geographically distinct populations, the Helan Mountains and Pamir Plateau populations, have been significantly differentiated from the identified subspecies, a finding that challenges the conventional taxonomy of blue sheep.

  17. Interaction of Tenebrio Molitor Antifreeze Protein with Ice Crystal: Insights from Molecular Dynamics Simulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramya, L; Ramakrishnan, Vigneshwar

    2016-07-01

    Antifreeze proteins (AFP) observed in cold-adapting organisms bind to ice crystals and prevent further ice growth. However, the molecular mechanism of AFP-ice binding and AFP-inhibited ice growth remains unclear. Here we report the interaction of the insect antifreeze protein (Tenebrio molitor, TmAFP) with ice crystal by molecular dynamics simulation studies. Two sets of simulations were carried out at 263 K by placing the protein near the primary prism plane (PP) and basal plane (BL) of the ice crystal. To delineate the effect of temperatures, both the PP and BL simulations were carried out at 253 K as well. The analyses revealed that the protein interacts strongly with the ice crystal in BL simulation than in PP simulation both at 263 K and 253 K. Further, it was observed that the interactions are primarily mediated through the interface waters. We also observed that as the temperature decreases, the interaction between the protein and the ice increases which can be attributed to the decreased flexibility and the increased structuring of the protein at low temperature. In essence, our study has shed light on the interaction mechanism between the TmAFP antifreeze protein and the ice crystal. © 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  18. Insights using the molecular model of Lipoxygenase from Finger millet (Eleusine coracana (L.)).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tiwari, Apoorv; Avashthi, Himanshu; Jha, Richa; Srivastava, Ambuj; Kumar Garg, Vijay; Wasudev Ramteke, Pramod; Kumar, Anil

    2016-01-01

    Lipoxygenase-1 (LOX-1) protein provides defense against pests and pathogens and its presence have been positively correlated with plant resistance against pathogens. Linoleate is a known substrate of lipoxygenase and it induces necrosis leading to the accumulation of isoflavonoid phytoalexins in plant leaves. Therefore, it is of interest to study the structural features of LOX-1 from Finger millet. However, the structure ofLOX-1 from Finger millet is not yet known. A homology model of LOX-1 from Finger millet is described. Domain architecture study suggested the presence of two domains namely PLAT (Phospho Lipid Acyl Transferase) and lipoxygenase. Molecular docking models of linoleate with lipoxygenase from finger millet, rice and sorghum are reported. The features of docked models showed that finger millet have higher pathogen resistance in comparison to other cereal crops. This data is useful for the molecular cloning of fulllength LOX-1 gene for validating its role in improving plant defense against pathogen infection and for various other biological processes.

  19. Binding of carbendazim to bovine serum albumin: Insights from experimental and molecular modeling studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jinhua; Zhang, Yulei; Hu, Lin; Kong, Yaling; Jin, Changqing; Xi, Zengzhe

    2017-07-01

    Carbendazim (CBZ) is a widely used benzimidazole fungicide in agriculture to control a wide range of fruit and vegetable pathogens, which may lead to potential health hazards. To evaluate the potential toxicity of CBZ, the binding mechanism of bovine serum albumin (BSA) with CBZ was investigated by the fluorescence quenching technology, UV absorbance spectra, circular dichroism (CD), and molecular modeling. The fluorescence titration and UV absorbance spectra revealed that the fluorescence quenching mechanism of BSA by CBZ was a combined quenching process. In addition, the studies of CD spectra suggested that the binding of CBZ to BSA changed the secondary structure of protein. Furthermore, the thermodynamic functions of enthalpy change (ΔH0) and entropy change (ΔS0) for the reaction were calculated to be 24.87 kJ mol-1 and 162.95 J mol-1 K-1 according to Van't Hoff equation. These data suggested that hydrophobic interaction play a major role in the binding of CBZ to BSA, which was in good agreement with the result of molecular modeling study.

  20. Molecular underpinnings of prefrontal cortex development in rodents provide insights into the etiology of neurodevelopmental disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schubert, D; Martens, G J M; Kolk, S M

    2015-07-01

    The prefrontal cortex (PFC), seat of the highest-order cognitive functions, constitutes a conglomerate of highly specialized brain areas and has been implicated to have a role in the onset and installation of various neurodevelopmental disorders. The development of a properly functioning PFC is directed by transcription factors, guidance cues and other regulatory molecules and requires the intricate and temporal orchestration of a number of developmental processes. Disturbance or failure of any of these processes causing neurodevelopmental abnormalities within the PFC may contribute to several of the cognitive deficits seen in patients with neurodevelopmental disorders. In this review, we elaborate on the specific processes underlying prefrontal development, such as induction and patterning of the prefrontal area, proliferation, migration and axonal guidance of medial prefrontal progenitors, and their eventual efferent and afferent connections. We furthermore integrate for the first time the available knowledge from genome-wide studies that have revealed genes linked to neurodevelopmental disorders with experimental molecular evidence in rodents. The integrated data suggest that the pathogenic variants in the neurodevelopmental disorder-associated genes induce prefrontal cytoarchitectonical impairments. This enhances our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of prefrontal (mis)development underlying the four major neurodevelopmental disorders in humans, that is, intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and schizophrenia, and may thus provide clues for the development of novel therapies.

  1. Insights into the molecular aspects of neuroprotective Bacoside A and Bacopaside I.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sekhar, Vini C; Viswanathan, Gayathri; Baby, Sabulal

    2018-04-19

    Bacopa monnieri, commonly known as Brahmi, has been extensively used as a neuromedicine for various disorders such as anxiety, depression and memory loss. Chemical characterization studies revealed the major active constituents of the herb as the triterpenoid saponins, bacosides. Bacoside A, the vital neuroprotective constituent, is composed of four constituents viz., bacoside A3, bacopaside II, jujubogenin isomer of bacopasaponin C (bacopaside X) and bacopasaponin C. B. monnieri extracts as well as bacosides successfully establish a healthy antioxidant environment in various tissues especially in liver and brain. Free radical scavenging, suppression of lipid peroxidation and activation of antioxidant enzymes by bacosides help to attain a physiological state of minimized oxidative stress. The molecular basis of neuroprotective activity of bacosides is attributed to the regulation of mRNA translation and surface expression of neuroreceptors such as AMPAR, NMDAR and GABAR in the various parts of the brain. Bioavailability as well as binding of neuroprotective agents (such as bacosides) to these receptors is controlled by the Blood Brain Barrier (BBB). However, nano conversion of these drug candidates easily resolves the BBB restriction and carries a promising role in future therapies. This review summarizes the neuroprotective functions of the B. monnieri extracts as well as its active compounds (bacoside A, bacopaside I) and the molecular mechanisms responsible for these pharmacological activities. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at epub@benthamscience.org.

  2. Aqueous electrolyte surfaces in strong electric fields: molecular insight into nanoscale jets and bridges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jirsák, Jan; Moučka, Filip; Škvor, Jiří; Nezbeda, Ivo

    2015-04-01

    Exposing aqueous surfaces to a strong electric field gives rise to interesting phenomena, such as formation of a floating water bridge or an eruption of a jet in electrospinning. In an effort to account for the phenomena at the molecular level, we performed molecular dynamics simulations using several protocols on both pure water and aqueous solutions of sodium chloride subjected to an electrostatic field. All simulations consistently point to the same mechanisms which govern the rearrangement of the originally planar surface. The results show that the phenomena are primarily governed by an orientational reordering of the water molecules driven by the applied field. It is demonstrated that, for pure water, a sufficiently strong field yields a columnar structure parallel to the field with an anisotropic arrangement of the water molecules with their dipole moments aligned along the applied field not only in the surface layer but over the entire cross section of the column. Nonetheless, the number of hydrogen bonds per molecule does not seem to be affected by the field regardless of its strength and molecule's orientation. In the electrolyte solutions, the ionic charge is able to overcome the effect of the external field tending to arrange the water molecules radially in the first coordination shell of an ion. The ion-water interaction interferes thus with the water-electric field interaction, and the competition between these two forces (i.e., strength of the field versus concentration) provides the key mechanism determining the stability of the observed structures.

  3. Novel insights into systemic autoimmune rheumatic diseases using shared molecular signatures and an integrative analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hudson, Marie; Bernatsky, Sasha; Colmegna, Ines; Lora, Maximilien; Pastinen, Tomi; Klein Oros, Kathleen; Greenwood, Celia M T

    2017-06-03

    We undertook this study to identify DNA methylation signatures of three systemic autoimmune rheumatic diseases (SARDs), namely rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and systemic sclerosis, compared to healthy controls. Using a careful design to minimize confounding, we restricted our study to subjects with incident disease and performed our analyses on purified CD4 + T cells, key effector cells in SARD. We identified differentially methylated (using the Illumina Infinium HumanMethylation450 BeadChip array) and expressed (using the Illumina TruSeq stranded RNA-seq protocol) sites between cases and controls, and investigated the biological significance of this SARD signature using gene annotation databases. We recruited 13 seropositive rheumatoid arthritis, 19 systemic sclerosis, 12 systemic lupus erythematosus subjects, and 8 healthy controls. We identified 33 genes that were both differentially methylated and expressed (26 over- and 7 under-expressed) in SARD cases versus controls. The most highly overexpressed gene was CD1C (log fold change in expression = 1.85, adjusted P value = 0.009). In functional analysis (Ingenuity Pathway Analysis), the top network identified was lipid metabolism, molecular transport, small molecule biochemistry. The top canonical pathways included the mitochondrial L-carnitine shuttle pathway (P = 5E-03) and PTEN signaling (P = 8E-03). The top upstream regulator was HNF4A (P = 3E-05). This novel SARD signature contributes to ongoing work to further our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying SARD and provides novel targets of interest.

  4. Insights into the Molecular Events That Regulate Heat-Induced Chilling Tolerance in Citrus Fruits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lafuente, María T; Establés-Ortíz, Beatriz; González-Candelas, Luis

    2017-01-01

    Low non-freezing temperature may cause chilling injury (CI), which is responsible for external quality deterioration in many chilling-sensitive horticultural crops. Exposure of chilling-sensitive citrus cultivars to non-lethal high-temperature conditioning may increase their chilling tolerance. Very little information is available about the molecular events involved in such tolerance. In this work, the molecular events associated with the low temperature tolerance induced by heating Fortune mandarin, which is very sensitive to chilling, for 3 days at 37°C prior to cold storage is presented. A transcriptomic analysis reveals that heat-conditioning has an important impact favoring the repression of genes in cold-stored fruit, and that long-term heat-induced chilling tolerance is an active process that requires activation of transcription factors involved in transcription initiation and of the WRKY family. The analysis also shows that chilling favors degradation processes, which affect lipids and proteins, and that the protective effect of the heat-conditioning treatment is more likely to be related to the repression of the genes involved in lipid degradation than to the modification of fatty acids unsaturation, which affects membrane permeability. Another major factor associated with the beneficial effect of the heat treatment on reducing CI is the regulation of stress-related proteins. Many of the genes that encoded such proteins are involved in secondary metabolism and in oxidative stress-related processes.

  5. Insights into the Molecular Events That Regulate Heat-Induced Chilling Tolerance in Citrus Fruits

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María T. Lafuente

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Low non-freezing temperature may cause chilling injury (CI, which is responsible for external quality deterioration in many chilling-sensitive horticultural crops. Exposure of chilling-sensitive citrus cultivars to non-lethal high-temperature conditioning may increase their chilling tolerance. Very little information is available about the molecular events involved in such tolerance. In this work, the molecular events associated with the low temperature tolerance induced by heating Fortune mandarin, which is very sensitive to chilling, for 3 days at 37°C prior to cold storage is presented. A transcriptomic analysis reveals that heat-conditioning has an important impact favoring the repression of genes in cold-stored fruit, and that long-term heat-induced chilling tolerance is an active process that requires activation of transcription factors involved in transcription initiation and of the WRKY family. The analysis also shows that chilling favors degradation processes, which affect lipids and proteins, and that the protective effect of the heat-conditioning treatment is more likely to be related to the repression of the genes involved in lipid degradation than to the modification of fatty acids unsaturation, which affects membrane permeability. Another major factor associated with the beneficial effect of the heat treatment on reducing CI is the regulation of stress-related proteins. Many of the genes that encoded such proteins are involved in secondary metabolism and in oxidative stress-related processes.

  6. A Critical Review of the Concept of Transgenic Plants: Insights into Pharmaceutical Biotechnology and Molecular Farming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abiri, Rambod; Valdiani, Alireza; Maziah, Mahmood; Shaharuddin, Noor Azmi; Sahebi, Mahbod; Yusof, Zetty Norhana Balia; Atabaki, Narges; Talei, Daryush

    2016-01-01

    Using transgenic plants for the production of high-value recombinant proteins for industrial and clinical applications has become a promising alternative to using conventional bioproduction systems, such as bacteria, yeast, and cultured insect and animal cells. This novel system offers several advantages over conventional systems in terms of safety, scale, cost-effectiveness, and the ease of distribution and storage. Currently, plant systems are being utilised as recombinant bio-factories for the expression of various proteins, including potential vaccines and pharmaceuticals, through employing several adaptations of recombinant processes and utilizing the most suitable tools and strategies. The level of protein expression is a critical factor in plant molecular farming, and this level fluctuates according to the plant species and the organs involved. The production of recombinant native and engineered proteins is a complicated procedure that requires an inter- and multi-disciplinary effort involving a wide variety of scientific and technological disciplines, ranging from basic biotechnology, biochemistry, and cell biology to advanced production systems. This review considers important plant resources, affecting factors, and the recombinant-protein expression techniques relevant to the plant molecular farming process.

  7. Congenital heart disease and genetic syndromes: new insights into molecular mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calcagni, Giulio; Unolt, Marta; Digilio, Maria Cristina; Baban, Anwar; Versacci, Paolo; Tartaglia, Marco; Baldini, Antonio; Marino, Bruno

    2017-09-01

    Advances in genetics allowed a better definition of the role of specific genetic background in the etiology of syndromic congenital heart defects (CHDs). The identification of a number of disease genes responsible for different syndromes have led to the identification of several transcriptional regulators and signaling transducers and modulators that are critical for heart morphogenesis. Understanding the genetic background of syndromic CHDs allowed a better characterization of the genetic basis of non-syndromic CHDs. In this sense, the well-known association of typical CHDs in Down syndrome, 22q11.2 microdeletion and Noonan syndrome represent paradigms as chromosomal aneuploidy, chromosomal microdeletion and intragenic mutation, respectively. Area covered: For each syndrome the anatomical features, distinctive cardiac phenotype and molecular mechanisms are discussed. Moreover, the authors include recent genetic findings that may shed light on some aspects of still unclear molecular mechanisms of these syndromes. Expert commentary: Further investigations are needed to enhance the translational approach in the field of genetics of CHDs. When there is a well-established definition of genotype-phenotype (reverse medicine) and genotype-prognosis (predictive and personalized medicine) correlations, hopefully preventive medicine will make its way in this field. Subsequently a reduction will be achieved in the morbidity and mortality of children with CHDs.

  8. Human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1 subtype C molecular variants among indigenous australians: new insights into the molecular epidemiology of HTLV-1 in Australo-Melanesia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olivier Cassar

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: HTLV-1 infection is endemic among people of Melanesian descent in Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. Molecular studies reveal that these Melanesian strains belong to the highly divergent HTLV-1c subtype. In Australia, HTLV-1 is also endemic among the Indigenous people of central Australia; however, the molecular epidemiology of HTLV-1 infection in this population remains poorly documented. FINDINGS: Studying a series of 23 HTLV-1 strains from Indigenous residents of central Australia, we analyzed coding (gag, pol, env, tax and non-coding (LTR genomic proviral regions. Four complete HTLV-1 proviral sequences were also characterized. Phylogenetic analyses implemented with both Neighbor-Joining and Maximum Likelihood methods revealed that all proviral strains belong to the HTLV-1c subtype with a high genetic diversity, which varied with the geographic origin of the infected individuals. Two distinct Australians clades were found, the first including strains derived from most patients whose origins are in the North, and the second comprising a majority of those from the South of central Australia. Time divergence estimation suggests that the speciation of these two Australian clades probably occurred 9,120 years ago (38,000-4,500. CONCLUSIONS: The HTLV-1c subtype is endemic to central Australia where the Indigenous population is infected with diverse subtype c variants. At least two Australian clades exist, which cluster according to the geographic origin of the human hosts. These molecular variants are probably of very ancient origin. Further studies could provide new insights into the evolution and modes of dissemination of these retrovirus variants and the associated ancient migration events through which early human settlement of Australia and Melanesia was achieved.

  9. Molecular Insights Into Development and Virulence Determinants of Aspergilli: A Proteomic Perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jata Shankar

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Aspergillus species are the major cause of health concern worldwide in immunocompromised individuals. Opportunistic Aspergilli cause invasive to allergic aspergillosis, whereas non-infectious Aspergilli have contributed to understand the biology of eukaryotic organisms and serve as a model organism. Morphotypes of Aspergilli such as conidia or mycelia/hyphae helped them to survive in favorable or unfavorable environmental conditions. These morphotypes contribute to virulence, pathogenicity and invasion into hosts by excreting proteins, enzymes or toxins. Morphological transition of Aspergillus species has been a critical step to infect host or to colonize on food products. Thus, we reviewed proteins from Aspergilli to understand the biological processes, biochemical, and cellular pathways that are involved in transition and morphogenesis. We majorly analyzed proteomic studies on A. fumigatus, A. flavus, A. terreus, and A. niger to gain insight into mechanisms involved in the transition from conidia to mycelia along with the role of secondary metabolites. Proteome analysis of morphotypes of Aspergilli provided information on key biological pathways required to exit conidial dormancy, consortia of virulent factors and mycotoxins during the transition. The application of proteomic approaches has uncovered the biological processes during development as well as intermediates of secondary metabolite biosynthesis pathway. We listed key proteins/ enzymes or toxins at different morphological types of Aspergillus that could be applicable in discovery of novel therapeutic targets or metabolite based diagnostic markers.

  10. Molecular Insights Into Development and Virulence Determinants of Aspergilli: A Proteomic Perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shankar, Jata; Tiwari, Shraddha; Shishodia, Sonia K; Gangwar, Manali; Hoda, Shanu; Thakur, Raman; Vijayaraghavan, Pooja

    2018-01-01

    Aspergillus species are the major cause of health concern worldwide in immunocompromised individuals. Opportunistic Aspergilli cause invasive to allergic aspergillosis, whereas non-infectious Aspergilli have contributed to understand the biology of eukaryotic organisms and serve as a model organism. Morphotypes of Aspergilli such as conidia or mycelia/hyphae helped them to survive in favorable or unfavorable environmental conditions. These morphotypes contribute to virulence, pathogenicity and invasion into hosts by excreting proteins, enzymes or toxins. Morphological transition of Aspergillus species has been a critical step to infect host or to colonize on food products. Thus, we reviewed proteins from Aspergilli to understand the biological processes, biochemical, and cellular pathways that are involved in transition and morphogenesis. We majorly analyzed proteomic studies on A. fumigatus, A. flavus, A. terreus , and A. niger to gain insight into mechanisms involved in the transition from conidia to mycelia along with the role of secondary metabolites. Proteome analysis of morphotypes of Aspergilli provided information on key biological pathways required to exit conidial dormancy, consortia of virulent factors and mycotoxins during the transition. The application of proteomic approaches has uncovered the biological processes during development as well as intermediates of secondary metabolite biosynthesis pathway. We listed key proteins/ enzymes or toxins at different morphological types of Aspergillus that could be applicable in discovery of novel therapeutic targets or metabolite based diagnostic markers.

  11. Human acid sphingomyelinase structures provide insight to molecular basis of Niemann–Pick disease

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhou, Yan-Feng; Metcalf, Matthew C.; Garman, Scott C.; Edmunds, Tim; Qiu, Huawei; Wei, Ronnie R. (Sanofi Aventis); (UMASS, Amherst)

    2016-10-26

    Acid sphingomyelinase (ASM) hydrolyzes sphingomyelin to ceramide and phosphocholine, essential components of myelin in neurons. Genetic alterations in ASM lead to ASM deficiency (ASMD) and have been linked to Niemann–Pick disease types A and B. Olipudase alfa, a recombinant form of human ASM, is being developed as enzyme replacement therapy to treat the non-neurological manifestations of ASMD. Here we present the human ASM holoenzyme and product bound structures encompassing all of the functional domains. The catalytic domain has a metallophosphatase fold, and two zinc ions and one reaction product phosphocholine are identified in a histidine-rich active site. The structures reveal the underlying catalytic mechanism, in which two zinc ions activate a water molecule for nucleophilic attack of the phosphodiester bond. Docking of sphingomyelin provides a model that allows insight into the selectivity of the enzyme and how the ASM domains collaborate to complete hydrolysis. Mapping of known mutations provides a basic understanding on correlations between enzyme dysfunction and phenotypes observed in ASMD patients.

  12. Molecular Insights Into Development and Virulence Determinants of Aspergilli: A Proteomic Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shankar, Jata; Tiwari, Shraddha; Shishodia, Sonia K.; Gangwar, Manali; Hoda, Shanu; Thakur, Raman; Vijayaraghavan, Pooja

    2018-01-01

    Aspergillus species are the major cause of health concern worldwide in immunocompromised individuals. Opportunistic Aspergilli cause invasive to allergic aspergillosis, whereas non-infectious Aspergilli have contributed to understand the biology of eukaryotic organisms and serve as a model organism. Morphotypes of Aspergilli such as conidia or mycelia/hyphae helped them to survive in favorable or unfavorable environmental conditions. These morphotypes contribute to virulence, pathogenicity and invasion into hosts by excreting proteins, enzymes or toxins. Morphological transition of Aspergillus species has been a critical step to infect host or to colonize on food products. Thus, we reviewed proteins from Aspergilli to understand the biological processes, biochemical, and cellular pathways that are involved in transition and morphogenesis. We majorly analyzed proteomic studies on A. fumigatus, A. flavus, A. terreus, and A. niger to gain insight into mechanisms involved in the transition from conidia to mycelia along with the role of secondary metabolites. Proteome analysis of morphotypes of Aspergilli provided information on key biological pathways required to exit conidial dormancy, consortia of virulent factors and mycotoxins during the transition. The application of proteomic approaches has uncovered the biological processes during development as well as intermediates of secondary metabolite biosynthesis pathway. We listed key proteins/ enzymes or toxins at different morphological types of Aspergillus that could be applicable in discovery of novel therapeutic targets or metabolite based diagnostic markers. PMID:29896454

  13. Structural insights into the osteopontin-aptamer complex y molecular dynamics simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    La Penna, Giovanni; Chelli, Riccardo

    2018-01-01

    Osteopontin is an intrinsically disordered protein involved in tissue remodeling. As a biomarker for pathological hypertrophy and fibrosis, the protein is targeted by an RNA aptamer. In this work, we model the interactions between osteopontin and its aptamer, including mono- (Na+) and divalent (Mg2+) cations. The molecular dynamics simulations suggest that the presence of divalent cations forces the N-terminus of osteopontin to bind the shell of divalent cations adsorbed over the surface of its RNA aptamer, the latter exposing a high negative charge density. The osteopontin plasticity as a function of the local concentration of Mg is discussed in the frame of the proposed strategies for osteopontin targeting as biomarker and in theranostic.

  14. Rethinking therapeutic decisions for hepatitis B infection in Syria: insights into molecular monitoring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Habbal, Wafa; Monem, Fawza

    2012-10-19

    Hepatitis B virus patients are usually treated in Syria with alpha interferon and nucleos(t)ide analogues. Genotypic viral factors causing inadequate response or relapse following initial response are not routinely investigated. This study aimed to explore and discuss local therapeutic decisions from a molecular perspective. Fifty patients with hepatitis B from Syria were tested for HBV genotyping and drug-resistance mutations by DNA sequencing. All patients had genotype D, which is characterized by relatively low response to interferon-based therapy. Drug-resistant viral mutant variants were detected in one fifth of the enrolled patients, and distributed similarly in both nucleos(t)ide analogues-naïve and -treated patients. However, nucleos(t)ide analogues-based therapy was associated with the existence of more mutations and hence increased resistance. Investigating HBV genotypes and drug-resistance mutations to support treatment decisions is critically needed for efficient therapy and patients' survival.

  15. Molecular Insights into Carbon Nanotube Supercapacitors: Capacitance Independent of Voltage and Temperature

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Feng, Guang [Vanderbilt Univ., Nashville, TN (United States). Dept. of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering; Li, Song [Vanderbilt Univ., Nashville, TN (United States). Dept. of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering; Atchison, Jennifer S. [Leibniz Inst. for New Materials (INM), Saarbrücken (Germany); Presser, Volker [Leibniz Inst. for New Materials (INM), Saarbrücken (Germany); Cummings, Peter T. [Vanderbilt Univ., Nashville, TN (United States). Dept. of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering; Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Center for Nanophase Materials Science

    2013-04-12

    Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of supercapacitors with single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT) electrodes in room-temperature ionic liquids were performed to investigate the influences of the applied electrical potential, the radius/curvature of SWCNTs, and temperature on their capacitive behavior. It is found that (1) SWCNTs-based supercapacitors exhibit a near-flat capacitance–potential curve, (2) the capacitance increases as the tube radius decreases, and (3) the capacitance depends little on the temperature. We report the first MD study showing the influence of the electrode curvature on the capacitance–potential curve and negligible dependence of temperature on capacitance of tubular electrode. The latter is in good agreement with recent experimental findings and is attributed to the similarity of the electrical double layer (EDL) microstructure with temperature varying from 260 to 400 K. The electrode curvature effect is explained by the dominance of charge overscreening and increased ion density per unit area of electrode surface.

  16. Interaction of diuron to human serum albumin: Insights from spectroscopic and molecular docking studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Huilun; Rao, Honghao; Yang, Jian; Qiao, Yongxiang; Wang, Fei; Yao, Jun

    2016-01-01

    This investigation was undertaken to determine the interaction of diuron with human serum albumin (HSA) was studied by monitoring the spectral behavior of diuron-HSA system. The fluorescence of HSA at 340 nm excited at 230 nm was obviously quenched by diuron due to dynamic collision and the quenching constant was of the order of 10(4) L mol(-1) at 310 K. However, no fluorescence quenching was observed when excited at 280 nm. Thermodynamic investigations revealed that the combination between diuron and HSA was entropy driven by predominantly hydrophobic interactions. The binding of diuron induced the drastic reduction in α-helix conformation and the significant enhancement in β-turn conformation of HSA. In addition, both sites marker competition study and molecular modeling simulation evidenced the binding of diuron to HSA primarily took place in subdomain IIIA (Sudlow's site II).

  17. Salinity reduction benefits European eel larvae: Insights at the morphological and molecular level

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Politis, Sebastian Nikitas; Mazurais, David; Servili, Arianna

    2018-01-01

    . Moreover, larvae were able to keep energy metabolism related gene expression (atp6, cox1) at stable levels, irrespective of the salinity reduction. As such, when reducing salinity, an energy surplus associated to reduced osmoregulation demands and stress (lower nkcc, aqp and hsp expression), likely......European eel (Anguilla anguilla) is a euryhaline species, that has adapted to cope with both, hyper- and hypo-osmotic environments. This study investigates the effect of salinity, from a morphological and molecular point of view on European eel larvae reared from 0 to 12 days post hatch (dph......). Offspring reared in 36 practical salinity units (psu; control), were compared with larvae reared in six scenarios, where salinity was decreased on 0 or 3 dph and in rates of 1, 2 or 4 psu/day, towards iso-osmotic conditions. Results showed that several genes relating to osmoregulation (nkcc2α, nkcc2β, aqp1...

  18. Collagenolytic Matrix Metalloproteinase Structure-Function Relationships: Insights From Molecular Dynamics Studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karabencheva-Christova, Tatyana G; Christov, Christo Z; Fields, Gregg B

    2017-01-01

    Several members of the zinc-dependent matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) family catalyze collagen degradation. Experimental data reveal a collaboration between different MMP domains in order to achieve efficient collagenolysis. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations have been utilized to provide atomistic details of the collagenolytic process. The triple-helical structure of collagen exhibits local regions of flexibility, with modulation of interchain salt bridges and water bridges contributing to accessibility of individual chains by the enzyme. In turn, the hemopexin-like (HPX) domain of the MMP initially binds the triple helix and facilitates the presentation of individual strands to active site in the catalytic (CAT) domain. Extensive positive and negative correlated motions are observed between the CAT and HPX domains when collagen is bound. Ultimately, the MD simulation studies have complemented structural (NMR spectroscopy, X-ray crystallography) and kinetic analyses to provide a more detailed mechanistic view of MMP-catalyzed collagenolysis. © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Anti-symmetrized molecular dynamics: a new insight into the structure of nuclei

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yoshiko, Kanada-En'yo; Masaaki, Kimura; Hisashi, Horiuchi

    2003-01-01

    The AMD (anti-symmetrized molecular dynamics) theory for nuclear structure is explained by showing its actual applications. First the formulation of AMD including various refined versions is briefly presented and its characteristics are discussed, putting a stress on its nature as an 'ab initio' theory. Then we demonstrate fruitful applications to various structure problems in stable nuclei, in order to explicitly verify the 'ab initio' nature of AMD, especially the ability to describe both mean-field-type structure and cluster structure. Finally, we show the results of applications of AMD to unstable nuclei, from which we see that AMD is powerful in elucidating and understanding various types of nuclear structure of unstable nuclei. (authors)

  20. Molecular biology of Fanconi anaemia--an old problem, a new insight.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmad, Shamim I; Hanaoka, Fumio; Kirk, Sandra H

    2002-05-01

    Fanconi anaemia (FA) comprises a group of autosomal recessive disorders resulting from mutations in one of eight genes (FANCA, FANCB, FANCC, FANCD1, FANCD2, FANCE, FANCF and FANCG). Although caused by relatively simple mutations, the disease shows a complex phenotype, with a variety of features including developmental abnormalities and ultimately severe anaemia and/or leukemia leading to death in the mid teens. Since 1992 all but two of the genes have been identified, and molecular analysis of their products has revealed a complex mode of action. Many of the proteins form a nuclear multisubunit complex that appears to be involved in the repair of double-strand DNA breaks. Additionally, at least one of the proteins, FANCC, influences apoptotic pathways in response to oxidative damage. Further analysis of the FANC proteins will provide vital information on normal cell responses to damage and allow therapeutic strategies to be developed that will hopefully supplant bone marrow transplantation. Copyright 2002 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. Aggregation in concentrated protein solutions: Insights from rheology, neutron scattering and molecular simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castellanos, Maria Monica

    Aggregation of therapeutic proteins is currently one of the major challenges in the bio-pharmaceutical industry, because aggregates could induce immunogenic responses and compromise the quality of the product. Current scientific efforts, both in industry and academia, are focused on developing rational approaches to screen different drug candidates and predict their stability under different conditions. Moreover, aggregation is promoted in highly concentrated protein solutions, which are typically required for subcutaneous injection. In order to gain further understanding about the mechanisms that lead to aggregation, an approach that combined rheology, neutron scattering, and molecular simulations was undertaken. Two model systems were studied in this work: Bovine Serum Albumin in surfactant-free Phosphate Buffered Saline at pH = 7.4 at concentrations from 11 mg/mL up to ˜519 mg/mL, and a monoclonal antibody in 20 mM Histidine/Histidine Hydrochloride at pH = 6.0 with 60 mg/mL trehalose and 0.2 mg/mL polysorbate-80 at concentrations from 53 mg/mL up to ˜220 mg/mL. The antibody used here has three mutations in the CH2 domain, which result in lower stability upon incubation at 40 °C with respect to the wild-type protein, based on size-exclusion chromatography assays. This temperature is below 49 °C, where unfolding of the least stable, CH2 domain occurs, according to differential scanning calorimetry. This dissertation focuses on identifying the role of aggregation on the viscosity of protein solutions. The protein solutions of this work show an increase in the low shear viscosity in the absence of surfactants, because proteins adsorb at the air/water interface forming a viscoelastic film that affects the measured rheology. Stable surfactant-laden protein solutions behave as simple Newtonian fluids. However, the surfactant-laden antibody solution also shows an increase in the low shear viscosity from bulk aggregation, after prolonged incubation at 40 °C. Small

  2. Evidence of a double-lid movement in Pseudomonas aeruginosa lipase: insights from molecular dynamics simulations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Subbulakshmi Latha Cherukuvada

    2005-08-01

    Full Text Available Pseudomonas aeruginosa lipase is a 29-kDa protein that, following the determination of its crystal structure, was postulated to have a lid that stretched between residues 125 and 148. In this paper, using molecular dynamics simulations, we propose that there exists, in addition to the above-mentioned lid, a novel second lid in this lipase. We further show that the second lid, covering residues 210-222, acts as a triggering lid for the movement of the first. We also investigate the role of hydrophobicity in the movement of the lids and show that two residues, Phe214 and Ala217, play important roles in lid movement. To our knowledge, this is the first time that a double-lid movement of the type described in our manuscript has been presented to the scientific community. This work also elucidates the interplay of hydrophobic interactions in the dynamics, and hence the function, of an enzyme.

  3. Molecular phylogeny of the neotropical genus Christensonella (Orchidaceae, Maxillariinae): species delimitation and insights into chromosome evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koehler, Samantha; Cabral, Juliano S; Whitten, W Mark; Williams, Norris H; Singer, Rodrigo B; Neubig, Kurt M; Guerra, Marcelo; Souza, Anete P; Amaral, Maria do Carmo E

    2008-10-01

    Species' boundaries applied within Christensonella have varied due to the continuous pattern of variation and mosaic distribution of diagnostic characters. The main goals of this study were to revise the species' delimitation and propose a more stable classification for this genus. In order to achieve these aims phylogenetic relationships were inferred using DNA sequence data and cytological diversity within Christensonella was examined based on chromosome counts and heterochromatin patterns. The results presented describe sets of diagnostic morphological characters that can be used for species' identification. Phylogenetic studies were based on sequence data of nuclear and plastid regions, analysed using maximum parsimony and maximum likelihood criteria. Cytogenetic observations of mitotic cells were conducted using CMA and DAPI fluorochromes. Six of 21 currently accepted species were recovered. The results also support recognition of the 'C. pumila' clade as a single species. Molecular phylogenetic relationships within the 'C. acicularis-C. madida' and 'C. ferdinandiana-C. neowiedii' species' complexes were not resolved and require further study. Deeper relationships were incongruent between plastid and nuclear trees, but with no strong bootstrap support for either, except for the position of C. vernicosa. Cytogenetic data indicated chromosome numbers of 2n = 36, 38 and 76, and with substantial variation in the presence and location of CMA/DAPI heterochromatin bands. The recognition of ten species of Christensonella is proposed according to the molecular and cytogenetic patterns observed. In addition, diagnostic morphological characters are presented for each recognized species. Banding patterns and chromosome counts suggest the occurrence of centric fusion/fission events, especially for C. ferdinandiana. The results suggest that 2n = 36 karyotypes evolved from 2n = 38 through descendent dysploidy. Patterns of heterochromatin distribution and other karyotypic

  4. Molecular systematics of aphids (Homoptera: Aphididae): new insights from the long-wavelength opsin gene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortiz-Rivas, Benjamín; Moya, Andrés; Martínez-Torres, David

    2004-01-01

    Viviparous aphids (Aphididae) constitute a monophyletic group within the Homoptera with more than 4000 extant species worldwide but higher diversity in temperate regions. Several aspects of their biology account for attention paid to this group of insects. Their plant-sap-sucking way of feeding with many species transmitting viruses to crop plants has important implications on crop management strategies. Cyclical parthenogenesis associated in many groups to host alternation and elaborate polyphenisms is of special interests for evolutionists. Finally, the ancient association of most aphid species with intracellular endosymbiotic bacteria (Buchnera sp.) has also received much attention from evolutionists interested in mechanisms involved in the symbiotic process. Knowing the phylogenetic relationships among major aphid taxa is of special interest to evolutionists interested in the above issues. However, until recently, molecular approaches to aphid phylogeny were absent and discussions on the evolution of aphid life-cycles and on evolutionary aspects of their symbiotic association with Buchnera were framed by morphology-based phylogenies. Recently, two reports using molecular approaches attempted to address the yet unresolved phylogeny of Aphididae with limited although somehow different conclusions. In the present report we study the utility of the long-wave opsin gene in resolving phylogenetic relationships among seven subfamilies within the Aphididae. Our results corroborate some previously proposed relationships and suggest a revision of some others. In particular, our data support grouping the analysed aphid species into three main clades, being the subfamily Lachninae one of them, which contradicts its generally accepted sistership relationship with the subfamily Aphidinae. Moreover, our data also suggest a basal position of Lachninae which has implications on current discussions about the ancestrality of conifer-feeding in modern aphids.

  5. Insights using a molecular approach into the life cycle of a tapeworm infecting great white sharks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Randhawa, Haseeb S

    2011-04-01

    The great white shark Carcharodon carcharias Linnaeus, 1758 is a versatile and fierce predator (and responsible for many shark attacks on humans). This apex predator feeds on a wide range of organisms including teleosts, other elasmobranchs, cephalopods, pinnipeds, and cetaceans. Although much is known about its diet, no trophic links have been empirically identified as being involved in the transmission of its tapeworm parasites. Recently, the use of molecular tools combined with phylogenetics has proven useful to identify larval and immature stages of marine tapeworms; utilization of the technique has been increasing rapidly. However, the usefulness of this approach remains limited by the availability of molecular data. Here, I employed gene sequence data from the D2 region of the large subunit of ribosomal DNA to link adults of the tapeworm Clistobothrium carcharodoni Dailey and Vogelbein, 1990 (Cestoda: Tetraphyllidea) to larvae for which sequence data for this gene are available. The sequences from the adult tapeworms were genetically identical (0% sequence divergence) to those available on GenBank for "SP" 'small' Scolex pleuronectis recovered from the striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba) and Risso's dolphin (Grampus griseus). This study is the first to provide empirical evidence linking the trophic interaction between great white sharks and cetaceans as a definitive route for the successful transmission of a tetraphyllidean tapeworm. Using the intensity of infection data from this shark and from cetaceans as proxies for the extent of predation, I estimate that this individual shark would have consumed between 9 to 83 G. griseus , fresh, dead, or both, in its lifetime.

  6. Immunoregulatory Effects Triggered by Lactic Acid Bacteria Exopolysaccharides: New Insights into Molecular Interactions with Host Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan Laiño

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Researchers have demonstrated that lactic acid bacteria (LAB with immunomodulatory capabilities (immunobiotics exert their beneficial effects through several molecules, including cell wall, peptidoglycan, and exopolysaccharides (EPS, that are able to interact with specific host cell receptors. EPS from LAB show a wide heterogeneity in its composition, meaning that biological properties depend on the strain and. therefore, only a part of the mechanism of action has been elucidated for these molecules. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge of the health-promoting actions of EPS from LAB with special focus on their immunoregulatory actions. In addition, we describe our studies using porcine intestinal epithelial cells (PIE cells as a model to evaluate the molecular interactions of EPS from two immunobiotic LAB strains and the host cells. Our studies showed that EPS from immunobiotic LAB have anti-inflammatory capacities in PIE cells since they are able to reduce the production of inflammatory cytokines in cells challenged with the Toll-like receptor (TLR-4-agonist lipopolysaccharide. The effects of EPS were dependent on TLR2, TLR4, and negative regulators of TLR signaling. We also reported that the radioprotective 105 (RP105/MD1 complex, a member of the TLR family, is partially involved in the immunoregulatory effects of the EPS from LAB. Our work described, for the first time, that LAB and their EPS reduce inflammation in intestinal epithelial cells in a RP105/MD1-dependent manner. A continuing challenge for the future is to reveal more effector-receptor relationships in immunobiotic-host interactions that contribute to the beneficial effects of these bacteria on mucosal immune homeostasis. A detailed molecular understanding should lead to a more rational use of immunobiotics in general, and their EPS in particular, as efficient prevention and therapies for specific immune-related disorders in humans and animals.

  7. Insights into the molecular mechanism of RGL2-mediated inhibition of seed germination in Arabidopsis thaliana

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stamm Petra

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Seed germination is of immense significance for agriculture and has been studied for centuries. Yet, our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying regulation of dormancy and germination is still in its infancy. Gibberellins are the key phytohormones that promote germination, and the DELLA protein RGL2 is the main signalling intermediate involved in this response. Germination is completely inhibited if functional RGL2 is overexpressed and/or stabilized; however, the molecular mechanisms of RGL2 function are still largely unknown. We therefore attempted to shed light onto some of the genetic events downstream of RGL2. Results Gene ontology of the transcriptome differentially regulated by RGL2, as well as extensive cross-comparison with other available microarray data indicates that RGL2-mediated inhibition of germination causes seeds to enter a state of dormancy. RGL2 also appears to differentially regulate a number of transcription factors, many of which are known to be involved in light- or phytohormone-mediated aspects of germination. A promoter analysis of differentially expressed genes identified an enrichment of several motifs that can be bound by specific transcription factors, for example GAMYB, ARF1, or Dof-type zinc fingers. We show that Dof-binding motifs indeed play a role in RGL2-mediated transcription. Using Chromatin Immunoprecipitation (ChIP, we show that RGL2 directly downregulates at least one cell wall modifying enzyme, which is predicted to constrain cell growth thereby leading to inhibition of seed germination. Conclusions Our results reveal that RGL2 controls various aspects of germination. Through the repression of cell wall modifying enzymes, cell growth is directly constrained to inhibit germination. Furthermore, RGL2 likely interacts with various types of proteins to regulate transcription, and differentially regulates several transcription factors. Collectively, our data indicate that

  8. Molecular Dynamics Insights into Polyamine-DNA Binding Modes: Implications for Cross-Link Selectivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bignon, Emmanuelle; Chan, Chen-Hui; Morell, Christophe; Monari, Antonio; Ravanat, Jean-Luc; Dumont, Elise

    2017-09-18

    Biogenic polyamines, which play a role in DNA condensation and stabilization, are ubiquitous and are found at millimolar concentration in the nucleus of eukaryotic cells. The interaction modes of three polyamines-putrescine (Put), spermine (Spm), and spermidine (Spd)-with a self-complementary 16 base pair (bp) duplex, are investigated by all-atom explicit-solvent molecular dynamics. The length of the amine aliphatic chain leads to a change of the interaction mode from minor groove binding to major groove binding. Through all-atom dynamics, noncovalent interactions that stabilize the polyamine-DNA complex and prefigure the reactivity, leading to the low-barrier formation of deleterious DNA-polyamine cross-links, after one-electron oxidation of a guanine nucleobase, are unraveled. The binding strength is quantified from the obtained trajectories by molecular mechanics generalized Born surface area post-processing (MM-GBSA). The values of binding free energies provide the same affinity order, Put

  9. Transcriptome analysis of Crossostephium chinensis provides insight into the molecular basis of salinity stress responses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haiyan Yang

    Full Text Available Soil salinization is becoming a limitation to the utilization of ornamental plants worldwide. Crossostephium chinensis (Linnaeus Makino is often cultivated along the southeast coast of China for its desirable ornamental qualities and high salt tolerance. However, little is known about the genomic background of the salt tolerance mechanism in C. chinensis. In the present study, we used Illumina paired-end sequencing to systematically investigate leaf transcriptomes derived from C. chinensis seedlings grown under normal conditions and under salt stress. A total of 105,473,004 bp of reads were assembled into 163,046 unigenes, of which 65,839 (40.38% of the total and 54,342 (33.32% of the total were aligned in Swiss-Prot and Nr protein, respectively. A total of 11,331 (6.95% differentially expressed genes (DEGs were identified among three comparisons, including 2,239 in 'ST3 vs ST0', 5,880 in 'ST9 vs ST3' and 9,718 in 'ST9 vs ST0', and they were generally classified into 26 Gene Ontology terms and 58 Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG pathway terms. Many genes encoding important transcription factors (e.g., WRKY, MYB, and AP2/EREBP and proteins involved in starch and sucrose metabolism, arginine and proline metabolism, plant hormone signal transduction, amino acid biosynthesis, plant-pathogen interactions and carbohydrate metabolism, among others, were substantially up-regulated under salt stress. These genes represent important candidates for studying the salt-response mechanism and molecular biology of C. chinensis and its relatives. Our findings provide a genomic sequence resource for functional genetic assignments in C. chinensis. These transcriptome datasets will help elucidate the molecular mechanisms responsible for salt-stress tolerance in C. chinensis and facilitate the breeding of new stress-tolerant cultivars for high-saline areas using this valuable genetic resource.

  10. Molecular mechanisms of D-cycloserine in facilitating fear extinction: insights from RNAseq.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malan-Müller, Stefanie; Fairbairn, Lorren; Daniels, Willie M U; Dashti, Mahjoubeh Jalali Sefid; Oakeley, Edward J; Altorfer, Marc; Kidd, Martin; Seedat, Soraya; Gamieldien, Junaid; Hemmings, Sîan Megan Joanna

    2016-02-01

    D-cycloserine (DCS) has been shown to be effective in facilitating fear extinction in animal and human studies, however the precise mechanisms whereby the co-administration of DCS and behavioural fear extinction reduce fear are still unclear. This study investigated the molecular mechanisms of intrahippocampally administered D-cycloserine in facilitating fear extinction in a contextual fear conditioning animal model. Male Sprague Dawley rats (n = 120) were grouped into four experimental groups (n = 30) based on fear conditioning and intrahippocampal administration of either DCS or saline. The light/dark avoidance test was used to differentiate maladapted (MA) (anxious) from well-adapted (WA) (not anxious) subgroups. RNA extracted from the left dorsal hippocampus was used for RNA sequencing and gene expression data was compared between six fear-conditioned + saline MA (FEAR + SALINE MA) and six fear-conditioned + DCS WA (FEAR + DCS WA) animals. Of the 424 significantly downregulated and 25 significantly upregulated genes identified in the FEAR + DCS WA group compared to the FEAR + SALINE MA group, 121 downregulated and nine upregulated genes were predicted to be relevant to fear conditioning and anxiety and stress-related disorders. The majority of downregulated genes transcribed immune, proinflammatory and oxidative stress systems molecules. These molecules mediate neuroinflammation and cause neuronal damage. DCS also regulated genes involved in learning and memory processes, and genes associated with anxiety, stress-related disorders and co-occurring diseases (e.g., cardiovascular diseases, digestive system diseases and nervous system diseases). Identifying the molecular underpinnings of DCS-mediated fear extinction brings us closer to understanding the process of fear extinction.

  11. Molecular Phylogeny of the Neotropical Genus Christensonella (Orchidaceae, Maxillariinae): Species Delimitation and Insights into Chromosome Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koehler, Samantha; Cabral, Juliano S.; Whitten, W. Mark; Williams, Norris H.; Singer, Rodrigo B.; Neubig, Kurt M.; Guerra, Marcelo; Souza, Anete P.; Amaral, Maria do Carmo E.

    2008-01-01

    Background and Aims Species' boundaries applied within Christensonella have varied due to the continuous pattern of variation and mosaic distribution of diagnostic characters. The main goals of this study were to revise the species' delimitation and propose a more stable classification for this genus. In order to achieve these aims phylogenetic relationships were inferred using DNA sequence data and cytological diversity within Christensonella was examined based on chromosome counts and heterochromatin patterns. The results presented describe sets of diagnostic morphological characters that can be used for species' identification. Methods Phylogenetic studies were based on sequence data of nuclear and plastid regions, analysed using maximum parsimony and maximum likelihood criteria. Cytogenetic observations of mitotic cells were conducted using CMA and DAPI fluorochromes. Key Results Six of 21 currently accepted species were recovered. The results also support recognition of the ‘C. pumila’ clade as a single species. Molecular phylogenetic relationships within the ‘C. acicularis–C. madida’ and ‘C. ferdinandiana–C. neowiedii’ species' complexes were not resolved and require further study. Deeper relationships were incongruent between plastid and nuclear trees, but with no strong bootstrap support for either, except for the position of C. vernicosa. Cytogenetic data indicated chromosome numbers of 2n = 36, 38 and 76, and with substantial variation in the presence and location of CMA/DAPI heterochromatin bands. Conclusions The recognition of ten species of Christensonella is proposed according to the molecular and cytogenetic patterns observed. In addition, diagnostic morphological characters are presented for each recognized species. Banding patterns and chromosome counts suggest the occurrence of centric fusion/fission events, especially for C. ferdinandiana. The results suggest that 2n = 36 karyotypes evolved from 2n = 38 through descendent

  12. Insights into Himalayan biogeography from geckos: a molecular phylogeny of Cyrtodactylus (Squamata: Gekkonidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agarwal, Ishan; Bauer, Aaron M; Jackman, Todd R; Karanth, K Praveen

    2014-11-01

    The India-Asia collision profoundly influenced the climate, topography and biodiversity of Asia, causing the formation of the biodiverse Himalayas. The species-rich gekkonid genus Cyrtodactylus is an ideal clade for exploring the biological impacts of the India-Asia collision, as previous phylogenetic hypotheses suggest basal divergences occurred within the Himalayas and Indo-Burma during the Eocene. To this end, we sampled for Cyrtodactylus across Indian areas of the Himalayas and Indo-Burma Hotspots and used three genes to reconstruct relationships and estimate divergence times. Basal divergences in Cyrtodactylus, Hemidactylus and the Palaearctic naked-toed geckos were simultaneous with or just preceded the start of the India-Asia collision. Diversification within Cyrtodactylus tracks the India-Asia collision and subsequent geological events. A number of geographically concordant clades are resolved within Indo-Burmese Cyrtodactylus. Our study reveals 17 divergent lineages that may represent undescribed species, underscoring the previously undocumented diversity of the region. The importance of rocky habitats for Cyrtodactylus indicates the Indo-Gangetic flood plains and the Garo-Rajmahal Gap are likely to have been important historical barriers for this group. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Doliroside A from Dolichos falcata Klein suppressing amyloid β-protein 42 fibrillogenesis: An insight at molecular level.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dongpu Li

    Full Text Available A bioactive chemical constituent, doliroside A, from Chinese traditional herbal medicine Dolichos falcata Klein was isolated, purified and identified by 60% ethanol extraction, thin layer chromatography (TLC, high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR spectroscopy. Molecular interaction mechanism between doliroside and amyloid β42 protein was evaluated by thioflavin T fluorescence (ThT, circular dichroism (CD, atomic force microscope (AFM, and differential scanning calorimeter (DSC from the aspects of kinetics, secondary structure, morphology, and thermodynamics, respectively. Results show that the purity of doliroside A is 99.9% by HPLC, and its chemical structure is identified by 1H- and 13C-NMR. Doliroside A is observed to be concentration-dependent inhibiting the fibrillation of Aβ42 with the IC50 value of 26.57 ± 1.6 μM. CD and DSC results imply that doliroside A can bind to the nuclei and oligomers of Aβ42 to form a stable complex and suppress Aβ42 fibrillation. AFM images show that doliroside A, after bound to the nuclei and oligomers, redirect Aβ42 into off-pathway, amorphous oligomers. These findings not only provide a full insight into the molecular interaction mechanisms between Aβ42 and doliroside A, but also facilitate the development of new native anti-AD drug of doliroside A compound.

