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Sample records for ebola structural insights

  1. Structural Insights into the Niemann-Pick C1 (NPC1)-Mediated Cholesterol Transfer and Ebola Infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gong, Xin; Qian, Hongwu; Zhou, Xinhui; Wu, Jianping; Wan, Tao; Cao, Pingping; Huang, Weiyun; Zhao, Xin; Wang, Xudong; Wang, Peiyi; Shi, Yi; Gao, George F; Zhou, Qiang; Yan, Nieng

    2016-06-02

    Niemann-Pick disease type C (NPC) is associated with mutations in NPC1 and NPC2, whose gene products are key players in the endosomal/lysosomal egress of low-density lipoprotein-derived cholesterol. NPC1 is also the intracellular receptor for Ebola virus (EBOV). Here, we present a 4.4 Å structure of full-length human NPC1 and a low-resolution reconstruction of NPC1 in complex with the cleaved glycoprotein (GPcl) of EBOV, both determined by single-particle electron cryomicroscopy. NPC1 contains 13 transmembrane segments (TMs) and three distinct lumenal domains A (also designated NTD), C, and I. TMs 2-13 exhibit a typical resistance-nodulation-cell division fold, among which TMs 3-7 constitute the sterol-sensing domain conserved in several proteins involved in cholesterol metabolism and signaling. A trimeric EBOV-GPcl binds to one NPC1 monomer through the domain C. Our structural and biochemical characterizations provide an important framework for mechanistic understanding of NPC1-mediated intracellular cholesterol trafficking and Ebola virus infection. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Ebola

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... If an outbreak happens, it can spread quickly. People all over the world are concerned about Ebola and are taking steps to stop it and to treat those who are sick. Ebola symptoms can start with fever and ... important that infected people get treatment right away. People who have Ebola ...

  3. Structure of an antibody in complex with its mucin domain linear epitope that is protective against Ebola virus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olal, Daniel; Kuehne, Ana I; Bale, Shridhar; Halfmann, Peter; Hashiguchi, Takao; Fusco, Marnie L; Lee, Jeffrey E; King, Liam B; Kawaoka, Yoshihiro; Dye, John M; Saphire, Erica Ollmann

    2012-03-01

    Antibody 14G7 is protective against lethal Ebola virus challenge and recognizes a distinct linear epitope in the prominent mucin-like domain of the Ebola virus glycoprotein GP. The structure of 14G7 in complex with its linear peptide epitope has now been determined to 2.8 Å. The structure shows that this GP sequence forms a tandem β-hairpin structure that binds deeply into a cleft in the antibody-combining site. A key threonine at the apex of one turn is critical for antibody interaction and is conserved among all Ebola viruses. This work provides further insight into the mechanism of protection by antibodies that target the protruding, highly accessible mucin-like domain of Ebola virus and the structural framework for understanding and characterizing candidate immunotherapeutics.

  4. Engaging 'communities': anthropological insights from the West African Ebola epidemic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilkinson, A; Parker, M; Martineau, F; Leach, M

    2017-05-26

    The recent Ebola epidemic in West Africa highlights how engaging with the sociocultural dimensions of epidemics is critical to mounting an effective outbreak response. Community engagement was pivotal to ending the epidemic and will be to post-Ebola recovery, health system strengthening and future epidemic preparedness and response. Extensive literatures in the social sciences have emphasized how simple notions of community, which project solidarity onto complex hierarchies and politics, can lead to ineffective policies and unintended consequences at the local level, including doing harm to vulnerable populations. This article reflects on the nature of community engagement during the Ebola epidemic and demonstrates a disjuncture between local realities and what is being imagined in post-Ebola reports about the lessons that need to be learned for the future. We argue that to achieve stated aims of building trust and strengthening outbreak response and health systems, public health institutions need to reorientate their conceptualization of 'the community' and develop ways of working which take complex social and political relationships into account.This article is part of the themed issue 'The 2013-2016 West African Ebola epidemic: data, decision-making and disease control'. © 2017 The Authors.

  5. Immunopathology of highly virulent pathogens: insights from Ebola virus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zampieri, Carisa A; Sullivan, Nancy J; Nabel, Gary J

    2007-11-01

    Ebola virus is a highly virulent pathogen capable of inducing a frequently lethal hemorrhagic fever syndrome. Accumulating evidence indicates that the virus actively subverts both innate and adaptive immune responses and triggers harmful inflammatory responses as it inflicts direct tissue damage. The host immune system is ultimately overwhelmed by a combination of inflammatory factors and virus-induced cell damage, particularly in the liver and vasculature, often leading to death from septic shock. We summarize the mechanisms of immune dysregulation and virus-mediated cell damage in Ebola virus-infected patients. Future approaches to prevention and treatment of infection will be guided by answers to unresolved questions about interspecies transmission, molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis, and protective adaptive and innate immune responses to Ebola virus.

  6. Structure of the Ebola VP35 interferon inhibitory domain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leung, Daisy W; Ginder, Nathaniel D; Fulton, D Bruce; Nix, Jay; Basler, Christopher F; Honzatko, Richard B; Amarasinghe, Gaya K

    2009-01-13

    Ebola viruses (EBOVs) cause rare but highly fatal outbreaks of viral hemorrhagic fever in humans, and approved treatments for these infections are currently lacking. The Ebola VP35 protein is multifunctional, acting as a component of the viral RNA polymerase complex, a viral assembly factor, and an inhibitor of host interferon (IFN) production. Mutation of select basic residues within the C-terminal half of VP35 abrogates its dsRNA-binding activity, impairs VP35-mediated IFN antagonism, and attenuates EBOV growth in vitro and in vivo. Because VP35 contributes to viral escape from host innate immunity and is required for EBOV virulence, understanding the structural basis for VP35 dsRNA binding, which correlates with suppression of IFN activity, is of high importance. Here, we report the structure of the C-terminal VP35 IFN inhibitory domain (IID) solved to a resolution of 1.4 A and show that VP35 IID forms a unique fold. In the structure, we identify 2 basic residue clusters, one of which is important for dsRNA binding. The dsRNA binding cluster is centered on Arg-312, a highly conserved residue required for IFN inhibition. Mutation of residues within this cluster significantly changes the surface electrostatic potential and diminishes dsRNA binding activity. The high-resolution structure and the identification of the conserved dsRNA binding residue cluster provide opportunities for antiviral therapeutic design. Our results suggest a structure-based model for dsRNA-mediated innate immune antagonism by Ebola VP35 and other similarly constructed viral antagonists.

  7. Drug repurposing to target Ebola virus replication and virulence using structural systems pharmacology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Zheng; Martin, Che; Fan, Raymond; Bourne, Philip E; Xie, Lei

    2016-02-18

    The recent outbreak of Ebola has been cited as the largest in history. Despite this global health crisis, few drugs are available to efficiently treat Ebola infections. Drug repurposing provides a potentially efficient solution to accelerating the development of therapeutic approaches in response to Ebola outbreak. To identify such candidates, we use an integrated structural systems pharmacology pipeline which combines proteome-scale ligand binding site comparison, protein-ligand docking, and Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulation. One thousand seven hundred and sixty-six FDA-approved drugs and 259 experimental drugs were screened to identify those with the potential to inhibit the replication and virulence of Ebola, and to determine the binding modes with their respective targets. Initial screening has identified a number of promising hits. Notably, Indinavir; an HIV protease inhibitor, may be effective in reducing the virulence of Ebola. Additionally, an antifungal (Sinefungin) and several anti-viral drugs (e.g. Maraviroc, Abacavir, Telbivudine, and Cidofovir) may inhibit Ebola RNA-directed RNA polymerase through targeting the MTase domain. Identification of safe drug candidates is a crucial first step toward the determination of timely and effective therapeutic approaches to address and mitigate the impact of the Ebola global crisis and future outbreaks of pathogenic diseases. Further in vitro and in vivo testing to evaluate the anti-Ebola activity of these drugs is warranted.

  8. Hegemonic structure of basic, clinical and patented knowledge on Ebola research: a US army reductionist initiative.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fajardo-Ortiz, David; Ortega-Sánchez-de-Tagle, José; Castaño, Victor M

    2015-04-19

    Ebola hemorrhagic fever (Ebola) is still a highly lethal infectious disease long affecting mainly neglected populations in sub-Saharan Africa. Moreover, this disease is now considered a potential worldwide threat. In this paper, we present an approach to understand how the basic, clinical and patent knowledge on Ebola is organized and intercommunicated and what leading factor could be shaping the evolution of the knowledge translation process for this disease. A combination of citation network analysis; analysis of Medical heading Subject (MeSH) and Gene Ontology (GO) terms, and quantitative content analysis for patents and scientific literature, aimed to map the organization of Ebola research was carried out. We found six putative research fronts (i.e. clusters of high interconnected papers). Three research fronts are basic research on Ebola virus structural proteins: glycoprotein, VP40 and VP35, respectively. There is a fourth research front of basic research papers on pathogenesis, which is the organizing hub of Ebola research. A fifth research front is pre-clinical research focused on vaccines and glycoproteins. Finally, a clinical-epidemiology research front related to the disease outbreaks was identified. The network structure of patent families shows that the dominant design is the use of Ebola virus proteins as targets of vaccines and other immunological treatments. Therefore, patents network organization resembles the organization of the scientific literature. Specifically, the knowledge on Ebola would flow from higher (clinical-epidemiology) to intermediated (cellular-tissular pathogenesis) to lower (molecular interactions) levels of organization. Our results suggest a strong reductionist approach for Ebola research probably influenced by the lethality of the disease. On the other hand, the ownership profile of the patent families network and the main researches relationship with the United State Army suggest a strong involvement of this military

  9. Structural dissection of Ebola virus and its assembly determinants using cryo-electron tomography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bharat, Tanmay A M; Noda, Takeshi; Riches, James D; Kraehling, Verena; Kolesnikova, Larissa; Becker, Stephan; Kawaoka, Yoshihiro; Briggs, John A G

    2012-03-13

    Ebola virus is a highly pathogenic filovirus causing severe hemorrhagic fever with high mortality rates. It assembles heterogenous, filamentous, enveloped virus particles containing a negative-sense, single-stranded RNA genome packaged within a helical nucleocapsid (NC). We have used cryo-electron microscopy and tomography to visualize Ebola virus particles, as well as Ebola virus-like particles, in three dimensions in a near-native state. The NC within the virion forms a left-handed helix with an inner nucleoprotein layer decorated with protruding arms composed of VP24 and VP35. A comparison with the closely related Marburg virus shows that the N-terminal region of nucleoprotein defines the inner diameter of the Ebola virus NC, whereas the RNA genome defines its length. Binding of the nucleoprotein to RNA can assemble a loosely coiled NC-like structure; the loose coil can be condensed by binding of the viral matrix protein VP40 to the C terminus of the nucleoprotein, and rigidified by binding of VP24 and VP35 to alternate copies of the nucleoprotein. Four proteins (NP, VP24, VP35, and VP40) are necessary and sufficient to mediate assembly of an NC with structure, symmetry, variability, and flexibility indistinguishable from that in Ebola virus particles released from infected cells. Together these data provide a structural and architectural description of Ebola virus and define the roles of viral proteins in its structure and assembly.

  10. Ebola (Ebola Virus Disease)

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Controls Cancel Submit Search the CDC Ebola (Ebola Virus Disease) Note: Javascript is disabled or is not ... gov . Recommend on Facebook Tweet Share Compartir Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) is a rare and deadly disease ...

  11. Nucleocapsid-like structures of Ebola virus reconstructed using electron tomography

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Noda, T.; Aoyama, K.; Sagara, H.; Kida, H.; Kawaoka, Y.

    2005-01-01

    Electron tomography (ET) is a new technique for high resolution, three-dimensional (3D) reconstruction of pleiomocphic mac. n)molecular complexes, such as virus components. By employing this technique, we resolved the 3D structure of Ebola virus nucleocapsid-like (NC-like) structures in the cytoplasm of cells expressing NP, VP24, and VP35: the minimum components required to form these NC-like structures. Reconstruction of these tubular NC-like structures of Ebola virus showed them to be composed of left-handed helices spaced at short intervals, which is structurally consistent with other non-segmented negative-strand RNA viruses

  12. Ebola (Ebola Virus Disease): Diagnosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Search Form Controls Cancel Submit Search the CDC Ebola (Ebola Virus Disease) Note: Javascript is disabled or is ... message, please visit this page: About CDC.gov . Ebola (Ebola Virus Disease) What is Ebola Virus Disease? ...

  13. Ebola (Ebola Virus Disease): Transmission

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Search Form Controls Cancel Submit Search the CDC Ebola (Ebola Virus Disease) Note: Javascript is disabled or is ... message, please visit this page: About CDC.gov . Ebola (Ebola Virus Disease) What is Ebola Virus Disease? ...

  14. Ebola (Ebola Virus Disease): Treatment

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Search Form Controls Cancel Submit Search the CDC Ebola (Ebola Virus Disease) Note: Javascript is disabled or is ... message, please visit this page: About CDC.gov . Ebola (Ebola Virus Disease) What is Ebola Virus Disease? ...

  15. Ebola (Ebola Virus Disease): Prevention

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Search Form Controls Cancel Submit Search the CDC Ebola (Ebola Virus Disease) Note: Javascript is disabled or is ... message, please visit this page: About CDC.gov . Ebola (Ebola Virus Disease) About Ebola Questions & Answers 2014- ...

  16. Ebola Virus: New Insights into Disease Aetiopathology and Possible Therapeutic Interventions

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Geisbert, Thomas

    2004-01-01

    Ebola virus (EBOV) gained public notoriety in the last decade largely as a consequence of the highly publicised isolation of a new EBOV species in a suburb of Washington, DC, in 1989, together with the dramatic...

  17. Filovirus pathogenesis and immune evasion: insights from Ebola virus and Marburg virus

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Messaoudi, Ilhem; Amarasinghe, Gaya K.; Basler, Christopher F.

    2015-10-06

    Ebola viruses and Marburg viruses, members of the filovirus family, are zoonotic pathogens that cause severe disease in people, as highlighted by the latest Ebola virus epidemic in West Africa. Filovirus disease is characterized by uncontrolled virus replication and the activation of host responses that contribute to pathogenesis. Underlying these phenomena is the potent suppression of host innate antiviral responses, particularly the type I interferon response, by viral proteins, which allows high levels of viral replication. In this Review, we describe the mechanisms used by filoviruses to block host innate immunity and discuss the links between immune evasion and filovirus pathogenesis.

  18. Hyperons: Insights into baryon structures

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lach, J.

    1991-08-01

    The baryon octet is composed mainly of hyperons. Modern high energy hyperon beams provide a tool for the study of hyperon static properties and interactions. Experiments with these beams have provided new insights into hyperon rare decays, magnetic moments, and interactions. These experiments provide us with insights into the strong, weak, and electromagnetic structure of the baryons. 65 refs., 45 figs., 5 tabs

  19. Mannosyl Glycodendritic Structure Inhibits DC-SIGN-Mediated Ebola Virus Infection in cis and in trans

    OpenAIRE

    Lasala, Fátima; Arce, Eva; Otero, Joaquín R.; Rojo, Javier; Delgado, Rafael

    2003-01-01

    We have designed a glycodendritic structure, BH30sucMan, that blocks the interaction between dendritic cell-specific intercellular adhesion molecule 3-grabbing nonintegrin (DC-SIGN) and Ebola virus (EBOV) envelope. BH30sucMan inhibits DC-SIGN-mediated EBOV infection at nanomolar concentrations. BH30sucMan may counteract important steps of the infective process of EBOV and, potentially, of microorganisms shown to exploit DC-SIGN for cell entry and infection.

  20. Mannosyl Glycodendritic Structure Inhibits DC-SIGN-Mediated Ebola Virus Infection in cis and in trans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lasala, Fátima; Arce, Eva; Otero, Joaquín R.; Rojo, Javier; Delgado, Rafael

    2003-01-01

    We have designed a glycodendritic structure, BH30sucMan, that blocks the interaction between dendritic cell-specific intercellular adhesion molecule 3-grabbing nonintegrin (DC-SIGN) and Ebola virus (EBOV) envelope. BH30sucMan inhibits DC-SIGN-mediated EBOV infection at nanomolar concentrations. BH30sucMan may counteract important steps of the infective process of EBOV and, potentially, of microorganisms shown to exploit DC-SIGN for cell entry and infection. PMID:14638512

  1. Structures of protective antibodies reveal sites of vulnerability on Ebola virus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murin, Charles D; Fusco, Marnie L; Bornholdt, Zachary A; Qiu, Xiangguo; Olinger, Gene G; Zeitlin, Larry; Kobinger, Gary P; Ward, Andrew B; Saphire, Erica Ollmann

    2014-12-02

    Ebola virus (EBOV) and related filoviruses cause severe hemorrhagic fever, with up to 90% lethality, and no treatments are approved for human use. Multiple recent outbreaks of EBOV and the likelihood of future human exposure highlight the need for pre- and postexposure treatments. Monoclonal antibody (mAb) cocktails are particularly attractive candidates due to their proven postexposure efficacy in nonhuman primate models of EBOV infection. Two candidate cocktails, MB-003 and ZMAb, have been extensively evaluated in both in vitro and in vivo studies. Recently, these two therapeutics have been combined into a new cocktail named ZMapp, which showed increased efficacy and has been given compassionately to some human patients. Epitope information and mechanism of action are currently unknown for most of the component mAbs. Here we provide single-particle EM reconstructions of every mAb in the ZMapp cocktail, as well as additional antibodies from MB-003 and ZMAb. Our results illuminate key and recurring sites of vulnerability on the EBOV glycoprotein and provide a structural rationale for the efficacy of ZMapp. Interestingly, two of its components recognize overlapping epitopes and compete with each other for binding. Going forward, this work now provides a basis for strategic selection of next-generation antibody cocktails against Ebola and related viruses and a model for predicting the impact of ZMapp on potential escape mutations in ongoing or future Ebola outbreaks.

  2. Ebola (For Parents)

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Staying Safe Videos for Educators Search English Español Ebola KidsHealth / For Parents / Ebola What's in this article? ... take precautions to avoid becoming infected. What Is Ebola? Ebola, or Ebola hemorrhagic fever ( Ebola HF) , is ...

  3. Structural and functional characterization of Reston Ebola virus VP35 interferon inhibitory domain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leung, Daisy W; Shabman, Reed S; Farahbakhsh, Mina; Prins, Kathleen C; Borek, Dominika M; Wang, Tianjiao; Mühlberger, Elke; Basler, Christopher F; Amarasinghe, Gaya K

    2010-06-11

    Ebolaviruses are causative agents of lethal hemorrhagic fever in humans and nonhuman primates. Among the filoviruses characterized thus far, Reston Ebola virus (REBOV) is the only Ebola virus that is nonpathogenic to humans despite the fact that REBOV can cause lethal disease in nonhuman primates. Previous studies also suggest that REBOV is less effective at inhibiting host innate immune responses than Zaire Ebola virus (ZEBOV) or Marburg virus. Virally encoded VP35 protein is critical for immune suppression, but an understanding of the relative contributions of VP35 proteins from REBOV and other filoviruses is currently lacking. In order to address this question, we characterized the REBOV VP35 interferon inhibitory domain (IID) using structural, biochemical, and virological studies. These studies reveal differences in double-stranded RNA binding and interferon inhibition between the two species. These observed differences are likely due to increased stability and loss of flexibility in REBOV VP35 IID, as demonstrated by thermal shift stability assays. Consistent with this finding, the 1.71-A crystal structure of REBOV VP35 IID reveals that it is highly similar to that of ZEBOV VP35 IID, with an overall backbone r.m.s.d. of 0.64 A, but contains an additional helical element at the linker between the two subdomains of VP35 IID. Mutations near the linker, including swapping sequences between REBOV and ZEBOV, reveal that the linker sequence has limited tolerance for variability. Together with the previously solved ligand-free and double-stranded-RNA-bound forms of ZEBOV VP35 IID structures, our current studies on REBOV VP35 IID reinforce the importance of VP35 in immune suppression. Functional differences observed between REBOV and ZEBOV VP35 proteins may contribute to observed differences in pathogenicity, but these are unlikely to be the major determinant. However, the high level of similarity in structure and the low tolerance for sequence variability, coupled

  4. Functional Insights from Structural Genomics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Forouhar,F.; Kuzin, A.; Seetharaman, J.; Lee, I.; Zhou, W.; Abashidze, M.; Chen, Y.; Montelione, G.; Tong, L.; et al

    2007-01-01

    Structural genomics efforts have produced structural information, either directly or by modeling, for thousands of proteins over the past few years. While many of these proteins have known functions, a large percentage of them have not been characterized at the functional level. The structural information has provided valuable functional insights on some of these proteins, through careful structural analyses, serendipity, and structure-guided functional screening. Some of the success stories based on structures solved at the Northeast Structural Genomics Consortium (NESG) are reported here. These include a novel methyl salicylate esterase with important role in plant innate immunity, a novel RNA methyltransferase (H. influenzae yggJ (HI0303)), a novel spermidine/spermine N-acetyltransferase (B. subtilis PaiA), a novel methyltransferase or AdoMet binding protein (A. fulgidus AF{_}0241), an ATP:cob(I)alamin adenosyltransferase (B. subtilis YvqK), a novel carboxysome pore (E. coli EutN), a proline racemase homolog with a disrupted active site (B. melitensis BME11586), an FMN-dependent enzyme (S. pneumoniae SP{_}1951), and a 12-stranded {beta}-barrel with a novel fold (V. parahaemolyticus VPA1032).

  5. Hegemonic structure of basic, clinical and patented knowledge on Ebola research: a US army reductionist initiative

    OpenAIRE

    Fajardo-Ortiz, David; Ortega-S?nchez-de-Tagle, Jos?; Casta?o, Victor M

    2015-01-01

    Background Ebola hemorrhagic fever (Ebola) is still a highly lethal infectious disease long affecting mainly neglected populations in sub-Saharan Africa. Moreover, this disease is now considered a potential worldwide threat. In this paper, we present an approach to understand how the basic, clinical and patent knowledge on Ebola is organized and intercommunicated and what leading factor could be shaping the evolution of the knowledge translation process for this disease. Methodology A combina...

  6. Structures of Ebola virus GP and sGP in complex with therapeutic antibodies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pallesen, Jesper; Murin, Charles D; de Val, Natalia; Cottrell, Christopher A; Hastie, Kathryn M; Turner, Hannah L; Fusco, Marnie L; Flyak, Andrew I; Zeitlin, Larry; Crowe, James E; Andersen, Kristian G; Saphire, Erica Ollmann; Ward, Andrew B

    2016-08-08

    The Ebola virus (EBOV) GP gene encodes two glycoproteins. The major product is a soluble, dimeric glycoprotein (sGP) that is secreted abundantly. Despite the abundance of sGP during infection, little is known regarding its structure or functional role. A minor product, resulting from transcriptional editing, is the transmembrane-anchored, trimeric viral surface glycoprotein (GP). GP mediates attachment to and entry into host cells, and is the intended target of antibody therapeutics. Because large portions of sequence are shared between GP and sGP, it has been hypothesized that sGP may potentially subvert the immune response or may contribute to pathogenicity. In this study, we present cryo-electron microscopy structures of GP and sGP in complex with GP-specific and GP/sGP cross-reactive antibodies undergoing human clinical trials. The structure of the sGP dimer presented here, in complex with both an sGP-specific antibody and a GP/sGP cross-reactive antibody, permits us to unambiguously assign the oligomeric arrangement of sGP and compare its structure and epitope presentation to those of GP. We also provide biophysical evaluation of naturally occurring GP/sGP mutations that fall within the footprints identified by our high-resolution structures. Taken together, our data provide a detailed and more complete picture of the accessible Ebolavirus glycoprotein landscape and a structural basis to evaluate patient and vaccine antibody responses towards differently structured products of the GP gene.

  7. Structural insights into transcription complexes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Berger, I.; Blanco, A.G.; Boelens, R.; Cavarelli, J.; Coll, M.; Folkers, G.E.; Nie, Y.; Pogenberg, V.; Schultz, P.; Wilmanns, M.; Moras, D.; Poterszman, A.

    2011-01-01

    Control of transcription allows the regulation of cell activity in response to external stimuli and research in the field has greatly benefited from efforts in structural biology. In this review, based on specific examples from the European SPINE2-COMPLEXES initiative, we illustrate the impact of

  8. Ebola Virus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anusha Rangare Lakshman

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available The disease Ebola takes its name from the Ebola River situated near a village in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where the disease first appeared in 1976. It is caused by a virus from the Filoviridae family (filovirus. The present outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD concerns four countries in West Africa, namely Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria till date. Further to widespread transmission of the disease, it has been declared as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern by the World Health Organisation on 8 August 2014. As of 4 August 2014, countries have reported 1,711 cases (1,070 confirmed, 436 probable, 205 suspect, including 932 deaths. This review paper enlightens about the awareness of Ebola virus and its preventive measures. [Archives Medical Review Journal 2015; 24(3.000: 296-305

  9. IPE data base structure and insights

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lehner, J.; Youngblood, R.

    1993-01-01

    A data base (the ''IPE Insights Data Base''), has been developed that stores data obtained from the Individual Plant Examinations (IPEs) which licensees of nuclear power plants are conducting in response to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC) Generic Letter GL88-20. The data base, which is a collection of linked dbase files, stores information about individual plant designs, core damage frequency, and containment performance in a uniform, structured way. This data base can be queried and used as a computational tool to derive insights regarding the plants for which data is stored. This paper sets out the objectives of the IPE Insights Data Base, describes its structure and contents, illustrates sample queries, and discusses possible future uses

  10. IPE data base structure and insights

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lehner, J.; Youngblood, R.

    1994-01-01

    A data base (the open-quotes IPE Insights Data Baseclose quotes), has been developed that stores data obtained from the Individual Plant Examinations (IPEs) which licensees of nuclear power plants are conducting in response to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC) Generic Letter GL88-20. The data base, which is a collection of linked dBase files, stores information about individual plant designs, core damage frequency, and containment performance in a uniform, structured way. This data base can be queried and used as a computational tool to derive insights regarding the plants for which data is stored. This paper sets out the objectives of the IPE Insights Data Base, describes its structure and contents, illustrates sample queries, and discusses possible future uses

  11. Transcriptional Regulation in Ebola Virus: Effects of Gene Border Structure and Regulatory Elements on Gene Expression and Polymerase Scanning Behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brauburger, Kristina; Boehmann, Yannik; Krähling, Verena; Mühlberger, Elke

    2016-02-15

    The highly pathogenic Ebola virus (EBOV) has a nonsegmented negative-strand (NNS) RNA genome containing seven genes. The viral genes either are separated by intergenic regions (IRs) of variable length or overlap. The structure of the EBOV gene overlaps is conserved throughout all filovirus genomes and is distinct from that of the overlaps found in other NNS RNA viruses. Here, we analyzed how diverse gene borders and noncoding regions surrounding the gene borders influence transcript levels and govern polymerase behavior during viral transcription. Transcription of overlapping genes in EBOV bicistronic minigenomes followed the stop-start mechanism, similar to that followed by IR-containing gene borders. When the gene overlaps were extended, the EBOV polymerase was able to scan the template in an upstream direction. This polymerase feature seems to be generally conserved among NNS RNA virus polymerases. Analysis of IR-containing gene borders showed that the IR sequence plays only a minor role in transcription regulation. Changes in IR length were generally well tolerated, but specific IR lengths led to a strong decrease in downstream gene expression. Correlation analysis revealed that these effects were largely independent of the surrounding gene borders. Each EBOV gene contains exceptionally long untranslated regions (UTRs) flanking the open reading frame. Our data suggest that the UTRs adjacent to the gene borders are the main regulators of transcript levels. A highly complex interplay between the different cis-acting elements to modulate transcription was revealed for specific combinations of IRs and UTRs, emphasizing the importance of the noncoding regions in EBOV gene expression control. Our data extend those from previous analyses investigating the implication of noncoding regions at the EBOV gene borders for gene expression control. We show that EBOV transcription is regulated in a highly complex yet not easily predictable manner by a set of interacting cis

  12. Structure and dynamics of Ebola virus matrix protein VP40 by a coarse-grained Monte Carlo simulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pandey, Ras; Farmer, Barry

    Ebola virus matrix protein VP40 (consisting of 326 residues) plays a critical role in viral assembly and its functions such as regulation of viral transcription, packaging, and budding of mature virions into the plasma membrane of infected cells. How does the protein VP40 go through structural evolution during the viral life cycle remains an open question? Using a coarse-grained Monte Carlo simulation we investigate the structural evolution of VP40 as a function of temperature with the input of a knowledge-based residue-residue interaction. A number local and global physical quantities (e.g. mobility profile, contact map, radius of gyration, structure factor) are analyzed with our large-scale simulations. Our preliminary data show that the structure of the protein evolves through different state with well-defined morphologies which can be identified and quantified via a detailed analysis of structure factor.

  13. Sequence analysis of the L protein of the Ebola 2014 outbreak: Insight into conserved regions and mutations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ayub, Gohar; Waheed, Yasir

    2016-06-01

    The 2014 Ebola outbreak was one of the largest that have occurred; it started in Guinea and spread to Nigeria, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Phylogenetic analysis of the current virus species indicated that this outbreak is the result of a divergent lineage of the Zaire ebolavirus. The L protein of Ebola virus (EBOV) is the catalytic subunit of the RNA‑dependent RNA polymerase complex, which, with VP35, is key for the replication and transcription of viral RNA. Earlier sequence analysis demonstrated that the L protein of all non‑segmented negative‑sense (NNS) RNA viruses consists of six domains containing conserved functional motifs. The aim of the present study was to analyze the presence of these motifs in 2014 EBOV isolates, highlight their function and how they may contribute to the overall pathogenicity of the isolates. For this purpose, 81 2014 EBOV L protein sequences were aligned with 475 other NNS RNA viruses, including Paramyxoviridae and Rhabdoviridae viruses. Phylogenetic analysis of all EBOV outbreak L protein sequences was also performed. Analysis of the amino acid substitutions in the 2014 EBOV outbreak was conducted using sequence analysis. The alignment demonstrated the presence of previously conserved motifs in the 2014 EBOV isolates and novel residues. Notably, all the mutations identified in the 2014 EBOV isolates were tolerant, they were pathogenic with certain examples occurring within previously determined functional conserved motifs, possibly altering viral pathogenicity, replication and virulence. The phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that all sequences with the exception of the 2014 EBOV sequences were clustered together. The 2014 EBOV outbreak has acquired a great number of mutations, which may explain the reasons behind this unprecedented outbreak. Certain residues critical to the function of the polymerase remain conserved and may be targets for the development of antiviral therapeutic agents.

  14. Recent advances in vaccine development against Ebola threat as bioweapon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gera, Prachi; Gupta, Ankit; Verma, Priyanka; Singh, Joginder; Gupta, Jeena

    2017-09-01

    With the increasing rate of Ebola virus appearance, with multiple natural outbreaks of Ebola hemorrhagic fever, it is worthy of consideration as bioweapon by anti-national groups. Further, with the non-availability of the vaccines against Ebola virus, concerns about the public health emerge. In this regard, this review summarizes the structure, genetics and potential of Ebola virus to be used as a bioweapon. We highlight the recent advances in the treatment strategies and vaccine development against Ebola virus. The understanding of these aspects might lead to effective treatment practices which can be applied during the future outbreaks of Ebola.

  15. Ebola/Marburg

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... with facebook share with twitter share with linkedin Ebola & Marburg Ebola and Marburg hemorrhagic fevers are acute ... to-person contact. Why Is the Study of Ebola & Marburg a Priority for NIAID? Marburg hemorrhagic fever ...

  16. The organisation of Ebola virus reveals a capacity for extensive, modular polyploidy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel R Beniac

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Filoviruses, including Ebola virus, are unusual in being filamentous animal viruses. Structural data on the arrangement, stoichiometry and organisation of the component molecules of filoviruses has until now been lacking, partially due to the need to work under level 4 biological containment. The present study provides unique insights into the structure of this deadly pathogen. METHODOLOGY AND PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We have investigated the structure of Ebola virus using a combination of cryo-electron microscopy, cryo-electron tomography, sub-tomogram averaging, and single particle image processing. Here we report the three-dimensional structure and architecture of Ebola virus and establish that multiple copies of the RNA genome can be packaged to produce polyploid virus particles, through an extreme degree of length polymorphism. We show that the helical Ebola virus inner nucleocapsid containing RNA and nucleoprotein is stabilized by an outer layer of VP24-VP35 bridges. Elucidation of the structure of the membrane-associated glycoprotein in its native state indicates that the putative receptor-binding site is occluded within the molecule, while a major neutralizing epitope is exposed on its surface proximal to the viral envelope. The matrix protein VP40 forms a regular lattice within the envelope, although its contacts with the nucleocapsid are irregular. CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study demonstrate a modular organization in Ebola virus that accommodates a well-ordered, symmetrical nucleocapsid within a flexible, tubular membrane envelope.

  17. Changes associated with Ebola virus adaptation to novel species.

    OpenAIRE

    Pappalardo, Morena; Reddin, Ian; Cantoni, Diego; Rossman, Jeremy S.; Michaelis, Martin; Wass, Mark N.

    2017-01-01

    Motivation: Ebola viruses are not pathogenic but can be adapted to replicate and cause disease in rodents. Here, we used a structural bioinformatics approach to analyze the mutations associated with Ebola virus adaptation to rodents to elucidate the determinants of host-specific Ebola virus pathogenicity.\\ud Results: We identified 33 different mutations associated with Ebola virus adaptation to rodents in the proteins GP, NP, L, VP24, and VP35. Only VP24, GP and NP were consistently found mut...

  18. Latest Insights on Adenovirus Structure and Assembly

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carmen San Martín

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Adenovirus (AdV capsid organization is considerably complex, not only because of its large size (~950 Å and triangulation number (pseudo T = 25, but also because it contains four types of minor proteins in specialized locations modulating the quasi-equivalent icosahedral interactions. Up until 2009, only its major components (hexon, penton, and fiber had separately been described in atomic detail. Their relationships within the virion, and the location of minor coat proteins, were inferred from combining the known crystal structures with increasingly more detailed cryo-electron microscopy (cryoEM maps. There was no structural information on assembly intermediates. Later on that year, two reports described the structural differences between the mature and immature adenoviral particle, starting to shed light on the different stages of viral assembly, and giving further insights into the roles of core and minor coat proteins during morphogenesis [1,2]. Finally, in 2010, two papers describing the atomic resolution structure of the complete virion appeared [3,4]. These reports represent a veritable tour de force for two structural biology techniques: X-ray crystallography and cryoEM, as this is the largest macromolecular complex solved at high resolution by either of them. In particular, the cryoEM analysis provided an unprecedented clear picture of the complex protein networks shaping the icosahedral shell. Here I review these latest developments in the field of AdV structural studies.

  19. Ebola images emerge from the cave.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diamond, Michael S; Fremont, Daved H

    2008-08-14

    Ebola virus causes a lethal hemorrhagic disease for which no therapy or vaccine is currently approved. Recently, the crystal structure of the Ebola virus glycoprotein in complex with a human neutralizing antibody was illuminated, providing a path from the shadows toward understanding cellular attachment, viral fusion, and immune evasion.

  20. Structural insights into microtubule doublet interactions inaxonemes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Downing, Kenneth H.; Sui, Haixin

    2007-06-06

    Coordinated sliding of microtubule doublets, driven by dynein motors, produces periodic beating of the axoneme. Recent structural studies of the axoneme have used cryo-electron tomography to reveal new details of the interactions among some of the multitude of proteins that form the axoneme and regulate its movement. Connections among the several sets of dyneins, in particular, suggest ways in which their actions may be coordinated. Study of the molecular architecture of isolated doublets has provided a structural basis for understanding the doublet's mechanical properties that are related to the bending of the axoneme, and has also offered insight into its potential role in the mechanism of dynein activity regulation.

  1. Full-length Ebola glycoprotein accumulates in the endoplasmic reticulum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bhattacharyya Suchita

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The Filoviridae family comprises of Ebola and Marburg viruses, which are known to cause lethal hemorrhagic fever. However, there is no effective anti-viral therapy or licensed vaccines currently available for these human pathogens. The envelope glycoprotein (GP of Ebola virus, which mediates entry into target cells, is cytotoxic and this effect maps to a highly glycosylated mucin-like region in the surface subunit of GP (GP1. However, the mechanism underlying this cytotoxic property of GP is unknown. To gain insight into the basis of this GP-induced cytotoxicity, HEK293T cells were transiently transfected with full-length and mucin-deleted (Δmucin Ebola GP plasmids and GP localization was examined relative to the nucleus, endoplasmic reticulum (ER, Golgi, early and late endosomes using deconvolution fluorescent microscopy. Full-length Ebola GP was observed to accumulate in the ER. In contrast, GPΔmucin was uniformly expressed throughout the cell and did not localize in the ER. The Ebola major matrix protein VP40 was also co-expressed with GP to investigate its influence on GP localization. GP and VP40 co-expression did not alter GP localization to the ER. Also, when VP40 was co-expressed with the nucleoprotein (NP, it localized to the plasma membrane while NP accumulated in distinct cytoplasmic structures lined with vimentin. These latter structures are consistent with aggresomes and may serve as assembly sites for filoviral nucleocapsids. Collectively, these data suggest that full-length GP, but not GPΔmucin, accumulates in the ER in close proximity to the nuclear membrane, which may underscore its cytotoxic property.

  2. Ebola Virus Disease: A Review of Its Past and Present.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, Michael J

    2015-09-01

    Ebola virus, the virus responsible for Ebola virus disease, has spawned several epidemics during the past 38 years. In 2014, an Ebola epidemic spread from Africa to other continents, becoming a pandemic. The virus's relatively unique structure, its infectivity and lethality, the difficulty in stopping its spread, and the lack of an effective treatment captured the world's attention. This article provides a brief review of the known history of Ebola virus disease, its etiology, epidemiology, and pathophysiology and a review of the limited information on managing patients with Ebola virus disease.

  3. Treatment of ebola virus disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kilgore, Paul E; Grabenstein, John D; Salim, Abdulbaset M; Rybak, Michael

    2015-01-01

    In March 2014, the largest Ebola outbreak in history exploded across West Africa. As of November 14, 2014, the World Health Organization has reported a total of 21,296 Ebola virus disease (EVD) cases, including 13,427 laboratory-confirmed EVD cases reported from the three most affected countries (Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone). As the outbreak of EVD has spread, clinical disease severity and national EVD case-fatality rates have remained high (21.2-60.8%). Prior to 2013, several EVD outbreaks were controlled by using routine public health interventions; however, the widespread nature of the current EVD outbreak as well as cultural practices in the affected countries have challenged even the most active case identification efforts. In addition, although treatment centers provide supportive care, no effective therapeutic agents are available for EVD-endemic countries. The ongoing EVD outbreak has stimulated investigation of several different therapeutic strategies that target specific viral structures and mechanisms of Ebola viruses. Six to eight putative pharmacotherapies or immunologically based treatments have demonstrated promising results in animal studies. In addition, agents composed of small interfering RNAs targeting specific proteins of Ebola viruses, traditional hyperimmune globulin isolated from Ebola animal models, monoclonal antibodies, and morpholino oligomers (small molecules used to block viral gene expression). A number of EVD therapeutic agents are now entering accelerated human trials in EVD-endemic countries. The goal of therapeutic agent development includes postexposure prevention and EVD cure. As knowledge of Ebola virus virology and pathogenesis grows, it is likely that new therapeutic tools will be developed. Deployment of novel Ebola therapies will require unprecedented cooperation as well as investment to ensure that therapeutic tools become available to populations at greatest risk for EVD and its complications. In this article, we

  4. Candidate Medical Countermeasures Targeting Ebola Virus Cell Entry

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-03-31

    ML, Hessell AJ, Oswald WB, Burton DR, Saphire EO. Structure of the 405 Ebola virus glycoprotein bound to an antibody from a human survivor. Nature...virus cell-entry inhibitors 21 17. Gallaher WR. Similar structural models of the transmembrane proteins of Ebola and 408 avian sarcoma viruses. Cell...85(4), 477-478 (1996). 409 18. Weissenhorn W, Carfí A, Lee K-H, Skehel JJ, Wiley DC. Crystal structure of the Ebola 410 virus membrane fusion

  5. Ebola virus RNA editing depends on the primary editing site sequence and an upstream secondary structure.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masfique Mehedi

    Full Text Available Ebolavirus (EBOV, the causative agent of a severe hemorrhagic fever and a biosafety level 4 pathogen, increases its genome coding capacity by producing multiple transcripts encoding for structural and nonstructural glycoproteins from a single gene. This is achieved through RNA editing, during which non-template adenosine residues are incorporated into the EBOV mRNAs at an editing site encoding for 7 adenosine residues. However, the mechanism of EBOV RNA editing is currently not understood. In this study, we report for the first time that minigenomes containing the glycoprotein gene editing site can undergo RNA editing, thereby eliminating the requirement for a biosafety level 4 laboratory to study EBOV RNA editing. Using a newly developed dual-reporter minigenome, we have characterized the mechanism of EBOV RNA editing, and have identified cis-acting sequences that are required for editing, located between 9 nt upstream and 9 nt downstream of the editing site. Moreover, we show that a secondary structure in the upstream cis-acting sequence plays an important role in RNA editing. EBOV RNA editing is glycoprotein gene-specific, as a stretch encoding for 7 adenosine residues located in the viral polymerase gene did not serve as an editing site, most likely due to an absence of the necessary cis-acting sequences. Finally, the EBOV protein VP30 was identified as a trans-acting factor for RNA editing, constituting a novel function for this protein. Overall, our results provide novel insights into the RNA editing mechanism of EBOV, further understanding of which might result in novel intervention strategies against this viral pathogen.

  6. Ebola virus RNA editing depends on the primary editing site sequence and an upstream secondary structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mehedi, Masfique; Hoenen, Thomas; Robertson, Shelly; Ricklefs, Stacy; Dolan, Michael A; Taylor, Travis; Falzarano, Darryl; Ebihara, Hideki; Porcella, Stephen F; Feldmann, Heinz

    2013-01-01

    Ebolavirus (EBOV), the causative agent of a severe hemorrhagic fever and a biosafety level 4 pathogen, increases its genome coding capacity by producing multiple transcripts encoding for structural and nonstructural glycoproteins from a single gene. This is achieved through RNA editing, during which non-template adenosine residues are incorporated into the EBOV mRNAs at an editing site encoding for 7 adenosine residues. However, the mechanism of EBOV RNA editing is currently not understood. In this study, we report for the first time that minigenomes containing the glycoprotein gene editing site can undergo RNA editing, thereby eliminating the requirement for a biosafety level 4 laboratory to study EBOV RNA editing. Using a newly developed dual-reporter minigenome, we have characterized the mechanism of EBOV RNA editing, and have identified cis-acting sequences that are required for editing, located between 9 nt upstream and 9 nt downstream of the editing site. Moreover, we show that a secondary structure in the upstream cis-acting sequence plays an important role in RNA editing. EBOV RNA editing is glycoprotein gene-specific, as a stretch encoding for 7 adenosine residues located in the viral polymerase gene did not serve as an editing site, most likely due to an absence of the necessary cis-acting sequences. Finally, the EBOV protein VP30 was identified as a trans-acting factor for RNA editing, constituting a novel function for this protein. Overall, our results provide novel insights into the RNA editing mechanism of EBOV, further understanding of which might result in novel intervention strategies against this viral pathogen.

  7. Ebola vaccine and treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takada, Ayato

    2015-01-01

    Filoviruses (Ebola and Marburg viruses) cause severe hemorrhagic fever in humans and nonhuman primates. No effective prophylaxis or treatment for filovirus diseases is yet commercially available. The recent outbreak of Ebola virus disease in West Africa has accelerated efforts to develop anti-Ebola virus prophylaxis and treatment, and unapproved drugs were indeed used for the treatment of patients during the outbreak. This article reviews previous researches and the latest topics on vaccine and therapy for Ebola virus disease.

  8. A common feature pharmacophore for FDA-approved drugs inhibiting the Ebola virus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ekins, Sean; Freundlich, Joel S; Coffee, Megan

    2014-01-01

    We are currently faced with a global infectious disease crisis which has been anticipated for decades. While many promising biotherapeutics are being tested, the search for a small molecule has yet to deliver an approved drug or therapeutic for the Ebola or similar filoviruses that cause haemorrhagic fever. Two recent high throughput screens published in 2013 did however identify several hits that progressed to animal studies that are FDA approved drugs used for other indications. The current computational analysis uses these molecules from two different structural classes to construct a common features pharmacophore. This ligand-based pharmacophore implicates a possible common target or mechanism that could be further explored. A recent structure based design project yielded nine co-crystal structures of pyrrolidinone inhibitors bound to the viral protein 35 (VP35). When receptor-ligand pharmacophores based on the analogs of these molecules and the protein structures were constructed, the molecular features partially overlapped with the common features of solely ligand-based pharmacophore models based on FDA approved drugs. These previously identified FDA approved drugs with activity against Ebola were therefore docked into this protein. The antimalarials chloroquine and amodiaquine docked favorably in VP35. We propose that these drugs identified to date as inhibitors of the Ebola virus may be targeting VP35. These computational models may provide preliminary insights into the molecular features that are responsible for their activity against Ebola virus in vitro and in vivo and we propose that this hypothesis could be readily tested.

  9. Ebola virus host cell entry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakurai, Yasuteru

    2015-01-01

    Ebola virus is an enveloped virus with filamentous structure and causes a severe hemorrhagic fever in human and nonhuman primates. Host cell entry is the first essential step in the viral life cycle, which has been extensively studied as one of the therapeutic targets. A virus factor of cell entry is a surface glycoprotein (GP), which is an only essential viral protein in the step, as well as the unique particle structure. The virus also interacts with a lot of host factors to successfully enter host cells. Ebola virus at first binds to cell surface proteins and internalizes into cells, followed by trafficking through endosomal vesicles to intracellular acidic compartments. There, host proteases process GPs, which can interact with an intracellular receptor. Then, under an appropriate circumstance, viral and endosomal membranes are fused, which is enhanced by major structural changes of GPs, to complete host cell entry. Recently the basic research of Ebola virus infection mechanism has markedly progressed, largely contributed by identification of host factors and detailed structural analyses of GPs. This article highlights the mechanism of Ebola virus host cell entry, including recent findings.

  10. Forecasting Ebola with a regression transmission model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason Asher

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available We describe a relatively simple stochastic model of Ebola transmission that was used to produce forecasts with the lowest mean absolute error among Ebola Forecasting Challenge participants. The model enabled prediction of peak incidence, the timing of this peak, and final size of the outbreak. The underlying discrete-time compartmental model used a time-varying reproductive rate modeled as a multiplicative random walk driven by the number of infectious individuals. This structure generalizes traditional Susceptible-Infected-Recovered (SIR disease modeling approaches and allows for the flexible consideration of outbreaks with complex trajectories of disease dynamics. Keywords: Ebola, Forecasting, Mathematical modeling, Bayesian inference

  11. Macromolecular Antiviral Agents against Zika, Ebola, SARS, and Other Pathogenic Viruses

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schandock, Franziska; Riber, Camilla Frich; Röcker, Annika

    2017-01-01

    . This work performs selection of synthetic polymers as novel broadly active agents and demonstrates activity of these polymers against Zika, Ebola, Lassa, Lyssa, Rabies, Marburg, Ebola, influenza, herpes simplex, and human immunodeficiency viruses. Results presented herein offer structure...

  12. Understanding Ebola Virus Transmission

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seth Judson

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available An unprecedented number of Ebola virus infections among healthcare workers and patients have raised questions about our understanding of Ebola virus transmission. Here, we explore different routes of Ebola virus transmission between people, summarizing the known epidemiological and experimental data. From this data, we expose important gaps in Ebola virus research pertinent to outbreak situations. We further propose experiments and methods of data collection that will enable scientists to fill these voids in our knowledge about the transmission of Ebola virus.

  13. Both Epistasis and Diversifying Selection Drive the Structural Evolution of the Ebola Virus Glycoprotein Mucin-Like Domain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ibeh, Neke; Nshogozabahizi, Jean Claude; Aris-Brosou, Stéphane

    2016-06-01

    Throughout the last 3 decades, Ebola virus (EBOV) outbreaks have been confined to isolated areas within Central Africa; however, the 2014 variant reached unprecedented transmission and mortality rates. While the outbreak was still under way, it was reported that the variant leading up to this outbreak evolved faster than previous EBOV variants, but evidence for diversifying selection was undetermined. Here, we test this selection hypothesis and show that while previous EBOV outbreaks were preceded by bursts of diversification, evidence for site-specific diversifying selection during the emergence of the 2014 EBOV clade is weak. However, we show strong evidence supporting an interplay between selection and correlated evolution (epistasis), particularly in the mucin-like domain (MLD) of the EBOV glycoprotein. By reconstructing ancestral structures of the MLD, we further propose a structural mechanism explaining how the substitutions that accumulated between 1918 and 1969 distorted the MLD, while more recent epistatic substitutions restored part of the structure, with the most recent substitution being adaptive. We suggest that it is this complex interplay between weak selection, epistasis, and structural constraints that has shaped the evolution of the 2014 EBOV variant. The role that selection plays in the emergence of viral epidemics remains debated, particularly in the context of the 2014 EBOV outbreak. Most critically, should such evidence exist, it is generally unclear how this relates to function and increased virulence. Here, we show that the viral lineage leading up to the 2014 outbreak underwent a complex interplay between selection and correlated evolution (epistasis) in a protein region that is critical for immune evasion. We then reconstructed the three-dimensional structure of this domain and showed that the initial mutations in this lineage deformed the structure, while subsequent mutations restored part of the structure. Along this mutational path, the

  14. Forecasting Ebola with a regression transmission model

    OpenAIRE

    Asher, Jason

    2017-01-01

    We describe a relatively simple stochastic model of Ebola transmission that was used to produce forecasts with the lowest mean absolute error among Ebola Forecasting Challenge participants. The model enabled prediction of peak incidence, the timing of this peak, and final size of the outbreak. The underlying discrete-time compartmental model used a time-varying reproductive rate modeled as a multiplicative random walk driven by the number of infectious individuals. This structure generalizes ...

  15. Ebola virus: A gap in drug design and discovery - experimental and computational perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balmith, Marissa; Faya, Mbuso; Soliman, Mahmoud E S

    2017-03-01

    The Ebola virus, formally known as the Ebola hemorrhagic fever, is an acute viral syndrome causing sporadic outbreaks that have ravaged West Africa. Due to its extreme virulence and highly transmissible nature, Ebola has been classified as a category A bioweapon organism. Only recently have vaccine or drug regimens for the Ebola virus been developed, including Zmapp and peptides. In addition, existing drugs which have been repurposed toward anti-Ebola virus activity have been re-examined and are seen to be promising candidates toward combating Ebola. Drug development involving computational tools has been widely employed toward target-based drug design. Screening large libraries have greatly stimulated research toward effective anti-Ebola virus drug regimens. Current emphasis has been placed on the investigation of host proteins and druggable viral targets. There is a huge gap in the literature regarding guidelines in the discovery of Ebola virus inhibitors, which may be due to the lack of information on the Ebola drug targets, binding sites, and mechanism of action of the virus. This review focuses on Ebola virus inhibitors, drugs which could be repurposed to combat the Ebola virus, computational methods which study drug-target interactions as well as providing further insight into the mode of action of the Ebola virus. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

  16. A Small Stem Loop Structure Of The Ebola Virus Trailer Is Essential For Replication And Interacts With Heat Shock Protein A8

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-12-02

    Nucleic Acids Research , 2016 1–15 doi: 10.1093/nar/gkw825 A small stem -loop structure of the Ebola virus trailer is essential for replication and...is a single- stranded RNA that is linked to a stem -loop, as found in the region of the replication promoter element of the EBOV genomic leader (18...Kuhn4, Gustavo Palacios3, Sheli R. Radoshitzky3, Stuart F. J. Le Grice1,* and Reed F. Johnson2,* 1RT Biochemistry Section, Basic Research Laboratory

  17. Novel Ordered Stepped-Wedge Cluster Trial Designs for Detecting Ebola Vaccine Efficacy Using a Spatially Structured Mathematical Model.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ibrahim Diakite

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available During the 2014 Ebola virus disease (EVD outbreak, policy-makers were confronted with difficult decisions on how best to test the efficacy of EVD vaccines. On one hand, many were reluctant to withhold a vaccine that might prevent a fatal disease from study participants randomized to a control arm. On the other, regulatory bodies called for rigorous placebo-controlled trials to permit direct measurement of vaccine efficacy prior to approval of the products. A stepped-wedge cluster study (SWCT was proposed as an alternative to a more traditional randomized controlled vaccine trial to address these concerns. Here, we propose novel "ordered stepped-wedge cluster trial" (OSWCT designs to further mitigate tradeoffs between ethical concerns, logistics, and statistical rigor.We constructed a spatially structured mathematical model of the EVD outbreak in Sierra Leone. We used the output of this model to simulate and compare a series of stepped-wedge cluster vaccine studies. Our model reproduced the observed order of first case occurrence within districts of Sierra Leone. Depending on the infection risk within the trial population and the trial start dates, the statistical power to detect a vaccine efficacy of 90% varied from 14% to 32% for standard SWCT, and from 67% to 91% for OSWCTs for an alpha error of 5%. The model's projection of first case occurrence was robust to changes in disease natural history parameters.Ordering clusters in a step-wedge trial based on the cluster's underlying risk of infection as predicted by a spatial model can increase the statistical power of a SWCT. In the event of another hemorrhagic fever outbreak, implementation of our proposed OSWCT designs could improve statistical power when a step-wedge study is desirable based on either ethical concerns or logistical constraints.

  18. Insight into nucleon structure from generalized parton distributions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    J.W. Negele; R.C. Brower; P. Dreher; R. Edwards; G. Fleming; Ph. Hagler; Th. Lippert; A.V.Pochinsky; D.B. Renner; D. Richards; K. Schilling; W. Schroers

    2004-01-01

    The lowest three moments of generalized parton distributions are calculated in full QCD and provide new insight into the behavior of nucleon electromagnetic form factors, the origin of the nucleon spin, and the transverse structure of the nucleon

  19. Ebola haemorrhagic fever

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feldmann, Heinz; Geisbert, Thomas W

    2012-01-01

    Ebola viruses are the causative agents of a severe form of viral haemorrhagic fever in man, designated Ebola haemorrhagic fever, and are endemic in regions of central Africa. The exception is the species Reston Ebola virus, which has not been associated with human disease and is found in the Philippines. Ebola virus constitutes an important local public health threat in Africa, with a worldwide effect through imported infections and through the fear of misuse for biological terrorism. Ebola virus is thought to also have a detrimental effect on the great ape population in Africa. Case-fatality rates of the African species in man are as high as 90%, with no prophylaxis or treatment available. Ebola virus infections are characterised by immune suppression and a systemic inflammatory response that causes impairment of the vascular, coagulation, and immune systems, leading to multiorgan failure and shock, and thus, in some ways, resembling septic shock. PMID:21084112

  20. Ebola--haemoragisk feber

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fabiansen, Christian; Kronborg, Gitte; Thybo, Søren

    2008-01-01

    This review presents the latest findings on ebola. Ebola presents one of the highest case-fatality rates of all infectious diseases, and in 2007 outbreaks were observed first in the Democratic Republic of Congo and later in Uganda with a new subtype. Accumulating evidence suggests that fruit bats...... are a likely reservoir for the ebola virus. The frequency of filovirus outbreaks in Central Africa is increasing and the potential for introduction and patient care in Denmark is evaluated. Udgivelsesdato: 2008-Nov-24...

  1. The Pathogenesis of Ebola Virus Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baseler, Laura; Chertow, Daniel S; Johnson, Karl M; Feldmann, Heinz; Morens, David M

    2017-01-24

    For almost 50 years, ebolaviruses and related filoviruses have been repeatedly reemerging across the vast equatorial belt of the African continent to cause epidemics of highly fatal hemorrhagic fever. The 2013-2015 West African epidemic, by far the most geographically extensive, most fatal, and longest lasting epidemic in Ebola's history, presented an enormous international public health challenge, but it also provided insights into Ebola's pathogenesis and natural history, clinical expression, treatment, prevention, and control. Growing understanding of ebolavirus pathogenetic mechanisms and important new clinical observations of the disease course provide fresh clues about prevention and treatment approaches. Although viral cytopathology and immune-mediated cell damage in ebolavirus disease often result in severe compromise of multiple organs, tissue repair and organ function recovery can be expected if patients receive supportive care with fluids and electrolytes; maintenance of oxygenation and tissue perfusion; and respiratory, renal, and cardiovascular support. Major challenges for managing future Ebola epidemics include establishment of early and aggressive epidemic control and earlier and better patient care and treatment in remote, resource-poor areas where Ebola typically reemerges. In addition, it will be important to further develop Ebola vaccines and to adopt policies for their use in epidemic and pre-epidemic situations.

  2. Cell Secretion: Current Structural and Biochemical Insights

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saurabh Trikha

    2010-01-01

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

  3. New insights into apoptosome structure and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dorstyn, Loretta; Akey, Christopher W; Kumar, Sharad

    2018-05-15

    The apoptosome is a platform that activates apical procaspases in response to intrinsic cell death signals. Biochemical and structural studies in the past two decades have extended our understanding of apoptosome composition and structure, while illuminating the requirements for initiator procaspase activation. A number of studies have now provided high-resolution structures for apoptosomes from C. elegans (CED-4), D. melanogaster (Dark), and H. sapiens (Apaf-1), which define critical protein interfaces, including intra and interdomain interactions. This work also reveals interactions of apoptosomes with their respective initiator caspases, CED-3, Dronc and procaspase-9. Structures of the human apoptosome have defined the requirements for cytochrome c binding, which triggers the conversion of inactive Apaf-1 molecules to an extended, assembly competent state. While recent data have provided a detailed understanding of apoptosome formation and procaspase activation, they also highlight important evolutionary differences with functional implications for caspase activation. CARD/CARD interactions in the CED-4, Dark and Apaf-1 apoptosomes. Type I, II and III interfaces that stabilize CARD-CARD interactions are indicated (left column). Note that the Type I interface appears to be unique to Apaf-1/pc-9 CARD interactions. Middle column shows cartoons of the active states of the CARD-CARD disks, illustrating the two CED-4 tetrameric ring layers (top) and the recruitment of 8 Dronc CARDs and between 3-4 pc-9 CARDs, to the Dark and Apaf-1 apoptosomes respectively (middle and lower panels). Ribbon diagrams of the CED-4, Dark and Apaf-1 apoptosomes are shown (right column).

  4. Ebola--haemorrhagic fever

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fabiansen, C.; Kronborg, G.; Thybo, S.

    2008-01-01

    This review presents the latest findings on ebola. Ebola presents one of the highest case-fatality rates of all infectious diseases, and in 2007 outbreaks were observed first in the Democratic Republic of Congo and later in Uganda with a new subtype. Accumulating evidence suggests that fruit bats...

  5. Ebola--haemoragisk feber

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fabiansen, Christian; Kronborg, Gitte; Thybo, Søren

    2008-01-01

    This review presents the latest findings on ebola. Ebola presents one of the highest case-fatality rates of all infectious diseases, and in 2007 outbreaks were observed first in the Democratic Republic of Congo and later in Uganda with a new subtype. Accumulating evidence suggests that fruit bats...

  6. [Ebola haemorrhagic fever.

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fabiansen, C.; Kronborg, G.; Thybo, S.

    2008-01-01

    This review presents the latest findings on ebola. Ebola presents one of the highest case-fatality rates of all infectious diseases, and in 2007 outbreaks were observed first in the Democratic Republic of Congo and later in Uganda with a new subtype. Accumulating evidence suggests that fruit bats...

  7. Ebola--haemoragisk feber

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fabiansen, Christian; Kronborg, Gitte; Thybo, Søren

    2008-01-01

    This review presents the latest findings on ebola. Ebola presents one of the highest case-fatality rates of all infectious diseases, and in 2007 outbreaks were observed first in the Democratic Republic of Congo and later in Uganda with a new subtype. Accumulating evidence suggests that fruit bats...... are a likely reservoir for the ebola virus. The frequency of filovirus outbreaks in Central Africa is increasing and the potential for introduction and patient care in Denmark is evaluated. Udgivelsesdato: 2008-Nov-24......This review presents the latest findings on ebola. Ebola presents one of the highest case-fatality rates of all infectious diseases, and in 2007 outbreaks were observed first in the Democratic Republic of Congo and later in Uganda with a new subtype. Accumulating evidence suggests that fruit bats...

  8. [Ebola haemorrhagic fever.

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fabiansen, C.; Kronborg, G.; Thybo, S.

    2008-01-01

    This review presents the latest findings on ebola. Ebola presents one of the highest case-fatality rates of all infectious diseases, and in 2007 outbreaks were observed first in the Democratic Republic of Congo and later in Uganda with a new subtype. Accumulating evidence suggests that fruit bats...... are a likely reservoir for the ebola virus. The frequency of filovirus outbreaks in Central Africa is increasing and the potential for introduction and patient care in Denmark is evaluated Udgivelsesdato: 2008/11/24...

  9. Insights into the structural biology of Gaucher disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Laura; Mullin, Stephen; Schapira, Anthony H V

    2017-12-01

    Gaucher disease, the most common lysosomal storage disorder, is caused by mutations in the gene encoding the acid-β-glucosidase lysosomal hydrolase enzyme that cleaves glucocerebroside into glucose and ceramide. Reduced enzyme activity and impaired structural stability arise due to >300 known disease-causing mutations. Several of these mutations have also been associated with an increased risk of Parkinson disease (PD). Since the discovery of the acid-β-glucosidase X-ray structure, there have been major advances in our understanding of the structural properties of the protein. Analysis of specific residues has provided insight into their functional and structural importance and provided insight into the pathogenesis of Gaucher disease and the contribution to PD. Disease-causing mutations are positioned throughout the acid-β-glucosidase structure, with many located far from the active site and thus retaining some enzymatic activity however, thus far no clear relationship between mutation location and disease severity has been established. Here, we review the crystal structure of acid-β-glucosidase, while highlighting important structural aspects of the protein in detail. This review discusses the structural stability of acid-β-glucosidase, which can be altered by pH and glycosylation, and explores the relationship between known Gaucher disease and PD mutations, structural stability and disease severity. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  10. Ebola Virus Disease

    Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Podcasts

    This podcast provides general information about Ebola virus disease and the outbreak in West Africa. The program contains remarks from CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden, as well as a brief description of CDC’s response efforts.

  11. Ebola in West Africa

    OpenAIRE

    Raka, Lul; Guardo, Monica

    2015-01-01

    Ebola viral disease (EVD) is a severe and life-threatening disease. The current Ebola outbreak in West Africa entered its second year and is unprecedented because it is the largest one in history, involved urban centers and affected a large number of health care workers. It quickly escalated from medical into a humanitarian, social, economic, and security crisis. The primary pillars to prevent EVD are: early diagnosis, isolation of patients, contact tracing and monitoring, safe burials, infec...

  12. Ebola Virus and Marburg Virus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ebola virus and Marburg virus Overview Ebola virus and Marburg virus are related viruses that cause hemorrhagic fevers — illnesses marked by severe bleeding (hemorrhage), organ failure and, in many ...

  13. NGA Ebola Support Data Services

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Geospatial Intelligence Agency — In support of the ongoing Ebola crisis in Africa, NGA is providing to the public and humanitarian disaster response community these Ebola support data services. They...

  14. A common feature pharmacophore for FDA-approved drugs inhibiting the Ebola virus [v2; ref status: indexed, http://f1000r.es/4wt

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sean Ekins

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available We are currently faced with a global infectious disease crisis which has been anticipated for decades. While many promising biotherapeutics are being tested, the search for a small molecule has yet to deliver an approved drug or therapeutic for the Ebola or similar filoviruses that cause haemorrhagic fever. Two recent high throughput screens published in 2013 did however identify several hits that progressed to animal studies that are FDA approved drugs used for other indications. The current computational analysis uses these molecules from two different structural classes to construct a common features pharmacophore. This ligand-based pharmacophore implicates a possible common target or mechanism that could be further explored. A recent structure based design project yielded nine co-crystal structures of pyrrolidinone inhibitors bound to the viral protein 35 (VP35. When receptor-ligand pharmacophores based on the analogs of these molecules and the protein structures were constructed, the molecular features partially overlapped with the common features of solely ligand-based pharmacophore models based on FDA approved drugs. These previously identified FDA approved drugs with activity against Ebola were therefore docked into this protein. The antimalarials chloroquine and amodiaquine docked favorably in VP35. We propose that these drugs identified to date as inhibitors of the Ebola virus may be targeting VP35. These computational models may provide preliminary insights into the molecular features that are responsible for their activity against Ebola virus in vitro and in vivo and we propose that this hypothesis could be readily tested.

  15. A common feature pharmacophore for FDA-approved drugs inhibiting the Ebola virus [v1; ref status: indexed, http://f1000r.es/4qh

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sean Ekins

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available We are currently faced with a global infectious disease crisis which has been anticipated for decades. While many promising biotherapeutics are being tested, the search for a small molecule has yet to deliver an approved drug or therapeutic for the Ebola or similar filoviruses that cause haemorrhagic fever. Two recent high throughput screens published in 2013 did however identify several hits that progressed to animal studies that are FDA approved drugs used for other indications. The current computational analysis uses these molecules from two different structural classes to construct a common features pharmacophore. This ligand-based pharmacophore implicates a possible common target or mechanism that could be further explored. A recent structure based design project yielded nine co-crystal structures of pyrrolidinone inhibitors bound to the viral protein 35 (VP35. When receptor-ligand pharmacophores based on the analogs of these molecules and the protein structures were constructed, the molecular features partially overlapped with the common features of solely ligand-based pharmacophore models based on FDA approved drugs. These previously identified FDA approved drugs with activity against Ebola were therefore docked into this protein. The antimalarials chloroquine and amodiaquine docked favorably in VP35. We propose that these drugs identified to date as inhibitors of the Ebola virus may be targeting VP35. These computational models may provide preliminary insights into the molecular features that are responsible for their activity against Ebola virus in vitro and in vivo and we propose that this hypothesis could be readily tested.

  16. Physically-insightful equivalent circuit models for electromagnetic periodic structures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mesa, F.; Rodríguez-Berral, R.; Medina, F.

    2018-02-01

    In this presentation it will be discussed how to obtain analytical or quasi-analytical equivalent circuits to deal with periodic structures such as frequency selective surfaces and/or metasurfaces. Both the topology and the values of the involved elements of these circuits are obtained from a basic rationale to solve the corresponding integral equation. This procedure, besides providing a very efficient analysis/design tool, allows for a good physical insight into the operating mechanisms of the structure in contrast with the almost blind numerical scheme of commercial simulators.

  17. Postmortem stability of Ebola virus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prescott, Joseph; Bushmaker, Trenton; Fischer, Robert; Miazgowicz, Kerri; Judson, Seth; Munster, Vincent J

    2015-05-01

    The ongoing Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa has highlighted questions regarding stability of the virus and detection of RNA from corpses. We used Ebola virus-infected macaques to model humans who died of Ebola virus disease. Viable virus was isolated <7 days posteuthanasia; viral RNA was detectable for 10 weeks.

  18. Structural insights into the intertwined dimer of fyn SH2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huculeci, Radu; Garcia-Pino, Abel; Buts, Lieven; Lenaerts, Tom; van Nuland, Nico

    2015-12-01

    Src homology 2 domains are interaction modules dedicated to the recognition of phosphotyrosine sites incorporated in numerous proteins found in intracellular signaling pathways. Here we provide for the first time structural insight into the dimerization of Fyn SH2 both in solution and in crystalline conditions, providing novel crystal structures of both the dimer and peptide-bound structures of Fyn SH2. Using nuclear magnetic resonance chemical shift analysis, we show how the peptide is able to eradicate the dimerization, leading to monomeric SH2 in its bound state. Furthermore, we show that Fyn SH2's dimer form differs from other SH2 dimers reported earlier. Interestingly, the Fyn dimer can be used to construct a completed dimer model of Fyn without any steric clashes. Together these results extend our understanding of SH2 dimerization, giving structural details, on one hand, and suggesting a possible physiological relevance of such behavior, on the other hand. © 2015 The Protein Society.

  19. New insight in magnetic saturation behavior of nickel hierarchical structures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Ji; Zhang, Jianxing; Liu, Chunting; Chen, Kezheng

    2017-09-01

    It is unanimously accepted that non-ferromagnetic inclusions in a ferromagnetic system will lower down total saturation magnetization in unit of emu/g. In this study, ;lattice strain; was found to be another key factor to have critical impact on magnetic saturation behavior of the system. The lattice strain determined assembling patterns of primary nanoparticles in hierarchical structures and was intimately related with the formation process of these architectures. Therefore, flower-necklace-like and cauliflower-like nickel hierarchical structures were used as prototype systems to evidence the relationship between assembling patterns of primary nanoparticles and magnetic saturation behaviors of these architectures. It was found that the influence of lattice strain on saturation magnetization outperformed that of non-ferromagnetic inclusions in these hierarchical structures. This will enable new insights into fundamental understanding of related magnetic effects.

