WorldWideScience

Sample records for climate molecular insights

  1. 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

  2. Combining Global Climate Model Outputs and Insights from Downscaling for Australian Climate Projections

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grose, M. R.; Timbal, B.; Katzfey, J. J.; Moise, A. F.; Eksrtrom, M.; Whetton, P.

    2013-12-01

    Dynamical and statistical downscaling of global climate model (GCM) outputs has the potential to provide valuable insights when making regional climate projections. It may reveal regional detail in the projected climate change signal through higher resolution and accounting for local influences such as topography and coastlines. However, climate change adaptation research and planning desires a coherent view of possible future climate that accounts for the various sources of uncertainty and at a relevant spatial scale. This means there is value in combining the most useful insights from all available downscaling with a more comprehensive set of designed global climate model (GCM) projections (e.g. the CMIP5 archive), and this is done for the next set of national climate projections products in Australia. There are several practical considerations in this process that affect the process, primarily because downscaling is done using various disparate methods for a limited set of models and scenarios. There is no objective framework to combine different sets of ad hoc downscaling simulations with a set of GCMs, so some degree of expert judgment is used. We emphasize cases where there is the most apparent ';added value' and report these insights in complement, and in some cases in preference to, GCM projections. Confidence in such insights first requires understanding of what input data is used from the host model, what biases are reduced and what new biases are potentially introduced. We then seek an understanding of how the climate change signal differs from that of the host model, and an attribution of the cause of this difference. Several case studies within Australia are discussed.

  3. Male sex determination: insights into molecular mechanisms

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Kathryn McClelland; Josephine Bowles; Peter Koopman

    2012-01-01

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

  4. Helicases as molecular motors: An insight

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tuteja, Narendra; Tuteja, Renu

    2006-12-01

    Helicases are one of the smallest motors of biological system, which harness the chemical free energy of ATP hydrolysis to catalyze the opening of energetically stable duplex nucleic acids and thereby are involved in almost all aspect of nucleic acid metabolism including replication, repair, recombination, transcription, translation, and ribosome biogenesis. Basically, they break the hydrogen bonding between the duplex helix and translocate unidirectionally along the bound strand. Mostly all the helicases contain some conserved signature motifs, which act as an engine to power the unwinding. After the discovery of the first prokaryotic DNA helicase from Escherichia coli bacteria in 1976 and the first eukaryotic one from the lily plant in 1978, many more (>100) have been isolated. All the helicases share some common properties, including nucleic acid binding, NTP hydrolysis and unwinding of the duplex. Many helicases have been crystallized and their structures have revealed an underlying common structural fold for their function. The defects in helicases gene have also been reported to be responsible for variety of human genetic disorders, which can lead to cancer, premature aging or mental retardation. Recently, a new role of a helicase in abiotic stress signaling in plant has been discovered. Overall, helicases act as essential molecular tools for cellular machinery and help in maintaining the integrity of genome. Here an overview of helicases has been covered which includes history, biochemical assay, properties, classification, role in human disease and mechanism of unwinding and translocation.

  5. Ice Formation on Kaolinite: Insights from Molecular Dynamics Simulations

    CERN Document Server

    Sosso, Gabriele C; Zen, Andrea; Pedevilla, Philipp; Michaelides, Angelos

    2016-01-01

    The formation of ice affects many aspects of our everyday life as well as technologies such as cryotherapy and cryopreservation. Foreign substances almost always aid water freezing through heterogeneous ice nucleation, but the molecular details of this process remain largely unknown. In fact, insight into the microscopic mechanism of ice formation on different substrates is difficult to obtain even via state-of-the-art experimental techniques. At the same time, atomistic simulations of heterogeneous ice nucleation frequently face extraordinary challenges due to the complexity of the water-substrate interaction and the long timescales that characterize nucleation events. Here, we have investigated several aspects of molecular dynamics simulations of heterogeneous ice nucleation considering as a prototypical ice nucleating material the clay mineral kaolinite, which is of relevance in atmospheric science. We show via seeded molecular dynamics simulations that ice nucleation on the hydroxylated (001) face of kaol...

  6. Molecular dynamics insights into human aquaporin 2 water channel.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Binesh, A R; Kamali, R

    2015-12-01

    In this study, the first molecular dynamics simulation of the human aquaporin 2 is performed and for a better understanding of the aquaporin 2 permeability performance, the characteristics of water transport in this protein channel and key biophysical parameters of AQP2 tetramer including osmotic and diffusive permeability constants and the pore radius are investigated. For this purpose, recently recovered high resolution X-ray crystal structure of` the human aquaporin 2 is used to perform twenty nanosecond molecular dynamics simulation of fully hydrated tetramer of this protein embedded in a lipid bilayer. The resulting water permeability characteristics of this protein channel showed that the water permeability of the human AQP2 is in a mean range in comparison with other human aquaporins family. Finally, the results reported in this research demonstrate that molecular dynamics simulation of human AQP2 provided useful insights into the mechanisms of water permeation and urine concentration in the human kidney. PMID:26489820

  7. Managing U.S. climate risk through mitigation: Insights from the American Climate Prospectus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kopp, R. E., III; Hsiang, S. M.; Houser, T.; Larsen, K.; Rasmussen, D. M., Jr.; Jina, A.; Rising, J.; Delgado, M.; Mohan, S.; Muir-Wood, R.; Wilson, P. S.

    2014-12-01

    The American Climate Prospectus (ACP), the technical analysis underlying the Risky Business project, quantitatively assessed the economic risks posed to the United States by six categories of climate change impacts: crop yield, energy demand, coastal storm damage, criminal activity, labor productivity, and mortality [1]. At a national level, measured by impact on gross domestic product, increased mortality and decreased labor productivity pose the large risks, followed by increased energy demand and coastal damages. Changes in crop yield and crime have smaller impacts. The ACP was not intended to conduct a benefit-cost analysis of climate change mitigation. It assessed the economic consequences of future impacts on an economy with a structure equivalent to that of the current economy, not accounting for socio-economic development and adaptation, and did not assess the cost of mitigation. One of its primary goals was to inform adaptation decisions that are conventionally considered 'endogenous' in economic analyses of climate change. Nonetheless, its results provide insight into the potential of mitigation to manage climate risk. Differences between RCP 8.5 (moderately-high business-as-usual emissions), RCP 4.5 (moderate mitigation) and RCP 2.6 (extremely strong mitigation) are not apparent until mid-century and become significant only late in the century. For all impacts except coastal damages, mitigation significantly reduces uncertainty in late-century impact estimates. Nationally, mitigation significantly and monotonically reduces median projected labor productivity losses and violent crime. Switching from RCP 8.5 to RCP 4.5 also significantly reduces median projections of mortality and energy demand, but the domestic value to the U.S. of further mitigation to RCP 2.6 is less clear. The marginal benefits decline in part because some regions of the country (especially the Northwest) may experience increased crop yields, reduced mortality, and reduced energy

  8. Genomic and epigenetic insights into the molecular bases of heterosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Z Jeffrey

    2013-07-01

    Heterosis, also known as hybrid vigour, is widespread in plants and animals, but the molecular bases for this phenomenon remain elusive. Recent studies in hybrids and allopolyploids using transcriptomic, proteomic, metabolomic, epigenomic and systems biology approaches have provided new insights. Emerging genomic and epigenetic perspectives suggest that heterosis arises from allelic interactions between parental genomes, leading to altered programming of genes that promote the growth, stress tolerance and fitness of hybrids. For example, epigenetic modifications of key regulatory genes in hybrids and allopolyploids can alter complex regulatory networks of physiology and metabolism, thus modulating biomass and leading to heterosis. The conceptual advances could help to improve plant and animal productivity through the manipulation of heterosis.

  9. Molecular insights into the terminal energy acceptor in cyanobacterial phycobilisome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Xiang; Wei, Tian-Di; Zhang, Nan; Xie, Bin-Bin; Su, Hai-Nan; Zhang, Xi-Ying; Chen, Xiu-Lan; Zhou, Bai-Cheng; Wang, Zhi-Xin; Wu, Jia-Wei; Zhang, Yu-Zhong

    2012-09-01

    The linker protein L(CM) (ApcE) is postulated as the major component of the phycobilisome terminal energy acceptor (TEA) transferring excitation energy from the phycobilisome to photosystem II. L(CM) is the only phycobilin-attached linker protein in the cyanobacterial phycobilisome through auto-chromophorylation. However, the underlying mechanism for the auto-chromophorylation of L(CM) and the detailed molecular architecture of TEA is still unclear. Here, we demonstrate that the N-terminal phycobiliprotein-like domain of L(CM) (Pfam00502, LP502) can specifically recognize phycocyanobilin (PCB) by itself. Biochemical assays indicated that PCB binds into the same pocket in LP502 as that in the allophycocyanin α-subunit and that Ser152 and Asp155 play a vital role in LP502 auto-chromophorylation. By carefully conducting computational simulations, we arrived at a rational model of the PCB-LP502 complex structure that was supported by extensive mutational studies. In the PCB-LP502 complex, PCB binds into a deep pocket of LP502 with a distorted conformation, and Ser152 and Asp155 form several hydrogen bonds to PCB fixing the PCB Ring A and Ring D. Finally, based on our results, the dipoles and dipole-dipole interactions in TEA are analysed and a molecular structure for TEA is proposed, which gives new insights into the energy transformation mechanism of cyanobacterial phycobilisome. PMID:22758351

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chang, Shan-Yan [Department of Biochemical Engineering and Key Laboratory of Systems Bioengineering of the Ministry of Education, School of Chemical Engineering and Technology, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072 (China); Liu, Fu-Feng, E-mail: fufengliu@tju.edu.cn, E-mail: ysun@tju.edu.cn; Dong, Xiao-Yan; Sun, Yan, E-mail: fufengliu@tju.edu.cn, E-mail: ysun@tju.edu.cn [Department of Biochemical Engineering and Key Laboratory of Systems Bioengineering of the Ministry of Education, School of Chemical Engineering and Technology, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072 (China); Collaborative Innovation Center of Chemical Science and Engineering (Tianjin), Tianjin 300072 (China)

    2013-12-14

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

    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.

  12. Molecular Determinants of Magnesium Homeostasis: Insights from Human Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexander, R. Todd; Hoenderop, Joost G.; Bindels, René J.

    2016-01-01

    The past decade has witnessed multiple advances in our understanding of magnesium (Mg2+) homeostasis. The discovery that mutations in claudin-16/paracellin-1 or claudin-19 are responsible for familial hypomagnesemia with hypercalciuria and nephrocalcinosis provided insight into the molecular mechanisms governing paracellular transport of Mg2+. Our understanding of the transcellular movement of Mg2+ was similarly enhanced by the realization that defects in transient receptor potential melastatin 6 (TRPM6) cause hypomagnesemia with secondary hypocalcemia. This channel regulates the apical entry of Mg2+ into epithelia. In so doing, TRPM6 alters whole-body Mg2+ homeostasis by controlling urinary excretion. Consequently, investigation into the regulation of TRPM6 has increased. Acid-base status, 17β estradiol, and the immunosuppressive agents FK506 and cyclosporine affect plasma Mg2+ levels by altering TRPM6 expression. A mutation in epithelial growth factor is responsible for isolated autosomal recessive hypomagnesemia, and epithelial growth factor activates TRPM6. A defect in the γ-subunit of the Na,K-ATPase causes isolated dominant hypomagnesemia by altering TRPM6 activity through a decrease in the driving force for apical Mg2+ influx. We anticipate that the next decade will provide further detail into the control of the gatekeeper TRPM6 and, therefore, overall whole-body Mg2+ balance. PMID:18562569

  13. 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.

  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. PMID:27569260

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27748421

  17. Proteomic insight into the molecular function of the vitreous.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jessica M Skeie

    Full Text Available The human vitreous contains primarily water, but also contains proteins which have yet to be fully characterized. To gain insight into the four vitreous substructures and their potential functions, we isolated and analyzed the vitreous protein profiles of three non-diseased human eyes. The four analyzed substructures were the anterior hyaloid, the vitreous cortex, the vitreous core, and the vitreous base. Proteins were separated by multidimensional liquid chromatography and identified by tandem mass spectrometry. Bioinformatics tools then extracted the expression profiles, signaling pathways, and interactomes unique to each tissue. From each substructure, a mean of 2,062 unique proteins were identified, with many being differentially expressed in a specific substructure: 278 proteins were unique to the anterior hyaloid, 322 to the vitreous cortex, 128 to the vitreous base, and 136 to the vitreous core. When the identified proteins were organized according to relevant functional pathways and networks, key patterns appeared. The blood coagulation pathway and extracellular matrix turnover networks were highly represented. Oxidative stress regulation and energy metabolism proteins were distributed throughout the vitreous. Immune functions were represented by high levels of immunoglobulin, the complement pathway, damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs, and evolutionarily conserved antimicrobial proteins. The majority of vitreous proteins detected were intracellular proteins, some of which originate from the retina, including rhodopsin (RHO, phosphodiesterase 6 (PDE6, and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP. This comprehensive analysis uncovers a picture of the vitreous as a biologically active tissue, where proteins localize to distinct substructures to protect the intraocular tissues from infection, oxidative stress, and energy disequilibrium. It also reveals the retina as a potential source of inflammatory mediators. The vitreous proteome

  18. Estimating the limits of adaptation from historical behaviour: Insights from the American Climate Prospectus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jina, A.; Hsiang, S. M.; Kopp, R. E., III; Rasmussen, D.; Rising, J.

    2014-12-01

    The American Climate Prospectus (ACP), the technical analysis underlying the Risky Business project, quantitatively assessed the climate risks posed to the United States' economy in a number of economic sectors [1]. The main analysis presents projections of climate impacts with an assumption of "no adaptation". Yet, historically, when the climate imposed an economic cost upon society, adaptive responses were taken to minimise these costs. These adaptive behaviours, both autonomous and planned, can be expected to occur as climate impacts increase in the future. To understand the extent to which adaptation might decrease some of the worst impacts of climate change, we empirically estimate adaptive responses. We do this in three sectors considered in the analysis - crop yield, crime, and mortality - and estimate adaptive capacity in two steps. First, looking at changes in climate impacts through time, we identify a historical rate of adaptation. Second, spatial differences in climate impacts are then used to stratify regions into more adapted or less adapted based on climate averages. As these averages change across counties in the US, we allow each to become more adapted at the rate identified in step one. We are then able to estimate the residual damages, assuming that only the historical adaptive behaviours have taken place (fig 1). Importantly, we are unable to estimate any costs associated with these adaptations, nor are we able to estimate more novel (for example, new technological discoveries) or more disruptive (for example, migration) adaptive behaviours. However, an important insight is that historical adaptive behaviours may not be capable of reducing the worst impacts of climate change. The persistence of impacts in even the most exposed areas indicates that there are non-trivial costs associated with adaptation that will need to be met from other sources or through novel behavioural changes. References: [1] T. Houser et al. (2014), American Climate

  19. 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.

  20. Clinical and molecular insights into primary pediatric liver cancer

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    V.B. Weeda

    2016-01-01

    This thesis aims to give insight into the clinical status quo of primary pediatric liver tumors and investigate signaling pathways that may be of importance for liver tumorigenesis. The most recent series of the International Childhood Liver Tumors Strategy Group (SIOPEL) of hepatocellular carcinoma

  1. 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...

  2. Molecular insights into the causes of male infertility

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Polani B Seshagiri

    2001-11-01

    Infertility is a reproductive health problem that affects many couples in the human population. About 13–18% of couple suffers from it and approximately one-half of all cases can be traced to either partner. Regardless of whether it is primary or secondary infertility, affected couples suffer from enormous emotional and psychological trauma and it can constitute a major life crisis in the social context. Many cases of idiopathic infertility have a genetic or molecular basis. The knowledge of the molecular genetics of male infertility is developing rapidly, new ``spermatogenic genes” are being discovered and molecular diagnostic approaches (DNA chips) established. This will immensely help diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to alleviate human infertility. The present review provides an overview of the causes of human infertility, particularly the molecular basis of male infertility and its implications for clinical practice.

  3. Clinical and molecular insights into primary pediatric liver cancer

    OpenAIRE

    Weeda, V.B.

    2016-01-01

    This thesis aims to give insight into the clinical status quo of primary pediatric liver tumors and investigate signaling pathways that may be of importance for liver tumorigenesis. The most recent series of the International Childhood Liver Tumors Strategy Group (SIOPEL) of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and its distinct variant fibrolamellar hepatocellular carcinoma (FL-HCC) are discussed. For both tumors, complete resection is at present the only curative option. FL-HCC does not have a bet...

  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. From quantifying historical LULCC impacts to optimizing land management for climate mitigation: Insights from climate modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davin, E.; Lejeune, Q.; Seneviratne, S. I.

    2015-12-01

    Human activities have profoundly transformed the land surface through land use/land cover change (LULCC). The consequence of this transformation is twofold: First, the conversion from natural to anthropogenic systems exert a direct forcing on climate (through both biogeochemical and biogeophysical processes); Second the transformed ecosystems may modify land-atmosphere feedback mechanisms thus modulating the response to climate change or to specific weather events. The first point will be illustrated by reviewing recent modelling results, including LUCID and CMIP5 model intercomparisons, to shed some light on the relative importance of LULCC versus other climate forcings. Given the importance of LULCC impacts at the regional scale, some recent efforts to improve the representation of land processes in regional climate models [1] as well as a regional assessment of the impact of amazonian deforestation [2] will be presented. The second point will be discussed through two examples. First, the fact that LULCC may modulate certain modes of variability will be illustrated based on model experiments highlighting the regional interplay between ENSO variability and amazonian deforestation. Second, we will show that peak temperatures during heat waves can be strongly influenced locally by the type of land cover or land management practices. In particular no-till farming, by increasing surface albedo, can lead to a substantial attenuation of hot temperatures during heat waves, in part due to a more efficient radiative cooling effect during cloud-free conditions [3]. References:[1] Davin, E.L. and S.I. Seneviratne (2012), Role of land surface processes and diffuse/direct radiation partitioning in simulating the European climate, Biogeosciences, 9, 1695-1707, doi:10.5194/bg-9-1695-2012.[2] Lejeune, Q., E.L. Davin, B. Guillod and S.I. Seneviratne (2015), Influence of Amazonian deforestation on the future evolution of regional surface fluxes, circulation, surface temperature and

  6. Polycystic liver diseases: advanced insights into the molecular mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perugorria, Maria J; Masyuk, Tatyana V; Marin, Jose J; Marzioni, Marco; Bujanda, Luis; LaRusso, Nicholas F; Banales, Jesus M

    2014-12-01

    Polycystic liver diseases are genetic disorders characterized by progressive bile duct dilatation and/or cyst development. The large volume of hepatic cysts causes different symptoms and complications such as abdominal distension, local pressure with back pain, hypertension, gastro-oesophageal reflux and dyspnea as well as bleeding, infection and rupture of the cysts. Current therapeutic strategies are based on surgical procedures and pharmacological management, which partially prevent or ameliorate the disease. However, as these treatments only show short-term and/or modest beneficial effects, liver transplantation is the only definitive therapy. Therefore, interest in understanding the molecular mechanisms involved in disease pathogenesis is increasing so that new targets for therapy can be identified. In this Review, the genetic mechanisms underlying polycystic liver diseases and the most relevant molecular pathways of hepatic cystogenesis are discussed. Moreover, the main clinical and preclinical studies are highlighted and future directions in basic as well as clinical research are indicated.

  7. Molecular Insight into Gut Microbiota and Rheumatoid Arthritis

    OpenAIRE

    Xiaohao Wu; Bing He; Jin Liu; Hui Feng; Yinghui Ma; Defang Li; Baosheng Guo; Chao Liang; Lei Dang; Luyao Wang; Jing Tian; Hailong Zhu; Lianbo Xiao; Cheng Lu; Aiping Lu

    2016-01-01

    Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a systemic, inflammatory, and autoimmune disorder. Gut microbiota play an important role in the etiology of RA. With the considerable progress made in next-generation sequencing techniques, the identified gut microbiota difference between RA patients and healthy individuals provides an updated overview of the association between gut microbiota and RA. We reviewed the reported correlation and underlying molecular mechanisms among gut microbiota, the immune system, ...

  8. Increased genome sampling reveals novel insights into vertebrate molecular evolution

    OpenAIRE

    Doherty, Aoife

    2012-01-01

    In this thesis, increased vertebrate genome sampling and recent methodological advancements were combined to address three distinct questions pertaining to vertebrate molecular evolution. Gene duplicability is the tendency to retain multiple gene copies after a duplication event. Various factors correlate with gene duplicability, such as protein function and timing of expression during development. The position of a gene’s encoded product in the protein-protein interaction n...

  9. Interaction of peptides with cell membranes: insights from molecular modeling

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The investigation of the interaction of peptides with cell membranes is the focus of active research. It can enhance the understanding of basic membrane functions such as membrane transport, fusion, and signaling processes, and it may shed light on potential applications of peptides in biomedicine. In this review, we will present current advances in computational studies on the interaction of different types of peptides with the cell membrane. Depending on the properties of the peptide, membrane, and external environment, the peptide–membrane interaction shows a variety of different forms. Here, on the basis of recent computational progress, we will discuss how different peptides could initiate membrane pores, translocate across the membrane, induce membrane endocytosis, produce membrane curvature, form fibrils on the membrane surface, as well as interact with functional membrane proteins. Finally, we will present a conclusion summarizing recent progress and providing some specific insights into future developments in this field. (topical review)

  10. Interaction of peptides with cell membranes: insights from molecular modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Zhen-lu; Ding, Hong-ming; Ma, Yu-qiang

    2016-03-01

    The investigation of the interaction of peptides with cell membranes is the focus of active research. It can enhance the understanding of basic membrane functions such as membrane transport, fusion, and signaling processes, and it may shed light on potential applications of peptides in biomedicine. In this review, we will present current advances in computational studies on the interaction of different types of peptides with the cell membrane. Depending on the properties of the peptide, membrane, and external environment, the peptide-membrane interaction shows a variety of different forms. Here, on the basis of recent computational progress, we will discuss how different peptides could initiate membrane pores, translocate across the membrane, induce membrane endocytosis, produce membrane curvature, form fibrils on the membrane surface, as well as interact with functional membrane proteins. Finally, we will present a conclusion summarizing recent progress and providing some specific insights into future developments in this field.

  11. 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.

  12. Melittin Aggregation in Aqueous Solutions: Insight from Molecular Dynamics Simulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liao, Chenyi; Esai Selvan, Myvizhi; Zhao, Jun; Slimovitch, Jonathan L; Schneebeli, Severin T; Shelley, Mee; Shelley, John C; Li, Jianing

    2015-08-20

    Melittin is a natural peptide that aggregates in aqueous solutions with paradigmatic monomer-to-tetramer and coil-to-helix transitions. Since little is known about the molecular mechanisms of melittin aggregation in solution, we simulated its self-aggregation process under various conditions. After confirming the stability of a melittin tetramer in solution, we observed—for the first time in atomistic detail—that four separated melittin monomers aggregate into a tetramer. Our simulated dependence of melittin aggregation on peptide concentration, temperature, and ionic strength is in good agreement with prior experiments. We propose that melittin mainly self-aggregates via a mechanism involving the sequential addition of monomers, which is supported by both qualitative and quantitative evidence obtained from unbiased and metadynamics simulations. Moreover, by combining computer simulations and a theory of the electrical double layer, we provide evidence to suggest why melittin aggregation in solution likely stops at the tetramer, rather than forming higher-order oligomers. Overall, our study not only explains prior experimental results at the molecular level but also provides quantitative mechanistic information that may guide the engineering of melittin for higher efficacy and safety. PMID:26208115

  13. INSIGHT INTO THE MOLECULAR AND GENETIC CHANGES IN HEART FAILURE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sergio Dalla–Volta, MD, PhD

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available n the last fifteen years much progress has been made on the knowledge of the mechanisms controlling the genetic and molecular activities of the mammalian (with special emphasis on the human heart in chronic cardiac insufficiency.This increased knowledge has greatly influenced the understanding and treatment of heart failure, helping to prolong duration of life; even if clear evidence of a long lasting improvement of the syndrome is lacking.The causes of heart failure are numerous and different, but the common feature depends on the modest regenerative capacity of the human heart after any important injury damaging the myocardium. Therefore, the more frequent consequence is the appearance of scar tissue, with collagen deposition and tissue remodelling. Even is some proliferation of cardiac myocites has been noted, this process is unable to overcome the destruction of normal cells observed in the several cardiac disorders, so that the only efficient response is usually the cellular hypertrophy.

  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. New insights into molecular targets for urinary incontinence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Poonia Manoj

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Urinary incontinence (UI is a disease affecting quality of life of 200 million patients worldwide. It is characterized by involuntary loss of urine. The factors involved are cystitis, detrusor hyperreflexia, spinal injury, benign prostatic hyperplasia, etc. The surge in the number of reviews on this subject indicates the amount of research devoted to this field. The prevalence is increasing at an alarming rate but unfortunately, only a few medications are currently available for this condition. There are peripheral as well as central targets including cholinergic, vanilloid, prostaglandin, kinin, calcium channel, cannabinoid, serotonin, and GABA-receptors, which act by different mechanisms to treat different types of incontinence. Drugs acting on the central nervous system (CNS increase urinary bladder capacity, volume, or pressure threshold for micturition reflex activation while peripherally acting drugs decrease the amplitude of micturition contraction and residual volume. Anticholinergic drugs specifically M3 receptor antagonists are the first choice but have frequent side effects such as dry mouth, CNS disturbances, etc. Therefore, there is a need to understand the biochemical pathways that control urinary dysfunction to determine the potential to which they can be exploited in the treatment of this condition. This article reviews the central and peripheral molecular targets and the potential therapeutic approaches to the treatment of UI.

  16. Mechanics at the molecular scale: Insight into the physical mechanisms

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Neucheva, Olga A.; Temirov, Ruslan; Tautz, Stefan [Institut fuer Bio- und Nanosysteme (IBN-3) and JARA - Fundamental of Future Information Technology, Forschungszentrum Juelich, 52425 Juelich (Germany)

    2010-07-01

    The manipulation of atoms and molecules is one of the problems under investigation in a surface science. The first successful attempt to transfer an atom from a surface with use of a scanning tunneling microscope has been realized by Eigler et al. An interest to understand the underlying physical mechanism from both experimental and theoretical points of view has led to investigations of many systems which can be used as atomic and molecular switches. In our work the behaviour of a single PTCDA molecule on Ag(111) has been investigated with a LT-STM. Two level fluctuations of the conductance of the junction have been observed within a narrow range of the tip heights and bias voltages. The bistability is related to reversible switching of one of the carboxylic oxygen atoms between the surface and the STM-tip. The current passing through the junction induces vibrations of the molecule leading to weakening and breaking of a chemical bond with the surface and establishing a new one with the tip and vice versa. The switching frequency strongly depends on the bias voltages and tip heights, following a non-linear dependence on the current.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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)

  18. New insights into the properties of contrail cirrus and their impact on climate from airborne experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voigt, Christiane; Schumann, Ulrich; Minikin, Andreas; Schlager, Hans; Anderson, Bruce

    2016-04-01

    Current growth rates in aviation demand a profound scientific data base of contrail cirrus properties in order to accurately assess their climate impact. In particular, the differentiation of contrail cirrus in natural cirrus fields is challenging. Direct observations of contrail cirrus throughout their life cycle are scarce and therefore limit our understanding of the climate effects from contrail cirrus. Here, we give new insights into the growth, life-cycle and climate impact from contrail cirrus based on results from suite of aircraft experiments. NASA's ACCESSII mission focused on the detection of aircraft emissions and initial contrail stages. Nascent contrails were detected at cruise altitudes at 100 m distance to the engine exit. Contrail growth to 10-min contrail age was investigated during DLR's CONCERT campaigns. Finally, the objective of the ML-CIRRUS experiment was to study the life cycle and climate impact of contrail cirrus. The contrail measurements are related to previous observations and discussed in the context of recent developments in contrail modeling. Highlights include the quantification of the effects of aircraft type on contrail microphysics, the analysis of ice particle shapes and the quantitative distinction of contrail cirrus and natural cirrus.

  19. Response of germinating barley seeds to Fusarium graminearum: The first molecular insight into Fusarium seedling blight

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yang, Fen; Svensson, Birte; Finnie, Christine

    2011-01-01

    Fusarium seedling blight in cereals can result in significant reductions in plant establishment but has not received much attention. The disease often starts during seed germination due to sowing of the seeds infected by Fusarium spp. including Fusarium graminearum. In order to gain the first...... provides the first molecular insight into Fusarium seedling blight....

  20. Molecular signatures of ovarian diseases: Insights from network medicine perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kori, Medi; Gov, Esra; Arga, Kazim Yalcin

    2016-08-01

    Dysfunctions and disorders in the ovary lead to a host of diseases including ovarian cancer, ovarian endometriosis, and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Understanding the molecular mechanisms behind ovarian diseases is a great challenge. In the present study, we performed a meta-analysis of transcriptome data for ovarian cancer, ovarian endometriosis, and PCOS, and integrated the information gained from statistical analysis with genome-scale biological networks (protein-protein interaction, transcriptional regulatory, and metabolic). Comparative and integrative analyses yielded reporter biomolecules (genes, proteins, metabolites, transcription factors, and micro-RNAs), and unique or common signatures at protein, metabolism, and transcription regulation levels, which might be beneficial to uncovering the underlying biological mechanisms behind the diseases. These signatures were mostly associated with formation or initiation of cancer development, and pointed out the potential tendency of PCOS and endometriosis to tumorigenesis. Molecules and pathways related to MAPK signaling, cell cycle, and apoptosis were the mutual determinants in the pathogenesis of all three diseases. To our knowledge, this is the first report that screens these diseases from a network medicine perspective. This study provides signatures which could be considered as potential therapeutic targets and/or as medical prognostic biomarkers in further experimental and clinical studies. Abbreviations DAVID: Database for Annotation, Visualization and Integrated Discovery; DEGs: differentially expressed genes; GEO: Gene Expression Omnibus; KEGG: Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes; LIMMA: Linear Models for Microarray Data; MBRole: Metabolite Biological Role; miRNA: micro-RNA; PCOS: polycystic ovarian syndrome; PPI: protein-protein interaction; RMA: Robust Multi-Array Average; TF: transcription factor. PMID:27341345

  1. Molecular Ecological Insights into Neotropical Bird–Tick Interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  2. 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

  3. Polymer Nanocomposites: Insights from Theory and Molecular Simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pani, Rakhee

    Advantages of polymer nanocomposites have attracted great industrial attention due to their multifunctionality and innovative technological properties. Addition of small amount of nanoparticle (nanospheres, nanotubes, nanorods, nanoplatelets, or sheets) to polymer matrix cause dramatic improvement in structural and functional properties, which is difficult to attain from those of individual components. The interaction between polymer and nanoparticle create bulk materials dominated by solid state physics at the nanoscale. Furthermore, morphology of nanocomposites depends on structural arrangements of nanoparticles. Thus, for achievement of optimized functionality like electrical, optical, mechanical and thermal properties control over the dispersion of the nanoparticle is essential. However, properties of polymer nanocomposites depend on morphology control and nature of interfacial interactions. In order to control the morphology it is necessary to understand how the processing conditions, shape and size of nanoparticle influence the structure of composite. Molecular simulations can help us to predict the parameters that control the structural changes and we could design polymer nanocomposite entailing their end-use. In this work, we addressed the following research questions: (1) the dependence of nanoparticle ligand corona structure on solvent quality and (2) the role of interfacial energy and interactions on the dispersion of molecules and nanoparticles. Specifically, this research assessed the effect of solvent interactions on the structure of nanoparticles on the example of redox core encapsulating dendrimer and ligand functionalized gold nanoparticles, role of chemical interaction on solubility of glucose in ionic liquids, diffusion of fullerene nanoparticles in polymer matrix and influence of solubility parameters on the compatibility of gold nanoparticles with diblock copolymers. Computational methods allow quantifying the structure and flexibility of the

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Ultrathin Molecular-Layer-by-Layer Polyamide Membranes: Insights from Atomistic Molecular Simulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liyana-Arachchi, Thilanga P; Sturnfield, James F; Colina, Coray M

    2016-09-01

    In this study, we present an atomistic simulation study of several physicochemical properties of polyamide (PA) membranes formed from interfacial polymerization or from a molecular-layer-by-layer (mLbL) on a silicon wafer. These membranes are composed of meta-phenylenediamine (MPD) and benzene-1,3,5-tricarboxylic acid chloride (TMC) for potential reverse osmosis (RO) applications. The mLbL membrane generation procedure and the force field models were validated, by comparison with available experimental data, for hydrated density, membrane swelling, and pore size distributions of PA membranes formed by interfacial polymerization. Physicochemical properties such as density, free volume, thickness, the degree of cross-linking, atomic compositions, and average molecular orientation (which is relevant for the mLbL membranes) are compared for these different processes. The mLbL membranes are investigated systematically with respect to TMC monomer growth rate per substrate surface area, MPD/TMC ratio, and the number of mLbL deposition cycles. Atomistic simulations show that the mLbL deposition generates membranes with a constant film growth if both the TMC monomer growth rate and MPD/TMC monomer ratio are kept constant. The film growth rate increases with TMC monomer growth rate or MPD/TMC ratio. Furthermore, it was found on one hand that the mLbL membrane density and free volume varies significantly with respect to the TMC monomer growth rate, while on the other hand the degree of cross-linking and the atomic composition varies considerably with the MPD/TMC ratio. Additionally, it was found that both TMC and MPD orient at a tilted angle with respect to the substrate surface, where their angular distribution and average angle orientation depend on both the TMC growth rate and the number of deposition cycles. This study illustrates that molecular simulations can play a crucial role in the understanding of structural properties that can empower the design of the next

  11. Insights into the molecular interactions between aminopeptidase and amyloid beta peptide using molecular modeling techniques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dhanavade, Maruti J; Sonawane, Kailas D

    2014-08-01

    Amyloid beta (Aβ) peptides play a central role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease. The accumulation of Aβ peptides in AD brain was caused due to overproduction or insufficient clearance and defects in the proteolytic degradation of Aβ peptides. Hence, Aβ peptide degradation could be a promising therapeutic approach in AD treatment. Recent experimental report suggests that aminopeptidase from Streptomyces griseus KK565 (SGAK) can degrade Aβ peptides but the interactive residues are yet to be known in detail at the atomic level. Hence, we developed the three-dimensional model of aminopeptidase (SGAK) using SWISS-MODEL, Geno3D and MODELLER. Model built by MODELLER was used for further studies. Molecular docking was performed between aminopeptidase (SGAK) with wild-type and mutated Aβ peptides. The docked complex of aminopeptidase (SGAK) and wild-type Aβ peptide (1IYT.pdb) shows more stability than the other complexes. Molecular docking and MD simulation results revealed that the residues His93, Asp105, Glu139, Glu140, Asp168 and His255 are involved in the hydrogen bonding with Aβ peptide and zinc ions. The interactions between carboxyl oxygen atoms of Glu139 of aminopeptidase (SGAK) with water molecule suggest that the Glu139 may be involved in the nucleophilic attack on Ala2-Glu3 peptide bond of Aβ peptide. Hence, amino acid Glu139 of aminopeptidase (SGAK) might play an important role to degrade Aβ peptides, a causative agent of Alzheimer's disease.

  12. Novel molecular fossils of bacteria: insights into hydrothermal origin of life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dai, Jianghong

    2012-10-01

    Hydrothermal vents, in particular, alkaline submarine vents, are potential systems for the origin of life. Early hydrothermal vents may have imprinted on biochemical processes and housekeeping proteins of life and have hallmarked key molecules. This essay introduces new information to this discussion by focusing on newly identified sulfur-modified DNA and a heretofore ignored anhydro bond of the cell wall peptidoglycan in bacteria. It is suggested that they are novel molecular fossils that are relevant to the settings of alkaline submarine vents and harbor clues of early life. As DNA and the cell wall are bound up with genetic information and the integrity of cell, respectively, these two molecular fossils may provide insights into hydrothermal origin of life from a new angle.

  13. Molecular self-assembly on two-dimensional atomic crystals: insights from molecular dynamics simulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Yinghe; Wu, Qisheng; Chen, Qian; Wang, Jinlan

    2015-11-19

    van der Waals (vdW) epitaxy of ultrathin organic films on two-dimensional (2D) atomic crystals has become a sovereign area because of their unique advantages in organic electronic devices. However, the dynamic mechanism of the self-assembly remains elusive. Here, we visualize the nanoscale self-assembly of organic molecules on graphene and boron nitride monolayer from a disordered state to a 2D lattice via molecular dynamics simulation for the first time. It is revealed that the assembly toward 2D ordered structures is essentially the minimization of the molecule-molecule interaction, that is, the vdW interaction in nonpolar systems and the vdW and Coulomb interactions in polar systems that are the decisive factors for the formation of the 2D ordering. The role of the substrate is mainly governing the array orientation of the adsorbates. The mechanisms unveiled here are generally applicable to a broad class of organic thin films via vdW epitaxy. PMID:26523464

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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. 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.

  16. Reactivity and Selectivity of Heterogenized Homogeneous Catalysts: Insights from Molecular Simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malek, Kourosh; van Santen, Rutger A.

    Immobilized metal complexes on nanoporous materials have recently been proposed as a novel class of heterogeneous enantioselective catalyst for epoxidation of unfunctionalized olefins as well as hydrogenation, alkylation, and nitroaldol reactions. The porous hosted materials affect catalytic performance due to a cooperative interaction among the nanoporous solid, immobilizing linker, and metal complex asymmetry. The effects of mesoporous materials and immobilizing agents on chiral catalysis are not well understood, however, the catalysts confined in nanopores show comparable or even higher conversions and enantioselectivity compared to their homogeneous counterparts. This chapter highlights major scientific problems for fundamental understanding and design of heterogenized homogeneous catalysts. It describes in detail the pivotal role of a sound framework in physical theory and molecular modeling in systematic efforts towards better materials and catalytic performance optimization. The common threads of the various topics addressed is the wide range of scales that has to be considered in establishing relations between structure, physicochemical properties, and catalytic performance. Physical theory and modeling employ a variety of methods, encompassing ab-initio calculations, molecular simulations, and the continuum model of transport and reaction in nanoporous materials. We particularly describe how molecular simulations can be used to investigate the origin of enantioselectivity of an anchored metal complex in nanoporous materials. These studies provide new insights into the steric effects that relate to choices of substrate and linker and to the interplay with mesopore confinement. We also bring detailed example of employing molecular simulations to unravel the catalytic properties of metallomacrocyclics for the electrochemical reduction of molecular oxygen in aqueous media. We rationalize the importance of immobilization and show how it relates to the steric

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24816101

  18. Protein Fibrillar Nanopolymers: Molecular-Level Insights into Their Structural, Physical and Mechanical Properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trusova, Valeriya M.

    2015-09-01

    Amyloid fibrils represent a generic class of mechanically strong and stable biomaterials with extremely advantageous properties. Although amyloids were initially associated only with severe neurological disorders, the role of these structures nowadays is shifting from health debilitating to highly beneficial both in biomedical and technological aspects. Intensive involvement of fibrillar assemblies into the wide range of pathogenic and functional processes strongly necessitate the molecular level characterization of the structural, physical and elastic features of protein nanofibrils. In the present contribution, we made an attempt to highlight the up-to-date progress in the understanding of amyloid properties from the polymer physics standpoint. The fundamental insights into protein fibril behavior are essential not only for development of therapeutic strategies to combat the protein misfolding disorders but also for rational and precise design of novel biodegradable protein-based nanopolymers.

  19. Human metapneumovirus: insights from a ten-year molecular and epidemiological analysis in Germany.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janine Reiche

    Full Text Available Human metapneumovirus (HMPV is a cause of respiratory tract illness at all ages. In this study the epidemiological and molecular diversity among patients of different ages was investigated. Between 2000-2001 and 2009-2010, HMPV was detected in 3% (138/4,549 of samples from outpatients with influenza-like illness with a new, sensitive real-time RT-PCR assay. Several hundred (797 clinical specimens from hospitalized children below the age of 4 years with acute respiratory illness were investigated and HMPV was detected in 11.9% of them. Investigation of outpatients revealed that HMPV infections occurred in individuals of all ages but were most prevalent in children (0-4 years and the elderly (>60 years. The most present clinical features of HMPV infections were cough, bronchitis, fever/shivers and pneumonia. About two thirds of HMPV-positive samples were detected in February and March throughout the study period. Molecular characterization of HMPV revealed a complex cyclic pattern of group dominance where HMPV subgroup A and B viruses predominated in general for three consecutive seasons. German HMPV represented all genetic lineages including A1, A2, B1, B2, sub-clusters A2a and A2b. For Germany, not only time-dependent circulation of lineages and sub-clusters was observed but also co-circulation of two or three predominant lineages. Two newly emerging amino acid substitutions (positions 223 and 280 of lineage B2 were detected in seven German HMPV sequences. Our study gives new insights into the molecular epidemiology of HMPV in in- and outpatients over a time period of 10 years for the first time. It is one of only few long-term surveillance studies in Europe, and allows comparative molecular analyses of HMPV circulating worldwide.

  20. 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.

  1. Plant molecular stress responses face climate change. Trends in Plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ahuja, I.; Vos, de R.C.H.; Bones, A.M.; Hall, R.D.

    2010-01-01

    Environmental stress factors such as drought, elevated temperature, salinity and rising CO2 affect plant growth and pose a growing threat to sustainable agriculture. This has become a hot issue due to concerns about the effects of climate change on plant resources, biodiversity and global food secur

  2. Molecular Insights into Aqueous NaCl Electrolytes Confined within Vertically-oriented Graphenes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bo, Zheng; Yang, Huachao; Zhang, Shuo; Yang, Jinyuan; Yan, Jianhua; Cen, Kefa

    2015-01-01

    Vertically-oriented graphenes (VGs) are promising active materials for electric double layer capacitors (EDLCs) due to their unique morphological and structural features. This study, for the first time, reports the molecular dynamics (MD) simulations on aqueous NaCl electrolytes confined within VG channels with different surface charge densities and channel widths. Simulation results show that the accessibility of ions and the structure of EDLCs are determined by the ion type/size, surface charging, and VG channel width. For relatively narrow VG channels with the same width, the threshold charge density (to compensate the energy penalty for shedding hydration shell) and the dehydration rate of Cl(-) ions are larger than those of Na(+) ions. To achieve the highest ion concentration coefficient, the effective VG channel width should be between the crystal and hydration diameters of the ions. The results are further quantified and elucidated by calculating the electrolyte density profiles. The molecular insights obtained in the current work are useful in guiding the design and fabrication of VGs for advancing their EDLC applications. PMID:26424365

  3. Molecular Insights into Aqueous NaCl Electrolytes Confined within Vertically-oriented Graphenes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bo, Zheng; Yang, Huachao; Zhang, Shuo; Yang, Jinyuan; Yan, Jianhua; Cen, Kefa

    2015-10-01

    Vertically-oriented graphenes (VGs) are promising active materials for electric double layer capacitors (EDLCs) due to their unique morphological and structural features. This study, for the first time, reports the molecular dynamics (MD) simulations on aqueous NaCl electrolytes confined within VG channels with different surface charge densities and channel widths. Simulation results show that the accessibility of ions and the structure of EDLCs are determined by the ion type/size, surface charging, and VG channel width. For relatively narrow VG channels with the same width, the threshold charge density (to compensate the energy penalty for shedding hydration shell) and the dehydration rate of Cl- ions are larger than those of Na+ ions. To achieve the highest ion concentration coefficient, the effective VG channel width should be between the crystal and hydration diameters of the ions. The results are further quantified and elucidated by calculating the electrolyte density profiles. The molecular insights obtained in the current work are useful in guiding the design and fabrication of VGs for advancing their EDLC applications.

  4. Molecular Insights into Division of Single Human Cancer Cells in On-Chip Transparent Microtubes

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-01

    In vivo, mammalian cells proliferate within 3D environments consisting of numerous microcavities and channels, which contain a variety of chemical and physical cues. External environments often differ between normal and pathological states, such as the unique spatial constraints that metastasizing cancer cells experience as they circulate the vasculature through arterioles and narrow capillaries, where they can divide and acquire elongated cylindrical shapes. While metastatic tumors cause most cancer deaths, factors impacting early cancer cell proliferation inside the vasculature and those that can promote the formation of secondary tumors remain largely unknown. Prior studies investigating confined mitosis have mainly used 2D cell culture systems. Here, we mimic aspects of metastasizing tumor cells dividing inside blood capillaries by investigating single-cell divisions of living human cancer cells, trapped inside 3D rolled-up, transparent nanomembranes. We assess the molecular effects of tubular confinement on key mitotic features, using optical high- and super-resolution microscopy. Our experiments show that tubular confinement affects the morphology and dynamics of the mitotic spindle, chromosome arrangements, and the organization of the cell cortex. Moreover, we reveal that membrane blebbing and/or associated processes act as a potential genome-safety mechanism, limiting the extent of genomic instability caused by mitosis in confined circumstances, especially in tubular 3D microenvironments. Collectively, our study demonstrates the potential of rolled-up nanomembranes for gaining molecular insights into key cellular events occurring in tubular 3D microenvironments in vivo. PMID:27267364

  5. 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.

  6. 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 migra

  7. Stimuli for municipal responses to climate adaptation: insights from Philadelphia – an early adapter

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Uittenbroek, C.J.; Janssen-Jansen, Leonie; Runhaar, H.A.C.

    2016-01-01

    An in-depth understanding of these stimuli is currently lacking in literature as most research has focussed on overcoming barriers to climate adaptation. The aim of this paper is to identify stimuli for municipal responses to climate adaptation and examine how they influence the governance approach

  8. Migration out of 1930s Rural Eastern Oklahoma: Insights for Climate Change Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLeman, Robert

    2006-01-01

    The question of how communities and individuals adapt to changing climatic conditions is of pressing concern to scientists and policymakers in light of the growing evidence that human activity has modified the Earth's climate. A number of authors have suggested that widespread changes in human settlement and migration patterns may occur in…

  9. Climate Change Adaptation Strategy in the Food Industry—Insights from Product Carbon and Water Footprints

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bradley Ridoutt

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Climate change adds an additional layer of complexity that needs to be considered in business strategy. For firms in the food industry, many of the important climate impacts are not directly related to food processing so a value chain approach to adaptation is recommended. However, there is a general lack of operational tools to support this. In this study, carbon and water footprints were conducted at a low-precision screening level in three case studies in Australia: Smith’s potato chips, OneHarvest Calypso™ mango and selected Treasury Wine Estates products. The approach was cost-effective when compared to high-definition studies intended to support environmental labels and declarations, yet provided useful identification of physical, financial, regulatory and reputational hotspots related to climate change. A combination of diagnostic footprinting, downscaled climate projection and semi-quantitative value chain analysis is proposed as a practical and relevant toolkit to inform climate adaptation strategies.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wyrick, Jonathan; Bartels, Ludwig, E-mail: ludwig.bartels@ucr.edu [Pierce Hall, University of California-Riverside, Riverside, California 92521 (United States); Einstein, T. L. [Department of Physics and Condensed Matter Theory Center, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland 20742-4111 (United States)

    2015-03-14

    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.

  13. Informing energy and climate policies using energy systems models insights from scenario analysis increasing the evidence base

    CERN Document Server

    Giannakidis, George; Ó Gallachóir, Brian; Tosato, GianCarlo

    2015-01-01

    This book highlights how energy-system models are used to underpin and support energy and climate mitigation policy decisions at national, multi-country and global levels. It brings together, for the first time in one volume, a range of methodological approaches and case studies of good modeling practice on a national and international scale from the IEA-ETSAP energy technology initiative. It provides insights for the reader into the rich and varied applications of energy-system models and the underlying methodologies and policy questions they can address. The book demonstrates how these mode

  14. 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

  15. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Chris Riedy; Jade Herriman

    2011-01-01

    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 t...

  17. Water oxidation with molecularly defined iridium complexes: insights into homogeneous versus heterogeneous catalysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Junge, Henrik; Marquet, Nicolas; Kammer, Anja; Denurra, Stefania; Bauer, Matthias; Wohlrab, Sebastian; Gärtner, Felix; Pohl, Marga-Martina; Spannenberg, Anke; Gladiali, Serafino; Beller, Matthias

    2012-10-01

    Molecularly defined Ir complexes and different samples of supported IrO(2) nanoparticles have been tested and compared in the catalytic water oxidation with cerium ammonium nitrate (CAN) as the oxidant. By comparing the activity of nano-scaled supported IrO(2) particles to the one of organometallic complexes it is shown that the overall activity of the homogeneous Ir precursors is defined by both the formation of the homogeneous active species and its conversion to Ir(IV)-oxo nanoparticles. In the first phase of the reaction the activity is dominated by the homogeneous active species. With increasing reaction time, the influence of nano-sized Ir-oxo particles becomes more evident. Notably, the different conversion rates of the homogeneous precursor into the active species as well as the conversion into Ir-oxo nanoparticles and the different particle sizes have a significant influence on the overall activity. In addition to the homogeneous systems, IrO(2)@MCM-41 has also been synthesized, which contains stabilized nanoparticles of between 1 and 3 nm in size. This latter system shows a similar activity to IrCl(3)⋅xH(2)O and complexes 4 and 5. Mechanistic insights were obtained by in situ X-ray absorption spectroscopy and scanning transmission electron microscopy.

  18. New Insights into the Molecular Basis of Kidney Governing Bone Theory

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Dong-feng Zhao; Yong-jian Zhao; Cheng-long Wang; Yan-ping Yang; Yong-jun Wang

    2015-01-01

    Kidney governing bone theory plays an important role in treating bone metabolic disease such as osteoporosis, and many tonifying kidney prescriptions/herbs are widely used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). However, the exact biological basis of kidney governing bone theory in the context of new advances in biology is still not fully established. In this paper, the content of kidney governing bone theory in biology has been fully demonstrated from different aspects. We first propose that bone and kidney mutually affect each other in pathology and physiology, particularly through homeostasis of calcium, phosphorus and fibroblast growth factor-23(FGF-23). Next, we identify that tonifying kidney prescriptions/herbs exert bone protective effects, thus treating osteoporosis by regulating bone formation and bone resorption. Furthermore, the exact molecular mechanisms of tonifying kidney prescriptions, herbs and their effective components in treating osteoporosis have been systematically reviewed. Finally, we come into the conclusion that kidney regulating bone mineral homeostasis, bone protective effects of tonifying kidney herbs and regulatory effects on bone homeostasis are all the manifestations of kidney governing bone theory. Therefore, the new insights into kidney governing bone theory in biology will promote the development of clinical practices, and drugs discovery in treating osteoporosis.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Parasite zoonoses and climate change: molecular tools for tracking shifting boundaries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polley, Lydden; Thompson, R C Andrew

    2009-06-01

    For human, domestic animal and wildlife health, key effects of directional climate change include the risk of the altered occurrence of infectious diseases. Many parasite zoonoses have high potential for vulnerability to the new climate, in part because their free-living life-cycle stages and ectothermic hosts are directly exposed to climatic conditions. For these zoonoses, climate change can shift boundaries for ecosystem components and processes integral to parasite transmission and persistence, and these shifts can impact host health. Vulnerable boundaries include those for spatial distributions, host-parasite assemblages, demographic rates, life-cycle phenologies, associations within ecosystems, virulence, and patterns of infection and disease. This review describes these boundary shifts and how molecular techniques can be applied to defining the new boundaries.

  2. Sensitivity of crop cover to climate variability: insights from two Indian agro-ecoregions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mondal, Pinki; Jain, Meha; DeFries, Ruth S; Galford, Gillian L; Small, Christopher

    2015-01-15

    Crop productivity in India varies greatly with inter-annual climate variability and is highly dependent on monsoon rainfall and temperature. The sensitivity of yields to future climate variability varies with crop type, access to irrigation and other biophysical and socio-economic factors. To better understand sensitivities to future climate, this study focuses on agro-ecological subregions in Central and Western India that span a range of crops, irrigation, biophysical conditions and socioeconomic characteristics. Climate variability is derived from remotely-sensed data products, Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM - precipitation) and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS - temperature). We examined green-leaf phenologies as proxy for crop productivity using the MODIS Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) from 2000 to 2012. Using both monsoon and winter growing seasons, we assessed phenological sensitivity to inter-annual variability in precipitation and temperature patterns. Inter-annual EVI phenology anomalies ranged from -25% to 25%, with some highly anomalous values up to 200%. Monsoon crop phenology in the Central India site is highly sensitive to climate, especially the timing of the start and end of the monsoon and intensity of precipitation. In the Western India site, monsoon crop phenology is less sensitive to precipitation variability, yet shows considerable fluctuations in monsoon crop productivity across the years. Temperature is critically important for winter productivity across a range of crop and management types, such that irrigation might not provide a sufficient buffer against projected temperature increases. Better access to weather information and usage of climate-resilient crop types would play pivotal role in maintaining future productivity. Effective strategies to adapt to projected climate changes in the coming decades would also need to be tailored to regional biophysical and socio-economic conditions.

  3. Small islands, valuable insights: systems of customary resource use and resilience to climate change in the Pacific

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heather L. McMillen

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Understanding how social-ecological systems are and can be resilient to climate change is one of the world's most crucial problems today. It requires knowledge at local and global scales, the integration of natural and social sciences, and a focus on biocultural diversity. Small Pacific Islands and the knowledge-practice-belief systems of their peoples have a long history of resilience to environmental variability and unpredictability, including in areas with marginal habitats and with periodic, severe disturbance (e.g., drought, flood, storms, and tsunami. We review the state of research on these knowledge systems as it pertains to resilience and adaptation, and we highlight critical research needs to address the interrelated areas of: (1 local-scale expertise and observations of change with regard to weather, life-history cycles, and ecological processes; (2 customary resource management institutions and practices (i.e., with agroforests and the nearshore marine environment; and (3 the roles of leaders, social institutions, and social networks in the context of disturbance and change. We conclude that these knowledge systems can contribute high-resolution observations, benchmark data, and insights into practices that enhance resilience and adaptive capacity in integrated terrestrial and marine systems. Community-based and participatory approaches can complement and ground-truth climate models and direct culturally appropriate resource management, research, and adaptation measures. Although most islands in the Pacific are small, their knowledge systems include valuable insights on seasonal cycles, ecological processes, and the management of biocultural diversity that are relevant at a broad scale for understanding resilience and adaptability to the social-ecological effects of climate change.

  4. Facilitating climate change adaptation through communication: Insights from the development of a visualization tool

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Glaas, Erik; Ballantyne, Anne Gammelgaard; Neset, Tina;

    2015-01-01

    Climate change communication on anticipated impacts and adaptive responses is frequently presented as an effective means to facilitate implementation of adaptation to mitigate risks to residential buildings. However, it requires that communication is developed in a way that resonates...... with the context of the target audience, provides intelligible information and addresses perceived barriers to adaptation. In this paper we reflect upon criteria for useful climate change communication gained over a three year development process of a web-based tool - VisAdaptTM – aimed at increasing the adaptive...... capacity among Nordic homeowners. Based on the results from continuous user-testing and focus group interviews we outline lessons learned and key aspects to consider in the design of tools for communicating complex issues such as climate change effects and adaptive response measures....