  14. Insights into structural and dynamical features of water at halloysite interfaces probed by DFT and classical molecular dynamics simulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Presti, Davide; Pedone, Alfonso; Mancini, Giordano; Duce, Celia; Tiné, Maria Rosaria; Barone, Vincenzo

    2016-01-21

    Density functional theory calculations and classical molecular dynamics simulations have been used to investigate the structure and dynamics of water molecules on kaolinite surfaces and confined in the interlayer of a halloysite model of nanometric dimension. The first technique allowed us to accurately describe the structure of the tetrahedral-octahedral slab of kaolinite in vacuum and in interaction with water molecules and to assess the performance of two widely employed empirical force fields to model water/clay interfaces. Classical molecular dynamics simulations were used to study the hydrogen bond network structure and dynamics of water adsorbed on kaolinite surfaces and confined in the halloysite interlayer. The results are in nice agreement with the few experimental data available in the literature, showing a pronounced ordering and reduced mobility of water molecules at the hydrophilic octahedral surfaces of kaolinite and confined in the halloysite interlayer, with respect to water interacting with the hydrophobic tetrahedral surfaces and in the bulk. Finally, this investigation provides new atomistic insights into the structural and dynamical properties of water-clay interfaces, which are of fundamental importance for both natural processes and industrial applications.

  15. Molecular details of secretory phospholipase A2 from flax (Linum usitatissimum L.) provide insight into its structure and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gupta, Payal; Dash, Prasanta K

    2017-09-11

    Secretory phospholipase A 2 (sPLA 2 ) are low molecular weight proteins (12-18 kDa) involved in a suite of plant cellular processes imparting growth and development. With myriad roles in physiological and biochemical processes in plants, detailed analysis of sPLA 2 in flax/linseed is meagre. The present work, first in flax, embodies cloning, expression, purification and molecular characterisation of two distinct sPLA 2 s (I and II) from flax. PLA 2 activity of the cloned sPLA 2 s were biochemically assayed authenticating them as bona fide phospholipase A 2 . Physiochemical properties of both the sPLA 2 s revealed they are thermostable proteins requiring di-valent cations for optimum activity.While, structural analysis of both the proteins revealed deviations in the amino acid sequence at C- & N-terminal regions; hydropathic study revealed LusPLA 2 I as a hydrophobic protein and LusPLA 2 II as a hydrophilic protein. Structural analysis of flax sPLA 2 s revealed that secondary structure of both the proteins are dominated by α-helix followed by random coils. Modular superimposition of LusPLA 2 isoforms with rice sPLA 2 confirmed monomeric structural preservation among plant phospholipase A 2 and provided insight into structure of folded flax sPLA 2 s.

  16. Role of ELA region in auto-activation of mutant KIT receptor: a molecular dynamics simulation insight.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purohit, Rituraj

    2014-01-01

    KIT receptor is the prime target in gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GISTs) therapy. Second generation inhibitor, Sunitinib, binds to an inactivated conformation of KIT receptor and stabilizes it in order to prevent tumor formation. Here, we investigated the dynamic behavior of wild type and mutant D816H KIT receptor, and emphasized the extended A-loop (EAL) region (805-850) by conducting molecular dynamics simulation (∼100 ns). We analyzed different properties such as root mean square cutoff or deviation, root mean square fluctuation, radius of gyration, solvent-accessible surface area, hydrogen bonding network analysis, and essential dynamics. Apart from this, clustering and cross-correlation matrix approach was used to explore the conformational space of the wild type and mutant EAL region of KIT receptor. Molecular dynamics analysis indicated that mutation (D816H) was able to alter intramolecular hydrogen bonding pattern and affected the structural flexibility of EAL region. Moreover, flexible secondary elements, specially, coil and turns were dominated in EAL region of mutant KIT receptor during simulation. This phenomenon increased the movement of EAL region which in turn helped in shifting the equilibrium towards the active kinase conformation. Our atomic investigation of mutant KIT receptor which emphasized on EAL region provided a better insight into the understanding of Sunitinib resistance mechanism of KIT receptor and would help to discover new therapeutics for KIT-based resistant tumor cells in GIST therapy.

  17. New insight on FGFR3-related chondrodysplasias molecular physiopathology revealed by human chondrocyte gene expression profiling.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laurent Schibler

    Full Text Available Endochondral ossification is the process by which the appendicular skeleton, facial bones, vertebrae and medial clavicles are formed and relies on the tight control of chondrocyte maturation. Fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR3 plays a role in bone development and maintenance and belongs to a family of proteins which differ in their ligand affinities and tissue distribution. Activating mutations of the FGFR3 gene lead to craniosynostosis and multiple types of skeletal dysplasia with varying degrees of severity: thanatophoric dysplasia (TD, achondroplasia and hypochondroplasia. Despite progress in the characterization of FGFR3-mediated regulation of cartilage development, many aspects remain unclear. The aim and the novelty of our study was to examine whole gene expression differences occurring in primary human chondrocytes isolated from normal cartilage or pathological cartilage from TD-affected fetuses, using Affymetrix technology. The phenotype of the primary cells was confirmed by the high expression of chondrocytic markers. Altered expression of genes associated with many cellular processes was observed, including cell growth and proliferation, cell cycle, cell adhesion, cell motility, metabolic pathways, signal transduction, cell cycle process and cell signaling. Most of the cell cycle process genes were down-regulated and consisted of genes involved in cell cycle progression, DNA biosynthesis, spindle dynamics and cytokinesis. About eight percent of all modulated genes were found to impact extracellular matrix (ECM structure and turnover, especially glycosaminoglycan (GAG and proteoglycan biosynthesis and sulfation. Altogether, the gene expression analyses provide new insight into the consequences of FGFR3 mutations in cell cycle regulation, onset of pre-hypertrophic differentiation and concomitant metabolism changes. Moreover, impaired motility and ECM properties may also provide clues about growth plate disorganization. These

  18. Molecular cytogenetic and genomic analyses reveal new insights into the origin of the wheat B genome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Wei; Zhang, Mingyi; Zhu, Xianwen; Cao, Yaping; Sun, Qing; Ma, Guojia; Chao, Shiaoman; Yan, Changhui; Xu, Steven S; Cai, Xiwen

    2018-02-01

    This work pinpointed the goatgrass chromosomal segment in the wheat B genome using modern cytogenetic and genomic technologies, and provided novel insights into the origin of the wheat B genome. Wheat is a typical allopolyploid with three homoeologous subgenomes (A, B, and D). The donors of the subgenomes A and D had been identified, but not for the subgenome B. The goatgrass Aegilops speltoides (genome SS) has been controversially considered a possible candidate for the donor of the wheat B genome. However, the relationship of the Ae. speltoides S genome with the wheat B genome remains largely obscure. The present study assessed the homology of the B and S genomes using an integrative cytogenetic and genomic approach, and revealed the contribution of Ae. speltoides to the origin of the wheat B genome. We discovered noticeable homology between wheat chromosome 1B and Ae. speltoides chromosome 1S, but not between other chromosomes in the B and S genomes. An Ae. speltoides-originated segment spanning a genomic region of approximately 10.46 Mb was detected on the long arm of wheat chromosome 1B (1BL). The Ae. speltoides-originated segment on 1BL was found to co-evolve with the rest of the B genome. Evidently, Ae. speltoides had been involved in the origin of the wheat B genome, but should not be considered an exclusive donor of this genome. The wheat B genome might have a polyphyletic origin with multiple ancestors involved, including Ae. speltoides. These novel findings will facilitate genome studies in wheat and other polyploids.

  19. Computational Modelling of Dapsone Interaction With Dihydropteroate Synthase in Mycobacterium leprae; Insights Into Molecular Basis of Dapsone Resistance in Leprosy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaitanya V, Sundeep; Das, Madhusmita; Bhat, Pritesh; Ebenezer, Mannam

    2015-10-01

    The molecular basis for determination of resistance to anti-leprosy drugs is the presence of point mutations within the genes of Mycobacterium leprae (M. leprae) that encode active drug targets. The downstream structural and functional implications of these point mutations on drug targets were scarcely studied. In this study, we utilized computational tools to develop native and mutant protein models for 5 point mutations at codon positions 53 and 55 in 6-hydroxymethyl-7, 8-dihydropteroate synthase (DHPS) of M. leprae, an active target for dapsone encoded by folp1 gene, that confer resistance to dapsone. Molecular docking was performed to identify variations in dapsone interaction with mutant DHPS in terms of hydrogen bonding, hydrophobic interactions, and energy changes. Schrodinger Suite 2014-3 was used to build homology models and in performing molecular docking. An increase in volume of the binding cavities of mutant structures was noted when compared to native form indicating a weakening in interaction (60.7 Å(3) in native vs. 233.6 Å(3) in Thr53Ala, 659.9 Å(3) in Thr53Ile, 400 Å(3) for Thr53Val, 385 Å(3) for Pro55Arg, and 210 Å(3) for Pro55Leu). This was also reflected by changes in hydrogen bonds and decrease in hydrophobic interactions in the mutant models. The total binding energy (ΔG) decreased significantly in mutant forms when compared to the native form (-51.92 Kcal/mol for native vs. -35.64, -35.24, -46.47, -47.69, and -41.36 Kcal/mol for mutations Thr53Ala, Thr53Ile, Thr53Val, Pro55Arg, and Pro55Leu, respectively. In brief, this analysis provided structural and mechanistic insights to the degree of dapsone resistance contributed by each of these DHPS mutants in leprosy. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  20. Andrographis paniculata transcriptome provides molecular insights into tissue-specific accumulation of medicinal diterpenes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garg, Anchal; Agrawal, Lalit; Misra, Rajesh Chandra; Sharma, Shubha; Ghosh, Sumit

    2015-09-02

    Kalmegh (Andrographis paniculata) has been widely exploited in traditional medicine for the treatment of infectious diseases and health disorders. Ent-labdane-related diterpene (ent-LRD) specialized (i.e., secondary) metabolites of kalmegh such as andrographolide, neoandrographolide and 14-deoxy-11,12-didehydroandrographolide, are known for variety of pharmacological activities. However, due to the lack of genomic and transcriptomic information, underlying molecular basis of ent-LRDs biosynthesis has remained largely unknown. To identify candidate genes of the ent-LRD biosynthetic pathway, we performed comparative transcriptome analysis using leaf and root tissues that differentially accumulate ent-LRDs. De novo assembly of Illumina HiSeq2000 platform-generated paired-end sequencing reads resulted into 69,011 leaf and 64,244 root transcripts which were assembled into a total of 84,628 unique transcripts. Annotation of these transcripts to the Uniprot, Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) and Carbohydrate-Active Enzymes (CAZy) databases identified candidate transcripts of the ent-LRD biosynthetic pathway. These included transcripts that encode enzymes of the plastidial 2C-methyl-D-erythritol-4-phosphate pathway which provides C5 isoprenoid precursors for the ent-LRDs biosynthesis, geranylgeranyl diphosphate synthase, class II diterpene synthase (diTPS), cytochrome P450 monooxygenase and glycosyltransferase. Three class II diTPSs (ApCPS1, ApCPS2 and ApCPS3) that showed distinct tissue-specific expression profiles and are phylogenetically related to the dicotyledon ent-copalyl diphosphate synthases, are identified. ApCPS1, ApCPS2 and ApCPS3 encode for 832-, 817- and 797- amino acids proteins of 55-63 % identity, respectively. Spatio-temporal patterns of transcripts and ent-LRDs accumulation are consistent with the involvement of ApCPS1 in general (i.e., primary) metabolism for the biosynthesis of phytohormone gibberellin, ApCPS2 in leaf specialized ent

  1. Molecular insight into systematics, host associations, life cycles and geographic distribution of the nematode family Rhabdiasidae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tkach, Vasyl V; Kuzmin, Yuriy; Snyder, Scott D

    2014-04-01

    Rhabdiasidae Railliet, 1915 is a globally distributed group of up to 100 known species of nematodes parasitic in amphibians and reptiles. This work presents the results of a molecular phylogenetic analysis of 36 species of Rhabdiasidae from reptiles and amphibians from six continents. New DNA sequences encompassing partial 18S rDNA, ITS1, 5.8S rDNA, ITS2 and partial 28S rDNA regions of nuclear ribosomal DNA were obtained from 27 species and pre-existing sequences for nine species were incorporated. The broad taxonomic, host and geographical coverage of the specimens allowed us to address long-standing questions in rhabdiasid systematics, evolution, geographic distribution, and patterns of host association. Our analysis demonstrated that rhabdiasids parasitic in snakes are an independent genus sister to the rest of the Rhabdiasidae, a status supported by life cycle data. Based on the combined evidence of molecular phylogeny, morphology and life cycle characteristics, a new genus Serpentirhabdias gen. nov. with the type species Serpentirhabdias elaphe (Sharpilo, 1976) comb. nov. is established. The phylogeny supports the monophyly of Entomelas Travassos, 1930, Pneumonema Johnston, 1916 and the largest genus of the family, Rhabdias Stiles and Hassall, 1905. DNA sequence comparisons demonstrate the presence of more than one species in the previously monotypic Pneumonema from Australian scincid lizards. The distribution of some morphological characters in the genus Rhabdias shows little consistency within the phylogenetic tree topology, in particular the apical structures widely used in rhabdiasid systematics. Our data suggest that some of the characters, while valuable for species differentiation, are not appropriate for differentiation among higher taxa and are of limited phylogenetic utility. Rhabdias is the only genus with a cosmopolitan distribution, but some of the lineages within Rhabdias are distributed on a single continent or a group of adjacent

  2. The botulinum toxin as a therapeutic agent: molecular and pharmacological insights

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kukreja R

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Roshan Kukreja,1 Bal Ram Singh2 1Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Massachusetts, 2Botulinum Research Center, Institute of Advanced Sciences, Dartmouth, MA, USA Abstract: Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs, the most potent toxins known to mankind, are metalloproteases that act on nerve–muscle junctions to block exocytosis through a very specific and exclusive endopeptidase activity against soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptor (SNARE proteins of presynaptic vesicle fusion machinery. This very ability of the toxins to produce flaccid muscle paralysis through chemical denervation has been put to good use, and these potentially lethal toxins have been licensed to treat an ever expanding list of medical disorders and more popularly in the field of esthetic medicine. In most cases, therapeutic BoNT preparations are high-molecular-weight protein complexes consisting of BoNT, complexing proteins, and excipients. There is at least one isolated BoNT, which is free of complexing proteins in the market (Xeomin®. Each commercially available BoNT formulation is unique, differing mainly in molecular size and composition of complexing proteins, biological activity, and antigenicity. BoNT serotype A is marketed as Botox®, Dysport®, and Xeomin®, while BoNT type B is commercially available as Myobloc®. Nerve terminal intoxication by BoNTs is completely reversible, and the duration of therapeutic effects of BoNTs varies for different serotypes. Depending on the target tissue, BoNTs can block the cholinergic neuromuscular or cholinergic autonomic innervation of exocrine glands and smooth muscles. Therapeutic BoNTs exhibit a high safety and very limited adverse effects profile. Despite their established efficacy, the greatest concern with the use of therapeutic BoNTs is their propensity to elicit immunogenic reactions that might render the patient unresponsive to subsequent treatments, particularly in chronic

  3. Merkel Cell Polyomavirus: Molecular Insights into the Most Recently Discovered Human Tumour Virus

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stakaitytė, Gabrielė; Wood, Jennifer J.; Knight, Laura M.; Abdul-Sada, Hussein; Adzahar, Noor Suhana; Nwogu, Nnenna; Macdonald, Andrew; Whitehouse, Adrian

    2014-01-01

    A fifth of worldwide cancer cases have an infectious origin, with viral infection being the foremost. One such cancer is Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC), a rare but aggressive skin malignancy. In 2008, Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCPyV) was discovered as the causative agent of MCC. It is found clonally integrated into the majority of MCC tumours, which require MCPyV oncoproteins to survive. Since its discovery, research has begun to reveal the molecular virology of MCPyV, as well as how it induces tumourigenesis. It is thought to be a common skin commensal, found at low levels in healthy individuals. Upon loss of immunosurveillance, MCPyV reactivates, and a heavy viral load is associated with MCC pathogenesis. Although MCPyV is in many ways similar to classical oncogenic polyomaviruses, such as SV40, subtle differences are beginning to emerge. These unique features highlight the singular position MCPyV has as the only human oncogenic polyomavirus, and open up new avenues for therapies against MCC

  4. Sporulation environment influences spore properties in Bacillus: evidence and insights on underlying molecular and physiological mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bressuire-Isoard, Christelle; Broussolle, Véronique; Carlin, Frédéric

    2018-05-17

    Bacterial spores are resistant to physical and chemical insults, which make them a major concern for public health and for industry. Spores help bacteria to survive extreme environmental conditions that vegetative cells cannot tolerate. Spore resistance and dormancy are important properties for applications in medicine, veterinary health, food safety, crop protection, and other domains. The resistance of bacterial spores results from a protective multilayered structure and from the unique composition of the spore core. The mechanisms of sporulation and germination, the first stage after breaking of dormancy, and organization of spore structure have been extensively studied in Bacillus species. This review aims to illustrate how far the structure, composition and properties of spores are shaped by the environmental conditions in which spores form. We look at the physiological and molecular mechanisms underpinning how sporulation media and environment deeply affect spore yield, spore properties like resistance to wet heat and physical and chemical agents, germination, and further growth. For example, spore core water content decreases as sporulation temperature increases, and resistance to wet heat increases. Controlling the fate of Bacillus spores is pivotal to controlling bacterial risks and process efficiencies in, for example, the food industry, and better control hinges on better understanding how sporulation conditions influence spore properties.

  5. Molecular environment of iodine in naturally iodinated humic substances: Insight from X-ray absorption spectroscopy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schlegel, Michel L.; Mercier-Bion, Florence; Barre, Nicole; Reiller, Pascal; Moulin, Valerie

    2006-01-01

    The molecular environment of iodine in reference inorganic and organic compounds, and in dry humic and fulvic acids (HAs and FAs) extracted from subsurface and deep aquifers was probed by iodine L-3-edge X-ray absorption spectroscopy. The X-ray absorption near-edge structure (XANES) of iodine spectra from HAs and FAs resembled those of organic references and displayed structural features consistent with iodine forming covalent bonds with organic molecules. Simulation of XANES spectra by linear combination of reference spectra suggested the predominance of iodine forming covalent bonds to aromatic rings (aromatic-bound iodine). Comparison of extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) spectra of reference and samples further showed that iodine was surrounded by carbon shells at distances comparable to those for references containing aromatic-bound iodine. Quantitative analysis of EXAFS spectra indicated that iodine was bound to about one carbon at a distance d(I-C) of 2.01(4)-2.04(9) angstrom, which was comparable to the distances observed for aromatic-bound iodine in references (1.99(1)-2.07(6) angstrom), and significantly shorter than that observed for aliphatic-bound iodine (2.15(2)-2.16(2) angstrom). These results are in agreement with previous conclusions from X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and from electro-spray ionization mass spectrometry. These results collectively suggest that the aromatic-bound iodine is stable in the various aquifers of this study. (authors)

  6. Molecular insight into nanoscale water films dewetting on modified silica surfaces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Jun; Li, Wen; Yan, Youguo; Wang, Yefei; Liu, Bing; Shen, Yue; Chen, Haixiang; Liu, Liang

    2015-01-07

    In this work, molecular dynamics simulations are adopted to investigate the microscopic dewetting mechanism of nanoscale water films on methylated silica surfaces. The simulation results show that the dewetting process is divided into two stages: the appearance of dry patches and the quick contraction of the water film. First, the appearance of dry patches is due to the fluctuation in the film thickness originating from capillary wave instability. Second, for the fast contraction of water film, the unsaturated electrostatic and hydrogen bond interactions among water molecules are the driving forces, which induce the quick contraction of the water film. Finally, the effect of film thickness on water films dewetting is studied. Research results suggest that upon increasing the water film thickness from 6 to 8 Å, the final dewetting patterns experience separate droplets and striation-shaped structures, respectively. But upon further increasing the water film thickness, the water film is stable and there are no dry patches. The microscopic dewetting behaviors of water films on methylated silica surfaces discussed here are helpful in understanding many phenomena in scientific and industrial processes better.

  7. Nephrogenic Diabetes Insipidus: Essential Insights into the Molecular Background and Potential Therapies for Treatment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rittig, Søren

    2013-01-01

    The water channel aquaporin-2 (AQP2), expressed in the kidney collecting ducts, plays a pivotal role in maintaining body water balance. The channel is regulated by the peptide hormone arginine vasopressin (AVP), which exerts its effects through the type 2 vasopressin receptor (AVPR2). Disrupted function or regulation of AQP2 or the AVPR2 results in nephrogenic diabetes insipidus (NDI), a common clinical condition of renal origin characterized by polydipsia and polyuria. Over several years, major research efforts have advanced our understanding of NDI at the genetic, cellular, molecular, and biological levels. NDI is commonly characterized as hereditary (congenital) NDI, arising from genetic mutations in the AVPR2 or AQP2; or acquired NDI, due to for exmple medical treatment or electrolyte disturbances. In this article, we provide a comprehensive overview of the genetic, cell biological, and pathophysiological causes of NDI, with emphasis on the congenital forms and the acquired forms arising from lithium and other drug therapies, acute and chronic renal failure, and disturbed levels of calcium and potassium. Additionally, we provide an overview of the exciting new treatment strategies that have been recently proposed for alleviating the symptoms of some forms of the disease and for bypassing G protein-coupled receptor signaling. PMID:23360744

  8. Cloud droplet activation mechanisms of amino acid aerosol particles: insight from molecular dynamics simulations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xin Li

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Atmospheric amino acids constitute a large fraction of water-soluble organic nitrogen compounds in aerosol particles, and have been confirmed as effective cloud condensation nuclei (CCN materials in laboratory experiments. We present a molecular dynamics (MD study of six amino acids with different structures and chemical properties that are relevant to the remote marine atmospheric aerosol–cloud system, with the aim of investigating the detailed mechanism of their induced changes in surface activity and surface tension, which are important properties for cloud drop activation. Distributions and orientations of the amino acid molecules are studied; these l-amino acids are serine (SER, glycine (GLY, alanine (ALA, valine (VAL, methionine (MET and phenylalanine (PHE and are categorised as hydrophilic and amphiphilic according to their affinities to water. The results suggest that the presence of surface-concentrated amphiphilic amino acid molecules give rise to enhanced Lennard–Jones repulsion, which in turn results in decreased surface tension of a planar interface and an increased surface tension of the spherical interface of droplets with diameters below 10 nm. The observed surface tension perturbation for the different amino acids under study not only serves as benchmark for future studies of more complex systems, but also shows that amphiphilic amino acids are surface active. The MD simulations used in this study reproduce experimental results of surface tension measurements for planar interfaces and the method is therefore applicable for spherical interfaces of nano-size for which experimental measurements are not possible to conduct.

  9. Molecular insights into the origin of the Hox-TALE patterning system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hudry, Bruno; Thomas-Chollier, Morgane; Volovik, Yael; Duffraisse, Marilyne; Dard, Amélie; Frank, Dale; Technau, Ulrich; Merabet, Samir

    2014-03-18

    Despite tremendous body form diversity in nature, bilaterian animals share common sets of developmental genes that display conserved expression patterns in the embryo. Among them are the Hox genes, which define different identities along the anterior-posterior axis. Hox proteins exert their function by interaction with TALE transcription factors. Hox and TALE members are also present in some but not all non-bilaterian phyla, raising the question of how Hox-TALE interactions evolved to provide positional information. By using proteins from unicellular and multicellular lineages, we showed that these networks emerged from an ancestral generic motif present in Hox and other related protein families. Interestingly, Hox-TALE networks experienced additional and extensive molecular innovations that were likely crucial for differentiating Hox functions along body plans. Together our results highlight how homeobox gene families evolved during eukaryote evolution to eventually constitute a major patterning system in Eumetazoans. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.01939.001.

  10. Structural insight into molecular mechanism of poly(ethylene terephthalate) degradation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joo, Seongjoon; Cho, In Jin; Seo, Hogyun; Son, Hyeoncheol Francis; Sagong, Hye-Young; Shin, Tae Joo; Choi, So Young; Lee, Sang Yup; Kim, Kyung-Jin

    2018-01-26

    Plastics, including poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET), possess many desirable characteristics and thus are widely used in daily life. However, non-biodegradability, once thought to be an advantage offered by plastics, is causing major environmental problem. Recently, a PET-degrading bacterium, Ideonella sakaiensis, was identified and suggested for possible use in degradation and/or recycling of PET. However, the molecular mechanism of PET degradation is not known. Here we report the crystal structure of I. sakaiensis PETase (IsPETase) at 1.5 Å resolution. IsPETase has a Ser-His-Asp catalytic triad at its active site and contains an optimal substrate binding site to accommodate four monohydroxyethyl terephthalate (MHET) moieties of PET. Based on structural and site-directed mutagenesis experiments, the detailed process of PET degradation into MHET, terephthalic acid, and ethylene glycol is suggested. Moreover, other PETase candidates potentially having high PET-degrading activities are suggested based on phylogenetic tree analysis of 69 PETase-like proteins.

  11. Interaction of amyloid inhibitor proteins with amyloid beta peptides: insight from molecular dynamics simulations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Payel Das

    Full Text Available Knowledge of the detailed mechanism by which proteins such as human αB- crystallin and human lysozyme inhibit amyloid beta (Aβ peptide aggregation is crucial for designing treatment for Alzheimer's disease. Thus, unconstrained, atomistic molecular dynamics simulations in explicit solvent have been performed to characterize the Aβ17-42 assembly in presence of the αB-crystallin core domain and of lysozyme. Simulations reveal that both inhibitor proteins compete with inter-peptide interaction by binding to the peptides during the early stage of aggregation, which is consistent with their inhibitory action reported in experiments. However, the Aβ binding dynamics appear different for each inhibitor. The binding between crystallin and the peptide monomer, dominated by electrostatics, is relatively weak and transient due to the heterogeneous amino acid distribution of the inhibitor surface. The crystallin-bound Aβ oligomers are relatively long-lived, as they form more extensive contact surface with the inhibitor protein. In contrast, a high local density of arginines from lysozyme allows strong binding with Aβ peptide monomers, resulting in stable complexes. Our findings not only illustrate, in atomic detail, how the amyloid inhibitory mechanism of human αB-crystallin, a natural chaperone, is different from that of human lysozyme, but also may aid de novo design of amyloid inhibitors.

  12. Molecular genetic insights on cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) ecology and conservation in Namibia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marker, Laurie L; Pearks Wilkerson, Alison J; Sarno, Ronald J; Martenson, Janice; Breitenmoser-Würsten, Christian; O'Brien, Stephen J; Johnson, Warren E

    2008-01-01

    The extent and geographic patterns of molecular genetic diversity of the largest remaining free-ranging cheetah population were described in a survey of 313 individuals from throughout Namibia. Levels of relatedness, including paternity/maternity (parentage), were assessed across all individuals using 19 polymorphic microsatellite loci, and unrelated cheetahs (n = 89) from 7 regions were genotyped at 38 loci to document broad geographical patterns. There was limited differentiation among regions, evidence that this is a generally panmictic population. Measures of genetic variation were similar among all regions and were comparable with Eastern African cheetah populations. Parentage analyses confirmed several observations based on field studies, including 21 of 23 previously hypothesized family groups, 40 probable parent/offspring pairs, and 8 sibling groups. These results also verified the successful integration and reproduction of several cheetahs following natural dispersal or translocation. Animals within social groups (family groups, male coalitions, or sibling groups) were generally related. Within the main study area, radio-collared female cheetahs were more closely interrelated than similarly compared males, a pattern consistent with greater male dispersal. The long-term maintenance of current patterns of genetic variation in Namibia depends on retaining habitat characteristics that promote natural dispersal and gene flow of cheetahs.

  13. Merkel Cell Polyomavirus: Molecular Insights into the Most Recently Discovered Human Tumour Virus

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stakaitytė, Gabrielė; Wood, Jennifer J.; Knight, Laura M.; Abdul-Sada, Hussein; Adzahar, Noor Suhana; Nwogu, Nnenna; Macdonald, Andrew; Whitehouse, Adrian, E-mail: A.Whitehouse@leeds.ac.uk [School of Molecular and Cellular Biology and Astbury Centre of Structural Molecular Biology, University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT (United Kingdom)

    2014-06-27

    A fifth of worldwide cancer cases have an infectious origin, with viral infection being the foremost. One such cancer is Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC), a rare but aggressive skin malignancy. In 2008, Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCPyV) was discovered as the causative agent of MCC. It is found clonally integrated into the majority of MCC tumours, which require MCPyV oncoproteins to survive. Since its discovery, research has begun to reveal the molecular virology of MCPyV, as well as how it induces tumourigenesis. It is thought to be a common skin commensal, found at low levels in healthy individuals. Upon loss of immunosurveillance, MCPyV reactivates, and a heavy viral load is associated with MCC pathogenesis. Although MCPyV is in many ways similar to classical oncogenic polyomaviruses, such as SV40, subtle differences are beginning to emerge. These unique features highlight the singular position MCPyV has as the only human oncogenic polyomavirus, and open up new avenues for therapies against MCC.

  14. Thermophysical properties of energetic ionic liquids/nitric acid mixtures: insights from molecular dynamics simulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hooper, Justin B; Smith, Grant D; Bedrov, Dmitry

    2013-09-14

    Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of mixtures of the room temperature ionic liquids (ILs) 1-butyl-4-methyl imidazolium [BMIM]/dicyanoamide [DCA] and [BMIM][NO3(-)] with HNO3 have been performed utilizing the polarizable, quantum chemistry based APPLE&P(®) potential. Experimentally it has been observed that [BMIM][DCA] exhibits hypergolic behavior when mixed with HNO3 while [BMIM][NO3(-)] does not. The structural, thermodynamic, and transport properties of the IL/HNO3 mixtures have been determined from equilibrium MD simulations over the entire composition range (pure IL to pure HNO3) based on bulk simulations. Additional (non-equilibrium) simulations of the composition profile for IL/HNO3 interfaces as a function of time have been utilized to estimate the composition dependent mutual diffusion coefficients for the mixtures. The latter have been employed in continuum-level simulations in order to examine the nature (composition and width) of the IL/HNO3 interfaces on the millisecond time scale.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bayse, Craig A; Merz, Kenneth M

    2014-08-05

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

  16. First principles molecular dynamics insight into acid-base chemistry of clay minerals

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu, Xiandong; Lu, Xiancai; Wang, Rucheng; Meijer, Evert Jan

    2012-01-01

    Document available in extended abstract form only. Microscopic knowledge on the interfaces between clay minerals (2:1- and 1:1-type) and water is critical for both understanding natural processes and guiding development of advanced hybrid materials. Due to the unique layered structures of clay minerals, their surfaces are usually grouped into basal surfaces and edge surfaces (i.e. broken surfaces). Thanks to previous studies, structures and properties of basal surfaces have been well recognized: these surfaces are terminated with siloxanes and surface Si-O six-member rings normally act as the adsorbing sites of cations. In contrast, edge surfaces are more complicated structures and have more subtle chemical properties. On these surfaces, there are a lot of dangling bonds and under ambient conditions they are usually saturated by chemically adsorbed waters. These edge groups are usually amphoteric, which is responsible to the pH dependent behaviors of many interfacial processes, such as cations complexing. For example, adsorption of heavy metal cations (e.g. Ni 2+ , Co 2+ , Zn 2+ , Cd 2+ ) on clay basal surfaces is through cation exchange mechanism and that is hardly influenced by environmental pH. In contrast, it has been well accepted that the adsorption on edge surfaces is pH-dependent. The ubiquitous isomorphic substitutions further increase the complexity of their interfacial chemistry. Due to the high heterogeneity and rather small sizes, it is quite difficult to reveal the complex interfacial chemistry with experiments alone. FPMD method (first principles molecular dynamics), a combination of density functional theory and molecular dynamics, can provide valuable information. With FPMD [1, 2] and free-energy calculation techniques [3, 4], we investigated the microscopic structures and acid chemistry of these clay-water interfaces [5, 6]. According to systematic simulations, the following has been achieved. (1) Acidity of interlayer waters. The simulations show

  17. Transcriptomic profiling provides molecular insights into hydrogen peroxide-induced adventitious rooting in mung bean seedlings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Shi-Weng; Leng, Yan; Shi, Rui-Fang

    2017-02-17

    Hydrogen peroxide (H 2 O 2 ) has been known to function as a signalling molecule involved in the modulation of various physiological processes in plants. H 2 O 2 has been shown to act as a promoter during adventitious root formation in hypocotyl cuttings. In this study, RNA-Seq was performed to reveal the molecular mechanisms underlying H 2 O 2 -induced adventitious rooting. RNA-Seq data revealed that H 2 O 2 treatment greatly increased the numbers of clean reads and expressed genes and abundance of gene expression relative to the water treatment. Gene Ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway enrichment analyses indicated that a profound change in gene function occurred in the 6-h H 2 O 2 treatment and that H 2 O 2 mainly enhanced gene expression levels at the 6-h time point but reduced gene expression levels at the 24-h time point compared with the water treatment. In total, 4579 differentially expressed (2-fold change > 2) unigenes (DEGs), of which 78.3% were up-regulated and 21.7% were down-regulated; 3525 DEGs, of which 64.0% were up-regulated and 36.0% were down-regulated; and 7383 DEGs, of which 40.8% were up-regulated and 59.2% were down-regulated were selected in the 6-h, 24-h, and from 6- to 24-h treatments, respectively. The number of DEGs in the 6-h treatment was 29.9% higher than that in the 24-h treatment. The functions of the most highly regulated genes were associated with stress response, cell redox homeostasis and oxidative stress response, cell wall loosening and modification, metabolic processes, and transcription factors (TFs), as well as plant hormone signalling, including auxin, ethylene, cytokinin, gibberellin, and abscisic acid pathways. Notably, a large number of genes encoding for heat shock proteins (HSPs) and heat shock transcription factors (HSFs) were significantly up-regulated during H 2 O 2 treatments. Furthermore, real-time quantitative PCR (qRT-PCR) results showed that, during H 2 O 2 treatments

  18. Molecular Insights into the Genetic Diversity of Hemarthria compressa Germplasm Collections Native to Southwest China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhi-Hui Guo

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Start codon targeted polymorphism (SCoT analysis was employed to distinguish 37 whipgrass (Hemarthria compressa L. clones and assess the genetic diversity and population structure among these genotypes. The informativeness of markers was also estimated using various parameters. Using 25 highly reproducible primer sets, 368 discernible fragments were generated. Of these, 282 (77.21% were polymorphic. The number of alleles per locus ranged from five to 21, and the genetic variation indices varied. The polymorphism information content (PIC was 0.358, the Shannon diversity index (H was 0.534, the marker index (MI was 4.040, the resolving power (RP was 6.108, and the genotype index (GI was 0.782. Genetic similarity coefficients (GS between the accessions ranged from 0.563 to 0.872, with a mean of 0.685. Their patterns observed in a dendrogram constructed using the unweighted pair group method with arithmetic mean analysis (UPGMA based on GS largely confirmed the results of principal coordinate analysis (PCoA. PCoA was further confirmed by Bayesian model-based STRUCTURE analysis, which revealed no direct association between genetic relationship and geographical origins as validated by Mantel’s test (r = 0.2268, p = 0.9999. In addition, high-level genetic variation within geographical groups was significantly greater than that between groups, as determined by Shannon diversity analysis, analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA and Bayesian analysis. Overall, SCoT analysis is a simple, effective and reliable technique for characterizing and maintaining germplasm collections of whipgrass and related species.

  19. Insight into the molecular mechanism of water evaporation via the finite temperature string method.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Musolino, Nicholas; Trout, Bernhardt L

    2013-04-07

    The process of water's evaporation at its liquid/air interface has proven challenging to study experimentally and, because it constitutes a rare event on molecular time scales, presents a challenge for computer simulations as well. In this work, we simulated water's evaporation using the classical extended simple point charge model water model, and identified a minimum free energy path for this process in terms of 10 descriptive order parameters. The measured free energy change was 7.4 kcal/mol at 298 K, in reasonable agreement with the experimental value of 6.3 kcal/mol, and the mean first-passage time was 1375 ns for a single molecule, corresponding to an evaporation coefficient of 0.25. In the observed minimum free energy process, the water molecule diffuses to the surface, and tends to rotate so that its dipole and one O-H bond are oriented outward as it crosses the Gibbs dividing surface. As the water molecule moves further outward through the interfacial region, its local density is higher than the time-averaged density, indicating a local solvation shell that protrudes from the interface. The water molecule loses donor and acceptor hydrogen bonds, and then, with its dipole nearly normal to the interface, stops donating its remaining hydrogen bond. At that point, when the final, accepted hydrogen bond is broken, the water molecule is free. We also analyzed which order parameters are most important in the process and in reactive trajectories, and found that the relative orientation of water molecules near the evaporating molecule, and the number of accepted hydrogen bonds, were important variables in reactive trajectories and in kinetic descriptions of the process.

  20. Mechanistic Insights on Human Phosphoglucomutase Revealed by Transition Path Sampling and Molecular Dynamics Calculations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brás, Natércia F; Fernandes, Pedro A; Ramos, Maria J; Schwartz, Steven D

    2018-02-06

    Human α-phosphoglucomutase 1 (α-PGM) catalyzes the isomerization of glucose-1-phosphate into glucose-6-phosphate (G6P) through two sequential phosphoryl transfer steps with a glucose-1,6-bisphosphate (G16P) intermediate. Given that the release of G6P in the gluconeogenesis raises the glucose output levels, α-PGM represents a tempting pharmacological target for type 2 diabetes. Here, we provide the first theoretical study of the catalytic mechanism of human α-PGM. We performed transition-path sampling simulations to unveil the atomic details of the two catalytic chemical steps, which could be key for developing transition state (TS) analogue molecules with inhibitory properties. Our calculations revealed that both steps proceed through a concerted S N 2-like mechanism, with a loose metaphosphate-like TS. Even though experimental data suggests that the two steps are identical, we observed noticeable differences: 1) the transition state ensemble has a well-defined TS region and a late TS for the second step, and 2) larger coordinated protein motions are required to reach the TS of the second step. We have identified key residues (Arg23, Ser117, His118, Lys389), and the Mg 2+ ion that contribute in different ways to the reaction coordinate. Accelerated molecular dynamics simulations suggest that the G16P intermediate may reorient without leaving the enzymatic binding pocket, through significant conformational rearrangements of the G16P and of specific loop regions of the human α-PGM. © 2018 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  1. CAM and Cell Fate Targeting: Molecular and Energetic Insights into Cell Growth and Differentiation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlo Ventura

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available Evidence-based medicine is switching from the analysis of single diseases at a time toward an integrated assessment of a diseased person. Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM offers multiple holistic approaches, including osteopathy, homeopathy, chiropractic, acupuncture, herbal and energy medicine and meditation, all potentially impacting on major human diseases. It is now becoming evident that acupuncture can modify the expression of different endorphin genes and the expression of genes encoding for crucial transcription factors in cellular homeostasis. Extremely low frequency magnetic fields have been found to prime the commitment to a myocardial lineage in mouse embryonic stem cells, suggesting that magnetic energy may direct stem cell differentiation into specific cellular phenotypes without the aid of gene transfer technologies. This finding may pave the way to novel approaches in tissue engineering and regeneration. Different ginseng extracts have been shown to modulate growth and differentiation in pluripotent cells and to exert wound-healing and antitumor effects through opposing activities on the vascular system, prompting the hypothesis that ancient compounds may be the target for new logics in cell therapy. These observations and the subtle entanglement among different CAM systems suggest that CAM modalities may deeply affect both the signaling and transcriptional level of cellular homeostasis. Such a perception holds promises for a new era in CAM, prompting reproducible documentation of biological responses to CAM-related strategies and compounds. To this end, functional genomics and proteomics and the comprehension of the cell signaling networks may substantially contribute to the development of a molecular evidence–based CAM.

  2. Molecular Mechanisms of Mild and Severe Pneumonia: Insights from RNA Sequencing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Sai; Feng, Cong; Chen, Li; Huang, Zhi; Zhou, Xuan; Li, Bei; Wang, Li-Li; Chen, Wei; Lv, Fa-Qin; Li, Tan-Shi

    2017-04-06

    BACKGROUND This study aimed to uncover the molecular mechanisms underlying mild and severe pneumonia by use of mRNA sequencing (RNA-seq). MATERIAL AND METHODS RNA was extracted from the peripheral blood of patients with mild pneumonia, severe pneumonia, and healthy controls. Sequencing was performed on the HiSeq4000 platform. After filtering, clean reads were mapped to the human reference genome hg19. Differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified between the control group and the mild or severe group. A transcription factor-gene network was constructed for each group. Biological process (BP) terms enriched by DEGs in the network were analyzed and these genes were also mapped to the Connectivity map to search for small-molecule drugs. RESULTS A total of 199 and 560 DEGs were identified from the mild group and severe group, respectively. A transcription factor-gene network consisting of 215 nodes and another network consisting of 451 nodes were constructed in the mild group and severe group, respectively, and 54 DEGs (e.g., S100A9 and S100A12) were found to be common, with consistent differential expression changes in the 2 groups. Genes in the transcription factor-gene network for the mild group were mainly enriched in 13 BP terms, especially defense and inflammatory response (e.g., S100A8) and spermatogenesis, while the top BP terms enriched by genes in the severe group include response to oxidative stress (CCL5), wound healing, and regulation of cell differentiation (CCL5), and of the cellular protein metabolic process. CONCLUSIONS S100A9 and S100A12 may have a role in the pathogenesis of pneumonia: S100A9 and CXCL1 may contribute solely in mild pneumonia, and CCL5 and CXCL11 may contribute in severe pneumonia.

  3. Phylogeny, evolutionary trends and classification of the Spathelia-Ptaeroxylon clade: morphological and molecular insights.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Appelhans, M S; Smets, E; Razafimandimbison, S G; Haevermans, T; van Marle, E J; Couloux, A; Rabarison, H; Randrianarivelojosia, M; Kessler, P J A

    2011-06-01

    The Spathelia-Ptaeroxylon clade is a group of morphologically diverse plants that have been classified together as a result of molecular phylogenetic studies. The clade is currently included in Rutaceae and recognized at a subfamilial level (Spathelioideae) despite the fact that most of its genera have traditionally been associated with other families and that there are no obvious morphological synapomorphies for the clade. The aim of the present study is to construct phylogenetic trees for the Spathelia-Ptaeroxylon clade and to investigate anatomical characters in order to decide whether it should be kept in Rutaceae or recognized at the familial level. Anatomical characters were plotted on a cladogram to help explain character evolution within the group. Moreover, phylogenetic relationships and generic limits within the clade are also addressed. A species-level phylogenetic analysis of the Spathelia-Ptaeroxylon clade based on five plastid DNA regions (rbcL, atpB, trnL-trnF, rps16 and psbA-trnH) was conducted using Bayesian, maximum parsimony and maximum likelihood methods. Leaf and seed anatomical characters of all genera were (re)investigated by light and scanning electron microscopy. With the exception of Spathelia, all genera of the Spathelila-Ptaeroxylon clade are monophyletic. The typical leaf and seed anatomical characters of Rutaceae were found. Further, the presence of oil cells in the leaves provides a possible synapomorphy for the clade. The Spathelia-Ptaeroxylon clade is well placed in Rutaceae and it is reasonable to unite the genera into one subfamily (Spathelioideae). We propose a new tribal classification of Spathelioideae. A narrow circumscription of Spathelia is established to make the genus monophyletic, and Sohnreyia is resurrected to accommodate the South American species of Spathelia. The most recent common ancestor of Spathelioideae probably had leaves with secretory cavities and oil cells, haplostemonous flowers with appendaged staminal

  4. Phylogeny, evolutionary trends and classification of the Spathelia–Ptaeroxylon clade: morphological and molecular insights

    Science.gov (United States)

    Appelhans, M. S.; Smets, E.; Razafimandimbison, S. G.; Haevermans, T.; van Marle, E. J.; Couloux, A.; Rabarison, H.; Randrianarivelojosia, M.; Keßler, P. J. A.

    2011-01-01

    Background and Aims The Spathelia–Ptaeroxylon clade is a group of morphologically diverse plants that have been classified together as a result of molecular phylogenetic studies. The clade is currently included in Rutaceae and recognized at a subfamilial level (Spathelioideae) despite the fact that most of its genera have traditionally been associated with other families and that there are no obvious morphological synapomorphies for the clade. The aim of the present study is to construct phylogenetic trees for the Spathelia–Ptaeroxylon clade and to investigate anatomical characters in order to decide whether it should be kept in Rutaceae or recognized at the familial level. Anatomical characters were plotted on a cladogram to help explain character evolution within the group. Moreover, phylogenetic relationships and generic limits within the clade are also addressed. Methods A species-level phylogenetic analysis of the Spathelia–Ptaeroxylon clade based on five plastid DNA regions (rbcL, atpB, trnL–trnF, rps16 and psbA–trnH) was conducted using Bayesian, maximum parsimony and maximum likelihood methods. Leaf and seed anatomical characters of all genera were (re)investigated by light and scanning electron microscopy. Key Results With the exception of Spathelia, all genera of the Spathelila–Ptaeroxylon clade are monophyletic. The typical leaf and seed anatomical characters of Rutaceae were found. Further, the presence of oil cells in the leaves provides a possible synapomorphy for the clade. Conclusions The Spathelia–Ptaeroxylon clade is well placed in Rutaceae and it is reasonable to unite the genera into one subfamily (Spathelioideae). We propose a new tribal classification of Spathelioideae. A narrow circumscription of Spathelia is established to make the genus monophyletic, and Sohnreyia is resurrected to accommodate the South American species of Spathelia. The most recent common ancestor of Spathelioideae probably had leaves with secretory cavities

  5. Molecular analysis of the anaerobic rumen fungus Orpinomyces - insights into an AT-rich genome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicholson, Matthew J; Theodorou, Michael K; Brookman, Jayne L

    2005-01-01

    The anaerobic gut fungi occupy a unique niche in the intestinal tract of large herbivorous animals and are thought to act as primary colonizers of plant material during digestion. They are the only known obligately anaerobic fungi but molecular analysis of this group has been hampered by difficulties in their culture and manipulation, and by their extremely high A+T nucleotide content. This study begins to answer some of the fundamental questions about the structure and organization of the anaerobic gut fungal genome. Directed plasmid libraries using genomic DNA digested with highly or moderately rich AT-specific restriction enzymes (VspI and EcoRI) were prepared from a polycentric Orpinomyces isolate. Clones were sequenced from these libraries and the breadth of genomic inserts, both genic and intergenic, was characterized. Genes encoding numerous functions not previously characterized for these fungi were identified, including cytoskeletal, secretory pathway and transporter genes. A peptidase gene with no introns and having sequence similarity to a gene encoding a bacterial peptidase was also identified, extending the range of metabolic enzymes resulting from apparent trans-kingdom transfer from bacteria to fungi, as previously characterized largely for genes encoding plant-degrading enzymes. This paper presents the first thorough analysis of the genic, intergenic and rDNA regions of a variety of genomic segments from an anaerobic gut fungus and provides observations on rules governing intron boundaries, the codon biases observed with different types of genes, and the sequence of only the second anaerobic gut fungal promoter reported. Large numbers of retrotransposon sequences of different types were found and the authors speculate on the possible consequences of any such transposon activity in the genome. The coding sequences identified included several orphan gene sequences, including one with regions strongly suggestive of structural proteins such as collagens

  6. New insights into Trypanosoma cruzi evolution, genotyping and molecular diagnostics from satellite DNA sequence analysis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan C Ramírez

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Trypanosoma cruzi has been subdivided into seven Discrete Typing Units (DTUs, TcI-TcVI and Tcbat. Two major evolutionary models have been proposed to explain the origin of hybrid lineages, but while it is widely accepted that TcV and TcVI are the result of genetic exchange between TcII and TcIII strains, the origin of TcIII and TcIV is still a matter of debate. T. cruzi satellite DNA (SatDNA, comprised of 195 bp units organized in tandem repeats, from both TcV and TcVI stocks were found to have SatDNA copies type TcI and TcII; whereas contradictory results were observed for TcIII stocks and no TcIV sequence has been analyzed yet. Herein, we have gone deeper into this matter analyzing 335 distinct SatDNA sequences from 19 T. cruzi stocks representative of DTUs TcI-TcVI for phylogenetic inference. Bayesian phylogenetic tree showed that all sequences were grouped in three major clusters, which corresponded to sequences from DTUs TcI/III, TcII and TcIV; whereas TcV and TcVI stocks had two sets of sequences distributed into TcI/III and TcII clusters. As expected, the lowest genetic distances were found between TcI and TcIII, and between TcV and TcVI sequences; whereas the highest ones were observed between TcII and TcI/III, and among TcIV sequences and those from the remaining DTUs. In addition, signature patterns associated to specific T. cruzi lineages were identified and new primers that improved SatDNA-based qPCR sensitivity were designed. Our findings support the theory that TcIII is not the result of a hybridization event between TcI and TcII, and that TcIV had an independent origin from the other DTUs, contributing to clarifying the evolutionary history of T. cruzi lineages. Moreover, this work opens the possibility of typing samples from Chagas disease patients with low parasitic loads and improving molecular diagnostic methods of T. cruzi infection based on SatDNA sequence amplification.

  7. New insights into Trypanosoma cruzi evolution, genotyping and molecular diagnostics from satellite DNA sequence analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramírez, Juan C; Torres, Carolina; Curto, María de Los A; Schijman, Alejandro G

    2017-12-01

    Trypanosoma cruzi has been subdivided into seven Discrete Typing Units (DTUs), TcI-TcVI and Tcbat. Two major evolutionary models have been proposed to explain the origin of hybrid lineages, but while it is widely accepted that TcV and TcVI are the result of genetic exchange between TcII and TcIII strains, the origin of TcIII and TcIV is still a matter of debate. T. cruzi satellite DNA (SatDNA), comprised of 195 bp units organized in tandem repeats, from both TcV and TcVI stocks were found to have SatDNA copies type TcI and TcII; whereas contradictory results were observed for TcIII stocks and no TcIV sequence has been analyzed yet. Herein, we have gone deeper into this matter analyzing 335 distinct SatDNA sequences from 19 T. cruzi stocks representative of DTUs TcI-TcVI for phylogenetic inference. Bayesian phylogenetic tree showed that all sequences were grouped in three major clusters, which corresponded to sequences from DTUs TcI/III, TcII and TcIV; whereas TcV and TcVI stocks had two sets of sequences distributed into TcI/III and TcII clusters. As expected, the lowest genetic distances were found between TcI and TcIII, and between TcV and TcVI sequences; whereas the highest ones were observed between TcII and TcI/III, and among TcIV sequences and those from the remaining DTUs. In addition, signature patterns associated to specific T. cruzi lineages were identified and new primers that improved SatDNA-based qPCR sensitivity were designed. Our findings support the theory that TcIII is not the result of a hybridization event between TcI and TcII, and that TcIV had an independent origin from the other DTUs, contributing to clarifying the evolutionary history of T. cruzi lineages. Moreover, this work opens the possibility of typing samples from Chagas disease patients with low parasitic loads and improving molecular diagnostic methods of T. cruzi infection based on SatDNA sequence amplification.