  20. Recent advances on Ebola virus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yasir Waheed

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available The 2014–2015 Ebola epidemic in West Africa was the largest of its kind, with more than 11 000 deaths and 28 637 cases. The epidemic mobilized a coalition of countries from US to China, European Union, and African countries. The international community was not prepared to face this unprecedented epidemic. Numbers of research groups are working to find a potent vaccine against Ebola. Ebola virus has the ability to dodge the immune system either by blocking interferon production or by glycoprotein-based immune diversion. Individuals who survived from the Ebola virus are facing different health issues after the infection. The rate of miscarriage is also high in Ebola survivors while there are variable reports of the presence of Ebola virus in semen of Ebola survivors. There are many asymptomatic Ebola patients under consideration. West African countries lack the basic healthcare system, for which the actual number of deaths by the Ebola outbreak are much more than the deaths caused by the direct viral infection. The hospitals were empty due to fear and death of nurses and doctors. Millions of children missed the vaccine against measles. Hundreds of thousands of people could not get food. The Ebola epidemic also affected the mental health of people living in endemic countries. The families affected by Ebola are facing discrimination in the society. There is a dire need to adopt United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 3, which stresses to prepare ourselves to face any national or global health risk.

  1. A small stem-loop structure of the Ebola virus trailer is essential for replication and interacts with heat-shock protein A8.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sztuba-Solinska, Joanna; Diaz, Larissa; Kumar, Mia R; Kolb, Gaëlle; Wiley, Michael R; Jozwick, Lucas; Kuhn, Jens H; Palacios, Gustavo; Radoshitzky, Sheli R; J Le Grice, Stuart F; Johnson, Reed F

    2016-11-16

    Ebola virus (EBOV) is a single-stranded negative-sense RNA virus belonging to the Filoviridae family. The leader and trailer non-coding regions of the EBOV genome likely regulate its transcription, replication, and progeny genome packaging. We investigated the cis-acting RNA signals involved in RNA-RNA and RNA-protein interactions that regulate replication of eGFP-encoding EBOV minigenomic RNA and identified heat shock cognate protein family A (HSC70) member 8 (HSPA8) as an EBOV trailer-interacting host protein. Mutational analysis of the trailer HSPA8 binding motif revealed that this interaction is essential for EBOV minigenome replication. Selective 2'-hydroxyl acylation analyzed by primer extension analysis of the secondary structure of the EBOV minigenomic RNA indicates formation of a small stem-loop composed of the HSPA8 motif, a 3' stem-loop (nucleotides 1868-1890) that is similar to a previously identified structure in the replicative intermediate (RI) RNA and a panhandle domain involving a trailer-to-leader interaction. Results of minigenome assays and an EBOV reverse genetic system rescue support a role for both the panhandle domain and HSPA8 motif 1 in virus replication. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research 2016. This work is written by (a) US Government employee(s) and is in the public domain in the US.

  2. Immune barriers of Ebola virus infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McElroy, Anita K; Mühlberger, Elke; Muñoz-Fontela, César

    2018-02-01

    Since its initial emergence in 1976 in northern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ebola virus (EBOV) has been a global health concern due to its virulence in humans, the mystery surrounding the identity of its host reservoir and the unpredictable nature of Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreaks. Early after the first clinical descriptions of a disease resembling a 'septic-shock-like syndrome', with coagulation abnormalities and multi-system organ failure, researchers began to evaluate the role of the host immune response in EVD pathophysiology. In this review, we summarize how data gathered during the last 40 years in the laboratory as well as in the field have provided insight into EBOV immunity. From molecular mechanisms involved in EBOV recognition in infected cells, to antigen processing and adaptive immune responses, we discuss current knowledge on the main immune barriers of infection as well as outstanding research questions. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Ebola in West Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raka, Lul; Guardo, Monica

    2015-03-15

    Ebola viral disease (EVD) is a severe and life-threatening disease. The current Ebola outbreak in West Africa entered its second year and is unprecedented because it is the largest one in history, involved urban centers and affected a large number of health care workers. It quickly escalated from medical into a humanitarian, social, economic, and security crisis. The primary pillars to prevent EVD are: early diagnosis, isolation of patients, contact tracing and monitoring, safe burials, infection prevention and control and social mobilization. The implementation of all these components was challenged in the field. Key lessons from this Ebola outbreak are that countries with weak health care systems can't withstand the major outbreaks; preparedness to treat the first confirmed cases is a national emergency; all control measures must be coordinated together and community engagement is the great factor to combat this disease.

  4. Ebola in West Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lul Raka

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Ebola viral disease (EVD is a severe and life-threatening disease. The current Ebola outbreak in West Africa entered its second year and is unprecedented because it is the largest one in history, involved urban centers and affected a large number of health care workers. It quickly escalated from medical into a humanitarian, social, economic, and security crisis. The primary pillars to prevent EVD are: early diagnosis, isolation of patients, contact tracing and monitoring, safe burials, infection prevention and control and social mobilization. The implementation of all these components was challenged in the field. Key lessons from this Ebola outbreak are that countries with weak health care systems can’t withstand the major outbreaks; preparedness to treat the first confirmed cases is a national emergency; all control measures must be coordinated together and community engagement is the great factor to combat this disease.

  5. What is Ebola?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stein, R A

    2015-01-01

    On 23 March 2014, the World Health Organization first announced a new Ebola virus outbreak that started in December 2013 in the eastern part of the Republic of Guinea. Human infections shortly emerged in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria. On 30 September 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed through laboratory testing the first Ebola virus infection diagnosed in the USA, in a patient who travelled from West Africa to Texas. On 6 October 2014, the first human infection occurring outside of Africa was reported, in a Spanish nurse who treated two priests, both of whom died, and on 23 October 2014, the first human infection was reported in New York City. To date, the 2014 Ebola virus outbreak is the longest, largest, and most persistent one since 1976, when the virus was first identified in humans, and the number of human cases exceeded, as of mid-September 2014, the cumulative number of infections from all the previous outbreaks. The early clinical presentation overlaps with other infectious diseases, opening differential diagnosis difficulties. Understanding the transmission routes and identifying the natural reservoir of the virus are additional challenges in studying Ebola hemorrhagic fever outbreaks. Ebola virus is as much a public health challenge for developing countries as it is for the developed world, and previous outbreaks underscored that the relative contribution of the risk factors may differ among outbreaks. The implementation of effective preparedness plans is contingent on integrating teachings from previous Ebola virus outbreaks with those from the current outbreak and with lessons provided by other infectious diseases, along with developing a multifaceted inter-disciplinary and cross-disciplinary framework that should be established and shaped by biomedical as well as sociopolitical sciences. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  6. Ebola: translational science considerations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiappelli, Francesco; Bakhordarian, Andre; Thames, April D; Du, Angela M; Jan, Allison L; Nahcivan, Melissa; Nguyen, Mia T; Sama, Nateli; Manfrini, Ercolano; Piva, Francesco; Rocha, Rafael Malagoli; Maida, Carl A

    2015-01-16

    We are currently in the midst of the most aggressive and fulminating outbreak of Ebola-related disease, commonly referred to as "Ebola", ever recorded. In less than a year, the Ebola virus (EBOV, Zaire ebolavirus species) has infected over 10,000 people, indiscriminately of gender or age, with a fatality rate of about 50%. Whereas at its onset this Ebola outbreak was limited to three countries in West Africa (Guinea, where it was first reported in late March 2014, Liberia, where it has been most rampant in its capital city, Monrovia and other metropolitan cities, and Sierra Leone), cases were later reported in Nigeria, Mali and Senegal, as well as in Western Europe (i.e., Madrid, Spain) and the US (i.e., Dallas, Texas; New York City) by late October 2014. World and US health agencies declared that the current Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak has a strong likelihood of growing exponentially across the world before an effective vaccine, treatment or cure can be developed, tested, validated and distributed widely. In the meantime, the spread of the disease may rapidly evolve from an epidemics to a full-blown pandemic. The scientific and healthcare communities actively research and define an emerging kaleidoscope of knowledge about critical translational research parameters, including the virology of EBOV, the molecular biomarkers of the pathological manifestations of EVD, putative central nervous system involvement in EVD, and the cellular immune surveillance to EBOV, patient-centered anthropological and societal parameters of EVD, as well as translational effectiveness about novel putative patient-targeted vaccine and pharmaceutical interventions, which hold strong promise, if not hope, to curb this and future Ebola outbreaks. This work reviews and discusses the principal known facts about EBOV and EVD, and certain among the most interesting ongoing or future avenues of research in the field, including vaccination programs for the wild animal vectors of the virus

  7. Frequently Asked Questions on Ebola Virus Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... and should follow recommended precautions strictly. Health worker Ebola infections in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone How to put on and how to remove personal protective equipment - posters 6. Can Ebola be transmitted sexually? Sexual transmission of the Ebola ...

  8. Ebola: Lessons learned

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    pains.[19] Viable virus seems capable of surviving in protected sites including aqueous humor, the testes and the fetoplacental unit.[20-22]. The implications for further transmission and the ongoing health needs of survivors are therefore of great concern. Ebola will not be eradicated by science alone. Finally, this outbreak ...

  9. Magnetic apatite for structural insights on the plasma membrane

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Magnetic apatite for structural insights on the plasma membrane

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Oligomeric protein structure networks: insights into protein-protein interactions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brinda KV

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Protein-protein association is essential for a variety of cellular processes and hence a large number of investigations are being carried out to understand the principles of protein-protein interactions. In this study, oligomeric protein structures are viewed from a network perspective to obtain new insights into protein association. Structure graphs of proteins have been constructed from a non-redundant set of protein oligomer crystal structures by considering amino acid residues as nodes and the edges are based on the strength of the non-covalent interactions between the residues. The analysis of such networks has been carried out in terms of amino acid clusters and hubs (highly connected residues with special emphasis to protein interfaces. Results A variety of interactions such as hydrogen bond, salt bridges, aromatic and hydrophobic interactions, which occur at the interfaces are identified in a consolidated manner as amino acid clusters at the interface, from this study. Moreover, the characterization of the highly connected hub-forming residues at the interfaces and their comparison with the hubs from the non-interface regions and the non-hubs in the interface regions show that there is a predominance of charged interactions at the interfaces. Further, strong and weak interfaces are identified on the basis of the interaction strength between amino acid residues and the sizes of the interface clusters, which also show that many protein interfaces are stronger than their monomeric protein cores. The interface strengths evaluated based on the interface clusters and hubs also correlate well with experimentally determined dissociation constants for known complexes. Finally, the interface hubs identified using the present method correlate very well with experimentally determined hotspots in the interfaces of protein complexes obtained from the Alanine Scanning Energetics database (ASEdb. A few predictions of interface hot

  12. Ebola in Antiquity?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kazanjian, Powel

    2015-09-15

    This article addresses whether Ebola may have been present in an urban setting in Athens in 430 bce and explores the historical importance of the ancient outbreak. New knowledge from today's West African epidemic allows a more accurate assessment of whether Ebola may have caused the Athenian outbreak than was once possible. The Athenian disease, whose etiology remains unknown, developed abruptly with fevers, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, and hemorrhage. It originated in sub-Saharan Africa and was especially contagious to doctors and caregivers. No remedies were effective. But the few survivors who were reexposed to diseased patients were not attacked a second time, suggesting protective immunity. What lessons can we learn from the ancient outbreak that bears a clinical and epidemiologic resemblance to Ebola? The historian Thucydides, an eyewitness and disease sufferer, described how the unsuspecting city panicked as it struggled to handle the rapidly spreading, devastating disease. Moreover, he stressed a theme that has relevance today-namely, that fear and panic intensified the disruption of society and damage to the individual that was directly caused by the disease. Moreover, fear amplified the spread of disease. The destructive nature of fear has remained a signature feature of pestilences that have subsequently caught ill-prepared societies off-guard-Bubonic plague in medieval times, AIDS in the 1980s, and Ebola today. The ancient Athenian epidemic is relevant for today's West African Ebola outbreak because it shows how fear and panic can endanger the individual, our society, and our efforts to handle the disease. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  13. Recent advances on Ebola virus

    OpenAIRE

    Yasir Waheed; Mehreen Tahir; Hasnain Waheed; Sher Zaman Safi

    2017-01-01

    The 2014–2015 Ebola epidemic in West Africa was the largest of its kind, with more than 11 000 deaths and 28 637 cases. The epidemic mobilized a coalition of countries from US to China, European Union, and African countries. The international community was not prepared to face this unprecedented epidemic. Numbers of research groups are working to find a potent vaccine against Ebola. Ebola virus has the ability to dodge the immune system either by blocking interferon production ...

  14. How Ebola impacts genetics of Western lowland gorilla populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Gouar, Pascaline J; Vallet, Dominique; David, Laetitia; Bermejo, Magdalena; Gatti, Sylvain; Levréro, Florence; Petit, Eric J; Ménard, Nelly

    2009-12-18

    Emerging infectious diseases in wildlife are major threats for both human health and biodiversity conservation. Infectious diseases can have serious consequences for the genetic diversity of populations, which could enhance the species' extinction probability. The Ebola epizootic in western and central Africa induced more than 90% mortality in Western lowland gorilla population. Although mortality rates are very high, the impacts of Ebola on genetic diversity of Western lowland gorilla have never been assessed. We carried out long term studies of three populations of Western lowland gorilla in the Republic of the Congo (Odzala-Kokoua National Park, Lossi gorilla sanctuary both affected by Ebola and Lossi's periphery not affected). Using 17 microsatellite loci, we compared genetic diversity and structure of the populations and estimate their effective size before and after Ebola outbreaks. Despite the effective size decline in both populations, we did not detect loss in genetic diversity after the epizootic. We revealed temporal changes in allele frequencies in the smallest population. Immigration and short time elapsed since outbreaks could explain the conservation of genetic diversity after the demographic crash. Temporal changes in allele frequencies could not be explained by genetic drift or random sampling. Immigration from genetically differentiated populations and a non random mortality induced by Ebola, i.e., selective pressure and cost of sociality, are alternative hypotheses. Understanding the influence of Ebola on gorilla genetic dynamics is of paramount importance for human health, primate evolution and conservation biology.

  15. How Ebola impacts genetics of Western lowland gorilla populations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pascaline J Le Gouar

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Emerging infectious diseases in wildlife are major threats for both human health and biodiversity conservation. Infectious diseases can have serious consequences for the genetic diversity of populations, which could enhance the species' extinction probability. The Ebola epizootic in western and central Africa induced more than 90% mortality in Western lowland gorilla population. Although mortality rates are very high, the impacts of Ebola on genetic diversity of Western lowland gorilla have never been assessed.We carried out long term studies of three populations of Western lowland gorilla in the Republic of the Congo (Odzala-Kokoua National Park, Lossi gorilla sanctuary both affected by Ebola and Lossi's periphery not affected. Using 17 microsatellite loci, we compared genetic diversity and structure of the populations and estimate their effective size before and after Ebola outbreaks. Despite the effective size decline in both populations, we did not detect loss in genetic diversity after the epizootic. We revealed temporal changes in allele frequencies in the smallest population.Immigration and short time elapsed since outbreaks could explain the conservation of genetic diversity after the demographic crash. Temporal changes in allele frequencies could not be explained by genetic drift or random sampling. Immigration from genetically differentiated populations and a non random mortality induced by Ebola, i.e., selective pressure and cost of sociality, are alternative hypotheses. Understanding the influence of Ebola on gorilla genetic dynamics is of paramount importance for human health, primate evolution and conservation biology.

  16. Measuring the strength of interaction between the Ebola fusion peptide and lipid rafts: implications for membrane fusion and virus infection.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mônica S Freitas

    Full Text Available The Ebola fusion peptide (EBO₁₆ is a hydrophobic domain that belongs to the GP2 membrane fusion protein of the Ebola virus. It adopts a helical structure in the presence of mimetic membranes that is stabilized by the presence of an aromatic-aromatic interaction established by Trp8 and Phe12. In spite of its infectious cycle becoming better understood recently, several steps still remain unclear, a lacuna that makes it difficult to develop strategies to block infection. In order to gain insight into the mechanism of membrane fusion, we probed the structure, function and energetics of EBO₁₆ and its mutant W8A, in the absence or presence of different lipid membranes, including isolated domain-resistant membranes (DRM, a good experimental model for lipid rafts. The depletion of cholesterol from living mammalian cells reduced the ability of EBO₁₆ to induce lipid mixing. On the other hand, EBO₁₆ was structurally sensitive to interaction with lipid rafts (DRMs, but the same was not observed for W8A mutant. In agreement with these data, W8A showed a poor ability to promote membrane aggregation in comparison to EBO₁₆. Single molecule AFM experiments showed a high affinity force pattern for the interaction of EBO₁₆ and DRM, which seems to be a complex energetic event as observed by the calorimetric profile. Our study is the first to show a strong correlation between the initial step of Ebola virus infection and cholesterol, thus providing a rationale for Ebola virus proteins being co-localized with lipid-raft domains. In all, the results show how small fusion peptide sequences have evolved to adopt highly specific and strong interactions with membrane domains. Such features suggest these processes are excellent targets for therapeutic and vaccine approaches to viral diseases.

  17. Measuring the strength of interaction between the Ebola fusion peptide and lipid rafts: implications for membrane fusion and virus infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freitas, Mônica S; Follmer, Cristian; Costa, Lilian T; Vilani, Cecília; Bianconi, M Lucia; Achete, Carlos Alberto; Silva, Jerson L

    2011-01-13

    The Ebola fusion peptide (EBO₁₆) is a hydrophobic domain that belongs to the GP2 membrane fusion protein of the Ebola virus. It adopts a helical structure in the presence of mimetic membranes that is stabilized by the presence of an aromatic-aromatic interaction established by Trp8 and Phe12. In spite of its infectious cycle becoming better understood recently, several steps still remain unclear, a lacuna that makes it difficult to develop strategies to block infection. In order to gain insight into the mechanism of membrane fusion, we probed the structure, function and energetics of EBO₁₆ and its mutant W8A, in the absence or presence of different lipid membranes, including isolated domain-resistant membranes (DRM), a good experimental model for lipid rafts. The depletion of cholesterol from living mammalian cells reduced the ability of EBO₁₆ to induce lipid mixing. On the other hand, EBO₁₆ was structurally sensitive to interaction with lipid rafts (DRMs), but the same was not observed for W8A mutant. In agreement with these data, W8A showed a poor ability to promote membrane aggregation in comparison to EBO₁₆. Single molecule AFM experiments showed a high affinity force pattern for the interaction of EBO₁₆ and DRM, which seems to be a complex energetic event as observed by the calorimetric profile. Our study is the first to show a strong correlation between the initial step of Ebola virus infection and cholesterol, thus providing a rationale for Ebola virus proteins being co-localized with lipid-raft domains. In all, the results show how small fusion peptide sequences have evolved to adopt highly specific and strong interactions with membrane domains. Such features suggest these processes are excellent targets for therapeutic and vaccine approaches to viral diseases.

  18. Insight into the Disciplinary Structure of Nanoscience & Nanotechnology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chunjuan Luan

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: This paper aims to gain an insight into the disciplinary structure of nanoscience & nanotechnology (N&N: What is the disciplinary network of N&N like? Which disciplines are being integrated into N&N over time? For a specific discipline, how many other disciplines have direct or indirect connections with it? What are the distinct subgroups of N&N at different evolutionary stages? Such critical issues are to be addressed in this paper. Design/methodology/approach: We map the disciplinary network structure of N&N by employing the social network analysis tool, Netdraw, identifying which Web of Science Categories (WCs mediate nbetweenness centrality in different stages of nano development. Cliques analysis embedded in the Ucinet program is applied to do the disciplinary cluster analysis in the study according to the path of “Network-Subgroup-Cliques,” and a tree diagram is selected as the visualizing type. Findings: The disciplinary network structure reveals the relationships among different disciplines in the N&N developing process clearly, and it is easy for us to identify which disciplines are connected with the core “N&N” directly or indirectly. The tree diagram showing N&N related disciplines provides an interesting perspective on nano research and development (R&D structure. Research limitations: The matrices used to draw the N&N disciplinary network are the original ones, and normalized matrix could be tried in future similar studies. Practical implications: Results in this paper can help us better understand the disciplinary structure of N&N, and the dynamic evolution of N&N related disciplines over time. The findings could benefit R&D decision making. It can support policy makers from government agencies engaging in science and technology (S&T management or S&T strategy planners to formulate efficient decisions according to a perspective of converging sciences and technologies. Originality/value: The novelty of this study

  19. Understanding Ebola: the 2014 epidemic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaner, Jolie; Schaack, Sarah

    2016-09-13

    Near the end of 2013, an outbreak of Zaire ebolavirus (EBOV) began in Guinea, subsequently spreading to neighboring Liberia and Sierra Leone. As this epidemic grew, important public health questions emerged about how and why this outbreak was so different from previous episodes. This review provides a synthetic synopsis of the 2014-15 outbreak, with the aim of understanding its unprecedented spread. We present a summary of the history of previous epidemics, describe the structure and genetics of the ebolavirus, and review our current understanding of viral vectors and the latest treatment practices. We conclude with an analysis of the public health challenges epidemic responders faced and some of the lessons that could be applied to future outbreaks of Ebola or other viruses.

  20. Ebola and Immune System

    OpenAIRE

    KOMENAN, Alexis

    2016-01-01

    Ebola hemorrhagic fever is a formidable disease whose surges always result in a high number of victims in sub-Saharan Africa. There is no official treatment against the virus, which makes the task of containment extremely delicate. However, the existence of survivors to the virus demonstrates curable nature of the disease and suggests the existence of favorable factors of immunity. The author examines these factors and their challenges and perspectives in the cure of the disease.

  1. Ebola Virus Disease

    Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Podcasts

    2014-08-08

    This podcast provides general information about Ebola virus disease and the outbreak in West Africa. The program contains remarks from CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden, as well as a brief description of CDC’s response efforts.  Created: 8/8/2014 by National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID).   Date Released: 8/8/2014.

  2. Insights into structural variations and genome rearrangements in prokaryotic genomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Periwal, Vinita; Scaria, Vinod

    2015-01-01

    Structural variations (SVs) are genomic rearrangements that affect fairly large fragments of DNA. Most of the SVs such as inversions, deletions and translocations have been largely studied in context of genetic diseases in eukaryotes. However, recent studies demonstrate that genome rearrangements can also have profound impact on prokaryotic genomes, leading to altered cell phenotype. In contrast to single-nucleotide variations, SVs provide a much deeper insight into organization of bacterial genomes at a much better resolution. SVs can confer change in gene copy number, creation of new genes, altered gene expression and many other functional consequences. High-throughput technologies have now made it possible to explore SVs at a much refined resolution in bacterial genomes. Through this review, we aim to highlight the importance of the less explored field of SVs in prokaryotic genomes and their impact. We also discuss its potential applicability in the emerging fields of synthetic biology and genome engineering where targeted SVs could serve to create sophisticated and accurate genome editing. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  3. [Ebola virus disease: Update].

    Science.gov (United States)

    de la Calle-Prieto, Fernando; Arsuaga-Vicente, Marta; Mora-Rillo, Marta; Arnalich-Fernandez, Francisco; Arribas, Jose Ramon

    2016-01-01

    The first known Ebola outbreak occurred in 1976. Since then, 24 limited outbreaks had been reported in Central Africa, but never affecting more than 425 persons. The current outbreak in Western Africa is the largest in history with 28,220 reported cases and 11,291 deaths. The magnitude of the epidemic has caused worldwide alarm. For the first time, evacuated patients were treated outside Africa, and secondary cases have occurred in Spain and the United States. Since the start of the current epidemic, our knowledge about the epidemiology, clinical picture, laboratory findings, and virology of Ebola virus disease has considerably expanded. For the first time, experimental treatment has been tried, and there have been spectacular advances in vaccine development. A review is presented of these advances in the knowledge of Ebola virus disease. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier España, S.L.U. and Sociedad Española de Enfermedades Infecciosas y Microbiología Clínica. All rights reserved.

  4. Comparative phylogeography of African fruit bats (Chiroptera, Pteropodidae) provide new insights into the outbreak of Ebola virus disease in West Africa, 2014-2016.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hassanin, Alexandre; Nesi, Nicolas; Marin, Julie; Kadjo, Blaise; Pourrut, Xavier; Leroy, Éric; Gembu, Guy-Crispin; Musaba Akawa, Prescott; Ngoagouni, Carine; Nakouné, Emmanuel; Ruedi, Manuel; Tshikung, Didier; Pongombo Shongo, Célestin; Bonillo, Céline

    Both Ebolavirus and Marburgvirus were detected in several fruit bat species of the family Pteropodidae, suggesting that this taxon plays a key role in the life cycle of filoviruses. After four decades of Zaire Ebolavirus (ZEBOV) outbreaks in Central Africa, the virus was detected for the first time in West Africa in 2014. To better understand the role of fruit bats as potential reservoirs and circulating hosts between Central and West Africa, we examine here the phylogeny and comparative phylogeography of Pteropodidae. Our phylogenetic results confirm the existence of four independent lineages of African fruit bats: the genera Eidolon and Rousettus, and the tribes Epomophorini and Scotonycterini, and indicate that the three species suspected to represent ZEBOV reservoir hosts (Epomops franqueti, Hypsignathus monstrosus, and Myonycteris torquata) belong to an African clade that diversified rapidly around 8-7 Mya. To test for phylogeographic structure and for recent gene flow from Central to West Africa, we analysed the nucleotide variation of 675 cytochrome b gene (Cytb) sequences, representing eight fruit bat species collected in 48 geographic localities. Within Epomophorina, our mitochondrial data do not support the monophyly of two genera (Epomops and Epomophorus) and four species (Epomophorus gambianus, Epomops franqueti, Epomops buettikoferi, and Micropteropus pusillus). In Epomops, however, we found two geographic haplogroups corresponding to the Congo Basin and Upper Guinea forests, respectively. By contrast, we found no genetic differentiation between Central and West African populations for all species known to make seasonal movements, Eidolon helvum, E. gambianus, H. monstrosus, M. pusillus, Nanonycteris veldkampii, and Rousettus aegyptiacus. Our results suggest that only three fruit bat species were able to disperse directly ZEBOV from the Congo Basin to Upper Guinea: E. helvum, H. monstrosus, and R. aegyptiacus. Copyright © 2016 Académie des

  5. Accepted monitoring or endured quarantine? Ebola contacts' perceptions in Senegal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desclaux, Alice; Badji, Dioumel; Ndione, Albert Gautier; Sow, Khoudia

    2017-04-01

    During the 2014-2016 West Africa Ebola epidemic, transmission chains were controlled through contact tracing, i.e., identification and follow-up of people exposed to Ebola cases. WHO recommendations for daily check-ups of physical symptoms with social distancing for 21 days were unevenly applied and sometimes interpreted as quarantine. Criticisms arose regarding the use of coercion and questioned contact tracing on ethical grounds. This article aims to analyze contact cases' perceptions and acceptance of contact monitoring at the field level. In Senegal, an imported case of Ebola virus disease in September 2014 resulted in placing 74 contact cases in home containment with daily visits by volunteers. An ethnographic study based on in-depth interviews with all stakeholders performed in September-October 2014 showed four main perceptions of monitoring: a biosecurity preventive measure, suspension of professional activity, stigma attached to Ebola, and a social obligation. Contacts demonstrated diverse attitudes. Initially, most contacts agreed to comply because they feared being infected. They adhered to the national Ebola response measures and appreciated the empathy shown by volunteers. Later, acceptance was improved by the provision of moral, economic, and social support, and by the final lack of any new contamination. But it was limited by the socio-economic impact on fulfilling basic needs, the fear of being infected, how contacts' family members interpreted monitoring, conflation of contacts as Ebola cases, and challenging the rationale for containment. Acceptance was also related to individual aspects, such as the professional status of women and health workers who had been exposed, and contextual aspects, such as the media's role in the social production of stigma. Ethnographic results show that, even when contacts adhere rather than comply to containment through coercion, contact monitoring raises several ethical issues. These insights should contribute to

  6. Investigating Ebola virus pathogenicity using molecular dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pappalardo, Morena; Collu, Francesca; Macpherson, James; Michaelis, Martin; Fraternali, Franca; Wass, Mark N

    2017-08-11

    Ebolaviruses have been known to cause deadly disease in humans for 40 years and have recently been demonstrated in West Africa to be able to cause large outbreaks. Four Ebolavirus species cause severe disease associated with high mortality in humans. Reston viruses are the only Ebolaviruses that do not cause disease in humans. Conserved amino acid changes in the Reston virus protein VP24 compared to VP24 of other Ebolaviruses have been suggested to alter VP24 binding to host cell karyopherins resulting in impaired inhibition of interferon signalling, which may explain the difference in human pathogenicity. Here we used protein structural analysis and molecular dynamics to further elucidate the interaction between VP24 and KPNA5. As a control experiment, we compared the interaction of wild-type and R137A-mutant (known to affect KPNA5 binding) Ebola virus VP24 with KPNA5. Results confirmed that the R137A mutation weakens direct VP24-KPNA5 binding and enables water molecules to penetrate at the interface. Similarly, Reston virus VP24 displayed a weaker interaction with KPNA5 than Ebola virus VP24, which is likely to reduce the ability of Reston virus VP24 to prevent host cell interferon signalling. Our results provide novel molecular detail on the interaction of Reston virus VP24 and Ebola virus VP24 with human KPNA5. The results indicate a weaker interaction of Reston virus VP24 with KPNA5 than Ebola virus VP24, which is probably associated with a decreased ability to interfere with the host cell interferon response. Hence, our study provides further evidence that VP24 is a key player in determining Ebolavirus pathogenicity.

  7. Ebola hemorrhagic Fever.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burnett, Mark W

    2014-01-01

    Ebola hemorrhagic fever is an often-fatal disease caused by a virus of the Filoviridae family, genus Ebolavirus. Initial signs and symptoms of the disease are nonspecific, often progressing on to a severe hemorrhagic illness. Special Operations Forces Medical Providers should be aware of this disease, which occurs in sporadic outbreaks throughout Africa. Treatment at the present time is mainly supportive. Special care should be taken to prevent contact with bodily fluids of those infected, which can transmit the virus to caregivers. 2014.

  8. Ebola (Ebola Virus Disease): Q&As on Transmission

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... in these fluids, but CDC and partners are working together to study how long the virus persists in ... Health, CDC, and the World Health Organization are working together to determine how long Ebola virus persists or ...

  9. Ebola Viral Glycoprotein Bound to Its Endosomal Receptor Niemann-Pick C1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Han; Shi, Yi; Song, Jian; Qi, Jianxun; Lu, Guangwen; Yan, Jinghua; Gao, George F

    2016-01-14

    Filoviruses, including Ebola and Marburg, cause fatal hemorrhagic fever in humans and primates. Understanding how these viruses enter host cells could help to develop effective therapeutics. An endosomal protein, Niemann-Pick C1 (NPC1), has been identified as a necessary entry receptor for this process, and priming of the viral glycoprotein (GP) to a fusion-competent state is a prerequisite for NPC1 binding. Here, we have determined the crystal structure of the primed GP (GPcl) of Ebola virus bound to domain C of NPC1 (NPC1-C) at a resolution of 2.3 Å. NPC1-C utilizes two protruding loops to engage a hydrophobic cavity on head of GPcl. Upon enzymatic cleavage and NPC1-C binding, conformational change in the GPcl further affects the state of the internal fusion loop, triggering membrane fusion. Our data therefore provide structural insights into filovirus entry in the late endosome and the molecular basis for design of therapeutic inhibitors of viral entry. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Modeling Insight into Battery Electrolyte Electrochemical Stability and Interfacial Structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borodin, Oleg; Ren, Xiaoming; Vatamanu, Jenel; von Wald Cresce, Arthur; Knap, Jaroslaw; Xu, Kang

    2017-12-19

    Electroactive interfaces distinguish electrochemistry from chemistry and enable electrochemical energy devices like batteries, fuel cells, and electric double layer capacitors. In batteries, electrolytes should be either thermodynamically stable at the electrode interfaces or kinetically stable by forming an electronically insulating but ionically conducting interphase. In addition to a traditional optimization of electrolytes by adding cosolvents and sacrificial additives to preferentially reduce or oxidize at the electrode surfaces, knowledge of the local electrolyte composition and structure within the double layer as a function of voltage constitutes the basis of manipulating an interphase and expanding the operating windows of electrochemical devices. In this work, we focus on how the molecular-scale insight into the solvent and ion partitioning in the electrolyte double layer as a function of applied potential could predict changes in electrolyte stability and its initial oxidation and reduction reactions. In molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, highly concentrated lithium aqueous and nonaqueous electrolytes were found to exclude the solvent molecules from directly interacting with the positive electrode surface, which provides an additional mechanism for extending the electrolyte oxidation stability in addition to the well-established simple elimination of "free" solvent at high salt concentrations. We demonstrate that depending on their chemical structures, the anions could be designed to preferentially adsorb or desorb from the positive electrode with increasing electrode potential. This provides additional leverage to dictate the order of anion oxidation and to effectively select a sacrificial anion for decomposition. The opposite electrosorption behaviors of bis(trifluoromethane)sulfonimide (TFSI) and trifluoromethanesulfonate (OTF) as predicted by MD simulation in highly concentrated aqueous electrolytes were confirmed by surface enhanced infrared

  11. Developing an incident management system to support Ebola response -- Liberia, July-August 2014.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pillai, Satish K; Nyenswah, Tolbert; Rouse, Edward; Arwady, M Allison; Forrester, Joseph D; Hunter, Jennifer C; Matanock, Almea; Ayscue, Patrick; Monroe, Benjamin; Schafer, Ilana J; Poblano, Luis; Neatherlin, John; Montgomery, Joel M; De Cock, Kevin M

    2014-10-17

    The ongoing Ebola virus disease (Ebola) outbreak in West Africa is the largest and most sustained Ebola epidemic recorded, with 6,574 cases. Among the five affected countries of West Africa (Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Nigeria, and Senegal), Liberia has had the highest number cases (3,458). This epidemic has severely strained the public health and health care infrastructure of Liberia, has resulted in restrictions in civil liberties, and has disrupted international travel. As part of the initial response, the Liberian Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOHSW) developed a national task force and technical expert committee to oversee the management of the Ebola-related activities. During the third week of July 2014, CDC deployed a team of epidemiologists, data management specialists, emergency management specialists, and health communicators to assist MOHSW in its response to the growing Ebola epidemic. One aspect of CDC's response was to work with MOHSW in instituting incident management system (IMS) principles to enhance the organization of the response. This report describes MOHSW's Ebola response structure as of mid-July, the plans made during the initial assessment of the response structure, the implementation of interventions aimed at improving the system, and plans for further development of the response structure for the Ebola epidemic in Liberia.

  12. Ebola virus: recommendations

    CERN Multimedia

    CERN Medical Service

    2014-01-01

    The CERN Medical Service has been closely following, in particular via the WHO, the development of the Ebola virus outbreak currently affecting some African countries. This infectious disease may be passed on through direct contact with the bodily fluids of a sick person.   Based on the recommendations of the WHO and the two Host States, Switzerland and France, as updated on their respective websites, so far there has been no ban on travel to the countries concerned. However, unless it is absolutely essential, you are advised not to visit any of the countries affected by Ebola (Guinea, Republic of Sierra Leone, Liberia, Nigeria). The two Host States have established an alert system, and a check is carried out on departure from the airports of those countries. It is strongly recommended that you contact the Medical Service if you are travelling to those countries. We remind you to observe the basic rules of hygiene such as frequent hand washing, whatever your destination. The Medical Service is...

  13. Clinical development of Ebola vaccines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sridhar, Saranya

    2015-01-01

    The ongoing outbreak of Ebola virus disease in West Africa highlighted the lack of a licensed drug or vaccine to combat the disease and has renewed the urgency to develop a pipeline of Ebola vaccines. A number of different vaccine platforms are being developed by assessing preclinical efficacy in animal models and expediting clinical development. Over 15 different vaccines are in preclinical development and 8 vaccines are now in different stages of clinical evaluation. These vaccines include DNA vaccines, virus-like particles and viral vectors such as live replicating vesicular stomatitis virus (rVSV), human and chimpanzee adenovirus, and vaccinia virus. Recently, in preliminary results reported from the first phase III trial of an Ebola vaccine, the rVSV-vectored vaccine showed promising efficacy. This review charts this rapidly advancing area of research focusing on vaccines in clinical development and discusses the future opportunities and challenges faced in the licensure and deployment of Ebola vaccines. PMID:26668751

  14. ISCB Ebola Award for Important Future Research on the Computational Biology of Ebola Virus

    OpenAIRE

    Karp, P.D.; Berger, B.; Kovats, D.; Lengauer, T.; Linial, M.; Sabeti, P.; Hide, W.; Rost, B.

    2015-01-01

    Speed is of the essence in combating Ebola; thus, computational approaches should form a significant component of Ebola research. As for the development of any modern drug, computational biology is uniquely positioned to contribute through comparative analysis of the genome sequences of Ebola strains as well as 3-D protein modeling. Other computational approaches to Ebola may include large-scale docking studies of Ebola proteins with human proteins and with small-molecule libraries, computati...

  15. Nutritional management in Ebola haemorrhagic fever

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kamon Chaiyasit

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Ebola haemorrhagic fever is a viral infection causing a major health problem worldwide. In this short article, the authors briefly review and discuss on the nutritional management (energy, protein, fat and micronutrient in management of Ebola infection.

  16. Ebola Virus Persistence in Semen Ex Vivo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer, Robert J; Judson, Seth; Miazgowicz, Kerri; Bushmaker, Trent; Munster, Vincent J

    2016-02-01

    On March 20, 2015, a case of Ebola virus disease was identified in Liberia that most likely was transmitted through sexual contact. We assessed the efficiency of detecting Ebola virus in semen samples by molecular diagnostics and the stability of Ebola virus in ex vivo semen under simulated tropical conditions.

  17. New insights into the structure and composition of technical lignins : A comparative characterisation study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Constant, Sandra|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/374650519; Wienk, Hans L J|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/203884884; Frissen, Augustinus E.; Peinder, Peter De|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/325810818; Boelens, Rolf|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/070151407; Van Es, Daan S.; Grisel, Ruud J H; Weckhuysen, Bert M.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/285484397; Huijgen, Wouter J J; Gosselink, Richard J A; Bruijnincx, Pieter C A|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/33799529X

    2016-01-01

    Detailed insight into the structure and composition of industrial (technical) lignins is needed to devise efficient thermal, bio- or chemocatalytic valorisation strategies. Six such technical lignins covering three main industrial pulping methods (Indulin AT Kraft, Protobind 1000 soda lignin and

  18. New insights into the structure and composition of technical lignins: a comparative characterisation study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Constant, Sandra; Wienk, Hans L.J.; Frissen, A.E.; Peinder, de Peter; Boelens, Rolf; Es, van D.S.; Grisel, Ruud J.H.; Weckhuysen, Bert M.; Huijgen, W.J.J.; Gosselink, R.J.A.; Bruijnincx, Pieter C.A.

    2016-01-01

    Detailed insight into the structure and composition of industrial (technical) lignins is needed to devise efficient thermal, bio- or chemocatalytic valorisation strategies. Six such technical lignins covering three main industrial pulping methods (Indulin AT Kraft, Protobind 1000 soda lignin and

  19. [Research progress on ebola virus glycoprotein].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Guo-Yong; Wang, Zhi-Yu; Gao, Lu; Jiang, Bao-Fa

    2013-03-01

    Ebola virus (EBOV) causes outbreaks of a highly lethal hemorrhagic fever in humans and there are no effective therapeutic or prophylactic treatments available. The glycoprotein (GP) of EBOV is a transmembrane envelope protein known to play multiple functions including virus attachment and entry, cell rounding and cytotoxicity, down-regulation of host surface proteins, and enhancement of virus assembly and budding. GP is the primary target of protective immunity and the key target for developing neutralizing antibodies. In this paper, the research progress on genetic structure, pathogenesis and immunogenicity of EBOV GP in the last 5 years is reviewed.

  20. Insights into Chromatin Structure and Dynamics in Plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefanie Rosa

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available The packaging of chromatin into the nucleus of a eukaryotic cell requires an extraordinary degree of compaction and physical organization. In recent years, it has been shown that this organization is dynamically orchestrated to regulate responses to exogenous stimuli as well as to guide complex cell-type-specific developmental programs. Gene expression is regulated by the compartmentalization of functional domains within the nucleus, by distinct nucleosome compositions accomplished via differential modifications on the histone tails and through the replacement of core histones by histone variants. In this review, we focus on these aspects of chromatin organization and discuss novel approaches such as live cell imaging and photobleaching as important tools likely to give significant insights into our understanding of the very dynamic nature of chromatin and chromatin regulatory processes. We highlight the contribution plant studies have made in this area showing the potential advantages of plants as models in understanding this fundamental aspect of biology.

  1. Electron Microscopy Structural Insights into CPAP Oligomeric Behavior

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Alvarez-Cabrera, Ana L; Delgado, Sandra; Gil-Carton, David

    2017-01-01

    Centrosomal P4.1-associated protein (CPAP) is a cell cycle regulated protein fundamental for centrosome assembly and centriole elongation. In humans, the region between residues 897-1338 of CPAP mediates interactions with other proteins and includes a homodimerization domain. CPAP mutations cause...... into clearly different regular 3D maps (putatively corresponding to dimers and tetramers) and direct observation of individual images representing other complexes of HsCPAP(897-1338) (i.e., putative flexible monomers and higher-order multimers), we report a dynamic oligomeric behavior of this protein, where...... of different oligomers of CPAP, suggesting further insights to understand how this protein works, contributing to the elucidation of control mechanisms for centriole biogenesis....

  2. Structural insight into catalytic mechanism of PET hydrolase

    OpenAIRE

    Han, Xu; Liu, Weidong; Huang, Jian-Wen; Ma, Jiantao; Zheng, Yingying; Ko, Tzu-Ping; Xu, Limin; Cheng, Ya-Shan; Chen, Chun-Chi; Guo, Rey-Ting

    2017-01-01

    PET hydrolase (PETase), which hydrolyzes polyethylene terephthalate (PET) into soluble building blocks, provides an attractive avenue for the bioconversion of plastics. Here we present the structures of a novel PETase from the PET-consuming microbe Ideonella sakaiensis in complex with substrate and product analogs. Through structural analyses, mutagenesis, and activity measurements, a substrate-binding mode is proposed, and several features critical for catalysis are elucidated.

  3. Structural insight into catalytic mechanism of PET hydrolase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Xu; Liu, Weidong; Huang, Jian-Wen; Ma, Jiantao; Zheng, Yingying; Ko, Tzu-Ping; Xu, Limin; Cheng, Ya-Shan; Chen, Chun-Chi; Guo, Rey-Ting

    2017-12-13

    PET hydrolase (PETase), which hydrolyzes polyethylene terephthalate (PET) into soluble building blocks, provides an attractive avenue for the bioconversion of plastics. Here we present the structures of a novel PETase from the PET-consuming microbe Ideonella sakaiensis in complex with substrate and product analogs. Through structural analyses, mutagenesis, and activity measurements, a substrate-binding mode is proposed, and several features critical for catalysis are elucidated.

  4. New Insight into Carbon Nanotube Electronic Structure Selectivity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sumpter, Bobby G [ORNL; Meunier, Vincent [ORNL; Jiang, Deen [ORNL

    2009-01-01

    The fundamental role of aryl diazonium salts for post synthesis selectivity of carbon nanotubes is investigated using extensive electronic structure calculations. The resulting understanding for diazonium salt based selective separation of conducting and semiconducting carbon nanotubes shows how the primary contributions come from the interplay between the intrinsic electronic structure of the carbon nanotubes and that of the anion of the salt. We demonstrate how the electronic transport properties change upon the formation of charge transfer complexes and upon their conversion into covalently attached functional groups. Our results are found to correlate well with experiments and provide for the first time an atomistic description for diazonium salt based chemical separation of carbon nanotubes

  5. Structural insight into the UNC-45–myosin complex

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fratev, Filip; Jonsdottir, Svava Osk; Pajeva, Ilza

    2013-01-01

    The UNC-45 chaperone protein interacts with and affects the folding, stability, and the ATPase activity of myosins. It plays a critical role in the cardiomyopathy development and in the breast cancer tumor growth. Here we propose the first structural model of the UNC-45–myosin complex using various...... is mainly stabilized by electrostatic interactions. Remarkably, the contact surface area is similar to that of the myosinactin complex. A significant interspecies difference in the myosin binding epitope is observed. Our results reveal the structural basis of MYH7 exons 15–16 hypertrophic cardiomyopathy...... mutations and provide directions for drug targeting. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc....

  6. New insight on bismuth cuprates with incommensurate modulated structures

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Mironov, A. V.; Petříček, Václav; Khasanova, N. R.; Antipov, E. V.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 72, č. 3 (2016), s. 395-403 ISSN 2052-5206 Institutional support: RVO:68378271 Keywords : modulated structure * high Tc superconductor * superspace approach Subject RIV: BM - Solid Matter Physics ; Magnetism Impact factor: 2.032, year: 2016

  7. Wave-like spread of Ebola Zaire.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    2005-11-01

    Full Text Available In the past decade the Zaire strain of Ebola virus (ZEBOV has emerged repeatedly into human populations in central Africa and caused massive die-offs of gorillas and chimpanzees. We tested the view that emergence events are independent and caused by ZEBOV variants that have been long resident at each locality. Phylogenetic analyses place the earliest known outbreak at Yambuku, Democratic Republic of Congo, very near to the root of the ZEBOV tree, suggesting that viruses causing all other known outbreaks evolved from a Yambuku-like virus after 1976. The tendency for earlier outbreaks to be directly ancestral to later outbreaks suggests that outbreaks are epidemiologically linked and may have occurred at the front of an advancing wave. While the ladder-like phylogenetic structure could also bear the signature of positive selection, our statistical power is too weak to reach a conclusion in this regard. Distances among outbreaks indicate a spread rate of about 50 km per year that remains consistent across spatial scales. Viral evolution is clocklike, and sequences show a high level of small-scale spatial structure. Genetic similarity decays with distance at roughly the same rate at all spatial scales. Our analyses suggest that ZEBOV has recently spread across the region rather than being long persistent at each outbreak locality. Controlling the impact of Ebola on wild apes and human populations may be more feasible than previously recognized.

  8. Household demographic determinants of Ebola epidemic risk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Ben

    2016-03-07

    A salient characteristic of Ebola, and some other infectious diseases such as Tuberculosis, is intense transmission among small groups of cohabitants and relatively limited indiscriminate transmission in the wider population. Here we consider a mathematical model for an Ebola epidemic in a population structured into households of equal size. We show that household size, a fundamental demographic unit, is a critical factor that determines the vulnerability of a community to epidemics, and the effort required to control them. Our analysis is based on the household reproduction number, but we also consider the basic reproduction number, intrinsic growth rate and final epidemic size. We show that, when other epidemiological parameters are kept the same, all of these quantifications of epidemic growth and size are increased by larger households and more intense within-household transmission. We go on to model epidemic control by case detection and isolation followed by household quarantine. We show that, if household quarantine is ineffective, the critical probability with which cases must be detected to halt an epidemic increases significantly with each increment in household size and may be a very challenging target for communities composed of large households. Effective quarantine may, however, mitigate the detrimental impact of large household sizes. We conclude that communities composed of large households are fundamentally more vulnerable to epidemics of infectious diseases primarily transmitted by close contact, and any assessment of control strategies for these epidemics should take into account the demographic structure of the population. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. On revealing the gene targets of Ebola virus microRNAs involved in the human skin microbiome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pei-Chun Hsu

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Ebola virus, a negative-sense single-stranded RNA virus, causes severe viral hemorrhagic fever and has a high mortality rate. Histopathological and immunopathological analyses of Ebola virus have revealed that histopathological changes in skin tissue are associated with various degrees of endothelial cell swelling and necrosis. The interactions of microbes within or on a host are a crucial for the skin immune shield. The discovery of microRNAs (miRNAs in Ebola virus implies that immune escape, endothelial cell rupture, and tissue dissolution during Ebola virus infection are a result of the effects of Ebola virus miRNAs. Keratinocytes obtained from normal skin can attach and spread through expression of the thrombospondin family of proteins, playing a role in initiation of cell-mediated immune responses in the skin. Several miRNAs have been shown to bind the 3′ untranslated region of thrombospondin mRNA, thereby controlling its stability and translational activity. In this study, we discovered short RNA sequences that may act as miRNAs from Propionibacterium acnes using a practical workflow of bioinformatics methods. Subsequently, we deciphered the common target gene. These RNA sequences tended to bind to the same thrombospondin protein, THSD4, emphasizing the potential importance of the synergistic binding of miRNAs from Ebola virus, Propionibacterium acnes, and humans to the target. These results provide important insights into the molecular mechanisms of thrombospondin proteins and miRNAs in Ebola virus infection.

  10. Structural Insights Into The Bacterial Carbon-Phosphorus Lyase Machinery

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brodersen, Ditlev Egeskov

    the proteins encoded in the phn operon act in concert to catabolise phosphonate remain unknown. We have determined the crystal structure of a 240 kDa Escherichia coli carbon-phosphorus lyase core complex at 1.7 Å and show that it comprises a highly intertwined network of subunits with several unexpected......Phosphonate compounds act as a nutrient source for some microorganisms when phosphate is limiting but require a specialised enzymatic machinery due to the presence of the highly stable carbon-phosphorus bond. Despite the fundamental importance to microbial metabolism, the details of how...... structural features. The complex contains at least two different active sites and suggest a revision of current models of carbon-phosphorus bond cleavage. Using electron microscopy, we map the binding site of an additional protein subunit, which may use ATP for driving conformational changes during...

  11. Structural Insights into Ail-Mediated Adhesion in Yersinia pestis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yamashita, Satoshi; Lukacik, Petra; Barnard, Travis J.; Noinaj, Nicholas; Felek, Suleyman; Tsang, Tiffany M.; Krukonis, Eric S.; Hinnebusch, B. Joseph; Buchanan, Susan K. (Michigan); (NIH); (Michigan-Med)

    2012-01-30

    Ail is an outer membrane protein from Yersinia pestis that is highly expressed in a rodent model of bubonic plague, making it a good candidate for vaccine development. Ail is important for attaching to host cells and evading host immune responses, facilitating rapid progression of a plague infection. Binding to host cells is important for injection of cytotoxic Yersinia outer proteins. To learn more about how Ail mediates adhesion, we solved two high-resolution crystal structures of Ail, with no ligand bound and in complex with a heparin analog called sucrose octasulfate. We identified multiple adhesion targets, including laminin and heparin, and showed that a 40 kDa domain of laminin called LG4-5 specifically binds to Ail. We also evaluated the contribution of laminin to delivery of Yops to HEp-2 cells. This work constitutes a structural description of how a bacterial outer membrane protein uses a multivalent approach to bind host cells.

  12. Ebola virus: bioterrorism for humans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pramodkumar Pyarelal Gupta

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Ebola virus disease is a severe, often fatal, zoonotic infection caused by a virus of the Filoviridae family (genus Ebolavirus. Ebola virus (EBOV spreads by human to human transmission through contacts with body fluids from infected patients. Initial stages of EBOV are non-specific which makes the differential diagnosis broad. Here in this review article we focused on to show the details of EBOV, from its first case right up to the possible targets to cure this lethal disease. In this study we have shown the statistical survey, epidemiology, disease ontology, different genes coding for different proteins in EBOV and future aspects of it.

  13. Insight into the Geothermal Structure in Chingshui, Ilan, Taiwan

    OpenAIRE

    Lun-Tao Tong; Shoung Ouyang; Tai-Rong Guo; Ching-Ray Lee; Kou-Hsin Hu; Chun-Li Lee; Chun-Jao Wang

    2008-01-01

    The Chingshui geothermal field is the largest known productive geothermal area in Taiwan. The purpose of this paper is to delineate this geothermal structure by integrating geophysical data and borehole information. The existence of a magma chamber in the shallow crust and shallow intrusive igneous rock results in a high heat flow and geothermal gradient; furthermore, the NE deep fault system within the meta-sandstones provides meteoric recharge from a higher elevation to artesianally drive t...

  14. Insight into mitochondrial structure and function from electron tomography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frey, T G; Renken, C W; Perkins, G A

    2002-09-10

    In recent years, electron tomography has provided detailed three-dimensional models of mitochondria that have redefined our concept of mitochondrial structure. The models reveal an inner membrane consisting of two components, the inner boundary membrane (IBM) closely apposed to the outer membrane and the cristae membrane that projects into the matrix compartment. These two components are connected by tubular structures of relatively uniform size called crista junctions. The distribution of crista junction sizes and shapes is predicted by a thermodynamic model based upon the energy of membrane bending, but proteins likely also play a role in determining the conformation of the inner membrane. Results of structural studies of mitochondria during apoptosis demonstrate that cytochrome c is released without detectable disruption of the outer membrane or extensive swelling of the mitochondrial matrix, suggesting the formation of an outer membrane pore large enough to allow passage of holo-cytochrome c. The possible compartmentation of inner membrane function between the IBM and the cristae membrane is also discussed.

  15. Hyperactive antifreeze proteins from longhorn beetles: some structural insights.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kristiansen, Erlend; Wilkens, Casper; Vincents, Bjarne; Friis, Dennis; Lorentzen, Anders Blomkild; Jenssen, Håvard; Løbner-Olesen, Anders; Ramløv, Hans

    2012-11-01

    This study reports on structural characteristics of hyperactive antifreeze proteins (AFPs) from two species of longhorn beetles. In Rhagium mordax, eight unique mRNAs coding for five different mature AFPs were identified from cold-hardy individuals. These AFPs are apparently homologues to a previously characterized AFP from the closely related species Rhagium inquisitor, and consist of six identifiable repeats of a putative ice binding motif TxTxTxT spaced irregularly apart by segments varying in length from 13 to 20 residues. Circular dichroism spectra show that the AFPs from both species have a high content of β-sheet and low levels of α-helix and random coil. Theoretical predictions of residue-specific secondary structure locate these β-sheets within the putative ice-binding motifs and the central parts of the segments separating them, consistent with an overall β-helical structure with the ice-binding motifs stacked in a β-sheet on one side of the coil. Molecular dynamics models based on these findings show that these AFPs would be energetically stable in a β-helical conformation. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Amyloid Structure and Assembly: Insights from Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Goldsbury, C.; Wall, J.; Baxa, U.; Simon, M. N.; Steven, A. C.; Engel, A.; Aebi, U.; Muller, S. A.

    2011-01-01

    Amyloid fibrils are filamentous protein aggregates implicated in several common diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and type II diabetes. Similar structures are also the molecular principle of the infectious spongiform encephalopathies such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans, scrapie in sheep, and of the so-called yeast prions, inherited non-chromosomal elements found in yeast and fungi. Scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) is often used to delineate the assembly mechanism and structural properties of amyloid aggregates. In this review we consider specifically contributions and limitations of STEM for the investigation of amyloid assembly pathways, fibril polymorphisms and structural models of amyloid fibrils. This type of microscopy provides the only method to directly measure the mass-per-length (MPL) of individual filaments. Made on both in vitro assembled and ex vivo samples, STEM mass measurements have illuminated the hierarchical relationships between amyloid fibrils and revealed that polymorphic fibrils and various globular oligomers can assemble simultaneously from a single polypeptide. The MPLs also impose strong constraints on possible packing schemes, assisting in molecular model building when combined with high-resolution methods like solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR).

  17. Structural insights into the recognition of phosphopeptide by the FHA domain of kanadaptin

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Xu, Qingping; Deller, Marc C; Nielsen, Tine K

    2014-01-01

    with a phosphopeptide mimic derived from a peptide segment from the N-terminus of a symmetry-related molecule as well as a sulfate bound to the structurally conserved phosphothreonine recognition cleft. This structure provides insights into the molecular recognition features utilized by this family of proteins...

  18. Containing Ebola at the Source with Ring Vaccination.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefano Merler

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Interim results from the Guinea Ebola ring vaccination trial suggest high efficacy of the rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine. These findings open the door to the use of ring vaccination strategies in which the contacts and contacts of contacts of each index case are promptly vaccinated to contain future Ebola virus disease outbreaks. To provide a numerical estimate of the effectiveness of ring vaccination strategies we introduce a spatially explicit agent-based model to simulate Ebola outbreaks in the Pujehun district, Sierra Leone, structurally similar to previous modelling approaches. We find that ring vaccination can successfully contain an outbreak for values of the effective reproduction number up to 1.6. Through an extensive sensitivity analysis of parameters characterising the readiness and capacity of the health care system, we identify interventions that, alongside ring vaccination, could increase the likelihood of containment. In particular, shortening the time from symptoms onset to hospitalisation to 2-3 days on average through improved contact tracing procedures, adding a 2km spatial component to the vaccination ring, and decreasing human mobility by quarantining affected areas might contribute increase our ability to contain outbreaks with effective reproduction number up to 2.6. These results have implications for future control of Ebola and other emerging infectious disease threats.

  19. Current Ebola vaccines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoenen, Thomas; Groseth, Allison; Feldmann, Heinz

    2012-01-01

    Introduction Ebolaviruses cause severe viral hemorrhagic fever in humans and non-human primates, with case fatality rates of up to 90%. Currently, neither a specific treatment nor a vaccine licensed for use in humans is available. However, a number of vaccine candidates have been developed in the last decade that are highly protective in non-human primates, the gold standard animal model for Ebola hemorrhagic fever. Areas covered This review analyzes a number of scenarios for the use of ebolavirus vaccines, discusses the requirements for ebolavirus vaccines in these scenarios, and describes current ebolavirus vaccines. Among these vaccines are recombinant Adenoviruses, recombinant Vesicular Stomatitis viruses, recombinant Human Parainfluenza viruses and virus-like particles. Interestingly, one of these vaccine platforms, based on recombinant Vesicular Stomatitis viruses, has also demonstrated post-exposure protection in non-human primates. Expert opinion The most pressing remaining challenge is now to move these vaccine candidates forward into human trials and towards licensure. In order to achieve this, it will be necessary to establish the mechanisms and correlates of protection for these vaccines, and to continue to demonstrate their safety, particularly in potentially immunocompromised populations. However, already now there is sufficient evidence that, from a scientific perspective, a vaccine protective against ebolaviruses is possible. PMID:22559078

  20. Structural insight into the Clostridium difficile ethanolamine utilisation microcompartment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alison C Pitts

    Full Text Available Bacterial microcompartments form a protective proteinaceous barrier around metabolic enzymes that process unstable or toxic chemical intermediates. The genome of the virulent, multidrug-resistant Clostridium difficile 630 strain contains an operon, eut, encoding a bacterial microcompartment with genes for the breakdown of ethanolamine and its utilisation as a source of reduced nitrogen and carbon. The C. difficile eut operon displays regulatory genetic elements and protein encoding regions in common with homologous loci found in the genomes of other bacteria, including the enteric pathogens Salmonella enterica and Enterococcus faecalis. The crystal structures of two microcompartment shell proteins, CD1908 and CD1918, and an uncharacterised protein with potential enzymatic activity, CD1925, were determined by X-ray crystallography. CD1908 and CD1918 display the same protein fold, though the order of secondary structure elements is permuted in CD1908 and this protein displays an N-terminal β-strand extension. These proteins form hexamers with molecules related by crystallographic and non-crystallographic symmetry. The structure of CD1925 has a cupin β-barrel fold and a putative active site that is distinct from the metal-ion dependent catalytic cupins. Thin-section transmission electron microscopy of Escherichia coli over-expressing eut proteins indicates that CD1918 is capable of self-association into arrays, suggesting an organisational role for CD1918 in the formation of this microcompartment. The work presented provides the basis for further study of the architecture and function of the C. difficile eut microcompartment, its role in metabolism and the wider consequences of intestinal colonisation and virulence in this pathogen.

  1. Structural insights into the bacterial carbon - phosphorus lyase machinery

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Seweryn, Paulina; Van, Lan Bich; Kjeldgaard, Morten

    2015-01-01

    Phosphorus is required for all life and microorganisms can extract it from their environment through several metabolic pathways. When phosphate is in limited supply, some bacteria are able to use phosphonate compounds, which require specialized enzymatic machinery to break the stable carbon......–phosphorus (C–P) bond. Despite its importance, the details of how this machinery catabolizes phosphonates remain unknown. Here we determine the crystal structure of the 240-kilodalton Escherichia coli C–P lyase core complex (PhnG–PhnH–PhnI–PhnJ; PhnGHIJ), and show that it is a two-fold symmetric hetero...

  2. Structural insights into the β-xylosidase from Trichoderma reesei

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rojas, Adriana L.; Fischer, Hannes; Polikarpov, Igor; Craievich, Aldo Felix

    2005-01-01

    Xylan is a major structural polysaccharide in plant cells, and is the second most abundant polysaccharide in nature, accounting for approximately one-third of all renewable organic carbon on earth. Xylan together with cellulose (1,4-β-glucan) and lignin (a complex polyphenolic compound) make up the major polymeric constituents of plant cell walls, recently, there was a significant industrial interest in Xylan and its hydrolytic enzymatic complex, as a supplement in animal feed, for the manufacture of bread, food and drinks, textiles, bleaching of cellulose pulp, ethanol and xylitol production. (author)

  3. Structural insights into the {beta}-xylosidase from Trichoderma reesei

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rojas, Adriana L.; Fischer, Hannes; Polikarpov, Igor [Sao Paulo Univ. (USP), Sao Carlos, SP (Brazil). Inst. de Fisica; Eneiskaya, Elena V.; Kulminskaya, Anna A.; Shabalin, Konstantin A.; Neustroev, Kirill N.; Golubev, Alexander M. [Petersburg Nuclear Physics Inst., Moskow (Russian Federation); Craievich, Aldo Felix [Sao Paulo Univ. (USP), SP (Brazil). Inst. de Fisica

    2005-07-01

    Xylan is a major structural polysaccharide in plant cells, and is the second most abundant polysaccharide in nature, accounting for approximately one-third of all renewable organic carbon on earth. Xylan together with cellulose (1,4-{beta}-glucan) and lignin (a complex polyphenolic compound) make up the major polymeric constituents of plant cell walls, recently, there was a significant industrial interest in Xylan and its hydrolytic enzymatic complex, as a supplement in animal feed, for the manufacture of bread, food and drinks, textiles, bleaching of cellulose pulp, ethanol and xylitol production. (author)

  4. Structural and Functional Insights into Foamy Viral Integrase

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cha-Gyun Shin

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Successful integration of retroviral DNA into the host chromosome is an essential step for viral replication. The process is mediated by virally encoded integrase (IN and orchestrated by 3'-end processing and the strand transfer reaction. In vitro reaction conditions, such as substrate specificity, cofactor usage, and cellular binding partners for such reactions by the three distinct domains of prototype foamy viral integrase (PFV-IN have been described well in several reports. Recent studies on the three‑dimensional structure of the interacting complexes between PFV-IN and DNA, cofactors, binding partners, or inhibitors have explored the mechanistic details of such interactions and shown its utilization as an important target to develop anti-retroviral drugs. The presence of a potent, non-transferable nuclear localization signal in the PFV C-terminal domain extends its use as a model for investigating cellular trafficking of large molecular complexes through the nuclear pore complex and also to identify novel cellular targets for such trafficking. This review focuses on recent advancements in the structural analysis and in vitro functional aspects of PFV-IN.

  5. Artemin Crystal Structure Reveals Insights into Heparan Sulfate Binding

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Silvian,L.; Jin, P.; Carmillo, P.; Boriack-Sjodin, P.; Pelletier, C.; Rushe, M.; Gong, B.; Sah, D.; Pepinsky, B.; Rossomando, A.

    2006-01-01

    Artemin (ART) promotes the growth of developing peripheral neurons by signaling through a multicomponent receptor complex comprised of a transmembrane tyrosine kinase receptor (cRET) and a specific glycosylphosphatidylinositol-linked co-receptor (GFR{alpha}3). Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) signals through a similar ternary complex but requires heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs) for full activity. HSPG has not been demonstrated as a requirement for ART signaling. We crystallized ART in the presence of sulfate and solved its structure by isomorphous replacement. The structure reveals ordered sulfate anions bound to arginine residues in the pre-helix and amino-terminal regions that were organized in a triad arrangement characteristic of heparan sulfate. Three residues in the pre-helix were singly or triply substituted with glutamic acid, and the resulting proteins were shown to have reduced heparin-binding affinity that is partly reflected in their ability to activate cRET. This study suggests that ART binds HSPGs and identifies residues that may be involved in HSPG binding.

  6. Positive experiences of volunteers working in deployable laboratories in West Africa during the Ebola outbreak.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Belfroid, Evelien; Mollers, Madelief; Smit, Pieter W; Hulscher, Marlies; Koopmans, Marion; Reusken, Chantal; Timen, Aura

    2018-01-01

    The largest outbreak of Ebola virus disease ever started in West Africa in December 2013; it created a pressing need to expand the workforce dealing with it. The aim of this study was to gain insight into the experiences of volunteers from the European Union who worked in deployable laboratories in

  7. Positive experiences of volunteers working in deployable laboratories in West Africa during the Ebola outbreak

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Belfroid, E. (Evelien); Mollers, M. (Madelief); Smit, P.W. (Pieter W.); M.E.J.L. Hulscher (Marlies); M.P.G. Koopmans D.V.M. (Marion); C.B.E.M. Reusken (Chantal); A. Timen (Aura)

    2018-01-01

    textabstractThe largest outbreak of Ebola virus disease ever started in West Africa in December 2013; it created a pressing need to expand the workforce dealing with it. The aim of this study was to gain insight into the experiences of volunteers from the European Union who worked in deployable

  8. Insight into the Geothermal Structure in Chingshui, Ilan, Taiwan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lun-Tao Tong

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available The Chingshui geothermal field is the largest known productive geothermal area in Taiwan. The purpose of this paper is to delineate this geothermal structure by integrating geophysical data and borehole information. The existence of a magma chamber in the shallow crust and shallow intrusive igneous rock results in a high heat flow and geothermal gradient; furthermore, the NE deep fault system within the meta-sandstones provides meteoric recharge from a higher elevation to artesianally drive the geothermal system. There is evidence that geothermal fluid deeply circulated within the fracture zone and was heated by a deeply located body of hot rock. The geothermal reservoir of the Chingshui geothermal field might be related to the fracture zone of the Chingshuihsi fault. It is bounded by the C-fault in the north and Xiaonanao fault in the south. Based on information obtained from geophysical interpretations and well logs, a 3-D geothermal conceptual model is constructed in this study. Further, the geothermal reservoir is confined to an area that is 260 m in width, N21°W, 1.5 km in length, and has an 80° dip toward the NE. Ahigh-temperature zone is found in the SE region of the reservoir, which is about 500 m in length; this zone is located near the intersection of the Chingshuihsi and Xiaonanao faults. An area on the NE side of the high-temperature zone has been recommended for the drilling of production wells for future geothermal development.

  9. Structural insights into central hypertension regulation by human aminopeptidase A.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Yang; Liu, Chang; Lin, Yi-Lun; Li, Fang

    2013-08-30

    Hypertension is regulated through both the central and systemic renin-angiotensin systems. In the central renin-angiotensin system, zinc-dependent aminopeptidase A (APA) up-regulates blood pressure by specifically cleaving the N-terminal aspartate, but not the adjacent arginine, from angiotensin II, a process facilitated by calcium. Here, we determined the crystal structures of human APA and its complexes with different ligands and identified a calcium-binding site in the S1 pocket of APA. Without calcium, the S1 pocket can bind both acidic and basic residues through formation of salt bridges with the charged side chains. In the presence of calcium, the binding of acidic residues is enhanced as they ligate the cation, whereas the binding of basic residues is no longer favorable due to charge repulsion. Of the peptidomimetic inhibitors of APA, amastatin has higher potency than bestatin by fitting better in the S1 pocket and interacting additionally with the S3' subsite. These results explain the calcium-modulated substrate specificity of APA in central hypertension regulation and can guide the design and development of brain-targeting antihypertensive APA inhibitors.