  5. Topographic Evolution and Climate Aridification during Continental Collision: Insights from Computer Simulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia-Castellanos, Daniel; Jiménez-Munt, Ivone

    2015-01-01

    How do the feedbacks between tectonics, sediment transport and climate work to shape the topographic evolution of the Earth? This question has been widely addressed via numerical models constrained with thermochronological and geomorphological data at scales ranging from local to orogenic. Here we present a novel numerical model that aims at reproducing the interaction between these processes at the continental scale. For this purpose, we combine in a single computer program: 1) a thin-sheet viscous model of continental deformation; 2) a stream-power surface-transport approach; 3) flexural isostasy allowing for the formation of large sedimentary foreland basins; and 4) an orographic precipitation model that reproduces basic climatic effects such as continentality and rain shadow. We quantify the feedbacks between these processes in a synthetic scenario inspired by the India-Asia collision and the growth of the Tibetan Plateau. We identify a feedback between erosion and crustal thickening leading locally to a <50% increase in deformation rates in places where orographic precipitation is concentrated. This climatically-enhanced deformation takes place preferentially at the upwind flank of the growing plateau, specially at the corners of the indenter (syntaxes). We hypothesize that this may provide clues for better understanding the mechanisms underlying the intriguing tectonic aneurisms documented in the Himalayas. At the continental scale, however, the overall distribution of topographic basins and ranges seems insensitive to climatic factors, despite these do have important, sometimes counterintuitive effects on the amount of sediments trapped within the continent. The dry climatic conditions that naturally develop in the interior of the continent, for example, trigger large intra-continental sediment trapping at basins similar to the Tarim Basin because they determine its endorheic/exorheic drainage. These complex climatic-drainage-tectonic interactions make the

  6. Topographic Evolution and Climate Aridification during Continental Collision: Insights from Computer Simulations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Garcia-Castellanos

    Full Text Available How do the feedbacks between tectonics, sediment transport and climate work to shape the topographic evolution of the Earth? This question has been widely addressed via numerical models constrained with thermochronological and geomorphological data at scales ranging from local to orogenic. Here we present a novel numerical model that aims at reproducing the interaction between these processes at the continental scale. For this purpose, we combine in a single computer program: 1 a thin-sheet viscous model of continental deformation; 2 a stream-power surface-transport approach; 3 flexural isostasy allowing for the formation of large sedimentary foreland basins; and 4 an orographic precipitation model that reproduces basic climatic effects such as continentality and rain shadow. We quantify the feedbacks between these processes in a synthetic scenario inspired by the India-Asia collision and the growth of the Tibetan Plateau. We identify a feedback between erosion and crustal thickening leading locally to a <50% increase in deformation rates in places where orographic precipitation is concentrated. This climatically-enhanced deformation takes place preferentially at the upwind flank of the growing plateau, specially at the corners of the indenter (syntaxes. We hypothesize that this may provide clues for better understanding the mechanisms underlying the intriguing tectonic aneurisms documented in the Himalayas. At the continental scale, however, the overall distribution of topographic basins and ranges seems insensitive to climatic factors, despite these do have important, sometimes counterintuitive effects on the amount of sediments trapped within the continent. The dry climatic conditions that naturally develop in the interior of the continent, for example, trigger large intra-continental sediment trapping at basins similar to the Tarim Basin because they determine its endorheic/exorheic drainage. These complex climatic

  7. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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)

  9. 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)

  10. 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 collabora

  11. 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. PMID:24593252

  12. New insights into the molecular mechanisms of biomembrane structural changes and interactions by optical biosensor technology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Tzong-Hsien; Hirst, Daniel J; Aguilar, Marie-Isabel

    2015-09-01

    Biomolecular-membrane interactions play a critical role in the regulation of many important biological processes such as protein trafficking, cellular signalling and ion channel formation. Peptide/protein-membrane interactions can also destabilise and damage the membrane which can lead to cell death. Characterisation of the molecular details of these binding-mediated membrane destabilisation processes is therefore central to understanding cellular events such as antimicrobial action, membrane-mediated amyloid aggregation, and apoptotic protein induced mitochondrial membrane permeabilisation. Optical biosensors have provided a unique approach to characterising membrane interactions allowing quantitation of binding events and new insight into the kinetic mechanism of these interactions. One of the most commonly used optical biosensor technologies is surface plasmon resonance (SPR) and there have been an increasing number of studies reporting the use of this technique for investigating biophysical analysis of membrane-mediated events. More recently, a number of new optical biosensors based on waveguide techniques have been developed, allowing membrane structure changes to be measured simultaneously with mass binding measurements. These techniques include dual polarisation interferometry (DPI), plasmon waveguide resonance spectroscopy (PWR) and optical waveguide light mode spectroscopy (OWLS). These techniques have expanded the application of optical biosensors to allow the analysis of membrane structure changes during peptide and protein binding. This review provides a theoretical and practical overview of the application of biosensor technology with a specific focus on DPI, PWR and OWLS to study biomembrane-mediated events and the mechanism of biomembrane disruption. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Lipid-protein interactions. PMID:26009270

  13. Insights into the molecular evolution of HslU ATPase through biochemical and mutational analyses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kwang Hoon Sung

    Full Text Available The ATP-dependent HslVU complexes are found in all three biological kingdoms. A single HslV protease exists in each species of prokaryotes, archaea, and eukaryotes, but two HslUs (HslU1 and HslU2 are present in the mitochondria of eukaryotes. Previously, a tyrosine residue at the C-terminal tail of HslU2 has been identified as a key determinant of HslV activation in Trypanosoma brucei and a phenylalanine at the equivalent position to E. coli HslU is found in T. brucei HslU1. Unexpectedly, we found that an F441Y mutation in HslU enhanced the peptidase and caseinolytic activity of HslV in E. coli but it showed partially reduced ATPase and SulA degradation activity. Previously, only the C-terminal tail of HslU has been the focus of HslV activation studies. However, the Pro315 residue interacting with Phe441 in free HslU has also been found to be critical for HslV activation. Hence, our current biochemical analyses explore the importance of the loop region just before Pro315 for HslVU complex functionality. The proline and phenylalanine pair in prokaryotic HslU was replaced with the threonine and tyrosine pair from the functional eukaryotic HslU2. Sequence comparisons between multiple HslUs from three different biological kingdoms in combination with biochemical analysis of E. coli mutants have uncovered important new insights into the molecular evolutionary pathway of HslU.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

    Background 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 investigat...

  15. Excitatory amino acid transporters: recent insights into molecular mechanisms, novel modes of modulation and new therapeutic possibilities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Anders A.; Fahlke, Christoph; Bjørn-Yoshimoto, Walden Emil;

    2015-01-01

    into the physiological functions mediated by the different transporter subtypes and their respective therapeutic potential have so far been sparse, in no small part due to the limited selection of pharmacological tools available. In the present update, we outline important new insights into the molecular compositions...... of EAATs and their intricate transport process, the novel approaches to pharmacological modulation of the transporters that have emerged, and interesting new perspectives in EAAT as drug targets proposed in recent years....

  16. Climate, history and neutrality as drivers of mammal beta diversity in Europe: insights from multiscale deconstruction

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Svenning, J.-C.; Fløjgaard, Camilla; Baselga, Andrés

    2011-01-01

    1. Environmental sorting, historical factors and neutral dynamics may all drive beta diversity (change in species composition across space), but their relative importance remains unresolved. In the case of European mammals, key potential drivers of large-scale beta diversity include current climate...... a novel analytical framework to deconstruct beta diversity of non-volant mammals in Europe (138 species) into its turnover (change in species composition because of species replacements) and nestedness components (change in species composition because of species richness differences) at continental...... and regional (250 000 km2) scales. 3. We found continental-scale mammal beta diversity to be mainly caused by spatial turnover (99·9%), with only a small contribution (0·1%) from nestedness. 4. Current climate emerged as an important driver of beta diversity, given the strong continental-scale turnover...

  17. Environmental gradients and grassland trait variation: Insight into the effects of climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tardella, Federico M.; Piermarteri, Karina; Malatesta, Luca; Catorci, Andrea

    2016-10-01

    The research aim was to understand how variation of temperature and water availability drives trait assemblage of seminatural grasslands in sub-Mediterranean climate, where climate change is expected to intensify summer aridity. In the central Italy, we recorded species abundance and elevation, slope aspect and angle in 129 plots. The traits we analysed were life span, growth form, clonality, belowground organs, leaf traits, plant height, seed mass, and palatability. We used Ellenberg's indicators as a proxy to assess air temperature and soil moisture gradients. From productive to harsh conditions, we observed a shift from tolerance to avoidance strategies, and a change in resource allocation strategies to face competition and stress or that maximize exploitation of patchily distributed soil resource niches. In addition, we found that the increase of temperature and water scarcity leads to the establishment of regeneration strategies that enable plants to cope with the unpredictability of changes in stress intensity and duration. Since the dry habitats of higher elevations are also constrained by winter cold stress, we argue that, within the sub-Mediterranean bioclimate, climate change will likely lead to a variation in dominance inside plant communities rather than a shift upwards of species ranges. At higher elevations, drought-adaptive traits might become more abundant on south-facing slopes that are less stressed by winter low temperatures; traits related to productive conditions and cold stress would be replaced on north-facing slopes by those adapted to overcome both the drought and the cold stresses.

  18. Enhanced insights into late Quaternary African hydroclimate dynamics using a water-isotope enabled climate model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singarayer, Joy; Holloway, Max

    2016-04-01

    The climate of intertropical Africa is strongly governed by the dynamics of the tropical rainbelt, which is often associated with the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ). On millennial time-scales the primary drivers of variation in the rainbelt include orbital configuration changes to insolation seasonality and high-latitude forcing (e.g. Heinrich events). The spatial pattern of precipitation variability in tropical and subtropical Africa over the late Quaternary is complex and has long been debated. Stable water isotopes from inland lakes and off-shore ocean core records have provided longitudinal records, variously interpreted as changes to precipitation intensity or changes to moisture source location due to atmospheric circulation changes (or a combination of several factors). In this preliminary study we have used a global climate model, HadCM3, in which water isotopes are interactively coupled to produce snapshots at 1000-year intervals covering the last deglaciation (21kyr to pre-industrial). In conjunction with a comparison to available palaeodata, this enables us to better elucidate the connections between precipitation and other climate factors with changes to the water isotope signature, as well as how this varies regionally and through time.

  19. Role of Livelihood Capital in Reducing Climatic Vulnerability: Insights of Australian Wheat from 1990-2010.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jianjun Huai

    Full Text Available In many agricultural countries, development of rural livelihood through increasing capital is a major regional policy to adapt to climate change. However, the role of livelihood capital in reducing climatic vulnerability is uncertain. This study assesses vulnerability and identifies the effects of common capital indicators on it, using Australian wheat as an example. We calculate exposure (a climate index and sensitivity (a wheat failure index to measure vulnerability and classify the resilient and sensitive cases, and express adaptive capacity through financial, human, natural, physical, and social capital indicators for 12 regions in the Australian wheat-sheep production zone from 1991-2010. We identify relationships between 12 indicators of five types of capital and vulnerability with t-tests and six logistic models considering the capital indicator itself, its first-order lag and its square as dependent variables to test the hypothesis that a high level of each capital metric results in low vulnerability. Through differing adaptive capacities between resilient and sensitive groups, we found that only four of the 12 (e.g., the access to finance, cash income level, total crop gross revenues, and family share of farm income relate to vulnerability, which challenges the hypothesis that increasing capital reduces vulnerability. We conclude that further empirical reexaminations are required to test the relationships between capital measures and vulnerability under the sustainable livelihood framework (SLF.

  20. Role of Livelihood Capital in Reducing Climatic Vulnerability: Insights of Australian Wheat from 1990-2010.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huai, Jianjun

    2016-01-01

    In many agricultural countries, development of rural livelihood through increasing capital is a major regional policy to adapt to climate change. However, the role of livelihood capital in reducing climatic vulnerability is uncertain. This study assesses vulnerability and identifies the effects of common capital indicators on it, using Australian wheat as an example. We calculate exposure (a climate index) and sensitivity (a wheat failure index) to measure vulnerability and classify the resilient and sensitive cases, and express adaptive capacity through financial, human, natural, physical, and social capital indicators for 12 regions in the Australian wheat-sheep production zone from 1991-2010. We identify relationships between 12 indicators of five types of capital and vulnerability with t-tests and six logistic models considering the capital indicator itself, its first-order lag and its square as dependent variables to test the hypothesis that a high level of each capital metric results in low vulnerability. Through differing adaptive capacities between resilient and sensitive groups, we found that only four of the 12 (e.g., the access to finance, cash income level, total crop gross revenues, and family share of farm income) relate to vulnerability, which challenges the hypothesis that increasing capital reduces vulnerability. We conclude that further empirical reexaminations are required to test the relationships between capital measures and vulnerability under the sustainable livelihood framework (SLF). PMID:27022910

  1. Late Oligocene to Late Miocene Antarctic Climate Reconstructions Using Molecular and Isotopic Biomarker Proxies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duncan, B.; Mckay, R. M.; Bendle, J. A.; Naish, T.; Levy, R. H.; Ventura, G. T.; Moossen, H. M.; Krishnan, S.; Pagani, M.

    2015-12-01

    Major climate and environmental changes occurred during late Oligocene to the late Miocene when atmospheric CO2 ranged between 500 and 300ppm, indicating threshold response of Antarctic ice sheets and climate to relatively modest CO2 variations. This implies that the southern high latitudes are highly sensitive to feedbacks associated with changes in global ice sheet and sea-ice extent, as well as terrestrial and marine ecosystems. This study focuses on two key intervals during the evolution of the Antarctic Ice Sheet: (1) The Late Oligocene and the Oligocene/Miocene boundary, when the East Antarctic Ice Sheet expanded close to present day volume following an extended period of inferred warmth. (2) The Mid-Miocene Climate Optimum (MMCO ~17-15 Ma), a period of global warmth and moderately elevated CO2 (350->500 ppm) which was subsequently followed by rapid cooling at 14-13.5 Ma. Reconstructions of climate and ice sheet variability, and thus an understanding of the various feedbacks that occurred during these intervals, are hampered by a lack of temperature and hydroclimate proxy data from the southern high latitudes. We present proxy climate reconstructions using terrestrial and marine organic biomarkers that provide new insights into Antarctica's climate evolution, using Antarctic drill cores and outcrop samples from a range of depositional settings. Bacterial ether-lipids have been analysed to determine terrestrial mean annual temperatures and soil pH (via the methylation and cyclisation indexes of branched tetraethers - MBT and CBT, respectively). Tetraether-lipids of crenarchaeota found in marine sediments sampled from continental shelves around Antarctica have been used to derive sea surface temperatures using the TEX86 index. Compound specific stable isotopes on n-alkanes sourced from terrestrial plants have been analysed to investigate changes in the hydrological and carbon cycles.

  2. Structure and Dynamics of Glycosphingolipids in Lipid Bilayers: Insights from Molecular Dynamics Simulations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ronak Y. Patel

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Glycolipids are important constituents of biological membranes, and understanding their structure and dynamics in lipid bilayers provides insights into their physiological and pathological roles. Experimental techniques have provided details into their behavior at model and biological membranes; however, computer simulations are needed to gain atomic level insights. This paper summarizes the insights obtained from MD simulations into the conformational and orientational dynamics of glycosphingolipids and their exposure, hydration, and hydrogen-bonding interactions in membrane environment. The organization of glycosphingolipids in raft-like membranes and their modulation of lipid membrane structure are also reviewed.

  3. What actually confers adaptive capacity? Insights from agro-climatic vulnerability of Australian wheat.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brett A Bryan

    Full Text Available Vulnerability assessments have often invoked sustainable livelihoods theory to support the quantification of adaptive capacity based on the availability of capital--social, human, physical, natural, and financial. However, the assumption that increased availability of these capitals confers greater adaptive capacity remains largely untested. We quantified the relationship between commonly used capital indicators and an empirical index of adaptive capacity (ACI in the context of vulnerability of Australian wheat production to climate variability and change. We calculated ACI by comparing actual yields from farm survey data to climate-driven expected yields estimated by a crop model for 12 regions in Australia's wheat-sheep zone from 1991-2010. We then compiled data for 24 typical indicators used in vulnerability analyses, spanning the five capitals. We analyzed the ACI and used regression techniques to identify related capital indicators. Between regions, mean ACI was not significantly different but variance over time was. ACI was higher in dry years and lower in wet years suggesting that farm adaptive strategies are geared towards mitigating losses rather than capitalizing on opportunity. Only six of the 24 capital indicators were significantly related to adaptive capacity in a way predicted by theory. Another four indicators were significantly related to adaptive capacity but of the opposite sign, countering our theory-driven expectation. We conclude that the deductive, theory-based use of capitals to define adaptive capacity and vulnerability should be more circumspect. Assessments need to be more evidence-based, first testing the relevance and influence of capital metrics on adaptive capacity for the specific system of interest. This will more effectively direct policy and targeting of investment to mitigate agro-climatic vulnerability.

  4. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dineshram, Ramadoss; Chandramouli, Kondethimmanahalli; Ko, Ginger Wai Kuen; Zhang, Huoming; Qian, Pei-Yuan; Ravasi, Timothy; Thiyagarajan, Vengatesen

    2016-06-01

    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.

  6. Insights into Low-frequency Climate Dynamics from a Surface Temperature Reconstruction Spanning the Last 2,000 Years

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, J.; Emile-Geay, J.; McKay, N.; Guillot, D.

    2015-12-01

    Reconstructions of surface temperature over the past 2000 years extend our knowledge of temperature changes beyond the instrumental era, and thus allows for the characterization of climate variability on multidecadal to centennial timescales. This lends insight into our understanding and quantification of the influence of exogenous and endogenous global climate variability. In this study, we do so via a set of global temperature reconstructions based on the latest incarnation of the PAGES 2k global multi-proxy database (http://www.pages-igbp.org/ini/wg/2k-network/data/phase-2-data-status). Two climate field reconstruction (CFR) methods are employed: Gaussian graphical models embedded within the regularized EM algorithm (GraphEM, Guillot et al., 2015) and Canonical Correlation Analysis (CCA, Smerdon et al., 2010). We find a globally warm Medieval period, which was colder than the late twentieth-century by 0.5 C. With a probability of 87%, the 1961 - 1990 period was the warmest 40-year period in the past 2000 years in most regions, especially in the high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere. We show that surface temperature has a robust large-scale cooling pattern shortly after a volcanic eruption; in particular, over the North Atlantic Ocean, the cooling can persist up to 3 years after an eruption. An El Niño-like response (~0.2 C) is also found in 2 and 3 years after an eruption. Solar irradiance forcing is found to be an important modulator of multidecadal climate variability, with the strongest solar response (0.25 C) in high latitude North America. These key features are echoed in multiple GCM simulations of the last millennium, though we find notable differences, in particular regarding the timing of the post-volcanic ENSO response, and the magnitude of the temperature response to solar irradiance forcing. The results suggest that there is no fundamental discrepancy between simulated and reconstructed climates of the last millennium, and thus lend credibility

  7. The role of observational reference data for climate downscaling: Insights from the VALUE COST Action

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kotlarski, Sven; Gutiérrez, José M.; Boberg, Fredrik; Bosshard, Thomas; Cardoso, Rita M.; Herrera, Sixto; Maraun, Douglas; Mezghani, Abdelkader; Pagé, Christian; Räty, Olle; Stepanek, Petr; Soares, Pedro M. M.; Szabo, Peter

    2016-04-01

    VALUE is an open European network to validate and compare downscaling methods for climate change research (http://www.value-cost.eu). A key deliverable of VALUE is the development of a systematic validation framework to enable the assessment and comparison of downscaling methods. Such assessments can be expected to crucially depend on the existence of accurate and reliable observational reference data. In dynamical downscaling, observational data can influence model development itself and, later on, model evaluation, parameter calibration and added value assessment. In empirical-statistical downscaling, observations serve as predictand data and directly influence model calibration with corresponding effects on downscaled climate change projections. We here present a comprehensive assessment of the influence of uncertainties in observational reference data and of scale-related issues on several of the above-mentioned aspects. First, temperature and precipitation characteristics as simulated by a set of reanalysis-driven EURO-CORDEX RCM experiments are validated against three different gridded reference data products, namely (1) the EOBS dataset (2) the recently developed EURO4M-MESAN regional re-analysis, and (3) several national high-resolution and quality-controlled gridded datasets that recently became available. The analysis reveals a considerable influence of the choice of the reference data on the evaluation results, especially for precipitation. It is also illustrated how differences between the reference data sets influence the ranking of RCMs according to a comprehensive set of performance measures.

  8. π-Hydrogen Bonding of Aromatics on the Surface of Aerosols: Insights from Ab Initio and Molecular Dynamics Simulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Ya-Juan; Huang, Teng; Wang, Chao; Liu, Yi-Rong; Jiang, Shuai; Miao, Shou-Kui; Chen, Jiao; Huang, Wei

    2016-07-14

    Molecular level insight into the interaction between volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and aerosols is crucial for improvement of atmospheric chemistry models. In this paper, the interaction between adsorbed toluene, one of the most significant VOCs in the urban atmosphere, and the aqueous surface of aerosols was studied by means of combined molecular dynamics simulations and ab initio quantum chemistry calculations. It is revealed that toluene can be stably adsorbed on the surface of aqueous droplets via hydroxyl-π hydrogen bonding between the H atoms of the water molecules and the C atoms in the aromatic ring. Further, significant modifications on the electrostatic potential map and frontier molecular orbital are induced by the solvation effect of surface water molecules, which would affect the reactivity and pathway of the atmospheric photooxidation of toluene. This study demonstrates that the surface interactions should be taken into consideration in the atmospheric chemical models on oxidation of aromatics.

  9. Vulnerability of the northern Mongolian steppe to climate change: insights from flower production and phenology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liancourt, Pierre; Spence, Laura A; Boldgiv, Bazartseren; Lkhagva, Ariuntsetseg; Helliker, Brent R; Casper, Brenda B; Petraitis, Peter S

    2012-04-01

    The semiarid, northern Mongolian steppe, which still supports pastoral nomads who have used the steppe for millennia, has experienced an average 1.7 degrees C temperature rise over the past 40 years. Continuing climate change is likely to affect flowering phenology and flower numbers with potentially important consequences for plant community composition, ecosystem services, and herder livelihoods. Over the growing seasons of 2009 and 2010, we examined flowering responses to climate manipulation using open-top passive warming chambers (OTCs) at two locations on a south-facing slope: one on the moister, cooler lower slope and the other on the drier, warmer upper slope, where a watering treatment was added in a factorial design with warming. Canonical analysis of principal coordinates (CAP) revealed that OTCs reduced flower production and delayed peak flowering in graminoids as a whole but only affected forbs on the upper slope, where peak flowering was also delayed. OTCs affected flowering phenology in seven of eight species, which were examined individually, either by altering the time of peak flowering and/or the onset and/or cessation of flowering, as revealed by survival analysis. In 2010, which was the drier year, OTCs reduced flower production in two grasses but increased production in an annual forb found only on the upper slope. The particular effects of OTCs on phenology, and whether they caused an extension or contraction of the flowering season, differed among species, and often depended on year, or slope, or watering treatment; however, a relatively strong pattern emerged for 2010 when four species showed a contraction of the flowering season in OTCs. Watering increased flower production in two species in 2010, but slope location more often affected flowering phenology than did watering. Our results show the importance of taking landscape-scale variation into account in climate change studies and also contrasted with those of several studies set in cold

  10. Vulnerability of the northern Mongolian steppe to climate change: insights from flower production and phenology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liancourt, Pierre; Spence, Laura A; Boldgiv, Bazartseren; Lkhagva, Ariuntsetseg; Helliker, Brent R; Casper, Brenda B; Petraitis, Peter S

    2012-04-01

    The semiarid, northern Mongolian steppe, which still supports pastoral nomads who have used the steppe for millennia, has experienced an average 1.7 degrees C temperature rise over the past 40 years. Continuing climate change is likely to affect flowering phenology and flower numbers with potentially important consequences for plant community composition, ecosystem services, and herder livelihoods. Over the growing seasons of 2009 and 2010, we examined flowering responses to climate manipulation using open-top passive warming chambers (OTCs) at two locations on a south-facing slope: one on the moister, cooler lower slope and the other on the drier, warmer upper slope, where a watering treatment was added in a factorial design with warming. Canonical analysis of principal coordinates (CAP) revealed that OTCs reduced flower production and delayed peak flowering in graminoids as a whole but only affected forbs on the upper slope, where peak flowering was also delayed. OTCs affected flowering phenology in seven of eight species, which were examined individually, either by altering the time of peak flowering and/or the onset and/or cessation of flowering, as revealed by survival analysis. In 2010, which was the drier year, OTCs reduced flower production in two grasses but increased production in an annual forb found only on the upper slope. The particular effects of OTCs on phenology, and whether they caused an extension or contraction of the flowering season, differed among species, and often depended on year, or slope, or watering treatment; however, a relatively strong pattern emerged for 2010 when four species showed a contraction of the flowering season in OTCs. Watering increased flower production in two species in 2010, but slope location more often affected flowering phenology than did watering. Our results show the importance of taking landscape-scale variation into account in climate change studies and also contrasted with those of several studies set in cold

  11. 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 Disa

  12. Global warming and changes in risk of concurrent climate extremes: Insights from the 2014 California drought

    Science.gov (United States)

    AghaKouchak, Amir; Cheng, Linyin; Mazdiyasni, Omid; Farahmand, Alireza

    2014-12-01

    Global warming and the associated rise in extreme temperatures substantially increase the chance of concurrent droughts and heat waves. The 2014 California drought is an archetype of an event characterized by not only low precipitation but also extreme high temperatures. From the raging wildfires, to record low storage levels and snowpack conditions, the impacts of this event can be felt throughout California. Wintertime water shortages worry decision-makers the most because it is the season to build up water supplies for the rest of the year. Here we show that the traditional univariate risk assessment methods based on precipitation condition may substantially underestimate the risk of extreme events such as the 2014 California drought because of ignoring the effects of temperature. We argue that a multivariate viewpoint is necessary for assessing risk of extreme events, especially in a warming climate. This study discusses a methodology for assessing the risk of concurrent extremes such as droughts and extreme temperatures.

  13. Climate control on ancestral population dynamics: insight from Patagonian fish phylogeography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruzzante, Daniel E; Walde, Sandra J; Gosse, John C; Cussac, Victor E; Habit, Evelyn; Zemlak, Tyler S; Adams, Emily D M

    2008-05-01

    Changes in lake and stream habitats during the growth and retreat of Pleistocene glaciers repeatedly altered the spatial distributions and population sizes of the aquatic fauna of the southern Andes. Here, we use variation in mtDNA control region sequences to infer the temporal dynamics of two species of southern Andean fish during the past few million years. At least five important climate events were associated with major demographic changes: (i) the widespread glaciations of the mid-Pliocene (c. 3.5 Ma); (ii) the largest Patagonian glaciation (1.1 Ma); (iii) the coldest Pleistocene glaciation as indicated by stacked marine delta(18)O (c. 0.7 Ma); (iv) the last southern Patagonian glaciation to reach the Atlantic coast (180 ka); and (v) the last glacial maximum (LGM, 23-25,000 years ago). The colder-water inhabitant, Galaxias platei, underwent a strong bottleneck during the LGM and its haplotype diversity coalesces c. 0.7 Ma. In contrast, the more warm-adapted and widely distributed Percichthys trucha showed continuous growth through the last two glacial cycles but went through an important bottleneck c. 180,000 years ago, at which time populations east of the Andes may have been eliminated. Haplotype diversity of the most divergent P. trucha populations, found west of the Andes, coalesces c. 3.2 Ma. The demographic timelines obtained for the two species thus illustrate the continent-wide response of aquatic life in Patagonia to climate change during the Pleistocene, but also show how differing ecological traits and distributions led to distinctive responses. PMID:18363661

  14. Molecular-Level Insights into Photocatalysis from Scanning Probe Microscopy Studies on TiO2(110)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Henderson, Michael A.; Lyubinetsky, Igor

    2013-06-12

    The field of heterogeneous photocatalysis has grown considerably in the decades since Fujishima and Honda's ground-breaking publications of photoelectrochemistry on TiO2. Numerous review articles continue to point to both progress made in the use of heterogeneous materials (such as TiO2) to perform photoconversion processes, and the many opportunities and challenges in heterogeneous photocatalysis research such as solar energy conversion and environmental remediation. The past decade has also seen an increase in the use of molecular-level approaches applied to model single crystal surfaces in an effort to obtain new insights into photocatalytic phenomena. In particular, scanning probe techniques (SPM) have enabled researchers to take a ‘nanoscale’ approach to photocatalysis that includes interrogation of the reactivities of specific sites and adsorbates on a model photocatalyst surface. The rutile TiO2(110) surface has become the prototypical oxide single crystal surface for fundamental studies of many interfacial phenomena. In particular, TiO2(110) has become an excellent model surface for probing photochemical and photocatalytic reactions at the molecular level. A variety of experimental approaches have emerged as being ideally suited for studying photochemical reactions on TiO2(110), including desorption-oriented approaches and electronic spectroscopies, but perhaps the most promising techniques for evaluating site-specific properties are those of SPM. In this review, we highlight the growing use of SPM techniques in providing molecular-level insights into surface photochemistry on the model photocatalyst surface of rutile TiO2(110). Our objective is to both illustrate the unique knowledge that scanning probe techniques have already provided the field of photocatalysis, and also to motivate a new generation of effort into the use of such approaches to obtain new insights into the molecular level details of photochemical events occurring at interfaces

  15. Oldest isotopically characterized fish otoliths provide insight to Jurassic continental climate of Europe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patterson, William P.

    1999-03-01

    Large, shallow, epeiric seas and adjacent lagoons such as those described herein likely played a significant role in moderating Jurassic coastal and continental climate. Jurassic (Bathonian) ocean surface temperatures in Scotland have been calculated from δ18O(CaCO3) values of a suite of the oldest well-preserved fish otoliths analyzed to date. Otolith δ18O values range from -4.7‰ to -1.9‰ (Vienna Peedee belemnite, VPDB), while δ13C(CaCO3) values vary from -5.4‰ to +1.5‰ (VPDB), representing the oldest stable isotopic record of paleodiet, paleoecology, and fish migration to date. Using a global ocean δ18O(H2O) value of -1.0‰ (Vienna standard mean ocean water, VSMOW) for an ice-free Jurassic, fish species that migrated from estuarine to open marine water record time-averaged temperatures of 23 °C. Estuarine fish, assuming a similar temperature, record variation in δ18O(H2O) values from -3.7‰ to -2.0‰ (VSMOW). That significant mixing of fresh water and seawater occurred in the Jurassic in Scotland is in general agreement with data presented by others (molluscan fauna, lithostratigraphy, paleogeography, and paleocirculation models). The δ18O values and temperatures derived in this study correspond to the meteorologic and hydrologic parameters of a mid-latitude maritime climate with low seasonality, a mean temperature of 23 °C, and abundant precipitation and humidity. The δ18O(H2O) values calculated from estuarine fish indicate that rainfall must have a δ18O(H2O) value lower than -3.7‰ (VSMOW). Values of δ18O and δ13C suggest an environment hydrologically similar to that observed in the Everglades of south Florida or the estuaries of south Texas, both notable fish nurseries today. However, sea-surface temperatures were lower than those of modern Florida or Texas as evidenced by reduced evaporative enrichment of δ18O(H2O) values.

  16. 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.

  17. Insight into glacier climate interaction: reconstruction of the mass balance field using ice extent data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Visnjevic, Vjeran; Herman, Frédéric; Licul, Aleksandar

    2016-04-01

    With the end of the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), about 20 000 years ago, ended the most recent long-lasting cold phase in Earth's history. We recently developed a model that describes large-scale erosion and its response to climate and dynamical changes with the application to the Alps for the LGM period. Here we will present an inverse approach we have recently developed to infer the LGM mass balance from known ice extent data, focusing on a glacier or ice cap. The ice flow model is developed using the shallow ice approximation and the developed codes are accelerated using GPUs capabilities. The mass balance field is the constrained variable defined by the balance rate β and the equilibrium line altitude (ELA), where c is the cutoff value: b = max(βṡ(S(z) - ELA), c) We show that such a mass balance can be constrained from the observed past ice extent and ice thickness. We are also investigating several different geostatistical methods to constrain spatially variable mass balance, and derive uncertainties on each of the mass balance parameters.

  18. Monitoring of Odonata in Britain and possible insights into climate change

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adrian Parr

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available The history of recording and monitoring of Odonata in Britain is briefly described. Results are then presented which suggest that the country’s Odonata fauna is currently in a period of flux, in a manner consistent with the actions of a high-level regulatory factor such as climate change. The ranges of many resident species are shifting. Leucorrhinia dubia has recently been lost from southern England, but many species are presently expanding their ranges to the north and west, some (such as Aeshna mixta and Anax imperator with considerable speed. In addition to these changes, a number of ‘southern’ species have started to appear in Britain for the very first time. These include Lestes barbarus, Erythromma viridulum (which has now become a locally-common resident in southeast England, Anax parthenope and Crocothemis erythraea. In addition to these distributional changes, some recent trends in flight times are also discussed. Evidence indicates that many species are now emerging significantly earlier than in the past, though trends relating to the end of the flight period are less clear cut.

  19. Insights from the Molecular Dynamics Simulation of Cellobiohydrolase Cel6A Molecular Structural Model from Aspergillus fumigatus NITDGPKA3.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dodda, Subba Reddy; Sarkar, Nibedita; Aikat, Kaustav; Krishnaraj, Navanietha R; Bhattacharjee, Sanchari; Bagchi, Angshuman; Mukhopadhyay, Sudit S

    2016-01-01

    Global demand for bioethanol is increasing tremendously as it could help to replace the conventional fossil fuel and at the same time supporting the bioremediation of huge volume of cellulosic wastes generated from different sources. Ideal genetic engineering approaches are essential to improve the efficacy of the bioethanol production processes for real time applications. A locally isolated fungal strain Aspergillus fumigatus NITDGPKA3 was used in our laboratory for the hydrolysis of lignocellulose with good cellulolytic activity when compared with other contemporary fungal strains. An attempt is made to sequence the cellobiohydrolases (CBHs) of A. fumigatus NITDGPKA3, model its structure to predict its catalytic activity towards improving the protein by genetic engineering approaches. Herein, the structure of the sequenced Cellobiohydrolases (CBHs) of A. fumigatus NITDGPKA3, modelled by homology modelling and its validation is reported. Further the catalytic activity of the modelled CBH enzyme was assessed by molecular docking analysis. Phylogenetic analysis showed that CBH from A. fumigatus NITDGPKA3 belongs to the Glycohydro 6 (Cel6A) super family. Molecular modeling and molecular dynamics simulation suggest the structural and functional mechanism of the enzyme. The structures of both the cellulose binding (CBD) and catalytic domain (CD) have been compared with most widely studied CBH of Trichoderma reesei. The molecular docking with cellulose suggests that Gln 248, Pro 287, Val236, Asn284, and Ala288 are the main amino acids involved in the hydrolysis of the β, 1-4, glycosidic bonds of cellulose. PMID:27109185

  20. 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.

  1. 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 (green algae like Pediastrum the first pollen spectra indicate a lake shore and shallow fresh water vegetation. This seems to be in agreement with the preliminary observations of the fossil diatom contents, which show a diatom flora mainly composed of benthic and tychoplanktonic species, indicating a shallow freshwater lake. Both diatomite sequences thus suggest shallow lakes throughout their deposition-whether this is due to their marginal position within the large calderas and/or shallow waters covered the entire calderas is an outstanding question that will be addressed with planned additional investigations. Kröpelin, S. etal (2015): New data on the unresolved paradox of the Tibesti crater paleolakes (Central Sahara, North Chad). Abstract #64322 AGU-Fall-Meeting-2015.

  2. Understanding impacts of climatic extremes on diarrheal disease epidemics: Insights from mechanistic disease propagation models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jutla, A.; Akanda, A. S.; Colwell, R. R.

    2013-12-01

    increased climatic variability, such as acceleration of hydrological cycle, hydroclimatic hazards, etc on diarrheal disease outbreaks.

  3. Atomic-Scale Insight into Tautomeric Recognition, Separation, and Interconversion of Guanine Molecular Networks on Au(111).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Chi; Xie, Lei; Wang, Likun; Kong, Huihui; Tan, Qinggang; Xu, Wei

    2015-09-16

    Although tautomerization may directly affect the chemical or biological properties of molecules, real-space investigation on the tautomeric behaviors of organic molecules in a larger area of molecular networks has been scarcely reported. In this paper, we choose guanine (G) molecule as a model system. From the interplay of high-resolution scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) imaging and density functional theory (DFT) calculations, we have successfully achieved the tautomeric recognition, separation, and interconversion of G molecular networks (formed by two tautomeric forms G/9H and G/7H) with the aid of NaCl on the Au(111) surface in ultrahigh vacuum (UHV) conditions. Our results may serve as a prototypical system to provide important insights into tautomerization related issues, which should be intriguing to biochemistry, pharmaceutics, and other related fields. PMID:26322860

  4. Climate- vs. Earthquake-induced Rock-Glacier Advances in the Tien Shan: Insights from Lichenometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenwinkel, Swenja; Landgraf, Angela; Korup, Oliver; Sorg, Annina

    2014-05-01

    that Tien Shan rock glaciers do not record a consistent palaeoclimatic signal. We discuss whether distinct peaks of comparable lichen sizes and associated distributions of surface velocities for a given rock-glacier lobe result from rapid climate-driven advances or high lateral material input provided by seismically-induced slope instability instead. We compare our field data to advance-rate estimates from ground surveys and remote sensing (1 to >10 m/a), and dendrogeomorphic constraints obtained from trees growing on the rock glaciers. We conclude by highlighting a number of constraints that may limit the use of lichenometry for dating rock-glacier advances, and scope for future research on seismic triggers.

  5. 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.

  6. Molecular genetic insights into deuterostome evolution from the direct-developing hemichordate Saccoglossus kowalevskii

    OpenAIRE

    Lowe, Christopher J.

    2008-01-01

    Progress in developmental biology, phylogenomics and palaeontology over the past five years are all making major contributions to a long-enduring problem in comparative biology: the early origins of the deuterostome phyla. Recent advances in the developmental biology of hemichordates have given a unique insight into developmental similarities between this phylum and chordates. Transcriptional and signalling gene expression patterns between the two groups during the early development of the an...

  7. Cellular and molecular mechanisms of negligible senescence: insight from the sea urchin

    OpenAIRE

    Bodnar, Andrea G.

    2014-01-01

    Sea urchins exhibit a very different life history from humans and short-lived model animals and therefore provide the opportunity to gain new insight into the complex process of aging. Sea urchins grow indeterminately, regenerate damaged appendages, and reproduce throughout their lifespan. Some species show no increase in mortality rate at advanced ages. Nevertheless, different species of sea urchins have very different reported lifespans ranging from 4 to more than 100 years, thus providing ...

  8. 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. PMID:24226412

  9. Molecular interactions of UvrB protein and DNA from Helicobacter pylori: Insight into a molecular modeling approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bavi, Rohit; Kumar, Raj; Rampogu, Shailima; Son, Minky; Park, Chanin; Baek, Ayoung; Kim, Hyong-Ha; Suh, Jung-Keun; Park, Seok Ju; Lee, Keun Woo

    2016-08-01

    Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) persevere in the human stomach, an environment in which they encounter many DNA-damaging conditions, including gastric acidity. The pathogenicity of H. pylori is enhanced by its well-developed DNA repair mechanism, thought of as 'machinery,' such as nucleotide excision repair (NER). NER involves multi-enzymatic excinuclease proteins (UvrABC endonuclease), which repair damaged DNA in a sequential manner. UvrB is the central component in prokaryotic NER, essential for damage recognition. Therefore, molecular modeling studies of UvrB protein from H. pylori are carried out with homology modeling and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. The results reveal that the predicted structure is bound to a DNA hairpin with 3-bp stem, an 11-nucleotide loop, and 3-nt 3' overhang. In addition, a mutation of the Y96A variant indicates reduction in the binding affinity for DNA. Free-energy calculations demonstrate the stability of the complex and help identify key residues in various interactions based on residue decomposition analysis. Stability comparative studies between wild type and mutant protein-DNA complexes indicate that the former is relatively more stable than the mutant form. This predicted model could also be useful in designing new inhibitors for UvrB protein, as well as preventing the pathogenesis of H. pylori.

  10. Lipid interaction sites on channels, transporters and receptors: Recent insights from molecular dynamics simulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hedger, George; Sansom, Mark S P

    2016-10-01

    Lipid molecules are able to selectively interact with specific sites on integral membrane proteins, and modulate their structure and function. Identification and characterization of these sites are of importance for our understanding of the molecular basis of membrane protein function and stability, and may facilitate the design of lipid-like drug molecules. Molecular dynamics simulations provide a powerful tool for the identification of these sites, complementing advances in membrane protein structural biology and biophysics. We describe recent notable biomolecular simulation studies which have identified lipid interaction sites on a range of different membrane proteins. The sites identified in these simulation studies agree well with those identified by complementary experimental techniques. This demonstrates the power of the molecular dynamics approach in the prediction and characterization of lipid interaction sites on integral membrane proteins. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Biosimulations edited by Ilpo Vattulainen and Tomasz Róg. PMID:26946244

  11. Molecular insight into amyloid oligomer destabilizing mechanism of flavonoid derivative 2-(4' benzyloxyphenyl)-3-hydroxy-chromen-4-one through docking and molecular dynamics simulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Akhil; Srivastava, Swati; Tripathi, Shubhandra; Singh, Sandeep Kumar; Srikrishna, Saripella; Sharma, Ashok

    2016-06-01

    Aggregation of amyloid peptide (Aβ) has been shown to be directly related to progression of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Aβ is neurotoxic and its deposition and aggregation ultimately lead to cell death. In our previous work, we reported flavonoid derivative (compound 1) showing promising result in transgenic AD model of Drosophila. Compound 1 showed prevention of Aβ-induced neurotoxicity and neuroprotective efficacy in Drosophila system. However, mechanism of action of compound 1 and its effect on the amyloid is not known. We therefore performed molecular docking and atomistic, explicit-solvent molecular dynamics simulations to investigate the process of Aβ interaction, inhibition, and destabilizing mechanism. Results showed different preferred binding sites of compound 1 and good affinity toward the target. Through the course of 35 ns molecular dynamics simulation, conformations_5 of compound 1 intercalates into the hydrophobic core near the salt bridge and showed major structural changes as compared to other conformations. Compound 1 showed interference with the salt bridge and thus reducing the inter strand hydrogen bound network. This minimizes the side chain interaction between the chains A-B leading to disorder in oligomer. Contact map analysis of amino acid residues between chains A and B also showed lesser interaction with adjacent amino acids in the presence of compound 1 (conformations_5). The study provides an insight into how compound 1 interferes and disorders the Aβ peptide. These findings will further help to design better inhibitors for aggregation of the amyloid oligomer.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Zhi-Xiong Lin

    2013-01-01

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

  17. DNA molecular wire-based nanoelectronics: New insight and high frequency AC electrical characterization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wibowo, Denni Ari

    While recent research in electron-transport mechanism on a double strands DNA seems to converge into a consensus, experiments in direct electrical measurements on a long DNA molecules still lead to a conflicting result. This research investigates experimentally the attachment of DNA molecular wire to high aspect ratio three-dimensional (3D) metal electrode and the effect of temperature to its AC electrical conductivity. The 3-D microelectrode was built on a silicone oxide substrate using patterned thick layers of negative tone photoresist covered by sputtered gold on the top surface. Attachment of lambda-DNA to the microelectrode was demonstrated using oligonucleotide-DNA phosphate backbone ligation and thiol-gold covalent bonding. Electrical characterizations based on I-V and AC impedance analysis of several repeatable data points of attachment with varying lambda-DNA concentration (500 ng/microL to 0.0625 ng/microL) showed measurable and significant conductivity of lambda-DNA molecular wires. Further study was carried out by measuring I-V and impedance while ramping up the temperature to reach complete denaturation (~1100C) resulting in no current transduction. Subsequent re-annealing of the DNA through incubation in TM buffer at annealing temperature (~900C) resulted in recovery of electrical conduction, providing a strong proof that DNA molecular wire is the one generate the electrical conductivity. lambda-DNA molecular wires reported to have differing impedance response at two temperature regions: impedance increases (conductivity decrease) between 40C -- 400C, and then decreases from 400C until DNA completely denatured (~1100C). The increase conductivity after 400C is an experimental support the long distance electron transport mechanism referred as "thermal hopping" mechanism. We believe that this research represents a significant departure from previous studies and makes unique contributions through (i) modification of DNA attachment methods has increase

  18. 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

    Global gene expression profiling has been used to study the molecular mechanisms of increased bone remodeling caused by PHPT. This disease is a model for chronic over-stimulation of target organs by PTH due to an inappropriate overproduction of the hormone. Hyperactivity of osteoblasts and osteoc......Global gene expression profiling has been used to study the molecular mechanisms of increased bone remodeling caused by PHPT. This disease is a model for chronic over-stimulation of target organs by PTH due to an inappropriate overproduction of the hormone. Hyperactivity of osteoblasts...... and osteoclasts lead to increased calcium and phosphate mobilization from the skeleton and hypercalcaemia. The ensemble of genes that alter expression and thus is responsible for the effects of chronic PTH stimulation is today largely unknown. The differentiated gene expression profiles revealed characteristic...

  19. Materials for organic photovoltaics: insights from detailed structural models and molecular simulations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Po Riccardo

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available This paper contains a brief discussion of the role of detailed structural and computational studies, within the general field of organic photovoltaics. We review some of our recent work on poly(3-butylthiophene (P3BT and on [6,6]phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM. The first is a prototypical hole-transporting material, whose crystal forms I.’ and II were solved by us through the combined use of powder Xray diffraction, electron diffraction and molecular modelling. PCBM is a widely used fullerene derivative with electron-transporting properties. It has a rich polymorphism, which to date remains largely unexplored. Our molecular dynamics simulations have revealed interesting features of its solid-state organization, including that in the amorphous phase.

  20. Molecular Structure of Aggregated Amyloid-β: Insights from Solid-State Nuclear Magnetic Resonance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tycko, Robert

    2016-01-01

    Amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides aggregate to form polymorphic amyloid fibrils and a variety of intermediate assemblies, including oligomers and protofibrils, both in vitro and in human brain tissue. Since the beginning of the 21st century, considerable progress has been made to characterize the molecular structures of Aβ aggregates. Full molecular structural models based primarily on data from measurements using solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (ssNMR) have been developed for several in vitro Aβ fibrils and one metastable protofibril. Partial structural characterization of other aggregation intermediates has been achieved. One full structural model for fibrils derived from brain tissue has also been reported. Future work is likely to focus on additional structures from brain tissue and on further clarification of nonfibrillar Aβ aggregates. PMID:27481836

  1. Coexistence of spinodal instability and thermal nucleation in thin-film rupture: Insights from molecular levels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, Trung Dac; Fuentes-Cabrera, Miguel; Fowlkes, Jason D.; Rack, Philip D.

    2014-03-01

    Despite extensive investigation using hydrodynamic models and experiments over the past decades, there remain open questions regarding the origin of the initial rupture of thin liquid films. One of the reasons that makes it difficult to identify the rupture origin is the coexistence of two dewetting mechanisms, namely, thermal nucleation and spinodal instability, as observed in many experimental studies. Using a coarse-grained model and large-scale molecular dynamics simulations, we are able to characterize the very early stage of dewetting in nanometer-thick liquid-metal films wetting a solid substrate. We observe the features characteristic of both spinodal instability and thermal nucleation in the spontaneously dewetting films and show that these two macroscopic mechanisms share a common origin at molecular levels.

  2. Mitochondrial DNA disease—molecular insights and potential routes to a cure

    OpenAIRE

    Russell, Oliver; Turnbull, Doug

    2014-01-01

    Mitochondrial DNA diseases are common neurological conditions caused by mutations in the mitochondrial genome or nuclear genes responsible for its maintenance. Current treatments for these disorders are focussed on the management of the symptoms, rather than the correction of biochemical defects caused by the mutation. This review focuses on the molecular effects of mutations, the symptoms they cause and current work focusing on the development of targeted treatments for mitochondrial DNA dis...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    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 throug...

  4. Structural insights into the molecular ruler mechanism of the endoplasmic reticulum aminopeptidase ERAP1

    OpenAIRE

    Amit Gandhi; Damodharan Lakshminarasimhan; Yixin Sun; Hwai-Chen Guo

    2011-01-01

    Endoplasmic reticulum aminopeptidase 1 (ERAP1) is an essential component of the immune system, because it trims peptide precursors and generates the N--restricted epitopes. To examine ERAP1's unique properties of length- and sequence-dependent processing of antigen precursors, we report a 2.3 Å resolution complex structure of the ERAP1 regulatory domain. Our study reveals a binding conformation of ERAP1 to the carboxyl terminus of a peptide, and thus provides direct evidence for the molecular...

  5. Molecular Insights into Aqueous NaCl Electrolytes Confined within Vertically-oriented Graphenes

    OpenAIRE

    Zheng Bo; Huachao Yang; Shuo Zhang; Jinyuan Yang; Jianhua Yan; Kefa Cen

    2015-01-01

    Vertically-oriented graphenes (VGs) are promising active materials for electric double layer capacitors (EDLCs) due to their unique morphological and structural features. This study, for the first time, reports the molecular dynamics (MD) simulations on aqueous NaCl electrolytes confined within VG channels with different surface charge densities and channel widths. Simulation results show that the accessibility of ions and the structure of EDLCs are determined by the ion type/size, surface ch...

  6. Mechanism for Cocaine Blocking the Transport of Dopamine: Insights from Molecular Modeling and Dynamics Simulations

    OpenAIRE

    Huang, Xiaoqin; Gu, Howard H.; Zhan, Chang-Guo

    2009-01-01

    Molecular modeling and dynamics simulations have been performed to study how cocaine inhibits dopamine transporter (DAT) for the transport of dopamine. The computationally determined DAT-ligand binding mode is totally different from previously proposed overlap binding mode in which cocaine- and dopamine-binding sites are the same (Beuming, T. et al. Nature Neurosci. 2008, 11, 780–789). The new cocaine-binding site does not overlap with, but close to, the dopamine-binding site. Analysis of all...

  7. Molecular dynamics simulations provide insights into the substrate specificity of FAOX family members.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rigoldi, Federica; Spero, Ludovica; Dalle Vedove, Andrea; Redaelli, Alberto; Parisini, Emilio; Gautieri, Alfonso

    2016-07-19

    Enzymatic assays based on Fructosyl Amino Acid Oxidases (FAOX) represent a potential, rapid and economical strategy to measure glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), which is in turn a reliable method to monitor the insurgence and the development of diabetes mellitus. However, the engineering of naturally occurring FAOX to specifically recognize fructosyl-valine (the glycated N-terminal residue of HbA1c) has been hindered by the paucity of information on the tridimensional structures and catalytic residues of the different FAOX that exist in nature, and in general on the molecular mechanisms that regulate specificity in this class of enzymes. In this study, we use molecular dynamics simulations and advanced modeling techniques to investigate five different relevant wild-type FAOX (Amadoriase I, Amadoriase II, PnFPOX, FPOX-E and N1-1-FAOD) in order to elucidate the molecular mechanisms that drive their specificity towards polar and nonpolar substrates. Specifically, we compare these five different FAOX in terms of overall folding, ligand entry tunnels, ligand binding residues and ligand binding energies. Our work will contribute to future enzyme structure modifications aimed at the rational design of novel biosensors for the monitoring of blood glucose levels. PMID:27327839

  8. 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.

    2016-05-01

    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.

  9. Experimental Heart Failure Induces Alterations of the Lung Proteome - Insight into Molecular Mechanisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christoph Birner

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Background: Heart failure (CHF is characterized by dyspnea and pulmonary changes. The underlying molecular adaptations are unclear, but might provide targets for therapeutic interventions. We therefore conceived a study to determine molecular changes of early pulmonary stress failure in a model of tachycardia-induced heart failure. Methods: CHF was induced in rabbits by progessive right ventricular pacing (n=6. Invasive blood pressure measurements and echocardiography were repeatedly performed. Untreated animals served as controls (n=6. Pulmonary tissue specimens were subjected to two-dimensional gel electrophoresis, and differentially expressed proteins were identified by mass spectrometry. Selected proteins were validated by Western Blot analysis and localized by immunohistochemical staining. Results: CHF animals were characterized by significantly altered functional, morphological, and hemodynamic parameters. Upon proteomic profiling, a total of 33 proteins was found to be differentially expressed in pulmonary tissue of CHF animals (18 up-regulated, and 15 down-regulated belonging to 4 functional groups: 1. proteins involved in maintaining cytoarchitectural integrity, 2. plasma proteins indicating impaired alveolar-capillary permeability, 3. proteins with antioxidative properties, and 4. proteins participating in the metabolism of selenium compounds Conclusion: Experimental heart failure profoundly alters the pulmonary proteome. Our results supplement the current knowledge of pulmonary stress failure by specifying its molecular fundament.

  10. Stress-induced neutral lipid biosynthesis in microalgae - Molecular, cellular and physiological insights.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zienkiewicz, Krzysztof; Du, Zhi-Yan; Ma, Wei; Vollheyde, Katharina; Benning, Christoph

    2016-09-01

    Photosynthetic microalgae have promise as biofuel feedstock. Under certain conditions, they produce substantial amounts of neutral lipids, mainly in the form of triacylglycerols (TAGs), which can be converted to fuels. Much of our current knowledge on the genetic and molecular basis of algal neutral lipid metabolism derives mainly from studies of plants, i.e. seed tissues, and to a lesser extent from direct studies of algal lipid metabolism. Thus, the knowledge of TAG synthesis and the cellular trafficking of TAG precursors in algal cells is to a large extent based on genome predictions, and most aspects of TAG metabolism have yet to be experimentally verified. The biofuel prospects of microalgae have raised the interest in mechanistic studies of algal TAG biosynthesis in recent years and resulted in an increasing number of publications on lipid metabolism in microalgae. In this review we summarize the current findings on genetic, molecular and physiological studies of TAG accumulation in microalgae. Special emphasis is on the functional analysis of key genes involved in TAG synthesis, molecular mechanisms of regulation of TAG biosynthesis, as well as on possible mechanisms of lipid droplet formation in microalgal cells. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Plant Lipid Biology edited by Kent D. Chapman and Ivo Feussner. PMID:26883557

  11. 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.