  8. Estrogen Receptor β in Melanoma: From Molecular Insights to Potential Clinical Utility

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Monica Marzagalli

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Cutaneous melanoma is an aggressive tumor with its incidence increasing faster than any other cancer in the past decades. Melanoma is a heterogeneous tumor, with most patients harboring mutations in the BRAF or NRAS oncogenes, leading to the overactivation of the MAPK/ERK and PI3K/Akt pathways. The current therapeutic approaches are based on therapies targeting mutated BRAF and the downstream pathway, and on monoclonal antibodies against the immune checkpoint blockade. However, treatment resistance and side effects are common events of these therapeutic strategies.Increasing evidence supports that melanoma is a hormone-related cancer. Melanoma incidence is higher in males than in females and females have a significant survival advantage over men. Estrogens exert their effects through estrogen receptors (ER and ERβ that exert opposite effects on cancer growth: ER is associated with a proliferative action and ERβ with an anticancer effect. ERβ is the predominant estrogen receptor in melanoma and its expression decreases in melanoma progression, supporting its role as a tumor suppressor. Thus, ERβ is now considered as an effective molecular target for melanoma treatment. 17β-estradiol was reported to inhibit melanoma cells proliferation. However, clinical trials did not provide the expected survival benefits. In vitro studies demonstrate that ERβ ligands inhibit the proliferation of melanoma cells harboring the NRAS (but not the BRAF mutation, suggesting that ERβ activation might impair melanoma development through the inhibition of the PI3K/Akt pathway. These data suggest that ERβ agonists might be considered as an effective treatment strategy, in combination with MAPK inhibitors, for NRAS mutant melanomas. In an era of personalized medicine, pretreatment evaluation of the expression of ER isoforms together with the concurrent oncogenic mutations should be considered before selecting the most appropriate therapeutic intervention

  9. Estrogen Receptor β in Melanoma: From Molecular Insights to Potential Clinical Utility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marzagalli, Monica; Montagnani Marelli, Marina; Casati, Lavinia; Fontana, Fabrizio; Moretti, Roberta Manuela; Limonta, Patrizia

    2016-01-01

    Cutaneous melanoma is an aggressive tumor; its incidence has been reported to increase fast in the past decades. Melanoma is a heterogeneous tumor, with most patients harboring mutations in the BRAF or NRAS oncogenes, leading to the overactivation of the MAPK/ERK and PI3K/Akt pathways. The current therapeutic approaches are based on therapies targeting mutated BRAF and the downstream pathway, and on monoclonal antibodies against the immune checkpoint blockade. However, treatment resistance and side effects are common events of these therapeutic strategies. Increasing evidence supports that melanoma is a hormone-related cancer. Melanoma incidence is higher in males than in females, and females have a significant survival advantage over men. Estrogens exert their effects through estrogen receptors (ERα and ERβ) that affect cancer growth in an opposite way: ERα is associated with a proliferative action and ERβ with an anticancer effect. ERβ is the predominant ER in melanoma, and its expression decreases in melanoma progression, supporting its role as a tumor suppressor. Thus, ERβ is now considered as an effective molecular target for melanoma treatment. 17β-estradiol was reported to inhibit melanoma cells proliferation; however, clinical trials did not provide the expected survival benefits. In vitro studies demonstrate that ERβ ligands inhibit the proliferation of melanoma cells harboring the NRAS (but not the BRAF) mutation, suggesting that ERβ activation might impair melanoma development through the inhibition of the PI3K/Akt pathway. These data suggest that ERβ agonists might be considered as an effective treatment strategy, in combination with MAPK inhibitors, for NRAS mutant melanomas. In an era of personalized medicine, pretreatment evaluation of the expression of ER isoforms together with the concurrent oncogenic mutations should be considered before selecting the most appropriate therapeutic intervention. Natural compounds that specifically bind to

  10. New insights into thyroglobulin gene: molecular analysis of seven novel mutations associated with goiter and hypothyroidism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Citterio, Cintia E; Machiavelli, Gloria A; Miras, Mirta B; Gruñeiro-Papendieck, Laura; Lachlan, Katherine; Sobrero, Gabriela; Chiesa, Ana; Walker, Joanna; Muñoz, Liliana; Testa, Graciela; Belforte, Fiorella S; González-Sarmiento, Rogelio; Rivolta, Carina M; Targovnik, Héctor M

    2013-01-30

    The thyroglobulin (TG) gene is organized in 48 exons, spanning over 270 kb on human chromosome 8q24. Up to now, 62 inactivating mutations in the TG gene have been identified in patients with congenital goiter and endemic or non-endemic simple goiter. The purpose of the present study was to identify and characterize new mutations in the TG gene. We report 13 patients from seven unrelated families with goiter, hypothyroidism and low levels of serum TG. All patients underwent clinical, biochemical and imaging evaluation. Single-strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) analysis, endonuclease restriction analysis, sequencing of DNA, genotyping, population screening, and bioinformatics studies were performed. Molecular analyses revealed seven novel inactivating TG mutations: c.378C>A [p.Y107X], c.2359C>T [p.R768X], c.2736delG [p.R893fsX946], c.3842G>A [p.C1262Y], c.5466delA [p.K1803fsX1833], c.6000C>G [p.C1981W] and c.6605C>G [p.P2183R] and three previously reported mutations: c.886C>T [p.R277X], c.6701C>A [p.A2215D] and c.7006C>T [p.R2317X]. Six patients from two families were homozygous for p.R277X mutation, four were compound heterozygous mutations (p.Y107X/p.C1262Y, p.R893fsX946/p.A2215D, p.K1803fsX1832/p.R2317X), one carried three identified mutations (p.R277X/p.C1981W-p.P2183R) together with a hypothetical micro deletion and the remaining two siblings from another family with typical phenotype had a single p.R768X mutated allele. In conclusion, our results confirm the genetic heterogeneity of TG defects and the pathophysiological importance of altered TG folding as a consequency of truncated TG proteins and missense mutations located in ACHE-like domain or that replace cysteine. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Molecular docking and molecular dynamics simulation study of inositol phosphorylceramide synthase – inhibitor complex in leishmaniasis: Insight into the structure based drug design [version 2; referees: 2 approved

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vineetha Mandlik

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Inositol phosphorylceramide synthase (IPCS has emerged as an important, interesting and attractive target in the sphingolipid metabolism of Leishmania. IPCS catalyzes the conversion of ceramide to IPC which forms the most predominant sphingolipid in Leishmania. IPCS has no mammalian equivalent and also plays an important role in maintaining the infectivity and viability of the parasite. The present study explores the possibility of targeting IPCS; development of suitable inhibitors for the same would serve as a treatment strategy for the infectious disease leishmaniasis. Five coumarin derivatives were developed as inhibitors of IPCS protein. Molecular dynamics simulations of the complexes of IPCS with these inhibitors were performed which provided insights into the binding modes of the inhibitors. In vitro screening of the top three compounds has resulted in the identification of one of the compounds (compound 3 which shows little cytotoxic effects. This compound therefore represents a good starting point for further in vivo experimentation and could possibly serve as an important drug candidate for the treatment of leishmaniasis.

  12. Biophysical and molecular docking insight into the interaction of cytosine β-D arabinofuranoside with human serum albumin

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Alam, Parvez; Chaturvedi, Sumit Kumar; Anwar, Tamanna; Siddiqi, Mohammad Khursheed; Ajmal, Mohd Rehan; Badr, Gamal; Mahmoud, Mohamed H.; Hasan Khan, Rizwan

    2015-01-01

    Interaction of pharmacologically important anticancer drug cytosine β-D arabinofuranoside with human serum albumin (HSA) at physiological pH 7.4 has been studied by utilizing various spectroscopic and molecular docking strategies. Fluorescence results revealed that cytosine β-D arabinofuranoside interacts with HSA through static quenching mechanism with binding affinity of 2.4×10 3 M −1 . The average binding distance between drug and Trp 214 of HSA was found to be 2.23 nm on the basis of the theory of Förster's energy transfer. Synchronous fluorescence data indicated that interaction of drug with HSA changed the microenvironment around the tryptophan residue. UV–visible spectroscopy and circular dichroism results deciphered the complex formation and conformational alterations in the HSA respectively. Dynamic light scattering was utilized to understand the topology of protein in absence and presence of drug. Thermodynamic parameters obtained from isothermal titration calorimetry (ΔH=−26.01 kJ mol −1 and TΔS=6.5 kJ mol −1 ) suggested the involvement of van der Waal interaction and hydrogen bonding. Molecular docking and displacement study with site specific markers suggested that cytosine β-D arabinofuranoside binds to subdomain IB of HSA which is also known as the hemin binding site. This study will be helpful to understand the binding mechanism of cytosine β-D arabinofuranoside with HSA and associated alterations. - Highlights: • Comprehensive insight into the interaction of CBDA with HSA. • The interaction process is spontaneous and exothermic. • The main governing forces for stabilizing HSA–CBDA complex are van der Waal interaction and hydrogen bonding. • CBDA binds at subdomain IB on HSA

  13. Biophysical and molecular docking insight into the interaction of cytosine β-D arabinofuranoside with human serum albumin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Alam, Parvez; Chaturvedi, Sumit Kumar [Interdisciplinary Biotechnology Unit, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh 202002, UP (India); Anwar, Tamanna [Center of Bioinformatics Research and Technology, Aligarh 202002 (India); Siddiqi, Mohammad Khursheed; Ajmal, Mohd Rehan [Interdisciplinary Biotechnology Unit, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh 202002, UP (India); Badr, Gamal [Laboratory of Immunology & Molecular Physiology, Zoology Department, Faculty of Science, Assiut University, 71516 Assiut (Egypt); Mahmoud, Mohamed H. [Food Science and Nutrition Department, National Research Center, Dokki, Cairo (Egypt); Deanship of Scientific Research, King Saud University, Riyadh (Saudi Arabia); Hasan Khan, Rizwan, E-mail: rizwanhkhan@hotmail.com [Interdisciplinary Biotechnology Unit, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh 202002, UP (India)

    2015-08-15

    Interaction of pharmacologically important anticancer drug cytosine β-D arabinofuranoside with human serum albumin (HSA) at physiological pH 7.4 has been studied by utilizing various spectroscopic and molecular docking strategies. Fluorescence results revealed that cytosine β-D arabinofuranoside interacts with HSA through static quenching mechanism with binding affinity of 2.4×10{sup 3} M{sup −1}. The average binding distance between drug and Trp{sup 214} of HSA was found to be 2.23 nm on the basis of the theory of Förster's energy transfer. Synchronous fluorescence data indicated that interaction of drug with HSA changed the microenvironment around the tryptophan residue. UV–visible spectroscopy and circular dichroism results deciphered the complex formation and conformational alterations in the HSA respectively. Dynamic light scattering was utilized to understand the topology of protein in absence and presence of drug. Thermodynamic parameters obtained from isothermal titration calorimetry (ΔH=−26.01 kJ mol{sup −1} and TΔS=6.5 kJ mol{sup −1}) suggested the involvement of van der Waal interaction and hydrogen bonding. Molecular docking and displacement study with site specific markers suggested that cytosine β-D arabinofuranoside binds to subdomain IB of HSA which is also known as the hemin binding site. This study will be helpful to understand the binding mechanism of cytosine β-D arabinofuranoside with HSA and associated alterations. - Highlights: • Comprehensive insight into the interaction of CBDA with HSA. • The interaction process is spontaneous and exothermic. • The main governing forces for stabilizing HSA–CBDA complex are van der Waal interaction and hydrogen bonding. • CBDA binds at subdomain IB on HSA.

  14. Climate

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fellous, J.L.

    2005-02-01

    This book starts with a series of about 20 preconceived ideas about climate and climatic change and analyses each of them in the light of the present day knowledge. Using this approach, it makes a status of the reality of the climatic change, of its causes and of the measures to be implemented to limit its impacts and reduce its most harmful consequences. (J.S.)

  15. Reduction of α,β-Unsaturated Ketones by Old Yellow Enzymes: Mechanistic Insights from Quantum Mechanics/Molecular Mechanics Calculations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lonsdale, Richard; Reetz, Manfred T

    2015-11-25

    Enoate reductases catalyze the reduction of activated C═C bonds with high enantioselectivity. The oxidative half-reaction, which involves the addition of a hydride and a proton to opposite faces of the C═C bond, has been studied for the first time by hybrid quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM). The reduction of 2-cyclohexen-1-one by YqjM from Bacillus subtilis was selected as the model system. Two-dimensional QM/MM (B3LYP-D/OPLS2005) reaction pathways suggest that the hydride and proton are added as distinct steps, with the former step preceding the latter. Furthermore, we present interesting insights into the reactivity of this enzyme, including the weak binding of the substrate in the active site, the role of the two active site histidine residues for polarization of the substrate C═O bond, structural details of the transition states to hydride and proton transfer, and the role of Tyr196 as proton donor. The information presented here will be useful for the future design of enantioselective YqjM mutants for other substrates.

  16. Insights into the catalytic mechanism of dehydrogenase BphB: A quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Ruiming; Shi, Xiangli; Sun, Yanhui; Zhang, Qingzhu; Wang, Wenxing

    2018-05-17

    The present study delineated the dehydrogenation mechanism of cis-2,3-dihydro-2,3-dihydroxybiphenyl (2,3-DDBPH) and cis-2,3-dihydro-2,3-dihydroxy-4,4'-dichlorobiphenyl (2,3-DD-4,4'-DBPH) by Pandoraea pnomenusa strain B-356 cis-2,3-dihydro-2,3-dihydroxybiphenyl dehydrogenase (BphB) in atomistic detail. The enzymatic process was investigated by a combined quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) approach. Five different snapshots were extracted and calculated, which revealed that the Boltzmann-weighted average barriers of 2,3-DDBPH and 2,3-DD-4,4'-DBPH dehydrogenation processes are 10.7 and 11.5 kcal mol -1 , respectively. The established dehydrogenation mechanism provides new insight into the degradation processes of other chlorinated 2,3-DDBPH. In addition to Asn115, Ser142, and Lys149, the importance of Ile 89, Asn143, Pro184, Met 187, Thr189, and Lue 191 during the dehydrogenation process of 2,3-DDBPH and 2,3-DD-4,4'-DBPH were also highlighted to search for promising mutation targets for improving the catalytic efficiency of BphB. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  17. New insights into the metastatic behavior after breast cancer surgery, according to well-established clinicopathological variables and molecular subtypes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oreste Claudio Buonomo

    Full Text Available Despite advances in treatment, up to 30% of patients with early breast cancer (BC experience distant disease relapse. However, a comprehensive understanding of tumor spread and site-specific recurrence patterns remains lacking. This retrospective case-control study included 103 consecutive patients with metastatic BC admitted to our institution (2000-2013. Cases were matched according to age, tumor biology, and clinicopathological features to 221 patients with non-metastatic BC (control group. The median follow-up period among the 324 eligible patients was 7.3 years. While relatively low values for sensitivity (71% and specificity (56% were found for axillary lymph node (ALN involvement as an indicator of risk and pattern of distant relapse, nodal status remained the most powerful predictor of metastases (OR: 3.294; CL: 1.9-5.5. Rates of dissemination and metastatic efficiency differed according to molecular subtype. HER2-positive subtypes showed a stronger association with systemic spread (OR: 2.127; CL: 1.2-3.8 than other subgroups. Classification as Luminal or Non-Luminal showed an increased risk of lung and distant nodal recurrence, and a decreased risk in bone metastases in the Non-Luminal group (OR: 2.9, 3.345, and 0.2, respectively. Tumors with HER2 overexpression had a significantly high risk for distant relapse (OR: 2.127 compared with HER2-negative tumors and also showed higher central nervous system (CNS and lung metastatic potential (OR: 5.6 and 2.65, respectively and low risk of bone disease progression (OR: 0.294. Furthermore, we found significant associations between biological profiles and sites of recurrence. A new process of clinical/diagnostic staging, including molecular subtypes, could better predict the likelihood of distant relapses and their anatomical location. Recognition and appreciation of clinically distinct molecular subtypes may assist in evaluation of the probability of distant relapses and their sites. Our

  18. Improving the effectiveness of communication about climate science: Insights from the "Global Warming's Six Americas" audience segmentation research project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maibach, E.; Roser-Renouf, C.

    2011-12-01

    That the climate science community has not been entirely effective in sharing what it knows about climate change with the broader public - and with policy makers and organizations that should be considering climate change when making decisions - is obvious. Our research shows that a large majority of the American public trusts scientists (76%) and science-based agencies (e.g., 76% trust NOAA) as sources of information about climate change. Yet, despite the widespread agreement in the climate science community that the climate is changing as a result of human activity, only 64% of the public understand that the world's average temperature has been increasing (and only about half of them are sure), less than half (47%) understand that the warming is caused mostly by human activity, and only 39% understand that most scientists think global warming is happening (in fact, only 13% understand that the large majority of climate scientists think global warming is happening). Less obvious is what the climate science community should do to become more effective in sharing what it knows. In this paper, we will use evidence from our "Global Warming's Six Americas" audience segmentation research project to suggest ways that individual climate scientists -- and perhaps more importantly, ways in which climate science agencies and professional societies -- can enhance the effectiveness of their communication efforts. We will conclude by challenging members of the climate science community to identify and convey "simple, clear messages, repeated often, by a variety of trusted sources" - an approach to communication repeatedly shown to be effective by the public health community.

  19. Influences of subtropical jet and Tibetan Plateau on precipitation pattern in Asia : Insights from regional climate modeling

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sato, Tomonori

    2009-01-01

    Large topographic features, like the Tibetan Plateau (TP) and the Rocky Mountains, have significant impacts on Earth's climate. Numerical experiments were carried out using a regional climate model in order to study the sensitivity of rainfall distribution to the TP's thermal/dynamic effects and

  20. Environmental Forensics: Molecular Insight into Oil Spill Weathering Helps Advance High Magnetic Field FT-ICR Mass Spectrometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKenna, Amy

    2013-03-01

    events in the FT-ICR experiment. For example, the high density of peaks at each nominal mass unit provides unprecedented insight into how excitation conditions affect ion motion during detection. Aggregated oil (i.e., tar balls, tar mats) that reached the surface exhibits a more than two-fold increase in the total number of detected species, with an increased number of oxygenated species. Principal component analysis (PCA) applied to two possible source oils (contained within the same ship) and weathered samples provide the first application of FT-ICR MS for source identification. Molecular formulae from parent and weathered oil indicate that the lightest petroleum fractions (saturated hydrocarbons) are the most readily oxidized components, and can serve as a template to determine chemical transformations that occur throughout the water column. The ability to differentiate and catalogue compositional changes that occur to oil after its release into the environment relies heavily on gains achieved in nearly all steps in the FT-ICR mass spectral experiment required to accommodate larger ion populations inherent to heavily weathered crude oil. Here, we present the requirement for FT-ICR MS for comprehensive oil spill characterization, and highlight advances made to FT-ICR MS experimental conditions developed from petroleum characterization. Work supported by DMR-06-54118, NSF CHE-10-49753 (RAPID), BP/The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative, and the State of Florida

  1. Concentrated aqueous sodium chloride solution in clays at thermodynamic conditions of hydraulic fracturing: Insight from molecular dynamics simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Svoboda, Martin; Lísal, Martin

    2018-06-01

    To address a high salinity of flow-back water during hydraulic fracturing, we use molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and study the thermodynamics, structure, and diffusion of concentrated aqueous salt solution in clay nanopores. The concentrated solution results from the dissolution of a cubic NaCl nanocrystal, immersed in an aqueous NaCl solution of varying salt concentration and confined in clay pores of a width comparable to the crystal size. The size of the nanocrystal equals to about 18 Å which is above a critical nucleus size. We consider a typical shale gas reservoir condition of 365 K and 275 bar, and we represent the clay pores as pyrophyllite and Na-montmorillonite (Na-MMT) slits. We employ the Extended Simple Point Charge (SPC/E) model for water, Joung-Cheatham model for ions, and CLAYFF for the slit walls. We impose the pressure in the normal direction and the resulting slit width varies from about 20 to 25 Å when the salt concentration in the surrounding solution increased from zero to an oversaturated value. By varying the salt concentration, we observe two scenarios. First, the crystal dissolves and its dissolution time increases with increasing salt concentration. We describe the dissolution process in terms of the number of ions in the crystal, and the crystal size and shape. Second, when the salt concentration reaches a system solubility limit, the crystal grows and attains a new equilibrium size; the crystal comes into equilibrium with the surrounding saturated solution. After crystal dissolution, we carry out canonical MD simulations for the concentrated solution. We evaluate the hydration energy, density profiles, orientation distributions, hydrogen-bond network, radial distribution functions, and in-plane diffusion of water and ions to provide insight into the microscopic behaviour of the concentrated aqueous sodium chloride solution in interlayer galleries of the slightly hydrophobic pyrophyllite and hydrophilic Na-MMT pores.

  2. Functional and structural insights revealed by molecular dynamics simulations of an essential RNA editing ligase in Trypanosoma brucei.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rommie E Amaro

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available RNA editing ligase 1 (TbREL1 is required for the survival of both the insect and bloodstream forms of Trypanosoma brucei, the parasite responsible for the devastating tropical disease African sleeping sickness. The type of RNA editing that TbREL1 is involved in is unique to the trypanosomes, and no close human homolog is known to exist. In addition, the high-resolution crystal structure revealed several unique features of the active site, making this enzyme a promising target for structure-based drug design. In this work, two 20 ns atomistic molecular dynamics (MD simulations are employed to investigate the dynamics of TbREL1, both with and without the ATP substrate present. The flexibility of the active site, dynamics of conserved residues and crystallized water molecules, and the interactions between TbREL1 and the ATP substrate are investigated and discussed in the context of TbREL1's function. Differences in local and global motion upon ATP binding suggest that two peripheral loops, unique to the trypanosomes, may be involved in interdomain signaling events. Notably, a significant structural rearrangement of the enzyme's active site occurs during the apo simulations, opening an additional cavity adjacent to the ATP binding site that could be exploited in the development of effective inhibitors directed against this protozoan parasite. Finally, ensemble averaged electrostatics calculations over the MD simulations reveal a novel putative RNA binding site, a discovery that has previously eluded scientists. Ultimately, we use the insights gained through the MD simulations to make several predictions and recommendations, which we anticipate will help direct future experimental studies and structure-based drug discovery efforts against this vital enzyme.

  3. Molecular characterization of Babesia peircei and Babesia ugwidiensis provides insight into the evolution and host specificity of avian piroplasmids

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael J. Yabsley

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available There are 16 recognized species of avian-infecting Babesia spp. (Piroplasmida: Babesiidae. While the classification of piroplasmids has been historically based on morphological differences, geographic isolation and presumed host and/or vector specificities, recent studies employing gene sequence analysis have provided insight into their phylogenetic relationships and host distribution and specificity. In this study, we analyzed the sequences of the 18S rRNA gene and ITS-1 and ITS-2 regions of two Babesia species from South African seabirds: Babesia peircei from African penguins (Spheniscus demersus and Babesia ugwidiensis from Bank and Cape cormorants (Phalacrocorax neglectus and P. capensis, respectively. Our results show that avian Babesia spp. are not monophyletic, with at least three distinct phylogenetic groups. B. peircei and B. ugwidiensis are closely related, and fall within the same phylogenetic group as B. ardeae (from herons Ardea cinerea, B. poelea (from boobies Sula spp. and B. uriae (from murres Uria aalge. The validity of B. peircei and B. ugwidiensis as separate species is corroborated by both morphological and genetic evidence. On the other hand, our results indicate that B. poelea might be a synonym of B. peircei, which in turn would be a host generalist that infects seabirds from multiple orders. Further studies combining morphological and molecular methods are warranted to clarify the taxonomy, phylogeny and host distribution of avian piroplasmids. Keywords: Africa, Babesia, Piroplasmida, Phalacrocoracidae, Spheniscidae, Tick-borne pathogen

  4. Molecular insights on the recognition of a Lactococcus lactis cell wall pellicle by the phage 1358 receptor binding protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farenc, Carine; Spinelli, Silvia; Vinogradov, Evgeny; Tremblay, Denise; Blangy, Stéphanie; Sadovskaya, Irina; Moineau, Sylvain; Cambillau, Christian

    2014-06-01

    The Gram-positive bacterium Lactococcus lactis is used for the production of cheeses and other fermented dairy products. Accidental infection of L. lactis cells by virulent lactococcal tailed phages is one of the major risks of fermentation failures in industrial dairy factories. Lactococcal phage 1358 possesses a host range limited to a few L. lactis strains and strong genomic similarities to Listeria phages. We report here the X-ray structures of phage 1358 receptor binding protein (RBP) in complex with monosaccharides. Each monomer of its trimeric RBP is formed of two domains: a "shoulder" domain linking the RBP to the rest of the phage and a jelly roll fold "head/host recognition" domain. This domain harbors a saccharide binding crevice located in the middle of a monomer. Crystal structures identified two sites at the RBP surface, ∼8 Å from each other, one accommodating a GlcNAc monosaccharide and the other accommodating a GlcNAc or a glucose 1-phosphate (Glc1P) monosaccharide. GlcNAc and GlcNAc1P are components of the polysaccharide pellicle that we identified at the cell surface of L. lactis SMQ-388, the host of phage 1358. We therefore modeled a galactofuranose (Galf) sugar bridging the two GlcNAc saccharides, suggesting that the trisaccharidic motif GlcNAc-Galf-GlcNAc (or Glc1P) might be common to receptors of genetically distinct lactococcal phages p2, TP091-1, and 1358. Strain specificity might therefore be elicited by steric clashes induced by the remaining components of the pellicle hexasaccharide. Taken together, these results provide a first insight into the molecular mechanism of host receptor recognition by lactococcal phages. Siphophages infecting the Gram-positive bacterium Lactococcus lactis are sources of milk fermentation failures in the dairy industry. We report here the structure of the pellicle polysaccharide from L. lactis SMQ-388, the specific host strain of phage 1358. We determined the X-ray structures of the lytic lactococcal phage

  5. Insights into regioselective metabolism of mefenamic acid by cytochrome P450 BM3 mutants through crystallography, docking, molecular dynamics, and free energy calculations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Capoferri, Luigi; Leth, Rasmus; Ter Haar, Ernst

    2016-01-01

    of the protein mutant M11 was expressed, purified, and crystallized, and its X-ray structure was used as template for modeling. A multistep approach was used that combines molecular docking, molecular dynamics (MD) simulation, and binding free-energy calculations to address protein flexibility. In this way...... active-site mutations such as V87I were reported to invert regioselectivity in NSAID hydroxylation. In this work, we combine crystallography and molecular simulation to study the effect of single mutations on binding and regioselective metabolism of mefenamic acid by M11 mutants. The heme domain...... of mefenamic acid by M11 and its mutants by including protein flexibility and dynamics in free-energy computation. In addition, we could obtain structural insights into the change in regioselectivity of mefenamic acid hydroxylation due to single active-site mutations. Our findings confirm that use of MD...

  6. New insight of Arctic cloud parameterization from regional climate model simulations, satellite-based, and drifting station data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klaus, D.; Dethloff, K.; Dorn, W.; Rinke, A.; Wu, D. L.

    2016-05-01

    Cloud observations from the CloudSat and CALIPSO satellites helped to explain the reduced total cloud cover (Ctot) in the atmospheric regional climate model HIRHAM5 with modified cloud physics. Arctic climate conditions are found to be better reproduced with (1) a more efficient Bergeron-Findeisen process and (2) a more generalized subgrid-scale variability of total water content. As a result, the annual cycle of Ctot is improved over sea ice, associated with an almost 14% smaller area average than in the control simulation. The modified cloud scheme reduces the Ctot bias with respect to the satellite observations. Except for autumn, the cloud reduction over sea ice improves low-level temperature profiles compared to drifting station data. The HIRHAM5 sensitivity study highlights the need for improving accuracy of low-level (<700 m) cloud observations, as these clouds exert a strong impact on the near-surface climate.

  7. Numerical Modeling of Rocky Mountain Paleoglaciers - Insights into the Climate of the Last Glacial Maximum and the Subsequent Deglaciation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leonard, E. M.; Laabs, B. J. C.; Plummer, M. A.

    2014-12-01

    Numerical modeling of paleoglaciers can yield information on the climatic conditions necessary to sustain those glaciers. In this study we apply a coupled 2-d mass/energy balance and flow model (Plummer and Phillips, 2003) to reconstruct local last glacial maximum (LLGM) glaciers and paleoclimate in ten study areas along the crest of the U.S. Rocky Mountains between 33°N and 49°N. In some of the areas, where timing of post-LLGM ice recession is constrained by surface exposure ages on either polished bedrock upvalley from the LLGM moraines or post-LLGM recessional moraines, we use the model to assess magnitudes and rates of climate change during deglaciation. The modeling reveals a complex pattern of LLGM climate. The magnitude of LLGM-to-modern climate change (temperature and/or precipitation change) was greater in both the northern (Montana) Rocky Mountains and southern (New Mexico) Rocky Mountains than in the middle (Wyoming and Colorado) Rocky Mountains. We use temperature depression estimates from global and regional climate models to infer LLGM precipitation from our glacier model results. Our results suggest a reduction of precipitation coupled with strongly depressed temperatures in the north, contrasted with strongly enhanced precipitation and much more modest temperature depression in the south. The middle Rocky Mountains of Colorado and Wyoming appear to have experienced a reduction in precipitation at the LLGM without the strong temperature depression of the northern Rocky Mountains. Preliminary work on modeling of deglaciation in the Sangre de Cristo Range in southern Colorado suggests that approximately half of the LLGM-to-modern climate change took place during the initial ~2400 years of deglaciation. If increasing temperature and changing solar insolation were the sole drivers of this initial deglaciation, then temperature would need to have risen by slightly more than 1°C/ky through this interval to account for the observed rate of ice recession.

  8. Herbarium records are reliable sources of phenological change driven by climate and provide novel insights into species' phenological cueing mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Charles C; Willis, Charles G; Connolly, Bryan; Kelly, Courtland; Ellison, Aaron M

    2015-10-01

    Climate change has resulted in major changes in the phenology of some species but not others. Long-term field observational records provide the best assessment of these changes, but geographic and taxonomic biases limit their utility. Plant specimens in herbaria have been hypothesized to provide a wealth of additional data for studying phenological responses to climatic change. However, no study to our knowledge has comprehensively addressed whether herbarium data are accurate measures of phenological response and thus applicable to addressing such questions. We compared flowering phenology determined from field observations (years 1852-1858, 1875, 1878-1908, 2003-2006, 2011-2013) and herbarium records (1852-2013) of 20 species from New England, United States. Earliest flowering date estimated from herbarium records faithfully reflected field observations of first flowering date and substantially increased the sampling range across climatic conditions. Additionally, although most species demonstrated a response to interannual temperature variation, long-term temporal changes in phenological response were not detectable. Our findings support the use of herbarium records for understanding plant phenological responses to changes in temperature, and also importantly establish a new use of herbarium collections: inferring primary phenological cueing mechanisms of individual species (e.g., temperature, winter chilling, photoperiod). These latter data are lacking from most investigations of phenological change, but are vital for understanding differential responses of individual species to ongoing climate change. © 2015 Botanical Society of America.

  9. Denudational slope processes and slope response to global climate changes and other disturbances: insights from the Nepal Himalayas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fort, Monique

    2016-04-01

    Hillslope geomorphology results from a large range of denudational processes mainly controlled by relief, structure, lithology, climate, land-cover and land use. In most areas of the world, the "critical zone" concept is a good integrator of denudation that operates on a long-term scale. However, in large and high mountain areas, short-time scale factors often play a significant role in the denudational pattern, accelerating and/or delaying the transfer of denudation products and fluxes, and creating specific, spatially limited disturbances. We focus on the Nepal Himalayas, where the wide altitudinal range of bio-climatic zones and the intense geodynamic activity create a complex mosaic of landforms, as expressed by the present geomorphology of mountain slopes. On the basis of examples selected in the different Himalayan mountain belts (Siwaliks hills, middle mountains, High Himalaya), we illustrate different types of slopes and disturbances induced by active tectonics, climate extremes, and climate warming trends. Special attention is paid to recent events, such as landslide damming, triggered by either intense rainfalls (Kali Gandaki and Sun Kosi valleys) or the last April-May 2015 Gorkha seismic sequence (southern Khumbu). Lastly, references to older, larger events show that despite the highly dynamic environment, landforms caused by large magnitude disturbances may persist in the landscape in the long term.

  10. Insights Into Deglacial Through Holocene Climate Variability At The Peru-Chile Margin From Very High Sedimentation Rate Marine Cores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chazen, C.; Dejong, H.; Altabet, M.; Herbert, T.

    2007-12-01

    The Peru-Chile upwelling system is situated at the epicenter of the modern ENSO System. The high settling flux of organic materials and poor ventilation of subsurface waters makes the Peru upwelling system one of the world's three major oxygen minimum/denitrification zones (Codispoti and Christensen, 1985). Extremely high sedimentation rates and permanent hypoxic/anoxic subsurface waters create excellent conditions for the preservation of organic matter. Despite the significance of this region in regards to paleoceanography and paleoclimatology, relatively little work has been done to characterize past Peruvian climate because carbonate dissolution hinders the use of conventional paleoclimate methods and hiatuses frequently interrupt the record. However, using nitrogen isotopes and alkenone paleothermometry on multiple sediment cores from the Margin we have managed to overcome many of these challenges to create a nearly continuous SST (Uk`37), productivity (C37total), biogenic opal and denitrification (δN15) record from the LGM through the late Holocene. Remarkably, recent work has revealed an annually laminated core, which spans from 1.4-8.0ka uninterrupted, providing a unique window into Holocene climate variability. Modern-day upwelling induced climate at the Peru-Chile margin is characterized by cold temperatures (21.5°C) high productivity and strong denitrification, which has persisted since the mid Holocene (4ka). The mid Holocene also marks the beginning of a dramatic increase in seasonality and ENSO variability consistent with other tropical climate indicators. Climate variability in the Mid-early Holocene shows a distinctively different pattern from that of the late Holocene; unproductive warm temperatures persist through the early Holocene in what can be described as a permanent El Niño-like state. Early tropical warming occurred near 17ka along with an unprecedented increase in denitrification, which is decoupled from local productivity. Early onset

  11. Climate, people, fire and vegetation: new insights into vegetation dynamics in the Eastern Mediterranean since the 1st century AD

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Bakker

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Anatolia forms a bridge between Europe, Africa and Asia and is influenced by all three continents in terms of climate, vegetation and human civilisation. Unfortunately, well-dated palynological records focussing on the period from the end of the classical Roman period until subrecent times are rare for Anatolia and completely absent for southwest Turkey, resulting in a lacuna in knowledge concerning the interactions of climatic change, human impact, and environmental change in this important region. Two well-dated palaeoecological records from the Western Taurus Mountains, Turkey, provide a first relatively detailed record of vegetation dynamics from late Roman times until the present in SW Turkey. Combining pollen, non-pollen palynomorphs, charcoal, sedimentological, archaeological data, and newly developed multivariate numerical analyses allows for the disentangling of climatic and anthropogenic influences on vegetation change. Results show changes in both the regional pollen signal as well as local soil sediment characteristics match shifts in regional climatic conditions. Both climatic as well as anthropogenic change had a strong influence on vegetation dynamics and land use. A moist environmental trend during the late-3rd century caused an increase in marshes and wetlands in the moister valley floors, limiting possibilities for intensive crop cultivation at such locations. A mid-7th century shift to pastoralism coincided with a climatic deterioration as well as the start of Arab incursions into the region, the former driving the way in which the vegetation developed afterwards. Resurgence in agriculture was observed in the study during the mid-10th century AD, coinciding with the Medieval Climate Anomaly. An abrupt mid-12th century decrease in agriculture is linked to socio-political change, rather than the onset of the Little Ice Age. Similarly, gradual deforestation occurring from the 16th century onwards has been linked to changes in

  12. Decadal-to-centennial-scale climate variability: Insights into the rise and fall of the Great Salt Lake

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mann, Michael E.; Lall, Upmanu; Saltzman, Barry

    1995-01-01

    We demonstrate connections between decadal and secular global climatic variations, and historical variations in the volume of the Great Salt Lake. The decadal variations correspond to a low-frequency shifting of storm tracks which influence winter precipitation and explain nearly 18% of the interannual and longer-term variance in the record of monthly volume change. The secular trend accounts for a more modest approximately 1.5% of the variance.

  13. Functional adjustments of xylem anatomy to climatic variability: insights from long-term Ilex aquifolium tree-ring series.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rita, Angelo; Cherubini, Paolo; Leonardi, Stefano; Todaro, Luigi; Borghetti, Marco

    2015-08-01

    The present study assessed the effects of climatic conditions on radial growth and functional anatomical traits, including ring width, vessel size, vessel frequency and derived variables, i.e., potential hydraulic conductivity and xylem vulnerability to cavitation in Ilex aquifolium L. trees using long-term tree-ring time series obtained at two climatically contrasting sites, one mesic site in Switzerland (CH) and one drought-prone site in Italy (ITA). Relationships were explored by examining different xylem traits, and point pattern analysis was applied to investigate vessel clustering. We also used generalized additive models and bootstrap correlation functions to describe temperature and precipitation effects. Results indicated modified radial growth and xylem anatomy in trees over the last century; in particular, vessel frequency increased markedly at both sites in recent years, and all xylem traits examined, with the exception of xylem cavitation vulnerability, were higher at the CH mesic compared with the ITA drought site. A significant vessel clustering was observed at the ITA site, which could contribute to an enhanced tolerance to drought-induced embolism. Flat and negative relationships between vessel size and ring width were observed, suggesting carbon was not allocated to radial growth under conditions which favored stem water conduction. Finally, in most cases results indicated that climatic conditions influenced functional anatomical traits more substantially than tree radial growth, suggesting a crucial role of functional xylem anatomy in plant acclimation to future climatic conditions. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  14. The Climate Potentials and Side-Effects of Large-Scale terrestrial CO2 Removal - Insights from Quantitative Model Assessments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boysen, L.; Heck, V.; Lucht, W.; Gerten, D.

    2015-12-01

    Terrestrial carbon dioxide removal (tCDR) through dedicated biomass plantations is considered as one climate engineering (CE) option if implemented at large-scale. While the risks and costs are supposed to be small, the effectiveness depends strongly on spatial and temporal scales of implementation. Based on simulations with a dynamic global vegetation model (LPJmL) we comprehensively assess the effectiveness, biogeochemical side-effects and tradeoffs from an earth system-analytic perspective. We analyzed systematic land-use scenarios in which all, 25%, or 10% of natural and/or agricultural areas are converted to tCDR plantations including the assumption that biomass plantations are established once the 2°C target is crossed in a business-as-usual climate change trajectory. The resulting tCDR potentials in year 2100 include the net accumulated annual biomass harvests and changes in all land carbon pools. We find that only the most spatially excessive, and thus undesirable, scenario would be capable to restore the 2° target by 2100 under continuing high emissions (with a cooling of 3.02°C). Large-scale biomass plantations covering areas between 1.1 - 4.2 Gha would produce a climate reduction potential of 0.8 - 1.4°C. tCDR plantations at smaller scales do not build up enough biomass over this considered period and the potentials to achieve global warming reductions are substantially lowered to no more than 0.5-0.6°C. Finally, we demonstrate that the (non-economic) costs for the Earth system include negative impacts on the water cycle and on ecosystems, which are already under pressure due to both land use change and climate change. Overall, tCDR may lead to a further transgression of land- and water-related planetary boundaries while not being able to set back the crossing of the planetary boundary for climate change. tCDR could still be considered in the near-future mitigation portfolio if implemented on small scales on wisely chosen areas.

  15. Using Morphological, Molecular and Climatic Data to Delimitate Yews along the Hindu Kush-Himalaya and Adjacent Regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poudel, Ram C.; Möller, Michael; Gao, Lian-Ming; Ahrends, Antje; Baral, Sushim R.; Liu, Jie; Thomas, Philip; Li, De-Zhu

    2012-01-01

    Background Despite the availability of several studies to clarify taxonomic problems on the highly threatened yews of the Hindu Kush-Himalaya (HKH) and adjacent regions, the total number of species and their exact distribution ranges remains controversial. We explored the use of comprehensive sets of morphological, molecular and climatic data to clarify taxonomy and distributions of yews in this region. Methodology/Principal Findings A total of 743 samples from 46 populations of wild yew and 47 representative herbarium specimens were analyzed. Principle component analyses on 27 morphological characters and 15 bioclimatic variables plus altitude and maximum parsimony analysis on molecular ITS and trnL-F sequences indicated the existence of three distinct species occurring in different ecological (climatic) and altitudinal gradients along the HKH and adjacent regions Taxus contorta from eastern Afghanistan to the eastern end of Central Nepal, T. wallichiana from the western end of Central Nepal to Northwest China, and the first report of the South China low to mid-elevation species T. mairei in Nepal, Bhutan, Northeast India, Myanmar and South Vietnam. Conclusion/Significance The detailed sampling and combination of different data sets allowed us to identify three clearly delineated species and their precise distribution ranges in the HKH and adjacent regions, which showed no overlap or no distinct hybrid zone. This might be due to differences in the ecological (climatic) requirements of the species. The analyses further provided the selection of diagnostic morphological characters for the identification of yews occurring in the HKH and adjacent regions. Our work demonstrates that extensive sampling combined with the analysis of diverse data sets can reliably address the taxonomy of morphologically challenging plant taxa. PMID:23056501

  16. Climate along the crest of the US Rocky Mountains during the last glaciation: preliminary insights from numerical modeling of paleoglaciers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leonard, E. M.; Laabs, B. J.; Plummer, M. A.; Huss, E.; Spiess, V. M.; Mackall, B. T.; Jacobsen, R. E.; Quirk, B.

    2012-12-01

    Climate conditions at the time of the local Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) in the US Rocky Mountains were assessed using a 2-d coupled glacier energy/mass-balance and ice-flow model (Plummer and Phillips, 2003). The model was employed to understand the conditions that would be necessary to sustain valley glaciers and small mountain icecaps at their maximum extents in eight areas distributed along the crest of the range from northern New Mexico (35.8oN) to northern Montana (48.6oN). For each setting, model experiments yield a set of temperature and precipitation combinations that may have accompanied the local LGM. If the results of global and regional climate models are used to constrain temperature depression estimates from our model experiments, the following precipitation pattern emerges for the local LGM. In the northern Rocky Mountains in Montana and northern Wyoming, model results suggest a strong reduction in precipitation of 50% or more. In the central Rocky Mountains of southern Wyoming and Colorado, precipitation appears to have been 50-90% of modern. By contrast, precipitation appears to have been strongly enhanced in the southern Rocky Mountains of New Mexico. These results are broadly consistent with a pattern of precipitation observed in global and regional climate simulations of the LGM in the western U.S., in which precipitation was reduced in the northern Rocky Mountains but increased in the southern Rocky Mountains. This pattern may reflect a southward displacement of mean position the Pacific Jet Stream in western North America during and possibly following the LGM.

  17. Improvement with insight. Healthier indoor climate and lower energy consumption with wireless Sensor networks; Verbeteren met inzicht. Gezonder binnenklimaat en lager energiegebruik met draadloze Sensor netwerken

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Peekstok, E.J. [MakeMoreSense, Sommelsdijk (Netherlands)

    2010-11-15

    Wireless Sensor Networks connected to the internet will dramatically influence the future of Indoor Climate and Energy use. Munisense, a Dutch company, has developed a real-time and web-based monitoring tool called InSightNow. With Insight it is possible to improve the environment, often with very simple measures. The majority of things going wrong are caused by human interventions. For example engineers when programming installations and users adjusting settings. Giving people insight in their behaviour via a 'dashboard for buildings', creates awareness and makes it possible to improve. Installers are able to limit failure cost, improve quality of service and contribute to the customers success by limiting sick-leave, improve work performance, reduce energy cost and unused floor space. [Dutch] Het is noodzakelijk om in schoolgebouwen een blijvend gezond binnenklimaat te creeren, want binnenklimaat, ziekteverzuim en leerprestaties hebben volgens wetenschappelijk onderzoek een direct verband met elkaar. Netwerken met draadloze sensors kunnen daar een rol bij spelen.

  18. Translating Scientific Judgment, Technological Insight and Economic Theory Into Practical Policy Lessons: The Case of Climate Regulation in the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mignone, B. K.

    2008-12-01

    Effective solutions to the climate change problem will require unprecedented cooperation across space, continuity across time and coordination between disciplines. One well-known methodology for synthesizing the lessons of physical science, energy engineering and economics is integrated assessment. Typically, integrated assessment models use scientific and technological relationships as physical constraints in a larger macroeconomic optimization that is designed to either balance the costs and benefits of climate change mitigation or find the least-cost path to an exogenously prescribed endpoint (e.g. atmospheric CO2 stabilization). The usefulness of these models depends to a large extent on the quality of the assumptions and the relevance of the outcome metrics chosen by the user. In this study, I show how a scientifically-based emissions reduction scenario can be combined with engineering-based assumptions about the energy system (e.g. estimates of the marginal cost premium of carbon-free technology) to yield insights about the price path of CO2 under a future regulatory regime. I then show how this outcome metric (carbon price) relates to key decisions about the design of a future cap-and-trade system and the way in which future carbon markets may be regulated.

  19. New insights into the use of stable water isotopes at the northern Antarctic Peninsula as a tool for regional climate studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandoy, Francisco; Tetzner, Dieter; Meyer, Hanno; Gacitúa, Guisella; Hoffmann, Kirstin; Falk, Ulrike; Lambert, Fabrice; MacDonell, Shelley

    2018-03-01

    Due to recent atmospheric and oceanic warming, the Antarctic Peninsula is one of the most challenging regions of Antarctica to understand in terms of both local- and regional-scale climate signals. Steep topography and a lack of long-term and in situ meteorological observations complicate the extrapolation of existing climate models to the sub-regional scale. Therefore, new techniques must be developed to better understand processes operating in the region. Isotope signals are traditionally related mainly to atmospheric conditions, but a detailed analysis of individual components can give new insight into oceanic and atmospheric processes. This paper aims to use new isotopic records collected from snow and firn cores in conjunction with existing meteorological and oceanic datasets to determine changes at the climatic scale in the northern extent of the Antarctic Peninsula. In particular, a discernible effect of sea ice cover on local temperatures and the expression of climatic modes, especially the Southern Annular Mode (SAM), is demonstrated. In years with a large sea ice extension in winter (negative SAM anomaly), an inversion layer in the lower troposphere develops at the coastal zone. Therefore, an isotope-temperature relationship (δ-T) valid for all periods cannot be obtained, and instead the δ-T depends on the seasonal variability of oceanic conditions. Comparatively, transitional seasons (autumn and spring) have a consistent isotope-temperature gradient of +0.69 ‰ °C-1. As shown by firn core analysis, the near-surface temperature in the northern-most portion of the Antarctic Peninsula shows a decreasing trend (-0.33 °C year-1) between 2008 and 2014. In addition, the deuterium excess (dexcess) is demonstrated to be a reliable indicator of seasonal oceanic conditions, and therefore suitable to improve a firn age model based on seasonal dexcess variability. The annual accumulation rate in this region is highly variable, ranging between 1060 and 2470 kg m

  20. How will coral reef fish communities respond to climate-driven disturbances? Insight from landscape-scale perturbations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adam, Thomas C; Brooks, Andrew J; Holbrook, Sally J; Schmitt, Russell J; Washburn, Libe; Bernardi, Giacomo

    2014-09-01

    Global climate change is rapidly altering disturbance regimes in many ecosystems including coral reefs, yet the long-term impacts of these changes on ecosystem structure and function are difficult to predict. A major ecosystem service provided by coral reefs is the provisioning of physical habitat for other organisms, and consequently, many of the effects of climate change on coral reefs will be mediated by their impacts on habitat structure. Therefore, there is an urgent need to understand the independent and combined effects of coral mortality and loss of physical habitat on reef-associated biota. Here, we use a unique series of events affecting the coral reefs around the Pacific island of Moorea, French Polynesia to differentiate between the impacts of coral mortality and the degradation of physical habitat on the structure of reef fish communities. We found that, by removing large amounts of physical habitat, a tropical cyclone had larger impacts on reef fish communities than an outbreak of coral-eating sea stars that caused widespread coral mortality but left the physical structure intact. In addition, the impacts of declining structural complexity on reef fish assemblages accelerated as structure became increasingly rare. Structure provided by dead coral colonies can take up to decades to erode following coral mortality, and, consequently, our results suggest that predictions based on short-term studies are likely to grossly underestimate the long-term impacts of coral decline on reef fish communities.

  1. Volcanic Plume Impact on the Atmosphere and Climate: O- and S-Isotope Insight into Sulfate Aerosol Formation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erwan Martin

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available The impact of volcanic eruptions on the climate has been studied over the last decades and the role played by sulfate aerosols appears to be major. S-bearing volcanic gases are oxidized in the atmosphere into sulfate aerosols that disturb the radiative balance on earth at regional to global scales. This paper discusses the use of the oxygen and sulfur multi-isotope systematics on volcanic sulfates to understand their formation and fate in more or less diluted volcanic plumes. The study of volcanic aerosols collected from air sampling and ash deposits at different distances from the volcanic systems (from volcanic vents to the Earth poles is discussed. It appears possible to distinguish between the different S-bearing oxidation pathways to generate volcanic sulfate aerosols whether the oxidation occurs in magmatic, tropospheric, or stratospheric conditions. This multi-isotopic approach represents an additional constraint on atmospheric and climatic models and it shows how sulfates from volcanic deposits could represent a large and under-exploited archive that, over time, have recorded atmospheric conditions on human to geological timescales.