  10. Structural Insights into Central Hypertension Regulation by Human Aminopeptidase A*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Yang; Liu, Chang; Lin, Yi-Lun; Li, Fang

    2013-01-01

    Hypertension is regulated through both the central and systemic renin-angiotensin systems. In the central renin-angiotensin system, zinc-dependent aminopeptidase A (APA) up-regulates blood pressure by specifically cleaving the N-terminal aspartate, but not the adjacent arginine, from angiotensin II, a process facilitated by calcium. Here, we determined the crystal structures of human APA and its complexes with different ligands and identified a calcium-binding site in the S1 pocket of APA. Without calcium, the S1 pocket can bind both acidic and basic residues through formation of salt bridges with the charged side chains. In the presence of calcium, the binding of acidic residues is enhanced as they ligate the cation, whereas the binding of basic residues is no longer favorable due to charge repulsion. Of the peptidomimetic inhibitors of APA, amastatin has higher potency than bestatin by fitting better in the S1 pocket and interacting additionally with the S3′ subsite. These results explain the calcium-modulated substrate specificity of APA in central hypertension regulation and can guide the design and development of brain-targeting antihypertensive APA inhibitors. PMID:23888046

  11. Ebola: werknemers in de frontlijn

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Maas, Jaap

    2015-01-01

    Ebola is de zoveelste zoönose die de Nederlandse samenleving treft binnen een paar jaar tijd. Denk maar aan de Mexicaanse griep, het Schmallenbergvirus, H5N8 aviaire influenza, MERS-CoV16, Q-koorts en de ziekte van Lyme. De schaal waarop Nederlandse UMC’s en andere ketenpartners zich voorbereiden op

  12. A Case of Ebola Virus

    Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Podcasts

    2012-10-01

    Dr. Adam MacNeil, an epidemiologist at CDC, discusses Ebola virus.  Created: 10/1/2012 by National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID); National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD).   Date Released: 10/1/2012.

  13. Ebola Virus RNA in Semen from an HIV-Positive Survivor of Ebola.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purpura, Lawrence J; Rogers, Emerson; Baller, April; White, Stephen; Soka, Moses; Choi, Mary J; Mahmoud, Nuha; Wasunna, Christine; Massaquoi, Moses; Kollie, Jomah; Dweh, Straker; Bemah, Philip; Ladele, Victor; Kpaka, Jonathan; Jawara, Mary; Mugisha, Margaret; Subah, Onyekachi; Faikai, Mylene; Bailey, Jeff A; Rollin, Pierre; Marston, Barbara; Nyenswah, Tolbert; Gasasira, Alex; Knust, Barbara; Nichol, Stuart; Williams, Desmond

    2017-04-01

    Ebola virus is known to persist in semen of male survivors of Ebola virus disease (EVD). However, maximum duration of, or risk factors for, virus persistence are unknown. We report an EVD survivor with preexisting HIV infection, whose semen was positive for Ebola virus RNA 565 days after recovery from EVD.

  14. Structures and functions in the crowded nucleus: new biophysical insights

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ronald eHancock

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Concepts and methods from the physical sciences have catalysed remarkable progress in understanding the cell nucleus in recent years. To share this excitement with physicists and encourage their interest in this field, this review offers an overview of how the physics which underlies structures and functions in the nucleus is becoming more clear thanks to methods which have been developed to simulate and study macromolecules, polymers, and colloids. The environment in the nucleus is very crowded with macromolecules, making entropic (depletion forces major determinants of interactions. Simulation and experiments are consistent with their key role in forming membraneless compartments such as nucleoli, PML and Cajal bodies, and discrete territories for chromosomes. The chromosomes, giant linear polyelectrolyte polymers, exist in vivo in a state like a polymer melt. Looped conformations are predicted in crowded conditions, and have been confirmed experimentally and are central to the regulation of gene expression. Polymer theory has revealed how the chromosomes are so highly compacted in the nucleus, forming a crumpled globule with fractal properties which avoids knots and entanglements in DNA while allowing facile accessibility for its replication and transcription. Entropic repulsion between looped polymers can explain the confinement of each chromosome to a discrete region of the nucleus. Crowding and looping are predicted to facilitate finding the specific targets of factors which modulate activities of DNA. Simulation shows that entropic effects contribute to finding and repairing potentially lethal double-strand breaks in DNA by increasing the mobility of the broken ends, favouring their juxtaposition for repair. Signaling pathways are strongly influenced by crowding, which favours a processive mode of response (consecutive reactions without releasing substrates. This new information contributes to understanding the sometimes counter

  15. Insight, self-stigma and psychosocial outcomes in Schizophrenia: a structural equation modelling approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lien, Y-J; Chang, H-A; Kao, Y-C; Tzeng, N-S; Lu, C-W; Loh, C-H

    2018-04-01

    Poor insight is prevalent in patients with schizophrenia and has been associated with acute illness severity, medication non-adherence and poor treatment outcomes. Paradoxically, high insight has been associated with various undesirable outcomes, including low self-esteem, depression and low subjective quality of life (QoL) in patients with schizophrenia. Despite the growing body of studies conducted in Western countries supporting the pernicious effects of improved insight in psychosis, which bases on the level of self-stigma, the effects are unclear in non-Western societies. The current study examined the role of self-stigma in the relationship between insight and psychosocial outcomes in a Chinese population. A total of 170 outpatients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders were recruited from two general university hospitals. Sociodemographic data and clinical variables were recorded and self-report scales were employed to measure self-stigma, depression, insight, self-esteem and subjective QoL. Structural equation modelling (SEM) was used to analyse the cross-sectional data. High levels of self-stigma were reported by 39% of the participants (n = 67). The influences of insight, self-stigma, self-esteem and depression on subjective QoL were confirmed by the SEM results. Our model with the closest fit to the data (χ 2 = 33.28; df = 20; p = 0.03; χ 2/df = 1.66; CFI = 0.98; TLI = 0.97; RMSEA = 0.06) demonstrated that self-stigma might fully mediate the association of insight with low self-esteem, depression and poor subjective QoL. High insight into illness contributed to self-stigma, which caused low self-esteem and depression and, consequently, low QoL. Notably, insight did not directly affect self-esteem, depression or QoL. Furthermore, the association of insight with poor psychosocial outcomes was not moderated by self-stigma. Our findings support the mediating model of insight relevant to the poor psychosocial outcomes of individuals diagnosed with

  16. Spatial localization of the Ebola virus glycoprotein mucin-like domain determined by cryo-electron tomography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tran, Erin E H; Simmons, James A; Bartesaghi, Alberto; Shoemaker, Charles J; Nelson, Elizabeth; White, Judith M; Subramaniam, Sriram

    2014-09-01

    The Ebola virus glycoprotein mucin-like domain (MLD) is implicated in Ebola virus cell entry and immune evasion. Using cryo-electron tomography of Ebola virus-like particles, we determined a three-dimensional structure for the full-length glycoprotein in a near-native state and compared it to that of a glycoprotein lacking the MLD. Our results, which show that the MLD is located at the apex and the sides of each glycoprotein monomer, provide a structural template for analysis of MLD function. Copyright © 2014, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  17. Spatial Localization of the Ebola Virus Glycoprotein Mucin-Like Domain Determined by Cryo-Electron Tomography

    OpenAIRE

    Tran, Erin E. H.; Simmons, James A.; Bartesaghi, Alberto; Shoemaker, Charles J.; Nelson, Elizabeth; White, Judith M.; Subramaniam, Sriram

    2014-01-01

    The Ebola virus glycoprotein mucin-like domain (MLD) is implicated in Ebola virus cell entry and immune evasion. Using cryo-electron tomography of Ebola virus-like particles, we determined a three-dimensional structure for the full-length glycoprotein in a near-native state and compared it to that of a glycoprotein lacking the MLD. Our results, which show that the MLD is located at the apex and the sides of each glycoprotein monomer, provide a structural template for analysis of MLD function.

  18. Fears and Misperceptions of the Ebola Response System during the 2014-2015 Outbreak in Sierra Leone.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thespina Yamanis

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Future infectious disease epidemics are likely to disproportionately affect countries with weak health systems, exacerbating global vulnerability. To decrease the severity of epidemics in these settings, lessons can be drawn from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. There is a dearth of literature on public perceptions of the public health response system that required citizens to report and treat Ebola cases. Epidemiological reports suggested that there were delays in diagnosis and treatment. The purpose of our study was to explore the barriers preventing Sierra Leoneans from trusting and using the Ebola response system during the height of the outbreak.Using an experienced ethnographer, we conducted 30 semi-structured in-depth interviews in public spaces in Ebola-affected areas. Participants were at least age 18, spoke Krio, and reported no contact in the recent 21 days with an Ebola-infected person. We used inductive coding and noted emergent themes.Most participants feared that calling the national hotline for someone they believed had Ebola would result in that person's death. Many stated that if they developed a fever they would assume it was not Ebola and self-medicate. Some thought the chlorine sprayed by ambulance workers was toxic. Although most knew there was a laboratory test for Ebola, some erroneously assumed the ubiquitous thermometers were the test and most did not understand the need to re-test in the presence of Ebola symptoms.Fears and misperceptions, related to lack of trust in the response system, may have delayed care-seeking during the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone. Protocols for future outbreak responses should incorporate dynamic, qualitative research to understand and address people's perceptions. Strategies that enhance trust in the response system, such as community mobilization, may be particularly effective.

  19. NCI at Frederick Ebola Response Team | Poster

    Science.gov (United States)

    Editor’s note: This article was adapted from the Employee Diversity Team’s display case exhibit “Recognizing the NCI at Frederick Ebola Response Team,” in the lobby of Building 549. The Poster staff recognizes that this article does not include everyone who was involved in the response to the Ebola crisis, both at NCI at Frederick and in Africa. When the Ebola crisis broke out

  20. Ebola virus: current and future perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jadav, Surender Singh; Kumar, Anoop; Ahsan, Mohamed Jawed; Jayaprakash, Venkatesan

    2015-01-01

    The present outbreak associated with Ebola disease in Western countries of the African continent which is believed to be one of the massive eruptions caused by the Ebola viral infections. In the present scenario ebola has been transmitted to the European and American regions through the travelers from wide spread countries like Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. The viral disease is spreading through the contact in any form by the infected persons or patients and creating huge risks to the mortals. The symptoms related to ebola virus are often highly pathogenic; about 70-80% of death cases are reported due to critical hemorrhagic fever. Early in infection, ebola virus infects macrophages and endothelial cells. It mainly produces a Viral Protein 24 (eVP24) which prevents interferon-based signals which are important for destruction of viruses. How ebola virus manipulates the function of the immune system is still unclear. Due to lack of this knowledge, no approved treatment is available. In this review, we have tried to compile the epidemiology, pathogenesis and treatment of ebola virus infection. The promising ligands against ebola virus have been also discussed which will be helpful for researchers to design drugs for the treatment of ebola virus disease.

  1. The pathogenesis of Ebola hemorrhagic fever.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takada, A; Kawaoka, Y

    2001-10-01

    Ebola virus causes lethal hemorrhagic disease in humans, yet there are still no satisfactory biological explanations to account for its extreme virulence. This review focuses on recent findings relevant to understanding the pathogenesis of Ebola virus infection and developing vaccines and effective therapy. The available data suggest that the envelope glycoprotein and the interaction of some viral proteins with the immune system are likely to play important roles in the extraordinary pathogenicity of this virus. There are also indications that genetically engineered vaccines, including plasmid DNA and viral vectors expressing Ebola virus proteins, and passive transfer of neutralizing antibodies could be feasible options for the control of Ebola virus-associated disease.

  2. The Opposite of Denial: Social Learning at the Onset of the Ebola Emergency in Liberia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abramowitz, Sharon; McKune, Sarah Lindley; Fallah, Mosoka; Monger, Josephine; Tehoungue, Kodjo; Omidian, Patricia A

    2017-01-01

    This study analyzes findings from a rapid-response community-based qualitative research initiative to study the content of Ebola-related communications and the transmission of Ebola-related behaviors and practices through mass media communications and social learning in Monrovia, Liberia during August-September 2014. Thirteen neighborhoods in the common Monrovia media market were studied to appraise the reach of health communications and outreach regarding Ebola prevention and response measures. A World Health Organization (WHO) research team collected data on social learning and Ebola knowledge, attitudes, and practices through focus group-based discussions and key informant interviews over a 14-day period to assess the spread of information during a period of rapidly escalating crisis. Findings show that during a 2-week period, Monrovia neighborhood residents demonstrated rapid changes in beliefs about the source of Ebola, modes of contagion, and infection prevention and control (IPC) practices, discarding incorrect information. Changes in practices tended to lag behind the acquisition of learning. Findings also show that many continued to support conspiracy theories even as correct information was acquired. The implications for community engagement are substantial: (1) Under conditions of accelerating mortality, communities rapidly assimilate health information and abandon incorrect information; (2) Behavior change is likely to lag behind changes in beliefs due to local physical, structural, sociocultural, and institutional constraints; (3) Reports of "resistance" in Monrovia during the Ebola response were overstated and based on a limited number of incidents, and failed to account for specific local conditions and constraints.

  3. Key experiences of community engagement and social mobilization in the Ebola response

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Laverack, G.; Manoncourt, Erma

    2016-01-01

    The ongoing outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa is the largest on record; it has undermined already fragile healthcare systems and presented new challenges to contain the spread of the disease. Based on our observations in the field and insights from referenced sources, we aimed to identify...... key experiences of community engagement and social mobilization efforts in the current Ebola response. We concluded that there is no excuse not to actively involve local people and that the United Nations (UN) agencies and other partners did learn from their earlier mistakes to make a genuine attempt...... and health. This commentary can provide a guide to agencies to understand an appropriate way forward when the next Ebola outbreak inevitably occurs. © The Author(s) 2015....

  4. Planned Products of the Mars Structure Service for the InSight Mission to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panning, Mark P.; Lognonné, Philippe; Bruce Banerdt, W.; Garcia, Raphaël; Golombek, Matthew; Kedar, Sharon; Knapmeyer-Endrun, Brigitte; Mocquet, Antoine; Teanby, Nick A.; Tromp, Jeroen; Weber, Renee; Beucler, Eric; Blanchette-Guertin, Jean-Francois; Bozdağ, Ebru; Drilleau, Mélanie; Gudkova, Tamara; Hempel, Stefanie; Khan, Amir; Lekić, Vedran; Murdoch, Naomi; Plesa, Ana-Catalina; Rivoldini, Atillio; Schmerr, Nicholas; Ruan, Youyi; Verhoeven, Olivier; Gao, Chao; Christensen, Ulrich; Clinton, John; Dehant, Veronique; Giardini, Domenico; Mimoun, David; Thomas Pike, W.; Smrekar, Sue; Wieczorek, Mark; Knapmeyer, Martin; Wookey, James

    2017-10-01

    The InSight lander will deliver geophysical instruments to Mars in 2018, including seismometers installed directly on the surface (Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure, SEIS). Routine operations will be split into two services, the Mars Structure Service (MSS) and Marsquake Service (MQS), which will be responsible, respectively, for defining the structure models and seismicity catalogs from the mission. The MSS will deliver a series of products before the landing, during the operations, and finally to the Planetary Data System (PDS) archive. Prior to the mission, we assembled a suite of a priori models of Mars, based on estimates of bulk composition and thermal profiles. Initial models during the mission will rely on modeling surface waves and impact-generated body waves independent of prior knowledge of structure. Later modeling will include simultaneous inversion of seismic observations for source and structural parameters. We use Bayesian inversion techniques to obtain robust probability distribution functions of interior structure parameters. Shallow structure will be characterized using the hammering of the heatflow probe mole, as well as measurements of surface wave ellipticity. Crustal scale structure will be constrained by measurements of receiver function and broadband Rayleigh wave ellipticity measurements. Core interacting body wave phases should be observable above modeled martian noise levels, allowing us to constrain deep structure. Normal modes of Mars should also be observable and can be used to estimate the globally averaged 1D structure, while combination with results from the InSight radio science mission and orbital observations will allow for constraint of deeper structure.

  5. Reflections on Leadership and Governance from the Incident Manager of Liberia's Ebola Response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nyenswah, Tolbert

    The 2014-2016 epidemic of Ebola virus disease occurred in a region with a recent history of civil war, unstable health systems, and widespread poverty. Despite these contextual challenges, the national Ebola response in Liberia controlled transmission under strong leadership that was able to rapidly coordinate activities, to manage local and international players, and to adapt upon recognizing missteps. Such leadership has persisted to improve public health capacity in post-Ebola Liberia. This article highlights the progress made toward developing a resilient health security system with capacity to prevent, detect, and respond to disease threats before they reach epidemic level. In particular, Liberia's development of a Global Health Security Agenda roadmap, a Joint External Evaluation (JEE) report for International Health Regulation (2005) core capacities, and recent establishment of a National Public Health Institute are described. To better protect the country's population and the greater global community from health threats, emerging institutions and policies in Liberia will depend on leadership and governance that draws from the successes and lessons learned during the Ebola outbreak. The author provides insight based on his role as incident manager of Liberia's Ebola response.

  6. Sub-Tg enthalpy relaxation in an unstable oxide glass former: insights into the structural heterogeneity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yue, Yuanzheng; Zhang, Yanfei

    Structural heterogeneity plays a crucial role in determining functionality of glasses. In this work we have found that the sub-Tg enthalpy relaxation pattern in a hyperquenched glass is highly sensitive to structural heterogeneity. As a consequence, the former can be used as an effective approach...... to detect and quantify the structural heterogeneity in glass-forming liquids. However, the chemical nature of structural heterogeneity should be revealed by other means such as high resolution microscopic and spectroscopic methods. To study the impact of the structural heterogeneity on the sub-Tg relaxation...... chemical features and degrees of structural heterogeneity in glass-forming liquids. This finding contributes to the microscopic origin of both the primary and secondary relaxation in terms of structural heterogeneity. Finally the results provide insights into the relation between structural heterogeneity...

  7. [Recent Advances in Vaccines and Drugs Against the Ebola Virus].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Xiang; Yao, Chenguang; Wei, Yanhong; Kou, Zheng; Hu, Kanghong

    2015-05-01

    The Ebola virus belongs to the Filovirus family, which causes Ebola hemorrhagic fever (mortality, 25%-90%). An outbreak of infection by the Ebola virus is sweeping across West Africa, leading to high mortality and worldwide panic. The Ebola virus has caused a serious threat to public health, so intensive scientific studies have been carried out. Several vaccines (e.g., rVSV-ZEBOV, ChAd3-ZEBOV) have been put into clinical trials and antiviral drugs (e.g., TKM-Ebola, ZMAPP) have been administered in the emergency setting to patients infected by the Ebola virus. Here, recent advances in vaccines and drugs against the Ebola virus are reviewed.

  8. A pilot study of cognitive insight and structural covariance in first-episode psychosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuang, Corin; Buchy, Lisa; Barbato, Mariapaola; Makowski, Carolina; MacMaster, Frank P; Bray, Signe; Deighton, Stephanie; Addington, Jean

    2017-01-01

    Cognitive insight is described as a balance between one's self-reflectiveness (recognition and correction of dysfunctional reasoning), and self-certainty (overconfidence). Neuroimaging studies have linked the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) to cognitive insight in people with psychosis. However, the relationship between cognitive insight and structural connectivity between the VLPFC and other brain areas is unknown. Here, we investigated the modulation of cognitive insight on structural covariance networks involving the VLPFC in a first-episode psychosis sample. Fifteen patients with a first-episode psychosis provided magnetic resonance (MR) scans and completed the Beck Cognitive Insight Scale (BCIS). MR scans were also available for 15 historical controls. Seed-based analysis of structural covariance was conducted using the Mapping Anatomical Correlations Across the Cerebral Cortex (MACACC) methodology, whereby Pearson correlation coefficients were extracted between seed regions in left and right VLPFC and cortical thickness across the brain. Structural covariance maps between groups were compared at each vertex. In first-episode subjects, we evaluated the modulation of BCIS scores on cortical covariance between VLPFC and every other vertex. Findings showed no significant group difference between first-episode psychosis subjects and controls in thickness covariance seeded from left or right VLPFC. However, in first-episode psychosis subjects, a positive association with self-certainty was found in networks seeded from both left and right VLPFC with thickness in medial frontal cortex and right pars triangularis. No significant associations were found for self-reflectiveness. These results suggest that self-certainty, but not self-reflectiveness, positively modulated cortical covariance in a frontal network in patients with a first-episode psychosis. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Adenovirus-vectored Ebola vaccines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilbert, Sarah C

    2015-01-01

    The 2014 outbreak of Ebola virus disease in West Africa has highlighted the need for the availability of effective vaccines against outbreak pathogens that are suitable for use in frontline workers who risk their own health in the course of caring for those with the disease, and also for members of the community in the affected area. Along with effective contact tracing and quarantine, use of a vaccine as soon as an outbreak is identified could greatly facilitate rapid control and prevent the outbreak from spreading. This review describes the progress that has been made in producing and testing adenovirus-based Ebola vaccines in both pre-clinical and clinical studies, and considers the likely future use of these vaccines.

  10. Ebola: Where Are the Facts? | Poster

    Science.gov (United States)

    Since the first outbreak of Ebola in western Africa and the subsequent cases in the United States, a lot of information has been circulating about the virus. To keep NCI at Frederick employees informed, the Poster staff has compiled the following list of reputable websites that provide accurate and up-to-date information about Ebola: Global

  11. New Insights about Enzyme Evolution from Large Scale Studies of Sequence and Structure Relationships*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Shoshana D.; Babbitt, Patricia C.

    2014-01-01

    Understanding how enzymes have evolved offers clues about their structure-function relationships and mechanisms. Here, we describe evolution of functionally diverse enzyme superfamilies, each representing a large set of sequences that evolved from a common ancestor and that retain conserved features of their structures and active sites. Using several examples, we describe the different structural strategies nature has used to evolve new reaction and substrate specificities in each unique superfamily. The results provide insight about enzyme evolution that is not easily obtained from studies of one or only a few enzymes. PMID:25210038

  12. New insights about enzyme evolution from large scale studies of sequence and structure relationships.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Shoshana D; Babbitt, Patricia C

    2014-10-31

    Understanding how enzymes have evolved offers clues about their structure-function relationships and mechanisms. Here, we describe evolution of functionally diverse enzyme superfamilies, each representing a large set of sequences that evolved from a common ancestor and that retain conserved features of their structures and active sites. Using several examples, we describe the different structural strategies nature has used to evolve new reaction and substrate specificities in each unique superfamily. The results provide insight about enzyme evolution that is not easily obtained from studies of one or only a few enzymes. © 2014 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  13. A Short Overview of Ebola Outbreak

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masumeh Saeidi

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available   Ebola virus disease (formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever is a severe, often fatal illness, with a death rate of up to 90%. The illness affects humans and nonhuman primates (monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees. Ebola first appeared in 1976 in two simultaneous outbreaks, one in a village near the Ebola River in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the other in a remote area of Sudan. The origin of the virus is unknown but fruit bats (Pteropodidae are considered the likely host of the Ebola virus, based on available evidence. In the current outbreak in West Africa, the majority of cases in humans have occurred as a result of human-to-human transmission. Infection occurs from direct contact through broken skin or mucous membranes with the blood, or other bodily fluids or secretions (stool, urine, saliva, semen of infected people.

  14. ISCB Ebola Award for Important Future Research on the Computational Biology of Ebola Virus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter D. Karp

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Speed is of the essence in combating Ebola; thus, computational approaches should form a significant component of Ebola research. As for the development of any modern drug, computational biology is uniquely positioned to contribute through comparative analysis of the genome sequences of Ebola strains as well as 3-D protein modeling. Other computational approaches to Ebola may include large-scale docking studies of Ebola proteins with human proteins and with small-molecule libraries, computational modeling of the spread of the virus, computational mining of the Ebola literature, and creation of a curated Ebola database. Taken together, such computational efforts could significantly accelerate traditional scientific approaches. In recognition of the need for important and immediate solutions from the field of computational biology against Ebola, the International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB announces a prize for an important computational advance in fighting the Ebola virus. ISCB will confer the ISCB Fight against Ebola Award, along with a prize of US$2,000, at its July 2016 annual meeting (ISCB Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology [ISMB] 2016, Orlando, Florida.

  15. Active Monitoring of Travelers Arriving from Ebola-Affected Countries - New York City, October 2014-April 2015.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Millman, Alexander J; Chamany, Shadi; Guthartz, Seth; Thihalolipavan, Sayone; Porter, Michael; Schroeder, Andrew; Vora, Neil M; Varma, Jay K; Starr, David

    2016-01-29

    The Ebola virus disease (Ebola) outbreak in West Africa has claimed approximately 11,300 lives (1), and the magnitude and course of the epidemic prompted many nonaffected countries to prepare for Ebola cases imported from affected countries. In October 2014, CDC and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) implemented enhanced entry risk assessment and management at five U.S. airports: John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport in New York City (NYC), O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey, Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, and Dulles International Airport in Virginia (2). Enhanced entry risk assessment began at JFK on October 11, 2014, and at the remaining airports on October 16 (3). On October 21, DHS exercised its authority to direct all travelers flying into the United States from an Ebola-affected country to arrive at one of the five participating airports. At the time, the Ebola-affected countries included Guinea, Liberia, Mali, and Sierra Leone. On October 27, CDC issued updated guidance for monitoring persons with potential Ebola virus exposure (4), including recommending daily monitoring of such persons to ascertain the presence of fever or symptoms for a period of 21 days (the maximum incubation period of Ebola virus) after the last potential exposure; this was termed "active monitoring." CDC also recommended "direct active monitoring" of persons with a higher risk for Ebola virus exposure, including health care workers who had provided direct patient care in Ebola-affected countries. Direct active monitoring required direct observation of the person being monitored by the local health authority at least once daily (5). This report describes the operational structure of the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's (DOHMH) active monitoring program during its first 6 months (October 2014-April 2015) of operation. Data collected on persons who required direct active monitoring

  16. Ebola disease: an international public health emergency

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Ebola virus disease (EVD, previously known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever, is a severe illness caused by Ebola filovirus, and is often fatal if left untreated. The first case of the current EVD was diagnosed in Guinea in March 2014, and since then it has spread to Sierra Leone, Liberia, Nigeria, and Senegal. The current review has been performed with an objective to explore the magnitude of the current Ebola virus epidemic and identify the multiple determinants that have resulted in the exponential growth of the epidemic. An extensive search of all materials related to the topic was done for almost two months (August-October in Pubmed, Medline, World Health Organization website and Google Scholar search engines. Relevant documents, reports, recommendations, guidelines and research articles focusing on the different aspects of Ebola virus and its current outbreak, published in the period 2002-2014 were included in the review. Keywords used in the search include Ebola virus, Ebola virus disease, Ebola hemorrhagic fever, Ebola vaccine, and Ebola treatment. The current EVD epidemic has turned out to be extensive, severe, and uncontrollable because of a delayed response and ineffective public health care delivery system. In fact, multiple challenges have also been identified and thus a range of interventions have been proposed to control the epidemic. In conclusion, the 2014 epidemic of EVD has shown to the world that in absence of a strong public health care delivery system even a rare disease can risk the lives of millions of people. The crux of this epidemic is that a large scale and coordinated international response is the need of the hour to support affected and at-risk nations in intensifying their response activities and strengthening of national capacities.

  17. Insight into DEG/ENaC channel gating from genetics and structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eastwood, Amy L; Goodman, Miriam B

    2012-10-01

    The founding members of the superfamily of DEG/ENaC ion channel proteins are C. elegans proteins that form mechanosensitive channels in touch and pain receptors. For more than a decade, the research community has used mutagenesis to identify motifs that regulate gating. This review integrates insight derived from unbiased in vivo mutagenesis screens with recent crystal structures to develop new models for activation of mechanically gated DEGs.

  18. New insights into the structural organization of eukaryotic and prokaryotic cytoskeletons using cryo-electron tomography

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kuerner, Julia; Medalia, Ohad; Linaroudis, Alexandros A.; Baumeister, Wolfgang

    2004-01-01

    Cryo-electron tomography (cryo-ET) is an emerging imaging technology that combines the potential of three-dimensional (3-D) imaging at molecular resolution (<5 nm) with a close-to-life preservation of the specimen. In conjunction with pattern recognition techniques, it enables us to map the molecular landscape inside cells. The application of cryo-ET to intact cells provides novel insights into the structure and the spatial organization of the cytoskeleton in prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells

  19. New Perspectives on Ebola Virus Evolution.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Celeste J Brown

    Full Text Available Since the recent devastating outbreak of Ebola virus disease in western Africa, there has been significant effort to understand the evolution of the deadly virus that caused the outbreak. There has been a considerable investment in sequencing Ebola virus (EBOV isolates, and the results paint an important picture of how the virus has spread in western Africa. EBOV evolution cannot be understood outside the context of previous outbreaks, however. We have focused this study on the evolution of the EBOV glycoprotein gene (GP because one of its products, the spike glycoprotein (GP1,2, is central to the host immune response and because it contains a large amount of the phylogenetic signal for this virus. We inferred the maximum likelihood phylogeny of 96 nonredundant GP gene sequences representing each of the outbreaks since 1976 up to the end of 2014. We tested for positive selection and considered the placement of adaptive amino acid substitutions along the phylogeny and within the protein structure of GP1,2. We conclude that: 1 the common practice of rooting the phylogeny of EBOV between the first known outbreak in 1976 and the next outbreak in 1995 provides a misleading view of EBOV evolution that ignores the fact that there is a non-human EBOV host between outbreaks; 2 the N-terminus of GP1 may be constrained from evolving in response to the host immune system by the highly expressed, secreted glycoprotein, which is encoded by the same region of the GP gene; 3 although the mucin-like domain of GP1 is essential for EBOV in vivo, it evolves rapidly without losing its twin functions: providing O-linked glycosylation sites and a flexible surface.

  20. New Perspectives on Ebola Virus Evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Celeste J; Quates, Caleb J; Mirabzadeh, Christopher A; Miller, Craig R; Wichman, Holly A; Miura, Tanya A; Ytreberg, F Marty

    2016-01-01

    Since the recent devastating outbreak of Ebola virus disease in western Africa, there has been significant effort to understand the evolution of the deadly virus that caused the outbreak. There has been a considerable investment in sequencing Ebola virus (EBOV) isolates, and the results paint an important picture of how the virus has spread in western Africa. EBOV evolution cannot be understood outside the context of previous outbreaks, however. We have focused this study on the evolution of the EBOV glycoprotein gene (GP) because one of its products, the spike glycoprotein (GP1,2), is central to the host immune response and because it contains a large amount of the phylogenetic signal for this virus. We inferred the maximum likelihood phylogeny of 96 nonredundant GP gene sequences representing each of the outbreaks since 1976 up to the end of 2014. We tested for positive selection and considered the placement of adaptive amino acid substitutions along the phylogeny and within the protein structure of GP1,2. We conclude that: 1) the common practice of rooting the phylogeny of EBOV between the first known outbreak in 1976 and the next outbreak in 1995 provides a misleading view of EBOV evolution that ignores the fact that there is a non-human EBOV host between outbreaks; 2) the N-terminus of GP1 may be constrained from evolving in response to the host immune system by the highly expressed, secreted glycoprotein, which is encoded by the same region of the GP gene; 3) although the mucin-like domain of GP1 is essential for EBOV in vivo, it evolves rapidly without losing its twin functions: providing O-linked glycosylation sites and a flexible surface.

  1. Crystal structures from the Plasmodium peroxiredoxins: new insights into oligomerization and product binding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiu, Wei; Dong, Aiping; Pizarro, Juan C; Botchkarsev, Alexei; Min, Jinrong; Wernimont, Amy K; Hills, Tanya; Hui, Raymond; Artz, Jennifer D

    2012-03-19

    Plasmodium falciparum is the protozoan parasite primarily responsible for more than one million malarial deaths, annually, and is developing resistance to current therapies. Throughout its lifespan, the parasite is subjected to oxidative attack, so Plasmodium antioxidant defences are essential for its survival and are targets for disease control. To further understand the molecular aspects of the Plasmodium redox system, we solved 4 structures of Plasmodium peroxiredoxins (Prx). Our study has confirmed PvTrx-Px1 to be a hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)-sensitive peroxiredoxin. We have identified and characterized the novel toroid octameric oligomer of PyTrx-Px1, which may be attributed to the interplay of several factors including: (1) the orientation of the conserved surface/buried arginine of the NNLA(I/L)GRS-loop; and (2) the C-terminal tail positioning (also associated with the aforementioned conserved loop) which facilitates the intermolecular hydrogen bond between dimers (in an A-C fashion). In addition, a notable feature of the disulfide bonds in some of the Prx crystal structures is discussed. Finally, insight into the latter stages of the peroxiredoxin reaction coordinate is gained. Our structure of PyPrx6 is not only in the sulfinic acid (RSO2H) form, but it is also with glycerol bound in a way (not previously observed) indicative of product binding. The structural characterization of Plasmodium peroxiredoxins provided herein provides insight into their oligomerization and product binding which may facilitate the targeting of these antioxidant defences. Although the structural basis for the octameric oligomerization is further understood, the results yield more questions about the biological implications of the peroxiredoxin oligomerization, as multiple toroid configurations are now known. The crystal structure depicting the product bound active site gives insight into the overoxidation of the active site and allows further characterization of the leaving group

  2. Too Far to Care? Measuring Public Attention and Fear for Ebola Using Twitter.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Lent, Liza Gg; Sungur, Hande; Kunneman, Florian A; van de Velde, Bob; Das, Enny

    2017-06-13

    In 2014, the world was startled by a sudden outbreak of Ebola. Although Ebola infections and deaths occurred almost exclusively in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia, few potential Western cases, in particular, caused a great stir among the public in Western countries. This study builds on the construal level theory to examine the relationship between psychological distance to an epidemic and public attention and sentiment expressed on Twitter. Whereas previous research has shown the potential of social media to assess real-time public opinion and sentiment, generalizable insights that further the theory development lack. Epidemiological data (number of Ebola infections and fatalities) and media data (tweet volume and key events reported in the media) were collected for the 2014 Ebola outbreak, and Twitter content from the Netherlands was coded for (1) expressions of fear for self or fear for others and (2) psychological distance of the outbreak to the tweet source. Longitudinal relations were compared using vector error correction model (VECM) methodology. Analyses based on 4500 tweets revealed that increases in public attention to Ebola co-occurred with severe world events related to the epidemic, but not all severe events evoked fear. As hypothesized, Web-based public attention and expressions of fear responded mainly to the psychological distance of the epidemic. A chi-square test showed a significant positive relation between proximity and fear: χ 2 2 =103.2 (Pfear for self in the Netherlands showed peaks when Ebola became spatially closer by crossing the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean. Fear for others was mostly predicted by the social distance to the affected parties. Spatial and social distance are important predictors of public attention to worldwide crisis such as epidemics. These factors need to be taken into account when communicating about human tragedies. ©Liza GG van Lent, Hande Sungur, Florian A Kunneman, Bob van de Velde, Enny Das

  3. Structural insight to mutation effects uncover a common allosteric site in class C GPCRs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Harpsøe, Kasper; Boesgaard, Michael W; Munk, Christian

    2017-01-01

    MOTIVATION: Class C G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) regulate important physiological functions and allosteric modulators binding to the transmembrane domain constitute an attractive and, due to a lack of structural insight, a virtually unexplored potential for therapeutics and the food industry....... Combining pharmacological site-directed mutagenesis data with the recent class C GPCR experimental structures will provide a foundation for rational design of new therapeutics. RESULTS: We uncover one common site for both positive and negative modulators with different amino acid layouts that can...

  4. Recent density functional studies of hydrodesulfurization catalysts: insight into structure and mechanism

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hinnemann, Berit; Moses, Poul Georg; Noerskov, Jens K

    2008-01-01

    The present article will highlight some recent density functional theory (DFT) studies of hydrodesulfurization (HDS) catalysts. It will be summarized how DFT in combination with experimental studies can give a detailed picture of the structure of the active phase. Furthermore, we have used DFT to investigate the reaction pathway for thiophene HDS, and we find that the reaction entails a complex interplay of different active sites, depending on reaction conditions. An investigation of pyridine inhibition confirmed some of these results. These fundamental insights constitute a basis for rational improvement of HDS catalysts, as they have provided important structure-activity relationships

  5. Ebolavirus Vaccines: Progress in the Fight Against Ebola Virus Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Xiao-Xin; Yao, Hang-Ping; Wu, Nan-Ping; Gao, Hai-Nv; Wu, Hai-Bo; Jin, Chang-Zhong; Lu, Xiang-Yun; Xie, Tian-Shen; Li, Lan-Juan

    2015-01-01

    Ebolaviruses are highly infectious pathogens that cause lethal Ebola virus disease (EVD) in humans and non-human primates (NHPs). Due to their high pathogenicity and transmissibility, as well as the potential to be misused as a bioterrorism agent, ebolaviruses would threaten the health of global populations if not controlled. In this review, we describe the origin and structure of ebolaviruses and the development of vaccines from the beginning of the 1980s, including conventional ebolavirus vaccines, DNA vaccines, Ebola virus-like particles (VLPs), vaccinia virus-based vaccines, Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (VEEV)-like replicon particles, Kunjin virus-based vaccine, recombinant Zaire Ebolavirusx2206;VP30, recombinant cytomegalovirus (CMV)-based vaccines, recombinant rabies virus (RABV)-based vaccines, recombinant paramyxovirus-based vaccines, adenovirus-based vaccines and vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV)-based vaccines. No licensed vaccine or specific treatment is currently available to counteract ebolavirus infection, although DNA plasmids and several viral vector approaches have been evaluated as promising vaccine platforms. These vaccine candidates have been confirmed to be successful in protecting NHPs against lethal infection. Moreover, these vaccine candidates were successfully advanced to clinical trials. The present review provides an update of the current research on Ebola vaccines, with the aim of providing an overview on current prospects in the fight against EVD. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by S. Karger AG, Basel.

  6. Ebolavirus Vaccines: Progress in the Fight Against Ebola Virus Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiao-Xin Wu

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Ebolaviruses are highly infectious pathogens that cause lethal Ebola virus disease (EVD in humans and non-human primates (NHPs. Due to their high pathogenicity and transmissibility, as well as the potential to be misused as a bioterrorism agent, ebolaviruses would threaten the health of global populations if not controlled. In this review, we describe the origin and structure of ebolaviruses and the development of vaccines from the beginning of the 1980s, including conventional ebolavirus vaccines, DNA vaccines, Ebola virus-like particles (VLPs, vaccinia virus-based vaccines, Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (VEEV-like replicon particles, Kunjin virus-based vaccine, recombinant Zaire Ebolavirus∆VP30, recombinant cytomegalovirus (CMV-based vaccines, recombinant rabies virus (RABV-based vaccines, recombinant paramyxovirus-based vaccines, adenovirus-based vaccines and vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV-based vaccines. No licensed vaccine or specific treatment is currently available to counteract ebolavirus infection, although DNA plasmids and several viral vector approaches have been evaluated as promising vaccine platforms. These vaccine candidates have been confirmed to be successful in protecting NHPs against lethal infection. Moreover, these vaccine candidates were successfully advanced to clinical trials. The present review provides an update of the current research on Ebola vaccines, with the aim of providing an overview on current prospects in the fight against EVD.

  7. Crystallization and preliminary X-ray analysis of Ebola VP35 interferon inhibitory domain mutant proteins

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Leung, Daisy W.; Borek, Dominika; Farahbakhsh, Mina; Ramanan, Parameshwaran; Nix, Jay C.; Wang, Tianjiao; Prins, Kathleen C.; Otwinowski, Zbyszek; Honzatko, Richard B.; Helgeson, Luke A.; Basler, Christopher F.; Amarasinghe, Gaya K.

    2010-01-01

    Three mutant forms of Ebola VP35 interferon inhibitory domain were crystallized in three different space groups. VP35 is one of seven structural proteins encoded by the Ebola viral genome and mediates viral replication, nucleocapsid formation and host immune suppression. The C-terminal interferon inhibitory domain (IID) of VP35 is critical for dsRNA binding and interferon inhibition. The wild-type VP35 IID structure revealed several conserved residues that are important for dsRNA binding and interferon antagonism. Here, the expression, purification and crystallization of recombinant Zaire Ebola VP35 IID mutants R312A, K319A/R322A and K339A in space groups P6 1 22, P2 1 2 1 2 1 and P2 1 , respectively, are described. Diffraction data were collected using synchrotron sources at the Advanced Light Source and the Advanced Photon Source

  8. An Ebola virus-centered knowledge base

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamdar, Maulik R.; Dumontier, Michel

    2015-01-01

    Ebola virus (EBOV), of the family Filoviridae viruses, is a NIAID category A, lethal human pathogen. It is responsible for causing Ebola virus disease (EVD) that is a severe hemorrhagic fever and has a cumulative death rate of 41% in the ongoing epidemic in West Africa. There is an ever-increasing need to consolidate and make available all the knowledge that we possess on EBOV, even if it is conflicting or incomplete. This would enable biomedical researchers to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying this disease and help develop tools for efficient diagnosis and effective treatment. In this article, we present our approach for the development of an Ebola virus-centered Knowledge Base (Ebola-KB) using Linked Data and Semantic Web Technologies. We retrieve and aggregate knowledge from several open data sources, web services and biomedical ontologies. This knowledge is transformed to RDF, linked to the Bio2RDF datasets and made available through a SPARQL 1.1 Endpoint. Ebola-KB can also be explored using an interactive Dashboard visualizing the different perspectives of this integrated knowledge. We showcase how different competency questions, asked by domain users researching the druggability of EBOV, can be formulated as SPARQL Queries or answered using the Ebola-KB Dashboard. Database URL: http://ebola.semanticscience.org. PMID:26055098

  9. Ebola virus disease: past, present and future

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Harish Rajak

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Ebola virus disease is one of the most deadly ailments known to mankind due to its high mortality rate (up to 90% accompanying with the disease. Ebola haemorrhagic fever (EHF is an infectious disease of animal that can be transmitted to both human and non-human primates. The first epidemic of EHF occurred in 1976 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The incubation period of ebola is less than 21 days. Ebola virus infections are depicted by immune suppression and a systemic inflammatory response that leads to damage of the vascular, coagulation and immune systems, causing multi-organ failure and shock. Five genetically distinct members of the Filoviridae family responsible for EHF are as follows: Zaire ebolavirus, Sudan ebolavirus, Côte d’Ivoire ebolavirus, Bundibugyo ebolavirus and Reston ebolavirus. The ongoing 2014 West Africa ebola epidemic has been considered as the most serious panic in the medical field with respect to both the number of human cases and death toll. The natural host for ebola virus is unknown, thus it is not possible to carry out programs to regulate or abolish virus from transmission to people. The ebola virus infection provides little chance to develop acquired immunity causing rapid progression of the disease. It is pertinent to mention that at present, there is no antiviral therapy or vaccine that is helpful against ebola virus infection in humans. The impediment of EHF necessitates much better understanding of the epidemiology of the disease, particularly the role of wildlife, as well as bats, in the spread of ebola virus to humans.

  10. Structure of the Hantavirus Nucleoprotein Provides Insights into the Mechanism of RNA Encapsidation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Olal

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Hantaviruses are etiological agents of life-threatening hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome and hantavirus cardiopulmonary syndrome. The nucleoprotein (N of hantavirus is essential for viral transcription and replication, thus representing an attractive target for therapeutic intervention. We have determined the crystal structure of hantavirus N to 3.2 Å resolution. The structure reveals a two-lobed, mostly α-helical structure that is distantly related to that of orthobunyavirus Ns. A basic RNA binding pocket is located at the intersection between the two lobes. We provide evidence that oligomerization is mediated by amino- and C-terminal arms that bind to the adjacent monomers. Based on these findings, we suggest a model for the oligomeric ribonucleoprotein (RNP complex. Our structure provides mechanistic insights into RNA encapsidation in the genus Hantavirus and constitutes a template for drug discovery efforts aimed at combating hantavirus infections.

  11. Ebola virus disease: radiology preparedness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bluemke, David A; Meltzer, Carolyn C

    2015-02-01

    At present, there is a major emphasis on Ebola virus disease (EVD) preparedness training at medical facilities throughout the United States. Failure to have proper EVD procedures in place was cited as a major reason for infection of medical personnel in the United States. Medical imaging does not provide diagnosis of EVD, but patient assessment in the emergency department and treatment isolation care unit is likely to require imaging services. The purpose of this article is to present an overview of relevant aspects of EVD disease and preparedness relevant to the radiologic community. © RSNA, 2014.

  12. Host Factors in Ebola Infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rasmussen, Angela L

    2016-08-31

    Ebola virus (EBOV) emerged in West Africa in 2014 to devastating effect, and demonstrated that infection can cause a broad range of severe disease manifestations. As the virus itself was genetically similar to other Zaire ebolaviruses, the spectrum of pathology likely resulted from variable responses to infection in a large and genetically diverse population. This review comprehensively summarizes current knowledge of the host response to EBOV infection, including pathways hijacked by the virus to facilitate replication, host processes that contribute directly to pathogenesis, and host-pathogen interactions involved in subverting or antagonizing host antiviral immunity.

  13. Structure of Human GIVD Cytosolic Phospholipase A2 Reveals Insights into Substrate Recognition

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, Hui; Klein, Michael G.; Snell, Gyorgy; Lane, Weston; Zou, Hua; Levin, Irena; Li, Ke; Sang, Bi-Ching (Takeda Cali)

    2016-07-01

    Cytosolic phospholipases A2 (cPLA2s) consist of a family of calcium-sensitive enzymes that function to generate lipid second messengers through hydrolysis of membrane-associated glycerophospholipids. The GIVD cPLA2 (cPLA2δ) is a potential drug target for developing a selective therapeutic agent for the treatment of psoriasis. Here, we present two X-ray structures of human cPLA2δ, capturing an apo state, and in complex with a substrate-like inhibitor. Comparison of the apo and inhibitor-bound structures reveals conformational changes in a flexible cap that allows the substrate to access the relatively buried active site, providing new insight into the mechanism for substrate recognition. The cPLA2δ structure reveals an unexpected second C2 domain that was previously unrecognized from sequence alignments, placing cPLA2δ into the class of membrane-associated proteins that contain a tandem pair of C2 domains. Furthermore, our structures elucidate novel inter-domain interactions and define three potential calcium-binding sites that are likely important for regulation and activation of enzymatic activity. These findings provide novel insights into the molecular mechanisms governing cPLA2's function in signal transduction.

  14. Ebola Laboratory Response at the Eternal Love Winning Africa Campus, Monrovia, Liberia, 2014–2015

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Wit, Emmie; Rosenke, Kyle; Fischer, Robert J.; Marzi, Andrea; Prescott, Joseph; Bushmaker, Trenton; van Doremalen, Neeltje; Emery, Shannon L.; Falzarano, Darryl; Feldmann, Friederike; Groseth, Allison; Hoenen, Thomas; Juma, Bonventure; McNally, Kristin L.; Ochieng, Melvin; Omballa, Victor; Onyango, Clayton O.; Owuor, Collins; Rowe, Thomas; Safronetz, David; Self, Joshua; Williamson, Brandi N.; Zemtsova, Galina; Grolla, Allen; Kobinger, Gary; Rayfield, Mark; Ströher, Ute; Strong, James E.; Best, Sonja M.; Ebihara, Hideki; Zoon, Kathryn C.; Nichol, Stuart T.; Nyenswah, Tolbert G.; Bolay, Fatorma K.; Massaquoi, Moses; Feldmann, Heinz; Fields, Barry

    2016-01-01

    West Africa experienced the first epidemic of Ebola virus infection, with by far the greatest number of cases in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia. The unprecedented epidemic triggered an unparalleled response, including the deployment of multiple Ebola treatment units and mobile/field diagnostic laboratories. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention deployed a joint laboratory to Monrovia, Liberia, in August 2014 to support the newly founded Ebola treatment unit at the Eternal Love Winning Africa (ELWA) campus. The laboratory operated initially out of a tent structure but quickly moved into a fixed-wall building owing to severe weather conditions, the need for increased security, and the high sample volume. Until May 2015, when the laboratory closed, the site handled close to 6000 clinical specimens for Ebola virus diagnosis and supported the medical staff in case patient management. Laboratory operation and safety, as well as Ebola virus diagnostic assays, are described and discussed; in addition, lessons learned for future deployments are reviewed. PMID:27333914

  15. Ebola Laboratory Response at the Eternal Love Winning Africa Campus, Monrovia, Liberia, 2014-2015.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Wit, Emmie; Rosenke, Kyle; Fischer, Robert J; Marzi, Andrea; Prescott, Joseph; Bushmaker, Trenton; van Doremalen, Neeltje; Emery, Shannon L; Falzarano, Darryl; Feldmann, Friederike; Groseth, Allison; Hoenen, Thomas; Juma, Bonventure; McNally, Kristin L; Ochieng, Melvin; Omballa, Victor; Onyango, Clayton O; Owuor, Collins; Rowe, Thomas; Safronetz, David; Self, Joshua; Williamson, Brandi N; Zemtsova, Galina; Grolla, Allen; Kobinger, Gary; Rayfield, Mark; Ströher, Ute; Strong, James E; Best, Sonja M; Ebihara, Hideki; Zoon, Kathryn C; Nichol, Stuart T; Nyenswah, Tolbert G; Bolay, Fatorma K; Massaquoi, Moses; Feldmann, Heinz; Fields, Barry

    2016-10-15

    West Africa experienced the first epidemic of Ebola virus infection, with by far the greatest number of cases in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia. The unprecedented epidemic triggered an unparalleled response, including the deployment of multiple Ebola treatment units and mobile/field diagnostic laboratories. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention deployed a joint laboratory to Monrovia, Liberia, in August 2014 to support the newly founded Ebola treatment unit at the Eternal Love Winning Africa (ELWA) campus. The laboratory operated initially out of a tent structure but quickly moved into a fixed-wall building owing to severe weather conditions, the need for increased security, and the high sample volume. Until May 2015, when the laboratory closed, the site handled close to 6000 clinical specimens for Ebola virus diagnosis and supported the medical staff in case patient management. Laboratory operation and safety, as well as Ebola virus diagnostic assays, are described and discussed; in addition, lessons learned for future deployments are reviewed. Published by Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America 2016. This work is written by (a) US Government employee(s) and is in the public domain in the US.

  16. Ebola virus encodes a miR-155 analog to regulate importin-α5 expression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yuanwu; Sun, Jing; Zhang, Hongwen; Wang, Mingming; Gao, George Fu; Li, Xiangdong

    2016-10-01

    The 2014 outbreak of Ebola virus caused more than 10,000 human deaths. Current knowledge of suitable drugs, clinical diagnostic biomarkers and molecular mechanisms of Ebola virus infection is either absent or insufficient. By screening stem-loop structures from the viral genomes of four virulence species, we identified a novel, putative viral microRNA precursor that is specifically expressed by the Ebola virus. The sequence of the microRNA precursor was further confirmed by mining the existing RNA-Seq database. Two putative mature microRNAs were predicted and subsequently validated in human cell lines. Combined with this prediction of the microRNA target, we identified importin-α5, which is a key regulator of interferon signaling following Ebola virus infection, as one putative target. We speculate that this microRNA could facilitate the evasion of the host immune system by the virus. Moreover, this microRNA might be a potential clinical therapeutic target or a diagnostic biomarker for Ebola virus.

  17. Structural studies of Pseudomonas and Chromobacterium ω-aminotransferases provide insights into their differing substrate specificity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sayer, Christopher; Isupov, Michail N.; Westlake, Aaron; Littlechild, Jennifer A.

    2013-01-01

    The X-ray structures of two ω-aminotransferases from P. aeruginosa and C. violaceum in complex with an inhibitor offer the first detailed insight into the structural basis of the substrate specificity of these industrially important enzymes. The crystal structures and inhibitor complexes of two industrially important ω-aminotransferase enzymes from Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Chromobacterium violaceum have been determined in order to understand the differences in their substrate specificity. The two enzymes share 30% sequence identity and use the same amino acceptor, pyruvate; however, the Pseudomonas enzyme shows activity towards the amino donor β-alanine, whilst the Chromobacterium enzyme does not. Both enzymes show activity towards S-α-methylbenzylamine (MBA), with the Chromobacterium enzyme having a broader substrate range. The crystal structure of the P. aeruginosa enzyme has been solved in the holo form and with the inhibitor gabaculine bound. The C. violaceum enzyme has been solved in the apo and holo forms and with gabaculine bound. The structures of the holo forms of both enzymes are quite similar. There is little conformational difference observed between the inhibitor complex and the holoenzyme for the P. aeruginosa aminotransferase. In comparison, the crystal structure of the C. violaceum gabaculine complex shows significant structural rearrangements from the structures of both the apo and holo forms of the enzyme. It appears that the different rigidity of the protein scaffold contributes to the substrate specificity observed for the two ω-aminotransferases

  18. U6+ minerals and inorganic compounds: insights into an expanded structural hierarchy of crystal structures

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Burns, P.C.

    2005-01-01

    The crystal structures of uranyl minerals and inorganic uranyl compounds are important for understanding the genesis of U deposits, the interaction of U mine and mill tailings with the environment, transport of actinides in soils and the vadose zone, the performance of geological repositories for nuclear waste, and for the development of advanced materials with novel applications. Over the past decade, the number of inorganic uranyl compounds (including minerals) with known structures has more than doubled, and reconsideration of the structural hierarchy of uranyl compounds is warranted. Here, 368 inorganic crystal structures that contain essential U 6+ are considered (of which 89 are minerals). They are arranged on the basis of the topological details of their structural units, which are formed by the polymerization of polyhedra containing higher-valence cations. Overarching structural categories correspond to those based upon isolated polyhedra (8), finite clusters (43), chains (57), sheets (204), and frameworks (56) of polyhedra. Within these categories, structures are organized and compared upon the basis of either their graphical representations, or in the case of sheets involving sharing of edges of polyhedra, upon the topological arrangement of anions within the sheets. (author)

  19. Structural insights into FRS2α PTB domain recognition by neurotrophin receptor TrkB.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeng, Lei; Kuti, Miklos; Mujtaba, Shiraz; Zhou, Ming-Ming

    2014-07-01

    The fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR) substrate 2 (FRS2) family proteins function as scaffolding adapters for receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs). The FRS2α proteins interact with RTKs through the phosphotyrosine-binding (PTB) domain and transfer signals from the activated receptors to downstream effector proteins. Here, we report the nuclear magnetic resonance structure of the FRS2α PTB domain bound to phosphorylated TrkB. The structure reveals that the FRS2α-PTB domain is comprised of two distinct but adjacent pockets for its mutually exclusive interaction with either nonphosphorylated juxtamembrane region of the FGFR, or tyrosine phosphorylated peptides TrkA and TrkB. The new structural insights suggest rational design of selective small molecules through targeting of the two conjunct pockets in the FRS2α PTB domain. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  20. Operational Research during the Ebola Emergency.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Fitzpatrick, Gabriel

    2017-07-01

    Operational research aims to identify interventions, strategies, or tools that can enhance the quality, effectiveness, or coverage of programs where the research is taking place. Médecins Sans Frontières admitted ≈5,200 patients with confirmed Ebola virus disease during the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and from the beginning nested operational research within its emergency response. This research covered critical areas, such as understanding how the virus spreads, clinical trials, community perceptions, challenges within Ebola treatment centers, and negative effects on non-Ebola healthcare. Importantly, operational research questions were decided to a large extent by returning volunteers who had first-hand knowledge of the immediate issues facing teams in the field. Such a method is appropriate for an emergency medical organization. Many challenges were also identified while carrying out operational research across 3 different countries, including the basic need for collecting data in standardized format to enable comparison of findings among treatment centers.

  1. UNOSAT joins the fight against Ebola

    CERN Multimedia

    Katarina Anthony

    2014-01-01

    Hosted at CERN, UNITAR’s UNOSAT programme examines global satellite imagery for humanitarian use. Whether they're providing maps for disaster response teams or assessing conflict damage to help reconstruction, their detailed reports are vital tools for aid workers. But how can satellite imagery help during a health crisis like the Ebola outbreak?   UNOSAT maps Liberia for potential Ebola Treatment Centre locations. Image copyright: Airbus Defence and Space 2014. Source: Space Charter. Image analysis: UNITAR-UNOSAT. UNOSAT unites satellite data from space agencies and commercial operators worldwide in order to provide unbiased, objective maps and reports. Be it a natural disaster in Pakistan or a refugee crisis in Sudan, UNOSAT is - quite literally - an impartial observer of world events. The Ebola outbreak, however, was a special case: "The World Health Organization is mounting a substantial campaign in West Africa, building Ebola Treatment Centres and distributing...

  2. Structural Insights into the Coupling of Virion Assembly and Rotavirus Replication

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trask, Shane D.; McDonald, Sarah M.; Patton, John T.

    2013-01-01

    Preface Viral replication is rapid and robust, but it is far from a chaotic process. Instead, successful production of infectious progeny requires that events occur in the correct place and at the correct time. Rotavirus, a segmented double-stranded RNA virus of the Reoviridae family, seems to govern its replication through ordered disassembly and assembly of a triple-layered icosahedral capsid. In recent years, high-resolution structural data have provided unprecedented insight into these events. In this Review, we explore the current understanding of rotavirus replication and how it compares to other Reoviridae family members. PMID:22266782

  3. Deep transcriptome sequencing provides new insights into the structural and functional organization of the wheat genome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pingault, Lise; Choulet, Frédéric; Alberti, Adriana; Glover, Natasha; Wincker, Patrick; Feuillet, Catherine; Paux, Etienne

    2015-02-10

    Because of its size, allohexaploid nature, and high repeat content, the bread wheat genome is a good model to study the impact of the genome structure on gene organization, function, and regulation. However, because of the lack of a reference genome sequence, such studies have long been hampered and our knowledge of the wheat gene space is still limited. The access to the reference sequence of the wheat chromosome 3B provided us with an opportunity to study the wheat transcriptome and its relationships to genome and gene structure at a level that has never been reached before. By combining this sequence with RNA-seq data, we construct a fine transcriptome map of the chromosome 3B. More than 8,800 transcription sites are identified, that are distributed throughout the entire chromosome. Expression level, expression breadth, alternative splicing as well as several structural features of genes, including transcript length, number of exons, and cumulative intron length are investigated. Our analysis reveals a non-monotonic relationship between gene expression and structure and leads to the hypothesis that gene structure is determined by its function, whereas gene expression is subject to energetic cost. Moreover, we observe a recombination-based partitioning at the gene structure and function level. Our analysis provides new insights into the relationships between gene and genome structure and function. It reveals mechanisms conserved with other plant species as well as superimposed evolutionary forces that shaped the wheat gene space, likely participating in wheat adaptation.

  4. Structural characterisation of Tpx from Yersinia pseudotuberculosis reveals insights into the binding of salicylidene acylhydrazide compounds.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mads Gabrielsen

    Full Text Available Thiol peroxidase, Tpx, has been shown to be a target protein of the salicylidene acylhydrazide class of antivirulence compounds. In this study we present the crystal structures of Tpx from Y. pseudotuberculosis (ypTpx in the oxidised and reduced states, together with the structure of the C61S mutant. The structures solved are consistent with previously solved atypical 2-Cys thiol peroxidases, including that for "forced" reduced states using the C61S mutant. In addition, by investigating the solution structure of ypTpx using small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS, we have confirmed that reduced state ypTpx in solution is a homodimer. The solution structure also reveals flexibility around the dimer interface. Notably, the conformational changes observed between the redox states at the catalytic triad and at the dimer interface have implications for substrate and inhibitor binding. The structural data were used to model the binding of two salicylidene acylhydrazide compounds to the oxidised structure of ypTpx. Overall, the study provides insights into the binding of the salicylidene acylhydrazides to ypTpx, aiding our long-term strategy to understand the mode of action of this class of compounds.

  5. Design and synthesis of an antigenic mimic of the Ebola glycoprotein

    OpenAIRE

    Rutledge, Ryan D.; Huffman, Brian J.; Cliffel, David E.; Wright, David W.

    2008-01-01

    An antigenic mimic of the Ebola glycoprotein was synthesized and tested for its ability to be recognized by an anti-Ebola glycoprotein antibody. Epitope-mapping procedures yielded a suitable epitope that, when presented on the surface of a nanoparticle, forms a structure that is recognized by an antibody specific for the native protein. This mimic-antibody interaction has been quantitated through ELISA and QCM-based methods and yielded an affinity (Kd = 12 × 10−6 M) within two orders of magni...

  6. Ultrasensitive Detection of Ebola Virus Oligonucleotide Based on Upconversion Nanoprobe/Nanoporous Membrane System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsang, Ming-Kiu; Ye, WeiWei; Wang, Guojing; Li, Jingming; Yang, Mo; Hao, Jianhua

    2016-01-26

    Ebola outbreaks are currently of great concern, and therefore, development of effective diagnosis methods is urgently needed. The key for lethal virus detection is high sensitivity, since early-stage detection of virus may increase the probability of survival. Here, we propose a luminescence scheme of assay consisting of BaGdF5:Yb/Er upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs) conjugated with oligonucleotide probe and gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) linked with target Ebola virus oligonucleotide. As a proof of concept, a homogeneous assay was fabricated and tested, yielding a detection limit at picomolar level. The luminescence resonance energy transfer is ascribed to the spectral overlapping of upconversion luminescence and the absorption characteristics of AuNPs. Moreover, we anchored the UCNPs and AuNPs on a nanoporous alumina (NAAO) membrane to form a heterogeneous assay. Importantly, the detection limit was greatly improved, exhibiting a remarkable value at the femtomolar level. The enhancement is attributed to the increased light-matter interaction throughout the nanopore walls of the NAAO membrane. The specificity test suggested that the nanoprobes were specific to Ebola virus oligonucleotides. The strategy combining UCNPs, AuNPs, and NAAO membrane provides new insight into low-cost, rapid, and ultrasensitive detection of different diseases. Furthermore, we explored the feasibility of clinical application by using inactivated Ebola virus samples. The detection results showed great potential of our heterogeneous design for practical application.

  7. The perspective of gender on the Ebola virus using a risk management and population health framework: a scoping review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nkangu, Miriam N; Olatunde, Oluwasayo A; Yaya, Sanni

    2017-10-11

    In the three decades since the first reported case of Ebola virus, most known index cases have been consistently traced to the hunting of "bush meat", and women have consistently recorded relatively high fatality rates in most catastrophic outbreaks. This paper discusses Ebola-related risk factors, which constantly interact with cultural values, and provides an insight into the link between gender and the risk of contracting infectious diseases, using Ebola virus as an example within Africa. A comprehensive search of the literature was conducted using the PubMed, Ovid Medline and Global Health CABI databases as well as CAB Abstracts, including gray literature. We used a descriptive and sex- and gender-based analysis to revisit previous studies on Ebola outbreaks since 1976 to 2014, and disaggregated the cases and fatality rates according to gender and the sources of known index cases based on available data. In total, approximately 1530 people died in all previous Ebola outbreaks from 1976 to 2012 compared with over 11,310 deaths from the 2014 outbreak. Women's increased exposure can be attributed to time spent at home and their responsibility for caring for the sick, while men's increased vulnerability to the virus can be attributed to their responsibility for caring for livestock and to time spent away from home, as most known sources of the index cases have been infected in the process of hunting. We present a conceptual model of a circle of interacting risk factors for Ebola in the African context. There is currently no evidence related to biological differences in female or male sex that increases Ebola virus transmission and vulnerability; rather, there are differences in the level of exposure between men and women. Gender is therefore an important risk factor to consider in the design of health programs. Building the capacity for effective risk communication is a worthwhile investment in public and global health for future emergency responses.

  8. Characteristics of Filoviridae: Marburg and Ebola Viruses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beer, Brigitte; Kurth, Reinhard; Bukreyev, Alexander

    Filoviruses are enveloped, nonsegmented negative-stranded RNA viruses. The two species, Marburg and Ebola virus, are serologically, biochemically, and genetically distinct. Marburg virus was first isolated during an outbreak in Europe in 1967, and Ebola virus emerged in 1976 as the causative agent of two simultaneous outbreaks in southern Sudan and northern Zaire. Although the main route of infection is known to be person-to-person transmission by intimate contact, the natural reservoir for filoviruses still remains a mystery.

  9. Structural insights into the mycobacteria transcription initiation complex from analysis of X-ray crystal structures

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hubin, Elizabeth A.; Lilic, Mirjana; Darst, Seth A.; Campbell, Elizabeth A.

    2017-07-13

    The mycobacteria RNA polymerase (RNAP) is a target for antimicrobials against tuberculosis, motivating structure/function studies. Here we report a 3.2 Å-resolution crystal structure of a Mycobacterium smegmatis (Msm) open promoter complex (RPo), along with structural analysis of the Msm RPo and a previously reported 2.76 Å-resolution crystal structure of an Msm transcription initiation complex with a promoter DNA fragment. We observe the interaction of the Msm RNAP α-subunit C-terminal domain (αCTD) with DNA, and we provide evidence that the αCTD may play a role in Mtb transcription regulation. Our results reveal the structure of an Actinobacteria-unique insert of the RNAP β' subunit. Finally, our analysis reveals the disposition of the N-terminal segment of Msm σA, which may comprise an intrinsically disordered protein domain unique to mycobacteria. The clade-specific features of the mycobacteria RNAP provide clues to the profound instability of mycobacteria RPo compared with E. coli.

  10. The Ebola Virus VP30-NP Interaction Is a Regulator of Viral RNA Synthesis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert N Kirchdoerfer

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Filoviruses are capable of causing deadly hemorrhagic fevers. All nonsegmented negative-sense RNA-virus nucleocapsids are composed of a nucleoprotein (NP, a phosphoprotein (VP35 and a polymerase (L. However, the VP30 RNA-synthesis co-factor is unique to the filoviruses. The assembly, structure, and function of the filovirus RNA replication complex remain unclear. Here, we have characterized the interactions of Ebola, Sudan and Marburg virus VP30 with NP using in vitro biochemistry, structural biology and cell-based mini-replicon assays. We have found that the VP30 C-terminal domain interacts with a short peptide in the C-terminal region of NP. Further, we have solved crystal structures of the VP30-NP complex for both Ebola and Marburg viruses. These structures reveal that a conserved, proline-rich NP peptide binds a shallow hydrophobic cleft on the VP30 C-terminal domain. Structure-guided Ebola virus VP30 mutants have altered affinities for the NP peptide. Correlation of these VP30-NP affinities with the activity for each of these mutants in a cell-based mini-replicon assay suggests that the VP30-NP interaction plays both essential and inhibitory roles in Ebola virus RNA synthesis.

  11. The Ebola Virus VP30-NP Interaction Is a Regulator of Viral RNA Synthesis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kirchdoerfer, Robert N.; Moyer, Crystal L.; Abelson, Dafna M.; Saphire, Erica Ollmann (Scripps)

    2016-10-18

    Filoviruses are capable of causing deadly hemorrhagic fevers. All nonsegmented negative-sense RNA-virus nucleocapsids are composed of a nucleoprotein (NP), a phosphoprotein (VP35) and a polymerase (L). However, the VP30 RNA-synthesis co-factor is unique to the filoviruses. The assembly, structure, and function of the filovirus RNA replication complex remain unclear. Here, we have characterized the interactions of Ebola, Sudan and Marburg virus VP30 with NP using in vitro biochemistry, structural biology and cell-based mini-replicon assays. We have found that the VP30 C-terminal domain interacts with a short peptide in the C-terminal region of NP. Further, we have solved crystal structures of the VP30-NP complex for both Ebola and Marburg viruses. These structures reveal that a conserved, proline-rich NP peptide binds a shallow hydrophobic cleft on the VP30 C-terminal domain. Structure-guided Ebola virus VP30 mutants have altered affinities for the NP peptide. Correlation of these VP30-NP affinities with the activity for each of these mutants in a cell-based mini-replicon assay suggests that the VP30-NP interaction plays both essential and inhibitory roles in Ebola virus RNA synthesis.

  12. Occupational Exposures to Ebola Virus in Ebola Treatment Center, Conakry, Guinea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savini, Hélène; Janvier, Frédéric; Karkowski, Ludovic; Billhot, Magali; Aletti, Marc; Bordes, Julien; Koulibaly, Fassou; Cordier, Pierre-Yves; Cournac, Jean-Marie; Maugey, Nancy; Gagnon, Nicolas; Cotte, Jean; Cambon, Audrey; Mac Nab, Christine; Moroge, Sophie; Rousseau, Claire; Foissaud, Vincent; De Greslan, Thierry; Granier, Hervé; Cellarier, Gilles; Valade, Eric; Kraemer, Philippe; Alla, Philippe; Mérens, Audrey; Sagui, Emmanuel; Carmoi, Thierry; Rapp, Christophe

    2017-08-01

    We report 77 cases of occupational exposures for 57 healthcare workers at the Ebola Treatment Center in Conakry, Guinea, during the Ebola virus disease outbreak in 2014-2015. Despite the high incidence of 3.5 occupational exposures/healthcare worker/year, only 18% of workers were at high risk for transmission, and no infections occurred.