  12. Voltage-Gated Sodium Channels: Mechanistic Insights From Atomistic Molecular Dynamics Simulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oakes, V; Furini, S; Domene, C

    2016-01-01

    The permeation of ions and other molecules across biological membranes is an inherent requirement of all cellular organisms. Ion channels, in particular, are responsible for the conduction of charged species, hence modulating the propagation of electrical signals. Despite the universal physiological implications of this property, the molecular functioning of ion channels remains ambiguous. The combination of atomistic structural data with computational methodologies, such as molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, is now considered routine to investigate structure-function relationships in biological systems. A fuller understanding of conduction, selectivity, and gating, therefore, is steadily emerging due to the applicability of these techniques to ion channels. However, because their structure is known at atomic resolution, studies have consistently been biased toward K(+) channels, thus the molecular determinants of ionic selectivity, activation, and drug blockage in Na(+) channels are often overlooked. The recent increase of available crystallographic data has eminently encouraged the investigation of voltage-gated sodium (NaV) channels via computational methods. Here, we present an overview of simulation studies that have contributed to our understanding of key principles that underlie ionic conduction and selectivity in Na(+) channels, in comparison to the K(+) channel analogs. PMID:27586285

  13. Molecular insights on pathogenic effects of mutations causing phosphoglycerate kinase deficiency.

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    Laurent R Chiarelli

    Full Text Available Phosphoglycerate kinase (PGK catalyzes an important ATP-generating step in glycolysis. PGK1 deficiency is an uncommon X-linked inherited disorder, generally characterized by various combinations of non-spherocytic hemolytic anemia, neurological dysfunctions, and myopathies. Patients rarely exhibit all three clinical features. To provide a molecular framework to the different pathological manifestations, all known mutations were reviewed and 16 mutant enzymes, obtained as recombinant forms, were functionally and structurally characterized. Most mutations heavily affect thermal stability and to a different extent catalytic efficiency, in line with the remarkably low PGK activity clinically observed in the patients. Mutations grossly impairing protein stability, but moderately affecting kinetic properties (p.I47N, p.L89P, p.C316R, p.S320N, and p.A354P present the most homogeneous correlation with the clinical phenotype. Patients carrying these mutations display hemolytic anemia and neurological disorders, and,except for p.A354P variant, no myopaty. Variants highly perturbed in both catalytic efficiency (p.G158V, p.D164V, p.K191del, D285V, p.D315N, and p.T378P and heat stability (all, but p.T378P result to be mainly associated with myopathy alone. Finally, mutations faintly affecting molecular properties (p.R206P, p.E252A, p.I253T, p.V266M, and p.D268N correlate with a wide spectrum of clinical symptoms. These are the first studies that correlate the clinical symptoms with the molecular properties of the mutant enzymes. All findings indicate that the different clinical manifestations associated with PGK1 deficiency chiefly depend on the distinctive type of perturbations caused by mutations in the PGK1 gene, highlighting the need for determination of the molecular properties of PGK variants to assist in prognosis and genetic counseling. However, the clinical symptoms can not be understood only on the bases of molecular properties of the mutant enzyme

  14. New insights into the organization, recombination, expression and functional mechanism of low molecular weight glutenin subunit genes in bread wheat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Lingli; Zhang, Xiaofei; Liu, Dongcheng; Fan, Huajie; Sun, Jiazhu; Zhang, Zhongjuan; Qin, Huanju; Li, Bin; Hao, Shanting; Li, Zhensheng; Wang, Daowen; Zhang, Aimin; Ling, Hong-Qing

    2010-01-01

    The bread-making quality of wheat is strongly influenced by multiple low molecular weight glutenin subunit (LMW-GS) proteins expressed in the seeds. However, the organization, recombination and expression of LMW-GS genes and their functional mechanism in bread-making are not well understood. Here we report a systematic molecular analysis of LMW-GS genes located at the orthologous Glu-3 loci (Glu-A3, B3 and D3) of bread wheat using complementary approaches (genome wide characterization of gene members, expression profiling, proteomic analysis). Fourteen unique LMW-GS genes were identified for Xiaoyan 54 (with superior bread-making quality). Molecular mapping and recombination analyses revealed that the three Glu-3 loci of Xiaoyan 54 harbored dissimilar numbers of LMW-GS genes and covered different genetic distances. The number of expressed LMW-GS in the seeds was higher in Xiaoyan 54 than in Jing 411 (with relatively poor bread-making quality). This correlated with the finding of higher numbers of active LMW-GS genes at the A3 and D3 loci in Xiaoyan 54. Association analysis using recombinant inbred lines suggested that positive interactions, conferred by genetic combinations of the Glu-3 locus alleles with more numerous active LMW-GS genes, were generally important for the recombinant progenies to attain high Zeleny sedimentation value (ZSV), an important indicator of bread-making quality. A higher number of active LMW-GS genes tended to lead to a more elevated ZSV, although this tendency was influenced by genetic background. This work provides substantial new insights into the genomic organization and expression of LMW-GS genes, and molecular genetic evidence suggesting that these genes contribute quantitatively to bread-making quality in hexaploid wheat. Our analysis also indicates that selection for high numbers of active LMW-GS genes can be used for improvement of bread-making quality in wheat breeding. PMID:20975830

  15. New insights into the organization, recombination, expression and functional mechanism of low molecular weight glutenin subunit genes in bread wheat.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lingli Dong

    Full Text Available The bread-making quality of wheat is strongly influenced by multiple low molecular weight glutenin subunit (LMW-GS proteins expressed in the seeds. However, the organization, recombination and expression of LMW-GS genes and their functional mechanism in bread-making are not well understood. Here we report a systematic molecular analysis of LMW-GS genes located at the orthologous Glu-3 loci (Glu-A3, B3 and D3 of bread wheat using complementary approaches (genome wide characterization of gene members, expression profiling, proteomic analysis. Fourteen unique LMW-GS genes were identified for Xiaoyan 54 (with superior bread-making quality. Molecular mapping and recombination analyses revealed that the three Glu-3 loci of Xiaoyan 54 harbored dissimilar numbers of LMW-GS genes and covered different genetic distances. The number of expressed LMW-GS in the seeds was higher in Xiaoyan 54 than in Jing 411 (with relatively poor bread-making quality. This correlated with the finding of higher numbers of active LMW-GS genes at the A3 and D3 loci in Xiaoyan 54. Association analysis using recombinant inbred lines suggested that positive interactions, conferred by genetic combinations of the Glu-3 locus alleles with more numerous active LMW-GS genes, were generally important for the recombinant progenies to attain high Zeleny sedimentation value (ZSV, an important indicator of bread-making quality. A higher number of active LMW-GS genes tended to lead to a more elevated ZSV, although this tendency was influenced by genetic background. This work provides substantial new insights into the genomic organization and expression of LMW-GS genes, and molecular genetic evidence suggesting that these genes contribute quantitatively to bread-making quality in hexaploid wheat. Our analysis also indicates that selection for high numbers of active LMW-GS genes can be used for improvement of bread-making quality in wheat breeding.

  16. New insights into the molecular epidemiology and population genetics of Schistosoma mansoni in Ugandan pre-school children and mothers.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martha Betson

    Full Text Available Significant numbers of pre-school children are infected with Schistosoma mansoni in sub-Saharan Africa and are likely to play a role in parasite transmission. However, they are currently excluded from control programmes. Molecular phylogenetic studies have provided insights into the evolutionary origins and transmission dynamics of S. mansoni, but there has been no research into schistosome molecular epidemiology in pre-school children. Here, we investigated the genetic diversity and population structure of S. mansoni in pre-school children and mothers living in lakeshore communities in Uganda and monitored for changes over time after praziquantel treatment. Parasites were sampled from children (<6 years and mothers enrolled in the longitudinal Schistosomiasis Mothers and Infants Study at baseline and at 6-, 12- and 18-month follow-up surveys. 1347 parasites from 35 mothers and 45 children were genotyped by direct sequencing of the cytochrome c oxidase (cox1 gene. The cox1 region was highly diverse with over 230 unique sequences identified. Parasite populations were genetically differentiated between lakes and non-synonymous mutations were more diverse at Lake Victoria than Lake Albert. Surprisingly, parasite populations sampled from children showed a similar genetic diversity to those sampled from mothers, pointing towards a non-linear relationship between duration of exposure and accumulation of parasite diversity. The genetic diversity six months after praziquantel treatment was similar to pre-treatment diversity. Our results confirm the substantial genetic diversity of S. mansoni in East Africa and provide significant insights into transmission dynamics within young children and mothers, important information for schistosomiasis control programmes.

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

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    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.

  18. Mitochondrial DNA disease—molecular insights and potential routes to a cure

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Russell, Oliver; Turnbull, Doug, E-mail: doug.turnbull@newcastle.ac.uk

    2014-07-01

    Mitochondrial DNA diseases are common neurological conditions caused by mutations in the mitochondrial genome or nuclear genes responsible for its maintenance. Current treatments for these disorders are focussed on the management of the symptoms, rather than the correction of biochemical defects caused by the mutation. This review focuses on the molecular effects of mutations, the symptoms they cause and current work focusing on the development of targeted treatments for mitochondrial DNA disease. - Highlights: • We discuss several common disease causing mtDNA mutations. • We highlight recent work linking pathogenicity to deletion size and heteroplasmy. • We discuss recent advances in the development of targeted mtDNA disease treatments.

  19. Promote potential applications of nanoparticles as respiratory drug carrier: insights from molecular dynamics simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Xubo; Bai, Tingting; Zuo, Yi Y.; Gu, Ning

    2014-02-01

    Nanoparticles (NPs) show great promises in biomedical applications as the respiratory drug carrier system. Once reaching the alveolar region, NPs first interact with the pulmonary surfactant (PS) film, which serves as the first biological barrier and plays an important role in maintaining the normal respiratory mechanics. Therefore, understanding the interactions between NPs and PS can help promote the NP-based respiratory drug carrier systems. Using coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations, we studied the effect of rigid spherical NPs with different hydrophobicity and sizes on a dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC) monolayer at the air-water interface. Four different NPs were considered, including hydrophilic and hydrophobic NPs, each with two diameters of 3 nm and 5 nm (the sizes are comparable to that of generation 3 and 5 PAMAM dendrimers, which have been widely used for nanoscale drug carrier systems). Our simulations showed that hydrophilic NPs can readily penetrate into the aqueous phase with little or no disturbance on the DPPC monolayer. However, hydrophobic NPs tend to induce large structural disruptions, thus inhibiting the normal phase transition of the DPPC monolayer upon film compression. Our simulations also showed that this inhibitory effect of hydrophobic NPs can be mitigated through PEGylation. Our results provide useful guidelines for molecular design of NPs as carrier systems for pulmonary drug delivery.Nanoparticles (NPs) show great promises in biomedical applications as the respiratory drug carrier system. Once reaching the alveolar region, NPs first interact with the pulmonary surfactant (PS) film, which serves as the first biological barrier and plays an important role in maintaining the normal respiratory mechanics. Therefore, understanding the interactions between NPs and PS can help promote the NP-based respiratory drug carrier systems. Using coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations, we studied the effect of rigid spherical NPs

  20. 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

  1. Insights into the binding of thiosemicarbazone derivatives with human serum albumin: spectroscopy and molecular modelling studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karthikeyan, Subramani; Bharanidharan, Ganesan; Kesherwani, Manish; Mani, Karthik Ananth; Srinivasan, Narasimhan; Velmurugan, Devadasan; Aruna, Prakasarao; Ganesan, Singaravelu

    2016-06-01

    4-[(1Z)-1-(2-carbamothioylhydrazinylidene)ethyl]phenyl acetate [Ace semi],4-[(1Z)-1-(2-carbamothioylhydrazinylidene)ethyl]phenyl propanoate [Pro semi] from the family of thiosemicarbazones derivative has been newly synthesized. It has good anticancer activity as well as antibacterial and it is also less toxic in nature, its binding characteristics are therefore of huge interest for understanding pharmacokinetic mechanism of the drug. The binding of thiosemicarbazone derivative to human serum albumin (HSA) has been investigated by studying its quenching mechanism, binding kinetics and the molecular distance (r) between donor (HSA) and acceptor (thiosemicarbazone derivative) was estimated according to Forster's theory of non-radiative energy transfer using fluorescence spectroscopy. The binding dynamics has been elaborated using synchronous fluorescence spectroscopy, and the feature of thiosemicarbazone derivative induced structural changes of HSA has been studied by circular dichorism, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. Molecular modelling simulations explore the hydrophobic interaction and hydrogen bonding which stabilizes the interaction. PMID:26368536

  2. 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. PMID:27492241

  3. 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. PMID:25450230

  4. Structural insights into the molecular mechanism of the m6A writer complex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Śledź, Paweł; Jinek, Martin

    2016-01-01

    Methylation of adenosines at the N6 position (m6A) is a dynamic and abundant epitranscriptomic mark that regulates critical aspects of eukaryotic RNA metabolism in numerous biological processes. The RNA methyltransferases METTL3 and METTL14 are components of a multisubunit m6A writer complex whose enzymatic activity is substantially higher than the activities of METTL3 or METTL14 alone. The molecular mechanism underpinning this synergistic effect is poorly understood. Here we report the crystal structure of the catalytic core of the human m6A writer complex comprising METTL3 and METTL14. The structure reveals the heterodimeric architecture of the complex and donor substrate binding by METTL3. Structure-guided mutagenesis indicates that METTL3 is the catalytic subunit of the complex, whereas METTL14 has a degenerate active site and plays non-catalytic roles in maintaining complex integrity and substrate RNA binding. These studies illuminate the molecular mechanism and evolutionary history of eukaryotic m6A modification in post-transcriptional genome regulation. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.18434.001 PMID:27627798

  5. Structural insights into the molecular mechanism of the m(6)A writer complex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Śledź, Paweł; Jinek, Martin

    2016-01-01

    Methylation of adenosines at the N(6) position (m(6)A) is a dynamic and abundant epitranscriptomic mark that regulates critical aspects of eukaryotic RNA metabolism in numerous biological processes. The RNA methyltransferases METTL3 and METTL14 are components of a multisubunit m(6)A writer complex whose enzymatic activity is substantially higher than the activities of METTL3 or METTL14 alone. The molecular mechanism underpinning this synergistic effect is poorly understood. Here we report the crystal structure of the catalytic core of the human m(6)A writer complex comprising METTL3 and METTL14. The structure reveals the heterodimeric architecture of the complex and donor substrate binding by METTL3. Structure-guided mutagenesis indicates that METTL3 is the catalytic subunit of the complex, whereas METTL14 has a degenerate active site and plays non-catalytic roles in maintaining complex integrity and substrate RNA binding. These studies illuminate the molecular mechanism and evolutionary history of eukaryotic m(6)A modification in post-transcriptional genome regulation. PMID:27627798

  6. Insights into the structural stability of Bax from molecular dynamics simulations at high temperatures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosas-Trigueros, Jorge Luis; Correa-Basurto, José; Guadalupe Benítez-Cardoza, Claudia; Zamorano-Carrillo, Absalom

    2011-01-01

    Bax is a member of the Bcl-2 protein family that participates in mitochondrion-mediated apoptosis. In the early stages of the apoptotic pathway, this protein migrates from the cytosol to the outer mitochondrial membrane, where it is inserted and usually oligomerizes, making cytochrome c-compatible pores. Although several cellular and structural studies have been reported, a description of the stability of Bax at the molecular level remains elusive. This article reports molecular dynamics simulations of monomeric Bax at 300, 400, and 500 K, focusing on the most relevant structural changes and relating them to biological experimental results. Bax gradually loses its α-helices when it is submitted to high temperatures, yet it maintains its globular conformation. The resistance of Bax to adopt an extended conformation could be due to several interactions that were found to be responsible for maintaining the structural stability of this protein. Among these interactions, we found salt bridges, hydrophobic interactions, and hydrogen bonds. Remarkably, salt bridges were the most relevant to prevent the elongation of the structure. In addition, the analysis of our results suggests which conformational movements are implicated in the activation/oligomerization of Bax. This atomistic description might have important implications for understanding the functionality and stability of Bax in vitro as well as within the cellular environment. PMID:21936009

  7. Molecular insights into the boundary conditions in the Stokes-Einstein relation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishii, Yoshiki; Ohtori, Norikazu

    2016-05-01

    In order to mimic the Brownian particle in liquid, molecular dynamics calculations of dilute solutions of spherical fullerene molecules with various sizes in liquid Ar were performed. To establish the scaling equation for self-diffusion coefficient, D, of the fullerenes, the dependence of D was examined on the mass ratio of solute to solvent and on the energy-parameter ratio used in the Lennard-Jones potentials. The dependence on the energy-parameter ratio remains up to C_{540}, whereas D rapidly becomes independent of the mass ratio with increasing mass of the solute. The product of the scaling equations obtained for the D of the solute and for shear viscosity, η_{sv}, for the solvent gives a relation which replaces the Stokes-Einstein relation based on the hydrodynamics. The present expression does not need both the boundary conditions and the hydrodynamic particle size, but instead the energy-parameter ratio, packing fraction of solvent, and bare size of solute. From the viewpoint of the tackiness at the boundary, the cage correlation function around the diffusing particle was examined; it was found that the decay time of the function depends mainly on the the energy-parameter ratio. Therefore, the energy-parameter ratio accounts for the main part of both the boundary conditions and the hydrodynamic particle size in the Stokes equation, which have so far been ill-defined in any molecular theories.

  8. 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.

  9. Molecular genetics and mechanisms of disease in distal hereditary motor neuropathies: insights directing future genetic studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drew, A P; Blair, I P; Nicholson, G A

    2011-11-01

    The distal hereditary motor neuropathies (dHMNs) are a clinically and genetically heterogeneous group of disorders that primarily affect motor neurons, without significant sensory involvement. New dHMN genes continue to be identified. There are now 11 causative genes described for dHMN, and an additional five genetic loci with unidentified genes. This genetic heterogeneity has further delineated the classification of dHMN, which was previously classified according to mode of inheritance, age at onset, and additional complicating features. Some overlap between phenotypically distinct forms of dHMN is also apparent. The mutated genes identified to-date in dHMN include HSPB1, HSPB8, HSPB3, DCTN1, GARS, PLEKHG5, BSCL2, SETX, IGHMBP2, ATP7A and TRPV4. The pathogenesis of mutations remains to be fully elucidated, however common pathogenic mechanisms are emerging. These include disruption of axonal transport, RNA processing defects, protein aggregation and inclusion body formation, disrupted calcium channel activity, and loss of neuroprotective signalling. Some of these dHMN genes are also mutated in Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). This review examines the growing number of identified dHMN genes, discusses recent insights into the functions of these genes and possible pathogenic mechanisms, and looks at the increasing overlap between dHMN and the other neuropathies CMT2 and SMA.

  10. 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.

  11. Insights into the molecular phylogeny and historical biogeography of the white-clawed crayfish (Decapoda, Astacidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jelić, Mišel; Klobučar, Göran I V; Grandjean, Frédéric; Puillandre, Nicolas; Franjević, Damjan; Futo, Momir; Amouret, Julien; Maguire, Ivana

    2016-10-01

    In this study, the evolutionary history of the white-clawed crayfish (WCC) was evaluated using large-scale datasets comprising >1350 specimens from the entire distribution range. Using species delimitation methods on mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences, we propose four primary species hypotheses for WCC. Sequences for several nuclear regions were screened but none showed significant variation within WCC. This result favours a single secondary species hypothesis and indicates the existence of a mito-nuclear discordance in WCC. Therefore, mtDNA groups were considered only as genetic units that carry information about ancient divergences within WCC and not as taxonomic units. The reconstruction of ancestral ranges and divergence time estimates were used to link the current genetic structure with paleogeographic processes. These results showed that the emergence of mtDNA groups in WCC could be related to the Messinian Salinity Crisis, the climate cooling during the Pliocene and Pleistocene, and (paleo)shifting of the Adriatic Sea coastline in the Padanovenezian Plain. The most recent common ancestor of the mtDNA groups most likely originated from Dalmatia (eastern Adriatic coast) as indicated by the reconstruction of ancestral ranges. This ecoregion, along with the Gulf of Venice Drainages, harbours a high genetic diversity and should be emphasised as an area of the highest conservation priority. PMID:27404041

  12. Anticancer compound plumbagin and its molecular targets: a structural insight into the inhibitory mechanisms using computational approaches.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammad S Jamal

    Full Text Available Plumbagin (5-hydroxy-2-methyl-1,4-naphthoquinone is a naphthoquinone derivative from the roots of plant Plumbago zeylanica and belongs to one of the largest and diverse groups of plant metabolites. The anticancer and antiproliferative activities of plumbagin have been observed in animal models as well as in cell cultures. Plumbagin exerts inhibitory effects on multiple cancer-signaling proteins, however, the binding mode and the molecular interactions have not yet been elucidated for most of these protein targets. The present study is the first attempt to provide structural insights into the binding mode of plumbagin to five cancer signaling proteins viz. PI3Kγ, AKT1/PKBα, Bcl-2, NF-κB, and Stat3 using molecular docking and (unbinding simulation analysis. We validated plumbagin docking to these targets with previously known important residues. The study also identified and characterized various novel interacting residues of these targets which mediate the binding of plumbagin. Moreover, the exact modes of inhibition when multiple mode of inhibition existed was also shown. Results indicated that the engaging of these important interacting residues in plumbagin binding leads to inhibition of these cancer-signaling proteins which are key players in the pathogenesis of cancer and thereby ceases the progression of the disease.

  13. 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.

  14. Insight into a molecular interaction force supporting peptide backbones and its implication to protein loops and folding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Du, Qi-Shi; Chen, Dong; Xie, Neng-Zhong; Huang, Ri-Bo; Chou, Kuo-Chen

    2015-09-01

    Although not being classified as the most fundamental protein structural elements like α-helices and β-strands, the loop segment may play considerable roles for protein stability, flexibility, and dynamic activity. Meanwhile, the protein loop is also quite elusive; i.e. its interactions with the other parts of protein as well as its own shape-maintaining forces have still remained as a puzzle or at least not quite clear yet. Here, we report a molecular force, the so-called polar hydrogen-π interaction (Hp-π), which may play an important role in supporting the backbones of protein loops. By conducting the potential energy surface scanning calculations on the quasi π-plane of peptide bond unit, we have observed the following intriguing phenomena: (1) when the polar hydrogen atom of a peptide unit is perpendicularly pointing to the π-plane of other peptide bond units, a remarkable Hp-π interaction occurs; (2) the interaction is distance and orientation dependent, acting in a broad space, and belonging to the 'point-to-plane' one. The molecular force reported here may provide useful interaction concepts and insights into better understanding the loop's unique stability and flexibility feature, as well as the driving force of the protein global folding. PMID:25375237

  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. UV-induced modification of fused silica: Insights from ReaxFF-based molecular dynamics simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Ye; Du, Jincheng; Zu, Xiaotao; Han, Wei; Yuan, Xiaodong; Zheng, Wanguo

    2016-09-01

    Atomic structural modification and defect processes of fused silica resulting from UV-laser irradiation are studied by a combination of molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and the Reactive Force Field (ReaxFF). Bond state transitions by laser excitation are modeled as the result of localized recoils during energy deposition. Computations of pair distribution functions and bond angle distributions of the irradiated structure reveal that fused silica undergoes significant changes in terms of Si-O, Si-Si pair distances and Si-O-Si bond angles, which are attributed to the formation of silicon and oxygen coordination defects. It is found that nonbridging oxygen is responsible for the decreased Si-O bond length, while laser-induced five-coordinated silicon leads to small Si-O-Si bond angles in 2-membered rings.

  17. Solid phase epitaxy amorphous silicon re-growth: some insight from empirical molecular dynamics simulation

    CERN Document Server

    Krzeminski, Christophe; 10.1140/epjb/e2011-10958-7

    2011-01-01

    The modelling of interface migration and the associated diffusion mechanisms at the nanoscale level is a challenging issue. For many technological applications ranging from nanoelectronic devices to solar cells, more knowledge of the mechanisms governing the migration of the silicon amorphous/crystalline interface and dopant diffusion during solid phase epitaxy is needed. In this work, silicon recrystallisation in the framework of solid phase epitaxy and the influence on orientation effects have been investigated at the atomic level using empirical molecular dynamics simulations. The morphology and the migration process of the interface has been observed to be highly dependent on the original inter-facial atomic structure. The [100] interface migration is a quasi-planar ideal process whereas the cases [110] and [111] are much more complex with a more diffuse interface. For [110], the interface migration corresponds to the formation and dissolution of nanofacets whereas for [111] a defective based bilayer reor...

  18. Molecular Ecology of Hypersaline Microbial Mats: Current Insights and New Directions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hon Lun Wong

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Microbial mats are unique geobiological ecosystems that form as a result of complex communities of microorganisms interacting with each other and their physical environment. Both the microorganisms present and the network of metabolic interactions govern ecosystem function therein. These systems are often found in a range of extreme environments, and those found in elevated salinity have been particularly well studied. The purpose of this review is to briefly describe the molecular ecology of select model hypersaline mat systems (Guerrero Negro, Shark Bay, S’Avall, and Kiritimati Atoll, and any potentially modulating effects caused by salinity to community structure. In addition, we discuss several emerging issues in the field (linking function to newly discovered phyla and microbial dark matter, which illustrate the changing paradigm that is seen as technology has rapidly advanced in the study of these extreme and evolutionally significant ecosystems.

  19. Molecular developmental mechanism in polypterid fish provides insight into the origin of vertebrate lungs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tatsumi, Norifumi; Kobayashi, Ritsuko; Yano, Tohru; Noda, Masatsugu; Fujimura, Koji; Okada, Norihiro; Okabe, Masataka

    2016-01-01

    The lung is an important organ for air breathing in tetrapods and originated well before the terrestrialization of vertebrates. Therefore, to better understand lung evolution, we investigated lung development in the extant basal actinopterygian fish Senegal bichir (Polypterus senegalus). First, we histologically confirmed that lung development in this species is very similar to that of tetrapods. We also found that the mesenchymal expression patterns of three genes that are known to play important roles in early lung development in tetrapods (Fgf10, Tbx4, and Tbx5) were quite similar to those of tetrapods. Moreover, we found a Tbx4 core lung mesenchyme-specific enhancer (C-LME) in the genomes of bichir and coelacanth (Latimeria chalumnae) and experimentally confirmed that these were functional in tetrapods. These findings provide the first molecular evidence that the developmental program for lung was already established in the common ancestor of actinopterygians and sarcopterygians. PMID:27466206

  20. Pancreatic acinar cells: molecular insight from studies of signal-transduction using transgenic animals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yule, David I

    2010-11-01

    Pancreatic acinar cells are classical exocrine gland cells. The apical regions of clusters of coupled acinar cells collectively form a lumen which constitutes the blind end of a tube created by ductal cells - a structure reminiscent of a "bunch of grapes". When activated by neural or hormonal secretagogues, pancreatic acinar cells are stimulated to secrete a variety of proteins. These proteins are predominately inactive digestive enzyme precursors called "zymogens". Acinar cell secretion is absolutely dependent on secretagogue-induced increases in intracellular free Ca(2+). The increase in [Ca(2+)](i) has precise temporal and spatial characteristics as a result of the exquisite regulation of the proteins responsible for Ca(2+) release, Ca(2+) influx and Ca(2+) clearance in the acinar cell. This brief review discusses recent studies in which transgenic animal models have been utilized to define in molecular detail the components of the Ca(2+) signaling machinery which contribute to these characteristics.

  1. Molecular basis of epithelial Ca2+ and Mg2+ transport: insights from the TRP channel family

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dimke, Henrik Anthony; Hoenderop, Joost G J; Bindels, René J M

    2011-01-01

    active transcellular movement of divalent cations from the lumen into the enterocyte. Furthermore, in bone, TRPV channels play important roles by influencing the osteoclastic resorption process, thereby contributing importantly to overall bone mineral content. The divalent cation-permeable TRPV5 and TRPM......Maintenance of plasma Ca(2+) and Mg(2+) levels is of vital importance for many physiological functions. This is achieved via a coordinated interplay between the intestine, bone and kidney by amending the rate of absorption, storage and excretion, respectively. Discovery of the transient receptor...... potential (TRP) family identified several new ion channels acting as gatekeepers of Ca(2+) and Mg(2+) transport in these epithelia, greatly increasing our understanding of the molecular processes that facilitate the movement of these minerals. In the intestine, TRP channels contribute to the saturable...

  2. 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. PMID:21506792

  3. 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. PMID:26400817

  4. Electrochemical double layer near polar reduced graphene oxide electrode: Insights from molecular dynamic study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Graphical abstract: Display Omitted - Highlights: • We have investigated the electrochemical double layer capacity of polar reduced graphene oxide electrode with aqueous solution by using molecular dynamic simulation, which is rare in previous studies currently. • The dipole orientation of water molecules near the polar reduced graphene oxide electrode will strongly depend on the polarity of functional group on reduced graphene oxide surface. The polarization interaction also restricts the rotation response of water molecules and weakens their mobility near the charged electrode, resulting in the decrease of integral capacitance value of reduced graphene oxide with increasing of functional groups concentration. • To obtain the accurate partial charge distribution of decorated functional group and corresponding surface polarization of reduced graphene oxide electrode, Bader charge analysis based on density functional theory calculations is used. - Abstract: Reduced graphene oxide (rGO) has emerged as an attractive choice for electrochemical double layer capacitors. Based on the accurate atomic partial charge distribution determined by density functional theory calculations, the electrochemical double layer structural and capacitive properties at the rGO/NaCl aqueous electrolyte interface are studied using the molecular dynamic simulations. Due to the charge redistribution mainly around oxygen functional groups, rGO will form a strong polar surface. It will significantly change the arrangement of surrounding water molecules through a hydrogen bond like interaction. The change of dipole orientation of water will induce corresponding net charge redistribution, leading to a change of potential of zero charge of rGO electrode. The polarization interaction also restricts the orientation of electrolyte molecules and weakens their mobility, resulting in the decrease of integral capacitance value of rGO with increasing of functional groups concentration. This work

  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. Lessons from mammalian hibernators: molecular insights into striated muscle plasticity and remodeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tessier, Shannon N; Storey, Kenneth B

    2016-05-01

    Striated muscle shows an amazing ability to adapt its structural apparatus based on contractile activity, loading conditions, fuel supply, or environmental factors. Studies with mammalian hibernators have identified a variety of molecular pathways which are strategically regulated and allow animals to endure multiple stresses associated with the hibernating season. Of particular interest is the observation that hibernators show little skeletal muscle atrophy despite the profound metabolic rate depression and mechanical unloading that they experience during long weeks of torpor. Additionally, the cardiac muscle of hibernators must adjust to low temperature and reduced perfusion, while the strength of contraction increases in order to pump cold, viscous blood. Consequently, hibernators hold a wealth of knowledge as it pertains to understanding the natural capacity of myocytes to alter structural, contractile and metabolic properties in response to environmental stimuli. The present review outlines the molecular and biochemical mechanisms which play a role in muscular atrophy, hypertrophy, and remodeling. In this capacity, four main networks are highlighted: (1) antioxidant defenses, (2) the regulation of structural, contractile and metabolic proteins, (3) ubiquitin proteosomal machinery, and (4) macroautophagy pathways. Subsequently, we discuss the role of transcription factors nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2 (Nrf2), Myocyte enhancer factor 2 (MEF2), and Forkhead box (FOXO) and their associated posttranslational modifications as it pertains to regulating each of these networks. Finally, we propose that comparing and contrasting these concepts to data collected from model organisms able to withstand dramatic changes in muscular function without injury will allow researchers to delineate physiological versus pathological responses. PMID:26982616

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Comparative molecular epidemiology provides new insights into Zucchini yellow mosaic virus occurrence in France.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lecoq, H; Wipf-Scheibel, C; Nozeran, K; Millot, P; Desbiez, C

    2014-06-24

    Zucchini yellow mosaic virus (ZYMV, genus Potyvirus) causes important crop losses in cucurbits worldwide. In France, ZYMV epidemics are sporadic but occasionally very severe. This contrasts with Watermelon mosaic virus (WMV, genus Potyvirus) which causes regular and early epidemics. Factors influencing ZYMV epidemiology are still poorly understood. In order to gain new insights on the ecology and epidemiology of this virus, a 5-year multilocation trial was conducted in which ZYMV spread and populations were studied in each of the 20 plot/year combinations and compared with WMV. Search for ZYMV alternative hosts was conducted by testing weeds growing naturally around one plot and also by checking ZYMV natural infections in selected ornamental species. Although similar ZYMV populations were observed occasionally in the same plot in two successive years suggesting the occurrence of overwintering hosts nearby, only two Lamium amplexicaule plants were found to be infected by ZYMV of 3459 weed samples that were tested. The scarcity of ZYMV reservoirs contrasts with the frequent detection of WMV in the same samples. Since ZYMV and WMV have many aphid vectors in common and are transmitted with similar efficiencies, the differences observed in ZYMV and WMV reservoir abundances could be a major explanatory factor for the differences observed in the typology of ZYMV and WMV epidemics in France. Other potential ZYMV alternative hosts have been identified in ornamental species including begonia. Although possible in a few cases, exchanges of populations between different plots located from 500 m to 4 km apart seem uncommon. Therefore, the potential dissemination range of ZYMV by its aphid vectors seems to be rather limited in a fragmented landscape. PMID:24486486

  10. 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

  11. Molecular insights into the local anesthetic receptor within voltage-gated sodium channels using hydroxylated analogues of mexiletine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean-François eDesaphy

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available We previously showed that the β-adrenoceptor modulators, clenbuterol and propranolol, directly blocked voltage-gated sodium channels, whereas salbutamol and nadolol did not (Desaphy et al., 2003, suggesting the presence of two hydroxyl groups on the aromatic moiety of the drugs as a molecular requisite for impeding sodium channel block. To verify such an hypothesis, we synthesized five new mexiletine analogues by adding one or two hydroxyl groups to the aryl moiety of the sodium channel blocker and tested these compounds on hNav1.4 channels expressed in HEK293 cells. Concentration-response relationships were constructed using an holding potential of -120 mV at 0.1 Hz (tonic block and 10 Hz (use-dependent block stimulation frequencies. The half-maximum inhibitory concentrations (IC50 were linearly correlated to drug lipophilicity: the less lipophilic the drug, minor was the block. The same compounds were also tested on F1586C and Y1593C hNav1.4 channel mutants, to gain further information on the molecular interactions of mexiletine with its receptor within the sodium channel pore. Alteration of tonic block suggests that the aryl moiety of mexiletine may interact either directly or indirectly with Phe1586 in the closed sodium channel to produce low-affinity binding block, and that this interaction depends on the electrostatic potential of the drug aromatic tail. Alteration of use-dependent block suggests that addition of hydroxyl groups to the aryl moiety may modify high-affinity binding of the drug ammine terminal to Phe1586 through cooperativity between the two pharmacophores, this effect being mainly related to drug lipophilicity. Mutation of Tyr1593 further impaired such cooperativity. In conclusion, these results confirm our former hypothesis showing that the presence of hydroxyl groups to the aryl moiety of mexiletine greatly reduced sodium channel block, and provide molecular insights into the intimate interaction of local anesthetics with

  12. Solid-state NMR in macromolecular systems: insights on how molecular entities move.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansen, Michael Ryan; Graf, Robert; Spiess, Hans Wolfgang

    2013-09-17

    The function of synthetic and natural macromolecularsystems critically depends on the packing and dynamics of the individual components of a given system. Not only can solid-state NMR provide structural information with atomic resolution, but it can also provide a way to characterize the amplitude and time scales of motions over broad ranges of length and time. These movements include molecular dynamics, rotational and translational motions of the building blocks, and also the motion of the functional species themselves, such as protons or ions. This Account examines solid-state NMR methods for correlating dynamics and function in a variety of chemical systems. In the early days, scientists thought that the rotationalmotions reflected the geometry of the moving entities. They described these phenomena as jumps about well-defined axes, such as phenyl flips, even in amorphous polymers. Later, they realized that conformational transitions in macromolecules happen in a much more complex way. Because the individual entities do not rotate around well-defined axes, they require much less space. Only recently researchers have appreciated the relative importance of large angle fluctuations of polymers over rotational jumps. Researchers have long considered that cooperative motions might be at work, yet only recently they have clearly detected these motions by NMR in macromolecular and supramolecular systems. In correlations of dynamics and function, local motions do not always provide the mechanism of long-range transport. This idea holds true in ion conduction but also applies to chain transport in polymer melts and semicrystalline polymers. Similar chain motions and ion transport likewise occur in functional biopolymers, systems where solid-state NMR studies are also performed. In polymer science, researchers have appreciated the unique information on molecular dynamics available from advanced solid-state NMR at times, where their colleagues in the biomacromolecular

  13. New insight into the molecular mechanisms of the biological effects of DNA minor groove binders.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xinbo Zhang

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Bisbenzimides, or Hoechst 33258 (H258, and its derivative Hoechst 33342 (H342 are archetypal molecules for designing minor groove binders, and widely used as tools for staining DNA and analyzing side population cells. They are supravital DNA minor groove binders with AT selectivity. H342 and H258 share similar biological effects based on the similarity of their chemical structures, but also have their unique biological effects. For example, H342, but not H258, is a potent apoptotic inducer and both H342 and H258 can induce transgene overexpression in in vitro studies. However, the molecular mechanisms by which Hoechst dyes induce apoptosis and enhance transgene overexpression are unclear. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: To determine the molecular mechanisms underlying different biological effects between H342 and H258, microarray technique coupled with bioinformatics analyses and multiple other techniques has been utilized to detect differential global gene expression profiles, Hoechst dye-specific gene expression signatures, and changes in cell morphology and levels of apoptosis-associated proteins in malignant mesothelioma cells. H342-induced apoptosis occurs in a dose-dependent fashion and is associated with morphological changes, caspase-3 activation, cytochrome c mitochondrial translocation, and cleavage of apoptosis-associated proteins. The antagonistic effect of H258 on H342-induced apoptosis indicates a pharmacokinetic basis for the two dyes' different biological effects. Differential global gene expression profiles induced by H258 and H342 are accompanied by unique gene expression signatures determined by DNA microarray and bioinformatics software, indicating a genetic basis for their different biological effects. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: A unique gene expression signature associated with H342-induced apoptosis provides a new avenue to predict and classify the therapeutic class of minor groove binders in the drug

  14. The Growth Entrapment Model (GEM): New Insights from Molecular-Scale Simulations of Ti in Quartz

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watson, E. B.; Lanzillo, N. A.; Nayak, S. K.

    2011-12-01

    The growth entrapment model (GEM) put forth by Watson and Liang (Am. Min. 80, 1170-1187) and Watson (GCA 68, 1473-1488) offers a mechanism by which crystals can acquire non-equilibrium chemical or isotopic properties during growth from a uniform fluid medium. The GEM is based on the premise that the equilibrium properties of the near-surface region of a crystal differ from those of the bulk, much as the properties of nanocrystals differ from those of larger crystals of the same phase. In the GEM model, "capture" of the near-surface composition within a growing crystal-creating a non-equilibrium condition-depends upon the outcome of the competition between growth (which buries near-surface atoms) and diffusion (which attempts to restore equilibrium). In any application of the GEM model, the most uncertain input parameters are the near-surface diffusivity (D) and the equilibrium partition coefficient (F) between the near-surface region and the bulk lattice. Experimental measurement of these quantities is elusive because the relevant length scales are small (1-5 nm). However, molecular-scale simulations hold some promise for deducing relative values, as we illustrate here using Ti uptake in quartz as an example. We undertook ab initio molecular dynamics simulations based on a supercell approach to show that the binding energy of Ti^{4+} in quartz is a function of depth in the crystal within a few nanometers of the surface, confirming that F in the GEM model must differ from unity. We also show, using the meta-dynamics method to compute the unbiased diffusion path and corresponding energy barrier, that the activation energy for Ti^{4+} diffusion in the near-surface (2-3 nm deep) is substantially lower than that pertaining to the "deep" lattice diffusivity that is typically measured in diffusion experiments (which we also reproduced computationally). These findings substantiate the underlying phenomena upon which the GEM model is based, in addition to providing

  15. Molecular simulations of aromatase reveal new insights into the mechanism of ligand binding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Jiho; Czapla, Luke; Amaro, Rommie E

    2013-08-26

    CYP19A1, also known as aromatase or estrogen synthetase, is the rate-limiting enzyme in the biosynthesis of estrogens from their corresponding androgens. Several clinically used breast cancer therapies target aromatase. In this work, explicitly solvated all-atom molecular dynamics simulations of aromatase with a model of the lipid bilayer and the transmembrane helix are performed. The dynamics of aromatase and the role of titration of an important amino acid residue involved in aromatization of androgens are investigated via two 250-ns long simulations. One simulation treats the protonated form of the catalytic aspartate 309, which appears more consistent with crystallographic data for the active site, while the simulation of the deprotonated form shows some notable conformational shifts. Ensemble-based computational solvent mapping experiments indicate possible novel druggable binding sites that could be utilized by next-generation inhibitors. In addition, the effects of protonation on the ligand positioning and channel dynamics are investigated using geometrical models that estimate the opening width of critical channels. Significant differences in channel dynamics between the protonated and deprotonated trajectories are exhibited, suggesting that the mechanism for substrate and product entry and the aromatization process may be coupled to a "locking" mechanism and channel opening. Our results may be particularly relevant in the design of novel drugs, which may be useful therapeutic treatments of cancers such as those of the breast and prostate. PMID:23927370

  16. Molecular Background of miRNA Role in Asthma and COPD: An Updated Insight

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Izabela Szymczak

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Inflammatory airway diseases are a significant health problems requiring new approaches to the existing therapies and addressing fundamental issues. Difficulties in developing effective therapeutic strategies might be caused by lack of understanding of their exact molecular mechanism. MicroRNAs (miRNAs are a class of regulators that already revolutionized the view of gene expression regulation. A cumulating number of investigations show a pivotal role of miRNAs in the pathogenesis of asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD, or airway remodeling through the regulation of many pathways involved in their pathogenesis. Expression changes of several miRNAs have also been found to play a role in the development and/or improvement in asthma or COPD. Still, relatively little is known about the role of miRNAs in inflammatory disorders. The microRNA profiles may differ depending on the cell type or antigen-presenting cell. Based on the newest literature, this review discusses the current knowledge concerning miRNA contribution and influence on lung inflammation and chosen inflammatory airway diseases: asthma and COPD.

  17. Reproductive mode evolution in nematodes: insights from molecular phylogenies and recently discovered species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Denver, D R; Clark, K A; Raboin, M J

    2011-11-01

    The Phylum Nematoda has long been known to contain a great diversity of species that vary in reproductive mode, though our understanding of the evolutionary origins, causes and consequences of nematode reproductive mode change have only recently started to mature. Here we bring together and analyze recent progress on reproductive mode evolution throughout the phylum, resulting from the application of molecular phylogenetic approaches and newly discovered nematode species. Reproductive mode variation is reviewed in multiple free-living, animal-parasitic and plant-parasitic nematode groups. Discussion ranges from the model nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and its close relatives, to the plant-parasitic nematodes of the Meloidogyne genus where there is extreme variation in reproductive mode between and even within species, to the vertebrate-parasitic genus Strongyloides and related genera where reproductive mode varies across generations (heterogony). Multiple evolutionary transitions from dioecous (obligately outcrossing) to hermaphroditism and parthenogenesis in the phylum are discussed, along with one case of an evolutionary transition from hermaphroditism to doioecy in the Oscheius genus. We consider the roles of underlying genetic mechanisms in promoting reproductive plasticity in this phylum, as well as the potential evolutionary forces promoting transitions in reproductive mode. PMID:21787872

  18. Dynamics of biological water: insights from molecular modeling of light scattering in aqueous trehalose solutions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lupi, Laura; Comez, Lucia; Paolantoni, Marco; Fioretto, Daniele; Ladanyi, Branka M

    2012-06-28

    Extended depolarized light scattering (EDLS) measurements have been recently employed to investigate the dynamics of water solvating biological molecules, giving evidence of the presence of two different dynamical regimes among water molecules. An interpretation of EDLS has been proposed that provides an independent estimate of the retardation factor of slowdown with respect to fast water molecules and of the number of solvent molecules affected by this slowing down. Nevertheless this measure is an inherently complex one, due to the collective nature of the physical property probed. In the present work a molecular dynamics (MD) approach has been used to more deeply understand experimental results. Time correlation functions of the collective polarizability anisotropy have been calculated for the prototype disaccharide trehalose in aqueous solutions as a function of concentration. The unique capability of MD to disentangle the contributions to the dynamics arising from solute, solvent, and cross terms between the two allowed us to check the reliability of an interpretation that assumes a spectral separation of water and sugar dynamics, as well as to highlight the very presence of two distinct relaxation processes in water. The two processes have been attributed to the dynamics of bulk and hydration water, respectively. A retardation factor of ~5 and concentration dependent hydration numbers have been observed, in good agreement with experimental results [Paolantoni, M.; et al. J. Phys. Chem. B 2009, 113, 7874-7878].

  19. Effect of temperature on DNA double helix: An insight from molecular dynamics simulation

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Sangeeta Kundu; Sanchita Mukherjee; Dhananjay Bhattacharyya

    2012-07-01

    The three-dimensional structure of DNA contains various sequence-dependent structural information, which control many cellular processes in life, such as replication, transcription, DNA repair, etc. For the above functions, DNA double helices need to unwind or melt locally, which is different from terminal melting, as often seen in molecular dynamics (MD) simulations or even in many DNA crystal structures. We have carried out detailed MD simulations of DNA double helices of regular oligonucleotide fragments as well as in polymeric constructs with water and charge-neutralizing counter-ions at several different temperatures. We wanted to eliminate the end-effect or terminal melting propensity by employing MD simulation of DNA oligonucleotides in such a manner that gives rise to properties of polymeric DNA of infinite length. The polymeric construct is expected to allow us to see local melting at elevated temperatures. Comparative structural analysis of oligonucleotides and its corresponding virtual polymer at various temperatures ranging from 300 K to 400 K is discussed. The general behaviour, such as volume expansion coefficients of both the simulations show high similarity, indicating polymeric construct, does not give many artificial constraints. Local melting of a polymer, even at elevated temperature, may need a high nucleation energy that was not available in the short (7 ns) simulations. We expected to observe such nucleation followed by cooperative melting of the polymers in longer MD runs. Such simulations of different polymeric sequences would facilitate us to predict probable melting origins in a polymeric DNA.

  20. Molecular Insights into Toluene Sensing in the TodS/TodT Signal Transduction System*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koh, Serry; Hwang, Jungwon; Guchhait, Koushik; Lee, Eun-Gyeong; Kim, Sang-Yoon; Kim, Sujin; Lee, Sangmin; Chung, Jeong Min; Jung, Hyun Suk; Lee, Sang Jun; Ryu, Choong-Min; Lee, Seung-Goo; Oh, Tae-Kwang; Kwon, Ohsuk; Kim, Myung Hee

    2016-01-01

    TodS is a sensor kinase that responds to various monoaromatic compounds, which either cause an agonistic or antagonistic effect on phosphorylation of its cognate response regulator TodT, and controls tod operon expression in Pseudomonas putida strains. We describe a molecular sensing mechanism of TodS that is activated in response to toluene. The crystal structures of the TodS Per-Arnt-Sim (PAS) 1 sensor domain (residues 43–164) and its complex with toluene (agonist) or 1,2,4-trimethylbenzene (antagonist) show a typical β2α3β3 PAS fold structure (residues 45–149), forming a hydrophobic ligand-binding site. A signal transfer region (residues 150–163) located immediately after the canonical PAS fold may be intrinsically flexible and disordered in both apo-PAS1 and antagonist-bound forms and dramatically adapt an α-helix upon toluene binding. This structural change in the signal transfer region is proposed to result in signal transmission to activate the TodS/TodT two-component signal transduction system. Site-directed mutagenesis and β-galactosidase assays using a P. putida reporter strain system verified the essential residues involved in ligand sensing and signal transfer and suggest that the Phe46 residue acts as a ligand-specific switch. PMID:26903514

  1. Cytochrome P450 structure-function: insights from molecular dynamics simulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nair, Pramod C; McKinnon, Ross A; Miners, John O

    2016-08-01

    Cytochrome P450 (CYP) family 1, 2, and 3 enzymes play an essential role in the metabolic clearance and detoxification of a myriad of structurally and chemically diverse drugs and non-drug xenobiotics. The individual CYP enzymes exhibit distinct substrate and inhibitor selectivities, and hence differing patterns of inhibitory drug-drug interactions. In addition, CYP enzymes differ in terms of regulation of expression, genetic polymorphism, and environmental factors that alter activity. The availability of three-dimensional structures from X-ray crystallography have been invaluable for understanding the structural basis of the ligand selectivity of CYP enzymes. Moreover, the X-ray crystal structures demonstrate that CYP proteins exhibit marked flexibility, particularly around the active site, and the principle of ligand-induced conformational changes is now well accepted. Recent studies have demonstrated that molecular dynamics simulations (MDS) provide an additional approach for modeling the structural flexibility of CYP enzymes, both in the presence and absence of bound ligand, and understanding the functional consequences of plasticity. However, most of the MDS studies reported to date have utilized short simulation time scales, and few have validated the computationally-generated data experimentally (e.g. by site-directed mutagenesis and enzyme kinetic approaches). Although modeling approaches require further development and validation, MDS has the potential to provide a deeper understanding of CYP structure-function than is available from experimental techniques such as X-ray crystallography alone. PMID:27167388

  2. Metabolism of triacylglycerols in Rhodococcus species: insights from physiology and molecular genetics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martín A. Hernández

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Rhodococcus bacteria possess the ability to accumulate variable amounts of triacylglycerols (TAG during growth on diverse carbon sources. The evolution seems to have selected these microorganisms as specialists in the accumulation of TAG among bacteria, since their biochemistry is efficiently designed for the biosynthesis and mobilization of these lipids. Detailed research of rhodococcal TAG metabolism started only a few years ago; thus, the fundamental understanding of this process and its regulation remains to be clarified. However, some interesting advances in the basic knowledge on TAG metabolism in rhodococci have been made. Most studies have focused on the physiology of TAG biosynthesis and mobilization in rhodococci. Only recently, some advances in molecular biology and genetics on TAG metabolism occurred as a result of the increasing available genomic information and the development of new genetic tools for rhodococci. These studies have been focused principally on some enzymes of TAG biosynthesis, such as the wax esters/diacylglycerolacyltransferases (WS/DGAT and TAG granule-associated proteins. In this context, the most relevant achievements of basic research in the field have been summarized in this review article.

  3. Molecular insights into chronotype and time-of-day effects on decision-making

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ingram, Krista K; Ay, Ahmet; Kwon, Soo Bin; Woods, Kerri; Escobar, Sue; Gordon, Molly; Smith, Isaac H.; Bearden, Neil; Filipowicz, Allan; Jain, Kriti

    2016-01-01

    Recent reports highlight that human decision-making is influenced by the time of day and whether one is a morning or evening person (i.e., chronotype). Here, we test whether these behavioral effects are associated with endogenous biological rhythms. We asked participants to complete two well-established decision-making tasks in the morning or evening: the matrix task (an ethical decision task) and the balloon analog risk task (BART; a risk-taking task), and we measured their chronotype in two ways. First, participants completed a self-report measure, the Horne-Östberg Morningness-Eveningness Questionnaire (MEQ). Second, we measured the expression of two circadian clock-regulated genes—Per3 and Nr1d2—from peripheral clock cells in participants’ hair follicle samples. Using a cosinor model, we estimated the phase of the peripheral clock and assigned RNA chronotypes to participants with advanced (larks) or delayed (owls) phases. The behavioral data were analyzed independently for self-reported (MEQ) and RNA-based chronotypes. We find that significant chronotype and/or time-of-day effects between larks and owls in decision-making tasks occur only in RNA-based chronotypes. Our results provide evidence that time-of-day effects on decision-making can be explained by phase differences in oscillating clock genes and suggest that variation in the molecular clockwork may influence inter-individual differences in decision-making behavior. PMID:27388366

  4. Molecular insights into diphenylalanine nanotube assembly: all-atom simulations of oligomerization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeon, Joohyun; Mills, Carolyn E; Shell, M Scott

    2013-04-18

    Self-assembling peptides represent a growing class of inexpensive, environmentally benign, nanostructured materials. In particular, diphenylalanine (FF) self-assembles into nanotubes with remarkable strength and thermal stability that have found use in a wide variety of applications, including as sacrificial templates and scaffolds for structuring inorganic materials and as interfacial "nanoforests" for superhydrophobic surfaces and high-performance supercapacitors and biosensors. However, little is known about the assembly mechanisms of FF nanotubes or the forces underlying their stability. Here, we perform a variety of molecular dynamics simulations on both zwitterionic and capped (uncharged) versions of the FF peptide to understand the early stages of self-assembly. We compare these results to simulations of the proposed nanotube X-ray crystal structure. When comparing the zwitterionic and uncharged FF peptides, we find that, while electrostatic interactions steer the former into more ordered dimers and trimers, the hydrophobic side chain interactions play a strong role in determining the structures of larger oligomers. Simulations of the crystal structure fragment also suggest that the strongest interactions occur between side chains, not between the charged termini that form salt bridges. We conclude that the amphiphilic nature of FF is key to understanding its self-assembly, and that the early precursors to nanotube structures are likely to involve substantial hydrophobic clustering, rather than hexamer ring motifs as has been previously suggested. PMID:23521630

  5. 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.

  6. Insight into the stability of cross-beta amyloid fibril from molecular dynamics simulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yue; He, Yong-Jie; Wu, Maoying; Yan, Guanwen; Li, Yixue; Zhang, Jian; Chen, Hai-Feng

    2010-06-01

    Amyloid fibrils are considered to play causal roles in the pathogenesis of amyloid-related degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, type II diabetes mellitus, the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, and prion disease. The mechanism of fibril formation is still hotly debated and remains an important open question. In this study, we utilized molecular dynamics (MD) simulation to analyze the stability of hexamer for eight class peptides. The MD results suggest that VEALYL and MVGGVV-1 are the most stable ones, then SNQNNY, followed by LYQLEN, MVGGVV-2, VQIVYK, SSTSAA, and GGVVIA. The statistics result indicates that hydrophobic residues play a key role in stabilizing the zipper interface. Single point and two linkage mutants of MVGGVV-1 confirmed that both Met1 and Val2 are key hydrophobic residues. This is consistent with the statistics analysis. The stability results of oligomer for MVGGVV-1 suggest that the intermediate state should be trimer (3-0) and tetramer (2-2). These methods can be used in stabilization study of other amyloid fibril.

  7. Towards New Insights in the Sterol/Amphotericin Nanochannels Formation: A Molecular Dynamic Simulation Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boukari, Khaoula; Balme, Sébastien; Janot, Jean-Marc; Picaud, Fabien

    2016-06-01

    Amphotericin B (AmB) is a well-known polyene which self-organizes into membrane cell in order to cause the cell death. Its specific action towards fungal cell is not fully understood but was proved to become from sterol composition. The mechanism was shown experimentally to require the formation of stable sterol/polyene couples which could then organize in a nanochannel. This would allow the leakage of ions responsible for the death of fungal cells, only. In this present study, we investigate the arrangement of AmB/sterols in biological membrane using molecular dynamic simulations in order to understand the role of the sterol structure on the antifungal action of the polyene. We show in particular that the nanochannels tend to close up when cell was composed with cholesterol (animal cell) due to strong interaction between amphotericin and sterol. On the other side, with ergosterol (fungal cell) the largest interactions between amphotericin and lipid membrane lead to the appearance of large hole that could favor the important leakage of ions and thus, the fungal cell death. This work appears as a good complement in the extensive studies linked to the understanding of the antifungal molecules in membrane cells.

  8. Insight into the mechanism of polyphenols on the activity of HMGR by molecular docking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Islam, Barira; Sharma, Charu; Adem, Abdu; Aburawi, Elhadi; Ojha, Shreesh

    2015-01-01

    Statins are hypolipidemic drugs that are effective in the treatment of hypercholesterolemia by attenuating cholesterol synthesis in the liver via competitive inhibition of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase. Recently, dietary changes associated with drug therapy have garnered attention as novel drugs to mitigate or ameliorate hypercholesterolemia. The present study was undertaken to observe different dietary polyphenols that can bind to the active site of HMGR and inhibit it. Results from the 12 dietary polyphenols tested reveal that polyphenols can bind to HMGR and block the binding of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADP(+)). We observed that the rigidity of phenolic rings prevents the polyphenols from docking to the enzyme activity site. The presence of an ester linkage between the phenolic rings in (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) and the alkyl chain in curcumin allows them to orient in the active site of the HMGR and bind to the catalytic residues. EGCG and curcumin showed binding to the active site residues with a low GRID score, which may be a potential inhibitor of HMGR. Kaempferol showed binding to HMG-CoA, but with low binding affinity. These observations provide a rationale for the consistent hypolipidemic effect of EGCG and curcumin, which has been previously reported in several epidemiological and animal studies. Therefore, this study substantiates the mechanism of polyphenols on the activity of HMGR by molecular docking and provides the impetus for drug design involving further structure-function relationship studies.

  9. Postcollision multifragmentation in fullerene-surface impact: Microscopic insights via molecular dynamics simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernstein, Victor; Kolodney, Eli

    2016-07-01

    Postcollision multifragmentation which we have recently observed experimentally in C60 - -surface impact is the phenomenon of a delayed multiparticle breakup of a highly collisionally vibrationally excited large molecule/cluster (the precursor species) into several polyatomic fragments, after leaving the surface. In this paper, we show that the molecular dynamics simulations of near-grazing C60 collisions with a gold surface at 300 eV impact energy (very similar to the experimental conditions) successfully reproduce the experimentally observed characteristics of the postcollision multifragmentation process. The calculated mass resolved kinetic energy distributions and the time dependent yield curves of the Cn fragments revealed a precursor mediated, velocity correlated, delayed fragmentation event along the outgoing trajectory, far away from the surface. Most of the large fragments (n ≥ 5) are formed within a time window of 2-20 ps after leaving the surface, corresponding to the vertical distances of 3-30 nm from the surface. Analysis of delay times and actual time duration for multifragmentation reveal that a large part can be described as simultaneous postcollision (delayed) multifragmentation events. The delayed nature of the event seems to be due to an early sequence of structural transformations of the precursor.