  2. Evolution in Australia's mesic biome under past and future climates: Insights from a phylogenetic study of the Australian Rock Orchids (Dendrobium speciosum complex, Orchidaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simpson, Lalita; Clements, Mark A; Crayn, Darren M; Nargar, Katharina

    2018-01-01

    The Australian mesic biome spans c. 33° of latitude along Australia's east coast and ranges and is dissected by historical and contemporary biogeographical barriers. To investigate the impact of these barriers on evolutionary diversification and to predict the impact of future climate change on the distribution of species and genetic diversity within this biome, we inferred phylogenetic relationships within the Dendrobium speciosum complex (Orchidaceae) across its distribution and undertook environmental niche modelling (ENM) under past, contemporary and projected future climates. Neighbor Joining tree inference, NeighborNet and Structure analyses of Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism (AFLP) profiles for D. speciosum sampled from across its distribution showed that the complex consists of two highly supported main groups that are geographically separated by the St. Lawrence gap, an area of dry sclerophyll forest and woodland. The presence of several highly admixed individuals identified by the Structure analysis provided evidence of genetic exchange between the two groups across this gap. Whereas previous treatments have recognised between one to eleven species, the molecular results support the taxonomic treatment of the complex as a single species with two subspecies. The ENM analysis supported the hypothesis that lineage divergence within the complex was driven by past climatic changes. The St. Lawrence gap represented a stronger biogeographic barrier for the D. speciosum complex during the cool and dry glacial climatic conditions of the Pleistocene than under today's interglacial conditions. Shallow genetic divergence was found within the two lineages, which mainly corresponded to three other biogeographic barriers: the Black Mountain Corridor, Glass House Mountains and the Hunter Valley. Our ENM analyses provide further support for the hypothesis that biogeographic barriers along Australia's east coast were somewhat permeable to genetic exchange due to

  3. Molecular characteristics of Streptococcus agalactiae in a mother-baby prospective cohort study: Implication for vaccine development and insights into vertical transmission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Shunming; Wen, Guoming; Cao, Xuelian; Guo, Dan; Yao, Zhenjiang; Wu, Chuan'an; Ye, Xiaohua

    2018-04-05

    Streptococcus agalactiae (GBS) is a leading cause of neonatal sepsis and meningitis in many countries. This study aimed to determine the molecular characteristics of GBS colonized in mothers and their infants so as to provide implication for vaccine strategies and confirm vertical transmission. A prospective cohort study was conducted to recruit 1815 mother-neonate pairs. All GBS isolates from pregnant women and her infants were tested for serotypes, multilocus sequence types and virulence genes. The relationship between multiple molecular characteristics of GBS isolates was tested by the correspondence analysis, and the agreement between mother-neonate paired data in molecular characteristics was analyzed using Kappa tests. The predominant serotypes were III, Ia and V, and the most prevalent sequence types (STs) were ST19, ST17, ST10, and ST12. All isolates carried at least one pilus island (PI). The most common combination of PIs was PI-2b alone, followed by PI-1+PI-2a and PI-2a alone, and the most prevalent alpha-like protein (alp) genes were rib, epsilon and alphaC. Moreover, a strong relationship was noted between STs, serotypes, alp genes and PIs, including ST17 associated with serotype-III/rib/PI-2b, ST19 with serotype-III/rib/PI-1+PI-2a, and ST485 with serotype-Ia/epsilon/PI-2b. The rate of GBS vertical transmission was 14.1%, and the kappa test revealed good agreement in multiple molecular characteristics among GBS-positive mother-neonate pairs. Notably, the switching of molecular characteristics was found during vertical transmission. Our findings underscore the value of monitoring multiple molecular characteristics so as to provide implication for multivalent strategies and gain insights into GBS vertical transmission and vertical characteristic switching. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Energy-climate-manufacturing nexus: New insights from the regional and global supply chains of manufacturing industries

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kucukvar, Murat; Cansev, Bunyamin; Egilmez, Gokhan; Onat, Nuri C.; Samadi, Hamidreza

    2016-01-01

    Highlights: • A multi region input–output sustainability assessment model is developed. • Energy-climate-manufacturing nexus within the context of global supply chains is investigated. • Electricity, Gas, and Water Supply sector is the main contributor to energy and carbon impacts. • Turkish regional manufacturing accounts for approximately 40–60% of total carbon emissions. • China, USA, and Rest-of-the World have the largest shares in the Turkish global energy footprint. - Abstract: The main objectives of this research are to improve our understanding of energy-climate-manufacturing nexus within the context of regional and global manufacturing supply chains as well as show the significance of full coverage of entire supply chain tiers in order to prevent significant underestimations, which might lead to invalid policy conclusions. With this motivation, a multi region input–output (MRIO) sustainability assessment model is developed by using the World Input–Output Database, which is a dynamic MRIO framework on the world’s 40 largest economies covering 1440 economic sectors. The method presented in this study is the first environmentally-extended MRIO model that harmonizes energy and carbon footprint accounts for Turkish manufacturing sectors and a global trade-linked carbon and energy footprint analysis of Turkish manufacturing sectors is performed as a case study. The results are presented by distinguishing the contributions of five common supply chain phases such as upstream suppliers, onsite manufacturing, transportation, wholesale, and retail trade. The findings showed that onsite and upstream supply chains are found to have over 90% of total energy use and carbon footprint for all industrial sectors. Electricity, Gas and Water Supply sector is usually found to be as the main contributor to global climate change, and Coke, Refined Petroleum, and Nuclear Fuel sector is the main driver of energy use in upstream supply chains. Overall, the

  5. Freshwater paths across the ocean: molecular phylogeny of the frog Ptychadena newtoni gives insights into amphibian colonization of oceanic islands

    OpenAIRE

    Measey, John G.; Vences, M.; Drewes, R. C.; Chiari, Y.; Melo, M.; Bourlès, Bernard

    2007-01-01

    Aim Amphibians are a model group for studies of the biogeographical origins of salt-intolerant taxa on oceanic islands. We used the Gulf of Guinea islands to explore the biogeographical origins of island endemism of one species of frog, and used this to gain insights into potential colonization mechanisms. Location Sao Tome and Principe, two of the four major islands in the Gulf of Guinea, West Africa, are truly oceanic and have an exceptionally high biodiversity. Methods Mitochondrial DNA is...

  6. Entanglements in P3HT and their influence on thin-film mechanical properties: Insights from molecular dynamics simulations

    KAUST Repository

    Tummala, Naga Rajesh; Risko, Chad; Bruner, Christopher; Dauskardt, Reinhold H.; Bredas, Jean-Luc

    2015-01-01

    Due to their inherent mechanical flexibility and stretchability, organic-based electronic devices have garnered a great deal of academic and industrial interest. Here, molecular-dynamics simulations are used to examine the molecular-scale details that govern the relationships among molecular weight, chain entanglement, persistence length, and the elastic characteristics of the widely studied π-conjugated polymer poly-(3-hexyl thiophene), P3HT. Oligomers containing at least 50 monomer units are required in the simulations to observe elastic behavior in P3HT, while much longer chains are required to ensure description of appropriate levels of entanglement: only when the molecular weight is greater than 50 kDa, that is, oligomers with approximately 400 monomer units, is truly entangled behavior observed. Interestingly, results from primitive path analysis of amorphous P3HT matches well with the observed onsets of inter-chain excitonic coherence with increased molecular weight. The simulations also indicate that the P3HT modulus saturates at 1.6 GPa for chain lengths of 50–100 monomers, a result that compares well with experimental results. This work highlights the care that needs to be taken to accurately model P3HT morphologies in relation to experimental measurements. © 2015 The Authors. Journal of Polymer Science Part B: Polymer Physics Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Polym. Sci., Part B: Polym. Phys. 2015

  7. Entanglements in P3HT and their influence on thin-film mechanical properties: Insights from molecular dynamics simulations

    KAUST Repository

    Tummala, Naga Rajesh

    2015-04-01

    Due to their inherent mechanical flexibility and stretchability, organic-based electronic devices have garnered a great deal of academic and industrial interest. Here, molecular-dynamics simulations are used to examine the molecular-scale details that govern the relationships among molecular weight, chain entanglement, persistence length, and the elastic characteristics of the widely studied π-conjugated polymer poly-(3-hexyl thiophene), P3HT. Oligomers containing at least 50 monomer units are required in the simulations to observe elastic behavior in P3HT, while much longer chains are required to ensure description of appropriate levels of entanglement: only when the molecular weight is greater than 50 kDa, that is, oligomers with approximately 400 monomer units, is truly entangled behavior observed. Interestingly, results from primitive path analysis of amorphous P3HT matches well with the observed onsets of inter-chain excitonic coherence with increased molecular weight. The simulations also indicate that the P3HT modulus saturates at 1.6 GPa for chain lengths of 50–100 monomers, a result that compares well with experimental results. This work highlights the care that needs to be taken to accurately model P3HT morphologies in relation to experimental measurements. © 2015 The Authors. Journal of Polymer Science Part B: Polymer Physics Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Polym. Sci., Part B: Polym. Phys. 2015

  8. Near-surface wind variability over the broader Adriatic region: insights from an ensemble of regional climate models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belušić, Andreina; Prtenjak, Maja Telišman; Güttler, Ivan; Ban, Nikolina; Leutwyler, David; Schär, Christoph

    2018-06-01

    Over the past few decades the horizontal resolution of regional climate models (RCMs) has steadily increased, leading to a better representation of small-scale topographic features and more details in simulating dynamical aspects, especially in coastal regions and over complex terrain. Due to its complex terrain, the broader Adriatic region represents a major challenge to state-of-the-art RCMs in simulating local wind systems realistically. The objective of this study is to identify the added value in near-surface wind due to the refined grid spacing of RCMs. For this purpose, we use a multi-model ensemble composed of CORDEX regional climate simulations at 0.11° and 0.44° grid spacing, forced by the ERA-Interim reanalysis, a COSMO convection-parameterizing simulation at 0.11° and a COSMO convection-resolving simulation at 0.02° grid spacing. Surface station observations from this region and satellite QuikSCAT data over the Adriatic Sea have been compared against daily output obtained from the available simulations. Both day-to-day wind and its frequency distribution are examined. The results indicate that the 0.44° RCMs rarely outperform ERA-Interim reanalysis, while the performance of the high-resolution simulations surpasses that of ERA-Interim. We also disclose that refining the grid spacing to a few km is needed to properly capture the small-scale wind systems. Finally, we show that the simulations frequently yield the accurate angle of local wind regimes, such as for the Bora flow, but overestimate the associated wind magnitude. Finally, spectral analysis shows good agreement between measurements and simulations, indicating the correct temporal variability of the wind speed.

  9. Subjective measures of household resilience to climate variability and change: insights from a nationally representative survey of Tanzania

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lindsey Jones

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Promoting household resilience to climate extremes has emerged as a key development priority. Yet tracking and evaluating resilience at this level remains a critical challenge. Most quantitative approaches rely on objective indicators and assessment frameworks, but these are not fully satisfactory. Much of the difficulty arises from a combination of conceptual ambiguities, challenges in selecting appropriate indicators, and in measuring the many intangible aspects that contribute to household resilience. More recently, subjective measures of resilience have been advocated in helping to overcome some of the limitations of traditional objective characterizations. However, few large-scale studies of quantitative subjective approaches to resilience measurement have been conducted. In this study, we address this gap by exploring perceived levels of household resilience to climate extremes in Tanzania and the utility of standardized subjective methods for its assessment. A nationally representative cross-sectional survey involving 1294 individuals was carried out by mobile phone in June 2015 among randomly selected adult respondents aged 18 and above. Factors that are most associated with resilience-related capacities are having had advance knowledge of a previous flood, and to a lesser extent, believing flooding to be a serious community problem. Somewhat surprisingly, though a small number of weak relationships are apparent, most socio-demographic variables do not exhibit statistically significant differences with regards to perceived resilience-related capacities. These findings may challenge traditional assumptions about what factors characterize household resilience, offering a motivation for studying both subjective and objective perspectives, and understanding better their relationship to one another. If further validated, subjective measures may offer potential as both a complement and alternative to traditional objective methods of resilience

  10. Contextual and interdependent causes of climate change adaptation barriers: Insights from water management institutions in Himachal Pradesh, India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Azhoni, Adani; Holman, Ian; Jude, Simon

    2017-01-15

    Research on adaptation barriers is increasing as the need for climate change adaptation becomes evident. However, empirical studies regarding the emergence, causes and sustenance of adaptation barriers remain limited. This research identifies key contextual causes of adaptation barriers in water institutions in the mountainous Himalayan state of Himachal Pradesh in northern India. Semi-structured interviews were carried out with representatives from twenty-six key governmental, non-governmental, academic and research institutions in the State with responsibilities spanning domestic water supply, irrigation and hydropower generation, environmental monitoring and research. It identified low knowledge capacity and resources, policy implementation gaps, normative attitudes, and unavailability and inaccessibility of data and information compounded with weak interinstitutional networks as key adaptation barriers. Although these barriers are similar to those reported elsewhere, they have important locally-contextual root causes. For instance, inadequate resources result from fragmented resources allocation due to competing developmental priorities and the desire of the political leadership to please diverse electors, rather than climate scepticism. The identified individual barriers are found to be highly inter-dependent and closely intertwined which enables the identification of leverage points for interventions to maximise barrier removal. For instance, breaking down key barriers hindering accessibility to data and information, which are shaped by systemic bureaucracies and cultural attitudes, will involve attitudinal change through sensitisation to the importance of accurate and accessible data and information and the building trust between different actors, in addition to institutional structural changes through legislation and inter-institutional agreements. Approaching barriers as a system of contextually interconnected cultural, systemic, geographical and political

  11. Diverging effects of isotopic fractionation upon molecular diffusion of noble gases in water: mechanistic insights through ab initio molecular dynamics simulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinto de Magalhães, Halua; Brennwald, Matthias S; Kipfer, Rolf

    2017-03-22

    Atmospheric noble gases are routinely used as natural tracers to analyze gas transfer processes in aquatic systems. Their isotopic ratios can be employed to discriminate between different physical transport mechanisms by comparison to the unfractionated atmospheric isotope composition. In many applications of aquatic systems molecular diffusion was thought to cause a mass dependent fractionation of noble gases and their isotopes according to the square root ratio of their masses. However, recent experiments focusing on isotopic fractionation within a single element challenged this broadly accepted assumption. The determined fractionation factors of Ne, Ar, Kr and Xe isotopes revealed that only Ar follows the prediction of the so-called square root relation, whereas within the Ne, Kr and Xe elements no mass-dependence was found. The reason for this unexpected divergence of Ar is not yet understood. The aim of our computational exercise is to establish the molecular-resolved mechanisms behind molecular diffusion of noble gases in water. We make the hypothesis that weak intermolecular interactions are relevant for the dynamical properties of noble gases dissolved in water. Therefore, we used ab initio molecular dynamics to explicitly account for the electronic degrees of freedom. Depending on the size and polarizability of the hydrophobic particles such as noble gases, their motion in dense and polar liquids like water is subject to different diffusive regimes: the inter-cavity hopping mechanism of small particles (He, Ne) breaks down if a critical particle size achieved. For the case of large particles (Kr, Xe), the motion through the water solvent is governed by mass-independent viscous friction leading to hydrodynamical diffusion. Finally, Ar falls in between the two diffusive regimes, where particle dispersion is propagated at the molecular collision time scale of the surrounding water molecules.

  12. The triple oxygen isotope composition of phytoliths as a proxy of continental atmospheric humidity: insights from climate chamber and climate transect calibrations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Alexandre

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Continental atmospheric relative humidity (RH is a key climate parameter. Combined with atmospheric temperature, it allows us to estimate the concentration of atmospheric water vapor, which is one of the main components of the global water cycle and the most important gas contributing to the natural greenhouse effect. However, there is a lack of proxies suitable for reconstructing, in a quantitative way, past changes of continental atmospheric humidity. This reduces the possibility of making model–data comparisons necessary for the implementation of climate models. Over the past 10 years, analytical developments have enabled a few laboratories to reach sufficient precision for measuring the triple oxygen isotopes, expressed by the 17O-excess (17O-excess  =  ln (δ17O + 1 – 0.528  ×  ln (δ18O + 1, in water, water vapor and minerals. The 17O-excess represents an alternative to deuterium-excess for investigating relative humidity conditions that prevail during water evaporation. Phytoliths are micrometric amorphous silica particles that form continuously in living plants. Phytolith morphological assemblages from soils and sediments are commonly used as past vegetation and hydrous stress indicators. In the present study, we examine whether changes in atmospheric RH imprint the 17O-excess of phytoliths in a measurable way and whether this imprint offers a potential for reconstructing past RH. For that purpose, we first monitored the 17O-excess evolution of soil water, grass leaf water and grass phytoliths in response to changes in RH (from 40 to 100 % in a growth chamber experiment where transpiration reached a steady state. Decreasing RH from 80 to 40 % decreases the 17O-excess of phytoliths by 4.1 per meg/% as a result of kinetic fractionation of the leaf water subject to evaporation. In order to model with accuracy the triple oxygen isotope fractionation in play in plant water and in phytoliths we recommend direct and

  13. Squamous cell carcinomas of the lung and of the head and neck: new insights on molecular characterization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polo, Valentina; Pasello, Giulia; Frega, Stefano; Favaretto, Adolfo; Koussis, Haralabos; Conte, Pierfranco; Bonanno, Laura

    2016-01-01

    Squamous cell carcinomas of the lung and of the head and neck district share strong association with smoking habits and are characterized by smoke-related genetic alterations. Driver mutations have been identified in small percentage of lung squamous cell carcinoma. In parallel, squamous head and neck tumors are classified according to the HPV positivity, thus identifying two different clinical and molecular subgroups of disease. This review depicts different molecular portraits and potential clinical application in the field of targeted therapy, immunotherapy and chemotherapy personalization. PMID:26933818

  14. Pholcid spider molecular systematics revisited, with new insights into the biogeography and the evolution of the group

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dimitrov, Dimitar Stefanov; Astrin, Jonas J.; Huber, Bernhard A.

    2013-01-01

    analysed using parsimony, maximum-likelihood and Bayesian methods for phylogenetic reconstruction. We show that in several previously problematic cases molecular and morphological data are converging towards a single hypothesis. This is also the first study that explicitly addresses the age of pholcid......We analysed seven genetic markers sampled from 165 pholcids and 34 outgroups in order to test and improve the recently revised classification of the family. Our results are based on the largest and most comprehensive set of molecular data so far to study pholcid relationships. The data were...

  15. Centennial-scale vegetation and climate changes in the Middle Atlas, Morocco: new insights from multi-proxy investigations at Lake Sidi Ali

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fletcher, William; Campbell, Jennifer; Joannin, Sebastien; Mischke, Steffen; Zielhofer, Christoph; de Batist, Marc; Mikdad, Abdes

    2016-04-01

    The karstic lakes of the Middle Atlas, Morocco, represent a valuable archive of environmental and climatic change for Northwest Africa. Here we present the results of centennial-scale palynological and charcoal analyses as part of a multiproxy palaeolimnological study of sediment cores from Lake Sidi Ali in the Middle Atlas, Morocco (33° 03 N, 05° 00 W; 2,080 m a.s.l.). Supported by absolute dating including 23 more than twenty AMS 14C dates on pollen concentrates, the record covers the entire Holocene and offers insights into vegetation and climate change at a regionally unprecedented centennial-scale. Pollen assemblages are dominated by steppic herbs, evergreen oaks (Quercus), junipers (Cupressaceae) and Atlantic cedar (Cedrus atlantica). A long-term evolution of the montane vegetation is recorded, reflecting progressive changes in the dominant arboreal taxa and leading to the full establishment of the emblematic cedar forests of the area during the mid-Holocene by 6000 cal BP. Orbital-scale changes in seasonality and growing season moisture availability linked to declining summer insolation are implicated, with a transition from (a) warm, dry summers associated with summer drought tolerant taxa especially evergreen Quercus, high algal productivity in the lake, and high background levels of microcharcoal reflecting distant fire activity during the early Holocene, to (b) cool, relatively humid summers with dominance of montane conifers, declining algal productivity in the lake, and episodic local fire activity during the mid- to late Holocene. Superimposed on the long-term environmental changes are recurrent centennial-scale fluctuations in vegetation composition, reflecting competitive dynamics between the major taxa, initially between steppic and arboreal elements, and later between the major tree taxa. Parallels with hydrological proxies including stable O and C isotopes suggest common responses to climatic drivers (fluctuations in moisture sources and

  16. Stratigraphic reconstruction of two debris avalanche deposits at Colima Volcano (Mexico): Insights into pre-failure conditions and climate influence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roverato, M.; Capra, L.; Sulpizio, R.; Norini, G.

    2011-10-01

    Throughout its history, Colima Volcano has experienced numerous partial edifice collapses with associated emplacement of debris avalanche deposits of contrasting volume, morphology and texture. A detailed stratigraphic study in the south-eastern sector of the volcano allowed the recognition of two debris avalanche deposits, named San Marcos (> 28,000 cal yr BP, V = ~ 1.3 km 3) and Tonila (15,000-16,000 cal yr BP, V = ~ 1 km 3 ). This work sheds light on the pre-failure conditions of the volcano based primarily on a detailed textural study of debris avalanche deposits and their associated pyroclastic and volcaniclastic successions. Furthermore, we show how the climate at the time of the Tonila collapse influenced the failure mechanisms. The > 28,000 cal yr BP San Marcos collapse was promoted by edifice steep flanks and ongoing tectonic and volcanotectonic deformation, and was followed by a magmatic eruption that emplaced pyroclastic flow deposits. In contrast, the Tonila failure occurred just after the Last Glacial Maximum (22,000-18,000 cal BP) and, in addition to the typical debris avalanche textural characteristics (angular to sub-angular clasts, coarse matrix, jigsaw fit) it shows a hybrid facies characterized by debris avalanche blocks embedded in a finer, homogenous and partially cemented matrix, a texture more characteristic of debris flow deposits. The Tonila debris avalanche is directly overlain by a 7-m thick hydromagmatic pyroclastic succession. Massive debris flow deposits, often more than 10 m thick and containing large amounts of tree trunk logs, represent the top unit in the succession. Fluvial deposits also occur throughout all successions; these represent periods of highly localized stream reworking. All these lines of evidence point to the presence of water in the edifice prior to the Tonila failure, suggesting it may have been a weakening factor. The Tonila failure appears to represent an anomalous event related to the particular climatic

  17. Recent insights into the molecular mechanisms of the NLRP3 inflammasome activation [version 1; referees: 2 approved

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tomasz Próchnicki

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Inflammasomes are high-molecular-weight protein complexes that are formed in the cytosolic compartment in response to danger- or pathogen-associated molecular patterns. These complexes enable activation of an inflammatory protease caspase-1, leading to a cell death process called pyroptosis and to proteolytic cleavage and release of pro-inflammatory cytokines interleukin (IL-1β and IL-18. Along with caspase-1, inflammasome components include an adaptor protein, ASC, and a sensor protein, which triggers the inflammasome assembly in response to a danger signal. The inflammasome sensor proteins are pattern recognition receptors belonging either to the NOD-like receptor (NLR or to the AIM2-like receptor family. While the molecular agonists that induce inflammasome formation by AIM2 and by several other NLRs have been identified, it is not well understood how the NLR family member NLRP3 is activated. Given that NLRP3 activation is relevant to a range of human pathological conditions, significant attempts are being made to elucidate the molecular mechanism of this process. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge on the molecular events that lead to activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome in response to a range of K+ efflux-inducing danger signals. We also comment on the reported involvement of cytosolic Ca2+ fluxes on NLRP3 activation. We outline the recent advances in research on the physiological and pharmacological mechanisms of regulation of NLRP3 responses, and we point to several open questions regarding the current model of NLRP3 activation.

  18. How will precipitation change in extratropical cyclones as the planet warms? Insights from a large initial condition climate model ensemble

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yettella, Vineel; Kay, Jennifer E.

    2017-09-01

    The extratropical precipitation response to global warming is investigated within a 30-member initial condition climate model ensemble. As in observations, modeled cyclonic precipitation contributes a large fraction of extratropical precipitation, especially over the ocean and in the winter hemisphere. When compared to present day, the ensemble projects increased cyclone-associated precipitation under twenty-first century business-as-usual greenhouse gas forcing. While the cyclone-associated precipitation response is weaker in the near-future (2016-2035) than in the far-future (2081-2100), both future periods have similar patterns of response. Though cyclone frequency changes are important regionally, most of the increased cyclone-associated precipitation results from increased within-cyclone precipitation. Consistent with this result, cyclone-centric composites show statistically significant precipitation increases in all cyclone sectors. Decomposition into thermodynamic (mean cyclone water vapor path) and dynamic (mean cyclone wind speed) contributions shows that thermodynamics explains 92 and 95% of the near-future and far-future within-cyclone precipitation increases respectively. Surprisingly, the influence of dynamics on future cyclonic precipitation changes is negligible. In addition, the forced response exceeds internal variability in both future time periods. Overall, this work suggests that future cyclonic precipitation changes will result primarily from increased moisture availability in a warmer world, with secondary contributions from changes in cyclone frequency and cyclone dynamics.

  19. A molecular network of the aging human brain provides insights into the pathology and cognitive decline of Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mostafavi, Sara; Gaiteri, Chris; Sullivan, Sarah E; White, Charles C; Tasaki, Shinya; Xu, Jishu; Taga, Mariko; Klein, Hans-Ulrich; Patrick, Ellis; Komashko, Vitalina; McCabe, Cristin; Smith, Robert; Bradshaw, Elizabeth M; Root, David E; Regev, Aviv; Yu, Lei; Chibnik, Lori B; Schneider, Julie A; Young-Pearse, Tracy L; Bennett, David A; De Jager, Philip L

    2018-06-01

    There is a need for new therapeutic targets with which to prevent Alzheimer's disease (AD), a major contributor to aging-related cognitive decline. Here we report the construction and validation of a molecular network of the aging human frontal cortex. Using RNA sequence data from 478 individuals, we first build a molecular network using modules of coexpressed genes and then relate these modules to AD and its neuropathologic and cognitive endophenotypes. We confirm these associations in two independent AD datasets. We also illustrate the use of the network in prioritizing amyloid- and cognition-associated genes for in vitro validation in human neurons and astrocytes. These analyses based on unique cohorts enable us to resolve the role of distinct cortical modules that have a direct effect on the accumulation of AD pathology from those that have a direct effect on cognitive decline, exemplifying a network approach to complex diseases.

  20. Surface grafted chitosan gels. Part I. Molecular insight into the formation of chitosan and poly(acrylic acid) multilayers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Liu, Chao; Thormann, Esben; Claesson, Per M.

    2014-01-01

    Composite polyelectrolyte multilayers of chitosan and low molecular weight poly(acrylic acid) (PAA) have been assembled by sequential adsorption as a first step toward building a surface anchored chitosan gel. Silane chemistry was used to graft the first chitosan layer to prevent film detachment...... and decomposition. The assembly process is characterized by nonlinear growth behavior, with different adsorption kinetics for chitosan and PAA. In situ analysis of the multilayer by means of surface sensitive total internal reflection Raman (TIRR) spectroscopy, combined with target factor analysis of the spectra...... molecular weight chitosan shows a similar behavior, although to a much lower extent. Our data demonstrate that the charged monomeric units of chitosan are mainly compensated by carboxylate ions from PAA. Furthermore, the morphology and mechanical properties of the multilayers were investigated in situ using...

  1. Structural insights into cholinesterases inhibition by harmane β-carbolinium derivatives: a kinetics-molecular modeling approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torres, Juliana M; Lira, Aline F; Silva, Daniel R; Guzzo, Lucas M; Sant'Anna, Carlos M R; Kümmerle, Arthur E; Rumjanek, Victor M

    2012-09-01

    The natural indole alkaloids, the β-carbolines, are often associated with cholinesterase inhibition, especially their quaternary salts, which frequently have higher activity than the free bases. Due to lack of information explaining this fact in the literature, the cholinesterase inhibition by the natural product harmane and its two β-carbolinium synthetic derivative salts (N-methyl and N-ethyl) was explored, together with a combination of kinetics and a molecular modeling approach. The results, mainly for the β-carbolinium salts, demonstrated a noncompetitive inhibition profile, ruling out previous findings which associated cholinesterase inhibition by β-carbolinium salts to a possible mimicking of the choline moiety of the natural substrate, acetylcholine. Molecular modeling studies corroborate this kind of inhibition through analyses of inhibitor/enzyme and inhibitor/substrate/enzyme complexes of both enzymes. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Molecular phylogenetic analysis of Commiphora (Burseraceae) yields insight on the evolution and historical biogeography of an "impossible" genus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weeks, Andrea; Simpson, Beryl B

    2007-01-01

    Expansion of the arid zone of sub-Saharan tropical Africa during the Miocene is posited as a significant contributing factor in the evolution of contemporary African flora. Nevertheless, few molecular phylogenetic studies have tested this hypothesis using reconstructed historical biogeographies of plants within this zone. Here, we present a molecular phylogeny of Commiphora, a predominantly tropical African, arid-adapted tree genus, in order to test the monophyly of its taxonomic sections and identify clades that will help direct future study of this species-rich and geographically widespread taxon. We then use multiple fossil calibrations of Commiphora phylogeny to determine the timing of well-supported diversification events within the genus and interpret these age estimates to determine the relative contribution of vicariance and dispersal in the expansion of Commiphora's geographic range. We find that Commiphora is sister to Vietnamese Bursera tonkinensis and that its crown group radiation corresponds with the onset of the Miocene.

  3. Molecular methods for the detection of human papillomavirus infection: new insights into their role in diagnostics and epidemiological surveillance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Piana

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Human papillomaviruses (HPVs comprise more than 180 genotypes. HPV infection is mainly diagnosed by molecular methods. The aim of our study was to review the main molecular methods used to diagnose HPV infection, underscoring their characteristics. Several methods have been developed for molecular diagnosis of Papilloma infection, such as those based on PCR technique. Another commercial non-PCR based diagnostic method is Hybrid Capture test; it is the only commercially available HPV DNA detection test approved by the FDA. Several Authors have suggested that viral load and E6/E7 transcripts could be used as surrogate markers of persistent HPV infection, being more specific predictors of progressive disease than the simple presence of HPV DNA. Validating clinical sensitivity and specificity of each technique and improving the interpretation of the results are essential; consequently, there is a clear need for well characterized international quality control panels to compare the various diagnostic methods. HPV DNA testing could be useful both as a primary screening test, alone or in combination with a Pap smear, for the early detection of cervical cancer precursors, and as triage test to select women with minor cytological abnormalities who will need further follow-up and to predict possible treatment failure in women with diagnosed high-grade intraepithelial lesions who have undergone excisional therapy. In the next future surveillance for HPV infections, based on these molecular methods, could represent an important step for the development of primary and secondary prophylactic interventions, such as new vaccines targeted to genotypes who might replace those previously prevalent.

  4. Concentrated Aqueous Sodium Chloride Solution in Clays at Thermodynamic Conditions of Hydraulic Fracturing: Insight from Molecular Dynamics Simulations.

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Svoboda, Martin; Lísal, Martin

    2018-01-01

    Roč. 148, č. 22 (2018), č. článku 222806. ISSN 0021-9606 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA17-25100S EU Projects: European Commission(XE) 640979 - ShaleXenvironmenT Institutional support: RVO:67985858 Keywords : aqueous NaCl solutions * hydrogen bond networks * molecular dynamics simulations Subject RIV: CF - Physical ; Theoretical Chemistry OBOR OECD: Physical chemistry Impact factor: 2.965, year: 2016

  5. Molecular Signatures for the PVC Clade (Planctomycetes, Verrucomicrobia, Chlamydiae and Lentisphaerae of Bacteria Provide Insights into their Evolutionary Relationships

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Radhey S. Gupta

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available The PVC superphylum is an amalgamation of species from the phyla Planctomycetes, Verrucomicrobia and Chlamydiae, along with the Lentisphaerae, Poribacteria and two other candidate divisions. The diverse species of this superphylum lack any significant marker that differentiates them from other bacteria. Recently, genome sequences for 37 species covering all of the main PVC groups of bacteria have become available. We have used these sequences to construct a phylogenetic tree based upon concatenated sequences for 16 proteins and identify molecular signatures in protein sequences that are specific for the species from these phyla or those providing molecular links among them. Of the useful molecular markers identified in the present work, 6 conserved signature indels (CSIs in the proteins Cyt c oxidase, UvrD helicase, urease and a helicase-domain containing protein are specific for the species from the Verrucomicrobia phylum; three other CSIs in an ABC transporter protein, cobyrinic acid ac-diamide synthase and SpoVG protein are specific for the Planctomycetes species. Additionally, a 3 aa insert in the RpoB protein is uniquely present in all sequenced Chlamydiae, Verrucomicrobia and Lentisphaerae species, providing evidence for the shared ancestry of the species from these three phyla. Lastly, we have also identified a conserved protein of unknown function that is exclusively found in all sequenced species from the phyla Chlamydiae, Verrucomicrobia, Lentisphaerae and Planctomycetes suggesting a specific linkage among them. The absence of this protein in Poribacteria, which branches separately from other members of the PVC clade, indicates that it is not specifically related to the PVC clade of bacteria. The molecular markers described here in addition to clarifying the evolutionary relationships among the PVC clade of bacteria also provide novel tools for their identification and for genetic and biochemical studies on these organisms.

  6. Characterization of 1,577 Primary Prostate Cancers Reveals Novel Biological and Clinicopathological Insights into Molecular Subtypes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomlins, Scott A.; Alshalalfa, Mohammed; Davicioni, Elai; Erho, Nicholas; Yousefi, Kasra; Zhao, Shuang; Haddad, Zaid; Den, Robert B.; Dicker, Adam P.; Trock, Bruce; DeMarzo, Angelo; Ross, Ashley; Schaeffer, Edward M.; Klein, Eric A.; Magi-Galluzzi, Cristina; Karnes, Jeffery R.; Jenkins, Robert B.; Feng, Felix Y.

    2015-01-01

    Background Prostate cancer (PCa) molecular subtypes have been defined by essentially mutually exclusive events, including ETS gene fusions (most commonly involving ERG) and SPINK1 over-expression. Clinical assessment may aid in disease stratification, complementing available prognostic tests. Objective To determine the analytical validity and clinicopatholgical associations of microarray-based molecular subtyping. Design, Setting and Participants We analyzed Affymetrix GeneChip expression profiles for 1,577 patients from eight radical prostatectomy (RP) cohorts, including 1,351 cases assessed using the Decipher prognostic assay (performed in a CLIA-certified laboratory). A microarray-based (m-) random forest ERG classification model was trained and validated. Outlier expression analysis was used to predict other mutually exclusive non-ERG ETS gene rearrangements (ETS+) or SPINK1 over-expression (SPINK1+). Outcome Measurements Associations with clinical features and outcomes by multivariable logistic regression analysis and receiver operating curves. Results and Limitations The m-ERG classifier showed 95% accuracy in an independent validation subset (n=155 samples). Across cohorts, 45%, 9%, 8% and 38% of PCa were classified as m-ERG+, m-ETS+, m-SPINK1+, and triple negative (m-ERG−/m-ETS−/m-SPINK1−), respectively. Gene expression profiling supports three underlying molecularly defined groups (m-ERG+, m-ETS+ and m-SPINK1+/triple negative). On multivariable analysis, m-ERG+ tumors were associated with lower preoperative serum PSA and Gleason scores, but enriched for extraprostatic extension (p<0.001). m-ETS+ tumors were associated with seminal vesicle invasion (p=0.01), while m-SPINK1+/triple negative tumors had higher Gleason scores and were more frequent in Black/African American patients (p<0.001). Clinical outcomes were not significantly different between subtypes. Conclusions A clinically available prognostic test (Decipher) can also assess PCa molecular

  7. Molecular insights into species phylogeny, biogeography, and morphological stasis in the ancient spider genus Hypochilus (Araneae: Hypochilidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hedin, M C

    2001-02-01

    The spider genus Hypochilus is currently restricted to cool, moist microhabitats in three widely separated montane regions of North America, providing an opportunity to study both deep (i.e., continental level) and shallow (within montane region) biogeographic history. Members of the genus also retain many plesiomorphic morphological characteristics, inviting the study of comparative rates of morphological evolution. In this paper, Hypochilus phylogeny and associated evolutionary problems are addressed using both new molecular (28S nDNA and CO1 mtDNA) and previously published (K. M. Catley, 1994, Am. Mus. Nov. 3088, 1-27) morphological data. Although the molecular data provide limited resolution of root placement within Hypochilus, most analyses are at least consistent with morphology-supported montane relationships of (Rockies (California, Appalachian)). The monophyly of Hypochilus species distributed in the California mountains is ambiguous, with several analyses indicating that this fauna may be paraphyletic with respect to a monophyletic Appalachian lineage. The montane regions differ in consistent ways in depths of both mitochondrial and nuclear phylogenetic divergence. Molecular clock analyses, in combination with arthropod-based mtDNA rate calibrations, suggest that the regional faunas are of different ages and that speciation in all faunas likely occurred prior to the Pleistocene. Limited intraspecific sampling reveals extraordinarily high levels of mtDNA cytochrome oxidase sequence divergence. These extreme divergences are most consistent with morphological stasis at the species level, despite preliminary evidence that Hypochilus taxa are characterized by fragmented population structures. Copyright 2001 Academic Press.

  8. Probing the behavior of bovine serum albumin upon binding to atenolol: insights from spectroscopic and molecular docking approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Tuo-Ying; Zhou, Kai-Li; Lou, Yan-Yue; Pan, Dong-Qi; Shi, Jie-Hua

    2018-04-01

    Molecular interaction of atenolol, a selective β 1 receptor antagonist with the major carrier protein, bovine serum albumin (BSA), was investigated under imitated physiological conditions (pH 7.4) by means of fluorescence spectroscopy, UV absorption spectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), and molecular modeling studies. The steady-state fluorescence spectra manifested that static type, due to formation of the atenolol-BSA complex, was the dominant mechanism for fluorescence quenching. The characteristic information about the binding interaction of atenolol with BSA in terms of binding constant (K b ) were determined by the UV-vis absorption titration, and were found to be in the order of 10 3  M -1 at different temperatures, indicating the existence of a weak binding in this system. Thermodynamic analysis revealed that the binding process was primarily mediated by van der Waals force and hydrogen bonds due to the negative sign for enthalpy change (ΔH 0 ), entropy change (ΔS 0 ). The molecular docking results elucidated that atenolol preferred binding on the site II of BSA according to the findings observed in competitive binding experiments. Moreover, via alterations in synchronous fluorescence, three-dimensional fluorescence and FT-IR spectral properties, it was concluded that atenolol could arouse slight configurational and micro-environmental changes of BSA.

  9. New insights into heat induced structural changes of pectin methylesterase on fluorescence spectroscopy and molecular modeling basis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nistor, Oana Viorela; Stănciuc, Nicoleta; Aprodu, Iuliana; Botez, Elisabeta

    2014-07-01

    Heat-induced structural changes of Aspergillus oryzae pectin methylesterase (PME) were studied by means of fluorescence spectroscopy and molecular modeling, whereas the functional enzyme stability was monitored by inactivation studies. The fluorescence spectroscopy experiments were performed at two pH value (4.5 and 7.0). At both pH values, the phase diagrams were linear, indicating the presence of two molecular species induced by thermal treatment. A red shift of 7 nm was observed at neutral pH by increasing temperature up to 60 °C, followed by a blue shift of 4 nm at 70 °C, suggesting significant conformational rearrangements. The quenching experiments using acrylamide and iodide demonstrate a more flexible conformation of enzyme with increasing temperature, especially at neutral pH. The experimental results were complemented with atomic level observations on PME model behavior after performing molecular dynamics simulations at different temperatures. The inactivation kinetics of PME in buffer solutions was fitted using a first-order kinetics model, resulting in activation energy of 241.4 ± 7.51 kJ mol-1.

  10. Molecular insights into the proliferation and progression mechanisms of the oral cancer: Strategies for the effective and personalized therapy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masakatsu Fukuda

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Oral carcinogenesis is a multifactorial process involving numerous genetic events that alter normal functions of oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes. It is well established that an accumulation of genetic alterations is the basis for the progression from a normal cell to a cancer cell, referred to as multi-step carcinogenesis. This event may be increased the production of growth factors or the number of receptors on the cell surface, and/or increased transcription factors or intracellular signal messengers, further that associated with deregulated control of cell proliferation and apoptosis. Together with the loss of tumor suppressor activity, these changes lead to a cell phenotype that can increase cell proliferation, with loss of cell cohesion, and infiltration to adjacent tissue thus causing distant metastasis. Molecular medicine is responsible for defining the molecular mechanisms that underlie the onset of oral cancer. This review focuses on recent advances in our understanding of the molecular control of the innumerable pathways related to these processes. These may lead to short- or medium term improvements in the diagnosis and prognosis of oral cancerous lesions and to the development of novel therapeutic approaches to this disease.

  11. The molecular mechanism of bisphenol A (BPA as an endocrine disruptor by interacting with nuclear receptors: insights from molecular dynamics (MD simulations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lanlan Li

    Full Text Available Bisphenol A (BPA can interact with nuclear receptors and affect the normal function of nuclear receptors in very low doses, which causes BPA to be one of the most controversial endocrine disruptors. However, the detailed molecular mechanism about how BPA interferes the normal function of nuclear receptors is still undiscovered. Herein, molecular dynamics simulations were performed to explore the detailed interaction mechanism between BPA with three typical nuclear receptors, including hERα, hERRγ and hPPARγ. The simulation results and calculated binding free energies indicate that BPA can bind to these three nuclear receptors. The binding affinities of BPA were slightly lower than that of E2 to these three receptors. The simulation results proved that the binding process was mainly driven by direct hydrogen bond and hydrophobic interactions. In addition, structural analysis suggested that BPA could interact with these nuclear receptors by mimicking the action of natural hormone and keeping the nuclear receptors in active conformations. The present work provided the structural evidence to recognize BPA as an endocrine disruptor and would be important guidance for seeking safer substitutions of BPA.

  12. A Comparative Genomic Survey Provides Novel Insights into Molecular Evolution of l-Aromatic Amino Acid Decarboxylase in Vertebrates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yanping Li

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Melatonin is a pleiotropic molecule with various important physiological roles in vertebrates. l-aromatic amino acid decarboxylase (AAAD is the second enzyme for melatonin synthesis. By far, a clear-cut gene function of AAAD in the biosynthesis of melatonin has been unclear in vertebrates. Here, we provide novel insights into the evolution of AAAD based on 77 vertebrate genomes. According to our genome-wide alignments, we extracted a total of 151 aaad nucleotide sequences. A phylogenetic tree was constructed on the basis of these sequences and corresponding protein alignments, indicating that tetrapods and diploid bony fish genomes contained one aaad gene and a new aaad-like gene, which formed a novel AAAD family. However, in tetraploid teleosts, there were two copies of the aaad gene due to whole genome duplication. A subsequent synteny analysis investigated 81 aaad sequences and revealed their collinearity and systematic evolution. Interestingly, we discovered that platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus, Atlantic cod (Guadus morhua, Mexican tetra (Astyanax mexicanus, and a Sinocyclocheilus cavefish (S. anshuiensis have long evolutionary branches in the phylogenetic topology. We also performed pseudogene identification and selection pressure analysis; however, the results revealed a deletion of 37 amino acids in Atlantic cod and premature stop codons in the cave-restricted S. anshuiensis and A. mexicanus, suggesting weakening or disappearing rhythms in these cavefishes. Selective pressure analysis of aaad between platypus and other tetrapods showed that rates of nonsynonymous (Ka and synonymous (Ks substitutions were higher when comparing the platypus to other representative tetrapods, indicating that, in this semiaquatic mammal, the aaad gene experienced selection during the process of evolution. In summary, our current work provides novel insights into aaad genes in vertebrates from a genome-wide view.

  13. Insights into the folding and unfolding processes of wild-type and mutated SH3 domain by molecular dynamics and replica exchange molecular dynamics simulations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wen-Ting Chu

    Full Text Available Src-homology regions 3 (SH3 domain is essential for the down-regulation of tyrosine kinase activity. Mutation A39V/N53P/V55L of SH3 is found to be relative to the urgent misfolding diseases. To gain insight, the human and gallus SH3 domains (PDB ID: 1NYG and 2LP5, including 58 amino acids in each protein, were selected for MD simulations (Amber11, ff99SB force field and cluster analysis to investigate the influence of mutations on the spatial structure of the SH3 domain. It is found that the large conformational change of mutations mainly exists in three areas in the vicinity of protein core: RT loop, N-src loop, distal β-hairpin to 310 helix. The C-terminus of the mutated gallus SH3 is disordered after simulation, which represents the intermediate state of aggregation. The disappeared strong Hbond net in the mutated human and gallus systems will make these mutated proteins looser than the wild-type proteins. Additionally, by performing the REMD simulations on the gallus SH3 domain, the mutated domain is found to have an obvious effect on the unfolding process. These studies will be helpful for further aggregation mechanisms investigations on SH3 family.

  14. Trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) and tert-butyl alcohol (TBA) at hydrophobic interfaces: insights from molecular dynamics simulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fiore, Andrew; Venkateshwaran, Vasudevan; Garde, Shekhar

    2013-06-25

    TMAO, a potent osmolyte, and TBA, a denaturant, have similar molecular architecture but somewhat different chemistry. We employ extensive molecular dynamics simulations to quantify their behavior at vapor-water and octane-water interfaces. We show that interfacial structure-density and orientation-and their dependence on solution concentration are markedly different for the two molecules. TMAO molecules are moderately surface active and adopt orientations with their N-O vector approximately parallel to the aqueous interface. That is, not all methyl groups of TMAO at the interface point away from the water phase. In contrast, TBA molecules act as molecular amphiphiles, are highly surface active, and, at low concentrations, adopt orientations with their methyl groups pointing away and the C-O vector pointing directly into water. The behavior of TMAO at aqueous interfaces is only weakly dependent on its solution concentration, whereas that of TBA depends strongly on concentration. We show that this concentration dependence arises from their different hydrogen bonding capabilities-TMAO can only accept hydrogen bonds from water, whereas TBA can accept (donate) hydrogen bonds from (to) water or other TBA molecules. The ability to self-associate, particularly visible in TBA molecules in the interfacial layer, allows them to sample a broad range of orientations at higher concentrations. In light of the role of TMAO and TBA in biomolecular stability, our results provide a reference with which to compare their behavior near biological interfaces. Also, given the ubiquity of aqueous interfaces in biology, chemistry, and technology, our results may be useful in the design of interfacially active small molecules with the aim to control their orientations and interactions.

  15. Binding interaction of ramipril with bovine serum albumin (BSA): Insights from multi-spectroscopy and molecular docking methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Jie-Hua; Pan, Dong-Qi; Jiang, Min; Liu, Ting-Ting; Wang, Qi

    2016-11-01

    The binding interaction between a typical angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor (ACEI), ramipril, and a transport protein, bovine serum albumin (BSA), was studied in vitro using UV-vis absorption spectroscopy, steady-state fluorescence spectroscopic titration, synchronous fluorescence spectroscopy, three dimensional fluorescence spectroscopy, circular dichroism and molecular docking under the imitated physiological conditions (pH=7.4). The experimental results suggested that the intrinsic fluorescence of BSA was quenched by ramipril thought a static quenching mechanism, indicating that the stable ramipril-BSA complex was formed by the intermolecular interaction. The number of binding sites (n) and binding constant of ramipril-BSA complex were about 1 and 3.50×10 4 M -1 at 298K, respectively, suggesting that there was stronger binding interaction of ramipril with BSA. The thermodynamic parameters together with molecular docking study revealed that both van der Waal's forces and hydrogen bonding interaction dominated the formation of the ramipril-BSA complex and the binding interaction of BSA with ramipril is enthalpy-driven processes due to |ΔH°|>|TΔS°| and ΔG°<0. The spatial distance between ramipril and BSA was calculated to be 3.56nm based on Förster's non-radiative energy transfer theory. The results of the competitive displacement experiments and molecular docking confirmed that ramipril inserted into the subdomain IIA (site I) of BSA, resulting in a slight change in the conformation of BSA but BSA still retained its secondary structure α-helicity. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Are characiform fishes Gondwanan in origin? Insights from a time-scaled molecular phylogeny of the Citharinoidei (Ostariophysi: Characiformes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jairo Arroyave

    Full Text Available Fishes of the order Characiformes are a diverse and economically important teleost clade whose extant members are found exclusively in African and Neotropical freshwaters. Although their transatlantic distribution has been primarily attributed to the Early Cretaceous fragmentation of western Gondwana, vicariance has not been tested with temporal information beyond that contained in their fragmentary fossil record and a recent time-scaled phylogeny focused on the African family Alestidae. Because members of the suborder Citharinoidei constitute the sister lineage to the entire remaining Afro-Neotropical characiform radiation, we inferred a time-calibrated molecular phylogeny of citharinoids using a popular Bayesian approach to molecular dating in order to assess the adequacy of current vicariance hypotheses and shed light on the early biogeographic history of characiform fishes. Given that the only comprehensive phylogenetic treatment of the Citharinoidei has been a morphology-based analysis published over three decades ago, the present study also provided an opportunity to further investigate citharinoid relationships and update the evolutionary framework that has laid the foundations for the current classification of the group. The inferred chronogram is robust to changes in calibration priors and suggests that the origins of citharinoids date back to the Turonian (ca 90 Ma of the Late Cretaceous. Most modern citharinoid genera, however, appear to have originated and diversified much more recently, mainly during the Miocene. By reconciling molecular-clock- with fossil-based estimates for the origins of the Characiformes, our results provide further support for the hypothesis that attributes the disjunct distribution of the order to the opening of the South Atlantic Ocean. The striking overlap in tempo of diversification and biogeographic patterns between citharinoids and the African-endemic family Alestidae suggests that their evolutionary

  17. Response of the seagrass Posidonia oceanica to different light environments: Insights from a combined molecular and photo-physiological study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dattolo, E; Ruocco, M; Brunet, C; Lorenti, M; Lauritano, C; D'Esposito, D; De Luca, P; Sanges, R; Mazzuca, S; Procaccini, G

    2014-10-01

    Here we investigated mechanisms underlying the acclimation to light in the marine angiosperm Posidonia oceanica, along its bathymetric distribution (at -5 m and -25 m), combining molecular and photo-physiological approaches. Analyses were performed during two seasons, summer and autumn, in a meadow located in the Island of Ischia (Gulf of Naples, Italy), where a genetic distinction between plants growing above and below the summer thermocline was previously revealed. At molecular level, analyses carried out using cDNA-microarray and RT-qPCR, revealed the up-regulation of genes involved in photoacclimation (RuBisCO, ferredoxin, chlorophyll binding proteins), and photoprotection (antioxidant enzymes, xanthophyll-cycle related genes, tocopherol biosynthesis) in the upper stand of the meadow, indicating that shallow plants are under stressful light conditions. However, the lack of photo-damage, indicates the successful activation of defense mechanisms. This conclusion is also supported by several responses at physiological level as the lower antenna size, the higher number of reaction centers and the higher xanthophyll cycle pigment pool, which are common plant responses to high-light adaptation/acclimation. Deep plants, despite the lower available light, seem to be not light-limited, thanks to some shade-adaptation strategies (e.g. higher antenna size, lower Ek values). Furthermore, also at the molecular level there were no signs of stress response, indicating that, although the lower energy available, low-light environments are more favorable for P. oceanica growth. Globally, results of whole transcriptome analysis displayed two distinct gene expression signatures related to depth distribution, reflecting the different light-adaptation strategies adopted by P. oceanica along the depth gradient. This observation, also taking into account the genetic disjunction of clones along the bathymetry, might have important implications for micro-evolutionary processes

  18. Molecular and cytological characterization of the global Musa germplasm collection provides insights into the treasure of banana diversity

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Christelová, Pavla; De Langhe, E.; Hřibová, Eva; Čížková, Jana; Sardos, J.; Hušáková, Markéta; Van den Houwe, I.; Sutanto, A.; Kepler, A.K.; Swennen, R.; Roux, N.; Doležel, Jaroslav

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 26, č. 4 (2017), s. 801-824 ISSN 0960-3115 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) LO1204; GA MŠk(CZ) LG12021; GA MŠk LG15017 Institutional support: RVO:61389030 Keywords : genetic-linkage map * aab group * balbisiana colla * acuminata colla * black sigatoka * population-structure * marker analysis * flow-cytometry * plantain musa * aflp markers * Classification * Gene bank * Genetic diversity * ITC collection * Microsatellites * Musa Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology OBOR OECD: Plant sciences, botany Impact factor: 2.265, year: 2016

  19. Interacting mechanism of ID3 HLH domain towards E2A/E12 transcription factor – An Insight through molecular dynamics and docking approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nishith Saurav Topno

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Inhibitor of DNA binding protein 3 (ID3 has long been characterized as an oncogene that implicates its functional role through its Helix–Loop–Helix (HLH domain upon protein–protein interaction. An insight into the dimerization brought by this domain helps in identifying the key residues that favor the mechanism behind it. Molecular dynamics (MD simulations were performed for the HLH proteins ID3 and Transcription factor E2-alpha (E2A/E12 and their ensemble complex (ID3-E2A/E12 to gather information about the HLH domain region and its role in the interaction process. Further evaluation of the results by Principal Component Analysis (PCA and Free Energy Landscape (FEL helped in revealing residues of E2A/E12: Lys570, Ala595, Val598, and Ile599 and ID3: Glu53, Gln63, and Gln66 buried in their HLH motifs imparting key roles in dimerization process. Furthermore the T-pad analysis results helped in identifying the key fluctuations and conformational transitions using the intrinsic properties of the residues present in the domain region of the proteins thus specifying their crucial role towards molecular recognition. The study provides an insight into the interacting mechanism of the ID3-E2A/E12 complex and maps the structural transitions arising in the essential conformational space indicating the key structural changes within the helical regions of the motif. It thereby describes how the internal dynamics of the proteins might regulate their intrinsic structural features and its subsequent functionality.