  13. An Ebola virus-centered knowledge base.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamdar, Maulik R; Dumontier, Michel

    2015-01-01

    Ebola virus (EBOV), of the family Filoviridae viruses, is a NIAID category A, lethal human pathogen. It is responsible for causing Ebola virus disease (EVD) that is a severe hemorrhagic fever and has a cumulative death rate of 41% in the ongoing epidemic in West Africa. There is an ever-increasing need to consolidate and make available all the knowledge that we possess on EBOV, even if it is conflicting or incomplete. This would enable biomedical researchers to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying this disease and help develop tools for efficient diagnosis and effective treatment. In this article, we present our approach for the development of an Ebola virus-centered Knowledge Base (Ebola-KB) using Linked Data and Semantic Web Technologies. We retrieve and aggregate knowledge from several open data sources, web services and biomedical ontologies. This knowledge is transformed to RDF, linked to the Bio2RDF datasets and made available through a SPARQL 1.1 Endpoint. Ebola-KB can also be explored using an interactive Dashboard visualizing the different perspectives of this integrated knowledge. We showcase how different competency questions, asked by domain users researching the druggability of EBOV, can be formulated as SPARQL Queries or answered using the Ebola-KB Dashboard. © The Author(s) 2015. Published by Oxford University Press.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  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. Ebola outbreak in Conakry, Guinea: Epidemiological, clinical, and outcome features

    OpenAIRE

    Barry, M; Traoré, F A; Sako, F B; Kpamy, D O; Bah, E I; Poncin, M; Keita, S; Cisse, M; Touré, A

    2014-01-01

    The authors studied the epidemiological, clinical, and outcome features of the Ebola virus disease in patients hospitalized at the Ebola treatment center (ETC) in Conakry to identify clinical factors associated with death.

  17. The Ebola Virus and Human Rights Concerns in Africa

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    AJRH Managing Editor

    2015-09-03

    Sep 3, 2015 ... Keywords: Ebola, Public Health, human right. Résumé ... Mots clé : Ebola, de santé publique, droit humain. Introduction ... public health and human rights. This article .... Political Rights (ICCPR)21 and the International.

  18. Ebola Viral Hemorrhagic Disease Outbreak in West Africa- Lessons ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... to contain the Ebola epidemic. Key words: Ebola, viral hemorrhagic fever, West Africa, lessons, Uganda .... the corresponding surveillance systems for detecting priority diseases. ... A major outbreak of Yellow Fe- ver was reported in five ...

  19. Detection and classification of ebola on microfluidic chips

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Xue; Jin, Xiangyu; Fan, Yunqian; Huang, Qin; Kou, Yue; Zu, Guo; Huang, Shiguang; Liu, Xiaosheng; Huang, Guoliang

    2016-10-01

    Point-of-care testing (POCT) for an infectious diseases is the prerequisite to control of the disease and limitation of its spread. A microfluidic chip for detection and classification of four strains of Ebola virus was developed and evaluated. This assay was based on reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) and specific primers for Ebola Zaire virus, Ebola Sudan virus, Ebola Tai Forest virus and Ebola Bundibugyo virus were designed. The sensitivity of the microfluidic chip was under 103 copies per milliliter, as determined by ten repeated tests. This assay is unique in its ability to enable diagnosis of the Ebola infections and simultaneous typing of Ebola virus on a single chip. It offers short reaction time, ease of use and high specificity. These features should enable POCT in remote area during outbreaks of Ebola virus.

  20. Structure of uracil-DNA glycosylase from Mycobacterium tuberculosis: insights into interactions with ligands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kaushal, Prem Singh; Talawar, Ramappa K.; Varshney, Umesh; Vijayan, M.

    2010-01-01

    The molecule of uracil-DNA glycosylase from M. tuberculosis exhibits domain motion on binding to DNA or a proteinaceous inhibitor. The highly conserved DNA-binding region interacts with a citrate ion in the structure. Uracil N-glycosylase (Ung) is the most thoroughly studied of the group of uracil DNA-glycosylase (UDG) enzymes that catalyse the first step in the uracil excision-repair pathway. The overall structure of the enzyme from Mycobacterium tuberculosis is essentially the same as that of the enzyme from other sources. However, differences exist in the N- and C-terminal stretches and some catalytic loops. Comparison with appropriate structures indicate that the two-domain enzyme closes slightly when binding to DNA, while it opens slightly when binding to the proteinaceous inhibitor Ugi. The structural changes in the catalytic loops on complexation reflect the special features of their structure in the mycobacterial protein. A comparative analysis of available sequences of the enzyme from different sources indicates high conservation of amino-acid residues in the catalytic loops. The uracil-binding pocket in the structure is occupied by a citrate ion. The interactions of the citrate ion with the protein mimic those of uracil, in addition to providing insights into other possible interactions that inhibitors could be involved in

  1. Insights into the role of protein molecule size and structure on interfacial properties using designed sequences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dwyer, Mirjana Dimitrijev; He, Lizhong; James, Michael; Nelson, Andrew; Middelberg, Anton P. J.

    2013-01-01

    Mixtures of a large, structured protein with a smaller, unstructured component are inherently complex and hard to characterize at interfaces, leading to difficulties in understanding their interfacial behaviours and, therefore, formulation optimization. Here, we investigated interfacial properties of such a mixed system. Simplicity was achieved using designed sequences in which chemical differences had been eliminated to isolate the effect of molecular size and structure, namely a short unstructured peptide (DAMP1) and its longer structured protein concatamer (DAMP4). Interfacial tension measurements suggested that the size and bulk structuring of the larger molecule led to much slower adsorption kinetics. Neutron reflectometry at equilibrium revealed that both molecules adsorbed as a monolayer to the air–water interface (indicating unfolding of DAMP4 to give a chain of four connected DAMP1 molecules), with a concentration ratio equal to that in the bulk. This suggests the overall free energy of adsorption is equal despite differences in size and bulk structure. At small interfacial extensional strains, only molecule packing influenced the stress response. At larger strains, the effect of size became apparent, with DAMP4 registering a higher stress response and interfacial elasticity. When both components were present at the interface, most stress-dissipating movement was achieved by DAMP1. This work thus provides insights into the role of proteins' molecular size and structure on their interfacial properties, and the designed sequences introduced here can serve as effective tools for interfacial studies of proteins and polymers. PMID:23303222

  2. Further insights on the French WISC-IV factor structure through Bayesian structural equation modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golay, Philippe; Reverte, Isabelle; Rossier, Jérôme; Favez, Nicolas; Lecerf, Thierry

    2013-06-01

    The interpretation of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children--Fourth Edition (WISC-IV) is based on a 4-factor model, which is only partially compatible with the mainstream Cattell-Horn-Carroll (CHC) model of intelligence measurement. The structure of cognitive batteries is frequently analyzed via exploratory factor analysis and/or confirmatory factor analysis. With classical confirmatory factor analysis, almost all cross-loadings between latent variables and measures are fixed to zero in order to allow the model to be identified. However, inappropriate zero cross-loadings can contribute to poor model fit, distorted factors, and biased factor correlations; most important, they do not necessarily faithfully reflect theory. To deal with these methodological and theoretical limitations, we used a new statistical approach, Bayesian structural equation modeling (BSEM), among a sample of 249 French-speaking Swiss children (8-12 years). With BSEM, zero-fixed cross-loadings between latent variables and measures are replaced by approximate zeros, based on informative, small-variance priors. Results indicated that a direct hierarchical CHC-based model with 5 factors plus a general intelligence factor better represented the structure of the WISC-IV than did the 4-factor structure and the higher order models. Because a direct hierarchical CHC model was more adequate, it was concluded that the general factor should be considered as a breadth rather than a superordinate factor. Because it was possible for us to estimate the influence of each of the latent variables on the 15 subtest scores, BSEM allowed improvement of the understanding of the structure of intelligence tests and the clinical interpretation of the subtest scores. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved.

  3. Design Principles for the Atomic and Electronic Structure of Halide Perovskite Photovoltaic Materials: Insights from Computation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berger, Robert F

    2018-02-09

    In the current decade, perovskite solar cell research has emerged as a remarkably active, promising, and rapidly developing field. Alongside breakthroughs in synthesis and device engineering, halide perovskite photovoltaic materials have been the subject of predictive and explanatory computational work. In this Minireview, we focus on a subset of this computation: density functional theory (DFT)-based work highlighting the ways in which the electronic structure and band gap of this class of materials can be tuned via changes in atomic structure. We distill this body of computational literature into a set of underlying design principles for the band gap engineering of these materials, and rationalize these principles from the viewpoint of band-edge orbital character. We hope that this perspective provides guidance and insight toward the rational design and continued improvement of perovskite photovoltaics. © 2018 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  4. New insights into structural determinants of prion protein folding and stability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benetti, Federico; Legname, Giuseppe

    2015-01-01

    Prions are the etiological agent of fatal neurodegenerative diseases called prion diseases or transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. These maladies can be sporadic, genetic or infectious disorders. Prions are due to post-translational modifications of the cellular prion protein leading to the formation of a β-sheet enriched conformer with altered biochemical properties. The molecular events causing prion formation in sporadic prion diseases are still elusive. Recently, we published a research elucidating the contribution of major structural determinants and environmental factors in prion protein folding and stability. Our study highlighted the crucial role of octarepeats in stabilizing prion protein; the presence of a highly enthalpically stable intermediate state in prion-susceptible species; and the role of disulfide bridge in preserving native fold thus avoiding the misfolding to a β-sheet enriched isoform. Taking advantage from these findings, in this work we present new insights into structural determinants of prion protein folding and stability.

  5. Structure, dynamics, and function of the monooxygenase P450 BM-3: insights from computer simulations studies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Roccatano, Danilo

    2015-01-01

    The monooxygenase P450 BM-3 is a NADPH-dependent fatty acid hydroxylase enzyme isolated from soil bacterium Bacillus megaterium. As a pivotal member of cytochrome P450 superfamily, it has been intensely studied for the comprehension of structure–dynamics–function relationships in this class of enzymes. In addition, due to its peculiar properties, it is also a promising enzyme for biochemical and biomedical applications. However, despite the efforts, the full understanding of the enzyme structure and dynamics is not yet achieved. Computational studies, particularly molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, have importantly contributed to this endeavor by providing new insights at an atomic level regarding the correlations between structure, dynamics, and function of the protein. This topical review summarizes computational studies based on MD simulations of the cytochrome P450 BM-3 and gives an outlook on future directions. (topical review)

  6. Measles Cases during Ebola Outbreak, West Africa, 2013-2106.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colavita, Francesca; Biava, Mirella; Castilletti, Concetta; Quartu, Serena; Vairo, Francesco; Caglioti, Claudia; Agrati, Chiara; Lalle, Eleonora; Bordi, Licia; Lanini, Simone; Guanti, Michela Delli; Miccio, Rossella; Ippolito, Giuseppe; Capobianchi, Maria R; Di Caro, Antonino

    2017-06-01

    The recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa caused breakdowns in public health systems, which might have caused outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases. We tested 80 patients admitted to an Ebola treatment center in Freetown, Sierra Leone, for measles. These patients were negative for Ebola virus. Measles virus IgM was detected in 13 (16%) of the patients.

  7. Cluster of Ebola Virus Disease, Bong and Montserrado Counties, Liberia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nyenswah, Tolbert G; Fallah, Mosaka; Calvert, Geoffrey M; Duwor, Stanley; Hamilton, E Dutch; Mokashi, Vishwesh; Arzoaquoi, Sampson; Dweh, Emmanuel; Burbach, Ryan; Dlouhy, Diane; Oeltmann, John E; Moonan, Patrick K

    2015-07-01

    Lack of trust in government-supported services after the death of a health care worker with symptoms of Ebola resulted in ongoing Ebola transmission in 2 Liberia counties. Ebola transmission was facilitated by attempts to avoid cremation of the deceased patient and delays in identifying and monitoring contacts.

  8. Cluster of Ebola Virus Disease, Bong and Montserrado Counties, Liberia

    OpenAIRE

    Nyenswah, Tolbert G.; Fallah, Mosaka; Calvert, Geoffrey M.; Duwor, Stanley; Hamilton, E. Dutch; Mokashi, Vishwesh; Arzoaquoi, Sampson; Dweh, Emmanuel; Burbach, Ryan; Dlouhy, Diane; Oeltmann, John E.; Moonan, Patrick K.

    2015-01-01

    Lack of trust in government-supported services after the death of a health care worker with symptoms of Ebola resulted in ongoing Ebola transmission in 2 Liberia counties. Ebola transmission was facilitated by attempts to avoid cremation of the deceased patient and delays in identifying and monitoring contacts.

  9. New Insights Toward Quantitative Relationships between Lignin Reactivity to Monomers and Their Structural Characteristics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Ruoshui; Zhang, Xiumei; Wang, Yi; Zhang, Xiao

    2018-04-27

    The heterogeneous and complex structural characteristics of lignin present a significant challenge to predict its processability (e.g. depolymerization, modifications etc) to valuable products. This study provides a detailed characterization and comparison of structural properties of seven representative biorefinery lignin samples derived from forest and agricultural residues, which were subjected to representative pretreatment methods. A range of wet chemistry and spectroscopy methods were applied to determine specific lignin structural characteristics such as functional groups, inter-unit linkages and peak molecular weight. In parallel, oxidative depolymerization of these lignin samples to either monomeric phenolic compounds or dicarboxylic acids were conducted, and the product yields were quantified. Based on these results (lignin structural characteristics and monomer yields), we demonstrated for the first time to apply multiple-variable linear estimations (MVLE) approach using R statistics to gain insight toward a quantitative correlation between lignin structural properties and their conversion reactivity toward oxidative depolymerization to monomers. © 2018 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  10. Structural insights into the anti-HIV activity of the Oscillatoria agardhii agglutinin homolog lectin family.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koharudin, Leonardus M I; Kollipara, Sireesha; Aiken, Christopher; Gronenborn, Angela M

    2012-09-28

    Oscillatoria agardhii agglutinin homolog (OAAH) proteins belong to a recently discovered lectin family. All members contain a sequence repeat of ~66 amino acids, with the number of repeats varying among different family members. Apart from data for the founding member OAA, neither three-dimensional structures, information about carbohydrate binding specificities, nor antiviral activity data have been available up to now for any other members of the OAAH family. To elucidate the structural basis for the antiviral mechanism of OAAHs, we determined the crystal structures of Pseudomonas fluorescens and Myxococcus xanthus lectins. Both proteins exhibit the same fold, resembling the founding family member, OAA, with minor differences in loop conformations. Carbohydrate binding studies by NMR and x-ray structures of glycan-lectin complexes reveal that the number of sugar binding sites corresponds to the number of sequence repeats in each protein. As for OAA, tight and specific binding to α3,α6-mannopentaose was observed. All the OAAH proteins described here exhibit potent anti-HIV activity at comparable levels. Altogether, our results provide structural details of the protein-carbohydrate interaction for this novel lectin family and insights into the molecular basis of their HIV inactivation properties.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2017-04-25

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

  12. Structure of the Aeropyrum pernix L7Ae multifunctional protein and insight into its extreme thermostability

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bhuiya, Mohammad Wadud; Suryadi, Jimmy; Zhou, Zholi; Brown, Bernard Andrew II

    2013-01-01

    The crystal structure of A. pernix L7Ae is reported, providing insight into the extreme thermostability of this protein. Archaeal ribosomal protein L7Ae is a multifunctional RNA-binding protein that directs post-transcriptional modification of archaeal RNAs. The L7Ae protein from Aeropyrum pernix (Ap L7Ae), a member of the Crenarchaea, was found to have an extremely high melting temperature (>383 K). The crystal structure of Ap L7Ae has been determined to a resolution of 1.56 Å. The structure of Ap L7Ae was compared with the structures of two homologs: hyperthermophilic Methanocaldococcus jannaschii L7Ae and the mesophilic counterpart mammalian 15.5 kD protein. The primary stabilizing feature in the Ap L7Ae protein appears to be the large number of ion pairs and extensive ion-pair network that connects secondary-structural elements. To our knowledge, Ap L7Ae is among the most thermostable single-domain monomeric proteins presently observed

  13. Crystal structure of the Epithiospecifier Protein, ESP from Arabidopsis thaliana provides insights into its product specificity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Weiwei; Wang, Wenhe; Liu, Zihe; Xie, Yongchao; Wang, Hao; Mu, Yajuan; Huang, Yao; Feng, Yue

    2016-09-16

    Specifier proteins are important components of the glucosinolate-myrosinase system, which mediate plant defense against herbivory and pathogen attacks. Upon tissue disruption, glucosinolates are hydrolyzed to instable aglucones by myrosinases, and then aglucones will rearrange to form defensive isothiocyanates. Specifier proteins can redirect this reaction to form other products, such as simple nitriles, epithionitriles and organic thiocyanates instead of isothiocyanates based on the side chain structure of glucosinolate and the type of the specifier proteins. Nevertheless, the molecular mechanism underlying the different product spectrums of various specifier proteins was not fully understood. Here in this study, we solved the crystal structure of the Epithiospecifier Protein, ESP from Arabidopsis thaliana (AtESP) at 2.3 Å resolution. Structural comparisons with the previously solved structure of thiocyanate forming protein, TFP from Thlaspi arvense (TaTFP) reveal that AtESP shows a dimerization pattern different from TaTFP. Moreover, AtESP harbors a slightly larger active site pocket than TaTFP and several residues around the active site are different between the two proteins, which might account for the different product spectrums of the two proteins. Together, our structural study provides important insights into the molecular mechanisms of specifier proteins and shed light on the basis of their different product spectrums. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. An Insight into the Pharmacophores of Phosphodiesterase-5 Inhibitors from Synthetic and Crystal Structural Studies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chen,G.; Wang, H.; Robinson, H.; Cai, J.; Wan, Y.; Ke, H.

    2008-01-01

    Selective inhibitors of cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE5) have been used as drugs for treatment of male erectile dysfunction and pulmonary hypertension. An insight into the pharmacophores of PDE5 inhibitors is essential for development of second generation of PDE5 inhibitors, but has not been completely illustrated. Here we report the synthesis of a new class of the sildenafil derivatives and a crystal structure of the PDE5 catalytic domain in complex with 5-(2-ethoxy-5-(sulfamoyl)-3-thienyl)-1-methyl-3-propyl-1, 6-dihydro-7H-pyrazolo[4, 3-d]pyrimidin-7-one (12). Inhibitor 12 induces conformational change of the H-loop (residues 660-683), which is different from any of the known PDE5 structures. The pyrazolopyrimidinone groups of 12 and sildenafil are well superimposed, but their sulfonamide groups show a positional difference of as much as 1.5 Angstroms . The structure-activity analysis suggests that a small hydrophobic pocket and the H-loop of PDE5 are important for the inhibitor affinity, in addition to two common elements for binding of almost all the PDE inhibitors: the stack against the phenylalanine and the hydrogen bond with the invariant glutamine. However, the PDE5-12 structure does not provide a full explanation to affinity changes of the inhibitors. Thus alternatives such as conformational change of the M-loop are open and further structural study is required.

  15. A network model for Ebola spreading.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rizzo, Alessandro; Pedalino, Biagio; Porfiri, Maurizio

    2016-04-07

    The availability of accurate models for the spreading of infectious diseases has opened a new era in management and containment of epidemics. Models are extensively used to plan for and execute vaccination campaigns, to evaluate the risk of international spreadings and the feasibility of travel bans, and to inform prophylaxis campaigns. Even when no specific therapeutical protocol is available, as for the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), models of epidemic spreading can provide useful insight to steer interventions in the field and to forecast the trend of the epidemic. Here, we propose a novel mathematical model to describe EVD spreading based on activity driven networks (ADNs). Our approach overcomes the simplifying assumption of homogeneous mixing, which is central to most of the mathematically tractable models of EVD spreading. In our ADN-based model, each individual is not bound to contact every other, and its network of contacts varies in time as a function of an activity potential. Our model contemplates the possibility of non-ideal and time-varying intervention policies, which are critical to accurately describe EVD spreading in afflicted countries. The model is calibrated from field data of the 2014 April-to-December spreading in Liberia. We use the model as a predictive tool, to emulate the dynamics of EVD in Liberia and offer a one-year projection, until December 2015. Our predictions agree with the current vision expressed by professionals in the field, who consider EVD in Liberia at its final stage. The model is also used to perform a what-if analysis to assess the efficacy of timely intervention policies. In particular, we show that an earlier application of the same intervention policy would have greatly reduced the number of EVD cases, the duration of the outbreak, and the infrastructures needed for the implementation of the intervention. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Neurocognition, insight and medication nonadherence in schizophrenia: a structural equation modeling approach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laurent Boyer

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to examine the complex relationships among neurocognition, insight and nonadherence in patients with schizophrenia. METHODS: DESIGN: Cross-sectional study. INCLUSION CRITERIA: Diagnosis of schizophrenia according to the DSM-IV-TR criteria. DATA COLLECTION: Neurocognition was assessed using a global approach that addressed memory, attention, and executive functions; insight was analyzed using the multidimensional 'Scale to assess Unawareness of Mental Disorder;' and nonadherence was measured using the multidimensional 'Medication Adherence Rating Scale.' ANALYSIS: Structural equation modeling (SEM was applied to examine the non-straightforward relationships among the following latent variables: neurocognition, 'awareness of positive symptoms' and 'negative symptoms', 'awareness of mental disorder' and nonadherence. RESULTS: One hundred and sixty-nine patients were enrolled. The final testing model showed good fit, with normed χ(2 = 1.67, RMSEA = 0.063, CFI = 0.94, and SRMR = 0.092. The SEM revealed significant associations between (1 neurocognition and 'awareness of symptoms,' (2 'awareness of symptoms' and 'awareness of mental disorder' and (3 'awareness of mental disorder' and nonadherence, mainly in the 'attitude toward taking medication' dimension. In contrast, there were no significant links between neurocognition and nonadherence, neurocognition and 'awareness of mental disorder,' and 'awareness of symptoms' and nonadherence. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings support the hypothesis that neurocognition influences 'awareness of symptoms,' which must be integrated into a higher level of insight (i.e., the 'awareness of mental disorder' to have an impact on nonadherence. These findings have important implications for the development of effective strategies to enhance medication adherence.

  17. Structural insights into viral determinants of nematode mediated Grapevine fanleaf virus transmission.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pascale Schellenberger

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Many animal and plant viruses rely on vectors for their transmission from host to host. Grapevine fanleaf virus (GFLV, a picorna-like virus from plants, is transmitted specifically by the ectoparasitic nematode Xiphinema index. The icosahedral capsid of GFLV, which consists of 60 identical coat protein subunits (CP, carries the determinants of this specificity. Here, we provide novel insight into GFLV transmission by nematodes through a comparative structural and functional analysis of two GFLV variants. We isolated a mutant GFLV strain (GFLV-TD poorly transmissible by nematodes, and showed that the transmission defect is due to a glycine to aspartate mutation at position 297 (Gly297Asp in the CP. We next determined the crystal structures of the wild-type GFLV strain F13 at 3.0 Å and of GFLV-TD at 2.7 Å resolution. The Gly297Asp mutation mapped to an exposed loop at the outer surface of the capsid and did not affect the conformation of the assembled capsid, nor of individual CP molecules. The loop is part of a positively charged pocket that includes a previously identified determinant of transmission. We propose that this pocket is a ligand-binding site with essential function in GFLV transmission by X. index. Our data suggest that perturbation of the electrostatic landscape of this pocket affects the interaction of the virion with specific receptors of the nematode's feeding apparatus, and thereby severely diminishes its transmission efficiency. These data provide a first structural insight into the interactions between a plant virus and a nematode vector.

  18. Interferon-γ Inhibits Ebola Virus Infection.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bethany A Rhein

    Full Text Available Ebola virus outbreaks, such as the 2014 Makona epidemic in West Africa, are episodic and deadly. Filovirus antivirals are currently not clinically available. Our findings suggest interferon gamma, an FDA-approved drug, may serve as a novel and effective prophylactic or treatment option. Using mouse-adapted Ebola virus, we found that murine interferon gamma administered 24 hours before or after infection robustly protects lethally-challenged mice and reduces morbidity and serum viral titers. Furthermore, we demonstrated that interferon gamma profoundly inhibits Ebola virus infection of macrophages, an early cellular target of infection. As early as six hours following in vitro infection, Ebola virus RNA levels in interferon gamma-treated macrophages were lower than in infected, untreated cells. Addition of the protein synthesis inhibitor, cycloheximide, to interferon gamma-treated macrophages did not further reduce viral RNA levels, suggesting that interferon gamma blocks life cycle events that require protein synthesis such as virus replication. Microarray studies with interferon gamma-treated human macrophages identified more than 160 interferon-stimulated genes. Ectopic expression of a select group of these genes inhibited Ebola virus infection. These studies provide new potential avenues for antiviral targeting as these genes that have not previously appreciated to inhibit negative strand RNA viruses and specifically Ebola virus infection. As treatment of interferon gamma robustly protects mice from lethal Ebola virus infection, we propose that interferon gamma should be further evaluated for its efficacy as a prophylactic and/or therapeutic strategy against filoviruses. Use of this FDA-approved drug could rapidly be deployed during future outbreaks.

  19. Ebola Surveillance - Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNamara, Lucy A; Schafer, Ilana J; Nolen, Leisha D; Gorina, Yelena; Redd, John T; Lo, Terrence; Ervin, Elizabeth; Henao, Olga; Dahl, Benjamin A; Morgan, Oliver; Hersey, Sara; Knust, Barbara

    2016-07-08

    Developing a surveillance system during a public health emergency is always challenging but is especially so in countries with limited public health infrastructure. Surveillance for Ebola virus disease (Ebola) in the West African countries heavily affected by Ebola (Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone) faced numerous impediments, including insufficient numbers of trained staff, community reticence to report cases and contacts, limited information technology resources, limited telephone and Internet service, and overwhelming numbers of infected persons. Through the work of CDC and numerous partners, including the countries' ministries of health, the World Health Organization, and other government and nongovernment organizations, functional Ebola surveillance was established and maintained in these countries. CDC staff were heavily involved in implementing case-based surveillance systems, sustaining case surveillance and contact tracing, and interpreting surveillance data. In addition to helping the ministries of health and other partners understand and manage the epidemic, CDC's activities strengthened epidemiologic and data management capacity to improve routine surveillance in the countries affected, even after the Ebola epidemic ended, and enhanced local capacity to respond quickly to future public health emergencies. However, the many obstacles overcome during development of these Ebola surveillance systems highlight the need to have strong public health, surveillance, and information technology infrastructure in place before a public health emergency occurs. Intense, long-term focus on strengthening public health surveillance systems in developing countries, as described in the Global Health Security Agenda, is needed.The activities summarized in this report would not have been possible without collaboration with many U.S and international partners (http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/outbreaks/2014-west-africa/partners.html).

  20. Interferon-γ Inhibits Ebola Virus Infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rhein, Bethany A; Powers, Linda S; Rogers, Kai; Anantpadma, Manu; Singh, Brajesh K; Sakurai, Yasuteru; Bair, Thomas; Miller-Hunt, Catherine; Sinn, Patrick; Davey, Robert A; Monick, Martha M; Maury, Wendy

    2015-01-01

    Ebola virus outbreaks, such as the 2014 Makona epidemic in West Africa, are episodic and deadly. Filovirus antivirals are currently not clinically available. Our findings suggest interferon gamma, an FDA-approved drug, may serve as a novel and effective prophylactic or treatment option. Using mouse-adapted Ebola virus, we found that murine interferon gamma administered 24 hours before or after infection robustly protects lethally-challenged mice and reduces morbidity and serum viral titers. Furthermore, we demonstrated that interferon gamma profoundly inhibits Ebola virus infection of macrophages, an early cellular target of infection. As early as six hours following in vitro infection, Ebola virus RNA levels in interferon gamma-treated macrophages were lower than in infected, untreated cells. Addition of the protein synthesis inhibitor, cycloheximide, to interferon gamma-treated macrophages did not further reduce viral RNA levels, suggesting that interferon gamma blocks life cycle events that require protein synthesis such as virus replication. Microarray studies with interferon gamma-treated human macrophages identified more than 160 interferon-stimulated genes. Ectopic expression of a select group of these genes inhibited Ebola virus infection. These studies provide new potential avenues for antiviral targeting as these genes that have not previously appreciated to inhibit negative strand RNA viruses and specifically Ebola virus infection. As treatment of interferon gamma robustly protects mice from lethal Ebola virus infection, we propose that interferon gamma should be further evaluated for its efficacy as a prophylactic and/or therapeutic strategy against filoviruses. Use of this FDA-approved drug could rapidly be deployed during future outbreaks.

  1. Enhanced dewaterability of sludge during anaerobic digestion with thermal hydrolysis pretreatment: New insights through structure evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Jingsi; Li, Ning; Dai, Xiaohu; Tao, Wenquan; Jenkinson, Ian R; Li, Zhuo

    2017-12-19

    Comprehensive insights into the sludge digestate dewaterability were gained through porous network structure of sludge. We measured the evolution of digestate dewaterability, represented by the solid content of centrifugally dewatered cake, in high-solids sequencing batch digesters with and without thermal hydrolysis pretreatment (THP). The results show that the dewaterability of the sludge after digestion was improved by 3.5% (±0.5%) for unpretreated sludge and 5.1% (±0.4%) for thermally hydrolyzed sludge. Compared to the unpretreated sludge digestate, thermal hydrolysis pretreatment eventually resulted in an improvement of dewaterability by 4.6% (±0.5%). Smaller particle size and larger surface area of sludge were induced by thermal hydrolysis and anaerobic digestion treatments. The structure strength and compactness of sludge, represented by elastic modulus and fractal dimension respectively, decreased with increase of digestion time. The porous network structure was broken up by thermal hydrolysis pretreatment and was further weakened during anaerobic digestion, which correspondingly improved the dewaterability of digestates. The logarithm of elastic modulus increased linearly with fractal dimension regardless of the pretreatment. Both fractal dimension and elastic modulus showed linear relationship with dewaterability. The rheological characterization combined with the analysis of fractal dimension of sewage sludge porous network structure was found applicable in quantitative evaluation of sludge dewaterability, which depended positively on both thermal hydrolysis and anaerobic digestion. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Community-centered responses to Ebola in urban Liberia: the view from below.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abramowitz, Sharon Alane; McLean, Kristen E; McKune, Sarah Lindley; Bardosh, Kevin Louis; Fallah, Mosoka; Monger, Josephine; Tehoungue, Kodjo; Omidian, Patricia A

    2015-04-01

    The West African Ebola epidemic has demonstrated that the existing range of medical and epidemiological responses to emerging disease outbreaks is insufficient, especially in post-conflict contexts with exceedingly poor healthcare infrastructures. In this context, community-based responses have proven vital for containing Ebola virus disease (EVD) and shifting the epidemic curve. Despite a surge in interest in local innovations that effectively contained the epidemic, the mechanisms for community-based response remain unclear. This study provides baseline information on community-based epidemic control priorities and identifies innovative local strategies for containing EVD in Liberia. This study was conducted in September 2014 in 15 communities in Monrovia and Montserrado County, Liberia--one of the epicenters of the Ebola outbreak. Findings from 15 focus group discussions with 386 community leaders identified strategies being undertaken and recommendations for what a community-based response to Ebola should look like under then-existing conditions. Data were collected on the following topics: prevention, surveillance, care-giving, community-based treatment and support, networks and hotlines, response teams, Ebola treatment units (ETUs) and hospitals, the management of corpses, quarantine and isolation, orphans, memorialization, and the need for community-based training and education. Findings have been presented as community-based strategies and recommendations for (1) prevention, (2) treatment and response, and (3) community sequelae and recovery. Several models for community-based management of the current Ebola outbreak were proposed. Additional findings indicate positive attitudes towards early Ebola survivors, and the need for community-based psychosocial support. Local communities' strategies and recommendations give insight into how urban Liberian communities contained the EVD outbreak while navigating the systemic failures of the initial state and

  3. Community-centered responses to Ebola in urban Liberia: the view from below.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sharon Alane Abramowitz

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available The West African Ebola epidemic has demonstrated that the existing range of medical and epidemiological responses to emerging disease outbreaks is insufficient, especially in post-conflict contexts with exceedingly poor healthcare infrastructures. In this context, community-based responses have proven vital for containing Ebola virus disease (EVD and shifting the epidemic curve. Despite a surge in interest in local innovations that effectively contained the epidemic, the mechanisms for community-based response remain unclear. This study provides baseline information on community-based epidemic control priorities and identifies innovative local strategies for containing EVD in Liberia.This study was conducted in September 2014 in 15 communities in Monrovia and Montserrado County, Liberia--one of the epicenters of the Ebola outbreak. Findings from 15 focus group discussions with 386 community leaders identified strategies being undertaken and recommendations for what a community-based response to Ebola should look like under then-existing conditions. Data were collected on the following topics: prevention, surveillance, care-giving, community-based treatment and support, networks and hotlines, response teams, Ebola treatment units (ETUs and hospitals, the management of corpses, quarantine and isolation, orphans, memorialization, and the need for community-based training and education. Findings have been presented as community-based strategies and recommendations for (1 prevention, (2 treatment and response, and (3 community sequelae and recovery. Several models for community-based management of the current Ebola outbreak were proposed. Additional findings indicate positive attitudes towards early Ebola survivors, and the need for community-based psychosocial support.Local communities' strategies and recommendations give insight into how urban Liberian communities contained the EVD outbreak while navigating the systemic failures of the initial

  4. Control of Ebola hemorrhagic fever: vaccine development and our Ebola project in Sierra Leone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watanabe, Tokiko; Kawaoka, Yoshihiro

    2016-01-01

    Since December 2013, West Africa has experienced the worst Ebola virus outbreak in recorded history. Of the 28,639 cases reported to the World Health Organization as of March 2016, nearly half (14,124) occurred in Sierra Leone. With a case fatality rate of approximately 40%, this outbreak has claimed the lives of 11,316 individuals. No FDA-approved vaccines or drugs are available to prevent or treat Ebola virus infection. Experimental vaccines and therapies are being developed; however, their safety and efficacy are still being evaluated. Therefore, there is an urgent need to develop control measures to prevent or limit future Ebola virus outbreaks.Previously, we developed a replication-defective Ebola virus that lacks the coding region for the essential viral transcription activator VP30 (Ebola ΔVP30 virus). Here, we evaluated the vaccine efficacy of Ebola ΔVP30 virus in a non-human primate model and describe our collaborative Ebola project in Sierra Leone.

  5. Tandem Mass Spectrometry and Ion Mobility Reveals Structural Insight into Eicosanoid Product Ion Formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Giovanni, James P; Barkley, Robert M; Jones, David N M; Hankin, Joseph A; Murphy, Robert C

    2018-04-23

    Ion mobility measurements of product ions were used to characterize the collisional cross section (CCS) of various complex lipid [M-H] - ions using traveling wave ion mobility mass spectrometry (TWIMS). TWIMS analysis of various product ions derived after collisional activation of mono- and dihydroxy arachidonate metabolites was found to be more complex than the analysis of intact molecular ions and provided some insight into molecular mechanisms involved in product ion formation. The CCS observed for the molecular ion [M-H] - and certain product ions were consistent with a folded ion structure, the latter predicted by the proposed mechanisms of product ion formation. Unexpectedly, product ions from [M-H-H 2 O-CO 2 ] - and [M-H-H 2 O] - displayed complex ion mobility profiles suggesting multiple mechanisms of ion formation. The [M-H-H 2 O] - ion from LTB 4 was studied in more detail using both nitrogen and helium as the drift gas in the ion mobility cell. One population of [M-H-H 2 O] - product ions from LTB 4 was consistent with formation of covalent ring structures, while the ions displaying a higher CCS were consistent with a more open-chain structure. Using molecular dynamics and theoretical CCS calculations, energy minimized structures of those product ions with the open-chain structures were found to have a higher CCS than a folded molecular ion structure. The measurement of product ion mobility can be an additional and unique signature of eicosanoids measured by LC-MS/MS techniques. Graphical Abstract ᅟ.

  6. Tandem Mass Spectrometry and Ion Mobility Reveals Structural Insight into Eicosanoid Product Ion Formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Giovanni, James P.; Barkley, Robert M.; Jones, David N. M.; Hankin, Joseph A.; Murphy, Robert C.

    2018-04-01

    Ion mobility measurements of product ions were used to characterize the collisional cross section (CCS) of various complex lipid [M-H]- ions using traveling wave ion mobility mass spectrometry (TWIMS). TWIMS analysis of various product ions derived after collisional activation of mono- and dihydroxy arachidonate metabolites was found to be more complex than the analysis of intact molecular ions and provided some insight into molecular mechanisms involved in product ion formation. The CCS observed for the molecular ion [M-H]- and certain product ions were consistent with a folded ion structure, the latter predicted by the proposed mechanisms of product ion formation. Unexpectedly, product ions from [M-H-H2O-CO2]- and [M-H-H2O]- displayed complex ion mobility profiles suggesting multiple mechanisms of ion formation. The [M-H-H2O]- ion from LTB4 was studied in more detail using both nitrogen and helium as the drift gas in the ion mobility cell. One population of [M-H-H2O]- product ions from LTB4 was consistent with formation of covalent ring structures, while the ions displaying a higher CCS were consistent with a more open-chain structure. Using molecular dynamics and theoretical CCS calculations, energy minimized structures of those product ions with the open-chain structures were found to have a higher CCS than a folded molecular ion structure. The measurement of product ion mobility can be an additional and unique signature of eicosanoids measured by LC-MS/MS techniques. [Figure not available: see fulltext.

  7. Insights on synergy of materials and structures in biomimetic platelet-matrix composites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakhavand, Navid; Shahsavari, Rouzbeh

    2018-01-01

    Hybrid materials such as biomimetic platelet-matrix composites are in high demand to confer low weight and multifunctional mechanical properties. This letter reports interfacial-bond regulated assembly of polymers on cement-an archetype model with significant infrastructure applications. We demonstrate a series of 20+ molecular dynamics studies on decoding and optimizing the complex interfacial interactions including the role and types of various heterogeneous, competing interfacial bonds that are key to adhesion and interfacial strength. Our results show an existence of an optimum overlap length scale (˜15 nm) between polymers and cement crystals, exhibiting the best balance of strength, toughness, stiffness, and ductility for the composite. This finding, combined with the fundamental insights into the nature of interfacial bonds, provides key hypotheses for selection and processing of constituents to deliberate the best synergy in the structure and materials of platelet-matrix composites.

  8. Characterizing alpha helical properties of Ebola viral proteins as potential targets for inhibition of alpha-helix mediated protein-protein interactions [v3; ref status: indexed, http://f1000r.es/50u

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandeep Chakraborty

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Ebola, considered till recently as a rare and endemic disease, has dramatically transformed into a potentially global humanitarian crisis. The genome of Ebola, a member of the Filoviridae family, encodes seven proteins. Based on the recently implemented software (PAGAL for analyzing the hydrophobicity and amphipathicity properties of alpha helices (AH in proteins, we characterize the helices in the Ebola proteome. We demonstrate that AHs with characteristically unique features are involved in critical interactions with the host proteins. For example, the Ebola virus membrane fusion subunit, GP2, from the envelope glycoprotein ectodomain has an AH with a large hydrophobic moment. The neutralizing antibody (KZ52 derived from a human survivor of the 1995 Kikwit outbreak recognizes a protein epitope on this AH, emphasizing the critical nature of this secondary structure in the virulence of the Ebola virus. Our method ensures a comprehensive list of such `hotspots'. These helices probably are or can be the target of molecules designed to inhibit AH mediated protein-protein interactions. Further, by comparing the AHs in proteins of the related Marburg viruses, we are able to elicit subtle changes in the proteins that might render them ineffective to previously successful drugs. Such differences are difficult to identify by a simple sequence or structural alignment. Thus, analyzing AHs in the small Ebola proteome can aid rational design aimed at countering the `largest Ebola epidemic, affecting multiple countries in West Africa' (http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/outbreaks/2014-west-africa/index.html.

  9. Evasion of interferon responses by Ebola and Marburg viruses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basler, Christopher F; Amarasinghe, Gaya K

    2009-09-01

    The filoviruses, Ebola virus (EBOV) and Marburg virus (MARV), cause frequently lethal viral hemorrhagic fever. These infections induce potent cytokine production, yet these host responses fail to prevent systemic virus replication. Consistent with this, filoviruses have been found to encode proteins VP35 and VP24 that block host interferon (IFN)-alpha/beta production and inhibit signaling downstream of the IFN-alpha/beta and the IFN-gamma receptors, respectively. VP35, which is a component of the viral nucleocapsid complex and plays an essential role in viral RNA synthesis, acts as a pseudosubstrate for the cellular kinases IKK-epsilon and TBK-1, which phosphorylate and activate interferon regulatory factor 3 (IRF-3) and interferon regulatory factor 7 (IRF-7). VP35 also promotes SUMOylation of IRF-7, repressing IFN gene transcription. In addition, VP35 is a dsRNA-binding protein, and mutations that disrupt dsRNA binding impair VP35 IFN-antagonist activity while leaving its RNA replication functions intact. The phenotypes of recombinant EBOV bearing mutant VP35s unable to inhibit IFN-alpha/beta demonstrate that VP35 IFN-antagonist activity is critical for full virulence of these lethal pathogens. The structure of the VP35 dsRNA-binding domain, which has recently become available, is expected to provide insight into how VP35 IFN-antagonist and dsRNA-binding functions are related. The EBOV VP24 protein inhibits IFN signaling through an interaction with select host cell karyopherin-alpha proteins, preventing the nuclear import of otherwise activated STAT1. It remains to be determined to what extent VP24 may also modulate the nuclear import of other host cell factors and to what extent this may influence the outcome of infection. Notably, the Marburg virus VP24 protein does not detectably block STAT1 nuclear import, and, unlike EBOV, MARV infection inhibits STAT1 and STAT2 phosphorylation. Thus, despite their similarities, there are fundamental differences by which

  10. Knowledge and attitude towards Ebola and Marburg virus diseases in Uganda using quantitative and participatory epidemiology techniques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nyakarahuka, Luke; Skjerve, Eystein; Nabadda, Daisy; Sitali, Doreen Chilolo; Mumba, Chisoni; Mwiine, Frank N; Lutwama, Julius J; Balinandi, Stephen; Shoemaker, Trevor; Kankya, Clovice

    2017-09-01

    Uganda has reported five (5) Ebola virus disease outbreaks and three (3) Marburg virus disease outbreaks from 2000 to 2016. Peoples' knowledge and attitude towards Ebola and Marburg virus disease impact on control and prevention measures especially during outbreaks. We describe knowledge and attitude towards Ebola and Marburg virus outbreaks in two affected communities in Uganda to inform future outbreak responses and help in the design of health education and communication messages. The study was a community survey done in Luweero, Ibanda and Kamwenge districts that have experienced outbreaks of Ebola and Marburg virus diseases. Quantitative data were collected using a structured questionnaire and triangulated with qualitative participatory epidemiology techniques to gain a communities' knowledge and attitude towards Ebola and Marburg virus disease. Out of 740 respondents, 48.5% (359/740) were categorized as being knowledgeable about Ebola and Marburg virus diseases, whereas 60.5% (448/740) were having a positive attitude towards control and prevention of Ebola and Marburg virus diseases. The mean knowledge and attitude percentage scores were 54.3 (SD = 23.5, 95%CI = 52.6-56.0) and 69.9 (SD = 16.9, 95%CI = 68.9-71.1) respectively. People educated beyond primary school were more likely to be knowledgeable about Ebola and Marburg virus disease than those who did not attain any formal education (OR = 3.6, 95%CI = 2.1-6.1). Qualitative data revealed that communities describe Ebola and Marburg virus diseases as very severe diseases with no cure and they believe the diseases spread so fast. Respondents reported fear and stigma suffered by survivors, their families and the broader community due to these diseases. Communities in Uganda affected by filovirus outbreaks have moderate knowledge about these diseases and have a positive attitude towards practices to prevent and control Ebola and Marburg viral diseases. The public health sector should enhance this community

  11. Structural insights into human Kif7, a kinesin involved in Hedgehog signalling

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Klejnot, Marta, E-mail: m.klejnot@beatson.gla.ac.uk; Kozielski, Frank, E-mail: m.klejnot@beatson.gla.ac.uk [The Beatson Institute for Cancer Research, Garscube Estate, Switchback Road, Glasgow G61 1BD, Scotland (United Kingdom)

    2012-02-01

    The human Kif7 motor domain structure provides insights into a kinesin of medical significance. Kif7, a member of the kinesin 4 superfamily, is implicated in a variety of diseases including Joubert, hydrolethalus and acrocallosal syndromes. It is also involved in primary cilium formation and the Hedgehog signalling pathway and may play a role in cancer. Its activity is crucial for embryonic development. Kif7 and Kif27, a closely related kinesin in the same subfamily, are orthologues of the Drosophila melano@@gaster kinesin-like protein Costal-2 (Cos2). In vertebrates, they work together to fulfil the role of the single Cos2 gene in Drosophila. Here, the high-resolution structure of the human Kif7 motor domain is reported and is compared with that of conventional kinesin, the founding member of the kinesin superfamily. These data are a first step towards structural characterization of a kinesin-4 family member and of this interesting molecular motor of medical significance.

  12. Revealing New Structural Insights from Surfactant Micelles through DLS, Microrheology and Raman Spectroscopy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samiul Amin

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The correlation between molecular changes and microstructural evolution of rheological properties has been demonstrated for the first time in a mixed anionic/zwitterionic surfactant-based wormlike micellar system. Utilizing a novel combination of DLS-microrheology and Raman Spectroscopy, the effect of electrostatic screening on these properties of anionic (SLES and zwitterionic (CapB surfactant mixtures was studied by modulating the NaCl concentration. As Raman Spectroscopy delivers information about the molecular structure and DLS-microrheology characterizes viscoelastic properties, the combination of data delivered allows for a deeper understanding of the molecular changes underlying the viscoelastic ones. The high frequency viscoelastic response obtained through DLS-microrheology has shown the persistence of the Maxwell fluid response for low viscosity solutions at high NaCl concentrations. The intensity of the Raman band at 170 cm−1 exhibits very strong correlation with the viscosity variation. As this Raman band is assigned to hydrogen bonding, its variation with NaCl concentration additionally indicates differences in water structuring due to potential microstructural differences at low and high NaCl concentrations. The microstructural differences at low and high NaCl concentrations are further corroborated by persistence of a slow mode at the higher NaCl concentrations as seen through DLS measurements. The study illustrates the utility of the combined DLS, DLS-optical microrheology and Raman Spectroscopy in providing new molecular structural insights into the self-assembly process in complex fluids.

  13. The narrative structure as a way to gain insight into peoples' experiences: one methodological approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rejnö, Åsa; Berg, Linda; Danielson, Ella

    2014-09-01

    The narrative method is used in healthcare research, mostly in data collection but also in the analysis. Narrative approaches draw attention to how people tell about and create meaning of experiences. The aim of the article was to examine the narrative structure, the elements in the structure and their function and how these can be used in research to gain insights into experiences. Examples are taken from a material of narratives from a study where next of kin were asked to narrate their experiences of sudden and unexpected death from stroke. The narratives had a clear beginning, midpoint and ending. In the beginning, orientation of the narrated events was given. The narrated events were told to have a turning point constituted of complicating actions that lead to a resolution that solved the narrated event. The narratives were built up by multiple recaps into the narrated events and also consisted of asides - side narratives and flashbacks - events back in time. Use of a narrative structure can contribute with valuable information that might be missed with other analysis. The analysis can be used on its own, as a complement to other narrative analysis or even as a complement to other qualitative analysis. © 2013 Nordic College of Caring Science.

  14. Insights into Caco-2 cell culture structure using coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) microscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saarinen, Jukka; Sözeri, Erkan; Fraser-Miller, Sara J; Peltonen, Leena; Santos, Hélder A; Isomäki, Antti; Strachan, Clare J

    2017-05-15

    We have used coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) microscopy as a novel and rapid, label-free and non-destructive imaging method to gain structural insights into live intestinal epithelial cell cultures used for drug permeability testing. Specifically we have imaged live Caco-2 cells in (bio)pharmaceutically relevant conditions grown on membrane inserts. Imaging conditions were optimized, including evaluation of suitable membrane materials and media solutions, as well as tolerable laser powers for non-destructive imaging of the live cells. Lipid structures, in particular lipid droplets, were imaged within the cells on the insert membranes. The size of the individual lipid droplets increased substantially over the 21-day culturing period up to approximately 10% of the volume of the cross section of individual cells. Variation in lipid content has important implications for intestinal drug permeation testing during drug development but has received limited attention to date due to a lack of suitable analytical techniques. CARS microscopy was shown to be well suited for such analysis with the potential for in situ imaging of the same individual cell-cultures that are used for permeation studies. Overall, the method may be used to provide important information about cell monolayer structure to better understand drug permeation results. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Functional Diversity of Haloacid Dehalogenase Superfamily Phosphatases from Saccharomyces cerevisiae: BIOCHEMICAL, STRUCTURAL, AND EVOLUTIONARY INSIGHTS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuznetsova, Ekaterina; Nocek, Boguslaw; Brown, Greg; Makarova, Kira S; Flick, Robert; Wolf, Yuri I; Khusnutdinova, Anna; Evdokimova, Elena; Jin, Ke; Tan, Kemin; Hanson, Andrew D; Hasnain, Ghulam; Zallot, Rémi; de Crécy-Lagard, Valérie; Babu, Mohan; Savchenko, Alexei; Joachimiak, Andrzej; Edwards, Aled M; Koonin, Eugene V; Yakunin, Alexander F

    2015-07-24

    The haloacid dehalogenase (HAD)-like enzymes comprise a large superfamily of phosphohydrolases present in all organisms. The Saccharomyces cerevisiae genome encodes at least 19 soluble HADs, including 10 uncharacterized proteins. Here, we biochemically characterized 13 yeast phosphatases from the HAD superfamily, which includes both specific and promiscuous enzymes active against various phosphorylated metabolites and peptides with several HADs implicated in detoxification of phosphorylated compounds and pseudouridine. The crystal structures of four yeast HADs provided insight into their active sites, whereas the structure of the YKR070W dimer in complex with substrate revealed a composite substrate-binding site. Although the S. cerevisiae and Escherichia coli HADs share low sequence similarities, the comparison of their substrate profiles revealed seven phosphatases with common preferred substrates. The cluster of secondary substrates supporting significant activity of both S. cerevisiae and E. coli HADs includes 28 common metabolites that appear to represent the pool of potential activities for the evolution of novel HAD phosphatases. Evolution of novel substrate specificities of HAD phosphatases shows no strict correlation with sequence divergence. Thus, evolution of the HAD superfamily combines the conservation of the overall substrate pool and the substrate profiles of some enzymes with remarkable biochemical and structural flexibility of other superfamily members. © 2015 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  16. Structural Insights into DD-Fold Assembly and Caspase-9 Activation by the Apaf-1 Apoptosome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, Tsung-Wei; Yang, Chao-Yu; Kao, Wen-Pin; Kuo, Bai-Jiun; Lin, Shan-Meng; Lin, Jung-Yaw; Lo, Yu-Chih; Lin, Su-Chang

    2017-03-07

    Death domain (DD)-fold assemblies play a crucial role in regulating the signaling to cell survival or death. Here we report the crystal structure of the caspase recruitment domain (CARD)-CARD disk of the human apoptosome. The structure surprisingly reveals that three 1:1 Apaf-1:procaspase-9 CARD protomers form a novel helical DD-fold assembly on the heptameric wheel-like platform of the apoptosome. The small-angle X-ray scattering and multi-angle light scattering data also support that three protomers could form an oligomeric complex similar to the crystal structure. Interestingly, the quasi-equivalent environment of CARDs could generate different quaternary CARD assemblies. We also found that the type II interaction is conserved in all DD-fold complexes, whereas the type I interaction is found only in the helical DD-fold assemblies. This study provides crucial insights into the caspase activation mechanism, which is tightly controlled by a sophisticated and highly evolved CARD assembly on the apoptosome, and also enables better understanding of the intricate DD-fold assembly. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Structural insights into the binding mechanism of IDO1 with hydroxylamidine based inhibitor INCB14943

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wu, You; Xu, Tingting; Liu, Jinsong; Ding, Ke; Xu, Jinxin

    2017-01-01

    IDO1 (indoleamine 2, 3-dioxygenase 1), a well characterized immunosuppressive enzyme, has attracted growing attention as a potential target for cancer immunotherapy. Hydroxylamidine compounds INCB024360 and INCB14943 (INCB024360 analogue) are highly effective IDO1 inhibitors. INCB024360 is undergoing clinical trials for treatment of various types of human cancer. Here, we determined the co-crystal structure of IDO1 and INCB14943, and elucidate the detailed binding mode. INCB14943 binds to heme iron in IDO1 protein through the oxime nitrogen. Further analysis also reveals that a halogen bonding interaction between the chlorine atom (3-Cl) of INCB14943 and the sulphur atom of C129 significantly improves the inhibition activity against IDO1. Comparing with the other reported inhibitors, the oxime nitrogen and halogen bond interaction are identified as the unique features of INCB14943 among the IDO1 inhibitors. Thus, our study provides novel insights into the interaction between a small molecule inhibitor INCB14943 and IDO1 protein. The structural information will facilitate future IDO1 inhibitor design. - Highlights: • This is the first co-crystal structure of IDO1 with hydroxylamidine compound. • INCB14943 binds to heme iron through oxime nitrogen instead of imidazole nitrogen. • Halogen bond interaction with C129 is another unique feature of INCB14943.

  18. Possible sexual transmission of Ebola virus - Liberia, 2015.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christie, Athalia; Davies-Wayne, Gloria J; Cordier-Lassalle, Thierry; Cordier-Lasalle, Thierry; Blackley, David J; Laney, A Scott; Williams, Desmond E; Shinde, Shivam A; Badio, Moses; Lo, Terrence; Mate, Suzanne E; Ladner, Jason T; Wiley, Michael R; Kugelman, Jeffrey R; Palacios, Gustavo; Holbrook, Michael R; Janosko, Krisztina B; de Wit, Emmie; van Doremalen, Neeltje; Munster, Vincent J; Pettitt, James; Schoepp, Randal J; Verhenne, Leen; Evlampidou, Iro; Kollie, Karsor K; Sieh, Sonpon B; Gasasira, Alex; Bolay, Fatorma; Kateh, Francis N; Nyenswah, Tolbert G; De Cock, Kevin M

    2015-05-08

    On March 20, 2015, 30 days after the most recent confirmed Ebola Virus Disease (Ebola) patient in Liberia was isolated, Ebola was laboratory confirmed in a woman in Monrovia. The investigation identified only one epidemiologic link to Ebola: unprotected vaginal intercourse with a survivor. Published reports from previous outbreaks have demonstrated Ebola survivors can continue to harbor virus in immunologically privileged sites for a period of time after convalescence. Ebola virus has been isolated from semen as long as 82 days after symptom onset and viral RNA has been detected in semen up to 101 days after symptom onset. One instance of possible sexual transmission of Ebola has been reported, although the accompanying evidence was inconclusive. In addition, possible sexual transmission of Marburg virus, a filovirus related to Ebola, was documented in 1968. This report describes the investigation by the Government of Liberia and international response partners of the source of Liberia's latest Ebola case and discusses the public health implications of possible sexual transmission of Ebola virus. Based on information gathered in this investigation, CDC now recommends that contact with semen from male Ebola survivors be avoided until more information regarding the duration and infectiousness of viral shedding in body fluids is known. If male survivors have sex (oral, vaginal, or anal), a condom should be used correctly and consistently every time.

  19. Elimination of Ebola Virus Transmission in Liberia - September 3, 2015.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bawo, Luke; Fallah, Mosoka; Kateh, Francis; Nagbe, Thomas; Clement, Peter; Gasasira, Alex; Mahmoud, Nuha; Musa, Emmanuel; Lo, Terrence Q; Pillai, Satish K; Seeman, Sara; Sunshine, Brittany J; Weidle, Paul J; Nyensweh, Tolbert

    2015-09-11

    Following 42 days since the last Ebola virus disease (Ebola) patient was discharged from a Liberian Ebola treatment unit (ETU), September 3, 2015, marks the second time in a 4-month period that the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared Liberia free of Ebola virus transmission (1). The first confirmed Ebola cases in West Africa were identified in southeastern Guinea on March 23, 2014, and within 1 week, cases were identified and confirmed in Liberia (1). Since then, Liberia has reported 5,036 confirmed and probable Ebola cases and 4,808 Ebola-related deaths. The epidemic in Liberia peaked in late summer and early fall of 2014, when more than 200 confirmed and probable cases were reported each week .

  20. Ebola in West Africa: an international medical emergency

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yasir Waheed

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available West Africa is facing the worst Ebola outbreak with 3 685 cases and 1 841 deaths reported from Liberia, Guinea, Senegal, Sierra Leona and Nigeria. There is no vaccine or direct treatment available to treat the patients with Ebola. World Health Organization (WHO has approved the use of experimental drugs for Ebola patients. Health workers are at high risk. The governments and WHO are responsible to provide necessary protective equipment to health workers dealing with Ebola. There is a strong need to identify the invisible chains of virus transmission. World Bank pledges $200 million to fight against Ebola, while WHO said $430 million are needed to control the Ebola outbreak. Ebola can be contained by early detection and isolation of case, contact tracing, monitoring of contacts and adaptation of rigorous procedures for virus control.

  1. Structure and stability insights into tumour suppressor p53 evolutionary related proteins.

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    Bruno Pagano

    Full Text Available The p53 family of genes and their protein products, namely, p53, p63 and p73, have over one billion years of evolutionary history. Advances in computational biology and genomics are enabling studies of the complexities of the molecular evolution of p53 protein family to decipher the underpinnings of key biological conditions spanning from cancer through to various metabolic and developmental disorders and facilitate the design of personalised medicines. However, a complete understanding of the inherent nature of the thermodynamic and structural stability of the p53 protein family is still lacking. This is due, to a degree, to the lack of comprehensive structural information for a large number of homologous proteins and to an incomplete knowledge of the intrinsic factors responsible for their stability and how these might influence function. Here we investigate the thermal stability, secondary structure and folding properties of the DNA-binding domains (DBDs of a range of proteins from the p53 family using biophysical methods. While the N- and the C-terminal domains of the p53 family show sequence diversity and are normally targets for post-translational modifications and alternative splicing, the central DBD is highly conserved. Together with data obtained from Molecular Dynamics simulations in solution and with structure based homology modelling, our results provide further insights into the molecular properties of evolutionary related p53 proteins. We identify some marked structural differences within the p53 family, which could account for the divergence in biological functions as well as the subtleties manifested in the oligomerization properties of this family.

  2. Structures of parasite calreticulins provide insights into their flexibility and dual carbohydrate/peptide-binding properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreau, Christophe; Cioci, Gianluca; Iannello, Marina; Laffly, Emmanuelle; Chouquet, Anne; Ferreira, Arturo; Thielens, Nicole M; Gaboriaud, Christine

    2016-11-01

    Calreticulin (CRT) is a multifaceted protein, initially discovered as an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) chaperone protein, that is essential in calcium metabolism. Various implications in cancer, early development and immunology have been discovered more recently for CRT, as well as its role as a dominant 'eat-me' prophagocytic signal. Intriguingly, cell-surface exposure/secretion of CRT is among the infective strategies used by parasites such as Trypanosoma cruzi , Entamoeba histolytica , Taenia solium , Leishmania donovani and Schistosoma mansoni . Because of the inherent flexibility of CRTs, their analysis by X-ray crystallography requires the design of recombinant constructs suitable for crystallization, and thus only the structures of two very similar mammalian CRT lectin domains are known. With the X-ray structures of two distant parasite CRTs, insights into species structural determinants that might be harnessed to fight against the parasites without affecting the functions of the host CRT are now provided. Moreover, although the hypothesis that CRT can exhibit both open and closed conformations has been proposed in relation to its chaperone function, only the open conformation has so far been observed in crystal structures. The first evidence is now provided of a complex conformational transition with the junction reoriented towards P-domain closure. SAXS experiments also provided additional information about the flexibility of T. cruzi CRT in solution, thus complementing crystallographic data on the open conformation. Finally, regarding the conserved lectin-domain structure and chaperone function, evidence is provided of its dual carbohydrate/protein specificity and a new scheme is proposed to interpret such unusual substrate-binding properties. These fascinating features are fully consistent with previous experimental observations, as discussed considering the broad spectrum of CRT sequence conservations and differences.

  3. Structures of parasite calreticulins provide insights into their flexibility and dual carbohydrate/peptide-binding properties

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christophe Moreau

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Calreticulin (CRT is a multifaceted protein, initially discovered as an endoplasmic reticulum (ER chaperone protein, that is essential in calcium metabolism. Various implications in cancer, early development and immunology have been discovered more recently for CRT, as well as its role as a dominant `eat-me' prophagocytic signal. Intriguingly, cell-surface exposure/secretion of CRT is among the infective strategies used by parasites such as Trypanosoma cruzi, Entamoeba histolytica, Taenia solium, Leishmania donovani and Schistosoma mansoni. Because of the inherent flexibility of CRTs, their analysis by X-ray crystallography requires the design of recombinant constructs suitable for crystallization, and thus only the structures of two very similar mammalian CRT lectin domains are known. With the X-ray structures of two distant parasite CRTs, insights into species structural determinants that might be harnessed to fight against the parasites without affecting the functions of the host CRT are now provided. Moreover, although the hypothesis that CRT can exhibit both open and closed conformations has been proposed in relation to its chaperone function, only the open conformation has so far been observed in crystal structures. The first evidence is now provided of a complex conformational transition with the junction reoriented towards P-domain closure. SAXS experiments also provided additional information about the flexibility of T. cruzi CRT in solution, thus complementing crystallographic data on the open conformation. Finally, regarding the conserved lectin-domain structure and chaperone function, evidence is provided of its dual carbohydrate/protein specificity and a new scheme is proposed to interpret such unusual substrate-binding properties. These fascinating features are fully consistent with previous experimental observations, as discussed considering the broad spectrum of CRT sequence conservations and differences.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  5. X-ray structure reveals a new class and provides insight into evolution of alkaline phosphatases.

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    Subhash C Bihani

    Full Text Available The alkaline phosphatase (AP is a bi-metalloenzyme of potential applications in biotechnology and bioremediation, in which phosphate monoesters are nonspecifically hydrolysed under alkaline conditions to yield inorganic phosphate. The hydrolysis occurs through an enzyme intermediate in which the catalytic residue is phosphorylated. The reaction, which also requires a third metal ion, is proposed to proceed through a mechanism of in-line displacement involving a trigonal bipyramidal transition state. Stabilizing the transition state by bidentate hydrogen bonding has been suggested to be the reason for conservation of an arginine residue in the active site. We report here the first crystal structure of alkaline phosphatase purified from the bacterium Sphingomonas. sp. Strain BSAR-1 (SPAP. The crystal structure reveals many differences from other APs: 1 the catalytic residue is a threonine instead of serine, 2 there is no third metal ion binding pocket, and 3 the arginine residue forming bidentate hydrogen bonding is deleted in SPAP. A lysine and an aspargine residue, recruited together for the first time into the active site, bind the substrate phosphoryl group in a manner not observed before in any other AP. These and other structural features suggest that SPAP represents a new class of APs. Because of its direct contact with the substrate phosphoryl group, the lysine residue is proposed to play a significant role in catalysis. The structure is consistent with a mechanism of in-line displacement via a trigonal bipyramidal transition state. The structure provides important insights into evolutionary relationships between members of AP superfamily.

  6. Ebola virus disease surveillance and response preparedness in northern Ghana

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin N. Adokiya

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Background: The recent Ebola virus disease (EVD outbreak has been described as unprecedented in terms of morbidity, mortality, and geographical extension. It also revealed many weaknesses and inadequacies for disease surveillance and response systems in Africa due to underqualified staff, cultural beliefs, and lack of trust for the formal health care sector. In 2014, Ghana had high risk of importation of EVD cases. Objective: The objective of this study was to assess the EVD surveillance and response system in northern Ghana. Design: This was an observational study conducted among 47 health workers (district directors, medical, disease control, and laboratory officers in all 13 districts of the Upper East Region representing public, mission, and private health services. A semi-structured questionnaire with focus on core and support functions (e.g. detection, confirmation was administered to the informants. Their responses were recorded according to specific themes. In addition, 34 weekly Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response reports (August 2014 to March 2015 were collated from each district. Results: In 2014 and 2015, a total of 10 suspected Ebola cases were clinically diagnosed from four districts. Out of the suspected cases, eight died and the cause of death was unexplained. All the 10 suspected cases were reported, none was confirmed. The informants had knowledge on EVD surveillance and data reporting. However, there were gaps such as delayed reporting, low quality protective equipment (e.g. gloves, aprons, inadequate staff, and lack of laboratory capacity. The majority (38/47 of the respondents were not satisfied with EVD surveillance system and response preparedness due to lack of infrared thermometers, ineffective screening, and lack of isolation centres. Conclusion: EVD surveillance and response preparedness is insufficient and the epidemic is a wake-up call for early detection and response preparedness. Ebola surveillance remains

  7. Multi-platform ’Omics Analysis of Human Ebola Virus Disease Pathogenesis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Eisfeld, Amie J.; Halfmann, Peter J.; Wendler, Jason P.; Kyle, Jennifer E.; Burnum-Johnson, Kristin E.; Peralta, Zuleyma; Maemura, Tadashi; Walters, Kevin B.; Watanabe, Tokiko; Fukuyama, Satoshi; Yamashita, Makoto; Jacobs, Jon M.; Kim, Young-Mo; Casey, Cameron P.; Stratton, Kelly G.; Webb-Robertson, Bobbie-Jo M.; Gritsenko, Marina A.; Monroe, Matthew E.; Weitz, Karl K.; Shukla, Anil K.; Tian, Mingyuan; Neumann, Gabriele; Reed, Jennifer L.; van Bakel, Harm; Metz, Thomas O.; Smith, Richard D.; Waters, Katrina M.; N' jai, Alhaji; Sahr, Foday; Kawaoka, Yoshihiro

    2017-12-01

    The pathogenesis of human Ebola virus disease (EVD) is complex. EVD is characterized by high levels of virus replication and dissemination, dysregulated immune responses, extensive virus- and host-mediated tissue damage, and disordered coagulation. To clarify how host responses contribute to EVD pathophysiology, we performed multi-platform ’omics analysis of peripheral blood mononuclear cells and plasma from EVD patients. Our results indicate that EVD molecular signatures overlap with those of sepsis, imply that pancreatic enzymes contribute to tissue damage in fatal EVD, and suggest that Ebola virus infection may induce aberrant neutrophils whose activity could explain hallmarks of fatal EVD. Moreover, integrated biomarker prediction identified putative biomarkers from different data platforms that differentiated survivors and fatalities early after infection. This work reveals insight into EVD pathogenesis, suggests an effective approach for biomarker identification, and provides an important community resource for further analysis of human EVD severity.

  8. Effective treatment strategies against Ebola virus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amina Yaqoob

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Ebola virus (EBOV, a member of order Mononegavirales is most famous for causing the endemics of hemorrhagic fever in different countries of the world. Various effective treatment for EBOV are available presently but different clinical trials and experimental studies on animal models are ongoing for this purpose. Results from different studies showed that selective vaccines and therapeutic drugs have potential to interfere the viral life events within host cell in order to inhibit its replication. Various pre-clinical trials in this regard are proved successful on non-human primates (NHPs and found to be significant in inhibiting EBOV infections. It is the need of hour to develop effective vaccines against Ebola virus to combat this problem as soon as possible. The present article is a brief review on potential treatment strategies against Ebola virus.