  10. Molecular insights into chronotype and time-of-day effects on decision-making.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ingram, Krista K; Ay, Ahmet; Kwon, Soo Bin; Woods, Kerri; Escobar, Sue; Gordon, Molly; Smith, Isaac H; Bearden, Neil; Filipowicz, Allan; Jain, Kriti

    2016-01-01

    Recent reports highlight that human decision-making is influenced by the time of day and whether one is a morning or evening person (i.e., chronotype). Here, we test whether these behavioral effects are associated with endogenous biological rhythms. We asked participants to complete two well-established decision-making tasks in the morning or evening: the matrix task (an ethical decision task) and the balloon analog risk task (BART; a risk-taking task), and we measured their chronotype in two ways. First, participants completed a self-report measure, the Horne-Östberg Morningness-Eveningness Questionnaire (MEQ). Second, we measured the expression of two circadian clock-regulated genes-Per3 and Nr1d2-from peripheral clock cells in participants' hair follicle samples. Using a cosinor model, we estimated the phase of the peripheral clock and assigned RNA chronotypes to participants with advanced (larks) or delayed (owls) phases. The behavioral data were analyzed independently for self-reported (MEQ) and RNA-based chronotypes. We find that significant chronotype and/or time-of-day effects between larks and owls in decision-making tasks occur only in RNA-based chronotypes. Our results provide evidence that time-of-day effects on decision-making can be explained by phase differences in oscillating clock genes and suggest that variation in the molecular clockwork may influence inter-individual differences in decision-making behavior. PMID:27388366

  11. Temperature-induced unfolding of epidermal growth factor (EGF): insight from molecular dynamics simulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Chunli; Pattani, Varun; Tunnell, James W; Ren, Pengyu

    2010-08-24

    Thermal disruption of protein structure and function is a potentially powerful therapeutic vehicle. With the emerging nanoparticle-targeting and femtosecond laser technology, it is possible to deliver heating locally to specific molecules. It is therefore important to understand how fast a protein can unfold or lose its function at high temperatures, such as near the water boiling point. In this study, the thermal damage of EGF was investigated by combining the replica exchange (136 replicas) and conventional molecular dynamics simulations. The REMD simulation was employed to rigorously explore the free-energy landscape of EGF unfolding. Interestingly, besides the native and unfolded states, we also observed a distinct molten globule (MG) state that retained substantial amount of native contacts. Based on the understanding that which the unfolding of EGF is a three-state process, we have examined the unfolding kinetics of EGF (N-->MG and MG-->D) with multiple 20-ns conventional MD simulations. The Arrhenius prefactors and activation energy barriers determined from the simulation are within the range of previously studied proteins. In contrast to the thermal damage of cells and tissues which take place on the time scale of seconds to hours at relatively low temperatures, the denaturation of proteins occur in nanoseconds when the temperature of heat bath approaches the boiling point. PMID:20466569

  12. Molecular Dynamics Simulation of HIV Fusion Inhibitor T-1249: Insights on Peptide-Lipid Interaction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. M. T. Martins do Canto

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available T-1249 is a peptide that inhibits the fusion of HIV envelope with the target cell membrane. Recent results indicate that T-1249, as in the case of related inhibitor peptide T-20 (enfuvirtide, interacts with membranes, more extensively in the bilayer liquid disordered phase than in the liquid ordered state, which could be linked to its effectiveness. Extensive molecular dynamics simulations (100 ns were carried out to investigate the interaction between T-1249 and bilayers of 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-phosphatidylcholine (POPC and POPC/cholesterol (1 : 1. It was observed that T-1249 interacts to different extents with both membrane systems and that peptide interaction with the bilayer surface has a local effect on membrane structure. Formation of hydrogen bonding between certain peptide residues and several acceptor and donor groups in the bilayer molecules was observed. T-1249 showed higher extent of interaction with bilayers when compared to T-20. This is most notable in POPC/Chol membranes, owing to more peptide residues acting as H bond donors and acceptors between the peptide and the bilayer lipids, including H-bonds formed with cholesterol. This behavior is at variance with that of T-20, which forms no H bonds with cholesterol. This higher ability to interact with membranes is probably correlated with its higher inhibitory efficiency.

  13. Molecular interactions of α-amino acids insight into aqueous β-cyclodextrin systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ekka, Deepak; Roy, Mahendra Nath

    2013-10-01

    Qualitative and quantitative analysis of molecular interaction prevailing in glycine, L-alanine, L-valine and aqueous solution of β-cyclodextrin (β-CD) have been probed by thermophysical properties. Density (ρ), viscosity (η), and ultrasonic speed (u) measurements have been reported at different temperatures. The extent of interaction (solute-solvent interaction) is expressed in terms of the limiting apparent molar volume ([Formula: see text]), viscosity B-coefficient and limiting apparent molar adiabatic compressibility ([Formula: see text]). The changes on the enthalpy ([Formula: see text]) and entropy ([Formula: see text]) of the encapsulation analysis give information about the driving forces governing the inclusion. The temperature dependence behaviour of partial molar quantities and group contributions to partial molar volumes has been determined for the amino acids. The trends in transfer volumes, [Formula: see text], have been interpreted in terms of solute-cosolute interactions based on a cosphere overlap model. The role of the solvent (aqueous solution of β-CD) and the contribution of solute-solute and solute-solvent interactions to the solution complexes have also been analyzed through the derived properties.

  14. Forced Desorption of Bovine Serum Albumin and Lysozyme from Graphite: Insights from Molecular Dynamics Simulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mücksch, Christian; Urbassek, Herbert M

    2016-08-18

    We use molecular dynamics (MD) simulation to study the adsorption and desorption of two widely different proteins, bovine serum albumin (BSA) and lysozyme, on a graphite surface. The adsorption is modeled using accelerated MD to allow the proteins to find optimum conformations on the surface. Our results demonstrate that the "hard protein" lysozyme retains much of its secondary structure during adsorption, whereas BSA loses it almost completely. BSA has a considerably larger adsorption energy compared to that of lysozyme, which does not scale with chain length. Desorption simulations are carried out using classical steered MD. The BSA molecule becomes fully unzipped during pull-off, whereas several helices survive this process in lysozyme. The unzipping process shows up in the force-distance curve of BSA as a series of peaks, whereas only a single or few, depending on protein orientation, force peaks occur for lysozyme. The maximum desorption force is larger for BSA than for lysozyme, but only by a factor of about 2.3.

  15. 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.

  16. Climatization

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Grant, Stephen; Tamason, Charlotte Crim; Jensen, Peter Kjær Mackie

    2015-01-01

    by climate change, in order to reach an intended goal or to distractthe discussion from the real problem which might have a different root course than caused bythe climate change effects. The implications of climatization are currently unclear – particularly to what extent climatizinga disaster might......In recent years, there has been a developing trend of labelling some disasters as ‘climatechange disasters’. In doing so, a discursive phenomenon can emerge that the authors havecoined ‘climatization’ which is specified as framing a disastrous event or degraded environmentalcondition as caused...... in the context of Bangladesh – a country that is expectedto be among the worst affected by climate change and a country in which some peopleclaim the effects of climate change can already be seen. A qualitative field study whichincluded key informant interviews, focus group discussions and a literature review...

  17. Insights into the interactions between maleimide derivates and GSK3β combining molecular docking and QSAR.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luisa Quesada-Romero

    Full Text Available Many protein kinase (PK inhibitors have been reported in recent years, but only a few have been approved for clinical use. The understanding of the available molecular information using computational tools is an alternative to contribute to this process. With this in mind, we studied the binding modes of 77 maleimide derivates inside the PK glycogen synthase kinase 3 beta (GSK3β using docking experiments. We found that the orientations that these compounds adopt inside GSK3β binding site prioritize the formation of hydrogen bond (HB interactions between the maleimide group and the residues at the hinge region (residues Val135 and Asp133, and adopt propeller-like conformations (where the maleimide is the propeller axis and the heterocyclic substituents are two slanted blades. In addition, quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR models using CoMSIA methodology were constructed to explain the trend of the GSK3β inhibitory activities for the studied compounds. We found a model to explain the structure-activity relationship of non-cyclic maleimide (NCM derivatives (54 compounds. The best CoMSIA model (training set included 44 compounds included steric, hydrophobic, and HB donor fields and had a good Q(2 value of 0.539. It also predicted adequately the most active compounds contained in the test set. Furthermore, the analysis of the plots of the steric CoMSIA field describes the elements involved in the differential potency of the inhibitors that can be considered for the selection of suitable inhibitors.

  18. CAM and cell fate targeting: molecular and energetic insights into cell growth and differentiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ventura, Carlo

    2005-09-01

    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. PMID:16136206

  19. 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.

  20. Calcium induced regulation of skeletal troponin--computational insights from molecular dynamics simulations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Georgi Z Genchev

    Full Text Available The interaction between calcium and the regulatory site(s of striated muscle regulatory protein troponin switches on and off muscle contraction. In skeletal troponin binding of calcium to sites I and II of the TnC subunit results in a set of structural changes in the troponin complex, displaces tropomyosin along the actin filament and allows myosin-actin interaction to produce mechanical force. In this study, we used molecular dynamics simulations to characterize the calcium dependent dynamics of the fast skeletal troponin molecule and its TnC subunit in the calcium saturated and depleted states. We focused on the N-lobe and on describing the atomic level events that take place subsequent to removal of the calcium ion from the regulatory sites I and II. A main structural event - a closure of the A/B helix hydrophobic pocket results from the integrated effect of the following conformational changes: the breakage of H-bond interactions between the backbone nitrogen atoms of the residues at positions 2, 9 and sidechain oxygen atoms of the residue at position 12 (N(2-OE(12/N(9-OE(12 in sites I and II; expansion of sites I and II and increased site II N-terminal end-segment flexibility; strengthening of the β-sheet scaffold; and the subsequent re-packing of the N-lobe hydrophobic residues. Additionally, the calcium release allows the N-lobe to rotate relative to the rest of the Tn molecule. Based on the findings presented herein we propose a novel model of skeletal thin filament regulation.

  1. Filler reinforcement in cross-linked elastomer nanocomposites: insights from fully atomistic molecular dynamics simulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavlov, Alexander S; Khalatur, Pavel G

    2016-06-28

    Using a fully atomistic model, we perform large-scale molecular dynamics simulations of sulfur-cured polybutadiene (PB) and nanosilica-filled PB composites. A well-integrated network without sol fraction is built dynamically by cross-linking the coarse-grained precursor chains in the presence of embedded silica nanoparticles. Initial configurations for subsequent atomistic simulations are obtained by reverse mapping of the well-equilibrated coarse-grained systems. Based on the concept of "maximally inflated knot" introduced by Grosberg et al., we show that the networks simulated in this study behave as mechanically isotropic systems. Analysis of the network topology in terms of graph theory reveals that mechanically inactive tree-like structures are the dominant structural components of the weakly cross-linked elastomer, while cycles are mainly responsible for the transmission of mechanical forces through the network. We demonstrate that quantities such as the system density, thermal expansion coefficient, glass transition temperature and initial Young's modulus can be predicted in qualitative and sometimes even in quantitative agreement with experiments. The nano-filled system demonstrates a notable increase in the glass transition temperature and an approximately two-fold increase in the nearly equilibrium value of elastic modulus relative to the unfilled elastomer even at relatively small amounts of filler particles. We also examine the structural rearrangement of the nanocomposite subjected to tensile deformation. Under high strain-rate loading, the formation of structural defects (microcavities) within the polymer bulk is observed. The nucleation and growth of cavities in the post-yielding strain hardening regime mainly take place at the elastomer/nanoparticle interfaces. As a result, the cavities are concentrated just near the embedded nanoparticles. Therefore, while the silica nanofiller increases the elastic modulus of the elastomer, it also creates a more

  2. 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

  3. Binding of PFOS to serum albumin and DNA: insight into the molecular toxicity of perfluorochemicals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ma Yin-Sheng

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Health risk from exposure of perfluorochemicals (PFCs to wildlife and human has been a subject of great interest for understanding their molecular mechanism of toxicity. Although much work has been done, the toxigenicity of PFCs remains largely unknown. In this work, the non-covalent interactions between perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS and serum albumin (SA and DNA were investigated under normal physiological conditions, aiming to elucidate the toxigenicity of PFCs. Results In equilibrium dialysis assay, the bindings of PFOS to SA correspond to the Langmuir isothermal model with two-step sequence model. The saturation binding number of PFOS was 45 per molecule of SA and 1 per three base-pairs of DNA, respectively. ITC results showed that all the interactions were spontaneous driven by entropy change. Static quenching of the fluorescence of SA was observed when interacting with PFOS, indicating PFOS bound Trp residue of SA. CD spectra of SA and DNA changed obviously in the presence of PFOS. At normal physiological conditions, 1.2 mmol/l PFOS reduces the binding ratio of Vitamin B2 to SA by more than 30%. Conclusion The ion bond, van der Waals force and hydrophobic interaction contributed to PFOS binding to peptide chain of SA and to the groove bases of DNA duplex. The non-covalent interactions of PFOS with SA and DNA alter their secondary conformations, with the physiological function of SA to transport Vitamin B2 being inhibited consequently. This work provides a useful experimental method for further studying the toxigenicity of PFCs.

  4. Effects of oxidation on tensile deformation of iron nanowires: Insights from reactive molecular dynamics simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aral, Gurcan; Wang, Yun-Jiang; Ogata, Shigenobu; van Duin, Adri C. T.

    2016-10-01

    The influence of oxidation on the mechanical properties of nanostructured metals is rarely explored and remains poorly understood. To address this knowledge gap, in this work, we systematically investigate the mechanical properties and changes in the metallic iron (Fe) nanowires (NWs) under various atmospheric conditions of ambient dry O2 and in a vacuum. More specifically, we focus on the effect of oxide shell layer thickness over Fe NW surfaces at room temperature. We use molecular dynamics (MD) simulations with the variable charge ReaxFF force field potential model that dynamically handles charge variation among atoms as well as breaking and forming of the chemical bonds associated with the oxidation reaction. The ReaxFF potential model allows us to study large length scale mechanical atomistic deformation processes under the tensile strain deformation process, coupled with quantum mechanically accurate descriptions of chemical reactions. To study the influence of an oxide layer, three oxide shell layer thicknesses of ˜4.81 Å, ˜5.33 Å, and ˜6.57 Å are formed on the pure Fe NW free surfaces. It is observed that the increase in the oxide layer thickness on the Fe NW surface reduces both the yield stress and the critical strain. We further note that the tensile mechanical deformation behaviors of Fe NWs are dependent on the presence of surface oxidation, which lowers the onset of plastic deformation. Our MD simulations show that twinning is of significant importance in the mechanical behavior of the pure and oxide-coated Fe NWs; however, twin nucleation occurs at a lower strain level when Fe NWs are coated with thicker oxide layers. The increase in the oxide shell layer thickness also reduces the external stress required to initiate plastic deformation.

  5. Molecular insights into connective tissue growth factor action in rat pancreatic stellate cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karger, Anna; Fitzner, Brit; Brock, Peter; Sparmann, Gisela; Emmrich, Jörg; Liebe, Stefan; Jaster, Robert

    2008-10-01

    Pancreatic fibrosis, a key feature of chronic pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer, is mediated by activated pancreatic stellate cells (PSC). Connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) has been suggested to play a major role in fibrogenesis by enhancing PSC activation after binding to alpha5beta1 integrin. Here, we have focussed on molecular determinants of CTGF action. Inhibition of CTGF expression in PSC by siRNA was associated with decreased proliferation, while application of exogenous CTGF stimulated both cell growth and collagen synthesis. Real-time PCR studies revealed that CTGF target genes in PSC not only include mediators of matrix remodelling but also the proinflammatory cytokines interleukin (IL)-1beta and IL-6. CTGF stimulated binding of NF-kappaB to the IL-6 promoter, and siRNA targeting the NF-kappaB subunit RelA interfered with CTGF-induced IL-6 expression, implicating the NF-kappaB pathway in the mediation of the CTGF effect. In further studies, we have analyzed regulation of CTGF expression in PSC. Transforming growth factor-beta1, activin A and tumor necrosis factor-alpha enhanced expression of the CTGF gene, while interferon-gamma displayed the opposite effect. The region from -74 to -125 of the CTGF promoter was revealed to be critical for its activity in PSC as well as for the inhibitory effect of interferon-gamma. Taken together, our results indicate a tight control of CTGF expression in PSC at the transcriptional level. CTGF promotes fibrogenesis both directly by enhancing PSC proliferation and matrix protein synthesis, and indirectly through the release of proinflammatory cytokines that may accelerate the process of chronic inflammation. PMID:18639630

  6. One or three species in Megadenia (Brassicaceae): insight from molecular studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Artyukova, E V; Kozyrenko, M M; Boltenkov, E V; Gorovoy, P G

    2014-08-01

    Megadenia Maxim. is a small genus of the Brassicaceae endemic to East Asia with three disjunct areas of distribution: the eastern edge of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, the Eastern Sayan Mountains in southern Siberia, and Chandalaz Ridge in the southern Sikhote-Alin Mountains. Although distinct species (M. pygmaea Maxim., M. bardunovii Popov, and M. speluncarum Vorob., Vorosch. and Gorovoj) have been described from each area, they have lately been reduced to synonymy with M. pygmaea due to high morphological similarity. Here, we present the first molecular study of Megadenia. Using the sequences of 11 noncoding regions from the cytoplasmic (chloroplast and mitochondrial) and nuclear genomes, we assessed divergence within the genus and explored the relationships between Megadenia and Biscutella L. Although M. bardunovii, M. speluncarum, and M. pygmaea were found to be indiscernible with regard to the nuclear and mitochondrial markers studied, our data on the plastid genome revealed their distinctness and a clear subdivision of the genus into three lineages matching the three described species. All of the phylogenetic analyses of the chloroplast DNA sequences provide strong support for the inclusion of Megadenia and Biscutella in the tribe Biscutelleae. A dating analysis shows that the genus Megadenia is of Miocene origin and diversification within the genus, which has led to the three extant lineages, most likely occurred during the Early-Middle Pleistocene, in agreement with the vicariance pattern. Given the present-day distribution, differences in habitat preferences and in some anatomical traits, and lack of a direct genealogical relationship, M. pygmaea, M. bardunovii, and M. speluncarum should be treated as distinct species or at least subspecies.

  7. Way back for fructose and liver metabolism: bench side to molecular insights.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rebollo, Alba; Roglans, Núria; Alegret, Marta; Laguna, Juan C

    2012-12-01

    The World Health Organization recommends that the daily intake of added sugars should make up no more than 10% of total energy. The consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages is the main source of added sugars. Fructose, together with glucose, as a component of high fructose corn syrups or as a component of the sucrose molecule, is one of the main sweeteners present in this kind of beverages. Data from prospective and intervention studies clearly point to high fructose consumption, mainly in the form of sweetened beverages, as a risk factor for several metabolic diseases in humans. The incidence of hypertension, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), dyslipidemia (mainly hypertriglyceridemia), insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes mellitus, obesity, and the cluster of many of these pathologies in the form of metabolic syndrome is higher in human population segments that show high intake of fructose. Adolescent and young adults from low-income families are especially at risk. We recently reviewed evidence from experimental animals and human data that confirms the deleterious effect of fructose on lipid and glucose metabolism. In this present review we update the information generated in the past 2 years about high consumption of fructose-enriched beverages and the occurrence of metabolic disturbances, especially NAFLD, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and metabolic syndrome. We have explored recent data from observational and experimental human studies, as well as experimental data from animal and cell models. Finally, using information generated in our laboratory and others, we provide a view of the molecular mechanisms that may be specifically involved in the development of liver lipid and glucose metabolic alterations after fructose consumption in liquid form. PMID:23236229

  8. Filler reinforcement in cross-linked elastomer nanocomposites: insights from fully atomistic molecular dynamics simulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavlov, Alexander S; Khalatur, Pavel G

    2016-06-28

    Using a fully atomistic model, we perform large-scale molecular dynamics simulations of sulfur-cured polybutadiene (PB) and nanosilica-filled PB composites. A well-integrated network without sol fraction is built dynamically by cross-linking the coarse-grained precursor chains in the presence of embedded silica nanoparticles. Initial configurations for subsequent atomistic simulations are obtained by reverse mapping of the well-equilibrated coarse-grained systems. Based on the concept of "maximally inflated knot" introduced by Grosberg et al., we show that the networks simulated in this study behave as mechanically isotropic systems. Analysis of the network topology in terms of graph theory reveals that mechanically inactive tree-like structures are the dominant structural components of the weakly cross-linked elastomer, while cycles are mainly responsible for the transmission of mechanical forces through the network. We demonstrate that quantities such as the system density, thermal expansion coefficient, glass transition temperature and initial Young's modulus can be predicted in qualitative and sometimes even in quantitative agreement with experiments. The nano-filled system demonstrates a notable increase in the glass transition temperature and an approximately two-fold increase in the nearly equilibrium value of elastic modulus relative to the unfilled elastomer even at relatively small amounts of filler particles. We also examine the structural rearrangement of the nanocomposite subjected to tensile deformation. Under high strain-rate loading, the formation of structural defects (microcavities) within the polymer bulk is observed. The nucleation and growth of cavities in the post-yielding strain hardening regime mainly take place at the elastomer/nanoparticle interfaces. As a result, the cavities are concentrated just near the embedded nanoparticles. Therefore, while the silica nanofiller increases the elastic modulus of the elastomer, it also creates a more

  9. Insight into the mechanism of polyphenols on the activity of HMGR by molecular docking

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Islam B

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Barira Islam,1,* Charu Sharma,2,* Abdu Adem,3 Elhadi Aburawi,1 Shreesh Ojha3 1Department of Paediatrics, 2Department of Internal Medicine, 3Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, United Arab Emirates University, Al-Ain, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates *These authors contributed equally to this work Abstract: Statins are hypolipidemic drugs that are effective in the treatment of hypercholesterolemia by attenuating cholesterol synthesis in the liver via competitive inhibition of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A (HMG-CoA reductase. Recently, dietary changes associated with drug therapy have garnered attention as novel drugs to mitigate or ameliorate hypercholesterolemia. The present study was undertaken to observe different dietary polyphenols that can bind to the active site of HMGR and inhibit it. Results from the 12 dietary polyphenols tested reveal that polyphenols can bind to HMGR and block the binding of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADP+. We observed that the rigidity of phenolic rings prevents the polyphenols from docking to the enzyme activity site. The presence of an ester linkage between the phenolic rings in (–-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG and the alkyl chain in curcumin allows them to orient in the active site of the HMGR and bind to the catalytic residues. EGCG and curcumin showed binding to the active site residues with a low GRID score, which may be a potential inhibitor of HMGR. Kaempferol showed binding to HMG-CoA, but with low binding affinity. These observations provide a rationale for the consistent hypolipidemic effect of EGCG and curcumin, which has been previously reported in several epidemiological and animal studies. Therefore, this study substantiates the mechanism of polyphenols on the activity of HMGR by molecular docking and provides the impetus for drug design involving further structure–function relationship studies. Keywords: polyphenols

  10. New insights into the enigma of boron carbide inverse molecular behavior

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dera, Przemyslaw, E-mail: pdera@hawaii.edu [Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, University of Hawaii at Manoa, 1680 East West Road, POST Building, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States); Manghnani, Murli H.; Hushur, Anwar; Hu, Yi [Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, University of Hawaii at Manoa, 1680 East West Road, POST Building, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States); Tkachev, Sergey [Center for Advanced Radiation Sources, The University of Chicago, Argonne National Laboratory, 9700 S. Cass Avenue, Building 434, Argonne, IL 60439 (United States)

    2014-07-01

    Equation of state and compression mechanism of nearly stoichiometric boron carbide B{sub 4}C were investigated using diamond anvil cell single crystal synchrotron X-ray diffraction technique up to a maximum quasi-hydrostatic pressure of 74.0(1) GPa in neon pressure transmitting medium at ambient temperature. No signatures of structural phase transitions were observed on compression. Crystal structure refinements indicate that the icosahedral units are less compressible (13% volume reduction at 60 GPa) than the unit cell volume (18% volume reduction at 60 GPa), contrary to expectations based on the inverse molecular behavior hypothesis, but consistent with spectroscopic evidence and first principles calculations. The high-pressure crystallographic refinements reveal that the nature of the chemical bonds (two, versus three centered character) has marginal effect on the bond compressibility and the compression of the crystal is mainly governed by the force transfer between the rigid icosahedral structural units. - Graphical abstract: Single crystal measurements of equation of state and compression mechanism of B{sub 4}C show that the icosahedral units are less compressibe than the unit cell volume, despite the threei-ceneterd nature of some icosahedral bonds. - Highlights: • Equation of state and compression mechanism of B{sub 4}C were measured to 75 GPa. • No signatures of structural phase transitions were observed on compression. • Icosahedral units are less compressibe than the unit cell volume. • The nature of the chemical bonds has mariginal effect on the bond compressibility. • The compression is governed by force transfer between the rigid icosahedra.

  11. Way back for fructose and liver metabolism: Bench side to molecular insights

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Alba Rebollo; Núria Roglans; Marta Alegret; Juan C Laguna

    2012-01-01

    The World Health Organization recommends that the daily intake of added sugars should make up no more than 10% of total energy.The consumption of sugarsweetened beverages is the main source of added sugars.Fructose,together with glucose,as a component of high fructose corn syrups or as a component of the sucrose molecule,is one of the main sweeteners present in this kind of beverages.Data from prospective and intervention studies clearly point to high fructose consumption,mainly in the form of sweetened beverages,as a risk factor for several metabolic diseases in humans.The incidence of hypertension,nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD),dyslipidemia (mainly hypertriglyceridemia),insulin resistance,type 2 diabetes mellitus,obesity,and the cluster of many of these pathologies in the form of metabolic syndrome is higher in human population segments that show high intake of fructose.Adolescent and young adults from lowincome families are especially at risk.We recently reviewed evidence from experimental animals and human data that confirms the deleterious effect of fructose on lipid and glucose metabolism.In this present review we update the information generated in the past 2 years about high consumption of fructose-enriched beverages and the occurrence of metabolic disturbances,especially NAFLD,type 2 diabetes mellitus,and metabolic syndrome.We have explored recent data from observational and experimental human studies,as well as experimental data from animal and cell models.Finally,using information generated in our laboratory and others,we provide a view of the molecular mechanisms that may be specifically involved in the development of liver lipid and glucose metabolic alterations after fructose consumption in liquid form.

  12. Molecular insights into DNA interference by CRISPR-associated nuclease-helicase Cas3.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gong, Bei; Shin, Minsang; Sun, Jiali; Jung, Che-Hun; Bolt, Edward L; van der Oost, John; Kim, Jeong-Sun

    2014-11-18

    Mobile genetic elements in bacteria are neutralized by a system based on clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPRs) and CRISPR-associated (Cas) proteins. Type I CRISPR-Cas systems use a "Cascade" ribonucleoprotein complex to guide RNA specifically to complementary sequence in invader double-stranded DNA (dsDNA), a process called "interference." After target recognition by Cascade, formation of an R-loop triggers recruitment of a Cas3 nuclease-helicase, completing the interference process by destroying the invader dsDNA. To elucidate the molecular mechanism of CRISPR interference, we analyzed crystal structures of Cas3 from the bacterium Thermobaculum terrenum, with and without a bound ATP analog. The structures reveal a histidine-aspartate (HD)-type nuclease domain fused to superfamily-2 (SF2) helicase domains and a distinct C-terminal domain. Binding of ATP analog at the interface of the SF2 helicase RecA-like domains rearranges a motif V with implications for the enzyme mechanism. The HD-nucleolytic site contains two metal ions that are positioned at the end of a proposed nucleic acid-binding tunnel running through the SF2 helicase structure. This structural alignment suggests a mechanism for 3' to 5' nucleolytic processing of the displaced strand of invader DNA that is coordinated with ATP-dependent 3' to 5' translocation of Cas3 along DNA. In agreement with biochemical studies, the presented Cas3 structures reveal important mechanistic details on the neutralization of genetic invaders by type I CRISPR-Cas systems.

  13. Orbital control on late Miocene climate and the North African monsoon : Insight from an ensemble of sub-precessional simulations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Marzocchi, A.; Lunt, D. J.; Flecker, R.; Bradshaw, C. D.; Farnsworth, A.; Hilgen, F. J.

    2015-01-01

    Orbital forcing is a key climate driver over multi-millennial timescales. In particular, monsoon systems are thought to be driven by orbital cyclicity, especially by precession. Here, we analyse the impact of orbital forcing on global climate with a particular focus on the North African monsoon, by

  14. 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 mer

  15. An unusual H2 sorption mechanism in PCN-14: insights from molecular simulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pham, Tony; Forrest, Katherine A; Space, Brian

    2016-08-01

    Simulations of H2 sorption were performed in PCN-14, a metal-organic framework (MOF) that consists of Cu(2+) ions coordinated to 5,5'-(9,10-anthracenediyl)diisophthalate (adip) linkers. This MOF displays an excess H2 uptake of 2.70 wt% at 77 K and 1.0 atm and an initial H2Qst value of 8.6 kJ mol(-1) according to previous experimental measurements. The experimental H2 sorption isotherms and Qst values in PCN-14 were reproduced in simulations using well-known H2 potentials that have been widely used for MOF-H2 theoretical studies. H2 sorption in PCN-14 was dominated by repulsion/dispersion energetics; this allowed the experimental observables to be reproduced by a model that includes only Lennard-Jones parameters. The most energetically favorable H2 sorption site in PCN-14 corresponds to sorption within a small cage that is enclosed by three [Cu2(O2CR)4] units and three adip linkers. The anthracenyl rings of the adip linkers represent the secondary sorption sites within the MOF. In contrast to expectations, sorption of H2 onto the Cu(2+) ions of the copper paddlewheels was not observed within the simulations at low loading. The simulations revealed that the open-metal sites in PCN-14 were occupied at high loading. Control simulations of H2 sorption in PCN-14 for different cases in which the partial positive charge of one of the paddlewheel Cu(2+) ions was increased relative to the other revealed that sorption onto the open-metal sites can be captured if there is a very high positive charge on the metal. Otherwise, the calculated partial charge for the Cu(2+) ions in PCN-14 in this work was not high enough in magnitude to facilitate strong H2-metal interactions in simulation. This study shows the power of using molecular simulations to elucidate an unusual H2 sorption behavior in a MOF.

  16. Structure based investigation on the binding interaction of transport proteins in leishmaniasis: insights from molecular simulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Shailza; Mandlik, Vineetha

    2015-05-01

    Leishmania major is the causative agent of cutaneous leishmaniasis which affects over 1 million people in 88 different countries. The incidence of this disease is on the rise due to the current problems associated with the present chemotherapeutics. In addition, Leishmania confronts resistance to the traditional drugs like sodium stibogluconate and newer repurposed drugs like miltefosine. ABC transporters are involved in the development of drug resistance. Miltefosine, the drug used for the treatment of leishmaniasis, is effluxed by P4 ATPase and ABC transporter, which is the prime focus of our study in this paper. P4 ATPase (MDR1) along with an unnamed protein (cdc50) translocates miltefosine from the outer to the inner leaflet by the process of flipping which is ATP driven. In contrast, miltefosine also escapes from the cells by an energy dependent mechanism that involves the ABC transporter protein (ABC). It is known that certain genes in the parasite amplify the portions of a gene which encodes ABC transporter and P4 ATPase involved in translocating phospholipids and hence resistance to miltefosine. We observed the ABC and P4 ATPase genes, 39 T-box elements were observed in the ABC transporter protein and three elements were observed in the P4 ATPase gene suggesting its role in transcription regulation. To the best of our knowledge, there are no structural and regulatory reports on these two proteins in L. major. Computational structural biology tools may aid in understanding the interaction of miltefosine with the P4-ATPase-cdc50 complex and the ABC transporter. This can be achieved by modeling the target protein structures, studying the dynamics associated with the different domains of the protein and later using activators and inhibitors to alter the functioning of the protein. Molecular dynamics simulation with a lipid bilayer is performed to investigate the conformational changes and structure-activity relationship. As transporters are difficult to model

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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 2.4×103 M−1. The average binding distance between drug and Trp214 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

  18. 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.

  19. Reactivity of aldehydes at the air-water interface. Insights from molecular dynamics simulations and ab initio calculations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martins-Costa, Marilia T C; García-Prieto, Francisco F; Ruiz-López, Manuel F

    2015-02-14

    Understanding the influence of solute-solvent interactions on chemical reactivity has been a subject of intense research in the last few decades. Theoretical studies have focused on bulk solvation phenomena and a variety of models and methods have been developed that are now widely used by both theoreticians and experimentalists. Much less attention has been paid, however, to processes that occur at liquid interfaces despite the important role such interfaces play in chemistry and biology. In this study, we have carried out sequential molecular dynamics simulations and quantum mechanical calculations to analyse the influence of the air-water interface on the reactivity of formaldehyde, acetaldehyde and benzaldehyde, three simple aldehydes of atmospheric interest. The calculated free-energy profiles exhibit a minimum at the interface, where the average reactivity indices may display large solvation effects. The study emphasizes the role of solvation dynamics, which are responsible for large fluctuations of some molecular properties. We also show that the photolysis rate constant of benzaldehyde in the range 290-308 nm increases by one order of magnitude at the surface of a water droplet, from 2.7 × 10(-5) s(-1) in the gas phase to 2.8 × 10(-4) s(-1) at the air-water interface, and we discuss the potential impact of this result on the chemistry of the troposphere. Experimental data in this domain are still scarce and computer simulations like those presented in this work may provide some insights that can be useful to design new experiments.

  20. Integrated Molecular and Microscopic Scale Insight into Morphology and Ion Dynamics in Ca2+-Mediated Natural Organic Matter Floccs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bowers, Geoffrey M.; Argersinger, Haley E.; Reddy, Venkataswara; Johnson, Timothy A.; Arey, Bruce W.; Bowden, Mark E.; Kirkpatrick, Robert J.

    2015-08-06

    Combined X-ray diffraction (XRD), helium ion microscopy (HeIM), and Ca-43 nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) results provide novel insight into the nano- and microstructure of flocculated NOM; the molecular-scale interaction among natural organic matter (NOM), dissolved Ca2+ ions, and water in NOM floccs; and the effects of pH and ionic strength on these characteristics. Suwannee River humic acid (HA), fulvic acid (FA), and NOM flocculated from Ca2+ bearing solutions share similar morphological characteristics on the 100 nm to micron scales, including micron-sized equant fragments and rounded, rough areas with features on the 100 nm scale. HeIM suggests that the NOM floccs are built from a fundamental spheroidal structure that is similar to 10 nm in diameter, in agreement with published AFM and small-angle X-ray scattering results. Calcium is incorporated into these floccs at 100% relative humidity in a wide range of disordered structural environments, with basic pH leading to shorter mean Ca-O distances and lower mean coordination numbers with respect to floccs formed under acidic conditions. The NMR results show that dynamical processes involving water and Ca2+ occurring at frequencies >10(4) Hz are important for hydrated OM floccs, in agreement with published molecular dynamics simulations of OM in solution. From the NMR results, we find evidence for two Ca2+ dynamic averaging mechanisms: one related to rapid exchange (>100 kHz) between surface proximity-restricted (those within 5 angstrom of a surface) and bulk solution environments when excess Ca2+ is present in the pore solution when pore water is unfrozen and a second consisting of intermediate scale (tens of kHz) site exchange among strongly sorbed inner-sphere sites when excess Ca2+ is absent and the carboxylic and phenolic functional groups of the NOM are deprotonated.

  1. 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.

  2. Nanoindentation of the pristine and irradiated forms of a sodium borosilicate glass: Insights from molecular dynamics simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kilymis, D. A.; Delaye, J.-M.; Ispas, S.

    2016-07-01

    We have carried out classical molecular dynamics simulations in order to get insight into the atomistic mechanisms of the deformation during nanoindentation of the pristine and irradiated forms of a sodium borosilicate glass. In terms of the glass hardness, we have found that the primary factor affecting the decrease of hardness after irradiation is depolymerization rather than free volume, and we argue that this is a general trend applicable to other borosilicate glasses with similar compositions. We have analyzed the changes of the short- and medium-range structures under deformation and found that the creation of oxygen triclusters is an important mechanism in order to describe the deformation of highly polymerized borosilicate glasses and is essential in the understanding of the folding of large rings under stress. We have equally found that the less polymerized glasses present a higher amount of relative densification, while the analysis of bond-breaking during the nanoindentation has showed that shear flow is more likely to appear around sodium atoms. The results provided in this study can be proven to be useful in the interpretation of experimental results.

  3. Insights into the Formation and Structures of Molecular Gels by Diimidazolium Salt Gelators in Ionic Liquids or "Normal" Solvents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rizzo, Carla; D'Anna, Francesca; Noto, Renato; Zhang, Mohan; Weiss, Richard G

    2016-08-01

    Insights are provided into the properties of molecular gels formed by diimidazolium salts both in "normal" solvents and ionic liquids. These materials can be interesting for applications in green and sustainable chemistry in which ionic liquids play a significant role, like catalysis and energy. In particular, two positional isomers of a diimidazolium cation have been examined with a wide range of anions for their ability to form gel phases. In particular, di-, tri-, and tetravalent anions bearing aliphatic or aromatic spacers were paired with the divalent cations. The properties of the organo- and ionogels formed have been analyzed by means of several different techniques, including calorimetry, rheology, resonance light scattering, UV/Vis absorption, polarizing optical microscopy, and powder X-ray diffraction measurements. The investigations performed enabled us to obtain a wide range of conductive materials characterized by a high thermal stability and a low corrosiveness of the gelator (organogels) or of both gelator and solvent (ionogels). The information gained should be useful in the broader quest to identify and promote their applications. PMID:27359108

  4. Molecular Insights into the Local Anesthetic Receptor within Voltage-Gated Sodium Channels Using Hydroxylated Analogs of Mexiletine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desaphy, Jean-François; Dipalma, Antonella; Costanza, Teresa; Carbonara, Roberta; Dinardo, Maria Maddalena; Catalano, Alessia; Carocci, Alessia; Lentini, Giovanni; Franchini, Carlo; Camerino, Diana Conte

    2012-01-01

    results confirm our former hypothesis by showing that the presence of hydroxyl groups to the aryloxy moiety of mexiletine greatly reduced sodium channel block, and provide molecular insights into the intimate interaction of local anesthetics with their receptor. PMID:22403541

  5. Impacts of climate and humans on the vegetation in northwestern Turkey: palynological insights from Lake Iznik since the Last Glacial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miebach, Andrea; Niestrath, Phoebe; Roeser, Patricia; Litt, Thomas

    2016-03-01

    The Marmara region in northwestern Turkey provides a unique opportunity for studying the vegetation history in response to climate changes and anthropogenic impacts because of its location between different climate and vegetation zones and its long settlement history. Geochemical and mineralogical investigations of the largest lake in the region, Lake Iznik, already registered climate-related changes of the lake level and the lake mixing. However, a palynological investigation encompassing the Late Pleistocene to Middle Holocene was still missing. Here, we present the first pollen record of the last ca. 31 ka cal BP (calibrated kilo years before 1950) inferred from Lake Iznik sediments as an independent proxy for paleoecological reconstructions. Our study reveals that the vegetation in the Iznik area changed generally between (a) steppe during glacials and stadials indicating dry and cold climatic conditions, (b) forest-steppe during interstadials indicating milder and moister climatic conditions, and (c) oak-dominated mesic forest during interglacials indicating warm and moist climatic conditions. Moreover, a pronounced succession of pioneer trees, cold temperate, warm temperate, and Mediterranean trees appeared since the Lateglacial. Rapid climate changes, which are reflected by vegetation changes, can be correlated with Dansgaard-Oeschger (DO) events such as DO-4, DO-3, and DO-1, the Younger Dryas, and probably also the 8.2 event. Since the mid-Holocene, the vegetation was influenced by anthropogenic activities. During early settlement phases, the distinction between climate-induced and human-induced changes of the vegetation is challenging. Still, evidence for human activities consolidates since the Early Bronze Age (ca. 4.8 ka cal BP): cultivated trees, crops, and secondary human indicator taxa appeared, and forests were cleared. Subsequent fluctuations between extensive agricultural uses and regenerations of the natural vegetation become apparent.

  6. The Response of Stratospheric Water Vapor to a Changing Climate: Insights from In Situ Water Vapor Measurements

    OpenAIRE

    Sargent, Maryann Racine

    2012-01-01

    Stratospheric water vapor plays an important role in the Earth system, both through its role in stratospheric ozone destruction and as a greenhouse gas contributing to radiative forcing of the climate. Highly accurate water vapor measurements are critical to understanding how stratospheric water vapor concentrations will respond to a changing climate. However, the past disagreement among water vapor instruments on the order of 1 – 2 ppmv hinders understanding of the mechanisms which control s...

  7. Paleodistributions and comparative molecular phylogeography of leafcutter ants (Atta spp. provide new insight into the origins of Amazonian diversity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scott E Solomon

    Full Text Available The evolutionary basis for high species diversity in tropical regions of the world remains unresolved. Much research has focused on the biogeography of speciation in the Amazon Basin, which harbors the greatest diversity of terrestrial life. The leading hypotheses on allopatric diversification of Amazonian taxa are the Pleistocene refugia, marine incursion, and riverine barrier hypotheses. Recent advances in the fields of phylogeography and species-distribution modeling permit a modern re-evaluation of these hypotheses. Our approach combines comparative, molecular phylogeographic analyses using mitochondrial DNA sequence data with paleodistribution modeling of species ranges at the last glacial maximum (LGM to test these hypotheses for three co-distributed species of leafcutter ants (Atta spp.. The cumulative results of all tests reject every prediction of the riverine barrier hypothesis, but are unable to reject several predictions of the Pleistocene refugia and marine incursion hypotheses. Coalescent dating analyses suggest that population structure formed recently (Pleistocene-Pliocene, but are unable to reject the possibility that Miocene events may be responsible for structuring populations in two of the three species examined. The available data therefore suggest that either marine incursions in the Miocene or climate changes during the Pleistocene--or both--have shaped the population structure of the three species examined. Our results also reconceptualize the traditional Pleistocene refugia hypothesis, and offer a novel framework for future research into the area.

  8. Insights into the molecular mechanism of inhibition and drug resistance for HIV-1 RT with carbovir triphosphate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ray, Adrian S; Yang, Zhenjun; Shi, Junxing; Hobbs, Ann; Schinazi, Raymond F; Chu, Chung K; Anderson, Karen S

    2002-04-23

    Abacavir (1592U89, or Ziagen) is a powerful and selective inhibitor of HIV-1 viral replication that has been approved by the FDA for treatment of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. Abacavir is metabolized to the active compound carbovir triphosphate (CBVTP). This compound is a guanosine analogue containing a 2',3'-unsaturation in its planar carbocyclic deoxyribose ring that acts on HIV-1 reverse transcriptase (RT(WT)) as a molecular target, resulting in chain termination of DNA synthesis. A single amino acid change from methionine 184 to valine in HIV-1 RT (RT(M184V)) has been observed clinically in response to abacavir treatment. The ability of the natural substrate, dGTP, or CBVTP to be utilized during DNA- and RNA-directed polymerization by RT(WT) and RT(M184V) was defined by pre-steady-state kinetic parameters. In the case of RT(WT), CBVTP was found to be a surprisingly poor substrate relative to dGTP. In both DNA- and RNA-directed polymerization, a decrease in the efficiency of CBVTP utilization with respect to dGTP was found with RT(M184V), suggesting that this mutation confers resistance at the level of CBVMP incorporation. The relatively low incorporation efficiency for RT(WT) was unanticipated considering earlier studies showing that the triphosphate form of a thymidine nucleoside analogue containing a planar 2',3'-unsaturated ribose ring, D4TTP, was incorporated with high efficiency relative to the natural substrate, dTTP. The difference may be related to the isosteric replacement of oxygen in the deoxyribose ring with carbon. This hypothesis was tested by synthesizing and evaluating D4GTP (the planar 2',3'-unsaturated deoxyribose guanosine analogue that is complementary to D4TTP). In contrast to CBVTP, D4GTP was found to be an excellent substrate for RT(WT) and no resistance was conferred by the M184V mutation, thus providing novel insight into structure-activity relationships for nucleoside-based inhibitors. In this work, we illustrate how an

  9. Mutant analysis in Arabidopsis provides insight into the molecular mode of action of the auxinic herbicide dicamba.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cynthia Gleason

    Full Text Available Herbicides that mimic the natural auxin indole-3-acetic acid are widely used in weed control. One common auxin-like herbicide is dicamba, but despite its wide use, plant gene responses to dicamba have never been extensively studied. To further understand dicamba's mode of action, we utilized Arabidopsis auxin-insensitive mutants and compared their sensitivity to dicamba and the widely-studied auxinic herbicide 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D. The mutant axr4-2, which has disrupted auxin transport into cells, was resistant to 2,4-D but susceptible to dicamba. By comparing dicamba resistance in auxin signalling F-box receptor mutants (tir1-1, afb1, afb2, afb3, and afb5, only tir1-1 and afb5 were resistant to dicamba, and this resistance was additive in the double tir1-1/afb5 mutant. Interestingly, tir1-1 but not afb5 was resistant to 2,4-D. Whole genome analysis of dicamba-induced gene expression showed that 10 hours after application, dicamba stimulated many stress-responsive and signalling genes, including those involved in biosynthesis or signalling of auxin, ethylene, and abscisic acid (ABA, with TIR1 and AFB5 required for the dicamba-responsiveness of some genes. Research into dicamba-regulated gene expression and the selectivity of auxin receptors has provided molecular insight into dicamba-regulated signalling and could help in the development of novel herbicide resistance in crop plants.

  10. Molecular, ethno-spatial epidemiology of leprosy in China: novel insights for tracing leprosy in endemic and non endemic provinces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weng, Xiaoman; Xing, Yan; Liu, Jian; Wang, Yonghong; Ning, Yong; Li, Ming; Wu, Wenbin; Zhang, Lianhua; Li, Wei; Vander Heiden, Jason; Vissa, Varalakshmi

    2013-03-01

    Leprosy continues to be detected at near stable rates in China even with established control programs, necessitating new knowledge and alternative methods to interrupt transmission. A molecular epidemiology investigation of 190 patients was undertaken to define Mycobacterium leprae strain types and discern genetic relationships and clusters in endemic and non-endemic regions spanning seventeen provinces and two autonomous regions. The findings support multiple locus variable number of tandem repeat (VNTR) analysis as a useful tool in uncovering characteristic patterns across the multiethnic and divergent geographic landscape of China. Several scenarios of clustering of leprosy from township to provincial to regional levels were recognized, while recent occupational or remote migration showed geographical separation of certain strains. First, prior studies indicated that of the four major M. leprae subtypes defined by single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), only type 3 was present in China, purportedly entering from Europe/West/Central Asia via the Silk Road. However, this study revealed VNTR linked strains that are of type 1 in Guangdong, Fujian and Guangxi in southern China. Second, a subset of VNTR distinguishable strains of type 3, co-exist in these provinces. Third, type 3 strains with rpoT VNTR allele of 4, detected in Japan and Korea were discovered in Jiangsu and Anhui in the east and in western Sichuan bordering Tibet. Fourth, considering the overall genetic diversity, strains of endemic counties of Qiubei, Yunnan; Xing Yi, Guizhou; and across Sichuan in southwest were related. However, closer inspection showed distinct local strains and clusters. Altogether, these insights, primarily derived from VNTR typing, reveal multiple and overlooked paths for spread of leprosy into, within and out of China and invoke attention to historic maritime routes in the South and East China Sea. More importantly, new concepts and approaches for prospective case finding and

  11. 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

    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.

  12. Histopathological and molecular insights into the ovicidal activities of two entomopathogenic fungi against two-spotted spider mite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Lei; Shi, Wei-Bing; Feng, Ming-Guang

    2014-03-01

    Entomopathogenic fungi can infect and kill spider mite eggs but their ovicidal activities are poorly understood. Here we gain histopathogenical and molecular insights into the ovicidal activities of Beauveria bassiana and Isaria fumosorosea against the two-spotted spider mite, Tetranychus urticae. Scanning electronic microscopy indicated successful adhesion and germination of fungal conidia on egg shell at 24h post-spray (HPS). Germ tubes of both fungi could penetrate into egg shell with penetration pegs at 48 HPS. Interestingly, the germ tubes of B. bassiana may elongate on egg surface to locate appropriate sites for penetration, acting as 'searching' hyphae. Aside from the normal penetration, the germ tubes of I. fumosorosea can be completely or partially embedded into egg shell for a distance of extension, forming shell humps. Light microscopy of ultrathin sections of infected eggs showed shrunken (affected) or disrupted embryos at 48-96 HPS despite little effect on egg cleavage at 24 HPS. However, distinguishable hyphal cells were hardly found inside the embryos lacking oxygen although fungal outgrowths were abundant on unhatched (killed) eggs. In PCR with specific probes, the 18S rDNA signals of B. bassiana (412 bp) and I. fumosorosea (454 bp) in the DNA extracts from surface-cleaned mite eggs increased at 0-96 HPS, confirming fungal colonization in the infected eggs. We consider that the colonization on shell surface and underside could rely upon extending hyphae for uptake of egg nutrition, resulting in embryo disruption. Our observations add knowledge to microbial control of spider mites.

  13. 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

    2012-08-01

    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 both the regional pollen signal as well as local soil sediment characteristics respond accurately to 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

  14. Insight into the Li2CO3-K2CO3 eutectic mixture from classical molecular dynamics: Thermodynamics, structure, and dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corradini, Dario; Coudert, François-Xavier; Vuilleumier, Rodolphe

    2016-03-01

    We use molecular dynamics simulations to study the thermodynamics, structure, and dynamics of the Li2CO3-K2CO3 (62:38 mol. %) eutectic mixture. We present a new classical non-polarizable force field for this molten salt mixture, optimized using experimental and first principles molecular dynamics simulations data as reference. This simple force field allows efficient molecular simulations of phenomena at long time scales. We use this optimized force field to describe the behavior of the eutectic mixture in the 900-1100 K temperature range, at pressures between 0 and 5 GPa. After studying the equation of state in these thermodynamic conditions, we present molecular insight into the structure and dynamics of the melt. In particular, we present an analysis of the temperature and pressure dependence of the eutectic mixture's self-diffusion coefficients, viscosity, and ionic conductivity.

  15. Anthropogenic and Climate Influences on Biogeochemical Dynamics and Molecular-Level Speciation of Soil Sulfur

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Solomon, D.; Lehmann, J; Kinyangi, J; Pell, A; Theis , J; Riha , S; Ngoze, S; Amelung, W; du Preez, C; et. al.

    2009-01-01

    The soil environment is a primary component of the global biogeochemical sulfur (S) cycle, acting as a source and sink of various S species and mediating oxidation state changes. However, ecological significance of the various S forms and the impacts of human intervention and climate on the amount and structural composition of these compounds are still poorly understood. We investigated the long-term influences of anthropogenically mediated transitions from natural to managed ecosystems on molecular-level speciation, biogeochemical dynamics, and the apparent temperature sensitivity of S moieties in temperate, subtropical, and tropical environments with mean annual temperature (MAT) ranging from 5C to 21C, using elemental analysis and X-ray absorption near-edge structure (XANES) spectroscopy. Land-use and land-cover changes led to the depletion of total soil S in all three ecoregions over a period of up to 103 years. The largest decline occurred from tropical forest agroecosystems (67% Kakamega and 76% Nandi, Kenya), compared to losses from temperate (36% at Lethbridge, Canada, and 40% at Pendleton, USA) and subtropical (48% at South Africa) grassland agroecosystems. The total S losses correlated significantly with MAT. Anthropogenic interventions profoundly altered the molecular-level composition and resulted in an apparent shift in oxidation states of organic S from native ecosystems composed primarily of S moieties in intermediate and highly reduced oxidation states toward managed agroecosystems dominated by organic S rich in strongly oxidized functionalities. The most prominent change occurred in thiols and sulfides, the proportion of which decreased by 46% (Lethbridge) and 57% (Pendleton) in temperate agroecosystems, by 46% in subtropical agroecosystems, and by 79% (Nandi) and 81% (Kakamega) in tropical agroecosystems. The proportion of organic S directly linked to O increased by 81%, 168%, 40%, 92%, and 85%, respectively. Among the various organic S

  16. Insights into rapid climate change: A high resolution, compound-specific n-alkane δD study of the 8.2 ka event (Tenaghi Philippon, Greece)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schemmel, F.; Niedermeyer, E.; Schwab, V.; Pross, J.; Mulch, A.

    2013-12-01

    Despite being characterized as remarkably stable, the Holocene climate has experienced a number of abrupt, relatively short-term climate changes. Arguably the most prominent climate perturbation, the 8.2 ka event, was caused by the catastrophic drainage of the ice-dammed Laurentide ice-lake into the North Atlantic, leading to a severe weakening of thermohaline circulation, causing a decline in temperature and significant changes in atmospheric circulation in the Northern Hemisphere, especially in the North Atlantic realm and Europe. Being located between the climate systems of the higher and lower latitudes, the Mediterranean region is particularly susceptible to rapid climate change. Available proxy data and climate models provide first-order insight into the impact of the 8.2 ka event in this area but often lack the temporal resolution to supply information about changes in seasonality, hence severely hindering the understanding of rapid climate changes and revealing the need for high resolution terrestrial archives. Here, we present a multi-proxy, high resolution stable isotope study across the 8.2 ka event on a peat core from the classical site of Tenaghi Philippon (NE Greece). We aim to characterize the effects of changing temperature and rainfall patterns by using compound-specific δD values of the long-chain n-alkanes as a proxy for terrestrial (summer) precipitation. We compare changes in hydrogen isotopic composition to the concentration of the long-chain n-alkanes as well as to δ13Cbulk measurements of the organic material and high-resolution palynomorphic data from the same core. Analysis of 35 samples of telmatic peat shows significant decreases in concentration of the long-chain n-alkanes along with strong positive shifts in δD (over 40 ‰ in δDC29) during the 8.2 ka event. The general trend of δD of the n-Alkanes n-C27, n-C29 and n-C31 coincides with changes in δ13Cbulk, and to some degree reflects changes in moisture availability. We attribute

  17. Value of traditional oral narratives in building climate-change resilience: insights from rural communities in Fiji

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shaiza Z. Janif

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available In the interests of improving engagement with Pacific Island communities to enable development of effective and sustainable adaptation strategies to climate change, we looked at how traditional oral narratives in rural/peripheral Fiji communities might be used to inform such strategies. Interviews were undertaken and observations made in 27 communities; because the custodians of traditional knowledge were targeted, most interviewees were 70-79 years old. The view that oral traditions, particularly those referring to environmental history and the observations/precursors of environmental change, were endangered was widespread and regretted. Interviewees' personal experiences of extreme events (natural disasters were commonplace but no narratives of historical (unwitnessed by interviewees events were found. In contrast, experiences of previous village relocations attributable (mainly to environmental change were recorded in five communities while awareness of environmentally driven migration was more common. Questions about climate change elicited views dominated by religious/fatalist beliefs but included some more pragmatic ones; the confusion of climate change with climate variability, which is part of traditional knowledge, was widespread. The erosion of traditional environmental knowledge in the survey communities over recent decades has been severe and is likely to continue apace, which will reduce community self-sufficiency and resilience. Ways of conserving such knowledge and incorporating it into adaptation planning for Pacific Island communities in rural/peripheral locations should be explored.

  18. 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. PMID:26142450

  19. Impacts of climate and humans on the vegetation in NW Turkey: palynological insights from Lake Iznik since the Last Glacial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Miebach

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available The Marmara region in northwestern Turkey provides a unique opportunity for studying the vegetation history in response to climate changes and anthropogenic impacts because of its location between different climate and vegetation zones and its long settlement history. Geochemical and mineralogical investigations of the largest lake in the region, Lake Iznik, already registered climate related changes of the lake level and the lake mixing. However, a palynological investigation encompassing the Late Pleistocene to Middle Holocene was still missing. Here, we present the first pollen record of the last ca. 31 ka cal BP (calibrated kilo years before 1950 inferred from Lake Iznik sediments as an independent proxy for paleoecological reconstructions. Our study reveals that the vegetation in the Iznik area changed generally between steppe during glacial/stadial conditions, forest-steppe during interstadial conditions, and oak dominated mesic forest during interglacial conditions. Moreover, a pronounced succession of pioneer trees, cold temperate, warm temperate, and Mediterranean trees appeared since the Lateglacial. Rapid climate changes, which are reflected by vegetation changes, can be correlated with Dansgaard–Oeschger (DO events such as DO-4, DO-3, and DO-1, the Younger Dryas, and probably also the 8.2 event. Since the mid-Holocene, the vegetation was influenced by anthropogenic activities. During early settlement phases, the distinction between climate-induced and human-induced changes of the vegetation is challenging. Still, evidence for human activities consolidates since the Early Bronze Age (ca. 4.8 ka cal BP: cultivated trees, crops, and secondary human indicator taxa appeared, and forests got cleared. Subsequent fluctuations between extensive agricultural use and regeneration of the natural vegetation become apparent.

  20. Impacts of climate and humans on the vegetation in NW Turkey: palynological insights from Lake Iznik since the Last Glacial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miebach, A.; Niestrath, P.; Roeser, P.; Litt, T.