  20. Climatic and physiographic controls on catchment-scale nitrate loss at different spatial scales: insights from a top-down model development approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shafii, Mahyar; Basu, Nandita; Schiff, Sherry; Van Cappellen, Philippe

    2017-04-01

    Dramatic increase in nitrogen circulating in the biosphere due to anthropogenic activities has resulted in impairment of water quality in groundwater and surface water causing eutrophication in coastal regions. Understanding the fate and transport of nitrogen from landscape to coastal areas requires exploring the drivers of nitrogen processes in both time and space, as well as the identification of appropriate flow pathways. Conceptual models can be used as diagnostic tools to provide insights into such controls. However, diagnostic evaluation of coupled hydrological-biogeochemical models is challenging. This research proposes a top-down methodology utilizing hydrochemical signatures to develop conceptual models for simulating the integrated streamflow and nitrate responses while taking into account dominant controls on nitrate variability (e.g., climate, soil water content, etc.). Our main objective is to seek appropriate model complexity that sufficiently reproduces multiple hydrological and nitrate signatures. Having developed a suitable conceptual model for a given watershed, we employ it in sensitivity studies to demonstrate the dominant process controls that contribute to the nitrate response at scales of interest. We apply the proposed approach to nitrate simulation in a range of small to large sub-watersheds in the Grand River Watershed (GRW) located in Ontario. Such multi-basin modeling experiment will enable us to address process scaling and investigate the consequences of lumping processes in terms of models' predictive capability. The proposed methodology can be applied to the development of large-scale models that can help decision-making associated with nutrients management at regional scale.

  1. Confocal imaging of whole vertebrate embryos reveals novel insights into molecular and cellular mechanisms of organ development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hadel, Diana M.; Keller, Bradley B.; Sandell, Lisa L.

    2014-03-01

    Confocal microscopy has been an invaluable tool for studying cellular or sub-cellular biological processes. The study of vertebrate embryology is based largely on examination of whole embryos and organs. The application of confocal microscopy to immunostained whole mount embryos, combined with three dimensional (3D) image reconstruction technologies, opens new avenues for synthesizing molecular, cellular and anatomical analysis of vertebrate development. Optical cropping of the region of interest enables visualization of structures that are morphologically complex or obscured, and solid surface rendering of fluorescent signal facilitates understanding of 3D structures. We have applied these technologies to whole mount immunostained mouse embryos to visualize developmental morphogenesis of the mammalian inner ear and heart. Using molecular markers of neuron development and transgenic reporters of neural crest cell lineage we have examined development of inner ear neurons that originate from the otic vesicle, along with the supporting glial cells that derive from the neural crest. The image analysis reveals a previously unrecognized coordinated spatial organization between migratory neural crest cells and neurons of the cochleovestibular nerve. The images also enable visualization of early cochlear spiral nerve morphogenesis relative to the developing cochlea, demonstrating a heretofore unknown association of neural crest cells with extending peripheral neurite projections. We performed similar analysis of embryonic hearts in mouse and chick, documenting the distribution of adhesion molecules during septation of the outflow tract and remodeling of aortic arches. Surface rendering of lumen space defines the morphology in a manner similar to resin injection casting and micro-CT.

  2. Molecular Insights into the Complex Relationship between Capacitance and Pore Morphology in Nanoporous Carbon-based Supercapacitors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pak, Alexander J; Hwang, Gyeong S

    2016-12-21

    Electrochemical double layer capacitors, or supercapacitors, are high-power energy storage devices that consist of large surface area electrodes (filled with electrolyte) to accommodate ion packing in accordance with classical electric double layer (EDL) theory. Nanoporous carbons (NPCs) have recently emerged as a class of electrode materials with the potential to dramatically improve the capacitance of these devices by leveraging ion confinement. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying such enhancements are a clear departure from EDL theory and remain an open question. In this paper, we present the concept of ion reorganization kinetics during charge/discharge cycles, especially within highly confining subnanometer pores, which necessarily dictates the capacitance. Our molecular dynamics voltammetric simulations of ionic liquid immersed in NPC electrodes (of varying pore size distributions) demonstrate that the most efficient ion migration, and thereby largest capacitance, is facilitated by nonuniformity of shape (e.g., from cylindrical to slitlike) along nanopore channels. On the basis of this understanding, we propose that a new structural descriptor, coined as the pore shape factor, can provide a new avenue for materials optimization. These findings also present a framework to understand and evaluate ion migration kinetics within charged nanoporous materials.

  3. Insight into interaction mechanism of the inhibitor pDI5W with MDM2 based on molecular dynamics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chen Jianzhong; Liang Zhiqiang; Wang Wei; Liu Jinqing; Zhang Qinggang; Liu Xiaoyang

    2012-01-01

    The p53-MDM2 interaction has been an important target of drug design curing cancers. In this work, molecular dynamics (MD) simulation coupled with molecular mechanics/Poisson Boltzmann surface area method (MM-PBSA) was performed to calculate the binding free energy of peptide inhibitor pDI6W to MDM2. The results show that van der Waals energy is the dominant factor of the pDI6W— MDM2 interaction. Cross-correlation matrix calculated suggests that the main motion of the residues in MMDM2 induced by the inhibitor binding is anti-correlation motion. The calculations of residue-residue interactions between pDI6W and MDM2 not only prove that five residues Phe19', Trp22', Trp23', Leu26' and Thr27' from pDI6W can produce strong interaction with MDM2, but also show that CH-π, CH-CH and π-π interactions drive the binding of pDI6W in the hydrophobic cleft of MDM2. This study can provide theoretical helps for anti-cancer drug designs. (authors)

  4. Molecular Insights into the pH-Dependent Adsorption and Removal of Ionizable Antibiotic Oxytetracycline by Adsorbent Cyclodextrin Polymers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yu; Cai, Xiyun; Xiong, Weina; Jiang, Hao; Zhao, Haitong; Yang, Xianhai; Li, Chao; Fu, Zhiqiang; Chen, Jingwen

    2014-01-01

    Effects of pH on adsorption and removal efficiency of ionizable organic compounds (IOCs) by environmental adsorbents are an area of debate, because of its dual mediation towards adsorbents and adsorbate. Here, we probe the pH-dependent adsorption of ionizable antibiotic oxytetracycline (comprising OTCH2 +, OTCH±, OTC−, and OTC2−) onto cyclodextrin polymers (CDPs) with the nature of molecular recognition and pH inertness. OTCH± commonly has high adsorption affinity, OTC− exhibits moderate affinity, and the other two species have negligible affinity. These species are evidenced to selectively interact with structural units (e.g., CD cavity, pore channel, and network) of the polymers and thus immobilized onto the adsorbents to different extents. The differences in adsorption affinity and mechanisms of the species account for the pH-dependent adsorption of OTC. The mathematical equations are derived from the multiple linear regression (MLR) analysis of quantitatively relating adsorption affinity of OTC at varying pH to adsorbent properties. A combination of the MLR analysis for OTC and molecular recognition of adsorption of the species illustrates the nature of the pH-dependent adsorption of OTC. Based on this finding, γ-HP-CDP is chosen to adsorb and remove OTC at pH 5.0 and 7.0, showing high removal efficiency and strong resistance to the interference of coexisting components. PMID:24465975

  5. A molecular phylogeny of the bladed Bangiales (Rhodophyta) in China provides insights into biodiversity and biogeography of the genus Pyropia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Li-En; Zhou, Wei; Hu, Chuan-Ming; Deng, Yin-Yin; Xu, Guang-Ping; Zhang, Tao; Russell, Stephen; Zhu, Jian-Yi; Lu, Qin-Qin; Brodie, Juliet

    2018-03-01

    A molecular taxonomic study was undertaken for the first time of the bladed Bangiales of the mainland coast of China (Northwest Pacific) based on sequence data of 201 plastid rbcL and 148 nuclear 18S sequences of historical and contemporary specimens. The results revealed that only one genus of bladed Bangiales, Pyropia, was present along Chinese coast. Species delimitation was determined using two empirical methods: the Automatic Barcode Gap Discovery (ABGD) and General Mixed Yule Coalescence (GMYC) coupled with detection of monophyly in tree reconstruction. At least fourteen species of Pyropia were recovered. Six species were confirmed that had been recorded previously based on morphology (Py. suborbiculata, Py. yezoensis, Py. haitanensis, Py. katadae, Py. tenera and Py. acanthophora), three species were recorded from China for the first time (Py. kinositae, Py. pseudolinearis and Py. tanegashimensis), and five cryptic species that did not match any molecular sequences were also discovered. The phylogeny of the concatenated rbcL and 18S dataset resolved three singletons and four clades. Each clades has a strong trend towards occupying a biogeographic region, but they are not confined to them. A transoceanic and antitropical pattern of distribution was found for Pyropia at both the subgeneric and species level. This together with high biodiversity (ca. 30% of all known Pyropia species) indicates that the Northwest Pacific might act as a centre of origin for modern distribution of Pyropia since the early Cenozoic. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Molecular surveillance of dengue in Minas Gerais provides insights on dengue virus 1 and 4 circulation in Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dutra, Karina Rocha; Drumond, Betânia Paiva; de Rezende, Izabela Maurício; Nogueira, Maurício Lacerda; de Oliveira Lopes, Débora; Calzavara Silva, Carlos Eduardo; Siqueira Ferreira, Jaqueline Maria; Dos Santos, Luciana Lara

    2017-06-01

    Dengue, caused by any of the four types of Dengue virus (DENV) is the most important arbovirus in the world. In this study we performed a molecular surveillance of dengue during the greatest dengue outbreak that took place in Divinópolis, Minas Gerais state, Southeast Brazil, in 2013. Samples from 100 patients with clinical symptoms of dengue were studied and 26 were positive. The capsid/premembrane (CprM) and envelope gene sequences of some samples were amplified and sequenced. Molecular analyses demonstrated that two DENV-1 lineages, belonging to genotype V were introduced and co-circulated in Divinópolis. When compared to each other, those lineages presented high genetic diversity and showed unique amino acids substitutions in the envelope protein, including in domains I, II, and III. DENV-4 strains from Divinópolis clustered within genotype IIb and the most recent common ancestor was probably introduced into the city three years before the 2013 epidemic. Here we demonstrated for the first time the circulation of DENV-4 and the co-circulation of two DENV-1 lineages in Midwest region of Minas Gerais, Brazil. Moreover our analysis indicated the introduction of five DENV-1 lineages, genotype V into Brazil, in different times. J. Med. Virol. 89:966-973, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  7. Molecular insights into the m-AAA protease-mediated dislocation of transmembrane helices in the mitochondrial inner membrane.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Seoeun; Lee, Hunsang; Yoo, Suji; Kim, Hyun

    2017-12-08

    Protein complexes involved in respiration, ATP synthesis, and protein import reside in the mitochondrial inner membrane; thus, proper regulation of these proteins is essential for cell viability. The m -AAA protease, a conserved hetero-hexameric AAA (ATPase associated with diverse cellular activities) protease, composed of the Yta10 and Yta12 proteins, regulates mitochondrial proteostasis by mediating protein maturation and degradation. It also recognizes and mediates the dislocation of membrane-embedded substrates, including foreign transmembrane (TM) segments, but the molecular mechanism involved in these processes remains elusive. This study investigated the role of the TM domains in the m -AAA protease by systematic replacement of one TM domain at a time in yeast. Our data indicated that replacement of the Yta10 TM2 domain abolishes membrane dislocation for only a subset of substrates, whereas replacement of the Yta12 TM2 domain impairs membrane dislocation for all tested substrates, suggesting different roles of the TM domains in each m -AAA protease subunit. Furthermore, m -AAA protease-mediated membrane dislocation was impaired in the presence of a large downstream hydrophilic moiety in a membrane substrate. This finding suggested that the m -AAA protease cannot dislocate large hydrophilic domains across the membrane, indicating that the membrane dislocation probably occurs in a lipid environment. In summary, this study highlights previously underappreciated biological roles of TM domains of the m -AAA proteases in mediating the recognition and dislocation of membrane-embedded substrates. © 2017 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  8. Insights into cellular and molecular basis for urinary tract infection in autosomal-dominant polycystic kidney disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Chao; Zhang, Long; Zhang, Ye; Wallace, Darren P; Lopez-Soler, Reynold I; Higgins, Paul J; Zhang, Wenzheng

    2017-11-01

    Urinary tract infection (UTI) is a broad term referring to an infection of the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and/or urethra. Because of its prevalence, frequent recurrence, and rising resistance to antibiotics, UTI has become a challenge in clinical practice. Autosomal-dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) is the most common monogenic disorder of the kidney and is characterized by the growth of fluid-filled cysts in both kidneys. Progressive cystic enlargement, inflammation, and interstitial fibrosis result in nephron loss with subsequent decline in kidney function. ADPKD patients frequently develop UTI; however, the cellular and molecular mechanisms responsible for the high UTI incidence in ADPKD patients remain virtually unaddressed. Emerging evidence suggests that α-intercalated cells (α-ICs) of the collecting ducts function in the innate immune defense against UTI. α-ICs inhibit bacterial growth by acidifying urine and secreting neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL) that chelates siderophore-containing iron. It is necessary to determine, therefore, if ADPKD patients with recurrent UTI have a reduced number and/or impaired function of α-ICs. Identification of the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms may lead to the development of novel strategies to reduce UTI in ADPKD. Copyright © 2017 the American Physiological Society.

  9. Molecular Theory of Detonation Initiation: Insight from First Principles Modeling of the Decomposition Mechanisms of Organic Nitro Energetic Materials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsyshevsky, Roman V; Sharia, Onise; Kuklja, Maija M

    2016-02-19

    This review presents a concept, which assumes that thermal decomposition processes play a major role in defining the sensitivity of organic energetic materials to detonation initiation. As a science and engineering community we are still far away from having a comprehensive molecular detonation initiation theory in a widely agreed upon form. However, recent advances in experimental and theoretical methods allow for a constructive and rigorous approach to design and test the theory or at least some of its fundamental building blocks. In this review, we analyzed a set of select experimental and theoretical articles, which were augmented by our own first principles modeling and simulations, to reveal new trends in energetic materials and to refine known existing correlations between their structures, properties, and functions. Our consideration is intentionally limited to the processes of thermally stimulated chemical reactions at the earliest stage of decomposition of molecules and materials containing defects.

  10. Molecular Theory of Detonation Initiation: Insight from First Principles Modeling of the Decomposition Mechanisms of Organic Nitro Energetic Materials

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roman V. Tsyshevsky

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available This review presents a concept, which assumes that thermal decomposition processes play a major role in defining the sensitivity of organic energetic materials to detonation initiation. As a science and engineering community we are still far away from having a comprehensive molecular detonation initiation theory in a widely agreed upon form. However, recent advances in experimental and theoretical methods allow for a constructive and rigorous approach to design and test the theory or at least some of its fundamental building blocks. In this review, we analyzed a set of select experimental and theoretical articles, which were augmented by our own first principles modeling and simulations, to reveal new trends in energetic materials and to refine known existing correlations between their structures, properties, and functions. Our consideration is intentionally limited to the processes of thermally stimulated chemical reactions at the earliest stage of decomposition of molecules and materials containing defects.

  11. Effect of pH on the adsorption of dodecylamine on montmorillonite: Insights from experiments and molecular dynamics simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, Chenliang; Min, Fanfei; Liu, Lingyun

    2017-12-01

    The hydrophobic aggregation in cationic surfactant suspension is an effective method to enhance the dewatering of clay-rich tailing. The solution pH can affect the adsorption behavior of cationic surfactant on clay mineral. The effect of pH on the adsorption of dodecylamine (DDA) on montmorillonite was investigated by the sedimentation test and the characterization of flocs images, contact angle, adsorption quantity, and fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, as well as molecular dynamics (MD) simulation. It was found that DDA ions were adsorbed on montmorillonite basal surfaces mainly by physical adsorption, including the electrostatic attraction and hydrogen bonding. A certain number of neutral DDA molecules can favor the adsorption of DDA. At pH around 8, the effect of hydrophobic modification was the best because DDA molecules and ions form compact and well-organized monolayer. The MD simulation results were in good agreement with that of contact angle, adsorption quantity and FTIR.

  12. New insights into the molecular mechanism of E-cadherin-mediated cell adhesion by free energy calculations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Doro, Fabio; Saladino, Giorgio; Belvisi, Laura

    2015-01-01

    Three-dimensional domain swapping is an important mode of protein association leading to the formation of stable dimers. Monomers associating via this mechanism mutually exchange a domain to form a homodimer. Classical cadherins, an increasingly important target for anticancer therapy, use domain...... swapping to mediate cell adhesion. However, despite its importance, the molecular mechanism of domain swapping is still debated. Here, we study the conformational changes that lead to activation and dimerization via domain swapping of E-cadherin. Using state-of-the-art enhanced sampling atomistic......" mechanism in which monomers in an active conformational state bind to form a homodimer, analogous to the conformational selection mechanism often observed in ligand-target binding. Moreover, we find that the open state population is increased in the presence of calcium ions at the extracellular boundary...

  13. Molecular insights into the mechanisms of M-cell differentiation and transcytosis in the mucosa-associated lymphoid tissues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kimura, Shunsuke

    2018-01-01

    Microfold cells (M cells), which are located in the follicle-associated epithelium (FAE) covering mucosal lymphoid follicles, are specialized epithelial cells that initiate mucosal immune responses. These cells take luminal antigens and transport them via transcytosis across the FAE to the antigen-presenting cells underneath. Several intestinal pathogens exploit M cells as their portal for entry to invade the host and cause disease conditions. Recent studies have revealed that the uptake of antigens by M cells is essential for efficient antigen-specific IgA production and that this process likely maintains the homeostasis of mucosal tissues. The present article reviews recent advances in understanding the molecular mechanism of M-cell differentiation and describes the molecules expressed by M cells that are associated with antigen uptake and/or the transcytosis process. Current efforts to augment M-cell-mediated uptake for use in the development of effective mucosal vaccines are also discussed.

  14. Influence of grain size on the mechanical properties of nano-crystalline copper; insights from molecular dynamics simulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rida, A.; Makke, A.; Rouhaud, E.; Micoulaut, M.

    2017-10-01

    We use molecular dynamics simulations to study the mechanical properties of a columnar nanocrystalline copper with a mean grain size between 8.91 nm and 24 nm. The used samples were generated by using a melting cooling method. These samples were submitted to uniaxial tensile test. The results reveal the presence of a critical mean grain size between 16 and 20 nm, where there is an inversion in the conventional Hall-Petch tendency. This inversion is illustrated by the increase of flow stress with the increase of the mean grain size. This transition is caused by shifting of the deformation mechanism from dislocations to a combination of grain boundaries sliding and dislocations. Moreover, the effect of temperature on the mechanical properties of nanocrystalline copper has been investigated. The results show a decrease of the flow stress and Young's modulus when the temperature increases.

  15. Structural analysis of prolyl oligopeptidases using molecular docking and dynamics: insights into conformational changes and ligand binding.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Swati Kaushik

    Full Text Available Prolyl oligopeptidase (POP is considered as an important pharmaceutical target for the treatment of numerous diseases. Despite enormous studies on various aspects of POPs structure and function still some of the questions are intriguing like conformational dynamics of the protein and interplay between ligand entry/egress. Here, we have used molecular modeling and docking based approaches to unravel questions like differences in ligand binding affinities in three POP species (porcine, human and A. thaliana. Despite high sequence and structural similarity, they possess different affinities for the ligands. Interestingly, human POP was found to be more specific, selective and incapable of binding to a few planar ligands which showed extrapolation of porcine POP in human context is more complicated. Possible routes for substrate entry and product egress were also investigated by detailed analyses of molecular dynamics (MD simulations for the three proteins. Trajectory analysis of bound and unbound forms of three species showed differences in conformational dynamics, especially variations in β-propeller pore size, which was found to be hidden by five lysine residues present on blades one and seven. During simulation, β-propeller pore size was increased by ∼2 Å in porcine ligand-bound form which might act as a passage for smaller product movement as free energy barrier was reduced, while there were no significant changes in human and A. thaliana POPs. We also suggest that these differences in pore size could lead to fundamental differences in mode of product egress among three species. This analysis also showed some functionally important residues which can be used further for in vitro mutagenesis and inhibitor design. This study can help us in better understanding of the etiology of POPs in several neurodegenerative diseases.

  16. Molecular insight into γ-γ tubulin lateral interactions within the γ-tubulin ring complex (γ-TuRC)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suri, Charu; Hendrickson, Triscia W.; Joshi, Harish C.; Naik, Pradeep Kumar

    2014-09-01

    γ-tubulin is essential for the nucleation and organization of mitotic microtubules in dividing cells. It is localized at the microtubule organizing centers and mitotic spindle fibres. The most well accepted hypothesis for the initiation of microtubule polymerization is that α/β-tubulin dimers add onto a γ-tubulin ring complex (γTuRC), in which adjacent γ-tubulin subunits bind to the underlying non-tubulin components of the γTuRC. This template thus determines the resulting microtubule lattice. In this study we use molecular modelling and molecular dynamics simulations, combined with computational MM-PBSA/MM-GBSA methods, to determine the extent of the lateral atomic interaction between two adjacent γ-tubulins within the γTuRC. To do this we simulated a γ-γ homodimer for 10 ns and calculated the ensemble average of binding free energies of -107.76 kcal/mol by the MM-PBSA method and of -87.12 kcal/mol by the MM-GBSA method. These highly favourable binding free energy values imply robust lateral interactions between adjacent γ-tubulin subunits in addition to their end-interactions longitudinally with other proteins of γTuRC. Although the functional reconstitution of γ-TuRC subunits and their stepwise in vitro assembly from purified components is not yet feasible, we nevertheless wanted to recognize hotspot amino acids responsible for key γ-γ interactions. Our free energy decomposition data from converting a compendium of amino acid residues identified an array of hotspot amino acids. A subset of such mutants can be expressed in vivo in living yeast. Because γTuRC is important for the growth of yeast, we could test whether this subset of the hotspot mutations support growth of yeast. Consistent with our model, γ-tubulin mutants that fall into our identified hotspot do not support yeast growth.

  17. Structural Insights into the Quadruplex-Duplex 3' Interface Formed from a Telomeric Repeat: A Potential Molecular Target.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russo Krauss, Irene; Ramaswamy, Sneha; Neidle, Stephen; Haider, Shozeb; Parkinson, Gary N

    2016-02-03

    We report here on an X-ray crystallographic and molecular modeling investigation into the complex 3' interface formed between putative parallel stranded G-quadruplexes and a duplex DNA sequence constructed from the human telomeric repeat sequence TTAGGG. Our crystallographic approach provides a detailed snapshot of a telomeric 3' quadruplex-duplex junction: a junction that appears to have the potential to form a unique molecular target for small molecule binding and interference with telomere-related functions. This unique target is particularly relevant as current high-affinity compounds that bind putative G-quadruplex forming sequences only rarely have a high degree of selectivity for a particular quadruplex. Here DNA junctions were assembled using different putative quadruplex-forming scaffolds linked at the 3' end to a telomeric duplex sequence and annealed to a complementary strand. We successfully generated a series of G-quadruplex-duplex containing crystals, both alone and in the presence of ligands. The structures demonstrate the formation of a parallel folded G-quadruplex and a B-form duplex DNA stacked coaxially. Most strikingly, structural data reveals the consistent formation of a TAT triad platform between the two motifs. This triad allows for a continuous stack of bases to link the quadruplex motif with the duplex region. For these crystal structures formed in the absence of ligands, the TAT triad interface occludes ligand binding at the 3' quadruplex-duplex interface, in agreement with in silico docking predictions. However, with the rearrangement of a single nucleotide, a stable pocket can be produced, thus providing an opportunity for the binding of selective molecules at the interface.

  18. Quantitative analysis of oyster larval proteome provides new insights into the effects of multiple climate change stressors, supplement to: Dineshram, R; Chandramouli, K; Ko, W K Ginger; Zhang, Huoming; Qian, Pei Yuan; Ravasi, Timothy; Thiyagarajan, Vengatesen (2016): Quantitative analysis of oyster larval proteome provides new insights into the effects of multiple climate change stressors. Global Change Biology, 22(6), 2054-2068

    KAUST Repository

    Dineshram, R

    2016-01-01

    The metamorphosis of planktonic larvae of the Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas) underpins their complex life-history strategy by switching on the molecular machinery required for sessile life and building calcite shells. Metamorphosis becomes a survival bottleneck, which will be pressured by different anthropogenically induced climate change-related variables. Therefore, it is important to understand how metamorphosing larvae interact with emerging climate change stressors. To predict how larvae might be affected in a future ocean, we examined changes in the proteome of metamorphosing larvae under multiple stressors: decreased pH (pH 7.4), increased temperature (30 °C), and reduced salinity (15 psu). Quantitative protein expression profiling using iTRAQ-LC-MS/MS identified more than 1300 proteins. Decreased pH had a negative effect on metamorphosis by down-regulating several proteins involved in energy production, metabolism, and protein synthesis. However, warming switched on these down-regulated pathways at pH 7.4. Under multiple stressors, cell signaling, energy production, growth, and developmental pathways were up-regulated, although metamorphosis was still reduced. Despite the lack of lethal effects, significant physiological responses to both individual and interacting climate change related stressors were observed at proteome level. The metamorphosing larvae of the C. gigas population in the Yellow Sea appear to have adequate phenotypic plasticity at the proteome level to survive in future coastal oceans, but with developmental and physiological costs.

  19. Molecular Technologies in Serbian Lowland Forestry under Climate Changes - Possibilities and Perspectives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Branislav Trudić

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Background and Purpose: Vojvodina province, the northern part of the Republic of Serbia, is predominantly lowland agricultural region with over 75% of arable land which in previous years, has been highly impacted by drought. The annual precipitation is lower than 700 mm and it is the limit for the growth and development of natural forest vegetation. Unfortunately, the atmospheric precipitation is still a major source of water for plant biodiversity. Taking these facts into account, it is highly recommended to primarily use the xerothermic tree species, which have a well-developed root system for “classical” afforestation. Some species from Salicaceae and Fagaceae like poplars, willows, oaks and beeches are surely the best option for afforestation in temperate zones strongly influenced by drought. Conclusions: In order to develop stress-based genomic information in Populus and the rest of woody plant species from Vojvodina, an integrated genetic research needs to be done. The aim of this particular paper is to analyse and summarize data regarding stress-based biotechnology perspectives in Vojvodina and to give recommendations for future forest tree breeding. Drought as a strong negative ecological factor must be carefully considered. In order to achieve sustainability, new forest management plans must consider wide approaches, from molecular to ecosystem level.

  20. The transcriptome of Trichuris suis--first molecular insights into a parasite with curative properties for key immune diseases of humans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cinzia Cantacessi

    Full Text Available Iatrogenic infection of humans with Trichuris suis (a parasitic nematode of swine is being evaluated or promoted as a biological, curative treatment of immune diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD and ulcerative colitis, in humans. Although it is understood that short-term T. suis infection in people with such diseases usually induces a modified Th2-immune response, nothing is known about the molecules in the parasite that induce this response.As a first step toward filling the gaps in our knowledge of the molecular biology of T. suis, we characterised the transcriptome of the adult stage of this nematode employing next-generation sequencing and bioinformatic techniques. A total of ∼65,000,000 reads were generated and assembled into ∼20,000 contiguous sequences ( = contigs; ∼17,000 peptides were predicted and classified based on homology searches, protein motifs and gene ontology and biological pathway mapping.These analyses provided interesting insights into a number of molecular groups, particularly predicted excreted/secreted molecules (n = 1,288, likely to be involved in the parasite-host interactions, and also various molecules (n = 120 linked to chemokine, T-cell receptor and TGF-β signalling as well as leukocyte transendothelial migration and natural killer cell-mediated cytotoxicity, which are likely to be immuno-regulatory or -modulatory in the infected host. This information provides a conceptual framework within which to test the immunobiological basis for the curative effect of T. suis infection in humans against some immune diseases. Importantly, the T. suis transcriptome characterised herein provides a curated resource for detailed studies of the immuno-molecular biology of this parasite, and will underpin future genomic and proteomic explorations.

  1. Carbon dioxide-dependent regulation of NF-κB family members RelB and p100 gives molecular insight into CO2-dependent immune regulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keogh, Ciara E; Scholz, Carsten C; Rodriguez, Javier; Selfridge, Andrew C; von Kriegsheim, Alexander; Cummins, Eoin P

    2017-07-07

    CO 2 is a physiological gas normally produced in the body during aerobic respiration. Hypercapnia (elevated blood pCO 2 >≈50 mm Hg) is a feature of several lung pathologies, e.g. chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Hypercapnia is associated with increased susceptibility to bacterial infections and suppression of inflammatory signaling. The NF-κB pathway has been implicated in these effects; however, the molecular mechanisms underpinning cellular sensitivity of the NF-κB pathway to CO 2 are not fully elucidated. Here, we identify several novel CO 2 -dependent changes in the NF-κB pathway. NF-κB family members p100 and RelB translocate to the nucleus in response to CO 2 A cohort of RelB protein-protein interactions ( e.g. with Raf-1 and IκBα) are altered by CO 2 exposure, although others are maintained ( e.g. with p100). RelB is processed by CO 2 in a manner dependent on a key C-terminal domain located in its transactivation domain. Loss of the RelB transactivation domain alters NF-κB-dependent transcriptional activity, and loss of p100 alters sensitivity of RelB to CO 2 Thus, we provide molecular insight into the CO 2 sensitivity of the NF-κB pathway and implicate altered RelB/p100-dependent signaling in the CO 2 -dependent regulation of inflammatory signaling. © 2017 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  2. Climate adaption and post-fire restoration of a foundational perennial in cold desert: Insights from intraspecific variation in response to weather

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brabec, Martha M.; Germino, Matthew; Richardson, Bryce A.

    2017-01-01

    responses among subspecies/cytotypes were not as strong and did not relate to survival patterns. 5.Synthesis and applications. Low temperature responses are a key axis defining climate adaptation in young sagebrush seedlings and vary more with cytotype than with subspecies, which contrasts with the traditional emphases on (i) water limitations to explain establishment in these deserts, and (ii) subspecies in selecting restoration seedings. These important and novel insights on climate adaptation are critical for seed selection and parameterizing seed transfer zones, and were made possible by incorporating weather data with survival statistics. The survival/weather statistics used here could be applied to any restoration planting or seeding to help elucidate factors contributing to success and enable adaptive management.

  3. Molecular insights into the historic demography of bowhead whales: understanding the evolutionary basis of contemporary management practices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips, C D; Hoffman, J I; George, J C; Suydam, R S; Huebinger, R M; Patton, J C; Bickham, J W

    2013-01-01

    Patterns of genetic variation observed within species reflect evolutionary histories that include signatures of past demography. Understanding the demographic component of species' history is fundamental to informed management because changes in effective population size affect response to environmental change and evolvability, the strength of genetic drift, and maintenance of genetic variability. Species experiencing anthropogenic population reductions provide valuable case studies for understanding the genetic response to demographic change because historic changes in the census size are often well documented. A classic example is the bowhead whale, Balaena mysticetus, which experienced dramatic population depletion due to commercial whaling in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Consequently, we analyzed a large multi-marker dataset of bowhead whales using a variety of analytical methods, including extended Bayesian skyline analysis and approximate Bayesian computation, to characterize genetic signatures of both ancient and contemporary demographic histories. No genetic signature of recent population depletion was recovered through any analysis incorporating realistic mutation assumptions, probably due to the combined influences of long generation time, short bottleneck duration, and the magnitude of population depletion. In contrast, a robust signal of population expansion was detected around 70,000 years ago, followed by a population decline around 15,000 years ago. The timing of these events coincides to a historic glacial period and the onset of warming at the end of the last glacial maximum, respectively. By implication, climate driven long-term variation in Arctic Ocean productivity, rather than recent anthropogenic disturbance, appears to have been the primary driver of historic bowhead whale demography. PMID:23403722

  4. Molecular fingerprinting of complex grass allergoids: size assessments reveal new insights in epitope repertoires and functional capacities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Starchenka, S; Bell, A J; Mwange, J; Skinner, M A; Heath, M D

    2017-01-01

    Subcutaneous allergen immunotherapy (SCIT) is a well-documented treatment for allergic disease which involves injections of native allergen or modified (allergoid) extracts. The use of allergoid vaccines is a growing sector of the allergy immunotherapy market, associated with shorter-course therapy. The aim of this study was the structural and immunological characterisation of group 1 (Lol p 1) IgG-binding epitopes within a complex mix grass allergoid formulation containing rye grass. HP-SEC was used to resolve a mix grass allergoid preparation of high molecular weight into several distinct fractions with defined molecular weight and elution profiles. Allergen verification of the HP-SEC allergoid fractions was confirmed by mass spectrometry analysis. IgE and IgG immunoreactivity of the allergoid preparations was explored and Lol p 1 specific IgG-binding epitopes mapped by SPOT synthesis technology (PepSpot™) with structural analysis based on a Lol p 1 homology model. Grass specific IgE reactivity of the mix grass modified extract (allergoid) was diminished in comparison with the mix grass native extract. A difference in IgG profiles was observed between an intact mix grass allergoid preparation and HP-SEC allergoid fractions, which indicated enhancement of accessible reactive IgG epitopes across size distribution profiles of the mix grass allergoid formulation. Detailed analysis of the epitope specificity showed retention of six Lol p 1 IgG-binding epitopes in the mix grass modified extract. The structural and immunological changes which take place following the grass allergen modification process was further unravelled revealing distinct IgG immunological profiles. All epitopes were mapped on the solvent exposed area of Lol p 1 homology model accessible for IgG binding. One of the epitopes was identified as an 'immunodominant' Lol p 1 IgG-binding epitope (62-IFKDGRGCGSCFEIK-76) and classified as a novel epitope. The results from this study support the concept

  5. Shape-Selective Syntheses of Gold and Copper Nanostructures: Insights From Density-Functional Theory and Molecular Dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Shih-Hsien

    Density-functional theory (DFT) and molecular dynamics (MD) were used to resolve the origins of shape-selective syntheses of {111}-faceted Au nanostructures mediated by polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) as well as {100}-faceted Cu nanostructures mediated by hex- adecylamine(HDA) seen in experiment. For the work in PVP on Au surfaces, the hexagonal reconstruction of Au(100) was considered. DFT results indicate that the Au(111) surface covered by the PVP segment, 2-pyrrolidone (2P), has a lower surface energy than the 2P- covered (5 x 1) Au(100)-hex surface, and that PVP may exhibit a binding affinity for Au(111) comparable to or greater than (5 x 1) Au(100)-hex. With MD, it is shown that the PVP-covered Au(111) surface has a lower surface energy than the PVP-covered (5 x 1) Au(100)-hex surface, and that the atactic PVP isosamer chains have a binding affinity for Au(111) comparable to (5 x 1) Au(100)-hex. Also, the (5 x 1) Au(100)-hex surface may have a higher flux of Au atoms than the Au(111) surface. Therefore, the Au(111) surface would be thermodynamically and kinetically favored in PVP-mediated syntheses, leading to {111}-faceted Au nanostructures. For the work in HDA on Cu surfaces, DFT results show that the HDA-covered Cu(100) surface has a slightly higher surface energy than the HDA- covered Cu(111) surface. However, HDA has a significant binding preference on Cu(100) over Cu(111). Therefore, the Cu(100) surface would be kinetically favored in HDA-mediated syn- theses, leading to {100}-faceted Cu nanostructures. Further, a metal-organic many-body (MOMB) force field for HDA-Cu interactions was developed based on the DFT work, and the force field was used to resolve the HDA binding patterns on Cu(100) at molecular level. With MD, it is found that decylamine (DA) may be used as an effective capping agent in the synthesis of {100}-faceted Cu nanostructures since DA as well as HDA are organized on Cu surfaces and have the same binding preference on Cu(100) over Cu(111

  6. Iron-sulfur cluster biogenesis in mammalian cells: new insights into the molecular mechanisms of cluster delivery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maio, Nunziata; Rouault, Tracey. A.

    2014-01-01

    Iron-sulfur (Fe-S) clusters are ancient, ubiquitous cofactors composed of iron and inorganic sulfur. The combination of the chemical reactivity of iron and sulfur, together with many variations of cluster composition, oxidation states and protein environments, enables Fe-S clusters to participate in numerous biological processes. Fe-S clusters are essential to redox catalysis in nitrogen fixation, mitochondrial respiration and photosynthesis, to regulatory sensing in key metabolic pathways (i. e. cellular iron homeostasis and oxidative stress response), and to the replication and maintenance of the nuclear genome. Fe-S cluster biogenesis is a multistep process that involves a complex sequence of catalyzed protein- protein interactions and coupled conformational changes between the components of several dedicated multimeric complexes. Intensive studies of the assembly process have clarified key points in the biogenesis of Fe-S proteins. However several critical questions still remain, such as: what is the role of frataxin? Why do some defects of Fe-S cluster biogenesis cause mitochondrial iron overload? How are specific Fe-S recipient proteins recognized in the process of Fe-S transfer? This review focuses on the basic steps of Fe-S cluster biogenesis, drawing attention to recent advances achieved on the identification of molecular features that guide selection of specific subsets of nascent Fe-S recipients by the cochaperone HSC20. Additionally, it outlines the distinctive phenotypes of human diseases due to mutations in the components of the basic pathway. PMID:25245479

  7. Comparative proteomic analysis of fluoride treated rat bone provides new insights into the molecular mechanisms of fluoride toxicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Yan; Zeng, Beibei; Zhang, Hua; Chen, Cheng; Wu, Yanli; Wang, Nanlan; Wu, Yanqiu; Zhao, Danqing; Zhao, Yuxi; Iqbal, Javed; Shen, Liming

    2018-07-01

    Long-term excessive intake of fluoride (F) could lead to chronic fluorosis. To explore the underlying molecular mechanisms, present study is designed to elucidate the effect of fluoride on proteome expression of bone in sodium fluoride (NaF)-treated SD rats. Hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining was used to determine the severity of osteofluorosis, and bone samples were submitted for iTRAQ analysis. The results showed that the cortical thickness and trabecular area of femur bone in medium- and high-dose groups were higher than in control group. Contrary to this, trabecular area was reduced in the low-dose group, indicating that the bone mass was increased in medium- and high-dose groups, and decreased in the low-dose group. Thirteen (13), 35, and 34 differentially expressed proteins were identified in low-, medium-, and high-dose group, respectively. The medium- and high-dose groups shared a more similar protein expression pattern. These proteins were mainly associated with collagen metabolism, proteoglycans (PGs), matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), etc. The results suggested that the effect of NaF on SD rats is in a dose-dependent manner. Some key proteins found here may be involved in affecting the bone tissues and bone marrow or muscle, and account for the complex pathology and clinical symptoms of fluorosis. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. First insights into the molecular epidemiology of tuberculosis in Croatia during a three-year period, 2009 to 2011.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zmak, Ljiljana; Obrovac, Mihaela; Katalinic Jankovic, Vera

    2014-02-01

    Mycobacterium tuberculosis still represents a serious cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. The aim of this study was to determine the transmission rate and genetic lineages of M. tuberculosis circulating in Croatia during a 3-y period, between 2009 and 2011. A total of 1587 M. tuberculosis strains (1 strain per tuberculosis patient) isolated in Croatia from 2009 to 2011 were genotyped using 15-locus mycobacterial interspersed repetitive units-variable number of tandem repeats (MIRU-VNTR) analysis. The majority of tested isolates (66.73%) belonged to the Euro-American global lineage. The most prevalent sub-lineages were Haarlem (48.64%), followed by S (6.05%), Cameroon (3.72%), and Latin American-Mediterranean (3.4%). Among the total 1587 tested isolates, 996 (63%) were included in 1 of 236 clusters. The cluster size ranged from 2 (114 clusters) to 45 (1 cluster) patients, the mean cluster size being 4.2. These results indicate that 47.83% of tuberculosis cases during the period analyzed were the result of recent transmission. The most prevalent global lineage in Croatia is Euro-American (sub-lineages Haarlem, S, Cameroon, and Latin American-Mediterranean). The high clustering rate and high medium clustering size of 4.2 tuberculosis cases could indicate a possible failure in interrupting the transmission of infection and points to the need for improvements in national and local tuberculosis control activities. This is the first study describing the molecular epidemiology of tuberculosis in Croatia.

  9. Insights into the Thiamine Diphosphate Enzyme Activation Mechanism: Computational Model for Transketolase Using a Quantum Mechanical/Molecular Mechanical Method.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nauton, Lionel; Hélaine, Virgil; Théry, Vincent; Hecquet, Laurence

    2016-04-12

    We propose the first computational model for transketolase (TK), a thiamine diphosphate (ThDP)-dependent enzyme, using a quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical method on the basis of crystallographic TK structures from yeast and Escherichia coli, together with experimental kinetic data reported in the literature with wild-type and mutant TK. This model allowed us to define a new route for ThDP activation in the enzyme environment. We evidenced a strong interaction between ThDP and Glu418B of the TK active site, itself stabilized by Glu162A. The crucial point highlighted here is that deprotonation of ThDP C2 is not performed by ThDP N4' as reported in the literature, but by His481B, involving a HOH688A molecule bridge. Thus, ThDP N4' is converted from an amino form to an iminium form, ensuring the stabilization of the C2 carbanion or carbene. Finally, ThDP activation proceeds via an intermolecular process and not by an intramolecular one as reported in the literature. More generally, this proposed ThDP activation mechanism can be applied to some other ThDP-dependent enzymes and used to define the entire TK mechanism with donor and acceptor substrates more accurately.

  10. Structure and dynamics of the uranyl tricarbonate complex in aqueous solution: insights from quantum mechanical charge field molecular dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tirler, Andreas O; Hofer, Thomas S

    2014-11-13

    This investigation presents the characterization of structural and dynamical properties of uranyl tricarbonate in aqueous solution employing an extended hybrid quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical (QM/MM) approach. It is shown that the inclusion of explicit solvent molecules in the quantum chemical treatment is essential to mimic the complex interaction occurring in an aqueous environment. Thus, in contrast to gas phase cluster calculations on a quantum chemical level proposing a 6-fold coordination of the three carbonates, the QMCF MD simulation proposes a 5-fold coordination. An extensive comparison of the simulation results to structural and dynamical data available in the literature was found to be in excellent agreement. Furthermore, this work is the first theoretical study on a quantum chemical level of theory able to observe the conversion of carbonate (CO₃²⁻) to bicarbonate (HCO₃⁻) in the equatorial coordination sphere of the uranyl ion. From a comparison of the free energy ΔG values for the unprotonated educt [UO₂(CO₃)₃]⁴⁻ and the protonated [UO₂(CO₃)₂(HCO₃)]³⁻, it could be concluded that the reaction equilibrium is strongly shifted toward the product state confirming the benignity for the observed protonation reaction. Structural properties and the three-dimensional arrangement of carbonate ligands were analyzed via pair-, three-body, and angular distributions, the dynamical properties were evaluated by hydrogen-bond correlation functions and vibrational power spectra.

  11. Insights into the Reaction Mechanism of Aromatic Ring Cleavage by Homogentisate Dioxygenase: A Quantum Mechanical/Molecular Mechanical Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qi, Yue; Lu, Jiarui; Lai, Wenzhen

    2016-05-26

    To elucidate the reaction mechanism of the ring cleavage of homogentisate by homogentisate dioxygenase, quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical (QM/MM) calculations were carried out by using two systems in different protonation states of the substrate C2 hydroxyl group. When the substrate C2 hydroxyl group is ionized (the ionized pathway), the superoxo attack on the substrate is the rate-limiting step in the catalytic cycle, with a barrier of 15.9 kcal/mol. Glu396 was found to play an important role in stabilizing the bridge species and its O-O cleavage product by donating a proton via a hydrogen-bonded water molecule. When the substrate C2 hydroxyl group is not ionized (the nonionized pathway), the O-O bond cleavage of the bridge species is the rate-limiting step, with a barrier of 15.3 kcal/mol. The QM/MM-optimized geometries for the dioxygen and alkylperoxo complexes using the nonionized model (for the C2 hydroxyl group) are in agreement with the experimental crystal structures, suggesting that the C2 hydroxyl group is more likely to be nonionized.

  12. Matrix and substrate effects on the sputtering of a 2 kDa molecule: Insights from molecular dynamics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Delcorte, A.; Arezki, B.; Garrison, B.J.

    2003-01-01

    In an effort towards a more accurate theoretical description of matrix and substrate effects in organic sputtering, we report on molecular dynamics simulations of the desorption induced by 500 eV Ar projectiles bombarding samples composed of polystyrene (PS) oligomers embedded in a trimethylbenzene matrix or cast on a silver substrate. The ejection of intact PS molecules, sometimes accompanied by matrix molecules/silver atoms, is observed in the first 10 ps following the impact. For the 'matrix' sample, the results indicate that the emission of large amounts of organic material is mostly vibrationally induced. Extended calculations show that matrix:analyte clusters decay after emission, liberating the analyte in flight. In the case of the 'substrate' sample, the emission is oftentimes the result of the concerted upward motion of several metal atoms underneath the molecule. Finally, the comparison between a matrix:analyte sample confined in a nanostructured silver crystal and a purely organic sample under identical bombardment conditions shows that the presence of the silver medium significantly enhances the desorption yields

  13. Molecular Origin of Gerstmann-Str ussler-Scheinker Syndrome: Insight from Computer Simulation of an Amyloidogenic Prion Peptide

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Diadone, Isabella [University of L' Aquila, L' Aquila, Italy; DiNola, Alfredo [University of Rome; Smith, Jeremy C [ORNL

    2011-01-01

    Prion proteins become pathogenic through misfolding. Here, we characterize the folding of a peptide consisting of residues 109 122 of the Syrian hamster prion protein (the H1 peptide) and of a more amyloidogenic A117V point mutant that leads in humans to an inheritable form of the Gerstmann-Straeussler-Scheinker syndrome. Atomistic molecular dynamics simulations are performed for 2.5 s. Both peptides lose their -helical starting conformations and assume a -hairpin that is structurally similar in both systems. In each simulation several unfolding/refolding events occur, leading to convergence of the thermodynamics of the conformational states to within 1 kJ/mol. The similar stability of the -hairpin relative to the unfolded state is observed in the two peptides. However, substantial differences are found between the two unfolded states. A local minimum is found within the free energy unfolded basin of the A117V mutant populated by misfolded collapsed conformations of comparable stability to the -hairpin state, consistent with increased amyloidogenicity. This population, in which V117 stabilizes a hydrophobic core, is absent in the wild-type peptide. These results are supported by simulations of oligomers showing a slightly higher stability of the associated structures and a lower barrier to association for the mutated peptide. Hence, a single point mutation carrying only two additional methyl groups is here shown to be responsible for rather dramatic differences of structuring within the unfolded (misfolded) state.

  14. Insight the C-site pocket conformational changes responsible for sirtuin 2 activity using molecular dynamics simulations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sugunadevi Sakkiah

    Full Text Available Sirtuin belongs to a family of typical histone deacetylase which regulates the fundamental cellular biological processes including gene expression, genome stability, mitosis, nutrient metabolism, aging, mitochondrial function, and cell motility. Michael et. al. reported that B-site mutation (Q167A and H187A decreased the SIRT2 activity but still the structural changes were not reported. Hence, we performed 5 ns molecular dynamics (MD simulation on SIRT2 Apo-form and complexes with substrate/NAD(+ and inhibitor of wild type (WT, Q167A, and H187A. The results revealed that the assembly and disassembly of C-site induced by presence of substrate/NAD(+ and inhibitor, respectively. This assembly and disassembly was mainly due to the interaction between the substrate/NAD(+ and inhibitor and F96 and the distance between F96 and H187 which are present at the neck of the C-site. MD simulations suggest that the conformational change of L3 plays a major role in assembly and disassembly of C-site. Our current results strongly suggest that the distinct conformational change of L3 as well as the assembly and disassembly of C-site plays an important role in SIRT2 deacetylation function. Our study unveiled the structural changes of SIRT2 in presence of NAD(+ and inhibitor which should be helpful to improve the inhibitory potency of SIRT2.

  15. Structural and dynamical properties of the porins OmpF and OmpC: insights from molecular simulations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kumar, Amit; Hajjar, Eric; Ruggerone, Paolo; Ceccarelli, Matteo

    2010-01-01

    In this paper we investigate the structural and dynamical properties of the two major porins (OmpF and OmpC) in Escherichia coli, using molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. In particular we characterized the atomic fluctuations, correlated motions, temperature dependence, solvent-accessible cross-sectional area and water dynamics in the key regions of the two channels. Our in-depth analysis allows us to highlight the importance of both the key conserved and substituted residues between OmpF and OmpC. The latter is characterized by a narrower and longer constriction region with respect to OmpF. OmpC also showed a higher stability upon increasing temperature. We then present the results of transport properties by using accelerated MD simulations to probe the diffusion of norfloxacin (a fluoroquinolone antibiotic) through the two porins OmpF/OmpC. Our study constitutes a step forward towards understanding the structure-function relationship of the two porins' channels. This will benefit the research of antibacterials with improved permeation properties and nanopores that aim to use these porins as sensing systems.

  16. Insights on the molecular mechanism for the recalcitrance of biochars: interactive effects of carbon and silicon components.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Jianhua; Chen, Baoliang

    2014-08-19

    Few studies have investigated the effects of structural heterogeneity (particularly the interactions of silicon and carbon) on the mechanisms for the recalcitrance of biochar. In this study, the molecular mechanisms for the recalcitrance of biochars derived from rice straw at 300, 500, and 700 °C (named RS300, RS500, and RS700, respectively) were elucidated. Short-term (24 h) and long-term (240 h) oxidation kinetics experiments were conducted under different concentrations of H2O2 to distinguish the stable carbon pools in the biochars. We discovered that the stabilities of the biochars were influenced not only by their aromaticity but also through possible protection by silicon encapsulation, which is regulated by pyrolysis temperatures. The aromatic components and recalcitrance of the biochars increased with increasing pyrolysis temperatures. The morphologies of the carbon forms in all of the biochars were also greatly associated with those of silica. Silica-encapsulation protection only occurred for RS500, not for RS300 and RS700. In RS300, carbon and silica were both amorphous, and they were easily decomposed by H2O2. The separation of crystalline silica from condensed aromatic carbon in RS700 eliminated the protective role of silicon on carbon. The effect of the biochar particle size on the stability of the biochar was greatly influenced by C-Si interactions and by the oxidation intensities. A novel silicon-and-carbon-coupled framework model was proposed to guide biochar carbon sequestration.

  17. Insights into unbound-bound states of GPR142 receptor in a membrane-aqueous system using molecular dynamics simulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaushik, Aman Chandra; Sahi, Shakti

    2018-05-01

    G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) are source machinery in signal transduction pathways and being one of the major therapeutic targets play a significant in drug discovery. GPR142, an orphan GPCR, has been implicated in the regulation of insulin, thereby having a crucial role in Type II diabetes management. Deciphering of the structures of orphan, GPCRs (O-GPCRs) offer better prospects for advancements in research in ion translocation and transduction of extracellular signals. As the crystallographic structure of GPR142 is not available in PDB, therefore, threading and ab initio-based approaches were used for 3D modeling of GPR142. Molecular dynamic simulations (900 ns) were performed on the 3D model of GPR142 and complexes of GPR142 with top five hits, obtained through virtual screening, embedded in lipid bilayer with aqueous system using OPLS force field. Compound 1, 3, and 4 may act as scaffolds for designing potential lead agonists for GPR142. The finding of GPR142 MD simulation study provides more comprehensive representation of the functional properties. The concern for Type II diabetes is increasing worldwide and successful treatment of this disease demands novel drugs with better efficacy.