  9. Using demographic characteristics of populations to detect spatial fragmentation following suspected ebola outbreaks in great apes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genton, Céline; Cristescu, Romane; Gatti, Sylvain; Levréro, Florence; Bigot, Elodie; Motsch, Peggy; Le Gouar, Pascaline; Pierre, Jean-Sébastien; Ménard, Nelly

    2017-09-01

    Demographic crashes due to emerging diseases can contribute to population fragmentation and increase extinction risk of small populations. Ebola outbreaks in 2002-2004 are suspected to have caused a decline of more than 80% in some Western lowland gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) populations. We investigated whether demographic indicators of this event allowed for the detection of spatial fragmentation in gorilla populations. We collected demographic data from two neighbouring populations: the Lokoué population, suspected to have been affected by an Ebola outbreak (followed from 2001 to 2014), and the Romani population, of unknown demographic status before Ebola outbreaks (followed from 2005 to 2014). Ten years after the outbreak, the Lokoué population is slowly recovering and the short-term demographic indicators of a population crash were no longer detectable. The Lokoué population has not experienced any additional demographic perturbation over the past decade. The Romani population did not show any of the demographic indicators of a population crash over the past decade. Its demographic structure remained similar to that of unaffected populations. Our results highlighted that the Ebola disease could contribute to fragmentation of gorilla populations due to the spatially heterogeneous impact of its outbreaks. The demographic structure of populations (i.e., age-sex and group structure) can be useful indicators of a possible occurrence of recent Ebola outbreaks in populations without known history, and may be more broadly used in other emerging disease/species systems. Longitudinal data are critical to our understanding of the impact of emerging diseases on wild populations and their conservation. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  10. Structural insights into lipid-dependent reversible dimerization of human GLTP

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Samygina, Valeria R.; Ochoa-Lizarralde, Borja; Popov, Alexander N.; Cabo-Bilbao, Aintzane; Goni-de-Cerio, Felipe; Molotkovsky, Julian G.; Patel, Dinshaw J.; Brown, Rhoderick E.; Malinina, Lucy

    2013-01-01

    It is shown that dimerization is promoted by glycolipid binding to human GLTP. The importance of dimer flexibility in wild-type protein is manifested by point mutation that ‘locks’ the dimer while diversifying ligand/protein adaptations. Human glycolipid transfer protein (hsGLTP) forms the prototypical GLTP fold and is characterized by a broad transfer selectivity for glycosphingolipids (GSLs). The GLTP mutation D48V near the ‘portal entrance’ of the glycolipid binding site has recently been shown to enhance selectivity for sulfatides (SFs) containing a long acyl chain. Here, nine novel crystal structures of hsGLTP and the SF-selective mutant complexed with short-acyl-chain monoSF and diSF in different crystal forms are reported in order to elucidate the potential functional roles of lipid-mediated homodimerization. In all crystal forms, the hsGLTP–SF complexes displayed homodimeric structures supported by similarly organized intermolecular interactions. The dimerization interface always involved the lipid sphingosine chain, the protein C-terminus (C-end) and α-helices 6 and 2, but the D48V mutant displayed a ‘locked’ dimer conformation compared with the hinge-like flexibility of wild-type dimers. Differences in contact angles, areas and residues at the dimer interfaces in the ‘flexible’ and ‘locked’ dimers revealed a potentially important role of the dimeric structure in the C-end conformation of hsGLTP and in the precise positioning of the key residue of the glycolipid recognition centre, His140. ΔY207 and ΔC-end deletion mutants, in which the C-end is shifted or truncated, showed an almost complete loss of transfer activity. The new structural insights suggest that ligand-dependent reversible dimerization plays a role in the function of human GLTP

  11. Structural insights into methanol-stable variants of lipase T6 from Geobacillus stearothermophilus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dror, Adi; Kanteev, Margarita; Kagan, Irit; Gihaz, Shalev; Shahar, Anat; Fishman, Ayelet

    2015-11-01

    Enzymatic production of biodiesel by transesterification of triglycerides and alcohol, catalyzed by lipases, offers an environmentally friendly and efficient alternative to the chemically catalyzed process while using low-grade feedstocks. Methanol is utilized frequently as the alcohol in the reaction due to its reactivity and low cost. However, one of the major drawbacks of the enzymatic system is the presence of high methanol concentrations which leads to methanol-induced unfolding and inactivation of the biocatalyst. Therefore, a methanol-stable lipase is of great interest for the biodiesel industry. In this study, protein engineering was applied to substitute charged surface residues with hydrophobic ones to enhance the stability in methanol of a lipase from Geobacillus stearothermophilus T6. We identified a methanol-stable variant, R374W, and combined it with a variant found previously, H86Y/A269T. The triple mutant, H86Y/A269T/R374W, had a half-life value at 70 % methanol of 324 min which reflects an 87-fold enhanced stability compared to the wild type together with elevated thermostability in buffer and in 50 % methanol. This variant also exhibited an improved biodiesel yield from waste chicken oil compared to commercial Lipolase 100L® and Novozyme® CALB. Crystal structures of the wild type and the methanol-stable variants provided insights regarding structure-stability correlations. The most prominent features were the extensive formation of new hydrogen bonds between surface residues directly or mediated by structural water molecules and the stabilization of Zn and Ca binding sites. Mutation sites were also characterized by lower B-factor values calculated from the X-ray structures indicating improved rigidity.

  12. Essential information: Uncertainty and optimal control of Ebola outbreaks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Shou-Li; Bjørnstad, Ottar N; Ferrari, Matthew J; Mummah, Riley; Runge, Michael C; Fonnesbeck, Christopher J; Tildesley, Michael J; Probert, William J M; Shea, Katriona

    2017-05-30

    Early resolution of uncertainty during an epidemic outbreak can lead to rapid and efficient decision making, provided that the uncertainty affects prioritization of actions. The wide range in caseload projections for the 2014 Ebola outbreak caused great concern and debate about the utility of models. By coding and running 37 published Ebola models with five candidate interventions, we found that, despite this large variation in caseload projection, the ranking of management options was relatively consistent. Reducing funeral transmission and reducing community transmission were generally ranked as the two best options. Value of information (VoI) analyses show that caseloads could be reduced by 11% by resolving all model-specific uncertainties, with information about model structure accounting for 82% of this reduction and uncertainty about caseload only accounting for 12%. Our study shows that the uncertainty that is of most interest epidemiologically may not be the same as the uncertainty that is most relevant for management. If the goal is to improve management outcomes, then the focus of study should be to identify and resolve those uncertainties that most hinder the choice of an optimal intervention. Our study further shows that simplifying multiple alternative models into a smaller number of relevant groups (here, with shared structure) could streamline the decision-making process and may allow for a better integration of epidemiological modeling and decision making for policy.

  13. Essential information: Uncertainty and optimal control of Ebola outbreaks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Shou-Li; Bjornstad, Ottar; Ferrari, Matthew J.; Mummah, Riley; Runge, Michael C.; Fonnesbeck, Christopher J.; Tildesley, Michael J.; Probert, William J. M.; Shea, Katriona

    2017-01-01

    Early resolution of uncertainty during an epidemic outbreak can lead to rapid and efficient decision making, provided that the uncertainty affects prioritization of actions. The wide range in caseload projections for the 2014 Ebola outbreak caused great concern and debate about the utility of models. By coding and running 37 published Ebola models with five candidate interventions, we found that, despite this large variation in caseload projection, the ranking of management options was relatively consistent. Reducing funeral transmission and reducing community transmission were generally ranked as the two best options. Value of information (VoI) analyses show that caseloads could be reduced by 11% by resolving all model-specific uncertainties, with information about model structure accounting for 82% of this reduction and uncertainty about caseload only accounting for 12%. Our study shows that the uncertainty that is of most interest epidemiologically may not be the same as the uncertainty that is most relevant for management. If the goal is to improve management outcomes, then the focus of study should be to identify and resolve those uncertainties that most hinder the choice of an optimal intervention. Our study further shows that simplifying multiple alternative models into a smaller number of relevant groups (here, with shared structure) could streamline the decision-making process and may allow for a better integration of epidemiological modeling and decision making for policy.

  14. The structure of psychological life satisfaction: insights from farmers and a general community sample in Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Background Psychological life satisfaction is a robust predictor of wellbeing. Public health measures to improve wellbeing would benefit from an understanding of how overall life satisfaction varies as a function of satisfaction with multiple life domains, an area that has been little explored. We examine a sample of drought-affected Australian farmers and a general community sample of Australians to investigate how domain satisfaction combines to form psychological satisfaction. In particular, we introduce a way of statistically testing for the presence of “supra-domains” of satisfaction to propose a novel way of examining the composition of psychological life satisfaction to gain insights for health promotion and policy. Methods Covariance between different perceptions of life domain satisfaction was identified by conducting correlation, regression, and exploratory factor analyses on responses to the Personal Wellbeing Index. Structural equations modelling was then used to (a) validate satisfaction supra-domain constructs emerging from different perceptions of life domain satisfaction, and (b) model relationships between supra-domains and an explicit measure of psychological life satisfaction. Results Perceived satisfaction with eight different life domains loaded onto a single unitary satisfaction construct adequately in each sample. However, in both samples, different domains better loaded onto two separate but correlated constructs (‘supra-domains’): “satisfaction with connectedness” and “satisfaction with efficacy”. Modelling reciprocal pathways between these supra-domains and an explicit measure of psychological life satisfaction revealed that efficacy mediated the link between connectedness and psychological satisfaction. Conclusions If satisfaction with connectedness underlies satisfaction with efficacy (and thus psychological satisfaction), a novel insight for health policy emerges: psychological life satisfaction, a vital part of

  15. The structure of psychological life satisfaction: insights from farmers and a general community sample in Australia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    OBrien Léan V

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Psychological life satisfaction is a robust predictor of wellbeing. Public health measures to improve wellbeing would benefit from an understanding of how overall life satisfaction varies as a function of satisfaction with multiple life domains, an area that has been little explored. We examine a sample of drought-affected Australian farmers and a general community sample of Australians to investigate how domain satisfaction combines to form psychological satisfaction. In particular, we introduce a way of statistically testing for the presence of “supra-domains” of satisfaction to propose a novel way of examining the composition of psychological life satisfaction to gain insights for health promotion and policy. Methods Covariance between different perceptions of life domain satisfaction was identified by conducting correlation, regression, and exploratory factor analyses on responses to the Personal Wellbeing Index. Structural equations modelling was then used to (a validate satisfaction supra-domain constructs emerging from different perceptions of life domain satisfaction, and (b model relationships between supra-domains and an explicit measure of psychological life satisfaction. Results Perceived satisfaction with eight different life domains loaded onto a single unitary satisfaction construct adequately in each sample. However, in both samples, different domains better loaded onto two separate but correlated constructs (‘supra-domains’: “satisfaction with connectedness” and “satisfaction with efficacy”. Modelling reciprocal pathways between these supra-domains and an explicit measure of psychological life satisfaction revealed that efficacy mediated the link between connectedness and psychological satisfaction. Conclusions If satisfaction with connectedness underlies satisfaction with efficacy (and thus psychological satisfaction, a novel insight for health policy emerges: psychological life satisfaction

  16. Kinetic and Structural Insights into the Mechanism of AMPylation by VopS Fic Domain*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luong, Phi; Kinch, Lisa N.; Brautigam, Chad A.; Grishin, Nick V.; Tomchick, Diana R.; Orth, Kim

    2010-01-01

    The bacterial pathogen Vibrio parahemeolyticus manipulates host signaling pathways during infections by injecting type III effectors into the cytoplasm of the target cell. One of these effectors, VopS, blocks actin assembly by AMPylation of a conserved threonine residue in the switch 1 region of Rho GTPases. The modified GTPases are no longer able to interact with downstream effectors due to steric hindrance by the covalently linked AMP moiety. Herein we analyze the structure of VopS and its evolutionarily conserved catalytic residues. Steady-state analysis of VopS mutants provides kinetic understanding on the functional role of each residue for AMPylation activity by the Fic domain. Further mechanistic analysis of VopS with its two substrates, ATP and Cdc42, demonstrates that VopS utilizes a sequential mechanism to AMPylate Rho GTPases. Discovery of a ternary reaction mechanism along with structural insight provides critical groundwork for future studies for the family of AMPylators that modify hydroxyl-containing residues with AMP. PMID:20410310

  17. Kinetic and Structural Insights into the Mechanism of AMPylation by VopS Fic Domain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Luong, Phi; Kinch, Lisa N.; Brautigam, Chad A.; Grishin, Nick V.; Tomchick, Diana R.; Orth, Kim (UTSMC)

    2010-07-19

    The bacterial pathogen Vibrio parahemeolyticus manipulates host signaling pathways during infections by injecting type III effectors into the cytoplasm of the target cell. One of these effectors, VopS, blocks actin assembly by AMPylation of a conserved threonine residue in the switch 1 region of Rho GTPases. The modified GTPases are no longer able to interact with downstream effectors due to steric hindrance by the covalently linked AMP moiety. Herein we analyze the structure of VopS and its evolutionarily conserved catalytic residues. Steady-state analysis of VopS mutants provides kinetic understanding on the functional role of each residue for AMPylation activity by the Fic domain. Further mechanistic analysis of VopS with its two substrates, ATP and Cdc42, demonstrates that VopS utilizes a sequential mechanism to AMPylate Rho GTPases. Discovery of a ternary reaction mechanism along with structural insight provides critical groundwork for future studies for the family of AMPylators that modify hydroxyl-containing residues with AMP.

  18. Structural insights and ab initio sequencing within the DING proteins family

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Elias, Mikael; Liebschner, Dorothee; Gotthard, Guillaume; Chabriere, Eric

    2011-01-01

    DING proteins constitute a recently discovered protein family that is ubiquitous in eukaryotes. The structural insights and the physiological involvements of these intriguing proteins are hereby deciphered. DING proteins constitute an intriguing family of phosphate-binding proteins that was identified in a wide range of organisms, from prokaryotes and archae to eukaryotes. Despite their seemingly ubiquitous occurrence in eukaryotes, their encoding genes are missing from sequenced genomes. Such a lack has considerably hampered functional studies. In humans, these proteins have been related to several diseases, like atherosclerosis, kidney stones, inflammation processes and HIV inhibition. The human phosphate binding protein is a human representative of the DING family that was serendipitously discovered from human plasma. An original approach was developed to determine ab initio the complete and exact sequence of this 38 kDa protein by utilizing mass spectrometry and X-ray data in tandem. Taking advantage of this first complete eukaryotic DING sequence, a immunohistochemistry study was undertaken to check the presence of DING proteins in various mice tissues, revealing that these proteins are widely expressed. Finally, the structure of a bacterial representative from Pseudomonas fluorescens was solved at sub-angstrom resolution, allowing the molecular mechanism of the phosphate binding in these high-affinity proteins to be elucidated

  19. Structural insights and ab initio sequencing within the DING proteins family

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Elias, Mikael, E-mail: mikael.elias@weizmann.ac.il [Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot (Israel); Liebschner, Dorothee [CRM2, Nancy Université (France); Gotthard, Guillaume; Chabriere, Eric [AFMB, Université Aix-Marseille II (France)

    2011-01-01

    DING proteins constitute a recently discovered protein family that is ubiquitous in eukaryotes. The structural insights and the physiological involvements of these intriguing proteins are hereby deciphered. DING proteins constitute an intriguing family of phosphate-binding proteins that was identified in a wide range of organisms, from prokaryotes and archae to eukaryotes. Despite their seemingly ubiquitous occurrence in eukaryotes, their encoding genes are missing from sequenced genomes. Such a lack has considerably hampered functional studies. In humans, these proteins have been related to several diseases, like atherosclerosis, kidney stones, inflammation processes and HIV inhibition. The human phosphate binding protein is a human representative of the DING family that was serendipitously discovered from human plasma. An original approach was developed to determine ab initio the complete and exact sequence of this 38 kDa protein by utilizing mass spectrometry and X-ray data in tandem. Taking advantage of this first complete eukaryotic DING sequence, a immunohistochemistry study was undertaken to check the presence of DING proteins in various mice tissues, revealing that these proteins are widely expressed. Finally, the structure of a bacterial representative from Pseudomonas fluorescens was solved at sub-angstrom resolution, allowing the molecular mechanism of the phosphate binding in these high-affinity proteins to be elucidated.

  20. 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.

  1. Insight into the biological effects of acupuncture points by X-ray absorption fine structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Chenglin; Liu, Qinghua; Zhang, Dongming; Liu, Wei; Yan, Xiaohui; Zhang, Xinyi; Oyanagi, Hiroyuki; Pan, Zhiyun; Hu, Fengchun; Wei, Shiqiang

    2018-06-02

    Exploration of the biological effects of transition metal ions in acupuncture points is essential to clarify the functional mechanism of acupuncture treatment. Here we show that in the SP6 acupuncture point (Sanyinjiao) the Fe ions are in a high-spin state of approximately t 2g 4.5 e g 1.5 in an Fe-N(O) octahedral crystal field. The Fe K-edge synchrotron radiation X-ray absorption fine structure results reveal that the Fe-N and Fe-O bond lengths in the SP6 acupuncture point are 2.05 and 2.13 Å, respectively, and are 0.05-0.10 Å longer than those in the surrounding tissue. The distorted atomic structure reduces the octahedral symmetry and weakens the crystal field around the Fe ions by approximately 0.3 eV, leading to the high-spin configuration of the Fe ions, which is favorable for strengthening the magnetotransport and oxygen transportation properties in the acupuncture point by the enhanced spin coherence. This finding might provide some insight into the microscopic effect of the atomic and electronic interactions of transition metal ions in the acupuncture point. Graphical Abstract ᅟ.

  2. Identification and characterisation of a novel acylpeptide hydrolase from Sulfolobus solfataricus: structural and functional insights.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marta Gogliettino

    Full Text Available A novel acylpeptide hydrolase, named APEH-3(Ss, was isolated from the hypertermophilic archaeon Sulfolobus solfataricus. APEH is a member of the prolyl oligopeptidase family which catalyzes the removal of acetylated amino acid residues from the N terminus of oligopeptides. The purified enzyme shows a homotrimeric structure, unique among the associate partners of the APEH cluster and, in contrast to the archaeal APEHs which show both exo/endo peptidase activities, it appears to be a "true" aminopeptidase as exemplified by its mammalian counterparts, with which it shares a similar substrate specificity. Furthermore, a comparative study on the regulation of apeh gene expression, revealed a significant but divergent alteration in the expression pattern of apeh-3(Ss and apeh(Ss (the gene encoding the previously identified APEH(Ss from S. solfataricus, which is induced in response to various stressful growth conditions. Hence, both APEH enzymes can be defined as stress-regulated proteins which play a complementary role in enabling the survival of S. solfataricus cells under different conditions. These results provide new structural and functional insights into S. solfataricus APEH, offering a possible explanation for the multiplicity of this enzyme in Archaea.

  3. Base pairing and structural insights into the 5-formylcytosine in RNA duplex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Rui; Luo, Zhipu; He, Kaizhang; Delaney, Michael O.; Chen, Doris; Sheng, Jia

    2016-01-01

    Abstract 5-Formylcytidine (f5C), a previously discovered natural nucleotide in the mitochondrial tRNA of many species including human, has been recently detected as the oxidative product of 5-methylcytidine (m5C) through 5-hydroxymethylcytidine (hm5C) in total RNA of mammalian cells. The discovery indicated that these cytosine derivatives in RNA might also play important epigenetic roles similar as in DNA, which has been intensively investigated in the past few years. In this paper, we studied the base pairing specificity of f5C in different RNA duplex contexts. We found that the 5-formyl group could increase duplex thermal stability and enhance base pairing specificity. We present three high-resolution crystal structures of an octamer RNA duplex [5′-GUA(f5C)GUAC-3′]2 that have been solved under three crystallization conditions with different buffers and pH values. Our results showed that the 5-formyl group is located in the same plane as the cytosine base and forms an intra-residue hydrogen bond with the amino group in the N4 position. In addition, this modification increases the base stacking between the f5C and the neighboring bases while not causing significant global and local structure perturbations. This work provides insights into the effects of 5-formylcytosine on RNA duplex. PMID:27079978

  4. Two approaches to forecast Ebola synthetic epidemics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Champredon, David; Li, Michael; Bolker, Benjamin M; Dushoff, Jonathan

    2018-03-01

    We use two modelling approaches to forecast synthetic Ebola epidemics in the context of the RAPIDD Ebola Forecasting Challenge. The first approach is a standard stochastic compartmental model that aims to forecast incidence, hospitalization and deaths among both the general population and health care workers. The second is a model based on the renewal equation with latent variables that forecasts incidence in the whole population only. We describe fitting and forecasting procedures for each model and discuss their advantages and drawbacks. We did not find that one model was consistently better in forecasting than the other. Copyright © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Characterization of the receptor-binding domain of Ebola glycoprotein in viral entry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jizhen; Manicassamy, Balaji; Caffrey, Michael; Rong, Lijun

    2011-06-01

    Ebola virus infection causes severe hemorrhagic fever in human and non-human primates with high mortality. Viral entry/infection is initiated by binding of glycoprotein GP protein on Ebola virion to host cells, followed by fusion of virus-cell membrane also mediated by GP. Using an human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-based pseudotyping system, the roles of 41 Ebola GP1 residues in the receptor-binding domain in viral entry were studied by alanine scanning substitutions. We identified that four residues appear to be involved in protein folding/structure and four residues are important for viral entry. An improved entry interference assay was developed and used to study the role of these residues that are important for viral entry. It was found that R64 and K95 are involved in receptor binding. In contrast, some residues such as I170 are important for viral entry, but do not play a major role in receptor binding as indicated by entry interference assay and/or protein binding data, suggesting that these residues are involved in post-binding steps of viral entry. Furthermore, our results also suggested that Ebola and Marburg viruses share a common cellular molecule for entry.

  6. Ebola Virus Disease – Global Scenario & Bangladesh

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Md Rezwanur Rahman

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Ebola virus disease (EVD, caused by one of the Ebola virus strains is an acute, serious illness which is often fatal when untreated. EVD, previously known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever, is a rare and deadly disease. It first appeared in 1976 in two simultaneous outbreaks, one in Nzara, Sudan, and the other in Yambuku, Democratic Republic of Congo. The latter occurred in a village near the Ebola River, from which the disease takes its name.1,2 On March 23, 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO was notified of an outbreak of EVD in Guinea. On August 8, WHO declared the epidemic to be a ‘Public health emergency of international concern’.3 The current 2014 outbreak in West Africa is the largest and most complex Ebola outbreak.1 It is to be noticed that the most severely affected countries, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia have very weak health systems, lacking human and infrastructural resources and these countries recently emerged from long periods of conflict and instability.1 The virus family Filoviridae includes three genera: Cuevavirus, Marburgvirus, and Ebolavirus. Till date five species have been identified: Zaire, Bundibugyo, Sudan, Reston and Taï Forest. The recent outbreak belongs to the Zaire species which is the most lethal one, with an average case fatality rate of 78%.1,4 Till 6 December 2014, total 17,834 suspected cases and 6,678 deaths had been reported; however, WHO has said that these numbers may be vastly underestimated.5 The natural reservoir for Ebola has yet to be confirmed; however, fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family are considered to be the most likely candidate species.1,2,6 Ebola can be transmitted to human through close contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected animals such as fruit bats, chimpanzees, gorillas, monkeys, etc. Ebola then spreads through human-to-human transmission via direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes with the blood, secretions, organs or

  7. How Ebola impacts social dynamics in gorillas: a multistate modelling approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genton, Céline; Pierre, Amandine; Cristescu, Romane; Lévréro, Florence; Gatti, Sylvain; Pierre, Jean-Sébastien; Ménard, Nelly; Le Gouar, Pascaline

    2015-01-01

    Emerging infectious diseases can induce rapid changes in population dynamics and threaten population persistence. In socially structured populations, the transfers of individuals between social units, for example, from breeding groups to non-breeding groups, shape population dynamics. We suggest that diseases may affect these crucial transfers. We aimed to determine how disturbance by an emerging disease affects demographic rates of gorillas, especially transfer rates within populations and immigration rates into populations. We compared social dynamics and key demographic parameters in a gorilla population affected by Ebola using a long-term observation data set including pre-, during and post-outbreak periods. We also studied a population of undetermined epidemiological status in order to assess whether this population was affected by the disease. We developed a multistate model that can handle transition between social units while optimizing the number of states. During the Ebola outbreak, social dynamics displayed increased transfers from a breeding to a non-breeding status for both males and females. Six years after the outbreak, demographic and most of social dynamics parameters had returned to their initial rates, suggesting a certain resilience in the response to disruption. The formation of breeding groups increased just after Ebola, indicating that environmental conditions were still attractive. However, population recovery was likely delayed because compensatory immigration was probably impeded by the potential impact of Ebola in the surrounding areas. The population of undetermined epidemiological status behaved similarly to the other population before Ebola. Our results highlight the need to integrate social dynamics in host-population demographic models to better understand the role of social structure in the sensitivity and the response to disease disturbances. © 2014 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2014 British Ecological Society.

  8. Crystal Structures of the Tetratricopeptide Repeat Domains of Kinesin Light Chains: Insight into Cargo Recognition Mechanisms

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhu, Haizhong; Lee, Han Youl; Tong, Yufeng; Hong, Bum-Soo; Kim, Kyung-Phil; Shen, Yang; Lim, Kyung Jik; Mackenzie, Farrell; Tempel, Wolfram; Park, Hee-Won (SGC-Toronto); (PPCS); (Toronto)

    2012-10-23

    Kinesin-1 transports various cargos along the axon by interacting with the cargos through its light chain subunit. Kinesin light chains (KLC) utilize its tetratricopeptide repeat (TPR) domain to interact with over 10 different cargos. Despite a high sequence identity between their TPR domains (87%), KLC1 and KLC2 isoforms exhibit differential binding properties towards some cargos. We determined the structures of human KLC1 and KLC2 tetratricopeptide repeat (TPR) domains using X-ray crystallography and investigated the different mechanisms by which KLCs interact with their cargos. Using isothermal titration calorimetry, we attributed the specific interaction between KLC1 and JNK-interacting protein 1 (JIP1) cargo to residue N343 in the fourth TRP repeat. Structurally, the N343 residue is adjacent to other asparagines and lysines, creating a positively charged polar patch within the groove of the TPR domain. Whereas, KLC2 with the corresponding residue S328 did not interact with JIP1. Based on these finding, we propose that N343 of KLC1 can form 'a carboxylate clamp' with its neighboring asparagine to interact with JIP1, similar to that of HSP70/HSP90 organizing protein-1's (HOP1) interaction with heat shock proteins. For the binding of cargos shared by KLC1 and KLC2, we propose a different site located within the groove but not involving N343. We further propose a third binding site on KLC1 which involves a stretch of polar residues along the inter-TPR loops that may form a network of hydrogen bonds to JIP3 and JIP4. Together, these results provide structural insights into possible mechanisms of interaction between KLC TPR domains and various cargo proteins.

  9. Structures of foot and mouth disease virus pentamers: Insight into capsid dissociation and unexpected pentamer reassociation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nayab Malik

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV belongs to the Aphthovirus genus of the Picornaviridae, a family of small, icosahedral, non-enveloped, single-stranded RNA viruses. It is a highly infectious pathogen and is one of the biggest hindrances to the international trade of animals and animal products. FMDV capsids (which are unstable below pH6.5 release their genome into the host cell from an acidic compartment, such as that of an endosome, and in the process dissociate into pentamers. Whilst other members of the family (enteroviruses have been visualized to form an expanded intermediate capsid with holes from which inner capsid proteins (VP4, N-termini (VP1 and RNA can be released, there has been no visualization of any such state for an aphthovirus, instead the capsid appears to simply dissociate into pentamers. Here we present the 8-Å resolution structure of isolated dissociated pentamers of FMDV, lacking VP4. We also found these pentamers to re-associate into a rigid, icosahedrally symmetric assembly, which enabled their structure to be solved at higher resolution (5.2 Å. In this assembly, the pentamers unexpectedly associate 'inside out', but still with their exposed hydrophobic edges buried. Stabilizing interactions occur between the HI loop of VP2 and its symmetry related partners at the icosahedral 3-fold axes, and between the BC and EF loops of VP3 with the VP2 βB-strand and the CD loop at the 2-fold axes. A relatively extensive but subtle structural rearrangement towards the periphery of the dissociated pentamer compared to that in the mature virus provides insight into the mechanism of dissociation of FMDV and the marked difference in antigenicity.

  10. Comprehensive functional analysis of N-linked glycans on Ebola virus GP1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lennemann, Nicholas J; Rhein, Bethany A; Ndungo, Esther; Chandran, Kartik; Qiu, Xiangguo; Maury, Wendy

    2014-01-28

    Ebola virus (EBOV) entry requires the virion surface-associated glycoprotein (GP) that is composed of a trimer of heterodimers (GP1/GP2). The GP1 subunit contains two heavily glycosylated domains, the glycan cap and the mucin-like domain (MLD). The glycan cap contains only N-linked glycans, whereas the MLD contains both N- and O-linked glycans. Site-directed mutagenesis was performed on EBOV GP1 to systematically disrupt N-linked glycan sites to gain an understanding of their role in GP structure and function. All 15 N-glycosylation sites of EBOV GP1 could be removed without compromising the expression of GP. The loss of these 15 glycosylation sites significantly enhanced pseudovirion transduction in Vero cells, which correlated with an increase in protease sensitivity. Interestingly, exposing the receptor-binding domain (RBD) by removing the glycan shield did not allow interaction with the endosomal receptor, NPC1, indicating that the glycan cap/MLD domains mask RBD residues required for binding. The effects of the loss of GP1 N-linked glycans on Ca(2+)-dependent (C-type) lectin (CLEC)-dependent transduction were complex, and the effect was unique for each of the CLECs tested. Surprisingly, EBOV entry into murine peritoneal macrophages was independent of GP1 N-glycans, suggesting that CLEC-GP1 N-glycan interactions are not required for entry into this important primary cell. Finally, the removal of all GP1 N-glycans outside the MLD enhanced antiserum and antibody sensitivity. In total, our results provide evidence that the conserved N-linked glycans on the EBOV GP1 core protect GP from antibody neutralization despite the negative impact the glycans have on viral entry efficiency. Filovirus outbreaks occur sporadically throughout central Africa, causing high fatality rates among the general public and health care workers. These unpredictable hemorrhagic fever outbreaks are caused by multiple species of Ebola viruses, as well as Marburg virus. While filovirus

  11. Study of the pathogenesis of Ebola fever in laboratory animals with different sensitivity to this virus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chepurnov, A A; Dadaeva, A A; Kolesnikov, S I

    2001-12-01

    Pathophysiological parameters were compared in animals with different sensitivity to Ebola virus infected with this virus. Analysis of the results showed the differences in immune reactions underlying the difference between Ebola-sensitive and Ebola-resistant animals. No neutrophil activation in response to Ebola virus injection was noted in Ebola-sensitive animal. Phagocytic activity of neutrophils in these animals inversely correlated with animal sensitivity to Ebola virus. Animal susceptibility to Ebola virus directly correlated with the decrease in the number of circulating T and B cells. We conclude that the immune system plays the key role in animal susceptibility and resistance to Ebola virus.

  12. Knowledge regarding Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever among private dental practitioners in Tricity, India: A cross-sectional questionnaire study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gupta, Nidhi; Mehta, Nishant; Gupta, Preety; Arora, Vikram; Setia, Priyanka

    2015-01-01

    Ebola viral fever, a highly contagious haemorrhagic disease has today become a major public health concern in the developing countries worldwide. The purpose of this study was to assess knowledge among dental practitioners regarding Ebola Haemorrhagic Fever (Ebola HF) in Tricity, (Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali). A total of 500 private dental practitioners were randomly approached to participate in this cross-sectional survey. A self-structured, closed ended questionnaire was administered to each participant to record demographic and professional characteristics followed by their knowledge regarding Ebola HF. Knowledge section included questions related to communicability; symptomatology and diagnostics; at-risk individuals; prevention and treatment; and, virus characteristics of Ebola HF. The results were expressed in percentages. Multivariable linear regression analysis was carried out to assess the association of participants's demographic and professional characteristics with the knowledge scores. Statistically significant difference was seen when mean knowledge scores were compared based on the locality and qualification of the participants (P < 0.05). Dental practitioners from urban areas with higher qualification had better knowledge yet there were notable deficiencies regarding the virus characteristics, diagnostics, elimination and treatment.

  13. Modeling spatial invasion of Ebola in West Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Silva, Jeremy P; Eisenberg, Marisa C

    2017-09-07

    The 2014-2016 Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) epidemic in West Africa was the largest ever recorded, representing a fundamental shift in Ebola epidemiology with unprecedented spatiotemporal complexity. To understand the spatiotemporal dynamics of EVD in West Africa, we developed spatial transmission models using a gravity-model framework at both the national and district-level scales, which we used to compare effectiveness of local interventions (e.g. local quarantine) and long-range interventions (e.g. border-closures). The country-level gravity model captures the epidemic data, including multiple waves of initial epidemic growth observed in Guinea. We found that local-transmission reductions were most effective in Liberia, while long-range transmission was dominant in Sierra Leone. Both models illustrated that interventions in one region result in an amplified protective effect on other regions by preventing spatial transmission. In the district-level model, interventions in the strongest of these amplifying regions reduced total cases in all three countries by over 20%, in spite of the region itself generating only ∼0.1% of total cases. This model structure and associated intervention analysis provide information that can be used by public health policymakers to assist planning and response efforts for future epidemics. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Mechanism-based Inhibitors of the Human Sirtuin 5 Deacylase: Structure-Activity Relationship, Biostructural, and Kinetic Insight

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rajabi, Nima; Auth, Marina; Troelsen, Kathrin Rentzius

    2017-01-01

    to date. We provide rationalization of the mode of binding by solving co-crystal structures of selected inhibitors in complex with both human and zebrafish SIRT5, which provide insight for future optimization of inhibitors with more "drug-like" properties. Importantly, enzyme kinetic evaluation revealed...

  15. Structural Insights into Diversity and n-Alkane Biodegradation Mechanisms of Alkane Hydroxylases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yurui eJi

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Environmental microbes utilize four degradation pathways for the oxidation of n-alkanes. Although the enzymes degrading n-alkanes in different microbes may vary, enzymes functioning in the first step in the aerobic degradation of alkanes all belong to the alkane hydroxylases. Alkane hydroxylases are a class of enzymes that insert oxygen atoms derived from molecular oxygen into different sites of the alkane terminus (or termini depending on the type of enzymes. In this review, we summarize the different types of alkane hydroxylases, their degrading steps and compare typical enzymes from various classes with regard to their three dimensional structures, in order to provide insights into how the enzymes mediate their different roles in the degradation of n-alkanes and what determines their different substrate ranges. Through the above analyses, the degrading mechanisms of enzymes can be elucidated and molecular biological methods can be utilized to expand their catalytic roles in the petrochemical industry or in bioremediation of oil-contaminated environments.

  16. Composition of the mitochondrial electron transport chain in acanthamoeba castellanii: structural and evolutionary insights.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gawryluk, Ryan M R; Chisholm, Kenneth A; Pinto, Devanand M; Gray, Michael W

    2012-11-01

    The mitochondrion, derived in evolution from an α-proteobacterial progenitor, plays a key metabolic role in eukaryotes. Mitochondria house the electron transport chain (ETC) that couples oxidation of organic substrates and electron transfer to proton pumping and synthesis of ATP. The ETC comprises several multiprotein enzyme complexes, all of which have counterparts in bacteria. However, mitochondrial ETC assemblies from animals, plants and fungi are generally more complex than their bacterial counterparts, with a number of 'supernumerary' subunits appearing early in eukaryotic evolution. Little is known, however, about the ETC of unicellular eukaryotes (protists), which are key to understanding the evolution of mitochondria and the ETC. We present an analysis of the ETC proteome from Acanthamoeba castellanii, an ecologically, medically and evolutionarily important member of Amoebozoa (sister to Opisthokonta). Data obtained from tandem mass spectrometric (MS/MS) analyses of purified mitochondria as well as ETC complexes isolated via blue native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis are combined with the results of bioinformatic queries of sequence databases. Our bioinformatic analyses have identified most of the ETC subunits found in other eukaryotes, confirming and extending previous observations. The assignment of proteins as ETC subunits by MS/MS provides important insights into the primary structures of ETC proteins and makes possible, through the use of sensitive profile-based similarity searches, the identification of novel constituents of the ETC along with the annotation of highly divergent but phylogenetically conserved ETC subunits. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. The sights and insights of examiners in objective structured clinical examinations

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    Lauren Chong

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Purpose The objective structured clinical examination (OSCE is considered to be one of the most robust methods of clinical assessment. One of its strengths lies in its ability to minimise the effects of examiner bias due to the standardisation of items and tasks for each candidate. However, OSCE examiners’ assessment scores are influenced by several factors that may jeopardise the assumed objectivity of OSCEs. To better understand this phenomenon, the current review aims to determine and describe important sources of examiner bias and the factors affecting examiners’ assessments. Methods We performed a narrative review of the medical literature using Medline. All articles meeting the selection criteria were reviewed, with salient points extracted and synthesised into a clear and comprehensive summary of the knowledge in this area. Results OSCE examiners’ assessment scores are influenced by factors belonging to 4 different domains: examination context, examinee characteristics, examinee-examiner interactions, and examiner characteristics. These domains are composed of several factors including halo, hawk/dove and OSCE contrast effects; the examiner’s gender and ethnicity; training; lifetime experience in assessing; leadership and familiarity with students; station type; and site effects. Conclusion Several factors may influence the presumed objectivity of examiners’ assessments, and these factors need to be addressed to ensure the objectivity of OSCEs. We offer insights into directions for future research to better understand and address the phenomenon of examiner bias.

  18. Cyclotide Evolution: Insights from the Analyses of Their Precursor Sequences, Structures and Distribution in Violets (Viola

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    Sungkyu Park

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Cyclotides are a family of plant proteins that are characterized by a cyclic backbone and a knotted disulfide topology. Their cyclic cystine knot (CCK motif makes them exceptionally resistant to thermal, chemical, and enzymatic degradation. By disrupting cell membranes, the cyclotides function as host defense peptides by exhibiting insecticidal, anthelmintic, antifouling, and molluscicidal activities. In this work, we provide the first insight into the evolution of this family of plant proteins by studying the Violaceae, in particular species of the genus Viola. We discovered 157 novel precursor sequences by the transcriptomic analysis of six Viola species: V. albida var. takahashii, V. mandshurica, V. orientalis, V. verecunda, V. acuminata, and V. canadensis. By combining these precursor sequences with the phylogenetic classification of Viola, we infer the distribution of cyclotides across 63% of the species in the genus (i.e., ~380 species. Using full precursor sequences from transcriptomes, we show an evolutionary link to the structural diversity of the cyclotides, and further classify the cyclotides by sequence signatures from the non-cyclotide domain. Also, transcriptomes were compared to cyclotide expression on a peptide level determined using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. Furthermore, the novel cyclotides discovered were associated with the emergence of new biological functions.

  19. Structural, mechanistic and functional insight into gliotoxin bis-thiomethylation in Aspergillus fumigatus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dolan, Stephen K; Bock, Tobias; Hering, Vanessa; Owens, Rebecca A; Jones, Gary W; Blankenfeldt, Wulf; Doyle, Sean

    2017-02-01

    Gliotoxin is an epipolythiodioxopiperazine (ETP) class toxin, contains a disulfide bridge that mediates its toxic effects via redox cycling and is produced by the opportunistic fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus Self-resistance against gliotoxin is effected by the gliotoxin oxidase GliT, and attenuation of gliotoxin biosynthesis is catalysed by gliotoxin S -methyltransferase GtmA. Here we describe the X-ray crystal structures of GtmA-apo (1.66 Å), GtmA complexed to S -adenosylhomocysteine (1.33 Å) and GtmA complexed to S -adenosylmethionine (2.28 Å), providing mechanistic insights into this important biotransformation. We further reveal that simultaneous elimination of the ability of A. fumigatus to dissipate highly reactive dithiol gliotoxin, via deletion of GliT and GtmA, results in the most significant hypersensitivity to exogenous gliotoxin observed to date. Indeed, quantitative proteomic analysis of Δ gliT ::Δ gtmA reveals an uncontrolled over-activation of the gli -cluster upon gliotoxin exposure. The data presented herein reveal, for the first time, the extreme risk associated with intracellular dithiol gliotoxin biosynthesis-in the absence of an efficient dismutation capacity. Significantly, a previously concealed protective role for GtmA and functionality of ETP bis -thiomethylation as an ancestral protection strategy against dithiol compounds is now evident. © 2017 The Authors.

  20. Beyond Ebola treatment units: severe infection temporary treatment units as an essential element of Ebola case management during an outbreak.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janke, Christian; Heim, Katrin Moira; Steiner, Florian; Massaquoi, Moses; Gbanya, Miatta Zenabu; Frey, Claudia; Froeschl, Guenter

    2017-02-06

    In the course of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa that was witnessed since early 2014, the response mechanisms showed deficits in terms of timeliness, volume and adequacy. The authors were deployed in the Ebola campaign in the West African country Liberia, where by September 2014 the changing epidemiological pattern made reconsiderations of guidelines and adopted procedures necessary. A temporary facility set up as a conventional Ebola Treatment Unit in the Liberian capital Monrovia was re-dedicated into a Severe Infections Temporary Treatment Unit. This facility allowed for stratification based on the nosocomial risk of exposure to Ebola virus for a growing subgroup of admitted patients that in the end would turn out as Ebola negative cases. At the same time, adequate diagnostic measures and treatment for the non-Ebola conditions of these patients could be provided without compromising work safety of the employed staff. The key elements of the new unit comprised a Suspect Cases Area similar to that of conventional Ebola treatment units for newly arriving patients, an Unlikely Cases Area for patients with a first negative Ebola PCR result, and a Confirmed Negative Cases Area for patients in whom Ebola could be ruled out. The authors, comprising representatives of the Liberian Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, as well as infectious disease specialists from the German Ebola Task Force are presenting key features of the adapted concept, and are highlighting its relevance in raising acceptance for outbreak counter-measures within the population at stake.

  1. Ebola - What You Need to Know app.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Roger

    2015-02-03

    This app is the pocket companion to the Ebola in Africa section of the International SOS website. With headquarters in London and Singapore, International SOS is a company that provides medical, clinical and security services in 81 countries for organisations with international operations.

  2. Ebola Survivor and Her Pregnancy Outcome

    Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Podcasts

    2016-12-14

    Dr. Moon Kim, a medical epidemiologist at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, discusses an Ebola virus disease survivor and the delivery of her baby.  Created: 12/14/2016 by National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID).   Date Released: 12/14/2016.

  3. Insights on Forest Structure and Composition from Long-Term Research in the Luquillo Mountains

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tamara Heartsill Scalley

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available The science of ecology fundamentally aims to understand species and their relation to the environment. At sites where hurricane disturbance is part of the environmental context, permanent forest plots are critical to understand ecological vegetation dynamics through time. An overview of forest structure and species composition from two of the longest continuously measured tropical forest plots is presented. Long-term measurements, 72 years at the leeward site, and 25 years at windward site, of stem density are similar to initial and pre-hurricane values at both sites. For 10 years post-hurricane Hugo (1989, stem density increased at both sites. Following that increase period, stem density has remained at 1400 to 1600 stems/ha in the leeward site, and at 1200 stems/ha in the windward site. The forests had similar basal area values before hurricane Hugo in 1989, but these sites are following different patterns of basal area accumulation. The leeward forest site continues to accumulate and increase basal area with each successive measurement, currently above 50 m2/ha. The windward forest site maintains its basal area values close to an asymptote of 35 m2/ha. Currently, the most abundant species at both sites is the sierra palm. Ordinations to explore variation in tree species composition through time present the leeward site with a trajectory of directional change, while at the windward site, the composition of species seems to be converging to pre-hurricane conditions. The observed differences in forest structure and composition from sites differently affected by hurricane disturbance provide insight into how particular forest characteristics respond at shorter or longer time scales in relation to previous site conditions and intensity of disturbance effects.

  4. Insight into structural phase transitions from the decoupled anharmonic mode approximation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Donat J; Passerone, Daniele

    2016-08-03

    We develop a formalism (decoupled anharmonic mode approximation, DAMA) that allows calculation of the vibrational free energy using density functional theory even for materials which exhibit negative curvature of the potential energy surface with respect to atomic displacements. We investigate vibrational modes beyond the harmonic approximation and approximate the potential energy surface with the superposition of the accurate potential along each normal mode. We show that the free energy can stabilize crystal structures at finite temperatures which appear dynamically unstable at T  =  0. The DAMA formalism is computationally fast because it avoids statistical sampling through molecular dynamics calculations, and is in principle completely ab initio. It is free of statistical uncertainties and independent of model parameters, but can give insight into the mechanism of a structural phase transition. We apply the formalism to the perovskite cryolite, and investigate the temperature-driven phase transition from the P21/n to the Immm space group. We calculate a phase transition temperature between 710 and 950 K, in fair agreement with the experimental value of 885 K. This can be related to the underestimation of the interaction of the vibrational states. We also calculate the main axes of the thermal ellipsoid and can explain the experimentally observed increase of its volume for the fluorine by 200-300% throughout the phase transition. Our calculations suggest the appearance of tunneling states in the high temperature phase. The convergence of the vibrational DOS and of the critical temperature with respect of reciprocal space sampling is investigated using the polarizable-ion model.

  5. Structural and dynamical insights into the membrane-bound α-synuclein.

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    Neha Jain

    Full Text Available Membrane-induced disorder-to-helix transition of α-synuclein, a presynaptic protein, has been implicated in a number of important neuronal functions as well as in the etiology of Parkinson's disease. In order to obtain structural insights of membrane-bound α-synuclein at the residue-specific resolution, we took advantage of the fact that the protein is devoid of tryptophan and incorporated single tryptophan at various residue positions along the sequence. These tryptophans were used as site-specific markers to characterize the structural and dynamical aspects of α-synuclein on the negatively charged small unilamellar lipid vesicles. An array of site-specific fluorescence readouts, such as the spectral-shift, quenching efficiency and anisotropy, allowed us to discern various features of the conformational rearrangements occurring at different locations of α-synuclein on the lipid membrane. In order to define the spatial localization of various regions of the protein near the membrane surface, we utilized a unique and sensitive indicator, namely, red-edge excitation shift (REES, which originates when a fluorophore is located in a highly ordered micro-environment. The extent of REES observed at different residue positions allowed us to directly identify the residues that are localized at the membrane-water interface comprising a thin (∼ 15 Å layer of motionally restrained water molecules and enabled us to construct a dynamic hydration map of the protein. The combination of site-specific fluorescence readouts allowed us to unravel the intriguing molecular details of α-synuclein on the lipid membrane in a direct model-free fashion. Additionally, the combination of methodologies described here are capable of distinguishing subtle but important structural alterations of α-synuclein bound to different negatively charged lipids with varied head-group chemistry. We believe that the structural modulations of α-synuclein on the membrane could

  6. Ebola Virus Disease in Children, Sierra Leone, 2014–2015

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naveed, Asad; Wing, Kevin; Gbessay, Musa; Ross, J.C.G.; Checchi, Francesco; Youkee, Daniel; Jalloh, Mohammed Boie; Baion, David; Mustapha, Ayeshatu; Jah, Hawanatu; Lako, Sandra; Oza, Shefali; Boufkhed, Sabah; Feury, Reynold; Bielicki, Julia A.; Gibb, Diana M.; Klein, Nigel; Sahr, Foday; Yeung, Shunmay

    2016-01-01

    Little is known about potentially modifiable factors in Ebola virus disease in children. We undertook a retrospective cohort study of children <13 years old admitted to 11 Ebola holding units in the Western Area, Sierra Leone, during 2014–2015 to identify factors affecting outcome. Primary outcome was death or discharge after transfer to Ebola treatment centers. All 309 Ebola virus–positive children 2 days–12 years old were included; outcomes were available for 282 (91%). Case-fatality was 57%, and 55% of deaths occurred in Ebola holding units. Blood test results showed hypoglycemia and hepatic/renal dysfunction. Death occurred swiftly (median 3 days after admission) and was associated with younger age and diarrhea. Despite triangulation of information from multiple sources, data availability was limited, and we identified no modifiable factors substantially affecting death. In future Ebola virus disease epidemics, robust, rapid data collection is vital to determine effectiveness of interventions for children. PMID:27649367

  7. Ebola, jobs and economic activity in Liberia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowles, Jeremy; Hjort, Jonas; Melvin, Timothy; Werker, Eric

    2016-03-01

    The 2014 Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in the neighbouring West African countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone represents the most significant setback to the region's development in over a decade. This study provides evidence on the extent to which economic activity declined and jobs disappeared in Liberia during the outbreak. To estimate how the level of activity and number of jobs in a given set of firms changed during the outbreak, we use a unique panel data set of registered firms surveyed by the business-development non-profit organisation, Building Markets. We also compare the change in economic activity during the outbreak, across regions of the country that had more versus fewer Ebola cases in a difference-in-differences approach. We find a large decrease in economic activity and jobs in all of Liberia during the Ebola outbreak, and an especially large decline in Monrovia. Outside of Monrovia, the restaurants, and food and beverages sectors have suffered the most among the surveyed sectors, and in Monrovia, the construction and restaurant sectors have shed the most employees, while the food and beverages sectors experienced the largest drop in new contracts. We find little association between the incidence of Ebola cases and declines in economic activity outside of Monrovia. If the large decline in economic activity that occurred during the Ebola outbreak persists, a focus on economic recovery may need to be added to the efforts to rebuild and support the healthcare system in order for Liberia to regain its footing. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://www.bmj.com/company/products-services/rights-and-licensing/

  8. Seroprevalence of Ebola virus infection in Bombali District, Sierra Leone

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    Nadege Goumkwa Mafopa

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available A serosurvey of anti-Ebola Zaire virus nucleoprotein IgG prevalence was carried out among Ebola virus disease survivors and their Community Contacts in Bombali District, Sierra Leone. Our data suggest that the specie of Ebola virus (Zaire responsible of the 2013-2016 epidemic in West Africa may cause mild or asymptomatic infection in a proportion of cases, possibly due to an efficient immune response.

  9. Single-crystal structure determination of hydrous minerals and insights into a wet deep lower mantle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, L.; Yuan, H.; Meng, Y.; Popov, D.

    2017-12-01

    Water enters the Earth's interior through hydrated subducting slabs. How deep within the lower mantle (670-2900 km depth) can water be transported down and stored depends upon the availability of hydrous phases that is thermodynamically stable under the high P-T conditions and have a sufficiently high density to sink through the lower mantle. Phase H [MgSiH2O4] (1) and the δ-AlOOH (2) form solid solutions that are stable in the deep lower mantle (3), but the solid solution phase is 10% lighter than the corresponding lower mantle. Recent experimental discoveries of the pyrite (Py) structured FeO2 and FeOOH (4-6) suggest that these Fe-enriched phases can be transported to the deepest lower mantle owing to their high density. We have further discovered a very dense hydrous phase in (Fe,Al)OOH with a previously unknown hexagonal symmetry and this phase is stable relative to the Py-phase under extreme high P-T conditions in the deep lower mantle. Through in situ multigrain analysis (7) and single-crystal structure determination of the hydrous minerals at P-Tconditions of the deep lower mantle, we can obtain detailed structure information of the hydrous phases and therefore provide insights into the hydration mechanism in the deep lower mantle. These highly stable hydrous minerals extend the water cycle at least to the depth of 2900 km. 1. M. Nishi et al., Nature Geoscience 7, 224-227 (2014). 2. E. Ohtani, K. Litasov, A. Suzuki, T. Kondo, Geophysical Research Letters 28, 3991-3993 (2001). 3. I. Ohira et al., Earth and Planetary Science Letters 401, 12-17 (2014). 4. Q. Hu et al., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 114, 1498-1501 (2017). 5. M. Nishi, Y. Kuwayama, J. Tsuchiya, T. Tsuchiya, Nature 547, 205-208 (2017). 6. Q. Hu et al., Nature 534, 241-244 (2016). 7. L. Zhang et al., American Mineralogist 101, 231-234 (2016).

  10. Conformational plasticity of the Ebola virus matrix protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radzimanowski, Jens; Effantin, Gregory; Weissenhorn, Winfried

    2014-11-01

    Filoviruses are the causative agents of a severe and often fatal hemorrhagic fever with repeated outbreaks in Africa. They are negative sense single stranded enveloped viruses that can cross species barriers from its natural host bats to primates including humans. The small size of the genome poses limits to viral adaption, which may be partially overcome by conformational plasticity. Here we review the different conformational states of the Ebola virus (EBOV) matrix protein VP40 that range from monomers, to dimers, hexamers, and RNA-bound octamers. This conformational plasticity that is required for the viral life cycle poses a unique opportunity for development of VP40 specific drugs. Furthermore, we compare the structure to homologous matrix protein structures from Paramyxoviruses and Bornaviruses and we predict that they do not only share the fold but also the conformational flexibility of EBOV VP40. © 2014 The Protein Society.

  11. Successful topical respiratory tract immunization of primates against Ebola virus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bukreyev, Alexander; Rollin, Pierre E; Tate, Mallory K; Yang, Lijuan; Zaki, Sherif R; Shieh, Wun-Ju; Murphy, Brian R; Collins, Peter L; Sanchez, Anthony

    2007-06-01

    Ebola virus causes outbreaks of severe viral hemorrhagic fever with high mortality in humans. The virus is highly contagious and can be transmitted by contact and by the aerosol route. These features make Ebola virus a potential weapon for bioterrorism and biological warfare. Therefore, a vaccine that induces both systemic and local immune responses in the respiratory tract would be highly beneficial. We evaluated a common pediatric respiratory pathogen, human parainfluenza virus type 3 (HPIV3), as a vaccine vector against Ebola virus. HPIV3 recombinants expressing the Ebola virus (Zaire species) surface glycoprotein (GP) alone or in combination with the nucleocapsid protein NP or with the cytokine adjuvant granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor were administered by the respiratory route to rhesus monkeys--in which HPIV3 infection is mild and asymptomatic--and were evaluated for immunogenicity and protective efficacy against a highly lethal intraperitoneal challenge with Ebola virus. A single immunization with any construct expressing GP was moderately immunogenic against Ebola virus and protected 88% of the animals against severe hemorrhagic fever and death caused by Ebola virus. Two doses were highly immunogenic, and all of the animals survived challenge and were free of signs of disease and of detectable Ebola virus challenge virus. These data illustrate the feasibility of immunization via the respiratory tract against the hemorrhagic fever caused by Ebola virus. To our knowledge, this is the first study in which topical immunization through respiratory tract achieved prevention of a viral hemorrhagic fever infection in a primate model.

  12. B-GATA transcription factors - insights into their structure, regulation and role in plant development

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    Claus eSchwechheimer

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available GATA transcription factors are evolutionarily conserved transcriptional regulators that recognize promoter elements with a G-A-T-A core sequence. In comparison to animal genomes, the GATA transcription factor family in plants is comparatively large with approximately 30 members. In spite of a long-standing interest of plant molecular biologists in GATA factors, only research conducted in the last years has led to reliable insights into their functions during plant development. Here, we review the current knowledge on B-GATAs, one of four GATA factor subfamilies from Arabidopsis thaliana. We show that B-GATAs can be subdivided based on structural features and their biological function into family members with a C-terminal LLM- (leucine-leucine-methionine domain or an N-terminal HAN- (HANABA TARANU domain. The paralogous GNC (GATA, NITRATE-INDUCIBLE, CARBON-METABOLISM INVOLVED and CGA1/GNL (CYTOKININ-INDUCED GATA1/GNC-LIKE are introduced as LLM-domain containing B-GATAs from Arabidopsis that control germination, greening, senescence and flowering time downstream from several growth regulatory signals including light and the hormones gibberellin, auxin, and cytokinin. Arabidopsis HAN and its monocot-specific paralogs from rice (NECK LEAF1, maize (TASSEL SHEATH1, and barley (THIRD OUTER GLUME are HAN-domain-containing B-GATAs with a predominant role in embryo development and floral development. We also review GATA23, a regulator of lateral root initiation from Arabidopsis, that is closely related to GNC and GNL but has a degenerate LLM-domain that is seemingly specific for the Brassicaceae family. The Brassicaceae-specific GATA23 together with the above-mentioned monocot-specific HAN-domain GATAs provide evidence that neofunctionalization of the B-GATAs was used during plant evolution to expand the functional repertoire of these transcription factors.

  13. CYANOMETHANIMINE ISOMERS IN COLD INTERSTELLAR CLOUDS: INSIGHTS FROM ELECTRONIC STRUCTURE AND KINETIC CALCULATIONS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vazart, Fanny; Latouche, Camille; Skouteris, Dimitrios; Barone, Vincenzo [Scuola Normale Superiore, Piazza dei Cavalieri 7, I-56125 Pisa (Italy); Balucani, Nadia [Dipartimento di Chimica, Biologia e Biotecnologie, Universitá degli Studi di Perugia, Via Elce di Sotto 8, I-06123 Perugia (Italy)

    2015-09-10

    New insights into the formation of interstellar cyanomethanimine, a species of great relevance in prebiotic chemistry, are provided by electronic structure and kinetic calculations for the reaction CN + CH{sub 2} = NH. This reaction is a facile formation route of Z,E-C-cyanomethanimine, even under the extreme conditions of density and temperature typical of cold interstellar clouds. E-C-cyanomethanimine has been recently identified in Sgr B2(N) in the Green Bank Telescope (GBT) PRIMOS survey by P. Zaleski et al. and no efficient formation routes have been envisaged so far. The rate coefficient expression for the reaction channel leading to the observed isomer E-C-cyanomethanimine is 3.15 × 10-10 × (T/300){sup 0.152} × e{sup (−0.0948/T)}. According to the present study, the more stable Z-C-cyanomethanimine isomer is formed with a slightly larger yield (4.59 × 10{sup −10} × (T/300){sup 0.153} × e{sup (−0.0871/T)}. As the detection of E-isomer is favored due to its larger dipole moment, the missing detection of the Z-isomer can be due to the sensitivity limit of the GBT PRIMOS survey and the detection of the Z-isomer should be attempted with more sensitive instrumentation. The CN + CH{sub 2} = NH reaction can also play a role in the chemistry of the upper atmosphere of Titan where the cyanomethanimine products can contribute to the buildup of the observed nitrogen-rich organic aerosols that cover the moon.

  14. Structural insights into mechanisms for inhibiting amyloid β42 aggregation by non-catechol-type flavonoids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanaki, Mizuho; Murakami, Kazuma; Akagi, Ken-ichi; Irie, Kazuhiro

    2016-01-15

    The prevention of 42-mer amyloid β-protein (Aβ42) aggregation is promising for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. We previously described the site-specific inhibitory mechanism for Aβ42 aggregation by a catechol-type flavonoid, (+)-taxifolin, targeting Lys16,28 after its autoxidation. In contrast, non-catechol-type flavonoids (morin, datiscetin, and kaempferol) inhibited Aβ42 aggregation without targeting Lys16,28 with almost similar potencies to that of (+)-taxifolin. We herein provided structural insights into their mechanisms for inhibiting Aβ42 aggregation. Physicochemical analyses revealed that their inhibition did not require autoxidation. The (1)H-(15)N SOFAST-HMQC NMR of Aβ42 in the presence of morin and datiscetin revealed the significant perturbation of chemical shifts of His13,14 and Gln15, which were close to the intermolecular β-sheet region, Gln15-Ala21. His13,14 also played a role in radical formation at Tyr10, thereby inducing the oxidation of Met35, which has been implicated in Aβ42 aggregation. These results suggest the direct interaction of morin and datiscetin with the Aβ42 monomer. Although only kaempferol was oxidatively-degraded during incubation, its degradation products as well as kaempferol itself suppressed Aβ42 aggregation. However, neither kaempferol nor its decomposed products perturbed the chemical shifts of the Aβ42 monomer. Aggregation experiments using 1,1,1,3,3,3-hexafluoro-2-propanol-treated Aβ42 demonstrated that kaempferol and its degradation products inhibited the elongation rather than nucleation phase, implying that they interacted with small aggregates of Aβ42, but not with the monomer. In contrast, morin and datiscetin inhibited both phases. The position and number of hydroxyl groups on the B-ring of non-catechol-type flavonoids could be important for their inhibitory potencies and mechanisms against Aβ42 aggregation. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. 3D-structured illumination microscopy provides novel insight into architecture of human centrosomes

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    Katharina F. Sonnen

    2012-08-01

    Centrioles are essential for the formation of cilia and flagella. They also form the core of the centrosome, which organizes microtubule arrays important for cell shape, polarity, motility and division. Here, we have used super-resolution 3D-structured illumination microscopy to analyse the spatial relationship of 18 centriole and pericentriolar matrix (PCM components of human centrosomes at different cell cycle stages. During mitosis, PCM proteins formed extended networks with interspersed γ-Tubulin. During interphase, most proteins were arranged at specific distances from the walls of centrioles, resulting in ring staining, often with discernible density masses. Through use of site-specific antibodies, we found the C-terminus of Cep152 to be closer to centrioles than the N-terminus, illustrating the power of 3D-SIM to study protein disposition. Appendage proteins showed rings with multiple density masses, and the number of these masses was strongly reduced during mitosis. At the proximal end of centrioles, Sas-6 formed a dot at the site of daughter centriole assembly, consistent with its role in cartwheel formation. Plk4 and STIL co-localized with Sas-6, but Cep135 was associated mostly with mother centrioles. Remarkably, Plk4 formed a dot on the surface of the mother centriole before Sas-6 staining became detectable, indicating that Plk4 constitutes an early marker for the site of nascent centriole formation. Our study provides novel insights into the architecture of human centrosomes and illustrates the power of super-resolution microscopy in revealing the relative localization of centriole and PCM proteins in unprecedented detail.

  16. Chimpanzee Adenovirus Vector Ebola Vaccine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ledgerwood, Julie E; DeZure, Adam D; Stanley, Daphne A; Coates, Emily E; Novik, Laura; Enama, Mary E; Berkowitz, Nina M; Hu, Zonghui; Joshi, Gyan; Ploquin, Aurélie; Sitar, Sandra; Gordon, Ingelise J; Plummer, Sarah A; Holman, LaSonji A; Hendel, Cynthia S; Yamshchikov, Galina; Roman, Francois; Nicosia, Alfredo; Colloca, Stefano; Cortese, Riccardo; Bailer, Robert T; Schwartz, Richard M; Roederer, Mario; Mascola, John R; Koup, Richard A; Sullivan, Nancy J; Graham, Barney S

    2017-03-09

    The unprecedented 2014 epidemic of Ebola virus disease (EVD) prompted an international response to accelerate the availability of a preventive vaccine. A replication-defective recombinant chimpanzee adenovirus type 3-vectored ebolavirus vaccine (cAd3-EBO), encoding the glycoprotein from Zaire and Sudan species, that offers protection in the nonhuman primate model, was rapidly advanced into phase 1 clinical evaluation. We conducted a phase 1, dose-escalation, open-label trial of cAd3-EBO. Twenty healthy adults, in sequentially enrolled groups of 10 each, received vaccination intramuscularly in doses of 2×10 10 particle units or 2×10 11 particle units. Primary and secondary end points related to safety and immunogenicity were assessed throughout the first 8 weeks after vaccination; in addition, longer-term vaccine durability was assessed at 48 weeks after vaccination. In this small study, no safety concerns were identified; however, transient fever developed within 1 day after vaccination in two participants who had received the 2×10 11 particle-unit dose. Glycoprotein-specific antibodies were induced in all 20 participants; the titers were of greater magnitude in the group that received the 2×10 11 particle-unit dose than in the group that received the 2×10 10 particle-unit dose (geometric mean titer against the Zaire antigen at week 4, 2037 vs. 331; P=0.001). Glycoprotein-specific T-cell responses were more frequent among those who received the 2×10 11 particle-unit dose than among those who received the 2×10 10 particle-unit dose, with a CD4 response in 10 of 10 participants versus 3 of 10 participants (P=0.004) and a CD8 response in 7 of 10 participants versus 2 of 10 participants (P=0.07) at week 4. Assessment of the durability of the antibody response showed that titers remained high at week 48, with the highest titers in those who received the 2×10 11 particle-unit dose. Reactogenicity and immune responses to cAd3-EBO vaccine were dose-dependent. At

  17. Insight into the Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction through first-principles study of chiral magnetic structures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandratskii, L. M.

    2017-07-01

    The purpose of the paper is to gain deeper insight into microscopic formation of the Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction (DMI). The paper aims at the development of the physical picture able to address apparently contradicting conclusions of recent studies concerning the location of the DMI energy in the real and reciprocal spaces as well as the relation between values of the atomic moments and the DMI strength. The main tools of our study are the first-principles calculations of the energies of the spiral magnetic states with opposite chiralities. We suggest a method of the calculation of the spiral structures with account for the spin-orbit coupling (SOC). It is based on the application of the generalized Bloch theorem and generalized Bloch functions and allows to reduce the consideration of arbitrary incommensurate spiral to small chemical unit cell. The method neglects the anisotropy in the plane orthogonal to the rotation axis of the spirals that does not influence importantly the DMI energy. For comparison, the supercell calculation with full account for the SOC is performed. The concrete calculations are performed for the Co/Pt bilayer. We consider the distribution of the DMI energy in both real and reciprocal spaces and the dependence of the DMI on the number of electrons. The results of the calculations reveal a number of energy compensations in the formation of the DMI. Thus, the partial atomic contributions as functions of the spiral wave vector q are nonmonotonic and have strongly varying slopes. However, in the total DMI energy these atom-related features compensate each other, resulting in a smooth q dependence. The reason for the peculiar form of the partial DMI contributions is a q -dependent difference in the charge distribution between q and -q spirals. The strongly q -dependent relation between atomic contributions shows that the real-space distribution of the DMI energy obtained for a selected q value cannot be considered as a general

  18. Control of Ebola virus disease - firestone district, liberia, 2014.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reaves, Erik J; Mabande, Lyndon G; Thoroughman, Douglas A; Arwady, M Allison; Montgomery, Joel M

    2014-10-24

    On March 30, 2014, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOHSW) of Liberia alerted health officials at Firestone Liberia, Inc. (Firestone) of the first known case of Ebola virus disease (Ebola) inside the Firestone rubber tree plantation of Liberia. The patient, who was the wife of a Firestone employee, had cared for a family member with confirmed Ebola in Lofa County, the epicenter of the Ebola outbreak in Liberia during March-April 2014. To prevent a large outbreak among Firestone's 8,500 employees, their dependents, and the surrounding population, the company responded by 1) establishing an incident management system, 2) instituting procedures for the early recognition and isolation of Ebola patients, 3) enforcing adherence to standard Ebola infection control guidelines, and 4) providing differing levels of management for contacts depending on their exposure, including options for voluntary quarantine in the home or in dedicated facilities. In addition, Firestone created multidisciplinary teams to oversee the outbreak response, address case detection, manage cases in a dedicated unit, and reintegrate convalescent patients into the community. The company also created a robust risk communication, prevention, and social mobilization campaign to boost community awareness of Ebola and how to prevent transmission. During August 1-September 23, a period of intense Ebola transmission in the surrounding areas, 71 cases of Ebola were diagnosed among the approximately 80,000 Liberians for whom Firestone provides health care (cumulative incidence = 0.09%). Fifty-seven (80%) of the cases were laboratory confirmed; 39 (68%) of these cases were fatal. Aspects of Firestone's response appear to have minimized the spread of Ebola in the local population and might be successfully implemented elsewhere to limit the spread of Ebola and prevent transmission to health care workers (HCWs).

  19. SnoRNAs from the filamentous fungus Neurospora crassa: structural, functional and evolutionary insights

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    Chen Chun-Long

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background SnoRNAs represent an excellent model for studying the structural and functional evolution of small non-coding RNAs involved in the post-transcriptional modification machinery for rRNAs and snRNAs in eukaryotic cells. Identification of snoRNAs from Neurospora crassa, an important model organism playing key roles in the development of modern genetics, biochemistry and molecular biology will provide insights into the evolution of snoRNA genes in the fungus kingdom. Results Fifty five box C/D snoRNAs were identified and predicted to guide 71 2'-O-methylated sites including four sites on snRNAs and three sites on tRNAs. Additionally, twenty box H/ACA snoRNAs, which potentially guide 17 pseudouridylations on rRNAs, were also identified. Although not exhaustive, the study provides the first comprehensive list of two major families of snoRNAs from the filamentous fungus N. crassa. The independently transcribed strategy dominates in the expression of box H/ACA snoRNA genes, whereas most of the box C/D snoRNA genes are intron-encoded. This shows that different genomic organizations and expression modes have been adopted by the two major classes of snoRNA genes in N. crassa . Remarkably, five gene clusters represent an outstanding organization of box C/D snoRNA genes, which are well conserved among yeasts and multicellular fungi, implying their functional importance for the fungus cells. Interestingly, alternative splicing events were found in the expression of two polycistronic snoRNA gene hosts that resemble the UHG-like genes in mammals. Phylogenetic analysis further revealed that the extensive separation and recombination of two functional elements of snoRNA genes has occurred during fungus evolution. Conclusion This is the first genome-wide analysis of the filamentous fungus N. crassa snoRNAs that aids in understanding the differences between unicellular fungi and multicellular fungi. As compared with two yeasts, a more complex

  20. Ebola Virus Disease – An Update

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Surekha Kishore

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Ebola Virus Disease (EVD is a severe, haemorrhagic febrile disease, often fatal in humans, caused by a non segmented, negative sense RNA virus of the family Filoviridae and genus Ebolavirus. It is also known as Ebola Haemorrhagic fever. There are five species of Ebolavirus, namely Bundibugyo ebolavirus, Zaire ebolavirus, Reston ebolavirus, Sudan ebolavirus and Tai Forest ebolavirus. The Zaire species has caused multiple large outbreaks with mortality rates of 55 to 88 percent since first appearance of the disease whereas the Sudan virus has been associated with an approximate 50 percent case-fatality rate in four known epidemics: two in Sudan in the 1970s, one in Uganda in 2000, and another in Sudan in 2004 [1-5].