    2015-11-01

    The Marmara region in northwestern Turkey provides a unique opportunity for studying the vegetation history in response to climate changes and anthropogenic impacts because of its location between different climate and vegetation zones and its long settlement history. Geochemical and mineralogical investigations of the largest lake in the region, Lake Iznik, already registered climate related changes of the lake level and the lake mixing. However, a palynological investigation encompassing the Late Pleistocene to Middle Holocene was still missing. Here, we present the first pollen record of the last ca. 31 ka cal BP (calibrated kilo years before 1950) inferred from Lake Iznik sediments as an independent proxy for paleoecological reconstructions. Our study reveals that the vegetation in the Iznik area changed generally between steppe during glacial/stadial conditions, forest-steppe during interstadial conditions, and oak dominated mesic forest during interglacial conditions. Moreover, a pronounced succession of pioneer trees, cold temperate, warm temperate, and Mediterranean trees appeared since the Lateglacial. Rapid climate changes, which are reflected by vegetation changes, can be correlated with Dansgaard-Oeschger (DO) events such as DO-4, DO-3, and DO-1, the Younger Dryas, and probably also the 8.2 event. Since the mid-Holocene, the vegetation was influenced by anthropogenic activities. During early settlement phases, the distinction between climate-induced and human-induced changes of the vegetation is challenging. Still, evidence for human activities consolidates since the Early Bronze Age (ca. 4.8 ka cal BP): cultivated trees, crops, and secondary human indicator taxa appeared, and forests got cleared. Subsequent fluctuations between extensive agricultural use and regeneration of the natural vegetation become apparent.

  1. Southern African continental climate since the late Pleistocene: Insights from biomarker analyses of Kalahari salt pan sediments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belz, Lukas; Schüller, Irka; Wehrmann, Achim; Wilkes, Heinz

    2016-04-01

    The climate system of sub-tropical southern Africa is mainly controlled by large scale atmospheric and marine circulation processes and, therefore, very sensitive to global climate change. This underlines the importance of paleoenvironmental reconstructions in order to estimate regional implications of current global changes. However, the majority of studies on southern African paleoclimate are based on the investigation of marine sedimentary archives and past climate development especially in continental areas is still poorly understood. This emphasizes the necessity of continental proxy-data from this area. Proxy datasets from local geoarchives especially of the southwestern Kalahari region are still scarce. A main problem is the absence of conventional continental climatic archives, due to the lack of lacustrine systems. In this study we are exploring the utility of sediments from western Kalahari salt pans, i.e. local depressions which are flooded temporarily during rainfall events. An age model based on 14C dating of total organic carbon (TOC) shows evidence that sedimentation predominates over erosional processes with respect to pan formation. Besides the analyses of basic geochemical bulk parameters including TOC, δ13CTOC, total inorganic carbon, δ13CTIC, δ18OTIC, total nitrogen and δ15N, our paleo-climatic approach focuses on reconstruction of local vegetation assemblages to identify changes in the ecosystem. This is pursued using plant biomarkers, particularly leaf wax n-alkanes and n-alcohols and their stable carbon and hydrogen isotopic signatures. Results show prominent shifts in n-alkane and n-alkanol distributions and compound specific carbon isotope values, pointing to changes to a more grass dominated environment during Heinrich Stadial 1 (18.5-14.6 ka BP), while hydrogen isotope values suggest wetter phases during Holocene and LGM. This high variability indicates the local vulnerability to global change.

  2. Influence of climate warming on arctic mammals? New insights from ancient DNA studies of the collared lemming Dicrostonyx torquatus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefan Prost

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Global temperature increased by approximately half a degree (Celsius within the last 150 years. Even this moderate warming had major impacts on Earth's ecological and biological systems, especially in the Arctic where the magnitude of abiotic changes even exceeds those in temperate and tropical biomes. Therefore, understanding the biological consequences of climate change on high latitudes is of critical importance for future conservation of the species living in this habitat. The past 25,000 years can be used as a model for such changes, as they were marked by prominent climatic changes that influenced geographical distribution, demographic history and pattern of genetic variation of many extant species. We sequenced ancient and modern DNA of the collared lemming (Dicrostonyx torquatus, which is a key species of the arctic biota, from a single site (Pymva Shor, Northern Pre Urals, Russia to see if climate warming events after the Last Glacial Maximum had detectable effects on the genetic variation of this arctic rodent species, which is strongly associated with a cold and dry climate. RESULTS: Using three dimensional network reconstructions we found a dramatic decline in genetic diversity following the LGM. Model-based approaches such as Approximate Bayesian Computation and Markov Chain Monte Carlo based Bayesian inference show that there is evidence for a population decline in the collared lemming following the LGM, with the population size dropping to a minimum during the Greenland Interstadial 1 (Bølling/Allerød warming phase at 14.5 kyrs BP. CONCLUSION: Our results show that previous climate warming events had a strong influence on genetic diversity and population size of collared lemmings. Due to its already severely compromised genetic diversity a similar population reduction as a result of the predicted future climate change could completely abolish the remaining genetic diversity in this population. Local population

  3. Climate and human impacts on the vegetation in NW Turkey: palynological insights from Lake Iznik since the Last Glacial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miebach, Andrea; Niestrath, Phoebe; Roeser, Patricia A.; Litt, Thomas

    2015-04-01

    The reconstruction of the climate and vegetation history of the Marmara region in northwestern Turkey is of particular interest because of its long occupation history and its location between different climate and vegetation zones. Geochemical and mineralogical investigations of the largest lake in the region, Lake Iznik, already registered climate related changes of the lake level and the lake mixing during the last 31 ka cal BP (Roeser 2014). However, a palynological investigation, encompassing the Late Pleistocene to Middle Holocene, was still missing. Here, we present the first pollen record of the last 31 ka cal BP from Lake Iznik sediments as an independent proxy for paleoecological reconstructions. Lake Iznik is situated east of the Marmara Sea. Its catchment area is located in a climatic transition zone between the Mediterranean and Pontic climate zones. Today, the region is highly influenced by (sub-) Euxinian temperate deciduous and mixed forests dominated by deciduous oak and beech. Coastal areas of the southeastern Marmara Sea and the Aegean Sea are dominated by (sub-) Mediterranean woods and shrubs with sclerophyllous and evergreen elements (Zohary 1973). The pollen record of Lake Iznik reflects typical Eastern Mediterranean vegetation pattern and northern hemispheric climate changes. In contrast to the recent vegetation, a steppe vegetation dominated during the Late Pleistocene. In response to Dansgaard-Oeschger events, the vegetation changed rapidly into a steppe-forest. A remarkable expansion of deciduous oak forest, indicating warmer temperatures, is registered since the Bölling-Alleröd. A short period of dryer and/or cooler climate, corresponding to the Younger Dryas, is marked by an increase of steppe components and by a decrease of several trees. Deciduous oaks predominated the vegetation since the Early Holocene. They were successively accompanied by cold temperate, warm temperate, and Mediterranean trees. In addition to the climate impact

  4. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bakker, J.; Paulissen, E.; Kaniewski, D.; Poblome, J.; De Laet, V.; Verstraeten, G.; Waelkens, M.

    2013-01-01

    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 land use during Ottoman

  6. Importance of abiotic stress as a range-limit determinant for European plants: insights from species responses to climatic gradients

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Normand, Signe; Treier, Urs; Randin, Christophe;

    2009-01-01

    Aim We examined whether species occurrences are primarily limited by physiological tolerance in the abiotically more stressful end of climatic gradients (the asymmetric abiotic stress limitation (AASL) hypothesis) and the geographical predictions of this hypothesis: abiotic stress mainly determin...... upper-latitudinal and upper-altitudinal species range limits, and the importance of abiotic stress for these range limits increases the further northwards and upwards a species occurs...

  7. Value of traditional oral narratives in building climate-change resilience: insights from rural communities in Fiji

    OpenAIRE

    Shaiza Z. Janif; NUNN, Patrick D.; Paul Geraghty; William Aalbersberg; Frank R. Thomas; Mereoni Camailakeba

    2016-01-01

    In the interests of improving engagement with Pacific Island communities to enable development of effective and sustainable adaptation strategies to climate change, we looked at how traditional oral narratives in rural/peripheral Fiji communities might be used to inform such strategies. Interviews were undertaken and observations made in 27 communities; because the custodians of traditional knowledge were targeted, most interviewees were 70-79 years old. The view that oral traditions, pa...

  8. 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.

  9. Insights into soil carbon dynamics across climatic and geologic gradients from time-series and fraction-specific radiocarbon analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Voort, Tessa Sophia; Hagedorn, Frank; Zell, Claudia; McIntyre, Cameron; Eglinton, Tim

    2016-04-01

    Understanding the interaction between soil organic matter (SOM) and climatic, geologic and ecological factors is essential for the understanding of potential susceptibility and vulnerability to climate and land use change. Radiocarbon constitutes a powerful tool for unraveling SOM dynamics and is increasingly used in studies of carbon turnover. The complex and inherently heterogeneous nature of SOM renders it challenging to assess the processes that govern SOM stability by solely looking at the bulk signature on a plot-scale level. This project combines bulk radiocarbon measurements on a regional-scale spanning wide climatic and geologic gradients with a more in-depth approach for a subset of locations. For this subset, time-series and carbon pool-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). Statistical analysis was performed to examine relationships of radiocarbon signatures with variables such as temperature, precipitation and elevation. Bomb-curve modeling was applied determine carbon turnover using time-series data. Results indicate that (1) there is no significant correlation between Δ14C signature and environmental conditions except a weak positive correlation with mean annual temperature, (2) vertical gradients in Δ14C signatures in surface and deeper soils are highly similar despite covering disparate soil-types and climatic systems, and (3) radiocarbon signatures vary significantly between time-series samples and carbon pools. Overall, this study provides a uniquely comprehensive dataset that allows for a better understanding of links between carbon dynamics and environmental settings, as well as for pool-specific and long-term trends in carbon (de)stabilization.

  10. Small islands, valuable insights: systems of customary resource use and resilience to climate change in the Pacific

    OpenAIRE

    Heather L. McMillen; Tamara Ticktin; Alan Friedlander; Stacy D Jupiter; Randolph Thaman; John Campbell; Joeli Veitayaki; Thomas Giambelluca; Salesa Nihmei; Etika Rupeni; Lucille Apis-Overhoff; William Aalbersberg; Dan F. Orcherton

    2014-01-01

    Understanding how social-ecological systems are and can be resilient to climate change is one of the world's most crucial problems today. It requires knowledge at local and global scales, the integration of natural and social sciences, and a focus on biocultural diversity. Small Pacific Islands and the knowledge-practice-belief systems of their peoples have a long history of resilience to environmental variability and unpredictability, including in areas with marginal habitats and with period...

  11. 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.

  12. The Pleistocene vermicular red earth in South China signaling the global climatic change: The molecular fossil record

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    谢树成; 易轶; 刘育燕; 顾延生; 马振兴; 林文姣; 王先彦; 刘刚; 梁斌; 朱宗敏

    2003-01-01

    The trace molecular fossils identified in the Pleistocene vermicular red earth by using the gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC/MS) analysis include n-alkanes, n-alkanoic acids, n-alkanols and n-alkan-2-ones. The variations of the n-alkane parameters appear to bear significant climate information, in striking contrast to the oxygen-bearing molecules (n-alkanoic acids and n-alkanols) believed to be more easily reworked by post-depositional processes. Of importance in paleoclimate reconstruction are the ratios of C27/C31 n-alkane indicative of the replacement of woody plants by grassy vegetation, and C15-21/C22-33 n-alkane representative of the relative abundance between microorganisms and higher plants. The profile trends of the two n-alkane ratios are comparable to the marine oxygen isotope record among stages 4-20. These molecular fossil records implicate that the Pleistocene vermicular red earth widespread in South China was formed in coupling to the global climatic change and could be an important climate carrier.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berke, Melissa A.; Johnson, Thomas C.; Werne, Josef P.; Grice, Kliti; Schouten, Stefan; Sinninghe Damsté, Jaap S.

    2012-11-01

    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 ˜14,000 year record of climate variability from Lake Victoria, East Africa, the world's second largest freshwater lake by surface area. We determined variations in local hydroclimate using compound specific δD of terrestrial leaf waxes, and compared these results to a new record of temperature utilizing the TEX86 paleotemperature proxy, based on aquatic Thaumarchaeotal membrane lipids. In order to assess the impact of changing climate on the terrestrial environment, we generated a record of compound specific δ13C from terrestrial leaf waxes, a proxy for ecosystem-level C3/C4 plant abundances, and compared the results to previously published pollen-inferred regional vegetation shifts. We observe a general coherence between temperature and rainfall, with a warm, wet interval peaking ˜10-9 ka and subsequent gradual cooling and drying over the remainder of the Holocene. These results, particularly those of rainfall, are in general agreement with other tropical African climate records, indicating a somewhat consistent view of climate over a wide region of tropical East Africa. The δ13C record from Lake Victoria leaf waxes does not appear to reflect changes in regional climate or vegetation. However, palynological analyses document an abrupt shift from a Poaceae (grasses)-dominated ecosystem during the cooler, arid late Pleistocene to a Moraceae-dominated (trees/shrubs) landscape during the warm, wet early Holocene. We theorize that these proxies are reflecting vegetation in different locations around Lake Victoria. Our results suggest a predominantly insolation-forced climate, with warm, wet conditions peaking at the maximum interhemispheric seasonal insolation contrast, likely intensifying monsoonal precipitation, while maximum aridity coincides with the rainy season insolation and the

  14. A molecular perspective on Late Quaternary climate and vegetation change in the Lake Tanganyika basin, East Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tierney, Jessica E.; Russell, James M.; Huang, Yongsong

    2010-03-01

    Characterizing the nature of past hydrological change and its interactions with vegetation is fundamental to acquiring a better understanding of continental tropical climate dynamics. Here, we outline major shifts in the climate and ecosystem of tropical East Africa for the past 60,000 years (60 ka) by examining molecular records of hydrology, vegetation, and temperature from a sediment sequence from Lake Tanganyika. We demonstrate, via comparison with pollen spectra, that stable carbon isotopes measured on higher plant leaf waxes ( δ13C wax) are a reliable proxy for vegetation change. In addition we argue that the D/H ratio of higher plant leaf waxes ( δD wax) is a robust and independent indicator of past changes in aridity, and is not affected by regional vegetation change directly. Our paired, compound-specific isotope data show that shifts in vegetation lead major changes in hydrology in the Tanganyika basin at several major climate transitions during the past 60,000 years, suggesting that vegetation in the Tanganyika basin is not as sensitive to aridity as previous studies have suggested and that variations in carbon dioxide, temperature, and internal ecosystem dynamics are equally, if not more, important. We hypothesize that regional vegetation change may exert a positive feedback on regional hydrology, thus partially accounting for the abrupt threshold behavior evident in our paleohydrological data. Furthermore, we find that past changes in Tanganyika basin climate and ecology are closely linked to concentrations of atmospheric trace gases, highlighting the paramount influence of global climatic shifts upon regional tropical climate over glacial/interglacial timescales.

  15. A tale of two spartinas: Climatic, photobiological and isotopic insights on the fitness of non-indigenous versus native species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duarte, B.; Baeta, A.; Rousseau-Gueutin, M.; Ainouche, M.; Marques, J. C.; Caçador, I.

    2015-12-01

    Salt marshes are facing a new threat: the invasion by non-indigenous species (NIS), Although its introduction time is not established yet, in 1999 Spartina versicolor was already identified as a NIS in the Mediterranean marshes, significantly spreading its area of colonization. Using the Mediterranean native Spartina maritima as a reference, the present research studied the ecophysiological fitness of this NIS in its new environment, as a tool to understand its potential invasiveness. It was found that Spartina versicolor had a stable photobiological pattern, with only minor fluctuations during an annual cycle, and lower efficiencies comparated to S. maritima. The NIS seems to be rather insensitive to the observed abiotic factors fluctuations (salinity and pH of the sediment), and thus contrasts with the native S. maritima, known to be salinity dependent with higher productivity values in higher salinity environments. Most of the differences observed between the photobiology of these species could be explained by their nitrogen nutrition (here evaluated by the δ15N stable isotope) and directly related with the Mediterranean climate. Enhanced by a higher N availability during winter, the primary production of S. maritima which lead to dilution of the foliar δ15N concentration in the newly formed biomass, similarly to what is observed along a rainfall gradient. On the other hand, S. versicolor showed an increased δ15N in its tissues along the annual rainfall gradient, probably due to a δ15N concentration effect during low biomass production periods (winter and autumn). Together with the photobiological traits, these isotopic data point out to a climatic misfit of S. versicolor to the Mediterranean climate compared to the native S. maritima. This appears to be the major constrain shaping the ecophysiological fitness of this NIS, its primary production and consequently, its spreading rate along the Mediterranean marshes.

  16. Climate Warming and Soil Carbon in Tropical Forests: Insights from an Elevation Gradient in the Peruvian Andes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nottingham, Andrew T.; Whitaker, Jeanette; Turner, Benjamin L.; Salinas, Norma; Zimmermann, Michael; Malhi, Yadvinder; Meir, Patrick

    2015-01-01

    The temperature sensitivity of soil organic matter (SOM) decomposition in tropical forests will influence future climate. Studies of a 3.5-kilometer elevation gradient in the Peruvian Andes, including short-term translocation experiments and the examination of the long-term adaptation of biota to local thermal and edaphic conditions, have revealed several factors that may regulate this sensitivity. Collectively this work suggests that, in the absence of a moisture constraint, the temperature sensitivity of decomposition is regulated by the chemical composition of plant debris (litter) and both the physical and chemical composition of preexisting SOM: higher temperature sensitivities are found in litter or SOM that is more chemically complex and in SOM that is less occluded within aggregates. In addition, the temperature sensitivity of SOM in tropical montane forests may be larger than previously recognized because of the presence of “cold-adapted” and nitrogen-limited microbial decomposers and the possible future alterations in plant and microbial communities associated with warming. Studies along elevation transects, such as those reviewed here, can reveal factors that will regulate the temperature sensitivity of SOM. They can also complement and guide in situ soil-warming experiments, which will be needed to understand how this vulnerability to temperature may be mediated by altered plant productivity under future climatic change. PMID:26955086

  17. Response of lightning NOx emissions and ozone production to climate change: Insights from the Atmospheric Chemistry and Climate Model Intercomparison Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finney, D. L.; Doherty, R. M.; Wild, O.; Young, P. J.; Butler, A.

    2016-05-01

    Results from an ensemble of models are used to investigate the response of lightning nitrogen oxide emissions to climate change and the consequent impacts on ozone production. Most models generate lightning using a parameterization based on cloud top height. With this approach and a present-day global emission of 5 TgN, we estimate a linear response with respect to changes in global surface temperature of +0.44 ± 0.05 TgN K-1. However, two models using alternative approaches give +0.14 and -0.55 TgN K-1 suggesting that the simulated response is highly dependent on lightning parameterization. Lightning NOx is found to have an ozone production efficiency of 6.5 ± 4.7 times that of surface NOx sources. This wide range of efficiencies across models is partly due to the assumed vertical distribution of the lightning source and partly to the treatment of nonmethane volatile organic compound (NMVOC) chemistry. Careful consideration of the vertical distribution of emissions is needed, given its large influence on ozone production.

  18. The relationships between temperature changes and reproductive investment in a Mediterranean goby: Insights for the assessment of climate change effects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zucchetta, M.; Cipolato, G.; Pranovi, F.; Antonetti, P.; Torricelli, P.; Franzoi, P.; Malavasi, S.

    2012-04-01

    The relationships between changes in water temperature and the timing and level of reproductive investment were investigated in an estuarine fish, inhabiting the Venice lagoon: the grass goby Zosterisessor ophiocephalus. A time series of the mean monthly values of gonado-somatic index was coupled with thermal profiles of lagoon water temperatures over 14 years, from 1997 to 2010. Results showed that the reproductive investment was positively affected by water temperature changes, both in terms of monthly thermal anomalies and cumulative degree days. A predictive model was also developed to assess the temporal shift of reproductive peaks as a response to inter-annual thermal fluctuations. This model allowed the detection of deviations from the median level, indicating that during warmer years, the reproductive peak tended to occur earlier than during colder years. The model is therefore proposed as a tool to predict anticipated consequences of climate change on fish phenology in transitional waters, regarding recurrent biological phenomena, such as reproduction and recruitment.

  19. 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

  20. Storm surges and climate change implications for tidal marshes: Insight from the San Francisco Bay Estuary, California, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thorne, Karen M.; Buffington, Kevin J.; Swanson, Kathleen; Takekawa, John Y.

    2013-01-01

    Tidal marshes are dynamic ecosystems that are influenced by oceanic and freshwater processes and daily changes in sea level. Projected sea-level rise and changes in storm frequency and intensity will affect tidal marshes by altering suspended sediment supply, plant and wildlife communities, and the inundation duration and depth of the marsh platform. The objective of this research was to evaluate how regional weather conditions resulting in low-pressure storms changed tidal conditions locally within three tidal marshes. We hypothesized that regional storms will increase sea level heights locally, resulting in increased inundation of the tidal marsh platform and plant communities. Using site-level measurements of elevation, plant communities, and water levels, we present results from two storm events in 2010 and 2011 from the San Francisco Bay Estuary (SFBE), California, USA. The January 2010 storm had the lowest recorded sea level pressure in the last 30 years for this region. During the storm episodes, the duration of tidal marsh inundation was 1.8 and 3.1 times greater than average for that time of year in 2010 and 2011, respectively. At peak storm surges, over 65% in 2010 and 93% in 2011 of the plant community was under water. We also discuss the implications of these types of storms and projected sea-level rise on the structure and function of tidal marshes and how that may affect the hydrogeomorphic processes and marsh biotic communities. This type of information is useful to managers for incorporating local climate change into developing their monitoring, management, and adaptation strategies.

  1. Insights into Ocean Acidification During the Middle Eocene Climatic Optimum from Boron Isotopes at Southern Ocean Site 738

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moebius, I.; Hoenisch, B.; Friedrich, O.

    2015-12-01

    The Middle Eocene Climatic Optimum (MECO) is a ~650-kyr interval of global warming, with a brief ~50 ky long peak warming interval, and an abrupt termination. Deep sea and surface ocean temperature evolution across this interval are fairly well constrained, but thus far we have little understanding of the mechanisms responsible for the gradual warming and rapid recovery. Carbonate mass accumulation rates suggest a shoaling of the carbonate compensation depth, and studies on alkenones indicate increasing atmospheric CO2 levels during the MECO. This suggests an increase in surface ocean CO2, and consequently ocean acidification. However, the severity and timing of the proposed ocean acidification with respect to the onset, peak warming and the termination are currently not well resolved. The boron isotopic composition (δ11B) recorded in planktic foraminifer shells offers an opportunity to infer oceanic pH across this interval. We are working on a boron isotope reconstruction from Southern Ocean IODP site 738 and South Atlantic IODP site 1263, covering 42.0 to 38.5 Ma. These sites are characterized by good carbonate preservation and well-defined age models have been established. Additionally, ecology, nutrient content and bottom-water oxygenation have been shown to change significantly across the event towards a more eutrophic, periodically oxygen-depleted environment supporting different biological communities. We selected the planktic foraminifera species Acarinina spinuloinflata for this study because it is symbiont-bearing, suggesting a near-surface habitat and little vertical migration in the water column, and because of its abundance in the samples. δ11B data will be translated to surface ocean pH and atmospheric pCO2 will be approximated to refine knowledge about the carbon cycle during this time. Parallel analysis of two core sites will help to evaluate the tenacity of the data.

  2. Molecular, immunological, and biological characterization of Tityus serrulatus venom hyaluronidase: new insights into its role in envenomation.

    OpenAIRE

    Carolina Campolina Rebello Horta; Bárbara de Freitas Magalhães; Bárbara Bruna Ribeiro Oliveira-Mendes; Anderson Oliveira do Carmo; Clara Guerra Duarte; Liza Figueiredo Felicori; Ricardo Andrez Machado-de-Ávila; Carlos Chávez-Olórtegui; Evanguedes Kalapothakis

    2014-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Scorpionism is a public health problem in Brazil, and Tityus serrulatus (Ts) is primarily responsible for severe accidents. The main toxic components of Ts venom are low-molecular-weight neurotoxins; however, the venom also contains poorly characterized high-molecular-weight enzymes. Hyaluronidase is one such enzyme that has been poorly characterized. METHODS AND PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We examined clones from a cDNA library of the Ts venom gland and described two novel isoforms of hy...

  3. Calorimetry is not color-blind.Molecular insights on association processes in surfactant-polymer mixtures derived from calorimetric experiments

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LOH Watson; BRINATTI Cesar

    2012-01-01

    This comment will review and discuss recent results obtained with the use of calorimetry in assessing molecular information from complex phenomena such as association in surfactant/polymer mixtures.These examples were selected to support the view that it is possible to ally the great sensitivity of modern calorimeters with carefully planned experiments and,sometimes,ancillary techniques in order to derive detailed information on molecular interactions.

  4. Insights into mechanism of pyrido[2,3-d]pyrimidines as DYRK1A inhibitors based on molecular dynamic simulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jiao Jiao; Tian, Yue Li; Zhai, Hong Lin; Lv, Min; Zhang, Xiao Yun

    2016-08-01

    DYRK1A is characterized by the early development and regulation of neuronal proliferation, and its over expression gives rise to neurological abnormalities. As the promising DYRK1A inhibitors, the binding mechanism between DYRK1A and pyrido[2,3-d]pyrimidines derivatives at molecular level are still veiled. In this article, it was achieved to get the structural insights into pyrido[2,3-d]pyrimidines derivatives as DYRK1A inhibitors by means of comprehensive computational approaches involving molecular docking, molecular dynamics simulation, free energy calculation, and energy decomposition analysis. The calculated energy values were highly consistent with the experimental activities. Based on the individual energy terms analysis, the van der Waals interaction was the major leading force in the DYRK1A-ligand interaction. Lys188 was the important residue that formed the hydrogen bond, which improved the inhibitory activity. Furthermore, four novel inhibitors with higher predicted activity were designed based on the obtained findings and confirmed by molecular simulations. Our study is expected to provide significant drug design strategy for the development of more promising DYRK1A inhibitors. Proteins 2016; 84:1108-1123. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27119584

  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. VIP and PACAP. Recent insights into their functions/roles in physiology and disease from molecular and genetic studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moody, Terry W.; Ito, Tetsuhide; Osefo, Nuramy; Jensen, Robert T.

    2010-01-01

    Purpose of review VIP and PACAP as well as the three classes of G-protein-coupled receptors mediating their effects, are widely distributed in the CNS and peripheral tissues. These peptides are reported to have many effects in different tissues, which are physiological or pharmacological, and which receptor mediates which effect, has been difficult to determine, primarily due to lack of potent, stable, selective agonists/antagonists. Recently the use of animals with targeted knockout (KO) of the peptide or a specific receptor has provided important insights into the role of their role in normal physiology and disease states. Recent findings During the review period, considerable progress and insights has occurred in the understanding of the role of VIP/PACAP as well as their receptors in a number of different disorders/areas. Particularly, insights into their roles in energy metabolism, glucose regulation, various gastrointestinal processes including GI inflammatory conditions and motility and their role in the CNS as well as CNS diseases has greatly expanded. Summary PACAP/VIP as well as there three classes of receptors are important in many physiological/pathophysiological processes, some of which are identified in these studies using knockout animals. These studies may lead to new novel treatment approaches. Particularly important are their roles in glucose metabolism and on islets leading to possible novel approaches in diabetes; their novel anti-inflammatory, cytoprotective effects, their CNS neuroprotective effects, and their possible roles in diseases such as schizophrenia and chronic depression. PMID:21157320

  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. High molecular weight SOA formation during limonene ozonolysis: insights from ultrahigh-resolution FT-ICR mass spectrometry characterization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kundu, S.; Fisseha, R.; Putman, A. L.; Rahn, T. A.; Mazzoleni, L. R.

    2012-06-01

    The detailed molecular composition of laboratory generated limonene ozonolysis secondary organic aerosol (SOA) was studied using ultrahigh-resolution Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance (FT-ICR) mass spectrometry. Approximately 1200 molecular formulas were identified in the SOA over the mass range of 140 to 850 Da. Four characteristic groups of high relative abundance species were observed; they indicate an array of accretion products that retain a large fraction of the limonene skeleton. The identified molecular formulas of each of the groups are related to one another by CH2, O and CH2O homologous series. The CH2 and O homologous series of the low molecular weight (MW) SOA (m/z 300) were found to constitute a significant number fraction of the identified SOA components. The formation of high MW compounds was evaluated by molecular formula trends, fragmentation analysis of select high MW compounds and a comprehensive reaction matrix including the identified low MW SOA, hydroperoxides and Criegee radicals as building blocks. Although the formation of high MW SOA may occur via a variety of radical and non-radical reaction channels, the combined approach indicates a greater importance of the non-condensation reactions over aldol and ester condensation reaction channels. Among these hemi-acetal reactions appear to be most dominant followed by hydroperoxide and Criegee reaction channels.

  9. 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

    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 analy...

  10. 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

    , provided information regarding composition, including water content, and ionization state of weak acidic and basic groups present in the thin composite film. Low molecular weight PAA, mainly in its protonated form, diffuses into and out of the composite film during adsorption and rinsing steps. The higher...

  11. First-Principles Molecular Dynamics Insight Into Fe2+ Complexes Adsorbed On Edge Surfaces Of Clay Minerals

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    X. Liu; E.J. Meijer; X. Lu; R. Wang

    2012-01-01

    Using first-principles molecular-dynamics simulations, probable inner-sphere complexes of Fe2+ adsorbed on the edge surfaces of clay minerals were investigated. Ferrous ions are important reductants in natural processes and their properties can be altered significantly by complexation on edge surfac

  12. TRPV1 function is modulated by Cdk5-mediated phosphorylation: insights into the molecular mechanism of nociception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jendryke, Thomas; Prochazkova, Michaela; Hall, Bradford E; Nordmann, Grégory C; Schladt, Moritz; Milenkovic, Vladimir M; Kulkarni, Ashok B; Wetzel, Christian H

    2016-01-01

    TRPV1 is a polymodally activated cation channel acting as key receptor in nociceptive neurons. Its function is strongly affected by kinase-mediated phosphorylation leading to hyperalgesia and allodynia. We present behavioral and molecular data indicating that TRPV1 is strongly modulated by Cdk5-mediated phosphorylation at position threonine-407(mouse)/T406(rat). Increasing or decreasing Cdk5 activity in genetically engineered mice has severe consequences on TRPV1-mediated pain perception leading to altered capsaicin consumption and sensitivity to heat. To understand the molecular and structural/functional consequences of TRPV1 phosphorylation, we generated various rTRPV1T406 receptor variants to mimic phosphorylated or dephosphorylated receptor protein. We performed detailed functional characterization by means of electrophysiological whole-cell and single-channel recordings as well as Ca(2+)-imaging and challenged recombinant rTRPV1 receptors with capsaicin, low pH, or heat. We found that position T406 is critical for the function of TRPV1 by modulating ligand-sensitivity, activation, and desensitization kinetics as well as voltage-dependence. Based on high resolution structures of TRPV1, we discuss T406 being involved in the molecular transition pathway, its phosphorylation leading to a conformational change and influencing the gating of the receptor. Cdk5-mediated phosphorylation of T406 can be regarded as an important molecular switch modulating TRPV1-related behavior and pain sensitivity. PMID:26902776

  13. New Insights into the Molecular Distinction of Dysplastic Nevi and Common Melanocytic Nevi-Highlighting the Keratinocyte-Melanocyte Relationship.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eliades, Philip; Tsao, Hensin

    2016-10-01

    Mitsui et al. approach the problem of differentiating dysplastic nevi from common melanocytic nevi through a molecular lens. Whereas most of the literature on this topic shines the spotlight toward melanocytes, the focus of this paper is shifted to the tumor microenvironment. Using microarrays, reverse transcriptase-PCR, and immunohistochemistry, their results emphasize the role of keratinocyte dysplasia within dysplastic nevi.

  14. Quaternary association in -prism I fold plant lectins: Insights from X-ray crystallography, modelling and molecular dynamics

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Alok Sharma; Mamannamana Vijayan

    2011-12-01

    Dimeric banana lectin and calsepa, tetrameric artocarpin and octameric heltuba are mannose-specific -prism I fold lectins of nearly the same tertiary structure. MD simulations on individual subunits and the oligomers provide insights into the changes in the structure brought about in the protomers on oligomerization, including swapping of the N-terminal stretch in one instance. The regions that undergo changes also tend to exhibit dynamic flexibility during MD simulations. The internal symmetries of individual oligomers are substantially retained during the calculations. Energy minimization and simulations were also carried out on models using all possible oligomers by employing the four different protomers. The unique dimerization pattern observed in calsepa could be traced to unique substitutions in a peptide stretch involved in dimerization. The impossibility of a specific mode of oligomerization involving a particular protomer is often expressed in terms of unacceptable steric contacts or dissociation of the oligomer during simulations. The calculations also led to a rationale for the observation of a heltuba tetramer in solution although the lectin exists as an octamer in the crystal, in addition to providing insights into relations among evolution, oligomerization and ligand binding.

  15. 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.

    2016-01-01

    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.

  16. Coexistence of spinodal instability and thermal nucleation in thin-film rupture:Insights from molecular levels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nguyen, Trung D [ORNL; Fuentes-Cabrera, Miguel A [ORNL; Fowlkes, Jason Davidson [ORNL; Rack, Philip D [ORNL

    2014-01-01

    Despite extensive investigation using hydrodynamic models and experiments over the past decades, there remain open questions regarding the origin of the initial rupture of thin liquid films. One of the reasons that makes it difficult to identify the rupture origin is the coexistence of two dewettingmechanisms, namely, thermal nucleation and spinodal instability, as observed in many experimental studies. Using a coarse-grained model and large-scale molecular dynamics simulations, we are able to characterize the very early stage of dewetting in nanometer-thick liquid-metal films wetting a solid substrate. We observe the features characteristic of both spinodal instability and thermal nucleation in the spontaneously dewetting films and show that these two macroscopic mechanisms share a common origin at molecular levels.

  17. Anticancer Compound Plumbagin and Its Molecular Targets: A Structural Insight into the Inhibitory Mechanisms Using Computational Approaches

    OpenAIRE

    Mohammad S Jamal; Shadma Parveen; Mohd A Beg; Mohd Suhail; Chaudhary, Adeel G. A.; Damanhouri, Ghazi A.; Abuzenadah, Adel M; Mohd Rehan

    2014-01-01

    Plumbagin (5-hydroxy-2-methyl-1,4-naphthoquinone) is a naphthoquinone derivative from the roots of plant Plumbago zeylanica and belongs to one of the largest and diverse groups of plant metabolites. The anticancer and antiproliferative activities of plumbagin have been observed in animal models as well as in cell cultures. Plumbagin exerts inhibitory effects on multiple cancer-signaling proteins, however, the binding mode and the molecular interactions have not yet been elucidated for most of...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gupta, Radhey S; Bhandari, Vaibhav; Naushad, Hafiz Sohail

    2012-01-01

    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, six 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. PMID:23060863

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Molecular Dynamics Simulations of Voltage Gated Cation Channels: Insights on Voltage-Sensor Domain Function and Modulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucie eDelemotte

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Since their discovery in the 1950s, the structure and function of voltage gated cation channels (VGCC has been largely understood thanks to results stemming from electrophysiology, pharmacology, spectroscopy and structural biology. Over the past decade, computational methods such as molecular dynamics (MD simulations have also contributed, providing molecular level information that can be tested against experimental results, thereby allowing the validation of the models and protocols. Importantly, MD can shed light on elements of VGCC function that cannot be easily accessed through classical experiments. Here, we review the results of recent MD simulations addressing key questions that pertain to the function and modulation of the VGCC’s voltage sensor domain (VSD highlighting: 1 the movement of the S4-helix basic residues during channel activation, articulating how the electrical driving force acts upon them; 2 the nature of the VSD intermediate states on transitioning between open and closed states of the VGCC; and 3 the molecular level effects on the VSD arising from mutations of specific S4 positively charged residues involved in certain genetic diseases.

  2. 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.

  3. High molecular weight SOA formation during limonene ozonolysis: insights from ultrahigh-resolution FT-ICR mass spectrometry characterization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Kundu

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available The detailed molecular composition of laboratory generated limonene ozonolysis secondary organic aerosol (SOA was studied using ultrahigh-resolution Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance (FT-ICR mass spectrometry. Approximately 1200 molecular formulas were identified in the SOA over the mass range of 140 to 850 Da. Four characteristic groups of high relative abundance species were observed; they indicate an array of accretion products that retain a large fraction of the limonene skeleton. The identified molecular formulas of each of the groups are related to one another by CH2, O and CH2O homologous series. The CH2 and O homologous series of the low molecular weight (MW SOA (m/z < 300 are explained with a combination of functionalization and fragmentation of radical intermediates and reactive uptake of gas-phase carbonyls. They include isomerization and elimination reactions of Criegee radicals, reactions between alkyl peroxy radicals, and scission of alkoxy radicals resulting from the Criegee radicals. The presence of compounds with 10–15 carbon atoms in the first group (e.g. C11H18O6 provides evidence for SOA formation by the reactive uptake of gas-phase carbonyls during limonene ozonolysis. The high MW compounds (m/z > 300 were found to constitute a significant number fraction of the identified SOA components. The formation of high MW compounds was evaluated by molecular formula trends, fragmentation analysis of select high MW compounds and a comprehensive reaction matrix including the identified low MW SOA, hydroperoxides and Criegee radicals as building blocks. Although the formation of high MW SOA may occur via a variety of radical and non-radical reaction channels, the combined approach indicates a greater importance of the non-condensation reactions over aldol and ester condensation reaction channels. Among these hemi-acetal reactions appear to be most

  4. Molecular Radiocarbon Dating of Tropical Lake Sediments: Insights into the Chronology of Leaf Wax Stable Isotope Records

    Science.gov (United States)

    Douglas, P. M.; Pagani, M.; Eglinton, T. I.; Brenner, M.; Curtis, J. H.; Hodell, D. A.

    2010-12-01

    Leaf wax δD and δ13C measurements in marine and lacustrine sediment cores are promising proxies for past climatic and environmental change. However, a number of studies of marine sediments indicate centennial to millennial scale offsets between the radiocarbon ages of leaf waxes and the age of surrounding sediments due to long-term storage of these lipids in soils. These offsets present a complication for the interpretation of leaf wax stable isotope records that has not been thoroughly addressed. We present leaf wax δD, δ13C and Δ14C values for a sediment core from Lake Chichancanab in southeastern Mexico. This lake was previously studied using mineralogical (gypsum) and carbonate isotopic (δ18O) climate proxies, which indicated a sequence of severe droughts from 750 to 1000 AD, coincident with the collapse of the Classic Maya civilization. A suite of leaf wax δD values was plotted against the original sediment core chronology, which was developed using radiocarbon dates on terrestrial macrofossils. The leaf wax results also indicated major hydrological variability over the past 3000 years, but were not temporally coherent with the other climate proxy records. Leaf wax radiocarbon ages are 400 to 1200 years older than terrestrial macrofossil radiocarbon ages from the same depths, suggesting that leaf waxes are retained in the watershed for extended periods prior to deposition in the lake. We fit a 2nd-order polynomial equation to the depth profile of leaf wax radiocarbon ages (r2 =0.99) and refit the leaf wax δD profile to this “leaf wax age model”. This approach yielded much greater coherence with mineralogical and carbonate isotopic proxy records, including evidence for a period of severe drought (35‰ D-enrichment) from 750 to 1000 A.D. Our results indicate that long-term storage of leaf waxes in drainage basin soils can lead to temporal inaccuracies in leaf wax stable isotope records. These inaccuracies, however, can be corrected using a

  5. The role of Phe82 and Phe351 in auxin-induced substrate perception by TIR1 ubiquitin ligase: a novel insight from molecular dynamics simulations.

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    Ge-Fei Hao

    Full Text Available It is well known that Auxin plays a key role in controlling many aspects of plant growth and development. Crystal structures of Transport inhibitor response 1 (TIR1, a true receptor of auxin, were very recently determined for TIR1 alone and in complexes with auxin and different synthetic analogues and an Auxin/Indole-3-Acetic Acid (Aux/IAA substrate peptide. However, the dynamic conformational changes of the key residues of TIR1 that take place during the auxin and substrate perception by TIR1 and the detailed mechanism of these changes are still unclear. In the present study, various computational techniques were integrated to uncover the detailed molecular mechanism of the auxin and Aux/IAA perception process; these simulations included molecular dynamics (MD simulations on complexes and the free enzyme, the molecular mechanics Poisson Boltzmann surface area (MM-PBSA calculations, normal mode analysis, and hydrogen bond energy (HBE calculations. The computational simulation results provided a reasonable explanation for the structure-activity relationships of auxin and its synthetic analogues in view of energy. In addition, a more detailed model for auxin and Aux/IAA perception was also proposed, indicating that Phe82 and Phe351 played a pivotal role in Aux/IAA perception. Upon auxin binding, Phe82 underwent conformational changes to accommodate the subsequent binding of Aux/IAA. As a result, auxin enhances the TIR1-Aux/IAA interactions by acting as a "molecular glue". Besides, Phe351 acts as a "fastener" to further improve the substrate binding. The structural and mechanistic insights obtained from the present study will provide valuable clues for the future design of promising auxin analogues.

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

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    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.

  7. Molecular-level insights of early-stage prion protein aggregation on mica and gold surface determined by AFM imaging and molecular simulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lou, Zhichao; Wang, Bin; Guo, Cunlan; Wang, Kun; Zhang, Haiqian; Xu, Bingqian

    2015-11-01

    By in situ time-lapse AFM, we investigated early-stage aggregates of PrP formed at low concentration (100 ng/mL) on mica and Au(111) surfaces in acetate buffer (pH 4.5). Remarkably different PrP assemblies were observed. Oligomeric structures of PrP aggregates were observed on mica surface, which was in sharp contrast to the multi-layer PrP aggregates yielding parallel linear patterns observed Au(111) surface. Combining molecular dynamics and docking simulations, PrP monomers, dimers and trimers were revealed as the basic units of the observed aggregates. Besides, the mechanisms of the observed PrP aggregations and the corresponding molecular-substrate and intermolecular interactions were suggested. These interactions involved gold-sulfur interaction, electrostatic interaction, hydrophobic interaction, and hydrogen binding interaction. In contrast, the PrP aggregates observed in pH 7.2 PBS buffer demonstrated similar large ball-like structures on both mica and Au(111) surfaces. The results indicate that the pH of a solution and the surface of the system can have strong effects on supramolecular assemblies of prion proteins. This study provides in-depth understanding on the structural and mechanistic nature of PrP aggregation, and can be used to study the aggregation mechanisms of other proteins with similar misfolding properties.

  8. Comparative Analyses of the β-Tubulin Gene and Molecular Modeling Reveal Molecular Insight into the Colchicine Resistance in Kinetoplastids Organisms

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    Luis Luis

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Differential susceptibility to microtubule agents has been demonstrated between mammalian cells and kinetoplastid organisms such as Leishmania spp. and Trypanosoma spp. The aims of this study were to identify and characterize the architecture of the putative colchicine binding site of Leishmania spp. and investigate the molecular basis of colchicine resistance. We cloned and sequenced the β-tubulin gene of Leishmania (Viannia guyanensis and established the theoretical 3D model of the protein, using the crystallographic structure of the bovine protein as template. We identified mutations on the Leishmania  β-tubulin gene sequences on regions related to the putative colchicine-binding pocket, which generate amino acid substitutions and changes in the topology of this region, blocking the access of colchicine. The same mutations were found in the β-tubulin sequence of kinetoplastid organisms such as Trypanosoma cruzi, T. brucei, and T. evansi. Using molecular modelling approaches, we demonstrated that conformational changes include an elongation and torsion of an α-helix structure and displacement to the inside of the pocket of one β-sheet that hinders access of colchicine. We propose that kinetoplastid organisms show resistance to colchicine due to amino acids substitutions that generate structural changes in the putative colchicine-binding domain, which prevent colchicine access.

  9. Molecular adaptation in flowering and symbiotic recognition pathways: insights from patterns of polymorphism in the legume Medicago truncatula

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    Ronfort Joëlle

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background We studied patterns of molecular adaptation in the wild Mediterranean legume Medicago truncatula. We focused on two phenotypic traits that are not functionally linked: flowering time and perception of symbiotic microbes. Phenology is an important fitness component, especially for annual plants, and many instances of molecular adaptation have been reported for genes involved in flowering pathways. While perception of symbiotic microbes is also integral to adaptation in many plant species, very few reports of molecular adaptation exist for symbiotic genes. Here we used data from 57 individuals and 53 gene fragments to quantify the overall strength of both positive and purifying selection in M. truncatula and asked if footprints of positive selection can be detected at key genes of rhizobia recognition pathways. Results We examined nucleotide variation among 57 accessions from natural populations in 53 gene fragments: 5 genes involved in nitrogen-fixing bacteria recognition, 11 genes involved in flowering, and 37 genes used as control loci. We detected 1757 polymorphic sites yielding an average nucleotide diversity (pi of 0.003 per site. Non-synonymous variation is under sizable purifying selection with 90% of amino-acid changing mutations being strongly selected against. Accessions were structured in two groups consistent with geographical origins. Each of these two groups harboured an excess of rare alleles, relative to expectations of a constant-sized population, suggesting recent population expansion. Using coalescent simulations and an approximate Bayesian computation framework we detected several instances of genes departing from selective neutrality within each group and showed that the polymorphism of two nodulation and four flowering genes has probably been shaped by recent positive selection. Conclusion We quantify the intensity of purifying selection in the M. truncatula genome and show that putative footprints of

  10. Static and dynamic length scales in supercooled liquids: insights from molecular dynamics simulations of water and tri-propylene oxide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klameth, F; Henritzi, P; Vogel, M

    2014-04-14

    We perform molecular dynamics simulations to study static and dynamic length scales in molecular supercooled liquids, in particular, water. For a determination of these scales, we use equilibrium configurations and pin appropriate subsets of molecules so as to obtain random matrices, cylindrical pores, and slit confinements. Static length scales ξ(s) are determined by analyzing overlap correlation functions for various fractions of pinned molecules or distances to the confining walls. For water in all confinements and for propylene oxide trimers in random geometry, a linear increase of ξ(s) with inverse temperature is found. Dynamic length scales ξ(d) are determined by analogous analysis of fraction-dependent or position-resolved correlation times of structural relaxation. While ξ(d) continuously grows upon cooling in the cylindrical and slit confinements, we find no evidence for a temperature dependence in random matrices, implying that molecular dynamics in parsed volumes is qualitatively different from that in bulk liquids. Finally, we study possible connections between the growth of the static and dynamic length scales and the slowdown of the structural relaxation of the supercooled bulk liquids. For water, we observe a linear relation between ln τ(α) and ξ(s)²/T in the whole accessible range down to the critical temperature of mode-coupling theory, T(c). In the weakly supercooled regime, the same relation holds also for ξ(d), as obtained from cylindrical and slit confinements, but deviations from this behavior are observed near T(c). The results are discussed in connection with random first-order theory and experimental studies of liquid dynamics in nanoscopic confinements and binary mixtures.

  11. Insights into the phylogeny of sporadotrichid ciliates (Protozoa, Ciliophora: Hypotricha) based on genealogical analyses of multiple molecular markers

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    HU Xiaoyan; HU Xiaozhong; Khaled A. S. AL-RASHEID; Saieh A. AL-FARRAJ; SONG Weibo

    2011-01-01

    The sporadotrichid ciliates are an especially diverse group. A number of investigators have studied the morphological, morphogenetic, and molecular relationships among members of this group. Despite this, a consistent classification is still lacking and several important questions about the phylogenetic relationships within this group remain unsolved. To improve our understanding of these relationships, we constructed phylogenetic trees using the nucleotide sequences of the small-subunit rRNA (SSrRNA) gene and amino acid sequences of actin I and -αtubulin. Analyses of SSrRNA gene sequences indicated that: 1) the Sporadotrichida sensu Lynn (2008) and the Oxytrichidae are polyphyletic; 2) the Uroleptus species, which are classified to urostylids, formed a sister group with the oxytrichids; 3) Halteria grandinella, which is grouped morphologically with oligotrich species, clustered within the oxytrichids. These results are congruent with previous studies based on SSrRNA gene sequences. However, the amino acid sequences of actin I and α-tubulin yielded different topologies. The main results are: 1) in all phylogenetic trees, the genus Oxylricha was paraphyletic; 2) Uroleptus was sister to a subset of Urostyla and Holosticha, albeit with low supporting values; 3) Halteria grandinella was separated distantly from the Oxytrichidae in trees inferred from actin I amino acid sequences but clustered with oligotrichids in the α-tubulin analysis. The inconsistency among the trees inferred from these different molecular markers may be caused by rapidly accumulated genetic characterizations of ciliates. Further studies with additional molecular markers and sampling of more taxa are expected to better address the relationships among sporadotrichids.

  12. Insights into the phylogeny of sporadotrichid ciliates (Protozoa, Ciliophora: Hypotricha) based on genealogical analyses of multiple molecular markers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Xiaoyan; Hu, Xiaozhong; Al-Rasheid, Khaled A. S.; Al-Farraj, Saleh A.; Song, Weibo

    2011-01-01

    The sporadotrichid ciliates are an especially diverse group. A number of investigators have studied the morphological, morphogenetic, and molecular relationships among members of this group. Despite this, a consistent classification is still lacking and several important questions about the phylogenetic relationships within this group remain unsolved. To improve our understanding of these relationships, we constructed phylogenetic trees using the nucleotide sequences of the small-subunit rRNA (SSrRNA) gene and amino acid sequences of actin I and α-tubulin. Analyses of SSrRNA gene sequences indicated that: 1) the Sporadotrichida sensu Lynn (2008) and the Oxytrichidae are polyphyletic; 2) the Uroleptus species, which are classified to urostylids, formed a sister group with the oxytrichids; 3) Halteria grandinella, which is grouped morphologically with oligotrich species, clustered within the oxytrichids. These results are congruent with previous studies based on SSrRNA gene sequences. However, the amino acid sequences of actin I and α-tubulin yielded different topologies. The main results are: 1) in all phylogenetic trees, the genus Oxytricha was paraphyletic; 2) Uroleptus was sister to a subset of Urostyla and Holosticha, albeit with low supporting values; 3) Halteria grandinella was separated distantly from the Oxytrichidae in trees inferred from actin I amino acid sequences but clustered with oligotrichids in the α-tubulin analysis. The inconsistency among the trees inferred from these different molecular markers may be caused by rapidly accumulated genetic characterizations of ciliates. Further studies with additional molecular markers and sampling of more taxa are expected to better address the relationships among sporadotrichids.

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

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    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

  14. Charge and spin transport in single and packed ruthenium-terpyridine molecular devices: Insight from first-principles calculations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morari, C; Buimaga-Iarinca, L; Rungger, I; Sanvito, S; Melinte, S; Rignanese, G-M

    2016-01-01

    Using first-principles calculations, we study the electronic and transport properties of rutheniumterpyridine molecules sandwiched between two Au(111) electrodes. We analyse both single and packed molecular devices, more amenable to scaling and realistic integration approaches. The devices display all together robust negative differential resistance features at low bias voltages. Remarkably, the electrical control of the spin transport in the studied systems implies a subtle distribution of the magnetisation density within the biased devices and highlights the key role of the Au(111) electrical contacts. PMID:27550064

  15. Charge and spin transport in single and packed ruthenium-terpyridine molecular devices: Insight from first-principles calculations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morari, C.; Buimaga-Iarinca, L.; Rungger, I.; Sanvito, S.; Melinte, S.; Rignanese, G.-M.

    2016-01-01

    Using first-principles calculations, we study the electronic and transport properties of rutheniumterpyridine molecules sandwiched between two Au(111) electrodes. We analyse both single and packed molecular devices, more amenable to scaling and realistic integration approaches. The devices display all together robust negative differential resistance features at low bias voltages. Remarkably, the electrical control of the spin transport in the studied systems implies a subtle distribution of the magnetisation density within the biased devices and highlights the key role of the Au(111) electrical contacts. PMID:27550064

  16. Molecular Insights for Giardia, Cryptosporidium, and Soil-Transmitted Helminths from a Facility-Based Surveillance System in Guatemala

    Science.gov (United States)

    Velasquez, Daniel E.; Arvelo, Wences; Cama, Vitaliano A.; López, Beatriz; Reyes, Lissette; Roellig, Dawn M.; Kahn, Geoffrey D.; Lindblade, Kimberly A.

    2011-01-01

    We molecularly characterized samples with Giardia, Cryptosporidium, and soil-transmitted helminths from a facility-based surveillance system for diarrhea in Santa Rosa, Guatemala. The DNA sequence analysis determined the presence of Giardia assemblages A (N = 7) and B (N = 12) and, Cryptosporidium hominis (N = 2) and Cryptosporidium parvum (N = 2), suggestive of different transmission cycles. All 41 samples with soil-transmitted helminths did not have the β-tubulin mutation described for benzimidazole resistance, suggesting potential usefulness in mass drug administration campaigns. PMID:22144459

  17. 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.

  18. An insight to conserved water molecular dynamics of catalytic and structural Zn(+2) ions in matrix metalloproteinase 13 of human.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chakrabarti, Bornali; Bairagya, Hridoy R; Mallik, Payel; Mukhopadhyay, Bishnu P; Bera, Asim K

    2011-02-01

    Matrix Metalloproteinase (MMP)--13 or Collagenase--3 plays a significant role in the formation and remodeling of bone, tumor invasion and causes osteoarthritis. Water molecular dynamic studies of the five (1XUC, 1XUD, 1XUR, 456C, 830C) PDB and solvated structures of MMP-13 in human have been carried out upto 5 ns on assigning the differential charges (+2, +1, +0.5 e) to both the Zinc ions. The MM and MD-studies have revealed the coordination of three water molecules (W(H), W(I) and W(S)) to Zn(c) and one water to Zn(s). The transition of geometry around the Znc from tetrahedral to octahedral via trigonal bipyramidal, and for Zn(s) from tetrahedral to trigonal bipyramidal are seem interesting. Recognition of two zinc ions through water molecular bridging (Zn(c) - W(H) (W(1))...W(2)....W(3)....H(187) Zn(s)) and the stabilization of variable coordination geometries around metal ions may indicate the possible involvement of Zn(c) ...Zn(s) coupled mechanism in the catalytic process. So the hydrophilic topology and stereochemistry of water mediated coupling between Zn-ions may provide some plausible hope towards the design of some bidentate/polydentate bridging ligands or inhibitors for MMP-13.

  19. Insight derived from molecular dynamics simulation into substrate-induced changes in protein motions of proteinase K.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tao, Yan; Rao, Zi-He; Liu, Shu-Qun

    2010-10-01

    Because of the significant industrial, agricultural and biotechnological importance of serine protease proteinase K, it has been extensively investigated using experimental approaches such as X-ray crystallography, site-directed mutagenesis and kinetic measurement. However, detailed aspects of enzymatic mechanism such as substrate binding, release and relevant regulation remain unstudied. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of the proteinase K alone and in complex with the peptide substrate AAPA were performed to investigate the effect of substrate binding on the dynamics/molecular motions of proteinase K. The results indicate that during simulations the substrate-complexed proteinase K adopt a more compact and stable conformation than the substrate-free form. Further essential dynamics (ED) analysis reveals that the major internal motions are confined within a subspace of very small dimension. Upon substrate binding, the overall flexibility of the protease is reduced; and the noticeable displacements are observed not only in substrate-binding regions but also in regions opposite the substrate-binding groove/pockets. The dynamic pockets caused by the large concerted motions are proposed to be linked to the substrate recognition, binding, orientation and product release; and the significant displacements in regions opposite the binding groove/pockets are considered to play a role in modulating the dynamics of enzyme-substrate interaction. Our simulation results complement the biochemical and structural studies, highlighting the dynamic mechanism of the functional properties of proteinase K.