  18. Peptide insertion, positioning, and stabilization in a membrane: insight from an all-atom molecular dynamics simulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Babakhani, Arneh; Gorfe, Alemayehu A; Gullingsrud, Justin; Kim, Judy E; Andrew McCammon, J

    Peptide insertion, positioning, and stabilization in a model membrane are probed via an all-atom molecular dynamics (MD) simulation. One peptide (WL5) is simulated in each leaflet of a solvated dimyristoylglycero-3-phosphate (DMPC) membrane. Within the first 5 ns, the peptides spontaneously insert into the membrane and then stabilize during the remaining 70 ns of simulation time. In both leaflets, the peptides localize to the membrane interface, and this localization is attributed to the formation of peptide-lipid hydrogen bonds. We show that the single tryptophan residue in each peptide contributes significantly to these hydrogen bonds; specifically, the nitrogen heteroatom of the indole ring plays a critical role. The tilt angles of the indole rings relative to the membrane normal in the upper and lower leaflets are approximately 26 degrees and 54 degrees , respectively. The tilt angles of the entire peptide chain are 62 degrees and 74 degrees . The membrane induces conformations of the peptide that are characteristic of beta-sheets, and the peptide enhances the lipid ordering in the membrane. Finally, the diffusion rate of the peptides in the membrane plane is calculated (based on experimental peptide concentrations) to be approximately 6 A(2)/ns, thus suggesting a 500 ns time scale for intermolecular interactions.

  19. Anosognosia for memory deficits in mild cognitive impairment: Insight into the neural mechanism using functional and molecular imaging

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    Patrizia Vannini

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Anosognosia, or loss of insight of memory deficits, is a common and striking symptom in Alzheimer's disease (AD. Previous findings in AD dementia patients suggest that anosognosia is due to both functional metabolic changes within cortical midline structures involved in self-referential processes, as well as functional disconnection between these regions. The present study aims to extend these findings by investigating the neural correlates of anosognosia in the prodromal stage of AD. Here, we used regional brain metabolism (resting state 18-F fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET to unravel the metabolic correlates of anosognosia in subjects with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI and subsequently resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI to investigate the intrinsic connectivity disruption between brain regions. Thirty-one subjects (mean age: 74.1; Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR global score: 0.5 with aMCI, and 251 cognitively normal (CN older adults (mean age: 73.3; CDR: 0 were included as a reference group for behavioral and FDG data. An anosognosia index was obtained by calculating a discrepancy score between subjective and objective memory scores. All subjects underwent FDG-PET for glucose metabolism measurement, and aMCI subjects underwent additional rs-fMRI for intrinsic connectivity measurement. Voxel-wise correlations between anosognosia and neuroimaging data were conducted in the aMCI subjects. Subjects with aMCI had significantly decreased memory awareness as compared to the CN older adults. Greater anosognosia in aMCI subjects was associated with reduced glucose metabolism in the posterior cingulate (PCC cortices and hippocampus. Intrinsic connectivity analyses revealed a significant association between anosognosia and attenuated functional connectivity between the PCC seed region and orbitofrontal cortex (OFC as well as bilateral inferior parietal lobes (IPL. These findings provide further

  20. Molecular docking simulations provide insights in the substrate binding sites and possible substrates of the ABCC6 transporter.

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    Mohammad Jakir Hosen

    Full Text Available The human ATP-binding cassette family C member 6 (ABCC6 gene encodes an ABC transporter protein (ABCC6, primarily expressed in liver and kidney. Mutations in the ABCC6 gene cause pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE, an autosomal recessive connective tissue disease characterized by ectopic mineralization of the elastic fibers. The pathophysiology underlying PXE is incompletely understood, which can at least partly be explained by the undetermined nature of the ABCC6 substrates as well as the unknown substrate recognition and binding sites. Several compounds, including anionic glutathione conjugates (N-ethylmaleimide; NEM-GS and leukotriene C4 (LTC4 were shown to be modestly transported in vitro; conversely, vitamin K3 (VK3 was demonstrated not to be transported by ABCC6. To predict the possible substrate binding pockets of the ABCC6 transporter, we generated a 3D homology model of ABCC6 in both open and closed conformation, qualified for molecular docking and virtual screening approaches. By docking 10 reported in vitro substrates in our ABCC6 3D homology models, we were able to predict the substrate binding residues of ABCC6. Further, virtual screening of 4651 metabolites from the Human Serum Metabolome Database against our open conformation model disclosed possible substrates for ABCC6, which are mostly lipid and biliary secretion compounds, some of which are found to be involved in mineralization. Docking of these possible substrates in the closed conformation model also showed high affinity. Virtual screening expands this possibility to explore more compounds that can interact with ABCC6, and may aid in understanding the mechanisms leading to PXE.

  1. Molecular Insights into the Potential Insecticidal Interaction of β-Dihydroagarofuran Derivatives with the H Subunit of V-ATPase

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    Jielu Wei

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Celangulin V (CV, one of dihydroagarofuran sesquiterpene polyesters isolated from Chinese bittersweet (Celastrus angulatus Maxim, is famous natural botanical insecticide. Decades of research suggests that is displays excellent insecticidal activity against some insects, such as Mythimna separata Walker. Recently, it has been validated that the H subunit of V-ATPase is one of the target proteins of the insecticidal dihydroagarofuran sesquiterpene polyesters. As a continuation of the development of new pesticides from these natural products, a series of β-dihydroagarofuran derivatives have been designed and synthesized. The compound JW-3, an insecticidal derivative of CV with a p-fluorobenzyl group, exhibits higher insecticidal activity than CV. In this study, the potential inhibitory effect aused by the interaction of JW-3 with the H subunit of V-ATPase c was verified by confirmatory experiments at the molecular level. Both spectroscopic techniques and isothermal titration calorimetry measurements showed the binding of JW-3 to the subunit H of V-ATPase was specific and spontaneous. In addition, the possible mechanism of action of the compound was discussed. Docking results indicated compound JW-3 could bind well in ‘the interdomain cleft’ of the V-ATPase subunit H by the hydrogen bonding and make conformation of the ligand–protein complex become more stable. All results are the further validations of the hypothesis, that the target protein of insecticidal dihydroagarofuran sesquiterpene polyesters and their β-dihydroagarofuran derivatives is the subunit H of V-ATPase. The results also provide new ideas for developing pesticides acting on V-ATPase of insects.

  2. Molecular dynamics simulations of apocupredoxins: insights into the formation and stabilization of copper sites under entatic control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abriata, Luciano A; Vila, Alejandro J; Dal Peraro, Matteo

    2014-06-01

    Cupredoxins perform copper-mediated long-range electron transfer (ET) in biological systems. Their copper-binding sites have evolved to force copper ions into ET-competent systems with decreased reorganization energy, increased reduction potential, and a distinct electronic structure compared with those of non-ET-competent copper complexes. The entatic or rack-induced state hypothesis explains these special properties in terms of the strain that the protein matrix exerts on the metal ions. This idea is supported by X-ray structures of apocupredoxins displaying "closed" arrangements of the copper ligands like those observed in the holoproteins; however, it implies completely buried copper-binding atoms, conflicting with the notion that they must be exposed for copper loading. On the other hand, a recent work based on NMR showed that the copper-binding regions of apocupredoxins are flexible in solution. We have explored five cupredoxins in their "closed" apo forms through molecular dynamics simulations. We observed that prearranged ligand conformations are not stable as the X-ray data suggest, although they do form part of the dynamic landscape of the apoproteins. This translates into variable flexibility of the copper-binding regions within a rigid fold, accompanied by fluctuations of the hydrogen bonds around the copper ligands. Major conformations with solvent-exposed copper-binding atoms could allow initial binding of the copper ions. An eventual subsequent incursion to the closed state would result in binding of the remaining ligands, trapping the closed conformation thanks to the additional binding energy and the fastening of noncovalent interactions that make up the rack.

  3. Venom-related transcripts from Bothrops jararaca tissues provide novel molecular insights into the production and evolution of snake venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Junqueira-de-Azevedo, Inácio L M; Bastos, Carolina Mancini Val; Ho, Paulo Lee; Luna, Milene Schmidt; Yamanouye, Norma; Casewell, Nicholas R

    2015-03-01

    Attempts to reconstruct the evolutionary history of snake toxins in the context of their co-option to the venom gland rarely account for nonvenom snake genes that are paralogous to toxins, and which therefore represent important connectors to ancestral genes. In order to reevaluate this process, we conducted a comparative transcriptomic survey on body tissues from a venomous snake. A nonredundant set of 33,000 unigenes (assembled transcripts of reference genes) was independently assembled from six organs of the medically important viperid snake Bothrops jararaca, providing a reference list of 82 full-length toxins from the venom gland and specific products from other tissues, such as pancreatic digestive enzymes. Unigenes were then screened for nontoxin transcripts paralogous to toxins revealing 1) low level coexpression of approximately 20% of toxin genes (e.g., bradykinin-potentiating peptide, C-type lectin, snake venom metalloproteinase, snake venom nerve growth factor) in body tissues, 2) the identity of the closest paralogs to toxin genes in eight classes of toxins, 3) the location and level of paralog expression, indicating that, in general, co-expression occurs in a higher number of tissues and at lower levels than observed for toxin genes, and 4) strong evidence of a toxin gene reverting back to selective expression in a body tissue. In addition, our differential gene expression analyses identify specific cellular processes that make the venom gland a highly specialized secretory tissue. Our results demonstrate that the evolution and production of venom in snakes is a complex process that can only be understood in the context of comparative data from other snake tissues, including the identification of genes paralogous to venom toxins. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  4. Molecular simulation insights on the in vacuo adsorption of amino acids on graphene oxide surfaces with varying surface oxygen densities

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rahmani, Farzin; Nouranian, Sasan, E-mail: sasan@olemiss.edu; Mahdavi, Mina [University of Mississippi, Department of Chemical Engineering (United States); Al-Ostaz, Ahmed [University of Mississippi, Department of Civil Engineering (United States)

    2016-11-15

    In this fundamental study, a series of molecular dynamics simulations were performed in vacuo to investigate the energetics and select geometries of 20 standard amino acids (AAs) on pristine graphene (PG) and graphene oxide (GO) surfaces as a function of graphene surface oxygen density. These interactions are of key interest to graphene/biomolecular systems. Our results indicate that aromatic AAs exhibit the strongest total interactions with the PG surfaces due to π-π stacking. Tryptophan (Trp) has the highest aromaticity due to its indole side chain and, hence, has the strongest interaction among all AAs (−16.66 kcal/mol). Aliphatic, polar, and charged AAs show various levels of affinity to the PG sheets depending on the strength of their side chain hydrophobic interactions. For example, arginine (Arg) with its guanidinium side chain exhibits the strongest interaction with the PG sheets (−13.81 kcal/mol) following aromatic AAs. Also, glycine (Gly; a polar AA) has the weakest interaction with the PG sheets (−7.29 kcal/mol). When oxygen-containing functional groups are added to the graphene sheets, the π-π stacking in aromatic AAs becomes disrupted and perfect parallelism of the aromatic rings is lost. Moreover, hydrogen bonding and/or electrostatic interactions become more pronounced. Charged AAs exhibit the strongest interactions with the GO surfaces. In general, the AA-GO interactions increase with increasing surface oxygen density, and the effect is more pronounced at higher O/C ratios. This study provides a quantitative measure of AA-graphene interactions for the design and tuning of biomolecular systems suitable for biosensing, drug delivery, and gene delivery applications.

  5. Characterization of small HSPs from Anemonia viridis reveals insights into molecular evolution of alpha crystallin genes among cnidarians.

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    Aldo Nicosia

    Full Text Available Gene family encoding small Heat-Shock Proteins (sHSPs containing α-crystallin domain are found both in prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms; however, there is limited knowledge of their evolution. In this study, two small HSP genes termed AvHSP28.6 and AvHSP27, both organized in one intron and two exons, were characterised in the Mediterranean snakelocks anemone Anemonia viridis. The release of the genome sequence of Hydra magnipapillata and Nematostella vectensis enabled a comprehensive study of the molecular evolution of α-crystallin gene family among cnidarians. Most of the H. magnipapillata sHSP genes share the same gene organization described for AvHSP28.6 and AvHSP27, differing from the sHSP genes of N. vectensis which mainly show an intronless architecture. The different genomic organization of sHSPs, the phylogenetic analyses based on protein sequences, and the relationships among Cnidarians, suggest that the A.viridis sHSPs represent the common ancestor from which H. magnipapillata genes directly evolved through segmental genome duplication. Additionally retroposition events may be considered responsible for the divergence of sHSP genes of N. vectensis from A. viridis. Analyses of transcriptional expression profile showed that AvHSP28.6 was constitutively expressed among different tissues from both ectodermal and endodermal layers of the adult sea anemones, under normal physiological conditions and also under different stress condition. Specifically, we profiled the transcriptional activation of AvHSP28.6 after challenges with different abiotic/biotic stresses showing induction by extreme temperatures, heavy metals exposure and immune stimulation. Conversely, no AvHSP27 transcript was detected in such dissected tissues, in adult whole body cDNA library or under stress conditions. Hence, the involvement of AvHSP28.6 gene in the sea anemone defensome is strongly suggested.

  6. Fundamental Insights into Proton-Coupled Electron Transfer in Soybean Lipoxygenase from Quantum Mechanical/Molecular Mechanical Free Energy Simulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Pengfei; Soudackov, Alexander V; Hammes-Schiffer, Sharon

    2018-02-28

    The proton-coupled electron transfer (PCET) reaction catalyzed by soybean lipoxygenase has served as a prototype for understanding hydrogen tunneling in enzymes. Herein this PCET reaction is studied with mixed quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical (QM/MM) free energy simulations. The free energy surfaces are computed as functions of the proton donor-acceptor (C-O) distance and the proton coordinate, and the potential of mean force is computed as a function of the C-O distance, inherently including anharmonicity. The simulation results are used to calculate the kinetic isotope effects for the wild-type enzyme (WT) and the L546A/L754A double mutant (DM), which have been measured experimentally to be ∼80 and ∼700, respectively. The PCET reaction is found to be exoergic for WT and slightly endoergic for the DM, and the equilibrium C-O distance for the reactant is found to be ∼0.2 Å greater for the DM than for WT. The larger equilibrium distance for the DM, which is due mainly to less optimal substrate binding in the expanded binding cavity, is primarily responsible for its higher kinetic isotope effect. The calculated potentials of mean force are anharmonic and relatively soft at shorter C-O distances, allowing efficient thermal sampling of the shorter distances required for effective hydrogen tunneling. The primarily local electrostatic field at the transferring hydrogen is ∼100 MV/cm in the direction to facilitate proton transfer and increases dramatically as the C-O distance decreases. These simulations suggest that the overall protein environment is important for conformational sampling of active substrate configurations aligned for proton transfer, but the PCET reaction is influenced primarily by local electrostatic effects that facilitate conformational sampling of shorter proton donor-acceptor distances required for effective hydrogen tunneling.

  7. Characterization of small HSPs from Anemonia viridis reveals insights into molecular evolution of alpha crystallin genes among cnidarians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicosia, Aldo; Maggio, Teresa; Mazzola, Salvatore; Gianguzza, Fabrizio; Cuttitta, Angela; Costa, Salvatore

    2014-01-01

    Gene family encoding small Heat-Shock Proteins (sHSPs containing α-crystallin domain) are found both in prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms; however, there is limited knowledge of their evolution. In this study, two small HSP genes termed AvHSP28.6 and AvHSP27, both organized in one intron and two exons, were characterised in the Mediterranean snakelocks anemone Anemonia viridis. The release of the genome sequence of Hydra magnipapillata and Nematostella vectensis enabled a comprehensive study of the molecular evolution of α-crystallin gene family among cnidarians. Most of the H. magnipapillata sHSP genes share the same gene organization described for AvHSP28.6 and AvHSP27, differing from the sHSP genes of N. vectensis which mainly show an intronless architecture. The different genomic organization of sHSPs, the phylogenetic analyses based on protein sequences, and the relationships among Cnidarians, suggest that the A.viridis sHSPs represent the common ancestor from which H. magnipapillata genes directly evolved through segmental genome duplication. Additionally retroposition events may be considered responsible for the divergence of sHSP genes of N. vectensis from A. viridis. Analyses of transcriptional expression profile showed that AvHSP28.6 was constitutively expressed among different tissues from both ectodermal and endodermal layers of the adult sea anemones, under normal physiological conditions and also under different stress condition. Specifically, we profiled the transcriptional activation of AvHSP28.6 after challenges with different abiotic/biotic stresses showing induction by extreme temperatures, heavy metals exposure and immune stimulation. Conversely, no AvHSP27 transcript was detected in such dissected tissues, in adult whole body cDNA library or under stress conditions. Hence, the involvement of AvHSP28.6 gene in the sea anemone defensome is strongly suggested.

  8. Insight on Mutation-Induced Resistance from Molecular Dynamics Simulations of the Native and Mutated CSF-1R and KIT.

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    Priscila Da Silva Figueiredo Celestino Gomes

    Full Text Available The receptors tyrosine kinases (RTKs for the colony stimulating factor-1, CSF-1R, and for the stem cell factor, SCFR or KIT, are important mediators of signal transduction. The abnormal function of these receptors, promoted by gain-of-function mutations, leads to their constitutive activation, associated with cancer or other proliferative diseases. A secondary effect of the mutations is the alteration of receptors' sensitivity to tyrosine kinase inhibitors, compromising effectiveness of these molecules in clinical treatment. In particular, the mutation V560G in KIT increases its sensitivity to Imatinib, while the D816V in KIT, and D802V in CSF-1R, triggers resistance to the drug. We analyzed the Imatinib binding affinity to the native and mutated KIT (mutations V560G, S628N and D816V and CSF-1R (mutation D802V by using molecular dynamics simulations and energy calculations of Imatinib•target complexes. Further, we evaluated the sensitivity of the studied KIT receptors to Imatinib by measuring the inhibition of KIT phosphorylation. Our study showed that (i the binding free energy of Imatinib to the targets is highly correlated with their experimentally measured sensitivity; (ii the electrostatic interactions are a decisive factor affecting the binding energy; (iii the most deleterious impact to the Imatinib sensitivity is promoted by D802V (CSF-1R and D816V (KIT mutations; (iv the role of the juxtamembrane region, JMR, in the imatinib binding is accessory. These findings contribute to a better description of the mutation-induced effects alternating the targets sensitivity to Imatinib.

  9. Employing conformational analysis in the molecular modeling of agrochemicals: insights on QSAR parameters of 2,4-D

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    Matheus Puggina de Freitas

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available A common practice to compute ligand conformations of compounds with various degrees of freedom to be used in molecular modeling (QSAR and docking studies is to perform a conformational distribution based on repeated random sampling, such as Monte-Carlo methods. Further calculations are often required. This short review describes some methods used for conformational analysis and the implications of using selected conformations in QSAR. A case study is developed for 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D, a widely used herbicide which binds to TIR1 ubiquitin ligase enzyme. The use of such an approach and semi-empirical calculations did not achieve all possible minima for 2,4-D. In addition, the conformations and respective energies obtained by the semi-empirical AM1 method do not match the calculated trends obtained by a high level DFT method. Similar findings were obtained for the carboxylate anion, which is the bioactive form. Finally, the crystal bioactive structure of 2,4-D was not found as a minimum when using Monte-Carlo/AM1 and is similarly populated with another conformer in implicit water solution according to optimization at the B3LYP/aug-cc-pVDZ level. Therefore, quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR methods based on three dimensional chemical structures are not fundamental to provide predictive models for 2,4-D congeners as TIR1 ubiquitin ligase ligands, since they do not necessarily reflect the bioactive conformation of this molecule. This probably extends to other systems.

  10. Exceptional response to cetuximab monotherapy in a patient with metastatic oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma: a molecular insight

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    Peddi P

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Prakash Peddi,1 Bhavna Paryani,2 Amol Takalkar,2 Paige Bundrick,3 John Ponugupati,4 Binu Nair,5 Hazem El-Osta1 1Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology-Oncology, 2Department of Radiology, 3Department of Head and Neck Surgery, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, Shreveport, LA, 4Oncology Department, Herbert J Thomas Memorial Hospital, South Charleston, WV, 5Baylor Scott & White Medical Center - Waxahachie, Waxahachie, TX, USA Background: Metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC carries a very poor prognosis. A better understanding of the molecular driver of the disease and the identification of biomarkers of response remain paramount for an effective personalized therapy. Case report: We report an original case of a 56-year-old patient diagnosed with metastatic HNSCC to both kidneys, who experienced a long-lasting complete response to a single-agent cetuximab, a monoclonal antibody-targeting EGFR. Comprehensive multiplatform biomarker analysis of the tumor revealed the presence of phosphatidyl-inositol 3 kinase mutation, EGFR overexpression, and the absence of PD-1/PD-L1 expression. Since PI3K, a downstream effector of EGFR, is activated, the tumor regression may have occurred mainly through a cetuximab-induced immune-mediated response, rather than EGFR signal blockade. It is plausible that this effect was enhanced by the lack of PD-1 and PD-L1 expression. Conclusion: Our case proposes that the absence of PD-1 and PD-L1 expression in conjunction with EGFR overexpression may correlate with better response to cetuximab in HNSCC. This hypothesis needs to be examined through a large clinical trial. Keywords: biomarker, cetuximab, EGFR blockade, exceptional response, head and neck squamous cell carcinoma

  11. New insights into the molecular epidemiology of Trichinella infection in domestic pigs, wild boars, and bears in Romania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicorescu, Isabela Madalina Dragoi; Ionita, Mariana; Ciupescu, Laurentiu; Buzatu, Cristian Vasile; Tanasuica, Rodica; Mitrea, Ioan Liviu

    2015-09-15

    Trichinellosis is a food-borne zoonosis caused by the parasitic nematode Trichinella, characterized by an extremely wide host range and geographical distribution. In Romania, it is recognized as one of the most serious zoonotic diseases. A cross-sectional study, covering all regions of Romania, was conducted in 2014 to investigate and update the prevalence of Trichinella infection among domestic pigs, wild boars, and bears. Additional, molecular identification of Trichinella species circulating among these animals was performed in order to establish the biogeography of Trichinella species within the seven geographical regions of Romania. For this, a total of 113,383 pigs raised in non-controlled housing conditions (backyards), 5596 hunted wild boars and 147 hunted bears were subjected to Trichinella analysis. The highest prevalence of Trichinella infections was found in bears (12.93%), followed by wild boars (1.66%) and domestic pigs (0.20%). Of 294 Trichinella isolates that tested positive by multiplex PCR, 219 (74.49%) were identified as Trichinella spiralis, 66 (22.45%) as Trichinella britovi, and 9 isolates (3.06%) as mixed infections of T. spiralis and T. britovi. T. spiralis was more prevalent in domestic pigs (165/228; 72.37%) than in game (63/228; 27.63%), while T. britovi showed a higher prevalence in game (50/75; 66.66%) than in domestic pigs (25/75; 33.33%). Moreover, the present study revealed a significant host- and area- related distribution of Trichinella species within the seven regions of Romania. Therefore, these findings are of epidemiological relevance, updating data on the prevalence and distribution of Trichinella species circulating among domestic and wild animals in South-Eastern Europe. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Insights into the molecular evolution of the PDZ/LIM family and identification of a novel conserved protein motif.

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    Aartjan J W Te Velthuis

    Full Text Available The PDZ and LIM domain-containing protein family is encoded by a diverse group of genes whose phylogeny has currently not been analyzed. In mammals, ten genes are found that encode both a PDZ- and one or several LIM-domains. These genes are: ALP, RIL, Elfin (CLP36, Mystique, Enigma (LMP-1, Enigma homologue (ENH, ZASP (Cypher, Oracle, LMO7 and the two LIM domain kinases (LIMK1 and LIMK2. As conventional alignment and phylogenetic procedures of full-length sequences fell short of elucidating the evolutionary history of these genes, we started to analyze the PDZ and LIM domain sequences themselves. Using information from most sequenced eukaryotic lineages, our phylogenetic analysis is based on full-length cDNA-, EST-derived- and genomic- PDZ and LIM domain sequences of over 25 species, ranging from yeast to humans. Plant and protozoan homologs were not found. Our phylogenetic analysis identifies a number of domain duplication and rearrangement events, and shows a single convergent event during evolution of the PDZ/LIM family. Further, we describe the separation of the ALP and Enigma subfamilies in lower vertebrates and identify a novel consensus motif, which we call 'ALP-like motif' (AM. This motif is highly-conserved between ALP subfamily proteins of diverse organisms. We used here a combinatorial approach to define the relation of the PDZ and LIM domain encoding genes and to reconstruct their phylogeny. This analysis allowed us to classify the PDZ/LIM family and to suggest a meaningful model for the molecular evolution of the diverse gene architectures found in this multi-domain family.

  13. Understanding the influence of buckwheat bran on wheat dough baking performance: Mechanistic insights from molecular and material science approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zanoletti, Miriam; Marti, Alessandra; Marengo, Mauro; Iametti, Stefania; Pagani, M Ambrogina; Renzetti, Stefano

    2017-12-01

    A molecular and material science approach is used to describe the influence of coarse and fine buckwheat bran on wheat dough properties and bread textural quality. Focus is given on (i) gluten solvation and structural arrangements in presence of bran as studied by front-face fluorescence; (ii) thermo-mechanical behavior of dough during heating studied by dynamic mechanical thermal analysis and (iii) texture of bread crumb analyzed in terms of a cellular solid. The thermo-mechanical behavior of dough was found to be largely related to starch phase transitions during heating. The use of thermodynamic approaches to biopolymer melting revealed that key transitions such as the onset of starch gelatinization were function of the interplay of water and bran volume fractions in the dough. Front-face fluorescence studies in wheat dough revealed that gluten solvation and structural arrangements were delayed by increasing bran addition level and reduction in particle size, as indicated by the drastic decrease in the protein surface hydrophobicity index. Variations in gluten structure could be strongly related to dough baking performance, i.e. specific volume. With regards to texture, the approach revealed that crumb texture was controlled by variations in density, moisture and bran volume fractions. Overall, this study elucidates a number of physical mechanisms describing the influence of buckwheat bran addition to dough and bread quality. These mechanisms strongly pointed at the influence of bran on water partitioning among the main polymeric components. In the future, these mechanisms should be investigated with bran material of varying source, composition and structure. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Spinning Gland Transcriptomics from Two Main Clades of Spiders (Order: Araneae) - Insights on Their Molecular, Anatomical and Behavioral Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prosdocimi, Francisco; Bittencourt, Daniela; da Silva, Felipe Rodrigues; Kirst, Matias; Motta, Paulo C.; Rech, Elibio L.

    2011-01-01

    Characterized by distinctive evolutionary adaptations, spiders provide a comprehensive system for evolutionary and developmental studies of anatomical organs, including silk and venom production. Here we performed cDNA sequencing using massively parallel sequencers (454 GS-FLX Titanium) to generate ∼80,000 reads from the spinning gland of Actinopus spp. (infraorder: Mygalomorphae) and Gasteracantha cancriformis (infraorder: Araneomorphae, Orbiculariae clade). Actinopus spp. retains primitive characteristics on web usage and presents a single undifferentiated spinning gland while the orbiculariae spiders have seven differentiated spinning glands and complex patterns of web usage. MIRA, Celera Assembler and CAP3 software were used to cluster NGS reads for each spider. CAP3 unigenes passed through a pipeline for automatic annotation, classification by biological function, and comparative transcriptomics. Genes related to spider silks were manually curated and analyzed. Although a single spidroin gene family was found in Actinopus spp., a vast repertoire of specialized spider silk proteins was encountered in orbiculariae. Astacin-like metalloproteases (meprin subfamily) were shown to be some of the most sampled unigenes and duplicated gene families in G. cancriformis since its evolutionary split from mygalomorphs. Our results confirm that the evolution of the molecular repertoire of silk proteins was accompanied by the (i) anatomical differentiation of spinning glands and (ii) behavioral complexification in the web usage. Finally, a phylogenetic tree was constructed to cluster most of the known spidroins in gene clades. This is the first large-scale, multi-organism transcriptome for spider spinning glands and a first step into a broad understanding of spider web systems biology and evolution. PMID:21738742

  15. Spinning gland transcriptomics from two main clades of spiders (order: Araneae--insights on their molecular, anatomical and behavioral evolution.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisco Prosdocimi

    Full Text Available Characterized by distinctive evolutionary adaptations, spiders provide a comprehensive system for evolutionary and developmental studies of anatomical organs, including silk and venom production. Here we performed cDNA sequencing using massively parallel sequencers (454 GS-FLX Titanium to generate ∼80,000 reads from the spinning gland of Actinopus spp. (infraorder: Mygalomorphae and Gasteracantha cancriformis (infraorder: Araneomorphae, Orbiculariae clade. Actinopus spp. retains primitive characteristics on web usage and presents a single undifferentiated spinning gland while the orbiculariae spiders have seven differentiated spinning glands and complex patterns of web usage. MIRA, Celera Assembler and CAP3 software were used to cluster NGS reads for each spider. CAP3 unigenes passed through a pipeline for automatic annotation, classification by biological function, and comparative transcriptomics. Genes related to spider silks were manually curated and analyzed. Although a single spidroin gene family was found in Actinopus spp., a vast repertoire of specialized spider silk proteins was encountered in orbiculariae. Astacin-like metalloproteases (meprin subfamily were shown to be some of the most sampled unigenes and duplicated gene families in G. cancriformis since its evolutionary split from mygalomorphs. Our results confirm that the evolution of the molecular repertoire of silk proteins was accompanied by the (i anatomical differentiation of spinning glands and (ii behavioral complexification in the web usage. Finally, a phylogenetic tree was constructed to cluster most of the known spidroins in gene clades. This is the first large-scale, multi-organism transcriptome for spider spinning glands and a first step into a broad understanding of spider web systems biology and evolution.

  16. Insights into the molecular mechanisms of Polygonum multiflorum Thunb-induced liver injury: a computational systems toxicology approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yin-Yin; Li, Jie; Wu, Zeng-Rui; Zhang, Bo; Yang, Hong-Bin; Wang, Qin; Cai, Ying-Chun; Liu, Gui-Xia; Li, Wei-Hua; Tang, Yun

    2017-05-01

    An increasing number of cases of herb-induced liver injury (HILI) have been reported, presenting new clinical challenges. In this study, taking Polygonum multiflorum Thunb (PmT) as an example, we proposed a computational systems toxicology approach to explore the molecular mechanisms of HILI. First, the chemical components of PmT were extracted from 3 main TCM databases as well as the literature related to natural products. Then, the known targets were collected through data integration, and the potential compound-target interactions (CTIs) were predicted using our substructure-drug-target network-based inference (SDTNBI) method. After screening for hepatotoxicity-related genes by assessing the symptoms of HILI, a compound-target interaction network was constructed. A scoring function, namely, Ascore, was developed to estimate the toxicity of chemicals in the liver. We conducted network analysis to determine the possible mechanisms of the biphasic effects using the analysis tools, including BiNGO, pathway enrichment, organ distribution analysis and predictions of interactions with CYP450 enzymes. Among the chemical components of PmT, 54 components with good intestinal absorption were used for analysis, and 2939 CTIs were obtained. After analyzing the mRNA expression data in the BioGPS database, 1599 CTIs and 125 targets related to liver diseases were identified. In the top 15 compounds, seven with Ascore values >3000 (emodin, quercetin, apigenin, resveratrol, gallic acid, kaempferol and luteolin) were obviously associated with hepatotoxicity. The results from the pathway enrichment analysis suggest that multiple interactions between apoptosis and metabolism may underlie PmT-induced liver injury. Many of the pathways have been verified in specific compounds, such as glutathione metabolism, cytochrome P450 metabolism, and the p53 pathway, among others. Hepatitis symptoms, the perturbation of nine bile acids and yellow or tawny urine also had corresponding pathways

  17. Molecular Phylogeny and Dating of Forsythieae (Oleaceae) Provide Insight into the Miocene History of Eurasian Temperate Shrubs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ha, Young-Ho; Kim, Changkyun; Choi, Kyung; Kim, Joo-Hwan

    2018-01-01

    Forsythia species. Molecular dating and biogeographic reconstructions suggest an origin of the Forsythieae species in East China in the Miocene. Distribution patterns in Forsythia indicated that the species were radially differentiated from East China, and the speciation of the European F. europaea was the result of both vicariance and dispersal in the late Miocene to Pliocene.

  18. Perturbation of hydration layer in solvated proteins by external electric and electromagnetic fields: Insights from non-equilibrium molecular dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nandi, Prithwish K.; Futera, Zdenek; English, Niall J.

    2016-11-01

    Given the fundamental role of water in governing the biochemistry of enzymes, and in regulating their wider biological activity (e.g., by local water concentration surrounding biomolecules), the influence of extraneous electric and electromagnetic (e/m) fields thereon is of central relevance to biophysics and, more widely, biology. With the increase in levels of local and atmospheric microwave-frequency radiation present in modern life, as well as other electric-field exposure, the impact upon hydration-water layers surrounding proteins, and biomolecules generally, becomes a particularly pertinent issue. Here, we present a (non-equilibrium) molecular-dynamics-simulation study on a model protein (hen egg-white lysozyme) hydrated in water, in which we determine, inter alia, translational self-diffusivities for both hen egg-white lysozyme and its hydration layer together with relaxation dynamics of the hydrogen-bond network between the protein and its hydration-layer water molecules on a residue-per-residue basis. Crucially, we perform this analysis both above and below the dynamical-transition temperature (at ˜220 K), at 300 and 200 K, respectively, and we compare the effects of external static-electric and e/m fields with linear-response-régime (r.m.s.) intensities of 0.02 V/Å. It was found that the translational self-diffusivity of hen egg-white lysozyme and its hydration-water layer are increased substantially in static fields, primarily due to the induced electrophoretic motion, whilst the water-protein hydrogen-bond-network-rearrangement kinetics can also undergo rather striking accelerations, primarily due to the enhancement of a larger-amplitude local translational and rotational motion by charged and dipolar residues, which serves to promote hydrogen-bond breakage and re-formation kinetics. These external-field effects are particularly evident at 200 K, where they serve to induce the protein- and solvation-layer-response effects redolent of dynamical

  19. Molecular Phylogeny and Dating of Forsythieae (Oleaceae Provide Insight into the Miocene History of Eurasian Temperate Shrubs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Young-Ho Ha

    2018-02-01

    Forsythia species. Molecular dating and biogeographic reconstructions suggest an origin of the Forsythieae species in East China in the Miocene. Distribution patterns in Forsythia indicated that the species were radially differentiated from East China, and the speciation of the European F. europaea was the result of both vicariance and dispersal in the late Miocene to Pliocene.

  20. Insight into the substrate specificity change caused by the Y227H mutation of α-glucosidase III from the European honeybee (Apis mellifera through molecular dynamics simulations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pratchaya Pramoj Na Ayutthaya

    Full Text Available Honey from the European honeybee, Apis mellifera, is produced by α-glucosidases (HBGases and is widely used in food, pharmaceutical, and cosmetic industries. Categorized by their substrate specificities, HBGases have three isoforms: HBGase I, II and III. Previous experimental investigations showed that wild-type HBGase III from Apis mellifera (WT preferred sucrose to maltose as a substrate, while the Y227H mutant (MT preferred maltose to sucrose. This mutant can potentially be used for malt hydrolysis because it can efficiently hydrolyze maltose. In this work, to elucidate important factors contributing to substrate specificity of this enzyme and gain insight into how the Y227H mutation causes substrate specificity change, WT and MT homology models were constructed, and sucrose/maltose was docked into active sites of the WT and MT. AMBER14 was employed to perform three independent molecular dynamics runs for these four complexes. Based on the relative binding free energies calculated by the MM-GBSA method, sucrose is better than maltose for WT binding, while maltose is better than sucrose for MT binding. These rankings support the experimentally observed substrate specificity that WT preferred sucrose to maltose as a substrate, while MT preferred maltose to sucrose, suggesting the importance of binding affinity for substrate specificity. We also found that the Y227H mutation caused changes in the proximities between the atoms necessary for sucrose/maltose hydrolysis that may affect enzyme efficiency in the hydrolysis of sucrose/maltose. Moreover, the per-residue binding free energy decomposition results show that Y227/H227 may be a key residue for preference binding of sucrose/maltose in the WT/MT active site. Our study provides important and novel insight into the binding of sucrose/maltose in the active site of Apis mellifera HBGase III and into how the Y227H mutation leads to the substrate specificity change at the molecular level. This

  1. A comprehensive comparison of four species of Onchidiidae provides insights on the morphological and molecular adaptations of invertebrates from shallow seas to wetlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Dongfeng; Li, Jie; Liu, Xin; Wu, Xin

    2018-01-01

    The Onchidiidae family is ideal for studying the evolution of marine invertebrate species from sea to wetland environments. However, comparative studies of Onchidiidae species are rare. A total of 40 samples were collected from four species (10 specimens per onchidiid), and their histological and molecular differences were systematically evaluated to elucidate the morphological foundations underlying the adaptations of these species. A histological analysis was performed to compare the structures of respiratory organs (gill, lung sac, dorsal skin) among onchidiids, and transcriptome sequencing of four representative onchidiids was performed to investigate the molecular mechanisms associated with their respective habitats. Twenty-six SNP markers of Onchidium reevesii revealed some DNA polymorphisms determining visible traits. Non-muscle myosin heavy chain II (NMHC II) and myosin heavy chain (MyHC), which play essential roles in amphibian developmental processes, were found to be differentially expressed in different onchidiids and tissues. The species with higher terrestrial ability and increased integrated expression of Os-MHC (NMHC II gene) and the MyHC gene, illustrating that the expression levels of these genes were associated with the evolutionary degree. This study provides a comprehensive analysis of the adaptions of a diverse and widespread group of invertebrates, the Onchidiidae. Some onchidiids can breathe well through gills and skin when under seawater, and some can breathe well through lung sacs and skin when in wetlands. A histological comparison of respiratory organs and the relative expression levels of two genes provided insights into the adaptions of onchidiids that allowed their transition from shallow seas to wetlands. This work provides a valuable reference and might encourage further study. PMID:29698429

  2. Insight into the adsorption profiles of the Saprolegnia monoica chitin synthase MIT domain on POPA and POPC membranes by molecular dynamics simulation studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuang, Guanglin; Liang, Lijun; Brown, Christian; Wang, Qi; Bulone, Vincent; Tu, Yaoquan

    2016-02-21

    The critical role of chitin synthases in oomycete hyphal tip growth has been established. A microtubule interacting and trafficking (MIT) domain was discovered in the chitin synthases of the oomycete model organism, Saprolegnia monoica. MIT domains have been identified in diverse proteins and may play a role in intracellular trafficking. The structure of the Saprolegnia monoica chitin synthase 1 (SmChs1) MIT domain has been recently determined by our group. However, although our in vitro assay identified increased strength in interactions between the MIT domain and phosphatidic acid (PA) relative to other phospholipids including phosphatidylcholine (PC), the mechanism used by the MIT domain remains unknown. In this work, the adsorption behavior of the SmChs1 MIT domain on POPA and POPC membranes was systematically investigated by molecular dynamics simulations. Our results indicate that the MIT domain can adsorb onto the tested membranes in varying orientations. Interestingly, due to the specific interactions between MIT residues and lipid molecules, the binding affinity to the POPA membrane is much higher than that to the POPC membrane. A binding hotspot, which is critical for the adsorption of the MIT domain onto the POPA membrane, was also identified. The lower binding affinity to the POPC membrane can be attributed to the self-saturated membrane surface, which is unfavorable for hydrogen-bond and electrostatic interactions. The present study provides insight into the adsorption profile of SmChs1 and additionally has the potential to improve our understanding of other proteins containing MIT domains.

  3. Cellular and molecular insight into the inhibition of primary root growth of Arabidopsis induced by peptaibols, a class of linear peptide antibiotics mainly produced by Trichoderma spp.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Wei-Ling; Chen, Xiu-Lan; Wang, Li-Xia; Gong, Zhi-Ting; Li, Shuyu; Li, Chun-Long; Xie, Bin-Bin; Zhang, Wei; Shi, Mei; Li, Chuanyou; Zhang, Yu-Zhong; Song, Xiao-Yan

    2016-04-01

    Trichoderma spp. are well known biocontrol agents that produce a variety of antibiotics. Peptaibols are a class of linear peptide antibiotics mainly produced by Trichoderma Alamethicin, the most studied peptaibol, is reported as toxic to plants at certain concentrations, while the mechanisms involved are unclear. We illustrated the toxic mechanisms of peptaibols by studying the growth-inhibitory effect of Trichokonin VI (TK VI), a peptaibol from Trichoderma longibrachiatum SMF2, on Arabidopsis primary roots. TK VI inhibited root growth by suppressing cell division and cell elongation, and disrupting root stem cell niche maintenance. TK VI increased auxin content and disrupted auxin response gradients in root tips. Further, we screened the Arabidopsis TK VI-resistant mutant tkr1. tkr1 harbors a point mutation in GORK, which encodes gated outwardly rectifying K(+)channel proteins. This mutation alleviated TK VI-induced suppression of K(+)efflux in roots, thereby stabilizing the auxin gradient. The tkr1 mutant also resisted the phytotoxicity of alamethicin. Our results indicate that GORK channels play a key role in peptaibol-plant interaction and that there is an inter-relationship between GORK channels and maintenance of auxin homeostasis. The cellular and molecular insight into the peptaibol-induced inhibition of plant root growth advances our understanding of Trichoderma-plant interactions. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology.

  4. A high-quality genome assembly of quinoa provides insights into the molecular basis of salt bladder-based salinity tolerance and the exceptional nutritional value

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zou, Changsong; Chen, Aojun; Xiao, Lihong; Muller, Heike M; Ache, Peter; Haberer, Georg; Zhang, Meiling; Jia, Wei; Deng, Ping; Huang, Ru; Lang, Daniel; Li, Feng; Zhan, Dongliang; Wu, Xiangyun; Zhang, Hui; Bohm, Jennifer; Liu, Renyi; Shabala, Sergey; Hedrich, Rainer; Zhu, Jian-Kang; Zhang, Heng

    2017-01-01

    Chenopodium quinoa is a halophytic pseudocereal crop that is being cultivated in an ever-growing number of countries. Because quinoa is highly resistant to multiple abiotic stresses and its seed has a better nutritional value than any other major cereals, it is regarded as a future crop to ensure global food security. We generated a high-quality genome draft using an inbred line of the quinoa cultivar Real. The quinoa genome experienced one recent genome duplication about 4.3 million years ago, likely reflecting the genome fusion of two Chenopodium parents, in addition to the γ paleohexaploidization reported for most eudicots. The genome is highly repetitive (64.5% repeat content) and contains 54 438 protein-coding genes and 192 microRNA genes, with more than 99.3% having orthologous genes from glycophylic species. Stress tolerance in quinoa is associated with the expansion of genes involved in ion and nutrient transport, ABA homeostasis and signaling, and enhanced basal-level ABA responses. Epidermal salt bladder cells exhibit similar characteristics as trichomes, with a significantly higher expression of genes related to energy import and ABA biosynthesis compared with the leaf lamina. The quinoa genome sequence provides insights into its exceptional nutritional value and the evolution of halophytes, enabling the identification of genes involved in salinity tolerance, and providing the basis for molecular breeding in quinoa. PMID:28994416

  5. First insight into dead wood protistan diversity: a molecular sampling of bright-spored Myxomycetes (Amoebozoa, slime-moulds) in decaying beech logs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clissmann, Fionn; Fiore-Donno, Anna Maria; Hoppe, Björn; Krüger, Dirk; Kahl, Tiemo; Unterseher, Martin; Schnittler, Martin

    2015-06-01

    Decaying wood hosts a large diversity of seldom investigated protists. Environmental sequencing offers novel insights into communities, but has rarely been applied to saproxylic protists. We investigated the diversity of bright-spored wood-inhabiting Myxomycetes by environmental sequencing. Myxomycetes have a complex life cycle culminating in the formation of mainly macroscopic fruiting bodies, highly variable in shape and colour that are often found on decaying logs. Our hypothesis was that diversity of bright-spored Myxomycetes would increase with decay. DNA was extracted from wood chips collected from 17 beech logs of varying decay stages from the Hainich-Dün region in Central Germany. We obtained 260 partial small subunit ribosomal RNA gene sequences of bright-spored Myxomycetes that were assembled into 29 OTUs, of which 65% were less than 98% similar to those in the existing database. The OTU richness revealed by molecular analysis surpassed that of a parallel inventory of fruiting bodies. We tested several environmental variables and identified pH, rather than decay stage, as the main structuring factor of myxomycete distribution. © FEMS 2015. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  6. Booklet for sub-national stakeholders heading towards the COP 21. Agricultural and forestry focus. Key concepts on the impacts of climate change, climate policies and economic tools: insight from French territories

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Depoues, Vivian; Leseur, Alexia; Bordier, Cecile; Foucherot, Claudine; Lacan, Lea; Planton, Serge; Blanchard, Michele; Lemonsu, Aude; Martin, Eric; Masson, Valery; Soubeyroux, Jean-Michel; Ouzeau, Gaelle; Dandin, Philippe; Pigeon, Gregoire; Duvernoy, Jerome; Mondon, Sylvain; Bodiguel, Aude; Gouthiere, Laurence; Martin-Phipps, Cecile; Archambault, Sabrina; Joubert, Marion; Madariaga, Nicole; Coste, Marie-Alexandra; Viguie, Vincent; Avner, Paolo; Cassen, Christophe; Guivarch, Celine; Salagnac, Jean-Luc; Carrega, Marie; Menager, Yann

    2015-11-01

    This report, released in the year of the Paris Climate 2015 summit (COP21), reviews concepts vital for understanding and acting to address climate change at a regional level. Based on the experience of French territories it presents 37 fact-sheets aimed at local players, providing concise and informative access to the most up-to-date knowledge. It also offers feedback on the impacts of climate change, climate policies at a global, European and French level, and economic tools supporting climate change mitigation and adaptation

  7. Branched tetraether membrane lipids: A versatile group of molecular fossils as testimony of past climate change (Outstanding Young Scientist Lecture)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weijers, J. W. H.

    2009-04-01

    Studying fossils of any kind provides a small window into past times and could learn us why the world around us is as it is today (and might become in the near future). Like paleontologists studying bone remains and palaeobotanists studying fossil plant remains, many organic geochemists study fossil molecules to learn about geochemical cycles, evolution, ecology and climate. Branched Glycerol Dialkyl Glycerol Tetraether (GDGT) membrane lipids are an example of such molecular fossils and have been the core subject of my research. These molecules were initially detected a decade ago in near coastal marine sediments and structurally resemble isoprenoid GDGTs, a group of membrane lipids synthesised by Archaea, a Domain of life separate from Bacteria and Eukarya. With nuclear magnetic resonance techniques we showed, however, that branched GDGTs are of bacterial rather than archaeal origin and analysis of soils, peat bogs and marine surface sediments pointed to a terrestrial origin. As isoprenoid GDGTs are mainly produced by marine archaea the ratio between the two groups, the Branched vs. Isoprenoid Tetraether (BIT) index, could be used to trace the input of soil organic matter into marine sediments. In this lecture I will provide examples of applications of this BIT index in the Channel River during the last Glacial Maximum and the Congo deep sea fan over the last deglaciation. Meanwhile, it appeared that in soils the distribution of individual branched GDGTs, which differ in their content of methyl branches and cyclopentane rings, was different from place to place. Analysis of over 100 soils at different locations revealed that the distribution of the branched GDGTs is most strongly related to both soil pH and annual mean air temperature. This is explained by the fact that bacteria have to adapt the composition of their cell membrane to ambient conditions in order to keep it properly functioning. This empirical relation opened opportunities to reconstruct past annual

  8. Insights into the Molecular Mechanisms of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Diseases with Molecular Simulations: Understanding the Roles of Artificial and Pathological Missense Mutations in Intrinsically Disordered Proteins Related to Pathology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Orkid Coskuner-Weber

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Amyloid-β and α-synuclein are intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs, which are at the center of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease pathologies, respectively. These IDPs are extremely flexible and do not adopt stable structures. Furthermore, both amyloid-β and α-synuclein can form toxic oligomers, amyloid fibrils and other type of aggregates in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Experimentalists face challenges in investigating the structures and thermodynamic properties of these IDPs in their monomeric and oligomeric forms due to the rapid conformational changes, fast aggregation processes and strong solvent effects. Classical molecular dynamics simulations complement experiments and provide structural information at the atomic level with dynamics without facing the same experimental limitations. Artificial missense mutations are employed experimentally and computationally for providing insights into the structure-function relationships of amyloid-β and α-synuclein in relation to the pathologies of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Furthermore, there are several natural genetic variations that play a role in the pathogenesis of familial cases of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, which are related to specific genetic defects inherited in dominant or recessive patterns. The present review summarizes the current understanding of monomeric and oligomeric forms of amyloid-β and α-synuclein, as well as the impacts of artificial and pathological missense mutations on the structural ensembles of these IDPs using molecular dynamics simulations. We also emphasize the recent investigations on residual secondary structure formation in dynamic conformational ensembles of amyloid-β and α-synuclein, such as β-structure linked to the oligomerization and fibrillation mechanisms related to the pathologies of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. This information represents an important foundation for the successful and

  9. Perceptions of climate-related risk among water sector professionals in Africa-Insights from the 2016 African Water Association Congress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connolly, Katherine; Mbutu, Mwaura; Bartram, Jamie; Fuente, David

    2018-04-23

    The ability of water and wastewater utilities to provide safe and reliable water and sanitation services now and in the future will be determined, in part, by their resilience to climate change. Investment in infrastructure, planning, and operational practices that increase resilience are affected, in turn, by how water sector professionals perceive the risks posed to utilities by climate change and its related impacts. We surveyed water sector professionals at the 2016 African Water Association's Congress in Nairobi, Kenya to assess their perceptions of climate-specific and general risks that may disrupt utility service. We find that water sector professionals are most concerned about climate-specific and general risks that affect utility water supplies (quantity), followed by adequacy of utility infrastructure. We also find that professionals tend to rank climate-specific risks as less concerning than general risks facing utilities. Furthermore, non-utility professionals are more concerned about climate-specific risks and climate change in general than utility professionals. These findings highlight the multiple, competing risks utilities face and the need for adaptation strategies that simultaneously address climate-specific and general concerns of utilities. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  10. Transcriptome analysis of skin fibroblasts with dominant negative COL3A1 mutations provides molecular insights into the etiopathology of vascular Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiarelli, Nicola; Carini, Giulia; Zoppi, Nicoletta; Ritelli, Marco; Colombi, Marina

    2018-01-01

    Vascular Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (vEDS) is a dominantly inherited connective tissue disorder caused by mutations in the COL3A1 gene that encodes type III collagen (COLLIII), which is the major expressed collagen in blood vessels and hollow organs. The majority of disease-causing variants in COL3A1 are glycine substitutions and in-frame splice mutations in the triple helix domain that through a dominant negative effect are associated with the severe clinical spectrum potentially lethal of vEDS, characterized by fragility of soft connective tissues with arterial and organ ruptures. To shed lights into molecular mechanisms underlying vEDS, we performed gene expression profiling in cultured skin fibroblasts from three patients with different structural COL3A1 mutations. Transcriptome analysis revealed significant changes in the expression levels of several genes involved in maintenance of cell redox and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) homeostasis, COLLs folding and extracellular matrix (ECM) organization, formation of the proteasome complex, and cell cycle regulation. Protein analyses showed that aberrant COLLIII expression is associated with the disassembly of many structural ECM constituents, such as fibrillins, EMILINs, and elastin, as well as with the reduction of the proteoglycans perlecan, decorin, and versican, all playing an important role in the vascular system. Furthermore, the altered distribution of the ER marker protein disulfide isomerase PDI and the strong reduction of the COLLs-modifying enzyme FKBP22 are consistent with the disturbance of ER-related homeostasis and COLLs biosynthesis and post-translational modifications, indicated by microarray analysis. Our findings add new insights into the pathophysiology of this severe vascular disorder, since they provide a picture of the gene expression changes in vEDS skin fibroblasts and highlight that dominant negative mutations in COL3A1 also affect post-translational modifications and deposition into the ECM of

  11. Transcriptome analysis of skin fibroblasts with dominant negative COL3A1 mutations provides molecular insights into the etiopathology of vascular Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicola Chiarelli

    Full Text Available Vascular Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (vEDS is a dominantly inherited connective tissue disorder caused by mutations in the COL3A1 gene that encodes type III collagen (COLLIII, which is the major expressed collagen in blood vessels and hollow organs. The majority of disease-causing variants in COL3A1 are glycine substitutions and in-frame splice mutations in the triple helix domain that through a dominant negative effect are associated with the severe clinical spectrum potentially lethal of vEDS, characterized by fragility of soft connective tissues with arterial and organ ruptures. To shed lights into molecular mechanisms underlying vEDS, we performed gene expression profiling in cultured skin fibroblasts from three patients with different structural COL3A1 mutations. Transcriptome analysis revealed significant changes in the expression levels of several genes involved in maintenance of cell redox and endoplasmic reticulum (ER homeostasis, COLLs folding and extracellular matrix (ECM organization, formation of the proteasome complex, and cell cycle regulation. Protein analyses showed that aberrant COLLIII expression is associated with the disassembly of many structural ECM constituents, such as fibrillins, EMILINs, and elastin, as well as with the reduction of the proteoglycans perlecan, decorin, and versican, all playing an important role in the vascular system. Furthermore, the altered distribution of the ER marker protein disulfide isomerase PDI and the strong reduction of the COLLs-modifying enzyme FKBP22 are consistent with the disturbance of ER-related homeostasis and COLLs biosynthesis and post-translational modifications, indicated by microarray analysis. Our findings add new insights into the pathophysiology of this severe vascular disorder, since they provide a picture of the gene expression changes in vEDS skin fibroblasts and highlight that dominant negative mutations in COL3A1 also affect post-translational modifications and deposition

  12. Insight into the intermolecular recognition mechanism between Keap1 and IKKβ combining homology modelling, protein-protein docking, molecular dynamics simulations and virtual alanine mutation.