  1. Planning and response to Ebola virus disease: An integrated approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Philip W; Boulter, Kathleen C; Hewlett, Angela L; Kratochvil, Christopher J; Beam, Elizabeth J; Gibbs, Shawn G; Lowe, John-Martin J; Schwedhelm, Michelle M

    2015-05-01

    The care of patients with Ebola virus disease (EVD) requires the application of critical care medicine principles under conditions of stringent infection control precautions. The care of patients with EVD requires a number of elements in terms of physical layout, personal protective apparel, and other equipment. Provision of care is demanding in terms of depth of staff and training. The key to safely providing such care is a system that brings many valuable skills to the table, and allows communication between these individuals. We present our approach to leadership structure and function--a variation of incident command--in providing care to 3 patients with EVD. Copyright © 2015 Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. News media coverage of U.S. Ebola policies: Implications for communication during future infectious disease threats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sell, Tara Kirk; Boddie, Crystal; McGinty, Emma E; Pollack, Keshia; Smith, Katherine Clegg; Burke, Thomas A; Rutkow, Lainie

    2016-12-01

    The Ebola outbreak of 2014-2015 raised concerns about the disease's potential spread in the U.S. and received significant news media coverage. Prior research has shown that news media coverage of policy options can influence public opinion regarding those policies, as well as public attitudes toward the broader social issues and target populations addressed by such policies. To assess news media coverage of Ebola policies, the content of U.S.-focused news stories (n=1262) published between July 1 and November 30, 2014 from 12 news sources was analyzed for 13 policy-related messages. Eight-two percent of news stories mentioned one or more policy-related messages. The most frequently appearing policy-related messages overall were those about isolation (47%) and quarantine (40%). The least frequently mentioned policy-related message described dividing potentially exposed persons into distinct groups based on their level of Ebola risk in order to set different levels of restrictions (5%). Message frequency differed depending on whether news sources were located in an area that experienced an Ebola case or controversy, by news sources' political ideological perspective, and by type of news source (print and television). All policy-related messages showed significant increases in frequency after the first case of Ebola was diagnosed in the U.S. on September 30, 2014, with the exception of messages related to isolation, which showed a significant decrease. Results offer insight into how the news media covers policies to manage emerging disease threats. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. April 28, 2015 CDC Ebola Response Update

    Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Podcasts

    In any disease outbreak, misinformation, a lack of understanding, and fear can lead to unfortunate side effects, like stigma. Stigma presents a challenge for communities during a time when they need to be strong to fight the disease. In this podcast, Molly Gaines-McCollom, CDC Health Communication Specialist, discusses the impact of stigma in the current Ebola outbreak and why it’s so important to fight it.

  4. Ebola Crisis in the United States

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Avinash Raghunath Patwardhan M.D.

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available This article is about readiness of the U.S. health care system to deal with crises. Using the Ebola crisis as a reference, first it examines the response to the current challenge. However, that is the smaller objective of the article. Lately, we are also being challenged to deal with other kinds of epidemics like obesity, mental health diseases, and violence. These crises are not dramatic like the Ebola crisis. However, these are no less insidious than Ebola. If we are not ready for them, then these crises have the potential to undermine the long-term health and prosperity of our society. In this context, and therefore mainly, this article is about two major long-standing systemic problems in the U.S. health care system that the unfolding of the Ebola crisis has bared. One is about how the inherent problem in the design of American federalist system regarding state autonomy on health matters is creating a dysfunctional health care system. The other is about the inertia of the research industry in the health care system in clinging to an archaic outdated inefficient mind-set and methodology that fails to generate the right information required for an appropriate decision making in matters of health care delivery, including crises. These problems are not small, nor their solutions easy. However, no matter how uncomfortable and tedious, facing them is necessary and inevitable. The discussions and arguments in this article are to outline their nature broadly and to make a call to further a dialogue.

  5. Insight into Evolution, Processing and Performance of Multi-length-scale Structures in Planar Heterojunction Perovskite Solar Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Yu-Ching; Tsao, Cheng-Si; Cho, Yi-Ju; Chen, Kuan-Chen; Chiang, Kai-Ming; Hsiao, Sheng-Yi; Chen, Chang-Wen; Su, Chun-Jen; Jeng, U-Ser; Lin, Hao-Wu

    2015-09-04

    The structural characterization correlated to the processing control of hierarchical structure of planar heterojunction perovskite layer is still incomplete due to the limitations of conventional microscopy and X-ray diffraction. This present study performed the simultaneously grazing-incidence small-angle scattering and wide-angle scattering (GISAXS/GIWAXS) techniques to quantitatively probe the hierarchical structure of the planar heterojunction perovskite solar cells. The result is complementary to the currently microscopic study. Correlation between the crystallization behavior, crystal orientation, nano- and meso-scale internal structure and surface morphology of perovskite film as functions of various processing control parameters is reported for the first time. The structural transition from the fractal pore network to the surface fractal can be tuned by the chloride percentage. The GISAXS/GIWAXS measurement provides the comprehensive understanding of concurrent evolution of the film morphology and crystallization correlated to the high performance. The result can provide the insight into formation mechanism and rational synthesis design.

  6. Insight into Evolution, Processing and Performance of Multi-length-scale Structures in Planar Heterojunction Perovskite Solar Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Yu-Ching; Tsao, Cheng-Si; Cho, Yi-Ju; Chen, Kuan-Chen; Chiang, Kai-Ming; Hsiao, Sheng-Yi; Chen, Chang-Wen; Su, Chun-Jen; Jeng, U.-Ser; Lin, Hao-Wu

    2015-09-01

    The structural characterization correlated to the processing control of hierarchical structure of planar heterojunction perovskite layer is still incomplete due to the limitations of conventional microscopy and X-ray diffraction. This present study performed the simultaneously grazing-incidence small-angle scattering and wide-angle scattering (GISAXS/GIWAXS) techniques to quantitatively probe the hierarchical structure of the planar heterojunction perovskite solar cells. The result is complementary to the currently microscopic study. Correlation between the crystallization behavior, crystal orientation, nano- and meso-scale internal structure and surface morphology of perovskite film as functions of various processing control parameters is reported for the first time. The structural transition from the fractal pore network to the surface fractal can be tuned by the chloride percentage. The GISAXS/GIWAXS measurement provides the comprehensive understanding of concurrent evolution of the film morphology and crystallization correlated to the high performance. The result can provide the insight into formation mechanism and rational synthesis design.

  7. RNA binding specificity of Ebola virus transcription factor VP30.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlereth, Julia; Grünweller, Arnold; Biedenkopf, Nadine; Becker, Stephan; Hartmann, Roland K

    2016-09-01

    The transcription factor VP30 of the non-segmented RNA negative strand Ebola virus balances viral transcription and replication. Here, we comprehensively studied RNA binding by VP30. Using a novel VP30:RNA electrophoretic mobility shift assay, we tested truncated variants of 2 potential natural RNA substrates of VP30 - the genomic Ebola viral 3'-leader region and its complementary antigenomic counterpart (each ∼155 nt in length) - and a series of other non-viral RNAs. Based on oligonucleotide interference, the major VP30 binding region on the genomic 3'-leader substrate was assigned to the internal expanded single-stranded region (∼ nt 125-80). Best binding to VP30 was obtained with ssRNAs of optimally ∼ 40 nt and mixed base composition; underrepresentation of purines or pyrimidines was tolerated, but homopolymeric sequences impaired binding. A stem-loop structure, particularly at the 3'-end or positioned internally, supports stable binding to VP30. In contrast, dsRNA or RNAs exposing large internal loops flanked by entirely helical arms on both sides are not bound. Introduction of a 5´-Cap(0) structure impaired VP30 binding. Also, ssDNAs bind substantially weaker than isosequential ssRNAs and heparin competes with RNA for binding to VP30, indicating that ribose 2'-hydroxyls and electrostatic contacts of the phosphate groups contribute to the formation of VP30:RNA complexes. Our results indicate a rather relaxed RNA binding specificity of filoviral VP30, which largely differs from that of the functionally related transcription factor of the Paramyxoviridae which binds to ssRNAs as short as 13 nt with a preference for oligo(A) sequences.

  8. Fighting Ebola through Novel Spore Decontamination Technologies for the Military

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher J. Doona

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available AbstractRecently, global public health organizations such as Doctors without Borders (MSF, the World Health Organization (WHO, Public Health Canada, National Institutes of Health (NIH, and the U.S. government developed and deployed Field Decontamination Kits (FDKs, a novel, lightweight, compact, reusable decontamination technology to sterilize Ebola-contaminated medical devices at remote clinical sites lacking infra-structure in crisis-stricken regions of West Africa (medical waste materials are placed in bags and burned. The basis for effectuating sterilization with FDKs is chlorine dioxide (ClO2 produced from a patented invention developed by researchers at the US Army – Natick Soldier RD&E Center (NSRDEC and commercialized as a dry mixed-chemical for bacterial spore decontamination. In fact, the NSRDEC research scientists developed an ensemble of ClO2 technologies designed for different applications in decontaminating fresh produce; food contact and handling surfaces; personal protective equipment; textiles used in clothing, uniforms, tents, and shelters; graywater recycling; airplanes; surgical instruments; and hard surfaces in latrines, laundries, and deployable medical facilities. These examples demonstrate the far-reaching impact, adaptability, and versatility of these innovative technologies. We present herein the unique attributes of NSRDEC’s novel decontamination technologies and a Case Study of the development of FDKs that were deployed in West Africa by international public health organizations to sterilize Ebola-contaminated medical equipment. FDKs use bacterial spores as indicators of sterility. We review the properties and structures of spores and the mechanisms of bacterial spore inactivation by ClO2. We also review mechanisms of bacterial spore inactivation by novel, emerging, and established nonthermal technologies for food preservation, such as high pressure processing, irradiation, cold plasma, and chemical sanitizers

  9. Reemerging Sudan Ebola Virus Disease in Uganda, 2011

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shoemaker, Trevor; Balinandi, Stephen; Campbell, Shelley; Wamala, Joseph Francis; McMullan, Laura K.; Downing, Robert; Lutwama, Julius; Mbidde, Edward; Ströher, Ute; Rollin, Pierre E.; Nichol, Stuart T.

    2012-01-01

    Two large outbreaks of Ebola hemorrhagic fever occurred in Uganda in 2000 and 2007. In May 2011, we identified a single case of Sudan Ebola virus disease in Luwero District. The establishment of a permanent in-country laboratory and cooperation between international public health entities facilitated rapid outbreak response and control activities. PMID:22931687

  10. Ebola Virus Disease Candidate Vaccines Under Evaluation in Clinical Trials

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-06-02

    evidence that oral vaccines fail in populations with disturbed microbiota, poor nutrition , and high intestinal inflammation [102-104]. Additionally...countermeasure development against Ebola virus disease becoming a global public- health priority. This review summarizes the status quo of candidate...members of the mononegaviral family Filoviridae) cause two diseases recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO): Ebola virus disease (EVD) can be

  11. Lessons learned during active epidemiological surveillance of Ebola ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Objective: To review epidemiological surveillance approaches used during Ebola and Marburg hemorrhagic fever epidemics in Africa in the past fifteen years. Overall, 26 hemorrhagic epidemic outbreaks have been registered in 12 countries; 18 caused by the Ebola virus and eight by the Marburg virus. About 2551 cases ...

  12. West Africa Ebola Virus Disease Epidemic: The Africa Experience ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever, is a severe acute viral illness characterized by sudden onset of fever, myalgia, malaise, and severe headache, followed by vomiting and diarrhea and, in some instances, bleeding. The 2014 West Africa outbreak is the largest in history, affecting ...

  13. Hand hygiene practices post ebola virus disease outbreak in a ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Introduction: Ebola virus disease (EVD) is a highly contagious viral infection that requires a high risk perception and practice of good hand hygiene by regular hand washing or use of hand sanitizers for infection control at all time. The declaration of Nigeria as an Ebola-free country by the World Health Organization on the ...

  14. hand hygiene practices post ebola virus disease outbreak

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    2014-10-20

    Oct 20, 2014 ... INTRODUCTION. Ebola virus disease (EVD) is an infectious viral disease characterized by a high case-fatality rate which may be as high as 90%.1,2 Ebola virus may be acquired during contact with blood or body fluids of an infected animal, commonly monkeys or fruit bats.2 Once human infection occurs ...

  15. Ebola global response: 'not in my back yard' | Bateman | South ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    As the 8-month West African Ebola outbreak death tally accelerated beyond 4 500 (of 9 000 people infected) by mid-October, Spain and the USA became the first non- African countries to record secondary dom estic infections after entry by Ebola infected people.

  16. Ebola virus disease. Short history, long impact

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mª Teófila Vicente-Herrero

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Ebola Virus infection is at present times a growing worldwide concern, although its history goes back to 1967, with subsequent outbreaks in 1979, 1980 and 1987, all of them by contact in workers in affected areas. The concern of the scientific community about this issue is partially reflected in publications included in MEDLINE (PUBMED database and in which, taking as a keyword in the search box “Ebola virus”, 2.151 publications are found, belonging 984 of them to the last 5 years (45.7% and 527 of these publications (53.5% to the years 2014-2015. The earliest publication dates back to 1977, attaching no listed authors either reference abstract, and the most recent to January of current year 2015. This means Ebola infection is a global problem and that concern the international scientific community. A review of some of the studies published in this matter, considered of interest and discussed by the authors, is performed in this work.

  17. Ebola VP40 in Exosomes Can Cause Immune Cell Dysfunction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pleet, Michelle L; Mathiesen, Allison; DeMarino, Catherine; Akpamagbo, Yao A; Barclay, Robert A; Schwab, Angela; Iordanskiy, Sergey; Sampey, Gavin C; Lepene, Benjamin; Nekhai, Sergei; Aman, M J; Kashanchi, Fatah

    2016-01-01

    Ebola virus (EBOV) is an enveloped, ssRNA virus from the family Filoviridae capable of causing severe hemorrhagic fever with up to 80-90% mortality rates. The most recent outbreak of EBOV in West Africa starting in 2014 resulted in over 11,300 deaths; however, long-lasting persistence and recurrence in survivors has been documented, potentially leading to further transmission of the virus. We have previously shown that exosomes from cells infected with HIV-1, HTLV-1 and Rift Valley Fever virus are able to transfer viral proteins and non-coding RNAs to naïve recipient cells, resulting in an altered cellular activity. In the current manuscript, we examined the effect of Ebola structural proteins VP40, GP, NP and VLPs on recipient immune cells, as well as the effect of exosomes containing these proteins on naïve immune cells. We found that VP40-transfected cells packaged VP40 into exosomes, and that these exosomes were capable of inducing apoptosis in recipient immune cells. Additionally, we show that presence of VP40 within parental cells or in exosomes delivered to naïve cells could result in the regulation of RNAi machinery including Dicer, Drosha, and Ago 1, which may play a role in the induction of cell death in recipient immune cells. Exosome biogenesis was regulated by VP40 in transfected cells by increasing levels of ESCRT-II proteins EAP20 and EAP45, and exosomal marker proteins CD63 and Alix. VP40 was phosphorylated by Cdk2/Cyclin complexes at Serine 233 which could be reversed with r-Roscovitine treatment. The level of VP40-containing exosomes could also be regulated by treated cells with FDA-approved Oxytetracycline. Additionally, we utilized novel nanoparticles to safely capture VP40 and other viral proteins from Ebola VLPs spiked into human samples using SDS/reducing agents, thus minimizing the need for BSL-4 conditions for most downstream assays. Collectively, our data indicates that VP40 packaged into exosomes may be responsible for the deregulation

  18. Ebola VP40 in Exosomes Can Cause Immune Cell Dysfunction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michelle L. Pleet

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Ebola virus (EBOV is an enveloped, ssRNA virus from the family Filoviridae capable of causing severe hemorrhagic fever with up to 80–90% mortality rates. The most recent outbreak of EBOV in West Africa starting in 2014 resulted in over 11,300 deaths; however, long-lasting persistence and recurrence in survivors has been documented, potentially leading to further transmission of the virus. We have previously shown that exosomes from cells infected with HIV-1, HTLV-1 and Rift Valley Fever virus are able to transfer viral proteins and non-coding RNAs to naïve recipient cells, resulting in an altered cellular activity. In the current manuscript, we examined the effect of Ebola structural proteins VP40, GP, NP and VLPs on recipient immune cells, as well as the effect of exosomes containing these proteins on naïve immune cells. We found that VP40-transfected cells packaged VP40 into exosomes, and that these exosomes were capable of inducing apoptosis in recipient immune cells. Additionally, we show that presence of VP40 within parental cells or in exosomes delivered to naïve cells could result in the regulation of RNAi machinery including Dicer, Drosha, and Ago 1, which may play a role in the induction of cell death in recipient immune cells. Exosome biogenesis was regulated by VP40 in transfected cells by increasing levels of ESCRT-II proteins EAP20 and EAP45, and exosomal marker proteins CD63 and Alix. VP40 was phosphorylated by Cdk2/Cyclin complexes at Serine 233 which could be reversed with r-Roscovitine treatment. The level of VP40-containing exosomes could also be regulated by treated cells with FDA-approved Oxytetracycline. Additionally, we utilized novel nanoparticles to safely capture VP40 and other viral proteins from Ebola VLPs spiked into human samples using SDS/reducing agents, thus minimizing the need for BSL-4 conditions for most downstream assays. Collectively, our data indicates that VP40 packaged into exosomes may be responsible

  19. In silico analysis suggests interaction between Ebola virus and the extracellular matrix

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Veljko eVeljkovic

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available The worst Ebola virus (EV outbreak in history has hit Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea hardest and the trendlines in this crisis are grave, and now represents global public health threat concern. Limited therapeutic and/or prophylactic options which are available for humans suffering from Ebola virus disease (EVD further complicate situation. Previous studies suggested that the EV glycoprotein (GP is the main determinant causing structural damage of endothelial cells that triggers the hemorrhagic diathesis, but molecular mechanisms underlying this phenomenon remains elusive. Using the informational spectrum method (ISM, a virtual spectroscopy method for analysis of the protein-protein interactions, the interaction of GP with endothelial extracellular matrix (ECM was investigated. Presented results of this in silico study suggest that Elastin Microfibril Interface Located Proteins (EMILINs are involved in interaction between GP and ECM. This finding could contribute to better understanding of EV/endothelium interaction and its role in pathogenesis, prevention and therapy of EVD.

  20. Modeling of the Ebola Virus Delta Peptide Reveals a Potential Lytic Sequence Motif

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William R. Gallaher

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Filoviruses, such as Ebola and Marburg viruses, cause severe outbreaks of human infection, including the extensive epidemic of Ebola virus disease (EVD in West Africa in 2014. In the course of examining mutations in the glycoprotein gene associated with 2014 Ebola virus (EBOV sequences, a differential level of conservation was noted between the soluble form of glycoprotein (sGP and the full length glycoprotein (GP, which are both encoded by the GP gene via RNA editing. In the region of the proteins encoded after the RNA editing site sGP was more conserved than the overlapping region of GP when compared to a distant outlier species, Tai Forest ebolavirus. Half of the amino acids comprising the “delta peptide”, a 40 amino acid carboxy-terminal fragment of sGP, were identical between otherwise widely divergent species. A lysine-rich amphipathic peptide motif was noted at the carboxyl terminus of delta peptide with high structural relatedness to the cytolytic peptide of the non-structural protein 4 (NSP4 of rotavirus. EBOV delta peptide is a candidate viroporin, a cationic pore-forming peptide, and may contribute to EBOV pathogenesis.

  1. Interplay Among Constitutes of Ebola Virus: Nucleoprotein, Polymerase L, Viral Proteins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Minchuan; He, Peiming; Su, Jing; Singh, Dadabhai T.; Su, Hailei; Su, Haibin

    Ebola virus is a highly lethal filovirus, claimed thousands of people in its recent outbreak. Seven viral proteins constitute ebola viral structure, and four of them (nucleoprotein (NP), polymerase L, VP35 and VP30) participate majorly in viral replication and transcription. We have elucidated a conformation change of NP cleft by VP35 NP-binding protein domains through superimposing two experimental NP structure images and discussed the function of this conformation change in the replication and transcription with polymerase complex (L, VP35 and VP30). The important roles of VP30 in viral RNA synthesis have also been discussed. A “tapping” model has been proposed in this paper for a better understanding of the interplay among the four viral proteins (NP, polymerase L, VP35 and VP30). Moreover, we have pinpointed some key residue changes on NP (both NP N- and C-terminal) and L between Reston and Zaire by computational studies. Together, this paper provides a description of interactions among ebola viral proteins (NP, L, VP35, VP30 and VP40) in viral replication and transcription, and sheds light on the complex system of viral reproduction.

  2. New Insights into HTLV-1 Particle Structure, Assembly, and Gag-Gag Interactions in Living Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jolene L. Johnson

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1 has a reputation for being extremely difficult to study in cell culture. The challenges in propagating HTLV-1 has prevented a rigorous analysis of how these viruses replicate in cells, including the detailed steps involved in virus assembly. The details for how retrovirus particle assembly occurs are poorly understood, even for other more tractable retroviral systems. Recent studies on HTLV-1 using state-of-the-art cryo-electron microscopy and fluorescence-based biophysical approaches explored questions related to HTLV-1 particle size, Gag stoichiometry in virions, and Gag-Gag interactions in living cells. These results provided new and exciting insights into fundamental aspects of HTLV-1 particle assembly—which are distinct from those of other retroviruses, including HIV-1. The application of these and other novel biophysical approaches promise to provide exciting new insights into HTLV-1 replication.

  3. Ebola virus. Two-pore channels control Ebola virus host cell entry and are drug targets for disease treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakurai, Yasuteru; Kolokoltsov, Andrey A; Chen, Cheng-Chang; Tidwell, Michael W; Bauta, William E; Klugbauer, Norbert; Grimm, Christian; Wahl-Schott, Christian; Biel, Martin; Davey, Robert A

    2015-02-27

    Ebola virus causes sporadic outbreaks of lethal hemorrhagic fever in humans, but there is no currently approved therapy. Cells take up Ebola virus by macropinocytosis, followed by trafficking through endosomal vesicles. However, few factors controlling endosomal virus movement are known. Here we find that Ebola virus entry into host cells requires the endosomal calcium channels called two-pore channels (TPCs). Disrupting TPC function by gene knockout, small interfering RNAs, or small-molecule inhibitors halted virus trafficking and prevented infection. Tetrandrine, the most potent small molecule that we tested, inhibited infection of human macrophages, the primary target of Ebola virus in vivo, and also showed therapeutic efficacy in mice. Therefore, TPC proteins play a key role in Ebola virus infection and may be effective targets for antiviral therapy. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  4. Initiating a watch list for Ebola virus antibody escape mutations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Craig R. Miller

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available The 2014 Ebola virus (EBOV outbreak in West Africa is the largest in recorded history and resulted in over 11,000 deaths. It is essential that strategies for treatment and containment be developed to avoid future epidemics of this magnitude. With the development of vaccines and antibody-based therapies using the envelope glycoprotein (GP of the 1976 Mayinga strain, one important strategy is to anticipate how the evolution of EBOV might compromise these efforts. In this study we have initiated a watch list of potential antibody escape mutations of EBOV by modeling interactions between GP and the antibody KZ52. The watch list was generated using molecular modeling to estimate stability changes due to mutation. Every possible mutation of GP was considered and the list was generated from those that are predicted to disrupt GP-KZ52 binding but not to disrupt the ability of GP to fold and to form trimers. The resulting watch list contains 34 mutations (one of which has already been seen in humans at six sites in the GP2 subunit. Should mutations from the watch list appear and spread during an epidemic, it warrants attention as these mutations may reflect an evolutionary response from the virus that could reduce the effectiveness of interventions such as vaccination. However, this watch list is incomplete and emphasizes the need for more experimental structures of EBOV interacting with antibodies in order to expand the watch list to other epitopes. We hope that this work provokes experimental research on evolutionary escape in both Ebola and other viral pathogens.

  5. Initiating a watch list for Ebola virus antibody escape mutations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Craig R; Johnson, Erin L; Burke, Aran Z; Martin, Kyle P; Miura, Tanya A; Wichman, Holly A; Brown, Celeste J; Ytreberg, F Marty

    2016-01-01

    The 2014 Ebola virus (EBOV) outbreak in West Africa is the largest in recorded history and resulted in over 11,000 deaths. It is essential that strategies for treatment and containment be developed to avoid future epidemics of this magnitude. With the development of vaccines and antibody-based therapies using the envelope glycoprotein (GP) of the 1976 Mayinga strain, one important strategy is to anticipate how the evolution of EBOV might compromise these efforts. In this study we have initiated a watch list of potential antibody escape mutations of EBOV by modeling interactions between GP and the antibody KZ52. The watch list was generated using molecular modeling to estimate stability changes due to mutation. Every possible mutation of GP was considered and the list was generated from those that are predicted to disrupt GP-KZ52 binding but not to disrupt the ability of GP to fold and to form trimers. The resulting watch list contains 34 mutations (one of which has already been seen in humans) at six sites in the GP2 subunit. Should mutations from the watch list appear and spread during an epidemic, it warrants attention as these mutations may reflect an evolutionary response from the virus that could reduce the effectiveness of interventions such as vaccination. However, this watch list is incomplete and emphasizes the need for more experimental structures of EBOV interacting with antibodies in order to expand the watch list to other epitopes. We hope that this work provokes experimental research on evolutionary escape in both Ebola and other viral pathogens.

  6. Community Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices Regarding Ebola Virus Disease - Five Counties, Liberia, September-October, 2014.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kobayashi, Miwako; Beer, Karlyn D; Bjork, Adam; Chatham-Stephens, Kevin; Cherry, Cara C; Arzoaquoi, Sampson; Frank, Wilmot; Kumeh, Odell; Sieka, Joseph; Yeiah, Adolphus; Painter, Julia E; Yoder, Jonathan S; Flannery, Brendan; Mahoney, Frank; Nyenswah, Tolbert G

    2015-07-10

    As of July 1, 2015, Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone have reported a total of 27,443 confirmed, probable, and suspected Ebola virus disease (Ebola) cases and 11,220 deaths. Guinea and Sierra Leone have yet to interrupt transmission of Ebola virus. In January, 2016, Liberia successfully achieved Ebola transmission-free status, with no new Ebola cases occurring during a 42-day period; however, new Ebola cases were reported beginning June 29, 2015. Local cultural practices and beliefs have posed challenges to disease control, and therefore, targeted, timely health messages are needed to address practices and misperceptions that might hinder efforts to stop the spread of Ebola. As early as September 2014, Ebola spread to most counties in Liberia. To assess Ebola-related knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP) in the community, CDC epidemiologists who were deployed to the counties (field team), carried out a survey conducted by local trained interviewers. The survey was conducted in September and October 2014 in five counties in Liberia with varying cumulative incidence of Ebola cases. Survey results indicated several findings. First, basic awareness of Ebola was high across all surveyed populations (median correct responses = 16 of 17 questions on knowledge of Ebola transmission; range = 2-17). Second, knowledge and understanding of Ebola symptoms were incomplete (e.g., 61% of respondents said they would know if they had Ebola symptoms). Finally, certain fears about the disease were present: >90% of respondents indicated a fear of Ebola patients, >40% a fear of cured patients, and >50% a fear of treatment units (expressions of this last fear were greater in counties with lower Ebola incidence). This survey, which was conducted at a time when case counts were rapidly increasing in Liberia, indicated limited knowledge of Ebola symptoms and widespread fear of Ebola treatment units despite awareness of communication messages. Continued efforts are needed to address

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2017-06-12

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

  8. Recovery potential of a western lowland gorilla population following a major Ebola outbreak: results from a ten year study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genton, Céline; Cristescu, Romane; Gatti, Sylvain; Levréro, Florence; Bigot, Elodie; Caillaud, Damien; Pierre, Jean-Sébastien; Ménard, Nelly

    2012-01-01

    Investigating the recovery capacity of wildlife populations following demographic crashes is of great interest to ecologists and conservationists. Opportunities to study these aspects are rare due to the difficulty of monitoring populations both before and after a demographic crash. Ebola outbreaks in central Africa have killed up to 95% of the individuals in affected western lowland gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) populations. Assessing whether and how fast affected populations recover is essential for the conservation of this critically endangered taxon. The gorilla population visiting Lokoué forest clearing, Odzala-Kokoua National Park, Republic of the Congo, has been monitored before, two years after and six years after Ebola affected it in 2004. This allowed us to describe Ebola's short-term and long-term impacts on the structure of the population. The size of the population, which included around 380 gorillas before the Ebola outbreak, dropped to less than 40 individuals after the outbreak. It then remained stable for six years after the outbreak. However, the demographic structure of this small population has significantly changed. Although several solitary males have disappeared, the immigration of adult females, the formation of new breeding groups, and several birth events suggest that the population is showing potential to recover. During the outbreak, surviving adult and subadult females joined old solitary silverbacks. Those females were subsequently observed joining young silverbacks, forming new breeding groups where they later gave birth. Interestingly, some females were observed joining silverbacks that were unlikely to have sired their infant, but no infanticide was observed. The consequences of the Ebola outbreak on the population structure were different two years and six years after the outbreak. Therefore, our results could be used as demographic indicators to detect and date outbreaks that have happened in other, non-monitored gorilla

  9. Recovery potential of a western lowland gorilla population following a major Ebola outbreak: results from a ten year study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Céline Genton

    Full Text Available Investigating the recovery capacity of wildlife populations following demographic crashes is of great interest to ecologists and conservationists. Opportunities to study these aspects are rare due to the difficulty of monitoring populations both before and after a demographic crash. Ebola outbreaks in central Africa have killed up to 95% of the individuals in affected western lowland gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla populations. Assessing whether and how fast affected populations recover is essential for the conservation of this critically endangered taxon. The gorilla population visiting Lokoué forest clearing, Odzala-Kokoua National Park, Republic of the Congo, has been monitored before, two years after and six years after Ebola affected it in 2004. This allowed us to describe Ebola's short-term and long-term impacts on the structure of the population. The size of the population, which included around 380 gorillas before the Ebola outbreak, dropped to less than 40 individuals after the outbreak. It then remained stable for six years after the outbreak. However, the demographic structure of this small population has significantly changed. Although several solitary males have disappeared, the immigration of adult females, the formation of new breeding groups, and several birth events suggest that the population is showing potential to recover. During the outbreak, surviving adult and subadult females joined old solitary silverbacks. Those females were subsequently observed joining young silverbacks, forming new breeding groups where they later gave birth. Interestingly, some females were observed joining silverbacks that were unlikely to have sired their infant, but no infanticide was observed. The consequences of the Ebola outbreak on the population structure were different two years and six years after the outbreak. Therefore, our results could be used as demographic indicators to detect and date outbreaks that have happened in other, non

  10. Production of Novel Ebola Virus-Like Particles from cDNAs: an Alternative to Ebola Virus Generation by Reverse Genetics

    OpenAIRE

    Watanabe, Shinji; Watanabe, Tokiko; Noda, Takeshi; Takada, Ayato; Feldmann, Heinz; Jasenosky, Luke D.; Kawaoka, Yoshihiro

    2004-01-01

    We established a plasmid-based system for generating infectious Ebola virus-like particles (VLPs), which contain an Ebola virus-like minigenome consisting of a negative-sense copy of the green fluorescent protein gene. This system produced nearly 103 infectious particles per ml of supernatant, equivalent to the titer of Ebola virus generated by a reverse genetics system. Interestingly, infectious Ebola VLPs were generated, even without expression of VP24. Transmission and scanning electron mi...

  11. Molecular determinants of Ebola virus virulence in mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hideki Ebihara

    2006-07-01

    Full Text Available Zaire ebolavirus (ZEBOV causes severe hemorrhagic fever in humans and nonhuman primates, with fatality rates in humans of up to 90%. The molecular basis for the extreme virulence of ZEBOV remains elusive. While adult mice resist ZEBOV infection, the Mayinga strain of the virus has been adapted to cause lethal infection in these animals. To understand the pathogenesis underlying the extreme virulence of Ebola virus (EBOV, here we identified the mutations responsible for the acquisition of the high virulence of the adapted Mayinga strain in mice, by using reverse genetics. We found that mutations in viral protein 24 and in the nucleoprotein were primarily responsible for the acquisition of high virulence. Moreover, the role of these proteins in virulence correlated with their ability to evade type I interferon-stimulated antiviral responses. These findings suggest a critical role for overcoming the interferon-induced antiviral state in the pathogenicity of EBOV and offer new insights into the pathogenesis of EBOV infection.

  12. Chemical modifications of antisense morpholino oligomers enhance their efficacy against Ebola virus infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swenson, Dana L; Warfield, Kelly L; Warren, Travis K; Lovejoy, Candace; Hassinger, Jed N; Ruthel, Gordon; Blouch, Robert E; Moulton, Hong M; Weller, Dwight D; Iversen, Patrick L; Bavari, Sina

    2009-05-01

    Phosphorodiamidate morpholino oligomers (PMOs) are uncharged nucleic acid-like molecules designed to inactivate the expression of specific genes via the antisense-based steric hindrance of mRNA translation. PMOs have been successful at knocking out viral gene expression and replication in the case of acute viral infections in animal models and have been well tolerated in human clinical trials. We propose that antisense PMOs represent a promising class of therapeutic agents that may be useful for combating filoviral infections. We have previously shown that mice treated with a PMO whose sequence is complementary to a region spanning the start codon of VP24 mRNA were protected against lethal Ebola virus challenge. In the present study, we report on the abilities of two additional VP24-specific PMOs to reduce the cell-free translation of a VP24 reporter, to inhibit the in vitro replication of Ebola virus, and to protect mice against lethal challenge when the PMOs are delivered prior to infection. Additionally, structure-activity relationship evaluations were conducted to assess the enhancement of antiviral efficacy associated with PMO chemical modifications that included conjugation with peptides of various lengths and compositions, positioning of conjugated peptides to either the 5' or the 3' terminus, and the conferring of charge modifications by the addition of piperazine moieties. Conjugation with arginine-rich peptides greatly enhanced the antiviral efficacy of VP24-specific PMOs in infected cells and mice during lethal Ebola virus challenge.

  13. Mental health care during the Ebola virus disease outbreak in Sierra Leone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamara, Stania; Walder, Anna; Duncan, Jennifer; Kabbedijk, Antoinet; Hughes, Peter; Muana, Andrew

    2017-12-01

    Reported levels of mental health and psychosocial problems rose during the 2014-2015 Ebola virus disease outbreak in Sierra Leone. As part of the emergency response, existing plans to create mental health units within the existing hospital framework were brought forward. A nurse-led mental health and psychosocial support service, with an inpatient liaison service and an outpatient clinic, was set up at the largest government hospital in the country. One mental health nurse trained general nurses in psychological first aid, case identification and referral pathways. Health-care staff attended mental well-being workshops on coping with stigma and stress. Mental health service provision in Sierra Leone is poor, with one specialist psychiatric hospital to serve the population of 7 million. From March 2015 to February 2016, 143 patients were seen at the clinic; 20 had survived or had relatives affected by Ebola virus disease. Half the patients (71) had mild distress or depression, anxiety disorders and grief or social problems, while 30 patients presented with psychosis requiring medication. Fourteen non-specialist nurses received mental health awareness training. Over 100 physicians, nurses and auxiliary staff participated in well-being workshops. A nurse-led approach within a non-specialist setting was a successful model for delivering mental health and psychosocial support services during the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone. Strong leadership and partnerships were essential for establishing a successful service. Lack of affordable psychotropic medications, limited human resources and weak social welfare structures remain challenges.

  14. Ebola haemorrhagic fever virus: pathogenesis, immune responses, potential prevention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marcinkiewicz, Janusz; Bryniarski, Krzysztof; Nazimek, Katarzyna

    2014-01-01

    Ebola zoonotic RNA filovirus represents human most virulent and lethal pathogens, which induces acute hemorrhagic fever and death within few days in a range of 60-90% of symptomatic individuals. Last outbreak in 2014 in West Africa caused panic that Ebola epidemic can be spread to other continents. Number of deaths in late December reached almost 8,000 individuals out of more than 20,000 symptomatic patients. It seems that only a coordinated international response could counteract the further spread of Ebola. Major innate immunity mechanisms against Ebola are associated with the production of interferons, that are inhibited by viral proteins. Activation of host NK cells was recognized as a leading immune function responsible for recovery of infected people. Uncontrolled cell infection by Ebola leads to an impairment of immunity with cytokine storm, coagulopathy, systemic bleeding, multi-organ failure and death. Tested prevention strategies to induce antiviral immunity include: i. recombinant virus formulations (vaccines); ii. cocktail of monoclonal antibodies (serotherapy); iii. alternative RNA-interference-based antiviral methods. Maintaining the highest standards of aseptic and antiseptic precautions is equally important. Present brief review summarizes a current knowledge concerning pathogenesis of Ebola hemorrhagic disease and the virus interaction with the immune system and discusses recent advances in prevention of Ebola infection by vaccination and serotherapy.

  15. Ebola hemorrhagic Fever and the current state of vaccine development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hong, Joo Eun; Hong, Kee-Jong; Choi, Woo Young; Lee, Won-Ja; Choi, Yeon Hwa; Jeong, Chung-Hyeon; Cho, Kwang-Il

    2014-12-01

    Current Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa already reached the total number of 1,323 including 729 deaths by July 31st. the fatality is around 55% in the southeastern area of Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Nigeria. The number of patients with Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever (EHF) was continuously increasing even though the any effective therapeutics or vaccines has not been developed yet. The Ebola virus in Guinea showed 98% homology with Zaire Ebola Virus. Study of the pathogenesis of Ebola virus infection and assess of the various candidates of vaccine have been tried for a long time, especially in United States and some European countries. Even though the attenuated live vaccine and DNA vaccine containing Ebola viral genes were tested and showed efficacy in chimpanzees, those candidates still need clinical tests requiring much longer time than the preclinical development to be approved for the practical treatment. It can be expected to eradicate Ebola virus by a safe and efficient vaccine development similar to the case of smallpox virus which was extinguished from the world by the variola vaccine.

  16. Influences of the Living World on Architectural Structures: An Analytical Insight

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gülcan MİNSOLMAZ YELER

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Structures in the nature motivate innovation in architectural and engineering disciplines in termsof aesthetical, functional and structural advantages. Using efficient, lightweight structural forms similar tothose in nature reduces material and energy usage and waste amount. In this sense, it can be clearly seenthat based on learning from nature in relation to meeting gradually increasing and changing requirementsthrough limited resources and creating modern structural designs, biomimicry will provide much morecontribution on architecture and related fields. In this direction, in the study based on comprehensiveliterature research, lots of varying living organisms in the nature have been analyzed in terms of structure;architectural structures developed by inspiring from natural structures have been sampled and influencesof solutions inspired from nature on architectural environment have been focused.

  17. Influence of Ebola on tuberculosis case finding and treatment outcomes in Liberia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cambell, C. L.; Ade, S.; Bhat, P.; Harries, A. D; Wilkinson, E.; Cooper, C. T.

    2017-01-01

    Setting: National Leprosy and Tuberculosis (TB) Control Programme, Liberia. Objectives: To assess TB case finding, including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) associated interventions and treatment outcomes, before (January 2013–March 2014), during (April 2014–June 2015) and after (July–December 2015) the Ebola virus disease outbreak. Design: A cross-sectional study and retrospective cohort analysis of outcomes. Results: The mean quarterly numbers of individuals with presumptive TB and the proportion diagnosed as smear-positive were: pre-Ebola (n = 7032, 12%), Ebola (n = 6147, 10%) and post-Ebola (n = 6795, 8%). For all forms of TB, stratified by category and age group, there was a non-significant decrease in the number of cases from the pre-Ebola to the Ebola and post-Ebola periods. There were significant decreases in numbers of cases with smear-positive pulmonary TB (PTB) from the pre-Ebola period (n = 855), to the Ebola (n = 640, P < 0.001) and post-Ebola (n = 568, P < 0.001) periods. The proportions of patients tested for HIV, found to be HIV-positive and started on antiretroviral therapy decreased as follows: pre-Ebola (respectively 72%, 15% and 34%), Ebola (69%, 14% and 30%) and post-Ebola (68%, 12% and 26%). Treatment success rates among TB patients were: 80% pre-Ebola, 69% Ebola (P < 0.001) and 73% post-Ebola (P < 0.001). Loss to follow-up was the main contributing adverse outcome. Conclusion: The principal negative effects of Ebola were the significant decreases in diagnoses of smear-positive PTB, the declines in HIV testing and antiretroviral therapy uptake and poor treatment success. Ways to prevent these adverse effects from recurring in the event of another Ebola outbreak need to be found. PMID:28744441

  18. Influence of Ebola on tuberculosis case finding and treatment outcomes in Liberia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konwloh, P K; Cambell, C L; Ade, S; Bhat, P; Harries, A D; Wilkinson, E; Cooper, C T

    2017-06-21

    Setting: National Leprosy and Tuberculosis (TB) Control Programme, Liberia. Objectives: To assess TB case finding, including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) associated interventions and treatment outcomes, before (January 2013-March 2014), during (April 2014-June 2015) and after (July-December 2015) the Ebola virus disease outbreak. Design: A cross-sectional study and retrospective cohort analysis of outcomes. Results: The mean quarterly numbers of individuals with presumptive TB and the proportion diagnosed as smear-positive were: pre-Ebola ( n = 7032, 12%), Ebola ( n = 6147, 10%) and post-Ebola ( n = 6795, 8%). For all forms of TB, stratified by category and age group, there was a non-significant decrease in the number of cases from the pre-Ebola to the Ebola and post-Ebola periods. There were significant decreases in numbers of cases with smear-positive pulmonary TB (PTB) from the pre-Ebola period ( n = 855), to the Ebola ( n = 640, P < 0.001) and post-Ebola ( n = 568, P < 0.001) periods. The proportions of patients tested for HIV, found to be HIV-positive and started on antiretroviral therapy decreased as follows: pre-Ebola (respectively 72%, 15% and 34%), Ebola (69%, 14% and 30%) and post-Ebola (68%, 12% and 26%). Treatment success rates among TB patients were: 80% pre-Ebola, 69% Ebola ( P < 0.001) and 73% post-Ebola ( P < 0.001). Loss to follow-up was the main contributing adverse outcome. Conclusion: The principal negative effects of Ebola were the significant decreases in diagnoses of smear-positive PTB, the declines in HIV testing and antiretroviral therapy uptake and poor treatment success. Ways to prevent these adverse effects from recurring in the event of another Ebola outbreak need to be found.

  19. Preparedness for ongoing Ebola virus infection: how to welcome it?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sora Yasri

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The problem of Ebola virus infection is the big global concern. Preparedness for ongoing Ebola virus infection is the topic that should be discussed. In fact, it is necessary to set up a biosecurity system to protect against the present Ebola outbreak. The medical personnel have to prepare for fighting the problem. The management of the present outbreak requires international collaboration and control of cross-border disease transmission is also the big challenge. The good case study is the Hajj scenario.

  20. Overview of Ebola virus disease in 2014

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chih-Peng Tseng

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available In late December 2013, a deadly infectious epidemic, Ebola virus disease (EVD, emerged from West Africa and resulted in a formidable outbreak in areas including Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. EVD is a zoonotic disease with a high mortality rate. Person-to-person transmission occurs through blood or body fluid exposure, which can jeopardize first-line healthcare workers if there is a lack of stringent infection control or no proper personal protective equipment available. Currently, there is no standard treatment for EVD. To promptly identify patients and prevent further spreading, physicians should be aware of travel or contact history for patients with constitutional symptoms.

  1. A Recombinant Vesicular Stomatitis Virus Ebola Vaccine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Regules, Jason A; Beigel, John H; Paolino, Kristopher M; Voell, Jocelyn; Castellano, Amy R; Hu, Zonghui; Muñoz, Paula; Moon, James E; Ruck, Richard C; Bennett, Jason W; Twomey, Patrick S; Gutiérrez, Ramiro L; Remich, Shon A; Hack, Holly R; Wisniewski, Meagan L; Josleyn, Matthew D; Kwilas, Steven A; Van Deusen, Nicole; Mbaya, Olivier Tshiani; Zhou, Yan; Stanley, Daphne A; Jing, Wang; Smith, Kirsten S; Shi, Meng; Ledgerwood, Julie E; Graham, Barney S; Sullivan, Nancy J; Jagodzinski, Linda L; Peel, Sheila A; Alimonti, Judie B; Hooper, Jay W; Silvera, Peter M; Martin, Brian K; Monath, Thomas P; Ramsey, W Jay; Link, Charles J; Lane, H Clifford; Michael, Nelson L; Davey, Richard T; Thomas, Stephen J

    2017-01-26

    The worst Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in history has resulted in more than 28,000 cases and 11,000 deaths. We present the final results of two phase 1 trials of an attenuated, replication-competent, recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus (rVSV)-based vaccine candidate designed to prevent EVD. We conducted two phase 1, placebo-controlled, double-blind, dose-escalation trials of an rVSV-based vaccine candidate expressing the glycoprotein of a Zaire strain of Ebola virus (ZEBOV). A total of 39 adults at each site (78 participants in all) were consecutively enrolled into groups of 13. At each site, volunteers received one of three doses of the rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine (3 million plaque-forming units [PFU], 20 million PFU, or 100 million PFU) or placebo. Volunteers at one of the sites received a second dose at day 28. Safety and immunogenicity were assessed. The most common adverse events were injection-site pain, fatigue, myalgia, and headache. Transient rVSV viremia was noted in all the vaccine recipients after dose 1. The rates of adverse events and viremia were lower after the second dose than after the first dose. By day 28, all the vaccine recipients had seroconversion as assessed by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) against the glycoprotein of the ZEBOV-Kikwit strain. At day 28, geometric mean titers of antibodies against ZEBOV glycoprotein were higher in the groups that received 20 million PFU or 100 million PFU than in the group that received 3 million PFU, as assessed by ELISA and by pseudovirion neutralization assay. A second dose at 28 days after dose 1 significantly increased antibody titers at day 56, but the effect was diminished at 6 months. This Ebola vaccine candidate elicited anti-Ebola antibody responses. After vaccination, rVSV viremia occurred frequently but was transient. These results support further evaluation of the vaccine dose of 20 million PFU for preexposure prophylaxis and suggest that a second dose may boost antibody responses

  2. Structural insights into the backbone-circularized granulocyte colony-stimulating factor containing a short connector.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miyafusa, Takamitsu; Shibuya, Risa; Honda, Shinya

    2018-06-02

    Backbone circularization is a powerful approach for enhancing the structural stability of polypeptides. Herein, we present the crystal structure of the circularized variant of the granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) in which the terminal helical region was circularized using a short, two-amino acid connector. The structure revealed that the N- and C-termini were indeed connected by a peptide bond. The local structure of the C-terminal region transited from an α helix to 3 10 helix with a bend close to the N-terminal region, indicating that the structural change offset the insufficient length of the connector. This is the first-ever report of a crystal structure of the backbone of a circularized protein. It will facilitate the development of backbone circularization methodology. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Insights into function of PSI domains from structure of the Met receptor PSI domain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kozlov, Guennadi; Perreault, Audrey; Schrag, Joseph D.; Park, Morag; Cygler, Miroslaw; Gehring, Kalle; Ekiel, Irena

    2004-01-01

    PSI domains are cysteine-rich modules found in extracellular fragments of hundreds of signaling proteins, including plexins, semaphorins, integrins, and attractins. Here, we report the solution structure of the PSI domain from the human Met receptor, a receptor tyrosine kinase critical for proliferation, motility, and differentiation. The structure represents a cysteine knot with short regions of secondary structure including a three-stranded antiparallel β-sheet and two α-helices. All eight cysteines are involved in disulfide bonds with the pattern consistent with that for the PSI domain from Sema4D. Comparison with the Sema4D structure identifies a structurally conserved core comprising the N-terminal half of the PSI domain. Interestingly, this part links adjacent SEMA and immunoglobulin domains in the Sema4D structure, suggesting that the PSI domain serves as a wedge between propeller and immunoglobulin domains and is responsible for the correct positioning of the ligand-binding site of the receptor

  4. Stable isotopes provide insight into population structure and segregation in eastern North Atlantic sperm whales

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Borrell, Asunción; Velásquez Vacca, Adriana; Pinela, Ana M.

    2013-01-01

    In pelagic species inhabiting large oceans, genetic differentiation tends to be mild and populations devoid of structure. However, large cetaceans have provided many examples of structuring. Here we investigate whether the sperm whale, a pelagic species with large population sizes and reputedly......, use of habitat and/or migratory destinations are dissimilar between whales from the two regions and suggest that the North Atlantic population of sperm whales is more structured than traditionally accepted....

  5. Exploring the potential of a structural alphabet-based tool for mining multiple target conformations and target flexibility insight.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Regad, Leslie; Chéron, Jean-Baptiste; Triki, Dhoha; Senac, Caroline; Flatters, Delphine; Camproux, Anne-Claude

    2017-01-01

    Protein flexibility is often implied in binding with different partners and is essential for protein function. The growing number of macromolecular structures in the Protein Data Bank entries and their redundancy has become a major source of structural knowledge of the protein universe. The analysis of structural variability through available redundant structures of a target, called multiple target conformations (MTC), obtained using experimental or modeling methods and under different biological conditions or different sources is one way to explore protein flexibility. This analysis is essential to improve the understanding of various mechanisms associated with protein target function and flexibility. In this study, we explored structural variability of three biological targets by analyzing different MTC sets associated with these targets. To facilitate the study of these MTC sets, we have developed an efficient tool, SA-conf, dedicated to capturing and linking the amino acid and local structure variability and analyzing the target structural variability space. The advantage of SA-conf is that it could be applied to divers sets composed of MTCs available in the PDB obtained using NMR and crystallography or homology models. This tool could also be applied to analyze MTC sets obtained by dynamics approaches. Our results showed that SA-conf tool is effective to quantify the structural variability of a MTC set and to localize the structural variable positions and regions of the target. By selecting adapted MTC subsets and comparing their variability detected by SA-conf, we highlighted different sources of target flexibility such as induced by binding partner, by mutation and intrinsic flexibility. Our results support the interest to mine available structures associated with a target using to offer valuable insight into target flexibility and interaction mechanisms. The SA-conf executable script, with a set of pre-compiled binaries are available at http://www.mti.univ-paris-diderot.fr/recherche/plateformes/logiciels.

  6. Exploring the potential of a structural alphabet-based tool for mining multiple target conformations and target flexibility insight.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leslie Regad

    Full Text Available Protein flexibility is often implied in binding with different partners and is essential for protein function. The growing number of macromolecular structures in the Protein Data Bank entries and their redundancy has become a major source of structural knowledge of the protein universe. The analysis of structural variability through available redundant structures of a target, called multiple target conformations (MTC, obtained using experimental or modeling methods and under different biological conditions or different sources is one way to explore protein flexibility. This analysis is essential to improve the understanding of various mechanisms associated with protein target function and flexibility. In this study, we explored structural variability of three biological targets by analyzing different MTC sets associated with these targets. To facilitate the study of these MTC sets, we have developed an efficient tool, SA-conf, dedicated to capturing and linking the amino acid and local structure variability and analyzing the target structural variability space. The advantage of SA-conf is that it could be applied to divers sets composed of MTCs available in the PDB obtained using NMR and crystallography or homology models. This tool could also be applied to analyze MTC sets obtained by dynamics approaches. Our results showed that SA-conf tool is effective to quantify the structural variability of a MTC set and to localize the structural variable positions and regions of the target. By selecting adapted MTC subsets and comparing their variability detected by SA-conf, we highlighted different sources of target flexibility such as induced by binding partner, by mutation and intrinsic flexibility. Our results support the interest to mine available structures associated with a target using to offer valuable insight into target flexibility and interaction mechanisms. The SA-conf executable script, with a set of pre-compiled binaries are available at

  7. Structural insights into RISC assembly facilitated by dsRNA-binding domains of human RNA helicase A (DHX9).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fu, Qinqin; Yuan, Y Adam

    2013-03-01

    Intensive research interest has focused on small RNA-processing machinery and the RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC), key cellular machines in RNAi pathways. However, the structural mechanism regarding RISC assembly, the primary step linking small RNA processing and RNA-mediated gene silencing, is largely unknown. Human RNA helicase A (DHX9) was reported to function as an RISC-loading factor, and such function is mediated mainly by its dsRNA-binding domains (dsRBDs). Here, we report the crystal structures of human RNA helicase A (RHA) dsRBD1 and dsRBD2 domains in complex with dsRNAs, respectively. Structural analysis not only reveals higher siRNA duplex-binding affinity displayed by dsRBD1, but also identifies a crystallographic dsRBD1 pair of physiological significance in cooperatively recognizing dsRNAs. Structural observations are further validated by isothermal titration calorimetric (ITC) assay. Moreover, co-immunoprecipitation (co-IP) assay coupled with mutagenesis demonstrated that both dsRBDs are required for RISC association, and such association is mediated by dsRNA. Hence, our structural and functional efforts have revealed a potential working model for siRNA recognition by RHA tandem dsRBDs, and together they provide direct structural insights into RISC assembly facilitated by RHA.

  8. Neutron irradiation effects in fusion or spallation structural materials: Some recent insights related to neutron spectra

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Garner, F.A.; Greenwood, L.R.

    1998-01-01

    A review is presented of recent insights on the role of transmutation in the development of radiation-induced changes in dimension or radiation-induced changes in physical or mechanical properties. It is shown that, in some materials and some neutron spectra, transmutation can significantly affect or even dominate a given property change process. When the process under study is also sensitive to displacement rate, and especially if it involves radiation-induced segregation and precipitation, it becomes much more difficult to separate the transmutation and displacement rate dependencies. This complicates the application of data derived from 'surrogate' spectra to predictions in other flux-spectra environments. It is also shown in this paper that one must be sensitive to the impact of previously -ignored 'small' variations in neutron spectra within a given reactor. In some materials these small variations have major consequences. (author)

  9. Water versus DNA: new insights into proton track-structure modelling in radiobiology and radiotherapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Champion, C; Quinto, M A; Monti, J M; Galassi, M E; Weck, P F; Fojón, O A; Hanssen, J; Rivarola, R D

    2015-10-21

    Water is a common surrogate of DNA for modelling the charged particle-induced ionizing processes in living tissue exposed to radiations. The present study aims at scrutinizing the validity of this approximation and then revealing new insights into proton-induced energy transfers by a comparative analysis between water and realistic biological medium. In this context, a self-consistent quantum mechanical modelling of the ionization and electron capture processes is reported within the continuum distorted wave-eikonal initial state framework for both isolated water molecules and DNA components impacted by proton beams. Their respective probability of occurrence-expressed in terms of total cross sections-as well as their energetic signature (potential and kinetic) are assessed in order to clearly emphasize the differences existing between realistic building blocks of living matter and the controverted water-medium surrogate. Consequences in radiobiology and radiotherapy will be discussed in particular in view of treatment planning refinement aiming at better radiotherapy strategies.

  10. Local Fine Structural Insight into Mechanism of Electrochemical Passivation of Titanium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Lu; Yu, Hongying; Wang, Ke; Xu, Haisong; Wang, Shaoyang; Sun, Dongbai

    2016-07-20

    Electrochemically formed passive film on titanium in 1.0 M H2SO4 solution and its thickness, composition, chemical state, and local fine structure are examined by Auger electron spectroscopy (AES), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and X-ray absorption fine structure. AES analysis reveals that the thickness and composition of oxide film are proportional to the reciprocal of current density in potentiodynamic polarization. XPS depth profiles of the chemical states of titanium exhibit the coexistence of various valences cations in the surface. Quantitative X-ray absorption near edge structure analysis of the local electronic structure of the topmost surface (∼5.0 nm) shows that the ratio of [TiO2]/[Ti2O3] is consistent with that of passivation/dissolution of electrochemical activity. Theoretical calculation and analysis of extended X-ray absorption fine structure spectra at Ti K-edge indicate that both the structures of passivation and dissolution are distorted caused by the appearance of two different sites of Ti-O and Ti-Ti. And the bound water in the topmost surface plays a vital role in structural disorder confirmed by XPS. Overall, the increase of average Ti-O coordination causes the electrochemical passivation, and the dissolution is due to the decrease of average Ti-Ti coordination. The structural variations of passivation in coordination number and interatomic distance are in good agreement with the prediction of point defect model.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uyulgan, Melis Arzu; Akkuzu, Nalan

    2016-01-01

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

  12. The vaccinia virus DNA polymerase structure provides insights into the mode of processivity factor binding

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Tarbouriech, N.; Ducournau, C.; Hutin, S.; Mas, P.J.; Man, Petr; Forest, E.; Hart, D.J.; Peyrefitte, Ch.N.; Burmeister, W.P.; Iseni, F.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 8, NOV 13 (2017), s. 1-12, č. článku 1455. ISSN 2041-1723 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) LQ1604 Institutional support: RVO:61388971 Keywords : PROTEIN SECONDARY STRUCTURE * CRYSTAL-STRUCTURE * GENETIC-CHARACTERIZATION Subject RIV: CE - Biochemistry OBOR OECD: Biochemistry and molecular biology Impact factor: 12.124, year: 2016

  13. Ebola RNA Persistence in Semen of Ebola Virus Disease Survivors - Final Report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deen, Gibrilla F; Broutet, Nathalie; Xu, Wenbo; Knust, Barbara; Sesay, Foday R; McDonald, Suzanna L R; Ervin, Elizabeth; Marrinan, Jaclyn E; Gaillard, Philippe; Habib, Ndema; Liu, Hongtu; Liu, William; Thorson, Anna E; Yamba, Francis; Massaquoi, Thomas A; James, Faustin; Ariyarajah, Archchun; Ross, Christine; Bernstein, Kyle; Coursier, Antoine; Klena, John; Carino, Marylin; Wurie, Alie H; Zhang, Yong; Dumbuya, Marion S; Abad, Neetu; Idriss, Baimba; Wi, Teodora; Bennett, Sarah D; Davies, Tina; Ebrahim, Faiqa K; Meites, Elissa; Naidoo, Dhamari; Smith, Samuel J; Ongpin, Patricia; Malik, Tasneem; Banerjee, Anshu; Erickson, Bobbie R; Liu, Yongjian; Liu, Yang; Xu, Ke; Brault, Aaron; Durski, Kara N; Winter, Jörn; Sealy, Tara; Nichol, Stuart T; Lamunu, Margaret; Bangura, James; Landoulsi, Sihem; Jambai, Amara; Morgan, Oliver; Wu, Guizhen; Liang, Mifang; Su, Qiudong; Lan, Yu; Hao, Yanzhe; Formenty, Pierre; Ströher, Ute; Sahr, Foday

    2017-10-12

    Ebola virus has been detected in the semen of men after their recovery from Ebola virus disease (EVD). We report the presence of Ebola virus RNA in semen in a cohort of survivors of EVD in Sierra Leone. We enrolled a convenience sample of 220 adult male survivors of EVD in Sierra Leone, at various times after discharge from an Ebola treatment unit (ETU), in two phases (100 participants were in phase 1, and 120 in phase 2). Semen specimens obtained at baseline were tested by means of a quantitative reverse-transcriptase-polymerase-chain-reaction (RT-PCR) assay with the use of the target sequences of NP and VP40 (in phase 1) or NP and GP (in phase 2). This study did not evaluate directly the risk of sexual transmission of EVD. Of 210 participants who provided an initial semen specimen for analysis, 57 (27%) had positive results on quantitative RT-PCR. Ebola virus RNA was detected in the semen of all 7 men with a specimen obtained within 3 months after ETU discharge, in 26 of 42 (62%) with a specimen obtained at 4 to 6 months, in 15 of 60 (25%) with a specimen obtained at 7 to 9 months, in 4 of 26 (15%) with a specimen obtained at 10 to 12 months, in 4 of 38 (11%) with a specimen obtained at 13 to 15 months, in 1 of 25 (4%) with a specimen obtained at 16 to 18 months, and in no men with a specimen obtained at 19 months or later. Among the 46 participants with a positive result in phase 1, the median baseline cycle-threshold values (higher values indicate lower RNA values) for the NP and VP40 targets were lower within 3 months after ETU discharge (32.4 and 31.3, respectively; in 7 men) than at 4 to 6 months (34.3 and 33.1; in 25), at 7 to 9 months (37.4 and 36.6; in 13), and at 10 to 12 months (37.7 and 36.9; in 1). In phase 2, a total of 11 participants had positive results for NP and GP targets (samples obtained at 4.1 to 15.7 months after ETU discharge); cycle-threshold values ranged from 32.7 to 38.0 for NP and from 31.1 to 37.7 for GP. These data showed the long

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  15. Insight into the microscopic structure of an AdS black hole from a thermodynamical phase transition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Shao-Wen; Liu, Yu-Xiao

    2015-09-11

    Comparing with an ordinary thermodynamic system, we investigate the possible microscopic structure of a charged anti-de Sitter black hole completely from the thermodynamic viewpoint. The number density of the black hole molecules is introduced to measure the microscopic degrees of freedom of the black hole. We found that the number density suffers a sudden change accompanied by a latent heat when the black hole system crosses the small-large black hole coexistence curve, while when the system passes the critical point, it encounters a second-order phase transition with a vanishing latent heat due to the continuous change of the number density. Moreover, the thermodynamic scalar curvature suggests that there is a weak attractive interaction between two black hole molecules. These phenomena might cast new insight into the underlying microscopic structure of a charged anti-de Sitter black hole.

  16. Viraemia and Ebola virus secretion in survivors of Ebola virus disease in Sierra Leone: a cross-sectional cohort study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Edward; Hunt, Luke; Ross, J C Gareth; Nissen, Nina Marie; Curran, Tanya; Badhan, Anjna; Sutherland, Katherine A; Richards, Jade; Lee, James S; Allen, Samuel H; Laird, Steven; Blackman, Mandy; Collacott, Ian; Parker, Paul A; Walbridge, Andrew; Phillips, Rebecca; Sellu, Sia Jammie; Dama, Agnes; Sheriff, Alpha Karim; Zombo, Joseph; Ngegba, Doris; Wurie, Alieh H; Checchi, Francesco; Brooks, Timothy J

    2016-09-01

    In survivors of Ebola virus disease, clinical sequelae including uveitis, arthralgia, and fatigue are common and necessitate systematic follow-up. However, the infection risk to health-care providers is poorly defined. Here we report Ebola virus RT-PCR data for body site and fluid samples from a large cohort of Ebola virus survivors at clinic follow-up. In this cross-sectional cohort study, consecutive survivors of Ebola virus disease attending Kerry Town survivor clinic (Freetown, Sierra Leone), who had been discharged from the Kerry Town Ebola treatment unit, were invited to participate. We collected and tested axillary, blood, conjunctival, forehead, mouth, rectal, semen, urine, and vaginal specimens for presence of Ebola virus using RT-PCR. We regarded samples to be positive for Ebola virus disease if the cycle threshold was 40 or lower. We collected demographic data from survivors of their age, sex, time since discharge from the treatment unit, and length of acute admission in the Ebola treatment unit using anonymised standard forms. Between April 2, and June 16, 2015, of 151 survivors of Ebola virus disease invited to participate, 112 (74%) provided consent. The median age of participants was 21·5 years (IQR 14-31·5) with 34 (30%) participants younger than 16 years. 50 (45%) of 112 participants were male. We tested a total of 555 specimens: 103 from the axilla, 93 from blood, 92 from conjunctiva, 54 from forehead, 105 from mouth, 17 from the rectum, one from semen, 69 from urine, and 21 from the vagina. The median time from Ebola treatment unit discharge to specimen collection was 142 days (IQR 127-159). 15 participants had a total of 74 swabs taken less than 100 days from discharge. The semen sample from one participant tested positive for Ebola virus at 114 days after discharge from the treatment unit; specimens taken from the axilla, blood, conjunctiva, forehead, mouth, rectum, and urine of the same participant tested negative. All specimens from the

  17. Characterizing structures on borehole images and logging data of the Nankai trough accretionary prism: new insights

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jurado, Maria Jose

    2016-04-01

    IODP has extensively used the D/V Chikyu to drill the Kumano portion of the Nankai Trough, including two well sites within the Kumano Basin. IODP Expeditions 338 and 348 drilled deep into the inner accretionary prism south of the Kii Peninsula collecting a suite of LWD data, including natural gamma ray, electrical resistivity logs and borehole images, suitable to characterize structures (fractures and faults) inside the accretionary prism. Structural interpretation and analysis of logging-while-drilling data in the deep inner prism revealed intense deformation of a generally homogenous lithology characterized by bedding that dips steeply (60-90°) to the NW, intersected by faults and fractures. Multiple phases of deformation are characterized. IODP Expedition borehole images and LWD data acquired in the last decade in previous and results of NantroSEIZE IODP Expeditions (314, 319) were also analyzed to investigate the internal geometries and structures of the Nankai Trough accretionary prism. This study focused mainly on the characterization of the different types of structures and their specific position within the accretionary prism structures. New structural constraints and methodologies as well as a new approach to the characterization of study of active structures inside the prism will be presented.

  18. In the midst of a 'perfect storm': Unpacking the causes and consequences of Ebola-related stigma for children orphaned by Ebola in Sierra Leone

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Denis-Ramirez, Elise; Holmegaard Sørensen, Katrine; Skovdal, Morten

    2017-01-01

    The West African Ebola virus epidemic resulted in the deaths of more than 11,000 people and caused significant social disruption. Little is known about how the world's worst Ebola outbreak has affected the thousands of children left orphaned as their parents or caregivers succumbed to the virus....... Given the infectious nature of Ebola, and numerous anecdotal accounts of stigmatisation, we set out to examine children's social representations of peers orphaned by Ebola, unpacking the causes and consequences of Ebola-related stigma. The study was conducted in 2015 in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Data...

  19. Expression, purification and insights into structure and folding of the ADAM22 pro domain

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Hans Peter; Jacobsen, Jonas; Nielbo, Steen

    2008-01-01

    . To understand the functions of human ADAM pro domains and to determine three-dimensional structures, we have screened promising targets for expression and purification properties when using Escherichia coli as the host. The pro domain of ADAM22 (ADAM22-P) expressed in E. coli was folded, as determined by CD...... and NMR spectroscopy. An ADAM22-P fragment encoding residues 26-199 could be expressed in high amounts, remained soluble above 1 mM, and was suitable for structural studies by NMR spectroscopy. CD spectroscopy and predictions suggest that the secondary structure in ADAM22-P consists of beta...

  20. New insight into the solution structures of wheat gluten proteins from Raman optical activity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Blanch, E.W.; Kasarda, D.D.; Hecht, L.

    2003-01-01

    Vibrational Raman optical activity (ROA) spectra of the wheat proteins a-gliadin (A-gliadin), omega-liadin, and a 30 kDa peptide called T-A-1 from the high molecular weight glutenin subunit (HMW-GS) Dx5 were measured to obtain new information about their solution structures. The spectral data show...... that, under the conditions investigated, A-gliadin contains a considerable amount of hydrated alpha-helix, most of which probably lies within a relatively structured C-terminal domain. Smaller quantities of beta-structure and poly(L-proline) II (PPII) helix were also identified. Addition of methanol...

  1. Positive experiences of volunteers working in deployable laboratories in West Africa during the Ebola outbreak.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belfroid, Evelien; Mollers, Madelief; Smit, Pieter W; Hulscher, Marlies; Koopmans, Marion; Reusken, Chantal; Timen, Aura

    2018-01-01

    The largest outbreak of Ebola virus disease ever started in West Africa in December 2013; it created a pressing need to expand the workforce dealing with it. The aim of this study was to gain insight into the experiences of volunteers from the European Union who worked in deployable laboratories in West Africa during the outbreak. This study is part of the EMERGE project. We assessed the experiences of 251 volunteers with a 19-item online questionnaire. The questions asked about positive aspects of volunteering such as learning new skills, establishing a new path in life, and changing life values. Other questionnaire subjects were the compliance to follow-up measures, the extent to which volunteers felt these measures restricted their daily activities, the fear of stigmatization, and worries about becoming infected or infecting their families. The volunteers reported positive effects that reached far beyond their daily work, such as changes in life priorities and a greater appreciation of the value of their own lives. Although the volunteers did not feel that temperature monitoring restricted their daily activities, full compliance to temperature monitoring and reporting it to the authorities was low. The volunteers did not fear Ebola infection for themselves or their families and were not afraid of stigmatization. With respect to the burden on the families, 50% reported that their family members were worried that the volunteer would be infected with Ebola virus. Altogether, the positive experiences of the volunteers in this study far outweigh the negative implications and constitute an important argument for inspiring people who intend to join such missions and for motivating the hesitant ones.