  20. Molecular insights into evolution of the vertebrate gut: focus on stomach and parietal cells in the marsupial, Macropus eugenii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwek, Joly; De Iongh, Robbert; Nicholas, Kevin; Familari, Mary

    2009-09-15

    Gastrulation in vertebrate embryos results in the formation of the primary germ layers: ectoderm, mesoderm and endoderm, which contain the progenitors of the tissues of the entire fetal body. Extensive studies undertaken in Xenopus, zebrafish and mouse have revealed a high degree of conservation in the genes and cellular mechanisms regulating endoderm formation. Nodal, Mix and Sox gene factor families have been implicated in the specification of the endoderm across taxa. Considerably less is known about endoderm development in marsupials. In this study we review what is known about the molecular aspects of endoderm development, focusing on evolution and development of the stomach and parietal cells and highlight recent studies on parietal cells in the stomach of Tammar Wallaby, Macropus eugenii. Although the regulation of parietal cells has been extensively studied, very little is known about the regulation of parietal cell differentiation. Intriguingly, during late-stage forestomach maturation in M. eugenii, there is a sudden and rapid loss of parietal cells, compared with the sharp increase in parietal cell numbers in the hindstomach region. This has provided a unique opportunity to study the development and regulation of parietal cell differentiation. A PCR-based subtractive hybridization strategy was used to identify candidate genes involved in this phenomenon. This will allow us to dissect the molecular mechanisms that underpin regulation of parietal cell development and differentiation, which have been a difficult process to study and provide markers that can be used to study the evolutionary origin of these cells in vertebrates.

  1. Amid the possible causes of a very famous foxing: molecular and microscopic insight into Leonardo da Vinci's self‐portrait

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tafer, Hakim; Sterflinger, Katja; Pinzari, Flavia

    2015-01-01

    Summary Leonardo da Vinci's self‐portrait is affected by foxing spots. The portrait has no fungal or bacterial infections in place, but is contaminated with airborne spores and fungal material that could play a role in its disfigurement. The knowledge of the nature of the stains is of great concern because future conservation treatments should be derived from scientific investigations. The lack of reliable scientific data, due to the non‐culturability of the microorganisms inhabiting the portrait, prompted the investigation of the drawing using non‐invasive and micro‐invasive sampling, in combination with scanning electron microscope (SEM) imaging and molecular techniques. The fungus E urotium halophilicum was found in foxing spots using SEM analyses. Oxalates of fungal origin were also documented. Both findings are consistent with the hypothesis that tonophilic fungi germinate on paper metabolizing organic acids, oligosaccharides and proteic compounds, which react chemically with the material at a low water activity, forming brown products and oxidative reactions resulting in foxing spots. Additionally, molecular techniques enabled a screening of the fungi inhabiting the portrait and showed differences when different sampling techniques were employed. Swabs samples showed a high abundance of lichenized Ascomycota, while the membrane filters showed a dominance of A cremonium sp. colonizing the drawing. PMID:26111623

  2. Acute and chronic wound fluids inversely influence adipose-derived stem cell function: molecular insights into impaired wound healing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koenen, Paola; Spanholtz, Timo A; Maegele, Marc; Stürmer, Ewa; Brockamp, Thomas; Neugebauer, Edmund; Thamm, Oliver C

    2015-02-01

    Wound healing is a complex biological process that requires a well-orchestrated interaction of mediators as well as resident and infiltrating cells. In this context, mesenchymal stem cells play a crucial role as they are attracted to the wound site and influence tissue regeneration by various mechanisms. In chronic wounds, these processes are disturbed. In a comparative approach, adipose-derived stem cells (ASC) were treated with acute and chronic wound fluids (AWF and CWF, respectively). Proliferation and migration were investigated using 3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) test and transwell migration assay. Gene expression changes were analysed using quantitative real time-polymerase chain reaction. AWF had a significantly stronger chemotactic impact on ASC than CWF (77·5% versus 59·8% migrated cells). While proliferation was stimulated by AWF up to 136·3%, CWF had a negative effect on proliferation over time (80·3%). Expression of b-FGF, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and matrix metalloproteinase-9 was strongly induced by CWF compared with a mild induction by AWF. These results give an insight into impaired ASC function in chronic wounds. The detected effect of CWF on proliferation and migration of ASC might be one reason for an insufficient healing process in chronic wounds.

  3. Binding interaction of a gamma-aminobutyric acid derivative with serum albumin: an insight by fluorescence and molecular modeling analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pal, Uttam; Pramanik, Sumit Kumar; Bhattacharya, Baisali; Banerji, Biswadip; C Maiti, Nakul

    2016-01-01

    gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a naturally occurring inhibitory neurotransmitter and some of its derivatives showed potential to act as neuroprotective agents. With the aim of developing potential leads for anti-Alzheimer's drugs, in this study we synthesized a novel GABA derivative, methyl 4-(4-((2-(tert-butoxy)-2-oxoethyl)(4-methoxyphenyl)amino)benzamido)butanoate by a unique method of Buchwald-Hartwig cross coupling synthesis; with some modification the yield was significant (97 %) and spectroscopic analysis confirmed that the compound was highly pure (98.8 % by HPLC). The druglikeness properties such as logP, logS, and polar surface area were 3.87, -4.86 and 94.17 Å(2) respectively and it satisfied the Lipinski's rule of five. We examined the binding behavior of the molecule to human serum albumin (HSA) and bovine serum albumin (BSA) which are known as universal drug carrier proteins. The molecule binds to the proteins with low micromolar efficiency and the calculated binding constants were 3.85 and 2.75 micromolar for BSA and HSA, respectively. Temperature dependent study using van't Hoff equation established that the binding was thermodynamically favorable and the changes in the Gibb's free energy, ΔG for the binding process was negative. However, the binding of the molecule to HSA was enthalpy driven and the change of enthalpy (ΔH) was -10.63 kJ/mol, whereas, the binding to BSA was entropy driven and the change in entropy ΔS was 222 J/mol. The molecular docking analysis showed that the binding sites of the molecule lie in the groove between domain I and domain III of BSA, whereas it is within the domain I in case of HSA, which also supported the different thermodynamic nature of binding with HSA and BSA. Molecular dynamics analysis suggested that the binding was stable with time and provided further details of the binding interaction. Molecular dynamics study also highlighted the effect of this ligand binding on the serum albumin structure. PMID

  4. Probing the role of chemical enhancers in facilitating drug release from patches: Mechanistic insights based on FT-IR spectroscopy, molecular modeling and thermal analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Wenting; Quan, Peng; Li, Shanshan; Liu, Chao; Lv, Siji; Zhao, Yongshan; Fang, Liang

    2016-04-10

    In patches, a drug must release from patches prior to its percutaneous absorption. Chemical enhancers have been used for several decades, but their roles in drug release from patches are poorly understood. In this work, the roles of chemical enhancers in bisoprolol tartrate (BSP-T) release from patches were probed in vitro and in vivo. More importantly, an innovative mechanism insight of chemical enhancers in drug release process was provided at molecular level. FT-IR spectroscopy and molecular modeling were employed to investigate the influence of chemical enhancers on drug-adhesive interaction. The results showed chemical enhancers like Span 80, which had a strong ability forming hydrogen bonds, could decrease drug-adhesive interaction leading to the release of drug from adhesive of patches. Thermal analysis was conducted to research the influence of chemical enhancers on the thermodynamic properties of patch system. It showed that chemical enhancers promoted the formation of free volume of adhesive, which facilitated drug release process. By contrast, the influence on the thermodynamic properties of BSP-T was less effective in influencing BSP-T release process. In conclusion, chemical enhancers played an important role in facilitating BSP-T release from the adhesive DURO-TAK® 87-2287 of patches by decreasing drug-adhesive interaction and promoting the formation of free volume of adhesive. This work may be an important step in understanding the important roles of chemical enhancers in drug release process.

  5. Molecular insight into the role of the N-terminal extension in the maturation, substrate recognition, and catalysis of a bacterial alginate lyase from polysaccharide lyase family 18.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Sheng; Wei, Tian-Di; Chen, Xiu-Lan; Li, Chun-Yang; Wang, Peng; Xie, Bin-Bin; Qin, Qi-Long; Zhang, Xi-Ying; Pang, Xiu-Hua; Zhou, Bai-Cheng; Zhang, Yu-Zhong

    2014-10-24

    Bacterial alginate lyases, which are members of several polysaccharide lyase (PL) families, have important biological roles and biotechnological applications. The mechanisms for maturation, substrate recognition, and catalysis of PL18 alginate lyases are still largely unknown. A PL18 alginate lyase, aly-SJ02, from Pseudoalteromonas sp. 0524 displays a β-jelly roll scaffold. Structural and biochemical analyses indicated that the N-terminal extension in the aly-SJ02 precursor may act as an intramolecular chaperone to mediate the correct folding of the catalytic domain. Molecular dynamics simulations and mutational assays suggested that the lid loops over the aly-SJ02 active center serve as a gate for substrate entry. Molecular docking and site-directed mutations revealed that certain conserved residues at the active center, especially those at subsites +1 and +2, are crucial for substrate recognition. Tyr(353) may function as both a catalytic base and acid. Based on our results, a model for the catalysis of aly-SJ02 in alginate depolymerization is proposed. Moreover, although bacterial alginate lyases from families PL5, 7, 15, and 18 adopt distinct scaffolds, they share the same conformation of catalytic residues, reflecting their convergent evolution. Our results provide the foremost insight into the mechanisms of maturation, substrate recognition, and catalysis of a PL18 alginate lyase.

  6. Insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying mammalian P2X7 receptor functions and contributions in diseases, revealed by structural modeling and single nucleotide polymorphisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lin-Hua eJiang

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available The mammalian P2X7 receptors (P2X7Rs, a member of the ionotropic P2X receptor family with distinctive functional properties, play an important part in mediating extracellular ATP signaling in health and disease. A clear delineation of the molecular mechanisms underlying the key receptor properties, such as ATP-binding, ion permeation, and large pore formation of the mammalian P2X7Rs, is still lacking, but such knowledge is crucial for a better understanding of their physiological functions and contributions in diseases and for development of therapeutics. The recent breakthroughs in determining the atomic structures of the zebrafish P2X4.1R in the closed and ATP-bound open states have provided the long-awaited structural information. The human P2RX7 gene is abundant with non-synonymous single nucleotide polymorphisms (NS-SNPs, which generate a repertoire of human P2X7Rs with point mutations. Characterizations of the NS-SNPs identified in patients of various disease conditions and the resulting mutations have informed previously unknown molecular mechanisms determining the mammalian P2X7R functions and diseases. In this review, we will discuss the new insights into such mechanisms provided by structural modeling and recent functional and genetic linkage studies of NS-SNPs.

  7. How do trehalose, maltose and sucrose influence some structural and dynamical properties of lysozyme ? An insight from Molecular Dynamics simulations

    CERN Document Server

    Lerbret, A; Affouard, F; Hedoux, A; Guinet, Y; Descamps, M

    2007-01-01

    The influence of three well-known disaccharides, namely trehalose, maltose and sucrose, on some structural and dynamical properties of lysozyme has been investigated by means of molecular dynamics computer simulations in the 37-60 wt % concentration range. The effects of sugars on the protein conformation are found relatively weak, in agreement with the preferential hydration of lysozyme. Conversely, sugars seem to increase significantly the relaxation times of the protein. These effects are shown to be correlated to the fractional solvent accessibilities of lysozyme residues and further support the slaving of protein dynamics. Moreover, a significant increase in the relaxation times of lysozyme, sugars and water molecules is observed within the studied concentration range and may result from the percolation of the hydrogen-bond network of sugar molecules. This percolation appears to be of primary importance to explain the influence of sugars on the dynamical properties of lysozyme and water.

  8. Molecular docking and dynamic studies of human growth factor receptorbound protein (Grb 2 insights to identify novel inhibitors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandeep S

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Background: Human growth factor receptor bound protein-2 (Grb 2 involves in initiation of kinase signaling by Son of Sevenless (SOS and activates mitogen activated protein kinase pathway. Grb2 overexpress during cancerous condition hence it emerged as a potent target for various cancers. Material and Methods: Seven pharmacophores were developed from seven co-crystal structures of Grb2 and applied for common pharmacophore hypothesis. Two common pharmacophore hypothesis (CPH models were screened and hits were applied for docking and free energy [G] calculations. Results: Two leads were proposed from docking and G analysis. Energy of the system, RMSD, RMSF, hydrogen bonds and water bridges of lead1 was better than the co-crystal ligand during 50 ns molecular dynamics simulations. Discussion: Two leads are interacting with Src homology 2 (SH2 domain of Grb2 and blocking the function of Grb2.

  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

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:26907231

  10. New insights into the biological properties of Crocus sativus L.: chemical modifications, human monoamine oxidases inhibition and molecular modeling studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Monte, Celeste; Carradori, Simone; Chimenti, Paola; Secci, Daniela; Mannina, Luisa; Alcaro, Francesca; Petzer, Anél; N'Da, Clarina I; Gidaro, Maria Concetta; Costa, Giosuè; Alcaro, Stefano; Petzer, Jacobus P

    2014-07-23

    Although there are clinical trials and in vivo studies in literature regarding the anxiolytic and antidepressant activities of the components of Crocus sativus L., their effects on the human monoamine oxidases (hMAO-A and hMAO-B), enzymes which are involved in mental disorders and neurodegenerative diseases, have not yet been investigated. We have thus examined the hMAO inhibitory activities of crocin and safranal (the most important active principles in saffron) and, subsequently, designed a series of safranal derivatives to evaluate which chemical modifications confer enhanced inhibition of the hMAO isoforms. Docking simulations were performed in order to identify key molecular recognitions of these inhibitors with both isoforms of hMAO. In this regard, different mechanisms of action were revealed. This study concludes that safranal and crocin represent useful leads for the discovery of novel hMAO inhibitors for the clinical management of psychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders.

  11. 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.

  12. Insights into the complex formed by matrix metalloproteinase-2 and alloxan inhibitors: molecular dynamics simulations and free energy calculations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ilenia Giangreco

    Full Text Available Matrix metalloproteinases (MMP are well-known biological targets implicated in tumour progression, homeostatic regulation, innate immunity, impaired delivery of pro-apoptotic ligands, and the release and cleavage of cell-surface receptors. Hence, the development of potent and selective inhibitors targeting these enzymes continues to be eagerly sought. In this paper, a number of alloxan-based compounds, initially conceived to bias other therapeutically relevant enzymes, were rationally modified and successfully repurposed to inhibit MMP-2 (also named gelatinase A in the nanomolar range. Importantly, the alloxan core makes its debut as zinc binding group since it ensures a stable tetrahedral coordination of the catalytic zinc ion in concert with the three histidines of the HExxHxxGxxH metzincin signature motif, further stabilized by a hydrogen bond with the glutamate residue belonging to the same motif. The molecular decoration of the alloxan core with a biphenyl privileged structure allowed to sample the deep S(1' specificity pocket of MMP-2 and to relate the high affinity towards this enzyme with the chance of forming a hydrogen bond network with the backbone of Leu116 and Asn147 and the side chains of Tyr144, Thr145 and Arg149 at the bottom of the pocket. The effect of even slight structural changes in determining the interaction at the S(1' subsite of MMP-2 as well as the nature and strength of the binding is elucidated via molecular dynamics simulations and free energy calculations. Among the herein presented compounds, the highest affinity (pIC(50 = 7.06 is found for BAM, a compound exhibiting also selectivity (>20 towards MMP-2, as compared to MMP-9, the other member of the gelatinases.

  13. 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.

  14. A revised classification of the family Dasyatidae (Chondrichthyes: Myliobatiformes) based on new morphological and molecular insights.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Last, Peter R; Naylor, Gavin J P; Manjaji-Matsumoto, B Mabel

    2016-01-01

    The higher-level taxonomy of the stingrays (Dasyatidae) has never been comprehensively reviewed. Recent phylogenetic studies, supported by morphological data, have provided evidence that the group is monophyletic and consists of four major subgroups, the subfamilies Dasyatinae, Neotrygoninae, Urogymninae and Hypolophinae. A morphologically based review of 89 currently recognised species, undertaken for a guide to the world's rays, indicated that most of the currently recognised dasyatid genera are not monophyletic groups. These findings were supported by molecular analyses using the NADH2 gene for about 77 of these species, and this topology is supported by preliminary analyses base on whole mitochondrial genome comparisons. These molecular analyses, based on data generated from the Chondrichthyan Tree of Life project, are the most taxon-rich data available for this family. Material from all of the presently recognised genera (Dasyatis, Pteroplatytrygon and Taeniurops [Dasyatinae]; Neotrygon and Taeniura [Neotrygoninae]; Himantura and Urogymnus [Urogymninae]; and Makararaja and Pastinachus [Hypolophinae]), are included and their validity largely supported. Urogymnus and the two most species rich genera, Dasyatis and Himantura, are not considered to be monophyletic and were redefined based on external morphology. Seven new genus-level taxa are erected (Megatrygon and Telatrygon [Dasyatinae]; Brevitrygon, Fluvitrygon, Fontitrygon, Maculabatis and Pateobatis [Urogymninae], and an additional three (Bathytoshia, Hemitrygon and Hypanus [Dasyatinae]) are resurrected from the synonymy of Dasyatis. The monotypic genus Megatrygon clustered with 'amphi-American Himantura' outside the Dasyatidae, and instead as the sister group of the Potamotrygonidae and Urotrygonidae. Megatrygon is provisionally retained in the Dasyatinae pending further investigation of its internal anatomy. The morphologically divergent groups, Bathytoshia and Pteroplatytrygon, possibly form a single

  15. Predicting ecological regime shift under climate change:New modelling techniques and potential of molecular-based approaches

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Richard STAFFORD; V.Anne SMITH; Dirk HUSMEIER; Thomas GRIMA; Barbara-ann GUINN

    2013-01-01

    Ecological regime shift is the rapid transition from one stable community structure to another,often ecologically inferior,stable community.Such regime shifts are especially common in shallow marine communities,such as the transition of kelp forests to algal turfs that harbour far lower biodiversity.Stable regimes in communities are a result of balanced interactions between species,and predicting new regimes therefore requires an evaluation of new species interactions,as well as the resilience of the ‘stable' position.While computational optimisation techniques can predict new potential regimes,predicting the most likely community state of the various options produced is currently educated guess work.In this study we integrate a stable regime optimisation approach with a Bayesian network used to infer prior knowledge of the likely stress of climate change (or,in practice,any other disturbance) on each component species of a representative rocky shore community model.Combining the results,by calculating the product of the match between resilient computational predictions and the posterior probabilities of the Bayesian network,gives a refined set of model predictors,and demonstrates the use of the process in determining community changes,as might occur through processes such as climate change.To inform Bayesian priors,we conduct a review of molecular approaches applied to the analysis of the transcriptome of rocky shore organisms,and show how such an approach could be linked to measureable stress variables in the field.Hence species-specific microarrays could be designed as biomarkers of in situ stress,and used to inform predictive modelling approaches such as those described here.

  16. Predicting ecological regime shift under climate change: New modelling techniques and potential of molecular-based approaches

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard STAFFORD, V. Anne SMITH, Dirk HUSMEIER, Thomas GRIMA, Barbara-ann GUINN

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Ecological regime shift is the rapid transition from one stable community structure to another, often ecologically inferior, stable community. Such regime shifts are especially common in shallow marine communities, such as the transition of kelp forests to algal turfs that harbour far lower biodiversity. Stable regimes in communities are a result of balanced interactions between species, and predicting new regimes therefore requires an evaluation of new species interactions, as well as the resilience of the ‘stable’ position. While computational optimisation techniques can predict new potential regimes, predicting the most likely community state of the various options produced is currently educated guess work. In this study we integrate a stable regime optimisation approach with a Bayesian network used to infer prior knowledge of the likely stress of climate change (or, in practice, any other disturbance on each component species of a representative rocky shore community model. Combining the results, by calculating the product of the match between resilient computational predictions and the posterior probabilities of the Bayesian network, gives a refined set of model predictors, and demonstrates the use of the process in determining community changes, as might occur through processes such as climate change. To inform Bayesian priors, we conduct a review of molecular approaches applied to the analysis of the transcriptome of rocky shore organisms, and show how such an approach could be linked to measureable stress variables in the field. Hence species-specific microarrays could be designed as biomarkers of in situ stress, and used to inform predictive modelling approaches such as those described here [Current Zoology 59 (3: 403–417, 2013].

  17. Structural insight into tetrameric hTRPV1 from homology modeling, molecular docking, molecular dynamics simulation, virtual screening, and bioassay validations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Zhiwei; Pearce, Larry V; Xu, Xiaomeng; Yang, Xiaole; Yang, Peng; Blumberg, Peter M; Xie, Xiang-Qun

    2015-03-23

    The transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 (TRPV1) is a heat-activated cation channel protein, which contributes to inflammation, acute and persistent pain. Antagonists of human TRPV1 (hTRPV1) represent a novel therapeutic approach for the treatment of pain. Developing various antagonists of hTRPV1, however, has been hindered by the unavailability of a 3D structure of hTRPV1. Recently, the 3D structures of rat TRPV1 (rTRPV1) in the presence and absence of ligand have been reported as determined by cryo-EM. rTRPV1 shares 85.7% sequence identity with hTRPV1. In the present work, we constructed and reported the 3D homology tetramer model of hTRPV1 based on the cryo-EM structures of rTRPV1. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, energy minimizations, and prescreen were applied to select and validate the best model of hTRPV1. The predicted binding pocket of hTRPV1 consists of two adjacent monomers subunits, which were congruent with the experimental rTRPV1 data and the cyro-EM structures of rTRPV1. The detailed interactions between hTRPV1 and its antagonists or agonists were characterized by molecular docking, which helped us to identify the important residues. Conformational changes of hTRPV1 upon antagonist/agonist binding were also explored by MD simulation. The different movements of compounds led to the different conformational changes of monomers in hTRPV1, indicating that TRPV1 works in a concerted way, resembling some other channel proteins such as aquaporins. We observed that the selective filter was open when hTRPV1 bound with an agonist during MD simulation. For the lower gate of hTRPV1, we observed large similarities between hTRPV1 bound with antagonist and with agonist. A five-point pharmacophore model based on several antagonists was established, and the structural model was used to screen in silico for new antagonists for hTRPV1. By using the 3D TRPV1 structural model above, the pilot in silico screening has begun to yield promising hits with

  18. Permafrost Meta-Omics and Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mackelprang, Rachel; Saleska, Scott R.; Jacobsen, Carsten Suhr; Jansson, Janet K.; Taş, Neslihan

    2016-06-01

    Permanently frozen soil, or permafrost, covers a large portion of the Earth's terrestrial surface and represents a unique environment for cold-adapted microorganisms. As permafrost thaws, previously protected organic matter becomes available for microbial degradation. Microbes that decompose soil carbon produce carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, contributing substantially to climate change. Next-generation sequencing and other -omics technologies offer opportunities to discover the mechanisms by which microbial communities regulate the loss of carbon and the emission of greenhouse gases from thawing permafrost regions. Analysis of nucleic acids and proteins taken directly from permafrost-associated soils has provided new insights into microbial communities and their functions in Arctic environments that are increasingly impacted by climate change. In this article we review current information from various molecular -omics studies on permafrost microbial ecology and explore the relevance of these insights to our current understanding of the dynamics of permafrost loss due to climate change.

  19. 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 BACKGROUND: 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. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: 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. CONCLUSIONS: 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.

  20. 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

  1. Environmental effects on molecular and phenotypic variation in populations of Eruca sativa across a steep climatic gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westberg, Erik; Ohali, Shachar; Shevelevich, Anatoly; Fine, Pinchas; Barazani, Oz

    2013-08-01

    climatic gradient. In addition to molecular marker data, we made use of phenotypic evaluation from common garden experiments, and a broad GIS based environmental data with edaphic information gathered in the field. This study, among others, lead to the identification of an outlier locus with an association to trichome formation and herbivore defense, and its ecological adaptive value is discussed.

  2. Molecular phylogeography of East Asian Kirengeshoma (Hydrangeaceae) in relation to quaternary climate change and landbridge configurations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiu, Ying-Xiong; Sun, Yi; Zhang, Xiao-Ping; Lee, Joongku; Fu, Cheng-Xin; Comes, Hans Peter

    2009-01-01

    Kirengeshoma comprises two species inhabiting warm temperate-deciduous forests in East China/South Japan (Kirengeshoma palmata) and South Korea (Kirengeshoma koreana). A survey of chloroplast (cp) DNA and inter-simple sequence repeats (ISSRs) variation in Kirengeshoma was carried out to determine the population history of a plant taxon around the East China Sea (ECS). CpDNA and ISSRs revealed lower genetic divergence between China and Japan relative to the other contrasts, in line with intrageneric classification. Molecular dating suggests that K. koreana diverged at the Plio-Pleistocene boundary from the Japanese populations, whereas the latter migrated into China during the early-to-mid Pleistocene via the ECS basin. Vicariant segregation of Chinese and Japanese populations likely occurred during the mid-Pleistocene. Mismatch distributions and neutrality tests indicated that Chinese populations expanded their range during the Late Pleistocene, probably during a cold period, whereas those from Japan showed no significant population growth. We conclude that the current distribution and differentiation of components of presently isolated warm temperate-deciduous forests in China, Japan and Korea likely resulted from a combination of relatively ancient vicariant and immigration events, and those from Japan were particularly sensitive to range fragmentation and long-term refugial isolation throughout the Late Pleistocene.

  3. High molecular weight SOA formation during limonene ozonolysis: insights from ultrahigh-resolution FT-ICR mass spectrometry characterization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Kundu

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The detailed molecular composition of secondary organic aerosols (SOA from limonene ozonolysis was studied using ultrahigh-resolution Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance (FT-ICR mass spectrometry. High molecular weight (MW compounds (m/z > 300 were found to constitute a significant number fraction of the identified SOA components. Double bond equivalents (DBE = the number of rings plus the number of double bonds increased with MW. The O:C ratios and relative abundances of compounds decreased with increasing MW. The mass spectra of limonene contain 4 distinct clusters of negative ions: Group I (140 < m/z < 300, Group II (300 < m/z < 500, Group III (500 < m/z < 700 and Group IV (700 < m/z < 850. A number of CH2 and O homologous series of low MW SOA (Group 1 with carbon number 7–15 and oxygen number 3–9 were observed. Their occurrence can be explained with isomerization and elimination reactions of Criegee radicals, reactions between alkyl peroxy radicals, and scission of alkoxy radicals resulting from the Criegee radicals. Additionally, fragmentation analysis and observations of formaldehyde homologous series provide evidence for aerosol growth by the reactive uptake of generated gas-phase carbonyls in limonene ozonolysis. The decreasing O:C ratios between group of compounds indicated the importance of condensation (aldol and esterification reaction pathways for high MW compound formation. However, the prominent DBE changes of 2 between the groups of compounds and selected fragmentation (MS/MS analysis of Group II and Group III ions indicated a predominance of non-condensation (hydroperoxide, Criegee and hemi-acetal reaction pathways. A reaction matrix created with the combination of low MW SOA, hydroperoxides, and Criegee radicals indicated higher frequencies for the hemi-acetal and condensation reaction pathways. Overall, the combined approach confirms the importance of non

  4. Integrated transcriptomic and proteomic analyses of P. falciparum gametocytes: molecular insight into sex-specific processes and translational repression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lasonder, Edwin; Rijpma, Sanna R; van Schaijk, Ben C L; Hoeijmakers, Wieteke A M; Kensche, Philip R; Gresnigt, Mark S; Italiaander, Annet; Vos, Martijn W; Woestenenk, Rob; Bousema, Teun; Mair, Gunnar R; Khan, Shahid M; Janse, Chris J; Bártfai, Richárd; Sauerwein, Robert W

    2016-07-27

    Sexual differentiation of malaria parasites into gametocytes in the vertebrate host and subsequent gamete fertilization in mosquitoes is essential for the spreading of the disease. The molecular processes orchestrating these transitions are far from fully understood. Here, we report the first transcriptome analysis of male and female Plasmodium falciparum gametocytes coupled with a comprehensive proteome analysis. In male gametocytes there is an enrichment of proteins involved in the formation of flagellated gametes; proteins involved in DNA replication, chromatin organization and axoneme formation. On the other hand, female gametocytes are enriched in proteins required for zygote formation and functions after fertilization; protein-, lipid- and energy-metabolism. Integration of transcriptome and proteome data revealed 512 highly expressed maternal transcripts without corresponding protein expression indicating large scale translational repression in P. falciparum female gametocytes for the first time. Despite a high degree of conservation between Plasmodium species, 260 of these 'repressed transcripts' have not been previously described. Moreover, for some of these genes, protein expression is only reported in oocysts and sporozoites indicating that repressed transcripts can be partitioned into short- and long-term storage. Finally, these data sets provide an essential resource for identification of vaccine/drug targets and for further mechanistic studies. PMID:27298255

  5. Insights into the drug resistance induced by the BaDHPS mutations: molecular dynamic simulations and MM/GBSA studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chu, Wen-Ting; Zhang, Ji-Long; Zheng, Qing-Chuan; Chen, Lin; Xue, Qiao; Zhang, Hong-Xing

    2013-10-01

    Dihydropteroate synthase (DHPS) is essential for the folic acid biosynthetic pathway in prokaryotes; the mutation forms for DHPS are found to be relative to the urgent drug resistance problems. In our study, the Bacillus anthracis DHPS (BaDHPS) was selected for molecular dynamics and binding free energy studies to investigate the biochemistry behaviors of the wild-type and mutation form BaDHPS proteins (D184N and K220Q). It is found that the conformational change of the ligand dihydropteroate sulfathiazole binding site in mutation D184N and K220Q systems is mainly attributed from the Loop 1, Loop 2, and Loop 7 regions, and the binding free energy of these mutation systems is lower than that of the wild-type system. Additionally, some important hydrogen bonds of the mutation systems are disrupted during the simulations. But the shortening of the distance between residue Thr67 and the ligand would cause significant change of the binding pose in the K220Q system. These studies of DHPS family will be helpful for further drug resistance investigations. An animated Interactive 3D Complement (I3DC) is available in Proteopedia at http://proteopedia.org/w/Journal:JBSD:24. PMID:23030549

  6. Structural and dynamical properties of the porins OmpF and OmpC: insights from molecular simulations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kumar, Amit; Hajjar, Eric; Ruggerone, Paolo; Ceccarelli, Matteo, E-mail: matteo.ceccarelli@dsf.unica.i [Istituto Officina dei Materiali/CNR UOS SLACS, c/o Department of Physics, University of Cagliari, SP Monserrato-Sestu Km 0.700, Monserrato I-09042 (Italy)

    2010-11-17

    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.

  7. Molecular Evidence for Convergence and Parallelism in Evolution of Complex Brains of Cephalopod Molluscs: Insights from Visual Systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshida, M A; Ogura, A; Ikeo, K; Shigeno, S; Moritaki, T; Winters, G C; Kohn, A B; Moroz, L L

    2015-12-01

    Coleoid cephalopods show remarkable evolutionary convergence with vertebrates in their neural organization, including (1) eyes and visual system with optic lobes, (2) specialized parts of the brain controlling learning and memory, such as vertical lobes, and (3) unique vasculature supporting such complexity of the central nervous system. We performed deep sequencing of eye transcriptomes of pygmy squids (Idiosepius paradoxus) and chambered nautiluses (Nautilus pompilius) to decipher the molecular basis of convergent evolution in cephalopods. RNA-seq was complemented by in situ hybridization to localize the expression of selected genes. We found three types of genomic innovations in the evolution of complex brains: (1) recruitment of novel genes into morphogenetic pathways, (2) recombination of various coding and regulatory regions of different genes, often called "evolutionary tinkering" or "co-option", and (3) duplication and divergence of genes. Massive recruitment of novel genes occurred in the evolution of the "camera" eye from nautilus' "pinhole" eye. We also showed that the type-2 co-option of transcription factors played important roles in the evolution of the lens and visual neurons. In summary, the cephalopod convergent morphological evolution of the camera eyes was driven by a mosaic of all types of gene recruitments. In addition, our analysis revealed unexpected variations of squids' opsins, retinochromes, and arrestins, providing more detailed information, valuable for further research on intra-ocular and extra-ocular photoreception of the cephalopods.

  8. On the structure of crystalline and molten cryolite: Insights from the ab initio molecular dynamics in NpT ensemble

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bučko, Tomáš; Šimko, František

    2016-02-01

    Ab initio molecular dynamics simulations in isobaric-isothermal ensemble have been performed to study the low- and the high-temperature crystalline and liquid phases of cryolite. The temperature induced transitions from the low-temperature solid (α) to the high-temperature solid phase (β) and from the phase β to the liquid phase have been simulated using a series of MD runs performed at gradually increasing temperature. The structure of crystalline and liquid phases is analysed in detail and our computational approach is shown to reliably reproduce the available experimental data for a wide range of temperatures. Relatively frequent reorientations of the AlF6 octahedra observed in our simulation of the phase β explain the thermal disorder in positions of the F- ions observed in X-ray diffraction experiments. The isolated AlF63-, AlF52-, AlF4-, as well as the bridged Al 2 Fm 6 - m ionic entities have been identified as the main constituents of cryolite melt. In accord with the previous high-temperature NMR and Raman spectroscopic experiments, the compound AlF5 2 - has been shown to be the most abundant Al-containing species formed in the melt. The characteristic vibrational frequencies for the AlFn 3 - n species in realistic environment have been determined and the computed values have been found to be in a good agreement with experiment.

  9. Whipworm genome and dual-species transcriptome analyses provide molecular insights into an intimate host-parasite interaction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nichol, Sarah; Tracey, Alan; Holroyd, Nancy; Cotton, James A.; Stanley, Eleanor J.; Zarowiecki, Magdalena; Liu, Jimmy Z.; Huckvale, Thomas; Cooper, Philip J.; Grencis, Richard K.; Berriman, Matthew

    2014-01-01

    Whipworms are common soil-transmitted helminths that cause debilitating chronic infections in man. These nematodes are only distantly related to Caenorhabditis elegans and have evolved to occupy an unusual niche, tunneling through epithelial cells of the large intestine. Here we present the genome sequences of the human-infective Trichuris trichiura and the murine laboratory model T. muris. Based on whole transcriptome analyses we identify many genes that are expressed in a gender- or life stage-specific manner and characterise the transcriptional landscape of a morphological region with unique biological adaptations, namely bacillary band and stichosome, found only in whipworms and related parasites. Using RNAseq data from whipworm-infected mice we describe the regulated Th1-like immune response of the chronically infected cecum in unprecedented detail. In silico screening identifies numerous potential new drug targets against trichuriasis. Together, these genomes and associated functional data elucidate key aspects of the molecular host-parasite interactions that define chronic whipworm infection. PMID:24929830

  10. Novel binding patterns between ganoderic acids and neuraminidase: Insights from docking, molecular dynamics and MM/PBSA studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Zhiwei; Wu, Fei; Yuan, Xiaohui; Zhang, Lei; Zhang, Shengli

    2016-04-01

    Recently, ganoderic acids (GAs) give rise to the attractive candidates of novel neuraminidase (NA) inhibitors. However, there is still no evident conclusion about their binding patterns. To this end, docking, molecular dynamics and MM/PBSA methods were combined to study the binding profiles of GAs with the N1 protein and familiar H274Y and N294S mutations (A/Vietnam/1203/04 stain). It was found that the binding affinities of ganoderic acid DM and Z (ΔGbind, -16.83 and -10.99 kcal mol(-1)) are comparable to that of current commercial drug oseltamivir (-23.62 kcal mol(-1)). Electrostatic interaction is the main driving force, and should be one important factor to evaluate the binding quality and rational design of NA inhibitors. The 150-loop residues Asp151 and Arg152 played an important role in the binding processes. Further analysis revealed that ganoderic acid DM is a potential source of anti-influenza ingredient, with novel binding pattern and advantage over oseltamivir. It had steric hindrance on the 150 cavity of N1 protein, and exerted activities across the H274Y and N294S mutations. This work also pointed out how to effectively design dual-site NA inhibitors and reinforce their affinities. These findings should prove valuable for the in-depth understanding of interactions between NA and GAs, and warrant the experimental aspects to design novel anti-influenza drugs. PMID:26905206

  11. 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.

  12. Insight into the topology effect on the diffusion of ethene and propene in zeolites: A molecular dynamics simulation study

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Chuanming; Wang; Bowei; Li; Yangdong; Wang; Zaiku; Xie

    2013-01-01

    Selectivity control is a difficult scientific and industrial challenge in methanol-to-olefins(MTO)conversion.It has been experimentally established that the topology of zeolite catalysts influenced the distribution of products.Besides the topology effect on reaction kinetics,the topology influences the diffusion of reactants and products in catalysts as well.In this work,by using COMPASS force-field molecular dynamics method,we investigated the intracrystalline diffusion of ethene and propene in four different zeolites,CHA,MFI,BEA and FAU,at different temperatures.The self-diffusion coefficients and diffusion activation barriers were calculated.A strong restriction on the diffusion of propene in CHA was observed because the self-diffusion coefficient ratio of ethene to propene is larger than 18 and the diffusion activation barrier of propene is more than 20 kJ/mol in CHA.This ratio decreases with the increase of temperature in the four investigated zeolites.The shape selectivity on products from diffusion perspective can provide some implications on the understanding of the selectivity difference between HSAPO-34 and HZSM-5 catalysts for the MTO conversion.

  13. pH effects on the structural dynamics of cutinase from Trichoderma reesei: insights from molecular dynamics simulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duan, Mei Lin; Liu, Lin; Du, Juan; Yao, Xiao Jun

    2015-11-01

    Cutinases are utilized in a variety of industries for the hydrolysis of a broad range of substrates, such as cutin, polyesters, soluble esters, insoluble short- and long-chain triglycerides. The novel cutinase from Trichoderma reesei (Tr) attracted much attention due to its two rare characteristics distinct from the classical cutinases: it possesses a lid covering its active site and its optimal activity at acidic pH. However, the structural basis for pH preference and the function of lid is still not well understood. In this work, total of six initial systems were set up either under acidic or basic pH conditions (closed-apo, open-apo and open-holo). Then, molecular dynamics (MD) simulations were performed to make a better understanding of structural dynamics of Tr cutinase under different pH conditions for the first time. The results mainly suggest that it is easier to open for the lid under an acidic pH condition. In addition, the binding of long-chain triglyceride is more stable at lower pH than higher pH. These findings elucidate that how pH influences Tr cutinase at the atomistic level. The structural and dynamic details would be useful for rational enzyme design for acidic cutinase. PMID:26387959

  14. Structural insights into the interaction between molluscan hemocyanins and phenolic substrates: An in silico study using docking and molecular dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naresh, K N; Sreekumar, Arun; Rajan, S S

    2015-09-01

    Hemocyanin is a multimeric type-3 copper containing oxygen carrier protein that exhibits phenoloxidase-like activity and is found in selected species of arthropoda and mollusca. The phenoloxidase activity in the molluscan hemocyanins can be triggered by the proteolytic removal of the C-terminal β-rich sandwich domain of the protein or by the treatment with chemical agents like SDS, both of which enable active site access to the phenolic substrates. The mechanism by which SDS treatment enhances active site access to the substrates is however not well understood in molluscan hemocyanins. Here, using a combination of in silico molecular dynamics (MD) and docking studies on the crystal structure of Octopus dofleini hemocyanin (PDB code:1JS8), we demonstrate that the C-terminal β-domain of the protein plays a crucial role in regulating active site access to bulky phenolic substrates. Furthermore, MD simulation of hemocyanin in SDS revealed displacement of β-domain, enhanced active site access and a resulting increase in binding affinity for substrates. These observations were further validated by enzyme kinetics experiments. PMID:26300244

  15. Molecular docking simulations provide insights in the substrate binding sites and possible substrates of the ABCC6 transporter.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  16. Characterization of small HSPs from Anemonia viridis reveals insights into molecular evolution of alpha crystallin genes among cnidarians.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  17. Molecular identification of Nucleophaga terricolae sp. nov. (Rozellomycota), and new insights on the origin of the Microsporidia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corsaro, Daniele; Michel, Rolf; Walochnik, Julia; Venditti, Danielle; Müller, Karl-Dieter; Hauröder, Bärbel; Wylezich, Claudia

    2016-08-01

    Microsporidia are widespread endoparasites of animals, including humans. They are characterized by highly modified morphological and genetic features that cause difficulties in elucidating their enigmatic origin and evolution. Recent advances, however, indicate that the Microsporidia have emerged from the Rozellomycota, forming together either the most basal lineage of the Fungi or its closer relative. The Rozellomycota comprise a huge diversity of uncultured environmental clones, with a very few known species endoparasitic of algae and water moulds, like the chytrid-like Rozella, and of free-living amoebae, like Nucleophaga and the microsporidia-like Paramicrosporidium. A possible ancestral microsporidium, Mitosporidium, has recently been described from the water flea Daphnia, since the phylogenomic reconstruction showed that it branches to the root of the microsporidian tree, while the genome analysis revealed a fungal-like nuclear genome and the persistence of a mitochondrial genome. Here we report the 18S rDNA molecular phylogeny of an additional microsporidium-like endoparasite of amoebae, which has a developmental cycle almost identical to that of Nucleophaga amoebae. Our results show that the endoparasite is closely related to N. amoebae, forming a distinct species, for which we propose the name Nucleophaga terricolae. Furthermore, the Nucleophaga lineage is recovered as sister to the Microsporidia while Mitosporidium turns out to be member of a well-supported group of environmental clones. These results raise the question about the actual ancestry of the Microsporidia within the Rozellomycota. A precise and robust phylogeny will require further comparative genomic studies of these various strains, and should also consider the primitive microsporidia, for which genetic data are still lacking, because all these organisms are essentially morphologically similar. PMID:27075306

  18. Phylogenetic and molecular insights into the evolution of multidrug-resistant porcine enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli in Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abraham, Sam; Trott, Darren J; Jordan, David; Gordon, David M; Groves, Mitchell D; Fairbrother, John M; Smith, Matthew G; Zhang, Ren; Chapman, Toni A

    2014-08-01

    This study investigated the phylogeny and molecular epidemiology of Australian porcine enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) isolates (n=70) by performing multilocus sequence typing (MLST), random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) analysis, virulence gene analysis, plasmid, bacteriocin, integron and antimicrobial resistance gene typing, and antimicrobial susceptibility phenotyping. Isolates of the most commonly observed O serogroup (O149) were highly clonal with a lower frequency of antimicrobial resistance compared with the less common O141 serogroup isolates, which were more genetically diverse and resistant to a greater array of antimicrobials. The O149 and O141 isolates belonged to sequence types (STs) ST100 and ST1260, respectively. A small number of new STs were identified for the least common serogroups, including O157 (ST4245), O138 (ST4244), O139 (ST4246) and O8 (ST4247). A high frequency of plasmid replicons was observed among all ETEC isolates. However, O149 isolates predominantly carried IncFIB, I1, HI1 and FIC, whereas O141 isolates carried a more varied array, including IncI1, FIB, FIC, HI1, I1, Y and, most significantly, A/C. O141 isolates also possessed a greater diversity of bacteriocins, with almost one-half of the isolates carrying colicin E3 (44.4%; 12/27) and E7 (48.1%; 13/27). This study shows that Australian porcine ETEC are distinct from isolates obtained in other parts of the world with respect to the MLST profile and the absence of resistance to critically important antimicrobials, including third-generation cephalosporins and fluoroquinolones.

  19. Low-temperature molecular motions in lipid bilayers in the presence of sugars: insights into cryoprotective mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konov, Konstantin B; Isaev, Nikolay P; Dzuba, Sergei A

    2014-10-30

    Sugars and sugar alcohols can stabilize biological systems under extreme conditions of desiccation and freezing. Phospholipid bilayers solvated by aqueous solutions of sucrose, trehalose, and sorbitol at concentrations of 0.2 and 1 M and containing incorporated spin-labeled stearic acids were studied by electron spin echo (ESE) spectroscopy, a pulsed version of electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR). The phospholipids were 1,2-dipalmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DPPC), and the stearic acids were labeled with nitroxide 4,4-dimethyl-oxazolidine-1-oxyl (DOXYL) attached rigidly at either the 5th or 16th carbon positions. The ratio of the echo time traces for the two field positions in the EPR spectrum possessing the largest and smallest anisotropies gave the anisotropic contribution to the echo decay, which obeys exponential time dependence with good accuracy. At low temperatures, the anisotropic contribution is induced by stochastic (or diffusive) orientational vibrations of the molecule as a whole (i.e., stochastic molecular librations), with the exponential decay rate Wanis proportional to τc, where is the mean angular amplitude of the motion and τc is the correlation time. In all cases, it was found that Wanis begins to increase sharply above 170-200 K, which was ascribed to the dynamical transition known for biological systems at these temperatures. For hydration by the sucrose and trehalose solutions, Wanis was found to increase noticeably also above ∼120 K, which was explained by bilayer expansion due to direct bonding of sugar molecules to the bilayer surface. The Wanis temperature dependencies were found to be close to those obtained for the simple systems of the nitroxide spin probe TEMPONE in aqueous sorbitol and sugar 1 M solutions. This correlation suggests a possible mechanism of cryoprotective action of sorbitol and sugars due to the similarity of low-temperature motions in the membrane and in the cryoprotectant-containing surrounding liquid

  20. 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.

  1. Insights into the Molecular Activation Mechanism of the RhoA-specific Guanine Nucleotide Exchange Factor, PDZRhoGEF

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bielnicki, Jakub A.; Shkumatov, Alexander V.; Derewenda, Urszula; Somlyo, Avril V.; Svergun, Dmitri I.; Derewenda, Zygmunt S. (EMBL); (UV)

    2012-10-09

    PDZRhoGEF (PRG) belongs to a small family of RhoA-specific nucleotide exchange factors that mediates signaling through select G-protein-coupled receptors via G{alpha}{sub 12/13} and activates RhoA by catalyzing the exchange of GDP to GTP. PRG is a multidomain protein composed of PDZ, regulators of G-protein signaling-like (RGSL), Dbl-homology (DH), and pleckstrin-homology (PH) domains. It is autoinhibited in cytosol and is believed to undergo a conformational rearrangement and translocation to the membrane for full activation, although the molecular details of the regulation mechanism are not clear. It has been shown recently that the main autoregulatory elements of PDZRhoGEF, the autoinhibitory 'activation box' and the 'GEF switch,' which is required for full activation, are located directly upstream of the catalytic DH domain and its RhoA binding surface, emphasizing the functional role of the RGSL-DH linker. Here, using a combination of biophysical and biochemical methods, we show that the mechanism of PRG regulation is yet more complex and may involve an additional autoinhibitory element in the form of a molten globule region within the linker between RGSL and DH domains. We propose a novel, two-tier model of autoinhibition where the activation box and the molten globule region act synergistically to impair the ability of RhoA to bind to the catalytic DH-PH tandem. The molten globule region and the activation box become less ordered in the PRG-RhoA complex and dissociate from the RhoA-binding site, which may constitute a critical step leading to PRG activation.

  2. 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. PMID:26238657

  3. Molecular Level Insights into Thermally Induced [alpha]-Chymotrypsinogen A Amyloid Aggregation Mechanism and Semiflexible Protofibril Morphology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhang, Aming; Jordan, Jacob L.; Ivanova, Magdalena I.; Weiss, IV., William F.; Roberts, Christopher J.; Fernandez, Erik J. (UCLA); (Delaware); (UV)

    2010-12-07

    Understanding nonnative protein aggregation is critical not only to a number of amyloidosis disorders but also for the development of effective and safe biopharmaceuticals. In a series of previous studies [Weiss et al. (2007) Biophys. J. 93, 4392-4403; Andrews et al. (2007) Biochemistry 46, 7558-7571; Andrews et al. (2008) Biochemistry 47, 2397-2403], {alpha}-chymotrypsinogen A (aCgn) and bovine granulocyte colony stimulating factor (bG-CSF) have been shown to exhibit the kinetic and morphological features of other nonnative aggregating proteins at low pH and ionic strength. In this study, we investigated the structural mechanism of aCgn aggregation. The resultant aCgn aggregates were found to be soluble and exhibited semiflexible filamentous aggregate morphology under transmission electron microscopy. In addition, the filamentous aggregates were demonstrated to possess amyloid characteristics by both Congo red binding and X-ray diffraction. Peptide level hydrogen exchange (HX) analysis suggested that a buried native {beta}-sheet comprised of three peptide segments (39-46, 51-64, and 106-114) reorganizes into the cross-{beta} amyloid core of aCgn aggregates and that at least 50% of the sequence adopts a disordered structure in the aggregates. Furthermore, the equimolar, bimodal HX labeling distribution observed for three reported peptides (65-102, 160-180, and 229-245) suggested a heterogeneous assembly of two molecular conformations in aCgn aggregates. This demonstrates that extended {beta}-sheet interactions typical of the amyloid are sufficiently strong that a relatively small fraction of polypeptide sequence can drive formation of filamentous aggregates even under conditions favoring colloidal stability.

  4. Employing conformational analysis in the molecular modeling of agrochemicals: insights on QSAR parameters of 2,4-D

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  5. Insights into the olfactory system of the ectoparasite Caligus rogercresseyi: molecular characterization and gene transcription analysis of novel ionotropic receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Núñez-Acuña, Gustavo; Valenzuela-Muñoz, Valentina; Marambio, Jorge Pino; Wadsworth, Simon; Gallardo-Escárate, Cristian

    2014-10-01

    Although various elements of the olfactory system have been elucidated in insects, it remains practically unstudied in crustaceans at a molecular level. Among crustaceans, some species are classified as ectoparasites that impact the finfish aquaculture industry. Thus, there is an urgent need to identify and comprehend the signaling pathways used by these in host recognition. The present study, through RNA-seq and qPCR analyses, found novel transcripts involved in the olfactory system of Caligus rogercresseyi, in addition to the transcriptomic patterns expressed during different stages of salmon lice development. From a transcriptomic library generated by Illumina sequencing, contigs that annotated for ionotropic receptors and other genes implicated in the olfactory system were identified and extracted. Full length mRNA was obtained for the ionotropic glutamate receptor 25, which had 3923 bp, and for the glutamate receptor ionotropic kainate 2, which had 2737 bp. Furthermore, two other transcripts identified as glutamate receptor, ionotropic kainate 2-like were found. In silico analysis was performed for the transcription expression from different stages of development in C. rogercresseyi, and clusters according to RPKM values were constructed. Gene transcription data were validated through qPCR assays in ionotropic receptors, and showed an expression of glutamate receptor 25 associated with the copepodid stage whereas adults, especially male adults, were associated with the kainate 2 and kainate 2-like transcripts. Additionally, gene transcription analysis of the ionotropic receptors showed an overexpression in response to the presence of masking compounds and immunostimulant in salmon diets. This response correlated to a reduction in sea lice infection following in vivo challenge. Diets with masking compounds showed a decrease of lice infestation of up to 25%. This work contributes to the available knowledge on chemosensory systems in this ectoparasite, providing

  6. Dispersion and shear-induced orientation of anisotropic nanoparticle filled polymer nanocomposites: insights from molecular dynamics simulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Zijian; Wang, Zixuan; Wang, Lu; Liu, Jun; Wu, Youping; Zhang, Liqun

    2016-07-01

    Although a large number of studies have been performed to study the dispersion behavior of spherical nanoparticles (NPs) in the polymer matrix, little effort has been directed to anisotropic NPs via simulation, which is convenient for controlling the physical parameters compared to experiment. In this work we adopt molecular dynamics simulation to study polymer nanocomposites filled with anisotropic NPs such as graphene and carbon nanotubes (CNTs). We investigate the effects of the grafting position, grafting density, the length and flexibility of the grafted chains on the dispersion of graphene and CNTs. In particular, we find that when the grafting position is located on the surface center of the graphene or the middle of the CNT, the dispersion state is the best, leading to the greatest stress–strain behavior. Meanwhile, the mechanical property can be further strengthened by introducing chemical couplings in the interfacial region, by chemically tethering the grafted chains to the matrix chains. To monitor the processing effect, we exert a dynamic periodic shear deformation in the x direction with its gradient in the y direction. Polymer chains are found to align in the x direction, graphene sheets align in the xoz plane and CNTs orientate in the z direction. We study the effects of the shear amplitude, the shear frequency, polymer–NP interaction strength and volume fraction of NPs on the stress–strain behavior. We also observe that the relaxation process following the shear deformation deteriorates the mechanical performance, resulting from the disorientation of polymer chains and NPs. In general, this work could provide valuable guidance in manipulating the distribution and alignment of graphene and CNTs in the polymer matrix.

  7. Passage of TBP-uranyl complexes from aqueous-organic interface to the organic phase: insights from molecular dynamics simulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sahu, Pooja; Ali, Sk Musharaf; Shenoy, Kalasanka Trivikram

    2016-08-24

    The present study reports molecular dynamics simulations for biphasic systems comprising tributyl phosphate (TBP) in dodecane and uranyl nitrate in the aqueous phase, which are key chemical species in the well-known Pu-U extraction (PUREX) process. An attempt has been made to understand the nature of interface and mechanism of 'TBP associated uranyl' crossing under neutral and acidic conditions. Results show that the solvent density undergoes large fluctuation near the interface depending on the nature of the aqueous-organic phase. The study provides compelling evidence of experimentally observed reorganization of interfacial complexes at the interface and their structural reformation during extraction. It has been observed that the surface active nature of TBP and their interfacial coverage is modulated by the nature of incorporated solute species and their location with respect to the interface. Also, the TBP structuring near the interface is destroyed when an acidic interface is considered rather than a neutral one which favors the uranyl extraction. With an acidic interface, the water humidity of organic phase was observed to be increased in the experiments. Furthermore, the acid/water solubility in the organic phase was observed to be influenced by selection of acid models and their concentration. Simulations with high acid concentration show water pocket formation in the organic phase. However, in the case of dissociated ions or a mixture of both, no such water pool is observed and the extracted water remains dispersed in the organic phase, having the tendency to be replaced by HNO3 because of preferred TBP·HNO3 complexation over TBP·H2O. Most remarkably, the present study makes evident the TBP-induced charge redistribution of uranyl complexes during migration from the interface to the bulk organic phase, which contributes to drive uranyl complexes such as UO2·NO3·4TBP, UO2·5TBP and UO2·NO3·3TBP·HNO3 in the organic phase, and this was reestablished by

  8. Dietary salt loading and ion-poor water exposure provide insight into the molecular physiology of the rainbow trout gill epithelium tight junction complex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolosov, Dennis; Kelly, Scott P

    2016-08-01

    This study utilized dietary salt loading and ion-poor water (IPW) exposure of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) to further understand the role of fish gill epithelium tight junction (TJ) physiology in salt and water balance. Gill morphology, biochemistry and molecular physiology were examined, with an emphasis on genes encoding TJ proteins. Fish were either fed a control or salt-enriched diet (~10 % NaCl) for 4 weeks prior to IPW exposure for 24 h. Serum [Na(+)], [Cl(-)] and muscle moisture content were unaltered by salt feeding, but changed in response to IPW irrespective of diet. Dietary salt loading altered the morphology (reduced Na(+)-K(+)-ATPase-immunoreactive cell numbers and surface exposure of mitochondrion-rich cells), biochemistry (decreased vacuolar-type H(+)-ATPase activity) and molecular physiology (decreased nkaα1a and cftrII mRNA abundance) of the gill in a manner indicative of reduced active ion uptake activity. But in control fish and not salt-fed fish, gill mRNA abundance of nkaα1c increased and nbc decreased after IPW exposure. Genes encoding TJ proteins were typically either responsive to salt feeding or IPW, but select genes responded to combined experimental treatment (e.g. IPW responsive but only if fish were salt-fed). Therefore, using salt feeding and IPW exposure, new insights into what factors influence gill TJ proteins and the role that specific TJ proteins might play in regulating the barrier properties of the gill epithelium have been acquired. In particular, evidence suggests that TJ proteins in the gill epithelium, or the regulatory networks that control them, respond independently to external or internal stimuli. PMID:27083431

  9. Structures of Human Cyctochrome P450 2E1: Insights Into the Binding of Inhibitors And Both Small Molecular Weight And Fatty Acid Substrates

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Porubsky, P.R.; Meneely, K.M.; Scott, E.E.

    2009-05-21

    Human microsomal cytochrome P-450 2E1 (CYP2E1) monooxygenates >70 low molecular weight xenobiotic compounds, as well as much larger endogenous fatty acid signaling molecules such as arachidonic acid. In the process, CYP2E1 can generate toxic or carcinogenic compounds, as occurs with acetaminophen overdose, nitrosamines in cigarette smoke, and reactive oxygen species from uncoupled catalysis. Thus, the diverse roles that CYP2E1 has in normal physiology, toxicity, and drug metabolism are related to its ability to metabolize diverse classes of ligands, but the structural basis for this was previously unknown. Structures of human CYP2E1 have been solved to 2.2 {angstrom} for an indazole complex and 2.6 {angstrom} for a 4-methylpyrazole complex. Both inhibitors bind to the heme iron and hydrogen bond to Thr{sup 303} within the active site. Complementing its small molecular weight substrates, the hydrophobic CYP2E1 active site is the smallest yet observed for a human cytochrome P-450. The CYP2E1 active site also has two adjacent voids: one enclosed above the I helix and the other forming a channel to the protein surface. Minor repositioning of the Phe{sup 478} aromatic ring that separates the active site and access channel would allow the carboxylate of fatty acid substrates to interact with conserved {sup 216}QXXNN{sup 220} residues in the access channel while positioning the hydrocarbon terminus in the active site, consistent with experimentally observed {omega}-1 hydroxylation of saturated fatty acids. Thus, these structures provide insights into the ability of CYP2E1 to effectively bind and metabolize both small molecule substrates and fatty acids.