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    Zheng-Yu Jiang

    Full Text Available Degradation of certain proteins through the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway is a common strategy taken by the key modulators responsible for stress responses. Kelch-like ECH-associated protein-1(Keap1, a substrate adaptor component of the Cullin3 (Cul3-based ubiquitin E3 ligase complex, mediates the ubiquitination of two key modulators, NF-E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2 and IκB kinase β (IKKβ, which are involved in the redox control of gene transcription. However, compared to the Keap1-Nrf2 protein-protein interaction (PPI, the intermolecular recognition mechanism of Keap1 and IKKβ has been poorly investigated. In order to explore the binding pattern between Keap1 and IKKβ, the PPI model of Keap1 and IKKβ was investigated. The structure of human IKKβ was constructed by means of the homology modeling method and using reported crystal structure of Xenopus laevis IKKβ as the template. A protein-protein docking method was applied to develop the Keap1-IKKβ complex model. After the refinement and visual analysis of docked proteins, the chosen pose was further optimized through molecular dynamics simulations. The resulting structure was utilized to conduct the virtual alanine mutation for the exploration of hot-spots significant for the intermolecular interaction. Overall, our results provided structural insights into the PPI model of Keap1-IKKβ and suggest that the substrate specificity of Keap1 depend on the interaction with the key tyrosines, namely Tyr525, Tyr574 and Tyr334. The study presented in the current project may be useful to design molecules that selectively modulate Keap1. The selective recognition mechanism of Keap1 with IKKβ or Nrf2 will be helpful to further know the crosstalk between NF-κB and Nrf2 signaling.

  13. Characterization of a 1-cysteine peroxiredoxin from big-belly seahorse (Hippocampus abdominalis); insights into host antioxidant defense, molecular profiling and its expressional response to septic conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Godahewa, G I; Perera, N C N; Elvitigala, Don Anushka Sandaruwan; Jayasooriya, R G P T; Kim, Gi-Young; Lee, Jehee

    2016-10-01

    1-cysteine peroxiredoxin (Prx6) is an antioxidant enzyme that protects cells by detoxifying multiple peroxide species. This study aimed to describe molecular features, functional assessments and potential immune responses of Prx6 identified from the big-belly seahorse, Hippocampus abdominalis (HaPrx6). The complete ORF (666 bp) of HaPrx6 encodes a polypeptide (24 kDa) of 222 amino acids, and harbors a prominent peroxiredoxin super-family domain, a peroxidatic catalytic center, and a peroxidatic cysteine. The deduced amino acid sequence of HaPrx6 shares a relatively high amino acid sequence similarity and close evolutionary relationship with Oplegnathus fasciatus Prx6. The purified recombinant HaPrx6 protein (rHaPrx6) was shown to protect plasmid DNA in the Metal Catalyzed Oxidation (MCO) assay and, together with 1,4-Dithiothreitol (DTT), protected human leukemia THP-1 cells from extracellular H2O2-mediated cell death. In addition, quantitative real-time PCR revealed that HaPrx6 mRNA was constitutively expressed in 14 different tissues, with the highest expression observed in liver tissue. Inductive transcriptional responses were observed in liver and kidney tissues of fish after treating them with bacterial stimuli, including LPS, Edwardsiella tarda, and Streptococcus iniae. These results suggest that HaPrx6 may play an important role in the immune response of the big-belly seahorse against microbial infection. Collectively, these findings provide structural and functional insights into HaPrx6. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. NOD1CARD Might Be Using Multiple Interfaces for RIP2-Mediated CARD-CARD Interaction: Insights from Molecular Dynamics Simulation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jitendra Maharana

    Full Text Available The nucleotide-binding and oligomerization domain (NOD-containing protein 1 (NOD1 plays the pivotal role in host-pathogen interface of innate immunity and triggers immune signalling pathways for the maturation and release of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Upon the recognition of iE-DAP, NOD1 self-oligomerizes in an ATP-dependent fashion and interacts with adaptor molecule receptor-interacting protein 2 (RIP2 for the propagation of innate immune signalling and initiation of pro-inflammatory immune responses. This interaction (mediated by NOD1 and RIP2 helps in transmitting the downstream signals for the activation of NF-κB signalling pathway, and has been arbitrated by respective caspase-recruitment domains (CARDs. The so-called CARD-CARD interaction still remained contradictory due to inconsistent results. Henceforth, to understand the mode and the nature of the interaction, structural bioinformatics approaches were employed. MD simulation of modelled 1:1 heterodimeric complexes revealed that the type-Ia interface of NOD1CARD and the type-Ib interface of RIP2CARD might be the suitable interfaces for the said interaction. Moreover, we perceived three dynamically stable heterotrimeric complexes with an NOD1:RIP2 ratio of 1:2 (two numbers and 2:1. Out of which, in the first trimeric complex, a type-I NOD1-RIP2 heterodimer was found interacting with an RIP2CARD using their type-IIa and IIIa interfaces. However, in the second and third heterotrimer, we observed type-I homodimers of NOD1 and RIP2 CARDs were interacting individually with RIP2CARD and NOD1CARD (in type-II and type-III interface, respectively. Overall, this study provides structural and dynamic insights into the NOD1-RIP2 oligomer formation, which will be crucial in understanding the molecular basis of NOD1-mediated CARD-CARD interaction in higher and lower eukaryotes.

  15. Structural models of zebrafish (Danio rerio NOD1 and NOD2 NACHT domains suggest differential ATP binding orientations: insights from computational modeling, docking and molecular dynamics simulations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jitendra Maharana

    Full Text Available Nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain-containing protein 1 (NOD1 and NOD2 are cytosolic pattern recognition receptors playing pivotal roles in innate immune signaling. NOD1 and NOD2 recognize bacterial peptidoglycan derivatives iE-DAP and MDP, respectively and undergoes conformational alternation and ATP-dependent self-oligomerization of NACHT domain followed by downstream signaling. Lack of structural adequacy of NACHT domain confines our understanding about the NOD-mediated signaling mechanism. Here, we predicted the structure of NACHT domain of both NOD1 and NOD2 from model organism zebrafish (Danio rerio using computational methods. Our study highlighted the differential ATP binding modes in NOD1 and NOD2. In NOD1, γ-phosphate of ATP faced toward the central nucleotide binding cavity like NLRC4, whereas in NOD2 the cavity was occupied by adenine moiety. The conserved 'Lysine' at Walker A formed hydrogen bonds (H-bonds and Aspartic acid (Walker B formed electrostatic interaction with ATP. At Sensor 1, Arg328 of NOD1 exhibited an H-bond with ATP, whereas corresponding Arg404 of NOD2 did not. 'Proline' of GxP motif (Pro386 of NOD1 and Pro464 of NOD2 interacted with adenine moiety and His511 at Sensor 2 of NOD1 interacted with γ-phosphate group of ATP. In contrast, His579 of NOD2 interacted with the adenine moiety having a relatively inverted orientation. Our findings are well supplemented with the molecular interaction of ATP with NLRC4, and consistent with mutagenesis data reported for human, which indicates evolutionary shared NOD signaling mechanism. Together, this study provides novel insights into ATP binding mechanism, and highlights the differential ATP binding modes in zebrafish NOD1 and NOD2.

  16. Molecular Insights into SIRT1 Protection Against UVB-Induced Skin Fibroblast Senescence by Suppression of Oxidative Stress and p53 Acetylation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chung, Ki Wung; Choi, Yeon Ja; Park, Min Hi; Jang, Eun Ji; Kim, Dae Hyun; Park, Byung Hyun; Yu, Byung Pal; Chung, Hae Young

    2015-08-01

    Stresses, such as exposure to ultraviolet radiation and those associated with aging, are known to cause premature cellular senescence that is characterized by growth arrest and morphological and gene expression changes. This study was designed to investigate the protective effect of Sirtuin1 (SIRT1) on the UVB-induced premature senescence. Under in vitro experimental conditions, exposure to a subcytotoxic dose of UVB enhanced human skin fibroblasts senescence, as characterized by increased β-galactosidase activity and increased levels of senescence-associated proteins. However, adenovirus-mediated SIRT1 overexpression significantly protected fibroblasts from UVB-induced cellular deterioration. Exposure to UVB-induced cell senescence was associated with oxidative stress and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase activation. Molecular analysis demonstrated that deacetylation of Forkhead box O3α (FOXO3α) by SIRT1 changed the transcriptional activity of FOXO3α and increased resistance to the oxidative stress. In addition, SIRT1 suppressed UVB-induced p53 acetylation and its transcriptional activity, which directly affected the cell cycle arrest induced by UVB. Further study demonstrated that SIRT1 activation inhibited cell senescence in the skin of the HR1 hairless mouse exposed to UVB. The study identifies a new role for SIRT1 in the UVB-induced senescence of skin fibroblats and provides a potential target for skin protection through molecuar insights into the mechanisms responsible for UVB-induced photoaging. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  17. A New Strategy to Control and Eradicate "Undruggable" Oncogenic K-RAS-Driven Pancreatic Cancer: Molecular Insights and Core Principles Learned from Developmental and Evolutionary Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Sciver, Robert E; Lee, Michael P; Lee, Caroline Dasom; Lafever, Alex C; Svyatova, Elizaveta; Kanda, Kevin; Colliver, Amber L; Siewertsz van Reesema, Lauren L; Tang-Tan, Angela M; Zheleva, Vasilena; Bwayi, Monicah N; Bian, Minglei; Schmidt, Rebecca L; Matrisian, Lynn M; Petersen, Gloria M; Tang, Amy H

    2018-05-14

    Oncogenic K-RAS mutations are found in virtually all pancreatic cancers, making K-RAS one of the most targeted oncoproteins for drug development in cancer therapies. Despite intense research efforts over the past three decades, oncogenic K-RAS has remained largely "undruggable". Rather than targeting an upstream component of the RAS signaling pathway (i.e., EGFR/HER2) and/or the midstream effector kinases (i.e., RAF/MEK/ERK/PI3K/mTOR), we propose an alternative strategy to control oncogenic K-RAS signal by targeting its most downstream signaling module, Seven-In-Absentia Homolog (SIAH). SIAH E3 ligase controls the signal output of oncogenic K-RAS hyperactivation that drives unchecked cell proliferation, uncontrolled tumor growth, and rapid cancer cell dissemination in human pancreatic cancer. Therefore, SIAH is an ideal therapeutic target as it is an extraordinarily conserved downstream signaling gatekeeper indispensable for proper RAS signaling. Guided by molecular insights and core principles obtained from developmental and evolutionary biology, we propose an anti-SIAH-centered anti-K-RAS strategy as a logical and alternative anticancer strategy to dampen uncontrolled K-RAS hyperactivation and halt tumor growth and metastasis in pancreatic cancer. The clinical utility of developing SIAH as both a tumor-specific and therapy-responsive biomarker, as well as a viable anti-K-RAS drug target, is logically simple and conceptually innovative. SIAH clearly constitutes a major tumor vulnerability and K-RAS signaling bottleneck in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). Given the high degree of evolutionary conservation in the K-RAS/SIAH signaling pathway, an anti-SIAH-based anti-PDAC therapy will synergize with covalent K-RAS inhibitors and direct K-RAS targeted initiatives to control and eradicate pancreatic cancer in the future.

  18. The integration of empirical, remote sensing and modelling approaches enhances insight in the role of biodiversity in climate change mitigation by tropical forests

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sande, van der Masha T.; Poorter, Lourens; Balvanera, Patricia; Kooistra, Lammert; Thonicke, Kirsten; Boit, Alice; Dutrieux, Loic; Equihua, Julian; Gerard, France; Herold, Martin; Kolb, Melanie; Simões, Margareth; Peña-Claros, Marielos

    2017-01-01

    Tropical forests store and sequester high amounts of carbon and are the most diverse terrestrial ecosystem. A complete understanding of the relationship between biodiversity and carbon storage and sequestration across spatiotemporal scales relevant for climate change mitigation needs three

  19. Molecular insights into the specific recognition between the RNA binding domain qRRM2 of hnRNP F and G-tract RNA: A molecular dynamics study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Lingyun; Yan, Feng

    2017-12-09

    Heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein F (hnRNP F) controls the expression of various genes through regulating the alternative splicing of pre-mRNAs in the nucleus. It uses three quasi-RNA recognition motifs (qRRMs) to recognize G-tract RNA which contains at least three consecutive guanines. The structures containing qRRMs of hnRNP F in complex with G-tract RNA have been determined by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, shedding light on the recognition mechanism of qRRMs with G-tract RNA. However, knowledge of the recognition details is still lacking. To investigate how qRRMs specifically bind with G-tract RNA and how the mutations of any guanine to an adenine in the G-tract affect the binding, molecular dynamics simulations with binding free energy analysis were performed based on the NMR structure of qRRM2 in complex with G-tract RNA. Simulation results demonstrate that qRRM2 binds strongly with G-tract RNA, but any mutation of the G-tract leads to a drastic reduction of the binding free energy. Further comparisons of the energetic components reveal that van der Waals and non-polar interactions play essential roles in the binding between qRRM2 and G-tract RNA, but the interactions are weakened by the effect of RNA mutations. Structural and dynamical analyses indicate that when qRRM2 binds with G-tract RNA, both qRRM2 and G-tract maintain stabilized structures and dynamics; however, the stability is disrupted by the mutations of the G-tract. These results provide novel insights into the recognition mechanism of qRRM2 with G-tract RNA that are not elucidated by the NMR technique. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. A climate change context for the decline of a foundation tree species in south-western Australia: insights from phylogeography and species distribution modelling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalmaris, Eleftheria; Ramalho, Cristina E; Poot, Pieter; Veneklaas, Erik J; Byrne, Margaret

    2015-11-01

    A worldwide increase in tree decline and mortality has been linked to climate change and, where these represent foundation species, this can have important implications for ecosystem functions. This study tests a combined approach of phylogeographic analysis and species distribution modelling to provide a climate change context for an observed decline in crown health and an increase in mortality in Eucalyptus wandoo, an endemic tree of south-western Australia. Phylogeographic analyses were undertaken using restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis of chloroplast DNA in 26 populations across the species distribution. Parsimony analysis of haplotype relationships was conducted, a haplotype network was prepared, and haplotype and nucleotide diversity were calculated. Species distribution modelling was undertaken using Maxent models based on extant species occurrences and projected to climate models of the last glacial maximum (LGM). A structured pattern of diversity was identified, with the presence of two groups that followed a climatic gradient from mesic to semi-arid regions. Most populations were represented by a single haplotype, but many haplotypes were shared among populations, with some having widespread distributions. A putative refugial area with high haplotype diversity was identified at the centre of the species distribution. Species distribution modelling showed high climatic suitability at the LGM and high climatic stability in the central region where higher genetic diversity was found, and low suitability elsewhere, consistent with a pattern of range contraction. Combination of phylogeography and paleo-distribution modelling can provide an evolutionary context for climate-driven tree decline, as both can be used to cross-validate evidence for refugia and contraction under harsh climatic conditions. This approach identified a central refugial area in the test species E. wandoo, with more recent expansion into peripheral areas from where it had

  1. Quantitative analysis of oyster larval proteome provides new insights into the effects of multiple climate change stressors, supplement to: Dineshram, R; Chandramouli, K; Ko, W K Ginger; Zhang, Huoming; Qian, Pei Yuan; Ravasi, Timothy; Thiyagarajan, Vengatesen (2016): Quantitative analysis of oyster larval proteome provides new insights into the effects of multiple climate change stressors. Global Change Biology, 22(6), 2054-2068

    KAUST Repository

    Dineshram, R; Chandramouli, Kondethimmanahalli; Ko, W K Ginger; Zhang, Huoming; Qian, Pei Yuan; Ravasi, Timothy; Thiyagarajan, Vengatesen

    2016-01-01

    survival bottleneck, which will be pressured by different anthropogenically induced climate change-related variables. Therefore, it is important to understand how metamorphosing larvae interact with emerging climate change stressors. To predict how larvae

  2. Molecular characterization of UGT94F2 and UGT86C4, two glycosyltransferases from Picrorhiza kurrooa: comparative structural insight and evaluation of substrate recognition.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wajid Waheed Bhat

    Full Text Available Uridine diphosphate glycosyltransferases (UGTs are pivotal in the process of glycosylation for decorating natural products with sugars. It is one of the versatile mechanisms in determining chemical complexity and diversity for the production of suite of pharmacologically active plant natural products. Picrorhiza kurrooa is a highly reputed medicinal herb known for its hepato-protective properties which are attributed to a novel group of iridoid glycosides known as picrosides. Although the plant is well studied in terms of its pharmacological properties, very little is known about the biosynthesis of these important secondary metabolites. In this study, we identified two family-1 glucosyltransferases from P. kurrooa. The full length cDNAs of UGT94F4 and UGT86C4 contained open reading frames of 1455 and 1422 nucleotides, encoding polypeptides of 484 and 473 amino acids respectively. UGT94F2 and UGT86C4 showed differential expression pattern in leaves, rhizomes and inflorescence. To elucidate whether the differential expression pattern of the two Picrorhiza UGTs correlate with transcriptional regulation via their promoters and to identify elements that could be recognized by known iridoid-specific transcription factors, upstream regions of each gene were isolated and scanned for putative cis-regulatory elements. Interestingly, the presence of cis-regulatory elements within the promoter regions of each gene correlated positively with their expression profiles in response to different phytohormones. HPLC analysis of picrosides extracted from different tissues and elicitor-treated samples showed a significant increase in picroside levels, corroborating well with the expression profile of UGT94F2 possibly indicating its implication in picroside biosynthesis. Using homology modeling and molecular docking studies, we provide an insight into the donor and acceptor specificities of both UGTs identified in this study. UGT94F2 was predicted to be an iridoid

  3. Molecular insight on the non-covalent interactions between carbapenems and uc(l,d)-transpeptidase 2 from Mycobacterium tuberculosis: ONIOM study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ntombela, Thandokuhle; Fakhar, Zeynab; Ibeji, Collins U.; Govender, Thavendran; Maguire, Glenn E. M.; Lamichhane, Gyanu; Kruger, Hendrik G.; Honarparvar, Bahareh

    2018-05-01

    Tuberculosis remains a dreadful disease that has claimed many human lives worldwide and elimination of the causative agent Mycobacterium tuberculosis also remains elusive. Multidrug-resistant TB is rapidly increasing worldwide; therefore, there is an urgent need for improving the current antibiotics and novel drug targets to successfully curb the TB burden. uc(l,d)-Transpeptidase 2 is an essential protein in Mtb that is responsible for virulence and growth during the chronic stage of the disease. Both uc(d,d)- and uc(l,d)-transpeptidases are inhibited concurrently to eradicate the bacterium. It was recently discovered that classic penicillins only inhibit uc(d,d)-transpeptidases, while uc(l,d)-transpeptidases are blocked by carbapenems. This has contributed to drug resistance and persistence of tuberculosis. Herein, a hybrid two-layered ONIOM (B3LYP/6-31G+(d): AMBER) model was used to extensively investigate the binding interactions of LdtMt2 complexed with four carbapenems (biapenem, imipenem, meropenem, and tebipenem) to ascertain molecular insight of the drug-enzyme complexation event. In the studied complexes, the carbapenems together with catalytic triad active site residues of LdtMt2 (His187, Ser188 and Cys205) were treated at with QM [B3LYP/6-31+G(d)], while the remaining part of the complexes were treated at MM level (AMBER force field). The resulting Gibbs free energy (ΔG), enthalpy (ΔH) and entropy (ΔS) for all complexes showed that the carbapenems exhibit reasonable binding interactions towards LdtMt2. Increasing the number of amino acid residues that form hydrogen bond interactions in the QM layer showed significant impact in binding interaction energy differences and the stabilities of the carbapenems inside the active pocket of LdtMt2. The theoretical binding free energies obtained in this study reflect the same trend of the experimental observations. The electrostatic, hydrogen bonding and Van der Waals interactions between the carbapenems and Ldt

  4. Molecular identification and functional delineation of a glutathione reductase homolog from disk abalone (Haliotis discus discus): Insights as a potent player in host antioxidant defense.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herath, H M L P B; Wickramasinghe, P D S U; Bathige, S D N K; Jayasooriya, R G P T; Kim, Gi-Young; Park, Myoung Ae; Kim, Chul; Lee, Jehee

    2017-01-01

    Glutathione reductase (GSR) is an enzyme that catalyzes the biochemical conversion of oxidized glutathione (GSSG) into the reduced form (GSH). Since the ratio between the two forms of glutathione (GSH/GSSG) is important for the optimal function of GSH to act as an antioxidant against H 2 O 2 , the contribution of GSR as an enzymatic regulatory agent to maintain the proper ratio is essential. Abalones are marine mollusks that frequently encounter environmental factors that can trigger the overproduction of reactive oxygen species (ROS) such as H 2 O 2 . Therefore, we conducted the current study to reveal the molecular and functional properties of a GSR homolog in the disk abalone, Haliotis discus discus. The identified cDNA sequence (2325 bp) has a 1356 bp long open reading frame (ORF), coding for a 909 bp long amino acid sequence, which harbors a pyridine nucleotide-disulfide oxidoreductase domain (171-246 aa), a pyridine nucleotide-disulfide oxidoreductase dimerization domain, and a NAD(P)(+)-binding Rossmann fold superfamily signature domain. Four functional residues: the FAD binding site, glutathione binding site, NADPH binding motif, and assembly domain were identified to be conserved among the other species. The recombinant abalone GSR (rAbGSR) exhibited detectable activity in a standard glutathione reductase activity assay. The optimum pH and optimal temperature for the reaction were found to be 7.0 and 50 °C, respectively, while the ionic strength of the medium had no effect. The enzymatic reaction was vastly inhibited by Cu +2 and Cd +2 ions. A considerable effect of cellular protection was detected with a disk diffusion assay conducted with rAbGSR. Moreover, an MTT assay and flow cytometry confirmed the significance of the protective role of rAbGSR in cell function. Furthermore, AbGSR was found to be ubiquitously distributed in different types of abalone tissues. AbGSR mRNA expression was significantly upregulated in response to three immune challenges

  5. Analysis of Swedish Forest Owners' Information and Knowledge-Sharing Networks for Decision-Making: Insights for Climate Change Communication and Adaptation

    Science.gov (United States)

    André, Karin; Baird, Julia; Gerger Swartling, Åsa; Vulturius, Gregor; Plummer, Ryan

    2017-06-01

    To further the understanding of climate change adaptation processes, more attention needs to be paid to the various contextual factors that shape whether and how climate-related knowledge and information is received and acted upon by actors involved. This study sets out to examine the characteristics of forest owners' in Sweden, the information and knowledge-sharing networks they draw upon for decision-making, and their perceptions of climate risks, their forests' resilience, the need for adaptation, and perceived adaptive capacity. By applying the concept of ego-network analysis, the empirical data was generated by a quantitative survey distributed to 3000 private forest owners' in Sweden in 2014 with a response rate of 31%. The results show that there is a positive correlation, even though it is generally weak, between forest owner climate perceptions and (i) network features, i.e. network size and heterogeneity, and (ii) presence of certain alter groups (i.e. network members or actors). Results indicate that forest owners' social networks currently serve only a minimal function of sharing knowledge of climate change and adaptation. Moreover, considering the fairly infrequent contact between respondents and alter groups, the timing of knowledge sharing is important. In conclusion we suggest those actors that forest owners' most frequently communicate with, especially forestry experts providing advisory services (e.g. forest owner associations, companies, and authorities) have a clear role to communicate both the risks of climate change and opportunities for adaptation. Peers are valuable in connecting information about climate risks and adaptation to the actual forest property.

  6. Tree rings provide a new class of phenotypes for genetic associations that foster insights into adaptation of conifers to climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Housset, Johann M; Nadeau, Simon; Isabel, Nathalie; Depardieu, Claire; Duchesne, Isabelle; Lenz, Patrick; Girardin, Martin P

    2018-04-01

    Local adaptation in tree species has been documented through a long history of common garden experiments where functional traits (height, bud phenology) are used as proxies for fitness. However, the ability to identify genes or genomic regions related to adaptation to climate requires the evaluation of traits that precisely reflect how and when climate exerts selective constraints. We combine dendroecology with association genetics to establish a link between genotypes, phenotypes and interannual climatic fluctuations. We illustrate this approach by examining individual tree responses embedded in the annual rings of 233 Pinus strobus trees growing in a common garden experiment representing 38 populations from the majority of its range. We found that interannual variability in growth was affected by low temperatures during spring and autumn, and by summer heat and drought. Among-population variation in climatic sensitivity was significantly correlated with the mean annual temperature of the provenance, suggesting local adaptation. Genotype-phenotype associations using these new tree-ring phenotypes validated nine candidate genes identified in a previous genetic-environment association study. Combining dendroecology with association genetics allowed us to assess tree vulnerability to past climate at fine temporal scales and provides avenues for future genomic studies on functional adaptation in forest trees. © 2018 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2018 New Phytologist Trust.

  7. Enhancing the contribution and role of practitioner knowledge in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC Working Group (WG II process: Insights from UK workshops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Candice Howarth

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available This perspective critically assesses how the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC could facilitate a closer alignment of its activities and include lessons drawn from the policy and decision-making communities working on the ground at the regional/local levels. The objective is to facilitate practitioner input into the detailed choice of topics and priorities for IPCC review and in the conclusions drawn (we define practitioners as those engaged in the development and application of practical responses to climate change on the ground. By means of a series of workshops with academics, policy officials and decision-makers in the United Kingdom, the research reported here illuminates how the IPCC’s Working Group II (WGII has been used in the past to inform decision-making and how practitioner responses to climate change could better inform the IPCC process in the future. In particular, we recommend three key actions. Firstly that IPCC WGII should incorporate more practitioners as authors to improve the awareness and understanding amongst the writing teams of the nature and detail of decisions being made in response to climate change; secondly a practitioner-led IPCC Special Report should be commissioned on good-practice responses to climate change; and thirdly a new body should be created, attached to the IPCC, to synthesise and report on good practice on climate response strategies in a timely manner. By adopting these recommendations, the IPCC could become more directly useful to decision-makers working on adaptation at the national, regional and local levels and enable more actionable decision-making.

  8. Adaptation Insights

    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Digital Library (Canada)

    research approach with smallholder farmers in Kitui,. Mwingi and Mutomo Districts of Kenya to develop location-specific, simplified climate information for their use. Linking Local and Exogenous Knowledge in. Constructing Climate Forecasts. The first step of engagement with farmers was to analyze climatic variability using ...

  9. New insights in the capability of climate models to simulate the impact of LUC based on temperature decomposition of paired site observations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Den Broucke, Sam; Luyssaert, Sebastiaan; Davin, Edouard L.; Janssens, Ivan; Van Lipzig, Nicole

    2015-01-01

    In this study, we present a new methodology for evaluating the biogeophysical impact of land use change (LUC) in regional climate models. For this, we use observational data from paired eddy covariance flux towers in Europe, representing a LUC from forest to open land (deforestation). Two model

  10. Using long-term ecosystem service and biodiversity data to study the impacts and adaptation options in response to climate change: insights from the global ILTER sites network

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Vihervaara, P.; D'Amato, D.; Forsius, M.; Angelstam, P.; Baessler, C.; Balvanera, P.; Boldgiv, B.; Bourgeron, P.; Dick, J.; Kanka, R.; Klotz, S.; Maass, M.; Melecis, V.; Petřík, Petr; Shibata, H.; Tang, J.; Thompson, J.; Zacharias, S.

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 5, č. 1 (2013), s. 53-66 ISSN 1877-3435 R&D Projects: GA MŠk 7AMB12SK156 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : climate change * long-term ecological monitoring * prmanen research plot Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 2.758, year: 2013

  11. Climate change and human disturbance can lead to local extinction of Alpine rock ptarmigan: new insight from the western Italian Alps.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simona Imperio

    Full Text Available Alpine grouses are particularly vulnerable to climate change due to their adaptation to extreme conditions and to their relict distributions in the Alps where global warming has been particularly marked in the last half century. Grouses are also currently threatened by habitat modification and human disturbance, and an assessment of the impact of multiple stressors is needed to predict the fate of Alpine populations of these birds in the next decades. We estimated the effect of climate change and human disturbance on a rock ptarmigan population living in the western Italian Alps by combining an empirical population modelling approach and stochastic simulations of the population dynamics under the a1B climate scenario and two different disturbance scenarios, represented by the development of a ski resort, through 2050.The early appearance of snow-free ground in the previous spring had a favorable effect on the rock ptarmigan population, probably through a higher reproductive success. On the contrary, delayed snowfall in autumn had a negative effect possibly due to a mismatch in time to molt to white winter plumage which increases predation risk. The regional climate model PROTHEUS does not foresee any significant change in snowmelt date in the study area, while the start date of continuous snow cover is expected to be significantly delayed. The net effect in the stochastic projections is a more or less pronounced (depending on the model used decline in the studied population. The addition of extra-mortality due to collision with ski-lift wires led the population to fatal consequences in most projections. Should these results be confirmed by larger studies the conservation of Alpine populations would deserve more attention. To counterbalance the effects of climate change, the reduction of all causes of death should be pursued, through a strict preservation of the habitats in the present area of occurrence.

  12. Simulating the effects of climate change on the distribution of an invasive plant, using a high resolution, local scale, mechanistic approach: challenges and insights.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fennell, Mark; Murphy, James E; Gallagher, Tommy; Osborne, Bruce

    2013-04-01

    The growing economic and ecological damage associated with biological invasions, which will likely be exacerbated by climate change, necessitates improved projections of invasive spread. Generally, potential changes in species distribution are investigated using climate envelope models; however, the reliability of such models has been questioned and they are not suitable for use at local scales. At this scale, mechanistic models are more appropriate. This paper discusses some key requirements for mechanistic models and utilises a newly developed model (PSS[gt]) that incorporates the influence of habitat type and related features (e.g., roads and rivers), as well as demographic processes and propagule dispersal dynamics, to model climate induced changes in the distribution of an invasive plant (Gunnera tinctoria) at a local scale. A new methodology is introduced, dynamic baseline benchmarking, which distinguishes climate-induced alterations in species distributions from other potential drivers of change. Using this approach, it was concluded that climate change, based on IPCC and C4i projections, has the potential to increase the spread-rate and intensity of G. tinctoria invasions. Increases in the number of individuals were primarily due to intensification of invasion in areas already invaded or in areas projected to be invaded in the dynamic baseline scenario. Temperature had the largest influence on changes in plant distributions. Water availability also had a large influence and introduced the most uncertainty in the projections. Additionally, due to the difficulties of parameterising models such as this, the process has been streamlined by utilising methods for estimating unknown variables and selecting only essential parameters. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  13. Molecular photoionization dynamics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dehmer, J.L.

    1982-01-01

    This program seeks to develop both physical insight and quantitative characterization of molecular photoionization processes. Progress is briefly described, and some publications resulting from the research are listed

  14. How does climate influence xylem morphogenesis over the growing season? Insights from long-term intra-ring anatomy in Picea abies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castagneri, Daniele; Fonti, Patrick; von Arx, Georg; Carrer, Marco

    2017-04-01

    During the growing season, the cambium of conifer trees produces successive rows of xylem cells, the tracheids, that sequentially pass through the phases of enlargement and secondary wall thickening before dying and becoming functional. Climate variability can strongly influence the kinetics of morphogenetic processes, eventually affecting tracheid shape and size. This study investigates xylem anatomical structure in the stem of Picea abies to retrospectively infer how, in the long term, climate affects the processes of cell enlargement and wall thickening. Tracheid anatomical traits related to the phases of enlargement (diameter) and wall thickening (wall thickness) were innovatively inspected at the intra-ring level on 87-year-long tree-ring series in Picea abies trees along a 900 m elevation gradient in the Italian Alps. Anatomical traits in ten successive tree-ring sectors were related to daily temperature and precipitation data using running correlations. Close to the altitudinal tree limit, low early-summer temperature negatively affected cell enlargement. At lower elevation, water availability in early summer was positively related to cell diameter. The timing of these relationships shifted forward by about 20 (high elevation) to 40 (low elevation) d from the first to the last tracheids in the ring. Cell wall thickening was affected by climate in a different period in the season. In particular, wall thickness of late-formed tracheids was strongly positively related to August-September temperature at high elevation. Morphogenesis of tracheids sequentially formed in the growing season is influenced by climate conditions in successive periods. The distinct climate impacts on cell enlargement and wall thickening indicate that different morphogenetic mechanisms are responsible for different tracheid traits. Our approach of long-term and high-resolution analysis of xylem anatomy can support and extend short-term xylogenesis observations, and increase our

  15. Surviving in Mountain Climate Refugia: New Insights from the Genetic Diversity and Structure of the Relict Shrub Myrtus nivellei (Myrtaceae) in the Sahara Desert

    OpenAIRE

    Migliore , Jérémy; Baumel , Alex; Juin , Marianick; Fady , Bruno; Roig , Anne; Duong , Nathalie; Médail , Frédéric

    2013-01-01

    International audience; The identification of past glacial refugia has become a key topic for conservation under environmental change, since they contribute importantly to shaping current patterns of biodiversity. However, little attention has been paid so far to interglacial refugia despite their key role for the survival of relict species currently occurring in climate refugia. Here, we focus on the genetic consequences of range contraction on the relict populations of the evergreen shrub M...

  16. Strengthening insurance partnerships in the face of climate change - Insights from an agent-based model of flood insurance in the UK.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crick, Florence; Jenkins, Katie; Surminski, Swenja

    2018-04-25

    Multisectoral partnerships are increasingly cited as a mechanism to deliver and improve disaster risk management. Yet, partnerships are not a panacea and more research is required to understand the role that they can play in disaster risk management and particularly disaster risk reduction. This paper investigates how partnerships can incentivise flood risk reduction by focusing on the UK public-private partnership on flood insurance. Developing the right flood insurance arrangements to incentivise flood risk reduction and adaptation to climate change is a key challenge. In the face of rising flood risks due to climate change and socio-economic development insurance partnerships can no longer afford to focus only on the risk transfer function. However, while expectations of the insurance industry have traditionally been high when it comes to flood risk management, the insurance industry alone will not provide the solution to the challenge of rising risks. The case of flood insurance in the UK illustrates this: even national government and industry together cannot fully address these risks and other actors need to be involved to create strong incentives for risk reduction. Using an agent-based model focused on surface water flood risk in London we analyse how other partners could strengthen the insurance partnership by reducing flood risk and thus helping to maintain affordable insurance premiums. Our findings are relevant for wider discussions on the potential of insurance schemes to incentivise flood risk management and climate adaptation in the UK and also internationally. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  17. Late-Holocene vegetation dynamics in response to a changing climate and anthropogenic influences - Insights from stratigraphic records and subfossil trees from southeast Lithuania

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edvardsson, Johannes; Stančikaitė, Miglė; Miras, Yannick; Corona, Christophe; Gryguc, Gražyna; Gedminienė, Laura; Mažeika, Jonas; Stoffel, Markus

    2018-04-01

    To increase our understanding of long-term climate dynamics and its effects on different ecosystems, palaeoclimatic and long-term botanical reconstructions need to be improved, in particular in underutilized geographical regions. In this study, vegetation, (hydro)climate, and land-use changes were documented at two southeast Lithuanian peatland complexes - Čepkeliai and Rieznyčia - for the Late-Holocene period. The documentation was based on a combination of pollen, plant macrofossils, peat stratigraphic records, and subfossil trees. Our results cover the last two millennia and reveal the existence of moist conditions in Southern Lithuania between 300 and 500 CE and from 950 to 1850 CE. Conversely, changes towards warmer and/or dryer conditions have been recorded in 100, 600, and 750 CE, and since the 1850s. Significant differences with other Baltic proxies prevent deriving a complete and precise long-term reconstruction of past hydroclimatic variability at the regional scale. Yet, our results provide an important cornerstone for an improved understanding of regional climate change, i.e. in a region for which only (i) few detailed palaeobotanical studies exist and which has, in addition, been considered as (ii) an ecologically sensitive region at the interface between the temperate and boreal bioclimatic zones.

  18. Beach-ridge sedimentology as an archive of terrestrial climate change: Insights from a geochemical and stratigraphic study of the Tijucas Strandplain, southern Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krask, J. L.; Hein, C. J.; Galy, V.; FitzGerald, D.; Henrique de Fontoura Klein, A.

    2017-12-01

    Whereas millennial-scale variations in climate forcing drives changes in terrestrial processes, which are in turn directly linked to fluvial sediment loads (e.g., weathering and erosion), the impact of decadal- to centennial- scale climate fluctuations on downstream coastal sedimentation patterns and landscape evolution remains unclear. Specifically, the connection between long-term (decades or more) precipitation seasonality and sediment export from river systems has not been established. This study examines the manner in which sub-millennial-scale fluctuations in precipitation over river catchments may be recorded in coastal progradational sedimentary archives. The 5-km wide Tijucas Strandplain (southern Brazil) formed over the last 5800 years through the rapid reworking of sediment discharged from the Tijucas River in a regime of falling sea level. In an overall regime shift from sand- to mud- dominance (linked to a long-term reduction in wave energy caused by bay shoaling) are nearly 70 distinct transitions between shore-parallel sand- and mud- dominated facies. Bulk organic carbon and terrestrial plant-wax fatty acid stable hydrogen (δD) and carbon (δ13C) isotopic measurements from sediments from select sandy and muddy ridges across the plain reveal that these two sedimentological regimes are geochemically distinct. Specifically, waxes from sediments deposited during periods of sandy progradation had δD values, on average, >10 ‰ higher than those from mud-dominated periods, indicating that these sedimentary units reflect different hydroclimatic conditions within the river drainage basin at the time of deposition. Comparison of plant wax isotopic signatures of river, bay, and beach sediments during the current period of mud-dominated progradation reveals a close correlation with earlier periods of mud deposition within the Tijucas Strandplain. Thus, decadal- to centennial- scale sedimentologic transitions within the plain are interpreted to reflect climate

  19. Toward evaluating the effect of climate change on investments in the water resources sector: insights from the forecast and analysis of hydrological indicators in developing countries

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Strzepek, Kenneth; Jacobsen, Michael; Boehlert, Brent; Neumann, James

    2013-01-01

    The World Bank has recently developed a method to evaluate the effects of climate change on six hydrological indicators across 8951 basins of the world. The indicators are designed for decision-makers and stakeholders to consider climate risk when planning water resources and related infrastructure investments. Analysis of these hydrological indicators shows that, on average, mean annual runoff will decline in southern Europe; most of Africa; and in southern North America and most of Central and South America. Mean reference crop water deficit, on the other hand, combines temperature and precipitation and is anticipated to increase in nearly all locations globally due to rising global temperatures, with the most dramatic increases projected to occur in southern Europe, southeastern Asia, and parts of South America. These results suggest overall guidance on which regions to focus water infrastructure solutions that could address future runoff flow uncertainty. Most important, we find that uncertainty in projections of mean annual runoff and high runoff events is higher in poorer countries, and increases over time. Uncertainty increases over time for all income categories, but basins in the lower and lower-middle income categories are forecast to experience dramatically higher increases in uncertainty relative to those in the upper-middle and upper income categories. The enhanced understanding of the uncertainty of climate projections for the water sector that this work provides strongly support the adoption of rigorous approaches to infrastructure design under uncertainty, as well as design that incorporates a high degree of flexibility, in response to both risk of damage and opportunity to exploit water supply ‘windfalls’ that might result, but would require smart infrastructure investments to manage to the greatest benefit. (letter)

  20. Toward evaluating the effect of climate change on investments in the water resources sector: insights from the forecast and analysis of hydrological indicators in developing countries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strzepek, Kenneth; Jacobsen, Michael; Boehlert, Brent; Neumann, James

    2013-12-01

    The World Bank has recently developed a method to evaluate the effects of climate change on six hydrological indicators across 8951 basins of the world. The indicators are designed for decision-makers and stakeholders to consider climate risk when planning water resources and related infrastructure investments. Analysis of these hydrological indicators shows that, on average, mean annual runoff will decline in southern Europe; most of Africa; and in southern North America and most of Central and South America. Mean reference crop water deficit, on the other hand, combines temperature and precipitation and is anticipated to increase in nearly all locations globally due to rising global temperatures, with the most dramatic increases projected to occur in southern Europe, southeastern Asia, and parts of South America. These results suggest overall guidance on which regions to focus water infrastructure solutions that could address future runoff flow uncertainty. Most important, we find that uncertainty in projections of mean annual runoff and high runoff events is higher in poorer countries, and increases over time. Uncertainty increases over time for all income categories, but basins in the lower and lower-middle income categories are forecast to experience dramatically higher increases in uncertainty relative to those in the upper-middle and upper income categories. The enhanced understanding of the uncertainty of climate projections for the water sector that this work provides strongly support the adoption of rigorous approaches to infrastructure design under uncertainty, as well as design that incorporates a high degree of flexibility, in response to both risk of damage and opportunity to exploit water supply ‘windfalls’ that might result, but would require smart infrastructure investments to manage to the greatest benefit.

  1. Joint analysis of phenotypic and molecular diversity provides new insights on the genetic variability of the Brazilian physic nut germplasm bank.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alves, Alexandre Alonso; Bhering, Leonardo Lopes; Rosado, Tatiana Barbosa; Laviola, Bruno Galvêas; Formighieri, Eduardo Fernandes; Cruz, Cosme Damião

    2013-09-01

    The genetic variability of the Brazilian physic nut (Jatropha curcas) germplasm bank (117 accessions) was assessed using a combination of phenotypic and molecular data. The joint dissimilarity matrix showed moderate correlation with the original matrices of phenotypic and molecular data. However, the correlation between the phenotypic dissimilarity matrix and the genotypic dissimilarity matrix was low. This finding indicated that molecular markers (RAPD and SSR) did not adequately sample the genomic regions that were relevant for phenotypic differentiation of the accessions. The dissimilarity values of the joint dissimilarity matrix were used to measure phenotypic + molecular diversity. This diversity varied from 0 to 1.29 among the 117 accessions, with an average dissimilarity among genotypes of 0.51. Joint analysis of phenotypic and molecular diversity indicated that the genetic diversity of the physic nut germplasm was 156% and 64% higher than the diversity estimated from phenotypic and molecular data, respectively. These results show that Jatropha genetic variability in Brazil is not as limited as previously thought.

  2. Response of methane emissions from wetlands to the Last Glacial Maximum and an idealized Dansgaard–Oeschger climate event: insights from two models of different complexity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. Ringeval

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The role of different sources and sinks of CH4 in changes in atmospheric methane ([CH4] concentration during the last 100 000 yr is still not fully understood. In particular, the magnitude of the change in wetland CH4 emissions at the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM relative to the pre-industrial period (PI, as well as during abrupt climatic warming or Dansgaard–Oeschger (D–O events of the last glacial period, is largely unconstrained. In the present study, we aim to understand the uncertainties related to the parameterization of the wetland CH4 emission models relevant to these time periods by using two wetland models of different complexity (SDGVM and ORCHIDEE. These models have been forced by identical climate fields from low-resolution coupled atmosphere–ocean general circulation model (FAMOUS simulations of these time periods. Both emission models simulate a large decrease in emissions during LGM in comparison to PI consistent with ice core observations and previous modelling studies. The global reduction is much larger in ORCHIDEE than in SDGVM (respectively −67 and −46%, and whilst the differences can be partially explained by different model sensitivities to temperature, the major reason for spatial differences between the models is the inclusion of freezing of soil water in ORCHIDEE and the resultant impact on methanogenesis substrate availability in boreal regions. Besides, a sensitivity test performed with ORCHIDEE in which the methanogenesis substrate sensitivity to the precipitations is modified to be more realistic gives a LGM reduction of −36%. The range of the global LGM decrease is still prone to uncertainty, and here we underline its sensitivity to different process parameterizations. Over the course of an idealized D–O warming, the magnitude of the change in wetland CH4 emissions simulated by the two models at global scale is very similar at around 15 Tg yr−1, but this is only around 25% of the ice-core measured

  3. Charred wood remains in the natufian sequence of el-Wad terrace (Israel): New insights into the climatic, environmental and cultural changes at the end of the Pleistocene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caracuta, Valentina; Weinstein-Evron, Mina; Yeshurun, Reuven; Kaufman, Daniel; Tsatskin, Alexander; Boaretto, Elisabetta

    2016-01-01

    The major social and economic changes associated with the rise of a sedentary lifestyle and the gradual transition to food production in the southern Levant are often considered to have been triggered by climate changes at the end of the Pleistocene (∼20,000-11,000 years BP). This explanation, however, is biased by the scarcity of high-resolution climate records directly associated with human activity and the lack of refined palaeoecological studies from multi-stratified sites in the area. Here, we present the results of an anthracological analysis, carried out on charcoals collected along a continuous column of archaeological sediments in the Natufian site of el-Wad Terrace (Mount Carmel, Israel). We also present the carbon isotopes analysis of 14C-dated archaeological remains of Amygdalus sp. The analyses of charcoal shows the predominance of an oak forest including Quercus calliprinos and ithaburensis around the site during the Early Natufian building phase (∼14,600-13,700 cal BP), and the values of Δ13C point to a high rainfall rate. This period is followed by a marked decrease in the local rainfall between ∼13,700 and 12,000 cal BP). The reduction, culturally associated with the latest Early Natufian and the Late Natufian, is independently recorded by the speleothems of the region: Soreq Cave and Jerusalem Cave. This period incorporates an increase in drought tolerant species such as Amygdalus sp. Thermo-Mediterranean species, such as Olea europaea and Ceratonia siliqua, as well as Pistacia palaestina, which dominate the modern landscape, become established in the Holocene. We conclude that the Natufian settlement at el-Wad Terrace flourished in the context of oak forests, and subsequently occupation intensity decreased in concurrence to the drying trend. This shift does not correspond to the cultural typology (i.e. Early Natufian vs. Late Natufian). Human response to climate change at the terminal Pleistocene Levant was multifaceted and localized. Its

  4. Insight into the Mechanism of Hydrolysis of Meropenem by OXA-23 Serine-β-lactamase Gained by Quantum Mechanics/Molecular Mechanics Calculations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sgrignani, Jacopo; Grazioso, Giovanni; De Amici, Marco

    2016-09-13

    The fast and constant development of drug resistant bacteria represents a serious medical emergency. To overcome this problem, the development of drugs with new structures and modes of action is urgently needed. In this work, we investigated, at the atomistic level, the mechanisms of hydrolysis of Meropenem by OXA-23, a class D β-lactamase, combining unbiased classical molecular dynamics and umbrella sampling simulations with classical force field-based and quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics potentials. Our calculations provide a detailed structural and dynamic picture of the molecular steps leading to the formation of the Meropenem-OXA-23 covalent adduct, the subsequent hydrolysis, and the final release of the inactive antibiotic. In this mechanistic framework, the predicted activation energy is in good agreement with experimental kinetic measurements, validating the expected reaction path.

  5. Insights into the Molecular Pathogenesis of Activated B-Cell-like Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma and Its Therapeutic Implications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Georg Lenz

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Within the last couple of years, the understanding of the molecular mechanisms that drive the pathogenesis of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL has significantly improved. Large-scale gene expression profiling studies have led to the discovery of several molecularly defined subtypes that are characterized by specific oncogene addictions and significant differences in their outcome. Next generation sequencing efforts combined with RNA interference screens frequently identify crucial oncogenes that lead to constitutive activation of various signaling pathways that drive lymphomagenesis. This review summarizes our current understanding of the molecular pathogenesis of the activated B-cell-like (ABC DLBCL subtype that is characterized by poor prognosis. A special emphasis is put on findings that might impact therapeutic strategies of affected patients.

  6. Insights into the Molecular Pathogenesis of Activated B-Cell-like Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma and Its Therapeutic Implications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lenz, Georg [Translational Oncology, Department of Medicine A, Albert-Schweitzer Campus 1, University Hospital Münster, 48149 Münster (Germany); Cluster of Excellence EXC 1003, Cells in Motion, 48149 Münster (Germany)

    2015-05-22

    Within the last couple of years, the understanding of the molecular mechanisms that drive the pathogenesis of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) has significantly improved. Large-scale gene expression profiling studies have led to the discovery of several molecularly defined subtypes that are characterized by specific oncogene addictions and significant differences in their outcome. Next generation sequencing efforts combined with RNA interference screens frequently identify crucial oncogenes that lead to constitutive activation of various signaling pathways that drive lymphomagenesis. This review summarizes our current understanding of the molecular pathogenesis of the activated B-cell-like (ABC) DLBCL subtype that is characterized by poor prognosis. A special emphasis is put on findings that might impact therapeutic strategies of affected patients.

  7. Insights on Genomic and Molecular Alterations in Multiple Myeloma and Their Incorporation towards Risk-Adapted Treatment Strategy: Concise Clinical Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Taiga Nishihori

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Although recent advances in novel treatment approaches and therapeutics have shifted the treatment landscape of multiple myeloma, it remains an incurable plasma cell malignancy. Growing knowledge of the genome and expressed genomic information characterizing the biologic behavior of multiple myeloma continues to accumulate. However, translation and incorporation of vast molecular understanding of complex tumor biology to deliver personalized and precision treatment to cure multiple myeloma have not been successful to date. Our review focuses on current evidence and understanding of myeloma biology with characterization in the context of genomic and molecular alterations. We also discuss future clinical application of the genomic and molecular knowledge, and more translational research is needed to benefit our myeloma patients.

  8. What can scientific practice look like in a classroom? Insights from scientists' critique of high school students' climate change argumentation practice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walsh, E.; McGowan, V. C.