  2. Positive experiences of volunteers working in deployable laboratories in West Africa during the Ebola outbreak.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Evelien Belfroid

    Full Text Available The largest outbreak of Ebola virus disease ever started in West Africa in December 2013; it created a pressing need to expand the workforce dealing with it. The aim of this study was to gain insight into the experiences of volunteers from the European Union who worked in deployable laboratories in West Africa during the outbreak. This study is part of the EMERGE project. We assessed the experiences of 251 volunteers with a 19-item online questionnaire. The questions asked about positive aspects of volunteering such as learning new skills, establishing a new path in life, and changing life values. Other questionnaire subjects were the compliance to follow-up measures, the extent to which volunteers felt these measures restricted their daily activities, the fear of stigmatization, and worries about becoming infected or infecting their families. The volunteers reported positive effects that reached far beyond their daily work, such as changes in life priorities and a greater appreciation of the value of their own lives. Although the volunteers did not feel that temperature monitoring restricted their daily activities, full compliance to temperature monitoring and reporting it to the authorities was low. The volunteers did not fear Ebola infection for themselves or their families and were not afraid of stigmatization. With respect to the burden on the families, 50% reported that their family members were worried that the volunteer would be infected with Ebola virus. Altogether, the positive experiences of the volunteers in this study far outweigh the negative implications and constitute an important argument for inspiring people who intend to join such missions and for motivating the hesitant ones.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gupta, Payal; Dash, Prasanta K

    2017-09-11

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

  4. The structural flexibility of the human copper chaperone Atox1: Insights from combined pulsed EPR studies and computations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levy, Ariel R; Turgeman, Meital; Gevorkyan-Aiapetov, Lada; Ruthstein, Sharon

    2017-08-01

    Metallochaperones are responsible for shuttling metal ions to target proteins. Thus, a metallochaperone's structure must be sufficiently flexible both to hold onto its ion while traversing the cytoplasm and to transfer the ion to or from a partner protein. Here, we sought to shed light on the structure of Atox1, a metallochaperone involved in the human copper regulation system. Atox1 shuttles copper ions from the main copper transporter, Ctr1, to the ATP7b transporter in the Golgi apparatus. Conventional biophysical tools such as X-ray or NMR cannot always target the various conformational states of metallochaperones, owing to a requirement for crystallography or low sensitivity and resolution. Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy has recently emerged as a powerful tool for resolving biological reactions and mechanisms in solution. When coupled with computational methods, EPR with site-directed spin labeling and nanoscale distance measurements can provide structural information on a protein or protein complex in solution. We use these methods to show that Atox1 can accommodate at least four different conformations in the apo state (unbound to copper), and two different conformations in the holo state (bound to copper). We also demonstrate that the structure of Atox1 in the holo form is more compact than in the apo form. Our data provide insight regarding the structural mechanisms through which Atox1 can fulfill its dual role of copper binding and transfer. © 2017 The Protein Society.

  5. Insights from the structure of a smallpox virus topoisomerase-DNA transition state mimic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perry, Kay; Hwang, Young; Bushman, Frederic D.; Van Duyne, Gregory D.

    2010-01-01

    Summary Poxviruses encode their own type IB topoisomerases (TopIBs) which release superhelical tension generated by replication and transcription of their genomes. To investigate the reaction catalyzed viral TopIBs, we have determined the structure of a variola virus topoisomerase-DNA complex trapped as a vanadate transition state mimic. The structure reveals how the viral TopIB enzymes are likely to position the DNA duplex for ligation following relaxation of supercoils and identifies the sources of friction observed in single molecule experiments that argue against free rotation. The structure also identifies a conformational change in the leaving group sugar that must occur prior to cleavage and reveals a mechanism for promoting ligation following relaxation of supercoils that involves a novel Asp-minor groove interaction. Overall, the new structural data support a common catalytic mechanism for the TopIB superfamily but indicate distinct methods for controlling duplex rotation in the small vs. large enzyme subfamilies. PMID:20152159

  6. New Insight into the Toughening Mechanisms of Seashell: From Arch Shape to Multilayer Structure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Quan Yuan

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available A seashell is a closed three-dimensional curved surface formed by two symmetrical open shells. Three-point bending is performed on a pure aragonite straight beam (PASB model and a multilayer structure curved beam (MSCB model to elucidate the structure-property relationships of seashells. The integrity of the PASB is broken because of the introduction of a soft layer, but this drawback is compensated by the peculiar arch shape and the internal multilayer structure. The effective modulus, stiffness, and fracture energy of MSCB increase with an increase in volume fraction, aspect ratio of aragonite platelet, overlap ratio of hard layers, and ratio of the elastic modulus of the hard layer to the shear modulus of the soft layer. New design disciplines drawn from the MSCB model are peculiar arch shape, internal multilayer structure of larger volume fraction, and aspect ratio of hard layers and nanoscaled soft layers.

  7. New insights about enzyme evolution from large scale studies of sequence and structure relationships

    OpenAIRE

    Babbitt, Patricia; Brown, SD; Babbitt, PC

    2014-01-01

    © 2014 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.Understanding how enzymes have evolved offers clues about their structure-function relationships and mechanisms. Here, we describe evolution of functionally diverse enzyme superfami

  8. Optimized expression and purification of NavAb provide the structural insight into the voltage dependence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irie, Katsumasa; Haga, Yukari; Shimomura, Takushi; Fujiyoshi, Yoshinori

    2018-01-01

    Voltage-gated sodium channels are crucial for electro-signalling in living systems. Analysis of the molecular mechanism requires both fine electrophysiological evaluation and high-resolution channel structures. Here, we optimized a dual expression system of NavAb, which is a well-established standard of prokaryotic voltage-gated sodium channels, for E. coli and insect cells using a single plasmid vector to analyse high-resolution protein structures and measure large ionic currents. Using this expression system, we evaluated the voltage dependence and determined the crystal structures of NavAb wild-type and two mutants, E32Q and N49K, whose voltage dependence were positively shifted and essential interactions were lost in voltage sensor domain. The structural and functional comparison elucidated the molecular mechanisms of the voltage dependence of prokaryotic voltage-gated sodium channels. © 2017 Federation of European Biochemical Societies.

  9. Ebola virus disease: preparedness in Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashino, Yugo; Chagan-Yasutan, Haorile; Egawa, Shinichi; Hattori, Toshio

    2015-02-01

    The current outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) is due to a lack of resources, untrained medical personnel, and the specific contact-mediated type of infection of this virus. In Japan's history, education and mass vaccination of the native Ainu people successfully eradicated epidemics of smallpox. Even though a zoonotic virus is hard to control, appropriate precautions and personal protection, as well as anti-symptomatic treatment, will control the outbreak of EVD. Ebola virus utilizes the antibody-dependent enhancement of infection to seed the cells of various organs. The pathogenesis of EVD is due to the cytokine storm of pro-inflammatory cytokines and the lack of antiviral interferon-α2. Matricellular proteins of galectin-9 and osteopontin might also be involved in the edema and abnormality of the coagulation system in EVD. Anti-fibrinolytic treatment will be effective. In the era of globalization, interviews of travelers with fever within 3 weeks of departure from the affected areas will be necessary. Not only the hospitals designated for specific biohazards but every hospital should be aware of the biology of biohazards and establish measures to protect both patients and the community.

  10. Modelling Ebola virus dynamics: Implications for therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martyushev, Alexey; Nakaoka, Shinji; Sato, Kei; Noda, Takeshi; Iwami, Shingo

    2016-11-01

    Ebola virus (EBOV) causes a severe, often fatal Ebola virus disease (EVD), for which no approved antivirals exist. Recently, some promising anti-EBOV drugs, which are experimentally potent in animal models, have been developed. However, because the quantitative dynamics of EBOV replication in humans is uncertain, it remains unclear how much antiviral suppression of viral replication affects EVD outcome in patients. Here, we developed a novel mathematical model to quantitatively analyse human viral load data obtained during the 2000/01 Uganda EBOV outbreak and evaluated the effects of different antivirals. We found that nucleoside analogue- and siRNA-based therapies are effective if a therapy with a >50% inhibition rate is initiated within a few days post-symptom-onset. In contrast, antibody-based therapy requires not only a higher inhibition rate but also an earlier administration, especially for otherwise fatal cases. Our results demonstrate that an appropriate choice of EBOV-specific drugs is required for effective EVD treatment. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Ebola Virus Infection Modelling and Identifiability Problems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Van-Kinh eNguyen

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available The recent outbreaks of Ebola virus (EBOV infections have underlined the impact of the virus as a major threat for human health. Due to the high biosafety classification of EBOV (level 4, basic research is very limited. Therefore, the development of new avenues of thinking to advance quantitative comprehension of the virus and its interaction with the host cells is urgently neededto tackle this lethal disease. Mathematical modelling of the EBOV dynamics can be instrumental to interpret Ebola infection kinetics on quantitative grounds. To the best of our knowledge, a mathematical modelling approach to unravel the interaction between EBOV and the host cells isstill missing. In this paper, a mathematical model based on differential equations is used to represent the basic interactions between EBOV and wild-type Vero cells in vitro. Parameter sets that represent infectivity of pathogens are estimated for EBOV infection and compared with influenza virus infection kinetics. The average infecting time of wild-type Vero cells in EBOV is slower than in influenza infection. Simulation results suggest that the slow infecting time of EBOV could be compensated by its efficient replication. This study reveals several identifiability problems and what kind of experiments are necessary to advance the quantification of EBOV infection. A first mathematical approach of EBOV dynamics and the estimation of standard parametersin viral infections kinetics is the key contribution of this work, paving the way for future modelling work on EBOV infection.

  12. Insights into Brain Glycogen Metabolism: THE STRUCTURE OF HUMAN BRAIN GLYCOGEN PHOSPHORYLASE.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathieu, Cécile; Li de la Sierra-Gallay, Ines; Duval, Romain; Xu, Ximing; Cocaign, Angélique; Léger, Thibaut; Woffendin, Gary; Camadro, Jean-Michel; Etchebest, Catherine; Haouz, Ahmed; Dupret, Jean-Marie; Rodrigues-Lima, Fernando

    2016-08-26

    Brain glycogen metabolism plays a critical role in major brain functions such as learning or memory consolidation. However, alteration of glycogen metabolism and glycogen accumulation in the brain contributes to neurodegeneration as observed in Lafora disease. Glycogen phosphorylase (GP), a key enzyme in glycogen metabolism, catalyzes the rate-limiting step of glycogen mobilization. Moreover, the allosteric regulation of the three GP isozymes (muscle, liver, and brain) by metabolites and phosphorylation, in response to hormonal signaling, fine-tunes glycogenolysis to fulfill energetic and metabolic requirements. Whereas the structures of muscle and liver GPs have been known for decades, the structure of brain GP (bGP) has remained elusive despite its critical role in brain glycogen metabolism. Here, we report the crystal structure of human bGP in complex with PEG 400 (2.5 Å) and in complex with its allosteric activator AMP (3.4 Å). These structures demonstrate that bGP has a closer structural relationship with muscle GP, which is also activated by AMP, contrary to liver GP, which is not. Importantly, despite the structural similarities between human bGP and the two other mammalian isozymes, the bGP structures reveal molecular features unique to the brain isozyme that provide a deeper understanding of the differences in the activation properties of these allosteric enzymes by the allosteric effector AMP. Overall, our study further supports that the distinct structural and regulatory properties of GP isozymes contribute to the different functions of muscle, liver, and brain glycogen. © 2016 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  13. Research resource: novel structural insights bridge gaps in glycoprotein hormone receptor analyses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kreuchwig, Annika; Kleinau, Gunnar; Krause, Gerd

    2013-08-01

    The first version of a glycoprotein hormone receptor (GPHR) information resource was designed to link functional with structural GPHR information, in order to support sequence-structure-function analysis of the LH, FSH, and TSH receptors (http://ssfa-gphr.de). However, structural information on a binding- and signaling-sensitive extracellular fragment (∼100 residues), the hinge region, had been lacking. A new FSHR crystal structure of the hormone-bound extracellular domain has recently been solved. The structure comprises the leucine-rich repeat domain and most parts of the hinge region. We have not only integrated the new FSHR/FSH structure and the derived homology models of TSHR/TSH, LHCGR/CG, and LHCGR/LH into our web-based information resource, but have additionally provided novel tools to analyze the advanced structural features, with the common characteristics and distinctions between GPHRs, in a more precise manner. The hinge region with its second hormone-binding site allows us to assign functional data to the new structural features between hormone and receptor, such as binding details of a sulfated tyrosine (conserved throughout the GPHRs) extending into a pocket of the hormone. We have also implemented a protein interface analysis tool that enables the identification and visualization of extracellular contact points between interaction partners. This provides a starting point for comparing the binding patterns of GPHRs. Together with the mutagenesis data stored in the database, this will help to decipher the essential residues for ligand recognition and the molecular mechanisms of signal transduction, extending from the extracellular hormone-binding site toward the intracellular G protein-binding sites.

  14. The NMR structure of human obestatin in membrane-like environments: insights into the structure-bioactivity relationship of obestatin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alén, Begoña O; Nieto, Lidia; Gurriarán-Rodríguez, Uxía; Mosteiro, Carlos S; Álvarez-Pérez, Juan C; Otero-Alén, María; Camiña, Jesús P; Gallego, Rosalía; García-Caballero, Tomás; Martín-Pastor, Manuel; Casanueva, Felipe F; Jiménez-Barbero, Jesús; Pazos, Yolanda

    2012-01-01

    The quest for therapeutic applications of obestatin involves, as a first step, the determination of its 3D solution structure and the relationship between this structure and the biological activity of obestatin. On this basis, we have employed a combination of circular dichroism (CD), nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, and modeling techniques to determine the solution structure of human obestatin (1). Other analogues, including human non-amidated obestatin (2) and the fragment peptides (6-23)-obestatin (3), (11-23)-obestatin (4), and (16-23)-obestatin (5) have also been scrutinized. These studies have been performed in a micellar environment to mimic the cell membrane (sodium dodecyl sulfate, SDS). Furthermore, structural-activity relationship studies have been performed by assessing the in vitro proliferative capabilities of these peptides in the human retinal pigmented epithelial cell line ARPE-19 (ERK1/2 and Akt phosphorylation, Ki67 expression, and cellular proliferation). Our findings emphasize the importance of both the primary structure (composition and size) and particular segments of the obestatin molecule that posses significant α-helical characteristics. Additionally, details of a species-specific role for obestatin have also been hypothesized by comparing human and mouse obestatins (1 and 6, respectively) at both the structural and bioactivity levels.

  15. The NMR structure of human obestatin in membrane-like environments: insights into the structure-bioactivity relationship of obestatin.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Begoña O Alén

    Full Text Available The quest for therapeutic applications of obestatin involves, as a first step, the determination of its 3D solution structure and the relationship between this structure and the biological activity of obestatin. On this basis, we have employed a combination of circular dichroism (CD, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR spectroscopy, and modeling techniques to determine the solution structure of human obestatin (1. Other analogues, including human non-amidated obestatin (2 and the fragment peptides (6-23-obestatin (3, (11-23-obestatin (4, and (16-23-obestatin (5 have also been scrutinized. These studies have been performed in a micellar environment to mimic the cell membrane (sodium dodecyl sulfate, SDS. Furthermore, structural-activity relationship studies have been performed by assessing the in vitro proliferative capabilities of these peptides in the human retinal pigmented epithelial cell line ARPE-19 (ERK1/2 and Akt phosphorylation, Ki67 expression, and cellular proliferation. Our findings emphasize the importance of both the primary structure (composition and size and particular segments of the obestatin molecule that posses significant α-helical characteristics. Additionally, details of a species-specific role for obestatin have also been hypothesized by comparing human and mouse obestatins (1 and 6, respectively at both the structural and bioactivity levels.

  16. Thermodynamic heuristics with case-based reasoning: combined insights for RNA pseudoknot secondary structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Khatib, Ra'ed M; Rashid, Nur'Aini Abdul; Abdullah, Rosni

    2011-08-01

    The secondary structure of RNA pseudoknots has been extensively inferred and scrutinized by computational approaches. Experimental methods for determining RNA structure are time consuming and tedious; therefore, predictive computational approaches are required. Predicting the most accurate and energy-stable pseudoknot RNA secondary structure has been proven to be an NP-hard problem. In this paper, a new RNA folding approach, termed MSeeker, is presented; it includes KnotSeeker (a heuristic method) and Mfold (a thermodynamic algorithm). The global optimization of this thermodynamic heuristic approach was further enhanced by using a case-based reasoning technique as a local optimization method. MSeeker is a proposed algorithm for predicting RNA pseudoknot structure from individual sequences, especially long ones. This research demonstrates that MSeeker improves the sensitivity and specificity of existing RNA pseudoknot structure predictions. The performance and structural results from this proposed method were evaluated against seven other state-of-the-art pseudoknot prediction methods. The MSeeker method had better sensitivity than the DotKnot, FlexStem, HotKnots, pknotsRG, ILM, NUPACK and pknotsRE methods, with 79% of the predicted pseudoknot base-pairs being correct.

  17. Model representations of kerogen structures: An insight from density functional theory calculations and spectroscopic measurements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weck, Philippe F; Kim, Eunja; Wang, Yifeng; Kruichak, Jessica N; Mills, Melissa M; Matteo, Edward N; Pellenq, Roland J-M

    2017-08-01

    Molecular structures of kerogen control hydrocarbon production in unconventional reservoirs. Significant progress has been made in developing model representations of various kerogen structures. These models have been widely used for the prediction of gas adsorption and migration in shale matrix. However, using density functional perturbation theory (DFPT) calculations and vibrational spectroscopic measurements, we here show that a large gap may still remain between the existing model representations and actual kerogen structures, therefore calling for new model development. Using DFPT, we calculated Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectra for six most widely used kerogen structure models. The computed spectra were then systematically compared to the FTIR absorption spectra collected for kerogen samples isolated from Mancos, Woodford and Marcellus formations representing a wide range of kerogen origin and maturation conditions. Limited agreement between the model predictions and the measurements highlights that the existing kerogen models may still miss some key features in structural representation. A combination of DFPT calculations with spectroscopic measurements may provide a useful diagnostic tool for assessing the adequacy of a proposed structural model as well as for future model development. This approach may eventually help develop comprehensive infrared (IR)-fingerprints for tracing kerogen evolution.

  18. Novel complex MAD phasing and RNase H structural insights using selenium oligonucleotides

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Abdur, Rob; Gerlits, Oksana O.; Gan, Jianhua; Jiang, Jiansheng; Salon, Jozef; Kovalevsky, Andrey Y.; Chumanevich, Alexander A.; Weber, Irene T.; Huang, Zhen, E-mail: huang@gsu.edu [Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA 30303 (United States)

    2014-02-01

    Selenium-derivatized oligonucleotides may facilitate phase determination and high-resolution structure determination for protein–nucleic acid crystallography. The Se atom-specific mutagenesis (SAM) strategy may also enhance the study of nuclease catalysis. The crystal structures of protein–nucleic acid complexes are commonly determined using selenium-derivatized proteins via MAD or SAD phasing. Here, the first protein–nucleic acid complex structure determined using selenium-derivatized nucleic acids is reported. The RNase H–RNA/DNA complex is used as an example to demonstrate the proof of principle. The high-resolution crystal structure indicates that this selenium replacement results in a local subtle unwinding of the RNA/DNA substrate duplex, thereby shifting the RNA scissile phosphate closer to the transition state of the enzyme-catalyzed reaction. It was also observed that the scissile phosphate forms a hydrogen bond to the water nucleophile and helps to position the water molecule in the structure. Consistently, it was discovered that the substitution of a single O atom by a Se atom in a guide DNA sequence can largely accelerate RNase H catalysis. These structural and catalytic studies shed new light on the guide-dependent RNA cleavage.

  19. Insights into the molecular mechanism of dehalogenation catalyzed by D-2-haloacid dehalogenase from crystal structures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yayue; Feng, Yanbin; Cao, Xupeng; Liu, Yinghui; Xue, Song

    2018-01-23

    D-2-haloacid dehalogenases (D-DEXs) catalyse the hydrolytic dehalogenation of D-2-haloacids, releasing halide ions and producing the corresponding 2-hydroxyacids. A structure-guided elucidation of the catalytic mechanism of this dehalogenation reaction has not been reported yet. Here, we report the catalytic mechanism of a D-DEX, HadD AJ1 from Pseudomonas putida AJ1/23, which was elucidated by X-ray crystallographic analysis and the H 2 18 O incorporation experiment. HadD AJ1 is an α-helical hydrolase that forms a homotetramer with its monomer including two structurally axisymmetric repeats. The product-bound complex structure was trapped with L-lactic acid in the active site, which is framed by the structurally related helices between two repeats. Site-directed mutagenesis confirmed the importance of the residues lining the binding pocket in stabilizing the enzyme-substrate complex. Asp205 acts as a key catalytic residue and is responsible for activating a water molecule along with Asn131. Then, the hydroxyl group of the water molecule directly attacks the C2 atom of the substrate to release the halogen ion instead of forming an enzyme-substrate ester intermediate as observed in L-2-haloacid dehalogenases. The newly revealed structural and mechanistic information on D-DEX may inspire structure-based mutagenesis to engineer highly efficient haloacid dehalogenases.

  20. Structural insights into substrate and inhibitor binding sites in human indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase 1

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lewis-Ballester, Ariel; Pham, Khoa N.; Batabyal, Dipanwita; Karkashon, Shay; Bonanno, Jeffrey B.; Poulos, Thomas L.; Yeh, Syun-Ru (Einstein); (UCI)

    2017-11-22

    Human indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase 1 (hIDO1) is an attractive cancer immunotherapeutic target owing to its role in promoting tumoral immune escape. However, drug development has been hindered by limited structural information. Here, we report the crystal structures of hIDO1 in complex with its substrate, Trp, an inhibitor, epacadostat, and/or an effector, indole ethanol (IDE). The data reveal structural features of the active site (Sa) critical for substrate activation; in addition, they disclose a new inhibitor-binding mode and a distinct small molecule binding site (Si). Structure-guided mutation of a critical residue, F270, to glycine perturbs the Si site, allowing structural determination of an inhibitory complex, where both the Sa and Si sites are occupied by Trp. The Si site offers a novel target site for allosteric inhibitors and a molecular explanation for the previously baffling substrate-inhibition behavior of the enzyme. Taken together, the data open exciting new avenues for structure-based drug design.

  1. Insight into the structures and stabilities of Tc and Re DMSA complexes: A computational study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Blanco González, Alejandro; Hernández Valdés, Daniel; García Fleitas, Ariel; Rodríguez Riera, Zalua; Jáuregui Haza, Ulises

    2016-01-01

    Meso-2,3-dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA) is used in nuclear medicine as ligand for preparation of radiopharmaceuticals for diagnostic and therapy. DMSA has been the subject of numerous investigations during the past three decades and new and significant information of the chemistry and pharmacology of DMSA complexes have emerged. In comparison to other ligands, the structure of some DMSA complexes is unclear up today. The structures and applications of DMSA complexes are strictly dependent on the chemical conditions of their preparation, especially pH and the ratio of components. A computational study of M-DMSA (M = Tc, Re) complexes has been performed using density functional theory. Different isomers for M(V) and M(III) complexes were study. The pH influence over ligand structures was taken into account and the solvent effect was evaluated using an implicit solvation model. The fully optimized complex syn-endo Re(V)-DMSA shows a geometry similar to the X-ray data and was used to validate the methodology. Moreover, new alternative structures for the renal agent 99mTc(III)-DMSA were proposed and computationally studied. For two complex structures, a larger stability respect to that proposed in the literature was obtained. Furthermore, Tc(V)-DMSA complexes are more stable than the Tc(III)-DMSA proposed structures. In general, Re complexes are more stables than the corresponding Tc ones. (author)

  2. Seismotectonics of Taiwan Shoal region in northeastern SCS: Insights from crustal structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuiyuan, Wan; Jinlong, Sun; Shaohong, Xia; Xiaoling, Xie; Xiang, Zhang; Huilong, Xu; Jinghe, Cao

    2017-04-01

    A seismicity cluster and a great 16 September 1994 earthquake occur in the Taiwan Shoal region, outer rise of the Manila subduction zone. To understand what mechanisms control and generate the earthquake cluster, it is important to investigate the deep crustal structure of the Taiwan Shoal region. We present a 2-D seismic tomographic image of the crustal structure along the OBS2012 profile based on ocean bottom seismographic (OBS) data. The structure exhibits that a high velocity anomaly in the upper crust beneath the Taiwan Shoal is flanked by lower velocity anomalies. Based on the crustal structure, we study the 765 earthquakes, which occurred in the period 1991-2015. These epicenters, combined with the regional faults, and crustal structure, allow us to better understand the nature of the active tectonics in this region. The high velocity area is interpreted as representing stronger, defining major asperities where stress is concentrated corresponding to the location of the earthquake cluster. The earthquake cluster is influenced by the fault interactions. However, the 16 September 1994 earthquake is independents of the seismic activities but associated with the reactivation of the preexisting fault. In Taiwan region, the slab-pull was resisted by the exposed pre-collision accretionary prism and the resistive force caused the in-plane compressive stress accumulation. This condition may favor the triggering of future damaging earthquakes in this region. Key words: earthquake cluster; crustal structure; fault interactions; outer rise; Taiwan Shoal

  3. Tech Transfer Award Hails FNL's Role in Ebola Response | FNLCR

    Science.gov (United States)

    For speeding the delivery of an effective candidate vaccine during the largest Ebola outbreak in history, the Frederick National Lab (as Leidos Biomed) was cited along with National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and GlaxoSmithKline in

  4. Evaluating Subcriticality during the Ebola Epidemic in West Africa.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wayne T A Enanoria

    Full Text Available The 2014-2015 Ebola outbreak is the largest and most widespread to date. In order to estimate ongoing transmission in the affected countries, we estimated the weekly average number of secondary cases caused by one individual infected with Ebola throughout the infectious period for each affected West African country using a stochastic hidden Markov model fitted to case data from the World Health Organization. If the average number of infections caused by one Ebola infection is less than 1.0, the epidemic is subcritical and cannot sustain itself. The epidemics in Liberia and Sierra Leone have approached subcriticality at some point during the epidemic; the epidemic in Guinea is ongoing with no evidence that it is subcritical. Response efforts to control the epidemic should continue in order to eliminate Ebola cases in West Africa.

  5. Parachuting plasmapheresis into the Ebola crisis | Zacharias | Africa ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Parachuting plasmapheresis into the Ebola crisis. ... A vehicle was pre-fitted with sophisticated equipment and airlifted to the study site (ELWA). ... Training included plasmapheresis, donor management, testing and pathogen inactivation.

  6. Mitigating measles outbreaks in West Africa post-Ebola.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Truelove, Shaun A; Moss, William J; Lessler, Justin

    2015-01-01

    The Ebola outbreak in 2014-2015 devastated the populations, economies and healthcare systems of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. With this devastation comes the impending threat of outbreaks of other infectious diseases like measles. Strategies for mitigating these risks must include both prevention, through vaccination, and case detection and management, focused on surveillance, diagnosis and appropriate clinical care and case management. With the high transmissibility of measles virus, small-scale reactive vaccinations will be essential to extinguish focal outbreaks, while national vaccination campaigns are needed to guarantee vaccination coverage targets are reached in the long term. Rapid and multifaceted strategies should carefully navigate challenges present in the wake of Ebola, while also taking advantage of current Ebola-related activities and international attention. Above all, resources and focus currently aimed at these countries must be utilized to build up the deficit in infrastructure and healthcare systems that contributed to the extent of the Ebola outbreak.

  7. Biosecurity and Biodefense: Lessons from Ebola Virus Outbreak

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Lebea, Phiyani J

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available , should a contagious outbreak be suspected. Such a policy would be adopted by regional member states since diseases such as Ebola respect no national boundaries. Secondly, research infrastructure including BSL 4 laboratories that address research on animal...

  8. Spatiotemporal Fluctuations and Triggers of Ebola Virus Spillover.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, John Paul; Park, Andrew W; Kramer, Andrew M; Han, Barbara A; Alexander, Laura W; Drake, John M

    2017-03-01

    Because the natural reservoir of Ebola virus remains unclear and disease outbreaks in humans have occurred only sporadically over a large region, forecasting when and where Ebola spillovers are most likely to occur constitutes a continuing and urgent public health challenge. We developed a statistical modeling approach that associates 37 human or great ape Ebola spillovers since 1982 with spatiotemporally dynamic covariates including vegetative cover, human population size, and absolute and relative rainfall over 3 decades across sub-Saharan Africa. Our model (area under the curve 0.80 on test data) shows that spillover intensity is highest during transitions between wet and dry seasons; overall, high seasonal intensity occurs over much of tropical Africa; and spillover intensity is greatest at high (>1,000/km 2 ) and very low (Ebola spillover from wild reservoirs and indicate particular times and regions for targeted surveillance.

  9. Ebola virus vaccines: an overview of current approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marzi, Andrea; Feldmann, Heinz

    2016-01-01

    Ebola hemorrhagic fever is one of the most fatal viral diseases worldwide affecting humans and nonhuman primates. Although infections only occur frequently in Central Africa, the virus has the potential to spread globally and is classified as a category A pathogen that could be misused as a bioterrorism agent. As of today there is no vaccine or treatment licensed to counteract Ebola virus infections. DNA, subunit and several viral vector approaches, replicating and non-replicating, have been tested as potential vaccine platforms and their protective efficacy has been evaluated in nonhuman primate models for Ebola virus infections, which closely resemble disease progression in humans. Though these vaccine platforms seem to confer protection through different mechanisms, several of them are efficacious against lethal disease in nonhuman primates attesting that vaccination against Ebola virus infections is feasible. PMID:24575870

  10. Development of Small-Molecule Antivirals for Ebola

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Janeba, Zlatko

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 35, č. 6 (2015), s. 1175-1194 ISSN 0198-6325 Institutional support: RVO:61388963 Keywords : antiviral * filovirus * Ebola virus * Marburg virus * hemorrhagic fever Subject RIV: CC - Organic Chemistry Impact factor: 9.135, year: 2015

  11. Host genetic diversity enables Ebola hemorrhagic fever pathogenesis and resistance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rasmussen, Angela L; Okumura, Atsushi; Ferris, Martin T; Green, Richard; Feldmann, Friederike; Kelly, Sara M; Scott, Dana P; Safronetz, David; Haddock, Elaine; LaCasse, Rachel; Thomas, Matthew J; Sova, Pavel; Carter, Victoria S; Weiss, Jeffrey M; Miller, Darla R; Shaw, Ginger D; Korth, Marcus J; Heise, Mark T; Baric, Ralph S; de Villena, Fernando Pardo-Manuel; Feldmann, Heinz; Katze, Michael G

    2014-11-21

    Existing mouse models of lethal Ebola virus infection do not reproduce hallmark symptoms of Ebola hemorrhagic fever, neither delayed blood coagulation and disseminated intravascular coagulation nor death from shock, thus restricting pathogenesis studies to nonhuman primates. Here we show that mice from the Collaborative Cross panel of recombinant inbred mice exhibit distinct disease phenotypes after mouse-adapted Ebola virus infection. Phenotypes range from complete resistance to lethal disease to severe hemorrhagic fever characterized by prolonged coagulation times and 100% mortality. Inflammatory signaling was associated with vascular permeability and endothelial activation, and resistance to lethal infection arose by induction of lymphocyte differentiation and cellular adhesion, probably mediated by the susceptibility allele Tek. These data indicate that genetic background determines susceptibility to Ebola hemorrhagic fever. Copyright © 2014, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  12. High survival rates and associated factors among ebola virus disease patients hospitalized at donka national hospital, conakry, Guinea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qureshi, Adnan I; Chughtai, Morad; Bah, Elhadj Ibrahima; Barry, Moumié; Béavogui, Kézély; Loua, Tokpagnan Oscar; Malik, Ahmed A

    2015-02-01

    Anecdotal reports suggesting that survival rates among hospitalized patients with Ebola virus disease in Guinea are higher than the 29.2% rate observed in the current epidemic in West Africa. Survival after symptom onset was determined using Kaplan Meier survival methods among patients with confirmed Ebola virus disease treated in Conakry, Guinea from March 25, 2014, to August 5, 2014. We analyzed the relationship between survival and patient factors, including demographics and clinical features. Of the 70 patients analyzed [mean age ± standard deviation (SD), 34 ± 14.1; 44 were men], 42 were discharged alive with a survival rate among hospitalized patients of 60% (95% confidence interval, 41.5-78.5%). The survival rate was 28 (71.8%) among 39 patients under 34 years of age, and 14 (46.7%) among 30 patients aged 35 years or greater (p = 0.034). The rates of myalgia (3 of 42 versus 7 of 28, p = 0.036) and hiccups (1 of 42 versus 5 of 28, p = 0.023) were significantly lower among patients who survived. Our results provide insights into a cohort of hospitalized patients with Ebola virus disease in whom survival is prominently higher than seen in other cohorts of hospitalized patients.

  13. The contribution of biological, mathematical, clinical, engineering and social sciences to combatting the West African Ebola epidemic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitty, Christopher J M

    2017-05-26

    The tragic West African Ebola epidemic claimed many lives, but would have been worse still if scientific insights from many disciplines had not been integrated to create a strong technical response. Epidemiology and modelling triggered the international response and guided where response efforts were directed; virology, engineering and clinical science helped reduce deaths and transmission in and from hospitals and treatment centres; social sciences were key to reducing deaths from funerals and in the community; diagnostic and operational research made the response more efficient; immunology and vaccine research contributed to the final stages of the epidemic and will help prevent future epidemics. These varied scientific contributions had to be integrated into a combined narrative, communicated to policymakers to inform decisions, and used by courageous local and international responders in the field in real time. Not every area of science was optimal, and in particular, clinical trials of simple interventions such as fluid management were slow to be adopted and sharing of data was initially poor. This Ebola epidemic demonstrated how science can respond to a major emergency, but also has lessons for better responses in future infectious emergencies.This article is part of the themed issue 'The 2013-2016 West African Ebola epidemic: data, decision-making and disease control'. © 2017 The Author(s).

  14. The Myeloid LSECtin Is a DAP12-Coupled Receptor That Is Crucial for Inflammatory Response Induced by Ebola Virus Glycoprotein.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dianyuan Zhao

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Fatal Ebola virus infection is characterized by a systemic inflammatory response similar to septic shock. Ebola glycoprotein (GP is involved in this process through activating dendritic cells (DCs and macrophages. However, the mechanism is unclear. Here, we showed that LSECtin (also known as CLEC4G plays an important role in GP-mediated inflammatory responses in human DCs. Anti-LSECtin mAb engagement induced TNF-α and IL-6 production in DCs, whereas silencing of LSECtin abrogated this effect. Intriguingly, as a pathogen-derived ligand, Ebola GP could trigger TNF-α and IL-6 release by DCs through LSECtin. Mechanistic investigations revealed that LSECtin initiated signaling via association with a 12-kDa DNAX-activating protein (DAP12 and induced Syk activation. Mutation of key tyrosines in the DAP12 immunoreceptor tyrosine-based activation motif abrogated LSECtin-mediated signaling. Furthermore, Syk inhibitors significantly reduced the GP-triggered cytokine production in DCs. Therefore, our results demonstrate that LSECtin is required for the GP-induced inflammatory response, providing new insights into the EBOV-mediated inflammatory response.

  15. Late Ebola virus relapse causing meningoencephalitis: a case report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobs, Michael; Rodger, Alison; Bell, David J; Bhagani, Sanjay; Cropley, Ian; Filipe, Ana; Gifford, Robert J; Hopkins, Susan; Hughes, Joseph; Jabeen, Farrah; Johannessen, Ingolfur; Karageorgopoulos, Drosos; Lackenby, Angie; Lester, Rebecca; Liu, Rebecca S N; MacConnachie, Alisdair; Mahungu, Tabitha; Martin, Daniel; Marshall, Neal; Mepham, Stephen; Orton, Richard; Palmarini, Massimo; Patel, Monika; Perry, Colin; Peters, S Erica; Porter, Duncan; Ritchie, David; Ritchie, Neil D; Seaton, R Andrew; Sreenu, Vattipally B; Templeton, Kate; Warren, Simon; Wilkie, Gavin S; Zambon, Maria; Gopal, Robin; Thomson, Emma C

    2016-07-30

    There are thousands of survivors of the 2014 Ebola outbreak in west Africa. Ebola virus can persist in survivors for months in immune-privileged sites; however, viral relapse causing life-threatening and potentially transmissible disease has not been described. We report a case of late relapse in a patient who had been treated for severe Ebola virus disease with high viral load (peak cycle threshold value 13.2). A 39-year-old female nurse from Scotland, who had assisted the humanitarian effort in Sierra Leone, had received intensive supportive treatment and experimental antiviral therapies, and had been discharged with undetectable Ebola virus RNA in peripheral blood. The patient was readmitted to hospital 9 months after discharge with symptoms of acute meningitis, and was found to have Ebola virus in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). She was treated with supportive therapy and experimental antiviral drug GS-5734 (Gilead Sciences, San Francisco, Foster City, CA, USA). We monitored Ebola virus RNA in CSF and plasma, and sequenced the viral genome using an unbiased metagenomic approach. On admission, reverse transcriptase PCR identified Ebola virus RNA at a higher level in CSF (cycle threshold value 23.7) than plasma (31.3); infectious virus was only recovered from CSF. The patient developed progressive meningoencephalitis with cranial neuropathies and radiculopathy. Clinical recovery was associated with addition of high-dose corticosteroids during GS-5734 treatment. CSF Ebola virus RNA slowly declined and was undetectable following 14 days of treatment with GS-5734. Sequencing of plasma and CSF viral genome revealed only two non-coding changes compared with the original infecting virus. Our report shows that previously unanticipated, late, severe relapses of Ebola virus can occur, in this case in the CNS. This finding fundamentally redefines what is known about the natural history of Ebola virus infection. Vigilance should be maintained in the thousands of Ebola survivors

  16. Structural insights into Cydia pomonella pheromone binding protein 2 mediated prediction of potentially active semiochemicals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Zhen; Liu, Jiyuan; Zhang, Yalin

    2016-03-01

    Given the advantages of behavioral disruption application in pest control and the damage of Cydia pomonella, due progresses have not been made in searching active semiochemicals for codling moth. In this research, 31 candidate semiochemicals were ranked for their binding potential to Cydia pomonella pheromone binding protein 2 (CpomPBP2) by simulated docking, and this sorted result was confirmed by competitive binding assay. This high predicting accuracy of virtual screening led to the construction of a rapid and viable method for semiochemicals searching. By reference to binding mode analyses, hydrogen bond and hydrophobic interaction were suggested to be two key factors in determining ligand affinity, so is the length of molecule chain. So it is concluded that semiochemicals of appropriate chain length with hydroxyl group or carbonyl group at one head tended to be favored by CpomPBP2. Residues involved in binding with each ligand were pointed out as well, which were verified by computational alanine scanning mutagenesis. Progress made in the present study helps establish an efficient method for predicting potentially active compounds and prepares for the application of high-throughput virtual screening in searching semiochemicals by taking insights into binding mode analyses.

  17. Structural insight into the binding interactions of modeled structure of Arabidopsis thaliana urease with urea: an in silico study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yata, Vinod Kumar; Thapa, Arun; Mattaparthi, Venkata Satish Kumar

    2015-01-01

    Urease (EC 3.5.1.5., urea amidohydrolase) catalyzes the hydrolysis of urea to ammonia and carbon dioxide. Urease is present to a greater abundance in plants and plays significant role related to nitrogen recycling from urea. But little is known about the structure and function of the urease derived from the Arabidopsis thaliana, the model system of choice for research in plant biology. In this study, a three-dimensional structural model of A. thaliana urease was constructed using computer-aided molecular modeling technique. The characteristic structural features of the modeled structure were then studied using atomistic molecular dynamics simulation. It was observed that the modeled structure was stable and regions between residues index (50-80, 500-700) to be significantly flexible. From the docking studies, we detected the possible binding interactions of modeled urease with urea. Ala399, Ile675, Thr398, and Thr679 residues of A. thaliana urease were observed to be significantly involved in binding with the substrate urea. We also compared the docking studies of ureases from other sources such as Canavalia ensiformis, Helicobacter pylori, and Bacillus pasteurii. In addition, we carried out mutation analysis to find the highly mutable amino acid residues of modeled A. thaliana urease. In this particular study, we observed Met485, Tyr510, Ser786, Val426, and Lys765 to be highly mutable amino acids. These results are significant for the mutagenesis analysis. As a whole, this study expounds the salient structural features as well the binding interactions of the modeled structure of A. thaliana urease.

  18. Ebola Policies That Hinder Epidemic Response by Limiting Scientific Discourse

    OpenAIRE

    Asgary, Ramin; Pavlin, Julie A.; Ripp, Jonathan A.; Reithinger, Richard; Polyak, Christina S.

    2015-01-01

    There is an unprecedented epidemic of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in west Africa. There has been a strong response from dedicated health professionals. However, there have also been irrational and fear-based responses that have contributed to misallocation of resources, stigma, and deincentivizing volunteers to combat Ebola at its source. Recently, the State of Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals issued a ban on those coming from affected countries wishing to attend the annual meetings...

  19. [EBOLA HEMORRHAGIC FEVER: DIAGNOSTICS, ETIOTROPIC AND PATHOGENETIC THERAPY, PREVENTION].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhdanov, K V; Zakharenko, S M; Kovalenko, A N; Semenov, A V; Fisun, A Ya

    2015-01-01

    The data on diagnostics, etiotropic and pathogenetic therapy, prevention of Ebola hemorrhagic fever are presented including diagnostic algorithms for different clinical situations. Fundamentals of pathogenetic therapy are described. Various groups of medications used for antiviral therapy of conditions caused by Ebola virus are characterized. Experimental drugs at different stages of clinical studies are considered along with candidate vaccines being developed for the prevention of the disease.

  20. U.S. Ebola Treatment Center Clinical Laboratory Support

    OpenAIRE

    Jelden, Katelyn C.; Iwen, Peter C.; Herstein, Jocelyn J.; Biddinger, Paul D.; Kraft, Colleen S.; Saiman, Lisa; Smith, Philip W.; Hewlett, Angela L.; Gibbs, Shawn G.; Lowe, John J.

    2016-01-01

    Fifty-five hospitals in the United States have been designated Ebola treatment centers (ETCs) by their state and local health authorities. Designated ETCs must have appropriate plans to manage a patient with confirmed Ebola virus disease (EVD) for the full duration of illness and must have these plans assessed through a CDC site visit conducted by an interdisciplinary team of subject matter experts. This study determined the clinical laboratory capabilities of these ETCs. ETCs were electronic...

  1. Ebola Virus: Immune Mechanisms of Protection and Vaccine Development

    OpenAIRE

    Nyamathi, AM; Fahey, JL; Sands, H; Casillas, AM

    2003-01-01

    Vaccination is one of our most powerful antiviral strategies. Despite the emergence of deadly viruses such as Ebola virus, vaccination efforts have focused mainly on childhood communicable diseases. Although Ebola virus was once believed to be limited to isolated outbreaks in distant lands, forces of globalization potentiate outbreaks anywhere in the world through incidental transmission. Moreover, since this virus has already been transformed into weapongrade material, the potential exists f...

  2. Structural Insights into the Molecular Design of Flutolanil Derivatives Targeted for Fumarate Respiration of Parasite Mitochondria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Ken Inaoka

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Recent studies on the respiratory chain of Ascaris suum showed that the mitochondrial NADH-fumarate reductase system composed of complex I, rhodoquinone and complex II plays an important role in the anaerobic energy metabolism of adult A. suum. The system is the major pathway of energy metabolism for adaptation to a hypoxic environment not only in parasitic organisms, but also in some types of human cancer cells. Thus, enzymes of the pathway are potential targets for chemotherapy. We found that flutolanil is an excellent inhibitor for A. suum complex II (IC50 = 0.058 μM but less effectively inhibits homologous porcine complex II (IC50 = 45.9 μM. In order to account for the specificity of flutolanil to A. suum complex II from the standpoint of structural biology, we determined the crystal structures of A. suum and porcine complex IIs binding flutolanil and its derivative compounds. The structures clearly demonstrated key interactions responsible for its high specificity to A. suum complex II and enabled us to find analogue compounds, which surpass flutolanil in both potency and specificity to A. suum complex II. Structures of complex IIs binding these compounds will be helpful to accelerate structure-based drug design targeted for complex IIs.

  3. Structural Insights into the Molecular Design of Flutolanil Derivatives Targeted for Fumarate Respiration of Parasite Mitochondria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inaoka, Daniel Ken; Shiba, Tomoo; Sato, Dan; Balogun, Emmanuel Oluwadare; Sasaki, Tsuyoshi; Nagahama, Madoka; Oda, Masatsugu; Matsuoka, Shigeru; Ohmori, Junko; Honma, Teruki; Inoue, Masayuki; Kita, Kiyoshi; Harada, Shigeharu

    2015-07-07

    Recent studies on the respiratory chain of Ascaris suum showed that the mitochondrial NADH-fumarate reductase system composed of complex I, rhodoquinone and complex II plays an important role in the anaerobic energy metabolism of adult A. suum. The system is the major pathway of energy metabolism for adaptation to a hypoxic environment not only in parasitic organisms, but also in some types of human cancer cells. Thus, enzymes of the pathway are potential targets for chemotherapy. We found that flutolanil is an excellent inhibitor for A. suum complex II (IC50 = 0.058 μM) but less effectively inhibits homologous porcine complex II (IC50 = 45.9 μM). In order to account for the specificity of flutolanil to A. suum complex II from the standpoint of structural biology, we determined the crystal structures of A. suum and porcine complex IIs binding flutolanil and its derivative compounds. The structures clearly demonstrated key interactions responsible for its high specificity to A. suum complex II and enabled us to find analogue compounds, which surpass flutolanil in both potency and specificity to A. suum complex II. Structures of complex IIs binding these compounds will be helpful to accelerate structure-based drug design targeted for complex IIs.

  4. Protic ammonium carboxylate ionic liquids: insight into structure, dynamics and thermophysical properties by alkyl group functionalization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reddy, Th Dhileep N; Mallik, Bhabani S

    2017-04-19

    This study is aimed at characterising the structure, dynamics and thermophysical properties of five alkylammonium carboxylate ionic liquids (ILs) from classical molecular dynamics simulations. The structural features of these ILs were characterised by calculating the site-site radial distribution functions, g(r), spatial distribution functions and structure factors. The structural properties demonstrate that ILs show greater interaction between cations and anions when alkyl chain length increases on the cation or anion. In all ILs, spatial distribution functions show that the anion is close to the acidic hydrogen atoms of the ammonium cation. We determined the role of alkyl group functionalization of the charged entities, cations and anions, in the dynamical behavior and the transport coefficients of this family of ionic liquids. The dynamics of ILs are described by studying the mean square displacement (MSD) of the centres of mass of the ions, diffusion coefficients, ionic conductivities and hydrogen bonds as well as residence dynamics. The diffusion coefficients and ionic conductivity decrease with an increase in the size of the cation or anion. The effect of alkyl chain length on ionic conductivity calculated in this article is consistent with the findings of other experimental studies. Hydrogen bond lifetimes and residence times along with structure factors were also calculated, and are related to alkyl chain length.

  5. Insights into the Structures of DNA Damaged by Hydroxyl Radical: Crystal Structures of DNA Duplexes Containing 5-Formyluracil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masaru Tsunoda

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Hydroxyl radicals are potent mutagens that attack DNA to form various base and ribose derivatives. One of the major damaged thymine derivatives is 5-formyluracil (fU, which induces pyrimidine transition during replication. In order to establish the structural basis for such mutagenesis, the crystal structures of two kinds of DNA d(CGCGRATfUCGCG with R = A/G have been determined by X-ray crystallography. The fU residues form a Watson-Crick-type pair with A and two types of pairs (wobble and reversed wobble with G, the latter being a new type of base pair between ionized thymine base and guanine base. In silico structural modeling suggests that the DNA polymerase can accept the reversed wobble pair with G, as well as the Watson-Crick pair with A.

  6. Orientation of aromatic residues in amyloid cores: Structural insights into prion fiber diversity

    KAUST Repository

    Reymer, Anna

    2014-11-17

    Structural conversion of one given protein sequence into different amyloid states, resulting in distinct phenotypes, is one of the most intriguing phenomena of protein biology. Despite great efforts the structural origin of prion diversity remains elusive, mainly because amyloids are insoluble yet noncrystalline and therefore not easily amenable to traditional structural-biology methods. We investigate two different phenotypic prion strains, weak and strong, of yeast translation termination factor Sup35 with respect to angular orientation of tyrosines using polarized light spectroscopy. By applying a combination of alignment methods the degree of fiber orientation can be assessed, which allows a relatively accurate determination of the aromatic ring angles. Surprisingly, the strains show identical average orientations of the tyrosines, which are evenly spread through the amyloid core. Small variations between the two strains are related to the local environment of a fraction of tyrosines outside the core, potentially reflecting differences in fibril packing.

  7. Recognition of damaged DNA by Escherichia coli Fpg protein: insights from structural and kinetic data

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zharkov, Dmitry O.; Ishchenko, Alexander A.; Douglas, Kenneth T.; Nevinsky, Georgy A.

    2003-01-01

    Formamidopyrimidine-DNA glycosylase (Fpg) excises oxidized purines from damaged DNA. The recent determination of the three-dimensional structure of the covalent complex of DNA with Escherichia coli Fpg, obtained by reducing the Schiff base intermediate formed during the reaction [Gilboa et al., J. Biol. Chem. 277 (2002) 19811] has revealed a number of potential specific and non-specific interactions between Fpg and DNA. We analyze the structural data for Fpg in the light of the kinetic and thermodynamic data obtained by the method of stepwise increase in ligand complexity to estimate relative contributions of individual nucleotide units of lesion-containing DNA to its total affinity for this enzyme [Ishchenko et al., Biochemistry 41 (2002) 7540]. Stopped-flow kinetic analysis that has allowed the dissection of Fpg catalysis in time [Fedorova et al., Biochemistry 41 (2002) 1520] is also correlated with the structural data

  8. Investigating dynamical information transfer in the brain following a TMS pulse: Insights from structural architecture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amico, Enrico; Van Mierlo, Pieter; Marinazzo, Daniele; Laureys, Steven

    2015-01-01

    Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) has been used for more than 20 years to investigate connectivity and plasticity in the human cortex. By combining TMS with high-density electroencephalography (hd-EEG), one can stimulate any cortical area and measure the effects produced by this perturbation in the rest of the cerebral cortex. The purpose of this paper is to investigate changes of information flow in the brain after TMS from a functional and structural perspective, using multimodal modeling of source reconstructed TMS/hd-EEG recordings and DTI tractography. We prove how brain dynamics induced by TMS is constrained and driven by its structure, at different spatial and temporal scales, especially when considering cross-frequency interactions. These results shed light on the function-structure organization of the brain network at the global level, and on the huge variety of information contained in it.

  9. Structure insight of GSDMD reveals the basis of GSDMD autoinhibition in cell pyroptosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuang, Siyun; Zheng, Jun; Yang, Hui; Li, Suhua; Duan, Shuyan; Shen, Yanfang; Ji, Chaoneng; Gan, Jianhua; Xu, Xue-Wei; Li, Jixi

    2017-10-03

    Recent findings have revealed that the protein gasdermin D (GSDMD) plays key roles in cell pyroptosis. GSDMD binds lipids and forms pore structures to induce pyroptosis upon microbial infection and associated danger signals. However, detailed structural information for GSDMD remains unknown. Here, we report the crystal structure of the C-terminal domain of human GSDMD (GSDMD-C) at 2.64-Å resolution. The first loop on GSDMD-C inserts into the N-terminal domain (GSDMD-N), which helps stabilize the conformation of the full-length GSDMD. Substitution of this region by a short linker sequence increased levels of cell death. Mutants F283A and F283R can increase protein heterogeneity in vitro and are capable of undergoing cell pyroptosis in 293T cells. The small-angle X-ray-scattering envelope of human GSDMD is consistent with the modeled GSDMD structure and mouse GSDMA3 structure, which suggests that GSDMD adopts an autoinhibited conformation in solution. The positive potential surface of GSDMD-N covered by GSDMD-C is exposed after being released from the autoinhibition state and can form high-order oligomers via a charge-charge interaction. Furthermore, by mapping different regions of GSDMD, we determined that one short segment is sufficient to kill bacteria in vitro and can efficiently inhibit cell growth in Escherichia coli and Mycobacterium Smegmatis These findings reveal that GSDMD-C acts as an auto-inhibition executor and GSDMD-N could form pore structures via a charge-charge interaction upon cleavage by caspases during cell pyroptosis.

  10. Insights into the fold organization of TIM barrel from interaction energy based structure networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vijayabaskar, M S; Vishveshwara, Saraswathi

    2012-01-01

    There are many well-known examples of proteins with low sequence similarity, adopting the same structural fold. This aspect of sequence-structure relationship has been extensively studied both experimentally and theoretically, however with limited success. Most of the studies consider remote homology or "sequence conservation" as the basis for their understanding. Recently "interaction energy" based network formalism (Protein Energy Networks (PENs)) was developed to understand the determinants of protein structures. In this paper we have used these PENs to investigate the common non-covalent interactions and their collective features which stabilize the TIM barrel fold. We have also developed a method of aligning PENs in order to understand the spatial conservation of interactions in the fold. We have identified key common interactions responsible for the conservation of the TIM fold, despite high sequence dissimilarity. For instance, the central beta barrel of the TIM fold is stabilized by long-range high energy electrostatic interactions and low-energy contiguous vdW interactions in certain families. The other interfaces like the helix-sheet or the helix-helix seem to be devoid of any high energy conserved interactions. Conserved interactions in the loop regions around the catalytic site of the TIM fold have also been identified, pointing out their significance in both structural and functional evolution. Based on these investigations, we have developed a novel network based phylogenetic analysis for remote homologues, which can perform better than sequence based phylogeny. Such an analysis is more meaningful from both structural and functional evolutionary perspective. We believe that the information obtained through the "interaction conservation" viewpoint and the subsequently developed method of structure network alignment, can shed new light in the fields of fold organization and de novo computational protein design.

  11. Structural insights into GDP-mediated regulation of a bacterial acyl-CoA thioesterase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khandokar, Yogesh B; Srivastava, Parul; Cowieson, Nathan; Sarker, Subir; Aragao, David; Das, Shubagata; Smith, Kate M; Raidal, Shane R; Forwood, Jade K

    2017-12-15

    Thioesterases catalyze the cleavage of thioester bonds within many activated fatty acids and acyl-CoA substrates. They are expressed ubiquitously in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes and are subdivided into 25 thioesterase families according to their catalytic active site, protein oligomerization, and substrate specificity. Although many of these enzyme families are well-characterized in terms of function and substrate specificity, regulation across most thioesterase families is poorly understood. Here, we characterized a TE6 thioesterase from the bacterium Neisseria meningitidis Structural analysis with X-ray crystallographic diffraction data to 2.0-Å revealed that each protein subunit harbors a hot dog-fold and that the TE6 enzyme forms a hexamer with D3 symmetry. An assessment of thioesterase activity against a range of acyl-CoA substrates revealed the greatest activity against acetyl-CoA, and structure-guided mutagenesis of putative active site residues identified Asn 24 and Asp 39 as being essential for activity. Our structural analysis revealed that six GDP nucleotides bound the enzyme in close proximity to an intersubunit disulfide bond interactions that covalently link thioesterase domains in a double hot dog dimer. Structure-guided mutagenesis of residues within the GDP-binding pocket identified Arg 93 as playing a key role in the nucleotide interaction and revealed that GDP is required for activity. All mutations were confirmed to be specific and not to have resulted from structural perturbations by X-ray crystallography. This is the first report of a bacterial GDP-regulated thioesterase and of covalent linkage of thioesterase domains through a disulfide bond, revealing structural similarities with ADP regulation in the human ACOT12 thioesterase. © 2017 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  12. Protein kinase CK2 in health and disease: Protein kinase CK2: from structures to insights

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Niefind, K; Raaf, J; Issinger, Olaf-Georg

    2009-01-01

    the critical region of CK2alpha recruitment is pre-formed in the unbound state. In CK2alpha the activation segment - a key element of protein kinase regulation - adapts invariably the typical conformation of the active enzymes. Recent structures of human CK2alpha revealed a surprising plasticity in the ATP......Within the last decade, 40 crystal structures corresponding to protein kinase CK2 (former name 'casein kinase 2'), to its catalytic subunit CK2alpha and to its regulatory subunit CK2beta were published. Together they provide a valuable, yet by far not complete basis to rationalize the biochemical...

  13. Epoxide hydrolase-lasalocid a structure provides mechanistic insight into polyether natural product biosynthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, Fong T; Hotta, Kinya; Chen, Xi; Fang, Minyi; Watanabe, Kenji; Kim, Chu-Young

    2015-01-14

    Biosynthesis of some polyether natural products involves a kinetically disfavored epoxide-opening cyclic ether formation, a reaction termed anti-Baldwin cyclization. One such example is the biosynthesis of lasalocid A, an ionophore antibiotic polyether. During lasalocid A biosynthesis, an epoxide hydrolase, Lsd19, converts the bisepoxy polyketide intermediate into the tetrahydrofuranyl-tetrahydropyran product. We report the crystal structure of Lsd19 in complex with lasalocid A. The structure unambiguously shows that the C-terminal domain of Lsd19 catalyzes the intriguing anti-Baldwin cyclization. We propose a general mechanism for epoxide selection by ionophore polyether epoxide hydrolases.

  14. Structural and Functional Insights into the Pilotin-Secretin Complex of the Type II Secretion System

    OpenAIRE

    Gu, Shuang; Rehman, Saima; Wang, Xiaohui; Shevchik, Vladimir E.; Pickersgill, Richard W.

    2012-01-01

    Gram-negative bacteria secrete virulence factors and assemble fibre structures on their cell surface using specialized secretion systems. Three of these, T2SS, T3SS and T4PS, are characterized by large outer membrane channels formed by proteins called secretins. Usually, a cognate lipoprotein pilot is essential for the assembly of the secretin in the outer membrane. The structures of the pilotins of the T3SS and T4PS have been described. However in the T2SS, the molecular mechanism of this pr...

  15. Role of charged lipids in membrane structuresInsight given by simulations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pöyry, Sanja; Vattulainen, Ilpo

    2016-01-01

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

  16. Laboratory diagnosis of Ebola virus disease and corresponding biosafety considerations in the China Ebola Treatment Center.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Qing; Fu, Wei-Ling; You, Jian-Ping; Mao, Qing

    2016-10-01

    Ebola virus disease (EVD), caused by Ebola virus (EBOV), is a potent acute infectious disease with a high case-fatality rate. Etiological and serological EBOV detection methods, including techniques that involve the detection of the viral genome, virus-specific antigens and anti-virus antibodies, are standard laboratory diagnostic tests that facilitate confirmation or exclusion of EBOV infection. In addition, routine blood tests, liver and kidney function tests, electrolytes and coagulation tests and other diagnostic examinations are important for the clinical diagnosis and treatment of EVD. Because of the viral load in body fluids and secretions from EVD patients, all body fluids are highly contagious. As a result, biosafety control measures during the collection, transport and testing of clinical specimens obtained from individuals scheduled to undergo EBOV infection testing (including suspected, probable and confirmed cases) are crucial. This report has been generated following extensive work experience in the China Ebola Treatment Center (ETC) in Liberia and incorporates important information pertaining to relevant diagnostic standards, clinical significance, operational procedures, safety controls and other issues related to laboratory testing of EVD. Relevant opinions and suggestions are presented in this report to provide contextual awareness associated with the development of standards and/or guidelines related to EVD laboratory testing.

  17. Ebola Virus Shedding and Transmission: Review of Current Evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vetter, Pauline; Fischer, William A; Schibler, Manuel; Jacobs, Michael; Bausch, Daniel G; Kaiser, Laurent

    2016-10-15

     The magnitude of the 2013-2016 Ebola virus disease outbreak in West Africa was unprecedented, with >28 500 reported cases and >11 000 deaths. Understanding the key elements of Ebola virus transmission is necessary to implement adequate infection prevention and control measures to protect healthcare workers and halt transmission in the community.  We performed an extensive PubMed literature review encompassing the period from discovery of Ebola virus, in 1976, until 1 June 2016 to evaluate the evidence on modes of Ebola virus shedding and transmission.  Ebola virus has been isolated by cell culture from blood, saliva, urine, aqueous humor, semen, and breast milk from infected or convalescent patients. Ebola virus RNA has been noted in the following body fluids days or months after onset of illness: saliva (22 days), conjunctiva/tears (28 days), stool (29 days), vaginal fluid (33 days), sweat (44 days), urine (64 days), amniotic fluid (38 days), aqueous humor (101 days), cerebrospinal fluid (9 months), breast milk (16 months [preliminary data]), and semen (18 months). Nevertheless, the only documented cases of secondary transmission from recovered patients have been through sexual transmission. We did not find strong evidence supporting respiratory or fomite-associated transmission. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, e-mail journals.permissions@oup.com.

  18. Mechanistic insights into validoxylamine A 7'-phosphate synthesis by VldE using the structure of the entire product complex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael C Cavalier

    Full Text Available The pseudo-glycosyltransferase VldE catalyzes non-glycosidic C-N coupling between an unsaturated cyclitol and a saturated aminocyclitol with the conservation of the stereochemical configuration of the substrates to form validoxylamine A 7'-phosphate, the biosynthetic precursor of the antibiotic validamycin A. To study the molecular basis of its mechanism, the three-dimensional structures of VldE from Streptomyces hygroscopicus subsp. limoneus was determined in apo form, in complex with GDP, in complex with GDP and validoxylamine A 7'-phosphate, and in complex with GDP and trehalose. The structure of VldE with the catalytic site in both an "open" and "closed" conformation is also described. With these structures, the preferred binding of the guanine moiety by VldE, rather than the uracil moiety as seen in OtsA could be explained. The elucidation of the VldE structure in complex with the entirety of its products provides insight into the internal return mechanism by which catalysis occurs with a net retention of the stereochemical configuration of the donated cyclitol.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-21

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

  20. Structural insights into the elevator-like mechanism of the sodium/citrate symporter CitS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Ji Won; Kim, Subin; Kim, Songwon; Lee, Haerim; Lee, Jie-Oh; Jin, Mi Sun

    2017-05-31

    The sodium-dependent citrate transporter of Klebsiella pneumoniae (KpCitS) belongs to the 2-hydroxycarboxylate transporter (2-HCT) family and allows the cell to use citrate as sole carbon and energy source in anaerobic conditions. Here we present crystal structures of KpCitS in citrate-bound outward-facing, citrate-bound asymmetric, and citrate-free inward-facing state. The structures reveal that the KpCitS dimerization domain remains stationary throughout the transport cycle due to a hydrogen bond network as well as extensive hydrophobic interactions. In contrast, its transport domain undergoes a ~35° rigid-body rotation and a ~17 Å translocation perpendicular to the membrane to expose the substrate-binding site alternately to either side of the membrane. Furthermore, homology models of two other 2-HCT proteins based on the KpCitS structure offer structural insights into their differences in substrate specificity at a molecular level. On the basis of our results and previous biochemical data, we propose that the activity of the 2-HCT CitS involves an elevator-like movement in which the transport domain itself traverses the lipid bilayer, carrying the substrate into the cell in a sodium-dependent manner.

  1. Structural insights of the ssDNA binding site in the multifunctional endonuclease AtBFN2 from Arabidopsis thaliana.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tsung-Fu Yu

    Full Text Available The multi S1/P1 nuclease AtBFN2 (EC 3.1.30.1 encoded by the Arabidopsis thaliana At1g68290 gene is a glycoprotein that digests RNA, ssDNA, and dsDNA. AtBFN2 depends on three zinc ions for cleaving DNA and RNA at 3'-OH to yield 5'-nucleotides. In addition, AtBFN2's enzymatic activity is strongly glycan dependent. Plant Zn(2+-dependent endonucleases present a unique fold, and belong to the Phospholipase C (PLC/P1 nuclease superfamily. In this work, we present the first complete, ligand-free, AtBFN2 crystal structure, along with sulfate, phosphate and ssDNA co-crystal structures. With these, we were able to provide better insight into the glycan structure and possible enzymatic mechanism. In comparison with other nucleases, the AtBFN2/ligand-free and AtBFN2/PO4 models suggest a similar, previously proposed, catalytic mechanism. Our data also confirm that the phosphate and vanadate can inhibit the enzyme activity by occupying the active site. More importantly, the AtBFN2/A5T structure reveals a novel and conserved secondary binding site, which seems to be important for plant Zn(2+-dependent endonucleases. Based on these findings, we propose a rational ssDNA binding model, in which the ssDNA wraps itself around the protein and the attached surface glycan, in turn, reinforces the binding complex.

  2. Crystal Structure of the FGFR4/LY2874455 Complex Reveals Insights into the Pan-FGFR Selectivity of LY2874455.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Daichao; Guo, Ming; Philips, Michael A; Qu, Lingzhi; Jiang, Longying; Li, Jun; Chen, Xiaojuan; Chen, Zhuchu; Chen, Lin; Chen, Yongheng

    2016-01-01

    Aberrant FGFR4 signaling has been documented abundantly in various human cancers. The majority of FGFR inhibitors display significantly reduced potency toward FGFR4 compared to FGFR1-3. However, LY2874455 has similar inhibition potency for FGFR1-4 with IC50 less than 6.4 nM. To date, there is no published crystal structure of LY2874455 in complex with any kinase. To better understand the pan-FGFR selectivity of LY2874455, we have determined the crystal structure of the FGFR4 kinase domain bound to LY2874455 at a resolution of 2.35 Å. LY2874455, a type I inhibitor for FGFR4, binds to the ATP-binding pocket of FGFR4 in a DFG-in active conformation with three hydrogen bonds and a number of van der Waals contacts. After alignment of the kinase domain sequence of 4 FGFRs, and superposition of the ATP binding pocket of 4 FGFRs, our structural analyses reveal that the interactions of LY2874455 to FGFR4 are largely conserved in 4 FGFRs, explaining at least partly, the broad inhibitory activity of LY2874455 toward 4 FGFRs. Consequently, our studies reveal new insights into the pan-FGFR selectivity of LY2874455 and provide a structural basis for developing novel FGFR inhibitors that target FGFR1-4 broadly.

  3. Structure of EspB from the ESX-1 type VII secretion system and insights into its export mechanism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solomonson, Matthew; Setiaputra, Dheva; Makepeace, Karl A T; Lameignere, Emilie; Petrotchenko, Evgeniy V; Conrady, Deborah G; Bergeron, Julien R; Vuckovic, Marija; DiMaio, Frank; Borchers, Christoph H; Yip, Calvin K; Strynadka, Natalie C J

    2015-03-03

    Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) uses the ESX-1 type VII secretion system to export virulence proteins across its lipid-rich cell wall, which helps permeabilize the host's macrophage phagosomal membrane, facilitating the escape and cell-to-cell spread of Mtb. ESX-1 membranolytic activity depends on a set of specialized secreted Esp proteins, the structure and specific roles of which are not currently understood. Here, we report the X-ray and electron microscopic structures of the ESX-1-secreted EspB. We demonstrate that EspB adopts a PE/PPE-like fold that mediates oligomerization with apparent heptameric symmetry, generating a barrel-shaped structure with a central pore that we propose contributes to the macrophage killing functions of EspB. Our structural data also reveal unexpected direct interactions between the EspB bipartite secretion signal sequence elements that form a unified aromatic surface. These findings provide insight into how specialized proteins encoded within the ESX-1 locus are targeted for secretion, and for the first time indicate an oligomerization-dependent role for Esp virulence factors. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Structural Insights into the Mechanisms of Action of Short-Peptide HIV-1 Fusion Inhibitors Targeting the Gp41 Pocket

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiujuan Zhang

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available The deep hydrophobic pocket of HIV-1 gp41 has been considered a drug target, but short-peptides targeting this site usually lack potent antiviral activity. By applying the M-T hook structure, we previously generated highly potent short-peptide fusion inhibitors that specifically targeted the pocket site, such as MT-SC22EK, HP23L, and LP-11. Here, the crystal structures of HP23L and LP-11 bound to the target mimic peptide N36 demonstrated the critical intrahelical and interhelical interactions, especially verifying that the hook-like conformation was finely adopted while the methionine residue was replaced by the oxidation-less prone residue leucine, and that addition of an extra glutamic acid significantly enhanced the binding and inhibitory activities. The structure of HP23L bound to N36 with two mutations (E49K and L57R revealed the critical residues and motifs mediating drug resistance and provided new insights into the mechanism of action of inhibitors. Therefore, the present data help our understanding for the structure-activity relationship (SAR of HIV-1 fusion inhibitors and facilitate the development of novel antiviral drugs.