  10. New Insights into Active Site Conformation Dynamics of E. coli PNP Revealed by Combined H/D Exchange Approach and Molecular Dynamics Simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kazazić, Saša; Bertoša, Branimir; Luić, Marija; Mikleušević, Goran; Tarnowski, Krzysztof; Dadlez, Michal; Narczyk, Marta; Bzowska, Agnieszka

    2016-01-01

    The biologically active form of purine nucleoside phosphorylase (PNP) from Escherichia coli (EC 2.4.2.1) is a homohexamer unit, assembled as a trimer of dimers. Upon binding of phosphate, neighboring monomers adopt different active site conformations, described as open and closed. To get insight into the functions of the two distinctive active site conformations, virtually inactive Arg24Ala mutant is complexed with phosphate; all active sites are found to be in the open conformation. To understand how the sites of neighboring monomers communicate with each other, we have combined H/D exchange (H/DX) experiments with molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. Both methods point to the mobility of the enzyme, associated with a few flexible regions situated at the surface and within the dimer interface. Although H/DX provides an average extent of deuterium uptake for all six hexamer active sites, it was able to indicate the dynamic mechanism of cross-talk between monomers, allostery. Using this technique, it was found that phosphate binding to the wild type (WT) causes arrest of the molecular motion in backbone fragments that are flexible in a ligand-free state. This was not the case for the Arg24Ala mutant. Upon nucleoside substrate/inhibitor binding, some release of the phosphate-induced arrest is observed for the WT, whereas the opposite effects occur for the Arg24Ala mutant. MD simulations confirmed that phosphate is bound tightly in the closed active sites of the WT; conversely, in the open conformation of the active site of the WT phosphate is bound loosely moving towards the exit of the active site. In Arg24Ala mutant binary complex Pi is bound loosely, too.

  11. Molecular and structural analysis of Legionella DotI gives insights into an inner membrane complex essential for type IV secretion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuroda, Takuya; Kubori, Tomoko; Thanh Bui, Xuan; Hyakutake, Akihiro; Uchida, Yumiko; Imada, Katsumi; Nagai, Hiroki

    2015-01-01

    The human pathogen Legionella pneumophila delivers a large array of the effector proteins into host cells using the Dot/Icm type IVB secretion system. Among the proteins composing the Dot/Icm system, an inner membrane protein DotI is known to be crucial for the secretion function but its structure and role in type IV secretion had not been elucidated. We report here the crystal structures of the periplasmic domains of DotI and its ortholog in the conjugation system of plasmid R64, TraM. These structures reveal a striking similarity to VirB8, a component of type IVA secretion systems, suggesting that DotI/TraM is the type IVB counterpart of VirB8. We further show that DotI and its partial paralog DotJ form a stable heterocomplex. R64 TraM, encoded by the conjugative plasmid lacking DotJ ortholog, forms a homo-hexamer. The DotI-DotJ complex is distinct from the core complex, which spans both inner and outer membranes to form a substrate conduit, and seems not to stably associate with the core complex. These results give insight into VirB8-family inner membrane proteins essential for type IV secretion and aid towards understanding the molecular basis of secretion systems essential for bacterial pathogenesis. PMID:26039110

  12. Novel microduplications at Xp11.22 including HUWE1: clinical and molecular insights into these genomic rearrangements associated with intellectual disability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos-Rebouças, Cíntia Barros; de Almeida, Luciana Guedes; Belet, Stefanie; Dos Santos, Suely Rodrigues; Ribeiro, Márcia Gonçalves; da Silva, Antônio Francisco Alves; Medina-Acosta, Enrique; Dos Santos, Jussara Mendonça; Gonçalves, Andressa Pereira; Bahia, Paulo Roberto Valle; Pimentel, Márcia Mattos Gonçalves; Froyen, Guy

    2015-04-01

    Recently, we defined a minimal overlapping region for causal Xp11.22 copy number gains in males with intellectual disability (ID), and identified HECT, UBA and WWE domain-containing protein-1 (HUWE1) as the primary dosage-sensitive gene, whose overexpression leads to ID. In the present study, we used this minimal interval to search for HUWE1 copy number variations by quantitative polymerase chain reaction in a large cohort of Brazilian males with idiopathic ID. We detected two unrelated sporadic individuals with syndromic ID carrying unique overlapping duplications encompassing HUWE1. Breakpoint junction analysis showed a simple tandem duplication in the first patient, which has probably arisen by microhomology-mediated break-induced repair mechanism. In the second patient, the rearrangement is complex having an insertion of an intrachromosomal sequence at its junction. This kind of rearrangement has not been reported in Xp11.22 duplications and might have emerged by a replication- or recombination-based mechanism. Furthermore, the presence of infantile seizures in the second family suggests a potential role of increased KDM5C expression on epilepsy. Our findings highlight the importance of microduplications at Xp11.22 to ID, even in sporadic cases, and reveal new clinical and molecular insight into HUWE1 copy number gains.

  13. Insight into the molecular composition of laboratory organic residues produced from interstellar/pre-cometary ice analogues using very high resolution mass spectrometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danger, G.; Fresneau, A.; Abou Mrad, N.; de Marcellus, P.; Orthous-Daunay, F.-R.; Duvernay, F.; Vuitton, V.; Le Sergeant d'Hendecourt, L.; Thissen, R.; Chiavassa, T.

    2016-09-01

    Experimental simulations in the laboratory may provide important information about the chemical evolution occurring in various astrophysical objects such as extraterrestrial ices. Interstellar or (pre)cometary ice analogues made of H2O, CH3OH, and NH3 at 77 K, when subjected to an energetic process (VUV photons, electrons or ions) and then warmed-up to room temperature, lead, in the laboratory, to the formation of an organic residue. In this paper we expand our previous analysis of the residues in order to obtain a better insight into their molecular content. Data analyses show that three different chemical groups are present in the residue in the negative electrospray ionization (ESI) mode: CHN, CHO and CHNOsbnd whereas only two groups are detected in the positive ESI mode: CHN and CHNO. In both cases, the CHNO group is the most abundant. The application of specific data treatment shows that residue mainly contains aliphatic linear molecules or cyclic structures connected to unsaturated chemical functions such as esters, carboxylic acids, amides or aldehydes. In lower abundances, some molecules do present aromatic structures. The comparison of our residue with organic compounds detected in the Murchison meteorite gives an interesting match, which suggests that laboratory simulation of interstellar ice chemistry is relevant to understand astrophysical organic matter evolution.

  14. Potential Prepore Trimer Formation by the Bacillus thuringiensis Mosquito-specific Toxin: MOLECULAR INSIGHTS INTO A CRITICAL PREREQUISITE OF MEMBRANE-BOUND MONOMERS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sriwimol, Wilaiwan; Aroonkesorn, Aratee; Sakdee, Somsri; Kanchanawarin, Chalermpol; Uchihashi, Takayuki; Ando, Toshio; Angsuthanasombat, Chanan

    2015-08-21

    The insecticidal feature of the three-domain Cry δ-endotoxins from Bacillus thuringiensis is generally attributed to their capability to form oligomeric pores, causing lysis of target larval midgut cells. However, the molecular description of their oligomerization process has not been clearly defined. Here a stable prepore of the 65-kDa trypsin-activated Cry4Ba mosquito-specific toxin was established through membrane-mimetic environments by forming an ∼200-kDa octyl-β-D-glucoside micelle-induced trimer. The SDS-resistant trimer caused cytolysis to Sf9 insect cells expressing Aedes-mALP (a Cry4Ba receptor) and was more effective than a toxin monomer in membrane perturbation of calcein-loaded liposomes. A three-dimensional model of toxin trimer obtained by negative-stain EM in combination with single-particle reconstruction at ∼5 nm resolution showed a propeller-shaped structure with 3-fold symmetry. Fitting the three-dimensional reconstructed EM map with a 100-ns molecular dynamics-simulated Cry4Ba structure interacting with an octyl-β-D-glucoside micelle showed relative positioning of individual domains in the context of the trimeric complex with a major protrusion from the pore-forming domain. Moreover, high-speed atomic force microscopy imaging at nanometer resolution and a subsecond frame rate demonstrated conformational transitions from a propeller-like to a globularly shaped trimer upon lipid membrane interactions, implying prepore-to-pore conversion. Real-time trimeric arrangement of monomers associated with L-α-dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine/3-[(3-cholamidopropyl)dimethylammonio]-2-hydroxy-1-propanesulfonic acid bicelle membranes was also envisaged by successive high-speed atomic force microscopy imaging, depicting interactions among three individual subunits toward trimer formation. Together, our data provide the first pivotal insights into the structural requirement of membrane-induced conformational changes of Cry4Ba toxin monomers for the

  15. Climate change and Ecotone boundaries: Insights from a cellular automata ecohydrology model in a Mediterranean catchment with topography controlled vegetation patterns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caracciolo, Domenico; Noto, Leonardo Valerio; Istanbulluoglu, Erkan; Fatichi, Simone; Zhou, Xiaochi

    2014-11-01

    Regions of vegetation transitions (ecotones) are known to be highly sensitive to climate fluctuations. In this study, the Cellular-Automata Tree Grass Shrub Simulator (CATGraSS) has been modified, calibrated and used with downscaled future climate scenarios to examine the role of climate change on vegetation patterns in a steep mountainous catchment (1.3 km2) located in Sicily, Italy. In the catchment, north-facing slopes are mostly covered by trees and grass, and south-facing slopes by Indian Fig opuntia and grass, with grasses dominating as elevation grows. CATGraSS simulates solar radiation, evapotranspiration, and soil moisture in space and time. Each model cell can hold a single plant type or can be bare soil. Plant competition is modeled explicitly through mortality and the establishment of individual plants in open spaces. In this study, CATGraSS is modified to account for heterogeneity in soil thickness and tested in the study catchment using the historical climate of the region. Predicted vegetation patterns are compared with those obtained from satellite images. Results of model under current climate underscore the importance of solar irradiance and soil thickness, especially in the uplands where soil is shallow, in determining vegetation composition over complex terrain. A stochastic weather generator is used to generate future climate change scenarios for the catchment by downscaling GCM realizations in space and time. Future increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration was considered through modifying the vegetation water use efficiency and stomatal resistance for our study site. Model results suggest that vegetation pattern is highly sensitive to temperature and rainfall variations provided by climate scenarios (30% reduction of the annual precipitation and a 2.8 °C increase of the mean annual temperature). Future climate change is predicted to bring a considerable reorganization of the plant composition following topographic patterns, leading to a

  16. Insight Into Climate Variations Of The Early Middle Eocene: High-Resolution Benthic Stable Isotope Data From Site 1408, Newfoundland Ridge

    OpenAIRE

    Wu, Fei

    2015-01-01

    The middle Eocene is a transitional period from the greenhouse early Eocene to the ice-house Eocene-Oligocene Transition. Due to lack of high-resolution records, the details of this long-term cooling trend are not clear. Low-resolution atmospheric CO2 records suggest declining, but highly variable levels during the middle Eocene which might have driven transient climate variations. However, high-resolution stable isotope records are lacking to document the true climate patterns over this peri...

  17. COOH-Terminal Clustering of Autoantibody and T-Cell Determinants on the Structure of GAD65 Provide Insights Into the Molecular Basis of Autoreactivity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fenalti, Gustavo; Hampe, Christiane S.; Arafat, Yasir; Law, Ruby H.P.; Banga, J. Paul; Mackay, Ian R.; Whisstock, James C.; Buckle, Ashley M.; Rowley, Merrill J. (UWASH); (King’s College); (Monash)

    2008-11-19

    To gain structural insights into the autoantigenic properties of GAD65 in type 1 diabetes, we analyzed experimental epitope mapping data in the context of the recently determined crystal structures of GAD65 and GAD67, to allow 'molecular positioning' of epitope sites for B- and T-cell reactivity. Data were assembled from analysis of reported effects of mutagenesis of GAD65 on its reactivity with a panel of 11 human monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), supplemented by use of recombinant Fab to cross-inhibit reactivity with GAD65 by radioimmunoprecipitation of the same mAbs. COOH-terminal region on GAD65 was the major autoantigenic site. B-cell epitopes were distributed within two separate clusters around different faces of the COOH-terminal domain. Inclusion of epitope sites in the pyridoxal phosphate- and NH{sub 2}-terminal domains was attributed to the juxtaposition of all three domains in the crystal structure. Epitope preferences of different mAbs to GAD65 aligned with different clinical expressions of type 1 diabetes. Epitopes for four of five known reactive T-cell sequences restricted by HLA DRB1*0401 were aligned to solvent-exposed regions of the GAD65 structure and colocalized within the two B-cell epitope clusters. The continuous COOH-terminal epitope region of GAD65 was structurally highly flexible and therefore differed markedly from the equivalent region of GAD67. Structural features could explain the differing antigenicity, and perhaps immunogenicity, of GAD65 versus GAD67. The proximity of B- and T-cell epitopes within the GAD65 structure suggests that antigen-antibody complexes may influence antigen processing by accessory cells and thereby T-cell reactivity.

  18. Insights into nucleotide recognition by cell division protein FtsZ from a mant-GTP competition assay and molecular dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaffner-Barbero, Claudia; Gil-Redondo, Rubén; Ruiz-Avila, Laura B; Huecas, Sonia; Läppchen, Tilman; den Blaauwen, Tanneke; Diaz, J Fernando; Morreale, Antonio; Andreu, Jose M

    2010-12-14

    Essential cell division protein FtsZ forms the bacterial cytokinetic ring and is a target for new antibiotics. FtsZ monomers bind GTP and assemble into filaments. Hydrolysis to GDP at the association interface between monomers leads to filament disassembly. We have developed a homogeneous competition assay, employing the fluorescence anisotropy change of mant-GTP upon binding to nucleotide-free FtsZ, which detects compounds binding to the nucleotide site in FtsZ monomers and measures their affinities within the millimolar to 10 nM range. We have employed this method to determine the apparent contributions of the guanine, ribose, and the α-, β-, and γ-phosphates to the free energy change of nucleotide binding. Similar relative contributions have also been estimated through molecular dynamics and binding free energy calculations, employing the crystal structures of FtsZ-nucleotide complexes. We find an energetically dominant contribution of the β-phosphate, comparable to the whole guanosine moiety. GTP and GDP bind with similar observed affinity to FtsZ monomers. Loss of the regulatory γ-phosphate results in a predicted accommodation of GDP which has not been observed in the crystal structures. The binding affinities of a series of C8-substituted GTP analogues, known to inhibit FtsZ but not eukaryotic tubulin assembly, correlate with their inhibitory capacity on FtsZ polymerization. Our methods permit testing of FtsZ inhibitors targeting its nucleotide site, as well as compounds from virtual screening of large synthetic libraries. Our results give insight into the FtsZ-nucleotide interactions, which could be useful in the rational design of new inhibitors, especially GTP phosphate mimetics.

  19. 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.

  20. Oxygen isotope ratios (18O/16O) of hemicellulose-derived sugar biomarkers in plants, soils and sediments as paleoclimate proxy II: Insight from a climate transect study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tuthorn, Mario; Zech, Michael; Ruppenthal, Marc; Oelmann, Yvonne; Kahmen, Ansgar; Valle, Héctor Francisco del; Wilcke, Wolfgang; Glaser, Bruno

    2014-02-01

    The oxygen isotopic composition of precipitation (δ18Oprec) is well known to be a valuable (paleo-)climate proxy. Paleosols and sediments and hemicelluloses therein have the potential to serve as archives recording the isotopic composition of paleoprecipitation. In a companion paper (Zech et al., 2014) we investigated δ18Ohemicellulose values of plants grown under different climatic conditions in a climate chamber experiment. Here we present results of compound-specific δ18O analyses of arabinose, fucose and xylose extracted from modern topsoils (n = 56) along a large humid-arid climate transect in Argentina in order to answer the question whether hemicellulose biomarkers in soils reflect δ18Oprec. The results from the field replications indicate that the homogeneity of topsoils with regard to δ18Ohemicellulose is very high for most of the 20 sampling sites. Standard deviations for the field replications are 1.5‰, 2.2‰ and 1.7‰, for arabinose, fucose and xylose, respectively. Furthermore, all three hemicellulose biomarkers reveal systematic and similar trends along the climate gradient. However, the δ18Ohemicellulose values (mean of the three sugars) do not correlate positively with δ18Oprec (r = -0.54, p fucose and xylose do not simply reflect δ18Oprec but rather δ18Oleaf water. The correlation between measured δ18Ohemicellulose and modeled δ18Oleaf water is highly significant (r = 0.81, p < 0.001, n = 20). This finding can be attributed to the evaporative 18O enrichment of leaf water during transpiration. Model sensitivity tests using a Péclet-modified Craig-Gordon (PMCG) model corroborate that relative air humidity is a very rigorous climate parameter influencing δ18Oleaf water, whereas temperature is of minor importance. While oxygen exchange and degradation effects on δ18O values of hemicelluloses sugar biomarkers seem to be negligible (Zech et al., 2012), further effects that need to be considered when interpreting δ18Ohemicellulose

  1. Glacial climate transitions in the Southern Hemisphere - New insights from cosmogenic 10Be in rocks and 14C in tree-rings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Full text: The study of global climate change recorded and archived in corals, tree-rings, glacial deposits, ocean sediments and ice cores reveals a complex scale of variations ranging from major glacial cycles (100,000 years), millennial (1,000 years) timescales and even decadal changes (i.e. ENSO). 'Global patterns' of climate cycles are inferred principally from Northern Hemisphere records and modelling approaches. For the major glacial-interglacial cycles this seems to be reliable - however data is now emerging that on the millennial scale of climate change particularly over the Last Glacial-Interglacial Transition (20,000 to 10,000 years ago) and through the Holocene, things are not so simple, let alone 'global'. Critical questions are now being asked as to the synchronicity, intensity and mode of abrupt climate patterns across Earth's hemispheres. However, with a paucity of Southern Hemisphere studies, answers are not readily available. Long-lived cosmogenic radioisotopes, such as 10Be, 14C, 26Al and 36Cl, are produced by cosmic ray bombardment of Earth's atmosphere and lithosphere. The measurement by Accelerator Mass Spectrometry of concentration profiles of these radioactive 'clocks' and 'tracers' in climate archives is emerging as key parameters to provide the essential chronological frameworks and rates of climate processes to address these vexing questions. This talk will present 2 examples of cosmogenic isotopes in the study of Southern Hemisphere climate change records. The first relates to application of in-situ produced 10Be and 26Al in glacially transported surface rocks to determine the chronology of glacial cycles in Tasmania and New Zealand during the last deglaciation. The Younger Dryas (YD) is a major short term and intense climatic reversal towards colder temperatures occurring between 11,500-12,800 cal year BP superimposed on the last deglaciation. Its presence has now been identified in most, if not all, of the northern hemisphere archives

  2. Terrestrial carbon cycle responses to drought and climate stress: New insights using atmospheric observations of CO2 and delta13C

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alden, Caroline B.

    Atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) continue to rise well into the second decade of the new millennium, in spite of broad-scale human understanding of the impacts of fossil fuel emissions on the earth's climate. Natural sinks for CO2 that are relevant on human time scales---the world's oceans and land biosphere---appear to have kept pace with emissions. The continuously increasing strength of the land biosphere sink for CO2 is surpassing expectations given our understanding of the CO2 fertilization and warming effects on the balance between photosynthesis and respiration, especially in the face of ongoing forest degradation. The climate and carbon cycle links between the atmosphere and land biosphere are not well understood, especially at regional (100 km to 10,000 km) scales. The climate modulating effects of changing plant stomatal conductance in response to temperature and water availability is a key area of uncertainty. Further, the differential response to climate change of C3 and C4 plant functional types is not well known at regional scales. This work outlines the development of a novel application of atmospheric observations of delta13C of CO2 to investigate the links between climate and water and carbon cycling and the integrated responses of C3 and C4 ecosystems to climate variables. A two-step Bayesian batch inversion for 3-hourly, 1x1º CO2 fluxes (step one), and for 3-hourly 1x1º delta13C of recently assimilated carbon (step two) is created here for the first time, and is used to investigate links between regional climate indicators and changes in delta13C of the biosphere. Results show that predictable responses of regional-scale, integrated plant discrimination to temperature, precipitation and relative humidity anomalies can be recovered from atmospheric signals. Model development, synthetic data simulations to test sensitivity, and results for the year 2010 are presented here. This dissertation also includes two other applications

  3. 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.

  4. Climate change and human disturbance can lead to local extinction of Alpine rock ptarmigan: new insight from the western Italian Alps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Imperio, Simona; Bionda, Radames; Viterbi, Ramona; Provenzale, Antonello

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:24260581

  5. Insights into resistance mechanism of the macrolide biosensor protein MphR(A) binding to macrolide antibiotic erythromycin by molecular dynamics simulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Tingting; Zhang, Yanjun; Ding, Jing-Na; Fan, Song; Han, Ju-Guang

    2015-12-01

    Macrolide biosensor protein MphR(A) has been known as a key regulatory protein in metabolite sensing and genetic expression regulating. MphR(A) protein binds to macrolide antibiotic erythromycin (Ery) and releases the gene operon, thus activates expression of the mphA gene and initiates Ery resistance. The two mutant amino acid residues (V66L and V126L) might potentially disrupt Ery binding to MphR(A). In these studies, the binding of macrolide antibiotic Ery to wild type (Wt) MphR(A) and double mutant (V66L/V126L) MphR(A) are explored by molecular dynamics simulations. Compared to the Apo-MphR(A) protein and Wt-MphR(A)-Ery complex, many interesting effects owing to the double mutant (V66L/V126L) are discovered. In the case of Ery, Helix I which plays an important role in transcription shows itself a right-hand α helix in Wt-MphR(A)-Ery, whereas the activated helix is broken down in double mutant-V66L/V126L-MphR(A)-Ery. The calculated results exhibit that the double mutant V66L/V126L reduces the binding affinity of the V66L/V126L-MphR(A) to Ery, resulting in the block of Ery resistance. The binding free energy decomposition analysis reveals that the decrease of the binding affinity for the variant V66L/V126L-MphR(A)-Ery is mainly attributed to the gas phase electrostatic energies. The residue Leu66, Thr154, and Arg122 enhance the binding affinity of V66L/V126L-MphR(A) to Ery. The residues Tyr103 and His147 contributes mainly to binding energies in the Wt-MphR(A)-Ery complex, whereas the two residues have no contribution to the binding free energy inV66L/V126L-MphR(A)-Ery complex. Our study gives useful insights into the nature of amino acids mutation effect, the mechanism of blocking drug resistance at the atomic level and the characteristics in binding affinity for Ery to double mutant (V66L/V126L) MphR(A), which will contribute to the design of more effective macrolide antibiotics.

  6. Solubilization Behavior of Polyene Antibiotics in Nanomicellar System: Insights from Molecular Dynamics Simulation of the Amphotericin B and Nystatin Interactions with Polysorbate 80

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meysam Mobasheri

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Amphotericin B (AmB and Nystatin (Nys are the drugs of choice for treatment of systemic and superficial mycotic infections, respectively, with their full clinical potential unrealized due to the lack of high therapeutic index formulations for their solubilized delivery. In the present study, using a coarse-grained (CG molecular dynamics (MD simulation approach, we investigated the interaction of AmB and Nys with Polysorbate 80 (P80 to gain insight into the behavior of these polyene antibiotics (PAs in nanomicellar solution and derive potential implications for their formulation development. While the encapsulation process was predominantly governed by hydrophobic forces, the dynamics, hydration, localization, orientation, and solvation of PAs in the micelle were largely controlled by hydrophilic interactions. Simulation results rationalized the experimentally observed capability of P80 in solubilizing PAs by indicating (i the dominant kinetics of drugs encapsulation over self-association; (ii significantly lower hydration of the drugs at encapsulated state compared with aggregated state; (iii monomeric solubilization of the drugs; (iv contribution of drug-micelle interactions to the solubilization; (v suppressed diffusivity of the encapsulated drugs; (vi high loading capacity of the micelle; and (vii the structural robustness of the micelle against drug loading. Supported from the experimental data, our simulations determined the preferred location of PAs to be the core-shell interface at the relatively shallow depth of 75% of micelle radius. Deeper penetration of PAs was impeded by the synergistic effects of (i limited diffusion of water; and (ii perpendicular orientation of these drug molecules with respect to the micelle radius. PAs were solvated almost exclusively in the aqueous poly-oxyethylene (POE medium due to the distance-related lack of interaction with the core, explaining the documented insensitivity of Nys solubilization to drug

  7. Molecular insights into how a deficiency of amylose affects carbon allocation – carbohydrate and oil analyses and gene expression profiling in the seeds of a rice waxy mutant

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhang Ming-Zhou

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Understanding carbon partitioning in cereal seeds is of critical importance to develop cereal crops with enhanced starch yields for food security and for producing specified end-products high in amylose, β-glucan, or fructan, such as functional foods or oils for biofuel applications. Waxy mutants of cereals have a high content of amylopectin and have been well characterized. However, the allocation of carbon to other components, such as β-glucan and oils, and the regulation of the altered carbon distribution to amylopectin in a waxy mutant are poorly understood. In this study, we used a rice mutant, GM077, with a low content of amylose to gain molecular insight into how a deficiency of amylose affects carbon allocation to other end products and to amylopectin. We used carbohydrate analysis, subtractive cDNA libraries, and qPCR to identify candidate genes potentially responsible for the changes in carbon allocation in GM077 seeds. Results Carbohydrate analysis indicated that the content of amylose in GM077 seeds was significantly reduced, while that of amylopectin significantly rose as compared to the wild type BP034. The content of glucose, sucrose, total starch, cell-wall polysaccharides and oil were only slightly affected in the mutant as compared to the wild type. Suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH experiments generated 116 unigenes in the mutant on the wild-type background. Among the 116 unigenes, three, AGP, ISA1 and SUSIBA2-like, were found to be directly involved in amylopectin synthesis, indicating their possible roles in redirecting carbon flux from amylose to amylopectin. A bioinformatics analysis of the putative SUSIBA2-like binding elements in the promoter regions of the upregulated genes indicated that the SUSIBA2-like transcription factor may be instrumental in promoting the carbon reallocation from amylose to amylopectin. Conclusion Analyses of carbohydrate and oil fractions and gene expression

  8. Criminality and climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Rob

    2016-08-01

    The impacts of climate change imply a reconceptualization of environment-related criminality. Criminology can offer insight into the definitions and dynamics of this behaviour, and outline potential areas of redress.

  9. 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)

    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)

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Influence of high-order mechanics on simulation of glacier response to climate change: insights from Haig Glacier, Canadian Rocky Mountains

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Adhikari

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Evolution of glaciers in response to climate change has mostly been simulated using simplified dynamical models. Because these models do not account for the influence of high-order physics, corresponding results may exhibit some biases. For Haig Glacier in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, we test this hypothesis by comparing simulation results obtained from 3-D numerical models that deal with different assumptions concerning ice-flow physics, ranging from simple shear-deformation to comprehensive Stokes flow. In glacier retreat scenarios, we find a minimal role of high-order mechanics in glacier evolution, as geometric effects at our site (the presence of an overdeepened bed result in limited horizontal movement of ice (flow speed on the order of a few meters per year. Consequently, high-order and reduced models all predict that Haig Glacier ceases to exist by ca. 2080 under ongoing climate warming. The influence of high-order mechanics is evident, however, in glacier advance scenarios, where ice speeds are greater and ice dynamical effects become more important. To generalize these findings for other glacier applications, we advise that high-order mechanics are important and therefore should be considered while modelling the evolution of active glaciers. Reduced model predictions may, however, be adequate for other glaciologic and topographic settings, particularly where flow speeds are low.

  13. Influence of high-order mechanics on simulation of glacier response to climate change: insights from Haig Glacier, Canadian Rocky Mountains

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Adhikari

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Evolution of glaciers in response to climate change has mostly been simulated using simplified dynamical models. Because these models do not account for the influence of high-order physics, corresponding results may exhibit some biases. For Haig Glacier in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, we test this hypothesis by comparing simulation results obtained from 3-D numerical models that deal with different assumptions concerning physics, ranging from simple shear deformation to comprehensive Stokes flow. In glacier retreat scenarios, we find a minimal role of high-order mechanics in glacier evolution, as geometric effects at our site (the presence of an overdeepened bed result in limited horizontal movement of ice (flow speed on the order of a few meters per year. Consequently, high-order and reduced models all predict that Haig Glacier ceases to exist by ca. 2080 under ongoing climate warming. The influence of high-order mechanics is evident, however, in glacier advance scenarios, where ice speeds are greater and ice dynamical effects become more important. Although similar studies on other glaciers are essential to generalize such findings, we advise that high-order mechanics are important and therefore should be considered while modeling the evolution of active glaciers. Reduced model predictions may be adequate for other glaciologic and topographic settings, particularly where flow speeds are low and where mass balance changes dominate over ice dynamics in determining glacier geometry.

  14. Late Quaternary changes in bat palaeobiodiversity and palaeobiogeography under climatic and anthropogenic pressure: new insights from Marie-Galante, Lesser Antilles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoetzel, Emmanuelle; Royer, Aurélien; Cochard, David; Lenoble, Arnaud

    2016-07-01

    Data on Lesser Antillean Late Quaternary fossil bat assemblages remains limited, leading to their general exclusion from studies focusing on Caribbean bat palaeobiodiversity and palaeobiogeography. Additionally, the role of climatic versus human pressure driving changes in faunal communities remains poorly understood. Here we describe a fossil bat assemblage from Blanchard Cave on Marie-Galante in the Lesser Antilles, which produced numerous bat remains from a well-dated, stratified context. Our study reveals the occurrence of at least 12 bat species during the Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene on Marie-Galante, whereas only eight species are currently known on the island. Among these 12 species, six are extirpated and one is extinct. Faunal changes within the Blanchard sequence indicate variations in Pleistocene bat species representation in the Lesser Antilles to have been influenced by climatic conditions, with "northern species" (Greater Antilles) favored during glacial conditions and "southern species" (southern Lesser Antilles) during interglacial events. However, few species disappeared at the end of the Late Pleistocene, with most of the extinction/extirpation events occurring during the Holocene. This pattern suggests human activities in the Lesser Antilles to have played a major role in bat turnover during the late Holocene.

  15. Discussion on sea level fluctuations along the Adriatic coasts coupling to climate indices forced by solar activity: Insights into the future of Venice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zanchettin, Davide; Traverso, Pietro; Tomasino, Mario

    2006-04-01

    The North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), which is a dominant circulation pattern in Northern Hemisphere winter, is known to affect sea-level variability in the Mediterranean Sea mainly through the hydrostatic response of water masses to pressure anomalies and changes in evaporation/precipitation budgets. In this study the influence of the NAO on sea levels along the Adriatic coasts is re-assessed in the attempt to uncover the potential causes of the observed high sensitivity of the northern basin to NAO fluctuations. The investigation is focused on the role of the NAO as forcing factor of the winds blowing in the area and of the freshwaters input from the Po River, both of which influence the hydrodynamics of the Northern Adriatic. In addition, some insights into the future of Venice are discussed on the basis of the hypothesis that NAO phases are modulated by the varying solar activity through the intensity of the Earth's geomagnetic activity.

  16. 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

  17. 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

    2012-08-01

    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 warmings or Dansgaard-Oeschger 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 emissions 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 emissions models simulate a large decrease in emissions during LGM in comparison to PI consistent with ice core observations and previous modeling 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 (i.e. Q10 values, 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

  18. 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.

  19. Litter decomposition over broad spatial and long time scales investigated by advanced solid-state NMR: insight into effects of climate, litter quality, and time

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mao, J.; Chen, N.; Harmon, M. E.; Li, Y.; Cao, X.; Chappell, M.

    2012-12-01

    Advanced 13C solid-state NMR techniques were employed to study the chemical structural changes of litter decomposition across broad spatial and long time scales. The fresh and decomposed litter samples of four species (Acer saccharum (ACSA), Drypetes glauca (DRGL), Pinus resinosa (PIRE), and Thuja plicata (THPL)) incubated for up to 10 years at four sites under different climatic conditions (from Arctic to tropical forest) were examined. Decomposition generally led to an enrichment of cutin and surface wax materials, and a depletion of carbohydrates causing overall composition to become more similar compared with original litters. However, the changes of main constituents in the four litters were inconsistent with the four litters following different pathways of decomposition at the same site. As decomposition proceeded, waxy materials decreased at the early stage and then gradually increased in PIRE; DRGL showed a significant depletion of lignin and tannin while the changes of lignin and tannin were relative small and inconsistent for ACSA and THPL. In addition, the NCH groups, which could be associated with either fungal cell wall chitin or bacterial wall petidoglycan, were enriched in all litters except THPL. Contrary to the classic lignin-enrichment hypothesis, DRGL with low-quality C substrate had the highest degree of composition changes. Furthermore, some samples had more "advanced" compositional changes in the intermediate stage of decomposition than in the highly-decomposed stage. This pattern might be attributed to the formation of new cross-linking structures, that rendered substrates more complex and difficult for enzymes to attack. Finally, litter quality overrode climate and time factors as a control of long-term changes of chemical composition.

  20. Oxygen isotope ratios (18O/16O) of hemicellulose-derived sugar biomarkers in plants, soils and sediments as paleoclimate proxy I: Insight from a climate chamber experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zech, Michael; Mayr, Christoph; Tuthorn, Mario; Leiber-Sauheitl, Katharina; Glaser, Bruno

    2014-02-01

    The oxygen isotopic composition of cellulose is a valuable proxy in paleoclimate research. However, its application to sedimentary archives is challenging due to extraction and purification of cellulose. Here we present compound-specific δ18O results of hemicellulose-derived sugar biomarkers determined using gas chromatography-pyrolysis-isotope ratio mass spectrometry, which is a method that overcomes the above-mentioned analytical challenges. The biomarkers were extracted from stem material of different plants (Eucalyptus globulus, Vicia faba and Brassica oleracea) grown in climate chamber experiments under different climatic conditions. The δ18O values of arabinose and xylose range from 31.4‰ to 45.9‰ and from 28.7‰ to 40.8‰, respectively, and correlate highly significantly with each other (R = 0.91, p hemicellulose-derived sugar biomarkers, like cellulose, reflect the oxygen isotopic composition of plant source water altered by climatically controlled evapotranspirative 18O enrichment of leaf water. While relative air humidity controls most rigorously the evapotranspirative 18O enrichment, the direct temperature effect is less important. However, temperature can indirectly exert influence via plant physiological reactions, namely by influencing the transpiration rate which affects δ18Oleaf water due to the Péclet effect. In a companion paper (Tuthorn et al., this issue) we demonstrate the applicability of the hemicellulose-derived sugar biomarker δ18O method to soils and provide evidence from a climate transect study confirming that relative air humidity exerts the dominant control on evapotranspirative 18O enrichment of leaf water. Finally, we present a conceptual model for the interpretation of δ18Ohemicellulose records and propose that a combined δ18Ohemicellulose and δ2Hn-alkane biomarker approach is promising for disentangling δ18Oprecipitation variability from evapotranspirative 18O enrichment variability in future paleoclimate studies

  1. Probabilistic Projections of Future Sea-Level Change and Their Implications for Flood Risk Management: Insights from the American Climate Prospectus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kopp, R. E., III; Delgado, M.; Horton, R. M.; Houser, T.; Little, C. M.; Muir-Wood, R.; Oppenheimer, M.; Rasmussen, D. M., Jr.; Strauss, B.; Tebaldi, C.

    2014-12-01

    Global mean sea level (GMSL) rise projections are insufficient for adaptation planning; local decisions require local projections that characterize risk over a range of timeframes and tolerances. We present a global set of local sea level (LSL) projections to inform decisions on timescales ranging from the coming decades through the 22nd century. We present complete probability distributions, informed by a combination of expert community assessment, expert elicitation, and process modeling [1]. We illustrate the application of this framework by estimating the joint distribution of future sea-level change and coastal flooding, and associated economic costs [1,2]. In much of the world in the current century, differences in median LSL projections are due primarily to varying levels of non-climatic uplift or subsidence. In the 22nd century and in the high-end tails, larger ice sheet contributions, particularly from the Antarctic ice sheet (AIS), contribute significantly to site-to-site differences. Uncertainty in GMSL and most LSL projections is dominated by the uncertain AIS component. Sea-level rise dramatically reshapes flood risk. For example, at the New York City (Battery) tide gauge, our projections indicate a likely (67% probability) 21st century LSL rise under RCP 8.5 of 65--129 cm (1-in-20 chance of exceeding 154 cm). Convolving the distribution of projected sea-level rise with the extreme value distribution of flood return periods indicates that this rise will cause the current 1.80 m `1-in-100 year' flood event to occur an expected nine times over the 21st century -- equivalent to the expected number of `1-in-11 year' floods in the absence of sea-level change. Projected sea-level rise for 2100 under RCP 8.5 would likely place 80-160 billion of current property in New York below the high tide line, with a 1-in-20 chance of losses >190 billion. Even without accounting for potential changes in storms themselves, it would likely increase average annual storm

  2. 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

  3. Sea-level and climate changes in the Northern Calcareous Alps: New insights from the Rhaetian Zlambach Formation of the Hallstatt Basin (Austria)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clémence, Marie-Emilie; Mette, Wolfgang

    2016-04-01

    The uppermost Triassic (Rhaetian) Zlambach Formation, as developed in the Northern Calcareous Alps of Austria was deposited in the basinal realm of the open marine deeper Hallstatt shelf of the Tethys Ocean. The main part of the Zlambach Formation succession consists of sedimentary sequences, each divided into three parts: (1) a medium-grained intraclastic pack-, grainstone at the base, overlapped by (2) a calcisiltite/calcilutite and finally (3) a calcilutite mudstone at the top of the sequence. Field, microfacies, stable isotope and trace element investigations suggest that the medium-grained intraclastic-bioclastic pack-, grainstones are predominantly allochthonous origin, having been derived as a detrital carbonate signal from the adjacent southern marginal Dachstein reef, while the calcilutite mudstones were mainly composed of pelagic sediments and grains. Thus, the compositional variation of the microfacies inferred to result from gravity-induced carbonate deposits, which are in accordance a distal toe-of-slope setting of the calciturbiditic sequences. In this study, it is postulated that the calciturbidites were deposited in response to regional and/or global eustatic variations. A model is presented in which the basinward export of detrital carbonate was negligible during sea-level lowstands, increasing to a maximum during sea-level highstands. These sea-level variations may be either climate-induced or related to tectonic processes or a combination of both.

  4. Evaluation of the biointeraction of colorant flavazin with human serum albumin: insights from multiple spectroscopic studies, in silico docking and molecular dynamics simulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-06-01

    Azo compounds are the largest chemical class of agents frequently used as colorants in a variety of consumer goods and farm produce; therefore, they may become a hazard to public health, because numerous azo compounds and their metabolites are proven to be carcinogens and mutagens. Herein several qualitative and quantitative analytical techniques, including steady state and time-resolved fluorescence, circular dichroism (CD), computer-aided molecular docking as well as molecular dynamics simulation, were employed to ascertain the molecular recognition between the principal vehicle of ligands in human plasma, albumin and a model azo compound, flavazin. The results show that the albumin spatial structure was changed in the presence of flavazin with a decrease of α-helix suggesting partial protein destabilization/self-regulation, as derived from steady state fluorescence, far-UV CD and detailed analyses of three-dimensional fluorescence spectra. Time-resolved fluorescence further evinced that the recognition mechanism is related to albumin-flavazin adduct formation with an association intensity of 10(4) M(-1), and the driving forces were found to be chiefly π-π interactions, hydrophobic interactions and hydrogen bonds. The specific binding domain of flavazin in protein was defined from molecular docking; subdomain IIA (Sudlow's site I) was found to retain high affinity for the ligand flavazin. This finding corroborates the results of competitive ligand displacement experiments, a hydrophobic 8-anilino-1-naphthalenesulfonic acid probe study and protein denaturation results, placing flavazin at the warfarin-azapropazone site. Based on molecular dynamics simulation, it can be said with certainty that the results of molecular docking are credible, and the key amino acid residues participating in the molecular recognition of flavazin by protein are clearly Trp-214, Arg-222 and Lys-436. The outcomes presented here will help to further comprehend the molecular recognition

  5. Insights into electron tunneling across hydrogen-bonded base-pairs in complete molecular circuits for single-stranded DNA sequencing

    OpenAIRE

    Lee, Myeong H.; Sankey, Otto F.

    2009-01-01

    We report a first-principles study of electron ballistic transport through a molecular junction containing deoxycytidine-monophosphate (dCMP) connected to metal electrodes. A guanidinium ion and guanine nucleobase are tethered to gold electrodes on opposite sides to form hydrogen bonds with the dCMP molecule providing an electric circuit. The circuit mimics a component of a potential device for sequencing unmodified single-stranded DNA. The molecular conductance is obtained from DFT Green’s f...

  6. Evaluation of the biointeraction of colorant flavazin with human serum albumin: insights from multiple spectroscopic studies, in silico docking and molecular dynamics simulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-06-01

    Azo compounds are the largest chemical class of agents frequently used as colorants in a variety of consumer goods and farm produce; therefore, they may become a hazard to public health, because numerous azo compounds and their metabolites are proven to be carcinogens and mutagens. Herein several qualitative and quantitative analytical techniques, including steady state and time-resolved fluorescence, circular dichroism (CD), computer-aided molecular docking as well as molecular dynamics simulation, were employed to ascertain the molecular recognition between the principal vehicle of ligands in human plasma, albumin and a model azo compound, flavazin. The results show that the albumin spatial structure was changed in the presence of flavazin with a decrease of α-helix suggesting partial protein destabilization/self-regulation, as derived from steady state fluorescence, far-UV CD and detailed analyses of three-dimensional fluorescence spectra. Time-resolved fluorescence further evinced that the recognition mechanism is related to albumin-flavazin adduct formation with an association intensity of 10(4) M(-1), and the driving forces were found to be chiefly π-π interactions, hydrophobic interactions and hydrogen bonds. The specific binding domain of flavazin in protein was defined from molecular docking; subdomain IIA (Sudlow's site I) was found to retain high affinity for the ligand flavazin. This finding corroborates the results of competitive ligand displacement experiments, a hydrophobic 8-anilino-1-naphthalenesulfonic acid probe study and protein denaturation results, placing flavazin at the warfarin-azapropazone site. Based on molecular dynamics simulation, it can be said with certainty that the results of molecular docking are credible, and the key amino acid residues participating in the molecular recognition of flavazin by protein are clearly Trp-214, Arg-222 and Lys-436. The outcomes presented here will help to further comprehend the molecular recognition

  7. How is global climate policy interpreted on the ground? Insights from the analysis of local discourses about forest management and REDD+ in Indonesia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah Milne

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The implementation of "reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation" (REDD+ will inevitably be affected by local social and political dynamics, with the potential for success depending significantly on cooperation from a range of stakeholders at the subnational level. Building on recent critical research on REDD+, we look at how global policy is interpreted locally by actors who are likely to be involved in REDD+ implementation. We do this by examining local stakeholder perceptions of REDD+ and forest management in two contrasting provinces of Indonesia, Riau and Papua, where deforestation rates are high and low, respectively. Using data collected from stakeholder workshops, we conduct a discourse analysis that reveals how subnational actors perceive and position themselves around REDD+ and forest governance. The results reveal six discourses common to both case-study provinces, which variously conflict and converge as they are employed by different actors. Seen together, these discourses provide critical insights into the subnational policy environment, which is largely a product of Indonesia's underlying land and forest politics, and they indicate in turn how REDD+ in practice is likely to be interpreted and reconstituted at the local level. A key finding is that local discourses can be grouped around two divergent positions on REDD+: one that supports forest exploitation and sees limited prospects in forest carbon, and one that embraces sustainable forest management and expresses conditional support for REDD+ subject to benefit-sharing and property arrangements. REDD+ practitioners will therefore need to craft policies and project processes that account for these discursive dynamics.

  8. 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.

  9. Climate-relevant physical properties of molecular constituents relevant for isoprene-derived secondary organic aerosol material

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. A. Upshur

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Secondary organic aerosol (SOA particles, formed from gas-phase biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs, contribute large uncertainties to the radiative forcing that is associated with aerosols in the climate system. Reactive uptake of surface-active organic oxidation products of BVOCs at the gas–aerosol interface can potentially decrease the overall aerosol surface tension and therefore influence their propensity to act as cloud condensation nuclei (CCN. Here, we synthesize and measure some climate-relevant physical properties of SOA particle constituents consisting of the isoprene oxidation products α-, δ-, and cis- and {trans-β-IEPOX (isoprene epoxide, as well as syn- and anti-2-methyltetraol. Following viscosity measurements, we use octanol-water partition coefficients to quantify the relative hydrophobicity of the oxidation products while dynamic surface tension measurements indicate that aqueous solutions of α- and trans-β-IEPOX exhibit significant surface tension depression. We hypothesize that the surface activity of these compounds may enhance aerosol CCN activity, and that trans-β-IEPOX may be highly relevant for surface chemistry of aerosol particles relative to other IEPOX isomers.

  10. Insights into electron tunneling across hydrogen-bonded base-pairs in complete molecular circuits for single-stranded DNA sequencing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Myeong H.; Sankey, Otto F.

    2009-01-01

    We report a first-principles study of electron ballistic transport through a molecular junction containing deoxycytidine-monophosphate (dCMP) connected to metal electrodes. A guanidinium ion and guanine nucleobase are tethered to gold electrodes on opposite sides to form hydrogen bonds with the dCMP molecule providing an electric circuit. The circuit mimics a component of a potential device for sequencing unmodified single-stranded DNA. The molecular conductance is obtained from DFT Green's function scattering methods and is compared to estimates from the electron tunneling decay constant obtained from the complex band structure. The result is that a complete molecular dCMP circuit of 'linker((CH2)2)-guanidinium-phosphate-deoxyribose-cytosine-guanine' has a very low conductance (of the order of fS) while the hydrogen-bonded guanine-cytosine base-pair has a moderate conductance (of the order of tens to hundreds of nS). Thus, while the transverse electron transfer through base-pairing is moderately conductive, electron transfer through a complete molecular dCMP circuit is not. The gold Fermi level is found to be aligned very close to the HOMO for both the guanine-cytosine base-pair and the complete molecular dCMP circuit. Results for two different plausible geometries of the hydrogen-bonded dCMP molecule reveal that the conductance varies from fS for an extended structure to pS for a slightly compressed structure.

  11. Spatial Self-Organization of Vegetation Subject to Climatic Stress—Insights from a System Dynamics—Individual-Based Hybrid Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vincenot, Christian E.; Carteni, Fabrizio; Mazzoleni, Stefano; Rietkerk, Max; Giannino, Francesco

    2016-01-01

    In simulation models of populations or communities, individual plants have often been obfuscated in favor of aggregated vegetation. This simplification comes with a loss of biological detail and a smoothing out of the demographic noise engendered by stochastic individual-scale processes and heterogeneities, which is significant among others when studying the viability of small populations facing challenging fluctuating environmental conditions. This consideration has motivated the development of precise plant-centered models. The accuracy gained in the representation of plant biology has then, however, often been balanced by the disappearance in models of important plant-soil interactions (esp. water dynamics) due to the inability of most individual-based frameworks to simulate complex continuous processes. In this study, we used a hybrid modeling approach, namely integrated System Dynamics (SD)—Individual-based (IB), to illustrate the importance of individual plant dynamics to explain spatial self-organization of vegetation in arid environments. We analyzed the behavior of this model under different parameter sets either related to individual plant properties (such as seed dispersal distance and reproductive age) or the environment (such as intensity and yearly distribution of precipitation events). While the results of this work confirmed the prevailing theory on vegetation patterning, they also revealed the importance therein of plant-level processes that cannot be rendered by reaction-diffusion models. Initial spatial distribution of plants, reproductive age, and average seed dispersal distance, by impacting patch size and vegetation aggregation, affected pattern formation and population survival under climatic variations. Besides, changes in precipitation regime altered the demographic structure and spatial organization of vegetation patches by affecting plants differentially depending on their age and biomass. Water availability influenced non

  12. Spatial Self-Organization of Vegetation Subject to Climatic Stress-Insights from a System Dynamics-Individual-Based Hybrid Model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vincenot, Christian E; Carteni, Fabrizio; Mazzoleni, Stefano; Rietkerk, Max; Giannino, Francesco

    2016-01-01

    In simulation models of populations or communities, individual plants have often been obfuscated in favor of aggregated vegetation. This simplification comes with a loss of biological detail and a smoothing out of the demographic noise engendered by stochastic individual-scale processes and heterogeneities, which is significant among others when studying the viability of small populations facing challenging fluctuating environmental conditions. This consideration has motivated the development of precise plant-centered models. The accuracy gained in the representation of plant biology has then, however, often been balanced by the disappearance in models of important plant-soil interactions (esp. water dynamics) due to the inability of most individual-based frameworks to simulate complex continuous processes. In this study, we used a hybrid modeling approach, namely integrated System Dynamics (SD)-Individual-based (IB), to illustrate the importance of individual plant dynamics to explain spatial self-organization of vegetation in arid environments. We analyzed the behavior of this model under different parameter sets either related to individual plant properties (such as seed dispersal distance and reproductive age) or the environment (such as intensity and yearly distribution of precipitation events). While the results of this work confirmed the prevailing theory on vegetation patterning, they also revealed the importance therein of plant-level processes that cannot be rendered by reaction-diffusion models. Initial spatial distribution of plants, reproductive age, and average seed dispersal distance, by impacting patch size and vegetation aggregation, affected pattern formation and population survival under climatic variations. Besides, changes in precipitation regime altered the demographic structure and spatial organization of vegetation patches by affecting plants differentially depending on their age and biomass. Water availability influenced non-linearly total

  13. Spatial Self-Organization of Vegetation Subject to Climatic Stress-Insights from a System Dynamics-Individual-Based Hybrid Model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vincenot, Christian E; Carteni, Fabrizio; Mazzoleni, Stefano; Rietkerk, Max; Giannino, Francesco

    2016-01-01

    In simulation models of populations or communities, individual plants have often been obfuscated in favor of aggregated vegetation. This simplification comes with a loss of biological detail and a smoothing out of the demographic noise engendered by stochastic individual-scale processes and heterogeneities, which is significant among others when studying the viability of small populations facing challenging fluctuating environmental conditions. This consideration has motivated the development of precise plant-centered models. The accuracy gained in the representation of plant biology has then, however, often been balanced by the disappearance in models of important plant-soil interactions (esp. water dynamics) due to the inability of most individual-based frameworks to simulate complex continuous processes. In this study, we used a hybrid modeling approach, namely integrated System Dynamics (SD)-Individual-based (IB), to illustrate the importance of individual plant dynamics to explain spatial self-organization of vegetation in arid environments. We analyzed the behavior of this model under different parameter sets either related to individual plant properties (such as seed dispersal distance and reproductive age) or the environment (such as intensity and yearly distribution of precipitation events). While the results of this work confirmed the prevailing theory on vegetation patterning, they also revealed the importance therein of plant-level processes that cannot be rendered by reaction-diffusion models. Initial spatial distribution of plants, reproductive age, and average seed dispersal distance, by impacting patch size and vegetation aggregation, affected pattern formation and population survival under climatic variations. Besides, changes in precipitation regime altered the demographic structure and spatial organization of vegetation patches by affecting plants differentially depending on their age and biomass. Water availability influenced non-linearly total

  14. Oil-source correlation of the pre-Tertiary in the Huanghua Depression: Insights from stable carbon isotopes and molecular markers

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    YANG Yongcai; ZHANG Zhihuan; LI Wei; QIN Liming; FANG Chaohe; LIN Yuxiang; LIU Hua

    2008-01-01

    Stable carbon isotopes were used together with molecular markers to constrain genetic relationships between sandstone extracts and potential source rocks in the pre-Tertiary in the Huanghua Depression, North China.Comparison of the extracts from Permo-Carboniferous terrigenous mudstones and Ordovician marine carbonates indicated that their prominent differences are in stable carbon isotopes, molecular markers and thermal maturity.Although the extracts of the Mesozoic and Lower Permian Xiashihezi Formation sandstones have some similar isotopic characteristics, molecular markers data provide a good correlation between the Upper Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous oils and the Upper Carboniferous Taiyuan Formation mudstones, and between the Lower Permian Xiashihezi Formation oils and the Lower Permian mudstones. The results showed that the Upper Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous sandstone oils were derived chiefly from the Upper Carboniferous Taiyuan Formation terrigenous mudstones and that the Lower Permian Xiashihezi Formation oils were sourced from the Lower Permian Shanxi Formation and Xiashihezi Formation terdgenous mudstones.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Consumer Insights

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    JANKOT

    2004-01-01

    Fang Jun, the head of consumer and market insights of Unilever Shanghai, has summarized his early life as a market in two sentences: rush about to study market changes;act all day to observe consumer behavior. And now?"Tell stories, conduct interviews and piece together different data; calculate numbers,build models and write reports."

  18. New Insights into Dialysis Vascular Access: Molecular Targets in Arteriovenous Fistula and Arteriovenous Graft Failure and Their Potential to Improve Vascular Access Outcomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Timmy; Misra, Sanjay

    2016-08-01

    Vascular access dysfunction remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality in hemodialysis patients. At present there are few effective therapies for this clinical problem. The poor understanding of the pathobiology that leads to arteriovenous fistula (AVF) and graft (AVG) dysfunction remains a critical barrier to development of novel and effective therapies. However, in recent years we have made substantial progress in our understanding of the mechanisms of vascular access dysfunction. This article presents recent advances and new insights into the pathobiology of AVF and AVG dysfunction and highlights potential therapeutic targets to improve vascular access outcomes. PMID:27401527

  19. 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

    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...

  20. 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. PMID:27082439

  1. First principles molecular dynamics simulation of a task-specific ionic liquid based on silver-olefin complex: atomistic insight into separation process

    CERN Document Server

    Jiang, De-en

    2008-01-01

    First principles molecular dynamics based on density functional theory is applied to a hypothetical ionic liquid whose cations and anions are silver-ethylene complex [Ag(C2H4)2+] and tetrafluoroborate [BF4-], respectively. This ionic liquid represents a group of task-specific silver complex-based ionic liquids synthesized recently. Molecular dynamics simulations at two temperatures are performed for five picoseconds. Events of association, dissociation, exchange, and recombination of ethylene with silver cation are observed. A mechanism of ethylene transfer similar to the Grotthus type of proton transfer in water is identified, where a silver cation accepts one ethylene molecule and donates another to a neighboring silver cation. This mechanism may contribute to fast transport of olefins through ionic liquid membranes based on silver complexes for olefin/paraffin separation.

  2. First principles molecular dynamics simulation of a task-specific ionic liquid based on silver-olefin complex: atomistic insights into a separation process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, De-en; Dai, Sheng

    2008-08-21

    First principles molecular dynamics based on density functional theory is applied to a hypothetical ionic liquid whose cations and anions are silver-ethylene complex [Ag(C2H4)2+] and tetrafluoroborate [BF4-], respectively. This ionic liquid represents a group of task-specific silver complex-based ionic liquids synthesized recently. Molecular dynamics simulations at two temperatures are performed for five picoseconds. Events of association, dissociation, exchange, and recombination of ethylene with silver cation are found. A mechanism of ethylene transfer similar to the Grotthus type of proton transfer in water is identified, where a silver cation accepts one ethylene molecule and donates another to a neighboring silver cation. This mechanism may contribute to fast transport of olefins through ionic liquid membranes based on silver complexes for olefin/paraffin separation.

  3. 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.