    2015-12-01

    The Next Generation Science Standards promote a vision in which learners engage in authentic knowledge in practice to tackle personally consequential science problems in the classroom. However, there is not yet a clear understanding amongst researchers and educators of what authentic practice looks like in a classroom and how this can be accomplished. This study explores these questions by examining interactions between scientists and students on a social media platform during two pilot enactments of a project-based curriculum focusing on the ecological impacts of climate change. During this unit, scientists provided feedback to students on infographics, visual representations of scientific information meant to communicate to an audience about climate change. We conceptualize the feedback and student work as boundary objects co-created by students and scientists moving between the school and scientific contexts, and analyze the structure and content of the scientists' feedback. We find that when giving feedback on a particular practice (e.g. argumentation), scientists would provide avenues, critiques and questions that incorporated many other practices (e.g. data analysis, visual communication); thus, scientists encouraged students to participate systemically in practices instead of isolating one particular practice. In addition, scientists drew attention to particular habits of mind that are valued in the scientific community and noted when students' work aligned with scientific values. In this way, scientists positioned students as capable of participating "scientifically." While traditionally, incorporating scientific inquiry in a classroom has emphasized student experimentation and data generation, in this work, we found that engaging with scientists around established scientific texts and data sets provided students with a platform for developing expertise in other important scientific practices during argment construction.

  9. Biological and climate controls on North Atlantic marine carbon dynamics over the last millennium: Insights from an absolutely-dated shell based record from the North Icelandic Shelf

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, I. R.; Reynolds, D.; Scourse, J. D.; Richardson, C.; Wanamaker, A. D.; Butler, P. G.

    2017-12-01

    Given the rapid increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations (pCO2) over the industrial era there is a pressing need to construct longterm records of natural carbon cycling prior to this perturbation and to develop a more robust understanding of the role the oceans play in the sequestration of atmospheric carbon. Here we reconstruct the historical biological and climatic controls on the carbon isotopic (δ13C-shell) composition of the North Icelandic shelf waters over the last millennium derived from the shells of the long-lived marine bivalve mollusc Arctica islandica. Variability in the annually resolved δ13C-shell record is dominated by multi-decadal variability with a negative trend (-0.003±0.002‰yr-1) over the industrial era (1800-2000). This trend is consistent with the marine Suess effect brought about by the sequestration of isotopically light carbon (δ13C of CO2) derived from the burning of fossil fuels. Comparison of the δ13C-shell record with contemporary proxy archives, over the last millennium, and instrumental data over the 20th century, suggests that primary productivity and climate conditions over the sub-polar North Atlantic region played a vital role in driving inter-annual to multi-decadal scale variability in the δ13C-shell record. Our results highlight that relative shifts in the proportion of sub-polar mode waters and Arctic intermediate waters entrained onto the North Icelandic shelf, coupled with atmospheric circulation patterns associated with the winter North Atlantic Oscillation (wNAO), are the likely physical mechanisms that drive natural variations in seawater δ13C variability on the North Icelandic shelf.

  10. Mechanistic Insights into Radical-Mediated Oxidation of Tryptophan from ab Initio Quantum Chemistry Calculations and QM/MM Molecular Dynamics Simulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, Geoffrey P F; Sreedhara, Alavattam; Moore, Jamie M; Wang, John; Trout, Bernhardt L

    2016-05-12

    An assessment of the mechanisms of (•)OH and (•)OOH radical-mediated oxidation of tryptophan was performed using density functional theory calculations and ab initio plane-wave Quantum Mechanics/Molecular Mechanics (QM/MM) molecular dynamics simulations. For the (•)OH reactions, addition to the pyrrole ring at position 2 is the most favored site with a barrierless reaction in the gas phase. The subsequent degradation of this adduct through a H atom transfer to water was intermittently observed in aqueous-phase molecular dynamics simulations. For the (•)OOH reactions, addition to the pyrrole ring at position 2 is the most favored pathway, in contrast to the situation in the model system ethylene, where concerted addition to the double bond is preferred. From the (•)OOH position 2 adduct QM/MM simulations show that formation of oxy-3-indolanaline occurs readily in an aqueous environment. The observed transformation starts from an initial rupture of the O-O bond followed by a H atom transfer with the accompanying loss of an (•)OH radical to solution. Finally, classical molecular dynamics simulations were performed to equate observed differential oxidation rates of various tryptophan residues in monoclonal antibody fragments. It was found that simple parameters derived from simulation correlate well with the experimental data.

  11. Adaptation Insights

    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Digital Library (Canada)

    Addressing Climate Change Adaptation in Africa through Participatory Action Research. A Regional Observatory ... while the average annual rainfall recorded between. 1968 and 1999 was .... the region of Thies. For sustainability reasons, the.

  12. The "dirty weather" diaries of Reverend Richard Davis: insights about early colonial-era meteorology and climate variability for northern New Zealand, 1839-1851

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lorrey, Andrew M.; Chappell, Petra R.

    2016-03-01

    Reverend Richard Davis (1790-1863) was a colonial-era missionary stationed in the Far North of New Zealand who was a key figure in the early efforts of the Church Mission Society. He kept meticulous meteorological records for the early settlements of Waimate North and Kaikohe, and his observations are preserved in a two-volume set in the Sir George Grey Special Collections in the Auckland Central Library. The Davis diary volumes are significant because they constitute some of the earliest land-based meteorological measurements that were continually chronicled for New Zealand. The diary measurements cover nine years within the 1839-1851 time span that are broken into two parts: 1839-1844 and 1848-1851. Davis' meteorological recordings include daily 9 a.m. and noon temperatures and midday pressure measurements. Qualitative comments in the diary note prevailing wind flow, wind strength, cloud cover, climate variability impacts, bio-indicators suggestive of drought, and notes on extreme weather events. "Dirty weather" comments scattered throughout the diary describe disturbed conditions with strong winds and driving rainfall. The Davis diary entries coincide with the end of the Little Ice Age (LIA) and they indicate southerly and westerly circulation influences and cooler winter temperatures were more frequent than today. A comparison of climate field reconstructions derived from the Davis diary data and tree-ring-based winter temperature reconstructions are supported by tropical coral palaeotemperature evidence. Davis' pressure measurements were corroborated using ship log data from vessels associated with iconic Antarctic exploration voyages that were anchored in the Bay of Islands, and suggest the pressure series he recorded are robust and can be used as "station data". The Reverend Davis meteorological data are expected to make a significant contribution to the Atmospheric Circulation Reconstructions across the Earth (ACRE) project, which feeds the major data

  13. Surviving in mountain climate refugia: new insights from the genetic diversity and structure of the relict shrub Myrtus nivellei (Myrtaceae in the Sahara Desert.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jérémy Migliore

    Full Text Available The identification of past glacial refugia has become a key topic for conservation under environmental change, since they contribute importantly to shaping current patterns of biodiversity. However, little attention has been paid so far to interglacial refugia despite their key role for the survival of relict species currently occurring in climate refugia. Here, we focus on the genetic consequences of range contraction on the relict populations of the evergreen shrub Myrtus nivellei, endemic in the Saharan mountains since at least the end of the last Green Sahara period, around 5.5 ka B.P. Multilocus genotypes (nuclear microsatellites and AFLP were obtained from 215 individuals collected from 23 wadis (temporary rivers in the three main mountain ranges in southern Algeria (the Hoggar, Tassili n'Ajjer and Tassili n'Immidir ranges. Identical genotypes were found in several plants growing far apart within the same wadis, a pattern taken as evidence of clonality. Multivariate analyses and Bayesian clustering revealed that genetic diversity was mainly structured among the mountain ranges, while low isolation by distance was observed within each mountain range. The range contraction induced by the last episode of aridification has likely increased the genetic isolation of the populations of M. nivellei, without greatly affecting the genetic diversity of the species as a whole. The pattern of genetic diversity observed here suggests that high connectivity may have prevailed during humid periods, which is consistent with recent paleoenvironmental reconstructions.

  14. Surviving in mountain climate refugia: new insights from the genetic diversity and structure of the relict shrub Myrtus nivellei (Myrtaceae) in the Sahara Desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Migliore, Jérémy; Baumel, Alex; Juin, Marianick; Fady, Bruno; Roig, Anne; Duong, Nathalie; Médail, Frédéric

    2013-01-01

    The identification of past glacial refugia has become a key topic for conservation under environmental change, since they contribute importantly to shaping current patterns of biodiversity. However, little attention has been paid so far to interglacial refugia despite their key role for the survival of relict species currently occurring in climate refugia. Here, we focus on the genetic consequences of range contraction on the relict populations of the evergreen shrub Myrtus nivellei, endemic in the Saharan mountains since at least the end of the last Green Sahara period, around 5.5 ka B.P. Multilocus genotypes (nuclear microsatellites and AFLP) were obtained from 215 individuals collected from 23 wadis (temporary rivers) in the three main mountain ranges in southern Algeria (the Hoggar, Tassili n'Ajjer and Tassili n'Immidir ranges). Identical genotypes were found in several plants growing far apart within the same wadis, a pattern taken as evidence of clonality. Multivariate analyses and Bayesian clustering revealed that genetic diversity was mainly structured among the mountain ranges, while low isolation by distance was observed within each mountain range. The range contraction induced by the last episode of aridification has likely increased the genetic isolation of the populations of M. nivellei, without greatly affecting the genetic diversity of the species as a whole. The pattern of genetic diversity observed here suggests that high connectivity may have prevailed during humid periods, which is consistent with recent paleoenvironmental reconstructions.

  15. Climate adaptation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kinzig, Ann P.

    2015-03-01

    This paper is intended as a brief introduction to climate adaptation in a conference devoted otherwise to the physics of sustainable energy. Whereas mitigation involves measures to reduce the probability of a potential event, such as climate change, adaptation refers to actions that lessen the impact of climate change. Mitigation and adaptation differ in other ways as well. Adaptation does not necessarily have to be implemented immediately to be effective; it only needs to be in place before the threat arrives. Also, adaptation does not necessarily require global, coordinated action; many effective adaptation actions can be local. Some urban communities, because of land-use change and the urban heat-island effect, currently face changes similar to some expected under climate change, such as changes in water availability, heat-related morbidity, or changes in disease patterns. Concern over those impacts might motivate the implementation of measures that would also help in climate adaptation, despite skepticism among some policy makers about anthropogenic global warming. Studies of ancient civilizations in the southwestern US lends some insight into factors that may or may not be important to successful adaptation.

  16. From climate target to emission reduction. New insights in the options to reduce climate change effects; Van klimaatdoel naar emissiereductie. Nieuwe inzichten in de mogelijkheden voor beperking van klimaatverandering

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Van Vuuren, D.; Berk, B.; Farla, J. [Milieu- en Natuurplanbureau MNP, Bilthoven (Netherlands); De Vos, R. [Ecofys, Utrecht (Netherlands)

    2006-11-15

    The target in the European Union to limit the rise of temperature to a maximum of 2 degrees Celsius can only be realized by stabilizing the concentration of greenhouse gases on a low level. Related emission reduction can be technically realized at a cost of 1-2% of the Gross National Product and far-going climate policy, including a large package of measures and more countries that participate. [Dutch] De EU doelstelling (beperking van de wereldwijde temperatuurstijging tot hooguit 2 graden) kan alleen met hoge zekerheid worden bereikt bij stabilisatie van broeikasgasconcentraties op lage niveau's. De hiervoor benodigde emissie-reducties zijn technisch mogelijk tegen directe kosten van zo'n 1-2% van het BNP. De inzet van verregaand klimaatbeleid, inclusief een breed pakket van maatregelen en een verbreding van deelnemende landen is dan wel noodzakelijk.

  17. Sequencing flow-sorted short arm of Haynaldia villosa chromosome 4V provides insights into its molecular structure and virtual gene order

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Xiao, J.; Dai, K.; Fu, S.; Vrána, Jan; Kubaláková, Marie; Wan, W.; Sun, H.; Zhao, J.; Yu, C.; Wu, Y.; Abrouk, Michael; Wang, H.; Doležel, Jaroslav; Wang, X.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 18, č. 1 (2017), č. článku 791. ISSN 1471-2164 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) LO1204; GA ČR GBP501/12/G090 Institutional support: RVO:61389030 Keywords : Chromosome arm 4VS * Flow sorting * Genome zipper * Haynaldia villosa * Scaffold Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology OBOR OECD: Plant sciences, botany Impact factor: 3.729, year: 2016

  18. Abiotic and biotic controls over biogeochemical cycles in drylands: Insights from climate change and nitrogen deposition experiments on the Colorado Plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reed, S.; Ferrenberg, S.; Tucker, C.; Rutherford, W. A.; Wertin, T. M.; McHugh, T. A.; Morrissey, E.; Kuske, C.; Mueller, R.; Belnap, J.

    2016-12-01

    As for all ecosystems, biogeochemical cycling in drylands represents numerous intricate connections between biotic and abiotic controls. However, patterns of many fundamental ecosystem processes that generally hold across global gradients fall apart at the arid and semiarid end of the spectrum, and data point to an exceptionally strong role for abiotic controls in explaining these patterns. Further, there are multiple dryland characteristics - such as extreme aridity and high UV radiation, as well as specialized biological communities - which can point to a conclusion that "drylands are different". Indeed, drylands are often characterized by their harsh environment, by the diverse classes of biota representing a range of traits aimed at surviving such harsh conditions, and, more recently, by the suggestion of dramatic biotic responses to seemingly subtle changes in abiotic factors. In this talk, we will explore a range of biotic and abiotic controls over fundamental biogeochemical cycling in drylands using data from a suite of manipulation experiments on the Colorado Plateau, USA. We will present results from field treatments that speak to the effects of increasing temperature, altered precipitation regimes, increased nitrogen availability via deposition, and the effects of altered litterfall inputs. Biogeochemical processes we explore will include plant photosynthesis, soil photosynthesis and respiration (with a focus on biological soil crusts), litter decomposition, and nutrient cycling. In addition, we will assess how treatments alter dryland community composition, as well as the resultant feedbacks of community shifts to environmental change. Taken together we will use these diverse datasets to ask questions about what makes drylands different or, instead, if a holistic joining of biotic and abiotic perspectives suggests they are not so different after all. These data will not only lend insight into the partitioning of and balance between biotic and abiotic

  19. Insight into the effect of inhibitor resistant S130G mutant on physico-chemical properties of SHV type beta-lactamase: a molecular dynamics study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohd Hassan Baig

    Full Text Available Bacterial resistance is a serious threat to human health. The production of β-lactamase, which inactivates β-lactams is most common cause of resistance to the β-lactam antibiotics. The Class A enzymes are most frequently encountered among the four β-lactamases in the clinic isolates. Mutations in class A β-lactamases play a crucial role in substrate and inhibitor specificity. SHV and TEM type are known to be most common class A β-lactamases. In the present study, we have analyzed the effect of inhibitor resistant S130G point mutation of SHV type Class-A β-lactamase using molecular dynamics and other in silico approaches. Our study involved the use of different in silico methods to investigate the affect of S130G point mutation on the major physico-chemical properties of SHV type class A β-lactamase. We have used molecular dynamics approach to compare the dynamic behaviour of native and S130G mutant form of SHV β-lactamase by analyzing different properties like root mean square deviation (RMSD, H-bond, Radius of gyration (Rg and RMS fluctuation of mutation. The results clearly suggest notable loss in the stability of S130G mutant that may further lead to decrease in substrate specificity of SHV. Molecular docking further indicates that S130G mutation decreases the binding affinity of all the three inhibitors in clinical practice.

  20. On the origins of Earth rotation anomalies: New insights on the basis of both “paleogeodetic” data and Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peltier, W. R.; Luthcke, Scott B.

    2009-11-01

    The theory previously developed to predict the impact on Earth's rotational state of the late Pleistocene glaciation cycle is extended. In particular, we examine the extent to which a departure of the infinite time asymptote of the viscoelastic tidal Love number of degree 2, "k2T," from the observed "fluid" Love number, "kf," impacts the theory. A number of tests of the influence of the difference in these Love numbers on theoretical predictions of the model of the glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) process are explored. Relative sea level history predictions are shown not to be sensitive to the difference even though they are highly sensitive to the influence of the changing rotational state itself. We also explore in detail the accuracy with which the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite system is able to observe the global GIA process including the time-dependent amplitude of the degree 2 and order 1 spherical harmonic components of the gravitational field, the only components that are significantly influenced by rotational effects. It is explicitly shown that the GRACE observation of these properties of the time-varying gravitational field is sufficiently accurate to rule out the values predicted by the ICE-5G (VM2) model of Peltier (2004). However, we also note that this model is constrained only by data from an epoch during which modern greenhouse gas induced melting of both the great polar ice-sheets and small ice sheets and glaciers was not occurring. Such modern loss of grounded continental ice strongly influences the evolving rotational state of the planet and thus the values of the degree 2 and order 1 Stokes coefficients as they are currently being measured by the GRACE satellite system. A series of sensitivity tests are employed to demonstrate this fact. We suggest that the accuracy of scenarios for modern land ice melting may be tested by ensuring that such scenarios conform to the GRACE observations of these crucial time

  1. Stratigraphy, U-Th chronology, and paleoenvironments at Gladysvale Cave: insights into the climatic control of South African hominin-bearing cave deposits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pickering, Robyn; Hancox, Phillip J; Lee-Thorp, Julia A; Grün, Rainer; Mortimer, Graham E; McCulloch, Malcolm; Berger, Lee R

    2007-11-01

    Gladysvale Cave is one of the few Plio-Pleistocene hominin-bearing cave sites in South Africa that contains a well-stratified cave fill with clastic sediments interspersed with flowstones. The clastic sediments can be divided into units based on the presence of intercalated flowstones, forming flowstone bounded units (FBU). Ten MC-ICP-MS uranium-series dates on several flowstone horizons in the Gladysvale Internal Deposit fan indicate deposition from the late mid-Pleistocene ( approximately 570 ka) to Holocene ( approximately 7 ka) during limited periods of higher effective moisture. Clastic sedimentation occurred during the interceding, presumably more arid, periods. This sequence is not consistent with earlier models for South African caves that simply assumed interglacial sedimentation and glacial erosion. (13)C/(12)C data suggest that flowstone tended to form during periods with higher proportions of C(3) plants in the local vegetation, while clastic sediments reflect higher proportions of C(4) grasses, although this is not always the case. We argue that flowstones are precipitated during periods of higher effective precipitation and restricted cave entrances, while clastic sediments accumulated during periods with more open vegetation. The sedimentary fill of the fossiliferous deposits are, therefore, highly episodic in nature, with large periods of time unlikely to be represented. This has serious implications for the other hominin-bearing caves close by, as these deposits are likely to be similarly episodic. This is especially pertinent when addressing extinction events and reconstructions of paleoenvironments, as large periods of time may be unrecorded. The Gladysvale Cave fill sediments may serve as a climatically forced chronostratigraphic model for these less well-stratified and well-dated Plio-Pleistocene sites.

  2. Biological and Climate Controls on North Atlantic Marine Carbon Dynamics Over the Last Millennium: Insights From an Absolutely Dated Shell-Based Record From the North Icelandic Shelf

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reynolds, D. J.; Hall, I. R.; Scourse, J. D.; Richardson, C. A.; Wanamaker, A. D.; Butler, P. G.

    2017-12-01

    Given the rapid increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations (pCO2) over the industrial era, there is a pressing need to construct long-term records of natural carbon cycling prior to this perturbation and to develop a more robust understanding of the role the oceans play in the sequestration of atmospheric carbon. Here we reconstruct the past biological and climate controls on the carbon isotopic (δ13Cshell) composition of the North Icelandic shelf waters over the last millennium, derived from the shells of the long-lived marine bivalve mollusk Arctica islandica. Variability in the annually resolved δ13Cshell record is dominated by multidecadal variability with a negative trend (-0.003 ± 0.002‰ yr-1) over the industrial era (1800-2000 Common Era). This trend is consistent with the marine Suess effect brought about by the sequestration of isotopically light carbon (δ13C of CO2) derived from the burning of fossil fuels. Comparison of the δ13Cshell record with Contemporaneous proxy archives, over the last millennium, and instrumental data over the twentieth century, highlights that both biological (primary production) and physical environmental factors, such as relative shifts in the proportion of Subpolar Mode Waters and Arctic Intermediate Waters entrained onto the North Icelandic shelf, atmospheric circulation patterns associated with the winter North Atlantic Oscillation, and sea surface temperature and salinity of the subpolar gyre, are the likely mechanisms that contribute to natural variations in seawater δ13C variability on the North Icelandic shelf. Contrasting δ13C fractionation processes associated with these biological and physical mechanisms likely cause the attenuated marine Suess effect signal at this locality.

  3. Synchronizing Greenland ice-core records and the Meerfelder maar sediment record via the global cosmogenic radionuclide signature and insights on climate around 11,230 years BP

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mekhaldi, F.; Czymzik, M.; Brauer, A.; Martin-Puertas, C.; Aldahan, A.; Possnert, G.; Muscheler, R.

    2017-12-01

    The causal investigation of multiple paleoclimate records relies on the accuracy of their respective chronostratigraphy. To achieve relative synchronization, cosmogenic radionuclides are an excellent tool because their common signature is global and can be retrieved and measured in different paleoclimate archives. For instance, 10Be can be measured in both ice cores and lake sediments (Berggren et al., 2013; Czymzik et al., 2016) which allows for both archives to be anchored onto radiocarbon timescales by synchronizing 10Be with 14C. We investigate the period 11,500-11,000 years BP when a short cold climate spell is known, from ice-core proxy records, to have occurred in Greenland shortly after the onset of the Holocene - the Preboreal Oscillation (PBO). This period also coincides with one of the largest and longest-lived increase in 14C production rate during the Holocene, which most likely corresponds to a grand solar minimum (around 11,230-11,000 years BP). In consequence, this period ideally illustrates the potential of using a known and clear signal in the production rate of cosmogenic radionuclides as a synchronizing tool, such as caused by large variations in solar activity. Here we measure 10Be in Meerfelder Maar (a well-dated and widely used sediment record from Germany) around 11,230 years BP which allows us to align the 10Be signal in both the Meerfelder Maar (MFM) sediment record and the GRIP ice core to IntCal13. Doing so, we report that i) the structure of the grand solar minimum is well-preserved in the 10Be signal of MFM sediments, ii) the PBO in Greenland occurs during high levels of solar activity and is not clearly observed in MFM, and iii) the PBO in Greenland ends precisely at the onset of the grand solar minimum at 11,230 years BP which also corresponds to a depositional change in MFM sediments (Martin-Puertas et al., 2017). These results thus suggest that changes in solar activity could have been a forcing at play eventually resulting in the

  4. Structural and dynamical insights on HLA-DR2 complexes that confer susceptibility to multiple sclerosis in Sardinia: a molecular dynamics simulation study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amit Kumar

    Full Text Available Sardinia is a major Island in the Mediterranean with a high incidence of multiple sclerosis, a chronic autoimmune inflammatory disease of the central nervous system. Disease susceptibility in Sardinian population has been associated with five alleles of major histocompatibility complex (MHC class II DRB1 gene. We performed 120 ns of molecular dynamics simulation on one predisposing and one protective alleles, unbound and in complex with the two relevant peptides: Myelin Basic Protein and Epstein Barr Virus derived peptide. In particular we focused on the MHC peptide binding groove dynamics. The predisposing allele was found to form a stable complex with both the peptides, while the protective allele displayed stability only when bound with myelin peptide. The local flexibility of the MHC was probed dividing the binding groove into four compartments covering the well known peptide anchoring pockets. The predisposing allele in the first half cleft exhibits a narrower and more rigid groove conformation in the presence of myelin peptide. The protective allele shows a similar behavior, while in the second half cleft it displays a narrower and more flexible groove conformation in the presence of viral peptide. We further characterized these dynamical differences by evaluating H-bonds, hydrophobic and stacking interaction networks, finding striking similarities with super-type patterns emerging in other autoimmune diseases. The protective allele shows a defined preferential binding to myelin peptide, as confirmed by binding free energy calculations. All together, we believe the presented molecular analysis could help to design experimental assays, supports the molecular mimicry hypothesis and suggests that propensity to multiple sclerosis in Sardinia could be partly linked to distinct peptide-MHC interaction and binding characteristics of the antigen presentation mechanism.

  5. Cell and molecular biology of the spiny dogfish Squalus acanthias and little skate Leucoraja erinacea: insights from in vitro cultured cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, D W

    2012-04-01

    Two of the most commonly used elasmobranch experimental model species are the spiny dogfish Squalus acanthias and the little skate Leucoraja erinacea. Comparative biology and genomics with these species have provided useful information in physiology, pharmacology, toxicology, immunology, evolutionary developmental biology and genetics. A wealth of information has been obtained using in vitro approaches to study isolated cells and tissues from these organisms under circumstances in which the extracellular environment can be controlled. In addition to classical work with primary cell cultures, continuously proliferating cell lines have been derived recently, representing the first cell lines from cartilaginous fishes. These lines have proved to be valuable tools with which to explore functional genomic and biological questions and to test hypotheses at the molecular level. In genomic experiments, complementary (c)DNA libraries have been constructed, and c. 8000 unique transcripts identified, with over 3000 representing previously unknown gene sequences. A sub-set of messenger (m)RNAs has been detected for which the 3' untranslated regions show elements that are remarkably well conserved evolutionarily, representing novel, potentially regulatory gene sequences. The cell culture systems provide physiologically valid tools to study functional roles of these sequences and other aspects of elasmobranch molecular cell biology and physiology. Information derived from the use of in vitro cell cultures is valuable in revealing gene diversity and information for genomic sequence assembly, as well as for identification of new genes and molecular markers, construction of gene-array probes and acquisition of full-length cDNA sequences. © 2012 The Author. Journal of Fish Biology © 2012 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

  6. Influence of Chirality of Crizotinib on Its MTH1 Protein Inhibitory Activity: Insight from Molecular Dynamics Simulations and Binding Free Energy Calculations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuzhen Niu

    Full Text Available As a promising target for the treatment of lung cancer, the MutT Homolog 1 (MTH1 protein can be inhibited by crizotinib. A recent work shows that the inhibitory potency of (S-crizotinib against MTH1 is about 20 times over that of (R-crizotinib. But the detailed molecular mechanism remains unclear. In this study, molecular dynamics (MD simulations and free energy calculations were used to elucidate the mechanism about the effect of chirality of crizotinib on the inhibitory activity against MTH1. The binding free energy of (S-crizotinib predicted by the Molecular Mechanics/Generalized Born Surface Area (MM/GBSA and Adaptive biasing force (ABF methodologies is much lower than that of (R-crizotinib, which is consistent with the experimental data. The analysis of the individual energy terms suggests that the van der Waals interactions are important for distinguishing the binding of (S-crizotinib and (R-crizotinib. The binding free energy decomposition analysis illustrated that residues Tyr7, Phe27, Phe72 and Trp117 were important for the selective binding of (S-crizotinib to MTH1. The adaptive biasing force (ABF method was further employed to elucidate the unbinding process of (S-crizotinib and (R-crizotinib from the binding pocket of MTH1. ABF simulation results suggest that the reaction coordinates of the (S-crizotinib from the binding pocket is different from (R-crizotinib. The results from our study can reveal the details about the effect of chirality on the inhibition activity of crizotinib to MTH1 and provide valuable information for the design of more potent inhibitors.

  7. Molecular insights into human monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibition by 1,4-naphthoquinone: evidences for menadione (vitamin K3) acting as a competitive and reversible inhibitor of MAO.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coelho Cerqueira, Eduardo; Netz, Paulo Augusto; Diniz, Cristiane; Petry do Canto, Vanessa; Follmer, Cristian

    2011-12-15

    Monoamine oxidase (MAO) catalyzes the oxidative deamination of biogenic and exogenous amines and its inhibitors have therapeutic value for several conditions including affective disorders, stroke, neurodegenerative diseases and aging. The discovery of 2,3,6-trimethyl-1,4-naphthoquinone (TMN) as a nonselective and reversible inhibitor of MAO, has suggested 1,4-naphthoquinone (1,4-NQ) as a potential scaffold for designing new MAO inhibitors. Combining molecular modeling tools and biochemical assays we evaluate the kinetic and molecular details of the inhibition of human MAO by 1,4-NQ, comparing it with TMN and menadione. Menadione (2-methyl-1,4-naphthoquinone) is a multitarget drug that acts as a precursor of vitamin K and an inducer of mitochondrial permeability transition. Herein we show that MAO-B was inhibited competitively by 1,4-NQ (K(i)=1.4 μM) whereas MAO-A was inhibited by non-competitive mechanism (K(i)=7.7 μM). Contrasting with TMN and 1,4-NQ, menadione exhibited a 60-fold selectivity for MAO-B (K(i)=0.4 μM) in comparison with MAO-A (K(i)=26 μM), which makes it as selective as rasagiline. Fluorescence and molecular modeling data indicated that these inhibitors interact with the flavin moiety at the active site of the enzyme. Additionally, docking studies suggest the phenyl side groups of Tyr407 and Tyr444 (for MAO-A) or Tyr398 and Tyr435 (for MAO-B) play an important role in the interaction of the enzyme with 1,4-NQ scaffold through forces of dispersion as verified for menadione, TMN and 1,4-NQ. Taken together, our findings reveal the molecular details of MAO inhibition by 1,4-NQ scaffold and show for the first time that menadione acts as a competitive and reversible inhibitor of human MAO. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Africa Insight

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Africa Insight is a quarterly, peer-reviewed journal of the Africa Institute of South Africa. It is accredited by the South African National Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) and is indexed in the International Bibliography of Social Science (IBSS). It is a multi-disciplinary journal primarily focusing on African ...

  9. A Trapped Covalent Intermediate of a Glycoside Hydrolase on the Pathway to Transglycosylation. Insights from Experiments and Quantum Mechanics/Molecular Mechanics Simulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raich, Lluís; Borodkin, Vladimir; Fang, Wenxia; Castro-López, Jorge; van Aalten, Daan M F; Hurtado-Guerrero, Ramón; Rovira, Carme

    2016-03-16

    The conversion of glycoside hydrolases (GHs) into transglycosylases (TGs), i.e., from enzymes that hydrolyze carbohydrates to enzymes that synthesize them, represents a promising solution for the large-scale synthesis of complex carbohydrates for biotechnological purposes. However, the lack of knowledge about the molecular details of transglycosylation hampers the rational design of TGs. Here we present the first crystallographic structure of a natural glycosyl-enzyme intermediate (GEI) of Saccharomyces cerevisiae Gas2 in complex with an acceptor substrate and demonstrate, by means of quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics metadynamics simulations, that it is tuned for transglycosylation (ΔG(⧧) = 12 kcal/mol). The 2-OH···nucleophile interaction is found to be essential for catalysis: its removal raises the free energy barrier significantly (11 and 16 kcal/mol for glycosylation and transglycosylation, respectively) and alters the conformational itinerary of the substrate (from (4)C1 → [(4)E](⧧) → (1,4)B/(4)E to (4)C1 → [(4)H3](⧧) → (4)C1). Our results suggest that changes in the interactions involving the 2-position could have an impact on the transglycosylation activity of several GHs.

  10. Origin of the Absorption Band of Bromophenol Blue in Acidic and Basic pH: Insight from a Combined Molecular Dynamics and TD-DFT/MM Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chattopadhyaya, M; Murugan, N Arul; Rinkevicius, Zilvinas

    2016-09-15

    We study the linear and nonlinear optical properties of a well-known acid-base indicator, bromophenol blue (BPB), in aqueous solution by employing static and integrated approaches. In the static approach, optical properties have been calculated using time-dependent density functional theory (TD-DFT) on the fully relaxed geometries of the neutral and different unprotonated forms of BPB. Moreover, both closed and open forms of BPB were considered. In the integrated approach, the optical properties have been computed over many snapshots extracted from molecular dynamics simulation using a hybrid time-dependent density functional theory/molecular mechanics approach. The static approach suggests closed neutral ⇒ anionic interconversion as the dominant mechanism for the red shift in the absorption spectra of BPB due to a change from acidic to basic pH. It is found by employing an integrated approach that the two interconversions, namely open neutral ⇒ anionic and open neutral ⇒ dianionic, can contribute to the pH-dependent shift in the absorption spectra of BPB. Even though both static and integrated approaches reproduce the pH-dependent red shift in the absorption spectra of BPB, the latter one is suitable to determine both the spectra and spectral broadening. Finally, the computed static first hyperpolarizability for various protonated and deprotonated forms of BPB reveals that this molecule can be used as a nonlinear optical probe for pH sensing in addition to its highly exploited use as an optical probe.

  11. Paramecium putrinum (Ciliophora, Protozoa): the first insight into the variation of two DNA fragments - molecular support for the existence of cryptic species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tarcz, Sebastian; Rautian, Maria; Potekhin, Alexey; Sawka, Natalia; Beliavskaya, Alexandra; Kiselev, Andrey; Nekrasova, Irina; Przyboś, Ewa

    2014-04-01

    Paramecium putrinum (Claparede & Lachmann 1858) is one of the smallest (80-140 μm long) species of the genus Paramecium. Although it commonly occurs in freshwater reservoirs, no molecular studies of P. putrinum have been conducted to date. Herein we present an assessment of molecular variation in 27 strains collected from widely separated populations by using two selected DNA fragments (ITS1-5.8S-ITS2-5'LSU rDNA and COI mtDNA). Both the trees and haplotype networks reconstructed for both genome fragments show that the studied strains of P. putrinum form five main haplogroups. The mean distance between the studied strains is p-distance=0.007/0.068 (rDNA/COI) and exhibits similar variability as that between P. bursaria syngens. Based on these data, one could hypothesize that the clusters revealed in the present study may correspond to previously reported syngens and that there are at least five cryptic species within P. putrinum. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Delimiting Species Boundaries within a Paraphyletic Species Complex: Insights from Morphological, Genetic, and Molecular Data on Paramecium sonneborni (Paramecium aurelia species complex, Ciliophora, Protozoa).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Przyboś, Ewa; Tarcz, Sebastian; Rautian, Maria; Sawka, Natalia

    2015-09-01

    The demarcation of boundaries between protist species is often problematic because of the absence of a uniform species definition, the abundance of cryptic diversity, and the occurrence of convergent morphology. The ciliates belonging to the Paramecium aurelia complex, consisting of 15 species, are a good model for such systematic and evolutionary studies. One member of the complex is P. sonneborni, previously known only from one stand in Texas (USA), but recently found in two new sampling sites in Cyprus (creeks running to Salt Lake and Oroklini Lake near Larnaca). The studied Paramecium sonneborni strains (from the USA and Cyprus) reveal low viability in the F1 and F2 generations of interstrain hybrids and may be an example of ongoing allopatric speciation. Despite its molecular distinctiveness, we postulate that P. sonneborni should remain in the P. aurelia complex, making it a paraphyletic taxon. Morphological studies have revealed that some features of the nuclear apparatus of P. sonneborni correspond to the P. aurelia spp. complex, while others are similar to P. jenningsi and P. schewiakoffi. The observed discordance indicates rapid splitting of the P. aurelia-P. jenningsi-P. schewiakoffi group, in which genetic, morphological, and molecular boundaries between species are not congruent. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  13. Molecular dynamics of mesophilic-like mutants of a cold-adapted enzyme: insights into distal effects induced by the mutations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena Papaleo

    Full Text Available Networks and clusters of intramolecular interactions, as well as their "communication" across the three-dimensional architecture have a prominent role in determining protein stability and function. Special attention has been dedicated to their role in thermal adaptation. In the present contribution, seven previously experimentally characterized mutants of a cold-adapted α-amylase, featuring mesophilic-like behavior, have been investigated by multiple molecular dynamics simulations, essential dynamics and analyses of correlated motions and electrostatic interactions. Our data elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying the ability of single and multiple mutations to globally modulate dynamic properties of the cold-adapted α-amylase, including both local and complex unpredictable distal effects. Our investigation also shows, in agreement with the experimental data, that the conversion of the cold-adapted enzyme in a warm-adapted variant cannot be completely achieved by the introduction of few mutations, also providing the rationale behind these effects. Moreover, pivotal residues, which are likely to mediate the effects induced by the mutations, have been identified from our analyses, as well as a group of suitable candidates for protein engineering. In fact, a subset of residues here identified (as an isoleucine, or networks of mesophilic-like salt bridges in the proximity of the catalytic site should be considered, in experimental studies, to get a more efficient modification of the features of the cold-adapted enzyme.

  14. Trichoderma for climate resilient agriculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kashyap, Prem Lal; Rai, Pallavi; Srivastava, Alok Kumar; Kumar, Sudheer

    2017-08-01

    Climate change is one of the biggest challenges of the twenty-first century for sustainable agricultural production. Several reports highlighted the need for better agricultural practices and use of eco-friendly methods for sustainable crop production under such situations. In this context, Trichoderma species could be a model fungus to sustain crop productivity. Currently, these are widely used as inoculants for biocontrol, biofertilization, and phytostimulation. They are reported to improve photosynthetic efficiency, enhance nutrient uptake and increase nitrogen use efficiency in crops. Moreover, they can be used to produce bio-energy, facilitate plants for adaptation and mitigate adverse effect of climate change. The technological advancement in high throughput DNA sequencing and biotechnology provided deep insight into the complex and diverse biotic interactions established in nature by Trichoderma spp. and efforts are being made to translate this knowledge to enhance crop growth, resistance to disease and tolerance to abiotic stresses under field conditions. The discovery of several traits and genes that are involved in the beneficial effects of Trichoderma spp. has resulted in better understanding of the performance of bioinoculants in the field, and will lead to more efficient use of these strains and possibly to their improvement by genetic modification. The present mini-review is an effort to elucidate the molecular basis of plant growth promotion and defence activation by Trichoderma spp. to garner broad perspectives regarding their functioning and applicability for climate resilient agriculture.

  15. A Molecular and Whole Body Insight of the Mechanisms Surrounding Glucose Disposal and Insulin Resistance with Hypoxic Treatment in Skeletal Muscle

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. W. A. Mackenzie

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Although the mechanisms are largely unidentified, the chronic or intermittent hypoxic patterns occurring with respiratory diseases, such as chronic pulmonary disease or obstructive sleep apnea (OSA and obesity, are commonly associated with glucose intolerance. Indeed, hypoxia has been widely implicated in the development of insulin resistance either via the direct action on insulin receptor substrate (IRS and protein kinase B (PKB/Akt or indirectly through adipose tissue expansion and systemic inflammation. Yet hypoxia is also known to encourage glucose transport using insulin-dependent mechanisms, largely reliant on the metabolic master switch, 5′ AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK. In addition, hypoxic exposure has been shown to improve glucose control in type 2 diabetics. The literature surrounding hypoxia-induced changes to glycemic control appears to be confusing and conflicting. How is it that the same stress can seemingly cause insulin resistance while increasing glucose uptake? There is little doubt that acute hypoxia increases glucose metabolism in skeletal muscle and does so using the same pathway as muscle contraction. The purpose of this review paper is to provide an insight into the mechanisms underpinning the observed effects and to open up discussions around the conflicting data surrounding hypoxia and glucose control.

  16. Anti-symmetrized molecular dynamics: a new insight into the structure of nuclei; La dynamique moleculaire antisymetrisee, une nouvelle facon de comprendre la structure des noyaux

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yoshiko, Kanada-En' yo [High Energy Accelerator Research Organization - KEK, Institute of Particle and Nuclear Studies, Ibaraki (Japan); Masaaki, Kimura [Institute of Physical and Chemical Research - RIKEN, Saitama (Japan); Hisashi, Horiuchi [Kyoto Univ., Dept. of Physics, Graduate School of Science (Japan)

    2003-06-01

    The AMD (anti-symmetrized molecular dynamics) theory for nuclear structure is explained by showing its actual applications. First the formulation of AMD including various refined versions is briefly presented and its characteristics are discussed, putting a stress on its nature as an 'ab initio' theory. Then we demonstrate fruitful applications to various structure problems in stable nuclei, in order to explicitly verify the 'ab initio' nature of AMD, especially the ability to describe both mean-field-type structure and cluster structure. Finally, we show the results of applications of AMD to unstable nuclei, from which we see that AMD is powerful in elucidating and understanding various types of nuclear structure of unstable nuclei. (authors)

  17. An Insight into the Environmental Effects of the Pocket of the Active Site of the Enzyme. Ab initio ONIOM-Molecular Dynamics (MD) Study on Cytosine Deaminase

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Matsubara, Toshiaki; Dupuis, Michel; Aida, Misako

    2008-01-01

    We applied the ONIOM-molecular dynamics (MD) method to cytosine deaminase to examine the environmental effects of the amino acid residues in the pocket of the active site on the substrate taking account of their thermal motion. The ab initio ONIOM-MD simulations show that the substrate uracil is strongly perturbed by the amino acid residue Ile33, which sandwiches the uracil with His62, through the steric contact due to the thermal motion. As a result, the magnitude of the thermal oscillation of the potential energy and structure of the substrate uracil significantly increases. TM and MA were partly supported by grants from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan.MD was supported by the Division of Chemical Sciences, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, and by the Office of Biological and Environmental Research of the U.S. Department of Energy DOE. Battelle operates Pacific Northwest National Laboratory for DOE

  18. New Insights into the Molecular Dynamics of P3HT:PCBM Bulk Heterojunction: A Time-of-Flight Quasi-Elastic Neutron Scattering Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guilbert, Anne A Y; Zbiri, Mohamed; Jenart, Maud V C; Nielsen, Christian B; Nelson, Jenny

    2016-06-16

    The molecular dynamics of organic semiconductor blend layers are likely to affect the optoelectronic properties and the performance of devices such as solar cells. We study the dynamics (5-50 ps) of the poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT): phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM) blend by time-of-flight quasi-elastic neutron scattering, at temperatures in the range 250-360 K, thus spanning the glass transition temperature region of the polymer and the operation temperature of an OPV device. The behavior of the QENS signal provides evidence for the vitrification of P3HT upon blending, especially above the glass transition temperature, and the plasticization of PCBM by P3HT, both dynamics occurring on the picosecond time scale.

  19. Detection mechanism of perovskite BFO (1 1 1) membrane for FOX-7 and TATB gases: molecular-scale insight into sensing ultratrace explosives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bian, Liang; Li, Hai-long; Song, Mian-Xin; Dong, Fa-Qin; Zhang, Xiao-yan; Hou, Wen-ping

    2017-03-01

    Perovskite bismuth ferrite-BFO (1 1 1) membranes, as potential-sensitive electrochemical sensors, are investigated for the detection of high-energy-density materials by molecular dynamics (MD) and density functional theory (DFT) calculations. For the detection mechanism of the sensitive 1, 1-diamino-2, 2-dinitroethylene (FOX-7) gases, both a cation bridge and electrostatic models can be used to explain the STM signatures as 0.02-0.04 V (single) and 0.03~0.05 V (coverage) over a wide range (0-0.1 V) of bias voltages. For insensitive 1, 3, 5-triamino-2, 4, 6-trinitrobenzene (TATB) gases interacting with the surface of a BFO (1 1 1) membrane, the charge signature can be as high as 0.08 V (coverage: 0.06 V). Analysis indicates a significant difference from the detection mechanism observed for FOX-7 gases; that is, the molecularly intact bidentate bridge configuration with only -\\text{NO}2- bonds binds to both Fe and Bi atoms. These differences are attributed so that the surface O2- of BFO will capture a part of the surface electron of the -NO2 group, creating a 2p-hole defect (h+) which annihilates a spinning upward (↑) Fe3+, forming a spinning downward (↓) Fe2+. The -NO2 electron decreases 0.35 e (single FOX-7; coverage FOX-7: 0.24 e) and 0.56 e (single TATB; coverage TATB: 0.06 e). Such a system could open up new ideas in the design and application of BFO-based sensors.

  20. Systematic Protein-Protein Docking and Molecular Dynamics Studies of HIV-1 gp120 and CD4: Insights for New Drug Development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Rizman-Idid

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Background and the purpose of the study: The interactions between HIV-1 gp120 and mutated CD4 proteins were investigated in order to identify a lead structure for therapy based on competitive blocking of the HIV binding receptor for human T-cells. Crystal structures of HIV gp120-CD4 complexes reveal a close interaction of the virus receptor with CD4 Phe43, which is embedded in a pocket of the virus protein.Methods: This study applies computer simulations to determine the best binding of amino acid 43 CD4 mutants to HIV gp120. Besides natural CD4, three mutants carrying alternate aromatic residues His, Trp and Tyr at position 43 were investigated. Several docking programs were applied on isolated proteins based on selected crystal structures of gp120-CD4 complexes, as well as a 5 ns molecular dynamics study on the protein complexes. The initial structures were minimized in Gromacs to avoid crystal packing effects, and then subjected to docking experiments using AutoDock4, FireDock, ClusPro and ZDock. In molecular dynamics, the Gibbs free binding energy was calculated for the gp120-CD4 complexes. The docking outputs were analyzed on energy within the respective docking software.Results and conclusion: Visualization and hydrogen bonding analysis were performed using the Swiss-PdbViewer. Strong binding to HIV gp120 can be achieved with an extended aromatic group (Trp. However, the sterical demand of the interaction affects the binding kinetics. In conclusion, a ligand for an efficient blocking of HIV gp120 should involve an extended but conformational flexible aromatic group, i.e. a biphenyl. A docking study on biphenylalanine-43 confirms this expectation

  1. The Effect of Conformational Variability of Phosphotriesterase upon N-acyl-L-homoserine Lactone and Paraoxon Binding: Insights from Molecular Dynamics Studies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dongling Zhan

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The organophosphorous hydrolase (PTE from Brevundimonas diminuta is capable of degrading extremely toxic organophosphorous compounds with a high catalytic turnover and broad substrate specificity. Although the natural substrate for PTE is unknown, its loop remodeling (loop 7-2/H254R led to the emergence of a homoserine lactonase (HSL activity that is undetectable in PTE (kcat/km values of up to 2 × 104, with only a minor decrease in PTE paraoxonase activity. In this study, homology modeling and molecular dynamics simulations have been undertaken seeking to explain the reason for the substrate specificity for the wild-type and the loop 7-2/H254R variant. The cavity volume estimated results showed that the active pocket of the variant was almost two fold larger than that of the wild-type (WT enzyme. pKa calculations for the enzyme (the WT and the variant showed a significant pKa shift from WT standard values (ΔpKa = 3.5 units for the His254residue (in the Arg254 variant. Molecular dynamics simulations indicated that the displacement of loops 6 and 7 over the active site in loop 7-2/H254R variant is useful for N-acyl-L-homoserine lactone (C4-HSL with a large aliphatic chain to site in the channels easily. Thence the expanding of the active pocket is beneficial to C4-HSL binding and has a little effect on paraoxon binding. Our results provide a new theoretical contribution of loop remodeling to the rapid divergence of new enzyme functions.

  2. Computational docking, molecular dynamics simulation and subsite structure analysis of a maltogenic amylase from Bacillus lehensis G1 provide insights into substrate and product specificity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manas, Nor Hasmaliana Abdul; Bakar, Farah Diba Abu; Illias, Rosli Md

    2016-06-01

    Maltogenic amylase (MAG1) from Bacillus lehensis G1 displayed the highest hydrolysis activity on β-cyclodextrin (β-CD) to produce maltose as a main product and exhibited high transglycosylation activity on malto-oligosaccharides with polymerization degree of three and above. These substrate and product specificities of MAG1 were elucidated from structural point of view in this study. A three-dimensional structure of MAG1 was constructed using homology modeling. Docking of β-CD and malto-oligosaccharides was then performed in the MAG1 active site. An aromatic platform in the active site was identified which is responsible in substrate recognition especially in determining the enzyme's preference toward β-CD. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulation showed MAG1 structure is most stable when docked with β-CD and least stable when docked with maltose. The docking analysis and MD simulation showed that the main subsites for substrate stabilization in the active site are -2, -1, +1 and +2. A bulky residue, Trp359 at the +2 subsite was identified to cause steric interference to the bound linear malto-oligosaccharides thus prevented it to occupy subsite +3, which can only be reached by a highly bent glucose molecule such as β-CD. The resulted modes of binding from docking simulation show a good correlation with the experimentally determined hydrolysis pattern. The subsite structure generated from this study led to a possible mode of action that revealed how maltose was mainly produced during hydrolysis. Furthermore, maltose only occupies subsite +1 and +2, therefore could not be hydrolyzed or transglycosylated by the enzyme. This important knowledge has paved the way for a novel structure-based molecular design for modulation of its catalytic activities. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Insight into the molecular mechanism of yeast acetyl-coenzyme A carboxylase mutants F510I, N485G, I69E, E477R, and K73R resistant to soraphen A

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Jian; Liang, Li; Chen, Qingqing; Zhang, Ling; Huang, Tonghui

    2018-02-01

    Acetyl-coenzyme A carboxylases (ACCs) is the first committed enzyme of fatty acid synthesis pathway. The inhibition of ACC is thought to be beneficial not only for diseases related to metabolism, such as type-2 diabetes, but also for infectious disease like bacterial infection disease. Soraphen A, a potent allosteric inhibitor of BC domain of yeast ACC, exhibit lower binding affinities to several yeast ACC mutants and the corresponding drug resistance mechanisms are still unknown. We report here a theoretical study of binding of soraphen A to wild type and yeast ACC mutants (including F510I, N485G, I69E, E477R, and K73R) via molecular dynamic simulation and molecular mechanics/generalized Born surface area free energy calculations methods. The calculated binding free energies of soraphen A to yeast ACC mutants are weaker than to wild type, which is highly consistent with the experimental results. The mutant F510I weakens the binding affinity of soraphen A to yeast ACC mainly by decreasing the van der Waals contributions, while the weaker binding affinities of Soraphen A to other yeast ACC mutants including N485G, I69E, E477R, and K73R are largely attributed to the decreased net electrostatic (ΔE ele + ΔG GB) interactions. Our simulation results could provide important insights for the development of more potent ACC inhibitors.

  4. Structural insight with mutational impact on tyrosinase and PKC-β interaction from Homo sapiens: Molecular modeling and docking studies for melanogenesis, albinism and increased risk for melanoma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banerjee, Arundhati; Ray, Sujay

    2016-10-30

    Human tyrosinase, is an important protein for biosynthetic pathway of melanin. It was studied to be phosphorylated and activated by protein kinase-C, β-subunit (PKC-β) through earlier experimentations with in vivo evidences. Documentation documents that mutation in two essentially vital serine residues in C-terminal end of tyrosinase leads to albinism. Due to the deficiency of protective shield like enzyme; melanin, albinos are at an increased peril for melanoma and other skin cancers. So, computational and residue-level insight including a mutational exploration with evolutionary importance into this mechanism lies obligatory for future pathological and therapeutic developments. Therefore, functional tertiary models of the relevant proteins were analyzed after satisfying their stereo-chemical features. Evolutionarily paramount residues for the activation of tyrosinase were perceived via multiple sequence alignment phenomena. Mutant-type tyrosinase protein (S98A and S102A) was thereby modeled, maintaining the wild-type proteins' functionality. Furthermore, this present comparative study discloses the variation in the stable residual participation (for mutant-type and wild-type tyrosinase-PKCβ complex). Mainly, an increased number of polar negatively charged residues from the wild-type tyrosinase participated with PKC-β, predominantly. Fascinatingly supported by evaluation of statistical significances, mutation even led to a destabilizing impact in tyrosinase accompanied by conformational switches with a helix-to-coil transition in the mutated protein. Even the allosteric sites in the protein got poorly hampered upon mutation leading to weaker tendency for binding partners to interact. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-06-01

    Baculoviruses have been known to induce hyperactive behavior in their lepidopteran hosts for over a century. As a typical lepidopteran insect, the silkworm Bombyx mori displays enhanced locomotor activity (ELA) following infection with B. mori nucleopolyhedrovirus (BmNPV). Some investigations have focused on the molecular mechanisms underlying this abnormal hyperactive wandering behavior due to the virus; however, there are currently no reports about B. mori. Based on previous studies that have revealed that behavior is controlled by the central nervous system, the transcriptome profiles of the brains of BmNPV-infected and non-infected silkworm larvae were analyzed with the RNA-Seq technique to reveal the changes in the BmNPV-infected brain on the transcriptional level and to provide new clues regarding the