  5. Knowledge, perceptions and media use of the Dutch general public and healthcare workers regarding Ebola, 2014.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schol, Lianne G C; Mollers, Madelief; Swaan, Corien M; Beaujean, Desirée J M A; Wong, Albert; Timen, Aura

    2018-01-01

    The Ebola outbreak in West-Africa triggered risk communication activities to promote adequate preventive behaviour in the Netherlands. Our study investigated the level of knowledge, perceptions, and media use regarding Ebola.

  6. Communication: Supramolecular structures in monohydroxy alcohols: Insights from shear-mechanical studies of a systematic series of octanol structural isomers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hecksher, Tina; Jakobsen, Bo

    2014-01-01

    response, also has a mechanical signature. In this work, we apply broadband shear-mechanical spectroscopy to a systematic series of octanol structural isomers, x-methyl-3-heptanol (with x ranging from 2 to 6). We find that the characteristics of the mechanical signature overall follow the systematic...

  7. Biochemical and structural insights into xylan utilization by the thermophilic bacterium Caldanaerobius polysaccharolyticus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Yejun; Agarwal, Vinayak; Dodd, Dylan; Kim, Jason; Bae, Brian; Mackie, Roderick I; Nair, Satish K; Cann, Isaac K O

    2012-10-12

    Hemicellulose is the next most abundant plant cell wall component after cellulose. The abundance of hemicellulose such as xylan suggests that their hydrolysis and conversion to biofuels can improve the economics of bioenergy production. In an effort to understand xylan hydrolysis at high temperatures, we sequenced the genome of the thermophilic bacterium Caldanaerobius polysaccharolyticus. Analysis of the partial genome sequence revealed a gene cluster that contained both hydrolytic enzymes and also enzymes key to the pentose-phosphate pathway. The hydrolytic enzymes in the gene cluster were demonstrated to convert products from a large endoxylanase (Xyn10A) predicted to anchor to the surface of the bacterium. We further use structural and calorimetric studies to demonstrate that the end products of Xyn10A hydrolysis of xylan are recognized and bound by XBP1, a putative solute-binding protein, likely for transport into the cell. The XBP1 protein showed preference for xylo-oligosaccharides as follows: xylotriose > xylobiose > xylotetraose. To elucidate the structural basis for the oligosaccharide preference, we solved the co-crystal structure of XBP1 complexed with xylotriose to a 1.8-Å resolution. Analysis of the biochemical data in the context of the co-crystal structure reveals the molecular underpinnings of oligosaccharide length specificity.

  8. Structure of active IspH enzyme from escherichia coli provides mechanistic insights into substrate reduction

    KAUST Repository

    Grä wert, Tobias; Rohdich, Felix; Span, Lngrid; Backer, Adelbert; Eisenreich, Wolfgang; Eppinger, Jö rg; Groll, Michael

    2009-01-01

    The terminal step of the non-mevalonate pathway of terpene biosynthesis is catalyzed by IspH (see scheme). In the crystal structure of IspH from E. coli, a bound inorganic diphosphate ligand occupies the position of the diphosphate residue

  9. Hierarchical population structure in greater sage-grouse provides insight into management boundary delineation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Todd B. Cross; David E. Naugle; John C. Carlson; Michael K. Schwartz

    2016-01-01

    Understanding population structure is important for guiding ongoing conservation and restoration efforts. The greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) is a species of concern distributed across 1.2 million km2 of western North America. We genotyped 1499 greater sagegrouse from 297 leks across Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota using a 15 locus...

  10. GPCR engineering yields high-resolution structural insights into beta2-adrenergic receptor function

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rosenbaum, Daniel M; Cherezov, Vadim; Hanson, Michael A

    2007-01-01

    The beta2-adrenergic receptor (beta2AR) is a well-studied prototype for heterotrimeric guanine nucleotide-binding protein (G protein)-coupled receptors (GPCRs) that respond to diffusible hormones and neurotransmitters. To overcome the structural flexibility of the beta2AR and to facilitate its cr...

  11. Structural insights into human peroxisome proliferator activated receptor delta (PPAR-delta selective ligand binding.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernanda A H Batista

    Full Text Available Peroxisome proliferator activated receptors (PPARs δ, α and γ are closely related transcription factors that exert distinct effects on fatty acid and glucose metabolism, cardiac disease, inflammatory response and other processes. Several groups developed PPAR subtype specific modulators to trigger desirable effects of particular PPARs without harmful side effects associated with activation of other subtypes. Presently, however, many compounds that bind to one of the PPARs cross-react with others and rational strategies to obtain highly selective PPAR modulators are far from clear. GW0742 is a synthetic ligand that binds PPARδ more than 300-fold more tightly than PPARα or PPARγ but the structural basis of PPARδ:GW0742 interactions and reasons for strong selectivity are not clear. Here we report the crystal structure of the PPARδ:GW0742 complex. Comparisons of the PPARδ:GW0742 complex with published structures of PPARs in complex with α and γ selective agonists and pan agonists suggests that two residues (Val312 and Ile328 in the buried hormone binding pocket play special roles in PPARδ selective binding and experimental and computational analysis of effects of mutations in these residues confirms this and suggests that bulky substituents that line the PPARα and γ ligand binding pockets as structural barriers for GW0742 binding. This analysis suggests general strategies for selective PPARδ ligand design.

  12. New insights into structure and function of the different types of fatty acid-binding protein

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zimmerman, Augusta Wilhelmina

    2002-01-01

    Fatty acid binding proteins (FABPs) are small cytosolic proteins with virtually identical backbone structures that facilitate the solubility and intracellular transport of fatty acids. They may also modulate the effect of fatty acids on various metabolic enzymes and receptors and on cellular

  13. Insights on Forest Structure and Composition from Long-Term Research in the Luquillo Mountains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamara Heartsill Scalley

    2017-01-01

    The science of ecology fundamentally aims to understand species and their relation to the environment. At sites where hurricane disturbance is part of the environmental context, permanent forest plots are critical to understand ecological vegetation dynamics through time. An overview of forest structure and species composition from two of the longest continuously...

  14. Structural and mechanistic insight into Holliday-junction dissolution by topoisomerase IIIα and RMI1

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bocquet, Nicolas; Bizard, Anna H; Abdulrahman, Wassim

    2014-01-01

    to TopIIIα influences it to behave as a hemicatenane dissolvase, rather than as an enzyme that relaxes DNA topology, is unknown. Here, we present the crystal structure of human TopIIIα complexed to the first oligonucleotide-binding domain (OB fold) of RMI1. TopIII assumes a toroidal type 1A topoisomerase...

  15. Structural insights into leishmanolysins encoded on chromosome 10 of Leishmania (Viannia braziliensis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amanda Sutter

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND Leishmanolysins have been described as important parasite virulence factors because of their roles in the infection of promastigotes and resistance to host’s defenses. Leishmania (Viannia braziliensis contains several leishmanolysin genes in its genome, especially in chromosome 10. However, the functional impact of such diversity is not understood, but may be attributed partially to the lack of structural data for proteins from this parasite. OBJECTIVES This works aims to compare leishmanolysin sequences from L. (V. braziliensis and to understand how the diversity impacts in their structural and dynamic features. METHODS Leishmanolysin sequences were retrieved from GeneDB. Subsequently, 3D models were built using comparative modeling methods and their dynamical behavior was studied using molecular dynamic simulations. FINDINGS We identified three subgroups of leishmanolysins according to sequence variations. These differences directly affect the electrostatic properties of leishmanolysins and the geometry of their active sites. We identified two levels of structural heterogeneity that might be related to the ability of promastigotes to interact with a broad range of substrates. MAIN CONCLUSION Altogether, the structural plasticity of leishmanolysins may constitute an important evolutionary adaptation rarely explored when considering the virulence of L. (V. braziliensis parasites.

  16. Insights from the Structure of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Topoisomerase I with a Novel Protein Fold.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Kemin; Cao, Nan; Cheng, Bokun; Joachimiak, Andrzej; Tse-Dinh, Yuk-Ching

    2016-01-16

    The DNA topoisomerase I enzyme of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MtTOP1) is essential for the viability of the organism and survival in a murine model. This topoisomerase is being pursued as a novel target for the discovery of new therapeutic agents for the treatment of drug-resistant tuberculosis. In this study, we succeeded in obtaining a structure of MtTOP1 by first predicting that the C-terminal region of MtTOP1 contains four repeated domains that do not involve the Zn-binding tetracysteine motifs seen in the C-terminal domains of Escherichia coli topoisomerase I. A construct (amino acids A2-T704), MtTOP1-704t, that includes the N-terminal domains (D1-D4) and the first predicted C-terminal domain (D5) of MtTOP1 was expressed and found to retain DNA cleavage-religation activity and catalyze single-stranded DNA catenation. MtTOP1-704t was crystallized, and a structure of 2.52Å resolution limit was obtained. The structure of the MtTOP1 N-terminal domains has features that have not been observed in other previously available bacterial topoisomerase I crystal structures. The first C-terminal domain D5 forms a novel protein fold of a four-stranded antiparallel β-sheet stabilized by a crossing-over α-helix. Since there is only one type IA topoisomerase present in Mycobacteriaceae and related Actinobacteria, this subfamily of type IA topoisomerase may be required for multiple functions in DNA replication, transcription, recombination, and repair. The unique structural features observed for MtTOP1 may allow these topoisomerase I enzymes to carry out physiological functions associated with topoisomerase III enzyme in other bacteria. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Genetic diversity and population structure in Polygonum cespitosum: insights to an ongoing plant invasion.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silvia Matesanz

    Full Text Available Molecular markers can help elucidate how neutral evolutionary forces and introduction history contribute to genetic variation in invaders. We examined genetic diversity, population structure and colonization patterns in the invasive Polygonum cespitosum, a highly selfing, tetraploid Asian annual introduced to North America. We used nine diploidized polymorphic microsatellite markers to study 16 populations in the introduced range (northeastern North America, via the analyses of 516 individuals, and asked the following questions: 1 Do populations have differing levels of within-population genetic diversity? 2 Do populations form distinct genetic clusters? 3 Does population structure reflect either geographic distances or habitat similarities? We found low heterozygosity in all populations, consistent with the selfing mating system of P. cespitosum. Despite the high selfing levels, we found substantial genetic variation within and among P. cespitosum populations, based on the percentage of polymorphic loci, allelic richness, and expected heterozygosity. Inferences from individual assignment tests (Bayesian clustering and pairwise FST values indicated high among-population differentiation, which indicates that the effects of gene flow are limited relative to those of genetic drift, probably due to the high selfing rates and the limited seed dispersal ability of P. cespitosum. Population structure did not reflect a pattern of isolation by distance nor was it related to habitat similarities. Rather, population structure appears to be the result of the random movement of propagules across the introduced range, possibly associated with human dispersal. Furthermore, the high population differentiation, genetic diversity, and fine-scale genetic structure (populations founded by individuals from different genetic sources in the introduced range suggest that multiple introductions to this region may have occurred. High genetic diversity may further

  18. Plant Biodiversity Drivers in Brazilian Campos Rupestres: Insights from Phylogenetic Structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zappi, Daniela C; Moro, Marcelo F; Meagher, Thomas R; Nic Lughadha, Eimear

    2017-01-01

    Old, climate-buffered infertile landscapes (Ocbils) have attracted increasing levels of interest in recent years because of their exceptionally diverse plant communities. Brazil's campos rupestres (rupestrian grasslands) are home to almost 15% of Brazil's native flora in less than 0.8% of Brazil's territory: an ideal study system for exploring variation in floristic diversity and phylogenetic structure in sites differing in geology and phytophysiognomy. We found significant differences in floristic diversity and phylogenetic structure across a range of study sites encompassing open vegetation and forest on quartzite (FQ) and on ironstone substrates, commonly termed canga . Substrate and physiognomy were key in structuring floristic diversity in the Espinhaço and physiognomy was more important than substrate in structuring phylogenetic diversity, with neither substrate nor its interaction with physiognomy accounting for significant variation in phylogenetic structure. Phylogenetic clustering was significant in open vegetation on both canga and quartzite, reflecting the potential role of environmental filtering in these exposed montane communities adapted to multiple environmental stressors. In forest communities, phylogenetic clustering was significant only at relatively deep nodes of the phylogeny in FQ while no significant phylogenetic clustering was detected across forest on canga (FC), which may be attributable to proximity to the megadiverse Atlantic forest biome and/or comparatively benign environmental conditions in FC with relatively deep, nutrient-rich soils and access to edaphic water reliable in comparison to those for open vegetation on canga and open or forest communities on quartzite. Clades representing relatively old lineages are significantly over-represented in campos rupestres on quartzite, consistent with the Gondwanan Heritage Hypothesis of Ocbil theory. In contrast, forested sites on canga are recognized as Yodfels. To be effective

  19. Plant Biodiversity Drivers in Brazilian Campos Rupestres: Insights from Phylogenetic Structure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniela C. Zappi

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Old, climate-buffered infertile landscapes (Ocbils have attracted increasing levels of interest in recent years because of their exceptionally diverse plant communities. Brazil’s campos rupestres (rupestrian grasslands are home to almost 15% of Brazil’s native flora in less than 0.8% of Brazil’s territory: an ideal study system for exploring variation in floristic diversity and phylogenetic structure in sites differing in geology and phytophysiognomy. We found significant differences in floristic diversity and phylogenetic structure across a range of study sites encompassing open vegetation and forest on quartzite (FQ and on ironstone substrates, commonly termed canga. Substrate and physiognomy were key in structuring floristic diversity in the Espinhaço and physiognomy was more important than substrate in structuring phylogenetic diversity, with neither substrate nor its interaction with physiognomy accounting for significant variation in phylogenetic structure. Phylogenetic clustering was significant in open vegetation on both canga and quartzite, reflecting the potential role of environmental filtering in these exposed montane communities adapted to multiple environmental stressors. In forest communities, phylogenetic clustering was significant only at relatively deep nodes of the phylogeny in FQ while no significant phylogenetic clustering was detected across forest on canga (FC, which may be attributable to proximity to the megadiverse Atlantic forest biome and/or comparatively benign environmental conditions in FC with relatively deep, nutrient-rich soils and access to edaphic water reliable in comparison to those for open vegetation on canga and open or forest communities on quartzite. Clades representing relatively old lineages are significantly over-represented in campos rupestres on quartzite, consistent with the Gondwanan Heritage Hypothesis of Ocbil theory. In contrast, forested sites on canga are recognized as Yodfels. To be

  20. Insights from the Structure of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Topoisomerase I with a Novel Protein Fold

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tan, Kemin; Cao, Nan; Cheng, Bokun; Joachimiak, Andrzej; Tse-Dinh, Yuk-Ching

    2016-01-16

    The DNA topoisomerase I enzyme of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MtTOP1) is essential for the viability of the organism and survival in a murine model. This topoisomerase is being pursued as a novel target for the discovery of new therapeutic agents for the treatment of drug-resistant tuberculosis. In this study, we succeeded in obtaining a structure of MtTOP1 by first predicting that the C-terminal region of MtTOP1 contains four repeated domains that do not involve the Zn-binding tetracysteine motifs seen in the C-terminal domains of Escherichia coli topoisomerase I. A construct (amino acids A2-T704), MtTOP1-704t, that includes the N-terminal domains (D1-D4) and the first predicted C-terminal domain (D5) of MtTOP1 was expressed and found to retain DNA cleavage-religation activity and catalyze single-stranded DNA catenation. MtTOP1-704t was crystallized, and a structure of 2.52 angstrom resolution limit was obtained. The structure of the MtTOP1 N-terminal domains has features that have not been observed in other previously available bacterial topoisomerase I crystal structures. The first C-terminal domain D5 forms a novel protein fold of a four-stranded antiparallel beta-sheet stabilized by a crossing-over alpha-helix. Since there is only one type IA topoisomerase present in Mycobacteriaceae and related Actinobacteria, this subfamily of type IA topoisomerase may be required for multiple functions in DNA replication, transcription, recombination, and repair. The unique structural features observed for MtTOP1 may allow these topoisomerase I enzymes to carry out physiological functions associated with topoisomerase III enzyme in other bacteria.

  1. Fighting Ebola with novel spore decontamination technologies for the military.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doona, Christopher J; Feeherry, Florence E; Kustin, Kenneth; Olinger, Gene G; Setlow, Peter; Malkin, Alexander J; Leighton, Terrance

    2015-01-01

    Recently, global public health organizations such as Doctors without Borders (MSF), the World Health Organization (WHO), Public Health Canada, National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the U.S. government developed and deployed Field Decontamination Kits (FDKs), a novel, lightweight, compact, reusable decontamination technology to sterilize Ebola-contaminated medical devices at remote clinical sites lacking infra-structure in crisis-stricken regions of West Africa (medical waste materials are placed in bags and burned). The basis for effectuating sterilization with FDKs is chlorine dioxide (ClO2) produced from a patented invention developed by researchers at the US Army Natick Soldier RD&E Center (NSRDEC) and commercialized as a dry mixed-chemical for bacterial spore decontamination. In fact, the NSRDEC research scientists developed an ensemble of ClO2 technologies designed for different applications in decontaminating fresh produce; food contact and handling surfaces; personal protective equipment; textiles used in clothing, uniforms, tents, and shelters; graywater recycling; airplanes; surgical instruments; and hard surfaces in latrines, laundries, and deployable medical facilities. These examples demonstrate the far-reaching impact, adaptability, and versatility of these innovative technologies. We present herein the unique attributes of NSRDEC's novel decontamination technologies and a Case Study of the development of FDKs that were deployed in West Africa by international public health organizations to sterilize Ebola-contaminated medical equipment. FDKs use bacterial spores as indicators of sterility. We review the properties and structures of spores and the mechanisms of bacterial spore inactivation by ClO2. We also review mechanisms of bacterial spore inactivation by novel, emerging, and established non-thermal technologies for food preservation, such as high pressure processing, irradiation, cold plasma, and chemical sanitizers, using an array of Bacillus

  2. New Insights on the Structure of the Cascadia Subduction Zone from Amphibious Seismic Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janiszewski, Helen Anne

    A new onshore-offshore seismic dataset from the Cascadia subduction zone was used to characterize mantle lithosphere structure from the ridge to the volcanic arc, and plate interface structure offshore within the seismogenic zone. The Cascadia Initiative (CI) covered the Juan de Fuca plate offshore the northwest coast of the United States with an ocean bottom seismometer (OBS) array for four years; this was complemented by a simultaneous onshore seismic array. Teleseismic data recorded by this array allows the unprecedented imaging of an entire tectonic plate from its creation at the ridge through subduction initiation and back beyond the volcanic arc along the entire strike of the Cascadia subduction zone. Higher frequency active source seismic data also provides constraints on the crustal structure along the plate interface offshore. Two seismic datasets were used to image the plate interface structure along a line extending 100 km offshore central Washington. These are wide-angle reflections from ship-to-shore seismic data from the Ridge-To-Trench seismic cruise and receiver functions calculated from a densely spaced CI OBS focus array in a similar region. Active source seismic observations are consistent with reflections from the plate interface offshore indicating the presence of a P-wave velocity discontinuity. Until recently, there has been limited success in using the receiver function technique on OBS data. I avoid these traditional challenges by using OBS constructed with shielding deployed in shallow water on the continental shelf. These data have quieter horizontals and avoid water- and sediment-multiple contamination at the examined frequencies. The receiver functions are consistently modeled with a velocity structure that has a low velocity zone (LVZ) with elevated P to S-wave velocity ratios at the plate interface. A similar LVZ structure has been observed onshore and interpreted as a combination of elevated pore-fluid pressures or metasediments

  3. Reidentification of Ebola Virus E718 and ME as Ebola Virus/H.sapiens-tc/COD/1976/Yambuku-Ecran.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuhn, Jens H; Lofts, Loreen L; Kugelman, Jeffrey R; Smither, Sophie J; Lever, Mark S; van der Groen, Guido; Johnson, Karl M; Radoshitzky, Sheli R; Bavari, Sina; Jahrling, Peter B; Towner, Jonathan S; Nichol, Stuart T; Palacios, Gustavo

    2014-11-20

    Ebola virus (EBOV) was discovered in 1976 around Yambuku, Zaire. A lack of nomenclature standards resulted in a variety of designations for each isolate, leading to confusion in the literature and databases. We sequenced the genome of isolate E718/ME/Ecran and unified the various designations under Ebola virus/H.sapiens-tc/COD/1976/Yambuku-Ecran. Copyright © 2014 Kuhn et al.

  4. Crystal structure of bassetite and saleeite. New insight into autunite-group minerals

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dal Bo, Fabrice; Hatert, Frederic [Liege Univ. (Belgium). Lab. de Mineralogie; Mees, Florias [Royal Museum for Central Africa, Tervuren (Belgium); Philippo, Simon [Musee National d' Histoire Naturelle, Luxembourg (Luxembourg). Section Mineralogie; Baijot, Maxime; Fontaine, Francois [Liege Univ. (Belgium). Dept. de Geologie

    2016-06-15

    The crystal structures of two autunite-group minerals have been solved recently. The crystal structure of bassetite, Fe{sup 2+}[(UO{sub 2})(PO{sub 4})]{sub 2}(H{sub 2}O){sub 10}, from the type locality in Cornwall, United Kingdom (Basset Mines) was solved for the first time. Bassetite is monoclinic, space group P2{sub 1}/n, a = 6.961(1), b = 20.039(2), c = 6.974(1) Aa and β = 90.46(1) . The crystal structure of saleeite, Mg[(UO{sub 2})(PO{sub 4})]{sub 2}(H{sub 2}O){sub 10}, from Shinkolobwe, Democratic Republic of Congo, was also solved. Saleeite is monoclinic, space group P2{sub 1}/n, a = 6.951(1), b = 19.942(1), c = 6.967(1) Aa and β = 90.58(1) . The crystal structure investigation of bassetite (R{sub 1} = 0.0658 for 1879 observed reflections with vertical stroke F{sub o} vertical stroke ≥ 4σ{sub F}) and saleeite (R{sub 1} = 0.0307 for 1990 observed reflections with vertical stroke F{sub o} vertical stroke ≥ 4σ{sub F}) confirms that both minerals are topologically identical and that bassetite contains ten water molecules per formula unit. Their structure contains autunite-type sheets, [(UO{sub 2})(PO{sub 4})]{sup -}, consisting of corner-sharing UO{sub 6} square bipyramids and PO{sub 4} tetrahedra. Iron and magnesium are surrounded by water molecules to form Fe(H{sub 2}O){sub 6} or Mg(H{sub 2}O){sub 6} octahedra located in interlayer, between the autunite-type sheets. Two isolated independent water molecules are also located in interlayer. Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy analysis confirmed the chemical composition obtained from structure refinement. These new data prompt a re-assessment of minerals of the autunite and meta-autunite groups.

  5. Ebola Viral Disease in West Africa: A Threat to Global Health, Economy and Political Stability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohammed, Ibrahim; Saidu, Yauba

    2016-01-01

    The West African sub-continent is currently experiencing its first, and ironically, the largest and longest Ebola viral diseases (EVD) outbreak ever documented in modern medical history. The current outbreak is significant in several ways, including longevity, magnitude of morbidity and mortality, occurrence outside the traditional niches, rapid spread and potential of becoming a global health tragedy. The authors provided explicit insights into the current and historical background, drivers of the epidemic, societal impacts, status of vaccines and drugs development and proffered recommendations to halt and prevent future occurrences. The authors reviewed mainly five databases and a hand search of key relevant literature. We reviewed 51 articles that were relevant up until the 18th of August 2014. The authors supplemented the search with reference list of relevant articles and grey literature as well as relevant Internet websites. Article searches were limited to those published either in English or French. There are strong indications that the EVD may have been triggered by increased human activities and encroachment into the forest ecosystem spurred by increasing population and poverty-driven forest-dependent local economy. Containment efforts are being hampered by weak and fragile health systems, including public health surveillance and weak governance, certain socio-anthropological factors, fast travels (improved transport systems) and globalization. The societal impacts of the EBV outbreak are grave, including economic shutdown, weakening of socio-political systems, psychological distress, and unprecedented consumption of scarce health resources. The research and development (R&D) pipeline for product against EBV seems grossly insufficient. The outbreak of Ebola and the seeming difficulty to contain the epidemic is simply a reflection of the weak health system, poor surveillance and emergency preparedness/response, poverty and disconnect between the government

  6. Ebola Virus Glycoprotein Induces an Innate Immune Response In vivo via TLR4

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chih-Yun Lai

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Ebola virus (EBOV, a member of the Filoviridae family, causes the most severe form of viral hemorrhagic fever. Although no FDA licensed vaccine or treatment against Ebola virus disease (EVD is currently available, Ebola virus glycoprotein (GP is the major antigen used in all candidate Ebola vaccines. Recent reports of protection as quickly as within 6 days of administration of the rVSV-based vaccine expressing EBOV GP before robust humoral responses were generated suggests that the innate immune responses elicited early after vaccination may contribute to the protection. However, the innate immune responses induced by EBOV GP in the absence of viral vectors or adjuvants have not been fully characterized in vivo. Our recent studies demonstrated that immunization with highly purified recombinant GP in the absence of adjuvants induced a robust IgG response and partial protection against EBOV infection suggesting that GP alone can induce protective immunity. In this study we investigated the early immune response to purified EBOV GP alone in vitro and in vivo. We show that GP was efficiently internalized by antigen presenting cells and subsequently induced production of key inflammatory cytokines. In vivo, immunization of mice with EBOV GP triggered the production of key Th1 and Th2 innate immune cytokines and chemokines, which directly governed the recruitment of CD11b+ macrophages and CD11c+ dendritic cells to the draining lymph nodes (DLNs. Pre-treatment of mice with a TLR4 antagonist inhibited GP-induced cytokine production and recruitment of immune cells to the DLN. EBOV GP also upregulated the expression of costimulatory molecules in bone marrow derived macrophages suggesting its ability to enhance APC stimulatory capacity, which is critical for the induction of effective antigen-specific adaptive immunity. Collectively, these results provide the first in vivo evidence that early innate immune responses to EBOV GP are mediated via the TLR4

  7. Ebola viral disease in West Africa: a threat to global health, economy and political stability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Semeeh Akinwale Omoleke

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available The West African sub-continent is currently experiencing its first, and ironically, the largest and longest Ebola viral diseases (EVD outbreak ever documented in modern medical history. The current outbreak is significant in several ways, including longevity, magnitude of morbidity and mortality, occurrence outside the traditional niches, rapid spread and potential of becoming a global health tragedy. The authors provided explicit insights into the current and historical background, drivers of the epidemic, societal impacts, status of vaccines and drugs development and proffered recommendations to halt and prevent future occurrences. The authors reviewed mainly five databases and a hand search of key relevant literature. We reviewed 51 articles that were relevant up until the 18th of August 2014. The authors supplemented the search with reference list of relevant articles and grey literature as well as relevant Internet websites. Article searches were limited to those published either in English or French. There are strong indications that the EVD may have been triggered by increased human activities and encroachment into the forest ecosystem spurred by increasing population and povertydriven forest-dependent local economy. Containment efforts are being hampered by weak and fragile health systems, including public health surveillance and weak governance, certain socio-anthropological factors, fast travels (improved transport systems and globalization. The societal impacts of the EBV outbreak are grave, including economic shutdown, weakening of socio-political systems, psychological distress, and unprecedented consumption of scarce health resources. The research and development (R&D pipeline for product against EBV seems grossly insufficient. The outbreak of Ebola and the seeming difficulty to contain the epidemic is simply a reflection of the weak health system, poor surveillance and emergency preparedness/ response, poverty and disconnect

  8. Ebola Viral Disease in West Africa: A Threat to Global Health, Economy and Political Stability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Omoleke, Semeeh Akinwale; Mohammed, Ibrahim; Saidu, Yauba

    2016-08-17

    The West African sub-continent is currently experiencing its first, and ironically, the largest and longest Ebola viral diseases (EVD) outbreak ever documented in modern medical history. The current outbreak is significant in several ways, including longevity, magnitude of morbidity and mortality, occurrence outside the traditional niches, rapid spread and potential of becoming a global health tragedy. The authors provided explicit insights into the current and historical background, drivers of the epidemic, societal impacts, status of vaccines and drugs development and proffered recommendations to halt and prevent future occurrences. The authors reviewed mainly five databases and a hand search of key relevant literature. We reviewed 51 articles that were relevant up until the 18 th of August 2014. The authors supplemented the search with reference list of relevant articles and grey literature as well as relevant Internet websites. Article searches were limited to those published either in English or French. There are strong indications that the EVD may have been triggered by increased human activities and encroachment into the forest ecosystem spurred by increasing population and poverty-driven forest-dependent local economy. Containment efforts are being hampered by weak and fragile health systems, including public health surveillance and weak governance, certain socio-anthropological factors, fast travels (improved transport systems) and globalization. The societal impacts of the EBV outbreak are grave, including economic shutdown, weakening of socio-political systems, psychological distress, and unprecedented consumption of scarce health resources. The research and development (R&D) pipeline for product against EBV seems grossly insufficient. The outbreak of Ebola and the seeming difficulty to contain the epidemic is simply a reflection of the weak health system, poor surveillance and emergency preparedness/response, poverty and disconnect between the

  9. An account of the Ebola virus disease outbreak in Nigeria: implications and lessons learnt

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Akaninyene Otu

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The 2014 Ebola virus disease (EVD outbreak remains unprecedented both in the number of cases, deaths and geographic scope. The first case of EVD was confirmed in Lagos Nigeria on 23 July 2014 and spread to involve 19 laboratory-confirmed EVD cases. The EVD cases were not limited to Lagos State as Rivers State recorded 2 confirmed cases of EVD with 1 out of the 2 dying. Swift implementation of public health measures were sufficient to forestall a country -wide spread of this dreaded disease. This exploratory formative research describes the events of the Nigeria Ebola crisis in 2014. Methods This research was implemented through key informant in-depth interviews involving 15 stakeholders in the EVD outbreak in Nigeria by a team of two or three interviewers. Most of the interviews were conducted face-to-face at the various offices of the respondents and others were via the telephone. The interviews which lasted an hour on average were conducted in English, digitally recorded and notes were also taken. Results This study elucidated the public health response to the Ebola outbreak led by Lagos State Government in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Health. The principal strategy was an incident management approach which saw them identify and successfully follow up 894 contacts. The infected EVD cases were quarantined and treated. The Nigerian private sector and international organizations made significant contributions to the control efforts. Public health enlightenment programmes using multimodal communication strategies were rapidly deployed. Water and sanitary facilities were provided in many public schools in Lagos. Conclusions The 2014 Ebola outbreak in Nigeria was effectively controlled using the incident management approach with massive support provided by the private sector and international community. Eight of the confirmed cases of EVD in Nigeria eventually died (case fatality rate of 42.1% and twelve were nursed

  10. An account of the Ebola virus disease outbreak in Nigeria: implications and lessons learnt.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otu, Akaninyene; Ameh, Soter; Osifo-Dawodu, Egbe; Alade, Enoma; Ekuri, Susan; Idris, Jide

    2017-07-10

    The 2014 Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak remains unprecedented both in the number of cases, deaths and geographic scope. The first case of EVD was confirmed in Lagos Nigeria on 23 July 2014 and spread to involve 19 laboratory-confirmed EVD cases. The EVD cases were not limited to Lagos State as Rivers State recorded 2 confirmed cases of EVD with 1 out of the 2 dying. Swift implementation of public health measures were sufficient to forestall a country -wide spread of this dreaded disease. This exploratory formative research describes the events of the Nigeria Ebola crisis in 2014. This research was implemented through key informant in-depth interviews involving 15 stakeholders in the EVD outbreak in Nigeria by a team of two or three interviewers. Most of the interviews were conducted face-to-face at the various offices of the respondents and others were via the telephone. The interviews which lasted an hour on average were conducted in English, digitally recorded and notes were also taken. This study elucidated the public health response to the Ebola outbreak led by Lagos State Government in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Health. The principal strategy was an incident management approach which saw them identify and successfully follow up 894 contacts. The infected EVD cases were quarantined and treated. The Nigerian private sector and international organizations made significant contributions to the control efforts. Public health enlightenment programmes using multimodal communication strategies were rapidly deployed. Water and sanitary facilities were provided in many public schools in Lagos. The 2014 Ebola outbreak in Nigeria was effectively controlled using the incident management approach with massive support provided by the private sector and international community. Eight of the confirmed cases of EVD in Nigeria eventually died (case fatality rate of 42.1%) and twelve were nursed back to good health. On October 20 2014 Nigeria was declared fee of

  11. Cross-over between discrete and continuous protein structure space: insights into automatic classification and networks of protein structures.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alberto Pascual-García

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Structural classifications of proteins assume the existence of the fold, which is an intrinsic equivalence class of protein domains. Here, we test in which conditions such an equivalence class is compatible with objective similarity measures. We base our analysis on the transitive property of the equivalence relationship, requiring that similarity of A with B and B with C implies that A and C are also similar. Divergent gene evolution leads us to expect that the transitive property should approximately hold. However, if protein domains are a combination of recurrent short polypeptide fragments, as proposed by several authors, then similarity of partial fragments may violate the transitive property, favouring the continuous view of the protein structure space. We propose a measure to quantify the violations of the transitive property when a clustering algorithm joins elements into clusters, and we find out that such violations present a well defined and detectable cross-over point, from an approximately transitive regime at high structure similarity to a regime with large transitivity violations and large differences in length at low similarity. We argue that protein structure space is discrete and hierarchic classification is justified up to this cross-over point, whereas at lower similarities the structure space is continuous and it should be represented as a network. We have tested the qualitative behaviour of this measure, varying all the choices involved in the automatic classification procedure, i.e., domain decomposition, alignment algorithm, similarity score, and clustering algorithm, and we have found out that this behaviour is quite robust. The final classification depends on the chosen algorithms. We used the values of the clustering coefficient and the transitivity violations to select the optimal choices among those that we tested. Interestingly, this criterion also favours the agreement between automatic and expert classifications

  12. What do we really fear? The epidemiological characteristics of Ebola and our preparedness

    OpenAIRE

    Ki, Moran

    2014-01-01

    Ebola virus disease (hereafter Ebola) has a high fatality rate; currently lacks a treatment or vaccine with proven safety and efficacy, and thus many people fear this infection. As of August 13, 2014, 2,127 patients across four West African countries have been infected with the Ebola virus over the past nine months. Among these patients, approximately 1 in 2 has subsequently died from the disease. In response, the World Health Organization has declared the Ebola outbreak in West Africa to be ...

  13. Role of Natural Killer Cells in Innate Protection against Lethal Ebola Virus Infection

    OpenAIRE

    Warfield, Kelly L.; Perkins, Jeremy G.; Swenson, Dana L.; Deal, Emily M.; Bosio, Catharine M.; Aman, M. Javad; Yokoyama, Wayne M.; Young, Howard A.; Bavari, Sina

    2004-01-01

    Ebola virus is a highly lethal human pathogen and is rapidly driving many wild primate populations toward extinction. Several lines of evidence suggest that innate, nonspecific host factors are potentially critical for survival after Ebola virus infection. Here, we show that nonreplicating Ebola virus-like particles (VLPs), containing the glycoprotein (GP) and matrix protein virus protein (VP)40, administered 1–3 d before Ebola virus infection rapidly induced protective immunity. VLP injectio...

  14. From DNA to proteins via the ribosome: Structural insights into the workings of the translation machinery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Agirrezabala Xabier

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Understanding protein synthesis in bacteria and humans is important for understanding the origin of many human diseases and devising treatments for them. Over the past decade, the field of structural biology has made significant advances in the visualisation of the molecular machinery involved in protein synthesis. It is now possible to discern, at least in outline, the way that interlocking ribosomal components and factors adapt their conformations throughout this process. The determination of structures in various functional contexts, along with the application of kinetic and fluorescent resonance energy transfer approaches to the problem, has given researchers the frame of reference for what remains as the greatest challenge: the complete dynamic portrait of protein synthesis in the cell.

  15. Designer biomass for next-generation biorefineries: leveraging recent insights into xylan structure and biosynthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Peter J; Wang, Hsin-Tzu; York, William S; Peña, Maria J; Urbanowicz, Breeanna R

    2017-01-01

    Xylans are the most abundant noncellulosic polysaccharides in lignified secondary cell walls of woody dicots and in both primary and secondary cell walls of grasses. These polysaccharides, which comprise 20-35% of terrestrial biomass, present major challenges for the efficient microbial bioconversion of lignocellulosic feedstocks to fuels and other value-added products. Xylans play a significant role in the recalcitrance of biomass to degradation, and their bioconversion requires metabolic pathways that are distinct from those used to metabolize cellulose. In this review, we discuss the key differences in the structural features of xylans across diverse plant species, how these features affect their interactions with cellulose and lignin, and recent developments in understanding their biosynthesis. In particular, we focus on how the combined structural and biosynthetic knowledge can be used as a basis for biomass engineering aimed at developing crops that are better suited as feedstocks for the bioconversion industry.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  17. First principles insight into the α-glucan structures of starch

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Damager, Iben; Engelsen, Søren Balling; Blennow, Andreas

    2010-01-01

    A study was conducted to demonstrate the synthesis, conformation, and hydration of the α-glucan structures of starch. Starch and glycogen were synthesized by sets of specific enzyme activities that directly determined their molecular structures and physical properties. It was demonstrated...... that the extent of crystallinity, aggregation and hydration was of fundamental importance for starch and its human analogue glycogen. Starch was deposited in the plant as a stable form in highly organized and semicrystalline granules having specific crystalline polymorphs as determined by powder X......-ray crystallography. The investigations mainly focused on the bottom-up approach of synthesis, conformation, and hydration of starch. Starch and glycogen were found to be polymers that were built up from a single monomer, D-glucopyranose, or for short D-glucose....

  18. Linker histones: novel insights into structure-specific recognition of the nucleosome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cutter, Amber R; Hayes, Jeffrey J

    2017-04-01

    Linker histones (H1s) are a primary component of metazoan chromatin, fulfilling numerous functions, both in vitro and in vivo, including stabilizing the wrapping of DNA around the nucleosome, promoting folding and assembly of higher order chromatin structures, influencing nucleosome spacing on DNA, and regulating specific gene expression. However, many molecular details of how H1 binds to nucleosomes and recognizes unique structural features on the nucleosome surface remain undefined. Numerous, confounding studies are complicated not only by experimental limitations, but the use of different linker histone isoforms and nucleosome constructions. This review summarizes the decades of research that has resulted in several models of H1 association with nucleosomes, with a focus on recent advances that suggest multiple modes of H1 interaction in chromatin, while highlighting the remaining questions.

  19. Designing Probes for Immunodiagnostics: Structural Insights into an Epitope Targeting Burkholderia Infections.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Capelli, Riccardo; Matterazzo, Elena; Amabili, Marco; Peri, Claudio; Gori, Alessandro; Gagni, Paola; Chiari, Marcella; Lertmemongkolchai, Ganjana; Cretich, Marina; Bolognesi, Martino; Colombo, Giorgio; Gourlay, Louise J

    2017-10-13

    Structure-based epitope prediction drives the design of diagnostic peptidic probes to reveal specific antibodies elicited in response to infections. We previously identified a highly immunoreactive epitope from the peptidoglycan-associated lipoprotein (Pal) antigen from Burkholderia pseudomallei, which could also diagnose Burkholderia cepacia infections. Here, considering the high phylogenetic conservation within Burkholderia species, we ask whether cross-reactivity can be reciprocally displayed by the synthetic epitope from B. cenocepacia. We perform comparative analyses of the conformational preferences and diagnostic performances of the corresponding epitopes from the two Burkholderia species when presented in the context of the full-length proteins or as isolated peptides. The effects of conformation on the diagnostic potential and cross-reactivity of Pal peptide epitopes are rationalized on the basis of the 1.8 Å crystal structure of B. cenocepacia Pal and through computational analyses. Our results are discussed in the context of designing new diagnostic molecules for the early detection of infectious diseases.

  20. [Anthropology engaged against Ebola (2014-2016): approaches, contributions and new questions].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desclaux, Alice; Anoko, Julienne

    2017-10-02

    Anthropologists contributed to the response to the 2014-2016 Ebola outbreak in three ways : as Ebola experts, cultural mediators between populations and caregivers, and researchers. This article presents a preliminary review of approaches, contributions and related issues based on a literature review, case studies and debates. The anthropological research discussed in this article concerns four themes : epidemiological contexts of transmission ; cultural interpretation of illness and social responses ; social construction of stakeholders' experience ; critical analysis of public health interventions. In addition to insightful contributions, particularly regarding the socio-political contexts and their interfaces with global public health measures, anthropologists tested forms of communication to facilitate access of public health actors to their results. However, these heterogeneous forms of engagement raise a number of questions, especially when they reflect anthropological interpretations that exclude any critical or reflexive dimension, or when anthropology is considered to be similar to social intervention. Nevertheless, anthropological research provides a major contribution, which could be even greater if transnational networks set up by researchers to analyse the socio-political, economic and biocultural dimensions of emerging epidemics are supported in order to improve ?preparedness? for future health crises.

  1. Development of a Lethal Intranasal Exposure Model of Ebola Virus in the Cynomolgus Macaque

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kendra J. Alfson

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Ebola virus (EBOV is a filovirus that can cause Ebola virus disease (EVD. No approved vaccines or therapies exist for filovirus infections, despite an urgent need. The development and testing of effective countermeasures against EBOV requires use of animal models and a thorough understanding of how the model aligns with EVD in humans. The majority of published studies report outcomes of parenteral exposures for emulating needle stick transmission. However, based on data from EVD outbreaks, close contact exposures to infected bodily fluid seems to be one of the primary routes of EBOV transmission. Thus, further work is needed to develop models that represent mucosal exposure. To characterize the outcome of mucosal exposure to EBOV, cynomolgus macaques were exposed to EBOV via intranasal (IN route using the LMA® mucosal atomization device (LMA® MAD. For comparison, four non-human primates (NHPs were exposed to EBOV via intramuscular (IM route. This IN exposure model was uniformly lethal and correlated with a statistically significant delay in time to death when compared to exposure via the IM route. This more closely reflects the timeframes observed in human infections. An IN model of exposure offers an attractive alternative to other models as it can offer insight into the consequences of exposure via a mucosal surface and allows for screening countermeasures via a different exposure route.

  2. Humanized Mouse Model of Ebola Virus Disease Mimics the Immune Responses in Human Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bird, Brian H; Spengler, Jessica R; Chakrabarti, Ayan K; Khristova, Marina L; Sealy, Tara K; Coleman-McCray, JoAnn D; Martin, Brock E; Dodd, Kimberly A; Goldsmith, Cynthia S; Sanders, Jeanine; Zaki, Sherif R; Nichol, Stuart T; Spiropoulou, Christina F

    2016-03-01

    Animal models recapitulating human Ebola virus disease (EVD) are critical for insights into virus pathogenesis. Ebola virus (EBOV) isolates derived directly from human specimens do not, without adaptation, cause disease in immunocompetent adult rodents. Here, we describe EVD in mice engrafted with human immune cells (hu-BLT). hu-BLT mice developed EVD following wild-type EBOV infection. Infection with high-dose EBOV resulted in rapid, lethal EVD with high viral loads, alterations in key human antiviral immune cytokines and chemokines, and severe histopathologic findings similar to those shown in the limited human postmortem data available. A dose- and donor-dependent clinical course was observed in hu-BLT mice infected with lower doses of either Mayinga (1976) or Makona (2014) isolates derived from human EBOV cases. Engraftment of the human cellular immune system appeared to be essential for the observed virulence, as nonengrafted mice did not support productive EBOV replication or develop lethal disease. hu-BLT mice offer a unique model for investigating the human immune response in EVD and an alternative animal model for EVD pathogenesis studies and therapeutic screening. Published by Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America 2015. This work is written by (a) US Government employee(s) and is in the public domain in the US.

  3. Insights on Structural Characteristics and Ligand Binding Mechanisms of CDK2

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yan Li

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Cyclin-dependent kinase 2 (CDK2 is a crucial regulator of the eukaryotic cell cycle. However it is well established that monomeric CDK2 lacks regulatory activity, which needs to be aroused by its positive regulators, cyclins E and A, or be phosphorylated on the catalytic segment. Interestingly, these activation steps bring some dynamic changes on the 3D-structure of the kinase, especially the activation segment. Until now, in the monomeric CDK2 structure, three binding sites have been reported, including the adenosine triphosphate (ATP binding site (Site I and two non-competitive binding sites (Site II and III. In addition, when the kinase is subjected to the cyclin binding process, the resulting structural changes give rise to a variation of the ATP binding site, thus generating an allosteric binding site (Site IV. All the four sites are demonstrated as being targeted by corresponding inhibitors, as is illustrated by the allosteric binding one which is targeted by inhibitor ANS (fluorophore 8-anilino-1-naphthalene sulfonate. In the present work, the binding mechanisms and their fluctuations during the activation process attract our attention. Therefore, we carry out corresponding studies on the structural characterization of CDK2, which are expected to facilitate the understanding of the molecular mechanisms of kinase proteins. Besides, the binding mechanisms of CDK2 with its relevant inhibitors, as well as the changes of binding mechanisms following conformational variations of CDK2, are summarized and compared. The summary of the conformational characteristics and ligand binding mechanisms of CDK2 in the present work will improve our understanding of the molecular mechanisms regulating the bioactivities of CDK2.

  4. Insights on Forest Structure and Composition from Long-Term Research in the Luquillo Mountains

    OpenAIRE

    Tamara Heartsill Scalley

    2017-01-01

    The science of ecology fundamentally aims to understand species and their relation to the environment. At sites where hurricane disturbance is part of the environmental context, permanent forest plots are critical to understand ecological vegetation dynamics through time. An overview of forest structure and species composition from two of the longest continuously measured tropical forest plots is presented. Long-term measurements, 72 years at the leeward site, and 25 years at windward site, o...

  5. Structural insights into SUN-KASH complexes across the nuclear envelope

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Wenjia Wang; Zhaocai Zhou; Zhubing Shi; Shi Jiao; Cuicui Chen; Huizhen Wang; Guoguang Liu; Qiang Wang; Yun Zhao; Mark I Greene

    2012-01-01

    Linker of the nucleoskeleton and the cytoskeleton (LINC) complexes are composed of SUN and KASH domaincontaining proteins and bridge the inner and outer membranes of the nuclear envelope.LINC complexes play critical roles in nuclear positioning,cell polarization and cellular stiffness.Previously,we reported the homotrimeric structure of human SUN2.We have now determined the crystal structure of the human SUN2-KASH complex.In the complex structure,the SUN domain homotrimer binds to three independent "hook"-like KASH peptides.The overall conformation of the SUN domain in the complex closely resembles the SUN domain in its apo state.A major conformational change involves the AA'-loop of KASH-bound SUN domain,which rearranges to form a mini β-sheet that interacts with the KASH peptide.The PPPT motif of the KASH domain fits tightly into a hydrophobic pocket on the homotrimeric interface of the SUN domain,which we termed the BI-pocket.Moreover,two adjacent protomers of the SUN domain homotrimer sandwich the KASH domain by hydrophobic interaction and hydrogen bonding.Mutations of these binding sites disrupt or reduce the association between the SUN and KASH domains in vitro.In addition,transfection of wild-type,but not mutant,SUN2 promotes cell migration in Ovcar-3 cells.These results provide a structural model of the LINC complex,which is essential for additional study of the physical and functional coupling between the cytoplasm and the nucleoplasm.

  6. Structural insight into mechanism and diverse substrate selection strategy of L-ribulokinase

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Agarwal R.; Swaminathan S.; Burley, S. K.

    2012-01-01

    The araBAD operon encodes three different enzymes required for catabolism of L-arabinose, which is one of the most abundant monosaccharides in nature. L-ribulokinase, encoded by the araB gene, catalyzes conversion of L-ribulose to L-ribulose-5-phosphate, the second step in the catabolic pathway. Unlike other kinases, ribulokinase exhibits diversity in substrate selectivity and catalyzes phosphorylation of all four 2-ketopentose sugars with comparable k{sub cat} values. To understand ribulokinase recognition and phosphorylation of a diverse set of substrates, we have determined the X-ray structure of ribulokinase from Bacillus halodurans bound to L-ribulose and investigated its substrate and ATP co-factor binding properties. The polypeptide chain is folded into two domains, one small and the other large, with a deep cleft in between. By analogy with related sugar kinases, we identified {sup 447}{und GG}LPQ{und K}{sup 452} as the ATP-binding motif within the smaller domain. L-ribulose binds in the cleft between the two domains via hydrogen bonds with the side chains of highly conserved Trp126, Lys208, Asp274, and Glu329 and the main chain nitrogen of Ala96. The interaction of L-ribulokinase with L-ribulose reveals versatile structural features that help explain recognition of various 2-ketopentose substrates and competitive inhibition by L-erythrulose. Comparison of our structure to that of the structures of other sugar kinases revealed conformational variations that suggest domain-domain closure movements are responsible for establishing the observed active site environment.

  7. Structure of active IspH enzyme from escherichia coli provides mechanistic insights into substrate reduction

    KAUST Repository

    Gräwert, Tobias

    2009-07-20

    The terminal step of the non-mevalonate pathway of terpene biosynthesis is catalyzed by IspH (see scheme). In the crystal structure of IspH from E. coli, a bound inorganic diphosphate ligand occupies the position of the diphosphate residue of the substrate. Together with mutation studies and theoretical calculations, these data support a mechanism which is analogous to the Birch reduction of allylic alcohols. © 2009 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.

  8. Metabolic activation of pyrrolizidine alkaloids: insights into the structural and enzymatic basis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruan, Jianqing; Yang, Mengbi; Fu, Peter; Ye, Yang; Lin, Ge

    2014-06-16

    Pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) are natural toxins widely distributed in plants. The toxic potencies of different PAs vary significantly. PAs are mono- or diesters of necine acids with a necine base. On the basis of the necine bases, PAs are classified into three types: retronecine-type, otonecine-type, and platynecine-type. Hepatotoxic PAs contain an unsaturated necine base. PAs exert hepatotoxicity through metabolic activation by hepatic cytochromes P450s (CYPs) to generate reactive intermediates which form pyrrole-protein adducts. These adducts provide a mechanism-based biomarker to assess PA toxicity. In the present study, metabolic activation of 12 PAs from three structural types was investigated first in mice to demonstrate significant variations in hepatic metabolic activation of different PAs. Subsequently, the structural and enzymatic factors affecting metabolic activation of these PAs were further investigated by using human liver microsomes and recombinant human CYPs. Pyrrole-protein adducts were detected in the liver and blood of mice and the in vitro systems treated with toxic retronecine-type and otonecine-type PAs having unsaturated necine bases but not with a platynecine-type PA containing a saturated necine base. Retronecine-type PAs produced more pyrrole-protein adducts than otonecine-type PAs with similar necine acids, demonstrating that the structure of necine base affected PA toxic potency. Among retronecine-type PAs, open-ring diesters generated the highest amount of pyrrole-protein adducts, followed by macrocyclic diesters, while monoesters produced the least. Only CYP3A4 and CYP3A5 activated otonecine-type PAs, while all 10 CYPs studied showed the ability to activate retronecine-type PAs. Moreover, the contribution of major CYPs involved also varied significantly among retronecine-type PAs. In conclusion, our findings provide a scientific basis for predicting the toxicities of individual PAs in biological systems based on PA structural

  9. Extended and structurally supported insights into extracellular hormone binding, signal transduction and organization of the thyrotropin receptor.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gerd Krause

    Full Text Available The hormone thyrotropin (TSH and its receptor (TSHR are crucial for the growth and function of the thyroid gland. The TSHR is evolutionary linked with the receptors of follitropin (FSHR and lutropin/choriogonadotropin (LHR and their sequences and structures are similar. The extracellular region of TSHR contains more than 350 amino acids and binds hormone and antibodies. Several important questions related to functions and mechanisms of TSHR are still not comprehensively understood. One major reason for these open questions is the lack of any structural information about the extracellular segment of TSHR that connects the N-terminal leucine-rich repeat domain (LRRD with the transmembrane helix (TMH 1, the hinge region. It has been shown experimentally that this segment is important for fine tuning of signaling and ligand interactions. A new crystal structure containing most of the extracellular hFSHR region in complex with hFSH has recently been published. Now, we have applied these new structural insights to the homologous TSHR and have generated a structural model of the TSHR LRRD/hinge-region/TSH complex. This structural model is combined and evaluated with experimental data including hormone binding (bTSH, hTSH, thyrostimulin, super-agonistic effects, antibody interactions and signaling regulation. These studies and consideration of significant and non-significant amino acids have led to a new description of mechanisms at the TSHR, including ligand-induced displacements of specific hinge region fragments. This event triggers conformational changes at a convergent center of the LRRD and the hinge region, activating an "intramolecular agonistic unit" close to the transmembrane domain.

  10. Extended and structurally supported insights into extracellular hormone binding, signal transduction and organization of the thyrotropin receptor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krause, Gerd; Kreuchwig, Annika; Kleinau, Gunnar

    2012-01-01

    The hormone thyrotropin (TSH) and its receptor (TSHR) are crucial for the growth and function of the thyroid gland. The TSHR is evolutionary linked with the receptors of follitropin (FSHR) and lutropin/choriogonadotropin (LHR) and their sequences and structures are similar. The extracellular region of TSHR contains more than 350 amino acids and binds hormone and antibodies. Several important questions related to functions and mechanisms of TSHR are still not comprehensively understood. One major reason for these open questions is the lack of any structural information about the extracellular segment of TSHR that connects the N-terminal leucine-rich repeat domain (LRRD) with the transmembrane helix (TMH) 1, the hinge region. It has been shown experimentally that this segment is important for fine tuning of signaling and ligand interactions. A new crystal structure containing most of the extracellular hFSHR region in complex with hFSH has recently been published. Now, we have applied these new structural insights to the homologous TSHR and have generated a structural model of the TSHR LRRD/hinge-region/TSH complex. This structural model is combined and evaluated with experimental data including hormone binding (bTSH, hTSH, thyrostimulin), super-agonistic effects, antibody interactions and signaling regulation. These studies and consideration of significant and non-significant amino acids have led to a new description of mechanisms at the TSHR, including ligand-induced displacements of specific hinge region fragments. This event triggers conformational changes at a convergent center of the LRRD and the hinge region, activating an "intramolecular agonistic unit" close to the transmembrane domain.

  11. Structural insight into maintenance methylation by mouse DNA methyltransferase 1 (Dnmt1)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takeshita, Kohei; Suetake, Isao; Yamashita, Eiki; Suga, Michihiro; Narita, Hirotaka; Nakagawa, Atsushi; Tajima, Shoji

    2011-01-01

    Methylation of cytosine in DNA plays a crucial role in development through inheritable gene silencing. The DNA methyltransferase Dnmt1 is responsible for the propagation of methylation patterns to the next generation via its preferential methylation of hemimethylated CpG sites in the genome; however, how Dnmt1 maintains methylation patterns is not fully understood. Here we report the crystal structure of the large fragment (291–1620) of mouse Dnmt1 and its complexes with cofactor S-adenosyl-L-methionine and its product S-adenosyl-L-homocystein. Notably, in the absence of DNA, the N-terminal domain responsible for targeting Dnmt1 to replication foci is inserted into the DNA-binding pocket, indicating that this domain must be removed for methylation to occur. Upon binding of S-adenosyl-L-methionine, the catalytic cysteine residue undergoes a conformation transition to a catalytically competent position. For the recognition of hemimethylated DNA, Dnmt1 is expected to utilize a target recognition domain that overhangs the putative DNA-binding pocket. Taking into considerations the recent report of a shorter fragment structure of Dnmt1 that the CXXC motif positions itself in the catalytic pocket and prevents aberrant de novo methylation, we propose that maintenance methylation is a multistep process accompanied by structural changes. PMID:21518897

  12. Insights into nuclear structure and the fission process from spontaneous fission

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hamilton, J.H.; Butler-Moore, K.; Ramayya, A.V. [Vanderbilt Univ., Nashville, TN (United States)] [and others

    1993-12-31

    The {gamma}-rays emitted following spontaneous and induced fission are rich sources of information about the structure of neutron-rich nuclei and about the fission process itself. The study of spontaneous fissioning isotopes with large Ge detector arrays are providing a wealth of such information as seen, for example, in recent reports. In this paper we present some of our most recent results on nuclear structure studies and conclusions on the fission process itself. In our work, we have employed in spontaneous fission, a triple gamma coincidence study for the first time and a high resolution, X-ray detector-{gamma}-coincidence study. These data provide powerful ways of separating the gamma rays which belong to a particular nucleus. The triple coincidence technique was used to uniquely identify the levels in {sup 136}Te and higher spin states in its N=84 isotones, {sup 138}Xe and {sup 140}Ba{sup 171}. Some other examples of the level structures observed in the low and high mass partners are presented, including a detailed analysis of the backbending of the moment of inertia in {sup 112,114,116}Pd. Finally, we present the first examples of how our analysis allows one to extract a detailed picture of the dependence of the angular momentum on the mass and atomic numbers of the fission fragments and of the long-sought neutron multiplicity distribution from zero-n to ten-n as a function of the charge and mass asymmetry.

  13. Structural Insight into the Core of CAD, the Multifunctional Protein Leading De Novo Pyrimidine Biosynthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno-Morcillo, María; Grande-García, Araceli; Ruiz-Ramos, Alba; Del Caño-Ochoa, Francisco; Boskovic, Jasminka; Ramón-Maiques, Santiago

    2017-06-06

    CAD, the multifunctional protein initiating and controlling de novo biosynthesis of pyrimidines in animals, self-assembles into ∼1.5 MDa hexamers. The structures of the dihydroorotase (DHO) and aspartate transcarbamoylase (ATC) domains of human CAD have been previously determined, but we lack information on how these domains associate and interact with the rest of CAD forming a multienzymatic unit. Here, we prove that a construct covering human DHO and ATC oligomerizes as a dimer of trimers and that this arrangement is conserved in CAD-like from fungi, which holds an inactive DHO-like domain. The crystal structures of the ATC trimer and DHO-like dimer from the fungus Chaetomium thermophilum confirm the similarity with the human CAD homologs. These results demonstrate that, despite being inactive, the fungal DHO-like domain has a conserved structural function. We propose a model that sets the DHO and ATC complex as the central element in the architecture of CAD. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Crystal Structure of the Herpesvirus Nuclear Egress Complex Provides Insights into Inner Nuclear Membrane Remodeling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tzviya Zeev-Ben-Mordehai

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Although nucleo-cytoplasmic transport is typically mediated through nuclear pore complexes, herpesvirus capsids exit the nucleus via a unique vesicular pathway. Together, the conserved herpesvirus proteins pUL31 and pUL34 form the heterodimeric nuclear egress complex (NEC, which, in turn, mediates the formation of tight-fitting membrane vesicles around capsids at the inner nuclear membrane. Here, we present the crystal structure of the pseudorabies virus NEC. The structure revealed that a zinc finger motif in pUL31 and an extensive interaction network between the two proteins stabilize the complex. Comprehensive mutational analyses, characterized both in situ and in vitro, indicated that the interaction network is not redundant but rather complementary. Fitting of the NEC crystal structure into the recently determined cryoEM-derived hexagonal lattice, formed in situ by pUL31 and pUL34, provided details on the molecular basis of NEC coat formation and inner nuclear membrane remodeling.

  15. Feline coronavirus: Insights into viral pathogenesis based on the spike protein structure and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaimes, Javier A; Whittaker, Gary R

    2018-04-01

    Feline coronavirus (FCoV) is an etiological agent that causes a benign enteric illness and the fatal systemic disease feline infectious peritonitis (FIP). The FCoV spike (S) protein is considered the viral regulator for binding and entry to the cell. This protein is also involved in FCoV tropism and virulence, as well as in the switch from enteric disease to FIP. This regulation is carried out by spike's major functions: receptor binding and virus-cell membrane fusion. In this review, we address important aspects in FCoV genetics, replication and pathogenesis, focusing on the role of S. To better understand this, FCoV S protein models were constructed, based on the human coronavirus NL63 (HCoV-NL63) S structure. We describe the specific structural characteristics of the FCoV S, in comparison with other coronavirus spikes. We also revise the biochemical events needed for FCoV S activation and its relation to the structural features of the protein. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Structural insights from a novel invertebrate triosephosphate isomerase from Litopenaeus vannamei

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopez-Zavala, Alonso A.; Carrasco-Miranda, Jesus S.; Ramirez-Aguirre, Claudia D.; López-Hidalgo, Marisol; Benitez-Cardoza, Claudia G.; Ochoa-Leyva, Adrian; Cardona-Felix, Cesar S.; Diaz-Quezada, Corina; Rudiño-Piñera, Enrique; Sotelo-Mundo, Rogerio R.; Brieba, Luis G.

    2016-01-01

    Triosephosphate isomerase (TIM; EC 5.3.1.1) is a key enzyme involved in glycolysis and gluconeogenesis. Glycolysis is one of the most regulated metabolic pathways, however little is known about the structural mechanisms for its regulation in non-model organisms, like crustaceans. To understand the structure and function of this enzyme in invertebrates, we obtained the crystal structure of triosephosphate isomerase from the marine Pacific whiteleg shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei, LvTIM) in complex with its inhibitor 2-phosphogyceric acid (2-PG) at 1.7 Å resolution. LvTIM assembles as a homodimer with residues 166-176 covering the active site and residue Glu166 interacting with the inhibitor. We found that LvTIM is the least stable TIM characterized to date, with the lowest range of melting temperatures, and with the lowest activation enthalpy associated with the thermal unfolding process reported. In TIMs dimer stabilization is maintained by an interaction of loop 3 by a set of hydrophobic contacts between subunits. Within these contacts, the side chain of a hydrophobic residue of one subunit fits into a cavity created by a set of hydrophobic residues in the neighboring subunit, via a "ball and socket" interaction. LvTIM presents a Cys47 at the "ball" inter-subunit contact indicating that the character of this residue is responsible for the decrease in dimer stability. Mutational studies show that this residue plays a role in dimer stability but is not a solely determinant for dimer formation. PMID:27614148

  17. Insights into the Structural Changes Occurring upon Photoconversion in the Orange Carotenoid Protein from Broadband Two-Dimensional Electronic Spectroscopy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    De Re, Eleonora; Schlau-Cohen, Gabriela S.; Leverenz, Ryan L.; Huxter, Vanessa M.; Oliver, Thomas A. A.; Mathies, Richard A.; Fleming, Graham R.

    2014-05-22

    Carotenoids play an essential role in photoprotection, interacting with other pigments to safely dissipate excess absorbed energy as heat. In cyanobacteria, the short time scale photoprotective mechanisms involve the photoactive orange carotenoid protein (OCP), which binds a single carbonyl carotenoid. Blue-green light induces the photoswitching of OCP from its ground state form (OCPO) to a metastable photoproduct (OCPR). OCPR can bind to the phycobilisome antenna and induce fluorescence quenching. The photoswitching is accompanied by structural and functional changes at the level of the protein and of the bound carotenoid. In this study, we use broadband two-dimensional electronic spectroscopy to look at the differences in excited state dynamics of the carotenoid in the two forms of OCP. Our results provide insight into the origin of the pronounced vibrational lineshape and oscillatory dynamics observed in linear absorption and 2D electronic spectroscopy of OCPO and the large inhomogeneous broadening in OCPR, with consequences for the chemical function of the two forms.

  18. Implementation of an Ebola virus disease vaccine clinical trial during the Ebola epidemic in Liberia: Design, procedures, and challenges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kennedy, Stephen B; Neaton, James D; Lane, H Clifford; Kieh, Mark W S; Massaquoi, Moses B F; Touchette, Nancy A; Nason, Martha C; Follmann, Dean A; Boley, Fatorma K; Johnson, Melvin P; Larson, Gregg; Kateh, Francis N; Nyenswah, Tolbert G

    2016-02-01

    The index case of the Ebola virus disease epidemic in West Africa is believed to have originated in Guinea. By June 2014, Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone were in the midst of a full-blown and complex global health emergency. The devastating effects of this Ebola epidemic in West Africa put the global health response in acute focus for urgent international interventions. Accordingly, in October 2014, a World Health Organization high-level meeting endorsed the concept of a phase 2/3 clinical trial in Liberia to study Ebola vaccines. As a follow-up to the global response, in November 2014, the Government of Liberia and the US Government signed an agreement to form a research partnership to investigate Ebola and to assess intervention strategies for treating, controlling, and preventing the disease in Liberia. This agreement led to the establishment of the Joint Liberia-US Partnership for Research on Ebola Virus in Liberia as the beginning of a long-term collaborative partnership in clinical research between the two countries. In this article, we discuss the methodology and related challenges associated with the implementation of the Ebola vaccines clinical trial, based on a double-blinded randomized controlled trial, in Liberia. © The Author(s) 2016.

  19. NMR structure of temporin-1 ta in lipopolysaccharide micelles: mechanistic insight into inactivation by outer membrane.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rathi Saravanan

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs play important roles in the innate defense mechanism. The broad spectrum of activity of AMPs requires an efficient permeabilization of the bacterial outer and inner membranes. The outer leaflet of the outer membrane of Gram negative bacteria is made of a specialized lipid called lipopolysaccharide (LPS. The LPS layer is an efficient permeability barrier against anti-bacterial agents including AMPs. As a mode of protection, LPS can induce self associations of AMPs rendering them inactive. Temporins are a group of short-sized AMPs isolated from frog skin, and many of them are inactive against Gram negative bacteria as a result of their self-association in the LPS-outer membrane. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Using NMR spectroscopy, we have determined atomic resolution structure and characterized localization of temporin-1Ta or TA (FLPLIGRVLSGIL-amide in LPS micelles. In LPS micelles, TA adopts helical conformation for residues L4-I12, while residues F1-L3 are found to be in extended conformations. The aromatic sidechain of residue F1 is involved in extensive packing interactions with the sidechains of residues P3, L4 and I5. Interestingly, a number of long-range NOE contacts have been detected between the N-terminal residues F1, P3 with the C-terminal residues S10, I12, L13 of TA in LPS micelles. Saturation transfer difference (STD NMR studies demonstrate close proximity of residues including F1, L2, P3, R7, S10 and L13 with the LPS micelles. Notably, the LPS bound structure of TA shows differences with the structures of TA determined in DPC and SDS detergent micelles. SIGNIFICANCE: We propose that TA, in LPS lipids, forms helical oligomeric structures employing N- and C-termini residues. Such oligomeric structures may not be translocated across the outer membrane; resulting in the inactivation of the AMP. Importantly, the results of our studies will be useful for the development of antimicrobial agents with a

  20. STRUCTURAL INSIGHTS INTO SUBSTRATE BINDING AND STEREOSELECTIVITY OF GIARDIA FRUCTOSE-1,6-BISPHOSPHATE ALDOLASE*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galkin, Andrey; Li, Zhimin; Li, Ling; Kulakova, Liudmila; Pal, Lipika R.; Dunaway-Mariano, Debra; Herzberg, Osnat

    2009-01-01

    Giardia lamblia fructose-1,6-bisphosphate aldolase (FBPA)1 is a member of the Class II zinc-dependent aldolase family that catalyzes the cleavage of D-fructose-1,6-bisphosphate (FBP) into dihydroxyacetone phosphate (DHAP) and D-glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate (G3P). In addition to the active site zinc, the catalytic apparatus of FBPA employs an aspartic acid, Asp83 in the G. lamblia enzyme, which when replaced by an alanine residue renders the enzyme inactive. A comparison of the crystal structures of the D83A FBPA in complex with FBP and of the wild-type FBPA in the unbound state revealed a substrate induced conformational transition of loops in the vicinity of the active site and a shift in the location of Zn2+. Upon FBP binding, the Zn2+ shifts up to 4.6 Å towards the catalytic Asp83, which brings the metal within coordination distance to the Asp83 carboxylate group. In addition, the structure of wild-type FBPA was determined in complex with the competitive inhibitor D-tagatose 1,6-bisphosphate (TBP), a FBP stereoisomer. In this structure, the zinc binds in a site close to that previously seen in the structure of FBPA in complex with phosphoglycolohydroxamate, an analog of the postulated DHAP ene-diolate intermediate. Together, the ensemble of structures suggests that the zinc mobility is necessary to orient the Asp83 side chain and to polarize the substrate for proton transfer from the FBP C(4) hydroxyl group to the Asp83 carboxyl group. In the absence of FBP, the alternative zinc position is too remote for coordinating the Asp83. We propose a modification of the catalytic mechanism that incorporates the novel features observed in the FBPA/FBP structure. The mechanism invokes coordination and co-planarity of the Zn2+ with the FBP’s O-C(3)-C(4)-O concomitant with coordination of Asp83 carboxylic group. Catalysis is accompanied by movement of Zn2+ to a site co-planar with the O-C(2)-C(3)-O of the DHAP. glFBPA exhibit strict substrate specificity towards FBP and