  4. Molecular evidence of heavy-oil weathering following the M/V Cosco Busan spill: insights from Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lemkau, Karin L; McKenna, Amy M; Podgorski, David C; Rodgers, Ryan P; Reddy, Christopher M

    2014-04-01

    Recent studies have highlighted a critical need to investigate oil weathering beyond the analytical window afforded by conventional gas chromatography (GC). In particular, techniques capable of detecting polar and higher molecular weight (HMW; > 400 Da) components abundant in crude and heavy fuel oils (HFOs) as well as transformation products. Here, we used atmospheric pressure photoionization Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (APPI FT-ICR MS) to identify molecular transformations in oil-residue samples from the 2007 M/V Cosco Busan HFO spill (San Francisco, CA). Over 617 days, the abundance and diversity of oxygen-containing compounds increased relative to the parent HFO, likely from bio- and photodegradation. HMW, highly aromatic, alkylated compounds decreased in relative abundance concurrent with increased relative abundance of less alkylated stable aromatic structures. Combining these results with GC-based data yielded a more comprehensive understanding of oil spill weathering. For example, dealkylation trends and the overall loss of HMW species observed by FT-ICR MS has not previously been documented and is counterintuitive given losses of lower molecular weight species observed by GC. These results suggest a region of relative stability at the interface of these techniques, which provides new indicators for studying long-term weathering and identifying sources.

  5. Theoretical Insight into Shocked Gases

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Leiding, Jeffery Allen [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)

    2016-09-29

    I present the results of statistical mechanical calculations on shocked molecular gases. This work provides insight into the general behavior of shock Hugoniots of gas phase molecular targets with varying initial pressures. The dissociation behavior of the molecules is emphasized. Impedance matching calculations are performed to determine the maximum degree of dissociation accessible for a given flyer velocity as a function of initial gas pressure.

  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. 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.

  8. Bioassay-guided isolation, identification and molecular ligand-target insight of lipoxygenase inhibitors from leaves of Anisomeles malabarica R.Br.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A Sudha

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: Anisomeles malabarica R. Br. (Lamiaceae is extensively used in traditional medicine in major parts of India for several medicinal purposes, including their use in rheumatism. Materials and Methods: The air-dried leaves of A. malabarica were extracted with ethanol, defatted with n-hexane and then successively partitioned into chloroform and n-butanol fractions. Bioassay-guided fractionation and purification of chloroform fraction from A. malabarica lead to the isolation of lipoxygenase (LOX inhibitors. The structures of isolated compounds were elucidated by ultraviolet, infrared, 1 H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR, 13 C NMR and mass spectrometry spectroscopic techniques and assessed further by in vitro soybean lipoxygenase (sLOX assay. In addition, the enzyme type inhibition was evaluated through molecular docking technique as a part of computational study. Results: The bioactive compounds 3, 4 dihydroxy benzoic acid (1 and 4′, 5, 7-trihydroxyflavone (2 were isolated from chloroform fraction of A. malabarica, whose bioactivity was observed to be dose-dependent compared to n-butanol fraction. Among the compounds, 3, 4 dihydroxy benzoic acid showed significant sLOX inhibitory activity with 74.04% ±2.6% followed by 4′, 5, 7-trihydroxyflavone (34.68% ±1.9%. The computational analysis of compounds showed their molecular interaction with important amino acid residues and nonheme iron atom in the catalytic site of LOX by enlightening their potential binding mode at molecular level. Conclusions: The LOX inhibitory constituents were identified from A. malabarica by means of bioassay-guided fractionation process. The results derived from in vitro and computational experiments confirm the potential of the isolated compounds and provide additional evidence for its traditional use in inflammatory disorders.

  9. Rare loss-of-function mutation in complement component C3 provides insight into molecular and pathophysiological determinants of complement activity

    OpenAIRE

    Sfyroera, Georgia; Ricklin, Daniel; Reis, Edimara S.; Chen, Hui; Wu, Emilia L.; Kaznessis, Yiannis N.; Ekdahl, Kristina N.; Nilsson, Bo; Lambris, John D.

    2015-01-01

    The plasma protein C3 is a central element in the activation and effector functions of the complement system. A hereditary dysfunction of C3 that prevents complement activation via the alternative pathway (AP) was described previously in a Swedish family, but its genetic cause and molecular consequences have remained elusive. Here we provide these missing links by pinpointing the dysfunction to a point mutation in the β-chain of C3 (c.1180T>C; p.Met373Thr). In the patient’s plasma, AP activit...

  10. Coordination Numbers of K+ and Na+ Ions Inside the Selectivity Filter of the KcsA Potassium Channel: Insights from First Principles Molecular Dynamics

    OpenAIRE

    Bucher, Denis; Guidoni, Leonardo; Carloni, Paolo; Rothlisberger, Ursula

    2010-01-01

    Quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) Car-Parrinello simulations were performed to estimate the coordination numbers of K+ and Na+ ions in the selectivity filter of the KcsA channel, and in water. At the DFT/BLYP level, K+ ions were found to display an average coordination number of 6.6 in the filter, and 6.2 in water. Na+ ions displayed an average coordination number of 5.2 in the filter, and 5.0 in water. A comparison was made with the average coordination numbers obtained from usin...

  11. Functional analysis and binding affinity of tomato ethylene response factors provide insight on the molecular bases of plant differential responses to ethylene

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pirrello Julien

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The phytohormone ethylene is involved in a wide range of developmental processes and in mediating plant responses to biotic and abiotic stresses. Ethylene signalling acts via a linear transduction pathway leading to the activation of Ethylene Response Factor genes (ERF which represent one of the largest gene families of plant transcription factors. How an apparently simple signalling pathway can account for the complex and widely diverse plant responses to ethylene remains yet an unanswered question. Building on the recent release of the complete tomato genome sequence, the present study aims at gaining better insight on distinctive features among ERF proteins. Results A set of 28 cDNA clones encoding ERFs in the tomato (Solanum lycopersicon were isolated and shown to fall into nine distinct subclasses characterised by specific conserved motifs most of which with unknown function. In addition of being able to regulate the transcriptional activity of GCC-box containing promoters, tomato ERFs are also shown to be active on promoters lacking this canonical ethylene-responsive-element. Moreover, the data reveal that ERF affinity to the GCC-box depends on the nucleotide environment surrounding this cis-acting element. Site-directed mutagenesis revealed that the nature of the flanking nucleotides can either enhance or reduce the binding affinity, thus conferring the binding specificity of various ERFs to target promoters. Based on their expression pattern, ERF genes can be clustered in two main clades given their preferential expression in reproductive or vegetative tissues. The regulation of several tomato ERF genes by both ethylene and auxin, suggests their potential contribution to the convergence mechanism between the signalling pathways of the two hormones. Conclusions The data reveal that regions flanking the core GCC-box sequence are part of the discrimination mechanism by which ERFs selectively bind to their target

  12. Inhibitory effect of synthetic aromatic heterocycle thiosemicarbazone derivatives on mushroom tyrosinase: Insights from fluorescence, (1)H NMR titration and molecular docking studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Juan; Dong, Huanhuan; Yu, Yanying; Cao, Shuwen

    2016-01-01

    Three structurally similar aromatic heterocyclic compounds 2-thiophenecarboxaldehyde (a), 2-furaldehyde (b), 2-pyrrolecarboxaldehyde (c) were chosen and a series of their thiosemicarbazone derivatives(1a-3a, 1b-3b and 1c-3c) were synthesized to evaluate their biological activities as mushroom tyrosinase inhibitors. The inhibitory effects of these compounds on tyrosinase were investigated by using spectrofluorimetry, (1)H NMR titration and molecular docking techniques. From the results of fluorescence spectrum and (1)H NMR titration, it was found that forming complexes between the sulfur atom from thiourea and copper ion of enzyme center may play a key role for inhibition activity. Moreover, investigation of (1)H NMR spectra further revealed that formation of hydrogen bond between inhibitor and enzyme may be helpful to above complexes formation. The results were well coincident with the suggestion of molecular docking and obviously showed that 2-thiophone N(4)-thiosemicarbazone (1a), 2-furfuran N(4)-thiosemicarbazone (1b) and 2-pyrrole N(4)-thiosemicarbazone (1c) are potential inhibitors which deserves further investigation. PMID:26213029

  13. Conformational Ensemble of hIAPP Dimer: Insight into the Molecular Mechanism by which a Green Tea Extract inhibits hIAPP Aggregation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mo, Yuxiang; Lei, Jiangtao; Sun, Yunxiang; Zhang, Qingwen; Wei, Guanghong

    2016-01-01

    Small oligomers formed early along human islet amyloid polypeptide (hIAPP) aggregation is responsible for the cell death in Type II diabetes. The epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a green tea extract, was found to inhibit hIAPP fibrillation. However, the inhibition mechanism and the conformational distribution of the smallest hIAPP oligomer - dimer are mostly unknown. Herein, we performed extensive replica exchange molecular dynamic simulations on hIAPP dimer with and without EGCG molecules. Extended hIAPP dimer conformations, with a collision cross section value similar to that observed by ion mobility-mass spectrometry, were observed in our simulations. Notably, these dimers adopt a three-stranded antiparallel β-sheet and contain the previously reported β-hairpin amyloidogenic precursor. We find that EGCG binding strongly blocks both the inter-peptide hydrophobic and aromatic-stacking interactions responsible for inter-peptide β-sheet formation and intra-peptide interaction crucial for β-hairpin formation, thus abolishes the three-stranded β-sheet structures and leads to the formation of coil-rich conformations. Hydrophobic, aromatic-stacking, cation-π and hydrogen-bonding interactions jointly contribute to the EGCG-induced conformational shift. This study provides, on atomic level, the conformational ensemble of hIAPP dimer and the molecular mechanism by which EGCG inhibits hIAPP aggregation. PMID:27620620

  14. Communication: Librational dynamics in water, sI and sII clathrate hydrates, and ice Ih: Molecular-dynamics insights.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burnham, Christian J; English, Niall J

    2016-02-01

    Equilibrium molecular-dynamics simulations have been performed for liquid water, and on metastable sI and sII polymorphs of empty hydrate lattices, in addition to ice Ih, in order to study the dynamical properties of librational motion (rotation oscillation) depicted by protons in water molecules. In particular, hydrate lattices were found to display prominent "bifurcated" features, or peaks, at circa 70 and 80-95 meV (or ∼560 and 640-760 cm(-1), respectively), also displayed by ice, in essentially quantitative agreement with experimental neutron-scattering data. However, observed differences in dispersion between these librational modes between these two structures (both hydrate polymorphs vis-à-vis ice), owing primarily to density effects, have been decomposed into contributions arising from angular-velocity dynamics about axes in the local molecular frame of water molecules, with in-plane "wagging" and "twisting" rationalising one mode at ∼70 meV, and out-of-plane motion for the higher-frequency band. This was confirmed explicitly by a type of de facto normal-mode analysis, in which only immediate layers of water molecules about the one under consideration were allowed to move. In contrast, liquid water displayed no marked preference for such local in- or out-of-plane modes characterising librational motion, owing to the marked absence of rigid, pentamers or hexamers therein.

  15. Structural Determinants of Improved Fluorescence in a Family of Bacteriophytochrome-Based Infrared Fluorescent Proteins: Insights from Continuum Electrostatic Calculations and Molecular Dynamics Simulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feliks, Mikolaj; Lafaye, Céline; Shu, Xiaokun; Royant, Antoine; Field, Martin

    2016-08-01

    Using X-ray crystallography, continuum electrostatic calculations, and molecular dynamics simulations, we have studied the structure, protonation behavior, and dynamics of the biliverdin chromophore and its molecular environment in a series of genetically engineered infrared fluorescent proteins (IFPs) based on the chromophore-binding domain of the Deinococcus radiodurans bacteriophytochrome. Our study suggests that the experimentally observed enhancement of fluorescent properties results from the improved rigidity and planarity of the biliverdin chromophore, in particular of the first two pyrrole rings neighboring the covalent linkage to the protein. We propose that the increases in the levels of both motion and bending of the chromophore out of planarity favor the decrease in fluorescence. The chromophore-binding pocket in some of the studied proteins, in particular the weakly fluorescent parent protein, is shown to be readily accessible to water molecules from the solvent. These waters entering the chromophore region form hydrogen bond networks that affect the otherwise planar conformation of the first three rings of the chromophore. On the basis of our simulations, the enhancement of fluorescence in IFPs can be achieved either by reducing the mobility of water molecules in the vicinity of the chromophore or by limiting the interactions of the nearby protein residues with the chromophore. Finally, simulations performed at both low and neutral pH values highlight differences in the dynamics of the chromophore and shed light on the mechanism of fluorescence loss at low pH. PMID:27471775

  16. 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.

  17. First assessment on the molecular phylogeny of Anatololacerta (Squamata, Lacertidae) distributed in Southern Anatolia: insights from mtDNA and nDNA markers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Candan, Kamil; Kankılıç, Tolga; Güçlü, Özgür; Kumlutaş, Yusuf; Durmuş, Salih Hakan; Lymberakis, Petros; Poulakakis, Nikos; Ilgaz, Çetin

    2016-05-01

    The genus Anatololacerta (Lacertidae) occurs mainly in Anatolia (western and southern Turkey) and on the Aegean islands Samos, Ikaria, and Rhodos. Although its taxonomy has long been debated and is currently nascent, three morphological species have been attributed to this genus: Anatololacerta anatolica, Anatololacerta oertzeni, and Anatololacerta danfordi. Here, we investigated the evolutionary history of A. oertzeni and Anatololacerta danfordi based on both mitochondrial and nuclear markers (16S rRNA and cmos). In total, 34 Anatololacerta specimens were analyzed using maximum likelihood (ML) and Bayesian inference (BI) methods. Our results supported the presence of four well-supported lineages: two belongs to A. oertzeni and two to A. danfordi. The temporal diversification of these lineages probably started with the divergence of the first A. oertzeni lineage from western Antalya at 7.9 Mya. The other two major splits may have occurred in early Pliocene (4.4 Mya: the divergence of the second A. oertzeni from A. danfordi) and in late Pliocene (2.7 Mya: the divergence of the two lineages of A. danfordi). The phylogeographical scenario suggests that the major diversification events (from late Miocene to late Pliocene) could be related with climatic oscillations (such as the late Miocene aridification and the Messinian Salinity Crisis) and tectonic movements (such as the uplift of the central Taurus mountain). PMID:25489775

  18. Molecular phylogeography and ecological niche modelling of a widespread herbaceous climber, Tetrastigma hemsleyanum (Vitaceae): insights into Plio-Pleistocene range dynamics of evergreen forest in subtropical China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yi-Han; Jiang, Wei-Mei; Comes, Hans Peter; Hu, Feng Sheng; Qiu, Ying-Xiong; Fu, Cheng-Xin

    2015-04-01

    Warm-temperate evergreen (WTE) forest represents the typical vegetation type of subtropical China, but how its component species responded to past environmental change remains largely unknown. Here, we reconstruct the evolutionary history of Tetrastigma hemsleyanum, an herbaceous climber restricted to the WTE forest. Twenty populations were genotyped using chloroplast DNA sequences and nuclear microsatellite loci to assess population structure and diversity, supplemented by phylogenetic dating, ancestral area reconstructions and ecological niche modeling (ENM) of the species distributions during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) and at present. Lineages in Southwest vs Central-South-East China diverged through climate/tectonic-induced vicariance of an ancestral southern range during the early Pliocene. Long-term stability in the Southwest contrasts with latitudinal range shifts in the Central-South-East region during the early-to-mid-Pleistocene. Genetic and ENM data strongly suggest refugial persistence in situ at the LGM. Pre-Quaternary environmental changes appear to have had a persistent influence on the population genetic structure of this subtropical WTE forest species. Our findings suggest relative demographic stability of this biome in China over the last glacial-interglacial cycle, in contrast with palaeobiome reconstructions showing that this forest biome retreated to areas of today's tropical South China during the LGM. PMID:25639152

  19. Cellular and molecular mechanistic insight into the DNA-damaging potential of few-layer graphene in human primary endothelial cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sasidharan, Abhilash; Swaroop, Siddharth; Chandran, Parwathy; Nair, Shantikumar; Koyakutty, Manzoor

    2016-07-01

    Despite graphene being proposed for a multitude of biomedical applications, there is a dearth in the fundamental cellular and molecular level understanding of how few-layer graphene (FLG) interacts with human primary cells. Herein, using human primary umbilical vein endothelial cells as model of vascular transport, we investigated the basic mechanism underlying the biological behavior of graphene. Mechanistic toxicity studies using a battery of cell based assays revealed an organized oxidative stress paradigm involving cytosolic reactive oxygen stress, mitochondrial superoxide generation, lipid peroxidation, glutathione oxidation, mitochondrial membrane depolarization, enhanced calcium efflux, all leading to cell death by apoptosis/necrosis. We further investigated the effect of graphene interactions using cDNA microarray analysis and identified potential adverse effects by down regulating key genes involved in DNA damage response and repair mechanisms. Single cell gel electrophoresis assay/Comet assay confirmed the DNA damaging potential of graphene towards human primary cells. PMID:26970024

  20. Insight into the nanomechanical properties under indentation of β-Si3N4 nano-thin layers in the basal plane using molecular dynamics simulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Xuefeng; Guo, Xin; La, Peiqing; Wei, Yupeng; Nan, Xueli; He, Ling

    2014-09-21

    Molecular dynamics simulations were performed to clarify the nanomechanical responses of β-Si3N4 nano-thin layers in the basal plane for indenters of various radii, different indentation velocities and at different temperatures. It was found that the maximum loading stress and indenter displacement both increase with increasing radius of the indenter. A large number of N(6h)-Si bond-breaking defects and one N(2c)-Si bond-breaking defects are responsible for the initiation of fracturing. With increasing loading velocity, the maximum loading stresses show almost no change; however, a high loading velocity can shorten the displacement of the indenter and contributes to the formation of new N(2c)-Si bond-breaking defects. Thermal fluctuations can decrease the mechanical properties of the thin layer. The maximum loading stresses and indenter displacements are sensitive to both the radius of the indenter and the loading temperature.

  1. New insight into molecular phylogeny and epidemiology of Sporothrix schenckii species complex based on calmodulin-encoding gene analysis of Italian isolates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romeo, Orazio; Scordino, Fabio; Criseo, Giuseppe

    2011-09-01

    In this study, we investigated phylogenetic relationships among Italian Sporothrix schenckii isolates, by comparing their partial calmodulin sequences. In this analysis, we used 26 environmental strains of S. schenckii, plus two autochthonous clinical isolates. The results showed that our clinical strains grouped with S. schenckii sensu stricto isolates, whereas all 26 environmental isolates co-clustered with Sporothrix albicans (now regarded as a synonym of Sporothrix pallida), a non-pathogenic species closely related to S. schenckii. Furthermore, the group of environmental strains was found to be quite heterogeneous and further subdivided into two subgroups. The data reported here also showed that molecular methods, for specific identification of S. schenckii, developed before the description of its closely related species should be used with caution because of the possibility of false positive results, which could lead to inappropriate antifungal therapy. This study improves our understanding of the distribution of these new closely related Sporothrix species which also showed significant differences in antifungal susceptibilities.

  2. 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.

  3. Molecular insights into the mechanisms of liver-associated diseases in early-lactating dairy cows: hypothetical role of endoplasmic reticulum stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ringseis, R; Gessner, D K; Eder, K

    2015-08-01

    The transition period represents the most critical period in the productive life of high-yielding dairy cows due to both metabolic and inflammatory stimuli, which challenge the liver and predispose dairy cows to develop liver-associated diseases such as fatty liver and ketosis. Despite the fact that all high-yielding dairy cows are affected by marked metabolic stress due to a severe negative energy balance (NEB) during early lactation, not all cows develop liver-associated diseases. Although the reason for this is largely unknown, this indicates that the capacity of the liver to cope with metabolic and inflammatory challenges varies between individual high-yielding dairy cows. Convincing evidence exists that endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress plays a key role in the development of fatty liver, and it has been recently shown that ER stress occurs in the liver of high-yielding dairy cows. This indicates that ER stress may be involved in the development of liver-associated diseases in dairy cows. The present review shows that the liver of dairy cows during early lactation is exposed to several metabolic and inflammatory challenges, such as non-esterified fatty acids, tumour necrosis factor α, interleukin-1β, reactive oxygen species and lipopolysaccharides, which are known inducers of ER stress. Thus, ER stress may represent a molecular basis for fatty liver development and account for the frequent occurrence of fatty liver and ketosis in high-yielding dairy cows. Interindividual differences between dairy cows in the activation of hepatic stress response pathways, such as nuclear factor E2-related factor 2, which is activated during ER stress and reduces the sensitivity of tissues to oxidative and inflammatory damage, might provide an explanation at the molecular level for differences in the capacity to cope with pathological inflammatory challenges during early lactation and the susceptibility to develop liver-associated diseases between early-lactating dairy cows

  4. Substrate distortion in the Michaelis complex of Bacillus 1,3-1,4-beta-glucanase. Insight from first principles molecular dynamics simulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biarnés, Xevi; Nieto, Joan; Planas, Antoni; Rovira, Carme

    2006-01-20

    The structure and dynamics of the enzyme-substrate complex of Bacillus 1,3-1,4-beta-glucanase, one of the most active glycoside hydrolases, is investigated by means of Car-Parrinello molecular dynamics simulations (CPMD) combined with force field molecular dynamics (QM/MM CPMD). It is found that the substrate sugar ring located at the -1 subsite adopts a distorted 1S3 skew-boat conformation upon binding to the enzyme. With respect to the undistorted 4C1 chair conformation, the 1S3 skew-boat conformation is characterized by: (a) an increase of charge at the anomeric carbon (C1), (b) an increase of the distance between C1 and the leaving group, and (c) a decrease of the intraring O5-C1 distance. Therefore, our results clearly show that the distorted conformation resembles both structurally and electronically the transition state of the reaction in which the substrate acquires oxocarbenium ion character, and the glycosidic bond is partially broken. Together with analysis of the substrate conformational dynamics, it is concluded that the main determinants of substrate distortion have a structural origin. To fit into the binding pocket, it is necessary that the aglycon leaving group is oriented toward the beta region, and the skew-boat conformation naturally fulfills this premise. Only when the aglycon is removed from the calculation the substrate recovers the all-chair conformation, in agreement with the recent determination of the enzyme product structure. The QM/MM protocol developed here is able to predict the conformational distortion of substrate binding in glycoside hydrolases because it accounts for polarization and charge reorganization at the -1 sugar ring. It thus provides a powerful tool to model E.S complexes for which experimental information is not yet available.

  5. Conformational alterations induced by novel green 16-E2-16 gemini surfactant in xanthine oxidase: Biophysical insights from tensiometry, spectroscopy, microscopy and molecular modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akram, Mohd; Bhat, Imtiyaz Ahmad; Bhat, Waseem Feeroze; Kabir-ud-Din

    2015-11-01

    Herein we report the interaction of a biodegradable gemini surfactant, ethane-1,2-diyl bis(N,N-dimethyl-N-hexadecylammoniumacetoxy) dichloride (16-E2-16) with bovine milk xanthine oxidase (XO), employing tensiometry, fluorescence spectroscopy, UV spectroscopy, far-UV circular dichroism spectroscopy (CD), Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and computational molecular modeling. Surface tension results depict substantial changes in the micellar as well as interfacial parameters (CMC, ΠCMC, γCMC, Γmax, Amin, ΔGmic° and ΔGads°) of 16-E2-16 gemini surfactant upon XO combination, deciphering the interaction of XO with the gemini surfactant. Fluorescence measurements reveal that 16-E2-16 gemini surfactant causes quenching in the xanthine oxidase (XO) fluorescence spectra via static procedure and the values of various evaluated binding parameters (KSV, Kb, kq, ΔGb° and n) describe that 16-E2-16 effectively binds to XO. Three dimensional fluorescence, 8-anilino-1-naphthalene sulfonic acid (ANS) binding, F1F3 ratio, UV, CD, FTIR, SEM and TEM results delineate changes in the secondary structure of xanthine oxidase. Molecular docking results provide complement to the steady-state fluorescence findings and support the view that quenching occurs due to non-polar environment experienced by aromatic residues of the enzyme. The results of this study can help scientists to tune the conformation of an enzyme (XO) with biocompatible amphiphilic microstructures, which will help to unfold further understanding in the treatment modes of various diseases like gout, hyperuricemia, liver and brain necrosis. PMID:26057098

  6. Differences between sympatric populations of Eotetranychus carpini collected from Vitis vinifera and Carpinus betulus: insights from host-switch experiments and molecular data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malagnini, Valeria; Navajas, Maria; Migeon, Alain; Duso, Carlo

    2012-03-01

    Eotetranychus carpini (Oudemans) is an important pest of grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.) in southern Europe. This mite is also found on a number of different plants, including Carpinus betulus L., which commonly occurs in stands and hedgerows bordering vineyards, where it may serve as a potential mite reservoir. The economic importance of this pest has motivated a number of studies aimed at investigating whether the mites found on V. vinifera and C. betulus are conspecific. The results obtained to date have been inconclusive. In this study, we used biological and molecular approaches to investigate this issue. First, we conducted host-switch experiments to test the ability of E. carpini to develop on an alternative host plant, using mite populations originally collected on either C. betulus or V. vinifera plants from the same area. Second, we investigated DNA-based differentiation using nucleotide sequences of the ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 region of the ribosomal DNA of individual E. carpini from the populations examined in our host-plant experiments. We also analyzed sequences of individuals collected in other regions (Italy and Slovenia) to estimate species variation. The results from our host-switch experiments suggest the differentiation of mites collected on the two hosts. Mites collected from C. betulus did not survive and reproduce on V. vinifera and vice versa. Our molecular work revealed significant genetic differentiation between the mites collected from the two hosts, but no evidence of genetic variation among specimens collected from the same host species. Our results indicate the existence of host races of E. carpini. PMID:22270111

  7. Novel Molecular Insights into Classical and Alternative Activation States of Microglia as Revealed by Stable Isotope Labeling by Amino Acids in Cell Culture (SILAC)-based Proteomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell-Temin, Harris; Culver-Cochran, Ashley E; Chaput, Dale; Carlson, Christina M; Kuehl, Melanie; Burkhardt, Brant R; Bickford, Paula C; Liu, Bin; Stevens, Stanley M

    2015-12-01

    Microglia, the resident immune cells of the brain, have been shown to display a complex spectrum of roles that span from neurotrophic to neurotoxic depending on their activation status. Microglia can be classified into four stages of activation, M1, which most closely matches the classical (pro-inflammatory) activation stage, and the alternative activation stages M2a, M2b, and M2c. The alternative activation stages have not yet been comprehensively analyzed through unbiased, global-scale protein expression profiling. In this study, BV2 mouse immortalized microglial cells were stimulated with agonists specific for each of the four stages and total protein expression for 4644 protein groups was quantified using SILAC-based proteomic analysis. After validating induction of the various stages through a targeted cytokine assay and Western blotting of activation states, the data revealed novel insights into the similarities and differences between the various states. The data identify several protein groups whose expression in the anti-inflammatory, pro-healing activation states are altered presumably to curtail inflammatory activation through differential protein expression, in the M2a state including CD74, LYN, SQST1, TLR2, and CD14. The differential expression of these proteins promotes healing, limits phagocytosis, and limits activation of reactive nitrogen species through toll-like receptor cascades. The M2c state appears to center around the down-regulation of a key member in the formation of actin-rich phagosomes, SLP-76. In addition, the proteomic data identified a novel activation marker, DAB2, which is involved in clathrin-mediated endocytosis and is significantly different between M2a and either M1 or M2b states. Western blot analysis of mouse primary microglia stimulated with the various agonists of the classical and alternative activation states revealed a similar trend of DAB2 expression compared with BV2 cells.

  8. Mapping of the Co-Transcriptomes of UPEC-Infected Macrophages Reveals New Insights into the Molecular Basis of Host-Pathogen Interactions in Human and Mouse

    KAUST Repository

    Mavromatis, Charalampos Harris

    2014-01-01

    provides both a unique co-culture approach to study infection in vitro and a technological framework for simultaneously capturing global changes in hostpathogen interactions at the transcriptional level in co-cultures. In conclusion, this work has generated new insights into the mechanisms that UPEC strains exploit to persist within the mouse intramacrophage environment, as well as differences in the transcriptional repertoire of HMDM and BMM challenged with the same UPEC strain.

  9. Insight into the light-induced spin crossover of [Fe(bpy)3](2+) in aqueous solution from molecular dynamics simulation of d-d excited states.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iuchi, Satoru; Koga, Nobuaki

    2016-02-14

    Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations are performed for d-d excited states of the aqueous [Fe(bpy)3](2+) system using a previously developed model Hamiltonian. Specifically, the characters of d-d excited states and of transitions among these states are explored to gain clues about electronic relaxation during the photo-excited metal-to-ligand charge transfer (MLCT) to the lowest quintet d-d states. By evaluating the spin-orbit couplings in various nuclear configurations through MD simulations, strong mixing among low-lying d-d states with different spin multiplicities is found not to be expected in most of the sampled nuclear configurations except for surface crossing regions. The lifetimes of triplet d-d states are evaluated by Fermi's golden rule using equilibrium MD simulations. The internal conversion from upper-lying triplet to lower-lying triplet states is estimated to occur with a lifetime of order 100 fs accompanied by the distortion of the [Fe(bpy)3](2+) complex structure. This result is consistent with the discussion in another computational study, which evaluated the intersystem crossing rates by Fermi's golden rule using electronic structure calculations. In contrast, the present MD simulations cannot provide a clear picture of intersystem crossings from the lowest triplet d-d state after the above-mentioned internal conversion. Based on this result, possible relaxation mechanisms are discussed. PMID:26806402

  10. Hydrogen-bond vibrational and energetic dynamical properties in sI and sII clathrate hydrates and in ice Ih: Molecular dynamics insights.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chakraborty, Somendra Nath; English, Niall J

    2015-10-21

    Equilibrium molecular dynamics (MD) simulations have been performed on cubic (sI and sII) polymorphs of methane hydrate, and hexagonal ice (ice Ih), to study the dynamical properties of hydrogen-bond vibrations and hydrogen-bond self-energy. It was found that hydrogen-bond energies are greatest in magnitude in sI hydrates, followed by sII, and their energies are least in magnitude in ice Ih. This is consistent with recent MD-based findings on thermal conductivities for these various materials [N. J. English and J. S. Tse, Phys. Rev. Lett. 103, 015901 (2009)], in which the lower thermal conductivity of sI methane hydrate was rationalised in terms of more strained hydrogen-bond arrangements. Further, modes for vibration and energy-transfer via hydrogen bonds in sI hydrate were found to occur at higher frequencies vis-à-vis ice Ih and sII hydrate in both the water-librational and OH⋯H regions because of the more strained nature of hydrogen bonds therein.

  11. Characterization of two coleopteran α-amylases and molecular insights into their differential inhibition by synthetic α-amylase inhibitor, acarbose.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Channale, Sonal M; Bhide, Amey J; Yadav, Yashpal; Kashyap, Garima; Pawar, Pankaj K; Maheshwari, V L; Ramasamy, Sureshkumar; Giri, Ashok P

    2016-07-01

    Post-harvest insect infestation of stored grains makes them unfit for human consumption and leads to severe economic loss. Here, we report functional and structural characterization of two coleopteran α-amylases viz. Callosobruchus chinensis α-amylase (CcAmy) and Tribolium castaneum α-amylase (TcAmy) along with their interactions with proteinaceous and non-proteinaceous α-amylase inhibitors. Secondary structural alignment of CcAmy and TcAmy with other coleopteran α-amylases revealed conserved motifs, active sites, di-sulfide bonds and two point mutations at spatially conserved substrate or inhibitor-binding sites. Homology modeling and molecular docking showed structural differences between these two enzymes. Both the enzymes had similar optimum pH values but differed in their optimum temperature. Overall, pattern of enzyme stabilities were similar under various temperature and pH conditions. Further, CcAmy and TcAmy differed in their substrate affinity and catalytic efficiency towards starch and amylopectin. HPLC analysis detected common amylolytic products like maltose and malto-triose while glucose and malto-tetrose were unique in CcAmy and TcAmy catalyzed reactions respectively. At very low concentrations, wheat α-amylase inhibitor was found to be superior over the acarbose as far as complete inhibition of amylolytic activities of CcAmy and TcAmy was concerned. Mechanism underlying differential amylolytic reaction inhibition by acarbose was discussed. PMID:27132147

  12. The history of the introduction of the giant river prawn, Macrobrachium cf. rosenbergii (Decapoda, Palaemonidae, in Brazil: new insights from molecular data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriel Iketani

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The giant river prawn, Macrobrachium cf. rosenbergii, is one of the most cultivated freshwater prawns in the world and has been introduced into more than 40 countries. In some countries, this prawn is considered an invasive species that requires close monitoring. Recent changes in the taxonomy of this species (separation of M. rosenbergii and M. dacqueti require a re-evaluation of introduced taxa. In this work, molecular analyses were used to determine which of these two species was introduced into Brazil and to establish the geographic origin of the introduced populations that have invaded Amazonian coastal waters. The species introduced into Brazil was M. dacqueti through two introduction events involving prawns originating from Vietnam and either Bangladesh or Thailand. These origins differ from historical reports of the introductions and underline the need to confirm the origin of other exotic populations around the world. The invading populations in Amazonia require monitoring not only because the biodiversity of this region may be affected by the introduction, but also because admixture of different native haplotypes can increase the genetic variability and the likelihood of persistence of the invading species in new habitats.

  13. A new insight into the isotropic-nematic phase transition in lyotropic solutions of semiflexible polymers: density-functional theory tested by molecular dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Egorov, Sergei A; Milchev, Andrey; Virnau, Peter; Binder, Kurt

    2016-06-14

    Semiflexible polymers in solution are studied for a wide range of both contour length L and persistence length lp as a function of monomer concentration under good solvent conditions. Both density-functional theory (DFT) and molecular dynamics (MD) simulation methods are used, and a very good agreement between both techniques is observed for rather stiff polymers. Evidence for a new mechanism of order parameter fluctuations in the nematic phase is presented, namely collective deformations of bundles of wormlike chains twisted around each other, and the typical wavelengths and amplitudes of these modes are estimated. These long wavelength fluctuations cause a reduction of the order parameter in comparison with the DFT prediction. It is also found that DFT becomes unreliable for rather flexible polymers in predicting that the transition from the isotropic (I)-phase to the nematic (N)-phase still exists at very high monomer concentrations (which in reality does not occur). However, under conditions when DFT is accurate, it provides reliable predictions also for the width of the I-N two-phase coexistence region, which are difficult to obtain from MD in spite of the use of very large systems (up to 500 000 monomers) by means of graphics processing units (GPU). For short and not very stiff chains, a pre-transitional chain stretching is found in the isotropic phase near the I-N-transition, not predicted by theories. A comparison with theoretical predictions by Khokhlov-Semenov, Odijk, and Chen reveals that the scaled transition densities are not simply functions of L/lp only, as these theories predict, but depend on d/lp (where d is the chain diameter) as well. Chain properties in the nematically ordered phase are compared to those of chains confined in tubes, and the deflection length concept is tested. Eventually, some consequences for the interpretation of experiments are spelled out. PMID:27249320

  14. Viable But Not Culturable (VBNC) state of Brettanomyces bruxellensis in wine: New insights on molecular basis of VBNC behaviour using a transcriptomic approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Capozzi, Vittorio; Di Toro, Maria Rosaria; Grieco, Francesco; Michelotti, Vania; Salma, Mohammad; Lamontanara, Antonella; Russo, Pasquale; Orrù, Luigi; Alexandre, Hervé; Spano, Giuseppe

    2016-10-01

    The spoilage potential of Brettanomyces bruxellensis in wine is strongly connected with the aptitude of this yeast to enter in a Viable But Non Culturable (VBNC) state when exposed to the harsh wine conditions. In this work, we characterized the VBNC behaviour of seven strains of B. bruxellensis representing a regional intraspecific biodiversity, reporting conclusive evidence for the assessment of VBNC as a strain-dependent character. The VBNC behaviour was monitored by fluorescein diacetate staining/flow cytometry for eleven days after addition of 0.4, 0.6, 0.8, 1 and 1.2 mg/L of molecular SO2 (entrance in the VBNC state) and after SO2 removal (exit from the VBNC state). Furthermore, one representative strain was selected and RNA-seq analysis performed after exposure to 1.2 mg/L SO2 and during the recovery phase. 30 and 1634 genes were identified as differentially expressed following VBNC entrance and 'resuscitation', respectively. The results reported strongly suggested that the entrance in the SO2-induced VBNC state in B. bruxellensis is associated with both, sulfite toxicity and oxidative stress response, confirming the crucial role of genes/proteins involved in redox cell homeostasis. Among the genes induced during recovery, the expression of genes involved in carbohydrate metabolism and encoding heat shock proteins, as well as enriched categories including amino acid transport and transporter activity was observed. The evidences of a general repression of genes involved in DNA replication suggest the occurrence of a true resuscitation of cell rather than a simple regrowth. PMID:27375260

  15. A novel C-type lysozyme from Mytilus galloprovincialis: insight into innate immunity and molecular evolution of invertebrate C-type lysozymes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qing Wang

    Full Text Available A c-type lysozyme (named as MgCLYZ gene was cloned from the mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis. Blast analysis indicated that MgCLYZ was a salivary c-type lysozyme which was mainly found in insects. The nucleotide sequence of MgCLYZ was predicted to encode a polypeptide of 154 amino acid residues with the signal peptide comprising the first 24 residues. The deduced mature peptide of MgCLYZ was of a calculated molecular weight of 14.4 kD and a theoretical isoelectric point (pI of 8.08. Evolution analysis suggested that bivalve branch of the invertebrate c-type lysozymes phylogeny tree underwent positive selection during evolution. By quantitative real-time RT-PCR (qRT-PCR analysis, MgCLYZ transcript was widely detected in all examined tissues and responded sensitively to bacterial challenge in hemocytes and hepatopancreas. The optimal temperature and pH of recombinant MgCLYZ (rMgCLYZ were 20°C and 4, respectively. The rMgCLYZ displayed lytic activities against Gram-positive bacteria including Micrococcus luteus and Staphyloccocus aureus, and Gram-negative bacteria including Vibrio anguillarum, Enterobacter cloacae, Pseudomonas putida, Proteus mirabilis and Bacillus aquimaris. These results suggest that MgCLYZ perhaps play an important role in innate immunity of M. galloprovincialis, and invertebrate c-type lysozymes might be under positive selection in a species-specific manner during evolution for undergoing adaptation to different environment and diverse pathogens.

  16. The novel R347g pathogenic mutation of aromatic amino acid decarboxylase provides additional molecular insights into enzyme catalysis and deficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montioli, Riccardo; Paiardini, Alessandro; Kurian, Manju A; Dindo, Mirco; Rossignoli, Giada; Heales, Simon J R; Pope, Simon; Voltattorni, Carla Borri; Bertoldi, Mariarita

    2016-06-01

    We report here a clinical case of a patient with a novel mutation (Arg347→Gly) in the gene encoding aromatic amino acid decarboxylase (AADC) that is associated with AADC deficiency. The variant R347G in the purified recombinant form exhibits, similarly to the pathogenic mutation R347Q previously studied, a 475-fold drop of kcat compared to the wild-type enzyme. In attempting to unravel the reason(s) for this catalytic defect, we have carried out bioinformatics analyses of the crystal structure of AADC-carbidopa complex with the modelled catalytic loop (residues 328-339). Arg347 appears to interact with Phe103, as well as with both Leu333 and Asp345. We have then prepared and characterized the artificial F103L, R347K and D345A mutants. F103L, D345A and R347K exhibit about 13-, 97-, and 345-fold kcat decrease compared to the wild-type AADC, respectively. However, unlike F103L, the R347G, R347K and R347Q mutants as well as the D345A variant appear to be more defective in catalysis than in protein folding. Moreover, the latter mutants, unlike the wild-type protein and the F103L variant, share a peculiar binding mode of dopa methyl ester consisting of formation of a quinonoid intermediate. This finding strongly suggests that their catalytic defects are mainly due to a misplacement of the substrate at the active site. Taken together, our results highlight the importance of the Arg347-Leu333-Asp345 hydrogen-bonds network in the catalysis of AADC and reveal the molecular basis for the pathogenicity of the variants R347. Following the above results, a therapeutic treatment for patients bearing the mutation R347G is proposed.

  17. An RNA Sequencing Transcriptome Analysis Reveals Novel Insights into Molecular Aspects of the Nitrate Impact on the Nodule Activity of Medicago truncatula1[W

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabeza, Ricardo; Koester, Beke; Liese, Rebecca; Lingner, Annika; Baumgarten, Vanessa; Dirks, Jan; Salinas-Riester, Gabriela; Pommerenke, Claudia; Dittert, Klaus; Schulze, Joachim

    2014-01-01

    The mechanism through which nitrate reduces the activity of legume nodules is controversial. The objective of the study was to follow Medicago truncatula nodule activity after nitrate provision continuously and to identify molecular mechanisms, which down-regulate the activity of the nodules. Nodule H2 evolution started to decline after about 4 h of nitrate application. At that point in time, a strong shift in nodule gene expression (RNA sequencing) had occurred (1,120 differentially expressed genes). The most pronounced effect was the down-regulation of 127 genes for nodule-specific cysteine-rich peptides. Various other nodulins were also strongly down-regulated, in particular all the genes for leghemoglobins. In addition, shifts in the expression of genes involved in cellular iron allocation and mitochondrial ATP synthesis were observed. Furthermore, the expression of numerous genes for the formation of proteins and glycoproteins with no obvious function in nodules (e.g. germins, patatin, and thaumatin) was strongly increased. This occurred in conjunction with an up-regulation of genes for proteinase inhibitors, in particular those containing the Kunitz domain. The additionally formed proteins might possibly be involved in reducing nodule oxygen permeability. Between 4 and 28 h of nitrate exposure, a further reduction in nodule activity occurred, and the number of differentially expressed genes almost tripled. In particular, there was a differential expression of genes connected with emerging senescence. It is concluded that nitrate exerts rapid and manifold effects on nitrogenase activity. A certain degree of nitrate tolerance might be achieved when the down-regulatory effect on late nodulins can be alleviated. PMID:24285852

  18. Molecular dynamics simulations and structure-guided mutagenesis provide insight into the architecture of the catalytic core of the ectoine hydroxylase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Widderich, Nils; Pittelkow, Marco; Höppner, Astrid; Mulnaes, Daniel; Buckel, Wolfgang; Gohlke, Holger; Smits, Sander H J; Bremer, Erhard

    2014-02-01

    Many bacteria amass compatible solutes to fend-off the detrimental effects of high osmolarity on cellular physiology and water content. These solutes also function as stabilizers of macromolecules, a property for which they are referred to as chemical chaperones. The tetrahydropyrimidine ectoine is such a compatible solute and is widely synthesized by members of the Bacteria. Many ectoine producers also synthesize the stress protectant 5-hydroxyectoine from the precursor ectoine, a process that is catalyzed by the ectoine hydroxylase (EctD). The EctD enzyme is a member of the non-heme-containing iron(II) and 2-oxoglutarate-dependent dioxygenase superfamily. A crystal structure of the EctD protein from the moderate halophile Virgibacillus salexigens has previously been reported and revealed the coordination of the iron catalyst, but it lacked the substrate ectoine and the co-substrate 2-oxoglutarate. Here we used this crystal structure as a template to assess the likely positioning of the ectoine and 2-oxoglutarate ligands within the active site by structural comparison, molecular dynamics simulations, and site-directed mutagenesis. Collectively, these approaches suggest the positioning of the iron, ectoine, and 2-oxoglutarate ligands in close proximity to each other and with a spatial orientation that will allow the region-selective and stereo-specific hydroxylation of (4S)-ectoine to (4S,5S)-5-hydroxyectoine. Our study thus provides a view into the catalytic core of the ectoine hydroxylase and suggests an intricate network of interactions between the three ligands and evolutionarily highly conserved residues in members of the EctD protein family. PMID:24184278

  19. Network models provide insights into how oriens–lacunosum-moleculare and bistratified cell interactions influence the power of local hippocampal CA1 theta oscillations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katie A Ferguson

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Hippocampal theta is a 4-12 Hz rhythm associated with episodic memory, and although it has been studied extensively, the cellular mechanisms underlying its generation are unclear. The complex interactions between different interneuron types, such as those between oriens--lacunosum-moleculare (OLM interneurons and bistratified cells (BiCs, make their contribution to network rhythms difficult to determine experimentally. We created network models that are tied to experimental work at both cellular and network levels to explore how these interneuron interactions affect the power of local oscillations. Our cellular models were constrained with properties from patch clamp recordings in the CA1 region of an intact hippocampus preparation in vitro. Our network models are composed of three different types of interneurons: parvalbumin-positive (PV+ basket and axo-axonic cells (BC/AACs, PV+ BiCs, and somatostatin-positive OLM cells. Also included is a spatially extended pyramidal cell model to allow for a simplified local field potential representation, as well as experimentally-constrained, theta frequency synaptic inputs to the interneurons. The network size, connectivity, and synaptic properties were constrained with experimental data. To determine how the interactions between OLM cells and BiCs could affect local theta power, we explored a number of OLM-BiC connections and connection strengths.We found that our models operate in regimes in which OLM cells minimally or strongly affected the power of network theta oscillations due to balances that, respectively, allow compensatory effects or not. Inactivation of OLM cells could result in no change or even an increase in theta power. We predict that the dis-inhibitory effect of OLM cells to BiCs to pyramidal cell interactions plays a critical role in the power of network theta oscillations. Our network models reveal a dynamic interplay between different classes of interneurons in influencing local theta

  20. Synthesis, structure elucidation, and redox properties of 99Tc complexes of lacunary Wells-Dawson polyoxometalates: insights into molecular 99Tc-metal oxide interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGregor, Donna; Burton-Pye, Benjamin P; Howell, Robertha C; Mbomekalle, Israel M; Lukens, Wayne W; Bian, Fang; Mausolf, Edward; Poineau, Frederic; Czerwinski, Kenneth R; Francesconi, Lynn C

    2011-03-01

    The isotope (99)Tc (β(max), 293.7; half-life, 2.1 × 10(5) years) is an abundant product of uranium-235 fission in nuclear reactors and is present throughout the radioactive waste stored in underground tanks at the Hanford and Savannah River sites. Understanding and controlling the extensive redox chemistry of (99)Tc is important in identifying tunable strategies to separate (99)Tc from spent fuel and from waste tanks and, once separated, to identify and develop an appropriately stable waste form for (99)Tc. Polyoxometalates (POMs), nanometer-sized models for metal oxide solid-state materials, are used in this study to provide a molecular level understanding of the speciation and redox chemistry of incorporated (99)Tc. In this study, (99)Tc complexes of the (α(2)-P(2)W(17)O(61))(10-) and (α(1)-P(2)W(17)O(61))(10-) isomers were prepared. Ethylene glycol was used as a "transfer ligand" to minimize the formation of TcO(2)·xH(2)O. The solution structures, formulations, and purity of Tc(V)O(α(1)/α(2)-P(2)W(17)O(61))(7-) were determined by multinuclear NMR. X-ray absorption spectroscopy of the complexes is in agreement with the formulation and structures determined from (31)P and (183)W NMR. Preliminary electrochemistry results are consistent with the EXAFS results, showing a facile reduction of the Tc(V)O(α(1)-P(2)W(17)O(61))(7-) species compared to the Tc(V)O(α(2)-P(2)W(17)O(61))(7-) analog. The α(1) defect is unique in that a basic oxygen atom is positioned toward the α(1) site, and the Tc(V)O center appears to form a dative metal-metal bond with a framework W site. These attributes may lead to the assistance of protonation events that facilitate reduction. Electrochemistry comparison shows that the Re(V) analogs are about 200 mV more difficult to reduce in accordance with periodic trends.

  1. Synthesis, structure elucidation and redox properties of 99Tc complexes of lacunary Wells Dawson polyoxometalates: insights into molecular 99Tc - metal oxide interactions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McGregor, Donna; Burton-Pye, Benjamin P.; Howell, Robertha C.; Mbomekalle, Israel M.; Lukens Jr, Wayne W.; Bian, Fang; Mausolf, Edward; Poineau, Frederic; Czerwinski, Kenneth R; Francesconi, Lynn C.

    2011-01-10

    The isotope 99Tc (beta max: 250 keV, half-life: 2 x 105 year) is an abundant product of uranium-235 fission in nuclear reactors and is present throughout the radioactive waste stored in underground tanks at Hanford and Savannah River. Understanding and controlling the extensive redox chemistry of 99Tc is important to identify tunable strategies to separate 99Tc from spent fuel and from waste tanks and once separated, to identify and develop an appropriately stable waste-form for 99Tc. Polyoxometalates (POMs), nanometer sized models for metal oxide solid-state materials, are used in this study to provide a molecular level understanding of the speciation and redox chemistry of incorporated 99Tc. In this study, 99Tc complexes of the (alpha 2-P2W17O61)10- and (alpha 1-P2W17O61)10- isomers were prepared. Ethylene glycol was used as a"transfer ligand" to minimize the formation of TcO2 cdot xH2O. The solution structures, formulations, and purity of TcVO(alpha 1/alpha 2-P2W17O61)7- were determined by multinuclear NMR. X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy of the complexes are in agreement with the formulation and structures determined from 31P and 183W NMR. Preliminary electrochemistry results are consistent with the EXAFS results, showing a facile reduction of the TcVO(alpha 1-P2W17O61)7- species compared to the TcVO(alpha 2-P2W17O61)7- analog. The alpha1- defect is unique in that a basic oxygen atom is positioned toward the alpha1- site and the TcVO center appears to form a dative metal-metal bond with a framework W site. These attributes may lead to the assistance of protonation events that facilitate reduction. Electrochemistry comparison shows that the ReV analogs are about 200 mV more difficult to reduce in accordance with periodic trends.

  2. Synthesis, structure elucidation, and redox properties of 99Tc complexes of lacunary Wells-Dawson polyoxometalates: insights into molecular 99Tc-metal oxide interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGregor, Donna; Burton-Pye, Benjamin P; Howell, Robertha C; Mbomekalle, Israel M; Lukens, Wayne W; Bian, Fang; Mausolf, Edward; Poineau, Frederic; Czerwinski, Kenneth R; Francesconi, Lynn C

    2011-03-01

    The isotope (99)Tc (β(max), 293.7; half-life, 2.1 × 10(5) years) is an abundant product of uranium-235 fission in nuclear reactors and is present throughout the radioactive waste stored in underground tanks at the Hanford and Savannah River sites. Understanding and controlling the extensive redox chemistry of (99)Tc is important in identifying tunable strategies to separate (99)Tc from spent fuel and from waste tanks and, once separated, to identify and develop an appropriately stable waste form for (99)Tc. Polyoxometalates (POMs), nanometer-sized models for metal oxide solid-state materials, are used in this study to provide a molecular level understanding of the speciation and redox chemistry of incorporated (99)Tc. In this study, (99)Tc complexes of the (α(2)-P(2)W(17)O(61))(10-) and (α(1)-P(2)W(17)O(61))(10-) isomers were prepared. Ethylene glycol was used as a "transfer ligand" to minimize the formation of TcO(2)·xH(2)O. The solution structures, formulations, and purity of Tc(V)O(α(1)/α(2)-P(2)W(17)O(61))(7-) were determined by multinuclear NMR. X-ray absorption spectroscopy of the complexes is in agreement with the formulation and structures determined from (31)P and (183)W NMR. Preliminary electrochemistry results are consistent with the EXAFS results, showing a facile reduction of the Tc(V)O(α(1)-P(2)W(17)O(61))(7-) species compared to the Tc(V)O(α(2)-P(2)W(17)O(61))(7-) analog. The α(1) defect is unique in that a basic oxygen atom is positioned toward the α(1) site, and the Tc(V)O center appears to form a dative metal-metal bond with a framework W site. These attributes may lead to the assistance of protonation events that facilitate reduction. Electrochemistry comparison shows that the Re(V) analogs are about 200 mV more difficult to reduce in accordance with periodic trends. PMID:21268605

  3. Inherent dynamics of head domain correlates with ATP-recognition of P2X4 receptors: insights gained from molecular simulations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li-Dong Huang

    Full Text Available P2X receptors are ATP-gated ion channels involved in many physiological functions, and determination of ATP-recognition (AR of P2X receptors will promote the development of new therapeutic agents for pain, inflammation, bladder dysfunction and osteoporosis. Recent crystal structures of the zebrafish P2X4 (zfP2X4 receptor reveal a large ATP-binding pocket (ABP located at the subunit interface of zfP2X4 receptors, which is occupied by a conspicuous cluster of basic residues to recognize triphosphate moiety of ATP. Using the engineered affinity labeling and molecular modeling, at least three sites (S1, S2 and S3 within ABP have been identified that are able to recognize the adenine ring of ATP, implying the existence of at least three distinct AR modes in ABP. The open crystal structure of zfP2X4 confirms one of three AR modes (named AR1, in which the adenine ring of ATP is buried into site S1 while the triphosphate moiety interacts with clustered basic residues. Why architecture of ABP favors AR1 not the other two AR modes still remains unexplored. Here, we examine the potential role of inherent dynamics of head domain, a domain involved in ABP formation, in AR determinant of P2X4 receptors. In silico docking and binding free energy calculation revealed comparable characters of three distinct AR modes. Inherent dynamics of head domain, especially the downward motion favors the preference of ABP for AR1 rather than AR2 and AR3. Along with the downward motion of head domain, the closing movement of loop139-146 and loop169-183, and structural rearrangements of K70, K72, R298 and R143 enabled ABP to discriminate AR1 from other AR modes. Our observations suggest the essential role of head domain dynamics in determining AR of P2X4 receptors, allowing evaluation of new strategies aimed at developing specific blockers/allosteric modulators by preventing the dynamics of head domain associated with both AR and channel activation of P2X4 receptors.

  4. Speciation and thermodynamic properties of zinc in sulfur-rich hydrothermal fluids: Insights from ab initio molecular dynamics simulations and X-ray absorption spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mei, Yuan; Etschmann, Barbara; Liu, Weihua; Sherman, David M.; Testemale, Denis; Brugger, Joël

    2016-04-01

    Chlorine and sulfur are the main elements involved in the complexing of metals in ore-forming fluids. The nature and thermodynamic properties of the Zn(II)-Cl complexes have been investigated by previous experimental and theoretical studies and are now well established up to high temperatures (600 °C). In contrast, the role of bisulfide complexes for zinc speciation in sulfur-bearing fluids remains poorly known, and a better understanding of Zn(II)-HS complexation is required for modeling zinc transport in magmatic and metamorphic fluids and for optimizing the hydrometallurgical processing of sulfide ores. We have conducted ab initio molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to calculate the speciation of Zn(II)-HS complexes from ambient to hydrothermal-magmatic conditions (25-600 °C, up to 2000 bar). These theoretical calculations were complemented by X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) measurements of Zn(II) in HS--rich solutions at 200-500 °C and 600-1000 bar. The speciation and geometrical properties predicted by the ab initio MD simulations and the in situ XAS data are in excellent agreement. Upon heating from room temperature to 250 °C, Zn(II) speciation in HS--rich solutions shows a transition from the sixfold octahedral hexaaquo complex [Zn(H2O)6]2+ to fourfold tetrahedral [Zn(HS)n(H2O)4-n]2-n complexes (n = 1-4). Ab initio MD simulations also show that at temperatures > 250 °C, the threefold trigonal-planar [Zn(HS)3]- complex becomes increasingly stable, and predominates in S-rich solutions; in contrast, chloro-complexes display a tetrahedral geometry at 25-500 °C, while trigonal planar ZnCl3- predominates at temperatures > 500 °C. The stability constants of Zn(II)-HS complexes were calculated by thermodynamic integration of constrained ab initio MD simulations at 200, 350 and 600 °C. The stability constants generated from this study predict that zinc can be transported by HS- at high temperature in reduced, neutral to alkaline solutions, while Zn

  5. Corporate Climate Change

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2006-01-01

    The American Chamber of Commerce, the People's Republic of China (AmCham-China) and the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai recently released "American Corporate Experience in a Changing China: Insights From AmCham Business Climate Surveys, 1999-2005." Excerpts of the report follow:

  6. Climate for change

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Climate for Change: Non-State Actors and the Global Politics of the Greenhouse provides a challenging explanation of the forces that have shaped the international global warming debate. Unlike existing books on the politics of climate change, this book concentrates on how non-stage actors, such as scientific, environmental and industry groups, as opposed to governmental organisations, affect political outcomes in global fora on climate change. It also provides insights in to the role of the media in influencing the agenda. The book draws on a range of analytic